Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Smoky Mountains~Here We Come! By the Way Book Series REVIEW

Nature Books With A Biblical Worldview {By the Way Book Series Reviews}
A while back I was asked to do a review for By the Way Book Series titled "Florida's Treasure Coast," for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. We fell in love with the overall message of the book - To enjoy God's treasures in the world. So, when another By the Way book came up for review, I jumped at the chance-Especially since it was a book from one of our favorite locations! As soon as "Smoky Mountains ~ Here We Come!" arrived, Mr. B grabbed it and ran off to read it!

Nature Books With A Biblical Worldview {By the Way Book Series Reviews}

By the Way books are hardback books that target a specific geographical location in the United States, such as The Great Smoky Mountains, or Florida's Treasure Coast. These are durable books that are full of colorful pictures, a load of facts, and a fun and engaging story with characters that seem to come to life. 
The Great Smoky Mountains is one of our favorite places. It's perfect for a weekend trip, and the atmosphere is so friendly and inviting. We tend to always rent a cabin, and then spend the next 2 or 3 days exploring. It's so wonderful to read a book that includes all of our favorite places! 
In this book, Uncle Ted invites Alex and Lexi down to experience Springtime in the Smoky Mountains. The first stop along the way is Clingman's Dome. As the book will tell you, Clingman's Dome is the highest point in the Appalachian Mountains. The story says the trail is a lot harder than it looks, and it's not kidding! The trail is paved, so you can take stroller or Wheelchair up it. BUT it's quite steep, and the air really thins out, so you get out of breath much faster than you would on a lower trail. The book includes some photos, and an illustration of the observation dome. The dome is an amazing thing to experience in person. On a good, clear day, you can see for miles and miles! As the books states, you can see 5 states! 

These photos were taken in the parking lot area.

The book does a really great job of showcasing this beautiful mountain, and the historical facts are really fun to read. The graphics and photos included are lovely, and the inclusion of biblical references are the icing on the cake.

Moving on, we travel back to Newfound Gap. This is the border between TN and NC. I have so many photos of this area, because to me it's like an open castle of sorts. But sadly, I can't find any on my current computer! The look out is beautiful. And on page 8 of the book, there is a photo that shows the lookout area from a distance. It is a must see place when you go to the Smoky Mountains! Also on this page Uncle Ted is saying everyone always wants to see a bear, and when they do they stop and start taking pictures. And while that's great for those in the front of the line, the cars in the back have no idea what's going on. THIS IS SO TRUE! We were on Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail in March 2009. There was a momma bear and 3 baby cubs. YES THREE! Luckily, we were in the front of the line, and yes, I got out to take photos. Momma Bear was a good distance away, and my son had his window down, too. And then some man behind us decided to taunt the momma bear! Oh it was so scary! She took off like a flash and charged him! She actually bumped against my car just as I got Mr. B's window's rolled up just in time! Another time, I was hiking on the Le. Conte Trailhead just up from Grotto Falls. I was on my way back down from the summit of Brushy Top Mountain, and a baby cub decided he'd follow along for part of the trail. I was more than a little frightened, and I did my best to keep my distance in case his momma was close by!

The book goes on to detail the Appalachian trial, and it talks about staying on the path. The book cleverly ties this in with Proverbs 4:18. As it does on each page, the book uses the story to showcase God's word. 

After the Newfound Gap and Appalachian Trail, the book goes on to describe some of the beautiful wildlife in the area. There are really great photos of Bobcats and butterflies. Then the book takes us to the forest, and teaches what an "old growth forest" is. I love the photos of all the trees here, and if you ever get the chance to go be sure to go on the Roaring Fork so you can see these for yourself!

I also love how the book teaches about the rock formations, and some of the names, in a fun, conversational manner. I always wonder how Charlie's Bunion got it's name, and now we know!

Great Smoky Mountains ~ Here We Come! makes sure to include a visit to nearby Cherokee, NC-part of the Cherokee Indian Reservation. There are loads of facts, and great photos on these pages. Cherokee is one of our favorite places to visit, and the drive from Gatlinburg to Cherokee has to be the most beautiful trip! Here are a few photos from the drive there! 

The next few pages talk about various animals and a place called Cataloochee, Again, the photos are great, and the inclusion of biblical references are well placed. The overall layout is easy to follow, and keeps everything from feeling like a lecture.

The book finishes up by visiting Cades Cove and talking about the amazing firefly display that happens every year. This is probably my favorite part. I was doing a wedding in Gatlinburg a few years ago, and the bride wanted outdoor photos taken on a different day for her wedding photos. Cades Cove is one of the places I scouted for her to see if that's what she wanted for her photos. I made up my mind right then, that the next time I go back I will be spending a much longer time exploring Cades Cove! It's breathtakingly beautiful! Here are a few of my own photos so you can see. The book does a FANTASTIC job of capturing the look, feel, and tranquility of the area. They showcase the animals and history in amazing detail.

I can't tell you just how much we have enjoyed this book! The photos are great, the information is sound and accurate, the graphics are cute, and the biblical references are wonderful. I highly recommend this to others, whether you have visited the area or not! We will definitely be taking this book with us on our next trip later this year! 

Does By the Way Book Series Pass My 4 Ingredient Test?

1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit “us?” Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?

This is a physical book that you will want to read cover to cover. Your child can easily skip around in it if they choose. 

2.) Value: Is it long lasting? Will it cover multiple grade ranges? Are you locked in to one specific grade level? Are there hidden fees?

There is not a set age range for this. And there are no hidden fees. I could see this being used for younger kids-perhaps a section at a time for pre-K and kindergarten, and my 11yr old son really likes it. So the age range is really wide. 

3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long? 

I found this to be VERY autism and ADHD friendly. The book is arranged in such a way that you can easily take breaks in the reading. The layout is nice since it breaks things down even more, and there are topics that include facts, history, animals, insects, and even weather!

4.) Does it tie into other things we already have.

This would be great for any study on the Smoky Mountains, life science, history, etc. 

Check out what the rest of the Homeschool Review Crew has to say! 
Nature Books With A Biblical Worldview {By the Way Book Series Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Monday, February 27, 2017

Math Mammoth REVIEW!!!!!

Affordable Quality Math {Math Mammoth }
Math is one of those subjects that is hard for me to choose a particular curriculum, or style. Mr. B likes to use the computer for his work, and I also like the benefits of worksheets or printables. It's hard to find something to fit both of our needs, that is affordable, and good quality. Insert Math Mammoth. I had never even heard of Math Mammoth before it came up for review, and after checking it out I was so very excited to try out the Light Blue Series for 5th grade.

This math curriculum is mastery based and utilizes conceptual learning. I'm sure you're probably wonder what in the world that means, right? Please say yes, because I know I was certainly wondering! Basically, your student will master each topic before moving on to the next, and units are arranged in themes of sorts. Conceptual learning isn't just learning the how's, but it addresses the logic behind the math. 2+2=4, but why? That's conceptual learning, and it's GREAT for autism!

For this review, we received a digital download of Math Mammoth Light Blue Series Grade 5.
Affordable Quality Math {Math Mammoth }
How we used it:

I was very eager to get started with this.  But I wasn't really sure what grade level Mr. B would be in for this. It seems like each company has their own scale, for each different subject. Reading might say one thing, science another. So I really wasn't sure which grade level to choose. The great thing about Math Mammoth are the free Placement Tests. We did not even finish the first page of the 6th grade placement test when I realized he needed a lower level. I am so glad we took that test! I had him take the 4th grade placement test, and it was much too easy. I had him take the End of the Year 5th grade test, and it was about 50/50 so I felt confident starting with 5th grade. I reasoned it would be good to backtrack a little and make sure he had mastered some specific concepts, and move on to the harder stuff and take our time more. Once our download arrived, and we got started I realized this is the perfect place for him right now.

I also realized this wasn't anything like I thought it was going to be. I fully researched this prior to the review, but for some reason I had convinced myself it was an all online program. Imagine my surprise, and my sheer delight, when I found out it wasn't! We received a PDF download, that has various parts, in a zip file. It also includes something called a "Soft-Pak." Soft-Pak is a very basic program that also includes some language arts work. Think of the old DOS based programs of yesteryear, and that's what I think of with the Bonus Soft-Pak. It's a lightweight program that will create Language Arts worksheets, spelling lists, and of course math worksheets. It's easy to use, and a nice little bonus.

The Download includes a worktext A and B, answer keys for those, tests, cutouts, reviews, and of course the Soft-Pak I mentioned above. The cutouts are fraction pies. I found these were great to print and laminate so that he could use dry erase markers on them. They come colored and black and white. The reviews are pretty neat. They are cumulative reviews that are broken down into segments. So you have chapter 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, and so on until you get to 1-8. There are also extra worksheets located under this folder. The worktexts are basically the workbook. I would have Mr. B go over the concept on the computer, and then I'd print the necessary worktext pages for his work. Worktext A has 213 pages of goodness, and B has 203! 

As you can see, the main book part is in the main window, and you can choose the pages on the left side. Now, that's all well and good for those who like books, even eBooks. BUT what about the online fun my son likes? Don't fret because Math Mammoth has you covered! Within the first few pages of each worktext are links to online math learning sites! And these links are integrated into the overall lesson plan. There's Math Mahjong, Activities with money, Survey Game, Line Graphs, Easy Practice problems, Study Jams, and soooo much more! There are about 4 full pages of math links that are used in this curriculum, and all are clickable within the PDF. 

If you subscribe to Homeschool Planet, you can also purchase the lesson plans to go along with Math Mammoth. There is a free version of Homeschool Planet, and you can pull up the lesson plans, so the work is already pre-planned for you. If you have the paid version, you obviously have more control and features to use, such as emailing each daily lesson to your child! I LOVE having these lessons plans at my fingertips, ready to go.

We started with Order of Operations since I realized, I had never gone over this with him. Actually, I can't remember when I learned these in school, but I'm pretty sure it was after 5th grade. So be sure to make use of those placement tests! 

I go over these with Mr. B on the computer, then I print out the worksheets for him to do. I follow the lesson plans, which usually include a fun activity too, and sometimes I will utilize the extra worksheets when needed. We don't do EVERY page, as that's not really the intended purpose anyway. When he has mastered the topic, we move on as needed. He's still having some trouble with Order of Operations, so we are still covering that, and also tying in more algebra type problems. I'm thinking Order of Operations has more to do with his autism than lack of understanding. 

Our Thoughts:

I really love this program. I'm seeing now that he has some gaps that need filling, and we may purchase one of the Blue Series books to fill in those gaps, namely fractions. These books concentrate on a particular concept where as the Light Blue Series is a full grade. I love that it's both book and online fun, and the added lessons plans are so very handy to have. He can play the games as much as he wants, even when it's not math time. And the worksheets are great. They have color so they aren't drab, but they aren't busy and cluttered so they do not distract. The conceptual learning is great, as it not only teaches the how, but the why, too. That's great for autism, and it really works well for him. I highly recommend it to others, and plan to continue using it. 

Does Math Mammoth Pass My 4 Ingredient Test?

1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit “us?” Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?

Since this is not an online subscription, you aren't confined to the time constraints of the subscription. You can move around as needed, and skips the sections your child as already mastered. You can choose to buy the pre-planned lesson plans, or you can plan your own. 

2.) Value: Is it long lasting? Will it cover multiple grade ranges? Are you locked in to one specific grade level? Are there hidden fees?

The Light Blue Series is only one grade level, and you are locked in. There are no hidden fees that I have found. Make use of the placement tests so you can choose the correct grade level.  

3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long? 

The lessons are short, and repetitive enough for full mastery. The inclusion of various games and online work make it varied enough for ADHD. I found it to be perfect for autism and ADHD, in our case. 
4.) Does it tie into other things we already have.
This is strictly math. 
See what the other Homeschool Review Crew members have to say! 
Affordable Quality Math {Math Mammoth Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Crazy Seasons?

Where are you winter? I normally wouldn't complain, but I really do like at least 1 or 3 REALLY good snow storms. I enjoy the stark, cold on my face-turning my cheeks and nose red from the cold chill. I enjoy bundling up in sweaters and coats, and seeing the breath as I exhale. I enjoy the annoying bugs being gone! I like it! I like winter. It seems to have skipped over us this year. It's not even march, yet the daffodils are in bloom and the frogs are croaking. Have I mentioned, I don't like frogs?

I love spring, I do . . . but I love winter, too. I miss it. I wish it had been here at least a little. A good 4" snow would have been nice. 6-8" even better. A good winter storm warning, a rush to pick up more hot chocolate, and sleds careening down the hill....I need these things in my life! Instead, in the middle of winter, my son is outside playing in shorts and no shirt. This is just so starkly wrong! It looks as if Spring is here to stay, for the most part. Temps will be in the 40s here there before rebounding to the 60s and 70s. Most are loving it, but I have to wonder what this means for the coming summer months.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

What is that sound?!

FROGS!  In February?! I'm hearing FROGS?! And birds chirping? And Geese are back?! WHAT IN THE WORLD?!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Travel Back in Time with Homeschool in the Woods Project Passport Ancient Greece! {REVIEW}

HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study

Have you any idea how much I adore Homeschool in the Woods? I have a friend who has used these products for years, and she kept posting pictures of these amazingly beautiful works of art that she called history projects. I was like, "yeah...whatever...schoolwork.  Mmmhmm sure..." She convinced me that I HAD to try it for myself. We love hands on learning, so I thought..."Hey, why not give it a go?" And then . . . we were hooked! So now you can probably imagine my sheer joy and excitement when I saw Homeschool in the Woods newest addition, Ancient Greece, was up for review! And then you can probably imagine the squeal of delight I had when I found out I was chosen for the review! 

For this review, we received 1 digital download for HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Greece.

HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study

What is it?

So, what in the world is Homeschool in the Woods, anyway? It is an amazingly awesome history program that has hands on, fun projects, that end up resulting in nothing short of a work of art to be shared and enjoyed with your family and friends. You can create a scrapbook binder of sorts called a Scrapbook of Sights, or you can create really cool Lapbooks, OR you can do Both! Betcha can't guess what direction we take HAHA! Ancient Greece uses the same great techniques as all of the others before it to teach the history of Ancient Greece using fun "stops" that take your child on an epic adventure through time.

Each lesson is arranged in Stops. And each Stop is planned out for you so that you just read over your Travel Itinerary and print what is needed for each stop. There are also text pages that give a narrative of the lesson. In addition to that, there are recommended books that you can read for even more learning fun. This product is very Charlotte Mason friendly, if you like that method. If you tend to veer to a different teaching method, such as classical or traditional, then this is STILL a good product for you because you can really work it in to any curriculum type. I know some who even use it as their stand alone backbone history core, and supplement with additional reading along the way.

How we used it:

Last year we reviewed Project Passport The Middle Ages so we were able to skip over much of Stop 1. Much of Stop 1 consists of creating your Travel Case and Passport. Here's a photo from when we created that before, since there was no reason to redo it. That's the neat thing about these sets, you can can keep going with them and add to your travel case! 

Now, it really depends on your preference how you want to initially proceed. I like to have everything printed and ready to go. So I first printed out everything I needed for the first 5 stops, including the text pages. Then, I arrange everything together with the supplies needed. This way, if Mr. B wants to do more than  one stop in a day, we can. Sometimes we will work on the same 2 stops over the course of a couple of weeks, reading the text and recommended books, and even finding our own things online. So the first day was spent with Mr. B coloring the Scrapbook of Sights cover page and a few other things, like timeline pieces, and me printing and organizing. After that, we read the text out loud and did some work on post cards and the timeline. The timeline is really cool if you print it front and back the way the directions tell you to do, and then use packing tape to tape it together in a certain way. This allows for it to unfold and stretch out. But  . . . I'm not nearly that awesome and coordinated, so I just printed it on one side only, and 3 hole punch the whole thing. It still works HAHA. Now, if you are not directionally challenged like me, and you can figure out which way to turn your pages so that they print correctly, then I highly recommend doing it the way the directions suggest to make it more awesome! Anyway, here are a few photos of our coloring work from Stop 1 and 2. 

Before you get started, I HIGHLY recommend you pick up tape, double sided tape, packing tape, glue/glue sticks, scissors, maybe even an exacto knife, crayons, colored pencils, file folders, card stock in white and other colors, and lots of plain printer paper. We use a laser jet printer, so printing is fairly cheap for us. If you use an ink jet, you may want to think about adding ink to the supply list. This does require a LOT of printing. Now, we typically skip the colored cardstock. I have it, but I'd rather have a white background and color everything else. I can see the use for it to cut down on time with things like the post card stand, etc. But for us, I usually just grab a pack of white or off white.

I separate stops in folders or page protectors, and of course you need a colored folder for your travel case. If you're not new to Homeschool in the Woods, then you know the basic supplies you will need for the projects.

Now that I think about it, if they would offer a printed version of there history studies, that'd be FANTASTIC! Maybe something like a bound printed version so that people who can't print, or whatever, can buy THAT version instead. Dear Homeschool in the Woods powers that be, Come up with a pre-printed version of your amazingly awesome products! I'd be all for that!  That would be awesome! I personally do not mind the printing, and having a digital or disk copy is great for those who may wish to use this with more than one student. BUT...having only 1 child, I am pretty sure I'd definitely buy a pre-printed version! 

If you are unsure about anything, be sure to go to the product page and scroll down a bit to the tab that says Download Sample. HINT: It looks like this: 

There you can download a sample that includes bits from throughout so you can get a feel for how the set up is, etc. There is also a sample of an audio clip as the program does include audio bits, as well. 

Our Thoughts:

We LOVE it! It is the perfect program for us. We were able to skip over the travel case making part, which bumped us up a day or two, and it is fun to keep adding the travel "stickers" to the case. I think next time I'd like to print the timeline figures and other stick on things like that on adhesive paper so Mr. B can place them like stickers. I think it'd make for a much more polished look, overall. Mr. B really likes reading the text pages, and I find he reads them back to himself even after we've completed a stop. We keep them compiled in a binder, and I plan to bind them together in a book format to go along with our finished Scrapbook of Sights and travel case. The Lessons are in depth enough to cover a good deal of material, and there's plenty of room left for self exploration if you choose to go deeper into that lesson's topic. Mr. B never complains, and even asks to do his Homeschool in the Woods school work. It is fun, and not "school" like to him, at all. I even enjoy doing the projects with him. It is printing intensive, so keep that in mind. But it is WELL worth it!

Mr. B really likes working with the timeline, and adding all of the elements to the time line. He also LOVES the newspaper now! Before, it was a struggle to get him to write on the newspaper pages but now, he loves it. It's one of his favorite activities. He also really liked the Trojan Horse activity, and has made his own versions several times!

I really like constructing the Greek Columns of Stop 3, and all of the post cards. I get so tickled over the post cards! HAHA! I like how cumulative it is, too. The timeline, newspaper, and map are all things you keep adding to over the course of the study. That means your child sees previous work in addition to current work, for great retention. Overall, Homeschool in the Woods Project Passport Ancient Greece is a home run for us! 

Does Homeschool in the Woods Pass My 4 Ingredient Test?

1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit “us?” Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?

The lessons build upon each other, so I do not suggest skipping stops. You can modify in the sense that you can choose what to do at each stop. You don't have to complete every single activity, and you don't have to do the recommended reading. We like to stretch it out longer, and use it for a longer period of time, so we delve deeper that others. You can complete this in just a couple of months, or you can make it last longer. It's up to you. 

2.) Value: Is it long lasting? Will it cover multiple grade ranges? Are you locked in to one specific grade level? Are there hidden fees?

There are no hidden fees since this is either a digital download or a physical disk (they offer both, we were given the digital download.) You will need to supply the basic supplies yourself. This particular study will cover a very wide range of grades. Mr. B is 5th-6th in most things, but I can easily see a high schooler doing this program and enjoying it just the same. 

3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long? 

For us, this is perfect the program for autism and ADHD. It is hands on, fun, and creative. Lessons can be as short as you want. You can complete an entire stop in a day, or you can spend a week or so doing it. It's up to you, which makes it great for autism and ADHD. I find this to be very grounding for Mr. B, and on the days when we can't do anything else, he is easily able to sit down, focus, and enjoy Homeschool in the Woods. We have even used lessons as party games! Not even kidding! 

4.) Does it tie into other things we already have.

This would be great for any study on Ancient History. 

Please check out what the other members of The Homeschool Review Crew had to say! Not only did we review Ancient Greece, but other Crew Members received The Middle Ages, Ancient Egypt, And Renaissance and Reformation. So be sure to visit their blogs and read up on the other great studies! 

HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study Reviews
Social Media:



Twitter @HSintheWoods
Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

I hate Laundry.

Seriously. I need some sort of laundry fairy. How do you tackle the beast, and keep it at bay? 1 load a day just doesn't work for me.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Lots of Notebooking Pages!

My son is BEGGING Me to print off more Notebooking Page from NotebookingPages.com! This is by far our most used resource! The Lifetime Membership gives you full access FOREVER! Right now, he's working on some planet pages, and when he's finished with that we are going to print off these GREAT Valentine's Day pages And some President's Day pages! The Valentine's and President's Day pages are free right now, as are some new Donald Trump pages. So be sure to check them out!

Don't these look fantastic?! I included links above, so you can grab these freebies and check out all of the wonderful products at NotebookingPages.com

Notebooking Pages Free Membership

**Post contains affiliate links. These links do not cost you anything extra at all, they just give me a small commission for any order placed through my links.**                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Two Suitors for Anna REVIEW

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Book

Book: Two Suitors for Anna
Author: Molly Jebber
Genre: Amish Historical Romance
Release Date: January 31, 2017
two-suitorsIn 1903 Ohio, a young Amish woman must choose between the life she has long planned for and a new, very different future…
Since Anna Plank moved to Berlin, Ohio, with her widowed mamm and two schweschders, she’s found a real sense of belonging. As soon as her beloved Noah Schwartz proposes, they’ll begin a new chapter here together. But Noah has a surprise for Anna: once they’re married, he wants them to travel and live in other communities. Anna, who loves her home and her job at the quilt shop, is distraught when he takes her hesitation as rejection—and leaves.
Daniel Bontrager’s arrival adds to Anna’s confusion. Since taking over his late brother’s farm, the handsome roofer has offered friendship and gentle attentions. Yet the pull of first love is strong and deep, especially when Noah returns. Through each revelation, Anna must search her faith for guidance, knowing she is choosing not just a husband, but a life to nurture and to share…
Praise for Molly Jebber’s Change of Heart
“Endearing characters and a delightful story make this a keeper for fans of Amish romance.” –Emma Miller

“This is a wonderfully written historical romance with Amish and Englisch characters who are loveable and considerate of others. The storyline is believable and heartwarming. Jebber is a talented author.” –RT Book Reviews

My Thoughts:

This is an overall sweet, and well written book. It's charming love story that includes deep characters who evolve throughout the book. I like the interactions between the characters, and the author's style is easy to follow, and easy to read. There was a good balance of dialogue vs. description. I didn't find myself "on the edge of my seat" with this book. It's an over all nice, well written book. 

About the Author

6-10-2016-close-head-shotMolly Jebber’s books have been featured in Publisher’s Weekly, USA Today’s HEA, and Romantic Times has given them a near excellent rating. She’s on RWA’s Honor Roll. She’s a speaker for Women’s Christian Connection, and she offers presentations on writing, publishing, Amish lifestyle and traditions. She has received widespread media coverage, including live interviews, across the United States for her books and speaking engagements.
She’s just signed a new contract for four more Amish books! She loves interacting with her readers. She loves God, her husband, family and friends. She has a hard time saying no to cupcakes, swimming, nine holes of golf, and walks on the beach. Coconut, oatmeal, and onions, on the other hand, are not hard to say no to!

Guest Post from Molly Jebber

What prompted Two Suitors for Anna?
Have you had to choose between two men you love? Or maybe a friend?  I gave Anna this dilemma and added to her turmoil by throwing in a bundle of twists and turns to the story.
Noah proposes to Anna, and he takes her rejection as hesitation and leaves town. Daniel moves to Berlin and offers her friendship which is blossoming into something more, when Noah returns and asks her forgiveness and another chance. I hope you enjoy it!

Blog Stops

January 31: cherylbbookblog
January 31: Giveaway Lady
January 31: Bibliophile Reviews
February 1: A Greater Yes
February 2: Lane Hill House
February 2: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
February 3: Just Commonly
February 3: Moments Dipped in Ink
February 4: Jeanette’s Thoughts
February 4: Bigreadersite
February 5: Quiet Quilter
February 6: Ashley’s Bookshelf
February 7: Pause for Tales
February 8: Splashes of Joy
February 9: Christian Bookaholic
February 9: Eat, Read, Teach Blog
February 10: inklings and notions
February 11: Carpe Diem
February 12: Donna’s BookShelf
February 13: autism mom
February 14: A Holland Reads


kindle fire
To celebrate her tour, Molly is giving away a Kindle Fire HD. Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/af95

**I received this free in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**

Monday, February 13, 2017

Air Fryer

Don't even finish reading this....just go get one. Seriously. I just used mine for the first time and OH MY GOODNESS! I LOVE IT!

Friday, February 10, 2017


This has been one crazy winter. I really long for a good, and I mean GOOD, snow storm.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Times Tables the Fun Way REVIEW

Times Tables the Fun Way {Review}
Times Tables can be tough for any kid to learn. I remember being in 3rd grade and dreading that walk to the teacher's desk to recite them level by level each week. 9's and 12's were the hardest for me! Times Tables the Fun Way takes away that dread with their fun Times Alive program! Times Alive features online lessons with animated songs and stories to learn times tables the fun way, making it easier for your child to remember their times tables! 

For this review, we received a 3-Month Subscription to Times Alive.

The program is easy to run and install. Once you do that, you simply click login. Here's a catch though: You MUST use the exact same spelling, etc. on the login name each time or else your progress isn't saved. So, lets say you sign your child in as Johnny, and the next day they sign in as johnny. Well, there's no individual log in for each child, so Johnny and johnny would be seen as two different students, and the progress would not be the same. We found this out the hard way when Mr. B used a lowercase B by mistake! He had completed nearly 1/3 of the program, and we lost it until I realized his error. If the developers could maybe incorporate different login names with passwords, I think that'd be fantastic. Otherwise, be sure to write down your login name that you choose so you can be sure to get it right each time. 

This is where you need to type in your name. So be sure you get it right each time. 

Once you are logged in, you come to a screen where you can choose your level. I've included screen snips to show all of the levels. This program goes through the 9's, which covers nearly all of the basic times tables. 

You do not need to go in order. You can start anywhere you like, or move around as you see fit. That makes this a really nice way to fill in gaps on some of those pesky numbers that are tripping up your child. For this review, I took screen shots of the 0's level, since that is where we chose to start just to see the fun videos! 

As you can see here, the videos are colorful and animated. They are short in duration. Following the videos there are various activities that take you through each level of the times tables. This could be a handful of equations to work, a timed exercise to test what they know, or even a fun coloring sheet that represents the number they are learning. 

The lessons are designed in such a way that they cover each level of the times tables, and offer review, too. Lesson 6 covers 7x7, but it also goes back to 3x4, 8x8, and 3x3. 

Progress is noted by the yellow symbols. There is a key that shows you what to expect for the lesson, and to track progress. A full yellow circle indicates completion. A half circle indicates your child viewed the lesson. 

Our Thoughts:
Mr. B really  had a lot of fun with this. A typical student will spend about a month to learn all of their times tables. He already knew some of his very well, actually better than I thought he did. So we only spent a couple of weeks until he had completed the 18 lessons. He actually did lessons 1-4 in the first day, then after that he did 2 lessons a day. We would go over the ones he had trouble with, and I would have him redo those until he mastered them. He is still a little slow on recall at times, but it varies between the numbers. So he may stumble over 9x4 right now and hit 5x4 with ease only to stumble over 5x4 a few minutes later, but get 9x4 with ease. So I don't think it has anything to do with his lack of understanding or lack of knowledge with his times tables any longer, but more of a memory thing, maybe attributed to his special needs. 

He really had fun with the shortened equations, and the timed drills. The coloring sheets were of course a hit with him! Ok Ok, I admit it, I liked them, too!  The duration of the lessons is great for autism and ADHD. They are colorful, but not distracting. And they are not long in time, so your child's attention doesn't have time to wander off. The amount of practice work that is featured in the program is a good amount for the program, but if you child is just learning you may find you want or need more. But for the program, it's a good fit. Mr. B never argued or acted as if he didn't enjoy doing the practice work, and he would have had there been a large amount. Overall, this worked very well for us, and I have already recommended it to others. 

Does Times Tables the Fun Way Pass My 4 Ingredient Test?

1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit “us?” Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?

Since this is an online subscription, you are limited to the duration of the subscription. Other than that, you can jump ahead, take breaks, and skip as needed. It is very easy to use, and fits our hectic schedule nicely.  

2.) Value: Is it long lasting? Will it cover multiple grade ranges? Are you locked in to one specific grade level? Are there hidden fees?

There are NO hidden fees. There really isn't a grade level. It's times tables through the 9's. You have access to all 18 levels, which will cover you all the way through 9x9. 

3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long? 

It's not boring at all, and quite varied. I really like how the repeated numbers are spread out the way they are. This gives your child more time to absorb new material, and really tests whether or not they have retained the material. The lessons are short, and do not last long at all. It is colorful, and fun, but not overly distracting. 

4.) Does it tie into other things we already have.

This is only multiplication tables. Nothing more than that. 

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