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Some of the links on this blog are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Field Trip #221 Friday Blog Hop


Blog Hop designed to share 'FIELD TRIP' related Blog Posts(does not have to be a 'home school field trip', can be any trip to any place with your children!)

**NOTE:  Before linking up please review guidelines HERE!

Chuck E Cheese is def not my most favorite place to go, but here is one place being a homeschooler really pays off!  We headed there to spend the day with my niece and nephew who were visiting, and basically had the place to ourselves!  SCORE! 

(Unfortunately our field trip that was scheduled for today has to be rescheduled because of rain Sad smile  but I can’t be too upset, because we really needed some rain! )

PicMonkey Collage

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Review: Heirloom Audio Productions - The Cat of Bubastes (TOS Review) #hsreviews #HeirloomAudio #TheCatOfBubastes #LiveTheAdventure #BringingHentyBack #AudioAdventures

Bubastes Review

Heirloom Audio Productions has done it again!!  The Cat of Bubastes lives up the all expectations.  Previous audio dramas certainly set a high precedence, but their newest release does NOT disappoint! 

The Cat of Bubastes Front Cover_zpsdf1hyg7j

You can see other reviews we have done and LOVED as well

With Lee in Virginia

The Dragon and The Raven

Beric the Briton

we also own others, that were not review products, which we also LOVE!

As with all Heirloom Audio Productions audio dramas, this one is based on a G.A. Henty book and is Christian based.  Each story teaches values and Christian morals and typical tells of a characters journey to Christ.


The Cat of Bubastes takes places in Ancient Egypt.  The journey of a prince who loses everything, a journey from polytheism to monotheism, a sacred cat, conspiracy murders, and more…. 

My kids are always captivated from the moment it starts, until it ends!  We use these in the car, and they are always wanted to hear more!  The particular story was listened to on the way to the airport and as we sat parked waiting for the plane to arrive! 

It was a perfect story, since we are studying ancient history this year.  All the G. A. Henty books that these audio dramas are based off of are historical fiction, therefore fact based!  What a great way to learn history!  It’s entertaining and fun; they don’t even know they are learning!

As with all Heirloom Audio Productions stories, The Cat of Bubastes, came with a Study Guide, a soundtrack, an mp3 of the audio drama, an ebook, a behind-the-scenes video, a couple of posters, and more!  (all as computer files).

Cat of Bubastes soundtrack_zpsgekzuhvhCat of Bubastes studyguide_zpsbzqyywrd

The particular drama is designed for kids ages 6-16, but equally enjoyed by all ages! 

Many of the actors are well known names, such as those from Star Wars, Dr. Who, Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia!

The sound effects are amazing, as if you are right there!  I kid you not, for this story I often caught myself looking around, for it seemed the cicadas and other animals noises, were right there with me!

I am not much of an audio learner, and I honestly have not always been able to keep up with all of the stories as we listen (after all I am concentrating on driving), but I do know the kids LOVE them, and since most of this story was listened too while parked, I was able to more thoroughly enjoy this one!  You really gain an appreciation of each character and find yourself emotionally engaged in the story!

I quite often recommend these stories when friends ask for audio book recommendations.  These far surpass any audio book we have ever listened too!  They are great for road trips, or just listening too around the house (My kids also like to listen while they play with Legos or other things).

There are several titles available, all are historical fiction and based off of G.A. Henty’s novels.  I always look forward to seeing which one is released next! 

These CDs also make great gifts, which is why they have package deals available for purchase, the 4 pack set includes all the great bonuses I mentioned earlier for one great price!  Other options are a single pack or an instant download.  Prices start at $19.97. 

Social Media Links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeirloomAudio
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeirloomStories
Google+: https://plus.google.com/b/114534826166314080647/114534826166314080647
Instagram: @HeirloomAudioOfficial

Heirloom Audio Productions ~Cat of Bubastes

Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Review: Spencer Learning, Ultimate Phonics Reading Program (TOS Review) #hsreviews #phonics #phonicsapp #dyslexia #strugglingreader

Spencer Learning Review

For this review we used The Ultimate Phonics Reading Program by Spencer Learning.  I used it with my beginner reader, who is almost 6 years old and in Kindergarten. 

This program was simple for my 5 year old to use on his own, though it was a bit dull. This is not a flashy program, it’s words and sounds, and the voiceover for the program is a bit robotic sounding. He didn’t really mind it though, and enjoyed doing it.

The program is geared towards struggling readers of all ages, and I tried to have my almost 8 year old use it, but he wasn’t interested in it.  I will try again with him though, his opinion of things change from day to day.  (If you have been here before, I’m sure you have heard me mention him).  It can be used for beginning readers, however.

The lessons are fairly short, which was great for my little ones attention span!

The program is downloadable, which is great because you do not need the internet to use it.  It is also not a subscription, so it’s a one time purchase!  It can be used with multiple students, though it does not have separate log ins, nor does it keep track of lessons or any type of scoring.  You would just have to know what lesson you were on and go to it. 

It has a search feature, so if your child needs help with certain letter combinations, or certain words, you can find the lesson that includes them and go straight to that lesson. 

There are free placement tests online, though we did not use them, because my son is a beginner, so we just started with lesson 1.

The first lesson starts out with letters and their sounds, then the 2nd lesson goes right into words!  For the words, they have letter tiles that go sound by sound, and then you can hear the entire word pronounced by hovering the mouse over the each tile and then the full word. 


They also have sentences for the words, and each word is pronounced when you hover over it.


The lessons could be supplemented to make them more hands on, by using letter tiles or something similar, to build the words, as well as see and hear them in the program.  It would be nice if there was a feature in the program that allowed you to move tiles and spell words, but it can easily be added in outside of the program.

You can download and try the program for free for 2 weeks, at which point you would need to make a purchase to receive the license code to activate the program past the trial period. 

The program is pretty straight forward, and not hard to figure out or learn how to use.  Here is a great demo video on the program (which is also available for viewing on the website).

You can see in the video demo that there are also a few tricks with right clicking that can further the program (though young children would most likely need assistance in that regard).

Social Media Links:
Facebook:  http://facebook.com/spencerlearning
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/spencerlearning @spencerlearning

Ultimate Phonics Reading Program {Spencer Learning}
Crew Disclaimer


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