Disclosure of Material Connection:

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.”

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Review and #Giveaway: Mother & Son: The Respect Effect #MotherandSon #FlyBy

mother and son

About the Book:
A new book from W Publishing Group/HarperCollins asks you to consider the all–important mother/son relationship in a new way: respect, as in the mother should respect the son.

Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, author of Love and Respect – a landmark book that transformed millions of marital relationships – is launching his latest book, Mother & Son: The Respect Effect.
In Mother & Son, Dr. Eggerichs proposes that while showing love is important to a son, showing him respect is key to his heart, and what will transform the mother/son relationship. Of course, to a lot of people, that will sound backwards – shouldn’t it start with the son respecting the mother??
Since the importance of the mother/son relationship crosses all age/race/religion barriers, this is a topic applicable to all – regardless if they agree or disagree with Dr. Eggerichs’ method.

My Thoughts:
This is a great parenting help book specific to Moms of Boys, though it is mostly geared towards Moms of boys that are coming up into teenage and adult years.  It’s nice that it takes a Christian perspective as well.  I think this book could help women with their husbands too Winking smile

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Field Trip #203 Friday Blog Hop (ROAD TRIP!)


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!

We just returned recently from a cross country road trip, so the next several Field Trip Friday’s will consist of places we stopped along the way from MD to ID to AZ to MD.

Our first stop was the Columbus, Ohio Temple

2016-05-06 15.52.23

followed a few days later by Mt. Rushmore.  Unfortunately our first day of less driving it rained!  I slipped and fell at Mt. Rushmore and got a serious bruise on my rear end and elbow.  We also went to a nearby drive thru zoo, Bear Country U.S.A.

2016-05-09 11.50.592016-05-09 08.54.09

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Review: Sunya Publishing (TOS Review)


We had such a fun time checking out this fun new game by Sunya Publishing, called Sunya:  The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science, Adding & Subtracting.  It’s not yet available for purchase, but it will be soon!

My oldest son was reluctant to try it out, but after playing for a bit he exclaimed, “This is actually fun!”.  What better way to review math facts then through game?  My oldest two, (ages 10 and 7) both had fun playing this.  My 5 year old took part in the fun as well, but in a simpler way. 

The game comes with number cards (0-9), symbol cards (=, –, +) and some other fun cards with jokes and trivia on them.

Sunya Math and Science Adding and Subtracting book and cards 2_zpsviu3wtto

The game also includes an instruction manual.  I have to admit the instruction manual was a bit confusion.  In an attempt to thoroughly explain and simplify the game, I feel the over complicated it and made it more difficult.  I prefer directions to be SHORT and to the POINT!  This book gives lots of pictures examples, which aren’t necessary (in my opinion).  I tried at first to just skim the directions (I can’t be the only one that does this) and I was left not understanding how to play.  I went back and read word for word the directions and then got a better grasp, it is not really difficult at all, though the wordy directions make it seem as such.

To make it simple:

1.  Build a correct number sentence with your cards using + or -

2.  Shuffle what’s left and pass 4 cards to each player, place the rest in the draw pile

3.  On your turn you draw ONE card to place in your hand, then using the cards in your hand build a new number sentence.  you can place up to 3 cards, but you can not place a duplicate card (no placing 3 on a 3 that’s already there).  If you have no cards to play, you draw until you have one.

4.  Play continues until one player uses all their cards and says “SUNYA”  (think like the game ‘UNO’)

5. If you run out of cards in the draw pile, remove the bottom cards from the number sentences and reshuffle for a new pile.

The instructions also mention a discard pile, honestly I couldn’t figure out how or when that would be needed.  We never used one and the game was fine.

This was a great game to play on our road trip we recently took.  It’s small, easy to pack around, and was an entertaining way to work in some math!  The joke/trivia cards were also fun and killed some time in the car.

2016-05-09 19.11.09

For my 5 year old we used the number cards in a Montessori Style, he placed them in numerical order and then lined up objects (in this case animals) under each number card.  It’s a great way to practice numeric order and one to one correspondence counting.

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The cards also include dots, so this helps with younger kids in adding as well!

I would like to have seen the numbers go higher, like maybe to 12, or at least 10.  However, it was still a really fun game and the perfect way to practice addition and subtraction up to 9!

Math and Science {Sunya Publishing Review}

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Field Trip #202 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!

We attended a kid concert with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra with members of our co-op class.  It was geared for an Elementary school program, though we were not prepared to participate, we enjoyed watching.  The elementary kids all brought their recorders and had been practicing throughout the school year.  They played along with most of the songs.  It was a lot of fun!

2016-05-04 10.58.39

Monday, May 16, 2016

Review: Institute for Excellence in Writing,Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization (TOS Review) #hsreviews #readingreadiness #poetrymemorization

PicMonkey Collage

We were super excited to try out Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization by Institute for Excellence in Writing.  We also received the physical spiral bound copy of the Student Book
The Poetry Memorization includes:
A Spiral bound physical copy of Teacher Book
A PDF of Student book
On Listening.mp3
On Reading.mp3
On Speaking.mp3
On Writing.mp3
Ten Thousand Times and Then Begins Understanding.mp3
Audio CDs and Bonus DVD of Andrew Pudewa's conference talk Nurturing Competent Communicators.
(Available separately for an additional cost:  A Spiral bound physical copy of Student book)

Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization Teachers Manual amp CDs_zpszehu8rim

We have LOVED every IEW product we have tried thus far:
Deluxe Combination Level A
The Phonetic Zoo
Fix It! Grammar

Poetry Memorization lives up to every expectation I’ve come to have for IEW.
Andrew Pudewa gives inspiring and thought provoking talks.  This product comes with his talk on the importance of memorization, titled Nurturing Competent Communicators.  We started by watching this DVD first (while I watched it).  It’s GREAT!  It’s also a great way to motivate yourself to do this program with your children.  I also listened to the other MP3s that were included with this program.  Andrew Pudewa has a great way of explaining his theory, and very often I have AH-HA moments while listening/watching to him speak.  I find myself recommending his talks quite often, in addition to the IEW curriculum products. 

After watching/listening to the talk by Mr. Pudewa, I began this program with my children.  I have 4 children.  They are 9, 7, 5 and 2.  The oldest two actively participated, while the younger 2 mostly observed, with occasional participation. 

I introduced a new poem each week, and we practiced it, and previous poems each day.   I was able to print off booklets for my other children, in addition to the spiral bound book I received, because off the PDF copy of the student book.

We started each poem off at the start of each week by listening to the CD, and my children could color the picture that went with, if they chose (my boys aren’t that into coloring).  Then each day we would recite the poem(s) again. 

My favorite thing about this program, is that it can easily be done ON THE GO.  Several times a week we would recite our poems in the car, as we traveled to activities.  Since we rarely spend an entire day at home, the easy mobility of the program has been a huge benefit!
The poems gradually get harder, we made it to poem number 5, which is taking more than a week to master, but we are still going at, and the kids are enjoying it.  Even my 2 year old will attempt to recite Ooey Gooey (the first poem in level 1).

My 7 year old did not want to be video taped, but here is a video of my 9 year old reciting the first 4 poems that we have memorized thus far (we are still working on number 5).

Memorization is a great mind exercise, we have gotten away from memorization in traditional schooling, however, I feel that though a general understanding of a process is important, memorization is what helps it STICK!

Only time will tell the long term benefits of such a program, but I’m grateful to be using it and will continue to do so.  Andrew Pudewa’s talks really resonated with me, went along with so many things I already knew and believed, and had been taught in my own education in education.

The Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization is available for $65.00 and is recommended for grades K-12.  The printed student book can be purchased for $19 and additional teacher books are available for $29.

This is a great item to add to your morning circle time routine or to your car schooling during daily on the go routines.
Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorization  IEW Review
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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Field Trip #201 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!

We went to the Walter’s Art Museum to check out their Medieval Art!

They have these great family scavenger hunt packs for Ancients and Medieval, the kids had fun looking for the pieces.  They also had some books in various sections, we did some reading and wrote down a few titles to check out later!

The museum is FREE, though you do have to pay for parking on street or in a parking garage.

2016-04-27 10.56.41

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Review: ARTistic Pursuits Inc., Sculpture Technique Model (TOS Review) #hsreview #homeschoolart #artinstruction #artinstruction

Artistic Pursuits Review

For this review we used Sculpture Technique Model by ARTistic Pursuits Inc

We are no stranger to ARTistic Pursuits, we have reviewed them before.  We have always enjoyed their art curriculum, and this one was no exception.

ARTistic Pursuits - Preschool
ARTistic Pursuits - K-3 Book 1

This particular unit was divided into 3 sections:

Creating Mass with Putty
Creating Scale with Clay
and Creating Surface with Fiber

Though this product is recommended for ages 11-18, I used it primarily with my 9.5 year old.  My younger children also wanted to participate, but they required a lot more extensive help from me in the process (they are ages 5 and 7).

The first project we did was using just putty.  The putty was a bit tricky, and had a bit of a learning curve (it hardens quickly), so this project took two tries.  But we got it down quickly.  We mixed the putty and then formed it into shapes, that would lie flat. After they dried, they painted them with acrylic paint.

artistic pursuits review 1

For the second project, they made forms from paper and masking tape and then coated it in putty.  They also painted after drying. The theme for this project was Pokémon. (Although I am not a fan of Pokémon myself, I have found it useful in getting C to do a variety of school assignments, art and writing to name a few!).

artistic pursuits 2

For the third project, they were to make something that looked like it had movement.  Even my oldest struggled with this one, so I helped a little more.  This was my favorite project!  They were made from paper, masking tape and wire then covered in putty and painted.

artistic pursuits 3

That was the end of the first section.  We went onto the second section and worked a bit with scoring and slip to connect pieces of clay.

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They made boxes.  My oldest has used clay before, however my 7 year old had not.  This was the first for both using the techniques of scoring and slip. 

ARTistic Pursuits make art instruction so simple!  The materials for this unit were not too expensive, I was able to find all I needed for the first two units online!

My kids had a lot of fun with this, and I learned a lot myself (and had fun too).  Art is usually a subject that really stresses me out, and though this was a messy unit (not my favorite), I loved that my kids had fun, and I had fun too! 

The projects took several days to complete, as they were all a step by step process.  The materials we purchased were relatively inexpensive, particularly the putty.

Artistic Pursuits is a great, cost friendly, art curriculum.  It enables those who may not have much artistic knowledge or experience to introduce their children to a wide variety of art projects.  We have enjoyed all that we have used thus far, but this was by far our favorite.  Older children could definitely use this curriculum on their own with little to no adult supervision.  I love how it’s open ended; it teaches a technique and you can apply that technique to a project of your choice or you can copy the example project, if you like. 

Find them on Facebook.

ARTistic Pursuits Inc. Review

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Monday, May 9, 2016

Review & #Giveaway: The League and the Lantern by Brian Wells #FlyBy #TheLeagueAndTheLantern


The League and The Lantern by Brian Wells is a new juvenile non-fiction series created by a concerned parent who wanted quality reading material for his teenager.  He has worked and produced 15 TV movies and this is his first book debut.

The League and the Lantern is the first book in a new adventure series for middle-school readers. It all starts when a dangerous organization invades Jake Herndon’s seventh-grade sleepover. He escapes along with two new classmates, Lucy and TJ, only to face a 48-hour fight for survival on the streets of Chicago. The kids unravel a mystery dating back to the Civil War, and an incredible secret about Jake’s family. Along the way they learn unexpected lessons about courage, family and friendship.

I love stories that incorporate education into reading enjoyment!  My children learn best this way, and I’m sure many (if not all) do!

If your pre-teen/teenager loves adventure stories with a twist of history, this just may be a new series for them to love!

Some great things about this book:

• Inspires reading - Adventure series your kids will want to read.

• Educational Value - 140 key vocabulary words hidden throughout the story, historic sites are part of the setting.

• Moral Value - Lessons in family, friendship, mercy and compassion. Lead characters are friends who are different races.

• Help Kids - Operates on a buy one - give one campaign to get books into the hands of kids who cannot afford their own copies.

Learn more about The League and The Lantern by visiting the official webpage.

I’m excited to offer a FREE book to one lucky winner on my blog!

leauge and lantern

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Field Trip #200 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!

We have one of THE BEST Library systems here!  I love it!  They offer so many great classes and fun things for the kids to do!

So the most recent class we attended was Light Painting, I honestly I had no idea what we were getting into when I signed my two oldest up.  It was really neat!

First he had them design ‘print brushes’ with LED lights and batteries, as well as some other cool materials.

Then they went into this black tent and he photographed them painting with the light.

He also gave them a bit a educational info on LED lights, circuits and photography.

All of this WAS FREE! LOVE IT!

Light Painting

Another great program we recently attended at the library was making HYPNOTIZERS

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The library also recently opened a new DIGITAL MEDIA Center.  They had their opening day celebration and the kids got to play with these cool robots

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And most importantly, MD had their primaries…and we VOTED!

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Review: The Pencil Grip, Inc., Kwik Stix (TOS Review) @ThePencilGrip #hsreviews #KwikStix #temperapaint #kidsartsupplies

Kwik Stix Review

My kids had a blast using Kwik Stix 12 pk by The Pencil Grip, Inc. for this review.  My 9 year old down to even my 2 year old had a blast (though they are recommended for ages 3+).

Kwik Stix are similar to glue sticks in appearance, but are paint!  Art can cause some serious anxiety for me because of the mess it makes.  These paint sticks were great, because they were NOT MESSY!  My kids could use them with little to no supervision and there was no risk of paint water spilling, paint splatters or other catastrophes that seem to occur during art time.  (I did have to make sure my littlest one got the caps on tight enough after use).


The kids had a blast painting on paper, they came with all sorts of free form designs, rainbows, dinosaurs, landscapes, they had so much fun.  The asked to paint with them all the time!

My oldest even used them to paint his wooden airplane model.  The paint went on smoothly.  We rubbed a paint brush onto the stick to pick up paint and put it in tighter spaces where the sticks would not reach.  It turned out great!

Kwik Stix

The quick drying time is another great aspect of these paints!  No need to have wet paint papers laying all over the house… they dry almost instantly!  You could even pile them on top of each other with no risk of them smudging or drying together! 

The colors are bright and bold!  It doesn’t smear or smudge.  My kids didn’t get it on them or their clothes, not even their hands, when using them!  No paint on the tables to clean up either! 

These really are amazing!  Perfect for a quick art project with out a lot of prep or clean up afterwards!  Kids want to paint, set up and clean up takes but a moment!

In addition to paper and wood, they are also work on poster board, cardboard and canvas!

Check out this great Mother’s Day Craft Idea that would work for ANY occasion, using Kiwk Stix!


Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Kwik Stix
  • White Mylar inflated balloons

How To: 

Personalizing Balloons

· Using an inflated balloon and Kwik Stix no-mess tempera paints. They dry in 90 seconds. Write your personalized message. Use phrases, names and draw pictures. 

· Wait 90 seconds for the balloon to dry.

· After it has dried, decorate the back of the balloon with the same design or something different.

Add A Card

· Pair your balloons with a hand painted card.

· The easiest way to make a card is to fold a piece of 8 ½” x 11” paper and decorate it. You can match the card to the balloons for an original gift for mom.

The 12 pack set I received can be purchased for $11.99, they have 6 packs and other color choices, such as neon and metallic, also available. All are  available on AMAZON!

Pencil Grip Inc_zps5aoeoz9i

In addition to the Kiwk Stix I received one Pencil Grip – Single Grip.  This has been great for my 5 year old, who has had a lot of difficulty learning to grip his pencil properly! 

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They have a few different styles to choose from.  I highly recommend them for kids who struggle to ‘get’ the proper grip for writing.

Social Media Links:
Pinterest:   : https://www.pinterest.com/KwikStixPaint/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/ThePencilGrip @ThePencilGrip

Kwik Stix The Pencil Grip, Inc. Review

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