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.”

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

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Field Trip #220 Friday Blog Hop–Maryland Science Center


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!

September is always homeschool days at the Science Center, this year we registered for classes on two days (you can also just visit the museum for a discounted rate during homeschool days).

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2016-09-14 15.30.01

2016-09-20 11.59.07

Monday, September 19, 2016

Our School Room #Homeschool #HomeschoolRoom #Organization

Our School Room

So, we have this large room downstairs that is dedicated to homeschooling, yet, towards the end of last school year we really stopped using it!  it’s become a big mess and it was hard to keep things straightened up down there, and it was a distraction.  So, it has now become school storage room! 

I have moved our workboxes up stairs to the living room, where we were doing school anyways! 

The nice thing is the laptop is up there, so I can be there to help with computer assignments and other assignments.  It is also away from the toy room, which is great, because the MESS in there always got me off on the wrong foot every morning! 

Since it’s our living room, it gets cleaned up every night (as opposed to just the door shut).  It’s been really great so far, and  am think it will continue to go well.  

The only issue is bringing stuff up and down the stairs for the younger kiddos workboxes, but that’s only weekly, so not a HUGE deal.

This is our set up:

2016-09-15 22.19.30

Workboxes for the older two, I color coded them this year, the two bottom boxes (different color) are just supplies.   On top are books they need for the subjects in the boxes below (mostly my oldest son), a magnet/dry erase board for spelling and a device charging station.

2016-09-15 22.19.37

Workboxes for the youngest two, on top are supplies and resource books.  To the left of the boxes are books and supplies for upcoming units, I have since moved this next to the bookshelf in the living room.

2016-09-15 22.19.49

This cart from Ikea, has teacher manuals on the bottom, circle time materials in the middle and on top is a file box to file work for their portfolio.  The baskets on top are places in front of the workboxes each day for them to place finishes work for me to check.  Of course, there is the laptop there at the desk too!

It’s very plain and simple.  I also just purchased a few lap desks to share, and the kitchen table is just around the corner, should they choose to work there (most of the time they do not though). 

I love how simple the set up is, and how there is no clutter to stress me out (until I go down to the school room to get something, YIKES!). 

I have the workboxes for the older 3 (K, 2nd, 5th) assigned by subject.  So they do not change much, and for my almost 3 year old, I do change up the activities I put in there (see more about that on our curriculum post). 

So you don’t really need a big homeschool room (unless you are like me and have WAY to many supplies!  I REALLY need to sort through that stuff!).

We do have A LOT of bookshelves not pictured here, there are 2 in the Living Room, and a lot more downstairs.  Most the stuff dedicated to homeschooling, however, is in the room formerly known as the school room.


Friday, September 16, 2016

Review: HelpTeaching.com (TOS Review) #hsreviews #printables #printableworksheets #Math #Science #elementaryworksheets

Help Teaching Review

For this review we got to try out the Help Teaching Pro Subscription from HelpTeaching.com.

HelpTeaching.com has a wide range of online and printable tests and worksheets for PreK-12th grade.  This review, however, is focused on the items available for the elementary grades.

For the younger children, there is a large selection of colorful printable worksheets, focusing on colors, letters, numbers, etc.. As they get older they are more test based worksheets, multiple choice mostly, in a variety of subjects.

Grade 3_zps9zhq0u0r

Early grades include subjects such as writing, spelling, math, science, literature, seasons/holidays.  grammar, and more.

I have to be honest, I’m not a huge supporter of traditional worksheets in early childhood, however, with a bit of creativity, worksheets can be turned into more hands on activities.  Some of the choices are also beginning scissor skills (I recommend printing on cardstock or gluing to a heavier paper for ease of use for younger children), beginning writing (tracing), shapes, colors, ABCs etc…

Here are a few of the worksheets we used and how we made them more HANDS ON for my almost 3 year old. 

Pre- K_zps4d85bvrn

Color matching:

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Size Matching (smaller to larger):

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It takes a little bit of creativity to make worksheets hands on with little ones, but it’s not too difficult.  Typically, you can use things you have at home, cut out shapes from cardboard, go on color hunts, there are endless possibilities!  There are also printable clip cards available, which are easy hands on fun!  Just print, laminate and get some clothes pins!  These type of activities are also great for building fine motor skills, to get them ready to start writing!

Kindy_zpspx3qkche (1)

For my 5th grader, I found tests on topics he is doing notebooking pages for, such as the human body and different animals (ants, iguanas).

This program is also capable in helping you make YOUR OWN tests!  Tests can be assigned (via email) and completed online or printed out (this is how we used them).  Additionally, you can generate Bingo cards (words or numbers) and word searches!

There are also some lessons available, most lessons are for older grades (middle school/high school), but there are some available for the younger grades.  Lessons included are for ELA, Science and Math. They typically include a video, older grades also have some reading material and test questions. You can also assign lessons to students (same as tests).

You can try HelpTeaching.com as a FREE member to make tests up to 10 questions or get a year membership for $24.95.  The year membership allows unlimited tests up to 100 questions long, the use of images with your questions, as well as the ability to save as a PDF, you also receive access to unlimited online tests and lessons, as well as pre made CCSS aligned content, for up to 500 students! 

This program is not just a homeschool program; it can be used by all teachers!  Group memberships are also available for schools for up to 30 users, with the ability to share made materials within the group.

There is a wide range of materials available for one low price, perfect for a homeschool family with a wide range of ages!

Social Media Links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/helpteaching
Twitter: https://twitter.com/helpteaching @helpteaching
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/helpteaching/

Help Teaching Pro Subscription {HelpTeaching.com}

Crew Disclaimer

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Field Trip #219 Friday Blog Hop #fieldtrip #homeschool #Virginia


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 took a trip to Virginia to spend some time with my parents and to check out the Lego exhibit at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens

It included a scavenger hunt to find certain displays, which the kids really enjoyed.  They got a Lego pencil as a prize for completing it!  It was a beautiful day! 

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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Review: Statesman Ties

2016-08-20 20.42.02

I was so excited when Statesman Ties contacted me to do a review for them!  They make state and country themed ties!  How fun is that?  I have a brother serving a church mission in Idaho currently, so I took the opportunity to order a custom tie for him as a gift! 

You can choose from 15 US States and 53 countries, some of which are available in skinny style as well as.

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Each tie has an added special feature of a message added to the back of the tie!  You can add 2 lines of up to 21 spaces to the back of the tie for an additional $4 to the $32 cost of the tie.

2016-08-16 18.37.20

The ties are of good quality and they come covered in a plastic sleeve (as pictured).

This would make a great gift for the missionary in your life, though they would also be great for military members and frequent travelers.  A token of somewhere they have been, or the place they call HOME! 

I can’t wait to give my brother his gift!  I hope to see some more states and countries available in the near future, as well! 

RECEIVE 10% off your FIRST ORDER with the code ElderBeeston

Follow On Social Media:

Instagram:  Instagram.com/StatesmanTies
Facebook:  Facebook.com/StatesmanTies

Disclaimer:  I received a personalized tie free in exchange for an honest review of this product.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Review: CHSH-Teach.com (TOS Review)#hsreviews #CHSH #homeschool #homeschoolresources

CHSH Review

There is a such a wide variety of items to choose from in the CHSH Download Club by CHSH-Teach.com.  We found a lot of great things to use during this review!

One of the things we used the most was the Character Study.  The Character Study is literature based and consists of 40 character traits (positive and negative).  It comes with a suggested book list, but we couldn’t always find the books as suggested; it was easy, however, to find alternatives. 


Each character has a poster and some report paperwork, we did the questions and discussion orally as a family, after reading you the book during circle time each morning.  The kids have really enjoyed this, and have even brought me books they find from our own shelves that they feel meet the character trait!  This is a program that we will definitely continue with.

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We are doing life science this year and I found a great printable pack for learning to classify.  It’s a lot of pages to print, but it includes a wide variety of pictures of objects, and many different ways to sort them into categories. 

2016-09-08 21.16.05

A few other things we found that fit in with our lessons this year are lapbooks (such as whale, sharks, ants and human body), anatomy coloring book, health curriculum, mammal notebooking pages, reading comprehension pages, charts, posters, and so much more!

You can even find full curriculums, such as American history, biology and spelling!  They are adding new stuff almost every day!

The recently added worksheet packets for Kindergarten, First Grade and Second Grade for the month of September.  It is filled with all sorts of math workbook pages, as well as other subjects, of what they need to know for those grades!  I assume there will be more for upcoming months.  I found lots of stuff in there to supplement our math program for my youngers that need more hands on and not just computer screen!

There is a HUGE variety of materials available, and all for a low cost of only $25 a year or $99 for a lifetime subscription!

They have search boxes, which makes it easy to find the materials you are looking for.  There were a few instances where I searched for a specific item, and it was not available, but for the most part… ever subject I have searched, I have found something that we could use!

There is also a Facebook group for CHSH users, so that you can see what’s new and talk to other people using the subscription program, see what they have found and how they are using it!  This is such a helpful tool!

They have things for preschool through high school, and for teachers too!

Download Club Summer Logo 2016 2_zps8kybezlc 

From full curriculums, to extra curricular and supplemental items, you could almost homeschool solely from this site, it’s almost overwhelming!  Throughout the review period, every time I searched their site, I was always finding something new, plus the listing of new things posted!  This site gets better and better! 

The organization of it is a bit difficult, for instance, I was looking for a math worksheet on a specific math topic, I didn’t find it in a search, but later found it when searching through their monthly theme pack.  So just be diligent in searching.

I do love that that you can save the downloaded items to your computer, for quick access later!

If you are looking for an inexpensive resource for your homeschool, check out CHSH-Teach.com. 

Product Photos_zps2p1ny861

Social Media Links:
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheChristianHomeSchoolHub/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ChristianHomeSchoolHubPage/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TeachWithCHSH
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lyndaackert/chsh-teachcom-creations-by-lackert/
Google+ Group: https://plus.google.com/b/117967118184286217472/communities/108322787218266183941
Google Business Page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/117967118184286217472/117967118184286217472/posts
Linked-In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lyndaackert
Tumblr: http://christianhomeschoolhub.tumblr.com/

Christian HomeSchool Hub {Download Club}

Crew Disclaimer


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