Thursday, October 29, 2009

Virginia Soaps and Scents - A Review


Products: Handmade All-Natural Soap Bars
Handmade All-Natural Shampoo Bar
Kit to make your own Laundry Detergent

Prices: Soap - $4.50 / 4.5 oz bar (3/$12, 10/$35, Buy 4/Get 1 free)
Shampoo Bar - $5.50 / 5.5 oz bar (2/$10)
Laundry Kit - $4.95 (6/$25)

Owners: Roy & Richelle Spargur

Where to Buy: Virginia Soaps and Scents

Brief Overview:
The Spargurs are a homeschool family with 9 children, residing in Virginia. A history lesson in soap-making turned into a family business and passion. The bars are hand cut, so no two are alike. They are made of natural oils - no chemicals. So not only do they look and smell nice, they are also good for you...real soap, unlike the chemicals and detergents in mass produced "soaps".

In-Depth Look:
I was excited to receive my box of samples from Virginia Soaps and Scents. When we opened it, everything smelled so nice and looked so pretty. I received three sample sizes of the soap bars, a sample of the shampoo bar and a laundry detergent kit.

First, the soap bars. These bars are so pretty and imprinted with a nice little logo of "VSS". They look fancy, like something that you would find at a hotel or bed & breakfast. The company does actually sell the smaller bed&breakfast size bars as well. I received a Fresh Orange, a Coconut Lemongrass and a Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey bar. The Oatmeal was my favorite. The Orange was runner-up. I liked the fact that the bars were all natural, that I didn't have to worry about what we were putting on our skin. I felt as if I was doing something "good" for my family. I liked the fragrances, mild and fresh and clean smelling. They don't lather as well as the bars that I am accustomed to. As soon as my hands hit the water, the soap washes right off. So I simply made a greater effort to wet my hands and then lather up well BEFORE putting my hands back under the water. The results of bathing and hand washing were at least as good as my regular bars. I suffer from extremely dry hands in the winter. So, I found the Oatmeal, Milk & Honey bar to be a nice moisturizer for them. This benefit, in addition to the pleasant scent, made this one my favorite.

Next, the shampoo bar. I had never used a shampoo bar before. I had never even heard of one until very recently. I was eager to try it out of curiosity. Well, again, I felt like it was a good thing. That I was only putting "good" stuff into my hair and on my scalp. I have very thick hair, so I washed in sections...lathering up layers at a time. The bar lathers very nicely. I had no trouble getting a nice lather on my head, by rubbing the bar directly into my hair. The first day I liked it a lot. I felt my hair was much more manageable. After a few days of use, my hair began to feel "heavy" and felt "different" when I would run my fingers through it. So I decided that, with my hair type, it would be best to only use on occassion to strip my hair of all of the impurities. I have read that there is an adjustment period to get used to this deep-clean feeling. And that many have had success by using a vinegar rinse after shampooing. But I would rather use my regular shampoo on a daily basis, using the shampoo bar once a week for a deep cleaning. I also tried this as a shaving bar. I LOVED it! It glided on nice and smooth and protected my legs as I shaved. The razor glided easily. I was disappointed when the bar ran out.

Last, the laundry detergent kit. I was actually very excited to try this out. It is mild, with no harsh chemicals. Plus, it is easy and inexpensive to make. But despite suggestions that it is perfectly safe to use in HE machines, my husband and I are hesitant to try our warranty clearly states that it is voided if we use anything other than HE detergent. So, alas, I haven't made it or tried it yet. But I want to. Maybe I can bring it with me when we visit relatives and try it out in their machines when I wash our laundry loads. :)

Virginia Soaps and Scents
offers quite an impressive list of products:
Gourmet Soaps
Christmas Soaps
All-in-One Bars
Shampoo Bars
Shaving Bars
Laundry Soap
Linen Spray
Lip Balm
Pet Shampoo

What I Like:
I love that this is a fellow homeschooling family. I love the idea of helping out another homeschooling family with my purchases. I like that the ingredients are all natural, no harsh chemicals or "unknowns". The products are pretty and smell nice.

What I Don't Like:
I didn't like the shampoo bar for daily use. I didn't like the strange feeling my hair had. But I would use it as a weekly cleaner and LOVED it as a shaving bar. I think it could get a bit expensive to buy bath products online, especially with shipping. But the company does offer discounts for buying in bulk, which would help.

To read more reviews of this product, click here.

Disclaimer: I received this product free of charge to review, as part of the TOS Crew. The above is just my opinion. Please remember that opinions may, and do, vary.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Amazing Bible World History Timeline - A Review


Product: The Amazing Bible World History Timeline

Price: $29.97 (2 for $49.97) (Additional copies - $24.97)

Bonus: Free Download of an Interactive Map of the Holy Land ($14.97 value)
Free Download of a Digital Amazing Bible Timeline ($14.97 value)

Guarantee: 60-day money back guarantee (including shipping)

Owners: Bill and Margaret Agard (Bible Charts and Maps, LLC)

Where to Buy:

Brief Overview:
This is a huge timeline (approx 3' x 4'), using a compact circular design, that allows 6000 years to be viewed at once. Beginning with the creation of Adam, it includes events up to the year 2000. Events include both Biblical and world history, allowing for a convenient comparison of events happening in the same time frame.

In-Depth Look:
I have never owned a timeline. I have often thought of purchasing one and of even making our own. But I have never taken the plunge. So, when I received this timeline to review, it seemed like a good opportunity to see if timelines were a good fit for our family.

The timeline arrived in a huge cardboard box, in perfect condition. The timeline isn't laminated, because the owners wouldn't be able to roll it up for shipping. But it is varnished, and appears to be tough. We have decided to keep ours stored in the original shipping box. We don't have a convenient place to hang it up or display it. So the box seems like a safe place to keep it in good shape when we aren't using it.

My first impression was how big it was. Approx. 3' x 4'. We rolled it out on the floor and used various objects to hold the edges down. My daughter crawled around on it to get a better look at assorted entries and the timeline was no worse for the wear.

It is still taking me some time to get use to the circular design. I am more use to a linear timeline. Starting left and flowing right as time progresses. But with this design, you find the time frame desired on the outer rim of the "wheel" and then follow the "spoke" inward to see the events of different peoples and countries along that time.

Think of it like a clock. At 12 o'clock, you have creation with the first man, Adam. At 6 o'clock, you have the birth of Christ. Everything to the right (12 - 6 o'clock) is B.C. (4000 B.C. to the birth of Christ). Everything to the left (6 - 12 o'clock) is A.D. (the birth of Christ to 2000 A.D. ). So the timeline is divided evenly between B.C. and A.D.

The timeline is color-coded, based on the descendants of Noah's sons (Shem, Ham and Japheth) . This is helpful for putting things into perspective as peoples "scattered over the earth". Another nifty feature is the index. Look up a person or event on the index and it will give you the year to search for.

It is interesting to look up one person or event and see at a glance what was happening in other parts of the world at the same time. My daughters and I looked for familiar Biblical names and then read what else was going on during the world. We saw that Noah's father died soon before the flood. We read over the "happenings" during the time of Queen Esther. We compared the time of Cleopatra and Marc Antony with Biblical events during the same years.

So what did my kiddos think? My 7 year old was too young to fully grasp the concept. My 10 year old liked the idea of it, but was disappointed that most of the people she was interested in weren't included. Honestly, I was a bit overwhelmed by it myself. I think this would be most beneficial for teens to adults. (maybe 13+).

About the Free Download of the Holy Land Interactive Map - This map shows the Holy Land base map, within a 700 mile radius of Jerusalem. You click on the time frame that you would like to see and it overlays it on the base map. These include the time of Abraham, time of Moses, 1020 BC, 605 BC, 4 BC and modern day. Each time frame is color coded, so you can place all of them on the base map at the same time, if you would like. Or one at a time for a more convenient, in-depth look.

About the Free Download of the Digital Timeline - This can be of great help. It breaks the timeline down into 3 frames, allowing you to zoom in on particular sections. I think this is very helpful for several reasons. The print on the hardcopy timeline is tiny. You might not want to pull the timeline out, when you can quickly pull up the digital one. And you are allowed to make 20 copies of a blown-up section to share in a class setting.

What I Like:
You can view 6000 years on one timeline. It includes Biblical figures and events, not just secular. It is based on a young earth time frame. No evolution or millions of years mentioned. Events are separated by country/peoples. The index is very helpful.

What I Don't Like:
I prefer a straight-line timeline, finding this circular approach a bit difficult to adjust to (but acknowledge that including all this information on a straight-line would make for a VERY long line). Many of the events included aren't ones that I would likely go looking for; whereas many of the items I would like to see aren't on there. But again, no timeline includes everything.

Note: For more information on whys and hows of this project, check out these 2 informative sites. I STRONGLY SUGGEST THAT YOU READ THESE FAQ PAGES, to help you make an informed decision.

To read more reviews of this product, click here.

Disclaimer: I received this product free of charge to review, as part of the TOS Crew. The above is just my opinion. Please remember that opinions may, and do, vary.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Educaching - A Review


Product: EduCaching GPS based curriculum for grades 4-8

Company: SDG Creations

Price: $32

Where to buy:

Brief Overview:

Combine the fun of a GPS treasure hunt with the learning experience of several included lessons plans to get your student up and outside, and excited about learning.

In-Depth Look:

Jason Hubbard, a 5th grade educator, was fascinated when he discovered geocaching. In case you are not familiar with geocaching, here is a brief explanation from their site:

Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.

Mr. Hubbard
quickly realized that the hunts could center around learning. He developed this manual so that he and other teachers could do just that. The manual includes information, ideas, lessons and tools to equip a teacher to get their students out of the classroom while still learning . You can see a detailed view of how the lessons align with the national standards. And you can check out some sample lessons here.

The manual is just over 100 pages. You can order a printed version or as an instant download to save on shipping. I received the instant download, but printed it for my own convenience.

The sections are as follows:

Section 1: Teachers Training - This section explains the gps (global positioning system), geocaching, and the educaching materials.

Section 2: Lesson Plans - This section explains the set-up of the lesson plans and includes three different difficulty levels. It also shows how each lesson complies with the National Standards List.

Section 3: Field Sheets - This section includes a worksheet for each lesson, a map for the teacher and a map for the student.

Section 4: Acquiring GPS - This section covers ways to fund buying a GPS. It is mainly geared for school teachers and includes topics such as fundraisers and grant writing.

Section 5: Beyond the Basics - A nice way to sum it all up; this section includes some extra ideas of ways to have fun. Some of them are starting an educachinig club and gps drawing.

We picked one of the beginner lessons: "What Should We Bring to our Picnic". The plan was to hide picnic baskets of various types of foods/drinks. Later, the students could identify possible combinations using lists, arrays and tree diagrams. I decided to instead cut out pictures of foods/drinks and enclose them in sandwich bags.

We quickly realized that this wasn't something we could accomplish in our backyard. So we headed off to our church parking lot and grounds. So lesson #1 - pick a large area to hide the educaches. Once there, we soon realized that it was quite overcast and that we weren't able to get as great of a satellite reception as we had hoped. So lesson #2 - pick a sunny clear day for your educaching. (Note: We were using a GPS app on our I-phone. But you can buy a high-sensitivity GPS for around $100 that will work much better on a cloudy day.)

It took us a good bit of time to figure out the accuracy and range of the GPS, the layout and area of the grounds, and to make a plan of the best way to hide the items. Thankfully, the church has a playground. So our girls didn't mind the wait very much. So lesson #3 - Schedule in a good chunk of time for prep work.

Once we had a plan, we began hiding the baggies. 3 for each girl (2 containing the food pictures. And 1 containing a special prize as their reward for a job well done.) We wrote down the locations on a piece of paper to later hand to our 10 and 7 year olds. During this time, the girls played on the playground so they wouldn't see where we were hiding the caches.

Next we gathered up the girls and handed the GPS over to them. With a brief tutorial from their Daddy, my 10 year old had the basic idea of what was expected. We showed them which way to walk if they wanted the longitude to go up and down. And which way to go for the latitude to change. And sure enough, they walked around and figured it out and found all the caches.

My daughters loved it, especially the 10 year old. It took a good deal of planning and prep. But I think it was a great way to spend an afternoon. Why? Because....
1. They gained familiarity with how to use a GPS.
2. They learned a little about how the satellite reception works and how the weather affects it.
3. They practiced following directions.
4. It was a great teamwork effort.
5. It gave them a sense of adventure - Treasure Hunting.
6. It gave them a sense of accomplishment - doing a "grown-up thing" on their own.
7. It was an outdoors, fresh air and sunshine kind of activity.

What I Like:
It is very affordable.
It is very user-friendly with detailed explanations.
It is fun and educational and gets the classroom "outside".
It inspires all sorts of ideas in addition to the ones listed. The possibilites are endless.

What I Don't Like:
It does require a good deal of time up-front before the kids can start hunting. It also requires a rather large area and clear weather. And of course, if you don't already have a GPS, it will require an upfront investment (about $100 for the high sensitivity models that will work much better on a cloudy day, than our I-phone app did)...unless you are lucky enough to borrow one.

Disclaimer: I received this product free of charge to review, as part of the TOS Crew. The above is just my opinion. Please remember that opinions may, and do, vary.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Guardian Angel Publishing Bookstore - A Review

Product: Various e-books

Company: Guardian Angel Publishing

Price: PDF e-book - $5
CD of e-book - $9.95 (+s/h)
Printed book - $10.95 (+s/h)
DVD Book Video - $10.95 (+s/h) - Selected Titles
Apple's I-Tunes I-Kidz play - $2.99 - Selected Titles

Where to Buy: GAP

I received 5 e-books from Guardian Angel Publishing to review as part of the TOS crew.

From their website: " GAP eBook downloads, eBooks on CDs, full color Print books 8.5x8.5 inches, and book video DVDs are based on the fundamental concept of using art, music and special activities to captivate the preschool and primary child's attention in order to instill a Christian and healthy attitude of learning, sharing and caring. " I am an automatic fan of any publishing company devoted to sharing Christian values through children's literature. And books that also teach a lesson along the way, either a moral or an educational one, are an added bonus. I am a firm believer that children learn and retain more through a well-written story than they will from a textbook.

I am not a big fan of e-books. I have come around to reading them for informational purposes. But not for entertainment (i.e. - storybooks). So I wouldn't have chosen to receive the books in e-book format. I also wouldn't want to print them out, as it just wouldn't have the same feel to me. This format must appeal to some costumers, though, since it is available in this format. Possibly in a classroom setting. I would, however, love to have quite a few of the GAP's books in the printed format. At best guess, they have around 100 titles available. The books are geared for ages 0-12 and are available in several categories.

Guardian Angel has some free e-books on their website. I recommend them to help you get a feel for their products. Most of the books for sale also have a sample page and some have a SneakPeek book trailer (which is really neat).

Several of the authors and illustrators have won awards for the books. You can check it out in more detail on this page.


by Susan J. Berger. Illustrated by Eugene Ruble

This was an informational book about what causes earthquakes, the probability and magnitude of one, the damage and dangers, ways to prepare, and much more. The book contains charts, maps and interesting factoids (such as "The biggest number of earthquakes happen in the Ring of Fire"). It helps children feel empowered by including ways for them to prepare (they can keep a flashlight by their bed) and ways for them to deal with the fear in an actual situation (they can take deep breaths and count when the adrenalin is kicking in). This book has a great craft idea, some experiments and a emergency kit packing list. But the author is sensitive to the suggested age range of 6-9 years old and keeps it light with some humor thrown in. For example, the author suggests that you replenish the supplies in your emergency kit every 6 months...and while you are it, have a party because you just lived through 6 months without an emergency.

The book has lots of information, ideas, facts, and things to do. It would make a wonderful unit study on Earthquakes. I found this book very informative and helpful. A lot of the tips would be useful in any number of emergencies and natural disasters. I printed out the emergency packing list for our family's use.


Maybe We are Flamingos by Safari Sue Thurman. Illustrated by Kevin Scott Collier

This is a cute little story about how we sometimes don't feel like we fit in. Our reasons may vary: we feel like we are too short, too tall, too chubby, too thin. We wish our eyes were brown or we wish they were blue. We wish our hair was brown or we wish it was blonde. Or in the case of Flora and Fernando, they wonder why they aren't pink like all of the other flamingos. They fear that since they are different than everyone else, they might be asked to leave the flock. Once their mom explains the color difference, young readers will get a short science lesson in a flamingo's diet and how that affects their coloring. The baby flamingos then begin drawing hilarious and adorable pictures of how they might look if they ate other foods, such as tacos and pineapple.

This book is recommended for ages 3-9. It was my 10 year old's favorite of the five books.


Gifts from God written by Cynthia Reeg. PhotoArt by MarySue Roberts

The author believes that God surrounds us each day with wondrous gifts...simple, joyous, loving gifts. This book is her list of just some of these simple gifts.

Each page has an adorable and beautiful photograph of a child in a nature setting. One side has a Bible verse and the other side mentions a gift from God. It is a simple little book that should be enjoyable to the younger age group...maybe 3-5 year olds. The verses would be good choices for the older age group to memorize. The photographs will be enjoyed by all ages.


Hamster Holidays - Noun and Adjective Adventures
written by Cynthia Reeg. Artist - Kit Grady

Hamster Holidays is a cute way to introduce nouns and adjectives to the younger age group (maybe 5-7 years old). All nouns in the story are printed in blue. All adjectives are printed in red. What a clever idea. The child is painlessly introduced to the concept by simply observing the colors in the cute little story.

Each page introduces a "holiday" in the hamster's "world". It then describes in silly rhyme-form how some of the hamsters celebrate. For example, on February 15th, the hamsters enjoy Stick Horse Day. Spotty Lotty celebrates by riding an orange horse with blue spots all around. There is a predictability to each page. such as Spotty Lotty always having some sort of spots all around, no matter what the celebration may be. Younger children love this type of repitition.

For anyone that is not a big fan of Halloween, I want to point out that October 28th is "Monster Madness Day".

In the back of the book, you will find a study guide, a noun match-up worksheet, an adjective crossword puzzle, a story puzzle, and ideas for more practice.

The suggested age is 5-12. This was my 7 year old's favorite book. But it was too young for my 10 year old.


The Sum of our Parts: No Bones About It

Written by Bill Kirk. Illustrations by Gene Ruble

I will say up front that this book was my favorite. I can truly see my children learning the names and locations of the bones using this book.

Starting from our toes and working up to our head, each page has a poem for a particular bone. The poems are short and simple, and several are humorous. You will find a drawing of the bone, as well as a drawing of how it relates to the body...for example, a picture of the kneecap and then a picture of the kneecap on the leg. The bones are animated, with cute little eyes and smiles. The skull is a "little less than cute". But let's face it, there is nothing pretty about a skull...even with a smile.

Each page has a factoid. Lots of interesting tidbits are included and could easily lead to a unit study on the skeleton or even the whole body, as exercise and diet are mentioned.

The back of the book has a worksheet for the student to write in the bone names.

The suggested age range is 8-13. I think my 7 year old could learn the bone names from the poems. But the factoids are more in depth and technical and, as such, are more for the upper age range.

Want more reviews. Check here.

Disclaimer: I received this product free of charge to review, as part of the TOS Crew. The above is just my opinion. Please remember that opinions may, and do, vary.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Sarah's Wish - A book review


Product: Sarah's Wish - a novel

Author: Jim Baumgardner

Price: $9.99 (Free s/h)

Where to buy:

Brief Overview:
The first in a three-book series, written by Jim Baumgardner, Sarah's Wish is a Christian historical fiction novel. It is set in 1858 in Wapakoneta, Ohio.

In-Depth Look:

Jim Baumgardner's novel, Sarah's Wish, is a historical fiction novel. It is set in Ohio during the late 1800s. Reading this book is a history lesson all in itself. Young readers will experience slavery, the Underground Railroad, travel on riverboats, apothecaries, and the Orphan Train. They will expand their vocabulary with "dated slang" such as cut shines, hatchel, mudsills and slantindicular. Children will be exposed to different classes of people from the sophisticated plantation owner to the back-woods granny to the slave longing to be free. When asked why he decided to write about history in fiction instead of non-fiction, the auther stated "telling the facts within the framework of historical fiction brings it to life." I agree whole-heartedly. My daughters and even I learn and retain so much more from reading a "living book" than we ever have from a textbook.

In addition to the history lesson, the novel is a Christian work. Young readers will learn about faith in God, waiting on God's timing, the value of honesty, and a man's right to be free. Sarah and several other characters in the story have a strong relationship with God that strengthens them during difficult times and leads them during confusing times.

Besides the benefits mentioned above; it is in fact, a good story. It has strong characters, a good plot, moral lessons, and unexpected twists and turns. After a tragic event at the start of the book, Sarah must find her way during the challenges that lie ahead. I won't disclose the tragedy but it is the reason for Sarah's wish. And the rest of the novel leads her on her journey to make this wish a reality.

If you enjoy this book, you will have two more books in the series waiting on you. A fourth book is planned. If you prefer to listen to the novel, the book includes instructions to download an audio version.

As an added bonus, the author will autograph your book. I just love autographed copies. So I greatly appreciated this extra "touch".

The author also has a free newsletter that he sends via e-mail. It has interesting facts about Sarah's books, but also about American history. You will find the link to sign up on this page.

Note: I feel I should mention that my daughters had a hard time getting through the first two chapters. The chapters were "less than cheery" and introduced several characters during a short amount of time. But by chapters 3 and 4, we were very much "into the story" and eager to see what would happen next. So if you find this to be the case with your youngsters, encourage them to wait it out a bit. It WILL be worth it.

Want to read more reviews? Click here.

Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge to review, as part of the TOS Crew. The above is just my opinion. Please remember that opinions may, and do, vary.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Nature Friend Magazine - A Review

Product: Nature Friend Magazine

Company: Dogwood Ridge Outdoors

Price: $36/12 issues. Study guide is an extra $2/issue
Until Nov. 30, save $3 on a new subscription with code "BLOG93"

Where to buy: Nature Friend

Brief OverView:

Nature Friend Magazine is a Christian magazine whose motto is "Helping families explore the wonders of God's creation." While ages 8-16 seem a good fit, the magazine may easily be enjoyed by the younger ones and also by the parents and grandparents.

In-Depth Look:

I have tried several Science textbooks over the years with my daughters. Some we enjoyed more than others. Some we disliked so strongly that we put them away FOREVER. I had struggled over which book to use this school year. I finally came to the conclusion that this year, I wanted science to be FUN. I didn't want it to be a drudgery, something that we read and endured because we had to. Science is all about God's creation and how it all works and fits together and as such, it should be enjoyable. So that was my plan for this make it a pleasant experience that we would enjoy together.

Well, lo and behold, if God didn't plop an answer to prayer right smack into my lap with the arrival of this magazine in my mailbox. The magazine is Nature Friend, a monthly publication focused on exploring God's creation.

The first thing that caught my eye and left quite the impression was the quality of the photographs. No dull black and white sketches here. These are full-color, crisp and clear, with amazing detail. The photos are beautiful.

The next thing I noticed were how many hands-on activities there were for the children.
-Invisibles (finding the hidden items in a picture) - my girls love these
-Word Search
-Vocabulary Match-Up
-You Can Draw
-Who Am I (guessing the animal from the clues)
-Experiment Ideas
These hands-on activities help to draw the readers in and reinforce the lessons. Many learn and remember better when they listen and write on a subject.

We have enjoyed reading the articles. In the August and September issues, we learned about the cicada, soft-shelled turtle, eastern screech owl, California tree frog, banana slug (it really does look like a banana), animal tracks, pygmy owl, a walkingstick, and the malleefowl (this bird is amazing). And we have many more interesting articles awaiting us.

My daughters enjoy the short, informational articles and I've learned several facts right along with them. Have you ever heard of the malleefowl bird? I sure hadn't. It doesn't sit on its eggs. It builds its own incubator and when the male gets the incubator to a perfect temperature of 92 degrees, the female starts laying eggs. How amazing is that?

And check out the walkingstick insect. I thought they were totally harmless. So, my kids and I were astounded to learn that God gave it a defense system. The American walkingstick has a potent spray that is not only painful, but can cause temporary blindness!

These are just a sample of the many interesting things that we have learned. And I am excited to keep on learning.

Something that I found nice about the magazine is that it encourages its readers to send in items of interest for a chance of publication. Each issue has quite a sampling of reader input.
-The Mailbox (Readers ask a question and Nature Friend gives an answer)
-Reader submissions from the "You can draw" segment
-Articles about animal encounters
-Funny captions to be printed along with the back cover photo

As a stand-alone, the magazine is impressive. But for $2/issue, you can have a study guide enclosed in the magazine. This takes the lessons to another level, making it great as a unit study. Here are some of the things that you will find.
-Word puzzles
-True or False questions
-Research questions
-A lesson in writing
-Photography Tips
-Motto for the Month

What I Like:
I love that this magazine is from a Christian point-of-view. I don't have to skim ahead as I read aloud. No worries about "millions of years" or evolution references. And I appreciate the references about God having a hand in it all, a reminder that it didn't all just happen by chance. The photographs are gorgeous. The articles are not only enjoyable, but informative.

What I Don't Like:
The only thing that I don't like is when I get to the last page. I wish there was more.

Extra Tips:
Check out their website for some great resources.
-Sample Issues of the magazine and the study guides.
-Homeschoolers Guide to Nature Friend
-A recipe to neutralize the odor of skunk spray

Special Offer:
Save $3 off your first subscription until November 30th, with Coupon Code "BLOG93".

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Some of my favorite quotes

"Never argue with a fool. Someone watching may not be able to tell the difference." - Author Unknown

"Tis better to be thought a fool, than open one's mouth and remove all doubt." - Abraham Lincoln

"The mind is like a TV set - when it goes blank, it's a good idea to turn off the sound." - Anonymous

"All I am, or can be, I owe to my angel mother." - Abraham Lincoln

"Failure is not falling, but refusing to get up." - Chinese Proverb