Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Cat of Bubastes ~ A Review



Heirloom Audio Productions recently released its new audio drama, The Cat of BubastesI received the physical CD set as well as digital downloads. G.A. Henty, dubbed history's master of storytelling, brings history alive in his books of daring exceptions and adventures. Heirloom Audio Productions philosophy of a Christ-centered history is refreshing amidst a world of humanistic thinking. 

The Cat of Bubastes is the story of a young prince, Amuba, who becomes enslaved when the Egyptians conquer his people. He becomes a fugitive when Chebron, the Egyptian high priests son, accidentally kills a sacred cat. A riot follows and the boys must flee. Embarking on a dangerous journey they set out for Amuba's homeland of Rebu. 


This audio adventure is 2 1/2 hours in length. Along with the CD's the following were included in the form of downloads:
  • MP3 Download
  • E-Book
  • MP3 Soundtrack
  • Printable Cast Poster
  • Study Guide and Discussion
  • Inspirational Verse Poster
  • Live The Adventure Letter
  • Behind the Scenes Video

Heirloom Audio truly brings history to life. As you listen to the story unfolding you feel like you are really living the adventure. My 13 year old daughter has read G.A. Henty's book, The Cat of Bubastes~ A Tale of Ancient Egypt and commented that she enjoyed listening as much as she did reading it. 

Study Guide
The study guide is a FABULOUS complement to the audio drama CD's. I found the study guide to be extremely helpful in discussing the story with my children. The study guide is set up to aid the younger student in understanding the story as well as challenging the older student at a deeper level. The study questions are divided into three sections.

The Listening Well ~focuses on what was heard~

The Thinking Further ~challenges the child to think, draw conclusions, and speculate~

The Defining Words ~ defining unfamiliar vocabulary~


The study guide is available via computer download. 

The study guide truly works for all ages. For the younger child there are vocabulary words to define and for the older child there are great discussion questions. Many times, after listening to the Heirloom Adventures, it has sparked further discussion and interest in periods of history that likely would have been overlooked.
A sampling of what the study guide has to offer..


"For most of their history the Egyptians were polytheists: they worshipped the forces of Nature under the form of strange, animal-headed gods. The greatest of these gods was Ra, the sun: the pharaohs reigned as sons of Ra, some of the divine sun........Bast or Bastet was another of Egypt's many gods. She was portrayed in human form but with a cat's head. She was believed to be a daughter of Ra and the protector of mothers, including those will with child. The city of Bubastes (Bubastis) was the center of her worship."


I cannot even begin to explain how amazing the study guide is. It's an excellent complement to the audio adventure. The discussion questions are thought provoking and aid in making sure that your child understands what is happening along the way. All of the extra material included helps create a fabulous unit study of Ancient Egypt. My daughter's had fun making Ta'amia using the recipe included in the study guide. Ta'amia is very similar to Falafel. Our family loves games. A game called Senet was featured in one of the Expand Your Learning. I think that this game may end up being under the tree at Christmas. 


The amazing cast of voices include:


Final Thoughts
Heirloom Audio has produced yet another great audio adventure!!! Designed for children ages, 6-16, I would most definitely say that the 16 and above crowd will enjoy the adventure too. I have had the privilege of reviewing The Dragon And The RavenWith Lee In Virginia, In Freedom's Cause, and Beric The Briton. I would highly recommend these audio adventures. 

To read more reviews click here.

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Spencer Learning ~ A Review


The Ultimate Phonics Reading Program from Spencer Learning aims to help people of all ages become better readers. The program has over 7,000 pages of material divided into 262 lessons. This is a downloadable software. The user will receive a license to access the material on as many devices within a household with no expiration date. Updates for the program are FREE FOREVER. You can choose to use the program on a device or print out the lessons. With this program your child will learn all of the phonetic sounds and rules. 

I used this program with my 3rd grader. She is reading really well but often times gets overwhelmed by large words. Instead of trying to sound them out she gets in her head that she cannot do it. For example, words such as cautious and impatient. The pattern is ti = /sh/


The student can click on the  to hear sounds, words, and sentences. Everything that your student needs to successfully learn can be done independently. By using the program for approximately 2 hours a week your student will be on their way to becoming a strong reader. Whether a student is starting at the beginning with the alphabet and learning the sounds that the letters make, or they are already reading, this program provides the tools needed to become a strong reader. If completed, the student will/should be reading at a 5th grade level. 

This program is for:
  • Beginning Readers
  • Struggling Readers
  • Dyslexia
  • ESL/ELL
  • Adult Literacy 
  • Middle School/High School 
Resources that can be found on the website are:
  • Free Word Lists
  • Ultimate Phonics Reading Test
  • Scope and Sequence
  • Tracking Sheet
  • User's Guide
Lesson 1 begins with letters and the sounds they make.


Each lesson begins with an idea/pattern.

Each lesson will have a pattern that is explained. 


Each lesson will contain a list of words that follow the idea/pattern being taught. 


Words are divided into syllables to aid in sounding out the word. 


The words in each lesson are put into a sentence to  aid in contextual understanding. 


Each lesson is divided into 4 parts: Idea/Pattern, Word List, Words, and Sentences. 


There are 262 lessons. You choose the best place to start within the program. 


The Find feature lets you easily find lessons with specific phonetical patterns and rules. 


I really like this program and would highly recommend it to parents and educators. My daughter really improved her reading, vocabulary, spelling, and confidence. 

The Ultimate Phonics Reading Program is compatible with the following systems. 

To read more reviews click here.

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Economics for Everybody ~ A Timberdoodle Review


Since 1985 Timberdoodle has been offering a unique compilation of curricula and resources for the homeschool community. I recently had the opportunity to review Economics for Everybody, which is part of the 12th Grade, 2016 Timberdoodle Curriculum Kit. This economics program contains a 250 page study guide and 2 DVD's. Your student can earn a 1/2 credit in Economics toward their high school graduation requirements. Dr. R.C. Sproul Jr. truly takes the word BORING out of learning economics. He is an engaging and knowledgable instructor. The material is presented in a clear, easy to understand manner. Dr. Sproul's humorous applications will entertain your student while giving them a thorough understand of the subject. 



What exactly is economics? Economics is the study of how society organizes itself utilizing available resources to provide for the wants and needs of individuals. God is the creator and possessor of everything. God created man to be stewards of His creation for His glory. Economics is an important part of God's created order. Dr. Sproul says that the first and most basic principle of economics is that, "God owns everything." 

Dr. Sproul uses visuals, film clips, and cartoons to illustrate economics. With its bible based approach your student will learn what the bible says about economics. As Christians we have  to understand the role of economics in our world in order to be good stewards. Your student will learn the impact that sin has on the economy. Our view of God and man greatly affects our political views which in turn affects the economic world all around us. Being productive for the Lord requires us to understand economics. Dr. Sproul will explain the Chirstian worldview in contrast to the atheistic worldview and how they will lead to prosperity or poverty. Your student will learn how government redistribution leads to dependence on man instead of God. 



What will be covered in Economics for Everybody ~ Applying Biblical Principles To Work, Wealth, & The World.
  1. And God Created Economics: Stewardship in God's Image
  2. The Economic Problem of Sin: Law, Liberty and Government
  3. The Path from Work to Wealth: Production, Property and Tools
  4. The Route From Scarcity to Plenty: Money, Markets and Trade
  5. The Role of the Entrepreneur: Capital, Calculation and Profit
  6. A Tale of Two Theologies, Part 1: From God to Politics
  7. A Tale of Two Theologies, Part 2: Economic Philosophies and Systems
  8. Government Intervention: Basic Principles and Education
  9. The Two Mysteries of Monetary Policy: Inflation and Depressions
  10. The Welfare and Corporate States of America: The Cost of Redistribution
  11. Economics Has Consequences: The Real Effects of Sin
  12. Kingdom Economics 
The lessons build on each other to provide a solid, biblical foundation of economics. 



Each chapter has the following content:

  • Message Introduction
  • Scripture Reading
  • Learning Objectives
  • Quotations
  • Lecture Outline
  • Multiple Choice
  • Short Answer
  • Discussion
  • For Further Study 
The set-up of the study guide is excellent. Your student will not have to feverishly take notes because a lecture outline is provided. To ensure that your student is understanding the material multiple choice questions are included at the end of each lesson. Here is an example of a question from lesson 1. 

Economics is primarily a study of man's _________.
  1. Reason
  2. Nature
  3. Choices
  4. Money
The discussion questions are great for getting your student to think about their role in regards to economics. An example of a discussion question is:

If economics is 'man making choices as to how to best use his limited resources in order to be a good steward before God,' what are some specific ways you act economically in your particular calling? 

My 11th grade daughter is working through this program to help fulfill requirements for high school. She was NOT looking forward to taking economics. She has worked through the first four chapters and is actually enjoying it. She thought it was going to be boring but she said that Dr. Sproul makes learning economics very interesting and fun. 

My daughter said, "Before starting, Economics for Everybody, I really did not know why I needed to take a course in economics. After beginning this study I realized how important it is for me as a member of society and as a Christian to have an understanding of economics. Dr. Sproul made the experience both interesting and  fun."




I would highly recommend this course for not only students but for every Christian. I definitely learned a lot from Dr. Sproul. I am grateful for companies like Timberdoodle that bring quality curriculum to our next generation of leaders. 


I received this product in exchange for my honest review. 

Would you like to win Economics for Everybody? If so enter to win. I have one set to give away. This offer is only valid to those that live within the United States. 
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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Book Love

We love books!! Our house has bookshelf upon bookshelf of books from picture books on up. My youngest is 8 years old but I still love purchasing children's books and my daughter still loves me to read to her. Recently we bought two new books that we both really love!



Pinterest has many fun activities to go along with these books. Here is a Wild About Me activity. Here is a fun activity for Peanut Butter and Cupcake.



Saturday, September 17, 2016

Seussical

Last night my daughter's and I attended the opening performance of Dallas Children's Theater's production of Seussical. The performance was amazing!! The acting, singing, storyline, costumes, set, and decorations were spectacular. I love how they brought to life some of Dr. Seuss's favorite characters and storylines. The acting was not contained to just the stage. The actors brought parts of the production out into the audience. Whether you are a kid or an adult, this production is captivating and enjoyable. Thank you Dallas Children's Theater for bringing amazing performances to the community.