Monday, December 17, 2018

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Blue Ribbon Awards

Favorite Reading Curriculum – Reading Eggs
Favorite Writing Curriculum – Memoria Press
Favorite Grammar Program- GrammarPlanet
Favorite Vocabulary Resource- Roman Roads Media

Favorite Penmanship Program- CursiveLogic
Favorite Literature Curriculum –Homeschool Navigator
Favorite History Curriculum- Drive Thru History Adventure
Favorite History Supplement – Home School in the Woods: Á La Carte Projects

Favorite Science Curriculum – Apologia: Anatomy
Favorite Math Curriculum – Whizz Education
Favorite Foreign Language Program – Roman Roads
Favorite Fine Arts Program – ARTistic Pursuits

Favorite Elective Curriculum – Code for Teens
Favorite Christian Education Curriculum – Bible Study Guide for All Ages
Favorite Christian Education Supplement – Planet 316
Favorite Preschool Product- Starfall Education Foundation

Favorite Elementary Product – Branch Out World
Favorite Middle School Product- The Critical Thinking Co.™ 
Favorite High School Product- The Master and His Apprentices
Favorite Parent Product – Great Waters Press

Best Resource I Didn’t Know I Needed – Lisa Tanner Writing
Best Online Resource – Drive Thru History Adventures
Best e-Product – Home School in the Woods
Favorite Book –YWAM

Favorite Audiobook or Audio Drama – Heirloom Audio: Wulf the Saxon
Kids’ Choice –Reading Eggs
Teens’ Choice –Drive Thru History Adventures

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Mosdos Press Literature

Mosdos Press Literature
Coral 5th Grade

Mosdos Press Literature, Coral 5th Grade  is part of Timberdoodle's 2018, 5th Grade Curriculum Kit. The literature bundle includes a hardcover Student Reader, a softcover Student Activity Workbook, and a two-set spiral-bound Teacher's Edition. The Student Reader is 682 pages in length. The spiral-bound Teacher's Edition set is 682+ pages in length. The Student Activity Workbook is 201 pages in length and has perforated pages so that they can be easily taken out if desired. The 5th grade literature year covers prose, poetry, nonfiction narratives/essays, plays, biographies, short stories, and a complete novel. 

My 5th grade daughter has been working her way through the pages of the Coral level over the past couple of months. Along her journey she met 14-year-old Samuel a slave in Brooklyn, New York during the American Revolution and his quest for freedom. She got to ask lots of What If's in the poem by Shel Silverstein in learning his poem entitled, "Whatif?" She loved reading the story, "From The Black Stallion" by Walter Farley and was entranced by the wild stallion -- unbroken, and full of spirit. As she read,” OneDay In The Desert" she got a nature lesson on desert life. It follows different animals throughout their day in the desert. Here is an excerpt from the text:

"A kangaroo rat was in her labyrinth under the leafless, pencillike ocotillo plants.
She awakened when the temperature reached 119 F. (47.3 C). Her bedroom near the
surface of the desert floor had become uncomfortably hot. Her body was drying
out She scurried along a tunnel, turned a corner and ran down a slope toward a
room under a giant saguaro cactus. She paused at her pantry to eat seeds of the 
mesquite tree before retiring to the cool, deep chamber."

In the Teacher's Edition you can find an easy to follow Scope and Sequence that will take you through each of the Six Units in the 5th Grade Literature Level. The literature Selection is listed, followed by the Genre ~ Unit Theme, Literary Element focus, Eyes on..., and finally the Workbook pages to be completed. 

The Teacher's Edition has a copy of the Student Reader surrounded by helpful guided text for the teacher. Some of the components to the Teacher's Edition are: Summing Up The Plot, Literary Components, Guiding The Reading, Eyes On...Sequence, Eyes On...Conflict, Quick Review, Creating & Writing, First Impressions, and Background Bytes.

The student textbook is full of stories, poems, and tales that will captivate your child. The variety of genre is diverse in content. Some stories are taken from books such as Laura Ingalls Wilder's, By the Shores of Silver Lake, while other selections first appeared in the magazine Cricket. The poem Whatif, by Shel Silverstein is from his book A Light In The Attic. Several selections are taken from Boys' Life Magazine. The stories have beautifully illustrated pictures in color. One aspect of the Student Textbook that I really found 
helpful for my daughter was that at the beginning of all stories there is a brief introduction
to the story as well as an interesting fact relating to literature, e.g. Eyes On...Historical Fiction. The literary component is then developed in the stories. Vocabulary words that may
be unfamiliar to the student will be written and defined at the bottom of the story 
pages. Mosdos also implements footnotes to explain terms, people, or events in the text that 
many be unfamiliar to the student. Selections end with First Impressions, Quick Reviews, Focus, and Creating & Writing, Think About It, About The Author.

Each literary selection has corresponding workbook pages to go along with it. For example, the first story in the Student Textbook entitled, Samuel's Choice, has six pages of workbook pages that go along with the story. The first page is a fill-in-the-blank vocabulary. Page two students are asked to use the vocabulary works from the first page and divide them into three groups based on their meaning. The third and fourth pages are In-Depth Thinking and Drawing Conclusions short answer questions as well as taking it One Step Further where the students are asked to think about a difficult choice and consider the pro's and cons of each choice.  The last two pages require the student to look back into the story and find information and analyze and clarify and organize. 

As an educator I would definitely recommend Mosdos Press Literature to others. The 
curriculum was easy to use, and my daughter enjoyed the story selections. The workbook
activities were age appropriate and requires the student to think. It is not just busywork. If you are looking for unique and innovative curriculum look no further. Timberdoodle has been supplying families with hands-on, thinking-skills products since 1985. Check out their full line of products. 

Monday, November 19, 2018

Color Fold Logic Puzzle


Color Fold Logic Puzzle by Thinkfun is crazy fun single player game. Challenge your mind as you fold and flip your way to conquer each of the 40 challenging patterns. The goal of the game is the fold the 16-piece colored block cloth until only the colored squares shown on the Challenge Card can be seen. The Color Fold Game which retails for $9.50 is part of the 

There are four levels of difficulty: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Expert. As a player you are able to fold the cloth along the horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines as seen above. 

It is very important to read the instructions carefully and thoroughly!😜As we painstakingly folded, we thought that we had to make sure that the cloth had to match identically to the pattern card. Come to find out the instructions say, "The position and orientation of the colored squares on your folded cloth DO NOT need to match the Challenge Card. As long as only the specific squares shown on the Challenge Card are visible and no others, the solution is correct." 

In deep thought...

My 10-year-old most definitely has a knack for working these puzzles. The first time
she worked a puzzle she completed it in lightning speed. Everyone was shocked. Whenever 
any of us were working through a puzzle and got stumped we would call Phoebe over and
ask her for help and she would help us fix our problem. Most of the time she would have to 
undo our work, lol. 


All challenges can be solved in a series of 3-6 overfolds and/or underfolds. 

All challenges can be solved without having to unfold any part of the cloth 
after it has been folded.

My 12-year-old was a WHIZ at solving these patterns. She definitely had an eye for figuring out how to get the cloth to fold right the first time! 

Recently one of my daughter's was in the hospital and this was the perfect 
games to take because it was compact and quiet. 

It took my daughter a bit longer to figure out how to get the hang of the folding. 

My 16-year-old daughter said that Color Fold is like a flat version of a Rubik's Cube.
She said the best part is, "If you get frustrated and cannot figure out how to solve the
puzzle you simply turn the card over and the step-by-step instructions are on the
back of the card. Score! The fun part is that if you do get frustrated you can 
take our aggravation out on the cloth by wadding it up and throwing it and you
don't have to worry about ruining it, lol"  


Adults will love Color Fold Logic Puzzle too. This game definitely gives your 
brain a work-out. We all know how important it is to keep our physical body in shape. Well,
our brain needs to be worked out too. Color Fold without a doubt requires you to 
logically and systematically think through how each flip and fold will ultimately get you
to the final matching pattern.  

Color Fold is most definitely a game that I would highly recommend adding
to your game cabinet! It is both fun and challenging.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Rival 5

I recently reviewed Rival 5 and cannot wait to share with you my thoughts on the game. 
Hopefully in the next week or two I will be able to post a full review. For now 
here are some pictures of this FUN game!

I will say that this game would be a great game to add to your holiday list
for the kiddo that loves math or many need a bit of help learning their
math facts. Or maybe, like me you dread getting back into math after the holiday break
because your kiddo has forgotten their math facts!! Well, this is the perfect way for them
to keep up on practicing their math facts over the holidays without the fuss. 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Starry Night ~ A Review

My 12-year-old daughter had so much fun recreating Vincent Van Gogh's, Starry Night, using Master Kitz The Starry Night from The Master Kitz can also be purchased directly from,

Van Gogh painted his famous Starry Night in 1889. Van Gogh wrote this about his masterpiece, "Why, I say to myself, should the spots of light in the firmament be less accessible to us than the black spots on the map of France?... Just as we take the train to go to Tarascon or Rouen, we take death to go to a star." The picture was painted from his asylum room overlooking Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Van Gogh regarded Starry Night as a complete failure. 

Neatly packaged!

Everything is neatly rolled up into the sturdy box that has magnetic closures 
built into the box. 

Starry Night Master Kitz includes:
  • A sturdy, re-usable box
  • 3 Custom Acrylic Paints
  • 5 Custom Oil Pastels
  • 1 van Gogh roller specially designed to replicate van Gogh’s active stroke
  • 1 re-usable Starry Night Cyprus stencil
  • 1 paint roller
  • 2 pieces deluxe art paper
  • 1 low tack “Mesmerizing Stars” sticker sheet
  • Fun, easy-to-understand van Gogh learning materials
  • Step-by-step instructions

The instruction are written out in words as well as in pictures. My daughter was easily able to follow the directions without a problem. She used a paper plate as a paint palette. To keep
the art paper in place during the painting process I tacked the paper down with
blue painters tape along the edges. 

My daughter was so excited to get started on this art project. I have three daughter that really wanted to do this project and it was really hard deciding who was going to get to do it. I finally had to resort to drawing straws and whoever got the longest one won! 

Placing the first coat of paint.

Rolling on the second coat of paint. The whole paper was painted blue so once the
stencil was placed over the paper and the black paint is applied it becomes the
outline of the town. 

Using tape to hold the stencil in place is very helpful. The stencil is very durable.
The paint goes on very smooth and is easy to get full coverage. 

The stars are created by using the stickers provided. The stickers are put on the
paper during the first part of the project before you paint the blue background. 
They act as a temporary mask. After painting the sky you simple peel the stickers away
and see that they blocked the paint and created the stars. 

As Van Gogh would say, "A star spangled sky...that's a thing I would like to try to do."

The project took less than an hour in total to complete. Drying time was minimal. The paint comes off of surfaces easily. I kept on forgetting to clean the purple table that my daughter was working at. When I finally got to cleaning it up several weeks later the paint easily came off with normal kitchen cleaner and a wet rag. 


“At present I absolutely want to paint a starry sky. It often seems to me
 that night is still more richly colored than the day; having hues of the most 
intense violets, blues and greens. If only you pay attention to it you will see 
that certain stars are lemon-yellow, others pink or a green, blue and
 forget-me-not brilliance. And without my expatiating on this theme 
it is obvious that putting little white dots on the blue-black is not 
enough to paint a starry sky.”
~ Vincent Van Gogh ~ has many other Vincent Van Gogh Master Kitz available in their shop. I cannot wait to purchase some more of these for my kiddos for Christmas. I would definitely recommend these Master Kitz to others. This is a great, fun way to learn about and recreate Van Gogh's paintings. These kits make the process fun, easy, and a positive experience for your child. 

To read more reviews click here.

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