Wednesday, October 20, 2021

LightSail for Homeschoolers Premium Subscription Review

Disclosure:  I received this complimentary product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW.

LightSail for Homeschoolers
We were blessed to receive a one-year online membership to LightSail for Homeschoolers and we have been using it to improve reading comprehension in our homeschool!  So far, D and E have used this program the most in our homeschool.  LightSail for Homeschoolers focuses on four main areas - reading, writing, vocabulary and fluency.

There is a great introductory video that you will want to watch as you get started with LightSail.  Plan accordingly, this video is 86 minutes long.

LightSail is an incredible deep and wide platform so it takes time to learn the ins and outs.  Honestly, we are still learning!  The introductory video will help familiarize you and your children with the platform so your kids can get started reading on it right away.

One of the first things the students will do is take a Power Challenge to help the program hone into their appropriate level.

Above you can see some of the questions that were within D's Power Challenge.

Above you can see D's dashboard.  There is so much available within this site!

I had her work through one of the LightSail Unit Studies, World Animal Day: Animals of the Ocean.

Working on her unit study.

 After she read the first book on Humpback whales, she took a spelling bee.

D read about Vincent Van Gogh for fun.

After reading about Vincent Van Gogh, she took a spelling bee.  You can see one of the questions above.

With our premium subscription, the kids have access to over 12,000 books in the online library.  I like that everything is color coded - within books everything is red, within audiobooks everything is orange, etc.  Students can browse books by author or subjects.
My parent dashboard above shows D's request for me to approve books.
I love that I can manage the content in D's library and that I can set parameters as I see fit.  Above you can see that she requested me to approve a few books for her to read.
I can easily go into the requests and approve or deny it.
There is so much to use on this reading-centric, adaptive language arts program!  LightSail literally has dozens of modules, a plethora of features and so much content that works together to improve your child's literacy skills.  I really appreciate that it customizes to your individual student and meets their unique needs.
I also want to note, that while there is so much content already available for you to use, there is so much you can do to customize as well.  You can provide memory work lists, create your own unit study, choose your own words for a spelling bee, etc.  You have control over what your child will see and read as you see fit.

This complete language arts platform is a great way to invest in your children's literacy future!  Want to know more?  Be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews of LightSail for Homeschoolers.

Improve Reading Skills with LightSail for Homeschoolers

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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Awesome Clouds

The sky is absolutely amazing today!  When I was out this morning, I couldn't help but notice the variety of clouds throughout the sky.  It just reminded me to pause, look around and admire God's beauty.  Hope you are having a wonderful day!

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Gymnastics Fundraiser - Wreaths

Fundraising time! D's gymnastics team (Team AcroTex) is having a wreath fundraiser to help provide funding for competition-related expenses.  For anyone interested, there are a couple of ways to order.  You can order through  Just use Fundraising Code (TEAMACTX001) and Referring Member (Dorothy Cummins) or you can order directly with us (if local).  Dorothy has a goal of selling 8 items. Orders are due by November 4th, 2021.  All donations are going to a GREAT cause and we thank you in advance for your support!  Let me know if you have any questions.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Clumsy Thief Junior Review

I have a fun card game to share with you today from Timberdoodle, Clumsy Thief Junior.  Clumsy Thief Junior is manufactured by Melon Rind and is a 2-4 player game geared for ages 5 and up.

What's included in our game?  Our game contains 76 cards - 70 of them are food cards, 4 of them are thief cards and 2 of them are trap cards.  And there is also a small pamphlet of game rules.

Above you can see the food cards.

And above you can see the thief cards on top and the trap cards on the bottom.  The sneaky raccoon will try and steal your food while the buckets can trap him or keep him from taking it.

Game Rules

What's the object of this game?  Basically all players add two numbers together to make 10 in order to collect food cards.  The player that ends up with the most food cards wins, that's it!

How do you play?  Each player is dealt 7 cards with the remaining cards placed in a deck face down.  All players look at their cards looking for two food cards that add together to make 10 (9 and 1, 6 and 4, 2 and 8, etc.).  They place these cards face up in front of them.  After everyone has made their own stacks, players can get more stacks from other players.  They can do this if they have a card that when added to the top card of a stack will make 10.  So if another player has a stack with a 2 and 8 on top, you can take that stack by placing a 2 on top of the 8 to make 10.  After all the stacks are made and taken, players replentish their hands by drawing from the draw pile until they have 5 cards for the next round.  There are special thief cards that can be used to take any stack.  A trap card can be used to take a stack with a thief on top.  When the deck is gone, the game is over!

I love that young players use mental math in this game.  Cards are constantly switching hands so you never know how things will end up and who will win 😉.  I like that all players are playing at the same time so there is never a lull.  This is a fairly fast paced game and it generally takes ~ 10 minutes for us to finish a complete game.  Clumsy Thief Junior is currently included in Timberdoodle's Kindergarten Curriculum Kit and we definitely recommend it.  Just watch out for that sneaky raccoon 🦝.

Disclosure:  Huge shout out to Timberdoodle for selecting me as a Timberdoodle Blogger.  I received Clumsy Thief Junior in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Bible Breakdowns from Teach Sunday School Review

Disclosure:  I received this complimentary product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW.

Teach Sunday School

Teach Sunday School offers a variety of Bible study tools like their Bible Breakdowns.  I was so thrilled to receive these digital PDFs that we can use with our entire family!

We received Bible Breakdowns for both the Old Testament and New Testament.  What exactly are Bible Breakdowns?  They are one-page resources for each book in the Bible.  They help you look at chapters, the date the book was written, the period that the book covers, the author, various subjects, etc.  These pages are so helpful for those that want to dig deeper into God's word.  They are excellent for helping anyone approach a Bible study, or more specific book study of the Bible.

Above you can see the Bible Breakdown for the Book of Genesis.

You can easily see the book of Genesis at a glance.  There are 50 chapters in this book.  It was written by Moses ~ 1430 BC.  I love that you can see the subjects covered in the chapters and verses.

Bible Breakdown for for the Book of Genesis continued
This resource also shows you the most popular verses within each book at the bottom of each page.

Our church just went through an in depth study of the book of 2 Corinthians.  It has been fun to look at this resource as we dug deeper into what Paul was saying.
I am currently reading through the book of Acts and I have really enjoyed having my Bible Breakdown during my study time.

If you are looking for a Bible study resource or even something to help make the Bible less intimidating, Bible Breakdowns are a great option!  I'm looking forward to my teenagers using them throughout this school year as they read through their Bibles.  These are great for both groups and individual study.

Want to know more?  Be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews of Bible Breakdowns from Teach Sunday School.

Boob-by-Book Bible Study Printable Breakdownsr

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Tuesday, October 12, 2021

E's Dolphin Party {10th Birthday}

Miss E in her fancy party dress.

We celebrated E's birthday over the weekend with a small dolphin party!  She had a great time and it was so fun to see a few friends.


Having fun with the bubble blaster F bought her.

E's cake!  A dolphin jumping through the zero of the 10.

Another view...

Singing to E 𝆕𝆕

So glad we got to celebrate this beauty!

Friday, October 8, 2021

Spelling Ninja from Reading Kingdom Review

Disclosure:  I received this complimentary product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW.

Reading Kingdom's Spelling Ninja

I needed a spelling program for F so I was so excited to receive one year access to Spelling Ninja from Reading Kingdom to use with him.  Spelling Ninja is an online program geared for students ages 5-10 and they should already be reading before using it (1st grade level and up).
F with his spelling!

Above you can see our dashboard.  You can use an on-screen keyboard or a physical keyboard with Spelling Ninja.  You can also change the program speed and response time.

F working on his first lesson.
Spelling Ninja is specifically designed to help children look at words and decode them.  It specifically helps with visual memory skills that helps them develop improved spelling, reading and writing.  This program is based on years of research and rests on writing.  This is due to the fact that reading can often be achieved without exactness as children can sometimes end up guessing at a word.  However, for a word to be written with accuracy, every letter must be placed in the correct order - this is the concept behind Spelling Ninja.  And well, ninjas are fun 😉.
How exactly does this program work?  There are 15 different levels within Spelling Ninja.  Each level has 10 exercises to be completed.  Each exercise gives students a sentence with a picture for them to copy or retype.  The program reads this sentence to them and then they look at it and copy it.  Sometimes the sentence or some words are visible to them as they type and sometimes not depending on the level they are working on.  Students have to make sure to follow writing rules - capitalization, punctuation, etc.  There is color coding to help them identify if they are missing a space, a word, punctuation, etc.  Students are given a certain amount of time to complete the words and sentence.  If they make a mistake they are shown that.  If they take too long to complete the exercise, they will have to repeat it until they master it.

You can see above that F was currently working on Level 13 when I took this screenshot.  You can see what levels he has finished and how he performed - needs attention, good performance, very good performance or excellent performance.

Here is an example of the first exercise in Level 1.

F working on this lesson.  You can see the words and then they disappear right before you need to type them.

As you move through this program and the different levels, the sentences become more and more challenging.

Here is the first exercise in Level 15.

Everything is blank in this more difficult level and you have to remember the complete sentence from memory.

After your session, you will see a dancing ninja that will tell you how well you did.

As you see, Spelling Ninja improves your spelling by having you write the sentences from memory.  This took a little adapting to for F as he didn't really didn't type much before this program.  So at the beginning, he not only had to think about the spelling but where to find the letters and all the writing rules as well.  It was a bit frustrating for his first few lessons but I will say that he adapted well and really got the hang of it.  His scores starting improving and he has made his way through all 15 levels now.  I love that he can continue to practice his reading, writing, typing and spelling with Spelling Ninja.  And I know that when he does begin a typing program he should be way ahead of the curve as well!

Want to know more?  Be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews of Reading Kingdom.

Spelling, Reading, and Math Fun at Reading Kingdom

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