Sunday, May 31, 2020

Timberdoodle's Graphic U.S. History Set of 13 Review

I have a super fun book set to share with you today from Timberdoodle, their Graphic U.S. History Set of 13 books.  This set is recommended for ages 10 and up and would be around a 4th grade reading level.  I think interest is definitely broader, more like 2nd through 12th.  In our home, E (2nd grade) - A (10th grade) were all interested in them!

Our Graphic U.S. History Set of 13

A closer look at all of the titles.

This set includes The New World, The Fight For Freedom, The US Emerges, Problems of a New Nation, Americans Move Westward, Before the Civil War, The Civil War, The Industrial Era, America Becomes a World Power, The Roaring Twenties and The Great Depression, World War II and The Cold War, The Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam, and Globalization.  Each book is 54 pages and includes engaging, full-color graphics throughout.

D was the first to get her hands on our books and she devoured them.

She read through all 13 books in just a few days.

This series is perfect for children to get a broad U.S. History overview beginning with the New World in the 1500s through Barack Obama's inauguration.  Most children love graphic novels and my kids are no exception.  There is something about them that ignites a passion for reading.  I love that this set gets kids excited to learn about history, specifically U.S. History!  Each book contains relevant historical content and fun, engaging illustrations that help keep the reader's attention.  I love that this fast-paced nonfiction series can be read over and over again as these books are not overwhelming and easy to read.

  Excerpts from our series

Another feature of this series is that the nonfiction text is shown in blue colored background; whereas, the fictitious speech bubbles are shown in yellow.  I like this clear separation.

 A peek into The New World.  
{You can see what I mean about the different colors.}

I do want to note something else.  This is not a faith-based series so there are a few spots of potentially offensive language.  Timberdoodle does a great job of pointing all of these instances out on their website:

Fire, follow orders.  For God's sake, fire! 
By whose authority?  In the name of the great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!
Oh, God!  It is all over.
Give 'em hell, boys!
Lord!  Lord!
I tell you war is hell!
Look at that - another damned carpetbagger arriving!
You farmers need to raise less corn and more hell!
We will divide our forces, drive the red devils into the open, and wipe them out!
Diable!  Those Americans!  Bring our troops home from Mexico.
My God, sir!
Remember the Maine, and to hell with Spain.
My God! I'm wiped out.
Oh my God, no!
Despite the above, my view is that this is a really good U.S. History summary set and your kids will most likely be enthralled with them like mine.   This set helps readers form a timeline of American history as they read and reread this series over and over again.  This would be a great addition to any homeschool or home library.

Disclosure:  Huge shout out to Timberdoodle for selecting me as a Timberdoodle Blogger.  Timberdoodle sent my family their Graphic U.S. History Set of 13 for a discounted price in exchange for our honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Quarantine Dog Photo Shoot {Round 2}

Stevie Dawg is back with a few new looks!  You may remember his first photo shoot in April.  Everyone had so much fun we decided to have another round.  Enjoy the photos!  Stevie Dawg may or may not have received a lot of treats for cooperating 😃.

 Party Stevie

 Farmer Stevie

 Guitarist Stevie

 Volleyball Stevie

 Volleyball Stevie (standing)

 Snow White Stevie

 Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Star Wars
 Rebel Fighter Stevie

Star Wars
 Rebel Fighter Stevie (with hat)

 Magician Stevie

 For my 1st trick...

 A bunny!


As always, if you have any ideas please share and Stevie Dawg will do his best to make them happen 😉.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Mobi Kids Game from Timberdoodle Review {1st Grade Curriculum Kit}

Today we are going to take a closer look at one of the math components in our 1st Grade Elite Curriculum Kit from Timberdoodle, Mobi Kids.

 Our little blue whale pouch, Mobi Kids Game

 Inside our whale are three groups of colorful tiles.

Our game contains 3 groups of tiles:   48 double-sided operation tiles in blue, 19 purple number tiles and 19 green number tiles (86 total tiles).  The green and purple tiles have the exact same grouping of numbers ranging from 1-10, including 2 wild tiles in each color.  There are 3 different blue operation tiles: +, -, and =.  The 6 and the 9 tiles look identical and are interchangeable so use them as you wish!

I circled the wild tiles in yellow above, they contain the Mobi logo on them.

The wild tiles can be used to represent any number between 0 and 10.

How do you play?  The goal is pretty simple.  You are trying to connect all of your number tiles together using the blue operation tiles in a crossword style grid before the other player completes their own grid, that's it!  When your grid is complete you shout "Mobi" and you win.

Game Set Up

How do you set up the game?  Place the blue operation tiles in the middle of the players.  They can be used by any player at any time during the game as needed to complete their grid.  Each player picks a color and takes those tiles.  One player will be purple and one player will be green.  Place your colored tiles in front of you to begin.  Ready, Set, Go!  Start building your grid while racing your opponent at the same time.

 Here is an example of a completed grid using the green tiles.

Likewise, here is an example of a completed grid using the purple tiles.

 F starting his grid.

 I started my grid as well.

 Making more progress...

 F's completed grid!!

 D playing a round...

Variety is the spice of life!  This game is primarily designed for two players but it can be adapted.  When playing solo, use one set or both sets if you wish and connect them together at your own pace, no need to rush.  When playing with 3 people, one person will act as a helper for one of the other players - think of it like a 2 against 1 type of situation.  When playing with 4 people, just form two teams of two and proceed as usual.  Once you have mastered Mobi Kids, you can move onto original Mobi (we haven't done this yet but I see it in our future).  If you find Mobi Kids too difficult, you can begin with the mini-games.  Our Mobi Kids came with an activity booklet with some Mobi mini-game ideas.

Above is an example of one of the Mobi mini-games.

Mobi Kids is simple, fun, and helps children reinforce math skills while playing.  Children will naturally improve their addition and subtraction math skills while playing this game and I'm all for that.  Older kids can really race each other...

I like that this set is pretty portable, although we aren't really going anywhere these days.  You just need the whale and contents and some sort of flat surface and you are good to go.  Mobi Kids is geared for children 4+ and can be found in Timberdoodle's First Grade Curriculum Kit.  We are really enjoying our game and I know that it will continue to be a favorite around here for awhile.

Disclosure:  Huge shout out to Timberdoodle for selecting me as a Timberdoodle Blogger.  I will be refunded the purchase price of our curriculum kit in exchange for my honest reviews.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Stevie Dawg Obstacle Challenge {2 Levels}

Stevie Dawg Getting Ready For His Obstacle Challenge

Have you seen the videos of various pets attempting obstacle challenges?  The kids and I have watched a few and we thought it would be fun to put Stevie Dawg to the test.  Watch Stevie in action below.  Did he perform like you thought?

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

You Can Draw It in Just 30 Minutes from Timberdoodle Review

I'm back with another great Timberdoodle product, You Can Draw It in Just 30 Minutes by Mark Kistler.  Do you guys remember Commander Mark?  I remember him visiting my elementary school when I was a kid.  He held a drawing lesson for my entire school - it was amazing.  Well, this book was written by him, Commander Mark = Mark Kistler.

Our new book

David had several of his books growing up, still does!  Above is one of them.

This book specifically targets teens and older students (even me!) and focuses on taking 30 minute creative breaks using easy to follow, step-by-step illustrations and instructions to complete a drawing.  The book has tips and techniques specific for each drawing.  There are 4 timed steps to keep you on track to finish in just 30 minutes and I think this is so helpful.

 Lesson Content

 Lesson Content Continued

There are 25 drawing lessons as well as 25 bonus optional drawings that expand on the main lesson.  You will learn to draw a banana, mouth, penguin, bell pepper, seashell, and so much more!  Each lesson tells you the tools that you will need, shows you the basic shapes in the drawing, gives you optional hacks to implement, and teaches you tips and techniques.  The timed slots are broken into 4 different sections:  Draw Your Blueprint, Shape the Shapes, See the Light, and Finish Up.  There is also a drawing page given for each lesson but we chose to create our drawings on separate drawing paper.

Above you can see Lesson 1, drawing a banana.

David's banana drawing from Lesson 1.

Above you can see my chair from Lesson 3.

A completing her sunflower drawing from Lesson 8.

A closer view of A's sunflower drawing.

A's Lesson 13 Bonus Challenge: Sketch A Playing Card House

 A look at the beginning of my tree frog from Lesson 17.

My completed tree frog drawing.

 B drawing a teddy bear in Lesson 20.

 A closer view of B's teddy bear drawing.

A's wedding cake from Lesson 22.

A closer view of A's wedding cake drawing.

This is such a fun drawing book to have on hand!  I appreciate that it's not intimidating and really walks you through the steps of drawing various things.  I think the target for teens and older students is right on track.  You Can Draw It in Just 30 Minutes is part of Timberdoodle's 11th Grade Curriculum Kit.  If you are looking for a drawing book that helps teach you drawing skills without spending a lot of time, this is definitely the book for you!

Disclosure: Huge shout out to Timberdoodle for selecting me as a Timberdoodle Blogger. Timberdoodle sent my family You Can Draw It in Just 30 Minutes in exchange for our honest review.  All opinions are my own.