Sunday, May 30, 2021

Circuit Maze Review

I have a fun logic game to share with you today from Timberdoodle, Circuit Maze!  Circuit Maze is a single-player game manufactured by ThinkFun and is geared for kids 8 and older or third grade and up (even adults can enjoy it).  It teaches concepts of electricity in a unique way using a series of circuit-building logic puzzles.

What's included?   There is a 5x5 game grid, 17 game tokens (1 two-part power source (start and finish token), 3 LED beacons, 2 straights, 1 bridge, 1 double corner, 2 t-shapes, 5 corners, 1 switch and 1 blocker), instructions and 60 challenge cards that range from beginner to expert with solutions.  I do want to mention that this requires 3 AAA batteries and they are not included.

A closer look at the token pieces.

How to play?  Select one of the 60 challenge cards and set up the tokens on your game grid to match your challenge card.  The exact location and orientation of some tokens will be given but sometimes there will be a rotate sign, this means it is up to you to figure out the proper orientation.  Obtain the tokens that you need to add to the grid to complete this challenge.  For every challenge, you will build a continuous metal strip pathway from the start to the finish that lights up the designated beacons on your specific challenge card.  After you do this using all the designated tokens on your card, you win!!

Above you can see the set up for Beginner level Challenge 1.

And here you can see the solution, notice the yellow light is lit up.  To check and see if you are correct the back of each challenge card shows the solution.

C working on a variety of challenges.

The set up for Beginner level Challenge 7.

C showing me his completed challenge.

The correct solution for Challenge 7, C got it correct!

I really appreciate that Circuit Maze teaches basic electronics concepts using a series of logic puzzles.  You have to solve the challenges by creating pathways or circuits using metal strips, light beacons and switches.  As the challenges increase in difficulty, both simple and advanced circuitry concepts are explored (series circuits, parallel circuits, series and parallel circuits in combination, and parallel circuits in bypass).

A working on a variety of challenges.
The set up for Intermediate level Challenge 17.
A showing me her completed challenge.
The correct solution for Challenge 17, A got it correct!

I love that Circuit Maze encourages problem solving skills and helps teach logic.  Circuit Maze is a great resource to have for learning about circuits and electricity in our homeschool and in our game collection and we highly recommend it!  If you like this be sure to check out our review of ThinkFun's Cat Crimes.

Disclosure:  Huge shout out to Timberdoodle for selecting me as a Timberdoodle Blogger.  I received Circuit Maze at a discount in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Fun with Mumma & Puppa

Mumma & Puppa came for a visit!

The last few days have been so fun.  Mumma & Puppa came to Texas for a short visit and it was great to see them.  Sadly, they left this morning but I'm so grateful for the time we had.

Playing cards

After months of waiting, B got her learner's permit!

B got her permit while Mumma & Puppa were here so to celebrate they treated everyone to pie!  It was such a nice treat.  Here's to a holiday weekend - we are looking forward to it 🙂.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

One More Story Review

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

One More Story

We were blessed to receive a one-year subscription to One More Story for our homeschool!  This online book library can be accessed from any country in the world on both computers and mobile devices using any web browser but Chrome and Safari are optimal (you will need Internet access).
Getting ready to read Owl Babies

G has been using One More Story the most in our family and he prefers to use it on our iPad.  He loves looking at books and listening to read alouds so this is perfect for him as he can choose his own stories!

Our One More Story Library
There are currently 87 pictures books to choose from arranged on different colored shelves - red, blue, orange, green and yellow.
You can scroll down to get to the other bookcases or you can use the coordinating colored tabs on the left.

G uses One More Story the most on our iPad as I mentioned above.  After a quick lesson with me and listening to Benjamin D. Bookworm (Bendy) explain the site, G hasn't had any trouble and it's been easy for him to navigate the books on his own.  Bendy is there in the upper left hand corner if G needs reminding.

An original song is included with each book.  These songs are composed by Robby Merkin (previous music director for Sesame Street) and are delightful.
G reading Mouse Paint
Reading Sidney Can't Swim

 Story options
Children can also choose to read the book themselves in the I Can Read mode.  They won't get the narration and music in this mode but it's nice to have this option too!  Another cool feature is the vocabulary button.

 The vocabulary for The Three Billy Goats Gruff.

You can select a word and it will tell you the definition and read you a sentence from the book with the word.

 words are highlighted as they are read aloud
I appreciate that this has the audio and visual components.  Children can listen to the book right along with the images in the Read Along mode.  I love how the words are highlighted in red as they are being read aloud.  G loves following along.

I also value the plethora of narrators included!  And they have talent!  If you have ever listened to an audiobook, a narrator can really make or break a story.  One More Story has been so great for G, he basically has his own personal online library.  If you have a young child or emerging reader we highly recommend One More Story!

Be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read even more reviews of One More Story.

One More Story Online Library Reviews

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Monday, May 24, 2021

Happy 14th Birthday C

Now 14!

When we asked C what he wanted to do for his birthday he wasn't sure but he finally decided on bowling.  He and 11 of his friends had a great time this weekend bowling, eating pizza/drinks, and playing in an arcade.  I'm so thankful to all of them for coming and celebrating C as he turned 14.
C bowling
David and the other kids and I were able to bowl in the lane next to all the boys.  Apparently, it was the first time for several of my kids to bowl so that was super fun.  I think F was the first one to get a strike (with bumpers).

A and B decorated C's room.  It's hard to tell in this photo but the balloons light up!

C blowing out his candles!

I’m so thankful to have such a sensitive and kind son.  I love watching C play baseball ⚾️ and we both share a love for corny jokes 😆.  I wonder if he will be taller than me next year?  Time will tell...

Friday, May 21, 2021

Cross Seven Ventures - Homeschool Musical Memory Tool from Cross Seven Review

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

Cross Seven

We have been beyond blessed to receive a one-year online subscription from Cross Seven for our whole family to Cross Seven Ventures - Homeschool Musical Memory Tool!

What is Cross Seven?  Cross Seven's memory work is a wonderful tool or resource to establish a broad-based level of understanding for students in grades K-6 in various subjects including scripture, timeline, history, science, math, English grammar, Latin and geography.  This is a 4-year cyclical program that uses both memory and music to help lay a solid foundation of key information that can be built upon in later years of learning.  The memory work is a derivative or byproduct of Claritas Publishing.  All the kids can login to our one family account and then login to their student profile.

You said this is a 4-year program, what do each of the 4 cycles cover?  Each cycle includes 28 weeks of memory work.  Cycle 1 will take students from Creation through the Fall of Rome.  Science focuses on biological concepts.  Geography focuses on continents & oceans, Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Europe, Egypt, the Exodus, India, China, Greece, Wonders of Ancient World, Palestine during Christ, etc.  Math focuses on skip counting 1-12, 15, 25, squares, cubes, order of operations, prime numbers, roman numerals, conversions, etc.  English Grammar focuses on parts of speech, nouns & pronouns, adjectives and articles, verbs and adverbs, conjunctions, interjections, prepositions and object of the preposition, antecedents, etc.  Latin focuses on counting, factors of verbs/nouns, case order, genitive endings and noun declensions.  Cycle 2 will take students from the Dark Ages through Early Explorers.  Science focuses on Astronomy and Earth Science concepts.  Geography focuses on continents & oceans, seas of the world, India, Asia & Pacific, Australia & New Zealand, Africa and Highest Peaks.  Math is similar to the first cycle with skip counting 1-12, 15, 25, squares, cubes, order of operations, prime numbers, roman numerals, conversions but also has percents, Pythagorean theorem, absolute value, place value, ration and averages.  Latin focuses on 1st and 2nd conjugations, Apostle's Creed and 3rd declension nouns.  Cycle 3 will take students from The Dutch Revolt through the California Gold Rush.  Science focuses on Chemistry.  Geography focuses on Canadian Provinces, territories, cities and features, North American features and U.S. Capitals.  Again math is similar but also has area of polygons and circles, π, perimeter, types of triangles and polygons, long division, etc.  Latin focuses on counting, factors of verbs and nouns, case order, genitive endings, noun declensions, table Blessing, Dona Nobis Pacem, etc.  And Cycle 4 will take students from the Victoria Era through September 11, 2001.  Science focuses on Physics.  Geography focuses on continents and oceans, modern Europe, WW2, European features and mountains, South America and Central America.  Again math is similar but also has math laws, prefixes for metric, absolute value, place value names, averages, etc.  Latin focuses on 1st and 2nd conjugations, Apostle's Creed and 3rd declension nouns.

Beginning of the opening section

If you use this program traditionally, you can start each class in the opening section by listening to the hymn, followed by a prayer and then the pledges - pledges to the American flag, the Christian flag, the Bible and the Lord's Prayer.  Afterwards, you move onto Scripture and Timeline.  This completes the opening and students can then move onto the other subjects.

 Watching the video for Psalm 23.
The Scriptures and videos is one on my favorite sections.  This is such a great tool for our family and a fabulous way to learn scripture together.

We have used Cross Seven on our desktop and iPad.  You can also use streaming channel Apps like AppleTV, Roku, or FireTV so your whole family can easily see the content.
My Parent Dashboard after adding a few of the kids.
I appreciate having a Parent Dashboard that allows me to track each child's memory work progress as they work through all the interactive quizzes.  The quizzes are short and simple and designed to help the students understand and retain the content quickly in a fun way.  Students can earn badges and certificates along the way.
Cycle 1 Science

Since Cycle 1 Science focuses on biological concepts and B has almost completed high school Biology this year, I thought it would be fun for her to peruse through all the material and see if she knew all the concepts.  It's a fun way to see familiar concepts presented in a new way.

Cycle 4 Science

Likewise for A since she has almost completed high school Physics, I had her do the same thing for Cycle 4 Science as it focuses on Physics.
Some of the Scripture hand motions

The Scripture, History, Science and Timeline sections also have hand motions for students to learn.  This is just another fun element.

E has slowly been working through Cycle 1 on her own and is enjoying it.  Cross Seven is not a parent intensive program.  I like that the weekly videos and material are conveniently located in our account.  You can easily find the cycle, subject and week that you are learning.  My kids really like learning material to music - it helps make it fun and is an enjoyable way to learn.  In this program students can read, listen and sing their way through the material.  This multi-sensory approach helps solidify what they are learning.

Trying to figure out if Cross Seven is a good fit for your family?  There is a free 1 day trial that you can take advantage of.  Cross Seven is available in monthly and yearly subscriptions.

Be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read even more reviews of Cross Seven.

Cross Seven Musical Memory Reviews

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Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Everybody, Always for Kids by Bob Goff and Lindsey Goff Viducich from Tommy Nelson Publishing Review

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

Thomas Nelson Publishing 
We were so blessed to receive the book Everybody, Always for Kids by Bob Goff and Lindsey Goff Viducich from Tommy Nelson Publishing for review.

Our book includes 40 stories specifically written for children ages 6-10.  These stories challenge kids to see how small acts of love can have a lasting impact on ourselves, others and our world.  I love the size and quality of our book.  It's a hardcover that fits nicely in your hands and has proven to be durable.

The kids appreciate all the colorful illustrations by Diane Le Feyer sprinkled throughout the book - sometimes they are a full page, half a page, or a quarter of a page.

We also received a PDF with a five-day lesson plan for discussions and activities to help put love into action :).

I am not going to go through all 40 short stories incorporated in our book but I do want to highlight a few so that you get a feel for this book and corresponding lessons and activities.

The second story in the book is about Cake Pops.  It's truly about learning to love those that are not necessarily nice to you.

The kids enjoyed making our own “cake pops” and thinking about ways that we can bless others, especially those that aren’t the kindest to us.

The third story in our book had us reaching for F's walkie-talkies.
It was all about a special neighbor named Carol who became family and shows us how loving others can help chase fear away in different circumstances.

We discovered in the thirtieth story that the kids had never tried salt water taffy, something we quickly had to remediate 😉.
The kids were delighted to see all the rainbow colors and to discover that it absolutely floats!
The story encourages us to think of ways to love those around us - giving smiles and hellos to our neighbors, leaving encouraging notes on their doors, thank-you notes to those who serve in our community, and so on.

I'm so thankful to have this book.  It has been a great resource.  I love that Bob shares real-life experiences to help kids find practical ways to love people and truly change our world!  We definitely recommend it.

Be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read even more reviews of Tommy Nelson Publishing.

Everybody Always for Kids Reviews

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