Wednesday, November 16, 2022

The Voice Library - Audio Book Creator Review

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

The Voice Library

I was so excited to receive The Voice Library - Audio Book Creator from The Voice Library for our family to use and review!  This is a way to capture your family's favorite stories in voices and pictures using either your phone or computer.  You can store favorite recipes by creating an Audio Cookbook that has voice, story and even photos.  You can even give voice to your art!  I really want A to do this with some of the pieces of art she created this semester at college when she comes home - how neat this will be!

The basic goal of The Voice Library is to capture and share the joys in your life!  I love this and I love all the ideas and suggestions that came with our package.  As the account holder, I can do everything.  I can also share my library with others to just listen to my content or even record messages about their own adventures to share.  I love the idea of having extended family record messages and stories.  My Mom is on her way to stay with us for an extended period of time and I'm really looking forward to getting her to record some stories for us!

Above you can see one of my recordings.  I have the App installed on my phone.  In G's spelling class at CoOp he has memorized a few poems.  I recorded his sweet voice reciting his poem to me from memory and it's adorable.

I feel like we have barely scratched the surface of what The Voice Library has to offer but I'm excited to dive in deeper this holiday season.  We will be recording some cookie recipes, getting some stories from Grandma, and of course, hearing more about A's artwork.  Stay tuned to see more from us!

Want to know more?  Be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read even more reviews of The Voice Library.

create audio books

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Friday, November 4, 2022

Happy National Candy Day


It's crazy that this is so close to Halloween (or possibly that's strategic) but Happy National Candy Day!

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Happy Halloween & November

Hope you had a great Halloween!  We ended up staying home and handing out candy.  We were hoping to watch the World Series game but it was postponed due to weather.  I can't believe it's November.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Inspired by Vincent Van Gogh Review

I have a fun art product to share with you today from Timberdoodle, Inspired by Vincent Van Gogh.  Inspired by Van Gogh is manufactured by Djeco and is recommended for ages 5-99 or Kindergarten and up!

Our artboards

What's included in our kit?  Our kit includes 4 artboards or cards (inspired by Van Gogh's paintings), 1 double-ended wooden stylus, and a full-color instructional booklet filled with design ideas.  Each artboard is a separate project taking anywhere from 30-60 minutes to complete.

I decided to use this art kit a little differently in that I wanted several of us to complete our artboards instead of one kid completing all four.  I thought this would be a good way to demonstrate the end product with a larger age range, so the girls and I have been enjoying making our boards.  D made one, E made one, B and I tagged team on one and we are saving the last one for A (we want to see what a college art major can create).

Above you can see a collage of the artboard D created.

I absolutely love her final product.

Above you can see a collage of the artboard E created.  I love the flowers!

I love the way it turned out and that she signed it up near the left top corner.

Above you can see the collage that B and I did together!

I am pleased with the way it turned out.

Above is the artboard we are saving for A to do when she returns from college over the break.  Stay tuned to see her masterpiece.

These artboards are a great way to boost both fine motor and visual discernment skills.  The stylus is used to scratch through the ink to uncover a colored layer beneath.  I like that you can scratch simpler patterns or scratch off larger areas to reveal hidden surprises.  And honestly, these artboards are just relaxing and fun to complete!

Inspired by Vincent Van Gogh is currently included in Timberdoodle's 6th grade curriculum kit.  This fun resource will help children develop artistic skill and art appreciation.  Don't be afraid to complete one yourself as well.

Disclosure:  Huge shout out to Timberdoodle for selecting me as a Timberdoodle Blogger.  I received Inspired by Vincent Van Gogh in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, October 17, 2022

E's Cookie Decorating 11th Birthday Party


We had E's birthday party over the weekend and it was so fun.  She had some friends come over and they decorated cookies.

We had lots of sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies with a few M&M and oatmeal raisins as well.  And the kids had lots of toppings to choose from: icing, chocolate chips, various sprinkles, marshmallows, gummy bears, M&Ms, and more!

A was in town very briefly and I love her college cookie that she made!

And B's snowman cookie was super cute.

E wanted an cookies and cream ice cream cake so David made her one!

E with her cake
And I found these super cute chocolate chip cookie balloons.

If you are looking for a fun and easy birthday party theme, cookie decorating works really well.  Happy Birthday E, hope you thought your party was sweet!

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Austin Royals Pajamas Now Available

Ok Austin Royals fans - this Thursday evening (October 13th) is your exclusive opportunity to get Austin Royals pajamas!  Unisex Austin Royals logo purple pajama shirt with flannel pj bottoms – available to all Royals sports teams, alumni, and families!   Proceeds help support AR Varsity Volleyball national tournament travel expense.
Download the Haute, LLC app -OR- shop The Mercantile on Main & HAUTE Boutique on facebook!  Thank you!

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Light of Mine Unit Study - Premium from Towers of Light Christian Resources LLC Review

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

Towers of Light Christian Resources, LLC

I was so excited to receive Light of Mine Unit Study - Premium from Towers of Light Christian Resources LLC to use with our family!  This specific unit study is geared for kids grades 3-6+.  

Our Premium package includes the paperback novel, unit study workbook, USB flash drive and the Pathway Personal Player!  This is a truly impressive set.

Our Pathway Personal Player is an audio book MP3 player that includes our novel + bonus tracks.  The audio book is narrated by Stacey Bradshaw.  What a bonus to receive!  There are so many different ways to utilize this - if you have a struggling reader, you are traveling in the car, you just want to hear the story again, etc - such a cool addition to this premium package.

E (5th grade) has really enjoyed both reading our book and listening to it.  The audio is done extremely well.  I can hear her singing along with the music (This Little Light of Mine, etc.).

Light of Mine is the first book in a six-book series written by Allen Brokken.  This christian fantasy adventure is 222 pages and this includes 19 chapters, reading comprehension questions, an about the author page and more information about the other books in this series.  There are no illustrations within the text.  When Lauren, Aiden and  Ethan find themselves alone after The Darkness has taken their parents, they need to discern who to trust and how to navigate life.  They must stop the agents of The Dark One from putting out the Light and dooming the heathlands to eternal Darkness.  This first book specifically focuses on the christian value of discernment and E loves it.  It is gripping and adventurous.  The boys are now listening to it and they are very enthralled.  I love the questions it generates and how it really gets them thinking.  We are really looking forward to getting the additional series books!

How is the workbook set-up?  This unit study is specifically designed to be completed in four weeks.  Each week there is ~ 50-60 pages of reading because students are reading a chapter each day.  This reading can be done independently or aloud (this works great when multiple kids are listening, or if you have a struggling reader).  They can just listen or follow along in their book.

Above you can see a peek into our workbook with a peek into E's reading journal as well.

Students are encouraged to keep a reading journal and I love this!  For the first 4 days students will copy their memory verse and complete the vocabulary exercise, read the story passage aloud and discuss this as a group, complete the daily reading assignment (either independently or aloud), after reading, students will answer the reading questions in their journal - all of this will be done each day.

Here you can see E's answers to the reading questions.  After she completes them, we discuss them.

On the 5th day, students will complete the daily reading assignment (as all other days), recite their memory verse and wrap up the week with the coloring page, puzzle, and hands-on activity.  There is an answer key in the back of the workbook for every day of all 5 weeks.  I appreciate that this workbook has all the information for parents and students to complete it.  This workbook is a great way to encourage kids to dig a little deeper into the book and think about what they are reading while having fun.  And because of the christian worldview, they learn about God - what a win!

Want to know more?  Be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read even more reviews of Towers of Light Christian Resources LLC.

Unit Study

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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Happy 11th Birthday E

E is now 11!  We had a great time celebrating with her.  She had Chick-fil-A Chick-n-Minis for breakfast.

And Bev brought home donuts and kolaches from her volleyball practice!

We went to Red Lobster for dinner, E's favorite restaurant.

And E finished everything off with a yummy treat!

We love you to the moon E, I hope you know that you are very loved!

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Fundraiser for B's National Volleyball Trip

Beverly was blessed to make the Austin Royals Varsity Volleyball this year as a Junior!  With this, she will be headed to the Homeschool National Volleyball Tournament in Iowa at the end of October.  She is super excited and she is raising funds to help her get there.
She has a post-it note fundraiser if you are interested in helping her reach her goal.  All you do is choose a number for an amount that you’d like to support her with.  So if you would like to give $3, you would send her that and she would remove the post-it for that amount (3).  No amount is too small!
How to pay?  If you see us personally you can give cash or check (made out to Beverly Cummins), you can mail a check, or you can give through Venmo (please make a note that says Beverly Nationals).  For those wondering, all funds go directly to Bev for her Nationals trip.  Venmo information below.

We appreciate your time and consideration.   I’m attaching a short video so you can see Bev (#15) play and what you are supporting, she loves the sport so much! GO ROYALS!

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Happy National Neonatal Nurses Day

Many moons ago when we had A, she was sent to the NICU because she was hypoglycemic.  She was there for ten days.  As hard as that was, the nurses in the NICU taught us so much.  We learned skills that we would use for the rest of our children.  I was amazed at the skill, knowledge, and compassion that those nurses had.  I'm so grateful for the care that A received and how it impacted our future family.  Thank you Neonatal Nurses!!

Baby A in the NICU

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Greg Landry's Homeschool Science Membership Review

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

Greg Landry's Homeschool Science

I was so excited to receive 6 months access to Greg Landry's Homeschool Science Membership from Greg Landry's Homeschool Science.  We have enjoyed several of Greg's courses over the years and we know what a great resource this is to have in our homeschool!  With this membership we have access to a plethora of online Science courses including Life Prep High School Biology, Life Prep High School Chemistry, Life Prep High School Anatomy & Physiology, Life Prep High School Conceptual Physics, Exercise & Sports Physiology, Marine Science, Biochemistry/Microbiology, Embryology/Endocrinology, Earth & Space Science, Student Success Skills, and many more.  I love that you can use these online science classes for your whole family!

Greg Laundry is a homeschool dad and science teacher who created this program to help homeschooling families with various self-paced science classes.  His classes are Christ-centered and taught by Greg through video lectures and resources.  I really appreciate that everything needed for these courses is provided - PDF of text, student books, etc.

Life Prep High School Chemistry

How are we using this right now?  This year I am teaching High School Chemistry in our weekly CoOp.  I am having a great time refreshing myself with Chemistry concepts using Greg's Life Prep High School Chemistry.  Not only is this great added benefit for me as a teacher but C is in my class and I can have him review concepts and key elements as well.  This is a fantastic resource!
Above you can see some of the Text

There are 26 chapters in this course with 25 video class lectures ranging from 20-30 minutes in length, extremely doable.  There are optional tests and answer keys for them as well.  You can also pair the virtual labs as this course includes a match up for the labs and corresponding lecture videos.  I love the way it is laid out and how it makes Chemistry approachable.

Life Prep High School Physics

Beverly hasn't started yet but I am hoping to have her use the Life Prep High School Physics class as well!  I am loving that we have access to so many great classes.
Want to know more?  Be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews of Greg Landry's Homeschool Science Membership.

Online Science Classes

You can engage and learn more by heading over to Greg Landry's Homeschool Science.

Round Rock Express Game

I took C and F to a day baseball game last week.  The Round Rock Express was playing the Sugar Land Space Cowboys.  While we didn't win, we had a great time.  There was an hour rain delay as we got a much needed but unexpected rain shower.  It turned out to be a lovely afternoon.  And both boys ended up with balls, which is always fun.

Friday, September 9, 2022

The Adventum Volume 1 from the Adventum Review

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

The Adventum

I was so excited to receive The Adventum, Volume 1 from The Adventum to use with the kids for review!  The Adventum is a new, epic audio adventure of Bible stories!  This chronological dramatization is told as if you were there.

Our pack has 4 individual CDs of ~ 4 hours of playing time

The Adventum, a believable blend of creative adaptation based on the written Scriptures, helps kids want to learn more about the Scriptures and everything that is hidden within!  I really like that our whole family can dive deeper into the Bible together and ultimately find truths.  This story form is fun, engaging and kids look forward to it and that is such an awesome thing.  The music, narration, story is so well done.  We will definitely be looking to purchase other volumes!

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

audio bible stories

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