Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Costumes 2000-2011

I couldn't just buy a costume that anyone might have, so made him a fish out of felt. It seemed appropriate to make him an animal since we were headed to "Arktoberfest" at our church.

Cute little elephant!

Wearing Big T's vest from when he was little and feeling mighty big.

C loved LarryBoy this year (from VeggieTales). Poor T got stuck being Bob the Tomato.

Recycled the fish to be Captain Hook's sidekick.

Ninja, Kitten, and Monster.
 I can't find 2006! AAHHHH!

Pink Dragon, Lego, and...yep, poor middle child hand-me-down LarryBoy.

Penguin and Hello Kitty Cowgirl. C was Indiana Jones but I didn't take a pic before he took his coat and hat off.

Bag of Cheetos, Mermaid, and Mountain Boo

Mr. T, a Mime, and a 50s girl.

Dr. C, Hippie, and a Librarian.

I hope T gets well so we can dress up tonight. Our church is doing a reverse trick or treat to the houses instead of taking candy. We don't want to miss!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Review: Sugar Creek Gang


T and P listen to close to 100 audio books last year. They both love them and listen every night when they go to bed, and also during the day if they are playing in their rooms. If you research, there are many benefits of listening to audio books, aside from just the pleasure of listening to a cool story. Listening to stories increases their comprehension, vocabulary, and well, their listening skills. And who doesn't a child that is a good listener?!?

Beloved Books generously sent us the first volume of the Sugar Creek Gang audio stories for us to review. The kids were thrilled to be getting new stories and I was equally thrilled to be getting new WHOLESOME stories. I had no idea what we were really on.

Paul Hutchens began writing the Sugar Creek Gang Series in 1939. It is an exciting adventure series steeped full of Christian values and the Gospel message.  My kids have been listening to variety of audio books, like the Little House series (that P has listened to several times), Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume stories, Newberry books, and one of T's favorite (although not classic literature - lol) is Hank the Cowdog. However, none of those have made the impact on our kids lives as the Sugar Creek Gang series!

Volume 1 includes The Swamp Robber, The Killer Bear, The Winter Rescue, The Lost Campers, Chicago Adventure, and The Secret Hideout.

When the CDs arrived, they immediately put the first CD in listened to it while drawing (T) and sewing (P). They were hooked. I was in and out of the kitchen listening too and was impressed with the expressive reading. The reader has a soothing voice, but definitely kept their attention. Beloved Books suggests that you listen to the CDs in order as the story progresses through them. T called dibs on listening to disk 2 so P took the night off. Each story is divided into 2 CDs and is about 2 hours long total. I expected them to listen to 1/2 one night and 1/2 the next but found out they were listening to entire stories in one night. Yikes!

T finished almost all the stories the first week (and has already listened to them all twice in the month we have had them!). P caught up a few days later and came downstairs crying one night. She climbed in our bed and told us that she wanted to be a Christian like Circus (a boy in the story who comes from an unsaved family and had just gotten saved).  She has been talking to us about it for probably a year but she never seemed to "get it" and we just kept praying. That night, we talked about it for a while and then she said she wanted to sleep but tomorrow she wanted to be a Christian.  The next night, we came home, ate dinner, and she said, "Now I'm ready to be a Christian!". We talked a lot, read some verses together, and she prayed and accepted Christ. She will always remember Sugar Creek Gang as part of her salvation story! How cool is that?

After that, I decided I needed to listen to these CDs too. The kids are always telling me stories about what happened to the "gang" and the adventures they had. The series is told from the point of view of 9 year old Bill Collins (T says he turns 10 in this volume but I haven't gotten that far yet). He and his buddies are respectful, mostly Christian, good kids that like to have some fun and explore. From what I have listened to, they aren't perfect kids and they talk about Christ in normal conversations. They also talk about other things relevant to kids. In the context of conversation, they talk about science, food, obedience, and accountability (I love that two of the boys promised each other they would read their Bible every day and pray for each other by name...and they do it!).  

I so wish my family lived next door to these boys and went to their one room schoolhouse with them. I know they would love them and I would hope their Godly character traits would rub off on my kids. Instead, I pray their Godly character rubs off through these amazing CDs. Clearly, it made a difference in P's life! Since Bill Collins talks you through his thoughts, I hope they will begin to think like him. Thinking of Scripture and wholesome things instead of all the nastiness that is surrounding them in this world.

T also started requesting the Sugar Creek Gang books from the library since he enjoyed them so much!

Since getting these CDs, we have ordered the next two volumes for the kids. (shhhh...they will be so surprised!) One we will give them before we take an 8 hour drive next month, and the other we will give them for Christmas. I am that impressed! If anyone is itching to get them a Christmas present, feel free to get them Volumes 4-6 ;o)

To see what I am talking about, click here to listen to the complete first story absolutely FREE. Be careful though, once you start, you will be hooked!

Each volume is $54.95 and can be ordered here. Also, they were so kind to give all my readers 20% off any purchase by using the code "MORE2LES" at checkout. There is no expiration on that discount so you can buy more later, as I am sure I will! You all know how cheap frugal I am, so clearly we felt that these CDs were worth the expense. You won't be sorry!

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Disclaimer:  As a member of the TOS Crew, I received these CDs, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are mine.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Review: Samson's Classroom


Samson's Classroom is an online resource for K-5th graders that has got it going on. Our biggest complaint about it is that it doesn't have every subject! LOL! There is a demo video here that gives a good overview of the program. Check it out!

There is so much to love about Samson's Classroom. First, it was super easy to set up. As the teacher, I have a "master" control panel where I input their information. I put in their name, username, password, and email (used my email for all of them). I like that I could pick their username and password so I could pick one that they already know. That made it easier for when they logged into their games.

That's it. There are no levels to chose or anything from this point. The kids can chose their own levels when they play.  When the kids log in, they are ready to play. No tests or placement assessments, just start where you want to start. I told P to start at the beginning and T at the 3rd level. They ended up skipping around and did a wide variety. I didn't mind since even reviewing is good, in my opinion.

There are three sections of games in Samson's Classroom.

Sightwords -  Each level is divided into 5 steps and the kids try to earn different karate belts by completely all the steps. The kids thought this was cool. In the 1st step, they teach the words. In the 2nd step, they fill in the blanks on those same words. Step 3 is letter scramble where they say the word and you click on it. Step 4 they spell the whole words out. And step 5 you find the correct word to use in a sentence. When they have finished all 5 exercises, they knew the words pretty well! It was great. If they struggle on one of the later steps, they can go back to any of the beginning ones and do them again until they master them.
Spelling - In the Spelling section, you can put in your own spelling words or chose from lists already there. We did both. Sometimes they just chose a word list on their grade level and I also put in T's vocab words in there. Some of them weren't available though so I requested them to be added later on. There are 4 sections of spelling. First you get the list to practice. You can print it and/or study on the screen. Next is the karate room, where the kids fill in the blanks and Samson karate chops the boards if you are right. This is another fun one. As a mom, I like that they use the words in sentences for you. The kids like all the cool ways Samson breaks the boards - haha. The next section is Spelling Scramble. A lot of people had trouble using this game as the controls are a little wonky. I guess my kids have wonky brains because they were pretty good at this, rarely getting Samson caught by the spider. They liked this one. I couldn't do it ;)  The last spelling game is Crunch Time where you spell words before a walrus eats you - lol. The kids really liked all of these games and I always like learning while you play!
Reading - This was probably my favorite. The kids read passages and answered comprehension questions about what they had read. I don't do enough of this and this is something that is always on achievement tests (which I don't happen to teach towards - haha) so I really think that doing this will help them when they test this spring. We plan to keep this up every day! If they miss a questions, it highlights the part of the text that the answer was in, and gives them another shot at it.
Notice on the bottom of that picture...the circles that are colors. They get a solid green if they get it right on the first try. Half red/Half green if they got it right the second try. And all red if they missed it both times. I can go into my account and see all of this! From the parent dashboard, I can see each game that each kiddo played, and how they did. Not only does it show how many they got correct, it shows how long it took and when they did it. It is so nice to have it all in one place like that.

Another really cool part of their site is the Resource Center.  There are lesson plans with printables for flashcards and games that go right along with the words they are studying. There are also worksheets for every level of sight words! These were great for our daily work. Sometimes I need "busy work" for one while I am working with another. They were quick and easy and they should know all the words by the time we did the worksheets so they were good review.

We really enjoyed this and I thought it was a pretty good value. I liked it because they didn't complain about having to do it everyday, it was something they could do completely on their own once we sat down and went through it once, and they were learning while having fun! They liked it because, well, it was fun ;o)  It says it is for k-5th grade. P and T are 2nd and 4th and it was perfect for both of them. P could use it a few more years and T will likely finish it all before our subscription runs out. I hope they continue to add on new levels of words and stories so he doesn't run out of them! I really do wish they would add in more language arts, like punctuation, capitalization, and grammar rules.  :O)

We were given a family membership which is $50/year and allows us 4 different users. They have several different pricing plans though as shown here:

Check them out and check out what other Crew Members thought by clicking the banner below.


Disclaimer:  As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this subscription, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are mine.

Blogging through the alphabet {h}

H is for Honeycrisp!

I don't think I have ever had a Honeycrisp apple before, but when a case of apples was offered as our add on for Bountiful Baskets last week, my friend and I jumped on splitting a case. We love apples but I had never seen an apple this big! I made Apple Crisp last night and it took ONE apple to make 3 cups of cut apples. So one of these big boys and one "normal" apple and the recipe was complete. Insane.

 Not often do you find an apple that is almost as big as your kid's head ;)

YUM! What is your favorite kind of apple?

Join Ben and Me and others who are blogging through the alphabet and link up here.

Blogging Through the Alphabet

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Review: Crossbow Education Reading Rulers


I was a Special Education major in college. In one of the reading classes I took, they talked about how using colored overlays can help children with dyslexia and other reading issues. I have thought of that often over the years, but haven't ever researched it further until now.

Crossbow Education is a Christian company, started by Bob Hext, that is passionate about helping people with special needs and dyslexia. They patented the Eye Level Reading Ruler in 2005 and they are currently, along with their colored overlays, in over 40% of the schools in the UK. The Eye Level Reading Rulers are what the Crew was allowed to review.

 We received a pack of 10 different colored reading rulers (Retails for $16.95) to use with the kids for this review. Each one is a 6 inch piece of colored plastic with one narrow window (for reading one line at a time) and one thicker window (for reading several lines or a paragraph). To use them, you simply lay them over the words you are reading and look through the colored window. One side is a glossy finish and the other is more matte. The rulers are used to reduce visual stress on your eyes and to help with dyslexia. Neither of mine have been tested for these, but T is a slow reader and P switches up letters and words a lot so I was very excited to try this product.

When they arrived, we were reading science so I immediately pulled them out and started experimenting.  The pack came with 10 colors: Yellow, Celery, Grass, Jade, Aqua, Sky, Purple, Magenta, Pink, and Orange.  It also came with an information sheet about how to use the rulers so I read through that while the kids experimented on their own. I was using these with both T and P and they, of course, grabbed their favorite color and just knew that was the one they wanted.

The directions say to basically just try out each color and see which one feels better on the eyes when you are reading.  Simple enough! There is a lot of flexibility so lots of things to try out (1/2" or 1 1/4" windows of color, glossy or matte). We played around with them a lot for a few days and they each kept coming back to one that they liked best. Yellow for T and Celery for P - not at all the ones they grabbed when they were picking their favorite colors early on ;) I also tried them all out and it is really cool to see how your eyes feel with each different color. The darker colors made my eyes relax more than the brighter ones and Jade was my favorite (although I even liked stacking Jade and Aqua together...really the darker the color, the less strain on MY eyes - interesting!).

The directions say that they might change preferences day by day, or in different lighting but they have pretty much stuck with these two since the first week. Also interesting to me is that P prefers the one line window and T likes the paragraph window better. Crossbow also sells rulers with single colored windows that don't have the blue section in the middle that I think T would like even better.

Ever since we received them, they have been using them for most of their reading time. They are so little and portable that it is easy to grab it and use it when needed....even for Math as T is doing above. I was driving down the road one day and looked back and T had his yellow reading ruler with him. He had been using it as a book mark so it was there when he needed it. The only issue is that they are so little and portable, that the are easy to lose. I like that you can buy several in the same color to have on hand so they can keep one at their desk, one in a book, etc. They are also easy to scratch so you have to be careful with them. They suggest storing them in a sandwich bag to reduce this.

One day I caught P using hers with a computer reading game (that I will be blogging about next on here!) - lol. They sell anti screen glare products that would most definitely work better for that but in a pinch, I guess you could even put these on the screen or iPad when reading ;)

I don't know much about Irlen Syndrome but am fascinated by all things dyslexic.  I don't worry too much about P's "issues" yet since she is only 7, but am keeping an eye on it. I have felt like these rulers have helped both of their speed and kept them from losing their place. Each colored window has a blue line under it so it sort of underlines their words and keeps them on track. I also don't notice as many reversals when P uses her rulers. Like I said, it isn't horrible, but an example I wrote down of hers is: She read "What color HAS the bucket WHAT was used?" instead of "What color WAS the bucket THAT was used?" Little mix-ups that change the meaning of sentences, making comprehension harder and leading to frustration.

I am so happy we got to review these and recommend them to anyone whose eyes tire easily or they can feel strain when they read. I actually think they would help all children to read faster and easier, but especially those with reading difficulties.

Check out what other Crew members had to say about these rulers by clicking the banner below. 


Disclaimer:  As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are mine.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Liebster Award - woohoo :o)

OH wow! I had never even heard of the Liebster Blog Award before this weekend when Elli, at Scrivnerburg365 nominated me. I am so encouraged by Elli's blog and how she is finding blessings everyday, even in the little things. She is a fellow Christian, homeschooling, photog and we connected a few years back online. Before I was able to fulfill my part of the "award", I received another nomination from Michele at Family, Faith, and Fridays, who I just recently met while reviewing for the Crew. She is another Christian homeschooler and we share a lot of the same interests and likes. I love the crazy blog world, where you can connect with people from all over and learn from them.

What is the Liebster Blog award?
The Liebster Blog Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have not yet hit the 200 follower mark. The award is presented by a fellow blogger as a sort of pat on the back "you've got a great thing started" type of award. "liebster" is German for "favorite"

Thank you both, so much. I am always so appreciative when people read and comment on my blog. Go check out their blogs and leave them some love! 

OK, here are the rules I was given:

* You have to list 11 things about yourself.
* Answer the 11 questions sent to you by the person who nominated you.
* Choose UP TO 11 bloggers that have less than 200 followers to nominate to get their own award.
* Post 11 questions (in your blog post) for them to answer (on their own blog).
* Go to your nominees page and inform them of their award.
* You CAN NOT tag back.

So, let's see....11 things about me:
1 - I am not the worst cook in the world, but certainly not in the top 80% either :)
2 - I hate shaving my legs and start wearing jeans as soon as the weather hints about turning cold so I don't have to shave as often.
3 - I truly enjoy being with my kids and am so thankful that we get to homeschool so we can be together more. I would be very sad to send them off all day everyday.
4 - I have the best friends in the entire world (real and online friends).
5 - I love to read.
6 - We are currently filling out the paperwork to start foster care and I am SO excited and ready to get on with it!
7 - That last one will shock some of you ;)
8 - Our house has been for sale for about 3 months (I think) and I secretly love that it gets completely clean every time it shows.
9 - We love to go camping but only got to go once this summer. We will make up for that next year!
10 - I am no good at thinking of things about me!
11 - I really don't like to talk about myself....I'd rather learn about YOU!

And since both of you awarded me...I'll answer all 22 questions :o)

My questions from From Elli:
1. What is your favorite candy? Oh I LOVE candy. It is probably easier to list what I don't like ;O) I like variety - Skittles and M & Ms make a nice mixture.
2. What is your dream job? I would love to own a resort in a beautiful location where our family could live and work together.
3. If you were given unlimited funds, what would be the first thing you would do with your new wealth? Buy a house with tons of beautiful land!
4. What part does faith play in your life? It is part of every area of my life...what I say, do, think, etc. Without God, I would be a completely different person...scary!
5. Who taught you to cook? My mom...don't blame her for #1 above though. I'm sure it isn't her fault ;)
6. What attracted you to your husband? His sense of humor
7. How many potholders do you own? No idea but we only use 2. Probably own 5
8. What’s your favorite tv show? Hmmm...Probably Psych.
9. Do you have a college degree? yes
10. What is your guilty indulgence? Netflix ;)
11. Do you keep a journal or diary? Nope

My questions from Michele:

What is your favorite flower? Roses
How did you meet your spouse? At church :)
What is your favorite post on your blog? Oh that's tough! Oh...this one still makes me laugh, but it is totally snarky and rude so maybe shouldn't be a fave. I like the ones that remind me about where we were or what we were doing at a certain point in our lives.
What brings you joy? my family
Beach or mountains? mountains (I burn walking across a parking lot -lol)
Cats or dogs? no question - dogs. Cats are gross ;)
Who inspires you? My homeschooling momma friends -they make me want to be a better homeschooling momma!
What's one completed item on your bucket list? We are taking the kids on a cruise next month...does that count?
Phone calls or letters? email!
If you had to wear the same outfit for a month, what would it be? jeans and t-shirt!
What's your favorite movie? Oh dear. Big Daddy might have to answer that one. I can't ever remember if I have even seen a movie. 

OK, that was fun! Thanks, guys :) Now for my nominees:
Nicolle @ Boyds Crazy Mama

And now for my questions for my nominees:

1 - How long have you been blogging?
2 - Why do you blog?
3 - What did you have for dinner tonight?
4 - What is your favorite meal (bonus points for hooking us up with a recipe!)?
5 - Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
6 - What is your favorite book?
7 - What is your favorite number and why?
8 - Where is your dream vacation (all expense paid)?
9 - How many times a day do you check email?
10 - What time do you normally go to bed?
11 - Who is your favorite celebrity?

This was such fun and I hope you all will play along! Happy Monday!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Review: Deep Blue Kids Bible

Terrific T was so excited when he heard that we were chosen for this review. This is a new children's Bible from Abington Press. The Deep Blue Kids Bible is a study Bible for kids, full of awesome features that will make kids excited to read God's Word.

There are several different covers available. We received the Image Flex cover, which retails for $26.99 (the best price I found was on Amazon for $17.81). It's written in the Common English Version which is easier for kiddos to understand. It's geared toward 8-12 year olds. T is 9 and loves this. P is 7 and has been borrowing it too. I would love to pick up one for her too.

The first thing T noticed were the maps - lol. There are 8 National Geographic Society maps in the back and he loves looking at the places Jesus walked (which we happen to be studying this area in school right now too).  Then he started looking through all the Exploration Tools in the back. I haven't ever seen this many features in a kid's Bible before!

 They include:
  •  dictionary, where it defines the things in simple words so the kids can understand
  • I wonder what to do when: verse list, where they list verses that relate to different tough topics like disappointment, temptation, or suffering.
  • Lighthouse Notes: shows where to find more information about faith topics like heaven, false gods, and obedience
  • Sailboat Notes: lists the location of verses that emphasis positive character traits like humility, joy, and forgiveness
  • Umbrella Notes: lists the location of verses that address challenging character traits like anger, lying and hopelessness
  • Life Preserver Notes: gives verses that respond to tough questions, like "Why were animals sacrificed?" or "What did Jesus mean by 'fishing for people'?"
  • God's Thoughts/ My Thoughts: devotions sprinkled all throughout the Word for kids are listed here
  • Bet You Can! Reading Challenges: lists the challenges they give the kids to read a certain amount of verses in a certain amount of time, like "Bet you can read Joshua 4:1-9 in less than 5 minutes"

I love these features in this Bible. They have made T even more eager to read the Word. He loves checking off the boxes when he finishes one of the assignments above, and really likes the "Did you know? facts found throughout the pages.

In the front of the Bible, there are also many helps for kids, including lists of recommended verses to memorize, tips on how to read the Bible, and other references that help the Bible make more sense.

The Deep Blue Kids Bible leads kids to approach the Bible as an adventure. There are three cute characters that are along for the journey: Asia, Edgar, and Kat.  They can be found throughout the Bible, showing the kids new and exciting things they have discovered. Each book begins with a full page picture and a page of information about the book. They tell you about people you will meet, places you will go, things you will discover, and words you will remember before every book. Then the sailboats, life preservers, etc. are spread out throughout the books of the Bible for the kids to find.

I normally don't love the new versions of the Bible and stick with more traditional versions. But it appears that there is a time and place for everything ;) This CEB version is perfect to get children reading and learning God's Word, without being frustrated with the "old" language. It is written so they still get the same information, but in a kid friendly way. For us, this has become the go to version for quiet times and studying for T and P.  We have been using this to look up verses during our Bible time in school or other times we want a different translation when we are studying something.

There is a PDF sample on their website. When T first saw this (when we heard we would be reviewing this), he knew then that he would love it. Check it out!

I do love seeing this:

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Disclaimer:  As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this Bible, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are mine.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

blogging through the alphabet {g}

Today, in the E house, G is for Grounded! P threw one heck of a fit today and ended up grounded from...well, anything fun...for three days ;)

You would think that would be a miserable existence, but she made the best of it. T joined her in some "non-fun"...wrapping themselves up and falling head first off the bed. Apparently it is more painful than fun, so she found a loophole. Stinker!

Being Grounded is clearly NOT fun!

Join others that are blogging through the alphabet by clicking here.

Blogging Through the Alphabet

Friday, October 12, 2012

blogging through the alphabet {f}

F is for Flashcards :)

You heard me....flashcards!

One of my amazing, supermom friends threw an awesome "make your own flashcards" party last night. I should probably be embarrassed to admit how much fun I had cutting, laminating, and chatting...ok, and snacking! She spent hours (and hours) (and hours) typing up all kinds of flashcards that will benefit us in CC, having them printed, buying the lamination, and telling us over and over how to cut them out the right way. And I am SO thankful for her friendship and mad laminating skills! 

T's Math, C's Latin, and T's vocab

Review today was so much fun, thanks to our awesome flashcards. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mrs. N. You rock!

Check out other people who are blogging through the alphabet here....and join us!

Review: Kinderbach

Princess P has been wanting to learn to play piano for a while now. I bought some books and figured I would just teach her myself...but never make the time. We have done about 5 lessons in a year :(

So, when Kinderbach came up for review, I figured this was my chance to get P some lessons, but I didn't realize how much she would really enjoy this! I was even more excited to find out that we would be reviewing the new Kinderbach App, specifically the School Version of the app, so we received all three levels without having to worry about in app purchases! I wanted her to be able to bring the ipad to the keyboard for her lessons even though the app has a keyboard on the bottom of the screen, which was perfect for when we were doing it away from home.

Karri Gregor is a professional musician who created this fun program to teach young kids piano. She is adorable and super sweet in the videos (and in email too - we emailed back and forth a few times and she was just as sweet then). I'm not sure the older kids will appreciate that as much as the younger crowd, but this app is aimed for under 7 and I'd say that is right on. I wish we had found this curriculum when the boys were younger! Check out this link that explains how children who have been taught music do better in school. Pretty cool!

The app is for ages 3-7, so P is on the high end of this, but still enjoyed it a lot and learned quite a bit about music. IT downloaded quickly because it doesn't download all the lessons when you initially buy it. Instead, it downloads them the first time you click on them. That makes for a short wait each time you play, instead of a long wait when you buy it. Once you have loaded them though, you can do them over and over without having to reload them.

It has Levels 1-3, which could be a school year's worth of lessons. Each level has 10 lessons; each lesson has an intro and 4 instructional videos and are intended to last a week. The videos are short and engaging and include Frisco and his cute toys, like Dodi the donkey and Felicity the Frog. Each of the "toys" lives on a note that matches their name (Dodi lives on D, Felicity lives on F, etc) and they learn how to find their houses.

There are also several games to play that vary in difficulty. P and T both liked playing those, even though T only watched a few of the lessons with P. The games used the theory you were learning, like which note is where or which finger is which in fun little games. Very clever.

I was impressed with how much P learned and retained over the last 6 weeks. She was familiar with some of the notes before, but this program solidified them for her. She also learned how to properly play the piano (on the tips of her fingers...when we started the program she was playing them all flat) and how to keep beat. She liked to bring the iPad over to the keyboard to watch the lessons, usually doing at least a week's worth of lessons in one sitting! She would enlarge the video to full screen and use our keyboard instead of the on-screen keyboard.  She learned how to recognize if notes are going up or down (by ear and by sight) and there were fun activities for her to do to learn this. It wasn't just sitting at the piano and watching a video - there were active things for her to do. Once I came in and she had a plate and fork and was banging out a beat while watching a lesson. Another time she was strumming the beat on her guitar. It was cute.

There are worksheets and activities you can do to reinforce what you are learning in the daily lessons. There is an option of printing from the app, but I can't print from my iPad so I never tried that. She also shows the pages on the screen during the lessons, so we would talk about them and look at them there. It would be cool if you could do the worksheets ON the screen; maybe someday they will upgrade to that :) I actually think that would be my biggest suggestion to them. We are spoiled with so many high tech apps and kids expect to be able to touch and drag things on apps. It would be great to have this app be more interactive. Oh and if it could remember where we were the last time we used it, that would be helpful too. I always forgot which lesson she was on last and had to scroll through. Not a deal breaker for us, but just a suggestion ;)

Music is an important part of elementary education that, like PE, is often overlooked in homeschooling. Kinderbach is an inexpensive way to add music theory and application into your school day. For one price, all the kids can use it over and over. I hope they add the other levels onto the app, but I will continue to use the online lessons until P finishes those levels too. I will also purchase some of the songbooks since she liked the samples so well.

You can download a trial of the app for free and it works on iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. The full version that we reviewed is $26.99, which might seem like a lot in the world of free/cheap apps, but remember it is a year's worth of quality music curriculum! You would pay that for any other subject you do, right? Karri has made some adorable Story Books and Coloring Books that go along with this program too. They are a great way to review the material learned. You can also purchase DVDs in the Kinderbach store or get an online subscription and do the lessons there (check out the free trial first) - they go through level 6 and are working on a level 7 now.

Kinderbach just released a new coupon code for 30% off any order - 
homeschool, classroom, online or DVDs.

Coupon Code:  TOS_crew2012
Expires: 12/31/2012

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Disclaimer:  As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this app, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are mine.