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Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting Review // Homeschool Review Crew

Handwriting is something my son has struggled with for a long time. He doesn’t like to write, and when he does, it can be illegible unless he really slows down to think about it. Over the last few weeks he has been working working on his handwriting with Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting from Everyday Education, LLC.

Beautiful Handwriting, Literature and Poetry {Everyday Education, LLC}

About The Product

Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting contains 60 lessons in both phonics-based reading and italic handwriting. The entire consumable book is 218 pages in length. The consumable book retails for $29.00.

For the purpose of this review, we received a digital ebook.  The ebook retails for $27.00.

This book is perfect for a younger child who is learning to read and write. It is also great for older children who are having difficulty reading or have poor handwriting skills. Lastly, it can be used by adults to provide instruction and practice toward beautiful handwriting.

The book offers teaching tips and daily schedules no matter what level your child is at in their reading and writing journey.

How We Used This Product

Since my son is already a great reader as a middle school student, I decided to focus on the handwriting aspect of the book.

Before jumping into Handwriting Practice in Chapter 6, I had my son print the alphabet pages to practice tracing his letters in the proper way. This portion was helpful because it pointed out those letters he was forming incorrectly. For instance, for the lowercase “d”, my son kept wanting to write the line first, as opposed to the circle shape.

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After we were done tracing and practicing our letters we were ready to begin the handwriting practice. We started off with a review of the letters and how they are written.

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The writing practice began with simple upright Italic letters in a smaller size. For this practice, my son is tracing and practicing his way through the poem, “The Night Before Christmas” using a fine point Sharpie.

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After completing the poem we started practicing slanted writing. We still have a ways to go on that, followed by joining words and calligraphy writing.

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He does not like to have his picture taken. He was enjoying the writing, promise.

Our Thoughts

I was quite impressed with this product. Even though my son is older, it is great for him to have this tool to assist him in having beautiful and legible handwriting. Although we didn’t use the reading portion, it is put together very well, the lessons being simple and not too long. This really is a well rounded curriculum that teaches reading, spelling and writing.

If you have a child who needs help with reading or writing, I would highly recommend looking into Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting by Everyday Education, LLC.

Be sure to click below to read more reviews by the Homeschool Review Crew on this great product!

Beautiful Handwriting, Literature and Poetry {Everyday Education, LLC}
 

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Brought To You By Carole P. Roman And Awaywegomedia.com // A TOS Crew Review

My son is struggling in history this year. We have been doing auditory and visual learning, along with living books. We recently had an opportunity to review four new books from Brought to you by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com.

About The Book Series

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com}
 

Award winning author Carole P. Roman has written numerous children’s books, including an award-winning, non-fiction cultural series. Her If You Were Me And Lived In… series introduces customs and cultures to elementary students and describes life in different civilizations throughout world history for older students. Her books are beautifully illustrated and written in such a way that a child will want to read them and have fun learning history

The four books I received for the purpose of this review are:

If You Were Me and Lived in…Renaissance Italy (an Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time (Volume 2)

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com}

If You Were Me and Lived in…the Colonial America (an Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time) (Volume 4)

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com}

If You Were Me and Lived in…the Middle Ages (an Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time) (Volume 6)

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com}

If You Were Me and Lived in…the American West (Volume 7)

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com}
 

Each of the four soft cover books contain beautifully illustrated pages of easy to read text, a listing of famous people of the particular time period and a glossary of terms.

Our Thoughts

My son was most interested in reading If You Were Me And Lived In… Colonial America and If You Were Me And Lived In…America West, so these two books  were the ones we focused most of our attention on.

If You Were Me And Lived In…Colonial America begins by telling the reader that they would have been born in London England in the year 1620, but tells how you would have left to come to the New World.  The book discusses the differing religions of the time (Catholic, Reformers or Protestants, Puritans and Separatists). It discusses the Mayflower and the lives of the first settlers, even sharing how many did not make the long trip due to illness.  It also discusses the type of home one would live in, jobs held, clothes worn and much more.

If You Were Me And Lived In…America West begins with the wagon train and settlers of 1843, how they traveled to California in search of gold, what life was like on the frontier – how many changes of clothes did you have? What animals did you have on the farm? Was it easy to buy supplies on the frontier?  It introduces the reader to the Natives, their different languages and customs and so much more.

Before we began reading, we downloaded questions from Carole P. Roman’s website that pertain to both of these books. Because my son struggles with reading comprehension, I really wanted to focus there. It is taking some time for him to get through all of the questions, but the books are easy enough to read, that re-reading is not a burden.  The beautifully illustrated pages and length of the books appealed to him.

These books were very easy for my middle schooler to read. The colorful pages and length of the books really appealed to him and I knew he wouldn’t “zone out” before finishing them.

The other two books we received for the review are equally as appealing. If You Were Me And Lived In…Renaissance Italy shares about how one would have been born in Florence, Italy in 1483 and discusses daily life during this time period. I loved how this book discusses the importance of art during the Renaissance period. If You Were Me And Lived In…The Middle Ages is the longest of the books we received (97 pages) and is full of information about where one lived, how they lived, jobs held and challenges faced.

My son enjoyed reading the books. Even though they are written for elementary age children, my struggling 8th grader was able to learn and retain history facts more easily than he has in the past.  These books are packed with mini history lessons that will keep the reader engaged and informed and would make great unit studies for each of the available time periods.

Are you looking to supplement your history curriculum, or increase the size of your living books library? Check out brought to you by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com.

Be sure to check out the other Crew reviews for information about these and other books in the series.

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com}
 

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Keeping Kids Safe With KidsEmail.org // A TOS Homeschool Crew Review

About the time my children turned 12 or 13, we allowed them to open email accounts and have smart phones. My youngest had yet to have any real email account. He uses mine to sign up for all of the gaming he does. But all of that has changed as he now has own kids email account. He has been sending and receiving emails with the Annual Subscription from KidsEmail.org.

KidsEmail.org Annual Subscription

About KidsEmail.org

This product was created to keep kids safe while, at the same time, allowing them their freedom. It is geared for younger children, but even young teens can benefit from all of the amazing featuresinclude, such as: Mail Monitoring, Time Restrictions, Mail Queue, Block Senders, Contact Manager, GPS Tracker and Custom Mailbox Folders.

How We Used This Product

My son was excited to begin using the email program, but his excitement quickly dwindled as he much prefers texting. I did get him to oblige me enough to be able to see the benefits of this program though.

After logging in to the parent dashboard, I was able to easily access all of the safety features available. Here, you can tell the system to send you copies of your child’s emails, approve contacts, whether or not you want your child to be able to receive images and links and more.

safety

Within the parent dashboard, you can manage contacts, set backgrounds, ground your child from using email for a certain time period or on a specific day, set time restrictions, block senders, access the mail queue and view activity logs.

While setting up my son’s account, I quickly decided that I would set him up with a teen account. The difference between a child and teen account is the email adddress. For a child, it goes to “bobxyz@kidsemail.org”, while a teen account goes to “bobxyz@kmail.org. Teens also get to login through a separate teen log in page. They receive the benefit of a more “mature looking” email address, but without compromising their safety.

KidsEmail.org Annual Subscription
Even though a lot of the backgrounds are geared for younger kids, there are several that appeal to teens. My son choose the wolf for his background.

backgrounds

The next thing we did was add contact names into his account.  We added mom and dad, his older brother, and a few friends from church.

emails

One of the great features about this program is the email monitoring. His youth pastor called me to ask if he had an email, and I was excited to tell him we had just set one up. When the pastor’s email came, it was intercepted, meaning I had to approve him as a sender first, before it got to my son. I failed to get a screen shot of that one, but I also received the alert the first time his homeschool planner tried to email his assignments.

alert

From there, I was able to approve his homeschool planner as a safe contact and it was added to his contact list.

Our Thoughts

My son did not use the email program as much as I would have hoped. And he kept emailing the same people over and over again. I think with time, though, the concept of having his own email address will grow on him.

There is one cool feature that we didn’t use. Your child has access to a drawing board where he can draw pictures and attach them to his emails.

heart

As a parent, I was certainly impressed. The fact that emails from unapproved contacts get to me before they get to him gives me peace of mind that my son can have a safe emailing experience.

Are you looking to give your child or teen their first email experience? Check out KidsEmail.org. There are lots of amazing features offered that will keep your kids safe and give you peace of mind at the same time.

An annual subscription runs $38.95 which gives you access to up to 6 email addresses. They also offer a free 30-day trial where you can try before you buy!

KidsEmail.org Annual Subscription
 

To find out more about KidsEmail.org, visit them on social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KidsEmail.org
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KidsEmail
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kidsemail1/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+KidsemailOrg
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kidsemail/

Be sure to read what other Crew Members think about this amazing product.

KidsEmail.org Annual Subscription
 

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The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles // A TOS Homeschool Crew Review

I enjoy reading books on the power of prayer. Recently, I had the opportunity to review a new Christian historical fiction book, The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles written by Mark S. Mirza and published by CTM Publishing Atlanta.

The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles
 

About the Author

The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles
Mark S. Mirza is the founder of Common Thread Ministries, which helps churches and individuals with regard to prayer.  He also led the men’s prayer ministry for Dr. Charles Stanley at First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

About The Book

The book tells the stories of three different characters. Although they live in different time periods, their stories connect through the power of prayer. In the book, we meet:

Epaphras, a fellow laborer of Paul and a mentor to his nephew, Thales.

Brother Alexander Rich, from the 19th Century, who is a traveling  preacher in Georgia. He deals with rumors and gossip, as well as other trials, as he ministers the gospel in small towns.

Dr. Dale, a man of the current era, is a track coach and leader of a men’s prayer ministry. He undergos common issues in his marriage to Margie, many of which are relevant in today’s society.

Each of these men’s prayer lives is modeled throughout the book. What these men pray, and how they pray, affects not only their own lives but the lives of those around them.

Prevalent throughout the book is the presence of spiritual warfare. If you aren’t already familiar with how angels and demons can affect someone’s prayer life, your eyes will be open to this very truth. Since I was already familiar with this, it wasn’t a hard concept to grasp. This book, although fictional, helped to paint even more of a picture of the reality of what may go on in the unseen world of prayer. There are both ministering angels that mean to bring encouragement and comfort, as well demons, who are set out to bring distraction, discouragement and destruction.

There are many instances in the book where demons come to plant thoughts into the minds of the Pray-ers who then have to wrestle through their bad choices. The overall lesson here is that one must learn to listen for the voice of God and discern His truth.

My Thoughts

I did not have my 13 year old son read this book. I thought it would be way over his head and that he would not be able to comprehend all that was happening.

The book goes back and forth between each time period and the events of each of the three mens’ lives, and at times, my brain would want to zone out and lose focus. Call it ADHD or whatever, it was hard at times to stay on top of the three different scenarios.

I would have loved to have had more quiet time to read, absorb and spend time looking up the scripture references offered throughout. The scriptures are helpful when you come across certain situations in the book and your mind asks, “is that so?”

Overall, I enjoyed the book. Book 1 ends in sort of a cliff hanger, so I am sure Book 2 will be on my must read list. I believe this book is a great fit for anyone looking for an interesting read on the power of prayer. I would label it suitable for children ages 14 and older,  because I think it may cause concern in a younger child who is not yet able to understand the subject of spiritual warfare concerning prayer.

The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles is 372 pages in length. It retails for $23.95 for the soft cover book, and $4.99 for the ePub download.

You can find out more about The Pray-ers on Facebook and Twitter.

Be sure to check out what other Crew members have to say about this powerful book on the topic of prayer.

The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles
 

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Supplementing Our Homeschool With CHSH-Teach.com // A TOS Crew Review

I have been preparing for this homeschool year since last year. I have gathered quite a bit of resources to assist us alongside of our chosen curricula. Over the last several weeks, we have lots of resources to add to our homeschool with the CHSH Download Club from CHSH-Teach.com!

Christian HomeSchool Hub {Download Club}
 

What is CHSH-Teach.com?

CHSH-Teach.com is a huge online resource for homeschoolers with over 50,000 pages of fun and engaging educational downloads. Here you will find resources for children in Preschool through 12th grade in every subject matter — Math, Science, Language Arts, History and Social Studies, Foreign Language, Arts and Crafts, Bible and so much more. Created by Lynda Ackert, a wife, mom and veteran educator of over 20 years, who has a passion of providing educational materials for teachers and homeschoolers.

There is really something there for everyone, even the parents, with homeschooling how to’s, forms for record keeping, calendars and lots of classroom helps.

How We Used CHSH-Teach.com

When I first logged onto this amazing site, I was overwhelmed. There is so much material there.  We started using the downloads about three weeks before our normal school year started. We focused on middle school reading comprehension for a couple of weeks. In that section there are history, science, holiday and people related themes. My son is very interested in the human body and how it functions, so we were excited to find downloads for the digestive system, nervous system and skeletal system.

For reading, there are several Newberry Medal Book Units and we downloaded the one for “Holes”, which we will be starting up soon.

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Something we will be stating next week is the September Writing Prompt Journal. There is a journal for every month in the year, filled with writing prompts. These will be perfect for my reluctant writer.

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Lastly, I am taking advantage of some of the organizational resources. One thing I am working through is my Course of Study for the year. It’s still in draft form but if I hadn’t seen it on the site, I would have most likely forgotten to do it.  We are still finalizing our curriculum but this one will be dated and tucked away in my resource folder until the final one is completed.

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Our Final Thoughts

I am constantly adjusting my son’s courses to fit his needs, and often times I am looking for resources to supplement with. CHSH-Teach.com has been the perfect solution. We have loved what we’ve used so far, and there are other items we have downloaded and plan to use soon, and still others that we are contemplating looking at.

I received a year subscription to the CHSH Download Club, which runs $99.99.  They also have a monthly subscription for $25/month.  It is well worth the money. We look forward to continuing to download supplemental resources for this year, as well as our coming high school years.

Christian HomeSchool Hub {Download Club}
 

Are you looking for additional resources to complete your homeschool curriculum? Check out CHSH-Teach.com. I guarantee you will find something that you are looking for.

For more about CHSH-Teach.com, visit them on social media:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ChristianHomeSchoolHubPage/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TeachWithCHSH
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lyndaackert/chsh-teachcom-creations-by-lackert/

Be sure to check out the other Crew reviews by clicking the banner below.

Christian HomeSchool Hub {Download Club}
 

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