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Captain Absolutely ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

Action, character, comic book, ethics

There are a few times when we get a new review item when I don't get to see it. When Focus On The Family sent us Captain Absolutely, I had a whole 30 seconds before the book was torn out of my hands and never to be seen of again, unless it was in the hands of Ray Ray!

Action, character, comic book, ethics

This book is unlike any other I have had the chance to review in a long time. This is a comic book, and this is the main reason why Ray Ray snatched it from me in the first place. This is something he loves, comic books. This is not a boring book about some dull thing he has to learn about. This is something that has grabbed his 8-year-old boy attention as interesting. So, no matter what you hear me say in this review, please do not tell him this is meant to teach him something!

Captain Absolutely Defending Truth, Justice, and Lots More Truuuth! Battle Against Dr. Relative is a comic book, but it is a book. The pages are glossy picture book quality and with just over 100 pages, there are a lot of adventures put it in here!

Action, character, comic book, ethics

When we start reading, we are taken to the library in Metropolitanville, a city where anything goes. This is not a good sign. After a nuclear explosion, librarian Josiah King has found himself in the room with the banned books of the city. He realizes that all the books in the room are the same book, just different versions and they are all titled The Bible. After spending the night waiting to be rescued and reading all the Bibles in the room, Captain Absolutely is ready to save the city with the word of God.

Captain Absolutely takes children on adventures of epic proportions. They learn to defend truth and justice and to stand firm in their faith no matter what the world throws at them. But instead of learning this in a boring workbook style, they get to have fun with the comic book!

Ray Ray didn't need to know what the story was about, the pictures and comic book style pages drew him in right away. Once drawn into the book, the adventures kept him there. Each two-page fold has a simple adventure with a new lesson. Each adventure also has a bible verse or two quoted on the page. This was a great thing to see, how simple it was to mix it in and make it fit into the storyline. Just like how we should live, with the Word fitting simply into our daily lives.

Action, character, comic book, ethics

At the end of the book, we meet the main characters. We learn a little about them, including their worldview. And in case you were wondering as you were reading, you will see which of them stared in The Adventures in Odyssey! We also have a section called Big Questions. This has a question to ask after each adventure. And these are not simple one word answer type questions.  These are deep questions like "Why can't you scare people into following God?"

I love finding great quality books for the kids to read. This was one of those gems that I would not want to be without! A quality, adventure filled, action packed, bible based book that we love, now that Ray Ray is willing to share it with us after finishing it in two days!

Captain Absolutely {Focus On The Family Review}

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Reading and What We Are Reading Now ~ Blogging Through the Alphabet


Welcome back to another round of Blogging Through the Alphabet! Annette from A Net in Time and I are happy to have you here. We hope you find a post that helps you out this week! This week we are working on the Letter R. This is so much easier than last week's letter Q!

This week for the Letter R I want to talk about Reading. There are two parts to this one. First, teaching of reading and second, enjoying the reading.


After starting homeschooling, my biggest fear was teaching the kids how to read! Moe Man was in public school when he had his "Ah-ha" reading moment. I didn't realize how much I was going to miss this moment. When I started with Ray Ray, I was doing EVERYTHING! I wanted to follow the schedule of the public school and was feeling guilty when nothing was working. By 7, he still wasn't reading! What was I doing wrong?

Now when I say I was doing everything, I mean it! I was looking for all of the newest, easiest and those that claimed 100% success. While Ray Ray loved some of them, like the Bob Books, he just didn't want to read. It was at this point in time when I read something about how boys take longer in the learning to read area. While I don't remember the exact article I read, I remember that this gave me a small little breath of fresh air.

Fast forward 6 months. Ray Ray fell in love with Goosebumps. He checked out 3 of the books from the library at one time. He got frustrated that I wasn't able to read them as fast as he wanted. One morning he came downstairs, he looked tired and was grumpy. I couldn't figure it out until he put one of the books down on the table and announced that he had finished reading it. We didn't believe it. We questioned things that happened and he told us! He taught himself how to read when he was ready with the foundation I had set for him!

This was the "Ah-ha" moment I needed! If I laid the foundation down, I had to trust that the kids would build from it. Little Miss is acting the same way. She doesn't want to read. But we are using Electic Foundations and building this great foundation that she will be able to use when she is ready.

Another thing that we need to remember as the "teachers" is to read to our kids every day! Having them listen to us reading and showing them how much fun it can be will build their interest. This interest will turn into a willingness to read. We love reading aloud, and even Baby Girl will bring books when she is bored. This shows me that we have started a great foundation for her as well just by reading to her!

Now for the actual reading! Each of us has some great books we are currently reading and we wanted to share those with you! While we read a lot of different books, and sometimes a lot at one time. These are the ones we are reading right now!

Blogging Through the Alphabet


I am currently reading two great books. The first is Mrs. Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. I am in love with this book. While I wanted to read it to all the kids, I have decided that Moe Man will be the next to read this and we will wait for Little Miss to get in on this one!

And because I don't remember a time when I have ever read just one book, I am also reading Rush Revere and the Presidency. This is a great book! I was so excited to be able to get this for review. I have read the first four and can't wait to finish this one!

Moe Man

Moe Man is one that loves to read, when he wants to read. When he doesn't want to read, he is a tough cookie! Right now he is currently reading two books for school. He is almost done with YWAM's Christian Heros: Then & Now Corrie Ten Boom (with a review to follow shortly) and he is just starting Pride and Prejudice for another review you will be seeing! When he does get in a reading kick, he is usually reading a Star Wars book of some kind.

Ray Ray

This kid of mine, and yes I say mine. He can read five books at one time and still know all that is happening in all of them! Right now he is currently listening as I read Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims. He is reading Captain Absolutely (check back this week to read the review of this one). On top of these two, Ray Ray usually has a Goosebumps book in hand, I am sure he has had to have read them all by now. If not, he is close!

Little Miss

Little Miss is loving listening anytime I read. Right now, she is really into Arthur books. Her favorite is Arthur's Underwear, now just to find it so I can return it to the library!

Baby Girl

Baby Girl loves her board books. I have a lot from Usborne Books and More when I was a consultant. But she is also in love with the simple toddler Seek and Finds like this Mickey Mouse one.

What are you reading right now?

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A Fun Reading Program with Electic Foundation ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

Language arts is a subject that I love to teach. I love watching my kids learn reading and writing skills. But sometimes I need to pay attention to what they want instead of just what I want. When I did that with Little Miss, I found that she needed something different from her big brothers. Electic Foundations was just what she needed and Electic Foundations Language Arts Level A fit her perfectly in her Kindergarten year!

Electic Foundations Level A has everything you need to make sure you get your little one off to a good start with Language Arts. Included with this physical set, I received the Teacher's Guide, Student Workbook, Appendixes, Level A Word Card Set and the McGruffery Electic Primer. With all of these, this was an open and go program for Little Miss.

The Teacher's Guide is set up by lesson. You are able to open to the lesson you are currently on, see what needs to be done and do it. The lessons are short, sweet and to the point. They start in Level A with the letters and sounds. This is the main focus of the first 64 lessons. Your child will be building on what they previously learn until they are ready to start reading.

Each lesson starts with a simple task of reciting the alphabet. This got a little boring for Little Miss, as she has already memorized the alphabet, so I added different songs from YouTube to her singing of the alphabet. Some days we could just sing it ourselves, other days, we added the different variations that we could find.

After singing the alphabet, we would review the letters we had already learned. Making sure that she knew the names and sounds of the letters. This can be done in numerous ways, so it all depends on your child. We used some simple letter flash cards one day, having her tell me the name or the sound of the letter. Other days I would say the name or sound and she would have to write it. The main goal was memorizing the visual, name and sound of each letter.

After this, each day was a little different. Some days we would work on our handwriting of current and previous letters, other days we would work on fun hands on ways of learning the letters. When a letter was new, we would usually take some play-doh and make the shape of the letter. Other days we would decorate the letter in the student workbook. There were days when we would follow the letter through a maze of letters and as we added letters, we would work on sounding out new sounds and words. Each letter spanned over an average of 4 days of learning.

Once you reach Lesson 65, you get to start with the use of McGruffey's Primer. This is when your child gets to start reading. We have not reached this lesson, yet, but Little Miss is in heaven thinking about it. These lessons that include McGruffey's Primer are still mainly the same. You are still working on new letters, but you have reading to do each time using the letters you have already learned. Such a simple, yet effective way of giving your child the confidence to continue learning to read.

Finishing up the lesson was a simple Mother Goose Rhyme. Little Miss loved hearing some of her favorites and questioned some of the older style writing in the ones she had not heard yet. It was fun to finish on a happy note no matter how the lesson had gone.

The Student Worktext includes everything your child will need to complete the lessons. It is put together in a gorgeous spiral bound book that allows us to keep everything together yet not be stuck with a thick workbook that cannot bend. Little Miss loved keeping this book in her back pack and felt a little more grown up this way.

The Appendixes is a spiral bound book. This small little book is printed on heavier cardstock paper that has been laminated. There are 5 simple pages in this book. They are used throughout the program in many of the hands on ways of learning. Little Miss loved the Tic-Tac-Toe board that we used when learning new letters. Instead of X's and O's, we would use the capital and lowercase letters that we were learning. What a fun way to practice our writing skills!

Since Little Miss knew some of her letters already, we would work on two lessons a day on an average of 4 days a week. Even doing two lessons a day, we were done in under ½ hour, depending on how much fun we were having during the Tic-Tac-Toe game! There really wasn't much more. This is a straight to the point, fun program that kept the interest of a young learner. This is just what I was looking for when looking for something for her. Something that would keep her interest, not take too long, but get the point across! I look forward to the days ahead when we will be reading together!

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Did you love this review? Want to find out more about the other levels? Check out the reviews of other Homeschool Crew members and see if you can find a level that fits your child!

Language Arts {Eclectic Foundations Reviews}
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Interview With An Author ~ Dan Seaborn

I have been spending some time reading a great book, Parenting with Grace and Truth written by Dan Seaborn. I can't wait to share my full review with you next week, but today I have a special interview with Dan himself!

Thank you for taking the time to spend with us Dan! Could you tell us a bit about your own family and what lead you to write this book for today's parents.

Jane and I have been married for 35 years. We live in West Michigan. We have four children. Our oldest son, Alan, and his wife, Annaliese, live in West Michigan as well. Alan works with me at Winning At Home. Our son, Josh, and his wife, Amy, live in Camden, NJ where Josh is a pastor at an inner city church. They are expecting their first child in February. Our daughter, Crissy, and her husband, Jonathan, live in West Michigan. They have our two grandchildren, Jackson and Naya. Our youngest daughter, Anna, lives home and works with the youth at our local Boys and Girls Club.

I wrote this book for parents because I encountered a time of parenting in my life that I never anticipated. Even though I worked with teens for many years I had never personally experienced the challenges of raising a child who is rebelling. In this book, I took the approach of understanding what it takes to balance grace with truth. I want to be a forgiving parent, but I don't want to move into being an enabling parent. Balancing these two things is very difficult. I try to address that topic in this book.

You and your wife call your list of values, "rules to die for." Why?

I wanted to establish some guidelines early on to make sure we had foundational principles in place with a Biblical base. These are rules we feel are vital to living a life honoring to Christ. If you begin shifting and changing the rules while you're in the process of dealing with your teenagers it can create a lot of confusion. Enforcing these foundational principles early on and sticking to them daily as we faced challenges helped protect us from that.

How do we help our children understand the importance of making good choices and how that impacts their future?

There will be some children that understand that naturally, but others do not have that type of discernment. You might be surprised as your children age how rapidly some of these things can change. You might be facing a situation with a child who made good choices all along then starts to make poor choices. The rules to die for were important because they were the foundation that I could point them back to to determine whether they were making wise choices or not. We could try to evaluate together whether their choices fit the type of living our family rules encouraged. All you can do is keep teaching the principles. Eventually they need to learn to make good choices for themselves.

Many of us are good at setting the "rules" but struggle with the follow-through. What are some ideas for consequences for violating family rules?

In our home we established the rules to die for and laid out the consequences when those rules weren't followed. If you were choosing not to follow the rules, we went so far as to say that you're choosing not to live in our home. That actually happened to us with one of our teenagers. It was a very difficult day, but we stood by our rules. In the long run, it has proven to be very effective.

How do today's television shows shape our parenting?

I think our parenting is shaped much more by the people around us, our faith, our own upbringing, and our environment than television.

We live in a culture that prizes being "busy." Parents often don't think twice about loading up their kids schedules and have dreams of their child being the best in whatever they do. Is there danger in this?

Yes, I have always said parents need to believe in their kids but there is such a thing as over believing in your kids and many parents fall into this. I believe we should encourage our children to be involved in the positive activities they enjoy and certainly support and cheer for them, but not force them to be involved in everything. Sometimes this can become a competition more for the parents than the children. We want our child to be the best at everything and we lose our focus of what is really important – spending quality time together! Be sure to keep proper balance!

Why is discipline often hard for us as parents?

Because we have to be responsible adults and we fear losing our child's friendship. We need to understand being best buddies isn't the most important part of your relationship with your children.

How can we help other parents, specifically single parents?

Put yourself in their shoes every now and then. If you know a single parent, try to relate to their life once in a while. Do what you can to support them! Think of practical ways you can help them and make their life a little easier. Take time to care!

You and your wife had a prodigal child. Tell us about that and how other parents dealing with this situation can cope.

This answer I feel could get very lengthy! If you want to have a phone conversation about this, let me know. I've learned a great deal through the challenge of having a prodigal child. It has been very difficult, but I now can relate and seek to love and encourage parents who are going through a difficult situation in a way I never would have been able to before. For this I am grateful. My wife and I learned to lean on the Lord, each other, and our friends in ways we never had before through this trial. It is important to surround yourself with people who love you and who have been through a similar situation. People who get it, can give you wise counsel, and encourage you to press on.

What should our main goal be as parents?

That our children grow to know and love the Lord. They need to see you modeling this for them daily as the parent! We need to be mature. Parenting involves a lot of dying to self. Being a good parent means most of the time the kids come first. Make sure you're setting a great example for others in the way you love your family.

Thank you so much for your time Dan! Parenting With Grace and Truth has been a great book for our family. It has opened our eyes to being more like Jesus as parents and this is how we want to be!

I can't wait to tell you all more about this next week, so please remember to check back! But, honestly, from what Dan has said today, who wants this book now? 

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$1 Kindle Books for Kids

Do you have a Kindle in your house? Do your kids love to read books? Are you looking for some budget friendly books for your kids to read on the Kindle? Today I have some great Kids Books that are only $1! Check them out and see if you find one or more that your kids would love to read!


Turkey Trouble

Turkey Trouble

Poor Turkey, it is almost Thanksgiving and he needs to find a way to avoid being on the table! Laugh along with your kids as Turkey comes up with the perfect disguise for Thanksgiving!

Polar Opposites

Polar Opposites

Meeting Alex the BIG polar bear and Zina the tiny penguin, we learn a lot about how you can still meet in the middle no matter how different you really are!

Tornado Slim and the Magic Cowboy Hat

Tornado Slim

Meet Tornado Slim, an average cowboy, until the day he meets the coyote. With a special hat and letter from the coyote, Slim makes his way to Fire Gulch City with disaster following him. Why is this happening? What is up with the hat and letter? Find out in this funny tall tale!

The Rain Stomper

Rain Stomper

It is the day of the big parade and baton twirler Jazmin is ready to go. But before the parade starts, a thunderstorm comes in. Jazmin does not let this slow her down or ruin her parade!

I Love My Hat

I love My Hat

Farmer Brown is on his way to town, along the way he finds some interesting animals wearing clothes. Each animal that he runs into along the way has a little song about what they are wearing. After Farmer Brown gets his new clothes, it is his turn to sing about them. This is a funny story to keep your kids and yourself laughing the whole way through!

Storm Song

Storm Song

A thunderstorm is approaching, the family gathers inside to play, sing and eat until the weather clears. Through the lively, rhythmic text you can find reassurance that children need during a storm. This is a great book to have on hand for when it is needed.

Shoes For Me!

Shoes For Me

Finding new shoes should be a fun experience. Hippo needs a new pair of shoes, but what will she pick? Does she want bows, shoes with wheels or glitter and jewels? Finding that perfect pair is what this book is all about!

These are just a few of the books that we found when looking to find some fun books to read. In fact, I found 30 books that only cost $1 for the Kindle! Even better, if you have Kindle Unlimited, you can read all of these books for FREE! Which one or two of these books are you going to be reading tonight?

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Ultimate Phonics Reading Program ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

Reading, it is the most important part of a child's education, at least in my personal opinion. I love making sure that my children have a good base in their reading skills, but sometimes I need some help. I was happy when we got to try the Ultimate Phonics Reading Program from Spencer Learning.


The Ultimate Phonics Reading Program is a program that you download on your computer and use. There are over 200 lessons available on this download and will work with many ages, we used it for Little Miss (K) and Ray Ray (2nd).

Each lessons contains different sections. You will start with the Idea/Pattern. This is simply an introduction to the lesson, what you will be focusing on and learning. The next step is the Word List. This list will show you and your child the words that they will be working on learning to read during the lesson. Following this is the words themselves. Your child will be working on reading the words, one phonic/phonic set at a time. There is no time, so they can repeat this as much as they need to until they get it on their own. Finally, they see the words in sentences. The word is in sentences that include other words that have been learned already.

Practice Words

While my main focus with this program was to work with Ray Ray on his phonics, we also had Little Miss using this about once or twice a week. Ray Ray was busy using this about four days a week as a part of his current reading program. It took a few tries to find the right lesson to start on, but once we got there, we kept going. Every day, Ray Ray would sit down and work on the lesson for the day. I would make sure that he spent time on the phonics that he may not have understood, and watched him excel.

Word Bank

Reading is not something that Ray Ray loves to do…for school. So, I would make sure to sit with him during these lessons. I would make sure that he was actually trying to sound out the phonics before skipping ahead. I would only allow him to hear the words or phonics if he was having a hard time. After the first few lessons I noticed that I had to remind him less often to work on his reading and noticed that he would be working on that on his own. I was happy to see this, especially from him!

Little Miss loves anything school, so since we were able to switch easily between the two kids, I let her "play" on here. While I didn't force her to do as much as Ray Ray, I wanted to let her get some solid foundations set up when it came to reading. She didn't need me to sit by her, and had fun copying the spoken words. This made it fun for me to listen to while I was busy making lunch, or supper.


The Ultimate Phonics Reading Program is not like most computer based programs you see on the market today. This is the bare minimum when it comes to extras. Their focus is on reading and not on the colors, sounds or graphics. They want to teach your kids how to read and not distract them with all the fun stuff. This worked great for Ray Ray, who is easily distracted by the simple colors or graphics on the screen. This made him focus on his reading and not on the "game".


This program has been just what I was looking for with Ray Ray. He is the child who taught himself how to read, yet there were some things that he didn't pick up on. While he loves to read his books, when it comes to school, he does not like to read at all. I had tried everything that I could think of. When I started him on Ultimate Phonics, I was just hoping to get him into reading a little better, I never thought that I would see him excel as he has.

Ray Ray loves graphics, in fact, he is the child who I limit the games with the most because of his love of graphics. Even school games. When I saw that Ultimate Phonics had the sounds of the phonics and words, but absolutely no extra graphics, I was pleased. This was not the same with Ray Ray, as he wanted to play "games" for school. After seeing what he was capable of, I didn't care about his arguments for a game, I was happy to see him reading bigger words and reading them correctly.

Super easy to jump from one lesson to the next.
Super easy to jump from one lesson to the next.

If you want to give your kids a solid foundation in their reading skills, if you want to let them learn without the extras, if you want to help a struggling reader advance, I suggest that you head over and check out the free sample of this program. You don't have to take my word for it if you don't want to. Try it for yourself and see what I am talking about. If you still have doubts after that, check out the reviews of these other families that took the time to use this program in their homeschool by clicking below!

Ultimate Phonics Reading Program {Spencer Learning}

While you are online, stop on over and show Spencer Learning some social media love by following them here:

Twitter: @spencerlearning

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Jolly Phonics ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Kindergarten, that time when little kids grow up. When they learn their letters and start to read. But there is one problem. Have you looked into programs for learning to read? I have! There are a lot! When I say a lot, I mean, you will get lost in trying to find out what you want to use to teach your child how to read. I have had the chance to try out Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar from just2ducks LLC at This program has been wonderful for Little Miss!
Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar Review

What Is It

Jolly Phonics is a phonics program that works with your child to teach them words as soon as possible. You will not be teaching your child the phonics in alphabetical order, rather in an order that allows them to form words right away with what they are learning. Jolly Phonics has a multi-sensory approach, so they can reach as many students as possible.

Jolly Phonics teaches five skills to your child.

  • Learning the letter sounds: Children are taught the 42 main letter sounds. This includes alphabet sounds as well as digraphs such as sh, th, ai and ue.
  • Learning letter formation: Using different multi-sensory methods, children learn how to form and write the letters.
  • Blending: Children are taught how to blend the sounds together to read and write new words.
  • Identifying the sounds in words (Segmenting): Listening for the sounds in words gives children the best start for improving spelling.
  • Tricky words: Tricky words have irregular spellings and children learn these separately.

Jolly Phonic and Jolly Grammar

The Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar set comes with;

  • Jolly Phonics Teacher's Book in print letters
  • Jolly Phonics Student Book 1, 2 and 3
  • Jolly Grammar 1 Teacher's Book in print letters
  • Jolly Grammar 1 Student Book
  • Jolly Songs in print letters

How We Used It

As with every program, mommy spent some time reading the beginning of the teacher's book before allowing Little Miss to work on this. I needed to know what I was going to be teaching and what tricks I would need to know. After reading through the explanations of the 5 skills, I got to the daily guidance section and was ready to get started. With Little Miss, we started on Book 1 of Jolly Phonics. This books starts us off with the letter-sound group of "s, a, t, I, p, n". These letters/sounds are able to make numerous different words. This alone made Little Miss want to come back the next day.

Jolly Phonics Teacher's Book

Once we tried the first day and found out how much fun we had, we decided to do one page a day. Every day we would start by practicing our previously learned sounds. After we practiced the sounds, we would move on to a story. This story would introduce us to the new letter/sound that we would be learning about that day. This story would use the sound over and over again. It was fun to hear the sound in a story and watch Little Miss picking it out.

After we worked on the story, we would work on an action to help us remember the sounds. These actions also went along with the fun Jolly Songs. Little Miss would listen to this CD over and over again, even listening to the songs we had not gotten to yet, this made it easier when we were learning those letters later. We would move on to learning how to write the letter and even blending it with previously learned letters. We would finish up the day by doing the activity on the workbook page and coloring the picture.

Jolly Phonics Book 1

We have almost finished book one. We look forward to book two. This is where we take what we learn and actually work with the words instead of just the letters. Not only that, but we continue to work on practicing our writing of the letters. By the time your child has reached the third book, you are watching your child write and read. They will have built confidence in a fun and easy way.

What We Thought of It

This has been such a fun program to use. It has a simple layout and moves easily from one day to the next. Little Miss enjoyed being able to learn to read right from the beginning. There was no waiting for a week or two. This program allowed her to start reading right away. This gave her excitement and confidence to keep on going. She loved listening the songs, and I love how these songs have such catchy tunes to them!

Jolly Phonics Songs

The teacher's book is laid out wonderfully. I was able to understand it, and could use it without spending a lot of time studying it each morning. I knew that I would go to the day, go through the activities, and that was it. I didn't have all sorts of prep, yet Little Miss was having fun. We even had Baby Girl joining us from time to time with the songs that we were singing.

Little Miss loved her workbooks. They were simple for her to understand, and she could do most of them on her own once she understood the new sound. This was fun for me to watch, but I had to keep an eye on her. Some days she wanted to keep working in the workbook without me, then we would have to redo the lesson so she could hear the sound!

Little Miss Jolly Phonics

After using other programs for Ray Ray, and knowing that Little Miss was a different learner, I was happy to find Jolly Phonics for her. I can't wait until we make our way into the Jolly Grammar book and learn about parts of speech in the same fun way we have been learning the phonics.

We were not the only family to try this program out. Head on over and see what the other families on the Review Team had to say about this program!
Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar Review

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ABeCeDarian Company ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

What is ABeCeDarian? ABeCeDarian is: 1. One who teaches or studies the alphabet. 2. One who is just learning; a beginner. Once you know this, you will begin to understand the concept behind ABeCeDarian Company and the Interactive A Workbook they have available for you and your children.

A Schoolhouse Crew Review (8)

What Is It

ABeCeDarian Interactive A Workbook is just that, an interactive workbook. This is just like any print workbook that you would order and have your child work from, only this is available online. We have used it on the laptop and the iPad. I personally loved the iPad better because Little Miss was able to use the stylus when she needed to write instead of the mouse. ABeCeDarian is a multi-sensory approach to learning how to read, and Little Miss loved using this program as a part of her "new" kindergarten program!

The Level A Interactive Workbook gives you one year of access to this workbook online. After you finish the first year, you are able to purchase additional years for a discounted price. The one thing you need to know about this interactive workbook is that it will take up to a minute to load and during this time your screen will be black. No big deal? Have you stared at a black screen for a full minute? In our fast paced world this is a long time. We did not have an issue with this, yes it took time to load, but we weren't worried. I actually didn't call Little Miss over until it had loaded so she knew nothing of the "slow" loading time.

ABeCe Word Puzzle

Each lesson incudes at least three different learning activities. These include things like word puzzles, tap and say, say and write and people talk to name a few. These are a great way to mix up the lessons and allow for all styles of learning. Your child should know basic sounds, as they will use those sounds to learn how to build words. This seems simple enough, but when you are doing a "game" style workbook, it is fun and not just simple.

There is a teacher's guide that you can get to go with this workbook. This helped me to understand what we should be doing with each page. Not only that, but you have about 50 pages that will help you, and me, as a teacher learn how to better teach your child each of the different ways of learning included in this workbook.

ABeCe Teachers Guide

How We Used It

Mommy loves the old fashioned workbooks, yet the kids in this house love the technology they are growing up with, so this was the best of both worlds. I could follow along with the workbook style and Little Miss loved the fact that she was on the iPad versus a piece of paper.

Each week, I would plan to work through 4-5 lessons with Little Miss. Each of these lessons lasted us about 20 minutes. Little Miss was able to sit through this most of the time, but on the days she was overly active, we would split them in half. The lessons are set up where this is possible with no negative effects on the learning.

That is it. It is simple, yet effective to use. It is fun and engaging. This is the best of both worlds.

ABeCe Writing

What We Thought of It

Well, in a nutshell, we loved this interactive workbook. There are so many good points to this workbook. Little Miss was happy to grab a stylus when it came to the writing portions and I loved that we had an iPad to do this on. When we tried to do the writing portions on the computer, it was frustrating for her to control the mouse, so we just skipped that. I loved that when using the stylus, it was still like writing with a pencil.

ABeCe Spelling

I loved how simple it was to teach Little Miss her reading skills, and how different each lesson was. This made it fun each time we sat down to learn. The teacher's guide gave me the confidence to know that I wasn't going to screw up teaching this important skill to her. Knowing how to work each page was important to me and this guide was perfect at explaining each step of the lessons.

Teacher Manual Level A_zpsxa0kw2qq

If you are looking for an old fashioned style workbook that catches your child's attention like a video game, I think you need to look at this Interactive Workbook. You don't have to take my word for it, check out these other reviews and see what they think as well!


ABeCeDarian Interactive Reviews


What is your number one fear when it comes to teaching your child to read?

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What We Are Reading ~ July 2016

Is it really July already!? I am having a hard time wrapping my head around this. I can't believe that we are over half way done with this year. I want time to slow down, I want the kids to slow down with their growing. But at the same time, I am so happy to watch them grow and learn. It has been so fun to see their choices in books change as their reading level changes! This month, while it is summer time, we are still busy reading!


Our local library has a summer program for the kids. They can earn treats and prizes each time they read or are read to for 2 hours. While this is a "challenge" for many other families, this is pretty easy for us to do. Moe Man has been in the teen program for the last 3 years. These are a little harder of challenges but the reward is higher, a Kindle is the grand prize. He has decided he really wants to work for that this year.

So, what is everyone reading? We have all made a few lists of the books we like, and what we hope to read. My goal for myself is two books that I found on Friday at the library. I have been slacking in my reading that I want to do, so I am hoping to get these two books done this month. The first one is book one in a trilogy. The Decision by Wanda E. Brunstetter. This is an Amish book that is set in the prairies of Illinois. This is a story of Jonah who was left at the altar by the love of his life. He hopes to make a change when he moves to Illinois and meets Elaine Schrock. He hopes to find love with her, but when tragedy hits, he is unsure of the plans that God has for him.

The other book I am working on reading is one that I already started and just need to finish. I love this book The Last Woman Standing. This is a book about Wyatt Earp's wife. This is the story of how they met all the way through gunfight at the O.K. Corral. This is a story of her wanting a happy ever after in the wild west. I was hooked right away and have been trying to find the time to read a little each day.

Moe Man is busy reading this summer also. To get his entries in for the Kindle giveaway at our library, he has to read and write summaries on the books he reads. I have him reading Treasure Island for his literature lessons right now. A fun simple, yet exciting classic for the summer months! He has found a Star Wars book to read at the library. He is really into finding and reading as many as he can. Right now it is Star Wars Heir to the Jedi that has caught his attention.

Ray Ray is reading book number two for Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Rodrick Rules. He has been borrowing them from his big brother and I love to see him getting into something other than Goosebumps at bedtime! He is working on reading The Five Little Peppers for his literature lessons. This is his free reading book choice from the Ambleside Online Year 2 Book list. He is enjoying this variety of books, and of course is grabbing shorter books to read off the shelf for his 20 minutes of time each day (to earn prizes at the library and our minimum for earning screen time).

Little Miss is loving when she can find a book that she knows and can pretend to read. We have so many on the book shelf that we have read more than once and she knows what is happening. Right now we are also working on a Judy Moody book for her. She loves having "her" big girl books that moms reads and this makes her feel so much more grown up. Her other favorite this last week has been Animal Gas. This is a very funny book that daddy loves to read to her!

So, what good books are you reading this summer? I would love to find some new ones for our collections.

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5 Favorite Before Five In A Row Blog Posts

I love reading other blogs to help me find new ideas when I run out of ideas. This week I spent some time reading blogs on Five in a Row and Before Five in a Row learning. I really love this style, did some with Ray Ray, but Little Miss LOVES this, so I am learning more about it. Today I want to share with you the top 5 blogs that I turn to when it comes to Five in a Row.

Before Five in a row

1. Jolanthe over at Homeschool Creations

This site has a bunch of super awesome book units. This means you can find a printable pack for almost anything! These units include a little bit of everything and make it easy to have fun learning with each of these books. Jolanthe makes the learning fun, and Little Miss never thought she was learning, always asking when she could stop playing and start doing school.

Before Five in a Row

2. The Unplugged Family

Cassandra has some great resources over here at The Unplugged Family. I fell in love with this site when I found this video on how to schedule your Five in a Row books and learning. While this planning guide works for everyone, a lot of the posts listed on the right side of the page will help those with older learners. I love the ideas that are shown with these books and can't wait until we are up to those and can do these same things.

Five in a Row

3. Delightful Learning

I love the ideas that are listed on Michelle's page! She has so many good ones and ways to truly enjoy your week with Before Five in a Row! She also has a blog post on almost all the books and how they enjoyed the books together!

Before Five in a Row

4. Forever, For Always … No Matter What

Jen has a great post on just how to plan your lessons with FIAR. She breaks it down so nice, it is easy to see why this is a fun way to learn with the kids! Now if only every grade was this easy, say like, high school!!


5. Royal Baloo and Logi Bear too

The printables here!! There are SSOOO many, don't get sidetracked!! Remember, you came for the FIAR this trip, come back and plan the others next trip! I love coming to visit Erin's site and see what more she has added. There is always something there that I need for our homeschool!

Before Five in a Row

So, what are some of your favorite blogs or posts about Five in a Row and Before Five in a Row? I would love to find some more to read!!

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