Monday, November 12, 2012

Growing Up Wild

From the website:
 "Growing Up Wild  is a 15 episode DVD set. There are 5 DVD volumes with 3 episodes on each one. Each individual episode is approximately 15 minutes long, and focuses on one aspect in the lives of the Wild brothers - missionaries in Papua, Indonesia. At the end of each episode is an activities section which gives your children corresponding educational activities that will cause them to work, think, and explore. 

The "Growing Up Wild" DVD series was developed for the purpose of introducing children to the work going on in foreign mission field. Our hope is that "Growing Up Wild" will educate and challenge your children, and be used by the Lord to play a part in raising up the next generation of missionaries!"

Cost - $18.99 per volume

Get all 5 Volumes for a 15% Discount - just $80.99

See a sample of the Activity Guide here
The Bentz Test Laboratory loved this resource!  They say they are appropriate for ages 5-12, but I couldn't stop watching them, it's appropriate for all ages.

We were blessed with Volume 1 & Volume 4 ; each with 3 episodes - Home Sweet Hut, Supply Trip,Sun & Water, Amazing World Around Us, Adventures in Culture, and Tribal Calling.  We were entralled with the glimpse into the Wild family.  Their home (and what a view!), how they live and interact with the jungle and the culture!
The Activity Guide included a Bible study and devotional thoughts along with suggested activites to add to the learning.  Hands on like building your own Wano hut, Science - researching solar cells,  and Math - creating your own supply list from a weekly menu, and a Culture Comparision worksheet to name a few.
We enjoyed each episode, my testers wanted to watch them back-to-back and were begging for more!  I have a feeling the other Volumes would make a great stocking stuffer.

The Wild family will inspire you to follow God wherever he may call you - there's an adventure waiting!  
Use these DVD's  while studying geography, worldview, or just for your own enjoyment.  A great resource for your Sunday School or Co-op Classes as well.
See what the other members of the TOS Review Crew thought here.
I was sent complimentary copies in exchange for my honest opinion as part of the TOS Review Crew.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

IEW - PALS Reading

From the website:
"Using poetry, the reading portion of the Primary Arts of Language teaches phonics and whole words. Students are introduced to letters through letter stories and discover the vowel and consonant pairs that help us read. Daily games played during “Activity Time” reinforce the phonetic concepts so that a student can know them completely."
  • Primary Arts of Language: Reading DVD-ROM

  • Includes the following:

    • Instructional Video by Jill Pike
    • The Four Language Arts MP3 Audio by Andrew Pudewa
    • Nurturing Competent Communicators MP3 Audio by Andrew Pudewa
    • Poetry as an Integrator MP3 Audio by Anna Ingham
    • Intro to the Blended Sound Sight Program MP3 Audio by Anna Ingham
    • Primary Arts of Language: Reading Student Book (e-book)
      (Would you rather have us print out your PAL student e-books for you? Click here)
  • Primary Arts of Language: Phonetic Games
  • Primary Arts of Language: Phonetic Farm folder with Stickers 


    Click here to view an excerpt from Primary Arts of Language: Reading

    Cost - $69 ( $98 - if purchased seperately)
    "The writing portion of Primary Arts of Language, which is divided into three parts: printing, copy work, and composition, should be used concurrently with the reading portion unless your child is already reading. Then you can use these lessons independently. Spelling is included throughout the course.
    The printing section provides an entire handwriting program to teach your student how to correctly form his letters—he will learn his letter sounds as he learns to write them. The copy work exercises will make printing automatic in preparation for the composition lessons, which will gently teach your student to write stories and paragraphs with style."
    This package includes:
  • Primary Arts of Language: Writing DVD-ROM
    • Includes the following:
    • Instructional Video by Jill Pike
    • Reading Comprehension MP3 Audio by Adam Andrews
    • Dictation, Narration, and Public Speaking MP3 Audio by Andrew Pudewa
    • The Four Language Arts MP3 Audio by Andrew Pudewa
    • Primary Arts of Language: Writing Student Books (e-book)
      (Would you rather have us print out your PAL student e-books for you? Click here)
  • All About Spelling Basic Interactive Kit
  • All About Spelling Level 1 (Teacher’s Manual and One Student Material Packet) By Marie Rippel

  • Bonus e-audio downloads:
    • Units 1 & 2 in the K–2 Classroom MP3 Audio by Shirley George
    • Unit 3 in the K–2 Classroom MP3 Audio by Shirley George
    • Preparing the K-2 Writing Environment MP3 Audio by Richelle Palmer 
    Cost - $89 ($113 if purchased seperately)

    Where and how to begin with your Primary Arts of Language (PAL) materials

    Click here to view an excerpt from Primary Arts of Language: Writing

    Click here to view Andrew's introduction to Primary Arts of Language: Writing Complete Package 
    Okay - now that you have the pertinent information on how to get your own IEW's Primary Arts of Language, on to what the Bentz Test Laboratory thought.
    We LOVE this program!!!  Actually, after teaching the first 5 testers to read, I was not looking forward to trudging through the final 3 (don't be shocked, it's just true confessions from a mom of many). 
     I am a HUGE fan of IEW products - they have revolutionized our writing, so I had high expectations for this program.  I was not disappointed.  My testers are 5 and 6.  My six year old has been struggling along learning letter sounds, and is just getting the blending down, but frankly has not been begging to do reading.  My 5 year old was starting at step one, she knows her letters - and most of their sounds, but hasn't moved on to reading yet.  This program was easily used with both of them.
    The Teacher Guides lay out the lesson in a clearly defined step-by-step, lesson-by-lesson approach. I recommend that you read through it, and make the games before starting.  The up-front time will have HUGE payoffs.
    The Reading component utlizies file folder games, which all pieces (except a file folder) are included - you just cut and paste.  I spent awhile cutting out the pieces and assembling the games, but - it was worth it.  My testers loved them!! 
    In addition to the games, there is poetry, short stories, writing practice, and spelling tests.  My testers were unbelievably excited to take "spelling tests" just like their older siblings...who would have thought?  We didn't get far enough into the program to work with the All About Spelling program included, but from what I can tell, it's going to be excellent!
    One of our favorite components of the program was the Phonetic Farm Folder.  As each phonetic concept is introduced, we got to add a sticker to our folder.  Every lesson includes reviewing time your Phonetics Farm.  I was a bit surprized to start with "helpers" like -ow and -er.  Previous reading programs haven't introduced these until later.  I was a bit sceptical, but went ahead anyway.  Guess what, it was a home run!  I just figured out why my testers had been struggling - I was moving way too slow, and they were getting bored!  IEW PALs  moved quicker, and had them reading faster.
    This is hands-down, my FAVORITE product to review!  It will revolutionize teaching Reading and Writing - your students will be eager to do it, and they've made it easy for you to teach.  Thank you IEW for another great tool!
    See what the other members of the TOS Review Crew thought here.
    I was sent a complimentary copy in exhchange for my honest opinion as part of the TOS Review Crew.

    Thursday, November 8, 2012

    Grace and Truth Books

    From the website:
    "Grace and Truth Books  isn’t a Christian bookstore that follows the latest trends. They know that the truth of our Lord Jesus Christ has nothing to do with fancy packaging or attempting to resemble secular literature or media. This online Christian book store is built on a different approach: what will glorify God, strengthen His people in their walk, and call all peoples to find joy in knowing His gospel and following Him."
    "I don't believe mother knows that there is a God," said Emily Tappan as she ran in from the garden. "I'm sure she doesn't know or she would have told us all about it. Well, I'll just go and tell her." Blushing and almost breathless from the conscious importance of her communication she exclaimed, "Oh, Mother, there is a God. Mary Lewis told me so. And oh, he is so great! Greater than this house, greater than the tall trees, greater than everything, and I thought you would be glad to know it. I was so glad, and yet it made me afraid."   
    "Grace Raymond's "Evil and Cure of A Passionate Temper", is the touching story of a young girl who possessed a violent temper and a tendency to be harsh. Grace comes to realize, after causing her sister injury, that allowing anger to rule in her heart was destroying her and would only grow, leading to worse and worse sins of hate and animosity.

    Through the influence of a kind teacher, Grace learns the way of salvation in Christ, and who can save her from her sin, so that she becomes an exemplary model of patience and longsuffering, to her family and all her friends."
    The Bentz Test Laboratory loves to read, but, what should they be reading?  Where do you find Godly, wholesome, and character inspiring stories for your young ladies (or gentlemen) to read?  Grace and Truth Books is a great place to look!
    My testers enjoyed both of the books we were sent.  We did end up reading them together as a read aloud (highly recommend enjoying them with your children!).  She did get an education in new vocabulary - these books were written over 100 years ago.  Makes me envy the education of our forefathers, no watered-down, simplified vocabulary in these stories! 
     I love to teach character lessons with stories - it's much less threatening than the "lecture" approach. Grace Raymond came at the perfect time to talk about the struggles with anger we've been having lately around here. My girls were able to identify with the main character and her struggle, and it made a memorable impression. 
    First Impressions of God was also a timely delivery.  We have been discussing how to hear God speaking lately.  This book was just the conversation starter we needed! 

    You can get both of these books as part of the Girls Heritage Collection - Includes 8 books, all originally published by the American Tract Society in the 1800's. - $39

    This set includes all the following books:

    * The Little Girl's Treasury
    * I Have a Soul
    * The Dairyman's Daughter
    * Behind Mr. Bunyan
    * Patty's Curiosity
    * The Young Cottager
    * Grace Raymond
    * First Impressions of God      

    The TOS Review Crew reviewed many titles from Grace and Truth Books, you will want to stop by and see what they had to say here.
    I was sent complimentary copies in exhchange for my honest opinion as part of the TOS Review Crew. 

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012

    Journeys of Faithfulness by Sally Clarkson

    From the website:

    "A wonderful gift for mothers and their daughters! Journeys of Faithfulness by Sarah Clarkson challenges young women to reach higher and go deeper in their relationship with Jesus Christ by exploring the spiritual journeys of biblical women whose faith moves and inspires us even today. Celebrate the beauty, sacrifice, and courage that made these women the heroines they are with this collection of inspirational stories and devotions. Through the journeys of Ruth, Esther, Mary, and others, learn how God can reach into the life of an ordinary girl who loves Him and bring His beauty and grace to bear in the world through her obedience."

    Recommended for ages 12 and up. 

    Published by Apologia Educational Ministries.

    Cost: $13.00

    Read a sample chapter for Free!

    Ohhhh....this is a good one!  I was excited to get a chance to read this book.  Although it's targeted for girls age 12 and up, I would HIGHLY recommend it for any young (or not so young) woman.  I could not put it down!  I will definetely re-read with my daughters, once they are older.  But, I plan on introducing it to the women of my small group - now.

    Sarah Clarkson is a master storyteller.  I found myself instantly transported into the Bible stories of Mary & Martha, Mary, Esther and Ruth.  She breathes life into these familiar characters and takes you on an unforgettable spiritual journey with these women.  Her language is expressive and insightful.  I have been a fan of her mother (Sally Clarkson) for quite some time, her writing made me think - "this is homeschooling well done!" 

    This inspired me and convicted me... It's from one of the Devotions - Sarah is talking about her Mother -  "Words only clarify what she already knows from a lifetime of watchful love.  She has pondered and known me.  I have been the study of her heart since I was born.  She knows my soul as few ever will.  Her love is alot like God's".  I want to know my children like that!

    Each chapter is followed by a short Devotional written from Sarah's experiences.  She is refreshingly transparent and  young women will completely relate to her, as did I.  The Devotional is followed by a Bible Study to take it to a deeper level, and each section leaves a Journey Journal area so that you can record your own journey.

    This should make it on your MUST-READ list!

    See what other members of the TOS Review Crew thought here.

    I was sent a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest opinion as part of the TOS Review Crew.


    Friday, November 2, 2012

    Activity Bags

    From their website:

    "Activity in a Bag provides self guided activities for children from preschool through 8th grade. The activities are very engaging. It has experiments they can see, touch, manipulate, and modify; situations that allow them to figure out what happens -- in short ,events, and puzzles that they can investigate, which is the very stuff of Science. Each activity is contained in a one gallon zipper bag."

    I am a HUGE FAN of this company!  We discovered the Preschool Activities in a Bag a number of years ago, and even hosted a swap.  The Preschool Activities in a Bag are my favorite preschool curriculum, hands down!

    I jumped at the chance to tell you more about this company.  I have used ALL their products in Bentz Academy over the past couple of years. 

    For this review, my testers were able to discover Science Activities in a Bag - Book 1-2-3.  Science is a subject that can be very frustrating for the average homeschool mom.  If you are like me, you intend to do hands-on science experiments...really you do!  But, where have all the science supplies necessary for the experiment disappeared to when it's time to begin?  After hunting the supplies down...where have all your students disappeared to?
    Science Activities in a Bag eliminates this problem.  Exciting, fun, and easy to do science experiments, and the supplies needed to complete them, are assembled in gallon-size zipper bags.  Ready to use when you are!  Best of all, you can organize a "swap" with friends and make the preparation painless by sharing it with friends.   The Ebook contains the instructions and supply lists (for 1, 10, 15 or 20) , along with detailed instructions of how to assemble each activity bag.   They make it so easy!!

    Science Activities in a Bag - Book 1 - Biology, General Science & Nature - $15.00
    (see a sample)

    Find out what birds are really eating when you give them birdseed.
    Discover how to put a skewer through a balloon without popping it.
    Learn why earthworms are important for helping to make our soil better.
    Learn how to determine the temperature using a cricket’s chirp.
    Learn how to tell time the “old fashioned way”.
    Make their own “garbage viewer” to observe what happens to garbage when its buried in the ground.

    Science Activities in a Bag - Book 2 -Chemistry, Human Body and General Science - $15.00

    Learn how salt makes it harder for water to freeze.
    Discover how mixing vinegar and baking soda can cause enough pressure to pop a cork.
    Learn what the effects of light can have on your skin color.
    Learn how a siphon works.
    Learn how to identify substances by smell.
    Learn how electricity charged objects attract or repel things around them.

    Science Activities in a Bag - Book 3 -Chemistry - $15.00
    (see a sample)
    Learn how fires are put out.
    Learn how to make glue from vinegar and milk.
    Learn how much iron is in different juices.
    Learn how to make invisible ink.
    Learn how to grow crystals in the sun.
    Learn how to make your own perfume from common garden plants and spices.

    Get Science Activities in a Bag - Book 1, 2, & 3 for a special combo price - $39.00

     Math Games in a Bag  - $15.00
    (see a sample)

    This book includes instructions for 33 math games for families with elementary school-aged children. These math games use materials found inside your home and also make learning experiences out of everyday routines, such as ordering from a restaurant menu or putting gas in your car to check the kind of mileage you are getting. The math games are designed for you to have fun with your child while reinforcing mathematical skills. Most games are designed for 2 or  more players.

    My testers really loved Math Games in a Bag!  Playing games is one of our favorite family activities.  This Ebook is filled with easy to make, fun to play, and best of all - educational, math games.  These are a great way to reinforce what you are working on in your math curriculum as well as, memorizing those pesky math facts!  Best of all, it just looks like fun to them.

    Please check out Activity Bags - you won't find a better value.  In addition, they offer Reading Games, Travel Activities (another Bentz family favorite!), and Daily Activity Writing Journals. These Ebooks are affordable, easy to do, and your children are going to love them!

    Fill out this quick Survey - and they'll send you a FREE Activity Bag Sampler!

    See what the other members of the TOS Crew thought  here.

    I was sent complimentary ebooks in exchange for my honest opinion as part of the TOS Review Crew.


    Thursday, November 1, 2012

    October Memories

    Here's a quick update on what the Bentz Bunch has been doing in October...

    Another teenager in the house!

    Happy 13th Luke!

    Noah's first Boy Scout Campout !
    Breakfast before the PSAT test!
    Fall Fun with our Life Group

    Exhausting...isn't it?!