Friday, July 27, 2018

Smart Kidz Radio from Smart Kidz Media : A TOS Crew Review

Smart Kidz Radio
Smart Kidz Radio

 Smart Kidz Radio from Smart Kidz Media

What can our children listen to, that is worry free for us? We have recently been listening to Smart Kidz Radio from Smart Kidz Media.

Smart Kidz Radio is a free "edutainment" radio station resource that you can access directly from your internet connected devices.  You can stream it online from your computer, or from an app available for either IOS or Android devices.

Smart Kidz Radio

The focus of their programming is to provide songs that teach your children, ages 3-12, positive character traits, moral values and valuable life skills.  All of the songs are original creations.

My testers listened to it from our computer, usually while they were coloring or doing some other activity. It is so easy, simply access the site, create a FREE account and press play. It's a great background to have playing during the day. They thought the music was catchy, but they were a bit skeptical that listening to this station would help them learn "life skills". I told them, extra reminders to brush your teeth NEVER hurt anyone ;-)

In addition to the 24/7 music streaming, they offer Podcasts on-demand for a small monthly fee. The podcasts were our favorite!
You can access a variety of fairy tales and classic stories from Cinderella to Treasure Island.  This is a great way to sneak in some read-aloud time.  The stories are very well done with different character voices,  music and sound effects too.
All the programming is completely ad free. You can check out the FAQ page and sign up for a FREE 14 day trial membership to the on-demand, to see if it's right for you.
Smart Kidz Radio

Find Smart Kidz Radio on Social Media:

Facebook: @smartkidzmediainc
Twitter: @SmartKidzMedia

Hashtags: #hsreviews #edutainment #KidsRadio #SongsforKids

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Dinosaurs and the Bible & Taking the Mystery Out of Geology from Northwest Treasures: A TOS Crew Review

Northwest Treasures
Take the Mystery out of Geology Online Course

Dinosaurs and the Bible Online Course
Dinosaurs and the Bible  & Taking the Mystery Out of Geology from Northwest Treasures

Summer is the perfect time for some exploring!  We have been on an adventure with the online classes - Dinosaurs and the Bible  & Taking the Mystery Out of Geology from Northwest Treasures.

My family is wild about dinosaurs and geology, I know... it makes us sound like homeschoolers, but we don't care!  We have been long time fans, and couldn't wait to learn more with Dinosaurs and the Bible .  This is a 6 part video class that you access from Vimeo.  It it designed for grades 5 and up, so my tester was my dino-lovin' 6th grader.  He was the perfect age.

Each lesson is around 16-20 minutes long, with almost 2 hours for the course. You can work through the videos at your own pace.  We got so fascinated, that we would watch at least 2 at a time.  After each video, the author has included some worksheets and answers that you can use to help your student remember.

Check out this trailer for the class...

The lessons cover:
  • Lesson 1- How We Got Our Modern View of Dinosaurs 
  • Lesson 2 - The Classification of Dinosaurs 
  • Lesson 3 - Dinosaurs and the Bible 
  • Lesson 4 -The Extinction of the Dinosaurs 
  • Lesson 5 - Dinosaurs and the Ice Age 
  • Lesson 6 - Fossils, Age, and Soft Tissue
The author, Patrick Nurre, is the founder of Northwest Treasures.  He also narrates the videos which are a collection of slides that demonstrate what he is talking about.  Pictures, text, graphs all help us really "see".  He is a passionate teacher, and a strong believer in a young earth and the Bible.

With the Jurassic Park craze still going on around us (all of my boys have had this... my oldest is 21!)  It is vital for our children to know what they believe, and why about the dinosaurs.  It may be one of the most influential video courses you share with them!

The author goes well beyond the basic information.  I learned so much myself as I watched along.  He introduces us to the history behind how we have gotten the information about dinosaurs through the "bone races", he covers how modern scientists have classified dinosaurs with similar characteristics, what happened to the dinosaurs and much more!

If you want to continue the exploration, you can purchase an extra fossil pack from Northwest Treasures that goes with the Dinosaurs and the Bible class. (I think I have a birthday present idea!)

We also had the opportunity to review a short 20 minute video called - Taking the Mystery Out of Geology  This is a great resource for anyone teaching science!  The author defines 13 key terms in understanding science, geology and more.
  • Science 
  • History 
  • Philosophy 
  • Uniformitarianism 
  • Evolution 
  • Creationism 
  • Bible 
  • Geology 
  • Rock Cycle 
  • Rock Types 
  • Tectonics and Orogeny 
  • Geological Time Scale 
  • Fossilization
  I have taught General Science at our co-op for several years, and this is a great intro to the topics covered!

If you teach, you will want to check out this trailer too...

Not only does Northwest Treasures produce these informative online courses, they also offer full curriculum kits  - like the high school level Northwest Treasures Curriculum Project, or the PreK-3rd grade Geology for "Little Eyes".

Several other physical courses are available too:
And, if you really want a hands-on adventure, they offer a selection of Creation Adventures and Dino Dig field trips!

I am very impressed!  I love that everything from this company points our children back to the truth of Scripture, and an awareness of our amazing Creator God.

Be sure to check out the other course the crew reviewed,  Geology and Apologetics
 I know I will!

Find Northwest Treasures on Social Media:

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope from Great Waters Press: A TOS Crew Review

Raising Real Men
No Longer Little by Hal and Melanie Young
No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope from Great Waters Press

Tweens... what are we to do with them?  No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope from Great Waters Press is just what you need!

I have been enjoying this 12 chapter book designed for parents of 8 - 14 year olds.  I currently have 4 of those creatures living in my house!  As well as, 4 that have moved out of this delightful stage of, what the author calls  "Gormlessness".  This is a term from Middle English meaning a lack of sense, foolishness or stupidity.  I love it!

Hal & Melanie Young, the authors, are homeschooling parents of 8 children.  They are willing to share their experiences with us, and offer plenty of grace and hope through these sometimes crazy tween years.  The book is written in a friendly, conversational tone directly to you as a parent.  I love their sense of humor as they offer practical tips to help us thrive.

They begin with explanations of what is happening in the minds and bodies of our tweens.  This was like an ah-ha moment!  I have seen it over and over again in my own children, but never really connected that many of these behaviors actually had biological beginnings.  Our once obedient, diligent, kind child turns into a distracted, disrespectful tween overnight. 

Several chapters really spoke to where we are in our family at any given time.  The chapter on  Spiritual Questioning is one every parent should read!  Our tweens need us to not freak out and to answer their questions while pointing them to their ultimate authority and question answerer.  God is truly big enough to handle their questioning!

The Awakening chapter deals with the beginning of sexuality.  We all dread giving "the talk", but this chapter stresses the importance of our being the voice of influence in our tween's lives.  Additionally, they let us know that this is a talk we need to have at younger ages than ever before. 

They discuss the importance of monitoring internet in your home.  They say " having internet in our homes that isn't protected by blocking or accountability software is like dropping our kids off in the heart of the city and saying, "We'll pick you up later!"  Sure, there are museums, colleges, concert halls and churches, but there are also predators, strip joints and gambling dens".  This has been a great discussion starter in our house!

 One of my favorite chapters was - Celebrating Growth.  This chapter offered practical tips on how to celebrate a Bar Charon or Bat Charon - Son of Grace, Daughter of Grace ceremony to officially mark your tween's growth into an adult.  Everything you need is included from what type of ceremony to have, how to word the invitations, and who to invite.  I can't wait to incorporate this into our family!

The chapter - Producers, Not Consumers is a call to get your tween involved in something meaningful.  We want to create producers, not consumers - and tweens are perfectly capable of exceeding our expectations.  This has become a new catch phrase in our home!

No Longer Little helps you see a vision for your soon to be teenager.  Helpful tips at identifying their gifts, aptitudes and interests can help you get them on the right path for high school.  We need to begin with our end in mind.

 Over and over as I read this book, I was encouraged to see that this phase of parenting is crucially important.  Hal & Melanie offer practical tips and hope, all wrapped up with Scripture along the path to help you enjoy these special years with your child. 

A must read for parents!

Other members of the Crew are reading another great book fromGreat Waters Press.   Read my review of Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality - here!

Love Honor and Virtue by Hal and Melanie Young

Find Great Waters Press  on Social Media: 

Facebook: @raisingrealmen @halandmelanie
Pinterest: @raisingrealmen
Twitter: @raisingrealmen

Hashtags: #hsreviews #raisingrealmen #halandmelanie #boymom #tweens #homeschooling

Love, Honor, and Virtue  AND No Longer Little {Great Waters Press Reviews}
See what other members of the Crew thought here

Love, Honor, and Virtue  AND No Longer Little {Great Waters Press Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality from Great Waters Press: A TOS Crew Review

Raising Real Men
Love Honor and Virtue by Hal and Melanie Young

Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality from Great Waters Press

Today, you can NOT avoid talking to your kids about sex.  It's a battle and you need to prepare them to fight to win.  Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality from Great Waters Press is a wonderful resource to help you and your teens!

This book is written by Hal & Melanie Young, homeschooling parents of SIX boys and two girls.  They are also popular speakers, publishers, writers and bloggers.  I have personally met them at homeschool conferences.  They are transparent, grace-filled, and funny!  They will give you honest, true, Biblical advice on how to prepare for the battle for our children's purity and sexuality.

This softcover paperback book is 95 pages with 8 easy-to-read chapters.  It is also available in audiobook format if you prefer to listen instead, one warning - you will not want to listen with younger children as the topics are discussed in complete honesty and detail.

With 8 children myself, ages 21-9, I decided to read this book first.  I was not disappointed.  The Youngs have walked this path in parenting, and their real-life experience shows through.  The book is written directly to your son,  but - I do recommend reading it first so that you can be prepared for discussion.

In "Sex was God's Idea" - the authors frankly address the biology behind our sexuality, including an explanation of changes that are occurring to their bodies, and an explanation of the act of sex.  All of this is tastefully and respectfully done.  This is a great resource for you if you are the one to give "The Talk" to your child.  If you are intimidated in giving this talk, you could read this part together. My husband wishes he had this resource for our first couple of sons!

The rest of the book deals specifically with challenges that are encountered as you grow to keep your heart and mind pure.  I love that throughout this book Scripture is referred to, it's not the author's perspective - it's God's perspective.  Sex is a wonderful gift, from a loving Creator.  Satan is the enemy that has tried to steal it.  Each chapter ends with a short, bullet-pointed Summary of the main points... you can tell they have sons!

 They offer practical help for struggling with temptation - they call it the "5 Point Defense".  They show your son how to deal with temptation (which is not a sin, the action is).  This was so helpful, I shared it with my husband right away.  He agreed that this is a truly helpful way to approach this subject with our children, one that offers hope, and not condemnation!

In addition, they discuss ways to "Recover from a Fall".  Maybe your child has already experienced a situation that left them wounded,  they offer tried and true advice of how to get back in step and win the war!

The final chapter discusses "Guys and Girls" and discusses how guy/girl relationships can exist that are pure. I LOVE that these authors write from a place of experience - they offer a realistic approach that really works in families just like ours.  They offer hope and healing.

From cover to cover - it is encouraging, exhorting and equipping!  I love the last lines...

You will want to read this one!

Other members of the Crew are reading - No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope
No Longer Little by Hal and Melanie Young

Find Great Waters Press  on Social Media: 

Facebook: @raisingrealmen @halandmelanie
Pinterest: @raisingrealmen
Twitter: @raisingrealmen

Hashtags: #hsreviews #raisingrealmen #halandmelanie #boymom #tweens #homeschooling

Love, Honor, and Virtue  AND No Longer Little {Great Waters Press Reviews}

See what other members of the Crew thought here
Love, Honor, and Virtue  AND No Longer Little {Great Waters Press Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Monday, July 23, 2018

It's getting real...

It's getting real around here, I have 2 kids in college!

He's all registered - at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor for fall semester!  I love this college... . and having both boys there is perfect.

 UMHB is a great size (around 4,500 students) and 2 1/2 hours away.  Far enough away that they get to stretch their wings, but close enough I can still see them, and buy them groceries.  :-)

Belton has some great restaurants, including one of our favorite BBQ spots.  We enjoyed a mother/son date (on my son!) at The Gin, overlooking the river.

UMHB is home to a national football championship team, with a beautiful stadium.

Yes, he always wears these socks... it's his signature style.  Get ready Humanities Department, you're about to never be the same!  Crusaders forever.

Drop off day is coming too soon....