Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Reading Eggs {TOS Review}

My kids have been having a blast playing on Reading Eggs' award winning online program Reading Eggspress!  It's hard to believe that something educational would be so fun!  They ask for it daily and I have to set a timer to peel them away from their lessons!   We are excited to share with you all the things we have been loving about Reading Eggs!

Reading Eggs*

What is Reading Eggs & Reading Eggspress All About?
Reading Eggs is an online reading instruction program that is fun and engaging!  Easy to learn and follow, the games, songs, colorful animated characters and built-in rewards in Reading Eggs keep kids highly motivated to move on to the next lesson...and the next...and the next!  The program is intuitive and encouraging and is adaptive to your child's skill level and consistently rewards your child for progress and improvement.  As your child reads books online, completes quizzes and lessons they earn "golden eggs."  These golden eggs can be used to cash in on rewards like fun games in the arcade or clothing or other items for their avatar's house.  Printable certificates are available to download to commemorate your child's hard work!

How Reading Eggspress Works:
Both my girls took a pretest to determine where they should be placed.  They both placed at 2 different levels in Reading Eggspress.  No problem!  Upon logging in, Reading Eggspress tracks the last location of both girls.  They just need to choose the correct avatar in the family dashboard!  Click the appropriate tab, then click the green start button to get going!

From your avatars home screen you can choose where you want to go.  I always ask my girls to complete a lesson first before playing in the other areas.  This is a simple request because my girls want to earn eggs so that they can enjoy the games and other activities!
This is Kayley's dashboard.... (you can see that she left off with a quiz!)

Upon entering "My Lessons" you are placed on the game board.  
Kayley's next step is to take the quiz....

Enter the quiz and get started.  
Completing the quizzes and lessons earn golden eggs! 

You can return to the dashboard at anytime and visit the other areas to spend and earn more eggs... 

You can also earn eggs and trading cards by reading books in the library. 

You can view your trading cards, trophies and your clothing in the changing room from the main foyer of your apartment.

The Trading Card Room:

The Trophy Room: 

My kids love being able to collect rewards and incentives through Reading Eggspress.  

I asked Kayley what her favorite thing about the program was and she responded, "That you can read books in the library.  There are over 2000 books to choose from at all different levels and genres.  Right now I am reading the classic, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.  When I finish I will earn 800 golden eggs!  (ps. that is a LOT of eggs!!!).  The only thing that I didn't like was that they classified penguins as mammals on a quiz and as a flying bird on a trading card.  That is not correct."

I also asked Maggie what she enjoys about Reading Eggspress and she said, "I like the library.  I also like the lessons that are fun but quick and challenging.  I love the arcade where you can play all sorts of games."

Some things that I like about Reading Eggspress:  In the parent dashboard there is some great bonus material including downloadable worksheets, a guide to using Reading Eggs, and for the younger kids, downloadable homeschool guides for grades K-2!  I really appreciate being able feel confident in my kids getting in a great reading lesson with no help needed from me.  It really helps for those busy days when I don't have time to sit down for a paper-based reading lesson.  Plus, it is fun.  How awesome is it that my kids clamor for a chance to learn?

Oh, and I just want to share this too:  The creators of Reading Eggs also offer a fun math program called Mathseeds for children ages 3-9!  If only my kids were a bit younger!  

Reading Eggs is a one-stop-shop for a fun online, learning-to-read program for kids ages 2 to 13 years!  I wish they had offered the Reading Eggs Junior when Maggie was small, it would be such a great way to keep a preschooler entertained while working with your bigger kids!  

We have really enjoyed our tour of Reading Eggspress and I think you will too.  
Keep up with the latest Reading Eggs news and learn more about the program by visiting them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube!

Are you ready to give Reading Eggs a try?  You can try a sample lesson and even better, Reading Eggs is currently offering a 4 week free trial!  Offer expires November 30, 2017.  

We have really enjoyed using Reading Eggspress and I highly recommend giving it a try!

Reading Eggs
Many of my fellow crew mates also reviewed Reading Eggs.  To read more about their thoughts click the linky below.  Thank you so much for swinging by!
Reading Eggs

Crew Disclaimer

Monday, October 16, 2017

Hampton's Corn Maze

We went on a quick adventure on Saturday morning to Hampton's Corn Maze over near Elkland, MO.  We had a great time, it got VERY hot and we did get somewhat lost in the second half of the corn maze!  Here are a few pictures of our fun...

Riding the cow train!

 Taking the "shuttle" out to the corn maze.

Going in! 

 Which way?

We survived.  We were hot, sweaty and hungry! 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Brinkman Adventures - Season 4 {TOS Review}

Do you enjoy audio adventures?  We sure do!  We were excited for an opportunity to be introduced to Brinkman Adventures when we got a chance to listen to the digital download of Brinkman Adventures Season 4!  This has been our first year really getting into audio and we have really enjoyed adding them into car trips!  But, not just car trips!  I was surprised to find both of my girls running around with headphones and iPod listening to the Brinkmans while eating breakfast and doing chores!

Brinkman Adventures

What is Brinkman Adventures All About?
The fictional Brinkman family, in their amazing audio adventures, meet tremendous people of faith, discover teachable stories, and relive faith-building missionary experiences all based on real-life, true stories!   Over 5 hours of entertainment packed into 12 exciting episodes, 25 minutes each!  

Here are the adventure stories you will enjoy:

37 A Paradise Lost
38 Remember Nhu
39 Aisha’s Fear
40 Heart Song
41 The Crashed Kitchen
42 Crisis In The Congo
43 The Mysterious Palm Feller
44 War of the Raccoons
45 The Five Guys
46 Toughest Man
47 Cambodian Quest
48 What Brings Us Together
Each episode offers distinct characters and sound effect that really bring the stories to life.  You can listen to a sample here!  In Season 4 of Brinkman Adventures you travel from Russian prison to Cambodian houseboats!  Learn real stories about Christian heroes like Dr. Nik Ripken, Carl Ralston, and more!

What We Thought of Brinkman Adventures Season 4:
The first episode kicks off with the Brinkmans hosting a Missionary Adventure Camp.  Things go from bad to worse when the dam breaks completely flooding the camp, and trapping campers until a new bridge can be built.  Saving the day, Dad Jack, steps in and makes the camp a go, even in the hardest of circumstances.  When storms roll in things take a turn for the EVEN WORSE when Mom, Susan, goes into labor successfully giving birth to a baby boy in the height of the storm.  As you follow each subsequent episode of the Brinkmans they begin to meet many amazing Christian heroes through flashbacks and story-telling.  

Kayley's favorite episode: The War of the Raccoons...
according to Kayley...
"Ian Brinkman, invented a Robot named RD that he programmed with his cell phone to do all kinds of helpful things...like lock and unlock doors!  Well, there was a glitch and the family ended up getting locked out of the house...  no problem right?  Wrong!  The robot kept messing with the door and finally their neighbor Patrick uses his knife to jam the door lock allowing them to get in. But, that was just the beginning of their problems.   Well, their neighbor Patrick has been having trouble of his own with raccoons eating the fish in his Koi pond.  He asks for Ian's help in setting up an automatic paintball gun set to a computer to shoot the raccoons when they try to steal the fish...It seemed like a good idea.
During this time Ian has been neglecting his chores, one of which includes changing the oil in his dads car.  He does manage to get this done but he forgets to put the cap back on the oil container in the engine.  Meanwhile, RD goes nuts and when Ian keeps trying to give him commands the robot just keeps saying the same thing "In a minute."  This is the same thing that Ian always says while doing HIS chores.  Well, the oil cap ends up causing being trouble and the engine nearly blows up while Dad was on his way to a meeting.  Later, RD keeps misbehaving and ends up shooting paintballs at the police, so the police end up destroying the robot.  Later Ian learned that after his robot and nearly dads car had been destroyed plus he was fined $100 from the police, he learned that he needed to obey right sway."

Maggie's favorite episode:  Aisha's Fear
according to Maggie...
"It is about a girl, Aisha, who is married to a really mean guy and one time, she burned his food and he beat her so bad that she couldn't cook for a whole week!  Then one day when she was going with a friend, her husband collapsed on the sidewalk.  They found out he had cancer.  Aisha had to take over the store for her husband.  There was a Christian who was a doctor who worked across the street.  Aisha's husband hated him just because he was a christian, but the Doctor helps him and before he dies Aisha's husband becomes a Christian.  After he dies Aisha also becomes Christian and starts preaching."

What Mom thought of the episodes:
One thing I really appreciated about the series is, at the beginning they give you a quick synopsis of what is happening in the story...and if it has any intense scenes they recommend to the children to be sure they are listening with a parent if they are under the age of 10.  Some of the stories are pretty intense and may require some explaining for the younger crowd.  

This was our first time listening to Brinkman Adventures and while it would be helpful to listen to them in order it was not necessary that we listened to previous seasons in order to understand what was going on.  They did a great job in the first episode introducing you to the characters and the storyline to be able to follow along without any trouble.

Brinkman Adventures

We enjoyed listening to Brinkman Adventures Season 4!
You can keep up with the latest by visiting their Facebook page!
Many of my fellow crew mates also reviewed Brinkman Adventures.  To find out their thoughts you can click the link below!
Thank you so much for Swinging By!
Brinkman Adventures Season 4

Crew Disclaimer

Friday, October 6, 2017

Hoover Dam {Bucket List}

We knocked another item off of our Bucket List last month when we made a short visit to see Hoover Dam!  We didn't get to spend a lot of time, but we did enjoy the museum and an intimidating look over the edge!  It is huge!  The price was a little steep to visit the museum ($50+ for our family of 4) but it was very interactive and interesting...  Dam tours were not running that day, but we felt like we got a lot out of visit anyway...


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Channie's Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks {TOS Review}

Learning how to add and subtract as a young elementary student is hard enough, but couple that with messy handwriting and an inability to keep numbers neatly in columns and you have an even tougher time!  The One Page a Day: Double Digit Math Problem Workbook by Channie's Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks has been a great way for Maggie to practice her math facts without frustration!  We were thrilled to get a chance to review a hard copy of the One Page a Day: Double Digit Math Problem Workbook!

About Channie's Double Digit Math Problem Workbook:
Using visual cues, strong dividing lines, colored boxes and a grid-type format, Channie's Double Digit Math Problem Workbook helps the student maintain number alignment for ease of addition and subtraction problem completion.   The Double Digit Math Problem Workbook is designed for students in Grades 1-3 but could really be used for review or drill in higher grades.  The major benefit being:  children can really focus on learning the math and number formation...without the fatigue of trying to write the problems neatly in columns.   Tens and ones columns are clearly labeled and there are 25 double digit problems per page, 50 pages total, front-to-back.  The workbook and pages are nice and sturdy.  Designed to be done "one page a day," the math workbook begins with simple, no carrying, double digit addition, moving on to subtraction without borrowing, then double digit with carrying and eventually subtraction with borrowing.  Toward the end of the book you will find mixed problem sets!  Watch those signs!

 Channie’s Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks

What we thought of Channie's Double Digit Math Problem Workbook:
Maggie said "It was quick and easy and fun.  I liked the little squares and boxes because it tells you where to put the numbers."

I found it to be so simple yet so effective...  It makes a great built-in review that stands alone and would really compliment any math curriculum.

Along the same lines, Channie's Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks offer a great variety of other workbooks.  For your 1st-3rd graders take a look at Channie's Easy Peasy Cursive Workbook!  A similar grid/box format encourage tidy letter formation making learning cursive Easy Peasy!
Channie's Easy Peasy Cursive Workbook

You can find out more about Channie's Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks by visiting the website or discovering the latest on Facebook!

Many of my fellow crew mates reviewed various products from Channie's Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks too.  To read their reviews click the linky below.

Thank you so much for Swinging By!
Channie’s Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks {Reviews}

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