Friday, February 25, 2011

Penguins in Washington?

Want a good book to cuddle up and read on a winters day? Check it out at Books2BridgeMiles!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Games to grow with

Like most homeschoolers, we make the most of every chance we have for learning... and games are no exceptions! Stephanie over at Ordinary Life Magic is hosting a giveaway of  one of their favorite games!! So, to join in on the fun (and to get an extra entry!) we are sharing our favorite games with you! I don't know about you, but I am always hesitant spending big bucks on a game for fear that it will be a real dudd so this idea is great for finding games that real families love!!! Won't you join us?

1. Walk The Dogs is by far the most expensive game I've ever bought. Actually I think I earned it by having a party (which I highly recommend- the benifits are amazing!) but this game is also by far our VERY FAVORITE game. It is our go-to game when people come to visit and we have given this game as a gift and gotten great feedback every single time! It is fun to play as a family and can be adjusted for any age involved. Our three year old likes to simply collect the dogs while our 6 year old is getting more into the strategy of it... and my hubby and I really get into stealing dogs.... just watch out for the dog catcher! :)

2. Lunchmunch would be a close to tie with Walk the Dogs. I happened onto this game on clearance one year for just a couple dollars and bought them up for gifts to stash in my closet. WhenI got down to one game left, I figured I should keep one for us and boy am I glad I did!! This game is great for little ones learing matching skills but i fun for older kids and adults (we've been known to play a more competitive game after the girls are in bed!) too! Great for quick action and thinking things out.

3. Dog Bingo

4. Sorry

5. Clothespins Game

10. Mancala is a new favorite, having just bought it in a thrift store last week! My husband and I started off plying it and loved it! (Which is saying alot coming from him) and then I started playing it with my 6 year old and she is obcessed with it! :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

4 Days till cute eating!

I wrote to you just a few days ago about the giveaway over at Bentobloggy and how I just couldn't help myself from ordering some cuteness of my own! Well... I have to tell you... this is definately going to be an ongoing addiction! I ordered my goodies on a Saturday night and they arrived in my mailbox on Wednesday!!! How cool is that!!? The girls are just giddy  about the cute items we got and can't wait to try them out!! Wouldn't you know it tho, R has been feeling under the weather so we didn't get to go pick up our fresh eggs!!! She is feeling a bit better today so we are going to venture out and got some so we can get cooking with our new "toys"!!

If you don't have children, these probably seem a bit silly. I know DH thought I was a bit nuts for getting carrot cutters (but come on, flower shaped carrot coins are too stinkin' cute!) and the girls thought they were so cool that they ate a small bowl of flower carrots and thought it was the cutest snack!! What ever it takes right? :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A cute collection for better eating!

Last night I happened onto this blog and fell in love with all their ideas! The one that hasn't left my mind all day tho, I'm afraid is going to be to blame for my newest obsession!!! Have you ever heard of Bento? I know I hadn't but boy am I enjoying learning about it! Little containers, and nifty kitchen gadgets geared to making lunch fun... sounds like a definite hit in my house! So I quickly went looking for stores so I could get my hands on those little egg molds! And then, as if that wasn't enough, another fellow blogger wrote this!!! I think it was a sign don't you? :)

In an effort to get entered in a giveaway over at Bentobloggy, I went and checked out the store that they linked to.... boy oh boy am I in trouble!!! :) I now have an order of goodies that I just can't wait to get my hands on! Not only was the selection AMAZING but the shipping wasn't bad either! So, go check out the give away and just try to resist all the cuteness!! :) I bet you'll be in just as much trouble as I am !!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Critical Thinking Review-Timberdoodle

A few months ago, I discovered through another blogger (so sorry I can't remember who!) about the Timberdoodle's Blogger Review team and quickly signed up to join! I was definitely hopeful but never expected to hear anything back so quickly! When we were asked to review two books from Critical Thinking Press I was ecstatic! I was able to do a review on a book for each girl and they arrived within just a few days! How exciting!

First off, I must say that when I got these books, I didn't think they looked very exciting. They are big THICK workbooks and I thought for sure that would turn the girls off from wanting to work in them. Boy was I wrong! My youngest took to it at an insane speed, completing 29 pages in one sitting! I didn't think my three year old had that kind of attention span! Guess I had something to learn too. :)

Ages 3-4  

This book begins with very simple ideas... matching colors, saying color names out loud and doing basic mazes that include colors. They begin with basic ideas and build on them piece by piece throughout the book. To look at these pages through an adults eyes, they look simple and probably on the boring side. However, hand it to a three year old and they are easy enough to do but fun and self esteem building for the pages to gradually get more involved! The book has the same rhythm to it throughout: recognizing colors, classifying/sorting them, mazes, differences and describing/listening. I guess I didn't give my kiddo enough credit, because the describing sections I thought would be the hardest, she flew through like they were nothing. It was good for me to see her in action and to learn about what challenges her.

I liked that while it is technically a workbook, it was engaging enough to hold her attention and kept things lively by mixing it up a bit. It wasn't page after page of tracing letters (which I am not a fan of) or simple coloring pages (which seem to be a lot of what I find in books for her age.). We aren't quite done with it yet, but I am happy to say that it has been a joy to do with her and she is constantly asking when she can do school work too!

Is it worth it? I would say it is worth buying. Due to the simple nature of the book, I don't think you would have to write in it (we haven't) so it could be used and shared with friends or used for two children. Definitely worth the investment!

On more than one occasion, I have found her sitting here "teaching" her baby... I just LOVE it! :)

Building Thinking Skills Book 1

Grade 2-3

I am guessing that I over shot on this one. My daughter is technically in first grade but is a bit beyond her level on most things so I thought that this book wouldn't be any problem or at least challenging in a good way. Well, I don't know if it is just her, just me or if it really is that hard and boring....

This workbook has the same rhythm as the other book in the way it  rotates descriptions, matching and following directions but the content of the pages and the amount of geometry focused activities has had her really struggling. I must hand it to her tho, she's a real trooper and keeps trying bit by bit..
In the end, I think this will be a book that we hold onto for another day... and in the mean time, it reminded me just how much I hate geometry and that I am going to have to brush up on it alot before we hit the high school years! lol

Would I buy this? Hmmm... while I like challenges, I don't think that I would get this one. I know she needs to learn this stuff but I think it could be done in a different manner.

Over all, I really enjoyed getting to try something new and would like to send a BIG THANKYOU to Timberdoodle for giving me the opportunity!

For those of you not familiar with Timberdoodle, I must say that I personally feel really good about ordering from this company. While I know this is technically a review about the workbooks, I thought I would share a little bit about what I have learned about the company. Until recently, I had never heard of this company and I'm so glad I did. They are homeschoolers too, and they really seem to want the very best for their company and our childrens' education. A big plus for me, is that they are located in Washington state so once again, I have the opportunity to buy local! :) If you haven't already checked out their site, you really should. They have everything from Complete Curriculum Kits to Thinking skills games or educational games and everything in between! You can even request a Free Homeschool Catalog! In my experience with them so far, they have been incredibly helpful, friendly and fast! I will definitely be doing business with them again soon!! (No really, I do mean soon... my shopping cart is filling up fast!)

Legal Disclosure:

As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team I received a free copy of these books in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.