Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Heirloom Audio Productions: The Cat of Bubastes {Review}


In July, Heirloom Audio Productions sent us Beric the Briton to review and we just received The Cat of Bubastes to review as well. We were given the audio presentation on CD along with the Family-Four-Pack (included with the premium buying option) that includes downloadable bonus features. The Cat of Bubastes is based on a book written by GA Henty (one of our favorite authors).


~About the Story~(The audio presentation of The Cat of Bubastes is adapted from the original, so we've provided a summary of the audio version). Amuba, the prince of Rebu, is captured by the Egyptian army that makes war on his people. He is made a slave and is given to Chebron, the son of the high priest of Osiris, Ameres. Ameres is a kind master and treats both Amuba and Jethro (his protector from Rebu) as well as possible, After a series of many adventures and tragedies, Amuba and Chebron find themselves faced with the most difficult proposition of them all. They must rescue Chebron's sister and companion and flee to Rebu to save all of their lives. The cat (you may be wondering about) comes on the scene towards the end and has a very short, but pivotal role in the plot.


~The Audio CDs~There are two CD's included in the pack with 2 hours of recording. The recording is called audio theater and is more than just a reading. It combines an adaptation of the original story with sound effects, musical scores, and actors and actresses. The kids love to compare which actors and actresses were in other recordings or movies they have seen.

~Downloadable Bonus Items~The Family Four-Pack (the premium buying option) contains a downloadable set of bonuses features. You access these online. They include:

  • Cat of bubastes MP3Set
  • E-Book: Henty's orginal book with colorful graphics
  • Official MP3 Soundtrack
  • Printable Cast Poster
  • Study Guide & Discussion Starter
  • Inspirational Verse Poster
  • Live the Adventure Letter
  • Behind the Scenes Video

~The Study Guide & Discussion Starter~There are over 50 pages in the study guide. It contains questions and vocabulary words for each track, activities throughout, Bible study, and an additional resource list. There are two types of questions. The Listening Well gives children questions to answer that are found in the recording. The Thinking Further questions provide children with questions that prompt further thinking and comprehension. The activities include recipes, interesting facts, information about the time, links that have virtual tours, photographs, and illustrations.


~Our Experience~Jo-Jo loves listening to the story. She enjoys that there is a Christian theme throughout and that someone learns the truth by the end of the story. She loves adventures so she really likes listening to the story. Li also likes to listen, but he often times will run around pretending to act out the parts as we listen. Ceesa is my reader. She prefers to read it herself. One because she likes to read at her own pace, which is fast. Two is that she likes to make her own interpretations of a story. She likes most to imagine the people in her own way and to really hear the voice of the author.


Overall, we find the audio adventures are fun to listen to and we really enjoy the Henty stories.

Wishing you homeschool blessings,



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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Joyful Moments: The Ark

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Grids for Kids {Review}


I think logic grid puzzles may be my favorite type of puzzle, so I was pretty excited when Girds for Kids gave our family access to Level 1 and Level 2 from their Grids for Kids series to review. These logic books are available as pdf files and were written by parents that were looking for grid logic books for their daughter and couldn't find any. They currently have 4 levels with 3 supplements available (the fourth supplement is in the works). The first level starts with the basics and teaches kids how to solve the puzzles step by step. The remaining books work children up to more and more challenging puzzles.


What are logic grid puzzles you may ask? Logic Grid puzzles are labeled grids with a given set of categories with various combinations. Each item, in each category, is only used once. To solve the puzzle, you must use given clues and cross-reference the grid to determine the solution. The puzzles in Level 1 and Level 2 each have 3 categories with 3 items in each category.


It is recommended to put an X in the boxes that you know are not the answer and a check mark in the boxes that you know are the correct match. Using various strategies, the puzzle is solved.

Grids for Kids books are laid out with puzzles, tutorials, and answer keys to help children work through each of the problems and learn strategies for solving similar types of puzzles with increasing levels of difficulty.


Each book has a total of 30 puzzles. There are 5 levels of difficulty and 6 puzzles for each level. Each of those 5 levels has a tutorial for the first of the 6 puzzles.

I liked how the authors offer a tutorial. It helped the girls understand how to think about solving the puzzles. Generally, we would solve the first puzzle for each set, check out the answers, and then read over the tutorial to see if there were any helpful tips for solving that type of puzzle with a similar difficulty that we didn't use or weren't aware of. For the remaining puzzles, we would solve them and then look up the answers in the answer key at the back of the book.


Jo-Jo has been trying to race everybody to see if she can finish first. She got a late start, Ceesa and I started ours before she did her first one.

Ceesa says that she likes working the puzzles. She isn't fond of fill-ins, cross words, or suduko types of puzzles; but these, she will work on for long periods of time and enjoys.

We recommend trying out Grids for Kids free puzzle book. We found this series extremely enjoyable and recommend that you try them for yourself.


Wishing you homeschool blessings,






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Disclaimer: We received free downloads of Grids for Kids Level 1 and Level 2 in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way for writing the review. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Joyful Moments: Garden and Petting Zoo

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Monday, September 12, 2016

Armfield Academic Press: Getting Started with French {Review}


Armfield Academic Press sent us Getting Started with French for Ceesa to review. It is a beginning French program that is designed for students that are working in a home environment.


We received a 281 page book with 172 lessons. The text provides a preface, how to use this book section, general advice, answer key, pronunciation guide, glossary, and subject index.

  • The Preface includes information about the series (the authors also have a book for Getting Started with Latin and Getting Started with Spanish with one upcoming Getting Started with Russian).
  • The How to Use This Book section breaks the lessons down into their parts and explains how to do each component of the program. It is written to the teacher with tips for exercises, conversational skills, compositions, tests and quizzes, scheduling, using the site, and more.
  • The General Advice part gives students suggestion on what to study next and how to proceed with learning French.
  • The Answer Key has the English translations for each of the French exercises.
  • The Pronunciation Guide gives the sounds for vowels and consonants with English words to illustrate the correct sound. 
  • The Glossary translates many of the French words used in the lessons into their English meanings.
  • The Subject Index is brief and focuses on the pages where grammatical principles are taught.


In addition to the book, there are pronunciation mp3s and Author Commentary files available to download online.


The lessons are designed to follow one another in chronological order. They are structured similarly, although not all lessons include all of the components for each lesson. Some lessons are for review. One new concept is taught at a time. A new word is introduced in each lesson and is in bold print. The English translation is provided in italics. For each word, the student can reference the pronunciation recording to hear the correct pronunciation of the exercises in French. Grammatical information is provide with charts and examples to help the student understand. Exercises are then provided for the student to try out what has been learned (the answers to these are in the answer keys). Author commentary is provided with each lesson and is designed to provide further assistance.

It is encouraged for students to practice speaking the French they are learning with others and write about what they have been learning. Testing and quizzing is recommended by going back over the previous lessons to see if the child can answer the previous exercises. Using the audio recording can also be an option for evaluation.

Before Ceesa got started, we downloaded the audio recordings so she would have them for her exercises. She has become a very independent learner and I simply handed her the text and the CD and she would work on her lessons every day for three or four days a week.

She really needed no assistance from me to work on these lessons. She says that she likes that the text gives you the information and exercises and that she could choose how to translate the French in each lesson. She says one of her favorite assignments is translating (she isn't as fond of conjugating).

We haven't had any tests or quizzes yet, but when we do (probably very soon), I will be using the pronunciation guide so that she is hearing the French correctly, as I don't speak any myself.

Wishing you homeschool blessings,



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