Thursday, August 21, 2014

Happy Kids Songs {TOS Review}

Happy Kids Songs Review

We are a music loving family.  I love blasting music to a song my kids know well and we all sing as loud as we can!  Although most of our music is Christian, that doesn't mean all it's solemn and holy, or dare I say, boring..  :)  There are some great Christian audio cd's that have stories and songs that are very catchy and fun to sing!  My kids are very familiar with hymns and they're a favourite around our house, too. 
We were pleased to recently reviewed Happy Kids Songs.  We were given a download of Friends & Sharing (set 1),  Manners & Character (set 6), and Happiness & Attitude (set 7).  We also received the Happy Kids Songs Workbook that goes along with the songs.  These songs cover issues that are common to children ages 4-8.
There are 8 award-winning albums (volumes), each one has 5 songs.  These songs are great ways to boost kids' character, emotional, and social skills.  Here are the three we reviewed:

Happy Kids Songs ReviewHappy Kids Songs ReviewHappy Kids Songs Review
Happy Kids Songs Review
The downloads are $4.95 per volume (there are 8 volumes).  The workbook list price is $13.95.

The workbook is 125 pages.  In the book is lyrics for each of the 40 songs by Dr. Mac & Friends and hands-on activities to build character, social, and emotional skills.  It's ideal for ages 3-8.

There are fun activities or colouring pages for each song.  It was fun to learn a song and have a coloring page to go along with it.

My kids have had to say good-bye to some friends recently.  So the song "Together" fit perfectly with their feelings.  The song teaches kids that being with friends make us happy, sometimes it's hard to say good-bye, and good friends are always together in their hearts.  The activity that went with this song was for your child to draw a picture of someone special to you.

I think it's so important for kids to realize that others are going through the same thing they are.  They are not alone.  When our friends and my brother left (my brother visit us for 3 months), I felt it was important to let them know they can be sad about it,  I was.  Not only was their uncle going back home, but it was my brother too.  We live on the other side of the world from my family.  We can't just get in a plane and see them in a few hours.  It's a huge trip!  Saying good-bye to friends and family is tough.  I love that we can sing our thoughts or emotions in song.  (Which is a great thing about singing Scripture!)

The songs are written by Dr. Mac.  Dr. Mac is a child psychologist, school consultant, lecturer, and award-winning songwriter.  He is also the writer and director of music for the PBS hit, Jay Jay the Jet Plane, one of our favorites!

Here are some topics that are covered:
Volume 1: Friends  & Sharing
Shyness, Reaching out, How to Blend In, Not Being Bossy, and Dealing with Good-Byes
Volume 2: Social Skills & Bullying
Dealing with Bullies, Sibling Rivalry, Including Others, Honoring Differences, and Sharing Parent Attention
Volume 3: Feelings & Fears
Anxiety, Meltdowns, Facing Fears, Managing Upsets, and Unwanted Thoughts
Volume 4: Practice & Success
Reaching out, positive thinking, Trying new things, Adapting to change, Learning from mistakes
Volume 5: Talking & Listening
Resolving conflict, Being assertive, Speaking nicely, Tools for listening, Talking feelings out
Volume 6: Manners & Character
Lying, The Golden Rule, Respect for others, Accepting differences, Rudeness and manners
Volume 7: Happiness & Attitude
Being thankful, Positive thinking, Paths to happiness, Handling frustration, and Time together/time apart
Volume 8: Respect & Responsibility
Helping out, Scapegoating, Respect for others, Acting responsibly, and Respect for Possessions
penny for your thoughts: wishing

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Wizzy Gizmo {TOS Review}

Wizzy Gizmo Review

Wizzy Gizmo.  What is Wizzy Gizmo?!  Wizzy Gizmo is a great collection of Bible books, Bible audio dramas, Bible flashcards and much more!  Wizzy Gizmo is all geared toward kids with the purpose - "Equipping children for life by exploring God's Word."

We were given the Fast Track Bible Pack: New Testament to review.  This pack has 27 cards.  A card for each book of the New Testament with a summary, key chapters and passages, doctrines, and people.  They sell for $14.99 and are for all ages. 

"And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children,
and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house,
and when thou walkest by the way,
and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."
Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Wizzy Gizmo Review
Who wrote Matthew?  What is the key passages?  When was it written?  How many chapters does it have?   What is the theme?  These are fun, yet important facts that are good to know.

The Fast Track Bible Pack: New Testament Series is a great way to teach your kids (and yourself!) specifics about each book of the New Testament.  We loved spending time each morning before school going over a card each week (and took time to review).  The first day, I would just read the information on the front of the card.  It gives a brief synopsis of the book along with how many chapters it contains, who wrote it and when.  Then the rest of the week we would work on the back of the card.  We'd pick a passage or two and read it.  I love how concise these cards are, I know we will use these for many years to come.  I hope they make cards for the Old Testament.

The Wizzy Gizmo website has a great, informative page on how to use the cards.  They gives suggested use for different age groups.

The suggestions for ages 9-11 are:
Day 1 - Read the summary and theme of the same card (front) every day for a week.
Day 2 – Review and memorize the author, date of writing and number of chapters (front) every day for a week.
Day 3 – Read a key verse, or doctrine from that same card (back) every day in that week.
Day 4 – Review and memorize the key chapters and references of the key verses.
Day 5 – Have the student verbally summarize the book in their own words.

Here is an example of Matthew...

01-Matthew-V2  01-Matthew-V2-Back

These would be great to use in your family devotions, Sunday School, or Bible clubs.  Check out Wizzy Gizmo for more great Bible resources for kids.  They also have audio dramas and books

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"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine,
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."
2 Timothy 3:16-17

Friday, August 15, 2014

Catching Up With Friends

On our recent trip to Darwin, we were able to catch up with friends.  When we lived in Darwin the Lord allowed me to have a Ladies Bible Study for nearly 2 years, and through that I've made some really great friends.

Us with Evi and Chloe.
We first met Evi as she was a librarian, then a few months later
she became our neighbour and we often traded babysitting.

Chloe and Autumn

Leon, Wendy, and me
Wendy and her husband attended our church in Darwin.
They are hoping to move to Katherine soon!

Cody, Autumn, and Eve
Eve moved from Thailand to Darwin to go to school.  She lived with us for about 8 months.
Needless to say, my kids missed her so much.
We surprised the kids by bringing Eve back to Katherine with us to visit for a few days.

Me and Amy
Oh, how I miss this girl!  Amy is from Kansas.  I am so glad the Lord brought her to Australia.
She's been such a huge blessing to me.

I'm so thankful for the friends God has blessed me with.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

These are a few of my favourite things...

The ocean.


Mindil Beach filled with people watching God's handiwork.

(I am going to live on a houseboat someday!)

Family and sunsets and boats.

Did I mention sunsets?

We just spent a few days up in Darwin.  I always try to see the sunset every time we are there.   Darwin sunsets are the best.  I am in awe of our amazing Creator. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Edith Falls - Northern Territory

Patrick and Jeff recently hiked the Jatbula Trail.  This trail starts at the Katherine Gorge and ends at Edith Falls.  The guys left early Monday morning and got a ride on the tour boat at the Gorge to the other side of the river and started their hike.  What was supposed to take 4-5 days took them 31 hours.  I had planned to have a few days to work on some projects around the house, but I got a call Tuesday afternoon to pick them.  So the kids and I drove to Edith Falls.  We splashed around in the water for a bit and enjoyed the scenery.  I've never been to Edith Falls.  It's such a beautiful place.  The kids and I talked about how great God is to make all this, and how blessed we are to enjoy it!

"When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars,
which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him?
and the son of man, that thou visitest him?"
Psalm 8:3-4

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Romans Road Media Review

Roman Roads Media Review

I have a wonderful Classical Christian Homeschool History Curriculum for you today.  I love me some history!  Romans Road Media allowed me to review Dave Raymond's American History Part 1 (digital download).  This is for ages 12 and up.

Roman Roads Media Review

Dave Raymond is an amazing history teacher.  The curriculum (part 1 and 2) is for an entire year.  It consists of 26 lessons and 4 projects.  Each lesson has 5 ten(ish) minute lectures on DVD or the mp3 download.  There are daily tasks, readings, weekly exams, and a journal that you work on throughout the school year and the course (part 1 and 2 combined) is worth 1 credit.  The curriculum includes a Student Reader with over 100 pages!  It also comes with a teacher guide.  (Part 1 and 2 each come with a student reader and a teacher guide.)

The 4 projects will take a good bit of time and effort, but will be well worth the it.  The same goes for the journal/portfolio that they work on throughout the year.  They add to it as they learn and when the year is complete they have a wonderful review of all they learned.

As mentioned there are two parts to this course.  We reviewed part 1 which covers Meso-America to the Constitution.  Part 2 covers George Washington through Theodore Roosevelt.  Each part has 13 lessons, for a total of 26 lessons.

Although this is designed for ages 12 and up, my daughter is 11 and in grade 6.  I felt it was appropriate for her.  Dave Raymond kept her attention (and mine) and we both really enjoyed it.  I've been looking for a good history curriculum, and this one meets my criteria.  Now if Dave would just do one on Australia (hint, hint!).

One of my favourite things about this history curriculum is the Christian perspective.  Even in many so-called Christian curriculum that is lacking and not emphasized nearly enough.  Dave Raymond presented a godly perspective throughout all the lectures. 

I also loved the note-taking.  Autumn has been working on this at church, so she has a little experience in note-taking.  This was good practice for her to listen for items of importance and write them down, and also giving her more information to study for the exams.

If you're interested in viewing some sample lessons click here and scroll to the bottom and click on sample lessons.

Now for the part you're really interested in - the cost! 
American History Part 1 - $75 (includes 4 DVD's, student reader, and teacher guide)
American History Part 2 - $75 (includes 4 DVD's, student reader, and teacher guide)

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Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Katherine Show

A few weeks ago was the Katherine Show.  For folks back home this is very much like a County Fair.  We had such a fun time.  Please excuse all the pictures!  If you're on facebook, I have heaps more!!  We were there for 10 hours.  I spared you the photos of all my freebies.  :)
Big orange pumpkins! 
 Most of the pumpkins here are small and white, so it was pretty exciting to see these.

Jeff tried the bucking bull...

...and failed. :)

Lots of games.  Most of these were $5 or $10 a play.
We let the kids play 1 game each, but several of the game people let them play for free and even gave them prizes.  Cody got a cool spiderman backpack and Autumn got a misting fan thingy.

The rides were $8, but we scored a few free ride passes.

Cody on the bumper cars.
Sorry for the scary face!  He's supposed to be the Flash!

This was the game Cody chose to play.  He did well.

You never know who you'll see at the Show.
Sadly, we know this person!

Since Cody didn't want to do the rides, he did the water ball and loved it!
He was in there for almost 30 minutes!

Autumn and her friend in the water ball.

We watched a rodeo.  Reminded me of my Uncle Rick.

Waiting for fireworks!  My favourite part.

What a great firework show!

Ended the night on the Ferris Wheel.

I hate heights.  Notice my death grip on the cage!

It was such a fun day!