Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Free AWESOME Reading Program

One of my kids' favorite online reading programs is offering a free 5 week trial. Go to  ReadingEggs.com tUse Promo Code: USH39LGE

  My younger kids have used it and loved it and they just added a new section for older kids to practice comprehension. We haven't done much with that but the beginning readers part from k to about 2nd grade is awesome. I'm amazed at how well Adam is picking up reading with not much effort on my part. Lincoln loves the playroom stuff too and is learning lots of letters and sounds. It has helped Eli practice and improve a great deal this year, and Jeanisha just thinks it is fun. It also have a spelling program that Tyler has been using that he's enjoyed. (We put the words he misses into Spellingcity.com for extra practice).

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tom's wicked fresh toothpaste


I was recently sent a tube of Tom's of Maine Wicked Fresh toothpaste through BzzAgent to try and review. The toothpaste is peppermint flavored which got mixed reviews from my family. I personally liked it and it reminded me of candy canes and Christmas. My husband hated it, and the kids were split. Basically they either loved it or hated it. The toothpaste retails for around $4.19 for a 5.2 oz tube. I would probably buy it with coupons, but I generally don't pay more than a quarter for a tube of toothpaste, no matter how much I like it. :) On the other hand, it is all natural and doesn't have any artificial ingredients, which is a plus. One thing I really liked about the company was that each employee can spend 5% (12 days) of their employee time volunteering. I like companies that give back to their communities.

Factor Tree

I was given a free trial of thefactortree.com a new online math program through BzzAgent. As a homeschool mom with lots of kids, I was hoping this would be something wonderful for math like Readingeggs.com has been for reading. Unfortunately, it did not meet my expectations. The program is boring, like a bunch of worksheets that never end. Even my worksheet, busy working daughter was bored. I've tried lots of programs to motivate kids to learn, and this is one I would avoid! Unless they add something engaging and fun to motivate the kids, I'll stick with worksheets. At least then they get a sticker.

Another math site that is pretty good is ALEKS.com, but it only starts with 3rd grade. It is also problem focused, but at least gives the kids some choice about what topics to cover!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dolphins Unit Study

Dolphins are one of my favorite animals, so I was excited to get the chance to review a Download N Go unit study/lapbook on dolphins through The Old School House. Download N Go packets are the perfect resource for times when school is stagnant and mom just needs a break from the daily routine, but you don't want the kids to stop learning. We don't use unit studies in our everyday school, so these are a nice change of pace. They are geared to ages K-4th grade, but can easily be adapted to include older or advanced kids. At the end of the week you have a fun lapbook where the kids can review what they've learned or have something special to show grandma and grandpa.

This particular lapbook introduces kids to dolphins in general, different types of dolphins, lots of facts and information about dolphins and more. It is creation based and has some creation based activities included. There are lots of link, activities, and fun things to do as you follow the week long lesson plan. The Download N Go kits are $7.95 through The Old Schoolhouse and come in many topics. You can find other topics here.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Molly's April Digest

Are you looking for ways to keep the kids busy during the rainy days of spring or the heat of summer? Molly's April Digest has some fun, easy, inexpensive projects that should keep your kids entertained and learning for hours. I was happy to see that most of them were activities we have not done in the past and that I think my kids would enjoy. I also found several yummy recipes in the menu section, one is cooking right now, and another will be made this evening. There was also an interesting article about frugality and attitude. I also found a new holiday we HAVE to celebrate (No Housework Day on April 7th) and several others that will be fun. Molly's Digest is great for sparking ideas of cheaper ways to do things and giving frugal tips for homeschooling mamas!

I was given a preview copy of Molly's Digest to review from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. I was not paid for my review, but did receive the April Digest for free.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Automatic Scrubbing Bubbles Shower Cleaner

I have one little tiny box shower for 7 people and I was constantly fighting mildew and soap scum. It never really had a chance to dry out good between showers. I bought an Automatic Shower Cleaner with a coupon and hung it up. It seemed to slow the build-up and times between a good scrubbing, but doesn't completely eliminate the need to clean. When I use my last refill, I am going to try filling the bottle with a vinegar/water solution. The spray seems to get most of the shower, I'm not sure how well it would do with a larger space and a shower curtain. One thing to beware of is that you have 15 seconds to get the shower door closed before it sprays. With a shower curtain, you might get spray outside of the shower, but for box style it works great. I wish it could be hung higher. You could see a faint line above where the spray didn't get. The batteries lasted a long time.

It seems really loud when my husband would use it at 5am, but we didn't notice the noise at other times of the day. We also had problems at first with the kids wanting to peek through the door and watch it not realizing it sprays out.

I have bought one in the past and just received another through BzzAgent in exchange for my review.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Farraday Road and Swope's Ridge


I just finished two of the best suspense, murder mystery books I have read in a long time! Farraday Road and Swope's Ridge by Ace Collins. Both books combine a modern murder mystery with historic events like World War 2 and September 11th. I received these books to review awhile ago and didn't realize they were a set. I started Farraday Road while I was in the hospital waiting for Lincoln to recover from RSV. This is one of those books you can't put down, and I finished it at 2 in the morning. I loved the story in Farraday Road, but was frustrated with the ending. . . . until I realized I had a 2nd book! You will want to buy both books because I guarantee that once you finish Farraday Road, you'll want to keep going!

Swope's Ridge was just as engaging and well-written, and I ended up staying up late to finish that one as well. Another wonderful thing about these books is that they are completely clean and free of the junk often found in mystery novels!

These books as a set are fabulous and I think they would make a great movie someday, especially if you like ones like "National Treasure." Buy both and you won't be disappointed, buy one and you'll be wanting more.

Exposure


Exposure by Brandilyn Collins published by Zondervan

Summary: Someone is watching Kaycee Raye. But who will believe her? Everyone knows she's a little crazy. Kaycee's popular syndicated newspaper column pokes fun at her own paranoia and multiple fears. The police in her small town are well aware she makes money writing about her experiences. Worse yet, she has no proof of the threats. Pictures of a dead man mysteriously appear in her home-- then vanish before police arrive.

This murder mystery suspense novel had me confused at first. I had a hard time following the different story lines and almost set it aside. I'm so glad I didn't! The ending tied everything together perfectly. If you can keep track of multiple storylines, I'm sure you will enjoy this book. It's not one you can pick up and put down because you would lose track of what you know, but it also only 272 pages, so you can easily tackle it over a weekend.

I will be looking for more books by Brandilyn Collins for a fast, relaxing read.

I received a free copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fit to be Tied


Fit to be Tied by Robin Lee Hatcher

From the cover: It's 1916, and Idaho rancher Cleo Arlington knows everything about horses but nothing about men. So when charged with transforming English aristocrat Sherwood Statham from playboy into cowboy, she's totally disconcerted. So is Statham, who's never encountered a woman succeeding in a 'man's world.' Their bumpy trot into romance is frustrating, exhilarating, and ultimately heartwarming.

I enjoy a good romance story, but they can be hard to find. This Christian romance story is sweet, clean, and fun to read. It is nice to find a good romance story without all the trashy stuff in regular romances. This is a book I would pass on to my sister or daughter or friends. I especially enjoyed the historic descriptions of Boise, having grown up in Idaho. This is a nice, easy afternoon read.

I am looking forward to reading more of Robin Lee Hatcher's novels! Hopefully they are all nice and clean. (If you have read any of her's and would like to share your thoughts, please leave a comment.)

I received a copy of this book free in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

General Mills Movie Cash

Have you seen the cereal boxes with movie cash coupons on the front? They are on General Mills Honey Nut Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Lucky Charms, Trix, and Reese's Puffs. You only have to buy 2 boxes to get a free movie ticket-- and with the price of movies in my area, that's like getting the cereal free-- or better than free if you use coupons and sales to buy the cereal. (The movie cash is good for up to $12 and can be used on ANY movie, even ones that say no passes). I was sent some of the movie certificates from General Mills through myblogspark and they worked like a charm. It was basically like using a check made out to the movie theater. There are not names on them, so you can give them as gifts or use them for yourself. Mine didn't expire until Sept 2010! I plan on watching for these specially marked boxes of cereal-- and will post an update if I see them around here.

In addition, I get to give away one packet of 4 movie tickets. If you are interested, post a comment, here or on Facebook or email me: simplyfun123 @ gmail.com (remove the spaces) Tell me your favorite movie memory or the first movie you remember going to in the theatre. Mine is Harry and the Hendersons.

The winner will be selected on 12/15/09