Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Semester 1 Bundle by Guitar 360 Method ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

Gav has recently shown an interest in playing guitar, so when Guitar 360 Method offered their Semester 1 Bundle up for review, I jumped on it. When he wants to do anything that doesn't involve a video game, I'm all for it!

The Guitar 360 Method is taught by Krisz Simonfalvi, an artist, musician, and teacher, who was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary. He started playing classical guitar at the age of 6, and although he was very good at it, lost interest because he wasn't taught how to understand his instrument. After coming back to his guitar in his late teens, he remembered his music teacher's method which was a down to Earth and more practical way of learning the guitar. This fueled his passion to teach his students with a more practical and no nonsense approach so that they can excel in guitar playing too.

Upon receiving this product, I was really impressed with the website itself. I love a website that is easy to navigate, and the Guitar 360 method did not disappoint! As you can see in the picture below, you have tab that says "My Library."

After you click on that tab, everything you have access to will appear here where it's easy to find.

Now since Gav has never had any kind of lessons before, we started with the very first set of videos under the "Start Playing Your Guitar" section. He wasn't even sure how to hold it correctly so this was where he needed to be. This is actually where we are still working. In this section, it's broken down into weeks, but the beauty of this product is, you can break it down and do it as slow or fast as you need to. It's a learn at your own pace program, and we love that! Also the videos are made to be short so that you can go directly to what you're looking for. This saves time and eliminates having to fast forward or rewind to find a certain topic in a long video!

He started out learning the parts of the guitar. I loved that he took the time to go over this, because every musician needs to know their instrument. He moved on to right hand and left hand techniques. He even talks to them about how to tune their guitar. All important information for playing your best!

The first thing Gav was playing was the 4 finger warm up exercise. It took him some time to get used to it, but after a couple of days, he was playing it pretty well. He was complaining that his hands and fingers hurt, but we explained that he would eventually work that out. It's all part of being a new guitar player! After going over this exercise, your student is given some different practice videos to work on starting at Level 1 and going into Level 3.

After going through the 3 weeks of "Getting to Know Your Guitar," you will then be ready to move on to the Semester 1 section. This is a 13 week course focused on giving you or your student the foundation you need to be a great guitar player. Like I said, we have not gotten to this part yet, but I did look ahead and we are really looking forward to it! Mr. Simonfalvi takes his time in explaining everything so that it's easy to understand, even if you are a beginner.

This is a great course whether you are a new guitar player, or have a few skills under your belt. I love how it's broken down and easy to understand. My husband who plays guitar, also thought the videos were great, and appreciated this easy method of learning. I highly recommend the Guitar 360 Method if you are looking to learn guitar from the comfort of your own home. Right now, our readers are being offered 20% off for this course! Just use coupon code HOMESCHOOL20 at the check out!

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Guitar Lessons with Krisz Simonfalvi {Guitar 360 Method Reviews}
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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Season 6: Underground Rising by Brinkman Adventures

I absolutely love audio dramas and reviewing them is always so much fun for our family! We were really excited to be able to listen to Season 6: Underground Rising by Brinkman Adventures.

If you have never heard of audio adventures or audio dramas before, let me tell you, they are a lot of fun. Before I had ever listened to one, I thought it was going to be like an audio book, but that's not the case at all! It's almost like listening to a movie, but to me even better than that. There is no picture for you to see, so they have to use sounds and music to really give you the full effect. Brinkman Adventures has brought these episodes in Season 6 to life!

For our review we were given the digital version so that we could download and listen immediately. I love this option because I can email myself the links and we can listen on my phone. With it being portable, this would be a great program to listen to while on a road trip. The entire Season runs a little over 2 hours. Each episode is around 25 minutes long so you could just break it down and listen a little at a time.

Another great way to use this product is if you wanted to use it as a devotional time. Each episode is a story but also how these people had faith in God.

I love that these stories are based on actual events. The Brinkman's are a real family, but have changed the names for the stories. That makes them even more appealing to me. The stories are so well told that you feel like you are a part of them and know this family! After listening to the episodes, do yourself a favor and go check out their Real Stories page. I enjoyed reading this page almost as much as listening to the stories themselves! It gives you all kinds of back ground info and behind the scenes for each story!

I wanted to talk about which of the episodes were our favorite but it was honestly hard to choose! Every single one was perfect in it's own way. The first episode was about two young girls who go to visit their Omie (great grandmother) in Canada. After a long trek to her house, they want to curl up into her cute little cottage and hear the story of their Opie and his involvement in the Dutch Resistance. We really loved all of the action in this one, and there was plenty of excitement to keep you on the edge of your seat.  Another favorite was Twice Born Fly...this was absolutely precious. It's the story all about following Jesus and having faith in him. I loved how they had a real day of rest and some family time. This sparked a story from the Dad and a dream he had. His dream was a good description of how we should follow Jesus and have faith and trust in Him. It also explains how we can give our hearts to Jesus and live for him...another words how we can be born again with a new heart!

Ok, the crowning jewel for us, my son especially was I Wonder Why. This was such a blessing to our family because the entire story surrounds a little boy with allergies. Our son also has severe food allergies, so it was extremely relatable!  This is the story of a family who is needing to really see Jesus move in their lives. They are called by the Lord to travel to India to love kids in an orphanage. They walk through many trials while they are there, and really started questioning whether God wanted them to be there or not. Soon they see how God's plan is specially made for them and why being obedient to him is so important. Great episode!

There are so many ways to use this from devotional time to family time. I hope you will give at least one of the seasons from Brinkman Adventures a try! Start with Season 1 and work your way to Season 6! You won't be disappointed!

They are offering a 10% off discount with the code below!

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Brinkman Adventures Season 6 Reviews

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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Books of the Bible At-a-Glance by Teach Sunday School ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

For the last few weeks we have been working with a fun new product called Books of the Bible At-a-Glance by Teach Sunday School. This is one of those reviews that doesn't apply to only homeschoolers, but to anyone who reads the Bible, or even teaches the Bible.

This came at a timely manner for us, because at the beginning of our school year, we decided that we were going to read the Bible straight through from cover to cover. These printables have helped us tremendously as we reach a new book because of the wealth of information each one holds.

It's very simple to get them all printed out, and ready to use. I printed them all out at the same time, and I'm actually going to make a notebook for this so that it's always easily accessible to my entire family.

I want to talk a little bit about what each sheet contains. As you can see in the pic below, the sheets are not boring and monotonous. They are very colorful, and laid out in a way that is easy to understand so that the important facts stand out.

Each book has it's own sheet that contains the highlights for each book. It's kind of like having the Cliff Notes for each book at your finger tips all on one page.

At the very top of the page, you can see very quickly the order of the book as it comes in the Bible, the author of that book, and the time period it was written in. Also, it tells you what time periods it covers. Next you can see the section that is "Claims to Fame." Here it tells you what stories or parts that make that book unique. For instance for Genesis, its tells you that it's the first book of the Bible and the book that covers the longest span of time, which is over 2000 years.

Moving down the page, you can see what famous stories are part of that book, and also what verses that book is most known for. This is super helpful as we are going through the Bible, and looking for memory verses.

I think this product can help anyone who is interested in reading the Bible, but also if you are teaching a Sunday School class or any group at church. These would be amazing hand outs for a youth group to have and study at home. It's also a fantastic way to have a reference book at your fingertips by printing everything out and putting it into a 3 ring binder.

We have loved this product and will continue to use it as we read through our Bible from cover to cover!

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Books of the Bible At-a-Glance { Teach Sunday School Reviews}

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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder by Roman Roads Media ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

Our second review this week has been all about Latin! We have been using the Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder by Roman Roads Media for the last few weeks to see if we could learn some new words in Latin.

I have never taken any kind of Latin so when this review came up, I thought why not check out the Vocabulary Builder to get a small taste of it. It's definitely not a complete curriculum by any means, but I think it would be a huge asset to someone who is taking Latin. On top of that it's fun!

Picta Dicta is completely online, self paced and geared for a range of ages starting in junior high on up through college. It covers general reading vocabulary learning such things as verbs, nouns, adjectives, and other concepts to help students with reading proficiency. It uses a combination of things such as pictures, sounds, and concepts just to name a few, to help the student remember each word or phrase.

Roman Roads was very generous in giving us as many licenses as we needed to complete this review. This means I could also use it in addition to Gavin, my 13 year old. I normally have them working on reviews themselves for the majority of the time, but I really dove into this one myself. We ended up pretty much doing it together since it was just me and him.

Getting started with the program is super easy. Once you set up your learner profiles, you are ready to get started. We just dove right in. The Vocabulary Builder has several different difficulty levels, but we decided that we should definitely start off with Easy.

Once you are to your dashboard, you can see the word "Play" at the top and you will click on that. This will take you to where the lessons are.

On the right side of the screen are two icons, Train and Go. To get started, we went to Go. This brings you to the first lesson which is over The Map and all things to do with The Map. Each lesson is broken down into 3 parts. Learn, Choose, and Spell.

You will start with the Learn category. This is where the words are introduced to you. There are flashcards that pop up that tell you the origin of the word, it has a picture to help you remember the word, and also tells you what the word means.

After showing you a few flash cards, it will next give you words that you have to match with the pictures. This is extremely helpful for the visual learner. Aka me and my children! Sometimes I really think the pictures are what helped us remember the words.

When you have completed the Learn category, you will then move to the Choose category. Here you will be given the word like before and then you will have to choose the correct word or meaning.

We did really well with the words, but we were constantly getting hung up on the phrases! We finally made it through though because the program will continue to go over them until you know them.

Next you will move on to what we found to be the hardest part of each lesson which is Spell. Here they gave you a word and then you had to not only remember it, but also spell it correctly! This was very challenging for us for some reason!

After every chapter or two, there will be a review over what you've learned. You can also go the the Train icon at the top of your dashboard and pull up reviews that way. There are a number of ways to review, so you can have all of the practice you want!

Like I said, this would be great for someone who is taking a Latin course, so we may revisit this again when Gav is in high school! We really enjoyed using it, and we even came away knowing some new Latin words. I would highly recommend it for a supplement or to anyone just wanting to brush up on their Latin!

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Classical Rhetoric and Picta Dicta {Roman Roads Media Reviews}

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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Kingdom File Series by Barbour Publishing ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

Our newest review is over two fantastic books, Who Was Jonah?, and Who Was Mary, Mother of Jesus? Both of these books are from Barbour Publishing and are in the Kingdom Files series.

I had never heard of the Kingdom Files series before reviewing these books. They were written by author, Matt Koceich. Matt lives in Texas with his wife and children, and is a public school teacher.

I have to say, I was really impressed. In this series, you will find that it's a Bible based biography, and is geared for kids ages 8-12. Each book in the series follows a different Bible character. The story is well told, and lets the reader dive right into that time period.

The first book I want to talk about is Who was Jonah? This is the first one Gav grabbed because we have always enjoyed the story of Jonah. As you can see from the cover, these books are very inviting to any reader.

In the beginning of the book there is a page directed to the reader, or the Reading Detective. It explains all three of the sections that the book is broken down into which are the Fact File, the Action File, and the Power File. These aren't just your regular run of the mill children's books. They are full of information not only about the Bible character, but also about other key people in the Bible.

So before your child even starts the story, they are given the Fact File we talked about earlier. I thought this was such a neat extra to the book. The Fact File tells us all about our character, in this case, Jonah. It gives us his occupation, where he's from, a timeline, and even some key stats.

Now we are ready to get into the Action File portion of the book. This is where we will read
all about Jonah and his adventures. Throughout the story there are Bible verses for reference which is another plus. Gavin told me that he really enjoyed every part of the story. He said it was written in a way that it was not only easy to understand, but also enjoyable. While reading the story there are little clue boxes. They are just little extra bits of encouragement for the reader.

One of my favorite things about the book is the Power File at the end where the reader is given 10 "Power-Ups." These are more in depth bits of encouragement and memory verses covering topics that connect scripture to the reader's lives. Just to name a few are: Obey God, God Cares, God is Faithful, and more. I think these are fantastic because it helps the reader remember just who God is and how much He loves us!

The second book that we were given the privilege to review is Who Was Mary, Mother of Jesus? It again has a very inviting and lovely cover.

Gav hasn't started this book yet, but he's excited to do so. This book follows Mary and the birth of Jesus, so I think we are going to save it for when it gets closer to Christmas. It has all of the same great pieces to it as Who Was Jonah?.

Gav really loved reading these books, and I think he benefited from them even though he is 13. I hope to order some more and add them to our library!

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Kingdom Files {Barbour Publishing Reviews}

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