Today's Wisdom

Friday, October 29, 2010

Buckets-O-Fun Yuck Review!

Oh boy, doesn't that name just say it all!!  My children or myself for that matter could hardly wait when we got our samples of yuck to try!  We tried the snowy, saucy, chunky, and sticky yucks.  Fun, fun, and fun are the comments from my children. 

What in the world is buckets-o-fun?  It's just as the name describes.  A bucket full of fun - all you need to add is water!  Each substance starts with an acrylic polymer and transforms magically into something else once you add water.

The saucy starts out as something that looks like salt and turns into something that looks like applesauce!  We started out with 1tbsp and got a bowl full of fun stuff (uhm..yuck;)!  A pound of yuck will make 35-60 gallons!!  This is what we started with.
And in less than a minute, this is how it ended up!

You can buy tints to add to the yuck and make your own slime.  How fun would that be at a birthday party?  Or a church youth event?  Or just for fun in your own back yard?

Next up was the sticky.  In our observation, we concluded that the starting consistency was like that of sugar.  Again, we started with 1 tbsp.
And the end result was SNOT,lol!  ICKY!  Sarah did say she will never touch the sticky again :)  It was the hardest to get off your hands which really wasn't hard at all.  A little warm water, and it came off like a charm.  A pound of this makes 5-10 gallons.
Next up, was the snowy.  Okay, here in eastern NC we've had some rather unusual warm temperatures.  So, we made snow with 90 degree temperatures outside.  How cool is that?  It started out with the consistency of salt too and 1 tbsp.
And we ended up with snow!  We couldn't have a snowball fight though because it wouldn't stick but it was still fun!
Our experiment continues as we froze some and are observing it to see if it has any changes.  So, I'll update you when we finish that.  One pound of this makes 25-50 gallons.

Then, there was the chunky.  It starts out with the consistency of rock salt and ends up like ice cubes!  Some ideas given were to fill up a pool with this yuck and hide stuff in it for a treasure hunt.  For a list of more fun games you can download go here.  One pound of this makes 35-60 gallons.
Also available are fun yuck accessories like tints, yuckzookas, and water balloons that you can find here.

Yuck can be purchased by the pound online at Buckets-O-Fun for the following price per pound.

Saucy     $18/lb
Sticky     $20/lb
Chunky  $16/lb
Snowy    $20/lb

Other sizes are also available.  You can also request your very own sample packet of yuck by sending an email to!

Would our family purchase yuck?  Absolutely!  Remember, we only used 1 tbsp and made a huge bowl full of yuck.  This stuff goes a long way!  I asked my children to score this product on a scale of 1-10 and all three gave yuck a 10! 

Remember to be safe with all products that you use.  For a list of yuck safety guidelines you can go here.


Visit my fellow crewmates and find out what a "yucky" time they had too!

**Disclaimer:  I was given this product for review purposes.  I received no other compensation to review this product.  The opinions here are my true and honest evaluation.**

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

PG Key Review

My childrens' safety is something I am very passionate about.  It is my duty to protect them.  They are children, and they will push their boundaries especially teenagers.  They need their parents' protection.  Do not let them wander into the world without you!  I was a child once.  I know!!

In today's day and time, your children can enter the world without ever leaving your home.  The world can be brought right into their bedrooms, your living room, or anywhere you have a computer in your home or even a cell phone with internet access.  Wake up parents and take responsibility for your children!

This all leads me to today's review.  As a member of TOS Homeschool Crew, I had the opportunity to review a product called PG Key's SafeKey

This little usb that plugs into your computer's usb port is all you need to monitor your child's online activities.


By plugging this simple little device and installing PG Key onto your computer you now have the control you need to enforce your rules even when you can't be there!  If the key is not in the computer, it does not work!  You also have accessibility to many other options as well.   Here is a sample of what you can do with PG Key.

Access Control
Control computer use by inserting or unplugging PG Key.

Time Allowance

Decide the amount of time the computer can be used daily.

Content Filtering
Eliminate unwanted results from innocent searches.

Site Blocking
Block sites you decide are inappropriate.

Activity Tracking
Review all activity on the PC with a DVD-like interface.

Activity Notifications
Be informed via text message or e-mail of any flagged activity.

Chat and E-mail Logging
See both sides of chat and e-mail conversations.

Computer Configuration
Properly configure all users of the protected PC.

User Name and Password Logging
Keep track of user names and passwords.

Inappropriate Activity Evidence
Use video recording to show obvious or suspected inappropriate activity.

If you would like to get a free trial and try PG Key for yourself, you can do so by filling out a request here

The cost of PG Key is $49.99 + s/h and it can be purchased online here or to save on the s/h you can purchase it at Office Max and a few other stores.  There are no additional fees or annual fees.  If you are anything like me here is a valuable bit of extra information.  If you lose your key, you can get a replacement key for $10.  =)

Would our family purchase this product?  I must say, at this time, I do not allow any of my children computer access without my supervision, and they are not left home alone at this age.  So, for now we just do not need a product of this sort.  However,  I could see us needing one in the near future!  I think the price of this is affordable for our family.  You cannot put a price on safety!

With all that being said - PG Key adds this statement and I wholeheartedly agree!

"Simply put - PG Key does NOT replace parenting with technology - It ENABLES parenting with technology."

Now, go and be safe, pray for your children, and give them a big hug today no matter how old they are!

To find out what my crewmates thought of this product go here.

**Disclaimer:  I was given this product for review purposes.  I received no other compensation to review this product.  The opinions here are my true and honest evaluation.**

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Week #8

Wow, time is just flying!!  The weeks seem to come and go so fast lately.  Fall has finally arrived here in eastern NC!!  Yay!! 

Sarah and I started the week with a mother/daughter day and we had a wonderful time.

We have next week off from Classical Conversations so we took the time this week to incorporate some fun review games for the past 6 weeks of memory work.  This was a simple, roll the die and pick a question from the group with that number.

It was funky hair week at dance this week so we got a little funky =)  In the end Stephen's hair drove him crazy so he ended up with a green stripe mohawk for his funky hair.  Jonathan actually tied his on with a chin strap,lol!!

It was a fun and great week.  I feel like we might be finding our groove for the year finally!

To see what other families did this week, be sure to stop by Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Review of Read, Write, and Type

I have a child that begs me every afternoon to please let her get on the computer!  It just started not long ago when I received Talking Fingers Read, Write, and Type online program to review.  Sarah absolutely loves moving to the next level and printing off her certificate of accomplishment as she finishes up!

If you look closely you will see a blue hand called Rightway and a yellow hand called Lefty who guide you along on your adventure.  In the middle of the screen you will find a green glob virus named Vexor who is constantly stealing the alphabet letters so that the storytellers cannot complete their stories. 


The program uses 12 steps per level to teach children the read, write, and type process.  Here are details and pictures of each step provided by Talking Fingers.

Step 1 - Children begin by connecting each sound with a friendly keyboard storyteller. The keyboard storytellers present their phonemes, their place on the keyboard, and their favorite stories. Children learn how new sounds come alive when 2 letters team up, like "aw" or "sh".

Step 2 - Children then look at a picture, identify the sounds in each word, and type the letter or pair of letters that make up each sound. Forty beginning, middle, and ending speech sounds are linked to their place on the keyboard.

Step 3 - Children begin to build words by typing sounds. No other program combines the sounds of phonics with correct finger placement, so children easily learn to type the sounds they hear.

Step 4 - Children start to read and write simple stories. They practice writing at the Story Tree in 40 delightfully animated scenes -- just by listening, looking and typing.

Step 5 - Children move on to creating their own stories, with their newfound typing and phonics skills and the Read, Write & Type!™ simple word processor and talking keyboard.

Step 6 - For further practice, children can send messages using the simulated email feature. The messages they "receive" are actually stories written by real children from different countries around the world.

Step 7 - Children build on their typing skills by playing the Power Fountain with Vexor, or they visit the Bonus Blimp for practice in areas where they need the most help.

Step 8 - In the Sound Game, children practice sound recognition by saying the name of the picture displayed and then typing the correct letter or pair of letters that represent the beginning, middle, or ending speech sound.

Step 9 - The Reading Game provides extra help in reading comprehension by matching a picture to a word or sentence. Children read a word or sentence at the top of the screen, and then match a picture to that sentence.
Step 10 - Children play the Spelling Game by looking at a picture, listening to the word that names the picture and sounding out the word as they type it. Read, Write & Type!™ gives feedback if a letter is missed and offers helpful hints about how to get it right!

Step 11 - In this illustration, Adam has scored 57%. When he starts to exit, he is told to return to RWT!™ and play five Bonus Blimps before he tries to pass the Spaceship level again. The Bonus Blimp keeps track of his scores on all activities. When he clicks on the Blimp it will take him automatically to the activities he needs to practice. He will be credited on his certificate for any Bonus activities he chooses to play. He can play any number at any time. When Adam returns to the Spaceship to try again to pass this level, he will be better prepared.

Step 12 - Teachers or parents can print out individual or group reports of student progress and be able to see at a glance whether students are having difficulty at the level of phonemic awareness and phonics or whether their problems lie in Spelling or Reading Comprehension.

The price chart for home use is as follows:

Read, Write & Type - Online Edition - 1 user $35.00
Read, Write & Type - Online Edition - 2 users $55.00
Read, Write & Type - Online Edition - 3 users $70.00
Read, Write & Type - Online Edition - 4 users $85.00
Read, Write & Type - Online Edition - 5 users $100.00

These prices are good for a 5 year subscription!! 

You also have access to download a paper keyboard and activity book with your subscription.  This is a revolutionary reading program that also teaches phonics, writing, spelling, typing, and word processing!

Would our family purchase this?  ABSOLUTELY!!  My Sarah would pay for it herself if she had too.  She loves it just that much!  It has an age recommendation of 6-9.  I have 2 children in that category but chose only to let Sarah try this out.  However, my 9 year old did watch her on many occasions and although he said it looked way to easy for him, he sure did keep watching alot without any requirement from me!! 

Here, Sarah is checking out Read, Write, and Type and a picture of one of her completed certificates.
And whatever you do, don't ask a question during this process because you might get this answer....."Mom, I'm trying to concentrate here"  lol

Also available are CD versions along with bundle kits of both Read, Write, and Type and Word Qwerty.

To find out what my fellow crewmates thought about this program click here.

**Disclaimer:  I received a free subscription of this product for review purposes only.  The opinions expressed here are my honest opinions.  I received no other compensation for this review.