Today's Wisdom

Saturday, February 25, 2012

TOS Review: Reading Eggs


For the past month, we have had the opportunity to try out an online reading program called Reading Eggs.  The approach used to teach your child to read is called Stepping Stones Reading. The Stepping Stones Reading lessons are the core of the Reading Eggs learn-to-read program. Each lesson builds on the previous one to build skills in the five key areas needed to become a good reader: phonemic awareness and phonics,sight words, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension

The lessons are presented in three broad levels with 40 lessons in each level.

  • Level 1 Starting Out for absolute beginners, lesson 1-40, maps 1-4.
  • Level 2 Beginning to Read for emerging readers, lessons 41-80, maps 5-8.
  • Level 3 Building confidence for early readers, lessons 81-120, maps 9-12.
Your child will begin with an assessment test to determine the level and map area to begin at.  

After the assessment, your child is placed in the correct level and map where the reading fun begins!  The lessons use animation, activities and reward games to keep children motivated. The program is completely interactive to keep children on task. After completing a lesson you child is rewarded with golden eggs which they can use to buy reward games.  After completion of 10 lessons, children are given a mastery quiz and the results are emailed to the parent! (see below)  Here are a few samples screens.  You can also see more samples in action here.



Sarah begs to "play" reading eggs.  She is making so much progress and remember it has only been 1 month!  She recently finished Level 2, map 4 and here is the email I received letting me know her results...
Reading Eggs Progress Report for Sarah

Your child has made good progress in Reading Eggs. Sarah has finished another ten lessons.
Sarah has just completed the Playground 4 Quiz.

Sarah passed the quiz, earning a Gold certificate. To see and print out this certificate go to your child's My Stuff page and click on Certificates.

In this set of ten lessons, your child learnt the following words, sounds and skills.
Map Information : Level 2 Map 4 Lessons 71 – 80

Letters and sounds – e, eg, ing, ed, en, et, eg, ell

Words learnt – table, plate, chair, people, food, band, day, dinosaur, egg, breaking, coming, now, ladder, monkey, butterfly, animals, bird, elephant, wing, tail, spikes, fire, claws, dragon, numbers, birthday, seven, party

Sample of sentences read – The dinosaur is big.

The lessons in this map focus on longer words and sentences. Your child is now reading longer sentences in more challenging books. To extend their skills into writing, try the Reading Eggs Story Factory. 
With a new topic each week and a printable book at the end, it is never ending story writing fun.

I love getting these results sent directly to my email.  I don't have to remember to sign in and check her progress.  Reading Eggs sends it to me!!  Love that!!  Also available with your subscription are activity sheets that correspond to each lesson!

You can try out Reading Eggs for free for 14 days. 

Subscriptions are available to purchase monthly for $9.95, bi-annually for $49.95, or annually for $75.  They also offer a family discount if the sibling is added at the same time of 50% off!  This price is one of the most affordable that I've seen for this type of program.  You can also purchase actual books and other accessories to go along with the online program here.  For all the different packages and pricing available click here.  We plan to continue our subscription and I can't wait to see Sarah's progress.  

Here is a quick overview of the ages and levels where your child might fit.

Don't forget to check out what my fellow crewmates thought of Reading Eggs.

**Disclaimer: I received free subscription in exchange for my review. The opinions here are my honest and true evaluation!


Saturday, February 18, 2012

3 in 30: February, Week 3

3in30 Challenge

February 2012 - Week 3 update

January was the go for the goal month and it seems February has been the unmotivated month for me!

My 3 goals for February...

1.  Homemaker – I have 2 goals here because one will not take that long.
  • I want to consistently set my monthly goals and more importantly evaluate them at the end of the month to see if I had any progress. done
  • I want to consistently use my Motivate Moms Planner this year too.  done
2.  Personal – Exercise 3x a week – Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  not done at all...gaining wait - not good!

3.  Wife/Marriage – send a Good Morning text M-F to my sweetheart.  Pretty much just saying “I love you!”  didn't do very well with this one this week either.

TOS Review: Apologia - What We Believe Bible Series


I am a huge fan of Apologia products.  We use many of their products in our homeschool.  Last year, we reviewed Volume 1 in the bible series of What We Believe so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review Volume 2.  You can read my review of Volume 1 here.

The What We Believe Series is a bible curriculum like no other in my opinion.  The conversations that it sparks with my children are priceless as we discuss our biblical worldview along with other worldviews.  

Volume 2 of the series is all about the Biblical Worldview of Self-Image. It teaches students all about what it means to be created in the image of the Most High God. The books sells for $39.
Just like the first volume of the series, it is packed with activities.  Upon completion of this study, students will be able to answer the questions...
  • What Are We Doing Here?
  • What Will You Make Today?
  • What's On Your Mind?
  • Can You Trust Your Feelings?
  • Will You Choose Wisely?
  • How Will You Run The Race?
  • What Kind Of Fruit Are You Growing?
  • Who Do You Think You Are?
I sure wish I could have explored those questions as an elementary or junior high student!  Shoot, even as a high schooler!

The book consists of only those 8 lessons but each lesson is so full that the suggested schedule is to take 3 weeks per lesson and only using the study 2 days of the week.  We followed the schedule in our homeschool because it helped us continue some other projects that we were currently doing.  The lessons are designed for ages 6-14 and take no preparation at all on the teacher end.  It is written to the student.  You will find online extras available once you purchase the book as well.  I must add that it is the same high color and glossy pages that you may know if you have already purchased any Apologia books before.  I love that they are so sturdy and well made for extra durability!  You can find a sample lesson here and also view the table of contents here.

We also had the opportunity to use the Notebooking Journal, Coloring Book, and Audio MP3 CD.  

The notebooking journal is completely in color and a gorgeous book all on it's own.  It will be a student's keepsake and personal book of their journey through the course.  Included is a place for them to put their own name on the front as the author and An All About The Author page inside. My 13 year old enjoyed the activities included such as drawing, crossword puzzles, mini books, and narration exercises.  He really enjoyed the hands on aspect of the journal.  This sells for $24.00.

The coloring book was immediately confiscated by my 8 year old daughter and her brothers were happy to oblige as neither of them are really big coloring people.  She usually colored as I read and enjoyed every minute of it!  This would definitely be a great addition for a younger student!  You can see a sample here.  This sells for $8.
The Audio MP3 CD was the one item that we just didn't care for as much.  It would have been wonderful to have more expression given during the readings.  We used it a few times but the kids begged me to read instead after a few times.  I loved the ease of the CD and downloaded the mp3's on my ipod so they could listen that way but it just never was a big hit here.  Also, you must have a CD player that is MP3 compatible or play it on your computer so it will not work in all CD players.  This sells for $19.

You can purchase each item individually here and also check out the other books in the series.  There are 4 volumes and I can't wait to continue!  Here is what a typical lesson looked like in our homeschool.  

Don't forget to check out what my fellow crewmates thought of Apologia's Who Am I And What Am I Doing Here? .

**Disclaimer: I received free product in exchange for my review. The opinions here are my honest and true evaluation!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Saturday, February 11, 2012

16 ebooks for just $12 - hurry ends tomorrow!

I just found out about this awesome sale going on over at Moms In A Blog.  She is selling 16 e-books for only $12.  E-books include help in menu planning, organization, freezer cooking, debt reduction and many more.  I think it is well worth every penny and more!  I haven't looked through all of the books yet but there are also surprise links to download charts to assist in your planning as well!

Here's the list for seems more keeps being added!

Moms In A Blog

Meal Planning Made Simple
Kelly McCausey
Nicole Dean
Remarkable Wrinklies
Busy Moms Network
Cindy Rushton from
Living On A Dime
Valentine’s Day on a Dime

Menu Planning Central
Gretchen Jack
Shannon Cherry

Best of all, this sell will assist Tracy in recovering some unexpected debt of her own.  Awesome books for you, help for a fellow mom blogger.  Win/win!  This is an affiliate link for me too!  Go here to get yours today!

Friday, February 10, 2012

3 in 30: February, Week 2

3in30 Challenge

February 2012 - Week 2 update

My 3 goals for February...

1.  Homemaker – I have 2 goals here because one will not take that long.
  • I want to consistently set my monthly goals and more importantly evaluate them at the end of the month to see if I had any progress. Yikes - I thought this would be the easy one and I still haven't sit down to do it yet.  I never evaluated January's or set February's except for the 3 goals but hey that's a start!
  • I want to consistently use my Motivate Moms Planner this year too.  So far, we have done this every day consistently.  It really isn't hard at all and I love how little time it really takes.  I may time myself next week to see how quickly it can be done.
2.  Personal – Exercise 3x a week – Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  I walked 3x this week but honestly it wasn't much.  I want to do more but I don't want to do more.  :)  Just that little bit of focus on this and I slacked on my tracking goal...ugh.

3.  Wife/Marriage – send a Good Morning text M-F to my sweetheart.  Pretty much just saying “I love you!”  The easiest goal of all because of the best husband ever!!


Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Homeschool Mother's Journal - 2/4/12

In my life this week…

We had a pretty ordinary week.  It has been one year since the death of my fil which is unbelievable so that was an emotional time but other than that things moved right along.

In our homeschool this week...

We are half way through our year and like many homeschool moms, I am already thinking about next year!

We are still reading in Matthew and read about John Wesley from Hero Tales this week.  We really love that book!  The kids are disappointed when it is not scheduled in our daily readings.  Next week - we will be adding in Who Am I and What Am I Doing Here?


Sarah has been using K5 Learning completely for the last few weeks while Jonathan and Stephen are continuing in their math courses and adding in K5 Learning occasionally.

We finished the continent of Europe this week!  Next up - Africa!


Jonathan is becoming very independent in his writing which is nice so because Sarah needs more help.  Finding balance in the division of my time is something I seem to struggle with most as a homeschool teacher.

Classical Conversations
We finished up week 16 already.  Time has flown by and we are learning so much.  My time as a tutor has been such a blessing to me but I have made the choice not to continue as a tutor for next year. It all has to do with that division of time!!  I can't seem to find enough time to help my own children right now and they are my first priority.  I love teaching in a classroom type setting though.


We are currently reading about the Lewis and Clark expedition. 

At this time, I have had to shelf our Anatomy book.  We are just using our CC science as our main science curriculum right now.  I know when to say when and it was time!

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

I don't think we are going anywhere except the normals which keep us busy enough!

My favorite thing this week was…

Our family had the honor the family presentation this week for CC.  So, we performed a rap that we wrote to the tune of Lecrae's F-A-N-A-T-I-C.  Just imagine it in our best rapping voices because we forgot to get someone to record it!

We're on a M-I-S-S-I-O-N, a mission,
To share Christ til we D-I-E, a mission.
We're not extreme, we're redeemed with faith,
To serve a God whose extremely great,
We're on a mission.

So, you come to CC to have some fun,
While you learn about God and His Son.

His love, His faith, and His trust - you can't keep that inside,
You've got to share it world wide.

So, what 'cha doing there just sitting around?
You've got to put your feet on the ground.

Everyone woman, man, boy, and girl,
God's called us all to be a witness to the world.

Word Up - (of course - holding up the bible :)

Questions/thoughts I have…

What tips do you have for successfully splitting yourself among your children?

We're reading…


  • Read Alouds:  Johnny Tremain, Lewis & Clark Expedition
  • Beth Moore's Daniel Study

Amos Fortune


Junie B Jones

Links to share..... 

A Peek Into Our School here to see.
Fanatic Video

3 in 30: February, Week 1

3in30 Challenge

February 2012 - Week 1 Goals

My 3 goals for February...

1.  Homemaker – I have 2 goals here because one will not take that long.
  • I want to consistently set my monthly goals and more importantly evaluate them at the end of the month to see if I had any progress. 
  • I want to consistently use my Motivate Moms Planner this year too.  I really like the app version so far.  The kids enjoy checking off the list too – a win – win.  We missed some days in January though so I want to make this a focus for February.
2.  Personal Exercise 3x a week – Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  This is going to be a tough one.  I do not want to exercise.  I do not want to sweat.  I do not want to fit this into my schedule.  Sometimes, you need to do things you do not want to do.  I’m trying to teach my children that – I need to learn it myself!

3.  Wife/Marriage – send a Good Morning text M-F to my sweetheart.  Pretty much just saying “I love you!”