Today's Wisdom

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Review of 20 Ways to Draw A Bike

I have another fun activity to share with you today and it's perfect for summer break too! My daughter has been loving sketching in her new book, 20 Ways to Draw a Bike from Timberdoodle. She loves to draw and doodle and this book provides over 900 drawings for her to work with. The book contains 45 themes of images to draw including bikes, hot air balloons, strollers, trucks, and so many more!

20 Ways to Draw a Bike comes in a 96 page sturdy paperback binding with thick card stock covers. There are no step by step how to instructions. The images vary in range from simplistic to more complicated but each theme offers plenty of variety for all levels. Most images are black line sketches with some color images scattered throughout the book. It is recommended for ages 11+ and grades 6 and up. Timberdoodle sells it for $18.99. 

There are many ways you could use 20 Ways to Draw a Bike - traveling, addition to art curriculum, on the road schooling, summer enrichment, fun activity for parents and children to do together, etc.
We're headed to Alaska this summer and it will definitely be packed in our travel bag. It is great for road trips and traveling because you can draw your sketches right in the book. The only accessory needed is your favorite drawing tool. 

This book is perfect for Sarah, my little artist!  She loves to draw and is so creative.  Can you tell which image is hers below?  It was hard for me to pick out! 

Artist and author, James Gulliver Hancock, designed this book with the thought in mind that everyone should be drawing the things they see around them and use everyday. He has also stated that the best way to learn to draw is to draw! 20 Ways to Draw a Bike will give you plenty of opportunities to put that theory into practice.

**I received a free copy of this product through Timberdoodle in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Review of Tenzi Dice Game and Card Deck

Anyone taking a break for the summer? Are you looking for a fun summer activity? Then the Tenzi Game and Card Deck from Timberdoodle might be just what you're looking for! We have been enjoying hours of fun with this simple yet limitless game! This game is recommended for ages 7+. One pack comes with 40 dice which is enough for 2-4 players. One pack sells for $13.95 and the Card Deck sells for an additional $9.95.
There are so many different games and options available to play Tenzi especially when you add in the card deck.  The original way is for each player to receive 10 dice.  Everyone rolls at the same time on the first roll.  Then each player continues to roll as fast as they can to try to make all of the numbers on their dice match.  The first player to match all ten of their dice wins the game!  So simple yet so much fun!

We loved reading the names of the games as well each having its own "zi" suffix.  For example in Splitzi, Halfzi, and Pyramidzi just to name a few.

A lot of the games do require speed and great hand-eye coordination but there are also options included that are not speed games.  Games could easily be adjusted for younger children too.

To sneak in some fun learning, there are also many options available to add this fun game into your educational curriculum.  You can make a game of adding, learning states, capitals, subtracting, sorting, odd numbers, even numbers, and even make up some on your own!

The dice are bright and colorful and we found them very easy to roll which comes in handy during speed rounds.  Here is a video showing some of the fun we had playing Tenzi!

We are having a graduation party this weekend so I have laid out both sets for people to play with.  I can't wait to see what our family and friends think.  This game is definitely fun for adults too as you can probably tell by all the laughing I did in the video!

The Tenzi Game and Card Deck are also included as part of the Math portion in the Timberdoodle 2nd Grade Curriculum Kit

**I received a free copy of this product through Timberdoodle in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.  All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Review of Science Shepherd

Science Shepherd Review

Our science curriculum this year for my daughter seemed to be more tedious than ever. So when I heard of this homeschool science curriculum, Introductory Science from Science Shepherd, we were excited to begin.

Introductory Science offers 35 weeks of science curriculum. Each week except week 35 contains 5 videos/lessons and sometimes an additional activity video is included. All of those videos are found online where you will be given log in information to access. The curriculum also includes a spiral bound student workbook. There are 2 levels available - Level A is approximately for ages 6-8 and Level B is approximately for ages 9-11. There is also a answer key available for each level. We reviewed the Level B answer key and workbook which included 383 pages of simple daily lessons to complement the videos.

Science Shepherd Review

This program was developed by homeschool dad, Scott Hardin, who saw the need for quality higher level science curriculum for the homeschool community. They offer courses for middle school and Biology for high school as well.

Weeks 1 & 2 are introduction weeks introducing you creation where you will learn the days of creation. All lessons are taught from a Biblical worldview.

Week 3 introduces you to science skills and tools.

Weeks 4-10 & 14-15 cover earth science topics including meteorology, geology, oceanography, and astronomy.

Weeks 11-13 & 16-29 cover life science topics including plants, underwater creatures, flying creatures. land creatures, humans, health, ecology & natural resources,

Weeks 30-35 cover physical science topics including matter, energy, motion, and magnets.

So, as you can see by the topics discussed this is a very thorough and complete science curriculum. It is a great introductory course for science. The lessons are taught in a simplistic style that made them enjoyable for my daughter and easier for her to retain what she was learning.

As a matter of fact, she loved Science Shepherd! Many of the curriculum choices we have used in the past have been heavy on reading. Well, when all your other subjects are heavy on reading as well, the last subject you do usually becomes the most tedious one and for us that was often science. Although I would often help out with the reading portion, I could tell that she needed to make a switch. What a blessing Science Shepherd has been for our family!

Again, the lessons are taught by video instruction which cut out all the reading for us both. Each lesson has a workbook page that you complete as well. She really enjoyed the workbook lessons which included crossword puzzles, fill in the blank, matching, and circling correct answers. We could complete each lesson in less than 20 minutes a day which was a great plus too! Scattered throughout the lessons were also simple activities. Some of the ones we completed were drawing each of the days of creation, making a list of things that a parent has given you dominion over and how you can take care of those, feeling and observing objects in a bag, classifying paper flowers by petals and color. All of the activities are quick to complete and use household items, no items at all, or a given page in the workbook - for instance there was a worksheet provided for the flowers. There is also a supply list for those who like to plan ahead.

We have not completed all of the week yet and are currently taking a little "summer" break but we do intend to pick this back up where we left off. Since it includes a 12 month subscription, that allows plenty of time for you to complete the course and take breaks when needed. If for some reason you do need an extension, that option is available up to 3 additional months for $5 each.

I am also seriously considering purchasing the Biology course for my 10th grader for next school year as well. I can't wait to see what my fellow crew members thought about it.

Be sure to check out the samples to see if this curriculum might be just what you are looking for. We also thought the price was very reasonable for the content provided. The Introductory Science video course can be purchased for $35. Level A workbook costs $12 and Level B workbook costs $15. The answer keys are $3.

Check out Science Shepherd on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. ​

Science Shepherd Review
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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Tenacious Thursday #3

Let's start by looking at my Fitbit weeks.  

Here is last week through Sunday.  Not too bad really but...

Here is this week, Sunday - Thursday.  But let me just say that we cleaned out 3 closets this week.  Evidently that didn't take many steps although it had me exhausted!

Other goals:
  • no tracking - hey it's getting easier :)
  • making sure to eat at least 6-8 servings of fruits/veggies a day - Okay this is an oxymoron because I can't keep up with this since I'm not tracking!!
  • starting my day with an egg, Canadian bacon, bacon,  or sausage and fruit ( Again, stinking at this and falling back into old habits plus we are out of eggs and breakfast meat!)
  • try hard to hit my step goal of 7,000 daily (see above)
  • starting c25k - Didn't do any this week :(
  • no weighing until June 1st (I still want to step on the scale so badly!!)
  • water intake - too low
Thanks for those of you joining in with me and keeping me accountable!  How was your week?  What were your accomplishments?  Let me know!  It's never too late to join in! Let's keep each other accountable!

Friend me on Fitbit  -

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Curriculum Clean Out!

Paypal only please!  All prices are postage paid which includes shipping and insurance.  Please email me if you are interested.  All books are in a great condition with no tears or writing.  All CD's are in working condition.

Exploring Creation With Zoology 1- $25ppd

Apologia Exploring Creation With Human Anatomy and Physiology - $25ppd

Streams of Civilization - $10ppd

Saxon Algebra 1 Textbook, Solutions Manual, and Test Packet - $50ppd

My Father's World Lesson Plans for Saxon Algebra 2 - $5

Art Reed Mastering Algebra "John Saxon's Way" - $50ppd (great condition - only 1 user)

Mystery of History - $10ppd for both

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Tenacious Thursday #2

It is weekly update time!  Here are the steps I'm taking and how I'm doing so far.
  • no tracking - oh so easy but you know I find that I am still tracking in my head sometimes!
  • making sure to eat at least 6-8 servings of fruits/veggies a day - I started the week strong but have slacked as we have become busier towards the weekend.
  • starting my day with an egg, Canadian bacon, bacon,  or sausage and fruit ( Yikes, I did so well until Monday this week and haven't done any day since!)
  • try hard to hit my step goal of 7,000 daily (done except for today)
  • starting c25k (Working on week 1 day 2 this week and plugging along)
  • no weighing until June 1st (another hard thing for me since I was weighing so frequently)
Overall, I am happy with my progress. I have slacked as we head into a busy time with my oldest graduating but I'm okay with that.  That is life and I need to find my way around even when life gets crazy!

Thanks for those of you joining in with me and keeping me accountable!  How was your week?  What were your accomplishments?  Let me know!  It's never too late to join in!  Let's keep each other accountable!

For next week, I also need to be sure to get my water in. 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Working on Next Year's Curriculum?

*This post contains affiliate links.

Currently planning for next year's school curriculum? Looking for some summer studies? If you are, you might want to consider adding Grapevine's Bible studies to your list.  We love these simple yet effective studies.  For the month of May, both the Old Testament and New Testament books are 40% off!

Still unsure?  Try this elesson on the twelve apostles for free!  It is a part of the New Testament Overview.  

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Tenacious Thursday #1

I'm going to start a new series here.  Here's the deal:  I need y'all!!!  Tenacious Thursday is going to be all about accountability and never giving up.  I falter, I fail, I flounder, I am up and down but I am determined.  

You're probably wondering what on earth I am talking about, right?  Well, it's my weight and health.  I am so tired of being overweight and unhealthy.  When I hit onederland (weighing in the 100's) last year, I was so excited because that was so hard! Granted, I was only 2 pounds under 200 but still it was great progress.  Then, I stopped tracking, stopped exercising, and once again began mindless eating and once again gained back all 20 pounds that I lost.  

So, let me tell you my strategy that I am totally turning 360 degrees on this time.  I do not want to track what I eat forever.  I'm tired of tracking what I eat.  I know, I know, everyone says you are so much more successful when you track but eventually you stop and then what? For me, that "what" is always start gaining.  I think tracking kind makes you obsessive about food as well.  

So, here's what I am doing - slow and steady!  

  • no tracking
  • making sure to eat at least 6-8 servings of fruits/veggies a day
  • starting my day with an egg, Canadian bacon, bacon,  or sausage and fruit ( I have skipped breakfast in the past or just eaten a granola bar.)
  • try hard to hit my step goal of 7,000 daily (just upped that from 5,000)
  • starting c25k (again going slow and repeating days until I feel I'm ready to move to the next day comfortably
  • no weighing until June 1st
Here's my picture from earlier this week where I completed my 2nd attempt of Day 1 of c25k slipping and sliding in the mud and all.  :)

Now, here is where you come in.  If I don't check in every Thursday, please please ask me where I am and how I'm doing?  Not too hard, right?  If you are willing to help me, would you please start by either commenting below or emailing me.  Thank you in advance!

Mother's Day Sale for Motivated Moms!

*this post does contain affiliate links

If you've been wanting to give Motivated Moms a try whether it be the ebook or app, now is the time!
  • 2016 ebooks are $4 {regularly $8} 
  • apps are 99¢ {regularly $1.99} 
  • year subscription for the app is $3.99 {regularly $7.99} 
No coupon code necessary! The sale will run for 5 days: Thursday, May 5th, through Monday, May 9th.

If you are unfamiliar with Motivated Moms, it is a wonderful little tool to help you stay on top of your cleaning tasks by breaking them down into little bite size chunks each day. It includes daily, weekly, monthly, and even annual tasks. I've been using this tool for years! You know I'm a paper planner girl at heart but I really like the app version of this as well. You can assign tasks and even color code.

For example, my oldest is green so he has to empty the trash. My middle son is blue, so he needs to sweep kitchen and entryway. My daughter is pink so she needs to do handle the dishes today. The rest I'll probably do. I don't always get them all done but this list includes a Bible reading plan and normal habit items as well. If you'd like to take some of those off as they become a habit, you can do that too.

Here is a look at just the daily task screen. It looks very doable, right? If something doesn't apply to you life, just hide it and never see it again! Like, I really should hide that drain and flush water heater because that doesn't apply to me (so my husband says :) Simple!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Review of Kwik Stix #KwikStix

Kwik Stix The Pencil Grip, Inc. Review

My daughter is a DIY queen! She is so creative, artistic, and is always searching out do it yourself projects to complete. Lately, she has been using the Kwik Stix 12 pk from The Pencil Grip, Inc. to create her projects and I am loving the no mess kids art supplies!

Kwik Stix are available in several different sizes and styles. They are an amazing solid tempera paint stick that really does dry in 90 seconds! We even found that depending on the surface, the drying time can be even quick than 90 seconds.

Kwik Stix The Pencil Grip, Inc. Review
Sarah said the stick had the feel of a typical glue stick and the paint texture reminded her of lipstick. She painted this egg which had a wood surface. The drying time is right on and we tested it out (see video). On the finished project, the colors were vibrant as well.

She also used the paint sticks to add color to some fun task sticks she made out of plain wooden craft sticks.

Sarah and I also make a Scripture Art Journal weekly so I wanted to give them a try too. I used them for my verse on normal sketch pad paper. 

As you can see below, when I've used markers in the past, they actually bled through the paper.The Kwik Stix had no bleeding through at all! I also colored over the colors to test out how they would work. I thought the top color showed up beautifully even when it was a lighter color than the bottom color. There was also no mixing of colors on the paint stick! It remained clean and in tact. 
Using a marker

Using Kwik Stix
If you are sick of unwashed paint brushes or paint splattered in your sink when the brushes are washed you must give these a try!  No smocks, no water, not even paint brushes are needed to make great masterpieces.  They are simply amazing!  They also come in metalix and neon colors for even more fun.  You can use them on a variety of surfaces including wood, canvas, paper, poster paper, and cardboard. 

Here's another fun project put together by The Pencil Grip, Inc using white paper and white Mylar inflated balloons - perfect for Mother's Day!

The Pencil Grip, Inc. also sent us one of their Pencil Grips to try out. We received the original pencil grip and Sarah loves using it. She said it makes writing much more comfortable instead of feeling like you are writing with a piece of wood. Their pencil grip is rated #1 by teachers, doctors, and occupational therapists.  It is a great fit for adults and children and it does not matter if they are left handed or right handed.  Invented in 1992, the pencil grip continues to be a #1 best seller on Amazon.

For more inspiration and creative ideas visit The Pencil Grip, Inc. on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter

Kwik Stix The Pencil Grip, Inc. Review

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