Thursday, April 27, 2017

Planet 316 REVIEW

The past month we have had the privilege to play and review the Daily Bible Jigsaw app by Planet 316.  The app is available on four different platforms that include Google Play (for Android devices), Apple App Store (iOS devices), Facebook (Mac or PC computer web browser), or Facebook Gameroom (PC computer).  The app offers a free puzzle a day but we also received 500 coins to play with.

Daily Bible Jigsaw by Planet 316

The Daily Bible Jigsaw was fun to play.  Once you sign up for your free account you are offered a free puzzle a day to complete.  We chose to just login with my email account but if you login with Facebook you can:
  • earn 10 puzzle coins
  • challenge your friends
  • see friends' high scores
  • play in Weekly Tourney
  • share your puzzles

 Daily Bible Jigsaw by Planet 316

 Daily Bible Jigsaw by Planet 316

You have the option to just play the free puzzle of the day or you can purchase coins for additional play options. The puzzles have 30 pieces and once they are completed a bible verse pops up over the puzzle.  There is also calm soothing background music as you put the puzzle together. As you are playing an option comes up as a "power piece" and if you connect that piece in the puzzle you can earn a coin. The puzzles are timed so you have the challenge of trying to complete the puzzle in the shortest time possible.

Planet 316

In the puzzle window you also have help options available (must use coins to purchase).  You can press the ROTATE button that rotates all puzzle pieces to the proper orientation.  You can press the GUIDE button to see what the finished puzzle looks like. If you press the SWEEP button it pushes all the pieces to the sides.  If you use the MAGNET button it will connect two puzzle pieces together.  If you press the EDGES button it removes all pieces except for the edge pieces until you get them all connected. Once all the edge pieces are connected the remaining pieces reappear.

You earn awards as you complete puzzles but they don't seem to earn any coins. You are also offered BONUS PUZZLES to play for free or purchase and some of them are 56 piece challenge puzzles.

 Daily Bible Jigsaw by Planet 316

Both my 7th grade son and I played the app and enjoyed challenging each other's times on the puzzles.  My son seemed to lose interest after a while and he said the puzzles were not challenging enough for him.  I'm not sure I agree.  He may have gotten frustrated on a few since the puzzle pieces are not in the right orientation and I found that when I wanted to move a puzzle piece, if I was not careful, I ended up rotating the piece.  This was frustrating when it happened.

All things considered we would recommend the Daily Bible Jigsaw app.  It is a nice option to break up the monotony of the morning and afforded my son a break that still allowed him to have fun but use his mind at the same time.  The soothing music is pleasant.  I really enjoyed completing the puzzles and often completed 3 to 5 puzzles each time I played!  They also offer a Charlie Church Mouse Bible Adventures app that we did not try out.

You can connect with Planet 316 on FACEBOOK and TWITTER (@planet_316).

Read other reviews on this product here:

Daily Bible Jigsaw {Planet 316 Reviews}
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Saturday, April 22, 2017

No Progress

Still no progress.  Sickness set in again and it has rained for the past 3 days now.   Heavy.  A LOT of rain.  It would have been good for the plants if I had gotten them in the ground!  Well, the weekend is not over yet and tomorrow promises to be a nice sunny, fairly cool, day.  Hopefully I can at least get the plants in that I have already bought.  Would be a nice plus to get more plants bought and in the ground too, but that might be wishful thinking!  Hope your garden is progressing well.  I will update again with hopefully more progress!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Hope and Encouragement

Not sure why, or who this is for, but felt to put a few words of encouragement out tonight.  Life can get tiring.  It can get overwhelming.  It can get down right exhausting.  But God.  God has a perfect plan for your life.  Yeah, we've all heard that before, right?  Well, He does.  Problem is most of us decided at some time in our life that we had a better way to do things and it has caused His path for us to veer to the right or left at times.  If we keep our eyes on Him, He will always lead us back to Him and onto the right path.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Jer 29:11-12  NKJV

Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.14 I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive. Jer 29:12-14   NKJV

We must actively seek Him to find Him.  It is a choice we must make.  I would encourage you to make that choice.  When all seems lost and we just can't get out from under everything, the Lord says to lean on Him.  Cast our cares on Him.  Allow Him to fight our battles and carry us on wings like eagles. 
Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.  Ps 55:22   NKJV

 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.   Matthew 11:29   NKJV
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."  Matthew 11:30   NKJV

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 
8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 
10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.  1 Peter 5:6-11 NIV

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isa 40:31  NIV

Praying and believing you will be filled with hope today.


Saturday, April 15, 2017

A Boy and His Dog

This little fuzzy bundle of joy entered our lives about 9 months ago and things haven't been the same.  Last year some friends of ours asked if my son could have one of their pups.  The wife breeds Australian Shepherds and they wanted to bless my son with one of the pups from their recent litter.  My husband had previously stated absolutely no more pets.  We currently had one dog and two cats indoors and one cat outdoors (plus the chickens!).  At one time years ago we had 3 dogs and 3 cats all indoors in a place about half the size of where we live now!  For some reason, he decided maybe it was time to let my son have another pet.

It has been the best decision. Sort of!  Just kidding, it has been.  Australian Shepherds are a special kind of special.  I am now so in love with the breed I can't imagine having any other.  She has so endeared herself to us.  But stubborn, oh how stubborn they are.  I am so in love with this dog it is not even funny.  The picture above is her and my son with her newest toy, her Jolly ball.  I read about it on an Aussie page and it has been the best.  She LOVES it!  She kicks and chases it all over the yard.  One thing with Aussies is that they have to stay busy.  They need a job to do and they must stay busy or they get very ornery!  She has done so much damage to toys and my house!  She chews forever and a day.  I am endlessly searching for the best chew toys for her that she can't destroy.  I will write another post to share some of those.  For now, this ball is the best!  It really feeds into her herding instinct and she enjoys it so much.

We'll be celebrating her one year birthday soon and I'm sure it will be a fun time for her if my son has anything to say about it.  Till next time.  Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Digital Savvy REVIEW

I was so excited to have the chance to review Digital Savvy by CompuScholar, Inc. (previously known as Homeschool Programming).  Anyone who knows me knows how much I love computers and all things computer.  I really think that my 7th grader would love to learn some programming and this was the perfect chance to begin that process. Digital Savvy is recommended for grades 6-12.  Prerequisites to the program require minimal computer skills to include mouse, keyboard, and basic web browsing abilities.  It is available on Mac (OS version 10.7 or higher) or Windows (7, 8 or 10).

CompuScholar, Inc. Digital Savvy

Digital Savvy is a general broad level course that introduces the student to the basics of the computer and some basic HTML programming and scratch. There area several options for this program.  There is a student led or teacher led option.  The student led option still comes with a parent account that includes lesson plans and answer keys. The teacher led option is completely hands off to you.  With the teacher led option, the company provides all monitoring of your student and grading. The program is available as a one-year or monthly subscription. There is a reduced price for additional students in the home.

There are 25 chapters that include a final project using the skills the student has learned. Topics include:

  • Fundamentals of Computer Hardware and Software
  • Operating Systems, Computer Files, Maintenance & Troubleshooting
  • Networks, Search Engines, and Security
  • Word Processing Programs
  • Spread Sheet Programs
  • Presentation Programs
  • Database Technology
  • Project Management and Teamwork
  • Digital Images, Internet Communications, and Social Media
  • Creating Web Pages, Web Page Design, Web Links, Images and Animation
  • Programming Concepts and Digital Logic
  • Careers and Professional Skills

CompuScholar, Inc.
Once your student logs in they will come to their homepage screen that has any and all of their purchased courses.  Once the course is selected they will see the listing of all their chapters (the course syllabus is in the first chapter).

Student Lesson Screen
Your student can easily review their grades as they progress.

The lessons consist of a short lesson video, lesson text that reinforces what was covered in the video, and a short lesson quiz.

There are also activities and chapter exams.  You can generally cover a chapter per week and the course is designed to be covered over one year (two semesters).  The final project at the end is designed to take approximately 2-3 weeks for the student(s) to complete.

The teacher account included with the student led option includes lesson plans and answer keys to the quizzes and tests.

Teacher Lesson Plans

The Teacher Menu on the teacher account has some extra options in the menu that include viewing the grade book, editing your profile, changing your password, reporting issues, getting help and managing logins.

My 7th grade son has been able to keep up with the pace of one chapter per week pretty well.  Chapters take 5 to 11 days to complete with most just being 5 days.  We just had a few sick days but he got right back on track and is enjoying the lessons.  They are short enough to keep his attention and I know that once he gets into the more in depth subjects that he is going to like it even more. I looked ahead and checked out the future lessons and they look to be pretty simple but do a good job of introducing the student to simple HTML programming and scratch.  The introduction to computer programs and social media is also nice.  He should have a good basis to build from once he completes the course.  It should set him up pretty good to be able to tackle the more in depth programming modules CompuScholar Inc. currently has to offer. What's even more exciting is that they have plans to continue to expand their course options.

CompuScholar, Inc.

We give Digital Savvy by CompuScholar Inc. two thumbs up!  The only thing to be aware of is that, just as the company states, if you have absolutely no computer knowledge and are generally afraid of computers this is not the place to start.  They do expect that you are familiar with a computer, keyboard, and mouse.  If you have just a few simple basic skills, you will find this program to be extremely helpful in furthering your computer skills and knowledge.  We will definitely be continuing on with this course to completion and look forward to choosing the next subject of theirs to work on,
Be sure to check out the other reviews from the Homeschool Review Crew through the link below.  The two other programs reviewed were WEB DESIGN (grades 6-12) and JAVA PROGRAMMING (grades 9-12).

You can connect with CompuScholar, Inc. through the following media links:

Homeschool Programming:
Facebook  or Twitter @hsprogramming

CompuScholar, Inc.:
Facebook   or   Twitter   @compuscholar

Digital Savvy, Web Design & Java Programming {CompuScholar,Inc Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Needs some work!!

Um, yeah.  Guess who didn't get the garden closed down properly last fall?  We have a lot of work cut out for us this spring to get the garden ready.  Between schedules and sicknesses we have not been able to accomplish much.  We are doing it a step at a time.  We will get there!  The weeds are always just so bad.  We spray, pull, and even put Preen in the aisles last fall.  Nothing seems to get it gone.

Where we are and based on our climate we should have already had peas, lettuce, radishes, cauliflower, broccoli and any other cool weather plants in the ground.  I just got some plants bought this past weekend and need to get them planted by the weekend!

Here are some progress pictures

Making some progress
This last weekend hubby got the aisles weed wacked and now we just need to treat the aisles for weeds and weed the beds and get stuff planted!!  Hope to have some more complete, planted pictures by the weekend!  

Slow progress

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Iliad and Odyssey Complete Set REVIEW

Iliad & Odyssey Complete Set

My newest review is the Iliad and Odyssey Complete Set by Memoria Press.  We were so blessed to get this wonderful classical curriculum.  We only had a few weeks to review this set so of course we were not able to complete the entire curriculum but we made a dent in the Iliad.  I was able to look over The Odyssey for purposes of this review.  The set includes:
  • Teacher Guide (one for each book)
  • Student Guide (consumable for one student, one for each book)
  • Both the Iliad and Odyssey books
  • Instructional DVDs for both books

Memoria Press

This set of books by the Greek poet Homer are translated by Samuel Butler. The authors of the books and study guides worked diligently to make the study available and useable by younger students.  This set is recommended for grades 7 - 12. The Teacher Guide and DVDs make these books very teachable even if you have not been exposed to any background studies on the subject. There are 48 books (chapters) total in the two books and it is recommended that you spend NO LESS than 4.5 hours per week for 18 weeks to cover the matierial.

The Teacher Guide has notes, answers to student questions, quizzes and tests. It explains the schedule recommended to follow, how the lessons are organized and a brief background on Homer. For each assignment the Teacher Guide covers some background, discussion help, answers to student questions, notes and essay and assignments.

The Student Guide covers each book (chapter) and identifies places and characters, asks comprehensive questions, includes quotations, and ends with discussion questions for each book. The lessons are fairly short (only 10 comprehensive questions).
The DVDs have an overview teaching of each book by Sean Brooks who is a teacher of classical studies and Latin.  The lessons are about 30 - 40 minutes long and each DVD set begins with and Introduction Lesson that sets the stage for the book.  The remaining lessons on the DVDs are meant to be watched after reading each book (chapter). The lessons review what was read and give more insight into what the book was all about.

Iliad & Odyssey Complete Set

This study is specifically designed to be taught to a younger student but with my 7th grader who is a struggling learner I found that it was still a little too much for him.  The problem for us is that he does not have a great attention span and the lessons ended up being too long.  The "books" or chapters were not all the same length and therefore some lessons were short or average while others were quite long.  Between the reading, student questions and video lesson, it was just too long.  We ended up breaking it up but then it was a little difficult for him to stay focused on what had been read in the review on the video.  I think in our case he just got overwhelmed and shut down.  For us I think this would be much better done as a unit study type with no other subjects covered.  Probably great for us for a summer "project" where he didn't have any other strict core curriculum studies to cause him to be so overwhelmed.  I also think for us we will shelve this study till possibly 9th grade.  I feel he will be better prepared and more able to stick with it at that age.

Iliad & Odyssey Complete Set

That being said, I really liked the curriculum and think it is an excellent resource for Greek study.  I personally feel it is best suited for 8-10th grade.  Perhaps their rating for 7-12 grade covers the diverse ability of homeschooled students.  A strong learner at 7th grade could easily cover this material and a struggling learner like my child would no doubt have a much better time with this during 11th or 12th grade.

You can connect with Memoria Press on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, TWITTER, and PINTEREST.

Please take a moment to check out my fellow crew member reviews on this set and others available at Memoria Press.  They have some WONDERFUL classical education resources.  You will be glad you did!

First Form Greek, Iliad/Odyssey and American History {Memoria Press Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Adoption Day

It's done.  It's finished.  We finally have our new addition to our family permanent.  We are so happy and blessed.  Unless you have actually experienced a situation like this, it might be hard to understand the stress of the journey and why adoption day is so special.

In our case we adopted out of foster care and it has been a VERY LONG journey.  The state claims to want permanency for children in care within 12 months.  Of course that rarely happens and a more reasonable timeline based on how legalities have to be followed is 18 months.  Again, that seems to rarely happen.  It is so sad that these kids get hung in the system for so long. Permanency basically means either the children are returned home or placed in guardianship or adopted.

When a child remains in the system with no permanency it causes so much extra trauma.  There is not closure in one way or another for the children and generally the dysfunction that caused them to be placed in the system to begin with continues.  I will probably touch more on this in another post some time.

For now, we are just overjoyed to have our new permanent family member.  She has been a part of our lives for almost four years.  That is too long in foster care, but that has now ended.  What an exciting and joyous day!  We are blessed!
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