Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Starfall REVIEW

I was very excited when I found out I was going to be able to review The Starfall Home Membership by Starfall Education Foundation. I had recently been considering what other supplements or curriculums I could use with my K5 daughter. I had wanted to try Starfall and was pleased that we could now check out the whole program and not just the free options.  I received a one-year membership that allows my whole family to access the program.  Currently, only my K5 daughter is using it since my other two are too old for the programs offered.  The Starfall Home Membership provides lessons and activities for language arts and math for grades pre-K to 2nd grade.

My K5 daughter has no problem navigating the app

The program is common core aligned.  It is an online program that is accessible from a computer, laptop or tablet.  They have an app for Android and iOS.  We downloaded the app on a Kindle Fire HD (I think 3rd generation, it is pretty old).  It has memory problems once in a while and locks up but not too bad.  I also downloaded it on my newer Kindle Fire HD 10 and it works perfectly on that.  Please also note that not all of the activities that are available on the desktop version are available on the tablet apps.  It seems that currently a couple of the short vowel activities and direct access to the 1st grade activities are not accessible on the app.  The icons for the 2nd-grade math skills are diff but it is available on both the app and the desktop versions.  The multiplication and division activities available on the desktop are not available in the app.  I know they are working on upgrades so I would think that the upper grades might be available on the app in the future.  Activities available in the app include:
  • Math Songs
  • Number recognition
  • Geometry and Measurement
  • Add & Subtract
  • Selected 2nd Grade Math Skills
  • ABCs, Vowels, Sign language
  • Colors
  • Reading (including learning to read skills)--LOTS of reading skills
  • Phonics
  • Nursery Rhymes (My daughter's absolute favorite!)
  • Motion Songs
  • Sing Along Songs
  • ABC Rhymes
  • Historical American Folk Songs (a little bit of history :))
  • Calendar activities
  • Holiday activities
  • the activities are endless!
One of the many activities available, love this!

Seriously, there is so much to do and my daughter is just loving it.  She uses it every day.  In the few weeks that we have been using the app she has learned so much.  She already knows her numbers and letters but the activities have gained her so much more confidence and it is a joy to listen to her running around the house singing the new nursery rhymes she has learned.  The app is completely engaging for her and she never tires of it.  The variety of activities is so diverse and keeps her attention well.  It is also the perfect activity for keeping her busy while I work with the older kids!

Free download guides available

FREE Teacher Guides (full curriculum)

The really nice part that I have not had to time dig into yet is the Parent-Teacher Center available on the desktop version.  There is an option to purchase full curriculum for Pre-K and Kindergarten.  There are also Pre-K and Kindergarten teacher guides available for download.  You can purchase the teacher guides or you can access and download them for free from the website.  The guides are broken down into units and include curriculum for a full year.  Printables are also available in the resource area for free.  There are SO many printables available (for both English Language Arts [ELA] and Math) and even a worksheet generator that you can create your own worksheets.  It is very easy to use and the worksheets are great!  There are even instructions on how to change the font in the worksheets if you want.

sample worksheet
Word, Number, and Picture cards available in Resources

I honestly can't say enough good things about The Starfall Home Membership.  I really like it and my daughter absolutely LOVES it and that is a major win for me.  We give it a double thumbs up!  I started her in Kindergarten this year because she was ready but she is still young and I don't feel she is ready for 1st grade in the fall.  This curriculum will be so perfect for us to dig into over the summer to have her 1st grade ready hopefully by this time next year if not sooner.


Starfall Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  Take the time to read about them on the website.  I think it is a wonderful thing they are doing by providing both the free and membership options.  You can connect with them on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, PINTEREST, and INSTAGRAM.

Please also take the time to check out the other reviews by my fellow Review Crew members.

The Starfall Home Membership {Starfall Education Foundation Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Spring is Around the Corner!

The days are getting longer and the sunsets are spectacular.  Spring is almost here!  I will be so glad to officially say goodbye to winter this year.  It has just been a wet dreary one and I need the sunshine!  I know I'll be complaining about how hot it is before long, but for now, I will anticipate with joy the upcoming spring weather.

The chickens feel it too!  We collected a record 25 eggs today from 36 potential layers.  I think just about everyone is laying at this point.  There may be a few of the younger ones that aren't laying yet, but if not they will very soon.  It was so exciting to see so many eggs all of a sudden.  We have been averaging about 12 - 14 eggs per day for a few weeks now.  If you have chickens how is your egg collecting going?

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Wulf the Saxon REVIEW

Wulf the Saxon

Heirloom Audio Productions has done it yet again!  Their most recent audio drama, Wulf the Saxon, was full of intrigue and excitement that I have come to expect from their G.A. Henty adventures.  I received a physical copy of the 2 CD set for this review.  The CDs consist of about 2 1/2 hours of audio drama.  G.A. Henty was a great storyteller who eventually wrote his stories down.  He used actual events in history and characters to wow his audiences and draw them into his stories.

We love to sit down as a family and listen to these audio adventures. The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty never disappoint and I love that they are all about historical fiction.  In the past, we have had access to their study guides online that really helped us to dig deeper into the story and really think about what the author was trying to convey in the story (you need to be a member of Live The Adventure Club to access the study guides).

Wulf the Saxon 2 CD set

We liked that this time we just sat down and listened to a few tracks at a time over the course of several weeks.  There are a total of 21 tracks averaging about 5 to 8 minutes each.  We listen to them in our living room on our DVD player, but they will of course work in a car, computer, laptop, or CD player.

CD #1


The story opens with Mr. George meeting two brothers, Etienne and Leon, who are playing aboard a ship.  They converse and Mr. George begins to tell them the story of Wulf the Saxon. The story is generally about William the Conqueror's Conquest of England (Norman Conquest) and the Battle of Hastings in 1066.  We learn that Wulf is a Thane and that British nobility ranks are (from top to bottom) King, Duke, and then Earl.  The Thanes are above commoners, but still not considered nobility.  Wulf has found favor with Harold the Earl who helps Wulf to grow up into a noble man.  Wulf is only 16 years old when the story begins.  He has overstepped his boundaries and gotten himself into some trouble.  Harold sends him home to grow up a little.  Wulf befriends a fellow student, Osgod, and they become friends to the end.  When Wulf comes back to England the King pardons him and he becomes a trusted member of Harold's inner circle.

Harold and his crew travel on a journey and we experience terror when their boat capsizes and they are captured in Normandy.  When Wulf and Beorn escape, their 3-day journey ends when they find favor with Barron DeBurg.  This is also when Wulf first meets the Barron's daughter, Agnes, and befriends his son, Guy.  Wulf also meets back up with Osgod who ends up going into battle with him.  War is going on and they fight several battles. They overthrow the castle at Llewellyn but things have just begun.  Within a year Harold summons Wulf again.

You must get this audio drama to learn about their battles and quests to secure their lands and throne.  How do they escape their capture at Normandy?  Who is Tostig and what do we learn about him? Why must Harold leave his wife Edith? What sacrifice do they choose to make? Who becomes king and what challenges do they face as a result? What happens to Osgod on the battlefield? Who will win Wulf's heart?  It is a wonderful story of battles, honor, sacrifice, true love and trust.  I like how it ends with Mr. George leading into another one of his stories, the Battle of Agincourt.

Heirloom Audio Productions

Heirloom Audio Productions does such a superb job of bringing these stories to life.  The sound effects are phenomenal and you really do feel like you are right there with the characters.  I highly recommend Wulf the Saxon. I also highly recommend you visit their website because it has a PLETHORA of information and free resources.  Just select the RESOURCES tab on the home page and you will be directed to the Live The Adventure page.  There you will find awesome parent resources (podcasts, movie reviews, much more) and kids activities that include recipes and word searches. You can also follow the link to the Live The Adventure Club to join and have access to even more resources (I highly recommend the study guides)! Read more about my review of the club in my In The Reign of Terror review.

Heirloom Audio Adventure Club

You can connect with Heirloom Audio Productions at FACEBOOK, TWITTER, PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, GOOGLE+, and YOUTUBE.
Please take the time to check out the other reviews by fellow Review Crew members.

Wulf the Saxon {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Monday, February 19, 2018

Winter Wonderland

Our weather can just not make its mind up!  We had 50-degree weather one day and this snowfall the next day.  It snowed and had several inches accumulation before the weather warmed up in the same day and had it all melted by that evening.  The weather has been fairly warm since.  It has been crazy.  We are anxious for spring to be here and I will be glad when the cold leaves.

The ladies are laying more and more and I think I might have one trying to go broody.  That would be nice.  Would love to hatch more chicks.  How has your weather been?  Any strange weather surprises?

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Breed Highlight - Amber Link

This egg is from our faithful egg layer, Misty Dawn.  She is an Amber Link. She has been a wonderful member of our flock since the beginning. She is one of our first chickens from the beginning of our poultry raising journey.  She is one of my son's pets so she will stay with us until she passes.  She is currently 4 years old and still lays pretty well.  She has taken a few breaks but can still lay up to 3 or 4 eggs per week when she wants to.  In her younger days she was definitely one of the egg a day layers, even through the winter.  We easily got 5 to 6 eggs per week from her.

Her disposition has been pleasant as well.  She is a senior member in our flock but is generally non-confrontational and pretty much keeps to herself. If you are ever considering adding a dependable layer to your flock I would highly recommend the Amber Link.  We have really enjoyed her.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Let it Snow!

Or NOT!!  Oh my, so ready for this winter to be over.  It really has been a short one in comparison, but oh has it been so miserably cold lately.  We keep getting hot and cold weather and I'm ready for it to be over.  I have found that the older I get, the less I like the cold weather.  I am to the point where I could just do without it and move somewhere warmer, LOL.

It is so joyful to see my aussie enjoying the snow.  I am also so grateful that I found her the Jolly Ball. I think I found out about it on one of the aussie boards I am on and boy has it been the best thing ever!!  If you own a herding dog or have an over rambunctious canine that needs a distraction I HIGHLY recommend this ball!!  Ours is the 10-inch version which is perfect for her solid 55 lb body.  It is a hard ball that she can herd all over the place and herd she does!!  She loves this thing and has gotten VERY good at herding it.  It is such a joy to watch her.

How is your weather?  Hope you and your pets are braving the cold well if it is cold where you are.  Looking forward to more sun and warmer weather!

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