Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thrifty Thursday


Here are some of the thrifty deals for today!

FREE Preparing Little Hearts for Resurrection Sunday Printable @ The Road to 31

FREE Easter Lapbook for Little Ones @ Notebooking Nook


FREE Easter Egg PreK/K Pack @ The Reading Mama


FREE Spring Inspired Wall Art @ Happy & Blessed Home


FREE Activities and Downloads @ What's in the Bible

FREE Easter Journal & Activity Book @  Upside Down Homeschooling


FREE Nature Study Notebooking Set @ Homeschool Giveaways & Freebies

FREE Easter Story Eggs Printable @ Motherhood on a Dime


FREE Phonics Printable @ the measured mom


FREE Cloud Basics Speedy Lapbook @ CurrClick


FREE Easter Activities and Lapbook @ Confessions of a Homeschooler

FREE Printable Butterfly Notecards @ Homeschooling Hearts and Minds

I hope you enjoy some of these FREEBIES! If you know of any others, please leave a comment below. 




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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday


The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 
Psalm 34: 17-18



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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Curiosity Quest Review

Curiosity Quest Review

Sometimes the best learning moments come from where you would least expect them.  Funny Bunny and I received two products to review from Curiosity Quest.  Curiosity Quest is educational programing that delves into the topics viewers like you and me want to know more about. 

We received the DVD Combo Pack - Produce and the DVD Combo Pack - Swimmers of the Sea.

{I want to mention that much of this review was written by Funny Bunny since she has a much better memory than me.  Sometimes our writing is very similar in style, but other times it is not.  I hope you enjoy what she has to say.}

Of course Funny Bunny loves animals so she asked to watch Swimmers of the Sea first.  It includes three episodes about Penguins, Alaskan Salmon, and Sea Turtles.

Curiosity Quest Review

Turtle Rescue

Host Joel Greene and the crew visit the Sea Turtle hospital in Marathon, Florida where the staff rescues, rehabs, and releases sea turtles.

We learned different ways turtles are harmed, an example of which is by swallowing plastic bags. We also watched as the turtles were fed and even saw the turtle eggs in the hatchery!

We learned some interesting things, such as a turtle comes back to the same beach she was born on to lay her eggs. That's one reason we need to preserve our beaches, so the sea turtles can thrive for many more years to come!   

In Turtle Rescue, there was a little bit about evolution, but it did not spoil the episode for us, and it was still very interesting!

Penguins

They visit Monterrey Bay Aquarium to talk all about the life of a penguin. 

Curiosity Quest Review

In this video, we learned that penguins don't need super cold climates to live in, which would be surprising to most people like us, who are use to picturing penguins in the icy Arctic.

We learned a lot of cool things about penguins. When they swim, predators under the sea (and prey) have a hard time seeing them because of their white bellies matching icebergs from an underwater view, and flying predators would not notice it because its black back blends in with the stormy-looking water around it. Cool!

There were plenty of other fun facts about penguins, and they were countless. We learned a lot about them.

I like the penguins' waddle best.

Salmon Hatchery

They visit Alaska to learn about salmon.  Now you would think that learning about salmon would be a little boring, but we learned so many new things, it was really interesting.

Imagine salmon splashing upstream in a river. Hundreds. No, maybe thousands! 

What are they doing? Where did they come from?

In Alaska, we learn about salmon. About the time of year the video was shot, they all were heading to the hatchery to lay their eggs. They go through the river (yes, Joel, the water is cold), then on to what looks like a "salmon highway", and into the hatchery. There they lay their eggs.

Once the baby salmon are of age, they will go under little floating docks - floating docks with netting on each underside, keeping the fish in. Soon they will be let go to the ocean, and the cycle continues!

Next we popped in the DVD Combo Pack - Produce.  it also includes three episodes about Mushrooms, Orange Packing, and Cranberries.

Curiosity Quest Review

Mushrooms

Joel Greene and the crew travel to the Monterrey Mushrooms facility and learn all about how mushrooms are grown.  I thought this episode was especially interesting because most of it was actually focused on the dirt the mushrooms are grown in.

What is the first step in growing mushrooms? That's the first question Joel asks, and the answer in completely unexpected.

Dirt? Seeds? Just finding the mushrooms? Those might be some guesses.

How about hay?

Yes, hay. Mushrooms are grown on hay.

Yes, I know.

It turns out that the hay bales must be fluffed, turned, broken apart, mushed, and decomposed. And then after that what happens?

They do it again.

You already are learning something new after like, what, five minutes of the video?

This was a great video, and we did learn a lot more stuff then just hay. We learned about growing, harvesting, incubating (yes, incubating a mushroom), sizing, packaging, and shipping. Whew! That is a very, very action-packed DVD!

Orange Picking

They visit orange groves and learn how they are grown, sorted, packaged, and shipped.

In this DVD, we obviously learned about oranges. But there was so much in this video that we never knew about them!

We are shown the best climate for orange-growing, the best way to orange-pick, and how to tell if the oranges are ripe. Then we are taken inside the building.

The oranges are put through a series of tests, each one narrowing the group down until only the ones fit for store are remaining. These are packages and sent over the country.

What happens to the other oranges that didn't make it? Well, if they're moldy or bad, then they may get fed to farm animals. If they are okay to eat, but aren't big enough, not the right color, or just not good enough to be sold in the market, these will be used to make juice.

Wow, we sure learned a lot about oranges in this video!

Cranberries

The crew visits a cranberry bog in Wisconsin.  This was another of our favorites and we actually watched it twice.  I never knew why cranberries were sitting in water to be harvested or how they even got there.  Do you?

Curiosity Quest Review

One of the main questions to this episode was, "Why in the commercials are the men standing in a lake of cranberries?" In this video, we'll learn that and so much more.

As they walked into the pit of cranberries, Joel asked just that. The answer was that they're so much easier to harvest when they're floating. Cranberries are buoyant, meaning that they are light and hollow, so they float. Machines drive through and harvest the floating cranberries. 

You may have noticed that some of the cranberries are green, not the reddish purple we all recognize. Is the answer that they are not ripe yet? Are they not ready? No. They just, as our guide says, "decided to live the rest of their life green." Green ones are usually sweeter then the red ones (except for the one Joel tried), though they are not generally sold in stores.

Inside, the cranberries undergo a series of tests much similar to the oranges. One of the tests is the "bounce test", determining whether or not the cranberry bounces high enough to be sold. A cranberry usually gets eight chances to prove itself.

We learned so much about cranberries, it was cool to figure out why the men do stand in a lake of cranberries.    

My Thoughts:  Host Joel Greene keeps each episode lively and entertaining.  He's quite a character and asks a lot of questions. He's also very hands on, which is great to watch.  Throughout each episode, there are clips where he asks kids questions about the topic and I think Funny Bunny really liked listening to their answers.  Also, at the end of each video they ask what we are curious about and encourage viewers to send in show ideas, which Funny Bunny has asked to do.

Thoughts of a 10-Year Old:  I really liked these DVDs, because they taught me a lot more about things I thought I already knew about (like turtles) and things that I wasn't quite as familiar with (like mushrooms).

If I had to pick a favorite video, I wouldn't know what to say. And that's pretty rare for me, as I'd usually pick a DVD with animals in it!

I think that the Curiosity Quest videos have really helped me think about things (especially the mushrooms) differently. For instance, who knew that mushrooms started with...hay! Who'd think?

Find Out More:  You can find out more online at Curiosity Quest.  The DVD Combo Pack - Produce and the DVD Combo Pack - Swimmers of the Sea are both $24.95 each.  These videos are geared towards children ages 7-14.  There are many other episodes available, including subjects such as food, animals, sports, and instruments. Each episode is 30 minutes and shares interesting and relatively unknown facts that your whole curious family will enjoy learning about.  Curiosity Quest is also available on many local PBS channels airing over 100 episodes.

You can also find Curiosity Quest on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Click to read Crew Reviews

Crew Disclaimer



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Friday, April 11, 2014

Free and Frugal Homeschooling: Tips {Giveaway}

April Blog Hop

Welcome to the last day of my 5 Days of Free and Frugal Homeschooling!!  I hope you have enjoyed this series.

Today I'm going to be sharing some FREE and FRUGAL Homeschooling Tips!

If you missed it, here are the first four days along with their GIVEAWAYS, which at the time of this post, are still all open, so go and enter!!

Day 1 - Curriculum Plans and a Giveaway
Day 2 - Books and a Giveaway 
Day 3 - Printables and Planners and a Giveaway
Day 4 - Educational Online Games and a Giveaway

So here are a few Tips on Homeschooling FREE and Frugal:

Use the Library - If you have a well stocked public library nearby, this is a cheap way to find all those books on your reading list.  Also, take advantage of their inter-library loan system.

Buy Used, Swap, or Borrow - Buy, swap, or borrow from friends or shop your local used curriculum sale if you have one. 

Shop Sales - Buy school supplies when everything is on sale, and during the tax-free weekend if your state offers it.

Shop Online - I have found that if I can't find something used, I may be able to find it cheaper on Amazon or Books-A-Million.  Both offer free shipping if you buy over $25 and Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble both have a 20% off educators discount for teachers. You just have to sign up for the card and then register the card number to your account.

Join a Co-op - Co-ops offer support and ideas that you would not have available otherwise.

Hand Down and/or Combine Kids- We only have one child so we sell things after we use them, unless they would be a good resource for the future or they were consumable.  But for bigger families, hand down books and curriculum to younger siblings or if they are close in age, combine their work.

Search FREE Sites - If I can find a free online site that has games, resources, or materials, I will try and incorporate it into our schedule. I try not to use too many, but they break up our day for time to time.

Netflix - Last year we decided to cancel our Direct TV and get only our local channels and Netflix. We LOVE Netflix!! There are many educational movies on there and you could probably find something to go along with any topic you are learning.

Amazon Prime - We don't have Amazon Prime at the moment but I've thought of getting it for the instant streaming of movies and TV episodes. Plus, there are over 350,000 Kindle titles to borrow for free. Still something we are thinking about.

Here are a few links to sites that help make Homeschooling FREE and Frugal

Homeschool Classifieds
Homeschool Buyers Co-op
Vegsource 
The Well-Trained Mind
FreeCycle
Ebay
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

The last of some great sites that offer free printables and more

Freely Educate
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine


GIVEAWAY #5

In keeping with the Free and Frugal Homeschooling theme, I'll be giving away some of my favorite homeschool products this week!!

Today you can enter to win a Six Month Membership to Reading Eggs AND An Autographed Copy of A Cry From Egypt!!

a Rafflecopter giveawayBefore you leave though, see what over 60 other bloggers at The Schoolhouse Review Crew have had to say, or start with these eight blogs below!

Anne Marie @ Future.Flying.Saucers ~ Christian Worldview 101
Marya @ Suncoast Momma ~ Homeschooling Special Needs
Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break ~ Ordinary Homeschooling
Lisa @ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Our Favorite Family Recipes
Dawn @ Double O Farms ~  Helping Your Struggling Learner
Gena @ I Choose Joy! ~ Homeschooling Middle School
Monique @ Living Life and Learning ~ Homeschooling with Lapbooks
DaLynn @ For the Display of His Splendor ~ Diagramming the Proverbs


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©2010-2014 Our Homeschool Reviews. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://ourhomeschoolreviews.blogspot.com/

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Free and Frugal Homeschooling: Educational Online Games {Giveaway}

April Blog Hop

Welcome to Day 4 of my 5 Days of Free and Frugal Homeschooling!! Today I'm going to be sharing links for FREE Educational Online Games!

If you missed it, here's

Day 1 - Curriculum Plans and a Giveaway
Day 2 - Books and a Giveaway 
Day 3 - Printables and Planners and a Giveaway

There are plenty of online games out there, but it can be hard choosing between those that are educational and those that are time wasters.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Starfall
Learning Games for Kids
Sheppard Software
Dance Mat Typing
Fun Brain
Toy Theater
Edheads
Headventure Land
Try Science
Dig It Up

A few great blogs with free printables {will feature more throughout the week} 

Homeschooling Hearts & Minds
Dad's Worksheets
In All You Do

GIVEAWAY #4

In keeping with the Free and Frugal Homeschooling theme, I'll be giving away some of my favorite homeschool products this week!!


Today you can enter to win a One Year Subscription to Talking Fingers: Read, Write, and Type AND One Download at A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway Before you leave though, see what over 60 other bloggers at The Schoolhouse Review Crew have had to say, or start with these eight blogs below!

Anne Marie @ Future.Flying.Saucers ~ Christian Worldview 101
Marya @ Suncoast Momma ~ Homeschooling Special Needs
Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break ~ Ordinary Homeschooling
Lisa @ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Our Favorite Family Recipes
Dawn @ Double O Farms ~  Helping Your Struggling Learner
Gena @ I Choose Joy! ~ Homeschooling Middle School
Monique @ Living Life and Learning ~ Homeschooling with Lapbooks
DaLynn @ For the Display of His Splendor ~ Diagramming the Proverbs



Don't miss a thing! Subscribe to Our Homeschool Reviews and get our articles right to your inbox!

©2010-2014 Our Homeschool Reviews. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author. http://ourhomeschoolreviews.blogspot.com/