30 May 2016

Memorial Day 2016

We owe this freedom of choice and action to those men and women in uniform who have served this nation and its interests in time of need. In particular, we are forever indebted to those who have given their lives that we might be free.
Ronald Reagan
I don't have to tell you how fragile this precious gift of freedom is. Every time we hear, watch, or read the news, we are reminded that liberty is a rare commodity in this world.
Ronald Reagan
And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free. And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
Lee Greenwood

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.  
Joseph Campbell

25 May 2016

Sunya Publishing a TOS Crew Review

Recently, my family received a math and science card game from Sunya Publishing and their game- Sunya-The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Multiplying & Dividing. Sunya Publishing is a brand new company.
Sunya- The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Multiplying & Dividing is for ages 9+ and anywhere to 1-5 players.
Sunya is pronounced with the “u” letter sounding it out as “oo”. It took my kids a bit of work saying the name. Sunya is a word from the ancient and classical language-Sanskrit from India. Sunya means empty or void of any quantity. You will announce to other players when you say “Sunya” letting them know that you are out of cards and you win the game.  
What I received:
My family received a physical copy of Sunya-The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Multiplying & Dividing. I received a comb bound book which contains all the instructions for playing the game. The book provides you with instructions for playing with younger kids, teams, and more advanced game playing. The book is mostly printed in grey-scale  color. There are a few colored pages throughout the book. I preferred the colored pages as it seems to do a better job enhancing the examples and the different points and ways to play the game. It was much more pleasing to the eyes and seemed to break it up. The manual has 25 pages.

A Number Line for Multiplying and Dividing that is printed on a nice thick quality glossy paper kind of like playing card material. This is nice and sturdy as you don’t have to worry about it getting ripped or bend up easily. I think I will eventually laminate it-just in case. 

Two sets of playing cards one has 60 playing cards that has a number on it along with dots to represent the numerical value. The other card set is 30 cards that has math and science fact riddle cards. All the cards are the standard thickness of most game playing cards.
How do you play?
I will try and explain the game the best as I can as I had some trouble understanding the concept of playing-so bear with me. Have you ever explained something with so much detail that you realize you have made it more confusing? This is where I was as the manual is extremely detailed that it felt overwhelming to me. My husband is very good with math and enjoys card games and games that deal with numbers. He also likes those detailed and lengthy strategy games. My beloved also found it a bit confusing also.
That is not a bad thing. Remember, I told you that Sunya Publishing is a brand new company. It is not available to purchase yet but, you can contact them if you have any questions. So hopefully, all the feedback will help them out when it is available to buy.
After I read the instructions over several times I realized that I was probably over thinking how to play the game. I had to ask other Crew members to help me understand it. It helped and I was able to introduce the game to my children. I knew at this point that I just needed to try to play the game and see if it made sense to me.
You begin by laying out a number sentence, and then you deal each player 4 cards. The next player will also lay out a number sentence and will try to change the number sentence. You are able to draw one card at a time until you have a valid number sentence. This will continue until each player is out of cards and the first player to run out of cards says, “Sunya” is the winner. The winner then proceeds to draw math and science fact riddle cards and ask the other players a question from the card. 0 & 1 cannot be in the math factor but, can be a math product. Wild Cards can be any number in any part of the math sentence. As for the Number Line I assume it's an aid to help but, I'm not sure
Sunya Publishing also has another game Sunya-The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Adding and Subtracting. Both games have the same format of playing but, work on learning different facts and also have a differences in playing variation.

How did I use this in my homeschool?

I played with my 10 year old son and 13 year old daughter. We played the game using the instructions above. The game went quickly overall without too much confusion. My kids loved the math and science fact riddle cards. They kept expecting more from the game as I did. We only played this one version as I could not figure out the other playing options.
I just felt like I was missing much more than what the game has to offer. I mean with a instruction book filled with that much information I know that I am missing the point somewhere. Trust me I love games about learning math facts and then add a bit of science to the mix. It’s usually a big hit in my homeschool.

Overall, I think there is hope for Sunya Publishing. What do I think would make it better? Make the instruction book fully colored it just makes the points pop out. Maybe, add actual layouts of the cards in play for a visual look at the game in action. While playing the game with my kids I had the instruction book next to me and seeing the different highlighted boxes was helpful but, I needed more visual points I quess. I am not sure if you can simplify the instructions in the manual as I’m not sure how to get the most out of the game.

I actually got online to see if there were any videos on the instructions out on the web. I would love to see either a DVD or a streaming video on the website of how to play the many variations of the game.

I see a lot of potential for Sunya Publishing and the games. I would love to be able to fully grasp the game and play it with my kids. I really wish and want to be more positive but, I just don’t quite understand it.

Don’t forget to see what others from the Crew have to say.


24 May 2016

Diary Farm Field Trip

A few weeks ago we visited a diary farm with our 4-H Club. It's owned by one of the 4-H members. I think we are the only family in our new 4-H Club that doesn't show cattle, sheep, or any kind of animal. They are a small but, fun group. It's fun living in a small town surrounded by farm land.
 The girls are getting milked.
 All the details of running a diary farm. Not to mention all the dedication and hours you put in.
 One of the kids took a picture of the feet.
 A baby calf was just born a few hours before we arrived. They haven't even looked to determine if it's a boy or girl yet.
 We wanted to know what it was. So they looked and found out that it's a boy.
 They take the calf away from the mother immediately after she cleans of her calf. It made us sad knowing that. He was crying real loud. Poor thing must of been scared.
 He  was trying to stand up for the first time. He kept slipping as the floor was too slippery to get his feet adjusted.
 He decided to just lay still and watch us instead.
 Then we had barn yard Olympics. It was raining hard outside so it ended up being held inside.

 Bug wasn't sure about the tractor races.
 Little Man found out that tires are pretty heavy.
 The kids did their yearly presentation. Little Man talked about the crossbow and safety.
 Wow, he did an amazing job. He has been working on public speaking. He was so clear and kept making good eye contact. He got a lot of compliments. It was a drastic difference from his presentation last year as he went at the speed of light. I'm so proud of him.
 Bug had one of the girls help her. Since it was a new group. She wanted to share about beekeeping again. She did good but, was extremely nervous.

23 May 2016

Science Shepherd a TOS Crew Review

Science is a big deal in our home and my kids love it when it’s time for science. It’s definitely a favorite subject around here. We were given a 12-month subscription to Science Shepherd and their Introductory Science. I also received a physical copy of Introductory Science Workbook Level B and Introductory Science Workbook Answer Key Level B.
Science Shepherd is a Christian creation based- online homeschool science. They offer three topics of science programs Introductory Science, Science Shepherd Biology, and Science Shepherd Life Science.
The creator of Science Shepherd is Dr. Scott Hardin, MD who is a homeschool dad of six. He noticed that many homeschoolers didn’t continue with homeschool once their children got into the higher grades as they felt they couldn’t due the science at that level. Science Shepherd was created to provide a high quality science program for older kids that does the teaching for you and takes the stress out of providing a high quailtiy homeschool online science program.
The Introductory Science is for ages 6-11. They offer two different workbook options Level A is set up for ages 6-8 and Level B is intended for ages 9-11. This is a complete science curriculum that is set up for 5 days a week for a complete 35 weeks of science.

Each lesson starts out with a short video that is only a few minutes. Typical each week there are 5 segments on a certain topic unless, you are doing a hands on activity. Week 1 and 2 or introduction and go over the seven days of creation and talk about some amazing things that God created on that particular day of creation. Week 3 goes over some science skills and tools.
You cover 3 main topics during the 35 weeks:
Earth Science will go over Meteorology, Geology, Oceanography, and Astronomy.
Life Science will cover plants, underwater creatures, land and flying creatures, and man, Healthy living, Ecology, and Natural Resources.
Physical Science is Matter, Energy, Motion, and Magnets.

Little Man was able to do everything independently. The only time he really needed my help was when he need to do the hands on activities. Logging in and navigating the site was extremely easy. The only thing I had a hard time with the site is that it doesn’t tell you where you left off at. The workbook helped in that area if we forgot which day we finished in a week. Little Man enjoyed Science Shepherd so much that he typically did more than one lesson a day.
The videos are interesting. Scott Hardin does a great job explaining the topics. It’s very visually appealing. 

The Introductory Science Workbook Level B is a spiral bound workbook with 383 pages. It’s all black and white and not busy or overwhelming. There are a few questions from multiply choice to you writing in your own answers. Also, in the workbook are crossword puzzles and the hands on activities which are called “Video Activity”, and other activities. The workbook is laid out by week and day to correspond with the video lessons.
Introductory Science Workbook Answer Key Level B is just that an answer key to help you check your child’s work quickly in the Student Workbook. It’s a paper-bound book.

Little Man (10) typically had the Student Workbook in front of him while he was watching the videos. He really enjoyed doing Science Shepherd and would love getting his sister involved in the activities. He even would go get his sister to watch some of the video segments as he wanted her to see it also. He thought all the topics were interesting. He loved that it wasn’t overwhelming with so much information and that it didn't take a long time.

For me, I am really impressed with Science Shepherd. I look forward to doing the other levels in our homeschool. I love how it was all put together and it's from a Christian Worldview. My son enjoyed this a lot and that is extremely important.
One thing that I would love as an option is for you to be able to buy the video lesson on a DVD format. You can buy a monthly extension if you don’t finish the course in the year. I just prefer having a physical copy of the DVDs.
Social Media:
 Don’t forget to stop by some of the other Crew’s blogs and see what they think. They are reviewing different levels also. 

19 May 2016

Simple Calligraphy A Beginner’s Guide to Elegant Lettering by Judy Detrick Book Review


This simple guide to calligraphy teaches just the basics, allowing novices to jump right in and make their own party and wedding invitations, hand-label envelopes, write their own place cards, and explore their creative side. After learning the basic letters, this book presents an open invitation—and a bit of inspiration—to make calligraphy one's own with creative flourishes for every project and occasion. With a modern two-color design and simple explanatory text, Simply Calligraphy's unintimidating approach proves that calligraphy is as easy as picking up pen and paper.
With quick and easy instruction from calligraphy teacher and designer Judy Detrick, Simply Calligraphy will have you whipping up elegant invitations, pleasing place cards, and personalized thank-you notes in no time.

My Thoughts:

This is a nice introduction book for someone interested in doing calligraphy or maybe just need to learn a few strokes for a project.  I would of loved to see a bit more information. This would be perfect for a tween or an adult.

The instructions are easy to understand. There are pictures showing the techniques and writing. As with the information I would love to see a bit more pictures showing the techniques and writing.

This is a softbound book with 88 pages. This is not modern calligraphy but, traditional calligraphy. It builds up with adding more tips to along the way. It’s short and to the point. To further the art of calligraphy you would need to invest in another book as this is not a comprehensive book on calligraphy.


Tools and Materials
Getting Started
Small Letters
Project Ideas
Additional Alphabet

Some information on learning more and recommended resources is also included.

Overall, this is a nice book. My 10 year old son has been using it and he has enjoyed it. 

Buy your own copy

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book from Blogging for Books- Waterbrook for free in order to write this review. All thoughts and opinions are mine and were not subject to editing from the publisher.

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