Guitar 360 Method Review

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Carter, my now 8 year old, received an electric guitar and amp from his grandparents a couple of years ago for Christmas but never learned how to officially play it. He loves to jam out on it but just plays what he wants. He was only 6 at the time and was and still is pretty small which means his little hands are small. I just figured he was too small to learn then but have recently been wanting to get my boys into some type of music lessons. I never learned how to play an instrument as a child and I wish now that I had. We were very excited to learn that we were going to be able to review an online guitar  course which included an Absolute Beginner Course, Semester 1 Bundle and Bonus Songs from Guitar 360 Method. Stay tuned to the end of the review to receive 20% off!

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Here is what our homepage looks like when we log in. From here, you can choose the Beginner Course, Semester 1 Course or two of the Bonus Song’s.

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How We Used It:

We chose to start with the absolute beginners course because Carter has no prior knowledge of playing guitar. When you choose to start with this free course, you are given video’s to watch that are broken into weeks. The videos are super short which really helps when you have children who do not want to sit for very long looking at a computer. The first few videos that we watched and learned about were parts of the guitar, left hand and right hand basics, how to tune your guitar, and then 4-finger warm up exercises. After that, there are three different exercises for the first week for you to work on. For this beginner course, there are 3 weeks of lessons. There are some basic important lessons and then some exercise lessons to go along with it.

What We Thought:

Carter had a little trouble with these lessons and I think it’s honestly because he is so small and he had a hard time getting his fingers to play the chords that were being taught. He really enjoyed the lessons though and was enthusiastic about playing. It just took him a while to get through each lesson that we completed. We didn’t get very far with the beginner course. He took time to try to master each skill before we moved on to the next one. I will say that I loved the videos. Doing online video lessons could be a hit or miss depending on the person doing them. Krisz has a nice voice and video presence. He really makes the videos easy to understand has a great pace throughout them. We are planning on finishing out the beginner course and moving on to Semester One.

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Semester 1 Course:

We haven’t made it to the Semester 1 Course yet but this course is designed to follow the beginner course or is for people who already have some guitar knowledge. This is a 9 week course that teaches you so many new things! Below you can see some of the lessons for Week One. We are excited to get to Semester One and try it out.

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Discount:

Krisz is offering a 20% OFF Coupon to all Home School families right now! You will receive the discount at checkout, when you enter the HOMESCHOOL20 Coupon Code.

The regular price is $149, which includes the 3-week Beginners’ Course, Semester 1 (13 weeks long), and the 2 Bonus Song mini-courses. With the Coupon Code, your investment will be only $119.20 for 10+ hours of video content!

 

Check out Guitar 360 Method on social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/guitar360method/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/onelessrock
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/krisz_guitar360method/

 

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Heirloom Audio Review

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I enjoy teaching my kids history but find it hard to discover interesting material that will keep them engaged. Sure there are a lot of books they can read but they get bored with that easily. For this reason, I was really excited to be reviewing an audio adventure from Heirloom Audio.  We received their newest production, St. Bartholomew’s Eve.

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What It Is:

Heirloom Audio creates really wonderful Audio Adventures for Christian families. It’s like reading… but better.  This isn’t the same as an audio book either. Think more like a really interesting play or movie but only the sound. The stories and characters are engaging and it allows you to create your own pictures in your mind. This truly is an exciting way to learn history while at the same time teaching moral values to your children. We received the two disc set which has over 2.5 hours of audio.

St. Bartholomew’s Eve is designed for ages 6-adult and was adapted from the book, St. Bartholomew’s Eve, by G.A. HentyThis story takes place in 16th century France and is about the French government’s assault on the Christians of France, the Hugenots. The story follows a 16 year old boy named Phillip and his cousin Francois and their many adventures to fight for their religious freedom. There are fictional characters in the story but the premise of the story is true. The Hugenots suffered extreme persecution for worshipping God and there is A LOT of fighting and killing going on in this story. It took us a few weeks to listen to all of it because we listened to little bits at a time when we were in the car. I really liked using it in the car because my kids didn’t have anything else to distract them. They would actually ask to listen to more when we got in the car.

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What We Think:

I haven’t used any audio books or adventures yet in our homeschool journey but I really did enjoy learning some new history this way. I will definitely be finding more audio resources to incorporate into our homeschool. The only issue I had with this audio adventure was the accent with some of the characters. Some of the accents were really thick and hard to understand for me. I asked my kids if they had trouble and they didn’t at all. I was able to understand enough though to comprehend what was going on.

London- Age 12

“I loved the audio adventure. It was really fun and adventurous. It told the story really well and I was able to picture everything that was happening. It made me feel like I was actually in France and a part of the story.”

Carter- Age 8

“I loved it. It was made well and I liked the way the people talked. My favorite part was when the big fights happened.”

Social Media Links:
Facebook – Heirloom Audio Productions
Twitter – @HeirloomStories
Google+ – +HeirloomAudioProductions
Instagram – @HeirloomAudioOfficial

 

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CashCrunch Games/Careers Review

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My oldest son, London, is in 7th grade. Every year we ask him what he wants to be when he grows up. This is something I write on his “1st Day of School” photo board. When he was in 1st grade, he wanted to be the Easter Bunny when he grew up. His reasoning behind this is because he would only have to work one day a year. The next year he wanted to be a fast food worker because then he could bring home food to his family. I have to say, he’s gotten a little more realistic over the years. This year, he said he wants to do something with computers. He isn’t sure what but he is a smart kid so I know he will figure it out. Recently we were able to take a survey that helps you figure out what you could be when you grow based on character traits.  My son isn’t sure exactly what he wants to do (rightfully so at his age) so he was happy to take the CashCrunch Careers survey from CashCrunch Games.

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CashCrunch Games is an online program with games and lessons designed to teach your child about money, money management skills, finance and other things. The part of the website we used was CashCrunch Careers. According to the website, this is a system that allows students to figure out their strengths and aptitude and apply it to careers that would best suit them. The survey is 75 questions long and it gives you two options to choose from that best describes you. For example, it may say “Driven or Trustworthy.” You then choose which one best describes you, not what others may say or think. After you have answered the 75 questions, it will give you a report on what jobs would be best for you. This is a downloaded PDF that you forever have access to.

CashCrunch 101 is an area of the site where you can play a game about money. The games are FREE! These games and lessons are meant for students 13 and up. Check it out!

How We Used It

I took the survey first. I mainly did it for informational purposes. I was curious to see what it was like and what the results would say. After answering the 75 characteristics, my report was surprising for me. I am a teacher and “Education” was almost at the end of my list. When you click on each career that it gives you, it takes you to a new page that tells you about the tasks involved with the career. It also tells you colleges you can go to achieve that career as well as a video about the career. Below you can see the careers it listed out for me.

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London, my 12 year old, took the survey next. He really got serious about his answers to the survey. It was interesting to see what he thought about himself when he had to choose answers. He really enjoyed seeing his career report and then seeing the different colleges. We both liked the part where it tells you motivators and de-motivators according to your answer choices. It was cool to see what would motivate you in any given career. Below you can see the motivators and de-motivators that it laid out for London.

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iKnowit.com Review

 

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We LOVE math around our house and I really love a good supplemental math program. London and Carter have recently been doing some math practice with I Know It. We received a full year online subscription for them both.

“I Know It is a comprehensive, interactive math practice site for students in Kindergarten to fifth grade. This online resource can be used during class or at home for independent practice, remediation, assessment, or homework. The site enables teachers and parents to differentiate assignments for students allowing them to work at their own level and pace towards mastery of concepts and skills aligned with common core.”

They are offering a free 60 day trial to interested homeschoolers and teachers.  The free trial page is here:
https://www.iknowit.com/sign-up.html

How We Used It- London- AGE 12

London is in 7th grade but we still used this resource with him. He was able to practice his math facts and other math skills. He was able to work on place value, addition, subtraction, graphs and data and even word problems. This program is very user friendly and they did not need any help from me navigating where to go or what to do. When London clicked on his overall topic, additional subtopics were shown. From there, he could choose what lesson he wanted to work on. The lessons he completed were anywhere from 15-20 questions in each one. When you get a question wrong, a page will pop up explaining how to work the problem correctly. It also keeps your score for you as you go.

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Here is the main page when London logs in. These are the options he has to choose from.

Also, if you look at the top it says, “My Assignments.” As the parent, you are able to assign certain lessons to your child. I really like this feature because I can take what we are learning in math, find the corresponding lesson in I Know It and assign it to them. From my end, I can also see all of their progress on everything they’ve done including their time worked on the website. Your child is also able to see their progress as you can see below. It shows them their score and they are able to view all the questions and answers or just the incorrect ones. I was able to use this feature to help them go back and see what they needed help with.

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In their settings, the student is able to change the voice that speaks, turn the animation sound off or choose the animation they want. I enjoy this feature because the animation can be slightly annoying. It does this whole little song and dance after every correct answer. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.

How We Used It- Carter- AGE 8

Carter is in 3rd grade and loves all things math. It’s his favorite subject. He loved doing iknowit.com. I think he likes being able to choose what he practices and he really loves the animation part of it. Below are the broad topics he is able to choose from.

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Here is a sample question from his lesson about time. As you can see, the questions are nice and big, very easy to read. You can also see his progress at this point and his score. They are also able to get a hint if they are having trouble with the question.

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Screen Shot 2018-09-24 at 9.55.24 PMHere is part of Carter’s progress page.

My Thoughts:

I really do love this program. It’s simple but effective at helping them practice math skills they already know. It doesn’t take long and is easy to use so it’s the perfect addition to our everyday life. I Know It is definitely taking its place in our math rotation every day.

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Follow iKnowit on Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iknowitcom/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/iknowit_com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iknowit_com/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/iknowitcom/pins/

 

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The Captain Sun Adventures- A Review

I have two boys that are 8 and 12 years old. We know ALL about Superheroes. They have both loved superheroes since they were little and they are really into them still. They also both love to read comic books. My oldest will read any length of a book if it is written in a comic book format.  My youngest son, has loved having his own comic bookRescue Me! What Superheroes Can Teach Us About the Power of Faith, from The Captain Sun Adventures.
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In this story, which is the 1st of three parts, Captain Sun battles against his enemy, Black-Out. In the end, all of the people join together to create a light so bright that they defeat him. The book is broken up into sections and each little section has a “newspaper” article at the beginning. Each article is a little devotional for your child. At the end of the book there is a page of questions that go along with each chapter.
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How We Used It:

When the book came in the mail, I opened it up and my 8 year old immediately saw it. He was so excited and ready to read it. We sat in our living room and I begin to read it. My 12 year old then came in and sat down with us to listen. At the end of each chapter they didn’t want me to stop so we ended up reading the book in one sitting! We read each devotional and talked about the questions at the end of the book. We all really enjoyed the story and its relevance to our faith. My boys LOVED the comic book aspect of it. The illustrations are really vibrant and well done. The author also signed our book which my boys thought was super cool! I thought that was a nice thing to do to personalize our experience with it.
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Carter’s Opinion (age 8):

“I liked this book. I like that his name was Captain Sun and that he saved that he came to save the world.”

London’s Opinion (age 12):

“I thought the book was really good and I liked the graphics.”
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Just an astronaut reading a superhero book

 

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Picta Dicta Review

 

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The past six weeks ago, we have been reviewing  Picta Dicta Natural World from Roman Roads Media. We received 14 months of their online program for London and Carter. Picta Dicta is a program where your children can learn Latin. “Students learn the English and Latin for over 400 nouns from the natural world to establish an unparalleled foundation for later study in Latin, English literature, foreign languages, history, and the sciences.” This program is designed for elementary students but my 3rd and 7th grader used it and both enjoyed it. The course has different ability levels so any child should be able to succeed in using it. It is also self paced with short lessons that your child can do each day. The cost is $49 for the first child for 14 months and then $10 for each additional license.

When I first told my 12 year old that he was going to be learning Latin, he said, “Why?? Latin is a dead language.” I informed him how much of our language comes from Latin. Within his first lesson, he was letting me know all these words he was learning that reminded him of English words. He quickly realized how beneficial it was to be learning Latin.

 

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Reader I (Age 8)

My 8 year old started off in the Reader I stage. Here, he began learning basic animals in Latin. As you see below, it starts with making sure he knows the English words for the animals they are learning in Latin. I really like this part even though it seems so easy. It helped to make sure he knows the correct English words before going on to the Latin words. The lessons then go on to learning Latin by choosing the correct pictures, then the word, then spelling the actual word. My son had trouble spelling the words so that took a lot of practice.

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Reader II (Age 12)

Reader II builds off of Reader I and included more reading. My 12 year old got a lot further in his studies because he was able to complete 2 lessons a day on most days. He started learning the animals and then progressed on to fruits, nuts and berries. He is now working on anatomy. He enjoys using the “train” function at the top of his dashboard because he is able to practice what he’s been working on.

 

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London’s Thoughts (age 12):

I liked learning Latin and enjoyed using Picta Dicta. There were a couple of times that I accidentally wrote an extra character and got the whole answer wrong. But I still liked it.

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My Thoughts

I enjoyed this program and think it’s super cool that my children are learning Latin. They will randomly throughout the day call out Latin words. It’s pretty funny the times they choose to blurt out Latin. It at least lets me know it’s sticking in their little heads though. I think it will really help with the vocabulary building in reading and writing.

 

Social Media Links: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RomanRoadsMedia   @romanroadsmedia
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/romanroadsmedia/  @romanroadsmedia
YouTude: https://www.youtube.com/user/romanroadsmedia  @romanroadsmedia
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/romanroadsmedia  @romanroadsmedia

 

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Barbour Publishing Review

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Last month, the Homeschool Review Crew received two books from Barbour Publishing from their Kingdom Files Series written by Matt Koceich. Matt wrote these books to help children learn more about the people in the Bible. The two books we received were: Who Was Jonah? and Who Was Mary, Mother of Jesus?

These books are aimed from children 8-12 years old. They are each around 100 pages and have nice illustrations throughout the books. The Kingdom Files Series books are written like your child is a detective and they are learning about the person from the Bible. Each book is written as if your child is investigating the biography of the character. The books are broken into three main parts:

  1. Fact File: The Fact File gives you key information about each character. Things such as where they were from and when they lived. It also gives you key stats about the character.
  2. Action File: This is the main chunk of the book. It is written in chapter form and tells you all the events from the Bible where this character plays a part.
  3. Power File: At the end of the book are ten power files which are small lessons that you can study as well as a memory verse.

Along the way are Clue Boxes which have bits of information as well as questions to think about sometimes. The author encourages your child to write down their thoughts or questions as they read and then talk to their parents about them.

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Fact File

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Part of the Action File

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One of the Power Files

Who Was Mary, Mother of Jesus?

This book talks about who Mary was in the Bible. It starts with the story of her giving birth to Jesus. It then goes on to talk about how she raised Jesus and the trials and tribulations they both faced. The Power Files in this book focus on glorifying God, how God blesses you and does great things for you as well as God’s mercy.

Who Was Jonah?

This book focuses on Jonah and how God called him to be a prophet. Jonah had other plans for his life than what God called him to do so he ran….far away. This leads to the story of how Jonah was swallowed by a big fish! This story focuses on what God did to save Jonah and teach him lessons along the way. The Power Files in this book focus on obeying God, how to not be afraid of God, how God cares for us and more!

What We Think:

We really liked these stories. The books are small and easy to read. They are chapter books but the chapters are short so my 8 year old had no problem with the length. The way the books are written, as if your child is an investigator, really engages your child. It’s a different way to read about the characters in the Bible and my kids really thought it was cool.

Social Media Links: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BarbourPublishing/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/barbourbuzz
YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/BarbourPublishing1

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