Learning Resources Mini Muffin Match Up Review and Giveaway

Learning Resources Mini Muffin Match Up Review and Giveaway

We are in love with the new Mini Muffin Match Up from Learning Resources!  I was sent this toy to review and have one to giveaway to one of you!  I got to choose our review items {we have 2 more coming soon} and I was drawn to this particular toy for a few reasons.  I love anything with fun fine motor work, unique “grabbers” and cute little colorful items to grab!

It comes with 60 tiny colorful muffins, one special squeezy tweezer, a plastic muffin tray, 2 foam dice, 12 small double sided cardboard disks that insert into the muffin tray, and an activity guide.

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All three of my kids {ages 4, 7, 11} love this, but I got it with Ladybug in mind.  Knowing she needs fine motor work, it seemed to be a perfect fit and it is!

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She was immediately excited when I first showed it to her and got busy sorting.  She loves sorting by color.

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We have played with it several times since opening it! Yes, she is often wearing her mismatched jammies.  Homeschool is nice like that.

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Krash {age 7} and I played a game using the dice.  We had a race to see who could empty one side of the tin first.  We divided all of the muffins and put half on his side and half on mine and then rolled and removed that number, eventually emptying the tin.

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There is so much versatility with this toy, free play and structured games are both options.  Here I showed Ladybug how to roll the dice and get the correct color and number AND put them into the correct spot in the tray.  She also had to put the correct total in each spot. 

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Mini Muffin Match Up comes with a high recommendation from me and I think is totally worth the price for what you get.  Just the small muffins alone are awesome for so many things.  The addition of the tray, the grabber, the disks and dice make it even better! If you are looking for a new versatile learning toy for early childhood, this would be a great option.

You can purchase this on Amazon here, and also directly on the Learning Resources website.

We have more Learning Resources reviews and giveaways coming soon!

{See all of our Learning Resources reviews here}

 

 
Want to win a set of your own?
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Enter using Rafflecopter below, if you don’t see the widget, be sure you are reading on the actual blog and not in RSS or email.

Giveaway is open for US only and ends March 26, 2014.

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Birth of Jesus Review & Giveaway

Grapevine Bible Studies The Birth of Jesus

{disclaimer ~ affiliate links used in this post, I also received a free copy of the Birth of Jesus student and teacher eBook}

We have used and loved Grapevine Bible Studies for years!  This year we decided to use the Birth of Jesus mini study for part of our Christmas learning.  We already had the Beginner Level Birth of Jesus Study eBooks and Dianna from Grapevine kindly sent me the Traceable eBook {student and teacher} to review with Ladybug!

I don’t print my manual, I load it into iBooks and use my iPad, as shown below.  I also use my phone with the Bible app ready to go with our verses for the lesson. This helps me stay more streamlined in my teaching and works better for me.

The Birth of Jesus Grapevine Bible Study for Kids

 

I made each of my kids a mini book with their drawing pages inside.  I printed the beginner pages for my boys {ages 7 and 11} and printed the tracer pages for Ladybug {age 4}

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Each of my kids has a different color rectangle on the cover to easily grab the right one.  I made a few extra colors and left the names off in case you’d like to use them too.

 Download the covers here!

The Birth of Jesus Bible Study Covers

This study is 7 lessons, taking your kids through the events and people surrounding the Birth of Jesus; Mary, Joseph, The Birth, Shepherds, The Temple, The Wise Men, & Herod.

I set my kids up like this each day, using our lap trays from Michaels and our color coded school supply buckets.

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I stand at the dry erase board and teach them from there.  Stick figures make me happy.  Even I can draw them!

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I love how simple this study is, and that it is only 7 lessons.  Yes it is simple, but it is powerful.  The discussions that have stemmed from our lessons so far have been phenomenal!  I am so very thankful we decided to use it this year. It is one of the only things we can successfully learn together with the age range I have {ages 4, 7, 11}.

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My favorite drawing from the study so far is definitely from my oldest son, who manages to make his drawings quite unique! I shared this on Instagram here!

Birth Of Jesus

 

This particular Instagram post got some questions about how we explain the concept of “virgin” to our young kids.  I answered over in the comments of the Instagram post if you’d like to see!

Birth of Jesus...Mary

 

It is not too late to use this study this December, since it is only 7 lessons you have plenty of time!  You can purchase it today and get started almost immediately as there is very little prep work! 

Buy it now and if you win the giveaway you’ll get your money back

Be sure to use the 20% discount code too: DecBlog.

Enter to win the eBook version of The Birth of Jesus Student and Teacher manual below in the Rafflecopter widget.  You get to choose the level if you are the winner.  This is a fast giveaway, ending Friday 12/13/13, so I can get the prize out this weekend for the winner!

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A Light for My Path ~ Review & Giveaway

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I am excited to share a new book from Apologia called A Light for My Path by Davis Carman.  I was sent this book to review and am honored to have Apologia as a blog sponsor. Help your children fall in love with God’s Word while learning their ABC’s with this beautifully illustrated book based on Psalm 119. This is so much more than an ABC book, introducing the twenty-six letters of the English alphabet and twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

A Light for My Path is simply beautiful.  I showed it to my daughter, who loves animals, and she was in love.  She looked at it periodically for a couple of weeks and then it was on my desk for awhile and out of her sight.  A couple of weeks ago I set it back out and just happened to be there when she saw it.  I promise these photos are not staged, at all!

She went nuts hugging all over the book, so excited to see it!

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It was really quite amusing, and yes I was thinking to myself, “Man these will make great photos for my review post!”

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I did ask her to show me a page, which she is doing below.  This gives you an idea of what the book is like on the inside.  Each page features a beautiful illustration and a large letter.  The left page says the same phrase on every page, so we shortened it as we read.  It does get repetitive when reading to a 4 year old, although some will love this, she did not. 

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In the back of the book, you’ll find Psalm 119  {which is an acrostic poem} written out in full.  You also see the Hebrew letter of the alphabet that correlates with each stanza at the top of each page.  What an amazing learning tool right at your fingertips!

We love this book and are happy to own it thanks to Apologia!


Along with this new book, Davis Carman has also written another amazing book we own and love, Good Morning God.  I purchased this book over a year ago and it is one of K’s favorites! Good Morning God

For our giveaway today, one of you will receive BOTH books {and the coloring book that goes with Good Morning, God}!

Apologia Giveaway

 

Use Rafflecopter to enter to win below.  Giveaway is open to US residents only, and ends on November 14, 2013.

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All About Reading Level 2 Review

All About Reading Level 2 Review

{Disclaimer ~ The product being reviewed, All About Reading Level 2, was given to me free of charge for my honest opinion. Affiliate links are used thanks for your support}

If you have been around my blog for long you probably know that we use All About Learning Press curriculum for reading and spelling.  We purchased All About Spelling Level 1 years ago when my oldest son was struggling with spelling.  We then formed a relationship with All About Learning Press and have been reviewing and using All About Reading also.  We are currently using All About Reading Pre with Ladybug, we completed All About Reading Level 1 with Krash, and are now midway through All About Reading Level 2 with Krash, who is in 2nd grade.  We have been given these programs to review and I am very thankful for that.

We were using All About Reading to supplement his box curriculum since I feel All About Reading is stronger. Recently I made the decision to totally stop using the phonics and spelling portions of our box curriculum and  to use All About Reading and Spelling Level 2 exclusively for Krash.

Here’s a post I wrote last year sharing how these curriculums really helped Krash get over a hump in 1st grade…Homeschool Reading

Why I love All About Reading Level 2

All About Reading Level 2 Review

  • easy prep done at the beginning of the year {or whenever you begin}
  • open and go, once initial prep work is done
  • lots of help so PARENTS understand the phonics rules also
  • wonderful extension of Level 1
  • unique and creative ways to reinforce concepts in a hands on way
  • my son likes it {the best reason}

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It took me awhile to learn this trick, but finally I developed a system to keep myself prepared and organized for each lesson.  For each lesson there are up to 3 different elements to have on hand in addition to the magnetic board with the letter tiles.  I found that I was getting a bit overwhelmed gathering materials {even though it is simple and straightforward I hate shuffling through papers every day}.  At the beginning of level 2 BEFORE we even began, I set up this new folder system.  I got folders for each lesson and loaded any word cards, tiles, fluency sheets, and any activity pages.  The blue bin is from the dollar section at Target.

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Below you can see the inside of the folder for lesson 13,  I already have the materials prepped and ready to go when we get to that lesson.

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Not sure which level is right for your child?  Look for this on their site here to download a free placement test.

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Curious to see samples?  Scroll down on that same page and look for this…

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Other things to consider ~

  • The bulk of the components are non-consumable {the Activity Book cannot be used again}. This means that you will be able to use the program with your younger children or resell the program when you are finished with it.
  • I really love the Go Ahead and Use It One-Year Guarantee’. You and your child have a full year to try out the program! If you find that the curriculum does not meet your needs, simply return the materials at any time within one year of purchase for a full refund of your purchase price {excluding shipping}.

A few of my online friends have also reviewed this program, you can see more from their blog linked below.  I know choosing a curriculum is sometimes difficult and it is definitely costly, I hope their reviews might be helpful to you also!


Be sure you peek at the All About Reading website to decide which level you are interested in, I will be hosting a giveaway for ANY All About Reading level very soon!

While you wait on my giveaway, here’s a $100 Giveaway from All About Learning Press!

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Integrity Time Online Review & Giveaway

Integrity Time Online Review

I was given the following items to review…

After spending hours looking over this, I made the decision to use it for our character development this year!  It seems like a perfect fit and I think the music will really draw my kids in, they LOVE music!  Since my kids are ages 4, 7, and 11 I decided to go with the Know It {recommended for ages 4-7} curriculum, and focus on Ladybug and Krash mainly.  I won’t require PacMan to participate, but he will always be welcome.

To prepare for our year, I created a lesson binder, and a song binder.

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I also printed and laminated the characters and made popsicle stick puppets.  I had a long piece of styrofoam so I made a little display to make it easier to find them during our lessons.

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PacMan snapped some pictures while I was teaching the very first lesson, on our 2nd day of homeschool this year. 

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My favorite parts of this program are  the characters and the music.  When I presented the characters to my kids, they loved them.

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We met 4 characters on the first day,

  • Complaining Clemo
  • Helpful Henry
  • Positive Polly
  • Selfish Sellie

Just the characters alone were such a fabulous teaching tool as the kids could really relate to the faces the characters were making. 

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I made a playlist for the music and it was really easy to jump to the songs {which are specifically listed out for you in the manual}.

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What I Love ~

The music!  It is awesome and although not faith based, it aligns with my Christian faith.  The messages are definitely messages I want my kids hearing.  My kids LOVE the music, especially Ladybug, who dances around!

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The characters!  With the program, you get printable characters and I love the artwork.  The names are great, and are really meaningful to my kids.  This hands on addition makes the lessons come to life in a great way.

The lesson manual, song printables, and organization.  It really is all prepared at the beginning of the year and then I can just sit down and teach. It took some prep work in the beginning, but now I am done and just teach!

 

Thoughts to Consider ~

I have no negatives for you, just some thoughts to consider.  The curriculum is written to a class, not a family.  This is fine and is adjustable as you speak to your kids if homeschooling, but it is something I think as a homeschooler you might like to know!

There aren’t new characters presented with every lesson.  My kids LOVE the characters so I needed to bring them out for each new lesson.  I wish there was a new one introduced in each lesson. For lessons that don’t have a new character we just review and role play with the ones we have already met.

 

Final Thoughts ~

Obviously I have positive overall thoughts, as we have chosen to use this as our character program for the year. We are up to our 4th lesson, doing one per week, and I am already seeing great results.  The other day at our camper, one of our kids was being grumpy and complaining, and Ladybug said, “He’s being like Complaining Clemo!”  While it wasn’t exactly fabulous that she called her brother out, I was thrilled to see the lesson stuck!

If you are looking for a character development program to use, I definitely recommend looking into Integrity Time.  You can see more in my Learning with Ladybug series, where I share a bit about what we did each week!


Integrity Time is offering a giveaway for you!  Enter to win your choice of either Integrity Time Online Program!

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Based on the program you’d like to win, please choose which Rafflecopter widget to use.  The top is for the Know it {ages 4-7}, and the bottom is for the Grow It {ages 7-11}.  You may enter both, but you may only win one.

Giveaway is open worldwide, US winners will receive actual CDs, all others will receive a download of the music.  Curriculum is an online subscription. Giveaway ends 10/2/13.

1) 1 Integrity Time Online Know It 1 Year subscription and Know It! CD

· ABC Integrity Time Know It (preschool – 1st grade) is a unique program designed to teach our young children foundational values of Integrity. It includes 26 Lessons based on the ABC’s – A stands for Attitude, B stands for Behavior, C stands for Cooperation, etc. The children will learn through games, special snacks, fun puppets, and creative songs many lessons about the importance of choosing what is true and good and right.

· The Integrity Time Online subscriber will receive the entire 26 lesson curriculum in PDF format, along with excellent resources and supplemental materials to expand the Integrity Time Lessons.

Integrity Tunes

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2) 1 Integrity Time Online Grow It 1 Year Subscription and Grow It! CD

· Integrity Time Grow It (2nd-4th grades) teaches children about some of the pitfalls which hinder integrity, including cheating, teasing, tattling, being mean, and being lazy, and shows how to avoid these pitfalls. The program encourages integration into the academic world of reading, creative writing, journaling, and art through guided journal entries, and student booklets. Integrity Time Grow It includes 26 lessons with 26 original integrity stories.

· The Integrity Time Online subscriber will receive the entire 26 lesson curriculum in PDF format, along with excellent resources and supplemental materials to expand the Integrity Time Lessons.

Integrity Tunes 2

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