Archive | May, 2020

Book Review-The Summer House

31 May

The Summer House is a contemporary novel written by Lauren K. Denton.

Summary: Lily Bishop wakes up to a letter. Her husband has left her with little more than a note (which explains nothing), and divorce papers.

Without a husband and soon no place to live, she answers an ad for a hairstylist position in a retirement community-anything to find a job-even if it’s just for the summer.

Will Lily be able to land on her feet? And what happened to her husband?

My Thoughts: I liked this book. It is a light read with quirky characters and an interesting plot line. I enjoyed it, and kind of wish it was actually a series as I was not quite ready to let go of these characters.

My only criticism would be that I thought two of the characters had a very similar story line-almost too much the same. I am sure the author was just trying to relate the two characters, but the similarities were a bit too close.

Otherwise, if you are looking for a fun, light, and contemporary read, I would recommend this book.

I would like to thank Thomas Nelson for providing me with a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my review. Thank you!

*Please note: this book will be released on June 2, 2020.

Book Review-The Heart of a Hero

30 May

The Heart of a Hero was written by Susan May Warren and is a book two in the Global Search and Rescue series. I would recommend reading the first book in the series before this one-just because so much happens in the first book.

Summary: Dr. Aria Spencer is spent. Still not recovered from her disastrous Denali climb, and reeling from the loss of a patient, she retreats to a medical conference in Florida-with a little vacation on the side.

But, this trip turns into anything but a vacation when a category four hurricane strikes the very spot she is staying.

Jake Silver still can’t get Denali out of his head-especially the parts that included Aria Spencer. Worried for her safety amidst the oncoming storm, he leaps into action-determined to help.

Will Jake get there in time, or will the storm destroy any chance he has of becoming a part of Aria’s life?

My Thoughts: I liked this book. It is packed with action and drama, is very fast-paced, and kept me on my toes. I liked the characters, the intricate plot line, and overall-it was just a great book.

I am also enjoying the secondary plot line that began in the first book including Hamilton Jones and his family. I am really looking forward to seeing how all that turns out in book three.

If you enjoy contemporary action/romance, this book (and series) is a good one-check it out!

I would like to thank Revell for providing me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for my review. Thank you!

Please note: this book will be released on June 2, 2020.

Review-Reading Kingdom

29 May

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

We recently received a one year subscription to Reading Kingdom. Reading Kingdom is an online reading program for children reading at a K-3rd grade level.

The program utilizes Dr. Marion Blank’s patented “Phonics-Plus” system, which teaches not just sounds, but also grammar, comprehension, meaning, writing, and sequencing.

It can be used as a stand-alone curriculum, or to supplement a curriculum already being used. It can be accessed with any internet-enabled device.

Reading Kingdom also provides parents with the ability to customize the program to the child. They can change the speed of each activity, re-do or skip lessons, and even print reports detailing a child’s activity. Parents can also view their child’s progress from an easy-to-read dashboard. Even the graphics can be modified to fit older students.

Each activity contains colorful graphics, cute characters, and interactive elements, with the entire system set up to look and feel like a video game.

There is a placement test at the beginning, and then there are five reading/writing levels-each containing multiple books. Each individual book covers specific words to practice. “Games” like Seeing Sequences, Letter Land, Savvy Sounds, Find and Fill, and Pick the Picture teach students skills such as how to read from left to right, identify letters and sounds, and the basic spelling of certain words.

My Thoughts: I chose to use Reading Kingdom as a supplement to our existing curriculum for my six year old. He is an emergent reader, who already knows his sounds, and can read many words.

I thought this curriculum would be good review of many of the things he has already learned.

After testing out the program, here are some of the things I liked about Reading Kingdom:
1. I liked the interactive nature of the program. When a child gets something right, a little creature or graphic pops up as a reward, which is fun.
2. The activities are similar to a video game. This is great, because I think it inspires kids to keep learning!
3. I liked that my son learned where some of the letters are on the computer keyboard-kind of like a jump into a typing class for little kids.
4. The dashboard was easy to read, and I knew exactly where my son was in the program, and was even able to go in and see which words were a part of each activity.
5. I appreciated that the lessons were short. We chose to do two lessons per session, and it was still only about 20 minutes.

There were a few things though that I felt made this program a bit difficult to use:
1. It requires a lot of typing. There are activities included for students to get used to the keyboard, but it still requires a knowledge of where the letters are located. This is not a skill most younger children have.
2. There is a timer. You can extend the length of the timer, but it resets to the default every time you go in to the books. So, if you forget (which I did many times), the timer goes back to the way it was. I don’t necessarily think timers are a bad thing, but when combined with a limited knowledge of the keyboard, it can cause difficulties.
There were many times when my son knew the answer but had to stop and look for the right letter on the keyboard, and he either just couldn’t go fast enough, or he pressed the wrong key. This caused a lot of frustration.
I would have liked the ability to turn off the timers altogether and just not worry about them until my son was more proficient with the keyboard. Then, I could have maybe added that feature back in to the activities.

Overall, I am grateful for the opportunity to review this curriculum, even though it wasn’t quite a fit for us. Reading Kingdom DOES offer a free 30-day trial however, so I encourage you to check it out for yourself.

There is also an additional product called ASD Reading, which is designed for children on the Autism Spectrum, or with other significant learning disabilities. Please check it out if you think it might be a fit for you.

Well, that’s it from me! Want to learn more about Reading Kingdom? Visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews!

Pinterest Thursday-GF/DF Rolls

28 May

pin and picture found here

Oh, this recipe makes me so happy! I have been wanting to find a good recipe for rolls, and this is definitely it. It is a new staple around here and everyone loves them. They taste so good!

I used option one for the flour, and I used Imperial margarine sticks for the butter as this type does not bother The Boy. If you need to have them truly dairy-free, use your favorite dairy-free butter.

I have made these a few times now, and will definitely continue making them in the future-they are great!

Wednesday Words

27 May

pin found here