Saturday, August 29, 2009

Web Design for Children and Adults!

I was very intrigued and a little nervous when I heard we were getting a chance to review this curriculum for the Old Schoolhouse crew. I was eager to get started so my son and I put the DVD in the player to watch it. After 10 minutes I realized that we needed to be doing something on the computer at the same time to really grasp what the teacher was explaining to us.
Web Design for Kids is owned by Brian Richardson who is a qualified middle school literacy teacher and technology expert. One can see by watching him on the DVD that he is making the process of learning HTML as simple as possible and he explains every step thoroughly. He has backup segments available at the end of the DVD or during the lesson process if you don’t understand certain terms.

My son and I opened up a folder and began typing HTML on the screen. Well there is nothing more exciting for an 8 year old than to see his name on the screen of his very own Webpage. This spurred him on to continue watching and learning, as well as his very ‘curious’ Mum. I have managed to go all the way through the DVD lessons learning how to make my website look more pleasant, how to change the colors of the text, the screen and how to move text around different directions. In the last segment Brian even shared on how to download and use pictures off the Internet and add them to your webpage.

I personally think I have learned some very simple HTML that will help me produce a better blog, as well as a possible website in the future. The title of the DVD is definitely one to attract those ‘curious’ adults and their children. Web Design for Kids does have another DVD going to be available in the coming months with slightly more difficult HTML instruction. After just looking at their website today I see it is currently advertised for $19.99 as part of a summer special. It is usually priced at around $40.00 To receive this 50% discount would be awesome during these financial crisis days!

The website is Just a note too that I noticed on the site is their support of various foundations for sick children and their families, for example, Ronald McDonald House, The Smile Train, and Children’s Miracle Network. The Richardson’s are giving back to others after receiving some help when they needed it for their family. We as a family have been the recipients of some of that support too over the last three years. I have thoroughly enjoyed learning through this program and I hope that you do too. There are others on the crew who also have done reviews on this product so if you need to be convinced click on the Homeschool crew button on the right side panel and read to your hearts content.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Review: Math Glorious Math - Practice, Practice, Practice

Daniel and I have been to some car races and riderless horse races these last few weeks. We have been practicing our math skills against ourselves and each other. Why? What have we been up to? Well, I will share with you now.

We received in the mail a package of software from Quarter Mile Math full of goodies for us to use and study. The software is a program used in many Sylvan Learning Centers across the United States. This program was set up to help students improve their speed at solving various Math problems, and some reading issues too. We loaded up the software and started playing of course.

As a family we practiced rounding up numbers to nearest 10, percentages, basic 1st-2nd Grade equations adding all different numbers, choosing between vowels and consonants, and a little multiplication. The faster you answered the questions the faster your horse or race car goes. You begin to take the lead and get excited about your improvement. Your highest score is always saved too for you to race against next time!

My husband did not really like this software as he could not focus on the keyboard and the screen at the same time. My son had a hard time with that too. It means that a good knowledge of the numeric keyboard will help improve their scores tremendously. Being able to keep your eyes on the screen without looking at what number you need to type helps a lot.
The Deluxe package that we received is labeled for use by K - 9th Grade and costs around $89.95. A standard package can be purchased too at a less expensive cost. This involves only being able to record your times and speeds on your hard drive, rather than having the scores being kept on Barnum Software’s online database. I also noticed from the manual if you are using Dial up Internet you are still able to utilize this but making sure your browser is open before beginning the game. There is currently a low monthly fee to enable you to receive upgrades and access to their site and permission to continue using the program for $2.95 per family per month, once you initial time is expired.

My son loves this racing and changes back and forth constantly between the cars and horses. He likes to watch the re-runs of his races so he can see how fast his car went and how far in the lead it was or not! We will definitely be using this as a positive reinforcement of what he is learning in his math curriculum. There are so many choices on the Deluxe version as well as the Standard version to help your children have fun and cement their learning at the same time! Why don’t you drop over to their site at and check out their products for yourself. I hope that by reading this review I have convinced you just a little to go have some fun and for a very reasonable price too in this day and age!

Just a brief update to last night's post the Deluxe Version of Quarter Mile Math Grades 1-9 is selling at the moment for $34.95 and is for a 2 year subscription. The subscription for $2.95 per month is for online access and downloading software from Quarter Mile's site. this can be deactivated or unsubscribed whenever you need to. Thanks.

The link to the other reviews by the Homeschool crew is here:

This product was sent to me free of charge and I was not paid for this review. the above review is my opinion of how the product worked for our homeschool family. I received this product for being part of the 2009/10 Homeschool crew.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My goodness it is a while since I posted. My son D and I have been gearing up to start school. We have been leanring HTML still and not quite got it down yet! We have been practicing Math with some software that encourages the child to better their score each time they play.

We attended our sons grieving classes last night and he has a blast. We as parents go to another room and talk about our children that are still living and how they are coping, as well as how we face those continuous questions about how we are doing. Losing a child is one of the worst things I have ever experienced in my whole life so far. My husband and I do not understand why the Lord did not choose to heal Brendon, but are coming to terms with the fact that God knew B would only be here for 5 short years and packed as much as he could into that time. We would have done lots more fun stuff with him his last summer if we really truly knew he was going to die. We would have had more fun trips to fun places he liked to go like the zoo, and the Indiana State Museum. Possibly a trip to the Creation Museum in Cincinnati. We will probably visit there in the fall this year.

I am planning a possible balloon release for the 12th September. This is one of the days in September that will be recognized as Childrens Pediatric Cancer awareness day. We will go to the cemetary in the early evening and release some balloons with Brendon's site on it and written on it. Curesearch is an organization dedicated to doing research on all kinds of pediatric cancers without any government involvement. Of course they are getting further with their research than other cancer societies right now. I want to make people aware of how common childhood cancer is becoming and we need to raise money for research as well as taking care of some of the families who can not turn to alternative medicine like we did as they can't afford it. With the new health care bill there may be something introduced where if a child with cancer is not going to live longer than 6 months then no more treatments will be offered to the family. It is not cost effective as this person will no longer have a positive effect on the society in the future. I did not want my child to be just a number, but he was a living, breathing person and not an experiment.

If you can not make it to the cemetary in Indiana from where you are at then release a balloon from your backyard by all means with Brendon's name and caringpage site written on it. perhaps someone will find the balloon and become aware of this situation and learn something new as well as contribute. I will post more later today on the products we are reviewing for Homeschool.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Tea Glorious Tea

I was just reading about Jacque Dixon's tea habit on Facebook and was rethinking mine of course. Being raised in Africa I am really addicted to tea especially Red bush or Rooibos Tea. This tea is only grown in South Africa and is amazing. It is caffeine free and also a diuretic - not harmfully so. My favorite way of making this kind of tea in the summer is to put 5-6 bags in the Sun tea jar and leave outside for a few hours. Discard the bags of tea, add honey and stir well. Place Suntea jar in the fridge and a few hours later enjoy a wonderfully refreshing drink. I jsut read about this glass tea jar which brews one cup of tea at a time from tea leaves. It looks awesome. Swing on over to take a look. I think I need one of these for that quick pick-me-up cup of tea in the winter time, especially before bed. If you want to find this Red Bush tea - look in Kroger's tea section and it is in a red box with Red Bush tea on it in the Private Selection label area. Check out the fancy tea jar at the website below

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Prayer Request for family Grieving Today

I just wanted to ask some of my readers if they can pray for a family in Clyde, Ohio. Today this family lost their 11 year old daughter Alexa to brain cancer. She has been fighting for 3 1/2 years. Here is the link to their site :

I am grieving once again not only for their daughter as well as for my own son who was so sweet and so precious. Thanks - Hug you little ones more often as each day passes!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Hank the Cowdog reporting for duty!

A few weeks ago we received a package from Maverick Books, home of Hank the Cowdog. Maverick books was created and is owned by John R Erickson and is found online at Inside the package was a CD of songs and stories from the book series, a cassette tape with clips from the audio recording of the “Tornado” episode, a book titled “Hank, the Case of the One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse”, and a game for children to play called “The Tornado Game.”

As we were on a long road trip to a friend’s house I popped the CD in the player and we began to listen. All of a sudden our van was filled with talking dogs and buzzards and cats, as well as the family that live on the farm where these talkative animals reside. The animals were loud and boisterous and my son loved the CD with all the different clips of what to look forward to in the future episodes he may get to listen to. He roared with laughter through some songs and others had a perplexed look on his face too. The fast talking pace of a few of the characters especially Hank at times, may have caused this look The CD is titled “Tales and Tunes from Hank the Cowdog” and sells for about $3.00.

Our next adventure was to listen to excerpts from the tape titled “Tornado”. This was a fairly accurate account of what would happen to any kind of animal or human being carried up into the centre of a funnel cloud and tossed about all over the place. Hank and Drover get carried by the tornado they were trying bark at, up into a tree on the neighbor’s farm at least 2 miles away from their home. The neighbor finally realized there were dogs in his tree, and we are left wondering how they are going to be rescued from their plight! Hank and Drover both probably looked very disheveled after that windy day!

I read the book about Hank’s adventure called “Hank, The Case of the One-Eyed Killer Stud Horse” with a little bit of apprehension. After listening to the language on the tape and CD of the characters I was aware of some words like ‘stupid’ and ‘moron’ that were being used. This book builds up the case for the neighbor’s strange one-eyed horse Tuerto to come over to Hank and Drover’s farm and tried to attack two little girls that were visiting. Hank stood up to the horse and defended his territory as the ‘head of security’ on the ranch and had more than a few hurt limbs in the process. He was of course compensated for his bravery by Sallie Mae who took him into town to get bandaged up.

The final product we loved was the “Tornado” Game. This my sons thoroughly enjoyed. The pieces are very small to play with but great for little fingers. My son D loves this game and got his relatives to play it with him this last weekend. It has given us a few challenges in sportsmanship when he loses of course, but that is life. The object of the game is to get your Hank and Drover dogs and your Buzzard Junior into home after moving around the board without landing on a tornado square, or being sent home by an opponent landing on the same spot as you. This board game sells for $12.99 on the website and is definitely a fun one. It is in a neat self storing box easy to pack in a suitcase or hand luggage bag.

Each of the books in the series in paperback sells for $4.24 and hardback for $12.99. The audio CDs and tapes vary in price between $14.99 and $17.99. Packages of books, audio in CD or tape format are also available on the website. My son is 8 years old now and understands most of the content but I would say these books are for a reader of 9-10 years of age who can discern the content a little better.

We will be playing the Tornado game many times over after today and possibly venturing into more stories of Hank and Drover and Junior the Buzzard in the future months and years ahead. Swing on over to their website for some more information, or to the “Homeschool Crew” by clicking the link on the right column for some other reviews that other Crew members have entered there. Thanks.