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My Globetrotter Books Review

My Globetrotter Books – Bangkok, New York, Paris, Quebec & Montreal, Tokyo

When I had kids 10+ years ago, I knew that I wanted to teach them about the world. I wanted them to understand different cultures and different languages. My parents made it clear to me growing up that travel, and understanding people from all over the world was very important. So, when it was time for me to have my own children, I talked to my husband at length about the values my parents instilled in me when I was a child. It was important to me that we both instill a love of travel and understanding in our kids. Of course, we both love travel and other cultures so it wasn’t a surprise when I brought it up to him about 5 months into our pregnancy. Seeing his face light up when I talked about taking our kids internationally, and showing them other cultures was priceless. His family was in the military, so he spent a significant amount of time in other countries, including Singapore, France, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, and Germany.

When I had the opportunity to review books about Globetrotting, the My Globetrotter Book series, I was ecstatic. I love finding books about travel, different cultures, etc for kids. There aren’t enough out there in my opinion, and it’s always neat to come across one. My kids and I read, drew, decoded, found, colored, associated and quizzed our way through Bangkok, Paris, Tokyo & New York! To say that we had a blast is an understatement. My kids have been to New York, Paris & Tokyo. They have not been to Bangkok. Even though my kiddos had been to some of these places before, these books kept them engaged and excited. They recognized a few places in each book, and also learned more about the city, the culture, and the history.

Bangkok – City of Angels – My Globetrotter Book

Over 8 million people live in Bangkok, Thailand. It’s a place where you’ll see a mix of both traditional Thai culture and architecture next to ultra-modern high rises.

 PARIS – My Globetrotter Book

Paris, the City of Lights! It is one of the great capitals of the world, with centuries of history everywhere you look, a mecca for fashion, fancy cuisine, and art. More than 2,000 years ago, a tribe called the Parisii, settled their small fishing village here on an island in the middle of the Seine River. Fast-forward to today, and you are now in a bustling metropolis of over 12 million people!

 TOKYO – My Globetrotter Book

Tokyo is the capital of Japan and the most populous metropolitan area in the world. Just think: in Tokyo, you are 1 among 37 million other people who live and work in this grand city! It is the seat of the Emperor of Japan and of the Government of Japan. Japanese culture and history are rich and complex. You can see, feel, and taste it wherever you go in the city.

 NEW YORK – My Globetrotter Book

New York is an iconic city! Just think about how many firms take place in the Big Apple, how many songs have been written about it. You probably also know about these New York City landmarks: the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Times Square, Central Park and so much more. It is the most populous city of the USA!

What my kids loved about these books:

  • They are about 24-28 pages long…giving them a good chunk of history and culture but not becoming too overwhelming
  • They have activities that are fun — not just mundane. Some activity books like these have some very “young” activities in them and my kids get bored. These books kept them engaged (my kid are 6, 8 & 11).
  • There is a certificate at the end that my kids got to put up on their wall. They thought that was so cool. My youngest even asked for his to be framed. Of course, I obliged. 🙂
  • There was an answer key in the back. If they were stumped, they would ask me to look up the answer and we’d talk about it together. It was a fun way for us to explore things they didn’t know.
  • These books have great illustrations and thick pages. The kids were in awe of how interesting the books were and that’s in part because of the illustrations and the packaging of the books.

Why I loved these books:

  • It was an easy way for me to introduce my kids to a different culture/part of the world.
  • The activities were age appropriate and sometimes a little challenging for them. They had to ask for help a few times and I love it when that happens! It stretches their brain!
  • The illustrations and packaging are top notch. They look and FEEL high end and like they will last.
  • They included history, but also games & puzzles to keep the kids interested.
  • They weren’t too long (24-26 pages each), so it was a great car ride activity or waiting room activity.
  • My kids asked to read the books after their normal school work was done. (SCORE!)
  • My kids started doing their own research on Bangkok after reading and participating in the books!

When I come across books that are special, I want to tell everyone I know about them. This is how I feel about the My Globetrotter Book series. Not only are they high quality, the author does an incredible job making the history and culture of these places shine bright. My kids are so excited about Bangkok that we are doing a 2-week unit study all about Bangkok, starting next week. This is in no small part because of these books. Seeing my kids get so excited about a new place and wanting to learn all about it brings tears to my eyes. Travel, culture and understanding of other parts of the world is a value that my husband and I share deeply. It’s something we’ve always wanted to instill in our kids, and seeing them react this way makes my heart so happy. If you or your kids are interested in travel, learning about different cultures, the history, and what makes them special, I highly recommend these books. The My Globetrotter Book series is something special, and I hope that you get the opportunity to read and draw, decode and learn about each city in this series. It’s something special when I get goosebumps seeing my kids engage with a book in this way, and I hope that you’ll get to feel the same thing with your kids when they read and interact with these books.

You can purchase them directly on Amazon, or by going to http://myglobetrotterbook.com/index.html. These titles are also all available in French on the Canadian market. The French versions will soon also be available worldwide through Amazon.

Happy travels!

Katie, Mom of 3

 

Compassion International and Goggles for Gratefulness Product Review

Compassion is a faith-based child-advocacy ministry which helps children living in extreme poverty.  They use a  holistic child development model, and partner with churches and denominations in Africa, AsiaCentral America, the Caribbean, and South America, to blend physical, social, economic and spiritual care to help children transcend what is often a generational legacy of poverty.

Holistic Approach

Compassion and their church partners provide holistic care that is personal, individualized, relational, and tailored to the child’s age, gender, health, culture and family situation. They take a long-term approach to what they do and go beyond simple involvement in the lives of the children they serve.  In fact, in some cases, they begin with prenatal care and go all the way through leadership development for qualified young adults.

Here are some Compassion.com stats.

And here is Compassion’s FREE downloadable book that teaches small children about helping others. 

It’s titled Goggles of Gratefulness.

 

 

This is such a darling book!  The first four pages are below.

 

 

 

And here’s a little history behind this cute, message-laden book.

 

 

If you are interested in taking the lessons your kids learn in Goggles of Gratefulness to the next level, Compassion invites you and your children to do a birthday search on their site to find children in other countries who share the same birth dates with your kids.

Find your children’s birthday matches here.

Then, if moved to do so, you can sponsor your kids’ birthday buddies.

 

Goggles for Gratefulness Product Review – What do I like about the Googles of Gratefulness book?

  • The message.
  • The opportunity to talk to your children about those less fortunate, and how they can help.
  • The opportunity for your kids to see how fortunate they are.
  • The book doesn’t hit you over the head with any particular beliefs – it’s just a nice story that lets you talk to your children, and bring in your beliefs, as you see fit.
  • This is a faith-based website, but even if you have different beliefs, you can get involved, and do good.
  • The book is written in rhyme.
  • The graphics are DARLING!
  • The pages are mostly graphics, with easy to read print at the bottom of each page.  This makes it easy for you to read to your kids – and easy for your kids to read to you.
  • When you sign up to get the book, you can also sign up to get Compassion devotionals emailed to you – or you can download all the devotionals here.

 

Did you like our Goggles of Gratefulness and Compassion International product review? We really enjoyed writing it for you. You can check out our other reviews at https://www.howtohomeschool.net/curriculum-reviews

Product Review – Your Life Belongs to You: A True Story About the Birth of the United States

Your Life Belongs to You: A True Story About the Birth of the United States, written by Charlotte Cushman, is a history book for children. The book explains America’s early history, why the idea of individual rights was unique, and why this idea is the foundation of everything we consider to be “American”. 

Your Life Belongs to You: A True Story About the Birth of the United States Product Review – Book Basics

  • Age Range: 4 – 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool – 3
  • Paperback: 82 pages
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.2 x 10 inches
  • Language: English

Per the author – if you read the book to pre-schoolers, only read a few pages each day or as much as they can absorb, then the next day verbally review it before going on to the next pages. Reading the entire book in a day would overwhelm them with too much information.

Your Life Belongs to You: A True Story About the Birth of the United States Product Review – What Do I Like About This Book?

  • This book is for children, but adults will enjoy it too. 
  • It’s educational – for your kids and for you.  I have to admit, I’ve forgotten a lot of early American history.  For instance, I didn’t know that the difficulties with Britain started in 1750 – decades before the defeat of the British army in 1783 – or that the Boston Massacre was started when colonists threw snowballs at British soldiers.
  • It’s inspirational.

From the book – They all stood in the field, the French in their blue uniforms with plumes in their hats, the British in their red uniforms, and the Americans, who on this day were triumphant at last, stood without uniforms.  They stood there with bloody rags on their feet, torn pants and hunting shirts, filthy hats, bruises and scars on their skin.  Yet they stood tall, proud and silent with their rifles at their sides.  They had just become victorious over the greatest army on earth.

  • The book highlights the importance of tenacity.

The captain of the British ship asked him (John Paul Jones) if he was ready to give up.  Jones shouted back, I have not yet begun to fight! He hadn’t either. The battle ended with the British captain giving up.

  • The book also highlights the importance of wit.

George Washington tricked the British into thinking he and his troops were going to attack New York, but instead, they blocked the British at Yorktown. The British could not get out of Yorktown.  They were trapped.

  • The subject matter offers many opportunities for discussion.
  • The story is followed by suggested activities and two appendices, one listing a detailed timeline, the other a question and answer game.  This adds to the educational (and fun) aspect of the book.
  • The book is written in a voice that kids can appreciate.  For instance –

People were getting tired of obeying kings.  They thought they were bossy.  All kids relate to “bossy! 

Another example – There were no houses or schools or stores.  The people would have to build and make everything they needed in order to live. 

And yet another example – The Americans loved to drink tea, but they weren’t going to pay to drink the tea and that that tax!  No way!

  • The book touches on Pocahontas – and the power of a child.  This is inspiring for kids – especially for girls.

  • I like the format of the pages – there is very little text on each page which makes it easy to read to kids/and easy for kids to read to you.
  • The font is large, which again, makes reading with children a breeze.
  • Every other page has an illustration or color photograph of the narrative.  Kids (and parents) love pictures!  I do wish the pictures included an explanation – the painter, where the original painting can be seen, etc.
  • BTW – it gets FIVE stars on Amazon!

Your Life Belongs to You: A True Story About the Birth of the United States Product Review – In Closing

The United States of America was the first country to protect the rights of the people and to be free of kings.  It was a new country with a new idea, the idea of freedom, the idea that your life belongs to you and to no one else.  Not to your neighbors, not to a king, not to any government, but to you.

About the Author

Charlotte Cushman is a retired Montessori teacher.  She has a B.S. degree in elementary education and both AMI and AMS Montessori certifications.  She speaks to parents, teachers and the general public on Montessori and discipline.  She and her husband have 4 adult children and 11 grandchildren.  She has also written the book, Montessori Why It Matters for Your Child’s Success and Happiness.


 

Did you like our Your Life Belongs to You: A True Story About the Birth of the United States Product Review?  We really enjoyed writing it for you.  You can check out our other reviews at https://www.howtohomeschool.net/curriculum-reviews

Little Thinker Adventures Product Review

WOW!  Get a 25% DISCOUNT on Little Thinker Adventures! 

The coupon code is “homeschool”

 

When was the last time your kids (ages 4 – 10) were able to let their imagination run free – free to go to Outer Space or the Circus, free to travel through time, to see Dinosaurs up close, or the action of the Old Wild West?

Little Thinkers audio stories encourage your kids’ imaginations to do just this – to run free.  That’s because Little Thinkers uses a combination of dramatic storytelling, and suggestions for picture drawing, that tap into your child’s imagination.   Plus, Little Thinkers helps your child develop better listening skills.  That’s a plus!  🙂

You can check out the video below for more detail. 

 

And you can listen to snippets of various MP3s at the bottom of this page.

This is a WONDERFUL product!  You may remember it from your childhood.

 

Little Thinker Adventures Product Review – What do I LOVE about this product?

  • My kids really enjoy these CDs!  They love the stories, Miss Nancy, and the pictures they draw.  My refrigerator is running out of exhibit space!
  • There’s a wide range of subjects/stories.  There’s something for everyone! My daughter and son like ALL of them, but they definitely have their favorites.

  • They’re educational (the sun is a great big fiery ball).
  • The stories are totally G rated.  No one in the stories gets hurt or injured. The Little Thinker and Nancy (the narrator) always get home safely.
  • The product encourages creativity – now, that’s a plus!
  • As mentioned previously, the stories encourage active listening – wowza!
  • And they encourage activity in general.  They’re certainly interactive.
  • The stories are very descriptive.
  • And dramatic.
  • Music is an integral part of each and every story, which I really like.
  • The sound effects are fun.
  • Kids have an option of what they want to draw.  They aren’t told what to draw.
  • And kids have enough time to draw whatever they want.
  • You can purchase individually or as an entire set (with a discount).  I like options, don’t you?
  • You can purchase as MP3s or CDs.  Again, I appreciate options.
  • The company offers cute carrying cases – the one we have is a soccer ball.  It’s great for in-car use.
  • You can use these any time – even when you’re on the go.  We do a lot on the go – I bet you do too.

In Conclusion

I’ve already mentioned it – but it’s worth mentioning again – this is a really WONDERFUL product!

Again – Get a 25% DISCOUNT on Little Thinker Adventures! 

Use coupon code is “homeschool”

 

Did you like our Little  Thinker Adventures Product Review? We really enjoyed writing it for you. You can check out our other reviews at https://www.howtohomeschool.net/curriculum-reviews

StoryJumper Review

 

StoryJumper is a site that gives teachers, students, parents, and authors a fun set of intuitive tools for writing and illustrating stories.  It’s a wonderful way to add some educational FUN to your homeschooling experience. Plus, IF you’d like, you can order your child’s story as a professionally published book. My daughter LOVES her recently published book – and she loves it when I read it to her at night.

Also, think about the present possibilities (Grandmas and Grandpas will LOVE these books)!

So, how can you use StoryJumper educationally?

  • StoryJumper can be used to jump start Creative Writing lesson plans.
  • Homeschoolers can also use StoryJumper for the following types of books and assignments –

  • Really, you can use StoryJumper for English, social studies, foreign languages, math – any subject you can think of.  Here are some examples: https://www.storyjumper.com/main/classroom#plan.
  •  Also, the site provides teacher lesson plans that homeschoolers can use.
  • You can also use the books to document special homeschool projects, field trips, family vacations, holidays, etc.
  • And of course, you can share them and give them as presents.

Is it difficult to make a book?  Not at all!

StoryJumper has several story templates (having a template is nice!) that provides students suggestions and ideas to get their mental gears turning.  And the StoryJumper art library is stocked with thousands of full-color props and scenes, including everything from simple shapes to complex mythological animals and characters. Your child can upload his/her own photos or drawings (my daughter uploaded pics of the family, her dog – even her tree house!)

You can watch the video below to see just how easy it is to create a book, and the website offers author and teacher guides for extra help.

FYI – here are some template pages for an All About Me book.  You can see how easy it is to fill in the blanks.  You can also change the look/feel of the book, change questions, etc.

And here are actual pages that are in books, published on the StoryJumper site.

Plus, you can add voice to the books!  This is really cool.

So now I’ll always have a recording of my daughter reading her very own story at 7 years of age…at 11 years, etc.  I LOVE this.

Your child can even make group books with friends!  Friends can collaborate on the same book in real time. To make collaboration easier and faster, friends can video chat inside the StoryJumper editor to plan their work and provide feedback to each other.  How fun is that!?!

OR, all of your kids can make a Father’s Day book for their Dad! I know…I’m kind of obsessed with the books as presents idea!  🙂

 

And you can read books on the StoryJumper site

Really, StoryJumper is a reading and writing community. Students can use the site privately, or if they want to be part of the community, they can  read books from the StoryJumper Library.  The Library  includes books that been created and publicly shared by other StoryJumper members (e.g. students, parents, grandparents, teachers, etc.).  After they read and listen to books from the library, they can provide supportive comments/feedback – and there’s a good chance the author will respond (how cool is that!).  Another way your child can participate in the community is to share one of his/her books in the Library, so it can be enjoyed by others. Within a week, you can search for it on Google or on the StoryJumper site, and your child will start getting positive feedback from the community.  This positive feedback boosts self-esteem.  Now, that’s a nice perk!

Here are some of the books we’ve read.  Quite, a variety, right? These are books you won’t find anywhere else – not even at your local library.

To write a StoryJumper book, you do need to use a computer. However, you can read StoryJumper books on any device today (phone, tablet, computer).

So – what do you think?  Isn’t this a GREAT way to add educational fun to your homeschooling experience?  

Your kids will be so proud of their stories!   

And again….Grandma and Grandpa will love their book(s)!  🙂

 

Did you like this review? We really enjoyed writing it for you. You can check out our other reviews here: https://www.howtohomeschool.net/curriculum-reviews

 

Creative Steps Magazine Review

 

FYI – I LOVE this parent magazine.  And you will too!

Creative Steps Magazine Review – Creative Steps is a magazine that “helps kids (0-11 years) learn through creative play”.  It is chock full of GREAT info and amazing inspiration. Specifically:

  • Over the years the magazine contributors have devised 4000+ original craft ideas and activities.  I’ll repeat –  4K plus!  Surely, there are HUNDREDS of activities (if not more) that will pique your interest and/or give you great inspiration.
  • All of the projects have been tried and tested in real settings. This is  HUGE (in my opinion).  Because how many times have you tried something that just didn’t come out like the pictures, and was a giant disappointment?  How did it make you feel?  How did it make your kids feel?  I appreciate tried and true. Athough of course, any creation my child makes is beautiful – even if it doesn’t look like a magazine picture!  🙂
  • The projects are cross-curricular.  As homeschoolers, we love this! Anytime I can make one project or assignment have larger appeal, I’m all in.
  • The projects are multi-cultural.  This is very important to me.
  • The projects can easily be incorporated into homeschool activities and lessons.  Again, a huge plus.
  • Plus, the magazine is vibrant. I’m a pushover for visually attractive publications/articles, etc. –  they  totally draw me in.  You too?
  • The magazine is available in both print and online versions. I like options.  And I love physical, in-hand magazines that I can flip through leisurely while on my sofa. That said, the magazine originates in the UK so the high postage from the UK currently makes the digital subscription (at just $18 per year) more attractive.  You can click here for subscription info.
  • I do have a year’s worth of physical magazines – and I have flipped through each one while leisurely drinking a cup of coffee – yes – on my sofa.  It was nice.  It was relaxing.  🙂  I do like the physical copies as they have wipe-able covers (very important), they even have wipe-able pages (extra bonus!) – and they’re colorful/attractive.  My kids have earmarked the pages they’re interested in – which they’ve enjoyed doing.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE

FYI – here are some examples of Creative Steps pages.

The first one below shows different art projects – so the pages look like they’re in a frame. Genius!

And here are some cute penguin crafts – because everyone likes penguins!

And another cute page – BTW, the Chocolate Coconut Squares are delish!

I used to work for a site that publishes online magazines – and I have to say – this is one of the best I’ve EVER seen.  EVER.  🙂

And the Creative Steps website is attractive too (remember, I’m a pushover for cute!). It contains info on the most recent magazine as well as prior issues.

 

If you remember, I started this review with the sentence – FYI – I LOVE this parent magazine. And you will too!

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE

If you need inspiration/ideas, I do think you’ll love Creative Steps.  Let me know, OK?  🙂

 

Did you like this Creative Steps Magazine review? We really enjoyed writing it for you. You can check out our other reviews here: https://www.howtohomeschool.net/curriculum-reviews

 

ANOTHER Review of Carole P. Roman Books

ANOTHER Review of Carole P. Roman Books

I did the first Carole P. Roman review on our site, and honestly, I’ve loved her books for years.  Because of this, I was really excited to do another Carole P. Roman review (and receive additional books).

For this review I received Carole’s Oh Susannah collection of books as well as most of her Bed Time Story Books.

OH SUSANNAH

The Oh Susannah series is an early reader series. Oh Susannah: It’s in the bag has nine chapters and 34 pages while Things That Go Bump has ten chapters and 44 pages. These are perfect little books for young, starting-out readers.  My daughter and I both liked the short chapters – and my daughter felt so confident when she finished a book!

MORE ABOUT EACH OF THE OH SUSANNAH BOOKS

Oh Susannah: It’s in the bagIn this book, Susannah stuffs her problems into her backpack rather than dealing with them (sound familiar?)  But how much can her backpack hold? Will she be able to confront her worries before the backpack bursts?  Or will she continue to hide them away?

Oh Susannah: Things That Go Bump – In this book, Susannah realizes everyone is scared of something. Susannah learns to confront her fears and not let her imagination prevent her from having fun.

The Oh Susannah Color With Me book is my absolute favorite!  It’s a coloring book that goes along with Oh Susannah: It’s in the bag, and contains questions throughout.  Plus, there are blank pages for your child to draw on.  The coloring pages go along with the book, but they’re also open ended – so in addition to following the book, my daughter made up entirely new stories to go along with each/every coloring page.  This is such a unique book, and so interactive – I’m very impressed.

BED TIME STORY BOOKS

The Bed Time Story Books are beautifully illustrated (very soothing/relaxing pictures – perfect for bed time) and they are wonderfully poetic.

FROM EACH BOOK

From Rocket-Bye (as the kids are riding their space ship through the galaxy) –

The cities shrink; the lights grow dim. The mountains looks so small.  The Milky Way beckons us closer, so we travel to its call.

We love the constellations, the way they fill the skies, the crazy quilt of a universe is spread before our eyes.

We bounce; we coast; we loop-de-loop through our galaxy to explore, yet somehow, we end each flight at home, safe in bed, the only sound…a gentle snore.

From Can a Princess Be a Firefighter?

You can be anything you want to be, anywhere, place, or time.  Dancer, dentist, cowpoke, reporter, painter, biologist, accountant, or mime.

Astronaut, farmer, teacher, mom, just to name a few.  Hmmm, with so many great opportunities, did it ever occur that you could do two?

So my, dear, whatever you pick, whatever you choose to be, know that in my true heart, you will always be a princess to me.

One to Ten Squirrel’s Bad Day is a life lesson book – about how nothing is as bad as it seems.  The book tells kids that once they identify and realize the true importance of an issue (using the 1-10 scale), something that seems absolutely horrible, may not be really as bad as it first seems.

In the even that something happens, and you feel your world fly apart, recall this conversation; remember the one to ten chart. 

When you have a problem, whether it’s big or small, think of a number to rate it, maybe it won’t bother you at all.

Once you get a number (and please be honest about it too), the problem doesn’t feel so big, and somehow you’ll know what to do.

Moms, Dads, Grandmas and Grandpas – you’ll all want these books!

ABOUT CAROLE

And here is her Amazon.com author page.

 

Did you like this review? We really enjoyed writing this review for you. Check out our other reviews here: https://www.howtohomeschool.net/curriculum-reviews

Owl Eyes Review

I have a child in middle school and one in high school, and the reading at our house is getting more and more analytical. Instead of asking, “Did you like the book?,” I  find myself asking questions like, “What does this phrase mean? What is the overall theme? What is the historical context?” etc. So, here we are, doing an Owl Eyes review, because I was really happy when I stumbled upon it.  We’ve been using it for the last month and I’d like to tell you about our experience, so you can see if you’d like to use it too.

But first, you might be wondering, what is Owl Eyes?

Owl Eyes is a website that offers full texts of classic literature (authors include William Blake, Edgar Allan Poe, Geoffrey Chaucer, Voltaire, Emily Dickinson, Charles Dickens, Thomas Paine, William Shakespeare and others), PLUS expert analysis of the literature (so it’s better than having just the book!).  And wait for it….its a FREE resource!  Gotta love FREE!

Owl Eyes is great for reading and teaching.  Why? Because:

  • It’s great for reading because kids (and parents) can read on any device. Since everyone is mobile (especially my kids!), this really makes sense. In addition to reading, students can view annotations or add their own, so reading on Owl Eyes is an interactive experience.  Interactive is always a plus!
  • Homeschoolers can teach using the website’s free classroom assignment tools. It’s easy to create a virtual classroom, add students, and assign work.

You can see a video about Owl Eyes here –

And Owl Eyes offers lesson plans, teaching guides and other worksheets.  Currently, you can find them on the Owl Eyes’ Teachers Pay Teachers store.  Sometimes they have promotions, where all their lesson plans are free, and when I signed up, they e-mailed me free access to 10 of their best-selling lesson plans (a $50 value) covering popular titles like Romeo and Juliet and The Canterbury Tales.  Each lesson plan includes a brief synopsis of the text, a step-by-step guide to lesson procedure, a previous and following lesson synopsis for preparation and extension ideas (I really like this), and a collection of handouts. The lesson plans are really valuable/a great resource. (FYI – each lesson takes about 60 minutes.)

So, how can one use the Owl Eyes website?

It’s really a breeze!  Sign up, browse the Owl Eyes library, click on any poem or book that piques your interest, and click Start Reading.  That’s it.  You don’t have to give your credit card info – you don’t have to do anything other than sign up.

FYI – this was our lesson today – a poem by Thomas Hardy. 

My son clicked on View More to get the longer description shown below.

 Then he clicked Read.

Ooohhh, I like this! We were able to choose how the text showed up on the page. 

Somehow, difficult subjects/readings just seem a little easier if you read them in larger type, and with more spacing between the lines.

 

This is nice – you can search for a word or phrase – really important if you’re reading for academic purposes.

 

 

We like that we can specifically look for the following.  Again, good for academic purposes.

  • Alliteration
  • Historical Context
  • Imagery
  • Metaphor
  • Meter
  • Rhyme
  • Simile
  • Themes
  • Tone
  • Vocabulary

 

It turns out Winter’s dregs is a metaphor.

 There’s a lot to like about Owl Eyes!  Specifically:

  • The clever name! (Owl Eyes is a character in The Great Gatsby.)  I’m so proud that my older son knew this!
  • It’s certainly educational – classic literature PLUS helpful analysis!  A winning combination!
  • The website is easy to navigate, plus the site offers a Guided Walkthrough and FAQ pages to get the most out of your experience.  And the site has how-to videos on YouTube.  These include – how to create a classroom on Owl Eyes, how to create an annotation on Owl Eyes, how to create a quiz, etc.  So – LOTS of helpful info.
  • It’s convenient. Forgot your book?  No problem.  I’m sure you have your phone on you (so no more teen excuses)!
  • It’s flexible. Students can share – make their annotations visible to others; filter between highlights, annotations, and quiz questions and choose whether they want  to see everyone’s annotations, just their own, or hide annotations all together.  Flexibility and options are always a plus.
  • You can search keywords or phrases.
  • Students can also sort by tags such as Imagery, Metaphor, or Facts about the Text, etc.
  • Can skip easily from chapter to chapter.  
  • Can save books for later.  We definitely did this the first day on the site.  We found so much that piqued our interest, but of course, we just couldn’t read everything at once!
  • This is really super for homeschool planning – it lets you know what your teen is interested in, so you can incorporate the readings whenever possible.
  • It’s easy for the homeschool parents to use – parents can see at a glance how their kids are coming along on assignments.
  • The website has great blog articles such as 5 Things to Avoid While Teaching Shakespeare and 6 Books to Read After You’ve Aced Your AP (I can almost hear my son now – What? I have to continue reading?)

 

8

In this couplet heralding the arrival of the thrush, Hardy alters the meter to send a jolt into the familiar rhythmic scheme. Rather than conforming to the expected iambic trimeter, “The bleak twigs overhead” centers around a pair of consecutive stressed syllables in “bleak twigs.” This metrical jolt represents the startling arrival of the thrush.

— Zachary, Owl Eyes Staff

9

In the Anglican church, evensong is an evening service centered around choral hymns. This metaphor gives the bird’s singing a heavenly, exultant tone. Whether Hardy intended to imbue the thrush with a literal sense of the divine is unclear.

— Zachary, Owl Eyes Staff

10

The consonance in this line is beautiful. The alliterative repetition of b and its consonant pair p (a b is simply a voiced p) is striking, as is the repetition of liquid consonants: l andr. The source of the “blast” is unclear—perhaps wind—but the image is that of a frail, weathered bird who offers hope despite the harsh, wintry conditions.

— Zachary, Owl Eyes Staff

 

It’s FREE! Gotta love FREE!  And because it’s free, there’s no reason not to try it.

Besides, we really like Owl Eyes.  We – as in kids and parents.

We like the analysis  – sometimes we discuss how helpful it is – sometimes we disagree and even debate an analysis point  – as in “You think the author really meant that?”  

Appreciating and learning from a point and disagreeing and debating a point –  both are educational activities!


Did you like this Owl Eyes review? You can see more of our reviews here: https://www.howtohomeschool.net/curriculum-reviews

Forgotten Books Review

Forgotten Books is a London-based book publisher that specializes in the restoration of old books, (fiction and non-fiction) – their purpose is to digitally restore and rejuvenate aged texts so they are accessible for generations to come. Based on this, I was really excited to write this Forgotten Books review for you.  Forgotten Books actually runs these old books through their restorative software to remove blemishes, and to revive them/return them to an authentic state.  So instead of just collecting and reprinting old books, Forgotten Books adds value in terms of quality and readability (you can still tell they’re old books – some were originally published as early as the 1600’s). Yes, the 1600’s!  I bet that piqued your interest!

Presently, Forgotten Books offers over 730,000 books  you can read online, download as e-books, or purchase in print (if you want to download one of the books you need to sign up for a membership), otherwise you can read a book for free, but not in its entirety. (Even when not a member, you do get to read a large majority of any given book – in my opinion – more than what you’d need if you’re searching for historical context).

FYI – this is what you get when you want to download a book if you’re not a member:

In addition to being able to read the majority of the text of these books without registering, by registering, you get access to an incredible amount of content. Including categories such as Mythology, Christianity, Shakespeare, Folklore, Psychology, Quantum Mechanics and more.

What I like about the site:

The user experience

  • It’s easy to search for books, and to “open” a book, skim through it, and decide if it’s of interest. I just recently saw the musical Hamilton and I listen to the CD constantly –so naturally, I searched Alexander Hamilton – and SO much came up!
  • The design of the site is nice –  it’s easy to navigate – and the books look old.
  • Reading options – you can access this website’s books from your phone or tablet, and for offline reading you can download the PDF of the book and transfer it to your device. Physical copies can be purchased on the site (free international shipping).
  • Forgotten Books membership (unlimited access to over 730,00K books, including unrestricted online reading and downloading of e-books), is just $8.99/month.

Some books are still timely.

Some books aren’t timely, but provide a historical snapshot of society at a given time. 

  • For instance, below are two excerpts from the 1835 book entitled, The American Frugal Housewife

Ox gall – who knew!?!

  • If you are writing about a particular topic, and you want the historical context – what people were thinking during the same time frame, this is an excellent resource. For instance, if writing a paper about slavery, women’s suffrage, etc., you’ll find a ton of printed info/opinions from the time period (warning and/or spoiler alert – some will leave you aghast!).

In Conclusion

This is certainly an interesting site – especially for papers, historical context.  Lots of homeschooling parents will find it helpful to their homeschooling.

____________

Did you like this Forgotten Books review? You can view our other reviews here: https://www.howtohomeschool.net/curriculum-reviews

Dr. Seuss Reading Apps Review

Do your kids LOVE Dr. Seuss? I’m sure they love apps! Now, imagine combining the two – in an easy learn to read format. That’s exactly what Oceanhouse Media did! Our family was lucky enough to work on a Dr. Seuss Reading Apps review and we were so excited.

My kids LOVED these apps! I asked my kids what they liked about the apps and their answers were similar and simple – “They’re FUN!”

Dr. Seuss Reading Apps Review – Since I’d like to give you a little more detail than their two word response, I’ll tell you why as a parent, I like these apps:

  • My children now want to read books on my phone – rather than play games on my phone!  That right there, is almost all you need to know!  (But I’ll include more bullet points)
  • The apps are digital and interactive versions of the Dr. Seuss books that you and your family already adore.
  • These are learn-to-read apps – they encourage literacy skills.
  • The apps were developed in collaboration with early literacy experts (I like this), and they’re designed specifically for beginning readers.
  • On the apps, kids can practice spelling, phonics, and rhyming, and they can improve their reading comprehension (while having FUN!).
  • The apps are ENTERTAINING – your kids will want to be on the apps – learning all the while.
  • The apps are visually appealing with colorful/vibrant graphics. I’m a sucker for colorful – so are my kids.
  • They’re EASY to navigate. Kids can enjoy the app without any grown-up assistance (that’s nice!).
  • Parents can adjust settings to customize the reading experience, with the options being 1. Read along with highlighting narration, 2. read it yourself, or 3. auto play.  This means the app grows with your child – which I appreciate.
  • STARS! Kids can tap, drag, and tilt to reveal hidden stars on each page. Stars trigger other learning activities, such as drag-and-drop exercises to match words to pictures and quick reading-comprehension checks.  Once kids reach the end of the story, they can see how many of the learning activities they found, and re-play them on the main menu.
  • Good stats – parents can track a child’s progress through the Reading Stats section, which tracks minutes, pages read, and more.
  • You’ll see from the graphics below, that all the apps have a similar format/structure, with similar features and activities. Little ones like structure – they like to know what’s coming next.

Are there any negatives?  Just one:

  • There isn’t an option that I could find that would allow us to have multiple user accounts for multiple kids.

Dr. Seuss Reading Apps Review – Overview of Apps  


       Dr. Seuss Reading Apps Review – Dr. Seuss Treasury –

50 Best Kids Books

Wowza – over 50 Dr. Seuss classic books in one app! And they’ve all been adapted into (wonderfully) interactive experiences!

So, I bet you’re wondering about the 50+ titles – I know I was. They include:  And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street; Bartholomew and the Oobleck; Daisy-Head Mayzie; Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?; Dr. Seuss’s ABC; Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book; Fox In Socks; Gertrude McFuzz; Green Eggs and Ham; Gustav, the Goldfish; Happy Birthday to You!; Hop on Pop; Horton Hatches the Egg; Horton Hears a Who!; How The Grinch Stole Christmas!; Hunches in Bunches; I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today!; I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!; I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew; If I Ran the Circus; If I Ran the Zoo; King Looie Katz; Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now!; McElligot’s Pool; Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?; Oh Say Can You Say?; Oh, the Places You’ll Go!; Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!; On Beyond Zebra!; One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish; Scrambled Eggs Super!; Steak for Supper; Tadd and Todd; The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins; The Big Brag; The Bippolo Seed; The Butter Battle Book; The Cat In The Hat; The Cat In The Hat Comes Back; The FOOT Book; The Glunk That Got Thunk; The Great Henry McBride; The King’s Stilts; The Lorax; The Rabbit; The Bear and the Zinniga-Zanniga; The Shape of Me and Other Stuff; The Sneetches; The Strange Shirt Spot; The Zax; There’s a Wocket in My Pocket!; Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose; Too Many Daves; What was I Scared of?; Yertle the Turtle; and You’re Only Old Once.  Like I said – WOWZA! More titles than you have in your home – more titles than you were even aware of!

And I’m SO happy The Sneeches book is included!  It’s as pertinent today as it was when it was written, in 1961.

When the Star-Belly children went out to play ball,
Could a Plain Belly get in the game? Not at all.
You only could play if your bellies had stars
And the Plain-Belly children had none upon thars.

BTW- there’s a Dr. Seuss Treasury School Edition too – which is great for homeschool co-ops.

Both Versions are Available at the App Store – Home Version and

School/Co-op Edition.

 

Dr. Seuss Reading Apps Review – Dr. Seuss ABC – Read & Learn


Of all the Dr. Seuss books, this is perhaps the one targeted to the youngest readers.

 Available at the App Store.


Dr. Seuss Reading Apps Review – Dr. Seuss Green Eggs & Ham

Maybe the most favorite Dr. Seuss book ever!

 You can purchase from the App Store.


Dr. Seuss Reading Apps Review – Dr. Seuss The Cat In The Hat

 

Another Dr. Seuss Fave!

 You can purchase from the App Store.


Dr. Seuss Reading Apps Review – Dr. Seuss One Fish, Two Fish

 

This is one of our family’s go-to Dr. Seuss books!

You can purchase at the App Store.


Dr. Seuss Reading Apps Review – Dr. Seuss Hop on Pop

 

This is my husband’s favorite – since he’s Pop!

You can purchase at the App Store.

 

Interested in ALL of these?  There’s a bundle for that!

Dr. Seuss Reading Apps Review – Screenshots

About Oceanhouse Media, Inc.

In case you didn’t know, Oceanhouse Media, Inc. is a  publisher of more than 400 educational apps (wow – that’s a lot!).  In fact, they have licensing agreements with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, HarperCollins, Hay House Publishers, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, Mercer Mayer, The Smithsonian Institution, Chicken Soup for the Soul,  and more.  And their company mantra?  “Creativity with Purpose.”


Did you like the Dr. Seuss Reading Apps Review? You can view our other reviews here: https://www.howtohomeschool.net/curriculum-reviews