Blogging Through the Alphabet – {The Letter B}

Welcome back to the second week of Blogging Through the Alphabet. It is always a pleasure to have a friend “stop by”.  As you are able to say hello to my co-hosts too 🙂





For so long I have longed to travel to Israel; to go on one of those tours where you walk the Bible. How amazing would that be to stand near some of those famous places where the blind received sight; where the dead were raised. Where new life was born again. to feel and walk in the dust of Jesus. Of course, in this season of our life, this is not something that is possible BUT – isn’t reading great? – I have begun to gather an amazing collection of books related to the history, the culture, the deeper meaning of so many things we read within the pages of scripture. One of my very favorites is my book that studies the many names of God. In fact, it arrived the day I was pondering and putting off writing my very first post for this. And so when I saw it in my mail, I knew this was how I would blog through the alphabet. One beautiful,, precious name at a time.



This week? He is the Bread of Life. … Lechem Ha-Chayim




The Bible says, man shall not live by bread alone. Certainly there is more to life than food and drink. We need to be fed spiritually as well. I know there are times that I feel so well nourished and then there are others when I am feeling a lack of nourishment. Other times, I am famished – just unable to get enough of all that God has to share. Lately I have not been as present online as I once was. I feel a sense of urgency; I feel drawn more and more to study. Wanting to ensure that wherever I am and whatever I may be doing, I am in some way, about my Father’s business.



      Jesus often taught that the physical is often a metaphor for spiritual things. Bread sustains and nourishes us. But only temporarily. We were created for so much more than just temporary nourishment. Yet the meaning and value of bread can understood very differently depending where when you were and where you were. Back then, bread was a staple of life. An every day necessity. Consider the words of this man, from so long ago:


As the son of a Syrian family I was brought up to think of bread as possessing a mystic sacred significance. I never would step on a piece of bread fallen in the road, but would pick it up, press it to my lips for reverence, and place it in a wall or on some other place where it would not be trodden upon. What always seemed to me to be one of the noblest traditions of my people was their reverence to the “aish” (bread; literally “the life-giver”). While breaking bread together we would not rise to salute an arriving guest, whatever the social rank. Whether spoken or not, our excuse for not rising and engaging in the cordial (Near East) salutation before the meal was ended, was our reverence for the food (hir-metal-aish). We could, however, and always did, invite the newcomer most urgently to partake of the repastThe aish was something more than mere matter. Inasmuch as it sustained life, it was God’s own life made tangible for his child, man, to feed upon. The Most High Himself fed our hunger. Does not the psalmist say, “Thou openest thine hand, and satisfieth the desire of every living thing.”? (From The Syrian Christ by Abraham Rihbanypublished 1916.)



Bread had so much value. It was a blessing because it provided sustenance.  Whether travelling long distances or “breaking bread” as a show of kindness and hospitality, there were many ways that bread was used. Every one of them showing signs of care, compassion. Certainly one can live for a long time on only bread and water. (Does Jesus not say that He is that living water? Bread and Water…..More on Living Water when we get to “L”)




In Exodus it was manna or “bread from heaven” that fed the Israelites while they wandered in the wilderness. A symbol of God’s faithfulness and love. In the Book of John Jesus miraculously fed five thousand with only five barley loaves (these were rather unpleasant in taste and very heavy by the way).  Not all that delicious but it certainly was something even those who were very poor could make and it provided all the nourishment you would need.




Jesus is the Bread of Life. He is our spiritual nourishment. We cannot go without Him if we wish to live and thrive spiritually. In fact, we are often told that we ought to “hunger and thirst” after these spiritual things so much more than those which only provide for the body for a time. All that we hunger and thirst after? He can fill us, He can provide for us everlasting life when we come to Him to eat and to drink.


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T is for Tree: A Bible ABC {Reformed Free Publishing Association Review}

You all know how much we love books here, right? I especially love when my littlest ones have a book that they simply love. My younger son’s favorite was Good Night Moon. My oldest son, From & Toad. My older daughter? She loved her book. I Want to be a Ballerina. And my youngest daughter? We were blessed with this one, T is for Tree: A Bible ABC by Connie L. Meyer; sold by Reformed Free Publishing Association. For those of you who are not families with them. Reformed Free Publishing Association is“an independent, non-profit organization for the purpose of witnessing to the Reformed truth.” Train them up in the way they should go … It is important to me for every one of my children to find joy, early on, in story books. Isn’t that the best way to encourage a love of learning (and of the Lord’s precious truth) in them?

This book is 32 pages long; every page is beautiful! While this is an alphabet book, unlike so many others, this one shares powerful truths with our little ones. Every page speaking of God’s goodness; His promises and His faithfulness. Just like most other ABC books, each page has a word that begins with the letter A-Z; this book includes not just a fabulous image but also a verse of scripture which relates to the letter on the page. A short, simple rhyme is included too. What better way to begin learning your letters than this? This book is recommended for ages 3-6; it is a fun opportunity to enjoy a book with my little one who is three, and also a great book for my daughter who is six, to practice reading herself to her mom or sister or her princess puppy. 🙂


My children spend every year learning specific verses of scripture; sometimes its one book, other times its a combination of verses from many different books. But my favorite year was when we were learning the Psalms. It’s amazing how some of the scriptures just come alive when you spend so much time, focused, on them.

The cover reminds me of Psalm 1 which tells us how important it is for us to be firmly rooted in the Word. My older children in fact, instantly thought of this verse, when this book arrived in the mail. It always confounds me how they can learn so much, so young, and recall it too, like that.

I was amazing, as were my girls, with every page. In fact, my littlest one was so taken in with every page in this book, both written and illustrated by Connie L. Meyer. Together we read about the rainbow in the sky and how it represents the covenant God has given to us.The foxes remind of of His constant care and provision while we see the goat who is a picture of Christ, sent out into the wilderness. The scriptures used are from the King James version; each one of them so well chosen.






Can you see how thrilled she was with these pages? Every page was like that. Every page was like that. She had so much to say. Questions to ask and the sweetest conversations. There were even moments where we read a scripture and she saying it along with me as I read it. It’s so important for our children to have the word of God in their heart and a book like this is a wonderful way to make that happen.



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Fun for Littles with PandaParents {Review}

Do you enjoy MessyLearning? Are you looking for something that will really immerse your little ones in their learning? If so, please continue to read. Because PandaParents may be just what you need to create a love of learning in your preschool/kindergarten learners, with their MESSYLEARNING FOR PRESCHOOLERS AND KINDERGARTENERS program! For this review we received six “months” or “courses” for review. Each one is designed to be lots of fun; who doesn’t love having fun? 🙂



My girls are 3 and 6 which is the recommended age for this program, so I was pretty excited to have the chance to use this. My daughters both love having their own “work” to do each day but I really struggle with what to do with my little ones to keep them excited and interested! I mean, I want them to learn, but I also want them to have fun! We were given digital access to three books: A Jolly Jingling Journey, Scotty Skunk Hears a Scary Sound and Mommy Baby. We also had access to the videos on Vimeo that compliment these books; the ebooks and workbooks were provided to us as a PDF download. (They expect the physical products to be ready in December 2018) There are only three parts to this program: ebooks, videos and workbooks. Each one has a theme, as well as a variety of opportunities for learning in math, reading, science and more! And there really isn’t anything messy about it!




Panda Parents Kindy Curriculum



M.E.S.S.Y. Learning Formula:

Mixed subjects & activities for integrative learning

Engaging activities that challenge minds

Simple 1-2-3 steps: READ, LEARN, CREATE

Smart designs for creative learning

Yeah, a new way to promote preschool STEM & early brain growth!

In the very first video we watched my oldest son recognized a bit of Chinese and a bit of Spanish. How fun is that?

My older daughter was really excited about the idea of learning another language with something like this…..Maybe a recommendation for the future? 🙂


My three-year-old daughter just loved all of the characters in the videos, especially the pandas. The videos all range from about five minutes to around thirty five. The longer they were the harder it was for my little girl to watch. We don’t do a lot of screen time around here.

The workbook includes lots of fun activities. Some of my oldest daughter’s favorites were tracing and connect the dots. She also really liked being able to cut out pictures and make her own book. And my younger daughter just enjoyed coloring alongside her sister.

My littlest one especially loved the book Mommy’s Baby. She is still my extra special baby.

These workbooks are full of great activities. Comprehension, patterns, tracing, letters and lots more! There are lots of colorful pages too. We didn’t print any of those ourselves but we did enjoy many other ones. It was a great opportunity for my daughter to have fun learning alongside her little sister.

You can purchase a subscription and receive a course each month or you can purchase courses individually. Each course has a unique theme and lots of activities and art projects to help our little ones learn the various letters as they are being taught.

My girls really had so much fun with this, particularly the workbooks. I think we are still using them because so many of the pages are simple enough for my little one and still good practice for my older girl. Well I definitely would prefer print books and workbooks, this certainly is still a fun opportunity to strengthen some of those basic skills with our older ones while also beginning with our littlest ones.

Facebook: @PandaParentsABC

Twitter: Tag: @Panda_Parents

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A is for Abba {Blogging Thru The Alphabet Link Up}

I honestly wasn’t sure what to do for this one. I was excited to be a part of this link -up (this is my first time!) and so I really struggled…What to do?

What can I write on for 26 letters that will be exciting? Interesting? Meaningful too?

And then I happened to get this book in the mail and I knew exactly what I would write.

Because of course the very first one is the letter A this week we are learning all about Abba.

Abba is the Hebrew/Aramaic/Greek word for Daddy which is also come to mean “dear father.” I find it fascinating that one word can mean something so powerful and in three different languages too.

There’s so many names for God. And I like to think that for each one that we learn of we grow a bit closer to our God. We experience God in a new way when we encounter the various names and titles of his and we learn about the context in which these were revealed to his people.

Abba is one of his name’s. Abba tells us about his character. It tells us of his desire for us It guides us and instructs us in the way we might come before him. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. It’s kind of like what we tell our children. We want them to trust us because we are their parents and we know what is best. How God wants us to trust in him in that same way.

Abba. Father. Tender. Compassionate. Merciful.

I don’t know about you but growing up I didn’t have much of a relationship with my father. My parents were divorced and my father worked all the time. When I did see him he was tired and we never really connected. It can be hard to relate to God as a loving father when you haven’t really had that exact experience.

Whatever our experience with our earthly father may be, God tells us what He will do as our heavenly father. We can learn of him and cast our cares upon Him. He is patient and slow to anger.

The care and the protection He will provides. He reminds us that we can rest in his arms safely. He also tells us how important it is for us to have that intimate relationship with him.

We can come to him in greater surance and faith because we know but he has called us and chosen us. When we call out to our Father Abba, we are calling out in great. Just as a child would to their earthly father.

It is because of his goodness that we can truly pray to our Heavenly Father that his will be done and his Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

Join us as we blog through the alphabet. You can link up below. Please do!

Amanda @ Hopkins Homeschool
Kirsten @ DoodleMom
Kimberley @ Vintage Blue Suitcase
Desiree @ Our Homeschool Notebook
Markie @ My Life as Mrs. Cooks
Hillary @ Walking Fruitfully

Kayla Jarmon Books {Review}

There are some things that can be hard to talk about; like the death of a loved one. My children recently lost their grandfather and while this wasn’t their first experience losing a loved one, they are older now, and that brings about more questions. Different issues than before. Then there are lighter topics, fun to explore nonetheless, like how there is this bond that just somehow exists between a boy and their dog. Or what about the connection between that baby in the womb, who was fearfully and wonderfully made by our great God? These are topics I certainly would not know how to speak to, nor honestly, considered, until I had the chance to read and review some amazing new books from Kayla Jarmon.  My family was given three books to read and enjoy together: A Boy and His DogDon’t Forget Me , and Dying Is Part of This World.




Discussion Book Series and A Boy and His Dog by Kayla Jarmon  Kayla Jarmon is a mother; she is also a fellow home educator. With a gift for storytelling, she began by simply blogging (as so many of us do!) and also a director and screenwriter. Needless to say her amazing abilities have birthed many books that are sure to be a great help to us as our children grow and experience this great gift of life. It is good to  have a gifting of this sort and minister to others in need, in any way that we can. Storytelling certainly, for me, has always been a wonderful way to reach others and find comfort and wisdom in times of need. These books are like that. Like a friend.  🙂





What is better than a boy and his dog? We loved reading this book. We have two dogs ourselves. With the most darling of illustrations and a simple story that is fun and easy to read. I have to say. my daughter who is six, kind of squawked about the fact that it was a “boy” and not a “girl”. She has her very own little doggie and they certainly do share a special bond. She dresses her furry girl up and gives her pony tails. It is quite the sight to see. Our little shitzu all in pink and lace and fluff. ha-ha  So of course we had to read some of the story as a “girl and her dog” here and there too.
My son loved so much of what the book showed them doing. We do wish we lived further out in the country were our son could explore and splash and build and climb like in the pages of this story. At least we can vicariously do those things through books, for now. He does enjoy taking our dog for walks every day. And when we are able to visit the dog park they sure to have fun exploring and making friends together!
Who else can you do everything, and anything with? Who else can you talk with and cry with that will not judge you? That is what our dogs are for. Such great, deep love!
The unconditional, always and forever kind of love that is shared between these two is a love we ought to all aspire towards. If only we could all be more like dogs!? 🙂
I think my favorite to read (with my my littlest ones who love babies!) was Don’t Forget Me.  This is such a beautiful story of a conversation between a baby, growing in their mother’s womb, and God. Can you imagine? I often have wondered, how close they must be. He knows us, before we were even born, He created us. Designed us and already had a plan and a purpose for us. I know my older son often would share with me when he was younger how he heard from God sometimes. I think as we get older, we make it harder to hear that still, small voice. So this was such an enjoyable read. From the very beginning of conception, through the birth this is such a sweet story about the journey and the development of that precious baby while it is within the womb. My kids thought this was kind of funny because my husband would often talk for baby, when I was pregnant. My kids would wonder  what baby was thinking while waiting to be born. My husband has always been great at that sort of thing. It was fun,  and quite funny. This though was a great way for my kids to see a bit more closely the development, and the joy that God takes in every one of us! I especially loved the images on the pages of this; simple sketches yet so beautiful! And scripture – so many references to how the sorrow and pain of birth truly brings joy and the commands which God gives as to the way we are to raise these precious ones too.
Don't Forget Me Cover-01
We also received Dying Is Part of This World.  Sadly, a very needed and timely book for our family. After my father in law spending weeks in the hospital he passed away. My children were able to see him briefly during his time there and there was a lot of prayer made for him. Yet still, it was his time and this book really helped to work through this with my children. My oldest son took this especially hard. Knowing so many who have experienced amazing healings, he was a bit deflated when God didn’t answer his prayer to heal his grandpa. It certainly can be hard for our children to understand (even us honestly) when someone we love is taken from us “too soon”. Yet it is so good to read through the pages of this book and remember the precious times we all had together. To remember too, that this is not our home. But God has great prepared for us which we may not see now but we will one day. Because none of us are meant to stay here forever. There were also amazing discussion questions at the end of each chapter of this book, which encouraged and reminded us that we do not have to forget. At my father-in-law’s funeral the Pastor spoke of how he was always gentle, a peace keeper, always adding to his faith. And these are those fruits that we can not only hold on to but be inspired to grow into more ourselves. We are born into this world but this is not where we belong.
Discussion Book Series and A Boy and His Dog {Kayla Jarmon Reviews}

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Learn to Read with Reading Kingdom {Review}

Of all the things that we can learn and do in life, I think reading is probably the most important of them all. After all, knowing how to read opens every door imaginable to us. If we want to learn to cook, or sew, write a novel, or explore the word. Reading is the key to it all. And so when my younger ones are first learning to read, I don’t want it to be something that brings about tears and frustration. I want their experience to be one that they look forward to; a time of fun. Reading Kingdom has been a program that does that exactly. It is a reading and writing program, developed by Dr. Marion Blank, world renowned expert on literacy and Director of Light on Learning Institute at Columbia University. This program uses whole language and phonics and is designed for ages 4-10 (grades preschool-3rd) and even struggling readers. It is an online program which (in my humble opinion) not only teaches our children how to read, and how to read well, but also helps develop a love of learning within them.

There are six levels to this program which makes it perfect for my daughter who beginning to read and also for my younger son who is enjoying reading but still needs a bit more help to read independently. This program teaches grammar, comprehension, phonics, meaning and sequencing, as well as writing. The levels are broken down into sections; each section has lessons within it. There is an assessment available if you are not sure where to place your children when getting started. I had my younger son complete the assessment before getting started; with my daughter we just started her at the very beginning. Sessions last for about 15 minutes, four times a week. Sometimes they used it more because, once you get started, the lessons really are fun! The animations are so colorful and fun! There is even an area where you can slow the program down a bit (this was a real help to my daughter when she started with this program) so she had a bit more time to figure it all out in the beginning. 🙂

My son (8) is somewhat of a struggling reader. Reading and spelling are hard for him, although you wouldn’t know it because he loves to do both. He really enjoys spelling out what he wants to say for me (especially when he doesn’t want his sister to know what he wants). Because he is very exact about things, it was encouraging for him to see the progress bar too, that shows where he is in his lesson and also in the program.

He certainly enjoys keeping track of how far he has to go to get to the next level. Or even the next lesson. I love that the program is so user friendly that he was able to get himself on the program to do his lesson completely on his own. And he really liked the variety of activities in the lessons. His favorite was a soccer activity; you have to get the ball in the net by spelling the word correctly. He could do that one all day long. He also likes how this is getting him more familiar with the key board. This definitely helped with recognition of upper and lower case letters as well as when to use what because we are always talking about why it isn’t such a good idea to write/type everything in upper case letters.

He has always loved to read with me but has had lots of anxiety about moving beyond Frog and Toad and his beginners Bible. But I have noticed as we have worked through this program that he has become much more open to reading; signs we pass as we are driving; he will peer over my shoulder as I read. And his reading aloud has become much smoother; I can tell there is more surety there! And this is great because as I said before, reading is something that is so important to me. I love seeing him reading, not anxiously, but confidently.

With my younger daughter (6) we started her at the very beginning. She knows her letters and the sounds they make but putting it all together has been pretty tough for her and I figured starting at square one would just be best. At least then we would have a firm foundation for moving forward. Initially she was very hesitant, even disgruntled at times, but as she became more used to the program she really began to enjoy this.

Have I mentioned that outside of one or two books she is very reluctant to read out loud but since we have been doing this, she has gotten so much more vocal when it comes to reading and writing. She has her very own notebook she likes to draw and write in and as she learns a new work and spells it, she makes sure to put it into her little book. At the end of each level there is a review and then a book to be read. Was she ever tickled pink when she completed the first level and read that book to me. All by herself! She had so much fun popping bubbles by finding letters on the keyboard, finding and spelling out words in a variety of ways. This has really made reading so much fun for my little girl!

We definitely plan to continue with this one! It’s a great program to use even as the weather gets nicer outside. Because the lessons are short and also so fun, my kids are happy to do a lesson each day. And the progress and change I am seeing in their abilities speaks volumes to me as to how well this works. Both of them are gaining confidence in so many ways and learning to really enjoy reading at the same time! reading Kingdom also offer ASD Reading which is designed for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Some of the other members of the crew had a chance to review that one; you can read all about their experience by clicking on the banner below.

Learn to Read with Reading Kingdom OR ASD Reading {Reviews}

You Can Find Reading Kingdom on Social Media: Facebook:



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Know Your Worth

I have recently begun delving into a bit of Biblical Hebrew. I have wanted for some time now to study more deeply like this.

I decided to begin when I did because honestly so many things seemed to be coming apart… In the midst of all the chaos I could hear God calling me to come and sit at his feet.

And so I have taken a break from the harder work. I have slowed down and spent a lot more time listening.

Are we not told to be quick to hear and slow to speak and slow to wrath?

I don’t know about you but I can certainly use some practice in these areas. 😋

I’ve spent some of my days questioning the how and the why of our home education. Mostly as it relates to my oldest son who becomes more and more resentful and rebellious with each passing day.

I think of little boy he was who sang with such gusto and played I got such a heart for God and I know he is somewhere in side of this bigger boy who’s struggling and making some awful decisions.

I tried to give him space and I try to trust that God is working within. I cannot see it but there is a great struggle going on inside of this young man. This time in his life when he is questioning things and needing to see you for himself… Although I wish he could live this life for God simply because he always has I know that there has to be more. I know that he needs his own experience. Perhaps his own moment of wrestling with God.

In times like this when things seem to be falling apart (my husband is just now really feeling the effects of his father passing away; compounded that with his oldest son making some very unwise an ungodly decisions) it is so important for us to step back and see things from God’s perspective.

It is so important for us to know our worth. This is the times when we must stand on the Promises what God has for us. We cannot be shaken. We rest remembering that we already have the victory.

I read the other day, “though we are as insignificant as dust, we reflect the glory of God himself. Sadly too often we struggle with knowing our true worth. We foolishly use competition and tried and comparison to try to build ourselves up but all to no avail.

Herschel wrote, “seeing each human being there is God’s image ought to lead us to the love of our neighbors and even of our enemies.”

Live Class in Computer Programmings {CodeWizardsHQ Review}



My oldest son is 12 and has been curious about computer programming for awhile now. We have used some free programs and done a couple classes online, but where do you really begin? There are so many “languages” out there – how do you decide? And what if we choose one that doesn’t really matter? More importantly, when those struggles come, how do you get the direction and help you need from a CD or DVD? As technology changes so rapidly there is much to consider but at the same time this is such a valuable skill to learn. So when we learned about CodeWizardsHQ we were SO excited.  Coding classes for kids. This is a unique, project-based method of learning languages; meant for middle and high school students. Teaching them and engaging them.






While unfortunately we were not able to test out one of these classes ourselves, we did want to share what we know because, again,  this is involved. something that is so good for our kids to be skilled in! With a very user friendly platform, student attend a live, online 12 week class, that is designed to help them develop both ability and confidence in coding. With a live instructor, students are taught coding, all of it, not a little here or there, but a full blown program that teaches them all they need to know. This is meant to be a relaxed and fun environment, where the class comes together to learn and create. They have classes just for homeschoolers too; check that out here! Instead of asking, what will they learn, perhaps the better question is, what won’t they learn?



Live Class Computer Programming for your Students {CodeWizardsHQ}

This is definitely much more than a simple coding course; this is something that helps us to see how coding can apply in our life and to our future as well. Did I mention classes are only one hour long? If you have a child like I do (who gets distracted easily; bored and restless) you might be a bit concerned but this is all hands on. There is very little time where your student will have the opportunity to daydream of become restless because again, this is all about involving them in the learning. So they are creating as they go along. There is certainly much for them to do. At the end of each program your student receives a certificate of completion!

Begin with a 12 week Introduction to Programming class or perhaps an introduction to HTML/CSS or Javascript.  As you complete these introductory courses you can work through much more involved ones such as front/back end development; app development, algorithms.  And if your student has experience with coding? They offer a placement test for anyone interested.  They even offer a internship program with a partner not for profit organization.  Personally, I have always been involved in one way or another with not for profits so any company that seeks to support them, even in this capacity, I tend to have a greater heart towards supporting. 🙂




In these classes students learn to actually write code. They don’t learn about it, but they do it. Through various projects this is all hands on learning. What could be better? I know my oldest son has to be doing something. I can learn from simply reading a book but he needs to get active and get involved. This is a great way to encourage our kids to do just that. Photo editing – that’s something my son can learn to enjoy!



This is making learn fun and exciting! This is the building blocks that are needed so that as our kids get older they can continue to grow and excel. With this sort of experience, imagine what they can do !

Because they believe that these skills matter and that all students should be able to follow their interests they even offer programs for those who may need some additional support.



There is so much we can learn; so many amazing things that can be done with the use of coding. It’s simply unbelievable.

I am admit – I am not a fan of screens – my kids do not get nearly as much time on them as they would like but when they can learn and explore and create like this, that is impressive. That means something.

My son lately has been focusing a lot on the saying, “Be better today than you were yesterday.”

Certainly we can consider that when it comes to our learning and abilities. A program like this helps make that possible.





I know this is something my oldest son would be truly excited to be a part of and for that reason I wanted to share this with you! We home educators do need to stick together and share the good things we find. How often do our kids get to learn like this? Building websites, creating comic strips with an on line editor.  With classes in the evenings and the afternoons, it is always [possible to fit this in, no matter what your schedule looks like. And with summer coming quickly, perhaps you would like to consider their summer accelerated program?  I know we are totally looking into this one!







Facebook group for parents who are interested in coding for their children



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Weigl Publishers Review {Digital Multimedia Books}

Who doesn’t love a living book? As big believer’s in Charlotte Mason we desire that the things that we read with our children really help bring the story they are telling to life. Because of this we were very curious to have the opportunity to enjoy some of the stories from Weigl Publishers. We received three books: Glaciers, A Lion’s World, and There Once Was a Cowpoke Who Swallowed an Ant. Now you see, the really exciting thing about this is that these books are optimized so that they really do come to life! I don’t understand and simply can’t keep up with all of this new technology, but I know my kids always appreciate this sort of thing. And since one of them is a very reluctant reader, I am always looking for something that might cause him to spend a bit of time in a book. 🙂



I admit I was rather skeptical. I mean, I am a big fan of books. Real books that we can touch and smell. I do have an e-reader but its just not the same. My younger son has often said the same thing. Of course he has developed a bit of a bookmark collection so, he is invested in having something to use with those bookmarks! haha While there are over 1800 books available, thanks to Weigl Publishers and Smartbook Media, Inc. we received three books for this review. Each book came with a special code that gives you access to the interactive book online. What does that mean? It means you hear amazing sound effects; your early readers can have the book read to them. There are also maps, quizzes, games, and lots more to enjoy. The books are delivered as a pdf download too. So you can read them either way (although my kids loved being able to really get “into” the stories we received. There is noyou are subscription or fee involved; simply purchase the books you would like and get realy to really explore. They even have books in Spanish and Arabic.

Remember that old story about the old lady who swallowed a fly? This is like that. It is TONS of fun! While my girls thought the story was just so gross, my boys got such a kick out of all the things this cowpoke ate just trying to get rid of one little fiery ant. This one is recommended for grades K-2 but really it is so much fun even my middle schooler was enjoying the story! Full of fun sound effects, my kids loved listening to this story over and over again!

For my kids who just are not fans of poetry, it was fun to see how much they enjoyed this story not even realizing that it IS poetry. Of course my younger son found it a bit “ridiculous” that he would eat an armadillo, after all “they have a rock hard shell. You can’t chew that up.”


And some of those critters he ate, we had quite a bit of fun learning about them. Roadrunners are so fast, they can prey on rattlesnakes. That’s fast. And turns out all that comes from eating fire ants is that you got a bit more protein in your diet for the day. Because my boys had to find out what would really happen. I hope they aren’t planning dinner tonight! What a fun book this was!

A Lion’s Word was my littlest one’s favorite story! She wants one that we can keep in our yard. She loved seeing the lion (although she was a bit unsure the first time it moved and roared). Both of my girls loved this one.

Recommended for grades K-2 it is an amazingly fun way to learn a bit about these beautiful and majestic cats. Seeing them as together in their pride; watching as they shake their mane about. My older daughter enjoyed this too because the words were pretty simple so she could follow along with the story; she could even read some of this on her own! That is exciting. This story really did come to life! I admit I had hoped for a bit more; this definitely is for younger children. Since my kids are huge fans of the Wild Kratts they love learning all they can about the many animals that are out there. This is a fun way to do that.

Ever since my younger son first learned the story of the Titanic he has been fascinated with glaciers and icebergs. Since this one is recommended for grades 3-6 he was really excited; even more so when he saw that there was a bit about the Titanic in this book too!

He is fascinated with how the ship was built and how the iceberg was able to take it down. He is known as our “little engineer” because he just has to know and see for himself how it all works. So as you can imagine a book like this, that comes to life so vividly, is a real treat!

This one had tons of facts and links that you could follow for additional learning. There was a quiz which my son had so much fun taking, and an activity pack that we downloaded to enjoy working on. My son loved the “robot” voice that narrated the story – he plans to one day build a robot of his own – personally I would have hoped for another voice. There are lots of things to do – this one really is so interactive – words in bold provide a definition when you click on them. And look at these supplemental resources; there were even hands on activities in this~ And I always appreciate a curriculum, don’t you? 🙂


And there are lots of images throughout the book, as well as videos, easily making this a wonderful resource for science study. Especially for an older student this could be a great opportunity to go really in depth and learn all about glaciers. Between the resources provided here and the additional ones they link in the book, this could be a phenomenal independent study for an older, motivated student. This is a secular book but the videos and the materials included are excellent nonetheless.

All in all, this rather skeptical momma, was pretty impressed with how interactive these books were. While I do think that in some cases the books could have had a bit more content, I cannot complain about something like this that draws my children in the way this did. I love the variety of titles they offer: sports, science, the 50 states and even some early readers for our younger ones. I already referred a friend to this site because they are homeschooling their daughter who has special needs and they are also spanish speaking so I saw this as a wonderful opportunity for them all! Certainly my older son hopes for a couple books to come along in Chinese or Japanese perhaps. Since we do a lot with international exchange and have hosted students from all over the world too, I can see how this could be a great benefit for those who are learning the English language too. This whole program is full of good stuff! It is easy to navigate and just really does make learning fun!