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Our Experience with Family Audio Adventures

Does your family love audio books?

I wasn't so sure how audio books would go over in my home. I have to admit that I was never much of a fan. My appreciation grew when my daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia. Since her listening comprehension far surpassed her reading level so she found great enjoyment in audio books. Now, my 7-year-old never stops talking and would prefer to play a game or watch TV. I wasn't so sure an audio book would capture her attention. I guess now was the time to find out and there was no better way than with Family Audio Adventures.

Our first experience was on the way to the grocery store. It was short drive but it would give us a taste. I showed my 10-year-old daughter the CDs and let her pick which one to play.  Her eyes lit up just seeing the fantastic artwork on the CDs. The choice was made and it was The Dragon and The Raven. As soon as the CD was put in, my 7-year-old protested and wanted to hear some music instead. My other daughter and I looked at each other and instead of saying anything we ignored the request and continued.

Within the first few seconds, I was impressed by the sound quality. As the story began, my daughter and I listened intently. The voice actors were engaging and quite frankly flawless. The story was enthralling and we felt like we could "see" everything going on. Before I knew it, we were in the parking lot. It was at that point I realized two things; 1) We would have been quite content to sit in the parking lot listening longer. 2) My 7-year-old had not uttered a word the entire drive. In fact, it was her who now protested we turn it off to go into the store.  Now, keeping that chatterbox quiet and listening is worth the entire Family Audio Adventure set.

What Makes Family Audio Adventure So Fantastic?

Let's start off by saying these CDs were created by former Adventures in Odyssey producers.  Most of us are already familiar with the quality of Adventures in Odyssey so we already have a fantastic start. Now add in engaging characters, thrilling adventure, a Christian worldview, and real history lessons. Yes, it is THAT GOOD.

Now check this out from the site:

""Studies show that “listening and learning” with audio actually improves how a child’s brain works. It’s true. With audio learning, the left hemisphere of the brain gets stimulated in a way that no other learning method can stimulate. This is an education breakthrough!""

Read all about that and more here

WHAT?  To think I have not employed the use of many audio books. My kids loved every second of these CDs. We still have a few to go but I could not be more excited about adding this into my homeschool.

The next day we listened to Under Drake's Flag. We spent time doing our own research and learning more and before we knew it the school day was over. My daughter looked up and said, "School's over? We didn't even do school." Yes, my lovely daughter, that is exactly what education is about. It is about being truly curious and engaged while broadening your horizons, learning lessons, and appreciating history, within your heart and not just your brain. Real learning becomes a part of you and not a robotic report that you can check off on your "to-do" list. 

I thought I was the only one until one day a group of moms opened up to one another. We discussed the frustration, exhaustion, pain, and wasted money associated with pencil sharpeners. What started out as a homeschool co-op meeting quickly turned into a support group for moms who have had it with pencil sharpening. We all had been burned by sharpeners that did not live up to potential or created more broken pencils than sharp points. We purchased everything from dollar store brands to high-end electric ones and the end result was always the same; frustration. Some of us confessed to coming close to allowing the use of pens math. Mechanical pencils seemed like a solution but sadly broke more often than our poorly sharpened ones.  Then one wise mom stood up after staring into her phone and said, "Here it is...the sharpener that finally worked for us!"  Could it be true? Could there be a sharpener that would stand the test of the homeschool life?

This hope was found on the Classroom Friendly Supplies.  The site said it was the best sharpener in the world. Well, all of us moms have heard that before. More research would have to be done on this intriguing product. Soon many of us learned that this was the best-kept secret in the homeschool world. Moms came forward to say they owned this sharpener and since owning it never had another pencil issue again. So, I decided to give this pencil sharpener a run for its money.

The day finally arrived when the mailman dropped off a box of hope for the pencils in my home. I know it sounds silly to be so excited over a pencil sharpener but if this pencil sharpener lived up to the hype then it would change my world.  Okay, maybe not my world, but it would revolutionize pencil sharpening in my homeschool.  No, I don't think "revolutionize" is too strong a word. We were ready to test it out with old and new pencils alike. The kids and I had a little bit too much fun using this sharpener. It was easy and a bit fun to use. The pencils never looked so sharp...literally. No breaks, no uneven edges, no fuss, no batteries, and no swearing off pencils forever.  It is by far my favorite school supply.

Again, I know how crazy it must sound to love a pencil sharpener so much.  However, if you, like me, have wasted money on every pencil sharpener on the market even battery operated ones, you would understand. The kids love to sharpen pencils now.  No more broken pencil tips and wonky edges.  Anything to make your homeschool day a bit easier is a gift.  So gift this to yourself!

I loved it so much I had the opportunity to gift it to a lucky homeschool mom. She said she is forever in my debt. Homeschool moms are not easily impressed but I have yet to find one who has had the pleasure of using the Classroom Friendly Supplies sharpener and not loved it.

Peanuts Word Cards

Anyone who knows anything about me knows I love Snoopy. It was with great sadness that my first three children were not impressed by Joe Cool and Charlie Brown. Then finally it happened, my fourth and final child became a Snoopy fan. Either she loves Snoopy and the rest of the Peanut gang on their own merit or she is trying to get on my good side. Either way, she is the inspiration behind the Peanuts Word Cards.

Each page contains four cards with an image and a word that describes the image that can be traced. You can either print it off and use a pencil or laminate the pages and use wet erase markers. I highly recommend Expo Vis-a-Vis Wet Erase markers. Dry erase markers can prove difficult to remove and make messy streaks. The wet erase come off beautifully for laminated sheets you want to use over and over again.

Here is what you will need to make your own set of Peanuts Word Cards for your child.
Once you print off your sheets, simply laminate, cut, punch a hole and fill your book ring up. I let my daughter use her cards at night before going to bed. In no time at all, she is able to read and spell the words! 

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Home Art Studio:  Homeschool Art Made Easy

If you asked me years ago what my favorite activity was during the homeschool day, I would have said arts and crafts. While my son wasn't thrilled, all my daughters love putting their creative hands to use. As the years went on, life became very busy. Between teens, home business, and homeschooling, I hardly have time to think much less bring out the crayons. I struggled with that since I believe art is joy and adds great value to the homeschool experience. I enjoy creative pursuits...well...I am a graphic designer after all. Yet, most of my homeschool art projects were based on google searches and Pinterest finds. This method was found to be unsatisfactory to my very curious daughter who insisted on learning "real art". I only got the "be real mom" stare when I suggested I teach her Photoshop. 

Thankfully, the opportunity to review Home Art Studio came my way. I will be honest, I wasn't terribly thankful at first. I wondered how much work I would have to put into it and how many times I would be running to the art supply store just to finish out the course. Sure, I missed art but adding in stress and routine seemed daunting. Since, I'm a risk taker, I went ahead and give it a chance. I decided to try out the fourth-grade level since it was in between my girls' grade level and I could use it with both at one time. I concluded that while that decision was sound, I think next time I will just get each their own grade level since they enjoyed it so much. 

Time for art!

Homeschool Art Studio: What I Love

  • Each DVD contains easy to follow and thorough instructions along with engaging lessons which build upon each other throughout the course. 
  • The lessons are short and easy to implement into your school day. 
  • Ms. Volin, the art teacher, is fun to watch and makes kids excited to learn art. 
  • You will have no trouble searching for art supplies since there is the option to buy all the supplies you need right on the site.  I can't think of a more exciting box to open than one filled with art supplies and a fantastic art program. 
  • You don't need prior experience for your kids to get a great art education.

Little Known Uses for Home Art Studio

Sometimes we can push the boundaries of a curriculum and make it a useful tool of fun and learning during other times in our lives. 
  • When sickness strikes the homeschool mom, let Ms. Volin sub for you! Keep in mind, this may not work so well for younger children who cannot clean up on their own. However, it is a fantastic way to keep your older kids busy, engaged, and learning, while you take a break. 
  • Need to make a phone call, nurse your baby, or prepare lunch? This is the perfect time to pop in Home Art Studio. The format makes carving out time for art easy!
  • Home Art Studio is a great way to spend a rainy day. 
  • Provide a fun activity for the kids to do with grandparents while they visit or babysit. 

Home Art Studio Inspires Creativity 

Take a look at these designs. As I mentioned earlier, I am a graphic designer. When the lesson on positive and negative space came up on the DVD, I discussed how graphic designers often use negative space in designs for logos. I showed the girls several examples. They were intrigued and wanted to come up with some designs using negative space. Each girl decided to use her favorite animal. I gave them free reign to break loose their creative power on my laptop. I enjoyed using the lesson on Home Art Studio to make a connection to something mom knows something about. You can't beat a curriculum that impacts a child once the lesson is over!

Learn More About Home Art Studio

To learn more about Home Art Studio, you can visit the website, Facebook, Pinterest, or YouTube.

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