Archives For Arts

Children and Love Languages

Heather —  March 27, 2012

Have you heard of love languages?

This basic idea is that people give and receive love and affection in various ways.  Sometimes, if the love language being used by one person is not understood or appreciated by the other, there is a lack of communication. The original Five Love Languages book helped couples learn to love each other even better.

Two new resources, The 5 Love Languages for Children and A Perfect Pet for Peyton, have just been released. One helps parents understand the love languages of their children and the second allows children to explore these concepts about love languages.

I got a copy of both of these books to review. I am reading through the adult one and meanwhile, my daughter and I have been having fun with the children’s book.

I actually find it easier to understand and remember the love languages using a kid’s book! The book’s concept is unique for kids and features a birthday adventure, almost a quest where kids learn about the five love languages.

Young readers can even take a quiz at the end to help determine their own love language. I like the colorful, fun illustrations and I appreciate that the book is a nice length at 64 pages and has a sturdy hardcover. This is a book children will want to read and reread again and again.

Buy or find out more, A Perfect Pet for Peyton:

Win a Copy!
Continue Reading…

Chromolithograph from The Library of Congress

Image via Wikipedia

GIVEAWAY for The Sixty-Minute Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing!!

I love Shakespeare. To read the plays is to step into the very best of stories. Seeing a play live is even better! The rich language, exciting and universal themes, fights and the love stories, and gorgeous costumes take my breath away.

As a kid, I was lucky enough to have several teachers who were in awe of Shakespeare’s writings, yet at the same time not intimidated by the bulky books and our initial utter lack of interest.  (Thanks, Dr. Gaspar)

I think the last time I read Shakespeare was probably before my last baby was born. And the last live show? I am pretty sure it was Macbeth, with my husband, on a special date night, over three years ago.

Where does the time go?

As a homeschool mom and teacher, I have tried to get my son into reading Shakespeare. We had some luck with the tragedies, but he had little interest in plowing through the comedies and most of the other works. They were just too long in his mind.

60 minute shakespeareWhen I saw these books, abridged versions of six of Shakespeare’s popular works, I just had to check them out. I went ahead and requested a comedy, Much Ado About Nothing (The Sixty-Minute Shakespeare Series) as I really needed the laughs.

I was pleasantly surprised by how easy these are to read and follow. The language of the texts has been condensed, yet not changed or modernized. Just as in some of my college texts, notes are given at the bottom of each page to help the reader follow the language.

But the best thing about these, to me, is that they are formatted both for reading and acting out the plays. I went ahead and read mine and now have my son and daughter acting out several of the exciting individual scenes.

I really felt unable to do this before on my own, but this book allows this non-thespian to make Shakespeare fun for my kids!

The Sixty-Minute Series (and several others) are written by Cass Foster, a Professor Emeritus of Theatre, experienced Fight Choreographer and Stage Director.

Published by Five Star Publications, the series includes six books including Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, and Twelfth Night.  Buy the entire series for $45.89 or individually for $8.99. Already used in many schools, these books would be a welcome addition to any home library.

Find more information at and You can also follow them on Facebook and on Twitter.

Want to win a copy of Much Ado About Nothing for your home library?

Just leave me a comment telling me either: your favorite Shakespeare play OR if you are going to try to teach Shakespeare!

For additional entries, you can:

Please leave separate comments for each entry method.

A winner will be chosen on September 15, 2011.

“This is a MamaBuzz Media review. The product was provided by Sixty Minute Shakespeare for this review.” Opinions are mine.

Winner of Fairytale Theater Cds

Heather —  February 8, 2011

Thanks to everyone who entered!

I have drawn a winner for the 6 Pence Production Fairytale Collection Cd’s:

Winner: Mrs. Mandy
Comment: I tweeted about it.

If you didn’t win, you can listen to samples of the 6 Pence Production Fairytale Collection on their website, and also help your child explore their imagination and create some fairytale magic with finger puppets, coloring sheets and more.

Looking for a Holiday Gift For a Homeschooler? (Or for Yourself?)

Put 2 and 2 together and save up to 60% on a one-year sub

While there have been several sales on The OldSchoolhouse Magazine this year, this end of the year one sounds like a really great buy (especially if you move quickly)

I love this magazine–and frankly, I also recommend it to families who do not homeschool, as the magazine has a lot of articles about parenting, cooking, and supporting the family as well as homeschooling information.

Put 2 and 2 together and save up to 60% on a one-year subscription. Plus, you could get a tote bag, Schoolhouse Planner, or gift coupon!

So, for the details:

On Monday, November 15, the price for a one-year U.S. or Canadian print subscription to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is $10. (I’d get mine today:)

On Tuesday, November 16, the price goes to $12. On Wednesday, November 17, the price is $14.

Each day they will add $2 until Saturday and Sunday, when the price is $20. At midnight PST on Sunday, November 21, the price goes back to its regular level.

Plus, every 12th customer to purchase a subscription gets a tote bag. Every 14th customer to purchase a subscription gets a copy of the E-Book: The 2010-2011 Schoolhouse Planner. Every 16th customer to purchase a subscription gets a $25 gift card to the Totally TOS category in the Schoolhouse Store. This excludes Molly Green and Download N Go.

As an added bonus, the highest ticket of the day on Monday, November 15 through Wednesday, November 17, will win a $200 gift card to the Schoolhouse Store. This can be used for any company in the Store, except Download N Go.

The earlier you grab your one-year new or renewing subscription, the better the price you’ll pay. Plus, you could receive one of the bonus gifts. Or, you might be the highest ticket of the day!

If you are eligible for a bonus gift, you will receive an email from a member of the Schoolhouse Store team.

And, don’t forget to get your FREE Holiday Supplement!! (Just click on the art below)

2010 Holiday Digital Supplement/Idea Book

Imaginative Music Appreciation!

Heather —  November 13, 2010


Have you heard of Freddie the Frog? I recently took a look at the Freddie The Frog website and I think it is great. Sharing Freddie with your kids would be a great way to incorporate some music appreciation and fun into your child’s day!

Check out Freddie!

“While there’s nothing new about kids loving music, science involving music and the brain proves that learning music early in life enhances brain development.

In the fantastical Freddie the Frog® 4-book series (hardcover with companion CD; $23.95 each) detailed below, preschool through elementary-age children learn musical concepts while they are duly immersed in Freddie’s colorfully illustrated adventures.

Freddie the Frog® Adventures were designed to engage and introduce children to fundamental music concepts by simply playing the audio CD and turning the pages of the story book.  Freddie is a portal to the world of music and a reference point for the sequential learning of reading and writing music.

It is not a stand alone curriculum, but rather an enticing introduction to musical concepts.  Kids fall in love with the main character, Freddie the Frog, through his stories and eagerly await the next adventure, learning about music while they read.  When singing or learning to play an instrument, it makes it easy to refer back to the stories when reading music notes.  No longer is it a bunch of black dots and sticks all over the page of music.  Now the kids recognize rhythms and places from the books. Piano teachers love the reference.

As one six-year-old eagerly blurted out, “I LOVE Freddie.  That’s why I love music!”  That’s the real magic.  With these books, kids fall in love with music and begin a life time of building neural pathways that extend far beyond the world of music.

“Nothing compares to music in brain stimulation and development,” notes Burch.  “The plethora of music and brain research findings are clear – music training profoundly affects brain development and music education benefits every child.  The Freddie the Frog books were purposely developed to make learning music easy and fun!”

Enjoy a narrated sneak peek inside Freddie’s world and read about the cognitive benefits of music. Learn more, play games and purchase at

The Write Foundation Review

Heather —  November 10, 2010

How do you approach teaching your child writing? I generally teach writing as a portion of our literature studies. My son loves to read and so I try to use that as a jumping off point to get his attention and then incorporate things like grammar and writing structure.

I received The Write Foundation curriculum to review and I immediately noticed that they stress the actual writing process as the base for their teaching approach. It is almost an about face from how I have done it. They say:

“Many writing curricula focus on the different types of writing, such as creative writing, story writing, poetry writing, persuasive writing, argumentative writing, informative writing, descriptive writing, book writing, fiction writing, novel writing, but the basic foundation of writing is assumed. The Write Foundation begins with the writing process, how a student formulates a topic, then a thesis, then supporting points, and by incremental teaching drills in the basics. In most grammatical subjects, we have found that failure is almost totally because the basics have not been learned.”

I appreciate this angle and felt that this review might help my son go back and reinforce some writing skills.

I requested Level 2: Paragraph Writing   Suggested Ages: 12-15.

About Level 2, (From their site):

  • Lesson plans formatted in an easy-to-follow system
  • Begins with steps to writing the basic paragraph
  • Improves sentence structure with basic grammar and figures of speech
  • Teaches different styles and techniques each week
  • Teaches the organizational process of  brainstorming, outlining, rough draft and editing.
  • Progresses to writing two-, three-, and four-paragraph papers
  • Introduces the five-paragraph formal essay
  • Creative poetry writing
  • Guidelines, checklists and correct structure
  • 30 lessons with lesson plans for either a one- or two-year format

See a syllabus for this level.

As we began this program, I had a hard time adapting to a different approach. I had trouble incorporating the lessons into our daily life. I read that the lessons were originally developed for a coop setting and I do think that the presentation of the teaching materials could be improved.

Overall, I think the program needs some tweaking to make it easier on the Homeschool teacher to teach. That being said, I think the concept of using a more foundational writing system for a curriculum is sound and can really help an unenthusiastic writer, especially. I give it a 3 out of 5.

I do like that the program is written from a Christian perspective and I hear that the customer service is great for this company. In addition, there is a Write Foundation Yahoo group.

See samples for all The Write Foundation Curriculum

Find ordering information here. Costs vary a bit depending on how fast you work through the program and your choice of materials, but range from $65-$100.

See what my crewmates have to say about The Write Foundation

I received materials from Write Foundation for review purposes. I have given my honest opinion.

image773Do your kids long for stories full of excitement and intrigue? Do you? How about some well written tales of knights and quests, overflowing with the drama of the ultimate battle between good and evil?

I have totally found some great ones! My son and I recently reviewed books 5 and 6 from the Knights of Arrethtrae Series and we were really impressed. We both liked the cover art on the books, and after reading the back panels, I was in a hurry to read the stories.

The tales are written as an allegory–there is no confusion about the fact that the author, Chuck Black is a Christian and is writing these stories as his way to teach his own children (he has 6!) and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.

In fact, Black says that he wrote his first book “to inspire his own children to read the Bible with renewed zeal”. I can see the Biblical influences in his works, but he also definitely has created fresh and new stories, complete with complex characters and settings. Themes of morality and virtue, ideas of loyalty and truth form the framework for the exciting plots.

Also, Black is a former f16 pilot and engineer. While I was reading, I appreciated that the battle scenes were very specific–they were described so meticulously and they seemed so logical…so tactical, real. And throughout the different quests the knights faced, these periods made sense to me, ie, they took a reasonable amount of time and effort to complete and while reading, you almost felt like you were going through the process as well. I’m thinking that Black is drawing upon his own life experiences for all this…and it really works!

Now, my readers know I am pretty cheap frugal, and I review often so I save money on things I like. Only occasionally will I run out and buy books and such…but we are getting these books! I plan to get some for Christmas. I actually am going to ask the author to recommend one for a friend of my son who is just entering the Navy as a pilot:) He may be 23, but I think he will enjoy this. They are that good.

Sir Quinlan and the Swords of Valor

Chuck Black

Two friends face the Dark Knight’s deadliest scheme, but only one knight has the courage to overcome.
Sir Quinlan leaves his boyhood friend to serve the Prince, fighting a battle darker and more intense than any he’s ever known. The mysterious Sir Baylor recruits him into the ranks of an elite unit of knights known as the Swords of Valor, but when tragedy strikes and everyone blames Quinlan, the Swords of Valor disband, ending a legacy of heroic deeds.
Can Quinlan reunite the Valor Knights in time to save the people from the Dark Knight’s evil plot to rule the Kingdom of Arrethtrae, or will the Valor Knights lose the most important battle of all?

See a sample of the book

Sir Rowan and the Camerian Conquest

Chuck BlackA knight left for dead. A country on the verge of ruin. And an evil lord rising to conquer.

The Dark Knight is rising to power, but Cameria and its greatest knight stand in the way. Unleashing a deadly plot from within to conquer Sir Rowan and his beloved Cameria, the evil dark lord is now free to conquer the rest of the kingdom. Rowan must realize his true identity and purpose as a Knight of the Prince, or risk losing his country – and himself – forever.

See a sample of the book

About the series and author:

Chuck Black first wrote Kingdom’s Edge to inspire his children to read the Bible with renewed zeal. This captivating expanded parable led him to write the Old Testament allegories, Kingdom’s Dawn and Kingdom’s Hope. Chuck added three more titles to the series, Kingdom’s Call, Kingdom’s Quest, and Kingdom’s Reign which were released in May of 2007. Chuck’s current works include The Knights of Arrethtrae series.

Chuck is a former F-16 fighter pilot and currently works as an engineer for a firm designing plastic consumer products. He has a degree in electrical and electronic engineering and served eight years in the United States Air Force. Chuck and his wife have six children.

You can purchase the books (and ebooks) on the Waterbrook Multnomah site.

You can find out more about the series and the author on the Perfect Praise website. You can also purchase books from all the series, autographed copies, audio books, and even posters on the site. While you are there, let your kids see the Kingdom Fun page. They have beautiful art for desktop wallpaper, coloring pages and more. It looks like they will soon have a Book Club, as well, which sounds like great fun.

Good news! I have a copy of Book 5 and Book 6 to give away!

For the mandatory entry, leave a comment, telling me what interests you most about this series and/or author.

For additional entries, you can:

I will choose a winner on 11/11. Giveaway is for USA and Canada only. Please remember to leave a way for me to contact you in your comments!

*You can also enter a giveaway to win the whole series on the MamaBuzz site!, one for 2 books on Homeschooling Hearts and Minds, and 3 books on Marine Corps Nomads!

This is a Mama Buzz review. The two books from the Knights of Arrethtrae were provided for my review. I have given my honest opinion.

cranberrybag2smallUpdate from The OldSchoolhouse Store–TIME SENSITIVE–FRIDAY ONLY

The crisp winds of autumn have blown TWO special deals into the Schoolhouse Store for ONE DAY ONLY!

Both options will give you the Cranberries & Cream Homeschooling with Heart tote bag FREE!

The choices are below. Just click on the art and then choose “Specials” on the TOS Site.

Option A:

Just $19.95 for The 2010-2011 Schoolhouse Planner. Plus, receive the gorgeous Cranberries & Cream Homeschooling with Heart tote bag for free!

You save 63% in all–for ONE DAY ONLY.


Only $19.95 for the May 2010 Expo To Go OR the Fall 2010 Expo To Go, and receive the Cranberries & Cream Homeschooling with Heart tote bag for FREE.

Select from the May 2010 Expo To Go or the Fall 2010 Expo To Go!

You save 43% in all–for ONE DAY ONLY.

But you have to act fast-the wind is changing and this offer is only here for one day!