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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

TOS Review: My Student Logbook

My Student Logbook Review
I was so excited to learn that I would be reviewing a planner called My Student Logbook, with dates pre-printed on the pages, from a company with the same name as the product, My Student Logbook.

The student log books are ideal for students in Grade 2 and up for the student to understand how to take charge of keeping track of their own hours. But, it really could be used by an adult for younger students. The books sell for $15 with your choice of cover design, or $10 with no cover design as a PDF file for a one-time printing license. Or, for $20, you receive a PDF version family license with no cover design that you can print as many copies as you need.

My Student Logbook Review

Fist of all, my daughter was so very excited when she saw that the cover had horses on it. She loves horses. So, I knew I had chosen the right child to help me review this product. There are several other options for the book cover if you're not as into horses as my daughter.

I have been homeschooling since my, now Freshman in high school-aged, son began learning. Through the years, I have used different methods of logging that seemed to work well until my other two children began learning, and my attention was split. Suddenly, I had more logged hours to keep track of, and the program I was using on my computer went out of service and obsolete when my computer crashed a few years back. Since that time, I have been struggling to find a good way to log that works for my family, and I've been wanting my growing children to take charge of their own record keeping to some degree.


   





I was so delighted to discover that My Student Logbook is exactly what we have needed!

This will be the last log book you ever want to buy, because it will meet all of your needs. It was designed by a homeschooling family, and you can really tell they have had experience logging hours by the way they understand the process and have simplified this otherwise tedious task.

It even has a section that explains how to turn the logbook into a high school transcript.  Wahoo! My new overwhelming task just became so simple! I almost can't believe it!

It opens up with instructions on how to set it up. It's really very easy, but you will be amazed if you're like me. Just tear out the log page in the front of the book, cut off the edge to make it smooth, fold it over, and tape it to the back of the first page.  From then on, all you do is tuck the new page underneath, week by week. The student looks at the log and immediately knows what needs to be done each day, and when the work is complete, he or she simply checks it off. You may also write how many lessons you completed or include a grade for a test.

My Student Logbook Review

My Student Logbook also makes a great little keepsake memory book that grows along with your child. Just file it away at the end of each year, and you have your own personalized journal of sorts for each child as well.

The back of the book has sheets that personalize the book. They include:
  • About Me Page
  • Tests Taken and Grades Given
  • Books Read
  • Bible Verses Memorized
  • Field Trips
  • Prayers and Goals

I have absolutely fallen in love. this log book makes it so easy. Everything to do each day is right there listed, and all your student has to do is check off what they did each day.

You can order the logbooks either pre-dated or not dated. The logbook I received to review with my 2nd Grader was dated, starting with August 2014 through July 2015. This is perfect for us, because our school year starts in August.

Find My Student Logbook on Facebook and YouTube.

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Celebrating Womanhood: My 3 Best Traits

Celebrating Womanhood #selflovechallenge

Today is the day! For one day, we want to drown out negativity and celebrate the beauty and pride of women.

I was asked to share 3 things about myself that are grand without any qualifiers of modesty or put downs in the name of humility. So, here goes:


  1. I have always loved the fact that I have blue eyes. People have commented on my eyes all of my life. Once, when I was younger and single, I remember going through a drive-thru at a Naugles restaurant. It was a stop I would treat myself to occasionally since I worked nights, and there wasn't much open when I got off work. Naugles was open. One night, I placed my order and drove up to the window where a male worker opened up the window to take my money. Instead, he stared at me and actually stepped back a bit as he remarked how beautiful my eyes were.  Another part of my eyes is that I passed them onto all three of my children. That's right! Even though, my husband has hazel eyes (a dominant color), God saw fit to allow my children to get my blue eyes. I often look into their eyes and feel as if I am looking in a mirror. I love my blue eyes.

2.     I am not afraid to fail. It's a unique trait, I know. But, I possess it. I will try new things, new ventures, and figure that if I fail, it simply means that I need to adjust how I do it in the future. In addition to this, I have always loved that I am organized. I love when things are order. A lack of chaos, replaced by order, creates peace. I like peace.


3.     I love my sense of humor. I have a very selective sense of humor that borders on sarcasm, dry humor, and even a bit of intellectual humor. I love to laugh, and my husband has often told me that he loves to hear me laugh. Laughter is medicine to the heart, so it makes it even more joyous to know that laughter is healthy. I love laughing.



Now it's your turn.  What's so wonderful about you? Blog about three characteristics and be sure to link up so we can celebrate womanhood together.

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Friday, September 12, 2014

TOS Review: The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner

7 Minute Life Daily Planner Review
7 Minute Life Daily Planner Review

I was happy to get the opportunity to review The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner from The 7 Minute Life.

The planner is intended for moms (or dads) and is a 7.3" by 8.5" physical planner with a wide spiral binding that I could hold in my hands. It sells for $24.95 with a portion of the proceeds going to a charitable organization called ShareHope7 which provides water, food, and education to animals and people in need.

With the planner, you also have access to more than 20 additional planning and management tools online when you register through the site for free. I chose to do this as well.



This 12-minute video explains how The 7 Minute Life Daily Planner works. The video summarizes the typical daily planned scheduled, and right about the 7 minute mark on the video, it begins to dig into how the 7 Minute Life Daily Planner is different.



The idea is that major life changing events happen one little step at a time in short increments. Also, studies have shown that the average adult attention span is 7 minutes long. Since attention and focus is one of the key elements in achieving successful time management, the 7 Minute Life Daily Planner was created. Through it all, it boils down to three basic steps:

7 Minute Life Daily Planner Review


SO, HOW DID I USE IT?

When I first read through how to use the planner, I thought the planner seemed to be focused toward a business person than a stay-at-home homeschooling mom. However, since I am actually a self-employed work-at-home homeschooling mom married to a self-employed musician; I figured, I could apply all of the concepts toward bettering our businesses while enhancing the school time I spend with my children. 

I also realized that everyone's planner becomes very personalized, because it first walks you through outlining your personal goals. If you are not a work-at-home, self-employed parent; this planner is still very useful in time management goals. You just might not need to focus so much on parts of it like the voicemail log and instead, focus on the 5 before 11, the reading, and other aspects of the planner to attain your individual goals. I know that even though I work from home, I rarely have to tend to voicemail. Though, I do cover a ton of emails in one day.

I'M ALREADY ALWAYS IN SUPER PLANNER MODE - WILL THE 7 MINUTE LIFE DAILY PLANNER REALLY CHANGE MY DAYS?

I am a super planner. It's in my DNA to plan. I actually enjoy sitting and looking at a calendar to fill up properly. And, I take great pride in my ability to plan. I have my own little scheduling and planning system that works for me. So, when my planner arrived, I wasn't sure how well it would fit into my planning.

Did I have 7 minutes a day to give it a try?

7 Minute Life Daily Planner Review
7 Minute Life Daily Planner Review

The nice thing for me is that I received the planner for review just two days before leaving on a 4-week tour with my husband who is a musician. The kids and I joined him as a working vacation where he performed several jobs out most days, and we enjoyed the beaches of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior.  This time was perfect to learn about the 7 Minute Life because I had time to really reflect.

Here's how it looked when I was using it:






DOES IT GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS?

Each planner is set up to cover 90 days and has a file pocket in the inside back cover to hold additional notes and such. After the 90 days, just file the planner away and begin a new one. I thought this was a really nice idea. Not only is 90 days a doable increment of time, thought of in the business world and college world as a quarter, but the planners also become a ready-made diary/scrapbook kind of keepsake that is easy to find and refer to whenever necessary.

HOW TO BEGIN

It's very important to read the first several pages of the planner before you dig in to use it, because it walks you through several exercises where you determine your purpose and your goals. When I began writing what I love to do and what my talents are, I wasn't surprised to discover what popped up. I was, however, surprised to see the order they came to my mind. It was really interesting to have them right there in front of me in writing.

After I read through the entire introduction explanations of how to use the planner, I realized that part of the online tools include short videos explaining how to use each aspect of the planner. So, I watched those as well.

REACHING OUT AND MAKING CONNECTIONS

The one aspect I found the most difficult was committing to connecting with 3 people each day. I am very much an introvert, which doesn't mean I'm shy. It means I derive my energy by being alone and having time to introspectively reflect. People connections drain me. So, I almost skimmed over this part to dismiss it thinking, "Well, this is the true reason I'm never as successful as I want to be. I just can't make these connections. There are very few people I want to connect with every day, and the ones I do enjoy spending time with are already under my roof." But, I bit the bullet and decided to give it a try.

My favorite part of the planner is the 5 before 11 concept. Just 5 things a day add up quickly toward achieving my purpose in life. And, think about it - 5 things a day all before 11 a.m.

What I discovered is that this is not just another daily planner. It's more of a mini time and life management course. Another part of the "7 Minute" idea is that planning the most important tasks for each day, referred to as the 5 before 11 (5 tasks to accomplish before 11 a.m. each day), should take only about 7 minutes each day to plan.



Find The 7 Minute Life on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google +, and Pinterest.


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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Cinderella and Disney Princesses Forever Frozen



When my oldest daughter was 3, she lived, breathed, sang, and danced Disney Princesses. I remember leaving on a vacation. I had packed her enough clothes for the journey.  I also remember returning home wondering why I had bothered, because all she wanted to wear was her princess dress. She slept in it, wore it to the beach, and wouldn't take it off.

Sometime later, we bought her a Disney Princess Cinderella bed canopy, because all she wanted was a canopy bed.  To match, we got a beautiful Cinderella comforter.

She is now 12.

She looked at me a few months ago and asked if she could sell her canopy and bedding.  It seems a new princess has entered her world:

Princess Elsa and Anna from Disney's Frozen movie.



So, I have put her canopy and bedspread on eBay.  The bedspread used to light up and sing. Now it only sings when you press the snap-in device correctly (unless we just don't know how to make it light up).  The canopy is in overall great shape, but does have one metal bar that is bent thanks to her little sister doing gymnastics.  Still, it supports the canopy without incident or breakage.

The auction ends in just a few hours, but if it doesn't sell, it will be relisted - Just with different links I suppose.

In the meantime, we have flooded some of my other offerings with Frozen merchandise.





Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Children's Book Review: History Timeline and Great Story - 'Grandma, Aren't You Glad... the World's Finally in Color Today!'




I had the privilege of reviewing a new children's book, Grandma, Aren't You Glad... the World's Finally in Color Today! by Lori Stewart. I received the hard-cover 11 X 8.5" 32-page book in exchange for an honest review.

THIS BOOK IS CLEVERLY WRITTEN TO INCLUDE AMAZING PHOTOGRAPHS, SEVERAL HISTORY TIMELINES RELATED TO VARIOUS ASPECTS OF LIFE, AND WHEN YOU CLOSE THE COVER, YOU JUST MIGHT FEEL LIKE THERE IS NO GENERATION GAP AFTER ALL!
The story is told from the viewpoint of a grandma, telling the story of her mom to her grandchildren. Her mom was born in the 1920s, so on each page of the story, it takes you back in time reflecting upon how life was like for great grandma and then comparing it to what life is like today.

Some of my favorite lines from the book include:

It all started way back, way back in the day, When cameras were Brownies and photos were grey...

Before the computer was ever envisioned; And way long before all the air was conditioned; long before ice cubes or red Model T's; Before movies could talk, before jazz and TVs; When gold was the standard and LIFE cost a dime; In fact, it was just a few years before TIME," 

LIFE and TIME are, of course, referring to the magazines; while, a Brownie refers to the first cameras. The entire book is written in flow-off-the-tongue, easy-to-read rhyme.

When the story reflects back in time, the photographs on the page are black and white. When the story compares modern times to history, the photographs are in color.



The story begins when Grandma pulls out a family album to share with her grandchildren who are visiting for the summer.

The story is really interesting, walking you through various parts of great-grandma's life. But, what I found the very best part of this book is the timeline that runs along the tops of the pages.



It is set up in order, dating back to the 20's till the present, and grouped in categories as follows as the story progresses:


  • Inventions, Magazines
  • Transportation, including space travel
  • Happenings in history you learn about in school
  • Inventions having to do with food, science and work
  • Trends, toys, games and clothing
  • Entertainment
  • Sports
  • Music, movies, and dance
  • Wartimes
  • Cameras and art


Voila! It becomes a history book that is interesting to kids of any age. Though, the book is recommended for children ages 4 and up.

The book would make an amazing Grandparent's Day gift. It is published by Palmer Press, includes 102 four-color and black and white photographs, and sells for $19.95. Visit loriscottstewart.com for more information.

The author also wrote the award-winning book, If I had as many grandchildren as you.."  I got to review this book as well. Please read the review, and get the complete set.




Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Review of 'Goodnight Ark' Soothes Children To Sleep



There’s a new child’s bedtime book that will soothe your child off to sleep with a smile. If you listen, you’ll probably hear laughter as the last sound before turning out the lights for the night. The book is Goodnight Ark by ZonderKidz, and I was fortunate enough to receive it from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.

It takes a tried and true Bible story character and sneaks a peek through a fictional window during a frightful night of storms. I bet you never thought that Noah may have actually known how to calm even the largest animal.

Goodnight Ark was written by Laura Sassi and illustrated by Jane Chapman. It is a hardbound adorable book from ZonderKidz.

The story is a whimsical look to a night on Noah’s Ark when one by one each group of two by two animals become frightened by the storms and climb in bed with Noah. With the weight of all those animals, Noah’s bed was sure to break, but it was the skunk that finally stunk up the place and scared them to a haybale elsewhere. In the end, Noah soothes each paired off group to sleep with a lullabye.

Obviously, it’s not the story of Noah as told in the Bible. But, it doesn’t take away from that story, either. It is intended as an uplifted, lighthearted story to send children off to sleep. It’s humorous, easy to read, and the pictures are spectacular.

The story is told in short rhymes that make the entire bedtime story sound like your own lullabye as you tuck your little one into bed to read. It also provides a cute way to interact your child into subtle lessons of cause and effect, identifying small and large animals from snakes to elephants.

The author is a mother of two who currently lives in New Jersey, and the illustrator is a multi award-winning artist from Southern England and also a mother of two. Pick up your copy of Goodnight Ark for $15.99 at Zonderkidz.com


Monday, August 25, 2014

Celebrating Womanhood Exciting Announcement Coming

Celebrating Womanhood #selflovechallenge

For one day, we want to drown out negativity and celebrate the beauty and pride of women.
These days it seems that some people want us to be ashamed of being women. They want us to believe that we’re less: less intelligent, less important, less human. There is so much negativity out there. For one day, we want to flood the internet with positive messages about women.
For the past two years, we've let you get away with shining the spotlight on another woman. This year, it's all about YOU. As women, we often have trouble putting ourselves front and center. We're not important, not pretty, not smart, not talented. Just not enough. But that is SO not true, and we challenge you to break through that barrier. Join the #selflovechallenge on September 16, and share three positive things about yourself. If you don't have a blog, share on Facebook, Twitter, a favorite email loop (as long as they don't mind off-topic messages), or just write it on a Post-it note and put it on your bathroom mirror. Men can participate, too, but we really want women to embrace this. You are amazing, and it's time you owned it! Your three things can be just one comment each, or you can give background or elaborate in some way. The positive things can be anything: a physical trait, a talent, a facet of your personality, or anything else you can think of. The only rule is that you can't add any qualifiers. YES = I have beautiful eyes. YES = I get a lot of compliments on my eyes. NO = I have pretty eyes. At least that's what people tell me. NO = I guess I have pretty eyes, but no one can tell because of these stupid glasses. Just acknowledge and accept that you have gorgeous eyes and move on. ;-) We're not looking for afirmations here. Find three things you can love about yourself just as you are. Sure we can all improve something, but you are amazing RIGHT NOW! If you honestly can't think of anything, ask your friends and family. You should love yourself unconditionally, but sometimes we need a little help realizing that there is something about us to love. Join our Facebook page, and help us spread the word. We’ll have a linky up on the 16th for you to share your posts.

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