Tag Archive | homeschool review

Review: Smart Kidz Radio

Playing music is something our whole family enjoys while cleaning, reading, and cooking. Recently, we had the opportunity to review the Smart Kidz Radio station, which plays informative songs about life skills, positive self-esteem, and core subjects for young children. Smart Kidz Media created this **FREE** station with family fun and education in mind. **On-demand options will be available in the near future. I will discuss that in detail below**

We listened to this radio station for approximately 25 minutes, five days a week. Our listening time was done while my younger two would be journaling, cleaning, helping in the kitchen, or reading. During this time I noted that the songs played on the radio were completely unique. I soon found out that this station features hundreds of original hits that you won’t hear anywhere else. Bam Bam and Princess enjoyed listening and dancing to most of the music they heard. Song subjects included body parts, being happy, good behavior, and various animals.

Some of the things we enjoyed about this radio programming were the song variety, stories, and ease of use. I found that on my Samsung phone, this works best via the Google Chrome browser. On Chrome, live play starts instantly upon sign in and continuously plays even while I’m doing other things on my phone. While listening you can also see the weather, local traffic, and other things via the menu. When using on your computer you can send the live stream to your mobile device via a QR code scanner. We didn’t try this option since my mobile browser worked perfectly. You can also submit a request for your child’s favorite song to be played.

Smart Kidz Radio Homeschool Reviews

Currently, Smart Kidz Media offers the radio station for FREE; however, a monthly subscription service will be available soon. On-Demand features will be added and for $3.99 monthly or $39 annually. Upon availability, a FREE 14 DAY TRIAL will be accessible to those interested in upgrading. Smart Kidz Radio will also be providing an app for Google Play and iTunes very soon.

Though the near future holds grand things for Smart Kidz Radio, don’t wait to tune-in to the FREE features. Smart Kidz Media has the desire to provide fun, original programming for children via this edutainment (educational entertainment) station.

Click the picture below to read additional reviews from the Homeschool Review Crew about Smart Kidz Radio.

Smart Kidz Radio {Smart Kidz Media Reviews}

Make this week entertaining,

Ta’Neisha K.

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We FINALLY Finished Exploring Countries and Cultures

Our journey with My Father’s World has been a joyous one with few mishaps and disappointments. We have thoroughly enjoyed all the lessons and commitment to Bible based history, geography, and language arts. After two years, we have FINALLY finished our journey through Exploring Countries and Cultures. I put this blog post together as a one stop shop for all things ECC. Check the lists below for details on how we have used this program in our homeschool.

ECC Final Review

ECC Experience Videos

ECC Haul Videos

ECC Blog Posts

I hope you enjoyed the final review and look back at our journey. We have already started our new school year and details on our curriculum are coming soon. Until then, be sure to follow our homeschool journey via @TeamKEMPacademy on Instagram. You can also catch video updates on our YouTube Channel.

Make this week grand,

Ta’Neisha K.

Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” Review

Our family thought watching Dave Scotts lead our tour in the new series Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” was such an awesome experience and we are so excited to share this review with you.  Let’s get started!

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Approximately 2 months ago our family started watching the Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” from Drive Thru History® .  Upon arrival we anxiously opened and inserted the first DVD, soon thereafter we found ourselves engulfed, watching two or three episodes in one sitting.  This series is giving you the historical background to what was going on in present day, during the Life of Christ.  We loved how it provided not only the physical locations but great graphics, detailed footage, and even the updated indoor tourist attractions that were around during the Life of Christ.  We also learned many things about the people, disciples, and leaders mentioned in the bible because the history mentioned included their lineage as well.

In our household we decided to use these eighteen, thirty minute episodes and provided study guide as a weekly family bible study.  Right after breakfast we all gathered around the television, watched an episode, and talked about what was going on using the study guide questions provided or our own.  Most times after our discussion we would actually watch the next episode and converse about it as well.  We always made it a point to read the Bible scripture that was discussed during each episode.  My husband was also ready to answer any questions that I or our children had pertaining to what we saw.

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Currently, we are thirteen episodes into this Drive Thru History® series and here is what my husband Kevin and eldest son, Bear had to say

“I think it is cool because you’re getting so much information in 30 minutes.  It isn’t boring because they break the topics down and the discussion questions help you retain the information.  Watching this made me feel like I was there in the moment.  I also like how he gave information about before and after the current parable he was discussing.”  Bear, 9 Years old

Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” is an in depth, historical look at the stories that we are already familiar with.  Even if you have heard these stories numerous times you will ABSOLUTELY benefit from watching this.  These episodes give me who, what, when, where, why, and how explanation that makes you appreciate the parables even more.  For example, when I’ve heard the birth story I’ve always thought about a wooden manger, as shown in pictures, I never knew it was most likely stone.  This would advantageous for 5th grade or higher in a home or church setting but our son is nine and enjoyed it.  This will definitely keep all ages interested.”  Min. Kevin Kemp, super cool husband

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As a family, we believe that this series is an excellent opportunity to sit and watch with your entire household around.  Our faith is the most important thing that we can share with our children and it is required in the Bible that we should “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6  It is equally important for us to teach our children scripture so they can know who the God that we serve is.  They need to have a complete understanding of the love of God, rules of our religion, and the reason behind our faith.  We definitely feel that this will be a great DVD series to use in a church setting as well for youth 5th grade and up, or with the adults.  With anything done for children my husband always encourages that parents are involved and encouraged to participate.  He also had a great idea to provide the discussion questions as a take home to those who decide to use this with a youth group.

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We definitely believe that Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” series and provided study guide is a good introduction to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  This would also be great as a continuation to a study that you are already doing.  This series has done a phenomenal job of explaining the history of biblical times so that the viewers can have a clear understanding and correlate that to the scripture.  It is truly important to acknowledge that the “God breathed text” (2 Timothy 3:16)  is not mere clichés but powerful words about powerful believers who walked this Earth.  We think Drive Thru History® did a great job of explaining the times and will definitely be enjoyed by all who are ready to learn the background of the scriptures, Heavenly Father, and resurrected savior we know and love.

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For additional reviews about this series click the magical hyperlink that will take you to the Homeschool Review Crew blog post.

Make today historical,

Ta’Neisha K.

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Our Journey With Eclectic Foundations

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During my annual homeschool curriculum selection and planning session we were given the opportunity to review Eclectic Foundations to see if it might be a good fit for our home academy.  This program is affordable and includes a comprehensive coverage of every part of language arts all from a biblical perspective.  We used the Eclectic Foundations Language Arts Level C program and I believe your 2nd grader will be challenged in a great way to pursue educational heights in all portions of Language Arts.   Allow me to walk you through the program details, needed supplies, and how we used it in our home academy.

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Eclectic Foundations has created a program that grows with the child based on their abilities rather than age or grade level which ensures they don’t get bored with the lessons.  Each level progresses in difficulty beginning at Level A (1st grade) with a goal to achieve collegiate reading by Level I (8th – 9th grade).  This program is available to consumers via physical copy by mail or instant digital download wherewith complete instructions are provided on which pages will need to be printed on card stock and/or laminated.  Each level comes with 144 lessons, intended to be taught four per week during a thirty-six week school year; however, it can be catered to fit your family’s scholastic needs.  This program has been written to coincide with the McGuffey’s Eclectic Readers which are available for FREE via their website or Amazon Kindle.  A physical copy can be purchased as well or you can print out the reader pages at your convenience.  The best part about the program is that is completely comprehensive and includes lessons covering Phonics, Grammar, Dictation, Reading Comprehension, Handwriting, Composition, Vocabulary, Scripture Memory, Spelling, and Poetry.

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Our home academy used Level C which is geared towards advanced 2nd and 3rd grade students.  The layout of the teacher’s manual is simple and easy to navigate with one lesson per sheet explaining how to navigate the student through the reader and daily assignments.  I was happy that comprehension questions are provided to coincide with every reader lesson.  There is also a phonics practice sheet (laminated) included for your student to pen the words as you dictate them.  The McGuffey’s Word Cards are the phonics (vocabulary) review words and each type of word (i.e. adjective, noun, pronoun, verb, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection) has a specific color so your child can easily identify them.  Scripture memory verses are provided weekly; however, none were labeled with the version of the Bible used and some weren’t worded according to any specific version at all.  I love that memorization is encouraged, which can be great for children and adults, but I’d prefer a consistent version of the bible being used throughout the curriculum.  Simply noting the version of the Bible next to the verse would also be an appropriate solution.

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I think the Eclectic Foundations Level C would’ve been a good program for our oldest when he was in later 1st through early 2nd grade.   Even though I enjoyed the layout and variety of subjects covered, our son would have benefited more from Level D (available this spring) or possibly Level E.  A great way to narrow down your child’s level is to view the provided sample lessons on the website and look through the McGuffey Readers.  If you feel your child is on the borderline or advanced I suggest moving them up to the next level.  Bear is used to weekly spelling tests but that portion of the program isn’t available at Level C.  All in all, this entire program is good and even though it wasn’t challenging enough for Bear we will be using it with Bam Bam in the near future.  I will also look into Level D and Level E, once available, to see if one will work for our oldest.

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To read more reviews over Level A, Level B, or Level C of Ecclectic Foundations, visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog post via the awesome hyperlink.

Make today grand,

Ta’Neisha K.

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