Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Typing Coach! An Awesome Typing Program With an Actual Coach! A Homeschool Review Crew Review.


The Typing Coach


I remember typing class. I loved it. Everyone that took the college prep track in highschool had to take it. I don’t think I would have been cut out for the secretarial thing, but for some reason the typing class was one of my favorite classes. Little did I know how valuable that class would be in the future. It would be another five – ten years before the personal computer was invented but now it seems like they have always been around and are an everyday part of our lives. A person can’t get by in this world without learning some type of keyboarding. These days keyboarding is being taught as early as kindergarten. So, when I found out that we would be reviewing The Typing Coach Online Typing Course from The Typing Coach I was excited. We have used other typing courses before but it just didn’t seem to be the right time in the boy’s education to use it. This seemed to finally be the right time and I was hoping it would be the right course.


The Typing Coach
Okay, having said all of that, I tried a couple of the lessons to see what it was like. I thought I was a pretty proficient typist. After all, I type all of the time for my blog and other things. But! I didn’t even pass the first test! Ugh! This course is easy to follow but it is very complete! I think I am going to have to work through the whole thing and bone up on my typing skills.
I mentioned that this course is easy and complete but I didn’t mention that it is also a lot of fun. First of all, it is easy to use because everything is laid out right for you step by step. After an easy registration you just open up the home screen and it is all laid out for you. After some introductory audios and videos that need to be listened to and watched and after a very few things need to be printed out (trust me there is not much – it won’t break your printer ink budget), you will be on your way.
There are seven main lessons in this course along with a preview section to evaluate where you are at the beginning, a serious practice section where you get in some serious practicing before taking the final examination, and then the final examination itself. I suppose that a good typist that is just using this as a review could finish this whole course in one to two weeks, but I wouldn’t recommend that. The course instructor suggests taking about one lesson a week and practicing throughout the week.
The seven main lessons are:
  1. Having Good Posture – you also learn proper hand positioning here.
  2. Home Row
  3. Top Row
  4. Bottom Row
  5. Shift Keys
  6. Typing Practices
  7. Number Row
Did I mention a course instructor? Yes, there is actually one and he is marvelous! During each lesson there are audios that the student listens to (sometimes there are even videos!). These audios take you step by step through the lesson. For the lessons that I did, there was practice during the audio, then there was practice while looking at one of the sheets that was printed out. While you practice with the printed out sheet soft music is playing on the audio. Are you wondering how you can be typing in a word processor while listening to an audio as well? It really is very easy and all of that is explained in the lesson. When you are done with the lesson and think that you are ready for the test, you go to a special website to take the test. After the test is taken the results are immediately but if you want the results emailed to you there is an option for that as well.
I know all of that may be hard to understand, but it really is easy once you get started. I am loving working through it. I’m not loving the mistakes that I am making and realizing that my typing isn’t all that it is cracked up to be, but I am enjoying the course. I also really like the fact that the creator and instructor is very accessible. Although everything is computerized and a live person really isn’t involved, you can contact the instructor and he will answer any questions that you might have. I had to contact him and, wow, I don’t think he ever sleeps! It was late one night when I contacted him about something and he responded almost immediately! And he is super nice!
I think you have figured out that I love this course. If I can, I am going to have all of my kids take this at one time or another. Yes, I have special needs children, but, did I mention, there is also a special section that you can click on where everything is done at a slower pace for younger or special needs kids? This course is awesome!
To find out more about The Typing Coach Online Typing Course from The Typing Coach just click on any one of the highlighted links above or check out their social media sites by clicking on one of the links below. You can also find what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew thought by clicking on the banner below! Happy Typing!

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The Typing Coach Online Typing Course {The Typing Coach Reviews}

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors–Another Awesome Product from The Pencil Grip–A Homeschool Review Crew Review!


The Pencil Grip, Inc
When we prayed about and took three awesome teenage brothers into our already active home as foster children we had no idea what awesome talents we would find. We knew some of their likes and dislikes but we didn’t know all of their super abilities. Well, come to find out, they all three have a talent in drawing. Who would have thought it! So, when we received a Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors from The Pencil Grip, Inc. they were all super excited. They have been a big hit.
I had reviewed their set of fatter Kwik Stix before but these are new and are very cool. This new set is a lot the same but different. They are still made of solid Tempera paint that is somehow miraculously stuffed inside of a tube that look likes a magic marker tube. Yes, I said actual Tempera Paint! There is still no water needed to use these neat little things. They can still be used on paper with no worry about a big mess because they dry in 90 seconds or less. They still provide vibrant colors that smoothly flow onto the paper. I honestly can’t remember the exact colors of the big stix because they are still packed away from our recent move. However, the Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors are yellow, blue, red, brown, green and black. They are still non-toxic. So, after saying all of that you can see that they are still just as awesome as the big stix!
Thin Stix by KwikStix
The difference between the Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors and the other set of Kwik Stix is that these are . . . well . . . thinner. The bigger stix were great for younger hands who needed something bigger to get a better grip on. These, however, are great for teens who want to use them to do awesome art projects. As the package says – they have a smaller tip for better control. So, my awesome boys who are good at art love them because they can create really neat pictures.
In fact, one of the boys grabbed them almost as soon as I got them and began playing with them. When I went to look for one of his projects to display on this post, however, nothing was good enough for him. They are tough critics of their own work. So, as soon as I’m finished writing this post, I am going to give the set of Thin Stix back to him so that he can create something beautiful that I will add ASAP! You will see it below.
Until then, I think that you can tell that we are fans of all of the Kwik Stix products and I am also a fan of the company that produces Kwik Stix - The Pencil Grip, Inc. I’ll put in a quick plug for their pencil grips as well which are absolutely awesome. I have used them for years.
Anyway, to find out more about The Pencil Grip, Inc. and their really neat products and especially about the Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors just click on any one of the highlighted links above. I know that you will not be disappointed with this really neat art product. You can also find out more about the company and about Kwik Stix by clicking on the banner below to read what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew thought or by connecting with them on social media. The social media links are listed below as well. Happy Homeschooling!

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No Mess Art with Thin Stix Classic Colors {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Reviews}
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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Captain Absolutely! An Absolutely Fantastic Book by Focus on the Family. A Homeschool Review Crew Review


Focus On The Family

With seven boys of various ages and with various backgrounds living in our home it is hard to come up with a way to creatively teach Christian values. Today’s society twists values and morals into things that God never ever intended. There are no absolute truths anymore – everything is relative. Little did I know that there was a comic book series, perfect for boys (and girls), that teaches real Biblical truth! It’s not really in comic book form but is in softback book form but it is just as good as any comic book series that I ever read as a youth. And, it’s from Focus on the Family – a company that you know you can trust. It’s called Captain Absolutely and is based on a character from the popular radio and video program Focus On The Family.

It all begins as two friends are working together in the library when one friend drops a sunflower seed into a computer that just happens to be connected to the city’s central computer that is run by nuclear power. Chaos ensues when an explosion occurs and one friend becomes trapped in a room full of Bibles while the other friend finds himself in the philosophy section of the Bible. After a night of reading they are rescued however they are no longer Josiah King and Darren Gray but they are Captain Absolutely and his arch nemesis Dr. Relative!


 Captain Absolutely


Thru a very clever and imaginative storyline Biblical truths are taught. My kids love it. Even my non-reading foster sons are attracted to it because of it’s colorful pictures and comic book format. It truly rivals many of the popular comic book series of today and yesterday (and I should know, I was a big comic book kid when I was younger). I love the fact that they are learning solid truths and learning not to follow what the world or todays philosophy says but to follow what God says. It is a win for everyone! One by one my kids are reading this and really learning. They didn’t get to read it until I was done with it first, though!

I had no doubt that Captain Absolutely would teach solid scriptural truths because of it’s publisher, Focus On The Family. My kids (and I) have watched their videos and listened to their radio broadcasts for years and know them to be trustworthy. I know you can trust them and that your children will really enjoy this as well! To find out more about Captain Absolutely or about Focus On The Family just click on any one of the highlighted links above. Other members of the homeschool review crew also reviewed Captain Absolutely and you can find what they had to say by clicking on the banner below. You can also find out more by clicking on one of their social media links listed below. Happy Reading!

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Captain Absolutely {Focus On The Family Review}
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Friday, May 12, 2017

Local School District Cancels Million Dollar Fumigation Contract after Smell Miraculously Disappears!


The Tanglewood Report - May 12, 2017


Authorities from the local middle school in Livingston, TN have reported that they were able to cancel a non-binding contract with the Jojo Fumigation Service after a strange odor, that reportedly had effected the school for a little over a month, after the smell miraculously disappeared earlier today. The fumigation was to have happened today because this was the day that most eighth graders would be away because of a so called “lay out day”. The eighth grade wing seems to be where the odor is coming from.

School officials claim that the odor did indeed begin about a month ago. Students and faculty all agree that the odor is a mixture of the smell of mushrooms and dirty socks and strangely began around the eighth grade classroom area but quickly effected the entire school. Many students have been going home sick every day which has created chaos with the school nurse.

“Man, I distinctly remember the day that it started.” claims 8th grade student Parker Story aka Porkloin. “I remember because it was the day my best friend Robert Blackwell aka Robert Tinkwell came back to school after being away for most of the school year. Ugh! It was terrible! It smelled like old socks that had been on someone’s feet for over a week and rotten mushrooms! It also strangely reminded me of Baby Groot.”



Parker Story

Robert Groot 2Groot




Porkloin Story     Robert Blackwell (Tinkwell)          Baby Groot

Porkloin Story’s girlfriend, Mackenzie Owens, who does not attend Livingston Middle School, told this reporter that she was very glad that the smell had gone away because Porkloin was beginning to carry the toxic fumes with him. “It was as if Porkloin was spending a lot of time with the culprit of this smell. It was really creepy!” she claimed.

School officials are said to be very thankful that they are saving all of the money. They have already spent thousands on investigating the horrible smell that seems to only occur when school is in session. Weekend Janitors are said to have smelled the remnants of the fumes, but when windows and doors are let open the odor seems to go away.

The workers at Jojo’s Fumigation are not so happy though. Jojo’s assistant Wiggles (who is a very delicate creature but loved by all) said that Jojo doesn’t pay her enough and that “He’s always jumping around and going from one project to the next. He makes me so tired that all I want to do is lay in bed and sleep all day!”

Jojo’s hippy secretary Mountain, a catlike hairy looking person, is also dissatisfied. “Just more paperwork for meow, ummm, I mean me.” she mewed.

Fortunately all is not lost for Jojo and his crew. They still must investigate another strange odor that has effected the school district. This time it is over at the highschool. Officials there say that it is a weird concoction that smells like llamas. Oddly enough, the creature pictured below has been seen roaming the grounds for the past few months.

Llama 2

This creature has also been seen near Tanglewood Lane and at the ballpark in Livingston. If you happen to see it call authorities immediately.

~ Tatiana Tinkwell Reporting

Tune in again tomorrow for a special report on an alien like “whitedolphaunicorn” that has been spotted in the area.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Secret Bridge–An Awesome, Awesome book by Lamplighter Publishing!–A Homeschool Review Crew Review


The Secret Bridge {Lamplighter Publishing Reviews}

I know I’ve said this many times but I never know who might be a new reader so I’m going to say it again. We love to read. My parents were readers as were Sarah’s so we both grew up loving books and reading a lot. We still read a lot and we pray that by the kids seeing us read they will also become readers. Our biological kids also love to read. I thank some of the great living book curriculums that we have used over the years for that. I am praying that all of our boys that were born of our heart and not born of our womb will learn to love to read as well. At any rate, we love it when a good book comes our way. I had heard about Lamplighter Publishing before and had heard nothing but positive things about them, however, we have never tried any of their products. So, I was excited when we were offered to review the novel The Secret Bridge by Amy Le Feuvre.

I know that you all have heard about the importance of first impressions and the positive or negative impact that it can make on a person. Well, let me tell you that from the moment we received the package that the book came in I was impressed. Lamplighter Publishing doesn’t package their books just any old package. I have received books in the mail that were just slipped down into one of those bubble mail envelopes. Well, that’s not what this quality company does. They mail their books in a special hard cardboard box. Inside of the box the book is well protected and very elegantly wrapped in brown paper to protect it even further.

So, why does a book need to be protected like that? If you ask that, you, like us until this deliver, have never owned a Lamplighter book. These are like no other books! The books themselves are beautiful! I had to just go to the Lamplighter website because I could swear that this book is leather bound. However, the website says that it is an “leather-toned embossed cover”. Whatever it is, I have never owned a book like this before. They don’t hold back on their book covers at all. It has the look and feel of a book from an expensive top notch elegant book publisher. Well, this is definitely a book from an elegant top notch publisher, but, I’ll let you in on a little secret, they aren’t expensive. In fact, I don’t know how they can publish and package a gorgeous book like this at such an inexpensive price and still feed their families.

However, I digress!


The Secret Bridge {Lamplighter Publishing Reviews}

On to the story line! The two boys that I wanted to read this to, Jacob and Joshua, are both on the autism spectrum but have different problems when it comes to reading. I have found, though, that if I read a book aloud to them I can conquer both problems at one time. However, I was reading another book to them at the time, so I decided to just read The Secret Bridge myself.

I loved it! Amy le Feuvre is an awesome writer and keeps you spellbound. I couldn’t put the book down! The Secret Bridge is about young Bridgett Channing. A mysterious young lady with a mysterious past. At the beginning of the book she finds herself homeless and destitute until Godfrey Bullingham comes along. Now, after reading that brief description, you might think that this is just another one of those historic romance novels. Well, this book was written in 1899 so it definitely has history, and it does involve some romance, however, it is not just “one of those” novels. It also has intrigue, adventure, suspense, and, as I mentioned before, a lot of mystery. The storyline hooks you at the beginning and never lets you go until the end. Each page brings on something new so that you absolutely can’t put it down until you find out what is going to happen next. And, the ending is pretty shocking!

What I really like about this book, though, is that it is a Christian book. Christian morals are wrapped all throughout this novel. The editor has tried to keep the language and the punctuation as close to the original as possible and there are footnotes all through the book that defines an unusual word or further explains an unusual situation that may be unique to that time period. More often than not, though, the footnotes give Bible references to what is going on in the book. It is all so cleverly intertwined that you don’t realize that you are being taught a Bible lesson as while you are reading. Well, you may realize it, but it certainly isn’t going to be a dry Bible lesson. As I mentioned, it is woven into the storyline so perfectly that it isn’t dry and boring at all but is part of the adventure. I can’t wait to read it to my kids!

Shhh. . . don’t tell my wife, but I just noticed on the Lamplighter Publishing website another book by Amy Le Feuvre that I am going to order as soon as I am done writing this. That is how much I love Lamplighter Publishing. I really would like to continue buying books from their Lamplighter Collection for my library. If all of the historical books are this good then I want to buy every one of them.’

To find out more about Lamplighter Publishing and The Secret Bridge just click on any one of the highlighted links above. I know you will not be disappointed. You can also check out Lamplighter Publishing on their social media pages listed below. Many other members of the Homeschool Review Crew reviewed The Secret Bridge and you can find what they had to say by clicking on the banner below. Happy Reading!

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Twitter:  @lamplighterbook


The Secret Bridge {Lamplighter Publishing Reviews}
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