Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Super Star Speech Supplement

I just published another Super Star Speech book at Currclick.

super star supplement cover-small

Super Star Speech Supplement contains 40 practice pages that are intended to supplement Super Star Speech: Speech Therapy Made Simple.

The practice pages and games in Super Star Speech: Speech Therapy Made Simple are "generic" ones that are adaptable to any sound. This new volume provides additional sound-specific practice pages for p, b, t, d, k, g, ng, f, v, blends, and final consonants as well as a few additional activities that can be used to practice any sound. Super Star Speech Supplement isn’t a stand alone book, but can be used with Super Star Speech to make it even easier to use.

The e-book format makes it easy to print just the pages that your child needs at any one time. My hope is that this supplement will make Super Star Speech an even better help to you while working to improve your child's speech patterns! Sample pages are viewable at Currclick.

Super Star Speech Supplement will be normally priced at $7.50, but I’ve set it at an introductory price of $4.00 until December 19.

If you have or know a child with articulation delays, I hope you will take a look at the Super Star Speech books!

Please ask if you have any questions about the books!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Today I am thankful for:
1. family
2. books!
3. a heated home
4. Christmas decorations
5. glowing candles
6. My sweet cocker, who has blessed our family for 13 years
7. a cheerful child

Thank you to Brenda at Garden of Learning for sponsoring the Gratitude Challenge!

Monday, November 28, 2011

New Beginnings

I’m thankful for a new week and new beginnings. Last week was not good—multiple math meltdowns (we finished Tuesday’s math on Saturday!), bad attitudes all around and lots of stressful stuff all at once.

I’m hopeful that this week will be much better!

Thank you to Brenda at Garden of Learning for sponsoring the Gratitude Challenge!

Stocking Up Your Shelves at Currclick

Today, Currclick is having a Cyber Monday sale—8 free items on the website and 2 items on their facebook page for today only. I found a couple of free Christmas titles that I’ll be incorporating into our school next month.


Today is also the start of the annual “Stocking Up Your Shelves” sale. Many items are on sale for up to 75% off. All of my Super Star Speech books are 25% off for this sale.

And…I just published a new book, Super Star Speech Supplement (usually $7.50), which is on sale at an introductory price of $4.00.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankful Tuesday

I’m thankful today that my oldest daughter is home until January. She has a family practice rotation in town and then some vacation time.

I’m also thankful that Monday is over! Yesterday was a horrible day for Emily, for school, and lots of other stresses too. Today is running a bit more smoothly so far.

Thank you to Brenda at Garden of Learning for sponsoring the Gratitude Challenge!

Truly Awesome Cookies


I recently had the opportunity to try Kroger’s “The Truly Awesome Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookie.” These cookies are twice the size of most brands, are free of added preservatives and artificial colors, and claim to taste just like home-baked cookies.

I was eager to try these because:

1. I love home-baked cookies.

2. I don’t like store-bought chocolate cookies. I really don’t. I never eat them.

Guess what? I did like these. They were very good, although I still wouldn’t say they were as good as homemade. (I did forget to try out the suggestion to microwave them for a few seconds to make them seem oven-fresh. ) They had a very nice flavor—chocolaty and buttery, without the artificial undertones that most store-bought cookies have. They were crispy, but not too hard. Emily liked them, too. The 2 packages of cookies we had disappeared quite quickly! I have found a store cookie that I do like!


“The Truly Awesome Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookie” is sold at Kroger (and other stores in the Kroger family) with a suggested retail of $2.79 for an 8-cookie package.

I received 2 boxes of this product from BzzAgent in exchange for sharing my honest opinion. I received no other compensation and all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thanks in the Rain

It’s a gloomy, drizzly day here. I’m feeling nice and cozy here at home and am feeling thankful for my nice warm dry house.

Thank you to Brenda at Garden of Learning for sponsoring the Gratitude Challenge!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Gratitude Challenge-Christmas Fair

Thank you to Brenda at Garden of Learning for sponsoring the Gratitude Challenge!

On Saturday, I spent the morning helping at our church’s “Christmas Fair.”  Our fellowship hall was filled with tables displaying hand made jewelry and other crafts from Haiti and other countries.  All “fair trade” items, which means that the craftsmen (typically women) are paid a fair wage for their work to enable them to support their families. Fair trade coffee, chocolate, and other food items were available, too. We also had opportunities to donate to Heifer Project or a local ministry to the homeless. Many people came through through to begin their Christmas shopping and/or to make donations in lieu of Christmas gifts for those who “have everything already.”

I am thankful that the event was a great success and for the many people who are working to help those in poverty to make better lives for themselves.


These necklaces from Apparent Project-Haiti have tags profiling the artist who made them.


Why I Started Homeschooling

This week’s TOS Blog Cruise Topic is “Why did you decide to homeschool?”

I first heard of homeschooling when my oldest was a baby. My mother, who is a former teacher, became a coordinator for a homeschool cover school in 1988. I was intrigued by the concept, but thought it was a bit crazy! Just a few years later, Allison was 3 years old and reading fluently. Chris and I started wondering how in the world we could send her to public school in two years to be "taught" her letters! We decided to homeschool her, planning at first to keep her home for a couple of years, then to put her into school a grade ahead. We did send her to school for third and fourth grades, but by that time, I was teaching my younger children at home as well and had fallen in love with the homeschooling lifestyle, so we pulled Allison out of school to homeschool again. John Michael and Katie were homeschooled through eighth grade. Emily has also been homeschooled all her life and will continue to be so at least through eighth grade. I have loved our flexible schedule, having the freedom to teach my children how and what I want and the opportunity to instill my values in our children. Most of all, I have loved getting to spend my days with my children instead of sending them off to be enjoyed (or not) by someone else!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Math Mammoth

imageMath Mammoth publishes several different curriculums. Two years ago,  I reviewed the fourth grade level “Light Blue” program. The “Light Blue” program is a complete curriculum by grade level. This year, I got to try the “Blue” program, which is a series of worktexts on specific topics. Each is very reasonably priced at $2-$7.  I received the e-book version, which I printed and spiral bound.


The book I chose was Fractions and Decimals 3 ($7.00). This 6th grade level book provides intensive practice on decimals, the metric system, scientific notation, and fraction arithmetic. These are areas that Emily sometimes struggles with, so I thought the extra practice would help to increase her competence.


The lessons in Math Mammoth include clear explanations and examples of each topic and a variety of problems. Each lesson focuses on a single topic, although review lessons are also included periodically. Problems are presented in different ways, requiring the student to read directions carefully. (Emily got herself into trouble a few times when she guessed what to do instead of reading directions—a valuable lesson!)


I continue to be impressed with Math Mammoth materials. The varied problems and solid teaching ensures that the student truly understands the concepts instead of learning procedures by rote. The additional practice in this book is really helping to solidify Emily’s skills in fractions and decimals.

To read about my Crewmates’ experiences with other Math Mammoth products, please visit the Crew Blog page.


I received this book free for review purposes as a member of the TOS Crew.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I’m thankful for….

Today am giving thanks for my Super Star Speech books/business. Four years ago, God put the concept in my mind to write a book to help parents help their kids with articulation problems at home. I jumped into the project and truly feel that God was with me every step of the way. Write a book? Publish it? Run a business?  All new and scary things for me!

I’ve had a lot of positive feedback from users of the books and the business has provided a much needed source of income for me. An income that four years ago, I didn’t know I would need now. But God did!

Thank you to Brenda at Garden of Learning for sponsoring the Gratitude Challenge!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Gratitude Challenge—Speech Screenings

Today I’m thankful for sweet little ones. I’ve spent the past two mornings doing speech and hearing screenings at our church’s preschool. It’s been fun to spend time with 3 and 4 year olds. I don’t get to do that much anymore!

Thank you to Brenda at Garden of Learning for sponsoring the Gratitude Challenge!

VocabCafe (TOS Review)


When my older daughters were preparing for their SAT tests, they spent hours studying vocabulary using flash cards and SAT prep books. The practice was tedious, but it did pay off in great test scores.

I’m a firm believer that reading is the best way to learn and retain vocabulary, but it’s hard to learn a lot of words quickly for test preparation that way.

The books in the VocabCafe series, published by College Prep Genius, were written to quickly improve vocabulary. Each novel includes 300 words “specifically chosen to encourage the development of language skills.”  The words are integrated into a  novel. Each vocabulary word is printed in bold, and the definition is at the bottom of the page. The end of each chapter includes a list of all the new words in that chapter and there is an additional glossary at the end of the book.  As I read the books, I took note of each vocabulary word and tried to ascertain the meaning (if it was unfamiliar to me). Then I read the definition at the bottom of the page and looked at it again in context.  This really only took a few seconds per word and didn’t significantly impede the flow of the story. At times, the insertion of the vocabulary words seemed forced or stilted and sometimes I really wasn’t sure that the word was exactly appropriate for the context. Overall, though, I think the books are a good way to reinforce or teach new vocabulary.

The Summer of Saint Nick

This was a story about a boy who suddenly acquired a house and a large amount of money and what he decides to do with it. The situation was very unbelievable, but it was still a fun story. It felt quite easy to read, despite the vocabulary words, so I don’t think teens or even middle schoolers would get bogged down in the book.

I.M. For Murder

This mystery was fast-paced and exciting. It was intense, though, dealing with a serial murderer and there was one rather gruesome description involving a cat in the book, so parents may want to pre-read this one.

Operation High School

This story is packed with high school drama, secret clubs, and espionage. I found it appropriate for my middle-schooler.

Planet Exile

This science-fiction title deals with schoolboys who find adventure on the mysterious Planet Exile.

My Thoughts: Overall, the books are a great idea. I think they are useful for the purpose of quickly improving vocabulary. On a few occasions, use of the target words seemed stilted. At times, I doubted whether the vocabulary word was used appropriately in the context. I also found several spelling or typographical errors in one of the books.

3/5 stars StarStarStar

The VocabCafe books sell for $12.95 each or $38.95 for all 4 books.  They are written for high school students, but may be of interest to many middle schoolers as well. College Prep Genius also sells the College Prep Genius SAT test preparation program, which was reviewed by other members of the TOS Crew. To read their reviews, please visit the TOS Crew Blog.


As a member of the TOS Crew,  I received  free copies of the four VocabCafe books to review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thankful for my Dad

Several years ago, one of my kids stepped through the wallboard in the attic over our garage, leaving a big gaping hole with chunks of dangling wallboard. Being the garage, it wasn’t much of a priority to fix, plus it was far too high for me to fix by myself. My sweet dad spent several hours Saturday patching it up for me. It still needs finish work, but this is a big improvement!


Thank you to Brenda at Garden of Learning for sponsoring the Gratitude Challenge!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thankful for the CREW!

Today I am thankful for the TOS Crew. The review products have been a blessing to us, the review process and blogging has been fun,  and I’ve made lots of new friends through the Crew. I’ve even had the opportunity to meet several Crew members in person in the past few months!



Thank you to Brenda at Garden of Learning for sponsoring the Gratitude Challenge!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Why was I born?

This is from today’s “Women of Faith” devotional:

Ephesians 1:11 states, "He chose us from the beginning, and all things happen just as he decided long ago." What was it He chose? He chose to create us so that He might love us. He chose us to be the recipient of His never-ending, unfathomable love.

So then, why were we born? We were born to be loved by God! Plain and simple!

Wow! How can I not be thankful for that?


Thank you to Brenda at Garden of Learning for sponsoring the Gratitude Challenge!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

God’s Provision


“And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:19

I am so thankful for God’s care and provision. Even through my worst trials, He is always here. Time and time again, He has shown me that He will provide what I truly need.

Thank you to Brenda at Garden of Learning for sponsoring the Gratitude Challenge!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

2011 Gratitude Challenge

I am participating in this month’s Gratitude Challenge at Garden of Learning.  It’s so easy to get caught up in the busy-ness and trials of life and to forget to be grateful for all that God has blessed me with. I hope to slow down just a bit this month and take time to appreciate all my blessings.

My kids are at the top of my “thankful list”! I am blessed to have such great children. The older three aren’t home much and it is rare to have all four together at the same time. I cherish those moments!