Review of Brinkman Adventures Season 4

brinkman20adventures20season204_zpsbsquogkz

brinkman20logo20small_zpsgrkapopo

One of our family’s favorite ways to pass time on road trips is listening to audio dramas. Have you heard of Brinkman Adventures?  We were introduced to their missionary stories when we received Brinkman Adventures Season 4 to review.  This was the first time we had heard of this audio drama series.  And I have to say, we loved the stories. For the purpose of this review, we received the audio drama as a download.  However, they are also available on audio CDs as well.  Personally, I found the downloads perfect.  I was able to download them to my computer and then use iTunes to listen to them on my computer.  However, I also have the option to listen to them on my iPhone or iPad as well.   This season contains 12 episodes full of missionary stories, adventure and more.

These adventures are in many cases based on real people and the events that happened to them.  Also, as a parent, I love how at the beginning of episodes containing intense stories, children under ten-years-old are instructed to get their parents to listen along with them. This shows the creators have a genuine concern for their listeners.  At the end of each episode, listeners are instructed to visit the website for more information regarding the real-life characters and situations.  Here is the link to the website where you can find the real stories behind the episodes.  Here are some screenshots of the stories behind the episodes.

 

Each episode is about twenty-five minutes long.  The stories engage you in the drama and keep you on the edge of your seat in many cases.  The background music is incredible and helps set the mood of the stories.  The stories themselves are engaging, inspiring and moving.

Our family loved how the episodes build upon each other.  Characters frequently reappear.  Another feature our family really enjoyed was listening to the snippets in between episodes, such as the one where the creator of the Brinkman adventures introduces his family who actually provide the voices for the characters in the show.

Our family tended to listen to these episodes together, however, there were a few that I listened to alone.  I can guarantee the next time we get in our van to drive somewhere, these episodes will be playing.

Even though our children are twenty-one, almost nineteen, almost seventeen and almost fourteen, they all enjoyed listening to the stories because the children are span such a large age range.  I also appreciated the time and care provided to the idea of grown children finding their own place in the world and respecting the ideas and concerns of their parents.  Over the course of several episodes, the story of Michelle and the young man she wants to marriage developed.  Mr. Brinkman does an excellent job of showing the struggles parents go through in this situation.  As a mother, I could totally relate to the struggles Mr. Brinkman faced.

Our children really enjoyed the episode with RD, the Koi fish and the adventures that the computerized RD had when armed with a paintball gun.  Of course, listeners were informed at the end of the end of this episode, that it was not based on real life.  Plus, they were instructed to never try doing this at home.  However, I could see my sons (especially our oldest) trying something like this himself.

So if your family is looking for wholesome audio dramas, check out Brinkman Adventures Season 4 for yourselves.  If you would like to read more reviews, click here or on the graphic below.

2 Click Here to Read More Reviews 2016_zpsmmmkbumm

320crew20disclaimer202016_zpscwpb9ywe

Review of CTC Math’s Family Membership

ctcmath_logo_zpsbzkds5im1

We are in our 12th year of homeschooling.  My husband and I are both gifted in the field of mathematics.  However, the majority of our children did not receive that gift.  A couple of them truly struggle with math. I was thrilled to receive CTCMath‘s Family Membership with my kids, and homeschoolers can get 60% off + 6 bonus months.  Or you can select a 4-month free trial. However, these special offers are only good until November 15th.

ctcm1703240945_60__screen_program_zps42hgigwb

I love that this program is video-based and offers the option of either a single student version or a family version.  We received the family membership.  I set up accounts for our three children who are ages eighteen, sixteen and fourteen as well as an account for myself.  For a high school student, the videos take about 8-10 minutes to watch plus the time to complete the exercises.

 

CTC Math is designed for children in grades Kindergarten thru twelveth grade.  It is perfect for getting caught up, staying up or moving forward.  I like that children learn at their pace rather than someone else’s pace.  Each high school lesson contains a video, practice problems, and a worksheet.  I like the fact that the worksheets can be printed out at the high school level. CTCMath’s founder, Pat Murray created this multisensory approach to math that is used in Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom as well as other parts of the world.

With three high school students, this plan was perfect for our family.  The family membership gives the parent the opportunity to add family members to the account.  Once added, they can work on diagnostic tests as well as the various courses.  I primarily was interested in this program as a way to fill in some gaps on increase proficiency.

One of my favorite things about this program is that I as the parent have the ability to determine the proficiency level I require.  So for our children, I selected 90% as what they needed to achieve.  Another thing I love is that the program goes all the way from Kindergarten to Calculus.

Our fourteen-year-old daughter needed to brush up on her skills for Algebra.  Our sixteen-year-old son needed to brush up on Geometry.  I just selected various lessons from the different courses to try.  However, my husband and I both plan on using this program to continue brushing up on our math skills.

I did lessons in Algebra I as well as Algebra II.  I found the videos to be straight-forward, informative and easy to follow.  I appreciate that there are not a lot of distractions.  I also like that the questions in the practice section relate to the lessons being taught.  Our children found the questions easy to follow and easy to answer.

Here is a screenshot of one of the videos.

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 9.17.05 AM

Here is a screenshot of one of the practice problems for the Order of Operations sections of Algebra I. I love how the students can see their progress as they move through the exercises.  Plus, they can also see their score to the point of completion as well.

Here are some sample worksheets – one from Algebra I, one from Geometry and one from Algebra II.  For each worksheet, you have the option to print out the worksheet.  Then the student enters the answers and finally, the student can view the solutions.

Our family really enjoyed CTCMath and  I encourage you to try it for yourself.  Remember, you only have until November 15th to take advantage of the 4 weeks free trial or the 60% off + 6 bonus months.  If you want to read more reviews of CTCMath, click here or on the image below.

2 Click Here to Read More Reviews 2016_zpsmmmkbumm

 

320crew20disclaimer202016_zpscwpb9ywe

 

31 Days – Day 2

31 Days of Scripture_1

This is the second post in my 31 Days of Scriptures Series. My husband is an ordained Primitive Baptist preacher and was ordained almost 25 years ago.  So through the years, I have heard him preach on many different passages from the Bible.  So a lot of those verses have come to be favorites of mine.

Here is the image for today’s verse.

Romans 3 10

31 Days of Scriptures – Day 1

31 Days of Scripture_1`

So October 1st began this years 31 Days project.  However, I am running slightly behind.  So here is my post for day 1.  I will be picking and posting various Scriptures that stand out to me, mean something to me or just speak to my soul.  I will be using the New American Standard Bible for this project.

Today’s Scripture is from John 1:1 and I love the simple message of this verse.

 

John 1 1

 

Homeschool Band Participation

img_0486-1

So this year our family is doing something new.  Our second and third sons along with my husband and myself are playing in the homeschool band.  The picture above is our second son who is playing the baritone.  He has played the baritone in the past when we were in Pennsylvania.  So far he seems to be enjoying himself.  He began learning it when we were part of the Salvation Army band at our local Salvation Army Corps.

Our youngest son is going to learn how to play the alto saxophone.  This is rather interesting since I started on the alto saxophone in the fourth grade.  Unfortunately, our family moved to South Carolina and I had to wait until I reached sixth grade to play again.  Also in his past, my husband has played the alto saxophone as well.  Yesterday was his first time actually playing his instrument in band class.  He was very excited about it.

My husband who played clarinet and trumpet is playing the trumpet for the beginner band.  Then he is playing the clarinet in the advanced band.  Unfortunately, his clarinet needed some work done on it, so right now he is using a borrowed one.  It is fun to listen to him practice.

I am playing the flute for the beginner band, which I have always wanted to learn.  Then for the advanced band, I am playing the french horn.  I played french horn in high school.  Then I played an E flat horn in the Salvation Army band.  I am very excited that we were able to find an amazing french horn for us to purchase for me.  It is a double french horn, which is new to me.  But so far I am loving it.

Review of “Captain Bayley’s Heir” from Heirloom Audio Productions

img_0290

img_0519

Our family absolutely loves listening to audiobooks – especially when we are traveling.  So I was thrilled for our family to have the opportunity to participate in this review.  Heirloom Audio Productions brings another G.A. Henty novel to life with Captain Bayley’s Heir!  The quality of this audio drama is fantastic.  For the purpose of this review, we simply listened to the audio drama.  The listeners are pulled into the story which begins in England, but tells of the Gold Rush in the United States and includes visits to various countries in Europe as well.  This is our second review of a production by Heirloom Audio Productions and we enjoyed it as much as our first.

This two-and-a-half hour audio drama begins with a conversation between G.A. Henty and a young man while they are traveling together.  The young man mentions that he is in love with a young lady who is a Christian.  However, he is not.  During the course of their conversation, G.A. Henty mentions that he writes books, so the young man asks for G.A. Henty to tell him a story.  This story brings out the boundless grace offered by God if we are only willing to take it.

G.A. Henty proceeds to tell the story of a young man in England who encounters various individuals and his life.  Frank is the nephew of Captain Bayless and has a cousin named Fred.  He also is good friends with a young lady named Alice.  Frank encounters another young man named Harry when Harry’s dog needs to be rescued from the water.  Frank heroically saves the dog.  They become friends and Frank discovers Harry’s birth parents had passed away.  So Harry is living with another couple who were generous enough to take him in and give him a home after his mother died.

This story contains many twists and turns.  Those twists and turns include Frank finding Harry’s adopted mother a job with his uncle.  Frank is accused of a crime he did not commit.  The headmaster of the school accuses Harry of stealing from him in addition to “going out of bounds” by leaving the school campus, which results in him getting into a fight.  He begs his uncle in a letter to show whether he believes Frank is innocent.  When Captain Bayless fails to respond, Frank and Fred determine the best course of action is for Frank to escape to America.

This drama wreaks of action and adventure as well.  From a terrifying encounter on a boat with a storm and a tree to an encounter with Indians, along with stagecoach robbers.  This drama does an amazing job of painting what life was like in America during the time of the Gold Rush.  The friends Harry makes truly make this story memorable.  Also, the use of “Amazing Grace” frames the story to perfection.  While faith and the Bible are not shoved in the face of those listening, the role of faith is made clear.

To go along with the audio dramas, Heirloom Audio Productions has introduced a club called the Live the Adventure Club that includes a wealth of resources.  This club includes valuable resources including a study guide for the drama.  The study guide is available as a download on the Live the Adventure Club site from Heirloom Audio Productions. The study guide offers background information on what is included in the study guide, a background on G. A. Henty, information about Heirloom Audio Productions, a list of the members of the cast and crew, background information on important people during the time of the story  and other resources to facilitate the study and discussion of the story.

The questions are broken down by disc and tracks on the CD.  The questions include questions for listening well, thinking further, defining words along with opportunities to expand learning and Bible Study as well as additional resources.  Here are some screenshots of pages from the Study Guide.  While our family did not use the study guide this time, I plan on everyone listening to the audio drama and utilizing the study guide and other resources at that time.  Heirloom Audio Productions has done an amazing job with this audio drama.  If you would like to read our review from the first product, you can click here for our review of “In the Reign of Terror”.

The “Live the Adventure Club” offers the ability to see the selections you have purchased along with the bonus material, kids activities, and games, educational treasures as well as other educational resources.  When members click on their listening library, they can select from listening to the audio drama online with the ability to answer online questions, take quizzes, listen to the soundtrack, view or download the e-book, print a cast poster or inspiration hymn poster, download desktop wallpapers, and utilize the study guide and discussion starter.  Once your family has completed the drama and the online activities, you have the ability to print a completion certificate.

Or if you would like to read other reviews of “Captain Bayley’s Heir”, you can click here or on the graphic below.

2 Click Here to Read More Reviews 2016_zpsmmmkbumm

320crew20disclaimer202016_zpscwpb9ywe

 

 

SaveSaveSaveSave

Review of Barbour Publishing’s “Imagine…The Great Flood” by Matt Koceich

barbour2020logo_zpsvva6nenl

imaginegreatfloodcover_flat_zpspdhit6or

As I have stated before, our family loves books.  So anytime we get the opportunity to review a new book, we take it. We’ve lots of historical fiction over the years but recently we just finished reading a Biblical fiction for kids book called Imagine. . .The Great Flood by Matt Koceich from Barbour Publishing.  This book details the experiences of a young boy named Corey who travels back in time to the days of Noah and the Ark.

This is the first book in a Christian Kids Series by Matt Koceich.  Mr. Koceich is a school teacher who created this series with children ages 8 to 12-years-old in mind.  However, I can say after reading the book myself, I believe almost anyone of any age would enjoy this book.

`This book begins with Corey Max and his mom taking his dog Molly to a park in Texas to avoid the chaos at their house where a moving truck was being loaded with all their belongings.  The family was preparing for a move to Florida.  In the typical fashion of a child, Corey does not want to move and leave everything familiar – even though they are moving for his father’s job. Corey’s mom tries to help Corey understand and recognize God will be with them and will care for them wherever they go.

While at the park, a storm comes up quickly with lightning, thunder, and rain.  Molly had rushed into the woods, so Corey has to go after her.  While running after his dog, he trips over the log and finds his surroundings changing to new ones he did not recognize.  Unexpectedly he encounters a lion.  He begs for God to show him mercy.  The story then chronicles Corey’s encounter with Noah and the Ark, Noah’s sons and getting the animals onto the Ark while dealing with individuals who try to interfere with their plans.  The Great Flood is chronicled in a way which made me feel as though I was actually there.

I read this book and then had our 14-year-old daughter read it as well.  When I asked her for her opinion of this book, she had definite opinions.  She felt the beginning of the book was excellent.  However, she felt like the ending was rushed.  She thought it was a good book to read.  She stated she would have liked to see more details about the motivation of the antagonist.  Overall though she thought it would be a good book just to read for fun.

I felt the author did a great job with pulling the reader into the story.  I felt like I was actually in the story.  I could feel Corey’s pain and frustration over the move to Florida, which he had no control over.  I also felt the love and compassion of his mother.  I felt Corey’s amazement when he realized he had traveled back in time.  I enjoyed reading the details about Noah’s sons gathering the animals and preparing them to get them on the ark.  At the same time, I felt Corey’s fear as he encountered the unknown enemies and faced danger.  I won’t spoil the story for you, but I will say that Corey returns safely to his own time and finds the move to Florida better than he expected.

This is the first book in the Imagine series, and I personally can not wait to read more.  If you want to read more reviews on “Imagine…The Great Flood” by Matt Koceich, click here or on the graphic below.

2 Click Here to Read More Reviews 2016_zpsmmmkbumm

320crew20disclaimer202016_zpscwpb9ywe

SaveSaveSaveSave