Review of Forbrain from Sound for Life LTD

Impression

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Even though our youngest is only fifteen-years-old and our oldest son is twenty-one years old, we have various ones in our family who have difficulty remembering things.  My husband is active duty in the Army Reserves and constantly has things he needs to remember.  Our four children also have times where they have difficulty remembering things.  On top of that, I have a desire for our family to memorize Scripture.  So I was excited for our family to have the chance to review this product. Over the review period, we found that our family could improve their attention with Forbrain from Sound for Life LTD.

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Forbrain is a headset designed for anyone over the age of four years old to use.  However, the headset is not adjustable so I am not sure how well it will work for younger children.  It is important to understand this headset does not go into the ears.  Instead, it rests on the bone in front of the ears.

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This product is designed for those with speech and language difficulties, those who need brain stimulation, those with auditory processing disorder, those will reading difficulties, as well as those with ADD or ADHD and more.  It is a bone conduction headphone as well as an extremely sensitive microphone.  It also has a dynamic filter designed to create a perceptive content.

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One of my favorite things about this headset is the case it comes with to protect the headset as well to keep the charger and paperwork together neatly.  At http://www.forbrain.com, you can find exercises to assist in using the product correctly.  All that is required is to read aloud.  Proper posture is also required.  This means resting the head naturally, sitting up straight, feet placed flat on the ground, while breathing calmly.  My husband did not find this difficult to do at all.

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Because his goal was improving memory, he concentrated on using the headset to memorize Scripture.  He picked out some of his favorite Scripture passages to use and then used the headset for fifteen minutes a day.  The case made it easy for him to take the headset with him even when he went to work.  Unfortunately, I did not remember to take any pictures of him wearing the headset while using it.

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The training suggestion is either a session of six or ten weeks.  Younger children should use it for approximately ten minutes a day for pronunciation and speech difficulties.  For children five years old to fifteen years old should use it for fifteen minutes a day.  They can use it to improve concentration and attention. Also, it can be used for reading or memory problems or even pronunciation or speech difficulties.  For those who are teenagers to adults, Forbrain can be used for speech or oral problems, those needing confidence or energy.  and more.  It is great for preparing for oral presentations, homework, and preparing for exams. For seniors, it should be used for thirty minutes a day to help with energy, memory or speech issues.

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All in all, my husband was very pleased with his results from using Forbrain from Sound for Life LTD.  I look forward to using it for our Family Bible Study and memorization efforts as well as using it for practicing speeches and more.  If you would like to read more reviews of this product, click here or on the graphic below

 

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Review of the Thin Stix Creativity Pack from The Pencil Grip, Inc.

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We have several children who love completing art projects of all types.  However, there are times when getting out acrylic paints and dealing with all the hassles of getting things set up and then cleaned up is not practical. Also, being a military family who homeschools, things that are portable and that can be used while we are traveling are fantastic.  I am always looking for ways for my children to do mess-free art so I was thrilled to receive Thin Stix Creativity Pack from The Pencil Grip, Inc. to review this time.

When I saw the opportunity to review the Thin Stix Creativity Pack come up, I instantly knew I wanted these for our family.  This is our second time reviewing a Thin Stix product, so I knew we would love them.  This set contains twenty-four tempera paint sticks. There are twelve assorted colors, six neon colors and 6 Metalix colors.  As soon as the package arrived, my daughter and I both instantly began to try them out.  Here is our first project, which was a joint effort.  We loved how easy the stix are to use and how there is no mess to clean up afterward.  We were able to simply open the package, select a color, take off the cap and then twist up the stix before starting to create.  If you would like to check out our review of the Thin Stix 6 Pack from The Pencil Grip, Inc., click here.

Another thing that I love about this pack is that our fifteen-year-old daughter, our seventeen-year-old son, as well as myself, were able to work on art creations at the same time.  We had fun creating together.  I love the way the Metalix stix showed up on our paper.  Since I wanted to use what we had on hand, everyone used mixed-media paper.  However, I would love to try this pack on wood such as Christmas ornaments as well as other mediums.  The colors are bright and vibrant.  Every color I used looked exactly the way I expected them to.  My daughter would still love to have something that allows for finer detail work.  But in the end, she was thrilled with the way her picture of a pillow turned out.  Now I just get the fun of trying to find or make a pillow in real life that reflects her creation.  Here are pictures of her working on her creation along with the finished product.

 

Our son loved how the colors turned out in his creation.  He felt like the stix were too fat to allow for a lot of control when he was working on his creation. Here are some pictures of him working on his creation along with his finished product.

I do not claim to be a world-renowned artist, but I had a lot of fun using the Thin Stix Creative Pack.  Here are some pictures of me working on my project along with the finished product.

 

So if you are looking for a great product that dries quickly, gives the texture of actual paint but in the disguise of a marker, check out the Thin Stix Creative Pack from The Pencil Grip, Inc. for yourself.  If you would like to read additional reviews from other Homeschool Review Crew members, click here or on the graphic below.

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Review of Let the Little Children Come’s Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools Sampler Pack

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As a Christian family, I feel it is important for our family to share the message of Jesus Christ and of salvation.  So I am always on the lookout for tools to assist with that.  Even though my youngest just turned 15 years old, and our oldest is 21 years old, finding the right words to use can be challenging.  However, I recently discovered a fantastic company that offers products to assist with this dilemma.   Let the Little Children Come provides tools to share the gospel with children, and you can check out a selection of them in their Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools Sampler Pack.

According to their “About Us” page on their website, Let The Little Children Come, “aims to provide effective child evangelism tools and resources”.  Their products are designed with children in mind.  Being realistic a typical Bible tract designed with adults in mind will not capture the mind and attention of a child.  However, the items contained in this pack are brightly colorful, engaging and captivating.

In the sampler pack our family received for this review, the first thing that caught my eye was the way all of the tools came packaged in a zippered plastic bag.  This ensured that nothing would be lost or misplaced.  A variety of tools and tracts were included.  There are animated tracts, using a striped plastic sheet over the images and slowly sliding it over the pictures in the tract so the images appear to move.  Next, there are “Pop-up tracts” which follow the same principle of pop-up books I remember buying when our children were younger.  I know these books always kept my children’s interest when they were younger.  Finally, there are FlipAbouts which using according to the enclosed information sheet, “use a fascinating folding mechanism.

I love how the company makes detailed instructions and even video demonstrations available on their website at http://www.LetTheLittleChildrenCome.com.  In our sample pack, we received a variety of tools and tracts including silicon bracelets, which my children used to love receiving when they were younger.  For each color in the bracelet, a portion of the gospel message is written on the included sheet.  Steps for being with God are written out in a way a child would be able to understand.  Finally, a prayer the child can say is written out, so all the child needs to do is pray.

The Lost Easter Egg was another tool our family really enjoyed.  This is one of the pop-up tracts.  The colorful looks, pop-up features, and concise message make it enjoyable to read and share.  On the back again the gospel message is spelled out on how to have a relationship with God along with a prayer to say.

I love how the messages in these tools are written to children. In the future, I plan to order some of these items to keep with us as we go about our daily life.  This way, when we come across a child we will be prepared to share the message of God’s love and the salvation we can have by accepting Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior.  If you would like to read more reviews about Let The Little Children Come and the Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools Sampler Pack, click here or on the graphic below.

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Review of Abby Ludvigson’s Sex by Design

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As a homeschooling parent, some decisions and even some conversations I need to have with my children are easier than others.  We have three sons whose ages are 21, 19 and 17, plus a daughter who is 15-years-old.  For example, I can talk about mathematics, literature, and history all day long with no problems.  However, one subject seems like a mine-field to navigate.  That topic is purity and anything to do with sex.  Yes, I just used the word “sex”. Although I don’t particularly like to discuss certain subjects with our three teens and our twenty-one-year-old son, Abby Ludvigson has made this a lot easier with her DVD-based program, Sex by Design. This product is endorsed by Josh McDowell, you can check out what he has to say about the series here.

With this program, we received the teen edition workbook, the parent edition workbook and access to the seven videos. Our plan for this curriculum involved my husband and I reviewing the videos first and then watching them again with our children.  As I watched the videos, I was impressed with how willing Abby Ludvigson is willing to share regarding her own life and her own experiences.  I also appreciated how realistic her message is and the fact she is willing to discuss hard topics, such as the actual results of having sex outside of marriage.

The series covers seven major topics:

  1. Plan Ahead: Living Pure in a Sex-Saturated Culture
  2. Counting the Cost: Every Decision Has a Price Tag
  3. Dating:  Doing Relationships God’s Way
  4. Sex: God’s Purpose & Plan
  5. Modesty: God Cares What I Wear
  6. Pornography: Its Deception & Steps to Get Out or Stay Out
  7. Secondary Virginity: Running Back to God

Also included in the Parent’s Edition is an appendix which contains Bible Studies, The 1st Peter Principle, and Endnotes.  I love how the series aims to be a springboard to deeper conversations between teens and their parents.  I could see this being a terrific resource to use in a Teen Youth Group at a church where parents and teens can have honest, meaningful conversations about purity, sex and navigating those stormy waters in days where the opposite message permeates our culture and society.

Each of the video segments is approximately twenty-five minutes long.  The videos consist of teens talking about their experiences and thoughts which is followed by Abby Ludvigson presenting her message on the given topic.  I love how she includes Bible verse passages in each segment.  I also love how in the workbooks there is a place with guided text to help the viewer take notes as they are watching.  I feel like this is one way to help ensure a meaningful conversation takes place.  Also in the workbooks are sections for the film outlines, Scripture verses. to examine, Truth Statements, Follow-up questions, a section to personalize it, a section to apply it and key terms to review.

It is clear this program is designed to get parents and teens talking in depth about the subject, rather than a subject to fly through quickly.  I feel the videos and workbooks were carefully designed to be easy to view or navigate.

In addition to the video segments and workbooks, online resources are available as well.  These online resources include suggested books to read, articles to read, downloads – such as a purity pledge, and other helpful resources such as places to buy purity rings.  Here are some screenshots of some of the resources for the first segment.

My husband and I were both very impressed with the depth and breadth of this series.  It has definitely provided a way to encourage our family to have what could be difficult or potentially embarrassing discussions.  I encourage you to check it out for yourself.  If you would like to read more reviews of Sex by Design by Abby Ludvigson, click here or on the graphic below.

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Review of Brinkman Adventures Season 4

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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.

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Review of CTC Math’s Family Membership

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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