Thursday, January 28, 2010

Guardian Angel Publishing

Ever wonder about the quality of usefulness of e-books? Well, I have. Will I use them, will they be relevant in my child's schoolwork, will I even remember to use them, much less do they contain any educational value?? Well, the books that this publisher sent me answered the questions I had about this particular type of book.

As a confession, they did sit on my desktop for sometime but after a couple of weeks, I asked my kids one by one to look at them and tell me what they thought. The littlest nuts responded, "Good." Well, in their little world that means two thumbs up. I enjoyed the short stories and one book even had a good language lesson at the end, complete with identifying nouns and verbs. It also had some little games to help them with comprehension.

These are a great idea for a family who's bookcase just simply is too small to take on more materials or for a short term need. One of the downloads I checked was only $5.00, of course there are other ways to get including CD, print and even a DVD book video (how cool is that??). Take a look at Guardian Angel Publishing!

DebG, Head Nut

Friday, January 1, 2010

Highly Recommended Resolution

I am so in love with Virginia Soaps & Scents. The more I find out about it, the more I love it. My husband will soon go broke!

Seriously though, I received a package of soaps to try in the mail from the company some time back. It contained some regular body soaps, a shampoo bar (never heard of such a thing) and laundry soap kit. I gave the strawberry scented bar to my daughters and I used the oatmeal and honey bar. I absolutely loved the oatmeal and honey bar, although if I took my shower in the morning, it made me awfully hungry for breakfast. (smile) I told my husband about the other bar, but unfortunately, he wasn't as ready to try something new as I was. Guess I should have hidden the regular soap!

This company started out as a homeschooling family doing a project and from there it just took off. They seem to be doing something they really love as a family. The recipes they use go back to the days when real soap was used for soap and not detergent. It makes you feel so much better getting out of the shower or at least, it did me. I was the only one who tried the shampoo bar. I guess everyone else forgot it was there. Oh well, more for me! I was so sad to see the last bits go. I have such thick coarse hair and after a shampoo, rinse and repeat, it was as clean as any bottle shampoo without the residue I usually feel. Plus, as an added bonus, I normally have an itchy scalp year round due to the detergents in shampoos. I didn't experience that with the shampoo bar. Now, I'm not saying that this will cure skin irritations, but I am saying, for me, it certainly was a relief.

Now, as adventurous as I was with the soaps, I haven't been able to bring myself to put away my laundry detergent long enough to try the laundry soap kit. Although, the more I look into homemade laundry soap, the more convinced I am to try it. So, this is my one resolution I am willing to make - I will try this soap as soon as I return from visiting relatives. I am convinced that I will also love this just as much.

Everything seems to be so reasonably priced with soaps starting at around 3.95-4.50 a bar and there are deals if you buy more than one at a time on everything. With quality ingredients and being made by hand, I believe this is a high quality product within reach of the average consumer.

While researching other products this company had, I came across so many things I'd like to try. The number one product that I came across is Pet Poo. It's a shampoo bar for pets. As I was reading some of the testimonials, one of them really caught my eye. An owner was talking about their itchy beagles. I thought it was just a weird thing with my beagle, but if this helped that owner's beagle, I'm there! I have tried everything else that I've been told about and nothing has helped the poor thing. The vet even gave him a shot for itching. Well, that lasted about a day. I'm looking forward to placing my first order and getting the actual size bars instead of the spa size I got. They should last a good looooonnnnggg time.

Blessings to all and Happy New Year,
DebG, HeadNut

Time for a Resolution?

It's a happy New Year here in very cold Arkansas. Well, actually, I'm visiting family in Mississippi, but I know the temps in Arkansas are cold! I hope we're going to have a successful new year and productive one in homeschooling.

Today, I was inspired to write this particular entry because of the subject matter. Exploramania sent me a DVD to review called Gymathtics. It is definitely a unique program in that it combines exercise and math drills. If you're looking for a way to get your little couch potato up and moving AND trying to make it fun for them, then something like this would be ideal. It's definitely done with kids in mind. No hard to follow exercises, no hard to do exercises, just simple fun with a good rhythm and the bonus of being able to reinforce math concepts at the same time. At $24.95 for this particular video, it's not a bad deal, plus they have other products for hands-on learning reinforcement.

Now, in all honesty, my kids didn't particularly care for this. I was genuinely hoping they would get into it, especially my youngest who is 8. He is my math-challenged child and he never can be still. Even he wouldn't give it a chance and I'm not sure why. It seems to be completely geared toward children about 7-10. I have popped it in a couple of more times just to be sure, but to no avail. I'm positive they are just not interested, but I can't tell if it's because it's an exercise video or what. They don't seem to mind other educational games and activities.

Oh well, not everyone can like everything that comes their way. I'm hoping someone out there would like to try it for themselves and their children. If anyone would be interested, drop me a line and I may have a drawing for it. I just know someone out there would love this!

DebG, HeadNut

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Nature Friend Magazine

I recently received two copies of Nature Friend magazine to review. I was amazed and awestruck and the quality of this magazine. The photography, paper quality and the articles were all top-notch and they included related activities. Then, something hit me all at once and I had to look at the magazine again. There were NO advertisements of any kind. The more I looked at and studied this magazine, the more I liked it.

All three of my kids (8-13) loved it. They would read the articles to each other and actually help one another with the activities. It is wonderful for a mom to see her kids getting along. Now, I'm not going to claim this happened the whole time they worked on the magazines but for the most part, they were so excited about some of it that they temporarily forgot to fight.

Nature Friend has started putting out a study guide recently with their magazine in order for families to get even more out of the articles. Some are activities like crosswords and word search, others are more like actual research. For the time we had the magazine coming to our home, we used it for science class at least twice a week. It seemed to work well with our multi-grade school situation. I haven't found a whole of things that do incorporate all my kids on some level, but then some days my creative side takes a nose dive. Don't laugh, you know you've been there.

Our science class using the magazine looked a little like this - the oldest child would read and article to the younger ones with mom explaining anything that wasn't understood, then the kids would talk about it some (their favorite parts, if they've ever seen the subject, etc) and then we would pick one of the many activities to do to reinforce some of the words and concepts. Some of those activities were very challenging!

This company offers more than magazines, I've seen a wide array of books and also noticed they sell a hardback edition of a year's worth of magazine that will last. I love this idea. If you follow this link then it will direct you to some sample issues to help you decide if this is right for you. There isn't enough room for me to put in all I would like to about this magazine. I say all these wonderful things to allow you to know that the price of such a wonderful resource is well justified. I haven't renewed my subscription but I definitely intend to as soon as spring comes. One year cost $36.00, that's just $3 and issue with no ads and chock full of educational nature information for your child. The study guide is $24.00 for the year, which is $2 an issue and more than well worth that. And for those of my readers who it matters to very much, this is creation based nature study that glorifies our Creator. To me, that's priceless. Think, pray and consider this.

DebG, HeadNut

Maestro Classics

Dun-da-da-dun, dun-da-da-dun, etc. My children ripped open the package for Maestro Classics when we received it to review from the company. The two littlest nuts (11 and 8) promptly sat in front of the computer and popped in the CD and began running it from there with the speakers UP! The middle child listened as she perused the booklet that came with it.

As I listened to the Tortoise and the Hare put to music, I began to realize how much thought went into this CD. The scores and background music were perfect all the way through the story and the story was a longer version than I had ever heard but it was still engaging. It kept both of the smaller kids' attention and honestly, the youngest child doesn't usually like anything without pictures or some other kind of visual learning. He just doesn't learn with pure auditory, but he sat there throughout the whole CD even as the next tracks began to explain the different scores and musical selections. I believe I was actually the one who finally cried "uncle". They would have continued to listen to it over and over but I had a schedule to keep that day and wasn't getting anything done.

This CD series could seriously jump-start a music appreciation in my children. They already love certain types of music, but this could definitely introduce them to the world of more classical music and give them a desire to learn more about it and it's composers. I grew up loving classics (I know, I was a little weird) and thoroughly enjoyed Bach, Beethoven and Mozart.

Maestro Classics is reasonably priced as well. Each CD is only 16.98 or 3 for $45 with the coupon code of MAESTRO45. That's not but a couple dollars more than a traditional CD in department stores, but this has the added bonus of teaching your children an appreciation of music and enjoying a more classical side of it. They have some wonderful stories and gift sets. I even spied a family pack that looked like fun. Give it try, I don't believe you'll regret it.

DebG, HeadNut

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sarah Books

I hope that I can properly introduce a wonderful new author. If your children love fictional stories from history, then this is someone that definitely deserves your attention. Jim Baumgardner and his new books - the Sarah Books - are a wholesome, informative and entertaining read.

After receiving a copy in the mail to review, I immediately began reading it. I love reading and I like to preview what my kids will be reading and studying to be sure that it's appropriate. I immediately fell in love with Sarah and her plight. I honestly did not want to put it down. The story swept me away from the beginning and kept me hanging on through every chapter. This series is written more for young teenagers, but I admit to indulging every so often myself!

My thirteen-year-old daughter read a couple of chapters on her own and at my request, she began reading to her little sister (10) and brother (8). While they don't understand everything in the book (hey, there's a glossary for us older people too!), they are certainly loving the story and asking questions about Sarah's plight. In this way, we are discovering more together about this particular topic and opening dialogue within our family on the issues. I honestly did not expect the little ones to like it but they gather in the floor to listen to their sister read and it does a mother's heart good.

Right now, the author is offering a special deal for my readers and me! Readers of my blog who want to order referencing this blog will get a special discount and it will also help me get a great deal as well! I really want the rest of these books, so please people, think about this. It would make a wonderful gift for Christmas to your little history nuts. They are written circa Civil War times in case that helps. Every copy comes autographed to the recipient for free!! AND right now, shipping and handling is also free. Can you beat that? I know I can't.

Email the author at

Blessings and great reads to all,
DebG, Head Nut

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

2nd Impressions of College Prep Genius

Now, that it's been awhile since I've received my copy of College Prep Genius to review, I wanted to post some more about my impressions of this system.

Personally, I was always scared to take SAT thinking it was a more intellectual type test than the ACT. All this time, I have been wrong. The SAT is more of a logic test that includes an essay. This system goes through and thoroughly explains each part of SAT and how it works. If I had had this system when I was getting prepared for college, I definitely would have thought more seriously about taking SAT.

With this system, if a person was to go through and do exactly what the program describes then there is an excellent chance of full scholarships. The system teaches acronyms to learn the best ways of working out the logic of these tests and the method of test-taking. Now, of course, grades, transcripts and extra-curricullar activities matter with admission to college, but the scores on the SAT/ACT tell a story of their own as well.

I would highly recommend this system to anyone in high school to go through no matter which test they are taking. To me, it will be invaluable resource in my household for years to come. I am already recommending it to every high schooler I know.

Blessings to all,
DebG, Head Nut