Thursday, September 9, 2021

Keep Current with Trusted News Delivered Daily for Your Family {A WORLD Watch Review}

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

This world just seems to be getting crazier and crazier, and, as it does, trying to find a safe source for news to share with kids is an increasing challenge.


The balance between keeping kids current on world events and protecting them from the crazy is not always an easy one. That is where WORLD Watch can help!

WORLD Watch does a commendable job of sharing family-friendly news in ten minute episodes. 

Each episode pairs the weightier current events of the world with feature stories that focus on fun and engaging educational information. Thus, kids come away with a clear understanding of current world events, as well as new knowledge of topics involving economics, government, history, language, science, technology, world cultures, and more, like a sweet story of an 100 year old vet making a jump...


A Biblically-based company that began reporting in 1981, WORLD Watch has proven itself to be a positive, uplifting newsource for students and families. Through combining headlines, news briefs, and feature stories that break everything down without the discouraging, disheartening, and sometimes downright twisted and spun aspect of some other news outlets, WORLD Watch offers a refreshingly safe and sound option for families to keep current and learn.


WORLD Watch is presented by host Brian Basham and a team of reporters dedicated to bringing viewers factual stories from a wholesome, professional perspective.


Brian Basham spent 15 years as a news anchor and meteorologist for stations in El Paso, Tucson, Memphis, and finally Charlotte, NC where he currently resides with his wife and children. His industry experience shows, and, together with his team, he ensures that WORLD Watch offers well composed video reports with timely footage and professional editing.

Awesome for busy homeschooling families, WORLD Watch is easy to use as well. 

With a membership, you can log on to watch full episodes, back epsidoes, or even just segments from episodes

You also get an email in your inbox each weekday morning which includes a short outline of the topics covered in that day’s segment as well as a convenient link that takes you directly to the video.

Plus, the WORLD Watch site offers a powerful search engine that allows you to type in keywords to find every video segment containing your chosen keywords.

All this adds up to a newsource that is convenient, clear, and offered from a Christian perspective.

In our home, my 11 year old has been a big fan!

When I asked him for his feedback for this review, he said:

My mom told me to come watch the news. I was very confused at first, because we never watch the news, since it's awful and, sometimes, untruthful. So, I went over to the computer and she turned on WORLD Watch.

 

At first, I thought it was hokey, but, then, as I watched it more, it stopped seeming so hokey and I liked it. I asked to watch every single segment.

 

I wanted to watch it every day, but, it was summer and we were busy and sometimes away. So, we would not watch it every day and then not watch it again until we could watch many episodes in one day. Later, I would tell my dad about some of the things I learned.

 

In each day's broadcast there are several segments. Usually there is a current events story, a crazy, interesting, or humorous story, and a hokey thing about where words and prhases come from or something like that.


 

Some stories that stood out for me were the ones about Afghanastan, giant rodents, and a snake in the supermarket.


 

When my mom said it was time for us to write our review, I asked if we could watch more segments instead of reviewing. I also asked if we were still going to get to have WORLD Watch. I like it and want to keep using it.

 

I would recommend WORLD Watch  to families with kids ages 6 and up. It's important to know what's going on the world and interesting to find out new things.

 

WORLD Watch is not awful like regular news.


I agree with my son. WORLD Watch is not awful. In fact, it is engaging, sometimes entertaining, and always chock full of solid reporting. More than once, my older two children have been drawn in when my 11-year-old and I have been watching episodes, and we all have appreciated the way WORLD Watch presents solid news in a safe way.

If you'd like to check out 
WORLD Watch, head on over to their website to find an opportunity to stream free for 30 days, receive a full-length video direct to your inbox, or get a sneak peek behind the scenes to find out what it is all about.

If you are like my family, you will appreciate how 
WORLD Watch makes news literacy easy for families and, in doing so, encourages critical thinking, clarifies current events, and divs into various topics from a Biblical worldview. 

Visit WORLD Watch on
Facebook | Instagram | YouTube


Plus, for more thoughts on WORLD Watch, click through to find over 20 video, social media, and blog reviews from members of the Homeschool Review Crew.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Win 4 Tickets to King Richard's Faire!

Disclosure: In exchange for this honest promotion, our family received complimetary tickets to the Faire. We cannot wait to return for this 40th anniversary season!


Hear ye, hear ye! Kings and Queens, Lords and Ladies, Children of All Ages, King Richard’s Faire has opened for its 40th anniversary season and YOU have a chance to win a 4-pack of tickets right here (at the bottom of the post)!

 So, step right up (or rather, read right through), to enter for your chance to win a 4-pack of tickets to the 40th anniversary season of the longest running and largest Renaissance Fair in New England, which is open 10:30-6 weekends, September 4th-October 24th, 2021, including Monday, September 6th (Labor Day) and Monday October 11th (Columbus Day).
 

***
 
New Englanders have never been so eager to go back to a gentler, happier time and escape reality. You can do just that at the Faire’s enchanting 80-acre wooded site (235 Main Street, Carver, Mass. 02330).

During what is sure to be an exciting 40th anniversary season, King Richard’s Faire offers some of the region’s best live entertainment, beloved rides and games of skill, and, my kids'; favorite - jousts!


 As you enjoy a full day of “escaping YOUR reality”, you can be dazzled by acrobats, aerialists, jugglers, fire-eaters, minstrels, dancers and puppeteers and more who perform on eight vibrant stages and stroll throughout the realm.

 

Acts include new performers - “The Captain’s Canines”, a specialty dog act with amazing feats of skill which will tickle the dog bone; The Unicycling Unicorn, a talented juggler who can juggle while sitting 14 feet in up in the air on one wheel; El Zappo, zany circus comedy; Kilted Colin with juggling acrobatics and bagpiping; the Picts Pipers offering Highland Tribal music (9/4-10/3), and the “Unspun Tails” aerial show - as well as returning acts - the joust and Hammyln Hyper Piper, The Sturdy Beggars “The Mud Show”, Jacques Ze Whippeur and his dashing danger and whip stunts, The Torture Show, the Washing Well Wenches, the Wonder Show (magic), Meraki Caravan (10/9-24) and of course, King Richard’s Faire’s own spectacular original musical in two acts on the King’s Stage at 1:00 and 3:30 p.m.


At the Faire, you can also enjoy epicurean pleasures suited for the whole royal family, from giant spit-roasted turkey legs, ringlets of fryes, boules of chowder or stew, onion blossoms and dragon wings, and many more delicious delicacies, including gluten-free, vegetarian and lactose-free options. For sweet treats,you can choose from baked goods to ice cream treats, including Root Beere Floats and Brownie Sundaes, and adults may quench your thirst at any one of eight locations throughout the realm that offer champagne, specialty cocktails, wine, hard cider, mead, or beer.

If you like shopping, you won't be disappointed. Talented artisans offer beautiful handspun pottery, sparkling crystals and jewelry, artistic face painting, period clothing, leather and moccasins, armor, dancing wings, fresh floral garland hair wreaths, hand-carved bows, arrows and quivers.

You can watch as blacksmiths demonstrate the forging of weaponry; revel in scented oils, perfumes and apothecary; and particpate in themed events.

If you win our family 4-pack of tickets, you won't need to hit the box office. If you don't, you're encouraged to skip the box office line - where cash only is accepted - and pre-purchase tickets online at kingrichardsfaire.net.

Please be aware that pet animals are not allowed unless they are legally identified service animals , and no outside food or beverages are allowed into the Fairgrounds.

More Information



Visit King Richard's Faire online for a site map, FAQ's, event schedules, ticket sales, and Visitor Information.

The Faire is at 235 Main Street, Carver MA 02330. 

Parking is free!

Tickets: $37 adult (12+); $35 for seniors ages 65+, $18 for children ages 4-11; and free for children 3 years of age and younger.

Please email info@kingrichardsfaire.net for group discount tickets.

Instagram/Twitter: @KRFaire #KRFaire; Facebook

Win Free Tickets!

You can enter to win two tickets good for September 11, 12, 19, 25 or 26 now through Wednesday, September 8 at 12 p.m. EST using the Rafflecopter below.

Please noteGiveaway ends September 8 at 12 AM EST and is open to Legal Residents (18 years of age or older) of the US only who are able to attend the Faire on the dates mentioned. Winner will be randomly selected and notified by email.  Winner will have 24 hours to respond or other winners will be selected.  Final winner may request tickets be mailed to them or may choose to come pick up the tickets directly in person one town over from Carver.

The winning tickets are offered free of charge, no purchase necessary. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Notes and Disclosure: All fair images are courtesy of and credited to King Richard’s Faire.

I received free tickets for my family as well as the four I am giving away in return for this honest promotion and I am excited that I did. I cannot wait to experience the Faire with my family again this year and feel blessed to give you and yours an opportunity to experience it, too.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Enjoy Simple Eats as You Celebrate St. Padre Pio



St. Padre Pio's feast day is coming again in a few weeks, so I thought I'd share the simple eats we enjoyed last year in case you and yours would like some inspiration for living the liturgical year in your domestic home.


Sometimes the kids like dessert with the meal - and this was the case on St. Padre Pio's day when gluten-free donuts remind us to "pray, hope, and 'donut' worry."


Treat #2 was gluten-free, casein free pizza, which reminded us that Padre Pio is from Italy.


Alongside that, because we have both vegetarians and meat eater in the house, there were Italian sausages of both kinds.


Then, to balance out the treats, we had a "stigamata salad".

{Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.}



The table was simply decorated with a peg doll and two books.  We used the St. padre Pio page in the frist of these, Boy Saints for Little Ones, for me to draw quick saint trivia question ideas from.


Then, we reread the St. padre Pio story in the other book, Stories of the Saints.

It was a simple celebration, easy to throw together and enjoyed by all!

What simple - or more extravagant - eats do you and yours enjoy on Saint Padre Pio's feast day? what other traditions, stories, or resources do you tap into? We always welcome new inspiration and ideas!




 

May you have a beautiful St. Padre Pio day when September 23 rolls around.

St. Padre Pio, pray for us.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Enjoy Super Simple Eats for St. Therese's Feast Day

 

Our local homeschool group is called Little Way Home Educators and is under the patronage of St. Therese.

So, more years than not, we celebrate St. Therese's feast day with others - sometimes "all out", sometimes simply.

Last year, we stuck to simple, gathering with just a few friends, where we enjoyed praying, sharing simple eats, chatting, reading together, and more.

For our celebration, we covered an outdoor table with a floral print tablecloth and had a bouquet of little flowers atop it all, of course, pointing to The Little Flower and her way of doing small things with great love.




Our simple eats consisted of French bread (to remind us that St. Therese is from France), plus produce and chickpeas arranged in "little flower" patterns.


{Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.}

The book Girl Saints for Little Ones became both a table decoration and a jumping off point for a chat about St. Therese.

Then, the St. Therese reading from Around the Year Once Upon a Time Saints prompted thought and discussion as I read it aloud to the children while they devoured snacks.

It was a simple, enjoyable celebration.

Perhaps it will inspire you in living the liturgical year with your own children or homeschool group.

St. Therese, pray for us.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

The World Needs More Logic... Start Teaching It at Home {A Homeschool Review Crew Review of The Fallacy Detective}

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.


Woah! Propaganda. Coercion. Social media memes. Mob mentality. Personal attacks. Lack of common sense and reasoning. These days our world seems plagued by such things which make uncovering - and arguing for - truth difficult. That's where The Fallacy Detective by Hans Bluedorn comes in. 


A handy 250+ page softcover workbook edition of The Fallacy Detective can easily help you learn to spot common errors in reasoning so you can arm yourself against the lack of logic in today's world and suss out truth in conversations, news reports, social media posts, commercials, and elsewhere - including your own arguments.


Plus, if you are like me, the book can become  inspiration for an upcoming co-op course.

What is a Logical Fallacy?

"What is a fallacy?" you might ask.

If you are unfamiliar with the term "fallacy" it simply means an error in logic - a place where someone has made a mistake in his or her thinking.


Fallacies include:
  • avoiding the question (red herrings, special pleading, ad hominem attack, genetic fallacy, tu quoque, faulty appeal to authority, appeal to people and straw man)
  • making assumptions (circular reasoning, equivocation, loaded question, slipper slope, part-to-whole, whole-to-part, either-or)
  • statistical fallacies (generalization, analogy, post hoc ergo propter hoc, proof by lack of evidence)
  • propaganda (appeal to fear, appeal t pity, bandwagon, exigency, repetition, transfer, snob appeal, appeal to tradition, appeal to hi-tech, etc.)
How Does the Book Teach about Fallacies?

In its 38 chapters, The Fallacy Detective introduces you to to the faulty tactics of avoiding the question, making assumptions, statistical fallacies, and propaganda using a clear, conversational tone, engaging illustrations, comic strips and witticisms, multiple exercises, summary pages, an answer key, and even a game.


The exercises present bits of conversational snippets, newspaper articles, advertising samples, and short headlines. 


The game has you making up your own fallacies and winning points for creating the best ones.


The summary pages act as a quick reference and review.

Together, the content of the books help you strengthen your skill at sifting through a barrage of bad reasoning and falsehoods so you can better discern truth in today's world.

My Approach Thus Far...

Shortly after receiving my review copy of the book, I admit, I did something I do not usually do with materials I am reviewing: I hid it!

Why?

Because as I began reading the material I knew immediately that I want to use it for a co-op class I will be teaching this fall, and, thus, did not want my youngest son (who will be in the class) to see the book, get curious, and read ahead. Nor did I want my older two children to spoil the fun their little brother will have debating the exercises with his buddies in co-op by pre-debating them at home.

So, instead of having my kids use the resource  before writing a review on it, as I often do with resources, I, instead, secreted the book away in my bedroom and snuck it out in the early mornings and late nights to read through, appreciating that it could be read in short snippets - due to chapters being only a few pages long, quizzing myself with the exercises, enjoying how the included comic strips get points across, and deepening my understanding of informal logic before I set about teaching it to a group of 10+ year olds. 



I am now excited to present the brief, conversational, yet to-the-point lessons to my co-op students this fall and, even more so, to engage them in discussing the exercises and related examples of fallacies that we find in every day life and media. 


I also intend to offer the book to my older two children to use as part of their high school credits. For, I believe The Fallacy Detective is a solid tool for  teaching kids (and adults!) how to recognize bad arguments, propaganda and falsehoods - an increasingly necessary skill in today's world! 

Final Thoughts

I love the ease and appeal of 
The Fallacy Detective and am excited for the conversations that will develop from it in our fall co-op and home studies.

I would recmmend 
The Fallacy Detective for:

  • middle schoolers, high schoolers, and adults who seek to better understand sound reasoning as they seek and share truth.
  • students who wish to work independentally. (As I have experienced, the format is conducive to self-study and self-checking of answers. It could also count for 1/2 to one credit for logic or critical thinking, depending on how it is used by higschoolers.)
  • families who like to learn and discuss together. (The short lessons and easy to read aloud exercise format would make this resource wonderful for reading aloud and discussing thoughts as a family.)
  • teachers of co-ops and classes. (Lessons are dsigned for both private and classroom use.  I, personally, cannot wait to share this resource in an upcoming critical thinking and speech class at co-op!)

All that said, I would not recommend this book to you if you are looking to learn about ins and outs of formal logic - such as syllogisms, scientific reasoning, argumentaion, etc. For, these things are not within the aim of the book. Rather, logic as seen and used on an everyday basis is.  
In my opinion, the world needs more of that! 

Sound daily reasoning. This is a logic course that promotes it.

Discover how other homeshcool families are putting this book and another by 
Hans Bluedorn  to use by clicking through to find 20+ video, social media, and blog reviews from the Homeschool Review Crew!

You can also connect with Hans Bluedorn and The Fallacy Detective :


Sunday, August 15, 2021

Snack with Saint Jerome


Years ago, my kiddoes came to know and love St. Jerome through a story and story basket. More recnetly, we've lived the litrugical year by doing picture studies and more related to St. Jerome.

Last year, we paused our day for a simple snack with the saints.

{Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.}


I placed a green cloth on the table for Ordinary Time....



...and put together a lion face snack with food we had on hand (BFree gluten-free tortillas, Daiya cheddar style shreds, red bell pepper and garden snap peas and ground cherries.)


A candle and a couple books from our shelves finished the setting, and, then, the kiddoes came with smiles to snack, pray, and chat.


The kids recalled the longer tales of St. Jerome and the Lion that we have previously read when they looked at the much briefer version of this story in Amazing Saints &their Awesome Animals.


We also read from In His Likeness.

Our celebration was short, simple, and smile-inducing.

Remembering it now as I look forward to celerbating St. Jerome again next month, I am reminded that living the liturgical year need not be stressful. Snacking with the saints - a simple snack, a chat, a prayer, can bring blessings.

I pray that however you and yours choose to honor different saint days brings you blessings, too.

St. Jerome, pray for us.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Be Your Child's College Admission Counselor {A College Launch Solution / Homeschool Review Crew Review}

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.



My eldest child would like to graduate early and get on with his life. He is not sure he wants to go to college, but, just in case, I want to be prepared. Thus, when I was offered 6 months access to the College Launch Solution from The HomeScholar LLC, I thought I would give it a try.

The HomeScholar LLC was created by Matt and Lee Binz, homeschoolers and consultants who have over 15 years of experience helping homeschoolers move from high school into college, and offers a variety of courses and tools for both parents and students.



The College Launch Solution, specifically, is a course that is geared towards 10th-12th graders and their parents in order to smooth the transition from high school to college.

It offers 60+ hours of how-to training, tools, and resources that equip homeschool parents to guide high school students through the college process while, at the same time, helping high school students with materials directed specifically to them.


The course has six training modules with different tabs for accessing video, audio, slides, download, and support materials.




Module one is Core Training for Parents and Teens. With it, teens move through a 4-hour, pre-recorded online College Admissions Seminar which helps them better understand college admissions, scholarships, and college success while parents get an overview of how to be a counselor and coach. There is also an extensive high school planning calendar for middle school through senior year to help parents and students think ahead.
Module two is Finding a College. It includes everything from navigating college entry exams, such as the PSAT, ACT, and SAT, to choosing a college or military academy, to what to do as a struggling learner, etc. Module three is Paying for College, so, of course, deals with earning private and merit scholarships, securing financial aid, etc. Module four is Applying to College and includes training on planning senior year, completing applications, making final decisions, etc. Module five is Preparing for Launch. For students, it includes training on preparing for college and life, finding your calling, entrepreneurship, career assessment, etc. For parents, it includes the important topic of letting go. Module six is Succeeding in College and includes information on how to study effectively, improve college writing and guard your faith in college.






The presenter of each module, Lee, uses an encouraging tone as she clearly conveys information. She also sends accountability emails and provides ongoing support - plus bonuses!

For parents that are considering hiring a college admissions counselor, I would say College Launch Solution is an affordable alternative, especially since access to the main material does not expire, so you can use it with all of your children. Although my review access is limited to six months, the lifetime access you would get if purchasing this product seems appealing to me since I am one of those people who does not like limited-time only access which makes you feel stressed to "use or lose" a product before access expires. Truly, I appreciate that the College Launch Solution can allow parents to self-pace through modules as they navigate the ebbs and flows of life without the pressure of choosing between ignoring things in life that need attention or trying to get their money's worth within a limited time. As a homeschool mom, time is always at a premium, and I truly prefer products with lifetime access. This season of life has been quite busy for me, and I have yet to get through all the modules included in the College Launch, but I have appreciated being able to log on as I can and to begin using the clear presentations, handy printables and charts, etc. that are a part of this comprehensive student and parent resource. If you'd like to see what other Homeschool Review families thought of the College Launch Solution or three other HomeScholar LLC products, click on through to find links to over 30 blog, social media, and video reviews.




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