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All About Reading ~ What Am I? Review

All About Reading

The folks at All About Reading and All About Spelling never cease to amaze me.


I was thrilled when they introduced their first All About Reading book and now that I have the book What Am I? in my hands…I’m just plain giddy. Especially since I know that there are even more coming!

What Am I? A Collection of Short Stories coordinates with the first 14 lessons of the Level 2 spelling program, but you do not need to use the All About Spelling program to use the books. It is a hardcover collection of ten short stories for beginning readers, each with beautiful illustrations, similar to the first reader that All About Reading released last fall.


Stories in What Am I?

  1. The Bench
  2. An Elf in the Alps
  3. Broken Robot
  4. The Bake Sale
  5. Matt the Musk Ox
  6. Skunk Hotel
  7. Champ
  8. Pine Tree Pet Shop
  9. Just for You: Poems for Fun
  10. What Am I?

Features of What Am I?

  • Engaging graphics ~ ink sketches that tell enough about the story without giving away the wording to the reader.
  • 160 page hardcover book ~ it’s sturdy and will stand up to little hands
  • Story difficulty progresses through the book.
  • Stories will appeal to both boys and girls ~ the themes range from animals to robots {and our kids enjoy them}.
  • It ties in with the Level 2 All About Spelling program ~ a huge plus if you are using it!
  • There are more coming!! Four more readers are scheduled to release by the end of 2010 along with a teacher’s manual ~ the books are being illustrated right now!


These books are still a little above Zachary’s reading level {he is working on the Level 1 spelling program and reader}, but McKenna can confidently read them to Zachary and Kaleb, and I’m happy to let her! Because they are hardcover, I know that they will easily survive the bumps and drops of daily life. We love these books so much and plan to own all of them.

Find Out More

What Am I? A Collection of Short Stories by Marie Rippel and Renee LaTulippe is available at the All About Reading website for $19.95. In addition, there are also two more readers available: “Cobweb the Cat (All About Reading Level 1 Vol. 3) $19.95 and “Queen Bee: A Short Story Collection” (All About Reading Level 1 Vol. 2) $19.95.

Shipping has always been extremely fast and I would also highly recommend their homeschool spelling program that we are using with all of our children.

Click on the Homeschool Crew banner to read other reviews about this product.

This product was given to me for review purposes, and I do not have to return the product to the vendor. I was not paid for this post. All opinions expressed in this post are mine.

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Seeds Family Worship {Review}

We received this product at no cost in exchange for our honest review. All opinions expressed are solely mine.


God’s Word + Good Music + Family Time + Lots of Fun = Seeds Family Worship

I am so very excited to tell you about a set of lovely cds that were delivered to my doorstep last week, courtesy of Seeds Family Worship.

Can I just say I love them????

Haven’t heard of them? Let me tell you a little more so that you know all about the fun worship CDs that we will be using for a long time to come.

image_thumb[4]It all started when a worship pastor was asked to write songs to help kids remember Bible verses during VBS…now many cds later, those seeds are being planted into kids hearts and being memorized. In all there are over 58 portions of Scripture set to contemporary music for you and your kids to enjoy and learn ~ and they are definitely adult friendly {trust me!!}. Need to hear for yourself? They have a channel on YouTube where you can listen to their music.

In addition to their cds, they also offer memory cards to go along with the songs, activity ideas for families to do together, and even chord charts for their music {should you have a guitar playing hubby like mine}. The songs are a blend of adults leading and kids singing along and they are done WELL.

The coolest feature {well, aside from the amazing music}, when you purchase a cd from Seeds, each package actually comes with TWO cds ~ one for you and one to share with a friend. You simply tear the packaging along the perforation and share, and you will definitely want to share them.

There are a range of different cds in the series, each focusing on Scripture verses of a different theme:

~ Vol 1. Seeds of Courage

~ Vol. 2 Seeds of Faith

~ Vol. 3 Seeds of Praise

~ Vol. 4 Seeds of Purpose

~ Vol. 5 The Power of Encouragement

~ Vol. 6 Seeds of Character

~ Vol. 7 The Character of God

~ Vol. 8 The Word of God

~ Vol. 9 The Journey

~ When You Lie Down: Scriptures and Lullabies

~ Seeds of Christmas (one per pack)

I can honestly tell you that these cds would be well worth the investment for your family. We were just needing some new music along with more verses to learn and I am so excited to use this in the upcoming months as a family and learn Scripture together.

Buy a CD for Yourself and a Friend!

Each cd is available through their online store ~ so buy one {or five} and share them with your friends! 


This product was given to me for review purposes, and I do not have to return the product to the vendor. I was not paid for this post. All opinions expressed in this post are mine.

Rosetta Stone Homeschool Level 1 {Review}

rosetta stone 1 Rosetta Stone is a company well known for their language learning software. Did you know that they also have a special version of their language software geared specifically for homeschoolers?

Their homeschool language software is one the children {and adults!} can work on at their own pace and is fully interactive. The software provides up to five levels of instruction in some languages and begins with the foundation of listening comprehension, reading and writing. Rosetta Stone offers 31 different languages in their homeschool language software.

rosetta stone 2One of the features of the Homeschool software is that parents are able to see their children’s progress ~ which exercises have been completed, how much time they have spent learning and also test scores. Parents can also print off progress reports and lesson plans to save for documentation. Full features include:

  • Lesson Planning ~ predefined lesson plans
  • Full Year Curriculum~ the software is designed to guide students through in one level in a scholastic year.
  • Testing ~ students are tested periodically throughout the year and reviews are based on their scores.

rosetta stone 3

Another feature of the program are the audio CDs that help reinforce what students are learning. The Audio Companion CDs can be listened to while traveling in the car or loaded onto a student’s mp3 player for additional practice.

In the Box

Here is a look inside the box of our Spanish {Latin America} Level 1 for Homeschool:

  • Application CD
  • Language CD
  • Audio Companion™ CDs
  • User’s Guide – Discusses the basics of the Rosetta Stone program
  • Parent’s Guide – Aids the parent in lesson planning, tracking student progress, and effectively using Rosetta Stone Homeschool Version 3 in a homeschool environment
  • Headset with microphone
  • Quick Start Activation Card
  • Supplemental Education Materials CD includes printable files for:
    • Table of contents
    • Scripts for each lesson
    • An index to all words in the program
    • Student workbook including a quiz for each lesson
    • Unit tests
    • Answer key for workbooks and tests

Purchasing Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone Homeschool ranges in price from $229 to $299 a level, but does offer ‘bundles’. Levels 1-3 may be purchased for $539 and Levels 1-5 may be purchased together for $699.

Product purchases include free shipping in the continental US and from now until February 15, 2010 they are offering a 10% discount on all personal and homeschool product purchases. Rosetta Stone also offers a 6 month money back guarantee on all of their products.

This review is based on my own experiences and gives my honest opinion.

Peel & Stick Chalkboards

~ This is a post from my other blog a few weeks back ~

Right around Christmas I visited a friend who had a beautiful chalkboard that she made all by herself using some lovely chalkboard paints and excess molding and all that great stuff. And I was all ready to make one for myself.

Except that I didn’t want to be a crazy-crafty and all.

Instead I found some LOVELY Peel & Stick Chalkboard Panels from Wallies. And they are WONDERFUL!! There are 4 in a pack and each piece is 9″ x 12″. You can put all four together in any direction/shape you want and make your own chalkboard. I bought two packs so that I had a total of 8 panels to work with.

The best part is they are removable, reusable and will stick practically anywhere. On the fronts of cabinets, walls, etc… They don’t leave any residue on the walls and if you get tired of them, you can move them somewhere else without having to repaint or patch holes. I am loving them.

There is no residue left over on the squares from the chalk when you clean them. I’ve just been using a dry paper towel and wiping them clean with that – haven’t even used water yet.

If you don’t feel like drilling, painting or going through a lot of work, these might be handy for you to have in your house too – check the Wallies out!


Geo Puzzles ~ I’ll Buy Them All…

I do believe that I have a new favorite toy in our house. Our kids love to do puzzles and this little gem has added a touch of ‘education’ into the mix.

And if the truth be told, I’m learning something at the same time.

I’ve been eyeing this particular GeoPuzzle Europe for a few weeks and wavered back and forth on ordering it. Should I? Shouldn’t I?

Let me tell you, I’m about ready to plop the whole lot of them into my cart and checkout.

But I’m pacing myself. ‘Cause I’m disciplined like that. haha.

The Geo Puzzles are so worth it! They run about $15 apiece with free shipping (I put them in my left sidebar widget for you to see). We bought the one that focuses on Europe, since that’s the continent we’re studying, and many of the pieces are shaped like the individual countries. The puzzle pieces also includes the names of the countries and their capitals along with any major bodies of water. The girls are having a great time with them and learning exactly how the countries all fit together.

Although I haven’t bought them all (yet), I do have some of the others in my cart now. Waiting patiently until we start studying those continents.

If I last that long.


Write Shop: Storybuilders

Until recently I had not heard of WriteShop, a company that has writing programs for children from PreK through high school. They sent me two Ebooks Story Builders: World of Animals and StoryBuilders: World of Sports to use with our girls and review – and both of my girls have loved them!

Laurianna enjoys writing stories on her own, but when it comes times for a specific writing assignment, both she and McKenna start whining and complaining when they have to write more than one sentence. Needless to say, assigned writing is not always a joy during our school time.

We started using the StoryBuilders as a fun activity/creative writing assignment and McKenna alone began writing unbelievable amounts! Primarily we’ve used StoryBuilders: World of Animals ($7.95). First we printed off word cards and sorted them into piles. The word cards can either be printed onto different colors of paper and sorted accordingly, or you can print them off using colored ink and sort them that way. Each card deck/color represents a different part of a story: character, character trait, plot and setting.

Once a card is picked from each pile, the kids put their story together using the “pieces” of the story they were given. To give you an idea of how it works, here are the words that McKenna had for her story: bat, confused, amusement park, and caught in a trap. The story she put together was:

Once there was a little boy who went in an amusement park. He found his bat. He said, “Why is it in here?” He was very confused. He saw a trap hanging from the ceiling. He was not fast enough, so he got caught in the trap!

While I realize not all of the story makes complete sense, this story was a huge step for McKenna! And she was so proud of the story and even drew pictures to go along with it.

There are several other StoryBuilder books available: World of People ($7.95) and Christmas Mini-Builder ($3.95). Each of the StoryBuilder Ebooks is available for immediate download and comes with the following:

  • 192 Story Builder cards in black print (to print on colored paper)
  • 192 Story Builder cards in colored print (to print on plain paper)
  • 48 blank cards
  • Ideas and instructions for use

While the StoryBuilders are not an entire curriculum for writing, they are a great activity to use once a week for getting the creative juices going. WriteShop does offer full writing programs for children Kindergarten through high school.

And as a bonus, The Old Schoolhouse Store is offering a FREE download this week for the StoryBuilders: World of Animals – a $7.95 value! Be sure to head there to take advantage of their great offer!

If you would like to read more on Write Shop, check out the Homeschool Crew blog and see what others are saying.