Category Archives: Product Review

Review – Sequence Letters Game for Kids

Sequence Letters Game Reivew

Sequence Game DFW Homeschool Resource On a rainy day, I brought out our Sequence Letters game. If you’re familiar with the adult version, it’s got a similar goal. Instead of stretching the board, you’re just trying to connect four. The game can be played with up to 6 people, but that makes 3 teams of 2. In our case, we played 1 team of 2 and 2 teams of 1 each. The game box says ages 4-7. My 6 and 10 year old played on their own teams. I played along with the four year old. (This post contains affiliate links)

How to play:

Each player earns a square by matching a letter card in their hand to a picture. The pictures are also color coded with the squares to help the very young to narrow down the choices. My big two know their letters and sounds and it was pretty easy to match up. However, it did cause them to have to think, “What starts with the letter L?” Players are able to block each other which amused my big two and made the youngest mad. The letter X allows a player to remove a chip already placed on the board. Letter Z card allows them to place a chip on any square they want.

For my 4 year old non- reader and non-phonics child, I would show her the card and tell her the letter. The big two then would tell her what picture to look for. The game is definitely for children in between my 4 and 6 year old in letter and phonics abilities.Sequence Game DFW Homeschool Resource

The game took longer than I thought it would. Mostly because there was a lot of discussion on where they were going to put a chip to block someone. The youngest got mad if someone “took” her favorite pictures. I would not recommend playing the game with a bunch of 4 year olds! It probably is easiest with a mixed age group. If the ages and abilities are varied then there are different ways to learn from the game. If you want to buy your own, head over to buy it HERE!

(I was not asked to review this game. I did so because we enjoy playing it! Affiliate links are present but they’re at no cost to you! They help keep the lights on around here from the small commission we get)

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My Review of Melissa and Doug Pattern Blocks

Melissa and Doug Pattern BlocksI’m always looking for way my children can learn and play at the same time. I also really like wooden toys over plastic toys. These Melissa and Doug Pattern Blocks incorporate both elements! This post does contain an affiliate link, but I was not asked to write this review. I decided to share about this product because we enjoy this learning toy a lot!

We’ve been fans of Melissa and Doug toys for a few years now. We have various sets – play food, stamps, play clay tools, etc and now their pattern blocks! This set was a gift to my middle child, but my youngest has actually enjoyed it the most! She isn’t into making her own pictures yet, but enjoys matching the shapes to the included pattern boards.

This toyMelissa and Doug Pattern Blocks allows us to talk about the different shapes beyond square, triangle, and circle. It has more “advanced” shapes like trapezoid and hexagon in the set. The neat thing is that the colors of the shapes have matched up with some of the math curriculum shapes I’ve seen.

If you want something slightly more advanced, there are Pinterest posts with print outs that just have the outlines of the shapes and not the colors! Click here to my Pinterest board where I have pinned some of these printables. I print them on cardstock so that they’re a bit more sturdy for reuse. If you want to get really fancy or have a few children, laminate them! We have this personal laminator and use it ALL THE TIME.

(Affiliate links give us a little bit of money for advertising the product on our website. It helps keeps the website up and running! It’s also at no cost to you the consumer.

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Game Review: Race to the Treasure

Ogres are always a fascination in children’s stories. I think that may have been what attracted me to this game. I love woodland illustrations, fairy tales, and the like. The box to this game was whimsical which caught my eye and caused me to look at it more closely. This also reminded me of my youngest’s favorite tv show, Ben and Holly, so after reading the point of the game, I decided to purchase it. (I was not asked to do the review of this, I did so because we had fun playing it. There are affiliate links in the post, see disclaimer at the end)

Race to the TreasurePeaceable Kingdom Game Review is made by Peaceable Kingdom. It’s a cooperative game printed on all sorts of recyclable and renewable resources. It says ages 5 and up, but my four year old can play it with a little help from 6 year old big sister. The goal  is to collect three keys and make your path to the treasure before the ogre. The game board changes each time because the location of the keys changes with every game. Two dice, one that has letters and one that has numbers come with the game. You roll both to get the coordinates for the placement of the keys and one picnic basket to erase one ogre.

We have played about 5-6 times since I gave it to my children this morning and we have yet to loose to the ogre! There’s no competition which works well for little people who hate loosing. Although my youngest always want to be the one to lay the last piece down….

It’s a sweet little game. This is our first game by Peaceable Kingdom, so I’m intrigued to check out more of their games now. If you’d like to buy your own game, click here to do so.

(I was not paid to review this game. There is an affiliate link at the end to buy the game. Using this link does not make the game cost anymore than if you went to Amazon yourself by typing it in. I do earn a small amount from the affiliate links which helps pay to run this resource site. )

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Multiplication Made Easy Times Tales

Quick recitation of multiplication facts have not come easily to my oldest. Daily drilling was monotonous and boring. He understood the grouping, the concept, could get the answers, but it too a long time for some of the facts. (I was not asked by Times Tales to review this product. This post does contain affiliate links).

Times Tales Review DFW Homeschool

I had seen advertisements for Times Tales for months and months. I admit, I was skeptical. Would some silly story lines really help my child? A friend told me she was looking into it. She has been homeschooling a lot longer than I have so this made me look again at Times Tales.

Times Tales Review

I realized that I could risk $20 on the downloadable version. If it worked, it would save us a lot of frustration! Let me tell you, it was worth the money! I chose to buy the digital version, but for $24.95 you can get it sent to you. If I had to do it again, I would buy the non-digital version, personally.

Right now, via this link, you can save 20% off your purchase of Times Tales. Prices subject to change at any time, so there’s not guarantee it’s still 20% off. Although, seriously, I would happily pay the full price again. I plan on trying it out with my first grader later this fall. I’ll report back later on how effective it was with her.

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Non Traditional Homeschool Supplies

Ahhhh it’s school supplies time again. I love the smell of brand new crayons. Love freshly sharpened pencils. A neat stack of notebook paper. New books ready to be cracked open. We know what the usual school supplies consist of, but homeschooling is its own unique entity. An entity that requires some different supplies.

We moved between the end of last school year and the summer. This caused me to re-evaluate what school supplies we really needed/wanted/liked. This is our top 15 list. (This list does contain affiliate links. I was not asked to add or review any of these products. Please see statement at the bottom of this post)

  1. Laminator – I’ve seen people poo-poo this one. I got one and I admit it sat dormant for awhile before I used it. And once I finally started, I haven’t stopped. You can do so much with this! Laminate worksheets to be used again and again. Laminate poems of the month. Art work. Chore charts. Pressed flowers.
  2. Play dough or clay or floam – So many uses! Dough can be used to keep littles busy. Or give some to your early letter learners to practice making letters. Have your dyslexic use it to illustrate words like between and together. Use clay balls for math problems. Build a replica of the pyramids. We prefer the non-air drying and floam which also doesn’t dry out, link above. 
  3. Library card – Free books. Need I say more? And free DVDs. Books on CD. Digital books. So many good reason to join your local library. Some even offer home school classes!
  4. Coffee shop cards – Sometimes a change of scenery helps the soul.
  5. Rain boots and water shoes – If you live in a desert, you can probably disregard this one. For everyone else, rain boots and/or water shoes are awesome. Get out and splash in those puddles! Explore the streams. Hike without worrying about getting your shoes muddy. Rainboots hose off and Keens (our favorite) are washable!
  6. Journals and colors – Write stories. Sketch in the museum galleries. We love Prisma Colors because of their rich colors. And SO MANY colors to choose from. Not just 12 or 24, but SO many. So good for your budding artists. Start a nature journal.
  7. Pouch for collecting treasuresmagnifying glass, bug jar, flower press, binoculars – We love our exploring bags. My children love to collect treasures. And of course, they all have the proper tools for looking at what we explore.
  8. Bin for taking supplies outside – When the weather is beautiful, we don’t want to stay inside! Take your supplies with you in these buckets.
  9. Annual pass to local nature preserve – Yes, we do have a nature theme going on. We love being outside. I think, and research supports, that children do best when they can be in a green space as often as possible.
  10. Water bottles – A must! My kids are always thirsty and we are always in the car. It is so tempting to stop at Sonic all the time for us. This adds up and it’s too much sugar! I discovered these Camelbak waterbottles this spring and it was love at first use. My kids used mine so much I had to buy them their own! These keep water cold for 24 hours and tea or coffee hot for 12! So awesome.
  11. Headphones for audio books – Great for listening to all those digital books from the library!
  12. Sidewalk chalk – There are so many ways to learn with chalk. Practice spelling words. Write the alphabet on the driveway. Have your child run from letter to letter to spell their words. You can play a similar game with math. Draw the water cycle. Draw a sun dial (don’t forget to add a book for the arm).
  13. White board markers – Great for so many things. Writing on all of those laminated pages. Drawing on white boards. Do math on the window. Grammar on a mirror.
  14. Laminated map – We like seeing where the people live that we are learning about. A laminated map allows you to use those white board markers. Mark the journey of the Ingalls as you read Little House on the Prairie. See how far Paddington traveled.
  15. Cardstock – printables last longer printed on cardstock. Making sorting cards for grammar games. Print out a timeline. Make a lapbook. Use to make a cover of a book written and illustrated by your children.

What would you add to this list?

(We were not asked to review any of these products to add them to the list. These are products that we regularly use or have used in our home school. The links do contain affiliate links, but that does not cause you to pay more if you do decide to buy them via the links. We do receive a small commission for sharing these products with you. This helps the website to run. Thank you)

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Giveaway: Hidey Socks

I’m always looking for things to make my life easier! Yes, homeschool moms maybe don’t dress up as much as others. Yes, I probably wear yoga pants way too often. But all of that doesn’t mean we want to be less comfortable when we do dress up! (I was asked to review this product and for my review I was given a free pair of Hidey Socks. )

Hidey Socks
I had the chance to try out Hidey Socks. I like wearing flats with my nicer clothes, but shoes and I don’t always get along. I often get blisters from my shoes especially on my heels. If you know me in real life, I almost always have flip flops on unless it’s freezing cold.  Hidey Socks solve that problem. They are low-cut and have a band part to them so that they don’t slouch down. There are now socks with Sworski Crystals across the band if you like bling.

Socks
The socks are very comfortable and they weren’t too thick either. I was able to wear my normal slip on shoes without them feeling tight. I really also enjoy just wearing them around the house. They worked great wearing jeans. I was able to walk around a long time in shoes that usually bothered my feet much more quickly.

I decided to try the Hidey socks with a super long skirt one day. I do not recommend wearing with a skirt unless they come out with a sock that isn’t black or white. It’s stood out way too much for my taste when I walked. But they are not advertised to wear with skirts, I just decided to try it out one day.

The creator of Hidey Socks has agreed to give away one pair to a reader of this blog. If you want to be able to move around more and have your feet hurt less as you’re chasing your children around co-op, you definitely want a pair of these socks.

To enter (you may do as many as you’d like) before March 31:

Comment on this post – 1 entry

Comment on the Facebook post for this giveaway – 1 entry

Share this post – 1 entry

Share DFW Homeschool Resource Facebook page with a friend – 1 entry

Tag a friend on the Facebook post. – 1 entry per friend
Good luck!! You must like DFW Homeschool on Facebook to be eligible to win. Winner will be notified via the Facebook page and Socks will be sent to them.

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Popular Mechanics for Kids

Did you know that you can view 4 full seasons of Popular Mechanics for Kids on Amazon Prime?? We love this show. my oldest loves to see how things work, and this is sometimes much better than having him try to take things apart that he shouldn’t be taking apart! And the episodes also cover things that we normally wouldn’t be directly exposed to but may still wonder how they work!

If you don’t have a Prime Membership, it’s $99 a year and also includes free shipping on Amazon Prime items and includes Prime Now in areas that have Prime Now. Pretty good deal! We have an Amazon Firestick to view the Prime movies on our tv you can also use the Prime app on your devices.

(This post does contain affiliate links. This helps keeps the lights on over here and doesn’t cost you anything. Please see our complete affiliate policy on the About page)

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Universal Yums Box – A Review

Universal Yum Box DFW HomeschoolMy husband and I love to travel. We haven’t been able to travel as much with our children as we would have liked yet, so we found another way to expose our children to the tastes of other cultures: Universal Yums Box. (I was not asked to write this review, we just love how this subscription box supplements our homeschool curriculum each month)

Universal Yum Box DFW Homeschool

 

Yum and Yum Yum boxes are packed with amazing tastes and smells of other countries. Each month, one country is featured, and each box comes with 6 or 12 different snacks foods and/or candies from that country. We have subscribed now since August 2016 and have “traveled” to Ukraine, Russia, Germany, Indonesia, Brazil, and the Philippines.  Some countries had awesome snacks and others left much to be desired. Ukraine’s red caviar baked bread snacks – definitely one of the worst snacks we’ve ever tried. Our favorite snack? Hard to say. There’s been some amazing little goodies!

Universal Yum Box DFW HomeschoolThis month, we got a big surprise when a BIG Yum Yum box showed up on our door step! We had been getting the smaller box, the Yum Box, instead of the Yum Yum Box. I was confused and texted my husband because we had spoken about getting the bigger one, but I didn’t remember it actually happening. He had no idea, so I opened the box thinking there’d be an explanation inside, and there was! Universal Yums had sent us the bigger box to try to entice us to change our subscription.

I have to say that we are tempted to upgrade! There were twice as many goodies in the box this month. My favorite were the apricot cookies hands down. I wonder if I can get them to just send me another box or two of those??? The kids really liked pretty much everything else but the coffee flavored cookies.

Universal Yum Box DFW HomeschoolInside each box there’s a score card to keep track of who likes what. That was a new feature they added about 2 months ago and the kids love giving their opinions. There’s also a booklet with lots of facts about the country as well as tidbits of information about the snacks. I think my only complaint is that SO MANY snacks have gluten in them and I can’t eat those.

Long story short, if you want a cross cultural experience every month without leaving your house, subscribe to Universal Yums!

(I was not asked to write this review. I did it because we love this subscription box! However, if they ever want to send me something to review, I would gladly do it! Same goes for other companies. Hint, hint)

 

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Paper Only Fundanoodle Scissors

Anyone else have a child you got a hold of a pair of scissors and gave themselves or their sibling a free haircut? Surely I am not the only one who this has happened to. Did you know that there are scissors to prevent this from happening provided you hide the real scissors from your children? I was sent a pair of paper only Fundanoodle safety scissors to review and share with you. I was not paid for this opinion I was just send a pair of scissors to review. 

I let my three-year-old try out the scissors. Of course I played with them the moment we got them but I let her be my child guinea pig tobtesting the scissors. We tried to cut the hair of a pony toy that she has and it did not cut the hair! She was pretty surprised. 

We then tested the scissors out on paper. They work really well. And I know that she will not be able to cut herself, or her clothing, or her hair, or a siblings hair if I leave the scissors where she can find them. I have used safety scissors similar to this in the past but these are sharper then the ones we used a few years ago and therefore it is much easier for a child to cut with them.

We are definitely a fan of the scissors. Fundanoodle is a company that sells early educational learning tools. You can visit their Fundanoodle website to see what fun products they sell besides these scissors. If you purchase something before the end of February you will also receive free shipping on your order.


Again no money was exchanged in return for this review. We were sent a pair of scissors to give our honest review, which we did. 

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Money Saving Idea – Dollar Shave Club

So this may really have nothing to do with homeschooling, but it’s something that saves me time. I suppose I could have used Amazon to regularly send me razors, but I saw the offer for $1 for your first month and thought, why not?!? (I was not asked to write this review, all opinions are mine!)

I’d seen Dollar Shave Club advertising saying not just for men, and honestly, aren’t razors the same just different colors? There’s different levels and you can choose monthly or every other month You can even pause your shipments or cancel without any penalties! And it comes to my door. Sign me up please. 

I got my first shipment and I’m a fan! I choose level 2 The 4X. Basically it’s not the cheapest, but it’s not the most expensive either. I also set it to ship every 2 months. I’m not sure if I’ll increase the sending or have to pause at some point, but for now, I think that spacing will work.

If you’d like to try it out and have one less task on your plate, click here.

 

(This post does contain an affiliate link. I’ll earn credits to use on the $ Shave website if you sign  up! It’s not cost to you!)

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