Sunday, November 9, 2014

Lush Beautiful Eyelashes with Moodstruck 3D Fiberlashes ~ A Review

Moodstruck 3D Fiberlashes by Younique

Moodstruck 3D Fiberlashes is a eyelash enhancing duo designed to increase thickness and volume of your own lashes while looking completely natural. Used in conjunction with your favorite mascara, the Transplanting Gel and Natural Fibers increase your natural lashes in length and volume making them appear lush and full.

Several important points:

  • Moodstruck 3D Fiberlashes are safe for contact lens wearers and those with sensitive eyes.  They are completely hypoallergenic.
  • All natural fibers. The fibers are made from green tea leaves.
  • They come in a hard sided case as shown above. (I think the case looks pretty classy as well).
  • The set lasts for approximately 3 months

Moodstruck 3D Fiberlashes are available for $29 at  .

My Thoughts

Over the years I have gotten out of the habit of wearing colorful makeup. When going out I'd put on foundation to look presentable, but that was about the extent of it. There just didn't seem the need to do much more to stay home. Occasionally I would add mascara to perk up my eyes, however it didn't help much. When I had the opportunity to try Moodstruck 3D Fiberlashes I jumped at the chance, thinking this would be a lovely treat to myself.

I am so impressed! Moodstruck 3D Fiberlashes gives me noticeable eyelashes. My natural eyelashes are very light so they usually disappear and this is exacerbated by my glasses. However with Moodstruck 3D fiberlashes I actually have noticable eyelashes with glasses. I could actually see my lashes! It took some getting used to what I saw, but its great. You can use as many coats of fibers as you wish, but I used just one application and was thrilled with the results.What a difference!



 Moodstruck 3D fiberlashes are very easy to apply, but it did take a little practice to get the right amount of transplanting gel to seal the fibers on. The first couple times I used this I didn't use enough transplanting gel after putting on the fibers so they flaked off throughout the day. But once I figured that out I had no problems with flaking or coming off. When I did want to take it off at the end of the day a couple swipes of make up remover was all it took for totally clean lashes.

Moodstruck 3D Fiberlashes certainly give beautiful noticeable eyelashes.

Disclaimer: I received this product for the purposing of evaluating it and writing this honest review. All opinions expressed here are solely my own. I have not been compensated in any other manner for this review.

See what other Home & School Mosaics reviewers had to say at Home & School Mosaics.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Wizzy Gizmo

Wizzy Gizmo

Wizzy Gizmo produces a line of Christian Education Resources for children. The offerings include books, audio dramas, and reference cards to help children learn about the Bible.  All of these products can be used for family Bible study or by children individually. 

I recently received a set of Fast Track Bible Pack New Testament books of the Bible overview cards.
The cards are designed to be a Bible study tool to acquaint children (and adults) with basic facts about each book of the New Testament in a compact easy to handle format.

Card Front
Wizzy Gizmo Fast Track Bible Reference Cards   $14.99

The front of the card is a catchy, story like introduction to the book. They often pose a question to the child/ reader to connect the book with something in their life. At the end of this story is a short verse from the book which could be used as a memory verse while learning about the book. There is also a sidebar giving the author, date it was written and number of chapters in the book. The bottom of the card features a theme for the book.

Card Back
On the back of the card you will find an outline, key chapters, key passages, key doctrines, and key people. Each of these is color coded ~ this really helps in keeping your place on the card.

The Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible. Since the NASB tries to be close to the Greek and Hebrew texts, this shows a desire to refrain from paraphrase editions driven more by culture than by actual biblical language.

My Thoughts

My 10 year old didn't really care for these cards. He preferred to use the similar material in the book introductions contained in The Lutheran Study Bible by Concordia Publishing House. The fact that these cards do not draw significantly on the sacramental theology observed by the Church since apostolic times probably contributed to his seeing a difference between the cards and the religious instruction that he has received to date.

That is to be expected, given differences with novel doctrines like dispensational millennialism and the lack of balance between Law and Gospel. Indeed, the cards tend to turn the Good News into a book of rules. Only the card for Luke mentions the resurrection, and there is no mention of the ascension! Jesus is key only on two Gospel cards, even though Luke 24 makes Him central.

Key verses seem to have little internal consistency with the biblical text. They seem to be picked in order for this or that denominational tradition to find its talking points. The cards simply take some generic Protestant ideas for granted. Scripture might not always support that interpretation.

Other points are emphasized without real explanation. The card for Acts mentions 19:1-7 regarding the Spirit. The verses actually engage Trinitarian Baptism and the role of the Spirit in confessing the Trinity, a central element of the Great Commission (to the Eleven and their successors in Matthew).

The cards seem to take more time in being "not Catholic" than trying to present what Scripture actually says, as if marketing to a generic Protestant target would cover up otherwise deep differences among traditions in the interpretation of Scripture.

The focus is on general Protestant fundamental doctrines common in Baptist or Evangelical non-denominational traditions.

While the cards do a good job at pointing out many fundamentals like the virgin birth of Christ, His divinity, and so on, they illustrate just how difficult it is to create a Bible-related product amid different streams of biblical interpretation. One size never really fits all.

Other writers from Home & School Mosaics reviewed the Fast Track Bible cards, Audio Dramas, and Books. Visit Home & School Mosaics to see what they had to say.

Disclaimer: I received a set of the cards described here solely for the purpose of writing this review. I have not received any other kind of compensation. All opinions expresses here are solely my own. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

3 Things We Did Last Week

I am squeaking in just under the wire sharing these activities with you and being able to say last week. My husband had to go to a multi day meeting in Destin, Florida for work last week so we took a break from school work and the kiddos and I went along.

1. For one of our meals while we were there we went to McGuire's Irish Pub. They are known for their Irish fare, of course, but they also feature some great seafood dishes. Also one their menu is 'The Garbage Burger'. A burger featuring the traditional toppings and just about everything else you can
imagine, including chocolate fudge and peanut butter. It was probably about 9 inches tall! A friend tried it and he reported it was pretty good. Son had the 'Big Daddy Burger'. This was a more normal size burger featuring cheese, bacon, and jalapeno peppers. He was originally drawn to it because of the bacon and peppers, but really liked it. Now he's asking me to recreate it at home.

In addition to the food, they have become know for the dollar bills hanging from their ceiling. I do not know the full story behind it, but it's rumored there are thousands of dollars hanging throughout the building.

2. This was a must while we were near the beach. We played at the beach and in the waters of the Gulf Of Mexico. Beautiful green water and white sandy beach. However, the salty taste is quite strong. I had never been to an ocean before so this was a lot of fun.

3. Explore the Harbor Walk. This is mainly stores and restaurants, but it was fun to see. The harbor walk had several photo op standing cutouts which were fun for the kiddos and an interesting tree of carvings. These carvings all have significance in the history of  Destin.

It was also fun to look at the various boats anchored along the harbor. They are all commercial boats for ventures like dolphin cruises, fishing excursions, jet ski rentals and a pirate tour. We didn't go on any of these, but it was fun to look at them and look out at the Gulf.

This is a just for fun, bonus picture. I thought the sunscreen station was fun.

I'm linking this post up with my friend Heidi, over at Heidi's Head for her Three Things Thursday.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Curriculum for 13 year old

This will be daughters 8th grade year. My plan is to use this year as a practice year for high school. I want to get an idea of how long she spends on different subjects, etc so I can plan an appropriate and realistic high school program for her.

Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1

Art of Argument

We actually started this last year, but set it aside after the first few chapters as there were other more pressing subjects to work on then.

I am not positive what we will do here, but I am considering slowly going through The Book Of Concord. This is a compilation of what we as Lutheran believe.

Latin Alive 1

Lyrical Life Science 2 and 3

Artistic Pursuits

Language Arts
Writing with Skill 2
Spelling Power
Big Bad Grammar Slammer
Vocabulary Word lists from the Word Book Dictionary
Literature will be a variety of novels and non fiction books
More Abracadabra


Story of the World 2
Homeschool in the Woods History Through the Ages Project Passport Renaissance and Reformation
Fearon's World History
Kingfisher History Encyclopedia

We will be looking at the Crusades, Vikings, Reformation, Renaissance and forward


Continent lapbooks
Wonder maps
Online and library resources

The above are her main curricula, but the following will also be used.
Economics - Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?

(I apologize for the lack of pictures, but I am waiting for a number of these items to arrive yet. Others are digital products which are harder to photograph. I guess I will blog about them throughout the year.)

Curriculum for a 10 Year Old

Teaching Textbooks Pre Algebra and Math in Everyday Life

We are going to use both of these resources this year for math because my ten year old is ready for the level of PreAlgebra, but I really don't want to set him up to be doing Algebra next year in what would be sixth grade according to his public school age. He really wants to do math on the computer so since several chapters of the PreAlgebra course are review of basic math he is going to do those this year and save the beginning Algebra chapters for next year. To round out math for the year he is going to work through Math  in Everyday Life which teaches how math is used in real life or family living.

Language Arts 
Core  Skills Writing level 5  (Not Common Core as far as I can tell despite the name)
Spelling Power 
An online Grammar course
     Chronicles of Narnia
      Roald Dahl stories
      others we choose
More Abravocabra

I need to search to find the grammar program again. I found it before, showed it to my son, and then when I went to start printing couldn't find it. Our World Book Dictionaries have vocabulary lists by grade level so I will see which words he knows and then he'll work on learning those with which he is not familiar. We'll also throw in unfamiliar words from literature and other subjects. I have found several menus of activities for practicing vocabulary words so we'll put that together with his lists.


Last year he worked through a course about the Periodic Table and Elements. He continues to be interested in the field of Chemistry so he is going to use a program which I found online from the Chemical Education Foundation. It's a mixture of text and lab work with lab reports so I think it will be good for him and he will have fun at the same time. It probably won't take the whole year so we'll have to see what he does next.

Story of the World 2
Kingfisher History Encyclopedia
Homeschool in the Woods History Through The Ages Project Passport Renaissance and Reformation 

We will begin with the Crusades and Vikings and move forward. The above are the main resources, but there will be a few other resources along the way.

Internet and Library resources

Geography will focus on individual continents. Learning about the physical features, surrounding oceans, countries, cultures, etc.

I am not sure what this will include yet, but I have several resources on hand.

Foreign Language
Latin For Children A 

We have worked through some of this before and have not made much progress. We'll try it again, but slow the pace down a bit. I really would like him to learn the vocabulary and grammar presented there.

The above will be the main subjects, but he will also use these resources.
Economics - What ever happened to Penny Candy 
Logic - Red Herring Mysteries
Art- Not sure yet

(I apologize for the lack of pictures. I am waiting to receive many of the listed items.)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Three Books

My friend Heidi has done a series of weekly posts where she shares three things on a specific topic each week. I have intended to participate in the past, but never seem to remember. This week I did remember. I'm not original with my category though, Heidi wrote about three books last week.

So this is what I have been into lately.

A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

This is the story of a couple who spend a year in France begins with the new year celebration. The book is arranged by months and details their life in an unfamiliar country while fulfilling a dream.

I happened upon this book by chance. I was going through a box of books in my garage and found it, thought it looked intriguing and decided to give it a chance. I am not very far, but it looks promising.

Gifted Hands by Benjamin Carson

I actually just finished this and returned it to the library, thus no picture. In this autobiography Dr. Carson shares what is was liking growing up with a single mother who was determined her sons would make something of themselves and how she encouraged them to learn and excel. He continues telling how he made it in to college and the struggles he faced there are in medical school. But it doesn't end there, he shares a lot about his years of practicing medicine and the challenges he continued to work through.

Dr Carson clearly shows the reader how through his hard work, diligence, and attitude he was able to use the talents he was given to  achieve what he has. He did not wait to have something handed to him, but studied hard, worked hard and continued in his pursuits to make his dream a reality.

I really enjoyed this book, in places it is hard to put down because I wanted to know what was going to happen next. I plan to have my 13 year old daughter read this soon as I believe she can benefit from learning how someone went from humble beginnings to gifted surgeon due to their hard work and unwillingness to give up.

The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer

I have read The Well Trained Mind before,  I review the grade specific sections each year as I plan the next year. Some years I read the additional chapters dealing with the benefits of a Classical education and the ideas for implementation. This summer was one of those times where I have read more. I am looking ahead to high school for my oldest and trying to schedule a rough plan for the coming years. I have found some ideas and thoughts to mull over as I work on my outline.

While I've been studying The Well Train ed Mind I've also found my self trying to determine what is fluff and true substance in education. How do I give my children a broad, quality, education to adequately prepare them and at the same time make it engaging so that they don't come to see learning as drudgery and something they have to do rather than something they enjoy.  

What have you read lately?

I am linking up with my friend Heidi at Heidi's Head for Three Things Thursday.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Power in Your Hands

The Power in Your Hands  Writing Nonfiction in High School by Sharon Watson

For Grades 9-12

Student Book $39.98
Teacher Book $14.98

Order from Create Space

Student Materials

This writing course is designed to be used by high school students over the course of a year. It contains 23 chapters, some of which are designed for more than one week of instruction and writing. The final section is toolbox of many helpful charts, lists, and information for writers. It is designed to be used in school classrooms, homeschools, and coop settings.

What you will find in The Power in Your Hands  Student book

Writing Persusaion
  • What is it?
  • Writing Logically
  • Comparison and Contrast
  • Morals and Ethics
  • Emotional Appeal
  • The SAT Essay
  • Proofreading
Expository Writing
  • Letters (Condolence and Thank You)
  • Process Writing
  • Position Papers and proper documentation
  • Devotionals
  • Newspaper Writing
  • Biographies
  • Compare and Contrast
  • Literary Analysis
  • Definition Essays
  • Descriptive Essays
  •  Personal Testimonies/ Spiritual Journies
  •  Turning Interviews into Narratives
  •  Personal Narratives
Each of these topics is defined and described briefly to help the student learn what makes them an unique type of writing. There are also many helps to direct the student to edit and improve their own work. Instructions on proof reading are also included.

Teacher Materials

The teacher's book contains answers to questions and exercises in the student book, but it does not contain the entire student text.

Unique to the Teacher's Book

The teacher's book (well, the whole course) is designed so that a parent can conduct a professional writing course on a schedule appropriate for their needs. To facilitate this some of the topics you will find in the teacher's book include:
  • Grading and Evaluation Rubrics and Forms   "What does an A paper look like?"  "What does and F paper look like?" and all levels in between.
  • Ideas to help Reluctant Writers
  • 14 Minute Writing Power Surges  - ideas to write about for 14 minutes - for the whole year
  • Answers and Discussion ideas for the student work corresponding to each of the chapters
  • Tips for Proofreading and making exciting word choices

For additional helps and ideas Sharon maintains a blog and offers weekly writing prompts by email.

 Sharon Watson has also written Jump-In, a writing course for junior high and Writing Fiction [In High School].

My Thoughts

I used this course with my 13 year old daughter. While she is below the target age range for this course  I felt she could handle this material based on her previous writing experience. She did fine. The topics and examples used  feature teens or teen issue, but not material I felt was inappropriate for her. A couple examples are teen driving and texting, the dilemma of giving teens a credit card,  and high school classes. Most examples and sources are science or history topics, literature, and personal stories.

Various types of paragraphs ie. direct, climatic, transitional are discussed and explained. This course also contains a fair amount of instruction about constructing introductions and conclusions. We did not spend a lot of time on these sections as I wanted to get a feel for multiple sections of the book during our limited review period, but there is a lot of valuable information to help students learn and master these challenging skills.

By the end of this course students will have completed a wide variety of writing projects for many different occasions and needs. This I find to be very beneficial.  I also like the writing prompts as I want to give my daughter the opportunity to practice the step by step skills she has learned with the text examples, but this way I don't have to come up with the ideas on my own. I could do it, but having it done for me is a time saver.

Another feature I found helpful were the ideas regarding requirements for writers of different skill levels. Most major writing assignments give a word count. While these are realistic targets, they can also be intimidating to younger students or those with less experience.   Thus by giving the instructor 'permission' to require less of newer writers this course should be easily adaptable for most students.

My daughters' thoughts:
"I think it is a really good book that is written towards a student rather than a group of people. During the lesson at some points it is funny so that makes it more fun to use. If I had gotten it earlier in the school year I would have wanted to continue using it as I found it more fun than the program I was currently using. For what I have used of it the topics it chose were interesting as they talked about things teenagers are interested in."

I was surprised by the amount of  Christian content in the book as the only mention I saw of this in online information was one line at the very bottom of the order page. As you can tell from some of the topics listed above there are lessons for writing several types of Christian literature. There are also numerous Bible verses throughout the text. One chapter talks extensively about making moral judgements. (An example in this chapter mentions abortion and lesbianism.  My daughter is aware of these issues and the conflict the letter discusses). It gives good ideas regarding writing about moral issues where people have differing opinions, but it is definitely slanted towards a Christian world view.

I will continue to use The Power In Your Hands with my daughter along with the next volume of the writing course she has just completed. There are many valuable skills to be learned and practiced from The Power in Your Hands  which will increase her writing proficiency.

Read what other Home&School Mosaics reviewers thought of this and Sharon's other writing programs on the Home&School Mosaics blog.

Disclaimer: I received  free copies of the student and teacher books reviewed above for the purpose of writing this frank and honest review. I have not been compensated in any other manner. All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Curriculum for Sale

I have the following items for sale. Postage costs for buyers choice of shipping method is in addition to prices. Items are from a pet free, smoke free home. Pictures are available upon request. If you are interested leave a comment or email me at

Teaching Textbooks 6
Book, Answer Book, CD's $100
One year old, used by one student

IEW Student Writing Intensive A
Binder, Student Pages, CD's $50
A couple pages are bent, but are all there.

WriteShop Primary Book C (Teacher Book) $25
Brand New - looked through first lesson, but never used

Artistic Pursuits K-3 Book 3 $25
Second Edition
Very Good Condition

God's Great Covenant New Testament Book 1 $30 for set
Student Book and Teacher Book
Very Good Condition

Evan Moor History Pockets Ancient Civilizations $7
Grades 1-3
Good Condition

Evan Moor How to Report on Books Grade 1-2 $7
Very Good Condition

QuikPix Addition and Subtraction game $3

Menu Math  $5
Very Good Condition

Also see this post for more books, games and learning activities for sale.

Monday, May 26, 2014

'The Fault in Our Stars' Book Thoughts and A Lesson

May is Get Caught Reading Month. I'm not really planning on doing anything special, except maybe introduce my children to some new genres or challenge them to read a type of book they don't usually read. Because of this focus on reading in May I thought I would use this month to share some of the books we're currently reading or recently finished.

Today my 13 year old daughter is writing about her current read. This is what she has to say.

My favorite book that I've been reading this month is "The Fault in Our Stars". I haven't finished reading it yet, but it is just so good that I had to write about it. This book is by award winning author John Green. I found out about the book on YouTube because the author is also one half of the Vlogbrothers, and has talked about the book on their channel.

" The Fault in Our Stars" is about a girl named Hazel Grace who has stage IV cancer. Her mom wants her to go to support group to make friends, much to Hazel's complaining, until she meets Augustus Waters. They immediately take a liking to each other and become friends. But this is tested when Hazel is waiting outside with Augustus he puts a cigarette in his mouth. When Hazel sees this she gets mad for smoking when she has lung cancer. She says, "Are you serious? You think that's cool? ... even though you HAD FREAKING CANCER you give money to a company in exchange for the chance to acquire YET MORE CANCER. Let me just assure you that not being able to breathe SUCKS." Then Augustus tells her that it's a metaphor. He puts something that is able to kill him right between his teeth but he doesn't light it, he doesn't give it the power to kill. After this Hazel feels better about it. After they are friends for a while, Hazel tells him about a book she likes, "An Imperial Affliction". It is about a girl who has cancer like her, and the book ends on a cliff hanger. Augustus reads it and likes it as much as she does, Hazel tells him that she has written a bunch of letters to the author asking what happens, but he has never written back. The next time Augustus talks to Hazel on the phone, he tells her that he sent an email to the author's secretary and the author wrote back through his secretary. Hazel also sends his secretary emails asking the author the answers to her questions, but he tells her that the only way he could tell her the answers is if she came to Amsterdam where he lived, and talked to him in person.

This is as far as I've gotten in the book, so if you want to know what happens next you have to read it yourself. I can not recommend this book highly enough, because it is so good. I would rate it 1,000,000/10 stars it is so good. This book is great for teenagers, but I wouldn't recommend it for children younger than that. The movie is also coming out this year so if you like the book, you should watch the movie too.

Mom's Turn

Despite how much my daughter enjoyed this book I didn't allow her to finish it. While she was writing this I picked up the book and started reading parts of it. I was unpleasantly surprised so I continued to read it later to get a fuller understanding of the text. What I found disturbed me.

  • There is a lot of inappropriate language used by the teens in the story. While I can't isolate my children from hearing this type of language, I don't feel it needs to be read.
  •  I wasn't pleased with the attitude exhibited by the teens towards their parents.
  • The main characters also engage in  a physical relationship inappropriate for children.
  • The graphic descriptions of the physical deterioration and process of death didn't set well with me either.
Unfortunately I can't give it as many stars as my daughter or really recommend seeing the movie.  The latter is hard to say, but knowing how books are often changed for movies I really don't expect the movie to be improved in a way which addresses my concerns.

The Lesson

Because I wanted to have the opportunity to discuss the book with my daughter I hung onto it until we had the opportunity to talk. I shared with my daughter my thoughts about what I had read and my desire that she didn't finish the book. As I expected this was not what she wanted to hear. Fortunately, she was semi willing to listen to my point of view and problems with the book. We discussed the situations and language in the story and agreed the language was probably not a major point to keep her from finishing the book. I was more concerned about the actions of the characters, the physical deterioration of the characters and the utter hopelessness they had due to their lack of faith and how this influenced their behavior.

While I realize all of these things are issues that she will probably encounter at some point in her life I don't believe she needs to read about them right now. I hope she will have time and more maturity before she has to wrestle and deal with these complex issues.

The Result

I did let my daughter read a little more of the book, enough so she could learn the outcome of the characters visit with the Author in Amsterdam. While this did not avoid the language and attitude issues, it did eliminate the other topics I found objectionable.

I also learned I need to be a little more vigilant about reading selections. I usually know what my children are reading, but when something is recommended by a professional I thought it would be ok. In doing some online research after this incident I also found it enlightening how books are currently classified, the labels used by the industry are not as straight forward as they are made to sound. They also use different age ranges than other industries. So this is something I need to research more. Something else to add to my summer to do list.

I have tried to keep this semi short and not go into many details because you never know who maybe reading over your shoulder. :)  If you would like more details about the content of the book or why I found it objectionable send me an email at martharf95@gmail and I am more than happy to share more thoughts with you.

Monday, March 10, 2014

February Fun

Once again I am slow in sharing our activities, but I really wanted to share these so I figured better late than never. These are a couple things my children did in February.

During the month one of the things we did was attend a Valentines Day party with other homeschool families in the area.  My children needed valentine boxes for the event to go with the card exchange.

My 12 year old is a Dr. Who fan so she decided she was going to make a Tardis for her box. She did this on her own, without any designs.

My 9 year old was having a harder time coming with with an idea so we browsed pintrest for some ideas. He saw an Angry Birds box, so decided that was what he wanted to make. Big sister helped him some, but most of it was his work.

All I needed to do was provide supplies and make a couple cuts with a craft knife.  I was impressed to see how much they could do on their own.

My 9 year old enjoys LEGO's and is thrilled when they can be a part of school time. So he was excited to see the Valentine version of LEGO writing prompts from Mary at Homegrown Learners. This is a picture of one of his Valentine cards with a slightly different twist on the writing prompts. One asked him to build a heart out of bricks and then write step by step directions for building it. Not only did he do that he also wrote a valentine with a picture of minifigs building a heart. Inside he wrote "Building you a valentine full of fun. Happy Valentines' Day from my minifig and I".  

If you have a LEGO fan check out all the creative LEGO writing prompts at Homegrown Learners. There are many sets, both seasonal and general.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Learning to Read and Understand Is Fun with Reading Eggs ~ A Review

Connect with Reading Eggs

When I was given the opportunity to review Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress through Home and School Mosaics my 9 year old son and I were excited and he couldn't wait to begin. He loves doing things on the computer and I was happy that some of his computer time could be considered educational. Several years ago I reviewed Reading Eggs which he LOVED. The only problem was his reading skills were beyond most of the content so it was mainly review for him. At that time Reading Eggspress was new and not complete yet so he didn't get to try very much, but what he was able to use he liked.

So what is Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress?
(from the publisher)

Reading Eggs provides a comprehensive range of online reading lessons and e-books that teach children aged 3–13 the literacy skills they need for lifetime reading success.There are 2 programs within Reading Eggs, Reading Eggs for 3–7 year olds and Reading Eggspress for 7–13 year olds.

Why Try Reading Eggs?
• 91% of parents have noticed an improvement in their child’s reading ability since using Reading Eggs
• Includes over 1500 ebooks
• Compatible on PC, Mac, iPad and Android
• Money-back guaranteed

Why Reading Eggs works
• Developed by expert educators with 20+ years’ experience
• Based on solid scientific research
• The program makes learning phonics and basic reading skills fun for 3–13 year olds
• Your child can progress through the one-on-one lessons at their own pace
• Regular progress reports and assessments track your child’s learning

Reading Eggs
Full of educationally sound, fun and interactive activities, Reading Eggs focuses on the most fundamental skill needed in school – reading. Children from 3 –7 years or older children struggling with reading will enjoy the huge variety of reading lessons, activities and games that make up the Reading Eggs program.
In addition to the 120 reading lessons in Reading Eggs there is the Reading Eggs World which caters for children who already know the basics of reading but who still have much to learn about reading, writing, spelling, and comprehension. In the Reading Eggs World, children have their own house to decorate, a big shop and an avatar that can walk and travel to many new destinations on Reggie’s bus. Children are able to choose their own adventure from a wide range of activities and places to go, including the following content:

• The Story Factory - this gives children an introduction to creative writing and they can put together stories to enter in a weekly story writing competition.
• Driving Tests - has 15 sight word tests, 15 letters and sounds test and 15 content word tests. Children are rewarded for correct completion with a driving game.
• Puzzle Park - children can access 32 word puzzles and practise sight word recognition.
• Skills Bank - holds 96 spelling lessons that take students up to the end of key stage 1.
• Storylands - this area builds reading, vocabulary and comprehension skills and is perfect for children who have begun to read but aren’t quite ready for Reading Eggspress. It currently includes 20 e-books to read.
• The Arcade - includes 24 arcade-style games to be used as rewards to motivate children to keep learning. They need to earn Golden Eggs to play these so encourages them to work through lessons and educational activities before using the arcade.

With a Reading Eggs subscription  you can also purchase book packages which correspond to the books featured in Reading Eggs. These sets contain books, posters, stickers, and more. Two combinations are available and are priced at $65 each or both for $110. Visit the Reading Eggs website for details.

Reading Eggspress

Reading Eggspress continues the reading adventure by taking children to a brand new world designed for 7 – 13 year olds focusing on comprehension and grammar. Reading Eggspress provides a unique learning environment where students’ can improve their English language and comprehension skills in a way that is exciting and relevant.

The Reading Eggspress website has an enormous range of learning resources, lessons, motivational games and e-books. There are 4 areas of the Reading Eggspress World:

• Library - the Reading Eggspress Library holds more than 1500 e-books including illustrated chapter books, full-color nonfiction books and a range of classics. Children can search for books by topic, series, author, reading age or book title. New books are added regularly.
• The Comprehension Gym - children complete a placement test when they first visit the Gym which places students at the correct level for their current ability. The Gym holds 200 interactive comprehension lessons over five broad levels from years 2 to years 6 with 40 lessons per year level.
• The Stadium – children compete in real time against students from around the world. The exciting head-to-head contest tests skills in one of four areas – spelling, vocabulary, usage and grammar.
• Apartment and Mall - children can use their golden eggs to buy avatar clothes and apartment furniture. Within the apartment all the trophies, medals and trading cards children have collected can be viewed and children can also complete a 100-level quest-style game to expand and refresh learning and earn more golden eggs.
Progress within the Reading Eggspress program is measured by the completion of targets. These are split over 4 levels and help give children some guidance and structure for learning and encourage them to use all of the above areas.

Both the Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress programs have a comprehensive reporting system that tracks progress so that students and their parents can clearly see each child’s achievements.

How much is a Readings Eggs subscription?

$49.95 for 6 months
$69.95 for 1 year

The 2nd and 3rd child added at the time of initial purchase are 50% off. 

My Thoughts

My 9 year old son has been enjoying his Reading Eggspress experience.

This is what he had to say, "The series of fairy tales books are good. The Dangerous Games series books are very fun to read. Quote Quest is a lot of fun. After playing games and collecting parts of the quote you get to solve the puzzle of where the quote comes from. It's fun to play all these different games. I also like going to the comprehension gym and playing their game of the day. They are always fun and full of learning.  The stadium games are fun because you can play against the computer or someone else. The games are spelling, grammar and vocabulary. Reading Eggspress is very fun and I like using it. "

I also like the selection of books available. There are many books which are appealing to my son and he is eager to read. The book subjects are a mix of classics stories, action/adventure, science fiction, and  non-fiction. I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of non fiction books available; history, arts, health and science among others.There are several sets of history encyclopedias as well. This large book selection is a big plus as it has been hard to find many books which are interesting and engaging for him.

In terms of academic progress I have seen his attention to detail and reading comprehension improve while using Reading Eggspress. He is paying closer attention to what he is reading so he can get a better score on the book quizzes and earn rewards. This has carried over into his other reading and work as well.

I found it difficult to find the progress reports, I looked all over and wasn't able to find them. Then I decided to click on the target and golden egg in the box with the picture of my sons' avatar and there they were. After finding the progress reports that location makes sense, there just isn't any thing telling parents where to find them. I do like having the reports accessible in this way rather than having a separate parent account to log into. 

Special Opportunity

Right now - thru  March 7th   Reading Eggs is hosting a special Read a Thon for cancer, the  Reading Eggs Read-To-Cure Challenge n effort to inspire children to read while raising funds for The National Children’s Cancer Society (NCCS).

The goal of NCCS  is to improve the quality of life for children with cancer.  All money raised will help provide financial, emotional and educational support for children and families battling childhood cancer. Learn more about the NCCS at

How does the Read-To-Cure Challenge work?
Children sign up for a FREE 5 week trial of Reading Eggs, the popular online reading program for 3–13 year olds. From February 3 to March 7 they are encouraged to complete as many books and Reading Eggs lessons as they can. Friends and family can sponsor their reading efforts, with all money raised going to the NCCS.

What’s more, there are great prizes up for grabs for the top 3 children who read the most books and the top 3 children who raise the most funds!

*NCCS will earn a minimum of $25,000 from Reading Eggs plus 100% of the donations collected by RTCC participants

If you haven't used Reading Eggs before you can sign up for a free 5 week trial at

Read what other reviewers have to say about Reading Eggs at Home & School Mosaics.

I received a free, limited time subscription to the above product for the purpose of writing this review. No monetary compensation was received and all opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snow Art

Those of you who have ready mt sporadic posts here have likely seen some of the art work created by  my children. I probably feature my daughters work more because she simply creates more than my son. Today I'm featuring  another one of my daughters' works. This particular scene was inspired by Eric Carle's book Dream Snow. The story features a farmer preparing Christmas presents for his animals, piling them around an outdoor tree.

We didn't have the book this past season as our new library doesn't have it, but I guess it has made an impression on my daughter. (I believe it is also written more for the preschool set.)

Her picture is created with slick sticks from Crayola. These are somewhat chunky sticks that are a cross between crayons and oil pastels. The color goes on smooth and thick, yet they aren't messy on the hands due to their plastic case.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Lego Story

This fall my 9 year old son has enjoyed writing Lego stories using the prompts from Mary at Homegrown Learners. The other day when he was making his own Lego creation he decided he needed to write his own story to do with what he built.

This is what he wrote:

Jack goes to work in a lab at Lego University in Brickville. Jack has altered the flavor of vegetables so kids will eat them but with the same nutrition. Nowadays Jack is trying to make a serum that will kill cancer but not the body. Jack made a serum yesterday, but it was too radioactive. Jack, while he is waiting for that serum to decay is making another one. His new serum, sadly, is not correct. Just when he is about to give up, Jack sees the diagram of a cancer cell. Now he knows how to kill cancer!  "I got it! I got it! The serum to kill cancer!" And sure enough it could kill cancer but nothing else. Jack then won the Nobel Prize and retired to the countryside.