Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Glipit Bible

This week I received the glipit Bible I was very excited to get to try out a bible designed for kids. The
glipit Bible has a one-of-a-kind silicone cover. It was designed for kids ages 8 to 12. The silicone cover gives kids a unique way to create their own one of a kind custom Bible. Kids can spell their name, make a design, shapes, or just have fun popping the pieces on and off their Bible cover.  Each Bible comes with over 120 removable silicone pieces in four different colors including glow in the dark. The soft silicone cover is removable and washable and is easy to hang on to. It is written in NLT or New Living Translation. It has 26 pages of extra material in the front of the Bible to help kids know more about the Bible and God's Plan for their lives. The Glipit Bible comes in two colors purple and blue and it sells for about $24.99 and you can find it HEAR.
On arrival I thought this Bible is just cool. The cover looks great we received the blue one. The Glipit
is super fun to play with. I can see my self sitting in church popping these little silicone squares off an on the cover. I love the feel of the cover its soft and comfortable to hold. It has two silicone latches to hold you bible closed which is nice. My only real complaint is the print is very small. The bible is geared toward 8 to 12 year old so I expected a larger print.  I would say it is around a size 9 font kind of small for a child friendly print. Over all it is a nice bible the price is not bad. I love how easy it is to create a custom cover, and the glow in the dark pieces are very fun. So if you are in the marked for a fun bible for an older child this may be what you are looking for.

Disclaimer: I received the Glipit Bible free of charge from Tyndale in order to test this product for the review. All opinions are my own or that of my Kids. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Rainbow Loom

Everyone has probably seen the Rainbow loom by now. Its been out for a while and with winter well on its way hear in Missouri I thought it would be a great beginning of winter product for the kids. You can buy the rainbow loom for around $16.99 depending where you go to get it. You can buy it directly from the Rainbow Loom site by clicking HEAR. You can also find them on Amazon, Michaels, and from several different sellers or you can get a list of retail stores from the rainbow Loom site Hear.

The basic kit comes with 600+ mixed latex free rubber bands,  the RBL hook with base opener, the Rainbow Loom and a set of directions. The box says 8years old and +  but my 6 year old is using it with adult supervision of course. They have a youtube channel where you can see videos of how to make different bracelets.  You can click HEAR if you would like to see some of demonstrations. 
The basic single pattern bracelets are fairly easy to make. Hotrod Princess picked it up fairly quickly and can now make a bracelet with just a bit of help. She has not tried to make any of the more complicated patterns. It is helping her fine motor skills and its helping her concentration. She has learned if she tries to jump around and doesn't follow the directions her bracelet will fall apart. It is also great for learning to make different types of patterns. I found that the youtube videos really help a lot with the more complicated patters. I made a ladder bracelet this morning It took me about 10 minutes to make it, watching and pausing the video along the way. Rainbow Loom  is a lot of fun. Its prefect for girls in the Tween age group. Once they start making them all their friends will want one. Its a great affordable last minute Christmas gift. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Disclaimer: I received a rainbow Loom and extra pack of rubber bands free of charge in order to test this product for the review. All opinions are my own or that of my Kids. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Homeschool Helper App

As some of you know I homeschool my two girls. On challenge of home schooling is record keeping. I am lucky enough to live in a state that doesn't require a lot for record keeping. That being said I keep track of more than what my state requires mostly so that I can see there progress. We do a lot of on the go learning and hauling my laptop around is not always the best of options. I also find my self spending an hour or more every night logging lessons, time and grades for just one child. I will have a second grader and a kindergartner next year. With my current system that would mean 2 hours or more a night just for logging hours grades and assignments. Not counting the time that I will have to spend pulling together the next days work. I knew I needed an easier and faster system if I am going to survive next school year.
Home Page and super cool steaming coffee cup

I have had an android tablet for a couple years now. I mostly just use it for reading. I really don't have that many apps on it but it seems to go every where with me so I will always have a book. One day it hit me wouldn't it be great if there was a Homeschool app. Guess what I found the HomeSchool Helper App. Its available for both android and Ipad, and nook color and you can get it in the amazon store for Kindle.  It sells for only $4.99.  I immediately sent them an email and they agreed to let me review it.

The price is amazing  for less than meal at McDonalds I could get a HomeSchool app that would make my day easier. You just can beat $4.99. Its a one time cost including all updates.
Grade Calculator 
Some of the key features of the HomeSchool Helper are: the ability to track an unlimited number of students, manage students over multiple school years I love that I will be able to use this for years to come. You can duplicate students for effortless setup of similar students, record grades and track lessons for up to 14 different subjects, per student.  It has a grade calculator with (pasting ability) that makes figuring our grades so much easier. You can do a separate grading scale for each student and you can use a grade based or pass/fail based for your grading. Create lessons for any subject, the Lesson viewer provides calendar view of all lessons, with drilldown, You can auto create batches of lessons to save you time gotta love time savers. It has great lesson features that allow you to bump lessons, copy lessons and mass delete lessons. You can auto create grades from any lesson to avoid duplicate keying.  HomeSchool Helper has the ability to do lesson reports with parameters that can be emailed to students. You can also manage book list, field trips, task list. You can track daily attendance with no keying. It gives me the ability to Track time spent on each lesson with reporting this is  an important feature as it is a state requirement for us and I was very happy to see it. Reports can be viewed, saved or emailed for storage or printing. and you can do reports for just about everything (ex: report cards attendance, summary's and more)
Attendance Calender 

This app is beautiful It looks like a fancy planner when you open it. You click the steaming coffee cup for your settings. There is a sticky note for your help button. The eraser is the edit button. Click the pencil to add a new student. There is even a ticket you click for family field trips. The opening lay out is beautiful and so easy to use. I had both girls listed as new students with in minutes.
The grade calculator is probably one of my favorite features. I love that I can use it with out closing the assignment I am working on. It makes putting in grades and assignments so much easier.  I can add as many school years as I need to. There is no limit on the number of students. So I can use this baby forever. We do a lot of field trips and its great that I can log them while we are there and make notes. Being able to print off my records is also an important feature for me. I feel the need to have hard copies of everything, it makes it easy for me to print and store this years records with this years portfolio work that I am required to keep. The only feature that might be missing is the ability to create transcripts for high school students.  For us its not a big deal, there are lots of programs to help you write transcripts when the time comes.
HomeSchool Helper keeps everything together in one nice neat package. It keeps track of everything I need. Its easy to use and it looks beautiful. Best of all the price is fantastic for my classroom budget.  Below you can see the HomeSchool Helper App Trailer it shows you some of the great features of the app.

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A big thanks goes out to HomeSchool Helper for providing me with a free copy of the app to review all opinions are my own.