Friday, November 28, 2008

Mary Jane - Her Book

The goal and mission of Salem Ridge Press is to revive those special books from the past that have slipped away from us somehow. They breath new life into wholesome, family-friendly books that are special treasures for reading.

We had the honor of reading three books for review. In this post I want to tell you about Mary Jane - Her Book by Clara Ingra Judson.

This story was originally published in 1918.

The neat thing is that in 90 years children haven't really changed that much. Sure the world around them is shifting and changing (some for good, some for bad), but children at their core remain the same. They have the same curiosities and simple thrills. They have the same spark of imagination and yearning for play. Time doesn't change these things and that is why Salem Ridge Press revived this wholesome and sweet story.

Mary Jane is five. Like all little girls then and now, she is vibrant and sometimes silly. She learns through discovery and exploration, and with the gentle guidance of family. She plays like a child and imitates the adults around her.

This is excellent for homeschoolers in this age group! We have an eclectic approach, but I often lean towards lapbooking and unit studies for the creativity in their learning. This book lend itself to this type of teaching. Each chapter is a perfect springboard for unit study.

For example:
Ch.1- Mary Jane's doll breaks and her father takes her to the store to replace it with the doll's "twin." You could read the chapter and spend the day doing matching games. You could also discuss safety issues when crossing the road (that is how the doll breaks).
Ch.2- Mary Jane is sent to do an errand for her mother and gets distracted by an army of ants. You could read this chapter and then launch a study on insects or ants specifically. You could do an experiment by leaving sugar need an ant hill and observe how quickly the ants find it.
Ch.3- Mary Jane tries to help the baby robins (that she thinks are thirsty) by giving them a drink from the garden hose. You could discuss birds as a result of this chapter. You could observe a nest or talk about the eating habits of birds or how an egg hatches.

Those are just three examples I can think of and there are many many more! With sixteen wonderful chapters to read, your little ones will be amused and entertained by the sweet adventures of this little girl.
My daughter is loving this! I am working on writing and expanding out units related to each chapter in this story (as I did above) to use with my younger daughters as they grow. The story's simplicity inspired me.
If you have a little girl, I can confidently say that she will enjoy this book. I don't know a little girl that wouldn't.

Check it out at

There is a free download of the first chapter at the site if you wish to sample it before you buy.
The cost is $12.95 softcover (and worth every penny!)
Or it is available in hardcover for $22.95.

Best of all, Salem Ridge is a good company with strong benefit to children. They are books we can hand our children without pre-screening or fear of the content. In this world, that is a blessing!
Check them out.

* I was given this product free to review on behalf of the TOS Homeschool Crew, November 2008

And Then Mama Said. . . .It Takes Time To Learn To Read

And Then Mama Said. . . .It Takes Time To Learn To ReadA new softcover book by Gena Suarez and Illustrated by Kevin Collier available now for $9.95 at the Old Schoolhouse Store. Read on to find out more. . . .
Bliss Hollow is something less than blissful when Splish discovers that his friends can read and he can not. If you have a pre-reader or beginning reader in your home, they will surely relate to the encouraging story of Splish the frog.
Splish is a homeschooled frog who has the benefit of a very patient mother who encourages him with the truth that "it takes time to learn to read".
If his name sounds familiar it's likely that your children participated in the TOS summer reading program. Maybe your child is one that voted on his name. Children already have ownership of him and, if they haven't yet, they are certain to fall in love with this adorable frog.
Here is what you will find in this sweet new book Then Mama Said . . .It Takes Time To Learn To Read by Gena Suarez:
Splish is a homeschooled frog. A homeschooled character is always a nice thing to see.
There are character lessons in this story that will support Christian values and morals.
The Illustrations by Kevin Collier are colorful and engaging.
This story even contains a nice little lesson for parents about what is truly important (even more important than learning to read).
The story gently promotes the benefits of learning to read, without shaming the child who has trouble learning.
Along with the book there is an added bonus of a free downloadable Activity Guide that includes copywork pages,coloring pages, an alphabet maze and even science lessons. These allow you to extend your child's learning even farther and enjoy even more of Splish and his friends in Bliss Hollow.
TOS is confident that you are going to love this product. You can view a sample of the activity book at:
Also, if you ask, they will have your copy autographed!
This is just the beginning for Bliss Hollow so join in the fun now and don't miss out on Splish's adventures.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rime to Read

When I first visited the Rime to Read site, I wasn't all that impressed. I guess my adult eyes didn't get its value. The pictures seemed cute, but simple. Now, don't give up on me yet. Keep reading.
I was looking at it critically because one of my interests is in illustration for Children's books. I wanted more visually than what I was getting.
I started to think about it more and wondered how I would review this product. I have tons of books that I have purchased to teach my children to read. They are bright and colorful and you know what - as I thought about it more I realized that all of these flashy books never accomplished the task of teaching them to read.
My oldest daughter learned to read by sheer desire. She spent a nano second with Abeka primers and jumped into the real deal. Her first book was Frog and Toad are friends (a level 2 book). Her determination and strong-willed personality wouldn't allow her to take it slow.
My son has been a challange to teach. Reading has not come easy for him. He guesses at the words by memorizing the pictures. As I thought about my issues with Rime to Read I realized that they were the same reasons why it would work wonderfully for him.
I printed off some books and gave them to my son. He began by screaming "I HATE BOOKS, I'LL NEVER LEARN! I DON'T WANT TO LEARN."
After some deep breaths and some Mommy threats, he was sitting down again and he held the simple little book in his hands. He stared at the words and barely noticed the picture until the page was read. Did you catch that? He read the page!
He was so excited at his success that he read the next page, and continued until the book was completed! Then he read it again for his Dad, his sisters, his Grandma, and a neighbor!
My computer is inkless at this moment because he can't get enough!
Rime to Read opened up the world of reading for my son. It also taught me a very useful lesson on pre-judging what curriculum will work for my children.
I am so thankful for the chance to review this product!
The pictures are simple and the words are simple, but the doors they open are huge! Reading takes you places.
So . . .my review of Rime to Read has changed from start to finish.
Here is what you need to know about Rime to Read:
*Rime to Read offers 20 books that can be read on-line or copied and printed out.
*Instead of using phonemes to teach reading, this program uses rime patterns like at, cat, bat. This will simplify their learning because rimes are easier for a child to discriminate.
*The pictures are cute, but simple enough that the reader can focus on the words first and be rewarded with the picture after the page has been read.
*Your child will actually learn to read. Their confidence will soar and you will be a pleased customer!

Rime to Read books can be purchased in two ways. You can purchase them in sets of 4 for $9.99. Or you can buy all 20 for $44.99. It's a great value when you consider that they can be saved and read again a number of times. If tiny hands rip a book, just re-print your saved copy and it's fixed.

Rime to Read is great. Best of all, you don't have to take anyone's word for it . . .you can sample a book right now for free. Try before you buy at:
Check them out today.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Salem Ridge

Glaucia the Greek Slave by Emma Leslie is a book that you will appreciate for many reasons:

*It provides a glimpse into the early beginnings of Christianity - essentially the book of Acts.
*It has information of Greek and Roman culture and what the gospel really meant to them.
*It shows the progression of people coming to Christ within that culture.
*It is excellently written and surprisingly readable considering the wording (i.e. thees and thous).
*It flowed. You could overlook the language of it and become soaked in the story.
*Vocabulary and locations are footnoted to increase knowledge and understanding.
*You will be hooked into this story.
This excellent book can be purchased at:

Cost: $24.99 (hardcover) or $14.99 (softcover).

You can read the first Chapter at

The White Seneca by William W. Canfield is the story of Henry Cochrane, a boy who lives for two years as a captive of the Seneca tribe. This book covers Colonial America 1774-1778.

It is another great story published by Salem Ridge Press!

Here is what you can expect from this wonderful historical fiction:

*Another well written, captivating story
*A real look into the culture and mindset of the Seneca tribe of the Iroquois nation
*It is fairly presented, presenting the Iroquois in an honest portrayal.
*It gives a look into the American Revolutionary period in History.
*Locations and current day changes are footnoted to give more historical understanding.

The White Seneca is very well researched and full of riveting facts and an engaging storyline.
This book is available in softcover only for $14.95.

You can read the first chapter at:

Salem Ridge Press will not leave you disappointed! They are an excellent company that my family will be visiting time ad time again.
* I was given these products free to review on behalf of The TOS Homeschool Crew, November 2008