About my blog

When I was a little girl, I struggled to read. Reading did not come naturally to me; however, over the last 30 years I have become an avid reader, I love books. I love LDS (Latter Day Saint) Historical fiction, I love romance, I love biographies, I love stories of hope, and ways to help. I will post books that I have read, ones that have warmed my heart and given me hope!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summer Fit: Exercises for the Brain and Body While Away From School

 About the Series:
Summer Fit Learning’s series of educational bridge workbooks aims to prepare children mentally, physically and socially. Fitness is key to the process.
Research shows that students score lower on standardized tests at the end of the summer than at the end of the school year, and are more likely to gain weight while on break. Many exercise experts believe children today are too sedentary, which is contributing to the excess weight in one-third of children in the United States. This has created a groundswell of interest in implementing a whole body approach to education in general while specifically getting kids more active during the summer.
The SUMMER FIT workbook series aims to create fun learning experiences to help children retain and carry over knowledge from the previous school year. Additionally, by presenting a “whole body” approach with lessons and activities that focus on the body and the brain, Summer Fit helps parents and children capitalize on the mental and social benefits of physical exercise. “Summer should be a time for children to step away from their computers and televisions and exercise their brains and bodies naturally,” says series creator George Starks. “Kids should reconnect with themselves, their families and their friends on a personal level. They should be outside playing, but also brushing up on academic skills from the previous year, or those that they may find more challenging than others. They should also read and apply other classroom skills in enjoyable and entertaining ways.”

About the Author:
George Starks founded Summer Fit Learning in 2010 after leading the national bestselling Summer Bridge Activities workbook series for Rainbow Bridge Publishing for 10 years. After the company was sold to North Carolina-based publisher Carson-Dellosa, Starks continued to build and lead a new summer learning division for Carson-Dellosa for four years.
Starks believes that riding a bike and reading a book with a child this summer can make or break their school year. The espresso-making, bike-riding, educational publisher is the creator of the new Summer Fit™ workbook series. He would like nothing better than to inspire parents to put down their smartphones and computers long enough to ride bikes, play at the park and read with their children this summer – some traditions should not be left behind.
Even as a young child, Starks was aware that mental and physical activity are interwinded. The two orientations – which Starks feels represents a balanced approach to learning – are missing in many homes today. Fortunately, they are being adopted by parents and teachers around the country who are taking notice of what researchers are saying about this "whole-body" approach.

My Review:
This is the 2nd year I have reviewed Summer Fit and the 2nd year I will use this wonderful resource for parents. This year I am reviewing the First to Second grade book. As a mother who liked to keep my children busy in the summer, and keep their minds remembering what they learned in school. My husband and I put together every year a summer school program for the kids, that includes reading, writing, piano, math and field trips. Last year we traveled and used three of the books to keep our children sharp and ready for school in the fall. On a very personal note, this wonderful resource helped my children in school, they remembered what they had learned, keep their minds thinking about math facts and yet, there was more involved.

What is more involved? Let me explain based on the book I am reviewing in the first to second grade manual, there is not only the reading, writing, and math which helps these little kiddo's stay sharp on their skills with just a few minutes a day, but there is also a fitness, nutrition and values piece to this book. My children love this all around well rounded book. They look forward to the activities and learn what they can do to be more nutritious each day.

Each page is colorfully illustrated with pictures that are appropriate for the age. The Values piece is wonderful, in the first week, they learn about Honesty for an example, and that is taught using Abraham Lincoln. Week 5 is about Kindness and the illustration is based on Princess Diana, my daughter will love the activities surrounding this value.

I highly suggest this resource to help parents keep their children's minds sharp and teachable all summer long. My three children love the books and I have never had one time that they fought me about learning. They were always anxious to see what the next day would bring them. I am very excited to start that up again tomorrow as our summer begins. I received a copy of this manual from Media Guests for my honest review, I was not paid to review this book. You can watch a video here:

I give this 5 stars!


Friday, May 11, 2012

A Piece of Time

About the Author:

Victoria Fielding is a mother of six, an educator, and a writer.  She is currently the academic director of a residential treatment center for troubled teens in Utah.  It is there that she works with some of the best kids in the world.  Victoria has had a life-long career in public and private education, having taught all ages, but mostly high-energy teens (and she still has her sense of humor—amazing!).
Victoria has lived a full and abundant life.  Her life experience provides much of the background for this novel.  Victoria is also mindful of all her ancestors, some of whom play a role in A Piece of Time.  Her great, great grandmother, Sarah, really did lose her best friend on the plains; Lillie—who loved Teancum dearly– really did misplace her button, which became a fob for her father-in-law’s watch; the farm house does exist, as well as the attic bedroom and the card-table gone mad.  Lastly, departed loved-ones have indeed returned to warn, to reassure, and to inspire the discovery of a golden find in a barn loft.
Victoria’s real claim to fame is her family of six awesome kids, their spouses, her two grand-daughters, and all of her other grandchildren waiting to take their turn on earth.  When she isn’t working with kids or playing with her grandkids, Victoria loves to hike, garden, write,  dance, scrapbook, and eat chocolate (yes, she’s addicted to chocolate).
It is Victoria’s sincere hope that when the last page has been read and the book cover closed, you will recall all the times YOU have been prompted, directed, warned, and comforted.  WHO are your guardian angels?

About the Book:
This is everyone’s story, not just Lilly Hunt’s. Like Lilly, who hasn’t endured peer pressure and fought low self-esteem? Who hasn’t been angry for their losses and heartbroken at losing a loved one? Whose life hasn’t been impacted with the scourge of an addiction? Who hasn’t stumbled under the weight of forgiving someone?
Or, harder yet, forgiving oneself? It isn’t only Lilly who questions why life is so hard, and what IS the point, anyway? Like Lilly, we wonder—when we set this world down—what will be behind death’s door?
Lilly discovers what lies far beyond that door.  And now, you just may too.

My Review:

A Piece of Time is a gripping story of a young woman Lilly Hunt. From the start of the novel I found myself thinking of Lilly as someone I knew, not me, but someone I recognized. Of course I do not know Lilly; however, her story is happy, sad, stomach turning and yet inspiring at the same time. I found my heart wanting to help Lilly, to hug her. This story will hit anyone where they live.

Lilly becomes stronger in the novel; I have to say I cheered at her revenge on Alex! Alex is a boy who loved to lie to girls, and treat them with little respect. The sad part was, I believe we all know guys like that, and there are many Alex's in the world.

As Lilly sits for her life review, this will make one sit and think about their own life, and what good or bad he or she has done. This review made me think about life, school, growing up. Somehow, I think that Lilly has lived more of a life at a young age then most people live in a lifetime...and that is not necessarily a good thing.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to consider his or her own life, and where he or she is in the process. I would recommend this book not as a light read, but as a thought provoking, novel that will open up one’s eyes. I would use this book with caution for younger readers, the novel is eye opening and graphic in spots. Life is about living, loving, forgiveness, and connecting to others. In this novel Victoria Fielding does a beautiful job of teaching that lesson!

I received this book from Media Guests for my honest review, I was not paid for this review.