Thursday, October 29, 2020

Smart Kidz Radio (A Homeschool Crew Review)

  Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

For the last few weeks, the kids and I have been using Smart Kidz Radio during our school sessions to listen to relaxing music during our assignments. Members of the Review Crew were given 6 months access to Smart Kidz Radio: Member's On-Demand Radio Program Library to enjoy in our household


About Smart Kidz Media

With a wide selection of various digital media resources, Smart Kidz Media has spent more than 30 years developing unique educational products for kids.   With a vast library , Smart Kidz Media offers  children’s stories, sing-a-long songs, nursery rhymes, classical music selections, patriotic music and more for children of all ages.  

Dubbing itself as a "edutainment radio station for kids", Smart Kidz Radio is a browser based streaming music service that provides fun, educational music designed to teach children valuable life lessons, promote positive character traits and develop strong moral values through song.   

How We Used It

Many of the selections are for younger children, but we found plenty of selections to keep us entertained.  We found a few selections of various classical composers such as Beethoven,  Mozart, Hayden and Chopin worked nicely for listening to during study hours.  However, one of our favorite selections to listen to turned out to be the Music To Study By Vol1 which featured selections by Debussy, Tchaikovsky, Pachelbel and Schubert. 

Listening to Music to Study By while working on paper crafts   

 The Easy Listening - Cool Jazz Vol 1 also proved to be a wonderful selection for playing quietly in the back ground during our school hours.  This selection featured plenty of saxophone accompanied with piano and some impressive vocals.  The sound was super crisp and clear and reminded the kids of being in the "speak easy" that they visited on a school trip about the times of prohibition.  Even my husband really enjoyed listening to this station.  
Another program that the kids really enjoyed was the nostalgia music selections.  There are three subsections for the Nostalgia Music Programs - Golden Oldies: Fifties,  Groov'n Hits: Sixties, and Rock'n Hits: Seventies.  These are original recordings and are really a flash back in time.  My kids absolutely LOVED the Golden Oldies section, which offers three volumes with 15 songs on each volume.  It was a ton of fun introducing the kids to the sock hop era with songs like Along Came Jones, Yakety Yak, Tutti Fruiti, Earth Angel, Johnny B. Goode, and Love Is Strange. I was only sad to see that Runaway by Del Shannon wasn't included as it's one of my favorites.
Another selection that I was really excited to see and had the kids listen to was the original recording of Martin Luther King Jr's greatest speech.  The "I Had a Dream" speech is one I think all students should hear and understand, especially with the turmoil currently in our country and I enjoyed being able to share it with them.

We probably listened to the Music to Study by the most.  The kids requested this one the most. Well, That's not entirely true...They requested Along Came Jones from the 50's the most but we would have never gotten any work done with all the laughing that song induces, so Music to Study By was "go-to" for background music for school.

There are several other radio programs that while I haven't used in our school yet, I have plans to soon.  We are still focusing on Countries and Cultures with our curriculum this year and the World Culture Music is something I want to incorporate into our lessons.  As we will be studying France, Japan, India, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, I can easily use the Music from France, India, Japan, Middle East and Russia into our school week during those portions of our curriculum.

With the upcoming holiday season approaching quickly, I'm looking forward to listening to the Favorite Family Christmas Carols, A Christian Traditional Christmas, and the Highlights from Handel's Messiah. 

I'm also looking forward to exposing the kids to more of the Hymns and Gospel music that can be found on Smart Kidz Radio.  There is a nice selection, both of traditional hymns, choir music, and Southern gospel selections to listen to.  Many of the traditional hymns they have learned in their studies, so it's been fun listening and singing along with ones they already know.

I'm really looking forward to a couple of the selections on the "Coming Soon" section, in particular the Hits from Broadway and the All-Time Favorite Movie themes.  We LOVE Broadway songs and Movie scores, so I know these will be right up our alley.  I might even suffer thru Disco Fever, especially if it has a few selections from the BeeGees, just so the kids can see what Disco was about.

Overall, we've really enjoyed adding Smart Kidz Radio to our school day.  And we really like the idea that 20% of paid memberships for Smart Kidz Radio goes to the Smart Kidz Foundation. The Smart Kidz Foundation’s mission is to encourage young people to make a difference in their own lives, the lives of others, and in the global community and to take their future into their own hands and to play an active part in shaping a more peaceful world. The foundation does this by providing opportunities to young people to make a difference by following their career dreams and use their talents to make the world a better place.  In other words, a bit of entertainment for us means helping to make a huge difference in the lives of others. 

#hsreviews #smartkidzradio #kidsmusic #childrensmusic #musicforkids #kidssongs #preschoolmusic #familymusic

Your can find more information about Smart Kidz Radio by visiting their website.  You can also find them on the following social media platforms:


Be sure to click the banner below to see how other families used Smart Kidz Radio in their own households.

Smart Kidz Radio: Member's On-Demand Radio Program Library {Smart Kidz Radio Reviews}

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Meal Planning



Tuesday - Day 10 

Meal from Club... Beef Bulgulgi, steamed veggies, rice and a mini eggroll

Wednesday - Day 11

Chicken Alfredo with whole wheat noodles and salad

Thursday - Day 12

Grocery shopping day - Pizza from PizzaRev with beef meatball, artichokes, tomatoes, basil and feta cheese

Friday - Day 13

Asian chicken with brown rice and steamed green beans

Saturday - Day 14

Chicken Parmesan with whole wheat spaghetti noodles, and salad

Sunday - Day 15

Zuppa Tuscana

Monday - Day 16

General Tso's chicken, steamed veggies, and brown rice

Tuesday - Day 17

Beef Stroganoff over egg noodles with salad


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Meal Planning


Wednesday - Day 4 on 21 Fix

Lunch - Open face omelet with tomatoes and spinach

Dinner - Asian chicken (wasn't impressed with this)

Thursday - Day 5 - (And my husband's birthday)

Forgot to take picture of lunch

Dinner - Honey mustard salmon with roasted asparagus with cave cheese

Friday - Day 6

Brunch - Breakfast Enchilada with salsa 

Dinner - Mac and cheese with Chicken and Broccoli

Saturday - Day 7

Lunch - picnic lunch while hiking - turkey sandwich on 12 grain bread, banana, cheese stick and a fruit leather

Dinner - Steak chimichurri with baked potato and jalapeno poppers

Sunday - Day 8

Lunch - hard boiled eggs with Everything But the Bagel seasoning

Dinner - Healthy Hamburger Bowl with Romaine, Tomatoes, pickles, grilled onions, cheese and homemade sauce

Monday - Day 9

Brunch -  Egg scramble with tomatoes, spinach and a bit of cheese. 

Dinner - flounder Mediterranean en papillote with cauliflower rice and broccoli

Thursday, October 8, 2020

NatureGlo eScience (A Homeschool Crew Review)

 Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

For the last few weeks, we have been supplementing our science curriculum with online classes from the NatureGlo's eScience MathArt & Science Course Bundle from the NatureGlo's eScience website. 


Taught by Gloria Brooks who holds a BA in K - 12 education, certificates from the Wilderness Awareness school, and over 20 years of eclectic teaching and child self-directed learning experiences in private schools,  Gloria now teaches online science course for homeschool students through the NatureGlo's eScience website. 

NatureGlo's eScience is a one stop eLearning website for ages 10 and up to help encourage homeschool students to fall in love and appreciate the natural world through online streaming science courses.

 NatureGlo's eScience offers a large selection of learning ranging.  Students will easily find something that will catch their interest.  From learning about insects, cute marine mammals such as dolphins or scary deep ocean creatures like the angler fish, the delicate patterns in snowflakes, or the life and mathematical art of Leonardo da Vinci, there's sure to be a number of courses to strike any student's fancy.

Just a small selection of the courses available

Each course offers video learning taught by Ms Brooks as she walks the student thru the topic using slideshows and discussion. Students are able to download a copy of the slide show, as well as resources and a study guide to use along with the class. 

The study guide consists of a short PDF containing fill in the blank style questions pertaining to the topic.  The questions can easily be answered from the video lesson or from reviewing the slideshow presentation for the lesson.  These are easy to download and print out for the student before the start of the course.

How We Used It

For this review, I have been allowing the kids to pick and choose from the various different online courses available from the NatureGlo's eScience website.  We have been trying to complete one class a week.  This has been easy as a number of the courses available have been short in length, allowing them to complete both the video lecture as well as the activities within an hour.  However, we are beginning to branch out and are starting to use some of the courses that are are in depth and take a longer period of time (about 3 to 6 weeks) to complete. 

Each week, we have been alternating between letting the kid choose which course they would like to watch. 

For our first course, Garrett decided he wanted to watch the course about the Giant Redwood trees.  We have taken a few family camping trips to the Sequoia National Park and it's turned out to be one of his favorite places to go, so the course quickly caught his eye. 

Ashleigh and Garrett in front of a Giant Sequoia tree

This course took less than an hour for us to complete and by the time it was completed, Garrett and Ashleigh could describe the differences between the Coastal Redwood, the Giant Redwood and the Dawn Redwood tree.  This even included being able to recognize the tree based on it's pine cones.

Both kids were able to pay attention to the class without any attention issues.  The video lesson itself was roughly 30 minutes, with a second video from National Geographic that really showed the size of the Giant Sequoia trees.

Ashleigh selected the second course that we viewed, which was on Tide Pool communities.  This class ended up being a family affair as the extra videos included for the activities allowed the kids to see some really neat sea creatures such as a tiny octopus, a sea snake, and a few other really cool critters using videos from Coyote Peterson. 

We also really enjoyed the Wildcat course, again, another pic from Ashleigh.  This is part of the Mammals: Wildcat, Wolves and Right Whale course.  We will actually be viewing the Wolves portion of the course this week.  This course is a three lesson course, with one lesson each dedicated to the wildcats, followed by wolves and finally lesson three discussing Right whales.  The first lesson introduced the kids to the Scottish Wildcat, how the domestic cat came to be, and about cat's in literature and mythology. 

Students are also given achievements for taking courses.  After the kids complete a lesson, they are awarded an award for completing the lesson, followed by an award for completing the projects, activities and videos that go along with the course.  I thought these were a neat way to entice the kids to look forward to completing courses to see what the next achievement would look like.


Overall, I've been enjoying adding these lessons to our classroom.  It's fairly easy for us to fit a course in on Friday and the kids have really been enjoying what they are learning about.  The guides and slideshows also make for easy reviewing of the material to be sure that the kids picked up most of the material.  

#hsreviews #homeschoolscience #homeschoolmath #homeschoolmarinebiology #homeschoolunitstudies #unitstudies #onlineunitstudies

For more information about NatureGlo's eScience, be sure to visit the vendors website.  You can also find them on the following social media platforms:


Fifty reviewers from the Crew have been using the various classes from NatureGlo's eScience with their students in their classroom.  Be sure to click the banner below to read their reviews and see what courses they used today.

NatureGlo's eScience MathArt & Science Course Bundle { NatureGlo's eScience Reviews}

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Weekly Meals

Another week of dinners.  Although, now that I started the 21 Day Fix this week, I'm going to start adding breakfast, lunch and dinners.   We started the program on Sunday and are going to go thru a full cycle of 21 days and see if there's any differences in our weight afterwards.

If you're not familiar with the 21 Day Fix, it's a program produced by Beachbody that helps to learn proper serving sizes.  The program consists of a series of colored containers that represent the various food groups and each day, you eat from a set number from each containers.  For example, the purple container is fruit and you would eat from it 3 times, a red container represents protein and you eat from it 5 times.  

My husband and I started the program on Sunday, so you'll see the shift from high carb laden meals to the whole food, smaller portion meals.  LOL

Wednesday -  Spaghetti, homemade meatballs, salad and garlic bread

Thursday - Grocery Shopping Day - Burgers from the Habit


Friday - Chili dogs with chips

Saturday - The Last Hurrah before our diet and Garrett's Birthday meal - Popeye's Chicken Tenders, red beans and rice, Mac and cheese, fries and a biscuit

Sunday - Started 21 Day Fix.  Forgot to take photos of our breakfast, lunch and snacks, but for dinner we had almond crusted chicken breast with steamed vegetables.

Monday -  Day 2 on 21 Day Fix

        Breakfast -  1 banana and 1 clementine

        Lunch - Egg Benedict on whole wheat English muffin, steamed cauliflower and pepper strips. 

        Snack 1 - Protein shake post workout with 1 banada

        Snack 2  - Celery and Carrots with hummus


           Dinner - Pork tenderloin, Pumpkin spiced apples, green beans and a small baked potato

Tuesday  -   Day 3 on 21 Day Fix

            Breakfast - I'll be honest, forgot to eat breakfast

            Lunch - repeat of Eggs Benedict 

            Snack 1 - Apple with peanut butter (no sugar)    

 Dinner - Kale Nachos with Lean beef, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, black beans and hot sauce.

Snack 2 -  Quinoa parfait with nofat greek yogurt, berries and a bit of honey (for sweetness)



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