Monday, July 27, 2015

Fandex–Family Field Guides

I recently discovered something very out-of-the-ordinary when it comes to learning.   Fandex- the family field guides – are easy to carry around and can help your child to learn about a wide variety of things like bugs, Africa, dinosaurs, New York City, Washington D.C., first ladies, American indians, butterfliers of the world, painters, mummies/gods/pharaohs, explorers, wildflowers, composers, 50 states, birds, cats, civil war, mythology, presidents, dogs, and trees (just to name a few).  

For the purpose of this review I have pick three Fandex that I knew would be useful or be interesting for some of my kids.   Having Star Wars and Comics fans in my household it was a given to pick the Star Wars and the DC Comics Fandex.   But I also wanted to have one that would be more educational so I chose Explorers because it will be one of our theme at our homeschool coop this upcoming year.  Without waiting, let me present you the three Fandex that I have received to review.


This deck contains information on the following explorers:  Phoenicians, Leif Eriksson, Marco Polo, Ibn Battuta, Cheng Ho, Henry the Navigator, Bartholomeu Dias, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot, Vasco Da Gama, Juan Ponce de Leon, Vasco Nunez de Balboa, Ferdinand Magellan, Hernan Cortes, Francisco Pizarro, Jacques Cartier, Hernando De Soto, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, Sir Francis Drake, Sir Walter Raleigh, Henry Hudson, Samuel De Champlain, Abel Janszoon Tasman, René-Robert Cavelier – Sieur De La Salle, James Cook, Sir Alexander Mackenzie, Mungo Park, Alexander Von Humboldt, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, Zebulon Montgomery Pike, Robert O`Hara Burke and WIlliam John Wills, Sir Richard Francis Burton and John Hanning Speke, David Livingstone and Sir Henry Morton Stanley, Sven Hedin, Fridtjof Nansen, Robert E. Peary, Roald Amundsen, Robert Falcon Scott, Richard Evelyn Byrd, Thor Heyerdahl, Sir Edmund Hillary, Auguste Piccard, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Donald Walsh, Yuri Gagarin, as well as Neil Armstrong and Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin Jr.

It is perfect to learn more about explorers and what they have discovered.   Each card contains information on the explorer as well as the travels made.    It is a great tool to have when you want to learn more about certain explorers throughout history.

Star WarsIMG_0502

This specific deck contains 75 cards that will give you information on characters, creatures, droids, ships, and planets from the most beloved galaxy  far, far away.  This includes Anakin Skywalker, Padmé Amidala, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn, Yoda, Mace Windu, Jar Jar Binks, C-3PO, R2-D2, Emperor Palpatine (Darth Sidious), Darth Maul, Nute Gunray, The Emperor`s Retinue, The Emperor`s Royal Guard, Shmi Skywalker, the Lars family, Tusken raisers (sand people), Jawas, Watto, Sebulba, Count Dooku (Darth Tyranus), Jango Fett, Zam Wesell, Kaminoans, Dexter Jettster, Republic Clone Troopers, Battle Droids, Poggle the Lesser, Geonosis arena creatures, Naboo starships, Captain Panaka, Padmé`s handmaidens, Bail Organa, The Jedi Council, The Jedi Order, Ki-Adi-Mundi, Plo Koon, Saesee Tiin, Kit Fisto, Shaak Ti, Aayla Secura, Luminara Unduli, lightsabers, Jedi starfighters, General Grievous, Darth Vader, Luke Skywalkerm Princess Leia Organa, Han Solo, Chewbacca, The Millenium Falcon, Lando Calrissian, Lobot, Mon Mothma, Rebel Alliance Generals, Admiral Ackbar, Wedge Antilles, X-Wing fighters, Boba Fett, bounty hunters, Death Stars, Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, Imperial stormtroopers, the fighters, star destroyers, Imperial officers, Hoth creatures, AT-At/At-St, Jabba the Hutt, Jabba`s palace Denizens, Wicket the Ewok, Sarlacc, Rancor, Dark force and planets.

Each card has little section providing information on the affiliation, the homeworld, the height and the weapons of the character.  This fun deck of cards will bring fun reading time to the child who is passionate about Star Wars.  At the fingertips of their hands, the fans can read about the most supergalactic sage of our times and discover the difference between a clone tropper and a stormtropper, what are the tenets of the Jedi Order, what are midi-chlorians and much more.  

IMG_0503DC Comics Super-Heroes and Villains

How well do you know the super-heroes and the villains of the DC universe?   If you have a child who loves them, here is a great deck for them to read more about their heroes…   This Fandex guide contains 75 individually cut cards with information on the most popular characters in the DC universe.  

Batman, Joker, Nightwing, Robin, Batgirl, Oracle, Batwoman, Huntress, Catwoman, Two-Face, Penguin, Ra’s Al Ghul, Riddler, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, Killer Croc, Harley Quinn, Superman, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen,  Superboy, Supergirl, PowerGirl, Lex Luthor, Brainiac, General Zod, Bizarro, Mongul, Doomsday, Superboy-Prime, Wonder Woman, Hippolyta, Wonder Girl, Ares, Cheetah, Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, Black Manta, Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps, Sinestro, Flash,  Rogues, Gorilla Grodd, Justice League of America, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Arsenal, Hawkman & Hawkgirl, Atom, Zatanna, Red Tornado, Elongated Man, Firestorm, Injustice League, New Gods, Darkseid, Justice Society of America, Spectre, Question, Marvel family, Black Adam, Legion of Super-Heroes, Starman, Teen Titans, Deathstroke, Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, Solomon Grundy, Black Lighting, Metal Men, Adam Strange, Starro the Conqueror, and the Monitors.

Each card comes also with a special section listing things like real name, abilities/powers, base, affiliations, and debut (aka primary key issue of the characters).

These Fandex guides and the other ones available at any store are fabulous because they give information on a specific subject that could be interesting for your child.   Part of me wish there would be one on Canadian history, Canadian geography, Canadian inventions and so on.  Maybe one day there will be some Fandex that are more Canadian based.

The Fandex products are available for purchase at your favorite bookstores, even on and




Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Allen for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Marvel Quiz has created two fun quizzes that you might find interesting.   


Which Marvel Here are you?

Which Disney Princess are you?


Take them for fun! And please do share your results with me...

Monday, July 20, 2015

Brain Quest Workbooks

Brain Quest Workbook
From Workman Publisher

I received three of the Brain Quest Workbooks to review on my site.  

9780761149163About the Grade 3 workbook

Jam-packed with hundreds of curriculum-based activities, exercises and games in every subject,Brain Quest Grade 3 Workbook reinforces what kids are learning in the classroom. The workbook's lively layout and easy-to-follow explanations make learning fun, interactive, and concrete. Plus it's written to help parents follow and explain key concepts. Includes spelling and vocabulary, parts of speech, reading comprehension, odds and evens, magic squares, multiplication tables, Brain Boxes, and much more.   The grade 3 student will be able to revise and grasp more using this workbook as a supplement during the year.

About the Grade 5 workbook9780761182788

For the first time ever,  5th graders can reinforce what they learn in school with a new workbook from Brain Quest. This workbook boasts 300 pages jam-packed with curriculum-based activities and exercises in every subject, with a focus on math and language arts. It also will grab the attention of the child because of the bright color and fun design in it.  Fifth graders will enhance their skills in reading comprehension, multiplication and division, fractions and decimals, algebraic thinking, and probability and data. The workbook covers spelling and vocabulary, language arts, reading and writing, math skills and word problems, multiplication and division, fractions and decimals, geometry and measurement, data, algebraic thinking, social studies, and science. 

9780761182436About the Grade 6 workbook

Finally, 6th graders can reinforce what they learn in school with a new workbook from Brain Quest.  This brand new book boasts 300 pages jam-packed with curriculum-based activities and exercises in every subject, with a focus on math and language arts. You will find full-color illustrations throughout the book which gives it a bright, lively style that will appeal to older kids. It is engaging, user-friendly, and written to make schoolwork fun. Sixth graders will also delve into research and analysis, metaphor and meaning, ratios and proportions, expressions and equations, and geometry.  The workbook covers spelling and vocabulary, language arts, reading and writing, math skills and word problems, multiplication and division, ratios and proportions, geometry and measurement, statistics and probability, algebraic thinking, social studies and science.

Are they worth it?

In conclusion, the Brain Quest Workbook are fabulous and can be a great addition to supplement learning or in an homeschool environment.  And to top it off  each workbook comes with a mini-deck with 100 all-new Brain Quest questions and answers.   I would personally like to have a Canadian edition when it comes to money and measurements as well as history but it isn’t always possible for publishers to print various copies on a title.    Consequently, even though there are exercises based on US data and/or history I think these workbooks are worth considering because of the learning that can be done with them.   I personally really like the language arts section with vocabulary, spelling, reading and writing exercises which can help your students to get more practice. These workbooks also go well with the Brain Quest questions for all grades that I have previously reviewed. 

Workman has published various BrainQuest Workbook from Preschool to Grade 6.  They are all available for purchase at your favorite store, even and









Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Allen for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Bright Ideas pencil

A while back I have reviewed the Bright Ideas Journal from Chronicle Books.   Recently I have received the Bright Ideas Pencils that goes along with the journal. 

Based on the same concept of the book, each pencil also has specific names that will inspire you in your writing.  The names are similar than the section found in the journal - Red Hot Ideas, Blazing Breakthroughs, Rosy Outlooks, Twilight Insights, Silver Linings, Deep Reflections, Blue Sky Brainstorms, Evergreen Inspirations, Freshly Minted Inventions, and Sunny Thoughts.


As you can see the color of the outside of the pencils are very similar to the color of the sections in the journal.


After using the pencils myself, I consider that these pencils are very similar to regular pencils.   But the price tag is seriously ridiculous.    I wouldn’t pay that much for pencils.  The journal I would consider because it is unique but having the matching pencils is a bit too much for my taste.  Mind you when I was younger I might have splurge on these cool pencils just because they were out-of-the-ordinary.   I recall purchasing cool erasers and pens for quite some time.    Now that I am much wiser, I wouldn’t do such a thing anymore.  Consequently, though the look is different and that it matches the journal, I wouldn’t recommend getting these.  However, if you want to do a special gift for the writer in your life, why not getting both the journal and the pencils.   Then it would make sense to buy fun and cool pencils…



Disclaimer: Thanks to Chronicle Books for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes . I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Swimsways Dive Toys


Back in the spring, I was looking at some things while waiting for a prescription to be filled at my local pharmacy.  And suddenly I saw something that I knew my kids would love.  Diving characters to play in the pool – princesses and Avengers.    I communicated with Swimways to see if I could review some and the response was positive.  However, my contact had trouble to find the Avengers set as it was sold out in all their warehouses.   Would I mind if I get the Star Wars Lightsabers instead?   I was delighted to get something linked to Star Wars as well.    When I got them we decided to wait until we could go to the RV and the kids be able to play with them in the pool.   However, it took some time before the pool was warm enough to be visited.  You see we had a cooler month of May.  But in June, while we were there a week during my husband’s vacation, we were finally able to go to the pool.  That’s when I took out the divers for the kids which they had just seen the day before at a local store.  I know I am sneaky…..

Disney Princesses Dive Toys

These three princesses are looking to have a blast with your own princess while playing in the pool.   The pack contains three dive toys – Belle, Ariel, and Cinderella.   The design is made out of plastic which is soft and flexible.    It will make the swim of your daughter even more magical when she practices her diving skills and her swimming as well.


Star Wars Lightsaber Dive Sticks

May the Force be with you - in the pool!  Your kids will enjoy diving and searching for the Star Wars Lightsaber Dive Sticks in the pool    These special ones light-up when under the water.    The water activate the light-up action.   Each lightsaber is about 6” tall and will bring a lot of pleasure while playing in and out of the pool.    Each pack contains two lightsabers – green for Yoda and blue for Luke Skywalker.   A non-replaceable button cell battery is included in each lightsaber.


Our Thoughts

The dive toys from Swimways were a hit.  The kids had lots of fun in the pool while playing with them.  The toys are sturdy and I can see hours of playtime with them.  The kids even shared them with other kids that were in the pool that day.  My only disappointment would be the fact that you can’t change the battery on the lightsabers.  But I guess this would make the dive stick a bit more difficult to make if you would have to find a way to allow the parent to change the battery.  So when the battery is dead…. no more lightning.   Which I am okay with.


These fun diving toys are available at your local store.  I have seen them at Wal-Mart and Shoppers Drug Mart.   You can also try to find other ones available by Swimways like , Disney Frozen Glitter Dive Wands, Marvel Spider Man Dive and Glide, and Marvel Dive Characters Avengers.

Some of them are available on

Disclaimer: Thanks to Swimways for sending me the above mentioned products for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

The Canadian Canoe Museum


We recently decided to take advantage of the free admission on Thursday nights at the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, Ontario.   We are parked near by with our RV and were wondering what we could do that evening  after we drove for a week-end of camping.IMG_0462

This unique museum can be taking at you own pace and offers an out-of-the-ordinary view of Canada’s history as seen from a canoe. 

This upcoming year as part of our homeschool we will be studying explorers and I thought that visiting this museum would be a great addition to our upcoming learning experience in September.

At the entrance of the museum we could take a some pictures with a setting especially made for the museum.    (Note: I played with a photo app to make it a bit more antique.)


The museum had an interesting search and find sheet for the kids to do while visiting.   My kids had a kick in trying to find everything on the list in order to get a free pin that they could pick and choose at the end.    Some items were easy to find while others not so much – like the red wings on a canoe…  My sweet daughter went to the main desk to ask where it was and we were just next to it.   Here’s a hint if you go visit: they are not bird wings drawn on a canoe…

The kids had a blast at the puppet theater where they were able to play with Canada’s wildlife creatures.  We also sat in a wigwam and enjoyed a fire at the same time.   My daughter dressed up as a voyageur using a Hudson Bay Company capotes.  And we learned quite of bit of the history of canoe, how a canoe is birth and so much more.


In a special section, the kids discovered how the canoes at the museum were taken care of as well as talked with an artisan who was making something special for the museum.


At the end the kids were able to use a training machine to learn to do competitive kayaking.



There is also a section in the museum where the kids can do miniature canoes.  We didn’t do the crafts on site but I grabbed a few of them to make at home.  However, they were fully equipped with scissors and glue for the kids to make them at the museum.  If you can’t visit this museum – no worries because the three hands-on crafts are available to download on their website as well.   Click here to download the Nuu-Chah-Nulth Dugout Canoe, the Sanikiluarmiut Kayak and the Ojibway Bark Canoe.  I strongly suggest that you print it on cardboard so that the craft is more sturdy.

In all, we had a great time walking through the museum and learning more about how canoes are part of our heritage and history.  The Canadian Canoe Museum is worth discovering whether you are homeschooler or not.

The Canadian Canoe Museum is located at 910 Monaghan Road, Peterborough, Ontario.   The museum is open daily except for December 25 and 25, January 1 and 2.  Note that the museum closes at 2:00 pm on December 24th.    Hours of operation are Monday to Wednesday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm,  Thursday from 10:00am to 8:00pm, Friday and Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00pm and Sunday from noon to 5:00pm.    Admissions are 10.50$ for adults, 8.25$ for seniors (65+), 8.25$ for students ages 5-17, kids under 5 are free.   If you have a family (up to 2 adults and 4 children ages 5-17) the price will be 25.00$ 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Favorite yearly calendar

My favorite yearly calendar has arrived!IMG_3247

I have discovered this calendar a few years ago and I always look forward to the new edition.   Why is it my favorite calendar you ask?  Simply because I can have everyone’s schedule at a quick look.

This calendar runs a full 17 months – starting at August 2015 until December 2016.  The grid is fabulous to write down numerous activities that could happen on the same day.  Five columns run across the top which means all or four kids have their own column and parents share one.  A drop-down storage pocket is included as well as a magnetic phone list for the fridge (which we don’t use but still I can see how it could be useful for other families).   Also the whole calendar is decorated with Sandra Boynton’s distinctive and colorful illustration – crooning dinosaurs, ballet-dancing hippos, cool cows, and a chorus line of adorable bunnies.    And to top it off, the calendar has two full pages of stickers (over 500 of them) to highlights things such as dentist appointment, sports, music, party, birthdays, haircut, and more.    I especially love the animal stickers as they are funny and bring a smile on your lips.


And I just realized this year that the August to December pages of the calendar use the same images found in the previous year’s calendar.  


All I have to do now it to sit down at our table and prepare the new 2015-2016 calendar for our wall in the kitchen.  

If you are looking for a fun calendar to track down ALL the activities of your family I strongly recommend the Mom’s Family Calendar by Sandra Boynton.

The calendar is available for purchase at your favorite store like and


Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Allen for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Bonhoeffer Student Edition

_225_350_Book.1604.coverBonhoeffer Student Edition – Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
Written by Eric Metaxas
Published by Thomas Nelson

About the book

In his New York Times bestseller Bonhoeffer, author Eric Metaxas presents the fullest account of Bonhoeffer's heart-wrenching 1939 decision to leave the safe haven of America for Hitler's Germany.

Now abridged and adapted in student-friendly language, Bonhoeffer, Student Edition tells the story of one of Christianity's most courageous heroes. The student edition will share Bonhoeffer's inspirational testimony with children in a compelling and relatable way. Young readers will enjoy learning about the fascinating life of the man who had the courage to follow his convictions into Nazi Germany and stand up for others because of his radical faith.

Who is Eric Metaxas?

Eric Metaxas is the author of the New York Times bestseller Amazing Grace, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God (But Were Afraid to Ask), Everything Else You Always Wanted to Know About God, and thirty children’s books. He is founder and host of Socrates in the City in New York City, where he lives with his wife and daughter. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic, Washington Post, Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Marks Hill Review, and Fist Things. He has written for VeggieTales and Rabbit Ears Productions, earning three Grammy nominations for Best Children’s Recording.

My Thoughts

Love the simplicity of the book compared to the adult version.   It is perfect to introduce your teenager to the life of Bonhoeffer and what he did during the second world war.    As I read this book I discovered the truth behind the atrocities of that war and the events surrounding the rise of Hitler as the leader of Germany. The more I read the more I realized that the people of Germany were duped and manipulated to the desire of one single man.   For example, the military were called to take an oath when Hitler became president of the country and the regular oath was changed at the last minute without their knowledge.  

Throughout the book, the student who is reading it will find boxes with information that will help to understand some words, the situation, the second World War and more.  You will also have the opportunity to visualize a timeline at the beginning of each chapter.  This timeline will help the reader to visualize when the event covered in a chapter happened.   Finally, a map of Europe during WWII at the beginning of the book the Bonhoeffer family tree , a list of key words and people located at the end of the book as well as questions to help your student to ponder of what he/she has read complete the book. 

There is much to discover about Bonhoeffer in this book and it could be a great springboard for the adult version of the book as well.   This book will join the list of things to read from my oldest son for his grade 9 level and I am planning to ask him to jolt down his answers to the questions as well as write a paper on Bonhoeffer when he is done the reading.   This book covers not only history but also missionary study for your homeschool.   The reading is easy for kids and I think that even my grade 5 and grade 6 kids would benefit from reading it.

Bonhoeffer Student Edition is available for purchase at your favorite bookstore, even and


Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Nelson for sending me the above mentioned product for review purposes . I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.