Worship Guitar Class for Kids

Jean Welles’ Worship Guitar Class for Kids is an excellent program for children and adults to learn to play guitar. Being a non-guitar playing person I was surprised by my own ability to follow through and successfully duplicate her fingering.  After I gave it a try I introduced the streaming videos to the girls and they are starting to get the hang of how it works. We were so excited about our ability to make a few sounds that we went out to see how much a proper guitar would cost. (For this review I had to borrow a friend’s guitar.)

Although the title of this course is “Worship Guitar” secular homeschooling families should not feel that by purchasing this product that they are subjecting their children to any form of indoctrination. The lessons start off with a quick prayer and the songs are dedicated to God and the values that everyone needs to be successful in life.  People from all faiths should be comfortable with the songs and the spirit in which they were created.

One thing that my girls really enjoyed was the feeling that they were in a personal lesson with Ms. Welles. Ms. Welles has a cat that is present during her instruction and for my cat loving girls this was a giant plus. I think that showing parts of the live lesson with the adorable little girl was also a brilliant touch because it gives the little ones confidence seeing another student receiving corrections and praise for a job well done. As a parent I felt that she had a genuine love of her students and of God. This quiet and loving confidence made the lessons special and enjoyable  (for us at least) than many that we have experienced with  music teachers that we’ve encountered in real life.

The Worship Guitar Class for Kids is also incredibly affordable for any family. You can get the nine streaming video lessons for $28. If you would like to have the children practice without tying up the computer, you can also request the lessons on DVD for an additional $5 for a total of $33.  The course covers:

  • How to hold down a note to get a clear tone on the guitar.
  • A couple worship songs with the melody plucked to strengthen their hands.
  • Half a dozen worship songs they can sing & play..
  • 11 guitar chords .
  • How to read guitar tab and chords charts.
  • How to make up their own verses
  • Christian Values in each song

Khalid Family Rating: 5 out of 5

Disclosure: http://cmp.ly/6/njtn4o

MathTutor: The Most Beautiful (and Innovative) Math in the World

MathTutor has created one of the most beautiful math programs for young children that I have ever experienced. I find it difficult to describe the visual and auditory beauty that you experience in “Young Minds Number and Counting.” I have a three year old son and although we all found the cover intriguing with the tree frog, Michael hasn’t expressed any real interest in “formal” learning. We don’t have cable (hence we have not television) so he hasn’t been exposed to much Sesame Street and the usual suspects.

But once the video began, he was entranced. I mean, the perpetual motion boy just sat and watched the entire presentation without a word. On the next pass (he insisted on it being played again) he kept jumping up to make sure that we were watching the many animals that were being counted while beautiful classical music played in the background. The music chosen were selections from Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Vivaldi, Brahms, Pachelbel and Chopin. (Sometimes I just put it on to listen to the music!)

This is a basic counting DVD, but because of the extraordinary images and music it is more of a feast of numbers than I would have thought possible. I mean, how interesting can you make counting to 15? If you really want to know you need to watch this video.

The Basic Math Word Problem Tutor

While not as colorful or musically inspired, this eight hour video course is very thorough and an excellent way to explain word problems to your children. The instructor begins at the beginning and builds on each foundation. My oldest daughter has trouble with word problems (as it seems a lot of kids do), but she really enjoyed watching the video and working alongside the instructor. Actually, I was surprised that she wasn’t goofing around while the DVD was playing. Instead she ran upstairs got her notebook and took notes on what the instructor said and did. Her word problem skills still need work, but she seemed to really appreciate the way that the teacher explained things.

I personally found his explanations and illustrations to be quite clear. And he went through the entire strategy for tackling a problem. If there were more than one way to arrive at the correct answer he explained each of them while helping the student to focus on key words that supply the clues to what you’re supposed to accomplish. Overall, I was quite impressed and even re-learned a few things that I had forgotten about. I know that these three DVDs will hold a prominent place in our bag of math tricks.

Khalid Family Says: 5 stars out of 5

Disclaimer: http://cmp.ly/1/kdjm12

Fit Factor for Kids

Raising healthy and athletic kids can be challenging in this age of computers, television and video games. Coupled with busy extracurricular activities, daily exercise is easily lost in the mix. So, what’s the answer? Make sure that you kids get a dose of Fit Factor each day.

What is Fit Factor? It’s a DVD concept hosted by two accomplished young people, Lizzy (15 years old) and Dean (12 old). The exercises are broken into ten minute segments which makes it great for my family of homeschoolers. Although my girls are in dance class and do go outside to play, with winter coming there’s not a lot of formal exercise going on at home. We’ve tried my yoga DVDs, but the adult formats can be a bit much for their attention span and my patience.  Yoga’s supposed to be relaxing and not peppered with:

  • “Move over.”
  • “Give Jade more space.” 
  • “Move over and give Alaya more space”
  • “Michael stop climbing on me!”

While breakfast is being prepared the kids can enjoy a stint of “Animal Crackers.”  The exercises are based upon mimicking animal movements to a nice musical background. My two-year old was entranced and participated the entire time. In a few more days he’ll be an excellent kangaroo. He’s already an accomplished monkey. The exercises don’t require a lot of extra space, so the whole family can participate without looking like a bad Three Stooges movie.

I really like the ability to break down their workout in ten minutes increments. I’m going to see how this one works, but I’m planning on breaking up the school day with the “Fit Factor for Kids” exercises. My children are physically active learners and would really benefit after a session of sitting and writing with some structured bouncing around. It will also allow my little one some more fun time with his sisters during their school day.

And best of all, for me at least, is that this will get me moving as well.  Besides teaching I do a lot of computer work which consists, obviously, of a lot of sitting, which isn’t the best for a healthy back and body. So now, I’ll just workout with them, burn some calories and get rejuvenated for the next lesson.  The music is fun and original (at least I didn’t recognize any of the songs!) The exercises are invigorating without being too difficult. And their supporting cast of Fit Factor kids are really demonstrate that these workouts are for children of all ages.

My Peanut Gallery
  • The workouts are a lot of fun. 
  • We really like the healthy eating/living tips at the end of some of the routines.  
  • Does Daddy know that each eight ounce can of soda contains eight tablespoons of sugar?! Yuck!
  • We have to pick better things to drink during the day
  • Video games should only be played during car rides and at night when it is too dark to play outside. (Moms Comment: Thanks Lizzy — they believed you much better than me on this one!)

There is one downside of the DVD — I will now have to listen to Jade & Alaya fight over which exercise routine to do while I’m making breakfast.  But come to think of it, it won’t be so bad because while they’re squabbling Michael will grab the remote and put on the one he wants to see.  Okay, so there’s no downside to “The Fit Factor Kids.”

You can learn more about Fit Factor Kids by visiting their website at http://www.fitfactorkids.com. They have sample videos, information about the hosts and cast as well as a newsletter that you can sign up for updates and other info.

Web Design for Kids

Web design is one of the skills that I want my children to learn. Not only is it a great creative outlet for writing and drawing (my daughters love the Paint feature on the computer), but it will probably be a standard skill requirement as they enter the job market. Although I’ve been working on my own website the last six months, I’m by no means ready to explain how it all works, especially since some of it is still a mystery for me! But never fear, because Click Drag Solutions has already provided me with the perfect solution.

If you’re looking for a great introduction to land of HTML, look no further than “Web Design for Kids (and Curious Grown-Ups!)”. This instructional DVD is about 45 minutes in length and normally retails for $40.00, but is on sale until the end of the summer for $19.99. In my opinion this program is definitely worth the price!

One of things I really like about this program is the pacing. The instructor has a relaxed teaching style that allows you to absorb the information as you work. For good typists, there will be no need to pause the DVD. Slower typists may have to pause a few times, but not to the point of being aggravated.

At no point is the training insulting to the children’s intelligence. This was very important to me because when my daughters were in cyber-school they were assigned games to do drill work. They also had programs to teach them about how to use the computer, spreadsheets and word processing programs. And my daughters hated having to log in for many of these programs. The voices were hyper-chipper and annoying. This instructional DVD doesn’t make that error. Parents can be in the same room with this program and not want to run screaming from the house.

The explanations are clear and concise. As he teaches you to build the website, the coding is right in front of you. He explains why each component is necessary and how to do basic troubleshooting. The DVD even has bonus sections explaining how to properly use file directories on a computer and basic file maintenance. I think the bonus section is very valuable because it will make the children’s lives much simpler as they get older and need to start separating their work out for portfolios and other work related projects.

I guess my only complaint would be that I would love to learn more web design, but so far this is the first and only video released. The next DVD in the series is in the works but no date has been set for release.

I definitely give this program a five star rating.

But since this program is designed for kids I decided to ask my daughters to do a short video interview about their experience with the program. I promised them that I wouldn’t edit anything, so you’ll see them in all their messy (and silly!) glory.  (Alaya’s eye antics were supposedly caused by “shyness” (not!). Actually I think she’s the budding comedienne in the family) lol!

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