Friday, August 5, 2016

Academics' Choice Review: Time for a Story, Learning is in Bloom, and The Lorax

There are so many resources out there for parents and teachers these days! How do you decide what resources are right for your family?

Reviewing educational resources and reading the reviews from other parents and teachers has helped me to sift through the endless abyss of options! Today I'm sharing with you my review, as an Academics' Choice Advocate and reviewer, of the books Time for a Story, Learning is in Bloom, and the Lorax app.

We have a lot to cover, so lets get started!


Time for a Story: Sharing Books with Infants and Toddlers


Time for a Story by Amy Read and Saroj Ghoting explores fun and engaging ways to talk, sing, read, write, and play with infants and toddlers. The authors note that the most important item or tool that a teacher or parent has in preparing children for later reading success is a book.

Because story time can be complicated with impatient babies or active toddlers, this book provides the thought and preparation to help you can maximize the reading experiences of these little learners.

Time for a Story is a common sense approach to reading to young children and I think it is best geared toward new teachers and possibly new parents. It didn't include any mind-blowing tricks to help little ones learn but it does stress the importance of reading, and that I can appreciate!

Learning is in Bloom: Cultivating Outdoor Exploration


"Learning is in Bloom" by Ruth Wilson shares the importance of a child's time spent in nature and encourages teachers and parents with 40 hands-on activities. From making a nature notebook to exploring animal habitat, these activities motivate adults and children to get outside and learn!

Wilson points out that the children of today are more disconnected from nature than in the past due to the loss of access to natural areas in our neighborhoods and to the increase in the amount of time adults and children spend engaged with electronic media.

Living in a small rural community, I do not notice the loss of natural areas as much as perhaps someone who lives in a large city, but I do see the amount of screen time on electronic devices as a huge problem. (Writes the blogger... It's all about moderation, people!)

"Learning is in Bloom" is a resource that I have enjoyed as a parent and the teacher of my children. It is in agreement with the teachings of Charlotte Mason that stress the importance of time spent outdoors and the simple life lessons we learn, as adults and children, exploring God's creation.


The Lorax Interactive Book App


I have a special spot in my heart for Dr. Seuss' stories! Most of all, I love reading the books to my kids. The way the words flow, the creative use of color and odd made-up creatures are something I enjoy. As for the Dr. Seuss' The Lorax app, I'm not a fan.

While this app is well-designed and it does in fact tell the story of the Lorax (mission accomplished, in that way), I do not think it should be relied on as a literacy-enhancer for children. There may be a time and a place for phone or tablet apps but reading an actual book is always best.

We let our three-year-old flip through this app and he was most impressed with the sounds the story makes when you touch the screen. Personally, our family will stick to reading real books and skip the apps. The parent-child quality time is worth it!

Disclaimer: I was sent these products free of charge for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Linking up with Mommy Moments.

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