DVD Rock "N" Learn : Phonics ( Vol 1) Review & Giveaway

We all know learning can be fun. But it just got much more cooler :

Music + learning = Rock "N" Learn = One rockin' learning experience !

This equation was balanced and proved right by 2 brothers in the 80s - a school psychologist and a rock musician who decided to add a cool and contemporary beat to the subjects kids need the most.Rock "N" learn is completely
kid-friendly, encourages self-learning and is all about effectiveness and simplicity.

Here's something we will love to hear about Rock "N" Learn in their own words:
  • The Rock "N" Learn team avoids any educational "fad" or "current trends" and instead focuses on mainstream material that offers broad application to supplement any home or school curriculum.
  • Rock "N" Learn is education with a beat - and the "rock" behind the "learn" is meant for much more than foot-tapping.
  • Rock and rap music are both very rhythmic and the steady beat helps memorization.
I wholeheartedly believe in the concept of using more creative ways to teach children.But our kids are more blessed to have such a dedicated team of professionals working to provide them with creative educational tools.And this DVD is certainly going in our car!

I watched the entire DVD and was totally impressed with the idea of integrating music with phonics. The beats of the music completely blend with the words and flow smoothly causing the child to take-in all the knowledge and enjoy it at the same time.

My son who is only 2 yrs old was swaying to the music and was quiet attracted to the pictures on the screen. He even wanted to watch it again!

Rock "N" Learn Phonics DVD program covers :
  • Short vowels
  • Consonants
  • Blends & Digraphs
  • Word Families
  • Silent e
  • Read - along stories
The program runs for approx 70 minutes and is for ages 6 and up.

  • The program engages all the sensory parts of the body. I liked the fact that the picture, alphabet, the word and an onscreen mouth that pronouns the word can be seen onscreen at the same time. It is a fantastic idea to help coordinate what is heard and how it is seen as a word as pronunciation is a key factor to learning phonics.
  • Delightful combination of colors onscreen is visually appealing for young minds.Music is made in such a way that it promotes learning of the subject and not just the music itself.Children can stay focused on the subject till the end.
  • Short readings in a slow manner, with each word being underlined was focused on encouraging the child to read with comprehension and clarity.More practice readings are a bonus! I would have loved to see some familiar stories in the "Reading for fluency" section, to make the subject more familiar for children.
DVDs from Rock "N" Learn will now be a part of my son's learning process. Who doesn't want a product that has gone through subject research, secures critiques from teachers, unanimously praised by educators, parents and media?! Rock "N" Learn Rocks with excellent animation !!

Buy it:

- Directly from Rock "N" Learn website. Check out their "Specials"!
- Store list
- Barnes and Noble website
- Amazon.com
Win it:

One reader will have the chance to win Rock "N" Learn's Phonics ( Vol 1) DVD.

Here's how you can win it:

  • Mandatory entry ( all other entries will be disqualified without this):

- Visit Rock "N" Learn and leave a comment on which DVD you
would like to buy.
- Follow "Toddler Tales by Mommy" on GFC

  • Tweet Daily ( 1 entry)

  • Please use the form below for extra entries.

Open to : Residents of US and Canada.Giveaway ends on: Aug 15, 2010; 11 pm Eastern Standard Time. One winner will be chosen by the Random generator and posted on Aug 16, 2010

(Disclaimer: Rock N Learn sent me the featured product for review purpose only. 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.)

Book Review: "The Edge of the Divine" by Sandi Patty

An edge symbolizes the end or beginning of something. The time and space between two edges could have been cruel, traumatic, betraying and filled with the urgent need to reach the end. When we think it's all over, God meets us with His faithfulness and presents us with possibilities.

Sandi Patti, in her book, " The Edge of the Divine" discovers how God can meet us right on the edge and transform it into something new, just because He is faithful.

She shares about her struggle with her uncontrolled fondness for food which led her to being overweight and complicated the way she thought about herself. She also reveals a dark secret that traumatized her and led her to look for comfort in food. A humbling experience with John 8 leads her to discover that God gives us a second chance and Sandi crosses over the edge to experience life abundantly in God.

A walk from the edge onto a never-ending pasture of possibilities was a challenge . But she doesn't fail to mention about her family and friends who inspired her to be all that God wanted her to be.Sandi wore different hats - Award winning vocalist and speaker, wife, mom to 7 children, friend, daughter-in-law and it is deeply encouraging to know how she strove and sought God's help to fulfill each of these roles in the best way.

Being a woman, i could relate to every page of her book. It was interesting to note that success did not come easily to Sandi's singing career.All her dreams amounted to nothing when she faced a rejection. But she goes on to tell the readers the soulful message of how God can turn something that Sandi thought was "pretty boring" into who she is today! The journey from being a little girl with a record player to a Grammy award winning vocalist, in Sandi's words is " Hard choices, Soft Landings".

Simple, practical yet direct...every woman can find some encouragement from Sandi's personal experiences.

Sandi Patti is also releasing an inspirational album " The Edge of the Divine" on Aug 24, 2010.You can pre-order the book and cd for $30 on Sandi Patty's website.

Buy it from:
Happy Reading!

( Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishers, I received a free advanced reading copy of this book as part of their book review bloggers program. 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.)

Can a 2 yr old talk blog lingo?

Seems like he can!

I have to share this with all of you. My son who started daycare recently ( 2 weeks ago) came home yesterday and spoke to me in blog lingo while we were out in the lawns. Guess what he told me?

"Mommy, please follow me! "

I burst into peels of laughter and i did follow him!

He probably had no idea about a blog but certainly he is exposed to it. Maybe he can start something like a Toddle Blog when he grows up! How on earth does a 2 yr old talk b-lingo? I guess it was just the timing that i started blogging and he picking up new vocabulary, made it a inspirational-joke for mommy!

It was a hilarious kind of motivation for me to do more on my blog, my little one can really inspire me to achieve more :)

I have been reading a very interesting book and will be posting a review soon. I think that book can speak to each one of us ( i can hear you itching to know the name!) in a very simple yet in a profound manner. I hope to complete it this weekend, i can't wait to get to know the end, but i am enjoying every bite of it!

I have been doing some groundwork for some amazing reviews and giveaways that are coming up real soon. I have made it very easy to enter your responses for the entries and you will not be going through the hassle of entering a "random word" each time to publish your comment. I love comments or like some say i " heart " comments.There's nothing like waking up to a inbox filled with lovely comments! However, I want my readers to enjoy the experience of entering a giveaway without technical hassles, in a short-time and patiently hope for a prize!

~Fewer clicks, same entering quality & quantity and a more sparkling experience~

So, you have something to look forward to on my blog and i know you are going to love it!

I am off to make some friends in the blogosphere! Have a great weekend and blessings to you!

New to Blogville?

If yes, i think following some of these might help you and your visitors save a lot of time dealing with clutter and i promise you'll have more time to post interesting content and making new friends.

I am making my way through the beautiful city of Blogville and only discovered a few streets so far as i tend to wander into the crescents and end up there for a while before i make my way out :) In my adventure so far, i realized that Blogville is a nice, multi-cultural place, always buzzing with activity and thickly populated !! But there's always place for a million more! Blogville is technically- magical :) I found it very engaging to be reading posts at Blogville posted by people from different ethnicity. At least i always find something of interest to me. So, i was contemplating becoming a resident of Blogville so that i can be more participative in the buzz. So i bought myself a "Blog Spot" - a place that looks small but magically keeps expanding as you move forward. Isn't that amazing?

In your Blog Spot, wherever you set foot, that Spot will be yours. Yes, somewhat like God's promise to Moses!

Now that i had a Spot in Blogville, I wanted to make friends and invite them over for tea and make some bridges to stay in touch.I built a "Special lounge" for my visitors. Mind you, most of Blogville residents are tech savvy due to the availability of the latest technology called "Social Media". But they are always willing to help you if you need to ask a "how to", so that you can be an effective communicator too :)

So today i decided to test & review the effectiveness of my tech tools i use at my Blog Spot. During the walk through i learned some valuable lessons that will be useful for a new blogger and pro-bloggers.

Google Friend Connect ( GFC):
  • A must have, to meet and accept new friends. In your search bar, type " Google Friend Connect" and you will get the link.You can customize it and copy the HTML code on your blog.
Facebook & Twitter Buttons:
  • Consider having a facebook & twitter account and link it to your blog.It is a valuable networking tool ( I tried to do some networking and discovered some bloggers did not have the networking buttons)
  • Check how many facebook & twitter buttons you have on your page.
  • You need only 2 buttons - one, for your friends to follow you on facebook & twitter and second to "share" your post content on facebook & twitter.
  • If you have too many widgets with facebook and twitter icons, it will confuse your reader and you will be wasting their precious time.They have to click all the buttons till they find out the one where they can "like " or "follow" you.
  • Make sure that you choose small buttons so that you can place them on top of your page, making it easier for your reader to find it. If it is somewhere down in the middle of all your real estate, it is hard to find.
  • With so many styles & patterns for facebook & twitter, choose buttons that have relevance : Eg, the sign "t" or "the bird" or "follow me"for a twitter button. This will enable any blogger to follow you instantly without further thoughts or searching.
  • Placement of GFC, facebook & twitter buttons, not too far from each other and parallel to "about me" is a good idea for easy connections. Placing a few lines in the "About Me" section right on the top will make your reader to be easily informed about your blog in a nutshell. A potential follower can read about you and then instantly follow you on all 3 places.
  • And finally. check if your buttons are linking you to your account.
The more effective you are in choosing and placing your networking buttons, the more real-estate you will have in your Blog Spot and it also means more space for interesting content.

The more easier you make it for readers to follow you, the more followers you will have on all your social networks.

On a final note, if you are newbie to blogging and have questions, i will be glad to help you

( Note: I found that the above helped to think from a reader's point of view. If some other way works or worked for you, that's great too! )

" Summer Carnival " at Smart & Trendy Moms

Want to be a winner this summer? Smart and Trendy Moms is the place to be !

Smart and Trendy Moms is hosting a "Summer Carnival Event" with an endless list of amazing sponsors :) There are early bird entries available for this giveaway! Please ensure that you carefully read the instructions on how to benefit from the early bird entries. You will get an additional 5 extra entries for each giveaway and you are responsible for posting the extra entries.

Here comes the best part: There is no limit to how many times you can win!

Don't we all love blogs where we can win over and over again?!
I do!

The Real Giveaway

I did a real giveaway this evening...

I gave away all the baby stuff to a couple in my church, who will have a baby boy in 3 months. I wanted to bless them with all they needed for the baby's arrival.I remembered to count my blessings when my Noddy Boy was born.I told myself then that i will bless another mom with all this.This couple was glad to receive all that i gave them.

It is also good for the environment to recycle products.Imagine each family buying and throwing away a high chair.All that plastic in the environment , the damage would be great, if we do not recycle.

I was a bit sad to see all the baby stuff leave my house, but i needed space for more cars, trucks, trains and building blocks.Just having the baby stuff at home seemed to make me happy...in some way.Babies are just so happy and they make all of us happy.Such lovely creatures, so fresh from God..how can we not love them dearly?!

I was blessed to receive many hand-me-downs for my son when he was born.I was given lots of clothes, toys and other accessories by my friends from church.I bought used toys for my son.We kept our expenses under control and tried not to get carried away by all the "cute" stuff in the market.Many a times, i walked right past that really cute and smart outfit that was priced outrageously.It was all for good as now i see my Noddy Boy grown up and his preferences have changed and will continue to change..We will provide him ample opportunities to explore and discover his passions and interests, but within affordable limits.We will teach him to realize that not everything has to be brand new. Accepting to use second hand products from a reliable source is equally beneficial and doesn't make a hole in your pocket.The truth is you get to enjoy more for less. Now how does that sound?!

Some tips on
how to enjoy more for less:

  • Become a member of your local toy-lending library.
  • Find out moms with children who are 6 months younger and older than your child. Do frequent barter or sell for a reasonable price regularly.If clothes / shoes are maintained well, you are more likely to be asked if you have a onesie or a pink top or a pair of sneakers.
  • Recycle and reuse at least toys, if not clothes.
  • Find deals on your local online classifieds ( US - Craigslist etc, Canada - Craigslist, Kijiji etc)
  • Garage / Yard sale are ideal for toys, bicycle etc.
  • Thrift shops are a great place to shop.You can even sell your clothes at some thrift shops.
  • Borrow books and DVDs from your local library instead of buying them.
  • Do product-reviews!
Go frugal!

Social Parade: Follow on Fridays!

Smart and Trendy Moms

Happy Friday, Ladies!

Hope you all had a blessed week and here's wishing you all a well-deserved and fun-filled weekend! I will follow back anyone who leaves a sweet comment on my blog :)

Welcome to all my new friends! Nice to meet y'al !