Practice Monkeys’s Live Violin Classes (Review!)

We received this product to review!

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 Product Link: Family Subscription to Live Violin Classes

Vendor Information Link: Practice Monkeys

Age Appeal: It is up to each individual family.

Format: Online Lessons Monday through Thursday for 47 weeks a year via web cam and microphone.  There are also downloadable PDFs for theory studies and helpful videos.  You will need to purchase the Suzuki Violin School Volume 1 book.

Price: Please check the product link for current prices

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Do you know someone who is interested in learning how to play the violin?  The Family Subscription to Live Violin Classes from Practice Monkeys could be exactly what this person needs.  These lessons are taught by Mrs. Van Kleeck who has more than 26 years experience with the Suzuki Violin technique.  There are four live lessons a week  which are also available to view later, videos explaining different techniques, and parent orientation along with a guide book.

Our Experience: 

For a couple of years C has been trying to play the violin, but the book we chose for her didn’t work out.  Also she didn’t want to work with me, and it wasn’t in the budget for private lessons.  I was super excited when Practice Monkeys was made available to review, because I felt it was exactly what she needed.  C would be having lessons on not just a weekly basis (think private lessons), but four days a week.  In her first Level, 3, the lessons lasted 15 minutes.  In her new Level, 6, they last 20 minutes.

When we first had access to Practice Monkeys, we spent a few days watching all the wonderful informational videos Mrs. Van Kleeck had added to the Treehouse.  These videos covered the songs and scale that would be covered in the lessons and everything necessary to chose a violin, care for it, and how to put the shoulder rest.  There were even videos and documents for parents.  I really appreciated it, because then I knew exactly what I needed to do to help support and encourage C.

After we watched the videos and understood what was involved we dove right into the live lessons.  C would log in and enter the classroom.  In class she and the other students would practice their scale and the Twinkle Themes under the guidance of Mrs. Van Kleeck for Level 3.  After a couple of months of lessons and individual practice and and inspiring visit from my mom, C was ready for her assessment!  It was very easy to schedule the assessment, and C had her on-on-one time with Mrs. Van Kleeck to determine if she was ready to pass on to the next level.  Mrs. Van Kleeck moved her to Level 6!  C was really excited and has currently had two days of lessons in this level.  She has been practicing so that she can be the best she can be.

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Mama’s Thoughts:

– I’ve never played a string instrument, so it was hard for me to begin teaching C.  I was grateful for Mrs. Van Kleeck, who was so encouraging to C and all of the kids in the class.  It was due to all of her encouraging comments that has driven C to practice and succeed. 

– I’ve also never had any experience with the Suzuki Method, but I’ve been very please with how far C has been able to go in such a short time.  She has been learning with repetition and the basics, which means she has gone further in a short period of time.

– I appreciate that the live lessons are four days a week.  I believe it is the frequency of the lessons that has helped C keep her interest in playing daily.  It has helped her improve quickly.  Consistancy has been very important, because there were no scheduled lessons during Christmas and with the festivities some of the growth made decreased.  She has bounced back though!

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B’s Thoughts (boy, age 14, officially in ninth grade and in public school):

B is busy with public school, so you may not see as many reviews from him.

C’s Thoughts (girl, age 13, officially in seventh grade): 

I started in Level 3 with this program and it was really easy once I got started. Now I am in level 6, it is much more of a challenge for me. I get to learn 4 new songs in Level 6; Allegretto, Andantino, Etude, and Minuet No. 1.

Here are some things I liked about Practice Monkeys.

1. It is a super easy program to use and navigate.

2. Mrs. Van Kleeck is a very good teacher and makes things easy to learn.

Social Media Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PracticeMonkeys/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7wOO7WqC5Yk-nID8fhVaiA

Click on the photo below to lock in your monthly subscription for the lifetime of your lessons.  It’s good until February 1, 2019.

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Mama recommends Family Subscription to Live Violin Classes  to your family!  Please click on the graphic below to learn what the other crew members thought.


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Photo of the Week!- Winter Has Begun

I’m sure winter will soon arrive, but for now I’m going to share a photo I took in March of 2018.  A grey snowy day that I’m sure will soon arrive here.  Perhaps at the end of the week.  We’ll have to see.

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Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women (Review)

We received this product to review!

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 Product Link: Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women

Vendor Information Link: Zondervan

Age Appeal: The age for this book is for those 13-18.  Those who are younger and older can be blessed by it too.

Format: Hardback book, ISBN: 978-0-310-76277-5

Price: Please check the product link for current prices

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Do you know a young woman who is looking for a devotional for the new year?   Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women, written by Lindsay A. Franklin,  contains 365 daily devotions written directly to all young women today.  Many different women from the Bible are highlighted in this devotion, and Franklin’s text make their lives relevant to young women of today.

Our Experience: 

We have enjoyed doing Bible studies and devotions together in the past, so I wanted to begin again with this Zondervan devotional.

C and I first thought we would do one devotion every morning.  It only took a couple of days to realize that everyone’s schedules were a bit crazier than realized.  We decided that before bedtime would be the best.  We did it that night, and after several nights, we decided that evening devotions would be the best for us. 

C and I chose to sit together, I read the devotion, then we would discuss the topics.  I found that it was a special time we could be together and learn about the Lord and how he works in our lives.

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Mama’s Thoughts:

– As C said when we first opened the box, “It’s really pretty.”  That is certainly true.  It’s a perfect hardback book with pink, green, purple, flowers, leaves, and also tones of red on each of the pages.  If you know someone who is sensitive to color contrasts, the ribbon does clash with the colors in the book.  That was the second thing I noticed.

– I liked how each day began with the word of God, continued with discussion, and occasionally ended with questions.  I wish there had been more, because there was a perfect area to leave notes.

– I liked how many different women were highlighted that I not heard of before.  The ones that stuck out for me were Zelophehad’s daughters in days 104-111.  They were able to inherit their father’s land, something that hadn’t happened at the time.  It is stories like these that make me want to study more of the Bible.  I think that should be the aim of all devotions.  The reader should want to learn more about the Bible.

– There are some days I would caution about if this devotion is for a young lady who hasn’t had exposure to talks about sex.  I would recommend that you read the days together, so that questions can be asked and answered.  it’s also a good way to perhaps have those difficult talks about insest (Tamar) and adultry (David). 

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B’s Thoughts (boy, age 14, officially in ninth grade and in public school):

B is busy with public school, so you may not see as many reviews from him.

C’s Thoughts (girl, age 13, officially in seventh grade): 

Here are some things I liked about the Beloved 365 devotions for young women.

1. I like the cover design and colors.

2. It is nice that there are spaces for notes at the bottom of each page.

3. I also like that it only takes a few minutes to read.

Here are some things I did not like about Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women.

1. You can’t just pick any day because you might end up in the middle of a section about a specific person. 

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Social Media Links

Mama recommends Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women to your family!  Please click on the graphic below to learn what the other crew members thought.


Photo of the Week!- Thankful for Creativity

I know that we should be thankful every day, but November is usually the month that it is stressed.  Today I’m sharing a photo of a project I’m working on with my daughter (thankful for creativity).  In the spring our 4-H club is going to be making fairy gardens, and this is an unfinished mushroom.  I will be painting white dots onto the red cap.  What do you think?  Does it look like a mushroom? 

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Photo of the Week!- Thankful for Being Adventurous

I know that we should be thankful every day, but November is usually the month that it is stressed.  Today I’m sharing a photo of our Thanksgiving ham.  This isn’t any average ham, but a vegan one.  I’m not sure what it will be like, but I’m always up for new things.  I’m thankful that I’m willing to try different foods.

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