Thursday, August 26, 2010

Rock 'N Learn

Contest is now closed.  A Big Congrats To "mogrill" who is the winner! Thanks everyone for your comments!

Okay, how cool is this? (very cool, if you ask me!) I was given the opportunity to review the Rock 'N Learn DVDs! Can I just say, I love them! Sit back, and let me illucidate (I've always wanted to use that word!)

In the mid-80s two brothers—one a school psychologist and the other a rock musician—had an idea. They would combine their respective expertise to develop and launch an educational program that puts multiplication facts to rock music and eventually rap music. Over twenty years later, Rock ‘N Learn has set the standard for learning products, receiving numerous prestigious awards and honors as well as acclaim from educators and parents alike. From math and reading to science and Spanish , Rock ‘N Learn adds a cool and contemporary beat to the subjects kids need most, successfully and effectively extending the classroom experience anywhere and anytime.

Based just north of Houston, Rock ‘N Learn continues to be owned and operated by brothers Richard and Brad Caudle. Working together with their wives, Melissa and Kathie, Richard and Brad have watched as Rock ‘N Learn burgeoned into a family enterprise that is positively impacting families nationwide. The company has grown to encompass more than 50 products—including its best-selling educational video programs and audio books that can be found in schools and homes throughout the U.S. and worldwide.

Making it easy for parents and classrooms to build a study program tailored to every child, Rock ‘N Learn DVD titles are categorized by subject as well as age group. Programs begin at the preschool level 2–5 and continue for children 4 and up. Subjects covered include reading and writing, math, science, test preparation, other languages and social studies. Recently, Rock ‘N Learn introduced phonics to its educational offerings. This program features new animation, oral segmenting, oral blending, word families, rhyming phrases, sentence practice, and short stories. It provides kids with an easy and fun way to learn the phonics skills that lead to reading and spelling success.

Rock ‘N Learn can be found in top school supply and specialty stores nationwide (the full list can be found at as well as Barnes & Noble’s education DVD section, and the company’s own Website (

My son and I watched volume 1 first. My son was immediately captivated by the music, the colorful graphics and the fun characters! He especially loved the space ship! We both enjoyed singing along to the music and played along with the games, like trying to sound out the word before the characters did. My son actually laughed out loud several times! I loved that it really held his attention. This DVD is about 70 minutes long, so we didn't watch the whole thing the first time, though my son did make it through about 35 minutes (which is a record for him).

I like that the kids can move along at their own pace. As we have used this DVD, we have stopped and repeated several of the games to help my son learn and improve. Each time we watch he moves further along, and I can see his reading improve! Wahoo!

We have watched volume 2 but have not used it consistantly because my son is not at that level yet. Though he is pretty excited to advance!

I recommend these DVDs! My son has a short attention span, yet these held his interest. I've even told his teacher about these because I feel her students could benefit from this style of learning!

So here comes the really fun part! Rock 'N Learn has generously offered Phonics Volume 1 and 2 to one of my readers! Woo hoo!

Mandatory Entry:
You must be a follower of my blog.

Then please visit and tell me which product you would like, and let me know in a comment. Please include your email address in your comment so I can contact you. (i.e. janesmith at gmail dot com )

This contest expires on Wednesday, September 8, 2010. The winner will be picked randomly from all correct entries and notified by email. This contest is open to residents of the US, ages 18 and over. I will notify the winner by email and the prize will be shipped directly from the sponsor.

Good luck and Happy Reading!

Rock'N Learn has offered the Phonics DVDs Volume 1 and 2 for review, but the opinions are all my own! This is a non-paid review.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


ADOT (Arizona Dept of Transportation) is famous for their road construction.... and not in a good way.  One minute the road is fine, the next minute the road is torn to smithereens and practically impassable as they fix the road.  No warning, no nothing, just BAM a big Detour sign right in front of you.  Sorry... detour...  Maybe a 'heads up' a little sooner would help us navigate the roads around here.  I'm out running errands this morning and all of a sudden, BAM, detour.  Did I know it was coming?  No.  Did it take me longer to get to my destination? Yes.  Was I irritated at the sight of that sign?  Oh, yes. 

While detouring onto another road, I ran into (not literally - hee-hee!) an old friend of mine out riding her bike.  I hadn't seen her in ages!  What a wonderful surprise!  We stopped, we chatted, and my day was better and brighter by that encounter!

Isn't life like that?  When I was fresh out of high school I knew where I was headed.  I had my destination squarely set in my mind and roadmap in hand, as I headed out on the road of life.  BAM!  Detour.... no warnings, no nothing.  Just a great big barrier.  Or so I thought.  As I traveled on this detour, this new path, I learned, and saw, and became a much better me. 

All through life I've hit detours, BAM!  Did I know it was coming?  No.  Did it take me longer to get to my destination?  Yes.  Was I irritated at that detour?  Oh, yes.  But those detours have made me who I am today.  I have discovered talents and abilities I never knew were in me.  I've discovered wonderful friends, that would never have crossed my path without those detours.  I've discovered an inner strength that I never knew I had.  I've traveled roads I never knew existed. 

So, do detours BAM! still irritate me?  Yes....    Are they worth it?  Oh, yes!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Dreaded Call....

My sweet son has Sensory Processing Disorder.  "What?" You say...." I've never heard of that."  Here is a wonderful link from another blog that explains it very well!

My son attends a school for kids with special needs. It's a great school that "gets" my son, and understands that it really is his disorder causing the behavior.  It's not bad parenting, or a naughty kid, it's a neurological disorder.  Every day he heads off to school and every day I hold my breath for the next six hours waiting for "the call".  The phone rings and the caller ID announces that it's my son's school.  What will it be this time?  Is he in recovery from a meltdown, did he try to run out of the school, did he tip a desk over in frustration?  Those are the ones I have the courage to mention.  My heart breaks a little with each phone call. 

My son is an incredible young man, with a gentleness and love about him that draws people in.  He geniunely loves everyone and can't really understand when people are unkind.  Yet he can throw the most amazing tantrums, and say the most unkind things, all because the world is a hard place for him.  It's painful for him.  The world is too loud, too bright, to busy for him.  He can't figure out where his body is in relation to objects around him.  His sense of balance is different than ours.  He has to touch things constantly to get enough sensory feedback to function.

I understand this, yet it is still hard, and frustrating, and painful, and heartbreaking.  And then there are "The Looks".  The "don't you know how to parent" looks, or the "Can't you control your child" looks. Or the comments like "He's a prime example of why I'm in favor of abortion"  Yes, someone actually said that... out loud!

If I had a chance to do it all over, would I?  ABSOLUTELY!  What a privilege it is to be his Mom.  He is so loving, and so kind, and gives the most amazing hugs.  He has a wisdom far beyond his years.  He truly loves all, and has an innate sense of who you are, and loves you because of it or in spite of it.  He finds such wonder in the world.  His conversations with you are insightful, hilarious, and priceless.  Every day with him is an adventure! 

Is it hard?  Yes.  Is it worth it?  Oh, Yes!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My first Giveaway!

 The contest is closed and the winner has been contacted.  Thanks to everyone that participated!  It was so much fun!  A Big Congratulations to Jennifer Neal!  She is the winner!  She wrote:
Jennifer Neal said...
Lucky Charms and Cheerios, new follower here :)

I am oh so very excited!  I get to host my very first giveaway and for one of my favorite stores, Safeway!

Okay, here's the scoop:

The Safeway family of stores (which includes Dominick´s, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Vons, and Genuardi´s) is making it simple to give back with "2 Ways 2 Earn" cash for your schools with Box Tops for Education and the "10% Goes Back to Schools" program.

To help your local schools even further just look for the "10% Goes Back to Schools" yellow school bus tags on over 2,000 of your favorite items throughout Safeway from August 11th - September 14th. When you purchase participating products with your Club Card, Safeway will give 10% of the purchase price to the local school of your choice.

Here´s how it works:

  • Check your receipt from August 11 - September 14. The total will be updated each time you shop.
  • Beginning on September 18, a redemption code will be printed at the bottom of your receipt.
  • Visit before October 13 to choose your favorite participating local school, then simply enter your redemption code to make your donation.

To learn more about Box Tops for Education and Safeway´s "10% Goes Back to Schools" program, visit And while you´re there, don´t forget to enter the Safeway Bonus Box Tops Sweepstakes for a chance to win 1,000 Bonus Box Tops for the participating school of your choice! 
Also, check out Box Tops for Education on Facebook today! Visit Box Tops for Education on Facebook to "Like" the program and keep up with the latest news from Box Tops.

Safeway and General Mills, through "MyBlogSpark" provided me with a $25 Safeway gift card in addition to a Bonus Box Tops certificate with a value of 50 Bonus Box Tops. I'm heading out today to do some shopping and rack up those Boxtops for my kids' school!
Safeway and General Mills, through MyBlogSpark is also offering a  $25 Safeway gift card (also valid at Dominick's, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Vons, and Genuardi's) that you can use to purchase your favorite Box Top items, in addition to a Bonus Box Tops certificate with a value of 50 Bonus Box Tops!
The Safeway gift card, Bonus Box Tops certificate, information and giveaway were all given to me from Safeway and General Mills through MyBlogSpark.  The opinions are all my own! Ü
To win:
Add a comment on which Box Tops for Education products you will be looking out for when you shop.  Also, please follow my blog.  Contest ends on August 11, 2010.   Winner will be chosen randomly from all correct entries.  One entry per person.  Good luck!