Everywhere You Go There’s a Zacchaeus Up a Tree by Roger Campbell: A Book Review {Kregel Book Tour}

I recently had the pleasure of reading Roger Campbell’s book, Everywhere You Go There’s a Zacchaeus Up a Tree: Small-Town Faith and Words of Wisdom.

Roger Campbell, who passed away in 2015, was a pastor and author.  He had a syndicated weekly newspaper column for nearly 40 years, and his son has found Campbell’s over 100 best tales to share in this book.

This book offers separate one to two page articles covering a wide range of topics.  I think this book would work perfectly for someone’s morning routine.  Read the Bible, pray, and then read one article in this book for inspiration.

I loved Campbell’s witty humor and insight.  Hands down, my favorite chapter in this book was one that Campbell wrote about his mother, who hated gossip.  When she would have women over, as soon as the topic would inevitably turn to gossip, she would get up, walk to her kitchen window and say, “Isn’t it a beautiful day today!”

Campbell covers an array of topics that affect all of us, whether it’s how to be more grateful, how to help when you are weak, how to trust in God, etc.

Another favorite chapter, “A New Beginning”, is about Louis Zamperini, the Olympic runner and WWII fighter who was held prisoner of war in a Japanese camp and experienced much brutality.  When he returned home, he drank too much to escape the painful memories until he heard Billy Graham speak.  He went on to become sober, save his marriage, and become an inspiration for millions of kids he helped in his outreach program.  Campbell writes,

Millions long for a new beginning.  And the book of faith is filled with true stories of those who failed but found a way to start over.

Peter denied his Lord three times just before the crucifixion but was forgiven and became a hero of faith.  Thomas doubted the resurrection of Christ but after one weak week became a minster and martyr for his Lord.  Paul the apostle first persecuted the church but then became the greatest missionary of all time.

Many have come to faith after coming to the end of themselves.

You can make a new beginning.

Go for it!

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.

Note: I received this book from Kregel Publications in routine for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Homeschool Crew Review: Reading Eggs

Teaching reading has always been a challenge for me, in part because both of my girls had/have speech issues, which affected their reading.  PB & J Girl (8) has completed years of therapy and is now over her speech issues.  As soon as speech was resolved, she did beautifully learning to read.  Now, she’s nearing grade level.   Cuddle Bug (7) still has significant speech issues and is reading at about a kindergarten level.  She hates learning to read and will do anything to get out of it.

So, imagine my surprise when we were given a 6 month trial of Reading Eggs, and Cuddle Bug loved it!  I had originally chosen to review Reading Eggs because I thought that PB & J Girl would enjoy Reading Eggspress.  She did, but what a bonus that Cuddle Bug loved Reading Eggs, too.  Now she happily does reading every day!

Reading Eggs

About Reading Eggs

Reading Eggs includes a variety of programs that span from 2 year olds to 13 year olds!  The current programs are:

Reading Eggs Junior (for ages 2 to 4)

A comprehensive learning program for toddlers.

Reading Eggs (for ages 3 to 7)

This program takes kids from non-reader to reading early level grade 2 texts.

Reading Eggspress (for ages 7 to 13)

This program builds reading and comprehension skills for kids.

Mathseeds (for ages 3 to 9)

This program offers 200 lessons.  The first 50 cover kindergarten math, the second 50 cover 1st grade math, the third 50 cover 2nd grade math, and the last 50 cover 3rd grade math.

Additional Information

These programs can be used as a supplement to what your elementary children are learning in school.  Your kids can also use the free activity guides that go with each lesson to delve deeper, if you choose.  These are perfect for kids who like to use worksheets.

However, if you homeschool like we do, these programs can be used as a reading and math program as well as social science and science.  Reading Eggs has recently developed homeschool guides which offer 5 day a week, 36 week plans for using this curriculum in your homeschool.

When you first start using the program, your child takes a placement test.  Cuddle Bug placed on lesson 50 in Reading Eggs (there are 120 lessons total available) and PB & J Girl placed in lesson 100 on Reading Eggspress.

As your child progresses through lessons, you’ll receive e-mail updates.  For instance, I received an update when Cuddle Bug completed 5 lessons in Map 6.  (There are ten lessons per map.)  The e-mail told me what she had learned over those five lessons and how I could help reinforce that learning.

How We Used the Program

For our review, Cuddle Bug used Reading Eggs and PB & J Girl used Reading Eggspress.  We plan to also use Mathseeds, but we haven’t had a chance to yet.  I had planned to have the girls use the program three times a week, but they liked it so much, they used it daily, even on weekends!

About Reading Eggs for Kids 3 to 7

There are many, many different activities kids can do at the Reading Eggs level.

Books to Read

Children can choose to read books.  At this level, the books are read to them and include simple c-v-c words.  Afterward, there is a quiz about the reading.  The questions are read aloud, but the answers are not, so I needed to read them to Cuddle Bug.

Story Factory

This section encourages kids to both become readers and writers.

Story Showroom

In this area of Story Factory, kids read books and rate them.  This was hard for Cuddle Bug to do because the books had a high reading level.  She told me she rated the books based on the pictures.

Factory Floor

In this area, kids create stories.  First, they put pictures in boxes (which will later become pages of their book) and then they create a story.  Cuddle Bug skipped these activities as they were beyond her current ability.

Driving Test

This area has three main sections–sight words, letters and sounds, and content words.

Sight Words

Kids practice sight words.  A word is said, and kids need to choose between four possible words.  They are given a certain number of sight words to get correct.  (One day when I watched Cuddle Bug, it was 20 words).  If they choose incorrect answers, they can choose to redo the words they missed or to end the program.  If they get all of the words right eventually, they get to race a car of their choosing for 60 seconds.  While racing, they have to avoid obstacles and collect stars.  Each star turns into an egg that they’re rewarded with at the end of the race.  This was a big motivator for Cuddle Bug and kept her going even when I thought frustration would have overtaken her.

Letters and Sounds

The same activity happens in this section, but in this area, a letter sound is given, and students must choose the correct letter of the four that are given.

Content Words

In this area, children find the correct content word that is spoken.  The game is played the same.

My Lessons

To complete one lesson, children need to do a number of activities.  For instance, Level 58 has 13 short activities kids need to complete.

Spending Eggs

The eggs that kids earn can be used to buy items for the avatar’s house or for the avatar to wear.  They can also be used to play games in the game area.

About Reading Eggspress

Reading Eggspress helps children who already know how to read develop their reading comprehension.  One feature that PB & J Girl especially liked was using the Stadium.

Stadium

When kids go to the stadium, they can choose a level–easy or difficult.  Then they can choose an area to work on:

  • spelling,
  • grammar,
  • vocabulary,
  • usage

To use this area, kids’ avatars run a race.  Each time they get a spelling word right (or identify the wrong spelling), for instance, if they’re in spelling, their avatar runs faster.  The fun thing about this is that there are three other avatars that your child’s avatar competes against.  The other avatars represent real kids who are also using Reading Eggspress at the same time and playing the same game.  PB & J Girl loved this feature!

English Skills

In this area, kids watch a short video, answer 20 questions, and then take a test.  After a few questions kids get to play a game and then go back to the questions.  If kids don’t get the test answers right, they have to redo the ones they got wrong.  PB & J Girl didn’t use this area much because the reading was challenging for her.

Library

In the library, kids choose the genre–fantasy, art, comedy, sports, science fiction, etc.  Then, they choose a multi-chapter book.  They read a chapter and then take a short, multiple choice quiz.  After the quiz, their reward is a trading card.  After they are all done with the entire book and all of the quizzes, they get 50 or more eggs.

Lessons

Just like in Reading Eggs, kids have multiple activities that they need to complete to finish their lesson.  PB & J is at lesson 107, which has nine activities to complete.  Usually, at least two of the activities are reading short sections of a story and answer 16 questions about it.

Our Thoughts on Reading Eggs

Overall, we LOVE this program.  I’m delighted to find something that keeps Cuddle Bug’s interest and helps her learn to read.  I’m also glad Reading Eggspress helps PB & J Girl build her reading comprehension.  I anticipate this program to be part of our homeschool for quite some time.

Free 4 week trial

Are you interested in trying Reading Eggs with your child?  If so, use this link to get 4 weeks FREE access to the program to try for yourself.  This offer expires on November 30, 2017.

Reading Eggs*

Keep up with Reading Eggs via social media:

I was one of 75 people to review Reading Eggs.  To read more reviews, click on the link below:

Reading Eggs
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