Bookroo: A Bookish Subscription Service

bookroo box and wrapped booksSeems like subscription boxes are all the rage right now, and it’s easy to understand why. New items sent right to your door? How fun!

But beauty boxes aren’t my thing, and even clothing ones don’t tempt me that much. I’d rather spend my money on books and things for my kids.

Now a subscription box of kids’ books? SIGN ME UP.

H with Hugless Douglas and the Big Sleep-Over 2Literally, sign me up. I jumped at the chance to try Bookroo. No, this post isn’t sponsored by them (although they did give me a discount code to try them. And I also have a discount for you to try them too!) I was just that enthusiastic to try what looked like such a fun product.

Before I signed up, I checked out what books they’ve been sending in the past. What fun would it be if it’s all old familar books we already have read or own? Nowhere near as much fun as it’d be if they were new discoveries.

Glancing over previous boxes, I found one – ONE – title that we already read, let alone owned. And that solitary title is an absolute favorite, so that speaks well to their taste.

H reading Hugless DouglasSo, we’re trying it out. I signed up for a three-month subscription, and they’re nice enough to let me alternate between picture books and board books.

Our first month’s delivery arrived, and it was all I could do to hold off the kids long enough to get a picture. I had thoughts of taking an unboxing video but that wasn’t happening. Too much excitement by the big kids! (How convenient it is for me that two picture books = one for each kid to immediately claim. Board book subscriptions come with 3 book in each box.)

boo_headIf you want to try Bookroo, you can get $4 off a subscription. Where I think think Bookroo really shines is for gifts – they make it super easy, and the packaging is nice. I would have been delighted to get this as a baby shower gift, and I love the idea of sending this to friends who have new babies.

And a reminder: This post is not sponsored by them, and I’m not an affiliate. They did give me a discount code to use to try their service, but you can also get a discount too: If you click over to them using my link, you’ll automatically get $4 off your order.

Month of Meals: 30 Minute Meal Plans

Month of Meals: 30 Minute Meal Plans by Jessica FisherMonth of Meals: 30 Minute Meal Plans by Jessica Fisher

Fisher has a new thing going on right now: A themed “Month of Meals” plan. July’s theme? 30 Minute Meals. And it’s only available in July – if this looks good to you, grab it before the month is over.

Meal time is still a big issue for me, for various reasons, but one of the best things I’ve figured out to make it easier is to have trusted resources for all-but-guaranteed dinner success. Fisher is one of those resources for me. Her recipes fit our tastes, and I trust them to turn out well.

I like this new plan she’s pulled together. The recipes aren’t new as far as I can tell, but they’re nicely organized together into 4 weekly plans. Recipes are included, so you won’t need internet access once you’ve downloaded the plan.

My only real complaint is that there are enough pictures scattered throughout that it makes it hard to print, for those who prefer working off a hard copy. If you’ve got a tablet and can work from that, this shouldn’t be an issue. For me, I’d rather there be a printable version at the end, with no pictures, to save on ink.

I like that there are 5 shopping lists included – one for each week, and one for the entire month. You know, in case you’re buying in bulk so it’ll be easy to get all the staples you’ll need. I also like the weekly prep tips and leftover suggestions – ideas for what to do with the little bits that often end up languishing in my fridge until I toss them.

The $9 price tag on this feels a tiny bit high, although it helps if I re-frame it and think of it as saving one night of take-out it’ll more than pay for itself. I’d still rather see it at $8 max – then it’s $2/week and appeals to my likes-things-nice-and-even side. Yes. I’m ridiculous. 🙂

And hey! Heads-up if you like Fisher’s recipes as much as I do. Her newest book, Good Cheap Eats Dinner in 30 Minutes or Less: Fresh, Fast, and Flavorful Home-Cooked Meals, with More Than 200 RecipesGood Cheap Eats Dinner in 30 Minutes or Less: Fresh, Fast, and Flavorful Home-Cooked Meals, with More Than 200 Recipes by Jessica Fisher, is available for pre-order right now for it’s early September release. You know I already ordered my copy. 😉

Disclosure: I received this book for free for review (but I pre-ordered the other one myself). I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

All About Spelling Level 1 Review

All About Spelling Level 1I promised this review ages ago, and kept letting it get pushed off in favor of other posts. So hopefully no one was waiting too anxiously for it!

We finished up All About Spelling (AAS) Level 1 just as we finished Core P 4/5. And despite being a couple of months into the next set of material we’re using for our framework, Core A, we still haven’t gotten back to spelling by continuing with Level 2. That is in no way a reflection of any dislike for the program! I wanted us to get into a good routine with Core A, and then my son was so focused on finishing Level 3 of the All About Reading (AAR) program, that I figured that was enough phonics work, and holding off on continuing spelling was ok.

Because we will be continuing with spelling using AAS – it’s fantastic!

If you’ve been using AAR, AAS seems less hands-on. It’s still got the letter tiles and word cards, but there aren’t all the activities like there are in AAR. That’s not a criticism, just a comment and comparison. I love the letter tiles, and my son does as well – he’s not fond of writing, and they keep him from being held back by his writing. Building words via tiles is much simpler, and lets him focus on the letters, not how they’re formed.

I love how the phonics rules are reinforced with AAS. Every one taught in Level 1 was one he knew already through AAR, but the change in focus from decoding to encoding helped him learn them in a different way. Spelling was always my worst subject in school, and my lack of phonics instruction really hampered me. I learned some things from Level 1 (the rules anyway, not so much the application at that level), and I’m kind of excited to see what else I’ll learn from the additional levels.

Each day’s lesson is quick – maybe 15 minutes tops – but that’s enough to make steady progress through the book. Everything is really easy for me to follow as well. It’s slightly scripted, and even with my non-phonics background it’s simple for me to use and teach.

Highly, highly recommended. I love this program. My son loves this program. It’s wonderful. It might seem a little bit pricey, but it’s completely reusable for my younger two. The only consumables in this program are the stickers – even the progress chart, phonogram chart, and certificate of completion can be downloaded for free from their website to use with additional students. Love that!

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post, and I didn’t receive this program for free – I paid for it myself – I just LOVE this program. So much so that I am an affiliate for it, which means that if you buy the program using my link I may receive a percentage of the cost at no additional cost to you. And then I use any money I make to buy more books and homeschooling supplies which I talk about here. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!