Personal Writings And Book Reviews

Motherboard Books: Let’s make a Web Page (Review) January 14, 2009

Filed under: educational writing,reviews — novelized @ 10:15 pm

When I entered the world of blogging just two years ago, I knew very little about computers.  I am a one finger typist still, and HTML was greek to me.

Motherboard Books has an amazing gift of simplifying the compicated elements of technology (that have overwhelmed me as an adult), and creating child-friendly computer sklls.  They succeed in building enthusiasm and pride in children by making their lessons so easy to use and rewarding to see.

My daughter knew that she was learning something that is hard for Mommy to understand.  She beamed at her completed project.  It’s always fun to learn something you know to be hard, very quickly.  It makes you feel smart and it builds confidence and determination when things might become truly hard.

Let’s Make A Web Page! Is a user-friendly written tutorial that walks a child through the steps of designing a webpage.  It comes as a 60 page e-book.  They use Coffee Cup HTML Editor’s free trial to teach the steps, and they keep it very cost effective by recommending free sites for images, backgrounds, and even web hosting.

The finished product is pretty cool.  They break down the fear of HTML and desolve any worries that this is too complicated for a child to do.  Not only will your child have an interview- turned web page, but your child will develop a new skill.  This is a skill that could prove very beneficial in our current society.  Technology is developing quickly and computer knowledge is becoming increasingly important.  This should be a skill we expose our children to.  Why not make it painless?

You can find Let’s Make A Web Page at

The cost is $19.99.  

Be sure to check out the other reviews for Motherboard Books as we did not all receive the same products for review.  My children are young and so I worked through Let’s make a web page! with them.  I did not try other products and cannot give an opinion regarding them.  I was very pleased with the quality and teachability of what we tried.  If you are seeking out a computer course for your child they are worth your time to investigate further.

Motherboard offers a few freebies I want to make you aware of.  If you like to try before you buy you can check out the Logo turtle at (check out other reviewers for more information regarding Logo).

Also, a free internet scavenger hunt is available by simply signing up for the newsletter.

Make use of these great offers and remember to peruse the Crew blog for access to other reviews for Motherboard.


Mary Jane Her Book Unit Study Sample

Filed under: e-book excerpts,educational writing — novelized @ 10:04 pm

Mary Jane  Her Book by Clara Ingram Judson

A Unit Study by Heather Randall

Chapter 1: The Broken Doll

In our story, Mary Jane has a doll named Marie Georgianna.

Please begin this unit study by reading chapter 1.

To review our reading, ask the following questions.

1. How does Marie Georgianna break?

Discuss safety rules of crossing the street. Always look both ways. Take this as an opportunity to address your family’s rules when it comes to safety. Do you allow your children to cross the street alone, with a friend, or with an adult? Where are the proper places to cross a street? What could the consequences be of breaking these rules?

2. What did Marie Georgianna look like?

To test your child’s memory you can print out the coloring page for this chapter and instruct your child to color it to look like Marie Georgianna is described on pages 1-2. (She had brown hair and a pink dress).

3. How does Mary Jane feel when she sees her doll is broken?

How would she feel if something special of hers was ruined? Did Mary Jane’s parents understand her feelings? How did they help? Discuss with your child your interest in their feelings. Stress that you care when they are sad. Talk about other emotions a person might have and how a grown up might help sort those feeling out. Give examples or play act scenarios. Even allow the child to play the parent to see how they would respond.

Page 2


4. Who takes her to the store to find a new doll?

Daddy’s have a special place in the lives of girls. Growing up without a Daddy I know how valuable one can be. Use this as an opportunity to ask your daughter what sort of things she would like to do with her father. Maybe set up a Daddy/ daughter date. Also, discuss how Mary Jane’s Daddy wanted to give her the new parasol because her attitude was not greedy. Parents like to bless their children when there is a right attitude and a lack of whining.

5. What does she name her new doll?

Does your child think it is a good name? Is it funny? There are many examples of people naming new things after things they have lost. Think of examples together. It is a way to remember the old thing and accept the newness at the same time.

6. What is the rule about her new doll’s parasol?


Sometimes parents figure things out by trial and error. What are some rules your family has formed because of necessity?

Extra Activities to include:

1. Make an adorable sock doll together. You can find this free, easy pattern at:

2. Practice matching. Mary Jane’s dolls were twins. They looked alike. This might be a good time to practice matching skills. Below you will find some printable worksheets to complete. at this site you will find games online for your child to practice matching.






Also, don’t forget, Memory is an excellent game tool for matching and so is the old game Guess Who?