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Life Learning Device: Secrets of Life & Words of Wisdom Review by Donna Campos

Life Learning Devices
9317 Brock Rd
Plain City, OH 43064

The Life Learning Device (LLD) is a decorative sphere button contained in a silver-colored base that is four inches wide by three inches in height. It operates on three triple A batteries (not included). The "ball" button can be pressed to activate a recording of a particular quote or phrase, or "tidbits of wisdom," for each of the 365 days of the year. The product is available in an array of subject areas, but this review will reference the "Secrets of Life & Words of Wisdom" LLD specifically. Also available are Daily Devotions, Twelve Steps, Golf Tips & Trivia, Ways to be Green, and more. (KJV Book of Proverbs, Words of Jesus, and other additional titles will be available soon.) The statements included with the Secrets of Life & Words of Wisdom LLD come from many well-known individuals, including Helen Keller, General Patton, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, Henry Ford, Marcus Aurelius, Thomas Jefferson, Anne Frank, Babe Ruth, Oscar Wilde, Napoleon, Andrew Carnegie, Martin Luther King, Theodore Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, and more. Some of the sayings were not credited to any particular individual. Each 24-hour period will supply a single quote; it automatically changes with every 24-hour period. The insert supplied within the package states, "If you are on phrase 70 and go on vacation for 7 days, when you return it will play phrase 77 when you press it." It is possible to press a button on the bottom of the device to begin the phrase count from the very first quote, if desired. The insert also states that "it is possible that not all parents will agree with or believe in the concepts that the Secrets of Life LLD discusses." It encourages families to use any such quote as an opportunity to discuss personal values and explain what the family believes. The device itself is rather nice looking. The title is written in decorative script on the front of the base, while the sphere is a dark, glass-like ball seated securely within the base. The various LLD titles come in a variety of color combinations.

The Life Learning Device was not created for use by homeschoolers in particular; rather, it was designed as a tool to increase knowledge and spark discussion. The website states, " Our goal is to add value to people's lives by allowing them to receive inspiration, knowledge and wisdom on a consistent basis at the simple touch of a button!!" The Secrets of Life & Words of Wisdom LLD does not refer to salvation or spiritual things. Certainly, there are wise words included, but you will have no idea of exactly what quote is going to be heard on any given day as there is no master list of upcoming quotes. Some quotes we found to be simply silly--things like "If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster" or "The only job where you start at the top, is digging a hole." Others left us a little more puzzled than inspired: "Always remember that it takes one person or one concept to change your life forever. So always believe it is important to meet new people." And one that is too long to quote directly said that if someone is following you down the street and is up to no good, you should stop and ask them a question. Now that they know you can identify them in a line-up, you are no longer an appealing target. Really? And this was supposed to be motivational? Some quotes did hold better meaning and provided a great lead-in for discussion: "People may doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do."--Louis Capps. "The first requisite of a good citizen in this Republic of ours is that they shall be able and willing to pull their own weight."--Theodore Roosevelt. "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."--Albert Einstein.

The fact that the device will repeat the same statement repeatedly throughout a given 24-hour period is fantastic, in our opinion. No matter how many times we wanted to hear the statement again, we could press the button and listen to the very same statement throughout the day. This could be a tremendous tool if there were phrases you desired to memorize. Additional editions to be released include foreign languages, which could be fantastic for homeschool use. Our family would have preferred one of the Life Learning Devices that held more life learning value for our family, perhaps the upcoming Proverbs or Healing Words of Jesus. We found this particular edition to be more ridiculous than helpful most days. We would accept this item as a gift but would probably not purchase one ourselves. We would consider purchasing the upcoming biblical editions for our home or as gifts for friends and family, but we prefer to find "Words of Wisdom" in the Word of God rather than the words of man.

Product review by Donna Campos, Senior Product Reviewer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August 2009