Mom Approved Paints {Homeschool Review Crew}

Mom Approved Paints

Homeschool Review Crew

 

The Pencil Grip, Inc.
Do you like arts and crafts?  I love doing them with my kids!  But I hate the mess.  And because I hate the mess we don’t do them as often as we should.  Lately we’ve been doing a lot of painting using these mom approved paints from The Pencil Grip, Inc.  We are adoring their Thin Stix Creativity Pack that we received for a review through The Homeschool Review Crew.

Thin Stix Creativity Pack

About the Product

This fun pack of 24 colors introduces us to the thin stix kwik stix colors.  We’ve reviewed their original kwik stix before and loved them so I knew these would be just as fun.  These amazing colors are non toxic tempura paint in stick form so they need no water and no brushes.  You simply color with the paint stick like you would a marker.  They dry in 90 seconds so less mess means these are mom approved paints.

 

mom approved paints

 

We got some fun colors in this kit.  There are 24 all together.  While 12 of them are your standard colors there are also six metalix and six neon colors as well.  My kids particularly loved the sparkly colors(metalix) because that was something that they hadn’t had before.  I love how easy they are to use even for my  little toddler guy who thinks he needs to do everything the big kids do.

 

mom approved paints

 

Our Thoughts

Obviously since I titled this post mom approved paints I approve of them.  They are easy to use and mess free.  For real mess free.  When one of my kids got some paint on the table it easily wiped off which cemented their worth in my eyes.

 

mom approved paints

 

A fun fact is that I have ten kids.  All ten of my kids used these to create their gorgeous works of art.  And the paints are still almost all full.  Which means using them to paint ten pictures did not use much at all.  For us this is amazing.  If we were to use a normal palette of paint we would use the whole thing just for making one set of pictures.  Believe me as we have.  It’s easy to use too much and saturate your paper when you’re using a brush.  When it’s a marker it’s so much easier to control where the paint goes.

 

kwik stix 7

 

That brings us to another point.  These work amazingly for kids who have fine motor control issues.  My gal who has had to have occupational therapy for fine motor can use these wonderfully and is so proud of her pretty pictures.  Using paint brushes does not get the same results for her and often makes her sad that she can’t do what everyone else can do.  This evens the playing field so to say and makes them even more mom approved paints for moms who have kids with special needs.  Or moms who really just don’t like messes(raising my hand here).

 

mom approved paints

 

Learn More

Want to learn more about Thin Stix and how others have used them?  Check out all the reviews posted and linked up.  You can find them all linked up over on the Main Blog Post on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.  Also make sure to check them out on social media via facebook, twitter, and pinterest.

mom approved paints

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

Travel The World {Homeschool Review Crew}

Travel the World

Homeschool Review Crew

I have always wanted to travel the world.  But, unfortunately, I haven’t been able to.  A goal for my parenting is to help my children see and experience as much as I can.  We’re doing just that by using Let’s Go Geography as part of our homeschool.  As we get online and login we get to travel to different places every week.  Much fun is being had in our geography travels!

 

Let's Go Geography
 

Where would you go if you could go anywhere?  That is a question I asked my kids when we started with this geography course.  Geography hasn’t been a huge part of our homeschool until this year.  I was interested in what countries or states or continents interested my kids so we could make sure and do those first.

About the Program

Travel the world in style.  Your own style that is!  Let’s Go Geography is a three year course that allows you to travel through a few states in the United States as well as some countries each year.  You can plan on two regions of the United States plus roughly 26 countries each year.  With the curriculum access or download you get access for one year for one teacher or mom to use with her children or a coop class.  

Each week an email comes to my inbox telling me what the destination of our travels will be.  It is a 36 week course but does allow a few break weeks as well as some review weeks.  There are two reviews per semester plus a review at the end of the year.

Because everything you need is set out for you this is a very easy program to follow.  You can use it a bit every day or make one day a geography day and do it all then.

This program is designed for grades kindergarten through fourth.  I have also been using it with my fifth and sixth graders and my preschooler.  It is very easily adaptable. 

 

Let's Go Geography

 

What’s it Like?

You are going to go online into your back “office” location.  There you click on the schedule week you wish to do.  It will then have you click to download or access the PDF which you can print off.  Each destination has six chapters for you to work through.  These are:

  • Chapter 1: Map it!  Here you learn where you are going in your travel the world course and pin or mark it on a map.  Plus you’ll learn a few basic facts.
  • Chapter 2: The Flag!  Learn about the country flag and what it means/symbolizes.  You’re going to color/cut and have lots of fun learning about and doing some hands on fun with the flag.
  • Chapter 3: The Music!  Listen to music from the country and learn about their culture. There are also videos to watch.  These are safe to view videos.  Nothing questionable to have to worry about like simply looking stuff up on YouTube.
  • Chapter 4: Let’s Explore!  Go sighseeing!  See what the country has to offer.  Check into some different areas of the country and get to know the people.  Plus some fun facts.
  • Chapter 5: Create!  Hands on activities with step by step directions.  Much fun to be had.
  • Chapter 6: Printables! Here you’ll find notebooking pages, fun classroom activities and much more.

Our Thoughts

I love that it isn’t a set in stone journey.  We can travel the world as we want to and are not locked into going to this destination then this one in a set order.  I could jump around and choose where we would visit based on my kids interests or what we were studying in other areas of our homeschool.   It’s very easy to supplement other reading books to where we travel each week as well.  Those get stuck in our morning book basket and the kids can read on them during free reading time.  Sometimes finding board book or toddler/preschool level reading books about where we travel can be hard though.

 

Travel the World

 

I do feel I should mention that it is made to be a set in stone journey.  We chose not to use it that way and it worked really well for us.  We also used this four days a week.  Because the whole week is laid out we still got all of the information covered.

Some of the countries we decided to visit include Canada, Greenland, Finland, Norway, and Sweden.  This week we’re finishing up visiting Iceland.  As you can tell other than Canada we are staying in a central location.  Because there are reviews we did decide to do countries only within semester 1.  All of these are in that semester so they do tend to stay centralized somewhat.  I like that we can have the flexibility to jump around as we want.

I personally am learning and enjoying this program.  My kids are loving it.  I can see us continuing to use this and most likely purchasing years 2 and 3 as well so we can continue our exploration.

 

Travel the World

 

Let’s talk about the Break weeks just a little bit. It’s basically a week where there are no lessons.  Week 9 is the first break week.  For us we just will be skipping over that break week and “saving” it for later.  We tend to take a week break off of all school during slow times in my husbands business(he’s self employed) and during the off season for doing some amazing field trips.  So break weeks are just not being done here currently.  

Now review weeks.  I love this idea!  The first review week is week 12.  If you follow the schedule there would be 10 countries visited to review.  We’ve already done 6 countries but only two of them are in that section.  I am planning on skipping that week as a review and just doing another lesson.  We will then finish visiting all semester one spots and do two review weeks back to back after we’ve done all the countries.  

You will need some kind of a notebook or binder to keep all your activities and pages in.  They call it a travel journal.  Neat idea!  So we grabbed a package of writing paper for each child plus a three ring binder that I will hole punch and put all the papers in.  We then put dividers in it to divide out each week.

 

Let's Go Geography

 

Learn More

Want to learn more?  Check out the main blog post on the Homeschool Review Crew blog where all the reviews are linked up.  You can also find Let’s Go Geography on facebook and pinterest.

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

History through Living Books

History Through Living Books

5 Days of Homeschooling with Living Books 

A great way to learn history through living books is by reading biographies.  

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  Biographies are boring.  They’re dry.  You can’t get interested in them.  Well we’ve got a fun new way of reading biographies for you then.  Try YWAM books.  

The series we use is Christian Heroes Then and Now.  These books focus on missionaries.  They’re a fun biography book that actually keeps you engaged and learning at the same time.  Also YWAM offers study guides to go with the books so that you can use them for a small unit study as well.  I love that my kids want to read these books and they love the books so it’s a win win.

 

Charlotte Mason History

And yes, my kids do love these books.  I recently attended a homeschool conference local to me and bought the WHOLE SET of YWAM Christian Heroes then and now.  All of them.  Every last one they have in print currently is now in our library.  I came home with these books.  Immediately my kids were unwrapping them and finding their favorite reading nooks to dig in.  History through living books.  We love it.  

Other great ways to use living books for your history is to find a book based history curriculum.  We enjoy using The Story of the World as a read aloud.  It’s a great history book that reads like a story and won’t bore your children.  They currently have four in the series.  

Another idea would be to find a curriculum that is book based that includes history.  Our favorite one to recommend would be My Father’s World.  We’re currently using this curriculum though we’re using Exploring Countries and Cultures so we’re adding in some extra history of our own.  I like that they use a book basket.  However, I do not approve or allow all of their book basket books into my home so it’s definitely something individual.  Make sure to go through and only get the ones you’re comfortable with.

Some other books we’ve enjoyed for not only learning about history but also about virtues and character traits are Profiles of Valor and Portraits of Integrity.  They’re great books that give verses to support character traits as well as a historical figure who exemplifies those traits.  I’ll do reviews on those books later on so look for those.

Other books we love to include for history and character training as well are those from Lamplighter Publishing.  Not all of their books are going to qualify as history but they do have some good ones.  Make sure and screen them to see what you think.

What do you use for history?  What do you love?  My kids are excited to start studying American History this year so I’m stockpiling books about the American Revolution for our first big read.  All the Pilgrims and Puritans as well.  Oh and got to get those Native American ones too.  My list keeps getting bigger!  Make sure to comment your suggestions for me!

Exploring Your World {Homeschool Review Crew}

Exploring Your World

Homeschool Review Crew

Do you do school in the summer?  We school year round but in the summer and fall we tend to do more outside activities.  We call it exploring your world.  Because that’s what we’re doing!  We’re exploring the great big wonderful world around us.  As part of our exploring your world this summer we’ve been using some My First Reports from Hewitt Homeschooling.

 

Hewitt Homeschooling

 

About My First Reports

My First Reports are are ideally for grades one through four.  However, I have had my children in fifth and sixth grades using these this summer too and they’ve been amazing!  Know your child and you’ll know if these will work for them.  For my kids they were interested in the subject matter and really loved the reports.  Could they have dug a little deeper and done a bit harder work?  Sure.  But did they need to to learn?  No.

Within the My First Report curriculum your child not only learns about the topic on hand but they also incorporate so much more!  There are hands on activities.  You’re going to see science, history, math, music, PE, and the list goes on.  I love that they are little unit studies that you can work through at your own pace.

 

 My First Reports Set of Fourteen
Each My First Reports packet contains at least twelve different topics within the topic of the entire packet.  So if you use one sub-topic per week the packet will last you an entire quarter of school.  So two My First Reports per semester or four per year (or five- six per year if you school year round) would be all you’d need.  Oh and the report forms you use are reproducible.  LOVE that.  Plus the lines come in varying heights so it’s perfect for your super neat small writer or your large and sloppy writer. 

Our Reports

We received several different My First Reports to review.  I’m going to list them below and chat about each one a bit.  But first I want to say I love how they come to me just staples but with holes punched so they’re ready to go in a three ring binder or folder.  This makes keeping track of them easier and you can personalize how you keep them together.  If we’re going on a field trip we can just grab the one sheet we need versus taking the whole binder.  Also the front and back pages are a cardstock type paper rather than just standard printer paper making them a little more durable.

Exploring Your World

Marine Life by Christine Dillon

Remember the classification system?  Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species?  Well you will after this study!  You’re going to learn all about the animal kingdom within marine life.  And it’s fun learning!  I really wish we’d lived closer to an ocean or beach for this study as explore your world -the beach just sounds like so much fun!  But instead we satisfied our longing with a trip to our pond and the large aquarium at the zoo.

You’ll find Sponges, Jellyfish/Coral, Sea Animals/Shells, Octopuses/Squids, Crustaceans, Sea Stars, Fishes, Sea Mammals, Sharks/Rays, Dolphins, Sport Fishes, and Aquarium Fishes as the topics within Marine Life.  It’s 45 pages without the reproducible copy pages at the end.

Our favorite sub topic would have to be on the sharks/rays.  My kids loved it!  Of course sitting in the tunnel in the zoo aquarium while we were working on that lesson and the sharks swimming over and around us didn’t hurt either.  Plus they had a little petting area set up where the kids could touch sting rays.  I’m all freaking out about it because that’s definitely not on my bucket list but the kids loved it.  

Exploring your World

Plants by Christine Dillon

My dad is a horticulturist but I’m ashamed to say my plant knowledge is rudimentary at best.  I definitely learned a lot going over and through this with the kids.  If you’re like us and use “exploring your world” as a base of study you get all kinds of plant questions.  “Mommy what’s this?”  “Mommy what’s this flower called?  Why does this have have this bump on it?  Can I eat this?” and the list goes on and on and on!!

While exploring your world in the realm of plants you’re going to learn about roots, stems, leaves, flowers, seeds, fruits, clones, defenses, habitats, unusual, conifers, and seedless.  This is a great study to do with gardening because you can literally watch a bunch of this stuff happening before your eyes in the garden while you learn about it on paper.  Choose a fast growing plant though.  

For this study I want to chat about one section that is in all of them.  Bible.  They all have a good sized section dedicated to how the Bible incorporates into this topic.  For plants you learn about lots of places where the Bible mentions plants and how they relate to us.  One section we took out of that and explored more was linen.  How linen is made, where it comes from, when we started using linen, etc.  This really is one of my favorites sections in all the reports because of the sheer volume of learning that is done in it.  Not just by my children.  It’s amazing truths spoken to us.

Exploring your World

Birds by Christine Dillon

We love birds in our house.  Bird feeders hang outside our windows so we can watch the fun birds through our window.  Of course, these are just the standard “yard” birds.  This study covers so many more birds!

The topics covered in this study are NonFlyers, Penguins, Sea Swimmers, Tall Waders, Sea/Shore, Water, Game, Birds/Prey, Owls, Tropical, Perchers, Hummingbirds/Swifts, and NonPerchers.  Our favorite to study was probably the birds of prey.  We live in the country and are near a wildlife refuge that hosts the largest number of Eagles in our area.  Driving around and spotting the Bald Eagles is always a fun activity.  There is even a juvenile pair that we spotted roosting in our trees!

This is again a great study to involve going somewhere.  We did some nature walks, we went to the refuge, we went to the zoo.  I really wish we had an actual aviary somewhere close that we could go see all the birds!  We loved the activity of grow sunflowers as we already have a few volunteer sunflowers coming up under our bird feeders.

Exploring your World

Pets and Farm Animals by Christine Dillon

This study is the one that was done by my six year old.  It’s one we could easily do as we live on a farm.  The topics covered are Cats, Dogs, Goats, Horses, Pigs, Sheep, Cattle, Poultry, Rabbits, Fish, Monkeys, Birds/Fowl, Hamsters, and Turtles.  We have almost all of these on our farm!  

We did have to go off our farm to find pigs, cattle, rabbits, fish, monkeys, and hamsters.  Monkeys just don’t run wild around here!  We do visit a farm often to get our milk so that was an easy stop to look at cattle up close.  Driving by them is not quite the same. My kids have always wanted rabbits so this was another chance to beg their daddy.  He still says no!  Hamsters are a house pet that we won’t have as we have cats inside.  Lastly it’s the fish.  Fish we easy to go look at nearby at lakes and the refuge for “wild” ones or the store for inside ones.

The read alouds for this section were so fun.  Lots of favorites plus we added several of our own as well.  Anything animal related could be included here and we included a lot of them!

Exploring Your World

Reptiles and Amphibians by Christine Dillon

My ten year old boy is a reptile lover.  Every time we go to the zoo his favorite exhibit is the “swamp” where we get to see alligators and crocodiles.  They have several learning stations that teach the difference between the two and all about them.

The topics within this study are Lizards, Iguanas, Chameleons, Turtles, Crocodiles, Snakes, Garter Snakes, Rattlesnakes, Frogs, Toads, Newts, and Salamanders.  Rattlesnakes was one I made sure the whole family heard and learned about in this study because we do have a population around here.  It’s always important to be able to identify snakes and know which the poisonous ones are.

While exploring your world you should know all the poisonous animals and plants.  These two studies(combined with some from plants) made up a semi unit study that I did with the whole family.  I wanted to make sure my children weren’t going to be eating things that would make them sick.

My son definitely loved this study and would really like to expand on it and do more individualized animals.  There wasn’t an alligator section so he’s currently applying all the information he’s learned about reports and gathering information to create his own alligator study.  I think another zoo visit is going to be happening soon.

Exploring your World

Wild Animals Small Mammals by Christine Dillon

This was another fun study to work through!  Definitely going to be doing it with all of the kids next semester.  It’s one that contains several animals local to us which makes it fun to go walk along our property and look for animal tracks.  We found lots of possum(opossums) and raccoon tracks.  Oh and squirrels.  We have lots of squirrels!

The topics contained are beavers, foxes, skunks, opossums, koalas, raccoons, otters, porcupines, squirrels, pandas, moles, bats, and armadillos.  

Foxes are the bane of our existence lately as they’re loving our chicken dinners.  This was a lot of fun and really informational for my son doing this study.  It allowed him to come up with possible habitats that our foxes could be living and why they would have chosen those spots.  I loved watching their minds work!

exploring your world

Wild Animals Large Mammals by Christine Dillon

Large mammals were also fun as it included several of our favorites from the zoo.  It also had a one that we could see locally(like our backyard) that made it so we could tie it into our everyday life.  I love tying things into actually exploring your world in our backyard!

The topics covered are Bears, Hippopotamuses, Deer, Tigers, Apes, Elephants, Moose, Lions, Kangaroos, Whales, Giraffes, Camels, and Zebras.  Obviously most of these don’t live in the wild in the midwest and whales is one we are not going to be able to see.

Our favorite animal to talk about and learn about was definitely the lion.  We love to incorporate Jesus as a lion and the symbolism behind that into things so that was fun.  It also allowed us to read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe again which is fun.  We love that book!

How We Used Them

I’ve mentioned some of how we used the various studies above.  For the purposes of getting them in for the review period I let one child each choose a study.  They worked through it primarily on their own with my help.  The other kids just gleaned by listening plus I had the one assigned to that study share with them occasionally what they were learning and the fun stuff involved.

We all did ALL of the fun nature experiments, field trips, and such together for ALL of the studies.  So we were kind of doing seven studies at once as a family but then again not.  If that makes any sense.  I would definitely if buying the studies only work on one study at a time with all of the kids together.

Ages for the studies.  I had two 12 year olds, two 10 year olds, a nine year old, an eight year old, and a six year old assigned to the studies.  They each got to choose which one they wanted to be their primary study and we went from there.  These are a lot of fun to use and we are definitely going to be getting one or two to work through next summer as well.  All the thumbs up from us if you like hands on go out and explore schooling these are for you!  Exploring your world just got easier!

On our list of to buy next and use would be the Bugs and Worms!  We found a slug that was huge yesterday and it started all kinds of questions!

 

Exploring Your World

 

Learn More

Make sure you check out the Main Homeschool Review Crew blog for all the great Hewitt Homeschooling reviews.  They go from the small ages way up to high school ages so I’m sure you can find an appropriate age range for your homeschooler.  Make sure to particularly check out the other My First Reports reviews as there are so many fun titles to choose from!  You can also find Hewitt Homeschooling on facebook, pinterest, twitter, and google +.  Now get out with us this summer and start Exploring Your World!

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

Homeschooling Charlotte Mason Style

Homeschooling Charlotte Mason Style

Read Alouds

We love read alouds in our house.  If you’re not familiar with the term read alouds, this refers to reading a book out loud to an audience.  In our case, I am the reader and my children are the audience.  I love homeschooling Charlotte Mason style which places a large influence on literature and using good literature in your homeschool.

So I thought I’d share with you this weeks read alouds.  And yes that’s plural.  We read more than one book a day.  In fact, we normally have 3-4 different daily read alouds.

 

homeschooling Charlotte Mason Style

 

While we’re reading our books I often have a calming(Peace and calming or lavender) or focusing(vetiver and brain power are amazing) essential oil blend diffusing to make sure we are all focusing and not letting our brains wander.  The main reason I started this is that I was letting my brain wander while reading!  Yes it is possible to have a wandering brain while reading and still read well!  Also, some of my kiddos are doers.  They have to be doing something to really understand what they’re reading so they’re going to be playing with essential oil infused playdough or mega blocks.

So our breakfast read aloud is normally a more focused Christian living and guiding type book.  Lately we’ve been reading through some YWAM biography books.  Their heroes and heroines of history series is amazing.  This week we’re reading about Laura Ingalls Wilder.

That brings us to our second read aloud time of the day.  This is normally at lunch time.  At lunch this week we are reading The Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Makes sense that we’d be starting her most famous book series while reading about her life.  This is how homeschooling Charlotte Mason style is so great!  You can read about an author and also read some of their books at the same time.  For me that’s amazing.

For our lunch read aloud we’ll go through the whole Little House series before we decide on a new series. Sometimes we just go back to book one because it’s amazing how children can pick out new things each time they listen.  I even find myself picking out things that I’d not paid attention to before when I read them as a child.

Another read aloud!  Yeap they just keep coming!  The next read aloud is for supper.  For our supper read aloud we like to read The Chronicles of Narnia.  This is our constant.  We just go from one book to the next and then back again.  So far we have skipped reading aloud The Last Battle though as it’s a bit much for our younger kiddos.  The older kids have read it on their own though and we’ve had some good discussions.

Our last read aloud comes with bedtime.  For bedtime I will read another series.  Right now we’re doing Anne of Green Gables.  We’ll go through the entire series.  Once this one is over I think Emily of New Moon will be up next.  I’ve always been a big fan of these books and love sharing them with my children.  Anne with an E is still one of my favorite characters!

What are some books that you like to read out loud to your children?  I want them to be books that will teach my children something.  Character training is so important and most of our books are going to focus on teaching while telling a vivid story.

Upcoming Blog Series!!

Upcoming Blog Series

5 Days of Homeschooling with Living Books

I am so excited to share with you that I’m participating in another Homeschool Review Crew blog hop!  This year we are doing a 5 Days of Homeschooling and my theme for the upcoming blog series is 5 Days of Homeschooling with Living Books. 

That means that each day Monday through Friday next week you’re going to see a post from this series focusing on homeschooling with living books.  I’ll include things like 

  • what are living books?
  • how can you use living books in your homeschool?
  • popular living books for different ages
  • what are twaddle books?
  • why we don’t use twaddle books in our homeschool or even keep them in our home
  • who does this homeschool style work for?
  • what are some great homeschool curriculums to use with these books
  • and so much more!  Stay tuned!

Living Books and Learning

I’m so excited about this upcoming blog series because I really love using living books in our homeschool and I think you’re going to love learning more about what makes our home tick.  I realized that I don’t often share the nitty gritty of why we have made certain choices in our homeschool and I want to do that!  Maybe you’re a new homeschooler or maybe you’re just looking into other ways to homeschool.  Either way, come join me!  

Not only will you get to read my awesome series in the upcoming blog series but I’ll be linked up to all the other bloggers who are part of the homeschool review crew so you can read their posts as well!  It’s going to be a great week of tons of content just for you!

Here’s a synopsis of what we’ll be talking about!

“Homeschooling can be fun and rewarding utilizing the local library to help you.  We love the Charlotte Mason approach and are using her philosophy on living books versus twaddle in our homeschool.  It enrichs our lives and helps us instill good character and values into our children as they grow into young adults.”

 

 

 

 

5 Days of Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017

History Through Books {Homeschool Review Crew}

History Through Books

Homeschool Review Crew

History Through Books {Homeschool Review Crew}

 

Do you love history?  We do!  I also like using a more Charlotte Mason approach in our homeschool.  Learning history through books is the perfect way to go!  We’re beyond excited to tell you about a new series of books that we’ve recently been reviewing through the Homeschool Review Crew.  It’s the If You Were Me and Lived In . . . . series brought to you by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com.  We received four titles for our review!

The four titles we received are If You Were Me and Lived In . . . Elizabethan England(An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time)(Volume 3), If You Were Me and Lived in . . . the Middle Ages(An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time)(Volume 6), If You Were Me and Lived in . . . Colonial America(An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time)(Volume 4), and If You Were Me and Lived in . . . Renaissance Italy(An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time)(Volume 2).  

These learning history through books titles do not have to be done in order of volumes.  Which is wonderful!  It allows for kids to pick what time period most interests them and dig in.  No slow going through titles that hold no appeal for them just to get to the fun stuff.

I personally love the Elizabethan England period and couldn’t wait to dig into that book with my children.  Learning history through books is so much fun.  Well, it is to me!  And thankfully my children have inherited my love of reading and history as well. The books are engaging and full of information.  When you travel to Elizabethan England you become the child of a mid-class tradesman.  But, you also learn about the class of people above and below you.  You learn about the entire time period without really realizing you’re learning.  This is why learning history through books is so much fun!   This book is 50 pages long including the important people section and glossary. 

 

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com}
 

After going through the Elizabethan England book we jaunted back into time through the Middle Ages.  It’s a bit longer than the first at 97 pages long.  We could have done these in order probably but I was in a hurry for the Elizabethan England. It’s my favorite time period!  Medieval would be a close second though.  In the middle ages we got to become wealthy(where we were middle class in Elizabethan).  This was a new and fun experience and even my three year old daughter was interested in the book and what we were reading.  Blood letting brought about a very long discussion as well. 

 

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com}
 

We decided to stay with this theme and went to Renaissance Italy next.  It’s again a bit thinner at 53 pages long.  I can’t say that I have ever put a lot of study into the Renaissance though I do like the time period.  It’s not a favorite that’s garnered a lot of attention.  I love that in all of the books they show the city or area that you’re studying in a then and a now picture for comparison.  This is great and leads to a lot of good observations and study.  We also love finding all the names that might have been.  Some bring a lot of laughs from my children.  Studying the Renaissance also gave us more information about why people didn’t drink water.

 

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com}
 

Our last stop brought us to Colonial America.  This would be an amazing book to add to a Thanksgiving unit study.  It is 61 pages long.  There are other books in this series about different periods in American history but this is the one we were sent.  It’s 61 pages long.  You’re in for a fun adventure in this book as you start out in England before going to the Netherlands and finally America.  

This book series brings you history through books in a way that children of all ages will love and enjoy.  It’s not the dry history that makes you memorize dates and names though.  The history you’re learning is much more fun!  Learn the clothes that were worn, the way they wore their hair, the food they ate, etc.  History through books helps bring about the discovery of history through the eyes of a child their own age living in a different time.  It’s fun yet also learning which is the best combination!

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com}
Learn more about Awaywegomedia.com and the If You Were Me and Lived in . . .  series by visiting all the reviews linked up on the Main Crew Blog Page.  There were several different titles available for review so you’re sure to find a time period that interests you!  You can also find them on facebook, twitter, goodreads, and pinterest.

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

Charlotte Mason Copywork {TOS Crew Review}

Do you want your children to follow a Charlotte Mason approach?  Having a hard time finding a Charlotte Mason copywork that works for you?  Recently with the TOS Crew we received a Lifetime Membership to Homeschool Copywork.  This to me is so awesome!  

I’ve had a hard time finding good copywork for my children.  We follow more of a Charlotte Mason approach and I didn’t just want them copying silly phrases.  I wanted them copying and reading and memorizing things that had meaning.

 

Homeschool Copywork Review
 

If you’re like me you’re going to love this Charlotte Mason copywork.  With our lifetime membership we get access to upper and lower elementary copywork for a lifetime as well as a junior and high school level.  I can go in and print off whatever I want whenever I want.  There are also some extra resources that we have access to.  

Homeschool Copywork offers two membership levels.  You can get a full membership which is for only a year or a lifetime membership(which is what we received) which is good for the lifetime of the site.  

 

Charlotte Mason Copywork {TOS Crew Review}

 

We have a great variety of Charlotte Mason copywork that we get to choose from to use.  There are also different writing styles and manuscript versus cursive that you can print out and use.  I like to print them out and put them in a folder with brads or in a binder so that each copywork book is together.  As far as the variety, you can choose scriptures(we love the KJV ones she has) or artist studies, or nature studies, hymns, quotes of composers, and so much more!

The object of the Charlotte Mason copywork is not to just copy the words.  But to read and memorize the words.  To fully understand their meaning and to do your absolute best while writing that phrase.  You don’t need to write the whole copybook in one day.  That defeats the purpose.  Each page and each study should be done slowly and with great care.  

We’ve used several of the coypwork books as I do have several children.  I had my two five-year old girls start with the ABC copywork.  Just short little phrases like A is for and B is for.  It helps to familiarize them with their letters and how they’re formed. It also includes an area where they can trace the words.  Oh and a good-sized picture of whatever animal is being referenced so they can color it too.  I really like this because at this young age we are definitely still working on coloring inside the lines and doing our absolute best.  One of my five-year olds is more advanced and did a better job on her copywork.  The other will have to do it again probably at some point.  

 

Charlotte Mason Copywork

 

My favorite Charlotte Mason copywork for my older kids is the Character Building Copybook.  I printed off the entire book to start with.  Then I chose the writing styles that I wanted each child to use.  If more than one child was using the same writing style I printed off an additional cover and then copied the pages they would need.  Most of the time we printed in black and white as with 8 of my 9 kids using the copybooks it is definitely a lot of ink.  I highly recommend making sure all your cartridges are full before starting printing!  I did however go full color on the cover page.  You want it to be enticing!  

 

Charlotte Mason Copywork

 

The description for the Character Building Copywork is copying scriptures to train the heart.  That’s definitely something I think my children are still needing to work on at their young ages.  It’s done in KJV which is the version we like to exclusively use for memorization.  And each page does have a smaller picture to color as well.  This is from the Early Elementary section but also included in the Upper Elementary section.  I used it with anyone who could read as I wanted them to be able to read and understand what they were being asked to copy and memorize.   

I do want to mention that not all the scriptural copybooks are done in the KJV.  They also do use the ESV for several of them.  Another we used was the Armor of God.  It’s a great one for boys but done in the ESV instead of the KJV.  So we made sure to look in our Bibles while we were doing that one so that we could see what the difference was.  It was easier for the kids to memorize what was on the pages for this but I did want them to be familiar with where it was in the Bible and how it read in the KJV.  

 

Charlotte Mason Copywork

 

Amy Blevins is the creator of this site and does a wonderful job with the Charlotte Mason copywork.  I’m excited to see what new things she’ll add over the year and years to the site.  There are some great copybooks that I also can’t wait to get my older children working on.  Quotes from famous authors who happen to be favorites of mine to start with!  My oldest daughter can’t wait to do the some of the author quotes as she loves to read while my boys are all in awe over the Dragons one!

Want to see what other reviewers thought and what Charlotte Mason copywork pieces they chose to use?  Head on over to the Main TOS Blog and read all the reviews.  I did not use much of the upper elementary level so make sure you check out some of those.  My main focus was as you’ve seen on the lower elementary in particular the K-1st level.  You can also find more about Homeschool Copywork on facebook, twitter, instagram, Pinterest, and Google +.

 

 

crew disclaimer graphic

Ancient History the Charlotte Mason Way {TOS Crew Review}

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m a great fan of Charlotte Mason and her teaching methods.  When I got offered a chance to review something from Brookdale House I knew that I wanted to.  You see, I reviewed the Writing Through Ancient History, Level 2 Cursive.  This is truly learning Ancient History the Charlotte Mason Way and I couldn’t be happier!  Well, I will be happier once we get the entire series!!

 

 Brookdale House Review
 

With this curriculum, my kids are learning proper cursive handwriting as well as important lessons in ancient history.  I’ve never been a fan of copywork that just has them copy the same word over and over and over.  It’s boring.  It’s dull.  They’re not learning anything really.  Oh yes, they learn how to spell that word and how to form the letters, but that’s it.  They’re not getting any real lessons out of it.  This is why I love the Charlotte Mason way of learning.  You eliminate the “twaddle” and the stuff that doesn’t encourage learning or improve the mind.

While they’re learning about the proper way to form cursive letters, they’re also learning ancient history the Charlotte Mason way.  It doesn’t seem like they’re memorizing rote facts to them.  It doesn’t seem like they’re really learning at all!  But they are!  They’re memorizing passages of history that will stick with them through the years.

I received an e-book of the Writing Through Ancient History, Level 2 Cursive.  The online cost for this is $22.95.  You can also purchase a print copy of the book if you’d rather.  Level 2 is for Grades 3-5.  Level 1 covers grades 1-3.  I chose level 2 because I have two children in 4th grade who are working on their cursive handwriting.  I would now like to go back and get all the Level 1 and 2’s from all the different levels of history!  My two younger children who are in preschool and kindergarten(ages 5 and 4) obviously aren’t quite ready for these, but my older six could all use them.

 

Ancient History the Charlotte Mason Way 

The e-book came as a 384 page PDF download.  It’s broken up into an introduction section and then subsequent chapters.  There are four chapters and each chapter has a different type of reading passage.  Chapter 1- short stories, Chapter 2- extracts from primary sources, Chapter 3- poetry, and Chapter 4- folk or cultural tales.  There are also Bible passages interspersed that you can use as well.  There are some ancient mythology stories in here so you may want to skip those if you don’t approve.  I personally love mythology and will want to teach that to my children but from a Biblical perspective.

Another choice besides which era of history you’d like to do is whether you want cursive or manuscript.  I chose cursive simply because that is the type of penmanship my two in 4th grade are using.  I wanted to give them more practice writing and READING cursive.  You see, not many curriculums or books even these days use cursive and it can be difficult to find copywork that is cursive unless you make it yourself.  Which, though I have done, it’s time-consuming and as a busy working mom of 9 children I don’t have the time!!

That is why we are in love with Brookdale House and their Writing Through History series.  We started with the Ancient History because I love to take things along a timeline.  The next era that we would then do is medieval, early modern, and modern.  I’m already excited to see what those entail as I love history!  You can see some sample pages from each book HERE!

 

 Brookdale House Review
 

To get a bit more in-depth, this course allows them to read historical selections, understand and be able to verbalize that back, write down a short summary of that, and then read a short model that they then copy down three times.  At first it may take your child longer to read and comprehend what they’ve read if they are not used to reading historical type narrations.  

After browsing their site, I’ve also found the Bible Memorization made easy that we’d like to try out as well.  It looks like an easy way to help your children hide God’s word in their hearts for many years to come.  

So our final opinions are that we love this.  My kids were a bit not in love at first because I hadn’t made them narrate back or summarize very many things.  This is great practice for them and I think they are really learning how to analyze and break apart works now.  The copy work is good as well as it’s not just childlike phrases or words strung together.  As the parent I heartily approve and as the students they are beginning to love it!!  We recommend it and encourage you to give it a try.   Ancient history the Charlotte Mason way has definitely been a hit in our homeschool!

If you’re interested in what we reviewed or something else from Brookdale House, make sure to check out all the other reviews on the main TOS Crew Blog.  We were given several different choices of what we could review so I’m sure you’ll find something at your child’s level.  You can also find Brookdale House on facebook, pinterest, twitter, and google +

 

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Homeschool the Charlotte Mason Way!

Are you wanting to homeschool?

Not sure where to start?

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$377.35 ONLY $49.00 Save: 87%
Amazing things await you in our Charlotte Mason Bundle! This bundle features a complete curriculum using the Charlotte Mason Methods for language arts, handwriting, and reading, a full geography curriculum, a plethora of resources for studying nature, artists, poetry, and a variety of “extras” just for mom! Learn all about Charlotte Mason and enjoy a special bonus (a $90 value all by itself)—the top 5 best selling G.A. Henty audio books from Jim Hodges Productions. This bundle is jam packed full of amazing resources your family will love!

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Checkout the items in the Charlotte Mason Bundle:

 

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Write from History – Retail $22.95

With modern writing programs, children’s weaknesses often overshadow their
strengths, but with the Charlotte Mason Method of teaching your children
to write all those frustrations will fly out the window. The Write from
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series teaches children to write via the Charlotte Mason Method,
children find writing to be easy and even fun. And when they are asked to
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Write from History is an easy and effective way to teach writing,
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Sheldon’s NEW Primary Language Lessons – Retail
$14.95

Sheldon’s New Primary Language Lessons is a beginning grammar workbook
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50 States and Where to Find Them – Retail $30.00

50 States and Where to Find Them teaches children the states and
capitals region by region through mapping exercises and quality literature.
Children fill out a map of the region as they learn about each state.
State lessons include historical information about the state and coloring
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The Charlotte Mason Way Explained – Retail $6.99

The Charlotte Mason Way Explained ebook consist of 30 chapters, 53
pages written by a veteran home educating mother of four, who has used the
Charlotte Mason way to teach her children from preschool through high school.
Practical insights of how to simply implement each of Charlotte Mason methods
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Recommended for you and found at this price only at the
Build Your Bundle – Homeschool Edition Sale

in the Premium Products Section:

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*Not included in the Charlotte Mason Bundle, available for purchase individually at 60% off.

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Handwriting – Webster’s Syllabary with Phonics
– Retail $15.00

This first book in the Handwriting Lessons Through Literature program
teaches cursive handwriting through Webster’s syllabary and seventy-five
phonograms. Students also learn capital letters and numbers 1-100. Included
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Fine Art Pages Collection 1 – Retail $14.95

This fabulous artist study program that will aid you in studying famous
paintings plus information about each work and the artist.In addition
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Reading Lessons through Literature – Retail $25.00

Reading Lessons through Literature is a pick-up and go Orton phonogram
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other Orton phonogram programs, it focuses on teaching reading through spelling.
First children learn the basic phonograms. Then they begin writing their
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Level 3 Old Testament Overview Part 1 – Retail
$28.00

On this trail Bible students will learn about the Creation, the Promises
God made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and much more. Along the path
they will also learn basic Bible geography through mapping exercises.

Students will draw the timeline, identify biblical locations on a
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Students who take this trail will be able to identify the people and
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Jim Hodges Audio Books – Retail $90.00

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Notebooking Pages: Trees & Plants – Retail
$11.90

The Plants & Trees Basic Study contains 49 notebooking pages includes diagrams
and pages designed to complement your child’s basic study of plants
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pages covers 43 of North America’s trees. Wonderful coloring pages,
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Notebooking Pages: Complete Birds Set – Retail
$23.80

This is the entire collection of nature study birds notebooking sets! You
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All About Birds Basic Study Notebooking
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Notebooking Pages: Wildflowers, Weeds, and Garden
Flowers – Retail $12.95

This set was created to compliment a nature study of flowers using the Handbook
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NaturExplorers Fruit & Nuts – Retail $8.95

This unit will not only have you observing and examining fruits and nuts,
you will learn to observe insect and animal behavior, watch for the effects
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Words With Wings – Retail $39

Introducing Words With Wings, an exciting new poetry curriculum and
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Discipleship: A Character Curriculum Using Scriptures
– Retail $14.95

Discipleship: A Character Curriculum Using Scripture is a one, two
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Because I Said So – a Biblical Study of Obedience
– Retail $4.99

This is a brand new 26 page Bible
study that teaches HOW and WHY we should obey through scripture and study
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When I Survey – a Hymnological Journey to the
Cross – Retail $4.99

When I Survey is a 12-day hymnological journey to the cross. Students
and families will dig into the Bible and then support their learning with
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Breakfast Stations Pack – Retail $2.99

This pack is just what every
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How to Build a Strong Christian Home – Retail
$4.99

Most of us love our families
very much but we struggle in so many different ways, and sometimes we just
need a little help and guidance to become the family we know the Lord wants
us to become. Our families are a blessing and worth the patience, love,
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we can do this one step at a time.

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