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.


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Ancient Egypt {Homeschool Review Crew}

Ancient Egypt

Homeschool Review Crew

Heirloom Audio Productions ~Cat of Bubastes
Have you ever studied Ancient Egypt in your homeschool?  We actually are there in one of our history courses this year so I was very excited to see that The Cat of Bubastes was the newest release and Crew Review from Heirloom Audio Productions!  I of course applied gushing about how we’d love this one.  And I was so excited when we got it!!

We had already read the book as part of our study of ancient Egypt so receiving the audio drama of The Cat of Bubastes was a treat for us!  I have always found ancient Egypt fun and exciting.  Believe it or not, I had never read The Cat of Bubastes though.  It wasn’t until I became a mother and a homeschool mom that I found out about the works of G A Henty.  I also came into contact with Heirloom Audio Productions as a homeschool mom and that makes me very happy!  We’ve been blessed to review many of their works as members of the Homeschool Review Crew.


Ancient Egypt {Homeschool Review Crew}


Each time we receive an audio drama from Heirloom Audio Productions we also receive access to a ton of other great resources through their Study Guide.  This time we received:

  • access to a downloadable 47 page study guide
  • mp3 version of the soundtrack
  • colorful illustrated ebook of the G A Henty classic
  • printable copy of the inspirational verse featured
  • cast poster in printable form
  • access to the behind the scenes documentary(am I the only one who loves these??)
  • Live the Adventure Letter E-newsletter access

More of What We Love

The CD itself is a 2 disc set.  With all the extras we received it’s very easy to plan and make this a full unit study to help homeschoolers learn about ancient Egypt and a spiritual lesson too.  This audio drama focuses on perseverance, responsibility, and God’s providence.  

The cast for The Cat of Bubastes features Brian Blessed, Anthony Daniels, Sylvester McCoy, and John Rhys-Davies.  Am I the only one that hears the voice of John Rhys-Davies and immediately can see his face as being a bad guy in some movie?  Maybe?  He’s really good at that role and his voice is wonderful.  I love listening to him.


Heirloom Audio Productions ~Cat of Bubastes

One of the things that I love about the study guides that Heirloom Audio Production gives us access to with their audio dramas is that it includes historical and biblical content.  They give me a starting point for helping my children dig deeper into the lessons that they can learn from the story. Let’s face it, I don’t have the time to find all that information on my own.  And I certainly don’t have the time to make a study guide of my own with ten kids and a farm/house to run!  I’m forever grateful to the people who do have the time and allow us to use their knowledge and expertise.

Interested in learning more about The Cat of Bubastes and Ancient Egypt?  Check out their facebook, twitter, google +, and instagram!  Also head on over to the Main Homeschool Review Crew blog page and find all the reviews linked up to read and enjoy!


Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

Beric the Briton {TOS Crew Review}

Beric the Briton

Heirloom Audio Productions

Reading books is so important to our family, but listening to good literature is as well.  That’s why we love Heirloom Audio Productions.  They produce wonderful pieces to listen to that captivate our whole family.  Recently as part of the TOS Crew we received a copy of Beric the Briton on CD to listen to.  

Beric the Briton takes you back in history to a time long ago.  Journey back to pagan England where the Romans are attacking.  It’s a wonderful tale that is going to captivate you.  Activate your imagination while listening to this wonderful tale of history and Bible all weaved together into a lesson on character as well. 


Beric the Briton {TOS Crew Review}


At least, that’s what it does to our family when we listen to Beric the Briton.  Like all the other G. A. Henty adventures, this audio drama focuses on one person in a difficult time making difficult decisions and actions.  From that main character we can then learn a character trait or another great lesson.  It’s not just all fluff and fun.  The G. A. Henty books are definitely not twaddle and neither are their audio dramas.

The CD we received is a physical 2 CD set.  Our set also came with access to a digital downloadable study guide.  While we have used the study guides for all the other audio dramas we’ve received, we did not get to use this one.  I do plan on incorporating it into our school year as we study this period in history though.  A little that you can expect with the study guide are wonderful discussion questions and comprehension questions.  It also has helpful hints and fun activities to use to increase your learning as well as Bible studies.  Using the study guide you can easily use the Beric the Briton CD as a unit study.  We also received an MP3 soundtrack with our 2 CD set and a printable poster with a quote from Julius in the audio drama “I will gladly die for him who died for me”.

Other fun things that we received to go with this review are a downloadable behind-the-scenes video, an e-book of the G. A. Henty novel(highly recommend that the novel be read with the audio drama—- we read the book first as any good reader would do), mp3 version of the audio drama production, and a cast poster.  The cast of this audio drama included Brian Blessed, Brian Cox, Tom Baker, Honeysuckle Weeks, Cathy Sara, and John Rhys-Davies.


Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions Review

I have to share that my children saw the CD arrive in the mail.  When I opened it they immediately though the lion on the cover was Aslan from The Chronicles of Narnia.  That led to a wonderful discussion of how a lion has been used in crests and as a symbol throughout all of history and what the lion stands for.  Great discussion and we hadn’t even taken the plastic wrap off the CD yet!

The suggested age range for this audio drama is ages 6 and up.  My three-year old and my five-year old listened to this with the rest of the family though they did not understand all that was happening and definitely were not as engaged as the rest of the family.

In this audio drama you’re going to follow the life of Beric.  Beric is from ancient Britannia but is captured by the Romans.  He’s trained as a gladiator and some great names are mentioned around him like Nero and Christus(Jesus Christ).  This is a history lesson, a Bible lesson, and so much more.  Our hero is young and must make tough choices and decisions that will not only affect him but his country as well.  

G. A. Henty is the author of the book that the audio drama based off of.  We here in our home love G. A. Henty books and I’m loving having some of them available as audio dramas through Heirloom Audio Productions now.  We love to listen to them on long car rides or on those stormy rainy days that I don’t want full of movies.  You see, our house is small.  My children love to go outside and play so the size of our home isn’t much of an issue until it’s nasty out and they can’t go out and play.  For those days we have games to play and books to read, or we have The Extraordinary Adventures of G. A. Henty to listen to!


Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions Review

If you’re interested in how others used this CD and study guide and what they thought of Beric the Briton please head on over to the Main TOS Crew blog page where all the reviews are linked up.  You can find Heirloom Audio Productions on facebook, twitter, google +, and instagram.   Find The Extraordinary Adventures of G. A. Henty on facebook.  Find Beric the Briton on facebook.  


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Homeschool History Lesson

Homeschool History Lesson

Blogging Through the ABC’s- Letter H

In our homeschool we love history.  It’s one of the things that drew my husband and I together as we met at a Civil War Reenactment.  So it’s only natural that we’d want to do our homeschool history lesson together.

Because my husband is self-employed his schedule can be different from most people’s.  He doesn’t have a 9-5 job and emergencies do happen.  He is home for supper though so our homeschool history lesson happens after supper!


the story of the world


Right now we are using a wonderful history curriculum called Story of the World.  We’re in volume 1 which covers Ancient Times right now but I can already tell that we’ll be continuing this curriculum.  We restart our homeschool year on January 1st so that’s when we started our new history.

I’ve talked to people about our homeschool a lot.  You’ll find when you’re around people who homeschool you do talk about homeschooling and what curriculum you use and how you implement it just because it’s something you’re all curious about.  When they heard how we did our homeschool history lesson I got a lot of mixed reactions.  People couldn’t believe that our kids could learn that late in the evening.  They wondered if the kids were retaining their knowledge.  They were also curious how we could work that in our schedule at that time.

It’s not always easy.  Yes they do retain it.  And we all love it!  Prior to making our homeschool history lesson at this time we would read books out loud together.  We expected our children to sit and listen and retain that knowledge.  They had to answer questions and we really wanted to make sure they understood the books we read to them.  We read things like the Chronicles of Narnia series, Anne of Green Gables, and other classics.

Switching to a homeschool history lesson really didn’t change our dynamic all that much.  We still were gathering as a family after supper and before bed preparations.  We were still reading a “story” together.  Because this curriculum is written as a story. It’s not written like a history textbook, and it’s geared towards kids.  It’s a perfect fit for us and our range of ages.

We do the activities and workbook type work the next day during our regular homeschool hours.  I can tell you that they do retain the information and normally they have some good questions for me the next day.  It’s a fun time to discuss again what we read and make sure the information sank in.  It’s also a great way to make sure that both my husband and I are involved in their schooling.  It doesn’t all happen during the hours he’s at work so that he can be present and a presence in their school lives.  After all, that’s half the joy of homeschooling!

Because we’re reading our homeschool history lesson in the evenings it is spacing it off from the rest of the school day.  I found with some of my kids that they were zoning out before we got to history during the day.  They did great with the other subjects but were schooled out by the time history came around and they weren’t retaining any of it.  This is a great way to make sure their brains are receptive and gives them a fun activity to do during the school day instead of having to sit and listen to me read when their brains have shut off.

What history curriculum do you use?  Is your homeschool history lesson fun and engaging or do your children struggle?  Mine were struggling.  I was struggling to maintain their attention and they were not learning.  That made me stressed which in turn stressed them more.  This has really eased some of the stress of our homeschool day and made homeschooling more of a joy again for us.


Blogging the ABCs- a new blog series

U S Elections Lapbook {TOS Crew Review}

We love studying history.  History is in fact still happening around us.  We are making history as we speak.  Our latest review from Home School in The Woods teaches us about the U S Elections in a fun way.  We’re learning through creating a lapbook.  A U S Elections Lapbook.   And it’s the perfect timing for this considering that we’re gearing up for our presidential election this November!


U S Elections Lapbook


The full product we reviewed is HISTORY Through the Ages Hands-On History Lap-Pak: U. S. Elections.  A Lap-Pak is another name for a lapbook.  You’ve heard me speak of lapbooks before as that is something we have done.  Lapbooks are a fun way of learning new things and including it all together for future reference or for quick showing to family members.  

We received this product as a digital download. It is also sold as a CD that you can purchase and have shipped to you.  If purchasing I think I’d choose the CD simply because we’ve had such computer problems so far this year.  My laptop indefinitely died and my husbands computer that he uses for his self employed business is ancient.  Having a CD would allow me to take it with me and print somewhere else(because yes I still like to print everything out).  I’ve not figured out the little sticks that you can download things to.  I’m not very tech savvy that way.  I’m doing good to know what I’m doing here!

The download version for the U S Elections Lapbook is $18.95 while the CD version is $19.95 so they’re fairly comparable in price.  Both contain exactly the same material as well so you’re not missing out on anything by buying one over the other.  


U S Elections Lapbook


Grades suggested by the company for the U S Elections Lapbook are grades 3-8.  Being that I’m a homeschool mom of many and differing ages I chose to tweak this a bit so that I could use it with all of my children.  I can’t fully tweak it to a toddler level and a kindergarten level is fairly difficult but they really did enjoy making this and having fun coloring pages I found for them to illustrate what we’re talking about.  They listen and can pick out bits and pieces of what we’re talking about.  That’s the main thing with this for me is making sure they do indeed learn just a small portion that they’ll retain for later on when we cover it in depth.

I really like the Home School in The Woods lapbooks over other ones for the simple fact that it’s all included in the instructions.  I don’t have to come up with a lot of ideas on my own.  I’ve tried designing my own lapbooks before and they’re a lot of work.  For me it’s easier to convert an already created lapbook like the U S Elections lapbook to fit my whole family than it is to make my own.  


U.S. Elections History Lap-Pak Review

A fun bit about this is you can print off the reading materials into a small book size or a size that fits a binder.  I opted for the binder of course because well I love 3 ring binders!  I did do the reading outloud to all of my children.  Then we’d discuss it a bit before we started on the project for the day. 

We always use brad folders or 3 ring binders for our lapbooks.  The U S Elections lapbook is no exception.  I do this instead of the folding folder that most use because it allows us to go back and add things in without having to take apart the whole book and it’s easier for me.  If the kids want to(which the younger ones always want to) they can still cut and glue the items onto colored paper or cardstock and then I’ll hole punch that to allow it to fit into the binder. 

This lapbook especially I’m glad we use this method because as the election continues this year we’re going back and adding in what is happening in real time history to our history lesson.  They’re learning how the electoral process and elections work in our country as well as seeing that in action at the same time.  It’s a great way to help solidify their learning especially for some of my kids who need to see something in action before they can truly grasp it.

Each state in our book has a page.  On this page we have a spot where we are going to put who wins the electoral primary vote(caucus level), a spot for the winning delegate from each state for each party, and a spot on who actually wins that state in the full election.  It’s really helping to take the steps of the election process and bring them into our actual lives.  


U.S. Elections History Lap-Pak Review

Within this U S Elections Lapbook, either from the CD or the download, you’ll be provided with 21 projects that can include coloring pages, research, creative writing, drawing(illustrating), and so much more.  This is a wealth of knowledge guys and it does come with a single family use license so you can reuse with your other children.  

Some of these 21 projects are learning key terms and definitions which is especially helpful for children who’ve not seen an election or studied this part of government before.  You’ll also study the different forms of government, the different branches of government, and suffrage to name a few.

As far as how often to use this.  You really can make that decision for yourself.  We are using ours three days a week.  So far we haven’t completed the materials, but when we do is when we’re going to be adding in more of our own with keeping up with the election and how our knowledge is playing out within our country.  Perfect timing guys!  It’s not too late for you to get your copy and join in the learning and fun.

Please make sure to head over to the TOS Blog and check out all the other reviews you’ll find there.  You can also find Home School in The Woods and their many products on Facebook, Google +, Pinterest, and Twitter.  


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Learning US History Through Food {TOS Crew Review}

Kids love food.  It’s a known fact.  People love food.  Food is integral to our cultures and our lives.  My kids recently have been learning US History through food with Eat Your U.S. History Homework.   This is a book in a series of Eat Your Homework books by Ann McCallum Books.  


Learning US History Through Food
We received a hardcover version of the Eat Your U.S. History Homework book.  It retails for $15.95.  It is also available as an ebook but this is definitely one I’d recommend as a hardcover version.  After all you’re going to be in the kitchen with it!  The illustrations are catchy and engaging and it’s written in such a way that even the smaller of our children were enthralled.   Learning US History Through Food has never been easier or more fun or yummy!

Ann McCallum is the author of the three Eat Your Homework books(history, science, and math) as well as others.  She currently is a high school teacher in Maryland.  The fun fact my children and I loved was that she started her teaching career as a teacher in a one room schoolhouse in northern Canada.  One of our favorite literary characters was a school teacher in Canada(Anne of Green Gables) which immediately made this book and author one step up in their minds!

This book is different than what I thought it might initially be.  I thought we were going to connect recipes that we know and eat now with recipes that were eaten back in a certain time period.  For instance, we eat Shepherd’s Pie and they ate that during the Revolutionary War.  Or we love to eat Sutler’s Beans which is a Civil War era recipe.  But it’s not!  Instead we’re introduced to mainly new recipes that my kids are not familiar with.  Therefore, they get a new memory of a new taste and can associate that with a time in history.  It’s really quite brilliant!!


Learning US History Through Food
I did have to do some tweaking to the recipes.  As a mom of a large family I often had to double or triple the recipes.  I also am a mom of a food allergy family.  This means that I had to replace the wheat or gluten in the recipe with a gluten free version and replace any milk products with milk free versions.  It’s something I’m used to doing so it was not hard for me, but I did want to mention that the recipes are not all allergen friendly.  

The time period that this book covers is prior to and including the Revolutionary War.  This is great because it means(to us and hopefully to the author) that a sequel or two are in the works.  After all, there is still quite a bit of history to cover!

The book is geared towards ages 7-10.  You really want them to be old enough to read and do small acts in the kitchen.  I being the mom that I am with 9 kids ages 10-2 had a lot more help in the kitchen.  I designated one child as our recipe reader.  We then would give each child one ingredient to measure out(if there were enough ingredients) and other jobs such as mixing or pouring, etc could be assigned to different children.  Then we picked one recipe that an older child got to prepare on their own(with adult supervision) and then teach the rest of the kids about the dish and why we were eating it.  As I stated before, this book and the concept of learning US history through food is brilliant!

We have one main complaint about this book.  It’s not long enough.  Seriously.  It only contains six recipes so we only were able to discuss six time periods.  I stated above that there is hope for a sequel since only a small section of history is covered and I hope that this will be done.  Then all the different books and time periods could be compiled into one large book.  This mama would for sure buy it!

A fun tidbit, but all of these recipes can be cooked over an open campfire!  We reenact the Civil War and plan to cook several of these again over the campfire when we are out and about at our events.  We already did a recipe similar to the Colonial Cherry Berry Grunt and can’t wait to give it a smoke infused taste.  Yummy with homemade ice cream!  We tried the Independence Ice Cream in the book.  It was super simple of course and very good.  We did decide though that we’d stick with our hand crank at events.  Makes a whole lot more!!

If you’d like to learn more about the Eat Your Homework books or see some of the other great offerings that Ann McCallum Books has please check out the Main TOS Blog for the link up.  Several of our bloggers received different books and are sharing their thoughts.  You’ll see more of the Eat Your U.S. History Homework as well as Science and Math and two other books.  Ann McCallum Books currently does not have any social media sites for me to send you to, so please make sure to check out their website in my first paragraph!  We’re loving learning US history through food and hope you will too.


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Historical Heroes in our Homeschool {TOS Crew Review}

Do you like history?  I do!  And I love teaching history to my kids.  I’m always looking for new ways to incorporate historical heroes in our homeschool.  I also love to do unit studies around them.  Now, imagine my surprise and joy when I found that there is actually a series called the Heroes of History series from YWAM Publishing!  We got a chance to review one of their titles from the TOS Crew and we chose Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Storybook Life by Janet and Geoff Benge.  We were also given a physical copy(on cd) of her specific Unit Study Curriculum Guide.   

While we received a physical copy of the book and a physical cd of the unit study curriculum guide, you can also download the book in audio format or in an e-book format.  I prefer physical as we don’t have anyway to listen to an audiobook download besides the computer(and we’d love to use that for when travelling).  I love having the physical book to travel with so that we can read when we stop for lunch on trips or read when we’re out on a hike, etc.  Nothing like taking school with you!!



Historical Heroes in Our Homeschool



The Heroes of History series tells the stories of great men and women of history in an easy to read narrative.  These books are geared towards ages 10+.  If you get the physical book it is a paperback book.  This particular book is 193 pages long and has 15 chapters.  Not horribly long but yet also long enough to contain all the information you’re going to need to know about each person.  There are two prices noted on the website, both a regular price and a YWAM price.  Regular is $9.99 and YWAM is $7.50.

So, how did we use this?  First, I read the book out loud to my children.  All of my children would sit and listen to me reading(ages 2-10) but of course they didn’t all take away the same things.  We’d read a chapter, then stop and discuss it, read another chapter, discuss it, etc.  At the end of each reading session(which could be anywhere from one to four or five chapters) we’d recap the entire part of the book that we’ve read.  I wanted to make sure that my children weren’t just hearing a book but rather learning what the book had to say.


Historical Heroes in our Homeschool


We also made use of the Unit Study Curriculum Guide as well.  Since we received the CD version I was able to put that into my computer and print off the parts I needed.  I’d make copies as needed though a lot of it we did verbally since a few of my kids can’t read and write well enough to do that on their own yet.  I’m big on group discussions as well and engaging all of my children with learning.  We love doing activities as well and found some fun ones!

Some fun things from the Unit Study Curriculum Guide that we used were the quotes.  So much easier than trying to pick out some of the quotes that I’d like the kids to memorize!  There they were already ready for me!  I used them for copywork.  We memorize our copywork as well so it was perfect for what I wanted to do.  It also offered us ways to include all the subjects in our unit study, ideas for field trips(and since I as a child went to ALL of the places Laura Ingalls Wilder lived I do of course want my kids to go too), geography with all the places lived, etc.  There is SO much information packed onto this one cd.  Honestly, we didn’t use it all.  There really is that much.  There are questions for the end of the chapter as well as questions and discussions for once you’re done with the book!

There are also three Appendices titled A, B, and C, that have more information and activities stored in them.  There are reproducible pages, answers to the questions, as well as additional books and resources you might be interested in.


historical heroes in our homeschool


I do want to add that we as a family have read all of the Little House books aloud, so my kids are familiar with Laura Ingalls Wilder.  However, this book covered things that were not in those books as well as told more about her life in the areas she left out.  It will also help your children get a better grasp on the when Laura lived, the where she lived, and what was going on around her in that piece of history.

I have to add a little extra here.  I’d love to purchase the Maps of the United States workbook to go with all the books I want to purchase too.  I love this series.  I love this book that we got to use and can’t wait to purchase more.  I’m afraid that we haven’t done a lot of geography yet in our little homeschool and I’d love to get the map workbook to start working in additional geography lessons into both our homeschool and our historical heroes in our homeschool unit studies.

Interested in learning more about YWAM Publishing and all the titles they offer?  Want to be like me and introduce more historical heroes in our homeschool?  Make sure to check out the Main TOS Crew Blog for the other reviews.  Reviewers were given over 40 choices for historical figures so there is a lot of variety and you’ll get a great look at what they have to offer.  You can also check out YWAM Publishing on facebook, twitter, and pinterest


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Audio Drama in our Homeschool {TOS Crew Review}

Do you do a lot of driving?  These past three weeks we’ve been driving two hours on Monday and Tuesday to get back and forth from dance class.  I knew I had to find something to use up that time so the kids weren’t just sitting in their car-seats fighting and fussing with each other.  Most of my kids really don’t like sitting in their car-seats.  So, I was so glad when we received With Lee in Virginia from Heirloom Audio Productions!  Of course, being Civil War reenactors we were super excited to listen to this!


How we Use Audio Drama in our Homeschool.


I’ve used audio drama in our homeschool before.  In fact, we reviewed from In Freedom’s Cause from Heirloom Audio Productions before and LOVED it!  Most of the time when we’re driving in the van we listen to Christian music or a book on cd.  This is more than a book on CD.  This is not just one person reading  a script.  This is an audio drama. It’s like watching a movie but the screen is in your head and the only limits are your imagination!

We received a physical copy of the cd plus a link to download a study guide and a soundtrack.  If you’ve read around on my blog you’ll know that I really love using study guides to help make sure my children are picking out the important pieces and retaining them.  And well the soundtrack is just gorgeous so of course you’ll want to download that too.

The study guide is 52 pages in length and includes questions and interactions for each chapter.  As I’ve mentioned above I’m a huge proponent of always getting the study guides to go with things.  This one will help listening skills for younger children and increase comprehension and retention in the older children.  It also helps them to think about what they’ve heard and not just let it be ear pleasing going in one ear and out the other.  I did enjoy that there was a short Bible study included in the study guide as well as a list of books to help you explore further.

This is the third production from Heirloom Audio Productions and is based on a novel by George Alfred Henty.  The book is part of the series titled The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty.

When using this audio drama in our homeschool it was good to note that it is geared for ages 6 through adult.  However, all of my kids were in the van listening to this.  So that’s ages 2 up to 10 and then me(I’m not stating my age).  My two year old fell asleep most of the time so I can’t tell you whether there were parts that she didn’t like or not.  There were a few spots that my four year old was a bit worried about but we’d pause and talk and then go on with the audio drama.  Having studied the Civil War extensively as well as reenacting it, my children were familiar with most of the things going on.

This two cd set has two and one half hours of listening pleasure.  When using any audio drama in our homeschool I always like to note the length so we’re not listening to all but say the last twenty minutes in any given day.  So we listened to this on the way to dance one night and then on the way down the next night finishing the recording on the way back.  We actually listened to this all three weeks so we’ve gone through it three times already!

Some fun things to note.  We loved this soundtrack.  It was so gorgeous.  I finally figured out why.  The soundtrack is done by Emmy award winning composer John Campbell.  If that name is not familiar then you have not watched the acclaimed Narnia movies!!  This audio drama was written by Robert Liparulo.  Some noted actors also lend their voice to the latest audio drama in our homeschool including Kirk Cameron, Sean Astin, Jim Weiss, and Chris Anthony.

Now just a bit about the story line.  The story follows Vincent Wingfield, a 15 year old boy, who joins the Army of Virginia during the Civil War.  He is part of the Cavalry.  That right there was enough to capture my kids attention.  They kept adding things and asking questions while we were listening.   you see their daddy is a Cavalry officer when we reenact.  He rides his horse off into battle, so they know exactly what’s happening!

If you’re looking to learn more about With Lee in Virginia please check out the rest of the reviews on the Main TOS Blog Page.  We all received the same CD to review this time so you’ll get lots of opinions!  You can also connect with Heirloom Audio Productions on facebook, or the audio drama facebook page, twitter, and google +



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World History: Renaissance and Reformation {TOS Crew Review}

I’ve mentioned before that I love history.  It’s a passion for me.  I want to instill that love of history into my children as well.  Because of this I was pleased that we were going to review Project Passport World History Study: Renaissance and Reformation (1100 AD-1660 AD) from Home school in the Woods.


World History Renaissance and Reformation


We were given a choice of three time eras but I really wanted to focus on the Renaissance and Reformation this time.  The other two time frames were Ancient Egypt and The Middle Ages.  We were tempted by Ancient Egypt but the world history we’d been studying lately led us right into the Renaissance and Reformation and I felt it would be the easiest and best transition.

The world history studies from Home school in the Woods that we were sent to review came in download form.  They are also available in CD form to purchase on the website.  We received the download.  This world history course is geared for grades 3-8 though as I did you can use it for younger grades with some tweaking.  All of my children used it together so we had preK through 4th grade learning their world history together!  Always fun to do a study together as a family.

Some of the events that we’re studying about in our world history with the Renaissance and Reformation are Everyday Life, Art and Music, Inventions, Exploration, Martin Luther, and the Counter Reformation.  There are 25 stops along the way and you’ll meet fun people like Martin Luther!

This world history course is very unique and unlike any I’ve used prior.  It’s such fun!  It’s no wonder that my kids adore this program!  They get to go on an exploration of a different culture and time.  Basically they are travelling through the world history using their PASSPORTS to make stops and have a little tour around.  

Now because they are doing stops and having fun there is some prep work for mom or whoever is teaching.  You have to print off and then set up their stop for the day.   You can prep as many or as few stops as you would like at a time.  I’m one of those that likes to print off everything at once, separate it, and then go back each week and finalize what is needed.  

Home School in the Woods Review
The directions of what you as the parent need to do and what happens at each stop are very clear and easy to follow.  It’s all set up for you on the paper you just have to implement and do it!  I’m a very non crafty type person but even I found this easy to do.  Seriously.  I’m not crafty at all.  I’m an awesome baker but a horrible gluer!  

The good news about all the craftsy stuff is that your kids can do it and you can help them.  You will want a basket for this study that has all the necessary supplies like glue, scissors, scrap paper, construction paper, colored pencils, crayons, etc.  Also make sure you plan accordingly, there will be a lot of printing for this course unless you have it all printed from the CD somewhere other than your home.  I had the download and have printed it all at home.  Like I said I printed out everything at the beginning, then I put it in a binder.  As I needed it going along I could pull them from the binder, copy what was needed, and then we were ready to go!  I’m horrible at finding the right spot when needed so this really helped me to be able to mark where we were.



Home School in the Woods Review


Let’s talk time really quickly.  We have been spending about two weeks on each of our stops.  I find that it goes faster and smoother for us if I add some supplemental books for my younger ages.  I’d go to the library at the end of the week prior to a new tour stop and find 4-5 books that were related to the topic so that my younger children would have something we could read to help them understand.  

My youngest at two would listen to the supplemental books being read and do the coloring, that’s about it.  I didn’t expect her to understand or even really listen to what we were doing but she is all about doing what the big kids do.  

The next age using this in our family goes to my 4 and 5 year olds(well she turned 5 while we were doing this).  They again listened to the supplemental books and did the crafts with us but they also did some of the activities with us too.  They could comprehend and tell me about what we were studying but not do all of the activities or really understand the older aged reading in the course.

Going on up in the kids we hit my two 7 year olds.  These two are boys and they are 1st grade level.  They’re some smart little and really picked up on  quite a bit of the study.  They along with my 8 and 10-year-old girls who struggle(they’re both doing 2nd grade work) were able to do everything except where there was a lot of writing involved.  I was already doing the reading out loud or having one of my older kiddos read it so they didn’t have to do a great deal of reading.  When there was writing involved I just had them verbalize to me what was going on and what they would have been writing.

The last two children who were using this world history curriculum from Home School in the Woods on the Renaissance and Reformation are my kiddos in 4th grade.  They are ages 8 and 10 and it really fit them well.  They were able to do all of the stops and work on their own with minimal help from me.  There were of course some words and concepts that we spent time discussing because they were unfamiliar with them but all in all they did really well working through this.  

I can say after using this with so many age groups that it is geared towards the older middle school type grades but it also can be modified and used with other ages.  If you’re not interested in modifying you will not want to use it with anyone out of the recommended age range.  

If you’d like to learn more about Home School in the Woods or their online world history courses please visit their social medias of facebook, twitter, pinterest, and google +.  Also make sure to go over to the Main TOS Crew Blog Page as you’ll find the reviews from other TOS Crew members who were able to review their choice of the three time periods as well.


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