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

 

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Bible Curriculum {Homeschool Review Crew}

Bible Curriculum

Homeschool Review Crew

Recently as part of the Homeschool Review Crew we were asked to review a Bible curriculum for upper elementary ages.  Kid Niche Christian Books has published Weave Your Word in Me — Part 1 and we were excited to receive it and give it a go.  We really don’t have a set Bible curriculum and thought it would be fun to try it out and see what we thought.

Kid Niche Christian Books

About the Curriculum

This particular Bible curriculum comes compatible with several Bible translations including KJV, ESV, NKJV, NIV, NASB, and NABRE.  We use the KJV or NKJV in our home so that was an immediate positive for us.  My daughter’s Bible is KJV.

Susan Case Bonner is the author of this Bible curriculum aimed for homeschool, small group, or church programs.  It contains 36 Bible lessons aimed at grades fourth through sixth or that upper elementary “tween” age group. 

To add additional thoughts and information to this physical Bible curriculum there is also an online section of helps that you can find HERE.  These are fun things to add to what is being learned in the study and not to replace any of the lessons.  The physical portion is 72 pages and ready to put in a 3 ring binder.  Physical curriculums are my favorite so that was already a point in it’s favor from me!  Each child will need their own curriculum.

Part 1 covers God the Father and God the Son in 36 lessons.  Part 2 will have 44 lessons and cover What God Wants plus God the Holy Spirit.  So a total of 4 units and 80 lessons will be available in this series.  Currently my copy of this physical Part 1 is $20.00 in the US for purchase.

 

Bible Curriculum

 

Our Thoughts

I chose my oldest to try this out.  She is 12 and in sixth grade for most subjects.  She worked on this three to four days a week.  We do a four day a week homeschool week so some weeks she’d do it daily and other weeks she’d take one day off.  

We loved the definition box portions of the lessons.  It would give you a word from the lesson and define it.  For instance, lesson 21 is about Jesus the Leader and the word is apostle.  It then defines apostle and tells about how God send Jesus to the world and then Jesus sent out his apostles.

My daughter did enjoy this curriculum but felt it was a little easy for her.  I’d suggest it works best for the lower end of the grade range so closer to age 10 or grade four.  It’s written so that kids can easily understand it.  Some sample prayers are given each lesson.  We really enjoyed that it had kids delve a bit deeper into scripture and make sure they truly understand what is going on in each passage by asking questions that require some thought.  It does also have a lot of fill in the blank type questions that you do have to go to the scripture to find.  

At the end of the book there are a few pages that contain all the answers.  It gives you the different answers for all the different translations as well so you can easily find your translation and see if your child got the correct answer.

Learn More

Interested in learning more?  Make sure to head to the Main Blog Post over on the Homeschool Review Crew blog where all the different reviewing families will have their reviews linked up.  You can also find Kid Niche Christian Books on facebook, twitter, and pinterest.

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Online Reading Games {Homeschool Review Crew}

Online Reading Games

Homeschool Review Crew

Reading Eggs
 

Do your kids love to read?  Or do they maybe struggle to read?  Would some online reading games make all the difference?  That’s where we were at.  I have a nine year old boy who just wasn’t all that interested in reading.  Oh he could read if he wanted to but most of the time he didn’t want to.  Enter Reading Eggs and their Reading Eggspress.  We received a six month subscription for two of our children through the Review Crew and they both are in love!

About Reading Eggs

Reading Eggs is the parent company name but they have several sub products to be used with your children depending on age.  For my youngest(other than the toddler at age 16 months) who is four years old the Reading Eggs Junior is for ages two to four and is a great start for those who haven’t done any reading work yet or who maybe have a little alphabet knowledge.  She also was a good fit for the main Reading Eggs which is for ages three through seven.  Because they overlap it’s easy to try out both and see which fits better.  I have often used terms like “she’s a young seven” or “she’s an old five” for describing kids because each one can be so different in what they are able to do.

Reading Eggspress is more for those who can read and need that extra boost or ages seven through thirteen roughly grades one through six.  My son using this is age 9 grade two or three.  Along with our six month subscription to Reading Eggs we also have access to MathSeeds.  It’s a fun math program set up much the same way that Reading Eggs is.

Extras

A fun thing that came up while we were reviewing are the homeschool parent guides that you can download from the parent dashboard. They are available for grades kindergarten, first, and second currently.  You can download or print them off.  It’s a cute little program showing what to use with your child for 36 weeks.  Covering all the important subjects it uses Reading Eggs and MathSeeds plus adding other subjects so you have a whole curriculum to use.  It’s amazing!  I am not using this as I already have a full curriculum that I’m using with all my kiddos together so this is not needed at this point in time.  I can see this being amazing for a new homeschool mom or one who hasn’t already planned out the year.

Other fun things offered are some fun printables that you can print out and work on away from the computer. These are called activity pages and located under bonus materials.  We had access to maps and coloring pages.  

Our Thoughts

First off my kids love anything that involves them getting to use the computer.  It makes them feel all grown up I think.  So they were both very excited to get to try this out.  My four year old is doing a simple preschool curriculum and was greatly impressed that she was going to be allowed to do something on the computer.  She felt like big stuff let me tell you.  You could tell that by the fact that she insisted on wearing her princess costume and tiara in order to do her work.  Three days a week.  Yes, you read that right, three days a week she wore her princess dress to do her online reading games.

My son tried to hide his “coolness” about getting to do some online reading games but he too was very excited to get to do something on the computer that the other kids didn’t get to do.  I love that Reading Eggspress offers different reading level readers and makes it fun.  This guy can read he’s just not motivated to practice and get better at it.  It’s not a learning issue so much as a stubborn boy issue.  When my older son had this happening we found a book series he loved and he really took off.  This guy keeps stumping me and not wanting to find a series interesting but he’s absolutely loving reading online.  So we’re using this five days a week for approximately thirty minutes per day just to cement those reading skills. 

 

Reading Eggs*

 

Learn More

Want to learn more about all the different online reading games that your child can enjoy through the many levels of Reading Eggs?  Check out all the linked up reviews over on the Main Blog Post as well as find them on social media.  You can find them at facebook, instagram, twitter, pinterest, and youtube.  Also try this out for 4 weeks FREE yourself by using this link before November 30, 2017.   I’m sure your kids would love to try out these online reading games!

 

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Fast Moving Action {Homeschool Review Crew}

Fast Moving Action

Homeschool Review Crew

Brinkman Adventures
As part of the Homeschool Review Crew we have been listening to some fast moving action drama lately!  Brinkman Adventures has done it again with Brinkman Adventures Season 4.  We have listened to a few of their other seasons and could not wait to see where their adventures would take them this time! We received the physical CD set for this.  A download copy was also offered for review but I really do prefer the physical CD’s for our family.

About 

You can purchase the audio CD set for $31.99 or the download for $25.99 at this time.  That’s over five hours of fast action packed listening pleasure!

This season brings us twelve new episodes with each being roughly half an hour in length.  The perfect length to listen to one or two on our way to dance or to get groceries.  We really love listening to audio dramas when we drive especially the fast moving action type that make those drives seem so much quicker.

The Brinkmans are modern day missioinaries and these are based on their actual adventures.  Knowing this stuff is real puts a whole different spin on things!  Names of course have been changed to protect them but the events actually happened.  That’s a great teaching tool.

If you’re interested in what parts are truth and what are fiction of these great stories check out THIS SITE which gives you a more in depth look at what they’ve made up and what was actually experienced. 

 

Brinkman Adventures
 

Our Thoughts

We love listening to audio dramas.  Recently we’ve added in audio books too but they’re not as attention holding.  Because they’re read by one person instead of multiple and it really is just like someone reading the book.  My kids like that fast moving action.  They love hearing the voices changing like in a play.  It helps to keep the attention of even the younger ones.

All of my kids listened to these.  So we had ages 16 months up to age 12.  Really the baby didn’t listen to much though.  He plays with his trucks, looks at his truck books, and kicks his sister.  The youngest who was actually listening is four.  She didn’t listen the entire time though.  In fact, the other kids would often yell at her to stop singing or such.  She’s a bit of a free spirit.

My older kids love these!  By older we’re meaning almost seven years up to the twelve year old.  

Our favorite episode was Aisha’s Fear.  We really enjoyed this episode and it gave us so so many talking points.  Living in the United States we aren’t persecuted for our faith.  Jail is not a place we go for talking about God and Jesus.  This whole episode was so different than what my children experience on a daily basis that it is the perfect one to focus on. 

We’ve gone back and listened and relistened to help us better understand the thoughts and feelings.  Lots of questions can be asked.  Like what would you do if you were in a dark cellar with all kinds of bugs and varmints?  Most of my kids agree they’d scream and try to break down the door.  None of them said they’d sing praises to God.  Oh the discussions on giving God the glory and praise even during the dark times.  This lesson was as much for me as it was the kids!

Learn More

Want to learn more about Brinkman Adventures of the latest fast moving action packed season?  Check out all the reviewers who have linked up their reviews over on the Main blog.  You can also find them on facebook

 

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Handwriting Help {Homeschool Review Crew}

Handwriting Help

Homeschool Review Crew

 Channie’s Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks
As my children have aged I’ve realized that we need handwriting help.  Their handwriting leaves a lot to be desired.  While they might have had nice neat handwriting at some point in time it’s gotten a bit lazy and sloppy.  I was excited to review Easy Peasy Cursive through Channie’s Visual Handwriting and Math Workbooks.  They have several fun curriculums like Easy Peasy Alphabet and My First Letters.  It was hard to choose which one we wanted to use the most but I finally decided cursive won out.

About the Curriculum

 

Channie's Easy Peasy Cursive Workbook
 

The premise of Channie’s Visual Handwriting and Math Workbooks is to give kids more than just a properly formed letter to view. She gives them a visual guide of colored blocks and divider lines to help them learn how to properly form their letters.  These seem to be a great handwriting help and really make writing less of a guessing game.

I love that she gives different colors to show where the lowercase letters should reach versus the upper case letters.  There are also little divider spaces to help with letter spacing and spacing between words.  This is amazing as I know that my children have had issues with spacing between words and crowding their words together.  When you don’t properly space it’s difficult to know where one word ends and another begins!

The Easy Peasy Cursive workbook that we received is geared for grades first through third.  If you have an advanced kindergartener or think that teaching cursive should come first then this would also in my opinion work well for that.  If you’re looking for handwriting help for manuscript writing definitely check out the Easy Peasy Alphabet or My First Letters for those younger kids.  All of the workbooks from Channie’s are geared for ages three through ten and can easily become your handwriting go to.

Our Thoughts

handwriting help

I have several children learning cursive simultaneously.  I even am having to relearn some of the letters as I don’t write everything in cursive.  It was a bit difficult to choose one child to use this workbook but I finally decided that one of my 9 year old boys could use the most help.  Boys in general in my house have horrid handwriting and getting them to learn cursive has been like pulling teeth because they just don’t get how high letters should go or how to properly form them.  

My son loved that it wasn’t just a plain white paper with lines.  White papers are boring and tend to help him in his quest to lose focus.  Instead of being blinded by white he had neat color patterns which made him think of writing in cursive as more of a game.  Because it was more of a game he was more excited to use it.  Win in my book!  No more fighting over doing handwriting!  

I definitely think this curriculum is amazing and a great handwriting help.  I’d love to get more of this particular book for all of my kids. Even those who have already mastered cursive could use it for practice in being neat and concise.  I also have a twelve year old girl with special needs who is struggling with cursive.  I’m ordering her a workbook so that she can start hopefully finding cursive easy and fun as well.

 

 Channie’s Visual Handwriting & Math Workbooks

Learn More

Want to learn more about what other handwriting help might be available through Channie’s Visual Handwriting and Math Worksbooks?  Check out the Main Blog Post over on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.  You can also find Channie’s on facebook

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

 

Homeschool Printables {Homeschool Review Crew}

Homeschool Printables

Homeschool Review Crew

I love homeschooling.  It’s an amazing learning experience for both me and my children.  But it can also be challenging at times when I can’t find the resources I’m looking for to help substitute some topics.  Super Teacher Worksheets is the perfect answer!  I’m loving the individual membership we received for a year through the Homeschool Review Crew!!  Thousands of worksheets for grades kindergarten through fifth are available for a yearly membership of $19.95.

 

 Super Teacher Worksheets
 

Imagine a world where all the homeschool printables you can imagine exist?  I’ve found it!  Homeschool printables have never been easier.  There are literally thousands of prewritten ready for me to print pages and even a way for me to design and print out my own!  Every subject under the sun is there as well as ones that I hadn’t even though to look for.

Some highlights!  I love that there is a literature section.  I have a hard time coming up with questions for my kids over the books they read.  Instead of me just letting them tell me about the book they’ve read we’ve been able to assign books that are already available with homeschool printables of the study guides.  Some fun ones that we’ve read before and that I had some of my second to third grade readers read and do the corresponding study guides are The Boxcar Children and The Magic Treehouse Series #1.  I can’t wait to explore that selection more for my older kids as well.  

 

Homeschool Printables

 

Another fun area for us is geography.  I’ve really been wanting to work with my kids on memorizing the names of the states and their capitals with the hope that someday we can start travelling and visiting some.  I was super excited to find a printable worksheet that gives all of the state names, their capital city, and their abbreviation.  My children each got a copy of this to read and study and then they can quiz each other with it.  Tons of fun and then they test their knowledge on car rides by reading license plates.  One child says the name of the state, the next child makes a tally mark by that state abbreviation, and a third child calls out the capital.  The only time we’ve been stumped was with a Canadian license plate! 

 

Homeschool Printables

 

Because we’re in the midwest and near a refuge that really draws Monarch butterflies we decided to grab the science homeschool printables about butterflies.  A super fun one we printed off to read and learn is about the difference between a butterfly and a moth.  Lots of good information there!  They also have homeschool printables about the life cycle of butterflies which is pretty neat to study too.

 

homeschool printables

 

I don’t know where to begin on the fun pages to print for your preschool and kindergarten learners.  You really would never need to buy them a curriculum because of all the great games and pages that are available.  We printed off some trace and write worksheets for the alphabet for my four year old.  She loves that she can work on school with the big kids!

 

Homeschool Printables

 

I’m personally so excited for all the fun games that you can print off and play too!  It’s going to be raining all week her this week so we’re planning on checking some out!  Normally I have to resort to letting the kids watch some educational programs but not this time!

 Super Teacher Worksheets

Learn More

If you’d like to learn more about homeschool printables and Super Teacher Worksheets please check out the main blog post on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.  You can also check them out on facebook, twitter, pinterest, and instagram.

 

Homeschool Crew Review Disclaimer

Biblical Fiction for Young Readers {Homeschool Review Crew}

Biblical Fiction for Young Readers

Homeschool Review Crew

Here’s our story.  We received a new review package in the mail.  I pulled out two books.  And then, my hands were mysteriously empty.  That is the story of how quickly books disappear in our house.  It also is the story of how good these books are because they still haven’t surfaced as they make their rounds through our house of readers.  I’m always pleased when I can find Biblical fiction for young readers to introduce to their hungry minds.

WorthyKids
What books you ask?  The first two books in The Secret of The Hidden Scrolls series from WorthyKids/Ideals.  We received titles one and two which are The Secret of The Hidden Scrolls: The Beginning (Book #1) and The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: Race to the Ark (Book #2).

About the Series

This new series is geared towards kids ages 6-9 which includes four of the kids in my house.  Now, that is the recommended age but my twelve year olds and my ten year olds read and enjoyed these books as well.  They also make wonderful read alouds for your homeschool as well. Biblical fiction for young readers is hard to come by and I was very excited to be asked to be on this review.  In fact, now I’m not so sure we should have because my kids want the other books today!  Or actually they wanted them as soon as they finished book two which was the same day as our package arrived with my oldest.

WorthyKids/Ideals might be a familiar company to you if you enjoy the children’s favorites of VeggieTales and Berenstain Bears.  We love both of these series and have several of their books on our shelves.  This new series follows the same vein wanting to expand on your child’s faith and knowledge of the Bible.  While doing this levels of mystery and intrigue are weaved throughout to make your child want to read on and learn more.  Books like this are hard to find in the library so I love to add them to our shelves.  We call them Biblical fiction for young readers.  Christian fiction is another popular genre but it’s more for older teens and adults in my opinion.

The Author

M. J. Thomas is the author who penned this new series.  Though I’m not sure that he wrote them with pen and paper first or if he just typed them.  But I’m a fan of pen and paper and like to think that’s how it was written. When Thomas was looking for good Biblical fiction for young readers to have in his own home he came up short.  And thus the series was born!  Main characters in this series are Peter, Mary, and Hank the dog.  Not surprisingly these are characters in his real life as well.  Peter is his son, Mary his niece, and Hank is his dog.  I personally love learning how books come to be and would love to find out more about how his mind came up with this great story line.

Book One

 

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls
Book one finds our main characters Peter, Mary, and Hank the dog staying with their Great Uncle Solomon who happens to be an archaeologist.  Here they discover ancient scrolls that have magical powers to transport them back back back into time.  So far back in time in fact that it is truly the Beginning of time.  Here they witness the creation of the world.   But it’s not all fun and games as they must solve a mystery or they will not be allowed to return to present time.  While learning about history can be fun getting stuck there forever would not be.  As they rush around to discover the answer they get to meet some interesting characters in history including that dreaded snake.  Other fun and interesting characters are their fun rhino friends who offer rides and even the angel Michael who gives them a seven day timeline before they’re stuck forever.

My kids were spellbound.  My older kids read this book in a matter of an hour or two each and had read both books before the day was up.  They then of course were begging for the other books which have not been released yet.  On our amazon waitlist they go!

Book Two

 

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls
Book two follows the storyline of book one in that more ancient scrolls are found that transport our trio back in time with another mystery to solve.  This time they are taken back to the time of Noah’s Ark.  They must find Noah and help with the completion of the ark.  Along the way they meet helpful characters and foes who will stop at nothing to ensure their mission is not completed.  The dark ruler will send a shiver down your back.  A good mysterious shiver not a violent one.  Seven days is all the time Peter, Mary, and Hank the dog have to solve their riddle in order to get home.

We really enjoyed these books.  My kids that can read all sat down to read them on their own.  We also used them as read alouds for my non readers.  They very much remind us of another Biblical fiction for young readers(at least in our house) that we have repeatedly used as read alouds.  A good strong Christian basis.   If you do not ever want your child to read anything that contains magic then this is not the book for you.  They do contain magic as the characters are transported back in time through ancient scrolls and have to solve mysteries in order to make it back home.  We don’t do witches or “dark” magic in our home but this kind of magic or fantasy is allowed and I am comfortable with all my children reading these books. 

Learn More

Want to learn more?  Interested in what other review families thought of these two books?  Check out the Main Post on the Homeschool Review Crew blog where all the reviews have been linked up.  Also make sure to check out their facebook, instagram, and twitter for more about Biblical fiction for young readers and the other books that are to come in this series of The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls. 

 

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Bringing Henty Back {Homeschool Review Crew}

Bringing Henty Back

Homeschool Review Crew

I’ve long been a fan of the G. A. Henty Books and love that the Heirloom Audio Productions is bringing Henty back in the form of audio dramas.  Their latest release is in our home and already well loved!  We’ve been listening to Captain Bayley’s Heir and can’t get enough!!

We received a physical CD in the mail.  With our CD we also received online access to the digital components.  This is a study guide and Live The Adventure site.  You can receive access to all these fun digital bonuses by being a member of the Live the Adventure club.  The CD can still be purchased without a membership but the bonuses won’t be accessible.  Along with the study guide and discussion starter you will also find online quizzes and even a way to listen to the audio from your account.  

The online version of the audio drama also comes with a script that you can read and follow along with.  This is very neat and would be amazing if you have a child who learns best by reading or more than one learning style.  An ebook copy of the original book can also be downloaded and read from the Live The Adventure Club.  Other extra include the soundtrack, cast poster, inspirational poster, and desktop wallpaper.  Lots of great items to be had from their online account!

Being out in the middle of nowhere(at least away from big cities) is amazing at times.  Other times it’s not the best.  Like when you have an hour trip to get to a big grocery store or dance etc etc.  That’s our story!  We love audio dramas for this reason.  They make our journey shorter or at least seem that way.  When that CD starts playing we all become engrossed in the story and boom here we are and no one wants to turn it off!

About the Story

Bringing Henty Back

 

G. A. Henty wrote Captain Bayley’s Heir in 1889.  I love that old books can still be relevant today and I love that Heirloom Audio Productions is bringing Henty back for a new generation to enjoy in a new form.  While I still try to find the books in hard format so we can read them as well having them on a CD to listen to is amazing.

This story follows Frank as he leaves England to come to America during the gold rush.  Not only does he sail across the Atlantic Ocean but he also crosses the continent of America to get to California for the gold rush.  His story is woven through great writing on G A Henty’s part but also by great voice acting from the cast.  They’re amazing and really make you feel like you’re there with Frank as he faces great challenges.  There are also “flashback” type scenes where you get to go and see what is happening in England while he is away.

I love the voice of Brian Blessed as Henty.  He adds so much depth to the story just with his voice.  It’s amazing.  As he narrates the story and helps bring the characters to life we learn lessons that we won’t soon forget.

I love the story line. How many of us can say we’ve never been accused of doing something wrong?  Poor Frank can’t.  He was accused of stealing money.  Rather than face the accusations and humiliation, because yes we can all agree this would be so utterly humiliating, he runs off to America.  That alone is a great place to talk with my kids about what to do when someone accuses us falsely of something.  

Frank is foolish to run off and not tell his Uncle or friends where he is off to.  I used this as a chatting point with my children of how worried I would be if they ever did this and how people would definitely be sad and distraught.  We talked about how Uncle(Captain Bayley) must have felt and how Alice probably felt betrayed.  

Frank is a kind hearted boy who is very willing to help others.  Even though he makes mistakes he tries his best to do what is right and just.  After helping a fellow Englishman and his son Frank sends them with a message for his Uncle and Alice.  Although it takes them a long time to receive the message they are overjoyed and off quickly to find Frank.  They of course arrive just in the nick of time as Frank was wounded in a fight(yes there is violence).

Plot twist!  Captain Bayley has an heir.  Of course you knew that right from the title?  His heir is his daughter who married a man he didn’t approve of and all contact was lost.  Realizing that he was wrong to forbid her having her love and that he wants to make amends Captain Bayley sets off to find her with the help of Alice.  This is why it took so long for them to get Frank’s message.  It’s too late for Captain Bayley to make amends with his daughter as she has passed away but she had a son who he can now connect with.  

Happy endings all around.  Well.  Not fairy tale happy but real life stuff happens and life is messy type endings.  

Our Thoughts

As always we loved the cast!  One reason of course is that my whole family are suckers for a good accent!  We love them!  When my cousins come over from England my kids are all talking like little British kiddos for about a month after they leave.  It’s easy to pick up.  So of course we love hearing the accents on the audio dramas as Heirloom Audio Productions is bringing Henty back into circulation.

I have always loved the Henty books and am so glad that Heirloom Audio Productions is bringing Henty back for my children to enjoy.  Not all of children love reading old classics like I do.  The material is a little harder to get into than modern day fiction.  I understand this but really want them to know and love the classics.  So we use them as read alouds.  But there is something so much more magical about listening to them on an audio drama versus mom reading them. 

I highly recommend this audio drama as well as all of the others from Heirloom Audio Productions.  Other audio dramas that we’ve reviewed and that you should check out are The Dragon and the Raven, With Lee in Virginia, The Cat of Bubastes, and Beric the Briton

Learn More

Make sure to click over to the Main Homeschool Review Crew blog and read the linked up blog posts.  You can also find Heirloom Audio Productions and all their audio dramas bringing Henty back on facebook, twitter, instagram, and google +.

 

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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.

 

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History Story Books {Homeschool Review Crew}

History Story Books 

Homeschool Review Crew

We love history in our home.  Not just in our homeschool, but in our everyday reading material as well.  That’s why we were so excited to be offered some history story books from Carole P. Roman to review as part of the Homeschool Review Crew.  We received three titles in the mail to read and love.  Our package contained If You Were Me and Lived In. . .The American West: An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time, If You Were Me and Lived In . . . Viking Europe: An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time, and If You Were Me and Lived In. . . Ancient China: The Han Dynasty- An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time.

 

Carole P Roman Blog
 

If you can’t tell, there is a bit of a theme throughout these three books.  We have three different places and periods of history to read and visit.  A big factor for us in choosing books is to hold them up against the standards of Charlotte Mason.  Are these books teaching us?  Or are they merely telling us something made up and entertaining us?  I feel that these history story books are what we would call “living books” and help to teach history as well as culture.

How to Use History Story Books

For us we like to read the books for pleasure first.  Something in the book will normally stick out as interesting or exciting and garner their attention.  That’s when mom takes over.  We then delve deeper into whatever that is.  What caught their interest?  Why do they love a certain time period or practice or custom or culture?  Take their interest and make it into a learning experience.

The If You Were Me and Lived In series from Carole P. Roman definitely fits the history story books theme as they are full of information about the cultures and time periods.  They give you information that just a history book might not.  And of course, it’s not dry reading but fun and interactive.  These books work best for ages 4-9.  They’re a longer reading book but not so long as to be a history book.  Each book contains a glossary in the back to help with any words that might not be familiar.  The drawings in the book are amazing and I love the attention to fashion detail.  I’m a bit of a fashion of old times lover so I took particular interest in those.

 

Books by Carole P Roman

Viking Europe

This book is 76 pages long.  We were able to read this aloud in less than an hour.  I did read this aloud to my children as I have a few who cannot read on their own yet.  But, I also have some big kids that stole these books as soon as they were out of the package and read them through quickly.  Viking Europe is a time period we chose because my children love all things Medieval.  Boats and swords and vikings oh my!  It’s the stuff of little boys dreams!  My boys are 10, 9, and 9, well and a 15 month old as well but he’s more into tractors and trucks right now.

Now that we talked about what my boys expected, this book does cover the typical sea faring Viking but also talks about how they made villages and farmed as well.  Plus the class system that the Viking Norse people had in place during and around 870 AD.  I loved learning about the clothing of the period while my children were more interested in what they ate and of course those ships!  The distinction of not only owning two shirts but wearing two shirts at one time.  Oh my.  We’re quite far from that today.

My boys were the first to pick up this Viking book and took particular glee in telling my almost teenage daughters all the not so fun things that would have been their daily tasks.  Oh and the whole married at the age of 15 business to help prosper the father.  Not sure we’re going to be adopting that tradition anytime soon!  I did appreciate that the Vikings respected their women and that a wife could divorce her husband for abuse or cruelty.  

 

Books by Carole P Roman

American West

Let’s visit the American West!  54 pages long and full of wonderful information this book is going to keep your little cowboys and cowgirls entertained.  In this book we’re focusing on the mass immigration of 1843 to points out west.  Particularly this book has children being around 12 years old and moving to Willamette Valley, Oregon from Ohio.  Because we reenact the Civil war which was merely twenty years past this date we do know a lot about the clothing and customs of the time.  However, I’ve never even been to Oregon so reading about the land and lifestyle out there is informative.  Oh and to travel by wagon!  We have had the pleasure of riding in a covered wagon but only for a mile or so.  I can’t imagine travelling that way for miles upon miles all day long.  

The jumping off point for all the wagons travelling west was Independence, Missouri.  This is literally within two hours of us and we’ve been there multiple times for just visiting friends and also doing reenactments.  It’s a great way of making the history story books just a little more real for us.  Of course, my girls did take offense to the sister being called whiny and getting to ride in the wagon.  They assured me that they would have walked and are not whiny.

A large shock was had by all at the amount of acreage that one couple was granted.  Our main characters family was granted 640 free acres.  That’s a lot of land.  We live on a farm that is 63 acres and think it’s a good sized amount of land.  I cannot imagine having 640 acres to explore and build on.  My boys of course are now making their own little “house” in our timber using the instructions given in this book plus some more details that we found through our research.

 

Books by Carole P Roman

Ancient China

The book that we were sent as a surprise is about Ancient China.  We haven’t spent a lot of time studying the ancient civilizations except for Egypt so this was mostly new information to us.  This history story book is 76 pages long and full of all kinds of interesting information.  The time frame is 150 AD.  Some fun facts we learned were about the Silk Road and how the silk trade made a whole new class of people within the merchants due to silk being such a commodity.  The Han dynasty lasted four hundred years making it one of the longest lasting dynasties.  It was also a very important dynasty for Ancient China.  Because of the progress and government being formed it is often called the Golden Age of Ancient China.  Paper and porcelain both came from this era.

Because this book focuses on the children of a doctor they are fairly well to do.  It then delves a bit into the other ranks of class and how they would live as well.  Other take aways are fun things like chicken being the staple dish.  My girls found it interesting that colors had such significance and that they would have been married in a red dress versus white.  The lay out of the house is very unique and I for one can’t say that I would enjoy it.

Learn More

Make sure you go to the Main Homeschool Review Crew blog and check out all the history story books reviews.  There is a vast range of books that were reviewed so I’m sure you can find at least one or two that you’d like to learn more about and check out.  You can also find Carole P. Roman on facebook, twitter, pinterest, and good reads

 

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