Thursday, September 21, 2017

Let’s Go Geography–An Awesome Homeschool Review Crew Review

Let's Go Geography

One thing that amazes me about children on the autism spectrum, especially those diagnosed with high functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, is that they are like little professors. They latch on to things and want to learn all about that topic. For Joshua it was Thomas the Train when he was younger. Then it was trains in general, helicopters, bowling, WWE wrestling (ugh!), flags, and more. His most recent phase has been geography. It has been for the past few years, thankfully. When he first began becoming interested in geography it was very difficult to find material that would actually interest him but also find material he could actually use. You see, he devoured almost everything he could find on the subject, but his level of knowledge soon out grew his reading level. His knowledge was on a high school level (I would say he knows more now than the average college student) but his reading comprehension level was a lot lower. I really wish I would have known about Let’s Go Geography way back then. I think that he would have loved this.

Thankfully, however, I still have a chance to use this awesome three year geography program with my youngest Jacob. I am very glad to say that he has also taken a bit of an interest in geography and history as well. Maybe not as much as Joshua but still an interest and I am always glad when a child of mine takes an interest in something other than video games!

Let's Go Geography

Let’s Go Geography is really a fantastic program that’s listed for grades kindergarten through four but I have learned a bunch from the program myself so I think that it can be used, at least as a supplement, for a lot higher than fourth grade. After you purchase a membership (there are different plans to fit nearly any budget) you will be emailed the link to your first country. You can see the three year plan below. You can also just log into your account and download from there.

Each week is packed with a lot of great information and projects that you can work with at any pace that you want, but since all of the information is divided into five sections then doing a little each day for five days works great. The five chapters cover Mapping the country being studies; the flag of the country; the music of the country; exploring the country; and creating a craft that represents the country. What makes it great is that all printables and links are provided. All you might need are things like colored pencils, glue, etc. (all extra materials that you may need are listed) and, of course, a printer to print off everything.

Let's Go Geography

We love this program! There is so much information but it is covered in such a way that it is very interesting. Let me talk about everything we learned about Canada – week three of the suggested plan. We love Canada and we travel there every year to help out at a camp run by some friends of ours.

The first thing we learned was where Canada was located and a little bit about the country. Younger students are just required to color in the map (sites to printable maps are provided). Older students identify the different provinces and territories as well. All students talk about the countries that border Canada, the rivers, lakes, and the climate.

Next we learn about the countries flag. There are printable flags provided that can be printed off and cut out for multiple students if you have more than one in your family. The student colors in the flag, and either pastes it there “Flags of North America” page or in their passport book that can be purchased separately.

We love the third chapter of each weeks lesson. That chapter is the music from that country. Almost always there is a link to the anthem for that country and most often there is a link to other music from that country. We love the anthem for Canada. Although we are United States citizens through and through, the beautiful national anthem of Canada reminds us of the kids that come to the camp and sing the anthem while raising the flag every morning. We also love hearing music from countries so this section is one of our favorites.

The fourth section is also a favorite of ours. It’s the “Let’s Explore” chapter where there are a ton of links and information to videos and websites that you can use to explore your section. The lesson on Canada has five tremendous links to videos that tell about the people of Canada, the landscape, and popular places to visit. There is also a link to a wonderful site where you can read about all things Canada! I really like that the author of this curriculum also provided the exact area in the library that you would go to find books about Canada. There is also a section with writing suggestions for older students if they want to notebook about the country being studies complete with colored pictures to print and cut out if wanted. Of course, the notebooking page is also provided!

Finally, the fifth chapter gives you craft ideas and coloring pages that can be printed out and created. The craft ideas often feature something that represents a native craft or a craft that uses something that is very distinct to that country. For example, one of the crafts for Canada uses the maple leaf which, of course, is one of the major symbols for Canada. As mentioned before, most of the things needed are provided to print out, and any outside materials are listed at the beginning of each week.

We are absolutely loving Let’s Go Geography! Even Joshua takes a peak at what we are doing and gets interested sometimes. To find out more about this product just click on any one of the highlighted links above. Other members of the Homeschool Review Crew reviewed this company and you can find what they had to say by clicking on the banner below. Happy Homeschooling!


Let’s Go Geography {Reviews}
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Friday, September 15, 2017

Unauthorized–Another Great Game from Chara Games–A Homeschool Review Crew Review.


Chara Games

I was never fond of many of role playing/strategy games growing up. It seemed that a lot of the ones available were ones that were controversial in the Christian world. A few years ago we were introduced to some new strategy/role playing games that weren’t necessarily Christian but didn’t really have anything controversial about them. We really enjoyed playing them. Last year were introduced to Chara Games when we reviewed their game Christian based board game - Commissioned. We loved it and were very excited when we were chosen to review another of their games this year. This time it is a very cool card game called Unauthorized.

Soon after the game arrived I gave it to my oldest son John Allen to look over. He is the strategy game expert and, since so many times strategy games have complicated rules, I thought he would be the best one to figure them out and explain to the rest of us. I am not one that is good at explaining rules – I usually need them spelled out to me – and because this game requires at least six players I knew I would need someone that would be able to communicate effectively to a number of people. What we happily discovered was that the rules were simpler than we thought. They still needed some explaining but weren’t really that difficult. Even I was able to understand the rules and was able to build a strategy the first time played.


UNAUTHORIZED

To begin the game, you are dealt a Role Card at random. Depending on the number of players at least one person is always a pastor and at least one person is a policeman. The other players are neutral players such as the matchmaker, clerk, merchant, counselor, teacher, thief, etc. Thankfully all of them are two sided with a woman on one side and a man on the other so, for example, if you are a man, and got the thief card, you turn your card over to the man thief and leave it face up on the table. Each person has a different role power that I will briefly explain in a minute. The players are then dealt seven random Experience Cards. The only exception is that the policeman is always starts off with seven red cards and the pastor with seven green cards. Those cards determine if you are loyal to the church or loyal to the state. If you have more green church cards than red state cards then you are loyal to the church. If you have more red cards than green then you are loyal to the state. The number of green and red cards you have during the game can change so that may change your loyalty and you must then change your strategy. Your goal is to make sure you stay loyal to whatever you are loyal to, and to sway other players to your side.

UNAUTHORIZED
There are only four rounds in the game so the game goes fairly quickly. The first time we played, of course, took a little longer because we were just getting used to the rules, however, the game usually only takes around 30 minutes. At the beginning of each round all players either play one or two cards face up in front of you, or pass a card to another player and then play a card. Each round instructs you to do something a little different at the start of that round. Then each player takes a turn and can choose one of four actions. You either use your role power to do something, speak to a neighbor and ask him to show you his cards, seek parole if you are in prison, or conduct a public execution if you are a policeman.

At least with us, most of the time we chose to use our role powers. Each player has something different that they can do with their role power. For example, during one game I was the merchant and I could swap one card with another player. I have also played as the teacher and I could draw a card from the pile, look at it, and give it to a player of my choice. Remember, as I am doing this, I am always trying to sway another player to my side as well as make sure I maintain my loyalty.

At the end of four rounds we put down the cards in our hands beside the cards that have already been played in front of us and that determines which side wins the game. The game can be very fluid. At one point you are loyal to one side and are working toward that goal, then someone could play a card that would change your loyalty and your entire strategy changes. It’s really a lot of fun and strategic.



UNAUTHORIZED

John Allen is very smart when it comes to things like this and caught on to the strategy right away. He loves playing this game. It took me a little while longer but I am getting the hang of it now. Poor Sarah. Even now she is having a hard time figuring out the ins and outs of it all. The rest of the kids are in between but we all agree it’s we really like the game.

It also makes one think about real life in countries where the goal of the state is to really crush the church and the goal of the church is to just stay alive! It is really though provoking.

I think you’ve gotten the idea that we have really enjoyed playing Unauthorized by Chara Games. To find out more about this game and other games by this great company click on any one of the highlighted links above. Many other members of the Homeschool Review Crew reviewed this game and you can find what they had to say by clicking on the banner below. Remember, Christmas is coming and this would be a great gift! Happy Game Playing!


Unauthorized {Chara Games Reviews}


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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Carole P Roman Children’s Books Are Awesome!–A Homeschool Review Crew Review


Carole P Roman Blog

Yesterday I wrote about two of our loves. My love of history and my love of reading. I could go on and on about why I love these two things, but it that would take up a whole blog post and that isn’t the purpose of this review. At any rate, I have at least succeeded to instill these great loves in my biological children to some extent and am trying to instill them in the other fantastic children God has placed in our home. It’s beginning to work, but again that is for another post.

Sometimes our two loves of reading and history collide and sometimes they don’t. When we heard that we would be getting two books from Carole P. RomanIf You Were Me and Lived in. . . the American West and If You Were Me and Lived in. . . Elizabethan England we were super excited. However, when we found out that we would be sent two bonus books – If You Were Me and Lived in. . . Viking Europe and If You Were Me and Lived in. . . the Ancient Mali Empire we were absolutely thrilled! Some of the Carole P. Roman books were reviewed last year by the Homeschool Review Crew but we weren’t one of the ones that were able to review them. We heard they were fantastic so we had high expectations. We were not disappointed!

Each book tells you exactly what the name implies. What it was like to live in that time period!

Books by Carole P Roman

My kids really loved If You Were Me and Lived in. . . the American West. We have been studying American History and this supplemental resource really fit in with our curriculum. It talked about what it was like to move from the the east to the west back in the 1840’s during “The Great Migration of 1843” We talked a lot about the arduous journey that the imaginary but true to life family took. They liked the fact that the author wrote the book from the perspective of a boy around their age so, not only did they learn what was expected from an adult during the journey but what was expected of a child as well. We were amazed at how many supplies the Conestoga wagon had to hold but how creative the travelers were in where they placed everything. The boys were super glad that they didn’t have to take that trip themselves and work as hard as the children did and eat the foods that they ate. We all agreed, though, that it did look very adventurous. The book goes on to explain what had to happen when the weary travelers finally made it to their destination and had to set up their new homestead. It was all fascinating to read and the awesome, detailed, pictures that the illustrator, Paula Tabor drew added to the learning experience.

Books by Carole P Roman

I really enjoyed If You Were Me and Lived in. . . Elizabethan England. This book was is written from the perspective of a young girl, but, just as in the above book, the role of boys, women and adults were also explained in detail. I had no idea what everyday life was like during the time of Queen Elizabeth in the 1570’s. Life wasn’t just difficult for adults but for children as well. Although the book was written about the life of a family who owned a bakery and were of the middle class, it also described the poor class and the rich class of England in those days. Again, this book enlightens us as to what they ate and wore and how much things cost during that period as well as what the people did for fun and entertainment. It talks about the types of housing and the living conditions of the poor, middle class and the rich. It is fascinating! Again the pictures add a lot to the learning.

There is a lot packed into both of these small books.Both are around 40 pages long and include a small section at the end that describes famous people from that area and a glossary of words and terms used in the books.

The two bonus books that we received - If You Were Me and Lived in. . . Viking Europe and If You Were Me and Lived in. . . the Ancient Mali Empire – were equally fascinating. They come from a slightly different series of books by Carole P. Roman that goes into a little more detail about the time period and place that each book is talking about. Although they cover basically the same types of things and each has a section that describes famous people from that time period and area as well as a glossary, each book has well over 70 pages. The pictures are also drawn by another illustrator, Mateya Arkova, but they are equally as good.

We absolutely love these books! I’m sure you will to. To check them out just click on anyone of the highlighted links above. Many other members of the Homeschool Review Crew reviewed other books by Carole P. Roman and you can find what they had to say by clicking on the banner below.

Oh Susannah, Bedtime Stories, Captain No Beard, If you were Me ... {Carole P. Roman Reviews}


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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Progeny Press Literature E-Guides–A Homeschool Review Crew Review.

Progeny Press

I know that I am probably going to start sounding like a broken record, but there are two things that most members of the family really love are reading and history. At least my biological kids love those things and I am trying to instill that love in my other children as well. Tomorrow I am going to be writing about a fantastic homeschool resource for history, but today I get to write about another wonderful resource that has to do with reading.

When I was in school I was introduced to great literature and the classics but it really wasn’t until later on in life that I began to read those things more. Thankfully the homeschool curriculum that we have used over the years has helped me to encourage that love in my homeschooled boys as well. One of those homeschool companies is Progeny Press and their literature “E-Guides”. We have reviewed them in the past and my boys have learned a lot so we were thrilled to be chosen to review The Silver Chair E-Guide this year.

First of all, we love the Chronicles of Narnia books by CS Lewis, and have long awaited the next Narnia movie coming out – The Silver Chair – so we were really excited by this one. If you haven’t read any of the Narnia books then I really encourage you to read them. The Silver Chair begins when two children, Eustice and Jill are swept into another world called Narnia. There they are given the task to find the son of the king who disappeared many years before. Unfortunately they keep forgetting the instructions and, after much bungling, they fear that they may have completely failed in their mission. Trust me, it’s a very enjoyable book!

We also love Progeny Press and their E-Guides. They not only make sure that the student comprehends what they are reading (or in our case what is being read to them) and learn a bit of grammar and vocabulary along the way, but, since Progeny Press is a Christian company, they also intertwine Biblical truths into the lesson.

The E-Guide is divided into three sections. After some preliminary notes to the teacher and a short section about the author the first section contains some Pre-Reading activities. These get you ready to read the book and prepared for the lessons. Since remembering the different instructions regarding how to find the king’s son was important in the book, there is a pre-reading activity regarding memorization. Without going into much detail I will tell you that caves are a big part of the book as well so there are some activities concerning caves. Another activity talks about allusions which are used a lot in the Narnia books. These are the types of things are introduced in the Pre-Reading section.

Silver Chair - E-Guide

The second section is the meat of the E-Guide. They have taken the book and divided the chapters into five groups – each group containing two or three chapters in each (the last group has four chapters). For each group they have Vocabulary and Comprehension Questions done in a variety of ways. These are basic questions that make sure you understand what you are reading. The “Thinking About the Story” questions go a little further into the story. This is where they get into grammar a little bit. Since this study guide is written for 5-7th grade, they talk about a little more advanced things than nouns and verbs. For example, the section on chapters one and two contains questions on foreshadowing, imagery, and similes. The final section is the “Digging Deeper” section where the study compares some things in the book to things that you might learn in the Bible. Since CS Lewis was a Christian and meant for this to happen in his books, this section is very interesting. You can’t imagine how many Biblical truths are taught in his books. There are also some alternate activities that you can choose from in each section as well.

The Final section is what I would call the wrap-up section. The is an Overview with a lot of questions that wrap up the study that could be used as a final exam. There are also “After You Read” suggestions that include creative writing suggestions, art suggestions and more. A separate answer key is also provided.

We have really enjoyed working through all of the Progeny Press  E-Guides that we have done over the years and have really enjoyed working through The Silver Chair E-Guide. To find out more about this product or any other products that this company has just click on any one of the highlighted links above. Many other members of the Homeschool Review Crew reviewed this and other product from Progeny Press and you can find what they had to say by clicking on the banner below. Happy Homeschooling!

Study Guides for Literature {Progeny Press Reviews}
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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Is There Anything Better Than Candy? Find Out Below! A Homeschool Review Crew Review!


Let the Little Children Come

Like many Christians I have a difficult time with what to do on Halloween. When I was younger it was just a fun day to dress up. There were no terrible masks or dressing up like hideous or satanic looking characters. There was also no talk or even rumors of demonic worship. Unfortunately the days of innocence at Halloween are long gone. So, I have struggled with what to do. Thankfully many churches have trunk-or-treat events or other fall celebrations and that is what we usually took our kids to. Now that most of my kids are older, though, what do I do now? Do I lock my doors and turn out the lights and ignore the kids to make a point. Or, do I try to use this day for God’s glory knowing that what man meant for evil God can use for good (Genesis 50:20). When I was invited to review the Is There Anything Better Than Candy? Box-Tract from Let the Little Children Come I had my answer.

Let the Little Children Come is an awesome company that provides innovative and unique evangelistic tools for children. I used some of them, including the Is There Anything Better Than Candy? Box-Tract recently at a camp that I taught Bible at and the kids were really amazed. I’ll write more about the other amazing tools later, but first lets talk about this great product.



Let the Little Children Come Halloween Tract

I love the idea of a small box to put the candy in and pass out to the kids. However, this box is much more than a carrying case for candy, it’s much more! It’s a complete salvation tract on the inside! Take a look at the picture below.

Let the Little Children Come Halloween Tract

As the child unfolds the pumpkin to get to the candy, a simple and concise but very accurate and Biblical salvation message appears explaining that a relationship with God is much better than candy! It explains the plan of salvation step by step in much the same way that I would explain it to a child or group of children. You can read the six “pumpkin slices” above to see what I mean. It is really neat!

It’s very easy to put together. The pumpkin tract comes ready to punched out and put together. The easy to assemble illustrations are printed on the part of the “punch out” that’s not used.

I can’t wait to use this with my Bible Club kids as it gets close to Halloween, but you can also use it for Sunday School classes, special parties, fall festivals, to use when children come to your door, or just as a special gift. There was a counselor at camp that had a birthday the week that I was there and I put some candy inside of one of the Pumpkin Tracts and gave it to him at lunch. He loved it! There are infinite ways that the Is There Anything Better Than Candy? Box-Tract can be used. Use your imagination!

To find out more about Is There Anything Better Than Candy? Box-Tract and the other evangelistic tools from Let the Little Children Come just click on any one of the highlighted links above. You can also check what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew had to say by clicking on the banner below! And, of course, stay tuned for my other review coming up in a few weeks. Have Fun!

Is There Anything Better Than Candy?  {Let The Little Children Come Reviews}


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A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks - A Homeschool Review Crew Review

A Journey Through Learning


I knew nothing about lapbooks when I first began homeschooling. Then, I began reading more about them and thought they looked interesting but really didn't know how to put one together. Finally I reviewed an awesome lapbook company and we were thrilled with the outcome. My kids loved putting it together, I loved the easiness of it all, the boys and I all loved how much we learned. Since then we have done several lapbooks. Some we have put together on our own, but we always seem to go back to the original great lapbook company that we used to begin with. When we found out that, lo and behold, we were going to be reviewing the downloadable An Overview of the 20th Century from that same company A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks we were excited. Our youngest, Jacob, has been wanting to learn about World War 1 and World War 2 so he was super thrilled.

First of all, I really love A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks because they don't assume that just because you are buying a lapbook that you know how to really complete a lapbook. Each on of the lapbooks that I have completed from them show you exactly what materials you need for each lapbook and what you need to do to have a finished product. There are instructions that take you through the lapbook from beginning to end. They have a diagram of where you should place everything, and, they even have pictures of what it might look like. They even include the lapbook pieces for you to print out and fill out when needed.

On top of that, the information that they give you for each time period and event is excellent! An Overview of the 20th Century includes the following historical events and individuals:

  • Wilber and Orville Wright
  • Henry Ford
  • The Panama Canal
  • World War I
  • Women Gain the Right to Vote
  • The Roaring Twenties
  • Charles Lindbergh
  • The Great Depression
  • Hoover Dam
  • World War II
  • Propaganda Posters
  • The Cold War
  • The 1950's
  • The Vietnam War
  • Civil Rights Movement
  • John F. Kennedy
  • First Man on the Moon
  • Technology Boom
  • Persian Gulf War
  • The Y2K Scare




Overview of 20th Century Lapbook with Study Guide

Each event contains at least one page of excellent information about the topic as well as all of the material needed to complete lapbook section for that event. Some sections may have you write what you have learned or answer questions about a particular event. Some sections are puzzles that you have to complete that describe or use information from that event. Other sections may have you draw or color pictures or maps. Each section is unique and make the child think.

If you have an older student that you fell should do more or if you have a younger child that wants to learn more there is a list of additional Reading Material and a Bibliography to find more information. There are even extra enrichment pages that can be completed to add to a notebook or unit study. Like I said, these lapbook kits have everything!

We love putting together lapbooks and, especially love doing lapbooks from A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks. They are easy to use but very complete. To find out more about this great company, this particular lapbook kit - An Overview of the 20th Century or any one of the other lapbooks that they have developed just click on any one of the highlighted links above. Many members of the Homeschool Review Crew also reviewed this and other lapbooks from A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks and you can find what they had to say by clicking on the banner below. Happy Lapbooking!

Lapbooks for Classical Conversations, Apologia, Inventors & 20th Century {A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks Reviews}

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Everyday Cooking–A Homeschool Review Crew Review

Everyday Homemaking

One of the top goals for my family is healthy eating. Unfortunately it is also one of those goals that I fail at the most. Oh, don’t get me wrong, we have definitely developed some better eating habits over the years. However, even with all of the research and trying out things that will help with our family, we haven’t found anything that has really clicked. Now, because we have three fantastic foster sons that we are soon to become the permanent guardians of, we are searching for healthier recipes all the more. I am so glad we were chosen to review Everyday Cooking from Everyday Homemaking. I have reviewed items from Everyday Homemaking before and knew that they were an excellent company, so I was anxious to review their newly revised and bigger Everyday Cooking.

I never had the privilege of seeing the older version of this wonderful cooking resource, but, let me tell you, the new version is fantastic! Just the intro and appendix are worth the price of the book! The intro (as well as the beginning of most of the chapters and, really throughout the whole book) has awesome tips on how to use your  cooking time wisely as a busy homeschooling and/or working parent. Tips on how to cook things ahead of time to pull out of the freezer on a busy day. Tips on how to make your dollar and food stretch. Tips on how to eat healthier. All of them are fantastic.

Everyday Cooking

And, oh my goodness, the appendix section is out of this world. It includes the usual things like measurements, menu planners, shopping lists, and stuff like that, however, it has so much more! Did you know that you could make your own vanilla extract? I didn’t, but they tell you how. What about low carb/gluten free sugar substitutes? Or brown sugar substitutes? Or chocolate syrup? I had no idea that you could do some of those things, but you can create those items and more. I even enjoyed reading about all of the kitchen items that are either essential or would be valuable to purchase if you want to have a healthy eating lifestyle. Are you a homeschooler? The appendix even has suggestions and planners on how to use Everyday Cooking as a homeschool tool.

And I haven’t even gotten to the recipes yet! All of them are geared toward healthy eating and making the best use of time. The sections in the cookbook include Breakfast Ideas, Appetizers and Dressings, Bread and Grains, Main Dishes & Soups & Sides, and Desserts & Snacks. There are some awesome recipes in those sections, but there is also a section that includes recipes for slow cookers and pressure cookers. I chuckled at the name of that section – “The Tortoise and the Hare”.

When we first went to Canada to help out at Mill Stream Bible Camp, they served something that was new and different for us – Baked Oatmeal. We fell in love with it but have never found a cookbook that had a recipe for it – until now that is. Everyday Cooking has a recipe for it that is out of this world. (Pictured Below) I can’t wait to try out some of the bread recipes, or “Mom’s Special Herb Dip”, or their mayonnaise recipe (I’ve never tried home made mayo), or their Cheese-Garlic Biscuits, or Curried Chicken Casserole – I could go on and on. I also like the fact that their are pictures throughout on how to do things or how things are supposed to look when done – and, even if you can’t find it in the book, they have a blog that does have pictures of most of the  recipes.

20170824_132216

To find out more about Everyday Cooking and Everyday Homemaking just click on any one of the highlighted links above. Other members of the Homeschool Review Crew reviewed this item and other items from Everyday Homemaking and you can find what they had to say by clicking on the banner below. Happy Cooking!

Everyday Cooking and Chores Systems for your Family {Everyday Homemaking Reviews}

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Canada O’ Canada

I just got back from my annual trip teaching Bible at Mill Stream Bible Camp in Canada. Don’t get me wrong, I dearly love the United States. I don’t want to live anywhere else. However, I do love Canada. It has to be my second favorite country outside of the United States. I so love traveling to Mill Stream and teaching Bible and I love the time that we have had to play tourist in Canada.

This year, though, because our foster kids couldn’t get passports quick enough, only Joshua and I went while Sarah stayed home with the rest of the family. This year was Canada’s 150th Birthday, and the theme at Mill Stream reflected that. Below are some pictures of the decorations at the camp. Also below is a recording of the song from Epcot’s Canada Pavilion that first sparked my desire to visit Canada. It is still a favorite song of mine even thought the pavilion’s movie has changed and this song is no longer performed.

Enjoy!

Mill Stream 2

Mill Stream 1

Mill Stream 3

Mill Stream 4


Thursday, August 3, 2017

In The Reign of Terror–Another Fantastic Audio Adventure from Heirloom Audio–A Homeschool Review Crew Review

Heirloom Audio Productions

We were first introduced to GA Henty many years ago when my oldest son, John Allen, read one of his many great historical novels. He fell in love with them at once and has read many if his other books since then. When we found out that Heirloom Audio Productions was producing audio theater versions of his books we were beyond thrilled. The first one that we reviewed was, if I remember clearly, With Lee in Virginia, and we have either reviewed or bought and listened to every one since then. Recently we were invited to review their newest release In the Reign of Terror and it is just as professionally done and attention grabbing as the rest of the audio theater CDs that they have done.

You may be wondering what the difference is between “audio theater” and regular recorded books. Let me just tell you that when we listened to our first adventure, I was skeptical as to whether or not my kids would pay attention and be interested. That was back when we just had our three biological kids and we listened to the recording on a long road trip that we were on. They were completely enthralled! You could have heard a pin drop in the car – that is if the recording weren’t playing at the time. Every adventure has been the same since. Heirloom Audios Productions is just as the name suggests – an adventure! It is recorded in such a way that it is as if you were in a theater watching a movie and closed your eyes. You can imagine yourself being right in the action. The sound affects, background music, and everything is superbly done. And, the actors and actresses that portray each character are well known. This recording includes Brian Blesses of Star Wars, Tarzan, and Robin Hood fame, John Rhys-Davies from The Lord of the Rings and Indiana Jones movies, Cathy Sara of Downton Abbey and Christina Greatrex of The Royal Shakespeare Company among others.

In the Reign of Terror

This particular story is about a 16 year old boy by the name of Harry who leaves his home and family in England to live with and learn from The Marquis De St Caux and his family in France. Join Harry and the Marquis son also 16 when they rescue damsels in distress from a vicious dog, go on a wolf hunt for a ravaging wolf and, eventually, find themselves involved in the terrible French Revolution. We laughed at Harry trying to get used to France and the Frenchmen equally trying to communicate with Harry. We held our breath when Harry rescues his the family that took him in. I won’t go into too much detail because I don’t want to spoil the story, but the ending of all of the Heirloom Audio Productions recordings almost always leave us in tears and this one is no different. These are truly adventures. However, the GA Henty books are much more than just good books. They are what is called “historical fiction” which means that the characters may not have necessarily been real (although many are), but the historical information is accurate. My kids have learned so much history from these recordings!

If you think that the recording is all that there is, though, you are mistaken. Not only are the recordings fantastic but the extras that you get if you join the Live the Adventure Club are fantastic. Not only do you receive mp3 downloads and posters but you also can download a fantastic discussion starter and question guide. For each track of the CD this guide has many, many questions to make sure that your child is comprehending well, questions to discuss with your child to make them think further about what is happening, and many vocabulary words for your child to look up or for you to discuss with your child. This is very helpful if you are using this in a homeschool setting.

Once again we are thrilled with In the Reign of Terror from Heirloom Audio Productions. It is another fantastic production. To find out more about this audio theater CD or any other GA Henty CD’s from Heirloom Audio Productions just click on any one of the highlighted links above. You can check out what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew think about this production by clicking on the banner below. Happy listening!

In the Reign of Terror {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}


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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Doctor Aviation–An Awesome Homeschool Review Crew Review!


Doctor Aviation

I remember when my middle biological child, Joshua, was younger. He would latch on to a specific topic and want to learn everything he could about that subject. It was almost like he would become a little genius in that field. You would never know when his interests would change but eventually they would and he would move on to something else but his fascination with that topic still wouldn’t stop. For a while one of his interests was helicopters. He wanted to know everything he could about them. We watched videos, read books, looked them up on the computer, and traveled to where ever there was an actual helicopter display. He couldn’t learn enough about helicopters.
I really wish that Doctor Aviation had been around at that time. I think that he would have really soaked this Aviation Video Training course up! However, God always has a plan. He knew back then that, although Joshua may someday take this course as well, there was another child that would enter our life that needed this course at this particular time. Six months ago, three awesome brothers came to live with us as foster children and, wouldn’t you know it, the oldest, David, wants to go into the Air Force to learn how to fly. We don’t know how long the boys will be in our lives but we do know that God sent this course to us at just the right time. David and I have had a blast working through this together.
But, I haven’t even told you what this course is all about! Well, let me tell you that it is amazing! It is taught by an equally amazing man by the name of Daryl Smith who is a retired Air Force Pilot, who has flown numerous types of aircraft, was stationed all over the world and even taught at the Air Force Academy in Colorado. He calls himself Doctor Aviation and for good reason. He is knows everything about aviation and is an excellent teacher. It’s amazing how he can take complicated information, put it in bite sized pieces and explain it in such a way that, although this course is recommended for ages 16 and up, even younger kids can comprehend. As I mentioned, the material is comprehensive. The first session/section is just introductive (it’s also free on the website if you want to check it out) but after that you get into the meat of the material. After that there are five more sections.
Section 2 is entitled “The Aircraft” and has four sessions that cover the basics of all aircraft such as The Major Components of an Airplane, Axes and Forces, Why and Aircraft Flies, Why and Aircraft Turns, Pitches, and Slides.
Section 3 is called “Air Traffic Control” and these two sessions have to do with Radar and How Air Traffic Control Works.
Section 4 is “Aircraft Maintenance” and talks about how to maintain Propeller Engines and Jet Engines in its two sessions.
Section 5’s two lessons cover “Airfield Operations” in Small Airports and Large Airports.
Finally, Section 6 goes more in depth and is called “The Aircraft II”. It talks about Flying in the Clear and Not So Clear, Important Pilot Instruments such as Attitude Indicator and Airspeed Indicator, and then talks about other Aviation Ships such as Gliders, Helicopters and Other Airships.
Each session contains a video that is approximately an hour long and each video has three sections in it – Technical Trivia, Notable Innovators and Legendary Aircraft/Events. There are also worksheets that can be downloaded and used to take notes and a downloadable section that contains more resources if you want to learn something more about a topic that has been talked about. These extra resources include, videos, websites, and a list of suggested reading material such as biographies and historical books.
You can also take this course for credit and their are tests and answer keys that  can be used if wanted.
David and I have been taking this course together and have loved it. Not only have we learned a lot but we have enjoyed spending time with each other. The Notable Innovator and Legendary Aircraft/Events sections have been fascinating and we have learned so much about airplanes in just the few lessons that we have completed so far. We can’t wait to delve into the lessons even more.
Here’s what David says about Doctor Aviation:
“It is very good. I liked learning about Chuck Yeager and the Wright Brothers. I also enjoyed learning tidbits of information like how the Ford Mustang got it’s name from the Mustang plane. He is really good at teaching the information and helping you understand the things being taught.”
As you can see we are really impressed with Doctor Aviation and the Aviation Video Training course. I highly recommend it to any family that has an interest in in airplanes. To find out more just click on any one of the highlighted links above. You can also read what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew had to say by clicking on the banner below. Many of them used it with young children or used it for credit and you can find some great information from their reviews. Finally, you can click on the social media links below to find information more information as well. Happy Flying!
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Aviation Course {Doctor Aviation Reviews}

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Internship for High School Credit–A Homeschool Review Crew Review!

Apologia Educational Ministries

I remember when we first were thinking about homeschooling our kids. We did a lot of research and talked to a lot of other homeschool families. One of the things that intrigued me about one particular family was the way that they allowed their children to seek out and work in internship programs. These programs helped them develop their talents and decide if it was really a career path that they wanted to follow. I toyed around with this idea with my oldest. We pursued some things that interested him, but I really didn’t know how to search out a real internship program for him. Now that our other two biological children are getting older and we also have three other awesome foster children the topic of internships has come up again. This time, however, we have a wonderful book by Apologia Educational Ministries titled Internship for High School Credit.

Let me tell you that, since I have this book, I am not going to have any problem with searching out, applying for, or even using this experience for high school credit. This book has all of the answers and takes you through the process step by step. It even has a workbook section for the student to better utilize and learn from this exposure to his chosen field.


Internship for High School Credit

After a short introduction and “How to use this Workbook” section, there are five parts to this book. Part one is titled “Getting Started” however, despite what the title says, it is much, much more than that. It is a step by step guide to everything that you need to do to apply for an internship. I am very impressed by how thorough this section is! At first it talks about how to determine what type of internship you are interested in. It even has a section that helps you think about a field if you don’t even know what you want to do with your life yet. It then goes on to talk about choosing a company, preparing to contact that company, and the extra things that you might need to do and take into consideration if you want to receive high school credit. There are a lot of things involved in claiming high school credits for an internship that I didn’t realize. I am glad that they included this section. Next after choosing a company Internship for High School Credit teaches your student how to write a résumé and write a letter of introduction to the company. Really these are skills that any student needs to know even if they aren’t applying for an internship! Finally, there are tips on how to act during an interview and how to get ready for the first day. Whew! I told you that the first section was thorough!

However, if you thought that the first section was thorough, wait until you read about the next section! Part two talks about what a parent needs to know. This section provides information on so many things that I didn’t even think of. Things like Child Labor laws and how a parent needs to be proactive in helping their child choose a good internship location. I like how, since this book is written from a Christian perspective, how this section talks about choosing a company that is going to line up with your worldview. Finally, this section gives a lot of great information on how a parent can use this internship to give their child high school credits.

Parts Three and Four are in workbook form and helps the student keep track of his goals and how the internship is going. The questions that are asked each week are tremendous. They really help the student think about what is going on so that this isn’t just a “job” but a real internship that is helping them get the most from this experience and evaluate if this is something that they really want to pursue in life. Part Three is for the first semester of an internship and contains charts, questions and hints for the student to fill out, answer and read. It also includes an end of the semester work performance and an evaluation of what skills were learned during the semester. Part Four is for the second semester of a year long internship. It is very similar to Part Three, but instead of questions it contains in-depth activities for the student to complete that helps them dig deeper into the field that they are working in order to get the most from their experience.

Part Five is a course Wrap-up section that includes a final writing assignment, writing a thank-you letter to the company, updating your résumé and asking your supervisor for a letter of recommendation.

I told you that Internship for High School Credit was thorough! I am very impressed with this book, and am definitely going to use it for my kids. To find out more about Internship for High School Credit or about Apologia Educational Ministries just click on any one of the highlighted links above. You can also search them out on one of their social media links listed below. Finally, many of the other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew reviewed this book and another book from Apologia Educational Ministries and you can find what they had to say by clicking on the banner below. Happy Homeschooling!

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Homeschool with Confidence & Internship for High School {Apologia Educational Ministries Reviews}


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Friday, June 9, 2017

MarshMedia Health and Puberty Videos–An Excellent Resource for any Family–A Homeschool Review Crew Review


Health Education Products for K-8 {MarshMedia }


Being in a house full of adolescent boys can be very interesting. You never know what discussions we might have. What makes it even more interesting is the crazy mixed up group that we have. Two of our biological sons are on the autism spectrum so are very innocent when it comes to some things, while our three foster sons are very street wise and have seen a lot more than our biological kids. Still, four out of the seven boys are teens while one is a preteen, so there are topics that periodically have to be addressed. With a bunch of hormonal boys health and sexual talks are inevitable. That’s why I was excited to be chosen to review .MarshMedia and their awesome health education videos. MarshMedia has produced videos for schools for over 45 years, however, they are wanting to introduce their videos to homeschool families with a Homeschool Special.

When I was researching this company at first, I was skeptical. After all, this company is not really a Christian company. If I am going to talk to my kids about such things as health and puberty, I want it to come from a Christian perspective. I don’t want it to come from a world view that is contrary to my faith. However, after watching a few of these videos, I realized I had nothing to worry about. These videos are very well done and I found nothing at all offensive about them.

As I mentioned, MarshMedia concentrates on Health and Puberty Education. In fact, as you can see by their banner below, that is their tagline. I was very curious because they said that they also had videos that were geared toward autistic children. I was pleasantly surprised! As I mentioned above, they are very tastefully done. They explain things in ways that an autistic child would understand. It is very basic but thorough. Although they do show diagrams, there is no physical nudity involved. There are videos that discuss puberty as well as safety, and hygiene. Hygiene is a really big thing with my autistic teen so I was very glad that they addressed that topic. How they do it in a serious but somehow entertaining way I will never know. I wish I had that ability.


Health Education Products for K-8 {MarshMedia }

The videos made for non-autistic kids are equally well done. Now, these videos are made for children in grades k-8 so, after watching a few of them, I realized they were a bit below the level of my high-school aged boys. Still, there are quite a few that were suitable for my pre-teen and, even though they were not specifically made for autistic children, they fit well with my teen that is on the spectrum.

Now, I realize I have talked about the puberty and hygiene videos a lot, but they have a plethora of videos that deal with such topics as immune system disorders, safety, nutrition, and even head lice. All are just as tastefully done as the puberty and hygiene videos.

I think you can see that we are very pleased with .MarshMedia and it’s videos. Although we as members of the Homeschool Review Crew, were able to choose and select which videos we wanted to watch, it looks like that option is available for regular costumers as well. Or, you can take advantage of the Homeschool Special. Whichever you decide to do, please do it because this has become a wonderful resource to our family and I know it could be to yours as well. Just click on an one of the highlighted links above or check out their social media links below. You can also check out what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew had to say by clicking on the banner below. Happy Homeschooling!

Social Media Links:


MarshMedia Reviews


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