Mixed By Me Thinking Putty ~ A Review

When using our style of homeschooling, we love to read, a lot! But with little kids and busy hands, we need to find a happy medium. How in the world do we do that? Some fun putty is the key for our house! Even though you can go to most any store and buy some plain Jane putty, why would you do that when you can have your kids make their own! Check out this really fun Mixed By Me Thinking Putty included in many curriculum kits from Timberdoodle.

Mixed By Me Thinking Putty

What Is It

Mixed By Me Thinking Putty is a customizable putty that allows your child to design their own colors and special effects within the putty. Included within this kit is: 5 small tins hand packed with clear Thinking Putty (twist off the lid to remove!), 3 concentrated primary-colored putties, 3 special effect putties, 1 tin to hold your components, 6 colored pencils, 5 extra labels for your tins and 1 instructional mat with formula suggestions from Crazy Aaron.

Mixed by Me Thinking Putty

With this, your child does not have just any old putty from the store to use as a fidget tool, but a personal putty that is just their own. This makes it that much more special to them, trust me, I have seen it firsthand!

How We Used It

We took this review very serious…We made sure to test out our putty to its fullest potential. To combine the right color mixtures and special effects to make this putty their own. How did we do this? Well, we had fun first and foremost. How could you not have fun when playing with putty?!

Mixed By Me Thinking Putty

The kids were a little shocked when they opened their first tins to find clear putty! How could clear putty be any fun? Well, once I pulled out the colors, minds were changed! We took a look at the 3 primary colors and used this as a chance to talk about what colors would be made by combining colors. This was our art lesson for the day!

Mixed By Me Thinking Putty

Once the colors were added, and stretched and squished, we took a look at the special effects. These three effects were sparkle, shimmer and glow in the dark. What a fun set of special effects! The kids talked to each other about who was going to try what, and what it might look like. As soon as they decided what they wanted to add, we had to stretch and squish yet again! This was actually the fun part and there was a lot of extra squishing and stretching!

Mixed By Me Thinking Putty

Mixed By Me Thinking Putty is a putty and putty claims to never dry out. Well, this mom has doubts when companies claim this. Why? Because I have the child who will leave a top off and cry when it is dried up! So I put a piece of putty out on a shelf, away from the kids. Guess what I found out two weeks later? It was still as good as the day we opened the tins! I love this stuff!!

What We Thought of This

This putty was some of the most fun putty that I have seen in a long time! I even made my own mommy tin of putty! Not only did we get to design the putty, we got to design the tin it is stored in! What does this mean? Well it means your child has a chance to design 5 tins of their very own putty. They are able to design a putty for each day of the school week! Monday makes them blue? Make some blue putty! Friday is a day of celebration? Add some sparkle! Having a dark day? Add some glow in the dark! Whatever you are feeling, you can make a putty for that!

Mixed By Me Thinking Putty

The kids couldn't get enough of this putty. We loved the designing of our own. I loved the using it as an art lesson. I also loved watching the kids actually think about what they wanted to do. They planned. What would this plus this turn into? I watched their brains work and it wasn't for a video game! This putty has made my kids think, it has given them something to do while I read. We use the putty every day. Yes, we can only make it once, but it is so much prettier than any other putty. We pull it out and keep our hands busy.

Mixed By Me Thinking Putty

Do you like to have busy hands and open minds in your homeschool? Do you want to find that one thing that is fun, yet can be used for learning? You need to get your hands on this putty and let your kids have fun with it!

If you could make a putty anyway you want it, what would you do to it?

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NotebookingPages.com ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Are you frustrated with your current curriculum? Are you looking for something fun that will help your kids learn at the same time? Instead of being frustrated and tied down, why not use some fun journaling, and why not make it pretty, or handsome, with the notebboking pages that are designed for them. The Notebooking Pages LIFETIME Membership at NotebookingPages.com has everything you need for just this!

Notebooking Pages LIFETIME Membership

What Is It

NotebookingPages.com is a website that has a notebooking page for almost everything, with new ones being added. The different topics are A-Z, Bible/Character, Famous People, Fine Arts, Geography, History, Holidays, Language Arts and Science/Nature. Oh, and there is even a section call Any Study. This is where you can pick and choose what you need for your homeschool if it isn't already listed in any of the other sections!

Debra, the owner of NotebookingPages.com, is a homeschool mom herself who wanted something better for her kids. When she wasn't able to find, she made it. And I am thankful that she did! This is our go to page for all things notebooking!


How We Used It

There is no right or wrong way to use this site, just so you know right now. You will decide how you want to use it, and that is what you will do. We have used this site for YEARS, and each time I find something new to use in a new and different way. Each one of my kids use the resources here in different ways and each one loves what they do.

Little Miss

Little Miss is busy learning her letters. I am able to hop on in and find the letter we are learning about in the A-Z section and we can use the pages to go with that letter. We love coloring the big letters and making the fun little books. We are able to draw a picture(s) of things that start with letter and practice writing words that start with that letter. She loves just having her own books to read to Baby Girl.

Ray Ray

Ray Ray is busy learning about birds and clouds this summer. We are finding out that the Charlotte Mason style homeschooing is best for him, and these notebooking pages help us to learn in a different way. I simply printed up some pages on the different birds in our area and let him find the information he wanted to learn about them. He is busy making his own bird book, and loves watching the birds with his book. We have also had fun simply staring at the clouds. The nature study section has a great collection of pages on clouds and we are able to write about what we see and find the difference in the clouds to the weather and how they both seem to change at the same time.

Moe Man

Moe Man is even busy with these pages. He has found a style he liked in the Any Study section and used this as a way to take notes for his government course. He takes one page per lesson and fills it full of what he is learning. There are some really neat little squares on some pages, and he is able to use those to draw what he has read about. This is a fun way of notetaking that you would not get from simple lined paper. I love seeing what he comes up with each day!

What We Thought

I love these pages. I love having that one site that has what I need to make a boring subject fun. That one site where I can replace the worksheets with fun sheets. I love that there are two different styles of lines with each unit and that I can pick and choose which one will work for us each day. The Lifetime Membership has been worth it to our family and we will continue to use these pages long into the future of our homeschooling days. If you have to pick one thing for your homeschool, pick this. This is essential in our homeschool and I think you will feel the same way about it in yours.

A Schoolhouse Crew Review (3)

Want to see how other families have put these pages to use? Head on over and read these other reviews with me. I can't wait to find new ideas to use in our homeschool!

Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership Reviews


Stop by and show some social media love to Debra!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/debrareed.notebookingpages/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NotebookingPgs  @NotebookingPgs


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Extraordinaires Design Studio Pro ~ A Review

"Mom, I want to make something." "What can I invent?" "I am bored!" These comments have not been heard around our house recently. Instead I watch all three of the oldest kids meeting new clients and designing just what they need, plus I get to count it as school!

How in the world do the kids have clients? Well, let me introduce you to the Extraordinaires and The Extraordinaries Design Studio Pro from Timberdoodle. With this simple little box, your children will meet clients, find out what they need and have a great time using their minds to create new items for their clients.

Design Studio Pro

There are 24 different Extraordinaries to meet and 30 different design projects. With this, you will have 720 possible challenges, like I said, the kids have been busy! You also get 50 think cards, 5 award cards, a drawing pad, 2 pens and a design manual.

Design Studio Pro

The way we used this "game" was to sit around the table and get ready to design. We "met" with 3 different Extraordinaires and seen the three different items they were after. Each Extraordinaire card shows a little on the back about them. This is how we get to know our clients.

There are 5 possible designs types. You could end up with Inventions, Gadgets, Buildings, Clothing or Vehicles. Each design shows 8-12 doodles on it. These doodles are there to help your child think about what to create. This gives them a starting point when it comes to making their own design.

Design Cards

After a little time to debate, each child chose one of their Extraordinaires to work with. Once they were ready to begin, each child got a Think Card to go with the design. Each Think Card has a 3-step process for your child to use when designing. First, it shows some Research, followed by design and finally how to improve.

Think Cards

And if that was not enough, you have access to the Design Manual. This handbook is fought over while designing. This is where you find out more about your Extraordinaire, their designs and many helpful hints! This is also where mom and dad can go for instructions, and a place to find ideas on building from your design.

Design Manual

While this kit is recommended for the teens in your house, the younger children can still have fun with it. I personally require less from the younger kids, and more from Moe Man. I was able to watch all three have fun and learn from this. I watched them build and think. That too me is the most important part.

Fun Art

Extraordinaires Design Studio Pro is a hit in our house. The kids love having that go to something for when they are bored and I love knowing that they love to do this more than a video game! Studio Pro is a great art item to keep in your homeschool collection, but feeds on more than just the art. It works the mind, of children of all ages.

Have you ever had your children meet with clients and build new items? If not, you need to check this out and see how much fun they can have while learning!  photo Signature_zpsgowpsmjl.png  photo Disclosure_zpsalxv5hgx.jpg

Kwik Stix Paint Sticks ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Painting, oh the joys. The colorful fun, arty joys of painting! But what about the mess? How do you deal with the mess of multiple kids painting and having fun? What if I told you there was a way to paint without the mess? Well, there is! The Pencil Grip, Inc has this fantastic product, Kwik Stix, and we got to have fun with the 12 pack.

Kwik Stix Review

You may know The Pencil Grip, Inc. from one of their other products, can you guess it? The pencil grip! When we got our box of Kwik Stix, we were delighted to find one of the original The Pencil Grips in there. This grip has been so much fun for us to use. Everyone has tried it in the house, and we all love the comfort of these grips! If you or your kids need help holding your pens or pencils, these are the ticket!

The Pencil Grip Inc


The Kwik Stix are a solid Tempra Paint stick that allows your child to paint, yet not make a mess. They can paint, *gasp* without your supervision, err, help setting it all up. That is right, even Little Miss is able to pull out this "paint" and use it like she would her markers or crayons. All she needs to do it uncap, twist and paint!
Kwik Stix The Pencil Grip, Inc. Review

Counter space is limited in this house. Especially if you have more than one child in the process of making art at the same time. How oh how will I let this all dry? There are no worries about drying with Kwik Stix! With the super-fast drying formula, the paintings will be dry within 90 seconds. Yes, I said 90 seconds!! That means, my counters can be saved for other things, like food!

Little Miss Kwik Stix

So, how did we use these fun things? Um…well, we painted and colored and hung up our creations! Mom was happy, and not stressed out over having paint available. First, we just did what we wanted to do. Whatever sounded good, and we called it art class!

After the "fun" was broke in, we I decided that it would be fun to use these in our actual lessons! While we didn't have much that needed art, we found different things to paint. Ray Ray painted a picture of one of the characters from the books he is reading. Little Miss, she is just busy painting anything she can!

Ray Ray Kiwk Stix

We love using our waterless, messless, and super fun Kwik Stix! These truly are the paint stick with super-fast dry time. I am not worried about water cups being spilled or finding a spot for the art to dry, I am just enjoying my children having fun with art!
Kwik Stix The Pencil Grip, Inc. Review

If you are in need of some super-fun, easy to use, easy to clean up paint, you will want to check out these miracles in a stick! Don't just take my word for it, check out the reviews from the other crew families!
Kwik Stix The Pencil Grip, Inc. Review

Once you are done checking out the reviews, stop by and show some social media love!

Website:  http://www.thepencilgrip.com
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Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ThePencilGrip 

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Brookdale House ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

Brookdale House Review

How do you teach your kids the United States? You know, the names of the states and where you can find them? How do you make it fun and not boring? Well, we draw them…yep, Using Drawing Around the World: USA from Brookdale House.

Brookdale House Review

What It Is

This is a simple program that will help your children learn about the United States. This program, while simple is very effective in the repletion it uses. Each week you will work on one or two states all while refreshing what you have already learned in the previous weeks.

The first day of your four days of using this each week starts off with the children learning the state(s), what shape they are, and the facts about them. They will also find them on the map and start memorizing that as well.

Each of the rest of the days has your child drawing the states on the map first tracing the outline of those states next you have the chance to challenge your child and have them draw the state free hand.

Finally, on the fourth and last day of the weekly study, your child will list the states and abbreviations that they know, all the way from the beginning. This is the test each week!

Brookdale House Review

How We Used It

We had both boys using this program together. Monday would be the day they sat down and looked up the information together on the internet and the map we have hanging up. Ray Ray even pulled out our geography book to look at. They would find the information and each write it down.

The drawing was where I saw the difference in the boys. Moe Man loves to draw and really enjoyed the drawing part of it all. This is where he found himself memorizing the states. Ray Ray is my facts boy, he remembers the states by their facts!

Each week, I would quiz the boys during the week to see how much they remembered. I would see if they could remember the names and capitals of the states, as well as the abbreviations of the states. After we got that bit down, we would find them on blank maps. The maps that show you the states, but not the names. While this is not listed in the program, this is something I really like to do with them, it is a me thing!

What We Thought of It

I love Brookdale House, and all that they have to offer. When I heard they had this…I was happy! I wanted the boys, and the girls when they are older, to know our states. I know that it is hard for Moe Man to memorize, but I know that with Brookdale House, that he can. This company knows how to make memorizing facts fun.

The boys loved sitting down together and working on this. Moe Man loved to be able to find the information on his own and loved to be able to remember what he was learning. Ray Ray loved doing big kid work. And I loved watching both of them memorizing on their own terms.

Brookdale House has many options for learning. Check out some of these other programs the other Review Crew families reviewed.

 Brookdale House Review

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Super Teacher Worksheets ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

What do you do when your child does not understand something? What if you need something fun to practice what you are learning? Where do you go for that? I have fallen in love with the Individual Membership over at Super Teacher Worksheets for just these types of problems!

Super Teacher Worksheets

What It Is

This is a wonderful website that has worksheets and games for preschoolers and beyond. Most of the “grades” are up to the 5th grade, but I loved the practice that these were able to give to Moe Man in the 9th grade when it comes to some subjects!

This is not a full curriculum in any way, but can be used to supplement any curriculum that you may have. All major subjects are covered and within those subjects, all major categories are there. You are even able to make your own extra practice sheets when needed.

How We Used This

I love supplementing when I want my kids to practice something a little more. I don’t like looking all over and wasting my time trying to find just the right thing. That is where Super Teacher Worksheets came into play. I would look at our lesson plan, and look on the menu, find the matching worksheets, pick the one, or two, that I wanted and away we went.

Ray Ray has been asking me for some time to have a color by number like Little Miss had, when I found the scarecrow addition color by number, I was thrilled! Not only did he get what he wanted, mommy got what she wanted by having him practice his addition skills.

Super Teacher Worksheets

When Moe Man forgot about algebraic expressions (really who remembers that stuff anyway!), I was able to find some simple worksheets that refreshed his memory in a fun, non-threatening way. When his double digit multiplication was missing a step, I was able to find fun, colorful worksheets to help him practice. (These simple things are a MUST for him and his learning).

Super Teacher Worksheets

And when Little Miss wanted to be like her brothers, I was able to add some letter worksheets into her daily work! There is truly something for everyone here!

With all the supplementing, I was able to find something for everyone to do in different subjects, so we are using this website daily. Each worksheet is at least two pages, with the answers included. When printing, I would only print the student pages to help save on paper and ink. I could always go back and check the answers on the computer. The only time this did not work was when it was a build your own worksheet. That is where the File Cabinet comes in, just remember to save your worksheet to the file cabinet before you generate it…I forgot this step the first time!

What Did We Think

I love this website! While I was given an individual membership for this review, I have my own account that I set up and purchased before this review. I plan to continue my membership after this review as well. This is a site that I have found very useful in our homeschooling. It is a site that I do use on a daily basis. I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

If you need more opinions, check out these other reviews from The Crew! If you do, or have had this membership, what is your favorite feature of it?

Super Teacher Worksheets Review

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ARTistic Pursuits Early Elementary Book 1 ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review

ARTisticPursuits Schoolhouse Crew Review

What do you do when it comes to art class and you are not an artistic person? Well, for me, you look for an easy to teach program that will allow your children to learn to enjoy art. ARTistic Pursuits does just that for our house!
ARTistic Pursuits Review

Ray Ray was excited to have the chance to use Early Elementary K-3, Book 1: Introduction to the Visual Arts. He has always loved to do art and I have always struggled to teach him without showing my dis-interest in it.

ARTisticPursuits Schoolhouse Crew Review

Early Elementary Book 1 is a spiral bound soft cover book of over 90 pages. There are 36 lessons, each with a project. There are 4 groups of lessons; Drawings, Painting, Paper Art and Clay. All the required materials needed to complete the lessons are easy to obtain from the local stores, or from the ARTistic Pursuits website.

ARTisticPursuits Schoolhouse Crew Review

Each lesson begins with a learning section. You get the chance to learn the basics of art with your child on a level they are able to understand, and written with easy to understand words. You will be learning various things from the fact that artists use their imagination to paying attention to the small details when they look at things, how to use lines and how to use curves. There are many topics that are brought up one by one. While each lesson is numbered, there is no need to follow that order if you don’t want to. We personally jumped around and just marked which ones had been done after they were done.

ARTisticPursuits Schoolhouse Crew Review

After your topic of the lesson, you get to look at real art, whether it is a painting, picture or sculpture. Whatever medium you are learning about, you get to see also. You have guided learning to go with that art medium. After talking about it, there are guided questions to go with it. These are simple questions that make your child think about what they learned. You are able to see how well they were listening to you and re-enforce what you want them to learn.

ARTisticPursuits Schoolhouse Crew Review

ARTisticPursuits Schoolhouse Crew Review ARTisticPursuits Schoolhouse Crew Review

Once you are done teaching…it is play time! This is where you take what you learn and have fun! There is the review, the materials needed for this specific project and what to do. There is also notes listed if they are needed for each project. There is also a student gallery of each project. This helps us, and the kids to see the level they are working at and to not worry if they don’t always turn out the same.

Ray Ray and Little Miss have both fallen in love with this book. Every time they see me pull out the book they get excited about what art they get to do next! We worked on 1-2 lessons each week, picking and choosing between lessons. While this is listed for grades K-3, Little Miss, at 3 years old, had no problem joining in with Ray Ray for the lessons. And while he won’t admit it, Moe Man at 14 loved the lessons and projects as well! While we used 1-2 lessons per week, if you wanted to use this for a full year, you could use one lesson a week and spread those lessons out over 2-3 days. The lessons are set up so that you can easily do that and not lose out on anything. However, once you start a lesson, you will be having a lot of fun and might not want to actually stop where you said you were going to!

So you don’t have a child in grades K-3? No problem! ARTistic Pursuits has MANY other programs for all the grades! Check those reviews out by clicking below! You will be able to find something for your needs.
ARTistic Pursuits Review
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ARTistic Pursuits ~ A Schoolhouse Crew Review


Little Miss is still a little too "little" for real school, but she is my artsy girl. Anything to do with art and she is there. When I seen the opportunity to do a review on The Way They See It (Preschool) from ARTistic Pursuits, I jumped for joy for Little Miss! She was so excited when the package arrived and I told her that her art school was here. 

There are twenty-six lessons in this book. Although this is an art book for preschoolers, it is also an art book for the parents and teachers of the preschoolers. Each lesson starts with "Grown-up Talk" which tells the parents and teachers a little about the child's learning and understanding. It helps us see their art as they see it. The lesson goes next to a work of art from many diverse artists. There are fun little activities that you do with those pictures. Simple, yet fun things that help your little one look at and study the picture a little more than just a fun glance and go. And finally it is time for the kids to have fun! Each art activity for the children is based on the picture they were just studying. You will not be just coloring, you will painting, drawing, molding, and building. You are going to learn the art technique that was used for the picture study in each lesson.

The Way They See It (Preschool) is a spiral bound book. It does not include the supplies needed for the activities. I wouldn't worry too much about those…half of them I already had at home and the other half were not too spendy to grab from the store. You can grab your own copy for $47.95. The recommended age for this book is Preschool (3, 4, and 5).


I have listened to Little Miss and her desire to be artistic. We took a lesson a week and included Ray Ray with us on these fun "school lessons". I would take the time at the beginning of the week and read the Grown Up Talk for the lesson. I loved reading and having my eyes open to how my kids were seeing all the art around them. We would than move over to the kids paying attention to the different pictures for the week. We would study the picture one day, talk about it and do the activities talked about below it. The next day we would talk about what we remembered with the picture and talk about how they made that. We would than do the art activity that is listed in the book.

Ray Ray watched us one day and had to join in right away. These two kids of mine love their art and for them to see play doh pulled out made them smile! We would play with whatever technique we learned about for the rest of the week. We would only take one lesson and just stretch it out for the whole week. This was the perfect schedule for our family, and I am sure you could do more or less for your family.

So what was our final decision on this product? We loved it! And continue to love it every week! I loved reading about what my kids see. I loved seeing their art with new eyes. My kids just like when I let them pull out the art supplies 🙂 ARTistic Pursuits lists where you can find all the supplies if you can't find them at a local store, which I can see for the older programs. Like I mentioned, we were able to find the supplies we didn't already have at the local store and it didn't set up back any major funds. Why wouldn't you let your kids have fun?

If you are looking for an art program for your kids, I really think you need to stop over at ARTistic Pursuits. They have something for all ages. Don't believe me? Check out the other reviews!


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