New York City – By the Way ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

I am going to admit something to you, I have a slight addiction. That addiction is to great books! Whenever we pass by a bookstore, my kids know that we will be spending quite some time there. Last year we had a chance to review a By the Way book, and we loved it. When we found out that there was a new book, New York City from, By the Way, we were excited to check it out!

What Is It

New York City – By the Way is a hardcover book that is filled with beautiful color pictures and cartoons. Each page is a heavyweight page and stands up to kids flipping through them (I know this because I brought it to Bible study one night and a dozen kids were busy reading it when they finished their work.)

There are 48 pages full of information in this book. We follow Alex and Lexi with their youth group as they travel to New York City and learn about the history of New York City and even about the animals!

How We Used It

This is one of those books that you can hand to kids and not worry about what they will read. That is what we did at first. The kids tore it away from me when I opened the package and went off to look at it! The first thing they did was to take a look at finding the hidden images throughout the book.

After finding the images, it was time to read. There is a lot of information in this book. This is not a sit-down and read it all the way through in one sitting with a three-year-old book! Instead, this is a start at the beginning and read for a bit. In fact, after reading the first page, the kids wanted to jump to different parts that they found interesting while looking for the hidden images.

Ray Ray is in love with New York City. He does want to visit there one day, so he is the one who took the book to read the whole thing through. He came back to me with tidbits of information that he had learned. “Mom, did you know there are 175 zip codes for one city! We only have one for our whole city!” “I loved how they talked about 9/11, but I wanted more about this.”

What We Thought Of It

This book has been a hit in our house! The kids love looking through the pages and looking at the pictures. I really enjoyed the way the information is presented, in a story format. This made it easy for the kids to gain an interest in different topics. As they were searching for the hidden pictures, they found topics they wanted to learn more about. This was a great way to build their interest!

I also loved the way that the story shows God in everything. Not only did we learn bits of information about New York City, but we also learned about God and Jesus throughout!

After reading this book with the kids, we all long for a visit to New York City to see some of the sights that piqued our interest while reading this book!

Three other books were included in this review. They are Ireland, Indiana, and Alaska. Check out the reviews right here:

By the Way Book Series: New York City, Ireland, Indiana & Alaska {By the Way Reviews}
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Kingdom Files – A Homeschool Crew Review

As we started our new school year, I wanted to find a way to learn more about certain people in the Bible. I love our previous Bible studies, but this time I wanted something that we could cuddle up and spend time reading together. I found that option with Barbour Publishing and their Who Was Kingdom Files books.

We received Who Was Jonah? and Who Was Mary, Mother of Jesus? for this review.

The kids were excited about these books, but Ray Ray was a little upset. As he was looking through, he saw that there was Who Was David? which happens to be his favorite Bible hero. After falling in love with the first two, I had no issue grabbing him Who Was David? and loved watching him get excited and begging to read it right away!

What Is It

The Kingdom Files books that we have are all small paperback books that are about 80-90 pages long. They have a larger, but not huge, font that makes it an easy to read book. There are also beautiful black and white hand-drawn illustrations on the pages that go along with what you are reading.

The stories are broken down into three sections. You start off with the Fact File. This file folder gives you the key information about the character you are going to be reading about. You have the Action File that is the main story. This is where you will learn about the character’s story, what God wanted to share with them and how they reacted to God’s plan for them. Finally, we have the Power File. This is where we find some great information to remember about God. Our favorite from Jonah was God Doesn’t Abandon. This is combined with a memory verse that goes with the information.

Throughout the story, we also find Clue Boxes. These boxes are like the study boxes in your study Bible, and they offer your children ways to look at the story and how to apply what they are reading to their daily life and the life of the character you are reading about.

How We Used It

We started with Jonah. I mentioned that we wanted to find something for Bible that would allow us a way to study the people of the Bible comfortably. We would cuddle up on the couch, or around the table during snack time and read a chapter at a time. After reading, we would spend time discussing what we had read and how to apply that to our lives.

After each chapter, we would go to the Power File and grab a power-up to go with the chapter. While there is nothing that says you should do it this way, we found that spreading these power-ups through the chapters gave us more time to study the memory verse that went with each power-up.

What We Thought

We loved these books for our Bible study each day. They were a great way to learn more about the people of the Bible instead of just the events. The were able to see Jonah, Mary, and David as the real people they were.

We loved the way the books were set up and how easy they were to read. Every one loved that even though the books were easy to read, they were very informative. The information was easy to understand for the kids, but also allowed us to dig deeper. My kids were able to take the story and apply the lessons to the things we have gone through.

There are also other resources available here that you can use to go along with the books after you read them. You can find fun activities and teacher resources that you can use for different projects!

If you are looking for a way to show your children the people of the Bible as they were, real people, the Kingdom Files by Matt Koceich are the books you will want to read with your children.

Kingdom Files {Barbour Publishing Reviews}
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No Longer Little – A Homeschool Crew Review

As a parent, there are many different stages that we have to help guide our children through. We have the infant and toddler stage where we are helping them get used to the world around us, and the teenage years as we prepare our children for their place in the world. A topic that you don’t always think about is the tween age, but this age is another very important step for our children.

Hal and Melanie Young with Great Waters Press have brought us a book to help us through the tween age (8-14years old). No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens With Grace and Hope is a book for the parents of tweens to help guide them through this age with grace and hope.

What It Is

No Longer Little is a paperback book with about 185-pages. This book is geared towards parents of boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 14. You will be walked through things like hormones, emotional upheaval, spiritual, sexuality and virtue, family relationships, and youth in the Bible to name a few.

Throughout this book, you will receive real encouragement, practical help, and overall support from one parent to the next. I will have to say, this is a book I was interested in, until I started reading it, and realized this is a book I need, especially if you currently have a tween or will be having one very soon.

Hal and Melanie Young have written many great books that I have come to love, one of the most notable is Raising Real Men. With my two oldest being boys, I fell in love with this book. Knowing their honest and real style of writing made me excited to read No Longer Little with Ray Ray in mind. While Little Miss is 7, I found a lot of things that related to her while I was reading this also.

How We Used It

There really is no we in how it was used, unless you count mom reading and telling dad what she was learning. This is not a book that I used with the kids, other than saying, “Oh my! I just read a story about you, but it is really not about you.” Yes, I had those moments when reading this book. I felt like Hal and Melanie were talking about my children, yet they were talking about their own as they went through the same stages as mine are entering.

I read this book in my “free” time. I don’t really have a lot of free time, but this book was an easy read. In each chapter, there were subsections that allowed me to pick it up and set it down throughout the day. This is what made it really easy for me to read. I didn’t feel compelled to read a whole chapter at once but was able to easily do so when the time allowed me to.

Another thing that made this book easy to read is that I kept saying, “Wow that is Ray Ray all the way.” “I can see Little Miss doing this!” Knowing that I was able to actively relate the topics to my children made me want to read more.

What I Thought About It

I LOVED this book! I can’t say anything other than that. I really truly loved the way it was written and all that was covered. I could relate to 90% of the topics that were covered and saw my children in the examples given. This made it easy to relate to the book and the advice given was something that was needed in our house.

I love reading books where I can actually see my child in the book, and reading a few examples aloud and seeing Ray Ray and Little Miss looking at me wondering how they could be in a book with their actions or reactions to things let me know this was a book that was needed in our house.

From reading No Longer Little, I was able to find new ways to deal with the changes we are going through, big and small. This allowed me to handle the situations in a new and loving way. I was able to change my reaction, which in turn changed my child’s reaction. We have found a nice balance in how to deal with these topics that many tend to skip over.

I can tell that by helping guide my children through this time in their life, that I am building a more solid foundation for when we actually hit those teen years. Having a good relationship with them now will help in the following teen years when they struggle with who they are and where they fit in the world.

This is not a book for homeschoolers alone. This is a book for anyone with a tween! If you have a child between the ages of 8 and 14, you need to have this book in your house! If you don’t and are struggling with this age, you should grab this book.

Hal and Melanie also have an audiobook out for your teenage boy, Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Towards Sexuality. Moe Man is in the middle of something right now, but I do plan on having him listen to this. If you want to know more about this or No Longer Little, check out the reviews by the other crew member right here:

Love, Honor, and Virtue AND No Longer Little {Great Waters Press Reviews}
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Boots on the Ground – A Book Review

This is a review post. I received this item in exchange for my honest review. Below you will find just that, my honest review.

We have always loved learning about history in our homeschool. But, we don’t usually pull out the regular history textbooks when it comes to learning history though. Instead, we have a love of real stories of what happened, first-hand accounts of those who were there. Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam by Elizabeth Partridge is one of those books that has been read and loved in our house!

In this 224-page book, you will get first-hand accounts from 8 different people who were a part of this war in one way or another. We meet and hear from six American soldiers, one American military nurse, and one Vietnamese refugee. Each story takes up one chapter. Mixed between these stories are the profiles of critical American leaders and events that were happening at home during this time. We also see over one hundred photographs to go with each chapter.

The stories and pictures are real. They take us to the war, right to the frontline. We are not censored from what happened, and because of this, this book should be for ages 12 and up.

Moe Man loved this book. When he saw it sitting on the table, he picked it up and started reading through it. He wanted to know if this was for school or just to read. He would have read it either way, but I told him it was a free reading book. I won’t mention to him that the things he will learn from this book go beyond anything I would hope for him to learn from school.

This is an easy to read book, but only in the sense of the way, it was written. The stories were sincere, they were personal. You felt the way the people felt as you read their stories. You knew the anger, fear, and happiness just by reading what is written. Elizabeth Partridge wrote this book and kept all the feelings that were present. You are drawn in and want to read more.

While I didn’t use this for our school, this could easily be added to a history unit on the Vietnam war. This book will bring the war to life for you and your children. You will not set this book down feeling the same way as when you picked it up.

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Sleep Train – A Book Review

This is a review post. I received this item in exchange for my honest review. Below you will find just that, my honest review.

Bedtime is the favorite time for books in our house. Sometimes the books can be long, boring, or the opposite, full of energy. How do you find the right book for bedtime? Well, if you find one called Sleep Train by Jonathan London, you have found a great bedtime book.

Sleep Train is a soothing book about a little boy who is riding on a train at night and is counting the cars of the train instead of sheep to lull himself to sleep.

Each of the pages is full of beautiful color pictures. There are not a lot of words to have the kids lose interest. We listen as the little boy slowly counts the cars, naming what kind they are as the sun sets and the moon rises.

The kids loved listening to the story. They loved the pictures. But they did not care for the little boy. Where all of the pictures are beautiful and full of details, but the little boy seemed like a clay figure that looked out of place in the pictures.
My kids give this book three thumbs up. They loved having me read it and requested it numerous nights. I loved having a simple, yet adorable book to read to them.

If you are looking for a book to keep in the bedroom, one that will not get your kids jumping off the beds, Sleep Train is the book you want.

“Ten sleepy cars going clickety-clack.”

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T is for Tree – A Homeschool Crew Review

Learning the alphabet is key to learning to read and write. But when you are younger, learning the alphabet should be fun. I love finding books that teach the alphabet so that I can read them to the kids. T is for Tree: A Bible ABC is a great alphabet book from Reformed Free Publishing Association that teaches the alphabet from a Christian perspective.

T is for Tree is a hardcover book that talks about all the letters of the alphabet. Each letter is about something that God made for us and is followed up with a Bible verse that goes along with the letter word. Each page also contains a beautiful color picture that goes along with the word.

Even though each page has a letter and word, writing about the word and Bible verse to go with the word, the writing/reading on each page is not more than two or three sentences. It was enough for my 3-year-old daughter to sit through in one sitting.

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Using this book in our house was easy! A lot of the time, Baby Girl would bring me the book to read to her. She loves books, and as soon as we got this one, she was excited about reading it with us. We would read the book out loud, pausing at different times on different letters to talk about the word or the Bible verse that went along with it.
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We haven’t done much as far as school yet for Baby Girl, she just hasn’t shown the interest, but she loves books. That means, that with a book like this, not only do we get the read-aloud time with her, but we are introducing the letters and the Bible all at the same time. This makes me happy knowing that she is not only learning her alphabet but that she is learning about the wonders of God at the same time.

Baby Girl loved this book. She loved looking at the pictures whether I was reading it to her or not. She found them intriguing and could tell me what the pictures were about after the second time we read them. I loved listening to her talk about those pictures and seeing what she could remember. This was my cue to see where to push her a little more and what she already knew.

Another thing we loved to do was pick a letter and use that Bible verse as a memory verse. While she is only three, I had no worries that we could work on memorizing the Bible. We started with some of the simpler ones, and so far, she is doing great! I love knowing that as we come to a page where she has the verse memorized, she would jump in and say that verse to me. In my opinion, children are never too young to memorize the Bible and introducing it in a fun way like a book like this was the perfect way to do it!
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If you are looking for a fun way to introduce letters and Bible memory to your younger children, I would tell you to grab a copy of T is for Tree. This book will allow you to combine letters and Bible for your children in one simple and fun way.

Stop by and check out Reformed Free Publishing Association on social media right here:

And see what the other crew members have to say about this book right here:

T is for Tree: A Bible ABC {Reformed Free Publishing Association Reviews}

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Christian Books by Kayla Jarmon – A Homeschool Crew Review

We love books in our house! That should be no surprise for anyone who has read about our Blogging Through the Alphabet Books series. When we were given a chance to check out three Christian books from Kayla Jarmon, we were excited! We enjoyed reading A Boy and His Dog, Don’t Forget Me, and Dying is Part of This World in a digital flipbook style.

A Boy and His Dog is a cute picture book about all the adventures that a boy and his dog go on through the day. While reading this full-color book, we see all the adventures that these two friends go on during the day. We are also reminded of the true friendship that a boy and his dog have and also how boys never really seem to outgrow this friendship with their dogs. 

Don’t Forget Me is the first book in the Discussion Series books. This is a book about a baby growing in mommy’s tummy and how God keeps reminding the baby that He will always be there and never to forget Him. We follow along with the growth of the baby, how they love the sound of Mom and Dad and how the room is getting small. This is an excellent book for an expecting couple or even a child who will be a big brother or sister. Don’t Forget Me is another beautiful picture book.

Dying is Part of This World is a book that helps a child through someone dying. This is the second book in the Discussion Series books. Dying is Part of This World is different from the other two books, as it is a chapter book. But is it a simple chapter book. There are different stages of dealing with death, and this book covers them all from the fear to the second death and God’s economy. By reading this book, you are able to help your child know and understand that death is normal and while it is scary, it is also a good thing.

All of these books were great books, but after getting these books, my great grandpa, the kids great, great grandpa passed away. He was 103, so we knew this time was coming, but it was not easy. We were able to work our way through our emotions by reading through this book and answering the questions at the end of each chapter. While the girls were a little too little to understand much of it, Ray Ray really took to the book to help him deal with his emotions.

Kayla Jarmon took the time to write some beautiful books that are focused on God and His plan for us, from the beginning to the end of our lives. I am so thankful that we had these books at this time in our lives. They have brought joy as well as understanding to our family. We have a new cousin on the way, and great grandpa passed, so the kids were able to relate to the books. Are was a little upset that dog book featured a boy because she is the dog lover in our house, but she related so much to this beautiful story!

If you are looking for good, solid Christian books that help your child understand that God has a plan for everything, these books are what you are looking for!

You can find Kayla Jarmon on Social Media right here:

And make sure you stop by and see what the other Crew Members thought of these books right here:

Discussion Book Series and A Boy and His Dog {Kayla Jarmon Reviews}
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Weigl Publishers – A Homeschool Crew Review

We love books in this house. Reading books is something that is natural in the house. But there is something about making the reading interactive that draws the kids in and makes them enjoy it that much more. Weigl Publishers has done that! We had the chance to explore with Glaciers, A Lion’s World, and There Once Was a Cowpoke Who Swallowed an Ant.

My kids were excited to get the chance to read some new books, but when I used the digital code within the books and made them interactive on the computer, they were stunned! They didn’t want to stop. Using these codes, unlocked a new way to read and learn for us.

Glaciers is from the science series “Earth’s Waters.” This book is intended for kids in grades 3-6. I had Ray Ray take a look at this, and he got lost in it. There was so much for him to do when he opened the book in Lightbox. I didn’t even have to argue with him to do the worksheets or quizzes that are included. He was confident in what he read and played around with, that he knew he could do these quizzes.

A Lion’s World is part of the “Eye Discover” series. This book is geared at K-2 grade kids. Little Miss loves animals, so I was excited to show her this book. Using the Eye Discover site with this book allowed Little Miss to see a video to go along with the book. The videos were of excellent quality, and they had Little Miss’ attention more than a page in a book would have.

Finally, we took a look at There Once Was a Cowpoke Who Swallowed an Ant. This is a fun fiction story that is also geared towards K-2nd graders. However, Baby Girl is the one who loved this book the most.

We had a few weeks when we just weren’t that interested in doing school. Things came up, the weather was too nice, and pulling out the textbooks just didn’t seem like something we wanted to do. Something the kids did want to do was play on the computer with these books. I didn’t argue at all!

Little Miss and Baby Girl had fun listening to the stories, and we were able to talk about what they learned from A Lion’s World. I counted this as their school. Little Miss picked up on so much about lions from watching the videos that were on the interactive book. I loved hearing her tell everyone in the house about them!

Ray Ray had a little more to do. He took about a week to work through Glaciers. I am sure he could have gone faster, but he had fun just doing a page or two and the activities that came with those pages. He even found out that you could type your answers in on the computer, and was upset that I wouldn’t let him do that. We had to work on handwriting somehow!

There are so many great interactive books from Weigl Publishers and so many great ways to use them in your home. Check out how the other families of the Homeschool Review Crew used these books in there home:

Multimedia Digital Books {Weigl Publishers Reviews}
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Llama Llama Loves to Read – A Review

When I decided to homeschool, I never really thought about teaching my kids to read. This may seem like a daunting task, but it really doesn’t have to be. We had the chance to read Llama Llama Loves to Read, and we loved learning to read with rhyme and rhythm!

There are a lot of great reasons to use rhyme when teaching your child to read. Even before they can read the words in the book, they can work on rhyming as you read to them. This simple thing called reading, starts with the simple task of you opening a fun book like Llama Llama Loves to Read and reading it to your child.

Rhyming teaches your child about word families. They will be able to look at the words that rhyme and see what is similar to them, like look and book, and stop and hop. While reading this book, I was able to pause, and Little Miss was able to guess what the next word would be because of the rhyming.

We love Llama Llama, and this book is so much fun! Little Miss is just learning how to read, so seeing Llama learn to read is just what she needed. She loved looking at the words in the book and finding those that she knew. She also loved predicting what the next rhyming word would be, by using the words in the sentence and finding a rhyming word that would make sense.

There are lots of fun rhyming words books on the market, but Llama Llama is one that my family loves. This little guy has been around since Ray Ray was learning to read, and I look forward to having Baby Girl learn to read with him also!

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YWAM Meriwether Lewis – A Homeschool Crew Review

It is no secret that we love books in our house. If we can find a book that doubles as school, it is a win! YWAM Publishing is a company that gives us a full list of great books that come with Study Guides. We had the chance to read Meriwether Lewis: Off the Edge of the Map from their Heros of History Series.

Meriwether Lewis is a paperback book that is about 230 pages. The Heros of History Series are great for ages 10+, but I had Ray Ray (9) work on reading this for part of his history lessons. The best part about doing this is the study guide that I was able to use to go along with the book.

Through reading this book, Ray Ray followed Lewis and his co-captain William Clark as they traveled into the unknown territory of the west. They had a job, find a path to the Pacific Coast and explore some unexplored land in the process.

While the majority of the book is about Lewis’ travels, we start out learning about him. How when he was just five, his father died and how he had inherited all of his father’s land. Within a few months, his mother had remarried. And at nine years old, he saved his family from an Indian attack.

Reading this got Ray Ray’s attention, being nine himself. It drew him into the book and allowed him to enjoy a history book. And this enjoyment did not end. This book is written with the children in mind. It is easy to read, and full of adventure. We learn about Lewis learning from his mistakes and making changes to make his crew better. A great example of this was when they were trying out the air gun and almost killed a woman. Ray Ray knew right away that this was not good, but he loved the steps that Lewis took to be better.

Going along with this book is the study guide. This is very helpful for me to use with Ray Ray to test his knowledge on what he has learned in each chapter. But this study guide does not just include chapter questions; it also has Key Quotes from the book, display corner ideas to bring your learning to life and student explorations that allow you to take the learning farther with essay questions, creative writing, hands-on projects and audio/visual projects.

We love YWAM books. I have used them with Moe Man in the past. We really enjoyed reading Corrie ten Boom last year and adding more of the student explorations since he was older. Knowing this made me excited to be able to use this one with Ray Ray now. We did not do any of the student explorations, but we did use the chapter questions and the Key Quotes. I love working on memory with the kids, so this gave me some great memory quotes for all the kids to work on. Lewis and Clark were not on his radar before reading this book, but now Ray Ray wants to know more about them. Knowing this makes this momma happy!

Find more titles from both the Heros of History and Christian Heros: Then & Now series and the reviews from the other crew members by clicking right here:

Christian Heroes, Heroes of History & Study Guides {YWAM Publishing Reviews}
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