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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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Planet 316 Story Bible – A Homeschool Crew 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.

Kids Bibles, we see them everywhere we go. We want to teach them the Bible at a young age, but this young age loves to play with technology. So, how do you mix what you want your kids to learn with how they want to learn? Planet 316 and WorthyKids/Ideals has done that for you with their Planet 316 Story Bible and the companion Planet 316 Story Bible App.

What It Is

The Planet 316 Story Bible is a color-filled Bible filled with over 100 Bible stories. Each of these stories is written for the child. Each story holds the main facts, but they are written in a much more story-like tone. The Planet 316 Story Bible has stories from both the Old Testament and the New Testament.

All of our favorite stories are covered as we looked over the Table of Contents. The stories range from Creation, Adam and Eve, Jacob, Moses, The Ten Commandments and Ray Ray’s favorite David and Goliath in the Old Testament. The New Testament had the stories of Mary and Joesph, the birth of Jesus, Jesus’ growing up and teachings, and his death and resurrection. This meant that I was able to use this Bible for our Bible time each day, and even on Sundays when I was teaching Sunday School! After reading the story, we were able to explore the story with the app.

The companion app that goes along with this Bible is free to download on Apple or Andriod devices. You must have a rear-facing camera for the app to access. Once you finish a story, you turn on the app, let it scan the picture on the page and watch your story come off the page with augmented reality! The kids were beyond excited to see the story instead of just listening to it.

After we scanned the picture and seen the characters come off the page, we were able to touch the different characters to see what they had to say. The kids found this to be really fun and couldn’t wait for their turn to try it out! They were also happy to show it to our pastor when he stopped over one day!

What We Thought

The kids loved to “play” with this Bible, but we found that we had to have two people using it together. We needed one to hold the page open, and the other could work the app. I think this Bible would be great in a format that would allow it to lay flat on the ground or table. Other than that, we had no issues, and that really wasn’t that bad of an issue! All of my kids loved to pull this out, and Little Miss even told me that she “loved to play the Bible when game time was over.” She knew that I wouldn’t say no to the Bible as fast as I would a video game, and she was right!

If you are looking for a fun and interactive way to bring the Bible stories you love to life for your kids, this may be what you are looking for. They get to be on the technology they are growing up with, and you get to see them learning the stories of the Bible that you want them to. It is a win-win for the both of you!

Check out how the other Crew Members have put this Bible to use in their homes by clicking below:

Planet 316 Story Bible and Bible App {Planet 316 Reviews}
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Help Teaching Pro Subscription – A Homeschool Crew Review

Sometimes a mom needs to find a site that helps her when it comes to worksheets and extras in her homeschool. That is where comes in with their Help Teaching Pro subscription. I have used this in the past and was more than happy to use it again!

What It Is

The Help Teaching Pro subscription is an online library of online or printable worksheets and tests. These are great for PreK-12th grades. All the major subjects are covered, along with others like life skills, physical education and seasonal/holidays. The best part of the Helping Teaching Pro is that if you can’t find what you need, you can efficiently use their worksheet generator and create exactly what you need!

If you are looking for more than just a worksheet, also has a Lessons area. This is where you can find lessons on different topics. There is a short reading which goes along with a video. To end the lesson, your child will work on questions, a quiz, or a follow-up worksheet to see how well they are retaining what they have learned.

How We Used It

I spent a lot of time looking around at different areas on the site, looking to see what I could find that would go with our current studies. I didn’t have to look far. When I started checking things out and saw that I could assign something to Moe Man, and it would send him an email telling him I had something for him to do. This saved me from the dreaded “look” he likes to give when I say him something to do, and he could go ahead and do it without a lot of extra help from me.

For the younger kids, I set up their accounts with my email address since they don’t have their own that they check regularly. I noticed that if I wanted them to do any of the worksheets online, I would need to have them assigned to them. Otherwise, we could not see what answers they had answered incorrectly. We didn’t do too many online, but we really enjoyed printing them and taking them to the kitchen table to work on them together.

When looking through the history worksheets and tests, I noticed that there wasn’t one that covered what we have been learning about. Sure there were some that covered what we learned, but it also added more that we hadn’t covered yet. This is when I went to the Test Maker and made one that was just what we needed.

I was not left to fend for myself here. There were different options when it came to setting up the test. Starting and naming my own test, browse the library of questions that are on the site and add them to a test, or you can make a quick test by giving some general guidelines and letting the site pick the questions. After playing with the options, I found the second one to best work for us. I could go through and find the questions that we had worked on and should know the answers to. This meant the test was the perfect fit for my child and not a room full of children.

What We Thought Of It

I love finding a resource that allows me to build on my children’s current learning. I can use and the Help Teaching Pro subscription with all four of my kids for just one price. When someone seems to be struggling, I can find something on this site to help them out. If there is a topic that needs further explaining, I can find it here. And when I want to see how well the kids are doing, I can find or make a test for them. There is so much on the site, but it is so well organized, that I never felt lost. Even if I was confused for a moment, there are How To Guides that are available to help.

There is so much available on that I was not able to fully touch on even a quarter of it. Check out how everyone else on this review used their Help Teaching Pro subscription by clicking here:

Help Teaching Pro. { Reviews}
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Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology – A Homeschool Crew 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.

Having multiple kids around the same age means that sometimes I would really like to combine learning. One of these subjects I would love to combine learning in would be science. I mean, two kids, one science experiment, one time cleaning it up? What is not to love? I am able to do this with Apologia and their Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology and the corresponding Notebooking Journal and Junior Notebooking Journal.

What It Is

For this review, we received the student textbook, notebooking journal, junior notebooking journal, and the MP3 audio CD. I was excited to get both notebooking journals because that means that I would be able to use this with Ray Ray and Little Miss at the same time!

The Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Text is a hardcover textbook. There are over 250 pages, each filled with color pictures that engage the kids with what they are learning about. There are 14 lessons included, and each lesson, depending on your schedule, takes about 2 weeks to complete. That means that each lesson is broken down into manageable smaller sections. Within these sections, you will find vocabulary words in bold text along with fun “Try This!” activities to bring your learning into your own hands.

The Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Notebooking Journal is geared towards third through sixth grades. This notebook is spiral bound and contains over 200 pages of activities to keep your child learning past the textbook. Activities range from writing down fascinating facts, review questions, copy work, vocabulary crosswords, and projects. The end of each lesson has a page with more ways to explore the topic from the lesson.

The Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Junior Notebooking Journal is for kids Kindergarten through second grade. This is similar to the notebooking journal, but the projects are a little easier, and it also includes coloring pages. These are a great help when your busy reading and the little ones need something to help them focus.

Both of the notebooking journals include a sample schedule at the beginning. Both of these schedules are very similar. The readings are the same, so you can use this with two students, one on each level, and not worry about one schedule being different from another.

Finally, we also received the Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology MP3 Audio CD. In our previous review of Apologia products, I fell in love with having this CD. This is a reading of the textbook by author Jeannie Fulbright. This is not a boring, lecture style reading. This is a great substitution to me reading the text. I love to have this on hand for the days when I am not up to reading, but we still need to get it done.

How We Used It

I was so excited to get both Notebooking Journals for this review! This meant that I could teach both Ray Ray and Little Miss at the same time. This is a huge time saver in my day. The first thing I did was to adjust the schedule to fit us. Instead of two days a week, we used this three to four days a week. This meant that we could split the lessons up a little more during the week and spend less time on it each day. Once we found out what works for the week, we got started.

Our lessons usually started with me reading out loud to the kids. There were a few days when I couldn’t get Baby Girl to let me read, so I was able to pull out the MP3 CD and let the kids listen to Jeannie read. As we went through the lesson, we would take breaks to answer questions, the text is set up that way! Every so often in blue text, we have a question to have the children tell me what they remember so far. I love this style of reading and learning.

At the end of each day, we would spend some time in our Notebooking Journals. Each day gave us something different to use. I was impressed by the variety. Not only that, but all the cutouts we needed are conveniently located in the back for us to use. They are even in color! The kids really loved to get creative as we were supposed to be learning.

On top of our fun learning and notebooking, we had the chance to do experiments. This is hard for me because I don’t like or have the time for experiments with 4 kids running around. However, knowing that one experiment took care of ½ my homeschool, I went ahead with them! We didn’t do all of them, but we did enough to let the kids have fun and not drive me insane, which means one or two per lesson. We currently started my favorite experiment, “Growing Muscle.” This is where the kids have to if they can grow the muscles in their hands over two weeks. Guess what? I don’t have a mess with this!

What We Thought of It

What did I think of this set? I LOVED it! I am thrilled that I don’t have two science classes to teach. I appreciate the work that was put into the MP3 CD for those days that I just don’t have the time to read the lesson out loud, and I love that there were two different levels of the Notebooking Journal to make this happen!

There is no teacher’s guide with this, but there is no need for one. I have everything that I have with the textbook and the journal. The back of each journal has answers that I might need, and the front has the schedule to give me a guideline. That is one less book taking up space on my shelf.

The kids were excited about doing these lessons. They didn’t argue me, only when I told them it was time to stop.

Overall, Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology is everything I was looking for in a science program. Not only does it allow me to teach two students at two levels at the same time, but it is also Christian based. I look forward to learning more about our bodies with my kids as we continue to work through this book.

You can find Apologia on social media here:

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Check out the other reviews of Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology right here:

Apologia - Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Reviews
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Latina Christiana – A Homeschool Crew Review

Learning a new language is one that I really want to make sure my kids know how to do. I decided last year that I would really like Ray Ray to work on learning Latin and Memoria Press has made that available to us with Latina Christiana.

What It Is

Latina Christiana is an introduction to First Form Latin, which I can’t wait to use when we are done with this. For this review, we received the Student Textbook, Pronunciation CD, Teacher Manual, Flashcards, and DVDs. I even went ahead and got the lesson plans for using this over 2 years.

The Student Book is a consumable book that is intended to be used for one student to write in as you go through the lessons. All of the lessons are presented on DVD so even a mom like me with no Latin knowledge will be able to teach their child Latin.

The Teacher Manual has all the answers and notes on how to teach the lessons. This made it possible for me to teach Ray Ray the lesson if he was having an issue in between lessons. The Pronunciation CD helped us practice our new vocabulary words during the week after learning them during the lesson. We were also able to use the Flashcards to practice words and meanings. The Flashcards work with both the Prima Latina and Latina Christiana curriculums.

How We Used This

Using the lesson plan for this curriculum, helped me to figure out what to do and when. I like that there are two options to use this curriculum for 1 year or 2. While we went with the two-year plan, we also added in more practice work. Using the two-year plan, we would take two weeks for each lesson and these weeks would be split up into three days a week. I did change this a little and added some extra practice on the days when we had nothing on the lesson plan.

Our lessons would start out with watching the DVD lesson. This is where we would learn the new vocabulary words. If you went all the way through the DVD lesson, you would also learn about grammar, but we split these up between two days. After learning our vocabulary words, we would spend the next couple of days working on them. Whether it was in the student book, the flashcards, the vocabulary drill sheet or listening to the pronunciation CD.

As we progressed with the vocabulary, we added in the grammar side of the lesson. This included watching the rest of the lesson the DVD and finishing up working on the exercises in the student book. There are also grammar drill sheets that are similar to the vocabulary drill sheets that we would work on. Finishing up our lesson, we would work on the quiz for the lesson.

After every five lessons, there is a review. These reviews cover everything that was taught in the 5 previous lessons. As we are starting our first review, I am able to see what Ray Ray remembers and what we need to spend a little more time working on before we jump right into the next set of lessons.

What We Thought

I was thoroughly impressed with this curriculum. Everything is geared towards the child being able to work independently on the lessons if needed. This was also great for me not knowing Latin enough to teach it confidently enough. I was a little shocked at how fast the Latin teacher moved on after asking the questions on the DVD. This was frustrating at first, but I caught on when to pause so that Ray Ray could answer and we could move forward from there.

The student book is very well set up. The vocabulary and grammar for the lesson are on one page, and the exercises are on the adjacent page. There is not a lot of flipping back and forth, which took away any hassles. The back of the student book is full of wonderful appendices that I will often find Ray Ray lost in at the end of his lessons. He loves to just look at the whole picture instead of one lesson at a time.

The teacher book is my best friend during these lessons. While Ray Ray could be doing these mostly on his own, I love to sit and follow along. I also love to take notes about what I see when he is doing the lesson. If I notice he is having an issue with something, I can mark it, and this reminds me of what we need to work on during our slow days during the week.

When I asked Ray Ray about his favorite part of Latina Christiana, he told me, “I really like using the flashcards to work on my new words. It is really fun to challenge myself and see what I can remember.”

This is a curriculum that is easy for mom and student to use and learn from. This gave me what I was looking for in a second language for Ray Ray to learn and it was simple enough for him to pick up on. Being simple, it also helped to encourage him to keep using it and not being worried about the harder parts. I can’t wait to finish this and move him up to First Form Latin!

Memoria Press has many products available, and some other fun ones were available to review. Check out what the other families had to say by clicking the image below. I know I want to know more about the Traditional Spelling programs for Little Miss!

Spelling, Music Appreciation & Latin {Memoria Press Reviews}
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High School Diploma from Homeschool Diploma – A Homeschool Crew Review

Our primary goal as homeschoolers is to make sure our child is ready for graduation. I never thought in a million years that we would be homeschooling through the high school years, but someone else had bigger plans for us. Because of this, we had to start planning for Moe Man’s graduation, and Homeschool Diploma was there to help with our standard diploma issue that we were worried about!

What It Is

The standard diploma from Homeschool Diploma is just that, a high school diploma. We wanted something more for Moe Man, so we looked at the Personalized Diploma and we were not disappointed! Moe Man is my very shy child. He does not do anything extra if he doesn’t have to. Because of this, he asked that I not make him dress up in a cap and gown. Homeschool Diploma offers cap, gown, tassel, and diploma. They also have an 8th Grade Diploma option as well.

How We Used It

Dad and I sat down and went through all the options available to us for customizing Moe Man’s diploma. We wanted this to be meaningful and not just the same old thing that everyone else was getting.

The personalization started with what size diploma we wanted. There were three size options, but we went with the 6 x 8 size. We continued on and were taken on a step by step process to make this diploma the one we would be proud to hand over to Moe Man, and one that he would be proud to receive.

We were able to choose the wording we wanted for our diploma, and having the option to have our faith be a part of this diploma was wonderful! I just love looking at this and seeing Godly wisdom and faith in Jesus Christ on my son’s diploma!

What We Thought

Dad and I were very impressed when we received the diploma. It was mailed to us in a resealable bag that will keep it safe until we are ready to present it, as well as after it has been given to Moe Man. Everything that I had hoped for was given to us, and more. This diploma is of high quality and is very formal. I am very excited to officially present this to Moe Man next summer when he finishes up his last couple of courses.

Like I mentioned earlier, Moe Man is not big on huge events. He doesn’t like being the center of attention. We are not planning a large ceremony because of this. We will be planning a graduation party with our friends and family, and on that day, Dad and I will proudly hand over the signed diploma to our oldest son, and that will be the ceremony, just as Moe Man wants it!

We love our son’s high school diploma. It is all we could ask and hope for. The team at Homeschool Diploma made it easy to order, and the shipping was quick. I look forward to using them again as each one of our kids graduates high school. And I look forward to using the cap, gown, and tassel with at least one of children if they will let me!

Want to see some of the caps and gowns? Check out these other reviews from the crew:

Kindergarten Graduation and Junior High Diploma for your Homeschool {Homeschool Diploma Reviews}
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Intricacies of Snow from Creation Illustrated – A Homeschool Crew 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.

Sometimes in our homeschool, we need a break from our regular schedule. But during that break, I still want to make sure the kids are learning. This is when I love to check out unit studies to help us, and Creation Illustrated gives us that.

We had the chance to take a break and take a look at the Snow Unit Study for this review. This is geared towards grades 3-8, and we used it with Ray Ray and Little Miss, 3rd and 1st grade with no major issues. I made a few minor adjustments for Little Miss, but she still walked away learning a lot from this unit study!

What Is It

This is a PDF unit study in the simplest of forms. You will need the unit study itself, the Winter ’18 Digital Edition of the Creation Illustrated Magazine and access to the internet. These three things will give you everything you need, but there is a list of optional Educational Videos and books for extra reading if you wanted to add more to your learning.

Through this unit study, you will be given a chance to learn about snow in all the core subjects as well as character building skills. This is something that I love to see in a unit study.

How We Used It

We were not given any guidance on a schedule for this unit study at all. This is good and bad in my opinion. I am one that loves to know what to do and when, and with four kids and a husband at home, this is something that makes it easier for me. However, at the same time, I am able to go through this unit study and see what we could feasibly do each day with the current day at hand. I didn’t have to feel like I was falling behind, as long as we were doing something each day.

While I love having my hands on things as we learn, we were given the digital copy of the magazine that we needed for this review, so we used this with no issue. And at the same time, we were able to gather around and read the other online resources that were provided for us to read to complete our worksheets.

As we read through the readings that were provided for us, we were able to take those a step farther with vocabulary and penmanship exercise to start with, I liked starting with these to make sure the kids understood the main words. After that, we jumped around a little bit between the Bible Study, Art, Math, Science, and Geography. We finished up our study with the fun word search puzzle and paper snowflake making activity. There was also an activity to photograph a snowflake, but we did not do this, as it wasn’t snowing while we did the unit study. However, we will be doing that over the next few days when we are expected to get another 8+ inches of snow…in April…I am not happy!

Since there was no guide on when to do what, we were able to work on this unit study over a two week time period. I could see us spreading this out for a month if we wanted to dig deeper into each area, but with the younger group as the focus for this review, two weeks was all we needed.

What We Thought

The kids loved putting their books away for two weeks and doing fun things. Please don’t tell them that these fun things were actually educational! I won’t be able to do this again if they find out my secret.

We were hitting a rut, and I didn’t want to struggle with the kids, so this review came at the right time for us, even though we weren’t getting fresh snow at the time, learning about the snow we had gotten was something that I didn’t have to argue about.

Our favorite part of this unit study was the chance to draw the different snowflake shapes. The kids were amazed as too how many different shapes there actually were when it comes to snowflakes. While in the big picture they all look the same, when you take the time to pay attention to them, they are all just as unique as the people in the world. This was a huge eye-opener for the kids, and I loved watching them see this.

To go along with the Snow Unit Study, Creation Illustrated also has a Pine Trees unit study. This unit study uses the Fall ’17 Digital Edition of Creation Illustrated. As the snow melts, I look forward to taking another break from our curriculum and learning about pine trees using this study! This is set up in basically the same way as the snow study, including the core subjects in fun ways.

If you and your kids are looking for a great way to take a break from your regular homeschool schedule, I would recommend checking the unit studies from Creation Illustrated. Check out what other review members had to say about this and the Pine Trees unit study right here:

Creation Illustrated Unit Studies {Creation Illustrated Reviews}
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Carole P. Roman Books and Collections – A Homeschool Crew 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.

If you have been following us for a while, you know that we love books. We have all different shapes and styles of books. I especially love the books that help teach while we enjoy them. One of my favorite authors that writes like this for the kids is Carole P. Roman. I am so excited to share the three new titles we got from the Carole P. Roman books and collections.

We have spent a lot of time reading Carole P. Roman books. We have reviewed her historical and cultural “If You Were Me” series before. Our last chance to work with Carole P. Roman, we were introduced to Captain No Beard and his crew. This time, we stayed with some of what we love, and tried a new one as well!

My family is Polish, and I want my kids to get interested in the culture of their heritage. I knew from experience that the cultural “If You Were Me” series would be what I wanted for this! We got our hands on If You Were Me and Lived In…Poland and we were not disappointed! In this book, the children are taken into the life and culture of Poland. We learned about names, history, and everyday life.

The pages of this book are filled with color photos of actual places or things in Poland. On top of these photos, we have cartoon characters showing us what the pages are talking about. At the end of the book, there is a very handy Pronunciation Guide that doubles as a glossary of the words we learn throughout the book.

During our last chance to review books from Carole P. Roman, we tried Captain No Beard, and we fell in love with him. It became the kids’ favorite book! When I saw that we could add to this collection with Captain No Beard Strangers on the High Seas, I jumped at this! This is the fourth book in the Captain No Beard series, but you don’t really need to follow them in order to understand them.

This time Captain No Beard has a new crew member on board the Flying Dragon. This crew member is his little sister. He is not happy to have her on board and isn’t having fun watching over her. However, when an enemy ship, the Shark Bait, approaches little Cayla has the secret weapon to help The Flying Dragon get away. We love the imagination that goes into Captain No Beard and his stories. Each time we read the stories, the kids love to take the adventure out of the books and into their rooms. They become pirates and crewmates just like Captain No Beard!

The final book we got to review was One To Ten: Squirrel’s Bad Day. This book talks about a bad day and how to deal with it. Everyone has bad days, but it doesn’t always mean that it is the worst day possible.

When Squirrel ends up stubbing his toe and losing his acorns into the river, Rabbit sits down with him and teaches him a rating system. As they go through the different types of bad days that happen, we learn that while it might seem bad, it isn’t always the worst day. We see that we can take a look at the bad day, and rate it while looking at the good parts of the bad day.

With all that we have gone through in the last year, I really love this book. The kids can see that there is a lot of good that is still happening, even when they think that they have had a bad day. I love that when the kids have a bad moment, we can pull this book out and talk about how that moment really isn’t a 10, and it is probably just a 2 or 3.

When it comes to having good books in the house, we love to have books by Carole P. Roman on our shelves. While each book is full of learning, the kids don’t realize it. They love when I pull one of these books out and tell them it is time to read. They enjoy the books, I enjoy discussing the books with them and seeing how much they have learned.

Carole P. Roman has a lot of great books in her collection. If you want to know more about the many different titles, check out the other reviews from the crew members right here:

Carole P. Roman books and collections {Carole P. Roman Reviews}
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Zirrly Super Beads – A Homeschool Crew 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.

Getting crafty doesn’t always mean pulling out the paints and making a mess. Sometimes getting crafty can mean pulling out the Super Beads from Zirrly. We had had the chance to try their Mega Pack for this review.

What Is It

The Zirrly Mega Pack of Super Beads is just that, a super pack of beads that allow you to make what you want. There are 4,500 beads of multiple colors in this pack. However, there were fewer black and orange beads, and they were separated from the rest of the beads. We also found 4 puzzle trays, 2 spray bottles, 4 instruction manuals, 20 pattern cards and 1 plastic tool.

While there are 20 pattern cards, there are only 4 different images with 5 copies of each. This was a slight disappointment for my children, but when I told them they could make their own patterns, their minds went into to overdrive, so I wasn’t that worried about the pattern cards.

Zirrly Super Beads are like the beads that I grew up with, the only difference is that there is no need for a hot iron to seal them together. All that is needed for these beads to form together is water! This is what caught my eye, as I really don’t like pulling out a hot iron when my kids want to get creative.

How We Used It

The day we got our Super Beads, we had to get going on our creativity right away! I handed out the instruction card to the three kids who were ready to use these fun beads. I read the instructions out loud and told the kids to get to work. Baby Girl decided that she was going to follow a pattern, while Ray Ray and Little Miss wanted to branch off and make their own designs.

The first thing I noticed was that we were not paying attention to the fact that the beads have to be applied to the tray in a certain way. This detail was given to us, but I forgot to pay attention to it in the excitement that we were in with being able to start using the beads! Once I remembered this, we had no issue placing the beads on the trays to make our designs.

After we had placed all the beads were we wanted them, it was time to stick them together. This is the point where I would have an anxiety attack about a hot iron with antsy kids, but I didn’t have to worry about that. With the Super Beads from Zirrly, all I had to do was to fill two small spray bottles with water and let the kids spray their creations instead. While they were not ready instantly, we had to wait about 60 minutes or more depending on the amount of water sprayed on the patterns, I did not have to worry about any child getting burned on a hot iron. Along with this, I could also allow the kids to create on their own without too much supervision from me.

What We Thought

The kids love Zirrly Super Beads! They will do this all day every day if I let them. Once we realized how to place the beads on the tray, we had no issues. While the recommendation was to allow 60 minutes of dry time, my kids used a little more water, and therefore we let them sit overnight before we touched them again. This was torture for the kids, but it worked out knowing that they wouldn’t fall apart in the removal process.

We did find it a little tough to make sure we had the right side of the bead up, and my big fingers did not like tiny beads, but using tweezers worked wonders! The kids had so much fun that these little things were quickly forgotten when I looked at their smiles and listened to their laughter. The kids had so much fun each time they pulled these fun Super Beads from Zirrly out and had the chance to get creative!

If you have kids who love to get creative, but you don’t want them near a hot iron, the Zirrly Super Beads Mega Pack will surely give them what they want!

Super Beads {Zirrly Reviews}
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À La Carte Projects from Home School in the Woods – A Homeschool Crew Review

History is not always a fun topic. Sometimes it can get boring. But it is a subject that needs to be taught so that we can learn from it. I love our current History curriculum, but I feel that it needs some more hands-on fun. I am able to add to our curriculum with the Home School in the Woods  À La Carte products.

We were able to try out the Pirate Panolpy, A Trip to Town game, and America’s Beginnings Newspaper Collection. Each of these went with the time we are currently studying in our history curriculum. This was an excellent way for us to supplement our curriculum with fun, hands-on activities that brought our learning to life for the kids.

What Is It

The À La Carte products from Home School in the Woods is a great way to grab fun hands-on activities for your children to learn history. The items available cover many different time periods and there are many more being added regularly. This makes me happy after trying these three items out.

Each of these items came to me as a PDF download. They were in black and white and allowed me, or the children a chance to color them in as we saw fit. This was fun at times as I let the kids to color some of the parts, but other times I wished it was already in color, so I didn’t have to worry about it myself in the prep time.

Pirate Panolpy is a game of Pirate Garb. In this game, we learn about the different pieces of clothing that a pirate wears. For this game, we each needed the picture of a pirate in his skivvies. As we rolled a six-sided die, we would put different pieces of clothing on the pirate. We would talk about the clothing as we put it on and why the pirate needed that piece of clothing. The first person who fully clothed their pirate was the winner.

A Trip to Town is another game we had the chance to get our hands on. This game is a file folder game of colonial life. This game uses the different artisans, vocabulary, diseases, and terminology of the time period to help your child learn about the daily life of the colonial life. This is a game that we played a few times before Ray Ray began to understand what he needed to do. This is also a product that required more prep time from me before we could play it. After watching the fun that Ray Ray had learning, I would do it all over again without an issue.

Finally, we had the chance to use America’s Beginnings Newspaper Collection. This was a fun way to take what we were learning and put it down in our own words. This collection included The Explorer Weekly, a new world explorers newspaper and The Town Crier, a colonial-era newspaper. Each of these gives your child main topics to write about while creating their own newspapers.

How We Used Them

We started with Pirate Panoply game since this was the first thing we were learning about. In our history lessons, I am able to read them aloud to both Ray Ray and Little Miss. Because of this, I had both Ray Ray and Little Miss play this game with me. First things, I had everyone color their own clothing items for this game. This gave them something to do and took the load off of me for prepping.

The kids loved this game. Their favorite part was seeing the pirate in his skivvies! My boys would never wear that as their skivvies. This game was a fun game to get the basic knowledge of clothing. The kids thought this was fun and they wanted to play it many times, even after we moved past pirates in our lessons.

A Trip to Town was a game that required a lot of prep for me. This is one that I wish would have come pre-colored. I could have printed it and used it in black and white, but what fun would that have been? This is also the one item that I had that had the most pages to print. For me, this was not a big deal, the only issue I had was that I didn’t have cardstock on hand to print on, but that was easily resolved. After that, I was ready to cut all the pieces out and get prepared to play the game. This is a game for 2-6 players, so I was able to spend some time with Ray Ray on this game. Little Miss would love to join us from time to time, but Ray Ray and I were the primary users of the game.

Playing this game, we had to make our “shopping list” and proceed to gather all these supplies by answering questions or telling the definitions to vocabulary terms. Our first time playing, we spent a lot of time in our history book, or on Google, but as we kept playing, both Ray Ray and I spent less time looking up answers and just knowing them! This showed me that he was learning something. I can’t wait until Little Miss is ready to join us in this game!

Now the newspaper collection. This is one that we love. One that we will keep using! As we worked through the different time periods, we would fill in the topics in the newspaper. Some of these topics were New Land Named America But Was it a Mistake, Russia Sends Explorer! Vitus Bering Tells All, Jamestown Settlement A Success!, and America Establishes “Thirteen Colonies”. These were just a few of the things Ray Ray was able to fill in and write about. As we learned these topics in our history curriculum, we would spend time writing for our newspaper.

What We Thought

This was just what we were looking for in our history curriculum! While we love our living stories, sometimes we need to add more. The À La Carte options give us just that, and we can pick and choose what we want to use. We don’t have to use everything for the time period, but we can use what we really like and take a break from our lessons to have some fun.

Ray Ray really enjoys writing his own newspapers. He started off slow but has been slowly adding to them as we go on. He loves being able to show these off as he finishes them. In fact, because of how much he enjoys these newspapers, I plan to get A Young Country Newspaper Collection to keep these newspapers going through our history lessons.

Finally, while the file folder game took some prep time for me, I have to admit that we learned a lot from it. Because of this, I plan to grab the Westward Ho! File Folder Game when we reach that time period.

We have had so much fun adding some hands-on activities to our history lessons. I am glad that Home School in the Woods has made this À La Carte option available! This means that I can add in what we like when we want it. This is one of the best things to happen to our history lessons in as long as I can remember!

À La Carte Projects - Individual projects designed to enhance your studies! {Home School in the Woods Reviews}
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