Friday, September 15, 2017

Red Apple Farm Field Trip

Today was the annual apple picking field trip with our local homeschool group. This is always a fun time, with a hayride, pumpkin picking, and apple picking. These are the three pictures I remembered to take.




And these are the pictures the girls took when they stole my phone and ran off. Since they were very little, I’ve always enjoyed letting them take pictures so I can catch a glimpse of the world from their perspective. There were actually about 582,357 more, but these were my favorites.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew: Carole P. Roman Review

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned many times before, we are a family of readers, and books are at the top of our list of favorite things. I was excited for a chance to try out books from an author we hadn’t read before, Carole P. Roman.

We got to choose two titles to review, and since we’re studying United States history this year, we decided to choose two from her If You Were Me and Lived in…Historical series. We received If You Were Me and Lived In...Colonial America and If You Were Me and Lived in...The American West. We also received two surprise titles chosen by Carole: If You Were Me and Lived in...the Ancient Mali Empire, and Oh Susannah: It's in the Bag.

Books by Carole P Roman

Written for kids ages 8-15, If You Were Me and Lived in…Colonial America explores what life might have been like during this period in 1620. This is a fun and interesting story that tells about the Separatists leaving England and coming to settle New England. It describes the journey over on the Mayflower, the first harsh winter and the struggles the settlers had. It also talks about the Native American tribes that helped the settlers learn how to hunt and plant local crops. Woven throughout the story are great interesting tidbits; how they built their houses, what they ate, the kinds of chores they did, and what school was like. 

Books by Carole P Roman

Also written for kids ages 8-15, If You Were Me and Lived in…The American West tells what life might have been like during the five month journey west on the Oregon Trail in 1843. Packed full of great details, this story tells us what the wagon train was like, the supplies brought for the trip, what daily life was like,the different tribes of Native Americans they came across on their journey, and what life was like once they reached Oregon and began to build.

Both of these books were well written and beautifully illustrated. We enjoyed reading them aloud as a family, and will be incorporating them into our school year to read again.

Books by Carole P Roman

One of our surprise books was If You Were Me and Lived in…the Ancient Mali Empire. This is also part of her If You Were Me and Lived in…Historical Series, and is also written for kids ages 8-15. In this story we learn what life might have been like during the height of the Mali Empire in the 1300’s. Like the other books in this series, it tells us what daily life was like; about their houses, their religion, the trade routes, the palace and the king, Mansa Musa, and so much more. You really get a feel for the culture and how good things were for them during the height of their Empire.

Books by Carole P Roman

Our second surprise book Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag is a short chapter book written for kids ages 7-12. In this story, Susannah has a lot of things that she doesn’t want to deal with, so she puts them in her backpack. As the story goes on, her backpack gets heavier and heavier. At the end, her parents help her sort through everything in her bag, and she learns that it’s ok to ask for help when you need it.

My fellow Homeschool Review Crew members reviewed a bunch of different Carole P. Roman’s books! Click on the banner below to see some more great options!

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

Visit Carole P. Roman on social media!

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Monday, September 4, 2017

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew: A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks Review

This year will be our second year participating in Classical Conversations. We have really come to love the Classical model of homeschooling, and enjoy having the support and community that come with this program. While Classical Conversations is designed to not need much supplementing, I am always on the lookout for fun things to enhance our learning. We recently received the Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Activity Book from A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks to try out, and I’m really excited about the possibilities!

Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Learning Activity Book Weeks 1-24

Created by homeschool moms Paula Winget and Nancy Fileccia, A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks offers a great variety of stand alone lapbooks, as well as professional quality lapbooks for well known programs from Jeannie Fulbright/Apologia science, Jay Wile Science, TruthQuest History, Geography Matters, A History of Us, Diana Waring Presents, and more.

The Classical Conversations Activity Book line includes supplements for Cycle 1, Cycle 2, and Cycle 3. The Classical Conversations Activity Books come in a Junior format for grades K-2, and one for grades 3-6. There are downloadable products as well as a printed option, so no matter your preference they’ve got you covered. A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks is not affiliated with Classical Conversations, but Classical Conversations has endorsed their products. These are not meant to be stand alone books, you will still need the Classical Conversations guide to use them.


What We Thought:
There’s a great intro video that explains in detail how to use the Classical Conversations Cycle 3 Activity Book. For the downloadable version, I just printed all the pages and three hole punched them to put them in a binder. For each week, there is a history sentence copy work page, a history notebooking page,a page for the memory work sentences in Latin, Science, and English with fun graphics, a science notebooking page, a fine arts page, and a geography page. Our Classical Conversations community hasn’t started yet for the year, but as soon as it does, we plan on using the pages as suggested in the video.

On the first day after community day, which is a Wednesday for us, I will put the pages into a plastic sheet protector so that we can reuse them all week. On Wednesday through Friday, Francesca will use a dry erase marker to fill out the pages. On Monday we’ll remove the pages from the sheet protector and she’ll fill them out one more time. This completed sheet will stay in the binder, so that at the end of the year we have a fun and creative way to look back at all the things she’s learned.

Before we discovered this gem of a book, we would go through the memory work each day and she would just practice saying the sentences aloud. I think the addition of a place to write all the facts each day is going to be a great way to help her cement all of the facts and really retain all of the information. I think this is a great tool and I’m going to recommend this activity book to all of my Classical Conversation friends!

My fellow Homeschool Review Crew members reviewed a great variety of A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks products. Be sure to click below and read all about them!

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

Visit A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks on social media:


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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew: Greek ‘n’ Stuff Review

A daily part of our homeschool day is to spend time in God’s word, usually with a Bible curriculum, sometimes without. I find that it really helps us all focus and sets our hearts in the right place when we start our day reading the Bible and praying. Now that Katie is 13, I thought it would be a good time for her to start spending some time in the Word on her own. I was happy to receive the NIV version of I Can Study Jonah & Ruth Alone With God (13 Week Study) from Greek 'n' Stuff for her to try out!

Alone With GodBible Study
Jonah & RuthNew International Version

Written by Karen Mohs, I Can Study Jonah & Ruth Alone With God was written for the middle to upper elementary age group, is thirteen weeks long, and is a consumable workbook meant to be used by one person. Each lesson has six parts, one lesson for each day of the week, Monday through Saturday. The first five lessons cover Jonah, and the last eight cover Ruth. There is a memory verse for each lesson, as well as questions to go along with the days reading, and a “Think and Pray About It” section.

The lessons are structured the same each day. First, you begin with prayer, asking God for help in studying His Word. On Monday you get the scripture for the week. Tuesday through Saturday the instructions say to read or recite the memory verse. There are questions each day for the verses for the week, so I think it would be helpful to read the entire section daily, in addition to working on the memory verse. There are boxes with thought provoking questions scattered throughout, and on the last day of the week there is the “Think and Pray About It” question. These are great questions to really mull over, and to ask God how you can apply them to your life.
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What We Thought:

Katie has really been enjoying this study! She grabs her Bible every day and just sits somewhere quiet and works through it. Although Jonah and Ruth are both books she knows well, it has been good for her to read through them again, with the questions giving her things to think about that she may not have considered before. She likes that it isn’t a big time commitment every day, and yet she still is getting something good from it.

I think the format is great. Having prayer time to ask God for help studying His word as a box to check off is a good reminder for a young person to take that time to talk to Him before beginning. I like that the questions are a combination of text specific questions, and thoughtful “what would you do/ what do you think” types of questions. I like that there are also tidbits of background information included, like the writer of the book, or information about the setting and time period. Overall I think this is a solid Bible study, and will be looking into other books in the Alone With God series when Katie finishes this one.

My fellow Homeschool Review Crew members reviewed a wide variety of materials from Greek ‘n’ Stuff. Be sure to click the banner below to check out their reviews!

Teach Me Some Greek {Greek 'n' Stuff Reviews}

Visit Greek ‘n’ Stuff on Social Media!

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew: Home School in the Woods Review

As you may already know, we are huge fans of Home School in the Woods around here. So even though we’re on a summer schedule right now that usually includes the basics like math and reading, I jumped at the chance to review one of their Lap-Paks! I chose Wonders of the World, and it’s been a fun addition to the same old thing!


Hands-On History Lap-Pak: Wonders of the World 
A homeschooling family of six, the Pak family started Home School in the Woods in 2002 when they published their first set of timeline figures. From there they branched out, creating more and more products that help make history come alive, making them a go to hands-on history company for homeschooling families with multiple product lines.

The Lap-Paks series includes Benjamin Franklin and Knights for grades K-2, and U.S. Elections, The 20th Century in America, and Wonders of the World for grades 3-8, with more titles to come.
Wonders of the World covers Ancient, Medieval, Modern, and Natural Wonders. Through reading and hands-on activities, students learn about:

Ancient Wonders:

  • Hanging Gardens of Babylon
  • Great Pyramid of Giza
  • Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
  • Statue of Zeus of Olympia
  • Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
  • Colossus of Rhodes
  • The Pharos (Lighthouse) of Alexandria

Medieval Wonders:

  • Stonehenge
  • The Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • The Colosseum
  • The Hagia Sophia
  • The Great Wall of China
  • The Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa
  • The Lost Porcelain Pagoda

Modern Wonders:

  • The Channel Tunnel
  • The CN Tower
  • The Empire State Building
  • The Golden Gate Bridge
  • Itaipu Dam
  • The Panama Canal
  • The Netherlands North Sea Protection Works

Natural Wonders:

  • Mount Everest
  • The Grand Canyon
  • The Northern Lights
  • The Harbor of Rio de Janiero
  • The Great Barrier Reef
  • Paricutin: The Volcano in a Cornfield
  • Victoria Falls

Hands-On History Lap-Pak: Wonders of the World
How we used it, and what we thought:
My printer and I always get to spend some quality time together when we start a new Home School in the Woods project. I usually break the printing up into two sittings. The Wonders of the World Lap-Pak has 23 projects to complete, and includes an Introduction, Text Assignments and Directions, Text booklet, Directions for Lapbook assembly, and all of the projects. I printed all of this in the first sitting, along with all of the pieces for the first half of the projects. Everything you need to complete this Lap-Pak is included in well-organized convenient PDF files; all you need to add is paper and ink, and a few common household items.

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One thing I really liked about The Wonders of the World is that they include audio files of all of the lesson text. Usually we read the text aloud, and then do the project that goes with the text. This time we’ve been listening to the audio instead of reading the text, and it’s been a fun change. This has been a great summer study to do while we didn’t have any specific history planned. My 13 and 11 year old love the hands-on projects, and have been really enjoying learning all about the different Wonders of the World.

Whether you’re looking for something to complement your curriculum, or something that stands alone, Home School in the Woods truly has something for everyone. From their Time Travelers American History Studies to their Timeline Trio, you’re guaranteed to find something you never knew you needed, but can’t live without! We used Renaissance & Reformation from the HISTORY Through the Ages: Project Passport World History Studies earlier this year, and loved it! My girls kept asking when we could do the “fun” history!

Other members of the Homeschool Review Crew were blessed to review a large array of their products. Be sure to click on the banner below to read more! Also, Home School in the Woods is rolling out something new and SO exciting! A la Carte gives you the option to purchase individual projects without having to purchase the whole unit. Enter “alacarte” in the discount code bar to receive a free Eerie Canal project! So much to check out!
Hands-on History {Home School in the Woods Reviews}
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