Saturday, August 12, 2017

Delicious Russian Teacakes

Last night my daughter and I wanted something sweet and buttery so she made us a batch of Russian Teacakes from our Everyday Cooking cookbook. These cookies are also known as Mexican Wedding cookies. Our friends used to give us a container of these cookies every Christmas and we LOVED them. But, we've never made them before so we wanted to give it a whirl. These would be excellent cookies for a Christmas cookie swap or elf surprise!

A link for Russian Teacakes is provided below in case you want to make them. You can eliminate the salt if desired.   

Crazy for Crust - This website also contains other fun Russian Teacake recipes using Rolos, Reese's, chocolate chips, and Funfetti sprinkles. We can't wait to try the Rolo Stuffed and Reese's Russian Teacakes.

Checkout the Everyday Cooking cookbook and Vicki Bentley's Everyday Homemaking blog for more information about this awesome cookbook. My review for this book will post around August 22nd-24th so keep an eye out for it so you can read about our experiences. We've been making lots of the meals and desserts.   

I will link this post up at Sometimes Wordless Wednesday at Tots and Me. 


Friday, August 4, 2017

Five Minute Friday: Try Prompt

The prompt for today's Five Minute Friday post is: Try.

Several things pop in my head when I hear the word TRY. I've always been told you have to try new things before you know if you will like it or not.

First, was when I was much younger and people were encouraging me to try new foods at the table. I was also told that it is polite to try new foods if you are a guest in someone's house. I remember sitting at the dining room table refusing to eat and refusing to try new foods. When I became a mom, I asked my daughter to do the same thing: Try. Give everything a try at least once or twice before you make a final decision about it. Who knows you may decide you like it! Today we try new foods by experimenting with new recipes.

Later in life . . .  the word TRY resonated more - it was about trying new jobs and hobbies to figure out what I am most interested in and who I really am. That's how I realized that teaching was the field for me. I was working at a place called New Life assisting the teacher throughout the day with student behavioral issues and then it hit me hard. At that point, I went back to college to get my Masters degree so I could teach. I taught at a public school for 3 years but after giving birth to Alyssa I tried different homeschool methods and curricula. Homeschooling became our reality. But, I remind myself to keep trying new things so that school can be fun.

I TRY to be the best teacher and home educator I can be. But . . . most importantly I try being a mom who is present in my daughter's life. I try comforting her when needed. I try to listening when she speaks. I try to help when needed. I try to juggle our schedule. There are so many things we do as moms. The list is never ending. But the key is to never give up. Keep trucking along and do the best that you can! Keep trying. Oh no . . . I ran out of time and haven't finished but the time is up!

Hmmm . . . I know you are thinking what an odd response to this journal prompt. But, that's what I jot down in 5 minutes without editing my response. It sounds a bit like I am rambling about several different topics. I swear they all have something to do with TRYING. :) Your turn.

I will link this post up at the Five Minute Friday Link-Up. Come join the fun and share your thoughts!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Sometimes Wordless Wednesday: Chocolate Chip Treasure Cookies from Everyday Cooking

I made the Chocolate Chip Treasure Cookies from my new Everyday Cooking cookbook written by Vicki Bentley. These treats will definitely curb your sweet tooth. If you've ever eaten the Magic Cookie Bars from the back of the Keebler Graham Cracker Crumbs Box, then you'll enjoy these cookies. They have very similar ingredients.  
Yummy!
You know you want to try one!

I think I'll make the Apple Crisp tomorrow. This expanded and revised cookbook contains so many recipes from several different common categories. It even has Instant Pot recipe ideas. I've been planning my whole foods meals and desserts this week from the cookbook.  

Be sure to check out Vicki's blog and the Everyday Homemaking Facebook page because she shares several recipes online. 

I will link this post up at the Sometimes Wordless Wednesday Blog Linky at Tots and Me: Growing Up Together. Come join the fun! 



  

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Five Minute Friday: COMFORT

This is my first time participating in the Five Minute Friday Link-Up.

Prompt: Comfort
What comes to mind when you think of the word COMFORT?

Set Timer . . . Ready . . . Set . . . Here Goes . . .

Life's circumstances weigh heavy on my heart. During discouraging times, I look to the Bible and God for encouragement, hope, and COMFORT. He is the ultimate Comforter. He will shower me with his unconditional love and release me from worry if I open my heart and soul to Him and listen.

The verse Psalm 147:3 comes to mind "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."
I know that God is always there for me no matter what. I seek comfort in Him so I can live a joyful life. He'll give me peace when I am anxious. He'll give me rest if I come to Him exhausted. He'll heal the deep pain I feel and just can't let go. He'll give me strength when I am weak. I have COMFORT knowing He is and always will be there for me just as He is there for you. I'll never be alone no matter what obstacles are thrown at me in life. He'll never leave me.

Comfort can be found in many place. Some people find COMFORT in delicious foods, family time, friendships, home, pets, hobbies, quietness, nature . . . but I seek God and the truth of the Word. When I read Scripture and pray to God . . . I feel Him comforting me. My mood is calmer and I breath slower. I am more relaxed.

I pray that you will find your comfort in our Heavenly Father today. Let Him know what is on your heart.  

I will link this post up at the Five Minute Friday Link-Up.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew: Trust Fund - Know Who to Trust Movie from Mapelle Films

Mapelle Films
My daughter and I recently enjoyed watching our newest review product, Trust Fund, which is compelling drama available through Mapelle Films. The movie's story line was well-written and directed by Sandra Martin. At the beginning of January 2013 she began writing the script which was influenced by Timothy Keller's book Prodigal God. She shot the movie in 2014. It is also a retelling of the Prodigal Son but with a modern contemporary twist with the main characters being daughters. You can read Luke 15 in the Bible to gain a better and more insightful look into this parable. Then, discover the similarities or differences between the parable and movie as you view it.

We received a physical copy of the high-quality film in widescreen DVD format. The movie lasted 1 hour and 40 minutes. The movie received the Dove seal movie rating. It had a limited release AMC theaters in January 2016 and was a success in Kansas City. The movie will now be released in the home entertainment market. This movie is intended for girls ages 12 and up. However, younger children can watch this movie with family members talking about any issues that may need further discussion. The movie is rated PG for mild thematic scenes and smoking. We didn't notice any other inappropriate scenes or swearing. You may want to preview the movie before showing it to your children since we all have different opinions and perspectives about appropriateness.  

Isaac Alongi is the cinematographer and one of the producers. Click on the link and scroll down to the bottom to read more about him and his accomplishments. One interesting tidbit about him is that he was a homeschool graduate. His parents homeschooled him from grades 1-12. He is Sandra's husband whose creative talents shine in this movie. His cinematography and setting locations were a brilliant fit.
Trust Fund Movie

Trust Fund: Know Who to Trust is about the main character Reese (Jessica Rothe), who is an aspiring author with a complex personality. She is on a personal journey towards self-discovery and hopes to find a purpose for her life. She is the anxious, free-spirited sister living in the shadows of her older sister. She's set for life but isn't content with life's blessings. Reese desires to have more in life and wants to fill an empty void that's pressing her to do and be more. Her sister Audrey (Louise Dylan) is always diligently working, being responsible, moral, respectable, and aims to impress others in the community. Yet deep inside Audrey is judgmental and has no compassion for her sister's state of being. She constantly belittles and humiliates Reese while making accusations about her life choices. The poor relationship between the two sisters is evident throughout the movie. It is clear that the two sisters have different personalities and perspectives about life. Her father, Grayson Donahue (Kevin Kilner), is a wealthy owner of a publishing company who gives both of his daughters jobs at his company. This generous man appears to be hiding the truth about their inheritance. He is a helpful, forgiving man who cares deeply for and loves them both. I honestly don't believe that their father intentionally and maliciously kept the inheritance to himself. I think he was just waiting for them to get established and reach a mature age before giving them the news. He was waiting for the right moment to share the special gift from their deceased mother.

While Reese snoops around in her father's office she uncovers a hurtful secret. She finds out something he's been hiding for years. She decides to take things in her own hands and lacks trust in her father's decision. She gives into temptation and makes the mistake of betraying her father, family, and the company. Reese steals 5 million dollars from the company which is half of the inheritance she's expecting to receive. She's a dreamer and heads for Italy hoping to meet up and rekindle a romance with a man named Milo. She met him during a recent trip to Italy. Audrey immediately tried hiring a private investigator to track the money her sister stole, but the detective ended up being her father's college roommate and contacted him. Her father was disappointed in her for going behind his back and didn't want to track Reese as if she were a criminal. Audrey is always quick to point out Reese's irresponsible character flaws. For example, during the conversation about hiring a detective Audrey says, "You want to see her as an innocent child, but she's not." She emphasizes and focuses on her mistakes.

Reese eventually ends up returning home empty-handed regretting and doubting her actions and behavior. What happened in Italy that might have changed her heart and life? Did she find her love in Italy? What do you think her father's response was when she called and said, "Daddy can I come home?" What lessons do you think she learned from this experience? Will she be forgiven by everyone involved? Will she return the stolen money? To find out answers to these questions you'll have to watch the movie.

This movie reminds us all to trust our loving God and his righteous plan. He knows the timing for everything in our life and we must patiently wait for it to unfold.

Our Experiences
I watched this movie with my nine-year-old daughter, Alyssa. We watched it as a family together so that I could discuss the big themes of the movie at a deeper level. Themes such as family, unconditional love, friendship, loyalty, trust, morality, honesty, betrayal, jealousy, pride, contentment, and forgiveness were addressed.

The movie was well-casted. Reese brings the story to life with her superb acting skills. One thing I liked about the movie was that I could feel what she was feeling as she struggled with her identity and life's obstacles. I could also relate to her feeling that something is missing in life and the desire to have a purpose. I was also surprised to see familiar faces in the movie. Ana Ortiz played Meredith who is the publisher of Reese's book and new romantic interest of Grayson. She adds a little more love and romance to the plot. Willie Garson who played Jerry in the movie disguised himself as a private detective in order to watch over Reese in Italy. His character and disguises add a touch of humor to the movie. The movie is packed with romance, humor, drama, and action.

We were never bored while watching the movie. It didn't drag on in any way. The action had a natural pace or flow. The story's plot captivated our attention even though we couldn't relate to the social class and status of the affluent family. However, we could still relate to the story because we've asked for forgiveness for our wrongdoings or sins. The relevant message is another reason why I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. We all need to think about our actions and the consequences we face for sinful behaviors. We all have a brokenness and no one is perfect. The movie also addresses trust which is an important topic in our own lives.

After watching the movie, you may decide that you liked the music. The music appealed to us. Nathan Matthew David created the original motion picture soundtrack for the movie Trust Fund. The music was well-thought out and fitting for the story. I believe he did an excellent job selecting the music. The soundtrack can also be found on the website for sale.

Alyssa's Thoughts
The movie was so good! I wanted to watch it again the next day. I loved the ending. I think children 8 years old up would enjoy and could watch this movie with their parents. My favorite part was when she comes home. Her dad was welcoming and loving. My least favorite part is what the guy did with Reese's money.   

The website also provides the viewer with a FREE study guide analyzing four relevant movie scenes under the Tools tab. This downloadable study guide and video components are meant to be used and discussed in a small groups setting or for individual purposes if desired. It will enable the users to further analyze the themes of the movie at a more in-depth level. First, the guide provides a short scene summary and a quote or question. Then, it references a Biblical verse and contains a "Right to the Point" section which compares the movie to the parable. The "Deep Thoughts" section allows the viewer to dig deeper and relate the truth or conflicts to their own life. The last section titled, What Do You Think" offers thought-provoking questions for you to ponder. I didn't use the study guide with my daughter, but I believe it would be a neat resource to use with a teen girl Bible study group.

Several of the other crew members reviewed the YA (Young Adult) book, Love Was Near, written by Sandra Martin. We did not receive or read this book. It is suitable for girls ages 12 and up. The book was written from the perspective of the main character (Reese) and reveals her thought processes during the movie. It is a "behind the scenes" glance at the story's plot. It sound like an great resource to use after watching the movie with older preteens and teenage daughters.
Love Was Near Book

Price
Trust Fund: Know Who to Trust $14.99 Watch the movie trailer. :)
Love Was Near $12.99
Motion Picture Soundtrack $9.99


Note: All prices are subject to change without notice. 

Recommendations
Trust Fund weaves fantastic performances and a meaningful message with carefully selected music and beautiful cinematography together in one magnificent film. I highly recommend this family friendly movie for Christian families with preteen and teenage girls in their household. I suggest sitting with them so that you can address the societal issues, life lessons, and Biblical truths revealed in the movie. This is a clean movie with a profoundly positive message that we could all benefit from hearing. It sparked a conversation with my daughter about forgiveness and unconditional love. We enjoyed the movie and will watch it again in the future. It is a wonderful addition to our faith-based movie collection and has surpassed my expectations.
Social Media
Facebook Tag: @TrustFundMovie
Twitter Tag: @TrustFundMovie
Pinterest Tag: @trustfundmovie
Instagram Tag: @trustfundmovie

Visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read other reviews from my colleagues about the Trust Fund movie and the book titled, Love Was Near.
Trust Fund Movie {Mapelle Films Reviews}
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Friday, July 14, 2017

Apple Jack Cookies

One winning recipe that we recently made in our home are the Apple Jack Cookies from our Home School in the Woods American Revolution study.

I've never made or tried these unique cookies before but I am glad that we were introduced to them. These cookies were such a hit with my family and friends! They were scarfed down and didn't last long. These cookies would be perfect for a Christmas cookie swap. They taste like molasses or gingerbread snap cookies. Oh so goooood! At first, I was a little worried because the cookie dough was dry and thick. In the end the cookies were moist and plump. I was super happy with the results! These are worth making.

If you want to use the recipe we used it can be found in the American Revolution study available through Home School in the Woods. You can read my review about our experiences with this wonderful History unit by clicking the link above. 

Online Apple Jack Recipes to Try: 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Homeschool Review Crew: Home School in the Woods Time Travelers American - The American Revolution Study

Home School in the Woods

Home School in the Woods sent us a digital download of The American Revolution study from the Time Travelers American series to review which was a magnificent study to work through during our summer break.

Home School in the Woods is a well-known hands-on History company offering multiple product lines. A variety of products are available on their website such as their Time Travelers American studies, the Activity-Paks, Lap-Paks, Project Passports, and Timeline Trio. The Make-a-State Activity-Pak sounds like the perfect Geography study for the summer break or throughout the year. Not to mention they recently added A-La-Carte projects too! There are over 50 projects available in a variety of formats such as mini timelines, file folder games, creative writing activities, lapbook mini studies, and more. All of these products are bound to make learning fun and exciting!

Other Time Travelers Products in this Series:
  • Colonial Life
  • New World Explorers
  • Civil War
  • World War II
  • Early 19th Century
  • Industrial Revolution Through the Great Depression
We are hoping to complete the Civil War study in the near future.

The downloadable product was emailed directly to me. It is compatible with MAC and PC computers. This American History study is suitable for children in 3rd-8th grade, but you can definitely adapt or modify so that younger children can participate.

You can easily navigate through the materials once you are more familiar with their format and layout. The content is organized and grouped into sets of 5 lessons. After clicking on the set, we clicked on a specific lesson number to print materials.
Lesson 1 Materials

The study will last approximately 5-10 weeks depending on how the hands-on lessons and projects are scheduled. It can be spread out over a longer time period if desired. You can choose the number of projects you want to complete in any given amount of time.

The unit study also includes an Additional Resources tool which lists relevant books, audios, and videos related to the topics addressed which enables you to enrich or extend the learning process. We checked out several of these items from our local library. The company also offers a photo of the finished projects for the student to view.

The American Revolution study consists of 25 numbered lessons including a conglomeration of hands-on projects and activities such as notebooking pages, lapbooking pieces, cooking recipes, 3D projects, games, penmanship copywork, newspaper, timeline, and mapping activities. The last lesson is a Wrap It Up Tribute lesson to celebrate the American Revolution. All projects are to be completed at that time and available to share with others. The child will choose decorations, food, games, and costumes for the party. At the end of the unit study, we will assemble our lapbook and review ALL content learned over the summer.

Each lesson includes 1-3 pages of informative written text to read together or independently, project planing pages with step-by-step instructions, and master printables for each project. Teacher keys are also available for some projects such as the timeline activity.  The first photo below shows the lesson text for Lesson 4 and the second photo shows the project planning sheets with detailed directions for Lesson 6.
The file I received provided us with printable files in PDF format so an updated version of Adobe Reader will be needed to view the content. This study is comprehensive and complete. It includes everything you need to study the American Revolution time period.

Several topics addressed in the American Revolution unit are Colonial Beginnings, Jamestown, Mayflower Compact, French and Indian War, Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party, Taxation without Representation, Intolerable or Coersive Acts, First and Second Continental Congress, George Washington, King George, American Government Under England's Control, Whig verses Tory, Lexington and Concord, Paul Revere's Ride, Minutemen, Samuel Adams, Madison, Ben Franklin, Valley Forge, Women of War, American Revolution Battles, Liberty Bell, Battles in New York, Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, Constitution, and so much more.

The unit integrates a variety of subjects including but not limited to Science, Writing, History, Geography, Music, Penmanship, and Literature. You are sure to find something that will appeal to the interests of your child.

Our Experiences
I used the HISTORY Through the Ages Time Travelers American History Study: The American Revolution with Alyssa (Age 9) who works at a 3rd-6th grade level. The study was utilized as a standalone American History summer curricula. I downloaded, unzipped, saved, and viewed the digital file on my MAC OS X 10.11.6 early 2009 computer using Chrome as my preferred browser. You will need an application that enables you to "unzip" files.

We completed 1 lesson per week working on projects 3-4 times per week. The number of projects we completed each week varied depending on her interests and chosen topics. We love that we could pick and choose which projects to complete. We worked through the unit in chronological and numerical order. Each work session lasted approximately 30 minutes to 1 1/12 hours.

I encourage you to read the 1-page Introduction and the 2-page Tips to Consider Before Starting before you begin printing any of the materials. These pages contain helpful information with regards to use and set-up of the product. The tips section also contains a list of supply items to have on hand during your study.

I printed out the one-page Lesson Plan Schedule so that I could highlight the completed projects and activities. Each box represents one lesson. This page gave me a glance of activities to be done during the study so I can prepare in advance. A key was provided in the top left corner which showed the text symbols indicating lapbooking (LB) or notebooking (NB) activities.  

We organized the materials in two binders. All of the teacher materials were stored in my binder such as the text and project planning sheets. My daughter's binder stored the competed lapbook and notebook materials. Alyssa colored her black and white binder cover and spine. I printed the parent binder cover in color.

We read most of the text together so that I could check for understanding. I printed materials as we worked through the study usually only one week's worth at a time. We have not completed the entire study yet, because we decided to stretch the study out over our summer break. I will share with you just a few of the activities and projects she's been working on so far.

We both love the timeline and figures. This timeline covers the 1600's-1790's during the American Revolution. The detailed hand-drawn illustrations are professionally created by Amy Pak. Alyssa colored each image and added several figures to the timeline during each session.

Did you know that Benjamin Franklin was a musician? He developed a glass instrument called the armonica. This activity was a great way to integrate History, Science, and Music together. She created her own songs using the water glasses. The musical glass experiment was one of two activities under the Franklin Experiments section. The other experiment showed Alyssa how a curved lens changes how she sees an object. She used water droplets and plastic wrap to create a convex lens which enlarged the written text.

My daughter practiced her cursive penmanship using the famous Founding Father quotes. I printed out the ruled paper and the quote for her to copy. Children can also do the penmanship copywork using manuscript writing. The quote selections were amazing. Several were long so I suggest breaking it up over several days for younger children. Quotes from William Bradford, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, George Washington were just a few of the influential figures quoted.  

Alyssa wrote several articles for the newspaper titled, "The Daily Bugle" including but not limited to "French and Indians Wage War," "Minutemen to Arms," and "More Taxes Raise Tempers in Boston." For each article, she researched the topic and used the written text provided to create her entry. We will assemble the paper at the end of the unit.

My daughter learned about the flow of power and how the American Government was under England's control. She made a notebook page that helped her understand the colonist motto, "Taxation without representation is tyranny!" A text description was under each flap explaining the type of government and power.

Another great component of The American Revolution study is that it contains numerous lapbooking pieces. At the end of the unit, we will compile all of the mini books into a lapbook for Alyssa to review. It'll be one keepsake she'll be eager to share with friends and family. She researched information about a Whig and Tory. She jotted down the differences in a mini book that will be part of her lapbook.

She colored, cut out, and set up her Minutemen Pop-Up which will adhere to the lapbook towards the end of the unit. Paul Revere's horse moves about in the card. She researched information about Paul Revere and the Minutemen for the writing portion.

The picture below shows several other lapbook pieces Alyssa completed during her study. The Pie Book of Acts in the middle was one project that required an attention to the detailed directions. It proved to be a bit more complicated and more difficult to assemble than the other pieces. Another project that frustrated Alyssa was the assembly of the Jamestown Replica. I am not sure if it was too much work or if the directions were a bit unclear, but she abandoned the activity altogether.  I recommend that a parent or older child help younger children with these two projects. She also created a Mayflower Compact scroll similar to the Day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer scroll seen below. These scrolls summarize the events for her to review later. My daughter really enjoyed creating the Tea Troubles Brewing booklet. She drew and labeled other beverage alternatives for the colonists to drink during the tea boycott. She also had the opportunity to compare and contrast the leadership qualities and character traits of George Washington verses King George III after reading about them in her lesson. 

I appreciate that mapping exercises were also integrated into the lessons. Alyssa created a Mitchell's Map, Battles of the American Revolution Map, and a Bad News in Boston Map.
Battles of the American Revolution

She also created a profile frame after researching information about Benjamin Franklin and his accomplishments. A recent chapter book we reviewed tied in perfectly with this activity. She summarized important information she already read or learned about him. Then, it was recorded on the lines provided around the picture frame. This profile frame will be added to her lapbook at a later time.  

This study also included a game called "Taxation Frustration" which taught her about the unfair differences in taxation between Great Britain and the American colonies. We printed the real images of colonial paper money from the 1700's to use during the game. The printables were provided so I didn't have to search for anything online. 

The following photo collage shows several other popular activities we completed. I read aloud the classic poem titled, "Paul Revere's Ride" written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow while Alyssa worked on her weekly projects. Did you know that shadow puppetry was a form of entertainment in the 18th century in Europe and America? My daughter made French and IndianWar shadow puppets and utilized them with a lamp and the scripts provided. She didn't create the stage. She also read about and colored Benjamin Franklin's Join or Die political cartoon which encouraged the colonists to band together.  

Every 5th lesson consists of a Project Day which provides you with extra built-in time to finish projects from previous lessons. At this time Alyssa created vocabulary Factile Cards to study. The terms were organized into three groups: Political, Military, and Who Were They. The Factile Cards were first printed separately on colored cardstock so that my daughter could match the vocabulary term with the definition while playing a matching or concentration game. These cards were stored in the Factile Card Envelopes. The step-by-step directions for this activity are provided in the study. We also printed the flashcards with bold-print terms and definitions on one side so that Alyssa could study the vocabulary words before playing learning games. I didn't want to waste the bottom halves of the manila envelopes so we used the bottom halves of the envelopes to store these cards and tied them off with yarn. They were hole-punched and added to Alyssa's binder. The terms were color-coded for easy storage. Military terms such as Minuteman, militia, guerilla, and artillery were printed on purple paper. Political terms such as Patriot, revolution, preamble, and treason were printed on yellow paper. The Who Were They names such as Paul Revere, Sons of Liberty, and King George III, and Patrick Henry were printed on orange paper. A complete list of terms was printed and stored in my teacher binder.

Each Project Day offers two recipes to try. We aimed to make at least one recipe from the Project Day and to save the other recipe for the American Revolution Tribute dinner. One of our all-time favorite activities are the Baking and Cooking recipes such as Apple Jack cookies and Peach Cobbler. The Apple Jack cookies are awesome! They're so good! They taste like gingerbread cookies. However, I will slightly decrease the amount of salt added next time.

Overall Thoughts and Results 
This is a very impressive high-quality unit study containing meaningful activities to complete. The depth and content coverage is extremely reasonable for the indicated age-group with room for bunny trail extensions if desired. The scope and sequence of the unit topics flowed naturally and smoothly. Alyssa definitely retained the information taught using this hands-on study. The activities and projects reinforced the lessons. She was excited about learning American History and thoroughly engaged in the learning process. The Home School in the Woods products serve as wonderful keepsakes for student portfolios. Every time we show Alyssa's Home School in the Woods unit studies to friends, they always say they wished they were taught that way because maybe they would love learning History.  

What We Liked
  • Minimal Preparation 
  • Relevant Reading Text Provided
  • Comprehensive and Complete 
  • Supply Lists Included
  • Step-By-Step Instructions
  • Adaptable for All Ages and Needs
  • All Ages Taught in One Sitting
  • Addresses Multiple Learning Styles
  • Helpful Additional Resources
  • Schedule Flexibility
  • Finished Project Photos Gallery
  • Option to Pick-and-Choose Projects
  • Plethora of Hands-On Projects
Time Travelers American History Study: The American Revolution

Recommendations
I HIGHLY recommend using ANY of the Home School in the Woods products! The American Revolution study can be used as a supplement for an American History curriculum or as a standalone unit study. This study has made teaching American History super easy. My daughter is having so much fun learning using this hands-on approach. She is comprehending relevant information and I am confident that she will remember the content over a longer period of time.

I believe that individuals implementing a Unit Study, Eclectic, Charlotte Mason, Classical, Lapbooking, Notebooking, and Delight-Directed teaching approach will benefit greatly when using the hands-on products available through Home School in the Woods. There are a variety of projects that will meet the interest of all learning styles especially if you have a hands-on learner in the family.

I also reviewed Project Passport World History Studies: The Middle Ages and Renaissance and Reformation in the past. Visit the links above to read about our experiences with those products.

Price
The American Revolution
Click on the link above to view the scope and sequence and to download a sample.
  • Download Version $27.95
  • CD Version $28.95
Note: All prices are subject to change without notice.

Special Note: Home School in the Woods has a new product line called A-La-Carte projects. In honor of the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the canal, Home School in the Woods is offering you the following code alacarte in order to get the Erie Canal project for FREE. Go check it out! The free item will be emailed to you after you complete the checkout process.

Social Media Links
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Visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read all the Home School in the Woods reviews covering a wide variety of products.
Hands-on History {Home School in the Woods Reviews}
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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

BookLook Bloggers Review: Promises For You Coloring Devotional

I recently chose Promises For You Coloring Devotional: 60 Days Discovering God's Hope & Love to review as part of BookLook's Blogger Program. This 128-page hardcover children's devotional contains pages that are thick and sturdy. It was written by FaithGirlz and published by Zonderkidz a sister company of Zondervan.
  

My first impression was that I knew in a heartbeat that my daughter would absolutely adore this stunning book! She's interested in coloring books and loves reading her personal devotionals.

The well written 60-day devotional book pages are not numbered or dated so your child can start on any page. She can start at the beginning, pick and choose a favorite coloring page, or begin anywhere her heart desires. It is written using Scripture quotations from the New International Version (NIV). At the beginning of the devotional is a dedication page where you can write the name of the child it was given to and the date. This page also consists of instructions and tips for how to use the devotional during your child's personal Bible time or in her everyday life.

The book is organized by promises such as strength, courage, hope, forgiveness, comfort, safety, truth wisdom, beauty, faith, trust, joy, gifts, and blessings. The promises are listed at the top of the page which are followed by referenced Scripture verses. The verses are indicated in BOLD print. A short one-paragraph devotional is included on a daily basis. Related, reflective thought-provoking journal prompts your child to focus on each promise. Blank lines are provided for your child to record a prayer or her thoughts about the daily verse. The author encourages the reader grab a special journal or notebook to write down their thoughts and ideas if there isn't enough space to write. At the back of the book, there is a blank, lined note page for your child to jot down her thoughts, feelings, or experiences related to the devotional.

The beautiful, whimsical designs can be colored using gel pens, crayons, colored pencils, or scented markers. The book contains simple and intricate black-and-white designs. The company claims that markers won't bleed through the paper. Since this was a gift for my daughter, I did not get to test it out. A variety of art elements such as lines, dots, curves, and other shapes are utilized in the uniquely patterned designs. Several appealing images such as hearts, hot air balloons, trees, leaves, flowers, ice cream, birds, etc. will capture your daughter's attention. You can see a couple sample pages below.  

One of my favorite verses mentioned in this book was "Fear cannot win when hope holds your heart!" It is a reminder to always remain hopeful, to not worry, or to not let my fears take over my life. The verses included in this devotional are meaningful and can easily be applied to your preteen's life. 

Recommendations
I HIGHLY recommend this coloring devotional for any creative or artistic preteen girl between the ages of 8-12. It will be of interest to girls who loves to color. It would make an excellent gift for Easter, Christmas, or a birthday. As soon as my daughter received it as a gift, it quickly became part of her regular Bible study routine. 

Price
Zondervan $12.99
Amazon $10.15

Note: All prices are subject to change without notice. 

Disclaimer
I received a complimentary, free copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers Review Program in exchange for an honest, unbiased review on my blog. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." 
I review for BookLook Bloggers

Friday, June 30, 2017

X is for XOXO . . . Absolutely LOVE the Dragonfly Art Project

This is another one of my daughter's ArtAchieve art projects from Level 1 that I LOVE (XOXOX) and adore. The project is titled, The Dragonfly from Ecuador. I really hope to frame and hang this masterpiece on our living room wall while she's gone for summer break in July. I think it would surprise her and make her smile when she comes home. The glitter glaze added a special shiny touch to the project.
Mixed Media
I will link this post up at Blogging Through the Alphabet. Letter X is the focus for the week. Check out the other posts linked up.
Hopkins Homeschool

Friday, June 23, 2017

W is for Watching Movies

It's Friday night . . . well technically it's almost Saturday here in Texas. We are trying to keep things simple and affordable over the summer. Alyssa and I decided to have a movie marathon weekend. Trust Fund, is a new movie that we plan on re-watching this weekend. It is offered through Mapelle Films. I'll be posting my review in July so mark your calendar to come back and read about our thoughts and experiences. It was an awesome movie which is why we want to see it again. You can watch the movie trailer for more information.

Other Movies on our List to Watch are:
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Trolls
  • Inside Out
  • The Angry Birds Movie
  • Jumanji
  • Labyrinth
  • Gracie Stirs Up Success (American Girl)
  • Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
I will link this post up at Blogging Through the Alphabet. This week blog posts focus on the Letter W. Click on the link or graphic to read more posts.  
A Net In Time Schooling