Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Crafty Classroom Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook & R.E.A.D. Review Pack Review

My family had the privilege of trying the Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook (36-week Curriculum) *and* R.E.A.D. Review Pack (28 Early Readers that Correspond with R.E.A.D. Notebook) from The Crafty Classroom for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

The Crafty Classroom is a website full of homeschool resources and printables that are produced by homeschooling mother of 4 kids, Valerie Mcclintick. These are designed to make homeschooling easier. The Crafty Classroom produces high quality homeschooling curriculum and educational resources, like: alphabet, geography, science, math, Bible, reading, and writing resources.

The Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook is a 4 day per week over 36 week curriculum that gives you everything needed to teach your child to read. R.E.A.D. is an acronym meaning: Ready, Eager, Able & Determined to READ! It comes as a downloadable and printable PDF eBook that has 785 pages filled with hands-on activities. This covers phonics, digraphs, blends, sight words, grammar, and writing. There are 30 word families, 64 sight words, and 24 blends & digraphs.

The R.E.A.D. Review Pack is a 92 page downloadable and printable PDF eBook that has 28 Early Readers which correspond with the Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook. This can also be used as a stand-alone product, if you are not wanting a full curriculum. These cover 30 plus Word Families and 70 sight words. These are great to build fluency and be used as review. These early readers progressively build onto the learning as they go.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
I used this with my youngest daughter who is 6 years old. She is still just getting the hang of reading. I wanted to boost her confidence and try out The Crafty Classroom Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook & R.E.A.D. Review Pack. Zari was excited because she wants to read like her sister Teela who is 9 years old and devours books.

I was disappointed though that my printer decided to act up for this review. Both of these files are large! The Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook is a full 785 pages long and the R.E.A.D. Review Pack is a full 92 pages. Printer ink is expensive and these pages have some that are supposed to be printed in full color as well. I just tried to print out as much as I could before my printer's ink ran out completely, but my pages didn't look at all as good as the pages in the PDF and all the printing really gave my printer a workout. It might be less expensive to have them printed out professionally so you don't eat up all your printer ink like I did.

Just some of the pages of the Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook printed out with low ink.

The Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook is very thorough and is a complete curriculum for teaching students to learn to read. It is perfect for homeschool applications for a kindergarten reading curriculum with phonics and word families. We worked on this 4 days per week. At the beginning of the PDF file there is a curriculum overview which tells you the week and which word family, sight words, and language arts your student was going to be working on in that week. There is also a general overview, daily schedule, and blends & digraphs week schedule to follow.

The pages are placed inside a 3-ring binder. You are supposed to use two page protectors and a dry erase pen so that the pages can be reused. I didn't have any page protectors so I used a gallon sized zip lock bag. We also needed a composition book and a container or bag to hold the flash cards. We just used rubber bands to put the flashcards together.

There are some pre-assessment activities that we were told to start out with. These are reviewing letters (both uppercase and lowercase) and their letter sounds. Zari did fairly well with this and knew all the letters, but some of the sounds she had forgotten. So we reviewed these until she had them down.

You start out each day with a Daily Warmup. This consists of two pages that are placed in the page protectors and reused each day. This exercise has First & Last Name, Digital/Analog Time, Weather, Temperature, Count & Write Daily Number, Number Word, Ten Frame, Tally, Money, Days of Week, Months of Year, Number Word, and Number Line.

Zari doing some of the work for the Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook.

Each day there are different activities to teach the student reading skills. Each activity and page is explained really well in the PDF. These pages and activities Zari had the most fun with. She loved the hands-on games like Spinner Winner and BINGO. She also loved the cutting and pasting activities and the draw and write pages. There was so many fun things to do to help her learn to read in the Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook! She was really enjoying these lessons a lot.

R.E.A.D. Review Pack, first 4 books.

Along with the Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook we received the R.E.A.D. Review Pack. This has 28 simple to put together printable early readers that go very well with the curriculum notebook. Zari had fun reading these once she knew word family and sight words. These had fun graphics and an easy to read font. The little phonics readers are super cute. Since they are put together in pages of threes they are also simple to assemble. Just stack the three pages of each book in order of printing (first on top, last on bottom) and cut out the books pages along the dotted lines. Put the first stack on top of the next pages cut out and so on until all pages are in correct order (they are numbered just in case you get them mixed up), then staple together There are 4 books per a five week period. I printed the first 4 books to use with the curriculum notebook and weeks 1-5.  We used these 3 days per week. The instructions suggest an empty tissue box to store them in.

Zari reading one of the R.E.A.D. Review Pack books.

Zari is doing very well with this curriculum and I am very happy with it so far. It is just a lot to print out like I said. The activities keep her engaged and occupied learning. I highly recommend this curriculum and booklet pack for teaching Kindergartners that are beginning readers. It is perfect for a homeschool setting.

Follow Them on Social Media:
Website: https://craftyclassroom.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Crafty-Classroom-121821161222656/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CraftyClassroom Tag: @CraftyClassroom
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/craftyclassroom Tag: @craftyclassroom
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thecraftyclassroom Tag: @thecraftyclassroom
Blog: http://thecraftyclassroom.com
Hashtags: #hsreviews #CraftyClassroom #LearntoRead #HomeschoolCurriculum

The Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook is $25 and the R.E.A.D. Review Pack is $15.

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for The Crafty Classroom...
Crafty Classroom {Reviews}

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Monday, July 24, 2017

ACTÍVA Products Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit Review

My family had the privilege of trying the Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit and ACTÍVA Products' Favorite Sculpture KIDS CRAFTS (free e-book) from ACTÍVA Products for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

ACTÍVA Products is a company has been around since 1959. They have quality wholesale arts & craft supplies to use at home or in the studio. These products are great for paper mache and sculpture, air dry clay, kiln fire clay, casting and mold making, colored sand and modeling sand, floral - supplies for flower drying and arranging, etc. They make many products including: Activ Clay - Air Dry Clay, La Doll Clay, Hearty Clay, Scenic Sand/Decor Sand - Colored Sand, Model 'N Mold Sculpting Sand, CelluClay, Permastone, BlackJack Clay - Stoneware Clay, InstaMold, ArtPlaster, Li-Qua-Che Paper Mache, Activ-Wire Mesh, Rigid Wrap Plaster Cloth, and Flower Drying Silica Gel, etc. These are great for homeschool for art and models for other subjects like: science and history. The ACTÍVA website has project instructions, craft tutorials, lesson plans, and videos to help you learn how to use the medium and get ideas for what can be done with it. These project ideas are aimed mostly for children with parental assistance, but the materials can be used by professional crafters and artists as well.

Contents of the Quik-Sculpting Kit.

The Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit is a wonderful quick sculpting paper mache kit that contains Rigid Wrap plaster cloth, CelluClay, and instructions for 12 craft projects. This kit is especially great for Science Fair projects and kids crafts. Also this kit is fabulous for homeschool applications!

The project kit includes:
  • 2 - 4" X 180" rolls of Rigid Wrap
  • 8 oz. of CelluClay
  • Complete instructions for 12 projects
Rigid Wrap is a plaster coated gauze that you can use to make masks, jewelry, sculpture, home decor projects, and props. Just cut into strips, wet, lay and drape onto shape, smooth, layer, dry, finish, and decorate. This is non-toxic and can be quickly dried in the microwave.

CelluClay is paper mache made with a virgin recycled paper medium that you mix with water to get the desired effect, a pulpy clay-like mixture that molds well. It air dries and is non-toxic and gluten free, and adheres to most surfaces without glue or paste. This is a very versatile substance. Once it dries it hardens and can be sanded, sawed, and nailed. You can then add more wet CelluClay to the dry stuff if needed. Once CelluClay is mixed with water it can be stored in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator for several days.
The ACTÍVA Products' Favorite Sculpture KIDS CRAFTS is a full color digital eBook packed with fun project ideas to complete with ACTÍVA's sculpture products. In it you will find instructions for making the: Silly Spider, Bold Beads, Deadly Dinosaur, Beautiful Butterfly, Terrific Totem Pole, Piece of Cake, Egyptian Sarcophagus, Erupting Volcano, Mardi Gras Mask, Painted Pumpkin, Peppermint Candy Bowl, and Snowman Ornament. This is free to download for anyone that signs up for their emails and discount code on the ACTÍVA Products' website. You will get a link to download it from in your email inbox. No purchase is necessary.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
We received the ACTÍVA Products Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit and were excited to use it because we love arts and crafts! This is the perfect kit to get when wanting to do plaster or paper mache sculpting. We found it super easy and fun to use.

Poorly photocopied, cut off instructions.

The box of stuff had two individually wrapped packages of Rigid Wrap and one bag of CelluClay. The box was leaking CelluClay dust out the side of it on closer inspection. After we opened it we saw that it came with poorly photocopied instructions and projects...some of which we could not completely read because they were cut off and in black and white. I am glad we also received the eBook because of this, but I wish all the projects from the box were in the eBook. There was a dragonfly, mummy, fish pinata, beach clock, and pencil toppers & bookmarks that were not included in the eBook that were in the box, but like I said I was having trouble reading the box projects.

My daughters who are ages 6 and 9 did this art with me. They each made a Beautiful Butterfly with the Rigid Wrap from the box and ebook instructions. Then they made a design of their very own with the CelluClay. My daughter Teela made a dolphin and my daughter Zari made a rainbow.

Zari and Teela making a butterfly with Rigid Wrap.

Zari and Teela painting and decorating their Rigid Wrap butterfly.

For the butterfly we cut out a cardboard shape out of the box the kit came in. For the second one we traced and duplicated this shape using a left over cereal box we had from our recycle bin. Then I cut a piece of the Rigid Wrap into short strips from the roll. The Rigid Wrap reminds me of old style cast material for broken bones. I had a bowl of warm water that the girls dipped one strip into at a time and applied it to their cardboard shape. They did this until it was at least two layers deep with no cardboard showing. They also built up the head and abdomen of the butterfly by scrunching pieces into a ball and shaping them for the body then covering them with more wrap to secure them into place. We dried in the microwave for 30 second increments and once dried they painted and embellished them with jewels, glitter, and fabric. Teela made her lay flat and Zari made hers more 3D.

Zari and Teela making a rainbow & dolphin with CelluClay.

Teela and Zari painting their CelluClay dolphin and rainbow.

For the dolphin and rainbow shapes I had them draw an outline on cereal box and cut them out. Then we mixed up the CelluClay. I had a bit of trouble knowing the right consistency of the dry paper pulp & the water. The instructions that came in the box didn't say, so I looked on the ACTÍVA website and found a ratio in the Instructions, Tips and Technique Sheets under the Learn pull down menu on their website. Since this said it was only 8 oz of CelluClay on the box I first mixed it with 16 oz of water in a zip-lock bag, since the CelluCaly Technique PDF said to "Add 32oz if water to 1lb of CelluClay.", but that wasn't enough water and the pulp was still dry in spots. I added 16 more ounces and that seemed to be the right amount. The girls added mushy pulp to their cardboard armature, both front and back, engulfing it in the goo. Teela was saying it felt really weird and I think that Zari was enjoying working the stuff until it was how she wanted it on the frame. We let these projects dry overnight and they still were a bit damp the second day, so maybe a couple days drying time would be more appropriate. They painted and decorated these as well after they dried.

They enjoyed this so much that we are going to make more projects later with the left over supplies. Yes! We have left over supplies to make even more projects. We are storing the CelluClay in the fridge until we do them because I made up the whole batch all at once. We highly recommend this kit for fun homeschool art and homeschool crafts as well as other projects for both summer time and for the school year.

Follow Them on Social Media:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/activaproductsinc Tag: @activaproductsinc
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/activaproducts Tag: @activaproducts
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/activaproducts Tag: @activaproducts
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/activaproducts Tag: @activaproducts
Hashtags: #hsreviews #activaproject

You can purchase the ACTÍVA Products Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit on their website for $11.90 or on Amazon.com for $8.80.

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for ACTÍVA Products Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit...
Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit {ACTÍVA Products Reviews}

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Save Everyday With Coupons From Groupon!

Do you love to shop online? I do! It is so much more convenient, the prices are usually better because you can shop around, and you often find more variety. You don't have to fight with crowds, lines, long drives, or impulse shopping of things we really didn't need. It is nice to be able to buy things in the comfort of your own home...even in your pajamas.

Groupon makes it even easier with coupons for 1000s of great deals at nearby restaurants, spas, things to do, shopping, travel and more. They have over 500 cities and over 9,000 national retailers listed in their coupon data bank with unbeatable deals for 50—70% off.

Besides local bargains you can also save on goods, getaways, and online shops as well. Groupon Coupons is an entirely free and efficient way for shoppers to find thousands of coupons and exclusive promo codes from popular stores and companies. Shoppers can simply search by store to find the best deal for them.

Groupon places I love to shop and save!

I love getting deals on my frequently shopped at stores like Amazon.com, Target, and Walmart. I also love to get savings on home improvement and home decor from Home Depot and Bed Bath & Beyond. For my critters I love to shop and save at Petco and Tractor Supply.

I love having Groupon right at my fingertips. I have saved so much on eating out, shopping locally/online, staying at hotels, going to the movies, and more! Groupon is a wonderful way to save!

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: This post is a sponsored post. Thanks to US Family Guide and Groupon for providing me this promotion information. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Doctor Aviation Review

My family had the privilege of trying the six-month aviation course from Doctor Aviation for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

Doctor Aviation is a wonderful online educational course that teaches about aviation. This is a 6 month online subscription. This course is made up of fifteen 45-60 minute video lessons with three segments (Technical Trivia, Notable Innovators, and Legendary Aircraft/Events). Each video lesson has two PDF files to download for further learning. These include: "To Learn More" which are suggestions that have extra readings, YouTube videos, movies, hands-on activities, research and writing assignments, etc. & "Guided Notes" to fill out as your student watches the video lessons to help them learn and retain the material. There are also Practice Exam Questions and Final Exam Study Notes to download. This course is recommended for ages 16 and up although it can be done with younger children and as a family course as well.

If you are having your child take the course for credit for high school you would need to have them do enough of the suggested activities in the "To Learn More" PDFs to make it a half credit course. If you had them do most of the suggested activities it could possibly even be a full credit. You need them to also fill out all notes and do Exam 1&2 and the Final after studying. The Examination 1&2 and the Final needs to be obtained by contacting Doctor Aviation. Exam 1 is done after session 5 is completed. Exam 2 is done after session 11 is completed. The Final is done after session 15 is completed.

Daryl Smith a.k.a. Doctor Aviation

Daryl Smith a.k.a Doctor Aviation, the instructor and founder of the Doctor Aviation lessons, has logged over 2000 flying hours while in the Air Force  and 24 years of service as a Command Pilot. He was also an instructor pilot and research pilot during testing of the Strategic Defense Initiative (aka The Star Wars Program). On the ground he has served as an instructor at the United States Air Force Academy teaching aviation and other courses and a published author an aviation book. Currently he is a college professor. He is well qualified to teach the Doctor Aviation course.

Doctor Aviation Video Course Overview

Course Syllabus for Doctor Aviation:
  • Section 1 Course Intro.
    • Session 1: Course Overview: The Aviation System (42:29)
  • Section 2 The Aircraft: These include primarily airplanes, but also helicopters, gliders and balloon craft such as blimps and hot air balloons.
    • Session 2: The Major Components of an Airplane (53:41)
      Session 3: Axes & Forces (54:47)
      Session 4: Why an Aircraft Flies: The Secret of Airfoils and Lift (1:09:27)
      Session 5: Why an Aircraft Turns, Pitches and Slides: The Flight Controls (1:02:40)
  • Section 3 Air Traffic Control: The air traffic controllers, tower personnel and radars that  control the flow of air traffic. Think of them as traffic cops of the skies.
    • Session 6: How We See an Aircraft Miles Away: The Secrets of Radar (1:06:53)
      Session 7: The Air Traffic Cops: How Air Traffic Control Works (59:33)
  • Section 4: Aircraft Maintenance: Those individuals and equipment that repair or maintain aircraft.
    • Session 8: Keep 'Em Flying: Aircraft Maintenance - Propeller Engines (49:10)
      Session 9: Keep 'Em Flying: Aircraft Maintenance - Jet Engines (1:00:47)
  • Section 5: Airfield Operations: These tasks keep an airfield running; items like: De-icers, baggage handlers, ramp attendants, refueling trucks, ticket agents, etc.
    • Session 10: The City in and of Itself: Running a Large Airport (48:07)
      Session 11:The Small Airport and Running an FBO (57:47)
  • Section 6: The Aircraft II
    • Session 12: Flying in the Clear and Not so Clear Air: VMC & IMC (48:44)
      Session 13: Important Pilot Instruments - Altitude Indicator (53:34)
      Session 14: Important Pilot Instruments - Airspeed Indicator (43:44)
      Session 15: Other Aviation Ships: Gliders, Helicopters, Airships (1:00:18)

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
My 16 year old teenage son, Delbin, and I started taking this course together. Delbin and I have had an interest in learning more about aviation and I thought that the Doctor Aviation Online Training Videos would be a great learning course for us to do this. I am glad to have the opportunity to try this in addition to my other homeschool lessons.

Doctor Aviation Dashboard

After we subscribed we could access the aviation video training course by logging in on the website. After logging in the dashboard shows our next lesson and by clicking on the "Watch This Lesson" in yellow we could go to video lesson page. The lesson page has the video to watch, "Action Steps" to take, and "Additional Resources" (the PDFs) to download.

The "Guided Notes" are best done with the video programs they go with. So I would download and print them out ahead of time. While Delbin and I followed along we would fill these pages out as we watched. These pages are great to help retain all the the important information in these videos.

Doctor Aviation Video Lesson Page

We have been doing one lesson every two weeks so far because the extra work involved to get the high school credit for Delbin. The videos are very informative and interesting. The instructor's lectures are filmed in an airplane hanger and he uses props and graphics as well to explain his lessons better. Each video session has three parts: Technical Trivia, Notable Innovators, and Legendary Aircraft/Events. These parts go well together and with the section and session themes. The Technical Trivia is jam packed with the principles of aviation. In the Notable Innovators part we learned about the people behind aviation, like: The Wright Brothers, Chuck Yeager, Amelia Earhart, etc. In the Legendary Aircraft part we learned about famous aircraft and what makes them famous. In the Legendary Events part we learned about important things that happened to shape aviation history. It might take my son longer doing all of the activities in the "To Learn More" PDF so that he can get high school credit. I am glad there are 6 months to work on it.

Some of the props and images/graphics used in the Doctor Aviation films.

The "To Learn More" PDF has all sorts of neat books and articles to read, websites to go to, and videos to watch outside of the Doctor Aviation website. There is also a For Further Study section in it that suggests activities, like: field trips, detailed studies on more focused subjects, building models, doing research papers, hands-on activities, etc. Many of the links to websites are hyperlinks in the PDF making it easy to click on and go there. Some of the books and links are out of print or not working any more, however; because these were last updated in 2016. It would be really great if Doctor Aviation could update these more regularly.

All in all Delbin and I have thoroughly enjoyed the Doctor Aviation course and can't wait to learn more in the coming months. I am glad to be able to take this course with him too because even as an adult I love experiencing and learning new things. Delbin will be glad to get a high school credit for this course as well. We highly recommend this for homeschool aviation education and high school credit. You could also apply this course to having your son receive a Boy Scout Aviation Merit Badge or just watch it yourself.

Follow Them on Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/doctoraviation Tag: @doctoraviation
Twitter: https://twitter.com/draviationguy Tag: @draviationguy
Hashtags: #hsreviews #Aviation #AviationHistory

Doctor Aviation is only $99 per half year.

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for Doctor Aviation...
Aviation Course {Doctor Aviation Reviews}

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Wordless Wednesday Pretty Rose

Pretty rose in my garden.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Instant Pot DUO is Amazon Prime's Deal of the Day!

Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

Huge news! The Instant Pot Duo, 8 qt. is today's Amazon Prime's Deal of the Day!

That means big savings on the Instant Pot!!! If you don't have one, today's the day to get one...

A Few Notes About this Instant Pot and Why You Should Get It…
  1. It has an 8 qt. insert. This means it will hold more – It will easily cook a whole chicken, as well as larger cuts of meat and more beans, etc. 
  2. It is a DUO – This means it has High and Low pressure functions. 
  3. It combines 7 appliances in 1 – This means it has all the cooking functions you need: Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Marker and Warmer.
  4. Features 14 Smart Programs: Soup, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Sauté/Simmer, Rice, Multigrain, Porridge, Steam, Slow Cook, Keep Warm, Yogurt, Manual, and Pressure Cook. Cooking is as easy as pressing a button!
  5. Healthy! Stainless steel (18/8) inner cooking pot made from food grade 304 with no chemical coatings.
  6. Safe! Microprocessor monitors pressure, temperature, keeps time, and adjusts heating intensity and duration. UL and ULC certified with 10 safety mechanisms.
  7. Comes with accessories: stainless steel steam rack with handles, rice paddle, soup spoon, measuring cup, condensation collector and recipe booklet
  8. Makes yummy food. Traps the flavors, nutrients and aromas within the food and prepares healthy, tasty dishes.
  9. Supports busy lifestyles. Cooks your food 70% faster while you do other things.

Read more about the specifics and order yours here! 

You can also see more deals for Prime Day here!

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I wrote this post to let my readers know about this great opportunity and deal. I did not receive any compensation for posting this promotion. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Home School in the Woods HISTORY Through the Ages Time Travelers American History Study: The Early 19th Century Review

My family had the privilege of trying Home School in the Woods Time Traveler American History Study: The Early 19th Century for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

Home School in the Woods is a family run business that creates Christian based history curriculum for homeschooling. This curriculum immerses your student in the topic. It is very hands-on with lapbooks, timelines, recipes, art, creative writing, notebook projects, dramatized audio theater, maps, crafts, projects, re-enactments, file-folder games, vocabulary to learn, etc.

The Time Traveler American History Studies are a seven part series that starts with the New World Explorers and concludes at the end of World War II. These are recommended for grades 3-8. There are two different versions you can purchase, a CD version or a digital download version. With the CD version everything that you access and print is on the CD. With the digital download version you download a zipped file, place all of the contents into a folder on your computer, and access it by the start.htm file that is in that folder. We received the digital download version.

Left: Main Menu, Right: Lesson Layout

We found that there was a lot of preparation that needed to happen before getting started. There is a lot of things needing printed, items needing prepared for crafts and other projects, and general preparation of materials before one can begin the travel. The Beginning of the main menu includes: Acknowledgements / Copyrights and Usage / Bibliography, Introduction, Tips to Consider Before Starting..., and Teacher Helps which gives you a great foundation. Teacher Helps guides you with preparation and organization, gives you a Lesson Planner schedule to help you see an overview of the things being taught and Additional Resources to pull from. It also includes the printables for the 3-Ring Binder Covers and the Teacher Keys for the timeline.

Each study has twenty-five lessons and is supposed to last roughly 5-10 weeks depending upon how quickly everything is completed. These lessons have reading Text Pages and an activity that go with them. Project Pages accompany these to give directions, list of supplies needed, printing instructions, and illustrations for each project and activity. Masters are provided for all printables.

In the Other Resources section at the end of the main menu there are some visuals and directions to help you with the projects, activities, and lapbook. These include: All Master Pages in numerical order, A Gallery of Project Photos (final photos of what projects should look like at the end), and Lap Book Instructions. You can also have your student catch up with the five Project Days that are included in the schedule. The student will compile a lapbook in the 24th lesson. This lapbook is pieced together throughout the studies. The final lesson is a party with a theme that goes along with the series to celebrate the end of the study. These are very flexible and you can pick and choose what projects work best for your family.

You will need a few items to get you through the lessons:
  • Working Printer
  • Color and Black Ink for the printer to cover all the printing that will be happening
  • White and Colored Printer Paper
  • White and Colored Cardstock (this is best, but admittedly we didn't have any of this and used only white printer paper and it worked OK)
  • One 3-Ring Binder for the Teacher's Binder (reading text, project direction pages, the "Guide-at-a-Glance," teacher keys, and any of the other teacher helps)
  • One 3-Ring Binder for the Scrapbook of Sights (student binder for all notebook projects including)
  • Colored File Folders or Colored Pocket Folders with Fasteners
  • Scissors and/or an X-acto Knife (when using an X-acto Knife you will need a thick piece of cardboard or self healing mat to use as a cutting surface)
  • Crayons, Markers, or Colored Pencils to color the pictures, if desired
  • Glue
  • Other Craft supplies specified for each of the different projects that your student wants to do
Lessons for Time Travelers American History Study: The Early 19th Century:
  1. Washington, Jefferson, & the Barbary Pirates
  2. The Louisiana Purchase
  3. Lewis & Clark
  4. Inventions & Innovators
  5. PROJECT DAY - 1
  6. America, England, and War!
  7. The Erie Canal
  8. Trappers, Traders, & Mountain Men
  9. The First 12 American Presidents
  10. PROJECT DAY - 2
  11. People of Interest
  12. Statehoods & The Alamo
  13. Native Americans - Part 1
  14. Native Americans - Part 2
  15. PROJECT DAY - 3
  16. Pioneer Living - Part 1
  17. Pioneer Living - Part 2
  18. The Wild West!
  19. ...And Still More Trails
  20. PROJECT DAY - 4
  21. The Mexican-American War
  22. Ante Bellum
  23. PROJECT DAY - 5
  24. Pulling together the Lap Book™
  25. A Chuck Wagon Dinner!

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
I enlisted my daughter Teela who is going into 4th grade this upcoming school year to learn about The Early 19th Century. She has loved doing Home School in the Woods Project Passports, Ancient Egypt and The Middle Ages study, in the past. This is supposed to be for 3rd through 8th graders so most of the projects she did very well on. She did need my help with some of the more advanced projects and writing assignments and it took her a lot longer to get through some of the written assignments than it might have taken for my older boys. I learned quite a bit too while helping her with this study.

Teela coloring the binder cover.

This study was jam packed with information. This is all about early U.S. History. It is about the growth of this nation and the people that left their mark on it. In the weeks we had before this review we learned about Barbary Pirates, The Louisiana Purchase, the Lewis & Clark Expedition, and Inventions & Innovators of the time. There are creative writing, recipes and songs of the era, notebook timeline, factfile cards, file folder games, penmanship pages, notebooking activities, three-dimensional projects, arts and crafts, lapbooking, and a Chuck Wagon Dinner to bring the whole unit to a close. We still have not gotten through all the lessons, but we have enjoyed everything that we have done thus far.

This was differently laid out than the Project Passports I was used to. There were no stops or pretending to be on a trip and these did not have any audio files to listen to. Like Project Passport though, the instructions are not hard, but there is a lot of things to set up and print out initially and throughout the program....so be aware of that and set some time aside to begin with to get things done so you are not overwhelmed.

Pioneer Cooking Recipe: Jam Filled Cookies

Teela really liked our project time together the most. She loves art and making things. She especially loved making the yummy Jam Filled Cookies from one of the Pioneer Cooking recipes. These turned out to be more like scones in my opinion. She also loved learning and singing the songs. We can't wait to make corn husk dolls, a faux coon skin hat, the woven wheat heart, and the other recipes. We are learning a lot and are enjoying every moment. These are so much fun!

I highly recommend the Time Travelers American History Study: The Early 19th Century from Home School in the Woods. This is great for anyone homeschooling who might need some help with teaching The Early 19th Century in a highly educational, fun, and very hands-on way. This is a great stand-alone unit study or can be used to supplement something already being taught. This would also be perfect for those wanting something fun to do with their kids in the summer time. I am looking forward to reviewing more from Home School in the Woods in the future and learning more about United States history with this study!

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You can purchase the download version of the HISTORY Through the Ages Time Travelers American History Study: The Early 19th Century for $27.95 and CD version for $28.95. Also, new this summer are A-La-Carte Projects, individual projects from their materials to purchase without having to buy the whole unit. Visit the for the A-La-Carte Projects above and receive a FREE Erie Canal project from Originally found in Time Travelers: The Early Nineteenth Century by adding the project from the list into your cart and then entering "alacarte" in the discount code bar at check out.

The Review Crew also reviewed Activity-Paks, Lap-Paks, and the Timeline Trio. Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for Home School in the Woods...
Hands-on History {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

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Monday, July 3, 2017

BubbleBum Booster Seat: New Stars & Stripes Design Review!

I received this product free to facilitate this review. Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

The BubbleBum is a portable, lightweight, inflatable booster seat for children ages 4-11 (40-100 pounds). So easy to set up, it easily inflates by mouth within 20 seconds and deflates so that you may fold it easily into a backpack, suitcase, or purse. Weighing less than 1 pound it is lightweight and manageable. It also comes with a convenient tote bag to carry it around with and shoulder belt positioning clip so that your child's seat belt doesn't chafe or be too high. It is perfect for ‘3 across’ tight fits because it is only 13” wide. This makes it the perfect car seat booster for vacations, rental cars, taxis, plane flights, car pools, play dates, and care givers.

Award-winning BubbleBum meets and exceeds all European and U.S. safety regulations and is rated the 'Best Bet' Booster by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) 6 years in a row. The material used to make the BubbleBum is similar to that of a lifebelt making it durable and extra safe. The air bladder is made from memory foam which adds structural integrity and comfort.

Includes: Bubble Bum booster seat, shoulder belt positioning clip, instructions/registration card, 1 free mobile games app, & bag.

  • For children ages 4 - 11, 40 - 100 pounds
  • Inflatable - easily inflates by mouth within 20 seconds
  • Deflatable, foldable and portable - great for travel, vacations, rental cars, taxis, plane flights, car pools, play dates, and care givers
  • Easily fit three car seats across the back seat with BubbleBum because it's 13" Wide
  • Lightweight - weighs less than 1 pound
  • Meets and exceeds all European and U.S. safety regulations
  • Rated a "Best Bet" Booster by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Winner of many awards including the National Parenting Center of Approval
  • When deflated, it easily fits in a purse or backpack
  • Fun designs

Installation: inflate through valve, attach shoulder belt positioning clip and place behind shoulder of child, place belt through both red side clips, & buckle child in.

Our Thoughts:
We love the BubbleBum! It is easy to install and super convenient to take on trips. We plan on bringing it when we all go to Ohio in the fall as a family. We love how easy it is to grab and go and it is super affordable! For the safety and peace of mind of always having a car seat for my younger children, the BubbleBum is the perfect solution!

Zari siting in our van on the BubbleBum Booster Seat. Notice the shoulder belt positioning clip.

The Stars & Stripes design is so patriotic and a great way to show off your love of the United States of America. This design is especially wonderful for showing some Red, White, and Blue during Memorial Day, the 4th of July, or Veterans Day! BubbleBum also comes in Pink Chevron, Black, Union Jack, and Irish Shamrock.


DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received this product for free to facilitate this review. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review. Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Precious Moments “Good Things Come To Those Who Wait” Figurine Review

I received this figurine free to facilitate this review. Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

Precious Moments is having two different special offers on separate dates. Starting on June 30th with a purchase $100 or more, you can select a free gift ($35.99 value) to add to your cart with the coupon code FREEGIFT17. Free figures to select from are the following: It's All Good!, Thanks For Being There, “Love You Lots!” Glass Bud Vase, Bisque Porcelain Figurine, Girl; and “Love You Lots!” Glass Bud Vase, Bisque Porcelain Figurine, Boy. Offer ends July 5, 2017 11:59 pm CT. Starting on July 7th you will get free shipping with a purchase of $75 with the coupon code SHIP4FREE17. This is for US residents only and excludes Disney Masterpieces. Offer ends July 12th. Don't pass these savings opportunities up!

I received one figurine called the “Good Things Come To Those Who Wait” Figurine. Made of hand painted bisque porcelain, the “Good Things Come To Those Who Wait” Figurine shows a young fisherman happily and comfortably waiting with his puppy dog for the "big one" to bite. He is relaxing the day away enjoying time with his pet, not a care in the world. I love the details of this figurine! The boy is wearing a fisherman's hat with lures and flip flops. His fishing pole has a fishing buoy float that is attached by actual fishing line to the pole. A smiling fish pops his head out the water nearby.

This is a unique gift for a loved one that loves fishing and the great outdoors. It is 4 inches high and can be personalized with with a loved one's name or initials. The pole does look like it might be fragile and is a bit flexible, so I hope it doesn't break. Perfect for Father's Day or any day that celebrates the fisherman in your life. I love this figurine because it makes me smile and reminds me of fond memories of fishing with my Grandpa and Uncle when I was little. This figurine is a great reminder to slow down and enjoy the simpler things in life and that patience is a wonderful virtue to have because good things certainly do come to those who wait.

You can purchase the “Good Things Come To Those Who Wait” Figurine on the Precious Moments website for $60.99.

6/30 – 7/5Free Gift with purchase of $100 or more.
Offer: Select 1 free gift, a value $35.99, with any purchase of $100 or more.
Coupon code: FREEGIFT17

7/7 – 7/12 – Free Shipping with Purchase of $75
Offer: US only. Excludes Disney Masterpieces
Coupon code: SHIP4FREE17

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Precious Moments for sending me this figurine for free to review. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review. Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

#PreciousMoments #LifesPreciousMoments #PatienceIsAVirtue #GoneFishing #FathersDay #Fisherman #Sportsman #DadsAreSpecial

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Wordless Wednesday Blooming Bulbs

Yellow Ornamental Onion "Allium moly" and a few bluebells.

Hewitt Homeschooling Grade 3 Lightning Lit Set Review

My family had the privilege of trying the student workbook and teacher guide from the Grade 3 Lightning Lit Set produced by Hewitt Homeschooling for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

Hewitt Homeschooling was founded in 1963/64 by by Carl Hewitt and Dr. Raymond Moore. Their primary function has shifted from working with public education to now focusing on home education. Because of Dr. Raymond Moore's publications and books about home education this foundation became at the forefront of the homeschooling movement. They produce high quality curriculum that follows a balanced, flexible approach to homeschooling. Some of their products include: Lightening Literature, Unit Programs/Studies, My First Reports, Hewitt Readers, "Best" Literature, Math-It, Winston Grammar, State Chronicles, etc. They serve parents with students from kindergarten through high school.

The Grade 3 Lightning Literature & Composition Set is composed of just the Lightning Lit: Grade 3 Teacher Guide and the Lightning Lit: Grade 3 Student Workbook. You can instead purchase the Grade 3 Lightning Literature & Composition Pack w Book of Poetry that has all the books that you will need for your student to read as well as what is also in just the set. The books you will need with the workbook and teacher guide are: Sarah, Plain and Tall; Rickshaw Girl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Random House Book of Poetry for Children, Ramona and Her Father, The Big Wave, Charlotte's Web, The Wheel on The School, and The Tale of Despereaux. These books are all reasonably and affordably priced. Some are classics and others are new to us. The Wheel on the School, is currently out of print and is not included in the pack; but it is easy to find a used copy.

The Lightning Lit: Grade 3 Teacher Guide is easy to follow, clear, and thorough. It includes an introduction of how to use the guide at the beginning. It contains answer keys as well as a schedule of what to do in what order. This guide helps you teach Literature: Reading and Comprehension Questions, Book Discussion, and Reading Journal (summary of the story, story theme, feelings about the book in own words, and one favorite sentence to copy from the book); Grammar and Mechanics (these are in the workbook and includes: grammar, punctuation, capitalization, parts of speech, sentence diagramming, and occasional literary concepts), and Composition (writing or dictation depending upon level of child, includes: creative writing, essays of all sorts, research papers, poems, etc.) Extension and related activities are not required, but suggested for further learning in such subjects like: science, geography, history, and art.

The Lightning Lit: Grade 3 Student Workbook is a consumable workbook that contains instruction on grammar (including sentence diagramming), workbook pages, a reading journal, dictionary pages, and sentence puzzles. It is printed in larger print and has colorful graphics. The lessons are short and to the point. There are four days worth of workbook pages per week. You can use the fifth day of the week for make-up or the extra related activities. If you follow this you will easily have a complete literature, grammar, and composition curriculum for the whole standard 36-week school year.

Teela doing the Hewitt Homeschooling Grade 3 Lightning Lit Student Workbook and reading.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
I used the Hewitt Homeschooling Grade 3 Lightning Lit Set with my daughter Teela who has just finished up third grade and is 9 years old. She is a strong reader and so these books are fairly easy reading and comprehension for her. She; however, is not as good with the grammar or composition so I got this for her to strengthen those. We also love to do summer reading programs and this has just fit into our summer reading quite well so far.

I found that the book selection was very appropriate. I remember reading some of these as a child myself and enjoying them. We started with Sarah Plain and Tall, moved onto Rickshaw Girl, and after that started Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I was happy to have had some of the books in our library at home. The others I found online or will be checking out from our city library. Teela had not read Sarah Plain and Tall before, but I had. Both of us hadn't read Rickshaw Girl before and it was interesting learning about Bangladesh and their customs. Teela has read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory many times...it is one of her favorites.

We followed the 5 day a week schedule that was suggested. I had her read all these books to herself except Rickshaw Girl, which she read the chapters assigned and then I did after her. Then after the assigned reading she did the daily comprehension, assignments from the workbook, etc.

As I thought would be the case, Teela didn't much care for the grammar and mechanics parts of the lessons. Begrudgingly, she got through it though with some encouragement, but I believe she learned the concepts well. The sentence diagramming was not something that I remember from school, so I had to have a refresher to help Teela out with it. We both were glad that the lessons were not too long so she was not overly bored or exhausted by them. Her favorite parts were the reading, discussion, and creative writing.

Overall, I am pleased with the Hewitt Homeschooling Grade 3 Lightning Lit Set. It is a great English homeschool curriculum that can be personalized and tailored to the student. We liked how it was laid out and the flow of the lessons. We will be excited to read the other books needed for this set during the summer.

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The Lightning Literature & Composition Grade 3 Pack w Book of Poetry (comes with all the books, but one that is out of print) is $137.50. The Lightning Literature & Composition Grade 3 Set: Teachers Guide and Student Workbook is $71.01. Prices are accurate as of date of this post.

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for Hewitt Homeschooling...
Hewitt Homeschooling {Reviews}

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Israel - God's Heart: Landscapes and Legacy of Israel Book Review

In the book, Israel - God's Heart: Landscapes and Legacy of Israel (Skypics Israel, November 2016), top aerial photographer Ron Gafni shares his love of Israel's beauty from above. We soar across skies to see stunning photographs of ancient ruins, historic sites, and view vignette's of Israel's modern lifestyles in this book that brings Holy scripture alive. Author Kathleen Barrett offers thoughtful narrative with Christian scripture pointing to God's redemption plan for the world.

My Thoughts:
This small hardback book holds many breathtaking photographs of scenic places in Israel. I love looking at the pictures and hope someday I can actually visit these epic places from the bible. I love the reflective nature of the author's words. They remind me of God's almighty plan for us and His infinite wisdom. This book, though small, is impressive and would be a wonderful coffee table book or conversation piece. I highly recommend it to all who would love to learn more about the Holy Land and have a captivating scriptural journey with gorgeous photos along the way.

You can learn more about the book by clicking here

You can purchase Israel - God's Heart and learn more about it here.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received a free copy of this book from Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review.