Thursday, July 20, 2017

Bubbles Bubbles Every Where

Just a little morning bubble blowing fun. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Home School in the Woods-Make-a-State Activity Review

Home School in the Woods

This time we are reviewing the Make-a-State Activity and Activity-Pak by
Hands-On History Activity-Paks: Make-A-State
Home School in the Woods. Home School in the Woods is a hands-on history company. We have reviewed for Home School in the Woods before and they never fail to impress me. This pack is a digital download cost is around $18.95. You can use this pack with any history program you are already using. It is geared toward grades 3-8 and everything is printable. It has around 20 projects and I believe it has a little something for all 50 states. Projects incorporate things like research, mapping, creative writing, drawing, elections etc. It is designed to be used as a Lap Book.  In case you are un familiar with what a Lap Book is you can see a picture to the right. A Lap Book is basically a couple of creatively taped file folders that you will glue and tape all these bits of information that your child learns about. Ideally your child will be doing all the taping, gluing, coloring and filling out. If you thinking this looks complicated have no fear Home School In The Woods includes some great instructions that are easy to follow so you can assemble your Lap Book with ease. These are a nice way to keep all the information on a unit together in one place. They are also a handy dandy way for your child to review what they learned when it comes test time.

We mainly focused on doing the state of Missouri, since that is our home state. Each state pack will have a variety of cut out with information to help you study about that state. As you can see in the example above their is a good amount of information on each state. We tried out some of the other features that were included in our download. My favorite part was the State Pages. We recently did a cross country field trip and we used these pages to go back and learn some additional information about each state that we visited. It tells you a brief history about the state then down at the bottom it gives you some information like state flower, bird, fish, tree etc. We printed and put all of these fact pages in a little binder so we can use them as reference guide during the school year. 

Our next favorite part was the Recipes. This pack provides a recipe for each state. It is designed so that you can print the recipe and put it in a little pocket in the Lap Book. Since cooking is a big deal in out house and we sampled a good chunk of these recipes. The girls chose to affix these in their cook books. I printed each recipe and laminated it and we glued the pockets in each of the girls cook books. By the way the Missouri Gooey Butter Cake recipe is yum!

Hands-On History Activity-Paks: Make-A-StateTheir is a bonus item included in this Pak. It is called "Name That State". This is a file folder game, I am sure most of you know what a file folder game is, I played them in school as a kid. It is designed for both younger and older students and my girls has some fun with this game. It basically teaches your child to recognize each state by its shape and placement within the U.S. It also help with learning the state capitals. If you plan to use this long term I recommend printing the pieces on card stock or laminating them. Don't forget to do any coloring before you laminate. The girls had fun with this game we actually took it on a camping trip with us recently and played it when we were stuck in side on a rainy day. I was surprised to find that I could place most stats in their correct location. How ever I was found to be a little lacking on identifying the correct capitals.  

I wanted to mention that Home School In The Woods has some new products available. They have 50 new a la carte projects. These are smaller bit sized projects like file folder games and file folder projects. These are reasonably priced from $2.95 to around $7.95. So if you are looking for something special take a look around they just might have what you need

If you click the link below you can read about some of the other products the Crew is reviewing like the U.S. Elections Lap-Pak or the Benjamin Franklin Lap-Pak.

Hands-on History {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

Social Media Links: 

Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Wordless Wednesday 
I have no words for these goofy girls 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Grade 3 Lightning Lit Set Review

Hewitt Homeschooling
I have a 3rd grader this year. She loves to read and I thought  Grade 3 Lightning Lit Set from Hewitt Homeschooling might be a perfect fit for her. This set comes with a teacher’s guide and a student book. But you will be required to buy some additional books to use the curriculum. This curriculum requires 8 additional books. I already had a couple of the books on hand since my oldest red them last year. The others I could find on the digital library that our local library offers. This helped to cut cost and we can check them out for 21 days so its plenty of time for her to read them before they must be returned. None of the books are all that expensive so I felt it was still affordable even if I were to have to buy all 8 books for her to read.

 Lightning Literature & Composition
Grade 3 Pack w Book of PoetryI like how the teacher’s guide is set up. It's set up day by day and lays out what chapters or pages your child is to read each day and tells what work pages they are to complete in the student book. It also includes the comprehension questions for the reading and the answers. It has the instructions for the weekly composition assignments and all the answers to the student guide. It even has some extra bonus activities you can you do if you feel you need a little extra. The time it takes to complete each day’s lesson will mostly depend on your child’s reading skills. My daughter spends about an hour on each day’s lesson. This includes the time to read the assignment and do the workbook pages for the day.

The student guide is a consumable book that comes in color. My girls enjoyed that it had color. I consider this a complete language arts course because it includes instruction on grammar as well as reading comp a reading journal, dictionary pages, sentence puzzles etc. It uses sentence diagramming, so if you are not familiar with it you might want to read up on it to see if it is a good fit for you.

Each book that your child reads runs for 2 weeks or more. You can get a full school year out of it doing the daily lessons. The books are all age and grade appropriate. The books used in this program are: Sarah, Plain and Tall, Rickshaw Girl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Ramona and Her Father, Charlotte’s Wed, The Wheel on the School, The Tale of Despereaux, and the Random House book of Poetry for Children. My daughter was excited about all the books in the selection except for the Random House Book of Poetry. So far this is not a big hit with her but she is tolerating it. Mostly because the poetry lessons are shorter than the regular lessons. Poetry is just not her thing and that is ok. Most of you have probably already read some of these books when you were a kid so I won’t waste your time by telling you about each book. I was impressed with the comprehension question that followed each lesson and I felt that they did a great job helping me to see what she understood each time she completed a chapter. The questions gave her pause and she always put some thought into it before she answered each question. 

My daughter did like that this curriculum covered both Lit and grammar. Having everything in one book was a plus for her. She was a little intimidated about the sentence diagramming and so was I. I had to read the teacher’s guide quite a bit to help her with the diagramming. It was just not something I learned how to do when I was in school. All the lines were a little confusing for the both of us. We struggled with it at first but I do think we are getting a better handle on it the more we have worked with diagramming. She liked the explanations given on each grammar page though. It gave a simple explanation of what each part of speech was at the beginning of the assignment. Each lesson built on the next with some great lit lessons thrown in the mix. 

Over all I am satisfied with  Grade 3 Lightning Lit Set it has great books that she is enjoying and the grammar lessons are working for her. Check out the link below if you would like to read about other grade levels and products offered by Hewitt Homeschooling

Hewitt Homeschooling {Reviews}

Social Media Links:
Crew Disclaimer
Wordless Wednesday !

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Pick up lines o my!


Being a homeschool mom this is a first for me. I have never really had to deal with pick up lines. How do you public school parents deal with this every day. This is nuts I tell you. I have to be 30 minutes early or sit out in the road on a curve. This is just a summer camp pick up line, I can only imagine what a school pick up line is like. This is where you will find me every day for the next 4 weeks with the windows down, the radio up and a good book. I am seriously debating the need to bring snacks. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


I am a single mom. My Dad is the man in those pictures below. Has always played a huge part in my life. He now plays a huge part in my Daughters lives. He has taught them so many great things. Like shiny side up, and righty tighty lefty loosey. That everything looks good with flames on it. The value of a good ice cream cone and how to read a hot rod magazine. But most of all he is there teaching and showing them what a Good Man is and that they should never settle for anything less.  

Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series Review

Adventures of Rush Revere

Adventures of Rush Revere
We are reading the Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series as our nightly read aloud.

Adventures of Rush Revere #1 New York Times Bestselling Book Series by Rush and Kathryn Adams Limbaugh is a 5 book series that features this cool substitute history teacher that has a crazy talking horse. The horse named Liberty is able to take the Teacher Rush Revere back in time with a few magic words.  In this series your child will get a first hand look at American history. This series is so crazy fun, they couldn't wait to see where Liberty would take them next.

The first book is called Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims. In this book the kids were introduced to Rush and his trusty steed Liberty. My girls couldn't quit giggling when they found that Liberty was a talking horse that could travel back through time with just a few magic words. We loved that he could hold his breath and become invisible to others around him. The first place we traveled back to was the Mayflower to experience what it was like to leave everything and start over in a strange place. My oldest agreed that she would get sea sick and has no desire to sail across the sea and throw up. The girls both agreed that the food served aboard the Mayflower was not something they would enjoy. They were also surprised at the living conditions aboard the ship. They had envisioned big rooms and nice fluffy beds. We were introduced to people like Myles Standish and Squanto. My girls were especially fond of the Squanto adventure.

Book 2 is called Rush Revere and the First Patriots. Once again they Rush and Liberty will take your kids back in time a point in history just before the American Revolution begins. In this book kids get to learn why Americans were so willing to stand up to King George III and fight for the freedom we have today. This was a fun book for us as we studied the American Revolution this last school year.

Book 3 is Rush Revere and the American Revolution. In this book you will Rush Rush Rush into adventures that occurs during the American revolution. Your child will meet George Washington, John Hancock and Paul Revere  and many others. It brings to life Paul Reveres ride and the two historic lanterns that were hung in the Old North Church. We helped Paul Revere avoid capture and witnessed some of the greatest battles of the time. The girls said the most exciting part was Paul Revers ride they were worried he wouldn't make it and cheered when he avoided being captured.

Book 4 is Rush Revere and the Star-Spangled Banner. In this gook students travel back to Washington, D.C. where they learn about Americas government and how it works. The girls wanted me to mention that in this book they got to witness the writing of the our national anthem the Star-Spangled Banner. After this section of the book the girls ran around singing the national anthem for days. The yelled with triumph when Dolly Madison saved an important portrait when the British invaded D.C and set it ablaze. We learned about Betsy Ross sewing the American flag and so much more. But you are going to have to read the book to find out.

The 5th and final book is Rush Revere and the Presidency. This book covers things like how elections work and our early presidents. My oldest has been fascinated with George Washington ever since we went to see the George Washington exhibit at the history museum.  So it was a thrilling moment when Rush and Liberty rode through the portal to find George Washington. The girls also enjoyed meeting John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. The book also touches on the Louisiana Purchase which is something we studied this year in history. Having done a short study on the Louisiana Purchase I have to say this book did a much better job of bringing it to life than our previous study did.

This has been one of the best history book sets that we have ever read. I can't say enough good things about this set. Each book brought history alive. These books drew both of my girls into the lesson.  I would find them talking about each trip back to the past. They were always excited to Rush Rush Rush into the next book. I would love for you to click the link below and see what the other Crew Kids thought of the Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series.

Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series {Reviews}

Social Media Links:
Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

How to HOMESCHOOL with Stunning Confidence, Contagious Joy, and Amazing Focus Review

Apologia Educational Ministries

Me and the girls have been homeschooling for 5 years now. When you first start homeschooling it can all seem overwhelming. I remember feeling a little lost when I made the decision to homeschool the girls. I was filled with questions about where to start, what curriculum to get, homeschooling laws....  Are good friends at Apologia Educational Ministries have come up with a great product to help all you beginning homeschoolers get started. They have just introduced How to HOMESCHOOL with Stunning Confidence, Contagious Joy, and Amazing Focus (DVD & Coursebook). That's  right momma your gonna get some home work from Apologia. Really it's not scary home work and it really is helpful if you are just starting out. The set sells for around $49.00 and includes the course book and 2 DVD's.

How to HOMESCHOOL with Stunning Confidence, Contagious Joy, and Amazing Focus (DVD & Coursebook)The course book has 15 Chapters that will help you get started on your homeschooling adventure. It covers things like how to choose the right curriculum for your family. How to organize your day. Yes your are going to need some organization when you start homeschooling. How to build a support system to get you through your homeschooling years. Setting goals for your home school. Just some basic things to get your homeschooling adventure off the ground. Each chapter has a few pages that you will read then a blank area for your assignment.I found the book to be easy to understand and I actually read through it the first time quite quickly. I then went through it a second time. Taking the time to do the homework at the end of each section. The homework is simple and really doesent take all that long to complete but it does help you to organize your thoughts and really put down on paper how you want to homeschool. It's important to have some of these things down on paper. As time goes on and you have a ad school week you can go back to these assignments and remind your self why you started this homeschooling journey in the first place. It's also a great way to look back and see how your homeschool has evolved over the years. 

Course content:
Introduction: Join Us on the Journey
Chapter 1: How to Get the Most Out of This Course Designing Your Road Map
Chapter 2: Setting Goals for the Journey
Chapter 3: Finding Support
Chapter 4: Choosing Curriculum, Finding Your Way
Chapter 5: Practical How-To's 
Chapter 6: Organizing Your Homeschool Stuff
Chapter 7: Organizing Your Homeschool Day
Chapter 8: Tips from Veterans, Navigating the Detours
Chapter 9: Family Matters-Marriage
Chapter 10: Family Matters- The Rest
Chapter 11:Dealing with Opposition, Arriving at Your Destination
Chapter 12: High School Graduation and College
Chapter 13: If College Is Not the End game
Chapter 14: You Can Make It!
Chapter 15: Continuing Education and Encouragement Opportunity

The dvd is a 2 dvd set and is nicely done. It has a sort of coffee and tea vibe. It's two great homeschooling moms Rachael Carman and Leslie Nunnery sitting down and discussing some of the questions a new homeschooler might have. They talk some about why they chose homeschooling and touch on things like being flexible, organization, building the support system you need to homeschool. All the chapters on the dvds are under 20 minutes. Most seemed to be around 7 min so they are short enough to do while a little is taking a nap or while a bigger child is doing some independent study. 

If you are new to homeschooling and reading my blog because you are looking for some help in getting started How to HOMESCHOOL might be just the thing you are looking for.

Don't forget to click the link and read the other reviews done by the Crew some of us had the chance to review a new product called Internship for High School Credit

Homeschool with Confidence & Internship for High School {Apologia Educational Ministries Reviews}
Social Media Links:
Crew Disclaimer

Thursday, June 8, 2017

MarshMedia Review

Health Education Products for K-8 {MarshMedia } 

My oldest will be 10 soon and I have been looking for some health class videos for her that are tastefully done and not crazy old. I remember watching an outdated black and white health video when in school when I was her age. I got the chance to try out MarshMedia and their Health & Puberty Education videos. They have a Homeschool Special just for homeschoolers like us.

My daughter started with the video called Growing Up! For Girls graders 5-7. Run time is about 14 min. This video is modern and it covers self-confidence and information on the reproductive system with some basic anatomy. It also covers emotional and physical transformations that happen during puberty. Along with useful advice on things like nutrition and hygiene.

She was impressed with the video and actually watched it several time. She said it had lots of information that was easy to understand. I liked that it was updated and it covered all the basics a girl of her age needed to know. It was a great conversation starter and I was impressed with how the video was done. I don't consider this a sex education video. As it only covers how a girls body changes as they experience puberty. 

Health Education Products for K-8 {MarshMedia }

We also watched a video called Let's Just Talk Video for Girls. This video has about a 19 min run time. This video is staged at a sleepover where the girls listen to a radio show that discusses puberty. It covers things like physical and emotional changes, Hygiene and the female reproductive system. I felt like it was a fun informative way to discuss puberty and the changes that come with it. My daughter liked it she said it seemed like a real conversation and I think that makes it easier to relate to. 

Both of my girls watches the You're Not a Little Kid Anymore- Personal Hygiene video. It is geared for grades 3-5 and  runs for about 18 minutes. It covers topics like bathing, hand washing, the importance of having clean clothes etc. This is video is done in a sort of musical message. Both of the girls thought it was fun. I enjoyed that it got the message out in a fun unusual format. I have heard the girls walking around singing the tune several times now. So the information is sticking.

Every video we watched was age appropriate and tastefully done. I love that they are offering a special for homeschool families. Right now you can get access to all 59 videos for $50.00  This price gives you access to all 59 videos until 12-31-2017.  If you wish to take advantage of the opportunity to introduce the MarshMedia curriculum to your homeschooler click on the link below for more information:  

Health Education Products for K-8 {MarshMedia }

Twitter:    Tag:   @Marsh_Media

MarshMedia Reviews

Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

We took a trip back in October. It was one of those hey lets drive across country with two kids it will be fun kind of deals. Along the way we got to see some really great things and my girls got to experience a 2,000 mile road trip. One of the highlights of the trip was camping along Historical Route 66. The one camp ground we stayed at had the huge Route 66 painted on road. We decided it was a great time to grab some snap shots for our scrap books. As we walked down the road the girls sang We Got our Kicks on Route 66 and I am sure that all the other campers got a kick out of us.. Huge bonus if you look at the picture below in the background there is a sign for a storage company owned by none other than Snoopy's brother Spike!. We were told this was his home town. We found little signs with spike on them all over town. 

We had a lot of other great adventures on this trip including a ride on the Grand Canyon Railway. 

Live Laugh Love and take a road trip or two. Memories are made not in front of the tv or cell phone. But on adventures like these. So my advice for the summer is. Take away the electronics, get out and do something with your family, make a memory that will last a life time.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Tree removal

Had to remove some trees this weekend. Sure changed the look of things. 

And they are on the ground time for clean up.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Typing Coach Online Typing Course Review

The Typing Coach

My oldest has been asking for a typing program so when we got the opportunity to review for The Typing Coach she were excited to give it a go. For the last 6 weeks or so my 9 year old has been using The Typing Coach Online Typing Course. This course is a self paced audio course that uses a systematic approach to teach kids to type with out looking at the keyboard or monitor. It is self paced and has both audio, video and written instructions. It also includes a typing speed and online assessment center. It has 7 lessons and them some beginning and ending stuff for you to do like the assessments.

You log in to the program and their is an introduction section you cant miss it its right in the middle of the screen says course introduction. The video is simple and easy to understand and follow. Under course instructions you will find some printable that you will need to print. It recommends printing double sided. Our printer does that and it worked well. After the Course introduction you might notice a section called slower paced lessons. These are for younger kids 8-11 who might not be ready for the longer lessons. So you can opt to use these lessons if you need to. You start off with the posture lesson its quick and easy to. My daughter was able to get the hang of it right away. From their you move on to the other lessons. It is recommended you not move on to a new lesson tell you have mastered the previous one.

The Typing Coach For each lesson you will need the appropriate printable that you printed from the course instruction section. You will also need a word processor. Something like Microsoft word will work. We downloaded a free one online since my daughters computer did not come with one installed. You will then read the instructions under the section of course you are on. Next you play the audio that is included in that section. Each section is set up in a similar manner. 

So far I am glad that the program is self paced. My daughter is taking a while to master each row. She does like the lessons and I can often hear her talking back to the audio or reading her printable out loud as she types. She says that she gets it but its just hard to do. I may have her go back and try the slower paced lessons instead. Their is a different printable packet for the slower paced lessons. She has yet to try any of the assessments because she is still struggling with with the first row. To be honest I thought she would pick it up faster. The program emphasizes that you go for accuracy over speed. As the speed will come with time and practice. So here we are going along trying to get the accuracy up so she can do the assessment. She is getting a little tired of typing the same thing over and over though. She has ask a few times if their is another option for here to type from. I did look at the assessment it seemed fair but it does require accuracy to pass or it locks you out for I believe its 2 days so that you have to practice before you try again. 

Over all its a good program to get started with typing. It covers all the basics and I think if a person was to start with it over some of the others they might not learn some of the bad habits that come with some of the other programs I have tried over the years. Be sure to click the banner below and read some more reviews. The Crew Members have children in a variety of different age groups so come see how other kids did with The Typing Coach Online.

The Typing Coach Online Typing Course {The Typing Coach Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Look who we found at walmart this week.Her best friend Snoopy.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Stay vacation

What do you do when your favorite campground is flooded and the road is washed out. You throw up the tent in the yard and camp out. 

Monday, May 1, 2017

ArtAchieve Level II Review


We are excited to be reviewing for ArtAchieve this year. We received the Entire Level II package. This is a subscription service and a 1 year license runs around $56.78. Their are 14 lessons in the Level II package. Each lesson has either a video or a power point lesson that you child watches. They can fast forward rewind and pause as much as they like. Then the program offers some printable things like warm up pages and printouts. It mostly uses art supplies that you will already have around the house. Things like sharpie's, colored markers, colored pencils, water color paints. We used water color pencils for some of the projects because well my girls like them over standard water colors. Standard copy paper works but you can get a big pad of art paper fairly cheep at most box stores now days. Art paper holds up a little better if you are using water color paints. It is quite a bit thicker than regular copy paper.

The Level II package is a step up from the Level I that the girls reviews last year. I would say the Level II lessons are a little harder and more complex than the Level I lessons were. The lessons require your child to use some new techniques than what they used in the first Level. The pictures they are ask to draw are more detailed than what the level 1 pictures were. The girls seemed to do ok with this level. They are not making Picasso by any means but they have shown improvement. I would liked to have seen her do some of the finer details on the Dala horse. In the lesson the saddle and main have some patterns drawn on them. My oldest was a little more into it than my youngest was. She put some effort into her Swedish Dala horse and the Japanese fish. Although I am not sure the horse was suppose to have wings. I would like to see her try the Hiding butterflies that is in lesson 10. We picked up some acrylic paints the other day and we may just get a canvas to paint it on. That way if she is happy with it we can hang it in the classroom.

My youngest still likes the warm up pages the best. I think the warm ups are helping her build confidence in her ability to make the lines before she try's to tackle the actual picture. Her lines are looking more fluent.  She is doing a lot less stopping and starting when she makes each line so I think its helping to build her confidence. She was willing to try lesson 1 and 2. I included the picture that she did of the duck. Yes I know its side ways but my computer will not turn it around. It keeps uploading like this. She was so proud of how it turned out I had to include it even if you have to turn your head sideways when you look at it.


All in all we are pleased with the ArtAchieve Level II and we would love for you to click the link below and visit them and don't forget to read some more Homeschool Crew reviews and see more of the amazing artwork that out Crew Kids have done using ArtAchieve Level II. 


Art Lessons Inspired From Around the World {ArtAchieve Reviews}

Social Media Links:

Facebook:   @ArtAchieve
Instagram:   @johnahofland
Twitter:   @ArtAchieve
Pinterest:   artachieve


Crew Disclaimer