Thursday, June 25, 2020

Since summer day camp was canceled due to COVID 19 the girls won’t get official swim time and horse back riding lessons.  I set out to find some fun classes and activities we could do together. I discovered a local conservation center is offering kayaking lessons several times this summer. Me and the girls have signed up for the beginner class. We will learn basic paddling and water safety. They will provide the kayaks and paddles and the instructions but we must bring our own life jackets because of covid 19. The girls got new life jackets last summer but mom still needed one. I landed this baby at an online sporting goods store. I do have to say the girls are a bit jealous that I have such a cool looking life jacket.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Field trip to this great little place up the road. It used to be a summer camp for city kids. Now it’s a campground and place to hike fish and swim. 

Saturday, June 13, 2020

It’s chicken time. We bought these little guys the other day. They are enjoying a little outside time since it’s comfortably warm.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Look what finally arrived! So excited for canning season.

Math Shed and Spelling Shed Review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way

The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew assigned us this fun little learning product from EdShed. This company offers two different programs the first one is called Math Shed and the second is called Spelling Shed This web link will take you right to the main website where you can check out there super fun programs

The first program I am going to tell you about is Math Shed. For parents like me cost is $24.95 a year and includes up to 5 children. This gives you fill access to the Math Shed web game and a 15% discount if you wish to sign up for Spelling Shed. Fore parents it offers schedule and assignment tracking as well as data reporting. For the kids it offers some fun games that they can play online with friends or offline if you are on the go and with out internet. You can download the app for an additional cost or use the browser version on a PC. There are several different levels to each of the games within Math Shed. Math Shed uses a Mastery teaching approach and a no worksheet approach. It offers a wide range of math skill categories and levels such as number-bonds, times-tables, powers of 10 and addition and subtraction. As the parent/teacher you can go in and assign specific math games for each student. Math Shed is designed to be dyslexia friendly and uses a open Dyslexic font.

The girls like the games as you can see there are several different game options. They are good for practice and give the girls a little something different than the standard fact drilling with flash cards.

For Spelling Shed you go into the Teacher Hub and download the Curriculum. There are several different stages to Spelling Shed. Stage 1-5 corresponds to grades 1-5 etc. It is designed to give 100% common core and state standard coverage. It will give you weekly objectives and a lesson plan for each week. Along with printable practice sheets with answers. You can also assign specific assignments to each student.   There are 3 kinds of games for your students: Play which is the main game they will used to do assignments, Bee Keeper lets you guess the words by choosing letters, Buzzy Words lets you make up words using random tile letters. Each game has 4 different difficulty levels Easy- Medium- Hard- Extreme. On easy an audio clip is played and only the included letters are shown. On medium the audio clip is played and only the included letters are shown. On hard an audio clip is played and the included letters plus some random letters are shown. Extreme level the audio clip is played and a full qwerty keyboard is shown and letters must be correctly accented and capitalized.

Both programs offer Hive Games which allow students to play online with other players. As the parent/teacher you can create the hive and choose which students they can play against. This is a fun little feature if you have a group of homeschool kids you can get together to play with.

Out of the two programs the girls enjoy Spelling Shed the most and I feel it is giving them some great spelling practice even if the words are a little easy at times.

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Spelling Shed & Math Shed {Education Shed Reviews}

Monday, June 1, 2020

Beyond the Stick Figure Art School Review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Since we are stuck with out karate class due to Covid19 we added in an Art class by Beyond the Stick Figure Art School Beyond the Stick Figure Complete Drawing Course PLUS 3 Bonus Courses is what we received. The price of the course we received is $370.00.

This is a great little art program that I think most anyone can use. The Complete Drawing Course contains over 60 lessons that are designed and taught by a professional. This program is designed so anyone between the ages of 5-95 can use it. The program teaches skills and techniques that professional artist use to create amazing works of art. The program we received has over 60 lessons . You can use the program to teach multiple students at the same time or at different levels.  The bundle we received contains several different courses.

The first Course is Beyond the Stick Figure Complete Drawing Course. My daughter gauged this as a very beginner course. She said if you don't draw this is where you should start. She loves drawing and quickly got board with these lessons and moved on to some of the more challenging lessons. These lessons started off with the very basics and moves up from there. Part 1 has15 lessons and it is laid out with a daily lesson so its very easy for someone to follow. Part 2 has 19 lessons, Part 3 has 5 lessons, and a how am I dong grading rubric.

The second and third courses are Watercolor and Pen & Ink Course and the Introduction to Acrylic Painting Course.  There are 14 lessons in in Pen and Ink and water color has 47 lessons and the Acrylic course has 22 each section has a grading rubric to help you gauge how you are doing. This is the section where she really got into it. The video lessons are so easy to follow. She says it shows her steps to creating a picture and shows her different techniques that she can use to get the effect she wants when she paints. She says they use a great angle on the videos and she can see very well how to do different things. She is learning how to blend and layer colors and shadows better than ever now.

The fourth course is Introduction to 3D Design Course. This course has 28 lessons and covers 30 different topics. We haven't touched on this course just yet but we are defiantly working toward it and the girls are are excited to see what they can learn from it. I have pre- viewed a couple of the lessons and I think the girls will learn some great sculpting techniques for there clay figures.

Each course gives you a material list at the very beginning so you can pre-buy what you will need for the lessons. Thanks to covid19 our craft store was closed.  We substituted some of the items for things we already had in our art supplies that were similar. We had to make due with some some of the brushes and paints that we already had.  We had a big variety of pencils, charcoals and water color pencils already. They used acrylic paint crayon as well as some regular acrylic paint and watercolors. Over all the substitutions worked well and I think you can use a variety of brands and price ranges and still get good results. I am proud of my daughter and all that she is learning in this program. I cant wait to see how her artistic abilities improve as she progresses through the rest of the lessons.

Beyond the Stick Figure Complete Drawing Course {Beyond the Stick Figure Art School}

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Math Essentials Review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way

My 7th grader is learning Algebra she is quickly discovering that this is not her area of expertise. I have decided that maybe we need to try a different approach and that approach is Math Essentials  you can find it at Pricing is currently $35.95 considering it includes videos I consider this a fair price. We are using Math Essentials No- Nonsense Algebra as a supplemental and this is how it went.

No-Nonsense Algebra is a complete algebra program that includes free online video tutorials. So every lesson in the book has a video lesson to go along with it. The lessons are taught by Richard W. Fisher. The book consist of 10 chapters:

Chapter 1- Necessary Tools for Algebra
Chapter 2- Solving Equations 
Chapter 3- Graphing and Analyzing Linear Equations 
Chapter 4- Solving and Graphing Inequalities 
Chapter 5- System of Linear Equations and Inequalities
Chapter 6- Polynomials
Chapter 7- Rational Expressions
Chapter 8- Radical Expressions and Geometry 
Chapter 9- Quadratic Equations 
Chapter 10- Algebra Word Problems

The Goal of  Mastering Essentials Math Skills No-Nonsense Algebra is to explain algebra in a way that is easy to understand with shot, concise, self- contained lessons. 

Mastering Essentials Math Skills No-Nonsense Algebra explains algebra in a way that is easy to understand in short, concise, self-contained lessons.

The lessons take around 20 minutes a day to do. We are using this as a supplemental program to help with some of the topics she is having trouble with.  We start each lesson off by watching the video. My daughter goes to the website and at the top she goes to the video library and click which ever video she needs for the lesson she is on. She can then watch a video for the lesson she is currently working on. The videos give her an explanation using an example problem. She says she really likes the videos and says that so far they are easy to understand but felt that they needed to go through more examples so she be sure she had the steps for doing the problem down.

We then move on to the workbook. She thinks the workbook is easy to follow and gives her plenty of questions to practice on. I love how the book is laid out. At the top of each page it tells the student which lesson they are on. At the bottom it gives the chapter. Then each lesson gives you an introduction with helpful hints on how to do the problems. Then down below it will give you some example problems, that are done for you. She calls these the remind me how its done problems. Below that are the practice problems and some review problems which are done to review things learned in previous lesson. I really like that it gives the student review questions so they are not forgetting what they have worked on in previous lessons. 

At the back of the book you will find chapter reviews and chapter test as well as solutions to all the questions and test. You will also find some charts with important formulas and symbols, multiplication tables, commonly used prime numbers, squares and square roots and fraction/decimal equivalents. My daughter wishes the charts were made to be tore out so she could laminate them. That way she could look at them when needed with out having to flip to the back of the book. 

I feel like both the book and the videos give a good coverage of the topics that are included in the curriculum. I don't think there it would be enough content to last an entire school year but it is  a great supplemental program or even a great summer curriculum to fill in any gaps a student might have. 

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No-Nonsense Algebra, Math Refresher for Adults &  Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 Middle Grades/High School {Math Essentials Reviews}

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Fermentools Review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

We are trying something out that we have never tried before. We are going to try fermented food. Fermentools has sent us a Starter Kit to review. The Fermenttools' Single Fermentation Kit Includes: 1 Stainless Steel Lid- Made from 304 surgical stainless steel, 1 Glass fermentation weight- made to fit inside a standard widemouthed mason jar, 1 Air Lock, 2 Rubber stoppers,1 rubber canning gasket, Himalayan powdered salt, and 1 instruction guide with basic sauerkraut recipe.

So when I agreed to review this product I didn't know much about fermented foods other than my grandma used to make sauerkraut and my dad loved it. So basically fermentation is when you submerge your product under a brine (which is salt water solution) and away from air. When you do this you create an anaerobic environment. This specific type of environment is necessary for lactose fermentation to occur. This creates a pro-biotic rich rich preserved product. Fermentools use an airlock to keep oxygen and external air away from the submerged product trapping carbon dioxide and lactic acid. The more carbon dioxide that is produced, the more air that is pushed out of the container via the airlock.

You can ferment all sorts of foods, pickles, cabbage,vegetables of all sorts, sourdough starter's are fermented. Fruits and some dairy products can be fermented to make things like yogurt, sour cream, and raw milk butter. We are starting with sauerkraut and then we will attempt to make yogurt or maybe something else.

Our nifty little kit came in me and the girls took everything out of the box so we could get familiar with all the items in the kit. We took some time reading the instructions and decided to just dive into the project. The girls shredded the cabbage and stuffed it all into a bowl. We added the amount of pink Himalayan sea salt that recipe called for to the bowl of cabbage and the girls began to squeeze and smash the cabbage.  When you do this the cabbage begins to ooze out its liquid once we felt like we had squished enough we packed it into the jar per the instructions. The brine needs to cover the cabbage completely and we were a little short so we mixed some up following the package instructions and added a little to the jar so that the cabbage was covered. We put the glass disk on top of the cabbage to hold it all down beneath the brine. Next you put the rubber seal the special cap and ring on top. Next you insert the rubber plug that has the little valve installed in the top into the hole that's in the cap. Now all that's left to do is to place it in a cool dark place like a cabinet and wait the recommended number of days. The longer it sits the stronger the taste. After 7 days it was time to give it a try.... My mom is the only one in the house that likes sauerkraut so she was brave and gave it a try. Guess what IT WORKED she reported that it taste just like the sauerkraut that her grandma used to make.

I have done some additional reading on fermenting foods and we think we are going to try some pickles and my mom is interested in trying to ferment some carrots when the garden starts producing in a few months. Fermentools is great for both new and experienced fermenters. They have lots of great information on the web site and a variety of fermenting kits.

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Fermentools Starter Kit {Fermentools Reviews}

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Backyard Camping

With COVID19 our favorite campgrounds are closed. The girls have been disappointed that they cant enjoy camping while we are having cool weather. Me and the grandparents decided to surprise the kids with a little backyard camping this weekend.  So we pulled the camper up to the yard dug out the campfire pit and camped out. The girls roasted hotdogs and then stuffed themselves on marshmallows and chocolate. We played kick ball and frisbee. We swan on the tree swing told jokes and played pranks on each other. We had a great time sitting around the campfire and telling stories from the past. If your stuck at home due to COVID19 I highly recommend backyard camping. Now is a great time put away your devices and connect with your kids and family again. I challenge everyone to go backyard camping.

FYI no photos for this post because we were device free for the weekend.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

I am learning how to do screen printing. This is so much fun! I bought a 110 screen on amazon along with some ink and a squeegee. I used my cricut to make the stencil for the screen and bam this is my first attempt. I can’t wait to do my next shirt !

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

So these are the three things that occurred in my house this week. Not necessarily in this order. First I’m learning how to screen print using my circuit, vinyl, a screen printing screen a squeegee and some ink. See the snoopy and the America Strong images. For a first go at it I think they came out great. This weekend I’m going to dive into a complicated multi layer image wish me luck. I’m hoping to nab some photos of the project as I move through the steps. That middle picture is of my lunch a western bacon cheese burger. We were forced to venture out for a optometrist appt today for Nana. Up until today no one but me had been off our property for three weeks. The Boss Man aka popa stayed home with the girls and I made the trip with mom so fewer of us were out and about. On the way back genius me scheduled a pick up order at Menards and I babes my self a brand spanking new water heater. See future post for the install. What’s everyone else been up to during this COVID19 social distancing thing.

Home School in the Woods Review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in
exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

We are trying out Home School in the Woods from This is a hands on learning experience type of product and we are using one of there products from the Time Travelers U.S. History Studies for grades 3-8. We were given the World War II study from this set to try out. This study contains 25 lessons that you can spread out over 5-10 weeks. It covers a decade of changes in American history at we enter World War II. Some of the topics covered in this study are The Rise of Hitler, Italian/German/Japanese occupations, battlers between the Axis and Allies, the Holocaust, the American Homefront, Victory over Japan day and Victory in Europe Day, as well as some of the events that happened immediately after the war. 

The girls have been reading a little about WWII after watching a movie about Midway. I thought this study from Home School in the Woods would be a great way to start learning about what happened and why America got involved in WWII. This is a printable/downloadable product so be ready to use up some paper and some ink. Some items you will need that we did not have on hand were transparency sheets and file folders. You will also need glue, scissors, markers or something to color with. 

It comes with a lesson plan or schedule which I love because I don't have to figure out what to do when.  I chose to print everything organize it and put it all in a binder. Make sure you turn off two sided printing for this because some things may need to be cut out and then your missing half the information that was on the other side. We learned this lesson the hard way. Because of the grade range on this product the girls were able to do this study together. I believe this product was originally designed so that you child is making a lapbook with file folders. How ever we modified and put everything in a small binder because we didn't have any file folders. 

I have included some pictures of a few of the activities and projects we did in this lesson. Over all I was impressed with the amount of information this lesson gives your child. I think its designed in a way that is easy for a student in this age range to understand. How ever if you child doesn't like to color or cut and glue this might be a little much for them. The girls did good with coloring the different activities but they quickly got over having to cut so much out after just a few projects. I ended up having to help them cut out a number of the activities. They enjoyed the language bingo game and we have played it a few times now.  Penmanship is also covered in many of the lessons and the girls really enjoyed the penmanship lessons. I loved the choice of quotes they used for the penmanship lessons. Some of the quotes are from General Eisenhower, Adolf Hitler, LT. General Lewis Chesty Puller, Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Anne Frank. Your child has the option of tracing the dashed lines of the quote or writing it free hand. 

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Home School in the Woods Collections - Lap-pak, Timeline Figures, History Studies & Activity-Pak {Home School in the Woods Reviews}