Monday, February 20, 2017

Home School in the Woods ~ A Review

My grade school kiddos had the opportunity to work through HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study: Renaissance & Reformation from Home School in the Woods. This hands-on project and activity history study includes 25 stops where your child will learn about the era of study selected. The target grades for these studies are 3rd-8th grade. These World History Studies can be purchased via download for $33.95 or on CD for $34.95. 

My 3rd and 5th grade kiddos enjoyed learning about inventions, art, music, event, people and so much more while studying the Renaissance & Reformation. Some of the fun ways that your child will learn about the era of study are through:
  • reading
  • videos
  • music
  • art projects
  • hands-on activities
  • cooking and baking
  • making timelines 
For more in depth information on the Renaissance & Reformation Study you can read the full Scope and Sequence. I will mention that you will need access to a good color printer. You will be printing out a LARGE amount of pages which include text, projects, and colored pictures and graphics.

Along the way your child will visit Renaissance Italy and Florence. They will be exposed to famous artists of the era such as Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Raffaello. They will learn about historical figures such as Martin Luther, John Cabot, John Wycliffe, and Henry the VIII. Students will be introduced to composers of the time such as Giovanni. 

Students will explore:
  • Everyday Life in the Renaissance
  • History of Renaissance Art & Music
  • Literature and Drama of the Renaissance
  • Scientific Inventions and Exploration during the Renaissance
  • Religion of the Renaissance
  • Language
  • Geography

Each stop has a written text to accompany what will be learned during the stop. This text gives the student an overview and important detail. For instance, on Stop 2, students are introduced to Italian City-States and how this replaced feudalism. They will be introduced to Leonadro da Vinci. Did you know that da Vinci was more than an artist? He was a draftsman, sculptor, architect, scientist, mathematician, cartographer, inventor, and engineer. He was dubbed the "Renaissance Man" because the spirit of the Renaissance was evident in much of what he accomplished during his life.

Home School in the Woods does a fabulous job at laying out each and every detail to make teaching and learning fun. There are extra resources available to aid in getting the most out of the study. A list of supplies is included. 

Included on each Travel Itinerary are icons that will tell you what kind of projects or activities you will be doing.

Both of my kiddos loved this Project Passport Study. Neither of them have really been interested in learning history. Well, that was until they started this. They both loved making the lapbooks. They enjoyed trying their hand at painting. I was quite surprised by how much they took away from this study. Many times throughout our stops they wanted to learn more about certain people or events. We purchased some great books and visited some interesting websites to learn more. 

My 3rd grader said, "I liked that this was not boring history. I learned so much about people like Michelangelo, King Henry, and why this time in history was so important. I really like making lapbooks. It was fun painting too."

My 5th grader said, "If I have to learn history this is most definitely how I want to learn it. I find the Renaissance to be fascinating. I learned so much and it was actually a lot of fun. I liked all of the hands on activities. My dad was very surprised at the things that I was learning and telling him about. I would have liked to have worked on this every day but my mom didn't have the time to let me do it everyday. I give this curriculum 5 stars." 

Home School in the Woods newest Project Passport Study is Ancient Greece. Coming in 2018 will be  a Study on Ancient Rome.

Overall, I really enjoyed this curriculum. It definitely isn't for everyone. It is more time consuming that your traditional textbook/workbook way of learning. With that said, it is worth the extra time that a hands-on curriculum requires. At the end of this study your students will have a wonderful working knowledge of the Renaissance & Reformation. I had such a fun time teaching my kiddos. I would highly recommend it to other educators and homeschoolers. The price is very affordable which is a plus. 

To read more reviews click here.

Here is a great overview video that explains how the Project Passport Studies work. For those visual learners this may be good to watch.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

What's For Dinner?

Egg Bread

4 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
3 eggs

Microwave the water, milk and butter until warm but not too hot. 
If it is too hot it will kill the yeast. 
Using my Kitchen Aid mixer I combine the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. 
Add in the water, milk, and melted butter mixture. 
Add in the eggs. 
Mix until well kneaded. 

Let rise. 
Divide the bread into 3 equal parts and form into long strips. 
Braid the strips.

Let rise again.
Bake at 350 degrees until done.


1 can kidney beans
1 can chili beans
1 can great northern beans
3 cans Red Gold Diced Tomatoes w/Chili Ready & Onions
1 onion chopped up
1 bell pepper chopped up
1/4 cup canned jalapeƱos 
1 cup water
1 lb hamburger (mine was still frozen)

All ingredients can be thrown into the crockpot.
Hamburger meat can be frozen or raw.
Set the crockpot on low for 16 hours.
Turn to the Keep Warm setting and enjoy yummy chili throughout the day!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Lamplighter Publishers

I have found a new love!! We are big readers in our house. Recently I had the opportunity to read a couple of books from the Lamplighter Rare Collector Series and absolutely fell in love. Lamplighter Publishers have reproduced rare books from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries into a collection called the Lamplighter Collection. These books are true treasures that the whole family can enjoy. 

One of the books that we read was Little Threads by Elizabeth Prentiss. Elizabeth uses the illustration of fine satin and how one single thread can ruin the whole piece. She uses tanged thread, golden thread, and silver thread to identify her characters. Little Threads tells the story of the very different lives of two girls, one who comes from a wealthy family and the other who lives in poverty. Little Tangled Thread lives a comfortable, privileged life but she is difficult, unruly, hot-tempered, and disrespectful. She takes pride in her naughty disposition. Her poor mother prays to God to change the heart of Little Tangled Thread. Then we meet Little Golden Thread. She comes from a broken home and has very little. Despite her circumstances, Little Golden Thread is cheerful, kind, thoughtful, and thankful. Tragedy befalls Little Golden Thread and her mother. Whilst working her mother is nearly blinded which leads Little Golden Thead and her mother more destitute than they already were. Golden Threads mother is oh so grateful for her loving and obedient child. This is when the lives of Little Tangled Thread and Little Golden Thread unite for a sweet and heartwarming happening of events. 

Elizabeth Prentiss intended this book to serve as a tool for children to learn obedience. Elizabeth said this about Little Threads, "It is an amusing book, but may it also accomplish much good for generations to come."

Some of the wonderful gems in the Lamplighter Collection are:

  • Amy and Her Brothers
  • Basil; Or, Honesty and Industry
  • Basket of Flowers
  • The Battle
  • The Birds Nest
  • The Captive
  • Fire in the Sky
  • The Giant Killer
  • Helen's Temper and the Consequences
  • The Inheritance 
I absolutely love their Mission Statement. They also have a Dramatic Audio Series

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Times Tables The Fun Way ~ A Review

My 3rd grader had the opportunity to work on her multiplication facts using Times Alive from Times Tables the Fun Way. Using online lessons with animated songs and stories to learn times tables the fun way your child will be on their way to mastering their multiplication facts. Times Alive is an animated, online digital program for both MAC and PC that is purchased on a monthly subscription basis. 

Through live stories, coloring, music, games, and quizzes your child can tackle the DREADED multiplication facts without time and tears. This program teaches the 0-9 multiplication facts. Times Alive tracks your students progress. Your child will start by taking the Pre-Test Nuts and Bolts in order to see exactly where your child is at in their multiplication memorization process. 

The Times Alive Lesson List breaks down each lesson and lets you and your student know what type of learning will be utilized such as a movie, song, painting, quiz, or test. At any time along the way you can click on the red Student Progress Report to see how your child is doing. 

 Times Alive truly makes learning multiplication facts fun!! Your child will be engaged all along the way. My daughter actually forgot that she was working to learn. The songs and stories truly stick in their minds and help them recall their facts. Activities reinforce using fun and engaging activities. 

My daughter said, "I really do not like math. It is my hardest subject. Learning my multiplication facts with Times Alive has been fun. The songs and stories really do help your remember. My favorite part was the stories and coloring."

Overall, I would say that this program is brilliant. Learning does not have to be boring and stale. I am sure that we can all remember back to when we were learning our multiplication facts. I know I can. It was full of tears, anxiety, flashcards, and lots of quizzes. Times Tables The Fun Way brings joy to learning. 

To read more reviews click HERE

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Friday, February 3, 2017

Salad and Dessert

Here are so very easy peasy recipes!

Broccoli Salad

2 large heads of broccoli (I cut the stock off and mainly use the heads)
1/2 a medium white or purple onion
3/4 cup cranberries
1 large apple
1/4 cup mayo or plain Greek yogurt
3 Tbsp Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar

Cut, dice, and chop the broccoli, onion, and apple. I like to soak my 
dried cranberries to plump them up and make them softer. I mixed the yogurt and
apple cider vinegar together and then mixed in it with all of the other ingredients. You may want a heavier dressing but I prefer to go light on the dressing. 

Bread Pudding

1 large loaf of homemade cinnamon bread
 (not fresh, I prefer to use it about a week old stored in the fridge)
4 eggs
2 cups milk (dairy, or other milk alternative)

When I make homemade bread after the first rise I roll out the dough.
Spread butter on the dough.
Add a mixture of cinnamon and sugar over the butter. 
I use Earth Balance diary free spread.
Roll the dough up.
Let it rise and then bake at 350 degrees until done. 
There are many great bread recipes on the internet. 
I really like
You could make gluten free bread also. 

Dice the bread and place in a sprayed pan. 
Wisk up the eggs and milk. 
Pour the mixture on the bread.
Using your hands or utensils mix the contents to full coat the bread.
Bake at 350 degrees until done. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Mr. Goat's Valentine ~ A Review

By Eve Bunting

Sleeping Bear Press

Mr. Goat’s Valentine, is a charming children’s story about Mr. Goat and his search for the perfect Valentine to give to his first love. Join Mr. Goat as he visits Miss Nanny Goat’s weed stall, Mr. Pygmy-Little Goat’s rotten egg counter, and Miss Skunk’s perfume cart to find the perfect gifts. No Valentine gift would be complete without a special song to serenade your true love. Open up the pages of this book to discover just how a goat celebrates Valentine’s Day. You may be surprised to learn just who Mr. Goats special Valentine is. This book is available in hardback for $16.99. 

Mr. Goat’s Valentine is 32 pages in length and is suggested for ages 5-7 with a suggested 1st grade reading level.

My 7 year old loved this book, and we read through it many times. There was plenty of laughter as my daughter read about Mr. Goat. I would definitely recommend this book. It would make a great Valentine’s Day gift or simply a wonderful new addition to your home book collection to read not just around Valentine’s Day but any day of the year.

This book would be the perfect edition to your Valentine's Day festivities.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February Fun at the Dallas Arboretum

Welcome February! The month is starting off quite beautiful with a high of 78 degrees. The air is fresh and the flowers are beginning to bloom. I couldn't just let the beauty of the day pass by without enjoying it. I announced to the kiddos that they needed to pack their schoolwork up because we were going to the Dallas Arboretum. While we did get some schoolwork done we also enjoyed natures playground.