Monday, March 30, 2020

Wonderful Words of Wisdom ~ Homeschooling is NOT the Same as Crisis Schooling



Homeschooling is NOT the Same as Crisis Schooling: advice during coronavirus COVID -19 shut downs

This blogger did a fabulous job at putting into words the stark difference between seasoned homeschoolers and those parents that are being suddenly thrust into being their child's or children's teacher overnight. As homeschoolers we RUN THE SHOW. On the other hand, all of the parents being thrust into suddenly having to be their children's sideline teacher when probably the school and their actual teacher are probably scrambling to try and figure out how to make "it all work" is still in the works. Then you add in the element of the new ways of teaching math that totally baffles parents and how they learned math. The perfect storm begins. No, like the blogger, I will say with 100% honesty. Homeschooling is not the same as what you are venturing into right now.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Home School in the Woods ~ A 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.


Over the past weeks my 6th grader has been working her way through a Project Passport World History Studies Lapbook on Ancient Egypt. I received a pdf download. The intended age for this project is for grades 3-8. The Passport will take your child on 25 stops and is intended to take between 8-12 weeks. There are over 50 projects and activities along the way. Your student will be engaged in:
  • History
  • Language Arts
  • Geography
  • Fine Arts
"Ancient Egypt offers an in-depth, hands-on view of the history of the ancient land of Egypt nestled along the Nile River with its impressive pyramids and temples, peaceful people, and conquering pharaohs. Students investigate the everyday life of the Egyptians, learn about their ancient social classes, family life, what they ate, what they wore, where the lived, etc. They will also learn about ancient Egyptian art, music, literature, science, medicine, architecture, government, religion, and much more. In addition, studies will include the chronological history of the pharaohs, from its shady beginnings under the half-mythical pharaoh Menes to its conquest by the Greeks and Romans. The unit is designed to teach students through kinesthetic means, utilizing the senses and motor skills. Where younger students may need more guidance and assistance with the projects, older students should be able to handle the majority of the unit independently. Each lesson contains text and a generous amount of projects providing flexibility of choice to fit each range of grade levels. This is done with the understanding that not all of the projects are required to be completed, a factor that varies with each situation and is also heavily influenced by the age of the students. One lesson also does not necessarily constitute one day — although many can be done in a day, projects chosen will determine the length of each lesson. In addition, a series of dramatized audio tours are included that take the students on a boat trip up the Nile, into an embalmer’s workshop, through the busy streets of the short lived capital of Akhetaton, into Goshen during the Exodus, as well as a number of other locations and events. Finally, there is an additional resource list of books, videos, and audio to add to the study if desired."

Egypt is unique in that it is located in the desert and it is surrounded by water protecting it from invaders in every direction. "The Nile itself becomes rough and turbulent with many cataracts - a fancy word for waterfalls - south of the land, making it difficult for any intruders to sail into the country." Egypt is close to the Fertile Crescent. This all helped them to become powerful and rich. Egypt is known as, "The Gift of the Nile." Along the way my daughter cut and pasted locations on the map of Egypt. 


One of the suggested books to read during this study is The Cat of Bubastes: A Tale of Ancient Egypt by G.A. Henty. I have a wonderful audio dramatization of this book that I had my daughter listen to.



On Stop 3 my daughter learned about Everyday Life. She learned about what the Egyptians wore and what they ate. Did you know that children usually went naked? Both men and women wore an abundance of both makeup and perfume, as well as jewelry. The clothing was mostly made of linen. The common diet was fruits and vegetables as well as various grains. If you were rich you also dined on meat. The soil was rich due to the flow of the Nile River.



There is a huge printable timeline that starts with The Flood and takes you all of the way to 30 BC. Along the way your student will cut and paste important events such as:
  • The Pyramids of Giza are built c. 2500 BC
  • Egyptian culture flourishes during the Middle Kingdom c. 1800 BC
  • Valley of the Kings is established as royal burial ground c. 15th century BC
  • Tutankhamun (King Tut) c. 1333-1323 BC
  • Cleopatra 69-30 BC





On Stop 7 my daughter had a lot of fun making a "Papyrus" Scroll. The Egyptians used reeds to make many things such as mats, ropes, sandals, and baskets. They also used them to make paper.











It took about a day for our papyrus to dry. My daughter had so much fun making it. A funny side note. When my husband came home from work the day that we made this he looked at it really closely and asked what it was. My daughter explained what it was. He said, "Well, why didn't you call me. You did this all wrong. You know I am a papyrologist, right?" You see my husband works for a non-profit organization and they travel all over the world photographing ancient Biblical manuscripts before they are desecrated or no long able to be read. They then put them out on the internet for the world to see. He then went on to explain what ancient papyrus really looked like. Pretty cool. That is okay, we had fun making our modern, pretend papyrus.



On Stop 8 my daughter made a Cartouche which is an oval shape with a name within it. "It was important to the Egyptians, as they believed if your name was not recorded somewhere before you died, you would just disappear." 



My older daughter who is an artist let my daughter use her ink well and pen to work on this project.



There are many projects throughout the stops that the students get to make. Some of the other projects are:
  • Dress Like An Egyptian (making items to dress up like an Egyptian)
  • Make a Mummy & Sarcophagus 
  • Make Canopic Jars
  • Making a Reed Boat
  • Make a Step Pyramid
  • Diorama of an Egyptian Temple 



This is just one of the many, many lap book projects that must be printed out, cut, pieced together, and then placed into the lap book. The lap book is definitely one of my daughters FAVORITE parts of the Home School in the Woods activities! They are definitely time consuming but in the end your child has such a deep sense of accomplishment and a GREAT overview of what they have learned in their study.



The Home School in the Woods lap book activities use colored paper for most every lap book activity. To be honest, for me, to keep the cost down, I simply print everything on white regular paper. Just the sheer amount of printing involved with Home School in the Woods is A LOT. For our household, the ink is expensive enough. I do encourage my kiddos to color their lap book activities.



Here is my daughter's notebook which holds her activities that do not go into her lap book as well as the daily written Stop's. The blue folder is her lap book. 


She is very proud of her lap book! She was excited that I printed out a colored Ancient Egypt cover from the Home School in the Woods Ancient Egypt files.



Each day your child will have a passport Stop that you can print out. In this stop they will read about something pertaining to Ancient Egyptian life. For example on Stop #5 they will learn about:
  • Graves, Pyramids, and the Valley of the Kings
  • Mummies
  • Funerals and Sarcophhagi
The readings provide excellent overviews into Egyptian life. Each stop is about 3 pages in length.



Each Stop has an Itinerary that has step-by-step instructions as to what the student is supposed to do for the day. It is wonderful! On the right hand side the icons show the student what they will be doing such as adding a postcard, completing a 3-D project, listening to an audio, reading, etc.. For projects supplies that are needed are listed and directions are given. There are also pictures in the files as to what lap book projects and 3-D projects are supposed to look like after they are completed. 



Labeling map of Ancient Egypt 








Putting activities in the lap book



Activities that go into the notebook. 






We had fun making some of the recipes in the Dining Out Guide.



Throughout the stops there are also some audio's for the students to listen to.










By the end of your Home School in the Woods Project Passport World History Studies Lapbook Study your student will have accumulated a huge amount of information on their area of study. The hands on study helps students to learn as they go. After they are done they will have a binder and a lap book full of wonderful information. As you can see, this is very involved and time consuming but IT IS SO WORTH THE TIME AND INVESTMENT! My children have greatly benefited from this method of learning. It tends to sink it more than just reading history in a book. Be sure to read what other Homeschool Review Crew Members have to say about Home School in the Woods. Some of my fellow crew members reviewed Time Travelers U.S. History StudiesComposers Activity-PakArtists Activity-PakMake-A-State Activity-PakU.S. Elections Lap-PakBenjamin Franklin K-2 Lap-PakKnights K-2 Lap-PakTimeline Collection: A Collection of Historical Timeline Figures.

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Monday, March 23, 2020

YWAM Publishing ~ A 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.

YWAM Publishing  has two wonderful series of biographies, one being, Christian Heroes: Then and Now. Over the past weeks my daughter has been reading C.S. Lewis: Master Storyteller by Janet & Geoff Benge. The other series is called Heroes of History. C.S. Lewis: Master Storyteller is 189 pages in length. It is intended for ages 10 and up. I also received a downloadable digital version of the highly recommended study guide entitled, Christian Heroes: Then & Now C.S. Lewis Unit Study Curriculum Guide. Each book in both series has an accompanying study guide.




C.S. Lewis: Master Storyteller

My high school aged daughter said, "From an early age, C.S. Lewis loved listening to stories. His love for stories quickly bloomed as he learned to write and record stories of his own. He went through periods of time during which literature could not be his main focus, but he always found a way to keep his love in his life. An example of this is when he went to war. When he had time to himself, he swapped books with the other soldiers. Lewis later became an Oxford lecturer, which gave him an opportunity to connect with others who shared his love of writing. His friendships with J.R.R. Tolkien started his journey from Atheism to Christianity. When he finally gives his profession of faith, he feels as if a whole new world has been opened up to him. He explored this world the only way he know how: through his writing. Later he created a club called the 'Inklings'. This was a club for writers to read their literary work and get feedback. This club challenged Lewis to be the best writer he could be. Lewis quickly became a very influential Christian, who many came to for advice. In conclusion, if I were to take one lesson away from this book, it would be that every passion can be used for the glory of God." 

C.S. Lewis Unit Study Curriculum Guide

The study guide is to be used to accompany the book. Within the study guide students will be challenged in all areas of academia including:
  • History
  • Geography
  • Essay Writing
  • Creative Writing
  • Reading Comprehension 
  • Public Speaking
  • Drama
  • Art
  • Scripture
  • Further Reading/Researching
The guide is set up so that all grade levels and abilities can find level appropriate material. There are both individual as well as group project suggestions. Students are encouraged to explore further. Depending on their learning style:
  • Essay Questions
  • Creative Writing
  • Hands-On Projects
  • Audio-Visual Projects
All of the above are included in the study guide. A section on Social Studies is included.


Each chapter has six questions. The first question is a vocabulary related question that is taken from the book. The page number is given. The second question is a simple factual question. The next two questions are reading comprehension questions. The last two questions are more open-ended questions where they want the student to give their opinion or interpretation. The first three questions are geared more for the lower grade students while the last three questions are definitely for upper grades. The fifth and sixth questions would make great group discussion questions if the book were being read in a classroom setting. The answers to the questions are in the back of the study guide. 


The Books and Resources is a wonderful addition to the guide as it gives the student a wonderful launch pad as to where to go to further their study on C.S. Lewis. This includes both books and movies. I know that often times my kiddos get interested in a subject or person after reading about it or him/her. These resources are so nice to have. 



Our family loves these Heroes series and have many of the books in our own personal library. I would most definitely recommend all of these books. Be sure to read what other Homeschool Review Crew Members had to say about C.S. Lewis and the other wonderful people found in the, Christian Heroes: Then and Now series as well as the, Heroes of History series.  

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Wednesday, March 18, 2020

The Action Bible Anytime Devotions ~ A 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 Action Bible Anytime Devotions by David C. Cook  is a devotional for pre-teens ages, 8-12. Each devotional includes colorful Bible illustrations. The book is softcover and is 195 pages in length. All scripture references are from the NIV. On pages 14-15 of the devotional there is a, To Parents & How to Use Guide. It contains 90 devotionals that will help to encourage and build up your pre-teen on topics such as:
  • trust
  • faith
  • love
  • service
  • courage
  • kindness
  • strength
  • hope
Each devotional begins with a Bible verse. Next, there is a short relevant story that your pre-teen will be able to fully relate to. Third, Biblical wisdom and truths are tied into the devotion. Often times examples from the Bible are given that perfectly blend with the story and verse. Next, there are several bullet points. Some of these include:
  • questions
  •  they may ask your child to pray a simple prayer
  • statements for deeper thinking on a particular subject or thought
  • may challenge your child to step outside of their comfort zone in sharing their faith with others
  • encouraging your pre-teen to spend more time with the Lord
  • reading scripture
  • activities 
Lastly, there is a Take It Further section in which you child is encouraged to read further in the scriptures. Bible references are given for them to look up and read.

Let's take a look at one of the devotionals to see what they are like. 

In light of what we are dealing with around the world with the Covid-19 Pandemic, I thought it would be fitting to look at one of the devotionals that talks about being anxious. 


When You're Anxious


 The scripture reference is Mark 4:40-41,
"He said to His disciples, 'Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?' They were terrified and asked each other, 'Who is this? even the wind and the waves obey Him!'"

The practical story is about a girl named Maddie. She is feeling anxious about two things. First, storms and possible flooding in the area. Second, anxiety over a lockdown drill at school. 

The Biblical reference is of Jesus and his disciples in the boat on the Sea of Galilee when the violent storm erupted. The disciples were afraid. Jesus stood up, reached His hand out and quieted the storm. 

The key truth to remember is, "In times of turmoil, it can be hard to remember that Jesus is with you--- to remember to have faith. But Jesus is all-powerful and can calm the scariest things. The key is to have faith that He is there and is able to help you."

The bullet points:
  • Remember God is in control
  • A prayer
  • A project making a boat and writing inside the boat your worries/overwhelming you
Taking It Further, your pre-teen is to read Joshua 1:9 and Philippians 4:6. 


Overall, I think that this devotional is really great. It is appropriate for the age range suggested. It is the perfect length and has great content. Be sure to check out what my fellow Homeschool Review Crew Members had to say about The Action Bible Anytime Devotions. 

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The Mayflower at Cape Cod ~ A 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 t...