Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Arbordoun's Calendula Cream and Silky Day Lotion

Silky Day Lotion and Calendula Cream by Arbordoun is a line of handmade all natural skin care products. The Silky Day Lotion comes in an 8 oz plastic bottle. The foundational ingredient in the lotion is shea butter. The other ingredients in the lotion are distilled water, apricot kernel oil, extracts of calendula, burdock root, witch hazel, wild carrot seed; saint john’s wort infused in apricot kernel oil, xanthan gum, rose hip seed oil, vitamin e, lecithin, and lavender oil. The lotion is designed to be used daily over the entire body including the face. The Calendula Cream comes in 1 oz, 4 oz, 9 oz, and 16 oz glass jars. The ingredients are in the cream are olive oil, purified water, herbal extracts of calendula, Oregon grape, comfrey, aloe, vegetable glycerin, beeswax, vitamin e, lecithin, lavender oil. The price for the 8 oz lotion is $29.95. The prices for the creams are 1 oz for $10.74, 4 oz for $20.34, 9 oz for 39.54, 16 oz for $53.40. 
Both products can used for skin of all ages. The products, being that they are all natural, are non-toxic and even edible. Arbordoun does not promote eating it! The water-based ingredients are readily absorbed into the skin. I suffer from migraines and strong smells can easily give me a migraine. These products have very subtle scents. The scents are also very pleasing. The Calendula Cream is not thick and doesn’t leave a greasy feel. A small amount of the cream goes a long way. The herbs in the cream have historically been used to promote skin healing and they also have antibacterial properties. I no longer have little ones, but it is said that the cream is great for diaper rash. Those that have used it have said that after only two applications diaper rash has completely disappeared. I sure could have used this with mine years ago. My daughter suffers from eczema, and she has been using it on some of her stubborn spots. The cream has helped soothe and keep her eczema from getting worse. I tend to have very dry skin and this cream has greatly helped to lock in the moisture after showers and keep my skin not as dry and itchy. It works great to apply after washing your hands. With Covid still around I am washing my hands all the time. A pea size amount rubbed into your hands and your hands remain soft. Using this cream after shaving your legs makes them baby soft and smooth. The cream is a bit like a mini spa treatment for your skin. The Silky Day Lotion supports and balances your skin. You need to shake the lotion very well or the oil tends to not mix with the shea butter completely. The lotion is oilier than the cream. Both leave the skin very soft and smooth. I am drawn to both products due to the use of all natural ingredients.
I prefer the cream over the lotion. For me the drawback to the lotion is the need to really shake the lotion to get the oil to incorporate. Even after shaking vigorously when squeezing out the lotion the oil and the shea butter was still separated. Being a busy mom, it is nice to just open the jar of cream and swipe the amount out that I need and close the jar back up. No need to shake a bottle or worry if I squirt out too much. I also did not like the oily feel and look that the lotion gave. This is just my personal preference.
I would recommend both products to my friends and family. These products would be great gifts. 


-Product review by Jennifer Ladewig, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, November 2021

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

A Great Christmas Gift For Puzzle and Medical Nerds


Dr. Livingston's Anatomy Puzzle would make a perfect Christmas gift for the puzzle or medical NERD. Get your wrapping paper ready because you will need it to wrap all seven of the boxes that will eventually make this 10' human cross section puzzle. 

Thursday, November 11, 2021

The Giving Manger

I received this complimentary product through the 
Homeschool Review Crew.

The Giving Manger from WorthyKids is a great way for families to focus on giving and keeping the focus of Christmas on Christ's birth. The boxed set includes: The Giving Manger: book written by Allison Hottinger. The book is hardcover. The story lays out the Giving Manger tradition. Wooden Manger: to be placed waiting to be filled with straw. The wood is unfinished. Bundle of Straw: pieces of straw to be placed in the manger after each act of kindness. Baby Jesus: to be placed in the manger on Christmas Day. This set is made to last so that your family can keep the tradition going year after year. 

This is intended to be started on December 1st
and ends on Christmas Day by putting baby Jesus in the manger. 

The cut paper illustrations are simple yet pair perfectly with message. 
A child's attention will be focused but not so engrossed by stimulating 
illustrations that it keep their attention away from what is being read to them. 

The book explains what you will be doing and the reason behind it. This will be 
backed up with Biblical truths and scripture. 

The manger is very easy to assemble. You can have one of your 
children assemble the manger. Place the manger in a central location 
in your house that is open for all to see. 

The straw comes neatly tied up. Baby Jesus is simple. 

In the back of the book there is a two page section entitled, Manger Moments. This gives your family service ideas. There is a section for children, for teens, and one for families. There is also a page entitled, Manger Memories. There is a place to write in the year and then what your children or family did that year to serve others. 

I love the verse, "And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:17. In giving to others we need to be sure to that our children understand that while it does make us feel good it ultimately brings God glory. The giving to others symbolizes God's gift to us in giving us His Only Son born as flesh to ultimately take the sins of man upon Himself once for all. "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

The Giving Manger Set is a wonderful way to instill the joy of giving to your children. In the process they will bless others and keep their focus on what is truly important which is God's greatest gift to the world - His only Son, Jesus Christ. With each act of kindness the straw in the manger begins to grow. On Christmas Day your child or children are able to place Jesus on a full bed of straw. Please be sure to read what my Fellow Crew Members had to say about The Giving Manger. 

On the website they also have FREE printable Service Ideas and Lists

I did not receive this for my review, a new addition that can be purchased separately is a set of fifty-five Kindness Cards with simple and easy ideas to help inspire the spread of kindness. You and your children can randomly choose a card or look through the cards and spread joy. With examples such as: clean up a mess you didn't make, deliver a treat to a neighbor and ring the doorbell and run, or make and deliver cards to a nursing home or hospital.  

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Monday, November 1, 2021

Progeny Press

I received this complimentary product through the 
Homeschool Review Crew.

The Frankenstein Study Guide from Progeny Press is just one of the many study guides available to accompany some of the greatest classic novels for high school students. Along with the study guides you are also able to purchase the novels on the Progeny Press site as well. There are three options for obtaining the study guide: a physical workbook, a CD, or an E-Guide. For this review I received the E-Guide which was a downloadable PDF file. You get access to the file immediately and have access the download for one year after purchase. You are able to use the guide with multiple students or even a class. Progeny Press offers free technical support if you have problems downloading your E-Guide. The Frankenstein E-Guide and book are recommended for grades 10-12. The study guide is 90 pages in length. Progeny Press offers study guides for all grade levels. 

The genre is British Literature, Science Fiction. 
The setting is Imaginative, Europe, 1800's. 

Frankenstein is a story about a young student of science Victor Frankenstein written by Mary Shelley. Professor Frankenstein creates a very grotesque part human part monster during a science experiment. Shelley came up with the idea for the book after her travels to Gernsheim, Germany near the Frankenstein Castle as well as Genova, Switzerland. While in Switzerland her then lover and future husband, Percy Shelley and several companions had been discussing electricity produced by chemical action and many other topics of supernatural and strange phenomena. They decided to challenge one another to see who could come up with the most repulsive horror story. This is what lead to Mary Shelley's, Frankenstein. 

"A brilliant student, Victor Frankenstein, comes upon the knowledge of creating life. Expecting glory and hoping to benefit humanity, Frankenstein creates a man - only to discover that creation carries more consequences and responsibilities than he foresaw. The resulting tragedy speaks directly to some of the issues facing us in science and medicine today.

Years later, Robert Walton is a young man driven by his desire for knowledge and exploration - he wants to make his mark on the world. But he finds something entirely different. As the sea ice closes in on his ship, he and his crew sight a strange, gigantic being driving a dogsled across the frozen wasteland, finally disappearing into the distance. The next day they find an ill and dying man floating on a fragment of ice and persuade him to come on board for his safety. As his ship lies trapped by the surrounding ice, Walton spends many hours talking with the ill man, a Victor Frankenstein of Geneva. As they talk, Frankenstein slowly reveals his story to Walton.

By using the study guide students will learn:
  • Author Biography
  • Background Information
  • Before You Read Activities
  • Vocabulary Words Used Throughout the Novel Utilizing a Variety of Activities to Stimulate Retention and Growth
  • Literary Techniques
  • Moral Lessons and Character Values
  • Activities and Writing Assignments
  • Suggestions for Further Reading
My daughter said,
"The number of questions this curriculum requires its students to answers while reading this book might be seen as going into depth, but this is not the case since some of the questions that are asked are not necessary to comprehend the book. Questions that include literary device definitions helps one understand what he or she is reading because they must go into depth by thinking through their answer and explaining it using examples from the book. There are fun activities to complete at the beginning of each question section that are more than just a break than the classic question. Some of these include crossword puzzles, matching the word with their definition, and various games with synonyms. These activities allow the student to have fun while also using their brain to think about what they're reading and are about to read. Doing as little as finding a synonym or matching a definition can give the student a better grasp of what they are reading."  

My daughter opted to print out the whole 90 page E-Guide and put it
in a three-ring binder. 

Here is some of her work. 

Students also have the option of typing their answers in the PDF. If your student
chooses to use this format their work will be saved as they go. 

The crossword puzzle at the beginning of Chapters 11-16 must be printed out. 

I have used Progeny Press study guides for my children a handful of times and have always impressed with the content. The study guides really help the student understand what they are reading. Students get a brief overview of the book and learn about the author. They also get a feel for the background which includes historically what was going on, politically what was happening during the time the author was writing, literary movements of the time, and science and discoveries happening. All these components come together "To teach our children to think clearly, to understand literature, and to rely on the scripture for truth and values, and enjoy themselves while they do it!" Be sure to check out what my Fellow Crew Members had to say about Progeny Press E-Guides. Crew Members reviewed E-Guides from 1st through the 12th grade. 

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Friday, October 29, 2021

Greg Landry's Homeschool Science


I received this complimentary product through the 
Homeschool Review Crew.

Over the past weeks my daughter has been working through a self-paced course from Greg Landry's Homeschool Science entitled, Embryology / Endocrinology. This particular class is a college prep, one semester course. The seven recorded lessons can be watched at your own pace and are around 30 minutes on average. Each lesson has a study guide and a PDF provided with the class. The suggested grade range is 7-12. Some labs are suggested but are not required. Students have email access to Professor Landry in case they have question or need help throughout the course. The course covers the development of a baby from conception through birth. With regards to Endocrinology it covers the pancreas and blood glucose control, diabetes, pineal gland, and hormones. 

Students log-in through Canvas. Under their Dashboard their classes that 
they are signed up for will be displayed. All your student has to do is click 
on the class to begin. Our class is self-paced so my daughter were able to
 get started right away and work at her own pace. I am not quite sure how the 
live classes work and what that set-up is like. 

This is the Table of Contents for the Study Guide. 

This is from Lesson One. Professor Landry is explaining how to write up a lab.

Lesson Two begins the study of Reproduction including the female anatomy,
the monthly menstrual cycle...

Professor Landry does a great job at explaining a woman's monthly cycle,
how each month an egg matures and is released from the ovary into the fallopian 
tube. If sperm is waiting for the egg fertilization usually happens close to
the top of the Fallopian tube. He then goes on the explain sperm meeting egg,
conception, implantation, etc...

I love how Professor Landry multiple times brings into this study how
amazing our Creator is! This is one of those times. Only our wonderful
Creator could make THIS HAPPEN...A BABY. 

For some of the diagrams in the lessons students will be asked to study a 
chart or an organ and then label on a blank chart or organ. In this example
students have just been learning about fetal heart circulation and the changes
that take place after birth. Students are asked to study the heart and learn the 
parts of the heart and then use the blank heart and label the parts of the heart. 

Here are some of the lesson questions and charts that my daughter filled out
as she listened to the lessons. 

Overall, I thought that Greg Landry is extremely knowledgeable. I actually listened in on many of the lessons and enjoyed them. He does a wonderful job at explaining the information to the students. I liked the step-up of the course and loved the self-paced option. My daughter also liked that it was self-paced and that she could do it on her own time. I kind of wish that Professor Landry would break up the course into two sections, maybe 7-9 grades and 10-12 grades and make the curriculum a bit more challenging for the upper grades. My daughter is in the 12th grade and both she and I found the curriculum to be a bit elementary. She finished it in two weeks. I have no idea how this would take any student a full semester to complete. In my opinion there is definitely not enough material to make this a semester long course. I also do not see how this could be considered a college prep course. I have six children and several that have taken college prep courses in the sciences and this most definitely is not a college prep course. The term college prep is very deceiving to the person that is signing up for this course. With that said, I would not recommend this course to others looking for a semester long, college prep course. I would maybe recommend this course to parents that want to introduce their child to reproduction. I think that this would be a great course for a 7th grader. With that said, please be sure to read what my Fellow Crew Members had to say about Greg Landry's Homeschool Science curriculum. Please remember, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Also, what doesn't work for one family may be the perfect fit for the next family. 

Thursday, October 21, 2021

10 Questions Every Teen Should Ask (and Answer) about Christianity


To discern if your teen is ready for the contents in, 10 Questions Every Teen Should Ask (and Answer) about Christianity, McLaughlin says, “If your children aren’t ready for the entire Harry Potter series, they may not be ready for this book either.” So, after answering that question you can know how to proceed. 


How can you believe the Bible is true? 


Does God care when we hurt?


“What happens to babies when they die?”

How can you believe in Heaven and Hell? 

“If Jesus was resurrected, why didn’t he just appear to everyone, why was it such a secret?”

These two questions are from my 3rd-5th grade Sunday School class. The list of questions asked is quite exhaustive. While there is an admirable quality to “childlike faith,” there is no getting around the fact that teens ask hard questions. If they aren’t asking them, there’s a good chance they are hiding them.

Teenagers are deep thinkers. When they ask questions, we need to take these opportunities to talk with them and not just say, “let’s talk later.” As we talk we need to back up what we are saying with scripture. 

Is the Bible reliable? Absolutely! We need to make sure that our teens understand that everything they read from Genesis to Revelation is 100% truth. Can God really send people to Hell? These are serious and relevant questions that Christians of all ages wrestle with. It is okay if you don’t have all the answers that your teen may ask. You may have to seek answers from your paster, Bible teacher, and strong biblical resources. 


In 10 Questions Every Teen Should Ask (and Answer) about Christianity, McLaughlin takes arguments and then structures them within the framework of the average teen. Drawing from pop culture references that teenagers would immediately recognize such as Harry Potter, Moana, and Taylor Swift, McLaughlin expertly navigates common objections to Christianity. Sometimes balancing tough topics is hard but McLaughlin does a fantastic job at dealing with the complex topics such as evolution, pornography, and abortion.

I love that McLaughlin uses Jude 22, “have mercy on those who doubt.” She truly wants this book to be a tool and help for teens that are wrestling with what they believe by offering strong arguments from the Bible. 


My concerns with the book…


1.     Being a married woman and talking about her attraction to women. Not okay with that. 

2.     She says, “Believing the Bible isn’t just for stupid people.”

3.     She addresses evolution but not the creation.

4.     She talks about falling in love with a girl

5.     She says, “…hell is when God fights with us.” What??


These are just a few of the concerns that I have with the book and for this reason I am not sure that I would recommend this book to others. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

LightSail for Homeschoolers


I received this complimentary product through the 
Homeschool Review Crew.

LightSail for Homeschoolers is a complete and adaptive language arts platform that focuses on four major areas readingwritingvocabulary, and fluency. LightSail has a Young Learners program for PreK-3rd grade and a Literary Solutions program for 3rd-12th grade. LightSail offers both secular and faith-based reading options. With ChildSafe Content Controls parents are able to control what their child is able to see and read. Built in assessments are a great way for parents to see how their child is coming along. I was given the opportunity to have the Premium Subscription that is for up to 5 children and is good for 1 year. 

LightSail for Homeschoolers Reading has a vast library of over 10,000 books for all ages. Your child is able to create their own library with specific interests and content that is targeted to their reading level. You are also able to purchase books within the LightSail program. Purchasing a book through the LightSail site enables your child not only to read the book but it has extra features built into each book such as fill-in-the-blank questions, multiple choice questions, short answer, and even mini video's that relate to the content. As your child reads their books the program is constantly monitoring their progress and comprehension. 

LightSail for Homeschoolers Writing  teaches the mechanics of writing. The writing modules enables students to practice their writing skills using writing prompts utilizing a variety of types of writing. To help your child in their writing there are graphic organizers that step-by-step guide your child through their writing. As your child's teacher you are able to give your child feedback and instructions along the way through written, verbal, and even video recordings. The Writing Workshop uses a game type feature. There is a virtual wheel that your child spins and depending on what it lands on your child is given grade appropriate assignments. There is a seven step writing process within your child's graphic organizer which includes:

  1. Brainstorming
  2. I Know
  3. I Wonder
  4. Research
  5. I Learned
  6. In Review
  7. Complete

LightSail for Homeschoolers Vocabulary takes a spiral approach to teaching vocabulary. What is a spiral approach? LightSail works on your child's spelling and vocabulary that is both personalized for your child and immersive. Your child will be introduced to new words and their spelling in a variety of ways and contexts. Depending on your child's reading level, vocabulary words will be suggested. You can also choose words for your child based upon their Lexile level as well as adding in sight words or word families. The vocabulary module has multiple ways to assess your child's familiarity with words. In vocabulary assessments student will be asked to define the word, give the part of speech, give a synonym for the word, and writing the words in sentences.   

LightSail for Homeschoolers Fluency helps students gain confidence in reading as well as accuracy. Measuring a child's fluency after they become independent readers is important for several reasons: students may be skipping words that they are unfamiliar with and do not know how to pronounce. It is important to know long it takes a child to read given material and how well they are comprehending it. Knowing your child's speed of reading is a good measure to insure that over time they are advancing. There is a read-aloud setting in which you pick a book from your child's library and select a paragraph from the book. Your child reads aloud the passage and they are then able to play back what they have just read. If they struggled the first time they can continue to attempt to improve their reading. LightSail has a Running Record which allows the program to count your child's words per minute. You as a parent are able to listen to your child's recording and mark words that they have omitted, words that they have added into the reading, words pronounced wrong, etc. LightSail will then tabulate your child's fluency and words per minute based on your markings in the reading. LightSail Fluency also has an extremely helpful tool in which your child can retell in their own words what they have just read. A grading rubric is also part of the LightSail program to help make grading easier for parents. Recordings of your child's reading is stored for a full year. This is a wonderful tool to see how your child has progressed over a years time. 

Before your child gains access to their libraries they are given a test to see what their Lexile Level is. I am not sure if it is different for all ages and grades. My daughter read passages and then had to answer a question based on the passage. She got to question 45 I think. 

This is a Grade by Grade Lexile Level chart so that you
can see where your child falls. 

My daughter chose to dive into Uncle Tom's Cabin. 

Throughout the reading students will find blue boxes. They then 
have to select a word from a list on the right hand side that best fits into
the text. If the student gets the word wrong it will show the student the
correct word that should have been chosen. That correct word is then
underlined in red in the text page. 

Throughout the book there are words that are highlighted. Students can click
on these words to watch a short video. This particular video talked about what
it was like for the slaves as they came over on the ships. 

There is a function built into the book where the student can click
on Parts of Speech in the box on the right hand side of the screen.

Adjectives were boxed in green. 

Adverbs were in yellow. 

Nouns were purple.

Pronouns were blue. It then went on to show all of the parts
of speech. 

When a student was done reading for the day LightSail saves your
child's place in the book. It shows the length of time your child spent
reading and the total minutes read. The number of Clozes are also shown.
Clozes are exercises, tests, or assessments consisting of a portion of
language with certain items, words, or signs removed, where the participate
is asked to replace the missing language item. 

I was very excited to be able to have the opportunity to get the Lexile score for another 
kiddo who doesn't like to read. I have been wondering if she is dealing with
some learning issues and I was truly relieved when after she completed the assessment
her score came back right at grade level at the high end of the meets and almost
in the exceeds category. Her score has increased by 42 points in 6 weeks. She is in a very
rigorous literature based curriculum in co-op. I guess all of her reading has paid off. 

My daughter is studying geography this year. She used LightSail to read about various
places around the world. Here are a few of the examples of what she came across. 

I was impressed with the sheer amount of available content available to students. The entire World Book Encyclopedia is included, the World Book's Atlas, and the World Book Timeline. The Encyclopedia has educational features built into it that are absolutely genius. The variety of books available from comic books to the classics and everything in between. There is something that will appeal to everyone. LightSail even has a Personalized Reader Tool for the child with reading difficulties. Whether your child just struggles with reading or they are diagnosed with dyslexia, ADHD, or various other learning issues, LightSail has you covered. Be sure to read what my Fellow Crew Members had to say about Lightsail for Homeschoolers. 

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Arbordoun's Calendula Cream and Silky Day Lotion

Silky Day Lotion and Calendula Cream by Arbordoun is a line of handmade all natural skin care products. The Silky Day Lotion comes in an 8 o...