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 have been a part of the Homeschool Review Crew for quite a few years now and I have to say this has been such a blessing in so many ways. We continue to learn and explore various materials and organizations that we may never have, if not for this great group. One of those is The Critical Thinking Co.™ and whenever we see their materials available we get pretty excited because we all enjoy their materials. Right now we are practicing our critical thinking skills with Mastering Logic & Math Problem Solving. We received a physical copy of this book but it is also available as an e-book. This is recommended for grades 6-9 and has ten chapters full of great problems to solve!

This book is full of brain teasers, word problems involving algebra, topology, ratio, number theory and lots more. Not sure about your ability? This is one of those books you can hand to your kids and then watch them dive in. I know the older I get, the more I feel like critical thinking is not my strong suit – I mean, some days I don’t remember what I had for breakfast! ha

Great advice!

This book includes a few pages of introduction and guidance. Starting with a quick reading about, What is Problem Solving and moving on to discuss ways to find puzzles more fun. The goal here i to help our kids develop strategies and confidence in their ability so that they see how fun the challenge of the puzzle can actually be! There are even some tips for mom and dad so if our kids do struggle, we can help encourage them along the way. As you progress through the book, ideally, you are learning how to gather information, visualize and solve all sorts of complex problems.

My boys were curious when this book came in the mail. My oldest son tends to be very reluctant when it comes to books of any kind and while his brother loves to read, he also tends to require a bit of a push to do something new. Yet he is has a curious mind; likes to know the inner workings of things, so in the long run it really wasn’t hard to get him involved. Of course it helped him a lot to keep an eye on the questions the book listed along with their General Problem Solving Strategies.

A good word problem in mathematics requires some thought process beyond a quick arithmetic solution…It can be a puzzle, brainteaser, game or any problem that engages the reader in using a strategy.

My oldest son has always enjoyed debating, logic and philosophy. Anything that gives him the opportunity to think outside the box. He has one of those minds that just works in an unusual way. He also tends to be very stubborn and resistant to typical academic work so there are many times that these sorts of materials become a huge blessing. It often takes awhile for him to get into a book, but when he does, I like to think that he is really getting something out of it. Aside from the practice of mathematics, reading and critical thinking there are so many other benefits to be had. These benefits are even discussed at the beginning of each chapter.

We may not always think about the different ways that just one thing can really impact our kids so it is a wonderful reminder to see it notated throughout the pages of this book. Relationships of one to another – knowledge of verbs and adjectives – patterns and sequences. As our children work through these pages, hopefully, they are seeing how these things can relate to problems outside of the pages of this book. Careful reading and critiquing help as they go along, developing a greater ability take care in what they read and develop a deeper power of observation. As my boys learned, sometimes the struggle to solve the puzzle comes from simply slowly down and paying more careful attention to the details given. Going too fast will make it all the more difficult. What a great way to encourage them to slow down and take their time in things.

Honestly, we have so many great materials from The Critical Thinking Co. We love them all! If you want to try them out be sure to sign up for their free weekly puzzle delivered right to your inbox. They have these for grades K-8 and this is a great tool to encourage our kids in their thinking. What a great way to inspire that out of the box thinking in them all!

The Critical Thinking Co. Can be Found on Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheCriticalThinkingCo
Twitter: www.twitter.com/criticalthinks
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thecriticalthinkingco/
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/criticalthinks
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsVEVNa6UpVqXxo_t5sbb7Q

Be sure to click on the image below to read about other the many other great materials that members of our Crew received from The Critical Thinking Co.™

Mastering Logic & Math Problem Solving {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 just love art around here. I have four kids from five to fourteen and every one of them enjoys drawing and painting. A couple of them even enjoy sculpting and metal working. I have one who is trying to figure out how and when to build a small forge in our backyard. Since I love to encourage them in their creativity, I am especially fond of Artistic Pursuits Inc. and their elementary art curriculum designed to engage the mind within various time periods. Artists that Shaped the Italian Renaissance is one of the many books available for beginning a student’s journey of learning.  This is recommended for kindergarten through third grade but honestly, my older boys really got involved in this one too. There is always something to learn!

We received a hardcover copy of the book which included Blu-ray and DVD disks. These are also now available as an online course. The pages within this book are full of amazing illustrations, both of student works and also famous artists from this time. With 18 lessons that tell the stories of artists who shaped so much of the world we know today we learn and apply their understanding to create their own ideas and works of art. Isn’t that a fun way to learn a bit of history? 🙂

The materials needed for throughout this book are listed right at the front – honestly we had everything we needed minus a quality watercolor set. They provide recommendations for great, and affordable, materials too so we were able to get started while we waited. While you don’t have to do the lessons in order, it does help to keep organized, if you (like me maybe) struggle with keeping it all together. Each lesson only takes about ten minutes too so for the littlest ones, don’t worry, they can totally do this! My five year old did!

My younger son loved how this started out with a map showing the area the Renaissance began in. He appreciates being able to see where it all was – we even looked it up on Google Maps so he could see what it looks like today – super fun!

I confess, there were many artists within the pages of the book that I just did not know. And here I call myself an art teacher (mentor). Cimabue was one of the many we learned quite a bit about. I did not mention that this guy used to skip school to watch the masters at work – of course can you blame him? Real life is so much more exciting and such a more involved way of learning. Get in there and get dirty. 🙂

As we explored the different works of art, there were questions for consideration. In some cases there is an item to count, in others we are asked to consider the emotions seen or not seen on the faces of those in the work of art. How do gestures show feelings? I have been looking for ways, encouraging my children, to be more aware of the body language and facial expressions of others.

As we explored Limbourg, we enjoyed a story of brothers who painted for a special Duke. This was especially fascinating as it went into detail regarding the making of the brushes used, the blue paint made from crushed lapis lazuli. What fascinating things to explore! I admit we don’t often consider how or where are materials are created. History can be so exciting.

We used chalk pastels. We learned and designed our own scratch paper. My girls enjoyed landscapes and fresco paintings. In each project we are asked to consider the colors, the background. What are we seeing? How do the colors go together?

Consider the location, what those in the work may be doing or thinking. I especially love these things throughout the book that encourage us to go beyond seeing and creating – to consider the story behind the art. I know my youngest daughter always has the most wonderful stories to go with every drawing and painting she makes. And that is most definitely a fun part of the art of creating.

For those of you wanting to get your feet wet and see what Artistic Pursuits is all about, they are offering a free video each week this summer. Be sure to get yours here. All sorts of fun for every age.

You can Find Artistic Pursuits Inc on Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArtisticPursuitsInc/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ARTisticPursui1
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/artisticpursuitsinc/

Be sure to click the banner below too and read more reviews from members of the Crew. There are eight book in all in this series and we had quite a few to choose from. I am sure you will find one your kids would love!

Art Through The Ages & Art for Children {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 compensated in any other way.

Making math fun and engaging!

With four children of varying ages and abilities when it comes to math, we are always looking for materials that will both be enjoyable and also enriching. I still remember (not fondly) math classes when I was a child. If I am honest, I use my fingers to do math to this day, I want my kids to all have a greater mastery with math than I did. Also, with kids who have so many skills and curiosities, they can go so far, if they are able to have a good, strong relationship with math. We have been looking for something; having the chance to use a variety of materials from Page a Day Math was a real blessing. For our family we chose to obtain digital downloads of the Pre-K Math Starter Kit along with the Review Book Bundle: PreK, Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division and the CURSIVE and PRINT Handwriting Packs.

Love when I can print pages as we go.
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My kids really aren’t big fans of worksheets. Can we say, lots of grumbling and complaining? They were not thrilled to hear that I had math and handwriting workbooks for them to do each day. Not until they saw all those cute doggies! My kids love animals so anything including them, is a real win for them all!

We downloaded all of the workbooks right away and my kids got started. My youngest daughter (5) worked through the Pre-K book. My older daughter (8) started with addition. My younger son (10) wanted to work on multiplication. My oldest son (14) decided to work on firming up his division. He is starting Algebra right now and really struggling with some things so we are glad to take some time and go back a bit if that will help.


My daughter LOVES Flo ❤

There are so many opportunities for our children to explore that all require a strong understanding and ability in math. As my children become involved in welding, carpentry, building and design they see how great in value math really is. WIth a budding veterinarian, engineer and welder we need to ensure that they have the skills that will be needed to move forward well. A Page a Day ensures that our kids our not just solving math equations but also mastering those facts which are the foundation for all things to come.

Just a page a day is all it takes, front and back. Tracing and solving problems as they go along. I think my kids took about ten minutes a day to complete the page (that includes any corrections they needed to make). With all the adorable illustrations on each page, and plenty of fun and encouraging sayings, this is a great way to learn and grow in math fact fluency.

You are becoming a super math student! Hurray!

Even my youngest enjoying working through the pages in these workbooks. Just one a day. Slow and steady. From basic addition to subtraction, multiplication and division, these are a wonderful way to encourage our kids and get them to a place where they maybe even enjoy doing math.

We also used a number of the handwriting books since I have a couple kiddos that really need to work on their handwriting. They have both cursive and print – we made sure to have both so that they could choose. My older daughter really struggles but also loves how pretty cursive is so it was nice for her to learn as she goes along. The very first one we chose was Being Grateful (it’s been an issue here lately). My younger son really loves science so I thought it was a great way for him to learn some of those basic words (he looked up definitions too as we went along) for Biology, Chemistry and Physics. We also have handwriting ebooks for Sight Words, Merry Music and Scenic States to work through.

With a lot of these, we tend to do the worksheet and then find some fun videos or books to help understanding. My kids are definitely visual learners so it always means more to them seeing what they are learning. Especially with the States, it’s an adventure as we write and explore Yellowstone, Bison, Everglades and all sorts of other fun things related to the different States.

Since we tend to be more “unschool” as of late these were all just great ways to get some work done but also stoke those embers. We cannot let the fire go out. It’s been a crazy time all over the place and I think it is good to have things like this to help encourage our kids to learn and see the good things that are out there. Even the numbers.

I love how some as we completed various pages in these ebooks, my kids would get curious and begin exploring how and when the Golden Gate Bridge was built. Where and why the Everglades are so special. They spent time learning about Chickadees and figuring out what an Aloo Gobi is. As we wrote our way through Fabulous Food, we have found quite a few new things we plan to try in the near future.

My kids really enjoy these because they know just what to do each day. One page a day. I love that they not only are practicing necessary skills but that so often things they are tracing and writing spark a desire to know more. We need more things that encourage our children to live in a way that embraces learning all sorts of things. These are fun, simple and perfect ways to get our kids focused so that they really can be, they want to be.

Find Page A Day Math on Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PageADayMath/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pageadaymath/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/PageADayMath/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8UIYkpR0df46oOZ05Ncvqw

I encourage you to read the reviews of other members of the Review Crew who used their Math Kits, Math Review Books and Handwriting books.

Page a Day Math {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.

Memoria Press Logo

Is anyone else a huge fan of Memoria Press? I admit, every time I see this name, I am certain that whatever it is, I want it. I have always loved Latin, although I have never taken any type of course myself. My younger son? He has such a need to understand why a word is what it is. He needs to understand language development – why – so when we had the chance to delve into First Form Latin Complete set, I was definitely on board. This is a beginner program designed for older students (middle school or advanced later grammar/elementary school levels).

We received the  First Form Latin Complete Set which includes:

  •  Student Text, containing 34 lessons
  • Teacher Manual  which has scripted lessons, a recitation schedule, lots of great teaching notes, and “FYI” sections with lots of nice “extra information.”
  • Student Workbook has 4-6 pages of exercises for each lesson to practice and master learning.
  • Quizzes & Tests contains reproducible weekly quizzes and unit tests so we know they are really getting the material being taught
  • Teacher Key (for Workbook, Quizzes, & Tests) has answers to both workbook and tests
  • Pronunciation CD for all vocabulary and grammar forms
  • Flashcards for vocabulary and also Latin sayings
  • DVDs (3 discs, 9 hours, 15-20 minutes/lesson) with Highlands Latin School teacher Jessica W weatson. These have very helpful on-screen notes, illustrations, diagrams, recitations, and lots more!

That is an amazing variety of materials to help anyone, in any style of learning, get started and make sense of Latin. I want to reiterate here, I have never taught or studied Latin formally myself and my son (10) hasn’t either. I know for many, there is that fear that keeps us from really diving in to language learning. Especially when its Greek or Latin, But, never worry, never fear, Memoria Press is here. With all of these materials, there is no way that my son and I can’t learn together. With this set, it is SO easy. 🙂

Right away, I dug into the Lesson Overview, found in the Teacher Manual. Turns out a full week’s schedule consists of five things :

  1. Lesson
  2. Workbook
  3. 3.Oral Drill
  4. Quiz/Test
  5. Optional History Resources

First things first. Watch the video that corresponds to the lesson. I think this is vital because, if I were to try this without it, I might just be totally lost. We kept both the student and teacher manual with us as we watched. So we could follow along and take notes if necessary. I tend to be a note taker myself. My younger son, as he watched, would fill in his workbook page. He finds it a simple way to stay focused and also remember things as he goes along. I love how he already knows how he best learns. 🙂

Once it’s time for the oral drill, we put on the pronunciation CD (which all of my kids have a blast listening to) and once he feels prepared we take on some drills to make sure we are ready to move on to the next thing. My son loves to time himself in the drills; he also loves using the flashcards that came with this set. I actually will find him now and then just sorting through the cards in study on his own.

I really am impressed at how well he is doing and how much he is enjoying learning Latin. I thought it was great that he even got himself connected to a language app so he can play a bit more with Latin each day. Being that I just love languages, I admit that I was rather nervous due to his lack of interest in foreign language. Until now. He sees a purpose; for him it is never about learning. It is always about the bigger picture. For him, learning Latin makes a lot of sense. And so it is wonderful watching him learn and grow in this.

I know some think that Latin is just a dead language with no value, but consider how it has influenced so many languages, all over the world. Many romance languages have Latin as its root and since 50% of the English language derives from Latin, what a great way to expand vocabulary. As my son is learning, Latin is such a big part of so much! Even in history and literature, even critical thinking skills, there are just so many great reasons to dive in and “Veni, vidi, vici.”

So glad to f

If Latin is something you are looking into for your family, whatever the age, I definitely encourage you to click the banner below and read more review from Crew Members who used the different Latin materials available.

Memoria Press is on Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/memoriapress
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MemoriaPress
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/memoriapress/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/memoriapress/memoria-press/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/memoriapress

First Form Latin {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.

I have to admit it. I do not like math. Nor does my oldest son. It is that that one thing we really struggle with. However, this is something that we do need to develop our skills in, especially when my oldest is looking to go to the local tech college for certification in welding. Math can be tricky but I know it has a purpose and I know it can be fun. My older daughter and younger son love it. This gives me hope so that when given the chance to review a workbook from Math EssentialsNo-Nonsense Algebra I said yes!

For this review we received both a physical workbook as well as access to video lessons online. Each lesson is short and simple which is great for kids who struggle to focus. There are ten chapters in all covering everything from necessary tools for algebra to graphing and analyzing linear equations, polynomials and word problems too. At the back of the book you find quizzes, formulas and symbols, and various other tools helpful to understanding and developing your skills. So many helpful resources to help keep anxiety at bay as they learn algebra.

This book even offers some simple tips before you get started. Very helpful because, we did not have graph paper at the time, seeing what was needed, we were able to get it all together so we aren’t wasting time looking for this or that all the time. It’s a real issue around here right now if we aren’t careful. House renovations make life quite interesting.

My son didn’t get started right away; he and math just cannot seem to get along. After much encouragement I finally decided that this was something I was going to have to “force” him into. So we sat down and watched the first video. Then we sat together as he did the first lesson. It didn’t take more than half an hour – that was simply because he went back to the video a couple times.

This book does a great job covering so much in a way that is non-threatening. This is nice for those who are a bit math-phobic. Or even just struggle to really “get” math. For my son he appreciated the videos showing clearly how every step was done. He also liked how clearly words were defined as he went through the lessons. And he definitely appreciated all the resources in the back of the book because he does have a hard time remembering some stuff (square roots, times tables) that, if we are honest, we may forget. It was also great how the videos told him exactly what to copy down on his paper. He sometimes needs those promptings as he watches.

Myself? I wish there was more review. I think it is great how lessons are put together; they don’t require a lot of time. But at the same time, I know my other kids excel at math because of how much they do it. So it would be nice to be able to have a bit more for practice if our kids need it. Especially as the math gets more advanced. I will say though, my son felt he did not need any additional exercises, so it must be a mom thing? In his opinion between videos and examples shown in the book, he was more than confident that he could do this with what was given. I guess that’s what really matters too – that he understands and is able to do this stuff. It sure helps that he doesn’t mind doing it too.

I definitely plan on purchasing a couple other books from Math Essentials as we progress. This seems to be a great way for my oldest son to learn and I am certain that my younger son would appreciate the length and layout of lessons as well (they happen to have a book for 4/5 Grade math too). Just my humble opinion, but with all they have to offer, you can easily work through all of that advanced math quickly and painlessly. 🙂

Math Essentials is on Social Media:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/math.essentials/

 Math Essentials has several other materials that various members of our Crew are reviewing right now so be sure to click the banner below to learn all about their amazing, essential and no nonsense materials to make math less of a stress.

No-Nonsense Algebra {Review}

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

I have always wanted to try fermenting in my kitchen but I admit that the kitchen isn’t really my favorite place to be. I wish I could be more of a foodie really! So when I had the chance  to review the Fermentools  Starter Kit  I was a bit nervous but also pretty excited! The kit includes 1 lb. super fine Himalayan Salt, an airlock, 2 corks, metal lid, glass weight and rubber seal. You do need a large mouth jar, a canning ring and whatever it is you choose to ferment. We had some cabbage, asparagus and cucumbers handy when we received this. So while there was some hesitation, we were ready for this adventure to begin!

One thing that really made me happy to give this a try was that all of their products are made and sourced in the USA. The glass weights and stainless steel lids are trademark pieces and very high quality. The glass weights are designed to fit inside of a wide-mouthed mason jar (we did have to get a couple of these). The rubber ring gaskets are high-quality rubber rings, and the salt is high quality, high mineral and powdered making it easily dissolvable in cold water so there aren’t salty chunks in there. This business is also family run by home educators! One of them also having been a fellow crew member. Super cool!

I had recently done some reading on the benefits of fermentation. Turns out that after the scientific discoveries of French microbiologist Louis Pasteur, who showed us how living organisms initiate fermentation, we now know why fermentation not only makes food like sourdough bread, cheese, and wine taste better, but also helps to keep us alive and well. It’s a great (and affordable) way to get those This is a good way to get probiotics into the diet.  Probiotics are the good bacteria that help to keep us healthy.  This is a good way to get those probiotics into the diet.  If you don’t know, the probiotics are the good bacteria that keep us healthy.  For my younger daughter who has some digestion issues, probiotics are a must!

My younger son loves making pickles. His grandpa used to make them long ago and there was nothing better than that jar of homemade pickles. My son has gotten so good at this too. We always enjoy when he gets to work making a couple jars (we do sometimes have to plead with him to share though ha-ha).

I decided to start myself out with, my favorite, sauerkraut. I can eat that stuff straight from the jar. I also love to throw it on a sandwich or in a salad now and then. There’s that German in me coming out. I happened to have a head of cabbage so it seemed like now was a good time. Since I have never done this before I was SO grateful to find a simple step by step guide for making this on their website. Can I also say, I got SO distracted on there? The list of recipes is endless. Makes me wish I could make every one of those recipes. Best to start small though right?

After I managed to shed my cabbage, with the help of my younger daughter, we tossed it into a bowl with the necessary salt and began to knead it. This kept my daughter busy for quite a while. She loved this part! Once we had the proper amount of brine from all this kneading we were ready to toss it into the jars. I will say, a scale for future projects is a must, so we can better measure things. It was a bit tricky working out one tablespoon of salt to 1 ¾ pounds of cabbage without it. My husband was rather helpful in this area though so for now we managed.

Once we packed our jar with all that cabbage, we placed the glass slab on top of the kraut to keep it all under the brine. Next you add the rubber gasket and stainless steel top with the rubber stopper to the top. It is recommended to add ½ inch of water to the airlock system and then place the airlock system into the rubber stopper. This is where I struggled a bit. I forgot to add the extra water. WIth little hands helping excitedly, I admit it, I thought I did something that I didn’t. Anyway, we decided to see how it goes just moving forward. I didn’t want to play with the airlock system again and risk it. So that sealed jar went into a dark place for about a week. I checked on it a couple days later and… I knew I had not added enough salt. I won’t post that picture here. It was not a success let’s say.

Moving forward – lesson learned, I think – I reminded myself and my kids that this is an experience. There is a crazy learning curve to this sort of thing (to which my younger son teased that he makes fabulous pickles while mom turns cabbage green and gooey ha) Not about to give up, I decided it might be easier to try some pickled asparagus. I was right. This stuff turned out quite well. It was crunchy and had a nice spice to it too. I admit, I drink pickle juice now and then. It’s a strange craving, I know.

We now have a scale and I just got a couple more heads of cabbage, red and green. So we are going to give this one a try again. I tell you, if nothing else inspires you to try fermenting foods, check out the many recipes on their website. So many different things to try. Sourdough (I have a starter for that going right now) and Ginger Bug. Every one of these looks super delicious and so if nothing else, I feel i need to master fermenting so that I can taste all of these different things. My kids are especially excited about the carbonated drinks (we don’t do soda in this house) so that could be a great thing for them to be able to enjoy now and again. I could go on about the many other recipes I plan to attempt (all on their amazing website).

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This is definitely one of those things that requires patience and time; I am certain I will get this right if I just keep at it. We do not plan to give up. We are definitely going to do some more reading though and then try our hand at: milk kefir, curtido and kimchi. I will have to post about the saurkraut (round two) maybe in this post once I know for sure if we got it right this time around. I tell you, this is definitely worth the time put into it.

Make sure you click below to read all about the different adventures Crew members had with this one. Then be sure to head over to use the coupon code ” CREW2020″ for 15% off through June 30th.

Fermentools Starter Kit {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.

Last summer two of my four children began learning, not just horse riding, but horse care. My younger son and my older daughter would spend two sometimes three hours, in any weather, caring for and riding some beautiful horses. How can you not fall in love with those big gentle eyes? Yet there is so much more to these sweet animals, than we may imagine. Because I believe in learning all you can about those things you love, we jumped at the chance to review History on Horseback: The Early Years from Sonrise Stable Books. This book covers the years 1493 to 1866 and is recommended for ages 12 and up but believe me, this can be enjoyed by all!

A year or two ago, we happened upon the book War Horse at the library; then my oldest son found the movie version. This was just the beginning of my kids learning that animals have a part to play in history too. What a fun way to really explore history – especially when you are a horse lover! Close your eyes and imagine history, written from the perspective of the horse. 🙂

Inside this book you will find 50+ amazing stories telling about the adventures of horses beginning with their arrival in America. We explore the Thoroughbred Family Tree, Napoleon, the Dream Horse, Palomo whose horseshoes are on display at the Museum of Mulalo in Colombia. There are even some pretty amazing stories about mules in this book!

Maybe you remember the game, Oregon Trail, from school. I have memories of struggling to determine what was needed for the journey; managing what little money there was to ensure we were well fed. Here is one story that is a timely example of what is really needed. Something to consider as we “stay home” today.

My younger son was a big fan of all of the sidebars in the book – a nice spot where he could go to learn a quick fact or find a bit more definition so he could better understand what he was reading. Here he explored the difference between emigrate and immigrate. He also was thrilled to educate momma a bit in that the California Gold Rush was not the first one in America. Neat fact there, right?

How about stagecoaches? When and how did people begin to travel in this way? What a fun read this was – riding inside and on top too (oh my!) This certainly changed the view we had of this being fun and relaxing. I guess it was anything but. There is even a quote from Raphael Pumpelly that “travel in this way produced a condition bordering on insanity.”

Often, as I write about the materials we use, I reference rabbit trails. This book is amazingly full of those! I cannot believe how many different paths each of these stories can take us down. Certainly we are enjoying, and I know we will continue to enjoy, this book and all the different topics that we learn and explore as we read.

We cannot wait for the study guide and the second volume, that is to come; there will be a print study guide as well as an interactive one full of activities and self-grading quizzes. It sounds just amazing to me. If you have a lover of horses and/or a lover of history, this book is a must have for your library!

Sonrise Stable Is on Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sonrise-Stable-Books-103077887775920
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sonrisestable
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sonrisestable/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sonrisestable/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWR9ePmbbqS7gbXNgELVY_Q

Be sure to read the reviews other members of the Crew wrote about this amazingly fun history book for lovers of horses of all ages.

History on Horseback: The Early Years {Review}

Is there any doubt that music has a power over us? It is healing, it is inspiring, calming, grounding. It makes learning so much more fun! As a family with four kids Bible Quizzing, we have found that what they can learn and hide in their hearts, is unlimited, when it is set to music. I was quite curious about the following CD’s: Prayers and Blessing for the Unborn Child, Math Prodigy and Prayers and Blessings for the Newborn to 99. After all, my younger daughter (4) has her very own CD player and she loves having her own collection of Bible music – This seemed like a wonderful addition to her growing library. We received all three of these physical albums (they are available as downloads too) and have been enjoying them quite a bit too!

Preborn Prodigy seeks to change lives using these CD’s to lead listeners on an amazing journey in their relationship with the Lord. A wonderful background for prayer and meditation. These collections will help our children (perhaps us as well) to learn and take to heart the truths within the Word of God. Their mission statement shares what a blessing these can be:

“…encounter God’s presence…feel His perfect love while you listen to these special albums. May all the promises found in His Word fill your heart with peace and hope, imparting your true identity as one most beloved by your Father”

Our children need to know who they are and whose they are. This music is gentle and soothing, the words are scriptural, speaking His promises. The messages spoken cover our salvation and blessings, health and protection, identity and purpose. What a beautiful way for our children to get the Word of God into their hearts and minds even at the youngest age!

For as long as I can remember, when we read the Bible stories, I strive to place my own children’s names within the words written so they know, so they understand, that this was written to them. I want them to remember as they struggle and grow, they are fearfully and wonderfully made. They are the apple of God’s eye. There is power in our children understanding that God’s word does not return void but will accomplish whatever God pleases and shall prosper in the thing which it was sent for.

She loves her blessings CD.

These are such beautiful prayers and blessings recorded for everyone. Something beautiful and calming to put on at night while the children are not quite ready, but it is time for bed. Or even during quite time as we build or color. While the albums may say for the unborn, or for a newborn, they also remind us that these prayers and blessings are for us too. From Newborn to 99. The blessings of the Lord make us rich. ❤

We also received the CD for Math Prodigy; an introduction to basic math skills. Each of the five tracks on this one cover tips and tricks for learning math facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). There are also tracks covering decimals, fractions and orders of operation. This is definitely a unique teaching tool; I think my older children were more engaged with this one as the lessons covered more mathematical terms. Fractions and decimals were especially interesting tracks for my older boys. We didn’t listen to the whole CD in one sitting but the voice and the gentle music in the background definitely were welcomed as we listened to some of the facts and values of math that perhaps had not been thought of before.

I have to say, these are such unique products! It really has been an honor to have the chance to listen and review these with my children. With each album about an hour in length, this is a great way to help children fall asleep (or just calm themselves on those difficult days). My youngest daughter who is four, loves to share how God loves her and how he made her body, all of it, so special too. These are blessings! Powerful ones. To know and believe that God said it and He means it, always and forever, really makes a difference in how we live. These are some beautiful ways to help our families live in God’s love and purpose.

Find Preborn Prodigy on Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/prebornprodigy/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/prebornprodigy/

Other Crew Members received these too so be sure to click on the banner below and hear their thoughts on these beautiful and special albums!

Preborn Prodigy {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.

In my years as a homeschool momma, I like to think I have learned a couple things. One of those being, do not move forward in math until things are fully mastered. A good foundation is vital in this area. While three of my four kids do quite well when it comes to numbers, my oldest has struggled for so long. If I could go back, we wouldn’t rush the way did through things – I would take his strong dislike of math and find ways to slowly help him to find it more pleasing. When I had the opportunity to explore Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Addition and Subtraction from Math-U-See with my daughter (8) I was happy to work with her so she would continue to enjoy math as she does right now. My 14 year old son also took part in this review because its always good to invest in a stronger foundation. This is recommended for kids 8-16 who are struggling with gaps. Also, this is a supplemental program that can be used alongside other curriculum.

We received the following materials as part of this review:

  • AIM Resource Guide with program overview/instruction

  • Math-U-See Integer Blocks

  • Math-U-See Colored Pencils

  • Math Fact Strategy Posters

  • Fact Check Cards

  • Code for 12-month access to AIM Addition and Subtraction Digital Pack

Before you begin, there is a video to watch that will help you to complete a “Before” AIM Assessment with your student. This is different than others we have used, with this, we ask the math facts verbally and the student has three seconds to answer each one. Once you have completed the addition and subtraction assessments, you will know for sure if this is the right program for you.

With the AIM (Accelerated Individualized Mastery) your students will work in three ways:

  • Accelerated – Students are able to move quickly through skill sets not yet mastered
  • Individualized – Mastery of the skills they need at their own pace.
  • Mastery – Student can recall ALL math facts using little mental energy, being engaged in the problem solving process.

Within this program are 22 lessons covering single digit addition and subtraction. With each lesson there is a video lesson to watch and then problems to practice using manipulatives and the included workbook. These didn’t take long for my older son however for my daughter it would range from 20-30 minutes. Plus we were able to make this lots of fun – brother testing sister and vice versa – nothing like a little competition to see how well they really know their facts.

This program truly is a great way to increase our kids confidence, while they learn and work at a pace that fits them. I love that there are manipulatives able to be used (bright and colorful) as you work (for my oldest these become a fidget tool but my daughter loved these and they helped her so much). Add to that lots of visual aids, step by step video instruction and lots of other resources to help gain and maintain mastery. With this I am certain that we will have a firm foundation and their future relationship with Mr Math will be a more positive one.

Math-U-See is on Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mathusee
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mathusee/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/mathusee

Make sure to click on the banner below so you can see how other Review Crew members used this program.

Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Addition and Subtraction {Math-U-See Reviews}

Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) Addition and Subtraction (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.

One of my goals this year, with my boys especially, is a focus on character. This means (for us anyway) that we are striving to delve even deeper in our studies to pinpoint both positive and negative character traits. Who do you want to be? How does God see you? It can be difficult for our kids, young and old, to really see what the Bible means, for us, without specific direction for action.  The Action Bible Anytime Devotion 90 Ways to Help Kids Connect with God Anytime, Anywhere, illustrated by Sergio Cariello, Brazilian comic book artist, offers our children specific ways to connect to God and live our His word, on a daily basis. This book is recommended for ages ages 8-12 however even my 14 year old son enjoyed some of these short devotions and the lessons that followed. We received this book from David C Cook, who is also known for The Action Bible.

The Action Bible Anytime Devotions is a 200-page paperback book that provides us with 90 ways to help our kids to connect with God anytime, anywhere. For any moms and dads who may be unsure of how to lead children and feed them, this book also includes a couple pages to help you better use this book to help your children “explore who God is, His love for each one of you, and get to know Him.” These pages of full of real struggles our kids (and even us parents) tend to face in life. Each devotion has amazing comic book style images as well as:

Learn God’s Word with an action verse

Apply it to what’s happening in your life

Relate it to real people from the Bible

Think about it to help you grow

Talk to God with a quick prayer guide

Share with others using questions and simple actions

Take it further by going back into the Bible

This became a great read aloud for my 10 year old son and I. He has always struggled with reading. But he never gives us. A couple of months ago he decided that he wanted to read through his Bible from beginning to end. He has slowly been working his way through but this was a wonderful addition (He read these devotions to me) and then we would talk about what we read. We tried to go in order but honestly, some days he felt led to read something different from where we were.

“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.” (Mark 4:40-41)

Each devotion has a topic ranging from courage to hope, kindness, faith, service. This really fit in so nicely with how we “planned” our year. We would read the scripture that went along with whatever devotion he chose and then would read the story that followed. This always included a child facing a real dilemma. Accused of cheating on a test (okay, maybe not so real for my kids – what’s a test?) or having someone that’s picking a fight? Maybe you were enjoyed a bike ride outside and then crashed….Didn’t see that coming – so much for a fun day! Or that class we signed up for – exciting at first but now we really regret it – These are real issues our kids face. And these stories help them to see another way.

Let’s increase our faith!

Each story relates to someone we know in the Bible who faced that same issue. Maybe his donkey corrected him. That has to be a humbling experience. What about Jonah who heard from God but ran away? He wanted to do things his way, he thought he knew better. He had some bitterness. Peter turned from God, he denied him. Three times. Yet God had mercy. He forgave him and loved him. It can be hard to forgive when someone hurts us but Jesus was our example and He showed tons of forgiveness and mercy and grace.

“All the colors of the light spectrum are in a rainbow; that means it takes every color to make just one. Its takes people of all kinds to make up this world we live in. When we see a rainbow we need to remember God put us in a world filled with people who need to see His love and grace.”

My son felt a bit uncomfortable praying the prayers in here in the beginning (how many times he begged to skip that part) but now he really appreciates them and sees how this is probably the most important part of all. He will add his own thoughts in as he goes along – He prefers I am not there when he prays though as he feels silly but he likes that when he doesn’t know what to pray, he has some guidance. A great way to get started. 🙂

My favorite part? Seeing my little man get so involved in studying this stuff. He loves the Take it Further part and has become so fond of finding and reading passages within his Bible. I love the way he seeks after truth. I really love that this simple book has encouraged and inspired him to seek after God because, really, it all comes down to our own personal relationship with God. What better time to begin when we are like as a child.


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DavidCCookPublic/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/David_C_Cook
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/david.c.cook/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/davidccook/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/DavidCCookVideos

So many wonderful ways to encourage our children to seek after God. Don’t take my word for it though, click the banner below and read the reviews of other Crew members who were blessed with this book!

The Action Bible Anytime Devotions {David C Cook Reviews}

The Action Bible Anytime Devotions {Review}