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.

One of my very favorite verses of scripture is Psalm 127:1 which says, Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it. It is always a wonderful reminder that in all that we do, we need to seek the Lord so that He is with us in every endeavor. For myself, this is the one thing I need for my children to know during our time together as home educators. Always looking for fun and interactive materials, especially for my younger ones, I was really excited to be blessed with the  4th Grade – Building Life Castles from Positive Action Bible Curriculum. We received both the Teacher Manual and Student Manual which includes 35 weeks worth of lessons, all centered around build a life that is built on Jesus Christ.

One of the things that has become so very apparent to me as we have been doing “church at home” during this period of mask mandates and quarantines is that, my children, while they know of much of the Word of God, knw very little of Jesus as the Word. The thing we do, they are flowing more out of duty than out of love. And so we need to spend some time building and developing relationships with the One who really matters so that all that we do is done in love because of the love we have for our great Creator God.

Within the pages of this Teacher Manual you will find all you need to know to get started; you will also see the earning and content objectives as well as vocabulary to focus in on; there are session note and character activities – even music curriculum to include. My girls love to sing and I am a big fan of those old hymns – So much we can learn and gain from them.

What we can learn from How Firm a Foundation!

This also includes quizzes and memory work. I admit, since we started our Bible Quiz material for this year shortly before we received this program, we didn’t do as much with the memory work portion, but I did have my daughter use the verses for practice as he is trying to learn hand lettering. Such a pretty way to learn the Word; I did notice that quite a few verse they had learned through the years and  it is always fun to hear my daughter announce that she “already knows this verse.”

Now I have to say, we tweaked the very first lesson a lot. As I have studied throughout the years, I prefer to focus on the Oneness of God rather than a trinitarian view. I also find that it is a lot easier for my children to understand when I explain to my children that God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are all one just wearing different hats (how their father is daddy, huband, engineer, etc). As they get older perhaps I will begin to enter into more of these sorts of things but for now they simply need to know that God manifests Himself in many different ways, God can do that, and that  it is all done for our good and our salvation as we learn and develop a deeper relationship with Him.

That said (please forgive me if I got a bit preachy there) these lesson are very well put together. As you begin each one, it is clear exactly what the focus is. More difficult, possibly even new, words are introduced and defined. There are explanations to help you through each lesson, as well as prompts and discussion starters. My girl can talk – she has so many thoughts – her little sister too – so we are rarely lacking in topic to discuss. In fact in the very first lesson, Who Is Jesus, my littlest one explained in great detail for being only five, exactly how she sees Jesus. I asked her to draw a picture for me.. She just was so very vivid in her description I was certain she really had seen Him for herself. If only I could find it to share it here …

My girls are somewhat familiar with Concordances; also with Hebrew and Greek word study materials because, I love this stuff. While I am far from a scholar, when I do have a little time I love to dig in and go deep. So it was fun and inspiring to hear them comment on certain thing as we went along.

One such comment was, as we were in the lesson on the Names of Jesus, Son of God – My daughter says, that means God in the Flesh. Now some of what we discussed wasn’t in these pages. Name like Jehovah Jireh, Jehovah Shalom… Jehovah Nissi – The Lamb of God.

Something really nice about these lessons; they are one page. Nice and simple; the pages aren’t busy with color and other stuff. Just what needs to be done each day. My daughter, she struggle to focus, so a clean page for her to work on is so very helpful to her!

As we build our lives on Christ, God will transform us into strong and beautiful monuments to His grace. ~Positive Action Bible Curriculum

I was so very surprised, and thrilled, to find activities that involved locating scripture and them matching the Word to the key message within. This is a great way for our children to read the Bible AND interpret it as it relates to not just then but also right now.

Building your Life Castle was another favorite activity. Consider what you would do in various situations. In one activity we list people and situations we can choose to learn from. I love how it is written, we choose to learn. In another, it was to be considered what authorities we have the hardest time obeying. Some tough stuff for our kids to ponder. And learn from. Great way to challenge them to rise up and determine to do those hard things while they are still young.

There was map work – how fun – my younger son loves maps. He works through his own Bible Study and takes great joy in finding and exploring different parts of the land written of in the Bible. His sister was rather excited to have the chance to do that very same thing in her own materials.

As we progressed through this program, we explored so many topics that are so very integral to our children’s walk of faith. For example, what is a disciple? Here we were able to learn the names and seek them out in the scriptures. We also explored their walk from the unity they had with one another to the persecution they faced.

What better way to have a visual lesson in faith than the planting of a seed? Perhaps this was my daughters favorite activity – she loves growing thing. Flower, tomatoes, pumpkins (not always successfully but still…) are all wonderful opportunities to talk about what makes those seeds grow and what cause us to grow.

“Wise believers will trust in God’s power, depending on Him, serving others and trusting in His promises. “

Further along we learn ad remember the power of the resurrection. It is so vital to our faith, every one of us , to see how this i the fulfillment of God’s promise and hope for our very own resurrection, to come. What would be true if Jesus had not risen? According to my daughter, “we would just be worshipping and praying to a dead guy. ” Jesus resurrection shows how without a doubt, He is the one true God, great and mighty to save!

What a wonderful addition to our daily time together this is! My daughter very much looks forward to seeing what she can learn and how she can share it. There is never a dull moment when we are using this to learn the Word of God as well as live the Word of God. As soe wiser man once said (was it C.S. Lewis perhaps?) “Your life may be the only Bible some folks ever read.” Let our children grow and be that example to a world that is much in need. ❤

Positive Action Bible Curriculum is on Social Media:

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Make sure to click on the banner below so you can read all the wonderful experiences other members of the Crew had using these materials.

Building Life Castles {Positive Action Bible Curriculum 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.

Reading is a vital skill, in my humble opinion, and so we take the journey of learning to read rather seriously. But not too seriously. We want to have fun too! For that reason my girls were SO excited to receive a one year subscription to Reading Eggs from Blake eLearning Inc.

Reading Eggs is packed full of fun things for ages two to thirteen!  There is Mathseeds, Reading Eggs, Reading Eggs Junior, Fast Phonics and Reading Eggspress. Each section is packed full of fun games and videos that help our kids learn those basic skills and then strengthen their skills as they go along.

The program ensures that they have mastery of each topic by providing simple quizzes as they go along. There are even placement tests so you can make sure to start your kiddos in the right place. We actually used these with my one daughter (9). My other girl (5) wanted to start at the very beginning and I personally see no problem with that. My younger son (10) has this and mostly uses it for reading and spelling practice. Almost forgot to mention, they do have an app so this can be great for those times when you are on the go.

With my youngest daughter, we started with Reading Eggs but then she saw her older sister working on Fast Phonics and so that quickly became a part of her routine. She also used MathSeeds (we completed the placement test for this one – I love that it wasn’t timed so she didn’t have to rush) and she just loved the characters and the songs – Did I mention that she just loves to sing?

My older girl (9) is mostly using this to strengthen her reading skills as she still struggles a bit here and there. I was glad to see that she was eager to use both Math Seeds and the Fast Phonics – there is something about it that she just finds so cute – plus she really likes the shorter lessons and how she can do as little or as much as she wants each day. Being able to customize your abominable snowman and his home is definitely a bonus too!

As my oldest feels led she will venture into Reading Eggspress where she could search the books and find ones that she was interested in reading. There would be a little quiz at the end of each book she could complete too (although most often she chose not to). Some of the books she could have read to her, others she would read herself or with my assistance. Either way this was a great way to explore so many different books.

The more we read the better we get; for those who are just learning, or struggling to be confident readers, a program like this can be a real blessing. The program is so easy going, there is no rush, there are no timers – Our kids can work at the speed they are comfortable with and if/when they need to take a break they can do so without losing their progress. I like that a lot; especially for my youngest daughter. This is a fun introduction to letters and sounds and numbers – Each lesson is filled with fun characters and songs; lessons that are just right in length. I know my little ones, they really look forward to all the fun that comes in each lesson and they ask to do this. Every day. That really tells you a thing or two. 🙂

I encourage you to click the banner below too so you can read about how other members of the Crew used this program and read their thoughts. I definitely do recommend this program especially for little ones who are eager to read.

Reading Eggs on Social Media:

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Reading Eggs Subscription {Blake eLearning Inc Reviews}

Reading Eggs Subscription {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 believe very much in the value of math; at the same time I acknowledge that I myself have always struggled in this area. Having a daughter who is certain she is going to be a veterinarian or other animal caregiver, I am sure math will be of great value and necessity. Since she seems to prefer workbooks over online materials I was pretty happy to get my hands on ThemeVille Math, which has 5 levels to choose from. We received Worktext Level 4. This included the Math Solutions book for this review as well as online lesson videos to supplement learning as needed.

Themeville Math believes in helping our kiddos to “See the themes behind the details.” Isn’t that a great aspiration? The worktext is both workbook and textbook; what is nice about this is how it is all in one place.

There are visuals as you complete each day’s lesson. With plenty of visual aids (manipulatives are an option too, although not included for his review) there are plenty of opportunities for practicing the lesson before moving on to the next thing. This does align with Common Core; very basic, no fluff, no cartoons but still visually appealing to my girl, without being distracting.

In total there are 586 pages in this book; there is an appendix in the back with a grade sheet, unit rulers (cut and laminate to use) and a list of manipulatives recommended. Even if you don’t purchase these with the books, certainly they do offer a list of materials that are very helpful, in my opinion. Play money, for example, or fraction circles and tiles. I know manipulatives have always made a big difference in how my kids “get” math.

The following topics are included:

       Fractions, Mixed numbers
       Addition/Subtraction of fractions
       Factors, Prime numbers
       Comparison/Rounding of numbers
       Long division
       Decimals – Tenths, Hundredths
       Addition/Subtraction of decimals
       Big numbers
       Multiplication/Division by 10 or 100
       Time calculations
       Word problems

With 126 daily lessons as well as ten tests included in this book, this is a very thorough program. Open the book and get started with daily lessons and daily reviews (pre-lessons). Daily lessons include both previously learned material, to continue enforcing it, and new material as one concept slowly builds upon the next.

There are also instructional videos, just in case. For the videos you just need to create an account on their website; then you can access the videos that go along with the level you are working on. For the times when its hard to understand the concept, these are very helpful. The instructor shows step by step, for one or two problems and they range in length with maybe an average of 6-10 minutes.

If you are looking for something that is low maintenance, where you can get started with exactly what you have, then this may be what you are looking for. Super easy to use – with or without the manipulatives – with mastery and spiral formats that guarantee your kids are learning! If you aren’t sure where to begin you can even complete their placement test. That way  you know exactly where to start.

Check out Themeville Math on Social Media:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/themevillemath

Be sure to read the reviews other members of the Crew wrote about their experience with the various levels offered by Themeville Math.

ThemeVille 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 compensated in any other way.

My daughter just turned nine and announced that she is going to work with animals when she gets older. She wants to help out at a local shelter now but for so many reasons she must wait. In the meantime, why not find some great materials to use so she can prepare in other ways? So I was pretty excited to have the chance to review 4th Grade Entire School Year Curriculum from Homeschool Easy  This is a curriculum designed to be used over 32 weeks or 8 months.

We received our materials through an email which provided a link to all the materials we would need. As we worked through each week’s lessons I could print out what we needed. It really is comprehensive too. The materials we received covered reading, math, spelling, writing, history, science. grammar. This really is everything that you need. Also included was a link to Britannia Kids and various You Tube videos to help further their understanding.

I know my kids love when we are studying something and are able to see visuals related to the topic. Consider this “back to the basics” for home education! Plus, at a time when things are so confused, I love their American History and American patriotism teachings.

There is no need to feel overwhelmed with all of this great material. Not only do they provide a detailed document to give you direction as to how to get started but all of the files are neatly organized by topic and month, in some cases by week. It is super easy to go into each folder and print out the worksheets that are needed.

Great artistic opportunities in the lessons!

My daughter is a new and struggling reader so one of our focuses this year was on reading. Good books, together. And was I ever so thrilled to see o many excellent titles that were listed here for use. Just a share a few with you:

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  • Hank the Cowdog The Case of the Wandering Goats by John R. Erickson
  • The BFG by Roald Dahl
  • Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
  • The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  • The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

We have quite a few of the books listed here and being that my daughter is a lover of all things animals, we jumped around a bit because, she really wanted to read the animal stories most of all. Definitely helps her to work when she is invested in things. There are also worksheets that cover vocabulary, ensuring that our children are reading and understanding. They also include grammar and writing which we enjoyed practicing writing sentences and using different topics to creatively write sometimes about what she would like to do when she is grown (she wants to care for lots of animals) or a book report or autobiography. I love that this gives a general idea as to how many words per sentence and how many sentences for a paragraph are appropriate for this grade. My daughter loves to tell more than write so it helps if I can tell her how much to write. One day I do believe she will share many great stories in some form. For now I just want to encourage her storytelling nature however I can. This has fun ways for doing that.

My girl has such fun spelling words! So we had lots of fun with the spelling portion of this program. We actually used each lesson as though she was in a spelling bee. We have a local homeschool one but she hasn’t wanted to participate. Yet. Now that she has a feel for it though, she may be all over that next year. Each week you have a list of twenty words and sentences they are used in to study – there are also flashcards you can print out to quiz with. This can be so fun to do – even getting siblings involved – a little competition can really encourage my kids.

Who doesn’t love science? Since my girl is such an animal lover and a flower power girl, this is always an area she is excited to spend time in. A combination of videos, worksheets and experiments this allows our kids to learn and then explore for themselves. We had a blast with Geology Kitchen and Bill Nye the Science Guy (he isn’t creation but here is a learning opportunity too) From magnets to volcanos, electricity and disasters on Earth there are lots of great ways for our kids to learn.

History is so important to me. I know for younger kids it can be hard to really understand and relate to history and for that I am grateful for resources that help tell history in a way that engages kids. I was surprised how familiar my daughter was with a lot of what was covered in the first few weeks. I guess she was paying attention when her older brother was working. One of my daughter’s favorite things was the selection of topics for review i each section. For example, in New England colonies there were student choices for research such as help from Indians, using wood from forests and fishing. In another bow hunting was a topic – my daughter loves when she can go out and shoot – and due to momma’s love of reggae she really loved learning about Africa, Brazil and the Caribbean Islands. This is a wonderful way to encourage curiosity in our kids.

There are so many great things within this complete yet simple program. At the age and stage my girl is in, right now my focus is not on academics so much as on loving learning so materials like this are great to find. The process in gentle, encouraging and like I said before, they offer lots of ideas to encourage our kids to look and explore beyond what is on the pages here. When our children are younger, we want to put before them a feast of lovely things for them to dive into. I definitely consider this program to be a lovely and gentle feast.

Fun ways to learn with Geology Kitchen!

Learn more about Homeschool Easy on Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Homeschool-Easy-458781528008166/
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Don’t miss reviews that other members of the Crew wrote about the grade levels they used with Homeschool Easy If you are looking for some that is easy to use, affordable and that will provide a good foundation for higher studies, definitely check this out.

Homeschool Easy {Grade 4 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.

When I say worksheets, typically I hear a lot of groaning around here. For whatever reason, worksheets have never really been a welcome addition to our home learning. However, we had the chance to review Super Teacher Worksheets, and recalling how much I appreciated it when I used it a few years ago, I was not about to say no to this one. We received a full 1-year membership, with unlimited downloads. That may not sound so exciting right now, but wait until I show you some of the fun stuff we have been doing on here.

Super Teacher Worksheets contains over 16,000 printable resources for teaching ranging for a variety of grades. Just a few of the topics include math, geography, writing, comprehension, science. There are also printable math games, phonics mini-books, printable bingo and board games, task cards, and lots more. As you can see this is about so much more than just boring worksheets.  The individual membership is only $24.95 per year. So affordable and easy to use! Just log in and then download and print to your hearts content. For my family of four, this is an amazing deal. And with so many different things to choose from, we mommas can relax knowing that our kids are learning something new.

We tend to be a little crazy, sometime radical, unschooling and so that challenges me to try to keep track of what we are doing each day. I want to encourage and inspire my kids; my goal is for them to find a follow the things that really light them up. Still, there is some planning that needs to be done. And so I really appreciate their teaching tools section. Call me “plan challenged” but it’s probably the hardest thing for me to do each year.  Their monthly printable pages are exciting and fun! My hockey goalie cannot wait to get to January so he can enjoy that one. It is a great way to get my kids involved in planning and then in sticking to the plan. 🙂

My oldest son is almost 15 but we have been trying to strengthen his math skills, as well as his understanding of history, economics, government. With these worksheets, we were able to encourage him to explore and invest a bit more time in these areas. With it being an election year too and trying to get him interested in understanding the inner workings of all of it, he also explored the branches of government. As our kids get older, I do feel like this is one of those areas we really need to pay attention to so that our kids understand the way it is designed, why and how to be a part of “we the people.”

My girls are 5 and 8 and both of them love to color and write. As you can imagine we dug right in to the reading and writing section. They love animals, science and anything that they can add splashes of color to. As my youngest learns to read, it is fun for her to color and write her own little book for each letter. What fun and what a great way to build confidence!

I cannot forget to mention their Chapter book Literacy Units. With my 8 year old daughter and my 10 year old son we do a lot of reading together. A chapter a day helps them to learn and enjoy reading a variety of books. These were such a fun ad welcome edition seeing as Flat Stanley, Geronimo Stilton and the Magic Treehouse are some of their favorites! I was so tickled to find Bunnicula in there too. One of my favorite books when I was their age.

These are so great for helping to really understand and enjoy the book on They have comprehension questions, bookmarks, literature circle materials (I have been considering trying this with a couple local home educators myself) Really appreciate all of tis because, I feel better when we are going over vocabulary and digging in a bit more to details in the story. My son loves knowing words like putrid, ghastly, frantic…Oh is he ever adding to his vocabulary as we work through this while we read.

These are great for developing conversation abilities too – My daughter prefers to talk about, instead of write, responses to questions on these. What fun we can have discussing why you would want to raise a pig and then kill it. Or what it means to be near sighted. And then when she has trouble sleeping and what she tries while she is lying in bed on sleepless nights.

You sure can learn a lot about your kiddos when you work through some of these things. I love exploring and remembering some of those classic stories from my youth, like Charlotte’s Web, that my children are so fond of too!

There is just so much you can do with this! I was truly impressed and, again, we aren’t really worksheet people.  If you want to create your own there is even a generator tool so that you can create your own custom word searches, crosswords, word scrambles, and math worksheets. Such great variety for such a reasonable price too! This is one of those things that I do believe every home educator should have in their toolbox.


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Don’t take my word for it though; click on the banner below and read reviews from the other Crew Members who have been using this with their families. So many fun ways to use this with almost every age and stage our kids are in.

Super Teacher Worksheets {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.

Every time I have the chance to use materials from Home School in the Woods I get so excited because I know that everything we are using is going to be so amazing and full of stuff that will light my kids up for history! We have reviewed a number of these since we have been blessed to be a part of the Review Crew; this time around my youngest son chose which one we would enjoy. **Drumroll Please** For this review we are sharing our experience thus far with the Time Travelers: The Civil War history study. Living in a time when so many are so very divided, this certainly seems like a great time to explore this important time in our country’s history, in more depth.

The Civil War contains 25 lessons which are recommended to be completed over 5-10 weeks. Covered within are topics including: medical practices, weaponry, secession, specific battles, women of the war and so much more that all really brings to life this time when our country was so at war within! This is recommended for grades: 3-8 but my high schooler always enjoys these along with his brother and sisters. With so many opportunities to experience this time in history, every age in our home, from five to fourteen, is learning and exploring.

I remember the very first time we received one of these – it was so exciting and overwhelming – there are so many pieces to every one of these. Never fear though, when you are not sure what to do, there is a wonderful material included that helps you to see it all broken down. Then you don’t stress so much about all of the individual pages that come in the files for download.

Also, if you are like me, perhaps you allow your kids to explore the pages that catch their eyes most. We try to follow the plans that are given but I admit, we tend to take our time, leisurely experiencing whatever we are studying – I know in this one weapons and battlefields really came to life as we went beyond the pages here, to see and explore even more. And my girls? Well, they were entranced by the women of the war – the fancy dresses they wore and also the service that so many provided – a wonderful example of how we are to live and love others.

There is no doubt that this is more than enough for my kids to learn all about the Civil War. If you have any doubt, there is even a scope and sequence you can review so you can see how thorough this really is! I mean this covers so much more (I think) than any regular history course I have come across. Especially considering the multitude of hands on projects that are strewn within these lessons, our kids don’t just read about it but get to experience some of it for themselves.

My girls loved all of the recipes that were scattered throughout; especially the Sausage and Apples. I should have taken a picture. My older daughter also loved all the copy work.

She has been working on cursive and it was a great time for her to get out her gel pens and practice her writing while also learning some valuable lessons from long ago.

Something really cool to come across was their Underground Railroad lesson. We have a local church that has maintained one of the routes and they provide tours for free. Now we did this, we also explored the heritage museum across the way to learn even more about this. Turns out both Joshua Glover and Caroline Quarrels made it to Canada via the Underground Railroad in Racine. Reading and seeing the routes here, it was really a great way to tie it together for real.

We also have a handful of resources we will be exploring later on; the handy list includes lots of movies and books, audio and music too! I am sure it will be great fun as we work through the timeline figures, the battles and various routes that were traveled, seeing these things on the screen and reading both real life and fictional accounts of this time.

So many amazing opportunities to learn and grow; they say those who don’t know their history are doomed to repeat it. With the crazy things going on in the world today, it is so very necessary for our children to know the history and see the great value it has for them today.

This great country has been through so much yet because of the love of God and the dedication of the great men and women who serve in the armed forces, we have the freedom that we do. We need to honor it and protect it as the gift that it is. When we arm ourselves with truth and wisdom we are then able to walk forward in the way the Lord would have us to go. Learn it, understand it and then go forward better today than the day before.

One last note, with the election coming up, now is a great time to get your hands on the U.S. Elections Lap-Pak to help your children learn about the establishment of the country’s government, the many aspects involved in presidential campaigns and how a U.S. president is chosen. With lots of hands on activities this will help grow the understanding of this important process.

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Time Travelers: Civil War {Home School in the Woods Review}

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

We have all heard about the many benefits that come from science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) preparing our children with various skills and tools; hands on learning that is simply invaluable. From social skills to communication, flexibility and initiative, our children also learn problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, decision making, leadership, entrepreneurship, and so much more. Certainly these are all attributes we would love to grow in our children yet finding affordable ways to do so can be a challenge. My family was more than happy to take some time getting to know Pitsco Education and explore their Code Cube™ Single Kit (recommended for grades 3-5).

What is Code Cube you ask? Well, it is a Code Cube™ is a wearable tech learning tool that gives students experience coding without a robot. This has a programmable LED screen with a built-in accelerometer and sound output features; using block-based programming they create artistic animations, colors, and patterns which can play sounds or change as they move. Sounds pretty awesome right? The Code Cube also came with a downloadable Teacher’s Guide that included 10 lesson plans and quite a few other challenge activities to get my kids started. I made sure to look this over myself but it seems my boys didn’t need this because when I turned around, they already had the site open in Chrome and were already at work. I love this simplified the whole process for ME anyway because I just struggle to get this stuff. They even included a glossary! There is also a Student Section for the kids to explore.

So, my boys are 14 and 10 and they love all things electronic. Are there any out there that don’t? Anyway, when this arrived they unboxed it right away. I had no idea it arrived until a bit later in the day. They were really excited about the things they could do with this and I was glad to see some enthusiasm. It’s been a rough summer around here; my oldest has been spending his summer, when he isn’t working, taking classes in video editing, game design, graphic design and all sorts of computer stuff. This was a nice way for him to use some of that too! And I think his enthusiasm helped his younger brother (the one I actually got this for) to give it a try himself. Plus, what a great activity for them to do together!

Some of the activities they were encouraged to do included creating an image that expresses how they feel; creating an image of an animal at various stages in it’s lifecycle. Each activity encourages kids to think about it, write about it and then use their imagination and just create it! Definitely a great way for our kids to get hands on.

While my oldest son dove right in, my younger son really appreciated the student guide. He likes to have new things things broken down; he is definitely into details. He liked how each activity both showed and included written instruction as to what to do. I think his favorite was Turn That Frown Upside Down, he really loves making faces!

I was very impressed with all of the resources that were provided to go along with this. There was a Code Cube Web App and there were also quite a few video tutorials for those who are interested. Whether they are totally new to this or have some skills in coding, this is guaranteed to help them learn even more and have a fabulous time doing so!

We had so many other members of the Review Crew try out various materials from Pitsco Education so be sure to click on the banner below and read all about their great STEM adventures!

We are having so much fun with this Code cube; I am positive we will be purchasing more Pitsco products in the very near future. Because Pitsco Education sees such great value in STEM, they would like my readers (that’s YOU) to have the opportunity to receive a free Elementary STEM Explorer Pack! Head over HERE for more details and to enter this awesome giveaway!~

Find Pitsco Education on Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PitscoEducation/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/pitscoed
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pitscoed/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/pitscoeducation/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/PitscoEd

Pitsco Education {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 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}