Sons of Thunder Series Spin-Off

We enjoy several shows on Pure Flix, but have recently watched Sons of Thunder. It chronicles a Christian biker who wants to pay for past sins by helping those God puts in his path. It is a neat story as you watch combat-vet Simon share the Gospel with people who are definitely not expecting it from a biker. His many adventures and mishaps always bring him to a place that lets him share God’s Word, and his own love for others.

We are looking forward to Pure Flix’s new spin-off series, Sons of Thunder: Redemption, which premieres January 13, 2022!

This new show will chronicle Jacob, a former biker club (gang?..) member who meets the beloved Simon in prison. After their meeting, Jacob wants to right the people he wronged while under the influence of the gang and drugs.

Watch the trailer for Sons of Thunder: Redemption here.

More info can be found  at Pure Flix.

Pure Flix is the leading faith and family-friendly streaming video-on-demand service. With thousands of God-honoring and inspiring movies and shows, you can Have Faith In Your Entertainment again.

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Weekly Wrap Up {Christmas 2021}

Around August of this year (2021), my husband and I started talking about making a trip to the Grand Canyon. He had driven along the Red Rock Scenic Byway Drive  through Sedona on a business trip, and called to tell me we had to take this drive. My question was- what else is out that way for us to see?

He said we could make the drive to the Grand Canyon we’ve always talked about.

So we did.

Grand Canyon @ Christmas

Grand Canyon, AZ

We didn’t get to see the scenic drive, as it turns out, due to weather. But we did so so much more. For 11 days we traveled out west as a family; we spent many hours in the car … like so. so. many. But we broke the hours up with lots of stops in different places.

family Grand Canyon trip 2021

We stayed in Airbnbs, in 4 different towns- experiencing

  • Flagstaff
  • hiking Walnut Canyon
  • Williams
  • the Grand Canyon in the fog, snow, and sun, via a car and a train.
  • We drove through Navajo Nation, which is absolutely beautiful, for a short hike through the desert to see Horseshoe Bend
  • and then went on to Canyon X, a section of Antelope Canyon
  • we drove through the Petrified Forest
  • stopped in Albuquerque (on our way to TX) where we visited Old Town and the History and Science Museum (There isn’t anything worth noting in Albq, except a really good restaurant called Fork and Fig. Yum!)
  • We ended our trip at Palo Duro Canyon, TX where we decided we need to return for a spring/summer camping trip down in the canyon.
Horseshoe Bend

Horseshoe Bend

The kids were great, everyone was ready to come home by day 11 (so we headed back 1 day earlier than planned), baby napped on daddy’s back each day, and we all crashed into bed every night. On December 27 Baby B got really sick, throwing up in the car. We weren’t sure if it was car sickness or something else.

Now that we’ve all been very badly sick with fever, chills, headaches, body aches, and nausea (for the kids) we are guessing it was the latter…

It isn’t exactly a 1 week wrap up … more like 1.57 week wrap up, but it’ll do.

I think I will try to get some posts up with info on each part of our trip, so that when families are looking for information on traveling there, they can see what it is like for families. if you’d be interested in hearing more about that, shoot me a message on FB, or comment!

Canyon X

 

Canyon X

Canyon X

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Using and Creating Your Homeschool Space {modify & adjust}

Originally written in November of 2018, I came across this post and felt it was a good word of advice to myself, these days, so maybe another homeschool mama could benefit from it as well. It is easy to forget the simplicity of leading by example, using what works, and keeping it as basic as low key for your family.

im so glad I came across this reminder in this season

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Modify & Adjust

Our dining area probably looks like a mini classroom to some.

I often read advice from one homeschooler to another, “you don’t have to do school at home,” and they’re right, NO, you don’t.  (actually, I am certain I’ve written that before..)

We certainly don’t- our homeschool looks much different than a typical classroom.

But I am not going to deprive our learning environment of helpful tools for the sake of not creating a “classroom at home.”

Someone asked in a homeschool group recently if everyone hangs school posters, ABCs, etc on their walls.

Of course some did, many did not, and some of us trained teachers spoke up with what we know to be true:

If it isn’t at eye level, and isn’t used/referred to almost daily, it probably won’t be used.

My A-ha! Moment

After Christmas I took down our school calendar.

And today I am putting it back up.

I took it down, partly, because it was ONE more thing in the house, and I am tired of things and stuff … but also because it looked like school.

But you know what?!

WE USED THE CALENDAR!  Like, every dang day.

We looove moving the days of the week, the kids enjoy pointing to the dates.  They do well keeping up with the days, and reading a calendar. And frankly, I use it when I need to glance at the month when I am thinking about our activities, travel and such.

Clearly, my “ugh, this room looks like a classroom and there is stuff everywhere, MUST. DE. CLUTTER,” arrow was misguided.  There are probably many other things I could have removed, that would make it feel less cluttered in our home … But our big, ugly, blue school calendar that screams “preschoolers live here,” wasn’t one of them.

We use and enjoy that big ugly school calendar.

It is not like me to question what I know to be true.
And I know what works for us.
I recently wrote a post about changing how you do things because other people’s voices get in your head… y’all I never thought a post like that would resonate with me.  Not because I am immune to self doubt, but because if there is one thing I do not doubt, it is my ability to homeschool my children.

Be Confident in Your Decisions

When we feel doubtful about the process, methods, or our atmosphere in general, we should take it to the Lord.

I know I often find myself frustrated or questioning things, and going forth in prayer is always the most helpful (although in true human fashion I try to figure it out on my own with little in the way of results).

If you want to have a room especially for homeschooling, that has posters, maps, colorful designs, and handwriting charts around the room, DO IT!  Just because you dress up your area with useful tools doesn’t mean you stand at a chalkboard and teach like a public school classroom, (or maybe you do? and that’s fine too).

I recently purchased a waaaay to big for our area larger whiteboard for our homeschool, because I couldn’t fit much on the little art one we had.  I do not stand and teach from it (my husband made an awesome ledge for it to sit upon), but we have it so that we can fit our ideas, brainstorm for topics together, keep different topics of review posted, etc on the board.

(It also helps me with review throughout the week- if I can see what we are studying or what they are interested in, then it is in my brain.  For me, out of sight out of mind is SO true, and I will completely forget what we are wanting to do, enjoying, etc.

In our home, it is about making literacy part of the environment (another post coming on that soon).

I know the benefits and results of modeling for students- modeling writing, making charts for organizing thoughts, brainstorming ideas, writing the date, using information on the board or from a book.  Just like we model how to read by tracking words on the page with our fingers and blending sounds slowly with our mouths, or how to behave in public, use manners, etc., we can model learning in our homeschool.  That is how I use our white board, but it works for us in this season. 

When it isn’t Working

Modify and adjust.

One of the key terms (how often do I write that ….?) in my teacher’s program was modify and adjust.  Don’t be a slave to ANYTHING in your homeschool- not the curriculum, or the term “unschool”; not the planner, not the table, not the 4 walls of your house, not other people’s expectations, not the lack of curriculum, NOTHING.

If it doesn’t work- modify and adjust.  If the perfect, colorful, fun room you set up never gets used and you really need to turn it into a nursery for the coming baby, DO IT.

If you just can’t handle schooling the the basement (although you have room and shelves and tables), because it is so dark and dreary- MOVE TO THE MAIN FLOOR OF THE HOUSE! (<–this is us!)

If the birds chirping and the green grass outside on a warm spring morning are calling your name- move outside!

It’s ok to be excited and want the very best of everything in your home and homeschool.  But when it isn’t working or useful, when it causes stress/clutter, or isn’t getting results- Try something different.

Modify and Adjust.  =)

What is working in this season for you, that maybe you thought you would never do/use?

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Louie Giglio The Wonder of Creation

The Wonder of Creation

The author of our very favorite devotional has come out with his next book: The Wonder of Creation. This devotional is available now!

Louie Giglio is known for his powerful messages about science and the Bible, and his passion for inspiring kids to notice, enjoy, and be in awe of God’s creation.

In The Wonder of Creation, children will find new delight in God’s creativity with 100 devotions that explore:

  •  Animals–from honeyguide birds to flying snakes to white rhinos
  • Space–from black holes to volcanic moons to gamma-ray bursts
  • People–from optical illusions to brain freezes to our immune systems
  • Earth–from rainbow rivers to blue lava to flowing
    glaciers
  • And much, much more!

The illustrations are engaging, and my children loved the photography. My kiddos are 5-11 years old, and everyone likes this devotional before bedtime. We read as a family, and they soak it all up.

There are 100 devotions that feature scientific fact or an easy activity for exploring faith, a related Bible verse, and a closing prayer. The book itself is a hard cover, beautifully embossed and bright, with a ribbon bookmark. The Wonder of Creation is going to be your perfect go-to for a Christmas gift this year, too!

What I love about the devotionals is they don’t argue any of the young earth/old earth ideas. They *just give fact,* and point it to God in scripture. For every scientific fact the author gives, he always uses it to show how Great God is. And it is just beautifully done. This devotional will makes a great addition to a homeschool STEM curriculum, or like our family, a perfect addition to a bedtime reading routine.

Along with the beautiful devotional, parents can download the free Parent Discussion Guide HERE. This is a free resource that parents and can use to go along with their devotional, no matter how you decide to sue it with your kids.

Get your copy ordered today, and give it to your favorite kids, or family!

Louie Giglio: The Wonder of Creation

Disclaimer: Many thanks to HarperCollins Christian Publishing for providing this product/product information for review.  Opinions are 100% my own.  I did receive the product in exchange for this review and post. Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Listicle: Favorite Christmas books

Winter Wonderland Blogger Campaign

This is one of our favorite times of the year as a family. While the world is going full speed ahead with over commitment, stressful obligations, and an abundance of distracting noise, we like to take this opportunity to be home, in a relaxed environment with close friends, and focus on the blessings we have already been given. Most of all, Jesus.

Part of that time together as a family is spent playing games, enjoying movie nights, and of course … reading good books.  There are few things more enjoyable than hot cider, a bowl of popcorn, and some fun family time enjoying each other in all our craziness!

Here are our top Christmas Books this year, a few classics, and a few newbies (to our home):

  • The (illustrated) Narnia Series– We are reading The Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe this December as a family, and I am *loving* it. I haven’t read C.S. Lewis since I was a child, and I honestly did not fall in love with them (mandatory reading in middle school). But my 8 year old has multiple copies, all falling a part, of each Narnia book, and has read them tens upon tens of times. So … I felt like we should try a one for Christmas time as a family. It has not disappointed!

  • A Christmas Wish for Corduroy This was sent to me in a precious Christmas package from my PRH publicity agent (along with an ornament and hot chocolate, y’all!) and let me tell you, she chose a perfect set for our family. This sweet story will take your  family back to the beginning; back to Corduroy’s first wish of becoming a special child’s toy. Each distinguishable thing about Corduroy makes him special, much like each person in our family, and those specials things are exactly what Lisa loves about him. Your family will find the classic Corduroy illustrations and a sweet story to inspire hope, perseverance, and love this Christmas season.
  • Corduroy Takes a Bow- The second title in my Christmas gift package was Corduroy Takes a Bow; during the time of year when we are all going to the theatre for ballets, Christmas Pageants, and plays, this is a perfect way to get children interested in the goings-on behind the scenes of their favorite show. Everyone loves Corduroy and his shenanigans, this sweet story is no different! We added both of the Corduroy titles to our Christmas book opening for the month of December and my kids have so enjoyed them.

  • The Christmas Story– Y’all. Come one now, Eloise Wilkin? Always. The answer is always. Her illustrations are just lovely and I haven’t found a single book with her name on the cover that isn’t just perfect.

A few more favorite titles:

    

This entry was posted in books.

God With Us: A Journey Home {and giveaway}

God WIth Us: Children's Storybook Bible

We have been reading through God With Us: A Journey Home, by author Jeremy Pierre and illustrator Cassandra Clark. This beautiful retelling of the greatest story ever told is a children’s storybook Bible that will awaken children to their brave journey home- home with God.

I received an unofficial paperback copy, but your purchased copy will be a 268 page hardback, with the same beautiful illustrations. My children loved the pictures in this book. I like that the overall message gives children hope beyond what the world can give them.

We 100% read the actual Bible in our home, and I believe children understand so much more than we give them credit for. This beautiful storybook Bible is a wonderful addition to a home with young children because it helps them understand the overall message of scripture- A relationship with Jesus is the only way to heaven, and this earth isn’t our lasting home.

This place is beautiful, and full of God’s fingerprints, but it is not where we find our hope. The world isn’t our forever home.

Hallelujah!

This storybook Bible does include an  imaginative retelling perspective; like an adult telling a story to a child. It isn’t a word for word scripture retelling picture book.

God WIth Us: Children's Storybook Bible

This is going to be a perfect Christmas gift for the children and families in your life! Get your copy ordered today!

Giveaway- using the tool below, enter to win your own copy of God With Us!

 

God WIth Us: Children's Storybook Bible
Many thanks to Shepherd Press for providing this product/product information for review.  Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive the product in exchange for this review and post.

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Practice Monkeys Online Piano, Violin and Self Defense

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

Practice Monkeys

I am so excited to share Practice Monkeys with y’all again this year. We reviewed their violin program a few years ago, and recently tried out piano, and self defense in addition to our violin lessons. If you don’t know, Practice Monkeys is an online program that teaches many different instrument and self defense classes. Families will need a computer with a camera, or a device with a camera such as a iPad, since lessons are video based via Zoom. What I love is that enrollment for one class is for the entire family! If you enroll in piano, everyone can take piano. If you enroll in self defense, everyone in the family can take it.

We have used:

  • Violin for ages 3+
  • Piano for ages 3+
  • Self Defense for  ages 5+Practice Monkeys Online Instrument and Self Defense Classes

They also teach cello and guitar lessons!

How Lessons Work

Practice Monkeys classes are unique because they’re set up completely online; everything students need can be found in their Treehouse. This is like their lessons landing page, where all their skills, forms, and videos can be found. If a class is missed, recordings can also be found in the here.

Supplies needed are pretty simple; some instrument classes require a music book and accompanying CD, and of course your instrument. Here in the Treehouse (image below), families will find instruction for getting started, class links for their live lessons and recordings, and the videos for their Skills to Master. In the Treehouse parents will find the practice sheets to be filled out each week; this tells students what to work on and what they are reviewing, etc. This is for parents to fill out based on what the student is working on in the Treehouse.

Four days a week, Monday-Thursday there are live video lessons (the time depends on which lesson type and level you are in) which are in class practice. Then students can do their after class practice where they go through the assigned skills on their practice sheets. Especially in the earlier levels, students will need a parent to help them get things just right with their instruments.

When students need extra help, or are struggling with something, there are help classes on Wednesdays; this its a targeted, 1:1 help from their instructor. This is also a great time to make sure they are ready for assessments. We always try to do 1-2 help classes before we do an assessment, because there is always room to improve before moving up a level. There are help classes for the instrument classes, as well as self defense!

 

Assessments

Assessments are how students test into their next level. You will schedule an assessment via the website; this is $10-$30. This is a motivator to make sure your child is ready for the assessment 😉 In the Treehouse you will also find the assessment form, which is exactly what the instructor will use, so students can be sure they are prepared for everything on that sheet to move to the next level. We have found assessments to be great fun, and enjoy the time with Mrs. Sarah.

Violin

We have done all kinds of violin lessons since my daughter began-mainly because we have moved and needed a new teacher each time. No one has been as wonderful, hands on, or as knowledgable, as the instructors at Practice Monkeys. Mrs. Sarah is such a sweet, caring teacher. She wants students to succeed and gives great help and technique tips.

My daughter always enjoys her classes, working through her treehouse, and the help classes she’s done. We do take a while to work through a level, because she is a bit more timid about taking an assessment. But Mrs. Sarah has always been so kind and has never put pressure on her to move faster. She gets to move at her own pace, and we love that! We have had a couple of different teachers depending on the level my daughter was in, and they’ve all be great!

Piano

My older 3 children worked through piano lessons with Practice Monkeys the last few months. The lessons, like violin, are Suzuki style, which means that listening to the recorded music and learning to play by ear are taught first. I have seen the fruit of this teaching style in my oldest who has done violin since she was 3/4 years old.

While my kids wanted to know where every key was right away, they had to get used to learning the notes by ear as they learned where they were by sight, through practice. For some of them this was simultaneous, and for some it was not. Even my youngest, who was not taking lessons at all, was learning to play by ear by listening to the others. They were all so excited when they got down their twinkle twinkle variations.

The Piano classes were simple, focused on practicing skills from the Treehouse, and the teachers are always kind. Live lessons are kept short, so there is no problem keeping student’s attention, and there is plenty of time for after class practice. Students can ask questions here, but mainly they are working on skills with a teacher. My kids loved the finger songs and playing along with the teacher live.

Self Defense

“Well, how in the world do you take self defense classes online?” you may ask. I had the same thought, but yall- it was so great! They are online and video based. So students can interact with the teachers via video. The instructors show what they are working on, step by step, give specific instructions and corrections to help students as they go, and then they all work on the moves together. The instructor is able to tel students when they need to switch hands, and what to do next, just as if they were in a real classroom.

Practice Monkeys self defense is jiu jitsu style and Dr. Van Kleeck is great with the kids.  As students move through the program, they will graduate level to level via assessments, and end with their official belts. Dr. Van Kleeck is enthusiastic, patient, and enjoys seeing them learn and grow in their skills. This class requires 2 people, that can be the student and a friend, parent, sibling, etc. But there needs to be 1 person to practice the defense skills on; if 2 family members are taking the class together they simply take turns switching roles. This class was a lot of fun and in a few short weeks I saw my kids’ confidence grow so much!

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I want to say thank you to Practice Monkeys because this program is exactly what we needed for our family- lessons on our schedule, at our pace, in our own home. Driving al the way to the nearest large city every week was a lot when we tried to do that, not to mention the teacher really wasn’t worth it. With Practice Monkeys my kids get the best of the best, with all the help we could possibly need, and their skills grow! That’s worth our family’s time and money, 💯

Visit their website, watch a recorded lessons, and try them out!

 

Connect with Practice Monkeys

 

Click the banner below to read other reviews for Practice Monkeys, and their other programs!
Online Lessons for Children: Violin, Piano, Cello, Guitar, and Self Defense

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Online Math Practice with I Know It

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew
I Know It
I Know It is an online math program for students in K-5th grade to practice math skills; we are reviewing the 1-year family subscription for up to 4 students. This is a supplemental program to your regular math curriculum t0 help students to grow in skills, and for parents to track progress with assessment. Children will enjoy the customized learning they will receive, as well as the ease of use.

I Know It- Online Math Skills Supplementation

About I Know It

I Know It is easy to use, with large fonts and on an easy to navigate site. The questions students work through have hints when needed, and parents can select how many hints they receive. Incorrect answers result in the correct answer, along with an explanation for the correct answer. To switch from parent to student, you click change user in the upper right corner- so much simpler than other programs I’ve tried in the past.

To see what each grade level covers, you can simply click on the large grade level numbers in the top left of the screen.

I Know It- Online Math Skills Supplementation

Students can work through the grade level at their own pace, or the teacher/parent can click on the skills in this list, and easily choose which child to assign it to:

I Know It- Online Math Skills Supplementation

For Parents or teachers there are many tracking tools, and options for customizing practice for students. They are easy to use and not overwhelming like some online programs can be. Parents can choose which standards they want to use, including the option for no standards. You can set the grade level for the student, and choose the specific level at which they work; this is going to be very handy for parents that have homeschoolers working above or below their current grade level. Students with learning differences and those that are advanced can have their I Know It level customized to fit their needs.

There is an option for having the questions read aloud to the student, and parents can change the setting for a man or woman’s voice. I really like that parents can disable to animations- for some students this is very motivating and fun, while for others it can be distracting and create problems for them.

Having the options to customize the program for each student is what really I Know It apart from other supplemental programs. Check them out!

Connect with I Know It

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Engaging Online Interactive Math Practice with I Know It

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

The Giving Manger {and giveaway!}

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

Worhty Kids

Y’all. Every now and then along comes something that is just so beautiful and sweet, you feel the need to tell others.

The Giving Manger is one of those. WorthyKids has created something so sweet and simple, but impactful; you are going to love adding this to your family Advent celebrations. It doesn’t require daily crafts, snacks, or buying all the things. All you need is The Giving Manger and your family.

The Giving Manger

What It Is

The Giving Manger isn’t something else you have to add to your to do list. The Giving Manger creates an atmosphere of love and peace in homes because the end result isn’t about what everyone gets out of it. The end result is about loving others:

The purpose of using The Giving Manger for Advent is to honor Jesus, by loving and serving others. Just as He has served us.

The book itself is a hardcover picture book, with lovely cut-paper illustrations. The book will help get children excited about the tradition, while helping everyone understand how this new tradition honors Jesus and why you’re doing it. In the 32 page story, a dad explains to his children how Christmas will be different this year- they won’t be opening gifts on Christmas day, instead they will be giving Jesus gifts by loving and serving others during the Advent season.

When they’ve done something to serve others, children place a piece of straw in the wooden manger (both are included with the kit), to prepare it for Jesus. And finally, on Christmas morning they get to place Jesus in the manger. This can be done at night by a parent as a surprise for the next day, by the children, or the family on Christmas morning.

The Giving Manger

How We Used It

Let me tell you- there is something about that little baby Jesus that children *love.* I am not sure what He is made of, it feels like a resin, or resin coated wood? He is sturdy and just perfect for small hands. My kids have been in awe of baby Jesus!

For the purpose of this review, our family began using The Giving Manger before Advent, but hey- what’s an extra month of intentionally serving others and being kind (especially when we are talking siblings)? First we read the book, which is a beautiful and simple explanation of The Giving Manger.

Then, we read through the list of ideas for serving others. This is found in the back of the book, and is a big help when little minds are drawing a blank about how to serve others. There are several pages of simple ideas such as: paint rocks and hide them in the park, put a kind note in a library book, help a sibling with chores, read a book to a younger child, etc.

Much like the children in the book, my kids became very excited once they realized that serving others meant doing something for others that shows your love to them. We talk about this a lot, and they do this in helping me often. But I am so thankful this book and Advent activity really opened their eyes to serving one another better. I saw a big change in the competitiveness that’s creeped into their relationships in recent months (I feel like this happens at certain ages?). And they come up with ways to serve those outside of our family, all on their own.

 

I’ve found them jumping up first to help when I need it, doing chores for a sibling when they are sick, helping keep each other’s doors shut (because toddler!), and reading to one another more. The ideas in the back of the book are very practical for most families, I don’t think they’re over the top or too difficult at all. Of course families can come up with their own ideas, too!

But mostly I’ve just seen their hearts soften and become a little less me focused. And isn’t that what we want for our kids year round? Of course it is! At Christmas, when hearts can become very focused on what’s under the tree, or all the many fun activities going on, The Giving Manger is a wonderful centerpiece for our home, that helps everyone remember why we celebrate Christmas at all.

 

This sweet little kit of book, manger, straw and baby Jesus have created a peace in our home, it has opened hearts to the idea of what serving others really looks like. It has made Jesus somewhat tangible for little minds, and made a concept that may seem abstract to children more concrete.

Thank you WorthyKids, this is definitely a new family tradition for our Advent season!

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Start a New Christmas Advent Tradition with The Giving Manger

 

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Homeschool Redwall Study Guide {Progeny Press}

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

Progeny Press
My 11 year old has been working her way through the digital Redwall Study Guide from Progeny Press, and she has enjoyed it so much. We’ve used Progeny Press study guides before in our homeschool, and they never disappoint! You can read our experience with their Miss Rumphius guide here. This guide is for grades 5-8, and covers Redwall books 1-3, but Progeny Press offers many, many more guides at all levels. These are a great way to do language arts in your homeschool!

Progeny Press Redwall Study guide

 

What It Is

These study guides come in an E-guide format, which means they’re available as soon as you purchase them, no waiting on shipping (which we know is unreliable these days). Each comes in an easy to use, PDF format; I was able to open it on both my Mac and our Windows desktop where my daughter used it some.

Thanks to Progeny Press’s interactive feature, you can open their study guides using Adobe Reader program (which is free), and your student can type their answer directly in the guide! This is perfect for families like our who have students learning to type, or who struggle with physical writing large amounts at a time.

Progeny Press Redwall Study guide

The study guides are broken down into sections divided by chapters; for example the first section of Redwall’s guide was chapters 1-9. Each section includes activities; while not all activities are included in every section, some are:

  • Vocabulary- sometimes students match definitions, make their own sentences, multiple choice, etc
  • Dialect- this quizzes the students on what they think these odd-to-us phrases and words mean
  • Questions- these are comprehension questions about what happened in the book
  • Thinking About the Story- these are questions are where students make connections between the text, themselves and the world by critically thinking about what is explicitly said and what they must infer. I will post a screen shot below of an example
  • Dig deeper- these questions do just that
  • Class Discussion- this is a great opportunity for narration or family discussion
  • Chapter Activities- these include cooking, animal report, research, crafts, and art
  • Optional Writing Assignments or Discussion
  • Creative Writing Assignment
  • At the end there is a secretion of Final Project ideas
  • There is scripture all throughout the guide too, which I love

Throughout the guide there are interactive links and Pinterest boards for students and families to explore. My girl *loves* this. We do not yet have any ad blockers or special browsers for my kids to use, so I was hesitant at first to let her work alone. But the links from progeny Press are safe, and once she figured out using the browser it worked well for us.

How we Used It and What We Think

We started with book 1, Redwall; I printed what we needed, when we needed it so y daughter could work on it whenever she had time, and could do a bit of writing. I chose to print a section at a time, which is convenient and not overwhelming for her. It’s so easy to print if you’re needing it as a family or for more than one student, because you can print as many copies as you need, and everyone can work at their own pace. Of course you can do this in PDF format on the computer for typing as well.

The answer key for the teacher is a different file, so no worries if you need to keep that from little eyes. However, I will tell you that there’s a reason teachers had us check our own work in school. 😂 It makes less work for the teacher, and students generally enjoy it! Also, I like doing this with my older kids because it gives them a chance to see with their eyes what it is you’re expecting from them. I can tell them I expect “complete sentences with detailed information from the book,” all day long. But when they see what is expected of them in print, compared to the answer key, it can help them really understand what I mean. We do this sometimes, especially with language arts.

I like the Progeny Press study guides, because we can use the smaller ones throughout the year. But larger ones like this we can savor slowly, and make it a larger project. I think using a larger one like Redwall over the course of  semester or two gives students time for quality work. It can become more like an independent unit study where they get to explore all the links and activities in the guide (and if you have more than one student doing the same one, the whole family can work together).

Progeny Press Redwall Study guide

My girl *loves* doing projects and cooking on her own, so this is a chance for her to do that without me having to put anything together on my own, which I don’t have much time for. Thank you Progeny Press!

Watch this short video for more information about Progeny Press and their faith statement:

Connect with Progeny Press

 

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