WORLD Watch- Current Events for Homeschool Families with a Christian Worldview

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

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how to get my ex back if he is dating someone else is an unbiased daily news program for current events (mainstream and otherwise) for all busy homeschool families, and we have thoroughly enjoyed it in our home. WORLD Watch is an online subscription that brings the news in 10 minutes, and offers a Christian worldview we can trust. During lunch my kids ask to watch the news, and I know it is going to be something we can watch together and then have discussions about, with a meaningful impact.

WORLD Watch is real journalism, you know the kind that began dying off a few decades ago, and more recently has become extinct? They’ve done the ground work, they give real news from real research, and they’re real journalism I can trust.

I know when we turn on WORLD Watch we are going to have a quick and easy news show, with a little humor for the kids and a light hearted approach to the topics. Students/families learn about current events happening all over the world through biblically sound headlines, news briefs, and feature stories. They don’t skip over the important things-there are some deep topics… the current situation in Afghanistan for instance, the impact of communism in other countries, etc. But I love that the news anchors aren’t overly dramatic, scary, or leaving out important information.

My children can make up their own minds about what they see and hear on the news without fear mongering.; hey can practice discernment and critical thinking about what’s happening.

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My children don’t come away from WORLD Watch with fear, anxiety, or someone else’s opinion. They have questions, their own opinions, and intelligent conversation. They love the humor the anchors throw in, and we enjoy that they connect current events to the Bible. This kind of news really puts our current world into perspective- it helps my children make connections between scripture and current events/discoveries without preaching. It is truly just facts and a lot of fun information.

The news given is age appropriate, without any political bias or opinions mixed in. My 11 year old says,

I love the funny parts at the end where he (the anchor) does funny things. The news they give us is always interesting, and I like talking about it afterwards.

I think this subscription is a great idea for families, especially if your children are 10+ and thus able to understand the news. I also think adults are going to enjoy getting the information without the mainstream media twist on everything, thus avoiding any truly false information. harry styles hired gay escort is a great source (maybe one of the only sources) for non partisan journalism.

Wit WORLD Watch we can get our facts from a Christian worldview news channel (knowing there isn’t anything promoted my children shouldn’t see), and know we can trust it. That’s what I love about them!

 

WORLD Watch News- a christian worldview

 

Connect with WORLD Watch

 

Check out other reviews from The Crew by clicking the banner below: World News That Builds Biblical Discernment

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!

Archer and Zowie by Hans Bluedorn

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

My children have been reading  Archer and Zowie, written by Hans Bluedorn for fun the last few weeks. This is a fanciful story of friendship written in the humorous style in which the author also wrote The Fallacy Detective (see the Crew link for more reviews on his works). This is a 234 page, paperback book with fun black and white illustrations and a lot of imagination! It held up through a lot of reading and toting around with a sturdy binding and easy to read pages. *If you have a child who is easily intimidated by many small words on the page, this is a great fit for them. The print is large and the pages are not overwhelming*

When their mischievousness leaves them with a failed experiemnt and a broken microwave, best friends Archer and Zowie discover their microwave can now do mysterious things- all of which send them on an adventure to space via the Hungry Caterpillar, with penguin aliens, the author, and much more.Archer and Zowie

 

My children who read this book are 10 and 8; it is science fiction for middle grade students … I’d say the tween age (8-12) will probably enjoy it most. My 8 year old son thought it was pretty funny; he read it in a matter of days. I think this can be attributed to the world building the boys get to experience, and the silliness of the writing style. My kids found parts of the book extra silly, something that stuck out to my 8 year old,

I liked how they explained about trash day. They thought on trash day (like our cleaning day when we throw out things while cleaning), that you just never see your trash again, they thought it was a giant beetle thing that took the trash away. But they find out  on another planet that trash day is once a year, and they shoot all the trash into outer space and it makes a ring around the planet; which is sad. They were good friends and helpful to one another.

On their imaginary adventure the boys learn more about the world around them, about their differences, and to be better friends because of it all. There is mild potty talk that my kids pointed out (I wondered what they would say) because we don’t use potty talk in our home, but I will say it is mostly harmless and not something that is a main theme in the book.

The life lessons learned are pretty profound even if children don’t realize it, and the boys really learn a lot about themselves and one another on their journey. It helps them to become better friends and understand life a little more. Isn’t that what childhood is about?- learning about yourself, learning to love others, and learning about the world around you, all while playing pretend in your backyard?

Archer and Zowie

This turned out to be a really cute read that my kids enjoyed, and I liked the lessons learned along the way.

Connect with Hans Blyedon

 

Click the banner below to read more reviews of Hans Bluedorn’s other works, as well as more about Archie and Zowie:
Hans Bluedorn Brings us Fallacy Detective and Archer & Zowie

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!

Math Essentials {homeschool speed drill practice}

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

Math Essentials Speed Wheel Drills

If you are looking for supplemental math practice, Math Essentials  Speed Wheel Drills offers addition, multiplication and division practice.

We have used these books several times a week to practice math facts. We began practice with them after a 4-5 week break during the summer, and boy were my kids rusty with their math 😂 . We all laughed because my math loving 8 year old had suddenly forgotten all his multiplication facts. Within a few days of practicing with Math Essentials Speed Wheel Drills, he was remembering them at lightening speed again.

Math Essentials Speed Wheel Drills Math Essentials Speed Wheel Drills

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Math Essentials Speed Wheel Drills

 

 

My 10 year old really enjoyed using the timer on my phone to time herself as she went through the wheels. (This lead to her wanting to also calculate how quickly she can read a age in a book, and figure out at that speed how long it would take her to read the entire book in seconds, minutes, and hours)

 

 

 

 

There are great tips on learning math in the front of the book, along with a how to use this book page.

Math Essentials Speed Wheel Drills

 

The books each have a sturdy, glossy cover with binding that held up great to medium/heavy use (are your kids as hard on workbooks as mine?). There are 1400 sheet wheel drills that help with instant recall, making math easier for students. It’s super easy to track progress. If you have 2 students using the same book like we did, put the child’s name and day 1, day 2 etc on the top of the page to track individual progress. I’d say no more than 2 kids using a book though. The pages are a crisp white, and they do not shadow onto the other side, which is really nice.

Wheels are arranged differently on each page so students aren’t memorizing the order of the problems, but the math facts themselves. Students can easily check themselves using a math chart (we used our math chart printed from Schoolhouseteachers.com, and laminated) which makes this even less aren’t intensive. My children really enjoyed watching how much faster they could become and how many more they got correct each time.

As a mom I like how each page is simple and not too crazy, which is helpful. It is so hard for some kids (and adults) to concentrate on the task at hand when the page is busy with color and graphics. I like the simplicity and cleanness of the speed wheel pages.

Math Essentials Speed Wheel Drills

These make a great supplement to math throughout the school year, or as we found, for summer break to keep some practice but without doing full school. I took an easy approach, of no fuss or pressure and my kids really enjoyed it. It became something they used to improve their skills but they just thought it was fun competing against themselves 😆

Connect with Math Essentials (they have other great math resources as well)

Check out other reviews from the Crew by clicking the banner below:
Master Math Facts with Math Essentials Speed Drills
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!

Homeschool Science Online- Chemistry

Homeschool Science online

Disclosure: I received this product free through the Homeschool Review Crew.

We have been using Greg Landry’s Homeschool Science, Young Scientist Chemistry, for some science fun this summer. This course is for grades 4-7, and is a self paced course. Because it is online, you can do it anytime with as many students as you’d like. Self paced makes this course as slow or fast you your family feels comfortable. I have some kids that will fly through self paced courses, and others that like to take a little longer.

For the Young Scientist Chemistry course, there are 13 classes, plus an intro that covers a little information from parents and student.  Classes cover:

  • note taking and test taking
  • the scientific method
  • creation, the atom, matter & quantum mechanics
  • the periodic table (2 lessons)
  • elements, mixtures, and compounds
  • chemical bonding
  • the mole
  • states of matter
  • Density
  • Radioactivity
  • Ph- acids and bases

The course includes easy print out study guide pdfs for each lesson, divided into parts, 1-4.

Homeschool Science online

We have really enjoyed these lessons. My almost 3rd grader tagged along with his almost 5th grade sister. They were both interested in it, but my daughter specifically requested doing chemistry, so it was of more interest to her and at her level.

Homeschool Science online

Classes are lecture style and Professor Landry is so easy to listen to, and is also easy to understand-which is so important for online learning. Lessons include some visuals on the screen, which correlate with the PDF study guide. I recommend printing the study guide before class, that way students can make notes as they go along through the class.

The PDF study guides include activities and worksheets for filling in information for class, which helps the student with note taking and completing their work, as well as comprehension. There are great charts included in the PFDs as well. My daughter loves visuals and reading over notes, so we find the printable guides super helpful.

This is a great way for parents to assess progress in the course, and show proof of learning for any requirements for their state or diplomas. We like making portfolios for our work, so Professor Landry’s guides are a great way to do this.

My children have a pretty firm foundation in the metric system, thanks to their math, so the metric system class was a great way to bring all of that information together, showing how it relates to science. We did one lesson a week, sometimes every other week, usually on Wednesdays. We loved the lesson for creation, the atom, matter & quantum mechanics. I like how Professor Landry handles creation and the topic of God’s creation, the analogies he gives for student’s to understand- we weren’t created from nothing. But instead purposefully, by our Creator.

Homeschool Science online

Classes build upon one another, so I do recommend going in order of the course. There is also review in each video we’ve come across, because students use knowledge from previous classes for the next.

We are super excited to continue on through the course, and continue our learning journey with Greg Landry’s Homeschool Science, Young Scientist Chemistry.

 

Read more reviews for this, and other science courses, by clicking the banner below:

Online College Prep Science Classes with Greg Landry

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!

Homeschool Math-All Grades-with CTCMath

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

CTCMath Homeschool Online Math Parent Dashboard

Many homeschool families are looking for an easy to use, online math program for their children. CTCMath is a full online math program, covering all grades, kindergarten through 12th, including calculus. We know there will come a day when my children may need more help than their math books and I can give them, and CTCMath will be a great option at that time. (I have blurred out names and email address in the images below).

CTCMath Homeschool Online Math Parent Dashboard

After logging in, families will find pre-recorded video tutorials with directions explaining step by step each math concept. They are easily accessed any time, anywhere via your account. I found these lessons to be clear and easy to follow along, making it like sitting in class listening to a teacher.

In the parent dashboard, parents can add each student, selecting their grade level and where to begin on lessons. From there, students can login, complete their lesson, and take a quiz over what they just learned. A lesson summary can also be downloaded for each lesson. I love this because we enjoy making math notebooks with concepts my children may need to revisit. It helps make it hands on, too.

CTCMath Homeschool Online Math Parent Dashboard

CTCMath Homeschool Online Math program

Topics may have multiple lessons, which are all in order for the student to follow. The quiz questions on each lesson can be read to the student by clicking the speak button next to the questions; this is a great option for early readers, or students who better comprehend by listening. Weekly revision sets help consolidate learning and identify areas of struggle. In the CTCMath parent dashboard, you can find extensive reports making tracking easy for parents and record keeping.

Parents can set tasks, view results, and see the history of what students have been working on.

There are also some really fun games found at the bottom of the screen: speed skills, times tables, and swap pieces. I have to be honest and say these are a lot of fun, and will definitely help your kids find motivation to do some extra math learning. These are a great rewards for having completed math lessons for the day or week.

CTCMath Homeschool Online Math Parent Dashboard

CTCMath Quiz grade 5 Homeschool Online Math program

Maybe one of the best parts- CTCMath offers a 12 month guarantee- I don’t know any math curriculum that backs their program with such confidence! Overall, this program is definitely going to help improve math learning for students. If you family is looking for an online, video based learning option, CTCMath is where it’s at! Between the easy to follow lessons, simple tracking, and fun games, kids and parents will both enjoy this math.

Connect with CTCMath

 

Read more  CTC Math reviews from the Crew:

Online Homeschool Math with CTCMath

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!

Homeschool History with Home School in the Woods

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

Home School In the Woods History

We have enjoyed using Home School in the Woods to supplement our history before, and this time we loved it as well! We’ve been enjoying their Time Travelers U.S. History Studies, and it goes along perfectly with our American History this summer. We are working through the Time Travelers: The American Revolution pack, for hands on learning in our homeschool.

Home School In the Woods History  #americanhistory #ushistory #ustimeline #timelineofamerica #timelines #historicaltimelines #timelinefigures #americanhistorycurriculum #timetravelers

This summer we have been working through fun history projects, and my kids have loved it! I have to be honest- I’m not a fan of putting together units with projects… and that’s where Home School in the Woods Time Travelers have come in. After reading our history, I usually search for a video to watch on YouTube, recapping what we just learned. Then we take to the projects in our pack, at the family table.

Our favorite has been making newspapers! The kids had so much fun with this- even though the packs are suggested ages 8+ my 6 year old loved joining in. So if you have younger kiddos, I say definitely let them tag along. We like doing these as a family because everyone can work at their own level, and do their own activity. Younger children will enjoy coloring the pictures, and pasting in a notebook. There are so many ways to adjust these history studies for all ages.

Home School In the Woods History  #americanhistory #ushistory #ustimeline #timelineofamerica #timelines #historicaltimelines #timelinefigures #americanhistorycurriculum #timetravelers

10 year old’s newspaper page

Home School In the Woods History  #americanhistory #ushistory #ustimeline #timelineofamerica #timelines #historicaltimelines #timelinefigures #americanhistorycurriculum #timetravelers

8 year old’s newspaper page

Home School In the Woods History  #americanhistory #ushistory #ustimeline #timelineofamerica #timelines #historicaltimelines #timelinefigures #americanhistorycurriculum #timetravelers

6 year old’s newspaper page

Parents will find each download has a folder with lessons, a folder with correlating, labeled projects, as well as instructions, photos, and a resource list. Everything is easy to find, print out, and simple to use. Finding each project in the photos provided in the download is very helpful, especially for kids that need to see what the finished project looks like (or this mama, who is super visual).

The pack contains 25 lessons that can be completed in 5-10 weeks, or as you choose. They cover all of the politics and conflicts that launched a new nation, including the French and Indian War, George vs George, government, taxing, the Boston Tea Party, and so much more! You can view the scope and sequence by selecting the scope/seq tab midway down on this page. I love how they cover not only the big, most well known events and people, but lesser-known events that happened and people that affected the war and revolution- like women of the war, and battles in the south.

Home School In the Woods History  #americanhistory #ushistory #ustimeline #timelineofamerica #timelines #historicaltimelines #timelinefigures #americanhistorycurriculum #timetravelers

I have found these projects to be meaningful, interesting, and helpful for my children to remember what we’ve learned together. We really love putting together lap books, and I can’t wait to do that soon. We’ve been so busy with baseball, and celebrating sumer with friends we haven’t had a chance to get everything put together, but we will!

Included in the Time Travelers: The American Revolution masters are the timeline figures! The set included for this pack can be found here,  but there are so many sets to add for all your homeschool history studies. Home School in the Woods offers several different sets of timeline figures and have added some new ones recently- check them out!

Home School In the Woods History  #americanhistory #ushistory #ustimeline #timelineofamerica #timelines #historicaltimelines #timelinefigures #americanhistorycurriculum #timetravelers

one of our timeline book pages

 

Connect with Home School in the Woods

Read more reviews from the Crew, including other Home School in the Woods project packs, by clicking the banner below

Hands On History with Homeschool in the Woods

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!

Homeschooling Memory Work with Cross Seven

 

I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

We have added Cross Seven Ventures – Homeschool Musical Memory Tool online subscription to our morning time during breakfast. This memory work is set to Claritas Musical Memory Work songs. These songs are beautiful, and so easy to remember! We have loved this program.CrossSeven memory workInside the account dashboard of Cross Seven, parents can create a child profile for each child. Using the child profile, students can take quizzes on the memory work they are learning. Each child profile can login under the family account, which allows ease for parents to keep up with what everyone is doing, and tracking progress if desired. Our family chose to do quizzes together, and take turns answering quiz questions (though they all knew most of them) as a family. Memory work for us is an added bonus to morning time, and I trust the process enough to not feel the need for quizzes… BUT quizzes can be fun for kids, a great opportunity computer practice, and of course a way to track progress if necessary for homeschool reporting. You can also give children any name for their account, it doesn’t have to be their real name (I know some parents like to avoid putting their children’s name online, and I totally get that!).

The images and text on the videos of each song are meaningful, and memorable. Each week’s memory work consists of

  • Scripture
  • History
  • Latin
  • Grammar
  • Science
  • Math
  • Grogrpahy
  • Hymns
  • Timeline
  • Timeline Song

Families will find an easy to use program, divided into simple to navigate sections. Our family mainly utilized the Weekly Memory Work tab, but you can also navigate through the memory work by subject. Each memory work song correlates with a video; if you click on memory work by subject, you can scroll down to find hand motion videos for each song in that section.

There are 4 year cycles to work through, each containing 28 weeks of memory work. This provides a great foundation of memorizing facts, on which to build more in-depth knowledge later. We enjoyed watching the videos that went along with the songs in Cycle 1, as this is our first year doing memory work. But we are looking forward to Cycle 3, where we will move through some of the Psalms, the Industrial Revolution, learn about perimeter, and more!

Each week has correlating Fun Links, including how to create your own timeline book. We have a timeline book and love utilizing it, so I would definitely suggest making one to go with your memory work. It is not only a great keepsake, but of course documents student’s learning, while providing opportunities for kids to express what they’ve learned. They can write, draw pictures,  or dictate to a parent what goes into the book. So many opportunities for added learning!

I love that this online program is *easy* to use. While the program itself isn’t complicated, even simple programs can have difficult websites- but not Cross Seven! It is very intuitive for users, from logging in to navigating the website, anyone can do it. I also like that there is a Cross Seven Roku Channel! We love using our Roku for learning channels so adding this one was a no brainer.

My children have had lightbulb moments with this memory work! *Oh! Now I understand XYZ because the timeline song!* Honestly, I have benefited from the memory songs, especially in the timeline portions, because sometimes it is hard to remember the order of history. This makes it so easy and fun… we aren’t just doing rote memorization here. This is learning that students will apply to all areas of their education- (making connections is vital in comprehension: from text to self, text to text, and text to world. We aren’t talking about reading here, but the same thing applies. Children will benefit in making these different connections through the use of memory work. Ok-my education degree rant is over. 😆 )

Parents can also choose to order books, CDs, map booklets, and more products that align with their family’s memory work cycle, but this is not necessary.

Connect with Cross Seven

Be sure to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews for Cross Seven!Cross Seven Musical Memory Reviews

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!

Family Devotional with Bob Goff- Homeschool Morning Time, Bedtime

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

Each night we read a chapter/section from a devotional, and often read a few stories from the Beginner’s Bible, to our children. The lst several weeks we have been using a new “devotional” and have really enjoyed it. Tommy Nelson Publishing so graciously sent us Everybody, Always for Kids , by Bob Goff and Lindsey Goff Viducich.
We love supporting theologically accurate books which teach about loving like Jesus and walking in such a way that reflects that. Everybody, Always for Kids  fits into our family perfectly. We have enjoyed reading a new story several times a week, before bed. My kids beg to read from this book, enjoy the lovely illustrations, and understand the lessons taught.

Everybody, Always for Kids by Bob Goff

The binding feels sturdy, and the thick, glossy pages should hold up well to many years of love. There is also a royal blue, satin ribbon bookmark along with an inscription page, making this a perfect gift.

Inside this hard bound book, parents will find 40 stories of personal experience, that help children see the world from others’ point of view, and help them understand how to love others well. Each story focuses on a different situation or feeling, and how to respond/go to action, from a biblical perspective. We especially enjoyed the Be Not Afraid-serving others, Trash Cans- about Pat who was an ordinary neighbor that did something small for his neighbors, and Land the Plan-about mistakes.

Sometimes our children have a friend in their life that is hard to love, be it at Sunday school, playdates, or co-op classes. Loving that friend doesn’t mean accepting what they do as okay, but it does mean we can love them anyway, just as God loves us no matter how sinful our choices may be. We can each relate to feeling outcast, different, or mistreated because of our differences.

Sometimes children see someone else who is being treated differently, struggling with their feelings, or sitting alone, and they may not know how to help them. But Everybody, Always for Kids , makes it easy to see the simplicity in kindness, and how that kindness shows God’s love to others.

I love that we don’t have to send our children into battle for them to be “salt and light.” God has made previsions for our children to impact the world through their words, behaviors, and kindness *right where they are.* He always meets us where we are. And it is true for our children as well- siblings, neighbors, at the grocery store, or with friends, they can love others.

This book sticks to topics that are developmentally appropriate for kids ages 6-10, so there won’t be anything too difficult to discuss with your children. My kids are 4-10 and have enjoyed reading it together (my 10 year old has also read it on her own for fun). I can tell they’ve been contemplating what we’ve read, when they come to me and want to talk about the story from the last day or 2 .  The stories are making an impact on how they see others.

Want some free bonuses? You can also head here, to sign up for some great bonuses from Tommy Nelson Publishing for Everybody, Always for Kids. This will include a fun, 5 lesson plan/activity pack for your family. It includes activities that reinforce the lessons in the first few stories. These would be a great addition to your morning time, or after nap hands on learning in your homeschool.

Connect with Tommy Nelson

Be sure to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read more reviews of Everybody, Always for Kids!
Everybody Always for Kids Reviews

 

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!

Horses in History with Mattie Richardson {a review}

Y’all know when there is a chance to review a book in our home, we jump on the chance. =) We have been reading the Mattie Richardson’s Horses in History Series from Author Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books. Formerly known as North Dakota’s Teen Author, Mattie has written a series of books your children and family will love!

Appaloosy Books by Mattie Richardson

Each book centers around the story of a horse (or horses) from history-of course as a mom and homeschooler, this greatly appeals to me! My history buff daughter, 9, also loved the historical aspect of the books, and how the stories were told from the horse’s perspective. Mattie has written books full of love, adventure, integrity, and strength. All characteristics we want for our children. I hold my book standards pretty high; we don’t need ugly words and harsh language to get a point across, and these books definitely held up to my standards.


The first portion of each book begins with a dedication, which sometimes offers some insight to the author’s inspiration for writing the book. Dusty’s Trail, told from the view point of a horse on the Pony Express, begins with an article about the Pony Express, first published in 1860. Next, the reader will find a section of Words and Terms You Should Know. This section is in each of the books, with a small variation. In Day and Night, Mattie has made Civil War-era Words and Terms Used in this Book section. Golden Sunrise offers a Spanish Words Used in this Book section. So each book has a great intro to the topic through a helpful guide in the beginning; my daughter often referred back to this while reading, as did I. Appaloosy gives us the Nez Perce Words and Their Meanings as a helpful glossary to better understand as we read.

Appaloosy Series

The books are nicely bound, with a colorful paperback cover. Day and Night comes in at the thickest with 148 pages, Appaloosy with 125 pages,  Golden Sunrise with 98 pages, and Dusty’s Trail at 66 pages (plus a few un-numbered informational pages). Some books have a few illustrations throughout, the text is appropriate for early readers (not too small), and the pages are a smooth, high quality, crisp white.

Appaloosy is about a horse who wants nothing more than to be wild and free, until he finds the love of a girl named Faith. But when he is stolen and escapes captivity, Storm must decide if he wants his freedom or to go back to Faith on her family’s farm. My 9 year old says:

Faith gives her locket necklace to take Storm home from the man who had him. She was only the 2nd person he let ride him, of all the people that had owned or ridden him. I like his decision and the way the book ended.

Golden Sunrise tells the story of Cheyenne and Jared- “Jared is a man who wants to marry Olivia; they’ve been courting for about a year. But then he has to go off to war to fight for Texas’s freedom. He rides Cheyenne throughout the war, and they are buddies. Cheyenne becomes friends with Davy Crockett, which was really funny. I won’t tell you the end, but it is sweet.”

Golden Sunrise

Day and Night was my daughter’s favorite of all the books. “This book is about 2 horses, Shiloh and Tucker, they take turns having a chapter, so it can be confusing if you don’t pay attention. Tucker is the older horse and Shiloh is the younger sibling horse. Shiloh is lighter in color and smaller; he is gentle and gets very attached to people he likes. Tucker is older and brown. Neither of them wanted to fight in the war but Shiloh was stolen by a girl in the Confederacy, and Tucker got sold to the US army. You will have to read and see what they go through and if they find each other again.”

We also enjoyed using Mattie’s Enrichment Guide for Day and Night, along with the answer key. It includes: vocabulary, history, comprehension, creating your own stories, further reading, and even more! These include activities, coloring, developing character attributes for a story, biographies, geography, and the list goes on! This is definitely worth the small purchase price, and something you can integrate into your homeschool for a large range of ages.

 

Dusty’s Trail is about a boy, Levi who runs away with his horse, Dusty, to join the Pony Express. “When someone starts stealing the horses and killing their riders, Levi and Dusty push through more runs  (I think 3?) until they find someone they can tell. Eventually Levi gets captured, Dusty gets separated from him … and you have to read the rest (haha).”

Dusty's Trail

As you can see, the books were greatly enjoyed by my oldest daughter. They will be wonderful reads for my horse loving 5 year old. These books will be best understood by those 8 and up, but I think they can be read aloud to just about any age.

Mattie Richardson is clearly a talented young lady, she has more books coming out, that I know we will be reading! We have enjoyed the Horses in History Series immensely. There are countless way to use it as part of a homeschool curriculum, and they are wholesome books.

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!

Simple Wooden Building Blocks for Open Ended Fun {a review}

In our home, we love high quality, open ended toys and games-open ended meaning they can be used in multiple ways. We’ve been using Brain Blox Wooden Building Planks for several weeks. These building blocks have provided hours of entertainment for all of my kids- from 3 to 9.

Brain Blox has created a light weight, open ended, creative, 100% natural, NON-toxic toy for every age! These are not only fun for everyone, but help promote brain development, problem solving skills, cooperation amongst siblings ;), and social skills (get ’em homeschoolers!). There are enough planks for everyone to enjoy, they are light enough that they won’t smash little fingers when they fall, and they are handy enough to take anywhere!

The drawstring bag makes storage, carrying, and clean up a breeze. There is a Build Ideas Booklet included with the planks, which is also available for download on their website-for free!

Parents and teachers can teach math, physics, and use the Wooden Planks during unit studies- students can build buildings and scenes from history. I can see creating a hands on reading activity for sight words, letter sounds, math facts, and more! We drew some pictures on ours, so they can be used as characters while building scenes and playing pretend. But you can write and draw anything on your planks! I can imagine using some paint sticks on them and decorating them in different colors.

We also enjoyed using the many ideas from Brain Blox’s website-the brain puzzles (specifically math) were a big hit at our house. I like as a mom, that the problem gives hints and solutions for solving each. Let the Build Ideas videos inspire you and your kids to create a plethora of different designs that can be changed and expanded upon however they wish!

What I love About Them

  • open ended
  • easy to clean up
  • easy to create lessons in our homeschools
  • so many helpful resources from the company
  • really provides endless fun for all ages on our home
  • affordable
  • safe and NON toxic *score*
  • simple, no batteries, no lights are noise- all imagination
  • I love their philosophy

The Let’s Build Idea Cards found under free stuff on the website are easy to print, laminate, and keep handy so kids can have simple ideas at their finger tips. You can punch a hole in the top corner, place on a binder ring, and keep in the bag with the blocks! This is great for morning time, centers in the classroom, or rest time at home while the baby (and mama?) naps.

My 9 year old’s favorite thing about the wooden planks is that

We can make buildings out of them, and we can draw on them!

The 7 year old boy of the house says

I like making castles and using my knights and dragon with the planks.

 

You can also check out all the fun we’ve had learning chess with Brain Blox’s Fun Family Chess.

 

 

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