curriculum reviews, science

Learning about Science Review

We like to add fun subjects like science to our summer studies so I was excited to receive Learning About Science Collection, Level 1 from  WriteBonnieRose.  We received a digital download of 7 different science topics and one file for the teacher with loads of great links to add fun websites and videos for each study.

Set of 7 topics:

  1. Animal Habitats of the World
  2. Earth Layers, Earthquakes and Volcanoes
  3. Exploring States of Matter
  4. Familiar Plants and How they Grow
  5. Fruits and Vegetables Around the World
  6. Learning About Life Cycles
  7. Our Senses and Systems and How they Work

We chose to focus on Animal Habitats of the World for this review period.  There were a few things that came up this summer that made this the perfect study.  First, my kids attended a summer reading program at our local library where they learned a fun song about habitats.  They are still singing it and that was a great introduction for this science unit.  Second, I read the Ocean Habitats section during shark week.  All of our reading and activities focused around sharks and marine biology.


Here are a few other shark week activities we added. First we made puppets.

Then we made ocean habitat jars with water, food coloring and baby oil. Thomas even added a shark.

I liked that the sections were short and engaging.  We did a little at a time and it was perfect for summer.

I will be adding these units all through the school year as these topics come up.  These will fit right in with the unit and book studies I have already planned.

We study a country a week and I will add in the Fruits and Vegetables Around the World unit.  This is also tie in with Earth Layers, Earthquakes and Volcanoes.  I love it when I find curriculum that work so well with the other things we have planned.

We will work through the Familiar Plants and How they Grow and Learning About Life Cycles in the spring when we plan on reading the Hungry Caterpillar.

I like to color with them. You’re never to old to learn or color, right?

Each of the studies are set up the same.  There is a small blurb of information, a picture to color and a word to trace.  I was able to read the paragraph as the kids were coloring. When I was done reading I brought over my laptop and clicked on a few links from the teacher’s resources.  The lessons were short and active enough to keep my kids attention and they remembered what they learned.  I am very happy to have found this company and love all the things that have to offer.  I even get a few freebies in my email inbox!

You can Find WriteBonnieRose on these social media sites:

Facebook:  @WriteBonnieRose
Twitter:  @WriteBonnieRose
Pinterest:  @WriteBonnieRose

Many other families on The Homeschool Review Crew had the opportunity to review this product and Learning About Science Collection, Level 2, Learning About Science Collection, Level 3 (Print)

and  Learning About Science Collection, Level 3 (Cursive).

Click on the banner below to see how they used it and what they thought about it.

Learning About Science collections {WriteBonnieRose Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

curriculum reviews, history, homeschooling

Homeschool in the Woods Time Travelers Review

Home School in the Woods is my favorite company for hands on history materials so I was super excited to receive Industrial Revolution through Great Depression from their Time Travelers series.  I have used at least one product from each of their series and have loved them all.  They have Hands-on History Lap-Paks, Project Passport World History Studies, Time Travelers American History, Hands-on History Activity-Paks ,Hands-on History Activity Studies,  and À La Carte Timelines.  I have included links to ones we have reviewed at the bottom of this post, but we have used many more than that!!


We have been studying American History by reading historical fiction beginning with Native Americans and Colonial life.  This will be our third year and we plan on going through World War II and a little beyond, depending on our schedule and where our interests take us during the year.

We started incorporating Time Travelers studies with the American Revolution.  I’m looking forward to doing American History again when my 2 youngest are a little bit older and starting Time Travelers with New World Explorers.

David and I have figured out our rhythm for these studies. He listens to me read the text and he does the handwriting page and looks at the projects that go with that day. I complete the projects ahead of time since he doesn’t like to do it. I like the projects and he gets so much from Time Travelers that is works for us.

Every 5 days there is a “project” day.  It’s a time to get caught up, look at vocabulary cards and try some food from that time period.  We also try to incorporate some of the recipes in our meal plan.  David loves to cook so this works great for us!!

Time Travelers has many components to prepare, but the directions are clear and easy to follow. It’s a digital product so it’s easy to pull it up and print the PDFs.  The project page tells you which ones to print and what to print them on.  It also gives easy to follow assembly direction.

All of the study’s lessons are on one page so you can quickly and easily plan each day.

Below is a picture of the time line.  It is 12 pages long.  Each lesson directs you to add more figures  to your timeline.  We use this a lot to see what things were actually going on at the same time or how far something happened before or after.  The first page get hole punched to add to the finished notebook.



Week one: setting up the timeline, text to read and a few small projects for the lapbook.  They can be colored if your child likes.  When I worked on other studies with David and his older sister, she would do her own projects and color them.  David doesn’t want to and that’s fine with me.  I think his younger sister will assemble and color when we add her to our studies.

Here is lesson 2.  This one is a little shorter so we went back and read through some of the lapbook elements from Lesson 1.

Here is lesson 3.  There is a suspension bridge project that we haven’t gotten to because of our summer schedule.  We hope to come back to it when we have more predictable “school” time.

There are a total of 25 lessons in the Time Travelers studies.  On our regular school schedule we complete one a day.  At this pace we can stay at the same pace as our read alouds and complete about 3 studies. This summer we took it much slower.  David has been very busy and has been at a few camps.  We are getting ready to start lesson 7.  When school starts we will finish this time period at our regular pace.

David helps at the end to assemble the notebook and the lapbook.  We use a folder style notebook for the notebook and store it and the lapbook in a magazine box with his others ones.  I love that he comes back and looks at them!!

I am so thankful for this resource, it’s really worked well for our family!  It’s hard to find things to fit all learning styles, but this one definitely does!!

You can find Home School in the Woods on these social media sites:


Here are links to my other Home School in the Woods reviews:

The War Across Five Aprils File Folder Game

Make A State

Ancient Greek Project Passport

Ancient Egypt Project Passport

I’m so excited to be able to announce that Ancient Rome Project Passport is now available!!!

Many other families on The Homeschool Review Crew had the opportunity to review titles from the Time Travelers and other series.  Click on the banner below to see what they received and how they used it.

Hands-on-History, Project Passport, À La Carte Timelines and Time Travelers {Home School in the Woods Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

curriculum reviews

No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope Review

The tween years of 8-14 can be a difficult time for both child and parent so I am glad I had some help from Great Waters Press with their newest title No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope. Even though I’m going through this with kid number 5, it doesn’t get easier!

Hal and Melanie Young have written many books and have plenty of real life experience raising their 8 children.  They have written this from their hearts to ours and they point everything back to Christ.  What a treasure trove of information they have to share!!!!

This was a perfect book for me to read this summer.  Each summer I try to evaluate what and how I’m going to teach each child.  Reading this gave me some great insights about what my 12 year old son David is going through and how his brain is working (or not working) during this time. I will be keeping this in mind as I’m choosing his curriculum for the year.

I think I’m pretty good at being a girl mom.  I have 3 sisters and no brothers, no cousins.  4 out of my 7 children are girls.  I’m a girl.  Even though I don’t like girl hormones, I think I understand them.  But don’t bring up my PMS in the middle of it!!!  Understanding them and controlling them are two different things.  But boy hormones, it makes no sense to me at all.  Without warning there’s a slam or a loud outburst.  You’d think I’d be catching on by now.  I’m trying!  I’m on boy number 2 now, maybe I’ll have it figured out by the time his brother is a tween.

The first thing that stood out to me in this book was that children will begin an internal hormonal change long before they show outward signs.  I look into my son’s eyes and I still see a little boy (enough though he’s now my height).  But I learned that his hormones have been busy for longer than I really knew.  These outbursts have a reason and they will even out.  I learned that hormone levels in adolescence can be 50 times the normal stable levels of adulthood.  Yikes!  I think I’d have an outburst too and I’m pretty sure I had lots!

Each chapter in this book had so much great information that I could use right away.  I’ll give you a little overview of the chapters.

1. Getting Bigger: Hormones and Body Changes

In this chapter it talks about the hormones beginning to change long before it’s visible.  Also, no two people grow and change at the same rate; even in the same family.  This can be difficult time for everyone.  Either it’s happening before everyone or it’s seemingly never going to happen.

2. The Rollercoaster: Emotional Upheaval

This chapter talks about those outbursts or very sudden feeling changes.  I could really identify with this chapter.  It was very reassuring to find out that it doesn’t just happen here.  Here is an example in the book.  The parent asks the child to go change his dirty shirt because they are getting ready  to go.  The child completely freaks out, doesn’t understand his shirt is dirty, says you never treat his brother that way, he’s now staying home and he can’t do anything to please you.  Wow!  It’s not just here!!  This is one of my favorite quotes from the book: “Boys tend to respond to their hormonal  rush with anger and aggression.  It was like living in a house with a pet porcupine.  One that has burst into flame. A flaming porcupine.”  The authors offer some great parenting advice: be the stable adult and don’t ride this roller coaster with them.  Resist the temptation to react and find an opportunity to connect with their heart.  They address disrespect and disobedience which needs to be taken care of, but they direct you to remain calm and deal with the situation like an adult and not a flaming porcupine.

3. Brains Turn to Mush: Why School Goes Awry

This chapter talks about how well a child will learn a subject and can excel well beyond their grade level, but will suddenly reach a time when it becomes so difficult.  A child that was always great at math suddenly can’t do it.  They feel like a complete failure!  As parents we push them to do better, they did better last year.  All of a sudden they can’t make good choices, we say things like “your younger brother can do it but you can’t”.  I now see that these statements are not motivating.  They really can’t do it.  After a period of time they will, but now they can’t.  How about asking your child to do something or get something and they totally forget.  It’s like you ever asked them! “Neurologists say that during early adolescence, these parts of the brain actually unravel; there truly is a temporary loss of function as the neutrons re-assemble into their adult configurations.” What was the most saddening for me to learn was that during this time of “I hate math” or “I’m stupid, I never remember”, they keep these thoughts as truths even when the neutrons have re-assembled.  This makes me want to encourage during this time and not be a flaming porcupine.

4. Many A Conflict, Many A Doubt: Spiritual Questioning

It’s during this time children are wrestling with some big things in their lives.  They have had their parent’s faith up until now.  They are questioning what they believe and why.  The authors caution us not to panic, but to answer their questions honestly.  Take this time to have real conversations, be genuine.  You want them to come to you with questions about faith (and in the next chapter sex) instead of the internet or their friends.

5. The Awakening: Sexuality and Virtue

This chapter is about talking to your children about sex and how early you really should be doing that.  The internet, picture and video sharing is everywhere even when you try to protect them.  This chapter does a great job walking through this tough topic.

6. Social Struggles: Overcoming Awkwardness

This chapter is about the social awkwardness that comes on suddenly during this time.  One day you have a “life of the party” child and the next they don’t want to go anywhere.  Your child is growing faster than they can keep up with and feel clumsy and awkward.  We are told to encourage them and have them keep up with their regular activities.  This chapter also talks about being bullied or being the bully.  It also addresses social media.

7. Media, Gaming, and Discernment: More Than Amusement

Although there are great things to be found online, there’s so many dangers too.  This chapter addresses internet usage, online games and how to find a balance that protects your children from those would could hurt them and online game addiction.

8. Conflict At Home: Family Relationships

Flaming porcupines seem to have trouble dealing with siblings.  This chapter talks about sibling rivalry and how to extinguish those outbursts.  It also talks about building and restoring family relationships and really being available for your kids.  The authors talk about building friendships and memories in your family.

9. Transitioning: Youth in the Bible

This chapter talks about how much responsibility a child can handle and when .  It talks about men in the Bible given great responsibility.  Some handled it great at a young age like David when he went up against Goliath.  But Rehoboam was still making bad decisions at 41, he was described as young and inexperienced.

10. Celebrating Growth: Coming of Age Ceremonies

Who doesn’t like a party?  This chapter talks about having a formal ceremony celebrating the change from childhood to adulthood.  This would mark a specific occasion that your child would feel they finally made it! This could be a time that others could speak, giving advice and wishing the adolescent well.  There is a lot of specific instructions on how to do this if you are interested.

11. Producers, Not Consumers: Work and Stewardship

This chapter talks about money and learning to make good decisions.  It talks about earning, saving and spending money.  There is lots of great ideas for working, creating a business and being good stewards of what they have.

12. The Next Big Thing: High School and Beyond

The final chapter is about getting through the high school years and making a plan for the future.  What are your child’s goals for the future?  Can you tailor their schooling for that?  What about your child’s character?  What strengths do they have that will help them be successful in the future.  Enjoy this time as you prepare your preteen for those high school years.

To find more resources from these great authors, follow these social media links:

Facebook:  @raisingrealmen  @halandmelanie
Pinterest:  @raisingrealmen
Twitter:  @raisingrealmen

Many others on The Homeschool Review Crew had the opportunity to review this book and one other, Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality.  Click on the banner below to see what others thought about these books.

Love, Honor, and Virtue AND No Longer Little {Great Waters Press Reviews}Crew Disclaimer