We have spent the entire school year reading great books about the American Revolution. Living in North Eastern North Carolina/South Eastern Virginia makes this a great place to spend lots of time in this period of history. I really thought we would be moving on in history this summer, but we had the opportunity to review a book series. So we jumped back a little to the Pilgrims and then back to the American Revolution. Our reading will hopefully start taking us west soon.
I have to say I was more than skeptical when I saw that Rush Limbaugh had a book series. I’m not saying I’m not a fan of his, but I don’t always like his approach. So when I saw this set of books with his face plastered on a character on the front cover I really had my doubts that this was going to be good.
I wanted to be objective and review these books, thinking there was a small chance that they were actually good. Well….. I can honestly say that we have LOVED them! These have completely captured the attention of my son David (age 11). He enjoys history, but sometimes it gets a little dull. These books go into great detail to show history’s events, places and people, but they include a time traveling horse that can become invisible. Yep, you read that right! It’s funny and captivating and it’s about history!
The character, Rush Revere comes to a school as a substitute history teacher. He’s no ordinary teacher. He actually time travels with his horse Liberty andsometimes uses his smart phone to record a video that plays back in his class room. These kids are getting to see history as it happens. Some of them do get wise to what is actually going on and get to come with him. The great thing about time travel is that you come back just a few minutes after you left, according to the people back here in the present. So he’s not leaving for very long.
The horse named Liberty was actually a horse from the American Revolutionary period. Something happened and he was sent to our present and he found by Rush Revere who was dressed as Paul Revere. I know is sounds super quirky, but David LOVES it! He even bribed his little brother with his ipod so I would keep reading to him.
The first book is about the Pilgrims voyage on the Mayflower. They time travel to Holland before they set out, then to England when they set sail on the Mayflower with the Puritans. They stay on the boat for a while and witness the good, the bad and the ugly of the 65 day trip to the New World. They get to know Myles Standish and William Bradford and witness the signing of the Mayflower compact.
This is just the first book! There are 5 in this series. Here are all the books in the series:
- Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims
- Rush Revere and the First Patriots
- Rush Revere and the American Revolution
- Rush Revere and the Star Spangled Banner
- Rush Revere and the Presidency
I love this comical but informative journey through history! We are working our way through these books this summer and David is very hopeful that:
- There will be more books in the series
- There will be movies made from these books.
You can find Rush Revere on these social media sites:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rushrevere Tag: @rushrevere
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/rushrevere Tag: @rushrevere
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSFc9ZP_GpWdARuKAl08Wdw
Many other families on the Homeschool Review Crew also had the opportunity to review these books. Click on the link below to see what they thought of them.
I wanted to show the kids a fun visual about earthquakes and how mountains form. We used graham crackers for the earth’s crust and cool whip for the mantle. We made our earth rumble and our graham crackers rub together. After we talked about earthquakes, we pushed the graham crackers together to talk about how mountains form. I think they understood and the were happy to eat their newly formed mountains.
As a veteran homeschooling mom, I would have loved to have had How to HOMESCHOOL with Stunning Confidence, Contagious Joy, and Amazing Focus (DVD & Coursebook) from Apologia Educational Ministries to help me when I was starting. There was little to nothing available when we started in 1995. There was a magazine or newsletter here and there and a few published books. Other than that you were really on your own.
This course was like sitting down with friends and learning everything you could from people who have been there before. These 15 short sessions were very applicable and practical for people in all walks of their homeschool life. Rachael Carmen and Leslie Nunnery are two homeschool moms who share their journey. Neither one of them planned to homeschool, but now they have a combined 27 years of homeschool experience. Rachael Carmen is a speaker and author, she and her husband own Apologia Educational Ministries. Leslie Nunnery and her husband founded the Teach Them Diligently Homeschool Conventions. These are two women who know what they are talking about from their own personal experience, professional experience and from talking to many, many homeschool families year round.
I have never found an Apologia resource that I haven’t loved and this was no different. I really liked that the sessions in the course were short and to the point, but still friendly. There is a workbook that goes with the two DVDs. You are told to read about the session first then watch it. There is a place to take notes in the workbook and additional resources on their website.
Since we just finished out 19th year homeschooling I wasn’t sure if this course would be beneficial to me. I have been working through the workbook and watching the videos. I haven’t learned anything I didn’t already know, but it was refreshing to be encouraged from these Godly women. If I could invite a mentor to speak a breath of fresh air into my homeschool, these women would be perfect!
They shared many of the same principles that we have always tried to remember while homeschooling. One of those was to instill the love of learning in our children. We never want them to hate “school” or the process of learning. We have always told our children they didn’t need to know everything, but they needed to know where or how to find it. Another topic that I agreed with these ladies was teaching your children all subjects through things they loved. If you can find a topic that your children are interested in like horses, or swords or legos you can teach math, history, writing and science around these topics keeping your kids learning styles in mind.
I was so glad I had the chance to hear these women speak about what they love. I was greatly encouraged and look forward to finishing this course. I recommend this to parents who are just starting out homeschooling or ones who have been doing this for a long time.
You can find Apologia on these social media sites:
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/apologiaworld Tag: @apologiaworld
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/apologiaworld Tag: @apologiaworld
- Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/apologia/ Tag: @apologia
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/apologiaworld Tag: @apologiaworld
- Google+: https://plus.google.com/105053356034237782125
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/apologiaworld
Many other families on the Homeschool Review Crew had the opportunity to review How to Homeschool, others received Internship for High School Credit. Click on the banner below to see what they had to say about the product they they received.
My younger kids are really curious about Spanish so I was really excited for the opportunity to try the Educator’s Spanish Collection from Whistlefritz with them. I worked with David who just finished up 5th grade, Evie who finished Kindergarten and Thomas who is almost 5. This program is primarily for preschoolers through early elementary, but David enjoyed learning this with his younger brother and sister. He would have been too old to do this without them, but he had fun sharing it with them.
We received a large 278 page lesson plan book that included 40 lessons. Along with complete lesson plans, there are fun hands on activities and games. Each lesson is laid out in detail for you. It gives a time estimate (they are approximate 30-40 minutes long), a description of the lesson, the goal, objective, vocabulary words (in Spanish and English) and materials needed for this lesson. There is also an activities section that includes the focus, teacher input, guided practice, independent practice and extension activities.
We were excited about the set of 5 DVD videos and 3 music CDs. We watched or listened to one of these before we sat down to work through our lesson. We also got the matching card game.
The videos are very cute and they kept the attention of my children. Evie and Thomas weren’t phased by the fact that the videos were all in Spanish and not in English at all. David on the other hand, really wasn’t sure about this method at all. He was sure you couldn’t learn a language without translation. I explained to him about immersion and told him about a few friends of ours that have gone to other countries and entered into their schools not knowing their language or friends we know that came to America and entered the schools here without any language instruction or even a translator. I explained to him that they learned very quickly being totally immersed in a foreign language. It was neat to see him understand and see the benefit in these Spanish lessons.
This cute little mouse is named Fritzi. In the picture above he was being sung to for his birthday.
We quickly caught on to colors, counting, holidays and more. We printed out the balloons from the lesson book and colored them after watching the video. I made sure that when they were coloring they could only use the Spanish words for the colors and they did! I was surprised with how much they learned and how quickly they learned it.
This is a counting activity in the lesson plan book. They counted the presents in Spanish and put the matching yellow number present on top. They really liked this activity since they already knew the numbers one through ten in Spanish.
You can find Whistlefritz on these social media sites:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/whistlefritz Tag: @whistlefritz
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/whistlefritz Tag: @Whistlefritz
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/whistlefritz
Many others on the Homeschool Review Crew had the oppertunity to review the Whistlefritz Spanish Collection and some families reviewed the French Collection. Click on the banner below to see what they had to say about the curriculum that they received.
This picture shows what used to be my living room. I was so proud of it because I finally got all the toys out of it and into other rooms. The kids found a YouTube channel all about making forts so this is all they do now! They are having fun, I’m not sure about this new layout. The funniest thing I’ve heard as they are working on it is Thomas saying “this is the intrance and this is the outrance”.
For the past month or so, we have the opportunity to use the K5 Learning online program. I decided that this would be a good program for Evie to work on. She is 6 1/2 years old and just finished Kindergarten. During this review period, she used this 3 to 4 times a week as a supplement to what she was already working on. She did one small lesson in each of the math and reading sections each time.
We signed up first for the free trial and worked through the assessments. I was pleased to see that Evie scored right where I thought she should be. Her scores showed that she was at the end of Kindergarten beginning of First Grade.
I did have some trouble getting the program to run on Firefox and my Kindle Fire. I ended up letting her use my laptop and using Microsoft Edge and had no problems.
Here is a screenshot of Evie’s progress report.
I would sign Evie in on the students side and have her complete her lessons. When she was done, I signed her out and signed in on the parent’s side and could take a look at her progress.
Here is a screenshot of the reading section. Evie has worked on reading readiness and letter sounds.
K5 Reading includes:
- Phonemic Awareness
- Sight Words
- Reading Comprehension
This is a screenshot of the math portion. Evie has counted, learned to use and number line among other age appropriate things. It’s neat to see, in the Parent’s section, that she has been working on algebra concepts.
K5 Math includes:
- Numbers & Operations
- Data Analysis
- Algebraic Thinking
There is also a spelling section, but that was above where Evie is right now. We looked at that section, but she wasn’t ready for it.
I really liked this site and their program. Evie did her best to work through her lessons every day, but still does not enjoy doing any “school” work on the computer. For some reason my children have it set in their minds that school is a book or workbook you can touch and computers are for fun games. Even though K5 Learning was fun and Evie worked through educational game type activities, she didn’t like having to work on a specified section each school day. I’m grateful that as my children get older they are able to make that mental switch and be successful doing online classes. It seems that while they are young, “school” and computers still do not work together. I will keep trying as I think this is a great tool. I think Evie may enjoy it more on her own terms, using it when she wants to, not as a scheduled school activity.
K5 Learning is an online, self paced, supplemental program for children Kindergarten to fifth grade. You can sign up for a free trial to see how it works. Monthly and yearly subscriptions are available. Each account can have up to 4 students.
You can find K5 Learning on these social media sites:
Others on the Homeschool Review Crew had the opportunity to use this program also. Click on the banner below to see what they had to say about their experience.