Be Extra!, Hackett Exploration Series, history

Explore Suffolk Volume I

Riddick’s Folly

Visitor’s Center (Suffolk is the home of Planter’s Peanuts)

Today we did a mini exploration trip to downtown Suffolk. Riddick’s Folly is a great historic house to tour. They also do an American Girl program every other month. Today was a tea party centered around the character Molly. Molly’s story is set in WWII. Evie just finished her story with her school work and was so excited to learn more about Molly and have a tea party!!

The Suffolk Visitor’s Center is next door. It is in the old courthouse. There was a farmers market behind it today. We went in the visitor’s center with some friends and brought home a huge stack of brochures to help us find more places to explore!!

curriculum reviews, history, homeschooling

Pathway to Liberty History Review


We recently started using Pathway to Liberty’s US History, part of Pathway to Liberty’s History Curriculum, from Pathway to Liberty Homeschool Curriculum.

We use history as our “spine” for our curriculum.  Meaning all of our assignments and different subjects come from what we have learned in our history lesson.  I have spent the past three years in an in depth study of American History with my 7th grade son.  This year my 2nd grade daughter had an American History overview so everyone would be ready to start something new next year.  I had planned on finding a curriculum that had a series of four years that would take us from ancient times to the present with a Biblical worldview.

When this review became available I was excited and torn.  I didn’t know what to pick!  Should I look at American History or World History or the Middle Ages?  Which level do I choose?  Next year I will have a young 2nd grader, a 3rd grader and and 8th grader.  That’s quite an age spread!  I chose American History, level 2 (grades 4-6).  I thought I’d teach to the youngest children and add more for the older one.  If I needed to simplify for the younger ones I could, but I would not be starting at the youngest level.  I should have chosen Level 1.  Level 1 has more age appropriate activity for younger more hand on students.

I liked that all levels were laid out together.  It was easy for all of us to see what to do for the day.  For some of my children this is very important and helps get through the lesson easier.  It was great for me since I didn’t need to flip through pages and try to come up with what other children should be working on.  The student guide only has the workbook pages for the one level.  Each week is structured very similarly: there is a principle theme, videos, discussion questions, vocabulary, scripture, questions to answer and writing assignments.

For my auditory children, this was a great.  Lots of great history information that tied together the importance of our American history and freedom to the Bible.  I am much more kinesthetic learner as is one of my other children.  We did not prefer all of the book work.  Again: I should have picked level 1.

Pathway to Liberty’s American History only goes to the Civil War.  This was a little disappointing as we were studying World War II and was planning on jumping straight to that.  Since we couldn’t do that we decided to start near the beginning with Jamestown.  It was a nice review.

I think this is a great curriculum with solid Biblical instruction.  Their motto is “Teaching American’s Principles of Liberty”.  They do a great job with that important truth.

Pathway to Liberty also offers these titles:

  • Pathway to Liberty’s Universal History (Year 1)
  • Pathway to Liberty’s Middle Ages (Year 2)
  • Pathway to Liberty’s World History (Year 4)

You can find Pathway to Liberty on these social media sites:



Many other families on The Homeschool Review Crew had the opportunity to review items from Pathway to Liberty.  Click on the graphic below to see what they had to say about it and how they used what they received.

Universal History, The Middle Ages, US History & World History Curriculum {Pathway to Liberty Homeschool Curriculum Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

curriculum reviews, history, homeschooling

Techie Homeschool Mom: Ancient Egypt Online Unit Study Review

Today I want to introduce you to the tech-based learning discovery experiences of the Ancient Egypt Online Unit Study from Techie Homeschool Mom.  I have been making a great effort lately to use more online curriculum.  We don’t usually prefer them, but there are so many these days.  That being said, yes, I’ve been homeschooling forever now.  We started homeschooling in 1997.  There was hardly even an internet then!  Homeschool curriculum was just starting to be written. There were not a whole lot of choices then.  Now there’s so much to choose from!  I hope my blog posts can introduce you to some new things or maybe how to use things a little differently than you originally thought.

From the beginning of our homeschool journey, unit studies have been one of my favorite ways to teach my kids.  They are great for kids with different learning styles.  We can all learn about the same subject and follow as many bunny trails as we would like.  I love to watch my kids learn and love to see them find out about new things. It’s precious to see their eyes light up with wonder at what they have discovered!

We chose to review the Ancient Egypt study.  We will be studying ancient history next year so this was a great introduction for my kids.  They are definitely looking forward to learning more.  I am glad to see that Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece are available through this company too.

I used this study in the afternoons, right after lunch.  I call it my “afternoon basket” time.  It’s the time we all come back to the table to do the subjects we all do together and also a time to do things that we don’t get to do very often.  We worked on this study 3-4 times a week for the past few weeks.

I would go to the website and it directed me to the next thing.  I was so nice not to prep anything!  I just clicked the button and my kids watched!  My students for this study were my 2nd grade daughter and my 7th grade son.

After we watched each video we did the quiz together.  There are some great suggested activities: books to read, games to play, and projects to make.  There is even a suggested final project.  I liked that we could pick and choose what we wanted to do. Most of what we chose was online, so I didn’t need to search for anything!

I’m starting to like online products more and more.  My kids are getting used to them too.  We all liked this study.  It was interesting and easy to use.  The kids liked the videos and listened closely so they would know the answers to the questions.  We will be sure to come back in the fall and do some of the activities we haven’t completed yet.

Here are the other Unit Studies available from Techie Homeschool Mom:

Ancient Greece Online Unit Study
Ancient Rome Online Unit Study
Famous Artists Online Unit Study (Vol. 1)
Famous Artists Online Unit Study (Vol. 2)
Famous Inventors Online Unit Study
Solar System Online Unit Study


You can find Techie Homeschool Mom on the following social media sites:



Many other families on The Homeschool Review Crew had the opportunity to review one of these great unit studies.  Click on the graphic below to see how they used theirs and what they thought about it.

Solar, Ancients and Famous People Unit Studies {Techie Homeschool Mom Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

art, curriculum reviews, history, homeschooling

ARTistic Pursuits Review

We love ARTistic Pursuits Inc. here, so we were thrilled to receive another volume of K-3rd Grade Level, Volumes 1-8.  This time we received Art of the Modern Age, K-3 Vol. 7 .  We have enjoyed everything we have tried from ARTistic Pursuits.  In 2011 we reviewed a Middle School level, this was our first introduction to this company and have loved it ever since.  Last summer we reviewed Volume 1, Building a Visual Vocabulary.  This was a great introduction for my then 1st grader to begin her love of art.  Evie is now in 2nd grade and LOVES to do art projects. She loves to learn and try new things.  We specifically picked Volume 8 because it has Vincent Van Gogh.  She learned about him in a Dr Who episode and he has been her favorite artist ever since.

I love how easy it is to implement each lesson.  The first one is a video lesson.  The DVD and Blue Ray are in pocket inside the front cover of the book.  We watched the video and painted this with acrylic paints.

Lesson 2 is about Paul Cezanne.  It explained he was the father of modern art.  He did not like Impressionist painting and wanted to do something different.  It describes how his techniques were quite different than other artists of the time.  He liked still life paintings.  The next page shows his Still Life with Milk Jug and Fruit (1900).  We learned that he outlined in blue and looked at all the beautiful shading.  Then Evie painted her own bowl of apples with acrylic paint.

Lesson 3 is about Georges-Pierre Seurat, he used little dots of pure color that looked like many mixed colors from a distance.  We learned he had a short life, but had a big influence on artists of the Modern Age.  Evie wasn’t sure about using dots in her painting, but she did use the technique suggested to add her apples in the tree. I was super proud when she realized we didn’t have brown, she quickly mixed green and red and kept on painting.

Lesson 4 is the lesson she had been waiting for, Vincent Van Gogh. We learned about how he loved to admire color in nature and how he thought about his art more than eating meals. The painting instructions are to make a painting with acrylic paint using dashes. Evie is still working on that one. The dashes are a little intimidating to her.

Lesson 5 is Paul Gauguin.  Lesson 6 is the next video, then  lesson 7 on Picasso.  Lesson 8 is a video introducing foil modeling.  Lesson 9 is Modigliani, lesson 10 is Duchamp-Villon, lesson 11 is Kandinsky and Lesson 12 is Marc.  Lesson 13 is another video as is lesson 14.  Lesson 15 is about Bruce, lesson 16 is O’Keefe, lesson 17 is the last video and lesson 18 is about , Benton.

If you do one lesson a week you can do two books in a year.  I like how flexible these books and lessons are.  They are quick to put together and Evie loves them.  I love that she’s learning art, artists and history all in one short lesson. Perfect!!

I love that after Volume 1 you can pick any historical period you would like.  We picked this one because of current interest, but next year we will be learning about the ancient world.  I’m looking forward to adding Volume 2, Art of the Ancients to our growing collection.

Here are all the Volumes for the K-3rd grade level:

Art for Children, Building a Visual Vocabulary, K-3 Vol. 1
Art of the Ancients, K-3 Vol. 2
Art of the Middle Ages, K-3 Vol. 3
Artists that Shaped the Italian Renaissance, K-3 Vol. 4
Art of the Northern Countries, Renaissance to Realism, K-3 Vol. 5
Art of the Impressionists, K-3 Vol. 6

Art of the Modern Age, K-3 Vol. 7

Art in America, K-3 Vol. 8


You can find ARTistic Pursuits on these social media sites:

Twitter: @ARTisticPursui1
Instagram: @artisticpursuitsinc

Many other families on The Homeschool Review Crew had the opportunity to review ARTistic Pursuits also.  Many of them used the same book I chose and many picked different one.  Click on the graphic below to see how everyone used it and what they thought.

Kindergarten to Third Grade Art following History in Chronological Order {ARTistic Pursuits Inc. 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