afternoon basket, Bible, curriculum reviews, homeschooling

Rescue Me! What Superheroes Can Teach Us About the Power of Faith Review

My kids really enjoyed the comic book, Rescue Me! What Superheroes Can Teach Us About the Power of Faith, from The Captain Sun Adventures.

I read this book to my 7th grade son and my 2nd grade daughter during our “afternoon basket” time.  This is the time that I have set aside for subjects that I would like the kids to do together.  I have gleaned some information from people’s “morning baskets” and made this a time for us to come back together, do those subjects that can span many levels and loop schedule some great new things like this comic book.  Our afternoon basket has worked well for the first 2 1/2 weeks of school and I’m looking forward to this time where I can add things that get so easily overlooked.

This was a read aloud while the kids colored.  They enjoyed the story and would, very often, stop coloring to look intently at the pictures.  I read it more like a storybook so they didn’t have to stop what they were doing.  This worked great!  I read it over 3 days, just reading a little at a time.  They looked forward to what was going to happen tomorrow.

My original plan was to hand off the book to my 7th grader in hopes that he would read it, then read it to his 6 year old brother.  That didn’t happen.  It was a beautiful picture in my mind though.  He got busy with other things and forgot he had it.  As my deadline loomed, I requested the book back and read it out loud.  I’m not disappointed at all.  If he would have read it I would have missed out.  I love reading to my kids and getting to enjoy their stories with them.  Reading to my kids has become such a precious time.

The hero in the story is Captain Sun.  He protects Capital City from the evil Black Out.  This is a classic story about good versus evil. Black Out comes to Capital Sun and blocks out all that is good.  Captain Sun rids the city of the evil with the help of a few others: Fogbank, Missile Man, Electro Lad and Landslide.  The story was great and parts were suspenseful as you hope the good guys to win.  But, my absolute favorite part was the newspaper looking article that appeared between chapters.  This brought the lesson of God’s love and salvation in.  God and Jesus are our Captain Sun and Satan is Black Out.  We all need salvation in this fallen world.  This was tied in so well.  I was very impressed with these pages.  The author could have skipped that and gone on with the comic and put in a blurb in the back, but he choose to make the lesson bigger and did a great job!

I had my kids make up and draw their own super hero or villain. I think they did a great job!

You can find The Captain Sun Adventures on these social media sites:


Many other families on The Homeschool Review Crew had the opportunity to review this book also.  Click on the banner below to see how they used it and what they though of it.

Rescue Me! What Superheroes Can Teach Us About the Power of Faith {The Captain Sun Adventures Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

homeschooling, science

The water cycle

Here is what my science classroom looked like on Monday. Little scientists learned about precipitation, condensation and evaporation. It’s awesome to hear a five year old use big science words!!! ❤️

curriculum reviews, homeschooling

God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn Book Review

As homeschool moms we all need encouragement from time to time so I was excited to read God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn written by Julie Polanco.

Author, Julie Polanco, is a homeschooling mom of 4.  She has been homeschooling for 15 years.  Mrs Polanco has done extensive research in writing this book.  As most homeschooling moms, she wanted the best education possible for her children.  She sought answers from the Bible and from many, many studies on child development, brain development and how people learn and respond to different techniques.

I love to read books about how to do things a little better around here.  I’m constantly learning and re-evaluating how and why we do our schooling and what we choose to do as a family.  I love to learn about different methods of homeschooling: Classical and Charlotte Mason, unschooling and child led, textbooks and school at home, morning baskets, loop scheduling, workboxes and many more.  I can find something in everything I learn to apply to our homeschooling experience.

We are heading into our twenty first year homeschooling.  We have graduated 4 children who have all gone on to higher education.  I currently have 3 students, a 12 year old in 7th grade, 7 year old in 2nd grade and a 6 year old in 1st grade.  We have 12 more years and I’m looking forward to every one of them!!  I have learned so much about my children and their very unique learning styles.  Each one has been so different and I hope and pray that I have been flexible enough with their education that they learned how to learn and kept their curiosity and love of learning.  There are certain things that I know work for the flow of our lives and I’m so glad for the wisdom I’ve acquired through homeschooling all of these years.

Mrs. Polanco has found that they do best by unschooling and backs up her decision Biblically.  I agree with some of what she has to say, but it looks very different in our house.  We are not a strict textbook family, but I do plan extensively to have goals met by certain times throughout the year.  If we don’t meet them all it’s fine, but if I fail to plan then I’m planning to fail.  Yes, God has intended children to learn through their environment, but he’s a God of order too and I lean a little more on the order part.  We don’t use a certain curriculum, we are very eclectic and pick and choose.  We do as much in the house at the table as we do outside.

One thing that I need to remember is not to compare myself with others.  I do believe that God gave us the children he did for a reason and trusts us to raise them up in the way they should go.  My way may look totally different than your way, but they both can be God honoring.

I feel this book is worded in a way that the author feels what she has learned, and has worked for her family, is the only “right” way and the only way God intended children to be taught.

I’m glad I had the chance to read what she has to share and evaluate whether I would like to implement them in our home.

You can find Julie Polanco books on the following social media sites:

Facebook: @juliepolancobooks

The e-book is half price sale through August 22, 2018.

Many other families on The Homeschool Review Crew had the opportunity to review this book too.  Click on the banner below to see what they thought of it.

God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn {Julie Polanco Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

art, curriculum reviews, geography, homeschooling, science

Branch Out World: Paddington Bear Review

We have been learning so much while having fun with the Picture Book Explorer Pack Paddington Bear from Branch Out World. This is a fun unit study based on the book Paddington.

This was a fun first for us: this is a British product!  It was one of those great timing things.  We have done a few things this summer that made this the perfect study for us.

  • We have been focusing on geography and learning about the different continents and people and cultures all over the world.
  • This is the first year we ever got a membership to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg.  The park is based on European countries which the kids quickly noticed and picked their favorite things from each.
  • We have spent every night we have been home this summer watching past episodes of Doctor Who which is a British show.  When the Doctor and his companions are  on earth they are in London and Cardiff in England and also in Scotland and Wales among other places.

Since we have spent so much time being in “virtual England” I thought that it would be great time to do a familiar picture book study from a company in the UK.

We loved reading through the study picking out all the differences in vocabulary.  We have been familiarized with them so it was great to pick them out. One being queue for a line of people and some variations of spellings like coloured.  We loved it since it brought together everything we have been learning.

I decided to use this study with Evie.  She is 7 and going into 2nd grade.  She LOVES the Paddington movies so I knew she’d like this!  This curriculum is written to be used in five days.  Each day you read the story followed by and activity or two (or more).

  • The first day explores the setting, looking at England and Peru on a map and also their flags.  It introduces migration and when the story took place.
  • The second day teaches you about the author, explores vocabulary, grammar and writing.  We talked about the author with the information given.  We also talked about the time period this was written.  Evie imagined being an author and coming up with a story for a book.
  • The third day is about the illustrations, the artist, and design

We looked at the illustrations in the book taking notice of pictures that have things in the foreground and background.  We also looked at lines and shapes.  I put together a bowl of apples and Evie drew them.  We also looked at some famous artists works to see what we could notice.

  • The fourth day is science day.  It talks about bears, shaving cream, steam and nature/garden.

We talked about chemical reactions and made a volcano with yeast and hydrogen peroxide.

We talked about the shaving cream in the book and made some shaving cream slime.  Evie’s brothers joined in.

  • The fifth day is math and craft day.

There is so many great activities to pick from! We didn’t do them all, but I would like to definitely come back and do this one again and also try some other book studies from this series.  There are so many to pick from!  There are also some for chapter books and lapbooks!!! I love that I can get these digital products from another part of the world and expose my kids to another culture’s perspective.  Even though the differences were slight we loved it!!  We have been very intentionally seeking out things like this all summer!

You can find Branch Out World on these social media sites:

Facebook:    @BranchOutWorld
Pinterest:   @belzibow
Instagram:   @belzibow
Twitter:  @belzibow

Many other families on The Homeschool Review Crew had the opportunity to review this book study also.  Click on the box below to see what their families thought of Paddington Bear.

Paddington Bear {Branch Out World 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, homeschooling

Bible Study Guide For All Ages Review

I had the opportunity to review a neat Bible curriculum this summer; Bible Study Guide For All Ages.  We are working through the Primary (1st & 2nd grade) level.  I had heard great things about this curriculum and wanted to try it.  My kids weren’t real excited about doing any school this summer, but when I put up the timeline and the maps they started to show a little interest.

They started asking some questions about how this all worked.  So I showed them their workbooks,

the timeline and map pieces, how the teacher’s guide shows me the lesson and that the label book binder with the timeline and map pieces shows us where to put them.  Then I showed them that we got these really neat cards.  One for each book of the Bible.

After that they were ready to dig into the first lesson.  I was as impressed with it as they were.  We received lessons 1-26.  They started with Jacob and his 12 sons and how Joseph was his very favorite.  I learned that Jacob chose favorites a lot.  He had a favorite wife and a favorite son.  The lesson continues with asking how does it feel when someone else is chosen the favorite and you are not.  This opened up some nice discussion with Evie (7) and Thomas (almost 6).  They were really understanding the story.  They worked in the workbook marking what my teacher guide instructed and applied what they were learning with real life situations.

After that we added some things on the timeline and places on the map.

I really enjoyed placing the labels on the areas we talked about.  It was neat to be able to instantly see how near or far some of these places were.  Also some of the bodies of water were smaller than we thought they would be.

The lessons continue with the same pattern as the first.  We learned about Joseph being sold into slavery in Egypt, Joseph being sent to jail and how lies hurt people, Joseph’s and Pharoah’s dreams and more about Joseph and how is helped his family.  They liked working through the workbook, having discussion and adding things to the wall.  I’m very impressed with the amount of diverse information that they were able to remember with these lessons.  I personally like learning this way and am looking forward to continuing using this curriculum with them.

There are other levels to choose from so this can grow with them.  Currently I am using the same level for all three of my school age children (including 12 year old David).  This is just a supplement for David’s Bible curriculum and he is enjoying being a mentor during our lessons.  We received the first 26 lessons of 416.  These lessons work through the entire Bible in about 4 years of doing 2 lessons per week year round or 3 lesson per week for the school year. I was a little disappointed at first that we only had 26 lessons, but then realized that if my children are ready for the next level at lesson 27 I can just purchase the next lesson in the higher level.  This is great that I can customize the work just for them at their pace. Each 26 lesson packs of student pages are only $5.95 and teachers packs are $9.95.  I like that they are affordable and you can purchase only what you need when you need them. Each lesson pack contains lessons from both the Old and New Testaments.

You can find Bible Study for All Ages on these social media sites:



Many other families on The Homeschool Review Crew had the opportunity to review curriculum from Bible Study Guide For All Ages.  Click on the banner below to see all the different levels and products and what they thought about them.

Bible Study Guide For All Ages {Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

curriculum reviews, history, homeschooling

White House Holidays Unit Studies Review

White House Holidays Unit Studies from Silverdale Press LLC are a great way to keep learning happening while taking a break from regular history studies.  We started this unit study as our school year was coming to a close.  It was just what we needed to transition to our “summer break”.   Little do the kids know that we are still continuing doing “school” but in a much more active and creative way.

White House Holidays Unit Studies is a digital product to download.  This came to me  in individual studies and downloaded very quickly.  These individual units made it easy to find the study we were working on without going through the whole file.  I printed some for quick reference, but used most of the information right from my computer screen.  The kids followed along as I read.  Each study has reading and suggested activities for Kindergarten through sixth grade and one for 7th through 12th.  We used the one for younger children.

The first study we completed was the one about Labor Day.  It had 3 lessons.  I read it to David (12) and Evie (7).  They really had no idea what Labor Day was other than school started immediately after that day.  The information seamed to be a little over Evie’s head, but she did get it.  We worked through all of the lessons and had a lot of great discussion.  David and I just finished learning about the Civil War.  One of the things we read about was about how children of all ages worked in mills and factories.  We learned about how dangerous these conditions were and how wages and hours were not regulated like they are today.  He was able to apply what he was learning in this study back to what we had just learned.  It was one of those great light bulb moments that you love to see when your children get it!!

We read about labor conditions, formation of labor unions and looked at some photographs from that time period.  We learned about Eleanor Roosevelt, the controversy about who really should be credited with beginning the Labor Day holiday.

Valentine’s Day was the next study that we did.  This one was 5 lessons had some fun hands on activities.  We read love letters that John Adams and his wife Abigail had written to each other.  David and I enjoyed this because we had read a biography about John Adams not that long ago.  We had a little more background information about the times those letters were written.  Mr and Mrs Adams were separated for long periods of time and it was neat to see what they wrote to each other.  They expressed their love, but also discussed politics and everyday issues for them like small pox and the new vaccine that was just starting to be used.

We made love letters on old paper.  That was one of the suggested activities.  Well I made an old love letter, Evie made an old treasure map.  We tried to follow the suggestions.  The good thing is she did understand the lesson.

John Adams was just the first lesson.  The other lessons covered Ronald and Nancy Reagan, John and Julia Tyler, Grover and Francis Cleveland, Jacqueline Kennedy’s television tour of the White House.

The other holidays in the study are Christmas, Martin Luther King Jr, Thanksgiving and Veteran’s Day.  We really enjoyed these unit studies and will be pulling them out again as we get closer to each holiday.  It was nice to learn about how these holidays came to be and how presidents were involved in them. They will become more relevant as we do them again closer to that holiday and as my little ones get older.

You can find Silverdale Press LLC on these social media sites:

Facebook:   Tag: @SilverdalePress
Twitter:    Tag: @SilverdalePress

Many other families on The Homeschool Review Crew had the opportunity to review White House Holidays Unit Studies.  Click on the banner below to see how they used it and what they thought about it. Persuasive Writing & Classical Rhetoric: Practicing the Habits of Great Writers was available to families with older children.  Those reviews are here also.  Please take a few minutes to learn about that one too.

Persuasive Writing & Classical Rhetoric: Practicing the Habits of Great Writers & White House Holidays Unit Studies {Silverdale Press LLC Reviews}Crew Disclaimer