Is There Anything Better Than Candy- Pumpkin Box Tract Review

Today I would like to introduce you to the Is There Anything Better Than Candy? Box-Tract from Let the Little Children Come.  This cute little pumpkin would be a great HALLOWEEN TRACT  to pass out this year.  If you are looking to share the gospel with children at Halloween this may be the thing for you.

These paper pumpkins start flat and look a little like a flower.  They easily pop out of the paper they come in and get folded up to look like a pumpkin.

We put together the two “petals” with the stems first, then added a set of opposing “petals”, then the remaining set. We were pleased with how well it stays together. 

The side that makes the outside is orange and the inside is colorful and walks the reader through the steps to be saved. They are simple and clear. They would be appropriate for a child or an adult. 

We plan on passing these out at Halloween time with some candy in them.  Even though it makes a small package you can fit a good amount to treats in there.  We plan on putting some small candies in a little plastic bag and placing them inside. I’m not sure how well they would do in a trick or treat bag, maybe we will give them out flat so children can have the fun of putting it together themselves. I’m going to think about this a little more.

I hope the kids who get them have as much fun with them as my kids have.  This is a fun way to share a tract at Halloween!

They would also be cute to give at Thanksgiving time. They would be great as place cards on the table.  Maybe as favors for a thanksgiving dinner served at a homeless shelter, church or other organization.

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Many other families on the Homeschool Review Crew had the opportunity to review these also. Click on the banner below to see what they thought of these pumpkins.

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Wordless Wednesday 

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Apologia Educational Ministries Marine Biology Review

Looking for a homeschool marine biology course? I suggest Marine Biology 2nd Edition Advantage Set from Apologia Educational Ministries.  I love, love, love Apologia’s sciences and was so excited to have the opportunity to see this brand new edition!!  This is the 2nd Edition of Exploring Creation with Marine Biology.  This is an upper high school level class and biology is a prerequisite.

I received the Marine Biology 2nd Edition Advantage Set.  That is the text book, student notebook, test and solutions book, tests book and the Marine Biology 2nd Edition Audio CD.

There are 16 Modules:

  1. The Oceans of our Planet
  2. Life in the Sea
  3. The First Four Kingdoms 
  4. Marine Invertebrates I
  5. Marine Invertebrates II 
  6. Marine Vertebrates I
  7. Marine Vertebrates II
  8. Marine Ecology 
  9. The Intertidal Zone
  10. Estuary Communities 
  11. Coral Reefs 
  12. Continental Shelf Communities 
  13. The Epipelagic Zone
  14. The Deep Ocean
  15. Ocean Resources 
  16. Effects of Humans on the Sea

This course is set up the same as other Apologia Sciences, each module can be completed in 2 weeks.  This give plenty of time to read through the chapter, answer On Your Own questions, do labs (and lab reports), study guide and the test.


I love the addition of Student Notebooks!  This is a large spiral bound notebook that contains a place to write your assignments, the On your Own questions with space to write your answer, Study Guide questions with room for answers, optional summary with fill in the blanks using vocabulary words and other info learned in the module.  The back portion of the notebook has the labs and spaces to fill out lab report information.  I love that many of the labs use common household materials, with the exception of the dissections and the slides.

I love that all of this is together in the Student Notebook and you can look back easily at previous modules.  The only downside that I have found is when it’s used in a co-op setting.  It’s a big notebook to carry around and you can not turn the pages in to be graded.  Students that had the notebooks for the classes I taught had their parents grade their work at home.

I liked that the “Solutions and Tests” are a separate book from the tests.  This is easier to keep these in two different places to keep the answers from the student.  You don’t have to worry about making a copy, all the tests are in one convenient place and the answers are in another.  I like the updated style.  The words on the pages seem bolder and less cluttered and there is a nice graphic strip on the top of each page.

The MP3 Audio Book CD is probably my favorite part of the whole package!!!  Some of my kids have a hard time reading text books for one reason or another.  My dyslexic child got through Biology because of the addition of the CD.  The MP3 CD reads the book to you!  It’s brilliant!  My kids follow along in the book, while listening and they get SOOOO much more out of it than just reading the book themselves.  I’m so grateful that this is an option!!

You can find Apologia Education Ministries on these social media sites:

Instagram:   @apologiaworld
Twitter:   @apologiaworld

Many other families on the Homeschool Review Crew had the opportunity to review these course too.  Click on the banner below to see what they had to say about it.

Marine Biology 2nd Edition Advantage Set {Apologia Educational Ministries Review}

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Wordless Wednesday 

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A Journey Through Learning: Inventors Lapbook Review

We love taking a break from our usual studies to do a lapbooking unit, so we were really excited to receive The Greatest Inventors digital download from A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks.  We continue to do some school through the summer and this was a fun product to review before we get busy with our fall work.
I love lapbooks!  I’m a hands on learner, but not all my children are.  Since the target age for this unit is Grades 2-8, my son David got to try it.  I know that he is an auditory learner, he can’t stand hands on projects.  When I asked him what he thought about reviewing it, he said he’d suffer through since he thought inventors would be interesting.  I made him a deal, I would do the hands on part and he would listen and read through the material.  It worked perfectly.
There are 19 different inventors to learn about.  Each one has a page or two of info to read and then a lapbook element to add some information to.  David has been pretty busy this summer so we did 2 or 3 inventors each day.  It was just enough to not work on it too long, but enough work to get it done quickly.
I prepped the lapbook elements ahead of time, by cutting them out and folding and/or assembling them.  They were all set when we were ready to start.  It didn’t take much time to print all the pages and get the elements ready.  It was time well spent to have it prepared.  I separated 2 or 3 inventor’s pages and lapbook elements into packets to be used for the designated days.  I would read about the inventor, then we would write the info on the element and put the finished ones in a zip top bag so they stayed nice.
When all the inventors were done, I printed out the instructions on how to assemble the lapbook. We attached 3 file folders as the instructions said and placed each element where the picture showed.
We also made our own timeline with the inventors’ birth year.  It was neat to see them all in chronological order.
We used the first page “What is an Inventor” as our title page and attached the Table of Contents on one of the folders.  This part was not in the assembly directions, but we thought it was a nice addition.
Here is our final product:
Even though these lapbooks are not David’s preferred method of learning, he does learn so much from them.  He goes back to to where we store his lapbooks and looks at them often.  I’m glad we’ve found a comprise with our family’s learning styles that can work for all of us!  His sister Evie is totally different and would do all of her work in lapbooks and crafts if she could.  In a few years she will be making this inventor one.
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Many others on the Homeschool Review Crew received this lapbook and other lapbooks offered from A Journey Through Learning.  Click on the banner below to see what they had to say about the product they used.

Lapbooks for Classical Conversations, Apologia, Inventors & 20th Century {A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks Reviews}

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Guest Post: Girl Scout Gold Award Playground project

This guest post is written by my daughter Allie.

For my Girl Scout Gold award I decided to build a playground at my church to be available for public use.

My eyes were opened to see the need for local support of playgrounds when my church decided to install a playground on the church property. I also saw this need when the whole county came together and raised funds to build the only public playground in the county. All over the nation and around the world there is a shortage of safe outdoor spaces for children to play due to a lack of public funding. It is important to set the example of people coming together to support outdoor spaces for children to play.

Play is children’s first method of engaging with other people and the world around them. Studies on children’s development demonstrate that open-ended, self-directed play in the outdoors is vitally important for children’s well-being and development.

Some people might ask, Why is play so important? It is important because play increases brain development, helping children concentrate better. It reduces stress, which hinders learning. As they play children are able to practice skills of teamwork, this helps them to make new friends. They also have time and space for solitude; time to think and dream.  Play is a method for children to process trauma; to reconnect to the world because it involves understanding that an item can represent something else. Play is essential for children’s physical development; it encourages them to move and stretch and to run and climb. As they play, interacting with peers, children learn emotional self-regulation and resiliency, which is critical for success throughout life. Play encourages creativity.

My Gold Award Project will inspire people to make the effort to provide other outdoor spaces for children to play; this will help children to be more active, healthier and to develop into productive citizens.

Go out and play safe!

-Allison Hackett, soon to be, Girl Scout Gold Award recipient

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The Everyday Family Chore System Review

I was thrilled to review The Everyday Family Chore System from Everyday Homemaking,  I had bought Vicki Bentley’s book a few years ago after I heard her speak at a homeschooling convention.  I have been using her system since then.  So when I saw she had updated it I couldn’t wait to see it !!! I love this digital copy that I received to review!  I want to share with you how we’ve used this and what has worked for us.

I have to back up a little here: I met Vicki a little before this homeschool convention at a Leadership Convention in Williamsburg Virginia.  She is a sweet, sweet lady who has so much wisdom to pass along.  I enjoyed listening to her talk and tried to soak in as much knowledge as I possibly could.

When it came time to decide which speakers my husband and I would listen to at the homeschool convention, I said we needed to go to Vicki’s one about chores!  I knew she had 8 girls of her own and had many foster children.  She knew what it took to run a household and I needed to hear it.  My husband and I both grew up in households that were managed very differently.  When it came time for us to decide how we would run ours, our options greatly differed.  I have read LOTS of books and tried LOTS of different things, but none of them were “it”.

We decided that if we liked Vicki’s system that we would use it.  We would kind of “blame her” if it didn’t work.  We needed something different than either of us had growing up.  After sitting through the session, we bought her book.

I read through it all and made my notes.  It’s an easy to read and understand book.  The first part of the book talks about laying the foundation and training your children, not just expecting them to do what you are thinking.   She reminds us that we need to model good behaviors for our children to see:

  • Submit to authority without rebellion
  • apologize if needed
  • do everything without complaining
  • work on skills and character (theirs and ours)
  • work ourselves out of a job

Vicki not only tells us what jobs our children can do, but she wants us to remember to “tie strings to their hearts”.  She says that children with connections to their parents hearts will desire to please and honor them.  She goes on to give examples on how to do that.  I love that this is in here!!!  I think sometimes we forget the big picture in the everyday details.

The second part of the book guides you through delegating and assigning responsibilities.  Here you start to list all the things that you think should be done at your house. She tells you what age appropriate expectations are and what each age children can developmentally handle which chores.  Now you take that list and divide them among the children you have at home.  Some of these chores will be done daily and some weekly and some monthly.

This is what the example from the book looks like.

Vicki uses how-to-do-it cards to ensure the job is done to the same standard that it’s expected to be done.  She also explains how she trains each child for each job.  How-to-do-it cards are included in the last section of the book along with other printable resources to help you set up the is system for yourself.

Here is what our version looks like:

It has been very versatile which has been perfect as we are in a season where kids are living at or attending college and working.  Some of our older children have been taken off of daily chores because of their schedules.  We only have daily chores right now.  We took off the weekly chore for a time.  We want the choice to add them back in so we didn’t alter our “chart”.

Not everything we have tried has worked for us, but we didn’t expect it to.  I think that’s why it’s worked so well, we knew we would have to tweak it some and that didn’t mean that we failed and that it wouldn’t work for us. We adjusted and tried again.

I love the digital version that I have now.  It’s easy to print and I don’t have to worry about the spiral binding getting in my way when I made copies.

There are many other treasures in this book.  She explains zone cleaning which we have used for the past 16 or so years.  I love it’s simplicity and effectiveness.  She also go through making your house child friendly; an environment that works for the children so they can easily succeed.  If the kids can’t reach what they are to put away, they will struggle.  She also has a daily schedule and some checklists to model yours after.

10% off The Everyday Family Chore System and/or Everyday Cooking (print or e-book) through Labor Day! The code  is TOS10books –they can apply it to as many books in their cart as they’d like, shop first, apply the 10% discount code last. (Sorry — eccentric cart function) Expires Sept 5.

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Click on the banner below to see what others on the Homeschool Review Crew thought about Everyday Family Chore System.  Other members received Everyday Cooking, their reviews are linked here too.

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