geography, Give Your Child the World Study

Our Summer “School”

I’m sneaking in “school” this summer!  We have a lot of fun things planned to do, but I want to sneak in some intention book learning too.  I found this great book called  Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at a Time by Jamie C Martin.  (This is not one of my regular reviews, I got the book myself and I love it so much I want to share it with you!!)

This is a book about books about people all over the world!  Each section is divided by age to help you find books quickly for your children.  I have focused on picture books up to about 8 year old and requested them from my library.

I’m loosely following Ms. Martin’s Summer Reading program.  We started with multicultural books and we “travel” all over the world by continent or region.  I have been working on collecting items from other countries and storing them together.  I pulled them out and put them in Dollar Tree baskets to go with the chapters of the book/regions we will be studying.

I hope we become more aware of people all of the world and how they live.  I also hope we explore new food!  It’s a good way to get picky eaters to try things, right?  Please follow our adventures as we travel to new places this summer!!

curriculum reviews

Memoria Press Classical Composition I: Fable Set Review

When I think of Classical Christian Education I think of Memoria Press so I choose the Classical Composition I: Fable Set to review with my 12 year old son.
David is just finishing up sixth grade and we are now looking at him taking some pretty serious classes.  It’s time now for writing, higher sciences and algebra.  I think we will ease into the sciences and maths, but it’s time to work on writing.  He doesn’t like to write, but comes up with some great creative stories.  I knew the right approach would produce some great results.    I wasn’t sure if Memoria Press would work for David, but I wanted to try.
We received the Student book, Teacher Guide and Instructional DVDs.  I started by letting David know that we would use this as an introduction to the writing what be would be expected of him next year.  I let him know that this wasn’t about perfection, but just educating him in the writing process.  How bad could it be if it was about fables?  If nothing else he would learn about the moral of the story.
I reluctantly put in the DVD to start the instruction.  I was able to use the instructor as the bad guy if David didn’t like it.  Sorry Brett Vaden, I would have made you the bad guy if needed, but it wasn’t needed!!!  Thank you for making a great instructional DVD that my son didn’t mind!  He learned so much through this process.  We worked through the first three fables and look forward to more in the future.
This was a serious writing curriculum!  We have used lots of different programs in the past and I can say I’m seriously impressed by how this was put together and executed.  We did work slowly and did not immediately strive for perfection but for knowledge of the process.  This took a lot of the intimidation factor away.
Each section starts with reading the fable and learning the meaning of any words the student does not know.  Next the student identifies “recognition, reversal and suffering” in the story.  This was new to me, but David picked up on it right away.  Recognition is when “a truth not realized previously in the story is discovered”.  Reversal is when the roles are reversed, for example “the high and mighty are brought low”.  Suffering is when the “character has physical or emotional discomfort”. David was able to identify these very well.
After that the student narrates the fable in their own words.  Then the student rewrites a few sentences with synonyms of the original words.  This helps them to start thinking about the story in their own words.  Next the student makes an outline.  This was a great time for David to be introduced to making an outline.  He had not done this before.  We worked through the first few together.  This made it so he felt more confident doing it on his own.  These were pretty big and detailed outlines.  David then used his outline to narrate the story again with his notes.
The next step was to write a paraphrased story.  I wrote the first two for him as he narrated.  This process works for well him.  He then wrote the last one he did and even added more of his own flourishes.  The next step was paraphrasing by inverting the sequence.  We haven’t actually done this on our own yet, but David and I are equally impressed by the instructor’s ability to turn the entire fable backwards and tell it from the end to the beginning in past tense.  We will continue to watch and learn this skill from the dvd until we can do it on our own.  The last step is to write a final draft of one of the paraphrased stories.  We are working up to this step.  As we get a few more fables done and skills are perfected we will get to some great final drafts.
I really liked this curriculum.  Even though it’s a serious writing curriculum we could work very slowly through each step.  Each section we have done, David has done more independently.  I think by the time we get about half way through he will feel confident in his newly learned skills that he can do it all on his own and have some great writing!!!  I think some of my older kids would have benefited from this curriculum.
You can find Memoria Press on these social media sites:

We have also used Classical Phonics and First Start Reading from Memoria Press.  Please click this link to see what we thought about it.

Please click on the banner below to see what they thought of the items they reviewed.

New American Cursive & Traditional Logic {Memoria Press Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

curriculum reviews

The Critical Thinking Co.™ Detective Book 1 Review

We have always loved The Critical Thinking Co.™ so I jumped at the opportunity to review Critical Thinking Detective Book 1 with my 12 year old son.  He is just finishing sixth grade and this was a fun activity to end his year.  Critical thinking skills are something we have always tried to purposely work on with our children.  Along with a love and thirst for learning, we want to instill critical thinking skills in our children so they will always continue to seek knowledge and make informed, thought out decisions throughout their entire lives.

We received a soft cover workbook containing 12 mysteries to solves that included an answer key.

Below is a one of the mysteries to solve.  The adjoining page has blanks to fill in.  David has a huge aversion to non essential writing so we didn’t use these pages at this time.  David would read through the mystery and process the clues.  He would make a guess and circle the one he thought was the answer.  You can see on this one he didn’t always get it on the first try.  I did explain to him the wisdom of the writing pages to make notes as he went along.

Other puzzles he did much better on and got them right the first try.  We went over each puzzle and discussed why he was right or wrong and what he was thinking.  This was a great way for him to develop critical thinking skills without calling it “school”.  To him this was a fun puzzle book!  I will consider that a win and keep adding fun products from The Critical Thinking Co.™

All of the answers are in the back of the book.  I remembered to tear this section out before I gave David the book to work on.  I gave him  a few choices for how to use this book.  I said that our goal was to finish all 12 puzzles in the last few weeks we had of school.  He could do one or two a day or he could work on it until it was completed if he would like.  The first one we did together and put it away for the next school day.  On that day he took the book and worked straight through it.  He really enjoyed doing it that way.  He could see how the puzzles were the same and different and figured out a rhythm of solving them.

You can find The Critical Thinking Co.™ on these social media sites:

We have enjoyed other books from The Critical Thinking Co.™ in the past.  Here are a few links to the reviews I have posted: Surfing the Net Science,Balance Math Teaches Algebra and Fun Time Phonics.

Many other families on The Homeschool Review Crew had the opportunity to review the book we did and a few other titles:

Understanding Pre-Algebra

Something Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha

Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary

Dare to Compare Level 1

Vocabulary Riddles Book 1

Here are a few specials I can pass on to you:

Free Critical Thinking Puzzles!
A $75 Value! Delivered weekly to your inbox. Choose PreK – Grade 8. Sign Up Now!


Please click on the banner below to see what they thought about the book they reviewed.

Critical Thinking, Understanding Math & Vocabulary {The Critical Thinking Co.™ Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

curriculum reviews

T is for Tree Book Review

I want to introduce you to a sweet Christian children’s book called T is for Tree: A Bible ABC from Reformed Free Publishing Association. We were given the opportunity to review this book as our school year is coming to a close.  This was a great time to pause and share a book together.  This book is recommended for children 3-6 years of age.   I read this book with Thomas who is 5. He was particularly interested in this book since his name begins with the letter T.  He would tell me which letter it was and I would read the rest of the words on the page.  I really enjoyed reading this with him.

There are many things that made me like this book.  I liked that the book went through the ABC’s.  Each letter is a prompt for a Bible verse and the artwork is beautiful!!!!

Thomas and I sat down and read the book over a few days.  He called out the letters and I read what it stood for.  Sometimes we got through the verse and sometimes he moved on quickly.  That’s ok, we will be coming back to this book many times.

I think we will be using it for some drawing class inspiration too!

Here are a few of Thomas’ favorite pages.

He thought the goat was silly and he liked the ice on the whole page.

Thomas is the youngest of 7.  We’ve been homeschooling all along, so this was our 20th year.  I have never done a very rigid kindergarten at 5 years old, especially with my boys.  Their interest and attention span seem to come a little later.  Thomas’ birthday is at the end of July so he was a young kindergartner at the beginning of the year anyway.  I have always sought out good quality books like T is for Tree for my young ones to be part of their first “formal” years of school.  I was glad to be able to share this book with him now and look forward to reading it again with him.  I will be adding it to some of the beautiful children’s book that I will keep on my shelf when this season on little ones is done.

This book is a 32 page hard cover book written and illustrated by Connie L. Meyer.  It is published and sold by Reformed Free Publishing.  They are “an independent, non-profit organization founded in 1924 for the purpose of witnessing to the distinctive Reformed truth.”  I had never heard of them before so I did a little looking around their website.  They have many, many books to choose from.  Joining their book club gets you a 35% discount plus free shipping.

Reformed Free Publishing Association also has other books written by Connie L Meyer; a series of books called Behold the Beauty and Gottschalk Servant of God.

You can find Reformed Free Publishing Association on this 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 read what they had to say about it.

T is for Tree: A Bible ABC {Reformed Free Publishing Association Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

curriculum reviews

PandaParents Messylearning for Preschoolers and Kindergartners Review

Today I would like to introduce you to PandaParents and their MESSYLEARNING FOR PRESCHOOLERS AND KINDERGARTNERS. Thomas (6 years old) had the opportunity to use this for this review.  I was a little worried about the title, but it wasn’t messy at all.

  • M- Mixed subjects and activites for integrative learning
  • E- Engagning activities that challenge minds
  • S- Simple 1, 2, 3 steps: Read, Learn, Create
  • S- Smart designs for creative learning
  • Y- Yeah, a new way to promote preschool STEM and early brain growth

This is a cute curriculum for little ones.  Each month has a different story.  We chose to focus on Scotty the Skunk for this review, but we also received Mommy’s Baby and A Jolly Jingling Journey.

The first thing  Thomas and I did was watch the Scotty the Skunk video.  This is a cute cartoon story about a skunk, where he hides, what he does and the letter S.

Big sister Evie (7) watched it too.  She liked it!

At the time of this review all the parts of this curriculum are digital (print version coming soon) so I printed the workbook here at home.  Thomas worked through many of the pages.  You can tell it finally warmed up here, this boy sheds that shirt a lot more often now!


We also read the corresponding book.  We used it to  review this unit.

Thomas is a very active 6 year old boy.  The video did capture his attention and he liked it.  He sat for the whole thing, it was about 30 minutes.  Thomas did like the worksheets.  He did spend more time on some and skipped over some others.  He enjoyed the cut and paste ones and the mazes.

This was a fun and cute curriculum that covered many subjects in book form, video and worksheets. This multi-sensory, multi- subject curriculum appeals to many different learning styles and includes some math, foreign languages, reading, independent thinking, geography, biology, fine motor skills and more.

I don’t know about your young learners, but mine get bored very easily. This program is designed to be used for about 30 minutes, 2 to 3 times per week. I liked how many subjects were introduced in a lesson.  I like that we worked on it slowly over a month and I liked that they get do work on an entirely different story the next month.

Here’s a little about the other 2 stories we received.  Mommy’s baby is about a mama panda talking to her baby.  She asks her baby if she’s all of these different animals and shapes.  The baby sweetly responds that yes, she is.  “Are you mommy’s little monkey?”, “Yes, I am and you are  mommy monkey!” A Jolly Jingling Journey is about a journey to meet Santa at Christmas.  Davy and his friends get to help Santa deliver Christmas gifts.

Digital subscriptions are available now for $9.95 per month.  There is currently an offer to get the first month free.

Printed workbook subscription will be coming soon.  Join today and get FREE shipping! Monthly subscription rate will be $14.95 per month.

A deluxe subscription will be available that adds a physical copy of your monthly pdf book.  That one will be $24.95 per month.  Join today and pay later.

These subscription plans can be canceled anytime.


You can find PandaParents on these social media sites:

Many other families on the Homeschool Review Crew had the opportunity to review this curriculum also.  Click on the banner below to see what their family thought about it.

Messylearning For Preschoolers and Kindergartners {PandaParents Reviews}Crew Disclaimer