Friday, October 30, 2015

Things That Make Me Smile 10/23/15

Jake (9½), Alyssa (7½), Zac (5½), Tyler (3½), Nicholas (10 months)

Happy Friday! This was a pretty typical week filled with Lego-playing, book-reading, dessert-baking, mess-making, and Smiling. Always Smiling.

1. Me: "Generally, girls are better at multitasking than boys are."
Jake, smirking: "What! I can sit on the couch and watch TV at the same time."

2. Tyler, singing: "Row, row, row the boat gently down the street."

3. Tyler: "Nicky's playing with the vacuum!"
Me: "It's ok; he can't hurt it."
Tyler: "He can't swallow it?"

4.Jake gave Nicholas a tomato from the garden.

5. Alyssa, about I'm a Little Tea Pot: "First you're talking about the tea pot and then you're talking about the tea."
When I get all steamed up hear me shout, "Tip me (teapot) over and pour me (tea) out!"

6. Tyler: "You're so cute, Mama!"

7. Me: "How do you know that God's been good to you?"
Zac: "He lets me eat candy."
Me: "Anything else?"
Zac: "He answers our prayers . . . and He gave me a good dad and a good mother."

8. Tyler, about dinner: "Mommy, will you warm mine up?"
Me: "Honey, it is warm."
Tyler: "No, it's not. It's hot."


10. Tyler: "Mommy, I'm a super hero! Want to play super heroes with me?"
Me: "Sure! Can I have laundry power, so I can bzzzz! and zap all the laundry clean?"
Tyler: "Oh, yeah. This is my power!" {starts jumping and spinning in circles while flailing his arms everywhere}

11. Tyler: "It started to fall, but I catched it!"
Me: "Good job! You caught it."
Tyler: "No, I catched it."
Me: "The proper word is caught."
Tyler: "You caught it, but I catched it."

What made you Smile this week?
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Peter and the Wolf Review

We were excited to receive Peter and the Wolf from the Maestro Classics stories in music collection. 

We are a big music-loving family. My husband majored in music in college and lead both the choir and the congregational singing at church for many years. He and I have both been in multiple singing groups and a traveling handbell choir. (Actually, it was that choir and playing our parts next to each other that brought us together!) It is our desire to give our children a love of good music. One great way of doing that is through Stories in Music from Maestro Classics and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. This series, meant for children an families, uses music to tell stories. You can listen to the music from a soundtrack without ever having seen the movie itself and get an idea of the emotions taking place. Music moves you. It reminds me of a day while watching something when my 4-year-old asked, "Why is she mad?" After I explained that she wasn't, he questioned, "Then why does the music sound like that?" Music tells a story.

Bonnie and Stephen Simon understand the importance of music. They want families to be not only entertained by their productions, but also educated. They both have many years of professional experience (to name a few of their numerous accomplishments: Bonnie as the former executive director of the Washington Chamber Symphony at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and Stephen as the music director of the same organization for 25 years). Now, they work together to create and compose these symphonic works.    

Peter and the Wolf, written and composed by Sergei Prokofiev, is a well-known story. It's about a boy who has animal friends, doesn't obey his grandfather, and has a run-in with a wolf. Not only is the story beautifully told, but it is described in an easy-to-understand way, as well. The narrator explains that each character is represented by instruments in the symphony orchestra.

Bird = Flute
Duck = Oboe
Cat = Clarinet
Grandfather = Basoon
Wolf = 3 French Horns
Hunters = Woodwinds (marching), Kettle Drums (shooting of guns)
Peter = Strings 

Pointing out the individual instruments helps to recognize them throughout the story and makes it fun to follow along. My kids and I enjoyed listening to just the instrumental portions without the verbal story and discussing which character was being highlighted and what kind of attitude was being portrayed. Music is powerful!

There is a section devoted to the composer. Prokofiev grew up in the Russian countryside, where wolves were a real threat. He was the only child of wealthy parents. His father taught him chess while his mother taught him piano. By 9 years of age, he had composed his own opera. At 13, he was the youngest student to be accepted at St. Petersburg Conservatory. By the time he graduated, he was already a published composer. He traveled while preforming his own music and eventually came to America. The critics here claimed that he was "throwing ink at paper," but people still flocked to his performances. He left the US, got married, had children, and returned to Moscow. It was there he was encouraged to compose a story for children. He wrote the story in just one week and composed it the next. Peter and the Wolf has been loved by people all over the world. Not only is the musical score enchanting, but the story is one to be admired. It's about a boy who has the courage to face danger and the ability to think quickly to find a solution to his problem. He becomes the hero!

The rest of the CD is full of  all sorts of interesting things. There is the entire instrumental story performed in the Russian style, musical terms, descriptions of music as sound effects (rope lowering, wolf's jaw snapping, hunters shooting guns), an explanation from the conductor of the musical theme, more fun Russian music, and other valuable information.

Along with the CD is included a 24-page activity book. It contains biographies, a small portion of sheet music, info about the music, games, and more. This little book is great to teach the kids more about the music, instruments, and people, but I found myself soaking up the information as well. My kids liked the games the best: crack the code, musical question, word search, crossword, matching the instruments, identifying the mouthpieces, and others.

My kids and I listened to this work many times: driving, folding laundry, coloring, or whatever. They enjoyed listening along and learning and reading through the activity book, as well. They've even asked if we could get more. Maestro Classics has other titles such as Swan Lake (reviewed by some of y Crewmates), Casey at the Bat, The Tortoise and the Hare, and more. They have fun things on their website like games and coloring pages as part of their Kids Club and offer in-dept curriculum guides that accompany specific titles. If you'd like to give your family the love of music, I suggest heading over to listen to some samples. We've been impressed with the Stories in Music.   

You can connect with Maetro Classics on the following social media sites:

You can read more reviews of this title or reviews of Swan Lake on the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Ultimate Homeschool Planner Review

Lists. Planning. Details. Those words speak to me. I am known for making lists of everything--grocery, vacation packing, daily chores, projects, party planning, school assignments. It helps me to see the tasks or items concrete in written word, and it gives me enjoyment every time I cross something off my list. Now that we have 5 children and homeschool, it is vital that I keep a calendar to track our family, church, and other responsibilities. Currently, I am using The Ultimate Homeschool Planner - Yellow Cover.

Apologia Educational Ministries is well-known in the homeschool realm for their science curricula and other biblical worldview products. This Christian company believes "that every educational subject in your home school can and should be taught from a biblical worldview built on the solid foundation of God’s Word and centered on Jesus Christ." It's always best to use products that reinforce your beliefs. We have loved everything we've gotten from Apologia in the past, so I was looking forward to this product, as well.

Not only do I want a functional planner, but a pretty one as well. I know, the way it looks doesn't change its performance, but it makes me happy to use something lovely. We are visual creatures, aren't we? The first thing I noticed about this one is how feminine it is. The color scheme consists mostly of pale yellow, avocado green, and plum in floral accents. (There is also an orange option and a blue option, if you'd prefer those.)

The first few pages are filled with tools to help you plan. There are tips for prioritizing your time, scheduling your days, how to teach your children independence, and how to maximize the use of the planner. There are pages devoted to listing both character and academic goals for each student and their resources you are implementing. All throughout the pages are Bible verses and inspiring quotes for encouragement.

There are many options for scheduling your time. The one-year planning grid lets you see the entire year at once by using a two-page spread. There is just enough room to write one main activity for each day. The monthly planning section allows you to view each month and gives you 4 small lines to write information. The weekly planner is where you have the most room for individual tasks and personalization. In this portion, each week gets a 2-page spread. The grid is 6x6. You can customize the planner to what best fits your needs by listing days of the week across the top and students down the side or students across the top and subjects down the side or whatever you choose. After each week, there are pages that accompany where you can keep track or your personal Bible plan, Battle Plan and Fighter Verse, Prayers, and Hospitality/Outreach. These pages are set aside for Sundays, the Lord's Day (that's why the weekly grid has only 6 spaces). There are also places to record the week's memorable moments and evidences of grace.

I think this is a beautiful planner with many options to personalize it to your desires. I love the quotes throughout, and even though the Bible verses are not from the version we use, I appreciate those as well. Having the sections for the memorable moments and evidences of grace are wonderful reminders to live in the moment and not to take our blessings for granted. The only thing I don't prefer about this planner is the cover. The cover is about 1/2 inch bigger on the sides than the pages. Both the front and back covers have a pocket folder slot so you can store whatever printed pages you need. However, because of that extra 1/2 inch, the cover tends to bend and catch on things.

This planner has been working well for me. I had always preferred a physical planner that I could write in and flip the pages, but I've recently switched to an online one. Comparing the two, I now favor the digital version (trust me, that shocks my husband!) If you are in the physical planner camp though, this one would be perfect for you.


You can connect with Apologia Educational Ministries on the following social media sites:

If you'd like to see how other homeschool moms used this planner, please read the reviews on the schoolhouse Review Crew blog.

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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Her Legacy

October 22, 1990.

That was the day that drastically changed the course of my husband's life.

He was 7 at the time, 2 weeks shy of his 8th birthday, when his world was forever changed. That day marked the beginning of some very difficult years in his life. His mom--his comforter, his stability, his haven--was gone.

Years ago (the Timeline feature makes things so easy to find), I posted this on Facebook:

22 years ago, a precious woman lost her battle with cancer. I never had the privilege of meeting her, yet I love her and am blessed by her every single day.

How do I know?

 I married her son.

Leukemia may have taken her life, but her influence lived on. 

My husband doesn't have an entire childhood filled with memories of his mother, but he remembers cuddling and napping with her after school. He recalls the way she laughed and enjoyed life, even while knowing she was dying. He remembers her intelligence. He remembers her love.

I know it's this heartache-filled path--the one that starts with losing his mother, moves on to his father remarrying, and ends with spending his teenage years in a children's home--that led us to each other, but I can't help but wonder how different things could have been. How would we have met had our college not been recommended to him while in the children's home? Would I have fallen in love with him as quickly had he not amazed me with his unbelievable forgiveness? Would we be close to his parents? What would his mom have been like? Would she have been the typical dreaded "mother-in-law"? I can't imagine she would have been, if she was anything like her laid-back, understanding, loving son.

I'd like to think that she would have loved me. And my children. 

I could sit here all day and think of the what ifs, but this is the life God has given us. I'll never know my mother-in-law. I'll never see her smile or feel the warmth of her hug. I'll never be able to see which traits and habits my husband got from her. I'll never watch her hold my sleeping babies. 

I'll never get to thank her for loving her son. Or for being the proper example in his life. I'll never have the opportunity to thank her for raising him those 8 years and making it possible for him to overlook the hardships and thrive in his life. I'll never thank her for her influence in making my husband the man that he is. I'll never be able to tell her, but I love her because I love him.

Twenty-five years ago my husband lost his mom, but her legacy, her love, lives on.

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Things That Make Me Smile 10/16/15

Jake (9½), Alyssa (7½), Zac (5½), Tyler (3½), Nicholas (10 months)

Happy Friday! This week we canned more apple stuff, had a get-together at church, and took the kids to the Children's Museum. Lots of fun, lots of Smiles.

1. Tyler: "How come I can't hear that sound?"
Me: "What sound?"
Tyler: "The one I can't hear."

2. Jake, about Nicholas: "How does he even contain all that cuteness?"


4. Alyssa, holding a dripping canned mandarin orange segment and looking very suspicious: "Here, Tyler, want this?"
{Jake walks up with the same mischievous smile}
Me: "What did you do to it?"
Alyssa: "Nothing."
Me: "Really. What did you do to it?"
Jake, still smirking: "Nothing. It was the last one, so we saved it for him."
Me: "You didn't dip it in pickle juice or something?"
Jake: "No . . . but that's a great idea! I'm going to remember that one."

5. Tyler: "It's a lan that turns, so it's a lantern."

6. Tyler: "Do you know your letters?"
My Mom: "Yes. {sings} A, B, C, D, E--"
Tyler, excited: "Those are my letters, too!"


8. Alyssa, seeing a banana peel in a parking lot: "They shouldn't leave that there. Someone's car might drive through it and slip."

9. Tyler: "Is it already yesterday?"

10. Alyssa, grocery shopping: "Is it a rule that you have to fill the cart?"

11. Alyssa, while learning about the salt in the Dead Sea: "Does it have pepper, too?"

What made you Smile this week?

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Koru Naturals Review

As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I get all sorts of great curriculum and learning products for the kids. We've gotten online subscriptions, physical books, CDs, DVDs, games, and so much more. Every now and then I get something just for me. The latest products for review, Manuka Honey and Manuka Oil Facial CleanserManuka Honey, Tamarind and Manuka Oil Facial Toner; Skin Clear Cream; and Manuka Honey Propolis Soap from Koru Naturals fall into that "something for me" category. 

I've always been a "products" girl. Multiple lotions, dozens of makeup colors, choices of shampoo--different options to match how I felt. I had products for any issue or desire. And while I grew up using homeopathic remedies for illnesses and overall health, my beauty care choices weren't so natural. That is until several years ago. I remember the day, as I shooed my toddler away from the bathroom I was cleaning, I realized that if it was harmful for my little ones to inhale the fumes from the popular commercial cleaners, then it was harmful for me to as well. Since that day, I've worked to switch our home and beauty products to ones that are natural.

I never had an issue with acne when I was a teenager. No, my skin decided to wait until I was in college. I wouldn't say that it ever got bad, per se, but any blemishes seemed monumental in my mind. I could usually cover the imperfections with makeup, but I was frustrated with having to do so. I never left the house without at least a little foundation to even my complexion. Then, a couple years ago, I started washing my face using the Oil Cleansing Method. I saw an improvement in my skin immediately! My skin cleared up completely and I felt comfortable with a naked face. Even the hormones of my most recent pregnancy couldn't compete with OCM. And then, the baby was born. Within 2-3 months, my skin started breaking out again. No matter what I tried, I couldn't find anything to stop the breakouts. I know the issues are hormone related, but I'm not willing to ween my little one just so I feel comfortable without a little makeup. (You may be thinking that I'm vain to be worried about such things. To each his own.) I was eager to try this line of skin care from Koru Naturals, in hopes of getting my skin clear once again. 

The Manuka Honey and Manuka Oil Facial Cleanser provides a deep cleansing while protecting delicate skin. It's made with aloe juice, lavender, manuka honey (known for its antibacterial and acne-fighting properties), and manuka oil and doesn't contain any parabens or artificial colors. The cleanser is very thin and doesn't suds much.

The Manuka Honey, Tamarind and Manuka Oil Facial Toner compliments the cleanser. It's to be used after you wash your skin and before you moisturize it. Like the cleanser, it also comes with a pump lid, making it easy to squirt the toner onto a cotton ball to apply. It's designed for acneic, oily, combination, and sensitive skin. The ingredients list includes manuka honey, manuka oil, aloe, vitamin A, tamarind (proven to heal inflammation and promote healthy skin), chamomile and green tea.

The Skin Clear Cream completes the manuka skin care. This 20th anniversary edition contains the same well-loved ingredients, but offers an even more advanced formula to clear your skin. This thick cream contains manuka honey and oil, kawakawa and harakeke (used to treat many skin conditions), burdock root (rich in minerals), thyme (anti-inflammatory and a natural astringent), and other beneficial ingredients. The tin comes with a plastic lid with a slot to hold an application tool. This protects the cream from spilling and from contamination. The cream has a lovely lemongrass scent and silky feel. It tends to make my skin oily if I use more than a smidgen.

Within a week of using these three products, I noticed an improvement in my skin. The following week brought another breakout. The week after was clear again. My skin has followed this pattern since starting this routine. While I can't say that this was the miracle cure I was hoping for, I am enjoying using it and knowing that it's beneficial for my skin.   

The Manuka Honey Propolis Soap is made with ingredients that are known for their powerful moisturizing benefits and skin-protecting properties. This pretty, octagonal soap is two-toned, the rich yellow on top and the creamy white on bottom. It lathers nicely and feels silky on the skin. The whole family has been using this soap. So far, I have not noticed a difference in our skin. That can be taken as a good thing because it works just as well as our previous soaps or as a bad thing because there was no additional moisturizing. I personally prefer to believe that it's good for many reasons: made with natural ingredients, beneficial for the skin, and works well.   

These products, and all the products from Koru Naturals, are made from pure, natural ingredients and can be used with all ages. Not only do I like that these are made with top-quality ingredients, but I love that they do what they claim to do in healing and enhancing the body. I would definitely purchase from this company in the future.

You can connect with Koru Naturals on the following social media sites:

If you'd like to see how other homeschool families used these products or some of the others offered by Koru Naturals, please read the reviews on the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.

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Drawing Around the World Review

Geography has never been my thing. Oh, don't get me wrong, I still got an A in the class in high school, but I didn't enjoy learning it and I certainly didn't retain the knowledge for very long after I received my tests back with the approving grade. Over the last few years though, I've gotten a desire to freshen up my geography knowledge--and maybe truly learn it the second time around. 

My oldest 2 kids (ages 9 and 7) have an interest in geography, specifically pertaining to the Unites States of America. They play games about the states, try to recognize them by their shapes, and put together puzzles of the map. I thought that Drawing Around the World: USA from Brookdale House would interest them.   

The Drawing Around the World series (includes the USA book and the Europe book) was designed to teach children to draw large sections of geography from memory. With the USA book, students study one or more states a week by tracing, locating on a map, and labeling. The day the state is introduced, the student also fills in a chart with various facts about it.

  • Capital
  • Abbreviation
  • Statehood
  • Bird
  • Flower
  • Industry
  • Interesting Fact   
To find the state facts for the chart, students research the information by checking one of several free online resources. Once they have completed this course, they will have a familiarity with the states, recognize them, be able to draw them, and understand their positions relative to one another.  

The suggested weekly schedule is as follows:

Day 1    
  • Study the New State.
  • Complete the State Fact Table.
  • Locate and label each new state onto the dashed, black and white map.
  • Draw all states studied thus far.
Day 2    
  • Locate and label each new state onto the dashed, black and white map.
  • Draw all states studied thus far.
Day 3  
  • Locate and label each new state onto the dashed, black and white map.
  • Draw all states studied thus far.
Day 4   
  • List, from memory, the states studied thus far.
  • Using the blank textbox, draw, also from memory, all of the states you have learned.

We school 4 days a week (Monday-Thursday), so this schedule works perfectly for us. I had intended to use this curriculum with only my oldest child, but his younger sister was so excited about it and asked to join in. How could I say no? Every Monday, we sit at the table together. The kids trace the state and draw it. Then, we fill out the facts sheet together. I look up the information and write it on a white board so it's easier to copy. It's much easier to write 96,810 sq. mi. and 9,895,622 people (those are Michigan's stats, by the way) when you can see it. I also find pictures of the state birds and flowers so the kids can visualize those, too. The interest fact is the favorite for each state. We learned that the first free public library was opened in New Hampshire, that Ben & Jerry's leftover ice cream is fed to hogs in Vermont, that it's illegal to cross the street while walking on your hands in Connecticut, and more fun stuff.

This is what my kids think about using this curriculum:

"I like that you get to trace the state and draw it yourself. And I like learning the capitals!"

"I like that the lessons are short and I like learning the capitals."

I like that my children are learning geography in a fun simple way. I do have mixed feelings about it though. The book itself is really just the same few simple pages over and over: a blank chart, a map of the US with the states drawn with dashed lines, a blank map with Canada and Mexico shown but the US left out, and a blank page to draw the states. I just feel like it needs something more. I also think it would be good to have a spot for the states' nicknames. The 282 pages is a lot to print out. For just a few dollars more, it would be worth it to purchase the printed book, instead of the e-book. Although, then you'd have to buy one for each child. See, mixed feelings.

My kids are enjoying this book, and we will continue to learn the geography of the USA. If you think this might be good for your faily, too, you can view sample pages of the products on the site.

You can connect with Brookdale House on the following social media sites:

If you'd like to see how other homeschool families used this curriculum or one of the others offered by Brookdale House, please read the reviews on the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.

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Friday, October 16, 2015

Things That Make Me Smile 10/9/15

Jake (9½), Alyssa (7½), Zac (5½), Tyler (3½), Nicholas (9 months)

Happy Friday! This week we picked apples at my brother's house, baked a bunch of zucchini treats, and created many craft projects. We made memories filled with many Smiles.

1. Zac: "Every day I blink."

2. Tyler, wearing isolation headphones, yelling: "Hey, Mama, can you hear me?"
Me: "Yes, I hear you."
Tyler: "No, you can't 'cause my ears are plugged!"

3. Zac, because I was dancing with Nicholas: "I like when you do that. You look pretty."


5. Tyler, because the leaves had fallen off the tree and landed on our van: "Someone decorated our car!"

6. Alyssa, painting her nails: "It would be so much easier if both my hands were right hands."

7. Tyler: "Ewe, Nicky touched me with his messy hands."
Me: "He's a baby; he doesn't know any better."
Tyler, to Nicholas, commanding: "Know any better."

8. Me, because Jake was watching me do laundry: "Can I help you with something?"
Jake: "Yeah, by letting me help you."

9. Tyler calling meatballs meat bulbs.

10. Zac cracked his first egg.

11. Me, sternly because he was in trouble: "Tyler, look at me."
Jake, looking: "Ooh, you look pretty."

12. Jake: "Can I have a brownie for breakfast? It's a zucchini brownie."

13. I walked out of the room. Jake followed a few seconds later.
Jake: "Mom? Mom?"
Me: "I'm in here. What do you need?"
Jake: "You."

What made you Smile this week?

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Progeny Press Review

We are a big literature family. Our schooling consists mostly of reading books and hands-on projects. That's why I was so excited to be reviewing the Miss Rumphius downloadable digital study guide from Progeny Press.

Progeny Press is a Christian company owned by Michael and Rebecca Gilleland. It is their mission to "teach our children to think clearly, to understand literature, and to rely on the scripture for truth and values, and enjoy themselves while they do it!" They offer more than 100 study guides for classic, popular, and award-winning books. The guides are designed to help students better understand and enjoy literature by getting them to think through the themes and ideas written in the stories. The study guides are available in three formats: a physical book, a CD with a PDF ebook, and a downloadable PDF file. 

Since we like to incorporate as much as possible as family studies and my children are 9, 7, 5, and 3 years old, I chose Miss Rumphius from the lower elementary (K-3rd grade) list. Miss Rumphius, written by Barbara Cooney, is a book that I had never read before. It's about a girl that admires her grandfather. Like him, she too wants to travel the world and then live by the sea. He tells her that she must also make the world  more beautiful. She grows up and achieves her first two goals. It's not until then that she realizes, quite by accident, how to reach her third goal. She sows lupines everywhere she goes and makes the world more beautiful.   

The guide is broken down into sections:
  • Before-You-Read Study 
  • Before-You-Read Activities
  • Sections 1: The Child Alice Sets Her Goals
  • Section 2: Miss Rumphius Travels and Comes Home to Live by the 
  • Section 3: The Lupine Lady Makes the World More Beautiful
  • After-You-Read Activities
The 45-page guide also includes related resources, answer key, and a brief bio of the author and illustrator.

This study guide is filled with different types of activities. There are questions like When Alice visits her grandfather in the evenings, how does she honor him? and What does Miss Rumphius put in the stony ground near her home by the sea?; unscrambling names of countries like Indonesia and Kenya, finding the definitions for vocabulary words like conservatory and cockatoos by studying them in context, learning plurals of words ending in f and fe like half and leaf, and more. 

Within the section are also Bible verses that compliment the lessons in the story. The verses are written out in the guide itself, but because a different version from what we read is used, we opted to pull out a KJV and read directly from the Bible. There are also questions that accompany the Bible verses and reinforce the themes.

The kiddos and I would cuddle up together on the couch to read the story and answer the questions aloud. I find that this read-aloud time helps all the children to hear different ideas and gives me the opportunity to ask more questions and to encourage deeper thought. While they greatly enjoyed this time, they especially loved the parts that followed: the projects!

Some of them include planting your own lupines, marking Miss Rumphius' travels on a world map, sampling a fresh coconut, painting of picture of the sea and sky using watercolors, searching for various types of seeds, setting personal goals, learning your heritage by listening to grandparents' stories, creating lupines by using q-tips and paints, volunteering for community work, and more. 

Honestly, I have nothing bad to say about this study guide, not even a slight suggestion for improvement. The kids and I enjoyed the story, the question and discussion time, and all the projects. I love how the guides incorporate the Bible and point the readers back to Christ. This study has taken a story and has given it a deeper meaning. Whenever you can apply a lesson, rather than just hear about it, it's much more likely to make a lasting difference.  

This study e-guide costs $11.99, and you can view a sample on their site. If your kids are younger than the lower elementary age, don't worry, Progeny Press offers study guides through the high school level, as well. We enjoyed this review and look forward to using another study guide from Progeny Press in the future.

You can connect with Progeny Press on the following social media sites:

If you'd like to read more reviews of this study guide or one of the other many options that my crew mates has the opportunity to review, please head to the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog. 

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Friday, October 2, 2015

Things That Make Me Smile 10/2/15

Jake (9½), Alyssa (7½), Zac (5½), Tyler (3½), Nicholas (9 months)

Happy Friday! This week we went to Greenfield Village, played games, baked cookies and pumpkin muffins, started some new resources for school, and had many reasons to Smile.

1. Me, about Nicholas: "He's my baby."
Tyler: "No, he's mine! Daddy got him for me."

2. Tyler, watching squirrels: 'They're playing follow the leader!"

3. Alyssa, pointing: "Is there something above my finger?"
Me: "It looks like a scratch or something."
Alyssa, smiling: "That's because Nicky kissed me with his teeth."

4. Jake was emptying the dishwasher. He put some dishes in the cupboard and turned back to find Nicholas helping him.

5. Tyler, sad: "Mom, I hurt my feelings."
Me: "You hurt your own feelings? How did you do that?"
Tyler: "I hit my finger on the wall."

6. Jake, about a picture of a spider: "Aww, how cute! Look how cute the eyes are!" 

7. Tyler: "I know how you make Froot Loops. With fruit! And loops!"

8. Jake, about Nicholas: "That baby is so cute! It just makes me want to squeeze him to death."

9. Jake finished The Return of the King. In the past 4 months, he read the entire The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

10.  Jake: "Apparently Nick wants to be a dog when he grows up. Nicholas, humans don't let their tongues dangle."

11. Jake, trying on shoes: "They're either too small or too big. I can't tell."

12. Tyler: "Mommy, I want a baby sister! I can carry her in our stroller."

13. Jake: "There was an old lady who lived in a shoe. She didn't have any kids, so she didn't know what to do."

What made you Smile this week?

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