We are book lovers around here. There is not a room in our house that does not have a book in it… literally, even the bathrooms. Adding books to our collection is a constant thing. Which is why I was excited that we were given the opportunity to review the book I’d Rather Be Your Mommy by Home School Adventure Co..
Back to the Classics Challenge 2017
Book with a Number in the Title – 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne, was recommended by my husband. It is on our Ambleside Online schedule for year 5 as well, so it was both a free read for me and a preread in preparation for the kids.
One of the main things that struck me when we began our Charlotte Mason educational journey was the beauty of putting yourself in the story of a well written book. Reading should transport you. If you can find yourself experiencing the moments you are much more likely to remember them as well.
With this truth in mind, I was excited to review a few of the newest books brought to you by Carole P. Roman and Awaywegomedia.com.
If You Were Me and Lived in…Ancient China: The Han Dynasty
We did take some time and read through two of the books during our mornings and this is what has prompted them to look closer at the others. The two we have read were If You Were Me and Lived in…Colonial America (An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time) (Volume 4) and If You Were Me and Lived in…the Middle Ages (An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time) (Volume 6).
The kids really enjoyed the pictures and story and it was a fun easy addition to our studies. We broke each book down over a week (or two in the case of the Middle Ages). We only read a smaller portion each day so the kids could soak it all in. However, Sunshine and Mister Man loved hearing about life during those times periods and were always asking to read a bit more.
One of the great things about these books is that they use the present tense “you”, throughout the book which makes it easy for the kids to relate to the story and time period. The glossary in the back was a great addition, it was nice for them to be able to find a meaning without having to pull out the dictionary.
The If You Were Me and Lived in…Colonial America (An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time) (Volume 4) was a fun addition to our readings about Pocahontas and Lief the Lucky. It was also a great way to head into the Thanksgiving season.
As we are discussing the Middle Ages through history the If You Were Me and Lived in…the Middle Ages (An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time) (Volume 6) was a good easy addition to our history studies. The kids enjoyed seeing and hearing about the Middle Ages in a laid back fun way.
Overall, I thought the books were good additions to our studies, but they were definitely not the living books we are becoming accustomed to. That being said, it still was a nice addition and a way to add interest to the time periods. With the full set including 8 books, it should be easy to find a book to work with the time period you are studing at the time.
If you’d like to read more reviews about the Carole P. Roman books you can do that here:
Books. There is no doubt we love them in our house. Reading either alone or aloud is one of the things we all enjoy doing. Most of the time, I require a narration which allows me to see what they gathered from the readings and how well they are comprehending and listening during the reading. However, every so often it is nice to throw in a book report or a book study. We got the chance to dig a little deeper into The Minstrel in the Tower with the Progeny Press The Minstrel in the Tower E-Guide!
Art instruction has been something I’d been hoping to add into our homeschool, but I hadn’t found a program that I loved. Up until the past few months, I had been using online worksheets and random activities/projects to teach the kids art instruction. When I was selected to review the art curriculum, K-3 Book One from ARTistic Pursuits Inc., I was over the moon!
The next week I found out I had been chosen to review ARTistic Pursuits Inc.… seriously, timing is everything!
We started with the first lesson. It was broken down into two parts. First they looked at a famous artwork. I actually found the artwork online and printed it 8.5 x 11″ for each of them so they could study it on their own. I loved that this was very much like our Charlotte Mason Art Study. There were some questions to answer about the photo and we had a nice discussion about the work and the composition (foreground, background, framing, etc.) The kids had fun exploring the artwork and discussing it as well.
Our discussion lasted about 15 minutes because the kids were very observant and loved sharing their thoughts on the painting. There were four kids doing the discussion so everyone wanted to have their time to speak. If there had only been one or two kids doing the discussion, I assume it would have taken much less time.
After we did the art study, we moved on to the project. I loved that it gave a very open-ended direction and showed how to use the materials. The kids were able to imagine and create whatever they wanted to express themselves. This is something very important to us. We want the kids to have a bit of direction but not be stuck drawing only a dog when they want to draw a pig. Art is about interpretation and making it your own, not a cookie cutter piece of work.
The kids did a great job and were so proud of their work!
I love that the ARTistic Pursuits Inc. curriculum meshes well with our switch to a Charlotte Mason style. The combination of art study and a related project was a great way to make it interactive for the kids and memorable. And it can be used from preschool through high-school, so if you love it you can stick with it throughout your homeschooling years!
We used the curriculum with kids ranging from 4-7 years old and everyone enjoyed, participated and had a great piece of work to show at the end! I would highly recommend this art program for a homeschooling family. We have done a few projects from the book now, and have had a great experience with all of them!
Want to find out more about this great art program. Check out ARTistic Pursuits Inc. on Facebook.
And read some other great reviews of the program by other great bloggers on the Schoolhouse Review Crew!
Since my kids were small, I’ve colored with them in their coloring books. This is fun but nothing like the mother-daughter bonding Sunshine and I enjoy with our coloring books and colored pencils. In fact, I bought Sunshine a mandela coloring book so that we could color together, but once she saw my big thick Wonderland Coloring Book from Amily Shen, she wanted one for herself. So on our date day, she picked her very own grown up coloring book so we could color together.
And color we did, for a few hours! We enjoyed the beautiful day with some music, a coloring book and some colored pencils. It was delightful!
From the moment my Wonderland Coloring Book arrived, I was itching to get started coloring. The book follows along with the Alice in Wonderland story and it is beautiful!
I love that the words on the page are an inspiration for the illustrations. There is something wonderful about getting lost in words and a bit of color!
The illustrations are gorgeous and not overwhelming which, in mommy time, is nice. I can feel as if I accomplished a whole page of beauty and it doesn’t take days and days to complete. Some of the pages have extra space for your own additions, which is a fun extra for those creative types. However, even if you don’t have a creative bone in your body, this type of coloring book, is a wonderful way to relax, no artistic abilities needed. Just let yourself go and embrace the extra white space!
So if you enjoy Alice in Wonderland, are looking for a coloring book that will inspire your creative juices, or want a fun way to bond with your kiddos, this Wonderland Coloring Book is a great option!
Relax and enter the world of Alice.
I was born and raised Catholic, and while I have had my ups and downs with my faith, I have always come back to the Catholic Church. There are many reasons, but the main one is that I love the mass itself and the traditions of my Catholic faith. My faith has grown over the years and the older I get, the more I want to find new ways to experience and celebrate my faith. In addition to my own faith, as a homeschooling mom, I am in charge of teaching my children religion.
Even I am learning new things daily about our Catholic faith, which is why I am so excited to tell you about the latest book I read, The Catholic Catalogue by Melissa Musick and Anna Keating. The mother – daughter team has been running their blog – www.thecatholiccatalogue.com for many years and their advice and ideas have been helping their followers find their Catholic faith in their daily lives. The book is a compilation of their ideas and a field guide to making the most of our Catholic lives.
This book was exactly what I needed to find new ways to celebrate our faith for both myself and my kids. The Catholic Catalogue, helps to guide you in your journey with ideas and explanations for things you can do and see in your daily life that will bring you to a better understanding of your faith. I enjoyed reading about the seasons of the church and ways to celebrate them, blessings for our home, new ways of praying and so much more. The book is a very practical guide to living our faith in our daily lives, and gaining a better understanding of Catholicism.
The great thing about The Catholic Catalogue is that it is an easy to reference book. It is broken down into three parts and those parts are in sections with subcategories for each section as well. The only thing I wish it had was an index, I think that would make it even easier to navigate. But regardless of that missing piece, I found the book to be a great read. It had many great ideas and is something I am sure I will be referencing many times.
If you are looking for ways to get more out of your faith, The Catholic Catalogue is definitely a book that should be on your shelf.
If you’ve been reading any of my homeschool blogs, you know we love books. Especially living books! It’s no surprise that the Memoria Press More StoryTime Treasures Literature Curriculum was something I was excited to review.
- Billy and Blaze by C.W. Anderson
- Blaze and the Forest Fire by C.W. Anderson
- The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiese
- Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie by Peter and Connie Roop
- Stone Soup by Marcia Brown
- The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
- Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
For our review, we received More StoryTime Treasures and used the curriculum to dig deeper into Billy and Blaze.
This was a book we have read a few times but only casually so I was looking forward to spending more time with the classic book.
We received the study guide and answer key (which included both the StoryTime Treasures and More StoryTime Treasures). The workbooks were well made, sturdy, easy to follow and my 5 year old was not overwhelmed by the amount of work to be done on each page.
Each study contains multiple lessons which are broken into chunks. The pages of the book that the lesson will be referencing are indicated which makes planning simple.
For Billy and Blaze, there were two lessons (Lesson 1 – p.1-22; Lesson 2 – p.24-48). We broke each of the lessons up over a week to keep them at about 20 min each over two weeks.
The first day, we went over the vocab we would see. This was a great way to introduce new words, use the dictionary a bit more and be prepared to understand the reading more clearly. I will say most of the words were easily recognized, but it was a good review and an easy way to be sure he had the right meanings.
After we had gone through the vocab, he read the indicated pages out loud to me. Then we narrated a bit for memory before doing the next section of the workbook.
The next day we recalled what we read and did the comprehension questions. If he could not recall the answer, he used the book to find the correct answer and we talked a bit more about the story.
After completing the comprehension questions over the next few days, we completed, my sons favorite part, the art project. Anything creative helps to make the story stick and this was a great lesson on illustrating.
The following week we completed the second lesson. We really could have worked through both lessons in a week or even a couple of days, but because he was reading the book out loud and we are trying to keep our lessons to 20 min max. I didn’t want to push him too long on one lesson. I also felt that having to recall the story the following days helped with comprehension.
I loved that the lessons were specific page ranges. These provided nice breaks and kept the information from being overwhelming. The amount of grammar, vocab and comprehension, not to mention the extra items that were included were great for variety and helped to hit those other subjects areas as well.
The greatest thing about this curriculum is that there are many other editions of the literature guides that can take you from 1st grade all the way up to 9th grade. So if these fit well with your family you have a great curriculum set for many years!
Overall, I was impressed with the study guide and answer key. I personally did not need the answer key, but it would have been handy if I had not been working with my son on the readings and workbook. I feel like the study guide was a great fit for 1st graders and covered a lot of information without being overwhelming. We are looking forward to working on a few more stories using the study guide – I believe Miss Rumphius is next on our list!
Find Memoria Press on social media to learn more about their curriculum!
One of the subjects I hated in school was history, however, now that we are reading great living books, history has now become my favorite subject and one of my kids’ favorites as well. Our history is of England this year so what a great surprise when I was given the chance to use and review the Audio Theater CD of Heirloom Audio Productions – The Dragon and The Raven which fit perfectly with our King Alfred studies this month.
While I love reading aloud, sometimes, I think the kids get tired of hearing me read them books. It’s always nice to put an audio book or story into the mix.
The Dragon and The Raven was a hit from the first track. I put the first cd on in the car so the kids could listen on the 30 minute drive to my parents house. The kids were entranced as they listened, you could tell they were visualizing the story in their heads (something I love about books). When we arrived, they did not want to turn it off and were anxious to listen on the way home, as well as basically anytime we are in the car.
The audio drama is adapted by the book The Dragon And The Raven, by G.A. Henty. A book we will read later in our studies as well. The Dragon and The Raven audio drama is a great way to familiarize the kids with the story so that they are not intimidated by the book later.
Even I have enjoyed listening to the audio book. The audio and music/sound effects are mixed very well. The characters voices are compelling and the story is riveting. The hero aspect is driven from a biblical perspective rather than just success which is refreshing. As well as the underlying display of virtues, especially those of courage and faith.
With the premium audio adventure you also receive a downloadable study guide, e-book, mp3 copies, posters, behind the scene footage and more!
We loved the extras, especially the behind-the-scenes-footage. The kids enjoyed seeing how the audio was created and this led to some great discussions on film and audio making. It was great to see the audio come alive with the footage and to hear the interviews as well. Just a little something extra for the listener to enjoy!
In addition to the behind-the-scenes-footage, the study guide provided a great way for me to make sure they were grasping the content. The questions for discussion kept them on track and thinking about the story and it let me know it was sticking without having to think of comprehension questions on my own. The questions for “Good Listening” were perfect as a recap of what we had heard. And the additional “Thinking Further” questions let us dig a little deeper into our listening. Although a few of the “Thinking Further” questions were a bit hard for my kiddos, we adapted and worked together to find/talk through the answers. I think they enjoyed the questions and digging deeper almost as much as the listening.
The Dragon and The Raven was a great addition to our King Alfred studies and something I believe the kids will listen to many times more. I am also looking into the other audio adventures Heirloom offers. I would love to incorporate more of their audios into our history studies.
Sometimes a book is beautiful enough to be put on display, Just Add Watercolor by Helen Birch is a book that is that and more.
As a graphic designer, I am always looking for new ways to find inspiration. Just Add Watercolor was a book that fulfilled that need.
An artist at heart I have dabbled in many different mediums. Watercolor has always been a medium I have experimented with but never excelled at. I’ve always looked up to watercolor artists, the beauty in a watercolor piece is amazing. The skill and talent of the artists in this book was outstanding. I found the artwork to be a great inspiration for both my painting hobby and graphic design work. Just flipping through the book was enough to spark my creativity and desire to push myself further in my creative endeavors. The modern watercolor artwork is gorgeous and the tips and instructions are well written and inspiring. Even my kids have enjoyed flipping through the book for art inspiration.
Just Add Watercolor is a great addition for any artist or creative mind, you will find that the artwork is beautiful and the writing is inspirational as well. This book would be good for anyone hoping to find some artistic inspiration. Sometimes looking at a beautiful piece of art is all it takes to make that spark start a fire. Just Add Watercolor can be that spark.