Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Doctor Aviation ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

We have had the pleasure of learning all about aviation and it's history with Doctor Aviation over the last several weeks. If you have any interest in aviation at all, then this course is for you.

When I read about reviewing this course, I thought that it would be a perfect elective for Edyn. We live right next to Randolph Air Force base in Universal City, Texas. All day long we can see and hear the planes over our house, and some years we even get to see an airshow with the different aircraft. We have always been fascinated by them, and how fast they go. We love to sit at the park and watch them fly over. I knew she would be really interested in the content of this course since it's almost a part of our daily life here.

Daryl Smith, aka Doctor Aviation, has a long list of accomplishments. He has served in our Air Force for over 24 years, logged over 2,000 flying hours, and has flown a variety of different aircraft. In addition to flying he's also served as an instructor for the Air Force teaching aviation and has also written a book. I think it would be safe to say that he definitely knows what he's talking about when it comes to anything aviation.

What did we receive?

We were given 6 months of the online Doctor Aviation course. The course includes 15 lessons under 5 different "headings." These include The Aircraft, Air Traffic Control, Maintenance, Airfield Operations, and The Aircraft II. Each Unit or heading is broken down into smaller more detailed lessons about that topic.

How are we using this course?

So like I said I really want to be able to add this course to Edyn's high school transcript as an elective. I think it will be very easy to do that because everything I need is laid out for me.

The main content of the program is the videos. We actually watch them together because I wanted to get a good idea of how they worked and what they were like, but she could have done this completely on her own. Honestly I have enjoyed watching the videos with her and will continue to do so until she completes the course. Each video is roughly an hour long, and that's what we focus on per week. We are taking this course slow so that we can elaborate on some of the main points that he focuses on. You could watch the video in it's entirety or break it down a little each day. She prefers to watch the video all at one time.

Each video is broken down into three segments which include Technical Trivia, Notable Innovators, and Legendary Aircraft and Events. The Technical Trivia part is basically the parts of the aircraft and how they function, and Edyn likes it, but it's not her favorite part. She said she's not very "tech-y." With that being said, I find it interesting, and have learned some things that I would have never known had I not watched these videos. I would have to say that the Notable Innovators and Legendary Events is absolutely Edyn's favorite part of the videos. She has really taken an interest in the Wright Brothers, Chuck Yeager, and Amelia Earhart. She is actually about to start the Autobiography that he talks about in the video of Chuck Yeager. She finds him completely fascinating so we decided to add the book, and she could write a report on it to add to her grade. She loved hearing about his journey and what it took for him to become the first person to break the sound barrier. I was able to show her a picture of where his statue is at Edwards Air Force Base in California, since one of my good friends lives there.

The videos are not all there is to offer for this course. Doctor Aviation goes above and beyond to provide extra resources to you so that you can learn even more. First of all for each video he provides worksheets for you to follow along with during the video. I loved letting Edyn use these because she suffers from severe ADD and it kept her focused and on track. She can also go back and use these for study tools since we will most likely be utilizing the exams that he provides also. In addition to the notes that you are able to download, he also gives you a lists of other resources that you can add to your studies. Here you will find books, other websites, and even videos that will go into even more detail on what he's discussing. There is also a section that he's designated just for extra activities. Maybe your student can do more research on a specific topic or person so that you can really round out this course for a full credit.

What do we think of this course?

Amazing. The videos are fun, engaging, and full of information. Honestly it's been one of those reviews that I thought looked interesting, but once we got into it, it's proven to be one of our favorite things to study. I say our because I love it just as much as she does. This is coming from someone who won't even fly on planes because I'm so scared of them! Maybe taking this course with her will curb my fears a little bit. Who knows?

I think that if you are looking a credit for your high schooler, or even just learn more about aviation yourself, then you will love taking this course from Doctor Aviation.

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Doctor Aviation was very generous in letting 64 of us review this program. If you would like to read more reviews just click the banner below!

Aviation Course {Doctor Aviation Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Trust Fund by Mapelle Films ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

I love reviewing homeschool curriculum, but sometimes it's nice to have something different thrown into the mix. We love movie night at our house, so we were excited about watching Trust Fund by Mapelle Films!

Trust Fund is a Christian movie based on a modern day Prodigal Son, or in this case daughter, that is found in Luke 15 of the Bible. If you aren't familiar with it, I would suggest reading it before you watch the movie. This is what we did with our kids so that they could see the parallels of the story in the Bible and the movie.

Another quick thing I would like to mention is that the filmmaker, Isaac Alongi, is also a former homeschooler who had a long time passion for photography and filmmaking. He talks about how homeschooling gave him the time to concentrate on the things that he was passionate about and how it was much easier to pursue his dreams since he was not in traditional school.

Ok so about the movie. Reese Donahue is an aspiring author who pretty much doesn't like to do anything else. She tries to take the easy road with everything she does. She is always needing money from her dad, and he finally has to tell her that she needs a job. Her sister on the other hand is the exact opposite. She already works for her father at his publishing company and is always trying to do her best for him. The sisters lost their mother when they were younger, and while Reese is visiting her dad at the office, she finds paperwork that pertains to her trust fund left by her mother. Reese decides that there is no reason why her father should be keeping her share of the money from her. She decides to go against his wishes, ultimately ends up betraying him, and runs off to another country. From here on out she finds out the hard way about love and loss, but will she also learn about forgiveness?

When I initially read about the film and what it was about I thought it would be a great chick flick for my 16 year old daughter and I. I didn't think the boys were going to like it, but I was wrong. It was such a great movie. The characters were well played and very believable. My daughter enjoyed the movie so much that she was still talking about it the next day. I really love the fact that you could enjoy this movie without having to worry about language or nudity etc. It's rated PG, and received the Dove seal for ages 12 and up.

They also offer a wonderful study guide if you plan on using it with your children or even with a small group from church. One more thing that I would like to mention is the book, Love Was Near, that goes along with the movie. It is intended for girls ages 12 + and to be read after watching the movie.

All in all we thoroughly enjoyed Trust Fund by Mapelle Films and we are looking forward to future films from them!

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If you would like to read other reviews, just click the banner below!

Trust Fund Movie {Mapelle Films Reviews}

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Lolli x 2 ~ Wordless Wednesday

I'm super excited because this week's Wordless Wednesday is very special! I'm going to be a Lolli to another sweet baby!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Make-a-State Activity from Home School in the Woods ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

We love studying about American history. It has quickly become one of our favorite subjects! For the last few weeks we have been working on a fantastic hands-on history program. Make-a-State, which is part of the Activity-Paks, from Home School in the Woods has been so much fun to use!

I have used Home School in the Woods products in the past and have really loved them. They are a Christian based company and of course homeschoolers themselves!

Activity-Paks have all of the projects that you will need to complete a lapbook. I love that they include step by step instructions so that even someone who has never completed a lapbook can do it easily. Other than Make-a-State, they offer others such as The Old Testament, The New Testament, Composers, and Artists.

In the Make-a-State Activity-Pak your student will have a great hands-on activity to accompany their text. The students will basically be constructing lapbooks for each state that they want to study.  If you are new to homeschooling or have never heard of lapbooks, let me explain a little bit about what they are. A lapbook is kind of like a collection of little pieces of information, which are called mini-books, and they are all combined together to make one big book. This is normally done by using file folders. They can be very fun, and you can get very creative with them. Lapbooks can be used for almost any subject and also for any age. I love them because in our house, they turn into a wonderful study tool, but it's also something tangible that the kids have made, and can go back and review it at any time.

 This Activity-Pak will include these activities:

  • Key State Facts
  • Origin of State Names
  • State Motto
  • State Symbols
  • State Song
  • State Wildlife
  • Regions
  • State Geography
  • State Government
  • State Seal and Flag
  • State History
  • Famous People From...
  • Native Tribes
  • State Industry/Agriculture/Climate
  • State Landmarks
  • Sports Teams
  • State Quarter
  • Recipes
  • State Vocabulary
  • State Timeline

What we received:

We received the digital download version, but they also offer a CD version. The recommended ages for this program is grades 3-8, but it could be adapted for older students as well.

How did we use this and what did we think?

When I got the download in the email, it was super easy to get started on. It takes you to a main screen where all of the activities are listed for each state. Some of the forms can be used for multiple states so that makes it easier for printing. 

We decided to start with New York because that's where we are in our other studies. I printed out all of the mini lapbooks, and we got started. We decided that for pieces that needed to be filled out with specific information we would turn to the books we checked out from the library that were specific to the state of New York. If we couldn't find what we were looking for, then we would go to the Internet. We didn't have hardly any trouble finding the information that was needed to complete our book. It actually led to some great conversations with the kids on things that were different to Texas.

The illustrations with anything that you get from Home School in the Woods will be fantastic. They always seem to go the extra mile in making sure that the pieces are original and fit perfectly into the lapbook. If you use colorful folders and add a little bit of card stock, you can really bring this project to life. If you go through and do every state, you will have a very nice collection of books that your children can always reference back to.

I absolutely love this company and the products that they produce. Not only do they have the Make-a-State collection, they also have many others. Our crew reviewed several different products including Time Traveler American, other options for the Activity-Paks, Lap-Paks, and the Timeline Trio which is pretty amazing.

Home School in the Woods have also started offering A-La-Carte projects! This allows you to select a few projects for topical studies without having to buy the entire Unit. Right now if you use the code alacarte, you will get the Erie Canal project on that page for FREE! They currently have 50 projects available, and considering hundreds more. Go check it out!

If you are looking for hands on history projects, Home School in the Woods is what you're looking for!

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If you would like to read other reviews, just click the banner below!
Hands-on History {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Celery ~ Wordless Wednesday

So this week's WW post is kind of a tip/trick too. I had gotten a bunch of celery in my produce bag a week and a half ago. It got busy with company etc, and I never got to use it. I remember reading somewhere that if you put the celery in water, then it would bring it back to life. It works! My celery was as limp as a wet noodle, and now it's just as crunchy as when you get it fresh!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Applesauce ~ Wordless Wednesday

Last Friday we got an amazing deal on apples. 38 pounds of organic fuji apples for $12!! I knew I wanted to make applesauce, that's what we did.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

American Mid-Late 19th Century from Hewitt Homeschooling ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

Literature in high school is very important in my opinion. For the last few weeks Edyn has been working through Uncle Tom's Cabin using the Lightning Lit & Comp set, American Mid-Late 19th Century from Hewitt Homeschooling.

Edyn is definitely not my reader. She has a lot of trouble focusing on what she's read, so she doesn't really enjoy it. I still want her to have a good foundation in literature, so I was really excited to be on this review. This program covers 4 books that I think are timeless classics, and it would help round out her English for the year.

  • Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
  • The Call of the Wild by Jack London
What did we receive?

For this review we were given the student workbook which includes the work text part of the program. We were also given the Teacher's Guide which includes the answers to discussion questions, grading tips, and even a schedule that you can follow for working the program.

The workbook is a paperback that is around 170 pages long. It includes an Introduction that talks about reading literature, poetry, and even writing a paper. It also includes the Comprehension Questions and Literary Lessons for each book in the series.

How did we use this in our school?

Upon receiving our materials for the review, I started by reading through the Teacher's Guide and the student textbook. I felt it was important that I had some knowledge of the student text even though Edyn was going to really try and work the program with little help from me.

There are 4 Units that make up the workbook. In each Unit the novel they are working on is included as one lesson, and then they will study either a short story or some poetry.

 I love the fact that they give you a schedule to follow. You can choose from using a Semester schedule or using the Full Year schedule. We chose the Full Year since Edyn struggles with reading. The schedule they give you tells you exactly what you need to finish for each week.

We started with the classic Uncle Tom's Cabin. This has been our main focus since we started the course. Since we are following a weekly schedule, her main assignments have been reading and working on her comprehension questions. She would take the time to read and answer the questions herself. We would then go over them together to insure that she was understanding what she was reading, and answering the questions accurately. She has not done any of the writing exercises as they don't come up in her schedule until week 10.

The comprehension questions have been such a great asset to her while reading the novel. They work perfectly for helping her to retain the information she's reading. This is especially important for her considering she has trouble focusing on what she's reading.

In week 12, she will start her first lesson on poetry and Walt Whitman. By the time she finishes this Unit she will have 3 writing exercises that she has completed.

What did we think?

I really am impressed with this program. It has been perfect for us to complete the literature portion of her English for the year. I love the comprehension questions and the extra lessons that are included in each Unit. If you are looking for a great addition to your homeschool English program, I would definitely check into the Lightning Lit & Comp Set, American Mid-Late 19th Century from Hewitt Homeschooling.

Be sure to follow along on Social Media!

Hewitt Homeschooling was very generous in letting 90 of us on the crew review their products. If you would like to read other reviews, just click the link below. 
Hewitt Homeschooling {Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Earth Science: God's World, Our Home from Novare Science & Math ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

Science has always been one of Gavin's favorite subjects. He loves studying about any part of it, whether it's Astronomy or weather. When he hit middle school, I wanted to give him something a little bit more challenging, but I wanted him to also be able to understand it. While teaching science it's important to me to have not only a Christian based curriculum, but also a thorough program to follow. Earth Science: God's World, Our Home from Novare Science & Math is just that.

Who is Novare Science & Math?

Novare Science & Math are fairly new to the homeschooling world. I recently wrote a review on Nature's Beautiful Order from Memoria Press, and while on their website, realized that they had recommended using this program. Being that I love Memoria Press, I know and trust that they would recommend good solid products.

Upon reading more about the company, I learned that they approach these subjects a little different from other curriculum out there. Their philosophy is based on three core principles which are Mastery, Integration, and Kingdom Perspective. They have come to realize that a lot of science and math curriculum have fallen short, and that a lot of college freshman have to take remedial classes to fill in the gaps. They want to use these three core principles to give students a more solid understanding of what they are learning, and actually have them retain what they've learned in the past. Although they are trying to create a teaching philosophy that works for the benefit of the student, they also want to keep Christ at the center of it all. That of course is always important when talking about any subject, but especially when it comes to the creation of Earth.

What did we receive?

We were given the hard bound textbook along with the Resource CD information via download. (The download was for review purposes only. You would receive an actual CD.) I was very impressed with the quality of the book. The textbook is nicely put together with 15 chapters and is meant to be used over one school year.

In this course your student will learn about:

  • Earth in Space
  • Visualizing Earth
  • Thinking About Earth
  • Matter and Minerals
  • Rocks and the Rock Cycle
  • Plate Tectonics and Mountain Building
  • Volcanoes and Earthquakes
  • Weathering, Erosion, and Soils
  • Surface Water and Groundwater
  • Landforms
  • Unraveling Earth History
  • Oceanography
  • The Atmosphere
  • Weather
  • Climate and Air Pollution

How did we use it in our school?

First off when I got the material I was honestly a little confused on where to start. There were several different resources to look at, and I am very thankful that those were given to me. Although I found them a little overwhelming at first, by the time I read through them I had a better understanding of what I was supposed to be doing.

I would definitely start with the resource that is called Recommendations for Teaching the Course. I found this extremely helpful in getting me started. It goes over grading, ideas for teaching the course, and there is even a section dedicated to homeschool use.

They do supply you with a sample course schedule. This was very helpful to me so that I could see how they intended for the material to be used. It gives you a good idea how to plan your assignments.

The Resource CD will also include your quizzes, exams, and keys to both.

Another source that I found really helpful was the Weekly Review Guides. These are perfect so that your student can learn and retain the information.

Ok so now that we have covered the extra resources that compliment the textbook, lets discuss how our family used it. Since I like to have things laid out for me I tried following the suggestions they had first. First, we went over the vocabulary words at the beginning of the chapter we were working on. We even made flash cards for those words, and this seemed to work really well. We would read the text a little bit every day, and then answer the questions. For Gavin, this was a little overwhelming. He loves learning about anything science, but it just seemed like a lot of info for him to retain. Now please understand that this in no way makes me think any less of the curriculum. It is solid, and there is so much wonderful information provided.

I decided that for us we needed to slow down a bit, and take it in smaller sections at a time, and then we would review the questions together. This helped some, but it was still just a tad too much information for him all at once. I honestly think that it's an age thing, and not a problem with the curriculum itself. Gavin is in 6th "ish" grade and I think that he would do better with this around 8th grade. We continued on, but took a relaxed approach with it for now.

What did we think?

I think this a wonderful curriculum for an older middle school student. I definitely want to revisit this again for his 8th grade year. It is solid, and I think that an older student would excel with it. The book is smaller than most text books, and has great color pictures that compliment it. I think this is always a great factor considering how many texts books we homeschoolers have anyway. The Resources they send with the textbook are very nice to have. I think they do a great job explaining their suggestions on studing this program. I honestly am looking forward to getting back to this in a year or two. If you are looking for a good solid curriculum for an older middle school student, Earth Science: God's World, Our Home from Novare Science & Math  is one I would highly recommend.

Please also check out their other products. I am very interested in their Physical Science and General Chemistry curriculum to use in high school.

Be sure to follow along on social media!

41 of us on the Crew were blessed to review their products. To read more reviews, just click the banner below!
Biblical Based Science {Novare Science & Math Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Homeschool Planet from Homeschool Buyers Co-op. ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

I am a planner girl through and through. In fact, my husband just built me a beautiful desk dedicated just for planning. I use washi tape, stickers, stamps and more. So, I said all of that to say, I am a PLANNER ADDICT lol. It really doesn't matter to me what kind of planner it is, because I will love it. I have tons. Now, when I saw that I had a chance to review an online planner called Homeschool Planet from Homeschool Buyers Co-op., I honestly thought there was no way it could compare to good 'ol pen and paper.

Let's be honest. I really do have three paper and pen planners. I have one for homeschool, one for my reviews/blog, and one for family/life. This gets the job done but is it very easy to keep up with all three? Not really. I am constantly checking one or the other to make sure that I haven't missed something or I haven't forgotten to write something down.

So, that brings us to Homeschool Planet. If you are looking for an online all in one planner, this is definitely for you. They have literally thought of everything to make all aspects of planning in your life simple. It is available on laptop or mobile, so you can have easy access to your planner no matter where you are.

Set up is so easy and takes no time at all. The first thing I did is make everyone an account. It is VERY user friendly and easy to set up "My Family." This allows you to add everyone on that you want to be able to access this planner. That way everyone can always see exactly what's going on. It even allows you to have separate log ins. This way the kids can check their assignments easily. They even allow you to customize the dashboard in colors you choose, and add pictures of everyone that will be included.

Let's talk a little bit about the dashboard itself. It is user friendly not only on set up but with every single thing that you try to add. I personally love the calendar layout for the month, so that's what I tend to keep it on. I can see all of our assignments, events, or tasks all in one glance. You have the option to keep it on Month (which I do), week, or day. I do like these options if I have quite a few things listed so that I can kind of condense it a bit. One thing that they have gone above and beyond with is the widgets on the side of the dashboard. You have several different options. You can have the weather, a bible verse, and a daily quote all in one place.

Let me tell you one of my favorite things about it. You can have a to do list or grocery list at your finger tips. What about a reading list? This gives you the ability to add something quick without having to go find paper and pencil. Do you need to print it out and take it with you? You have that option too!

Looking at the screenshot of my month, you can see the things I have already added. I haven't added much school yet because we aren't on a major schedule with it being summer. However, I have added our chores, Bible reading, and some important dates such as family visiting and birthdays.

Adding events to your calendar is quick and easy. Homeschool Planet gives you many options for everything you add. Starting dates, ending dates, whether or not you want to add a task, and/or a special note. Do you want to add it to just that particular day, or do you want to add it to that day of the week every week? You have every option that you would have with pencil and paper.

I have mainly used this as a life planner, but in just a few weeks when things settle down, I will be adding most of our school assignments. We will be back on a little bit more regular schedule so I will have a better idea of how things will go. I can already tell you that adding an assignment and making lesson plans will be easy and painless just like what I've told you so far.

First you will want to create a class. From that point on you are given different options for that class. I love this considering we only have a 4 day school week. I can pick the days that I want, and it will add the class to only those days. Once you set it up, it will show up on your main calendar. Again, all right at your fingertips.

Another option that I find completely helpful and very useful is that if something comes up and you have to change your schedule, it's super easy to shift everything forward.  It takes a matter of seconds to do that. This way your entire schedule isn't ruined due to one bad day.

Homeschool Planet also makes it very easy to keep track of attendance, grades, and even has an option to create reports and transcripts.

Last but not least let me tell you about the lesson plans that are available in the  Lesson Plan Marketplace. They have professionally designed lesson plans that you can purchase that will fit right into your planner. It takes the guess work out of trying to do it yourself. If you sign up this month in June for a FREE one month trial, they are offering you a FREE lesson plan that is worth $5 to $15. There is no reason not to try it!

I have to say this is one of those things that I reviewed, and didn't realize just how much I was going to love it. It really does give you a command center for your whole life. If you have been looking for the perfect planner but they all keep falling short, or you're like me and have a ton of different planners, Homeschool Planet from Homeschool Buyers Co-op. could be the answer you've been looking for!

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50 of us were blessed to review this product so if you would like to read other reviews, just click the banner below!

Homeschool Planet {Homeschool Buyers Co-op Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Crocheted dishcloths ~ Crochet Corner

I love to crochet, and I love to save money on reusable things. I have been seeing all of these crocheted dishtowels on Instagram, so I decided to make one. I think it turned out super cute, so I'm excited to start using it and see how I like it. It was quick and easy to make, and I got to use up some of my extra yarn stash.

You can get the pattern HERE.

It's made with 100% cotton yarn rather than acrylic. I will let you know how I like it! Do you have a favorite dishcloth pattern? If so, leave it in the comments so I can check it out!