Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Home School in the Woods Project Passport World History Studies: Ancient Greece Review


My family had the privilege of trying the Project Passport World History Studies Ancient Greece from Home School in the Woods for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

Home School in the Woods is a family run business that creates Christian based history curriculum for homeschooling. This curriculum immerses your student in the topic. It is very hands-on with lapbooks, timelines, recipes, art, creative writing, notebook projects, dramatized audio theater, maps, crafts, projects, re-enactments, file-folder games, vocabulary to learn, etc.

There are icons that help along one side and buttons that link to nice clear photos of the finished projects.

The Project Passport World History Studies are a virtual trip through history. These are recommended for grades 3-8. There are two different versions you can purchase, a CD version or a digital download version. With the CD version everything that you access and print is on the CD. With the digital download version you download a zipped file, place all of the contents into a folder on your computer, and access it by the start.htm file that is in that folder. We received the digital download version. This "trip" is supposed to last roughly 8-12 weeks depending upon how quickly everything is completed. For Each Project Passport World History Study you make a passport and "luggage" folder to hold some of the stuff you print off and make along the journey. Each "trip" has 25 chapters called "stops", where you observe action-packed events and meet fascinating people along the way. At each stop you come to there will be "Guide Book Text" which is information for the student to read about a certain topic explored and a "Travel Itinerary" that covers the project choices and directions. There are also helpful icons that let you know what you will be doing and color photos of all the completed projects so you know how they are supposed to look like when finished. There are a lot of printables of information and projects to do. Masters are available for all printables. There are so many things to do on the trip, for example: creating a "Scrapbook of Sights" (notebook for storing the notebook projects), dining on local cuisine with the "Dining out Guide" (recipes to create food and drink that was popular in the area at the time), taking pictures ("Snapshot Moments in History" scrapbook timeline), reporting on important people and happenings (a newspaper creative writing assignment - In Ancient Greece study it is called "Greek Weekly"), making "souvenirs" to remember your stay (craft/art projects), dressing like the locals (clothing of the era: fun dress up craft), making a lapbook, playing games (file-folder games), collecting postcards, listening to tour guides (dramatized audio theater - there are 8 of these), and so much more!

We found that there was a lot of preparation that needed to happen before getting started. There is a lot of things needing printed, items needing prepared for crafts and other projects, and general preparation of materials before one can begin the journey. The Travel Itinerary and Travel Planner: Quick Stop Itinerary helps with this a lot!

You will need a few items to get you through the lessons:
  • Working Printer
  • Color and Black Ink for the printer to cover all the printing that will be happening
  • White and Colored Printer Paper
  • White and Colored Cardstock (this is best, but admittedly we didn't have any of this and used only white printer paper and it worked OK)
  • One 3-Ring Binder for the Guide Book (teacher binder for Introduction, Travel Tips, Travel Planner: Quick Stop Itinerary, Travel Itinerary, Guide Book Text, and Additional Resources)
  • One 3-Ring Binder for the Scrapbook of Sights (student binder for all notebook projects)
  • Colored File Folders or Colored Pocket Folders with Fasteners
  • Scissors and/or an X-acto Knife (when using an X-acto Knife you will need a thick piece of cardboard or self healing mat to use as a cutting surface)
  • Crayons, Markers, or Colored Pencils to color the pictures, if desired
  • Glue
  • Other Craft supplies specified for each of the different projects that your student wants to do

This is what the HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Greece covers:
  1. Laying the Foundation (Packing for the Trip)
  2. Laying the Foundation – Part II
  3. The Archaic Period
  4. Greek Government
  5. Athens
  6. Sparta
  7. Everyday Life — Part I
  8. Everyday Life — Part II
  9. Farming, Business, and Transportation
  10. Education, Oration, and Literature
  11. Science
  12. Medicine and Disease
  13. The Arts
  14. Philosophy
  15. Religion — Part I: Titans, Gods, and Monsters
  16. Religion — Part II: The Heroes & the People
  17. Warfare
  18. The Greco-Persian Wars
  19. The Golden Age and the Peloponnesian War
  20. Sparta, Thebes, and the Coming of the Macedonians
  21. Alexander the Great
  22. The Hellenistic Age
  23. The Greeks and the Jews
  24. Rediscovering Ancient Greece
  25. Final Stop - Packing Up!

 
Teela coloring the Scrapbook of Sights Cover and Spine.


How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
I enlisted my daughter Teela who finished 4th grade this year to learn about Ancient Greece since she loved doing the Ancient Egypt and The Middle Ages study before. This is supposed to be for 3rd through 8th graders so most of the projects she did very well on. She did need my help with some of the more advanced projects and writing assignments and it took her a lot longer to get through some of the stops than it might have taken for my older boys. I learned quite a bit too while helping her with this study.

Dining out Guide recipe: Yiaourti me Meli, a Greek yogurt treat.

This study, like the first and second we did, was jam packed with information. I am glad that I already had experience doing this type of program because everything seemed to go faster. The instructions are not hard, but there is a lot of things to set up and print out initially and throughout the program....so be aware of that and set some time aside initially to get things done so you are not overwhelmed. We still have not gotten through all the stops, but we have enjoyed everything that we have done thus far. I love that it is from a biblical Christian perspective too.

Teela making the Greek paper dolls and coloring their clothing.

Teela really liked our project time together. She loves art and making things. She especially loved making paper dolls clothed in costume of the era. We also made some very yummy Yiaourti me Meli, a Greek yogurt treat, with the Dining out Guide recipe, which everyone enjoyed. We very much enjoyed the audio tour too. We are learning a lot along the stops and are enjoying every moment. I can't wait to try my hand at making Gyro meat and tzatziki sauce so that I may make my own Gyro sandwiches because I love them from Portland's Food Carts! Yum! Home School in the Woods Project Passport World History Studies are so much fun and great for hands-on history!




Greek Gyros are yummy!

I highly recommend the Project Passport World History Studies: Ancient Greece from Home School in the Woods. This is great for anyone homeschooling who might need some help with teaching about Ancient Greece in a highly educational, fun, and very hands-on way. This would also be perfect for those wanting something fun to do with their kids in the summer time. I am looking forward to reviewing more from Home School in the Woods in the future!


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You can purchase the Project Passport World History Studies Ancient Greece download version for $33.95 and CD version for $34.95.

Project Passport Ancient Rome

Also hot off the press is their newest product... Ancient Rome, now available for purchase in download format! CD version coming in fall 2018.

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for Home School in the Woods...
Hands-on-History, Project Passport, À La Carte Timelines and Time Travelers {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

WriteBonnieRose Learning About Science Collection, Level 1 Review


My family had the privilege of trying the Learning About Science Collection, Level 1 from WriteBonnieRose for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

WriteBonnieRose is a website created by Bonnie Rose, a regular contributor to Schoolhouse Teachers and The Old Schoolhouse® magazine for the past 6 years. WriteBonnieRose creates curriculum, and printables for homeschoolers. She has activity packs, coloring books, copywork, games, notebooking, and unit studies. You can find curriculum on subjects including: Geography, American History, World History, World War History, Holidays, Literature, Math, Missions, Reading & Writing, Science, Spelling, and Sports. She has curriculum for ages preschool through high school.

The Learning About Science Collection has three different levels with the last level having a print and cursive version. Learning About Science Collection, Level 1 is the first of the levels and is a science curriculum for younger elementary students. With 172 pages total, it covers: life science, earth science, and physical science. These are in seven books that are in digital PDF format. These seven books explore these topics: how plants grow, common fruits and vegetables, animal habitats, senses and body systems, life cycles, the earth’s layers, earthquakes, volcanoes, states of matter, and more. This does not talk about the origins or age of the earth and all measurements are given in both English and Metric. Level 1 is perfect for grades 1-3.

Learning About Science Collection, Level 1 Books:
  1. Familiar Plants and How They Grow: Key parts of a plant, what makes a plant, life cycle of flowering plants (14 pages)
  2. Fruits and Vegetables Around the World: 28 fruits and 28 vegetables (37 pages)
  3. Animal Habitats of the World: 78 animals, 18 habitats (51 pages)
  4. Our Senses and Systems and How They Work: 5 senses, major body systems (19 pages)
  5. Learning About Life Cycles: Life cycles of some popular animals (27 pages)
  6. Earth: Layers, Earthquakes, and Volcanoes: crust, mantle, outer core, and inner core; movement of plates, movement of magma (12 pages)
  7. Exploring States of Matter: 3 states of matter, how some matter can change states (12 pages)

Zari working on the Familiar Plants and How They Grow section.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
Once ordered, Learning About Science Collection, Level 1 was sent to our email. From there it was downloadable and printable in PDF format. Each book is a separate file, so there are seven individual downloads plus a file for discussion helps.

This homeschool science curriculum is great for younger children. In each lesson there are some paragraphs of information to read, some pictures to color, and some key spelling words to trace. I read the paragraphs to her and she would color the pictures and trace the words. The paragraphs are in a tone younger kids can understand. I love that it also incorporates practicing handwriting with the science and coloring. Then there is a review section in which the student is asked questions to see if they could remember the information. After this section there are pages that hold a review answer key for parents/teachers to check students work.

I used this with my youngest daughter Zari who is going into 2nd grade. We did the first unit, Familiar Plants and How They Grow. We worked through this averaging three days a week during the review period. She learned about the key parts of plants like the seeds, flower, pistil, stamen, stem, and roots. She also learned about the plant life cycle. We would then explore online and outdoors on plants further. Both Teela and her even grew their own seedlings from flower seeds.


Flower seedlings we grew from seed.

She enjoyed learning more about plants in this lesson. She can't wait to learn more about the other subjects. We highly recommend the WriteBonnieRose Learning About Science Collection, Level 1 to other homeschooling kids grades 1-3. These are great as unit studies or a whole science curriculum. These would also be great as a starting point to then dig deeper into the subjects by looking up more information or hands on activities.

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Learning about Science Collection Level 1

You can save 50% on the bundled Learning About Science, Levels 1, 2, and 3 with coupon code REVIEWCREW50 through August 15, which means you can get each set of ebooks for $6 per set at https://writebonnierose.com/products-science/.

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for WriteBonnieRose...
Learning About Science collections {WriteBonnieRose Reviews}

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Saturday, July 28, 2018

Benji & The Giant Kite Book Review and Giveaway


I received this book free to facilitate this review. Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

Benji & The Giant Kite is a hardcover children's book that is by bestselling author Alan C. Fox with illustrations by Eefje Kuijl. This adorable book is the story of a child named Benji's experience of kite flying and earning money for a giant bright orange kite with hard work. Benji & the 24 Pound Banana Squash is based on a real-life event that happened when Alan Fox was eight. It teaches kids about patience, love, ambition, dedication, and perseverance and how working hard to earn money to achieve a goal can be so rewarding in the end.

Our Thoughts and Spoilers:
Benji & The Giant Kite is a wonderful story of a little boy and his determination. I love how Benji gets right to work and doesn't complain or fuss about how tough it is. He never gives up on his dream. He is determined to get the large orange kite that he saw in the store window even though it is expensive. Because of his "sweat equity" he earns the kite and is able to fly it.

We loved this cute book and its lovely illustrations. The book starts from the beginning where Benji is watching others fly kites on a beach to where he lets the giant kite free to fulfill its destiny and soar high among the clouds. The pictures are fun to look at too. One picture shows the toy shop keeper showing Benji a box kite with nostalgic toys all around. Another shows his dog trailing behind Benji as Benji carries the giant kite down a sandy trail to get closer to the sea. My kids and I will treasure this book.

My kids having fun flying kites.

As a family we love to fly kites too. We also love to go to Once Upon A Breeze in Cannon Beach Oregon. It is the oldest kite shop on the Oregon Coast. It reminded me of the kite/toy shop in this book. Lincoln City Oregon also has a Summer and Fall Kite Festival each year. We have also been to the World Kite Museum and Store in Long Beach Washington which has over 1500 kites from 26 countries around the world. They also have the Washington State International Kite Festival that goes on annually every 3rd full week of August.


Teela and Zari enjoying the Benji & The Giant Kite book.

I suggest this sweet and endearing story to everyone. It is perfect for those who want to teach their children about how working hard and being committed pays off in the end. We love the adorable illustrations and wonderful story. Highly recommended!

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Purchase the Benji & The Giant Kite book for $17.95 on Amazon.



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DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received this book for free to facilitate this review. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for doing this review. Affiliate links can be found in this post. Thank you for your support of this blog!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Progeny Press The Green Book - eGuide Review


My family had the privilege of trying the The Green Book - eGuide from Progeny Press for this review to use in conjunction with our own homeschool curriculum. This is a Homeschool Review Crew Review. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.

Progeny Press is a Christian based company that produces products that help with comprehension, critical analysis, and vocabulary study in literature and reading. They have a number of very nice literature based study guides and interactive e-guides that go with a number of classical, historical, and award winning books. They are always adding new titles to their list. All of their guides - whether book-bound, on CD, or downloaded - have exactly the same content.

The Green Book eGuide is a great study guide for using in conjunction with the book by Jill Paton Walsh. The book is geared towards grades four to six and the guide grades three to five. The one we received is the interactive e-guide which means that it is able to have the answers entered and typed directly into the PDF and saved. You can additionally print the pages and have your student work on them off of the computer. The e-guides save you money because you do not have to pay shipping and handling. You can also grade the student's work directly on the PDF and make comments in the same file. All the guides, once purchased, can be reproduced for the teacher's/homeschooling parent's use in their own classroom or home. Once downloaded to your computer they are permanently available on your computer, and are yours and yours only. This guide is 57 pages total when printed.

The eGuide covers a lot of ground. It has vocabulary that goes with the book with activities that help retention and growth. It talks about literary techniques like: In-context, similes, idioms, metaphors, mood, synonyms, imagery, foreshadowing, repetition, alliteration, juxtaposition, conflict, theme, circular narrative, etc. There are moral lessons and character values taken from the book. Activities and writing assignments are also included. There is a lot of other things too that it goes into. Take a look at the layout and contents below...

Here is The Green Book's Study Guide Layout:

  • Study Guide Author
  • Note to Instructor (How to use the study guide)
  • Synopsis (What book is about)
  • About the Novel's Author
  • Prereading Activities (Things to do or study before reading the book): Read other pioneering books, travel plans, memory photos, make a journal.
  • Chapters (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6 & 7):
    • Vocabulary (Definition and write the word in a sentence)
    • Questions (Short Answer)
    • Think About the Story (Comprehension Questions)
    • Dig Deeper (Questions with Bible Verses to look up and Biblical perspective to go with the book)
    • Optional Projects and Activities (Discussions and/or Reports and/or Presentations): planning forum, computer research, gravity, science and wind, rain cycle, jellyfish, oil lamps, marine aquariums, science video recommendations, fairy-tales, boredom ideas, tree candy, hopscotch, cooking grain, pancakes, crystal gardens, maple syrup, gardening, spin thread, fire opals, creative writing journal, creative writing sequel, poetry performance, persuasive paper, flatbread and muffins.
  • Overview
    • Theme Questions
    • Mystery Message
    • Venn Diagram
    • Crossword
  • After-You-Read Projects
  • Additional Resources (Other books by the author)
  • Answer Key (located in a separate PDF)


How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
My daughter, Teela, who is 10 years old is an advanced reader. She loves reading and devours books. Her favorites are chapter books that have some substance to them. I told her about The Green Book and she was excited to start reading. We easily found the book online to check out, so this was perfect for her book study in our homeschool. She loved this book and read it chapter by chapter working through the study guide.

She got to use the guide as she read the book and since the review period for this was slightly longer than most (roughly 7 weeks) we got through a good portion of the study. She did the worksheets online to work on her computer and typing skills as well.

Sample pages from the Progeny Press The Green Book - eGuide.

This was the third time we had experienced Progeny Press and their literature study guides. The e-guide we received was jam packed full of reading comprehension and information to study. I love that it is also faith-based and has biblical applications that relate to the book fairly well. Since Teela just finished 4th grade this year, I had her type her answers as best she could and I believe she did great for her age. These guides are very well thought out and put together and I feel that my daughter learned and comprehended a great deal more because of it.

I highly recommend the Progeny Press E-guides. They are easy to download and simple to print from PDF and easy to do online. The Green Book one got my daughter thinking a lot more about the story and characters than she would have just reading the book on its own. Progeny Press has a great selection of other guides that go with some other great books as well. Check them out below.

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You can get The Green Book - eGuide in e-guide format for $17.99 from Progeny Press and also download a sample of the guide to see what it looks like.

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for Progeny Press...
New Study Guides for Literature From a Christian Perspective {Progeny Press Reviews}

New Study Guides for Literature From a Christian Perspective {Progeny Press Reviews}

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