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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BUY IT
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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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming (Volume 1) Book Review


My family had the privilege of trying the Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming (Volume 1) from Code for Teens 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.

Do you have a kid that likes technology and learning code in the family? Did you know that these skills are highly sought after in the job field? Did you know that software engineering, a.k.a. computer coding, is the fastest growing industry in the world right now? Enter Code for Teens!

Code for Teens is a book series that helps teens, or anyone with at least a 6th grade reading level, learn computer programming and computer coding. The first book, Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming (Volume 1), is the only one out at the moment with more volumes on the way. This physical, softcover book is written by homeschooling dad, Jeremy Mortiz as a beginners guide to learning JavaScript. It has 219 full-color glossy pages of one-on-one instruction to learn in a systematic fashion. The illustrations by Jeremy's wife, Christine, are fun and engaging. This book teaches Java without the need for teachers or parents...it empowers the child to teach themselves. These lessons are taught so that the student can move at their own pace and problem solve on their own. The concepts build on each other, so before the student moves ahead they should make sure they understand the topics well. Every chapter includes a quiz, key concepts, drills, an aggregate review, and a DIY project. There is a foreword, an introduction, a word for parents, 10 chapters, a conclusion, answers, and a glossary of terms in this book. The student must have a computer (desktop, laptop, or Chromebook only) and use Google Chrome to be able to work through the book. The introduction and entire first chapter is online as a free sample PDF on the Code for Teens website if you want to check it out for yourself.

Chapters Include the Following:
  1. Hello World! Write your first lines of code and make mistakes 
  2. Time to Operate Code with numbers and math operators 
  3. Comment on the String Section Concatenate strings and make snide comments 
  4. Have Some Functions Declare and invoke functions 
  5. Shall I Compare? Using booleans, if blocks, conditionals, and comparison operators 
  6. Logically Operational Work with null, undefined, and logical operators 
  7. Projects Galore Practice methods in lots of short projects 
  8. Hip Hip Array! Introduce arrays and do stuff with 'em 
  9. Loop a Round Put your code on repeat with loops 
  10. Make a Hangman Game Combine concepts from every chapter to build a cool game


Code for Hello World and Follow the Leader


How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
I felt the Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming (Volume 1) book would be great for my son Delbin who is 17. He loves playing computer games and he has told me before that he would love to learn how to program them. This book is a great starting point for this and other software engineering fields.

When I was a teenager I learned HTML and a bit of JavaScript all by myself to build websites on Angelfire and GeoCities. I was also a member of a place called POD (place of Dolphins), an online role playing interface and chat server in which we used code to make our dolphin, whale, or porpoise characters interact with one another and the bot. It was a lot of fun manipulating computer code to make it do what I wanted. It was a great learning experience and I felt so empowered learning it all on my own. I, however; didn't have an awesome book to teach me these concepts, so having this for my son is sure handy.

Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming (Volume 1) book and coding on the computer.

We had to download the Google Chrome browser because we didn't have it installed yet. Delbin started at the beginning of the book, working through the chapters. I could see that he was enjoying himself making lines of code. The book is written in an informal tone with a no-pressure approach and has clever illustrations with some humor throughout so that it is more entertaining for the reader. When new terms are introduced they are also defined so that the student gets a handle on the concepts better. These words are in bold. The code is set apart from other text in the book with grey highlighting so you can decipher it better. He liked that the lessons had quizzes, key concepts, drills, and review so he could have a firm understanding before moving onto the next chapter. He also thought it was very cool that he could self-check his answers with the book. Even though it is summer break I didn't have to poke and prod him to do the work because he thought it was fun.

We cannot wait for the second volume of this series which will be about HTML and CSS and how JavaScript can work with these codes. This book has been a great first step to learning computer programming languages. We highly recommend it for any classroom, homeschool library, or as a gift for a tween or teen that is interested or wanting to try something new.

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BUY IT
You can purchase the Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming (Volume 1) book online at Code for Teens for only $25 plus free shipping.

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for Code For Teens...
Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming {Code for Teens Reviews}

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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Math Essentials Math Refresher for Adults Review


My family had the privilege of trying Math Refresher for Adults from Math Essentials 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.

Math Essentials was created by Richard W. Fisher, a math instructor for the Oak Grove School District in San Jose, California, for over 31 years. This company creates award winning math materials to help teach and learn mathematics. These are easy to use and easy to understand. Rick creates books, DVD’s, and a world-class online instructional program.

The Math Refresher for Adults...The Perfect Solution is a physical, softcover book by Richard W. Fisher. It is part of the Mastering Essential Math Skills series. This book goes through and gives a refresher course for anyone that needs one. It covers: Basic General Math, Geometry, Problem Solving, Pre-Algebra, and Algebra. Each lesson is short, concise, and easy to understand. Each lesson has review exercises, two sample problems, and a small section to take notes. There is a corresponding video tutorial for each lesson in the book taught by Rick Fisher. This book is perfect for those that: have forgotten the math that they were taught, struggle with math, have been away from math too long, want to teach their homeschooled kids math, want to be able to help their kids with math homework, have a math placement/competency test coming up, or are English Language Learners learning math.

General Math Main Chapters include:
  • Whole Numbers
  • Fractions
  • Decimals
  • Percents
  • Geometry
  • Integers
  • Charts and Graphs
  • Word Problems

Pre-Algebra and Algebra Chapters include:
  • sets
  • integers
  • positive and negative numbers
  • exponents
  • square roots
  • order of operations
  • properties of numbers
  • scientific notation
  • ratios and proportions
  • percents
  • number theory
  • number lines
  • coordinate systems
  • slope
  • graphing linear equations
  • equations
  • algebra word problems
  • probability
  • statistics


How We Used This and Our Thoughts:

I used Math Essentials Math Refresher for Adults for myself as a refresher in math; primarily in Pre-Algebra and Algebra and as a math refresher for my kids. I also used this book with a neighbor child that I am tutoring this summer to get his math skills up to where his level should be. This book is very efficient in teaching the math skills we all need to know to succeed. Math is super important to learn and apply in our lives. Math is so easy to forget if we don't keep using what we learned. Unfortunately the overuse of calculators and other technology to do the math work for us is helping make people lazy and forgetful. This book is wonderful for not only adults that have forgotten math or were not taught it well, but children/teens that need this refresher as well.

Changing improper fractions to mixed number or whole number.

For now I focused on fractions with the kid that I am tutoring math to because that was where he was having the most trouble. This book has been a great help for both me and him. He is now grasping the concepts so much better. I liked how it recommends that you write the problem out in a notebook or on a separate sheet of paper along with your work so you don't have to write in the book.

The book also says it comes with video instruction, however; finding which videos went with this book was a bit difficult since they do not have this book listed under the video section yet. After some looking into, we did find that the videos for the other books still correspond with the information in this book. The videos are to the point and easy to understand without any bells and whistles. The book goes in a great sequential order that is wonderful for relearning basics, pre-algebra, and algebra.

Math Essentials Videos

I highly recommend this book for anyone needs a refresher on math. It is a great tool to help remember the math you learned years ago...or teach struggling math learners. It is also very affordable for anyone to purchase.

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BUY IT
You can purchase the Math Essentials Math Refresher for Adults book for $28.95.

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for Math Essentials Math Refresher for Adults...
Math Refresher for Adults {Math Essentials}

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Precious Moments Frog Bird Feeder Review & 20% Off Garden Gifts


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

Precious Moments has some new Home and Garden products that would be great for gifts this summer! These include some lovely garden decorations that would be perfect for making your space or someone else's brighter and cheerier.

I received their new Frog Bird Feeder. This is made of resin, stands approximately 9 inches high, and is super cute! I love its adorable grin and wide eyes. It has a whimsical way it is holding a large lily pad leaf on its head to put bird seed in. The leaf bowl has an almost copper look to it. It is perfect to put on a patio or in a garden. I placed it beneath my Tulip Tree in my fairy rock garden. It looks right at home among the succulents, moss, violets and crystals. I filled it with bird seed and the next day the treat was all gone. The birds, chipmunks, and squirrels from my landscape must have liked their little taste. I love this bird feeder and I know you will too!

The whimsical Frog Bird Feeder from Precious Moments is wonderful for the garden or patio!

BUY IT

Brighten up your day and your garden with 20% off garden gifts at PreciousMoments.com! Use code GARDEN20%. Sale ends 7/15.

Here is another lovely bird feeder from Precious Moments.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Precious Moments for sending me this garden decor for free to 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 may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

#PreciousMoments #FrogBirdFeeder #GardenGifts #GardenDecor

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Silverdale Press LLC White House Holidays Unit Studies Review


Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog. My family had the privilege of trying White House Holidays Unit Studies - ages 5-18 (there are two options in each study, one for elementary ages, one for jr/sr high) from Silverdale Press LLC 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.

Silverdale Press LLC offers high quality curriculum for unit studies, history, social studies, and writing for homeschooling families. These are made by experts in these subjects. Most of these are for middle school and high school students.

Silverdale Press LLC was founded by Joshua and Jill Hummer. They are homeschooling parents of four children. For over a decade Jill has taught college classes in history and political science. She has also written a book, and various articles and journals. Joshua has been practicing law for over 11 years and was homeschooled as a child.

White House Holidays Unit Studies are digital downloaded curriculum and come in PDF format. These studies are designed with 3-5 lessons, with each lesson intended to be done in a day. All of these studies start out with an introduction about why studying holidays is important, how to use the curriculum, and a table of contents. Each lesson has an "Introduction & Overview for Teachers" which usually tells what the lesson's activity is, materials needed, learning outcomes, estimated time the lesson takes, lesson plan. This should be read before the lesson by the teacher to prepare the lesson. After this is the actual lesson and the lesson's activity in detail. There are activities geared for grades K-6 and activities geared for grades 7-12. The content for younger students is shorter and the activities are visual and hands-on. The content for the older students is more detailed and the activities call for more reading, writing, and thinking. Primary source documents are all included and materials needed for activities are mostly things that you would normally find around the home.

White House Holidays Unit Studies (six unit studies so far)
  • Labor Day (plus the answer key) - 3 lessons
  • Veterans Day (plus the answer key) - 3 lessons
  • Thanksgiving (plus the answer key) - 5 lessons
  • Christmas (plus the answer key) - 4 lessons with 6 activities per lesson
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. (plus the answer key) - 5 lessons
  • Valentine's Day (plus the answer key) - 5 lessons
  • They will be adding more unit studies to this series in the future.



The Labor Day unit study consists of 53 pages of three lessons for grades K-6 and three separate lessons for grades 7-12. There is one activity per lesson. The lessons and activities geared for grades K-6 are in the front. The lessons and activities geared for grades 7-12 are in the back.

Labor Day Lessons for K-6th Grades and 7-12th Grades:
  • Lesson 1: Eleanor Roosevelt and Child Labor/Labor Conditions and Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Lesson 2: McGuire, Maguire, and the First Labor Day/The First Labor Day, Pullman Strike, and President Cleveland
  • Lesson 3: President Cleveland and the Pullman Strike: A Holiday Declared/A Holiday Declared


The Veterans Day unit study consists of 49 pages of three lessons for grades K-6 and three separate lessons for grades 7-12. There is one activity per lesson. The lessons and activities geared for grades K-6 are in the front. The lessons and activities geared for grades 7-12 are in the back. For the third lesson, “Get Involved on Veterans Day,” the activities are the same for each age group. Each lesson has a text portion to read aloud. You can do all of the lessons on Veterans Day. Or you can do one lesson per day, or even one lesson per week, leading up to Veterans Day.

Veterans Day Lessons for K-6th Grades and 7-12th Grades:
  • Lesson 1: President Woodrow Wilson and the Story of Armistice Day
  • Lesson 2: President Wilson and Food Czar Hoover at War/Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points
  • Lesson 3: The Story of Dwight Eisenhower and How We Got Veterans Day


The Thanksgiving unit study consists of 78 pages of five lessons for both grades K-6 and grades 7-12. Each lesson has a text portion to read aloud. The lessons also have a follow-up activity or activities. There are also related activities set up a bit differently with parts (A, B, and sometimes C) designated for the different grades or all grades.

Thanksgiving Lessons for K-6th Grades and 7-12th Grades:
  • Lesson 1: The First Thanksgiving: Freedom, Peace, and Provision
  • Lesson 2: From Harvest Festivals to the Founders: The Roots of a National Holiday
  • Lesson 3: Sarah Josepha Hale Persuades President Lincoln
  • Lesson 4: From Franklin Roosevelt to the Presidential Turkey Pardon
  • Lesson 5: Ike and Mamie Eisenhower and American Thanksgiving Traditions


The Christmas unit study consists of 78 pages of four lessons. There are a total of 24 activities for this unit study, 6 per lesson. This allows families to complete an activity during each December day, leading up to Christmas. These lessons should be worked on in order, but it is totally fine to skip or double up on activities if needed. These lessons cover a historical White House Christmas theme. Each lesson has a text portion to read aloud. These lessons and activities are geared towards both grades K-6 and grades 7-12 and can be worked on together. Your student will be learning a variety of subject areas in: history, government, art, literature, music, nature study, and more! There are also fun recipes and community service activities throughout.

Christmas Lessons for K-6th Grades and 7-12th Grades:
  • Lesson 1: Jacqueline Kennedy, The Nutcracker Suite, and the White House Crèche
  • Lesson 2: Betty Ford, Handmade Folk Art, and the Gingerbread House
  • Lesson 3: Barbara Bush, a Story Book Christmas, and the White House Tree
  • Lesson 4: Michelle Obama, Simple Gifts and Military Families, and Christmas Cards


The Martin Luther King, Jr. unit study consists of 64 pages of five lessons. Each lesson has a text portion to read aloud. These lessons are for all grade levels. Some of the exercises and activities are designed for kids of all ages to do together; others are tailored to the grade levels K-6 or 7-12. These lessons should be worked on in order. The first activity for each lesson includes a timeline, map points, key terms, and video links. The timeline at the end can be printed and used throughout the curriculum. The map at the end can be used to plot important places of MLK's life and work. The last lesson is recommended to be done on the actual holiday.

MLK Lessons for K-6th Grades and 7-12th Grades:
  • Lesson 1: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Early Life
  • Lesson 2: Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Eisenhower
  • Lesson 3: Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Kennedy
  • Lesson 4: Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Johnson
  • Lesson 5: How Presidents Have Preserved King’s Memory


The Valentine's Day unit study consists of 64 pages of five lessons. Each lesson has a text portion to read aloud. These lessons are for all grade levels. Some of the activities are designed for kids of all ages to do together; others are tailored to the grade levels K-6 or 7-12. These lessons should be worked on in order. The last activity in each lesson includes Internet links to videos, articles, and other resources you can use for further study. It is suggested to complete one lesson per day leading up to Valentine’s Day, saving the last lesson to complete on the actual holiday. This unit study can be done at any time though. Your student will be learning a variety of subject areas in: history and government; literature, poetry, and writing; music and art; and even baking skills. This unit also has a breakdown of course credits that would count.

Valentine's Day Lessons for K-6th Grades and 7-12th Grades:
  • Lesson 1: The Love Letters of John and Abigail Adams
  • Lesson 2: The Love Letters of Ronald and Nancy Reagan
  • Lesson 3: The White House Wedding of John Tyler and Julia Tyler
  • Lesson 4: The White House Wedding of Grover Cleveland and Frances Folsom Cleveland
  • Lesson 5: Valentine’s Day 1962 and Jacqueline Kennedy’s Television Tour of the White House


How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
I did the White House Holidays Unit Studies with my two daughters, Zari who is 7, and Teela who is 10. We have done a lesson a week focusing on Thanksgiving and have done lesson 1 of the Christmas one for the last week. We will be going more in depth into these studies closer to Thanksgiving/Christmas time.

These homeschool unit studies were very educational. I even learned a lot. They had a lot of information I didn't know. I think these are great for the whole family to study and do together.

The Thanksgiving White House Unit Study teaches a lot about the American holiday's history and traditions from the Pilgrims to the present-day presidential turkey pardon. Each lesson seemed to have questions to answer about things we read and vocabulary with definitions to learn as well.

In the first lesson we were taught about: freedom, peace, provision, William Bradford, King James I, Scrooby, Pilgrims, Leyden Holland, Mayflower, New World, Plymouth Massachusetts, Mayflower Compact, Chief Samoset, Algonquins, Chief Massasoit, Wampanoags, “general sickness”, Squanto, The First Thanksgiving, Edward Winslow. We read first hand eye-witness accounts from both William Bradford and Edward Winslow and my daughters answered questions that they had in the study guide. Then they made a poster of things for each category of freedom, peace, and provision.

In the second lesson lesson we learned about harvest traditions, festivals, and celebrations; when and how Thanksgiving was made a holiday, George Washington, Thanksgiving proclamations, Henry Alford, “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come” hymn. There were more vocabulary words, questions to answer, and a hymn to sing.

Pictures made from The New-England Boy’s Song about Thanksgiving Day” by Lydia Maria Child.

In the third lesson we learned about Sarah Josepha Hale. We also read “The New-England Boy’s Song about Thanksgiving Day” by Lydia Maria Child and learned about it, then my daughters made pictures of one stanza each from it. There were things to read and answer questions from as well.

In the forth lesson we learned about President Roosevelt, The Great Depression, Four Freedoms speech, Norman Rockwell, and the annual presidential turkey pardon. We read a document and looked at some art and answered questions about both. We will watch the Turkey Pardon this year when it happens later.

In the fifth lesson we learned about Ike and Mamie Eisenhower and their Thanksgiving. In this lesson there are recipes from Mamie herself. We didn't get to try these, but we are excited to test them out for next Thanksgiving!

The first lesson in the Christmas unit study was nice. We learned about Jacqueline Kennedy and her traditions in the White House, The White House Crèche, The White House Ornament, etc. We even made Hillary Clinton’s Chocolate Chip Cookies! Yum! We can't wait to get into this more later more during December.

We highly recommend these! They are very educational, super packed with information, and fun. These are great for homeschool unit studies and are great in addition to any studies about the Presidents, White House, Politics, Holidays, etc.

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BUY IT
Purchase White House Holidays Unit Studies individually for about $20-$30 a piece.




Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for Silverdale Press LLC...
Persuasive Writing & Classical Rhetoric: Practicing the Habits of Great Writers & White House Holidays Unit Studies {Silverdale Press LLC Reviews}

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

ARTistic Pursuits Inc. Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray Art of the Middle Ages Review


My family had the privilege of trying the Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray Art of the Middle Ages from ARTistic Pursuits Inc. 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.

ARTistic Pursuits Inc. creates art curriculum for children. This full-color curriculum helps children to grow their skills of observation and critical thinking. It teaches all components of fine art, including creativity, art history, art appreciation, and art techniques. This unique homeschool art program permits the student to be expressive and make up their own decision about what and how they will draw, paint, or sculpt.

ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray by Brenda Ellis are brand new hardcover books for kindergarten and elementary students. These have art history and art instruction lessons in text with pictures to study and video lessons on how to use the art materials. There are a total of 6 volumes currently with two more on their way:
  • K-3 Vol. 1 ART FOR CHILDREN, Building a Visual Vocabulary
  • K-3 Vol. 2 ART OF THE ANCIENTS
  • K-3 Vol. 3 ART OF THE MIDDLE AGES
  • K-3 Vol. 4 ARTISTS THAT SHAPED THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE
  • K-3 Vol. 5 ART OF THE NORTHERN COUNTRIES, RENAISSANCE TO REALISM
  • K-3 Vol. 6 ART OF THE IMPRESSIONISTS
  • K-3 Vol. 7 ART OF THE MODERN AGE (Coming in the summer of 2018!)
  • K-3 Vol. 8 ART IN AMERICA (Coming in the summer of 2018!)
Each book covers one whole semester of art if you have your student do one lesson a week. You can do these lessons chronologically starting with volume 1 and follow the history volumes in order or do volume 1 and then skip to the volume of choice after that. It is all up to you.
Art of the Middle Ages is the third volume of the series. It is a hardcover book with both Blu-ray and DVD. It has 64 pages, 18 lessons (12 text lessons featuring artworks by medieval masters and 6 video lessons featuring art instruction on materials), and 106 illustrations. This art curriculum book and videos takes a look at art produced in the Middle Ages, from the early Migration Period to the Gothic architecture of France. Young learners will create and respond to medieval art as they increase their skills in motivation, concentration, and discovery, etc. They also learn about the period and how the people then made art. Children will work with colored paper, needlework, weaving, and oil pastels.

K-3 Vol.3 Art Supply Pack | ARTistic Pursuits

K-3 Vol.3 Art Supply Pack (can be purchased separately or with the book for additional cost) Includes:

  • Gesso, small bottle
  • Gold acrylic paint, 2 oz
  • Tissue paper (assorted colors)
  • Sculpey, white, 2 oz
  • Flat watercolor brush, 1/2 inch
  • Mod Podge, matte finish
  • Small tip squeeze bottle
  • Plastic sewing needle, large
  • Bristle brush, 1 inch
  • Lightweight chipboard
  • Gold origami paper
  • Purple cotton tote bag

You will also need these materials from K-3 Vol. 1 Starter Pack Materials list:
  • crayons
  • oil pastel set
  • scissors
  • watercolor brush #8 round
  • watercolor paper
  • construction paper
  • eraser
  • Ebony pencil
  • Elmer's Glue All
  • glue stick

ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray Art of the Middle Ages Lessons 1-5

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
I did this art instruction for kids with my daughters Teela and Zari who were in 1st and 4th grade this past school year. We did one lesson a week which got us through the 5th lesson. My kids love art so this was a great activity to get them busy during the summer. ARTistic Pursuits Inc. Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray Art of the Middle Ages would be a great art curriculum for use with art history lessons  and a unit study for the Middle Ages or medieval times.

The lessons without videos have prep notes with tips and information about the type of art. It also has notes on how to instruct a larger group. Then there is the art history lesson on the next page with pictures of an art piece and questions at the end in bold. After the history lesson the book has a page of how to do the art. Each art lesson has a box of text that will list the materials needed for that art project, an example picture of the art made by a student, pictures of the art being assembled and instructions with more insight into the history. The lessons that have videos are truncated in the book and have a minimal amount of information to show you what art will be created and what materials are needed to make the art. These are used with the DVD or Blu-ray.


ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray Art of the Middle Ages Lesson 1 (Paper Loom Weave and Crown).

The first lesson we had an introduction of the medieval world and learned how to weave with a paper loom. This lesson was accompanied by a video (video #1) on the DVD or Blu-ray. This gave us very visual step-by-step instruction of the process. We liked the videos and thought they were very thorough, educational, and nicely done. The video had the art history and art instruction to show how to do a weave on a paper loom and a crown that uses the weave, cutting diamonds, using tissue paper as a sort of a window. We couldn't find the gold origami paper so we ended up using shiny wrapping paper for the weave in the crown. 

ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray Art of the Middle Ages Lesson 2 (Weaving Beasts).

The second lesson in the book we learned about the migration of people, art in battles, and art during the Migration Period. There are questions at the end in bold of the this art history lesson about the picture of a metal brooch in the book to make sure the children are paying attention to the art. Then we are told and shown how to do woven beasts out of construction paper.

ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray Art of the Middle Ages Lesson 3 (Initial Page).

The third lesson we learned about art in monasteries, medieval illumination, and initial pages. There are questions at the end in bold of the this art history lesson about the picture of a medieval illumination. Then we are told and shown how to do a initial page with the first letter of the artists name. We couldn't find the gold origami paper so we ended up using shiny wrapping paper for the letter. 

ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray Art of the Middle Ages Lesson 4 (Mosaic).

In the forth lesson we learned about art in Basilicas and Byzantine mosaics. There are questions at the end in bold of the this art history lesson about the picture of the Theotokos Mosaic. Then we are told and shown how to do a mosaic of a person out of construction paper.

ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray Art of the Middle Ages Lesson 5 (Panel Drawing).

In the fifth lesson we watched video #2. We learned about Gothic panels in this lesson. We were instructed to make a panel drawing with tissue paper to create the background and a picture of a colorful song bird drawn on it.

There was only one thing that I would change if I was the author. My daughters and I wished that all the lessons had videos because we are very visual and the videos made the instruction so much easier, but we would also have liked those that did have videos to have the whole instruction and art history lesson in the book as well. This would make it easier to use with those children that are too young to read and those that learn better by reading than by visual and audio as well would benefit if both were used for all lessons. This would help our learners of all types.

So far ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray Art of the Middle Ages has been very educational and fun. We have learned so much about the art of the time. I highly recommend this art for children. It is perfect for our homeschool art and to go along with our unit study history lessons about the Middle Ages.

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You can purchase ARTistic Pursuits Art Instruction Books with DVD and Blu-Ray. They are each $39.99. If you would like to purchase the art kits with these it is more and depends on the kit.

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for ARTistic Pursuits Inc....
Artistic Pursuits Full Video Lesson Grades K-3 {ARTistic Pursuits Reviews}

Artistic Pursuits Full Video Lesson Grades K-3 {ARTistic Pursuits Reviews}

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Monday, June 4, 2018

The Critical Thinking Co.™ Understanding Pre-Algebra Review


My family had the privilege of trying Understanding Pre-Algebra from The Critical Thinking Co.™ 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.


The Critical Thinking Co. ™ has award winning products that help students of all abilities achieve higher academic results with lessons that develop and sharpen their critical thinking skills. They have fun and easy to use products with lessons in standards-based reading, writing, mathematics, science, and history that are guaranteed to produce better grades and higher test scores. Critical thinking is: identifying, analyzing, defining, evaluating, examining, reasoning, questioning, and challenging evidence to guide decision making and problem solving in a manner which is clear, rational, and open minded. A good acronym for the main keys of Critical Thinking are to think RED: Recognize Assumptions, Evaluate Information, Draw Conclusions.

Understanding Pre-Algebra by Terri Husted is a full mathematics curriculum intended for grades 6-8. This pre-algebra workbook teaches critical thinking skills and concepts that are prerequisites for Algebra 1. It stresses practice of these before moving onto the next concept. It is a physical softcover student workbook and textbook in one with 15 chapters and 448 perforated pages so you can tear them out cleanly, if needed. The charts, pictures, diagrams, graphs, etc. are in color for better representation. There is an introduction about the book before the lessons and a final examination, glossary, reference sheet, table of square roots 1-120, and answer key in the back of the book. This book has a reproducible license agreement. For a typical school year you would need your student to do about 2 pages per school day to get through it.

Chapters in the Book:
  1. Family of Numbers
  2. Working With Integers
  3. Working With Rational Numbers
  4. Ratio, Proportion, and Percent
  5. Percent Applications
  6. Algebraic Expressions
  7. Equations and Solving Word Problems
  8. Inequalities and Applications
  9. Understanding Square Roots and Irrational Numbers
  10. Two Dimensional Geometry
  11. Understanding Volume and Surface Area
  12. Graphing on the Coordinate Plane
  13. Transformations and Congruency
  14. Understanding Functions
  15. Probability and Statistics


Teela working out of the Understanding Pre-Algebra workbook.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
We have used some of The Critical Thinking Co.™ books before and we love them so when asked to review Understanding Pre-Algebra we jumped at the chance. I used the Understanding Pre-Algebra math workbook with my daughter Teela, who is in 4th grade and is 10 years old. She is advanced in math so I thought this book would be a great introduction to Algebra for her. For this review we worked through the book and did approximately six pages a week starting from the very beginning of the book.

Teela didn't really want to do math at first because this is supposed to be her summer vacation and we rarely do standards-based workbooks during the summer break, but I finally talked her into it. It was still very difficult with all the distractions of nice weather to get her to focus and stay on target. I think this will be best when it is worked on in an actual school year time frame.

Since this is a brand new publication from The Critical Thinking Co.™ there is always a chance to find errors in the text. I had tore out the answers in the back of the book, but let my daughter check her work when she was done with a lesson. She found that in the Chapter 1 review the answer to number seven was incorrect in the back of the book. The second 169 should read 225. Hopefully this is fixed in the later publications so that parents are not incorrectly making their children wrong. I haven't found any other errors so far, but that doesn't mean there isn't any.

I liked how this text/work book was set up. Each lesson first has instruction of the concepts, math vocabulary, critical thinking, and plenty of examples for learning how to actually do the practice problems that comprise the rest of the lesson. There are highlighted sections in the lessons in different colors that indicate math rules that the student really needs to know. There are also pictures, charts, and graphics that are in color so that emphasis of the concept gets internalized. In the back of the book are the final examination, glossary, reference sheet, table of square roots 1-120 and answers. The glossary has key words and vocabulary that were taught and their definitions. These would have been helpful to also include page numbers to where these concepts were taught. The reference sheet has a list of formulas that one needs to know like: Perimeter of Polygons, Circumference of Circles, Area, Volume, Surface Area, etc. The Table of Square Roots is also great to have. I do wish that the answer key in the back of the book had the problems being solved from start to finish instead of just the answers.

There are some great mnemonic devices in this book to help remember these concepts and master them. We especially liked the cowboy story that teaches rules for multiplying and dividing positive and negative integers. I had never been taught that one and the rules became so clear after learning it.

The Critical Thinking Co.™ Understanding Pre-Algebra is a great complete Pre-Algebra curriculum for grades 6-8 or earlier, if your student is advanced like mine. I liked how if we mastered a concept we could move on or skip around if we wanted to. You can also use this book as a supplement with another subject or if needed to make sure your student masters the concepts better before moving onto later math courses.

I am really glad we got this to help Teela out with learning Pre-Algebra. In my opinion the Understanding Pre-Algebra workbook has made it a lot easier for her to learn this math and for me to get much needed review of Pre-Algebra myself. Since math is not a strong subject of mine I am glad that this book has helped me understand better to assist in teaching my daughter and seems like a much simpler way to learn than I remember being taught in school. I highly recommend this to any homeschooler that is trying to learn Pre-Algebra or as a supplement to public school math or other subject.

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You can purchase the Understanding Pre-Algebra book for $42.99, as of this post. You can choose a physical paperback book or eBook.


Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for The Critical Thinking Co.™...
Critical Thinking, Understanding Math & Vocabulary {The Critical Thinking Co.™ Reviews}

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Cave Tools Pulled Pork Shredder Rakes Review


I received the Cave Tools Pulled Pork Shredder Rakes free to facilitate this review. Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

Cave Tools is a great online store to find BBQ: tools & accessories, charcoal grills, recipe books, apparel, and gift ideas. They have a great selection of things from tool sets & grill baskets to grill racks & a portable charcoal grill. Find your barbecue and grilling needs at Cave Tools!



The Pulled Pork Shredder Rakes Features:
  • Rips Through Entire Chunk of Meat in 2 Minutes - Ultra strong stainless steel helps you pull apart pork, chicken, turkey, poultry, beef, brisket, hams, roasts and anything from your slow cooker, grill or smoker in record time.
  • Picks up Large Hot Food - With its extended handles and bear shaped claws you can take hot meat from the: Crock Pot to the grill, grill to the table, or oven to table with ease. These provide extra leverage so you don't drop it.
  • Shred - Handle - Carve - These meat rakes are the ultimate multi purpose kitchen tool. Shreds meat easier than a fork. Perfect gift for both men and women.
  • Gift Box Packaging Can Be Reused For Storage
  • Comes with 25 Professional Recipes - Free download of “The Grill Master’s Essential Barbecue Recipe Book” complete with DIY Bbq Sauce Recipes, Ribs, Chicken, Kabobs and More. Step by step instructions and detailed tutorial videos are great for the family.
  • Lifetime Satisfaction Guarantee -  If at any point you are unhappy with your pulled pork shredder claws you can return it for a full money back refund. Cave Tools takes customer service that seriously.


Cave Tools Pulled Pork Shredder Rakes in action.

Awesome Ideas for Pulled Pork or Other Pulled Meat:
  • sandwiches
  • sliders
  • omelets
  • tacos
  • quesadillas
  • taquitos
  • fajitas
  • enchiladas
  • loaded nachos
  • tamales
  • empanadas
  • carnitas
  • pizza
  • calzones
  • fries
  • loaded potato
  • pasta
  • Ramen
  • soup
  • chili
  • stuffed peppers
  • wontons
  • Asian dumplings
  • steamed buns
  • Indian tacos
  • Pad Thai
  • dip
  • salad

Our Thoughts:
The Cave Tools Pulled Pork Shredder Rakes are really handy to have for both lifting large pieces of meat and shredding it. It makes a great pulled pork or other pulled meat effortlessly and safely. Also since these are stainless they will last longer than plastic claws and are easily cleaned.

We used them on pork shoulder marinated and cooked in the crock pot. These definitely got the job done in no time at all. I thought they were wonderful at lifting the meat out of the crock pot and into the bowl. I love that they are easy to grip with the long handles. These are sized well and the tines fit in between the other ones so you can pull meats apart fast. The box it comes with is attractive to store in as well.

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...at Amazon or Cave Tools. These would be an awesome gift for Memorial Day, Father's Day, Birthdays, etc.



Cave Tools Coupon Code: Meat Rakes 15% Off: MEATCLAW15

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I received this product 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!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Precious Moments Spring Sale!


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Precious Moments is having a spring sale! Get 15% off select products with coupon code: SPRINGSAVINGS Now through May 31st! There are some lovely spring garden products and some home decor that will brighten up any home or landscape and make it more cheery. Take a look below at some of the delightful Precious Moments products and click on one of them to go to the website and save!




Spring into action now to save 15% sitewide with code SPRINGSAVINGS at PreciousMoments.com! Sale ends 5/31.
 
DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Precious Moments for sending me this information. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any compensation for doing this post. Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.