Friday, March 30, 2018

Cave Tools Smoker Box for BBQ Grill Wood Chips Review

I received the Cave Tools Smoker Box for BBQ Grill Wood Chips 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 Smoker Box Features:
  • Perfect For Gas & Charcoal Barbecues - If you are smoking on a charcoal grill then you can place the smoker box directly on the coals. If you are using a gas grill then you can place it directly on top of your flavorizer bars. The biggest thing with Gas Grills is to make sure the smoker box will fit between your flavorizer bars and the grill grates.
  • Extremely Durable - 25% Thicker stainless steel reduces warping & increases the lifespan of your smoker box.
  • Hinged Lid For Easy Access - Easily add more wood chips in on the fly because the lid is attached and won't get lost in the hot coals.
  • Large Wood Chip Capacity - More wood means thicker smoke for your meat.
  • Perfectly Sized - Fits perfectly between flavorizer bars and grill grate or directly on top of charcoals. Smoker Box Dimensions: 9 x 3.5 x 1.5 inches.
  • Chips Smolder Instead of Burn - No holes on the bottom prevents chips from lighting on fire.
  • Comes with 25 Professional Cooking Recipes - Free BBQ Recipe Book Download covers Step-by-Step DIY Barbecue Sauces, Ribs, Chicken, Fish, Steak, Veggies, Kabobs & More to become a Grill Master for the Family! Step by step instructions, detailed tutorial videos and over 35 cooking videos.
  • Lifetime Satisfaction Guarantee - If at any point you are unhappy with your smoker box you can return it for a full money back refund. 

Cave Tools Smoker Box is perfect for smoking on the grill!

Our Thoughts:
We filled the Cave Tools Smoker Box with dry Mesquite wood chips (you can choose what ever flavor dry wood chips you like) and closed the hinged lid. The wood chip box holds a little over 2 cups. I loved that it is stainless steel and it looked fairly heavy duty and well constructed for multiple uses.

We got the coals hot on our charcoal grill until they looked white. Then we put the Smoker Box directly on the coals, placing the grill grate over it. We put our meat, which was a 2 pound London Broil, on the grill and seared both sides for about 5-7 minutes. After about 10-15 minutes from the time we put the smoker box on the coals we began to see smoke come from the holes in the top of the smoker box lid. We then put the lid on so that the smoke would work its magic. We smoked the meat about 12 minutes, took it off the grill, and let it rest on a plate for about 5 minutes before slicing it thinly against the grain with a sharp knife and eating.

The London Broil was delicious! It was smoked to perfection and the flavor of the Mesquite penetrated all the way through the meat. Check out the Cave Tools Meat Smoking Guide for a full list of all wood flavors and smoking temperatures.

After the coals and smoker box cooled down I retrieved it from the BBQ so I could see how it fared. The stainless took on a bit of a smokey color and the lid warped a tiny bit, but all in all I am very satisfied with this product. It did its job well and upon opening the container the wood chips were all spent and blackened. Since the Cave Tools Smoker Box only has holes in the top the wood chips don't catch fire and they don't need soaked. I love this smoker box better than any I have used in the past. I highly recommend the Cave Tools Smoker Box.

Official Website:
Twitter: @CaveTools
Google+: +Cave Tools

BUY IT Amazon or Cave Tools.

Cave Tools Coupon Code: Smoker Box 15% Off: SMOKERBOX15

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!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Carole P. Roman Books and Collections Review

My family got to read these books from Carole P. Roman 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. Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

The three books from Carole P. Roman books and collections we received are:

Carole P. Roman is the author of many books including the Captain No Beard series, Oh Susannah series, If You Were Me and Lived in... Cultures Around the World series, and the If You Were Me and Lived in... Civilizations Throughout History series. She loves combining her teaching past with her love of exploration and interest in the grand world all around us. She also loves sharing history and culture with her readers.

If You Were Me and Lived in... Cultures Around the World Series currently consists of 21 books with more to come later. These softcover books take you to explore different cultures. Discover Mexico, Australia, Turkey, Hungary, Poland, France, India, Portugal, Scotland, Italy, South Korea, Peru, Kenya, China, Russia, Norway, Greece, Egypt, Brazil, Israel, and Germany. These give you an inside look into what culture is like in these countries. You can become a "world traveler" in the comfort of your own home. Recommended for ages 4 to 9.

If You Were Me and Lived in... Civilizations Throughout History Series currently consists of 10 books with more to come later. These softcover books take you back through time to visit different civilizations throughout history. Discover Ancient Greece, Renaissance Italy, Elizabethan England, Colonial America, Ancient China: The Han Dynasty, Middle Ages, American West, Viking Europe, Mayan Empire, and Ancient Mali Empire. These follow what it would have been like to live and grow up in these places through the eyes of a young person. This makes the books more relatable to children who read them. These physical books cover occupations, food, clothing, recreation, important people, etc. Recommended for ages 8 to 15.

Zari enjoying the Carole P. Roman books.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
We had been given the option of picking out three books from the ones we were offered to review. We have reviewed for Carole P. Roman before and we love her books! We picked out three books we didn't have: If You Were Me and Lived in...India, If You Were Me and Lived in...The Mayan Empire, and If You Were Me and Lived in...Viking Europe.

If You Were Me and Lived in...India is a softcover book by Carole P. Roman. The illustrations are fun and done in dark classic colors. This book has 28 pages with a pronunciation guide in the back. We learned about what the country looks like and a bit about it, about its capital, what the popular names for boys and girls there are, what you would call your mom and dad there, what money is called, what favorite your movies would be, places to see there, what food they enjoy there, what sports they enjoy playing, holidays they celebrate, and where they go to school. I love Indian food and I would love to visit the Taj Mahal someday. Playing cricket also sounds like fun. We are going to be using this with our unit study of India and Indian people.

If You Were Me and Lived In...The Mayan Empire is a softcover book by Carole P. Roman and Illustrated by Paula Tabor. These cartoon like illustrations are more realistic than the other books. This book has 66 pages with a special section on Famous Names in Mayan Culture and Glossary in the back. This focused on life on the Yucatan Peninsula in roughly 6th century BC. We thought it interesting: that men would plow because there were no animals to use, that Mayans ate corn at every meal, only nobles could wear colorful feathers, women wore crushed insects for red colored cheeks, the most attractive Mayans had flat heads and crossed eyes, they filed their teeth to points & got colorful tattoos, they traded for things and didn't use coins, the written language is made up of 800 symbols, they played a game called Pok-ta-Tok, and age 15 was considered an adult. This would be great to use with a unit study of the Mayans, Yucatan Peninsula, and Mayan Empire.

If You Were Me and Lived In...Viking Europe is a softcover book by Carole P. Roman and Illustrated by Mateya Arkova. The illustrations look like they are chalked in lovely pastel colors. This book has 76 pages with pages on Norse Gods, Vikings in History, and a glossary in the back. This focused on life in Northern Europe in the 9th century. We thought it interesting: that the word penny might have gotten its name from the Danish word penninge, they ate a lot of seafood, guests drank from a vessel made from a horn, to get salt they would boil sea water until it evaporated, every household had a loom and a spinning wheel,  the more colorful the clothing...the wealthier, it was illegal to pull a hat off someone's head, their age was measured by how many winters they lived through, they measured days by the meals they ate, they traded sons with other families to build allies, young women got betrothed at the age of 12-15, knatleikr and skaktafl were popular games, they had an alphabet called a runic with 24 characters, and they worshiped lots of Gods like Thor and Loki. This would be great to use with a unit study of the Vikings, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Danish, Norwegians, Scandinavians, and Norsemen.

The If You Were Me and Lived in... series is a wonderful supplement for history lessons in homeschool. These are great to be used with unit studies and wonderful even just by themselves.  My children loved reading these and learning so much more about these times and civilizations. I love how these cultural books teach a huge amount of children's history because they are through the eyes of a child. They are great for children's education!

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You can purchase the If You Were Me and Lived in... series: India, Mayan Empire, and Viking Europe on Amazon for about $14.99-$20 per book.

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for Carole P. Roman Books and Collections...
Carole P. Roman books and collections {Carole P. Roman Reviews}

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Green Enough: Eat Better, Live Cleaner, Be Happier (All Without Driving Your Family Crazy!) Book Review

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

Leah Segedie is the blogger behind Mamavation, a wellness blog about how to prevent disease in your home. She is also the CEO of ShiftCon, a social media conference that focuses on food, wellness, health, and sustainability. Leah is a fierce whistleblower of marketing for brands and products and propaganda that are misleading the public and a dedicated promoter of healthy choices. She has been uncovering deception for the last decade and helping others to detox their own lives. Now she has written a book called Green Enough: Eat Better, Live Cleaner, Be Happier (All Without Driving Your Family Crazy!) that tells us how to do just that.

Green Enough is a book that goes into the nitty gritty of just how to Eat Better, Live Cleaner, Be Happier! With her humor and often cheeky take Leah gives us the lowdown of exactly what we need to do to make our lives cleaner, smarter, and healthier all the while by not driving our family insane. This goes into household products and food and even takes you into a room by room analysis on what to look for so we know what to purge and replace with better options.

Green Enough Plastics Guide

Green Enough Chapters:
  1. Start With Food
  2. Food Packaging, Cookware, and Storage Containers
  3. Cleaner Produce
  4. Healthier Meat and Dairy
  5. Good Eats
  6. Room By Room
  7. Greener Grooming

My Thoughts:
This book is a wonderful take charge guide to helping give your home and lifestyle a wellness makeover. It is backed with scientific facts and truths that Leah wants us to all know and not be in the dark about. The information, practical tips, and strategies in this book help you make informed decisions about healthy things to bring into your home and the toxins to keep out. Leah's witty approach makes one feel you are having a conversation with a good friend. This down to earth book makes the daunting task of changing more bearable and less intimidating. All the information to having a green lifestyle is spelled out for you step-by-step. It even includes some great sounding recipes! Green Enough covers so much ground! Leah certainly did her research when she wrote this book.

Purchase Green Enough on Amazon for $15.63 for the hardcover.

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: We 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 may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

Some content from this post is reprinted from Green Enough by Leah Segedie. Copyright ©2018 by Leah Segedie. By permission of Rodale Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Available wherever books are sold.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Wordless Wednesday Zari Won a Gymnastics Medal!

Zari was awarded a gymnastics medal for reaching the top of the climbing rope.

Zirrly Super Beads Mega Pack Review

My family had the privilege of trying the Super Beads Mega Pack from Zirrly 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.

Zirrly is a manufacturer of fun and unique arts & crafts and hobby supplies. They sell kits, beads, wood projects, modeling clay and so much more. They sell to crafters all over the world and have all sorts of projects to satisfy your DIY craving. Their products are great for home, homeschool, party, and classroom.

Super Beads are the safer alternative to other fuse beads. You don't have to use a hot, dangerous iron or troublesome glue to get the beads to melt together. Instead use only a spritz of water to fuse them. After they have time to dry the designs are flexible, durable, and won't crack. If they come apart you can easily refuse them with a little water. The regular kits are great for ages 5 and up and the 3D kits are recommended for ages 10 and up. Younger kids might still need a little help from someone older. You can make so many neat designs on the boards. Super Beads are fun and creative. These water beads are also non-toxic.

The Super Beads Mega Pack is a wonderful starter set. It includes 4500+ beads. It also comes with everything you need to start making 4 patterns. Just use your imagination for other designs.

The Mega Pack Includes:
  • 4500+ Super Beads
  • 4 Assorted Design Templates (apple, cupcake, turtle, elephant)
  • 2 Spray Bottles
  • 4 Boards
  • 1 Design Tool
  • Instructions

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
My daughters who are 7 and 9 years old tried these out. Zari decided to make a cupcake and Teela made an apple. I loved how much more freedom Super Beads give my kids. They can do the whole project on their own and don't have to rely on me to finish it for them with glue or hot iron. I also don't have to lug the ironing board out of the closet, wait for the iron to get hot enough, and make sure I am using wax paper between the design and the iron so I won't get a sticky hot mess. I won't burn myself either! With Super Beads there is less worry and frustration.

Cupcake template and board with flaps and tabs that fit together.

I also noticed that these had a few different properties, besides using water, than other fuse beads. Once the water had been sprayed onto the beads they looked shiny and had a more glossy sheen to them. The bead designs are more flexible as well. Since they don't have to be ironed they don't get flattened or too misshapen because of the heat. They hold the bead's shape fairly well even when fused together.

Zari and Teela designing and spritzing with the Super Beads.

I loved how easy this was to do. The peg boards have tabs on the underside that the design template flaps can fit into so it doesn't move. Once you have your template in place it is color coded to show you where to place the different colored beads and you can clearly see the template design through the transparent peg board. You can also fit tabs together to make a larger board from all 4. The beads fit snug on the pegs so they don't move while making a design once they are placed. You spritz the entire surface of the design with water making sure you don't drown the beads. If you do put a bit too much water the beads could have a few plastic strands that you will need to shave off the finished design if you want. This was really no big deal for me. The completed designs take just 60 minutes to set up and dry. Once dry to the touch and not tacky feeling they can be simply lifted off the board with the design tool provided.

Apple and cupcake design.

My daughters had a lot of fun doing these designs. The Mega Pack is a great investment because of all it comes with and Super Beads are such a great craft. I recommend this pack to anyone who wants to try them or those that are sick of dealing with the other fuse bead brands.
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You can purchase Super Beads HERE. The Mega Pack is $18.98.

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for Zirrly Super Beads...
Super Beads {Zirrly Reviews}

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Home School in the Woods Á La Carte Literary Genres Lap Book Mini-Study Review

My family had the privilege of trying the Literary Genres Lap Book Mini-Study from among the Á La Carte products of 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.

The Á La Carte Projects are a new category of products that Home School in the Woods is now offering. These hands-on mini-studies include lap booking, creative writing, 3-dimensional art, games, timelines, etc. about different topics to just do on their own. Some Á La Carte Projects are a smaller, more focused pieces from the larger history studies and others are completely original projects that they have created. These you can purchase separately from the larger Home School in the Woods curriculum so you can add them individually to your own homeschool course of study. This menu is being added to regularly with brand new material.

The Literary Genres Lap Book Mini-Study is a completely separate and original short study that helps the student learn the categories of literature. This has a brief amount of text along with lap book projects. It comes in PDF format with an introduction and tips, description of what a genre is and the categories with suggested reading, vocabulary to know, additional activities to do, and the lapbook complete with supplies and instructions for how to put it all together. There are fun lift the flaps, pockets, a writing section, etc. This is recommended for grades 3rd-8th.

Projects Included Are:
  1. Genres Card Catalog
  2. Book Stack Vocabulary
  3. Steps to Story Building
  4. Library of Good Reads
  5. Reading Tablet

10 Literary Genres Covered:
  • Poetry
  • Biography
  • Autobiography
  • Fantasy
  • Fairy Tale
  • Tall Tale
  • Mystery
  • Science Fiction
  • Historical Fiction
  • Realistic Fiction

Teela constructing the lapbook.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:
Teela my 9 year old put this lapbook together with a little help from me. There was a lot of cutting things out, coloring, gluing, stapling, and taping. The instructions were fairly simple and straightforward. We didn't have any trouble finding where all the pieces went and how to construct it all. We liked the suggestion of placing pieces in a ziplock bag until you start building each section because otherwise pieces could get lost. There were quite a few of them and it was a good idea to keep them organized at the start even though you could reprint if you did loose any.

The completed Literary Genres Lap Book Mini-Study.

The projects are fun to put together. My kids had seen a card catalog in our library and knew how to use one even if they are kind of going the way of the dinosaur. This lapbook had a Genres Card Catalog. I thought that was neat way of showing the descriptions and recommended reading of each genre in a pocket that looked like a drawer to a card catalog. The Book Stack Vocabulary looked like a stack of books that had titles of categories on their spines and lift the flap to see the description of each underneath. The Steps to Story Building has the steps to organize your thoughts in order to write a good story in lift up flaps with the descriptions of each and a place to write under each. The Library of Good Reads has pockets that look like shelves that has small paper books with information you can write inside that can sit in them. The Reading Tablet is a frame that holds the paper to write a short story/book report with.

I think that Teela understands better what the different genres are of literature. We are happy we got the opportunity to do this lapbook together so that she could learn this. This will help her brainstorming, story building and writing, and knowing what genres each book she reads lands in. She loves to read and write stories so I was happy that she now has one more tool to add for this.

I recommend the Home School in the Woods Á La Carte Literary Genres Lap Book Mini-Study to all that homeschool or supplement learning. My daughter learned a lot from it. This is a great mini study and it is a fun lapbook to put together.

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You can purchase the Literary Genres Lap Book Mini-Study for $9.95.

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for Home School in the Woods Á La Carte Products...
À La Carte Projects - Individual projects designed to enhance your studies! {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Wordless Wednesday Jaedan's Wire Thestral Art

Jaedan made this Thestral (A bat-like winged horse creature from Harry Potter) out of wire for art.

Look carefully to see the dragon skull (carved into the wooden base) it is standing on.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

NatureGlo's eScience MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle Review

My family had the privilege of trying the MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle from NatureGlo's eScience 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.

NatureGlo's eScience is a neutral worldview (non-faith based viewpoint) math enrichment (MathArt) and science live and self-paced online courses and curriculum for home and school educators and students. It is founded and directed by Gloria Brooks; a nature lover, longtime RVer, and curriculum writer. She has been teaching since 1997 and holds a BA in k-12 education.

All NatureGlo's eScience online learning courses are live and then recorded for you to be able to view them when ever your schedule permits. Class content is available for up to a year after subscription enrollment. The live classes meet at a specific time and date and uses the Zoom Live classroom platform. Students can access the live classes by Zoom live links and can access these classes by computer, phone, or other mobile device. If you are doing the live classes it is recommended to have access to a microphone and web cam so communication can go both ways. All self-paced classes are pre-recorded and include Slideshows, study guides, lesson enhancing YouTube videos and web resources. The 1-3 week short courses are recommended for ages 8 and up and the 1-6 week courses are recommended for ages 10 and up. Content is appropriate for upper elementary, middle and high schoolers. Each course can be used with multiple students in the same household. These courses could be applied towards middle school and high school credits depending upon your state homeschool requirements. Each class has a study guide and sometimes quizzes (using Quizlet) you can base grades off of also and participation and completion of activities can be recorded by parents. Additionally, each 6-week course has a certificate of completion at the end.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:

We received the MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle to review. This is a set of four online 6-week courses bundled together. These courses specifically take mathematics to the next level by linking it with science, nature, art, history, culture, music, archeology, language arts/literature, etc. These cross-curricular connections are beneficial to learning and make the curriculum more well-rounded in a more hands-on unit study type fashion. This course helps students realize that math is so much more than just numbers on a page. It is intertwined with all that the world has to offer.

The MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle Includes Four 6-week Courses in:
  • Math Connections with the Real World (Live Classes January-February 2018 Tuesdays)
  • MathArt in Ancient Cultures (Live Classes January-February 2018 Wednesdays)
  • Mathematics in the Arts & Sciences (Live Classes March-April 2018 Tuesdays)
  • MathArt - Patterns in Nature (Live Classes March-April 2018 Wednesdays)

NatureGlo's eScience MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle

We were told to choose one of the courses in the MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle to focus on for this review. We chose the MathArt in Ancient Cultures. It is a 6-week class that focuses on learning about the incredible connections there are between mathematics, art, and architecture in ancient cultures.

When we logged in we had access to our classes under the "My Courses" tab in the member dashboard. Then we clicked on the MathArt in Ancient Cultures picture. This took us to the course.

On the main page it tells you how to access the course when it is live. We did not do this, we only did the course after it was recorded. This I felt made it easier for me and my family to work around our schedules and do it when we could instead of a set time and date. The main page has all the lessons in the course listed along the right side of the page and so we clicked those in sequential order. This gave us access to downloads, videos, slideshows, interactive pages, activities, projects, etc. and once the lessons were done we were able to check them off. Once marked done the check mark beside each turns green from gray, the lesson is crossed out with a line through it, and the words turn gray from red. If we had been to the lessons, but hadn't finished them the words turned yellow from red to indicate you had been there that day.

MathArt in Ancient Cultures 6-week Class Lessons:
  • Lesson #1 – Ancient Babylonians & the Plimpton 322
    • Main Lesson Slideshow and Study Guide Downloads
    • Main Lesson Videos with NatureGlo
    • DK Find Out! – Ancient Babylonian History Interactive
    • Ancient History Connection – Video (2:07): Ancient Babylonian tablet – world’s first trig table
    • Music Connection – Videos: Ancient Mesopotamia and Sumerian Music
    • Going Beyond – Additional Web Resources, Projects, Activities & Videos
  • Lesson #2 – Ancient Greek Math & the Platonic Solids
    • Pre-lesson Activity – History Connection – DK Find Out: Ancient Greece
    • Pre-lesson Interactive Activity – Polygons
    • Main Downloads & Lesson Videos with NatureGlo
    • Lesson Interactive Activity – Platonic Solids
    • History Connection Video (7:18) – Plato: Biography of a Great Thinker
    • MathArt Connection: Making the Platonic Solids & Others
    • Literature Connection: Plato’s Allegory of a Cave
  • Lesson #3 – Pythagoras & the Music of the Spheres
    • Pre-lesson Activity – History Connection – DK Find Out: Ancient Greece
    • Main Lesson Downloads & Videos with NatureGlo
    • Activity – Pythagorean Theorem Interactive
    • Video (5:45): Mini Biography: Pythagoras
    • Going Beyond – Web Resources, Projects & Videos
  • Lesson #4 – Ancient India’s MathArt: Rangoli, Mandalas & the Story of 1 – 9 & 0
    • Pre-lesson Activity – Ancient India & Arts & Crafts
    • Main Lesson Slideshow with Study Guide Downloads
    • Theater Connection – Ancient India Shadow Puppetry: The Gazelle
    • Art Connection – Video (4:48) How to Make Rangoli Using Kitchen Utensils
    • Literature Connection – Video (10:27) Ancient Indian Folk Tale: Presence of Mind
    • Going Beyond – Web Resources, Projects & Videos
  • Lesson #5 – Zellige Moroccan Tiles & Other Tessellations
    • Pre-lesson Activity – History of Moroccan Zellige
    • Main Lesson Downloads and Videos with NatureGlo
    • Math, History & Art Connections – Videos
    • Art Connection – eHow: How to Draw Islamic Art Video (2:31)
    • Literature Connection – The Lion, the Hedgehog and the Donkey (Moroccan Fable)
  • Lesson #6 – Maya MathArt
    • Pre-lesson Activity – The Maya Calendar
    • Main Lesson Downloads and Video with NatureGlo
    • Literature Connection – Gift to the Hummingbird
    • History Connection – Mayan Cities
    • Going Beyond – Web Resources, Projects & Videos
    • Art Connection – Video (3:59)
    • Student Certificate of Completion

We were learning about: Babylonians, Plimpton 322, Cuneiform script, Ancient Mesopotamia and Sumerian Music, Ancient Greece, Polygons, Plato, Platonic Solids, Pythagorean Theorem, Pythagoras, Ancient India, Indus Valley, Rangoli, Moroccan Zellige, Islamic Design, drawing Islamic Art, Mayan Calendar, Mayan Cities, etc. As you can see MathArt in Ancient Cultures covers a lot of ground and we could go into these even deeper with the extra resources they also add to the curriculum in the Going Beyond sections of the lessons. We loved the interactive websites, stories to read, educational videos, and hands-on art projects the course had to offer.

Lesson #2 - Interactive Activity - Polygons

My boys are ages 15 and 17. I had them do the study guides provided besides all the other stuff in the curriculum. This gave me good feedback on what information they were retaining. Some information like the Pythagorean Theorem and polygons we had already covered in previous math lessons, but it was good review for them. My girls who are 7 and 9 (almost 10) also sat in on most of the learning and did the fun art projects with us. All my kids are very hands-on so the projects like building Platonic Solids or creating a Rangoli are very satisfying. This offers them opportunities to do projects offline as well. I do wish though that a supply list for the art projects were provided ahead of time because I did not have colored sand or mirrored jewels for the Rangoli art.

Make Rangoli Design Video Stills

I did like that they gave us the option to watch the pre-recorded version or look at the slides ourselves and just read and discuss the information with each other. We liked doing the later because we found that the pre-recorded version didn't add anything more to the learning experience. I felt that the slides in the pre-recorded video lecture should have been expounded upon by the teacher and not just read word for word by the teacher or the student. We also were not able to watch these lectures live because of previous engagements and so we couldn't interact or ask questions to the presenter.

Most of the curriculum information had been curated from a number of different websites by Gloria Brooks and most, if not all, were outside sources not of her own creation. I noticed stuff from YouTube, DK Find Out!, Brainingcamp, blogs, and other websites. This is both a good and a bad thing in my opinion. On the one hand, the curriculum has been gathered from all over the web for you, the parent, to help teach the lessons so you don't have to take the time to gather all the information together yourself. On the other hand, even though I received the course for free to facilitate this review, I feel that the exorbitant price of this course for other homeschooling families really should reflect more on the content created by the presenter and/or curriculum writer and involve high quality content from them also...unfortunately, I am not seeing this.

This course, in my opinion, would be best used as a supplementary course. While this course did keep my younger kids engaged my older kids did not like the way it was presented to them. They said it was a little juvenile. I felt instead of 10-18 years of age these were more aimed for 8-13. I don't know that I would pay the steep cost to purchase this myself even though this is a 4 course bundle, you do get it for a whole year, and you can use it for the whole family. However; I will have to look at the rest of the content in more depth to really know what this whole bundle has to offer. I am excited to see the Math Connections with the Real World course next because there is stuff about Golden Ratio, Fibonacci, and the Egyptians!

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Purchase it HERE.

All FOUR classes - Single Payment of $597 $536.40, 10% off
All FOUR classes - 3 monthly Payments of $199.00

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for NatureGlo's eScience MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle...
MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle {NatureGlo's eScience Reviews}

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Friday, March 9, 2018

THE STAR is Coming to DVD & Blu-ray #TheStarMovie #FlyBy

For Promoting this movie I will be receiving either a THE STAR DVD or Soundtrack free. Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

THE STAR movie is coming to DVD, Blu-Ray, and Digital! Available on Digital February 6 and
On Blu-ray + DVD + Digital on February 20. This 86 minute animated movie gives an interesting perspective of the first Christmas from a lowly donkey. The voices of some of the characters are none other than: Steven Yeun, Gina Rodriquez, Zachary Levi, Keegan-Michael Key, Kelly Clarkson, Anthony Anderson, Aidy Bryant, Ving Rhames, Gabriel Iglesias, Patricia Heaton, Kristin Chenoweth, Christopher Plummer, Tracy Morgan, Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey. The Star: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack features Mariah Carey singing the theme song "The Star" and many other artists. The DVD or Blu-ray includes bonuses: Dance Along, “How-to” Crafts Video and Much More. The animation looks amazing and it looks like a lot of fun. I think everyone of all ages will like this PG film.

Here is a little about it...
"In Sony Pictures Animation's The Star, a small but brave donkey named Bo yearns for a life beyond his daily grind at the village mill. One day he finds the courage to break free, and finally goes on the adventure of his dreams. On his journey, he teams up with Ruth, a lovable sheep who has lost her flock and Dave, a dove with lofty aspirations. Along with three wisecracking camels and some eccentric stable animals, Bo and his new friends follow the Star and become unlikely heroes in the greatest story ever told - the first Christmas."

Here is the Trailer...

Check out some of the online interactive activities...

Get the DVD on Amazon for  $17.96, on Blu-ray for $19.96 or on Amazon digital for $14.99.

Buy it other places here:

DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: I was provided this promotion information to share with my readers. My thoughts are mine and my family's own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. For Promoting this I will be receiving either a DVD or Soundtrack free. Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Broth & Stock from the Nourished Kitchen: Wholesome Master Recipes for Bone, Vegetable, and Seafood Broths and Meals to Make with Them Cookbook Review

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

You may know Jennifer McGruther by her award-winning traditional foods website, Nourished Kitchen, and her first book The Nourished Kitchen. She is also a food educator that teaches workshops on traditional foods, fermentation, as well as food activism. Jennifer lives with her husband and son in Washington State. I personally have enjoyed reading her website and own her first cookbook which I use quite often for her farm-to-table recipes that are sustainable, traditionally prepared, unprocessed, unrefined whole foods.

In her second cookbook she focuses on one area, making and using broth and stock, that is briefly touched on in her first cookbook. In Broth & Stock from the Nourished Kitchen: Wholesome Master Recipes for Bone, Vegetable, and Seafood Broths and Meals to Make with Them she delves deeper into the foodie trend that is making a comeback in popularity with households who want to get back to their roots with their cooking.

Broth & Stock is well laid out and easy to navigate. It starts out with an introduction that introduces the history of broth and stock and why you would want to make it at home. The book is then divided into 6 chapters: The Broth Maker's Kitchen, Master Broths and Stocks, Poultry, Meat, Fish, and Vegetables. The first chapter is an in depth look at what broth, stock and bone broth is; choosing bones to use in bone broth, using wine or vinegar, which vegetables to pick for the broth or stock, herbs & spices, equipment needed, and how to store it. Chapter 2 has many master recipes for use as bases in other recipes. Chapters 2-6 each start out with a brief introduction on the chapter then they have the recipes. Each recipe has the name of the recipe at the top and servings under that,  ingredients along the left side, a gorgeous full-color photo of the completed dish, a paragraph about the dish, and instructions on how to make it. She also include tips and tricks throughout the cookbook as well. Then at the end of the cookbook you have Where to Shop, Bibliography, Measurement Conversion Charts, Gratitude, and an Index.

For myself, who has only made a few broths or stocks in her lifetime, I treasure the contents of this cookbook. This will help me, in my opinion, make better homemade meals in my kitchen. With this cookbook I can make all sorts of soup bases and not only that, I have delicious sounding recipes right at my fingertips to use them in. Also I love that she includes recipes from different countries. These will help me grow my repertoire of meals and give them a good boost. I always love to try exotic things. My favorite sounding dishes from this cookbook are: Thai-Style Chicken Soup with Lemongrass and Coconut Milk (tom kha gai) and Springtime Risotto with Asparagus, Green Garlic, and Chive Blossoms.

I highly recommend Broth & Stock by Jennifer McGruther. Whether you are new to making broths and stocks or a natural, I feel that you will enjoy this cookbook like I have. It is sure to become a family favorite.


DISCLOSURE/DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Blogging For Books for sending me this book 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.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

CursiveLogic Quick-Start Pack and The Art of Cursive Review

My family had the privilege of trying the CursiveLogic Quick-Start Pack and The Art of Cursive from CursiveLogic 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.

Why use CursiveLogic? CursiveLogic varies from other handwriting and cursive teaching methods by emphasizing the structure of the cursive alphabet instead of rote memorization (repetition). Cursive letters are grouped by shape and written as a connected string, not individually. There are 4 types of these letter strings each with a differing shape group and color. This reinforces proper formation and makes sure students connect the letters correctly from the very beginning of the lessons. Since CursiveLogic uses the connected string of letters method, kids learn how to make real cursive words within the first week of lessons.

Additionally, CursiveLogic uses visual, auditory, verbal, and kinesthetic elements in teaching cursive letters. With color themes, mnemonic devices, verbal cues, and finger tracing it is truly a multi-sensory approach. The 5 steps of  the CursiveLogic method are: color, movement, catch phrases, logic, and real words. This approach helps students understand how to form the cursive letters better.

CursiveLogic Quick-Start Pack is a webinar and workbook combo. The webinar is a 48 minute online seminar presented by Linda Shrewsbury. You get 6 months access to this when you subscribe. This helps the parent with teaching the CursiveLogic cursive curriculum. There are tips, tricks, and step-by-step instructions on how to use the program in this webinar. The newly redesigned consumable workbook is an introduction to the CursiveLogic method and teaches the student cursive using this, from the ground up. It has a total of 112 pages plus three dry erase pages. It is spiral bound at the top so the pages flip easily for both left and right handed students. The spiral coil will also never get in the way of wrists while writing. When using this workbook you first use the pages in numerical order that have the navy blue corners (pages 1-56), then you flip the whole book over and use the pages with the mauve corners (57-112) all the way to the end.

The Art of Cursive is an adult coloring book that targets the adult learner or one who has completed the CursiveLogic workbook. This workbook/coloring book doesn't go through as much detail in the teaching of the CursiveLogic method. It only has 4 short lessons in the front of the book and then 27 decorative images to color that have similar shapes as the lessons. Marker or fountain pens won't bleed through the thick pages either. This is a great book for use after completing the CursiveLogic workbook.

How We Used This and Our Thoughts:

I believe that cursive is important for children to learn. It is sad that many public schools do not teach cursive anymore because Common Core State Standards do not think it vital to learn. They instead believe that cursive is antiquated and in our advancing computer-centric age typing is more important to learn. I am glad that with homeschooling we get to pick and choose what we want to teach our kids. If homeschooling wasn't done in my home I would still teach cursive myself to my children because the public schools probably wouldn't.

Researchers have found that writing and taking notes by hand benefits the brain and helps you understand, retain, remember, and recall those things better. Handwriting also creates better language and critical thinking skills. The benefits increase with cursive writing.

Cursive script handwriting is essential because...
  • cursive activates and stimulates both hemispheres of the brain and encourages them to work together...thus increasing comprehension and participation (printing doesn't do this).
  • it brings out the creative side and lets the student express their individuality.
  • once your child learns to write in cursive they will be able to read cursive writing easier too.
  • it makes you think more about your writing making it more legible, neat, and better composed.
  • it helps your child have confidence and pride in their penmanship because they will write more legibly.
  • it is fancier looking and more graceful looking.
  • academics seem to improve when cursive is taught.
  • with it you can sign your name.

I found the CursiveLogic webinar very informative and it helped me, as a parent, learn the process of the curriculum so that I could teach my daughter Teela who is 9 this method of cursive. The workbook is very well laid out and written. After I watched the webinar it was easy to teach Teela and she understood this method after only a few pages into the book.

Orange Oval shape and letter string.

For the first string of letters it has 6 letters that share the same color and shape. The shape is called "Orange Oval". The student practices the shape saying aloud, "over, back-trace" while tracing it with the finger first and then a pencil, and finally writing it. Then the letter string is introduced: a, c, d, g, q, o. The student practices the letter string with this oval shape saying aloud, "over, back-trace, [letter name]...dip" while tracing it with the finger first and then a pencil, and finally writing it. Each time the lessons build upon themselves adding another letter string and a fun shape, color, and chant to go with them. I liked the catch phrases and finger tracing because this added a bit more to the memory aids. My daughter thought the whole process was fun. It was very rewarding to see that she liked this method of learning cursive.

Teela Practicing the Oval Orange shape and letter string.

Here is Teela's before and after sample.

The Art of Cursive book I am going to save for Teela when she has completed the CursiveLogic workbook. I however had her complete a coloring page out of the book just to show you what they can look like colored. This is a great adult coloring book for those that have worked through the method and understand it thoroughly. I love the coloring pages and the way they use the letter strings, and shapes in the artwork to color. This is such a cool way to practice these and relax while coloring too. I also love that it includes quotes from famous people as well.

The Art of Cursive adult coloring page.

I recommend the CursiveLogic Quick-Start Pack and The Art of Cursive to all parents, teachers, homeschoolers, parents/teachers with special needs students, and occupational therapists that would like their children/students to learn cursive.

Follow Them on Social Media:

Using the code CREW2018, my readers can save 20% on the Quick-Start Pack, which is the webinar + workbook combo. The code will be active through the end of March.

Read other homeschool curriculum reviews for CursiveLogic Quick-Start Pack and The Art of Cursive...
The Art of Cursive & Quick Start Cursive {Cursive Logic Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Wordless Wednesday Twisted Carrots

Zari found this fun twisted carrot from the large bag of juicing carrots we get for our horses to eat.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Higher Vision For Your Kingdom Album Review and Giveaway

I received this CD and Digital Download of For Your Kingdom Album free to facilitate this review. Affiliate links may be in this posting. Thanks for supporting my blog.

Higher Vision Church is a large church with nearly 3,000 followers. It is located just outside of Los Angeles and has a congregation that is quite diverse. This sets the stage for their newest live album, For Your Kingdom. This album has something for almost everyone and speaks to both those that have found Christ and those that have not yet.

Watch the “For Your Kingdom (Live)” music video:

Track Listing:
  1. [ c o n t i n u u m ]
  2. Higher
  3. Freedom of Your Love
  4. Worthy is the Lamb
  5. Trust in You
  6. He is Here
  7. We Cry Holy
  8. Set Our Hearts
  9. For Your Kingdom
  10. Hands Held High
  11. Hallelujah
  12. Near to the Broken
  13. Broken the Chains 

Higher Vision Musicians

What I Thought:
I love music that lifts me up in Christ. Higher Vision's For Your Kingdom album is a compilation of 13 songs that send praise to the Lord. This whole album is full of wonderful worship music that is perfect to sing along to. If I close my eyes I feel like I am in the congregation. I especially love the songs Trust in You and We Cry Holy! I would highly recommend this album.

Pre-Order MP3 Album on Amazon.

For Your Kingdom Pre-Order Link:  (2 songs are available for immediate download)

Prize: Higher Vision For Your Kingdom CD
Host: Higher Vision Church and Worship and FrontGate Media.
Who Can Enter: Open to US Residents 18 years or older.
Selection Process: 5 winners will be selected on 3/25/2018 and notified by email.
Where to Enter: Go to this link and fill out the form to enter.

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.