Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women (review)

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If you have a teenage daughter, this review of Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women by Zondervan is for you! This beautiful hardcover devotional book is as powerful on the inside as it is beautiful on the outside and I am excited to share this resource with you.

When I started reviewing this book, I was looking at it from the perspective of the mother of a ten year old daughter. As I read the devotional I came to two conclusions. My first conclusion was that this was a well done devotional that would be great for a mother and teenage daughter to work through together. The second, was that my daughter was not quite ready for some of the content and so I am putting it up for a year or two before we work through it together.

The devotional is laid out with 365 devotions to take you through the entire year.  Each day consists of a small scripture verse, a devotional thought, and a bit of journaling space at the bottom of the page for your notes and thoughts.  While I wish that the scripture verses had been longer to give more context, that is easily remedied by reading the scripture in your Bible.

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One thing I really like is that many of the devotions go in a series by following through an entire story of scripture. For example, one series is from day 213 to day 227. On those days the reading is in 1 Samuel chapter 25 focusing on Abigail who was Nabal’s wife. I love how it focused on various women in the Bible to help a teenage girl see how God used women and continues to use women to do amazing things for the kingdom of God. I think it handled subject of women in ministry well by explaining that each person can use their gifts even if not behind a pulpit.

You may be wondering why if I enjoyed it so much I put it aside for another year or two before going through it with my daughter. I should mention that my daughter is still a bit younger than the recommended age but I was hoping she was ready. However, since it does address the topic of sex and adultery in several of the devotions I did not feel my daughter was ready for this book yet.  The topics were handled well and appropriately but I would not recommend them for a girl who did not yet know about sex unless you were going to read it with them and were ready to have that conversation and offer explanations.

Overall, I do recommend Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women for teenage girls. It is simple enough for them to do on their own but I think it would be a great mother-daughter devotional time. You can sit down for a few minutes each day with a warm drink and read through it together; drawing closer to each other as you draw near to God. I encourage you to check out the other Review Crew reviews below to see how they used the devotional and what those with older girls felt about the devotional.

Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women {Zondervan Review}Crew Disclaimer

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When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

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This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

 

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My Review Year in Review

I was filling out a survey a couple of weeks ago and it asked how many products I had reviewed for the Schoolhouse Review Crew in 2018. I was shocked when I counted up and realized I had reviewed over different 50 products. Some of those I loved and we are still using. Others were not a great fit for our family but I am thankful that I had the opportunity to share each of them with you, my readers.

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

When I thought back on the products that I loved the most I truly had a hard time deciding. There were so many great products to chose from. The books from Great Waters Press were certainly in my top ten for ones that were helpful to me as a mom. We all had lots of fun with the history activities from Homeschool in the Woods. Audio dramas and books are a source of both education and fun for our family so both Heirloom Audio and the Brinkman Adventures gave us hours of family entertainment.

When it comes to full curriculum that we found to be most beneficial I can say that Apologia was a big hit. We love how thorough and in-depth the science is while still being engaging and having lots of hands on opportunities.

I thought it would be interesting to ask my children which of the review products   that they liked best.  When pressed to choose one my oldest son, age 12, said that his favorite was Kids E-mail but he also really enjoyed Forensic Faith, Brinkman Adventures, Guitar 360, and Heirloom Audio.

My daughter chose Princess Cut as her very favorite review product. We watched it once as a family but she has watched it several times since then.  Kids E-mail came in a close second for her as she enjoys using her e-mail to keep in contact with a variety of friends and family members. She also enjoyed learning to write in cursive using Cursive Logic. Like my son she enjoyed Forensic Faith and Brinkman Adventures. If I let her I think she might give us a list that included much of what we reviewed, but I told her she was supposed to be choosing her favorites.

My four year old was not involved in as many reviews as a preschooler but we did review several products that were appropriate for him. He decided that he most enjoyed Zirrly beads. He also loved and still asks to use Planet 316 Story Bible App and Starfall.com. We liked Pencil Grip markers so much that I have ordered him the paint sticks for Christmas (but shhh don’t’ spoil the surprise and tell him).

I’ve listed our very favorite choices here but feel like I’ve left many really great programs out because we were blessed to try so many great products this year. You can check out all of my reviews and see what products your family might enjoy. The Review Crew also has a great post coming soon to share the products that we voted as our favorites in various categories. I’d love for you to tell me in the comments which program you would like to try or share a program you think we should review.  I have one more review coming next week and then I will be taking a break for about a month before we get started with a new list in 2019!

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

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This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

FINAL WEEK for the Schoolhouse Teachers sale!

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YWAM has a special 50% off collection on some really great biographies now through December 15th!

Amazon has some great Cyber Monday Week all week long! Including some great deals on Kindles.

Amazon Prime 30 day FREE trial. If you do not yet have Amazon Prime this is a great time to try it for free for 30 days! Get your Christmas shopping done with free shipping, enjoy Christmas music and more.

Guitar 360 Method (Review) and DISCOUNT CODE!

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Over the past month or so my twelve year old has been learning to play the guitar using the online Semester 1 Bundle from  Guitar 360 Method.  When my son was about four he wanted to learn to play the guitar and our wonderfully talented youth and music minister agreed to teach him. He enjoyed the lessons but refused to practice and so I discontinued them and the guitar has sat mostly unused ever since. My son had recently began mentioning lessons again but I was hesitant to commit to taking him to more lessons given our busy schedules and his lack of follow we saw last time. I felt like the scheduling concerns were addressed by using this online program because we could work the lessons into our busy and changing lives as needed.

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

Guitar 360 Method

Music lessons are one of those subjects that I chose not to require in our home school. I know that different families have different areas of focus and for us music lessons are not a priority. We do incorporate music appreciation, hymn study, and this year a fun genre study into our everyday curriculum. Since we do not require lessons, but my son had been talking about wanting to try guitar again, I let him decide if this review was something that interested him. He was so excited to try it and I’m glad that I gave him the opportunity!

While this was not his first time in classes, it had been seven years since he took them so we started him in the Absolute Beginner Course. He worked through that at his own pace.  He enjoyed it and found that he learned new skills and brushed up on some other skills. At first we had a bit of problem with the videos not wanting to stream correctly (the sound would play but the video would freeze).  We determined that the problem was that we were using an older computer and the videos were playing at a very high resolution. I’m glad we were able to easily solve that small problem by wsing a newer computer or adjusting the resolution fixed this issue and allowed for a much smoother practice session.

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The first day that he had access to the lessons he worked through multiple lessons in the beginner course because he was so excited. Throughout the rest of the review period he practiced four or five days a week, which considering our busy schedules during this time was an excellent accomplishment. He really enjoyed the chance to practice and learn each day. He worked through all of the beginner course and began the Semester 1 course. During that time he learned basic chords, strumming patterns, and even his first song.

Each video ranged from about three to ten minutes in length making them very easy to fit into our days. However, I recommend making sure that your student also builds in some addition time to practice those skills in order to see the most progress. This program is not a subscription that you lose at the end of the thirteen week program so there is no pressure to rush through and finish ‘on-time’.

Some of the lessons he picked up on quickly the first time through and he could keep moving forward. There were a few things that he needed to go back and work on but that was very easy with this program. He could simply watch that video lesson again and even pause and practice some more before continuing. However, I think that I let him work through those lessons a little too fast in the beginning with not enough practice and he struggled to put it all together. Learning an instrument is not like binge watching your favorite streaming program, you have to develop the muscle memory. Once I made him go back and master each lesson before moving on he showed a good deal of progress.

Each week of the course includes a  goal for the week and then various teaching and practicing videos. The teaching videos show a new skill or concept that they learn along with and then the practice videos are several minutes of work on the skills that have been covered.  The course is a good mix of music practice and music theory. This helps with the goal of giving the musician freedom and confidence in playing and not just memorizing songs.

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We still have a long way to go to be finished with this course, which is a 13 week course not counting the Guitar Course for Beginners portion. However, at the end of the course my son should be able to play a variety of songs and chords and have the skills and confidence he needs to play well with a band or independently. He will understand the music theory enough to allow him to be flexible and adapt his skills to the situation and not just memorize chords. The instructor says that with mastery of the course a player would be well equipped to be a valuable player in a worship band or other similar setting. My son would really love to play well enough to be able to help out with our band at church.

I was not sure that our family had the time or resources to give to music lessons during this time in our lives, but this program proved me wrong. The flexibility of the online prerecorded format and the short easy to follow lessons allowed my son to fit his lessons in around our other obligations. The program was fun, easy to follow, and allowed him to move at his own pace. This has been a very positive experience for us and we are excited to see how well he is playing when he finished the Semester 1 Bundle. If you have a son/daughter who wants to learn the guitar, or even if you as an adult want to learn I highly recommend this program. I would recommend it for ages 10 and above. Check out all of the other Crew Reviews below to see how people used it in a variety of situations with a variety of ages. I can also offer you a 20% discount on this course using the code HOMESCHOOL20. The course was already significantly less expensive than paying for most private instructors and the 20% discount makes it an even more amazing value. This would be a great addition to your curriculum or a gift for that music lover in your life.

Guitar Lessons with Krisz Simonfalvi {Guitar 360 Method Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

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When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

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This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Kidzaw.com Master Kitz: The Starry Night (Review)

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*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

I am the first to admit that art was never my gifting. I enjoy looking at art and doing crafts but I was never what you would call an artist. This can sometimes make teaching art to my children difficult, so I am always on the lookout for programs that will help my children with art and not require me to have a strong background in art.  I was excited to have the chance to review Master Kitz The Starry Night by Kidzaw.com with my two older children.

When we first received the kit I was very concerned that I had ‘bitten off more than I could chew’. I looked at the picture that was expected at the end and thought that this project was going to take hours and probably more help and support than I was prepared to give them. I could not have been more mistaken. The project was surprisingly easy and took us less than an hour from start to finish. While I supervised and helped get things set up they were able to complete the project very independently.

Once I had the kit opened and was getting everything set up the first thing that stood out to me were the instructions. There were easy to understand and included step by step pictures that made them very easy to follow. The only difficulty we noticed was that we while there are enough materials for two projects it was a little difficult to do both at the same time because of sharing the reusable products. We were able to make it work by having my daughter wait and get several steps behind my son. Otherwise, it was a very smooth process.

Aside from something to put under the painting to keep the table clean and a little tape to keep the art from sliding, everything was included in the kit. This makes a busy mama very happy. If I have to gather too many supplies, the project tends to get put off and sometimes not done at all. Having everything in the kit meant that with-in just a few minutes of opening the kit we were able to get started on the project.

The children were able to use the instructions and templates to create a very cool piece of art that strongly resembles the original painting by Vincent van Gogh.  I do think it is important to note that it uses templates and textured rollers and that you do not need to have a lot of natural artistic inclination to make this a successful project. This is not a step by step tutorial on how to paint this project free hand but a carefully designed kit that allows them to use the templates to recreate a master piece.

Also included in the kit was information on the life and works of Vincent van Gogh to facilitate a study of the artist in addition to the art project.  We chose to complete the art project first and then use the information to facilitate a dinner time conversation about van Gogh which led to a bit more internet research as the children asked questions about his life. I felt like this was a very fun way to add a bit of art and artist study to our home school.

If you are looking to add a bit of art or artist study to your curriculum and want something that will be easy to implement, fun, and education this may be a great product for you. In addition to this kit they offer several other kits featuring other artists. Check out Master Kitz The Starry Night and their other great kits.

Master Kitz The Starry Night {Kidzaw.com Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

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This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

 

Balancing Diapers and Deadlines (Review)

Balancing Diapers and Deadlines

Some days my life feels like a whirlwind of diapers and deadlines: from my wonderful eight month old baby to a four year old preschooler who is so very sweet and super inquisitive, a ten and twelve year old to homeschool, hurricane relief volunteer work, and this blog which I love but that takes up many hours each week. When I was offered the chance to review the Balancing Diapers and Deadlines course I debated on whether or not I even had time to do the course, but I knew the content sounded like it would be very beneficial in this current life stage.

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The course was created by Lisa Tanner Writing and is done in a self- paced online format. The course consists of six regular units, plus an introduction and conclusion.  Each unit has four to eight lessons, each set up as a post that you read followed by an action step. Some of the action steps can be done immediately and some require a bit more time. One of the action steps included e-mailing the author to check in with your progress. She was very helpful and responsive to my e-mail when I completed that step.

As I mentioned before, I was very concerned about time when I started this course. I was hoping the material would help me save or better use some of my time, but I also was not sure when I was going to even find the time to complete the course. Thankfully, the course was set up in small easy to complete steps that made it simple to fit around other obligations. Reading the lessons generally took less than ten minutes of my time. The action steps varied between just a few minutes and projects that took longer and needed to be completed over several days. The self-paced feature of this program was a huge plus because when I reached lessons that were not areas that I struggled with or maybe did not apply to me I could skip over them or move quickly through them. When I reached areas that I need to focus on, I could take my time and complete the action step before moving on to the next lesson.

She covered a variety of topics that would help you use your time more productively without shortchanging your children. This included meal planning, sleep, using small chunks of time, chores, productivity boosters, and including your family in your business. While a few of her ideas were more specifically related to writing or blogging from home, most of the course would be beneficial for any work at home job. She titled the course Balancing Diapers and Deadlines but she included tips for all ages of children and even some specific ideas for children with special needs.

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I think my favorite section was the last unit when she shares ideas on boosting productivity. The lessons on using ‘think time’ and ‘making spare minutes count’ were really beneficial to me. I’m still working on implementing some of those ideas but I can see how they will help me be more efficient and cut down on wasted time. She had some great downloads in this section as well as a couple of the other sections that you can use to help you as your work through the course and moving forward. In addition to the course and downloads, she often linked to other blog posts and resources that could help you with each step.

While there were some units, like meal planning, that I did not need because I was already doing those things there were others that were very beneficial. If you feel like you need to do better about maximizing time and balancing the diapers and deadlines, I recommend checking out this course. Investing a few hours into this course may save you many more hours down the road. To see what my other Review Crew members thought about the course check out the link below.

 

Balancing Diapers and Deadlines {Lisa Tanner Writing Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

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When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

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This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

St. Bartholomew’s Eve: Heirloom Audio (Review)


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Ready to listen and ride!

Last week we had a two and a half hour ride each way to a competition that only lasted about an hour including the awards ceremony. That is a lot of riding with children, but Heirloom Audio came to the rescue with this newest review product! St. Bartholomew’s Eve is not the first G A Henty story that we have listened to from Heirloom Audio and hopefully it won’t be the last. It kept the children quiet and content during a large portion of our ride because they didn’t want to miss any of the story.

In addition to doing a great job keeping things peaceful on a long ride, I was able to cross history off of our to-do list for the day as these stories include a great deal of important historical information. St. Bartholomew’s Eve tells the story of the French Huguenots as they fought for the right to worship as they saw fit. The main story begins with young Phillip going to France to aid his mother’s family in the fight against the king and the Catholic Church for the right to worship as they pleased(in this case practice Protestantism).  We follow him through training and battles until what is now known commonly as St. Bartholomew’s Massacre.

When asked I often said that I was a fan of the works of GA Henty, but after a couple people mentioned that they could sometimes be a bit dense to read I realized that I might should clarify my opinion. All of the GA Henty that I know comes from the audio adaptations produced by Heirloom Audio. These are not mere audio books where a narrator reads the story aloud (though our family loves audio books), these are wonderful audio dramas with talented voice actors playing each role and sound effects that bring you into the story. The clanging of swords and stamping of hooves make you feel like the battles are going on all around you and not hundreds of years ago.

In addition to the history lesson, this production develops the deeper theme of understanding that many people have fought and even died for the right to worship in a way that each individual feels is best. The production begins with two boys being caught skipping church services. Instead of just chastising them the gentleman tells them the story of Phillip and the Huguenots and how they fought for the right to worship. While the Huguenots were certainly not the only people to fight and die for their right to worship, it is a great example of the sacrifices that have been made through the years. I felt like this was a great way to reinforce with my children the importance of appreciating our right to worship and protecting our right to worship.

Our family wholeheartedly recommends Heirloom Audio. We believe that these stories are not only fun but educational. They teach history in an easy and engaging manner while also teaching larger life lessons. I will caution that if you have younger children that are sensitive the battle scenes and persecution may be a bit much. I believe they are handled tastefully and appropriately but they are difficult facts for young children to process so use your judgement on when your child is ready for the stories. While my four year old has enjoyed many of these productions I think this one would have been too intense for him.  I encourage you to check out my review of Wulf the Saxon which is another one of Heirloom Audio‘s productions as well as clicking below to read what some of the other Review Crew members thought about this audio drama.

St. Bartholomew's Eve {Heirloom Audio Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

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When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

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This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

CashCrunch Careers (review)

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While I sometimes look at my twelve year old and see just a little boy, I know that time is moving fast and the years until he is out on his own will fly by. We don’t pressure him to make any decisions about his future career at this point but it is something we have discussed with him. There are so many options for both careers and educational opportunities and we want him to take the time to know and understand what his options are and then seek the Lord’s will for his life. When we were given the opportunity to review  CashCrunch Careers by CashCrunch Games I asked my son if it was something he was interested in and he requested to give it a try.

CashCrunch Careers creates a career report for you based on your answers to the assessment. The assessment is a series of questions in which you choose which word best describes you between the two options you are given. If the person taking the test is not sure about the meaning of the word you can hover over the word with your mouse and get an explanation. This was a feature that my son used several times to help him in choosing the best answer.

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Once you have completed the survey the program creates a career report that helps analyze which careers might be a good fit. This report includes motivators and de-motivators, career attributes, and career match.

The career information is where I think this program becomes most beneficial. Honestly, I felt like the test picked up some great insight into my son’s personality but it also does not take into account skills and interests. However, the career information and data base was full of some really great information and the career options that it listed were not bad choices for my son. He had never really thought about a career as a manager but most of his options were some type of managerial role. Once he read the report he felt like some of those roles might be of interest to him. A few days after he had taken the test and looked over the report an older gentleman who was on a volunteer work crew at our church took my son aside to tell him how hard he was working and that he had done a great job that day. In the conversation he told him that if had not yet chosen a career he should really look into a management position because he thought he would do well.

 

Cash Crunch Careers 

We enjoyed looking at the various careers and the being able to find colleges that matched those careers as well as projected information about the future of those careers. I think that as my son gets older this will be a great data base of information that he can use as he explores various career paths. There were also some videos about the careers but they were older videos that would be more useful if they were updated based on today’s technology.

Overall, while this program did not provide the in depth career assessment that I was hoping for (taking into account talents and interests and not just personality traits), I do think that it provided us with valuable information. I believe that we will continue to use the career data base as we move forward and my son gets more serious about deciding on an educational and vocational path.  I encourage you to check out CashCrunch Careers over at the CashCrunch Games and while you are there check out their other educational games that help teach economics.  Also, check our the other Review Crew reviews to see how the program worked with a variety of different ages and personalities.

CashCrunch Careers {CashCrunch Games Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

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This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Forensic Faith For Kids ( Review)

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*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

Forensic Faith for Kids by David C Cook was a fun review! We read a chapter in the book each morning during our morning time and most nights we would watch the videos on the Case Makers Academy website that go along with each chapter.

We really enjoyed this book. It had parts that were really fun and lighthearted but yet really taught valuable lessons. In the words of my twelve year old son, “I like how they include the Bible verses but it doesn’t sound like they are preaching.”  The book taught some really important lessons about the Bible and faith but in an engaging format. The book was written from a second person point of view. This really resonated with my daughter who said, ” I like how it feels like you are there solving the cases.”

The main characters of the book are a group of friends in a Junior Detective Academy learning about investigations. As part of their program they were working on two cases. One involved a ‘found’ puppy and the other was the evidence for Christianity and who Jesus claimed to be. This is the third book in this series (though the first one I have had the opportunity to read). The students had a friend who was questioning whether or not Jesus even claimed to be the Son of God. The detective helped them understand how they could research and investigate to help him answer that question.

Forensic

On the sidelines of the pages were some additional components that added a lot of value to our experience in reading this book. There were ‘Dig Deep’ features which reminded you about activities and features on the website that related to the lessons learned in that chapter. There were ‘CSI Assignments’ where you went to the Bible and read a verse/s and then filled in the blanks and answered a discussion question. This was great for bringing out scriptural lessons in real life applications.

There were also ‘Detective Definitions’ where they explained some of the more technical terms used by the police detectives. For example, the words forensic and evidence. Finally, sprinkled throughout the book were sections titled, A Tool For Your Detective Bag. Those sections focused on lessons the reader could learn from the case such as “Accept Your Duty, Take Your Place, and Know and Help Your Listeners.”

The Case Makers Academy  had short five to ten minute videos that discussed each chapter. In addition there were worksheets that could be printed and completed. These included crossword puzzles, drawing worksheets, a detective notebook and even a leaders guide. The leaders guide gave great question to ask about the chapter, a summary, and connected to the adult books that correlate to the series. While I used this just with two of my own children (three if you count the four year old listening to find out more about the missing dog), it would also be a great study for a youth group or middle school small group. I intend to show the book to our youth minister at church as a possible tool for working with the youth group.

Don’t forget to check out all of the other Review Crew reviews below and then purchase your own copy of Forensic Faith for Kids! be sure to tell us in the comments how you think you could use this in your home school, family, or youth group.

 

Forensic Faith for Kids {David C Cook  and  Case Makers Academy Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

 

I Know It: An Online Math Practice Site Review

I Know It Interactive Math Lessons K - 5 grade

Math is a skill that sometimes takes some extra practice and I Know It is an online subscription program that offers that extra practice. This review was different than some other math programs we have tried because rather than being a math program that teaches new concepts, this program reviews the concepts they are learning in other programs. The program includes levels Kindergarten through 5th grade.

I used I Know It with both my 10 and 12 year olds and they both seemed to enjoy the program overall. The program is set up where I could assign them a particular lesson to review (converting fractions to decimals for example) or I could let them choose from with-in the grade level that they were assigned. We did a mixture of both so that I could have them review concepts that they needed review and let them just play around with it a little bit. My twelve year old is beginning seventh grade but used the program to review a couple of concepts that he had forgotten to help him with his current lessons.

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Each grade level was divided into sections like basic algebra, geometry, and place value. Then there were specific lessons under those sections. For example, place value to the millions, and comparing decimals to thousandths were two of the lessons in the 5th grade place value set.  Most of the lessons had about 15 questions which was enough to get some practice but did not feel like it drug on and became busy work. The lessons varied between fill int he blank and multiple choice answers. There were also timed sections for math fact drills.

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When a child was completing a lesson if they were having difficulties with a problem they could click on the ‘hint’ button to get assistance with that problem.  That would pop up a dialogue box that would give them some assistance in answering the question. There were only a certain number of questions that you could get help with for a particular lesson.

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My son thought that the responses that were given to correct answers were really funny and it helped him engage with the program.Each time he answered correctly it gave him a fun comment. Two of his favorites were “You’re the bees knees” and “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner”. It is such a small thing but it seemed to motivate him to go ahead and do his best answering questions.

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As a busy parent I really appreciated the score reports that let me very easily see how they were doing and even see which problems they had missed so that I could better help them with any areas in which they had not scored well.  This program is not designed to be a complete curriculum but is a great supplement to other math programs. It is a fun and simple way for children to review the math concepts that they have learned or get extra practice on concepts that they are struggling with.

If you are looking for a fun math supplement I encourage you to check out I Know It. They even offer a 60 Day Free Trial for you to try the program and see if it is a good fit for your family. Make sure to click below to see all of the other Review Crew reviews.

Interactive Math Lessons K - 5 grade {I Know It Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Ireland By The Way (Review)

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Is it a book? Is it a unit study? Is it a Bible lesson? Is it a geography course? Is it a fun family activity? I found that Ireland By the Way from the By the Way Book Series was all of this and more! This is the first time I had read any books from By the Way and I was really impressed.  It felt like so much more than a story book but yet it was still a fun read aloud for the whole family.

We started reading this book under very normal circumstances as a family read aloud and we were really enjoying it. When we were about half way through the book a major hurricane hit our town and caused a lot of stress and power outages for multiple days. We would sit in our living room at night and read pages from this book by lantern light. The children loved hearing it and it was a welcome break from the stresses that were going on around us.

While I sometimes find things that try to include too many subjects become confusing  or seem disjointed, in this book the author did a wonderful job of including them in a very natural flow that did not make us feel like she was jumping around from topic to topic. We used this book as a family read aloud and discussion starter. However, it could honestly easily be turned into a unit study because it includes so many different topics woven into the story but maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.

I should first tell you that this is the story of two children and their mother on a trip to Ireland to meet extended family members and see all the sites of that beautiful country.  We journey with them from Wicklow Mountains (and the wonderful wildlife) to a 5th Century Lighthouse and then on to a castle. They continued their tour through Ireland visiting other castles, cottages, cliffs, and even doing one our families hobbies, geocaching. My twelve year old son even said, “she wrote it so that I felt like I was traveling with them and with the pictures I felt like I could really see the places.”

 

Along the way we learned about a variety of subjects. At the lighthouse we learned not only about the lighthouse but about the whales and dolphins that live in the waters there. Then at the cliffs we learned about the birds and other animals that are common in that area. In another place we learned more about the history of the Titanic and even legends of fairies and leprechauns. Intertwined into the story were many Biblical lessons such as the power of the tongue when they saw the Blarney Stone to the wonder of God’s creation as they visited the Cliffs of Moher. As we went through the book there were many great discussion topics. We enjoyed a good conversation about how we can use our tongue for good and needing to be careful not to use it to cause harm.

There were fun facts about the animals, rivers, and other places they were visiting in sidebars along the various pages. These easily could have been used to expand the learning and be the jumping off point for a larger lesson. For example, when we learned about Puffins the children thought they were very interesting and so we may go back and study them further. They also enjoyed learning that Ireland has dolphins which were already a favorite of theirs because we have them here in North Carolina as well.

Ireland By the Way is part of the By the Way Book Series and each one is set in a different geographical location and includes information to help teach a Christian worldview. I hope to continue reading these with my children for fun family read alouds that spark great discussions. To check out some of the other great titles in this series or see how others used the book make sure to check out the other Review Crew reviews! I would love to hear in the comments which of the locations you would like to read.

 

By the Way Book Series: New York City, Ireland, Indiana & Alaska {By the Way Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.