Family, Family Life, Homeschool Family, Read Alouds

Whatsoever Stories: Farmyard Faith Review!

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

I have always been interested in farm life. I love the idea of raising my own food and being self sufficient. Even though I dream of the day of raising chickens and planting an enormous garden but it is nice to have the opportunity from Whatsoever Stories Farmyard Faith by Kinsey M. Rockett.

If you have been looking for a book that will take a deeper dive into farm life then Farmyard Faith is the book for you. Written with such grace and endearment this book will take you on journey of a ten year life span as the Kinsey family transition city life to farm life.

With so many different life events you will watch this family manage adversities and build their bond as a family through their Christian faith. Farmyard Faith is paperback book with easy to read fonts and excellent paper quality. Farmyard Faith is over 200 pages of heartfelt emotions to bring the reader and their family closer to their own faith.

From learning to milk cows to keeping bees Farmyard Faith is full of surprises and learning moments for your family. A great read aloud for the entire family. Farmyard Faith is ages 10 – Adult. I read the book for my own pleasure and a few times shared some of the chapters with my son.

Farmyard Faith is a Christian literature but it will work for any faith. You will find biblical scriptures throughout the book. Chapter 26 Farmyard Fun features some insightful information that I found funny and valuable.

Farmyard Faith is a great read be sure to check out the other Crew’s reviews of Whatsoever Stories Farmyard Faith by clicking the banner below.

3rd Grade Curriculum, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, Art, Charlotte Mason, Critical Thinking and Logic, Curriculum, Education, Family, Geography, History, Homeschool, Language Arts, Literature Base, Math, Read Alouds, Reviews, S.T.E.A.M, Science, Writing

The Learn & Live: Mesoamerica Review

Complimentary product received from The Learn & Live Letter!

This post contains affiliate links at no extra charge to you the reader.

As a homeschool mom, I have always been stuck on what part of history to teach in our home and how. There are so many wonderful curricula you can choose from, but if you are looking for true gentle history the choices tend to narrow down immensely. We enjoy unit study learning in our home and at times we just want to step away from traditional textbook history and have fun. I was really happy when The Learn & Live Letter ladies reached out to me to check out their November Mesoamerica unit.

About The Learn & Live Letter

The Learn & Live Letter was created by two homeschool moms who wanted to bring the joy of play-based learning to their children. They created their own homeschools around the philosophy of interested-led and hands-on learning. Cynthia and Justine enlisted the help of several well-known highly qualified contributors in the education and homeschool community to help create monthly themed 4-week play-based learning units. Each unit covers science, history, geography, art, music, math, reading, and writing. The Learn & Live Letter also embraces the Charlotte Mason approach, you won’t find worksheets or busy work in these monthly themed units. If you are wondering about the diversity of The Learn & Live Letter team you will not be disappointed.

Because learning comes naturally to your child’s development. They learn with and by the world around them—and, as parents and caretakers, all we have to do is open that door.

The Learn & Live Letter

The Learn & Live Letter units are designed for the homeschool parent, while non-homeschool families can benefit from this wonderful program, the design is for that homeschool parent. There are 3 levels to choose from level 1 (3 to 5 ), Level 2 (5 to 7), and level 3 (7 to 12). Families can choose to do a monthly subscription or a yearly subscription. The yearly subscription would guarantee you 36 weeks of lessons. Each level is different and provides age-appropriate activities. The units come to you via email and you click the link that will take you to your levels monthly instruction pages. The company also provides you a schedule of when you will receive the next unit’s email which is always a week before the upcoming month. There is also scope and sequence you can look at which is great for pacing and lining up your lessons. The company is still growing so the 2022 lineup is still building.

November Mesoamerica Unit

Mesoamerica Unit !

Our unit to review for you is the Level 3 November Mesoamerica unit. The Mesoamerica unit took us on a journey to Mexico and South America. Each week comes with its own supply list, resources, and embedded links. Everything you need is in your weekly guide you can add to it if you like, but you are fine with just the items they list. We studied about the Mayans, Aztecs, and Olmecs. The Mesoamerica unit captured my son’s interest he was intrigued to learn about these wonderful ancient Indigenous tribes’ culture, history, and contributions to civilization. For 2 weeks he was stuck on learning about the Olmecs and I let him stay in this history as long as he liked. We created terra cotta pottery, tried to play the Mayan game Ulama which gave us all quite a workout, and we built the Temple of Kukulkan out of legos.

November Mesoamerica Unit

Each monthly 4-week unit has 5 lessons each lesson has 2 – 4 activities. What I did notice is that Lesson 1 of each week usually had 2 activities that focused on geography or history for that week. You do not have to do each activity in each lesson. We average 2-3 activities each lesson, but because we plan to do this unit again I left wiggle room for next year. While we worked on the Mesoamerica unit we discovered there were many other ancient indigenous tribes so we will look into these next year. I highly recommend you bookmark the monthly units link on your iPad or tablet. I also printed out each week. The company also provides you with a skills/activity tracker.

The Learn & Live Letter units provide gentle history if you follow me you know I teach gentle truth history in our home. The Learn & Live Letter provides the conversation starter for you and you are free to take it from there. They do use Honest History magazines in their units which are great history resource. So if you don’t have these you will need to invest in them. I found the supply list to be inexpensive and the majority of the items we already had at home. The book resources I found all of them at our local library and were inexpensive on Amazon. The Usborne Encyclopedia World History book is one of the core books but you can use this book or find a World History book that covers your unit’s topics.

November Mesoamerica Unit

The Learn & Live Letter provides so many hands-on and play-based learning opportunities in their units we had so much fun exploring. My son was super excited about learning history and doing the activities he ask for these lessons first during our homeschool day. We finished our Mesoamerica unit feeling confident and happy about our progress. When I asked him what he thought he said this was one of the best units we have done in a long time. With him being happy and I know that everything is planned for me and he loves it we are now working on Ancient China and Medival Level 3 from The Learn & Live Letter. We purchased a year’s subscription and we are both loving it.

Ancient + Medieval China

The Learn & Live Letter is hassle-free learning we were over all the traditional history lessons. We are doing what we love following our interest and back to enjoying our homeschool day.

Ancient + Medieval China

I highly recommend The Learn & Live Letter you will not be disappointed. It was such a sigh of relief to plan something he will both truly enjoy. Each unit is packed with much you can do and not feel overwhelmed. The Learn & Live Letter has excellent customer service and a wondering FAQ on their website. It is always great when homeschool moms create something that really puts the kids first, Bravo Ladies! For my followers, The Learn & Live Letter has provided my readers 10% off any year subscription, be sure to use my promo code DESHAUN10 at checkout.

Until the Next Time,

Mom!

Ancient + Medieval China

Learn and Live Letter Social Media

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3rd Grade Curriculum, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, Charlotte Mason, Critical Thinking and Logic, Curriculum, Education, Family, Geography, Homeschool, Read Alouds, Reviews

Heritage Mom: Civil Rights Movement

Complimentary product received!

If you don’t know who the Heritage Mom is I am super excited to be able to tell you about this wonderful blogger, mom, homeschooler, philanthropist, and Charlotte Mason guru. Okay so I had had the pleasure of meeting Amber O’Neal Johnston and once a member of her Heritage Homeschoolers group in Georgia and I can honestly tell you she is one of the sweetest and kindest people I have met during my homeschooling journey.

When Heritage Mom offered to have the Squad review 3 of her culture guides, I knew had to be part of this opportunity. Let me keep it real I own about 90 % of her culture guides already and we are still working our way through Amazing Africa. We own Schomburg, Heart and Soul, Harlem Ressianance Stomp, and now the Civil Rights Heritage culture guide. All of the culture guides are excellent, Heritage Mom gives you everything you need to use these guidesto teach African and African American history.

The Civil Rights Movement guide is divided into 10 topics of study starting the journey in the 1950s and ending with Civil Rights today. The guide is meant for grades 4-6 but you can review the suggested living books and materials you can stretch to 2nd grade. Civil Rights Movement is 36 weekly lessons now you can stretch to the entire 36 weeks or you can do more lessons a week. We are averaging 3 lessons a week in Amazing Africa, but after looking through the Civil Rights Movement guide we will spend a little more time on our lessons because is one of my son’s favorite areas of history to study. Anyone who says they were able to unpack any of her culture guides in 8 weeks, I can honestly say they didn’t give these carefully planned guides the respect they deserve.

The Civil Rights Heritage Pack is a survey of the brave men and women who risked their reputation, livelihoods, and often their very lives to press towards what they knew to be right.

Heritage Mom

The Civil Rights Movement includes two core books, you need to select one of these books to use with the guide, both reasonably priced. She also includes bonus books and recommends not substituting the core books because those books are impeded throughout the guide. She also has movie suggestions that hyperlinked and inserted disclaimers to prescreen them to make sure they are appropriate for your family. There are additional books used in the lesson plan, they are a nice mixture I love she included picture books and chapter books. Now that my son is reading more chapter books I miss those days of really great picture books. I found all the books listed in the lesson plan at my local library. There are also additional books for older or advanced children but these books are not scheduled in the lesson plans.

The lesson plans are easy to follow, with clickable links that take you to videos and she tells you what book you will be using and pages to read. There are 4 weeks of plans one page. The culture guides are meant to be just that guides, if you are looking for a long-drawn-out lesson plan with tons of writing and worksheets you aren’t going to find it in this guide. Amber O’Neal is a Charlotte Mason-inspired homeschooler and her guides are written in that way of homeschooling. These guides are literature-based and meant to allow you and your student to explore and go down rabbit holes.

Out of respect for her and all her hard work you won’t see pictures of pictures of her hard work in this review. You can literally go on her social media and you will feel the admiration so many people have for these creative works. Each guide of the Heritage Mom packs are filled with so much potential you can stretch these materials for years to come.

Until the Next Time,

Mom and J

3rd Grade Curriculum, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, Charlotte Mason, Curriculum, dyslexia, Education, Family, Homeschool, Language Arts, Literature Base, Morning Basket, Parenting, Read Alouds, Reviews, Writing

Brave Writer Arrow: Amari and the Night Brothers Review

Complimentary product received through Melanated Gold Review Squad!

This year I was confident in my choices for grammar and writing until mid-August when I started to notice my son was less than enthused about his lessons. Observing his lack of enthusiasm I started to think we may need a change. We have used the same curriculum for the last 2 years and he has a pretty solid foundation in grammar, but writing is still a work in progress. I was thrilled when the opportunity to review Brave Writer Arrow Amari and the Night Brothers was made available to our family. So here we are taking the leap and using Brave Writer Arrow and we are loving it.

About Brave Writer

Brave Writer uses a Charlotte Mason-inspired approach to teach grammar and writing. The goal is to continue to strengthen the parent and child bond by creating a safe environment to learn and work at their own pace. Brave Writer programs are designed to be the complete opposite of the traditional learning style of grammar and writing. Brave Writer supports the whole child and lets them be in control of the process with the parent gently leading them. Brave Writer program believes students go through different stages of writing and each stage deserves respect and students should only progress when they are ready for the next stage. The growth stage of writers are :

Jot It Down

Partnerships in Writing

Faltering Ownership

Transition to Ownership

Eavesdropping on the Great Conversation

The growth stages start at ages 5-18 years old and students will work on mechanics and literature through online classes or using one of the product packets such as Arrow.

Arrow

Arrow is a digital year-long writing and grammar program for students ages 11-12. Families can purchase the entire year’s bundle and each month you will receive the Literature Arrow guide or you can purchase individually. With your purchase, you will receive the Arrow guidelines and the literature guide. The Arrow guideline teaches you how to present the literature guide. Arrow literature guides cover spelling, literary elements, writing activity, punctuation, and grammar, each monthly lesson is paired with a novel. Each week the lesson directly correlates with the novel. The monthly lessons are divided into 4 weeks, which include vocabulary, dictation, and grammar. The guides also come with discussion questions, a planner, a skills tracker, and book party ideas. There are 10 Arrow guides for a complete school year older guides are available to purchase, but new books are added every year.

We teach both parents and kids how to build a partnership in writing that leads to both creative expression and academic success, all while preserving the parent-child bond.

Brave Writer

Our Review

Amari and the Night Brothers have been on our list to read since it was released so I was super excited to have a literature, grammar, and writing guide to pair with it. At first look, I knew I had to sit down and prepare for working with a non-traditional way of teaching grammar and writing. The biggest issue had was letting go of my thinking of how grammar and writing are taught. Once I was able to release this way of thinking it made the transition easier. My son and I decided we would both read and listen to the book. I really enjoyed the cultural context section it gives background information on the novel, this little information was really nice and helped us better connect to the book because we are actually living 20 mins away from the Atlanta area.

Arrow is really the complete opposite of a traditional grammar and wiring curriculum, I was expecting to see some worksheet practice sheets and a huge writing assignment for this novel. I was blown away because what expected was not what I received. The Arrow guide gives you a quick start that instructs you to read the Arrow Guidelines. The Arrow Guidelines are key to understanding how to implement the Arrow program, not reading these will confuse you about the literature Guide. The guide also gives you sample routines and it is where you will find the Arrow Skills Trackers and Our Week With Arrow.

The Spin and Spiral told me exactly what we were going to be covering in this month’s literature guide. I pulled a couple of extra supplements, just in case. I was blown away by how Brave Writer uses a novel to teach grammar, in a million years I would have never thought to pull passages out of a book and examine the grammar components. My son was introduced to writing and literary elements such as how to indent, first-person narratives, and dialogue, and much more over the 4 weeks. The grammar areas are highlighted in what Brave Writer calls Spotlights, we found the grammar sections a welcomed review of concepts he has covered previously. What I did appreciate is that I was able to identify some areas of his grammar that he needed more practice on.

Students will tackle:

  • Proper Nouns
  • Commas
  • Conjunctions
  • Idioms
  • Pronouns
  • Parallel Structure and much more

What I like about Brave Writer is that my son and I were having meaningful conversations about the book and we talked about grammar in a new way that he was really thriving and loving. He asked several times mom can we do Brave Writer over his current language arts curricula. I begin to see both of our frustration and stress levels come all the way down while using Arrow. We went from fighting over getting his lesson done to letting us just talk, drink tea, and enjoy each as we learn.

Dication for us is something new we haven’t done much of this type of writing before so we took things very slow and I assured him that we weren’t in a rush and we are both learning how to do things. I did the first dication for him just to show him how. We did 1-2 sentences at a time so he didn’t feel overwhelmed moving forward. We did modify a few things to make it work for us, we used highlighters to highlight the grammar and literary elements in the literature guide. My son didn’t want to mark up his book and I was okay with this. I also printed my son his own the literature guide, I used mine on my tablet but I did have the Arrow guidelines printed out for myself.

Parent Involvement

By now you may realize that parent involvement is a necessity for the Brave Writer Arrow curriculum. The program does require the parent to be their child’s partner in this process. That brings me to the Brave Writer Partnerships in Writing growing writers stage one of the most overlooked stages according to the Brave Writer website. “Your child shows growing proficiency in handwriting, reading, and spelling, but still finds the hard work of transcription tiring if asked to write for more than a few minutes.” We didn’t receive this to review, but after using the Amari and the Night Brothers Arrow, I feel that this is something we will need in order for us to continue forward with the Arrow curriculum.

Final Words

We really like Brave Writer Arrow Amari and the Night Brothers, my son has requested to do this over his current language arts curricula. We have put what we were using on the shelf and have moved on to the November 2021 Brave Writer Arrow Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids. I will be looking into Partnerships in Writing for us as well. It has been so nice to have a great month of learning and enjoying our time together making memories. At the time of this review for the full program is $129 or $14.95 per literature guide (includes Arrow guidelines). To learn more about Brave Writer programs please click the banner below to read more of the Melanated Gold Review Squad reviews.

Social Media

Facebook-Brave Writer – Home

Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/juliebravewriter/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/BraveWriter

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/bravewriter/_created/

3rd Grade Curriculum, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, Homeschool, Read Alouds, Reviews, S.T.E.A.M, Science

BookShark Level D Science Homeschool Curriculum Review!!

Complimentary product received from BookShark in exchange for my honest review.

When you have a science-loving kid, finding the right science curriculum can be a daunting task. When my son was in 2nd grade, he breezed right through an entire science curriculum in eight weeks. For 3rd grade, we decided to forgo another box curriculum and chose to use a variety of supplemental resources to build our own science curriculum. This year things changed. My son requested an engaging and challenging science curriculum that was:

  • Hands – on
  • Experiments he could do independently.
  • Interesting and fun!

With so many requests I knew I had to find the best curriculum that would work for him and myself because I had my own set of requirements.

  • Literature-based
  • Easy lesson planning
  • Hands-on
  • Low prep

I looked around and then I came across BookShark Science Level D and I was blown away by what I read and saw in the package. I had heard of BookShark, but I didn’t know a lot about the company until I started researching the science.

Who is BookShark ?

BookShark is a literature-based multi-subject homeschool curriculum company. Their curriculum is secular and they follow all the state standards. Their leveled curriculum covers a three-year age span. With the 3 years, age-span families can find it helpful that they can use the same curriculum for all their students within those ages.

BookShark Science Level D ages 8-11

BookShark Science Level D

BookShark Science is a literature-based science that uses engaging and recent book resources to spark the love of science in budding scientists. BookShark Science follows the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). What makes the BookShark homeschool science curriculum unique is the company gives you everything you need in one package. Unlike many homeschool science curricula, BookShark Science is a secular science curriculum. I know what you are thinking, not another box curriculum with a ton of books and materials that need a lot of prepping.

BookShark’s Science curriculum combines a hands-on and literature based approach that is engaging and fun! Students will focus on three to four topics per year and gain in-depth knowledge of subjects including Geology, Meteorology, Physics, Biology, Animals, Electricity, Human Anatomy, Chemistry, Astronomy and more!

BookShark

BookShark Science Level D is for ages 8-11 so this will work well if you have more than one student that fits in that age range and you can do the lessons family style. You will receive:

  • Instructors Guide
  • Classic BookShark D-binder
  • 10 Literature- Based Books
  • Experiment book and kit

Prepping

You will find prepping your BookShark Science Level D requires minimal prepping. The instructor guide includes 36 weekly student activities sheets and schedules, you will need to purchase another set of student activities sheets if you are working with more than one student. The instructor guide is easy to read and follow.

Bookshark Science understand kids , because they dont repeat the same kind of lesson they put a different spin on things!

Jaidyn

BookShark Science recommends that you work with a working binder. The working binder is for your daily use of the lessons. It is suggested that you pull four weeks of student activity sheets and place them in the binder. When I pull the activity sheets I also pull the experiment recording sheets that are printed on sturdy card stock and experiment materials from the kit.

Let’s talk about storage. I keep the BookShark D-binder and books in a cube storage unit and the experiment kit in a latchmate box, but you could keep the items in the sturdy box the materials come in! I store all of these in a cube on our shelf, and his working binder is on our homeschool cart along with the books for that week’s BookShark Level D.

Lessons

BookShark Science Level D works on a 4 days a week schedule. The fourth day is for experiments, the curriculum gives you the flexibility to work at your own pace. The 5th is suggested for field trips, exploring that week’s topic further, or just a day off. On our 5th day, we play games and find extension activities on that week’s topic.

I like the Bookshark Science because it has topics that actually interest me and I can do the lesson on my own!

Jaidyn
Week 7 Coral Reef

The schedule tells you what book you are reading, pages, and what questions from the activity sheet exercise for that day. The schedule also tells you what materials you need for the experiment kit and what you need to prepare for the next week. You will also find vocabulary words on the schedule – don’t skip over this part because these words show up in the reading. I decided to have my son keep a science notebook, in his notebook are the vocabulary words and anything he found of interest from that week’s lesson.

The Experiments

The experiment kit is probably one of my favorite items in BookShark Science Level D  because of the convenience.  When we were winging it, I was always scrambling to purchase something at the last minute or skipping the experiments altogether because the materials were hard to find. . Now I am able to just pull the needed materials out of the kit, and my son can start his experiments. The kit is so well labeled, that even my son can pull the necessary materials by himself. EThe BookShark Science Level D experiment book has easy-to-follow instructions with illustrations. You know how you may do experiments with your kids and you’re not 100% sure of the “Why”? BookShark Science Level D has you covered with objectives, questions, and conclusions. Students will encounter projects that require them to use all of their five senses, engineering, art skills, logic, and critical thinking skills.

Sunday lesson planning prepping!

Currently,  we are moving into Week 9 – Sea Animals; during the first 7 weeks, we learned about food chains, animal adaptations, wolves ecosystems, animal adaptations, living things, characteristics of animals, ocean, and coral reefs. Can you believe we covered all of these topics in-depth and it has only been 7 weeks?! BookShark Science Level D also allows you to go down rabbit holes that have

BookShark makes science interesting and fun!

Jaidyn
Wolves drawings

Virtual Access and Planning!

I am using the virtual access for BookShark Science Level D to help keep us organized. The virtual access is new for this school year. The virtual access seat is available at an additional low cost. Virtual Access gives you and your student the ability to have virtual access to BookShark Science Level D in a virtual space. Be sure to check out my review of BookShark Science Level D with Virtual Access.

Last Remarks

During October, we took a break off from homeschooling for 2 weeks, but he insisted on doing science. BookShark Science Level D has found a place in our home and we look forward to finishing up Level D and next year starting Level E. My son was so impressed he asked me are all of their subjects this much fun and if so can we get those also? With all the planning done for me including the books, experiment supplies, student activity sheets included, I can spend the time I would spend agonizing over what to do for science, enjoying our weekend as a family.

My favorite book is Bringing Back the Wolves! Who knew that wolves had such a impact on the ecosystem!

Jaidyn

At the time of the review, the cost of BookShark Science Level D is $250.94 plus tax and shipping. The virtual access is an add-on for $50. I find the cost of BookShark Science Level D very reasonable for 36 weeks of lesson plans, activity sheets, science kits, and books. The cost breaks down to $6.97 a week. If you are looking to try out a lesson the company offers a 3- week sample lesson on their website. BookShark offers generous freebies on their website such as the new Volcano Unit. The company has great customer service. Support team, and you can request a catalog.

Until the Next Time,

Mom and J

3rd Grade Curriculum, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, Charlotte Mason, Curriculum, Education, History, Homeschool, Literature Base, Read Alouds, Reviews

Beautiful Feet Books : Early American Intermediate Pack Review!

I received this product through The Melanated Gold Review Squad in exchange for my honest review.

History is one of our favorite areas to study. In our home, we have an enormous collection of gentle true literature. I am very meticulous about selecting history curricula that are reflective of truth and give an inclusive view of history. We were sent the new Early American Intermediate Pack from Beautiful Feet Books to look over as a possible history resource.

Early American Intermediate Pack Grades 4-6th

About Beautiful Feet Books

Beautiful Feet’s Books uses a Charlotte Mason approach to history through literature-based learning that inspires the child to naturally create a healthy environment for wonder and exploring.

We are no strangers to Beautiful Feet Books we spent some time when my son was in 1st grade using their Around the World with Picture Books Part 1. My son still has fond memories of learning about the terra cotta soldiers from that unit. We also enjoyed the book Ruby’s Wish and a few other books. With this being said we are familiar with how Beautiful Feet curriculums work.

The Curriculum

Early American Intermediate Pack takes students on the journey of the nation’s founding. The lessons begin with the Indigenous people and travel through history to the civil war. There are 129 lessons, with the suggested timeline of 3-4 lessons a week for a year’s worth of history. Areas of study are the following:

  • Indigenous Culture
  • The Vikings
  • The Age of Discovery
  • Colonial Settlements
  • Revolution
  • Slavery & Emancipation
  • Civil War

In the pack, you will receive 23 books, a teacher guide, a notebook, and a timeline. You will also need to download the New Early American History for Intermediate Picture Packet from the free downloads on the company’s website. The curriculum gives parents and their students an abundance of resources. Students will have the opportunity to try recipes, crafts, and character-building (Biblical) activities. The rabbit trails section in the lesson planner books offers nice ideas and books. Overall you will receive an adequate curriculum for teaching early American history.

Our Review

At first glance of looking over the 23 books received I separated the books into 3 different piles approve, maybe, and questionable. Books that I approve went right on our shelf, maybe books went into a bin and questionable went straight to my desk for further research. History is a lot to unpack and getting it just right for what will work in our home takes some planning and research.

Some of the books I did take issue with I wasn’t fond of some of the images of Indigenous people, one book showed them being unclothed, overweight, and unkempt. Books that were sent were decent choices I would have liked to have seen 2 of the books that were in the rabbit trails included in the pack (Before Columbus and Turtle Island). I felt these two books would have given a better insight into the Indigenous culture. I was a little deterred from the curriculum starting with 3 lessons of the Indigenous people and then the next 10 lessons were dedicated to the Vikings with a sprinkle of the Indigenous people being within those lessons. There was no mention of the Moors or Africans already being in what is now America.

The books that were included in the rabbit trails resources were books that reflected a more truthful look at time periods covered in the Early American Intermediate Pack . The landing of the pilgrim’s story tells the same story of the Pilgrims landing on American soil to escape religious freedom from Europe. This story is misinformation when in reality the Pilgrims did not come from Europe they actually came from Holland where they were free to live and practice their religion as they pleased and the only reason why the left is because they didn’t like that the Holland culture was influencing their children. There were other issues I found with these lessons.

While Early American Intermediate Pack does include some culturally diverse books to lend to the lessons, the book suggestions inside of the teacher guides would have given the curriculum pack a better view of history. The core book A Child’s First Book of American History offers some gentle truths but I would not let this book be the be-all for teaching American History it would be a starting point to research the time periods discussed. I still feel like this curriculum is told from a European viewpoint of history with some dabbles of diversity. A few of the books are meant to be comical such as the Jean Fritz books Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution and Where Do You Think You’re Going, Christopher Columbus? . The Viking book my sons and I found it hard to get through and we had to look for another resource.

Overall the curriculum will give you a guideline to start with American history but you will need to do some research to make sure it is accurate. The rabbit trail resources inside the teachers guide I would use more so than the ones that were sent in the pack. At the time of this review, the Early American Intermediate Pack is $245.95 plus taxes and shipping.

I would like to thank Beautiful Feet Books for sending us the Early American Intermediate Pack be sure to check out the other Melanated Gols Review Squad reviews on Beautiful Feet Books .

3rd Grade Curriculum, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, Art, Critical Thinking and Logic, Education, Family, Homeschool, mindfulness, Morning Basket, Read Alouds, Reviews, S.T.E.A.M, Writing

Owl Crate Jr: October Box Review!

Complimentary product received through the Melanated Gold Review Squad!

We received the October box from Owl Crate Jr if you aren’t familiar with the Owl Crate Jr is a monthly box subscription for middle-grade readers ages 8-12 years. Each box is carefully crafted with a customized book cover sleeve just for Owl Crate Jr subscribers.

Owl Crate Jr October 2021

October’s Owl Crate Jr box theme is the Science is Magic. The book of the month is a signed copy of Amira & Hamza The War to Save the Worlds by Samira Ahmed. Inside this wonderful magical box includes hands-on activities for your reader related to the monthly theme.

On the day of a rare super blue blood moon eclipse, twelve-year-old Amira and her little brother, Hamza, can’t stop their bickering while attending a special exhibit on medieval Islamic astronomy. While stargazer Amira is wowed by the amazing gadgets, a bored Hamza wanders off, stumbling across the mesmerizing and forbidden Box of the Moon. Amira can only watch in horror as Hamza grabs the defunct box and it springs to life, setting off a series of events that could shatter their world—literally.

Amazon

Books Goodies

  • Ooze Labs test tube kit from Thames & Kosmos
  • “The Wild Robot” inspired book accessory designed by @shaferbrown
  • His Dark Materials Compass Enamel Pin
  • The Magic School Bus lanyard
  • Science is Magic Monthly Magazine (inlcudes a science exiperiment)
  • Science is Magic monthly collectible sticker
  • Bookplate with letter from the author to your Owl Crate Jr Reader
  • Wrinkle in Time Umbrella

The monthly magazine includes an October box photo challenge, Owl Crate Jr readers can perform 6 challenges in chances they can win 1 of 6 free boxes. They can upload the pictures to their parent’s Instagram accounts and tag @owlcratejr.

Overall Thoughts

We were sent two Owl Crate Jr boxes. The company sent us the January 2021 box that theme was Inner Magic and the book of the month was Amari and the Night Brothers, which we happen to be in the midst of finishing up. The January box encourages healthy self-image-building activities.

Owl Crate Jr box subscriptions are a good way to make reading magical. The themes we received were beautifully crafted with lots of learning opportunities. I also looked over the previous month’s books and discovered they have a diverse collection of book titles each month which is gladly appreciated. However, their social media pages don’t reflect that same diversity of children and families. Owl Crate Jr’s website is inviting and has a community blog for Owl Crate Jr and Owlcrate 14+. You can compare boxes on their website to see which box best works for your reader. I did poke around on the Owl Crate Jr shop I love all the extra book goodies they have. I am going to purchase a few of their teas for our monthly tea and chat times.

One of the things I find unique about Owl Crate Jr is its attention to detail. The Owl Crate Jr boxes make reading an adventure and not just words on pages. If you have a reluctant reader aged 8-12 Owl Crate Jr box is perfect for them. You use the monthly books as read-aloud or an independent read, we happened to be reading the Amari and the Night Brothers book already when the October Owl Crate Jr and my son are completely engulfed in this book and we will be moving on to the Amira & Hamza The War to Save the Worlds book soon. My son saw the “Dragons” in next month’s Owl Crate Jr box he is begging me to get him the November box also! Of course, I said yes because I am thrilled he wants to keep reading more novels.

Owl Crate Jr boxes are $29.99 a month, the company offers several different subscriptions option. The Owl Crate Jr box is for middle-grade readers ages 8-12 years. The boxes ship between the 15th and 20th of the month. You can purchase past Owl Crate Jr boxes in the shop. I have signed me little up for a subscription after receiving these 2 boxes complimentary so be on the lookout for updates on our instagram.

Until the Next Time,

Mom and J

Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OwlCrate/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/owlcrate/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/37437502-korrina-owlcrate

1st Grade, 2nd Grade Curriculum, 3rd Grade Curriculum, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, Curriculum, dyslexia, Homeschool, Language Arts, Read Alouds, Reviews, spelling, Writing

LightSail for Homeschoolers Review!

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

For the last few weeks, we have been using LightSail for Homeschoolers Premium Subscription. The crew was given given a 1-year online subscription to review. LightSail for Homeschoolers focuses on four areas Reading, Writing, Vocabulary, and Fluency it also includes World Book.

LightSail for Homeschoolers program focuses on the 4 areas of literacy. Before students can venture into the program they are given an assessment to determine their Lexile level. The assessment is lengthy so I recommend breaking it up into 2 days. After the children finish the assessment you will see their score and you as a the parent can assign books for them to read that are on on that level or any level you would like. LightSail for Homeschoolers has excellent content security, I noticed that a lot of books I went to assign my student or I was just researching to add for him to read I had to grant permission for him to access.

LightSail for Homeschoolers Reading has a huge selection of literature, I was very pleased to see lots of culturally diverse materials and topics. My son has a major passion for the Negro Baseball League and we found several books, videos, and documentaries about the players that I created him a unit study so he could access them faster. Speaking of unit studies WOW this feature is fabulous, I was able to create unit studies for our science, history, and language arts lessons. The unit study feature allows you to assign the study to all the students or to individual students. The LightSail for Homeschoolers Reading provides:

  • Unit Studies, Booklist and Memory Work
  • Read-Alouds
  • Assessments
  • Augment Reality
  • Interactive Books
  • Videos
  • Parental Control

We really enjoyed the augmented reality section we were able to explore areas of the world and places. The LightSail for Homeschoolers Reading also helps you set reading goals, track your students data, reading badges, and much more.

LightSail for Homeschoolers Writing from what is reviewed is going to be a great program that will encourage your student to work on grammar skills, writing, journal, and write books. Parents will be able to assign writing assignments, grades and provided feedback to their students writing. At the time of this review, this section was not available.

LightSail for Homeschoolers Vocabulary is fabulous students can work on vocabulary building and spelling both of which we really need assistance in this area. Students will work on definitions and interactive activities. One of my absolute favorite sections is the Clozes in text, how can sing this practice praises. Several of the books in the library uses the clozes. The books the students read are missing words, and have interactive in-text activities. The students can’t move on in the book until they do the activities. The activities require the student to use comprehension, context clues and vocabulary skills to fill in the blanks.

LightSail for Homeschoolers Fluency will work on improving your students fluency, through read-alouds & re-telling, memory work, listening, speaking and writing.

LightSail for Homeschoolers Reading, Writing, Vocabulary, and Fluency is an excellent language arts online platform. There is a lot of content in the LightSail for Homeschoolers , you will need to undergo a learning curve when using the platform. I highly recommend you watch all of the videos and take some time getting use to the platform. I am still learning the platform myself, several of the areas are still under development so you will not have access to all areas. The one thing I was very disappointed with is that this program will only work with Chrome and Edge. We are an Apple family and I had to download the Chrome browser on my iMac so I could manage the parent dashboard. My son also wasn’t a big fan that he couldn’t use this on his iPad and had to be stationary in front of his laptop. I would encourage the company to make this available on Safari and Firefox.

At the time of this review, the company offers a 7 day free trial, thereafter $99 for the LightSail for Homeschoolers Premium account. Be sure to check out the other crew’s reviews of LightSail for Homeschoolers by clicking the banner below.

Curriculum, Education, Homeschool, Read Alouds

One More Story Review!

DISCLAIMER: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

We love a great picture book in our home, but as my son has gotten older and reads more chapter books with less pictures we haven’t read many lately. I was delighted when the crew was given the opportunity to review a one-year subscription to One More Story .

One More Story is an picture book digital platform available on IOS app and website . Students are able to explore to array of picture books that are vividly pleasing . There over 75 books to choose from that are read aloud to your student. When logging in you will immediately notice the books are divided into different bookshelf tabs. Students will see the full display of the book and can have the title read to them by clicking on the books and when the student is ready to read they just click the green button and the book starts.

Students have 2 options when starting the book they have it read to them or they can click “I Can Read” . There also vocabulary button that will show the vocabulary words for that book and students will be able to see and hear the meaning of the word and a preview of the sentence from the story.

One More Story is a great program for early readers or if just want to get in some more read aloud time with your students. The word tracking in the story helps student to learn new vocabulary. I really like how the books have background music playing. Seeing such a great variety of books took use down memory lane.

My son loved using One More Story he at first was hesitant because of course he is a big time 4th grader who doesn’t have time for picture books, but then he spotted one of his favorite picture book Little Melba and Her Big Trombone. This book is what inspired him at 3 years old he wanted to plat the trombone. He was so happy to see the book he has listened and read it to me several times. Then we were doing an art study on Bill Traylor and I forgot to pick up the book to go along with our study and then I saw “It Jas Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw on One More Story . As we were starting to study Asia in geography and in our grammar curriculum we found Grandfathers Journey as well. It has been so nice to be able to have picture books back into rotation in our home. Thanks One More Story for bringing picture books back to our homeschool.

At the time of this review the cost of a one year subscription is $45.99. Be sure to check out the rest of the crew reviews on One More Story by clicking the banner below.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LifelongReaders
Twitter: https://twitter.com/EarlyReader

Family, Homeschool, Morning Basket, Parenting, Read Alouds, Reviews

Everybody, Always for Kids Review!

I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

Over the last few weeks we have been transitioning our homeschool into our summer routine. What better way to swap out our morning readings with Everybody, Always for Kids by Bob Goff and Lindsey Goff Viducich.

The last 5 months we have been focusing on growth mindset and kindness. Everybody, Always for Kids has been a welcome addition to our journey. The stories in the book focus on kindness, service and empathy. Children are able to easily relate to the different lessons being taught in the stories.

Everybody, Always for Kids is written from the prospective of the Christian faith but I can honestly say that families of non-Christian faith will find the stories not intrusive and really just teaching the children to be kind to others and acts of service. I found the book very culturally inclusive. Diversity is one of the things I look for in books and we were very happy to see children and families of all ethnic backgrounds in the book as well as characters visiting other countries. Everybody, Always for Kids is a hardcover book with bright vibrant, glossy and sturdy pages.

Everybody, Always for Kids also includes a lesson plan which is fabulous. There are 5 lessons included in the lesson plan. Each lesson comes with :

  • Objective
  • Activity
  • Supply list
  • Lesson steps
  • Discussion questions

We did lesson 5 The Oaks Garden for Earth week and revisited the frog life cycle. My son really likes Everybody, Always for Kids he has been reading it the last few weeks on his own and we talk about what he has read. One story that stood out for us was Chapter 7 Building Schools it taught a lesson about gratitude and a little about the country of Afghanistan and the need for building schools for girls. As a mom Chapter 6 My Bucket also rang home for me about filling my own bucket something I dont do enough and I like the idea of having a real bucket and writing things I need to fill it with. This visual bucket is something I plan to do do not just for myself but for all of us.

We did not read the the book in order I let him read the stories that peeked his interest. The stories are short and they keep his interest and he enjoys them. We will continue to read through the rest of the book and look forward to any new of Everybody, Always for Kids by Bob Goff and Lindsey Goff Viducich series.

At the time of this review the cost for Everybody, Always for Kids by Bob Goff and Lindsey Goff Viducich is $10.27 for the hardcover on Amazon. We really like this book and recommend it if you are looking to add some positive literature for your students. Be sure to check out the other Crews reviews on Everybody, Always for Kids by Bob Goff and Lindsey Goff Viducich by clicking the banner below.

Until the next time

Mom and J

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tommynelsonbooks
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