Family, Science

Indescribable Kids: The Wonder of Creation: 100 More Devotions About God and Science Review!

I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew!

One of my favorite times of the day is when I can sit down with my son and when we do our religious studies. We grab something hot to drink and a small snack and enjoy our time. The Crew was given the opportunity to review Indescribable Kid’s newest release The Wonder of Creation: 100 More Devotions About God and Science.

We have used Indescribable Kid’s in two previous releases and we were equally excited to review The Wonder of Creation: 100 More Devotions About God and Science. The Wonder of Creation: 100 More Devotions About God and Science devotional include science, geography, character building, and biblical scriptures. The book includes a combination of beautiful illustrations and photographs. Each passage is a quick read and provides students informative information that is S.T.E.AM related and a moral lesson. Students will journey through The Wonder of Creation: 100 More Devotions About God and Science with the Indescribable Kid’s that you can meet here.

Ignite your child’s sense of wonder and awe….

Indescribable Kid’s

What I really enjoy about The Wonder of Creation: 100 More Devotions About God and Science is the simplicity and non-over-barring religious text. The book is welcoming to all religions and can be adjusted for all religions. My son loves science so this was a huge hit for him. I sometimes picked areas of the book that work with lessons we are working on in our current science/ geography lessons. Indescribable Kid’s website offers helpful resources for parents there is a The Wonder of Creation: 100 More Devotions About God and Science educator and parent discussion guide along with more STEM-themed resources.

We like using The Wonder of Creation: 100 More Devotions About God and Science as part of our knowledge basket religious studies time and we refer back to it sometimes during science. My son will also pick it up just to read some of the science information. I also like the explore the wonder sections because it brings real-world wonder to your kids to explore and learn.

I highly recommend The Wonder of Creation: 100 More Devotions About God and Science’s newest release from Indescribable Kid’s. Be sure to check the other Crew’s reviews of The Wonder of Creation: 100 More Devotions About God and Science by clicking the banner below.

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2nd Grade Curriculum, 3rd Grade Curriculum, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, Reviews, Science

Scientific Connections through Inquiry Level 3 Review!

Complimentary review for Melanated Gold Review Squad!

January is usually the time of the year a fair amount of homeschool moms start researching and planning their curriculum choices for the upcoming school year. We all anticipate this new journey but at the same time, we are trying to make sure we find the best curriculum for our kids. One of the science curricula I reviewed for my son for his 3rd-grade year was Scientific Connections through Inquiry Level 3. I was really happy with what I saw in this curriculum and I thought this may be a good time to share with my followers this unique science curriculum.

About Scientifc Connection through Inquiry

Scientific Connection through Inquiry curriculum is designed to teach young students advanced interdisciplinary science in a way they can understand. The lessons allow students to connect science with the world around them by inquiry. Students embark on learning these lessons using:

  • Hands on Exploration
  • Movement
  • Discussion
  • Inquiry
  • Observation

Scientific Connection through Inquiry foundations is based on Dr. Bernard Nebe Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding. Scientific Connection through Inquiry can be started at any level but having done the previous level will guarantee that your student has a full understanding of scientific lessons as they progress.

Unit Breakdown

Each of the levels units give an overview, supply list, and resources. The unit begins with a discussion. The discussion is meant to open the door to the unit’s inquiry. Scientific Connection through Inquiry provides helpful information through the educator’s guide. The opening discussion prepares students for their learning experience. The unit continues to progress to the activity, student pages, videos, and end-of-unit checklist of what they have learned.

Level 3

Scientific Connections through Inquiry Level 3 is for grades 2nd through 5th grade, but you can start at any level. Scientific Connections through Inquiry Level 3 comes in pdf format (64-page student book and a 154-page educator guide). I appreciate both of these books are limited on pages which makes it affordable to have printed at home. I do think it is nice that the levels can be stretched across 3-grade levels this works well with families with multiple grade levels. Level 3 has 11 units that will cover chemistry, biology, physics, earth, and space. The discovery in these are:

  • Cells I and II
  • Flight
  • Atomic/Molecular Motion I
  • Balance
  • Fungi & Bacteria I
  • Density
  • Seasons
  • Life of Plants
  • Energy and Motion
  • Buyancy

Scientific Connections through Inquiry Level 3 is a 36-week curriculum that can be done at your own pace or you can follow the recommended schedule. At the beginning of the first unit, students are taught how to ” discern a good argument from a bad one which is a necessary skill in life, and particularly in science.” -SCI The “Baloney Detection Kit” has 13 points your student will learn these points and use them throughout level 3 and in my honest opinion, they will use theses skill throughout all their future studies. The biggest purchase I noticed in the supply list was a microscope, there is a helpful guide included for purchasing suggestions.

My son went through a fungi and bacteria phase, he was very much intrigued by Scientific Connections through Inquiry Level 3 Fungi & Bacteria I. We jumped to this unit, and let’s just say my son enjoyed it immensely he had stuff growing in the fridge and Petri dishes. He confiscated bread and the mushrooms we had in the fridge all in the name of science. He loved one of the books suggested in the educator’s guide so much I purchased it.

Scientific Connections through Inquiry Level 3 educator guide is laid out beautifully. If you have no knowledge of the concept presented you are given enough support with guided scripts and resources. Each unit also is divided into sessions (lessons) the number of sessions varies for each unit. The hands-on activities provide plenty of exploration and fun!

Scientific Connections through Inquiry Level 3 offers sample lessons on their website for you to preview. Even though we have a science curriculum we are very happy with Scientific Connection through Inquiry is an excellent science curriculum or even a supplemental resource. I feel like this is great for summer science. We will be revisiting level 3 and checking out level 4 for science fun this summer.

Scientific Connection through Inquiry is $40 and your receive both student and educators guide. You will need to invest in that microscope and supplies but the supplies are easily found at the Dollar Tree or your local dollar store. The curriculum is easy to follow and will work well with any homeschool setting.

Mom and J

1st Grade, 2nd Grade Curriculum, 3rd Grade Curriculum, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, Art, Charlotte Mason, Curriculum, Education, Family, Geography, History, Homeschool, Math, Reviews, Science

The Schoolnest History Notebook and Timeline Review!

Last year when my son and I were studying voting rights I remember the frustration I had writing down the timeline of the sequence of events on our board. I wanted him to have a visual keepsake of this important historical time period. So on our little whiteboard, I squeezed as much as I could and left it up there for a week as we studied. When it came time to erase it I took a picture of it and went on a hunt to find a way to record things for our history. What I was finding I wasn’t happy with so our timeline would have to live on my phone in the meantime. Then it happened The Schoolnest published a History Timeline notebook.

About The Schoolnest

Megan is a Michigan homeschool mom of 2 littles who is bringing love for learning through art, nature, creativity, and reading. Her approach to education is respecting the beauty of childhood and play. You can’t help but notice how she embraces Charlotte Mason, Waldorf, and Montessori philosophies in her homeschool. Her website is full of beautifully crafted simple journals, notebooks, and homeschool resources. She also writes a wonderful blog that is full of helpful ideas for parenting, homeschooling, art, and mindfulness. All are welcome on The Schoolnest website and blog, I found several diverse blog posts and literature recommendations.

I was so happy when Megan the founder of The Schoolnest launched her rainbow notebooks, from the first glance on her Instagram I knew I had to have them all. I purchased several of the notebooks for our school year then she published her History Timeline and it blew me away because it was exactly what I needed.

History Notebook and History Timeline

The History Timeline notebook is one the most unique books I have seen. The notebook gives you the ability to track history from:

  • Prehistory
  • Ancient
  • Middle Ages
  • Early Modern
  • Modern Times

What I feel like is a great family heirloom in History Timeline, is the beginning pages called “My History” I love these pages because we can record our family history and document things we felt were important to us during a year. The paper quality is excellent there are 115 pages and there are blank pages at the end. The entire is book is grid paper except for the dates, there is also B.C.E-C.E also included. There is plenty of space to write and post pictures, drawings, and clippings for creativity. The grid paper is excellent for writing and helping students contain their writings neatly. What I like about this timeline notebook is that it is just that a notebook. I can keep everything contained neatly in one spot and it is easy to flip through and we can use this 1 notebook over a long period of time.

The History Notebook is great for notebooking. We have used ours to notebook our unit study of Mesoamerica and currently, we are working on Ancient China. We study so much history in our home and notebooking has allowed him to have fun with notebooking. In the history notebook, there are 100 pages on the left page is 1/3 blank and the rest of the page is a grid. On the right side, the bottom is lined and the top is blank. There is a blank table of contents page and a study reference page. Kids can draw, color, cut and paste, make notes, and be creative. We have added pictures and written notes in our history notebook and added notebook printables. The paper quality is excellent, writes, glues, and colors smoothly.

Rainbow Notebooks

If you are looking to explore the other notebooks in The Schoolnest collection you will not be disappointed. So far we have collected:

  • Science
  • Vocabulary
  • Spelling
  • Mathematics
  • Commonplace
  • Project Planner
  • Reading Journal
  • 4th Grade

All of the notebooks come in 12 vibrant rainbow colors, 8.5 x 11, matte softcover, and superior binding. The Schoolnest notebooks are inexpensive ($8) and can be purchased from Amazon. If you are in the market for a planner The Schoolnest has you covered she has a Homeschool Lesson Planning Notebook, you can check out a review of this great planner on Brittany Olga Youtube and Home Life with Quin 5 Instagram (Planner and Reading Journal) and check out Mama Sweet Baby (Spelling Notebook).

The Schoolnest notebooks are a must-have for your homeschool if you haven’t checked them out I highly recommend you do. We love our notebooks and I am looking forward to seeing any new books The Schoolnest publishes.

Blessings,

Mom and J

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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, 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

2nd Grade Curriculum, 3rd Grade Curriculum, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, Curriculum, Education, Homeschool, S.T.E.A.M, Science

Mad Science Loop Lab: Gross Science Box Review!

Complimentary product received through Melanated Gold Review Squad!

We received the Gross Science Mad Science Loop Lab box to review and my son really enjoyed the experiments.

Our mission is to inspire children through science, sparking lifelong imagination and curiosity.

Loop Lab

Inside the box we recieved:

  • beaker, flask, and funnel (reusable)
  • corn starch, small bottle of peroxide, liquid glue
  • wooden stirrer, mesh material
  • balloon, rubberband, yeast
  • gloves
  • instruction book
  • lab coat

The kit came with a complete guide book that walked my student through all of the experiments, written instructions for measuring, and illustrations for every step. Upon first opening, the box my son first guess looking that the materials he said we are going to be making oobleck. He was seriously surprised when he got into the guidebook and saw all 3 experiments.

The Gross Science is box 1 in the series of the current 6 boxes now available for ages 8+. The experiments are quick and easy to follow, and my son was able to do them on his own. I check all the experiments beforehand to see if he needed any extra supplies, the only thing I had to add was zip lock bag, dish liquid, water, bowl, an egg, and a bin to catch any mess.

Inside the experiment books, students will find the safety steps, mess factors, and what they need. Each experiment also includes a think green, safe disposals, and clean-up checklist. At the end of the experiments you will find the How does it work description along with vocabulary. You will also notice the experiments encourage the kids to observe and then get messy. In the back of the book, you will also see the vocabulary words again along with their definitions, I had my son copy these in his science notebook and write down a little about the experiment. There is also a hidden objects search for kids to search the Gross Science Mad Science Loop Lab box and a Certificate of Awesomeness.

Foaming Fountain Experiment #1

Gross Science Mad Science Loop Lab box is a fun way to bring a little STEM into your home, they make great boxes for rainy days or if you are needing to add a little more hands-on science into your homeschool. Mad Science Loop Lab boxes are available to purchase on monthly, 3 months, and 6-month subscriptions. The cost starts at $32.99 plus $4.99 for shipping. I would love to try out the other 5 boxes, my son enjoyed doing the Gross Science box.

Be sure to check the other review of Gross Science Mad Science Loop Lab box by clicking the banner below.

4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, Curriculum, Education, Geography, Language Arts, Science, Writing

Blossom & Root Year 5 Review!

Complimentary product received through the Melanated Gold Review Squad, in exchange for my honest review.

Have you ever encountered a curriculum that just made you feel at peace? I have tried several different curricula over the course of the last 5.5 years and they all seemed to lack a real connection to homeschooling. I always felt something was missing and then I felt rushed and that I had to finish it or I had somehow failed my child. Three years ago a friend of mine told me about Blossom and Root and I was hooked. I am so honored to review Blossom and Root Level 5 Language Arts, Science Wonders of Worlds Beyond, Part One: Oceanography, and Art. I will update this review when Wonders of Worlds Beyond, Part Two: Astronomy and Nature Journal releases. Blossom and Root takes your student on a wonderful journey of learning.

Blossom and Root Level 5 is a digital download that also includes clickable links. I personally printed out the lab and student notebooks. The parent guides I uploaded to my notability app on my iPad for quick access. I combined them and use heavy card stock for the covers and the backing. I used my fast draft option and double-sided printing.

Language Arts

Blossom and Root Level 5 doesn’t disappoint. Level 5 language arts covers 36 weeks of lessons that are literature-based and include areas q writing, poetry, social studies, vocabulary, and geography. The chapter book selections for the weeks are diverse and a mixture of classic books and new releases. I was able to find every one of the books at the library, Thriftbooks, Amazon, and eBay. The poetry section is optional but the books suggested were also easily accessible and reasonably priced and the required book list isn’t ridiculously long. Kristina (creator of Blossom & Root) and her team have thought of everything including a completely optional books list for you and divided them up by weeks (THANK YOU). There is also a general supply list that is very basic you will pretty much have about 80% of the items already in your home. you can find a full scope and sequence on Blossom and Root.

Each week has 5 days of lessons, there are helpful tips to that help you decide the best way to navigate the lessons :

  • Transitional (students who are ready for some independent but not completely)
  • Independent ( students who can work independently and guide themselves)
  • Adult-Led (student still need adult guidance)

Science

Blossom & Root Level 5 Science Wonders are Worlds Beyond, Part One: Oceanography and Wonders of Worlds Beyond, Part Two: Astronomy (releases November 1st, 2021). The Blossom and Root Level 5 Science Wonder is a relaxed and hands-on approach. Parents can do the traditional 36 weeks of lessons with the first 24 lessons being Oceans and the second part of the lessons being Astronomy. Parents also have the option to do approach the science wonders with a relaxed schedule and work are their own pace stretch out the lessons as long as you want. Science wonders are meant to be parent-led, prefer this way of learning science because I learn so much and we have great conversations.

Science Wonders follow these three steps:

  • Step One – Wonder (introduction to the wonder)
  • Step Two – Explore (exploring the topic with activities/ experiments etc..)
  • Step Three – Record (allowing your child to record their journey)

My favorite part of doing this science is the permission “to go off the grid” going off the grid is something we do all the time and enjoy the learning process so much better and I can see the light and excitement in his eyes. My son is always so eager to show with his dad at dinner time everything he has learned for the day and going down a rabbit hole is the best way I know he is really learning and enjoying his journey. Let’s talk books for Worlds Beyond, Part One: Oceanography surprisingly I had 2 of the books listed as recommendations and I need 2 of the spine book Dk Smithsonian Oceans!, which happen to have already been sitting in my amazon cart. Once again the book list for optional books and the spines are easily accessible and when you need them is listed with the corresponding wonder. Each Wonder has an oceanography topic, an optional profile of a scientist or influential person to the topic, and a few have rabbit hole ideas. The Worlds Beyond, Part One: Oceanography parent guide also includes lesson ideas for minimalist, book basket, visual learners. The laboratory guide also includes activities for outdoor learners, table-crowd, and crafts and project families.

Secret Notebook, Geography , Art

The Secret Notebook is a child led project and it is just that a secret. The only part I play in the secret notebook is taking him to the store letting him pick the notebook and printing the Secret Notebook. Even though I have the guide in both of our sections I glimpse over the supplies for each week and just set them out for him on Fridays and he takes over from there I only help when asked. I love this part of Blossom and Root, it gives him such pride to work on something all on his own. The Exploring the States notebook which is optional, but I do recommend is also 36 weeks that students will research important geographic information about the states including map work. Nine Profiles in Art is 36 weeks of 9 artists with a 10th artist as optional. Each artist is studied for 3 weeks, a supply list and optional book list are also included. The student will do a picture studying, exploring the artist, and exploring with art doing a piece of artwork.

Last Thoughts

I am looking forward to working our way through Blossom and Root Level 5, I love the relaxed feel of the curriculum. The language arts are perfect for the pace I would like to go and review areas we have already covered in other curricula. Do you need to supplement if you need to absolutely and I love having that option no curriculum has it all? The science is adaptable to use family-style with kids in grades 1st through 6th grade. I don’t feel hurried to get things done using Blossom and Root. Kristina Gardner has done an exceptional job of understanding the homeschooled child and parent. The curriculum is diverse and secular and she has put notes/ tips throughout the pages. Blossom and Root will always have a place in our homeschool, only wish I found her sooner.

Be sure to check out the other Melanated Gold Review Squad reviews of Blossom and Root by clicking the banner below!

4th Grade, 5th Grade, Curriculum, Homeschool, Science

BookShark Science Level D Virtual Access Review!

Have you ever wished there was a way you could have all your lessons planned out for you? Better yet are you looking for a way to encourage your student’s independence. BookShark has released their new virtual access for their curriculum. We are given BookShark Science Virtual Access with our Science Level D. Let me just tell you BookShark Science Virtual Access has elevated my homeschool lesson planning to a new level of greatness. The virtual access seat is available at an additional low cost and it is a brilliant add-on.

The BookShark Science Virtual Access includes:

  • Parent and Student Dashboards
  • Assessments and Grading
  • Quizzes
  • Announcements
  • Discussions
  • Pdf Access to Student Activity Sheets
  • Weekly Schedule

I use the virtual parent dashboard to check out the schedule for the upcoming week, post announcements, and check-in his completed assignments. I am also super busy during the week tutoring students, so it is much easier for me to grab my iPad when I am ready to sit down with my son versus my working binder. Super convenient to have my entire binder at my fingers tips with quick login.

The parent dashboard allows me to post announcements and discussions for him to view in the student dashboard. I use the announcement board to welcome him to the new week, list external resources for him to click, and find our in-home resources. On the discussion board, I sometimes post questions about previous weeks’ lessons to check to make sure he has retained the information.

If you are looking for your student to start learning some independence the virtual access allows your student to begin to take their learning into their own hands. The student dashboard is easy for them to manage, as the parent you can set what modules your students have access to. I personally left my student dashboard basic because I didn’t want him to feel overwhelmed.

BookShark Virtual provides the perfect balance of independent and parent-led study.

-BookShark

My son really enjoys using the BookShark Science Virtual Access. He likes the independence it has given him. The virtual access has increased his confidence and increased his executive functioning skills. He loves the announcement board because he can now use all the in-home resources that have been collecting dust.

My son found it easier for him to locate his assignments and external resources that I had added to the announcement board. There were days in which I forgot to write his assignments in his lesson planner and he could use the dashboard on his own. As a busy homeschool mom I found the virtual access just what I needed on those weeks I didn’t get our weekly lesson plans completed. My son loves science therefore making sure I have plans ready for him watch week can be time-consuming.

I can find my lessons on my own and start working on them before my mom is ready to.

-Jaidyn 9

BookShark Science Virtual Access provides excellent video instructions so you can learn how to use the virtual platform. I found these videos helpful along with the BookShark customer service. One of the features I really enjoy is the ability to turn weekly modules on and off. My son is one of those kids that likes to look ahead, so I typically only turn on 2 weeks worth of lessons for him to review.

The virtual access also allows students to be able to answer their experiment questions right in their dashboard. I like this feature, but my son hasn’t taken advantage of it as yet. The virtual access is like a science lesson planner makes life so much easier and helps keep us accountable. I am still learning how to use the parent dashboard, but in the weeks to come I am confident I will discover something new.

The virtual access is available for all the BookShark subjects at a low cost. Using BookShark Science Virtual Access has given me peace of mind, our days are more structured and this has been the first year we have been consistent with our science lessons. If you want to try out the virtual access free for three weeks you can try it out here.

I highly recommend adding the BookShark Science Virtual Access to your BookShark Science curriculum package. You will save yourself a lot of planning time and to be honest with you it is a really fun add-on.

Since previously writing this review of the BookShark Science Virtual Access I have uploaded a video walk-through on how I use the dashboard on our Little Learner and Mom Instagram.

Until the Next Time,

Mom

4th Grade, Critical Thinking and Logic, Homeschool, Reviews, Science

The Critical Thinking Co.™: Science Vocabulary Crossword Puzzles Review!

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

We are a science loving family, This year we took science to a new level and we are using an box curriculum and the Science Vocabulary Crossword Puzzles from The Critical Thinking Co.™ is the perfect extra fun we needed.

We were sent the Science Vocabulary Crossword Puzzles hard copy book for us to review. I have always been a fan of crossword puzzles myself and my son recently has taken a liking to them. Science Vocabulary Crossword Puzzles are a great way to combine science and critical thinking skills in one. What I love about these puzzles is that they cover topics that we are studying about this year.

Science Vocabulary Crossword Puzzles cover the the following areas of study:

  • Living Things
  • Earth’s Land, Water, and Resources
  • Weather
  • Our Solar System
  • Matter, Energy, and Forces
  • The Human Body
  • Science and Scientist
  • Inventions and Discoveries

There are 25 puzzles that will help your students learn or review science vocabulary. The book is designed for grades 4-6th and covers basic science knowledge for those grades. You will find that some vocabulary terms your student may know and some they may need to review.

We used the Science Vocabulary Crossword Puzzles according to what we are studying in our science curriculum. I was really happy to see how well he retained his lessons because he was blazing through the vocabulary. The words he didn’t know the definitions I made note of them and we looked them up later.

Science Vocabulary Crossword Puzzles include a vocabulary list and answer key in the back of the book. The book is paperback with perforated pages. The company does offer ebook version of the book you can make copies of the pages for your own family use only. I definitely took advantage of this option because will be using this book again another year.

We are taking our time using Science Vocabulary Crossword Puzzles because I am lining it up with his science curriculum. We are working our way through the animal and mammal currently puzzles. He is really enjoying them and so am I.

The Critical Thinking Co.™ is a wonderful company we have had many of their books in our home and we several we are using also this school year along with the Science Vocabulary Crossword Puzzles.

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2nd Grade Curriculum, 3rd Grade Curriculum, Curriculum, Education, Reviews, Science

Journey Homeschool Academy: Experience Biology: Elementary Review!

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

I first encountered the Journey Homeschool Academy when I saw they were offering a Backyard Bugs course in June and I thought this would be a great way to bring some fun to the summer studying about insects and bugs right in the backyard. The classes were fun and easy and could be done at our own pace. Then I noticed the crew was given an opportunity to review Journey Homeschool Academy Experience Biology: Elementary and I new this would be a great opportunity to transition us from the Backyard Bugs class to their Experience Biology: Elementary we really have enjoyed the previous program so I know this would be a hit.

Journey Homeschool Academy Experience Biology: Elementary is a virtual online elementary biology class geared for students ages 6-12. There are 30 lessons that can be done in 15 minutes or longer depending on how you navigate the lessons. For us we paired it what were studying in our science curriculum about plants and I used it as an introduction to our science unit to help in laying foundations and we built around it. The lesson are meant to be done in order but you can adapt them to work for you if you are studying a particular area of study in biology.

Journey Homeschool Academy Experience Biology: Elementary is done in 3 steps:

Step 1: Watch the engaging video of about the lessons biology topic. The videos are interesting and provide excellent visuals and explanation about the current topic. I used this to help with introducing the topic from our current science curriculum.

Step 2: Kids will engage in hands on activities, copy work, memory cards and simple basic quiz which I told my son was just a show me what you know page. I used these activities to add more fun and interactive learning to our science curriculum. I really like the quiz part because it really wrapped up what we were learning in our science curriculum and with Experience Biology: Elementary giving me an excellent resource to add to our homeschool portfolio. The memory cards I sized them down and laminated them and put on a book ring for my son.

Step 3: Explore Living books and dig deeper into the topic with the suggested resources. This step is brilliant because our science curriculum we have for the year doesn’t recommend a lot outside resources. I was able to find the suggest resources at our local library and Amazon, some of them we owned as well. I took full advantage of these resources.

Journey Homeschool Academy Experience Biology: Elementary can be used as stand alone science curriculum or as an addition to another curriculum. I have been searching for an online science curriculum I could use with my son this school and I am glad the crew was able to review Journey Homeschool Academy Experience Biology: Elementary. If you are looking for a faith based curriculum this also can be used. Now I will tell you that this curriculum isn’t heavily faith based. In my honest opinion I didn’t really see or hear much religion in the curriculum. I did notice some of the copy work but it wasn’t overly done and you can easily omit this part if it doesn’t work for you.

If you are looking for a biology curriculum for your student I recommend this one. Its not prep heavy and requires a lot science background. Journey Homeschool Academy Experience Biology: Elementary is a perfect introduction to science for students ages 6-12 years. The company also offers Experience Astronomy: Elementary course as well as Experience Biology: Upper Level. Unfortunately at the time of this review the free Backyard Bugs course is closed. The cost of Journey Homeschool Academy Experience Biology: Elementary at the time of this review is $129. This is a very good program if you are new to homeschooling or veteran homeschooler.

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