5th Grade, Coding, Games and Apps, Homeschool, Math, Reviews, S.T.E.A.M

Let’s Start Coding: Base Kit 2 Review!

I received Let’s Start Coding Base Kit from Timberdoodle Co. in exchange for my fair and honest review.

We love technology in our home, and lately, my son has really gotten into coding. He has tried several online programs and has taken online classes for coding. I like having him code things that allow him to be hands-on and interactive. With the fast growth of technology, it is really important that students are exposed to coding early. I am very grateful that many companies like Timbersdoodle Co understand this importance and are including resources such as Let’s Start Coding Base Kit in their curriculum kits.

We were given the opportunity to try out Let’s Start Coding Base Kit which is included in the Timberdoodle Co 2022 Fifth-Grade Curriculum Kit. My son has really enjoyed the Let’s Start Coding Base Kit, he really likes having the storage kit that provides easy access and convenient storage. Even though my son has experience in coding the Let’s Start Coding Base Kit did an excellent job reviewing concepts and introducing new ones.

The Let’s Start Coding Base Kit includes:

  • Storage tackle storage box
  • 12 pieces of electronics including a mini speaker, LED lights, and makers board
  • 50 + Projects
  • Coding Reference Cards

Let’s Start Coding Base Kit is free to install directly on your computer. The process was easy to install and my son was coding away in 5 mins. The project board for the Base Kit has informative videos that I highly recommend you have your student review before getting started. The get started videos cover a wealth of information for the student, just in case they run into problems. After looking over the first set of videos students will jump right into the coding project.

How it works

Let’s Start Coding Base Kit is a beginner’s program for students 8+, so keep this in mind if you have a student who is an advanced coder they may jump right to the challenging part of the project in which they can change the code around. The initial code for the project is already given to the students all they have to do is properly insert the parts needed for the code. I really like that the student has a visual so they are sure they using the correct parts and inserting the correctly. My son is a visual learner and he really appreciated this assistance. The students connect the parts and run the code, but once they have successfully run the code, students looking for more of a challenge can move onto the checklist. I also like the reference cards that are included the cards teach the student the proper coding language and definitions.

My son did an estimate of ten codes during the review process and also explored the challenge checklist. He said the Let’s Start Coding Base Kit is easy to use and he liked how the website gave him a lot more ideas for coding. We plan to use the Let’s Start Coding Base Kit over the holiday for extra coding practice. I personally like how he could independently set up the program and run it. My son keeps his Let’s Start Coding Base Kit on his desk for easy access.

If you are looking to check out Let’s Start Coding Base Kit be sure to click the banner below and don’t forget that Let’s Start Coding Base Kit is included in the Timberdoodle Co 2022 Fifth-Grade Curriculum Kit.

Until the Next Time,

Mom and J

6th Grade, Education, Family, Homeschool, Middle School Math

Brilliant: Premium Subscription!

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

Ok so I am in the 40+ club and I try to keep my brain sharp by working on logic games and puzzles. So when presented with the opportunity to review Brilliant Premium Subscription I thought this would be perfect for me. Well, I was wrong…my husband who was laying beside me became curious about what I was doing and took over.

Brilliant is a digital way to bring STEM to your family designed to provide daily math courses in areas of

  • Mathematical Fundamentals
  • Pre-Algebra
  • Geometry Fundamentals
  • Geometry 1
  • Algebra 1
  • Algebra 2

Brilliant is designed to help your student think logically in areas of math, science, and computer science. The program is for students in grades 6th – Adult. What is unique about Brilliant is students will move along a learning path as they work on areas of interest. My student is a rising 6th grader, but he really enjoys working at Brilliant. I think what caught his attention was one exercise with balance beam math, he instantly recognized the concept and enjoyed reviewing this in a digital form. I really enjoy the logical parts of Brilliant my husband and I take turns solving them. I also like how Brilliant will send you emails of new challenges and reminders to log in.

Brilliant exercises take about 10-15 mins to complete, if your student needs to break from the course the progress is saved until they are ready to work again. Students can toggle between math exercises, logic, science, and computer science fundamentals. There are over 60 + courses in the Brilliant Premium Subscription which is such a great variety of STEM learning opportunities that your homeschool is covered when using the Premium Subscription. Brilliant is downloaded to all of our Apple devices and we all are working on learning paths. My husband and I are in steady competition over who can complete the new challenges first. Our son has sometimes beaten us to challenges, but it is okay because I love the benefits we are getting from Brilliant.

If you would like to read more fabulous reviews on Brilliant Premium Subscription be sure to check out the Crew’s reviews by clicking the banner below.

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6th Grade, 7th Grade, Curriculum, Education, Homeschool, Middle School Math

TabletClass Math: Pre-Algebra Review!

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

As we move through our current school year my mind is always focused on the future of upper-level math for my son. We are pretty much set for this school year for math curriculums, but I have been wondering if we are on the right track for Algebra. I was given the opportunity to review TabletClass Math Pre-Algebra.

TabletClass Math Pre-Algebra is an online math curriculum with pre-recorded lectures. There is a student and parent portal, student portal is where your student will do their coursework. I really do like the parental portal it gives you an in-depth understanding of the curriculum along with answer keys. Once the student completes the course student you can print out a certificate. The parent portal is easy to use and gives you a pacing guide which I really love because it shows you the different levels of pacing from slower, average, and accelerated. Having this pacing guide will allow you to use TabletClass Math Pre-Algebra as it best works for your family.

TabletClass Math Pre-Algebra is a little long and reminds me of a traditional classroom lecture. Mr. Zimmerman opens the class by him teaching the lesson on a whiteboard, I really like this method of teaching because it encourages students to take notes. We are working on taking notes in our other curriculums and I am always on my son about taking accurate notes in his current math curriculum. I like how Mr. Zimmerman uses highlighting as he teaches the lessons, my son loves to highlight. I had my son watch a few of the videos and asked him what he thought of this teaching style, and if would it be something he would like to try, and he did point out to me that lessons are long, but he likes how Mr. Zimmerman writes great notes and teaches slowly each of the steps. I totally agree with his observations, and for this reason, I will pull this out when we are really struggling with a concept.

How to Complete a Lesson

Students will take notes from the instruction video, I highly recommend you encourage your student to do this. After they watch the instruction video students will then work on the example problems, which are available to print out or students can work in a notebook. Once the student completes the first set of examples problems, they can go to the video that is marked for that section of problems and check their answers or correct the problems they didn’t get correct. I love this self-correcting option because Mr. Zimmerman walks them through the steps of each problem and your student can see what they did wrong and make the adjustments accordingly.

There are sixteen chapters in TabletClass Math Pre-Algebra currently out of those sixteen chapters I can honestly say that my son has had exposure to each of the topics covered. Now I said exposure not mastery, so with that being said will start from chapter one. One of the things I really enjoyed was Mr. Zimmerman’s tone of voice/pace, visual aids, and bits of humor in the lessons. I felt like he was having a conversation with the students rather than talking at them and rushing through the concept. My son watched the first video and instantly caught on to the concept being explained and didn’t feel overwhelmed.

What I found different about TabletClass Math Pre-Algebra is they really concentrate on those pre-algebra concepts that I remember in 8th and 9th grade. If your students don’t have the proper foundation for basic elementary skills, you will know right away once you start TabletClass Math Pre-Algebra. My son is almost 10 years old and works at a 6th-grade math level he had no problem looking over the topics we previewed, so I highly recommend you make sure your student has basic and early middle school math skills nailed.

Overall Review

I really like TabletClass Math Pre-Algebra it gives me that old-school way of learning upper-level math. Notetaking is a huge plus in my opinion because it is setting your student up for success with math and independent learning. The self-correcting alongside Mr. Zimmerman is also a plus because it not only helps your student to see their errors but also allows the parent to help students. The self-correcting also helps support your student with the organization. I don’t know how many times I have to tell my student to show his work in his current curriculum and have to explain why he needs to make this a habit. Mr. Zimmerman wants your student to show their work so they can review and better understand.

We will defiantly be using TabletClass Math Pre-Algebra once we finish our last 10 lessons in our current math curriculum to bridge the gap until we start our new curriculum in January. I would love to fit it into our rotation now, but I want us to finish these last 10 lessons first. I highly recommend this curriculum if you are looking for pre-algebra support. TabletClass Math Pre-Algebra also works well for those independent learners and for those families looking to help transition their students to independent learning. TabletClass Math Pre-Algebra tests and exams are also a big plus for me. I know some homeschoolers aren’t big on tests and exams, but I do like to have something that reflects that my student understands what he has been learning and use these results to help me with lesson plans and for his portfolio.

Be sure to check out the other crew member’s reviews of TabletClass Math by clicking the banner below.

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Curriculum, Education, Grammar, Homeschool, Vocabulary

Dynamic Literacy, LLC: Wordbuild Online Review!

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

We are testing family and this year when I noticed right away there was a substantial amount of vocabulary on the exam. For the last 2 years, we have worked on vocabulary-building activities through workbooks and curriculums. I was thrilled when the Crew was offered to review Dynamic Literacy, LLC: Wordbuild Online .

In all honesty, I had never heard of Wordbuild Online until we were presented with the opportunity to review it. At first glance at the website, I was very impressed with the scope and sequence. Wordbuild Online really concentrates on the prefixes and suffixes, Greek, and Latin roots. There are 3 foundation levels reviewing prefixes and suffixes with 25 units per level. After your student masters, these 75 exercises the students will move on to the Elements level which also has 3 levels of 25-36 units of Greek and Latin roots.

The company started all of our Crew accounts at the foundations level and to be honest with you I thought this was a great idea. Having my son started at the beginning was fine with me because I wanted him to take advantage of everything this online platform had to offer. Starting from the beginning also let me know where he was in his knowledge of roots and where I needed to focus our attention. Students are given a placement test at the beginning as well students watch an introductory video about the English language.

Students are recommended to work the 10-15 min lessons 5 days a week. I highly recommend that you do these lessons consecutively. I made this mistake in week one of us using the program and thereafter we worked consistently. Foundations level 1-3 are students 2- 5th grade, but I personally feel students should start at the beginning Wordbuild Online instead of jumping directly to the Greek and Latin roots. Foundations and Elements break the lesson down into 5 different activities. The requirement for

  • Day 1 Affix Square (Foundations)
  • Daty 2 Affix Adder (Foundations )
  • Day 3 Magic Square (Foundations) / Stair Steps (Elements)
  • Day 4 Comprehension Booster (Foundations) / In Other Words (Elements)
  • Day 5 Question Assessment (Foundations) /10 Question Assessment (Elements)

What We Think!

My SON LOVES this program! It is the first thing he does after breakfast, he has been very consistent with the platform. He learning and reviewing so much and enjoying watching himself get better. At first, he was getting a rating score of 2’s and I was concerned maybe we needed to do some review. I just sat back and just observed his work and I realize that Wordbuild Online was presenting these lessons in a different way than he was used to seeing them as pretty basic. Wordbuild Online was teaching him definitions and vocabulary and having him really dissect these words in sentence comprehension. Those few 2’s started turning into 4’s because he had found his rhythm and gotten over the learning curve.

I really like how Wordbuild Online presents the affix, then students define it in their own words using a new word. Then they work on sentence comprehension by using the new word and picking the correct use in the sentence. The students continue to work on many more activities that increase vocabulary, spelling, and review. I love the parent dashboard that is simple and you can reset it if you want your student to rework an affix.

Since using Wordbuild Online the last few weeks our current vocabulary curriculum has taken the backseat because he really prefers this over his book. When it comes time for the Crew to vote for the best vocabulary curriculum for the year we are definitely casting our vote for Wordbuild Online.

Be sure to check out the other Crew reviews of Dynamic Literacy, LLC: Wordbuild Online by clicking the banner below.

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Education, History, Homeschool Family

Home School in the Woods Project Passport: Ancient Egypt Review!

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

It’s that time of year again when decisions are being made on a new homeschool curriculum. This year I am being even more selective in curriculum and supplements. We were given the opportunity to review Home School in the Woods: Project Passport World History Studies, Ancient Egypt.

This year we are studying Ancient Civilizations as part of our spine curriculum so I am looking for ways to add some hands-on activities to the mix. Home School in the Woods: Project Passport World History Studies, Ancient Egypt takes kids on a journey back to Ancient Egypt. Project Passport World History Studies, Ancient Egypt is for grades 3-8th. Project Passport World History Studies, Ancient Egypt is not a secular curriculum you will see biblical references throughout the lessons. There are 25 stops on the learning journey complete with a guidebook, travel itinerary, and 50 plus printable activities in black/white and color. Students will have activities that include:

  • Creative Writing
  • Mapping
  • Government
  • Culture
  • Life Skills
  • Timelines
  • Crafts
  • Lapbook projects and much more!

Project Passport World History Studies, Ancient Egypt also includes additional resources that suggested helping your child dig deeper into the studies. Project Passport World History Studies, Ancient Egypt provides everything you need to prep and move through the study with ease. There are notebook covers for a 3-ring binder to help your students stay organized and help the study flow easier. I will tell you there is a lot of printing required for this study, so I would print as you go. Of course, since the kids are taking a trip it wouldn’t be complete with a passport and luggage folder.

The detailed teacher guidebook provides the readings and lessons and structure for the Project Passport World History Studies, Ancient Egypt. You can pick and choose what activities you would like to do. Project Passport World History Studies, Ancient Egypt stretches over 5-grade levels so I would really pace myself when working the study so you don’t burn your student out. So work at your own pace, I personally was really overwhelmed by so many activities, it may have been just I was in the planning and researching studies for our upcoming homeschool year.

Project Passport World History Studies, Ancient Egypt covers a multitude of timeline figures you can see a full list here. There is also a scope and sequence on the product page for you to review. Project Passport World History Studies, Ancient Egypt provides step by step picture guide on how to put the lapbook together (HUGE PLUS)….super thank you for this Home School in the Woods. Project Passport World History Studies, Ancient Egypt also includes audio and project photos this is also super helpful for both students and parents.

We teach gentle true history in our home and because of this, I have to read everything before presenting it to my son and check for historical accuracies. One of the things I found confusing was the organization of the file. I would have preferred the guidebook and travel itinerary to be one concise pdf. The start here file is very helpful because it breaks the down guide into the 25 stops and provides the direct link to both the guide and itinerary, I just would like it all together. I do like that a symbol guide is included in the activities because it lets you know if there is a photo, audio, scrapbook, 3-D craft, and dining activity.

I am still reading and reviewing a lot of the materials in the Project Passport World History Studies, Ancient Egypt, I wish there was more information on Kush and I found it interesting that the newspaper template is named The Kemet Chronicle when in fact the real name of Egypt is Kemet.

Last Thoughts

I think the Project Passport World History Studies, Ancient Egypt is a nice unit study if you are looking for a study on Ancient Egypt. I would recommend you fact-check any materials presented. There are several Biblical references within the study, you can omit those parts if you like and still be successful at doing the unit study. There are 4 additional Project Passports in this series so be sure to check them out I am quite sure some of the Homeschool Review Crew members will be reviewing them as well. If you want to learn more about the Project Passport World History Studies and other Homeschool in the Woods products be sure to click the banner below and read what other Crew members review.

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Homeschool, Homeschool Family, Morning Basket, Music Appreciation, Music Theory, Unit Study

Teach Your Child Piano: Read Music Notes in 6 Weeks and Summer Siesta Music Camp Review!

Complimentary product received from Teach Your Child Piano!

If you are followers on our Little Learner and Mom IG you know my son, well our entire family loves music. My son was exposed to music early on in the womb because his dad is a music producer and insisted on playing music to my belly every night. So when my son was born he instantly took to all things music.

My son’s first instrument was the trombone it was like love at first sight from 18 months old until the present. We bought his first trombone when he was 3 and he has been playing every since. When Karen asked me if we would be interested in taking a look at the Teach Your Child Piano course Read Music Notes in Six Weeks and the Music Camp: Summer Siesta course, we were happy to review them.

The Teach Your Child Piano courses are on the “Teachable” platform. You will have your own dashboard that includes your course of study. Some of the activities include downloadable pdfs and embedded videos. Not all of the Siesta Summer activities have videos. I think it would be nice if each included one example of the topic. This would be helpful for those students and parents who have no background in music. The platform is easily managed and it tracks your progress as long as you click the continue and complete button.

Read Music Notes in Six Weeks

Read Music Notes in Six Weeks is a great course for beginners who do not have a background in music. My son has a background in music so after looking over the first week, he felt like it was just a little too easy for him. But I am going to base my review on what I think if I had a non-musical child. This is a great course to introduce your students to reading music and music theory. The included a detailed lesson plan, games, worksheets, instructional video, flashcards, and a practice plan.

There are 6 modules that cover:

  • Learning Your Way Around The Keyboard
  • Treble Clef Line Notes
  • Treble Clef Space Notes
  • Bass Clef Line Notes
  • Bass Clef Space Notes
  • Review and Preparing for the Grand Recital

After looking through all the weeks I think this would be great for a family who has no or very little background in music. I do still have plans to have my son review the weeks just as a review in the fall.

Music Camp Online: Summer Siesta

Summer Siesta consists of 120 self-paced lessons for ages 4-14. The course runs from May to August, but I think this can be used year-round and I hope Karen will consider keeping the program going year-round. There is so much to unpack in this course and for a music-loving family like ours, we need more time to really appreciate all the wonderfulness in this course. Summer Siesta is really a music appreciation course that families can pair well with geography, history, and cultural lessons in their homeschool.

Students can study:

  • Musical Era (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern)
  • Various Music Genre
  • Orchestra and Foreign Instruments
  • Cultural Music
  • Composers
  • Chorus
  • Vocal Expression
  • DIY Instruments

There are 120 lessons the summer program encourages students to do 1 activity per day for a total of 60 activities over the summer. You don’t have to do the activities in order, but students will earn a certificate at the end of the course if the activities are completed. For us, that wasn’t going to be something achievable because we kept going down rabbit trails. The activity sheets can be done orally or written. We do them orally and I recorded the answers down for my son because I wanted him to enjoy researching and having fun.

For copyright reasons and to protect the creator’s work I won’t be uploading a copy of the full sheet, but I can tell you that the sheets are detailed and not overwhelming.

My son decided he wanted to spend time learning more about Spanish composer the “Queen of Percussion” Shelia “E” Escovedo! Let me just tell you this was a family affair when my husband got wind that we were doing this study he told us about the Sheila E Master Class. We were all captivated by her wonderful story and percussion lessons. My son was super intrigued and took things to another level and decided to research Pete Escovedo who is her father. We ended up doing 2 lessons on Spanish composers. We also did an instrument study on the bongos. We continued to go down another rabbit hole that led us to Prince. Like really we studied all about PRINCE !!!!

Of course, after we did Shelia E he wanted to research the trombone. So we grabbed the brass instrument and jazz activity sheet and learned about the Trombone and Trombone Shorty. That lesson didn’t stop there because it lead us down the road to New Orleans’ infamous Treme history.

We really like the Summer Siesta and like I said I hope my review persuades the creator to extend the course for year-round availability. Read Music Notes in Six Weeks and Music Camp: Summer Siesta would be a great addition to your homeschool lessons if you are looking for a self-directed course. Self-directed courses work best for us because it allows us the freedom to follow our interest.

Teach Your Child Piano currently has 18 courses available prices start at $49 and up. There is a free course available and a monthly homeschool course. I defiantly recommend checking out Teach Your Child Piano.

Until the Next Time,

Mom and J

Early Math Skills, Education, Family, Homeschool, Preschool

Creta Class: Math Class

This review is in partnership with Creta Class. I received access to the app to facilitate my review all opinions are my own.

Math is one of those skills you want to start your children on the right path. As parents, we are our children’s first teachers and we play all kinds of finger play games for counting and read tons of picture books with numbers and counting. What if there was an app that could start your little learners on the right path. Well, the creators at Creta Class have created a wonderful educational platform for children ages 3-8.

At first glance, I was captivated by Creta Class graphics and Momo and his friends. Creta Class was designed by early education experts to ensure your little mathematicians kickstart their math skills on the right foot. Creta Class experts have really outdone themselves with the app. We have reviewed many apps and I was very impressed with how this app was designed.

Creta Class learning approach is systemic there are 5 stages of learning, starting with the very basics of 2D & 3D shapes. Students will work over the week concentrating on that week’s skill. I really appreciate that the app is done daily for as little as 10 minutes a day. Creta Class Math Class lessons are presented with fun animation between the videos students practice the skill 3 times. Creta Class is a mastery math class, students will practice skills and review until they move on to the next week’s unit. Parents receive a detailed report after each week’s unit as well as students can see their progress. Creta Class Math Class is a great way to lesson plan if you are a homeschooler and supplement learning.

What I really like about Creta Class is it’s not a video game or overly loaded with games. The lessons are meaningful and designed to keep your student’s interest and help them learn basic math skills, without all the extra distractions. Creta Class lessons cover:

  • Problem Solving
  • Arithmetic
  • Logical Reasoning
  • Builds Confidence
  • Spatial Awareness

Creta Class 5 stage plan has 240 lessons with one lesson a day for 12 months. I also like that the platform combines lessons that use both real-life pictures and illustrations. With me having background in Montessori I really appreciated the simplicity of the lessons and they are child-led and focus on the whole child.

My son and I tried out several of the units. My son is older than the app appeals to but he found the app fun and agreed with me that this would have been great if he was younger. I really enjoyed the weekly challenge at the end of Unit 1 week 3, he said it was cool how they reviewed all the week’s concepts at the end of the week with a racetrack race. I personally also liked that Thursdays is a review of all the week’s lessons. Creta Class is a safe and educational app that I would feel comfortable using with a younger child. This purposeful screen time with a focus and goal, I wish this app was around when my son was younger.

I really like Creta Class Math Class for ages 3-8 years the program lays a solid foundation for early math skills. With 1000+ lessons, personalized lesson plans, and engaging activities math is fun and easy to master. Students develop a healthy growth mindset toward math and build self-esteem.

Creta ClassI highly recommends Creta Class, you can learn more about this fabulous math app by clicking the banner below or clicking here. Creta Class is available on IOS and Google play. If you are looking to start your students on a great path to math excellence Creta Class is definitely where I would start.

Until the Next Time,

Mom and J

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.

4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, Education, Family, History, Homeschool

Beautiful Feet Books: Around California with Children’s Books Pack: A History of the Golden State Review!

(Gifted)

Little Learner and Mom were once again given the honor of showcasing more of Beautiful Feet Books History and Science History curriculums. Our family was sent the Around California with Children’s Books Pack: A History of the Golden State. I was very impressed by the selection of picture books and equally impressed by the books included in the rabbit trails and library recommendations.

When you think of history does California come to mind? Probably not, because when teaching US History we traditionally think about the eastern coast of the United States first and don’t usually venture further west until after the Civil War. Well while the east coast history plays a significant part in US History Beautiful Feet Book Around California with Children’s Books Pack: A History of the Golden State brings the excitement about the West Coast.

Beautiful Feet Books curriculums are a Charlotte Mason-inspired. The company creators are homeschoolers themselves and have been inspiring families for 30 years with their beautiful illustrated literature.

To help homeschool parents ignite wonder and connect with their kids through the best stories and guided lessons.

Beautiful Feet Books History and Science History curriculums

Around California with Children’s Books Pack: A History of the Golden State starts its journey through California’s rich history with the Ice Age. Students will embark on learning about animals during this time period and natural disasters. My learner and I spent time researching the La Brea Tarpits and the weather conditions of the world during the Ice Age. I thought of some fun movies (Ice Age animated series) and suggested documentaries suggested in the lesson guide. Around California with Children’s Books Pack: A History of the Golden State covers history, geography, nature study, culinary history, and art study. Each lesson is estimated to take an hour for grades 4-6. You can find a complete scope and sequence on the product page.

Around California with Children’s Books Pack: A History of the Golden State includes:

  • Teacher Guide
  • 80 Multi-Sensory Lessons
  • Blank Notebook
  • 17 Books
  • Downloadable timeline sheet

What is intriguing about Around California with Children’s Books Pack: A History of the Golden State is the inclusive diversity of lessons presented. I was very pleased to see the inclusivity of African Americas and Asian Americans in the later lessons. Indigenous studies were included throughout the lessons as well which were done respectfully and with attention to detail. The selection of books was broad and packed with beautiful illustrations that held my 5th grader’s interest.

My son enjoyed the relaxed feel of learning about California he really spent time writing his journal and adding to his notes. We spent time painting, reading, and engaging in discussions about animals, culture, and global perspectives of California. We visited the story Kalifia as a rabbit trail we went down. He really enjoys geography, art, and culture.

Around California with Children’s Books Pack: A History of the Golden State is meant to be covered in a complete school year. I can see how one can make this their entire year’s history because it is so much you can do that will combine other historical information about the US in this one curriculum. I hope that in the near future that Beautiful Feet Books will add more states because there is so much to unpack in US History.

What I did notice is when it was time to do the lessons we set up the environment. My son cleared our table and prepared a light snack, set out the materials, and turned on the diffuser with little lavender essential oils. I always made sure there was something art relative for us to do while I was reading the literature for that lesson. He did art, snacked and we talked. I don’t know what it was about setting up the environment this way but it made our lessons enjoyable and special.

We will be stretching this curriculum over the next 2 years and it will become our special interest history. I want to take our time with this one because along with what the curriculum provides I want to be able to include more historical information during certain time periods.

Library finds we added to our studies

At the time of this review Around California with Children’s Books Pack: A History of the Golden State cost is $252.95.

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Curriculum, Family, Homeschool, Spanish

Whistlefritz: Educator’s Spanish CollectionReview!

Disclaimer: Complimentary Product Received through the Homeschool Review Crew!

When my son was younger I had a bad habit of speaking Spanglish to him. While I do speak Spanish fluently my son still has a bad Spanglish habit. The Crew was given the opportunity to review Whistlefritz Educator’s Spanish Collection and Educator’s French Collection and we choose to review the digital Educator’s Spanish Collection.

My son already takes 1:1 Spanish classes with a wonderful Maestra who is located in Columbia. He meets with her 2 days a week for an hour. She is the real deal and we love her no English in her class is permitted. While he meets with her 2 days a week and she assigns homework. I wanted to also reinforce what he was learning in class and that’s where Educator’s Spanish Collection digital comes in.

Educator’s Spanish Collection is a fun at home Spanish program for kids preschool to early elementary they provide DVD or Digital language learning videos, music, and lessons plans. They also offer a free home educators guide for homeschoolers. The Educator’s Spanish Collection comes with:

  • Detailed Lesson Plans
  • Digitals Videos
  • Digital music
  • Matching cards

Whistlefritz is a language immersion program, your students are immediately introduced to the language. I personally prefer a total immersion approach I feel students pick up the language better. I also like that music is included in the program because when learning a new language it’s important that you not only immersed yourself into the language but also into the culture. It is was nice that the program has a native speaker doing the videos.

Whistlefritz Educator’s Spanish Collection is geared towards ages one to seven years old. I wish I had this program when my son was younger because I probably could have avoided his Spanglish habits. Now we used Educator’s Spanish Collection a little differently from how it was intended. Since we are Spanish speaking family I was more interested in my son working on his ability to and write Spanish. The 174 page educators guide was perfect for this practice. I decided to take the lessons and write them on our big board and he needed to fill in in the blanks in his notebooks, I also did dication practice and he had to write down what I was saying in his notebook and use the correct the vocabulary word.

Educator’s Spanish Collection videos are colorful and packed with tons of vocabulary. The use of puppets and children of all ages and ethnic backgrounds is a huge plus. The fun songs are easy to learn and enjoyable. I didn notice that the digital version only came with 4 sheets of the matching card game, but I am thinking this may be and error because there are suppose to be 50 cards. We used those cards we did have for vocabulary and I plan to reach out to the company to get the other cards.

I highly recommend Whistlefritz Educator’s Spanish Collection for younger students, the program provides a solid spanish beginning foundations. I love how the instructor speaks in Spanish naturally and at the correct pace. Some may find this difficult but this immersion stops the unnatural flow of the language. The progma is engaging and the 40 lessons provide parents with helpful ways to teach Spanish. Whistlefritz Educator’s Spanish Collection is geared to younger learners, but it works well for older students for learning a second language.

I did have my son watch a few of the videos that were in Spanish only. I did this because he is familiar with Spanish only and I am I trying to break those habits of Spanglish.

Be sure to check out the other Crew’s reviews of Whistlefritz Educator’s Spanish Collection and Educator’s French Collection by clicking the banner below.