Critical Thinking and Logic, Curriculum, Education, Family, Geography, History, Homeschool

Curiosity Chronicles: Volume 2 Early Modern History Review!

Complimentary Product Received!

We love history in our home and focus on the gentle truth of history. We have several history curriculums we pull from and I always check actual true history that is secular. The gracious creators of the Curiosity Chronicles sent us their latest release Early Modern History Volume 2 to review.

We are no strangers to Curiosity Chronicles history curriculum; we actually own the Ancient, Medieval, and Early Modern Vol 1 curriculums. My son has really enjoyed the lessons we have done and I haven’t found any questionable text. Ted and Mona have been long-time friends of ours as we have journeyed our way through history over the years. Curiosity Chronicles is a multi-sensory history curriculum that works for students with different learning styles.

We believe everyone has a place at the table when it comes to telling history.

Curiosity Chronicles

Curiosity Chronicles is not your typical history of the curriculum. Students learn history through snapshots of historical time periods and global events. The curriculum follows Mona Ted through history through dialogues. The students are introduced to the characters then they begin to engage in historical conversations and take your students on adventures learning about artistic, cultural, scientific, and political perspectives in history.

Students learn history from a global perspective. History is never dull when using Curiosity Chronicles kids will engage in meaningful conversation with you and want to learn more. What I like about Curiosity Chronicles is that the lesson is actual snapshots of history topics. I have found that a vast majority of the snapshots in the text are never mentioned in other elementary history curriculums. I am also pleased the company includes so much diversity in the characters, illustrations, and subject matter.

Early Modern History Volume 2 picks up right where Early Modern Vol 1 leaves off and starts the conversations between Ted and Mona discussing Catherine the Great of Russia. Early Modern History Volume 2 has 36 chapters that are divided into 18 sections. Students will study history snapshots from 1550- 1850, with topics such as the Haitian Revolutionary War, Empires in Africa, Bolivarian Revolution, American Revolution, and much more. We received hard and digital copies of Early Modern History Volume 2 curriculum package.

The complete Early Modern History Volume 2 includes:

  • Snapshots of Early Modern History Vol. 2 text
  • Softcover Insrutctor and Student Guide
  • Audiobook Snapshots of Early Modern Vol. 2
  • Digital Ted’s Timeline Kit: Early Modern Vol. 2

In both Vol 1 and Vol 2 we see Ted and Mona’s friends Arthur and Lily in the cultural corners at the end of select chapters as they highlight important artists, writers, scientists, and musicians.

Curiosity Chronicles Early Modern History Volume 2 is truly a fun-filled comprehensive curriculum. Students will complete written lessons, mapwork, coloring pages, puzzles, STEM activities, and my son’s favorite Minecraft challenges. Lessons can be done family-style and the company is adding extension activities soon for older students. There are sections in the snapshot that invite students to research more on the historical topic they are studying. Early Modern History Volume 2 breaks important historical events down the curriculum is designed to with the children and not at them. My son enjoys curriculums that he feels are a part of the discussion.

Students will learn to discuss complex ideas, develop critical thinking skills, engage in hands-on learning, and find tangential learning!

Curiosity Chronicles Early Modern History Volume 2 comes with a Teds Timeline kit. The Timeline kit comes with templates and pictures for your student to construct a wall timeline (color or black and white) or notebook timeline. We have a history timeline notebook so we will be using this instead of the templates provided. For this review I let my son decide on what area of time he wanted to learn about and he choose Section 31 Empires of Africa Chapter 61 Shaka forges the Zulu. He listened to the audiobook snapshot during breakfast and later during the day we went through the Snapshots of Early Modern History Volume 2 text. We talked about the Zulu, Swazis, Basotho, Xhosa, Boers, and Southern Africa. Through our study, we discussed the different biomes of Africa and the migration of the great people of Africa across the continent. We were introduced to the great Zulu warrior Shaka and his military. My son was intrigued by this chapter he started researching EVERYTHING about the Zulu people. He went to work on his assignments and his Minecraft challenges. He really enjoyed this sneak peek into our history lesson for the Fall, not sure I am going to be able to keep this one on the shelf until September.

I highly recommend Curiosity Chronicles Early Modern History Volume 2 as well as all of the other history curriculums published by Curiosity Chronicles. The history is easy to follow and interactive.

Critical Thinking and Logic, Curriculum, Education, Language Arts, Vocabulary, Writing

Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town Review!

Complimentary Product Received!

This homeschool year has been difficult choosing a language curriculum. I decided to go with the curriculum we had last year, but that was an epic fail. After 3 months of trying to find a new language arts program before our 2nd semester started, I ran across Royal Fireworks Press language arts curricula Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town. The Melanated Gold Squad was offered the opportunity to review MCT Level 2 Complete Homeschool Package and I was selected to review it.

My son is newly turned 9 and he loves grammar, we noticed early on he was gifted in this area of his homeschool studies. Finding a grammar curriculum that was both rigorous and amusing has become arduous. This year alone we have set aside 3 curriculums and decided on multiple review books. Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town has been the curriculum we needed to feed his ferocious grammar inclinations.

Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town is for students ages 9-11 in grades 4-5. Grammar Town picks up where Grammar Island leaves off with the continued practice of the “4 grammar analysis of (1) parts of speech, (2) parts of the sentence, (3) phrases, and (4) clauses.” No worries if you haven’t done the previous level as long as your student has a strong understanding of grammar they will be alright with starting level 2, but I wouldn’t recommend jumping into level 3 without previously doing level 3. Even though the curriculum is presented for children who are gifted/dyslexic I have found that children who are able to read fluently and have strong reading comprehension will find this curriculum gratifying.

Level 2 : Grammar Town Layout

MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town is beautifully designed with simple distinctive vibrant illustrations. The curriculum covers 5 strands Grammar (Grammar Practice), Vocabulary, Writing, Poetics, and Literature. The complete homeschool package comes with a lesson guide, student books, and teacher’s manuals (this includes the readers) for each of the MCT sections. The program in my opinion is designed to be conversational. MCT is not like your typical language arts curriculums you will not find the typical question and answer busy work. The lessons are intellectually stimulating and thought-provoking. I found myself relearning and grasping a better understanding of grammar. My son instantly took to the Grammar Town book, he repeatedly would point out how he better understood grammar concepts.

There are 30 weekly lessons of MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town the lessons are designed to gradually include the other textbooks included in the MCT Level 2 Complete Homeschool Package. Students should work at their own pace and make sure they have a complete mastery of the Grammar Town book before moving on to the next book. There are assessment pages in the books, but you can also download the assessment pages from a link provided by Royal Fireworks Press inside the book. The assessment pages are there to make sure your student is mastering the materials before moving on to the next section in the book. These assessment pages are not the same as Practice Town.

The very first-week students are to read the Grammar Town book on their own. I was amazed to see how intrigued my son was by the illustrations and the story. Several times he came to me and asked questions and wanted to discuss the stories. On the days we didn’t do lessons he requested MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town over his other language arts books.

Today lesson was intellectually restorative….Learning about the complexity of sentence structure and how all the the words we use in sentences are reflective of the 8 parts of speech that make a sentence cohesive. Thinking about it from that point of view makes sense into why a sentence must a have a subject and verb.

J

Caesar’s English is the vocabulary section students will embark on a historical language journey. Students will learn Latin roots, history, and word origins. Again students are exposed to wonderful visual and practice pages. Students will also see a brief intro to Latin roots in Grammar Town on the first pages. Practice Town includes 100 sentences of practice for students on the skills learned in Grammar Town and writing. Paragraph Town is another fun-filled narrative about learning paragraph fundamentals and punctuation. The poetry book Building Poems is metaphoric it is written to teach students poetry terms as if they are constructing a building. MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town includes the literature books:

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  • Peter Pan
  • The Wind in the Willows

Each book is reproduced in its entirety and includes Michael’s “language illustrations”—close-ups of poetic techniques, four-level analyses of interesting grammar, and comments about writing strategies

Royal Fireworks Press

How We Used MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town

For the first 3 weeks, we used the curriculum as the implementation guide suggests. I made little tweaks here in there. My son was introduced to some Latin roots and I wrote these roots on index cards for him. I also wrote out grammar cards for him of all of the parts of speech components. We also put together a vocabulary journal for words we were instructed to define. My son enjoyed the assignments on select pages, some of these we did in his notebook, and some we did on a dry erase board. The lessons are short we spent time in meaningful discussions.

MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town was used daily for the first 3 weeks and I added in some supplemental resources just to ensure mastery. After week 3 we went to a 3-day-a-week schedule and 2 days a week supplemental materials. I was sure to use supplemental material that would complement MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town. Overall my son prefers MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town over his previous language arts curriculum and I have shelved what we were using prior. We are in week 6 of the suggested implementation lesson guide and have begun using Caesar’s English I, Classical Education Color Edition.

Wrap up

MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town is a rigorous and complete language arts program. If you are looking for a new way to introduce grammar to your student I highly recommend this curriculum. The curriculum does require parent involvement in my opinion wasn’t intense and I welcomed it. I enjoyed having conversations with him and seeing his face light up. The curriculum is designed for mastery and it is suggested you don’t move on until your student has mastered each section.

While the literature part I thought was going to be monotonous. I understand why the books were selected and remastered to complement the curriculum. I do hope in the future the company would consider adding some optional remastered diverse readers.

Would I buy Level 3 in the Fall absolutely! I again caution against not jumping into level 3 without going through level 2. You can get away with not doing Level 1, but making that jump into level 3 is not advisable. The levels don’t coordinate with the grade levels so please take note of this. If you are the type of homeschooler that needs tons of worksheets after each lesson this is not the curriculum for you. MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town is in a class by itself rigor without the complexity of busywork, this was more of relaxed conversational language arts. MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town takes its time to ensure students really understand language and how they work together. I learned so much in the last 6 weeks reviewing MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town.

MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town works on this sequence per their website:

  1. Do grammar first.
  2. Begin the vocabulary text after you finish the parts of speech in the grammar book.
  3. Begin the practice book after the entire text of the grammar book is complete.
  4. Begin the writing text once the four-level analysis is strong, as seen in the practice sentences.
  5. Begin the poetics text after the writing book is complete to develop expertise in controlling the sounds of sentences.
  6. Extend the curriculum with literature.

Royal Fireworks Press provides Overview Chart, Elementary Guide, and Secondary Guide on their website. There are seven levels to the MCT Language Arts program and there are also implementation videos.

The cost of MCT Level 2 Complete Homeschool Package is $290 the company is also converting their books into Kindle format which may help you cut costs. This program is comprehensive and worth the cost. I highly recommend MCT Language Arts: Level 2 Grammar Town if you are looking for a different way to teach language arts. Be sure to check out the other squad’s reviews of Royal Fireworks Press curriculums.

Until the Next,

Mom and J

Education, Family, Games and Apps, Homeschool, Unit Study

The Waldock Way Human Body Unit Review!

Complimentary Product Received!

One of my favorite homeschool mom influencers is Jessica from The Waldock Way. I have always been a fan of her Instagram and YouTube. We have used all of her unit studies and they are in constant rotation in our home. To date, our favorite has been Traveling the World with a strong runner-up Holidays Around the World. My son stalks her YouTube channel for her Amazon Hauls.

Quite natural I am a member of The Waldock Way Community Facebook group, but then it happened the rumors started she has possibly had a new unit in the works that would debut sometime early 2022. Then it happened she announced the new unit would be Human Body which dropped on February 28th during her annual Spring Sale.

So it was an honor to be one of the first people to get an exclusive first look at this amazing unit study! So let me begin this review with OMGOSH!! Human Body Unit is a full package deal it covers EVERYTHING! I mean I saw lessons on cells, tissue types, scientist study, mazes, puzzles, diagrams, human body idioms, and play-doh mats. This is truly an extraordinary unit study.

The Human Body Unit includes:

  • 13 Family Lessons
  • Comprehensive Resource Guide
  • 9 Human Body System
  • Anatomy
  • Health & Nutrition
  • Review Pages
  • Writing Themes
  • Interactive Activities and much more!

The Human Body Unit is beautifully illustrated by Jessica’s husband. Excellent attention to detail in the illustration as well diversity in skin tones (much appreciated ). One of the things I love about how the Human Body Unit is laid out is that you can go at your own pace and order. My plan is to use the Human Body Unit over a period of time. We will begin with her Health and Nutrition and Five Senses.

The Hunan Body Unit is easy to follow and very relaxed. I was able to locate all of her suggested books at my local library. The unit is written in such a way that you can use almost any human body books you may have on hand.

Okay let me put in a side note the Human Body Unit is a unit study, just like her other products. Nowhere on her website or in her materials does she claim that her unit studies are curriculums. Jessica does what she does best create unit studies that are meant to engage your student in an exploration of learning through literature, game schooling, crafts, adventures, resources, and hands-on activities.

The Waldock Way is nonsectarian. None of our products promote any specific view, so that they can be enjoyed by all homeschoolers.

-Jessica

For copyright reasons I am not sharing many pictures from the actual Human Body Unit but you can see a full walkthrough of the Human Body Unit on The Waldock Way YouTube as well as follow The Waldock Way on Instagram.

So I know what you think how much? Right now at the time of this review the unit is on sale for $19 but regularly priced at $28. I highly recommend the Human Body Unit and I can’t wait to dive into it.

If you are interested in reading more about The Waldock Way products be sure to check out the Melanated Gold Squads reviews by clicking the banner below.

Until the Next Time,

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

Website | Instagram | Blog |

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

2nd Grade Curriculum, 3rd Grade Curriculum, Curriculum, dyslexia, Homeschool, Language Arts, Orton-Gillingham, Reviews, spelling, Writing

Spelling You See Level C Wild Tales Review!

Complimentary product received.

We were sent Spelling You See Level C Wild Tales for us to check out and look at spelling from a different approach. We currently use a curriculum we have used for the last 2 years, but my son isn’t 100% in love with it, So when the opportunity to review Spelling You See Level C Wild Tales was presented I decided this would be a good chance to look over a new program.

When my son first started down our path of homeschooling we used Demme Learning Math U See Primer and Spelling U See A. He did extremely well with both programs and we were happy, but he needed a little more of a challenge when it came to both areas as we entered 1st grade. Spelling You See uses the five development stages of spelling:

  1. Preliterate
  2. Phonetic
  3. Skills Development
  4. Word Extenstions
  5. Derivational Constancy

Wild Tales provides opportunities for students to study words in the context of factual passages about animals.

Spelling You See

Spelling U See is different from other spelling programs, there are no list, grade levels, or extensive prepping of lessons. We were sent Spelling You See Level C Wild Tales it picks up from where Level B ends, so it is really important that you check out the placement assessment on Spelling You See if you haven’t done the previous levels. The Spelling You See Level C Wild Tales comes with an instructor guide, 2 student workbooks, and erasable Crayola color pencils. There are 36 lessons students will work on:

  • Vowel, Consonant, Bossy R Chunks
  • Tricky Y
  • Silent Letters
  • Various Combinations.

You can check out a full scope sequence on the website. The lessons are simple for students the Spelling You See Level C Wild Tales takes the students on an adventure with nonfiction passages about animals. The program does require parent involvement and your student needs to read the passages, day 1-3 students will do copy work (only 10 mins ). You should tell your student to stop writing and then chunk their words with you and that’s it for the day. Day 4 is No Rules day students draw something related to that week’s passage and write at least one sentence about the weekly passage. On day 5 it is dictation day you will dictate to the student the passage of the week and help them when prompted.

Chunking – provides hands-on experience with the many irregular letter patterns in English. Copywork – requires the brain to pay attention to details in print. Dictation – gives the student the opportunity to recall the proper letter patterns from memory.

Spelling You See

Our Review

Spelling You See Level C Wild Tales is a stress-free way to teach spelling, you don’t feel pressured to have your student memorize these ridiculously long lists of words and busywork. Students are able to use their phonetic knowledge and learn to spell. The really nice part is that once the 10 mins are over we are done. In observing our current curriculum I noticed how stressed he was doing word lists, activities and having to move on to the next list. In my heart I felt like is he just moving from the list to list and not really retaining all of the words? There were so many activities he needed to get through during the weekly lessons that we started stretching the lessons to 2 weeks.

Spelling You See Level C Wild Tales just makes things so much easier and it just flows better for us and our new path with homeschooling. We did the sample lessons of Spelling You See Level C Wild Tales first before we dove into the entire book and he said he liked the way it works and that it seem easier and he didn’t feel anxious to get things done in a hurry. I do think we need the Spelling You See Level D Americana, but we will work on the Spelling You See Level C Wild Tales as a review, possibly making the change to Spelling You See Level D Americana in the Spring. We aren’t in a rush so we will take our time and I will move at his pace. I do wish the upper level themes would be different topics for the passages, I did look over levels D – G. My son is able to read all of the passages with no problems and he is familiar with all the different areas of phonics and targeted areas of spelling.

The cost of the Spelling You See Level C Wild Tales at the time of this review is $53 plus taxes and shipping.

Until the Next Time ,

Mom and J

3rd Grade Curriculum, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, Curriculum, Education, Homeschool, Language Arts

Progeny Press: Wagon Wheels Study Guide Review!

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

We added the Progeny Press guide to our Language Arts studies for our Black Pioneers study in December, we were excited to receive the Wagon Wheels Study Guide this time to review. Wagon Wheels Study Guide is a digital download that includes the student activity sheets and a separate answer key. The study guide is recommended for grades 1-3rd grade but my 4th grader will be fine doing this.

The book Wagon Wheels is for students in grades 2nd – 4th, you could possibly stretch the book to 5th grade for its historical content. The story takes place during the time after the civil war when freedmen and their children migrate west to Kansas in search of settling in Nicomdemus Town, land provided from the Homestead Act of 1862. The Muldie boys cross the plains and lose their mother along the way. The three boys and their father reach the town and build themselves a dugout and brace for the harsh winter. The Muldie family encounters the Osage Nation and they rescue them from hungry and they are able to survive. The dad must leave to find work and the Muldie boys (11, 8, and 3) are left to fend for themselves and the support of the community to continue their new life. The book is based upon the memoirs of Lulu Sadler Craig.

Wagon Wheels Study Guide provides brief background information on the Homestead Act of 1862 as well as the synopsis of the book the Wagon Wheels. Students are also given before and after they read activities, vocabulary, grammar, and literary terms to work on. The study guide also provides an external link to other activities to stretch the study guide. In the study guide, you will find 4 questions that do have Bible scriptures attached to them but I didn’t feel as if they were indoctrinating.

The reading comprehensions are divided into 2 chapters sections and the questions require in-depth reflection. Students will answer 7-10 questions in each section. For a 1st grader, the writing may be a bit much, so you can do those questions verbally and they would do fine. Some of the activities include crossword puzzles and drawing, and cooking.

I personally read the book Wagon Wheels for this review and went over the study guide sheets and questions myself. We plan to study Black Pioneers in December so I didn’t let my son do the activities or read the story. I looked over everything and this will definitely be part of our study and I will come back and update my review. I would have liked to see more book resources in the back of the guide about black pioneers, cowboys, Osage Nation.

Be sure to click the banner below to check out the other crew’s reviews of Progeny Press study guides.

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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.

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4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade, Critical Thinking and Logic, Curriculum, Education, Homeschool, Reviews, S.T.E.A.M

Genius Games : Periodic: A Game of The Elements Review !

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

Looking for a fun game that teaches you and your kids the periodic table? I was sent the Periodic: Game of The Elements to review from Genius Games. As a science-loving family and we love any opportunity to game school.

The Periodic: Game of The Elements is a great way to introduce the periodic table to your budding chemist. My son has a little knowledge of the elements but not much and he has recently shown interest in learning them. Periodic: Game of The Elements is for students ages 10+ , 2-5 players, and gameplay is 40-60 mins. The game board is sturdy and the elements are in bright colors. Players will move around the board using 1 of the 5 Erlenmeyer Flask as they research and learn the elements and their atomic numbers.

The goal of the game is to move along the periodic table and collect elements in order to score goal cards. Periodic: Game of The Elements is a strategic game and you have to plan your moves so you can complete goal cards for points. The game has two game movements one is moving your flask around the table and the second movement is moving your microscope around the board and completing your secret agenda cards for extra points. Players also have to decide on how to spend or gain energy to activate trends. The person with the most points wins the game. Periodic: Game of The Elements comes with 172 small pieces, 1 game board, and a rule book.

I really like this game for teaching the elements and their atomic mass. The game offers a great lesson in teaching students about protons and neutrons. The goal cards have different combinations of elements on them and what they become when combined. on the back of the Periodic: Game of The Elements box, you will find a QR scan that makes it easy to retrieve the rules of the game and video of game play.

Periodic: Game of The Elements does has had a lot of moveable parts and does require a certain level of mental play, and logic skills. This game is defiantly for older kiddos I highly recommend it for kids ages 12+. There are a lot of rules to remember and follow to be successful at the game. My son did find it a little confusing as we played the game but, I decided to scale the game back a little for him. We only did the primary movements of the game. Keep in mind my son is just 1 month shy of being 9 years old and he has a strong background in science. He really likes the game board, learning the table as well looking over the goal cards, and researching. We just tweaked the game little for him, I also had a little trouble following the gameplay rules, but the video was very helpful.

I would recommend Periodic: Game of The Elements from Genius Games for students 10+. I wouldn’t recommend to children younger than 9 years. We did enjoy the game and I am sure we will continue to grow into it over the years. At the time of this review the cost of Periodic: Game of The Elements is $39.99 plus taxes and shipping.

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