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

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.

Family, Geography, History, Homeschool, Unit Study

Celebrate States: Colorado Review !

Complimentary Product Received!

Looking for a great way to explore the United States without leaving your home? Have you been interested in visiting a state and would like to get a glimpse of that state before leaving your home? If you answered yes to those questions then Celebrate States is a great way to bring a monthly state to your home.

Celebrate States is a monthly box subscription that features a new state every month. You will get a chance to learn about the history, geography, landmarks, and some of the local favorites.

We received the Colorado box for the month of March. Inside our guide we received:

🗺Colorado travel Guide and map.

🍬Sweet and savory treats from local shops.

🧼Lovely artisan scented soap.

🌲Beautifully crafted Aspen candle holder from the Rocky Mountains.

After going through the Celebrate States box we decided to dig deeper into some of the things he found of interest from the included travel guide. We watched a PBS documentary about the Rocky Mountains. The PBS documentary was very informative we learned about the:

  • Sicangu Lakota Oyate
  • San Luis Valley
  • Indian Boarding Schools
  • Gold Rush
  • Black in Denver Art Exhibit
  • Homesteading
  • The Railway
  • Natural Resources

We enjoyed the Colorado box it allowed us to have a connection to the state. The Celebrate States is a wonderful way to explore the United States with your family. This will make a great complement to homeschool geography lessons.

As you can tell we took the box and ran with it. It was nice to give my son a peek into the beautiful state of Colorado. This is a great addition to our study this upcoming year. I am going to reach out to the company and ask if we can get the Georgia box.

Until the next time,

Mom and J

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.

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

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

BookShark Level D Science Homeschool Curriculum Review!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who is BookShark ?

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

BookShark Science Level D ages 8-11

BookShark Science Level D

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

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

BookShark

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

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

Prepping

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

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

Jaidyn

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

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

Lessons

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

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

Jaidyn
Week 7 Coral Reef

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

The Experiments

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

Sunday lesson planning prepping!

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

BookShark makes science interesting and fun!

Jaidyn
Wolves drawings

Virtual Access and Planning!

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

Last Remarks

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

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

Jaidyn

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

Until the Next Time,

Mom and J

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

Owl Crate Jr: October Box Review!

Complimentary product received from Owl Crate!

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

Owl Crate Jr October 2021

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

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

Amazon

Books Goodies

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

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

Overall Thoughts

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

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

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

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

Until the Next Time,

Mom and J

Social Media

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

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

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