Author Archives: Melinda Weiser

About Melinda Weiser

I am a sinner, saved by grace. I am on a journey and offer to share my story with the hope that it will bless you. My one desire is to bring glory to my creator. I am a wife and the mother of 6 children, plus two in heaven. I enjoy homeschooling, research, teaching, homesteading, natural gardening, grass based farming, cooking, fresh raw milk, herbs, children, midwifery, and music. I am a writer, biblical mentor, and also work part time in the healthy foods and vitamin business www.weisernaturalfoods.com I have a BSW degree from Kansas State University, and trained professionally as a medical social worker, biblical counselor, tutor, and vocal performer. Thank you for stopping by to read about our homeschool and family life adventures. Be blessed!

Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series Review

My kids get excited about reading great books!  They were thrilled when we were recently asked to review Adventures of Rush Revere #1 New York Times Bestselling Book Series by Rush and Kathryn Adams Limbaugh.

American History comes to life in  Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series where a fictional history teacher named Rush Revere takes middle school kids on a journey back in time to explore true and exciting events about the foundation of the United States of America.

Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series

5 Hardback Books

  • Rush Revere and the Pilgrims
  • Rush Revere and the First Patriots
  • Rush Revere and the American Revolution
  • Rush Revere and the Star Spangled Banner
  • Rush Revere and the American President

Illustrated: real photos of historical documents, famous people, events, and locations, as well as fictional illustrations of Rush Revere, his horse and students.

Available in English (Rush Revere and the Pilgrims is also available in Spanish).

Recommended for ages 8-12, but older students, and even the entire family, will enjoy these books too.

We received all five books in the Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series for this review.

In each book in this series, fictional History Teacher Rush Revere travels through time to the past to share the true and exciting events that helped to shape the United States of America.

Even though the teacher and his talking horse, the students, and time travel are fictional, the rest of the historical events in these stories are true.  Some of the illustrations are of the fictional characters, however many of the photos are of actual real people, real documents, actual locations where events took place, and you can still go visit many of these locations today.

Book 1: Rush Revere and the Pilgrims

This story begins on the ship traveling to America called the Mayflower.  The story follows the Pilgrims through their first winter in the New World. American History Teacher Rush Revere time-travels to the past with two students to see American history first-hand.  In this book kids learn about building forts, sword fights, explorations, and learn about people like Squanto and William Bradford.  Kids will also learn about the first Thanksgiving.  Featured in the book are full color illustrations and original documents from this time in history.

After reading this book, your kids will want to keep reading all of the books in the series. In this book kids are introduced to Rush Revere who is an American History Teacher.  Rush Revere is assisted on his journeys with a talking horse named Liberty.  Together they discuss facts of history and take kids on fascinating journeys to the past to see various events unfold.  This this time-travel theme continues through each of the books in the series.

Book 2: Rush Revere and the First Patriots

In this book kids learn about the First Patriots including exceptional Americans such as Samuel Adams and Patrick Henry.  They also learn about struggles with King George III from Great Britain.  This book is filled with illustrations and documents that bring this time in history to life.

I was surprised to learn a few of the details in this book were different or left out of my studies when I was growing up.  For example, I didn’t know that the symbol of America was a female rattle snake.  I thought the first symbol was an eagle.  But the rattle snake, eagle, and pine tree were the first symbols of our nation.  The first flag that represented separation from England included thirteen stripes and a rattle snake, not stars. I had always been taught about the stars, but not taught about the snake.

We were inspired by this book to look up a few details for further study about the snake symbol that came to represent the “American spirit” during the Revolution against England.  On Wikipedia I found the serpent drawing (mentioned in the book) that Ben Franklin used in his news paper with the phrase “join or die” that inspired the 13 colonies to become organized against the attacks from French and the American Indians, and a few years later helped them become united and fight back against the King of England because of unfair treatment.

by Ben Franklin (image source Wikipedia)

Then I found out that the serpent symbol continued to represent the American people.  The rattlesnake became the symbol for America and was used on the first American Flags.  The serpent symbol inspired the yellow flag with phrase “don’t tread on me” that is considered one of the first American flags and is still used as a symbol of patriotism today.

1775 Flag (image source Wikipedia)

We also found another serpent inspired flag called the serpent and stripes, that is still in use today.  This is one of first flags of America and is still flown on navy ships.

1776 First Naval Jack Flag (image source Wikipedia)

Before reading Rush Revere and the First Patriots, I had never heard of the serpent symbol representing the US, but after doing a little research I have learned it has been in continuous use for 266 +/- years since Ben Franklin began using this idea to help the colonists become organized to fight back against any oppressors both foreign and domestic.

Book 3: Rush Revere and the American Revolution

This book focuses on the life of the son of a soldier.  His father is deployed overseas.  His mother is worried about the affects this is having on her son. Eventually the boy learns why freedom is so important and to value the sacrifice his dad is making for him and the future of the country. In this book you learn about Dr. Joseph Warren, John Hancock, and George Washington in addition and learn even more about the journey for freedom in American history.

Book 4: Rush Revere and the Star Spangled Banner

In this book, kids read about national landmarks including the Washington Monument, the White House, and American government.  They learn about the writing of the national anthem, Dolley Madison, pickle barrels, museum guards, Redcoats, American patriotism and more. Included are full color illustrations, photos, and historical documents.

Book 5:  Rush Revere and the American President

In this book kids learn about the American elections, American leadership and the early presidents, vice presidents, first ladies, Washington, Adams and Jefferson. They also follow along as one of the kids in the story runs for student-body president and learn what skills are required to be successful and the value of serving others.  Full color illustrations, photos, and historical documents related to this time in history is included.

Rush Revere Activities

In addition the history books, the Adventures of Rush Revere website offers kids an opportunity to expand on their learning.  They can join a book club, enter contests, complete activities, and learn even more.  They offer a few fun online games and activities, and additional resources.  You can also read about the author and additional information that inspired the characters.  In the Homeschool Depot (also the Education Depot), there are student study guides that go along with the books and additional resources for teachers.

My sons are enjoying reading these books and learning about American History.  In addition to reading at home, they have also taken them in the van to read on long drives.  Giving kids a book to read while you take a drive is a great way to get them to sit still and read, especially for boys because they always seem to have tons of energy and don’t always want to sit still. These books are so interesting that my kids wanted to sit still, read, and couldn’t wait to find out what happens next.

I am looking forward to re-reading these books again with all of my kids, and using the study guides and activities as unit studies for our American History this fall.  I would definitely recommend these books to everyone!

Perhaps by reading this book series, you and your family will be inspired to visit some of these locations, or do more explorations and learning adventures to learn more about the events, people, and places that helped to shape our country.

Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rushrevere
Twitter: https://twitter.com/rushrevere
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSFc9ZP_GpWdARuKAl08Wdw

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what other families on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using these books with their kids.

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Internship for High School Credit ~ Review

Are you looking for an internship opportunity for your teenager?  Did you know your kids can earn high school credit for the real life experiences they gain doing an internship?  Anytime of year you can fit in an internship experience will become an asset to your high school student’s future.

A great place to start your internship journey is a course offered by Apologia Educational Ministries called Internship for High School Credit.

Internship for High School Credit

Spiral Bound Text & Workbook All In One

99 pages

5 Chapters

Recommended for 9th -12th grade.

Retails $33.00

Internship for High School Credit workbook teaches students and parents all the steps necessary for obtaining and documenting their internship experience.   This workbook is intended to be used for either 1 or 2 semesters.  It includes the worksheets and activities to cover both semesters.  Most states require a full year of study or 150 hours of instruction to earn a full credit on the high school transcript, and a half year of study for a half credit. You can check out your state where you live to find out how much credit is earned for each course taken.

A typical school semester is 16 weeks long.  In general, for most students to earn 1/2 credit per course per semester.  They will need to combine the instruction in the workbook and intern on the job about 5 hours a week for 15/16 weeks to earn 1/2 credit. This could be done in conjunction with this workbook over a semester or over a summer to equal about 75 hours.  To earn 1 full credit for their transcript, a student will need to complete two semesters or 5 hours a week for 30+ weeks, or 10 hours a week for 15/16 weeks, to equal about 150 hours to reach the full credit.  

Benefits from doing a high school internship include:

  • Explore a career of choice
  • Gain experience related to career goals
  • Gain marketable skills
  • Build confidence
  • Bolster resume for future job applications.
  • Increase potential job offers.
  • Learn day to day job responsibilities.
  • Discover potential likes and dislikes about a job.
  • Discover if a college degree is needed for a particular job of interest and understand how to set goals to get the job you desire.
  • Focus college major more closely on job interests.
  • Bolster College Application
  • Increase College Scholarship Opportunities

This course workbook contains 5 Chapters that cover about 40 +/- valuable lessons including worksheet activities and evaluations to complete.

Chapters and lessons include:

Part I: Getting Started

  • Determining the Type of Internship
  • Choosing a Company
  • Preparation
  • Receiving High School Credit
  • Writing a Résumé
  • Letter of Introduction
  • Sample Letter of Introduction
  • Sample Student Résumé
  • The Interview
  • After the Interview
  • Gearing Up for the First Day

Part II: Information for Parents

  • Choosing an Internship Location
  • Child Labor Laws
  • Transcript Documentation
  • Course Title and Number
  • Number of Credits
  • Grades

Part III: First Semester

  • How to Use the Worksheets
  • Semester Goals
  • Weekly Worksheet I
  • Weekly Worksheet II
  • Weekly Worksheet III
  • Weekly Worksheet IV
  • Midterm Work Performance
  • End-of-Semester Work Performance
  • Skills Gained
  • First Semester Summary
  • A Bonus Benefit

Part IV: Second Semester

  • How to Use the Worksheets
  • Biweekly Worksheet I
  • Biweekly Worksheet II
  • Midterm Work Performance
  • End-of-Semester Work Performance
  • Second Semester Summary

Part V: Course Wrap-Up

  • Final Writing Assignment
  • Thank-You Note
  • Sample Thank-You Note
  • Letter of Recommendation
  • Updating Your Résumé

The first two chapters can be completed before the internship begins and include writing resumes, setting goals, and finding internship opportunities.   The last three chapters need to be completed during the actual internship because they involve worksheets including time logs and performance evaluations and finally updating the resume with the new skills and experience acquired.

I highly recommend this course for families with high school age students. This course has taught us how to set initial career goals, write a resume, and plan and evaluate an internship.  We have enjoyed learning with this course and plan for the oldest son to do an internship at some point in the near future.

We have two boys currently of high school age and plan to order another workbook for the second oldest soon, then we have another one coming up in age right behind him too.  So before long, we might have three boys using this course.

Before reviewing this course, both of the older two boys discussed doing an apprenticeship with a construction company, one wanted to work outdoors with his hands and the other wanted to work in the office setting and marketing, and the next son hasn’t yet decided where he would like to focus. I am confident this course will help him too.   This course has given our family new ideas and a method for doing internships to reach new goals.

About the Author:

The author of Internship for High School Credit is Sherri Seligson.  Sherri is a wife, mother, and homeschool mom.  She is also an accomplished author, scientist, researcher, teacher, and speaker at homeschool conventions, retreats, and science fairs.

According to the Apologia website, Sherri Seligson earned a degree in biology/premed with an emphasis in marine science.  She worked as a marine biologist for Disney World.  Sherri also worked for a time with predatory ocean creatures and has published research on shark behavior.

Sherri Seligson has also written several homeschool courses for Apologia Educational Ministries.  She has written the high school science curriculum “Exploring Creation with Marine Biology”, and she is the author and instructor for the DVDs that accompany the high school biology, chemistry, and advanced biology textbooks.  She has also written several unit study e-books for Grace Hill Media to go with the Dolphin Tale films, War Horse, and the DVD educational series Little Angels.

If you are looking for information about where and how to start homeschooling with your kids, then check out all of the great homeschooling products Apologia has to offer such as How to HOMESCHOOL with Stunning Confidence, Contagious Joy, and Amazing Focus (DVD & Coursebook).

Social Media

Check out Apologia Educational Ministries social media links for all the latest news and product updates.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/apologiaworld
Twitter: www.twitter.com/apologiaworld
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/apologia/
Instagram: www.instagram.com/apologiaworld
Google+: https://plus.google.com/105053356034237782125
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/apologiaworld

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what other families on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using this product with their kids.

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Learning To Draw By The Sea

The ocean is an amazing thing.   Did you know water covers over 70% of the earth’s surface?  Scientists claim they have only explored 5% of the ocean so far.  That leaves a whole lot of mystery about this beautiful habitat that is so vital to the world in so many ways.  I would encourage everyone to visit the ocean at least once if they get the opportunity. Your senses will be overwhelmed and rejuvenated by the experience.

It is amazing to listening to the roar of the waves, get your feet wet or go for a swim, wait and watch for fish or dolphins to breach the surface, to observe birds swooping down to catch a fish, or sighting an occasional fishing boat out to sea.  The ocean is always changing and you could spend hours watching it.

Our family loves to visit the ocean!  We are usually blessed to take a day drive and visit the sea a couple of times a year.  Sometimes we drive several hours just to get out and walk the beach and splash in the waves for two hours and then get back in the vehicle and drive several more hours back home. Depending on which beach we visit, it takes us about 4 hours to get to the closest one.  It is a long ways to drive, but it is free to use the public beaches. If we pack a cooler with food and water, then the only cost involved is the fuel to drive there.  With a large family, getting to do something fun for FREE is a big deal.

On a few occasions, we have been blessed with the opportunity to spend the night instead of driving there and back all in one day.  Those overnight experiences by the sea have been exceptional.  It is hard to describe the amazing way you feel when you wake up to the ocean, and get up with the sun rise, spend the day in the salty air, then get to observe the sunset, and listen to the waves in the dark of night as the stars twinkle overhead.  It is wonderful!

Learning To Draw By The Sea.

We recently had the opportunity to stay overnight on a visit to the ocean. We spent the morning and evening playing on the beach, but in the heat of the day, we needed something else to do to avoid getting a serious sunburn.   We did not bring electronic games or computers that are part of our normal homeschooling day.  Instead, we played board games like chess, put together fun puzzles, and spent part of our time learning to draw with the art kits we recently made.

It was so nice to have our portable DIY Art Kits.  Be sure to check the story with information on how to make one for your family.

The kits were small enough to go just about anywhere with us, yet they were big enough to hold just about everything we needed.

For some reason that I can’t remember, I didn’t get pictures of the kids drawing.  I guess I must have been so excited about the view, and the opportunity to sit there and draw, that I failed to get up and take pictures of what the others were making too.

For this project, I used the watercolor pencils.  I had hoped to make a project with paints too, but I didn’t have time to accomplish both on this trip.  My older son chose to use charcoal pencils from his kit, and the younger kids used crayons.  I pulled out a small table onto the porch to hold my drawing pad and pencils.

It was a bit windy on this day.  I separated the pencils colors that I wanted to use from the case holding the pencils.  I set them beside my drawing pad, however the wind kept blowing them off and I was constantly having to get up and down to catch a pencil before it rolled off the porch.  I realized the next time I take this art kit on a trip, I will need to bring something better to hold the colors I am using.  Perhaps something as simple as a rubber band or a small tray with sides would have solved my problem.

From the porch where I sat, I could see a long ways in the distance across the ocean and the beach up and down the coast.  To the front of me was ocean as far as I could see, and to the left was a small fishing vessel that soon disappeared while I was drawing.  I tried to capture both in my drawing.  The waves were the most difficult part to draw because they kept moving. Drawing the ocean wasn’t easy because even though it appears the same, in reality each and every moment it keeps changing.

Learning to draw by the sea was fun and it is an experience our family will never forget.

“And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.”  Genesis 1:10

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Prima Latina Review

The longer we homeschool the more we learn about wonderful products available for learning a variety of languages and subjects at home at any age.  We recently reviewed a wonderful product for learning beginning Latin from Memoria Press called Prima Latina Complete Set.

Prima Latina Complete Set

Student Book (workbook)

Teacher Manual

Lesson DVDs

Pronunciation Audio CD

Flash Cards

Grades 1-4

Retails $90.90

This is a terrific easy-to-use, beginning Latin resource for Elementary age students in grades 1-4.  It was designed to make it easy to transition into the next level of learning Latin.  But honestly older students and adults who have not previously studied Latin would also benefit using this beginning level program prior to moving on.

The Prima Latina Complete Set includes a spiral bound Student Book (workbook), Teacher Manual, Lesson DVD’s, Audio Pronunciation CD, and Flashcards.

All of the resources in this set coordinate together to cover 25 easy to use student friendly lessons.  You can complete this course in 25 weeks or go faster or slower at a pace that suits your needs.  The lessons include:

  • grammar appropriate for primary grades
  • 5 vocabulary words with corresponding English derivatives per lesson
  • A practical Latin phrase per lesson
  • One line of a prayer per lesson that is learned in 5 lessons
  • Easy-to-read, 2-color format
  • Reviews: The exercises in each lesson provide constant review of materials learned throughout the course.
  • Tests: Every 5 lessons, students review the material and take a test (complete with key) to ensure mastery.

Our experience using Prima Latina:

Our daughter is using the Prima Latina Complete Set we were sent for this review.  We like it so much we plan to order additional Student Books (workbooks) for the rest of our kids too.  You need a Student Book for each student because they write in it what they have learned.  However, each family would only need one complete set of the other resources that can be shared. So you could easily use this course with multiple kids in the same house if you get each one their own student book which only costs an additional $15 per student.  That is one fee for the complete set for the first student and only $15 for each additional student to learn the beginning Latin course.  For a large family like ours, with 6 kids, this is a win win!!!

Student Book (workbook):

We love this workbook!  It is so easy to read and write in.  It is spiral bound and printed on both sides of the page.  Everything is broken down into easy to understand steps.

Each lesson contains about 10 sections:

Practical Latin

Lesson

Vocabulary

Latin Prayers

Derivatives

Review Questions (and sometimes additional Questions 2)

Translation

Speaking Latin

Write and Learn

Fun Practice

At the back of the book is a vocabulary appendix that contains an alphabetized list of all the words and phrases learned, what lesson they are found in, and what part of speech.

The student goals in the Student Book are to

  1. Learn basic Latin alphabet and pronunciation
  2. Pronounce, spell, and translate approximately 125 Latin words.
  3. Learn numbers 1-10 in Latin.
  4. Learn the names of the constellations in the sky.
  5. Understand derivatives and the English words that are derived from Latin.
  6. Grammar

Teacher Manual:

The Teacher Manual is also a very easy to use resource.  It mirrors the Student Book and contains the answers to each of the questions. It also contains the vocabulary appendix, reproducible drills and tests and the answer keys, as well as a sample lesson plan, and teaching guidelines in the back.

I like the ease of use of this program.  Even though I have no previous background in learning Latin myself, following the steps in this program is easy for me to teach and learn myself as I go.  This course is great for both the student and the parent/teacher.  Older students above the suggested grade level could teach this program to themselves independently too using the Teacher Manual.

DVD’s:

The DVD’s include 3 discs, with a total of 9 hours (15-20 min./lesson) taught by instructor Leigh Lowe.  She includes a lot of vocabulary practice, explanations, recitation of words and phrases learned, and review.
She uses diagrams and on-screen notes, and examples to convey her meaning to help students understand.

Check out this example of a video lesson with the teacher Leigh Lowe:

Audio Pronunciation CD:

The Audio Pronunciation CD includes pronunciation explanation and direction for each lesson.  We found the CD to be helpful for practicing drills and learning the correct pronunciation of the songs.

Flashcards:

We like using flashcards and the flashcards in the Prima Latina Complete Set are a fun way to practice and memorize the lessons being taught.  They cover vocabulary with derivatives, Latin sayings, conjugations and declensions. The Flashcards can also be used the following year with the next level of Latin training called Latina Christiana.

Memoria Press has done a wonderful job creating this Latin course.  Prima Latina is a student friendly way to teach Latin to young students. It teaches important English and Latin grammar concepts, as well as vocabulary, sayings, prayers, hymns, and many well known constellations in the sky.

Prima Latina Complete Set is a wonderful choice for homeschool families with young children.  It may also be helpful for families with children who are still becoming familiar with English grammar as a second language too. Perhaps it would make a nice intro to Latin for bible study classes or groups. This program will also work great for families who need flexibility and for families who have students of various ages who want to learn Latin at a much slower pace than other programs.  The program is flexible and you can go as fast or as slow as you need too.  Finally it can also be used by families who have students that would like to work toward a rigorous language arts program using Latin as the foundation.  This is a great beginning Latin language resource.  Be sure to check out the next level course called Latina Christiana and the other Latin courses Memoria Press has to offer.

Social Media

Be sure to follow Memoria Press on their social media links for all the latest news and product updates.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/memoriapress/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MemoriaPress
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/memoriapress/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/memoriapress/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/104379865092561103366
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/memoriapress/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/memoriapresstrk=nav_account_sub_nav_company_admin

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what other families on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using products from Memoria Press.

 

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Sea Shells By The Shore

On a recent trip to see the ocean, I was amazed at the variety of sea shells by the shore.

The waves constantly washed up an incredible number and variety of shells and deposited them on the sandy beach.

It was like a never ending gift, with each crash of the waves, thousands of new shells landed in the sand.

Every shell was different.

I was in awe that the Lord God has made such variety of shapes, colors, and sizes of shells and the variety of species that use shells as a covering.

The kids were curious to identify what creatures use the different shells. We plan to have some fun matching shells with their occupants.

Some shells get discarded and a new creature takes residence in the empty shell.  We were fortunate to find some creatures had taken up residence already.

Sometimes the shells are spread out on the surface of the sand, and sometimes the shells are piled close together.  The shells left on the shore go on for miles and miles.

I watched several people collecting shells.  Some came with bags and others with buckets every morning and evening and they spent hours combing through the shells left behind by the waves.   I realized they are not only collecting shells, but they also sell these shells.  Some of the shells are also used in crafts and sold in souvenir shops

I thought it would be fun to teach the kids a tongue twister about sea shells that I had learned as a young girl.  A tongue twister is when you say similar sounding words over and over quickly without making a mistake.  However, it is not as easy as it sounds and you will likely mess up or get “tongue twisted”.    The kids think this is hilarious.

“She sells sea shells by the sea shore.
The shells she sells are surely seashells.
So if she sells shells on the seashore,
I’m sure she sells seashore shells.”

I want to encourage you to spend time with your kids today.  Observe and explore with them the amazing things Father God has created all around you.  There is an amazing variety of gifts right in front of our eyes that often goes ignored.   No matter where you are, you will find something incredible if you just take time.  This is an opportunity to connect with your kids in a special way and point them to their Heavenly Father.   You might find a funny tongue twister to try with your kids too and you will surely get plenty of giggles and laughter on the learning adventure.

Be blessed!

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Heroes of History: Daniel Boone Review

How to encourage a reluctant reader?

Put a fun book from the Heroes Of History series in their hands, such as Heroes of History-Daniel Boone from YWAM Publishing and let the fun begin!  The whole family will want to join in learning about the Frontiersman named Daniel Boone.

Heroes of History

Heroes of History has 28 books in the series.  It is a biography series of true stories of men and women who changed the course of history for the better.

Heroes of History series of 28 books includes:

Abraham Lincoln: A New Birth of Freedom
Alan Shepard: Higher and Faster
Ben Carson: A Chance at Life
Benjamin Franklin: Live Wire
Billy Graham: America’s Pastor
Christopher Columbus: Across the Ocean Sea
Clara Barton: Courage Under Fire
Daniel Boone: Frontiersman
Davy Crockett: Ever Westward
Douglas MacArthur: What Greater Honor
Elizabeth Fry: Angel of Newgate
Ernest Shackleton: Going South
George Washington: True Patriot
George Washington Carver: From Slave to Scientist
Harriet Tubman: Freedombound
John Adams: Independence Forever
John Smith: A Foothold in the New World
Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Storybook Life
Louis Zamperini: Redemption
Meriwether Lewis: Off the Edge of the Map
Milton Hershey: More Than Chocolate
Orville Wright: The Flyer
Ronald Reagan: Destiny at His Side
Theodore Roosevelt: An American Original
Thomas Edison: Inspiration and Hard Work
William Bradford: Plymouth’s Rock
William Penn: Liberty and Justice for All
William Wilberforce: Take Up the Fight

Heroes of History-Daniel Boone

Paperback

224 Pages

19 Chapters

Ages 10 and up

Retail: $9.99 on sale for $7.50

Daniel Boone was a Frontiersman who lived from 1734 to 1820.  The stories in this book include events in his life in North Carolina, Kentucky, Louisiana and some of the many places (Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Missouri, etc) he journeyed in-between.  The book follows Boone from childhood into manhood as he sets out to find his own land and build a life for his family, and latter events in adulthood and the lives of his grown children and even covers his peaceful death in his daughter’s home.  The death’s of several of his children both in their youth and adulthood as well as the death of friends and his wife is also shared. Through out his life he helped many other settlers too.  He was very talented, a great hunter, trapper, and a master of survival skills.   He also had incredible courage and lived through many dangerous situations in the wilderness, as well as living through attacks by soldiers, and being taken captive by Indians.  He learned to survey land and helped develop huge regions of American wilderness.

Unit Study

In addition to these wonderful books, YWAM Publishing has also produced downloadable Unit Study guides for the Heroes of History stories.

These Unit Study Guides provide a wonderful curriculum option for families. They are flexible and can be adjusted to suit the skill levels of kids, and the different opportunities and resources families have for hands on learning.

The unit study is filled with loads of fun activities.  This curriculum is engaging and peeks kids interest with related history, geography, writing, culture and arts, and more woven throughout the books.  Kids can be hands on with Heroes of History Unit Studies and experience an important piece of the past!

The Unit Study guide contains discussion questions and answer key, teaching tips, hands on learning of various topics, and several PDF printables for kids to complete such as:

cross word puzzles,

biographical fact sheet,

hidden word puzzles,

historical time line,

maps,

and more.

Some of the hands on learning topics the Unit Study guide covers includes:

Chapter Questions / Reading Comprehension and Discussion:  There are six questions related to each chapter covering vocabulary, facts in the text, comprehension of story, and opinion interpretation.

Student Explorations:

Essay Questions

American History: war, government, land acquisition, boundaries, Native Indians, pioneers,

Geography : maps, study how to do a basic survey and plot out your neighborhood, 

Science and Medicine: learn about diseases of the day including TB and Small Pox and remedies they used to treat the diseases.

Setting Up Displays: butter churn, leather work, satchel, flint lock rifle, Native American beadwork, braded rugs, anvil, bellows, books about outdoor survival skills, Kentucky or North Carolina, books about Daniel Boone’s life, Boone’s family tree, items related to woodsmanship, items related to blacksmiths, leather moccosans, cross stitch samplers, quilts, hat made of raccoon skin with tail, wool blankets, oil lamp, maps of Boone’s travels, etc.

Arts and Crafts: make a fort, make a banner-plaque-or sign with a famous quote,  make a bound book, make a Boone family tree, draw a riffle and lable it’s parts, and give a demonostration how it works, create clay replica’s of animal tracks, sew an apron from a pattern, make a braided rug like the settlers, create your own beadwork like Native American wampum, etc.

Food: learn about wild food, make beef jerky,

Field Trip: visit a location, a carreer, or a factory related to Boone’s life in someway (a town where he traveled or lived, visit a farm, visit a reservation where Native American’s live or have a museum, visit a blacksmith shop, walk through a forest or go on a nature walk, talk to a surveyor or governor or road worker, a rifle manufacture, a hunter, a tanner, etc), visit a museum with displays from Boone’s life or time in history, also suggests if you can’t schedule a field trip or an interview or meeting with someone then plan an online virtual field trip or watch related videos.

Survival Skills : learn tracks and habits of various animals, go on a nature walk, spend time in a forest, go camping, learn to use a knife and a rifle, learn to weave, learn to use various tools used by Boone and settlers and the Native American Indians.

Creative Writing: journals, poems, letters, songs, make a pamphlet that could be used to attract workers to the Wilderness Road project,  etc.

Public Speaking

Drama/Audio Video: create a business presentation for the creation of the Wilderness Road project, create a mock website for a general store with 1780’s products, write and act out a play of Daniel Boone’s life,

Suitable for the whole family.

Our Experience:

We were sent a paperback copy of Heroes of History-Daniel Boone and the online downloadable Unit Study guide.  I asked my reluctant reader to give this book a try because I felt the outdoorsman/woodsman nature of Daniel Boone would appeal to him.  Daniel Boone is such an interesting character.

My 14 year old son would much rather spend time outdoors learning about nature and the bush, than spend his time indoors reading.  He does enjoy reading about various hunting, truck, and car reviews.  But to get him to like reading a book is a big stretch.  It is just not his thing.  So I decided that maybe he would enjoy reading outdoors in his element.  He has a campsite in the backyard that he made himself.  He eventually hopes to put up a hammock, but for now, he is quite happy with it.  I sent him out with the book to see if he would enjoy reading the first chapter.

The story of Daniel Boone appealed to him and this worked out perfectly!   He read enough on that first setting to peak his interest and has read a chapter at a time.  He has enjoyed reading in the van, on errands where there is nothing else to do, and he read some on his bed too which he seldom ever enjoys doing.  I am very thankful he enjoyed this book.  If you want to get a reluctant reader to read, find a subject that appeals to them and an environment they enjoy, and you just might find a solution!

Unit Study

My kids enjoyed this Unit Study very much.  But even more so is the effort put in by our reluctant reader. 

I was really pleased with his efforts and he didn’t flinch when I asked him questions about wheat he read and gave him assignments to complete.

Activities:

We participated in several fun activities during this Daniel Boone Unit Study adventure:

Survival Remedies:

Learn about wild medicine plants that were used to treat illnesses in the 1700’s and 1800’s.  For this we looked up plants online and in our handy field guide and went outside to see if we could find some of them.  We use essential oils made from a variety of plants for many applications.  We plan to make some tinctures and salves soon.

Plantain

Rose

Wild Strawberry

Pine

Clover

Dandelion

Survival Food:

Gather foods outdoors:

Some of the wild foods that we are able to find and some foods we can prepare with these wild plants around our yard and the edge of the woods during this unit study included pine needle tea, pine pollen and pine buds, honey suckle tea and jam, wild strawberry tea and jam, wild rose tea and rose petal jam, dandelion tea, dandelion coffee, dandelion salad, wild lettuce salad, wild grape leaves, wild onions, and wild garlic.  Later this summer we will be able to find wild amaranth, mint, wild elderberry, wild chicory root, walnuts, hickory nuts, pine nuts, cat tails, etc.

When Daniel lived, folks depended on their gardens and hunting to survive. Some people had a few farm animals too, but many people did not have an abundance of animals or foods.  Hunting was difficult and not everyone had access to meat all the time.  If they didn’t grow their own food, then they would have to gather what wild food they could find to survive.  The kids decided to make a meal from what they went out and gathered outdoors. They gathered various greens and onion tops from the spring garden they planted.  Then they washed the greens and cut everything into small pieces.

Next they added water, salt, and seasonings and let it simmer for about twenty minutes.  The soup turned out delicious!

This was a valuable lesson for the kids.  If folks had other ingredients on hand, they would have certainly added them.  Foods such as potatoes, rice, dumplings, corn meal, butter, milk, cheese, edible mushrooms, or fresh or dried meat or fish would definitely increase the nutritional value of a soup like this.  I would encourage others to choose a source of protein, fat, and additional carbs to add in to your soup so it is more filling and satiating. Serving it with a slice of homemade bread and butter or biscuits and jam would also help round out this meal.  Bannock is similar to Indian Fry Bread or Flat Bread and would have been eaten with a soup like this.  But if you only had edible greens and herbs you gathered to put in this soup, you would still have the basics of many essential vitamins and minerals to help keep you nourished and survive.

Bannock

Bannock is basically campfire bread.  It is easy to make and take on the go or cook on the campfire.  Bannock is similar to Indian Fry Bread or Flat Bread. You can add baking powder (or buttermilk) if you want it to rise a little of the consistency of a pancake but this step isn’t necessary.

We made our bannock version in the style of THIN UNLEAVENED BREAD. Bannock or thin bread is made by mixing flour, oil, water, and salt together, let the dough rest a while.  Then flatten it with your hands or a rolling pin and cook on a preheated skillet or rock over a fire or the stove for a few minutes until it turns golden.  Then we added some optional dried raisins, cranberries, and cinnamon.  You can leave this bread plain or you can add any dried berries or herbs / spices you think will taste good.

Some people also wrap the dough around a stick and cook the bannock over the campfire.  It can be used as a bread, or as a crust for pizza and or as a pie type shell, cut into strips or squares and used a dumplings in broth, or use the bannock dough filled with other delicious ingredients before baking or frying.

The kids loved making these and they tasted delicious.

Gathering Firewood:

The boys looked for downed limbs for fire wood over the past several weeks and made quite a pile.    Then they used a saw and hatchet to cut the wood into small pieces for their camp fires.

Archery and Knife Survival Skills:

Learn to sharpen and use knives with a sharpening stone and leather, cut with knives, and whittle wood with knives.  All six of the kids learned these skills.

Learn to throw knives and become efficient to use in hunting.

Throwing knives is a lot of fun.  The boys read books and watched videos on how to do this and dad helped them build a standing target board to throw at.  All three of the older boys practiced learning knife skills.

Learn to use a sling shot archery for hunting food and self defense. We plan to get a long bow soon and we also plan to make a homemade bow.

Our 12 year old son has already created a wooden spear with his knife and a tree limb, practices throwing it, and takes it on walks in the woods.

He has started making his long bow.  He chose a birch limb for his long bow and debarked it and shaped it, but he didn’t get it completely finished for this unit study.  He is looking forward to practicing with this bow when it is done.

We have a cross bow the kids have practiced with before, but we didn’t get it out for this unit study either.

For now, the kids practiced using a sling shot and hitting a target in the hopes that one day if needed they could hunt a small animal or a bird for food.

They really enjoyed practicing these skills.

Learn to weave or braid with cordage:

We got a book and learning cards on how to tie various kinds of knots and what situations they are used for.   We also watched a video on how to make our own cordage with various plants and tree bark and use that to make a mat or rug for the floor or to sleep on.

The kids also used para-cordage and learned to make survival bracelets and handles for tools.  They learned how to store a lot of cord that can be used for survival purposes in a simple bracelet they can wear.

They made several useful items for all three older boys and mom and dad.  We plan to learn to braid a rug and weave a fabric mat, learn to harvest and use cordage made from plants and tree bark, as well as make more items with paracords in the near future.  I hope to get the kids an inexpensive paracord jig loom soon too.  Also the oldest son has requested a larger loom that he can practice making rugs and fabrics with.  He would also like to learn to make yarn from animal fur and learn to weave it into fabric too.

FORTS:

Learn How to Make a Model Fort with paper & hot glue and with sticks and hot glue.

Field trip to see a fort (scheduled for June).  We plan to take a trip to see a real fort from the 1700’s.  We stopped in to see one in May during this study but they were closed so we didn’t get any pictures.  We have visited three different forts in South Carolina a few years ago.  Then about six months ago, we also visited a 1700’s fort in North Carolina along the coast that dates to the Revolutionary War with the British and an 1800’s fort from the Civil War.   These field trips are something our family enjoys doing together.

My 12 year old son went out and found a branch he felt would make a good fort.  After looking at forts on the computer, he designed a blue print on paper with his measurements and a ruler.  Then he went outside and got busy cutting his wood to the exact lengths he wanted to build a fort to scale.

Next he hot glued the pieces together and as of this time of writing this review he has only finished one wall so far.

I will post a story about his fort and several other things all of the kids learn to make using inspiration from this unit study in future stories.

Rifle Skills:

The older three boys learned about using a muzzle loader, and all the kids had the opportunity to practice shooting with a BB gun.

Daniel Boone used a Flint Rock muzzle loader rifle.  We researched these rifles online.  We didn’t have access to this style of rifle, but we did have access to a center fire muzzle loader rifle and the kids got to learn how to use it.

Dad was given this rifle as a gift many years ago before we had kids.  He used to hunt deer with this gun.  It hadn’t been used in many years because he had left it with a relative when we moved years ago, and they recently gave it back to him.  So this was the kid’s first experience learning about a muzzle loader.

One big difference in this gun and the one Daniel Boone used is that instead of firing with flint, this muzzle loader uses a cap.

Dad taught the kids how to add black powder, load the musket ball, tamp it down, put in the cap, aim, and shoot at a target.

They wore ear plugs and were surprised how loud this gun was.  It also leaves behind a small cloud of smoke after it fires just like the guns in the old days did.  Dad said you only get one chance to get a deer with this gun because if you miss, the sound alone will scare them far away.

The muzzle loader rifle literally sounds like a cannon going off.  It is hard for me to grasp how Daniel Boone and men of the past lived with a muzzle loader gun as their means for hunting and self defense and fought with it in wars.  Muzzle loaders in my opinion take so much extra effort to lug around (the powder, the ammo, tampers, and the heavy gun), in addition to the extra steps to load the powder and ammo, and the loud incredible “BOOM!” it creates.  However, my husband and sons think it is great!

Daniel Boone and his family lived such an interesting life!  They exemplify the life and challenges many of the early settlers faced.  It took sheer courage for the pioneers and explorers to survive the dangers of the wilderness, war, setting up homesteads, growing crops, and the numerous almost daily altercations with wild animals and people during this time in history.

This is a fun book and unit study.  It is interesting to read and a testimony of human strength and courage.   I would encourage homeschool families to pick up a copy and enjoy this learning journey!

Social Media

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Homeschool Review Crew

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DIY Art Kits

Here is a fun and affordable DIY Art Kit for travel, hiking, art classes, or to use around the house.

We have two birthdays coming up and both birthday kids have requested a set of Thin Stix paints for their birthdays.  We recently reviewed these fun tempera art sticks and the kids had a lot of fun.   Be sure to read about our experience reviewing Thin Stix.

So in addition to adding these to our art supplies at home for art classes and crafts we make, I have also ordered additional sets for both birthday kids.  I ordered the Neon Colors pack for my daughter and the Creative Colors pack for my son.  I am hoping they arrive in time to add into their art kits I made for their birthdays.

These Thin Stix tempera paints are “take anywhere” and “mess free” so they are perfect to take on the go in the car, or to a game, to sit outside and paint a scene from nature, or if they want they can even color in bed.

DIY Art Kits are portable, can be easily carried, and are light weight so the kids, or mom (I want to make a kit for me too) can sit anywhere and have the basic art supplies they need to create something beautiful.

Watch this short video about using Thin Stix tempera paint sticks from The Pencil Grip, Inc. to see why these are such a great addtion to your art kits.

DIY Art Kits:

For these kits, I used a re-purposed container. I saved a see through zippered plastic pouch from a bed sheet set. This container is the perfect holder for their kits, they can see everything in it at a glance, and they will fit nicely in a shoulder bag or backpack.

DIY Art Kits we made include: Thin Stix tempera paints, Mixed Media Sketch Paint Pad, Charcoal Pencils, Graphite Pencils, Colored Pencils, Pencil Sharpener, Eraser, Ruler, Gel Pens, and a small Watercolor Kit, various Paint Brushes (not pictured) and a sponge.

You can add crayons and oil pastels, a protractor, origami papers, colored tape, glue, various colored tissue papers, and and exacto knife if desired to this kit still and a fold-able easel if desired.

These costs will vary in making these kits.  Two of the kits I made cost about Art Kits $30 +/- and a larger kit I made for my older son that included more Thin Stix colors cost about $40 to include everything.

Some of the individual costs of items to put this together for example included:  Sketch Pad $8, Colored Pencils $8, Thin Stix 6pk of Neon Colors $7 and the other kit included Thin Stix 24pk of Creative Colors.  Some of the other items came from the Dollar Store and the outer case was repurposed for free.

The outer case is a zippered plastic cover that came on a couple of sheet sets we purchased a while back and I saved the covers thinking I might use them some day.  Sure enough, they are great for holding these art supplies.   Some items will cost a little more if you purchase them online from e-bay or a lot more if purchased from an art supply store.  It is up to you what you include, and the ages and needs of your kids, so costs will vary.

The paint brushes for the DIY Art Kit are back-ordered, and I am hopeful they will arrive in time for their birthdays. I wanted to keep these kits mess free and easy to use. Thin Stix are wonderful for keeping them mess free, but sometimes you want to use watercolors too. These brushes will help watercolor paints to be less messy because they hold water in the handle of the paint brush. For the watercolor brushes all you do is squeeze the brush then dab the brush onto the dry watercolor and use it.   Then to clean it just squeeze the brush again so water reaches the brush and wipe off on the sponge before you get your next color.

I think my kids will really enjoy using these homemade portable DIY Art Kits. I am thankful for the opportunity to try out the Thin Stix 6k Classic Colors tempera paints and we are excited to include them in our portable travel kits and our art supplies in our home.Stay tuned for pictures of other projects we make with our Thin Stix! They are a lot of fun, mess free, and so easy to use!

I found a cute method for downsizing all of this into one small bag that is taped (using cute paterned duck tape) to the art pad so you can hold all of this on your lap without loosing anything.  I don’t have my kit finished yet. But check out this video by Coloring Pages Bliss so you can see how to attach your zippered pouch of supplies right to your art pad and an extremely light weight easy access portable art kit.

I made two of these kits for birthdays we are celebrating next month.  I liked them so much that I made one for myself too.  And now the other four kids have requested them too.  So that is a future project.

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The Typing Coach Review

Need help with Typing? Then you might want to give The Typing Coach a try.

The goal of The Typing Coach is to help you become “independent” instead of relying on “watching” the keys (and constantly correcting mistakes) while you learn to type 10 to 45 words per minute with no typing errors. This course uses a combination of written, audio, and videos lessons, and timed typing tests to help you reach this goal. With continued practice using The Typing Coach methods, you learn how to train your brain and fingers to master typing challenges and attain even more words per minute.

The Typing Coach Online Typing Course offers a touch typing program with two levels to meet your needs.

Regular Course (for students 12 to Adult)

Slower Course (for students 8 – 11)

Benefits of Using The Typing Coach:

Easy to use.
24/7 Online Access.
Self Paced (go at a pace that works for you).
Created by an Experienced Typing Teacher.
Successes are Progressive and Systematic.
Develop Good Typing Habits.
Become independent from observing keyboard or monitor.
Improve Speed With Fewer Errors.
Online Testing Center.
Teacher Resource Center with printables, videos, and support.
Yearly Subscription

Check out this short video about The Typing Coach:

Lessons

Lessons in this course are offered at two levels.  The regular lessons move at a faster reading and typing pace for students 12 and older.  This course is difficult to do for those under 12 years old and will require more teacher time, more practice time so a less rigorous schedule is offered for those under the age of 12.   You can decide if you want your student to take the regular lessons or the slower paced lessons.

Lessons Include:

Having Good Posture
Home Row
Top Row
Bottom Row
Shift Keys
Evaluating Your Skills
Typing Practices
Number Row
Serious Practicing
Final Assessment
Conclusion

Each lesson varies from a few days to 1 week to master the skills.  It is recommended to do a lesson a week and spend time practicing your skills you have learned.  At a pace of 1 lesson per week, you can accomplish this course in a span of 10 weeks.

Each lesson has a written and an audio component and lots of practice.   Each lesson builds upon the skills of the previous one.  You can choose to either have the program keep track of your quiz / test scores and email them to you or you can keep track of them yourself.

The course is set up for you to practice the skills learned in the lessons for approximately 20 minutes a day/week and master the larger goal in small segments.  The first goal is 10 words without mistakes, then 25 words, then with more practice 45 words per minute without mistakes can be attained. The eventual goal is to type 45 words per minute with 1 or 0 mistakes.

How we used this course:

The course is online and it requires a computer with a keyboard, internet, and audio video capabilities and a printer for the PDF files.  My oldest son and I both used this course.  After reading through all of the materials, I didn’t think I had the time in my schedule to help the younger children right now as they go at a slower pace.  But I hope the younger kids can take this course again in the future.

I wanted to take this class myself to test and improve my typing skills too.  I took a typing course in highschool (ages ago) and learned to type about 30 words per minute with one mistake.   When I was younger, I worked for a short time as a secretary through a temporary staffing agency and they were looking for people with 60 words per minute experience for the better paid positions, but required a minimum of 30 words a minute to be hired for some of the positions.  The Typing Coach says that most office positions require a minimum of 45 words per minute.  I am not looking for typing job, but I enjoy writing stories.  I would like for my family and myself to improve our typing skills.

We had a bit of a setback during this review due to a computer hard drive failure not long after we got started with the lessons. When it failed it also took out our operating system and files.  It took some time to purchase a new hard drive and install it, then search a store for a new operating system to purchase and install, install a new word processing program, and reinstall all our classes one at a time, etc.  My son lost most of his coursework he had saved to his computer and this event was somewhat discouraging to say the least.  But we are getting back on track and he is looking forward to working more on this course and improving his speed and accuracy as he learns how to type correctly from The Typing Coach.

After setting up the subscription, you can use the program 24/7 as it best fits your schedule.   When you log in and it brings you to your dashboard with an overview page of instructions and links to the lessons, videos, and tests.   Here is a picture of my dashboard with the general course overview. This page is the page you come to each time you log in.

The items on the list open up when you click on them.  In each item there are many more things linked such as videos, PDF’s, audio’s, and instructions. The first item on the list is the Course Introduction and the next item is the optional Slower Paced Lessons.  The next section is called The Practice and Testing Center (practice and test skills learned) this section is used almost daily.  The next section is the Before & After Snapshot (Pretest and Post test) section we used at the beginning and will use again at the end of the course. Then the next items listed are the actual lessons and they are numbered. The next item is help with practicing.  Finally there is a final test, conclusion and course evaluation.

The first thing we did to get started was read the Course Introduction and watched an introductory video (takes about 4 minutes).  Next, I printed out the PDF version of the course which takes about 24 sheets of paper altogether (Lessons 16 sheets of paper, Learning Checks 7 sheets of paper, and the Progress Chart  is 1 sheet of paper) and I put these printouts in a binder to keep them organized.

There are several audios and videos, but the two most important to mention here when getting started are the “How to Use the Practice and Testing Center” (takes about 3 minutes); and “The Typing Coach Method Explained” (takes about 30 minutes) and these videos demonstrate how to use the course.   In The Typing Coach Method Explained video the creator of the program models for the parent / teacher the course being taught to students in a class setting.

Next I viewed the Teacher Resource Center.  This section has a “Guidance for Teachers” instruction sheet, a list of all the printable PDF’s and all of the links to videos for the course.  It also has a section of resources for working with slower or younger students (8-11 year olds) that require more intervention and time from the parent/teacher.

The next step is the the “Before Snapshot” which is a pretest of your typing skills before you get started with the actual lessons.  It takes about 3 minutes to take the test.  You are to type the Gettysburg Address from the provided printout onto a word processing program on your computer without looking at the keys or your monitor while listening to the provided music.  When the music stops, the test time is finished.  This snapshot helps you see where you are at currently in your typing skills and where you need improvement.  When the course is completed, you take an “After Snapshot” and can compare how far you have grown in your typing skills.

After you have completed your snapshot quiz and found out your current number of errors in a 3 minute span of time, then it is time to begin the lessons.   The lessons teach the proper skills and typing techniques.  After listening to the new lesson, you go to the Practice and Testing section and complete the assignment.

Another section of the program is called the Learning Checks.  In this section you take speed typing tests from the printable packet without looking at your fingers.  When you have completed the challenges you (or your parent/teacher) fill out a learning check on your printed copy of the progress chart.

Each lesson has instruction, practice, and quizzes and a few of the lessons have the Learning Checks quizzes too.  The Typing Coach method helps you reach your goals of typing correctly without looking and without errors at a rapid pace.

When figuring out how much time you need to pace yourself for lessons, plan to spend at least 20-30 minutes or so per audio lesson plus practice time.  Also you are only aloud to take one quiz per two day time span.  A beginning student should work on this course at a pace of 1 lesson per week and add in daily practice time before taking their Practice Quiz and Learning Checks. However if you desire to go faster, remember you are still limited to completing a lesson no faster than every two days because of the restriction on the frequency of the quizzes.   Be sure to leave yourself plenty of practice time and go at a pace that feels good for you.

We would recommend this course to other homeschool families who desire to learn to speed type without looking and without errors.  If repetition, and being 99%+ accurate, or working under pressure for speed stresses you out, then this might not be the best fit for you.   I would recommend planning to go a little slower than you might expect, because the program won’t let you progress to the next level if you have errors.  So it is better to master your errors first and then master your speed. The goal is to be error free, which isn’t a common requirement in home education where the goals are usually not set at that strict of a standard and for that fact, this attribute of the program make take some getting used to.  The program is affordable and I would encourage folks to give The Typing Coach a try.

Social Media

Be sure to check out The Typing Coach social media links for all the latest news and product updates.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thetypingcoach

Homeschool Review Crew

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Thin Stix 6pk Of Classic Colors Review

We are reviewing the cutest set of easy to hold, mess free, affordable tempera paint sticks.  With six kids in our house, I am always cleaning looking for ways my kids can do MESS FREE arts and crafts.

I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to review Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors tempera paint sticks from The Pencil Grip, Inc.

Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors

There are many reasons you will want a set (or if you are like me you will want multiple sets) of these Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors in your home or office.

  • 6 Classic Colors
  • Easy To Use
  • Uncap, Twist & Paint
  • No Mess
  • No Fuss
  • No Water Needed
  • Solid Tempera Paint Sticks
  • Dries in 90 Seconds
  • Won’t Crack or Split
  • Paint like finish
  • Great on poster paper, cardboard, wood and canvas

Here is a video from The Pencil Grip, Inc demonstrating their tempera paints.  They have a regular sticks (Kwik Stix) and a thin sticks (Thin Stix) sizes and lots of additional colors are available too. Check their website for more information.

How we used Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors:

Art Classes:

We have a subscription to online art lessons through Creating A Masterpiece that teaches the kids to use various paints, pencils, pens, charcoal, etc in making masterpieces.  We have used various art supplies for their Art Classes, however these Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors gave us a whole new art experience.

They were easy to hold and dried quickly and we had no mess to clean up. They are great for painting large areas with a single color.

The only down side is that we didn’t know how to blend the colors or to get really fine detail with them. If there was a way to narrow the tip of the Thin Stix even more, then we could have sharpened up the details of our pictures.

But over all we like them and I am adding more sets of these wonderful Thin Stix tempera paints to their homeschool art supplies for their art lesson projects.

Father’s Day Bookmark:

Father’s Day is coming up soon and we decided we needed a cute project we could make for dad. We checked out the Better Handwriting At Home blog by The Pencil Grip, Inc for some craft ideas. One of the projects their blog featured was using a hammer coloring page  made into a Father’s Day card. My husband is a master carpenter and the kids agreed that a hammer is just the right gift for him! But instead of making a hammer into a card that is only used once, my son wanted to make a handy hammer bookmark for Dad’s bible that he could use everyday.

We searched on line for a free hammer coloring page and printed out copies for the kids to use.  We got our supplies together that included: Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors , a glue stick, file folders to make a strong back (a cereal box will also work), a pencil, and a pair of scissors. You can also use a laminator when you are done to help them last even longer.

Next step was to paint their pictures. It was so easy to use. It felt almost like panting with lipstick or a tube of chap-stick. But not greasy. Instead it was smooth and dry.

There is no smearing or smudging. The paint dries very quickly. We were not able to blend colors, but that was fine for this application. As the kids got used to using them, they learned how to press lighter or harder to create a different textured look.

The paint dried smooth before it was completely dry. That is nice. We tried to rub a little off with a paper towel where he had pressed to hard and got it too dark, but it is difficult to remove once the paint is on the paper. So my advice is to press lightly and add more later if you need too.

By the time he was finished painting his hammer, it was completely dry. There was no waiting necessary for him to move on to gluing the hammer onto the file folder. We have never had painted crafts progress so quickly! Next, he cut out the shape of the hammer through both layers of paper and folder.

The file folder backing gave the bookmark enough strength to stay straight when being handled. It won’t bend out of shape during repeated use.

On the back side of the bookmark, he decided not to paint it, but instead drew out the design of the hammer and wrote a scripture message to Dad. He got out his cursive workbook for reference to make sure he wrote his letters very neat.

He did a great job and I am certain Dad will enjoy it and get a lot of use with it.

Father’s Day Card:

My daughter wanted to make something a little more feminine and came up with a card that features a pair of praying hands and the bible verse “Our Father” that Jesus taught us to pray.  She used the Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors to create “painted fingernails” on the praying hands so they resembled her own hands. For this project we found a free coloring page online with a scripture.

She chose this specific scripture because it talks about our Heavenly Father and how HE leads us and takes care of us EVERYDAY.

“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” Matthew 6: 9-13

She chose to paint the finger nails, because she loves it when her Daddy paints her nails. She painted the nails green because her favorite color was not an option in this Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors set.

She said the green paint was the next best option.  She has asked me to order the additional colors of Thin Stix for her birthday so she can have “Pink” and “Purple” and “Light Blue” which are her favorite colors. Thankfully Thin Stix 6pk of Neon Colors will work perfect for her.

To make her Father’s Day card, she glued along one edge of two pieces of construction paper and pressed the edges together to create binding for her card. After painting the finger nails on her coloring page, she used scissors to cut out the hands and the scripture and glued them onto the front piece of her card. She put another message inside her card. I think her Daddy will really like her card and the special touch of the painted fingernails.

Garden Pots:

We plan to paint some cute bugs on flower pots next. We also saw this project on the Better Handwriting at Home blog. Our spring garden is really coming along nicely. Be sure to check out the stories on our garden and updates. We recently bought a stacking 3 pot planter system on our last grocery trip. I plan to plant it with herbs later this week. If the weather cooperates and time permits, then I plan to use the Thin Stix to paint some bugs and designs on those pots and then plant them.  I will try to post an update garden story about it next week.

DIY Art Kits:

We also have two birthdays coming up and both birthday kids have requested a set of Thin Stix paints for their birthdays. So inaddition to adding these to our art supplies at home for art classes, I have ordered additional sets for both kids (the Neon pack for my daughter and the Classic pack for my son) and made DIY Art Kits for them.

These Thin Stix tempera paints are “take anywhere” and “mess free” so they are perfect to take on the go in the car, or to a game, to sit outside and paint a scene from nature, or if they want they can even color in bed.

DIY Art Kits are portable, can be easily carried, and are light weight so the kids, or mom (I want to make a kit for me too) can sit anywhere and have the basic art supplies they need to create something beautiful.

For these kits, I used a re-purposed container. I saved a see through zippered plastic pouch from a bed sheet set. This container is the perfect holder for their kits, they can see everything in it at a glance, and they will fit nicely in a shoulder bag or backpack.

DIY Art Kits include:

Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors tempera paints, Mixed Media Sketch Paint Pad, Charcoal Pencils, Graphite Pencils, Colored Pencils, Pencil Sharpener, Eraser, Ruler, Gel Pens, and a small Watercolor Kit, various Paint Brushes (not pictured) and a sponge.

The paint brushes for the DIY Art Kit are back-ordered so I didn’t get a picture of them yet.   I am hopeful they will arrive in time for their birthdays. I wanted to keep these kits mess free and easy to use. Thin Stix are wonderful for keeping them mess free, but sometimes you want to use watercolors too. These brushes will help watercolor paints to be less messy because they hold water in the handle of the paint brush. For the watercolor brushes all you do is squeeze the brush then dab the brush onto the dry watercolor and use it.  Then to clean it just squeeze the brush again so water reaches the brush and wipe off on the sponge before you get your next color.

I think my kids will really enjoy using these homemade portable DIY Art Kits. I am thankful for the opportunity to try out the Thin Stix 6k Classic Colors tempera paints and we are excited to include them in our portable travel kits and our art supplies in our home.Stay tuned for pictures of other projects we make with our Thin Stix! They are a lot of fun, mess free, and so easy to use!

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Blog: http://handwritingathome.blogspot.com/

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what other families on the Homeschool Review Crew to say about using Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors with their kids.

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