Category Archives: Reviews

SDA For Homeschoolers Review

Looking for a fun and challenging homeschool curriculum option for your students? Then you might want to check out Standard Deviants Accelerate for homeschoolers.


Standard Deviants Accelerate Homeschool Courses ( are an easy to use, online, homeschool curriculum for students 8 and older. Courses are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week online (videos, interactive quizzes, writing, etc) and you can access them through your desktop computer, mobile laptop, and smart device like a tablet too. So this greatly increases your options of where and when you can find flexible time to work on your school work. They can be used as a supplemental program, but also may fit as your main learning program in a given subject too.


Homeschool Courses:


Standard Deviants Accelerate is appropriate for students ages 8 through adult. They currently offer 14 different homeschool curriculum options for middle school and high school age students, and 2 curriculum options are also appropriate for elementary aged kids in 3rd and 4th grades and above.


Each course offers a full year’s worth of learning materials including videos, note taking, quizzes, written work, review, and exams for your student. Each regular course costs $99.00 for a year subscription, or $24.95 for a month to month subscription. The AP courses cost $14.95 a month. They are currently running a special, and offering you to try out the program for free for 6 months and see if it is a good fit for your family.

Arithmetic – Grades 3+
Fundamental Math – Grades 4+

Nutrition – 6+
Earth Science – Grades 6+

Algebra – Grades 7+
Biology – Grades 7+

English Composition – Grades 9+
U.S. History – Grades 9+
Chemistry – Grades 9+

AP Biology – Grades 11+
AP Chemistry – Grades 11+
AP U.S. History – Grades 11+
AP U.S. Government & Politics – Grades 11+
AP English Composition – Grades 11+


How We Used Standard Deviants Accelerate In Our Home:


I am very grateful for this opportunity to review this homeschool program. I have taken time to explore all of the classes for grades 3 through 9 for the purpose of writing this review. I have not explored the AP classes yet, but hope to look through them too. I would encourage you to click the link at the bottom of this review to read what other TOS Crew members had to say about the regular and AP homeschool courses and see if this program would work for your homeschool.


My kids and I each have our own seperate dashboards when we log in. I have the kids log in each day and view the video assignment, take notes as they watch the video and save their notes on the computer program. They complete any related written work and take the quiz. The notes they type are stored in their “locker” which is a filing system they can keep track of all of their notes for classes. On my dashboard, I can view their progress, what areas need more practice or review to improve their understanding. Check out this short Teacher Account Video that explains more how this works.


Homeschool Algebra:

There are so many great features with the Homeschool Alegebra curriculum that benefit the student and the teacher. Here are just a few:

220 minutes of video (with scrolling transcripts)
54 vocab words (with audio playback)
38 critical thinking questions
205 multiple choice questions
14 drag n’ drop graphic organizers
Automatic grading
Progress reporting
Meets State and National Standards
RTI alerts
Differentiated Instruction
Editable rubrics
Student-to-teacher messaging


Below is a picture of my 8th grader working on Algebra. He is also working through the U.S. History, English Composition, Chemistry, and Biology courses. He is thrilled with these classes. He is not really a video oriented learner and prefers to read information for himself in most situations. I am very glad the classes include the written transcript of the video lessons. This fella loves to read and work independently and doesn’t need videos to grasp information though he does find it helpful at times. Over all though he loves the curriculum and is self motivated to work on it each day. He sets high standards for himself and strives to get good scores on his work. I feel like he is gaining a solid understanding of the information presented. We do disagree with some things regarding evolution in the biology course work. We believe the earth and all of creation was created by God and our faith plays a big role in our education. The course work is not written from a Christian perspective, but putting the evolution issue aside, the curriculum is done well and the kids like it.


Homeschool U.S. History:

Some of the great features of the Homeschool U.S. History curriculum include:

149 minutes of video (with scrolling transcripts)
144 vocab words (with audio playback)
160 multiple choice questions
29 critical thinking questions
14 drag n’ drop graphic organizers
Meets State and National Standards
Progress reporting, Editable rubrics, Re-teaching
Automatic grading, and Student-to-teacher messaging

US History

Below is a picture of my 6th grader on the computer working on the SDAccelerates U.S. History course. He is also working through the Nutrition and Earth Science courses too. Even though the U.S. History course is advanced for his grade level, he works exceptionally well with this style of learning. He is an audio-visual learner and works his best and excels when school work is presented in a combined audio video format. He does not like to read a lot of verbage, and will quickly become bored if expected to read all his school work. But he stays attentive to video presentations. His learning style is the complete opposite of his older brother, and I am thankful for SDAccelerate’s fun video style learning program for him to use.

US History

Standard Deviants Accelerate on Social Media

Be sure to follow Standard Deviants Accelerate on their social media links for all the latest news, courses, updates, and teaching ideas, and more:


Click to read Crew Reviews

Check out what other homeschool families on the Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say about using Standard Deviants Accelerate with their family.

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Preschoolers and Peace Review

I am a homeschool mom of six kids. We have teens all the way down to toddlers in our home. It is a fun and rewarding job, but it can also be an exhausting job at the same time.

Preschoolers and Peace Review

There is a new book out to help homeschool families that we were asked to review by Preschoolers and Peace called Preschoolers and Peace: Homeschooling Older Ones With Success While Loving Little Ones At Your Feet.

Preschoolers and Peace Review

Homeschooling Older Ones With Success While Loving Little Ones At Your Feet

Homeschooling Older Ones With Success While Loving Little Ones At Your Feet is a downloadable e-Book. This e-Book is a wonderful investment at a great deal! It would make a great resource for you, and to give as a gift to other homeschool moms. For just $2.99 you can download this wonderful 47 page e-Book filled with practical advice for homeschool moms.

The author, Kendra Fletcher, is a Christian homeschooling mom of eight children. She has a lot of helpful advice to share about what helps her be successful in homeschooling in a large family of different ages.

What a Homeschooling Mom Needs
Preparing Yourself to Homeschool Older Kids With Little Ones Underfoot
Planning Around Preschoolers
How Do I Keep Them Busy?
What Does a 2-Year-Old’s Day Look Like?
How Do I Get Any Preschooling Done?
How Not to Just Kill Time
Circle Time: Or How We Pull the Little Ones In
Preschool Boys
When All of Your Kiddos Are Preschoolers
Preschool Chores
Planning for Preschool
When Mama is Worn Out (or Pregnant)
Meal Planning 101

How I Used This:

E-books are great! I downloaded my e-book and saved it to my computer. I can read my book from my computer, or other reading device if desired. Later I hope to print it and have it bound and put it on my book shelf. It is a handy reference full of great ideas.


Part of the reason homeschooling can be exhausting, is that it can be challenging at times to manage the needs of so many different learning levels at the same time. Some days it doesn’t feel like I accomplished our goals, because the younger children need a lot of attention, somedays they have ouchies that need attention, or on any given day, any two of them are involved in sibling squabbles, and I feel like I just serve as the babysitter or referee. What I wouldn’t give somedays to know the secret to get it all done and meet everyone’s needs in the process!

Kendra Fletcher is a mom who has been there! She knows many of the same challenges I face on a daily basis. She offers lots of great advice, starting with the most important, putting God first in the little things as well as the bigger things. She encourages me as a mom, and my kids too, to start the day with prayer. That one piece of the puzzle in your day can change everything in creating a peaceful atmosphere in our home.

Another great tip she shares is how to help younger kids start the day off successfully. She suggests they accomplish the same five things every morning: get dressed, make bed, brush teeth, tidy their room, and spend time praying. She suggests using a schedule for multiple ages including mom, as a tool and shows you how to set one up. This schedule shows an overview of what everyone is doing when during the day and is an easy reference at a glance to keep you on track.

She also gives many suggestions for various kinds of busy sensory activities younger children can do that build their skills but at the same time keep them busy so Mom and older siblings can get more done.


Here are just a few of the toddler / preschool age activities we have used simultaneously in our home while homeschooling older kids include:
Circle Time (we include all the kids together)
Age appropriate chores (easy for little ones to do)
Sensory Activities (we use homemade Sensory Bins)
Quiet Busy Activities (we use homemade Activity Bags)
Duplo Legos
Sorting objects and shapes
Water Color Paints
Playing with leftover empty boxes

AND many, many, more great ideas are suggested in her e-Book.

Kendra has already helped her oldest two children graduate from homeschooling and go onto college. With raising and homeschooling eight kids, she knows the challenges mom’s face dealing with the needs of multiple ages and her book is a great resource. I would encourage you to get a copy while it is available at this great price of $2.99 and give a copy to a friend too.

Be sure to check out the media links for Preschoolers and Peace for all the latest news and updates:

You Tube

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Check out what other homeschool families on the Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say about using Preschoolers and Peace in their home.

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Happy Kids Songs Review

We have been having fun finishing out the end of summer and getting started back to school with a review of Happy Kids Songs.

Happy Kids Songs Review


Sometimes my younger kids are impulsive and not so happy. Happy Kids Songs has a lot to say about our attitude and how we treat each other. This is a great tool for parents to teach younger kids about behavior and focussing on the right things. This product is geared for kids 4-8 years old, but I had my 2, 5, 7, 9, and 11 year olds do the activities and had the 14 year old assist as a teacher’s helper. He helped me set up a play list on the computer and print off worksheets and organized the craft materials. This way I was able to include all 6 of my kids in using this product. We all can use some lessons in how to be happy, no matter what age.

Happy Kids Songs was created by Dr. Mac who is the song writer of the wonderful TV program for kids called Jay Jay and the Jet Plane from PBS Kids. He is a talented song writer, accomplished musician, child psychologist, school consultant and has won numerous awards for his talents and skills. He has won the iParenting award, Teacher’s Choice award, The National Parenting Center’s Seal Of Approval award, and many more.

Happy Kids Songs currently has 8 Volumes to choose from. Each Volume contains 5 songs, and retails for $4.95. The lyrics to each songs help your kids develop good character trates, treat others the way they want to be treated, and become happy people. For this review, we received three Volumes as a download, pdf lyrics and worksheet for each song (download), and a physical workbook /songbook was mailed to us for this review.

Vol. 1  Friends And Sharing
Retails $4.95


Happy Kids Songs Review
Songs include:
Sailing on the Seven Cs; Everybody Wants to Find a Friend; Sharing Friends; Happy as Happy Can Be; Together

There are a few YouTube Videos of some of the songs being made, some interviews with Dr Mac, and a couple of music videos too. Here is a video of the song Together from Volume 1 Friends and Sharing:

Volume 6 Happiness and Attitude
Retails for $4.95

Happy Kids Songs Review
Songs include:
Shake It Out and Dance; Who Knows What’s a Kudo?; I Don’t Understand; Be Good to Yourself; Better Together

Volume 7 Manners and Character
Retails $4.95

Happy Kids Songs Review
Songs Include:
H-O-N-E-S-T-Y; The Magic Word; Quirks; The Golden Rule; Six Little Kids

Songbook / Workbook Happy Kids Songs Workbook: Hands On Activites To Build Character, Social & Emotional Skills
Retails for $12.56

Happy Kids Songs Review
The workbook has over 100 lessons.  It includes all the lyrics and worksheets, coloring pages, and lesson plans and activity ideas for all 40 songs in the Happy Kids Songs 8 Volumes.

Our family has enjoyed sitting together at the table and listening to the songs, learning the lyrics, coloring pages and completing corresponding activities (word puzzles, coloring pages, arts and crafts).


We downloaded the songs to our computer to listen to at home, and also burned them on a CD so we can take them on the road in the van too.


The workbook has all of the song lyrics organized by Volume at the front half of the book with a corresponding worksheet. In the second half of the book, it has lesson plans also organized by Volume.


For me, the workbook was indispensible and very easy to implement. You just find the lessons for the Volume you are listening too, learn the lyrics, do the activity sheets, and optional activities and arts and crafts.


The kids really enjoyed making crafts while listening to the songs. Here they are making a friend puppet.


Happy Kids Songs products are great! Kids enjoy using them. The songs are catchy and easy to remember. They are handy for adults because they have everything organized in the workbook and come with a license to re-produce the lyrics and coloring pages and worksheets, and you can use them in your family or group settings with multiple students. This makes them a great option for Sunday School, clubs, and Homeschool Coops too.


Be sure to follow Happy Kids Songs on their social media links for all the latest news and updates.

And be sure to sign up for the monthly news letter and receive a free song of the month and other special information. Samples of songs and more are also available on their web site.

Click to read Crew Reviews


Check out what other homeschool families on the Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say about using Happy Kids Songs products in their home.

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Free Money For College

Do your children want to go to college?  Are you wondering how you /or they might pay for it?  Now is as good a time as any to check into FREE MONEY for college and College Common Sense can help you.
Over the past several weeks, we have been using Going To College and Paying For It online video and workbook.  It retails for $25 for a one year subscription (online videos and pdf workbook) .  It is also available in a DVD format and comes with a physical workbook for $50 (plus shipping).

College Common Sense was created by a Financial Aid Consultant named Denise Ames.  She has been helping families navigate the college financial aid process for over 10 years.  You can watch an introduction video where Denise explains why she created this curriculum resource.  

Going To College and Paying For It is a family friendly course that helps families with locating scholarships and financial planning for college.  It has lessons and activities for the whole family to participate in.  For example, families can take a field trip to see a college fair, a field trip to visit a local college, keep an All About Me spiral journal for each child, keep a Scholarship journal / binder, visit web sites (in 15 minute intervals so it doesn’t get overwhelming), fill out scholarship applications if you meet the requirements (bird lover?, stamp collector?, honor society?, community activist?, musician? 3rd grade?, 11th grade?, etc.),  and some activities in the curriculum are mainly for highschool juniors and seniors such as filling out financial aid packets if you are old enough, and taking ACT and SAT if you are old enough, and submitting those test scores to colleges.  

The course involves watching 6 videos, and doing the corresponding 7 workbook chapters with various assignments and field trips. We also received additional weekly lessons in our email, and a monthly newsletter.

The 6 videos are :
        1. The Big Picture
        2. How Financial Aid Works
        3. All About Free Money
        4. The System That Works
        5. You In The Process
        6. Put It All Together

The 7 workbook chapters are: 

        1. Welcome and Instructions
        2. The Big Picture
        3. How Financial Aid Works
        4. All About Free Money
        5. The System That Works
        6. You In The Process
        7. Pull It All Together

When you think about going to college, you usually consider it an adult activity.  Most people begin preparing in their junior or senior year of highschool and start attending college the fall after they graduate or later.  Some people may wait to go to college a little latter in life.  But it is unusual to consider getting ready when you are an elementary or middle school aged student.  But College Common Sense encourages you to start preparing when the kids are young, and breaks the whole process into small manageable parts that make it easy to accomplish goals over the next several years.  Why wait until the last minute? There is a lot you can do now while there is plenty of time. 

                        Our Experience

We received the online course 1 year subscription. I watched the videos online from our computer.  I could have used the workbook on the computer too, but I personally prefer using things that are printed.  So I had the downloadable pdf workbook printed and bound for ease of use.  It costs about $8 to have the workbook printed and bound at a local copy store.

My children are ages 1, 4, 5, 8, 10, and 12.   Though they are young, there are many things in this curriculum we can do now.  One key thing is to help them identify their interests, talents and strengths, and help them explore potential career paths they might be interested in.  This is a process that will develop over time, but this curriculum equips the parents to assist the child in finding their way to scholarships that meet their child’s interests, experiences, and strengths. 

The videos in the curriculum are geared toward junior / senior highschool students and adults (parents of children of any age). I watched the videos and gleaned from them a lot of valuable information about the process of preparing and applying for scholarships. My children are too young to watch or be interested in the videos and the financial aid process at this time so I did not ask them to watch these resources yet.

Here are some examples of specific activities in week 2 and in week 4 of our lessons that my kids did. These examples include field trips, research, watching researched videos, observation, discussion, and activities:

In week 2, we were instructed to research the town we live in by visiting local places and interviewing people. Some of the places s
uggested were the library, businesses, and chamber of commerce. The kids were instructed to give a short 5 minute presentation about their town from the research they conducted.

We are currently in week four of the lesson plans, we are looking at one of the ways the world around us is changing at a rapid pace and going green. Projects and essays related to this concept can help kids get scholarships. This will affect just about everyone as future homes will likely include technology that is “green” for example we might grow our own fish and vegetables in our own homes through recycling food wastes. The kids are given an idea to explore further, and then write about researching it and how it might affect them in the future. They can also take it a step further and research a company or career they might be a part of, invention they might create, interview someone in that industry, and finally give a presentation of their research to the family or to a local group setting like a homeschool coop or club.

Identify Interests:

1. We created an ALL ABOUT ME spiral notebook journal.  This is where you record your likes, dislikes, ideas, dreams, strengths, beliefs, talents, goals, plans and steps to achieve goals, etc.  This notebook is a work in progress and will develop overtime.

2. We used library books that talk about different careers. 

3. I also spent time researching coloring pages for the kids to color that relate to different careers.  There are thousands of free coloring pages available on the internet. 

4. We used our toys for role playing and acted out different careers. 


I had the kids come up with a list of career role play ideas to choose from such as a computer technician (cardboard box computers and toy tool box), a zoologist (toy animals and veterinarian kit), a baker and a pizza restaurant owner (dishes, foods, menus, etc.), a doctor and nurse(toy first aid kit and various dolls and stuffed animals), a teacher (chalkboard, notebooks, rulers, pencils, crayons, books), a scientist (lab coat, microscope, magnifying glass, beakers, toys), a news anchor man (cardboard box tv, toilet paper tube microphone, magazine pictures used for describing scenes and weather), a home builder (legos and lego minifigures, lincoln logs, doll house, small miniature dolls, tool box). 

5. We also took a trip to the children’s museum and took advantage of several role playing oportunities.  Role playing is a great way for kids to explore learning about various careers.


There are lots more ideas you can do to learn about careers with young children.  Check out some videos on youtube or at your local library.  You can also go and visit a workplace with your kids.  Set up an appointment to visit a resturaunt owner on the job, or a hotel manager, a mailman, a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer, a farmer, etc.  Nothing beats a real life, hands on, learning experience!

Identify Scholarships

We made our Scholarship Journal / Binder with a three ring binder.   This is where we will record the FREE MONEY we learn about. 

The workbook explains each step to putting this together and how to use it.  We placed 12 monthly dividers and two additional dividers inside the binder: one for completed forms sent, and the other one for scholarships won.  I was really excited to ad the “WON” tab into the binder.  I can’t wait to see a “YES” letter in this section and see it fill up with FREE MONEY for college!

Idea For Research Project:

I love how these assignments incorporate “true to life” opportunities for the kids to learn and apply what they learn. This is a fun project that shows how the future of feeding our families and living “greener” might impact us.

We researched home aquaponics, and below are a few of the videos we found to learn about recycling water in our home to grow our own vegetables and fish and how this helps families be better stewards of the environment, eat healthier, save money, and perhaps make some money by selling or trading their surplus with others.  These projects have a positive benefit on people and society.  Researching and writing about a subject such as this, and perhaps implementing the project and observing the outcome on their family, their neighborhood, and community, can potentially help kids get a related scholarship in the future.

Purdue University 15 minute video on aquaponics  (fish farming and produce farming).

A good explanation of home aquaponics balance.  They recommend a 1 to 1 volume of water and plants, and 1 fish per 2 1/2 gal water.  Use 250 gallon tanks and bigger for fish production.

Easy Setup DIY for under $150

Backyard Greenhouse Computerized Aquaponics System in 120 square feet 

Solar Powered Home Aquaponics system DIY for $400

Solar Powered Home Aquaponics system DIY for under $500

Simple aquaponics experiment you can do at home with an avocado seed and a beta fish (this would cost under $5 to do if you bought the jar
and the fish, less if you only needed to buy the fish)

The kids and I also watched the food channel (Bizzare Foods America).  They traveled to the state of New Mexico and learned about the various cultures and foods there.  One very interesting part of the program was when the host went to a special “green living” community and ate delicious home grown food (hundreds of fruits and vegetables, fruit trees (citrus and figs), fruit vines (grapes and more) and fish that was raised in an indoor solar house aquaponics system.  They also had goats and chickens in their enclosed courtyard as part of the organic home raised food system. The house is called the Earthship.  The water in the system was collected from dew, rain, and snow from the roof, and funneled to a cistern.  The collected water was used for humans and aquaponics.  The water was first used in the sink and shower water, and the water cycles 4 times through the aquaponics farming system before it is used to flush the toilet and deposited into the septic system for final biodegrading.  The house is totally powered by solar power and wind power.  Besides being green, it is free to operate once you set it up.  Free to operate, free to collect water, free to grow food, free to harvest on demand, basically a farm/grocery store in your own home.  The children and I thought this was very cool.  We decided to look up Earthship on the internet to learn more about these homes and communities.  I was really excited for my kids to learn about this method of homesteading.  The Earthship is appropriate in all urban city or suburban, and rural settings and in all climates.  Earthship homes are being built all around the world.  It is made up of 45% recycled materials too.  It is a very versatile “green” home of the future.  It is also used to re-build after a natural disasters such as a hurricane, tornado, earthquakes and more. 

By learning about green housing solutions, my kids furthered their knowledge. After reviewing several “green” lifestyle videos I noted above, and repeating the simple avocado / fish experiment I found on the web, the kids will be ready to do a short presentation on how they might include this technology in their homes in the future. I hope to write a future post about this fun project soon.  If they research this further, and decide to experiment or develop methods we can implement at home or in a local business, or decide to study this in college, perhaps this will open doors for scholarships in this area for them.  

Field Trip to College:
We are planning a homeschool fieldtrip to visit the local community college campus here in Hendersonville, NC later in the spring.  I think this will be a good exercise for all of us to get a feel for what a small community college campus is like.  I hope my children will be able to dual enroll in a few classes when they are highschool age.  I am not sure how soon we will plan a visit to a larger state or private college campus.

When I was 16, I started taking dual enrollment classes at a local community college in Kansas City.  Then when I was 18, I went to visit two state college campus for the first time to see if that was what I wanted to do after highschool graduation.  I visited Kansas University (KU) and Kansas State University (KSU).  After visiting them, I chose the Kansas State University campus because I liked the feel of the campus, the way it was laid out and less crowded, and it had fewer people.  I felt more comfortable making my decision after I had a chance to visit both.  

I remember the whole experience was somewhat scary and overwhelming for me at the time.  I think if I had a chance to visit the campuses several years earlier when I was younger, I would have been more relaxed about it what a college campus was like.  So I would like to take my children to local college campusses and let them get a feel for the environment long before we are faced with making any decisions about college.

                        Yes You Can!

There is FREE MONEY available to people who want to go to college.  You can prepare for it, research it, apply for it, and possibly win it!


I think the biggest lessons I learned from using this curriculum is that there is FREE MONEY available; and that as a parent and using this program as a map, I can guide my child through the scholarship process.  I can start my children applying for scholarships now, even as young as 6 years old.  I can expose them to various experiences and help them identify their strengths and this will help them win scholarships.  I don’t have to wait until they are a junior or senior in highschool.  They can begin now, while they are little, and start meeting the requirements and applying for scholarships that will give them a jump start on their future.  I love the Scholarship binder project and I know this will be a big help to our family.

You can sign up for the free newsletter and free lesson plans too.  She has lots of other free resources too like the college campus checklist, and free videos on her channel on youtube, etc.  Be sure to check it out and see if your family can benefit from products available at College Common Sense.

Be sure to check out what other homeschool parents on the Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say about this product.


Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

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Who Is God In The Bible?

We have been blessed again to review another great homeschool product created by Classical Academic Press.  I continue to be impressed with the quality of Classical Academic Press curriculum materials.  They maintain a consistent focus, and each of their products are:
            Classical (rich, traditional subjects that equips kids with master skills),
            Creative (engaging, games, stories, animations, to enhance the learning
            Relevant (products that connect kids needs with their curiosity and 
            interests and enables them to communicate those areas effectively 
            through writing, debating, and more), and 
            Easy to Use (clear instructions, review of information learned, 
            supplemental materials and online help).

I am especially thrilled with their bible curriculum series called God’s Great Covenant. This is a four year bible curriculum and is designed to be used with elementary aged students from 2nd grade through 6th grade.   The four curriculums in this series are: 
                              God’s Great Covenant  Old Testament 1
                        God’s Great Covenant  Old Testament 2
                        God’s Great Covenant New Testament 1
                        God’s Great Covenant New Testament 2

We are currently using  God’s Great Covenant, OldTestament Book One.  Last year we used God’s Great Covenant, New Testament Book One also in this same series.  We also have reviewed other products from Classical Academic Press including the logic / debate curriculum Art of Argument and will soon be reviewing another logic course called the The Discovery of Deduction.   Honestly, I have put together a long wish list of quality curriculum from the Classical Academic Press catalogue that I would like to use with my children.



That is the very question God’s Great Covenant sets out to help your child answer in God’s Great Covenant, Old Testament One.   Over the course of 32 weeks, your child will gain a deeper understanding of who God is, who man is, and the covenant God has made with man.   From page 9 of the book, The Bible tells you God’s story. It has many parts, but from beginning to end it’s one story. In this story God made a promise, saying, “I will be your God, and you will be My people.”  


The Student Textbook is a big book.  It has large print, big pictures, and is written at a 2nd grade reading level for ease of use, and it is designed for elementary age students in grades 2nd-6th grade.  It is divided into 241 pages.  It retails for $22.95.  


The Teacher’s Edition contains all of the information in the student text, plus answer keys to all the worksheets, reviews, and quizzes, teaching helps and notes to teachers and parents in each chapter, and large areas to write your own notes and ideas as you go along.  The Teacher’s Edition retails for $24.95 .   

The course is available on MP3 Audio for $9.95  and supplemental Maps and Time lines are also available for $32.95 and greatly enhance the learning.    The whole Bundle of
mentioned is available at a discount for $79.95 .   

You can download a FREE  40 page sample of the first five chapters and see for yourself what a great curriculum resource this is.  It is intended to be used for about 20 minutes on a daily basis, 5 days a week, for 32 weeks. 

Our Experience


Being homeschoolers, we are flexible and adjust the curriculum to fit the needs of our homeschool, doing the lessons faster or slower as needed.   I used this curriculum with all my school aged children in grades 6th, 4th, 2nd, K, and Pre-K.  We worked on the book daily for 30 minutes or more through out the week. 

The lessons are short, straight to the point, and are easy to navigate through.  We started the week off with memorizing the focus scripture.  Next, we alternated between listening to the audio MP3  and following along, and other days my 6th grader read the text to the rest of the kids, and everyone took turns answering the review questions.  The MP3 is a very nice resource with this course.   I hope to purchase the additional maps and timeline for the course as I have heard many other homeschoolers talk about what a wonderful addition these are.  I would love to make a display on a wall in my home with these resources.

Each chapter has a lesson plan summary on the first page:
                Lesson Scope
                Read To Me (scripture)
                Memory Verse
                Key Facts
                Things To Remember
                Who Is God?

Each chapter has 4 sections coded at the top of the page, making it easy for the student to follow and work independently if desired.  These sections include:
                Memory Page
                Review Worksheets


Here are the “story of God” chapters in each unit of God’s Great Covenant, Old Testament One.


Unit I: In the Beginning – God’s Power. 

God shows His power by speaking all of creation into existence.  Because of man’s sin, He barred mankind from the garden of Eden where He walked and fellowshipped with them.   Eventually the world became so wicked that He judged the world with a catastrophic flood to wash the sinfulness of man away.  At the same time, the power of His love, and His mercy, and His redemptive plan secured man’s future existence.

                Chapter 1  Creation Of The World
                Chapter 2  Creation Of Man
                Chapter 3  The Fall
                Chapter 4  The Flood And The Tower
                Chapter 5  Looking Backwards / Looking Ahead

Unit II: By the Patriarchs – God’s Promises.

The Lord God chose Abram out of the city of Ur, and sent him on an amazing journey. Through the covenant, the Lord gave Abram (later called Abraham) three promises: to give him a land, to make him the father of many nations, and to bless the world through him. These promises, and God’s faithfulness to keep the promises, form the foundation for the rest of God’s story.

                Chapter  6  The Call Of Abraham
                Chapter  7  The Sacrifice of Isaac
                Chapter  8   Jacob A Changed Man
                Chapter  9   Joseph The Dreamer
                Chapter 10 Joseph The Ruler
                Chapter 11 Looking Backwards / Looking Ahead

Unit III: Out of Egypt – God’s Redemption.

In God’s mind, rescuing Israel from Egypt was more than saving the Israelites from slavery. The Lord God was redeeming Israel from sin and renewing the covenant He had made with Abraham. Despite their sin, the Lord desired to dwell with His people and bless them.

                Chapter 12  The Call of Moses
                Chapter 13  The Ten Plagues
                Chapter 14  The Exodus
                Chapter 15  Provision in the Wilderness
                Chapter 16  Giving of the Law
                Chapter 17  Israel’s Idolatry
                Chapter 18  Looking Backwards / Looking Ahead

Unit IV: Through the Wilderness – God’s Provision.

In the harshness of the Sinai wilderness the Lord God showed His people that His care for them was perfect. Even though they grumbled, complained, and refused to trust Him, God was completely trustworthy and never ceased to take care of them.

                Chapter 19  Building Of The Tabernacle
                Chapter 20  Departure from Mt. Sinai
                Chapter 21  The Spies Explore Canaan
                Chapter 22  Life in the Wilderness
                Chapter 23  Preparation to Enter Canaan
                Chapter 24  Looking Backwards / Looking Ahead

Unit V: In the Promised Land – God’s Faithfulness.

After conquering Canaan, Israel entered into the dark years when everyone did “what was right in his own eyes.” Even though Israel repeatedly turned away from the Lord, He always heard their cries for mercy and delivered them from the oppression of their enemies.

                Chapter 25  Entering Canaan
                Chapter 26  Conquest of Canaan
                Chapter 27  The Judges
                Chapter 28  The Stories of Deborah and Gideon
                Chapter 29  The Story of Samson
                Chapter 30  The Story Of Ruth
                Chapter 31  The story of Job
                Chapter 32  Looking Backwards / Looking Ahead

The back of the student book contains a memory verse list organized for each chapter, a glossary, a summary of who God is as explained in each chapter, Word Banks, maps of Abraham’s journeys, Israel’s journey in the wilderness, and a tribal division map, and more.  


This is a very nice, easy to use, beginner level bible course that follows God’s story chronologically in the scriptures, and answers the question “Who Is God“?  This course would be great for homeschools, Sunday schools, Christian schools, bible studies, family bible time, and personal devotions and study.  Be sure to check it out when planning your biblical curriculum studies.  You can check out the link here for a suggested sample schedule for working through the course and see how it would fit for your homeschool and bible study.

Be sure to visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew to see what other homeschool families thought of this product.


Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

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Flowering Baby Curriculum Review

I recently learned about Flowering Baby, LLC , a hands on homeschool curriculum for children from birth to age five.  Flowering Baby was written by a homeschool mom, Martha Sanders, and co-written by her mom Carolyn Schulte who has 50 years of early childhood and special needs experience.  Be sure to read their About Us page on the website to learn more.
Flowering Baby truly is a “whole child” approach to learning.  This approach accomplishes so much in just 20 to 40 minutes of activities a day.  Each “year of curriculum” contains a monthly guide with twenty or more activities to do with your child each month.  From birth until age 3, each activity is age based.  But ages three, four, and five expand on age based skills and cover cross curricular subjects like math, music, art, science, language, and more. 

This curriculum is hands on and is a blend of Classical, Charlotte Mason, and Unit Studies approaches.  You don’t necessarily have to buy any additional supplies. The curriculum is very flexible and supportive of helping the parent, and it uses items the parent likely already has on hand.   From the website: “Our activities are designed to use household items, typical children’s toys and standard supplies. We recycle and use many household items and focus on educational value and fun, not expensive name brand items.”  There are suggested books, projects, activities, themes, and field trips too.

Where To Buy:

This product is available for purchase as a CD for your computer.  All five levels of Flowering Baby curriculum can be purchased at a huge discount as a bundle for $132.00   They can also be purchased separately:
                        Birth to One $30.00

                        One to Two $30.00

                        Two to Three $30.00

                        Three To Four $38.00

                        Four to Five $38.00

Our Experience

We reviewed Flowering Baby Vol. 5 : Four To Five Years Old. This was perfect for us because I have a 4 year old son, and a 5 year old daughter. For this age range, this product includes two parts: a monthly curriculum (daily program) guide for each month (102 pages), and a monthly theme guide for each month (82 pages). 


This product comes in a CD format for using on your computer (however, I received it in a download version for the purpose of the review).  I viewed and used this product from the computer for a few weeks, and then I decided I really wanted a hard copy.   My personal printer is not reliable for printing large documents, so I had the pdf printed and bound at the copy center.  


Now I can take the manual with me from room to room, or to the park, or where ever we go, and use it as a guide without having to always be at my computer, and I am so happy with my manual. 


The monthly curriculum guide gives a nice overall plan for moms / parents to follow.  In the front section of each month,  there is an overview with a list of supplies, suggested books, story connections, Spanish connection, suggested music, and monthly holidays.  Each month includes 10 to 13 days of planned out out lessons and activities that cover a wide range of subjects: ABC’s, Math, Shapes, Seasons, Human Body / Health, Science, Nutrition, Music, Colors, Language (English and Spanish), Read
ing, Holiday Celebrations, Arts and Crafts, and more.  At the end of the book is a learning assessment quiz, and summary question forms for some of the suggested books on the list.  It also includes recipes, and teaching helps. 

I was quite pleased that many of the suggested books in the monthly curriculum guide are ones we have on our bookshelf.  If you don’t have these books at home, they are likely available at your local library.  Some are also available online and in downloadable format too.  You can also find several of these books read out loud on to enhance the learning process with your kids.

Here is a small list of suggested books for each month that go along with the story connection forms at the back of the curriculum.  But the are way more book suggestions in each month and theme than this small list. 
        Are You My Mother?
        Blueberries For Sal
        Bread and Jam for Frances
        Brown Bear, Brown Bear
        Caps For Sale
        Charlotte’s Web
        Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs
        Frog and Toad Are Friends
        Goodnight Moon
        Harold And The Purple Crayon
        If You Give A Mouse A Cookie
        The Mitten
        The Snowman
        The Snowy Day
        Winnie The Pooh

The monthly theme guide includes 26 themes.  It is suggested to pick two themes each month.  Each theme includes six days worth of activities (and each day contains 3 to 5 activities per day).  So 26 themes x 6 days of activities = 156 planned days of themed activities for you to choose from.  There is also a list of suggested books to read, and field trips to take that go along with each theme.  Here is a list of the fun themes:
        Aquarium & Arctic Life
        Bodies of Water
        Bugs & Birds 
        Farm Animals
        Fish & Frogs
        Forest Animals
        Music and Musical Instruments
        My Birthday
        My Body
        Pilgrims & Thanksgiving
        Rocks & Minerals
        Self Image
        Spring & Easter
        Zoo Animals

We completed the monthly curriculum for the month of January, and are currently working on February.  We also chose to review Aquariums & Arctic, and Zoo Animals as our monthly themes in January; and Bodies Of Water (lakes, rivers, and streams), and My Body in February.  

In January we read books, read web sites on the computer, practiced our abc’s and counting, sang songs, colored pictures, worked with the triangle shape and the color blue, learned new vocabulary words, observed the weather, learned about dressing for the cold weather, listened to music, practiced our phone number, practiced a few Spanish words, visited a lake, visited a zoo and an aquarium, made crafts, and more.  There is way to much stuff we did to tell you about in this story, but below are just of few of our fun adventures with this curriculum.

We looked up where the Arctic is on the globe. 

We learned about arctic animals and their habitat. We colored pages about arctic animals and practiced writing the first letter of the animals name.


We sorted our animal toys into aquatic and arctic animals vs other types of animals and built a habitat for them.


We made a sensory Sea Bottle and a sensory Winter Snow Bottle. We played in our sandbox outside on a nice afternoon, though the sandbox had filled with water from all the rain we have had.  We played in our Snow Sensory Bin,  Winter Sensory Bin, Winter Story Bin, and Ocean Sensory Bin that we made a while back.   Playing with sensory bottles and sensory bins are a lot of hands on learning fun. 

We also learned about starfish.  We read about several kinds of starfish and looked up pictures of them on the computer.

We made a starfish craft.


We learned about the winter weather, learned how to check the forecast, and dress for different temperatures.  We learned how i
t is a lot colder in the Arctic and we would have to dress with a lot more winter clothing if we lived there.  Our weather has been mostly in the “cool” temperature range here in this part of North Carolina.  We discussed snow (though we have not had much in our local area), cold wind, and rain this month.  Below is a picture of the kids checking out our front yard in January after a flash flood rain storm that hit our local area.  My kids love to check out the weather and especially the rain.  Here is a story about Summer Rain and Dancing In The Rain.  These sensory experiences bring learning about the weather together in a fun way.

I also made a video of the kids standing on the sidewalk during strong winds in January, as they observed the effects of wind blowing leaves on bushes and branches on trees, and on their clothes and hair.  They thought it was very funny to watch their hair blow straight out from their head.  Though they could not see the wind, they could feel it, and see things move because of the power of the wind.  They learned that the wind is a powerful force that can cause things to happen.

We took a field trip last week to the zoo at Columbia SC.  The Riverbanks Zoo has a nice aquarium building with lots of water life displays.  We were able to observe large life size aquariums and smaller aquariums too.

We saw animals, fish, and various sea life that live in salt water in the oceans including sharks, stingrays, sea anemones, angle fish, clown fish, sea turtles, and many, many more.


We saw several tanks with different types of starfish too.  The kids were able to locate at least 5 different starfish species.  This was exciting to the children because we had been reading about starfish as suggested in the curriculum and made a starfish craft a few days earlier.  This was a great way to tie everything together.

As part of our February theme, we also learned about animals and fish that live in fresh water streams, rivers, and lakes.  We were able to see dozens of different large and small aquariums with hundreds of different species.  We saw salamanders, crawfish, fresh water sting rays, alligator snapping turtles, catfish, sunfish, piranha, crocodiles, alligators, anaconda snakes, and more.  Here my 4 year old son is looking at a large pacu from the Amazon river.

Some displays were really exciting like this bubble tunnel in the shark tank.  Here my son is watching a small shark swimming all around him as it comes in and out of an ocean cave.

We played in an Arctic Penguin interactive display at the zoo.  The kids observed two different kinds of penguins.  The penguins had rock cliffs to sit on and a large swimming area.  The swimming area had its own tide that went up and down and over the speakers you could hear the sounds of the ocean. 

They had so much fun watching the penguins clean their feathers, walk along the rock cliffs with their webbed feet, swim, and interact with each other while listening to the sounds of the ocean as the water rose up and went back down on the rock cliffs. 

We are looking forward to completing more fun adventures for February like learning about our body, our five senses, our eyes, more about snow, make homemade snow with crushed ice cubes, Valentine’s Day, George Washington, President’s Day, Fire Stations, Firefighters, Fire Safety Skills, nursery rhymes, counting in Spanish, counting in English, learning about Country music, playing board games, physical education challenges, and so much more.  Our monthly theme in February is Bodies Of Water (lakes, rivers, and streams), and My Body.  We are taking a field trip to Lake James, and we also viewed life in fresh water streams, lakes and rivers at the Zoo.

This curriculum has lots of great ideas to use with young children.  But older children enjoy many of the suggested activities too.   We did many of the learning activities, and all of the field trips as a whole family.  The curriculum is helpful to the parent as it helps to tie everything together in a flexible but efficient way.  

I am planning to use the Ages One To Two from Flowering Baby with my baby soon. Then progress with him into the Ages Two to Three after that.   I think this curriculum will give us lots of opportunities to add some one on one fun with skill development.  He is 15 months old.  We get lots of cuddle time, and he still nurses, so he definitely has the majority of mommy’s time and attention.  But it will be fun to include some purposeful learning activities with him too.  He often watches the older kids from the sidelines during school time.  It will be interesting to do school with him.  I truly enjoyed when his brother was about 2 years old (who is now age 4) and we started doing some tot school activities with him.  This curriculum will help focus all of that into a well organized plan for our activities.

If you would like to see what a month of this curriculum looks like, or try before you buy, then check out the link and download your own one month 
free sample from this curriculum.   Flowering Baby, LLC is a
lso offering a special 10% off discount for our readers when orders are placed using the discount code “Blog10” at checkout.

To learn more, read what other Crew members at The Old Schoolhouse had to say about Flowering Baby, LLC curriculum for various ages from birth to five


Disclaimer:  I received a free downloadable copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.  I paid to have my copy of the product printed at a local printing store.  All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

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Torani Syrup

My family loves flavored coffee drinks.  Hot or cold, served either way, they definitely enjoy it.   If I even try to make one for myself, it is snatched right away….and I have to make another….and another…..until we all have one.

Recently on a crisp fall morning, we sat on the front porch enjoying a delicious treat of Pumpkin Pie Latte as we discussed our plans for the day.


Oh yeah, these kids love to drink their “Latte”! And it was an awesome sensory experience to sit outside in the chilly, crisp, fall air as it blew on our faces, and feel the warmth of the coffee cup in our hands. The smell of the coffee flavored with Torani syrup and the morning breeze outside was amazing. The taste was delicious!


We are enjoying some delicious flavored syrups in our drinks and deserts lately created by a company called Torani. They have over 125 flavors.   They have been in business since 1925 and have been owned by 3 generations of the same family. 

So far, we have tried the Vanilla Bean syrup, and Pumpkin Pie syrup.  I use about 1 to 2 teaspoons of syrup per serving in our beverages.  But you can use more or less as desired.  It really is all about personal preferences and you can customize any beverage you wish from coffees, sodas, milk, fruit drinks, and more.  You can also customize whipped cream, icing for cakes and cookies, and there are many other ways to use these flavored syrups too.  Be sure to check out the Torani website for lots of recipes and flavor options.

I am looking forward to trying the Raspberry and Blackberry (for homemade soda and flavored teas and lemonades), English Toffee, and Creme de Cocoa for more delicious coffee drinks soon.  Below are some of the coffee recipes and a coke recipe we have been enjoying with these syrups.


Pumpkin Pie Latte
4 servings

Two cups brewed coffee (we use Park Place Medium Roast by Starbucks).
Two tablespoons Torani Pumpkin Pie Syrup
Two cups warm milk (we use fresh raw whole milk straight from the farm).

If serving hot, mix and heat together in a saucepan before filling coffee cups.  Or to make it frothy, blend all together in a blender before serving.  I use a Vita Mix blender and it handles the heat of the hot liquids very well.  If you have a specialty coffee machine that makes lattes and cappuccinos and can froth your hot milk, then you wouldn’t need to make it in the blender.   If serving cold, then serve over ice or place in a cooler to reach a chilled temperature.  It is good served either hot or cold.
You can also freeze this and blend it in your blender to make a delicious Frappe (frozen coffee shake).

Optional: additional sugar to taste (if needed).
Optional: Ready whip real whipped cream. 


Vanilla Bean Iced Latte
4 Servings

2 cups brewed coffee
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons Vanilla Bean Torani syrup

Mix together and serve over ice cubes. 


Vanilla Bean & Coke
1 serving

8 oz. of Coke (or any soda you like)
1 tsp Torani Vanilla Bean Syrup

Stir together and serve over crushed ice.  Yummy!


Vanilla Chai Tea
1 serving

1 tea chai tea bag (black or green)
3/4 cup of boiling water
1/4 cup warm milk
1 tsp Torani Vanilla Bean syrup

Steep together for 3 minutes.  Remove tea bag.  Serve.



This is a very funny video about using Torani syrups in your holiday entertaining…besides being delicious, it can really come in handy!

And this video seems to play out at my house almost daily….only it is with my kids (I have 6 kids)…and I have to make my coffee several times….

Where To Buy

Torani syrups come in both sugar and sugar free varieties. Torani flavored syrups are available in the coffee isle of most grocery stores, and can also be ordered
online. Be sure to check out their website for coupons and specials too. There is also a special $1 off coupon good until Jan 4th located here.

Torani currently has a recipe contest going called
Holiday Cheer Recipe Contest, with great prizes.  Be sure to check it out!

Disclaimer: I received the product mentioned above at no cost to me in exchange for writing an honest review.  All opinions expressed are the honest opinions of myself and my family.

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Pinypon Party and Adventure

Our Pinypon Adventure was so much fun!  My kids say “The party was a so much fun Mommy! Can we do it again?”.  Those words are music to my ears!

Below is the full story of our Pinypon Adventure.
        Pinypon Adventure Plans: Party Plans and Goals, Products, Preparations 
                and Play
        Learning Fun: Fine Motor Skills, Social Skills, Vocabulary, History, and
                Pinypon Adventure Video
        Our Pinypon Party: Fashion Show, Playtime, Caravan, Crafts
        Where To Buy
        And More……

            Pinypon Adventure Plans

Party Plans

Our plans and goals:
We want to host a party with lots of friends and Pinypon toys.
We want to learn to be a good hostess.
We want our adventure to be fun.
We want our adventure to be full of learning.
We want to learn about fashion.
We want to learn to make a video as we learn about the Pinypon toy dolls
and doll accessories.
We want to celebrate being a girl.
We want to share our adventures with other girl friends.


When our Pinypon products arrived, I was so amazed at the variety and quality of these toys. 


We set them all out to look at, and plan our fun adventure.

As a Mommy Parties host, we were sent several Pinypon dolls, two Pinypon Caravans, and two Nenuco Newborn baby dolls to host a review party and giveaway prizes.  Both Pinypon and Nenuco are made by the Famosa toy company. 

We also received party suggestion ideas, coupons, a letter for parents, and Fashion Show certificates for our guests.

The certificates will be a nice keepsake.  We will add our Fashion Show certificate into my daughter’s homeschool portfolio.  She loves to collect certificates of things she has participated in.  These are so pretty and have a place for her name and the details of the fashion show.

Preparations and Play

We shopped for decorations, food, and goodie bag supplies. My kids had a great time with the preparations.  My kids (girls and boys) all helped in making the preparations.  They love hosting parties.


Each goodie bag we made will fit into a larger goodie bag too. 
It’s double fun!  Whoopee! 

Inside the first goodie bag is lip gloss, lip balm rings, fingernail polish, princess click style pencils with foam grips, candy necklace, pixy sticks, sweat tart candies, and two ponytail holders. 

Inside the larger gift bag will be the first goodie bag, plus fashion items the girls choose at the party.   Items the girls will choose at the party include a Pinypon doll, a jewel necklace, bracelets, diamond rings, diamond star wands, and colorful hair braids with jewel clips.  These items will be used in a fashion show, so we made them accessible, then after the show, the girls can place them into the larger pink bag to take home after the party.

We opened some of the Pinypon dolls to get familiar with the product, to make a stop motion video, and to use as part of our decorations on the party tables. 


My daughter loved playing with these dolls!  They are so creative and fun.  You can change the hair, face, upper torso, lower torso, and mix and match what ever you want. 

Each doll comes with lots of fashion accessories like barrets, hairbands, purses, bags, and more.  The head of the doll is hollow and they accessories can store easily inside the head when not in use so you can keep it all together.  Pinypon also has several larger accessories you can buy like a house, and a caravan with many more accessories.

                    Learning Fun

In addition to these toys helping to develop fine motor skills and social skills through play, we expanded the learning fun and made this a great Pinypon Adventure.


What is a learning adventure without learning some new vocabulary?  I just can’t help it, I am a homeschool mom!

Vocabulary Words


History of the Famosa toy company.  They produce over 20 well known brands of toys. They were founded in 1957 in Spain, have main branches in 8 countries including the USA, and are a major toy presence in over 50 countries.  They have a fascinating timeline on their website with lots of great information.  As a homeschool family, we love looking at historical timelines and how the story of it all fits together.

Stop Motion Video

Check out our Pinypon Adventure Movie we made.

               Our Pinypon Party

We sent out email invitations. We had several confirmations, and a couple of cancelations, and I wasn’t positive at first how it was all going to end up. But it turned out perfect! We ended up with a great group of girls and their families, and about 15 people in all attended the party.


My kids helped me set up the tables and decorations before our guests arrived.  We set up the door prizes and goodie bags on one table, a Pinypon play and fashion area at another table, and lots of food on another table.



On the menu was a fashionably fun trail mix, cupcakes, chicken strips, humus with corn chips, sprite, and donuts.  I totally forgot the fruit and vegetable platter.  We served the trail mix and the corn chips in flower shaped pots that matched the desert plates and the center piece flowers on the play table.


Pinypon Fashion Show and Playtime

The girls were so excited when they arrived for the party.  They loved spending time playing together. 

They pulled the dolls apart and traded heads, torsos, hair, and accessories to come up with their own custom fashion doll.


The girls had lots of fun playing with Pinypon dolls and accessories.


After the dolls were ready for the fashion show, the girls got to pick out lots of fashion accessories they could also wear for the fashion show too. 


Then the girls and their dolls had a fashion show.  They walked their dolls down a runway to show off their personal styles.


My daughter was so happy!  She loved every minute of this fun adventure!


Pinypon Caravan and Playtime

Then we gathered around the table again for a fun time of playing with the Pinypon Caravan and all the additional accessories that come with it.  Wow!  All of the girls, and all of the mom’s, were impressed with this van!  It is a special toy that any girl will love playing with.


The Pinypon Caravan has a working bathtub/shower/hot tub/swimming pool, a kitchen with a sink, cabinets, a fridge with shelves, a table, a hammock lounge chair, food, dishes, a slide, boat, skate board/surf boards, and so much more. It is a mobile house/camper/vacation
resort all in one. The Pinypon dolls can ride up front and drive the Caravan. One entire side and the back fold down to access everything in side. A window above the sink opens up too. It is very cute!

At one point I counted 8 hands and 5 dolls in the van all playing at the same time.  It is a very fun toy and greatly expands the imagination and play with the Pinypon dolls.


I had a cute arts and crafts hat project to do and show off in the fashion show, and a jewel flower project kit for the kids they could later hang on their wall. But I ran out of time to do both of these projects. I sent the fashion jewel flower project kits home with each of the girls in their goodie bags to complete at home later.


On the door prize table were Pinypon dolls still in the package, and we played a short game with them. I had written a number on the bottom of each Pinypon doll package. The girls were given a number and they had to find the doll with the matching number, and the goodie bag with the matching number.  They were so excited to receive their doll.

At the end of our party, we drew numbers for door prizes.  One winning number, held by a very happy girl, received the Pinypon Caravan.

Another excited girl won the Nenuco Newborn baby doll. 

Plus all the girls went home with their very own Pinypon doll and bags of goodies too.  This was definitely a wonderful party and an adventure to remember.

                    Where To Buy 
                More Information

Pinypon toys are made for girls and boys ages 4 and up.  Their website encourages girls and boys to play with these, and there are several boy doll figures, so it is not just girls.  Not intended for children 3 and under due to lots of small parts presents a choking hazard.  

Pinypon has lots of themes and accessories for their dolls.  There are way to many dolls to mention here, so be sure to check out their website and see the variety and what would work for you to send as gifts for that special girl in your life.  Also, there are some special theme dolls and fun kits too.  Besides fashion theme, there is a travel theme, apartment, shopping mall, hotel, make-up, sweetheart romance, pets, flower bags, mermaids, and more.

Pinypon dolls retail for $4.99 and up.  The Pinypon Caravan and doll set retails for $19.99  Nenuco New Born baby dolls retail for $12.99 and up for different ones. Additional coupons and specials are available on the Pinypon Facebook page.

You can find the Pinypon and Nenuco Famosa products available at Amazon and available at Toys-R-Us and other fine retailers.

Find out more about Pinypon and Nenuco toys at these sites:



Did you know you can contact Pinypon with comments and suggestions and just to say hello?  I plan to send them a few suggestions for their wonderful toy line. We love all the themes they have developed, and the fashion theme they sent us for the party.  We love the ability to change around items with these Pinypon dolls. But I would also love to see more of these great dolls in the future with more special themes.

I would love to ask Pinypon to create a line of boy dolls with boy themes to add to the collection (they have some boy dolls).  I know for sure my boys and many of their friends would love to play with them. They are so fun to take apart and rebuild. My 12 year old and 10 year old sons helped make the Pinypon Adventure movie video we posted in this story, so I know boys like playing with these dolls and the Caravan. The boys would like to know if the arms of the dolls could be posable too. They like to make them do different poses.

Additional themes I think would be successful for boys and girls both would be:
A camping theme with a camper, boat, bonfire, fishing gear, and grill.
A hunting theme with camo, a deer stand, camp out items, and woodland animals.
A castle theme with knights and chariots, a king, queen, princes, and prince.
A doctor, nurse, hospital theme.
A veterinarian theme.
A community helpers theme.
A construction theme.
A family generations theme with grandparents, parents, and children.
A kids/families around the world theme with costumes from different countries.
A school house theme.
and more.

Who knows, maybe Pinypon will like a suggestion and come out with lots more fun doll themes and accessory ideas! We hope so.

       And More…………

This Pinypon Adventure Party was “just for girls”, so we also set up a separate area for boys to have their own adventure building with Legos.  We had 8 boys (5 big boys and 3 little boys) who came along with their sisters to our party.  They had so much fun creating their own projects and learning with our building challenge kits from our Lego and Robotics Academy club.  They worked in two teams to make some awesome creations and shared them with us after the Pinypon Adventure was over. 

My sons enjoyed watching the Pinypon Adventure Party, and they loved helping prepare for the party, decorating, and watching it all “play out”.  They are becoming great hosts as they learn to set up parties for the community through their 4H club, the learning adventures and workshops we have done, and the Mommy Parties I am involved in.  My sons told me they had the best day ever today!  Wow, what a compliment!

We really love playing with Pinypon!  Overall, I think this has been a great Pinypon Adventure!  We have sure enjoyed it!  Thank you MomSelect, Mommy Parties, and Famosa/Pinypon/Nenuco. 

Disclaimer: By publishing this post, I received free products as part of a promotional program with MomSelect. All opinions are my own.

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Excellence In Writing And Reading With PAL

We are working through one of the nicest and most thorough language arts curriculums (reading, writing, spelling) I have ever reviewed.   It is laid out very well for any teacher and student to implement.  Though some prep work is involved, (such as cutting, and organizing), everything is provided for you.

So what is it?   

It is called PAL


                           Primary Arts Of Language

PAL is a blended sight sound program of learning.   Designed for primary students in grades K through 2, this product can be used with older students who may need additional help with specific skills.  It involves four key areas of learning:


The PAL curriculum program is divided into PAL Reading and PAL Writing.  Please watch this Introduction To The PAL Curriculum, to get a better understanding of how this works.


                        PAL READING 


The PAL Reading Program (description in red from the website) consists of:

Using poetry, the reading portion of the Primary Arts of Language teaches phonics and whole words. Students are introduced to letters through letter stories and discover the vowel and consonant pairs that help us read. Daily games played during “Activity Time” reinforce the phonetic concepts so that a student can know them completely.

Note: The Reading program should be used concurrently with the Primary Arts of Language: Writing program, which includes the letter introduction through printing practice.

The Primary Arts of Language:
Reading Complete Package includes:

  • Primary Arts of Language: Reading Teacher’s ManualPhotobucket
  • Primary Arts of Language: Reading DVD-ROMPhotobucket
      Includes the following:


    • Instructional Video by Jill Pike
    • The Four Language Arts MP3 Audio by Andrew Pudewa
    • Nurturing Competent Communicators MP3 Audio by Andrew Pudewa
    • Poetry as an Integrator MP3 Audio by Anna Ingham
    • Intro to the Blended Sound Sight Program MP3 Audio by Anna Ingham
    • Primary Arts of Language: Reading Student Book (e-book)
      (Would you rather have us print out your PAL student e-books for you?
      Click here)
  • Primary Arts of Language: Phonetic Games


    Primary Arts of Language: Phonetic Farm folder with StickersPhotobucket

    Cost if purchased separately $98.00

    Cost if purchased together as a bundle $69.00

                        PAL WRITING

    The PAL Writing Program (description in red from the website) consists of:

    The writing portion of Primary Arts of Language, which is divided into three parts: printing, copy work, and composition, should be used concurrently with the reading portion unless your child is already reading. Then you can use these lessons independently. Spelling is included throughout the course.

    The printing section provides an entire handwriting program to teach your student how to correctly form his letters—he will learn his letter sounds as he learns to write them. The copy work exercises will make printing automatic in preparation for the composition lessons, which will gently teach your student to write stories and paragraphs with style.



    This package includes:


  • Primary Arts of Language: Writing Teacher’s Manual


  • Primary Arts of Language: Writing DVD-ROM
      Includes the following:

    • Instructional Video by Jill Pike
    • Reading Comprehension MP3 Audio by Adam Andrews
    • Dictation, Narration, and Public Speaking MP3 Audio by Andrew Pudewa
    • The Four Language Arts MP3 Audio by Andrew Pudewa
    • Primary Arts of Language: Writing Student Books (e-book)
      (Would you rather have us print out your PAL student e-books for you?
      Click here)
  • All About Spelling Basic Interactive Kit


  • All About Spelling Level 1 (Teacher’s Manual and One Student Material Packet) By Marie Rippel


  • Bonus e-audio downloads:
    • Units 1 & 2 in the K–2 Classroom MP3 Audio by Shirley George
    • Unit 3 in the K–2 Classroom MP3 Audio by Shirley George
    • Preparing the K-2 Writing Environment MP3 Audio by Richelle Palmer


    Cost if purchased separately $113

    Cost if purchased together as a bundle $89



     How We Are Using PAL Reading and Writing


    I was a bit overwhelmed (in a good way) when it first arrived.  Whew!  There is a huge bundle of material with this program!  But that is a good thing!  The first thing to do is to sit down and view the DVD-Roms that come with the program and the online webinars.  While watching and listening to these, you can thumb through the teachers manual and get familiar with the layout.  Thank goodness for such a well written teachers manual.  It is easy to follow.  This gave me a basic understanding of how to put this program in action in our home. Then as we go along, we will be able to tweak and adapt the program to fit the needs for our family.


    There are 80 lessons in the PAL Reading program.  A typical day at our house using the PAL Reading program involves:
            Reading a poem together (poem is provided).
            Finding and pointing out certain words in the poem.
            Writing in a class journal (if you are also working through the writing program at 
                the same time, you will also work on stories and writing assignments at this 
            Learning Games  (1 to 4 games, varies each day).
            Phonetic Farm (adding stickers as we learn sounds).
            Student workbook page.
            End of day review (phonetic farm folder, reading practice, games, and 
                informal spelling test review).

    As we work further into the program, some things in the daily list will change.  For example, we will add a library reading log and books to read.  Games get more challenging as we progress.  Vocabulary and spelling words will also get more challenging and we will add in the PAL Writing portion of the program that includes using the ALL About Spelling curriculum.


    To get ready for our studies, I prepared a couple of lessons for a week at a time. There is some prep work involved, but nothing too complicated.  Everything (worksheets, games, etc.) is provided, and just needs cut out, and assembled or organized for each lesson. Some items get glued too. For example to make file folder games, you glue the provided pages onto file folders, etc. 

    My kids are loving the learning games. This is their favorite part of reinforcing what they are learning. The games are “hands on” and fun. So far, their favorite is feeding “Mugs” his sound bones. They say the sound of the letter on each bone as they feed the dog.  The bones contain the lower case letters of the alphabet and some sound combination with two letters at the same time.

    This has been a great addition to our homeschool learning.  I am using the program with my 7 1/2 year old son, and my 5 1/2 year old daughter.  I am glad they can work through this together.   


    I am also including the 3 1/2 year old in some parts of the program that he is ready for too.  He is an active observer and is picking up on things as he watches,  and he listens to the others and repeats what they are doing.

    We are taking it slow.  We started with PAL Reading, and we will progress into PAL Writing.  In PAL Writing we will also learn with All About Spelling which I am so excited about.  It comes with an interactive kit for the kids to work “hands on” with spelling too. But it will be a little while yet before we start that part of the program.

    I love that this program assist the teacher in teaching.  It is so well explained and easy to follow the method laid out.  Someone with no teaching background could easily implement this program successfully.

    This is an excellent program and I would encourage homeschool families to check into using this curriculum, and check out other programs for older students through the Institute for Excellence in Writing.



    Please stop into the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to hear what others have to say about this product.

    Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received a copy of the products mentioned above in exchange for writing an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my personal opinion. 

    Please share.
  • Grace & Truth Books

    Do you find it challenging to find good moral books for your young boys to read?  I sure do.  We were sent two books for young boys from Grace & Truth Books to review.  A Faithful Boy’s Influence and Gerrit and His Dog.  


    My 12 year old son has really enjoyed reading these books, and I believe they have encouraged him in his faith, his influence as a Christian, his perseverance, and good will towards his fellow man.

    Children’s Heritage Series – Boys Collection:

    Children's Heritage Series - Boys Collection (9 Volumes)

    Both of these books are part of the 9 volume collection called the Children’s Heritage Series-Boys Collection .  Books in this series cover a wide variety of topics and are geared for boys ages 6 to 14.  Descriptions (below in red letters) from the Grace & Truth Books website:

        This set of 9 stories for boys, all reprints from the 19th century, are some of our 
        richest, most challenging books for boys ages 8 to 14. Also very suitable to read 
        aloud with younger children or for family reading.

        Includes these 9 volumes:
            *A Faithful Boy’s Influence
            *Gerrit and His Dog
            *Grace to the Humble
            *The Young Christian
            *The Two Wealthy Farmers
            *The Widow’s Son
            *The Negro Servant and the Black Prince
            *Rescue at the Eleventh Hour
            *Kanousky, the Indian Boy and David Brainerd, the Indian’s Missionary

    A Faithful Boy’s Influence:

    A Faithful Boy's Influence

    This wonderful children’s book, about how a young boy initiated respect for God’s 
        servant by a good example, will mold your children’s character in an important 

    This book is 148 pages and retails for $ 7.50 (on sale for $6.25).  It contains two stories and is for ages 6-12.  The first story is “A Faithful Boy’s Influence” and is about a boy named Charlie who had such admirable character that he influenced everyone around him.  Many people came to know God through his life.  The second story is “Ears For Little Gleaners” and is a collection of Sunday school lessons.

    Gerrit And His Dog:


        “Here’s a story which will teach your boys the blessing of what it is to feel a 
        heart of compassion and sympathetic care”.

    This book is 89 pages and retails for $6.00 (on sale for $5.50).  It contains two stories and is for ages 6-14.  The first story, “Gerrit and His Dog” is about a little boy, his dog Brownie, and his family.  His father died when he was a baby, and later his mother died, and his uncle became his foster father.  His uncle is very mean to him, and also sends his dog away as a punishment.  Gerrit learns to trust God through the difficult life circumstances he goes through.  The second story “The Royal Law” is about a poor boy and his family who learn the meaning of “to do good unto others, as you would have them do unto you”. 


     Grace & Truth Books

     3406 Summit Blvd.

     Sand Springs,

     Oklahoma 74063

                                                           Phone: 918.245.1500

    Grace &Truth books began from humble beginnings.  It stemmed from a desire of one family, husband and wife and their four children, to own a Christian bookstore.  They started out as a small Christian book distributor in 1993/1994.  Since then, they have grown into a large distributor of Christian books worldwide.  They have published over 80 books themselves. They have brought back the heritage of good Christian moral books from the shelves of history.  They are the largest distributor of Christian character books for children from the 1800’s.

    Grace & Truth Books offers free shipping on orders of $50 or more.  They offer a discount off of retail.  They have many great titles you won’t find in other bookstores.  Be sure to stop in and check out all they have to offer to meet your homeschool needs. 

    I am really excited to find a company that cares so much about what children are reading and the impact this has on their life. My 12 year old son agrees these books are filled with valuable life lessons and he has really enjoyed reading them. I am looking forward to sharing these books with all five of my sons.  They are a great addition to our personal library and for use in our homeschool.  These books contain timeless values for today’s generation.

    Stop by the
    Schoolhouse Review Crew to see what others had to say about Grace and Truth Books.


    Disclaimer:  I was sent a copy of the products mentioned above as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for writing an honest review.  All opinions expressed are my honest opinion.

    Please share.