Tag Archives: Geography

Shepherd, Potter, Spy and the Star Namer Review

Our family was recently sent Shepherd, Potter, Spy — and the Star Namer by Peggy Consolver – Author to review.

After I read the first four chapters to the kids aloud, my 12 year old son snatched the book from me and I didn’t get to finish reading until he was done!  We tried everything to get his attention, to get him to share the book, even to get him to notice we were still breathing, but nothing could deter him from reading this book!  He couldn’t and wouldn’t put it down!  Not even big brothers or little brothers could entice him to put it down!  This has never happened before!

Even food and bedtime didn’t distract him. By day or by night, even with the help of a flash light…he was determined to read and read and read…all 379 PAGES!

Shepherd, Potter, Spy — and the Star Namer


379 Pages

46 Chapters

Retails $15.99

This story is historical fiction about a teenage boy who lived a long long time ago in the valley of Canaan.  His name is Keshub and he is the youngest of five boys in his family.  They are from the Gibeonite village and have strong family and community bonds and traditions.  The book contains 46 chapters packed into 379 pages and includes additional pages for: Character and Relationship List, and Discussion Questions.

Even though the characters are fictional, many of the events, cultural aspects, and places are real.  The true story of Kesheb’s people is told in the bible in the book of Joshua and the pivotal event for his people securing their future can be found in Joshua 9 and 10.

Keshub is a shepherd boy and tends his flocks every day.  He is the son of a potter who earns a living making pots and selling or trading them with Caravans who travel through the Canaan valley.  Keshub hears many stories of far away places and events not so far away from the travelers.  The Gibeonites learn about the God of the Hebrews and how he protects, provides, and blesses them. They hear about the other tribes in the nearby areas being conquered in warfare with the Hebrews and as they approach their land, they decide to make a peace treaty with them.

Kesheb’s life is anything from boring.  Everyday he must care for his sheep and defend them from predators.  During the story we learn about an evil Ammorite King that lives nearby and Keshub becomes friends with his son. There is danger and risk involved through out the story.  Keshub also serves as a young spy to keep an eye on the Hebrews as they advance in their conquest.  His people have to choose to make a treaty with the approaching Hebrew army or make a treaty with the evil king to fight the Hebrews.

If God is for them, who can be against them?  Be sure to pick up a copy of this book, to find out the rest of the story!

Peggy Consolver – Author

Peggy Consolver has lived a very interesting life.  She grew up on a farm, went to college, and has been married 48 years.  She and her husband have two kids and five grandkids. She is president of the Plano Garden Club, State Chairman of the Flower Show Schools for Texas Garden Clubs, Inc.  Peggy is also an NGC Master Flower Show judge and Texas Design Consultant.  In the past she served thirty seven years as a Sunday School teacher.   She has a lot of interesting life experiences including traveling to Israel on a real archaeology dig which she based many details in her book on.  Read more about Peggy Consolver and her inspiring archaeological trip.

Free Online Study Guide

Peggy Consolver has created a free online study guide called Digging Deeper Into HIStory to help further the learning, (She also has a print copy with more resources for sale, check the website for details).  In the free study guide there are several links to websites and videos to help you learn more about what life is like in the region Kesheb lived.  In the guide you will learn about a rock sling, bow making, how to braid cord and make rope, maps, stars in the sky, animals and predators that live in the region of ancient Israel, etc.

The free Digging Deeper Into HIStory study guide is divided into 13 Units:

Unit 1:
The Bible Dictionary: Gezer Calendar
The Syrian Brown Bear: A Brief Overview

Unit 2:
Alpha Centauri: The Closest Star System to Our Sun
Israeli Mammals

Unit 3:
Instructions for Plaiting and Braiding

Unit 4:
Google Search: Aerial Views of Jerusalem
Sacred Destinations: Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem

Unit 5:
Honey: Its Medicinal Property and Antibacterial Activity
How to Make a Tripod Lashing
Watch video: making square lashing.

Unit 6:
Tutankamun’s Senet Board
Watch video: Wadi Mujib Nature Preserve

Unit 7:
The Jewish Virtual Library: Jericho
Watch video: Intro to Bow Making

Unit 8:
Mt. Hermon Pictures

Unit 9:
Weapons Universe: Bronze Age Weapons
Watch video: How to use a sling

Unit 10:
Smokey Bear: Elements of Fire
How to Make a Fire

Unit 11:
Israel’s Nature Site: Mantids of Israel
National Geographic: Praying Mantis Overview

Unit 12:
Wild Fibres: Linen and Flax

Unit 13:
Bible History: Biblical Archaeology News 2016

Our Thoughts Using This Book and Study Guide In Our Home:

This book is very well written with lots of details.  The story builds suspense and it is hard to put it down.  It is so interesting that my 12 year old spent all his spare time reading the book and several nights stayed up past his bedtime. 

So I thought it would be a good idea for him to share his opinion of this book, in his own words as our official review.

“I was inspired by this book.  It gave me a new perspective of the bible and the Lord.  I like the character Keshub because he has faith in the Lord and because he never gave up when times were rough.  He had a lot of rough times.  He fought a bully, a lion, a bear, and a soldier.  Each situation he had faith that God would work it out for him.”

“I was also inspired because he took care of sheep and took care of his family and his friend.  He was brave even when things were dangerous and even when others were evil.  He used a sling with stones to fight a bear and the lion.  He used a dagger to fight a soldier.  He always wanted to learn to sword fight the enemy and he wanted to provide for his family.  He trusted the Lord with all his heart and with everything in his life.”

“I enjoyed reading this book.  The only thing I wish the author would have added was another 439 pages.  I didn’t want the story to end.”  Joseph

We also enjoyed using the free Digging Deeper into HIStory Study Guide. We enjoy learning how to make things ourselves that people used throughout history to live.  They didn’t have modern abundance of products and plastic or a Walmart up the street, so folks had to make what they needed from raw materials they could find or buy from the craftsman or trade for.

My son would like to make his own cordage, leather, and also a rock sling and practice using it. He enjoyed learning and has watched other videos showing how to make these slings from leather and also from weaving grass and use them with larger rocks for hunting prior to doing this study.  This would be useful to learn how to use a rock sling if you were hungry and had to hunt for a bird or if you needed to discourage a predator.

He has been wanting to make his own primitive hunting bow for a while.  It was interesting to see the bow made in the unit study link, even though it is made in a workshop with modern tools and is very different from the primitive bow made by hand he eventually plans to make.  Modern tools have shortened the time it takes to make things people depended on for survival for thousands of years.  

Kesheb had to survive with ancient tools and ancient technology. We like learning about ancient technology and life skills.  We have learned a lot from “how to” videos. These videos show how to use ancient skills with free resources in your own backyard, a field, or a forest, to create pottery and tools by a youtube channel called “Primative Technology”.   We refered back to these videos as we did the study guide and compared them with the suggested videos.   I would encourage folks to do the same as these videos give kids even more understanding about making tools by hand and ancient pottery like Kesheb’s people would have used.  It would enhance their understanding of ancient Canaanite life and enhance the study guide even more. I would also encourage folks to read about Joshua and the Gibeonites in their bible.

This is a great historical fiction book.  I would encourage every homeschool to read Shepherd, Potter, Spy — and the Star Namer and include the Digging Deeper into HIStory Study Guide.  This book and unit study was right in my son’s interest range and we were very glad for this opportunity to review it.

Videos about the book:

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peggy.consolver

Blog: http://peggyconsolver.com/blog-right/

Homeschool Review Crew:

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

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Brookdale House Drawing Around The World:USA Review

Learning Geography can be fun with Drawing Around The World: USA  from Brookdale House.

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Brookdale House is a curriculum publisher for homeschool, public school, and private school.   Most of their curriculum resources are flexible and can be taught on multiple levels at the same time.   They offer curriculum in Writing, Grammar, Foreign Language, Geography, Copy Work of Church Doctrine, Writing Through History with Narration, Dictation, Copywork, and more.

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Drawing Around The World:USA

For Fourth Grade & UP, But Flexible Enough For All Ages.

282 Pages (268 numbered pages)

PDF Digital Download eBook $22.95

Printed Book $25.95

This Geography curriculum will teach kids how to draw the maps of the USA, states, capitals, abbreviations, approximate locations of each state, and learn to memorize other important information about each state too.

How we used Drawing Around The World: USA In Our Home.

We received the digital download of Drawing Around The World: USA.  I printed off a copy for each child and placed it into a binder to keep the papers together and organized.   This is a lot of material, a whole week’s worth of learning for each state, so if you have multiple children like I do, plan for a whole lot of printing!


Items Needed To Complete The Curriculum

You will need a computer with an email address and a printer if buying the PDF download edition.  You can also buy the print edition and not have to concern yourself with printing.  You will also need an Atlas to complete the worksheets, crayons, markers, or colored pencils to color maps, regular pencils for drawings and writing, and optional wipe off markers and sheet protectors if you plan to practice drawing maps and wipe them off to draw again and again.

It is suggested for kids to work on this Geography curriculum 4 days a week and it should last you an entire year’s worth of Geography learning.   Kids retain the information better by regularly reviewing what they have learned, and by engaging more of their senses while learning such as drawing while learning.  You will need a notebook or binder to keep all of your papers (incomplete and completed) in each week.

If you do not own an Atlas of the USA, you can find the information you need free online to complete the worksheets.


SCHEDULE: Learning / Memorizing / Drawing

The Drawing Around The World:USA curriculum suggested weekly schedule:

Day 1:

  • Learn about a new state..
  • Complete the State Fact Table.
  • Mapping: Locate and label each new state onto the dashed, black and white map.
  • Each week on day 1, draw all states you have studied so far.

Day 2:

  • Mapping: Locate and label each new state onto the dashed, black and white map.
  • Each week on day 2, repeat and draw all states studied so far.

Day 3:

  • Mapping: Locate and label each new state onto the dashed, black and white map.
  • Each week on day 3, draw all of the states studied so far.

Day 4:

  • Memorization: From memory, list the states studied thus far.
  • Memorization:  Using the blank text box, draw all of the states you have learned so far.

We also included fun websites with online Gegraphy games, Geography songs & Videos to find facts and further our learning. Drawing Around The World: USA curriculum recommends adding in these extra learning resources to boost memory.

We have a DK State By State Atlas Kids Guide of the USA that we used to complete the information in the worksheets.

DK State by State Atlas

DK State by State Atlas


Several free web sites and online Geography games are suggested for use in this curriculum. My kids had a lot of fun learning with these and it really helped them in the learning process of drawing.  By including these audio visual, tactile, memory, drawing, etc. skills, they have improved their geography skills as well.  Here are just a few of the suggested online learning sites and a few we found on our own too.

USA Geography Games at Sheperd's Software

Sheppard’s Software

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USA Map Games Sheppard’s Software

Sheppard’s Software has a lot of fun games and learning activities that fit great with the Drawing Around the World: USA Geography curriculum.   I would definitely encourage you to use this free resource during your studies.

Capital Catch Game at Kids Geo.

Capital Catch Game at Kids Geo.

You might also want to use:  “50 States”, “Spelling City” , “Kids National Geographic / Games”, too.  There are lots of online options.  To find free websites and games just put “Kids Online Geography” in your search bar and it will locate a list of great sights for you to use and further the learning.

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Locating States with World Geography Games


Besides the free web site resources and games, I would also encourage you to include songs, poems , and videos to help kids with the task of associating details about state names and their locations.   My kids are audio visual learners and singing really helps them with making extra “brain connections” when it comes to remembering details.   We found these fun videos with songs to go along with mapping the states and memorizing state names that helped get this information in deep in their heads for memory recall, and inspired them when learning to draw the states and the USA from memory.

Video: Fifty States That Rhyme (color coded)

Video: Fifty States (in alphabetical order)

Video: Tour The States Music Video (THIS IS OUR FAVORITE “MAPPING” VIDEO!!!)

Another thing I would encourage families to include are geography puzzles, story books about traveling the USA, and even building the shape of the different states with Legos.  To build a state with Legos, print out a blank copy of a map of the USA from the curriculum, or draw or trace the outline of a specific state.  Then use that as a template, laying your bricks side by side until you fill in the entire state and it is an exact replica of the state.   If you don’t have a puzzle of the USA, just use a print out of a map of the USA from the curriculum, and then cut it into some shapes that easily fit back together like rectangles or triangles.  If you want to get really challenging, you can cut out the shape of each state.  If you want the puzzle to last a long time, be sure to print it on card stock and laminate it too.  The kids will have fun matching the pieces back together and the hands on activity will improve their memory for drawing the map of the states too.  Anything that uses several sensory skills at the same time will help boost their memory recall.


Before you know it, with the drawing practice and learning ideas in the Drawing Around the World: USA curriculum,  your kids will be drawing (and perhaps singing) all of the state maps and the entire map of the USA from memory.


You can try out a free sample of this curriculum before you buy.


Social Media

Be sure to follow Brookdale House on their Social Media links for all the latest news and updates.

BLOG  http://brookdalehouse.com/blog/

Twitter   https://twitter.com/BrookdaleHouse

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

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/BrookdaleHouse

Google+  https://plus.google.com/107691583736742187981/videos

 Brookdale House Review

Check out what these awesome homeschool families on the TOS Review Crew had to say about using curriculum products from Brookdale House with their kids.


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Huggies Little Snugglers At Target

Disclaimer: I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Huggies & Target. I received samples for this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating and writing an honest review.

The kids and I recently took a trip to Target to buy Huggies Little Snugglers diapers for a review campaign.  If you haven’t tried Huggies diapers, I would encourage you to give them a try.

HUGGIES Little Snugglers Size 3


From One Momma To Another Momma:

I am the mom of six kids, and over the years I have made a lot of trips to the store for diapers.  I can tell you about the good and bad diaper purchases I have made, and the not so pleasant outcomes of choosing the wrong ones. I have too many “sad stories”or “funny stories” depending on your point of view, of cheap diapers that resulted in ooey gooey outcomes, but I will skip sharing the details.

Preemie Diaper

Huggies Little Snugglers hold up well to everyday use, they hold the contents (poop and pee) in well so it doesn’t end up on my shirt or pants or on my baby’s clothes.   Another great benefit using Huggies Little Snugglers is that they feel dry to the touch and keep the skin dry even after your baby has peed, and thankfully they are soft and have a cloth-like feel for sensitive skin.

Why are Huggies Little Snugglers great diapers?

*You get an extra layer of protection with the GentleAbsorb Liner for your baby’s delicate skin.
*GentleAbsorb Liner draws more mess away from the baby’s skin than other diapers.
*Soft, comfortable, cushiony layer of protection.
*A Wetness Indicator helps you keep track of wet diapers by changing color when wet.
*Pocketed back waistband to help keep in the runny mess
*Adorable graphics that feature Winnie the Pooh and friends on the diapers.
*The Huggies® Leak Lock® protection you can trust.
*They are available in various sizes from Premies up to Size 3.

So from one Momma to another Momma, I can tell you with confidence and lots of experience, that Huggies Little Snugglers are made with quality and you won’t be disappointed using them. I highly recommend these diapers! You can purchase these diapers in Target stores and at Target.com and have them shipped to your home for convenience too.


Our Trip To Target

Traveling to the store to pick up diapers and supplies is something our family has done automatically every week for the past 14 years. Fourteen years worth of diapers is a whole lot of diapers!

On this recent trip to Target, we decided to break the whole trip down and make it an educational field trip to take a closer look and build the kid’s understanding of consumer skills in the process for a school project.   This was a great opportunity for my kids to use their Geography, Math, and Consumer Skills to buy Huggies Little Snugglers diapers.

We went to the Target.com website and found locations of Target stores in neighboring towns. We chose the store with the closest distance to our home to visit. I printed a map for the kids to follow ahead of time.  From the printed map, they had to identify our house, the Target store in a neighboring town, and the roads to travel on to get from point “A” to point “B”. I had them compute the mileage and estimated travel times for different routes to the store as there is more than one route to get there, but some routes take you on small country roads.


My oldest son is a gadget guru and wanted to do his geography map work with the live Google Maps App on the phone.  He found he could also get live satellite images as well as a road map and this feature in 3D and this was exciting to him to see landmarks, as well as fields and forested areas on the screen.


Before arriving, we talked about how stores will place sales flyers and specials at the front of the store to increase sales and offer shoppers a good deal on certain items. I asked the children to observe what sales Target placed at the front of their store. The kids observed that Target has a $1 section of toys and various items at the front of their store and also picked up a copy of their sales flyer. They also noticed that Target has a food court at the front of the store with items like soft pretzels and sandwiches incase shoppers get hungry or need a place to sit down and help them have a positive shopping experience. We did not eat at Target during our trip, but the coffee smelled so good, and the soft pretzels looked delicious! Maybe next time!


We found the diapers in the diaper section.  I had the kids check out how the diapers were arranged for the shopper to find. They noticed there was a large selection of Huggies diapers and wipes to choose from, and it was easy to find the brand and style we came for. The kids placed the diapers in our shopping cart and we headed for the checkout.


We placed the diapers and gift card on the moving counter at the checkouts. We were able to purchase our Jumbo Pack of Huggies Little Snugglers with the Target Gift Card we received.


Checking out was fast and easy. Our cashier was a beautiful and very happy young lady.  She was helpful and asked if we had found everything we came for today.  When she smiled, she made the whole room light up! I was thankful to have such a nice cashier to help us.


The ride home was quiet. The kids had learned a lot about being a consumer, and exhausted their brains! Besides buying diapers, they each picked out something from the dollar bins. In my sleeping toddler’s lap is his purchase of a package of dinosaurs. We are excited about them because there are two of each dinosaur for matching colors, counting, patterns, and also for learning identification of different dinosaurs. This is a great buy for $1. It was a good shopping experience! Thank you Target, and thank you Mom Central Consulting for this fun review opportunity!


Disclaimer: I received free product and promotional gift in exchange for writing an honest review. All opinions expressed by me and my family are our honest opinions.

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