Category Archives: History

Goldtown Beginnings from Kregel Publications {Review}

I love adding historically acurate novels to our library for my boys so when we received the first two books in the Goldtown Beginnings series ( Jem Strikes Gold  and Jem’s Frog Fiasco ) for review from Kregel Publications, we were very happy!

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It is not always easy to find good novels in which the main character is a boy, so of course I jumped on this one because I have all boys. With their delays, these were a very good reading level, especially for “The Puzzler.”

In each of the books, written by Susan K. Marlow and illustrated by Okan Bülbül, there is a vocabulary section right in the front of the book, as opposed to being in the back where I more often see it (if there even is one!).

In book 1, Jem Strikes Gold, eight year old Jem is living in a gold camp with his family, Pa, Mama, and his little sister Ellie.

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Jem’s pa has a big gold claim along Cripple Creek, while Jem and Ellie each have a small one adjacent to their pa’s. People during the gold rush believed that heading to gold country would make them rich very quickly, but the reality was that panning for gold was terribly hard work. In fact, many people made more money selling services and cooking for other miners. Other miners would pay them in gold. Jem and Ellie’s Mama made pies and sold them to other miners, and to the cafe, and was paid in gold for them. When the children are delivering that day’s pies (blueberry, my favorite!) we are introduced to Will, the son of the town’s richest man and a real bully. He causes the pies to be ruined and Jem’s remembered Bible verses on dealing with bullies to fly right out of his head. When a fellow miner gives Jem a dog, Mama at first forbids it. But Nugget slowly worms his way into her heart after he helps to ensure that Will never picks on them again. You can read an excerpt from this book here, and coloring pages of the illustrations in this book at this link. There are activity pages and a schedule for this book here.

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In Jem’s Frog Fiasco, Jem gets a job catching Bullfrogs for the cafe owner’s menu. Unfortunately, Ellie and Nugget get in the way, and he and Ellie argue. When Ellie leaves, and doesn’t make it home, the searching begins. Jem and Nugget find and rescue her from a coyote hole dug by a miner looking for gold. You can read an excerpt of this book here, and download the coloring pages at this link. Activity pages with a schedule for this book can be found here.

At the end of each book is “A Peek into History” which gives a glimpse of historical facts related to the story.

These are fairly short books, 10 chapters over about 80 pages each. The chapters are quick paced and engaging, and my son liked the books very much.

I would love for you to read what other families thought of Jem Strikes Gold and Jem’s Frog Fiasco! To see the thoughts of 44 other Review Crew Members, please click on the banner just below.

Jem Strikes Gold & Jem's Frog Fiasco  {Kregel Publications Reviews}

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Progeny Press Study Guide (Little House On The Prairie) {Review}

 I really like using a good unit study to go along with good books, and Progeny Press has a good number of them! We have been working through the Little House on the Prairie Study Guide.

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This is not our first study guide from Progeny Press. We have done a few others, which you can read about here.

My son chose the study guide he wanted to do. He has always really liked the television show “Little House on the Prairie,” and has been surprised at how different the book is from it, although I personally thought that the pilot episode came fairly close to this book!

“The Puzzler” has been slowly working his way through this one. I say slowly because he has real comprehension problems, and other learning delays. In the past when we have used study guides, we have mostly done them orally with all of the boys. This time, I thought we’d try having “Mr. Puzzler” use the interactive PDF, and type in his own answers.

This has actually been working fairly well! He doesn’t like to do a whole lot of hand writing, and he is very picky about how it looks, so usually it just takes forever with erasing and rewriting. Typing in the answers allows for him to more easily correct his errors (although I did just realize that he spelled griping with two p’s) This also has allowed him to work mostly on his own, which he’s been enjoying.

This study guide suggests reading the entire book and then doing each section of the guide, but since each section covers about five chapters which is an easier bite for “The. Puzzler,” he has been reading the book one section at a time and then answering the questions for that section. Admittedly, this is taking a good bit longer that suggested by Progeny Press, but the beauty of homeschooling is that we don’t HAVE to stay on schedule, we are able to work at the pace my kids can handle, and thus retain what is learned.

There are a variety of activities the student can do throughout this guide. One that I was able to catch in pictures was making Molasses Milk, which we’d never heard of.

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Pretty much all of them said it was definitely not something they’d ever ask for again!

This study guide covers a lot of things, not just language arts. We have looked at history, geography, social studies, Bible, etc. I specifically mention Bible because I so appreciate the Mission Statement of Progeny Press:

“To teach our children to think clearly, to understand literature, and to rely on the scripture for truth and values, and enjoy themselves while they do it!”

The Little House on the Prairie Study Guide uses the following as the format:

  • Vocabulary – he has been exploring synonyms, similes and personification.
  • Comprehension Questions
  • Think about the story
  • Dig Deeper – Thinking about the situations in the story with a Biblical perspective, with verses to look up and ponder.
  • Class Debate – We use as discussion questions.
  • Optional Activities

Having the option of doing the study guide orally, print the guide out and write the answers in, or use the interactive function and type the answers in has allowed more flexibility for us as my kids have moved from one to the next with the different guides we’ve used. Progeny Press is a wonderful choice for our family, and maybe it will be for you, as well! You may check out the sample here.

To see the honest and fair thoughts of 47 other Review Crew Members, please click on the banner just below.

Study Guides for Literature {Progeny Press Reviews}Crew-Disclaimer

As always, I would just love it if you would join me in all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email information. After that, you will always know when there is something new happening. I hope to see you here very soon! -)

 

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Filed under History, home education, homeschool unit studies, homeschooling, Language Arts, Literature Study Guides, Liturature Based Unit Study, Progeny Press

Library and Educational Services LLC {Review}

One of my goals when we started homeschooling was to build a library of good books which would be of good enough physical quality that my family would have them for a very long time.  With Library and Educational Services LLC we are able to add beautiful Reinforced Hardcover Library Binding Nonfiction books, paperback books like the Who Was . . . series with titles like Who Was Anne Frank? and quality audio dramas on CD such as the one we received, Hiding In Plain Sight.
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For the purpose of this review, I was asked to choose One title from the Who Was … ? series, and I chose Who Was Anne Frank.

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I chose this book because although we have been learning about World War 2, up until now I have not really touched on the Holocaust in more than the most general of ways. Because of the special needs my boys deal with, I have thought it would be too tough of a subject for them. This book has allowed me to give them a gentler introduction, leading then into an expansion later on with more in depth materials. This book has 103 pages in it, which include a timeline of Anne’s life, a timeline of the world, and a 2 page bibliography. Later on when they are ready, I will have them Read Anne’s actual diary just as I did way back when I was a girl.

Next, we were asked to choose One CD from the Lifehouse Theater CDs series. I chose Hiding In Plain Sight, a 70 minute audio drama of the true story about William and Ellen Craft and their amazing and successful escape from slavery. Their escape from Macon GA to Boston MA where they lived for two years before fleeing again to foreign shores, is nothing short of astonishing! We listened to this in one sitting, not wanting to stop and wait between sections.

Additionally, we were allowed approximately $60.00 to choose any  Reinforced Hardcover Library Binding Nonfiction books.  I invited the boys to choose. “The Artist” and “The Batman” together chose the set of seven “Uncovering American History books.”

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“The Puzzler” chose a set of three “What You Didn’t Know About History” books.

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I barely got the books out of the box before they were being grabbed up!

Library and Educational Services LLC is a wonderful way to build your library with quality books! They are worthwhile books to read, and sturdily bound books that you would be proud to have on your bookshelves. There is an abundance of different resources on their website for you to choose from! Here are just a few examples!

And here is something I have LONG desired, and was able to purchase separately at an extremely good price from Library and Educational Services LLC, The American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster 1828.

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I have wanted this so that our children would learn the meaning of the words as intended when they read, for example, our national documents such as the Constitution.

All in all, I am so happy to have been given the opportunity to really check out Library and Educational Services LLC! I have seen their mail order catalogs for years, but hesitated to order, as I had no idea what sort of quality their products would be. Well i’m here to tell you that not only is the quality wonderful, but so are the prices! I will most definitely be ordering from them again! I mean, the 7 book set and the 3 book set were only about $60.00 all together! To me, that is not just fair, it’s amazing!

Counting me, there are 80 crew members who have been reviewing Library and Educational Services LLC. Please, click below and check out what the other reviewers think!Wholesale Books for Your Homeschool {Library and Educational Services LLC Reviews}Crew-DisclaimerAs always, I would just love it if you would join me in all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email information. After that, you will always know when there is something new happening. I hope to see you here very soon! -)

 

 

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Homeschool Today . . .

Today, it’s all about History Channel, wall to wall. Each year “The Puzzler” asks if we can do this. He was only 4 months old on this day in 2011, and we wouldn’t even know him and “Mr. Loquacious” for another almost 8 years. I learn more things each year while watching these programs. I saw none of what happened when it did, with the exception of the first two planes when they hit the World Trade Center towers.

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September 11, 2001:
I was in Shipshewana, IN with a group of ladies from church. It happened just as we turned on the TV to check the weather before checking out of our B & B to go to the flea market before coming home. We prayed, I remember calling my husband to tell him to turn on network TV, as I knew the TV would be on a cable kid’s channel for My then little boy’s shows he liked. I remember the sick feeling when I did, in fact, within an hour, see gas stations raising their prices up well over $6.00 per gallon, I remember the eerie feeling driving through Flint, MI, past Bishop Airport and not seeing or hearing any planes in the air. I remember getting home to Port Huron MI, and finding out the border with Sarnia was closed. What a sad and horrible day… I do remember one bright spot, all that day in Shipshewana, I witnessed complete strangers letting others use their cell phones to connect with loved ones. It was a hopeful sight…
So, it falls to us as parents to ensure that our children learn history as it actually happened. Even though none of mine were old enough to understand it as it happened, year by year, they learn more while watching these programming hours. So do I.
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Never forget. Never, ever, ever forget!
As always, I would just love it if you would join me in all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email information. After that, you will always know when there is something new happening. I hope to see you here very soon! -)

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Make-A-State Activity-Pak From Home School In The Woods {Review}

Adding in the Make-A-State Lap Book from Home School in the Woods‘sHands-on History Activity-Paks series has been the perfect hands-on addition for our studies. We have reviewed other products from Home School In The Woods, and you can read those reviews here.

We have been wanting to learn about all of the states we touched on during our big move from Michigan to New Mexico, so we chose to begin with Michigan, since we were all born and raised there.

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We like the Hands-on History Activity-Paks because while they are Lap Books, they are not HUGE Lap Books. This works for us because we deal with short attention spans around here.

The Make-A-State Activity-Paks come in more than just the Make-A-State Lap Book. Also available in this category are:

  • Artists
  • Composers
  • The Old Testament
  • The New Testament

Each Activity-Pak is available for download at the price of just $18.95. This is an excellent price, as it gives you the opportunity to print as many copies as you need for your children, to re-use it when younger children are ready, and in my case, to re-print pages that got messed up for whatever reason

Before “The Artist” began the Michigan Make-A-State Activity-Pak, I got out the file folder (only one!) he would need. I then printed out the pages showing the placement of everything in the Lap Book. Then, I printed out the pages which told, in order and with small pictures, which activities to do and in what order. I used THAT to tell me which pages to print out for him. I also let him into my paper crafting stash to choose what color card stock he wanted to use for the two inside pages of his Lap Book.

Once everything was printed and contained in the folder, I had “The Artist” begin doing the projects.

Having never been really successful with using glue sticks on Lap Books, one of the supplies we keep on hand is double-sided tape. Other supplies you may want to have on hand (and probably already do, if you are a home schooling family) are colored pencils, crayons, scissors, regular pencils, printer paper and card stock.

This Activity-Pak has 20 activities to create for your Lap Book:

  • Key State Facts
  • Origin Of State Name
  • State Motto
  • State Symbols
  • State Song
  • State Industry / Agriculture / Climate
  • State Wildlife
  • Regions
  • State Geography
  • State Government
  • State Seal & Flag
  • State History

And more!There also some bonus pages:

  • State Pages to help with some information for your chosen state (though it will still be necessary to research information which is not included)
  • A Name That State file folder game to print out, assemble and play.

Even though all the people in our immediate family were born and raised in Michigan, there ended up being things we either did not remember, or just didn’t know. I just asked “The Artist” about that and he says that he only knew (without looking it up) one famous person from Michigan, didn’t know much in the Industry / Agriculture / Climate section, or what the state seal looks like. So, even if you elect to study the state you live in, you might be surprised at how much you will learn!

Here is “The Artist” showing me page by page, his lap Book.

Home School In The Woods is a hands-on history company, with multiple product lines which are as follows:

Project Passport: Ancient Rome study has been release ahead of schedule, and is now available for download here. The now complete Project Passport collection is available here.

To read 89 additional reviews written by my fellow crew members about many of the products from  Home School In The Woods, please click on the banner just below.

Hands-on-History, Project Passport, À La Carte Timelines and Time Travelers {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

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As always, I would just love it if you would join me in all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email information. After that, you will always know when there is something new happening. I hope to see you here very soon! -)

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Exploring Portions of History With Carole P. Roman Books: Our Review

Children’s books like the ones authored by Carole P. Roman can be such a fun way to explore history, or culture or even practice reading.  We were blessed with 3 books from the Carole P. Roman books and collections to add to our home library.
Carole P. Roman is an award winning author of books for children, having received the NABE Pinnacle Award, the ERIK Award for 2013, the ForeWord Review Five Star, and Finalist in the Book of the Year. She also received the Reader’s Views Children’s Book of the Year 2013.
We received the following three books:
  • If You Were Me And Lived In . . . Viking Europe
  • If You Were Me And Lived In . . . Colonial America
  • If You Were me And Lived In . . . The American West

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If You Were Me And Lived In . . . Viking Europe is written to show your child what life would be like if he or she were born in the year 870 AD. There are very nice, child friendly illustrations throughout, by Mateya Arkova, who is based in Bulgaria.

This lovely book is 76 pages long, and includes five page glossery at the end. We really liked this, as it was very helpful in understanding more clearly some of the terms in the book.

This book describes to your child how he or she would live in Viking Europe, including how they would dress, eat, drink, etc. I was somewhat surprised to find that although women couldn’t be chiefs or vote, but they still were very nrespected and had more freedom than most of the women in Europe.

If You Were Me And Lived in  . . . Colonial America will tell your child what life would be like for them if they were born around the year 1620, in London England. It tells your child what his or her name might have beenb, which gives a pretty good idea of how different names were back then! We learn about the people who did not wish to follow the king’s new religion, and found a way to leave England for America. We learned about the homes that the people built in their new land, how they lived and ate, and dressed. The book also talks about the chores children were expected to do, every day. It was not such an easy life as children have today!

If You Were Me And Lived In   . . . The American West begins by showing the homestead that your parents might have built after the difficult journey on the Oregon Trail, when you, the child, are age 12. We learn about the actual journey, and how and what things were packed for the 2000 mile journey. About half of the book deals with the journey, which I found to be the best thing, and of great interest to me! The remainder of the book has us learning about building their homestead, and learning to live in their new home.

Carole P. Roman’s books are always so well written, and so interesting! I enjoyed these three for myself, although all of her books are written toward a specific range of levels. In this way, children of many ages can learn from them, and if you look at the levels, children will not become bored of their books. My kids (and indeed, me) found these books very interesting, not in the least boring.

To read 100 fair and honest reviews by my fellow Homeschool Review Crew members, please click on the banner below!

Carole P. Roman books and collections {Carole P. Roman Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

As always, I would just love it if you would join me in all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email information. After that, you will always know when there is something new happening. I hope to see you here very soon! -)

 

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The Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series: Our Review

American history has come to life for our family with the Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series from Adventures of Rush Revere #1 New York Times Bestselling Book Series by Rush and Kathryn Adams Limbaugh.

My son “The Puzzler” saw a copy of Rush Revere and the Presidency when we were out shopping, and asked me to buy it for him. I wanted to wait though, and find out if this would be the book we might have a chance to review for the crew. Little did we know that first, we would be chosen for this review, and second, that we would receive ALL FIVE books in the series! 🙂

They came in this box, wrapped so beautifully in the lovely, specially designed ribbon, it was almost a shame to undo it!

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THIS was the look on “The Puzzler’s” face when the books came out of the box. He was SO happy!

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I’m here to tell you, these are beautiful, well made, hardcover books, complete with a glossy slip cover. The pages are beautifully aged looking, and there are such good illustrations.

Beginning with Book 1, Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims, we meet a supposedly “ordinary” substitute history teacher. He will become a tour guide for some of his students, across time! He and his students go on his talking horse named Liberty, through a time portal.

In this first book, Rush, Liberty and students Freedom and Tommy go back in time, beginning in Holland, going on the Mayflower, and getting to Plymouth! They get to meet some of the well-known people of the time, and learn what Rush has told his class is important when learning about history . . .”Where, what, who and why.” They get to even witness the first Thanksgiving, and build on a fort!

Here is “The Puzzler” in one of his favorite reading spots:

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In book 2,  Rush Revere and the First Patriots, a third student named Cam joins the time travelling group. In this one, they go to England to speak to King George and attempt to convince him to stop making life so hard for the colonists. Since he won’t listen to them, they end up going back in time to join the Boston Tea Party!

In book 3, Rush Revere and the American Revolution, Cam is a big focus. His father is deployed, and he lives on a military base. He is having problems, among them the fact that he is being bullied.

Rush and Liberty take Cam, Freedom and Tommy to meet people from the American history. People such as George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock , John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and more! They observe the Battle of Concord and learn about things like the Declaration of Independence. They learn a lot about strategy, which then is very helpful to Cam once they return.

Book 4, Rush Revere and the Star Spangled Banner focuses on Tommy, who has an ill grandfather. This time, the travelling crew goes to Washington DC, visiting National monuments such as White House and the Washington Monument.  In the past, they get to see the writing of the Star Spangled Banner, see a patriotic American symbol saved, and they must at the same time avoid the Redcoats, museum guards, and even a surprise visitor.

Book 5, Rush Revere and the Presidency, is the one “The Puzzler” wanted SO bad! He loves reading about Presidents, any and all of them!

In this book, Cam has decided to run for Student Body President, so the travelers go back in time to learn about how to be a good president. They visit early presidents and first ladies, and learn that being president is not about fame and glory, it is about serving one’s country.

You can also check out the Rush Revere Library, the education depot! section of the web site, where you will find a homeschool section, a general education section, and much much more! Here you will find things like activity sheets, study guides, etc.

“The Puzzler” is very anxious to get going with Rush Revere and the Presidency, and we are ever grateful to have been blessed with this review of Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series from Adventures of Rush Revere #1 New York Times Bestselling Book Series by Rush and Kathryn Adams Limbaugh.

 To read other fair and honest reviews from 99 of my fellow Homeschool Review Crew Members, please click on the banner below:

Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series {Reviews}

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As always, I would just love it if you would join me in all of “My Journeys Through Life.” Just go to the subscription box at the top of the blog and enter your email information. After that, you will always know when there is something new happening. I hope to see you here very soon! -)

 

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