Thursday, July 30, 2020

Astronomy REVIEW

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL 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.

This is where the fun starts.  Little Bug just loves learning new things and she is forever fascinated with the night sky.  She also seems obsessed with the sun at times.  The chance to review an online homeschool astronomy course seemed just perfect for us.  Experience Astronomy: Elementary from Journey Homeschool Academy is a hands-on, online video course.  I say hands-on because it includes wonderful hands-on projects throughout each lesson.  The best part of all is this is a LIFETIME subscription.  You can take your time or revisit the lessons at your leisure.

Online video lessons

What exactly is included?  You get 30 video lessons (approximately 15 minutes each), a downloadable lesson/activity pack, links to extra resources, a list of recommended books, downloadable printable memory cards, and memory videos to help with memorizing the facts.  If you don't want to download and print your lessons and cards they are also available for purchase.

A couple of the recommended books from the list
There are a LOT of books on the list so when our library gets
back in full swing we will take advantage of that!

Copywork pages

Memory cards

It is recommended that you complete one lesson per week which would give you an entire year for a great science course.  The lessons consist of an online video, recommended reading (including scripture references), a hands-on activity, copy work (available in print and cursive), memory lesson cards, and a quick quiz to test knowledge retained.  We spread our lesson activities out over a week.  We would watch the video one day and then practice with the memory cards.  Another day we would do the copy work, and another day the activity.  We generally ended the week with the quiz.  I was amazed at how much Little Bug retained.


Little Bug is really enjoying this curriculum.  At first, she was a little impatient with the videos since they are packed with knowledge but not so much fun for her age (2nd grade).  The more she got into it though she got used to the format and enjoyed what she was learning.  I just love that Luke goes into the history of everything and not just straight-up "sky stuff."  It is fascinating to learn the history behind what is being learned and the origins of the subjects being covered.  A history lesson to boot!

Hands on activities

I absolutely love that this is creation based and I don't have to worry about misinformation in that area.  The very first lesson is called, "Why God Loves Astronomy" and Luke does a great job distinguishing between Astrology and Astronomy.  Other topics covered include the moon, sun, constellations, seasons (and why we experience the weather we do), stars (falling rocks and shooting stars), Galileo, the planets, and the heavens.  I am so looking forward to this next year of learning with her.  I have already learned a few things I thought I knew but didn't.

So much fun creating our Leo constellation

I really feel that I can't say enough good about this creation based homeschool science program. I feel it is well rounded and definitely Christian based with a wonderful Charlotte Mason flair! I really don't think you will be disappointed in what it has to offer.  If you have a little one who loves learning and has a great interest in the sky, moon, and stars then I think this is the perfect science class for them.

We give Experience Astronomy: Elementary two thumbs up!!  You can connect with Journey Homeschool Academy on FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM.  Also, be sure to check out what my fellow Crew members have to say about this and the other two science programs that were reviewed (Biology Elementary and Upper Level) by clicking on the graphic link below.

Experience Biology: Elementary Level, Upper Level and Experience Astronomy: Elementary {Journey Homeschool Academy Reviews}

Wednesday, July 29, 2020


Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL 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. 

Another CTCMath review?  Yes!  What can I say, when you find a good thing it is worth passing on and telling others about it.  We have been using CTCMath since my oldest was in 4th grade (he's in 11th grade this year!).  I received a 12-month Family membership in this online full math curriculum.  When we first started it was not a full curriculum that now includes Kindergarten through High School.  There have also been many improvements as the years have passed in reporting and customization of lessons and reports.

When my 11th grader was younger he had a lot of struggles with math when we started 4th grade.  I was at the end of my wits until we found CTCMath.  The lessons were short and to the point.  The homework was simple and straight forward. But best of all, he was learning again!  He wasn't fighting to do math anymore due to frustration and boredom.  It was the perfect fit.  When Little Bug (our current 2nd grader) started Kindergarten, I just automatically took out a family subscription to CTCMath and we haven't looked back.  Even though she is a great student no matter what the subject, she was also excelling at math using this program.  She continues to progress well and says she "likes doing math."

Individual results for homework completed

I will put links to my previous reviews below for you to see how the program has changed.  Currently, two of the newest features are the ability to drill down to individual results in the homework and the ability to export all your data from the program into an XLS (spreadsheet) file.  I really like the individual results because I can print out her completed homework if necessary and see which problems she had trouble with.  For those of you that keep detailed records printing this out and saving in a binder is perfect proof of work completed.

Sample of detailed results of lessons completed

I really like the variety of reports that can be generated from detailed to summary.  It really helps you to get a picture of how your child is progressing.  In the parent dashboard, there is also an area to see what your child is doing every day.  It shows what time they logged on, what lessons they viewed, how much time they spent on each lesson, and when they logged out.  Unfortunately, I needed this when my son was younger and said he was doing his assignments but the log showed he really wasn't.  It was also helpful to assign him tasks to keep him on task and progress through his assignments.  The program is set up for your child to log on and progress through the assignments daily but if you have a child that likes to skip lessons or just skip around it might be helpful for you to set up daily or weekly tasks that require them to complete specific lessons by a due date.  It is then easier for you to check to see if the tasks have been completed or not.

The fun part of the program, especially for Little Bug is when she earns her certificates.  She just loves completing sections of her work to earn her certificates.  The level is based on your student's scores and ranges from bronze to silver, to gold.  These can also be printed and placed in a folder to show accomplishments.  Even my high schooler enjoys receiving certificates.

Question Bank Wizard

Need to customize some assignments or create printable worksheets?  Not a problem with the Question Bank Wizard.  Also, most lessons have printable pages and or "cheat sheets" to print for the lesson on hand.  These have been invaluable to both of my students when they can't remember a formula or chart from the video lesson.  We print out the lesson summary and voila, no problem!  If you need help with any tutorials you can view their how-to-videos.

So, to summarize why you might want to check this program out:
  • Short, quick and to the point video lessons (about 5 minutes long for younger crew and averaging about 12 minutes or so for the older crowd).  Homework is generally only 10 to 20 questions.
  • Instant feedback - homework is graded as the student answers each question
  • Self-grading - as stated above, questions are graded as soon as student submits answer (this was key for my oldest who always needed to know right away if he was right or wrong!)
  • Customizable Reports
  • Customizable Worksheets -using the question bank wizard you can determine the skill level and duration of printable worksheets
  • Progress and reports emailed to parent if requested
  • Economical - Family memberships for up to 5 students are one price and you have access to all grade levels (this is perfect for those that may not be at grade level or need help in certain areas).  Also, homeschoolers get a 50% discount!
  • Guaranteed - there is a 12-month moneyback guarantee if you are not satisfied, nothing to lose!

I feel that this program reaches out to so many different types of learners.  I don't think you will be disappointed if you give it a try.  Our family definitely gives CTCMath's 12-month Family membership two thumbs up!  Both my 2nd and 11th grade students say it's a win in their book.  You can connect with CTCMath on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST, and YOUTUBE.

If you'd like to read my previous reviews you can check out my 2017 review and my 2019 review for even more information on this wonderful program.  Also, be sure to check out what my fellow Crew members thought of this program by clicking on the graphic link below.

From Kindy to Calculus CTCMath 12-month Family membership {CTCMath Reviews}

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Little Bug is constantly writing, drawing, and creating.  I had to actually put the paper up because she would easily go through a ream a day if I let her! I still believe she is destined to write a book and illustrate it herself.  Or many for that matter!  I found this on the table the other day.  I'll just leave it right here.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

July 2020 Chick Update

They look like mini chickens!  They are getting past that awkward teenage stage and growing up.  They are 4 weeks old and growing every day.  The two leghorns are really feathering out beautifully.  I still can't tell if the 4 she hatched are pullets or not.  At least 3 of them seem to be, if not all 4, but I just can't tell yet.  Would be awesome if they are all pullets!!  They are growing so fast and starting to outgrow their area a little.  I've tried to let Abigail out, but she keeps fighting with one of the lavender orpingtons.  I think I will need to move the two lavenders to the other red coop.  Easier said than done because I have the other mom with her one baby in the red coop separated and I don't want the lavenders to supersede her once she gets released with her chick.  It's a timing mess right now, but I'm sure it will work out.

The Abigail crew

I can't believe how fast they grow.  When I look at Abigail's group and then the other two moms with their babies and realize there is only about 5 days difference between the babies it is hard to believe.  The other babies that are only about 5 days younger are still quite fuzzy and not near as much feathering, but every day matters. Plus, I am thinking that the little one that is by itself in the red coop with mom is possibly a silkie mix chick (especially based on the lack of feathering).  Again, time will tell.  I am also sad that I think it might be a cockerel.

Josephine and her two cuties

I still can't imagine what it will be like when Josie's babies get bigger than her.  It will be interesting for sure.  She is just so small and petite.  The bigger they get the less of them she is able to cover when they try to hide under her or sleep at night.

There certainly has been plenty of drama this go round.  The mom in the red coop with just one baby is getting so stir crazy in their small hutch I have them in.  I let them out one day and I was certain the baby would be killed.  She wasn't doing a great job at protecting him, so I put the back into the hutch.  Then she really started going crazy and I was certain I could place the baby with Josephine or perhaps Abigail.  I let mom out and she didn't fuss too much when I took the baby away.  The baby however was screaming like crazy.  Long story short, neither Josephine or Abigail would take him in.  I ended up putting him back with his mom today.  I was glad she took him back and sorry she is cooped up.  I told her to give it at least 1 more week for her baby to get a little bigger.  I think he could make it ok if he were just a tad bigger.

How is your brood going?  Are you or have you hatched any out?  Do you separate your moms and babies from the rest of the flock? (I have found it better to separate than lose poor babies to crazy hens).

Sunday, July 12, 2020

July 2020 Garden Update

The garden is booming!  Wish I had gotten everything planted but I just never got back to finishing it up.  I still plan on planting more though.  Gonna try to get carrots, lettuce, spinach, arugula, more peas, and maybe even some super late okra.  I also plan to get some zucchini started since what I planted never came up.  The weeds are trying to take over as usual after the rain and heat, but having the weed fabric in the aisles has been a game changer.  Each year, it gets a little bit better as I learn more.  How is your garden growing this year?

Friday, July 10, 2020

Progeny Press Study Guide REVIEW

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL 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 just love Progeny Press study guides.  I was more than happy to have the opportunity to review a couple more of their study guides for both my kids.  I chose the Animal Farm Study Guide High School Grades 9-12 (70 pages) for my son and A New Coat for Anna Study Guide Grades K-3 (28 pages) for my daughter.  I received download links for these two ebook PDF format study guides.  I was able to easily download both guides and printed them both out so I could bind them for my students for easier use.  Both guides also came with downloadable answer keys that I also bound for myself.

Sample Answer Key page for A New Coat for Anna

Sample Answer key page for Animal Farm

Why do I love these study guides so much?  They are not only wonderful resources but they are created from a Christian perspective.  What does this mean?  I can be assured my kids are not only going to learn concepts and ideas from the books that they read and study but that what is learned will be wholesome and God-honoring.  Progeny Press was born from a desire of two parents to educate their kids with good resources that have a biblical foundation.  That can be difficult to find in literature, especially in the study guide area.  Thus, Progeny Press was born.

Biblically-based with wonderful scripture references throughout.

A New Coat for Anna Study Guide was written for grades K-3.  I did have to purchase the book separately for this study.  It's a delightful little story about a little girl, Anna, who needs a new coat.  You follow Anna and her story as her mom acquires the necessary materials one by one needed to complete the coat.  From the initial wool needed to the final tailored product, it shows kids what goes into producing a product that is often not appreciated when it is simply on a store rack or shelf.  It also shares a time (after WWII) when money was scarce and the need for supplies often meant trading one thing for another.

Sample book pages.

Since the study guide is written for grades K-3 there are some aspects that were a little more challenging for her or that we worked on together verbally. But, for the most part, she kept up with the suggested workload of at least 3 pages per week.  If it was a simple lesson on two pages then she generally completed those in one day.  This guide is packed with all kinds of goodies (as are all their study guides).  There is a note to the instructor (explains how to use the guide) at the beginning and a synopsis of the story included.  They also supply you with background information about the story and include some "Before-you-read Activities" (in this case it was some map work, personal questions about your own family, a suggested viewing of Sound of Music, and field trip to visit a sheep farm).  We haven't viewed the movie yet nor are we able to visit a sheep farm, but YouTube is great for virtual field trips!  This study guide can easily be completed in 3-4 weeks if you cover all of the activities.  I really like the diversity of their content and Little Bug just loves completing the lessons.  There is a great assortment of vocabulary, dictionary work, puzzles (word search and hidden keys), and plenty of writing practice too!

Sample workbook page

Sample completed pages

Fun activities!

Last but not least is a few words about the Animal Farm Study Guide.  I had an electronic copy of this book already.  My high schooler does NOT like language arts or writing or any kind of "study guide" activities.  That being said, I caught him really getting intrigued and doing a little of his own research online when he was asked to complete some of the sections in the study guide.  He is not liking the story because of the sadness and opposition but I think he will surely glean from it by the time he is finished.  All things aside and with no political or religious discussion, I think the story is timely for right now and what is going on in our world.

Sample pages completed

Written for grades 9-12 this is a much more in-depth study guide.  It is recommended that you read the book the first week and then complete approximately one lesson per week in the study guide.  Most will take 8-10 weeks to complete a guide.  For my struggling learner, I am predicting that he will complete this in about 10-12 weeks, but that is ok with me.  He is getting through it and learning!  It is also suggested that you have a dictionary, thesaurus, and a bible to help with the questions.  Four completed study guides will qualify you for 1 high school credit.

Animal Farm Table of Contents

The general format in each section (lesson) follows the following:

  • Vocabulary (lots of dictionary work!)
  • Analogous Characters and Events (great discussion!)
  • General (general questions about the chapters read)
  • Analysis
  • Dig Deeper (provokes you to think more, dig deeper, and covers scriptural concepts and ideas)
  • Optional Projects and Activities
I also appreciate the extensive background information in this guide that explains some governing systems including communism, socialism, and capitalism among a few.  The optional extra projects, activities, and essays make this a wonderful resource for your high schooler. 


I definitely give A New Coat for Anna Study Guide Grades K-3 and Animal Farm Study Guide High School Grades 9-12 two thumbs up!  You can connect with Progeny Press on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, PINTEREST, and YOUTUBE.

Feel free to check out my other Progeny Press Study Guides REVIEW.  Also, be sure to take the time to see what other study guides were reviewed by my fellow Crew members by clicking on the graphical link below.  Happy reading!!

Study Guides for Literature - A New Coat for Anna, In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson, My Side of the Mountain, Animal Farm & Little Women {Progeny Press Reviews}
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...