Thursday, April 9, 2020

History on Horseback: The Early Years by Sonrise Stable Books 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.}

Like many girls, A has loved horses her whole life so when we were given the opportunity to review History on Horseback: The Early Years by Sonrise Stable Books we jumped on it.  Our family also really enjoys history.  A absolutely loves reading!

A with our book.

 A closer view

This book is the first volume in a series that the author predicts to have three volumes eventually reaching the present day.  While it will appeal to horse lovers and history buff alike, the target age for this series is 12 years and beyond.  History on Horseback: The Early Years has 53 chapters with just under 200 pages in all.  Chapters are not long, each chapter is ~ 2 - 4 pages.  It is nonfiction and is full of factual information about horses, historical characters and events.  We love all the historical photos throughout the book.

The back cover of our book.

Like a gold prospector sifting for gold nuggets, Vicki Watson dug into history to find horse stories and share all of the gold nuggets she found for this book.  I love the unique approach of this book to spark an interest in studying history and finding and uncovering those interesting nuggets.

A look at the Contents

This book covers the early years, 1493 to 1866.  It begins with the arrival of horses in American with the Spanish Explorers and covers through just after the Civil War.  Its primary focus is American History.

A is currently about halfway through this book.  I have no doubt she will finish it soon!

A has been reading this series independently and she is really enjoying it.  She likes the unique approach of this book and that it talks about different horses throughout history, instead of only focusing on the people.  For example, most people could tell you a little about Paul Revere - most likely that he was the one to sound the alarm that the British were coming.  However, what about the horse he rode on that trip, Brown Beauty?

Learning about Brown Beauty's role in carrying Paul Revere.

A never thought about Thomas Jefferson having horses and yet he owned many horses and enjoyed riding them.  He actually rode horses daily until he couldn't anymore, a few weeks prior to his death.  A loves reading about how horses participated in history, whether it was pulling wagons, riding into battle, helping send messages, etc.

 A list of the horses Jefferson owned over the years.

This book is fascinating to just read on its own, which is how we are using it with A.  It also makes a great supplemental history curriculum.  It would pair nicely with a variety of choices.  There is currently a study guide in the works that when completed with the resources would make this a complete curriculum on its own!  We look forward to seeing this study guide.  If you are a horse lover or history buff, we recommend checking out History on Horseback: The Early Years.

Be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read even more reviews of History on Horseback: The Early Years.  Also check out the fun video from the author explaining more about this series!

History on Horseback: The Early Years {Sonrise Stable Books Reviews}

You can engage with Sonrise Stable Books on social media @:

Our Spectacular Family Tea Party

 Our Invite

We had a lovely family tea party yesterday evening after David arrived home from work (he still has to go into the office a few times a week).  D and E made invitations and gave them out the day before.  I love the P.S. You don't have to help wash dishes!

 Party Hosts

The girls dressed up and A did their hair in fun wrap around braids.  I had helped them make brownies the day before as well.  They made all the food for the party, set the table, and cleaned up everything.  It was amazing and we all really enjoyed it.  I loved their food choices.  If you are looking for something to do during these quarantined times, I highly recommend having a family tea party!

 Homemade brownies

 Race Car Apples (made with apple slices, peanut butter and grapes)

 Puzzle Sandwiches

Our Set Table

My view...

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Preborn Prodigy CDs 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.}

We love music in our home so when we were given the opportunity to review several CDs from Preborn Prodigy I was so excited.  We received Prayers and Blessing for the Unborn Child, Prayers and Blessing Newborn to 99, and Math Prodigy.  And while we have the physical CDs, all of these albums are available to download on iTunes, Amazon Play, Google Play, CD Baby and other digital providers as well.

Our new CDs.

Preborn Prodigy is a Christian based company that loves sharing the truth of God's Word.  The purpose for both Prayers and Blessing for the Unborn Child and Prayers and Blessing Newborn to 99 is for those listening to know that they are loved and wanted, they are not a mistake, and that they have a purpose and a destiny from God whether they are still in the womb, 99 years old or anywhere in between.  These CDs are similar.  They have many of the same sections: Protection and Provision, Spiritual Growth and Dedication, Identity and Destiny, Spirit/Soul and Body, Salvation, Blessing and Lullaby.  Prayers and Blessing for the Unborn Child also talks about Health and Delivery while Prayers and Blessing Newborn to 99 has a section on Scriptures and Declarations.  They are both ~ 56 minutes long.

Our CDs for Prayers and Blessings

I love how these CDs are set to beautiful, relaxing and soothing music, which is so needed in these trying times.  While I am not pregnant, nor do I expect to be pregnant again (sigh), I still appreciate the prayers and blessings for babies not yet born.  I remember praying over all of our children when they were in my womb and I fully believe in the power of prayer!  Pair prayer with God's Word and it is powerful indeed.  The Lullaby at the end of both CDs is very peaceful and can help little ones drift off to sleep.

Math Prodigy

The Math Prodigy CD is a bit different.  It's purpose is to help little ones understand math fundamentals and math terminology.  It is still set to relaxing and soothing background music.  It has an Introduction to Math and discusses Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division, Fractions, Decimals and the Order of Operations.  It is ~ 58 minutes long.  I really like how it emphasizes the importance of math in our world and encourages "little ones" to learn it.  Rocket scientists, artists, and business people all use math!  I have been playing it in the background for F and G and they like it.  I quite enjoy it myself.

These CDs are also available in Hebrew, German, Chinese, Spanish and even Afrikaans.  They can be used in your first language or even to help try and teach your little one a second language right from the get go.

If you are looking for a truly unique baby shower gift, this would be perfect!

These CDs are unique, calming and fun to listen to in our home.  We are enjoying them and we would also recommend them.  Be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read even more reviews of Preborn Prodigy.

Prayers & Blessings for the Unborn Child, Blessings Newborn to 99 & Math Prodigy  {Preborn Prodigy Reviews}

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Sunday, April 5, 2020

The Usborne Creative Writing Book from Timberdoodle Review

Our New Book

I have another Timberdoodle product to share with you today, The Usborne Creative Writing Book.

A peek at the contents of the book.

This book helps students develop creative problem-solving skills within a story.  They have opportunities to explore personal narratives, reviews, fiction, poetry and more!  There are a plethora of illustrations to help keep assignments lively and fun.  There are numerous prompts and activities that will help students write compelling, well-thought-out creative stories with character development, dialogue and more.

B with our book.

I was really torn on having B (who has a love for writing) or C (who is just fine not writing) work through this book.  In the end, I actually had several of the kids (B (8th), C (7th), D (5th) and E (2nd)) work on various assignments throughout our book and they all had fun with it.  Score!

 B working in our book.

 I really like B's slogans for these products.

B started a listicle (the book explains it) for 12 Reasons Why D is the Craziest of Our Family.

 E had fun making a map of Mom and Dad's Dream Island.

A closer look...

 C wrote a comic about finding treasure!

A closer look at C's comic.

And D wrote a haiku about butterflies.

A closer look...

I really like the Glossary in the back of the book.

I don't want to show you the entire book and every assignment but I do want you to know that this book is such a great springboard for students to develop and have fun with their writing.  If you are familiar with Usborne, then you know that they have quality books.  This one does not disappoint and we would highly recommend it.

The Usborne Creative Writing Book is recommended for 5th grade and up (10+) and is currently part of Timberdoodle's 8th Grade Curriculum Kit.


Disclosure: Huge shout out to Timberdoodle for selecting me as a Timberdoodle Blogger. Timberdoodle sent my family The Usborne Creative Writing Book in exchange for our honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Friday, April 3, 2020

Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Addtion and Subtraction from Math-U-See 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 was so excited when I saw that Math-U-See now offers Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Addition and Subtraction, I knew that I wanted us to try it.  This program was developed for students that are older who are struggling with math because they have gaps in their math foundations (specifically with addition and subtraction facts).  For those not familiar with Math-U-See, their program teaches using multi-sensory tools - videos, manipulatives, and other resources that appeal to all types of learners.  Through this process of "seeing" math, you begin to really understand it.

 Our AIM Box

Inside our box

This particular program has a physical set and a digital component.  They physical set includes an AIM resource guide, Math-U-See Integer blocks, Math-U-See colored pencils, Fact Check Cards and Math Fact Strategy Posters.

 Our Fact Check Cards

 Our cards after separating them.
{The stars are used to measure mastery.  When facts are known the stars are colored in.}

I love the different colors of our Integer blocks, each number of blocks is a different color.  The individual ones are green, the blocks with two are orange, the blocks with three are pink, etc.

 The colored pencils are the exact same colors as the Integer blocks.

 A peek inside our AIM Resource Guide

Our guide is awesome.  Not only does it explain the AIM approach, but it also contains step-by-step instructions for each lesson, strategies for assessing mastery, guidance on the next steps along with sample activities for practice and review.  I also really appreciate the lessons at a glance pages.

 The Build, Write, Say method is a huge part of this program to help students learn mastery of their addition and subtraction facts.

Our Online Component

The digital component gives us 12 months of access to the online and downloadable resources that are available to support the AIM program.  I like that the online component has both overview and lesson-specific videos and instructions along with solutions with additional practice resources!  You can print extra consumables in the resource section.

 There is a Before AIM Assessment to determine if AIM is right for your child.

E's score is in red.  D's is in purple and F's is in orange.

I completed this assessment with several of the kids.  It has written instructions and a short video so that you know that you are administering it correctly.  D and E both scored a 117 (kind of funny they would get the same number), which means they have a solid foundation for addition and subtraction.  F scored a 47, which meant the AIM for Addition and Subtraction program will benefit him in his math fact fluency so I'm using it with him!

Above you can see the first online lesson on Integer Blocks.  You can see when you are watching the first lesson there are 4 blue boxes underneath:  Lesson box, Activities box, Resources box and Assessments box.

 F watching Lesson 1

 When you click the Activities box you then have several options open:  Color Key, Integer Block Matching Game, Integer Blocks (Colors and Values) and Color-by-Block Value Activity.

Above you can see the color key of the pencils matched with their Integer Blocks.

In Lesson 3, there is also a Solutions tab for the problems.

 Above is an example of what you see in the solutions tab for the word problems in Lesson 3.

The Resources tab in Lesson 3 contains  Online Drill, Worksheet Generator, Digital Manipulatives, Addition Facts Mastery Chart and Subtraction Facts Mastery Chart.

 F working on Lesson 1 Activity C

 F building with our Integer blocks.

G likes to watch!

While this program is geared for students a bit older (8-16) who haven't mastered addition and subtractions facts, use their fingers for counting, and/or begin struggling as math concepts increase in difficult, it's going well using it with F and I am pleased.  Again, AIM for Addition and Subtraction specifically focuses on mastery of single-digit addition and subtraction.  This program can be completed at the student's pace, usually 6-8 weeks, but again, the student can and should set the pace as you move on as mastery is acquired.  We are using it at a slightly slower pace since F is a bit younger.  If you have a student struggling with basic addition and subtraction facts, AIM is a great program to use to help them strengthen and master these math concepts. 

It is important to remember that AIM is not a full math curriculum but a supplement.  It can be used with multiple students, each one will need individualized attention and will most likely progress at different rates.  The lessons are very short and focused and designed to be done with help via a parent or other instructor.

How we store our set.

All the planning and lesson preparation leg work for this program is done for you.  Just follow the guide and online lessons and watch your student learn!

Be sure to click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read even more reviews of Math-U-See.

Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Addition and Subtraction {Math-U-See Reviews}

You can engage with Math-U-See on social media @: