Heroes of History Laura Ingalls Wilder Review

Christian Heroes {YWAM Publishing Review} 
 

We’ve been enjoying a Digital Unit Study for the book Heroes Of History- Laura Ingalls Wilder from YWAM Publishing these last few weeks. Those of you who read my blog regularly know that I find much to write about inspired by Laura’s life in the books. I’ve always been a huge fan of her books and regularly read them each year. I find that I learn something new each and every time I read through them again!

This is a pretty hefty unit study and I was SO EXCITED to get it started! My oldest was pretty excited as well, because she had just finished reading The Last Four Years and so this came at exactly the right time. We were also studying the westward expansion, so adding the real life stories to those we had already studied was a perfect fit.

This study includes:

  • The physical book
  • A digital download of the unit study
  • Access to the audiobook, too

I was thinking that these guides would be pretty expensive because there was just so much heft to them, but when I checked? $7.50. That made me VERY excited because I can order guides at that price anytime one of them would fit into our curriculum! Plus, these are nice books to have on the shelf for just reading through. Since we love history and anything historical, I can see us trying to pick up as many of these as we can.

The unit study is broke up into 2 sections- section 1 is the body of the study that includes essay questions, hands on activities, arts and crafts, social studies, and visual project ideas. Section 2 has the printable pages like maps for mapping, a timeline and the fun printable fact sheet that we really enjoyed.

There is also a section of quotes by Laura that you can use for copywork. My daughter like one of the quotes so much that she sketched it out on a piece of linen to embroider for her handiwork lessons. That was a very cool way to incorporate the study into our lives and I was so excited when she asked if there was a way to do it.

 

Christian Heroes {YWAM Publishing Review}
 

We loved this unit study and as I mentioned before, we plan on purchasing more studies in the future. Heroes in History is a 26 book series of biographies that showcase men and women who helped to shape the course of history. These are wholesome books with people who have similar values as we do, so I can feel good reading about history AND my kids are learning about values that matter as well.

Kids will learn what is was like to live and exist in a time much different from their own, in one of the most exciting times in American History. This is a very rich and in depth unit study that could be used as a stand alone with just math added in to make it a complete curriculum It was very interesting for my girls (they all ended up listening to the audio book) and even though we had read through and talked about the Little House on the Prairie books, we found a LOT of new information to learn in this study.

These were great and if you’d like to see what other books are available to purchase and see what other reviewers had to say, you can click the link below to be taken to see those reviews.

Christian Heroes {YWAM Publishing Review}
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Apologia Writers In Residence Review


Writing is such an important skill to learn, and something that I love to do. Our oldest tends to get easily overwhelmed by the writing process. In the past we’ve given her assignments to complete and she’s almost immediately gets frustrated and her attitude makes it hard to complete her assignments. I was excited to explore the Apologia Educational Ministries page for Writers In Residence and see how it was laid out.

Apologia: Writers in Residence Review 
First impressions

When I opened the workbook for the first time, I was impressed immediately. The workbook is large and the paper is excellent quality. The spiral binding is heavy duty so it can keep up with being opened by kids over and over and over again.

The first few pages are for parents, to give you an idea of the scope and sequence, how the work will be assessed and what you can expect from the program.

The part that excited me the most was HOW the lessons are laid out. In the first lesson, the student begins by brainstorming a time or place from their childhood. That’s it. One simple step to get the ball rolling and to make the creative process a little easier for the ones out there that have a harder time being creative in this way (like my oldest).

Next, you work through remembering favorite people or persons, favorite things you did with them, and details about that person. Then, you take it further by writing memory sentences. All of this takes the writing process and breaks it down into small, bite size pieces to work through quickly.

My challenging writer LOVED this curriculum. She loved how it was laid out, she loved thinking about and working through one simple piece at a time. For her, writing from an assignment feels overwhelming because she doesn’t have a huge imagination for writing. She’s creative and crafty with other things, but writing seems like such a HUGE thing and it’s too much at once. Now, she is learning to break it down into easy steps for every project she tackles.

Apologia: Writers in Residence Review
This is an all in one language arts program and once your student has worked through it, they have a writing portfolio for a keepsake. The program is bible based and has interviews sprinkled throughout with from Christian writers telling how the got their start or become a writer. Those we very interesting and something my girl liked to read through.

This program is ready to use out of the box with essentially no teacher set up. I did read through the text to know what to expect, but that was about all I had to do. I liked this because my older girl is ready for more independent learning and while i am ALWAYS available to help or ask questions, I do have 3 other kids who are studying as well, so items that allow any of them to work independently is great for me.

I’m very pleased with this program for the time we have spent with it. I think it’s reasonably priced and it is a fun way to teach writing and language arts concepts in any setting. I wish I would have know about it last year, because we could have put it to such good use :)

Apologia: Writers in Residence Review
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A+ Interactive Math Review


Our current math curriculum moves pretty quickly through the year and we’ve found ourselves going back or re-doing certain parts because it wasn’t quite in depth enough for the kids to really grasp it. I have decided to change our curriculum in this area for next year, but for now I have a couple of kids with gaps that needed to be addressed. It was perfect timing for A+ Interactive Math to come along and offer up Math Mini-Courses to review. I was able to snag the multiplication and division mini-course to cover those gaps.

Math Mini-Courses {A+ Interactive Math Review}
 

After setting the passwords and such up, we were able to pretty much turn the kid loose and let her get to work. This mini-course is Elementary and Middle School, so it works for a broad range of ages and abilities, making it pretty perfect for families with kids in multiple age groups. The multiplication unit has 13 lessons and is labeled for use for 2nd-6th grade.

The lessons are set up so that they have a video lesson to start, and then a lot of practice. It’s pretty hands off for the parent, so it was nice for me to use when I needed to be more hands on with one of the other kids. It also tests your child as it goes and report that information to the parent portal so you can check on the progress your child is making.

Math Mini-Courses {A+ Interactive Math Review}
 

My kids all thought the program was great….they would sit together and watch their sister do her work. I really thought my 5th grader would think it was dumb or too “little” for her, but she seemed to like it as well so that was good. Anytime I can get my kids excited and interested in any of their lessons I get excited, too!

Now, if you are not into your kids doing a lot of work on the screen, you can print off the practice lessons as well. They come in a PDF format for easy printing. I actually printed off some of these and kept them in the car for when we were running errands. the kids always get bored and this was a good way for the kid to practice when she would otherwise be just sitting there :)

The lessons take you from the most basic problems to complicated, multi digit problems with step-by-step instruction that really digs deep into the math concept. It’s child driven, so it goes as fast or as slow as your child needs it to. I LOVED this! We could speed up through the things she got easily and really grasped without problem and we could work through the tougher problems more slowly to really get a good understanding of how they should be done.

Math Mini-Courses {A+ Interactive Math Review}
 

Each topic of study is available for purchase individually, so it’s easy to pick up the ones your child is interested in OR where you feel there may be gaps in your program. The lessons are absolutely comprehensive and cover everything within that area of study, from the simple to the complicated. Your purchase is good for one year, so you have plenty of time to not only complete the course, but also go back and review it if your find that to be necessary.

I could see improvement in a big way with my child using this program during the review period and I cannot wait to pick up a couple of the other units for my other kids. They are looking forward to using the program as well.

If you’d like to read about other reviewers experiences, you can click this banner below and check some out.

Math Mini-Courses {A+ Interactive Math Review}
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Read, Write & Type Review


Typing is one of those things that I didn’t learn to do until I was in high school, and even then I wasn’t very good at it. Computers were out there and definitely being used, but I wasn’t really into them. Then I went to collage for a brief time and took another typing class where I learned to type VERY quickly and accurately. It’s been a skill I have used over and over again and I think it’s one that kids today must learn. Everything is attached to a computer and being able to accurately type well is a skill our kids will thank us for having. I was intrigued by Read, Write & Type by Talking Fingers Inc. We’ve been using it for the last few weeks and I’d love to share with you what we thought.

Talking Fingers Inc. Review
Read, Write & Type is a unique program that blends keyboarding, spelling, phonics, and word processing all in one place. It’s an easy program to log on to, as long as you have internet access you have access to your lessons. I got everyone set up and ready to go in no time so the kids could dive in. For this review, we received a one year subscription to use. If using an online program isn’t possible for you, it is available on CD, but I didn’t use that option and am not sure how that works. I just wanted to mention it if it was something that would interest you.

Talking Fingers Inc. Review
This program is made up of 40 lessons, divided into about 15 minute daily lessons. It follows a fun and engaging story line where the letters are kidnapped from their homes by the little green guy Vexor and the kids have to type letters and words correctly to win them back to their homes. My girls loved this part and thought that the stories were a lot of fun.

I wasn’t sure how much typing instruction would be offered in this program and while your child is instructed how to place their hands on a keyboard and what proper fingers to use to strike the keys, I found that my girls didn’t usually use that instruction. They started out doing it properly and ended up using whatever finger was close to strike the keys. So, as far as typing goes……I’m not sure it’s a strong program that’s going to actually teach your kids to type as well as I was hoping.

The phonics/ spelling portions of the lessons were still very fun for the kids. However, if you have a struggling reader (and I do), the lessons quickly go from something they can do easily to out of their abilities. My child found this to be very frustrating and felt that the lessons went too quickly from letter sounds to whole words to simple sentences. She had a hard time with it and towards the end of the review period it was a chore to get her to do her lessons. She would do them if I helped her though, because she liked the fun characters and the story.

My reader that isn’t struggling didn’t have the same frustrations and was more than happy to do her lessons and work through the program without any fuss. Different kids, different learning styles.

Overall I liked the program for a fun, interesting way to teach rudimentary typing as well as phonics and spelling. It’s not as strong of a typing program as I would eventually like to use, but for very young kids it works quite well to start them at least being aware of the very basics. the story is engaging and exciting and kept my kids interested even when they were struggling.

One more thing I want to mention is that this is recommended for ages k-2nd grade. I think that if you have ESL or struggling older kids who know letter sounds and are reading OK, but not great, this would be a nice way to give them work to improve those skills without it feeling like something very far below their grade level. I can see how this would be very appealing and beneficial for those situations.

Talking Fingers Inc. Review
Talking Fingers Inc. Review
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Homeschool Copywork Review


homework copywork review John James Audubon Download  We recently received a Lifetime Membership to Homeschool Copywork and have been using it every week to improve our handwriting and so much more!

Homeschool Copywork had copywork pages available for early elementary, upper elementary, Junior High, and High School. They also have coloring pages, notebooking pages, and cursive writing pages so you can find something to work with almost any subject of study. There are so many titles available, I was super impressed with the variety to choose from.

Homeschool Copywork works like this: you pick a product, download the book, print it out, and copy away! There is more to copywork than just improving your handwriting though- it gives you the opportunity to practice proper form, grammar, improve and expand vocabulary, and even punctuation practice. It’s been a very beneficial way for our homeschool to do many things at one. I love multitasking!

Homeschool Copywork offers the following titles for download:

Elementary Copywork

  • Animal Alphabet Copywork Pages
  • Transportation Copywork for Prek- 1st
  • 1 Corinthians Manuscript Copywork
  • The Poems of Emily Dikinson as Copywork
  • The Poems of Lewis Carroll
  • Dragons of the Bible Copywork, Coloring, and Notebooking Pages
  • Character Building Copywork
  • Town Mouse, Country Mouse Copywork
  • Rainbow Copywork
  • O, Captain, My Captain Copywork
  • Vincent van Gogh Artist Study Copywork Volumes 1-5
  • Leonardo de Vinci Artist Study Copywork
  • Autumn in the Garden Copywork
  • And many, many more!

Upper Elementary Copywork

  • Looking Upward: Quotes by Charlotte Bronte as Copywork
  • Claude Monet Artist Study and Copywork
  • Poems of Emily Dickinson as Copywork
  • Poems of Lewis Carroll as Copywork
  • Character Building Copywork
  • Charge of the Light Parade and other Tennyson Poems as Copywork
  • John James Audubon Copywork
  • and many, many more!

Junior High/High School Copywork

  • 1 Corinthians 13 Cursive Copywork
  • Courage Always Rises- Quotes from Jane Austen as Copywork
  • Star Spangled Banner Copywork
  • Mozart Copywork
  • Amazing Grace Hymm Study and Copywork
  • and many, many more!

There are also titles for Science, Bible, Art and Music, History, Literacy, and Holidays.

How we used Homeschool Copywork

 

 

Homeschool Copywork Review
I downloaded the John James Audubon Copywork book to go along with a unit that we were doing on nature studies, bird watching and identification. This  school day. They worked out very well for us because the younger girls could use the simpler pages and the older girls could use the more difficult pages in the same study.

My kids LOVED the coloring pages that went along with this study and we have several of them gracing our fridge at the moment 😉

I enjoyed the rich, descriptive text that was chosen for these passages. They allowed us to use our dictionaries to look up new words we didn’t know, adding them to our vocabulary for the year. We had a fun time searching for and discovering more about Audubon’s work by additional research…..these simple copywork pages enriched and deepened an already exciting unit study to help it become one of our very favorites from this year.

I look forward to continuing to add these copywork pages to our school day! They are fun, informative, and we found them to be such amazing added value to our lessons. They really are more than just copywork and I encourage you to consider adding copywork pages to your daily routine if you can. I am hooked on them after this experience.

Homeschool Copywork Review
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