YWAM Heroes of History Stories {Review}

We were privileged to review this Heroes of History Book Set this month. We’ve studied US History this year, so this has fit in perfectly! From their website:

Heroes of History is a unique biography series that brings the shaping of history to life with the remarkable true stories of fascinating men and women who changed the course of history.

The stories of Heroes of History are told in an engaging narrative format, where related history, geography, government, and science topics come to life and make a lasting impression. This is a premier biography line for the entire family. [Read more…]

Review: Magnificent Moon

DNGs are digital units complete with everything you need for a week of school for your K-4th grader.  They include links to videos, vocabulary words, printable worksheets and lapbook components, suggestions for books to enjoy and so much more!  Click here to check out all that’s available.  As far as DNGs go generally, there is too much for us to cover in one week for sure.  Jacob does not like doing lapbooking components or hands on stuff (the reason I don’t have a lot of pictures of my kids doing stuff), so we just do the reading, videos, and discuss the questions that available to print.  (I love that I don’t have to spend time looking for the videos and my kids enjoy them!)  Mattie enjoys the lapbooking stuff for her level, but she’s not writing or reading yet, so she just sits and reads with us too.  When Mattie gets older, I could see her enjoying these a lot more.  
Magnificent Moon
This past week the kids and I enjoyed Magnificent Moon!  Jacob learned about the moon when he was in Kindergarten, but it’s been a while so it was good to review it all.  In addition to reviewing the phases of the moon and observing them in our (albeit cloudy) winter sky, we learned a lot of surprising things about the moon, its characteristics and the astronauts who have seen it all!  Unique to Magnificent Moon (in my DNG experience anyway) is an art component where we learned about specific paintings done by an astronaut who has walked on the moon.  My kids enjoyed the stories behind the paintings that Amanda Bennett provided for us… I think they’ll actually remember the art because they know why it was painted.

by Jacob, 8 years

Here’s what else you’ll experience when you use Magnificent Moon with your children:
Day 1: What Exactly Is a Moon?
Day 2: Getting to Know the Moon
Day 3: The Story of the Moon
Day 4: Science Secrets of the Moon
Day 5: Cool Things About the Moon

Page Spread

Lot’s of links to share this time:
Click here to enter a contest to win these moon maps!

See how other families are using Magnificent moon by clicking on any of the thumbnail images below:

Review: Winter Wonders!

DNGs are digital units complete with everything you need for a week of school for your K-4th grader.  They include links to videos, vocabulary words and their definitions, printable worksheets and lapbook components, suggestions for books to enjoy and so much more!  Click here to check out all that’s available. 
Winter Wonders
We have been blessed with snow this winter!  Where we live, we typically have some dustings, but not often more than once or twice for the kids to get outside and play.  This year we’ve had 4 or 5 enough-to-play-in-snows already!  The best part is that some has come right while we were enjoying Winter Wonders, a DownloadNGo unit study.

This week we’ve made snowflake crystals (photo above), snowflake cookies, learned the history of hot chocolate, looked specifically for an individual snowflake and its shape, and learned about specific characteristics of winter.  And that’s just some of it!

Winter Wonders had enough information that we could choose what fit best for us each day.  Some content is perfect for Mattie and some is perfect for Jacob. 

Here’s what you’ll learn when you jump in to Winter Wonders:


Day 1: What is Winter?
Day 2: Science Secrets of Winter
Day 3: People and Places of Winter
Day 4: Time for Tips and Treasures of Winter
Day 5: Goodies and Gadgets of Winter 

Click right over here to purchase so you’re ready to get started!  And then click on the thumbnails below to check out how other homeschool home schooling families are using Winter Wonders. 

I received this product for at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

Rockin’ Robots!

We’ve had a great couple of weeks learning about robots with our Download n Go.  All of use have enjoyed all the robots videos we’ve seen, and more than once I’ve seen Jacob getting books out of the library bag to learn more!

Here’s what you’ll study when you do Rockin’ Robots:
Day 1: What Is a Robot?
Day 2: The History of Robots
Day 3: People and Places of Robots
Day 4: Science Secrets of Robots
Day 5: Goodies and Gadgets of Robots

My kids thoroughly enjoyed developing their own tooth brushing robot, though Mattie decided hers would actually stand on the tips of her toes and be a dancing ballerina robot – that did all of her chores!

There is a lot offered in this unit that we didn’t even get to.  I’m finding if we watch all of the videos and links on each page, there is really no way we can do an entire day’s offerings in one day (not if we’re doing any other school anyway).  And if we do too much with the videos and links we’ve definitely run out of focusing energy to do lapbooking components.  
The best part is that DownloadnGos are all about fitting into our  family school routine!  So we can keep tweaking until we find the way it best works for us: stretching the unit to two weeks, choosing certain topics to study and other topics to skip, delving into some concepts with discussion only and not doing anything written, etc.  There are endless options, really!

Autumn Treasures!

Fall is coming!  It’s coming slowly here, but I believe it’s coming. 🙂  And in anticipation of it, we did the  Autumn Treasures Download and Go for our schooling this week.

What is a Download and Go (DNG)?  In short, it is an e-book series that blends unit studies and lapbooking all in one printable product!  You choose which activities are right for your family and you’re ready to go!  They’ve included videos, lapbooking activities, copywork opportunities, vocabulary/spelling words, a suggested book list for additional reading, family fun activities, and more!  This is our fourth DNG (I think) and we’ve enjoyed them all for different reasons.

Here’s what you’ll explore when you jump in with Autumn Treasures:
Day 1: What is Autumn?
Day 2: Science Secrets of Autumn
Day 3: People and Places of Autumn
Day 4: Time for Tips and Treasures of Autumn
Day 5: Goodies and Gadgets of Autumn

I have to say, this was a different sort of school week for us, so it was good to have this unit to fit in without any preparation as we were revamping a few things, but we did a bare bones sort of week, so I didn’t have anything to photograph.  And because Autumn is something we’ve studied seasonally for several years now, I wasn’t sure if this would be anything new for us.  But I was not disappointed!  

We enjoyed:
– talking about the Earth’s tilt and rotation and the connection to our seasons.
– reviewing hibernation and migration in context of the correct season.
– the science behind how and why leaves change color.

And because fall is just creeping in by way of cooler nights, we weren’t able to get out and enjoy the nature walk and perfect journaling pages offered, but certainly would have if it were the right time for us!

One other great feature of these units is that there are printables/activites at Mattie’s level (pre-k) and Jacob’s level (4th grade), so we can enjoy it together!  Mattie loves getting to do “school” and I love having her included without any more work on my part!  (I would say the average “perfect” age for these studies is K-2nd grade.)

See how other families explored Autumn Treasures here!  And purchase it here before September 24 to enjoy the Autumn Equinox special price of 20% off!

Disclosure: I have been provided a copy of Autumn Treasure DNG free of charge in exchange for my honest review. 

Two New Bibles

Jacob and I have both gotten new Bibles recently, and we love them!
For Jacob’s birthday I got him The Picture Bible, Deluxe Edition
It is the story of the Bible written as a graphic novel, or a comic book.  Yes, it is different than actual Bible verses, but I believe there is a time and a place for giving a child a Bible he enjoys reading!  (He also has the NIrV for direct scripture learning.)  He sits in church and reads through pages and pages of this one, where his other one was visually overwhelming for his maturity level.  And I’ve found him in his room reading through it because he likes it.  That’s good enough for me!

And I recently got the Holman Illustrated Study Bible.
I’ve been reading out of my New American Standard study Bible for 15 years and just needed a change.  Because I’m a very visual person, I needed it to look different when I read it so it would jump out at me.  I was sold when I saw the relevant photographs, charts, maps and time lines they have throughout the books (not all in one place in the back).  And because Beth Moore uses this one in her Bible studies, and I’ve liked how it reads I went for it.  I’m so happy I went with it!  I have enjoyed reading it again and it’s new to me in ways I needed it to be.  That sounds totally seeker sensitive to describe it that way, but that’s the truth!  When I’m reading familiar passages now they catch my eye and focus because they look new and are worded differently, as opposed to my eyes overlooking them because I’ve looked at the same underlining and notes for fifteen years.  The best part… I got exactly what I wanted for less than ten dollars at a discount store.  🙂

What difference do it make?

This book is so good!

I was given this book to review a month or so ago, and with the chaos of life, just got to it this week.  I told you about Same Kind of Different as Me a couple of months ago.  This book is a sequel of sorts.  It tells stories of lives changed since Same Kind was published.  And it is every bit as good.   Not warm fuzzy kind of good, but convicting kind of good. We all have something we can be doing to serve those less fortunate in our lives.

My favorite story that is woven throughout the book is that of one of the authors and his journey of forgiveness toward his father, an emotionally absent alcoholic.  Here are a few of my favorite lines:

“Denver had taught me that to love a man enough to help him, you have to forfeit the warm, self-righteous glow that comes from judging.  
I had developed quite a do-gooder reputation for myself by refusing to judge ‘bad sorts’- bag ladies and vagrants, drug addicts, drunks, and runaway teenagers who sold their bodies for money.
 But I was just now learning to do it for my own flesh and blood.
 …was I so shallow, my do-gooding so superficial, that I could only set judging aside and help a person as long as his sins didn’t affect me?”
“Jesus said we will be judged by how we treat the hungry, the thirsty, the prisoner, the stranger.  We are judged by our compassion, how we live our lives, not by how [a homeless man to whom we have offered help] ultimately lives his.  God calls us to love, not calculate the end game.”

It’s very much worth reading, as is Same Kind.  And it’s good enough that it was a one night read for me. Just to get started, you can read the first 35 pages online.  🙂