Review of Home School in the Woods’ Á La Carte Collection




Sometimes run of the mill textbooks and worksheets do not make the grade and some creativity and variety are needed.  Home School in the Woods offers products that meet that requirement. Because my youngest child is fifteen-years-old finding products that meet her needs are more challenging.  Fortunately, Home School in the Woods now offers many of their hands-on history projects Á La Carte.

Because all our children, as well as my husband and myself, are participating in our area’s homeschool band and/or strings programs, I decided that items focusing on music would definitely meet the bill.  So we selected “Composers through History Timeline” and “The Orchestra”, which is a File Folder Display of the Orchestra across 4 different periods of history in music.  I like doing hands-on crafts such as scrapbooking and crocheting.  So I decided to select “The Art of Quilling A Renaissance & Colonial Craft” for myself.


Our family found all these products to be fun and interesting to use.  “The Art of Quilling A Renaissance & Colonial Craft” involves paper art that uses the 3-dimensional art of rolled paper.  This product was originally created as part of “Time Travelers: Colonial Life”.  This particular product required the purchase of a quilling tool, quilling paper, and an adhesive to attach the paper rolls to the paper.  The instructions were clearly stated, but I did find the quilling tool somewhat difficult to use.  Also, the adhesive is exceptionally sticky which meant my fingers managed to get and stay sticky.  But all in all, I really enjoyed making my one project.  Here are some of the pictures while I was working on it and a picture of my completed picture.

Here is the picture of the finished product.


Next, I would like to talk about “The Orchestra A File Folder Display of the Orchestra Across 4 Periods in the History of Music“.  This product was originally created for the “Composers Activity Pack”.  It examines the way musical instruments were introduced over time and how the orchestra grew to include many of them.  It takes the student through The Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern periods and includes over 25 instruments along with the conductor.


This product requires a file folder, card stock, an adhesive and scissors.  The most involved part of this product is cutting out and attaching the pockets to the file folder and the cutting out the instrument descriptions and information about the period.  I love how this product is interactive and can allow for multiple periods to be displayed using the same file folder.  Here are some pictures of me creating the file folder and then set up the arrangement of instruments for the Classical Period.

Finally, I want to talk about “Composers through History Timeline” product.  This involves the use of card stock or other paper, scissors and an adhesive.  Students learn about periods of music and the various composers that belong to each period.  It allows for parents and students to go into as much depth as desired for each composer and period.


 Á La Carte products from Home School in the Woods also offers selections such as Timeline of the American Revolution and the Renaissance Reporter Newspaper.  So check these out for yourself.  Click here or on the graphic below to read more reviews of the Á La Carte products from Home School in the Woods.





Tasty Tuesday’s – March 20, 2018


This past week, I discovered an amazing place to buy fresh produce. It is called Bountiful Baskets. Unfortunately, it is not available everywhere, in fact, we had to drive two hours to San Antonio, which is the closest site to us. Bountiful Baskets is a food co-op where people pay a contribution fee for a basket or can pay more for certified organic.

We decided to purchase one regular basket along with several of the additional offerings, We purchased 50 pounds of potatoes, an herb basket, and a St, Patrick’s Day basket. With those, we received carrots, celery, potatoes, kale, a butternut squash, cabbage, pears, and even two grapefruits,


I wish I had taken pictures of everything, but that did not happen. However, I know we will participate again and I will be sure to take pictures and share with you all.  Here is one picture of some of the produce we got including the box of potatoes, the herb basket and the St. Patrick’s Day basket.


Here is a picture of the potatoes. We were very pleased with the quality of our food.


Also, this weekend, my husband and I discovered a new place to eat called Zoe’s Kitchen that serves a blend of Mediterranean and Southern food combined. I had their steak stack sandwich with a Greek salad. Dennis, my husband, had the steak stack and their marinated slaw. The food was fresh, flavorful and very satisfying.

So what have you been eating?  I would love to hear from you.

If you would like to read what other members of the Home School Review Crew have to say this week, click here or on the graphic below.



Review of NatureGlo’s eScience MathArt 4 Class Bundle



Finding science courses that keep the interest of our fifteen-year-old daughter proves challenging on a good day.  What worked for our three sons does not even remotely come close to working for our daughter.  She is a very artistic child and loves learning about nature, but not in the traditional textbook sort of way.  But my nature-loving artistic daughter loved the idea of reviewing the MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle from NatureGlo’s eScience!  This eScience online learning experience proved to be a great fit for our daughter.

Founded and directed by Gloria Brooks states on their website in the “About NatureGlo” section, “NeS is a nature lover’s eLearning center providing neutral worldview math enrichment (MathArt) and science live and self-paced online courses and curriculum for home and school educators and students.”  She teaches science from a neutral viewpoint, so this means she does not address origins in any of her teachings – including creation or evolution.  For our family, I have to say we would personally prefer a Christian worldview, but a neutral worldview seemed okay in this case for our daughter.  She has been teaching homeschool students since 2010.

The MathArt Online 4-class Bundle includes the following courses:

  • Math Connections with the Real World
  • MathArt in Ancient Cultures
  • Mathematics in the Arts & Sciences
  • MathArt: Patterns in Nature

All of the courses are or will be available as recordings of an actual live class.  All of the classes are meant to be completed during a six-week period. So by completing all four courses, a student would be able to earn a full credit for science.  MathArt: Patterns in Nature is still to come.  We decided to focus on MathConnections with the Real World.  After our daughter watched the first video, I asked her what she thought of the video.  She thought it was fairly interesting.  Since she loves art, she enjoyed all the references to art, and since she has begun taking violin lessons, she enjoyed the musical references as well.

Each lesson contains videos, downloadable files (including the slides used in the class – very handy for taking notes on), a study workbook, online quizzes and activities and a list of suggested activities for the student to complete.  The course includes lessons the History of the Golden Ratio and Fibonacci numbers; The Golden number & Fibonacci Number in Art, Architecture, and Nature; The Fibonacci Numbers in Nature; The History of the Golden Ratio and the Great Pyramid; Phi & Quasicrystals; and the Mathematics of Music.

Here are some screenshots of some of the first and second lessons.

I love that NatureGlo’s eScience offers a library of incredible resources at the student’s fingertips to refer to and to utilize.  This library is broken down by course and lesson and includes resources such as:

  • Web Resources
  • Projects, Activities, & Video Tutorials
  • Video Tutorials
  • Main Lesson Videos
  • Informative Videos

Students and parents can decide what resources to utilize and what projects to complete.  There are additional PDF files that can be downloaded as well.  Here are some screenshots.


You can find NatureGlo’s eScience on social media at the following links:

All in all, we have enjoyed the material in this bundle.  I love how it is not simply a textbook to read with simple questions to answer, but rather something to be savored and sampled based on what the students and parents desire to complete.  We look forward to completing more of the courses in this bundle.  We will update as we do complete more work in this bundle.

If you want to read more reviews of the MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle from NatureGlo’s eScience,  including MathArt in Ancient Cultures, Mathematics in the Arts & Sciences, click here or on the graphic below.




Review of Parenting Made Practical’s Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think Book and Video.




My husband and I currently have a 15-year-old daughter, a 17-year-old son, a 19-year-old son and a twenty-one-year-old son who all live at home.  While I hate to admit it, I am guilty of lecturing our children.  As a parent, it is easy to get caught up in emotion and lecture our children.  The act of lecturing causes everyone to often lose their temper and results in no real change in attitude or action.  We, as parents, fail to reach our children and our children do not actually listen.  That is why I was so glad we received the opportunity to review products from Parenting Made Practical.  We reviewed the book and DVD of Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think and now I want to check out the DVD Navigating the Rapids of Parenting.  Parenting Made Practical offers a lot of great information and resources for raising children who love the Lord and behave responsibly.

According to their website, Joey and Carla Link have been serving families for over twenty years.  Joey Link served on pastoral staffs for over sixteen years in youth and family ministries before becoming Director of FamilyLife Resources, a non-profit ministry where he has served since 1994.  His wife, Carla Link, has a degree in social work.  They are the parents of three adult children and also have four grandchildren.  So they have a wealth of first-hand knowledge of parenting.

Each chapter in the book Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think contains real-life experiences of either the Links or other families, tips for dealing with children of various ages, as well as Scriptural references.  I like how the chapters are broken down into pieces that are easy to read and to follow.  At the end of each chapter, there is a letter from people who have successfully navigated parenting issues.

The main premise of this book is rather than lecturing/losing tempers when you are angry, you wait until you are cooled off to reasonably deal with the issue.  Using a series of questions, parents can get to the root of the actual sin that is causing the problem(s).  The Links stress the importance of being proactive rather than reactive.  As I was reading this book, I found many situations I could relate to and loved the ideas and verses used.


The DVD is available as either a physical DVD or a digital download.  We received the digital download.  It runs for approximately fifty-four minutes.  The printable outline may be downloaded from the Parenting Made Practical website.  It allows the viewer to follow along with the presentation and have a tangible resource to refer back to later.  I love how the DVD gives a visual representation of a situation which may happen in real- life showing how it could go either badly or much better.

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Both the book and the DVD may be used alone, however, I truly believe they work best in tandem.  I am planning on looking at and buying more of their products such as –
    Navigating the Rapids of Parenting (Video) (for parents of kids from age 2 through college);   Dating, Courting & Choosing a Mate… What Works? (Video) (for parents of kids ages 9-college) ; as well as   What Every Child Should Know Along the Way (book) (preschool to college).

You can find Parenting Made Practical on social media at:


I definitely recommend you check Parenting Made Practical‘s resources out for yourself.  If you would like to read more reviews of Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think or some of the other resources offered by the Links, click here or on the graphic below.





Tasty Tuesdays – March 13, 2018



For lunch today I had a salad made with spinach leaves and arugula leaves along with cherry tomatoes, snow pea pods and an avocado I cut into pieces. I then took a package of imitation lobster claw meat I bought at Aldi, added diced onions, celery pieces, fresh lemon juice, and Olive Oil Miracle Whip.  I mixed it all together and added salt and pepper to taste.  I topped the salad with the lobster salad mixture.

Here is a picture of the salad.


Then for dinner tonight we had sushi that we made with sushi rice, the seaweed wrappers,  crab meat, carrot sticks, and cream cheese.  We bought a sushi kit from Amazon that we tried for the very first time tonight.  We also made a ginger sauce and ginger dressing from scratch.  We fixed a version of Japanese Miso soup, egg rolls, fried rice made with steak and chicken, and zucchini sauteed with onions.  The meal was absolutely delicious.  Normally, we would not make this elaborate of a meal on a weeknight.  All in all, it took us about two hours to fix the meal.

Here are some pictures of our preparations this evening.


And here are some more pictures of our preparation and our meal.


So what are you cooking at your home?  I would love to hear from you.

If you would like to read what other members of the Home School Review Crew have to say, click here or on the image below.


Review of CursiveLogic’s CursiveLogic Quick Start Pack and The Art of Cursive




Some things are learned early on and require no additional practice.  Other things take time to grow a natural desire and inclination to improve upon skills already learned.  In our family, cursive writing is one of those skills.  All of our children had to learn cursive writing in order to place their signature on their military identification cards when they reached the age of ten years old.  We, as parents, could not sign for them.  So it was an important skill.  Now almost five years later for our daughter, a desire came to improve her writing.  My husband also desired to improve his cursive writing.  I also desired to improve my skills as well. CursiveLogic uses a logical approach to teach cursive letters with their CursiveLogic Quick-Start Pack and The Art of Cursive.

I love that this program can basically be used for any ages including adults.  The program lends itself to adaptations to fit the student.  For example, older students/adults could move through the program much quicker.  While younger children could move through the program at a much slower pace.

The program utilizes a shape-based approach that helps create connections for students to learn the proper techniques for writing their letters.  Letters are grouped with similar letters to help created muscle-memory for the correct process to make the letters.  There are phrases to say when forming the letters to help remember the proper order for forming the letters.  The workbook is set up to be used by students who are either right or left-handed without having to worry about the coil.


There is a webinar that details the entire process that goes through how to use the CursiveLogic program.  The video is almost fifty minutes long.  I watched it myself and would personally recommend breaking it up into parts, based on where you are currently at in the program.  If you have older children or have adults doing the program, they could watch the webinar themselves.  For younger children, the parents/teacher could watch the video to ensure proper techniques are being used.



Another thing I really liked about this program is that it does not simply jump right into forming letters.  Instead, the program takes time to talk about proper posture, proper paper placement, and pencil holding to ensure success.


The program is designed to be completed in ten weeks, however, older students and adults could obviously go through the program at a faster pace.  However, our family decided to go at a slower pace since we are not using the program to actually learn cursive writing for the first time.  We are using the program to refine skills already learned.


The program utilizes a shape-based approach.  There are four-letter strings that each share a common shape.  Students learn the connection between letters and shapes right from the beginning.  A multi-sensory approach uses color, movement, verbal and auditory tools so it will appeal to all learners.  Another benefit is that students actually write real words the very first week.  Because it follows a logical approach, students will be much more inclined to get it.


The Art of Cursive is a workbook includes pages to writing as well as coloring pages.  So far, we have not utilized the coloring pages, but I will update this post and do an additional post when we have a coloring page completed.

All in all, I have to say our family was very impressed with this program.  If you are looking for a cursive writing program that utilizes a multi-sensory approach, I recommend you check CurisveLogic out for yourself and look at the CursiveLogic Quick-Start Pack and The Art of Cursive.

If you use the code CREW2018, you can receive 20% on the Quick-Start Pack, which is the webinar + workbook combo through the end of March.


If you would like to read reviews by other members of the Homeschool Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.



Review of The Pencil Grip, Inc. for Magic Stix Washable MarkersA


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Our family absolutely loves doing artwork.  So I am constantly on the lookout for great products for her to use.  My art-loving daughter enjoyed using Magic Stix Washable Markers from The Pencil Grip, Inc.! Just like all the products we have reviewed for The Pencil Grip, Inc. we fell in love with these markers as well.  The markers offer vibrant colors and are a joy to use.

For the review, we received the package of the 24 pack of markers.  One of my absolute favorite things about this product is the hard plastic case the markers come in since it allows for easy storage and transporting of the markers.


These markers have some amazing features.  First, they are odorless, so it makes them perfect to use on the go or in small spaces.  Second, they are washable, so this means you do not have to worry about them permanently staining anything.  Next, they are non-toxic, so they are safe to use around young children.

Here are pictures of our daughter using these markers.



Here are some more pictures of her using the markers.



And here are some pictures of her final pictures.  She actually did two distinct pictures on one page and the results were incredible.



Our daughter’s only complaint with these markers is that she wishes they offered some with finer tips.  She likes to do incredibly detailed work at times and the thickness of these markers does not lend themselves to that kind of work.  Also, she experienced slight frustration with some of the colors not being exactly what she expected them to be based on the color of the maker.  But, her finished creations are still absolutely incredible.

Also, these markers come in bright and bold colors.  Here is really quick drawing I did myself back in December when we received the 12-pack. Because of how much I loved the smaller package, I knew our family would love the larger pack.


Now I am not the best artist in the world, but I found these markers great to use.  These markers come in a great variety of colors that allow for incredible creativity and opportunities to have fun with drawing.

Another amazing feature is that they are guaranteed to not dry out with the cap off for 7 days.  If you are like me, that makes these incredibly useful.  I can not tell you the number of times, I went to use a marker, only to find it was dried out.  So you really need to check these out for yourself.

While I did not remember to post every day on social media, I did do the 7-day test where I left the cap of a marker for 7 days and drew a line each day.  I was amazed that on the 7th day, the marker was still as dark as it was on the first day.


My art-loving daughter enjoyed using Magic Stix Washable Markers from The Pencil Grip, Inc.!  So I recommend you check them out for yourself.  If you would like to read reviews written by other members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.


If you would like to connect with The Pencil Grip, Inc on social media, you can find them at these Social Media Links: