Posted in 2020 Home School Review Crew Posts, Homeschool Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling, Unit Studies

Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915: 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities – A Review

Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915_ 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities

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.


My daughter wanted to review Rebecca Locklear‘s Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915: 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activitiesbecause she is fascinated with maritime rescues.  For this review we received a downloadable file containing the book for this curriculum.  Designed to be used by the entire family, a few workshops are geared towards grades 4 and 5.  So all of the workshops can be used by students in grades 6 to 12.

Divided into sections, the book covers such units as “Life at the Station House”, “Working Together”, “The Culture of Character”,  and “Relevance Today”.  Art Projects, music projects, and research areas are also available.  The Research areas include archaeology, badges, boats, clothing, communication, rescue devices, and more.  Initially, my plan was for our daughter to do this with at least one of her brothers.  However, my plans did not necessarily go the way I wanted them to go.

Rebecca Locklear takes her considerable multi-level teaching experience and writes materials for teachers. Students discover and create, assimilate integrated subject matter, and build on what they do well. This format allows students to build on their strengths and interests while discovering and creating.  Be sure to visit Rebecca Locklear’s website and sign up for updates.  You can do this by going to her site, click on the blog tab, and fill out the form on the right side of your screen to join her mailing list.



One of the reasons we were interested in this book was because two of my husband’s uncles served in the United States Coast Guard, my husband and his brother served in the U.S Army Reserves and the U.S. Army National Guard respectively, plus one of our daughter’s uncles served in the U.S. Marine Corps.  So anything having to do with serving the people of our country interests our family.

As I opened this book, I have to say I feel this book would be best used by a larger size family or perhaps with various families coming together to complete the activities together.  With only one teenaged daughter, I found it difficult to expect my daughter to complete many of the activities such as as the skits.

Pages From the Book

However, we loved some of the activities such as making our own smelling salts.  Our daughter also was intrigued by the idea of researching the clothing of the time period. Because so many of the activities required groups of people and our daughter was the only one working on this review, we found it difficult to find things that she could actually do alone.

Creating Our Own Smelling Salts

We enjoyed the reading for each unit however.  It allowed our daughter to learn more about the U.S. Life-Saving Service than what she knew before reading this.  Because she was in Young Marines for several years and had brothers in the Boy Scouts, many of the life-saving techniques and the supplies to have on hand if needed she already knew.

All in all, I have to say our family believes this book is best used in a larger group setting. Having just my daughter and I to read various parts was not necessarily the most exciting way to go through the scripts.  Now perhaps if her oldest brother had been present to read with her with his flair for the dramatic, she would have enjoyed it more.

More Pages from the Book

I have to say though I believe this book does have a lot to offer even a single student.  It is well-written and the information is informative.

You can find Rebecca Locklear on social media on Facebook by clicking here.  Also, be sure to visit Rebecca Locklear’s website and sign up for updates.  You can do this by going to her site, click on the blog tab, and fill out the form on the right side of your screen to join her mailing list.

So check out Rebecca Locklear‘s Exploring the U.S. Life-Saving Service 1878-1915: 17 Student Workshops with 120 Activities if your family is interested in maritime rescues.  Other members of the Home School Review are reviewing this book as well as The Mayflower at Cape Cod – Stories, activities, and research that connect 1620 with life today.  So click here or on the graphic below to read more reviews for Rebecca Locklear’s books.


#hsreviews #USLifeSavingService, #EarlyCoastGuard, #CoastalSearchandRescue, #CoastGuardHistory #maritimerescues



Posted in 2019 Home School Review Crew Posts, Home School Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling, Online Homeschool Programs, Unit Studies

Review of Techie Homeschool Mom’s Famous Artists Online Unit Study Volume 1


Today I want to introduce you to the tech-based learning discovery experiences of the Famous Artists Online Unit Study (Vol. 1) from Techie Homeschool Mom.  The unit studies from Techie Homeschool Mom are designed to integrate multiple subjects across multiple age levels.  This online unit study incorporates, information, activities, along with creating original artwork.  The online unit study is meant to be self-paced.


Beth Napoli, of Techie Homeschool Mom provides resources designed to guide learners in this ever-changing digital world.  From historical figures to famous artists to specific time periods and more, Techie Homeschool Mom has something for everyone.  These studies are designed for mid=elementary school children through middle school children.  Even though our daughter was outside of these age ranges, I still felt this product had something to offer our artistic daughter.

This online unit study provided an excellent amount of videos, text, audio files and more to help keep my daughter’s artistic mindset interested.  Once we were able to login to the course, the first section of the course provided detailed instructions on how the course was structured, how to used emaze (required to create an online digital art gallery.  Emaze is an additional site that is required for this particular unit study.  The instructions provided in the course made it easy to complete this task.


Once we were set up with emaze, our daughter quickly moved into learning about what is art.  Then the course moved into information about specific artists and their time periods including Leonardo da Vinci, John James Audobon, Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Georges Seurat, Gustav Klimt, Henri Matisse, Wassily Kandinsky, Pablo Picasso, and  Salvador Dali.  The one thing I loved about this unit study is that it is meant to be self-paced.  So if your student wants to take off on rabbit trails, they can do so easily.


Our daughter had to do a parody of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci.  She turned the Mona Lisa into a Medusa look-alike and I think she did a pretty good job.  However, when she found out I had shared the drawing with her father, she seemed to be rather surprised that I had done so.  Her brothers who saw the drawing thought she did an excellent job and were immediately able to recognize what she had done.

For each artist, our daughter had to create a word document in the program of our choice to record her thoughts and information regarding the Artistic Movement, the artist, artwork of the artist along with recording the information about the artwork.  One thing I liked as a parent is that students are given links to go to in order to find the artwork and information.  The videos are primarily contained within the online unit study, so children are not just wandering around the Internet without guidance.  I feel this material presented is age appropriate with the exception of the nudity.

If our daughter was younger, I would have previewed the course and the materials before allowing her to complete anything.  Because our daughter is 16 and I wanted to watch the materials with her, I decided to just have her begin the course.  If I had found anything objectionable, I would have either marked the section complete or found some way to minimize the information.


My one caution about this particular course is that it does contain nudity.  However, this information is clearly stated at the beginning of the study.  Parents are given the option to preview the lessons before their student completes them and have the ability to opt-out of any lessons they do not feel are appropriate for their child.  So with that stated, I definitely feel this course is one that should be done with parental supervision.

This course is self-paced meaning there is not a particular schedule to follow.  So I let our daughter work on the course at her own pace.  So we have completed through the Impressionism period.  For the Impressionism Period, I realized too late that we did not have the materials we needed for the project, so we just used what we had on hand and will go back later to do it properly as described by the course.

Here is a sample of one of our google docs of information.


Here is our daughter’s Mona Lisa parody.

IMG_3074 (1)

Here is the link to a video of our daughter’s online art gallery.



Here are the Techie Homeschool Mom’s Social Media Links:


All in all, I have to say our family is very pleased with the Famous Artists Online Unit Study (Vol. 1) from Techie Homeschool Mom.  So check it out for yourself.

Other members of the Home School Review Crew are reviewing other products from Techie Homeschool Mom including the Ancient Egypt Online Unit Study, the Ancient Greece Online Unit Study, the Ancient Rome Online Unit Study, the Famous Artists Online Unit Study (Vol. 1), the Famous Artists Online Unit Study (Vol. 2), the Solar System Online Unit Study, and the Famous Inventors Online Unit Study .

So click here or on the image below and check out more of these reviews of products from Techie Homeschool Mom for yourself.


Posted in #write28days, Homeschooling, Unit Studies

#write28days – Day 17 Unit Studies

28 Days of

Welcome to my 17th post for my series for #write28days.  Today I want to talk about Unit Studies.  With unit studies, you have the option of buying done-for-you unit studies that are simply open, acquire necessary resources and materials and go, or you have the option of creating your own unit studies for scratch.

Unit studies are thematic studies typically use a hands-on approach that keeps the interest of many students.  While we primarily used these when my children were younger, I feel they could work for any age.

The beauty of the first results from having everything already done and assembled in one resource for you.  Or at least you have the list of everything you need.  Amanda Bennett offers a variety of unit studies on her site.  She offers studies on everything from history to geography, faith, sports, science, holidays and more.


Another company that provides unit studies is Creation Illustrated and you can read my review for the Home School Review Crew for one of their unit studies here.

So if you are looking for something that provides hands-on learning opportunities, or maybe know your children have some specific areas they want to study, or perhaps you just need a break from your normal curriculum materials, check out the idea of unit studies for yourself.  Then let me know how it goes for you.  And if you already use unit studies, I would love to hear from you as well.




Posted in Home School Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling, Unit Studies

Review of Creation Illustrated’s Unit Studies




Creation Illustrated sent us two of their unit studies as well as gave us access to those magazines that go with those studies for us to review.  Science is one of those subjects that requires extra attention to selections for our 15-year-old daughter.  Typical textbooks fail to excite or inspire her.  So I am always on the look-out for products that bring out her desire to learn.  We looked forward to seeing how these unit studies would work for her.  We used these as a supplement to some other things we were already using for science.  We received the Snow Unit Study and the Pine Trees unit study along with two digital issues of Creation Illustrated, the Winter ’18 Digital Edition, and the Fall ’17 Edition.  The Winter ’18 Digital Edition provides the background material for the Snow Unit Study.  The Fall ’17 Digital Edition provides the background information for the Pine Trees unit study.

Creation Illustrated is a magazine that is published quarterly.  Our family originally discovered the magazine when we attended our first homeschool convention roughly 13-14 years ago. We loved the colorful and captivating nature of this magazine.  On their website under the “About Us” section, you can find their mission statement.  The first sentence reads, Our purpose is to share the wonders of God’s creation.”  I find they do an excellent job of fulfilling that mission.  Now they have moved into the realm of unit studies that go hand-in-hand with their magazines.


Our family focused on the Pine Trees unit study for this review.  We definitely were equally excited to get the Snow Unit Study as well.  Because these unit studies are designed for grades 5-8 and our daughter is in 9th grade, we used it primarily as a supplement.  The unit study includes a list of reading resources, a list of educational videos, vocabulary and spelling exercises, Bible study questions, geography, science, writing, penmanship, art and even puzzles.  Answer keys are provided for the teachers.


Students begin by reading a magazine selection from that corresponds to the subject being discussed.  So for our family read about Pine Trees.  The article was approximately five pages long and was very informative and interesting to read.  We loved the way Bible quotes were interspersed throughout the selection.  Our daughter was born in eastern North Carolina and lived there from her birth in 2004 until late 2008 when we moved to Pennsylvania.  Eastern North Carolina has a lot of pine trees.  So she was already familiar with the trees and the cones.  Although she has not had the opportunity to work on her art project yet, she is really looking forward to drawing her favorite pine tree, the cones, and its needles.  She will probably work on this as soon as she actually decides what her favorite pine tree actually is.  I think one of our favorite activities was the word search since we all enjoy doing them.


The other unit study is on snow, something else our family tends to enjoy.  Unfortunately, we have moved from Pennsylvania (where we got snow) to Texas where we do not get a lot of snow.  Once again this unit study includes activities for vocabulary, writing, Bible studies, art, science, geography and more.  I definitely plan on our daughter completing this study as well.

You can find Creation Illustrated on social media at:

So if you are looking for an interesting way to cover topics for science or a way to supplement your existing science program, check out Creation Illustrated‘s unit studies for Pine Trees and the Fall ’17 Digital Edition of Creation Illustrated as well as the Snow Unit Study along with the Winter’18 Digital Edition for yourself.  If you would like to read additional reviews by other members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.