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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Devonian GREEMU Oil Review #hsreviews #naturalbodycare #greemuoil #vegan

Greemu Devonian Review
I have been slowly replacing products full of chemicals with all natural products in our house. Recently we have been using GREEMU Oil from Devonian

When I first heard of GREEMU Oil I had no idea what it even was. So after doing some research I discovered that it is distributed from Koru Naturals and is the green alternative to emu oil. Last year I had the opportunity of trying emu oil from Koru Naturals and loved it so I was hoping the GREEMU oil was just as good. 
GREEMU Oil is a new blend of plant oils and butters with liquid compositions that match grade A emu oil. It is made up of macadamia seed oil, palm oil, shea butter, sunflower seed oil, and rice bran oil. It is safe to use on your skin and hair. Devonian says it will protect your skin from the elements and improve fine lines and wrinkles. It can be used as a dry hair treatment to reduce split ends and make your hair more manageable. 

My skin has always been very dry and my face burns very easily, my nose especially. It will burn and peel and burn and peel all summer. I have to use sunscreen a lot. Right after my oil arrived we were outside for a couple of hours. I had forgotten my sunscreen and thought I would be fine since it wasn't that hot and it was cloudy. I was wrong, my nose got sun burnt. I decided to try my new GREEMU oil and since lavender essential oil is supposed to be good for burns I mixed a couple of drops of lavender with my GREEMU oil. It felt nice and cool on my nose. I liked the way it felt on my skin so much I started using it on my face every night before bed. A couple of weeks later a friend from out of state was here visiting and she told me my skin looked really good and wanted to know what I used on my face. 

Alaina loves lotions, body washes, chap sticks, and all kinds of personal care items. She has a vast collection from friends and relatives. She also has very dry skin and after trying the GREEMU oil she quit using her smelly lotions and started using the GREEMU every night before bed. She said it makes her hands feel better than the lotions. 
Devonian is a company that is bringing plant based products to the beauty world. They focus on creating products from plants that replicate animal based products. They believe there is a plant alternative to all animal products. 

I still had a little bit of my emu oil left and we thought we would compare the two. They look, feel, and smell the same. After putting a drop of each into my hand none of us could tell which one was which.  
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YWAM Publishing Review #hsreviews #christianheroes #heroesthenandnow #christianbiographies #herobiographies #homeschoolcurriculum #homeschooling #americanhistory #americanhistorycurriculum #ywampublishing #truebiographies

Christian Heroes {YWAM Publishing Review}
My family loves biographies. We really enjoy getting to know people from the past that have changed the world we live in no matter how big or small their accomplishments. YWAM Publishing offers a wide variety of biographies and we just finished reading Heroes of History Milton Hershey: More Than Chocolate. Amber and Delaney also used the Digital Unit Study to go along with the book.
Christian Heroes {YWAM Publishing Review}
A couple of years ago we reviewed the Heroes of History book George Washington and unit study & my girls had to have a tea party like Martha Washington. This time when I showed my girls the choices to review they chose Milton Hershey. Why? They all three said they would have to sample some of his product to make this a well rounded study. 
The Milton Hershey book was written by Janet & Geoff Benge. It is a 192 page softcover book that is written in conversational style. It starts out with a young Milton and shows us the dedication and hard work this man put into his work. Although he only had a fourth grade education and everyone thought he would be a failure he didn't give up. His determination to perfect his sweets finally paid off. After succeeding in his endeavor he used his wealth to help others. 
The Digital Unit Study can be used in homeschool, classroom, or small groups. It is divided into eight chapters and includes history, geography, essay writing, creative writing, reading comprehension, public speaking, drama, and art. There is also an appendix that includes other books and resources to further the study of Milton Hershey. 
  1. Chapter 1~ Key Quotes - There are seven quotes you can study the meaning of or they can be used for memorization and penmanship. 
  2. Chapter 2~ Display Corner- This chapter suggests things you may want to collect to create a display of things relating to Milton Hershey's life.
  3. Chapter 3~ Chapter Questions- There are six questions for each chapter of the book. There is a vocabulary questions, factual questions, reading comprehension questions, and open-ended questions. 
  4. Chapter 4~ Student Explorations- This chapter contains the writing assignments, essay questions, projects, and arts & crafts.
  5. Chapter 5~ Community Links~ Examples of field trips that could relate to Milton Hershey are included in this chapter as well as some tips on getting the most out of a field trip.
  6. Chapter 6~ Social Studies- Here we use terms and vocabulary, utilize map skills, discuss Milton's journeys, and the places mentioned in the book.
  7. Chapter 7~ Related Themes to Explore- This section shows topics that are related to Milton Hershey's life. Utilizing all of these could expand the study tremendously.
  8. Chapter 8~ Culminating Event - This chapter gives ideas for a final project to finish up the unit study. 
I was originally planning on reading the book out loud and then having the girls use the study guide. Well, I was busy the first few days after receiving the book and the girls didn't want to wait. Amber and Delaney both read the book and completed the study guide on their own. Alaina wanted to read it also, but Amber wouldn't give it to her so Alaina made her read it out loud to her. We knew very little about Milton or how Hershey was started and we were very fascinated by his life and determination. 
The girls enjoyed working on the unit study. They really like the maps and the timeline that is included because it helps them to remember the order of things better and they can visually see where Milton's life unfolds. 

This book and unit study is recommended for ages 10+ but Amber and Delaney both wanted to read it. It didn't take them very long to finish reading it and to complete the unit study. They both like the way the books are written and they learned a lot about Milton. It has also sparked their curiosity and are utilizing the book and resource list that is included to learn more about Milton and chocolate. 

Even though the reading level is below what my older two girls read they both wanted to read this one. They like the Heroes of History books and they have even read a few just for fun.

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Twitter @YWAMpublishing

Christian Heroes {YWAM Publishing Review}
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Monday, April 25, 2016

The Old SchoolHouse Store Freebies #freebies

If you read my post from earlier in the month you saw that I have some great giveaways from The Old SchoolHouse Store. I am giving away:

Homeschooling Through High School Bundle 

The High School & Beyond Bundle
Naturally Clean and Organized

Just add each product to your shopping cart and enter the coupon code: LMCREW16. This code is good until the end of April.

Other members of the TOS Review Crew choose items they would like to giveaway. If you are looking at purchasing items from TOS you may want to take a look at what is free first. There are so many things available free. Everything from recipes, devotionals, organization, school of all ages, and even the Schoolhouse Library.

Castle View Academy
Ladybug Daydreams
Moment In Our World
At Home: Where Life Happens
Counting Pinecones
Carter Chaos
Hopkins Homeschool
Homemaking Organized
Our World Wide Classroom
Random Acts of Boyhood
There Will Be A Charge For Whining
A Glimpse of Normal
Mom's Plans
As We Bloom
Through The Open Window
Debbie's Homeschool Corner
Whispers of Grace
A Net In Time Schooling
Insane In The Mombrain
Homeschool Review
Homeschool Coffee Break
A Learning Journey
Creatively Crunchy Mom
Grace Christian Homeschool
Homestead Acres
Little Homeschool Blessings
Homeschooling for His Glory
Running With Spears
My Own Green Grass
The Natural Homeschool

All you have to do is visit each blog page to see what they are giving away and use each individual coupon codes. 

Disclaimer: As a member of  the Old SchoolHouse Review Crew I received a coupon code for each of my readers to obtain free products. No other compensation was received.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Writers in ResidenceReview #hsreviews #DebraBell #middleschoollanguagearts #middleschoolwriting @apologiaworld

Apologia: Writers in Residence Review
Writing is not something I have to force my youngest three kids to do, they enjoy writing. Alaina just needs some help getting her thoughts together and organized. The last several weeks she has been using the new Apologia Educational Ministries writing curriculum called Writers in Residence
Apologia: Writers in Residence Review
Writers in Residence Volume 1 by Debra Bell is recommended for grades 4-8. It includes writing and grammar instruction using a four day a week schedule. It comes with the Student Text & Workbook and the Answer Key. By helping kids understand language arts this program will help them create stories that people will want to read.

Volume 1-Apprentice is 576 pages and is divided into six units. Each unit has the student study a selected writing sample from famous authors and then uses it to inspire them in their own writing. The students work on writing sentences, creative writing, research writing, opinion essay, autobiography, and a short story by using four types of writing:
  • I Remember- These writing prompts have the students think about things they have done in their lives and has them master a personal narrative. 
  • I Imagine- Students look at fictional work and see how authors pull from their own experiences to create fiction. The creative writing assignments include short stories, poetry, and novels.
  • I Investigate- The writing prompts introduce research skills and writing.
  • I Think- Opinion essays are the last type of writing. This section in volume 1 is the first step to more formal arguments in later volumes.
Writers in Residence Student Text and Workbook is written directly to the student in a conversational tone and very easy for the student to understand what is going on. There are 24 modules and each section in the module is numbered. So Module 1 starts with 1.1 The Assignment: When I Was Young and goes to 1.16 Revisit: Writer's Questions. Then in the Suggested Daily Schedule all lesson numbers are included in that day's box. As the student reads through the modules there are boxes, questions, charts, and practice work mixed in. At the beginning of each module there is a rubric to show the student what they should focus on in the writing assignment. Then at the end there is a checklist with a point system to make awarding points easy. Parts of speech and punctuation are worked on throughout the book and the student gets to meet Christian writers in a question and answer spotlight. 

The Answer Key is an 144 page softcover book. The introduction explains how to use the answer key and how to evaluate the students writing by using the rubrics. It also contains all the assignments as they appear in the student book except the answers are completed. 
Alaina is 11 and she has been using Writers in Residence. As soon as we got our package open Alaina loved the book. It is very pretty with a bright green spiral coil and colorful squiggles throughout the book. The text boxes, outlines, tabs, and even the page numbers are colored. The next day we were at Hobby Lobby and she found some magnet book marks with colorful flowers and squiggles that would match her new book perfectly and she just had to have them. She keeps one on the page she is currently working on and another one on the Daily Schedule page so she can easily check off what she has completed. 

The way the modules are numbered make it very easy for Alaina to see what she needs to complete each day. And she loves creating little pictures inside the checkoff box on the schedule page. She also likes to compare her work to real authors and she loves that she has her own checklists and point system. 

One of the writing assignments in Module 1 Alaina was to write a story about a fictional version of herself with a super power and her archenemy. She was supposed to use vigorous verbs and some of her vocabulary words. Here is what she wrote:

I, Alaina, can turn invisible! I often save very sweet fruits from Evil Cheesecake Face. He steals them to look very handsome and they give him more energy when needed. I creep around with my invisible power and I stalk Evil Cheesecake Face to rescue the fruits. There is one fruit he seems to be very keen about and that is the sweet yet dull sparkle flavor you get in a blueberry. I do my best to save them with my invisible power. 
For the most part Alaina has been working on this on her own. We do go over the rubric and the checklist at the end together. I even give her some input in the points she earns. Alaina likes this program for the visual appearance and it has more of a notebooking look instead of a workbook. She loves pretty things and checklists and this has been a perfect fit for her. I think it is working for her because she sees a purpose in her writing. By comparing professional authors with her writing she can visually see how her writing can become something other people will want to read. 

Volume 2: Journeyman, Volume 3: Craftsman, and Volume 4: Master Craftsman are forthcoming and I'm hoping they are ready when Alaina is finished with volume 1. 

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Monday, April 18, 2016

NIKEiD Customized Soccer Cleats #nikeid #bestbirthdaygiftever #birthday

Amber turned 15 last month. For her birthday we gave her customized soccer cleats. Of course we didn't pick them out because that's part of the fun. Of course she chose Nike because that is what she wears now and loves them. She spent a couple of weeks designing shoes. She finally settled on the ones she wanted and we ordered them on April 2, 2016. She was so excited waiting for them to arrive. The UPS man just showed up at our door today and it was for her. It only took 16 days from the day we ordered them for them to arrive at our door. 

So far she is very pleased with her NIKEiD order. It has been raining here for the last three days and it is muddy outside so she is just wearing them inside tonight. She can't wait for practice this week.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

HomeschoolCopyworkReview #hsreviews #copywork #charlottemason #handwritingworksheets

Homeschool Copywork Review
As homeschool moms sometimes we have to get creative in our kids school work. The Lifetime Membership from Homeschool Copywork is one product that was created because Amy Blevins wanted copywork pages for her own six homeschooled children.

Copywork has so many benefits for our children. Not only does it help them have nice hand writing and memorization, it also helps the child to see how sentences are structured including grammar, letter placement, and capital letters. It can also be used for dictation to help the child write properly what they hear.
Delaney's copywork

Homeschool Copywork offers a Lifetime Membership and a Yearly Membership. I think those are self explanatory. The Lifetime lasts forever and the Yearly is for one year. There is copywork for high school, middle school, early and upper elementary levels covering a variety of topics. There are also some notebooking pages and pictures to color.

You can navigate the site by choosing the appropriate grade level for your kids. Since my kids are older I started looking in the junior high-high school section first. There is copywork for composers, artists, scripture, famous poets, character building, holidays, hymns studies, and even Dragons of the Bible. Upper and Early Elementary cover a lot of the same topics plus things younger kids love or need like the alphabet and transportation. Some of the copywork could be used with different age groups. The same passage is provided on several different pages but some are in print and some are in cursive.

I had my girls start with Beethoven Quotes from Composers. This ebook has 38 pages and can be used with students of multiple ages. There are six quotes from Beethoven. The first section the words are dotted so children can trace the letters, then there is print letters, D'nealian letters, and cursive. In these all the quotes and blank spaces for the child to write is lined. Then there is a set of quotes in print and cursive that are not underlined. The section where the child writes is still lined just not the quote itself. Each quote has a colored picture of Beethoven starting when he was a boy and progressing through his life.

We also used The Story of the Rainbow Copywork. This one is 19 pages long and uses Genesis 9:8-17 from the English Standard Version of the Bible. This passage is printed on the first page and then the next page Lynn Tolley tells us what the rainbow means to her. This copywork starts with three pages with just one word for younger children and then moves on to scripture quotes in print and cursive. Some of the pages have rainbows to color and others have colored photos.

I really like for my girls to use some type of copywork every day. We don't spend very much time on it, but even a few minutes a day helps. When they are memorizing scripture I always have them write it to make it easier to remember. I have made copywork pages in the past or searched online for something that would work, but sometimes I get lazy and tell my kids to just use an index card or spiral bound notebook. They actually prefer having a copy page that is very pretty to look at and has a photo or a picture to color included on it. Having access to Homeschool Copywork makes it so much easier to give my girls what they like. The pages they have completed are very pretty and they look really nice in a notebook instead of random pieces of paper and index cards.

Homeschool Copywork would be a great addition to any homeschool. There are so many topics included and I'm sure Amy Blevins will be adding more as she creates them for her own children. Make sure you head over to the Crew Blog to read which titles the other crew members used with their children.

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Homeschool High School Help Freebies #freebies #highschoolhelps #homeschoolfreebies #naturallyclean #cleaningrecipes

Years and years ago I started subscribing to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. I loved reading the magazine from cover to cover including every add, and I still read the free version. In 2010 I started writing reviews for The Old Schoolhouse Family and we were even featured as one of the families in the online magazine.

This company is so much more than a magazine now. We have used so many products from and the The Old Schoolhouse Store. And for the month of April I have the opportunity to give away three download products from The Old Schoolhouse Store. I got to choose what I wanted and everyone of my readers can use my coupon code for one product or all three.

Even though we homeschooled two through High School already now that my younger girls are getting older I chose the Homeschooling Through High School Bundle, High School & Beyond Bundle, and since I want to start using more natural cleaners in my home I chose Naturally Clean and Organized.

Homeschooling Through High School Bundle is actually two products in one. Book #1 is Homeschooling the High Schooler and Book #2 is Help, Lord! I'm Getting Ready to Start Homeschooling My High Schooler. These books deal with planning a high school course load, how to convert extracurricular activities to high school credits, why transcripts are important, college checklists, information for entrepreneurs, and stories from homeschool moms who have been there. 

The High School & Beyond Bundle also contains more than one book. E-book #1 Career Exploration, e-book #2 Transcripts, CLEPS, and Other Ways, e-book #3 Career Training, Mentorship and Parenthood, and e-book #4 College Success Begins at Home. This bundle is to help your child decide what they want to do when they are finished with their homeschool.

Naturally Clean and Organized is a planner to help you get your house organized and clean. There are plans, checklists, schedules, to-do lists, and printable labels for you homemade cleaning products.

To use the coupon code just head over to The Old Schoolhouse Store and put the books you want in your shopping cart. When prompted enter LMCREW16 as your coupon code

These Freebies are only good until the end of April 2016.
Coupon Code: LMCREW16 

Disclaimer: As a member of The Schoolhouse Review Crew I received a coupon code to give to all of my readers. I was also allowed to receive these three products free. All opinions are my own and no other compensation was received. 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Stopmotion ExplosionReview #hsreviews #legoanimation #StopMotion #STEMLearning

Stopmotion Explosion Review
Some of my girls favorite videos around the web are short funny stopmotion animation. They can watch those short clips over and over again. Amber and Delaney were thrilled when I told them we were getting the Stopmotion Explosion Animation Kit from Stopmotion Explosion to review. 

Stopmotion Explosion Review
You might be wondering what stopmotion is. Think back a few years to Gumby. That would be considered a stopmotion animation. It is actually an animation where you move an object in small increments and take a picture of it. When the pictures are played as a sequence the object appears to be moving.

The Stopmotion Explosion Animation Kit comes with everything you need to make a stopmotion video. It  comes a 720p HD video camera with internal microphone, manual focus, and a clip. The 290+ page Stopmotion Explosion book, and the animation software.

The camera is pretty basic. It connects to the computer via the USB port and it has a clip attached to mount it on anything to capture the images. It has a ring around it to focus and a button on the top to capture a picture.

The software was very easy to install. I just inserted the CD and followed the on-screen instructions. We received the software CD, but if you do not have a CD drive on your computer you can get the program from a download.
We received two books. One is a Quick Start Guide and the other is the Stopmotion Explosion book. The Quick Start Guide helps you get started right away. The main book is very detailed and walks you through the entire process of creating a Stopmotion Animation on a Windows computer or a Mac. It covers every step of the way including adding sound, video editing, frame conversion, and sharing your videos. There is also useful information about using the camera, building a set, choosing characters, creating stories, and the lighting. Information on how films work, the history of  film, and using a DSLR in animation is also included.

My girls were so excited to get started using this. I downloaded the software the very day we received it in the mail. Amber is 15 and she read through the Quick Start Guide first so they could hurry up and get started. She also read the Stopmotion Explosion book and figured out what needed to be done to finish a film. They spent several days just messing around and capturing images. They laughed and laughed every time they worked with this. They used their dolls, their Lego Friends, markers, just anything that was laying around the room when they were taking pictures. They thought this was more fun than actual learning. Amber learned the most from using this. Not only did she learn how to make a stopmotion film, but she also learned how to switch to an external camera and microphone instead of using the built-in one on the laptop. We also had a couple of technical issues probably because we were using an older laptop. She figured out how to troubleshoot those and got everything back on track.

We received the Stopmotion Explosion Animation Kit, but if you already own a camera to use you may purchase the book and download the software. There is also a Content Hub that offers Stopmotion  education and inspiration through their blog, news, and tutorials. Make sure you stop over and read some other reviews and watch their Stopmotion Animation films.

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Twitter @stopmoexplosion

Stopmotion Explosion Review
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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Last Ride Review

Susan K. Marlow is one of my kids favorite authors. We have reviewed several of her books, have purchased others, and Alaina has even made a lapbook using one of her books. Her newest book The Last Ride is just as good as the rest of her books if not better. My entire family loved it.

In The Last Ride Andrea Carter is turning 16 and finishing up school. Her sister is planning a wedding and her brother's wife just had a baby. Andi can't wait for school to be over. She will finally be able to work full time on the Circle C Ranch and have more time to work with Taffy's colt. Everything seems to be going great for Andi until her cousin Daniel comes from New York to stay on the ranch. Daniel's character is very lacking and Andi tries to persuade him into making the right choices. Daniel doesn't listen and Andi finds out some secrets he is hiding. After Daniel's behavior causes Andi heartache she hardens her heart toward everyone.

I read this book out loud to my family during our read aloud time. It was hard to keep my girls from reading ahead, even my husband wanted me to keep reading longer every night. I was almost finished with the book and Mike knew he would be working the next evening when I would finish the book, so he had to finish it that night before he went to bed. We love reading stories of Andi's life as she grows up. There is plenty of excitement, adventure, and forgiveness. The more books we read from Susan K. Marlow the more we love her stories. It helps that my girls love horses, but they also feel like they personally know the characters. 

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of The Last Ride as part of a Kregel Blog Tour. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own. 

Fishing Cake #lisacayscakes #wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday at Life at Rossmont
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