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“That’s not something Jesus would say.” – Comparison Girl ~ a book review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the I READ WITH AUDRA in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Comparison Girl - a challenge to listen to Jesus and learn to _pour out_ rather than _measure up_

Right from the start, Shannon Popkin has me nailed. And probably most of us. We compare ourselves to others – all over the place, in all sorts of situations. We are listening to the wrong voice because we are under attack. Jesus would not ask us to measure ourselves against someone on this earth to decide if we are good enough, right enough, or any other kind of enough. Comparison Girl: Lessons from Jesus on Me-Free Living in a Measure-Up
World tackles each of us – this comparison girl – and guides us to hear a different voice. (There is a giveaway link at the end of this review to win a copy of the book.)

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Comparison Girl is a brand-new publication from Shannon Popkin, published by Kregel Publication. It is about 200 pages of Jesus-focused study. Using the Bible to help guide our thinking and understanding, we visit the words of Jesus to learn to listen to His voice. Designed as a 6-week study to be using individually or as a group study (recommended by author), there are also videos to accompany the book for those interested.

Mrs. Popkin describes learning to hear Jesus’ voice by reading what she calls his red-letter comparisons. See, as she reminds us, Jesus himself uses comparison to direct our thinking to the type of attitude that chooses to “pour out. rather than the type of attitude that constantly compares to see how we “measure up.” Looking at the red-letter comparisons Mrs. Popkin found some of these “pouring out” attitudes:

  • The greatest among us is she who serves.
  • She who exalts herself will be humbled and she who humbles herself will be exalted.
  • She who is first will be last. She who is last will be first.
  • and more

The teachings of Jesus are where we need to find our comparisons because Jesus leads our thinking to be like His thinking. And isn’t that the goal? When you know the voice of your shepherd, you follow none other. This is what Mrs. Popkin found in her studies of the red-letter comparisons of Jesus. So, she wants to direct us to hear Jesus’ voice and to recognize the lies of the hiss coming from Satan.

The analogies used are strong and really get the point across well. (in lesson 1) I especially enjoy the picture of the measuring cup. After talking a bit about how we tend to measure ourselves against others, Mrs. Popkin then has us mentally tip the cup so that you are now “pouring out.” When you are pouring from the measuring cup, the lines are no longer of any significance. We can no longer “measure up” because we are too busy “pouring out.” That image resounds well with me. And this is just one example of how practical application is woven throughout this study.

There are 6 chapters plus an introduction and a conclusion. Each chapter is designed to take a week, with five parts in each. Each part has a good bit of scripture woven in. There is a reading to start each day. Don’t skip these as they are the foundation of the thoughts for the day. Woven throughout each day’s lessons, there are many more scriptures. I pulled each one up to read and follow the thinking. Sometimes reading the greater context of the scripture, more than the single verse or part of a verse quoted, I got a greater understanding. Looking up and reading the scriptures drawn on for the lesson really does help push that lesson deeper into your heart.

The conversational tone and practical application, plus the raw revealing of the author’s own insecurities and failures in the areas she is talking about make this a very easy to read study. It draws the reader in and help you feel comfortable opening your own heart a bit and taking a look at which voice you are truly listening to. What a good study this is.

About The Author:

Screenshot 2020-05-19 at 9.24.28 AMShannon Popkin is a writer, speaker, and Bible teacher who loves pointing others to the truth of God’s Word. She combines her gifts for humor and storytelling with her passion for Jesus. She regularly speaks at Christian women’s events and retreats, encouraging women of all ages to put their hope in God.

Popkin is also a regular contributor for the Revive Our Hearts True Woman and Leader Connection blogs. Her articles have been published by Family FunFocus on the Family MagazineMOMsense and others. She is the author of several books, including Control Girl: Lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control from Seven Women in the BibleInfluence: Building a Platform That Elevates Jesus (Not Me), and Comparison Girl: Lessons from Jesus on Me-Free Living in a Measure-Up World.

Popkin and her husband, Ken, have been married for more than twenty years and live in West Michigan. They have three children—one in high school and two in college.

Connect with Shannon Popkin by visiting www.shannonpopkin.comfollowing her on Facebook (shanpopkin)Instagram (shannonpopkin), or Twitter (@ShannonPopkin).

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

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Visit the link to enter to win a copy of Comparison Girl by Shannon Popkin, hosted by “I Read With Audra.”

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Mastering Essential Math Skills ~ a Crew review

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.

Mastering Math Skills

Math is a subject that we strive to be consistent on – consistent in our choice of curriculum, consistent in our daily requirements, consistent in our approach. It is easy, especially with math, to say “This isn’t working. I need something else.” Much of the time that something else is just a bit of practice and changing up how you do that practice can be very helpful. Enter Math Essentials. They have several products but for practice, we have been using Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 Middle Grades/High School.

Mastering Essential Math Skills

Mastering Essential Math Skills is not a complete curriculum in itself but is meant to supplement something else and provide practice on skills that need refreshing or strengthening. That is how we used this book with our 11 year old, rising 6th grade student – practice on the things that need reviewed and/or practiced for speed and accuracy.

The book is set up simply:

  • introductory notes to the teacher or parent and on using the book
  • table of contents, skill by skill with page numbers – includes whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percent, geometry, integers, charts and graphs, and word problems
  • workbook pages (5-127 are the student work pages)
  • answer key (128-148)
  • glossary, important symbols chart, multiplication table, common prime numbers chart, square and square root chart, and fraction/decimal equivalent chart

The plan? One page a day should take approximately 20 minutes and then on to the regular curriculum lesson for the day. Designed to fit neatly into a classroom schedule, it works beautifully in a homeschool setting. Actually, it may fit even better because when we found a skill that was stumbled over, we always corrected work with the student talking about her mistake or we repeated the page when there was a good bit missed and it was clear something wasn’t understood or remembered. This ability to customize the use of the book is just one more reason homeschooling is so student focused and Mastering Essential Math Skills fits perfectly to this customization.

So what does a page look like? There are five sections to each page.

  1. speed drillsSpeed Drills – These are two sets of problems, one is an addition set and one a multiplication set. The teacher chooses the number of the day – say 2 – and the student goes around the circle as quickly as possible, adding 2 to each number and writing the answer in the outside ring. In the other circle, the student multiplies each number by 2. We would set a timer for this section and see how quickly Miss J could complete it. If it took her longer than a minute, we used the same number the next day.
  2. Review Exercises – 4 problems that review much simpler concepts and should not take the student long.
  3. helpful hints sectionHelpful Hints – Tips and ideas that will help the student solve more quickly. These can be as simple as a reminder like “find the difference” means to subtract (p 7) or “Add as many zeroes as necessary.” for dividing decimals (p 63). Some of the tips could also be a reminder to draw a diagram or find a formula to help.
  4. Problems – There are two sample problems for the teacher and student(s) to work together and then 10 problems for the student to work individually. There is an answer box on the right for the student to put the answer in to make grading easier if the teacher has a large number of books to grade.
  5. Problem Solving – Each page has one word problem related to the concept for the student to solve. This is a great way to include word problems without the overwhelm of a whole unit just on word problems.

completed page

Each day, Miss J completed one page. We would correct it together, talking about her mistakes. The pages did not have tons of room on them for her to work her problem so she often had to get scrap paper to work on and then transferred her answer to the worksheet. If your student writes small and neat, there is likely plenty of room. We are still trying to reach that point, though. We did have several times where we repeated a day but we have finished the whole numbers section of the book.

working on a page

We are going to be using this a piece at a time, not the whole book all at once. But as Miss J works through a sections, such as the decimals that she just finished in her main curriculum, we will pull this book and use some of the pages to review while she moves on in her other curriculum. Once she moves past the geometry in her main math, we’ll move to that section and use the pages that fit what she knows.

A different options would be to use this as your main math but to complete more than one page each day in it, taking time to teach and review any concepts that are not already known. But since these are skills that should be understood by high school, a semester of solid review is not a bad thing. And some sections could easily be flown through, like adding and subtracting with whole numbers.

No Nonsense AlgebraOne note – there are videos available to accompany this book. We did use them since we were in the whole numbers section but they might be helpful in some of the other, more advanced sections. There is a video set for each main concept section of the book and the information on how to access them is shared in the front of the book.

We have used products from Math Essentials before. We reviewed No-Nonsense Algebra a while back and Miss E used it for her algebra I class. Miss L will use it next fall when she begins algebra I. We like the easy and simplicity of the books and definitely recommend them where they fit your need.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Please visit the Homeschool Review Crew to read additional reviews on Mastering Essential Math Skills Book 2 Middle Grades/High School but to also find reviews on No-Nonsense Algebra and on Math Refresher for Adults. Click on the banner below.

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Art School with Beyond the Stick Figure ~ a Crew review

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.

art class

One thing I used to think was that art was only for the talented people, those who could do something magical with any medium they picked up. I have recently discovered that doesn’t have to stand true if it brings pleasure. Even more importantly, experience with has shown me that growth can happen in unexpected ways and I am not nearly as “bad” as I thought I was. Beyond the Stick Figure Art School is a program that has helped me see the joy in just creating, regardless of the outcome. And anyone can do it!

beyond the stick figure

We have been using Beyond the Stick Figure Complete Drawing Course PLUS 3 Bonus Courses for a few weeks now and I have found it a uniquely interesting experience. Beyond the Stick Figure Art School is taught by an art teacher with art teaching experience AND homeschooling experience. Sally is familiar with the challenges to teaching in both arenas and combines them together in a video subscription class for all ages that really is quite a bit of fun. The class includes the drawing course, pen and ink instruction, a watercolor course, an acrylics course, and a 3D sculpting course. These are definitely beginner level classes but I wouldn’t be surprised to see more advanced courses arrive on the website at some point.

This online subscription has a simple login and dashboard.

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Just click into the course and find where you are. If you are working through it in order (highly recommended), just go to the next area not marked complete. (The yellow circle with a check shows completed.) If not, you will need to have noted where you left off. Click on the lesson and get started on the next video.

Each video is short – often less than 5 minutes. Sally gives clear instructions on what to do and what materials to use. Each section of instruction includes a video on the specific materials needed for the set of lessons.

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We watched the video and then did the lesson. Sometimes, it was a simple line that needed completed. Sometimes, it was filling in a large space with crosshatches and it took a good bit of time. If needed, it was easy to pause the video to complete an instruction before moving on.

The drawing lessons were quite unique in the start (Drawing Part 1 – 17 topics), when we worked on circles, dots, curved lines, and straight lines. Some of the lessons had downloadable workbooks but we chose not to use those as they didn’t seem to fit the age of my students well. My 16 year old and my 11 year old both enjoyed working on these abstract-style pieces. The practice was helpful and yielded colorful, fun pieces.

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The next set of lessons (Drawing Part 2 – 33 topics) was similar but worked with different sets of lines and spacings. Each one had a template that needed downloaded and printed. Some of these were mixed up, as we found out after saying “this doesn’t quite match up but we can make it work.” The next one we needed to download – BINGO – that was what we had needed in the previous lesson. No worries, though. We did just fine.

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This series is intended to be the prep work for Drawing Part 3, which allows the student to use each of the different shapes from Drawing Part 2 to create a full-sized drawing of a flower. Honestly, we never got there. The lessons in Drawing Part 2 got tedious and we didn’t see a purpose to them as we didn’t know where they were leading. Once I knew that, it made sense but I had lost the girls at that point. So, I continued on without them and jumped to the Pen and Ink lessons.

The Pen and Ink lessons were tons of fun for me. I really enjoyed them. It started with a super small drawing (about 2 x 2 inches), just to get the feel of drawing with the pen. That small drawing had a watercolor wash over it. It was a fun little piece.

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Then, we worked on the tree. I adored this set of lessons and wish there were more like it. I felt like I was accomplishing something and I was fairly pleased with my finished product. I learned how to transfer images, how to use the pen in different ways to get different effects, and how to finish off a piece with a unique colorwash effect. This got the girls interested in the lessons again and we have it scheduled to work on soon.

 

I also started on the acrylics portion. I got the cloud painting done and would like to get a board to do the next part. I might splurge and get some paints, too.

 

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I skipped over the watercolor part because I didn’t love working with the watercolors we had (that I had used for the colorwashes on the pen and ink pieces) and I didn’t have a way to get a better quality. This was the only experience that I had with the quality of materials affecting my enjoyment of learning, where I think it made a difference. While I understand that an artist really feels the difference of the high-quality, expensive materials, it just is not something I am willing to spend the money on when my girls are still trying to figure out what is of long-term interest to them. So, we used the markers we had (often Sharpies), the watercolors we had (from the girls art sets that are not high quality), and the acrylics that we have on hand for craft projects. We used the mixed media pad of paper for some of the projects but the printer paper worked perfectly for the drawing lessons.

Overall, this was a very different style program. It has it’s high points, for sure. If you are looking for a fairly low-prep art class for the home, this is an interesting one to take a look at.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Be sure to visit the Homeschool Review Crew and read what other families thought about Beyond the Stick Figure Art School, viewing their completed projects.

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Beyond the Stick Figure

Keeping The Faith: A Study in Jude ~ a book review

#freeproductreceived
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book through Side Door Communications for the purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Keeping The Faith title

Jude has been an interesting book of the Bible to me, mainly because it is so short. It is easy to skip right past it or to read it but just move right on. For precisely this reason, I was interested in using the six week study on the book of Jude titled Keeping The Faith: A Study In Jude. It is written by Lianna Davis and is published by Moody Publishers.

Keeping The Faith is a rich study of the text of Jude and how it works together with so many other passages in the word of God. Mrs. Davis helps us view the text of Jude as it weaves together in meaning and language with other things God has spoken in his Word.

Keeping The Faith is a 6 week study. Each week has an introduction and five daily studies. The introduction is meant to help us view the weekly idea and prepare our minds to focus on that in each of the daily studies. The 5 daily studies each have a narrative written by Mrs. Davis and questions designed to get the student reading and considering more deeply the ideas.

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The narratives often quote other authors, bringing together some great minds to help the student see the bigger idea and bring it together in daily life. It runs 2 or 3 pages, some a bit longer. It is a simple read most of the time, yet it prepares the reader to delve into the idea deeper with the questions.

The questions often focus on Bible passages and how they tie together. Looking up these passages is essential for proper understanding of what is being asked. The questions also require thought and self-assessment, considering the application to the individual’s life.

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Keeping The Faith focuses on “keeping.” What are you keeping, as a contender of the faith for Christ? The weekly topics are Keeping in Truth, Keeping in Grace, Keeping the Soul, Keeping the Body, and He Is Able To Keep Us. This is not a straight verse-by-verse working through of the book but rather tying the verses together through these ideas and strains that run through all 23 verses of Jude.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading through this study and working through it with my Bible by my side. I appreciated that aspect of it – it is necessary to have your Bible open and look up the various passages to fully gain the idea being addressed.

I do wish it has focused less on the denominational aspects. There were some truly denominational things in the book; she often referred to the “Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy” and “Article of Affirmation and Denial.” She also asks questions worded in ways that bothered me quite a bit. These included statements such as “As a lay Christian. . . ”

I wish these were left out because we should be focusing solely on God’s word. Mrs. Davis does a fabulous job of keeping God’s word center stage for most of this study but by including these and referring to them, she causes me to question a lot more about where her information comes from and the direction she was going with things.

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Two other things that would be helpful: a different color text and I a guide of some sort to go along with the questions. The text was a light blue for the questions and difficult to read. Some of the question purposes were not clear and so I struggled to find an answer or a way to answer that made sense.

Overall, I enjoyed this study of Jude and was able to gain from it. If you are looking for something to guide you through the book of Jude, this would be a good one. Just proceed knowing that there is a denominational influence. And enjoy the study of Jude.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

 

Fermentools for Easy Fermenting ~ a Crew review

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.

Fermenting made Easy

Have you heard more and more about how good fermented foods are for you but are a bit timid about getting started? Me, too! Fermentools is a company that really simplifies what is needed to get started and has kits available that get you going right away. I received the Starter Kit for this review.

Fermentools-Logo

Fermentools is a family company, begun in 2013. Cassie and Alex Deputie are the current owners and they have a passion for healthy eating and healthy lifestyles. They want to share this with others and run Fermentools as a family. Every package shipped from Fermentools is packed with care.

The Starter Kit contained the following pieces to get me started on my fermented foods journey:Starter-Kit

  • 1 stainless steel lid
  • 1 glass fermentation weight (fits into a wide mouth jar)
  • 1 air lock
  • 1 rubber stopper with hole for air lock
  • 1 rubber stopper without hole
  • 1 rubber gasket
  • Himalayan powdered salt
  • Instruction guide and information, including a basic sauerkraut recipe

I had to find a wide mouth canning jar but this system will fit on a pint or quart jar. I used a quart because it is the only wide mouth jar I could find at the house.

All materials in the Starter Kit are of the highest quality. Surgical quality stainless steel and thick glass weights allow you to have an easier time of learning to ferment food. The salt is powdered, which means it dissolves more easily, and it is high quality containing many of the trace minerals our bodies need. Whether you are ordering a started kit or any of their other sets and pieces, you will get this same high quality and it will be packed with care.

Sauerkraut getting ready with Fermentools

Fermentools air lock system with sauerkraut

I started with sauerkraut since it was inexpensive (a head of cabbage was only a couple of dollars), just in case I made a mistake and had to throw the whole thing out. I chopped the cabbage, pounded it until the liquid came out, packed it into the jar, and added the brine (based off of the size of jar and using the measurement on the salt package).I added the thick glass weight to keep the cabbage submerged during the fermentation process. I added the lid and the air lock system, designed to allow some safe air flow but to keep out pests and bacteria that you don’t want. I covered it and left it sitting in a dark corner of the counter for about 10 days.

sauerkraut made easily with the Fermentools Starter Kit

I bravely took the cover off and then the lid and air lock system. The sauerkraut smelled right and looked right, so I braved a taste, absolutely sure I had bombed somehow. It tasted – well – good. Salty but good! The briney taste was just right. I was so surprised but pleased. I replaced the air lock lid with a regular canning lid and put it in the fridge. I have eaten a couple of tablespoons a day since, especially enjoying it with sausage one night at dinner. No one else has wanted to eat any but that’s okay for now.

sauerkraut with sausage and cauliflower made with Fermentools

My other food trial was fermented Israeli salad. I was, happily, educated on this yummy salad by another Crew member. When she talked about it, I just knew I had to try it. I mean, cucumbers, bell peppers, onions? What else could you want? Plus, it had a short ferment time. That was really good because I really wanted to try this salad.

fermented Israeli Salad

I found a recipe for it on the Fermentools site and just layered it all into the jar.  I added the brine and let it sit for about 24 hours. YUM!!! I ate about 2/3 of it for dinner that night. The rest I ate for dinner tonight. 🙂 This is a definite recommend!

I am going to continue trying a few different fermented food using this simple system. I know that with the family medical history I have, eating fermented foods is a great way to try to stay healthy and keeping a healthy gut. This system makes fermenting small amounts of food easy.

Fermentools-Discount-Coupon-April-to-June-2020

However, if you have a bigger harvest or find a great buy at the farmer’s market, Fermentools has kits in larger quantities and/or you can buy the pieces you need. I highly suggest that if you are interested at all, take advantage of the coupon the company is offering right now. You just might find yourself surprised at how easy it is to ferment food and change one small part of your diet to be a bit healthier.

Coupon Code: CREW2020
Amount: 15% discount
Good through: June 30, 2020

If you have questions, the Fermentools website has lots of answers and a contact form to ask questions through. You can also connect with them on social media:

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

The Homeschool Review Crew had over 60 families trying Fermentools and their Starter Kit. Visit the Crew to read what they had to say by clicking on the graphic below.

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The Hidden Message ~ a Crew review

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.

The Hidden Message of the Great Seal

Searching out information and finding meaning is something many people in our world today relate to. Michael Kanis is the author of The Hidden Message of the Great Seal
How Foundational Truth From The Dawn Of Liberty May Rescue A Republic In Peril. In this book from The Hidden Message, LLC, he is seeking to share the information he has found in his own personal search to find meaning in the seal of the United States.


Michael Kanis has made his career in business, through technology, innovation, and wholesale distributions. His faith in God has been a guide and that becomes very clear when looking at his work in The Hidden Message of the Great Seal. It is evident that he has done many hours of research and reading in order to write this, though his background in not in history.

The Hidden Message of the Great Seal takes a look at the seal of the United States of America. Mr. Kanis looks at the designers, the committees that had input, at Congress and its makeup, and many more aspects of the times that would have affected the purpose and design of the seal. It is abundantly clear that this is fascinating to Mr. Kanis.

The Hidden Message book cover

The Hidden Message of the Great Seal is a large, heavy book of over 250 pages. At  9″ x 12″, it is easiest to read at a table. The glossy, full color pages are beautiful and add to the high quality feel of the book. It has 25 sections, including a section of endnotes. Each section deals with a very minute detail of the seal and where it possibly came from. There are many possible influences on each of the images on the seal and Mr. Kanis digs to try to tie these influences together.

Some things Mr. Kanis explored include the glory (the radiating beams of light), the eye, the mottos, and the pyramid. He shares his research and his understanding of how an item like a coin from the time of Justin II (AD 570) is reflected in the pyramid of the seal of the US.

He sees a connection through time of things from long ago, many years before the founding of the US, to today. He believes that there is a message that the founding fathers wanted us to find. He believes that he has found that message and shares it in The Hidden Message of the Great Seal.

My Thoughts:

I found the section on Unity (chapter 22) interesting. A couple of quotes from the chapter that stood out to me:

  • Disunity always weakens. (p 234)
  • Unity is a precious thing; it provides strength to do what cannot be accomplished alone. (p 234)
  • We will never unify around methods; there are always multiple ways to do anything. But we can unify around our shared values.  Values supercede politics, religion, ethnicity, geography, or industry. They are in fact what define us as Americans. (p 235)

I also found the reports to Congress to be of great significance. These are on pages 22 and 23. I found myself referring to them often while reading through The Hidden Message of the Great Seal.

reports to Congress

I found this a difficult book to read. I found the connections Mr. Kanis was trying to make difficult to follow. I admire his research and his dedication to what he wanted to accomplish but I struggle to believe that a message was hidden for so long and only revealed to him, which is what is implied in the reading of the book. There is some really interesting information shared in this book. I found it interesting but I did struggle to follow his logic and reasoning.

An additional note is that the book was edited by students and would benefit from a professional editing. Many of the written references to images are wrong and there are some important endnotes that are missing, particularly scripture references.

If you enjoy deep, challenging reads, this is a great book for you. It will allow you to consider and follow some unusual connections and connect to history in a unique way.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Other members of the Homeschool Review Crew have read this book and are sharing their thoughts. Find them by clicking on the image below.

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The Hidden Message pin

History on Horseback ~ a Crew book review

History on Horseback_ The Early Years_ 1493 to 1886

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.

I find as I get older that I enjoy reading non-fiction history books more and more. I still enjoy historical fiction but the non-fiction is something that I am more drawn to. History on Horseback: The Early Years is one that really caught my attention and I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Sonrise Stable Books publishes this softback book written by Vicki Watson.

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The premise of this particular style of storytelling is “what if horses could talk? What would they tell us about history?” Vicki Watson found this idea fascinating and explored it, just like we try to encourage our students to do. And what she found was the makings of a unique history book – one that tells the story of America through the animals, particularly horses, mules, and donkeys.

History on Horseback: The Early Years: 1493 to 1866 covers a pretty good sized chunk of America’s history. The horses played some pretty significant roles during those years, whether as pack animals, work animals, or entertainment. This book includes 54 chapters, including a preview chapter from volume 2.

The stories run the gamut from straight out of a historical book to fun and unique horses. You can read about the horses that were first brought to the Americas all the way through some of the specific horses from both the Union and Confederate armies of the Civil War. There are chapters about horses working for the Lewis and Clark Expedition through those used in coal mines. There are chapters on the specific horses some of the presidents used and talk about entertainment like pack burro races.

Two of my favorite stories were the one on the Pony Express and the ones about the ponies in the mines.  The Pony Express was a unique moment in history that lasted only about 19 months but was certainly an important step in the history of the country. It was part of what brought east and west together. And it was interesting.

Pony Express chapter from History on Horseback

The stories about the horses in the mines were much sadder. They were often kept underground, though they were loved by their handlers and well taken care of for the most part. The information was really interesting reading for me.

It has been fun to pull this out to read a section that relates to other things that we are reading or talking about. I would share with the girls a chapter when I read something really interesting or when it aligned with something else we were taking about or reading about.

I can’t see us using this as an actual curriculum as it, by nature, has to jump over large chunk of years in history and important events in history. However, there is a planned activity guide that should be coming out soon; watch the website or sign up for their email to get notified. This guide might help me to see how to use this more as a curriculum rather than a supplement. But it is a really good, interesting supplement.

The images throughout the book are black and white. Many are old photographs or drawings. Many are pieces of artwork. They do a really good job of illustrating the topic. They are beautiful, as can be seen on this title page below.

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The information in History on Horseback appears to be really well researched. There is a long list of sites and books used to research the information. There are plenty of quotes in the books to help you realized that the people that worked with these animals were real. These personal remembrances bring the information to life.

The only issue with it is that it is nearly impossible to trace the information. A lot of the information is from websites and it is just marked by topic. These don’t exactly line up with the chapter titles so it takes a bit of work to further research these ideas on your own.

This is definitely a unique book that will work as a solid history supplement, a stand alone read, or a fun coffee-table book. It is one I would recommend.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Be sure to visit the Homeschool Review Crew to read other families’ thoughts about History on Horseback. You can click on the image below.

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History On Horseback the early years

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