Tag Archives: TOS

Who likes gifts? 19 of them? from SchoolhouseTeachers


Disclaimers: In return for this post, I will receive the same 19 gifts that are included in this promotion from SchoolhouseTeachers.com. Additionally, this post contains affiliate links. If you click through on one and choose to purchase, our family will receive a small commission. Thank you for your support.  


If you don’t already know, we have been using SchoolhouseTeachers.com since almost the beginning of our homeschooling journey. We go there often for a supplement, a partial lesson, a full class, helps, recipes, tips, encouragement, and more. It is a site that is jamb packed with helpful information. Membership gives your ENTIRE family access to a complete PreK-12 curriculum with over 400+ courses, videos, World Book content, TOS Print subscription, and so much more. Sign up NOW to receive your tote filled with goodies before they run out!

They have a special going on right now for new subscribers that would be really beneficial for you, especially if you are new on this home educating thing yourself. With gifts from high quality vendors that will introduce you to their company plus the access to SchoolhouseTeachers.com, you will be well on your way to success. (And remember – you define success for your own family!)

Languages are something that have recently become of great interest to the girls. One of the girls has been watching a Spanish series on a streaming service and wants to learn more. Guess what is included in these gifts? Yes! A Spanish class! There are 2 months of access to an online beginning Spanish curriculum through Spanish Education Solutions. And it is taught by a certified Spanish teacher. Going for this one!!!

One of the other girls wants to learn French. Guess what else is included? Nallenart is one of the vendors for the 19 gifts! They are offering L’Art de LIRE which combines beginning conversational French with phonics to get students started. With workpages, teacher key, flashcards, and audio, this looks like a great start to French!

There is also a chess game being offered! Yes! The youngest giggly girl really enjoys playing chess. This pocket sized chess game from Chess House will be able to go with us in the car during the many hours each week we have to wait on sisters to get done with dance classes. (The social distancing thing has stretched our schedule quite thin now!)

There are so many more – art, guitar (another we’ll use!), writing, literature, Brinkman Adventures audios (the girls LOVE these!!), a sturdy tote (I use the one I have ALL THE TIME), music and more and more and more!!! This is a fabulous steal!

About the 19 Gifts Promo –

SchoolhouseTeachers.com and The Old Schoolhouse® have teamed up with over a dozen homeschooling and family-friendly companies to provide a tote bag filled with gifts (visit the site to see the list) when you sign up for an Ultimate (PreK-12) Annual Membership during May for only $139 (reg. $224.97). Use coupon code: 19GIFTS to lock in your rate and receive your goodies! Only available through June 1, 2020.


How to redeem your gifts:

After checking out with coupon code: 19GIFTS, you’ll have immediate access to your Ultimate Annual Membership and all that SchoolhouseTeachers.com has to offer. Your beautiful, sturdy tote bag from The Old Schoolhouse® filled with gift cards for the additional 18 gifts will arrive in 6-8 weeks. No credit cards or purchases are required to redeem your items. Just follow the instructions on the gift cards. Supplies are limited, so sign up today. Questions? Hit the CHAT box during business hours on the home page of SchoolhouseTeachers.com to reach a live rep.

I’d be pleased to answer any question you have. We could not go without our SchoolhouseTeachers.com subscription. The gifts are a definite bonus!

Lori, At Home.


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.

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.

Screenshot 2020-05-12 at 4.20.47 PM

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.

Screenshot 2020-05-12 at 4.25.48 PM

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.


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.


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.


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.



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.

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

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 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.


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:




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.

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.


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.


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.

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

Hands-on History: Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression with HSITW ~ 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.
Time Travelers

It is no secret that we think quite highly of Home School in the Woods and their hands-on history programs. We have been privileged to review another of their products recently. This time, it is an American history title from their series Time Travelers U.S. History Studies, which includes the following titles:

  • New World Explorers
  • Colonial Life
  • The American Revolution
  • The Early 19th Century
  • The Civil War
  • The Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression
  • World War II

HSITW Time Travelers

We received the download file for The Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression, running from about 1861 through the mid 1930s.

HSITW Industrial Revolustion

Topics covered in this title include the transcontinental railroad, purchase of Alaska, immigration, inventors and inventions, the Dust Bowl, the stock market crash, WWI, the Great Depression, the Indian Wars, and so much more. There are 25 lessons with each lesson expected to take about a day and a built in make-up/review day on every 5th lesson. However, it is very easy to adapt this to your family’s schedule. Since we were using this as a supplement, it took longer than one day per lesson. If your student is very engaged and you are using this as your main history for the time being, it would be very easy to cover more than one lesson in a day.

HSITW lessons

To get started with Time Travelers, you have to download a zip file after purchase. After downloading the zip file, you have to unzip it. This process varies by computer and you can find help on the Home School in the Woods website. Once you have it unzipped, you double click the start icon and it opens up the file in a web browser. From there is it just like navigating a website, clicking on what you need next. For example, if we were on lesson 3, we would click the icon next to that lesson and it would take us to a list of the materials we need to print and access for the lesson.


For each lesson, we printed the text but we accessed the project pages only on the computer. The text is the factual information covering the topics for the lesson. Miss E read it out loud to her youngest sister and found it helped her remember things and stay focused well. And her sister enjoyed learning and spending time with her. Win-win! The project pages are the instructions on how to put together the pieces of the mini-booklets, timeline, etc.

These parts are really quite similar to Project Passport and the access is similar also. Where it diverged was that every 5th lesson was for make-up or review. This is really good because it takes some of the daily pressure off to have to get everything done in a single day for each lesson. Additionally, the review cards are helpful. There are cards for words that were used in the week’s lessons that might be new or that were used differently then. There are cards for the events that were covered that week. And there are cards that are specific to WWI, even though it won’t be covered each week.


Another thing she is looking forward to is that lesson 25, the final lesson, is all about creating a Depression-era meal. It includes menu options, recipes, and invitations. This will be a fun culmination event for the study.

Miss E did not use every part of every lesson. She is completing the timeline and the mini-booklets.

She read through the quotes from different men and women and talked with her sister about them, discussing who each person was. She chose her favorite quote and made a bookmark or small card with it.


It was interesting to see Miss E and Miss J working together on this as it really boosted them both. Miss E was able to help Miss J learn some new things while finding about more about a period she herself was interested in. Miss J asked some insightful questions that caused Miss E to have to go researching some answers. One of those came up right off the bat with the transcontinental railroad: is the transcontinental railroad still in use? Turns out, it is and we had to look that up. A sign of a good curriculum is that it causes the student to think and ask questions, not answering it all for them.


One of our personal goals with this program was to find something to go a bit deeper into the time period with. HSITW does well with this. Since the products are designed to have the student thinking and writing about each topic, the information is by nature a bit more in depth. The hands-on aspect of working with mini-booklets and timelines and newspaper articles and such really helps bring history to life.

Thoughts from Miss E:

Overall, this is not really different from Project Passport. But there were some different parts that I really liked. I like the pages of quotes. I don’t have a need for handwriting practice but the card that I did was fun. I liked that every 5th lesson is a make-up day and review day. The vocabulary cards are interesting. The text for each lesson is interesting and more engaging than I remember Project Passport being since these are written a bit more like a story while the Project Passport was more factual.

I had requested this title since in my other history curriculum, I had just finished the Great Depression and I wanted to know more. It started about the turn of the 20th century and I wanted to know about what came right before that. I read about things in a general way but wanted to know the details about the rapid changes that were happening. This title seems to be doing that.


Other Products:

As everyone is aware, this is a presidential election year. What better time to study elections, right? Home School in the Woods has a U.S. Elections Lap-Pak that will fit the bill nicely. We used it a few years ago (4, I believe) and I am planning to pull it out for Miss J this fall. You can read about our use and review of it but you can also visit the HSITW blog and read what they say about it there.

Other than the U.S. Elections Lap-Pak, we have reviewed

If you are looking for more history information, the Home School in the Woods blog has ideas for you. Are you looking for a full curriculum or do you just need a single project to supplement? This will help you know the difference between the options offered. Or are you looking for reasons to add recipes to a history study? Check out the post on adding recipes.

Lori, At Home.

Please click on the image below to read other reviews about HSITW products by other Homeschool Review Crew families.

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