Name Plaque Print from Cross Timber (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.

Are you interested in learning about the meaning of a family member or friend’s name and giving it to them as a gift? CrossTimber has an 8×10 Plaque print where you can choose up to 3 names to learn their meaning. One option comes with a beautiful blue butterfly on a blue background. The name or names are at the top with the origin and meaning underneath. Placed at the bottom of the print are relevant Bible verses.

The AmazingName Print Activity Sheets contains 28 pages with different word searches, crossword puzzles, mazes, tracing and copying, handwritten verses, coloring pages and easy math games with one chosen name. These pages are geared towards those between the ages of 3 and 12, but older children and adults will enjoy the adult coloring pages and word searches.

Our Experience:

When we were offered the chance to review CrossTimber, Christie was interested, because she wanted to learn more about her name. She had the choice to pick either the Name Cards, Bookmarks, or 8×10 Plaque prints. She decided to pick the print, because she could frame it and put it on her wall. When we were picked for the review, we sat down together to order it. The ordering was easy. We went to  CrossTimber and followed the instructions and links to pick the 8×10 Plaque print (blue with a blue butterfly). We had the choice of adding 1, 2, or 3 names. She chose to do all three. Then we submitted the order and went through the simple ordering process for the physical copies of the AmazingName Print Activity Sheets. It too was an easy process. Then we waited for them to arrive in the mail. When they arrived in the mail, Christie was excited. She opened everything and decided that we had a brown frame that would help the blue standout, so she could easily display it in her room. She was learned what each part of her name means and Bible verses that she can focus on. She also looked through the activity sheets to see what she would start on first. She has worked on word searches and coloring pages.

My Thoughts:

I thought the 28 pages of activity sheets were great, because of the wide variety. Christie had the opportunity to do word searches and crossword puzzles, mazes, tracing and copying her name and handwritten verses. There were also coloring pages and easy math games. Most of these activities were too easy for Christie, but she enjoyed the harder word searches and coloring pages. It was neat how many times I saw her name on the different pages. The coloring sheets were my favorite, because the names were cleverly hidden and were complex enough to really occupy one’s time.

A coloring page with hidden names.
Cursive Tracing
Math Game!

I liked the quality of the print. The blue background and butterfly with Christie’s name, the meanings, and the Bible verses was both pretty and moving. I had no idea that her middle name meant warrior or her last name meant revealer of the light. It will be interesting to pass on this information to family members with the same name. The Bible verses were appropriate, because they focused on the meanings of the names used. It should be mailed with some stiff cardboard instead of stiff card stock, because the mailman had to stuff it in our mailbox. Fortunately, only the packaging ripped.

Christie’s Thoughts (9th Grade):

I chose the blue butterfly name plaque, and I put it in a wooden picture frame. It now sits on a shelf in my room. I thought it was interesting that the Bible verses were relevant to the meaning of my name.

What Christie’s name means.

I enjoyed the coloring sheets, because they are more suitable for my age compared to the other activities. I think the more complicated coloring sheets are nice for people who want something a little harder. I think the simple mazes and letter tracing would be great for younger children. I think that the CrossTimber products would be good for people of all ages.

A Fun Coloring Page.
Tracing with Printing.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: www.fb.com/meaning.name
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/crosstimber

Recap of Pertinent Information:

Product Link:  8×10 Plaque print and AmazingName Print Activity Sheets

Vendor Information LinkCrossTimber

Age Appeal: 3-12 for the AmazingName Print Activity Sheets and any age for the 8×10 Plaque print

Format: Physical Products and Downloadable or Physical AmazingName Print Activity Sheets

Price and More: Please check the product link for current prices and more information

Mama Highly Recommends!

Please click on the graphic below to learn what the other crew members on the review thought of the Name Cards, Bookmarks, 8×10 Plaque prints, and AmazingName Print Activity Sheets!

Joy to the World: A Regency Christmas Collection (Book Review)

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of Joy to the World: A Regency Christmas Collection, by Carolyn Miller, Amanda Barratt, and Erica Vetsch, through Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Joy to the the World contains three Regency novella romances by Carolyn Miller, Amanda Barratt, and Erica Vetsch.

Heaven and Nature, by Carolyn Miller, is about Edith Mansfield and George Bannerman. They were formerly engaged, but circumstances made them break it. Now at this holiday season they are brought back together again. What will happen with their newly formed friendship?

Far as the Curse is Found, by Amanda Barratt is about Jenny Grey, who becomes sick and is unable to work to provide for her daughter. As she is taking her daughter to the Foundling Hospital, they are found by Dwight Inglewood, the Earl of Amberly, who was severely scared in the Napoleonic Wars. He takes them to his country estate, where she will be in training for becoming the housekeeper. Will they be able to help each other heal?

Wonder of His Love, by Erica Vetsch, is about Lady Priscilla Haverly, (Cilla) who has been widowed and is controlled by her mother-in-law. Her mother-in-law commissions Hamish Sinclair, from Scotland and not a member of the Royal Academy of Arts to paint Cilla’s brother-in-law and sister-in-law. Her sister-in-law is pregnant, so Cilla will need to sit and be painted as a stand in for her at times. Will Hamish and Cilla grow closer or will her mother-in-law prevent it?

About the Authors:

Carolyn Miller currently lives in Australia with her husband and children. She is a member of Australasian Christian Writers and American Christian Fiction Writers and has won a number of their contest. You can learn more about her at http://www.carolynmillerauthor.com.

Amanda Barratt currently lives in Michigan with her family. She is an ECPA best-selling author and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. You can learn more about her at http://www.amandabarratt.net.

Erica Vetsch currently lives in Minnesota and is a ACFW Carol Award winner. She is a New York Times best-selling author. You can learn more at http://www.ericavetsch.com.

My Thoughts:

I thought that these 3 novellas were well written, because they caught my attention until the story came to an end. And each author described the Regency lifestyle in a way that made me want to participate in a reenactment. 

I liked how the different social classes were portrayed and how romance between them was able to bloom and flourish. There weren’t even too many problems from family members when the love interests were from different social classes. God was also shown in an understated, but powerful way.

My favorite one was Far as the Curse is Found, because Lord Amberly and Jenny Grey were saved from the troubles that were surrounding their lives. God also helped them show grace to one another and learn to depend on Him. Together they were stronger, and together they saved each other.

Recap of Pertinent Information:

Genre: Fiction / Christian / Romance / Historical 

Published by: Kregel Publishing

Copyrighted: 2020

Number of pages: 336

Age Group: Adult (Women)

Description of book: Paperback, listed price- $16.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4669-6

Faith Journeys Bible Study Series: Romans bundle and Faith Journeys Bible Study Series: Philippians from Julie Naturally (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.

Faith Journeys Bible Study Series: Romans bundle (8 week study) and Faith Journeys Bible Study Series: Philippians (4 week study) from Julie Naturally were written by Julie Polanco for moms and older teens. The Romans study has weekly videos that last around 15 minutes, while the Philippians study doesn’t. They both have or take

  • Daily readings
  • 3 to 5 questions per daily reading
  • Memory verse cards for each week
  • Weekly coloring pages
  • Time per day 15 to 20 minutes

Our Experience:

This time the experience was just for me! (I did have Christie take a look at it though, to see what she thought of them.) I enjoy participating in Bible studies, because they give me different ways to learn the Bible. I was excited to learn that I was going to be able to a study on either Romans or Philippians. I chose to work on the Faith Journeys Bible Study Series: Romans bundle first, because I’ve been wanting to dig deeper into Romans. This study has a video and six days of reading and questions per week. I decided to watch the weekly video on Sunday and do the readings and questions on the other days of the week. This worked well, because I often have a lot of interruptions and it’s hard to carve out dedicated Bible study time.

Cover Page
Video for Week 4
Day Six of Week 4

I chose to make my study time first thing in the morning after I let our dog out and before I had to wake kids up for school. The study came as a PDF, which wasn’t fillable, so I wrote my answers in a journal, because we currently have no ink for our printer. It took me round 15 minutes per day which was perfect. I’m almost finished with this study and am looking forward to beginning Faith Journeys Bible Study Series: Philippians, which has readings and questions like the other study. It also has the coloring pages and memory verse cards.

Cover Page

My Thoughts:

I thought the Romans Bible study was fulfilling. I was able to learn more about the Lord and myself. The questions gave me a lot to think about how my walk with Him will be. There were several times when I had a hard time answering the questions, so I think having answers would be great. I needed a guide to help me in the right direction.

The PDF was not a fillable form which was too bad, so I filled it out in a journal. I did it, one, because we don’t have any ink and two, I will always be able to go back and look at it. I might lose the papers if it was just printed out.

I enjoyed the videos, because Julie Polanco would focus on certain verses that would be read during the week. Learning specifics about the book of Romans and her thoughts was a great way to begin my week. I do wish the quality of the video was better, because unfortunately I found the quality distracting. If I watch the videos again, I think I will focus on the audio and not the video.

The memory verse cards were very helpful, because I was able to have a verse to focus on and share with others. It made the study more memorable for me.

Memory Verse Cards

Christie’s Thoughts (9th Grade):

I think that this bible studies would be good for people who like to read verses and answer specific questions. Personally this is not my thing, because I when I do a Bible study, I don’t like to answer questions.

I (Mom) think that Christie would like the coloring pages, since she likes adult coloring pages.

Coloring Page from Around Week 4

Social Media Links:

Facebook: facebook.com/julienaturally
Instagram: instagram.com/successful.unschooler
Pinterest: pinterest.com/julienaturally
YouTube: youtube.com/c/julienaturally

Recap of Pertinent Information:

Product Link: Faith Journeys Bible Study Series: Romans bundle and Faith Journeys Bible Study Series: Philippians

Vendor Information Link: Julie Naturally

Age Appeal: Older Teens and Women

Format: Online–videos (around 15 minutes) for the Romans study and Downloadable– PDF Study Guide

Price and More: Please check the product link for current prices and more information

Mama Highly Recommends!

Please click on the graphic below to learn what the other crew members on the review though!

Python for Beginners: Learn Coding at Home from Homeschool Code Academy (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.

Python for Beginners: Learn Coding at Home from Homeschool Code Academy was created by Matt Bohn, a software engineer for middle and high school students. There are 13 different sections of this program containing on-demand videos and fun challenges about the hardware and software needed, to working with variables and keyboard input, doing math with Python, lists and tuples, loops, and more.

This program was designed for beginners, but your student should know:

  • Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division
  • Place value and decimal notation
  • Fractions
  • Simple geometric formulas and degrees in a radius, diameter, and circle
  • Opening and saving files on a computer
  • Basic typing skills

You won’t need to purchase extra software, but you will need a Mac or Windows 10 computer to download the Python software. This software is where the student will complete the programming challenges given to them.

Our Experience:

Coding has never been a class that I had planned for Christie, so this has been an interesting experience for her. I had her schedule 45 minutes on 3 days a week. She enjoyed watching the videos and working on the challenges. Her favorite one was Programming Challenge 6 “Create a Simple Word Game.” She enjoyed making changes to the original story to make it her own. She had each of us fill it out and has plans to have others do it at a later point in time. I think that while coding isn’t an activity that Christen will continue in life, this is a program that will serve her well.

What Christie needed to learn to successfully create her word game.
The fun challenge

My Thoughts:

I like that this program can be done independently. Christie is able to login to the website and just start working. The only thing I need to help her with was downloading the Python software.

Mr. Bohn did an excellent job making the videos engaging and easy to understand. I could tell that his experience in the field was crucial when developing this program. He developed challenges that weren’t too hard for those in middle school and not too easy for those in high school. I’m glad that the videos were pre-recorded, because anyone can go back and watch them again if they need help.

How get the most from this program

Christie’s Thoughts (9th Grade):

I enjoy Python for Beginners: Learn Coding at Home, because it is very thorough and easy to understand. It is definitely interesting to see what you can do with Python coding. I especially liked the programming challenge where you made a fill-in-the-blank story. It was fun to see the different stories created by my family.

My mom’s word choices for the variables
My mom’s finished story

Personally, coding is not something I would want to do regularly. I think that this program would be great for people who want to get started in Python coding.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Homeschool-Code-Academy-101938698336115
Twitter:https://twitter.com/HomeschoolCode
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj42zQn_pQVaeWCpWAVzbAg

Recap of Pertinent Information:

Product Link: Python for Beginners: Learn Coding at Home

Vendor Information LinkHomeschool Code Academy

Age Appeal: Middle School (5th grade) and High School

Format: Online–videos and text and Downloadable– Python software (needs a Mac or Windows 10 computer)

Price and More: Please check the product link for current prices and more information

Mama Highly Recommends!

Please click on the graphic below to learn what the other crew members on the review though!

Bible Unearthed from Drive Thru History® Adventures (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.

Drive Thru History® Adventures is coming out with a new program, Bible Unearthed. This 12 part series led by Mr. Dave Stotts, Mr. Randall Niles, and Dr. Titus Kennedy (PhD in archaeology) explores archaeology’s history, and it’s impact when it comes to proving that events in the Bible are true. Each part in the series includes access to a Facebook group, 15 minute videos, written exposition/breakout materials, “Dig Deeper” articles, and optional fun activities.

The titles of each part are as follows:

  • “What is Archaeology?”
  • “The Impact of Archaeology”
  • “Locating Archaeological Sites”
  • “The Life of an Archaeologist”
  • “What’s Being Discovered Today?”
  • “Archaeological Mysteries”
  • “Top Discoveries in Bible Archaeology”
  • “Getting Involved with Archaeology”
  • “Trends in Archaeology”
  • “Weird Archaeology”
  • “Accidental Discoveries in Archaeology”
  • “What’s Left to be Discovered”

Our Experience:

Christie and I have enjoyed watching and exploring other Drive Thru History® Adventures and were excited when we were chosen to review Bible Unearthed. The first thing we did was look at the Introduction Information and the Course Resources links.

Introduction Information and Course Resources Links

One of those links led us to the “Course Guide” which gave a summary of the course and a sample weekly schedule. We decided that Christie would base her schedule off of this, because each day would be short and easy to accomplish. She decided that she didn’t need to do Thursday’s task of re-watching the episode, because she could remember the information well enough on Friday to complete the worksheet correctly. We watched the videos and checked the worksheet answers together. She did everything else independently.

The Summary and Schedule from the “Course Guide”

My Thoughts:

I have always enjoyed Mr. Dave Stotts and Drive Thru History® Adventures, but in these videos Mr. Stotts sometimes plays with the artifact replicas. I found it distracting, because then my focus was on him and not on the information shared by Dr. Kennedy. I think that children watching these videos may focus on those actions and not on Dr. Kennedy, which defeats the purpose of the program.  

I liked how each of the videos were short at 15 minutes each, but contained a lot of information about archaeology and what it means to be an archaeologist. The videos had video clips, maps, a timeline, artifact replicas, and slides. The short videos work for the younger age groups and the worksheets, “Dig Deeper Articles,” written exposition/breakout, and optional activities add to the videos for those in middle and high school.

Optional Activity Ideas and Links to “Dig Deeper Articles

Christie’s Thoughts (9th Grade):

Bible Unearthed from Drive Thru History® Adventures is definitely a thorough program. I absolutely love that the videos are short, but still have a lot of information in them. I also like that the worksheets (around 5 questions) are short. Because this program has short but high impact sections, it makes me more interested in learning about biblical archaeology. It is amazing to see how much history from the Bible can be proven.

I personally think that it is very distracting when Dave Stotts is messing with the artifact replicas. It seems to be disrespectful towards Dr. Titus Kennedy.  

I think that this program would be wonderful for people of all ages and especially those who are interested in biblical archaeology.

Video from Episode 4
Episode 4 Worksheet

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drivethruhistory
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/drivethruhistory/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/drivethruhistory

Recap of Pertinent Information:

Product Link: Bible Unearthed (there isn’t a current link)

Vendor Information Link: Drive Thru History® Adventures 

Age Appeal: 10 year’s of age (We focused making it work for high school)

Format: Online–videos and articles and Downloadable– PDF worksheets with answers

Price and More: Please check the product link for current prices and more information

Mama Highly Recommends!

Please click on the graphic below to learn what the other crew members on the review thought about Bible Unearthed.

The Sound of Falling Leaves by Lisa Carter

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of The Sound of Falling Leaves, by Lisa Carter, through Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Tessa and Zeke have come back to the Blue Ridge Mountain community where they spent time when they were younger in The Sound of Falling Leaves, by Lisa Carter. Tessa has lost her singing voice from a fire, so she has come to North Carolina to collect folk songs. Zeke works for the Bureau solving a local crime while working for Tessa’s aunt, Dicy’s, apple orchard. Tessa learns about a woman’s disappearance and a murder case. Are they connected? Why did her aunt hire Zeke? Should Tessa trust him? She’s seen him with the family who wants to buy the orchard.

About the Author:

Lisa Carter is a bestselling author, who is native to North Carolina. She has written romantic suspense, historical fiction, and contemporary novels. Her books have won a 2015 Carol Award and a 2017 Daphne du Maurier. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and researching for her books, and teaching writing workshops.

My Thoughts:

The Sound of Falling Leaves was one of those books that once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down. I appreciated the suspense and the romance. I didn’t know if Tessa was going to fall for Colin or Zeke. I was also hoping that Colin, even though he is a Cozart, was going to be one of the good guys. I thought that perhaps one of the members of the family was going to be a positive contributing member of the Appalachian community. (You’ll have to read the book to find out if he is.) 

One of my favorite characters was a friend of Tessa’s Aunt Dicy, Ouida Kittrell from Yonder Mountain. She was an old lady who lived very primitively in the mountains. Think, no electricity and no phone. She lived by herself too, because the man she was planning on marrying was a Melungeon and was lynched by the Cozarts. Melungeon means those who are Caucasian, African-American, and Native American, a term I hadn’t heard before. When she was younger she helped people as a midwife, now she gathers herbs and is expecting to be evicted by the Cozarts. I thought she was very brave, resourceful, and a great follower of God.

Recap of Pertinent Information:

Genre: Fiction / Christian / Suspense 

Published by: Gilead Publishing

Copyrighted: 2020

Number of pages: 320

Age Group: Adult 

Description of book: Paperback, listed price- $15.99, ISBN 978-1-68370-096-8

Algebra 2 from Thinkwell Homeschool (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.

THINKWELL’S INSTRUCTOR-LED ALGEBRA 2 from Thinkwell Homeschool is an online and downloadable NCAA approved math program. This program provides

  • Instructional Videos taught by Professor Edward Burger
  • Virtual Office Hours with Instructor Julie Welch or Teaching Assistant Sarah Flood
  • Downloadable and printable worksheets and study notes
  • Quizzes, Chapter tests, and a Semester Final Exam
  • Weekly Emails containing the lesson plans and assignments
  • Progress reports for the parents
  • and more!

Our Experience:

I wasn’t sure what Christie was going to use for Algebra 2 this year, so I was thrilled when we were chosen to review Semester 1 of Thinkwell Homeschool’s Algebra 2. It has been several decades since I did Algebra 2 and I’m not sure how much I remember, so I was glad that Christie was going to have instructor-led videos, online and downloadable worksheets, and access twice a week to instructors in a virtual office if she needed it. This semester she is going to learn about Properties and Operations, Functions, Linear Equations and Inequalities, Applying Linear Functions, Linear Systems in Two Dimensions, Matrix Operations, Quadratic Functions and Complex Numbers, and Applying Quadratic Functions.

A Sample of the Course Schedule

Christie’s Algebra 2 week begins with the weekly email that is sent during the weekend and contains a To-Do list for the week and Warm-Up questions to prepare her for the lessons ahead. These should be downloaded, printed, and placed in a three-ring binder. It also contains a short Orientation Video for the week.

Weekly Email

Each week is divided up into different days and each day had Video Lessons, Lesson Notes, Interactive Practice, Worksheet Practice, and Extra Interactive Practice (highly recommended to complete). (The Lesson Notes and Worksheet Practice should be downloaded and printed, so they can easily be reviewed.) Christie would work either 4 or 5 days a week, depending on how many lessons there were. It took her different amounts of time per day, because of the varying times of the videos and the amount of time it took her to answer the questions.

Lesson Notes
Interactive Practice
Worksheet

My Thoughts:

Professor Edward Burger did an excellent job with each of the 5 to 10 minute videos. I really appreciated the detail he gave when explaining each topic. I also liked how there was a section for Key Objectives, one for Definitions, and a section for Graphics, along with the video. The best part though, was that the videos work when our internet speed was slow. There was no buffering!

Video Lesson

I’m glad that twice a week there are Virtual Office Hours with Instructor Julie Welch or Teaching Assistant Sarah Flood. Christie will be able to get the help she needs if I’m unavailable or unable to help her.

Soon I will receive a Parent Progress Report. I’m looking forward to learning how Christie is doing with her math.

Christie’s Thoughts (9th Grade):

I like THINKWELL’S INSTRUCTOR-LED ALGEBRA 2, because it makes Algebra 2 genuinely easy to understand. It’s a great program for students, who like to do their math mostly online. I think it’s helpful that there are instructors you can talk to if you need assistance with your assignments. It’s definitely nice that the videos work even with pretty slow internet. The website is straightforward, which makes it simple to navigate. I think this Algebra 2 program would be perfect for anyone who is ready for it.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThinkwellLearning/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thinkwell
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ThinkwellVids

Recap of Pertinent Information:

Product Link: THINKWELL’S INSTRUCTOR-LED ALGEBRA 2

Vendor Information Link: Thinkwell Homeschool

Age Appeal: High School

Format: Online videos, online graded quizzes and tests, and virtual office hours and Downloadable– PDF worksheets and notes

Price and More: Please check the product link for current prices and more information

Mama Highly Recommends!

Please click on the graphic below to learn what the other crew members on the review thought about this program, Algebra 1, and Geometry!