Box of I.D.E.As. Review

Did you know that the Great Wall of China was paid for by salt?

Neither did we until we had the opportunity to explore the Box of I.D.E.As. unit on salt. The Great Wall of China module and the Salt March module were just two of the fascinating activities that we enjoyed as we worked our way through this treasure chest of ideas.

A physical box product from Box of I.D.E.As. is a unit study-like package that contains 10 or more zip-locked bags (modules) that focus on one unique, particular topic such as Salt, The Number 11, WWII, Quilting, or Laundry, and there are many more to come!

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America in the 1880s Review

American history is full of fascinating events ranging from the pilgrims’ arrival to the Declaration of Independence, from the Civil War to the first moon landing and beyond. Taking time to pause and study a certain time period or event in depth can be a rewarding endeavor. Marshall Publishing offers a selection of videos that are great resource for such studies.

Unbeknownst to most people, the 1880s was a decade filled with intriguing people and exponential growth and progress. I learned this when, as a member of the SchoolHouse Review Crew, I received a copy of The History of America in the 1880s to watch with my family. The 60 minute DVD is divided into 2 parts – a 30 minute overview of the decade’s highlights and a 30 minute dramatic reproduction of Alexander Graham Bell’s work.

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Notable Novelists Review

As a writing teacher as well as a homeschooling mother, I have a passion for unique and entertaining products that celebrate literature. I happen to be blessed with a sixteen year old NerdGirl who is a chip off the old block. We were tickled pink when the SchoolHouse Review Crew received the opportunity to review the Notable Novelists card game.

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Ten Girls from History Review

The SchoolHouse Review Crew has had some great opportunities to review books of living history this summer. Ten Girls from History by Kate Dickinson Sweetser is the latest. Sweetser lived around the turn of the 2oth century, and she wrote a number of books to inspire children with stories of heroes and heroines from the past. Her books live on thanks to history-loving, homeschool graduate and publishing entrepreneur, Amy Puetz. Amy is the owner of Golden Prairie Press, a superb resource for living history collections, curriculum, and devotional materials.

Ten Girls from History has ten substantial chapters – one for each of the following remarkable women:

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3 Keys to Fitting It All In

One of the most common questions people ask about educating your children is “How do you fit it all in?” There are so many opportunities and topics and subjects to cover throughout the course of a student’s K-12 education, how can anyone possibly cover all the bases?

The question is somewhat a red herring because the truth is, you can’t fit it all in, and you shouldn’t even try. Somewhere along the line, homeschoolers (and other teachers too!) learn that trying to fit in all the possibilities is a short cut to burnout and the quickest way to suck all the love of learning out of your student.

Any sense of accomplishment and success in education, homeschooling or otherwise, is in the basic, foundational approach. In reality there are just 3 key skills that will actually unlock everything else your student will ever need to study.

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Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers Review

Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers is a charming chapter book, the first of many in a series by Douglas Bond. Published by Christian Liberty Press, the series follows the affable Mr. Pipes and his young American friends as they journey through the fascinating history of Christian hymn writers.

I was privileged to read Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers as part of the HomeSchool Review Crew this summer. I received a PDF version of the book that I read aloud via iPad to my 13 year old Fashionista each evening at bedtime. The book itself is quite long – 242 pages – which offers quite a few pages to each chapter, so some nights we read only a portion of a chapter.

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Vocab Videos Review

Have you ever faced a challenge where the outcome would determine your future possibilities? Such a concept is daunting, yet that is what every college-bound student who takes a standardized test faces.

It sounds like a good opportunity to declare WAR on any obstacles that might lead to failure, right? Enter stage right: Vocab Videos.

Vocab Videos is an online SAT-level vocabulary learning program that offers an arsenal of ammunition for blowing the vocabulary section of any standardized test out of the water.

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King Alfred’s English Review

As part of the SchoolHouse Review Crew over the summer, I had the opportunity to read King Alfred’s English: A History of the Language We Speak and Why We Should Be Glad We Do by Laurie White. Little did I know that this would become my new favorite history book.

With humor and keen historical and biblical insight, Laurie White combines my two favorite subjects – English and history – with a large dose of linguistics. One would think that such a college level combination would cook up a torture as dry as dust, but White has a way with words that makes you feel like you are actually being entertained rather than merely educated!

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NOT Back to Homeschool Blog Hop: Curriculum

This week the iHomeschool Network is hosting the 4th Annual NOT Back-to-School Blog Hop. Each week in August will cover a topic pertaining to the new school year.

This week’s topic is Curriculum. If you were following the TOS SchoolHouse Review Crew Blog Hop last week, I posted about our favorite curriculum over the years here.

Because it’s fun to share and compare what the multitudinous varieties of homeschoolers do for curriculum each year (there are almost 400 blogs to hop already!), let me share our curriculum list for the year:

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Da Planners! Da Planners!

Have you ever been at a homeschool curriculum fair and been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of EVERYTHING? If only you could camp out at such an event for a week or so and get familiar with all your options.

SchoolHouseTeachers.com is a little bit like that at first. It is a smorgasbord of practical and useful homeschool resources, and after a month or so, I still feel like I have only scratched the surface of what it offers. Part of the reason for that could be that SchoolHouseTeachers.com is constantly adding new material to the already ample selection of materials.

Basically, SchoolHouseTeachers.com is divided into 4 major categories, and I will try to give you some highlights of each area.

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