November 30, 2016

Fresh from the Bookshelf: Unblemished by Sara Ella {Book Review}

I was very excited to receive a gift package of SIX new books from The Fiction Guild (a review division of Thomas Nelson Publishing), in honor of their anniversary a couple weeks ago. There was a mix of genre and many were new-to-me authors. While I don't have to review all of them, I knew there were several I wanted to read. But where do I start? Every book lovers dilemna! LOL. I decided to start with debut author Sara Ella and her young adult fantasy book Unblemished. I really enjoy young adult fantasy, so I decided to give it a go!
Unblemished by Sara Ella ~ A Book Review

The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate links
Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!

About the Book

Unblemished is the debut novel for author Sara Ella. Unblemished brings us to the world of seven Reflections--parallel worlds, in which Earth as we know it is the 3rd Reflection. Our lead character Eliyana (aka El) lives in 3rd refection in the city of New York. She loves her city where she lives with her mom Elizabeth and her best friend (and yes her crush) Joshua. But it's not perfect in her world, and she knows this with every person she meets--for she was born with a birthmark on her face. An unusual red vine-like collection of flourishes that cover the right side of her face. Having been subjugated to all sorts of teasing, disdain, and avoidance by most of society Joshua and her mother are the only ones who treats her as if it's not there. 

A few weeks before she turns 18, her life turns upside down when her mother is killed in a fire. Suddenly she's thrust into a world without one of the only two people who have loved her. But then, after the funeral, everything she knows as normal explodes, when it's revealed that there is a boy with the power to render his victim immovable, arrows soaring through central park, a man appearing and disappearing, and her best friend Joshua revealing he's her Guardian from another Reflection. Thrust immediately into scenarios clearly unworldly, El must accept that everything she's ever held to be true, may be a lie---including her mother's death and her family history. Now she will do anything to find her mother and be reunited--including being taken to another Reflection where everyone is out to get her--because it turns out her birthmark is not just a birthmark, it's a sign that she's someone they have been waiting on for a very long time, and has the power to bring either light or darkness to the world, depending on who has her in their control.

My Thoughts

I don't know what I was expecting with this novel, but it blew me away! Once the story started going, I couldn't put it down. It was just the type of fantasy I enjoy with twists and turns every step of the way, and the kind of plot where just when you are sure you have it figured out--you get slammed with something else. 

There was SOOOO much in this book. I had to re-read chapters now and then because little pieces were strewn and I needed to make sure I didn't miss anything! The lead character Eliyana is very well done and really grew and changed throughout the book. I enjoyed having pieces of her past woven throughout the story. I am not always good with first person narratives, but this one was very well done and I think it might have lacked something if it had been done any other way. 

This book had pieces of other fantasy books I have enjoyed--like the 13th Reality series by James Dashner with its parallel worlds, the Animorphs series where humans can morph into other creatures, and Twilight in that people had a special gift (aka superpower). But I don't think I ever felt like "Oh I've read this before." It was like taking the best of everything I loved and putting it into this book.

The ending makes you think--and throws a MAJOR twist you don't see coming--or at least I didn't, and actually explains the Prelude in the book (which I JUST figured out). I was left just wanting to pick up the next book and start reading!

I think Hollywood could have a FABULOUS time with this book--it has everything they love. Love triangles, "super powers", secrets, good vs evil, battles, and personal sacrifice. 

I also want to add, that while I initially expected some sort of Christian fiction tie-in (there wasn't any mention of God or the gospel--beyond obvious dark v. light, good v. evil and a few deeper messages hiding--kind of like JR Tolkien and CS Lewis do), the book is a CLEAN fantasy. There are just a couple quick kiss scenes. And the battles aren't gory. I think this makes it a great choice for those who want to provide a "safe" fantasy series for their children.

I know it's shocking, but I have given Unblemished one of my rare 5 star ratings. It was everything I could have asked for in a Fantasy novel and more--great plot, twists and turns everywhere, no slow parts, constant having to piece things together, a lead character with faults--and it left me wanting MORE! I cannot wait to get the next book in the series Unraveling which will be released July 2017. I have heard from the author, that this is a trilogy, which means nothing will be completely resolved in book 2 either! LOL

Unblemished (Book 1 of Unblemished Series)
by Sara Ella

It's going to be so hard to wait until July 2017 for the next book! But Unblemished is actually a book I would read again, so I could pick up things I missed the first go around--the true sign of a 5 star book! I hope you will add this book to your TO READ list if you like fantasy, it doesn't matter that it's YA genre at all.

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November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving Blessings

Be safe my friends. There are a lot of crazies on the road out there. Enjoy this Thanksgiving! I know that we will be enjoying our first one with my parents moved out here. It's been a couple years since we had a Thanksgiving all together. I know that we have so much to be grateful for--especially considering what happened a couple weeks ago. Life is precious and I am blessed to be able to enjoy it surround by family and friends--may the same be for you!
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November 23, 2016

Homeschooling (and other) Black Friday Sales News!

It's hard to believe, but we are on the cusp of Thanksgiving again. One of the fun parts of Thanksgiving, is starting to find out what kind of sales are going to be happening the next day, including the incredible Cyber Friday/Cyber Monday deals that you can find for many of your favorite homeschooling companies! I have been trying to keep my ear to the ground, and have found two THREE major sales that I wanted you to know about!
The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate links
Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!

Cyber Weekend Membership Sale
As I shared earlier this year, is a product that I didn't know I needed. I was blown away at how useful it was for my homeschool routine. And it was so easy to navigate and find things. I am happy to say that the Cyber Friday sale this year is a great offer--$25 off the LIFETIME membership.

Do you know what Lifetime means? It means one price--with forever access. To all the creations. Past. Present. Future! Access to everything that has been created and will be created! You don't get opportunities like that very often--so make sure you take advantage of it! I was leery about whether or not this product was right for me, but I'm so glad that I took a chance and explored it! Now I use it almost every week!

If you aren't sure if a membership is right for you, make sure you at least get signed up to get the 600+ page sampler!

Free Notebooking Pages Product Sampler from

#2 w/Dove Channel Subscription!

Educational giant and entertainment giant Dove Channel have teamed up to offer one full year of both services for one low price. From November 23-30, readers can purchase a full year of BOTH programs for just $99, a savings of $100. This gives them access to all 300+ courses on and thousands of hours of entertainment and educational content from Dove Channel.If you are already a member of Dove Channel, can be added for a special discounted price, and if you are already a member of, Dove Channel can be added for a discount. All the details can be found on this page:

I am currently using both of these homeschooling resources and am finding them incredibly helpful for supplementing what we are already doing. They fill in a lot of gaps, and help us out whenever we go on "rabbit trails". I hope that you will be able to snag them for your own family--or give them as a gift to someone you know!

#3 Educents
Educents is having a great deal for Black Friday! They are offering 15% off any order under $250 with the code GIVEJOY. And if you really want to save, you get 25% off any order of $250 or more! Not mention FREE SHIPPING on all orders AND you can earn 5% back on all your orders too! Whew! Talk about a great deal! I highly recommend you using this deal to get the LIFE OF FRED series if you haven't already! Educents already has some of the best prices on those books!

And did you know that you can get $10 off you first order just for signing up? Who wouldn't want an extra $10 to spend--I sure love "free" money! Make sure you sign up to claim your $10 and then enjoy checking out what Educents has to offer--there is WAY more than homeschool related products! Plenty of items for the home, school, or for gifts!

Oh and you don't have to wait until Friday to save...there are TWO PRE-Black Friday sales going on right now that you can take advantage of!
Either way you choose, you get to save money! Start saving at Educents today!

Make sure you follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you don't miss any of the last minute Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals that I will find! They will always get posted there first!

Happy Shopping!

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November 16, 2016

Fresh From the Bookshelf: Shadow of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette {Book Review}

Earlier this year, I had the privilege of being on the review team for rookie author Connilyn Cossette's first book Counted With the Stars. It was part one of a three part series, and after really enjoying the first book, I eagerly awaited the second book Shadow of the Storm. I hoped that this sequel would be just as good, or maybe even better than the first book--and I was eager to continue the Out From Egypt series with Shira's story.

The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate links
Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!

About Shadow of the Storm

Shadow of the Storm picks up just a short period of time after Counted With the Stars ends. In Counted With the Stars, we saw the Ancient Israelites being delivered from slavery in Egypt, crossing the Red Sea, and arriving at Mount Sinai. Shadow of the Storm begins in the heat of trouble--with the Israelites in the middle of their infamous golden calf orgy while Moses is up on the mountain receiving the Ten Commandments. This story follows the beloved character Shira from book one as she navigates the world of midwifery as an apprentice to the lead midwife Reva. After a delivery goes horribly wrong, Shira finds herself in a situation that seems impossible and bound to a man who betrayed her trust. While dealing with contention between the Hebrew tribes, as well as foreigners fanning flames of rebellion, Shira also deals with long-hidden pain and secrets from her past.

My Thoughts on the Book

You can imagine how happy i was to know that my favorite character from book one was the lead female in this second book. I just really connected with Shira and enjoyed seeing her story flushed out. It was interesting to piece together all the things that happened to make her who she was. I also liked watching her find her feet and gain confidence in what she was able to do--her place within the people. She dealt with many ups and downs, and was so focused on her personal baggage shaping her, she forgot what it meant to be "set free" by God. Her painful backstory of abuse is real to many women today unfortunately--and the quote said by Reva to Shira about how she talks to herself regarding her self-worth is something all could take to heart:

"You are telling yourself lies and believing them. Instead of putting the oil of truth on those scars, you are allowing them to grow thicker. If you do not stretch those scars, tug at them, force movement into them, then they will continue to have a hold over you."

This book also shares a dual story with a Hittite woman named Dvorah who plays an entrical part in the overall story. I enjoyed having her character woven through, though there were times I wanted to shake her.

It was interesting to take on the view of an Israelite going through the events after Mount Sinai. To think about what it would have been like for a Levite to be chosen as the "special" tribe. To see the anger of God taken out on the people over events like the golden calf and the rebellion. It was an intriguing perspective, and I think the author did it convincingly.

I enjoyed seeing Kiya and Eben from the first book playing a substantial role in this book and hope we won't see the last of them. The next book in the series is set to pick up about 40 years later, and the author promises we will see a few of these other characters popping up.

I actually think I enjoyed Kiya's story a smidgen more than this one-mostly because the first book touched me in ways this one just didn't quite do. Shadow of the Storm was still a wonderful story and I enjoyed every part of it. But I didn't get moved emotionally like the previous book. As a side bonus, I will add that the covers of these first two books are just gorgeous! Loving the style!

Shadow of the Storm (Out of Egypt)
by Connilyn Cossette
Available in Paperback and Kindle

Make sure you remember to keep your eyes open for book three in this series, Wings of the Wind which will be coming in May 2017!

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November 11, 2016

What We Have In Common {Five Minute Friday}

Ah. Another week almost done. A crazy week if you ask me. People losing their minds. People acting like toddlers when they don't get their way. Us vs. them. Red vs. Blue. Him vs. Her. Aren't you so over it? I know I am. As we shift into a new presidency, the emphasis needs to be on unity. But in order to do that, we must shift our thinking. And that leads me to this week's Five Minute Friday prompt.

When you think of the word common, you should think about the things that are similar. If we have a common background, it means we share similarities--maybe the family structure, schooling, environment. It brings us together as we celebrate things we have the same.

Have you ever stopped to think that the main mantra for our society is--

November 8, 2016

Sentence Diagramming from The Critical Thinking Co.™ {Product Review}

The Critical Thinking Co.™ continues to produce exceptional resources for the education community in subjects like Language Arts, Math/Science, and Logical Thinking. I’ve been able to review products from the company before, and my experience made me eager to have another chance for their product. I was fortunate to be able to have a chance to review Sentence Diagramming: Beginning with my son over these last few weeks.

About Sentence Diagramming and The Critical Thinking Co.™

Sentence Diagramming: Beginning from The Critical Thinking Co.™ is a 72-page workbook designed to teach students how to diagram sentences in order to be able to see how the structure of English grammar works. The diagramming provides a visual and logical method to learn grammar. Beginning with simple subject-verb sentences, the lessons continue to get more complicated as they diagram with complex sentences and dependent clauses. The book is a consumable workbook with 12 lessons and a review. Each lesson is four-pages long and encourages the student to identify errors in pre-written sentences based on their lessons, to diagram sentences correctly, and to create their own sentences to match their diagramming. Everything geared towards encouraging them to critical thinking in regards to the grammar structure.

Sentence Diagramming: Beginning is geared towards grades 3-12+ and retails for $12.99. The Sentence Diagramming products are available in print or eBook form. There is also a Level 1 and a Level 2 available. 

Our Thoughts About the Product

I was eager to get started on this workbook. I have always found The Critical Thinking Co.™ books to be very well done and to promote logic within whatever subject they were geared towards. Sentence Diagramming is something that I have always enjoyed doing, and my oldest son had done it for awhile back in the 2nd grade. I find that he struggles with matching up parts of a sentence in his grammar lessons, so I hoped going back to diagramming would help him with this issue. 

Initially, he did groan about doing this. But, once we got into it, he remembered that it's actually quite easy--especially with how much he knows about grammar now as a 5th grader. We discovered we could do 1-3 lessons a week depending on how our schedule went. We even took it with us to Florida for our trip, and he knocked out a few lessons there. I think his favorite part of the lesson is the section where he gets to create sentences to match the diagramming lines. I sometimes have to guide him through it, but he's been doing great on them for the most part, and really enjoys creating silly sentences.
Given the lines and they have to create a sentence to match.

The mini-lesson to explain how the diagramming is done for the new grammar portion

Answer keys in the back for the exercises
This actually works really really well for us. I had forgotten how well he does with it. I am strongly considering investing in the Level 1 and Level 2 books--but I am not 100% sure yet. They definitely have helped him visualize how the sentences all work together--and I think that when we are done, his "normal" grammar lessons will become easier for him to do.

This book works for us, because the lessons are short--taking up maybe just 15 minutes tops of our time. They provide great exercises--from finding errors, to diagramming sentences out, to having to apply the knowledge to create your own sentence following the structure provided. This way of making sure they can demonstrate their understanding of their lessons, though this kind of application is ideal!

I really don't have any cons to this product, because everything is self explanatory, even for someone who has never diagrammed a sentence before in their life! I highly recommend it for anyone who has a student struggling a little bit in grammar, or writing. The visual mapping of the sentences provides an additional help for the visual learner too--something you don't always get in grammar studies. 

We will absolutely be finishing this workbook, and like I said, I may decide to snag the next two in the series as well.

Want To Know More?

We have been reviewing the Sentence Diagramming: Beginning workbook from The Critical Thinking Co.™ over the last couple weeks. Several of the other crew members have been reviewing it too, as well as other products from The Critical Thinking Co.™, like software from their Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic Before Kindergarten!™ program (the Fun-Time Phonics!™ Software - 2-PCs Win Download, or the Vowel Sounds Song and Game™ Software - 2-PCs Win Download)! Make sure you go read their reviews as well!
Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}
You can always stay up with the latest in products and sales by following The Critical Thinking Co.™ on social media via Facebook, Google +, and Pinterest!  

I have reviewed other products by The Critical Thinking Co.™ like their The Basics of Critical Thinking book, and their Alphabet Song Game Software Program--so if you are curious in knowing more about what this company offers, make sure you check these out too!
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November 6, 2016

15 Gifts for the Doctor Who Fan {2016 Gift Guide Series}

Hello Sweetie! Do you have a Doctor Who fan in your life? Someone who would love to run away in a big blue box and travel through time and space if they had a chance? If so, then I'm sure you will appreciate this next installment in my 2016 Gift Guide Series--15 Fantastic (hehe) Gifts for the Doctor Who Fan!
15 Gift Ideas for the Doctor Who Fan
The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate links
Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!

I will be honest. I truly wouldn't mind snagging a few of these for myself. I think they are all fun, and speaking on behalf of the Whovians in your life--they will bring a definite smile to a Doctor Who fan's face!

1. Let's start at the beginning. No seriously. Give the gift of the start of it all! Get the Whovian of your life, some Classic Doctor Who DVD's! You can find so many of the early black and white editions of the very first season--even available on Amazon video streaming. They will thank you as you help them start back with the First Doctor who set the foundation for a cult classic!

2. Subtle, but oh so cool--Shine some light in their night, with a Doctor Who Themed Nightlight! I love this Tardis nightlight, but there is also a Weeping Angel (which my husband says would creep him out), and a Dalek to pick from!

3. Got a Whovian who is also a LEGO fan? Oh yeah. You KNOW they will love the new Doctor Who Building Kit! I mean, my boys are really wanting me to get us a set as well! The set includes 4 mini-figures with assorted accessory elements: the Eleventh Doctor, the Twelfth Doctor, Clara Oswald and a Weeping Angel, plus 2 Daleks! I know that your LEGO loving Whovian will have a blast putting this together as soon as they receive it!

4. A Sonic Screwdriver Pen. When we were down in Florida a couple weeks ago, we were invited to a friends condo for dinner. Her son happened to have a sonic screwdriver pen in hand (he'd just gotten it) and was surprised when I said "Love your screwdriver!". He gaped at me and said "You actually know what this is??!" His mom laughed. So then he proceeded to tell me about how marvelous it was, and how it was so cool to write I am absolutely recommending this as a gift for your Whovian! And you can make them even happier if you get them the screwdriver to match their favorite Doctor! Here is the Tenth Doctor's Screwdriver, or the Eleventh Doctor's Screwdriver. Actually, I just like a lot of the Doctor Who themed pens in general.

5. Doctor Who Mugs. There are so many really cool Doctor Who mugs. This Figural Tardis mug is my favorite, but there is a Disappearing Tardis Mug that reacts with heat, a creepy Weeping Angel Mug that has the angel disappear with heat, a Keep Calm I'm the Doctor mug, or for fun a Dalek Caffeniate Coffee Bucks Mug. And don't even get me started on the incredibly awesome Doctor Who TRAVEL Mugs! Oh and don't tell me that this Tardis Teapot isn't the cutest thing ever!

6. Make them smile with a Doctor Who Scarf! Let them give a silent homage to their favorite Fourth Doctor with the iconic Doctor Who Fourth Doctor striped scarf. You could always go with a more generic Tardis Blue Scarf, or for a more feminine look, the Doctor Who Seventh Doctor Lightweight Paisley Scarf. And I am loving this Tardis Exploding Pandorica Opens Scarf. The colors are just gorgeous!

7. Make it fit them like a Tee(shirt)! There are so many Doctor Who T-shirts out there--some very subtle, some funny, and I really love the ones that do a mix of fandoms--like this one that is a Peanuts Doctor Who, or this Doctor Who Alice in Wonderland. When I was at Hot Topic I fell in love with a tshirt that was just like this Doctor Who Quote Tank Top...I'm kicking myself now that I didn't get it, as I can't find it anywhere! This shirt here was on sale, but sadly they didn't have my size. Sigh.

8. Doctor Who Socks. There are SOOOOOO many super cute socks out there that pay tribute to the Doctor Who fandom. You really can't go wrong. It's the perfect gift for the Whovian who might like to "hide" that part of themselves. LOL. Seriously though. Doctor Who socks are fantastic! Another thing that I chose NOT to get and wish I had. Sigh. 

9. Did you know they have Doctor Who Themed games? Of COURSE they do! You can get Doctor Who Trivial Pursuit, Doctor Who Yatzee, Doctor Who Monopoloy, Doctor Who Clue, Doctor Who Tumbling Tower Game (aka Doctor Who Jenga), and a FREE Doctor Who Legacy game for your favorite device (I have this game and LOVE LOVE LOVE it and play it all the time).

10. The adult coloring fad hasn't left Doctor Who out! Got a friend or family member who loves adult coloring books AND Doctor Who? If so, make sure you snag a copy of Doctor Who Coloring Book and Doctor Who Travels in Time Coloring Book. Grab them a set of nice coloring pencils to go with it and they will be set!

11. Does your Whovian love things for their kitchen? You could make his or her day with things like this Doctor Who cookbook, Doctor Who Silicone Ice Cube Trays (Daleks and Tardis Ice Cubes!!!), Doctor Who Plate Set, this Hello Sweetie Cutting Board (LOVE IT!),  Doctor Who Tardis Apron, or maybe a Dalek Bottle Opener! Any of these would be sure to bring a smile I'm sure. 

12. Doctor Who Footware will give them something to stand up and cheer for! There are Doctor Who Slip Ons, Doctor Who Canvas Shoes. Doctor Who Adult Moccasin Slippers. Doctor Who High Top Police Box Shoes. Doctor Who Loafers. So many fun pair of shoes to look at. And I just love the super colorful ones. I'm sure you could smile if you had a pair of those on your feet!

13. Who doesn't like a new tote bag? There are some simply delightful options if you are wanting to get your Whovian a bag--whether a tote, backpack, satchel, or purse! My personal favorite is this beautiful Doctor Who Van Gogh Starry Night Messenger Bag. The colors are just gorgeous! Go shopping Doctor Who Style with this Trust Me I'm the Doctor bag! Want something less colorful? How about this Splashed Police Box Tardis Doctor Who Messenger Bag? The black and white keeps it more subtle, but ever so snazzy! What about this Doctor Who Mini Satchel? Seriously cute. Here is a smaller Tardis Backpack--wouldn't that be fun to wear to school? Here is a Doctor Who Shouler Purse/Tote that I would totally carry! I love the unique design and it's just the right size! How about a fun Tardis Pen/Pencil/Makeup Case? I've only scratched the surface of the amazing Doctor Who bags out there--so I'm sure you could find your Whovian just the right one for them! 

14. Give them sweet dreams of travelling through space and time with the Doctor, as they wrap themselves up in these Doctor Who themed bedding items! There are some warm fuzzy afghans, Doctor Who sheet sets, pillow of your favorite Doctor, fun pillow covers, and more!

15. And last but none the least, let's not forget Doctor Who inspired jewelry. From the more casual Tardis pendants, to the charming charm bracelets, to the darling dangling earrings. I love this Doctor Who Van Gogh Crescent moon pendant, don't you?

There are so many delightful things out there for you to snag for your Whovian--And I only scratched the surface! There is also a great store called Hot Topic that carries some FABULOUS Doctor Who clothing. One of my friends scored the most awesome Tardis jacket and there are some darling dresses and other paraphernalia for the more classy present.

I hope are enjoying my gift guide series. I just wanted to give you a jump start on thinking of things that would be good gifts for the loved ones in your life. I have put together another list--this time of my favorite kitchen gadgets that I will be sharing next week--kitchen gadgets are my special weakness, you know! LOL.

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November 4, 2016

Stay Between the Lines {Five Minute Friday}

Ahhh. The first Friday of November. It feels so good to know that tomorrow is my Sabbath and a day of rest. I know we will appreciate it, especially with this gorgeous fall weather! With it being Friday, that means it's time for another Five Minute Friday. I'm feeling a bit...poetic.


Stay Between the Lines
by Lisa McKinney

We all know that life's a journey
and sometimes the road seems long
But if we keep our vehicle between the lines
We will keep from steering wrong.

The lines are the Word and laws of God
They help us to know The Way
And keep us from straying off the road
No matter if its night or day.

Like the Israelites back in Exodus
We have something to follow behind
They had the cloud of fire and smoke
We're lead by the Savior of Mankind.

The journey is long, but the end will come
It's going to be sooner than later
Keep your eyes lifted up, stay between the lines
And you'll be blessed by the Creator. 

Want to Join in?
We are pretty excited about the rest of the weekend, because my parents are in the middle of their official moving road trip here. They are a mere 500 miles away now--resting for the Sabbath in Iowa. We expect them to finish their journey on Sunday, and arrive Sunday night. Needless to say, all involved are very excited about this. Their house is in the middle of construction--all framed and sheeted now--and their pole barn is completed. They haven't seen it yet--having had to rely on my photos and videos, so they are dying to arrive. I know they will be happy that part of THEIR journey will be over--and a new adventure can begin.

Have a simply wonderful weekend and may it be full of peace and blessings!

November 3, 2016

Pirates or Privateers: You Decide A Once-a-week Micro Study from Homeschool Legacy {Curriculum Review}

One of the aspects of homeschooling I enjoy the most, is being able to do a unit study. Unit studies work well for us, because they allow me to teach both boys at once, incorporate multiple subjects into one lesson, and allow for a variety of activities to be done. A company well known for their best selling unit studies, is Homeschool Legacy. Over the past couple weeks, we have been reviewing their Once-A-Week Micro Study Pirates or Privateers: You Decide.
Pirates or Privateers: Unit Study from Homeschool Legacy {Curriculum Review}

About Homeschool Legacy

Homeschool Legacy is devoted to providing high quality unit studies to the homeschool family. With unit studies covering a plethora of subjects from holiday traditions, to colonial cooking, to historical events, and more—there is a unit study topic for just about everything. They also offer shorter unit studies like their once a week unit studies, lasting just 4 weeks, instead of their 6-8 week studies.

Our review crew was allowed to choose from the following list of unit studies to use in our classroom:
Once-a-Week Unit Study:
*Christmas Comes to America 

Once-a-Week Micro-Studies:
*Pirates or Privateers: You Decide 
*Cooking up History with the Founding Presidents
*Victoria and Her World
*Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims   
*Many Nations

These unit studies incorporate language arts, history, geography, civics, life skills, and more!

We chose to do the Once-a-Week Micro-Study Pirates or Privateers: You Decide over the last couple weeks.

My Thoughts:

The #1 appeal of this unit study, is its length. A once a week (30 minutes) session is a great mini-unit length for us to work in. I can see that it would be a great way for someone to explore how the Homeschool Legacy unit studies work. Having experienced Homeschool Legacy before, I knew that the shorter length of the unit study, was in no way going to decrease the meatiness of what the study covered.

I was happy to see that I was right. Every week’s lesson gave in depth history on the subject, as well as a rich vocabulary relating to the topic. There were links for us to do maps and other activities—like labeling the Spanish Main or reading about and labeling the parts of a Spanish Galleon.

After learning about Sir Francis Drake, Little Britches was to write some facts about him—so I used the links and printed off a short biography. I had him record the information on some notebooking pages I had which were even themed Sir Francis Drake. My youngest drew the sailing route that Drake took, on a blank world map I found—great geography practice. We also had fun remembering the audiodrama Under Drake’s Flag which we reviewed last year, because it mentioned several of the same things we talked about in the unit study portion about Sir Frances Drake.

We are reading the suggested book Treasure Island, which we hadn’t ever read before. The boys were very eager to read it, because it has primarily male characters and is about pirates! We read it daily, even when the unit study is a once a week lesson.

An added bonus for our unit study, we went to a pirate themed mini-golf course on our recent trip to Panama City Beach, FL! Throughout the course—at every hole plus along the path, there was the tale of Blackbeard! It gave factual information about him as a man and pirate, and threw in extra bits of information relating to pirates and privateers. Talk about perfect timing!
one of the silly ditty gravestones

Daddy in stocks

Some suspicious characters apprehended!
The final aspect of our study is to dress like a pirate and watch one or two of the suggested old swashbuckling adventures. I appreciated that the unit study links them up to YouTube recordings—perfect since we have YouTube on our TV!

The boys have enjoyed learning about pirates and we had some great discussions about how a piece of paper granting you permission to rob others, doesn’t make it right in the sight of God. They now don’t think that being a pirate is something to want to be in a costume, because of what they really represent. This is something that I appreciated them learning all on their own—thanks to this unit study.

Would I Recommend This Product?

I definitely recommend Homeschool Legacy for anyone desiring to do focused studies on particular aspects of history—the units provide you all the information you need for the basic instruction and give you plenty of supplemental information to take it further. Their digital pdf’s are linked up to websites with activities, maps, movies, sound bites, and other very useful information, so you don’t have to find it yourself.

All in all, I think I actually prefer these mini-units of once a week studies, to the longer units, because I can easily fit them into what our schedule already contains. I will be checking out others in their mini-unit collection for sure after using this one.

Want To Know More About Homeschool Legacy?

Over the last couple weeks, we have been working on the Once-a-Week Micro Study Pirates or Privateers: You Decide from Homeschool Legacy. We've shared about our study, but make sure you check out the other studies the rest of the crew members picked!
Once-a-Week Studies {Homeschool Legacy}

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