Aug 252014
 

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book to review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Have you ever requested a book to review and you were expecting one thing, and it turns out it was entirely different?

I have.

Mother’s Book of Home Economics is one of those cases.

The title suggests that it might be a training manual of sorts. A “How-to Train your Daughters” type of book. It might have step-by-step lists of projects to do, or maybe a home economics bucket list i.e. “Things to do with your daughter before she’s grown.”

All those sound like great books. They are ones I’d be interested in reading.

But that is not at all what Mother’s Book of Home Economics is.

The sub-title provides more insight.

Remembrances, Letters, and Essays from a New England Housewife

So if you’re looking for a practical how-to book this isn’t it. Not that what Mrs. White shares isn’t practical. It’s just so much more.

I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for 16 years. I’m starting my 12th year of homeschooling. I believe completely that motherhood is a calling. We have made great financial sacrifices in order for me to stay home. So a book that’s a call for homemaking didn’t seem to be something I needed to read. But I was in for a surprise. This book really made me think. I was convicted many times.

First, let’s think about the shift in our society. Now we call ourselves stay-at-home moms or in my case, a homeschooling mom. The focus is on being a mom. Mrs. White reminds us that the focus used to be on being a wife. The old term was housewife. There was a dual emphasis on house and wife. Certainly the children are important and a major part of what our job consists of, but when they’re gone is our time at home over? Is there no purpose for us to stay at home once the children have moved away or should we just stay at home with our children for a season?

Those are interesting questions.

Mrs. White challenges women to work at keeping their homes neat and clean. She encourages cooking for our families. These are all things that to an outside observer, I do a pretty good job at. Relatively speaking anyway.

But the difference is in attitude.

“There is joy in dusting and polishing. There is pride in cooking for the family. There is happiness in creating a pleasant haven in our homes….

Ironing is done in a slow and careful manner. It forces one to be peaceful.”

Mother's Book of Home Economics

Ouch! I’m usually rushing to iron on Sunday morning and grumbling all the time. Or cooking and feeling irritated that no one appreciates all the work I do for them.

“A wife who does not complain is a virtuous asset to her husband.”

I do make an effort not to complain, but I’m usually complaining on the inside and patting myself on the back for not saying anything.

What about this?

Being quiet. . . We often talk too much, worry too much, think too much, and want to multitask every minute away! Being quiet and content takes effort, but it will bring peace and gentleness to the family.”

In other words, we shouldn’t be martyrs, Sighing and weary of all our work. We should feel weary but not of working, instead we should feel tired in a good way from working hard to keep our home. How can we do this? It is only with strength from the Lord.

If you’re looking for encouragement for making your house a home and learning contentment, I recommend Mother’s Book of Home Economics. You probably won’t agree with all of Mrs. White’s ideas on the topic, but I bet it will make you think about your attitude towards cooking and cleaning.

 


By Kristen H.
Jul 192014
 

We’re gearing up to start our 12th year of homeschooling.

Or maybe I should say, I should be gearing up. I have purchased all our curriculum. It’s waiting on the shelf. And waiting. But I have not felt like starting to plan. I’ve enjoyed taking the summer off, and it’s hard for me to admit that it’s already almost the end of July. I really am not ready to get back into the daily grind.

So in case you’re feeling a little less than enthusiastic about starting the school year, here are 7 things (I call the UPDATED approach) to help you get motivated for school planning.

Refueling for the new school year

Photo Credit

Refueling for the New School Year

1.  Use momentum (gained at the end of last year)

It is always helpful to highlight the strengths of each of your children.  You don’t have to start all of your curriculum all at once.  Pick your kids’ strongest subjects and introduce them one at a time to get a great start to the new school year.  You can choose one subject added per week or two per week, or whatever it takes to get a good start to the new school year.  Sometimes we focus on our children’s weakest subjects because we know that they need to spend more time on those; however, if the school year doesn’t begin well, then that extra time may not be beneficial.  So start the year off with subjects that your students love, rather than the thing they struggle with the most.

2.  Plan for some review time during the year.

I am usually very good at planning things out at the beginning of the year.  I have good intentions.  My kids have good intentions.  But there are always little things (sometimes good things), and other outside activities that get in the way of the perfect plan.  Start your year off by planning for some review time for your kids.  Don’t wait to insert some time until later in the year. Do it early while things are still going well.  If students are on a roll, and don’t want to slow down too much, use this time to work on some fun interdisciplinary projects.  This is different than taking a complete break from school work (step #5) which we all need as well.  This can be a valuable part of reinforcing the learning that is going on in your homeschool.

3. Do something new.

It’s not good to constantly switch to the latest and greatest curriculum. But sometimes adding just a little something new is enough to bring enthusiasm and excitement to your school day. You might get excited about a new curriculum or a supplement. Your excitement as a mom can be contagious.

4. Add some fun.

When my older kids were younger I realized I had trouble getting the fun projects done. I was pretty good at keeping us going through our math and English books, but making salt dough maps just wasn’t happening. At that time I instituted Fun Fridays. On Fridays we didn’t do our regular handwriting, math, and grammar lessons. Instead we made time for those hands-on opportunities I was too tired to do on other days by giving them priority. It’s something I’m considering trying again with William and Lizzie this year since I am once again struggling to find time for the “fun” things.

5. Take a break.

Hopefully, you’re doing that. I know schooling year round is popular with some, but we all need breaks. If you school year round, enjoy the shorter, more frequent breaks. If you take the summer off, be sure to spend some time relaxing. If you find the need for more breaks during the school year schedule them and make sure you actually take them! I have friends who use a Sabbath Scheduling Method. With my older children in outside classes I don’t know if it would be worthwhile for me to try at this point, but the idea is appealing.

6. Evaluate

Before you plan, look back at last year and think about what worked and what you’d like to change. Have you children fill out an evaluation too. I’ve created an evaluation form that can help you with this process.

7. Delegate.

If your kids are middle school age or older, why not have them help you with the planning? Have them look through their curriculum and tell you how many math lessons there are or how many science experiments. Let them make supply lists or book lists. Or give them a planner and have them figure out how to pace one or all of their courses. Keep them involved throughout the year as well. Have them help you evaluate how the year is going so far and add suggestions for improving the rest of the year.

 

So maybe you’re not chomping at the bit to get started on the new school year, but try this UPDATED approach to bring some energy to the new school year.


Photo credit: Graphic created from Creative Content photos by Greg Peverill-Conti and Rachel K on Flikr.com.

Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link.

 


By Kristen H.
Apr 142014
 

As I look back over David’s homeschool career, history has often been a struggle. We started off well, with lots of hands-on projects and notebook pages. He began to use the computer for making notebook pages at a young age (about 2nd grade). We had one year in a co-op for Tapestry of Grace and in hindsight that was a good year. At the time I was often frustrated with the group setting.

Starting in David’s 6th grade year things really started to go downhill in the history department. We focused on reading real books, but we often rushed. I tried to keep all the children together in their history assignments. I was frazzled. Most of the hands-on projects disappeared from our home. Basically the only thing that we managed to slog through was the reading.

With high school coming, I knew that something had to change, so I went in a completely new direction for David. I went with the Textbook – Get It Done Approach for World History. And honestly, there were some things that worked really well with it. The program we used was broken down into daily readings so it was very simple to use. It included comprehension questions, quizzes, and tests. And we made it through.  It did nothing to ignite a love of history though.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I received a free download of Part 1 in order to write this review. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Next year is American History. I was going to have David use the Textbook – Get It Done Approach again. That is  until I had an opportunity to review Dave Raymond’s American History Curriculum from Compass Classroom.

American HistoryI am excited to give this curriculum a try. It has some of the features that have worked well for David.

  • Well structured and divided into daily lessons
  • Includes quizzes and tests

But there are some major differences that I am excited about.

Video format -

The daily lessons include a relatively short video (about 10 minutes) with Dave Raymond teaching. I think this format will work well for David. He tends to lose focus with lots of reading. I like that Dave Raymond stresses taking notes. That is a skill that David needs to develop before going to college and this will be good practice.

Accompanying readings -

The readings are mostly primary source documents that go along with the lecture. They are typically not lengthy. One thing I love about both the student and teacher guide is that the download includes  a pdf version, a Kindle version, and an epub version! So David can read from the Kindle, but I can print things as necessary from the pdf version on my computer. Super idea!

Portfolio and other projects -

This is what I find the most exciting about this curriculum. I feel like we’re coming full circle back to our early days of studying history. (Ones that David actually enjoyed!) Along with the lectures and the reading, the student completes a portfolio of their work. (Similar to the notebook pages we used to do.)It’s described as a scrapbook type of book, but I think we will likely modify it for David and have him create his in electronic form. There are also several other assignments – some of which include a research paper, delivering an historical speech, and the final project called the Hour Project. The options on the Hour Project are limitless, but knowing my son, the project will likely culminate with a video production.

The curriculum is available in 2 parts with each part containing 13 lessons. It’s available as a download (current price $65/each part) or on DVD (current price $120/set). You can also download 5 lessons free! To make this a full high school credit, it is necessary to complete the extra projects, however, the curriculum is suitable for upper middle school as well.


By Kristen H.
Aug 092013
 

Eleven years ago I attended my very first homeschool book fair. We had a just turned 4 year old boy, a 2 year old girl, and a 2 month old baby. Like many new homeschoolers, I was very enthusiastic about starting homeschooling, and I wanted to go ahead and have a “test” year to make sure that I could actually do it.

Looking back, I see why so many people have the idea or making preschool a test year, but  determining if you’re going to be able to homeschool using a 4 year old as a test subject is not particularly helpful. A lot of growth occurs between 4 and 5. And those younger kids that you’re worrying about keeping entertained  grow a lot in a year too.

Thankfully, we were cheap, poor, frugal so that took a lot of bright, shiny preschool programs out of consideration. That helped me by necessity to keep things simple.

After doing my research, a lot using the CBD Homeschool Catalog, I had determined there was 1 item I was definitely going to buy at the book fair. (Assuming I could find it. Boy did I have no idea what a crazy, big place I was heading into! )

That one thing was Alpha-Phonics.

Alpha-PhonicsAlpha-Phonics is a phonics-based  reading program that has short lessons. It’s a very gentle approach to learning to read using time-proven methods of reading instruction. You teach the sounds the letters make, and you put them together to sound out words. There is repetition, but not long lists of rules to memorize. It doesn’t require writing, which is great for young learners since fine motor skills for writing often lag behind reading readiness. And it is very affordable.

Eleven years ago, we taught David to read using Alpha-Phonics. He was only 4, but he was ready to learn. Anna was not ready to learn to read at 4, or at 5. She was almost 6 before she grasped the concept of blending sounds together to make words. And William was even older. Lizzie however, was another young reader. I didn’t even teach her to read. She learned from several different computer games and her older brother and sister. As a result, she is a little weak on sounding out words. So I’m going to be going through Alpha-Phonics with her to fill in the gaps.

When Alpha-Phonics contacted me to see if I wanted to review their updated program, I couldn’t refuse. The main  Alpha-Phonics text is unchanged from the version I purchased 11 years ago. But they’ve added some extras. In addition to the book, there is now a CD-ROM of the entire text included at the same low price. I’ve tried out the CD, and I liked listening to the author, Samuel L. Blumenfeld, discuss the development of the alphabet and phonics instruction. I think the CD has more value to someone who is using Alpha-Phonics in a classroom setting, but it might prove useful to be able to have the student read from the computer instead of the book just for the sake of variety. It’s not a computer game, it’s full screen images of every lesson in Alpha-Phonics, with teacher instructions, both written and recorded.

I also received the Companion Workbook and the Little Companion Readers.The Companion Workbook has simple exercises to reinforce the concepts learned in the Alpha-Phonics book. The exercises require very little writing so they would be useful for a younger learner. There is a guide that correlates the lessons in the book with the workbook.

The Little Companion Readers are also correlated with the Alpha-Phonics lessons. I have always found phonics readers helpful in those early stages of learning to read. Reading sentences helps with reading comprehension skills and proper voice inflection. It’s nice to have readers specifically linked to your phonics program so you know there are no surprises with letter sounds that haven’t yet been introduced.

I highly recommend Alpha-Phonics for beginning or remedial phonics instruction.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of Alpha-Phonics, the Companion Workbook and Little Companion Readers in order to write this review. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are my own. This post contains an affiliate link.


By Kristen H.
Jul 292013
 

If you like to talk to tomatoes,

If a squash can make you smile,

If you like to waltz with potatoes,

Up and down the produce aisle….

Have we got a show for you!

Yes, I just typed that from memory.

We received our first Veggie Tales video, Rack, Shack, and Benny, for my oldest son’s 1st birthday. Fourteen years and 4 kids later, we still love Veggie Tales.

MacLarry & The Stinky Cheese BattleSo when I was offered a copy of the latest offering, MacLarry & The Stinky Cheese Battle, to review, I didn’t hesitate to accept. I wasn’t disappointed. MacLarry is a well-done video that delivers what I’ve come to expect from Veggie Tales: a fun story, an unusual setting, silly humor, and a good moral.

MacLarry is the son of the chief of the Barber-barian clan. They have a long standing feud with the Romans who have occupied nearby England. They play pranks on the Romans and give bad haircuts. But MacLarry isn’t like all the other Barber-barians. He isn’t good at pranks. Instead, he likes to invent things. His father loves him, but he is disappointed in him. Finally MacLarry decides to leave the village and sets out to find his hero Archimedes.  What happens next, I’ll leave as a surprise, but I will tell you that MacLarry saves the day and his father comes to value his differences. The application verses are found in I Corinthians 12 where it speaks of the body as having many members that are all different, but all necessary for the function of the church.

If you have Veggie Tales fans, you will not be disappointed in MacLarry & The Stinky Cheese Battle.

 

Disclosure: I received a copy of MacLarry & The Stinky Cheese Battle in order to write this review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions are my own. Post contains an affiliate link.

 


By Kristen H.
Jul 062013
 

I had the opportunity to review the on-line reading program, Reading Eggs, last spring. My daughter Lizzie, really enjoyed the program and played it every day. Since then Reading Eggs has expanded. Now they have Eggy apps! These include Eggy Words, Eggy Alphabet, Eggy Phonics, and more.

I received 2 apps to review:

ipad-eggy_numbers2-6b53bf8b965f7e1bca33c6dcb5e850c3 Eggy Numbers has a variety of activities for young learners. There are multiple accounts allowed so more than one child can keep up with their progress. The activities include both those that teach the number, like drawing and copying,  the number, and those that teach counting.This app is available both for iPad and iPhone and is recommended for children ages 3 and up.

I played with this app and found the menu selection and games fairly intuitive. I did not have any problems with the game running. I liked the wide variety of animals used in the counting games. The graphics are attractive.

We do not have an iPad, so I was using my iPod Touch to review this. I think that although the game works fine on the iPod, the larger screen on an iPad would be better. My 2-1/2 year old son struggled with dragging the farm animals into the pen to count them. But he’s a little under the age recommendation for this app and not really counting yet. He says sequences of numbers, but doesn’t have the “point at one object – say one number” concept down. (I think the technical term is one-to-one correspondence.) Lizzie, 6-1/2, did play with the app and liked it, but the concepts are not ones that she needs practice.

 

ipad-eggynurseryrhymes1-04af70a0ba5912d663600131e1b45546Eggy Nursery Rhymes teaches young children a variety of nursery rhymes and uses the nursery rhymes to practice reading and spelling. Some of the familiar rhymes include Baa Baa Black Sheep, Humpty Dumpty, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. In the sing-along view, the bouncing ball shows the words of the nursery rhyme. Then the child can practice spelling various words in the rhyme or choose starting letters of various words in the rhyme.

I liked that the app allows you to select UK, Australian, or US accents. We found the bouncing ball was dragging a little behind the audio, but that is likely a problem with my iPod rather than the app. It’s a 2nd generation, so many of the new apps are pushing its limits. Once again, my kids didn’t match the age and skill levels perfectly. Andrew can watch the sing-along sections, and try to play the games, but he isn’t ready for the spelling exercises. Lizzie also likes the rhymes (and she doesn’t know them all, so it’s good exposure.), but most of the activities are too easy for her. (But she’s a very good reader for 6-1/2 years old.) Overall, these are great apps to have if you have young children. There is a lot of play value for only $2.99 each.

 


By Kristen H.
Nov 062012
 

When am I ever going to need this?

Why do I have to learn this?

Math is so boring.

If you’ve ever heard any of the above in your home, I have a suggestion for you.

It’s called Make It Real Learning.

I reviewed one of the modules: Sets, Probability, and Statistics from Volume I several years ago. We really enjoyed it!

I recently received the Activity Library: Volume II to review. This volume contains the following 11 books.

    • Make it real learningArithmetic II
    • Fractions, Percents, Decimals III
    • Fractions, Percents, Decimals IV
    • Geometry I
    • Geometry II
    • Graphing & Other Algebra Skills I
    • Graphing & Other Algebra Skills II
    • Linear Functions III
    • Periodic & Piecewise II
    • Quadratic II
    • Sets, Probability, Statistics II

As you can see, many of the topics are continuations of those found in the first volume. However, I do not think it is necessary to have completed Volume I to use Volume II. Volume II adds 2 subjects, Geometry and Graphing, that were not topics in Volume I.

Each of the books contains 10 modules that use a wide variety of real world examples. In Graphing & Other Algebra Skills I, your students can work problems on topics such as autism rates, paper sizes, interest rates, and calculating take home pay. Geometry includes area and volume calculations for swimming pools and landscaping, using right triangles around the house, and so much more. (Maybe this will spark an interest in my son for landscaping! We could certainly use the help.) Each problem set has both student worksheets and a complete solution set.

I think the wide variety of topics make the problems so much more interesting. I’ve enjoyed using these because they always get my son off on some other learning tangent. (OK, I confess that sometimes drives my insane, but in theory I like it.)

The books are only available as e-books, making them to convenient to use and store. Just print the parts that you’re going to use. You can purchase the complete Activity Library Volume II at the Make It Real Learning website for $39.99. There is a special bundled price of $69.99 for both volumes of Make It Real Learning Activity Library. There are also free samples available on their website. I highly recommend taking a look at the samples. I think you’ll be impressed.

Thank you Make It Real Learning for allowing me to review Volume II!

 

Disclosure: I received the Make It Real Learning Activity Library Volume II for free in order to write this review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.


By Kristen H.
Oct 302012
 

Do you long for the good ole days when children played outside with their friends, went fishing, and had great adventures?

I know that a lot has changed in the few, short, ahem, years since I was a child. No, I didn’t grow up in the country, but my friends and I did ride our bikes all over the neighborhood, explore in the woods, and play fun games like Hide and Seek, Kick the Can and “Red Light, Green Light, Hope to See the Ghost Tonight.” Kids today aren’t allowed to do as much roaming without supervision as they used to. Parents get children together for play dates. People are so busy with all their activities that there is rarely time for kids to just play.

Sugar Creek GangUnfortunately, we can’t fully go back to those days (though there are some definite decisions that we as parents can make to keep our children’s lives as simple as possible). I recently received the Sugar Creek Gang Volume 1 CD’s to review. Theses old stories were started in 1939. They are filled with fun and simple adventures seen through the eyes of a child. The 6 stories contained in Volume 1 are on 12 CD’s. The  recordings are made from the original books, have great sound, and are wonderfully read.

Woven into the stories are observations about obeying and respecting parents, telling the truth, attending church, praying, and many other Christian character traits and practices. The stories are told in a folksy style with the character lessons woven in. The lessons, at least for the most part, don’t feel tacked on.

I’ve listened to some of the CD’s with all of my children. My son William who is 10, likes the stories. My older children (12 and 14) don’t care for them much, but did listen on a long drive without complaining. I think the stories are engaging, provide enough mystery to keep you listening, and I even found them convicting at times especially hearing the child-like faith of Billy.

You can purchase all the Sugar Creek Gang audio CD’s from Beloved Books. If you love old-fashioned, you definitely need to visit the website! Each of the volumes are $54.95. I would recommend ordering the CD’s of the very first story, The Swamp Robber, for only $4.95. It’s a great story and it will give your family a taste of the Sugar Creek Gang.

Disclosure: I received Volume 1 of the Sugar Creek Gang in order to write this review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.


By Kristen H.
Oct 252012
 

My son William had a lot of trouble learning to read. I read all the advice that said not to worry about it.

“It will come.”

“Some kids are just late readers.”

It was helpful advice when he was 6. It was a little less helpful at 7. After he was 8 and even 9, the late reader testimonials really didn’t calm my fears much at all. One of the things that he really struggled with was focusing on the page. He couldn’t keep his eyes on the right line, and he just seemed distracted. He has never been officially diagnosed with dyslexia, but he displays most of the signs.

One of the things that we tried to help keep his eyes on the right place on the page were color-overlays. I noticed a definite improvement in his ability to keep his place in on the page. Moving the overlay himself was an issue at that time though.

Eye Level Reading RulersI was recently given a set of Eye Level Reading Rulers from Crossbow Education to review. They are designed to assist people who suffer from either visual stress or dyslexia. These rulers have 2 sizes of color-strips on each ruler. There is a thin strip that can be used for reading 1 line of text at a time or a thick strip that can highlight a whole paragraph at a time. This allows for more fluent reading. The rulers have both a glossy side and a matte side. They also come in 10 different colors so that you can test which color works best for you.

I really like these rulers. I especially like the matte finish side because I struggle some with glare. Maybe it’s from my constant use of the computer. I also like having the selection of colors to choose from. I find it interesting how some of the colors just don’t work at all, while others make the text seem clearer to me. They make a handy bookmark and are great for keeping your place when correcting student papers.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get William to give them a very good trial. Thankfully, he is reading much better now, and he seems to think that using the ruler is a step backwards. I did force him to try them out anyway, and he preferred the orange. The biggest problem with them for him is that that are a little too large for many books. If I could convince William to use one,  I would purchase a pack of 1 color and cut them in different sizes so they are easier to hold in a small book.

If you suspect that your child (or you) might be dyslexic or suffering from visual strain I would definitely recommend trying out the Eye Level Reading Ruler. They are available in the multi-color 10 pack for only $16.95, that’s a very small investment for something that could provide such a great benefit. You can visit Crossbow Education to order the Eye Level Reading Ruler and many other learning tools.

Disclosure: I received a 10 pack of Eye Level Reading Rulers in order to complete this review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.


By Kristen H.
Sep 252012
 

This summer we went on the most amazing vacation to Arizona. In the spring, as we were planning our trip, we were floundering a bit in our history studies. My husband suggested I try a unit study on Native Americans. I thought that was a great idea so I went straight to work on putting one together.

Well, no.

It was a great idea, but I never had the time to even look for a unit study, much less come up with my own.

So a couple of guilty months later, we were starting back to school, and I was offered an opportunity to review a unit study from Homeschool Legacy. Hmm. Let’s see, they have one on trees, horses, birds, Lewis & Clark, Native America, Early Settlers,…

Wait! Native America? The study I was supposed to do last spring? Well, better late than never, right? And now that we’ve visited all those western sites, it will be that much easier to imagine the Native Americans living there. Right?

Homeschool Legacy Native America, is part of the Once-a-Week Unit Studies series from Homeschool Legacy. The studies are designed so that all the activities in the study are done on one day of the week. That is with the exception of reading. They don’t have to be done that way, but I love the concept. On unit study day you can have a very short math lesson (or not) and jump right into the study for the rest of your school day. The other days have students select from the huge basket of  library books on the topic, and read from the family read-aloud. The study includes extensive book lists for all reading levels. (The Native America study can be used for 2nd through 12th grades!) There are a wide variety of activities including map activities, recipes, games, crafts, devotions, and much more. There are suggested field trips and movies for family movie night as well.

The units in the Native America study are arranged geographically. If you start at the first unit, you’ll be introduced to to the Northeast Woodland Nations. This is followed by the Southeast Woodland, The Southwest, The Plains, The Pacific Northwest, and finally the California Plateau/Great Basin Nations. After consulting the author, I decided to begin with the Southwest Nations, both because of our vacation, and the following week, on the Plains Nations, tied in well with my older daughter’s history studies. (I’m breaking all my own advice with history this year. My children are all over the place in their studies!)


Here are some cliff dwellings we visited in Arizona. This is Montezuma’s Castle.


Here’s a closer view.

The book list is huge, and I was able to find a wide variety of books in our library. There were some exact titles not available, but those were easy to substitute. The author includes Dewey decimal numbers for the books, making both catalog and in-person library searches, very easy!

The activities are varied for the different weeks. For example, in the Plains week, we played a matching game that helped reinforce all the ways that the Native Americans used bison. It even suggested making bison burgers. (That one I didn’t do. I didn’t know a local source of bison meat.) In the Pacific Northwest some fun activities include making a family totem pole and cooking salmon on a cedar plank.

Do your children participate in Boy Scouts or American Heritage Girls? These unit studies have special notes to show you which activities can be used to earn badges and awards in those clubs! What a way to multi-task! We’re not involved in either of those organizations, but I’ve always wondered how people found the time for working on all those badges.

Once-a-Week studies are great supplements to other history or science curricula. Or you can use them as a stand-alone curriculum. They’re great for getting your whole family on the same page for at least some of your studies! There are even “Stump Your Dad Trivia” questions. They are super easy to implement.

You can visit Homeschool Legacy to see all the different Once-a-Week Studies they offer. Here is a link for more information about the Native America study. The study is available for $17.95.

Disclosure: I received Native America from Homeschool Legacy in order to write this review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.


By Kristen H.