Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Riverwalk

Continuing our adventure... could MN visit San Antonio without a visit to the Riverwalk and the Alamo?   Of course not!

Sometimes, it's good to be reminded of what you get used to having by seeing it with fresh eyes! The Riverwalk is a fiesta of lights, colors, music and food.  Even though it was chilly...we had a great time!

Carole P. Roman books and collections from Carole P. Roman: A TOS Crew Review

Carole P. Roman books and collections from Carole P. Roman

We love learning with real books , and Carole P. Roman books and collections from Carole P. Roman are some of our favorites!

We got to pick 3 titles from her extensive collection of award-winning children's books.  It was a difficult choice, should we explore the world with "If You Were Me and Lived in... " a series that visits different countries around the world? 

Or should we dive into history with "If You Were Me and Lived in..." series that takes us back in time to experience different eras?

Maybe we should set sail with "Captain No Beard" or "Fribbet the Frog".  We could even visit Mars, or fight like a princess.  So many amazing choices!

We decided to explore with If You Were Me and Lived in...India: A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World If You Were Me and Lived in...Israel: A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World  and If You Were Me and Lived in...the Ancient Mali Empire: An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time.

This series is designed to be an introduction to different countries and cultures around the world for children ages 4-9.  With 20 titles in this series, you can take a trip around the world, right from the pages of these brightly illustrated books.

IF you were me and lived in ...IF you were me and lived in ...

If You Were Me and Lived in...India: A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World  takes you to one of my favorite places in the world...India!  Each book in this series presents facts about the country in the manner of what it would be like to really live there.  What would you see, what would you eat, what your name may be, what you call your parents...etc.  
My testers really like reading these and imagining living there!  I love that each book includes the pronunciation guides for the new words.  Having been to India several times, I can verify that the information is 100% correct - eating spicy food with your right hand is fun!  My biggest regret, not getting to see the Taj Mahal for myself...

If You Were Me and Lived in...Israel: A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World takes us to a very important place - Israel.  Since we have been studying world religions, this was a wonderful way to introduce some geography too.  The book gives a glimpse of Israel, through the eyes of a child living there.  Who wouldn't want to float in the Dead Sea, eat falafel, or celebrate Purim like Esther?  
What I like best about this series, is that it is written to our children.  The books inspire a curiosity to learn more about new and different places.  We use them all the time to complement our other studies, or just to ignite imagination.  We have reviewed other titles - read what we thought here

Our third selection - If You Were Me and Lived in...the Ancient Mali Empire: An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time is part of the history series designed for your 8-15 year olds.  In these titles, you get to time-travel to other eras to experience life.  We have enjoyed many of these titles - check out our review.

IF you were me and lived in

If You Were Me and Lived in...the Ancient Mali Empire is a 77 page softcover book with delightful watercolor-style illustrations.  This book takes you back in time to the Ancient Mali Empire.  I do not find many books on this topic!  One of the reasons to love Carol P. Roman, she makes history come alive for our children.

You learn what the history of Mali is, what your names would be (one of my tester's favorite parts!), where you lived, what you believed, what the weather and climate were like, what your family did for a living.

You explore the government, listen to your grandfather's storytelling, and meet Mansa Munsa.

You learn about school, arranged marriage, and what you would wear.   You learn about what you would eat, you never went hungry!

The book takes you back in time to really experience the culture.  Once again, it is a wonderful introduction to truly imagine living at that time and place.  My testers were enthralled with every page.

In addition, the back section of the book introduces you to famous people in the Mali Empire and includes a glossary of terms to know.  These books make a wonderful unit study in themselves, or a great addition to your history study!  My older students use them for research tools as well.

Be sure to check out all the Crew Reviews, with so many title to choose from - you're sure to find some to love!

Find Carole P. Roman on Social Media:

Carol P Roman Children's Book AuthorFacebook: www.facebook.com/CarolePRomanAwardWinningAuthorAndBooks
Twitter: twitter.com/caroleproman Tag: @caroleproman
Instagram: www.instagram.com/caroleproman Tag: @caroleproman
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6A9PDx7NdBgYUN1giUOp0A
Hashtags: #hsreviews, , #CarolePRoman, #childrensbooks, #culture, #history, #princess, #Mars, #pirates, #CaptainNoBeard, #OhSusannah, #RocketBye, #OneToTen, #NavigatingIndieworld,

Carole P. Roman books and collections {Carole P. Roman Reviews}

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Super Beads from Zirrly: A TOS Crew Review

Super Beads Jungle Animals
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Super Beads from Zirrly

We are always creating with fuse beads... I do mean always!  I'm so excited to introduce you to the iron-free way to create - Super Beads from Zirrly.  

Our kit, recommended for ages 5 and up, came with everything we needed -   
  • Clear trays for placing beads
  • pattern cards
  • instructions 
  • spray bottle
  • plastic tool
The most exciting part - NO more ironing for me!!  After years of using beads that need to be fused by ironing, I was happy to put my iron away.  These beads fuse with just a spray of water...YEAH!

We received the Jungle Animals kit to create with.  This kit came with pattern cards to create 6 animals: Lion, Rhino, Elephant, Zebra, Owl, and Monkey.

My testers were so excited to get creating.  They are not new to beading, and very happy to make their creations, and complete them right away.  When you're too young to use the iron, your creations may wait awhile around here until mom finds time to iron...

After years of working with beads, I can tell you some benefits to this "art form".  First, my children have gotten great hand/eye coordination from working with the fine motor skills needed to place the beads into the board. The focus and attention needed are valuable skills to practice.  Also, following a pattern and counting spaces is a great math skill.  Finally, they love to use their imaginations to freely create bead projects, even without patterns.

My kiddos have beaded every thing under the sun - from world flags (yes, he did the entire world...), football teams, pets, and even jewelry.  Zirrly just made it even easier for them to create!

These kits make it easy to create the designs with patterns that rest under the clear board.  My testers got right to work creating their "jungle".

They loved getting to spray their design with the little spray bottle (perfect for little hands) Did I mention how much I loved not having to iron?  I think the only thing I've ironed in the past 20 years is beads... After the design is sprayed with water, it takes about 60 minutes to dry and you can remove it from the board.

One thing my testers liked was the flexibility of the designs.  The beads have a more flexible feel to them, and when the design is removed it is bendable.

 My testers loved these.  I loved them too, they were able to create independently, with no mess.  These would make excellent birthday gifts...

Be sure to check out the other kits the Crew got to create with:

My testers had so much fun, they decided to create a zoo for all their new animals.  Like the cages?

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Á La Carte products from Home School in the Woods: A TOS Crew Reveiw

Home School in the Woods  Á La Carte products
Home School in the Woods  Á La Carte products

History that makes learning fun is the most memorable lesson, and the Á La Carte products from Home School in the Woods make the learning stick.

We were able to choose 2 items from the huge list of Á La Carte products to supplement our history studies.  We choose Mercenary Madness! File Folder Game and Journey Through the Middle Ages File Folder Game because we love a good competition.

The Á La Carte products are organized by historical era, and also by product type.  You can choose from Ancient history, world history, early America, 19th century America, 20-21st Century America and Bible Times.  Projects types include: Timelines, File folder projects or games, 3-dimensional projects, games, lapbooks & lapbook projects, notebooking projects and newspapers
The products are downloadable and printable PDF files.  Easy-to-follow instructions help guide you in the printing process.  All you need is a file folder, some cardstock, a scissors, and glue!  Once assembled, the games are flat and easy to store, with minimal pieces to keep track of :-)

We choose two file folder games - I love teaching and reviewing with games.  Anytime  we can add some fun competition, it doesn't feel like learning.  We have been studying the Middle Ages this year, so the era fit perfectly to use as review.  Both games are very easy to learn, and the main focus is reviewing facts from that particular era.    Once printed, it was easy to cut out and color to personalize, it helps to have a paper cutter handy!

Home School in the Woods  Á La Carte productsOur first one is Mercenary Madness! File Folder Game  - This is a game designed for 2-4 players in grades 3rd-8th. 

 Players are mercenaries hired by their king in order to protect them.  Each player races along their own path through the battelfield by answering questions about the Renaissance and Reformation. 

 Each correctly answered question earns a florin.  Spoils and Spoilers along the path increase your chances of earning more florins.  Arrive safely back at the castle and count your florins!  The one with the most florins wins.

My testers loved this game!  My testers range in age from 3rd - 7th grade.  Since some had studied this time period, they did a bit better. But, the questions vary in difficulty and detail, so even my younger testers had fun.  The game is fairly short, but you could play as long as you wanted to because there are numerous question cards.  The only downside...cutting out all those tiny florins!

Home School in the Woods  Á La Carte productsOur other game was called - Journey Through the Middle Ages File Folder Game.  This game is for 2-6 players, grades 3rd-9th.  In this game, you are a pilgrim on a journey through Europe during the Middle Ages. 

You move along spaces by answering questions from this era.  At each castle, you collect colored cards and once a pilgrim has collected one from each region, they win.  

The questions cover a wide variety of topics with a theme of the Middle Ages.  Questions about food, clothing, famous people, customs and more.  

The board is a map, so you get to work on basic geography too.  They are learning so much, but having fun along the journey!

I LOVE how these simple games have made reviewing history facts much more entertaining.  My testers like them so much, they have played them over and over!    They are extremely budget-friendly, and easy to assemble.

I was scrolling through all the great options and spotted a few I added to my wishlist...  Projects like Martin Luther's 95 Theses File Folder Project , Newspapers like The Medieval Times Newspaper, and this amazing looking hands on creation  -  The Penny Rug Notebook/3D Project

We have been long-time fans of Home School in the Woods for learning history.  The Á La Carte projects let you pick and choose.  Everyone on the Crew got to choose their own products, so be sure to check them all out!

Find Home School in the Woods on Social Media:
Hashtags:#hsreviews, #hsitwalacarteprojects

See what other members of the Crew thought here

À La Carte Projects - Individual projects designed to enhance your studies! {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

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IF:Gathering - 2018

Continuing our adventure -  the IF:Gathering 2018!

This was my 4th If:Gathering.  I have a hard time describing it...  Inspiring speakers, powerful worship and thousands of women gathering to hear from God.  Sharing it with your besties makes it priceless!

Here are few highlights - we got a chance to connect with IJM Ministries (we visited them in Chennai, India together!)  We all recorded messages to our congressmen.  And bought new shirts too... :-)

My fan-moment - getting to talk with Katie Davis Majors - go read her books!  Kisses from Katie and Daring to Hope,  they'll change your life! She is absolutely adorable, and so compassionate.

Selfies with Jessica Honegar - Noonday Founder!

It's powerful to see these influential, faith-filled women on their knees....

Christine Caine is my hero!  She may be tiny, but she is fierce!!

 And, the worship...  BLOW your MIND!   "You Keep Hope Alive"  - sung by thousands of voices,

I left full.