Thursday, March 26, 2020

Time Travelers U.S. History Studies The Civil War by Home School in the Woods: A TOS Crew 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

Time Travelers U.S. History Studies The Civil War by Home School in the Woods

One of our favorite ways to study history is with Home School in the Woods!  This year we are enjoying Time Travelers U.S. History Studies The Civil War  with our American History study.

This study is a downloadable treasure chest of information and activities  designed to bring your history study to life for your 3rd-8th grade students.  It contains 25 lessons that will take them on an adventure from the early days of slavery in our country through the Civil War and Reconstruction of our nation. A handy Lesson Planner shows you exactly what to do and print for each lesson.

The lessons include Text pages - think of these as your "spine" for learning.  They are jam packed with information. We like to read them aloud, but they make great independent reading as well.  A great feature of these studies is that you pick and choose what you want to print.  Everything is well-planned and easy to use, just be sure to stock up on printer ink if you're someone who wants to do it all.

The remainder of each lesson consists of hands-on projects.  From mapping, creative writing, lapbooking, cooking and even fun crafts to make -  this is what truly sets Home School in the Woods apart!  They make history come alive!

Let me show you a few of our projects:

I love all the maps!  I like to print them and back them with colored construction paper to make posters for our schoolroom, or to use them in my coop history class.

My testers LOVE the paper dolls - this unit allowed us to learn all about the women of the Civil War and the uniforms of the Union and Confederate soldiers.  These lessons never fail to ignite my children's imagination and have the wanting to learn more!

This project - the "Library of Leaders" was fun to make.  It's a collection of mini-books about each of these important leaders. I love that these studies give me a chance to be creative too.  My testers think they are so "cute" and I've found them reading them to their American Girl dolls for "school".

 Another personal favorite is the Timeline pages.  I like to print the Teacher Help version - but, you can also print it blank and let your students color and complete.  It makes an impressively long visual of the Civil War.

 Of course- the crafts are always a family favorite!  The instructions are always very easy to follow - and they make a great reminder of our learning.

This Study is filled with information!  From learning about the key battles and leaders to understanding the medical practices and weaponry you will be transported back to the Civil War era.   Vocabulary and penmanship are included in most lessons as well. The Lapbooks are amazing - all you need to do is print and assemble.  Homeschool in the Woods has done all the research and design for you!

Finally, Additional Resources are recommended to keep their learning continuing.

This is a really great way to make history fun and memorable - be sure to check out other Time Travelers U.S. History Studies titles:
  • New World Explorers - be sure to check our our review!
  • Colonial Life
  • The American Revolution
  • The Early 19th Century
  • The Civil War
  • The Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression
  • World War II
Home School in the Woods has a great Blog - filled with extra resources to help enhance your history study.  Be sure to check it out! 

Check out some of the other amazing products from Home School in the Woods the Crew has been reviewing:

Find Home School in the Woods on Social Media:


#hsreviews #HSitW #homeschoolinthewoods

Home School in the Woods Collections - Lap-pak, Timeline Figures, History Studies & Activity-Pak {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Fresh perspectives

I have been telling my family this past year (and it’s been a doozy!) that there are always “jewels & treasures along the path” if you are willing to notice them.

During our "confinement" we  took a long hike around the outside of our suburban neighborhood and discovered many “jewels & treasures” we had never had the time to notice before.

I love bluebonnets!

 Wildflowers and dirt paths... all of this only blocks away from us, and we never knew it!

We'll look back and realize what a gift this extra time together was! 

 God is good!

Apps & Ebooks from Math Galaxy: A TOS Crew Review

Math Galaxy

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

Math Galaxy makes mastering math concepts more fun!  We've been using the Apps for 5th Grade Math & 6th Grade Math, along with 30 different Math Riddles Ebooks to liven up our math review.

Let me start with the Apps. Math Galaxy has so many to choose from!  They offer a full range of apps for every level from Prek to Algebra and SAT Math.  We decided to explore with the grade level apps for 5th and 6th grade.  Math is not a universal love language at Bentz Academy, so any tools I can find to make it more enjoyable are welcome!

The apps are available through the App Store for iPad and iPhone.  The apps appear basic - no dancing characters or endless games, just solid math concepts and individualized review for concept mastery.


You can choose what topic to work on.  

Then, it's practice and review the concept.  The screens are intuitive, my testers could understand immediately.   

Using it on my iPhone XS - we still sometimes had issues making sure we hit the correct number button when answering. I'm sure it's much easier on a larger screen, like an iPad.  I think this could be improved to be more user friendly for the iPhones.

Immediate feedback is given, if your answer is correct it flashes "correct".  If you answer incorrectly, you get another try.  After 2 misses - the correct answer is shown and explained.

In addition, the apps contain video that you can watch to help explain concepts - in a very straightforward, whiteboard style.

And simple games - like Labyrinth.

Overall, having solid math review on my phone is a really great tool to pull out during our down times while waiting, or in the car.  

We also had the chance to review the Math Riddle eBooks.  They offer collections for Whole Numbers, Fractions, Decimals, Proportions, Percents, Algebra.  

This are 30 different PDF ebooks that you can download and print (I don't recommend using color ink!) to practice math facts by solving riddles.  Each ebook is a PDF with around 40-50 pages of riddles and answers.

These are a fun way to liven up the worksheet genre of math!  Instead of just working a page of problems, they get to answer the problem to find a letter that they can insert into the riddle.  These were a big hit around here!

You can use Google to make them into interactive worksheets (that don't need to be printed!)

Overall, we found Math Galaxy was a great way to expand our math learning, and make it more fun!

Find Math Galaxy on Pinterest

Hashtags: #hsreviews #mathgalaxy #riddles #mathriddles #fractionsriddles #mathworksheets

3rd Grade -Algebra Fundametals Math Apps {Math Galaxy Reviews}

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Heroes of History - Harriet Tubman: Freedombound from YWAM Publishing: A TOS Crew 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

Heroes of History - Harriet Tubman: Freedombound from YWAM Publishing

I've been homeschooling for the past 17 years, and one resource I would never do with out has been  YWAM Publishing!  For this review - we are privileged to introduce you to Heroes of History - Harriet Tubman: Freedombound and the Digital Unit Study companion.

At our first homeschool conference...way, way back, someone gave us a free copy of Gladys Aylward: Life of Adventure. We took it home and we were hooked! The very next year, I went straight to YWAM Publishing and purchased their entire set of both Christian Heroes: Then & Now and Heroes of History My dear husband never recovered from the shock that I bought "one of everything on the table." It is the one of my best purchases!

These stories have been LIFE CHANGING. All 8 of my children have grown up reading and listening to amazing stories of how God used ordinary people to change the world! One of our family sayings is "Someday, you will have a YWAM book".

Heroes of History - Harriet Tubman: Freedombound is an excellent addition to your American History study.  These books are great for independent reading for ages 10 and up, but we love them as family read alouds.  All the titles are available in paperback or e-book format, or as well-done audio books on CD or MP3 download.

Harriet Tubman: Freedombound follows the life of a truly inspiring woman in history.  Harriet is born a slave but, later escapes and becomes the "Moses" of her people, leading many to freedom along the Underground Railroad.  Her courage and refusal to give up are great lessons for our children today.  

Her story is captivating, we could not put it down.  That's what I love most about these books - they introduce ordinary men and women that God uses to do extraordinary things.  The books have never failed to show us how God can use even just one person to change the world.  Children need heroes to look up to, and YWAM Publishing has provided an entire series of them!

The Unity Study that goes along with this book is fantastic as well!  It comes as a digital download full of great ideas that can help you use these books across your curriculum.  It combines science, history, geography and more that will help you expand the reading into more learning.

 The Unit Study is very easy to use - you can pick and choose what you want to include.  We love to use the Chapter Questions for vocabulary and reading comprehension.

Printing out the maps that are included makes a great geography review.  When I teach geography in my Coop classes - I always give each student a  Christian Heroes: Then & Now book to read and report on.

We especially love the quotes!  They make great handwriting practice.

I HIGHLY recommend the Christian Heroes: Then & Now & Heroes of History series. One quick warning...don't let your family read these if you want them to live an ordinary life!

Check out the other Christian Heroes: Then & Now & Heroes of History titles we have reviewed:

Social Media Links:


Hashtags: #hsreviews #christianheroesthenandnow #christianheroes #christianbiographies #americanhistory #truebiographies #americanheroes #historicalbiography #homeschooling #homeschoolingcurriculum #heroesofhistory

32 Heroes of History {YWAM Publishing Reviews}

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

The Action Bible Anytime Devotions from David C Cook: A TOS Crew Review

The Action Bible Anytime Devotions from David C Cook

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

The Action Bible Anytime Devotions from David C Cook is a great resource to show your 8-12 year old's how to turn to God's word.

This 195 page, softcover devotional is designed to help your children learn to apply God's word to their daily lives.  It contains 90 different 2 page devotionals that cover a variety of topics including -courage, love, trust, hope, faith, kindness, service, and strength.  Just the things we need most.

Each devotion features a 2 page spread, illustrated in a colorful graphic novel fashion. Each page begins with a Action Verse  This is the main focus of the devotional and helps train your child to turn to scripture first.

 The Table of Contents shows the Title - Topic - Scripture passage.  I love that this makes it easy to find a particular topic they may be struggling with, or wanting to learn more about.

The purpose is to get your children studying God's word on their own, with the focus to help them apply and relate to scripture.

The devotions are written in an easy, direct fashion.  The focus is on real-life situations that children find themselves in, and how they can use God's word to help them.  The author offers practical advice - like how to refocus thoughts, how to pray specifically, a project to do or tips to try.  My testers loved that it was "real life".

Each devotion contains a "Take it Further" section that shows them another scripture passage they can read and learn from.

These devotions were well written, and really encouraged my children to think and apply the Bible to their daily life.

Find David C Cook on Social Media:
The Action Bible Anytime Devotions {David C Cook Reviews}

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Connections Stationary Kit from Byron's Games: A TOS Crew 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

Connections Stationary Kit from Byron's Games

It's a great time to get into letter writing with Connections Stationary Kit from Byron's Games!

Our world has changed, we find ourselves with plenty of time at home lately.  Our Connections Stationary Kit has been a God-send.

This letter writing kit contains everything your child needs to get started with the art of handwriting letters.  It includes:
  • 25 sheets of stationery paper (6" x 8.5")
  • 25 envelopes (6.5” x 4.5”)
  • 36 vintage-style envelope-seal stickers
  • 2 color ink pads
  • 1 rubber ‘Thank You’ stamp
  • 1 fine line blue pen
Check this short video out:

Since we have moved states several times over the years, my girls have loved becoming pen pals with friends all over.  This kit is a great tool for helping them stay connected.

The paper is really high quality. Right away, they exclaimed, "This is NICE!"  I love the watermark style map decoration on the stationary and coordinating envelopes.

 The kit also includes several pages of stickers, ink pads in 2 colors - blue and pink, and a "Thank You" stamp for those final finishing touches that make a letter look perfect.

My sweet testers were enthralled with the fine-tip pen as well.  It's super smooth and fun to write with.

I love that letter writing gives them the opportunity for so much undercover learning (my favorite kind!).  They are able to practice their handwriting, spelling, grammar and punctuation - and it all looks like fun.  Not to mention the excitement of getting to check the mailbox daily for a reply.

My family has treasured handwritten letters for as long as I can remember. I still have a box filled with hand-written letters from my grandmother, mother and my late husband. These letters are pieces of history. This kit makes it easy to introduce this life long skill to the next generation.

Other members of the Crew reviewed  the Continent Race - be sure to check them out!

Find Byron's Games on Social Media:


Hashtags: #hsreviews #ByronsGames #ContinentRace #boardgames #familygamenight #learnandexplore #Connections #Familyconnections #Letterwriting #Stationerykit #Kidsstationery #Writingkitforkids #Kidtrailblazers

Continent Race & Connections Stationery Kit {Byron's Games}