A New Direction

I’m so excited to be taking over the reins of this blog. My name is Dawn Peluso and I was one of the folks that helped Diane with the Schoolin’ Swag Facebook page.  I’m a homeschooling mom of 3.  Our children are 11, 9, and 3.  We live in Eastern, NC and enjoy hiking, the beach, and spending time with family. We are active in our church and strive be a family that follows Jesus.

We use a variety of materials and methods in our home school and like to say our style is “Charlotte Mason Eclectic”.  In particular, we enjoy using lots of good books, nature study, hands-on history, cooking, and traveling to create a family culture of learning and growing.

Look for more posts over the next couple weeks with information about book reviews, fun home school ideas, and more.

My plan for the blog beginning in September is to have a weekly post about the history that we are studying that week (my husband and I are creating a hands on American history program for our kids and I will share that plan and the resources that we are using,  in case anyone else wants to join us on that journey), Product reviews, a monthly book review of a book for Moms, lots of guest posts from other homeschooling moms about what they are doing in their home schools and a variety of other content.  I’m very open to hearing from our readers about what you would like to see and making sure we are meeting those needs.

Christmas School 2022

Every year in December, I change things up in our homeschool, and we do Christmas school. Every year is a little different, and we use various resources. Nt goal is to allow us to enjoy the seasons while continuing to learn and grow.

*Some links in this post are affiliate links; see disclosure below*

After trying to add Christmas into our schooling and overwhelming myself for several years, I learned to exchange things and not to add more to them. (You can read more about that here.)

Together

Last year we were introduced to Jotham’s Journey and really enjoyed it as our Advent reading. So this year, we decided to read the sequel: Bartholomew’s Passage. I love that it helps us keep our focus on Jesus and the children love listening. I also appreciate that it is simple to implement. Just take a few minutes each day to read the section specified for that day. If we get behind (because life is crazy), I read two days at once.

We study hymns year-round during our morning time, but my favorite is Christmas hymns. We will study a different hymn each week. We just added a new study of The First Noel to the free resource library in addition to the ones on the hymn study page. I may also choose a few that go along with an Advent study I am doing with the ladies from my church.

In addition to studying hymns, my children are learning various Christmas songs on their instruments, both independently and together. We are thankful that their music teacher over at Practice Monkeys helps them learn new Christmas music each year.

We are pausing our family Bible reading through Genesis and going to read through an advent scripture reading plan.

Finally, my little boys and daughter will be doing art lessons with You Are An Artist. There are some beautiful ones that go with many of our Christmas hymn studies. There are also lots of other fun Christmas lessons. We have the clubhouse membership to access all of the art lessons, and we enjoy the variety. However, those can be purchased separately if you just wanted to check out the Christmas lessons.

Teens

My two high schoolers can’t trade out as much of their work because of dual enrollment and more structured courses, but we do still have some flexibility. They are joining in on the family activities and also incorporating Christmas into our literature. Last year we did Charles Dickens.

This year we are studying American Literature and decided to read Little Women during this season. While not an explicitly Christmas book, Christmas plays a key part in the book. We will listen together on audio and then watch the movie together. We will also be doing other activities comparing the Christmases in the book.

Truth in Tinsel is set up and ready to go along with our Advent reading.

My Preschool and Elementary Boys

Years ago, I found Truth in Tinsel as an activity to do with my two children. Fast forward a ‘few’ years, and I now have four children. I am excited to give my two younger children the Truth in Tinsel experience. Truth in Tinsel is a great program that takes children through the Jesse Tree with Bible reading, discussion questions, and craft projects.

We will be doing a couple of the crafts each week, and on the days we do not do crafts, they will be coloring the accompanying Christmas ornaments. I even got a small artificial tree to put in our kitchen, where they hang the ornaments daily. This will be replacing our regular Bible curriculum.

Truth in the Tinsel

We will take a break from our regular science program for the month of December and do some festive nature study activities. The time outside is great for burning off the extra energy and excitement that comes with the season. Nature study is also a great way to help children connect with nature and expand their interests.

My eight-year-old just finished a level in his reading curriculum. So we are taking a break from the formal reading curriculum until January. In its place, I will be having him read some easy readers, including some great Christmas options.

We will also be doing a book Advent. We have chosen twenty-five of our favorite Christmas picture books and wrapped them up. A few of them we put specific numbers on to correlate with certain days, but most of them are random.

Each day the boys will choose a book to unwrap and have me read it aloud. We will enjoy the fun stories, talk about the beautiful illustrations, and, some days, enjoy some fun Christmas snacks. I am really looking forward to our Christmas school this year.

If you want more ideas, you can check out the links below to see what resources we have used in the past.

Additional Christmas School Resources

Our Christmas School Ideas 2021

A Cozy, Book-Filled December

Mega Homeschool Christmas Resource Round-Up

Christmas Music Appreciation Resources

A Christmas Journey and Activity Book (Review)

Christmas School 2019

Our Christmas School Plans

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library, you will get a link and password; we are adding new items to the library each month. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you updated on what we have going on.

.Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always, I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in, and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

Check out all of the Cyber Monday Deals on curriculum, gifts for mom, and more.

2022 Blue Ribbon Awards

I had so much fun reviewing different products for the Review Crew this year. As we wrap up the review year, the crew always votes on their favorite products for the year. Below is a list of the favorites in each category, and I have linked my reviews for any of the winners we reviewed.

2022 Winners

Favorite Reading Resource: Reading Eggs

Favorite Language Arts: Institute for Excellence in Writing

Favorite History/Social Studies Resource: Home School in the Woods

Favorite Science Resource: Greg Landry’s Homeschool Science

Favorite Math Curriculum: CTC Math

Favorite Math Supplement: Super Teachers Worksheet

Favorite Bible, Devotion or Study: Tommy Nelson Books/ Indescribable Kids

Favorite Bible Memory/Resource Tool: Bible Memory

Favorite Elective Resource: ARTistic Pursuits

Favorite Book/Audiobook: Tower of Light Christian Resources

Favorite Helpful Tool:or Resource: Super Teachers Worksheets

Best Resource I Didn’t Know I Needed: Reading Eggs

Favorite Preschool Program: LeapFrog

Favorite Elementary Product: Reading Eggs

Favorite Middle School Product: The Adventum

Favorite High School Product: TabletClass Math

Favorite Mom/Parent Product: Teach Sunday School

Kids Choice: Progeny Press

Teen’s Choice:YWAM Publishing

All Around Crew Favorite: The Critical Thinking Co.

In addition to these winners, my children wanted to make sure everyone checked out Farmyard Faith by Whatsoever Stories (Review), Otter B Free Book Review, and Quest for the King’s Crown.

I would love to know what products you were most interested in or if my reviews helped you to choose a product for your children. Tell me in the comments.

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

If you have not tried SchoolhouseTeachers.com, you don’t want to miss this sale!

To THANK YOU for your dedication to your children, The Old Schoolhouse® will re-release the BEST DEALS of 2022 between November 17 and November 30 only. Choose which deal works for your family to begin implementing new courses in your homeschool during an upcoming break or in the new year.

Use code: MONTHLY22 to pay only $18.97/month for the lifetime of your membership, even when our rates increase.Type in code: MAMABEAR22 at checkout to pay only $39.97/quarter.

Looking for an annual membership? Use code: FRESHSTART today to pay only $175.50/yr.

Want to gift yourself a free year of homeschooling curriculum? The Shark BOGO deal is also making a comeback! Code: BOGO22 gifts you a free year and a locked-in annual rate of $199. (New members only. Sorry, no refunds.)

Quest for the King’s Crown

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

When my teenagers (now 16 and 14) were younger, they enjoyed the Last Chance Detective radio dramas. We would listen online and also have them on CD. They moved on to other series as the years passed, and I had not thought about introducing them to my now eight-year-old son. However, we were recently given the opportunity to read one of the new books in the series from Focus on the Family and Tyndale House, Quest for the King’s Crown. I remembered how well we had enjoyed them and was excited to introduce them to my younger son.

What is Quest for the King’s Crown

Quest for the King’s Crown is the seventh book in the updated and re-released Last Chance Detectives Series. This series follows a group of friends, known as the last Chance Detectives, who solve mysteries. They have an awesome clubhouse (you will have to read to find out more) and get together looking for puzzles to solve. In addition to a fun mystery, the stories always teach moral lessons without feeling ‘preachy.’

These chapter books are recommended for ages eight to twelve, which is a reasonably accurate range for independent reading. However, younger children could enjoy them as a read-aloud, and my teens also enjoyed listening. This paperback edition was about 160 pages long, with a colorful cover.

My husband reading while we were camping.

How Did We Use this Book?

I was a little concerned about jumping in with the seventh book, but we did not feel like starting in the middle of the series was a problem. (However, my natural preference for reading books in order means I will probably go back and start at book one next.)

Since my teens remembered the series with such fondness and the book was a bit above the reading level of my younger son, I decided to use it as a family read-aloud. We gathered in the living room over several nights and even brought it with us on a family camping trip.

What Did We Think?

All in all, it was an excellent fit for us as a family read-aloud. My youngest did fall asleep, but he is only four and listened intently until he fell asleep. A few moments of peril had my son a little worried, but he wanted to continue reading. So if you have a very sensitive reader, be aware that they are put into potentially scary or perilous situations, but everything works out in the end.

We enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more in the series; I even added the others to my son’s Christmas wish list. If you want a good clean mystery series promoting positive Christian values, I recommend the Quest for the King’s Crown and the rest of the Last Chance Detectives series.

Be sure to click on the graphic below and see what other Crew Members thought about this book!

family fiction

Turkey Homeschool Unit Study


*Some links are affiliate links; see disclosure below for more information*

There is lots of turkey talk going on this time of year. Everywhere you turn, there are Thanksgiving book recommendations and conversations about the turkey that may be on your table for Thanksgiving. I love reading those books and enjoying the season, but I thought it might be fun to study the actual animal and not just the meal.


This study will cover the parts of a turkey, fun turkey facts, and the differences between wild and farm/domestic turkeys. We will also share nature study ideas, books, recipes, and more.


My children have been raising turkeys for the last five years to show at our state fair. They also participate in avian bowl and poultry judging at the state level. Through this process, they have learned quite a bit about turkeys.


In the video below, they will share the parts of a turkey and a little information about raising and caring for turkeys.


Turkey Fun Facts

  • Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird.
  • Only male turkeys gobble.
  • Fully grown turkeys have between 5,000-6,000 feathers.
  • Wild turkeys like to roost in trees.
  • Domestic turkeys have doubled in average size in the last forty years.

Wild or Farm/Domestic Turkey


The turkeys sold in grocery stores across America are almost exclusively farm-raised broad-breasted white turkeys. Those turkeys are selectively bred to produce a sizeable full-grown turkey in a relatively short time. Some markets and local stores carry locally raised heritage breeds; those breeds often do not get quite as big or grow as fast as the broad-breasted white turkeys.


However, they are often beautiful birds that come in various colors. Those heritage breeds are sometimes better for people looking to keep turkeys long-term or begin a breeding program.


Wild turkeys, as the term implies, are those found in the wild. They are typically smaller than domestic turkeys and have darker feathers. If you live in an area with a wild turkey population, they are often spotted walking through fields and along the edge of the highway.


Can They Fly?


Wild turkeys can fly and often use flight to escape from predators. Most farmed/domesticated turkeys cannot fly as there are too heavy for their wings to support them.

Nature Study


There are several excellent options for nature study related to turkeys. If you are in an area with wild turkeys, have your child observe a wild turkey and journal about them. If you cannot see a wild turkey, you could visit a farm or petting zoo with turkeys and watch a domesticated turkey.


If you can get a turkey feather, it would be a great addition to the nature journal. They could study the feather and maybe even research the different types of feathers. (Yes, turkeys have different types of feathers.)


Students can create a Venn diagram comparing wild and farmed turkeys or turkeys and chickens.

If you want to learn more and go even deeper in your turkey nature study, check out this great resource from Homeschool Nature Study.

Books about Turkeys


Non-Fiction

Fun Fiction

Recipe Ideas

Whether you choose to cook some actual turkey (turkey breasts work great if you don’t want to do a whole turkey) or you want a crafty snack that looks like a turkey, these recipes can make a tasty end to your turkey study.

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library, you will get a link and password to the library; we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you updated on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always, I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in, and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Brilliant Math Review

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

We have had the opportunity to look at the Premium Subscription for Brilliant math, and I had my fourteen-year-old daughter look over it to see how she liked the geometry course and try out the logic program.

What is Brilliant Math?

Brilliant Math is an online program designed to use problem-solving and hands-on applications rather than lectures to teach math concepts. The program is designed for students of all ages.  

There are a wide variety of courses, including:

  • Everyday Math
  • Pre-Algebra
  • Geometry Fundamentals
  • Scientific Thinking
  • Computer Science Fundamentals
  • Logic

How Did We Use Brilliant Math?

I had my fourteen-year-old try out geometry and logic. She was already taking geometry, and we wanted to see how this approach worked for her. She tried several lessons but struggled with the lack of formal instruction.

She also started on the logic course and liked that one much better. The problems were much like riddles or mind puzzles, encouraging her to think about things in innovative ways. We felt it was a great way to stretch her mind and help her improve her problem-solving skills.

The logic lessons are relatively short, taking only about ten to fifteen minutes to complete an assignment. They are set up as word problems that need to be solved, and it takes you through the process step by step. Anytime you get the answer incorrect, you can see an explanation of the correct answer.

For example, in one problem, lying robots had switched up coins into different safes, so they were mislabeled. You had to go through the steps to see how few safes you could open to figure out which coins should be in which safe. It started with just four safes and then increased the number of safes with each step.

What Did We Think About Brilliant Math?

“I like the logic course, it gets me thinking, and I enjoy figuring out the problems and how to work them out. It only takes me about 5-10 minutes per lesson. It gives me a short amount of *instructional lessons* but not much. It also has an explanation section.

 The geometry course is challenging for me to understand. It is laid out well, but hard to understand the short instructions they give me.

*The instructions are typed up as you go through answering questions*” Elizabeth, age 14

While I think some students would do well in the other math courses with the problem-solving strategies and hands-on approach, I did see how it was not the right fit for my daughter. However, we really enjoyed the logic portion of the subscription. I loved how it made her think and challenged her to look at things differently. The lessons were short and easy to add to her day. We will continue to use that portion of the subscription.

I believe that this might be a good fit for students who are not doing well with a traditional lecture approach to math. It would also be an excellent program for helping students apply math concepts they have already learned to more real-world applications.

Be sure to click on the graphic below to see what courses other Review Crew families tried and how Brilliant worked for their families.

STEM Learning

Skills 4 Students, LLC Review

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

What is Success Skills For Christian Students?


Success Skills for Christian Students Video Course and Book Bundle is a video-based course from Skills 4 Students, LLC that works on college and career readiness skills for Christian students.  These are skills that are important for students across the board, no matter what their career or life goals. Skills like professionalism, time management, communication, and even problem-solving.

Like most parents, we want to give our children not just a good education but also the skills that will help them find success in life. Therefore, we were excited to check out this program and see how it might help our teenagers.

What is Included in the Program?

1. 23 Course videos

2. Paperback copy of Success Skills for High School, College, and Career (Christian Edition) Revised book

3. Workbook that goes with the book

4. Slides (PDF) used to make the videos

5. Workbook designed explicitly for the course

6. Bible Study Guide

7. Quick-Start Student Portfolio

You can also add on the “E-Book and MP3” package to access an E-book edition of Success Skills for High School, College, and Career (Christian Edition) Revised and 23-course content audio files

How Does it Work?

The twenty-three-course videos range from 18 minutes to thirty minutes in length, and each covers a different skill or area of importance. You can watch them in order or skip around and choose the areas where you feel your teen needs assistance. There is a downloadable workbook to accompany the videos. You could use parts of it as needed or go through the entire course and use it for a high school elective.

How Did We Use Success Skills for Christian Students?

For this review, my daughter watched several videos and looked through some other content. I also took some time to watch videos, look over the workbooks, and peruse the book. We chose to have her watch the videos that seemed especially applicable to the areas where she was currently struggling. Moving forward, we intend to use all the content for an elective high school course. She will work through each video and the corresponding workbook pages at that time.

We are also having my teenagers read the paperback copy of Success Skills for High School, College, and Career (Christian Edition). From what I have read, I think there is a lot of great information. There were a couple of places where I disagreed on theology, but with this being for my teens, it will be a good opportunity for conversation and discussion. 

What Did We Think About Skills for Students?

“The website is set up in an easy-to-understand format. The videos are understandable, with slides that make sense and help illustrate the point that he is trying to get across. I would recommend it to high school students looking for ways to help with studying. I learned about mind maps and a few different ways to write and take notes.”

Elizabeth, 14

I found that this was a good and comprehensive program. When we started, I expected basic study skills (outlines, notes, studying, etc.). However, while there were study skills components to the course, it included many other important skills. For example, communication, mentoring, professionalism, and accountability were all covered.

I loved that it was done from a Christian perspective, and our family’s goal is to put Christ first and bring glory to God in all that we do. This made it a good fit for our goals.

 I encourage you to click on the graphic below to see what other Review Crew families thought about the

Success Skills for Christian Students Video Course and Book Bundle and how they used it in their families. 

Skills for Success

Reading Eggs Review 2022

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

We have reviewed Reading Eggs in the past, and my two youngest boys were super excited to have the chance to review it again. They love the games and activities, and I appreciate that their fun screen time is actually helping them progress in reading and math.

What is Reading Eggs?

Reading Eggs is a fun online program that teaches phonics and later comprehension skills. The student takes a placement test and can begin lessons based on their level. By completing the assignments, they earn eggs which they can use to purchase things to decorate their online house and character. Those eggs were very motivational for my eight-year-old son, and he loved to be able to buy all of the accessories.

Each month there is a new theme, and they offer accessories specific to that theme in addition to the regularly available items. The monthly themes were fun and added incentive to earn the eggs before the theme changed. The theme for this month was outer space, so there were rockets, space suits, etc. In addition to the accessories, you can use your eggs to get extra games.

In addition to the regular Reading Eggs, the subscription includes Reading Eggs Jr. for students ages 2-4. This program has fun educational videos, easy online activities, and books that can be read to the students. 

For older students, Reading Eggspress offers activities to improve fluency and comprehension. This is geared towards students ages 7 to 13. 

How Did We Use Reading Eggs?

My eight-year-old enjoyed working with Reading Eggs several days a week, and we used it to supplement the phonics instruction we were doing together. He loved it and would often request to spend time on Reading Eggs, even when it wasn’t a required part of his learning that day.

My four-year-old used the Reading Eggs Jr. portion of the program. He had tried it before and been asking for me to get it back, so this review came at the perfect time. It was an excellent way for him to begin to learn the letters and sounds while also keeping him engaged while I worked on other schoolwork with his brother. 

The program was laid out in a simple way that he could use it on his own once I had him logged in and at his home page. The buttons on the screen had pictures and words so that he did not need to be able to read to navigate to the different parts of the program.  

Some of the educational videos were literacy based; others featured science experiments, recipes, animals, and more. 

Reading Eggs Reports

There are progress reports in the parent dashboard that show me what videos and activities he has been using and any learning objectives achieved. I also appreciated that if he tried to log out of his dashboard, it would bring up a security screen that requires an adult to read and hit the correct sequence of numbers. This helped ensure he stayed where he needed to be when I was not directly supervising his time on the program. 

Our Thoughts

Overall, we enjoy Reading Eggs and find it a great supplement to our regular instruction. It is a fun way to improve reading and technology skills. There are many components to the program, and you can check out other Crew Reviews to see how other families used the program by clicking on the graphic below. 

learn to read

Blue Skies West (Book Review)

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

Three years ago, I had the privilege of reviewing the first four books in the Horses of History series by Mattie Richardson and Appaloosy Books. At that time, my son read them to review and then recommended them to my daughter. This month, my daughter was thrilled to have the opportunity to read and review the next book in the series: Blue Skies West.

Blue Skies West is a fun chapter book about the Oregon Trail from the perspective of a horse traveling the trail. The book is just under 140 pages, with a paperback cover that features a beautiful horse and wagon trains.

Book Summary

“This is a book about the Oregon Trail. It starts with a family deciding if they want to go on the Oregon Trail or not. They have heard a lot about it but are not sure if they want to attempt to go to Oregon or not. They decide to go; they get everything they think they need and head out on their journey. They travel well for a while, then there is sickness, and people die. Some decide to turn back, but this family keeps going. It talks about different stops they made at various landmarks. After a long journey, they finally get to Oregon at the end of the book.” Elizabeth Age, 14

What Did We Think?

“I really enjoyed the book. I liked how it was set from the horse’s perspective. I would recommend it to students who are into history, horses, or both. It was an easy read with heavier content. By heavier, I mean that there was death, sickness, Indian attacks, and things like that. It reminded me of playing Oregon Trail, the game to some extent.”

I love that this series of books helps students look at history from a different perspective. While they are historical fiction, they contain a great deal of accurate historical information. While students from elementary up through high school might enjoy the stories, you need to be aware that they may not be the right fit for younger students who are very sensitive to death and scary situations. They are probably ideal for upper elementary and middle grades students.

They are perfect for students that love horses. They can be read for fun or as a part of your history curriculum.

Be sure to click on the graphic below to see what other Crew Members thought about Blue Skies West. You can also check out our review of the other books in the series: Horses of History Appaloosy Books by Mattie Richardson (Review).

horse fiction books

A Family Style Beatrix Potter Unit Study

*Some links are affiliate links, see disclosure below*

Life has been busy, and we have been back at school for a couple of months. For us, that translated into a little bit of schooling fatigue and the desire to do something a little different. I wanted to keep school going but have some fun and make some memories.

With that in mind, I decided that we would do a unit study on Beatrix Potter. While Beatrix Potter may have written her books for young children, I find that all ages can enjoy them.  

C.S. Lewis once said, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” I think Beatrix Potter’s books are prime examples of good children’s books.

How to Use this Study

I designed this study to be something the whole family could join, though my younger children spent a bit more time digging into the books and completing the artwork. 

You can use these resources in a variety of ways. You could have a one-day focused on Beatrix Potter, or you can break it out and do something each morning during your morning time studies, or you could plan a couple of tea times over several weeks. It might be something you do at night for evening education. Use whatever schedule works best for your family.

Beatrix Potter Books

The obvious choices for books are those written by Beatrix Potter. You can find them in a variety of forms, from her entire collection to small books of each individual story. You can even find her complete collection on audiobook!

Personally, I think that the illustrations are an essential part of her books, so I recommend having a paper copy of the books even if you are also using audiobooks. I chose to read some of her stories aloud while showing my boys the pictures, but I also got an audio copy they could listen to later to continue enjoying the stories.

The book my grandparents gave me for my 1st Christmas. I enjoyed sharing it with my children.

There are also some excellent biographies of Beatrix Potter. One of our favorites is Who Was Beatrix Potter?. There are also some more in-depth biographies that would be suitable for teens and adults. If you enjoy coloring, you could try one of the available Beatrix Potter coloring books.

In addition to the picture books, there is a fun set of fictional novels based on Beatrix Potter’s life. The stories include a lot of accurate biographical information but also have fun elements, such as talking animals that are reminiscent of Potter’s own works. These novels are written for adults, but the content is appropriate, and my teenage daughter is beginning the series.

Art and Science for Beatrix Potter

Nature was highly inspirational in Beatrix Potter’s stories. She had spent many hours as a young child studying animals and nature. These stories can be a great way to get your child excited about nature study. Many of the animals she features in her books can be found easily in most areas of the country.

For example, you could read about Squirrel Nutkin and then go outside and look for squirrels. Students can draw a squirrel in their nature journal or do more research on squirrels. (If you want to get started with Nature Study but want a resource to help you get going, I recommend a subscription to Homeschool Nature Study.)

We incorporate art into our studies whenever it is feasible. It is a great way to help students remember what they are learning and have a fun project to share with others. Nana over at You Are an Artist has a beautiful chalk pastel lesson featuring some of Beatrix Potter’s characters in her Famous Artists course.

If you want to add even more art, you could use this Dover coloring book or look at the You Are an Artist animal lessons for chalk pastels of many of the animals included in Potter’s books.

Beatrix Potter Art

Tea Times and Snacks

In our house, snacks are essential to a good unit study. They make things fun, help create memories, and are just plain delicious. It is incredible how much more exciting a literature discussion becomes to my teens when there is a good snack involved.

For this Beatrix Potter study, we decided to do scones and tea since Potter was British. This was perfect because it was reasonably simple and delicious; they could enjoy it while I read aloud. We also had all of the ingredients in the house already.

My daughter helped and made the scones for us, but if you don’t have time to make something homemade, you can use a pre-bought pastry or cookie. (Don’t feel guilty about making memories from a box mix.)

If you have younger children, you can put herbal tea, milk, juice, or hot cocoa into tea cups to make it feel special without the caffeine from regular hot teas.

Tea parties are so much fun and make a simple snack feel fancy. Check your local thrift stores or yard sales if you do not have tea cups already. You can generally find them for $1 or less in our area; that way, if they accidentally get broken, it is no big deal.

Other Beatrix Potter Resources

Remember that you can pick and choose what resources work best for your family and how you want to implement any study. Have fun and make memories with your children while enjoying beautiful literature and artwork. I have included a few other resources that I’ve found in the list below. If you have a favorite resource for Beatrix Potter, share it in the comments.

Tales of Beatrix Potter movie

Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher movie

Beatrix Potter Teether Book (for the youngest family members)

Peter Rabbit Book and Toy set

Beatrix Potter, Scientist

Beatrix Potter and Her Paint Box

Miss Potter Movie (free on Amazon but rated PG. We have not yet watched it, so preview it to ensure it is appropriate for your family.)

Scone Recipe

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

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Resource Library 

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TabletClass Math Review

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

We started our year planning to use a particular math program and then had issues that meant I needed a different course for my daughter. That same week, we had the opportunity to review an annual plan of TabletClass Math’s  Geometry course. We were so grateful to try it but also willing to go a different route if it was not a good fit for my daughter.

How Does TabletClass Math Work?

In TabletClass Math, the instructor covers the lesson material, and then the student completes the practice problems and watches the explanation videos afterward.

At the end of each chapter, there is extra practice, chapter notes, and a quiz. There are 11 chapters, and it takes about three weeks to get through each chapter. It takes 30 minutes to an hour to get through a lesson, with 3-5 lessons per chapter.

Student Portal

A couple of sample schedules can be used for pacing, but it is self-guided, and the student can work at their own pace.

The quizzes use a multiple-choice format and are computer graded. You can use those at the end of each chapter, or the parent portal provides another chapter test that can be printed and answered. The parent would then use the provided answer key to grade that test.

Video Lesson Screenshot

What We Thought

My daughter had been disappointed at the need to switch courses, but she was thankful after using this program for a few weeks. She found this  Geometry course to be easy to understand and felt she could work through it successfully.

She said, “I like the setup; it is easy to follow and figure out where I am supposed to be and what I need to do. The lessons are short and easy to understand. My biggest complaint is that I must watch the explanation video for the practice problems even if I get the questions correct.”

As a parent of multiple students (and someone who hasn’t taken geometry in over twenty years), I really appreciated that the course could be very self-directed. My daughter can easily navigate through the work independently, and the computer even grades her quizzes. The lectures and question explanations have been detailed enough that she has needed very little help from me to work through this course.

I know that my daughter would prefer not to listen to the question explanations when she has answered correctly, but I see the value in the reinforcement.

Parent Portal

Our Recommendations

 This is an excellent option if you are a homeschool parent looking for a self-paced math program that can be completed online. It has enough instruction and practice to be a robust program without unnecessary repetition and busy work. They offer a variety of upper-level math courses to meet your needs, and the Review Crew reviewed different courses, so be sure to click on the graphic below to find out what Crew Families thought about the other classes.

online math