With-in the Old and New Testament sets, each page covers one book of the Bible. The page includes important information such as:
When it was written
Time period covered
Type of book
Number of chapters
There is also a short one-paragraph overview of what that book covers.
Below that information is a guideline or blueprint of what is in the book, which breaks it down into more significant information sections. For example, 1 Corinthians is divided into three sections: Quarrelling and Resolutions, Advice on Eliminating the Sins of the Church, and Explaining the Spiritual Gifts. The author then goes on to give an explanation and overview under each of those headings.
How Can You Use Bible Blueprints?
These could be great to use in your homeschool to help students get a better understanding of the sequence and flow of the Bible. Sometimes students have difficulty understanding how it all fits together, and these pages can help them see it more in the big picture.
The Blueprints are also an excellent resource for your Bible study. You can use them before you dig into a particular book of the Bible to help you get a bit of context (what type of book, who wrote it, and when it was written) as well as an overview of what will be covered in the book.
I could also see them being a lot of fun used in a trivia or Jeopardy-style game with your students. They could help them memorize the authors, the location in the Bible, timeframes, etc., and then answer trivia questions about that information.
We thought this was a great resource. I appreciated how it included the background information at the top to help you better understand the context of the book.
The layout was simple and easy to read while still being visually appealing. The use of different colors helped to make it easier to read.
I think Bible Blueprints would make a great Bible resource for any family, and anyone old enough to read could use them.
I encourage you to click on the graphic below to check out what other Crew Families thought about this resource.
The Healthy Habit Trackers are a set of twelve different trackers designed to help children keep track of various things, including exercise, nutrition, and even chores.
They are creative and visually appealing to help make them motivating for your children.
How Can You Use Healthy Habit Trackers?
These are designed to use a different one of twelve different trackers to be used one per month. However, you can decide what your family needs most, and you might stick with one for several months or use more than one per month.
Some families choose not to do yoga, so you might not even print that tracker. These give families a great deal of flexibility in how they use them.
For example, a family might decide to use the healthy body one every month because it motivates children to brush their teeth, get plenty of sleep, etc. Other families might find that the routines and habits are in place after a month, and they want to move on to a different tracker.
If your children like the trackers, they might want to do several at once, while other students might find that a bit overwhelming.
I felt like starting with one was a good fit for our family because I was using them with my younger sons, and I knew I would be responsible for helping them keep track. We started with nutrition because we had already been working on helping my eight-year-old better stay hydrated and eat well.
What Did We Think About the Healthy Habit Trackers?
I think the Healthy Habit Trackers are an excellent tool for helping children become more consistent with their healthy habits. I love that they are all visually different so that the design works well for the particular habits and keeps things visually interesting for the child.
I also appreciated the bonus blank tracking forms that allow us to track other habits or activities. For example, I am planning to use one of them in the fall to help my son track his music practice and motivate him to be more consistent.
If your children struggle to be consistent with their exercise, nutrition, tooth brushing, etc., these might be a simple and inexpensive way to motivate them. Though our family will not use all of them, they are a great set, and it is easy to pick and choose the ones that will work best for your family.
I encourage you to click on the graphic below to see how other Review Crew families used these in their homes.
My daughter has a rather complicated relationship with writing. She loves the idea and is even working on writing a book. However, she dislikes writing assignments and has complained about writing programs. When the opportunity came to review the Cover Story Cloud Set by Clear Water Press, It seemed like it would be a great fit.
I showed it to my daughter because I knew I would need her buy-in for it to be successful. She loved the idea of writing on her chosen topics and having her magazine at the end of the course.
What is Cover Story?
This set includes Cloud Access to the Video lessons and physical copies of:
The Teacher’s Guide
The Student Book
The course is twenty-four weeks of video lessons plus an additional twelve weeks of optional grammar videos. There are three lessons each week plus five journal entries per week. In addition, there are six unit tests throughout the course.
The videos are about ten to twenty minutes long, and we found them both informative and engaging.
In the journal, they are given a specific task for each day. For example, in the beginning, they are to write five curious questions each day. The video lessons explain what that means. Another section works on details and another on sentences about people, etc.
The course aims to help students in grades 6-9 create the content for their own magazine, including short stories, articles, poems, letters, blog posts, and reviews. The lessons primarily focus on the magazine’s content, not the pictures and layout, and those items are addressed briefly at the end of the course.
The Teacher’s Guide is a great resource. It contains lesson plans so the parent can easily follow each week’s lesson, scoring rubrics, examples, answer keys, and pages to track scoring.
What Did My Daughter Think?
“I like the writing program. The teacher is easy to understand and funny. The workbook is easy to understand and follow. I like how his lessons are easily accessible and are not scattered around. For example, if you are doing week 1, you go and click on week one, and right under it, you get all three lessons for week one, making it easy to find what you need. The lessons are around 10-15 minutes each.”
What Did I Think?
I have enjoyed having a writing program that my daughter seemed to enjoy completing. I appreciated that Cover Story was designed to make it very easy on the parent. My only significant contribution to the program is grading completed work and ensuring my daughter stays on track.
I was particularly grateful that one of the early lessons worked on passive verbs/voice. Passive voice is something that I have always struggled with, and many programs do not address it.
While this program is billed as a middle grades curriculum, I feel it is rigorous enough for my daughter’s freshman year in high school. I hope it will give her the skills and strategies needed to take her writing to the next level.
I am hopeful that I will even be able to publish some of her writing on the blog soon!
Cover Story is a great writing program for middle and early high school students. This might be a great fit if you have a child that needs assignments to have more of a purpose. It is also helpful for parents that want the instruction to be more independent because of the videos.
My daughter plans to continue to work on this program through the summer slowly and then pick back up with a more regular pace in the fall to complete the course. I encourage you to check out the Cover Story Cloud Set website and click on the graphic below to read more reviews!
I love teaching elementary math to my children. However, once we hit Algebra 1, I find an online program to take over. My daughter is doing Geometry this year, and we had the opportunity to check out the Geometry At My Pace course from High School Math Live.
This course is broken down into two semesters (A and B), and we started with semester A. Once you set up your account, the student can log in to their account and see a syllabus for the semester. The syllabus lays out the course in three lessons each week.
There are video lessons (40 minutes to an hour-long), homework assignments, and quizzes and tests. Students can check their homework using the answer key in the back of the book and answers provided with the syllabus.
Quizzes and tests must be requested from the teacher. The teacher e-mails them to the parent to be given to the student and proctored by the parent. You then scan the quiz or test and send it electronically to the teacher for grading.
Each student has a teaching notebook located in one drive. This notebook has teaching notes for each lesson, links to virtual resources, and the student’s grade book. The teacher inputs the quiz and test grades into this notebook.
There is also some one-on-one tutoring available with the At My Pace courses, but my daughter has not needed the additional help yet.
Since this is an “At My Pace” course students are not required to work through the course on a particular schedule. So even though it is laid out in a week-by-week format they can work through it at their own pace.
“I was able to learn and understand her teaching, but it felt a bit chaotic, especially at first. There are things and links you need scattered around in different places, and the tests are complicated because you have to print them, fill them out, and then send them to the teacher, and if you are not used to doing that, it can be challenging. The lessons are long, ranging from about 40-50 minutes each. “
The instruction in this program is solid and appropriate for high school students. The teacher we interacted with via e-mail was polite, prompt, and helpful.
I felt overwhelmed when we first looked at the program because it felt like a lot to figure out and find. That became much easier as we moved forward in the program.
It is a program where someone else teaches, and the parent is simply the proctor. Depending on your family’s needs, this could be a pro or a con.
I feel like this course will give my daughter a solid understanding of high school-level geometry, and we plan to continue with the class in the fall to provide her with high school math credit.
I think that the instruction for this course is solid, and it is a well-done and in-depth high school math course. It is a bit challenging to figure out initially but much easier to use once you have gotten through the first few weeks and understand the layout.
The lengthy videos and teacher-graded paper quizzes and tests make it more like a traditional math course than some other online courses we have used. This could be good or bad, depending on your student.
Other Review Crew families reviewed different courses from High School Math Live, so click on the graphic below to check out their reviews and see how the program worked for their families.
Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew
We are always blessed when we have an opportunity to review books from the Christian Heros Then and Now series by YWAM Publishing. I do not have to ask my children if they want to participate in the review, just which title they want to try. Since we were getting this one around the time of the winter Olympics we decided to try Eric Liddell: Something Greater Than Gold.
Christian Heroes Then and Now Series
The Christian Heroes Then and Now series are all biographies of Christians who have faithfully served God in various ways and places. Most are what we would call missionaries, and they include well-known names such as Elisabeth Elliot, George Mueller, Nate Saint, and more.
The Story of Eric Liddell: Something Greater Than Gold
This paperback book, written by Janet and Geoff Benge, is just under 200 pages long. It would be great independent reading for upper elementary and middle school students. However, we decided to use it as a family read-aloud. You could even use these for high school students, especially with the in-depth unit study.
This book is a biography of Olympic gold medalist Eric Liddell. However, his greatest accomplishment is not his gold medal but his work for Christ as a missionary to China. This book tells about his time as an Olympian and as a missionary.
Eric Liddell Unit Study
In addition to the book, we received a PDF study guide that included almost 70 pages of ideas and activities. You could use this to make the book into a complete unit study, or you can pick and choose activities to make it fit your needs. There are discussion questions for each chapter, writing prompts, creative writing activities, hands-on projects, and arts and crafts. The guide also included a timeline activity, a basic information sheet, and several maps.
The unit study allows students to go more in-depth not only in the life of Eric Liddell but in the Olympics, which he was known for, and in Chinese culture to bring a greater understanding of the people he served.
The books work great as a family read-aloud, independent reading, or complete unit studies when combined with the study guides. I prefer to use most of the books as read alouds or personal reading for our family but add in the study guide for a unit study once or twice a year.
If this book interests you, you might also want to check out my reviews of several other books from YWAM Publishing: Alan Shepard, Benjamin Franklin, and Orville Wright.
Don’t forget to click the graphic below to check out the variety of reviews by other Crew members. There are many great choices; which one would you like to try?
Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew
Often I review brands and products with which we are already somewhat familiar. Even if I have never used the product, I have generally heard about the company or know someone that uses that curriculum. However, this month we were able to try out a product that was totally new to me: TRIVE.
What is TRIVE?
TRIVE is a goal-setting and team-building program designed for teens and adults. The recommended ages are 15+, though we included my fourteen-year-old daughter with no problems.
The program is built around a group of people (or a TRIVE) who set goals and hold each other accountable. During the first meeting, there is a fun quote game that helps bring people together and facilitates sharing goals. Each person comes to the meeting with three goals they want to accomplish during a six-month period.
The goals are shared, and each person is assigned a coach and someone they will coach throughout the process. Then each person works on their goals during the six months. Coaches are supposed to check in on the person they were assigned periodically.
There are also emails sent from TRIVE every few weeks to help you in the process.
At the end of six months, the whole group comes back together to discuss and assess their goal progress. There are scoring cards to score how well people did on their goals and how they performed as a coach.
How Did Our Family Use TRIVE?
Our TRIVE of four (the minimum number needed) included my husband, two teens, and myself. We all gathered together one night after the little boys had gone to bed and set our goals. I appreciate the opportunity to do something that focused on my teens and helped bring us closer.
During the meeting, my daughter was chosen to be the TRIVE leader. It is her responsibility to keep track of the goals and assignments. She readily took on that assignment and was excited about trying.
We have been trying to connect with our coaches weekly to discuss progress and make any needed changes.
We have a date set in our google calendar to gather together six months from the start date to score the achievements.
What Did the Teens Think?
“The TRIVE program seems like a good program. My favorite part was the game that we used to start the team building, and it helped get us more in the mood for the more serious part about discussing our goals and picking partners. I like getting emails with the dates and information to help keep me reminded of my goals; however, more regular emails would help me complete and be more effective at my goals”
Matthew, age 15
“I like TRIVE because I am competitive and know that if I do everything I can to complete my goals, I have a higher chance of winning, which encourages me to work toward my goals. Six months is a reasonable amount of time to work on our goals. It has us meet at the very beginning and the very end, and I think that maybe we should have a meeting perhaps every month to keep connected and maybe use more of the quote cards to earn points or have some activities to do.” Elizabeth, age 14
Overall, I loved having another way to connect with my teens. I feel like it is a great program and even something we could continue as they move away to college. I am interested to see how things go when we get back together to score the achievements in a few months.
This program was fairly simple to implement and could work well for family units, friend groups, or co-workers.
Be sure to check out the other Crew Reviews of TRIVE by clicking on the graphic below.
The Wonder of Creation is a devotional book by Louie Giglio and Tama Fortner and illustrated by Nicola Anderson. It is a beautiful hardcover book that includes 100 short devotionals, each covering a two-page spread in the book. In addition to the colorful cover, there are bright and engaging pictures throughout the book.
I appreciated that the book included an attached ribbon bookmark that helped us keep our place each night. There is a table of contents and an index to find a specific devotion instead of going through the book in order.
Each devotional includes a Bible verse, a devotional thought that ties something from creation into God, and some fun scientific information. For example, one of the devotionals talks about snowflakes and light reflections, and then it talks about how we should reflect the light of God’s love.
What Did We Think About the Wonder of Creation?
My boys loved listening to me read these each night. They would remind me we needed to read, bring me the book, and climb into the recliner with me. They enjoyed all of the incredible science facts and seeing the pictures.
I thought this book was a great way to help children internalize the connection between God and science. God created science, and it points us back to him instead of the worldly view that science is against the Bible.
I think it is important to note that this is not a Bible study, and I do not believe it should replace regular Bible study. It ties in the Bible and biblical concepts but does not study scripture.
Who Would You Recommend Use the Book?
This book is excellent for Christian families with children through preschool through early elementary years. The devotionals are short enough to keep the attention of younger children, and it helps them start understanding science from a Biblical worldview.
We used it as part of our bedtime routine, but it could be a great addition to morning time. Parents could also use it as a part of science by finding the devotions that relate to your topic of study.
While we enjoyed reading and discussing it together, students who can read well could easily use it independently.
Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew
I might lose some of you, but I have never been a fan of doing lots of random memorization. While I want my children to understand history, science, etc., we do not spend much time memorizing dates and random facts.
The big exception to that in our home is scripture because I believe that memorizing scripture is hugely beneficial to all of us. When my children were younger, we sang songs and did memory verse games.
When you log into your plan, you can choose which verses and which version of the Bible you would like to work on memorizing.
There are three steps for each verse in the memory app. First, you are given each word and type either the whole word or the first letter of each word (depending on how you have your settings).
Next, you are given every other word, and you have to fill in the blanks. Finally, you have a blank screen, and you have to type the complete verse (or the first letters of each word).
You can work through those as many times as you need, and you can work on as many different verses as desired.
You earn points and badges as you practice and work through the verses. While that part was not a big deal to me, it can be very motivational for many students. You could even have it be a competition between family members.
We were getting ready to start memorizing a selection of verses from Ephesians about the armor of God. So, I set up those verses to learn first. Once they were set up, my teenagers could practice at whatever time was convenient.
It is important to note that each family member could work on different verses.
I was able to put the app on my phone and have access to it on the computer. The program saved my work from each platform, so I had no problem using both interchangeably.
What We Thought About Bible Memory
We enjoyed the program. I thought it was a quick and easy way to work on scripture memory. I also really appreciated that it was also good typing practice.
My daughter chose to do extra verses on her account to help memorize verses she was doing with her American Heritage Girls troop. While she is pretty good at scripture memory on her own, she enjoyed the program and thought it made the memory work faster and more fun.
The one thing I would change is that I wish you could see progress on the other accounts from the parent’s account. In order to see progress for my children, I had to log out as me and log in as them. This was not a huge problem, but something I hope they consider later.
The price of this program is very affordable, at only $9.99 for the license.
We enjoyed BibleMemory.com. It is a great way to help older children, teens, and adults memorize scripture. It is affordable and easy to use, and we will continue to use it as a family to aid our scripture memorization.
Be sure to click on the graphic below to see how other reviewers used BibleMemory.com.
*Some links are affiliate links, see disclosure below*
My oldest will be in 10th grade this year. It feels almost unbelievable, as it feels like just a few years ago he was in first grade and we were starting our first year of homeschool. Last year we learned a bit about what worked well for us and what did not for high school level courses.
As always, there are many great options, you just have to find the ones that are right for your family and your child’s strengths and goals.
First, we were blessed with the opportunity to review Thinkwell Math for geometry last year. This went really well for us and I loved that he could go to office hours to get help each week if needed. They also allowed for a flexible schedule so that we could take our breaks on our schedule.
We enjoyed the combination of support with flexibility and are signed up for Algebra II with them this year. I purchased the self-paced course and we will add in the office hours if we see that he needs the additional help.
I love that while I am available to answer questions, he can complete this course with very little input from me (it has been a few years since I have taken upper level math courses.)
We used Schoolhouse Teachers last year for literature after our original plan did not work well and plan to continue that for this year. Last year he took a course focused on Tolkien and this year he is doing a course that covers a variety of British Literature. For literature, he will read and answer the questions that come with the course. We will then discuss the questions together.
He is going to take a Modern World History Course from Schoolhouse Teachers. We did ancient history last year and wanted to make sure he had a good foundation in modern history before we move on to US History and Government. This course is set up with readings, writing assignments, maps, and activities.
He will complete most of the assignments on his own and I will grade them. We will also have some discussions about what he is learning and add in a few documentaries.
He wanted to take Horticulture and Animal Science for two of his electives. These courses tie in very well to the hobbies and extra-curricular activities he was already doing. They also fit well with his college goals. To facilitate this, I am using 4-H and FFA materials as a guide.
We will also be adding hands-on projects including raising animals for the livestock show, growing a garden, and doing a 4-H presentation about one of those topics.
In the spring, he will be taking Culinary Arts. We are still working on the exact syllabus for this course. However, I know that we plan to use some of the course work from the Home Economics course at Schoolhouse Teachers and some episodes of Good Eats with projects based around the different techniques that he learns.
Last year he took Music Performance I and he really enjoys his music so we are doing Music Appreciation and Performance II this year. We plan to continue using Practice Monkeys for his guitar lessons. Last year he did guitar and violin but is planning to focus on guitar this year.
Last but not least is chemistry. Last year we reviewed the biology course from Journey Homeschool Academy. My son really enjoyed it, so we decided to try their new chemistry course this year. The videos were interested and easy to understand but also thorough.
There were tests that they graded and discussion questions and lab reports that I graded. It was so simple and required very little time on my part, which was important with everything else we had going on.
They have elementary, middle, and high school level science courses. All of their courses are done from a Christian world view. (If you are interested in Journey Homeschool Academy science courses their open enrollment ends at the end of August.)
He will be joining us for our Bible and hymn study time in the morning, but that will not count as a course. I still feel the family time is an important part of his development.
Overall, we are looking forward to a great year. Since my son wanted to be able to take a few extra days off this fall for hunting and fishing, he has already started some of his courses. We will stay flexible throughout the year as always and change if needed but I think we have a good plan for the year.
What courses or programs do you love for high school? Anything you are trying to find or need suggestions for?
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.
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.
Not Consumed is offering 15% off everything in their store! Great Bible studies, hymn studies, missionary curriculum and more. Use Code: 2NDCHANCE
Evan-Moor is having a 25% off sale one all of their resources!
Use this link to get 15% off at Thinkwell Math! It was a lifesaver for us for Geometry and I look forward to using them for Algebra II next year.
Journey Homeschool Academy is offering a FREE Virtual Open House August 24 at 9pm. This is a great way to find out more about this science program and see if it is a good fit for your family. Get signed-up today!
As I looked over the Figures In Motion website, I was excited to see that the Famous Figures of Ancient Times coordinated with Story of the World. We are currently using Story of the World, and so I was glad to be able to add the famous figures to our current history routine.
How it Works
My daughter, seventh-grade, and my son, first-grade, are currently going through ancient history together. I had them work together to complete the Famous Figures of Ancient Times. The book focused on 21 historical figures from ancient history.
For each figure, there were two different paper dolls that could be cut out and put together, the first was full color, and the other was an outline that the students could color themselves.
Once the components were cut out, the student put the dolls together using a hole-punch and metal brads. The hole punch and brads could be purchased from Figures In Motion if you do not have any.
Since the dolls were put together, they were articulated (the legs and arms could move). This made them great fun for my first grader to play with and turn into puppets.
My son always wants to create puppets and make up stories to go along with them. With these, he could make the puppets and then use them to retell what he learned in his history lesson for the week.
You could also put them onto popsicle sticks if you wanted a puppet that you could maneuver in that way.
In addition to the paper figures, there were a couple of paragraphs of historical information about each person included in the book. There was also a suggested reading list of read-aloud books to cover those figures.
This would be a great way to expand on what you were learning or to make the book stand a bit more on its own and not as supplementary material.
Thoughts and Conclusions
Overall, we enjoyed these figures, and my son will continue to use them as we finish up our year in history. My daughter thought they were cute but a little too ‘young’ for her.
I think they would be great for elementary-age students, especially those who love puppets. Some middle school students may also enjoy them or enjoy creating with them.
We would not use this as a stand-alone history, but it paired very well with Story of the World as a low prep hands-on activity. The author also mentions that it aligns well with Sonlight Curriculum, Classical Conversations, and Mystery of History.
Also, be sure to click on the graphic below and see what the other Crew families thought about this product and which era in history they were covering.
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.
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.