United States Geography: Family Style

I recently realized that I wanted to work more on United States geography with my children. The older two have a basic knowledge of the states and capitals, but I wanted to go a little more in-depth about the culture and highlights of each state.

I wanted something we could do as a family to give them a good foundation and be fun. We have been saving up to take a cross-country vacation the year my oldest is a senior, so I thought it would be great to use the geography study to help plan the trip.

*Some links are affiliate links; see full disclosure below*

Free Geography Printable

For the spine of our study, I created a geography printable (available in our resource library) to use with each state. Since I want to include this as part of a high school geography course for my teens, I am having them split the states and each complete the form for 25 states. I am also going to do a few states with my younger boys.

Then we will come together as a family and have them share about the states they are covering. I plan to do this one or two states at a time so that it is not overwhelming.

Then, based on the information they found about the states and their interests, they will plan out potential routes for our cross-country trip to include as many unique attractions as possible, given our time constraints.

Even if you were not planning an extensive trip, you could have students plan dream vacations or maybe a little weekend getaway to something special in your own or neighboring state.

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Food Ideas

In addition to the research and state-by-state forms, we will include food in our study. Many states are known for certain foods. For example, Georgia is known for peaches, North Carolina has two kinds of regional BBQ, Louisiana has crawfish and gumbo, and Texas has brisket.

As we learn about each state, we will try to make a dish from that state. Our family finds that food makes learning enjoyable and helps create memories, and these memories help the other information stick with them better.

Geography Games and Activities

The core of our course will be the state-by-state forms and the fun food that we include with each state. However, there are a few other games, books, and activities that I want to include throughout the study, and I think those will be especially important for my younger children.

We love the Stack the States app for a fun way to learn more about the states and capitals. Another fun game is the board game Scrambled States of America.

 Ticket to Ride doesn’t have as much specific geography. Still, it does help children get a better understanding of the location of major cities, and I have to mention it because it is one of our family’s favorite games.

In addition, we have several fun games that revolve around the national parks. This is a great way to learn more about the history and geography of different locations. They are also great places to put on a travel itinerary.

Our favorite National Park games are Trekking the National Parks Trivia and a National Parks memory game.

I will include some of the art lessons from You Are An Artist’s American Landmark Course for my budding artist. Our art membership contains this course, but you can also purchase it as a standalone.

There are many great lessons, including Yellowstone Falls, The Grand Tetons, The Golden Gate Bridge, and more. If you have the membership, there is also a course that includes some great map paintings that would pair well with this study.

Geography Books

I intend to check out various library books about each state and the attractions in that state. However, we also are enjoying the Campground Kids book series. It is a fictional series, but each book introduces the children to a different national park.

Campground Kids Books

For the actual travel portion of our study, we have our National Park Passports and a Scratch Off US Map. We love the National Park Passport program because it gets the kids excited to go to new parks, and once you’ve purchased the passport, the stamp is like a free souvenir at each new location.

We will also participate in Junior Ranger programs at various parks during our travels.

Can You Help Us?

Whether planning a big trip or just wanting to cover more geography, I hope this study helps you have fun while teaching more about United States geography.

I would love to hear about your favorite places to visit in the United States as we learn more and plan our trip. Also, share your favorite geography books and games 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 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

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

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Giving the Gift of Art: Art of the Month Club

*Some links are affiliate links; see full disclosure below*

My eight-year-old wanted to give gifts to many of the special people in his life, and he had been saving up his money to be able to purchase gifts. However, he is eight, so his budget was still limited. He wanted to be able to do something special, but that didn’t cost a fortune.

We discussed it, looked at his budget, and designed a fun idea that would be special and inexpensive.

What is the Art of the Month Club?

He created Benjamin’s art of the month club. You could title it whatever you wanted and choose the frequency that works for you, but the idea is that they would be getting new art once a month.

We found artwork frames that are easy to open, add new artwork, and store the older painting. We purchased ours from Michaels Craft Store, but you can also find similar ones on Amazon.

(I did realize after purchasing that I was going to need to get some bigger paper to fit well into the frame, and I was able to get these pads relatively inexpensively.)

Benjamin loves doing paintings with chalk pastels or acrylics and often gives them away. This idea allowed him to gift art in a way that made them easy to display and store.

He used one of the beautiful nativity chalk pastel lessons from Nana at ChalkPastel.com to put into the frames. Then we typed up a paper that explained to the recipient that each month for the next year, they would receive a new painting from Benjamin.

With the frames he gave them, they can simply open the frame and put the new picture on top of the old one. Super simple and easy, even for those with strength or motor skills issues.

With our You Are An Artist Membership, Benjamin has access to hundreds of different lessons and can choose a new painting each month that goes with the season, a holiday, or just something he thinks the recipient will enjoy.

Other Art Gift Ideas

Benjamin gave these to both sets of grandparents. Since he gifted it to the pair, he had a meaningful Christmas gift for two people for about $15. He also chose some simple document frames from the dollar tree to put paintings in for some other relatives and neighbors whom he was gifting just one picture.

While we used this idea for Christmas gifts, it would work great for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or a birthday.

He loves creating and sharing his creations, and the people in his life enjoy seeing his art and knowing he was thinking about him when he did his paintings.

If you are looking for even more ideas for gifting art, you can check out this post about The Art of Kindness.

Do you use any artwork for your gifts? I would love to hear other ideas for sharing your art with those you love.

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.

Deals and Freebies

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

This Celebration Bundle is a great deal, and you can use code: schoolinswag to get an extra 10% off! There are over 60 products to add fun and celebration to your homeschool throughout the year.

My favorite fitness program has a new membership. Fit2B Lite offers a few great workouts that change every month for an even lower monthly rate. You can try this program out right now for less than $4 a month, and you get a free 7-day trial. It is a great way to get started on your new fitness goals without the overwhelm of hundreds of workouts to choose from.

Making Space: My 2023 Focus Phrase

I know it’s trendy and cliché, but I like the idea of having a word or phrase of the year. It can be a good way of helping me keep my focus and make needed changes. Last year I struggled to decide on a word, but this year I knew before December 1st what my phrase would be for 2023: Making Space.

When you hear the phrase making space, your mind might immediately go to physical space, and we probably need to do a bit of decluttering, but my main focus is going to be space on the calendar and space in my mind.

What Does Making Space Look Like?

I think Making Space will look different in different areas of my life, but it will mean taking a good look at our priorities and goals and making sure that we are saying no to things, even good things, to make the space to say yes to what we are called to

do.

Making Space in Our Homeschool

I had been thinking and praying about my daughter’s high school years and felt God lay those words on my heart. I realized that I needed to make space for her to achieve her goals and move forward with God’s plan for her life.

That will look different for each child (and I’ll be praying about that for each one), but for my daughter, it means making more time for her to focus on her music studies. In practical terms, it means she isn’t going to do some of the other electives and extra courses my son did, even though they might be included in a typical college prep course of study.

She will, of course, complete all of the requirements, but she will skip some other classes, like Spanish, to make room for more music courses and practice.

Sarah Mackenzie once said, “The sky is only the limit if you are an airplane.” I think we often forget that when we plan out our children’s homeschool schedules. We believe we can do all the things and add the extras, but sometimes we need to step back and make space.

For my oldest, making space may look like finding him more time to focus on his business. For my eight-year-old, it may be more art time. I just want to make sure we are giving them the time-space in which to pursue their callings and passions.

Making Space for our Family

Over the years, we have made some decisions to keep our outside activities manageable as a family. For us, that meant that we mainly chose activities that the family could do together, we avoided activities that kept us from family dinners multiple days a week, and we turned down some otherwise good opportunities.

However, even with those safeguards, the past year has felt super busy. We are active in our church, our AHG and Trail Life troops, and 4-H. When you add on extended family activities, the teens running small businesses, my oldest being dual-enrolled at the community college, etc., it was becoming too much.

We plan to sit down, re-evaluate some of the extras, and make sure that we are making space for us to be together as a family and to rest and recuperate. When we are too busy or away from home too much, tensions get high, attitudes get poor, and there is no peace in our home.

I am making space on our family calendar by allotting at least one or two days a week that we are home together for the entire day. This will allow us to rest, keep up with chores, and complete schoolwork without feeling overburdened.

Making Space in my Spiritual Life

I know the importance of Bible study and prayer for my spiritual life. I also know the importance of service, and I think making space for all three is vital. However, I have been off balance and need to make time for all three.

We were in a season of heavy service (which isn’t a bad thing). We also have been focusing on Bible study and discipleship within our home (which is vital), but I feel the Lord is convicting me that I need to make space for more personal Bible study time. I must ensure that I am immersing myself in His word so that he can guide me as I teach my children. So I will look at my days and make sure I make space for that personal Bible study.

Overall

I am looking forward to this year of making space, and I think it will bring renewed energy and refreshment to our homeschool, more peace in our family, and growth in my spiritual life.

If you have ever gone through a similar season, I would love to hear what worked for you. I would also love you to share your word or phrase for 2023. Let’s cheer on each other!

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.

Deals and Freebies

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

Are you doing IEW’s 12 Days of Christmas giveaways? Something free for everyone each day.

Do you need to move a little more and get back on track after the holidays? Right now, you can try Fit2B fitness for FREE!

UnitStudy.com has some great sales going on right now if you want to change things up a bit.

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