Progeny Press The Story of Ping Literature Study Guide Review

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

Over the few weeks, we have been reviewing The Story of Ping Study Guide from Progeny Press. My 2nd grader worked through it with me, and my four-year-old sat in on the fun. This is a digital guide that could be printed or completed on the computer. They require you to have the book, but most of them are available at your local library, or they can be ordered directly from Progeny Press.

Story of Ping Study Guide

Progeny Press recommends The Story of Ping Study Guide for grades kindergarten through second. My son just finished second grade but still enjoyed the book.

This e-guide began with background information about the author and ideas for pre-reading activities. The pre-reading activities included watching videos about ducks, reading selected scripture verses, and even making a craft boat.

Then the guide moved on to vocabulary, focusing on synonyms and homonyms included in the book. After the vocabulary, there were questions about the book and the artwork. There are also dig deeper questions that encourage the student to dig deeper and think critically about the book or issues from the book. Some questions had lines that you could type or write answers to, and others offered a drop-down box for multiple choice answers.

Next, there were worksheets, including coloring pages, a maze, and a word search. The guide wrapped up with related activity ideas for after you were finished reading. They included art ideas, field trips, science projects, and more.

In addition to the student e-guide, there was an answer key included. While this may not be necessary for a short picture book that we completed together, it certainly would be a big help for older children working independently with chapter books.

Benjamin’s Opinion

Benjamin said that the guide was fun. He recommends it for students in second and third grade. He appreciated that while we did it together on the computer, it could be printed if he was doing it by himself.

Progeny Press

Overall Thoughts and Conclusions

When my older son tried literature guides from Progeny Press, he did not enjoy them (though he learned a lot.). However, my younger son does well with the Progeny Press study guides. We found them to be interesting, thorough, and easy to use. We worked through the book and guide together, and it was a great way to allow him to focus on understanding the book without hindering his phonics struggles.

You can find our other Progeny Press Reviews from the past at Progeny Press Literature Study Guides Review and Progeny Press Hound of Baskervilles and Little House on the Prairie Study Guide (Review).

Different Review Crew Members tried out different studies, so I encourage you to click on the graphic below and see how they used them in their families.

literature study guides

SchoolhouseTeachers.com Giveaway!!!!

Finding the right curriculum for our children can feel daunting. Especially if, like me, you have multiple children with different learning styles and interests. You want to be flexible and try new things, but you also can’t purchase a new curriculum every month.

*affiliate links included; see disclosure below for details*

This is where SchoolhouseTeachers.com can be a great fit. They offer over 400 different classes ranging from preschool through high school. They even have some fun stuff for the parents.

In our home, we have found it a great way to be able to explore a lot of different interests without additional cost. You can try as few or as many classes as you would like for the whole family for one low fee.

This means my daughter can explore her photography interests, I can do fun weather activities with my preschooler, my oldest can do history, and I can find fun recipes all for one price.

Then if they decide that is not a good fit, we can look for a different class.

The program also works great for those looking for a core curriculum. You can choose from various math, language arts, history, and science classes.

There are also online social events, access to videos and other resources, and more great benefits to the program. I’ll share links to several reviews that I have done to give you a closer look at the program, but the purpose of this post is to share with you a BIG sale and a giveaway!

Right now, SchoolhouseTeachers.com is running a BOGO sale; you buy one year and get a second year free. In addition, I have teamed up with them to give one lucky winner a FREE annual membership! Enter below for your chance to win!

GIVEAWAY!

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More Information and Reviews

Schoolhouse Teachers Review 2022

SchoolhouseTeachers.com Review 2021

SchoolhouseTeachers.com (Review)

SchoolhouseTeachers.com

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.

CTC Math (Review)

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

CTCMath

Last year my daughter had the opportunity to try Algebra I with CTCMath. This summer, I had another chance to review the 12 month family membership and decided to take a look at the younger grades. My eight-year-old had just finished second grade, and I had him do some lessons as a review over the summer.

Since it was summer and review lessons, he did not complete a lesson every day, but as we had time, he would sit down and complete a lesson or two.

CTC Math Format

Each lesson included video instruction and digital questions. The videos were short (three to six minutes), and it only took him about fifteen or twenty minutes to complete a lesson. There was also a parent lesson reference sheet for each lesson that gave completed examples of the problems included in the lesson. This would be a great resource for a parent that needed to provide a little extra help to a student.

There are also diagnostic tests for each area. These allow you to pre-test students to see what they already know and what areas they need to practice.

From the parent dashboard, I could have assigned him specific lessons to complete. However, I chose to just let him begin at the first lesson and work his way through. This made it very open and go from a parent’s perspective.

What We Thought

My son said, ” I liked that they gave a video of what you were doing before you answered the questions.”

While we did the second-grade course, CTCMath starts in kindergarten and goes through high school level math. This makes it ideal for families that want to use the same program all the way through or for all the children in your family.

The parent dashboard would make it very easy to keep track of multiple students’ progress and gives you the flexibility of going straight through the course or assigning only certain lessons.

Conclusions

Overall, while I wish there was a little more feedback on incorrect responses and more review woven into the daily lessons, we liked this math program. When we used it with my daughter, we used it as a complete math program. This time I used it as a supplement and found that it works well either way. It is complete enough to be a stand-alone math program, but with the flexibility to choose your own lessons, it can also be a great supplement.

I encourage you to check it out at CTCMath or check out their homeschool discount and also to click on the link below to see what other Crew Members thought about the levels they reviewed.

Online Homeschool Math with CTCMath

Tuesday Tips: Benefits of a Four Day Homeschool Week!

Where We Started

We have found that having a four-day homeschool week for our elementary and middle grades children was very beneficial. The first year I homeschooled, I had planned on a five-day week.

This worked great for the first few weeks, but then we found the other homeschoolers in our area, and suddenly there were field trip opportunities, library activities, and more. Add in doctor’s appointments and other activities, and it felt like we were never getting in a full five days.
At first, this bothered the planner inside of me. I didn’t like feeling behind, even if it was a schedule of my creation. I also really wanted us to enjoy these fantastic opportunities that afforded so much learning, even if it wasn’t checking any of my pretty little boxes.

What I Changed


So, I changed everything up and went to a four-day school week. On paper, I planned school Monday through Thursday, and this left Friday for field trips, free play, and housekeeping. However, I kept it really flexible, and we could take off whatever day of the week we needed if there was another activity.


My elementary and middle-grade students generally only needed a few hours in the morning to finish their work, so fitting it all into four days was not challenging, and they were still finished by lunchtime or early afternoon each day.


Having that built-in day for field trips and housekeeping really took a lot of stress out of our homeschool. Another benefit is that my children were motivated to get their work done because they enjoyed the extra day off and knew that if they didn’t do their assignments because they had not been diligent, they would have to finish them on that fifth day.

Make It Your Own


Every family is unique, but creating a schedule with built-in flexibility can help you relieve the stress of not getting to all the lesson plans, allow more time for real-life learning and field trips, and motivate your children to get their work done in a timely fashion.
As my children have gotten older and started high school-level courses, they have drifted back towards a five-day week just because their courses take more time.

However, we still have weeks where they fit five days of material into four days so they can join the family on a field trip or do some other activity.
If you are feeling overwhelmed trying to fit it all in or if adding in field trips and other opportunities messes up your carefully written plans, don’t be afraid to change your schedule to provide that built-in flexibility.

It might be a four-day week or some other nontraditional option, but find what works for you and your family! I would love for you to share your flexible homeschooling schedule in the comments to give other families some ideas.

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 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 BOGO sale!!

9th Grade Curriculum Choices 2022-23

My daughter is starting her first year of high school this year. I think it will be a great year, but she is a little nervous. Since she is my second high schooler, it does not feel as daunting.

*Some links are affiliate links; see disclosure below*

She will take a couple of classes with her older brother and others independently.

Together Courses

Chemistry

For chemistry, we are using Journey Homeschool Academy. We LOVED their biology program and are very excited about the chemistry course. Both of my high school students will be working through this course, and they will be able to watch the videos together or separately. Each will do their own tests and quizzes, but we will do lab work together.

We love how thorough but relatable Journey Homeschool makes their courses and the fact that they are presented from a Christian worldview.

I am super excited that they even have homework help videos added this year because it has been a long time since I last took chemistry.

American Literature

This year my son and daughter are each picking several books from American authors, and my husband and I are also picking several. When possible, we will find correlating movies. We will all four read the book and then have a family discussion. When there is a movie that correlates, we will watch it and have them make a Venn diagram comparing the two.

We are excited about this relaxed approach to American literature. We hope it helps renew their natural love of reading while exposing them to various authors and facilitating good family discussions.

American Government

We have already started the American Government course as it was a recent review from Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum. We will do their Principles and Precepts of Government along with a video series. We have enjoyed the first part of the curriculum and are looking forward to finishing it.

Independent Courses

Photography

My daughter spent her summer babysitting and selling lotion bars and sugar scrubs because she wanted to buy a new to her, nicer camera. We are doing this fun photography elective from SchoolhouseTeachers.com to help her grow her photography skills (you can use a more basic camera for the course; she just wanted to buy a nicer one). I am excited to be able to combine her interests with her schoolwork.

Bible

This spring, we had the opportunity to review Dynamic Christian Living from Positive Action Bible Curriculum. My daughter enjoys it and plans to continue working through it this year.

Culinary Arts

This spring, she is going to be taking culinary arts. My husband helped me create a culinary arts course for my son last year, and it uses episodes of Good Eats, worksheets, and other materials we created to give a well-rounded class.

We will use mostly the same course but add more baking because my daughter is interested in baking bread and desserts. She did her 4-H presentation this year on baking bread and won gold at the state level.

Geometry

*updated 8/17/22

Through no fault of my daughter, she is needing to switch geometry programs. We are looking at using either CTC Math or Thinkwell. I will update once we have decided. If we go with thinkwell we will use the self-paced courses, but we like the option for additional tutoring if needed. However, she did well with CTC Algebra last year.

Cover Story

Cover Story is a writing program that works on different writing skills while helping students create the content for their own magazines. This was another excellent review product that we started over the summer. She is taking a break from all school this month but will return to it in September.

Music

Music is my daughter’s passion, and she is excited to continue her music lessons. Her goal is to one day be able to go to college for music. She will take piano and violin lessons from Practice Monkeys, and I will also include some music appreciation with these Fine Arts Lessons from You Are An Artist.

She is excited to get high school credit for lessons and practice she was already planning to do for personal enrichment.

Morning Time

She will still be doing morning time with us as a family. We will be doing some fine arts together as well as hymn studies.

We will continue to use World Watch in the mornings as a family to discuss current events and family devotions.

You can check out what we have used for other grades, and stay tuned to see what we are doing with my third grader and preschooler!

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 BOGO Sale! Get 2 years for the price of one.

Journey Homeschool Academy is offering my readers 10% off with code SWAG through 7/23/22.

Sign up here for the FREE Make it Your Best Homeschool Event next week! I am so excited to be sharing hymn studies at this event.

Our 11th Grade Choices

How do I already have a junior in high school? It is so bittersweet. The years seem to go by so fast, and I want to hold on tight, but I also enjoy watching him grow into a godly young man.

*Some links are affiliate links; see disclosure below*

This year we are making a HUGE transition. He is going to be dual enrolled in our local community college. I will still teach him several of his courses, but others he will take at the community college. Those classes will count for both high school and college.

Community College Courses

Here in North Carolina, dual enrollment is free for high school students. He will not pay any tuition, but we are responsible for purchasing his textbooks. He will take College Algebra, Spanish 1, and Public Speaking from the community college this first semester. We will reevaluate towards the end of the first semester, but most likely, he will take Spanish 2, English 111, and Fine Arts during the spring semester. He is starting with two online courses and one hybrid course.

Homeschool Courses

In addition to his college courses, he will take Chemistry, American Literature, and American Government in our homeschool.

My daughter is entering the ninth grade and will be taking those courses with him, so I am excited to do some learning together.

Chemistry

For chemistry, we are using Journey Homeschool Academy. We LOVED their biology program and are very excited about the chemistry course. Both of my high school students will work through this course and can watch the videos together or separately. Each will do their own tests and quizzes, but we will do lab work together.

We love how thorough but relatable Journey Homeschool makes their courses and the fact that they use a Christian worldview.

I am super excited that they even have homework help videos added this year because it has been a long time since I last took chemistry.

American Literature

My son taught himself to read at age three and has read voraciously since he was in early elementary school. However, over the last several years, I noticed that he was not reading as much, and he rarely picked up a book for fun and complained about his literature programs.

I wanted him to be well-read and prepared for college-level courses, retain his love for reading, and be a lifelong reader. This year, we found that he enjoyed comparing books and movies more than answering questions about the books. The comparisons and subsequent discussions generally showed a good understanding of the book.

Therefore, this year he and his sister are each picking several books from American authors, and my husband and I are also picking several. When possible, we will find correlating movies. We will all four read the book and then have a family discussion. When there is a movie that correlates, we will watch it and have them make a Venn diagram comparing the two.

American Government

We have already started the American Government course as it was a recent review from Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum. We will do their Principles and Precepts of Government along with a video series. We have enjoyed the first part of the curriculum and are looking forward to finishing it.

Conclusions

We will continue to use World Watch in the mornings as a family to discuss current events and family devotions. My son is also running his own business raising meat chickens, and we may add in a poultry science elective related to the business. 

He has a full schedule, but we look forward to the changes.

Stay tuned to find out what we are using for my other children. I’d love to hear what courses 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 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 BOGO sale! 2 years for the price of one.

Just for my readers, you can use code: SWAG to get 10% off any Journey Homeschool Academy Course this week only!

Buck First Bank Account (Review)

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

Last year we had the privilege of reviewing two Buck Academy books about money for toddlers and elementary students. This summer, we were able to check out their new book, Buck First Bank Account, which Dustin Goss wrote, and Febyolla Goss did illustrations.

What is Buck First Bank Account?

Buck First Bank Account is a 25-page paperback picture book packed with information about getting your first bank account and saving money. The first twenty pages walk children through the process of opening a bank account, essential terms and information they need to know, and the benefits of saving money from a young age.

The book also talks about having goals and a plan with your money.

Pages twenty-one to twenty-three are a comparison and assessment form to help them choose the right bank and account for their needs. Page twenty-four is a glossary of essential terms, and twenty-five finishes the book with information about the author and illustrator.

The illustrations are bright, colorful, and fun, and they help make what could be a challenging topic seem less overwhelming for younger students.

What Did We Think About Buck First Bank Account?

My teenage daughter thought it covered a lot of great information, the different types of accounts, and the differences. She didn’t like that pages 14-15 went across the binding and were more challenging to read. 

She thought the content was great for upper elementary through high school, but the graphics are most appropriate for the upper elementary school students.

I agree with my daughter that the content is excellent, and the illustrations are adorable. The pictures lean towards the elementary range, where the content could be for older students. I still think it is a worthwhile purchase and a great way to help students work through getting their first bank account.

Recommendations

I recommend this book for upper elementary and middle grades students ready to open their first bank account. Elementary students may need assistance completing the bank account and comparison at the book’s end.

If you have an older student who has never opened a bank account, the information would still be helpful, but the illustrations may make it seem too young for them even though the content is appropriate.

Find out more about this book at BUCK Academy, and click on the graphic below to see what other families thought!

first bank account

Tuesday Tips: The Hidden Benefits of eBooks and Kindle Unlimited

*Some links are affiliate links, see disclosure below*

This tip is a little different from most of my recommendations because it focuses more on the homeschooling mom than homeschooling in general. However, I think it has benefits for both.
First, let me be transparent: I fought against eBooks for years, and to this day, I still love a good physical book. I have a stack on my bedside table and a bookshelf in every room except the bathrooms.

A Little Background


As a child, I read voraciously; I stayed up late, spent my free time reading, reading in the car, etc. I have fond memories of my high school years of hanging out with my friends at the bookstore with a cappuccino and a book.


Fast forward a few years, I was in the thick of motherhood, and I felt like I had no free time, and any time I did spend reading was parenting and later homeschooling books. While those were beneficial, I was losing out on the joy of reading for pleasure.


Several years ago, I started trying to intentionally add more pleasure reading to my book lists. I knew this would be beneficial for me and also for my children. I want my children to be readers, to love reading, and to choose to read. If I want that for them, I need to model that behavior. I added some fun fiction to my summer reading and eventually kept it going throughout the year.


That was beneficial, but I still wasn’t getting as much reading done as I had hoped. I am still a busy work-from-home, homeschool mom who doesn’t have much free time. I often wanted to read at night after everyone was in bed, but the lamp would keep my husband awake.

My Discovery


This was when I discovered the benefits of reading on my phone. I could read at night without keeping my husband up, I had my book with me wherever I went, so I could sneak in five or ten minutes of reading while waiting in line or at the doctor’s office. Before, I would scroll through social media during those times, but I felt like reading was a better use of my time. It helped me achieve my goals and find my reading joy again.

How Does Kindle Unlimited Fit Into This?


You may wonder why Kindle Unlimited is integral to this process for me. You can take advantage of reading on your phone without Kindle Unlimited, but it was a key component for me. It meant that there were always new books waiting for me; I could read from a wide variety of genres and books and easily switch back and forth between informative and fictional books depending on my mood that day. Am I the only one that has multiple books going at once?


For a low and easy-to-budget amount each month, I had access to what felt like unlimited book options. I was also able to use it with my children. We got books for their curriculums and more pleasure books for them to read. Like me, they still adore real books, but we found that when riding in the car, traveling, etc., the kindles are super convenient.


Recently, our subscription allowed my two teenagers and me to read the same book together and then discuss it without purchasing three copies of the same book or waiting until we had time to pass it around to each other.

Conclusions


I feel like our Kindle Unlimited subscription has helped me to read many more books than I otherwise would have read and reclaim lots of waits and riding time. (Bonus, I now get car sick when I read regular books while we ride, but I can read eBooks without a problem.)


I encourage you to check out the free trial and see if it can help you get in more reading time and share more books with your children and teens.


I would also love to hear from you what other strategies you employ to help you get more reading done.

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.

Bible Blueprints (Review)

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

Last year we shared about Bible Breakdowns from Teach Sunday School, and this year we are excited to share about their new product, Bible Blueprints. The Bible Blueprints are divided into Old Testament and New Testament.

What Are Bible Blueprints?

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
  • Author

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.

Teach Sunday School

Our Thoughts

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.

Bible Overview

Healthy Habit Trackers (Review)

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

Summer can be a great time to focus on starting (or getting back to) good healthy living routines. 

This summer, we have had the privilege of trying out some neat Healthy Habit Trackers from the American Coaching Academy.

What Are Healthy Habit Trackers?

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.

They include:

  • Muscular Endurance
  • Household Chores
  • Healthy Body
  • Kindness
  • Nutrition
  • Locomotor
  • Boot Camp
  • Yoga Flow
  • Cardio
  • Flexibility
  • Muscular Strength
  • Bee Fit

American Coaching Academy

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.  

Conclusions

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.

Habit Tracker