posts in Product Review

Homeschooling Middle School Kids with GrammarFlip

Dec 8, 2016

A simple, straight-forward homeschool grammar program that is perfect for independent learning in the middle school years.


{This is a sponsored post. I have been compensated for my time. All opinions are my own.}

Over the years, I've pretty much stuck with grammar books that fit with our Charlotte Mason philosophy. And I still like those books.

But the world is more technology-oriented these days, which means we have more options when it comes to homeschool curriculum choices.

As most of you know, my kids and I prefer real books and pencil/paper over online learning. Every now and then, however, we try out an online learning program.

This time, it's GrammarFlip.

TLTR Synopsis: This grammar program is fantastic for middle school kids. We loved it and you can get a 30-day trial here.

How to Get Farm to Table Fresh Food Delivered Right to Your Door

Feb 2, 2016

grubmarket online market

I'm all about natural living, including eating real foods. Farmers markets are a favorite for picking up fresh, real food in my local area. 

But did you know you can have farm fresh food delivered right to your door? It's true!

After trying everything in the box, I'm excited to bring this information to YOU! 

Children's Videos for Your Homeschool

Apr 15, 2015

Highbrow is a video subscription service offering educational children's videos.

{Disclosure: I received this product for free and was compensated for my time. All opinions are my own. For more info, please see my full disclosure policy.}

I often find Lorelai watching educational videos or doing online research about science related topics. Except for math, science is her favorite subject.

When I saw the science experiment videos offered by Highbrow, I knew she'd enjoy them.

Using a U.S. Atlas to Teach Homeschool Geography

Mar 20, 2015

Using a U.S. atlas can be a fun, enjoyable way to teach geography in your homeschool.

{I was given a free copy of this product and compensated for my time. All opinions are my own. I was not required to write a positive review. Full disclosure.}

I have a confession to make: I have never been the greatest when it comes to teaching geography. 

It's not that I am incapable of teaching it. I've just never put the highest priority on it. When things get challenging, as they do around here, it's one of the first things to go.

I find myself in a mindset of doing what I see as the basics - math, language arts, history, art, music and those sorts of things. When I cut back, geography gets cut. I suppose if I'd ever had a curriculum that was easy to follow, that may not have happened. Instead, I've been "winging it."

That all ends now. 

WordUp! Increase Your Child's Vocabulary with Latin And Greek Roots

Oct 30, 2014

WordUp! is a fun, entertaining and effective way to increase your child's vocabulary using Latin and Greek roots.
{Disclosure: I am working as a Brand Ambassador for this product, a position for which I am compensated, having used the program myself and finding it to be a product worthy of promotion. This post may also contain affiliate links.}

I've never been one to create vocabulary lists, require definitions, and all the boring tasks that typically go along with teaching vocabulary. Instead, I've used living books and taken cues from my kids about what words they do and do not understand.

But now...

There is a fun way to help the kids increase vocabulary by understanding the Latin and Greek roots of words. Did I say it's fun? Because it is.

Learning German Using an Online Foreign Language Course

Oct 3, 2014

Middlebury Interactive Languages provides online learning for kids of all ages. Read my review to learn how it worked for our homeschool children.

{Disclosure: I received free access to Middlebury Interactive Languages in order to review it. I also have been compensated for my writing time. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.}

My History with Foreign Languages

When I was a teenager, I had a friend whose parents were deaf. Not only were they deaf, but they were also from Puerto Rico and spoke no English. In order to communicate, we used a notepad. The friend's mom would try her best to help me understand what she was saying by pointing to an object, write the Spanish word and then teach me the sign.

I was so fascinated by it all, then I set out to learn these languages myself. Of course, the family was Hispanic and used a different sign language than ASL, but ASL is what I chose to learn. My step-mom used to buy books to help me learn it. I learned much Spanish in my east Orlando neighborhood, but also signed up for it in school.

Although I didn't stick with ASL long-term, I did stay with my Spanish classes all through middle and high school.

Teaching Foreign Language in My Homeschool

When I began teaching foreign language in my homeschool, it only seemed logical that I would teach these two languages. Unfortunately, my daughters haven't had a strong interest in either. They were just doing what I said we would do. We had success with a Spanish program last year, but if the kids aren't interested, why press onward?

When Lorelai began 6th grade earlier this year, I asked her what she wanted to learn. The answer? German.

Great. I don't know German.

Kiwi Crate: A Kid Crafts Subscription You're Going to Love

Sep 14, 2014

A review of Kiwi Crate, an educational, high quality craft subscription for kids.

{Disclosure: I received this product free of charge. I was compensated for my time. I was not required to give a positive review.}

When I first heard of Kiwi Crate, I was interested and considered subscribing. Kiwi Crate is designed for children ages 3-16 and I really wanted it for my 6-year-old. A few weeks later, I was offered me the opportunity to review it and I jumped at the chance. 

Supplement Your Homeschool with Middle School eLearning

Sep 5, 2014

Standard Deviants Accelerate is a great online educational teaching tool you can use to supplement your homeschool curriculum.

{Disclosure: I received this product free of charge and was compensated for my time. I was not required to write a positive review.}

This year, I've put a strong focus on independent work in our homeschool. Although I design our own literature-based curriculum, sometimes it's fun to try outsourced resources. Sometimes those are online courses.

Discover Praxis: An Alternative to College

Feb 18, 2014

Praxis is an alternative to college for kids who either don't want to attend or want to take a gap year off between high school and college.

Not all kids want to go to college. Many parents don't want to hear that, but it's true. Some kids have a natural knack towards business. They just want to go out into the real world and do what they do. 

Alexis and I have been discussing her options. Although she's planning to dual enroll for the fall, she may or may not want to continue college once she's 18. We're discussing options. What options are available should she decide not to continue with a college career? 

Homeschool Typing Lessons with Keyboard Classroom

Jan 27, 2014

Typing lessons are easy for this 10-year-old girl. Learn how your #homeschool child can learn to type using Keyboard Classroom.

Lorelai is 10 and wants to learn typing. Sure, she types. Everyone types these days. But she wants to type quickly and without looking at the keyboard.

It's time for typing lessons. 

A few months ago, I obtained a keyboarding program. Although she wanted to learn to type, Lorelai didn't seem terribly enthusiastic about using software for learning. Since I was fresh out of pixie dust, we went with the keyboarding program.

Five minutes into the program, she was excited about it. Since then, it's one of her favorite things to do on the computer. I'm sharing with you a bit about this typing program today.

Excelerate Spanish Review

Nov 15, 2013

I always thought teaching Spanish to my kids would be simple. I taught it in public school to third graders, why wouldn't I be able to teach it to my own?

Well I was wrong. I haven't been able to successfully teach Spanish to my kids. Nothing seems to stick. No amount of fun activities, lapbooks, drills or anything else has resulted in my kids actually being able to use Spanish in any real way. 

Until now, that is.  

Excelerate Spanish has changed all that.

Art in History: A Brain-Based Art History Project

Nov 4, 2013

In our family, art and history are favorite subjects. A few months ago, I decided I want to teach a new subject, art history, to the girls. I even considered writing an art history curriculum, but who has time for that? Not this mama.

The Challenge
Quite frankly, even if I'd written a curriculum (or just lesson plans), I would never have come up with a creative activity. I'm too left-brained for that. For my kids who are right-brained learners, that's the pitfall of my homeschool. 

They love creative, hands-on activities and I am sorely lacking in the creative ability to dream up those activities. Thanks goodness for bloggers, curriculum writers and Pinterest! 

The Answer
Imagine how delighted I was to learn about a company that provided art history projects! 

NeuYear Academic Calendar Review

Sep 9, 2013

NeuYear Academic Calendar Review

I like schedules which means I like calendars. Having activities organized makes feel that life is in order. Order is a must for me. 

I use a certain online calendar for scheduling business appointments and deadlines. This calendar is synced to my phone. That's useful. 

I use a dry erase board calendar for coordinating the various comings, goings and activities of all those living in my house. This way we can avoid scheduling conflicts.

One challenge with these calendars is that it's not possible to see what's schedule next month or three months from now without flipping, clicking or scrolling. That's not difficult, but what if you want to compare something this month to something you have scheduled five months from now? 

That results in a lot of flipping back and forth between months.

A Homeschool Writing Curriculum that Works

Aug 24, 2013

My daughter, Alexis, has always enjoyed writing. Like me, she began writing at a very young age. Short stories, poetry, screen plays, she writes them all and she writes them well.

For years, she's wanted to learn more about the writing process and when I learned about Essay Rock Star by Fortuigence, I jumped at the opportunity for her to take the course. My thought was that, at age 15, this is something she needs to learn and perhaps she'd like an online course.

Review: All About Spelling - Level 1

Apr 8, 2013

A review of "All About Spelling" homeschool curriculum.

Lorelai and I have been using All About Spelling for one month. It's been such a positive experience that I want to share it with you. After struggling for so long with spelling, I'm grateful to have this program which is working wonders for her.


Lorelai has been having difficulties with reading and spelling. While she does well at her lessons, she never seems to retain and recognize words when she sees them elsewhere. This has been an ongoing challenge. 

Last month, I purchased All About Spelling. After speaking to the owner, I decided that I'd start at level one and "fast track" Lorelai so that I can be sure she's grasping the basic concepts of spelling.

A Charlotte Mason Style Nature-Based Unit Study

Feb 6, 2013

I am very excited today. I've been talking with Cindy, at Shining Dawn Books, about her nature-based unit studies. She has shown great generosity in giving me a number of e-books so that I can review them for you in the future. In the meantime, I want to introduce you to the e-books, tell you a bit about what I'll be doing and share a giveaway with you!

Heritage History Review

Jul 16, 2012

little girl holding history CD

Since discovering the Charlotte Mason method of educating children, I have used several history curricula: AmblesideOnline, Story of the World and Tapestry of Grace, to name a few. 

While all were wonderful, none were the perfect fit for our family. I found that we did better if I designed the curriculum myself. Mind-wracking as writing curriculum is, it worked best for us.

This year, I decided that I would make an investment in a Kindle. When I wrote our curriculum and purchased the books online, I found the Kindle paid for itself right away. Almost immediately, I learned about Heritage History, a history curriculum designed to be used with an e-reader.

And so began my love affair with Heritage History.

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