Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Home School in the Woods (Renaissance & Reformation) A Review

You may recall if you've followed my blog for very long, a review for Amy Pak's Home School in the Woods that I wrote this past fall featuring the Election Lap-Pak, which is a somewhat condensed unit study. I also reviewed her HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Egypt(review link) in Summer of 2015. Members of the Homeschool Review Crew have been blessed with the opportunity to review another of her Project Passport Studies. Some reviewed her brand new study on Ancient Greece, others looked at the Unit we reviewed last time, Ancient Egypt, The Middle Ages, or the unit we received this time, HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study:Renaissance & Reformation. I understand that a Project Passport Study on Ancient Rome is next in the pipeline!

I actually can't believe it has been a year and a half since we worked on the Ancient Egypt Project Passport Study, as my son and I both refer to it as if it were much more recent than that. Because of our previous experience(s), this is one unit study that I can pretty much guarantee my son will enjoy completing. Of course, he loves history, so that helps, but really, the care that is put into the Home School in the Woods projects ensures that just about everyone will find something to appreciate.

As a mom with an artistic bent, I LOVE the gorgeous woodcut illustrations. My son, who is less than excited at times about coloring things in, appreciates that the woodcuts look just fine in their black and white condition ;). If my Eldest had these studies available when she was younger, she would have jumped at the chance to color these lovely illustrations.

While younger children will need help completing and assembling the elements in the study, the instructions are clear enough that a child in the older "middle school" age range will be able to do most of the work themselves.

The project utilizes both notebooking (A "Scrapbook of Sights") and a lapbook format. The Scrapbook includes some of the larger chunks of information including a timeline and a newspaper to be filled out by the student as they travel through the study, a postcard gallery, and more.  There are also a variety of lapbook elements (which we are still "collecting") which will be put together when the "trip" is over, as a final project.

Sample of some of the projects and elements for the Scrapbook and the Lapbook

There are multiple options for some of the lapbook elements, which I greatly appreciate ~ blank spaces for older students to write in information themselves, and others with the information already printed, with only the need to assemble the element. That works well for my writing-phobic youngest.

As the teacher, you can access the instructional information directly on the computer or print out your own teacher's notebook, for ease in taking the schoolwork with you wherever you go.

Of course, a study that covers multiple Centuries will be jam-packed with a huge amount of information, but especially this study, that covers the explosion of thought and industry during the Renaissance Period. Here is a list of the "stops" on this trip, just to give you a good idea of what is included:
Gorgeous pastel artwork done by youngest, with a beautiful paper frame! LOVE it!!! 
  1. Laying the Foundation/Introuduction
  2. Italy and Da Vinci
  3. Everyday Life part 1
  4. Everyday Life part 2
  5. Renaissance Art
  6. Famous Artists of the Renaissance
  7. Music of the Renaissance
  8. Literature, Drama, and Shakespeare
  9. Science, Math and Astronomy
  10. Inventions
  11. Exploration Part I (The Americas)
  12. Exploration Part II (Africa, Asia, and Around the World)
  13. The Early Reformers
  14. Martin Luther
  15. The Thirty Years' War
  16. Zwingli and Switzerland
  17. John Calvin
  18. France and the Wars of Religion
  19. Henry the VIII
  20. Henry's Children
  21. Civil War
  22. Knox and Scotland
  23. The Counter Reformation Part I 
  24. The Counter Reformation Part II
  25. Final Stop, Packing Up, Assembling Lapbook, Travel Brochure

WOW! So much stuff to "see" and "do" it takes my breath away. Really! Even though we're already working through this unit, just seeing it written out makes me excited to keep going! So many interesting topics and activities to work through.

I do encourage you to go back and check out my most recent reviews (linked above), as they give some of the nitty gritty regarding the project layouts and how to navigate the electronic format. You can check out a scope and sequence for this study for a more thorough look at what is covered in the more than 50 projects and activities, as well as download a sample of a stop, and see some more detailed photos.

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 
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Please click the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew and see what others had to say about the Project Passport History Studies they received for review. As always, I hope that this review was useful to you as you choose where best to spend your homeschool budget.
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Monday, February 6, 2017

I'm Going To Give You A Bear Hug (Picture Book Review and Giveaway)

I don't have a "little one" any more, but if I did, I would so enjoy sitting in the rocking chair and reading my latest review book, I'm Going to Give You A Bear Hug, from Zonderkidz.

This is a sweet little bedtime picture book for the youngest among us. It embraces the joy of giving and receiving "Bear Hugs"  before bed. We then go on a rollicking fantastical journey with child and teddy through a variety of other hugs, from the silly to the outright wild, ending up, finally in bed with one last, "Way beyond compare hug."

The illustrations coordinate perfectly with the text, and your child may enjoy observing the teddy bear's zany accompaniment through ten different hug scenarios, as it can be found on every two page spread (Sometimes more than once).

Again, a very sweet book~ available in Hardcover, Board book, and Kindle version.

Here's some information about the book from the publisher:

Grand Rapids, MI-- - December 27, 2016-- -I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug!, written by bestselling author Caroline B. Cooney, is a playful and comforting bedtime book that
imagines all the wonderful ways a child might give and receive a hug.

Whether it’s a big bear, gasp for air, knock over a chair hug or a wet and drippy, slimy,
slippy fish hug, children will giggle their way through all the imaginative examples.
Cooney’s sweet and simple rhymes encourage playful interaction between parent and
child and ultimately help them wind down before they snuggle into bed and drift off to

I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug is a sweet loving bedtime story book that is also sure
to become a Valentine’s Day favorite for little ones who enjoy celebrating a day full of
hugs and kisses from loved ones. I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug will be available in
hardcover for $16.99 in retail stores nationwide and online on December 27, 2016. 

About the Author: Caroline B. Cooney was born in New York, grew up in Connecticut, and now lives in South Carolina. Caroline is the author of 90 Young Adult novels in many genres, and her books have sold over fifteen million copies. I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug is her first picture book. It’s based on a verse she wrote for her own children, Louisa, Sayre and Harold, who are grown now.

About the Illustrator: Tim Warnes has been illustrating children's books for twenty years.
He lives in Dorset, England, with his wife, children's illustrator Jane Chapman, and their two sons. When he's not drawing little critters, Tim loves to write, watch birds and play his banjo.  Visit Tim at

You can visit the following Social Media and Internet sites for more information.
Official Website , Facebook , Twitter

Thanks to Propeller Consulting, I am able to offer a giveaway of the hardcover version of I'm Going To Give You A Bear Hug to one of my readers. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note as with all Propeller/FlyBy promotions, only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway is eligible.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Do the Things... (Almost Wordless Wednesday)

Wisdom from Mark Twain

Don't some of those daffodils look quite astonished?
I wonder what the tulip did? ;) 

Thanks for the quote, Debra! :)



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