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Here we are at the end of another Schoolhouse Crew year, and we will be taking a break from doing reviews over the holiday season. Crew members have a lot of fun trying out these wonderful products and bringing our readers reviews of so many things for homeschooling and just for our homes. One fun thing that happens at the end of a Crew year is Blue Ribbon Award voting! The Crew members get to cast their votes for the products they liked most in a variety of categories. We're voting this week, and next week the winners will be posted on the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.
I'm not going to spill all the details of who got our votes in each category - secret ballot and all that! - but I'd love to highlight some of the things that really stood out to us.
Institute for Excellence in Writing - we reviewed the Deluxe Combo Teacher/Student Writing Package Level C with Fix-It! Grammar 1 and 2. IEW is one of my very favorite publishers, and the Student Writing Intensive was a big winner in our homeschool, definitely one of the programs we continue to use after we finish the review. We also are still using Fix-It! Grammar, and I was surprised by how well that worked for us.
Read our review: Institute for Excellence in Writing
Heirloom Audio Productions - This exciting audio drama, In Freedom's Cause, captured our imaginations, and made us fans of Heirloom Audio Productions. This one told the story of Sir William Wallace and Kennady loved it so much that she begged for the chance to review the follow-up project . . .
Another "active listening audio adventure" from Heirloom Audio Productions! This time, the extraordinary adventure was With Lee In Virginia. We were once again inspired and challenged by the courage and faith of historic figures; and were greatly entertained by incredible storytelling. And Kennady is checking regularly to find out when the newest offering, The Dragon and The Raven, will be available. I suspect I will be buying it, as I doubt she will wait around in hopes that the Crew will review it in the upcoming year!
Read our reviews: An Extraordinary Adventure in Scottish History and An Extraordinary Adventure With Lee in Virginia
This was the hands-down pick for my son - DrumsWithWillie from JazzEdge! It's a wonderful online teaching program for drums. This is another program that we continue to use, and will translate into a full credit for Landon when he's finished. The lessons cover all aspects of playing well, from good technique to terminology to improvisation, and the student can work at their own pace and convenience, which is a definite bonus!
Read our review: Playing DrumsWithWillie
We reviewed two products from another of my favorite publishers, Apologia. The Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal is a new resource, a fun, colorful scrapbook-style journal for kids to record their adventures and experiences. It includes checklists, maps, a list of field trip ideas (and an exclusive link to tons more ideas and links on the Apologia website), and plenty of pages to take notes, add pictures, and record special memories about the places visited.
And the final review for me this year was The Ultimate Homeschool Planner. This resource is designed to help busy homeschool moms plan not only their curriculum and lessons, but their family's priorities and calendars, and also to be able to record spiritual growth and evidences of grace and God's faithfulness.
Read our reviews: Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal from Apologia and The Ultimate Homeschool Planner
Another vendor that I was lucky enough to try twice was Koru Naturals. Just recently we reviewed Skin Clear Cream and Manuka Honey Propolis Soap; and Emu Oil and Blue Tansy Oil Cream, all of which earned top marks from us. And early in the year, we received Emu Oil to try, as well as Manuka Oil and Honey Shampoo and Conditioner. All are great products and worth a look!
Read our reviews: Koru Naturals - Skin and Hair Care Products from New Zealand and Koru Naturals
Now that I've cast my votes, I'll be waiting to see which of the many wonderful vendors take the Blue Ribbon prizes next week! Be sure to check the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog on Monday. I also invite you to check out all my Crew reviews - you may find something there that is or will become one of your favorites!
Until then, join us at Blogging Through the Alphabet, hosted by Cristi at Through the Calm and Through the Storm and Meg at Adventures with Jude. This week participating bloggers are featuring the letter B, and I suspect a few others will be highlighting some favorite Crew review products too.
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