Thursday, March 24, 2016

Updates (on the stuff we review!)

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Updates (on the stuff we review!) on Homeschool Coffee Break @

If you've visited my blog even once or twice before, you probably know that we review homeschool curriculum and resources for the Schoolhouse Review Crew. So a lot of great products come through our doors for us to try. More than we can realistically keep using all the time. Sometimes I wish we could, actually, because there are a lot of wonderful resources available to homeschoolers, and we are very blessed to be able to get a taste of so many of these.

So, while we've loved most things we've tried, these are the review items that have become favorites and regulars in our homeschool. They have been a near perfect fit for at least one of my students and are products that we keep using, keep recommending, and in many cases they are products that we spend our own money on to keep using now that we've tried them.

We were introduced to Lightning Lit & Comp from Hewitt Homeschooling early in our reviewing experience, and it was just a little bit too old for Kennady at the time. We reviewed the Seventh Grade Literature and Composition set when Kennady was finishing fifth grade. But we liked it well enough that we held onto it and she completed the entire study in her seventh grade year. When I started choosing curriculum for eighth grade, she more or less demanded Lightning Lit Eighth Grade, so I bought it. And this year, for ninth grade, she is working on one of the British Literature studies for high school. It is stretching her a bit, because the the one she chose is geared for 10th-12th grades, but I wouldn't be surprised if she wants to do at least one more Lightning Lit study before she finishes high school.
This is the review that started it all: Lightning Lit and Comp (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)


We had the immense good fortune to be able to review Student Writing Intensives and other products from Institute for Excellence in Writing not once, but twice! Our first opportunity was in 2013, when we reviewed the Student Writing Intensive Level B. Landon and Kennady both did very well with it, and enjoyed it, and we finished the course. Not quite a year ago, we were able to review Student Writing Intensive Level C, along with the updated Teaching Writing with Style and Structure, and a couple of other goodies! If possible, we liked it even better, and both kids are completing Level C this year. One of the other "goodies" we received was Fix It! Grammar and that has turned out to be the perfect grammar program for Kennady, and she is still using it.
Read our first review: Institute for Excellence in Writing (Schoolhouse Crew Review) and our second review: Institute for Excellence in Writing (Schoolhouse Crew Review)

IEW Review

Institute for Excellence in Writing, A Schoolhouse Crew Review on Homeschool Coffee Break @

It seems like we've benefited especially from reviewing Language Arts curriculum! Landon also helped me review a grammar program that turned out to be a good fit for him. In this case it was Analytical Grammar. He has continued on with that program and will complete it this year.
Read our review: Analytical Grammar (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)

Updates (on the stuff we review!) on Homeschool Coffee Break @

We certainly have found some winners in other subject areas too! Like DrumsWithWillie. I've talked about this quite a lot lately. It's a great program and Landon has enjoyed it so much - it's perfect for his interests, and it's been the best thing for him to earn credit in Fine Arts!
Read our review here: Playing DrumsWithWillie

Playing DrumsWithWillie - A Homeschool Coffee Break Review for the Schoolhouse Review Crew  @

My second son had already used an ARTistic Pursuits book before the first time we were able to do a review for them, but the review introduced Kennady to these amazing art instruction books. We reviewed a Middle School book in 2013 (See: ARTistic Pursuits (Schoolhouse Crew Review)) and then we reviewed Sculpture. (See: ARTistic Pursuits Sculpture Technique) Kennady has really enjoyed these books, and they've given her great background for some of the art projects she's done, including producing live art during a Christmas Eve service (and coming up in an Easter service), and designing a large backdrop canvas for a kids play. If you take a peek over on my sidebar, you'll see that we're going to be reviewing the Model book from ARTistic Pursuits soon!

Photobucket  ARTistic Pursuits review

Updates (on the stuff we review!) on Homeschool Coffee Break @

ARTistic Pursuits review

VideoText Algebra was a wonderful product to review! It came along just at the right time for Landon, and he actually enjoyed doing it! We definitely continued this after the review, as it became his regular algebra curriculum. Read our review: VideoText Interactive: Algebra (Schoolhouse Crew Review)
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This collection of review wins would not be complete if I didn't mention Heirloom Audio Productions. We've reviewed In Freedom's Cause (See: An Extraordinary Adventure in Scottish History), With Lee in Virginia (See: An Extraordinary Adventure With Lee in Virginia), and The Dragon and the Raven (See: An Extraordinary Adventure With Alfred the Great), and have loved each one. In Freedom's Cause probably remains the favorite, but we've learned to eagerly look forward to the next title coming out!
In Freedom's Cause Audio CD Review 

An Extraordinary Adventure With Lee In Virginia - our review of "With Lee In Virginia" from Heirloom Audio Productions - Homeschool Coffee Break @  The Dragon and the Raven - A Homeschool Coffee Break review of the newest audio drama from Heirloom Audio Productions, based on the story by G.A. Henty

Honorable mention should go to the following that we continued to use well after the review was over:

We reviewed not that long ago, and it deserves a mention, because it will remain my go-to for supplemental worksheets and tests for some of the subjects for which the curriculum we use doesn't have a whole lot of written work included. Read our review: Worksheets and Tests from
HelpTeaching Review

My Student Logbook was a surprise hit, because my first impression was that my teens would think it was "too young" for them. But I felt like Kennady probably would benefit, and she wanted one, so I agreed to the review. Within a day or two of receiving hers, I purchased one for Landon too and they both used them regularly. Read our review: My Student Logbook (Schoolhouse Crew Review)  

My Student Logbook review

We reviewed a newsletter called Celestial Almanack which introduced us to Fourth Day Press . . .

Science and Stuff (2016 Virtual Curriculum Fair - Discovering Patterns: Math and Science) on Homeschool Coffee Break @ - Science and Math curriculum favorites for homeschooling high school

The newsletter isn't being produced any more, but because we had enjoyed that so much, we later purchased the Fourth Day Press Classical Astronomy course called Signs and Seasons : Understanding the Elements of Classical Astronomy, and three of my kids completed the course. The book still enjoys "coffee table book" status in my home, and it's one of my favorite non-traditional Science courses for high school.

In 2012 we reviewed a wonderful geography and history resource from Knowledge Quest. Map Trek was used a lot in our homeschool in the following years, and we still use it now, although not as often. 
MapTrek hardcover & cd

This post is linked 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 U.

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Brittney said...

I love to see how others continue to use crew review items in their homeschool!

Tim said...

Several of those have become staples for us as well!

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