Friday, September 21, 2018

By The Way Book Series - Ireland By The Way Review

By The Way book Serres
I love planning out Geography studies.  We recently had the opportunity to review, Ireland - By The Way, one of the latest books in the By The Way geography series.  I can't wait for the next one in this series.

By The Way book Ireland

Written by Joy Budensiek and illustrated by Stephanie Robledo, Ireland - By The Way helps put the fun in what could be considered "boring geography".

When we “visit” or "travel" to other areas for our geography studies, I usually plan for each child to pack a suitcase full of items that we will learn about while we are there.  Each child has a passport, and I serve meals from that culture.  I search for videos, even personal travel videos that people post on Youtube.  Just so that it feels like we are in the places we are learning about.  This can become very time consuming.  To be honest I struggle sometimes with finding books that really cover a country, and not be just a boring Frommers guide for traveling adults.  I really try to make it exciting.  

I was so happy with Ireland - By The Way.  This 50-page, hard-covered is full of beautiful colored photographs and fun illustrations.  Now we haven't gotten up to Ireland in our World Geography studies, but the girls and I sat down to read through our story.  We followed the story of  Alex, Lori and their mom as they traveled to Ireland to meet relatives.  While visiting Ireland they learned history, geography and science!

Scientific facts are included throughout the story.  We learned about animals and plants native to Ireland.  Each page features reminders of all the beauty that God has provided mankind in his creation of the Earth.

And that was a beauty that I love about this series, the photographs.  It's not just illustrations of an animal or geographic feature.  They use full-color photographs of the areas you are reading about.  I'm sure it took a lot of time to gather and research each book in this series.  This touch really opens up the country in the eyes of the reader.  It makes you feel like you are really visiting, because we can close our minds and pretend we are there.

All of this information is presented in a storybook format.  It is written for use with elementary aged students, but you can easily use this on multiple levels since you can expand upon the material with research projects.  But it is not just pages full of facts being thrown at you.  You are really following a story of this families travels around the country of Ireland.  There is even some Irish folklore fun to learn more about.

I also appreciate how there are reminders all the way through the book that you can see God throughout your daily life and wherever you are…..even if you are on a family vacation.  All the books that are part of the By The Way series are presented from a Christian Worldview.

I definitely recommend this non-conventional way of studying your way through world geography.  Ireland - By The Way by Joy Budensiek and the publisher By The Way book series has become a favorite in our home.  Every country that we are studying I check to see if they have a country available.  You can check out the entire By The Way Geography series by visiting their website.

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to try several different books in the By The Way series.  Click on the link below to see how they used these books in their homes, and what they thought of them.

By the Way Book Series: New York City, Ireland, Indiana & Alaska {By the Way Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Homeschool Event, Cooking Class, Writing Class, and Bowling Has Started

I gave this week....I've been holding off (simply because of lack of time) of cleaning and decorating the living room for fall.  But since I really HAD to get out Lydia's keyboard for her piano class...guess what I spent Saturday

I didn't go as wild this year...Still have a few strings to hang up and get the patio ready for fall.

I couldn't find my sheet music improvised until I can order a new one for the keyboard.  A clipboard and some 3M hooks and we were ready to go!  I may not order one if this works.  I have to see the size of any books she brings home.

Joe and I tried Cardio drumming this week.  I didn't even know there was a class in our little town.  So I'm excited!  I actually really liked it.  Joe, was not so fond of it, but said he would keep doing it.

The Sunset on our walk home from Cardio drumming.

I ordered new jeans and experienced short girl troubles...yet again.  I give.  Can't order jeans online anymore.

On Monday after much fighting we met up with a future homeschooling group.  It was in a little town very near us.  I had no idea they had their own history museum, a bowling alley and the cutest little library!!

So we spent a couple hours with friends exploring and bowling.


This week we learned about the Gupta Empire.  The girls made Naan bread to go with our India study.  And we also discussed,    So they watched Aladdin, Sinbad, and read some Middle Eastern stories.

Caty made yeast-free Naan bread, which she liked.  But no one else did.  I think she needed the yeast.  The recipe was yeast-free, and it definitely makes a difference in the texture.

They also watched Aladdin and the movie Sinbad. 

For Lunch on Friday we made Chicken Shwarma wraps with homemade pita bread shells (which were a hit).

Science Club

In Science this week, we worked on labeling cell structures.  In Club they built fruit pizza models.  And we talked about each cell area more in depth.

Then they worked on a STEM project of building a freestanding tower like the CN Tower in Toronto, which we also learned about.  The CN Tower is now on Caty's travel bucket list.

Online Classes 

Caty is taking an online cooking course on kitchen basics.  It was a struggle to keep up with all her posts.  And lots of confusion.  Our first truly annoying experience with an actual class on Outschool.  but her first lab was to cook without accurate measurements.  I didn't want to waste the food, so I threw a few hints at her as she was mixing.  (Hey I grew up with old-fashioned cooks....I actually recognized the "measurements" that were  

She liked the cereal treats she made.

She also worked on a lab about making butter and whipped cream.  She decided to make cinnamon butter.  And the whipped cream was for chocolate pudding she made for dessert on Saturday for lunch.  We don't normally have a "typical" dessert, so this was a treat for them.

Whipped Cream

Cinnamon butter made with stevia

She thought this was

Making pudding

Lydia started a Teen writing class this week and also had another Poetry Art class.  

She was working with a girl from Bombay, India.  It was neat!

Her finished A.A. Milne project.

Learning Projects

For her taco truck project this week, Caty has been working on the menu.  So Saturday for lunch she "served" up tacos by taking orders at our counter.  She had various shell types, meats, and toppings.  She also made chocolate or white chocolate pudding for dessert.  Our counter isn't full island style, but it worked out well for this project.  Caty really liked doing this.  Now to write down her recipe ideas in her project book next week.

Lydia's project on Animal Shelters had her reading about what animals most shelters work with.  So she read up a lot of Cats and Dogs.  


In Vintage Remedies the lesson was about diets with fruit.  We cheated a bit this week, the lesson was on homemade gummies.  But yet they used Jello?!?!  I allowed her to try it.  It's been such a busy week.  She didn't like the recipe I found for her.  So she is making adjustments and trying again to make them.  (I bought the trays from Amazon a few months ago.)

I'm going to suggest that she use real Grape Juice this next batch, instead of Jello. We'll see what she says.

Lydia's health program has brought her to the systems of our body that allow us to be alive.  I decided that she is struggling a bit with the heavy work load on this program.  And she wants to dig a little deeper into each system.  So I'm slowing her down to write a report a week over the next few weeks, and then we'll move on.


We are going to continue to learn State Capitals using games.

But our country this week was Canada.  We watched several videos, colored in maps.  Caty even made a travel plan of Canada that she wants to take someday.  I ordered some special Canadian favorite snacks...which the kids DID NOT like.  In fact, they couldn't figure out why ketchup is ok on potato chips, but not french fries.  They had Lobster Rolls and Poutine for lunch.

While reading this we watched videos on the Dionne Quints, hockey and other Canadian culture.

We attempted a maple leaf bowl made with silk maple leaves....but it turned out very badly.  So we will probably attempt again soon.  Our leaves were not working well at all.

Cooking projects

Caty convinced me to buy a corn dog maker.  So far they really like it.  I even found a way to make some items for Joe with his Paleo pancake mix.  More to come on their new item sitting on my

For her Pantry Panic project this week, Caty needed to make a pantry list and go through our cabinets.  And her recipe was to make a vinegar coleslaw (something I normally do not make).  She hated it, doesn't like cabbage.  But Joe said it was good.

On Friday while they were finishing their work, we watched the Movie Food Chains through our Amazon Prime.  I think every Friday am will be dedicated to some sort of health documentary.  This was ok, not exactly what I thought it would be.  But a real eye opener about how other countries are being exploited.  And even in our own country.


Math they are all chugging a long.  Brayden is almost finished with his workbook.  I think I'm going to switch him over to Teaching Textbooks also.  I also think he'll be using Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool when he's done with this level.  But I haven't totally decided yet.  He really just likes workbooks.


Trying on an outfit for upcoming Congress.

We are entering a short Fall tennis season so that some of the athletes can qualify for State regionals for Summer Games.

Our final cheer competition of the season.  They tied for first with the other team.  Great Job Cougar Cheer!!

With their coach.

Bowling has started for the year.  This is Brayden's sport!

Lots of changes have kept me on my toes.  Continual adjustments depending on attention span and issues each day are really a norm in my life.  But hormones are causing a constant roller coaster.  I'm trying to roll with it all, but it definitely makes it a challenge to keep up and have them keep up.  I know that homeschooling provides flexibility, but kids also need to learn that employers only give so much flexibility when it comes to project completion.  It's a constant battle.

Hope everyone had a wonderful week!

Linking up with other homeschool parents....

Weekly Wrap-Up

Homeschool Coffee Break