Thursday, September 9, 2021

WORLD Watch Review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

We recently had the opportunity to review the WORLD Watch online subscription.  This has been a great way for the kids to keep up on the world news with explanations on their level.

When I watch the news, it can be hard for the kids to understand.  WORLD Watch has been created from a Christian view and at a level that the whole family is able to understand.  

During the week, there is a daily episode and also a newscast that always feature current world information.  Each episode is under ten minutes, so it makes for a short watch, but packed full of information.  The stories are meant for the entire family.

There is also a summary included for the student to watch.  The Newscast segments are roughly 5 minutes each.

Information is presented from a Christian viewpoint, so scriptural text is included.  The scriptural text is provided in some of the Featured Stories, but not in a sermon style.  It simply is presented in a way to show that Bible prophecy is alive in the world that we are living in.

The WORLD Watch website is very easy to use.  When you log into your account, at the top of the page is the Daily Newscast, but also a Feature Story.  You can choose to click and watch that episode, or you can choose from the featured stories from the previous days.

But you can also go back and watch in the archives also.

You can pause each episode or increase the size of the screen if there will be more than one viewing it.  My kids hate when I try to watch something on the computer with them and I do not make it full screen.  So this is an option.

I really liked that the material is always top stories of my regular news stations that week.  As you can see some of the news stories from August include stories on the census, the evacuation of Afghanistan, drought in the West, COVID vaccine boosters, and even in immigration.

Between the Daily newscast and the Featured Story, the news is presented in roughly ten minutes each day.

WORLD Watch does make sure that you are able to use their program and do include a tech page so that you can easily use this program with whatever streaming option that your family uses.  We simply used a laptop, but there are options with many televisions to stream on the big screen.  

You can also read a biography about each of the reporters and employees that make WORLD Watch possible on their website.

We have used several different kids news story options for the kids through the years.  WORLD Watch is one of my favorite to use.  The information is presented in a non-biased way.  This allows for open discussions with the kids about the various topics and what they truly think with the information that was presented.  We will be continuing using WORLD Watch in our home for the girls during the week.

Several families from the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review WORLD Watch in their homes.  Click on the link below to see how they used this product with their families and what they felt.

World News That Builds Biblical Discernment 

Thursday, September 2, 2021

ACT Mom - ACT Mom Online Class Review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

We had the opportunity to review the ACT Mom Online Class from ACT Mom.  What a great option to prepare your students for taking those upcoming college tests.

Keith and Kati Johnson had spent five years prepping their son for his ACT tests, and he scored in the upper 98% of students that take this test.  So she decided to take these classes and tips to the public.  They were offering in-person classes, but then COVID brought the in-person classes to a halt.  The idea to offer the same classes came them.  This not only allowed students to continue their classes, but also gave them the opportunity to even offer to more students who could not attend live classes because of location.  

Why the ACT?  The ACT scores that students earn can open up thousands of dollars in scholarship and grant money at many different universities.  The higher the score, the more funds.  But higher score require a lot of prep and studying on the part of your student.  That is where the ACT MOM Online class comes in.  

The ACT Mom Online class includes courses in English, Reading, Science, and Math.  There is a binder with graphing paper and ACT practice tests that you will also receive.  There is also an answer key and scoring instructions included so that you as the parent can score their tests to see the progress your student is making.

Each subject's videos are presented in a lecture style.  Students are expected to watch the videos and take notes as they go.  There is a practice test at the end of each course.  Using the videos though, students who need to watch the information again, can easily do that.  There are also quizzes as they go through the course information.  The ability to rewatch videos, quizzes, and then of course the test at the end of each section really does allow the student and parent to see how much is being absorbed and where students will need some extra help.

ACT Mom does offer individual course study also, if you feel your student only needs help in specific areas of study.

The format of study includes the lecture style, with an emphasis on notes.  If you student is struggling in this area, it is a great way to reinforce the importance of note taking.  This style will only help your student as they advance into college.  

She has even provided some free resources for families to help them out.  The ACT Mom really does want to see students succeed.  This program that they have created has shown success.  Lydia is not quite ready for the ACT yet, but using this program will definitely prep both of us for the areas that she will need to work harder in before she makes her first attempts at the actual test.  This would be a great program for the visual based learner with learning disabilities.  Lots of extra practice and tips to succeed.  

Click on the link below to see what other families from The Homeschool Review Crew felt about this product.

Test Prep with The ACT Mom

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Archer and Zowie Book Review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

We recently had the opportunity to review Archer and Zowie by Hans Bluedorn.  What a fun elementary level story for kids!

Hans Bluedorn is the author of The Fallacy Detective.  But Archer and Zowie takes children on a whole new adventure.  This make believe story takes kids on adventures of their mind and creativity.  Archer and Zowie tackles themes on friendship and having positive self-esteem, but presents them in a fun way that really speaks to children.

The story of Archer and Zowie lets us see the evolution of two best friends.  After a mishap they have reprogrammed the microwave to do some pretty cool things.  They can order food from other locations, completely squash the entire universe, and of course this new invention want to kill them.

Writing in a different genre, Han Bluedorn digs into this science fiction story and has really created some super fun adventures for these best friends to go on.  They battle dark matter, babysitters, microwaves, giant penguin aliens, and yet they are able to remain friends.

Archer and Zowie is really a cute story of imagination.  These two best friends go on lots of adventures, and can really encourage children to dig deep and let their own creativity flow through invention and play.

Caty enjoyed reading this story.  It did not take her long to make her way through the book.  She is a more advanced reader though.  It was written for elementary through early middle school ages.  So roughly 7-12 years old could read independently, depending on their reading level.  But Archer and Zowie would also make a great read aloud together.

I really liked the one section where the author made sure that the readers understood the text.  Sometimes it can be hard to understand even with context clues, so this brief explanation was great.

Archer and Zowie is written from a Christian perspective.  So there is mention of belief in God in the reading.  But this perspective does not rule the story.  So still could be read by those with a secular perspective also.  

The illustrations are super cute also.

When I asked Caty if she would read a sequel or another adventure with Archer and Zowie, she said she definitely would.  She said is was a great balance of "sci-fi and weirdness, just what I like to read."

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to read Archer and Zowie and also check out The Fallacy Detective.  Click on the banner below to read about their experiences and how they used these products with their families.

Hans Bluedorn Brings us Fallacy Detective and Archer & Zowie 


Friday, August 13, 2021

The HomeScholar LLC - Total Transcript Solution Review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
The HomeScholar

Homeschooling in high school is a whole new level of challenges.  We recently had a chance to review the Total Transcript Solution from The HomeScholar LLC.  This is a game changer for anyone who is struggling to get their student's transcript ready for college.

The HomeScholar LLC was created by Matt and Lee Binz, who have become experts in homeschooling through high school. As homeschool consultants who also homeschooled their own children, they have worked for over 15 years helping other families have the confidence to continue through those high school years and enter into college.

Lee Binz likes to emphasize her core beliefs in homeschooling:

  1. Homeschooling independently provides the best possible learning environment
  2. Every child deserves a college-prep education, whether or not they choose college.
  3. Parents are capable of providing a superior education for their children.

The Homescholar LLC has created a variety of products that make it easy for parents to create high school transcripts that any college would love to see.

I did have a little trouble getting started.  But figured it out pretty quickly.  Lydia is officially a sophomore this year.  She is still undecided about college.  So I need to make sure that I keep good records for her, just in case she decides to enroll.  

For the boys, I just kept a record of classes and credits in a spreadsheet on my computer.  But that is the difference in doing it on your own, or buying a subscription to Total Transcript Solution.  The Binz family has created a true how to homeschool high school system.  If you are preparing your student for collegiate success, they have a plan that you can follow and set you up for graduation success.

Your subscription to Total Transcript Solution does not need to be purchased annually.  It is a lifetime membership.  You have access to:

  • Video training to help you fill out the transcript, list classes, assign grades and credits, and even figure GPA
  • Flexibility to use the transcript software with all your children for the same price.
  • You even can get professional feedback on the transcript you created from Lee Binz. The cost includes a 20-minute phone or email consultation with Lee Binz.
  • Ten different transcript styles in Word, Excel, or Pages, including the NCAA format that is used to help earn scholarships.
  • Extra bonus books on Get A Handle on the SAT, and even favorite homeschooling resources.
The videos are helpful and really do answer questions about how to homeschool through high school.  Lee Binz takes what seems like a daunting task and gives you the confidence to know that you CAN homeschool in the high school years, and YES your student can go to college.  Her videos help you and your student to really lay out their plan, and how to get the most from their learning experiences and put them on their transcript.

I really do believe that for anyone who is on the fence about homeschooling through the high school year should purchase Total Transcript Solution.  It can get you off that fence and on the path to homeschooling through high school.

Once I got through the checkout process it has been a completely easy program to use.  I will be using this for our other daughter also as she is entering high school next year.  She is also still undecided about college.  So I am going to be prepared.  I do encourage you to include your student even on some of the videos and the planning.  That's another way to help them to learn independence in planning, goals, and decision making.

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review various products from The HomeScholar LLC.  Click on the link below to see how they used these products in their homes.

Homeschool High School to College with The HomeScholar

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Math Essentials Speed Wheel Drills Review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Math struggles are real in this house.  Continuous practice is really important for the girls.  Recently we had the opportunity to review the Speed Wheel Drills from Math Essentials.  What a great way tor practice in short bursts.

The purpose of speed wheel math drills to for kids to be able to practice quickly those essential math facts.  Without these being memorized, it does make it harder to tackle those middle and high school math programs.

The Speed Wheel Drills series from Math Essentials includes a book for Addition, Multiplication, and Division.  Instead of practice being a full pages of problems, students can practice all the math problems for each number.  This type of practice allows for easier memorization.

Each book contains more than 1,440 speed wheel drills that you can assign for children to tackle so many each day.  

I like the ability to let them work on so many each day.  Caty worked on the addition book that we received.  It did not take long the facts that she has been struggling with to start clicking more.  Now with her learning challenges, the extra practice has been great.  The problems she has been working on are not stretched across a page.  So this has kept her from feeling super anxious as she works through the problems.  

That is a great benefit to these Speed Wheel Drills.  The practice did not cause them anxiety.  They were able to get a lot of practice in what seemed to them to be a half a page or even a quarter of a page depending on the problems that day.

Lydia practiced her multiplication and division facts.  Again, the practice was fun.  It was different.  It was not just a case of constant sheets of practice.

I like the flexibility.  This is not a course that teaches how to solve these problems.  These are strictly practice books.  You can assign as much or as little each week as your student needs.  With over 1,440 speed wheel drills, the materials will last your student for a while and will help them reach mastery stages.

If you are looking for just some fun extra practice for your students, Math Essentials Speed Wheel Drills are a great addition to your school schedule.  They also offer a wide variety of mastery workbooks for middle school, high school, and even adult refresher books. 

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review the Speed Wheel Drills books from Math Essentials.  Click on the link below to see how they used these products in their homes with their students.

Master Math Facts with Math Essentials Speed Drills 


Thursday, July 29, 2021

The Fermentools Starter Kit Review

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.


I have always wanted to make sauerkraut, but have felt it was an overwhelming process.  We got a chance to review the Starter Kit from Fermentools.  This was such a super easy process, and my husband is in love.

The Fermentools Starter Kit arrives with the basics to start fermenting your own foods.  Fermenting foods is a centuries old procedure to preserve food, and also give your body maximum health benefits from what you are eating.  Our kit arrived with a bag of fermenting salt and the basics below.

There is also a short instruction book to get you started.  We provided the food and the wide mouth glass canning jar.

Joe love jalapenos.  So we started with a basic jalapeno coleslaw.  I cheated and bought pre-shredded coleslaw.  Then I mashed and mashed, and lets just say this took a little while.  As you mash the coleslaw you are breaking out the natural juices by adding the pink fermenting salt (included in the Starter Kit) to the mixture.  I'm going to say it was a good 20-30 minutes.  Joe and I took turns.

Then we added fresh sliced jalapenos to the mixture and continued to mash it some more.

You could see the cabbage juice starting to break down in the bowl.  This was not an instant process.  It did take a little while.

I don't know if it was the cabbage slaw we used, but I took the advice from the instruction book and we added some filtered spring water to the mixture.  Included in the Starter Kit is a glass disk.  This disk is called a glass fermentation weight and it's made specifically to fit inside a standard wide-mouth Mason jar.  I wondered why I would need that.  You can see in the picture that you use that as a weight to keep the cabbage mixture below the water/juice line.  I added the special Airlock system, the stainless steel lid from the Starter Kit, and the rubber stopper (also included).  The whole process to get this first batch going took us a little over an hour.

And then the killer part starts......the waiting game.  You can eat this in as little as a few days.  But for a good kraut, you should be patient and let it sit in a cool, dark place for at least 3 weeks minimum.  This was the jar after 3 weeks of patiently sitting on the counter.

This is now a hit.  Joe really likes his homemade jalopeno sauerkraut.  I'm going to need to keep a batch in rotation as he eat this.  And best of all, he is getting better health benefits than all the store bought probiotics that he was taking before.

The Fermentools Starter Kit took away my fear out of getting started in making my own sauerkraut.  This is really a very simple process!!!  Now to try other foods!  Next up Spicy pickles!!

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review the Fermentools Starter Kit.  Click on the link below to see what they thought of this kit.

Fermenting Food Made Easy with Fermentools