Time Travelers American History from Home School in the Woods – A Homeschool Review

Time Travelers American History from Home School in the Woods – A Homeschool Review

What is Home School in the Woods?

Home School in the Woods is a company that specializes in hands-on history products. On their website you will find so many engaging options available, such as timelines, maps, lap books, and history studies, all designed to have your child LIVE the lessons!

What did we choose to use?

I have previously reviewed some of the Al a Carte items available from Home School in the Woods and really loved the quality of their products. So I was excited when the opportunity came up to use and review Time Travelers: Colonial Life  from their Time Travelers American History series!

SO MUCH CONTENT!

At a cost of only $27.95, you would not believe how much content in included with this Time Travelers product! There are 50 activities included to work on with your children!

From the website:

“Colonial Life, contains 25 lessons that can spread across 5-10 weeks, covering: America’s Colonies Begin, The Colonial Home, Clothing, Food, Family Life, School, Faith in the Colonies, Villages & Cities, Health & Medicine, Artisans, Crime & Punishment, Plantations & Slavery, Pleasures & Pastimes, and Holidays!”

The units are available via PDF format, either through digital download or a CD. You will find text pages, project pages, and master pages for all of the projects. There are also teacher helps, resource lists and teacher keys included.

I had access to the digital download version, which included a file titled “Start”. Clicking on this opened up a page on my web browser that laid everything out neatly for me. All I needed to do was click on each section to view all of the lessons, projects and master pages needed. I really like how easy this makes it for me to see where I am and what I need for each lesson!

Take a look at some of our favourite projects!

It’s hard to pick only a few favourite projects to share because there are just so many to choose from (and they are all really neat and fun). So here are just a few that we really enjoyed working on.

This cute little barn opens up to reveal a pocket full of all the items you might find on a Colonial farm! If you have a child who likes to colour, this is a fun and easy project for them.

Anything to do with food is a good project right? You bet! One of the projects is to put together this neat little recipe book of common foods in colonial times. Your child can even colour in some of the images if they like. But the real fun will be making some of the recipes, yum!

Have you heard of quilling before? It’s where you create images using rolled up strips of paper! It may be a bit time consuming to roll and shape all the paper strips, but it’s kind of relaxing and addicting too! This project may require a little extra help from mom and dad if your child is younger though, but the end result is a really nice piece of art that your child can be proud to have made.

There is something new at Home School in the Woods!

Home School in the Woods has just let me know that their newest product, Project Passport: Ancient Rome, is now available!  They have even added it to the download bundle for the complete Project Passport series. Go check it out!

Don’t forget to check out all the other reviews from the Review Crew!

We all reviewed different products, from different product lines from Home School in the Woods, so make sure you look through the other reviews to see all about the different hands-on history product lines available to you!

Smart Kidz Radio  – Our Review!

Smart Kidz Radio – Our Review!

Hey there!  Guess what we’ve been listening to recently? A brand new program from Smart Kidz Media called Smart Kidz Radio! It’s super awesome, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it, so lets get this review started!

So what is Smart Kidz Radio?

It is a really fun edutainment (education + entertainment) radio station just for kids, full of original songs and stories that teach valuable life skills! And the best part is that the live stream is totally FREE to listen to!
Smart Kidz Radio  provides a safe and appropriate radio station for young children to listen to. With regular radio stations I have to carefully listen to each song as it comes on, and be ready to change the station at the first sign of bad language or inappropriate content. With Smart Kidz Radio  I can just sit back and relax and really enjoy the songs and stories with my kids, knowing that I can count on kid-friendly content.

 

How can you listen to it?

All you need to do is go to Smart Kidz Radio and sign up for a FREE account, then you can listen to the live stream directly from your computer or laptop. And to make things even easier, IOS and Android apps are also available so you can play the live steam on any device, anywhere, anytime!

On Demand Content

In addition to the FREE live streaming radio station, you can also sign up for On Demand Content. The On Demand content comes at a very reasonable price of $3.99/month and includes over 1000 original songs and stories for children. You can even sample some of the On Demand content on the website before upgrading, so you can see if it is something you’d be interested in. My two year old just loves the Itsy Bitsy Spider song and wants me to play it over and over again for him!

Here is some of the entertaining radio programming you can find in the On-Demand section:

Song Programming

  • Early Learning Radio Program (Ages 2 – 4)
  • Good Behavior Skills Radio Program (Ages 3 – 6)
  • Living Skills Radio Program (Ages 4 – 10)
  • Survival Skills to Grow On Radio Program (Ages 6 – 10)
  • Bedtime Songs Radio Program (Ages 2 – 8)
  • All-Time Favorites Sing Along Songs Radio Program (Ages 4 – 10)
  • Relaxation from Stress Radio Program (Ages 4 – 10)
  • Favorite Christmas Carols and Songs (All ages)

Story Programming

  • Classic Fairy Tales
  • Not So Scary Tales
  • Grandpa Tyler’s Storytime
  • Best Loved Bible Stories
  • Favorite Christmas Stories
  • Peter Rabbit Tales

Final Thoughts

I can confidently recommend Smart Kidz Radio as a safe and fun listening experience for your young children! From the current content that we’ve been listening to, I’d probably say that its best for the 1-6 age range. It’s still good for the 7-10 range, but it might seem a bit “little kid-ish” to them. This would be great to play during some free play time, or even during quiet time as some light background music. So what are you waiting for?! Go sign up for your FREE account to listen to the live stream!

Visit Smart Kidz Media on social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/smartkidzmediainc/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/smartkidzmedia

No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope – Book Review

No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope – Book Review

Those tween years of 8-14 can really be difficult to navigate, for both parent and child! I know that I have often wondered myself, “where has my sweet little baby gone?”. We can all see and understand the physical changes happening at this age, but it is the emotional changes that really throw us for a loop. Or at least they throw ME for a loop! That is why I was so excited for the opportunity to read and review No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope from Great Waters Press.

Authors Hal and Melanie Young guide us on this challenging journey through these critical years of parenting. The book is full of personable stories of their experiences with the own children going through the tween years. And let me tell you, they are SPOT ON! As I read through the book, I found myself nodding several times. These were the exact things that are going on in our house right now, it was as if they could see into our home and were writing just for us! Not only do they tell about their own experiences, but they explain WHY these behaviours and feelings are happening, and how we can cope and help our children (and ourselves) through this difficult time of transitioning, of being “No Longer Little”.

As you can see from the table of contents below, they don’t skip out on anything. From Getting Bigger, to Brains Turning to Mush, from Social Struggles, to Media and Gaming, and Conflict At Home. Hal and Melanie cover all of the topics that we are struggling to make sense of.

They remind us that we aren’t alone in this, and that our children aren’t the only ones that seem to have gone completely bonkers at this age.
Does this sound familiar at all:

“We were convinced our son was brilliant, homeschooling was great,

and really, our parenting and teaching skills were awesome, too. Yes,

sir, life was sweet.

Then he turned nine, and the wheels fell off the train.

That year, school fell apart. Math was an all-day ordeal. Often, it

seemed, it was the only thing we got done. Everything he did took

forever, and he was constantly getting distracted.”

I had a similar experience with my son in our homeschool. He has become easily distracted and simple tasks dragged on and took forever! Hal and Melanie give an explanation as to why this happens, and it’s no ones fault.

Or how about this scenario:

“Son, go get me my keys,” one of us would tell him. The car keys were

always left on top of the microwave oven in the kitchen. No variation.

Forty-five minutes later, we’d find him wandering aimlessly around

the house. His shades were up, but no one was home.”

There have been SO MANY times when I would ask my child to do something, and the response would be “okay, just a minute”. And then 20 minutes later I’d go back and ask why he hadn’t done the task. I’d get a blank stare, and he didn’t even remember being asked in the first place. This was always so baffling to me, and frustrating!

It just can’t be helped. Hal and Melanie reassure us that this is a normal occurrence:

“During puberty, the part of the brain changing the most is the area

that controls executive functions. These are tasks like problem

solving, priority setting, short term memory, attention, and focus.

This is the center of common sense and good judgment, the part

which decides, “This thing—Good idea? Bad idea?”   ……

Neurologists say that during early adolescence, these parts of the

brain actually unravel; there truly is a temporary loss of function

as the neurons re-assemble into their adult configurations.”

Well, it all makes much more sense now doesn’t it?! They give some great advice and tips for coping through this stage, but of course there is no “cure” and we just have to do our best to be understanding and supportive of our children as they make this confusing transition from child to teenager.

If you’ve ever secretly thought to yourself “what has happened to my child!?”, I highly recommend that you read No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope. It is available as either an ebook or a printed copy from Great Waters Press. I’d suggest the printed copy so that you can keep it with you wherever you are, to re-read over each chapter as they come up in your own child’s life. Even if we can’t “fix” the tween years, this book is like a comforting hug to help us to help our children get through this stage with as much grace and hope as possible.

The Josefina Story Quilt eGuide by Progeny Press – A Homeschool Review

The Josefina Story Quilt eGuide by Progeny Press – A Homeschool Review

Hey fellow homeschoolers! How are you doing this week?

We’ve been enjoying our summer, while still trying to get in a little reading and learning here and there.
Which brings me to a question for you.
Have you heard of Progeny Press?

I’ve heard of it myself, I know it’s popular among homeschoolers, but I didn’t really know what they were all about until just recently! And now I’m really glad I’ve had the chance to learn more about them and the wonderful eGuides that they have!

Today I want to tell you about the eGuide that we had the pleasure of reviewing, it’s called The Josephina Story Quilt – eGuide.

It is a lower elementary eGuide to go along with the book The Josephina Story Quilt. There are 34 pages which include:

  • Background on the authors and story
  • Prereading suggested activities
  • Vocabulary activities related to the story
  • General content questions
  • Literary analysis and terminology questions designed to give students a good understanding of writing technique and how to use it
  • Critical analysis questions designed to help students consider and analyze the intellectual, moral, and spiritual issues in the story and weigh them with reference to scripture
  • and, of course, a detailed answer key!

Our library allows us to search for books in all of the libraries in the area, and we were able to find a copy of The Josephina Story Quilt to borrow. And then we set out working through the eGuide while reading the book.
I just want to say that I LOVE that the eGuide gives background information about the time period of the story and details about the locations that the story takes place in. It really helps to give better understanding of the story to my almost 8 year old.
Along with reading and comprehension questions, the eGuide also has some fun activities such as a word search, crossword, map work, a recipe, and arts and crafts suggestions.

We really enjoyed working through the The Josephina Story Quilt eGuide, and I’m looking forward to using more of their eGuides in our future homeschool studies.

They are such a great way to see how your child is retaining what they’ve read, and they also allow your children to dig deeper into the story and even do some fun activities relating to the story.

Progeny Press also has a number of other eGuides for Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, Middle School and High School levels that you can find on their website. They are available as downloads, which makes it super simple to read on your computer or devices, and then you can easily print out pages as you need them. Simple!

If you’d like to see more reviews from others about The Josephina Story Quilt eGuide and some of the other available eGuides, please use the banner link below, or just click here.

You can find out more about Progeny Press by visiting their social media accounts:
Facebook: https://facebook.com/progenypress
Twitter: https://twitter.com/progenypress
Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/progenypress
YouTube: https://youtube.com/progenypress

If you’ve used Progeny Press eGuides before, please share which ones in the comments section below. I’d love to know what you thought of them!

New Study Guides for Literature From a Christian Perspective {Progeny Press Reviews}
Awesome List of Free Homeschool Planners!

Awesome List of Free Homeschool Planners!

Every year I dream of a perfectly organized homeschool plan.

I haven’t been doing too bad up until now, but that’s because we’ve been using an all-in-one curriculum in the past that came with a plan already laid out for us. But this year I will be gathering our curriculum from different sources and planning them out myself! *Yes, I’m nervous!* I’ve been on the hunt for free homeschool planning pages to help me get things ready and organized for next year. And now that I’ve found some I want to share them with you. Hopefully they can help to make your planning go a little smoother too!

Enjoy these links to some awesome, FREE homeschool planning pages!

Homeschool Planner from TheCraftyClassroom.com

  • Homeschool Goals
  • Curriculum Planner
  • Lesson Planner
  • Calendar
  • Annual Overview Calendar

2018-2019 HOMESCHOOL PLANNING PAGES by ClassicallyHomeschooling.com

  • The first page is for younger children as it includes spelling and penmanship practice.
  • The second page is for older kids as they enter late middle school and high school.
  • The third page is blank for you to customize the specific subjects you plan to teach your children.

Create a Homeschool Schedule That Works by JustASimpleHome.com

Terryn shares how she plans her yearly and weekly schedule.

TEACHER BINDERS – TIPS & FREE RESOURCES! by teachstudentsavvy.com

  • Tips and freebies for creating teacher binders in the classroom which can also work well for homeschoolers. 
  • Teacher and Student Binders

7 Step Free Homeschool Planner by TinasDynamicHomeschoolPlus.com

  • Front and Back Covers
  • Calendar
  • Objectives
  • Lesson Planning Pages
  • Unique Forms
  • Personalize It
  • Print / Bind

Editable Teacher Planning Binder by TheCurriculumCorner.com

  • Student and Class Information
  • Daily Organization Planning
  • Lesson Planning
  • Professional Resouces

Free Homeschool Planner 2018 from BlessedLearners.com

  • 50+ pages!
  • Homeschooling Academic Calendar Sheet, Holidays in Academic Calendar, Important Dates in Academic Calendar, Effective days and weeks in Academic Calendar
  • Resource Division in a Year, Resource Division in Weeks and Days
  • Subject course and resources
  • Yearly Lesson Plan, Weekly Lesson Plan, Daily Lesson Plan
  • Homeschooling Resources
  • Field Trip Plan,
  • Lapbooking Unit Plan, Notebooking Unit Plan, Unit Study Plan
  • Attendance List
  • Books to Read
A+ Interactive Math (by A+ TutorSoft Inc.) – A Homeschool Review

A+ Interactive Math (by A+ TutorSoft Inc.) – A Homeschool Review

In our homeschool journey, we have yet to find a perfect fit for math curriculum. So when I was given the opportunity to use and review the Adaptive Math Curriculum Online program from A+ Interactive Math (by A+ TutorSoft Inc.) I jumped at the chance! The Adaptive Math Curriculum Online program utilizes adaptive placement tests to find any gaps in your child’s learning and then develops a lesson plan to help fill those gaps. It includes video lessons, interactive review, practice worksheets online, automatic grading, tracking, re-testing, and is completely automated-

Some of the others on the review crew are using the Family Math Package, which does not pre test students. It is a package of all the grade levels with video lessons, interactive review, practice worksheets, chapter tests, automatic grading and more. This program is quite flexible because you have the option of moving your child from one grade level to another, depending on where they are in their learning.

Adaptive Placement Tests

After setting up your parent account and adding your students, you will have your students go through the adaptive placement tests. You could have them go through them one at a time, taking a placement test and then having them complete the lesson that the program designs to fill any gaps. Another option is to have your child go through all of the adaptive placement tests in a row, and then go back and do the necessary lessons. I had both my 2nd and 5th graders using the program and we opted to have them do one placement test at a time and then go over the lesson if needed.

I would highly recommend sitting with your child as they go through the tests in case they need some help. I found that with my own children, they were confused by some of the terminology that was different from what they were used to in their previous math program. The first time my 5th grader went through one of the tests he received a very low score. Because it was a topic that I knew he had already mastered, we went back over it together and I realized that he just needed some of the different terminology explained to him. Once he knew what the question was asking, he was able to fly through them and met the goal the program set for him to pass and skip the lessons for that topic.

Below you can see my son’s first attempt at a placement test, working alone, when he was confused about some of the terminology.

And here is the same test, after I sat with him and explained some of the terminology that he wasn’t used to seeing in his other math curriculum.

Video Lessons

After your child has completed a placement test where they haven’t met the goal score, the program designs a lesson for them to fill the gaps. The lessons are broken down into bite-sized sections, and your child can click through the lessons, working at their own pace. The lessons contain video lessons with colorful animation and clear explanations.

Online Worksheets

You can also generate online worksheets to go along with each lesson for your child to practice and reinforce what they are learning. If your child is having trouble, they can view the detailed solution to help them.

Parent Dashboard

The Parent dashboard allows you to set up your students, and also allows you to view their progress. Below you can see my 2nd grade daughters summary for some of the placement tests she had taken up to that point. You can also look into how they are progressing in their lesson plan, and how they are doing with the online worksheets.

The parent dashboard also gives you access to a video tutorial on how to use the program, and navigate both the parent and student dashboards. I recommend watching the tutorial, as it may be a bit confusing to navigate around for the first time without it.

Final Thoughts

After working through the program with both of my children I think it is a useful tool for finding the gaps in your child’s learning and giving them the opportunity to review and cement concepts they may be having trouble with. Although the placement tests may require supervision for younger students, the lessons are easily done independently by the student. As a homeschooling mom of multiply children, anything that can be done independently is a major plus in my books!

I’m not sure I would use it as a stand alone math curriculum, but it makes a great supplement and review tool! However, I think the Family Math Package might work better as a stand alone curriculum. Depending on your needs, either would make a great addition to your family’s homeschool.

You can find A+ Interactive Math (by A+ TutorSoft Inc.) on social media at the following links:

Check out the latest SALE from A+ Interactive Math HERE!

Please take a few moments to see of the other crew members reviews of both A+ Interactive Math programs, Just click on the image below!

Help Teaching Pro by HelpTeaching.com – Homeschool Review

Help Teaching Pro by HelpTeaching.com – Homeschool Review

As a homeschool mom I love anything that can help make our school day a little easier. So when I was offered a chance to review a one-year subscription to Help Teaching Pro from HelpTeaching.com I jumped at the opportunity!

The Help Teaching Pro subscription gives access to a plethora of lessons, worksheets and tests over a variety of subjects from preschool to grade 12. And if that wasn’t enough they also provide a test maker and worksheet generator so you can make your own!

One of the things we made great use of was the worksheet generator. It is super easy for me to customize math worksheets for both my 2nd grader and my 5th grader. A quick math drill sheet is a great way to get warmed up for our math lessons, or if we are short on time but still want to get in some math work. The worksheet generator allows you to choose the number of questions, the type of questions, and the number of digits in each question, and even give it a custom name. Then you can either save, print or download the worksheet for immediate or later use. My 5th grader actually asks to do the math worksheets, sometimes we add a timer and see how many questions he can complete in a set time, or time how long it takes to complete all of the questions. Then the next time around he can try to beat his previous score/time.

Another really neat feature we used is the pre-made lessons. You just choose the subject, topic and grade and then pick the lesson you’d like your child to complete. The lessons teach the concept with text, give practice questions and have a video to further explain the concept. There is often a related worksheet that is linked to the lesson as well. You can assign the lessons to your students, who can then complete the lesson online.

Then there is the tests and worksheets section. There are so many subjects and types of worksheets that I won’t even attempt to list them all, but trust me, you are sure to find ones that will work for your students! I particularly like the Language Arts worksheets. I’m always looking for more ways to get my kids writing, and HelpTeaching.com is full of them! There are even Graphic Organizer worksheets,Study Skills/Strategies worksheets and Vocational worksheets.

We will definitely continue to use the Help Teaching Pro subscription from HelpTeaching.com. It is such a great resource for supplementing your homeschool learning and takes all of the work out of making customized tests and worksheets. And for those days when you are super busy and it’s hard to teach a full lesson yourself, you can rest assured that the pre-made lessons and worksheets can fill in for you.

I highly recommend checking out Help Teaching Pro for yourself. I’m certain you will find it beneficial in your homeschool too!

Have a look at how some of the other Review Crew members have been using HelpTeaching.com by clicking the banner image below.

Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology from Apologia – Homeschool Review

Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology from Apologia – Homeschool Review

Okay, so I am SUPER excited about this review! I’ve used Apologia before to teach Astronomy and I really liked how they lay out the lessons and include a lot of hands on activities and experiments to go along with what your learning. I just knew we were going to love their other topics as well!

Today I am reviewing Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology from Apologia. This included the following items:

First I want to talk to you about the textbook. This thing is laid out in such an awesome way. You know how some textbooks are all words and they are just so boring and monotonous to read? Well the Apologia textbooks are NOTHING like that! It is a beautiful hard covered text full of colorful pictures to go along with the lessons. There is nothing boring or monotonous about it!

At the front of the book is an introduction section that briefly explains how to use the book and gives a link and password to the course website. The website provides links to more resources for each lesson to further your learning. There is also a detailed list, broken down by lesson, of all the items you will need to complete the activities. Most of the items are every day things most of us will have around our homes already.

Throughout each lesson the text is broken down into manageable sections. There are a variety of Try This boxes mixed in that provide quick and easy activities to do. Dispersed through the lesson, at natural pauses in the reading, are questions printed in blue that give your child a chance to review and explain what they have learned so far. At the end of each lesson are three review sections: What Do You Remember?, Notebooking Activities, and Personal Person Project. There is also a larger project or experiment to wrap up each lesson with a great hands-on approach.

I also want to mention the audio CD that is available to go along with the textbook. It contains an audio recording by the author, Jeannie, of all the lessons. I don’t know about you, but I can get pretty tired of doing all the reading to my children through out the homeschool week. With the audio CD, I can pop it into the computer and turn on the audio for the lesson we’re on (the audio is broken up into small sections, so if you need to stop in the middle of a lesson, it is easy to resume later). The audio doesn’t read out the Try This sections, but does make note of them so that you can pause the audio to complete them, and then continue on. One thing that I really want to mention about the CD is that Jeannie’s voice is easy to listen to. It’s not some bland professor-type voice reading without expression. It actually sounds like a fun teacher reading to you, full of expression. This makes it so much easier to follow along and be engaged with the reading.

Lastly, but certainly not least are the notebooking journals. There are two versions, the regular Human Anatomy Notebooking Journal and the Junior Anatomy Notebooking Journal. The first is meant for children in upper elementary (grades 4-6) while the 2nd is geared towards lower elementary children (grades K-3). They are both fairly similar, but with the Junior version offers coloring pages and simpler versions of the various activities inside the notebooking journal.

For example, for lesson 2 the notebooks have a diagram of the skeletal system. The regular journal is blank, requiring the student to label the different bones on their own (using the reference diagram in the textbook). The junior journal points to the different bones and even gives the first letter of the bone name that is to be used, making it easier for younger ones to complete the same activity. You can see a comparison in the photo below. The page on the left is of the regular journal and the page on the right is the junior journal.

Another example, shown below, is a crossword puzzle. You can see the regular journal on the left has more words to use, and there are no hints given. In the junior journal on the right the puzzle uses fewer words and gives some hints by having some of the letters already filled in the puzzle.

Some other great features in the notebooking journals are:

  • Descriptions and instructions on how to use each page in the journal.
  • A suggested schedule for working through the lessons.
  • Answers to the vocabulary activities.
  • Field trip sheets.
  • Minibooks.
  • And Personal Person templates.

The quality and ease of use of Apologia’s science programs makes it an easy choice for homeschoolers. The different level notebooking journals makes it easy to use the same program with multiple age groups. I know that we will continue to choose them for all of our science needs as we continue on in our homeschooling years to come.

To learn more about Apologia and their wonderful science programs, be sure to check them out on social media:

 

Also make sure to read some more reviews, just click on the image below.

Carole P. Roman books and collections – A Homeschool Review

Carole P. Roman books and collections – A Homeschool Review

This week I will be reviewing three titles from the books and collections of Carole P. Roman.

Carole P. Roman is a very talented, award-winning children’s book author. She began writing as a dare from one of her son’s! Carole created Captain No Beard based off of an imaginary game she used to play with her grandson.

She has won many awards for her books, far too many to name them all. But a few of them are the Kirkus Star of Exceptional Merit, the NABE Pinnacle Award, the IAN Award, the Moonbeam Award 2014, the National Indie Excellence Award Finalist, and the Shelf Media Outstanding Series Award.

She has since created a number of collections and book series including:

  • Captain No Beard
  • Oh Susannah
  • Bedtime Stories
  • If You Were Me And Lived In…..  An Introduction To Ancient Civilizations Through Time
  • If You Were Me And Lived In…..  A Child’s Introduction To Cultures Around The World

These books are packed full of great facts and information and are beautifully illustrated! Educational children’s books can be such a fun way to explore history and cultures or even just to practice reading.
We received 3 books from the If You Were Me And Lived In….. An Introduction To Ancient Civilizations Through Time collection to add to our home library. Without further ado, let’s dive a little deeper in to these books to see what they’re all about!

If You Were Me and Lived in . . . Viking Europe

The book If You Were Me and Lived in… Viking Europe has 76 pages which includes the main story itself, a list of some Norse Gods, information about some important Vikings in History and a glossary of terms. The pages are beautifully illustrated in an almost cartoon-like style which really catches the attention of my children.

The story is chalk full of fun facts about Viking Europe! For instance, if you were born into a viking family you would be part of one of three classes,  Jarls, Karls or Thralls. Of course the book goes into more detail, describing the different classes. And did you know that vikings gave their guests ale in cups made from animal horns with a pointed bottom? This made it so they either had to drink it all at once or pass their vessel around. We also learned that a viking child would call their mother Moder (mo-der) and that dagmal (dag-mal) was what they called their morning meal.

If You Were Me and Lived in . . . the Middle Ages

The next book that we read was If You Were Me and Lived in the Middle Ages. This one is a whopping 97 pages! Twelve of those pages are a glossary of terms! Did you know that a fletcher (flech-er) was a person who made arrows or that a small tear-dropped shaped string instrument is called a mandore (man-dor)?

The book describes how if you lived in the middle ages, you might live in a motte and bailey castle that your father built, complete with a gatehouse and drawbridge. Did you know that salt was an important and expensive item at that time? If your place at the dining table was near the salt it indicated that you were more important than other people in the household. We all found that very interesting and something we hadn’t learned yet in our study of the middle ages.
Peasants were at the bottom of society and lived in simple huts made from a wooden frame filled with a plaster of animal hair and a clay called wattle and daub.

If You Were Me and Lived in . . . Renaissance Italy

The last book that we had the pleasure of reading is If You Were Me and Lived in… Renaissance Italy. This book is a little smaller than the other two at 54 pages, but still contains so many interesting facts about Renaissance Italy. There is a different illustrator for this book than the previous two, but it still maintains a similar cartoon-like style that our family really enjoys.

Just like the other two books, this one does not disappoint! We discovered some really neat information about renaissance Italy. Some common names for girls were Docle (dohl-chey) and Lisabetta (liz-a-bet-ta). Common boys names were Lorenzo (luh-renz-oh) and Cosimo (coh-zi-mo). We learned about the Medici family and how they owned the largest bank in Europe and supported famous artists. We found it both neat and weird that children drank ale or watered wine with their meals. Everyone knew that drinking water was very dangerous and that you could get all kinds of illnesses from it! The book also talks about why the Renaissance was so important in art and  tells of famous people from that time. And, of course, there is a glossary of terms which is fun to read through as well.

Our whole family really enjoyed these books and how they made learning about ancient civilizations more fun. Because of their length, we didn’t get through them in just one sitting. The kids would ask to read more at bed time, and would beg for one more page before we put the bookmark in! These are winners in our house and have earned their own spots on the bookshelf.

So whether you are studying these time periods, or just want some fun and educational books to read with your family, I highly recommend any and all of Carole P. Romans books!

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