Home Educating Family Reviews

I was a part of this awesome team, but have stepped down due to trying to focus on the adoption stuff. You can read several great reviews and attend the FREE online HOMESCHOOL CONVENTION thru the Home Educating Family Magazine company. The Home Educating Family's Reviews  will help you make an informed decision regarding what you need to educate your children confidently, without compromising your budget. Go to the HEF blog for more insight and wisdom too!

Look for my reviews about:


Beautiful Feet Books Geography Study

The Geography: A Literature Approach guide is anchored by several classics penned by Holling C. Holling.  Broken into four units based on Paddle-to-the-Sea, Tree in the Trail, Seabird and Minn of the Mississippi, each lesson walks the student through a manageable amount of research and activities which is followed up by progressive map work. 

Read the whole review here.

Geography of the Fifty States


Exploring the geography of the United States isn’t just about road markers, historical sites, and amusement parks. Valleys, mountains, peninsulas, desert areas, wetlands, plains, and shorelines pepper our country from sea to shining sea. But can most students properly name or recognize geographical regions or land forms? Do they understand how geography shaped each state or affected history? That is where the Geography of the Fifty States, by A Helping Hand curriculum, comes in handy. 

Read the whole review here.

Fifty States Under God
Grades 3-12

50 States Under God Cover

When considering a student’s history courses, eras covering biblical times, the Romans and Greeks, the Renaissance and Reformation, and American history are generally what come to mind. Most likely, the history of the fifty states are not even in that equation, but each of them also has a story to tell.
I often wonder– how many students graduate without knowing the names of our fifty states, their capitals, or where they are to be found on a map? There is a solution to this problem, and it lies in the curriculum Fifty States Under God by A Helping Hand. 

Read the whole review here.

Fifty States Under God for Young Learners
age 3-3 grade

50 States Under God for Young Learners

The Fifty States Under God for Young Learners by A Helping Hand is a self-contained study meant to introduce elementary aged children to each state, while highlighting a variety of interesting facts about the state, or those who contributed to the vast history of this country.

Read the whole review here.

State History from a Christian Perspective
grade 3-12
(you select your state to study)

The State History from a Christian Perspective by A Helping Hand masterfully addresses those concerns, while remaining interesting to the pupil. This study’s unique approach allows for two notebooking options from which to choose. Students will need to use either the A Beka My State Notebook or create their own binder notebook to hold their material, depending on their age and skill levels.

Read the whole review here

Master Lesson Plan Book
State History from a Christian Perspective
(needed for both the State History study and the Funbook)
age 3-grade 12
coming real soon!

A Beka My State Notebook
grade 3/4 -7/8 +

A Beka’s My State Notebook is a perfect supplement for your state history course. It certainly adds to the learning experience for young children, but it can just as easily be used for older students due to its flexibility. Intended to target the fourth to fifth grade level, My State Notebook is perfectly suited to accompany several published programs, such as the A Beka Grade  History Child Kit, or as a part of a self-designed course due to it being inherently curriculum non-specific.

Read the whole review here.

My State History Funbook
age 3-grade 3

The study of one’s state history can be an enjoyable or a burdensome pursuit. The difference is the material that is used to present the information. The My State History Funbook from State History by A Helping Hand is designed to alleviate unnecessary prep time and stress, yet remain interesting. It is in essence a scrapbooking project crossed with notebooking techniques, bound in a tidy self-created book, with each lesson drawing the student’s attention to different aspects of her state’s historical and current happenings, weather, industry, agriculture, scenery, and more.

Read the whole review here.

Books:  Various Subjects:

History/History Supplements

Profiles in Black: Phat Facts for Teens

Profiles in Black

Sadly, too many textbooks and materials omit or barely scrap the surface of the numerous accomplishments of the African-American community.  Through a very teenager friendly format, Profiles in Black: Phat Facts for Teens, by Marvin A. McMickle DMin, PhD., students are exposed to nuggets of information about those who chose to stretch themselves beyond the limitations of society or even beyond what they themselves may have thought they could accomplish

Read the whole review here.  

Biblical/Character Study/Bible Supplement:

The Gospel According to Dr. Seuss

Through The Gospel According to Dr. Seuss, my children and I have greatly enjoyed peering beyond the whimsical words of Dr. Seuss to have many Biblical principles revealed to us in a unique and memorable manner.

Read the whole review here.

The ADVENTure of Christmas

A few years back, I came across The ADVENTure of Christmas: Helping Children Find Jesus in our Holiday Traditions (A Mom’s Guide)by Lisa Whelchel (yes, the actress that played “Blair” on The Facts of Life T.V. show), which has now become a part of our Advent celebration. Being that Mrs. Whelchel is also an avid scrapbooker like me, I was instantly drawn to this beautiful book which is designed to reflect the feel of a homey, country quilt scrapbook. The ADVENTure of Christmas is seeping with little factoids about the history of how many of the traditions came to be celebrated as they are today, while providing several ideas which correlate quite nicely with them.

Read the whole review here.

Lapbooking/Notebooking products:

Pear Educational Products Project Bases 
and Project Base Adhesive Strips

Fold Up Project Base (pack of 5)  Project Base Adhesive Strips (pack of 10)

The Pear Educational Project Fold Up Bases and Adhesive Strips have revolutionized the way we lapbook by eradicating the nuisances of the file folder base, as well as providing the ability to properly store our creations so we can enjoy them over and over again. 

Read the whole review here.

Pear Educational Products Blank Project Books

Blank Project Book (6 x 8)

There are many times when I need a different way to display my student’s projects, but I don’t always want to use page protectors in a 3- ring binder or a traditional lapbook to do so.  I also prefer something that stores nicely on the shelf, can easily be accessed and opened flat to view.  

Read the whole review here.

VeggieTales: A Journey Through Lapbooking:  It's a Meaningful Life 

Learning by creating lapbooks has become more and more popular with many educators, mainly due to its hands-on activities which draw the student into the lesson while cementing the experience into the their memory. This is especially true when the lapbook is based upon the much loved VeggieTales series. A Journey Through Learning has created a lapbook which perfectly fits one such tale.

Read whole review here.

VeggieTales: A Journey Through Lapbooking:  Ballad of Little Joe

Living a life bursting with faith, trust, and a good attitude–these ideas abound in the VeggieTales: The Ballad of Little Joe DVDa western spin-off of the Bible story of Joseph and his jealous brothers. When Little Joe is sold to bandits, then purchased by the local saloon owner in Dodge Ball City, he remains strong and faithful to God, even though he has no idea why he’s suffering such things. Eventually, his dream interpretation ability allows him to serve as second-in-command, which then provides the opportunity for him to save the town and his family from starvation after a severe drought. It is A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks that takes this adventure a step further by providing a delightful lapbook kit to accompany the tale.

Read the whole review here.

Holiday Lapbooks

By A Journey Through Learning:

Valentine's Day Lapbook with Study Guide

The Valentine’s Day Learning Lapbook with Study Guide is a compact, fun introduction meant for elementary children that highlights how the celebration of one’s love came to be, what the common symbols represent, and how other countries honor it.

Read the whole review here.

America's Presidents Learning Lapbook with Study Guide

The  America’s Presidents Learning Lapbook with Study Guide is designed to capture the student’s interest, without excessive information overload, as it introduces them to the history and role of our Commander-in-Chief. Through the hands-on learning experience of the lapbook method, students discover such things as: how the president is elected, the qualifications for the job, the difference between the two main political parties, who is pictured on our currency, and the order of the presidents from Washington to Obama.

Read the whole review here.

St. Patrick's Day Lapbook with Study Guide

Leprechauns, the potato famine, the Blarney Stone and dressing in green: these are things that contribute to the history, allure, and charm of the country of Ireland (although the existence of leprechauns has yet to be verified). Whether working through a study on the various European countries, or simply focusing on St. Patrick’s Day, A Journey Through Learning has a fun lapbook project just begging to be explored.

Read the whole review here.


Mary Cassatt: American Impressionist (HBO Artists Special Series)

Product Details

While in the pursuit of a suitable movie for our Mary Cassatt unit, I came across The Artist Series by HBO: Mary Cassatt, American Impressionist.  The film is set in Paris, France in 1878.  Ms. Cassatt finds herself with a household of guests, namely her brother, his wife and their three children.  

Read the whole review here.

The Star of Bethlehem [DVD]

Seizoom Family of Products

The Star of Bethlehem by Frederick [Rick] Larson uses Scripture, ancient historical records, and a computer-generated astronomical chart to compare and contrast 9 key characteristics a star of such magnitude must have exhibited to be considered “the one” that bedazzled the sky 2000 years ago. 

Read the whole review here.

Various Curriculum:

Bible/Bible Study:

Star of Bethlehem Bible Study

Kerry Beck’s desire for her children to understand verses describing the heavens, God’s use for them, and specifically what this star was, inspired her to write The Star of Bethlehem Bible Study
The Star of Bethlehem Bible Study serves as an excellent family-oriented research activity for the Christmas holiday season or anytime there after. It is interesting and thought provoking and makes for a  “gentle” study in to tackle during this busy time of year.

Read the whole review here


Physics Quest: Spectra Heats Up 
(science activities)

Keeping ‘tweens and teens interested in science is not an easy task. Providing lessons and activities that capture their attention while actually demonstrating the purpose of the experiment (successfully!) can be quite challenging, even for a seasoned instructor. The American Physical Society’s goal is to provide engaging, fun activities that not only intrigue, but teach and hopefully ignite the student’s interest in science. Through the use of their PhysicsQuest 2011: Spectra Heats Up kit, middle school-aged children are introduced to the concepts of thermal energy.

Read the whole review here.