Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Swimming with my girls

Short and sweet Wordless Wednesday because I am spending time with my girls!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit by ACTÍVA Products ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

We love doing art projects, but like I've said before they always seem to get put on the back burner. When I see things come up for review that has to do with art, then I always get excited about it. We have been able to review something really fun for the last few weeks called Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit by ACTÍVA Products.

What did we receive?

We were given two rolls of Rigid Wrap and one package of CelluClay.

They also sent us a very colorful FREE e-book, ACTÍVA Products' Favorite Sculpture KIDS CRAFTS. This book has tons of craft ideas so that you can make something fun with your new kit!

How did we use it?

When we received our kit, I was a little concerned that it was going to be really messy since the box had some white powder that would come out of it every time we moved it. Once we opened the box and got everything out to start our project, I realized that it probably wasn't going to be as bad as I had originally thought. We did cover our table with a big piece of plastic just so that it was easy clean up. 

We looked through the book and the kids decided on what project that they wanted to make. There are several different projects to choose from, and the book has plenty of colorful pictures showcasing each one. 

They immediately decided that they wanted to make the bowl from the e-book. I have to point out that I am very happy that we received the e-book because although there was a paper included in our box, you couldn't read it. It had different ideas on it, but the quality wasn't good at all. We couldn't even read the back page because it was cut off. 

Ok so the Rigid Wrap is really a neat product. It's strips of cloth that have plaster already on them. All you need is water to activate it! 

First we wrapped our bowl in saran wrap. The kids then took the pieces of Rigid Wrap that they had cut into strips and dipped them in a bowl of warm water. They then laid the strips all around the bowl in different directions so that they were able to build up the layers on the bowl to make it nice and thick. This was so much fun for them!

When they were done they needed to let the bowl dry. I wasn't sure how long it would take so I decided to let it sit overnight. The next morning it was still a bit damp, so we set it outside in the hot Texas sun, and it dried right up and was ready for the next step. 

They wanted to try out the CelluClay next. The only problem was that there were no instructions that I could find that explained how to mix it up. CelluClay is basically plaster mixed with bits of paper to be used like paper mache. I found a video on how to mix it up, but basically you just add water until it's the consistency of clay. 

They took the CelluClay and added it as a rim to the bowl. It was a lot of fun to work with! They say it can keep fresh in the refrigerator and last longer.

We set our bowl out in the sun again, and it dried up nicely. Next they painted it with regular acrylic paint. 

We had so much fun working with this product and the possibilities with it are endless!!

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Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit {ACTÍVA Products Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Doctor Aviation ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

We have had the pleasure of learning all about aviation and it's history with Doctor Aviation over the last several weeks. If you have any interest in aviation at all, then this course is for you.

When I read about reviewing this course, I thought that it would be a perfect elective for Edyn. We live right next to Randolph Air Force base in Universal City, Texas. All day long we can see and hear the planes over our house, and some years we even get to see an airshow with the different aircraft. We have always been fascinated by them, and how fast they go. We love to sit at the park and watch them fly over. I knew she would be really interested in the content of this course since it's almost a part of our daily life here.

Daryl Smith, aka Doctor Aviation, has a long list of accomplishments. He has served in our Air Force for over 24 years, logged over 2,000 flying hours, and has flown a variety of different aircraft. In addition to flying he's also served as an instructor for the Air Force teaching aviation and has also written a book. I think it would be safe to say that he definitely knows what he's talking about when it comes to anything aviation.

What did we receive?

We were given 6 months of the online Doctor Aviation course. The course includes 15 lessons under 5 different "headings." These include The Aircraft, Air Traffic Control, Maintenance, Airfield Operations, and The Aircraft II. Each Unit or heading is broken down into smaller more detailed lessons about that topic.

How are we using this course?

So like I said I really want to be able to add this course to Edyn's high school transcript as an elective. I think it will be very easy to do that because everything I need is laid out for me.

The main content of the program is the videos. We actually watch them together because I wanted to get a good idea of how they worked and what they were like, but she could have done this completely on her own. Honestly I have enjoyed watching the videos with her and will continue to do so until she completes the course. Each video is roughly an hour long, and that's what we focus on per week. We are taking this course slow so that we can elaborate on some of the main points that he focuses on. You could watch the video in it's entirety or break it down a little each day. She prefers to watch the video all at one time.

Each video is broken down into three segments which include Technical Trivia, Notable Innovators, and Legendary Aircraft and Events. The Technical Trivia part is basically the parts of the aircraft and how they function, and Edyn likes it, but it's not her favorite part. She said she's not very "tech-y." With that being said, I find it interesting, and have learned some things that I would have never known had I not watched these videos. I would have to say that the Notable Innovators and Legendary Events is absolutely Edyn's favorite part of the videos. She has really taken an interest in the Wright Brothers, Chuck Yeager, and Amelia Earhart. She is actually about to start the Autobiography that he talks about in the video of Chuck Yeager. She finds him completely fascinating so we decided to add the book, and she could write a report on it to add to her grade. She loved hearing about his journey and what it took for him to become the first person to break the sound barrier. I was able to show her a picture of where his statue is at Edwards Air Force Base in California, since one of my good friends lives there.

The videos are not all there is to offer for this course. Doctor Aviation goes above and beyond to provide extra resources to you so that you can learn even more. First of all for each video he provides worksheets for you to follow along with during the video. I loved letting Edyn use these because she suffers from severe ADD and it kept her focused and on track. She can also go back and use these for study tools since we will most likely be utilizing the exams that he provides also. In addition to the notes that you are able to download, he also gives you a lists of other resources that you can add to your studies. Here you will find books, other websites, and even videos that will go into even more detail on what he's discussing. There is also a section that he's designated just for extra activities. Maybe your student can do more research on a specific topic or person so that you can really round out this course for a full credit.

What do we think of this course?

Amazing. The videos are fun, engaging, and full of information. Honestly it's been one of those reviews that I thought looked interesting, but once we got into it, it's proven to be one of our favorite things to study. I say our because I love it just as much as she does. This is coming from someone who won't even fly on planes because I'm so scared of them! Maybe taking this course with her will curb my fears a little bit. Who knows?

I think that if you are looking a credit for your high schooler, or even just learn more about aviation yourself, then you will love taking this course from Doctor Aviation.

Be sure to follow along on Social Media!

Doctor Aviation was very generous in letting 64 of us review this program. If you would like to read more reviews just click the banner below!

Aviation Course {Doctor Aviation Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Park Day ~ Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Trust Fund by Mapelle Films ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

I love reviewing homeschool curriculum, but sometimes it's nice to have something different thrown into the mix. We love movie night at our house, so we were excited about watching Trust Fund by Mapelle Films!

Trust Fund is a Christian movie based on a modern day Prodigal Son, or in this case daughter, that is found in Luke 15 of the Bible. If you aren't familiar with it, I would suggest reading it before you watch the movie. This is what we did with our kids so that they could see the parallels of the story in the Bible and the movie.

Another quick thing I would like to mention is that the filmmaker, Isaac Alongi, is also a former homeschooler who had a long time passion for photography and filmmaking. He talks about how homeschooling gave him the time to concentrate on the things that he was passionate about and how it was much easier to pursue his dreams since he was not in traditional school.

Ok so about the movie. Reese Donahue is an aspiring author who pretty much doesn't like to do anything else. She tries to take the easy road with everything she does. She is always needing money from her dad, and he finally has to tell her that she needs a job. Her sister on the other hand is the exact opposite. She already works for her father at his publishing company and is always trying to do her best for him. The sisters lost their mother when they were younger, and while Reese is visiting her dad at the office, she finds paperwork that pertains to her trust fund left by her mother. Reese decides that there is no reason why her father should be keeping her share of the money from her. She decides to go against his wishes, ultimately ends up betraying him, and runs off to another country. From here on out she finds out the hard way about love and loss, but will she also learn about forgiveness?

When I initially read about the film and what it was about I thought it would be a great chick flick for my 16 year old daughter and I. I didn't think the boys were going to like it, but I was wrong. It was such a great movie. The characters were well played and very believable. My daughter enjoyed the movie so much that she was still talking about it the next day. I really love the fact that you could enjoy this movie without having to worry about language or nudity etc. It's rated PG, and received the Dove seal for ages 12 and up.

They also offer a wonderful study guide if you plan on using it with your children or even with a small group from church. One more thing that I would like to mention is the book, Love Was Near, that goes along with the movie. It is intended for girls ages 12 + and to be read after watching the movie.

All in all we thoroughly enjoyed Trust Fund by Mapelle Films and we are looking forward to future films from them!

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Trust Fund Movie {Mapelle Films Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Lolli x 2 ~ Wordless Wednesday

I'm super excited because this week's Wordless Wednesday is very special! I'm going to be a Lolli to another sweet baby!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Make-a-State Activity from Home School in the Woods ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

We love studying about American history. It has quickly become one of our favorite subjects! For the last few weeks we have been working on a fantastic hands-on history program. Make-a-State, which is part of the Activity-Paks, from Home School in the Woods has been so much fun to use!

I have used Home School in the Woods products in the past and have really loved them. They are a Christian based company and of course homeschoolers themselves!

Activity-Paks have all of the projects that you will need to complete a lapbook. I love that they include step by step instructions so that even someone who has never completed a lapbook can do it easily. Other than Make-a-State, they offer others such as The Old Testament, The New Testament, Composers, and Artists.

In the Make-a-State Activity-Pak your student will have a great hands-on activity to accompany their text. The students will basically be constructing lapbooks for each state that they want to study.  If you are new to homeschooling or have never heard of lapbooks, let me explain a little bit about what they are. A lapbook is kind of like a collection of little pieces of information, which are called mini-books, and they are all combined together to make one big book. This is normally done by using file folders. They can be very fun, and you can get very creative with them. Lapbooks can be used for almost any subject and also for any age. I love them because in our house, they turn into a wonderful study tool, but it's also something tangible that the kids have made, and can go back and review it at any time.

 This Activity-Pak will include these activities:

  • Key State Facts
  • Origin of State Names
  • State Motto
  • State Symbols
  • State Song
  • State Wildlife
  • Regions
  • State Geography
  • State Government
  • State Seal and Flag
  • State History
  • Famous People From...
  • Native Tribes
  • State Industry/Agriculture/Climate
  • State Landmarks
  • Sports Teams
  • State Quarter
  • Recipes
  • State Vocabulary
  • State Timeline

What we received:

We received the digital download version, but they also offer a CD version. The recommended ages for this program is grades 3-8, but it could be adapted for older students as well.

How did we use this and what did we think?

When I got the download in the email, it was super easy to get started on. It takes you to a main screen where all of the activities are listed for each state. Some of the forms can be used for multiple states so that makes it easier for printing. 

We decided to start with New York because that's where we are in our other studies. I printed out all of the mini lapbooks, and we got started. We decided that for pieces that needed to be filled out with specific information we would turn to the books we checked out from the library that were specific to the state of New York. If we couldn't find what we were looking for, then we would go to the Internet. We didn't have hardly any trouble finding the information that was needed to complete our book. It actually led to some great conversations with the kids on things that were different to Texas.

The illustrations with anything that you get from Home School in the Woods will be fantastic. They always seem to go the extra mile in making sure that the pieces are original and fit perfectly into the lapbook. If you use colorful folders and add a little bit of card stock, you can really bring this project to life. If you go through and do every state, you will have a very nice collection of books that your children can always reference back to.

I absolutely love this company and the products that they produce. Not only do they have the Make-a-State collection, they also have many others. Our crew reviewed several different products including Time Traveler American, other options for the Activity-Paks, Lap-Paks, and the Timeline Trio which is pretty amazing.

Home School in the Woods have also started offering A-La-Carte projects! This allows you to select a few projects for topical studies without having to buy the entire Unit. Right now if you use the code alacarte, you will get the Erie Canal project on that page for FREE! They currently have 50 projects available, and considering hundreds more. Go check it out!

If you are looking for hands on history projects, Home School in the Woods is what you're looking for!

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If you would like to read other reviews, just click the banner below!
Hands-on History {Home School in the Woods Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Celery ~ Wordless Wednesday

So this week's WW post is kind of a tip/trick too. I had gotten a bunch of celery in my produce bag a week and a half ago. It got busy with company etc, and I never got to use it. I remember reading somewhere that if you put the celery in water, then it would bring it back to life. It works! My celery was as limp as a wet noodle, and now it's just as crunchy as when you get it fresh!