Perelandra – eGuide by Progeny Press {Review}

Another company that we have been enjoying for quite some time is Progeny Press. We have used their eGuides for different books a few times and have enjoyed them each time! This go around we did the Perelandra – eGuide.


I am not all current on books by C.S. Lewis and had never heard of Perelandra before, but I figured it had to be good! I realized shortly after that it was the second in the series, but I read that it was ok to read on its own.

What I love about Progeny Press is that it isn’t just a question and answer study guide. There are typical questions, but mixed in with that are so many other things!

Progeny Press Perelandra Vocabulary

One thing that has helped us greatly is the fact that these eGuides are interactive and have no need to be printed. You can just type your answer right on the screen on the computer.

We have tended to actually use the chapter questions as more of a discussion as we go rather than type the answers on the screen. The answers are usually more thorough and thoughtful!

I will have to say that some of the words that are chosen for the vocabulary section, I had no idea what they were, and I was happy to find out! Sometimes we would try to make a guess first to figure out what some of the crazier words were and we had to laugh at the responses.

The vocabulary sections are different throughout the chapters, which is nice too. Some of them are like the one shown above, sometimes it is choosing words from a word box or matching. It really is nice not having the same kind of questions after each chapter.

Progeny Press Perelandra Questions

There are a variety of questions in the study guide. There are basic review questions that gauge reading comprehension and those help too in case the kids missed something and want to go back and re-read a section again.

Other questions, like these in the Analysis section, are a lot more thoughtful. I love that it has you referencing Bible passages and comparing different parts of the book.

Progeny Press Perelandra Dig Deeper

Another section, Dig Deeper, gets a lot more thorough with the questions. Sometimes we would spend a lot of time discussing some of these, especially if they had questions within the question. But it made for a lot of great discussion times, even if it had us reading the book a little slower.

I am very appreciative of the fact that there is an answer key in the back. I mean, I am reading right along with the kids, but sometimes I just don’t have the correct answer, so it is nice to see what the answer key says.

One thing that this eGuide has that I haven’t seen in any other study guides is a prereading activities. A lot of these are pretty involved, so we did one of the easier ones and I think we may do some of the other ones further down the road.

Progeny Press Perelandra activity

There are also essays and activities for the end of the book as well! One of them I had them do recently during the reading one day as it was just drawing. It isn’t finished as it is supposed to be colored, but they just did a quick sketch. Pretty sure they saw something similar on Google images and did it their way. I bet it will look great colored!

Some of the other projects we will wait until after we are done with the book. We just finished chapter 13 so we have just a little bit to go. But you can easily see that there are plenty of activities to help you in understanding more of this book! That’s one reason why we are reading it slower than normal. We usually read a chapter and then start working on the questions the next day. It depends on the questions how long those take. Then we read another chapter.

If you are curious as to what others thought with their time using Progeny Press, feel free to click the banner below! Some did Perelandra like we did, and some had younger kids so they did The Josefina Story Quilt – eGuide, The Green Book – eGuide or The Scavengers – eGuide.  There is something for every age!

In the past I have done Great Expectations E-Guide as well as The Silver Chair E-Guide. Both were books that I hadn’t read yet, which was nice. I think next time it would be great to try a book that we have all read, or even seen the movie of, to see if that helps us even more!

Perelandra – eGuide by Progeny Press



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Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide to Programming {Review}

Kyle has been interested in programming for at least half of his life. He has tried quite a few different things out there to help him learn. Books, videos, etc.. Some of these items were definitely geared towards older students, adults even. I was happy to try out Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide to Programming (Volume 1) from Code for Teens.

Code for Teens Cover

Code for Teens has over 200 pages that includes a forward as well as a section just for parents at the beginning of the book. At the end there is a glossary that covers some words that your child may or may not know.

Now, I am all about easy. This book is easy. You can pretty much just hand it over to your child and let them have at it.

Code for Teens chapter colors

Each chapter isn’t very long, maybe an average of 13 pages each. Flipping through the pages makes me so happy, I mean, check out the colors!! Each chapter has its own color, very easy to remember where you left off and to find your spot again. Plus, it is just more fun being so colorful!

Code for Teens example

Chapter 1 starts out with some basic knowledge. It is also where you find out that you should be using Google Chrome. That worked out since Kyle is the only one that uses that browser!

I love that it has examples of what you should be seeing. That was one thing that Kyle appreciated through the whole book. The visual examples are a definite plus for any age, in my opinion!

There are also illustrations throughout the book. They aren’t too young or too numerous to be bothersome, and they also break up all the words a bit.

Kyle knew a lot of what was covered in the first chapter, so he kind of skimmed until he got to the work section and went from there.

There is a chapter quiz at the end of each chapter that covers what was learned. Other things at the end of each chapter are Key Concepts, Drills, and Aggregate review. All of these things help build on what was learned previously.

The end of the book has all of the answers to all of these quizzes and such. They are all put on the page very easy to read and are in a nice order.

Sometimes there are little DIY sections. These are tricky! It’s basically a word problem that you have to try and come up with the script on your own! That to me is a bigger test than any of the other quiz and review sections! Ha! But they do give tips on how to accomplish it, as well as having a recommended solution in the back of the book in case you get totally stuck.

They explain why they included problems like this in the back of the book, they basically wanted the students to think like a real engineer. Because really, an engineer is going to be stuck with a problem and need to figure out how to fix it! I love that!

In the future they will be coming out with HTML as well as CSS and you can then build on what you learn in this book with each of those! They work really well together!

Kyle is excited on finishing the book, the last chapter is making a hangman game. We love playing that in school, so I know he will have fun with it! I think I remember doing that when I took a computer class in school, but I know it wasn’t as cool because the monitors just had only green words. hahaha!!

This definitely got a thumbs up from Kyle. He is hoping that in the future they would come out with a more difficult addition to this one. Who knows, I haven’t read anything like that as I can imagine they are working on the two books I already mentioned, but I will keep my eye out!

If you want to read what others thought of their time with Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide to Programming, feel free to click the banner below!


Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide to Programming

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New Jersey


Jeffy and I went to New Jersey this week! Previously, all I had seen of it was the bit between Newark airport on the way to New York!

It was nice to spend time in a new place! We have been doing that a lot lately and it is addicting!

One thing I noticed was that we went to restaurants that served hot pretzels a lot. I mean, like 80% of the time there were hot pretzels offered. And of course we got them. Some were full pretzels, some were sticks, and some were little nubbies.

The thing is, when Jeffy travels by alone he finds himself going to fast food, or Cracker Barrel, or something similar.

I don’t want any of that when we are in a new place! Or really, I never want fast food, lol.

I love looking up on Yelp and other things for new places to eat. I try not to find chain restaurants, but even still, if they are local chains, I am ok with that!

I even look up dessert places, because I am still on the hunt for the best eclair. Previously I mentioned that eclair place in NYC…pretty sure that is still the winner, I have to try the one in MA again though. 😉

In a couple weeks we will be going to Michigan. I have never been there and am definitely excited because Jeffy has only been there once and that was by himself. Of course last time he had a friend take him to a place that wasn’t fast food. I am sure we will have to stop there so he can show me a new place for once. 😉

Is it weird that so much of our travels revolve around food and the next meal? We cant’ be the only ones to do that, right? 😉

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Math Refresher for Adults {Review}

When we first started doing algebra a few years ago with Ryan it totally struck me that it had been forever since I had to do anything involving algebra! Thankfully I remembered a few of the basics and was able to go from there. It would have been way easier to have the Math Refresher for Adults book from Math Essentials though!

Math Refresher for Adults

I have used this thing like crazy lately! I flipped through a lot of the beginning stuff because it was problems that we have done over and over, with three kids and all.. But I did stop to review percentages because something always throws me with that!

Earlier this year we started Geometry with Lauren and after quite a few lessons, we realized that she just wasn’t ready for that difficulty yet. It was a hard program! But we both looked at the Geometry section and she totally understands a few things more now, like reading a protractor! No matter how many times I explained that to her she just couldn’t grasp it, but this just made sense to her when we read it together.

What I really wanted to look at started in the pre-algebra and algebra section. When Kyle first started doing algebra, he kept wanting to do things the easy way, in his head. Sure, it just makes sense when you have something like x+2=6, you can just figure it out easily in your head. But just like I said it would, it got harder and harder..

He was stuck for quite a while on a certain section in algebra so I looked over that whole section and I think with using a different phrasing and such, I was able to explain to him why things had to be done a certain way. It just made more sense to him!

Math Refresher for Adults

In thinking ahead, I wanted to check out what they had in the book for probability. I remember in Ryan’s math class that he took in college there was a big section all about probability. It took us a while to try and remember anything about it! So I thought I would refresh myself since Kyle and Lauren will be taking that same math class sooner rather than later!

You can see in the picture how the book works. The probability section starts out with six review exercises. These really make you think! It is helpful because if you miss one of those, you know you should probably go back and learn how to do them again!

There is a little helpful hint section that guides you on how to do it. Now the questions in this section are pretty basic, but are a great stepping stone for the harder stuff! There are then twelve questions on this page all about marble color probability. At the very bottom is a random problem to solve.

As you turn the page, you see the pages that I posted up above. Six more review exercises and then twelve more probability questions. These build from the previous questions, just a little harder, more options, etc. There is another random problem at the bottom of this page as well.

Now, you can write in this book all day long with the answers, that’s totally cool. They suggest actually writing out the problems and answers on a separate piece of paper! So that’s what I did with all of the pages that I have looked at so far. It was also easy to leave the finished problems with either Kyle or Lauren to look over as they are doing their own math program since I was able to explain the problems to them.

Math Refresher for Adults

What is also cool is that they have videos for everything! This was so exciting for me because a lot of the time I am just not all that great at explaining things. Once I started playing the videos I realized that they were the similar to the No-Nonsense Algebra book that Lauren used last year! Very easy to fall back into them!

I love how the videos go step by step in very easy to learn words. It makes things so much easier to refresh your memory! Between the words in the book and the video explaining it another way, it was so easy to get the problems down again!

These books have been lifesavers for us! I would have loved to have this book back when we first started doing some of the trickier things that I totally forgot about!

If you want to read what others thought of this book, feel free to click on the banner below!


Math Refresher for Adults



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What I read in June

I can’t believe it is already July! The year is half over! How are you doing on your Goodreads challenge? I am 44 books in and I think my goal was…65? I can’t remember exactly what I set it at. I think I am 11 ahead for this point in the year, which is great, because who knows what will happen the rest of the year! So, this is what I read in June, let me know what you have read and loved lately!!

I’m Just Happy to Be Here by Janelle Hanchett – From the creator of the blog “Renegade Mothering,” Janelle Hanchett’s forthright, wickedly funny, and ultimately empowering memoir chronicling her tumultuous journey from young motherhood to abysmal addiction and a recovery she never imagined possible.

At 21, Janelle Hanchett embraced motherhood with the reckless self-confidence of those who have no idea what they’re getting into. Having known her child’s father for only three months, she found herself rather suddenly getting to know a newborn, husband, and wholly transformed identity. She was in love, but she was bored, directionless, and seeking too much relief in too much wine.

Over time, as she searched for home in suburbia and settled life, a precarious drinking habit turned into treacherous dependence, until life became car seats and splitting hangovers, cubicles and multi-day drug binges–and finally, an inconceivable separation from her children. For ten years, Hanchett grappled with the relentless progression of addiction, bouncing from rehabs to therapists to the occasional hippie cleansing ritual on her quest for sobriety, before finding it in a way she never expected.

This is a story we rarely hear–of the addict mother not redeemed by her children; who longs for normalcy but cannot maintain it; and who, having traveled to the bottom of addiction, all the way to “society’s hated mother,” makes it back, only to discover she will always remain an outsider.

Like her irreverent, hilarious, and unflinchingly honest blog, “Renegade Mothering,” Hanchett’s memoir speaks with warmth and wit to those who feel like outsiders in parenthood and life–calling out the rhetoric surrounding “the sanctity of motherhood” as tired and empty, boldly recounting instead how one grows to accept an imperfect self within an imperfect life–thinking, with great and final relief, “Well, I’ll be damned, I’m just happy to be here.”

What I thought: I really enjoyed the beginning of this book. As it went on I think I got more and more frustrated. I don’t know what I was expecting but it just kind of got repetitive. I still enjoyed it, just not as much as I had hoped though.

The Man Without a Country by Edward E. Hale – “The Man without a Country” is a short story by American writer, Edward Everett Hale, first published during the height of the Civil War during 1863 by the leading American literary magazine of the nineteenth century, The Atlantic. It is the story of an American Army Lieutenant Philip Nolan, who gets entangled with Aaron Burr in 1807, and renounces his country during his trial for treason, saying he never wanted to hear about the United States again. The Judge asks him to recant but Nolan doesn’t. So the Judge granted his request and the rest of his life Nolan spent on Navy ships around the world. The officers and crew were not allowed to mention the United States. This story came out during the height of the Civil War and served to help the Union recruit soldiers and people to their cause. It is noteworthy that Edward Everett Hale’s Uncle, Edward Everett, than man he was named after, gave the two hour featured address at Gettysburg just before Lincoln’s speech of 209 words and two minutes, that became the best acknowledged speech in American life. Everett, like Hale, was a total patriot and honest man, and immediately congratulated Lincoln on his fine accomplishment, “You have done far better in your two minutes than I did in my 2 hours.” “The Man without a Country” is still considered a major American work and read widely in American schools.. A quiet calm read letting the story speak for itself.

What I thought: I really enjoyed reading this. I just can’t imagine this actually happening, but it was an interesting read!

Co. Aytch by Sam R. Watkins – A classic Civil War memoir, Co. Aytch is the work of a natural storyteller who balances the horror of war with an irrepressible sense of humor and a sharp eye for the lighter side of battle. It is a testament to one man’s enduring humanity, courage, and wisdom in the midst of death and destruction.

Early in May 1861, twenty-one-year-old Sam R. Watkins of Columbia, Tennessee, joined the First Tennessee Regiment, Company H, to fight for the Confederacy. Of the 120 original recruits in his company, Watkins was one of only seven to survive every one of its battles, from Shiloh to Nashville.

Twenty years later, with a “house full of young ‘rebels’ clustering around my knees and bumping about my elbows,” he wrote this remarkable account—a memoir of a humble soldier fighting in the American Civil War, replete with tales of the common foot soldiers, commanders, Yankee enemies, victories, defeats, and the South’s ultimate surrender on April 26, 1865.

What I thought: This was pretty interesting! Just the fact that he survived everything that he went through. We have been reading a lot of books involving the Civil War and it is just fascinating..

Much Ado About Nothing by Shakespeare – Set in a courtly world of masked revels and dances, this play turns on the archetypal story if a lady falsely accused of unfaithfulness, spurned by her bridegroom, and finally vindicated and reunited with him. Villainy, schemes, and deceit threatens to darken the brilliant humor and sparkling wordplay—but the hilarious counterplot of a warring couple, Beatrice and Benedick, in Shakespeare’s superb comedy of manners.

What I thought: Well, I think I would much prefer it in an actual play. Reading it lost a lot of the oomph I think, at least for me. It didn’t help that I was reading it out loud to the kids. That was really confusing, lol.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng –

Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.

Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When the Richardsons’ friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family – and Mia’s.

Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of long-held secrets and the ferocious pull of motherhood-and the danger of believing that planning and following the rules can avert disaster, or heartbreak.

What I thought: Wow, I am usually not a fan of so many characters and each of their stories, but this just really worked for me. I was intrigued almost from the beginning and I just wanted to keep on reading. I still want to know what happened in their future…

The Window by Amelia Brunskill – Anna is everything her identical twin is not. Outgoing and athletic, she is the opposite of quiet introvert Jess. The same on the outside, yet so completely different inside–it’s hard to believe the girls are sisters, let alone twins. But they are. And they tell each other everything.

Or so Jess thought.

After Anna falls to her death while sneaking out her bedroom window, Jess’s life begins to unravel. Everyone says it was an accident, but to Jess, that doesn’t add up. Where was Anna going? Who was she meeting? And how long had Anna been lying to her?

Jess is compelled to learn everything she can about the sister she thought she knew. At first it’s a way to stay busy and find closure . . . but Jess soon discovers that her twin kept a lot of secrets. And as she digs deeper, she learns that the answers she’s looking for may be truths that no one wants her to uncover.

Because Anna wasn’t the only one with secrets.

What I thought: I thought this was well done. It may have a few cheesy parts, but really, I wanted to keep reading so that is a sign of a good book for me! 🙂

People Like Us by Dana Mele – Kay Donovan may have skeletons in her closet, but the past is past, and she’s reinvented herself entirely. Now she’s a star soccer player whose group of gorgeous friends run their private school with effortless popularity and acerbic wit. But when a girl’s body is found in the lake, Kay’s carefully constructed life begins to topple.

The dead girl has left Kay a computer-coded scavenger hunt, which, as it unravels, begins to implicate suspect after suspect, until Kay herself is in the crosshairs of a murder investigation. But if Kay’s finally backed into a corner, she’ll do what it takes to survive. Because at Bates Academy, the truth is something you make…not something that happened.

What I thought: Well, it was kind of silly, but I was intrigued and wanted to finish the book. Some of the parts were so unbelievable that I was getting frustrated, but I loved it.. So odd, lol.

I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman – Around the time that Freya loses her voice while recording her debut album, Harun is making plans to run away from everyone he has ever loved, and Nathaniel is arriving in New York City with a backpack, a desperate plan, and nothing left to lose. When a fateful accident draws these three strangers together, their secrets start to unravel as they begin to understand that the way out of their own loss might just lie in help­ing the others out of theirs.

An emotionally cathartic story of losing love, finding love, and discovering the person you are meant to be, I Have Lost My Way is best­selling author Gayle Forman at her finest.

What I thought: This was similar to…oh, that one book with the string design on the front, told in just one day… Gah, I can’t remember.. But yeah. It just has two boys and one girl, but there is still love and drama and…you know the story. But I loved how it was told!

So, that is what I read in June! Let me know if you have any favorite books lately!!

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Half way done with school!

I just realized that we are pretty much almost half way done with school! Well, for our school year.

Don’t you like my pretty much almost in that last sentence?

But we have had so many breaks due to trips, visitors, Princess Buttercup, and just other random things, that it seems like we have hardly done any school this year!

But in doing school I realized that in both our History and Science that we reached the half way point with them! We must be doing something!

We do have at least one quick family trip planned in the fall and Jeffy and I have another couple small trips here and there, so I am hoping that we will at least get December off!

We can always take more of January off if we feel like we need more of a break.

That’s what I love about homeschooling though! When we take little trips it is great when everyone else is in school. It’s harder to work around Ryan’s job, but they seem pretty easy going with giving him time off. Pretty soon we will have to work around the college schedule of the other two! Yikes!

I do enjoy our school schedule, but every now and again I wish that we were on a typical one. It’s hard to tell people what grade they are in and just other things make it more difficult. I still like doing school during the summer though, it’s just too hot to do anything else anyway!

Do you have an odd school schedule?

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The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective {Review}

We have done a lot with art in the years that we have been homeschooling, but we haven’t really gone into too much art history! I was excited to try The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective because it looked like it had everything we would want!

We received the digital version of both the textbook and the teacher guide from The Master and His Apprentices. I am all about books and printed copies of things, so my original intent was to send it off to be printed, but the printing company was running three weeks behind. So, we just used the computer to view the digital version as was.

As I opened up the files, I immediately noticed how very user friendly the files were. There was a short introduction that explained how to use the books, if you are a teacher in a classroom setting or at home…they are pretty similar really.

And then it jumps into the lessons! What I love love love is when any curriculum gives a guide on what to do every day, week, or whatever. It is so much easier for me to know what I am supposed to do on any given day. The Master and His Apprentices  does that for each week, it mentions how much to read and then lists some questions to answer.


The amount to read each week varies, but it really isn’t an unreasonable amount. Very doable. I looked at the amount we were to read for the week and then I divided it up by five days. We read aloud in our homeschool, so this was nice that it wasn’t too much to read per day. The amount of questions aren’t bad either. Seems like the average is around 20 questions per week.

Now, there are worksheets that you can print out with the questions and they could easily fill them out. I showed an example up above. If I had a child that was working solo on most of their homeschooling, I would totally want them to do that. They would be reading and doing everything on their own time, so you would of course want them to show the work they have been doing. In a school setting as well, even a co-op.

We have been using the questions as more of a discussion time. It has been great and they have really gotten into answering the questions, even if it is in a round about way. If my kids were going to write down the answers, I don’t think I would get as well rounded answers from them. I do have the answer key and if they start getting off track I can guide them back to answering the question again. They have done great so far though!

After a quick introduction bit, there is a lot on Creation. You don’t typically see anything regarding this time in history books, let alone art history! It was great to see.

The whole curriculum is written from a Christian perspective. There is no nudity or anything else questionable. We all know that there was/is nudity in art, but this way it can be up to the parent when they want to introduce that in their childs’ learning.

As I’m writing this, we have left off on week four. I am amazed at all that I have learned in just this brief period! I didn’t know anything about cylinder seals! The photos that accompany each lesson have been great so far! As I have scanned through future lessons, I have seen some very familiar artwork, and some that I haven’t seen before.

I am excited to work through the rest of this curriculum. I know they will probably do really well in the Greek section as we spent over a year studying everything Greek. It will be interested to see though!

Raleigh has a great art museum that we have frequented a few times, I can see us making another trip or two there during these studies! I will keep an eye out for any special things they do throughout the year as well.

I do think that I will get this printed as soon as the printing company is caught up again, it is just what we are used to and is easier for us. I know plenty of people that prefer using the computer more during their school, and that’s awesome! Whatever is best for you!

If you do everything included in the curriculum, the questions, papers, and exams, it will count as a full year of high school credit. I am appreciative about that as well as the fact that it is also a class that they can take at the community college when they start on their associates degree and it will be a nice way to get ready for that!

We are all very excited about continuing these lessons! If you want to read what others had to say about The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective, feel free to click on the banner below!

The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective



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Saturday Snippets


I haven’t done a Saturday Snippets in a while and I know I have seen a ton of great stuff on the internet lately! Send me some things that you have seen lately! I wake up early to have time for myself which usually involves reading a book with breakfast and then checking emails and such. I always like seeing fun stuff on the internet!

1. I always feel better when I have quiet time.. Granted most of it is usually spent reading a book, but I do like hanging out outside at our house when the weather isn’t ridiculously hot. This article mentions the importance of saving a little bit of quiet time for yourself.

2. This article talks about how it is when your kids are grown up and moved out. Our kids are all getting older and we are recognizing more and more of what this article is saying…

3. I love that Texas is doing this project to help the homeless people in their area. I am glad it is spreading to other cities, and think it should be nationwide!

4. People helping people is just awesome.

5. This is foster care multiplied.. Goodness…

So, I will leave it on that note because it is just so, so good.. Let me know what good things you have seen on the internet lately, I am all about some good stuff!

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Six years ago…

I can’t believe it is time again to write this post..

Six years ago on June 7th we packed up and started our trek to North Carolina.

I don’t know why I started posting the yearly pictures on the 8th, but it started out that way and I just kept going with it.

This year was rough. It was a super hot day and my mom had the vet come and put her cat to sleep and well, nobody was at their best. But the one thing that I say is that everyone just come out as they are and well, here you go.

I do like seeing the changes though. This will be something I treasure for as long as we can keep doing them.








I am hoping that by this time next year we will have our remodel and maybe a different house color. We will see though! I do miss our green grass, but ever since we got birds it just hasn’t been the same. Gah, I love looking at these…. 🙂

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The Critical Thinking Co.™ Something Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha {Review}

Years ago I had ordered some books from The Critical Thinking Co.™. My kids loved the Mind Benders books, I had done those when I was younger and was so glad that they enjoyed them! They have recently come out with a lot of new books and I was excited to check them out! We got Something Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha.

Lake Iwannafisha

This sounded pretty interesting when I read it on the website, but in looking at it more thoroughly, I am sooo excited about this! Everything is provided for you that you would need to do this!

Basically, the whole book is trying to get you to solve the ‘who dunnit’ mystery. It is done in such a way that it isn’t childish which I appreciate. It is meant for grades 5-12. It revolves around forensic science and everything that goes into solving crimes.

It goes into all the different things that you see on the tv shows.. Fingerprints, ballistics, handwriting analysis, and counterfeit money. It uses all sorts of reports to aid in solving the mystery as well; witness statements, police reports, as well as other reports.

The crimes involve a dead body as well as human bones, counterfeit money, guns and bullets and everything that goes with criminal activity. If you have children that are more sensitive to these sorts of things, I would suggest looking it over first. My kids are in high school and enjoy the whole mystery aspect of things and watching crime shows, so they totally got it.

We got the physical book, which I love, because I can keep it forever and always come back to it. I love me some books! But one thing that I thought was totally cool was that most of the pages are also provided for you on a separate zip file that you can download and print whenever you need! So you don’t need to make copies out of the book! I totally took advantage of that!

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I printed out some of the things that would be needed at the beginning and put them on a display board. If I did this again I would have printed them out on different colored papers, even though it wouldn’t be a professional look, it would be easier to see.

I figured that they could always add stuff to it as they went along. I put the maps on there as well as the timeline, and on the left was the case file introduction. There is still plenty of room for more items..

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I went ahead and printed out a lot of the other pages as well. I organized them into their own file folders. I think it would have been a good thing to color code the folders, but that’s just me wanting to be completely organized about it all.

When the kids start out they are pretty much just given the information that I have on the display board above. They kind of know general ideas of what happened but they need to fill in the rest of the answers.

There are quite a few pages that go over the different forensic topics, and you do that first so that they get a general idea about what they are looking for. They can always refer back to them if needed. It is a lot of information!

Then they can just jump right into the case by reading the case file introduction and crime scene report. You are the sergeant and they will be coming you for information. They could choose to interview someone or ask about fingerprints and you can go ahead and give them whatever information they ask for. You may or may not have the information that they want and that adds something else to the clues.

I enjoy the fact that the kids have to come to their own conclusions. We typically do things that have a checklist or itemized thing on what to do next in our homeschool curriculum choices, so this is fun! Kind of like the choose your own adventure books I used to read when I was younger.

We just recently got this and I am so very excited to work on it with the kids. I have read through the book enough to get situated but I didn’t read any answers, I want to make sure that I don’t know ahead of time!

I could easily see doing this in a group setting like co-op or something similar..It really is something that is great for any group size, even by yourself!

If this sounds like something you would enjoy for your family, there is a coupon code for you as well as a free puzzle offer!

Free Critical Thinking Puzzles!
A $75 Value! Delivered weekly to your inbox. Choose PreK – Grade 8. Sign Up Now!

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If you want to read reviews from others who have used Something Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha as well as some of their other new products, feel free to click the banner below! They have so many good things and I am happy to see so many things for the teens!The Critical Thinking Co.™ Something Fishy at Lake Iwannafisha

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