Thursday, October 13, 2016

America's Struggle to Become a Nation, Timeline of the Revolution {Homeschool Curriculum Review}

Are you looking for a simple way to teach history to your 4th-6th graders this year?  I know I am overwhelmed every year as I constantly bounce around trying to find a curriculum that I love.  Some years I think I've got it and then our homeschool evolves, my children's interests change and suddenly I am looking for something that will meet our ever-changing needs.  This year it was all about simplifying.  If you too are looking to simplify your homeschool then this new American History program published by Master Books may be just what you are looking for!

The new Timelines of the Revolution series is a 2-part set, The Fight for Freedom, Biographies of the American Revolution and America's Struggle to Become a Nation, Timeline of the Revolution.  I was given America's Struggle to Become a Nation with coordinated teacher guide to review and I'm excited to tell you all about it!  This new series, written by Rick & Marilyn Boyer of, helps students from grades 4 - 6 understand how our nation came to be.  Staunch patriots, Rick & Marilyn present American History from a Godly perspective and really help children understand the blessings of liberty and the importance of not just remembering, but treasuring, our heritage.  These 2 books are all you need to set students on the path of patriotism and a love of American history! 

The text contains 34 chapters, one for each week of the school year.  Each chapter is divided into 3 separate reading sections creating easy places to divide up the work through your week.  As you can see in the Teacher Guide, the recommended schedule is a five day per week plan, but this program lends itself to flexibility and can be used as a 4 day plan as well.  Each section includes a question/answer worksheet.

What we love about America's Struggle to Become a Nation:
-First of all the pictures are ah-mazing!  The full color illustrations throughout the book are beautiful!
-The Teachers Guide makes is super easy to figure out what each daily assignment is.  Box-checkers that we are, we love a guide that lets us check something off.  The teachers guide also allows for inputing and tracking grades if your homeschool requires that.
-Lengthy quotes dotted throughout the book serve as source documents, which is something that is challenging to find in a homeschool curriculum for children this age.
-Lessons are bite-sized allowing for great flexibility and holding your child's attention.
-Quarterly and bonus quizzes are located in the back of the teacher guide for your convenience.  This is a handy tool that can even be used orally to check for understanding.
-One of our favorite parts - each chapter includes a couple of projects to complete.  For example: memory work selections (like the pledge of allegiance), journal entries, designing posters, writing newspaper articles, building a fort, and research opportunities.
-Wait, I changed my mind, I think maybe this is our favorite part:  Uncle Rick stories are punctuated throughout the text.  And many of you already know how I feel about Uncle Rick, but if you need a refresher you can read all about the "this is my Uncle Rick too" moment here!
-The price is great!  As of this posting the America's Struggle to Become a Nation 2-book set is only $36.99 at!

Other thoughts about America's Struggle to Become a Nation:
-The curriculum is designed for grades 4-6 but my 5th grade daughter did struggle to understand the meaty concepts without help so I believe that a parent or teacher will need to treat this book as a read-aloud for students who are not strong and motivated readers.  This works great for us since we do many subjects as read-togethers still, but if you are looking for a curriculum your child can do completely independently this may not be a good fit.  Master books offers .pdf download samples of both for you to read over before deciding. 

We really enjoyed reviewing this product and I plan to keep it and use it for next year when we begin our studies in American History!  

Check our more products from Rick & Marilyn Boyer by visiting their website at!

Disclaimer:  Thank you so much to Rick & Marilyn Boyer and MasterBooks for the wonderful opportunity.  I was given this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my very own.  Thank you so much for "swinging by!"

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Sheriffs of Savage Wells by Sarah M. Eden {A Proper Romance Book Review}

A Proper Romance by Shadow Mountain has struck again!  I have adored every single book I have read so far and once again, A Proper Romance did not disappoint!  A bonus, Sarah M. Eden is one of my favorite authors.  You can read a couple of my reviews of her other books here.  In this new book we get a feisty heroine, Paisley Bell, who is determined to be the new Sheriff of Savage Wells, Wyoming.

The small town of Savage Wells is barely big enough for the people who call it home; it certainly isn’t big enough for more than one sheriff. 
Yet when famed lawman Cade O’Brien rides into town, he finds he’s not the only man ready to take on the job. What’s more, one of his competitors is a woman. 
Paisley Bell loves her town and the eccentric people in it. She’s been the acting sheriff for months and isn’t too keen on relinquishing the job to anyone else. Not only does she love the work, but she also needs the income to take care of her ailing father. 
It’s a true battle of the sexes, and sparks fly between the two as Cade and Paisley banter and boast, neither one ready to acknowledge the attraction they have for each other. But when Paisley’s former beau shows up, along with a band of bank robbers, Savage Wells is suddenly faced with the kind of peril that only a sheriff can manage. Who will be man enough—or woman enough—to step up, claim the badge, and save the town?

Paisley Bell is something else.  She spent several months covering for an inept and distracted sheriff, even going so far as to bringing in a notorious gang of outlaws (of which she got no credit).  When the town of Savage Wells decides to hire a new sheriff, Paisley throws her name in the pool of candidates, much to the chagrin of Cade O'Brien, well-known law man and certain shoo-in for the position.  What Cade doesn't know is that Paisley is not going to give up easily and he quickly discovers that she can best him at many of his own skills.  She is quick, witty, a sharp-shooter, and level-headed in dangerous situations.  The more they compete with each other to try to win the title of sheriff, the more they begin to respect one another, and heaven-forbid...maybe even admire one another?  Yes!  :)

I rarely read books where the heroine is a feisty "I can do it myself type."  I admit to being more of a "Cinderella story" type person, but I couldn't put this book down!  For all of Paisley's bluster, she is tender and softhearted and I grew so fond of her character.  The book left me hanging a little in the end...maybe it is to keep us wondering until a 2nd book comes out?  After all, I'm very worried about Dr. Gideon MacNamara.  I mean, hello!  He's handsome...and single...and so nice! 

The Sheriffs of Savage Wells can be purchased from your favorite retailer!  You'll love it!

Want to learn more about Sarah M. Eden?  

Want to keep up with ALL the Proper Romances?  

Disclaimer:  I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed here are my very own.  A hearty Thank You to Shadow Mountain!!!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The One With the Selfies...

Because, hey, why not?

How cute is the baby Milo photobomb in the back? 

Someone is giving me rabbit ears? 

Gramma photobomb!

Mr. Potato Head. 

Couldn't miss R2D2 either... 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Our Disney Vacation 2016

This will be a picture intense post! We had such a wonderful trip and a fun time on our Disney Vacation this year! We spent 1 day at Lego Land, 4 Days at Walt Disney World and 3 Days on the Disney Cruise!  Wow!  We were exhausted but we had so much fun!  Here are lots of pictures:

Riding the Island in the Sky. 

I didn't take very many pictures on this trip...and it was kind of refreshing to not be constantly fumbling for a phone or camera...but in the end we didn't have very many.  

At Norway in Epcot. 

The girls did passports on their trip around the World Showcase. 

Kayley feeding Milo.   

It rained...  a LOT! 

And when it wasn't raining it was wickedly hot! 

Our chariot awaits! 

Our room on the cruise.  Maggie's bed is the couch and Kayley's dropped down from the ceiling.  We had a great concierge come to set up our room each evening and put it back together again each morning.  He always folded a towel in a funny shape... I wish I had thought to take a few pictures of them...they were cute. 

Playing aboard ship...   

The view of the main the deck.   

Little girls in big portholes. 

In the Millennium Falcon. 

On the dance floor at the Oceaneer Club.  Don't be deceived...there really were about a trillion more people on board than it looks right now... 

In Andy's room... 

Back on the Melennium  Falcon!

Out to sea...  Quite a view.  No land in sight.  
(Remind me to tell you about how sea sick I was bad.) 

The guys got facials...  
(us girls did too, sorry no incriminating photos of us!  LOL)


Playing a really fun detective was all over the ship.  The pictures come to life and you solve mysteries... 

I ate escargot.  Really.  (and caviar!)
I feel so cultured now. 

Beautiful sunset! 

Pirate Night!  ARRR! 

At Disney's private island, Castaway Cay. 

Hmmm...  something washed ashore. 

Snorkeling!  It was everybody's first time and really neat.

My treasure I found while snorkeling. 

Kayley's snorkeling treasure! 

The view from our private cabana. 

Mount Rustmore. 

Island girls! 

We had a great time!  We cannot wait to go cruising again!

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