Hewitt Homeschooling Resources Review


I am obsessed with all things relating to the sky: the moon, sunrises and sunsets, clouds, airplanes and of course outer space. I have enjoyed being able to share that love with my two boys. The past couple of months, I have been teaching Carter all about the solar system using My First Report: Solar System by Hewitt Homeschooling Resources.


This resource is a 58 page unit study designed to help your child learn all about the solar system while writing reports. There is so much information in this unit study. It really is packed full of information. We had not talked in depth about the solar system yet so this was a great place to start. The resource came printed on high quality paper and I punched holes in it to add it to a notebook. I was also sent two other resources: My First Report: Bugs and Worms and My First Report: Famous People. We haven’t started on these yet but I will definitely be using them for the next school year. I now have a notebook with 3 awesome unit study’s from Hewitt Homeschooling Resources. YAY!


This study about the solar system includes ideas and resources in the following areas: art, music, language, reading, math, social studies/history, science/health, P.E., Bible, and even field trips you can go on to learn more. Every subject is covered and there are many chances for your child to practice their writing. That is the first part of this study we completed. Carter used one of the bible verses and did some copywork!



I tried to do at least one activity from each category so that we were able to get a good picture of this resource. Carter enjoyed learning some of the new vocabulary words which is easily found on the full sheet of words and their definitions. We also enjoyed listening to some of the songs that listed as ways to enhance your learning.


I think his favorite thing was filling out the chart all about the planets, sun and moon! As you can see below, the chart has all the planets listed and you’re supposed to research to find the answers to fill in the chart. The categories include: Color, Surface Gravity, Miles from Sun, Diameter, Rotation in Earth Days, Orbit Around the Sun, Moons and Tilt of Axis. Carter really enjoyed learning about the orbits around the moon for each planet and I thought it was cool to learn about the number of moons each planet has. Did you know Jupiter has 79 moons?? This week, there were times where some of Jupiters moons were visible using binoculars. This event tied in perfectly with our report of the solar system!



This unit study is such a great resource to add to your school days. We barely scratched the surface of all the activities we can do to expand his knowledge about the solar system. I’m really excited to get into the two gifted unit study’s in the fall!


Follow Hewitt Homeschooling on Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hewitthomeschooling
Twitter: https://twitter.com/hewittonline
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/hewittonline/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/HewittOnline
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hewittonline/

To read about other resources that were reviewed by the crew, click the banner below:Lightning-Literature-My-First-Reports-State-History-Notebook-Joy-of-Discovery-Hewitt-Homeschooling-Resources-Reviews-20193 Crew Disclaimer 2016_zpscwpb9ywe


A Review: The Old Schoolhouse® Hey, Mama! Homeschool Planner for 2019/20 Year


I haven’t always been a “planner” but once I started homeschooling, I realized real quick how important planning is. Before now, I have just used a basic yearly planner that you can get at any store but I’ve noticed how it’s not the biggest or best laid out planner when trying to plan for all that homeschool entails. For the past month, I’ve been able to start planning for the next school year using The Old Schoolhouse®, Hey, Mama! Homeschool Planner for 2019/20 Year. This planner was created by one of our own, Gena Suarez. 


We technically haven’t even ended our school year for the 2018-2019 year but it is always so exciting to receive a new planner and to be able to start getting ready for the next year. I will have a 4th grader and an 8th grader this coming school year. (Insert all the tears here.) I love that with this planner, I am able to plan for the whole school year for an elementary age student as well as a middle school aged student. I really prefer a paper and pencil option as well and that’s exactly what this planner is. It’s the perfect size and allows me to pencil in and erase as needed. If you’re a homeschool mom, you know that this is very important.



One thing that I love about this planner is that there are devotionals woven throughout it. Gena has written some inspiring information in this planner for us homeschooling mama’s. We can all use a little pick-me-up from time to time and these devotionals are perfect for that. There is a page beside the devotional to take your own notes as you read and study it.


The planner is set up so that you can plan the week, including whatever subjects you’re focusing on, for up to 5 children. It has enough pages to cover the whole year of teaching. I haven’t planned in this fashion before but I am going to utilize it when I start planning for next school year.

After the weekly planning pages, there is a section for each child that includes: a notes page, curriculum planning, attendance, books read this year, as well as yearly and semester goals. I love how this is broken up for each child so your planning can focus on them individually. I can’t wait to use the “Books I Read” pages so we can see how many books they have read at the end of the year. I also like that the goals pages are broken into categories. This allows us to focus on specific goals for the year and also semester.





This planner is not only beautiful and well laid out, it is going to be such a valuable resource for next year.

Follow The Old Schoolhouse® on Social Media:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/theoldschoolhouse/?fref=ts
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tosmagazine/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/TOSMag  @TOSMag
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/tosmag/


To read reviews from other crew members, click the link below:


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Stopmotion Explosion Review


My 12 year old, London, really enjoys art and more specifically the animation side of art.  He has recently mentioned wanting to go to college for it! I love being able to fuel any passion they show interest in so we were so excited to receive the Stop Motion Animation Kit from Stopmotion Explosion.


What we received was:

  • Includes 1080p HD video camera with internal microphone, manual focus, and clip, the 290+ page Stopmotion Explosion book, and animation software.
  • No CD-ROM drive required, install via CD or download from our site.
  • Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10 & OS X 7.5+ compatible.
  • Learn how to animate gigantic explosions, gunfire, laser blasters, lightsabers and rocket-launch effects.
  • Animate battle sequences with detailed breakdowns of roundhouse kicks, uppercuts, and punches.

Basically, you receive everything you need to make amazing StopMotion videos. You are sent a very thorough book explaining everything you need to make your movies. You can also go online and watch their video tutorials which are super helpful. It comes with a CD for your computer but if you do not have a disk drive (or in my case, it’s broken), you can download the software from their website.

This animation kit is fool proof. It was so easy to unbox the camera and instructions and get right to it, which is exactly what we did. London was super excited to make his first movie writing the word “Stopmotion.” After that, he created other movies including using magnetic tiles to create a structure. The last video in the sequence you can see below is of a horse race. Although it’s not perfect, it is my favorite. It was really fun to watch him and sometimes with brother’s help, make a stop motion animation.

Click on the picture below to watch his video on YouTube:

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As you can see in the clips, he is still working on perfecting the craft of making these movies. This will not be hard to do with all of the information given to him in the book. StopMotion also has an awesome app that you can download and make movies with straight from your phone! I can’t wait to see where he takes his animations.

I love how you can use this product in a number of ways. It is something that needs parental help for younger kids but an older teen should be able to do everything all by themselves. The kit is advertised for ages 13 and up but my 12 year old and his 8 year old brother were able to use the technology just fine. I can see where you would need to be older to read the manual and utilize what is in it.  You can let your kiddo free play with this animation kit as the possibilities are endless. You can also use it recreate historic events that you are learning about in your curriculum or to film cool science projects. There really is so much you can do to incorporate this technology into your homeschool. We love it and I am not being paid to say that. 🙂

Follow StopMotion on Social Media:


To read other crew reviews, click the link below:

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YWAM Publishing Review


The past month and a half or so, my son, London has been reading all about Ronald Reagan. We were able to review the biography about him from YWAM Publishing titled Heroes of History Ronald Regan: Destiny at His Side as well as the accompanying study guide.

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We were offered quite a few titles to review so I read the options off to London and he chose Ronald Reagan. I was surprised he chose that book but was even more surprised at how much he loved it. I think he was a little surprised at that fact as well.

We also received an amazing study guide to go along with the book. This is my favorite part of this review for sure. As your child reads the book, they are able to dive deeper with all the study guide has to offer.

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As you can see above, the Unit Study offers comprehensive guides for small groups, classrooms and homeschool kiddos. I obviously used the guide for homeschool. It is a 24 page document outlining an overview of the unit study. The small group and classroom options are full of information as well.

The Unit Study is broken into two parts. Part One is an 82 page document that is flowing with information. It has Key Quotes, Chapter Questions, Community Links, Related Topics to Explore as well as Appendixes. Part Two has a fact sheet about Ronald Reagan, a map of areas pertaining to his life as well as a timeline you can print and fill out.

As I mentioned before, my son really enjoyed reading this book. There was no hesitation to pick up the book each day and read. He loved having the time with me afterward to go over the discussion questions. Each chapter has its own set of questions that check comprehension. What I really love about the questions though is there are 2-3 questions for each chapter that ask personal feelings to be discussed. For example, Chapter 9 asks: “Why did the movie studio want to change Ron’s hairstyle, face, and name? Do you think you would take it personally if you were in Ron’s position? Why or why not?” —These types of questions allow the reader to relate to the story and put themselves in the heroes shoes. I REALLY love this part of the study guide. It allowed me to learn about Ronald Reagan as well as hear some interesting answers from London.


London’s Thoughts:

“I really loved reading this book. I thought it was cool to learn about Ronald Reagan being an actor in Hollywood.”



YWAM Publishing has so many books and study guides about AMAZING people!! Last year, we reviewed Davy Crockett: Ever Westward. You can read that review here.


Follow YWAM Publishing on Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YWAM-Publishing-482973445102/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/YWAMpublishing

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/YWAMpublishing

Instagram: @ywampublishing


Other crew members reviewed different titles. To check them out, click the link below:

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Review: Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) Fix It! Grammar


The past few weeks, we have been reviewing a product from The Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW). We were graciously given Book 1: The Nose Tree from the Fix It! Grammar series. 


The Fix It! Grammar series helps your student learn how to label the parts of sentences. It does so in a better way than how I learned though. Instead of teaching them how to label random sentences, this book is actually a story. Your student will be learning how to label the parts of each sentence that collectively make a story. We really love this concept in teaching grammar. We started with the first book of six which starts your student at the very beginning with simple nouns. The lessons are designed to be completed in 15 minutes or less each day. This allows your student to focus on grammar but not to be drawn out into lengthy lessons. The grammar lessons are designed to help your student transfer what they learn into their own writing.


Each week starts off with a lesson about what you are going to be learning about that week. There are vocabulary words to focus on which are put in bold for each sentence. Students also focus on punctuation as well as labeling nouns, pronouns, articles, verbs, etc… We usually did two “days” in one day because it doesn’t take long at all and also because we don’t get to grammar everyday. For each day, you have one sentence that you correct and mark and then they rewrite the sentence in a notebook. The workbook will tell you when you are supposed to start a new paragraph. At the end, your child will have the whole story written. It’s a pretty neat concept to see take shape. My son is really excited about the story he is writing and what is going to happen next.


Pictured here is the teacher manual (top), student workbook (right) and his notebook (left). You can see where the teachers manual gives you the answers as well as some other helpful information and tips. The student manual has plenty of space for marking and is easy to read. The notebook is where he continues his sentences that tell a story. Below, you can see a closer look at his workbook and notebook.

I really enjoy this grammar curriculum. Our homeschool days can be all over the place and I find myself excited to do these grammar lessons. It’s a set routine that doesn’t change and doesn’t take long. The books are extremely user friendly so you and your student are easily able to follow along and see what needs to be done.

We received the teachers manual and the student workbook. If you just order the teachers manual, it has a downloadable student workbook. If you would like to go ahead and order the student workbook as well, you can do that here.


Check out IEW on Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/excellenceinwriting
Twitter: https://twitter.com/iew
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/iew/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/iewtv
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iew/

To read other crew members reviews, click the image below:Fix-It-Grammar-Institute-for-Excellence-in-Writing-IEW-Reviews

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Tied 2 Teaching Review


STEM activities are a great addition to your homeschool curriculum, no matter what your “curriculum” looks like. Sometimes, it can be hard to find the right experiments, get all the materials and find the time to incorporate these activities into your day.  Tied 2 Teaching has made this a zillion times easier for you! For the past several weeks we have loved adding STEM activities to our weekly schedule with the STEM Activities, Full Year of Challenges with Close Reading.



What It Is:

We received a full year of STEM activities designed to engage students in not only science but also reading and history! I was able to download the full year onto my Google Drive and all of the activities are right there for you to view or print at any time. The year of activities is grouped into each month so that you are able to choose experiments that go along with the season and/or holiday. (Note: If you do purchase the full year, the challenges are organized by ABC order)

Each month has 4 challenges in it which means you can do one a week.

The challenges that were available for March are:

-Build a Leprechaun Trap STEM Challenge

-Basketball Tower STEM Challenge

-Build a Rainbow Bridge STEM Challenge

-New Hat for Cat Challenge Read Across America


We decided to go all around the board and just pick what we thought would be fun. To get started, each activity has a Close Reading Passage that goes along with the experiment. The challenge gives you the link to the article as well as a QR code at the top that will take you straight to the article. I really found the included articles interesting and love that some of them include history facts too. It’s a great way to add some reading and history into your science lesson. After you read the article, there is a worksheet designed to help check for comprehension from the reading. Once you have completed this part, you are then given your mission…should you choose to accept it! The challenges tell you exactly what you need to know to complete your mission. It also includes pictures of other kiddos experiments which I found to be extremely helpful if you weren’t sure EXACTLY what you were supposed to be doing. The pictures give a little added inspiration. In each challenge you are given planning pages which allows the child to plan their mission. It also gives a place to record what you would change for next time. I LOVE that their are multiple options on your planning page, depending on what you or your child like. You can see the example below.

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Two of Our Experiments:

Since Easter is coming up, I decided to do the jelly bean experiment. I bought one bag of jellybeans and one box of toothpicks. The materials needed for these challenges are very affordable and I’m sure most of you have a lot of the needed materials already. The objective for this challenge was to use only 100 jellybeans and 100 toothpicks to create the tallest tower you could. First we read an article about how jellybeans were made. I have to say, I was not interested in eating them after learning this. The boys really enjoyed learning about it as well but were on the edge of their seats wanting to get started with building. I even got in on this fun because I had to show them how it was it was done! My building was the highest! Mom doesn’t win often so I don’t mind bragging this time.

Here they are planning and then building.

The second experiment that we loved was the foil boat challenge. First, we read an article about lifeboats and the history of them. After planning how they would build their boat, they were given a 12×18 piece of aluminum foil to create a boat that would hold the most pennies. They experimented with other coins as well. They really enjoyed this challenge and little brother won this one!

Planning and building their boats.

Which boat will sink first?


Our Thoughts:

We love this resource a lot! It is a great addition to any homeschool or co-op that wants to add STEM learning to their daily adventures. I love everything from how the challenges are laid out to how the materials aren’t crazy expensive items. The fact that reading and history are also added is such a fun bonus. We will be continuing to work through these as my kids are wanting to complete them all. Since there is something fun for every month, this will be an easy task. This resource from Matthew Kelly at Tied 2 Teaching is a must-have and I was not paid to say that!!

The one and only thing I would change is when you download the full year, that the challenges are organized by month and not by ABC order. It would make it easier to find the activities that go along with the month instead of searching in the list. This is not a deal breaker for me though.

Follow Tied 2 Teaching on Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tied2teaching/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tied2teaching/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/tied2teaching/


Other crew members worked on some of the other awesome challenges. Click over to the blog post to find out what others think:



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Drive Thru History® Review


Last year, we were able to review an awesome product with Drive Thru History® and Dave Stotts. It was our very favorite review of the year!! We love Dave Stotts so I was excited to see the option to review something new from him this year. This past month or so, we have been diving deep into Drive Thru History®  “Acts to Revelation” by Drive Thru History®This incredible resource is a 3 DVD set that follows the world of the First Christians. It is intended for ages 6th grade to adult but my 3rd grader watched it with us and loved it as well. The episodes follow the life of Jesus after the resurrection. Dave starts in Jerusalem, showcasing the places and people of this important period in the world. In the 3 disc set, there are 18 Chapters:

Episode 1: The Gospel shared at Pentecost
Episode 2: The Church grows at Jerusalem
Episode 3: The Gospel Spreads o the Gentiles
Episode 4: Saul of Tarsus & the Road to Damascus
Episode 5: Paul’s first Missionary Journey: The island of Cyprus
Episode 6: The Journey Continues: Pamphylia, Glatia & Asia Minor
Episode 7: The Jerusalem Council & Paul’s Second Missionary Journey
Episode 8: The Second Journey Continues: Philippi and Thessalonica
Episode 9: A Road Trip to Athens
Episode 10: Ancient Corinth
Episode 11: Paul’s Third Missionary Journey: Ephesus
Episode 12: Paul’s Final Trip to Trip to Jerusalem & Caesarea
Episode 13: Jesus Arrives in Jerusalem
Episode 14: A Final Journey to Rome
Episode 15: The Martyrdom of Paul & Peter
Episode 16:John and the Island of Patmos
Episode 17: The Seven Churches of Revelation
Episode 18: The Book Closes on the New Testament Period


What We Received:


Above, you can see the beautiful DVD set along with a study guide inside the box set. The box set is made to look like a book and when you open it up, you can see two DVD’s in the front cover and one in the back. Inside of the “book” is an amazing study guide. In the study guide you will find real life photographs, scripture passages, summaries of the chapters as well as discussion questions that help you dive deeper into the episodes. There is also a section called Side Roads. This part of the study guide gives you a little more information about each episode.


Here, you can see how the study guide is right inside with the DVD’s. This makes it really convenient to keep up with.



Here, you can see a beautiful scripture page as well as a summary for Chapter 10.

How We Used It:

We used this to supplement our social studies curriculum. We watched an average of 2 episodes as week and used the discussion questions in the study guide to check for comprehension. Sometimes certain subjects need convincing and motivation for my boys but with Drive Thru History®, they are eager to watch.

Last year, we reviewed Drive Thru History® Adventures. We really enjoyed the videos and additional resources included there. You can read that blog post here.


Everyone watches Drive Thru History with a helmet on, right?

What We Thought:

We LOVE this series so much!! Honestly, Dave Stotts never disappoints. He makes learning about the Bible so interesting. He travels to these destinations and shows you firsthand places in the Bible are and helps you really picture what happened there. The editing on the DVD’s is really great and draws you in with the great music and filmography. The episodes are each around 27 minutes long which is perfect. My favorite part about this series is the study guide. It really is absolutely beautiful. The photographs and the scripture pages are frame-worthy. I like that there are just a few discussion questions for each episode so you’re able to focus on the content and dive even deeper. I would recommend this series and any series made by Drive Thru History® for anyone wanting to know more about the life of Jesus.

Follow them on Social Media: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drivethruhistory/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/drivethruhistory/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/drivethruhistory/

To read other reviews from the crew, click the image below:


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