Passport to America: A MasterBooks Review

Our family has used MasterBooks resources for a good portion of our homeschooling. From preschool through high school we have so many titles rich in history, science, and biblical truth. Their latest geography title, Passport to America, is a new favorite!

Grace is using the companion title, Passport to the World, as a part of her world geography studies this year. I was excited to see a book focusing on each of the states presented as well!

This lively and colorful book packs a ton of information on each state in just two pages. I really like that each license plate is shown as well as a number of interesting facts. In addition to the state flags, birds, and other symbols you will learn about land features and a food specific to each state. I was pleased to see 5-Way Skyline Chili featured in Ohio! One of my favorite memories of visiting my aunt and cousins there was eating chili over spaghetti. It may seem odd to my friends here in the south, but boy is it delicious!

I also was happy to see the opening pages featuring the story of America featured the indigenous people groups who lived here. I want my children to learn factual history and recognize that history features everything from Creation, not just when European explorers first landed here.

On the final page is an encouragement for children to pray for each state as they study it. Students are encouraged to find out something happening in that state and to pray for the people who live there. What an amazing find. I have not seen another books, even from Christian companies, encourage prayer in this way.

If you are looking for an excellent guide for your curious kid, planning your next road trip or launching a study of the United States, Passport to America is an excellent tool!

DisclaimerI received a digital copy of Passport to America from New Leaf Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions here are my own. I was not required to write a positive review. 

Ireland ~ A Part of the By the Way Book Series from By the Way: A TOS Crew Review

By The Way book Serres The inclusion of  geography into our studies always encourages conversation and fun! We especially love studying about the locations of our ancestry. We have done this before, but only rarely do we have the opportunity to do so with a resource that has a wonderful message from a biblical worldview. Learning about our family heritage was new once again when we read about Ireland, a part of the By the Way Book Series from By the Way Book By The Way book Ireland  My daughters had a great time reading this book together! I did too! The photographs are stunning and I could imagine walking the green hills and rocky coast. We learned about animals which I did not realize were a part of the geography. I also absolutely love the addition of Scripture scattered throughout the pages and pictures. While we have studied quite a bit of geography that has been very informative this is a wonderfully unique resource in how it brings in spiritual truths so seamlessly to the story and information.
I absolutely loved that this was a story alongside informational. The use of Irish dialect brought the characters and their adventures to life. We love using living books as a part of our mostly-Charlotte-Mason way of homeschooling. This is the first time I’ve encountered a living book for Geography! The girls liked this aspect as well. They seemed surprised when I told them they were going to get to read and learn about Ireland, but found the book to be very story-like. While we already knew the basics of the history of St. Patrick, it was wonderful to be reminded of this again and with new information added!
Another aspect the girls enjoyed was looking at all the glorious pictures of the castles. The history that resides there is amazing, but I think they were all imagining living inside as well. This sparked an interesting discussion about what it would really be like to be royalty. We talked about the good, but also what the downsides would be. They came up with some really interesting thoughts, like not being able to go shopping whenever they wanted or having to always have guards around. In the end while they still were in awe of the castles, I think they decided this may not be the life for them!

I saw my girls pick this book up several times before and after we officially read it together. They enjoyed reading and rereading it. Each page is so fully packed with information I’m sure they learned new things each time! I really loved that in addition to the narrative style of text there were fun informational boxes and ideas for your family to implement. One that we want to give a try is geocaching! We tried this several years ago when the girls were really small, but they did not find it to be much fun. I think they will enjoy giving it a go again soon, especially with how fun the book made the activity sound!   
The best way to show just how inspiring this book was to my girls is this quote:
Mommy, can we go and visit Ireland? Their interest has been peeked and their eyes opened to the world beyond what they have always known. While a trip is not in the near future, our daughters often talk of world travel and I won’t be surprised if one or all of them ended up living overseas at some point and one has expressed she feels called to overseas missions work. Who knows where the Lord will take them, but books like this one are just the thing to let them experience a small taste of other lands while they are still young.  In addition to this fantastic title here are a few others available: 
By The Way book Alaska By the Way book Indiana By The Way New York City  I highly recommend any one of these whether you are looking for an additional resource for your geography studies or you are just looking for some fun new reading material! 
Don’t forget to check out what my Crewmates have to say! By the Way Book Series: New York City, Ireland, Indiana & Alaska {By the Way Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

Awesome Summer Fun!!!!


Give your family summer vacation a makeover this year and turn it into a “staycation.” Have your kids forget their summer boredom, turn off their screens, and instead circle the globe with Focus on the Family’s “World Explorers” summer adventure kit!

Throughout the next two months, travel our colorful, diverse world, visiting 27 different countries on six continents. Part of the fun will be figuring out where the next stop is, using five clues that reveal interesting facts about the next country. Once you’ve determined where you’re going, use the games, activities and faith lessons to give your kids a glimpse into that country’s unique culture.

Click here to sign up and receive your free summer adventure kit.

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Don’t Be Bored This Summer!

Now is the time to make sure your kids have the greatest adventure this summer with more than 800 Adventures in Odyssey episodes and non-stop listening fun! Sign up for the Odyssey Adventure Club today for just $9.99 per month at

If You Were Me… from Away We Go Media: Review

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Our girls have always loved learning about other places. We frequently have missionaries in our church and what my daughters are most curious when they visit is what the country where they are from is like. They want to know about the food, the people, the music, the clothes…just everything! I’m always on the lookout for resources to encourage their curiosity. 
Carole P. Roman and Away We Go Media has created a wonderful set of resources for children to explore other cultures. They are beautifully illustrated and give children an idea of what life is like for other kids all around the world. So far If You Were Me and Lived in… South Korea, If You Were Me and Lived in… Mexico, If You Were Me and Lived in… France, and If You Were Me and Lived in… Norway (link coming soon!) are included in the series. The first three books in this series are available for purchase on Amazon in two formats: Kindle ($.99 each) and Paperback ($8.99 each). If You Were Me and Lived in…Norway is $1.99 (Kindle) or $10.79 (Paperback). They can also be purchased at Barnes and Noble for $9.99 each with the exception of If You Were Me and Lived in…Norway which can be purchased for $8.63. They are geared toward preschoolers through 8-year-old children. My girls thoroughly enjoyed each of the four and enjoyed taking turns reading them!
AAEach book contains information about the language, customs, heritage, and  lifestyle. I loved the inclusion of various tourist sites as well as what children would do at every age. The girls snuggled up on the couch and took turns reaching through each title in one sitting! 
Something I liked about the cover was that the location of each country was shown on a globe. Many other books on other countries I have seen show the country’s shape or in the context of its neighbors, but I have never seen it shown on a globe. This world-wide view gives them a wonderful big-picture sense of location.
Beth’s favorite was If You Were Me and Lived in South Korea. She really liked learning about the variety of food. She also really liked the picture of the baby, which is why I think she most enjoyed this one! 
Rose and I really liked If You Were Me and Lived in Norway. We have good friends and neighbors who moved their a couple of years ago. It was a lot of fun to think about what our friends might be doing, eating, or seeing! 
I also enjoyed the inclusion of words from other languages. The girls are forever asking me what other words mean in different languages. I’m not very good at knowing those things, but these books gently introduce new languages and give children an opportunity to use context clues to decipher what they mean. 
While I haven’t had a chance to do this yet, I also plan on using the books in this series with our children at church during our missions meetings. We meet once a month and I have the opportunity to teach the children more about missions. I love how easily these will fit into the other activities I already have planned!
Take a minute to watch this preview of If You Were Me and Lived in Mexico!
Check out what my Crewmates had to say!

Global Art from Gryphon House: Review

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There is nothing more fun for my girls than an art project. I’ve admitted it before…art isn’t my favorite area of teaching. I like the outcome, but the effort to get everything going and be a frustrating point for me. The best art projects are ones I can use with all three girls at the same time, use your average art materials I already have on hand, and most importantly connect to their learning. I have found all three to hold true for Global Art from Gryphon House
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Global art is intended to use with elementary age students (k-5) but I have found the majority of these activities can be used as written or moderately adapted for younger children. Although I didn’t use this with older students Art is typically adaptable to almost any age and I think many of these projects could work well with middle school students. This book costs $16.95 which is an incredibly reasonable price for the great number of projects ideas available.

Each project includes geographical, scientific and/or cultural information which brings all sorts of conversations to the table as the girls created their masterpieces. I love how easy this book is to incorporate with whatever history or geography we are studying. I simply look in the table of contents for the country or continent we are studying and choose which project we want to do. 
One of the projects we did was from Antarctica. We’ve been having quite the heat wave here in the South, so I thought thinking about cooler areas of the world would be fun! I adapted the project so all three were able to enjoy themselves. We first talked about where Antarctica was and why no one lived there. Then I read the short paragraph on how snowflakes are formed by small ice crystals. 
Then they got to work! First they painted snowflakes and then sprinkled them with salt. The idea is the salt would change and form crystals. To say the girls love to paint is an understatement. They spent a long time working on their creations and really enjoyed adding salt as they went along. 
First they painted a small portion of the snowflake and while it was still wet added the salt. 
Grace enjoyed this part! She kept picking colors that weren’t very bright, but she didn’t seem to mind!
Beth tried several different ways of doing this particular art project. She likes to see how things will work different ways. For some parts she put the salt on first and then painted. Sometimes she followed the directions. Sometimes she added a lot of water on top of the salt. She’s my little experimenter! 
The effort all three of my girls put into this was fun to watch. They were focused and excited for the entire 30 minutes they worked. I loved listening to the conversation between them about how the salt was acting on their papers, how they liked each other’s color choices, and what it might be like to live where there is always snow. I was once again reminded of the reason art is important. Creativity inspires learning and it was a lovely bonding moment for the three of them. 
The final project! 

Gryphon house has an abundance of resources and after reviewing just this one book I have been very impressed. Not only will I be using this throughout our homeschooling, I’m also looking forward to using it during missions lessons with the children at our church. As we learn about missions around the world and focus on different countries I am looking forward to using a lot of these projects. Art which engages and encourages learning is always welcome in our home!

Don’t forget to check out the other reviews from my Crewmates!


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Children’s Atlas of God’s World from Master Books: Review

I’m so incredibly excited to be posting my first review for the Moms of Master Books team! Being part of this team has been one of my hopes since shortly after beginning my blog. Master Books has become my favorite publishing company since beginning homeschooling and being part of their review team is simply a dream come true!

This first book I’m reviewing is the Children’s Atlas of God’s World from Master Books (a division of New Leaf Publishing). The first place I go to now for my geography, history, and science resources in Master Books, but I hadn’t considered an atlas from a Christian worldview before. For the most part a traditional atlas will give factual information rather than that from a secular perspective, so I was curious to see what one from a biblical perspective would hold different. Boy was I excited when I found out!

The book is divided into continent sections where an overview of the continent is given. Following this page several of the countries are highlighted. For each country the statistics are listed as well as the country’s flag, map and beautiful pictures of the area. Historical and geographical information is provided in a child-friendly manner in short paragraphs, easy for young readers to explore on their own. Another aspect I like is the inclusion of biomes which teaches more about the land and climate of the region.

My favorite part is the inclusion of Christian History and traditions. With this information children are told when missionaries first arrived as well as how God is working in the country. This is a blessing in our home because missions is something we are very passionate about. In addition to using this in our home, I plan to take this to our monthly women’s meeting where we focus on missionaries and their work around the world. This year I’ll be heading up a portion of the meeting designed to help our children become more mission-minded. This Atlas will give me a great starting point for discussion with the kids in our church about the world and missionaries.

This Atlas will be a great resource to any home whether you homeschool or not. The beautiful pictures compliment the accurate and interesting information. I’ve enjoyed reading it as much as my girls! Master Books has scored once again with another new resource for kids to explore the world around them from a Christian worldview.

Disclaimer: I received the Children’s Atlas of God’s World as part of the Moms of Master Books Team. I was not required to give a positive review. I was not compensated in any other way.