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. 

My Story 1: A New Book Review Crew at NLPG Review

 When we started homeschooling in 2011 I remember looking around for what I remembered as a traditional social studies when I was in grade school. What I found was a lot of textbooks from traditional schools and very little written for the homeschool family. The traditional textbooks were okay for what they were, but what I really wanted was something written from a Christian perspective that did not feel like it was geared towards kids in the 1950s.
My Story 1 from Master Books is exactly what I was looking for 7 years ago and I was thrilled to have the chance to check it out! 
Each page of this curriculum is beautiful to behold. I love how vibrant the photos are and the composition of each page is clean and eye-catching. Many cultures from around the world are represented and valued. Each lesson includes simple writing, drawing, and discussion activities to supplement the written information. It reads in a familiar, story-like way which will surely delight children. I particularly like the journal prompts which strive to help students think beyond facts and infer new ideas.
I really love that the family unit is central to this social studies course. When the world is trying to downplay the importance of family, Master Books once again strives to support parents and teach the biblical basis for the traditional family unit. Also woven throughout are Scripture verses to show God’s hand in all that we see in the world around us. 

My own kids are a little older than the target age group (1st grade). There is a second book for the following year which continues in the same learning style. I really wish I had this available when the girls were younger and highly recommend it. I love how this broader social studies curriculum will prepare students for America’s Story and The World’s Story in following years.  

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the New Book Review Crew at NLPG in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.  All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

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!

God’s World News: Review

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I remember reading a children’s news magazine when I was in grade-school. While I don’t remember the name of it, I remember really enjoying it! I loved learning about what was going on in the world, seeing news which impacted children in other lands, and keeping up on the latest science discoveries. I was looking around for something like this for my girls several months ago, but I was not happy with what I found. My main struggle was the world view from which they were written. When the opportunity came my way to check out a magazine with a biblical world-view I started getting excited!
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God’s World News publishes a variety of new magazines for all ages from preschool through high school. Each magazine is geared towards specific age levels so you know the content will be appropriate. I love how the age ranges are divided by ever two grade levels for the younger readers which ensures appropriate reading levels. A 1-year subscription for any level costs $28.00.

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I received Early Edition, the 1st-2nd grade level, to review. My girls range from PreK-3rd grade so this was a nice middle-of-the-road choice for them. The magazines are filled with beautiful photos and illustrations. The content is interesting and my girls have enjoyed reading the issues they received. They also received a full-sized wall-map so students can locations the articles are referencing.

One article in particular which I really liked was about the T. Rex. There are such a variety of views on when dinosaurs lived even within Christian circles. I’m always cautious when reading information about dinosaurs because of this. What I loved about this article was it provided observational scientific facts. I appreciate the magazine’s statement of faith includes the affirmation that God created man in His image and did not contradict this in their coverage of a new dinosaur which was found.

I also appreciated the extra articles and curriculum available online with your subscription. Old issues may be viewed and extra activities are there for students to learn from. There are more quizzes as well as ideas for curriculum implementation available. One lesson which was particularly timely for us was about new treatments for cancer. Our neighbor’s son was diagnosed with kidney cancer this past summer and has spent quite a bit of time with my girls. They are very much aware of his treatments and how difficult they can be. Learning about new treatments was good. Having age-appropriate discussion questions was extremely valuable. I sometimes don’t know how to address the issue of cancer because it is so close to them now. I very much appreciated how it was handled in the online article which gave further study to an article about helping cancer patients keep their hair.

There is also a newly launched site ( which gives even more information for kids to explore! This is a safe site which is user friendly for kids and gives them access to even more articles and activities.

So far both girls have loved the activities within the magazine the best. They hurry to find these pages first and anxiously work to figure them out! Rose has enjoyed having some new reading material for our afternoon quiet time.

Beth was thrilled to find an article about horses! The reading level seemed appropriate for both girls. It was simple enough for them to read and yet not overly simple. The articles were written creatively from biblical standpoints and did not bore them.

I highly recommend this magazine for Christians who are looking for a children’s news magazine. Interesting, informative, biblical world-view, curriculum ideas…God’s World News has taken care of it all!


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.