This Month's Featured Resources...

Ten Days of RoadschoolingWWII Activity PackLego Easter Mardi Gras

Wednesday, April 26

Drive Thru History review

Drive Thru History The Gospels
Has your family ever watched Drive Thru History® videos?  Do you have boys?  Kids?  Teens?  Adults that act like kids?  😊  Then you’re going to love Dave Stotts and his videos!  Recently, we watched Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels”, which, as the title would indicate, is all about the Gospels of the New Testament.  Now, if you’ve seen Drive Thru History videos in the past, I’ll start off by saying that these have a different tone to them, but they’re no less as educational and entertaining…they’re just a little less goofy.

The Gospels DVD set has 18 episodes in the series - each is half an hour long – and an accompanying study guide.  Our boys are in both the elementary and middle school range, and while they have all enjoyed Drive Thru History in the past, it was really the older ones who enjoyed this particular series.  It is geared more toward middle school, high school, and adult viewers.  That’s not to say that the younger ones didn’t like it, but some of the material was over their heads, and since it wasn’t as goofy as previous series, it was less entertaining to them.  (Mom’s note : I feel like there was less humor and silliness because the film crew didn’t want to have something come out wrong, or just sound blasphemous.)

Our one son who is very much into archaeology and ancient history really loved the series.  He learned “how to cross-reference history books with the Bible” (his words), and was very excited by that!  While the main focus is Biblical history, and the life of Jesus, there is also a lot of timeline work and archaeology incorporated into this series.

The series centers around the life of Jesus, as told through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  The film crew visited a multitude of sites throughout Israel, Palestine, and the surrounding regions to delve back into time and connect the past with the present.  My husband and I, who both love to travel but haven’t made it very far overseas, both appreciated and enjoyed the virtual field trips and the beautiful cinematography of the footage….it really makes it feel as though you’re walking beside him in the Holy Land. 

The 118-page study guide covers each of the episodes separately, and includes stunning photos, discussion questions, inspirational quotes, and ideas for further study.  If you’ve been wanting to incorporate Bible study into your curriculum, but (a) the kids aren’t into it; (b) the material you’ve previously used seems dry; or (c) it’s just not at all engaging….then you should give Drive Thru History a shot! 

If we were allowed to teach religion in the schools today, this would be the perfect series for middle and high schoolers.  It's informative and engaging, and the narrator is just goofy enough to keep you asking what will happen next!  The cinematography is well-done, and the history is presented at an age-appropriate level for children to understand and adults to want to learn by their side.

The episodes include :
  • The Historical Landscape
  • The Announcements
  • Jesus is Born
  • Jesus Grows Up
  • Jesus Starts His Ministry
  • Jesus Returns to Galilee
  • Jesus Begins His Miracles
  • Jesus Teaches with Authority
  • The Sermon on the Mount
  • Jesus Travels the Sea of Galilee
  • Jesus Travels North
  • A Final Trip to Jerusalem
  • Jesus Arrives in Jerusalem
  • The Last Supper
  • The Trial of Jesus
  • The Crucifixion of Jesus
  • The Resurrection of Jesus
  • Who is Jesus?

 See what others are saying about Drive Thru History at the Schoolhouse Review Crew!

Crew DisclaimerThe Gospels {Drive Thru History® Reviews}

Drive Thru History The Gospels

Tuesday, April 25

The Scientist (Coldplay)

Life-sized checkers, chess, and light brite (as shown above) are just some of the fantastic hands-on resources we played with today!!
When most people think of special needs, they think of struggling learners.  However, there is a completely different spectrum of special needs, more commonly referred to as 'gifted and talented.'  These kids require a level of parenting similar to that of struggling learners, if we're going to help them reach their full potential.  I have one of each, and it's just as challenging to meet both of their needs.  (No unit study today, but you can access all of our science units here....)

The big one recently toured a special school for gifted students, looking to see if it was something he wanted to attend, and it was the most amazing thing to watch him come alive, and out of his shell, the further and further we went along the tour.  It's difficult to continually find new ways to challenge his thirst for science exploration....some days...we just have to go to the museum and let those folks do what they're best at...
The new Curio-City section of the museum is awesome!  I can't even begin to put into words the collection of exhibits they have in this huge Walmart-sized center of the building.  If you go for no other reason than to visit this area, your trip will have been worth the while.  The gist of it is that it's set up like a city, and each building is a new exhibit.  We're playing around at the radio and television stations in these photos...
Since there weren't a lot of people in the Tinkering Studio, the guys that worked there let them come behind the scenes and learn how to use the laser printer.  They got to design these cute bats on the computer program, and then watched them being laser cut by the machine.  Then, they got to take them home!  Of course, on the way home I had to explain why we couldn't get our own laser printer...
The little one doesn't care so much for things that go boom, so while the big one attended a Live Science show (they're free), we explored the art section and took a flight in the space capsule.  I'd like to add that this photo was snapped about a second before he freaked out.....if you have a child with sensory issues, please be aware when putting him / her inside the capsule!
In the space area, you can try your hand at driving the moon rover or docking with the space station.  It's tougher than you think!
Finally, what trip to the science museum would be complete without a spin on the little scooter thingy and a visit to the dinosaur section??  If you live in Oklahoma, make sure to schedule a field trip here this year.  If you're elsewhere, do take advantage of the hands-on exhibits and museum employees' expertise to supplement subject that your child is interested in.....especially when (like myself) they are not your strong suits!

Monday, April 24

Slow Cook April

April : Cowboy Crockpot
In honor of April being Oklahoma History month (it's the month the Land Run was held), we are focusing on pioneering recipes this month!

Learn the Crockpot Basics!!
Beef Pot
  • 2 1/2 lb beef roast
  • 15 oz chili beans
  • 11 oz corn (drained)
  • 10 oz Rotel (do not drain)
  • 2 tsp chipotle spice
  1. Mix all ingredients except meat.
  2. Place meat into crockpot, and pour mixture over it.
  3. Cover and cook on low 10-12 hours (or high 5-6 hours).
  4. Slice and serve with juices.
Bean Stew
  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 5 slices bacon, chopped
  • 30 oz sloppy joe sauce
  • 30 oz kidney beans (drained)
  • 15 oz butter beans (drained)
  • 2 c water
  1. Brown beef in skillet.  Drain.
  2. Mix everything in crockpot.
  3. Cover and cook on low 4-6 hours (or high 2-3 hours).
Rhubarb Apple Sauce
  • 2 c chopped rhubarb
  • 1 c unsweet applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  1. Mix everything in cockpot.
  2. Cover and cook on low 3-4 hours (or high 1-2 hours).


Sunday, April 23

STEAM Science & Robotics Camps - 50% off!!!


Summer Day Camps are where fun, thinking, and learning come to life!!  At the STEAM Science & Robotics Camps, campers will have a BLAST while learning and playing in a dynamic environment.  They will learn about Robotics and Science. 

Visit their website, www.steamandrobotics.com, to see dates and locations for this day camp.

Just the Facts


- There are Robot / Science / Engineering / Day Camp / Challenges

- Camps are for Girls and Boys - Aged 7 to 17

- Robot Camps are offered during June, July and August

- This is straight-up Hands on Learning for all levels, from First Time Beginners to Intermediate Learners


Camp Details

-  Each camp is 1 week (5 days) long

- Camp runs Monday to Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

- Campers bring own lunches and drinks

- There is a camper ratio of 1 Instructor to 11 participants

- Each camper Individually uses a ROBOTICS Kit and shares computers


Click on this link to get the exclusive price of 50% OFF on STEAM Science and Robotics Summer Camps!  Use code USFG1750

Friday, April 21

Five Days of Roadschooling : Day 5

Membership Programs

You've heard 'you have to spend money to make money,' but what about spending to save?  By joining these programs (two of which are free!), you'll be able to save some of your hard-earned cash without sacrificing the ability to experience new sights at your destination!

NASA PASSPORT
The NASA Passport Program is free to join, and provides savings on admission, tours, food, and retail purchases at each of their fourteen locations across the country.  You'll receive a stamp at each location, and when / if you get all fourteen, you will get a special surprise for completing the mission!  (We haven't finished, so I'm not sure what it is.)   

If you have an aviation / space fan, you'll want to sign up for this free program!  Also, if you have kids that are into space and aviation, you should check out this STEM program.

Here are the sites we've visited thus far....

NATIONAL PARKS PASS
  • If you have a student in the 4th grade, you should absolutely pick up a free National Parks Pass, which is good for one year.  Every fourth grade student is entitled to one family pass.  This gets you into many parks for free, and others (the ones that are partially privatized) at a discount.
  • The National Parks Pass is only $80 annually for a carload.  However many folks fit into your car is how many will get into that park!  This also gives you a discount on park amenities.
  • The Junior Ranger Program is a fantastic educational tool that is provided at each National Park.  There are curriculum ideas, literature, and hands-on activities.  They typically receive a pin, sticker, or some other small token after completing the program.
  • Finally, if you are a senior, make sure to get a Senior Pass, which is only $10 for a lifetime pass.
There are National Parks EVERYWHERE!  Pick up this handy guide to find out which ones you'll be driving near.

ASTC PASSPORT
    More than 300 science centers and museums have agreed to waive general admission fees for each other’s members.  (Local restrictions apply within 90 miles (150 km) based on science center/museum location and residence.)  With the purchase of one membership, you can hop all over the country - and internationally - at no or a very low cost!  

    Our home membership is at a museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan, simply because we happened to be there when we discovered the program.  Check out all the places we've got for free....   (Clicking on the links will take you to a more in-depth exploration.)  

    If you're going to be travelling, and incorporating learning experiences, this is one membership that you will definitely want to get!  Our's is only $65 annually, and worth ten times that.
    • This is just a sampling of what they offer...be sure to check out the main page for all of the museums!

    5 Days of Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017

    Thursday, April 20

    Five Days of Roadschooling : Day 4

    Sea to Shining Sea : the 50 States
    As many of our readers know, home base is in rural Oklahoma, so a visit to the ocean is a treat that our family relishes!  With one parent hailing from the East coast and one from the West coast, the ocean is a part of our lives that we also want for our children, so we aim for seaside contracts whenever possible...

    The first time he experienced the ocean was a magical moment in one of our sons' lives.  If you're fortunate enough to live by the sea, don't take it for granted!  And if, like ourselves, you find yourself longing for sand in your shoes and salt in your hair...we hope you're inspired to visit one of these seaside destinations!

    Seaside Stops
    Maybe the ocean isn't your thing?  Check out all 50 States and plan your next adventure!
    5 Days of Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017

    Wednesday, April 19

    Five Days of Roadschooling : Day 3

    Health & Safety

    Let's talk about the things that no one really wants to think about....the 'what-ifs,' or more specifically, preventative measures for avoiding those dark places....
    Safety First!
    It's easy to get lulled into the comfort of thinking that your hotel is as safe as home, but that would be very very wrong.

    Check out the simple rules on the hotel sign above.....let's break them down.
    1. Lock your car AND take your stuff inside, especially if it's valuable.
    2. Management is also not responsible for missing children.  If your children must explore the hotel without parental supervision, make sure that they use the buddy system.  It would be so easy for someone to snag your child, hop in their car, and be off to who-knows-where before you knew s/he was missing. 
    3. Not only do you have a hotel key, but there are probably some undesirables that have one as well.  See rule number 2.  Do you really want your kids running around alone?  Another safety precaution that we have is a password.  Should we need to leave the kids in the room alone, they must not open the door unless the password is provided.
    I know that, as a parent, you want to trust your children to go to the lobby / pool / front desk / whatever by themselves, but it's just not a good idea.  Even if it gives you five minutes of peace.  Most hotels are located right off highways....by the time you realize your child is missing, s/he could be twenty miles down the road!

    Another issue that we have discussed is how to handle an emergency when staying in a hotel.  Most children know to dial 911 at home, but that may not work at a hotel, where you usually have to dial another number to get an outside line.  Your best bet is to tell children to call the hotel operator in case of an emergency. 

    You can find more tips at our posts on Preparing for Road Trip Emergencies and Tips & Tricks for the Family Vacation.

    Health
    • Some people can sleep anywhere, but travelling often throws kids off-schedule. Here are some tips for Sleeping Well on the Go.
    • Driving all day can be the pits!  Take three minutes to stretch at each pit-stop. It will help!
    • Healthy eating on the road can be very tricky! It's so easy to fall into the trap of fast food and convenience foods, especially on long travel days, when your only stops are at the gas station or to pick up a quick bite.  Greens and fresh options are your best choice, whenever possible....and most gas stations sell fresh fruit now.
    • When you're out on the road, getting sick just isn't an option. Who wants to spend their vacation trapped in a hotel room, or worse - in the hospital?  See this post for tips to stay well.
    • Taking a few days off can be rejuvenation for your body, but it's important to remember to get some exercise.  Even walking for thirty minutes will do your body, mind, and mood a world of good.   Here are tips for Hotel P.E.
    • Ran out of your favorite spa products? Or forgot to pack them? Try these quick cheats from hotel freebies...
    5 Days of Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017

    Tuesday, April 18

    Five Days of Roadschooling : Day 2

    Living History
    When it comes to history, there's no substitute for being able to stand in the same spot where an event went down...
    • for running your hand down the same banister George Washington did while pacing the floor deciding whether to cross the Delaware River in the cold or not....
    • for throwing tea overboard in an act of rebellion against the British king....
    • for standing in the lookout tower and being able to see where the troops arrived from different directions at Gettysburg.....
    We have had the great fortune to take our children to some of the most historically significant sites in the United States.  While there are still many more we hope to get to in the future, here are some highlights.  The links go to more in-depth explorations of each.


    French & Indian War / Colonial Era


      Revolutionary War


        Civil War / 19th Century
        5 Days of Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017

        Monday, April 17

        Five Days of Roadschooling : Day 1

        Start Small
        You've probably heard of road-schooling, or families who travel while homeschooling their kids, but maybe you're daunted by the thought of hitting the road full-time.  No worries!  

        With high fuel costs, general unrest in the world, and little to no vacation time from work, many families are choosing to take staycations.  With a bit of imagination, you can have an enjoyable time close to home.....you just have to approach your town like a tourist.  

        Do some research - ask yourself "If I were just stumbling upon this area, what would I want to do?"  You can find something fun to do everywhere....even in the middle of nowhere.  Trust me.  😉 

        We've broken down all of our trips by region (United States), to help take some of the research out of your equation.  Try to plan at least one staycation this summer - once you've gotten your feet wet, you'll want more!
        • Pack the car with five days worth of clothes (well, at least five days worth of underwear)
        • Toss in some snacks, road tunes, and an audiobook
        • Find an initial destination from the list below....start driving in that direction
          • If you see something that looks like fun, take a detour!
          • Find a hotel - spend the night - start over again on day 2
        • Take detours and explore on day 2
          • Find a hotel - spend the night - start heading home on day 3
        • You might make it home on day 3, or it might be on day 4
        • Just DRIVE - EXPLORE - HAVE FUN!
        Admittedly, if you're Type-A, this might be difficult for you, but at least try.  Pack some extra undies and a first aid kit, if it makes you feel better!

        5 Days of Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017