Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Review~ American History with Drive Thru History


Drive Through History



Who wouldn't want to travel the world to see all the places we learn about in history? 
Well, now you have your chance, thanks to Dave Stotts and his Drive Thru History Adventures . Over the past few weeks we have had access to some great history videos and curriculum. It seemed like we were traveling around visiting all these amazing historical sites ourselves.


Drive Thru History Adventures
For this review, we received a one year subscription to the Drive Thru History Adventure. This online subscription includes videos, readings, illustrations & art, discussion questions, printable worksheets, and a section called dig deeper. 
There are two levels of subscription rates. 
Subscribers have the choice of a monthly rate ($12.99 a month) or a yearly rate ($124.99 for the year). 

Yearly subscription....$124.99
*3 Curriculum Choices
*Free 1 year subscription to Adventures TV

Monthly Subscription.....$12.99
*3 Curriculum Choices
*Free 1 year subscription to Adventures TV
and if you're not sure if Drive Thru History Adventures is right for your family you can sign up for a FREE 7 day trial subscription!

Drive Thru History Adventures

The Drive Thru History Adventures offers 3 curriculum courses. 

Bible History (18 weeks on the Gospels)
Ancient History (12 weeks on Ancient Greece, Rome, and Asia Minor)
American History (12 weeks on early American History)

The courses are geared for students ages 12 and up. Younger children (11 and under) can watch the videos with the family. They will enjoy the videos and hopefully pick up a few details along the way. The videos can give them a starting point and will hopefully give them some facts that they will remember when they study the topic in more depth when they are older. 

 High school students can dig deeper into the lesson by reading the source documents, expert papers, and short articles that are provided. Older students can do additional work by researching more about the topic presented in the lesson. They can also go into more depth when answering the essay questions provided. Students can work through each course one by one or they could do them all at once. It's truly up to the subscriber how they want to work through the courses. For example, you could easily do the Bible History course as a religion class and then use the Ancient History or American History as a history class. 
Drive Thru History Adventures
For this review, we were asked to focus on the American History course. Since Michael and Therese were already taking a Founding Fathers course with some fellow homeschool students, I felt that this course would be a wonderful addition to their class. I was hoping it would provide them with some additional information for their class and I was right. They were able to read the letter Christopher Columbus's letter to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella!
The American History course takes students on a 12 week journey through early American History. Students will learn about Christopher Columbus all the way up to the Constitution of the United States. 
There are 12 videos/episodes to view for this 12 week course.

Episode 1: The Discovery
Episode 2: Pilgrim Search for Freedom
Episode 3: Beginnings of Revolution
Episode 4: Whitefield & Boston's Freedom Trail
Episode 5: William Penn & Early Philadelphia 
Episode 6: Founding Fathers of Philadelphia
Episode 7: Fighters of the Revolution
Episode 8: Early Colonial Virginia 
Episode 9: Founding Fathers in Virginia
Episode 10: Revolution in New York
Episode 11: New York and the First President
Episode 12: New Jersey and Epilogue 
Drive Thru History Adventures
How Did We Use the American History course from Drive Thru History?

First off, we used this as an add-on to the kid's co-op class. We watched the videos together as a family. I had the kids read the additional materials provided. I loved how the videos provided the kids with more information and facts about how our great nation came to be. 
American History
Even the cat finds the videos entertaining
I printed out the discussion questions for both Micheal and Therese. I had them work on the questions independently (of course they did work together). Just a little FYI, there is an answer guide for parents or students to check their work. I had the kids turn in their pages to me, so that I could look over their answers.
American History
Even if you kids only watch the videos, they will get a ton of information! Dave Stotts is amazing. His energy and enthusiasm is a huge hit when studying history. Usually, I hear complaints about how history is boring. Well, with Dave Stotts, it is far from being boring, tedious, or a drag to learn. Even Therese finds history fascinating with Dave Stotts leading the journey. He provides lots of facts, interesting details (many you probably won't know), beautiful images, historical places to explore, and a few corny, but funny jokes along the way. I will admit a few of the jokes the kids may not get, but we parents will. 
Drive Thru History Adventures
As a homeschooling mama, who loves to plan out her own curriculum, I love the Drive Thru History Adventures! It allows me to still plan out my lessons, but use what the site already has. I can just add in the videos and worksheets were I see fit. If the kids are learning about the discovery of America, we can watch the video, complete the worksheets, and find out more abut Christopher Columbus from the articles provided. All this can be done while still completing the lessons I had planned out. Drive Thru History provides my kids with an added bonus to their learning. Plus it's fun and engaging. 


Drive Thru History Adventures
Included in our subscription to Drive Thru History was Adventures TV which can be streamed on Chromecast, Android phones & tablets, iPhones, iPads, and the PC. Just download the App and once you're subscribed with Drive Thru History, you can take the learning with you. Now your kids have no excuse on why they didn't get their history work done. They can watch their lesson while sitting in the waiting room at the dentist, driving to practice, or heading out on errands!
Drive Thru History Adventures
Another fun feature of Drive Thru History is the private Facebook page you will have access to once you join! Here you can find other other members to talk with, ask questions, get updates, and hang out with Dave!
American History
*******Hot Deals******
Drive Thru History offers readers of the The Old Schoolhouse Magazine a special 20% off discount! Click on over, read a few articles, and check out page 19 for the special discount code.
Also right now, when you sign up for a yearly subscription to Drive Thru History, you will receive a free copy of The Gospels DVD set. Just head on over to their website and you'll find the discount code.

Find Drive Through History on Social Media......
Facebook
Pinterest
Instagram

Want to learn more about the other courses offered by Drive Thru History?
Just click the picture below!


Drive Thru History Adventures - Subscription {Drive Thru History Adventures Reviews}



Till Next Time,
Monique



Crew Disclaimer

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Review~ UltraKey Online from Bytes of Learning



Are your kids snails when typing? Mine sure are. As the kids have gotten older, typing has become more important. As they write more and more papers, the last thing they need to do is to spend hours typing. Recently, the kids and I received a chance to review the UltraKey Online Family Subscription from Bytes of Learning.
UltraKey Bytes of Learning
Bytes of Learning is an online company that offers students of all ages instructions for learning to type. Their goal is to provide students with multi-media software tools and supportive materials to help them learn how to be a phenomenal typist. Having stronger typing skills allows students to become stronger students. Computers are here to stay and our kids are going to have to know how to type better than we had to back in the day.

UltraKey Online Family Edition
For this review, we received a one year subscription for the UltraKey Online Family Subscription. Subscribers can choose between 3 different plans for the family subscription.
3 Users~ $29.95
5 Users~ $39.95
8 Users~ $49.95
The UltraKey Online Family Subscription provides students with clear, prices, easy to understand instructions. The online typing program offers students videos to watch and colorful animation. The program is rated and geared for students ages 8 and up. Each student will take a placement test to see where they fall. From the placement test results, students are then given their goals to works towards. The lessons and instructions are voice supported. There are even some fun games to play to help with your typing skills.


The parent account is free and allows parents (or the tutor) to manage the students. This management pages allows parents to set up accounts for their students, manage their personal goals, track their progress, create reports for the students, and even print off certificates!
It's compatible for Windows, Mac, Chromebooks, and iPads.
UltraKey Online Family Edition


How We Used UltraKey Online Family Subscription?

I had every intention of doing this course together as a class. The kids and I were going to sit down everyday and work through the lesson. Sadly, we realized rather quickly that this was not how it was going to happen. Since we have satellite internet, our connection was a little too slow for all of us to be on at the same time. All our computers loaded at different rates, froze at different spots, and would stop loading at different sections of the lesson. Needless to say this was extremely frustrating to all of us. For example, the lesson would say click on the button to move forward and their would be no button. I will say that my daughter had the best luck with the buttons appearing. Here buttons would appear so she knew what to click. However her graphics would only half load. 



So when the idea of working together as a class was no longer an option, I decided to have us work through the program one at a time. This has slowed down our progress just a little. I'm thankful that we have this subscription for one year. I decided to go first since I knew I needed to know more about the program to help Michael and Therese. I was also the one that had to write this review.

I've come up with the idea of having the kids take their laptops to the library with their earbuds to see if they could work on a few lesson each week.

So here are few things I've discovered.......


Pros:
*lessons are explained exceptionally well
*colorful images and grpahics
*videos are simple and easy to understand
*fun games provide practice your new skills
Cons:
*pages didn't completely load and would freeze
*pictures and images would be partially displayed
*lessons took longer than expected 
*subscribers definitely need a faster speed Internet (I wouldn't recommend if you have satellite internet) 


What Did We Think of the UltraKey Online Family Subscription?
Overall, I'd have to say I was impressed with the program. The videos were well done and the graphics were colorful and engaging. The instructions were clearly explained and were easy for students to understand. I learned quite a few new things. Some of the suggestions were hard for me to follow. I definitely do not sit in the proper typing position. I'll admit, I didn't change my positioning after the lesson. It just didn't feel right to me. I guess 30+ years of typing this way makes it awkward to me. What's that old saying? You can't teach an old dog new tricks! I can't believe I just admitted I old. However even with my resistance to the proper sitting I did stress it to my children. I was one of those moms guilty of letting them lounge on the couch to type their papers. 
I really wish we had high speed internet. I think the program would have been a lot easier for us to stay on top of. I look forward to seeing Michael's and Therese's progress once they complete the course.
I come back and let you know how it goes!
Discover more about this online typing program!
Bytes of learning Website
Facebook
Be sure to click below to see what the other crew members had to say about the UltraKey Online Family Subscription from Bytes of Learning.


UltraKey {Bytes of Learning Reviews}
Till Next Time,
Monique


Crew Disclaimer

Monday, February 19, 2018

Review~ Wulf the Saxon from Heirloom Audio Productions

Mountain of Grace Review
Today, I get to share with you our first review of the year for the Homeschool Crew Review. 
So what was our product?
  Wulf the Saxon from Heirloom Audio Productions. This is the third audio story we have reviewed for them. So are you ready to hear more about Wulf the Saxon?
Heirloom Audio Productions
Heirloom Audio Productions is a Christian company that is focused on bring history to life! Sadly in the majority of most history books, the Christian faith has been left out or completely erased. The Heirloom Audio crew work together to bring the story of these Christian heroes to life. They travel around the globe visiting the actual places Christian heroes lived, worked and died. They are living the adventure. Wouldn't it be fun to travel the world to visit all the places we read about in our history books? I know the kids and I would love to visit the countries of the saints we read about daily.
For this review, we received a physical copy of the 2 disc CD Wulf the Saxon. The 2 disc set contains over two hours of storytelling. The story is designed for the entire family. They say it is geared for listeners between the ages of 6-16, but listeners of all ages will enjoy this exciting adventure. Children as young as 6 can easily sit down with the entire family as they listen to this extraordinary tale! Listeners will recognize the voices from previous audio books, movies, and television shows. Brian Blessed (G.A. Henty), Chris Larkin (King Harold Godwinson), and Helen George ((Edith) are just a few of the actors that worked on this adventurous tale.
Wulf the Saxon
So what is this tale about? 
Without giving away too much of the story, here are few details to get you eager to read this fast-paced adventure! First off, if your child loves tales of battles, conquests, faraway places, and castles they will love this story from G.A. Henty. I think boys especially will love this adventurous tale.
Wulf the Saxon by G.A. Henty is a tale that takes place a long time ago. The year is 1065 and we are taken back to England.  The story takes place around the time of the Battle of Hastings! This is an important battle from history. Edward the Confessor is the King of England, but upon his death a battle for the throne begins. Wulf the Saxon, is the main fictional character. He's mixed in with other fictional and non-fictional character to tell this tale. Wulf is a thane (the title of a landowner in Anglo-Saxon England). Wulf the Saxon earns the respect of all those he serves. He becomes quickly respected for his devotion to duty, his courage, loyalty, and his honor. Wulf the Saxon becomes the loyal page of King Harold of Wessex. He experiences many heroic adventures during this tale....being shipwrecked, the Welsh Wars, assassination attempts, an invasion from the North, and finally the Norman invasion. When William of Normandy invades Hastings, Wulf the Saxon heroically stands by his King. On the Battlefield near Hastings, the course of history is forever changed. 
What happens to Wulf the Saxon?  Does he die?
What happens to King Harold? 
What happens to England? 
If you want to know, you'll just have to order the audio book and listen with the kids!

Heirloom Audio Productions
Just a little FYI...for my fellow Catholic homeschoolers I didn't find anything questionable about this book. Since it's set before the Reformation, the anti-Catholic bias sometimes found in G.A. Henty books was not really present. There was one line I noticed about how they were helped by the Protestants. Nothing offensive, but the line was there. 
Heirloom Audio Productions

We loved the variety of characters. The actors bring the story to life. The tale is enhanced with music and sound effects. What little boy wouldn't want to hear the clang of swords while listening to a story?
Heirloom Audio Productions
Why Do We Like Books on Audio?
First off, it adds a different dimension to our schooling. We are a living books homeschooling family. My kids read a lot of books for history, science, and English. Sometimes we have too many books to read and just not enough to time to get them all in. 
So what can we do? 
We can listen to great stories in the car as we head to co-op class, run errands, or head on a trip. This helps us pass the time in the car and it allows us to get in all the books we need to. It's a win-win situation. I like how we can listen all together and then discuss the story. My kids like it because then they don't have one more book to read. They usually are reading 2-4 books at a time as it is. Two or three books for school and then they usually add one or two books of their own choice to read. I love that I have children that LOVE to read!
Heirloom Audio Productions
Heirloom Audio offers families other great books to listen to. Readers (or listeners in this case) can learn about William Wallace, Robert E. Lee, King Alfred of Wessex, Beric and the Romans, and so much more. Theses amazing stories truly bring history to life.
We've been lucky enough to review some of them.
In Freedom's Cause
With Lee in Virginia
Heirloom Audio now offers followers a new adventure. You can now sign up for their newsletter and visit their new Live the Adventure website.
Heirloom Audio Adventure Club
This new adventure club offers parents and children news, articles, projects, and lessons to help bring history to life. For example, parents can head on over and download a word search puzzle to go along with Wulf the Saxon. You can even find directions for baking a Medieval apple pie!
Want to learn more about this adventure?
Check them out on Social Media.....
Website
Live the Adventure Website
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Google+
YouTube
Instagram
Just click below to read some more fantastic reviews about Wulf the Saxon.
Wulf the Saxon {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}
Till Next Time,
Monique



Crew Disclaimer

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Traveling Thursdays~ Mount Vernon


This year the kids are taking a history/government class with a few other homeschool kids in our area. Over the course of the year, the kids will learn about our government's history and then learn more about how the government is run today. I was thrilled when a fellow mom offered to teach this since she has experience working in the Capital. 

So one of her goals is to take the kids on two field trips for the class. Their first field trip was to Mount Vernon. We had never been to George Washington's home so we were eager to make the journey to see the home of our first President!


Mount Vernon, the home of George and Martha Washington, is situated along the Potomac River. The view is absolutely breathtaking. I can only imagine what it would have been like to sit on the back porch during the warm summer days with the cool breeze drifting up from the river. 


Our visit to Mount Vernon was a cold, winter day. Thankfully, the rain held off so we could enjoy the grounds.

Our exploration of Mount Vernon began with a 25 minute movie about the role of George Washington in the Revolutionary War.
After watching the brief movie, we headed outside to head over the the home. We had a scheduled time to tour the house and outbuildings.





After our tour, our group ate a quick picnic lunch on the grounds and then we headed to a special ceremony of  laying a wreath at the foot of George Washington's grave.



This was a special ceremony our group was able to do. We had a few other visitors watch the wreath laying ceremony since they had never seen it done in the multiple times they had visited Washington's home. After our wreath laying ceremony, we headed over the the greenhouse for a talk about Christmas at Mount Vernon. Our guide gave a very entertaining talk to the children about what they would receive as gifts and how the Christmas season would have been spent. We loved how he stressed that Christmas didn't end on Christmas Day, but went on for days after....the 12 Days of Christmas!
It was right before Christmas when we visited so the grounds were decorated to reflect this festive season.



So if you ever find yourself in the area, I would definitely recommend a visit our first president's home.

Till Next Time,
Monique





Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day 2018


Wishing you all a wonderful Saint Valentine's Day!
I know it's a day early, but tomorrow is Ash Wednesday so we are celebrating a day early. Tomorrow will be a day for Mass, prayer, penance, and fasting!


Till Next Time,
Monique

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