What Being On The Crew Means To Me

I have wrapped up my first year of homeschooling, and am now a couple of months into my second year. When I took on this privilege, I was completely overwhelmed. I struggled to know what curriculum to use, where to buy it, how to use it. I wasn’t sure I could pull it off being that I am a full-time, “work-outside-the-home” homeschooling mom.

But around this time last year, I happened upon a blog post that one of the only homeschool bloggers I knew at the time shared.  This post announced that The Homeschool Review Crew was looking for bloggers to join their team. Although I had been blogging for seven years, and have done many product reviews, I never considered myself a homeschool blogger. But I knew that if homeschooling was going to be a part of my life, I needed to make it a part of my blog.

So I applied and to my delight, I was accepted!

What being on the Crew means ...

Can I just tell you what a tremendous blessing being a part of The Homeschool Review Crew has been to our family? First of all, at the time of my acceptance, my husband was unemployed so we didn’t have a lot of money for new curriculum. Being part of The Crew has given us the opportunity to try amazing products at no cost in exchange for my review. There are so many different types of curricula that I never knew existed, as well as different teaching methods that I would have never even considered. We may not be using all of what I have received right at this moment, but I have a shelf full of products available to me at any time.  And since many of the on line curriculum that I reviewed came with a one year subscription, we can go back and supplement our son’s curriculum all year long.

My son has never gotten bored with school. We’ve been able to set some of his core subjects aside, focusing on review products only much of the time while we figure out how he is wired to learn. It’s been fun having him try new products, products I would have never even considered had it not been for my participation on the The Crew.

Here are just some of the amazing products were were blessed to review this past year:

Before I was on The Crew, I was very narrow focused when I looked at curriculum. And, homeschooling for the first time with a middle school age child was daunting. The Crew has opened my eyes to a wide range of curriculum at all grade levels, which work well with our son. My son is truly thankful for online curriculum such as Veritas Press Self Paced Bible, which is one of his favorites.

One of the greatest blessings that being on the Homeschool Review Crew has given me is the friendships I’ve made with other homeschool bloggers. Before The Crew, I felt alone. There aren’t many moms in my situation, and the other members of The Crew have accepted me with open arms, even allowing me to bounce ideas and frustrations off of them in the very supportive Crew Forums, as well as through blogs and Facebook pages.

I cannot imagine what our homeschooling would have looked like without the opportunities The Homeschool Review Crew have given to us. Actually, I cannot imagine homeschooling my son without The Crew!

Are you a homeschooling mom who blogs?
Are you looking for ways to try to new curriculum for FREE?
Are you looking for a supportive community of other homeschool moms/bloggers?

Well guess what? The Homeschool Review Crew is currently accepting applications for the 2017 review year. If you are curious at all, check out the Crew Requirements here.

Why don’t you take it one step further and complete the application by clicking the banner below. You just might be accepted and experience some of the same blessings we have over the last year.


I am hoping to continue reviewing for The Crew this year. I would love to see you as part of the Homeschool Review Crew team in 2017!

What are you waiting for? Go ahead and apply today!

Homeschool Product Reviews

Book Of Astronomy Set by Memoria Press // A TOS Crew Review

My son loves science. We’ve been working hard all year on life and earth science. We had just completed reading up on the solar system when we were given the chance to review The Book of Astronomy Set by Memoria Press. My son was so excited to begin this study of the constellations.


Logic, Greek Myths and Astronomy Memoria Press Review

About The Book of Astronomy Set

The Book of Astronomy Set comes with a Student Book and a Teacher Book. It is recommended for children in grades 3-5, but since my son has not studied a lot of astronomy, he was happy to oblige although in the 7th grade.

The student book is 164 pages and is broken up into four units, which cover the constellations, the motion of the earth, the names of stars, as well as the sky as seen throughout all the seasons, including the “Summer Triangle” and the fall and winter zodiacs. This study set pairs nicely with D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths, which is referenced throughout the study.

The Teacher Book is 228 pages and contains the answers to each unit’s exercises, as well as definitions, test and overheads.

I did purchase a Lesson Plan created for this study for $5.00. It really helped me to know how to lay out the study from day to day. It also contains additional memorization ideas and helps.

How We Used This Program

My son worked on this study about three days each week.  He enjoyed reading about the stars, learning about what season they appear and also how they were given their names. He found the study a little repetitive, in that they have you list the 15 brightest stars like “a million times” (his words) throughout the book. But he is learning that repetition and writing things down often is how you learn. Needless to say, now that he can recite the 15 brightest stars, he’s not complaining.


Along with his reading each week, there was drawing of the constellations as well as exercises to complete at the end of each unit.


One part of the Teacher’s Guide that I am especially thankful for is the pronunciation guide in the back of the book. I cannot tell you how many I mispronounced.


Our Thoughts

Overall, we enjoyed the study of the stars. My son didn’t like the repetition, but again, he is learning to understand that this is the best way to learn. I would like to see some color photos in the book to better help my visual learner to stay engaged. But he came away with a better understanding of the stars and that is all that matters.  We haven’t quite finished the study so we look forward to continuing to work on it throughout the summer.

If you have a child in the 3rd – 5th grade, or an older child who is obsessed with the sky, The Book of Astronomy Set by Memoria Press is a great choice.

For more information, visit on social media here:

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Be sure to check out what other Crew members are saying by clicking the image below:

Logic, Greek Myths and Astronomy Memoria Press Review

Crew Disclaimer


My “Day In The Life” As A Full-Time Working, Homeschooling Mom

I’ve been asked on many occasions how I manage to homeschool my 7th grade son while working full time, outside the home. The beautiful thing about homeschooling is the flexibility I have to teach how I want to. Today I am linking up with Simple Homeschool to share a day in my life as a full-time working, homeschooling mom.


Thankfully, my son is at an age where he can do a lot of independent work, some days more than others. That is not to say that he always has the discipline to follow through. It’s a constant battle with him, but for the most part, we are doing okay.

Now that my husband is home on disability (not a great situation, but helpful for the schooling), he is able to be more hands on with our son’s schooling, and that has been a tremendous help to me.

Here is a peek into a typical day’s “very loose” schedule and what we try to accomplish on a daily basis.

Every evening
Before I go to bed each night, I prepare my son’s assignments for the next day. I started out the year having the first semester almost completely planned, but we’ve changed our curriculum so many times this year, and are still refining (this being our first full year of homeschooling), that it works best to take it day by day. I leave a calendar with his assignments for each day, letting him know exactly what needs to be done.  My expectations are that he have everything finished by 3PM, unless he’s struggling with something, or unless we’ve decided we are going to work on a project together.

Our “loose” curriculum schedule is:
Monday – Language Arts, Science, California History Co-op, Reading
Tuesday – Math, Language Arts, Bible
Wednesday – Language Arts, Science, P.E. Co-op, History
Thursday – Math, Language Arts, Bible, Reading
Friday – Language Arts, Science, Reading, History

I’m out the door for work between 8:30 and 9:00am. My husband is responsible for making sure our son doesn’t sleep the day away and eats a good, protein-filled breakfast.

Studies begin with Saxon math (Tuesdays/Thursdays) or Science (Mon, Weds, Fri).  For science we are currently finishing up a unit study on The Brain. These are the two subjects that usually take the most time, so we start there.  Most of what is assigned is independent work.  My son works his math problems, except where he has questions, and we correct it together in the evenings. The unit study is interactive, so he pulls up the PDF, clicks on the links, watches the videos, reads the material, and answers the questions in the print out I leave for him.

30 Minute “free time” to play Minecraft or basketball while lunch is prepared, either by my husband or something my son has put in the oven.


Studies resume with history (most days) and Language Arts. For history right now we are working through Drive Thru History. Having a mostly auditory learner, one has to be okay with learning about history on video. I try to prepare questions for him but I don’t always get a chance to watch the assigned video before the day it’s due, so I ask him when I get home what he watched and he gives me an auditory run down. We are “limping along” with history until the new school year, when I can afford to purchase more curriculum and have more in depth  book study.

Break. My son requires breaks throughout the day to keep him from getting tired and to keep him motivated.

We finish up with Reading and Bible. We are just getting ready to start our Memoria Press literature study of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (review coming!), and we are continuing our Grapevine Bible Study of The Birth of John and Jesus’ Ministry (review coming!).

Throughout the week my son helps prepare dinner, is active outside with sports and learns a lot just through daily living. We try to make everything a teaching experience.

As a full-time working mom, we utilize a lot of auditory teaching. We have also found a treasure trove of resources over at You can read my review of this curriculum here. We look forward to utilizing more of it next year.

No day is the same for us, and some days are just really bad. Sometimes we toss school out the window and just talk. This has been a huge transitional year and if I were measuring myself against public school standards we would be very behind. But the beauty of homeschooling is that we get to learn what works for us and make adjustments as needed.

Thank you for reading. For more day in the life posts, be sure to visit Simple Homeschool.