Our family's journey through life as we deal with the every day messes along the way

Category Archives: Family

Apologia

Do you teach a Biblical worldview along with your regular Bible studies?  If this is something you would like to add to your studies, Apologia Educational Ministries has just what you need! They have just released the fourth book in their “What We Believe” series of worldview training. For this review I received the What on Earth Can I Do? (hardback book), the What On Earth Can I Do Notebooking Journal, the What on Earth Can I Do, Junior Notebooking Journal, and the What on Earth Can I Do? Coloring Book. The hardback book retails for $39 and can be used with children in grades 1-6. Both the Notebooking Journal and the Junior Notebooking Journal retail for $24. The coloring book is perfect for your younger children to keep their hands busy while they listen, and it retails for $8

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Although this is the fourth book in the What We Believe series from Apologia, this is our first experience with them. I have heard of them many times before, but have never really looked into it. That was a mistake, because these books are wonderful! They are all meant to show your children how the words and actions of God are woven into our lives and into history. The main book includes 8 lessons, but these lessons can take weeks to get through. The suggest time for each lesson is about two weeks, but we have found working at our own pace instead of working within that time frame, has worked very well. The stories in the book are easy to read and easy for the kids to follow. There are wonderful pictures to go along with the stories too.

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There are some fantastic journals to go along with the main book for your children to use. Caspian used the notebooking journal, Aurora used the junior notebooking journal, and the coloring book was for Moose. I love how these notebooks can bring the whole family together as they work to study the same topics. The notebooking journal is filled with comprehension and analysis questions, as well as crossword puzzles, word finds, and other pages to copy Scripture and take notes. The journal notebooking journal includes crosswords, coloring pages extra activities and book suggestions, and includes places to write prayers, copy Scriptures, and record praises.Both journals come with lesson plans at the beginning to instruct you on which activity to do in connection with your reading in the main book. The coloring book has several beautiful pictures to color for each lesson.

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The main book does give you a suggested lesson plan, but I found it was best to read a chunk each day and not force our way through anything. There are so many great stories in this book and I didn’t want my kids to miss any of it! I will admit, when these books first arrived, I wondered how well my children would listen to the stories. But I completely underestimated both my children and the authors. These stories are written in such a conversational way that it is easy for them to follow along. They have taken so much from the stories we have already read, and we aren’t even half way through the book yet! The greatest sign of curriculum success for me is when my children bring up something they have learned when we aren’t even doing school work. This has happened several times with the What on Earth Can I Do book.

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I really feel like teaching a Biblical worldview is so important for our children. Sometimes the Bible can seem so separated from our daily lives and our families are constantly bombarded with unbiblical things. It is so beneficial for children to hear and see that the works of God are woven into each moment of today and in history. From a Bunker hole in World War I to the Biblical days of Joseph and Potiphar, God has always been there, and he always will be there!

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I love the view of God’s sovereign hand this book has brought into our home. The kids are seeing how important their relationship with God is, even outside of our home. Seeing how wonderful these books are makes me ready to try the others in the series. It has sparked some great discussions and has proven to teach some very powerful stories in a way that I could never have done on my own. If you have used the other books in this series, I am sure you will love this one just as much. And if you have never used the Apologia What We Believe series, it is one that I would highly recommend. I am truly grateful for the blessing these books have been to our family!

Click the link below to see what the other Crew members thought about What on Earth Can I Do?

Click to read Crew Reviews

You can follow Apologia through the following social media links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/apologiaworld
Twitter – https://twitter.com/apologiaworld
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/105053356034237782125/posts
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/apologia/

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Trident Case review

If you have any electronic devices in your home, I have something to share with you that I am sure you will love! Wouldn’t it be nice to have a case for your device that was sturdy enough to stand up to just about anything that could happen? That is exactly what the Trident Case was created to do! I was so excited to receive the KRAKEN A.M.S. CASE FOR APPLE IPAD 2/3/4. Trident offers several different cases for all of your devices, but this iPad case retails for $69.95. The Trident cases can be enjoyed and used by children and parents of all ages.

We had a fun time picking out the color for our new Trident case…they come in such a great variety of colors! We took a majority vote (with Moose being the tie-breaker) and decided on green. I love it! The case is wonderfully sturdy and I am so happy to have it.

Not long before our Trident case arrived, our iPad was dropped on the basement floor while a certain little boy was coming to show me the game he was playing. Well, it unfortunately cracked, even though it was already in a case (not a Trident case, though!). Thankfully, the warranty covered a replacement, but we only had 3 days left before the warranty ran out! That was too close! I am so happy that the new iPad will now be protected with a sturdy case that can withstand the abuse given to it in a house full of children. Trust me, these kids put any product they touch through a rigorous durability test.:-)

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There are a few things about the Trident case that I love and I think sets them apart as a wonderful choice for a case.

*It has been tested by the military. As the wife of a Marine, I know that the military can be tough on their equipment. If this case makes it through their testing, then it is sure to be a good one! They even offer some military themed cases, just wish there was a Marine Corps one ;-).

*The cases are made in the U.S.A. I am always happy when a company is willing to keep their working crews in the United States. Even if I have to pay a little bit more for something, I am willing to do that to support great companies.

*The cases are super easy to order. The website walks you through exactly which case you want based on the device you have. Nothing is better than a great purchasing experience.

*They are easy to put together. Although I was nervous about taking the case apart (I always worry about breaking things!) my wonderful husband showed me exactly how to pop the case apart and put the iPad in it. I guess I never should have worried about breaking something so sturdy. 

*Even with the case on, the buttons on the iPad are very easy to press. Some cases make it difficult to push buttons once the cover is on, but not with the Trident case! Every part of the iPad is protected, including the buttons, but you can still use them. The audio still sounds wonderful and the camera can still be used easily too!

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We love, love, love our new Trident case! I no longer worry about what the kids might do to the iPad. The kids are free to use the iPad now without me hovering over them and worrying about what might happen. Electronic devices like the iPad are not cheap, so I really think it is best to invest in a sturdy case that will protect your investment. I can tell you right now, we will be buying Trident cases from here on out for any electronic devices we own. I trust the company, the cases are sturdy, the colors are wonderful, and the electronic device is still completely functional with the case on. What more could you ask for?!

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Want to see what the rest of my Crew members thought about their Trident cases? Just click the link below!

Click to read Crew ReviewsYou can follow Trident Case through the following social media links:
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/tridentcase
Instagram – http://instagram.com/tridentcase#
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/tridentcase
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/+tridentcase
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/tridentcase
Vine – https://vine.co/Trident.Case
YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/user/TridentCaseCrew Disclaimer

 

 

 


Golden Prairie Press

I feel like I have been searching for years for a decent American History program that the kids love and that I will love to teach. Amy Puetz of Golden Prairie Press has put together one of the best American History curriculum I have ever had the pleasure of using! Digital Heroes & Heroines of the Past: American History Curriculum is so well put together and has a little bit for every different type of learning style. While this curriculum is intended for grades 1-6, it can be used with older children too. This program retails for $98.99 and can be purchased as a digital or physical book (though the physical book comes in black and white, while the digital book is in color).

Golden Prairie Press Review

 The main text of this curriculum is called Heroes and Heroines of the Past and is divided into two eBooks. Each contains 15 weeks of lessons. The rest of the extras are separate. The additional materials download includes printable timelines, videos, full size pictures of the artwork, and coloring pages. There is a separate eBook that includes the historical skits. There are also two separate audio downloads that include listening to history and singing some history.

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 From the moment I began reading through this curriculum to prepare it for my children, I knew it would be a hit! There are so many fun extras and the mix of activities is perfect. Each lesson begins with a reading from the Heroes and Heroines main text. Most lessons have a shorter, condensed version to use with your younger students (mainly 1st and 2nd graders). This is typically one page long. Then there is a longer more detailed version to use with your older students. Some days the reading is combined and both age groups read the same, but I love this option. I love having the ability to teach a wider age range of students, but still have them learn at their own level. There are enough lessons in this program to get through American History in one year if you do one lesson per day, five days per week.

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The end of the lesson includes all of the extras. There are typically some quick comprehension questions, just to make sure your students actually picked up the important points of the story. There are also writing prompts if you wish to extend the lesson to include some language arts. The lessons include some type of geography study too. This last page is also the page where you find the added activities. Some days that includes studying art work (there is a full color copy of each art work on the additional materials download). Other days you may be doing a play, listening to music, creating something, cooking, listening to history, or working on a timeline. There are Bible verses to memorize and extra readings you can do if you want your read alouds to coincide with your history studies. I’m telling you, there is a little bit of everything in this curriculum!

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There is also a package of literature you can purchase for your older students to read independently. A few of the books are public domain, but if you purchase the books through Golden Prairie Press, you will be purchasing books that have already been edited for things like racial slurs and outdated words. There is also a coloring book you can purchase for your younger learners. They can color along while they listen to the history stories read. This really is a great multi-level curriculum that is family friendly and a lot of fun!

 

I always wonder when we start a curriculum what my kids will take away from the readings. I have been reading the selections for the older students, even though my daughter is technically in 2nd grade. They have done a great job listening and taking away the main points of the lesson. They are learning new things and really enjoying this. I love that the readings aren’t dumbed down, but neither are they filled with words the kids don’t understand. The author made sure to include stories about famous women too, which is unfortunately left out of many older history books. So I am learning some new things about these heroines that I didn’t even know before!

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My daughter was unbelievably excited when I told her there were skits to do with history. She loves acting and this was perfect for her. My son wasn’t thrilled at first. But once we started the play, you could tell he was really getting into it. I tried to not let onto the fact that I saw him enjoying it, but he did. 😉 We have studied more wonderful works of art through this curriculum than we have in a long time. I never realized how many artists depicted the early American history times.

The projects we have done with this curriculum have been great. No project has been too complicated and they have all been wonderful at tying together what we are learning in the history text. There are few things more frustrating to me than getting a book full of activities that include ingredients or materials I don’t keep at home. But we have been able to do everything so far with no problems.

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Since my husband has a military background, American History is a very important subject in our home. I was so glad when this curriculum came up for review…it looked promising from the beginning and I was not disappointed! I feel it does such a great job of blending traditional history with an element of fun that will hold any child’s attention. My kids are learning so much about American History and for that I am very grateful to Amy Puetz, the wonderful author. I no longer feel the need to search for that “perfect” American History curriculum. I am confident we have found that with Heroes and Heroines of the Past. If you have been searching for a great American History curriculum, check it out. We really love it!

Click the link below to see what other Crew members thought about this wonderful American History curriculum!

Click to read Crew ReviewsYou can follow Golden Prairie Press through the following social media link:Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GoldenPrairiePressCrew Disclaimer 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


This month’s theme for the Poppins Book Nook is “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles”.  We decided to try a new book for this month’s reading, and I immediately had an activity in mind!

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 This cute little picture book,The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge, is a sweet story about a lighthouse that starts to feel not needed. The little red lighthouse has been used for years to keep boats safe from the fog and the dark. One day, the construction of a bridge begins right next to the lighthouse. The lighthouse fears he will no longer be needed since the bridge has a big bright light on it already. In the end, the lighthouse learns that he is still needed to keep boats safe, even with the big bridge right beside him.

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For this book, I decided it would be fun to try to create a bridge with food. So I collected some treats that are rare in our home…the kids were very excited! We used marshmallows, jelly beans, Twizzlers, graham crackers, and pretzels to create a bridge and lighthouse of our own. Little did I know how difficult the bridge would be to build!

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If we did this again, I would definitely make up a batch of thick icing, like the kind you use with gingerbread houses. We still had a great time and learned about how difficult bridge construction can really be!

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After we finished building the bridge, I let the kids decide what they wanted to build and gave them some time to create. They love it and had a lot of fun! Caspian created an airplane.

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Aurora made a smiley face garden.

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Moose made a jail (the side-effect of being the son of a police officer!).

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They even created some people to go with their creations.

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So even though our bridge may not have turned out as magnificent as I had hoped, we still had a lot of fun and the kids were very creative! They spent hours at the table fixing things and creating new things. There is just something so cool about creating something and then being able to eat it. Have you ever played with your food and created something with it? If you haven’t, I highly recommend trying. I can pretty much guarantee your kids will love it!

Now I invite you to click on the links below and see what fun activities everyone else has done with this month’s theme. Happy reading!

Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Faith and Good Works ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual MayhemPreschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~  Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ Our Simple Kinda Life ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Simplicity Breeds Happiness ~ Raventhreads ~ Water on the Floor ~ Learning Fundamentals ~ Tots and Me As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ Mom’s Heart ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ Suncoast Momma ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids

Be sure to stay connected with the Poppins Book Nook and follow along with the fun!
Poppins Book Nook
Clip Art by Melon Headz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Brinkman Adventures

Does your family listen to audio books? We love them in our home, but we have really never tried audio drama before. We recently received an absolutely wonderful audio drama collection called the The Brinkman Adventures. The CDs we reviewed included The Brinkman Adventures Season 2: Episodes 13-24. Each season’s collection includes hours of audio entertainment for your entire family. They were created with families in mind and are perfect to listen to together, whether that is in the car, at home, or wherever you choose to listen to them. The Brinkman Adventures are available either on CDs or as mp3 files. The CDs retail for $25 (with free shipping too!), and the mp3 files are $17.

Brinkman Adventures Review

The Brinkman Adventures is a series of audio episodes based on the lives of real missionaries. They do change the names of people and certain places for the sake of privacy and safety, but the events have actually happened. The Season 2 episodes involves the Brinkman family trying to get down to Mexico for a missions trip. There are many times they wonder if they will ever get down to Mexico. Like so many other things in life, there are obstacles in the way. But, the family sticks together as they seek the Lord’s will, and in the end, everything works out for God’s glory.

These days it seems difficult to find sources that encourage our children to spread the Gospel in a meaningful way, but that is exactly what the Brinkman Adventures does. Throughout their travels, the Brinkman family is faced with many difficult decisions and circumstances. But what do they choose to do? They immediately take their needs and questions to the Lord in prayer. This is such a refreshing thing for families to hear! So many times we try to outsmart God’s plans, but it the end, it is only when we surrender to His plans that we can be truly successful in life.

We have a family full of kids that get car sick. 😦 So anything I can do to distract them in the car is good. Listening to the Brinkman Adventures did the trick for us. I have never had a car trip where everyone was so quiet! We have done audio books in the car before, and usually the younger boys talk right through it. But not with the Brinkman Adventures! Between episodes, they were full of questions about the “hows” and “whys” of the episodes. And I can’t tell you how many times I was asked to clarify if the events in these episodes really happened. These type of events are so different from our daily lives around here that they continually needed my assurance that things like this do actually happen. The Brinkman Adventures captured their attention like nothing else they have ever heard!

My 10 year-old was especially interested in the Brinkman Adventures. He can be the one that is hard to please because if he doesn’t like something, there isn’t much I can do to convince him to give it a try. The first time we listened to an episode, we were all in the family room. The boys were being boys (wrestling on the couch) and I didn’t think they heard much. But I was wrong. A couple of days later, we took the CDs on a car trip. As soon as I put the first one in I assumed we would need to start over at the beginning. But Caspian had heard everything and told me exactly what had happened!

I now have very fond memories of this special bonding time with Caspian. Just listening to the Brinkman Adventures sparked so many questions in him and we had some great discussions. These talks will always remind me of the Brinkman Adventures and I am incredibly thankful for the quality time they gave me with my son at a time in his life where he seems to grow up more every day. I can see from the questions he asked that he is no longer a little boy but is beginning the transition into being a man and is curious about things like missionary work. What an awesome thing to see! I can guarantee you Caspian will be receiving more of these CDs for his birthday! 😉

Would I recommend the Brinkman Adventures? Without a doubt, I would recommend these wonderful CDs. They made our hour and a half car trip feel like 20 minutes. There are very few products like this that can truly entertain the whole family, and this is one of them. Regardless of your children’s ages, they can all enjoy listening to these audio dramas. The producers do a great job of letting you know if there is anything that may be intense for young children, so you don’t have to worry about them saying things that are too much for the youngest members of your family. We are now life-long fans of the Brinkman Adventures!

Click the link below to see what the rest of the Crew thought about Brinkman Adventures!Click to read Crew Reviews

You can connect with the Brinkman Adventures through the following social media link:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brinkman-Adventures/152895116079

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One of the most important things I want to teach my children is to love the Bible. This new Children’s Bible, 101 Color & Sing Bible Stories {affiliate link}, is such a wonderful tool to use for that very thing. When you purchase this book, you will also receive 2 discs that include a coloring page and song for every story. There are 101 stories covering some of the most important events in the Bible. Each story is 2 pages. One page includes a picture of what the coloring page looks like, a fun fact, the read-a-long (which gives the Scripture that the story is based on), the sing-a-long song lyrics, and the exact location on the disc where you will find the coloring page and song. The opposite page includes a full color picture of the story. The pictures in the book are bright and colorful.

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We are having a great time using this story Bible. My kids are catching on to the songs (which we play regularly) and they love the coloring pages. I love that they have a page to color as I read. It really seems to helps them connect to the story. Although the age range is meant to be about ages 3-6, my 8-year-old loves these stories and loves to join in on the coloring fun (maybe that is because two of her favorite things in life are singing and coloring!). If you are looking for a fun way to introduce Bible stories to your little ones, I would highly recommend this book. We love it!

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Blog disclosure

 

 


Do your kids love to learn about new things? Do you love when you can find entertaining and educational shows for them? I have the perfect solution for all of you. Through a Schoolhouse Review Crew review, I have been introduced to an outstanding series of shows that are aimed at answering questions kids have about all types of topics. The series is called Curiosity Questand it is awesome! For this review I was given two sets of DVDs which included the DVD Combo Pack about Produce (which included episodes about Mushrooms, Cranberries, Orange Packing) and the DVD Combo Pack about Swimmers of the Sea (which had episodes that taught about Sea Turtle Rescue, Penguins, Salmon). Each of these DVD Combo pack retail for $24.95.

Curiosity Quest Review

 The Curiosity Quest series is intended for children ages 7-14, but even my younger boys (ages 3 and 5) sat down and enjoyed watching these shows. even enjoyed watching every episode! Never once did I think “this is too childish” and never once did the kids say “this is boring”. Everyone was entertained while getting a first-hand look at some very interesting topics. We have watched our DVDs several times and it seems we learn something new each time we watch them.

Curiosity Quest Review

The Curiosity Quest DVDs are like taking a field trip without ever having to leave your house. Every episode begins with a question sent in by a child. Throughout the episode, they explore different things that are all associated with the topic. For example, the episode on penguins takes you to a penguin habitat in an aquarium. They go through all of the steps necessary to take care of these penguins. From feeding to housing to keeping them healthy, they cover it all!

Curiosity Quest Review

The produce episodes are similar in the way they take you through the whole process. With the cranberry DVD (yum! One of my personal favorites!) they start in the cranberry bog. They go through the whole process of collecting, cleaning, sorting, storing, shipping, and selling the cranberries. I don’t think my kids have ever fully realized that food doesn’t just find its way into a store. But they have found out through Curiosity Quest that food has to go through a lot before it is ready to be sold in a store.

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There is something so fascinating about Curiosity Quest and the fact that the kids are learning right along with Joel, the host of the show. It doesn’t feel intimidating to kids because Joel doesn’t have all of the answers! He isn’t teaching…he is learning! He is asking the questions and finding the answers just like the kids would if there were on a real field trip. Now I realize this shouldn’t be a full-time replacement for field trips, but with Curiosity Quest the kids gain access to places we can’t get to (like the Sea Turtle Hospital in Florida). So when you think about the cost of a real field trip, these episodes can be a great way to supplement when you can’t get there in person.

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Do you ever have something arrive at a time that couldn’t be more perfect? This is exactly what happened with our Curiosity Quest DVDs. Let me start by saying that I don’t usually pick up germs from the kids. Well, the day before our DVDs arrived, I became horrible ill. A few of the kids were sick too, but not all of them. So when the package came from Curiosity Quest, we immediately put them in to watch. And they saved my sanity! The kids were occupied and entertained while I laid on the couch next to them and rested. We all had a chance to learn some new things too!

Curiosity Quest Review

 Watching these DVDs sparked the interest of the kids so much that we decided to do some little unit studies on each of the topics. We read a lot of books, we did some notebooking, we did some coloring, we did some crafting, and had a lot of fun! But honestly, I don’t think the kids would have had much interest in topics like cranberries, mushrooms, and oranges without seeing Curiosity Quest first.

Curiosity Quest Review

Would I recommend the Curiosity Quest DVDs to you? Yes! We all love the DVDs we watched and the kids are now hunting for more!  Even several weeks after we were first introduced to Curiosity Quest my kids still bring up little things they learned from watching the episodes. I think they appreciate a lot more of the details is takes when it comes to things like caring for animals and producing food. Every time we come across a new topic, animal, or food, they check for Curiosity Quest episodes. Who knows…maybe they will be one of the kids that gives Curiosity Quest their next idea for a new episode!

Curiosity Quest Review

 Want to see what the rest of the Crew thought about the Curiosity Quest DVDs? Just click the link below!

Click to read Crew Reviews

If you would like to follow along with Curiosity Quest, here are some social media links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CuriosityQuest
Twitter: https://twitter.com/curiosityquest
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCijkbeDwySOsg-pZjOeWsgg
 

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