Our Family

Our Family

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Our Week in Review (November 20-26th)

This week we were on Thanksgiving break the whole week.  Public school was out so Nick did not have to go to his robotics class and Art was on vacation from work so we took the week off at home as well. 

Monday was Alex's birthday.  It is so amazing to me that time does not seem like it goes by fast from day to day, but watching your children grow you really see how fast it goes!  It seems like only yesterday that that 8lb 7 oz  21 in baby boy was born and here he is 14 years old and 6ft 1!

For his birthday Alex wanted to go to the movies.  Since we had to go to Texarkana for that I planned on leaving a bit early to do some shopping.  But, we did not get to leave as early as I planned.  Before I was even ready to go, Christian came running in to tell me I needed to go outside and look at the goats, that there was something wrong with his goat Jessie. We went out to look at her and her jaw and cheeks were all swollen, and her belly was bloated.  Here eyes were dull and she would not make any noise (she is normally a very noisy goat.) After googling we figured she had bottle jaw caused by parasites ( we do worm them regularly so I'm not sure how she got it.)  But we gave her some ibuprofen and some worm medicine that I had on hand.  We stopped by the co-op on our way to TX and talked to someone there who recommended I give another worm medicine in 48 hours.  Then we headed to Larry's Pizza for lunch.  Chelsea, Cody, and Liam met us there.  Nick and Alex had been many times with the church youth group and it is one of their favorite places to eat.  I guess that much be a teenager thing, because the adults were not that impressed.  It wasn't a bad place to eat, but pizza is just not that exciting to me.

We enjoyed the movie and the baby was very well behaved.  When we got home Jessie looked a little better and ate a little bit of hay.

Tuesday Lily and Alex had their music lessons. 

Wednesday we spent cooking and cleaning.  The children helped me with the pies.  We made cherry, apple, 2 pumpkin, and chocolate.  We also made fudge.  The recipe we used is a family recipe and requires a lot of stirring.  This batch we stirred for 43 minutes. 

Thursday for Thanksgiving we have our big meal at 12:00.  That way I only have to cook once.  For supper we just eat leftovers and pie.  We watched some of the parade and watched football the rest of the day. 

Nick, Chelsea, Liam, and I went to Walmart Friday to do our grocery shopping.  By that time, the crowds were not too bad.   It was a beautiful day and the boys did some yard work while Art and Alex worked on making the doors for the shop.

The goat was completely recovered by Friday and back to normal.

Saturday morning Art came home from hunting early because he had got a buck.  That's two deer for him and one for Al.  Christian still hasn't gotten one.

The outside of the house got a much needed cleaning so we would be ready to put up Christmas decorations.  I took Nick and Alex to a friend's house.  Don't every trust a GPS down a country road in SW Arkansas....just sayin.....

We started to put up the outside decorations Sunday afternoon but I did not get any pictures because it is not finished.

Everything goes back to normal tomorrow!!

I hope you had a great week!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Review: Know Who You Are Live Like it Matters by Tim Tebow with A.J. Gregory

"About Know Who You Are. Live Like It Matters.

The World Does Not Define You!
Nobody said your life would be easy. And the older you get, the more difficult it seems to become. Deep down you may know your value as a person isn’t defined by wearing cool name-brand clothes, scoring points for a sports team, or even by having a huge number of social media followers. And you’re right! Your identity resides in something—in fact, Someone—much greater than anything this world can offer:

The only identity worth having…is found in Jesus Christ!

American sports icon, Tim Tebow knows firsthand what it's like to face pressure head-on. In Know Who You Are. Live Like It Matters, he shares the wisdom he’s learned—not from what the world says, but from what God says in His Word.

Tim will guide you through thirty-six weeks of lessons, each based on a key Scripture, to discover who you are—by learning more about whose you are! You will also have the opportunity to write down your thoughts, feelings, and ideas on topics such as:
* Building godly character
* Maintaining great relationships
* Standing out from the crowd
* Doing things that matter in the big picture

Get ready to live bigger than ever before…with your faith and identity secured in a God who loves you beyond measure! "

"About Tim Tebow

TIM TEBOW is a two-time national champion, first round NFL draft pick, and Heisman trophy winner. After playing in the NFL for the Denver Broncos and the New York Jets, Tebow joined the SEC Network. In addition to his role on SEC Nation, the network's traveling road show, Tebow contributes to a variety of other ESPN platforms. In fall 2016 he signed a baseball contract with the New York Mets. Through it all, Tim's true passion remains the work of the Tim Tebow Foundation which he began in 2010. The foundation's mission is to bring Faith, Hope, and Love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need. The foundation is fulfilling that mission every day by serving thousands of deserving children around the world."

I chose this book to review because I am a homeschool mom and my oldest son loves sports and has been a big Tim Tebow fan.  Know Who You Are Live Like it Mattters is a great Bible study for teenagers.  Boys may relate to it more then girls simply because of it being Tim Tebow, but both boys and girls could read and benefit from it.  Each week there is a key scripture to focus on and then a short (1-3 page) reading of a story being shared that relates to the verse.  After there are a few questions and a something to think about phrase and a place where you can record any further thoughts that you have.  This study touches on topics that teenagers can relate easily too while teach important truths.  It is short enough that they will not loose interest in the topic, but deep enough that it will give them something to think about and learn to apply God's truths to their lives.

"Jesus doesn't call us to sit on the sidelines.  He calls us to love others.  And love takes action.  Love doesn't do nothing.  Love does something."

" Are you willing to do things bigger in your life then just play video games or get more people to follow you on social media?"

"God knew about you before you were born! When you came unto existence He gave you what it takes to fulfill a unique purpose."

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation and all opinions are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance to the FTC regulations.

Review: Blue Ridge Sunrise by Denise Hunter

Book Description " Former free spirit Zoe Collins swore she’d never again set foot in Copper Creek or speak to the man who broke her heart. But return she must when her beloved Granny dies, leaving the family legacy to Zoe—a peach orchard nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains. When Zoe returns home with her daughter and boyfriend Kyle, she finds that she’s the only person in town who doesn’t expect her to give up the life she’s established far away from Copper Creek. Everyone believes she was born to run the orchard, but how can she make it her home after so many years?

Cruz Huntley never quite got over his first love, Zoe Collins, the little sister of his best friend Brady. Not when she cheated on him during their “break,” not when she took off to parts unknown with good-for-nothing Kyle Jenkins, and not even now—five years later. As life-changing decisions and a history with Cruz hang over Zoe’s head, tensions rise between her and Kyle. Even as she comes to terms with the shifting relationships in her life, Zoe still isn’t sure if she can remain in Copper Creek with her new responsibilities . . . and her first love."

Blue Ridge Sunrise is the first book in the Blue Ridge Series, the newest series by Denise Hunter.  If you read Sweetbriar Cottage, you will recognize Noah and Josephine who appear briefly in this book.  It is the first of three books in the series.  I love to read books that are in a series. it gives you so much more time to really delve into the different characters in the book. I have read many of Denise Hunter's books and always enjoy her type of Christian romance.  Her characters generally have some problems that are not easily resolved, keeping the reader engaged in the book until the very end.  In Blue Ridge Sunrise, Zoe runs away, heart broken and hiding a secret, but when circumstances bring her back she knows has to face her past and tries to build a new life.  But she faces many stumbling blocks along the way.  Along the way she realizes she has been trying to do things in her own power and has not relied at all on God.

I could not put Blue Ridge Sunrise down.  I thought it was a wonderful book that kept me reading until the end.  There was a bit of suspense that you don't find in all of Ms. Hunter's books, and I could not wait to see how everything would be resolved.  I loved the characters and the story. Up until I read this book, Falling Like Snowflakes was my favorite book by Denise Hunter, but now I'm not sure which I liked better!  I am giving it 5 stars on Amazon. I can't wait until the next book in the series, Honeysuckle Dreams, that will be released in May.  It will focus on Zoe's brother Brady and her friend Hope.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation and all opinions are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance to the FTC regulations.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

2017 Blue Ribbon Awards

Homeschool Review Crew Favorite Products for 2017

Another Crew year has come to a close.  It was an amazing year.  We completed 58 reviews this year, some from companies that we have known about an loved for years and others that were brand new to us that we were so glad to discover.  At the end of each year, we are asked to vote for our favorites in a number of different categories.  We had around 74 vendors this year and in some categories it was very hard to choose our favorites!!

I want to tell you a few of our absolute favorites before I show you who I voted for in each category.

Creating a Masterpiece- I really loved this online art curriculum!  I made time to sit down with my children and complete a weekly project.  The projects were a little challenging at times, but we created some beautiful artwork!!

ArtAchieve- Another online art curriculum that my children absolutely love!  We love the practice pages and that it is so easy to follow along with John on the video.  He provides links in various subjects for each lesson so you can easily turn it into a mini unit study if you have further interest.

Drive Thru History- I had heard of Drive Thru History before but never had a chance to watch any of the episodes.  We LOVED Drive Thru History The Gospels and I highly recommend it!  I also purchased Drive Thru History American History to go along with our curriculum for this year.

Let's Go Geography- Did you ever think that geography could be fun?  After being totally burned out on a geography curriculum last year I didn't think so.  But Let's Go Geography is fun and easy to teach.  We will continue using this curriculum for the rest of the year.

Reading Eggs- Emmie LOVES this!  It's been a great supplement to our regular reading curriculum.

Susan K. Marlow- I highly recommend all of her books.  We have reviewed many of them and have loved each one.  In addition to that, she is very sweet!  Lily sent her an email and she gave her such a sweet response. 

Innovator's Tribe- One of those companies I had never heard of before. Thinking Like an Engineer has been a great curriculum for my boys so far.  We had never done anything like it.

Okay here is the actual list of categories and everyone I voted for.  I did not vote in every category because, for instance, I no longer have preschoolers.

Favorite Reading Curriculum- Reading Eggs
Favorite Writing Curriculum- Hewitt Homeschooling
Favorite Grammar Curriculum- Eclectic Foundations
Favorite Penmanship Program-Channie's
Favorite Literature Curriculum- Apologia Readers in Residence

Favorite History/Social Studies Curriculum- Let's Go Geography
Favorite History Supplement- Rush Revere
Favorite Science Curriculum/Supplement- Innovators Tribe
Favorite Math Curriculum- UnLock Math
Favorite Math Supplement- Super Teacher Worksheets

Favorite Foreign Language Curriculum- Greek 'n' Stuff
Favorite Fine Arts Curriculum or Product- Creating a Masterpiece
Favorite Elective Curriculum- CompuScholar
Favorite Christian Education Curriculum- Drive Thru History
Favorite Christian Education Supplement- Worthy Kids Secret of the Hidden Scrolls

Favorite Preschool Product-
Favorite Elementary Product- Home School in the Woods
Favorite Middle School Product- Innovators Tribe
Favorite High School Product- Apologia Marine Biology
Favorite College or College Prep- IEW Essay Intensive
Favorite Parent Product -
Best Resource I Didn't Know I Needed- Super Teacher Worksheets
Favorite Planning Product-

Best Online Resource- ArtAchieve
Best E Product- Home School in the Woods
Favorite Book or Novel- Susan K Marlow
Favorite Audio Book- Heirloom Audio In the Reign of Terror
Just For Fun- Drive Thru History

Kid's Choice- Emmie- Reading Eggs
 Lily- Susan K Marlow
Christian- Rush Revere
Anthony- Drive Thru History

Teen Choice- Nick Marine Biology

All Around Crew Favorite- Creating a Masterpiece

Those were our choices and I was very happy to see a number of our favorites won!  This year 22 different companies were awarded with the blue ribbon.  Stop by the Crew Blog to see all the winners and read other Crew members posts about their favorites.  Congrats to all the winners and I can't wait to get started with the Crew again in January!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 13

Well if you read my last week's wrap up, it ended with Anthony complaining about ear pain and taking him to the doctor Monday morning to find out he had a severe ear infection.  That poor guy pretty much just slept off and on on Monday and stayed on the couch pretty much the entire week, giving him the week off of school, except for listening to me read aloud.  His ear started draining Monday night and is still draining a little bit today.

So with the doctor appointment Monday morning we did no school work in the morning.  After lunch we did our Bible lesson and read a chapter of George Washington True Patriot and read through Lesson 13, The British are Coming in America's Story.  Everyone but Anthony did a Math lesson, but since Anthony and Christian work together on spelling and Readers in Residence those were skipped for the week.  Lily completed All About Reading Level 3 and Emmie finished a couple of lessons in AAR Level 1. 

Tuesday we started memorizing the poem Trees by Joyce Kilmer.  We completed another Bible lesson and read another chapter of George Washington.  I read through lesson10  in Science in the Age of Reason on Pierre Fauchard the father of modern dentistry.  We did some math in the afternoon.  I had hoped to get an art project in this week, but it didn't happen.

Tuesday Lily and Emmie had gymnastics and Nick had youth.

Wednesday morning at church while waiting on Nick Christian and Anthony watched the rest of the lesson in Thinking Like an Engineer that teaches you how to use the CAD software. When we got home we read two chapters of George Washington in the morning after working on poetry and Bible.  We did some math. Emmie worked on Reading Eggs and earned an award for completing another map. It ended up being another short day because the girls had an appointment to get their hair cut before heading over to Kid's Club. Anthony stayed in the parlor at church with a cotton ball in his ear.
Emmie's before

And after

Did not get a pic of Lily's before but she just got a trim

Thursday we worked on Bible, poetry, and read a chapter of George Washington.  Then we did some geography.  Our country of study was Norway.  We also learned about the Gulf Stream.  We watched two episodes of Drive Thru History American History and everyone but Anthony did math.
Emmie colored the Norway page while listening to me read

Thursday afternoon was music lessons.
Lily was playing a Song About Cats

We had normal errands and grocery shopping on Friday minus Anthony and Christian who stayed home with their dad who had taken a vacation day. 

I had a super cute pic of Alex with the baby (we have him 2 days a week) but I told him I wouldn't post it.

Lily thought she would use her bike to take the chicken water buckets.  I thought it was funny because it's only a few steps away...

Anthony was feeling better Saturday.  It was super windy so he decided to fly a kite.

I am excited to have a week off this coming week!  The public school is off the whole week for Thanksgiving so I do not have to drive Nick to school in the mornings.  Gymnastics, Kid's Club, and youth follow the public school schedule and will not meet.  Art took the week off of work so we are taking the week off at home too!  We will have music lessons on Tuesday instead of Thursday.  As much as I love spending time with my children and taking them to their various activities I am looking forward to a little break!

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Homeschool Wrap Up Week 12

Monday morning after dropping off Nick we did our shopping for our own OCC boxes.  We headed over to the church to pack the boxes.

 When we got back home, we did our Weave Your Word in Me Bible lesson, read a chapter of George Washington True Patriot, and completed a lesson in Let's Go Geography on Finland.

In the afternoon we all completed math and handwriting lessons.  Christian and Anthony started Step 21 in AAS Level 4.  They also completed a lesson in Readers in Residence on Charlotte's Web.  Emmie completed Lesson 22 in AAR Level One and Lily completed a lesson in AAR Level 3.  Emmie has finished the first reader and has been practicing those stories on her own.  Lily is almost finished with the second reader of volume 3.  Teaching reading can be one of the most difficult things, but we really love All About Reading.

Chelsea was trying to get a paper finished and the baby was not being very cooperative, so I went and picked him up and brought him to the house for a few hours.  The girls had him laughing hysterically!  It was so funny it makes me laugh to listen to him laughing.

Then I had a Mom's Night Out dinner.  Every mom needs  a night out sometimes and I greatly enjoy this once a month opportunity.

Tuesday Emmie woke up with a sinus headache.  We made it through our morning schoolwork completing our Bible lesson, reading another chapter in George Washington True Patriot, and reading through lesson 12 on America's Story called The Power of Words that focused on Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.  It reminded me of a fun book that I read aloud to the older boys years ago called Ben and Me, that I would love to read aloud to the others.  So many books, so little time! In the afternoon we did our usual math, spelling, reading, and handwriting.  Then it was time to head to gymnastics.  Emmie did not participate, just watched.

Lily landed the back tuck!

We dropped Nick off and headed home.

Wednesday morning I took my computer to church so the boys could work on their Thinking Like an Engineer curriculum.  I could not get the video to load at my house, but it worked fine there.  We learned how to use the CAD software and had some fun making some different shapes.

After our afternoon school work it was time to head off to Kid's Club.

Thursday after our Bible lessons we read two chapters of George Washington True Patriot after our Bible lesson.  We did not work on any poems this week and we did not get to our science book, but Thinking Like an Engineer counts as science.  In the afternoon we worked on our reading, math, handwriting, and spelling.  Liam did not take a good nap, so I did most of the lessons while walking around and trying to entertain him.  I discovered Alex is having some difficulties with his math (sometimes multiple choice can be a bad thing especially if they guess right they can get things correct and not really understand concepts), so we are not moving forward with the curriculum until we understand it.  I am using some worksheets from Super Teacher worksheets to supplement and may turn to CTC Math .

Thursday afternoon was piano and guitar lessons.  The teacher told the children about the music recital coming up and had them choose a song to play.  After first being paralyzed by fear and worry that she wouldn't be able to read the music, Lily has decided to be excited.  She is playing What Child is This.  Alex on the other hand, is not at all excited about it.  In fact he doesn't want me to make him do it.  Sigh....

Friday we ran errands and did some much needed housework.  Nick and Al went to the game Friday night with their daddy.  I put the girls to bed, let the other two boys turn on a movie and watched a movie all my myself.

Saturday was opening day of modern gun.  Art got a doe in the morning and Alex got a button buck in the evening.  No pictures...

Lily made a blanket from the material my mom sent her.

Anthony was not acting like himself at all.  I asked him several times if he didn't feel good, but he kept telling me he was fine.  When I kissed him goodnight though I knew he was running a fever.  He said his head and neck hurt a little.  So Art stayed home with him Sunday morning while the rest of us went to church.

That afternoon he took Christian hunting.  He did not get a deer.  Now the girls want to go too....

Sunday evening Alex and Nick had a youth cookout, so I took the others to the park.  They played on the equipment a bit and we walked the walking trail.Anthony was not running fever but still wasn't himself so he sat in the van.

I let Lily eat some cheesecake as a snack.  I have suspected she may have a slight dairy intolerance and have cut way back on her milk products.  Anyway she woke in the middle of the night and started vomiting.  No more milk before bed for her. Then a few hours later Anthony came in and said his ear hurt really bad and he felt like he was going to throw up.  He did.... I took him to the doc and he has a nasty ear infection.  I told the doctor that Anthony never complains about not feeling well so when he said it hurt I knew it had to be bad.  I got to look in his ear with the otoscope.  It looked pretty bad to me! 10 days of antibiotics for him. Hoping we get rid of it and that everyone else stays healthy.  Oct/Nov and Feb/March are always our worst sick months.

I hope you had a great week!

Happy Homeschooling!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Review: An Amish Christmas Love by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston, Ruth Reid, and Kelly Irvin

Book Description " Winter Kisses by Beth Wiseman - Three generations of Stoltzfus women are all living under the same roof. At twenty-five, Naomi has never been married, and both her mother, Barbara, and her grandmother, Ruth, have recently been widowed. Each nursing broken or lonely hearts, they also each have potential suitors. When a storm on Christmas Eve forces the three couples to take shelter in the basement of the Stotlzfus homestead, secrets are revealed, hearts are opened, and all three potential grooms drop to their knees for very different reasons—a proposal, a prayer, and an epiphany.

The Christmas Cat by Amy Clipston- Emma Bontrager is spending her first Christmas alone after her husband of 45 years, Henry, passed away in July. Although the Amish don’t normally allow animals in their homes, a big, fat, orange barn cat keeps coming into Emma’s house. She shoos the cat away, but it continues to appear in her house, settling on Henry’s favorite wingchair. But the cat isn’t the only Christmas visitor: a group of young people help bring the Christmas spirit to Emma, reminding her that love and hope abide.

Snow Angels by Kelly Irvin - As a young man enjoying his rumspringa, David Byler gave his heart to an Englisch girl, but he eventually realized he couldn’t give up his Plain faith and family for her, so he let her go. He’s found a new love in his Bee County Plain community, Molly Shrock. Molly has been patient, waiting for the man she loves to love her back. Just as he is ready to propose, David makes a startling discovery: Bobbie McGregor, his Englisch love, is back. Will Molly’s prayers for a Christmas love be answered?

Home for Christmas by Ruth Reid - When a misdirected GPS sends Ellie Whetstone to the wrong address, she inadvertently finds herself breaking into the home of Amish man, Ezra Mast. Ellie hopes to fix up the house left by her aenti and sell it quickly, but a series of run-ins with Ezra and his young daughter have her questioning whether a hasty sale is the right move. Could this new place with its slower pace be the right home for Ellie? "

An Amish Christmas Love is made up of 4 short Christmas novellas and makes for a quick and easy read. Since they are novellas and not full length novellas, the authors do not have as much time to devote to characterization and very deep plots, but each of the authors do a good job drawing the reader in to these stories.  Each story is uplifting and hopeful and I would recommend to anyone who enjoys Amish fiction. 

My favorite was Snow Angels by Kelly Irvin. I have reviewed several of these types of books titled An Amish... including An Amish Market and an Amish Christmas Gift.  Each one had a story by Kelly Irvin about the same Amish community so I did a search to see if there were any full length novels that would tell me more about her characters.  There were three.  So I had to buy those and then read all of them in order so I could put all of the pieces together :)

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation and all opinions are my own.  I am disclosing this in accordance to FTC regulations.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Homeschool Crew Review: Thinking Like an Engineer

Innovators Tribe

One of the really cool benefits of being part of the Homeschool Review Crew is discovering companies and products that you have never heard of before.  I had never heard of Innovators Tribe before they showed up on our upcoming vendor list.  Over the last several weeks I have had an opportunity to use and review their Thinking Like an Engineer course with two of my boys.

Thinking Like an Engineer

Thinking Like an Engineer is an online course designed for students in grades 6-12.  The course is around 30 hours long.  It is a self paced course that students can work on independently that uses multi media instruction and contains many hands on activities. There is also a downloadable course journal included that students will be able to document what they have learned.  Links to the design software that is necessary to complete the 3D design activities are included.  Other items needed to complete the engineering challenges are simple items that you either have around your house or will be able to easily acquire.

In the course students will learn what an engineer is and what they do.  They will learn about the different types of engineers and what types of problems they are trying to solve. They will learn to think like an engineer and some of the worlds greatest engineering challenges.  Students will complete several engineering challenges including making a tower, a structure that can support the weight of many books, and a water filter.  They will also design using CAD software, design and build bridges, design and build a roller coaster, and more.  The course has 5 units with several lessons in each unit:

Introduction to Engineering
Introduction to 3 D Design
Engineering Rollercoasters
Engineering Bridges
Nano Engineering

Once you purchase your course, you have access to the course for 18 months. Online lessons can be watched more then once.  You do not have to purchase a course for each of your children, families can use the course together.  The regular price for Thinking Like an Engineer is $149.  Innovators Tribe also offers a Thinking Like an Architect Course and they have a Thinking Like a Carpenter Course coming soon.

My boys love things that are related to science.  Their main 4 h project area is STEM (science, technology,  engineering, mathematics,) so I knew this course would be interesting to them.  But the main reason I wanted them to take this course is because their daddy is an engineer.  His degree is in Mechanical Engineering, but he has worked as a product engineer, design engineer, manufacturing engineer, quality engineer, some I am probable forgetting, and he is now a Manufacturing Engineering Manager.  Last summer when we toured his plant and he was able to show the boys some of the things he has designed they were fascinated by it.  I knew they would be interested in learning more.  Christian is actually only in 5th grade and Anthony is in 6th grade.  We have been working on the Thinking Like an Engineer course 2 days per week.  

The course is very easy to use.  Once you sign up and log in it takes you in order through the lessons.  If you have to stop halfway through a lesson, it keeps track of your place and allows you to pick up where you left off the next time you log in. You click through the lesson using the arrows at the bottom of the screen.  Sometimes a video plays, other times you have to read through some slides. 

The first engineering challenge was to build a tower using regular computer paper and tape.  My boys told their 8 year old sister that she was too young to figure out how to make a tower, so she had to make one too, and I think she did a great job!

Lily's tower

The second challenge was to use a piece paper and 2 ft of tape to build a structure that could support the weight of several books.  It was fun for me to watch their thinking process trying to figure out how to make a structure that would support the most weight.

Hands on activities are always a hit, but they have enjoyed watching the lessons too.  They have learned some things they didn't know about the different types of engineers that exist and have even had the opportunity to do some research on several topics.  One of the things they found very interesting was the idea of Virtual Reality so we did some research on it and why it is an engineering challenge.

Last week we downloaded the necessary software to start working on the 3 D Design section.  We live in the country and have super slow internet so I knew it was going to take some time to download.  It did take several hours.  The next day we tried to watch the video teaching how to use the software but the file was too big for my internet speed to handle so we had to wait until we could go somewhere that had better WiFi.  We had not had any issues watching the videos up to that point. This is no reflection on the course itself, it's what you know you have to deal with when taking online courses when your neighbors are cows.  We headed to my church a few days later and was able to watch the videos and practice using the software.  They were able to do some cool things!

I am so glad we have had an opportunity to review this course.  Even if your child does not have an interest in being an engineer, learning how to be a problem solver, an innovator, is a great skill to have. Mr. K is a very interesting teacher and does a great job presenting the information.  We have loved the hands on activities.  If there was one thing that I wish was different it would be to be able to make the slides in the course larger as they can be hard to see. I am looking forward to completing this course with the boys and would love to go through the Thinking Like an Architect as well.

To see what my Crew Mates had to say, stop by the Crew Blog!