Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Blessings of Being on the Homeschool Review Crew

Wow! It is getting close to the end of the year. I just can't believe it. And I don't just mean the calendar year. I am also referring to the 2016 Homeschool Review Crew year. In fact, that end is coming up even sooner. Out of the 41 reviews I have been assigned this year, I only have 4 left to post, two next week, and two at the beginning of November. It has been a wonderful year, and I am really hoping to be on the Crew again next year. If I do, it will be my fifth year on the Crew.

What about you? Have you seen my posts of all these amazing products through the years and wondered about being on the Crew? Have you perhaps questioned what you would have to do, to do so. Well, first and foremost you do have to homeschool at least one child, and you have to have a blog on which you post regularly. By this, I mean they require posting at least once a week. And these posts have to be non-sponsored posts. Now, there are some other requirements, so if you are interested, I would suggest heading over to the Homeschool Review Crew blog to check it out.

Perhaps you are wondering if it would even be worth your time. Personally, I love being on the Crew, and I know so many of my Crew Mates do as well. Let me tell you a little more...

Not only do we get to try out some awesome products, many of which I had never heard of before, but we get to form new online friendships where we receive support and encouragement.

Being on a limited budget can be quite frustrating when trying to get the school supplies and curriculum we need. Thanks to the Homeschool Review Crew, we have been able to supplement our core curriculum quite nicely. Though it does mean we are changing up our curriculum from time to time. If you are set in your ways when it comes to curriculum and are not able to be flexible, I do have to admit that being a part of the Crew may not be for you. But, you never know! If you are open to trying a new product, you may find something you LOVE, something that works better for your child(ren), something you didn't even dream you would ever need. Maybe there is a product you have had your eyes on, and it just happens to come up as a review item. I have to tell you, it is an awesome feeling to get chosen for those particular reviews.

We've also had the privilege of trying out products that are not actual curriculum items. If you have been keeping tabs on the reviews I have been posting, you will know how very much we have enjoyed being able to review all the audio dramas from Heirloom Audio Productions. We've also reviewed some great movies, books, and games in the past.

And I have to tell you, when I am stressed because I don't know what I am going to do for a particular subject, it is such a relief to find a great product show up on the Upcoming Vendors Board. For instance, I didn't have any clue what I was going to do for math this year for the older girls. Then we were given the opportunity to review CTCMath over the summer, and I realized I would be able to use it through the 2016-2017 school year. Isn't it amazing how God works? Perhaps I should learn not to be stressed and just remember to trust God. He's got our homeschool in His all-powerful hands, and being on the Crew appears to be His will for this family at this point in time.

Might it be His will for your homeschool? Are you at all curious as to whether being on the Crew will be a blessing to you as well? Would you love the opportunity to try out new curriculum and products? I really recommend at least checking out the information posted on the Homeschool Review Crew blog. Pray about it. Of course, talk to your spouse about it too.

Here's a little glimpse at some of our favorite products from this year. Click on each of the images to read my reviews of each of them.

Tabitha's favorites:



Amelia's favorites: 

(Amelia is currently using Middlebury Interactive Languages to learn Spanish. This is one of my reviews that will be going live next week.


Hannah really enjoyed being able to use the Forbrain to help improve her speech.

We didn't have as many products that were specifically for her this year. But she was able to use the products that were for the family, and the ones that were appropriate for both her and Harold. She also chose ArtAchieve as one of her favorites.

Along with, which I used with both her and Harold.

Harold really enjoyed the following:


I think my favorite product would have to be the Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner. When we reviewed it, I hadn't really gotten a chance to really use it a lot because it was the beginning of the summer and we were on break. But I was able to organize a bit. But now that the school year is in full swing, I have been using it faithfully, and it has been a HUGE blessing.

My husband LOVES the Heirloom Audio Productions dramas. He can't choose a favorite from this year. And, I can't blame him. We have listened to these multiple times, and they just don't get old.

He also really enjoyed this movie:

That is only a fraction of the products we reviewed this year. Have I piqued your interest yet? If so, don't forget to stop by and apply for your chance to be on the Homeschool Review Crew.


Throwback Thursday Blog-Style #122: October 20, 2016

Welcome back to... 

I know, I know, Throwback Thursday seems to be all about sharing pictures from the past, great memories that mean something to you, that you would like to share with others. At least that is how it appears to me. Throwback Thursday wasn't something I was participating in, and then I came up with an idea.

I thought it would be great fun and a help to my blog to share old content, but not just any old content. Each week I will share an old blog post from a previous year, any year, BUT it has to be from the current week (for example, something I've posted around October 20th, from any previous year)  I will go in, edit the post if needed, add a pinnable image if I don't already have one, and share it on Facebook.

Last year I focused solely on review posts for the posts I wanted to share. It was fun remembering some of the review products I had forgotten about. This year I will be focusing on recipes I have shared in the past.

Would you like to join in? You do not need to edit your past post in any way, you don't need to create a pinnable image, though it couldn't hurt, in fact it will help your blog traffic to add quality pinnable images to your posts.

Just go into your archives, choose a favorite post from this current week from any previous year, and link it up below. (If you don't have anything from this current week, it is still okay to link up with a post from a previous year around this time. And if you haven't been blogging for a full year, feel free to share any earlier post.)

Please make sure to share from the past as instructed above if you would like your post to qualify for the Featured Post. Most weeks I find that there is a wonderful post, but I can't feature it because it is a current post, not from the past. I love reading the current posts, if you want to share them. However, I am not able to feature them, because the spirit of Throwback Thursday Blog-Style is to share posts from the past.
Thank you

I will be pinning posts to my appropriate Pinterest boards and will be randomly selecting a Featured Throwback Thursday post to share next week. Just a note, I will be sharing a picture from your post if you are selected as the featured post, but I will link back to your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. By linking up you are giving me permission to use your picture in the post. 

Here is my Throwback Thursday post:

Originally posted October 22nd, 2013
From My Kitchen: Cheesy Broccoli Meat Pie

Here is this week's randomly selected
Featured Throwback Thursday:

Mendi from Plug Into Your Child shared Laugh!

To participate, link up below. It would be great if you could visit several of the other posts that have linked up. Stop by, comment, and pin images so we can help each other.

If you would like to help spread the news:

Tots and Me
Happy Throwback Thursday!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: October 19, 2016 (w/linky) : Fun Before the Bills Game

Something new this year.

Obstacle course, also new this year.

And a game called Hippo Chow Down

The look on his face because he didn't have the strength to reach. Poor thing.

Here's a close up:

I had sissy throw him one of the balls. Then he threw it back at them, instead of putting it in his bag.

Of course, there is good old face painting again.

Lunch before going into the game.

Looking forward to seeing your Wordless (or not so wordless) Wednesday posts this week.

Tots and Me

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