[Homeschool Review Crew] Julie Polanco Review

I don’t know about you, but there are some days when I look at my kids and think, “homeschooling was a terrible, terrible mistake.” I am just one giant ball of doubt and anxiety it’s hard to see why we are doing this at all. Thankfully, I had the chance to review a book called God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn by Julie Polanco. Here is my review, if you would like to see.

God Schooling, in a nutshell, is a book that reminds parents what education is. Not just from the academic perspective. Not just from the self-care, self-development perspective. But rather, from the perspective that matters the most: the heavenly one.

The author, Julie Polanco, comes from the point of experience. She is a homeschooling mom of four children. Her work has appeared in many homeschooling resources like The Old Schoolhouse Magazine and The biggest proof of her expertise is that her oldest child already transitioned from homeschooling in 2016.

She’s done it, you guys.

As for the book, it is a meaty read with 215 pages. It is divided into two sections: myths and practice. In the first part, it tackles subjects like the need for a curriculum and how to get children to obey. Specifically, she delves into unschooling from the point of view of the Bible.

In addition, it is basically filled with encouragement and Biblical references to help parents with their homeschooling journey. At the end of it, the book hopes to give parents a different view and confidence in their approach to educating their kids.

The book retails for $16.99 for paperback and $9.99 for the eBook version.

On My Impressions

To be honest, I have a lot of prejudice when it comes to unschooling. It immediately conjures up images of children running in the wild, ignoring their reading and writing. I know that’s not the case, in my brain. But, I have a lot of bias, mainly because I do not know a lot about it.

But Julie manages to present the idea in such a way that is conversational and more importantly, experiential. When she talks about how the world is not necessarily in line with the way God wants to do things, you find yourself nodding in agreement. It’s also hard to disagree when she devotes a lot of time talking about investing in the eternal, like character.

Personally, I don’t have it in me to follow the natural way of learning. I’m too easily frazzled without a detailed, point-by-point guide in my hand. But, there are a lot of things said in the book that really spoke out to me. Even if you do not completely agree with the methods offered, opening your mind to them can still make an impact.

This is definitely a good read for parents who are new to homeschooling (so they can see what others have done) and parents who are homeschooling (a great source of encouragement).

Want to learn more about Julie Polanco? Find her on Facebook.
Other homeschooling families have also read the book. Click the link below to see what they have to say.

God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn {Julie Polanco Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer


Lowering Expectations


… but still can’t meet them.

homeschooling · Uncategorized

[Homeschool Review Crew] Paddington Bear Children’s Literature Study from Branch Out World

One of the first books I read growing up was Paddington Bear. Being in the Philippines where books are expensive and therefore, not readily available, I was keenly aware that it was a luxury. Even at a young age, it felt like something precious. Getting to share that experience with my children by reviewing Paddington Bear Picture Book Explorers unit from Branch Out World is thus, very meaningful to me.

 Picture Book Explorers - Paddington

This is a unit-based study that can be done over the course of several days:

  • Day 1 – Exploring the setting
  • Day 2 – Exploring the words
  • Day 3 – Exploring the pictures
  • Day 4 – Exploring Science
  • Day 5 – Exploring maths, crafts, and more

Each day is jam-packed with activities like mapping, timelines, and crafts.

On day 1, we read the book together, which of course, meant a million questions. I think this is the beauty of literature-based lessons — you open up conversations and have the opportunity to be led by children’s curiosity.

It just so happened that I just purchased an interactive map puzzle, so we were able to find the locations in it.

Day 2 focused on the words. For some reason, we ended up discussing how important it is to learn the context of literature. It was something that our Pastor often talks about even when interpreting the bible.

We researched more about the author and what could have possibly led him into writing the way he did. Honestly, I’m not sure how much of it stuck considering that my kids are 6 and 3, but I think they get a general idea.

Day 3, 4, and 5 we stretched out over a couple of days because we had music and art classes. Plus some commitments with our homeschool provider, so we definitely took out time.

Our science experiment did not work out the way it was intended. Mainly, because it got mixed in with other ingredients like cornstarch.

Another thing that I liked about this unit study is that I was able to integrate it with our existing lessons. In this case, I used the experiment also as a way to teach the scientific method.

The thing is, we don’t have a lot of luxury when it comes to time, so any integration is an A-plus in my book.

Overall, there’s an earnest sweetness in this product and I highly recommend it, especially for the younger kids. It’s also one of the more fun curriculums I’ve reviewed; mainly, because it has an air of nostalgia.

Other products may offer more in terms of cramming in information, but this has the right balance of form and function. It hits the sweet spot of being just right.

Learn more about Branch Out World through the following social media pages:

Facebook: @BranchOutWorld
Pinterest: @belzibow
Instagram: @belzibow
Twitter: @belzibow

If you want to hear more about this product, please visit the link below.

Paddington Bear {Branch Out World Reviews}

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[Homeschool Review Crew] WriteBonnieRose Review

One of my goals for homeschooling is to make science come alive for my kids. I love science but I feel like I missed out just because of the way our generation was taught. When I had the opportunity to write a review for WriteBonnieRose, I jumped at the chance. We ended up with Learning About Science Collection, Level 1

Learning about Science Collection Level 1

This book contains seven different units and a list of website links for further study. The units are Familiar Plants and How they GrowFruits and Vegetables Around the WorldAnimal Habitats of the WorldOur Senses and Systems and How They WorkLearning About Life CyclesEarth Layers, Earthquakes, and Volcanoes, and Exploring Senses of Matter.

The collection is easily downloadable in PDF format, so it is a quick and easy buy. Each unit is presented in story form and is jam-packed with information. As an aside, it is great practice for reading and reading comprehension too.

The book is beautifully illustrated, which is always a plus point when it comes to younger kids.

In the life cycles unit, the different kinds of animals were tackled. I appreciated the comprehensiveness of it all. Most life cycle lessons are limited to butterflies and frogs because of the concept of metamorphosis. But this book talked about the different animals. There was information on mammals, birds, reptiles, and more.

Image may contain: 1 person
Why is she dressed as sheep? She wanted to wear it when we read about animal habitats. You know what they say, “follow the child!”

On our end, we used this material as a supplement to our science classes since I couldn’t interrupt the flow of our current subject matter. I hesitate to say this, but we used it for fun. Yes, that’s right. I said to my kids, “put down the iPads because I want to show you something.”

And you know what? No complaints. I think that’s the highest recommendation any parent can give you on an academic product. The kids didn’t mind setting aside Netflix for it. It also helped that the kids played dress up while reading — it may or may not have included me.

Personally, I like the integration of the lessons. There was science, language arts, and also some copywork for penmanship. It’s a great value.

The Learning Learning About Science Collection is reasonably priced. It can even be purchased individually from $1.49-$3.49 depending on the unit. Bonnie is offering a sweet deal. Until August 15, you can use the coupon code REVIEWCREW50 to buy all three sets for $6 or $6.50 each.

You can learn more about WriteBonnieRose through the following social media channels:

Facebook:  @WriteBonnieRose
Twitter:  @WriteBonnieRose
Pinterest:  @WriteBonnieRose

Do you want to read what other homeschoolers are saying about this product? Click on the picture below.

Learning About Science collections {WriteBonnieRose Reviews}

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In Defense of Maximalism

“The buzzword over the last few years has been minimalism. It is seen in the stark white design of Scandi-inspired rooms. It is in the rotations of a 10-piece capsule wardrobe. It even attended the Royal Wedding in the form of Meghan Markle’s dress. It is a Marie Kondo world and we are all just living in it.

But if there is anything that’s certain about fashion, it’s that the pendulum swings both ways. There’s an equal but opposite reaction to every action. There are signs that maximalism—a bolder, more intricate aesthetic—is taking over.”

Read my take on maximalism here



This Diet Claims to Be Slimming and Anti-Aging

This Diet Claims to Be Slimming and Anti-Aging

Image via

“Recently, the alkaline diet has joined the roster of it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle trends among wellness aficionados. Why? Here are six of the many reasons: Jennifer AnistonVictoria BeckhamGisele BunchenGwyneth PaltrowKate Hudson, and Elle Macpherson. When the list of celebrities who swear by the alkaline diet reads as the who’s who of Hollywood, one can’t help but be intrigued.”

Read here for the rest of my article on the Alkaline Diet.


[Homeschool Review Crew] New Study Guides for Literature From a Christian Perspective

For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been discussing the seasons of life in church. Between that message and this review, I feel like the universe is throwing me a lifeline.

I am thankful for the extra help that Progeny Press gave us with the Josefina’s Story Quilt e-Guide because maaaan, grace has been in short supply recently — and this book helped me get through our reading classes without much stress and worries.

Josefina Story Quilt

What is it about?
The story is in easy-to-digest length and it is perfect for practicing reading. The guide comes with a workbook so children and answer questions and work on some material as they go along.

Most reading guides I’ve used cover the reading comprehension aspect. Questions like “describe the characters” or “what happened in the story?” For this guide, it is different. There’s a surprising amount of technical English skills that was covered. For instance, the book explained what a metaphor is — perfect for us, since I’ve been introducing figures of speech to H.

But from the title, the most important aspect of the book is the Christian perspective. It had verses that it tied up with the story so that biblical principles are taught in conjunction with the story. A lot has been said about the value of prayer. It’s heartfelt.

The guide that we used is just one of the many titles available from Progeny Press. Other titles include guide for classics like Frog and Toad Together, which I am thinking of purchasing because this book is next on our to-read list.

On Our Impressions

The lessons are well-planned and easily executed. I think there are a lot of other activities that can be done to enrich the lesson more, like maybe a visit to the museum or making the quilt yourself. In our case, mom has been going through some personal issues lately so our lessons had to be trimmed down to the essentials. But, this guide still worked for us.

Which brings me to one point that I like most about this guide: it’s flexibility. Progeny Press recommends reading the book and then working on the activities over the course of 8-10 weeks. For us, we zoomed through the book and then worked on the activities over a shorter period of time.

I think this is a great helper for homeschooling families who need assistance with making a comprehensive language art content. For me, personally, it saved me a lot of time having to come up with activities and guide questions for our reading practice. Without going through the details, it’s such a relief in this season.

You can find out more about Progeny Press on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and You-Tube.

To read up on what other homeschooling families are saying about this product, please click on the picture below.