TOS Review: Drive Thru History Adventures

Drive Thru History AdventuresHistory should be an adventure! Unfortunately for a lot of students (including mine) typical textbook instruction just doesn’t bring the stories to life. My youngest enjoys hearing and seeing things that relate directly to the topic he is studying. So, we were excited to check out the Homeschool Video Curriculum from Drive Thru History Adventures.

Drive Thru History AdventuresThis curriculum is a combination of videos/discussion questions and activities that let you explore history where it took place, all at your own pace! There are three specific topics offered: American History, Ancient History, and Bible History. My son decided to check out the Bible history portion of the course for this review. It offered 18 different lessons on topics all about the life of Jesus.

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The lessons include a video portion hosted by Dave Stotts, whom you may know from the TV series. He is an affable host as always, delivering information while making you feel like you are there with him the whole time. Videos typically last around 30 minutes or so, which was a good length for my son. In addition to the videos, you have access to discussion questions that are great for reviewing what your child learned after watching the video.

I also really liked how each lesson also includes the scripture it is related to and fabulous pictures and artwork as well. “Side roads” offer extra information about the people and places discussed in the lesson, and at the end there are additional links to articles and other websites that you can research for more information. The part that really ties it all together are the printable PDFs that go along with the lessons. Basically these are printed copies of the discussion questions along with the scripture readings, a lesson summary important quotes, and the side road from the lesson. So, you could actually use these to do the lessons if you didn’t want to watch the whole video (but I don’t know why you would do that because the videos are great!). Answer keys are also included.

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With this subscription you also get access to Adventures TV. Here you get all kinds of great extras including videos of extra side roads such as the history of recent holidays, Biblical sites, and random fun stuff like “the history of cheese”, behind the scenes looks at the filming of the series, and a separate set of “Dave’s Adventures” where you can check out the host talking about a manner of things serious and not so serious! My son really enjoyed a lot of these because they were short and usually humorous and he could watch them before or after completing a lesson.

When we finish with the Bible History curriculum my son wants to move on to the American History section. Since both the American History and Ancient History consist of about 12 lessons each, I think you could easily move through at least two sections in one school year. While I feel like the curriculum itself is aimed at slightly older students, I think younger children would simply enjoy watching the videos themselves without the additional activities if you wanted to do this with a family group.

We have really enjoyed Drive Thru History Adventures and would definitely recommend that you check it out! To learn more, connect with them on social media here:

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To see what other members of the crew had to say about this product, click here:

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Menu Plan Monday: 2/26/18

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Is it spring yet? It sure feels like it should be! I am looking forward to getting my garden going and cooking with all those fresh veggies! Here’s our menu for this week:

Monday: Taco Stuffed Shells

Tuesday: Grilled chicken and veggies

Wednesday: Sloppy Joes and Parmesan Potato Fries

Thursday: Stuffed Peppers

Friday: dinner out

Thanks for stopping by for Menu Plan Monday! Have a great week.

TOS Review: Bytes of Learning

UltraKey Bytes of LearningAs my kids get older, I realize the need for them to become more and more proficient with technology. While my son, a high school junior, is quite comfortable with computers one area that needs work is his typing skills. At this point his style is still more “hunt-and-peck” than anything else. So, I was excited to give the UltraKey Online Family Subscription from Bytes of Learning a try.

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This program is completely web-based, which is nice because we can access it from anywhere. It offers pretty personalized lessons, allowing you to set your own goals or choosing to allow the program to set goals for you. It also offers reports for parents on skill checks, games and more. You can easily track your child’s progress, seeing which skill checks they have passed complete with errors. This allows me to know if I need my son to go back and redo something.

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Lessons are a mixture of videos and slides, and the narrator speaks in a pleasant, even tone. As students type, a picture of the keyboard is on the screen with a model of where their hands are supposed to be. This was helpful for my son as he became comfortable with the proper positioning. Lessons begin with an introduction and some initial activities with specific keys, then move on to typing words and sentences. Students are given plenty of opportunities to practice before moving on to the Skills assessment. In addition to lessons on keyboarding, there are also very helpful videos on proper posture, finger placement, and even stretches you can use between lessons.

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Since Bytes of Learning is a self-paced program it is very easy for kids to complete on their own. They simply log in and start. My son spent about 15-20 minutes a day working on lessons, which was the perfect amount of time, keeping him from getting bored or losing interest. It was also really easy to fit into our already hectic days.

UltraKey Online also offers games which allow students to practice their skills while having fun. I appreciate the fact that the games also allow students to practice other important skills like spelling and even state capitals. My son enjoyed the games and you can get reports on those too and students earn printable merit awards as they complete levels. He liked challenging himself to improve his score each time he played. The rhyming game was his favorite.

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The UltraKey family subscription allows you to add three, five, or eight students at a time for a cost of $29.95-$49.95. I think this program is appropriate for all ages, even younger students. As a parent, I appreciate how easy Bytes of Learning is to manage, the interface is very well set up and it’s really easy to review your child’s progress. I would definitely recommend this program if you are looking for an easy typing program to get your kids comfortable with keyboarding.

UltraKey Online Family Edition 

To learn more about the UltraKey Online Family Subscription, connect with Bytes of Learning on Facebook:

Bytes of Learning

To see what other members of the crew thought of this program, click here:

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Simple Chicken Parm

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I love Italian food and my Nana used to make some awesome Chicken Parm. However, I remember her recipe was a lot more involved than what I’m used to so I decided to switch things up to make them a little easier.

Ingredients:

4 chicken breast cutlets

1 egg

1/2 cup flour

2 cups Italian style bread crumbs

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1 cup marinara sauce

some mozzarella to top it off

Directions:

  1. Lightly beat the egg in a shallow bowl.
  2. Place the flour in another shallow bowl.
  3. In a third bowl, combine the bread crumbs, parsley, and about 1/4 cup of the cheese.
  4. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  5. Dip each cutlet into the egg first, then coat with flour. Finally dredge in the bread crumb mixture.
  6. Place the cutlets on the baking sheet and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.
  7. Bake at 450 for about 15 minutes, until cooked through.
  8. Remove the cutlets from the oven and sprinkle with mozzarella. Return to the oven and bake until cheese melts.

That’s it! I love that I can make this quickly, even on a busy night. Enjoy and thanks for stopping by.

Menu Plan Monday 2/12/18

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February is in full swing! We had an exciting week last week with family in town, but I didn’t get to do a lot of cooking. This week, we are back to normal, although a little sad missing the extra family members. Here is the menu for this week:

Monday: Stuffed Squash

Tuesday: Chicken Quesadillas

Wednesday: Spaghetti

Thursday: Pork and Pepper Stir Fry

Friday: Dinner out

Thanks for stopping by for Menu Plan Monday! Have a great week.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

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So my husband recently told me that he ate some acorn squash at work and really liked it, and I decided to capitalize on that and try making this stuffed squash. It came out really well!

Ingredients:

2-3 medium acorn squash, cut in half

1 lb. chicken sausage

1 onion

1 red bell pepper

1 tomato

shredded Italian cheese

Directions:

  1. Halve the squash and scoop out the seeds.
  2. Heat oven to 400 degrees
  3. Chop the onion, bell pepper, and tomato.
  4. Rub the inside of the squash with a little olive oil and bake, face down, for about 20 minutes.
  5. While squash is cooking, brown the sausage and drain.
  6. Return the sausage to the pan and add the chopped onion, tomato, and bell pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender.
  7. Season with salt/pepper to taste (I also added some garlic powder and Italian seasoning).
  8. Add the sausage mixture to the center of the squash and top with some shredded cheese.
  9. Bake an additional 15 minutes until cheese is melted.

We had leftovers and these were still good the next day when I had one for lunch! Enjoy!