Disclosure of Material Connection:

Some of the links on this blog are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and/or believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Christmas with Parragon Books @ParragonBooks! #ParragonHolidays #ParragonLovesMoana

Snag those last minute stocking stuffers with some of these great Parragon Bo+oks!

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Disney’s Moana themed books!

Disney Moana Born to Voyage (8 X 8 Activity & Sticker Book) $4.99

Disney Moana Spirit of Adventure (Color It) $3.99
Disney Moana Ocean Explorers (Floor Coloring Pad) $7.99

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Nutcracker (Hardcover) – $9.99
Snow Queen (Hardcover) – $7.18 *current sale price

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My Biggest Ever Christmas Activity Book (Paperback) – $9.99

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A Treasury of Christmas Stories and Songs (Hardcover) – sale price $10.15

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2000 Stickers Things That Go (Paperback) – $6.99

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Totally Brain-Busting Number Puzzles (Paperback) – $7.99

These are all Amazing books that stand up to the quality that is known with Paragon Books!  These would be great gifts for the child in your life!! Buy them on Amazon with Prime to have them before Christmas!

Disclaimer:  I received these books free from Parragon Publishing in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to give an honest review, nor was I compensated in any other way.  All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC Regulations.  This post contains affiliate links.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Review & #Giveaway: Charlie the Tramp

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Charlie the Tramp

ABOUT THE BOOK

Charlie the Beaver wants to be a tramp when he grows up. “Tramps don’t have to learn how to chop down trees and how to roll logs and how to build dams. Tramps just tramp around and have a good time. Tramps carry sticks with little bundles tied to them. They sleep in a field when the weather is nice, and when it rains they sleep in a barn.” Charlie sets off with his bundle. But when he hears water trickling, he can’t get to sleep. Will he be able to resist the urge to make it stop? As Grandfather Beaver says, “You never know when a tramp will turn out to be a beaver.”

An American classic is back in a special 50th anniversary hardcover edition.

Winner of the Boys Club of America Junior Book Award, 1968.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Russell Hoban (1925-2011) first became famous for his children’s picture books about a badger named Frances and other animal characters that have a lot in common with children we know – bedtime for Frances, A Baby Sister for Frances, Bread and Jam for Frances, and Emmit Otter’s Jug-band Christmas.

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ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR

Lillian Hoban (1925-1998), one of America’s favorite children’s book illustrators, is best known for a young chimpanzee named Arthur and his little sister, Violet. She also illustrated six of Russell Hoban’s books about Frances the badger, which have taken their place among the great classics of children’s literature. Lillian Hoban was born in Philadelphia and attended the Philadelphia Museum School of Art. She studied dance for ten years and became a professional dancer. She began to write and illustrate her own stories only after having children, basing her tales on their experiences.

Plough editor Sam Hine says, “As a parent of young children I’ve rarely found new books of this quality. So, like many other parents, I find myself returning to the books of my own childhood. Among these Charlie the Tramp was a hands-down favorite. We’re thrilled to acquire the rights to this timeless classic and make it available to a third generation.”

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OFFICIAL WEBSITE

My Thoughts – This is a beautiful classic with wonderful pencil drawings!  It is recommended for ages 3-8 years old.  It’s a great tale of a beaver that wishes to be a tramp, but can’t fight his beaver instincts!  He realizes that he can like to tramp around, like a tramp….but still build great ponds like a beaver! 

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Winner must be a US resident.



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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Review & #Giveaway: Christmas Love Letters from God

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CHRISTMAS LOVE LETTERS from God:

Written for children ages four to eight, Christmas Love Letters from God cleverly combines both prose and poetry as the story of Jesus’ birth unfolds. The book includes seven stories, beginning with Isaiah’s prophecy and ending with the visit of the wise men. Following each story, the child will find his or her own letter from God, folded into a small envelope attached to the page. Each letter begins with a space in which to write the child’s name, so each one can be specially addressed to the child.

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Written as if God is speaking, each personalized message gives the young reader a sense of wonder as they discover anew the Christmas holiday and the birth of Jesus. A very special Bible verse, entitled God’s Perfect Promise, also accompanies each story and letter as God’s personal words of love, promise, and hope.

My Thoughts:

This beautifully illustrated book is so sweet and dear!  It truly makes the scriptures more personal on a child’s level.  I didn’t show this to my children yet, as it will be part of our Christmas Book Advent, but I can’t wait!  It’s just lovely!

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“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.


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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Review & #Giveaway: The Pencil Grip, Inc.– Kwik Stix

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We were so excited to be able to review Kwik Stix from The Pencil Grip, Inc. again, and this time we get to offer a giveaway too! 

We received a 6 pack of Neon on Kwik Stix and a 6 pack of basic colors

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These are the perfect size for a stocking stuffer this holiday season! 

These are great for that artsy crafty kiddo, and the mom who doesn’t like the mess it entails!  They are solid tempra paint sticks that dry in 90 seconds!  Yes 90 seconds!!  You don’t need paint cups, water, paint brushes or even smocks!  They are set-up and clean-up hassle free!  I kid you not! These things are amazing!  All of my kids enjoy them, even my 3 year old!  I love them too b/c messy art projects stress this momma out! 

The paints are AP certified – which means they are non-toxic and perfectly safe for young kids! 

They work great on all mediums….paper, wood, canvas, cardboard… you name it!

We used them to throw together some quick Christmas cards for a package I’m sending my brother.  No need to wait for them to dry, then went straight into the package when done! 

Kwik Stix

You can find 6 packs of Basic and Metalix colors in Target stores (in the craft/stationary aisle)

Packs of 96, 24, and 12 and 6 pack Classics, Neo and Metalix are available at Target.com.  They can also be purchased at FatBrain Toys and Amazon.com

I’m excited to offer to my readers the chance to win a 12pk of Kwik Stix!

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to The Pencil Grip, Inc. for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. US Residents only


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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Field Trip #227 Friday Blog Hop

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Blog Hop designed to share 'FIELD TRIP' related Blog Posts(does not have to be a 'home school field trip', can be any trip to any place with your children!)

**NOTE:  Before linking up please review guidelines HERE!

I’ve been negligent in posting our field trips last week, so I have some catching up to do!

C started back up his cooking classes.

C started back with cooking class! #homeschool

A photo posted by Jen Altman (@cgroveacademy) on

The two older books went to a bristle bots class at the library and then a blow and go workshop (making air powered vehicles) and robotics class.

Making #bristlebots yesterday @libraryccpl #latergram #homeschool #stem

A photo posted by Jen Altman (@cgroveacademy) on

Of course there was Election Day, where we all went to vote!

We had a tour of the Snyders of Hanover pretzel factory in York, PA.

#fieldtrip today #homeschool #pretzels

A photo posted by Jen Altman (@cgroveacademy) on

The two youngers went to an ABC class at the library.

We also had some 4H fun at different meetings and all the kids went with Cs cub scout group to tour the local airport and a rescue helicopter!

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We have been busy!! How about you??





Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Review & #Giveaway: Where Jesus Slept #WhereJesusSlept #FlyBy

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This beautifully illustrated book is a play on the classic, The House that Jack Built. We do a Christmas Book Advent, where we open one Christmas book each night in a month long countdown to Christmas and this book will be part of it this year!  It is such a sweet book, I highly recommend it as an addition to your Christmas library! You can win one for yourself, by entering below!

About the book:

Where Jesus Slept

“This is the bed where Jesus slept. This is the straw that lined the bed where Jesus slept.” From here, the story builds with each spread, adding a new element and explaining the relationships among the participants and witnesses to the first Christmas. From Jesus sleeping sweetly to the wise men bringing gifts, this charming book reminds readers young and not-so-young of the joyous event we celebrate at Christmastime. Children will love the delightful illustrations and the engaging repetition in this cumulative tale.

Format: jacketed hardcover

Trim size: 10x10

Page count: 32

Retail price: $16.99

Reading age: 4-7

About the author:

Norma Lewis is the author of ten books. She lives in Grand Haven, MI, with a marmalade cat named Scalawag. They both love spending time with her six grandchildren, ranging in age from three to twenty.

Illustrated by Katy Hudson.

US or Canadian Residents ONLY

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.


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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Review: The Critical Thinking Co.™, Fun-Time Phonics (TOS Review) #hsreviews #criticalthinking #languagearts

Fun Time Phonics Review

For this review we used Fun-Time Phonics!™ Software - 2-PCs Win Download from The Critical Thinking Co.™.  As indicated, we used the windows version of this product, but it is also available as an iOS and Android app.

We have reviewed for The Critical Thinking Co. before:
The Critical Thinking Co., Math Analogies Level I
The Critical Thinking Co., The Basics of Critical Thinking

This product was used by my almost 6 year old, who is in Kindergarten.  This has been a great program for him, as it focuses on the beginning and middle sounds of words in the first several lessons.  Each lesson focuses on a particularly sound, either at the beginning or end of a word. The lessons then go on to teach rhyming words, short vowel sounds, consonant vowel blends, and then reading words.  There are 126 lessons total. 

I love that you can see how your child did on each lesson and move back to lessons to repeat them, when more review is needed.  This is all done very easily in the admin section of the program.

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This screenshot was taken after going back and reworking some of the earlier lessons.  He has really improved and is better understanding beginning and ending sounds.
I also love that this is a downloaded program, no internet connection is needed, after the initial download.

My son used this program about 3 times a week, on school days.  He easily got through one lesson each sitting. He didn’t like it at first, but that is because it was difficult for him to begin with.  He got use to the program, and after a few times, used it happily without any complaints. 
A few things that I didn’t like about the program is that you have to log into the admin section to EXIT the program, therefore my son can not do it himself.  You also have to log into the admin section to switch to a different user.  This is not a HUGE deal breaker, but it is annoying when I have to stop and help them with this, when it could easily be set up so they can do it themselves.  At the same time, so people may find this as a bonus, because then their kids can’t exit the program whenever they want to.

This video demo gives a little more detail about the program.


This product can be purchased individually for $29.99 or you can save money and buy it as part of the Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic Before Kindergarten!™ bundle.  You can also get the Alphabet Song Game App FREE for a limited time. You can find out more about the Bundle by watching this short video



The Critical Thinking Company has a wide variety of materials, and this is only one of several that were reviewed by the crew this time.  Click below to see other products reviewed by crew members. 

Social Media Links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Critical-Thinking-Co/46128092293
Google+: https://plus.google.com/114500823774999703181
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/source/criticalthinking.com/

Language Arts {The Critical Thinking Co.™}Crew Disclaimer











Friday, November 4, 2016

Review: Homeschool Legacy–Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims(TOS Review) #hsreviews #unitstudies #historyunitstudies

Thanksgiving HL review

We used Homeschool Legacy, Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims Once-a-week unit study for this review. 

We have used Homeschool Legacy before and LOVED it!  See our previous review of Lewis and Clark unit study!

This particular unit study is labeled a ‘micro-study’ because it is only 6 lessons (6 weeks) and they lessons are pretty short.

One of the great things about Homeschool Legacy units, including Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims, is that it consists of one lesson a week.  We typically take off Friday for swimming, but could easily fit in these lessons afterwards.

Each unit consists of 6 lessons, one less a week, for 6 weeks.  There are recommended read aloud books for the course of the units.  Each daily lesson consists of History lessons.  The lessons are laid out, and read directly from the text.  There are sometimes hyperlinks within the text to more information on the topic, for example in this unit, there was a link to read about the First Amendment.  Other links lead to recipes, video clips and virtual tours.

I was able to easily give the lessons from my iPad, and show the video clips as well, sometimes we would use the laptop and cast the videos to the TV to more easily see them. (But that also required going downstairs, and we do most of our schooling upstairs).

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There was some map work involved and vocabulary (looking up definitions) also.

I found the unit quite interesting, as we have a distant ancestor that came across on the Mayflower!  I feel like most of it was more geared towards older kids, at least in my families case.  It is recommended for grades 1-8, but might be more suited for 3rd grade and up.  There are opportunities for research and report writing, as well as oral presentations, so it could be easily adapted for older students.  For younger kids, in most cases they could just really listen, which didn’t always interest them.

This unit leads up to Christmas, so would be best used starting Mid October to Early November, as activities toward the end include Christmas Caroling and making garland decorations.

There is a yummy wassail recipe that we drank after Trick-or-Treating, that is recommended for after Caroling!  (But since we were using it early….that would not have worked).

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This unit was not as hands on as the previous one we reviewed.  It did have some game activities and crafting, but nothing that really grasped my children’s interest (ages 3-10). 

The lessons were fairly short, which was nice.  They were also very informative.  I feel like a lot was learned in those short lessons.  This unit would probably go well with Christmas Comes to America, a 4 week unit study for the month of December! You can find reviews on this one and other Unit Studies by clicking on the image at the bottom of this post!

There are a lot of great unit studies available from Homeschool Legacy, it’s a great way to mix things up a bit in your schooling, without changing up the routine too much! 

Although this one was not one of our favorites, I still recommend them to others often!

Social Media Links
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/homeschoollegacy/

Once-a-Week Studies {Homeschool Legacy}

Crew Disclaimer

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Field Trip #226 Friday Blog Hop

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Blog Hop designed to share 'FIELD TRIP' related Blog Posts(does not have to be a 'home school field trip', can be any trip to any place with your children!)

**NOTE:  Before linking up please review guidelines HERE!

This week we had some Halloween fun using the Green Screen at the local library and then doing some Gross Science at another local library!

Caige 1Caige 2Cole 1Kalina 1Zane 1Zane 2Zane 3


Doing a #greenscreen workshop at @libraryccpl #explorationpoint today! #homeschool

A photo posted by Jen Altman (@cgroveacademy) on

Gross #science at @libraryccpl today! Snot, blood and owl pellets! #homeschool

A photo posted by Jen Altman (@cgroveacademy) on

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Book Review: Parragon Books Back to School and Fall Fun! @ParragonBooks

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Frozen Snowflakes and Sparkles – My 3 year old daughter loves these coloring books, they crayons come with it and the stickers are lots of fun too!  You also get a code for a free Disney ebook!  This would make a great stocking stuffer for the Frozen fan in your life! 

Pixar Lots to Discover – Another fun coloring book with LOTS of stickers!  Stickers come in all shapes and sizes!!  This also comes with a free Disney ebook!

Lots of Dots for Little Hands – This book is perfect for the beginner writer!  Helping to learn to ‘write’ by connecting the dots!  This is a dry erase book, so it can be used time and time again!


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Peppa Pig Smiles and Giggles – Another great coloring book with crayons and a handful of stickers! 

The World of Eric Carle Press Out and Play – This book has press out pieces that can be put together to make stand up characters, all based from Eric Carle books, your child can color and then act out their favorite Eric Carle stories!  Best for probably ages 6+.  No glue or scissors needed!

The Moonlight Tooth Fairy – The perfect gift for the little princess in your life who has lost their first tooth!  Comes with a satin bag to hid that tooth under her pillow in wait for the tooth fairy! 

Disclaimer:  I received these books free from Parragon Publishing in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to give an honest review, nor was I compensated in any other way.  All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC Regulations.  This post contains affiliate links.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Review: Accountable2You (TOS Review) #hsreviews #internetaccountability #internetsafety

Accountable2You Reivew

For this review we tried out the Family Plan of Accountable2You.  Pornography is a growing problem today, mostly because access to it has never been easier.  It has most recently be labeled the “new drug” and families everywhere are taking precautions against it.  Unfortunately the temptation is there for many, and many are striving to overcome this serious addiction.  Whether you or someone you love is struggling with pornography addiction, or you want to take precautions to safeguard yourself, or loved ones from the grasp of it’s ravenous claws, this program would be a great tool for you!  

We have filters on our computer, we are very careful about what our children have access too, as well as safeguarding ourselves (my husband and I).  We have strict rules about internet use and location of use. However, you never know!  Router filters don’t work if you aren’t at home, and pornography makers are often sneaking and find the means to infiltrate our homes. 

Accountable2you is NOT a filter.  It’s a accountability program that allows an individual to be responsible for their own internet use.  Whether you are fighting a current addiction, or avoiding the pit of pornography, this program keeps you accountable!

It works by making an account, appointing an accountability partner and then installing onto your device.  Your accountability partner is then notified if you should access any questionable or highly questionable information on the web. 

If you use windows and have multiple accounts, it must be added to each individual account browser… ie, it’s on my account for chrome browser and also on my son’s account on his chrome browser.  For newer Kindles you must install the app. 

This program doesn’t need to be used JUST for pornography.  You can set up key words for which to be notified, as well as set time limits.  For example, my son has been known to window shop instead of do his school work!  I set key words such as Amazon, Target, Lego, Angry Birds and Minecraft.  You can opt for emails or text message, you can request instantaneous, or daily or weekly reports.  So, when my son accesses any of those keyword items, I receive a text message!  We played around with it a bit, to see how it would work!

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If he triggers any of the words listed, I receive a test message that tells me exactly what website he was on and when. (it comes within 5 minutes of him accessing it).

I also set a time limit on his account, if he gets on the computer outside of the time parameters, I receive an email, stating when he was on and what websites he went to.  You can see below the email I received when he was on the computer before the 8am time limit.  Lucky for him, he was doing his math Winking smile 

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I also received some emails when I searched questionable words that are preprogrammed.  For example, I was purchasing a book from Amazon to help teach kids about the dangers of pornography, and received a red flag email.

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Otherwise I receive daily emails, with a link to the history of that device.  Emails are only sent more often if there are red flagged items! You can opt for emails weekly instead of daily, with instant notifications via email or text message for questionable or highly questionable material.  Accountability partners are notified if the main account user makes any changes to their account, particularly to the list of questionable and highly questionable words.

This is a really great way to help someone overcome their addiction, or better yet to avoid the possibility of one at all!  It could be used to help maintain the amount of time someone spends online, to stop them from gaming or gambling online as well as other things.  The possibilities seem to be endless! 

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Social Media Links
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/accountable2you
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/accountable2youllc

Accountability across all your devices {Accountable2You}

Crew Disclaimer

Friday, October 28, 2016

Field Trip #225 Friday Blog Hop–National Aquarium and more!

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Blog Hop designed to share 'FIELD TRIP' related Blog Posts(does not have to be a 'home school field trip', can be any trip to any place with your children!)

**NOTE:  Before linking up please review guidelines HERE!

So, this week we headed to our first class at the National Aquarium (if you remember a couple of weeks ago, we should up on the wrong day!).  The kids had a blast and are anxiously awaiting next month!

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This was followed by 4H Robotics

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and then yesterday, we spent our Book-Its at Pizza Hut and then C and I went to an IEW workshop that was held in New Market.  I returned the same evening for the parents lecture!  It was awesome!  We love IEW and to be able to experience it all IN PERSON, was such a neat experience! I’ve reviewed several IEW items, and we have purchased several more…we still use IEW and I recommend it to people ALL THE TIME!  It’s been a TRUE GAME CHANGER in our homeschool. 

2016-10-27 16.02.11


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