Remember the Alamo! {Homeschool Field Trip}


Wednesday, July 8th at 8:45am

Our group homeschool ‘field trip’ to the Alamo happens in LESS than a week.   Hurrah!   Meet up to the left of the main entrance at 8:45am.  Look for the SDA Homeschoolers sign.    Admission to the Alamo is free, so get ready to learn while enjoying fellowship with new SDA homeschool friends.



Curriculum Review: Draw and Write Through History

Draw and Write Through History

Written by  Carylee Gressman and Illustrated by Peggy Dick


I pulled down these books to do this review and the children took off with them!  Our children LOVE these books.  This is a very engaging program.  They are filled with “fun facts,” extra challenges, and a helpful Bibliography at the end of each book for additional reference material and study.  It is designed for ages 8+, but can easily be used with younger children.  Ours have enjoyed it as young as five and six years old.  From the title, it covers three subjects, but we have used it for four.

Art-  The step by step drawing lessons are easy to follow.  Our children just pick up the books and start following along.  There are simple tips for the artistically challenged yet room for the more advanced to add lots more detail.


Handwriting-  These are the Zaner Bloser Cursive.  Each book starts with a simple review of the letters.  It would be easy to copy the handwriting assignments in print for younger children.  There are only 4-5 handwriting pages in each book, except the “Creation through Jonah,” which has 7.  I add more handwriting assignments, using some of the additional fun facts or verses from the Bible.

History-  The history lessons are simple.  They are meant to supplement another History program and could be used with any teaching approach.  They are perfect for “Story of the World” or “Mystery of History.”  We used “Pilgrims, Pirates, and Patriots” with “Light and the Glory for Children” by P. Marshal and “In God We Trust” by J. Ashcroft.  Our children’s favorite has been “Creation through Jonah.”  We used a pictorial History Encyclopedia and the Bible with it.  We scrap-booked that year and then entered the books in the county fair.  It was great fun!


Science-  There is also a fair bit of Science in these.  Again, the sprinkling of fun facts helps direct us to further study about God’s creation and some of man’s inventions.  The Research Ideas and Science Facts are also a big help.  The boys especially want to start building things, like catapults, sail boats, and cool armor.

This program could be used as a base for a fun year of Unit Study or they can be supplemental to a more structured curriculum.  They would also be a lot of fun for summer to keep the children busy when they are cooped up in the house on very hot days!  You can find Draw and Write Through History at

Review by Dawnita F.


Thanks, Dawnita, for your review!  If you have used something in your homeschool and would like to review it here, please contact us at

Your turn!  Please rate this curriculum if you have used it in your homeschool and feel free to leave a comment so others can learn more about this product.

Curriculum Review: The Mystery of History by Linda Lacour Hobar



The Mystery of History is a three, soon to be four, volume series that combines world history and Biblical history in a chronological format. For example you will read the lesson about Joshua, Jericho and Rahab (1470 BC) right before the lesson on King Tut (1333 BC) and realize that Joshua and King Tut lived only a few decades apart. The curriculum is designed for use with 3rd-8th graders, but there are adaptations for older and younger students so you can use it to teach all of your children one history lesson together.


The volumes cover the following:

Volume I – Creation to the Resurrection

Volume II – The Early Church and the Middle Ages

Volume III – The Renaissance

Volume IV – Revolutions and Rising Nations (In progress, not yet completed.)


At the beginning of each quarter there is a summary of events around the world to introduce you to the time period you will be studying. Your students will begin each week with a very short What Do You Know? Pretest. This exposes them to new terms that they will be studying and is designed to pique their curiosity. Pretest grades aren’t recorded.


There are about 100 lessons in one volume and the author recommends doing three lessons per week if you are following a traditional 36 week school year. The lessons are written at about a 6th grade level and can be read by the student, by the teacher or both.


After every lesson there is an activity section where the activities are broken down into age groups of Younger Students, Middle Students and Older Students. The activities are designed to reinforce the material from the lesson and help them retain what was learned. There is often more than one activity listed and you can pick and choose to find one that suits your child’s learning style. The students also make memory cards as they go along to reinforce what they’ve learned.


At the end of every third lesson there is a review, a time line activity, some map exercises, and a quiz. At the end of each quarter there are quarterly work sheets to help students sum up what they’ve learned. At the end of each semester there is a test over the previous two quarters.


The book has very detailed instructions on making the memory cards and time line There are also tips on grading. In the back of the book there is a list of books for recommended reading and videos that go along with each lesson. These recommendations are also broken down into categories of the different age groups. There is also an answer key in the back of the book for the exercises, quizzes, worksheets, tests and pretests.


There are several items that can be purchased for each edition. The one that is absolutely necessary is the book. The other items are not necessary, but can be handy. There are audio books available, in CD or down-loadable MP3 format, that read the stories for you. A CD Rom of Printable Reproducibles is available. You can select and print items such as pretests, exercises, quizzes, worksheets, tests, and outline maps, as well as items from the appendices. Without this you would be photocopying from the book itself. There are several other items available that you can find at the Mystery of History website – – such as a time line sets, lapbook kits and coloring pages.



You will occasionally come across a lesson that we, as Seventh-day Adventists, see in a different light. It is easy to just skip reading that lesson & present it from an Adventist perspective. For example, Constantine is presented in a favorable light for making Sunday a holy day. Obviously we have a totally different opinion on Constantine. I showed the Constantine section from the video The Seventh Day to cover that lesson. The lessons are short and easy to look over ahead of time in order to catch little things like this.


One thing I think most Adventists will appreciate is how Volume I doesn’t dwell on the myths of the Greek and Roman gods in the way many ancient history books do. While a god is mentioned occasionally in the context of the lesson, your children won’t be studying them. For example the lesson on the Olympic games mentions that the women’s games were named after the goddess Hera. That’s it. There was no background on the myths of Hera at all. Just a brief mention of her name. The lesson on Stonehenge avoided the pagan religious associations and brought out that nobody really knows why it was built. It mentions several possibilities and focuses on how it might have been built instead of the why.


In Volume II you may want to cover a few of the lessons in a different way or skip them. Examples would be The Apostles Creed, stories about different “saints”, legends of King Arthur and Beowulf.  My son was Junior High age when we covered this and I chose to go over the lessons and discuss them from an Adventist perspective.


I personally didn’t find anything in Volume III that I felt I needed to approach in a different way. Even if you do, it is very easy to skip or change the presentation of the lesson in question. As of now Volume IV isn’t finished yet, but I feel confident that it will be in the same format and easy to adapt.



Personally, I absolutely loved this curriculum. My son didn’t like history until we started using The Mystery of History. We were both so disappointed that Volume IV didn’t come out in time for him to use it for 9th grade. Here are the things I like most about it:


  •       You can teach several grade levels at once by going over the lesson together and using different activities and enrichment materials for each age level of your children.


  •       It can be as hands on as you want it to be. There are many things to do in this curriculum, but you don’t have to do them all. Pick and choose what fits your family and your children the best.


  •      You cover history, some Bible, and geography all at the same time, in an interesting and fun way.


I will warn you that the first time I picked this up at a curriculum fair it was so overwhelming that I didn’t buy it. I thought it looked like too too much work. When I went back the next year I look at it again, came home and read some reviews and decided I would give it a try. I’m so glad I did. Just remember when you’re using it that you don’t have to do everything recommended. This is a curriculum that is meant to be adapted to your family and lifestyle. It’s not meant to rule over you and bog you down.

Review by Susie S.

Now it’s your turn. You can rate this product by hovering over the stars below.  Please feel free to add additional comments that may be helpful for others in making a decision towards using this product. 

We appreciate those that are helping with curriculum reviews. If you’d like to help out by writing one or more reviews, please email Melissa at

The Sowers Series: David Livingstone by John Hudson Tiner

Title:  David Livingstone, African Explorer (The Sowers Series).

Author:   John Hudson Tiner

Product Description:  This is a soft-cover, 191 page book describing the life and adventures of David Livingstone, missionary, scientist and explorer.  He determined to open up a path to the interior of Africa and persevred despite tremendious obstables.  This book gives insight into his spiritual life, as well as fascinating details of his journeys and relationships with the people around him. It was written to inspire young people and aquaint them with Christians of character from long ago. It includes some drawings and a map for reference.  For ages 9 to 14.

SDA Notes: I can’t think of something of particular interest here.

My Thoughts:  I read this aloud to our seven and nine year old girls and we all enjoyed it. It was riveting and gave us real insight into the hardships of live in the 1800’s and a great example of piety, perseverance and persistence. I would highly recommend it.

Review by:  Heather K.

Now it’s your turn. You can rate this product by hovering over the stars below.  Please feel free to add additional comments that may be helpful for others in making a decision towards using this product. 

Thanks Heather! We appreciate those that are helping with curriculum reviews. If you’d like to help out by writing one or more reviews, please email Melissa at