YWAM Publishing Abraham Lincoln Book Review

As part of the TOS Review Crew, I was given the opportunity to review Abraham Lincoln: A New Birth of Freedom, and the accompanying study guide, which is part of the Heroes of History series from YWAM Publishing.

Abraham Lincoln Biography

I’ve had the privilege of graduating two students through homeschool, so far. Some of my sweetest memories are of the early years when our mornings centered around cuddling on the couch with a read-aloud. We’d get up, do our morning chores, have breakfast, then cuddle up and read, read, read.

And much of that reading time was centered around the Heroes of History series from YWAM.  I cannot not say enough good things about this series. These books can be a backbone of any history study.

There’s nothing like being transported into another time through the pages of good book.


~YWAM Publishing Review

The Heroes of History series from YWAM is made up of no less than 20 individual books and sets. Each individual book is a focused, encouraging biography of an important figure in history. They cover inspiring individuals from Abraham Lincoln, to Milton Hershey, to Clara Barton, and more!

Each book is thoroughly researched, accurately written and extremely entertaining.

If you’re looking for inspiring Christian Heroes, they have that too in their Christian Heroes: Then and Now series. Be sure to check out both series to round out your child’s education and entertainment.


YWAM Publishing Review

As I said before, the Heroes of History books are encouraging and entertaining. Abraham Lincoln: A New Birth of Freedom is no exception. This is not a dry, boring, biography.

Authors Janet and &Geoff do an amazing job of weaving together a living story. Lincoln’s life is covered in charming detail, displaying the political events, and personal experiences that shaped the man who was to become our 16th president and leader during the civil war.

Tough topics are tackled with grace and age-appropriateness. Your reader (or listener) is sure to be entertained.

Since I used this book with my 8 year old emerging reader, I used Abraham Lincoln: A New Birth of Freedom as a read aloud. My son, who is definitely a wiggle worm, was entertained by the story, which kept his attention.


Lincoln Biography

I didn’t utilize the study guide as much as I would have liked; it was just a bit above my son’s level. However I can see that it is a valuable resource that can help extend and solidify the students knowledge of Abraham Lincoln.

Every study guide, can be bought as a physical book or an easy download. Every study guide includes work and information on correlating vocabulary, geography, critical thinking activities and more.

I would highly recommend getting the study guide for your Heroes of History books. They take the reading deeper and help drive home the morals of the stories in new and exciting ways.


Be sure to read what other reviewers had to say about the Heroes of History series as well as the Christian Heroes: Then and Now by clicking the Schoolhouse Review Crew image below.

Also, follow YWAM on social media below:

YWAM Publishing Review

Apologia Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal Review

Apologia Field Trip Journal Review

Field trips are a great way to bring learning to life….or they can just be a fun break from the usual schedule. Whether your field trip is for education, fun, or both, it’s important to record those memories.

Homeschooling is such an integral part of life, I want to help my kids remember as much of the fun activities as I can. That’s where the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal from Apologia Educational Ministries comes in handy.

Apologia Science

It’s no secret, in my home, we love Apologia and their many resources. That’s why I was thrilled when the TOS Review Crew gave me the opportunity to review the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal.

We’re nearing the end of our school year. Some days feel long and challenging. That’s why I decided to “cut class” and have a day of fun. On my daughter’s 3rd birthday, I took the kids to Monkey Joes, a local bounce house where the kids can run and jump until their hearts are content.

We had a fabulous day, and the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal gave me the perfect forum to record the adventure.

Field Trip Journal Review

This journal is so much more than simply recording a list of destinations. It allows the student to tell the story of their adventure from their own perspective. So, after a full day of running and bouncing around like wild monkeys, I sat down with Bram to record his impressions of the day. And you know what? His perspective was much different than mine. We recorded his adventure with details I would probably have left out on my own. And that was special.

Field Trip Journal Review

The field trip journaling pages make up a large chunk of the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal, but that’s not all it has to offer. As I said, it’s so much more!

It offers you a thorough list of field trip ideas, safety measures to practice, and ideas for preparing for a field trip. It encourages children to explore creation through their eyes with the “My Special Spot” section. And puts value on their interpretation of life around them with the “As I See It” pages.

One of my favorite aspects surprise aspects of the journal is the My Special Spot section, where children are encouraged to pick a spot at least 20’x20′, record what it looks like, and how it changes throughout the year. But, in addition to the usual drawings, children are given the opportunity to do an aerial view.

Field Trip Journal

It would never have occurred to me to have Bram do this! What a great exercise for spatial recognition. I can’t wait to see how his pictures change over the course of a year.

Additional features I love?

  • Super sturdy pages – they’re almost as strong as card stock!
  • Spiral bound – makes it easy to fold and write anywhere.
  • Laminated cover – great protection for messy destinations and drawing while outdoors. Super easy to clean.

We are thoroughly enjoying this field trip journal. I plan to utilize it over the summer for vacations and fun field trips. Then, I will get two for next school year, one for Bram and one for Amelie. Yes, Amelie is only three, but she can still dictate her experiences to me. I can see these journals becoming treasured memory keepsakes.

Want to know what others are saying about this resource in the Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal review group? Check out the other reviews at The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew.

Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal Review


First Start Reading Review

Memoria Press Review

Thanks to the TOS Review Crew, I was given the opportunity to review First Start Reading from Memoria Press. I was given the full set, books A-D plus the teacher’s manual, to try out so that I could share my honest thoughts with you.

Maybe you can relate to this scenario. You know how when you have one child and things go smoothly so you think you have all the answers? Then, your second (or third, or more) child comes along and blows all your “know-how” out of the water? Yeah. That’s been me with teaching my energetic, science-minded, second born to read.

Meet Bram. I love this kid.  He is super fun and funny. He makes me laugh with his sweet humor and wit every day.  He loves science. Anything that has to do with dinosaurs, animals in general, the solar system, or hand-on experiments of any sort is what he’s all about.


But reading, and especially writing?  Not so much.

He wants to read. He really does. And he tries hard. But sitting in a chair and using his science-brain in that way makes him frustrated and twitchy. So we’ve taken it slow. I don’t push him to read, however we do take daily baby steps toward that goal. Getting to the point where he could identify all the letters and their sounds was a major accomplishment.

Why am I telling you all this? To lay the foundation, so you can see where we were academically when we received First Start Reading. I was a little apprehensive about this program at first. Switching curricula mid school year isn’t always an easy change to make. However, I’m so glad we did! I’ll tell you why in a moment. First, let me tell you a bit more about this program and Memoria Press.

Memoria Press Review
Memoria Press was founded in 1994 by Cheryl Lowe. Her goal was to promote the classical style of education with the use of Christian-based educational materials. Since then, Memoria Press continues to be a family-run business, providing home and private schools with quality curriculum.

I was very excited to read about the classical roots of Memoria Press as we are returning to a more classical style of learning for the coming school year.  This was a wonderful way to dip our toes back into the Classical waters.   As for the curriculum First Start Reading, it’s described as a balanced phonics curriculum with a focus proper letter formation. Their goal is to not just read and write, but to do it well.

Sounds good, right? Now, let me tell you why we really enjoyed this program!

It doesn’t march through the alphabet.

We’ve tried other reading curriculum that marches straight through the alphabet A-Z. And while this makes perfect sense in my mind, it’s not very fun for a child that wants to read right now. Children can be impatient with their short attention spans and slogging through reading exercises without being able to read anything can be frustrating.

They see progress quickly.

Yay for progress! It may not seem like much, but in the first workbook lesson Bram could read “I am.” Seeing the light in his face made me realize that having concrete progress, reading a word instead of “just” a letter, is inspiring to him. Little successes along the way add up to a desire to learn more.

Reading Curriculum

The blending lines.

Bram is a pretty visual learner. The sweeping lines used to signify letter blends were an easy visual reminder that helped immensely.

The 45 Common Words

Since my first born learned to read rather easily with a phonics approach, and continued to become a strong reader and speller, I’ve been a phonics snob. I’ve avoided sight words at all costs. And while First Start Reading is phonics based, they also include 45 common words which are used in a similar way to sight words in other curriculum. It all goes back to my earlier point of seeing progress.  If our children have a repertoire of words to draw from, it’s more fun and inspiring to try and learn more.

We have really enjoyed our time with First Start Reading by Memoria Press. Switching mid-year turned out to be a great decision for us. We will be sticking with this wonderful, classical, phonics-based curriculum. And, next year I’m sure I’ll add other great products like their Cursive Penmanship Program.

You can find Memoria Press online, as well on social media at FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+, and Instagram. Also, click below to see what others are saying about their products.

Memoria Press Review