Wednesday, October 12, 2016

MyFreezEasy Review

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time you know that I love freezer meals. They are seriously the only thing that got me though several pregnancies and deployments. There is something so comforting about knowing that dinner is ready and in the freezer waiting for you. No mad rush to make dinner or figure out what in the world you are going to make at the last second. That is why I was so thrilled to learn about MyFreezEasy!  Our family was delighted to be chosen to receive a Freezer Meal Plan Membership! Freezer Meal Plan Membership {MyFreezEasy}
I don't know about your family but my family is pretty busy these days. With six children in various activities, a full homeschool curriculum to fulfill, a full time employed spouse, and my own 5 days a week in the gym I am spinning like a top most days. Anything I can do to simplify my life is a gold mine for my sanity. I learned a long time ago that freezer meals are the way to go for busy families. 
Over the years I have put away 3 months of meals every time I got the verification that I was pregnant. I get pretty severe morning sickness and the thought of having to cook for all of these people while trying desperately not to throw up was not working for me. I would spend one entire day making up freezer meals and then just have to reheat the meals through my first trimester. I loved knowing that I had meals ready to go for my family and I did not have to touch raw meat or smell cooking food while sick to my stomach.

I would then repeat the process right before I was due to give birth. Again knowing those meals are in the freezer and ready to go for my family while I am in the hospital and for those first few months with a newborn is priceless. Having to go grocery shopping, meal plan, and cook with a newborn and 5 other children under foot? Not happening. By stocking my freezer and pantry before hand I was able to send my husband to get a few odds and ends (bread and milk) though the week and spend my time relaxing and recovering. 

Freezer meals are not just for new mothers however! My youngest child is 3 years old and I am not currently pregnant. I however still continue to stock my freezer with meals for my family. Why? What happens if you get sick but everyone else in your house is fine and starving? What about when your child spikes a 104 fever on the day you intended to go to the grocery store? Or you were up late working on a project and have to be out of the house a dawn for a meeting? 
I have found a food emergency fund is just as important as a financial emergency fund. Both protect your family in times of sickness, job loss, and injury. Yes, you COULD go out to eat but who can afford that more than once or twice a week? For some reason these little people need to eat three times a day...what is up with that?

I think we can all see the value in having freezer meals at our disposal. The snag for most people seems to be the planning and implementation of the meals. It can be a lot of work to come up with a list of freezer appropriate meals that actually taste good and do not break the bank. I found the MyFreezEasy site to be a wonderful solution to this issue. Freezer Meal Plan Membership {MyFreezEasy} 
The MyFreezEasy freezer meal plan membership I was given was a wealth of information and recipes. There were so many different types of meals available each month. I personally chose to review the 10 meals available in the Clean Eating Meal Plan, but as you can see there were 7 other options to chose from! Freezer Meal Plan Membership {MyFreezEasy} 
I was able to peak into all of the meal plans offered above and they all had very yummy recipe options! Once you pick your meal plan you are given access to that month's recipes, grocery lists,  and instructions for assembling and freezing the meals. I found these instructions to be extremely easy to follow and very clearly written. Freezer Meal Plan Membership {MyFreezEasy} 
What about the actual meals? As I stated I reviewed the Clean Eating Meal Plan. The recipes within the meal plan were all very tasty, made with clean ingredients that were easy to find, and simple to make. For the month I reviewed I was given recipes for Paleo Chicken Taco Salad, Spinach Chicken Burgers, Bolognese Sauce, Slow Cooker Italian Chicken and Vegetables, and Mediterranean Chicken Thighs. Each of these meals were doubled and then placed in the freezer to be used within the months to come. Since I needed to review the meals for this blog post I doubled the meals, ate one, and froze one. My family really enjoyed the meals and will not have an issue with eating the second meal waiting in our freezer. 

I have to say I really enjoyed reviewing this product and look forward to using more of their meals in the future. Want to know what the other reviewers at the Homeschool Review Crew thought of this product? You can click HERE or on the banner below to find out! Freezer Meal Plan Membership {MyFreezEasy}
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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Review: Everyday Education, LLC

If you are a regular reader of my blog you already know that reading and handwriting are do not come easily to our 10 year old daughter. She has dyslexia and dysgraphia which makes reading and writing "properly" difficult. I am sure you can imagine we have tried every thing we could find in an attempt to find something that would make things easier for her. When we were given the opportunity to try out Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting  by Everyday Education, LLC we were excited to check it out.
 Beautiful Handwriting, Literature and Poetry {Everyday Education, LLC} 
When teaching a child to write we have all seen or used printed ABC sheets to teach the child how to properly form the letters. I can not count the number of times I have said "take the line up to top line and not past" to one of my children while they are working on their handwriting assignments. It always goes the same doesn't it? Same sheets, same technique, same struggles. The author of Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting has a different approach. She has found that an italic style of writing is easier for children with learning difficulties to read and write. By using a triangular writing style the children are better able to not only read the letters but also form them while writing. 
The book Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting starts at the beginning, always a good place to start right? The lessons start with learning how to write the ABC's in this new italic form and then move on to simple CVC words. After the child has learned the new style of handwriting the author introduces yet another new concept....slant writing. This is where my brain starts to struggle with the concept but it seems to be helping children who have a difficult time with handwriting and reading. Our daughter has not progressed to this point yet but I am really interested to see how it works for her! There are several pages of copywork with the slanted lines pre-printed as well as several sheets of paper with just the lines for the children to use for their own writing assignments. From what I understand of the process, again we have not implemented this section of the book yet, the lines help the child to "cement" the placement of items on the page. It is a very interesting concept that I am looking forward to trying out!
 In the last few weeks our daughter has progressed from "I can't read and I hate writing" to "I love to read chapter books and write....just not in my spelling book." While I would love for her to be an amazing speller I am finding solace in the fact that she is learning to love to read and write. That to me is more than half the battle. In this day and age spelling is overrated...I can not even count the number of times I have used spell check on this post! The ingrained love of reading and writing is the real gold mine for future success. The fact that this curriculum can help make that love easier and faster to complete makes it a gold mine as well. I am excited to keep trying this curriculum with our 10 year old daughter and will definitely consider using it with our younger daughter who is showing signs of dyslexia as well. 

The Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting book by Everyday Education, LLC was not the only book the Homeschool Review Crew were given to review! Everyday Education, LLC was quite generous and also shared their  Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers and their Working It Out: Poetry Analysis with George Herbert.

If you would like to see what the other review crew members thought of Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting or either of the other books offered you can click HERE or on the banner below to find out!

Beautiful Handwriting, Literature and Poetry {Everyday Education, LLC}
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Review: Away We Go Media

Our family is a bit obsessed with living history books at the moment.  Specifically books concerning how children lived in various time periods. There is something very appealing to our children about this type of learning approach. They find they can relate to the historical subject matter better when the main character is someone their own age. When we were give the opportunity to review a historical book series centered around children's lives during a wide range of time periods we jumped at the opportunity. We were blessed to be chosen to review Brought to you by Carole P. Roman and
If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and}

We are currently studying American history from colonization to 1850. When we were chosen to review this amazing book series we found several that fit perfectly into our current school program.

The first book we chose to read was  If You Were Me and Lived in...Colonial America (An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time) (Volume 4. 
If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and}

I was pleasantly surprised by how in depth this book went into the history of Colonial America. I have found that many well illustrated books lack on content and are geared towards much younger children. This book series however is quite different. I found the books to be on a middle school reading level with colorful illustrations on alternating pages.

This book begins in England in 1620 and follows the puritans from their initial move to the Netherlands and their subsequent dissatisfaction and progression to America. The book goes in depth into the difficulties of the journey on board the ship and how difficult life was once they landed. The author beautifully manages to cover the difficulties and the trials of the colonial children while still showing the beauty and love found within families.

At the end of each book there are two informational sections concerning the time period the book is centered around. For the If You Were Me and Lived in...Colonial America (An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time) (Volume 4) selection this consisted of two pages of information concerning people who influenced the colonies along the entire eastern seaboard as well as a glossary of terms used  throughout the book.

In our family if I assign a reading item I also assign the child to design their own project based on what they have read. I have found by assigning the child to design and complete their own project they pay better attention to the material and think more in depth about what they are reading. We have completed a wide variety of projects over the years. Some examples include themed meals, art projects, dioramas, decorative crafts, etc.

After reading If You Were Me and Lived in...Colonial America (An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time) (Volume 4) our 12 year old daughter chose to make her own rag doll like those made by children in Colonial America. After a quick google session we were able to find instructions on how to make the doll from fabric scraps found in my sewing stash. Our daughter read the instructions and then proceeded to make her very own "poppet".

The second book we chose to read within this series was If You Were Me and Lived in...the American West (Volume 7).  This book follows much of the same format as the first book we read. Again we start out in a well established city and follow a family as they make a pilgrimage to a new and undiscovered land. In this book however we follow a family as they leave an Eastern American town and progress out into the American West as part of the Great Migration of 1843.

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and}

The book follows a family as they learn how  to live out of a covered wagon, the hardships they faced during the journey, and how they found their new homestead. The book does not end there however! The author then takes us through how the family would have built their new home from logs foraged from the land, learning to till the land and plant crops, taking care of livestock, and much much more. Again I was thrilled with how in depth the author went into the logistics of life in the American West in 1843 while still including illustrations on alternating pages. I personally think that information is easier to "upload" into a child's brain if there are illustrations included in the text.

With that in mind our oldest daughter chose to design her own illustration for the book as part of her project for this book.

We were given four books within this amazing series to look through and review for you! The two other books we were given include If You Were Me and Lived in...Ancient Greece (An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time) (Volume 1).

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and}

And If You Were Me and Lived in... Elizabethan England (An Introduction to Civilizations Throughout Time) (Volume 3).

If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and}
I have read through both of these books and can not wait to share them with our children in the future! I am absolutely thrilled with this series and can not wait to delve further into these books and complete our collection! 
Want to check out the entire series brought to you by Carole P. Roman and ? 
Here you go!

If you would like to see what the other Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew members thought of this series brought to you by Carole P. Roman and you can click HERE or on the banner below to be taken to a list of reviews.
 If You Were Me and Lived in ... {by Carole P. Roman and}
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