Saturday, November 30, 2013

Homemade Biscuits ~ Biscuits Supreme

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I love my old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, copyright 1996. I have a few go-to, tried-and-true recipes from there, and you can tell by their frayed, stained pages. One of the yummy recipes I make over and over again is Biscuits Supreme.

Original Recipe

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) of real butter cut into small pieces
  • 2/3 cup milk

Stir together first 5 ingredients. Cut in 1/2 cup butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center, and add 2/3 cup milk all at once. Stir until moistened.

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Quickly knead dough by gently folding and pressing dough 10-12 strokes or until nearly smooth. Pat or lightly roll dough to 1/2" thickness. Cut dough with a floured 2 1/2" biscuit cutter.

Place biscuits 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in 450° oven for 10 -12 minutes or until golden. Remove biscuits from baking sheet and serve hot. Makes about 10 biscuits.

Over the years, I have tried different things in order to perfect them to my liking and to make them more healthy. So, following are some tips to try that have worked for me.
Brandi Raae's Biscuit Tips
  • Flour - I like to mix different flours. For example, I might use 1 cup King Arthur's All-Purpose Flour and 1 cup King Arthur's Whole Wheat Flour. Sometimes, if I have any on hand, I might use coconut flour, rice flour, almond flour, buckwheat, or whatever. I've used lots of different combinations, however, using at least one cup all-purpose flour helps biscuits with lightness and fluffiness. :)
  • Sweetness - I often substitute white sugar with raw honey. I use 2 tsp. honey and add it to the milk instead of stirring it into the dry ingredients.
  • Butter - I always use real butter, but the recipe says you can use shortening if you want.
  • Flaxseed - I like to add ground flaxseed or ground wheat germ when I have it on hand. I probably add about 2 TBSP to the dry ingredients.
  • Cutting in butter - You know what, I usually use my hands for this stage. ;)
  • Kneading dough - I knead dough a few times before taking it out of the bowl or it's too messy. I make sure it is one solid chunk before setting it on the counter.
  • Cutting out biscuits - After I pat and roll out dough, I just use a small Tupperware cup to cut them out, and I don't flour it first.
  • Baking - I set my oven to 425° and bake for about 10 minutes. I don't like the outside to be too crusty.
  • Serving - We love ours with butter and jam or honey. :)
If the biscuits don't turn out the first time, try again! I've been making them for a LONG time, and truly, once you learn you'll be able to whip them up in no time flat.

Linked to Try a New Recipe Tuesday, Works for Me Wednesday


Thursday, November 28, 2013

Photo Booth Props ~ Thanksgiving 2013

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Spice up any family get-together or party with Photo Booth Props!

I had no idea these were all the rage until I began searching for photo props for a girls' tea party. When I saw these Thanksgiving photo booth props, I knew they'd be perfect for having some fun with all the cousins. I also found mustaches, lips, crowns, hats, beards, and more while scouring the internet. I even made a couple of my own on Pic Monkey. :) I can't wait to do this again for Christmas!!

Pre Photo Booth Prop Fun

Thanksgiving at Dad's this year. Desert weather permits all the high-energy children to eat and play outside. I guess that's one plus. :)

Here begins the photo booth prop fun . . .

Even the adults got in on the fun!

Everyone really seemed to enjoy posing with the photo booth props. Try some at your next get-together - they worked for us!

What's really fun is to animate your photo booth prop photos! My hubby has an app for that. :)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fall Loveliness

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No tips to share or images to pin - just the reality of our life and some things I love about fall. Even in the desert, there's loveliness in the fall. It's not about the weather or the leaves showing their true colors; it's about family, faith, friends, and the fullness of life.

We're blessed.

Fall loveliness is . . .

our family's special pre-thanksgiving meal, my grandma's dishes, my mom's old plates mixed with my not-so-old plates, Mark's first smoked turkey that turned out divine, and apothecary jars from my hubby filled with fall-ish things as our autumn centerpiece. Even with a broken oven, our feast was wonderful, although we didn't get to eat that perfect-looking pumpkin pie. My oven broke right in the middle of baking it. :(

Fall loveliness is . . .

favorite fall food and drinks: hot corn and harvest apple cider!

Fall loveliness is . . .

is gathering with friends for crafting and chatting.

Fall loveliness is . . .

bright, beautiful pansies, soccer, and tree trimming.

Fall loveliness is . . .

a homeschool harvest party with festive food, fun crafts, and good friends.

What is fall loveliness for you?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Ornament Reveal

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Receiving new ornaments on Memory Tree decorating day is one of our family's FAVORITE Christmas traditions! Each year we give our kids a new ornament, and I absolutely love trying to find ones that are going to be special for each child.

This year, we gave Mullin Gandalf the Grey since he, and really all of us, are such HUGE Lord of the Rings fans. We gave Lincoln, our Rootbeer Fanatic, a root beer ornament, and we gave Shiloh a cute, little polar bear with a penguin because she adores animals with all of her heart.

It is my hope that when my kids are grown and gone and decorating their own trees with their families that all of the ornaments they've received over the years will bring back sweet memories of their childhood.
In the quiet and comfort of my own bedroom, I prepare for the special night of trimming our Memory Tree. I enjoy getting all of their ornaments out each November, carefully unwrapping each one, and lingering over the memories that each ornament brings to mind. Our kids have lots of ornaments, too, because grandparents have also been generous in the ornament-giving department. It's wonderful reliving so many memories of our kids' childhoods!  
Our Memory Tree houses all of our family's ornaments that have been given to us over the years by family and friends. Our kids have so many ornaments now that all of my hubby's and my ornaments don't even fit anymore. That's okay because one day it'll just be our ornaments on the Memory Tree again. And that will actually be kind of sad.
Hubby got me a heart ornament from World Market for our turquoise tree. He gave me a heart ornament last year, too. He has great taste and knows me well. Love having a husband that knows how to shop for his girl!!

This is also the night we all drink our first cup of Christmas Hot Cocoa. We used to save this drink for December 1st, but we sort of changed that tradition. :)

So blessed to be able to make such great memories with my family. What are your favorite family Christmas traditions?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Our Top Ten Schoolhouse Review Crew Products for 2013

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blueribbonaward2013smThe TOS 2013 Crew Year has come to a close. At the end of the year, Crew Members can vote for their favorite products. This year there were 38 categories, and 28 of the 86 companies received blue ribbon awards. If you'd like to see which products the Crew loved the most, visit The Schoolhouse Review Crew!

Well, I decided to write my own top 10 list to share with you all. As a Schoolhouse Review Crew Member, my family and I had the privilege of using and reviewing over 30 products this past year. Let me tell you, with all the reviewing, the year seems to FLY by!

I think I have been a part of The Old School House for about 4 years now, and it really has been such a blessing for our family. Here are our 2013 favorites . . .

In no particular order:

1. Apologia: Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics

2. Starter Chess Learning Kit

3. Homeschool Mom's Bible

4. Institute for Excellence in Writing: Teaching the Classics

5. See It And Say Flip Flop Spanish

6. The Art of Poetry

7. Time4Learning

8. Song School Spanish

9. Seed Sowers: Gospel Planting Adventures

10. News Flash: God's World News Magazine

It was definitely challenging choosing only ten products. I chose these products for lots of different reasons. I tried to think about the enthusiasm my children showed about each product and how it helped them with learning. I also tried to think about how convenient and easy-to-use the products were (and still are) for me as a homeschool parent.

And that's a wrap! I am enjoying the review break but am looking forward to next year. :)

How to Create Your Own Customized Word Search

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Y'all, I created a fall word search for a homeschool harvest party contest, and it was crazy easy.

I wanted to share it with you all because it would be fun to make word searches for all kinds of things: holidays, birthday parties, Sunday School lessons, contests, and the list could go on and on. I've already made a candy one and am definitely going to make a Christmas one very soon! My daughter has requested that I make a puppy one just for her - one with all the different breeds of dogs.

To make your own customized word searches, all you have to do is go to this website from A to Z Teacher Stuff. Enter the title of your word search, list of words (or you can choose a provided list), number of rows, number of columns, font style, etc. Once you are finished hit save settings, click create puzzle, and print as many sheets as you need.

It took me less than 10 minutes to create my fall word search, and it was a hit at the party! I have to brag: my 8-year-old daughter won! She beat several teen boys, too. And, NO, she didn't get to see the word search before the party. ;)

Have fun creating your word searches! Create them just for fun, hand out when kids are bored, or have a contest. My kids like to time themselves to see how long it takes to find all the words. Serious, endless fun here people. ;)

Word Search Category Ideas
  • Candy
  • Fall
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Winter
  • Favorite Books
  • Favorite Movies
  • Favorite Toys
  • Favorite Foods
  • Christmas
  • Easter
  • Halloween
  • Independence Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Valentine's Day
  • St. Patrick's Day
  • Presidents
  • States
  • Countries
  • Spelling Words
  • Other School Related Words
  • Colors
  • Flowers
  • Birthstones
  • Storybook Characters
  • Bible Characters
  • Godly Character Traits
  • Sports
  • Animals

Linked to WFMW

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Favorite Thanksgiving Dish ~ HOT CORN

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For our family, it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without this yummy side dish! Thanks to Cindy, my mother-in-law, who introduced me to it. This is one of the sides I've been bringing to Thanksgiving feasts while living in Arizona for the past 7 years.

It is SO yummy and SO easy!

Hot Corn

What you'll need:
  • 1 stick of real butter
  • 1 8 oz. package of cream cheese
  • 2 cans of Green Giant White Shoepeg Corn (This type of corn is important!)
  • 1 small can of chopped green chilies
What you'll do:

Melt butter and cream cheese together in the microwave in an oven safe dish. Stir until smooth. Add corn and green chilies. Stir until thoroughly mixed. Heat in a 350° oven for about 20 minutes or until heated through.


What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?

Linked to Try a New Recipe Tuesday and Works for Me Wednesday.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Personal Testimonies of Faith ~ A Redneck Testimony

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This image is a little girly for this testimony, I know, but I just don't have time to make a different one. Imagine the background as camouflage and the flowers as ducks. ;)
So, pretty much the whole country loves Duck Dynasty. I have to admit here that it just isn't my favorite show. I'd really rather read a good book while the rest of my family watches it. I've watched enough of it to get a feel for all of the characters' personalities, and okay, they are pretty likable. It's just that the whole staged reality show thing isn't quite my style. What IS my style, though, is that this family in all their sweet, southern redneckness (and I say that fondly - I lived in Tennessee for over 21 years) unashamedly proclaims the true gospel message.
My hubby came across this testimony of Phil Robertson, and I thought it was worth sharing. If you haven't already watched it, go ahead and hit PLAY!

Other testimonies in this series:




Last Words

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Plexus - All Natural Nutritional Supplement

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Hey all, please welcome Cheryl today who is sharing about a product that has really impacted her life in a positive way. I'd never heard of it before now and have never actually used it, but it sounds worthy of an investigation!

Download 71870_592281517490678_1110112640_n.jpg (28.0 KB)

I would like to introduce to you a wonderful product called Plexus.  I was introduced to this product 6 months ago and it is amazing the difference it has made in mine and my family’s lives.  I have more energy to do the things I love and I am no longer hitting a wall of fatigue at 8PM like I did for years!  I sleep better, my back pain and the pain in my hands and joints is practically gone. I have been able to stop taking my acid reflux and allergy medicine.  High cholesterol runs in my family.  My Mother, sister,and I have all had trouble keeping our levels where they need to be.  Since we have been taking Plexus we are all within or under the normal range for the first time in years!!!  

These products really do work!!! 

Even though Plexus is advertised as a weight loss product………… It is NOT a diet.  It is an ALL NATURAL nutritional supplement designed to help regulate your blood sugar, cholesterol, lipids and help detoxify your body. The weight loss is a side effect of becoming healthier. Plexus works by burning fat and not muscle, it has no caffeine and no stimulants.  It is One Pink Drink once a day which tastes similar to cherry Kool-Aid. 

If you would like to try Plexus you can message me on Facebook or give me a call/text at 573-421-3083.  You can also visit my website  If you would like to see many other wonderful testimonies about Plexus Slim and how it is helping others, send me a friend request on facebook, Cheryl Tesreau Tinnon, and I will add you to the Plexus Slim Testimonials Only group.  This is a group where customers post their personal stories and results.

If you would like to try out the product, you can order on my website.  Just click “Shop Plexus”.  You will find that we have 3 day trials, 7 day trials and 30 day supplies available *** the 3 day trial packs are available with free shipping!!  They also have a 60 day money back guarantee. 

Plexus also has several other products that are ALL NATURAL.  If you go to my website you can see all of these products and check them out too. 

Home - My Plexus Opportunity

*I did not receive any compensation for allowing Cheryl to share about her product.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Personal Testimonies of Faith ~ Last Words

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If you haven't heard of My Hope America with Billy Graham, I suggest you carve out some time to watch a wonderful video featuring not only Billy Graham and his last words for America but two incredible personal testimonies from Lacey Sturm and Lecrae.

These powerful testimonies were such an encouragement to me. If you aren't a believer, I pray your heart will be touched and that you would repent and give your life to Christ.

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. ~2nd Peter 3:9

Other testimonies in this series:




Saturday, November 09, 2013

Fun Dragon Series for Girls

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It's no secret that I love dragons and fiction, so when the two come together, it is difficult for me to resist. I very often judge books by their covers, so when I saw this book at the library, I grabbed it right off the shelf. I just knew it would be a fun read-aloud for my daughter and me.

In book 1, Where Dreams Take Flight, Cara, the main character, lives on the Isles of Bresal which is home to humans, merfolk, pards, perytons, howlers, firedogs, and DRAGONS. Her main job is looking after dragons and mucking out their stalls though she longs to be able to ride them, especially one in particular ~ Skydancer. Her father, Dragonmaster of Dragonsdale, forbids it because of his wife's tragic death during a dragon riding competition. When Cara can't convince her father to let her ride Skydancer, she decides to take matters into her own hands. Filled with lots of adventure, a horrible bully named Hortense, and everything you ever wanted to know about taking care of dragons, this is a fun fantasy novel for young girls. I enjoyed reading it to my daughter so much, we got the second book, and I recently finished reading that one, too.
The second book, Riding the Storm, really centers around the theme of friendship and how jealousy can so easily tear people apart. I don't want to say much about the plot because that might give too much away about the first book. What I will say is that there's more than stormy weather going on - will kindness and goodwill be strong enough to keep friends together?
FYI - Cara definitely has faults - she lies and disobeys in the first book, but she also sees how her choices affect others and can even put them in danger. Reading these books can be a great way for moms and daughters to not only enjoy a good story but to have some discussions about the importance of obedience, honesty, and thinking of others before yourself.
This series even made me think a little about being careful not to keep my kids from doing things just because of my own worries and fears which is extremely challenging! Balance is key, but I admit I mostly tilt toward the stricter side of the scale. Thank goodness I don't have to worry about my daughter riding a dragon! (Although that might be safer than her driving with the crazies on the road one day - yikes!)
I will leave you with a sweet quote about friendship from Riding the Storm . . .
Perfectly girly, huh? :)

*affiliate links included

Thursday, November 07, 2013

In Which a Mouse and Two Creepy Guys Pay Me a Visit

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Also known as . . . MY CHILDREN.

And these are their Halloween costumes: a mouse, a goofy guy, and Jeffrey Dallas. Don't know who Jeffrey Dallas is? Well, here ya go . . .

Somehow our boys found out about this guy and entertained us with tons of videos. Mullin learned to play that cornfield song on his keyboard, too. :) Lots more on YouTube if you care to watch. We think they are pretty funny, but the sense of humor isn't for everyone.

Anyway, we haven't been putting a lot of financial effort into the kids' costumes the past few years, so they've had to get a little creative. Shiloh desperately wanted to be a monkey for some reason, but I couldn't really find anything there. And I don't sew. I was beside myself when we found an adorable, little mouse accessory set at Target for $5. She compromised and loved it! And Lincoln, well, he has a fondness for those funny glasses. Totally him. ;)

This year we didn't Trick-or-Treat; we helped our church put on their first Harvest Festival located right in our pastor's neighborhood. Blocked off part of the street; set up games, bounce houses, and dunk tank; and had a blast!

Until next year!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Learn to Speak French with French Essentials {Schoolhouse Crew Review}

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In our homeschool, I like to have my children learning a foreign language. I started off my boys with Latin when they were younger, and all three of my children have taken some Spanish. Currently, my third grade daughter and sixth grade son are taking more Spanish, but when I asked my oldest son who just started high school what language he wanted to learn this year he said, "French." Our last name is French, so I figured it would be the perfect language for him to learn, but I didn't know where to start.

Well, you can imagine my excitement when French Essentials offered the Schoolhouse Review Crew a chance to use their French program specifically designed for home learners. I received the Full Access Online Program for one year which includes Modules 1-5.


French Essentials is an online-based program developed by experienced French teachers. Designed for home learners, downloadable lessons teach French (international French) by following a steady, step-by-step method which is perfect for beginners. No previous knowledge of French is required by you or your child. French Essentials is unique in that it provides a multi-sensory approach to learning by targeting four language acquisition skills -- reading, writing, listening comprehension, & speaking -- through audio, video, and written exercises. This program also includes online exercises, activities, tests, and culture.


There are 5 Modules (Modules 6-10 are coming soon) that make up this program, and they can be purchased individually for $69.95. You have 90 days to download the lessons and workbook and have access to all of the online features. You can save quite a bit of money (over 50%) by purchasing Full Access for $149.95 which includes all 5 Modules. Full Access includes over 90 lessons, and you have one year to download all of the modules. Plus, you have access to all of the online features. It is my understanding that even after the year is up, you can still use all of the lessons and workbook pages you have downloaded, and this includes continued access to the online features. Though I received the program at no cost, I had to go through the purchasing process and found it to be very user friendly.

System Requirements


Adobe Reader
Adobe Flash Player


Adobe Reader
Adobe Flash Player
Quick Time

*You can download all of the above for free.

Age Recommendation

French Essentials recommends that children are at least in third grade before they start the program since the written part requires a third grade reading and writing level. Currently, there are only 5 Modules available, but when the program is complete, it will have 10 Modules. Here are the approximate grade level equivalencies:
  • Grades 4/5 - 7/8 ~ Modules 1-5
  • Grades 8/9 ~ Modules 5 & 6
  • Grades 10/12 ~ Modules 7-10
As I mentioned before, my ninth grade son is starting with Module 1, and it is working just fine. Because he is older, he can move through the lessons at a faster pace. (He is already on Lesson 14) I did have him take the online placement test to see if he could skip ahead, but according to the results, he needed to begin with the first module. I assume this would be true for any beginner. Even though my oldest child is the only one using this program right now, there is no limit to how many children can use it.

Getting Started

Once you've completed the purchasing process, you can log in to your account and begin downloading lessons and worksheets. You will find these components in the Student Area online. After that, make sure you print the Checklist sheet in order to keep track of lessons completed and test scores. (Checklist sheet and workbook are located in the "Parent Corner" of the download page.) That's really it. You are ready to begin! Right away, I downloaded all 20 lessons and the workbook (including answer key) for Module 1, and I know that I still have plenty of time to download the rest of the modules. :)


You can access lessons by clicking on the downloaded files on your computer. I created a shortcut on our computer so my son could easily find his daily lessons. Each lesson states an objective and then continues with a series of interactive exercises - audio and video are embedded into the PDF. No worries over internet interruptions! The number of exercises differs for each lesson, but the last exercise always instructs students to do the written part of the lesson. There are instructions for your child to print the worksheet, but I actually printed out all of the worksheets for Module 1 beforehand. Your child can complete the online activities and quizzes by clicking links provided in the lessons. It's really very simple. You can view sample lessons, videos, and curriculum outlines for each module by clicking this link.

My son can easily access the online portion of each lesson by clicking the appropriate icon. The program automatically grades quizzes which I love. He prints off the quiz so I can record his score, and then he files it in his 3-ring binder. He chooses to print the lessons and file them along with his worksheets as well.

Below are some shots of the Checklist sheet for Module 1, lesson pages, and a quiz.

My son keeps everything nice and orderly in a 3-ring binder. The Checklist is in the front pocket, completed lessons are "ringed" in the middle, and lesson worksheets yet to be completed are in the back pocket.

Being able to learn more about French culture is a neat online feature. You can open up PDF files that correspond to lessons you're working on by clicking images that are shown in the screenshot above. You'll learn about standard French greetings (including kissing!), what a Francophone is, where French is spoken in the world, etc. You can also see beautiful images of France and Quebec and click on links to learn more about famous places such as the Eiffel Tower and Mont Saint Michel.
Final Thoughts/Opinion
Overall, French Essentials is wonderful program. My son says he really likes that everything he needs to complete a lesson is located right within the PDF files. Having all of the links in one place makes it an easy-to-use curriculum.
I love that besides downloading and printing there is little teacher preparation, and I don't have to know what my son is learning in order to grade his work. The videos, which feature native speakers, are an excellent teaching tool that brings French to life. I am looking forward to using this program with my other children, and I can't wait until Modules 6-10 are ready!
If you or any of your children are interested in learning French, this is a must-see program! Check out other reviews by clicking the banner below. Bonne journée!
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Monday, November 04, 2013

Apologia - Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics {Schoolhouse Crew Review}

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Science has been quite an enjoyable experience for me as a homeschool mom thanks to Apologia Educational Ministries. I've used a few other science products here and there, but Apologia has always been the backbone of our science curriculum. I have truly enjoyed learning all about God's amazing world alongside my children. I was very excited when Schoolhouse Review Crew members were given the chance to review their Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics curriculum. My daughter and I received the Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics physical book and the Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics Junior Notebooking Journal.

Apologia Mission

Do you know what the word Apologia means? It's a Classical Greek word that is used in the New Testament eight times and is associated with someone defending his faith, beliefs, or actions by reason and logic. Apologia Ministries is a family-owned corporation that provides families with Biblically sound educational materials and curriculum (science, history, language arts, Bible) to equip them to defend the Christian faith according to 1 Peter 3:15.

Apologia in Our Homeschool

Our family has gone through every single one of the Apologia science books up to ninth grade. (Their creation based science curriculum is K-12.) Presently, my sixth grade son is using Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day, and my ninth grade son using Exploring Creation with Biology. My third grade daughter and I started off the school year tackling Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology, but I figured it would be well worth it to interrupt our studies to review the one Apologia book that we've never used. So, as you can see I am a huge Apologia fan!

*A note on book order: Really, the elementary science books do not have to be done in any particular order, however, Astronomy, Botany, and Zoology 1 and 2 are more easily understood by younger students. I have personally found that doing Zoology 1, 2, and 3 in numerical order works best for us. With all of the elementary books, there is always information that seems to go over my younger kids' heads, but I don't worry too much. I know they will get the information in greater depth in the junior high curriculum and high school curriculum. Flexibility is key to making this quality, God honoring, academically sound curriculum successful in your homeschool!

Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics Textbook

Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics is part of the Young Explorers Series in Apologia's elementary science curriculum written by Jeannie Fulbright for students in grades K-6. This homeschool science curriculum follows the Charlotte Mason approach to learning and provides an excellent introduction to the marvels of God's creation regarding the wonderful world of chemistry and physics. The text, written directly to the student, reads more like a conversation which makes learning more fun and memorable. There are plenty of pictures and illustrations, hands-on-experiments, and other activities to keep kids interested, too.

This full-color, hardback volume contains 14 lessons that can be broken up into manageable time slots according to your own schedule, ages of children, and specific needs. The Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics Junior Notebooking Journal, designed to accompany the textbook, includes a detailed, suggested 2-week schedule for each lesson. I personally go a little slower with younger children and try to stretch lessons out to 2 1/2 weeks with some lessons taking less time or even more time to finish. Also, I don't stress over doing every single project throughout each lesson, especially with this book as it seems to have more than the other books.

Basically, you can go at your own pace with this curriculum. Take the immersion approach and spend an entire year on one book, or go through them faster so you and your children can complete all 7 of the elementary books before they are ready to start the junior high curriculum. So far, we've always spent the entire year on one book. Sometimes we finish before the year is up which is great because I give my kids the freedom to choose something they would like to learn about for the rest of the year.

Lessons included in this course are as follows:
  • Chemistry and Physics Matter
  • Moving Matter
  • Building Blocks of Creation
  • Compound Matter
  • Multitude of Mixtures
  • Mechanics in Motion
  • Dynamics of Motion
  • Work in the World
  • Sound of Energy
  • Light of the World
  • Thermal Energy
  • Electrifying Our World
  • Mysterious Magnetism
  • Simple Machines
Jeannie Fulbright includes several Try This! hands-on-experiments in each lesson to help children understand the concepts she is teaching. Throughout each lesson, children are also asked to narrate what they've learned to help them retain information and learn to communicate clearly and effectively. At the end of each lesson there are What Do You Remember? questions, notebooking activities, and a final project. All of these activities can be completed without the accompanying notebooking journal, however, it is a very convenient addition to the curriculum which I will address in just a minute. Before I move on, I want to mention a few more features of the Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics textbook.

The textbook includes a wonderful introduction that tells you everything you need to know in order to effectively complete the course. It provides a step-by-step guide on how to use the book and gives course website information if you want to dig deeper. At the end of the book, you will find a complete supply list for everything you will need to complete the Try This! activities, experiments, and projects for each lesson. Most materials are household items or things that can be purchased easily at the store. Finally, there is an answer key to all of the What Do You Remember? questions and any questions asked throughout the text.

Though we didn't do all of the Try This! experiments, we did do quite a few. Here are some from Lesson 1: Chemistry and Physics Matter. My daughter is demonstrating volume and displacement, density, and buoyancy in the following activities. My middle son even got in on one of the projects in which we had to make boats out of aluminum foil and see how many pennies they could each hold. My daughter was so excited that her boat held the most. :)

More Try This! experiments: here my daughter is learning about one of the properties of metals - magnetism. A simple project, yet she was quite fascinated.

At the end of each lesson, there is always a final project, and she couldn't wait for this one - making lava lamps. Even though she'd done a project like this before, she wanted to do it again because it is so fun.

During the review period, we were able to start Lesson 2: Moving Matter, but we haven't finished it yet. In this chapter, we are learning all about solids, liquids, and gasses. Here are a few Try This! experiments we've done so far: discovering which types of liquids will freeze the fastest, observing expanding gas putting pressure against the sides of a balloon, and learning that air takes up space and actually kept a piece of paper from getting wet even though the cup was submerged in water. Cool stuff!

Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics Junior Notebooking Journal

The junior notebooking journal is designed to accompany the textbook and is great for younger elementary students or for those with limited writing skills. You will find coloring pages, lined pages for recording fascinating facts, Bible verse copywork in print or cursive, additional projects and book suggestions, lined pages for recording all of the experiments your child completed, crossword puzzles and word searches, and full-color, cut-and-fold mini books to assemble. Field trip sheets are provided at the back of the notebook to record information if you choose to visit museums, etc.

As I mentioned earlier, the notebook includes a suggested schedule of completing one lesson every 2 weeks. Their schedule also suggests doing science 2 days per week, however, it is entirely up to you how you plan your schedule. There is much room for flexibility, in fact, we do science every day. To me, it is much easier to divide the lessons into really small chunks for younger children. Actually, I think it's better for me that way, too. :)

While the notebook is very handy, you can use the Apologia elementary science curriculum without it. In fact, I have used an Apologia notebook only one other time. Having a very tight homeschool budget, we usually make our own science 3-ring binders for recording notes, answering questions, and tracking projects. My sixth grade son even prefers this method since he doesn't like all of the extra "busy work" in the Apologia notebooks. I think the Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics Junior Notebooking Journal is working well for my daughter, though, since she doesn't like to write very much and even struggles a little in this area. On some days I substitute coloring pages or crossword puzzles for note-taking. That keeps her from becoming overwhelmed with too much writing.


I honestly didn't think learning about chemistry and physics could be so interesting. I remember hating chemistry when I had to take it in high school, but Jeannie Fulbright has a gift for bringing science to life, making it fun and interesting, and glorifying God in the process. Truly, after I read any of her science books, I can't help but be in awe and want to praise the Maker of heaven and earth!

I know my daughter has really enjoyed doing so many experiments. In this book, a lot of them are pretty quick and easy to do, so we've been able to do more than usual. When I asked her if she wanted to go back to anatomy and physiology after the review period, she said, "No!" She really likes learning about chemistry and physics which surprised me. In a good way, though. :) So, we will continue with Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics this year and resume anatomy next year which happens to be my favorite.


The 280-page Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics textbook is $39.00, and the 237-page Exploring Creation with Chemistry and Physics Junior Notebooking Journal is $24.00. Both are available on the website.

I highly recommend Apologia! Be sure to read more crew reviews by clicking the banner below.

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