Asia: The Peoples and History, a review

* the following post is a review of a book. I have received no compensation for reviewing this book, just an electronic copy, used for the purpose of this review*


Book:  Asia: The Peoples and History

Genre: Curriculum

Situational Uses: Home Bible Study, Sunday School, Children’s Church, Homeschool

Author: Bonnie Rose Hudson


E-Book available at: The Old Schoolhouse Magazine  for $6.95

Kindle Version available at: for $6.95

Print version is coming soon!

We used this book as a family devotional.  Each week, we broke from our usual family time and we would read a story and answer  the discussion questions from Asia: The Peoples and History.  My husband and I want our boys to have an understanding of other peoples and cultures. Life is so different when you live outside of the United States. We want them to know that not all the world has three or four Bibles to read or church buildings to meet in each week. Living in other cultures can be very difficult.

We are involved with a mid-week children’s ministry with our church and have been studying the missionary journeys of Paul in Acts. Our study of Asia: The Peoples and History helped us see that the need for the gospel hasn’t changed since the time of Paul. People today still need to know about Jesus.

Bonnie Rose Hudson uses vivid imagery to help your children experience what people in Asia experience each day. You will learn a bit more about the history of each country you study. There are also activities to help reinforce learning about each country and answer keys are included.

This book has studies on the following countries: Laos, Bangladesh, Napal, China, Iran, and Vietnam. If you were to follow a weekly study program the book would cover sixteen weeks worth of lessons.

My boys (ages 11 and 7) enjoyed the stories and activities each week.  They were always a little sad when a story ended, they wanted to hear more about the characters! My husband and I enjoyed listening to the boys answer the discussion questions. It was exciting to hear how they are growing and interpreting the world around them.  I think the best part for me, was hearing how they incorporated these lessons into their prayers.  With each new country we heard them include requests with their nightly prayers. It is a blessing to hear your child pray for people and places that need the Lord.

I encourage families to think about purchasing this book as a devotional study. It is a fantastic way to help your children learn about the people of Asia.

As a family, we decided to offer up a list of countries for Ms. Hudson’s next book.  We were thinking we would like to know more about the people and believers in the Philippines, Japan, Afghanistan, Cambodia, India, Kazakhstan, and North and South Korea.  What countries would you like to know more about? 


Pre-Sale! $4.95!

This sale is only good from 2/17/2014 until 02/23/14

Remember a few weeks ago when I told you I would be reviewing a book for one of my friends? Well, my review will post next week…..  but I wanted to let you know about the Pre-Sale. The book is available now and for a few dollars less than its regular price.

$4.95 is a bargain for this great study on Asia.

We have been using this book as a family devotional and it has been a wonderful trip through Asia.  If you are looking for a great little family study this book might just be for you.  You can click on the picture and be taken directly to the purchase page.



I don’t receive any compensation for reviewing this product.  I am just excited to share something a dear friend of mine wrote.  Thanks for reading all the way to the end of the post.


An Upcoming Review

I am excited to share with you something that a very dear friend of mine wrote.


I will be using this book with the boys in the weeks to come and you can learn more about it by going to Bonnie’s website.

The book is available February 24, 2014. Sign up here to receive information on pre-orders, discounts, and all the information on where you can purchase a copy.




Hands-on History

How many times have you studied history with your children and just wished you could dig a little deeper?  Maybe history is one of those “boring” subjects for your kids and you need a way to bring the subject alive. 

If either of these thoughts have crossed your mind…. let me take a moment to introduce you to a solution that will take care of both issues.

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Home School in the Woods has compiled everything you need to dig deeper and incorporate hands on fun into your studies.

Hunter and I had the chance to explore one of their great elementary school offerings; The Great Empires.

This year we have been studying World History and The Great Empires completely expanded and enhanced our regular textbook study.

When it arrived we were just beginning to study Ancient Greece, so, that is where we began with The Great EmpiresHome School in the Woods provides informative supplemental text that went deeper than what our textbook provided.  It was easy to read and kept Hunter engaged. After reading about Greece we used the map and key to plot and record the placement of the ancient cities.

Our next activity was decorating Greek pottery.  This way by far Hunter’s favorite activity.  We researched different styles of pottery on the internet and printed out a few examples to use as reference.


Hunter then drew his design and painted his very own piece of pottery

Our study continued, with designing our own shield, and making hummus, a yummy Greek treat.  We also read seven books ( all provided in each empire’s project list) to better understand the culture. The books were very easy to locate either electronically and free for my Kindle, or at our local library.

With all the in-depth study, visiting the provided links and reading the books,  our study of Ancient Greece lasted a little over three weeks.  

Our next  stop in our study of The Great Empires has been Ancient Rome. We followed the same path as our study of Greece and read the provided material and mapping the ancient cities. We are just wrapping up all of our reading choices, and as soon as I can gather the materials, we are going to paint our own fresco!

We really can’t wait to start our next ancient adventure.  Hunter has so enjoyed our extra study time that he want to invite the neighbor kids over to study with us this summer!  He is looking forward to learning more about Viking Coins, I am excited for Koi Fish. :)

We chose to use The Great Empires as an in-depth study.  We used all the resources they provided to help us learn more about the subject. If you wanted to just use the activities, you could do that as well.  There are no set rules on how to use the study.

The Great Empires will help you and your children learn more about 14 of the great empires of history.  For a detailed list of the empires that are covered go here. The cost is $18.95 for a downloadable version, and $19.95 if you would like a CD.  We used the downloadable version and it was easy to unzip and use.

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My prep time for each study was about an hour and that was mostly to locate the books we would be reading.  The projects have been easy to gather materials for in my local hometown.  I would recommend this curriculum to any homeschooling family, I do not feel that it would conflict with any particular curriculum or learning style, it would only enhance it.


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Meet the Pilgrims


I love history. I love how cultures and time periods weave together and tell the story of individuals who lived in the past. One of the most interesting time periods for me happens to be the Reformation, and the birth of our modern day churches.  In the Bible we read about the birth of the church in Acts, through late Roman civilizations we can learn about the church as it spread to Europe. The Reformation is where the excitement begins, the Gospel is in the hands of the people! Lives lived for Christ were radically transformed.

It is the midst of this time period that a group of people banded together. They didn’t want to hide their bibles and listen only to the priests of the Church of England.  They separated from that way of thinking. As they read God’s Word they found Key Principles and began to apply them to their lives. These people, in their quest to honor God, looked for a place where they could worship and live in the way that they felt the Bible was telling them to.  These Sepratists would travel to a new land; eventually, they would come to be called “The Pilgrims”

Now, when I was in school, Pilgrims were these cute little iconic people that wore black and white, and had over-sized buckles on their shoes.  They also seemed to be hopelessly linked to cornucopia spilling forth with maize, pumpkins and warty gourds.  …. And the Turkey…. you can’t forget how they were linked to the TURKEY!  We were taught that they came on the Mayflower, had a bad time, Indians saved them, and now we have Thanksgiving.  While it is a concise version, it leaves much to be desired…..Their story is so much deeper, richer, and such an evidence of God’s Grace! It should be studied, and learned from.  The principles that they ordered their lives upon still hold true today. 

I encourage you to teach your children about the Pilgrims as they are presented by Dayspring Christian Academy’s Online School in “The Pilgrim Story”.

This 17 lesson self paced  program goes far above and beyond the iconic and mundane retelling of the pilgrims that we are accustomed to.

At the core of Dayspring Christian Academy is something called the Principle Approach. I believe this is what sets this study above others on this subject.  As you read the distinctives of the Principal Approach you see that the Bible is the central resource that governs what they teach.  As they teach about the historical movements of the pilgrims, they also teach the key Biblical principles that motivated the pilgrims to behave as they did.  Terms like Christian Liberty, Liberty of Conscience,  and Christian Unity will become more real as you see them LIVED in the lives of the Pilgrims.  They become easier to apply in your life and help you children apply in theirs.

My husband, my two sons and I have so enjoyed going through these lessons.  The lessons are geared to those in the 3rd through 6th grades, but even Jeremiah at 5, and the adults at (ahem … cough…. 40 something) are learning with each lesson.

Each lesson is about 30-40 minutes and starts with Mom (me) printing out the resource list that accompanies each of the PowerPoint presentations.  Hunter fills out the questions as we go along and completes the other activities that go along with the lessons.  We read through the vocabulary words, and Daddy reads any of the famous quotes from the Pilgrim leaders.  The extra activites are included with the presentations and they are not overly time consuming.  They do however, drive home concepts in a practical way.  Students are asked to reason through the concepts presented and apply them to a situation that they may personally experience. For example, in Unit 2, while discussing what the Pilgrims had to take for supplies on their journey, Hunter was asked to decide what things he would want to take with him if he had to make a similar journey.  This was an opportunity for my husband and I to talk with the boys about needs and wants, and how in our current family financial situation, we the parents have to make decisions about things that are needs and wants.  This even rabbit trailed into a discussion on budgeting for our wants and budgeting things like food, so we don’t eat it all the day in comes home from the store.

Many lessons come with additional reading resources.  ( Especially the virtual field trip at the end of the study) We have a few of the recommended books on order with our library and we are looking forward to reading through them and supplementing our studies even and going back through the presentations.  That is the beauty of the self paced lessons, there is time to take the rabbit trail and learn from living books and original source documents.

For our family, Unit 2 spawned the most discussion.  Our family is in the midst of times that from the outside look like great reasons to despair.  As we learned about how the Seperatists were stranded, captured, jailed, as they tried to leave England.  We discussed how hard that must have been and how they may have wanted to give up.  Through the lens of history we can now see how those situations were ordained by God to build Christian Character in the lives of the Pilgrims….  In some cases, those hardships protected them from even more hardship that they could not forsee. 

We were able to take these lessons as we watched The Pilgrim Story and draw parallels to our lives today.  We looked back at our lives for the last year and made a list of  how God has provided for us using the principle of Christian Unity and our local church body. We could clearly see how He has strengthened our faith and Christian Character, and how He is in control still. We have hope that as we look back through this time as a family that we will see even more ways God’s grace will be revealed.

If you are interested in purchasing The Pilgrim story to use in your home, the cost of the Self Paced Course is $99.00.  It will be available for your learning at a time that fits into your family’s schedule.  Dayspring also offers two other self paced courses, both at the High School level, Literature and AP Statistics.  The Pilgrim Story is their only self paced elementary option at this point.  I hope this does not remain the case for long….

Please don’t think of this curriculum as just another American History course. I challenge you to view it as an opportunity to study the motivating foundations and principles of men and women who founded their lives on Christ, and by God’s grace, they landed on a rock in Plymouth and founded a nation.


I was given access to “The Pilgrim Story” by Dayspring Christian Academy, free of charge, expressly for the purpose of this review.  No other compensation has been received.



This Week in History with A Thomas Jefferson Education


 “For great education to occur, students must choose to study long, hard and effectively because they genuinely love it! It must be their passion and their delight. When students are deeply in love with studying, they learn in “the flow” and they absorb massive amounts of information, knowledge, understanding, connections and wisdom in a very short time.”  ~ Thomas Jefferson Education website.

That is a statement that I would wholeheartedly agree with.  My children learn the most when they LOVE what they are learning.   If they don’t love it; I might as well be telling them to chew off their own arm: for that is how pleasurable their learning will be.

A Thomas Jefferson Education want you the parent to experience the joy of helping each of your children to discover, develop and polish his/her genius. This is the essence and very definition of great education.

A Thomas Jefferson Education encourages parents to apply the 7 keys of Teaching:
1.Classics, Not Textbooks
2.Mentors, Not Professors
3.Inspire, Not Require
4.Structure Time, Not Content
5.Simplicity, Not Complexity
6.Quality, Not Conformity
7.You, Not Them

to help them educate their children to their full potential. To read more about the 7 Keys to Great Teaching, click here.

This Week In History; the Thomas Jefferson Education’s subscription program, delivers new lessons to your email inbox each week.  Each week full of pictures, links and videos to help you educate your children to their full potential. The program costs $9.99 a month; can satisfy the learning levels of grades K-12 and delivers the following benefits to you the homeschooling parent:

relieves fear, stress and burnout
fills in the gaps
cultivates cultural literacy
facilitates state or provincial compliance
correlates resources for co-ops, classrooms and family learning
harnesses the power of technology in a classical leadership education
harmonizes with Unschooling, Charlotte Mason, Montessori, Trivium/Quadrivium, IEW, eclectic, etc.
delivers new ideas and areas of learning to you and your child
instigates discussions and projects that expand wisdom and understanding
connects the subject areas–from music to math, from geography to world religions, from hobbies to science  projects, etc.
motivates you and your students to greater excellence

What we enjoyed about the This Week In History:

You can use it as little or as much as you choose.  There is no requirement to do ALL the activites or lessons for the week.  As we lazily wound our way through summer, this student led method of learning was enjoyable for us.  I let Hunter read through the Week of History and we dug deeper where we wanted to.  I see us using it weekly if not daily as the school year begins in a few weeks. 

Each week appears as a blog post when you log in to the site.  It makes it easy to read and easy to focus on.  You weren’t distracted by weeks and weeks of archives to scroll through, you get the week you need to currently explore. 

We enjoyed how each daily fact has pictures and additional links and resources to help you better understand each fact. I liked how there were suggestions for discussion, writing or hands on activites.  This week, there is a link to make your own silly putty.  Who can resist hands- on learning like that?

We have always been a more of a Charlotte Mason styled homeschool…. or maybe we are a little unschooled, and this year we will change our educational game plan completely, so I would most assuredly call us an Eclectic Homeschool…. and This Week in History certianly delivers many opportunities for learning that blends with our style of learning.  I recommend it highly, both as a supplement and a stand alone history source. The price for the quality of information is well worth it.

If you would like to view a sample week Click here.  Follow the link below to see how Schoolhouse Review Crew Members used This Week in History by Thomas Jefferson Education, in their homeschool environments.


Click to read Crew Reviews


The creators of This Week in History a subscription program from A Thomas Jefferson Education supplied Schoolhouse Review Crew Members with a on year subscription, for the purpose of this review.  No other compensation has been recieved.  All opinions were formulated by our use of the program in our homeschool environment.


Learn with Zane

We were a little tickled when we learned that we were chosen for this review.  We knew it would be an easy name for us to remember, Hunter has a great friend named Zane.  :) 

Now, after this review, I feel like we have two friends named Zane, and one of them has the last name Education.


What is Zane Education? 

Zane Education is an online learning website created for the whole family, especially those with visual learners. It is also helpful to those who have families with special needs. Learning can will happen away from the textbook with Zane Education.

Zane Education combines informative video clips to watch, and online interactive quizzes to help parents determine if their child is understanding the subject matter.

This video learning site is quite extensive.  Our review period has barely afforded us the time to view all that is available….. the video catalogue is 41 pages long!

There are videos available in the following subject areas and for the following grade levels:

We enjoyed watching the subtitled videos, all the videos…. even those that weren’t in our age range.  We watched lots of Science videos that were geared for older students, we loved them and even tried to take a few of the older tests.  Let’s just say that these tests are not wimpy tests.  I had to step in and finish taking the test for Hunter, and I flunked them…. there were words on that quiz I couldn’t pronounce!  When your children pass these online quizzes, they will really know their stuff!

All of the videos contain subtitles to help a child with their reading skills.  I understand the idea of that………  but something tells me that for my kid…. he isn’t looking at the words….. he is just watching the show.  I guess the theory is that just the subliminal sight of the words helps to improve reading.  I am not sure I completely buy into that theory for my child, but if you would like to read more research and decide for yourself, you can go here to read more.

Zane Education is committed to bringing a complete and comprehensive educational choice to homeschoolers for an affordable price. 

With the exception of the online subtitled video library which is a Premium Service, all of the other resources/ videos provided on the website are free to use after a user has completed the Registration form for a free Basic Membership. And yes, even the Math videos (without subtitles) are free to use.  This Basic Membership Level would be a great place for you to begin if you would like to experience the website for yourself.

They offer the following Membership Levels:

  • GOLD MEMBERSHIP provides access to the videos for all topics at just $17.99 per month or $197.89 per year.
  • SILVER MEMBERSHIP provides access to the videos for all topics in a particular Age/Grade at just $12.99 per month or $142.89 per year.
  • BRONZE MEMBERSHIP provides access to the videos for all topics in a particular Subject at just $8.99 per month or $98.89 per year.

Each Membership Level is good for use with your ENTIRE family, regardless of how many students you have. 

Zane Education is currently offering a  35% discount on the purchase of any annual 12-month Gold, Silver or Bronze Membership subscription.  This discount is valid through until the end of August 2012.  Use the coupon code:  ZE643HSM  at check out to obtain your discount.

Overall, we liked using Zane Educations Visual Learning Website.  It was easy to navigate, videos were easy to find by grade or subject level.  It was a great way for use to have learning through the summer months without having to plan, organize and teach the lessons myself.  During the school year I can see us using the site as a resource to learn additional information that might not be covered in our usual studies.

Please visit the Zane Education website to see the extensive resources that are available to help you and your child succeed.

Disclaimer:  I was given access to Zane Education’s full premium website ( Gold Membership) for one year, free of charge, for the express purpose of this review.  No other compensation has been received, all of the above opinions are based on the use of this program within our homeschool environment.



it is Super Duper easy to build listening skills!


I know I am the only parent with a child that “doesn’t listen”. I am convinced that I am the only parent who tells their child to do three things and they can never remember the list, they somehow thought I said play with your Lego’s between pick up your room and bring out your dirty laundry, and go outside between finish your math and empty the dishwasher!

Wait…….. What was that? That happens at your house too?

I am so relieved! I thought it was only me!

Now that I know you share my angst over a child who has trouble following a list of instructions…. I am very happy to share with you a great game that will help your child build and improve their verbal recall and auditory comprehension.


Hear Builder Auditory Memory Game is a fun way to build listening skills. Created for optimum use by the K-8 crowd…. in our house we found all age levels, even dad, crowding around the computer to watch and play. We reviewed the HOME EDITION of this game and it is available for purchase for $69.95.  You can use the Home Edition CD-Rom game with up to four students, and customize each one’s level of play.

Hear Builder works in five different skill areas, it will develop skills in the following areas:

  • Memory for Number ( 3-7 digits )
  • Memory for Words ( 3 – 5 words )
  • Memory for Details ( 1-4 details )
  • Auditory Closure ( sentence completion)
  • Memory for WH  information ( those who, what, when, why, and where, questions, 2-4 sentences/ 2-4 questions)

Playing this game has given Hunter some tools to help him remember long strings of numbers,  He really likes all the word games and I have seen great improvement in his predictive reading skills.  We learned that he remembers his number sets better if he sings them.  Both the Word games and Number games come with Memory Strategies that will build confidence and skill as your child uses them.

When I told him that we were going to be reviewing a game that helped build listening skills, he balked.  He looked at me and with his razor sharp wit, sarcastically bantered, “You asked for this so I could listen and obey better, didn’t you?”   To which I replied, “No, but I am hoping it is a glorious side effect.”  In true pre-teen fashion he rolled his eyes at me and began to play the game….. his first session lasted nearly an hour and a half.    It sucked him in and he forgot it was a learning game.

He enjoyed himself so much! I have heard him shout ” I am a lean, green, listening machine!”  as he gets levels correct, and moves through the game.

One cautionary note to parents who may start with an older child.   Do not set the level of play in the game to all levels.  Hunter was frustrated at about level 13 in the numbers game when we did that.  I went in and created a new player with a beginner level, and the game was much easier for him to adjust to.  Make sure you start slow so you don’t frustrate your child on the first day.

If you are looking for a self paced, non threatening way to build your child’s verbal recall skills,  Hear Builder Auditory Memory Game is my recommendation.

To receive a 30% discount on Hear Builder Auditory Memory Home Edition follow this link and enter the following coupon code.

Coupon Code:       BLGAM30            Coupon Expires 8/31/12

Many of my fellow Crew Mates reviewed different products from Super Duper Publications.  Please follow the link below and see if there are other products that may bless your family as you homeschool.



I received a copy of Hear Builder Auditory Memory Game ( Home Edition ) free of charge, expressly for the purpose of reviewing this product.  NO other compensation has been received.  All of the above opinions shared are a result of using this product in our homeschool environment.



Learn to type with Keyboarding for the Christian School

Hunter is always after me to be on the computer.  He wants to play games and to type, trouble is, he isn’t very good at the typing part.  We had a nice time using Keyboarding for the Christian School a complete typing curriculum created to help you teach your children how to type using today’s technology; the Keyboard.

We reviewed Keyboarding for the Christian School, Elementary Version, the cost is $12.95 and is designed to be used for grades K-5.  We learned the basics of Keyboarding with the help of Miss Mabel the ladybug.  The Elementary Version is available in both regular and large print.

I liked the pace of the lessons.  We did not feel overwhelmed with what they were asking us to type. Hunter was able to move through a lesson in about a half an hour….  the last exercise of each lesson being the one that took the most time.

It was a blessing to see my child typing more than just rote words, but verses and biblical truths. This is a curriculum we will use over and over through the elementary years to help build speed and typing fluency.

If you have older students that need to learn how to type, or perhaps just improve their speed, Keyboarding for the Christian School, costs $15.95 and was created to be used by students in the 6th through the 12th grades. You may view sample lessons HERE.

Please visit the Keyboarding for the Christian School website to see the Teachers Tools and other courses they have available to help your child type and understand how to use their computer keyboard.

Keyboarding for the Christian School is an e-book.  That means you download it to your computer and can use it over and over and over.  We printed out the pages for the lessons we would work on that day.  I think it was very beneficial to Hunter to learn how to type from a piece of paper and not just something from his own head.  I have heard that other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew used their e-books in a variety of ways over the past weeks.  To find out more about how each family used this product in their own homeschool follow the link below.

Click to read Crew Reviews
 ***** Disclaimer******

As a Schoolhouse Review Crew member I was given a download of Keyboarding for the Christian School, free of charge, solely for the purpose of this review.  No other compensation has been received.  All opinions above were based on our use of this product in our homeschool environment.


leave the textbook behind and read a book!

I love to read books.  Even more, I love reading books to my kids. 

A major component of our Curriculum over the years has been the reading lists from Ambleside Online.  I prefer real live books to textbooks, any day.

The trouble with booklists on the internet, is the finding of the books.  I have spent HOURS, upon HOURS searching for books in print, or for the correct downloadable format for us to read.  When my Kindle came along, I would search and search the free book lists to find the ones that we might need in the right format to download.

Heritage History eliminates the need for all that hunting around on the internet.  Many of the books we have searched for are easily accessed on these discs.  I appreciate how they are broken up into themed collections, making it very easy use.


We reviewed the Young Readers Collection.  These books are meant to be started in the 4th grade, especially if you are going to be using Heritage History through the High School years.

Do not be afraid to use this collection with younger children as read aloud material. My Four Year Old enjoyed listening to books from this collection.



Being the introductory collection, the selections are easy-to-read and cover many historical periods, providing a broad introduction to Western Culture.  You will find short stories from American, European, Ancient, and Biblical history.

Disk Includes 86 books, Recommendations, and a Teacher’s Guide

Both the Recommendations and Teacher’s Guide were helpful, there were a few tips in there I hadn’t thought of.  I appreciated that the disk contained more than one version of the book.  I could read it in PDF on my laptop.  I could sync it with my Kindle and read on the go, and if we ever get an iToy, I can use that version as well. 

If you are a lover of living books, these collections will be invaluable to you as you teach history to your children.


Young Readers Collection sells individually for $24.99, a very reasonable price for the time it will save you in hunting around the internet.

The entire 5 volume set ,The World History Collection, is available for $99.99, a savings of $25, over individual purchases.

You may visit their website at for more information and to see the extensive library they have available.

TOS Homeschool Crew Members reviewed portions of the entire World History Collection.  To read about their experiences, click here.

****** Disclaimer******

As a TOS Crew Member, I was selected to receive the Young Readers Collection from Heritage History, free of charge, and for the purpose of this review.  No other compensation has been received.  All of the above opinions are a result of using this curriculum in our homeschool.

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