Apologia Educational Ministries Health and Nutrition Basic Set (A Review)

Health and Nutrition Basic Set


Apologia Educational Ministries

Today I will be reviewing the Health and Nutrition Basic Set from Apologia Educational Ministries.

If you are looking for a high school health and nutrition course, let me introduce you to Exploring Creation with Health and Nutrition by Dr. Laura Chase, published by Apologia Educational Ministries, who has sent me the Health and Nutrition Basic Set.

First, I must state how much we adore Apologia . My daughter loves every single lesson she has learned with Apologia  materials. Kira says that she believes they are one of the best companies for Science materials.  As she is a Science buff, this is a very high compliment. It was no surprise to see how extremely excited Kira was when the Health and Nutrition Basic Set from Apologia Educational Ministries arrived! This wonderful set included a student notebook and a text book.

Kira with apologia textbooks

Kira could not wait to dive right into the books! We incorporated Health and Nutrition Basic Set from Apologia Educational Ministries into our daily lesson plans.  Kira averaged 90 minutes per day with her studies of the Health and Nutrition Basic Set .  This does not include our extra activities and field trips resulting from her lessons. Presently, she at module five.  Kira has absolutely loved each module, but is struggling a bit with module five.  The inner ear is causing her to become confused and we are outsourcing extra materials to help her fully comprehend this module properly.  It seems remembering the structures and their functions has caused her problems. For us, we like writing little poems or rhymes to help learn/memorize items, similar to, Every Good Boy Does Fine, in music.

Kira displaying one of her index cards for module 5.

This tactic, and using index cards, seems to help us ensure Kira can memorize most. It did, however, cause a mini melt down.  Sometimes homeschooling is not all kittens and rainbows.  As Kira is amidst SAT prep, she has placed extra pressure on herself.  Within as much, everything else becomes the teenage angstitute I have previously mentioned.  Some days, I feel as though I am in an endless cycle of a teenager’s self-doubt and self-deprecation.  I forget that kids all assume their parents are biased and not being honest when we tout just how incredible our kids are.  Some days, I pray that Kira could see herself through my eyes; then, perhaps, she could truly understand just how amazing and incredible she is.  Sadly, it seems every time I have said, “no, that is the wrong answer”, it has somehow stabbed her in the depths of her soul, causing her to think she cannot do anything right.  That homeschool over-achiever syndrome is real, and it is oh so brutal, guys! Perhaps the biggest lesson we have learned from Health and Nutrition Basic Set from Apologia Educational Ministries is patience.  Module 3 especially hit home with us. This is included, of course, with the absolutely wonderful lessons and education within Health and Nutrition Basic Set.

Kira apologia desk work

Kira enjoyed proving how good her hearing and eyesight (rather, her capability of seeing colors) is.  The best part was Kira expressing that her Daddy needs the hearing test more than she does.  Lord, isn’t this the truth.  If the man nods at you, rest assured that is a sure sign he didn’t hear a word you have said!

Kira expressed that her favorite module was the Physical Influences On Thoughts And Feelings. When I asked her why this particular module was her favorite, she said, “I’ve always enjoyed studying the nervous system. I have always found the different aspects of the brain fascinating.”

As if all of this weren’t enough, there is the free activity book. That is right, I said FREE!

Whether is was the fire drills or taking a field trip to the home improvement stores to price smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, we all enjoyed working through the lessons within Health and Nutrition Basic Set from Apologia Educational Ministries!

Below are images of a small sample of some of the lessons within the student notebook that Kira has completed to date.

Module 3

Module 3 truly hit home.
We all are extremely emotional and tend to speak before we think. This module was invaluable to us as a family!
Kira does not use a cell phone or a tablet and strictly uses a computer for school.  For her, fasting from technology was a breeze!



Kira enjoyed the reflection on birth order and trying to discover whether she behaved more like a first born vs the youngest child.  Kira also really enjoyed analyzing today’s culture.

Kira and I both highly recommend Health and Nutrition Basic Set from Apologia Educational Ministries to all homeschooling families.  It contains wonderful, thought-provoking lessons with fun projects.  We especially enjoyed doing our fire drills.  It is fun to watch us all scramble to leave the house in under 30 seconds from each room!!!

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Perelandra – eGuide from Progeny Press (A Review)

Perelandra – eGuide


Progeny Press

Today I will be reviewing the Perelandra eGuide from Progeny Press.  Kira is a huge fan of anything from C.S. Lewis.  I believe her obsession began about a decade or more ago, when she first read The Chronicles of Narnia. When Kira learned there was a space, science fiction trilogy from C.S. Lewis, she was all in! You may remember Kira has previously studied about C.S. Lewis.  For more on that please see my blog post, here.


The Perelandra eGuide from Progeny Press is a wonderful tool for students to use in conjunction with the second book within the C.S. Lewis trilogy, set in the Field of Arbol, first published in 1943.

Before I go further, I simply must tell you this: Kira LOVES interactive PDF lessons. She says it is  much easier and more fun to complete her lessons this way!

Kira loves being able to type all of her answers directly into the PDF itself and save it each time, as opposed to writing everything separately in a notebook.  Add to this the fact that Progeny Press makes earning High School Literature credits easy with high school level study guides such as  Perelandra – eGuide .

Kira and book
Kira reading her own personal copy of Perelandra

The  Perelandra – eGuide   was an easy and quick download.  It was easier to get the guide than the book itself! After waiting for a couple of weeks on the library to get a copy, we found one online and purchased it.  Luckily. shipping was quick, and free, too. If only everything were as quick and easy as obtaining the  Perelandra – eGuide  from Progeny Press!

Another wonderful aspect of the PDF is the option for me to print it.  We share a computer here at home and there are days where I must meet a deadline.  When that happens, it is easy to simply print whichever page Kira needs from the incredible  Perelandra – eGuide  from Progeny Press.

I also love that I have a separate answer key.  This makes grading KIra’s work quicker and easier.  At this stage, with all the work required for her as a high schooler, quicker and easier is ALWAYS welcomed!

Each day, KIra brought her Bible, Thesaurus and dictionary to the desk as she worked on her  Perelandra – eGuide  from Progeny Press.

I asked Kira to briefly explain what she loved and did not love about the Perelandra – eGuide  from Progeny Press. I also asked her if she would recommend this to other high school home schoolers.  This is what Kira said:

“I love this study guide! It is divided into four sections that ensure you have mastered the content of each chapter: Vocabulary, Main questions, Analysis questions, and the Dig Deeper questions. Answering these questions is difficult but not impossible, and quite fun, too. I especially appreciate the vocabulary section, as I am learning many new words from reading Perelandra. My favorite parts are the Dig Deeper questions, which discuss the philosophical and theological view points of the story. I would highly recommend this study guide to anyone reading Perelandra for high school literature.”

We have enjoyed reviewing Perelandra – eGuide  from Progeny Press tremendously and look forward to adding more from Progeny Press to Kira’s literature curriculum. Kira expressed her interest in The Scavengers – eGuide next!


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Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide to Programming (Volume 1) {A Review}

Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide to Programming (Volume 1)


Code For Teens

Today I will be reviewing Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide to Programming (Volume 1) from Code For Teens.

All you have to do is pay attention to the world around you to see that this has become an age where technology rules virtually everything in our everyday lives.  From social media to banking, it seems as though practically everything revolves around computers and technology! Within as much, it is becoming essential to know how to code.  Because of this, I was thrilled to be able to review Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide to Programming (Volume 1) from Code for Teens.

This comprehensive guide will help your student (and you) learn Java the most fun and easy way possible!!!

Kira was extremely excited once she began using Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide to Programming (Volume 1) from Code for Teens. She immediately knew that this hands-on learning structure made all of the difference!

Kira with code for teens Kira had previously done some minor coding online  with other resources and expressed how pleased she was with The Awesome Beginner’s Guide to Programming (Volume 1) from Code for Teens! She said with the other lessons, they would give you the definition, yet not explain the why.  With The Awesome Beginner’s Guide to Programming (Volume 1) from Code for Teens, not only do they provide all of the definitions, but they actually delve into the aspects of the how and why.  Kira expressed that this made remembering things much easier. I could personally see her enthusiasm grow with each lesson.  Each time she would explain to me what she had done and ask me to look at her progress!

screen shot of codeThe above is a screen shot of one of the Do-It-Yourself drills Kira completed after doing her lesson.  Kira was so very proud of herself once she did this!

Each day, Kira spent approximately an hour or so to complete a lesson. She, as instructed, kept a folder with all of her coding lessons that she saved for her “workbook” using our word processor.

workbook screenshot
Kira’s Workbook

Although this is designed for teens, I have decided to learn right along with Kira, as I seriously should have learned all of this years ago.  I managed to pick up bits and pieces.  However, it may as well have been in Chinese, as none of it really made sense.  I fell into a rut of copying and pasting codes for many projects.  I found it fascinating that my 14 year old was able to do all of the Do-It-Yourself portions of her work without even looking at the workbook.  This helped solidify the fact I surely could do the same at age 45!

Kira has enjoyed Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide to Programming (Volume 1) from Code for Teens so much and is looking forward to next learning HTML and CSS in Volume 2!!!

Kira and I highly recommend Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide to Programming (Volume 1) from Code for Teens to anyone who would like to learn coding.

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Math Essentials Math Refresher For Adults (A Review)

Math Essentials

Math Refresher For Adults 

Today I will be reviewing Math Refresher For Adults from  Math Essentials. The title explains it all! It is a refresher to help us educate our young budding mathematicians.  This is the essential tool for me, as I remembered virtually NOTHING that I learned in High School.  The closer Kira came to entering High School, the more my anxiety built up. When I received   Math Refresher For Adults from  Math Essentials, my anxiety eased tremendously.  I quickly browsed the pages. Now, I realize that we have Google.  It is very easy to simply look things up; however, they rarely are worded in a way  I, as a parent, can comprehend.   Math Refresher For Adults from  Math Essentials is something I could comprehend fully.  It is clear, concise, and written intelligently to serve as an essential tool in refreshing your math skills.  I found the tips on page 5 exceptionally helpful, and followed their suggestions, which helped tremendously. For me, this book is a God send.

I found that the corresponding video tutorial for each lesson was also incredibly helpful. It is wonderful that they are included with the book, taught by Richard W. Fisher, winner of the  Intel Innovations in Teaching Award!

The table of contents became essential, as I wanted to focus on what I had completely forgotten, as well as what Kira is presently learning.  From Addition to Algebra, everything is included. I found myself enjoying Math more than I remembered previously.  As a matter of fact, I believe I couldn’t stand Math as a child. Perhaps that was because of how I was taught in school.  What ever the reason may be, it brought me to a point where I needed this book!

I have enjoyed refamiliarizing myself with Math.  I also believe I have learned things that I somehow missed in my former education! This has provided me with the confidence I need to ensure I am providing Kira with the best education possible. It will also help to avoid the frustrations which inevitably would lead to teenage angst and arguments! I never thought I would say this, but I actually like Math now.  After all, Math is in every single thing we do, each and every day.  Understanding Math better is like being in on a big secret!

It seems my excitement about Math has become infectious! Now, Kira is more excited about it as well.  And, here is the biggest surprise of all, my husband! I caught him browsing through Math Refresher For Adults from  Math Essentials! This may not sound like a big deal to some people.  However, those of you who know my husband, know he simply NEVER reads!  I am extremely grateful to  Math Refresher For Adults from  Math Essentials.  This valuable tool has enabled me to have the confidence I need to focus on my daughter’s education fully, sans anxiety and fears.

Written by Richard W. Fisher, winner of the  Intel Innovations in Teaching Award,  Math Refresher For Adults from  Math Essentials, is a valuable resource.  Whether you are like me, a home schooling parent, or you are preparing for a test that includes math, I highly recommend Math Refresher For Adults from  Math Essentials.

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Memoria Press Traditional Logic I Complete Set (A Review)

Memoria Press

Traditional Logic I Complete Set


Today I will be reviewing Traditional Logic I Complete Set from  Memoria Press.


As you can clearly see, Kira was very excited when the package from Memoria Press arrived!!!

For those of you who follow our Home School Journey regularly, you will know we are big fans of Memoria Press. Their educational materials have been a staple for us throughout our journey.  Within as much, when Memoria Press Traditional Logic I Complete Set arrived, Kira could not wait to open the box and see what was inside.  Kira says her favorite part of  Memoria Press packages is how inclusive the materials are. Everything you need is in one box! This certainly helps us in today’s hectic world.  Anything that will save me a step or two is a God send. Gone are the days when I had time to go to the Library or Barnes And Nobel to search for reference materials or spend hours online searching.  Now that Kira is a high school student, our focus must stay on topic and there is little time left for much else!

Within as much, it was no surprise to be completely impressed with the contents of the box! This Traditional Logic I Complete Set is truly COMPLETE!

We adapted our daily lessons to include at least two hours per day to work on the Traditional Logic I Complete Set.  Each day, Kira would diligently bring the student text, student workbook, and the student quizzes and tests book to her desk. Kira tends to work at a faster pace than most students, as we do home school lessons year round.  Mind you, we do take vacations and give Kira holidays off! Because Kira does work fast, she averaged finishing approximately one week’s lesson each day.  Again, this is not a normal pace. We try to go over each lesson again the next day to ensure she has actually committed it all to memory.  We noticed Kira was finishing books rapidly when she was very young.  Although it did seem impressive, she was not fully remembering all that she had read.  Now she knows to always go over everything at least a second time to ensure she will not forget it later. We also make sure to quiz again each and every chapter upon completion.  This helps ensure Kira has fully grasped each lesson fully.  Here are a few examples of the lessons and quizzes Kira completed.


















Kira enjoyed Memoria Press Traditional Logic I Complete Set immensely. Kira said,
“The lessons were short, simple, and were easy to understand, because they were explained fully and in great detail. I had a lot of fun completing these lessons and learning a new way to see and think about logic.  I had never thought of these concepts in this way before. I know this will help increase my learning among my other subjects as well.  It certainly has helped to increase my vocabulary!”


The  Memoria Press Traditional Logic I Complete Set comes with:

Text – A beautiful book to accompany the workbook, full of everything your child needs to complete his/her lessons.  Kira says that the definitions help her comprehend what otherwise would be words that are hard to understand.

Student Workbook – This workbook contains approximately 4-7 pages of exercises per lesson. The lessons are laid out in a way to ensure your student learns. Kira says her favorite part of the work book is that it includes reviews of the previous chapter at the end of each lesson.

Quizzes And Tests Book- This will help enforce your child’s learning and comprehension. Kira expressed that the tests and quizzes ensure she is mastering the lessons, and said they are challenging but not impossible.

Instructional DVD – Set of 2 Discs These will help to ensure mastery by reinstating concepts.  We love that they include downloadable lecture slides!

The Teacher Key- This will help you grade all quizzes and tests.

We highly recommend Memoria Press Traditional Logic I Complete Set for all.  We already are preparing to get Kira Traditional Logic II Complete Set  next!


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Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary from The Critical Thinking Co.™ (A Review)


Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary


The Critical Thinking Co.™


Today I will be reviewing Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary from The Critical Thinking Co.™.

My little detective was quite excited when Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary from The Critical Thinking Co.™ arrived.
We have used their books and software throughout our homeschooling journey over the years. Kira is a big fan of the Word Roots series and actually chose The Critical Thinking Co.™  logo as one of her study examples within her Graphic Design lessons. Needless to say, Kira was eager to dive in! And she certainly was not disappointed! As this is geared towards 5th through 12th graders, Kira found this one a little easy, albeit time consuming, as her three year old dictionary was missing many of the words provided as choices. Kira gets very annoyed when she has to go look things up.  It seems as though she would prefer the world at her fingertips…insert a Google search here, and world at your fingertips provided! I lovingly call this, teenageitus. Bare in mind, Kira is not allowed to use the internet unsupervised.  We are a bit strict on this, as I have mentioned previously.  No matter how safe or secure you may believe your web browser is, believe me, it is not, and to avoid any further problems within our household, we have opted to ensure Kira’s safety when using the internet. So, if Kira has to look things up, she has to not only get permission but have us watch her do so.

Kira was able to complete one mystery per day with ease.  As a supplement, I would believe any student between grades 5 through 12 could easily complete at least two mysteries per week.

They mysteries are set up cleverly, and the illustrations are colorful and eye appealing.  The stories and suspects are believable which helps engage the student.

Kira has always loved logic puzzles of any shape or form and found  Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary from The Critical Thinking Co.™ to be quite fun, although not as challenging for her as she would have liked them to be.  Again, bare in mind, she is 14 and had been doing logic puzzles for many years on multiple levels. In her opinion.  Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary from The Critical Thinking Co.™  would be best suited for children in middle school.  Kira was excited to learn many new words that she had never used, heard, or even read before.

If there were one aspect that Kira could change about  Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary from The Critical Thinking Co.™  it would be this; Kira would like for it to delve more into the vocabulary lessons to affirm and ensure proper comprehension of the vocabulary words and their definitions.  We have opted to do this on our own, now that she has completed  Critical Thinking Detective: Vocabulary from The Critical Thinking Co.™ , and Kira will be creating a story compromised of each vocabulary word.  We did a similar lesson many moons ago when Kira was learning her prepositions to ensure she could memorize them.  It certainly did help us a great deal.



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Christian Heroes: Then & Now – C.S. Lewis From YWAM Publishing (A Review)


Christian Heroes- C.S. Lewis


YWAM Publishing


Today I will be reviewing Christian Heroes- C.S. Lewis from YWAM Publishing. It is from their Christian Heroes Then And Now Series.  Kira was extremely excited to begin this lesson! She is a big fan of C.S. Lewis.  The Chronicles of Narnia is among her favorite collections of series. It was no surprise to see her dive straight into the book when it arrived!

You will also note that Kira has the study guide open on our desktop as she was reading. I cannot tell you adequately enough how amazing the study guide is!

The included incredible study guide contains everything you need! I was simply amazed at all there is! The unit study curriculum guide is absolutely incredible. Kira loves it too. I can print it out or leave it on the computer, which is especially nice as we share the computer.  I could conceivable plan a year’s worth of lessons with this guide!  It is, simply put, INCREDIBLE! From key bible verses to memorize, to chapter questions, and everything in between. Kira loved the student activities!

Kira has a folder designated specifically for  Christian Heroes- C.S. Lewis from YWAM Publishing! Above she is working on maps of the United Kingdom and a map of Europe. At one point, Kira had her globe out and was searching; amidst this, she expressed how much she was enjoying these lessons. The activities with the maps alone are phenomenal!

Perhaps one of the best parts, for me personally, was when Kira mentioned she had many theological questions that reading  Christian Heroes- C.S. Lewis from YWAM Publishing brought to mind.  Any home school parent will tell you, a curious child is a learning child! My beautiful teenager had a full page of questions ready for me.  Ranging from topics like, “Who made God?” to “Why does God let innocent children suffer?” I welcomed the questions, not as a means to force my beliefs and faith on Kira, but as an opportunity to share with her what I believe personally, as well as what others believe.  I told her it is up to her to decide which faith feels right for her and what she believes will help guide her.  It was the first significant conversation we had had about God in many years.  Kira also expressed the wonderment of learning about an author she admired. As an aspiring author herself, I believe  Christian Heroes- C.S. Lewis from YWAM Publishing was an important tool on her journey.

We have lessons that will surely last us throughout the year now, but are already looking to  Christian Heroes Then And Now Series from  YWAM Publishing. We are considering David Livingstone next, although I honestly wouldn’t mind any of the available titles.

We also have looked over the Heroes Of History from YWAM Publishing  and will be incorporating several titles into Kira’s history studies within our curriculum!

I asked Kira what she thought about  Christian Heroes- C.S. Lewis from YWAM Publishing and she said, “I enjoyed reading the book. It was concise and beautifully written.  The book provided many details into aspects of his life that I would have never otherwise known. I especially enjoyed learning about what was behind The Chronicles of Narnia. The study guide was AWESOME! The chapter questions were both fun and thought provoking, causing me to reflect upon what I read, and ensuring I fully understood each concept presented within. The student activities were fun; I could not possibly choose a favorite!”

We highly recommend Christian Heroes Then And Now Series from  YWAM Publishing. Kira especially recommends Christian Heroes- C.S. Lewis!


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