Your trusted source for honest reviews on educational products, and updates on our homeschooling journey!

  • Generation Genius Science Subscription Box Review

    We have used various science subscription boxes in our homeschool and have had positive experiences. Science is just one of those subjects that is inherently fun. My son and I randomly came across Generation Genius on YouTube, and instantly fell in love with the brand. The videos are great! I recently learned that they also have science subscription boxes, and knew we had to try them out. I had no idea just how incredible the experience would be for us. Keep reading to find out how we were hooked, and why you need Generation Genius in your home.

    What’s Included?

    The Generation Genius Science Kit is a subscription box that includes everything needed to do three science experiments. It is intended for ages 9-99. The experiments vary each month and can cover chemistry, biology, engineering, and more. There’s also enough supplies to do each experiment multiple times. The Generation Genius Science Kit also features step-by-step videos with the host (Dr. Jeff), instead of a written manual. The subscription is offered as a monthly, 3 month, or 6 month subscription. Prices range from $29.95/month to $39.95/month. For a limited time, Generation Genius is offering the first month’s box for FREE!

    Our Experience

    When I tell you that I cannot say enough good things about Generation Genius— I mean it! The experience was awesome. I took advantage of the deal mentioned above, and got our subscription box practically for free. I had to pay shipping, which was just $7.95. The box came quickly and I was immediately impressed by the presentation. The supplies included were great quality, and the chemicals were labeled and safely stored. We logged on to the website, as instructed from the box, and entered the included password to access the step-by-step videos.

    Dr. Jeff, the host, was funny and kept my 4 and 6 year old’s attention. We really loved how the videos went into detail about why the experiments worked the way they did. I do recognize that my kids are not necessarily the intended audience. However, with my assistance, they were still able to perform and understand the experiments. Once they are older, I know they’ll be able to do them independently. The step-by-step video is paced well, so we didn’t have any issues with not keeping up. Plus, the video can easily be paused if needed.

    The three experiments that we did were Turn Liquid into Worms, Draw Patterns that Glow, and Liquid that Changes Color. We did each experiment multiple times, which added to the fun. We really loved experimenting with different variations of the same experiment. It allowed us to test our own hypotheses about how variables may change the experiment.

    Final Thoughts

    In case you can’t tell already, I would 100% recommend the Generation Genius Science Kit. It is so well put together, and priced more than appropriately given the amazing experience to be had. If you are looking to try out a science kit, now is the best time to get the Generation Genius Science Kit. I promise you and your kids will love it!

  • Pumpkin Elephant Toothpaste Experiment

    It’s October which means that pumpkin season is in full effect. We enjoy STEM activities year round, but in October we like to do activities with pumpkins. Without a doubt, our favorite is pumpkin elephant toothpaste. It’s the same experiment as regular elephant toothpaste. The only catch is that instead of doing it in a bottle or glass jar, we do it inside of a pumpkin! It’s fun and exciting, plus the experiment uses readily available ingredients. In this post I will show you how we make it through our experience. Plus, I’ve included a free printable with detailed instructions below!

    Here’s What You Need

    • Hollowed out pumpkin
    • 1 cup (4 oz) 6% hydrogen peroxide. We used a 20 volume clear developer (liquid).
    • Food coloring
    • 6 tablespoons of warm (not hot) water
    • 2 packets of active yeast
    • 2 tablespoons of dish soap
    • Recycled plastic water bottle, jar, beaker, etc.
    • Funnel
    • Tray
    • Measuring cups and spoons
    • Safety goggles

    You can certainly use a generic hydrogen peroxide, but we wanted something a bit more concentrated. We were able to find a 20 Volume Developer (liquid version) at our local Sally Beauty Supply. We also doubled this recipe for an even bigger reaction.

    Our Experience

    We have done this experiment almost half a dozen times, and it never gets old. My soon-to-be two year old even got in on the act this time around, and he was truly amazed. What I love about this experiment is that while there are quite a few steps, it still doesn’t feel complicated. In order to make things a bit smoother, I went ahead and set out all of the ingredients ahead of time and did most of the prep work. So, when it was time all we really had to do was pour ingredients into the glass hiding inside our smiling pumpkin.

    While tempting, we avoided touching the “toothpaste” because it is a possible skin irritant. Before I knew that, I let my kids play with it (once it cooled) and they were fine. However, if your child has sensitive skin you may want to avoid touching it altogether.

    Will you try this fun experiment with your kids?

    Let me know in the comments if you try this fun pumpkin elephant toothpaste experiment with your kids!

  • Sensory Tissue Box Review

    I love exposing my children to toys that spark their curiosity and encourage brain development. We recently had the opportunity to try out a toy for my youngest child, who is almost 2. In this post I will share our experience with the Sensory Tissue Box.

    What’s Included?

    The Sensory Tissue Box is a sensory toy designed for children from ages 5 months and up. It offers a soft sensory experience that also helps little ones develop and work on important tools. The Sensory Tissue Box lets them work on their pincer grasp, fine motor skills, and the understanding of object permanence. It is priced at $23.75.

    Our Experience

    It’s rare that we get the opportunity to review a product with my youngest son, Arrow, in mind. The Sensory Tissue Box is brightly colored and I really love the varying textures of the scarves or “tissues” that are included. I had high hopes for this experience, but if I’m being honest, Arrow just wasn’t that into it. He is just shy of 2 years old, and I honestly feel like we just missed the window of him being able to enjoy The Sensory Tissue Box. It took a lot of encouragement on my end to get Arrow to want to engage with the toy. When he did want to play with it, he didn’t play for very long.

    I feel that if he was a bit younger, Arrow would have loved The Sensory Tissue Box. My son could very well be the outlier, but I think that the perfect age range is likely 4 to 12 months. Arrow is at an age where he is very curious and wants to walk around and explore his surroundings. Getting him to actually sit down and play is quite difficult these days.

    Final Thoughts

    I really wanted Arrow to love The Sensory Tissue Box. I love its design and that it is brightly colored, and the various textures. I also think that it is reasonably priced. But, it just didn’t work for Arrow. If you have an infant or young toddler, The Sensory Tissue Box will likely be a hit for them. If you have a very active and curious child like mine, you may to skip this one.

  • BioBox Labs The Senses: Our Superpowers Review

    Science is one of those subjects that has always caught the interest of my children. Since they were much younger, we have done simple science experiments at home that have also doubled as sensory activities. Things like making ooblek, baking soda and vinegar reactions, elephant toothpaste, etc. Now that they are a little bit older I want to change things a bit. This year I’m going to start introducing science experiments that are still fun, but also get them really thinking about how things work. Several months ago I attended a homeschool convention here in Texas and stumbled upon BioBox Labs. I was immediately impressed with their subscription boxes, and jumped at the opportunity to review one. In this post I will share our experience with one of the BioBox Labs subscription boxes.

    What’s Included

    Each BioBox subscription box includes real science equipment needed to conduct the experiments. There is also a lab notebook with instructions and space to document the results, as well as access to a corresponding video online. Educators can choose the monthly, 3-month, 6- month, 9-month, or annual subscription. Prices for the subscription boxes range from $49.99 to $58.95 per month depending on the subscription option chosen.

    Our Experience

    As I mentioned, my kids love science and they were ecstatic to see the BioBox Labs box and the real science equipment inside. Given their age, The Senses: Our Superpowers box was perfect because they were already familiar with the 5 senses. I really appreciated the incredible quality of the materials in the box. There are no toys included, everything is the real deal. Our box included the lab notebook, a tuning fork, glass beaker, glass thermometer, cotton swabs, ear plugs, packets of salt and sugar, pins, a felt bag, and a small box of candy.

    The instructions included in the lab notebook were simple and clear. The materials needed that were not included were all things that I readily had at home like cups and ice. The experiments did not require a lot of prep work. I was often able to do a quick read through in the morning, and felt confident to guide them with the experiments. I thought that it was great that there was information about how the senses worked, talking points, and a detailed diagram. My kids are very visual, so they appreciated the illustrations.

    Simply put, we really enjoyed conducting the experiments. It was exciting to dive deeper into a subject that they already had familiarity. My kids were also so happy to use real science equipment. The length of time for each experiment is about 15 minutes which was ideal given their age and attention span.

    My kids are 3 and 5, so there were a few times in which they needed quite a bit of help from me. I was prepared for this, as I knew that my kids are younger then the target age for the subscription boxes. Instead of writing, we had many discussions about the experiments and our results. I would imagine that the perfect age for the subscription boxes is around 7 and up. The amazing thing about the BioBox Labs boxes, is that most of the materials are reusable so we will be able to revisit the experiments when my kids are a bit older.

    August trying using his sense of taste to decipher sweet and salty

    Final Thoughts

    I was thoroughly impressed with BioBox Labs. We had a great experience conducting experiments. This was an awesome introduction into investigative science. We got to learn the “why” behind the way things work instead of focusing solely on the fun aspect. If you are looking for a way to incorporate Science at home, I would 100% recommend giving BioBox Labs a chance. I’m sure you’ll love it as much as we did.

  • Channie’s My First Pencils and My First Letters Review

    My son is in first grade, and as such we are focusing more on improving his handwriting. I am always looking for ways to work on this skill, and give him the tools to build his confidence. In this post, I will discuss our experience with Channie’s My First Pencils and My First Letters.

    What’s Included?

    Channie’s My First Pencils comes with 5 jumbo barrel pencils, that vary in color, and a sharpener. The My First Letters book features removable pages, wide spacing, and fun illustrations. The pencils are $6.97 and the book is $12.95.

    Our Experience

    Handwriting is not the most fun activity in the world. It’s just not. However, it is a much needed skill. August loved the pencils, and thought they were really cool. He liked the jumbo barrel and how it fit in his hand. But, he was not excited to be practicing handwriting. I could very well be wrong, but I’m not sure that most kids are excited by handwriting at his age. With that said, I was able to assign him pages which he did without complaining. So, I call that a win.

    As a parent, I appreciate the gentle approach to handwriting and the wide spacing on each page. When August would work on writing a letter, I could see his focus and how he was working to improve with each try. It didn’t feel overwhelming for him, which is important to me because I don’t want him to be turned off from writing.

    Overall, I believe that Channie’s My First Pencils and My First Letters makes handwriting less frustrating. Of all the handwriting workbooks and worksheets that we have done, this one is by far the best.

    Final Thoughts

    Guiding children through handwriting can be quite difficult. For parents searching for handwriting workbooks and pencils for their children, I would absolutely recommend Channie’s My First Pencils and My First Letters. We have had a great experience thus far, and will continue practicing with the workbook and pencils.

  • Dr. Livingston Jr. Human Body Floor Puzzle Review

    There are many benefits to working on and completing puzzles. Not only is it great for brain function, but it can be a mood booster as well. In this blog, I will discuss our experience with the Dr. Livingston Jr. Human Body Floor Puzzle, and why you’re going to want to get your hands on one.

    What’s Included?

    The Dr. Livingston Jr. Human Body Floor Puzzle is a one hundred piece jigsaw puzzle. It is four feet tall when completed, and is an accurate cross-cut of the entire human body. There is also a diagram included that identifies each part of the body, as well as fun human body facts. This puzzle costs $24.99 and is designed for ages 6 and up.

    Our Experience

    My son loves learning about the human body. When he saw that we were going to put together the Dr. Livingston Jr. Human Body Floor Puzzle, he was so excited. We enjoyed looking at the diagram and reading the human body fun facts. He was, admittedly, a bit overwhelmed by the number of puzzle pieces. But, those feelings were put at ease after I assured him that we would be working together. My son, daughter, and I laid out all of the pieces and got to work.

    We have done a few puzzles together as a family, but this puzzle is unlike any that we’ve done previously. Our usual strategy is to first grab the corner pieces and use them as a starting point. With a four foot tall puzzle shaped like the human body, we quickly realized we needed a new strategy. Little by little we began piecing together the puzzle. Unfortunately, after about 35 minutes my 3 and 5 year old were ready to throw in the towel. We needed another set of hands ASAP to help us literally put together the carpal bones. Luckily, my husband was able to step in and help speed up the process.

    When my kids were able to really see the human body coming together, their energy was renewed and they got back to the task at hand. I didn’t have my eye on the clock, but I estimate that it took us about an hour to complete the Dr. Livingston Jr. Human Body Floor Puzzle.

    Final Thoughts

    Was this puzzle challenging? Immediately, yes. Would I recommend the Dr. Livingston Jr. Human Body Floor Puzzle to other families? Absolutely. It’s a beautifully designed puzzle that has all of the intricacies of the human body on display. My kids marveled at the completed puzzle. They pointed out the body parts that they knew, and learned more about the parts that were unfamiliar. This is a puzzle that we will pull out again and again. It was challenging, but it was also fun. If you’re looking for something to add to your human body unit study, or you just want your kids to learn more I would highly recommend grabbing your own Dr. Livingston Jr. Human Body Floor Puzzle.

  • Children’s Museum of Houston Review

    The Details

    Children’s Museum of Houston is an interactive hands-on experience designed for ages 0-12. The museum is approximately 90,000 square feet and is filled with fun and interesting exhibits. Opening hours are Tuesday-Saturday starting at 10am, and admission is $15 for adults and children over the age of 1. There is also an on-site cafe which boasts an amazing menu.

    What We Loved

    It’s been a few weeks since our visit to Children’s Museum Houston. Since then I have asked myself one question. Is Children’s Museum Houston one of the best museums I’ve ever been to? The answer is yes. Is it worth the $15 admission? Absolutely. The museum is designed so thoughtfully. From the moment you walk in you are greeted with interactive activities in the Kid’s Hall. Beyond the Kid’s Hall there are almost 20 other exhibits to explore (including a library). There is no dead space. Each room that we walked into was inviting and totally unique, providing an exciting experience for every age range.

    My only regret is that we did not leave enough time to fully explore each exhibit. We were on our way home to DFW, so we only had about 3 hours to spend at the museum before we had to hit the road. It is so massive with so many things to do that you could, and absolutely should, spend the day at the museum.

    Now, let’s talk about the crowd. As a homeschool mom, I love visiting museums with my kids when they are empty. I tend to avoid going to museums over holiday and Summer breaks, because I don’t like dealing with crowds.

    We visited Children’s Museum Houston on a Thursday (during the Summer). There were a few groups there for field trips, and a pretty decent number of other people with their children. Even though there was a crowd, it didn’t feel crowded. My kids weren’t waiting in long lines to do activities and we weren’t elbow-to-elbow with anyone. The museum is huge with so much to offer, that the crowd naturally spreads out.

    Children’s Museum Houston is hands-down one of the best museums that I have visited. It is reasonably priced. It has a great location and is easy to get to from the freeway. Parking is close. There are a vast number of exhibits to explore for kids to learn about different cultures and STEM. Plus, there is a super fun low ropes obstacle course called the Challenge Course— which my sensory seeking 5 year old LOVED. There is something for every child at this museum which is why it is now one of my favorites.

    If you are in Texas, or will be visiting the Houston area soon, I highly recommend making a stop at Children’s Museum Houston. It is well worth it. We thoroughly enjoyed our time spent there and cannot wait to visit again!

    Have you visited Children’s Museum Houston?

    Visit Children’s Museum Houston to plan your next visit and learn more!

  • Montessori by Mom: Land, Water, Air Review

    Disclaimer: I received this product complimentary, for the purpose of providing a review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

    What’s Included?

    The Land, Water, Air Toolbox is a part of a Montessori inspired monthly subscription box. The toolbox that we received included: a puzzle, bee transfer activity, materials to make cork boats, a themed activity set, and much more. The toolbox can be purchased separately for $59.95, or you can purchase a 1-year subscription and get each toolbox for $49.95. In addition to the physical box, each purchase also includes access to digital resources on the Montessori by Mom website. The toolboxes are designed for ages 3-6.

    August and Axel learning about Land, Water, and Air with materials included in the toolbox.

    Our Experience

    The Montessori by Mom Land, Water, Air toolbox offers a fun and engaging learning experience. I was really impressed by the materials included in the box and I love that everything is reusable. The activities are creative, and inspired my kids to work independently and ask questions when needed. This is not a box that you use in one or two days and never use again. We spent about a week doing all of the activities. Even today, long after receiving our toolbox, my kids were putting together the turtle puzzle that was included.

    My kids favorite activities were the bee transfer activity (which was great for working on fine motor skills), exploring Land, Water, and Air with the glass jars, and building cork boats. The last of which was their all time favorite activity. We really enjoyed experimenting with different builds and seeing which boat worked the best. We even had fun boat races which kept them entertained for quite some time.

    As a parent, I really appreciated the additional digital resources available on the website. I was a little confused at first as to how to facilitate some of the activities. However, all was made clear once I watched a short video tutorial. There are also extension activities available on the website, which is great for inspiring kids to learn more.

    Bee transfer activity
    August constructing his cork boat
    One of our boat races
    My kids absolutely love this turtle puzzle!

    Final Thoughts

    Montessori by Mom has created an incredible and engaging subscription box. Everything is thoughtfully put together with high quality materials. If you are looking for a Montessori inspired box that your kids will be able to use again and again, this is it! I highly recommend Montessori by Mom to any family that desires to give their kids a fun and educational experience.

    Have you tried Montessori by Mom? Comment below!

  • How to Not Lose Yourself in Motherhood and Homeschooling

    It’s no secret that our lives change forever the moment our children are born. There are two different time periods: who you were before you had kids, and who you are now as a mother. Add on homeschooling parent, and life changes even more drastically. For me, and so many moms, we can lose ourselves in the process of mothering and homeschooling. In this post I share how I am finding myself again, and things that I do that bring joy outside of being a mother and homeschooling parent.

    Don’t Forget About You!

    From the moment my oldest son was born I knew I was meant to mother. I was more than happy to leave my old life of clubbing with friends, spontaneous adventures, napping whenever I wanted—just complete freedom. I gladly traded it for motherhood because I thought that it was required. I thought that letting motherhood consume me in every way imaginable was normal. Because of that, making time for myself has always felt uncomfortable. It felt wrong.

    I’ve known for a while that I’ve needed to deliberately take time for myself, but I didn’t know where to begin. Imagine that, not knowing where to begin to make yourself smile outside of being a mom. This mothering thing is a trip.

    It wasn’t until someone asked me pointedly, “how do you make time for yourself as a homeschooling mom?”, that I had to pause. I realized that it was a problem that I didn’t consistently take time for myself. Sure, I had the occasional massage or pedicure. But, I was not consistently scheduling time for me. Time that was all my own to do things that remind me that I am an actual person outside of motherhood and homeschooling.

    As mothers, it’s terribly easy to forget about ourselves. We often let our wants and needs fade away into the background as we take care of the things and people around us. What’s difficult is making yourself a priority as well. If you’re like me, taking consistent “me” time may feel incredibly selfish. But, I promise you, it’s not. We need it.

    “You owe yourself the love that you so freely give to other people.”

    Get (back) to Reading

    I used to be an avid reader. With being a mom and now homeschooling parent, I couldn’t remember the last time that I completed a book that wasn’t curriculum. However, my passion for reading has been reignited. It may take me longer to complete a book these days, but I love it all the same.

    Reading may seem simple, but it’s a great way to relax and learn new things, or fall in love with characters and a storyline not featured on TV. Use that library card and get a book for yourself next time. There are also several websites that offer free or reasonably priced digital books.

    My current read, and it is so good!

    Sweat it Out

    Exercise is an awesome way to reduce stress, invite relaxation, and help you feel good. Take a walk around the block and soak up some Vitamin D. If you want a more formal workout, joining a gym or watching workout videos online is also a great option. I started out exercising at home with YouTube videos. Two of my favorite fitness channels are Grow With Jo and Sydney Cummings Houdyshell both will give you great workout and have you feeling amazing.

    Exercising gives me a mental release after stressing about curricula, homeschooling vs. unschooling, etc. It feels good to simply concentrate on challenging myself to get stronger with each rep or exercise.

    Spend Time with Adults

    Spending time with people other than your children is so beneficial. We obviously love our kids, but having time to let your hair down and have fun apart from them is vital. Luckily, my mother lives nearby and is able to watch my kids so my husband and I can have date nights. I also am so grateful for friends that also homeschool. We have made it a point to get together each month to hang out and have fun.

    Date night
    A night out with friends

    Learn a Language/Skill

    Taking time to learn a language or skill is another opportunity to take time out for yourself. I have been in love with the French language since college, but I’ve never been fluent. I found out about Duolingo and I’ve been hooked ever since. Each night after the kids have gone to bed, I’ll open the app and spend 10-15 minutes doing lessons and others activities. I’ve been doing this for 160 days, so I guess you could say I’m committed. It feels good to increase my knowledge of French while I journey to become fluent. If you are looking for an engaging FREE app to learn a language, I would absolutely recommend Duolingo.

    Picking up or improving on a skill is also great outlet for releasing some of the stress that comes with being a homeschool parent. Experimenting with art has been very fun and relaxing for me. I get so focused on the task at hand that it feels like everything else momentarily floats away. DollarTree and Five Below have a variety of art supplies at a reasonable rate.

    This cost $4 to make, as everything was purchased from DollarTree.
    Each Duolingo lesson is quick and engaging

    Will you make time for yourself?

    These are just a few things that I am currently doing to make time for myself. I’d be lying if I said I still didn’t feel guilty, but it is getting easier. Just remember that you matter, doing things that bring you joy outside of being a homeschooling mom matters. You got this!

  • Celebrate States: Alabama Review

    Disclaimer: Complimentary product received from the Melanated Gold Review Squad. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

    What’s Included?

    Celebrate States is a monthly subscription box. Each month a different state is featured and celebrated via educational materials as well as locally made products. Products in boxes can include snacks, decor, candies, skin care products, and much more! What’s really cool is that through the Celebrate States boxes, local and family owned businesses are promoted and supported. A monthly subscription is $45 per month. Celebrate States is currently offering $20 off your first box by using code LETSGO20.

    Our Experience

    The Celebrate States Alabama box is one of the most fun subscription boxes that we have received. Our box came with an Alabama mug, dish towel, U.S. map with stickers, banana pudding recipe, delicious popcorn, white barbecue sauce, and an Alabama tour guide. Of course, a favorite for my kids was the popcorn which was devoured in minutes. After our popcorn feast, we studied the map and discussed where Alabama was located and its surrounding region. My kids also really enjoyed placing the stickers where they belonged on the map.

    As an avid tea drinker, I absolutely appreciated the Alabama mug included with the box and have used it daily. The Celebrate States subscription box is very thoughtfully put together. There is something for everyone included in the box. Once we finished with our map, we took a deep dive into the tour guide to learn more about Alabama. Doing this also led us to search for more information on YouTube, which made for an even more well-rounded study.

    Final Thoughts

    We thoroughly enjoyed learning about Alabama through our Celebrate States box. This was such a fun and exciting addition to our homeschool. If you are looking for a unique subscription box for your family, I would recommend giving Celebrate States a try!

Check out the links!

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