Embracing a Healthy Family

The Complete Starter Kit by The Kingdom Code Homeschool Review

Teaching children about money management is a needed course and seems to be one that is neglected in some school systems. This is why I enjoy homeschooling because I dictate what is best for my children. I have the drive of my parents in me with the desire to be an entrepreneur and this has rubbed off on my children. We were provided an opportunity to review The Complete Starter Kit by The Kingdom Code. It is a Biblical-based hands-on program that teaches kids about money management and how to become a kid entrepreneur. It's a course geared towards helping parents and teachers to teach children and teenagers a fun way to start a business and all the steps in between. 

When I first received the package of all the material, I had to take time to read and understand how to assemble it all. In the past, I would have been annoyed with the time it required to assemble and make sense of it all but as I've proceeded in the homeschool journey, I have learned how important it is to take the time to prepare. The course itself looked inviting to me so compiling everything also turned into a fun task. This curriculum is comprehensive thus requiring the time needed to prepare and plan appropriately. Every item is vital to the curriculum and I think they did a wonderful job creating an informative, educational and fun way to teach a subject that some might not normally like nor learn about. It did require some inexpensive items like a couple of binders, tabs, pencil pockets, and red pencils, but once you compile the binders for the students, it makes perfect sense and it's pretty cool looking. I did assemble my own binder as I wanted to have my own separate area for information. 


We started out using The Kingdom Code Make and Manage Money...God's Way book. As the cover states, the curriculum is designed to, "empower students to be entrepreneurs" and to "build a business," "develop character,"and "prepare for the future." It's a nice spiral bound colorful book that has engaging photos, illustrations and more. The Table of Contents lists the 27 lessons, a glossary, a bibliography, credits, and an index.

Lesson One is the "Path to The Kingdom Code" and provides the students with everything they need to know to understand what The Kingdom Code is. As it discusses starting one's own business, it is reinforced with the word of God. Each lesson includes:

  • Proclamations which are designed for the Kingdom of Code Kid (KCK) to become brave and build faith. For example, Lesson One states, "I trust in the Lord with all my heart and depend on Him, instead of myself. In everything I do, I honor and remember Him, and He makes my path straight."
  • Check Your Path are worksheets that require the KCK to answer the questions about each lesson.
  • Quest for the Clue are provided to help the KCK understand how God wants them to live and use money. It is stressed that as they find the Clues, they will be able to put on the full Armor of God for protection. They are knights in this journey.
  • Codes of Honor provide a Bible verse and a character code that describes how a KCK thinks and acts. 
  • Share Your Thought further the KCK's learning experience by asking more questions such as, "how can you have a financial responsibility and not be a financially responsible person?" These were fun as it allowed me to fully understand if they were comprehending what was being taught.
  • Treasure Seeking is the way KCKs discover treasures that will help them build their own business to make money. A business is called a Treasure Builder.
  • Action Time is where they refer to their binders and start exercises to build their own Treasure Builder.
  • On Your Own are more activities the KCKs complete on their own or at home.
  • Kingdom Keys are reviews of the lesson. They consist of: Key to the Lesson, Key Ideas and Key Terms
  • Upon completion of each lesson, the KCK receives a key (a sticker) to place on the KCK Treasure Map.
  • Bonus Code Work varies lesson to lesson and provides additional activities for the KCKs that are optional.

I know that sounds like quite a bit, but if broken into days, as the schedule recommends, it's very easy to accomplish and was a favorite activity of the day to complete.


The Teacher's Guide consists of print outs that are designed to be placed in a binder. It contains:

  • A Contents section that lists each section and lesson.
  • A Note to the Teacher that provides a letter of inspiration and more from Jimmie Byler aka Aunt Jimmi and the staff.
  • An Introduction to the Kingdom Code indexed by parts with Part 1 noting the supplies needed as I noted above.
  • Part 2 is how to organize everything and these sections are paramount to setting up the course for a smooth transition in teaching it. Note: this can be used for one student or more.
  • Part 3 explains what is in the textbook and what to expect in a lesson which I explained above in the sections from the student's book.
  • Part 4 is instruction on using the Essential Elements such as activities, worksheets, flashcards, posters, forms, notices and Treasure Builder ideas. This is the part that is a little more cumbersome in ensuring you are organized before beginning as they are not bound, As I noted above, they all have their respective places in folders, binders or pencil pouches. I'm glad they provided it this way as I think it really cuts down on costs since we assemble and buy the non-teaching essentials. Before separating and placing everything in their respective binders, read carefully so you place each section where it needs to go. This is where the binder tabs is very handy, if not essential, in organizing everything as they suggested for the supplies needed.
  • Part 5 lists what is in the Teacher's Guide which includes the Lesson Plans, Masters (Appendix A), Flashcards (Appendix B), Assessments (Appendix C), and Additional Enrichment (Appendix D).

I made a little envelope to place the flashcards in at the front of the binder.


My youngest started with the course and was completing Worksheet 1 as my middle one watched with great interest.

A close up of the first worksheet.

The Teacher's Guide provides the guidance on breaking up the days of the lessons. For the review, I will cover the first three lessons.

Lesson One

As we started Lesson One, my KCK was supposed to assemble her binder but I helped her and put it together for her. For Day One, we worked on the Overview, Essential Question, Learning Goal and Kingdom Code. We completed Worksheet One as noted in the photo above. There are tips throughout to help customize the lessons to meet individual students abilities. There are a lot of interactive type activities which makes the course a fun family type activity too. 

Day Two for Lesson One included more interactive work and the completion of pages 6-11 of Activity 1. The entire course consists of 40 colorful Activities that help to promote understanding of the material through various exercises. 

At the conclusion of the lesson, they receive their first key as noted in the above photo.

Lesson Two 

Lesson Two continued building the Treasure and didn't let her down. She was so eager and enthusiastic about each lesson. 

Lesson Three

Each lesson is a real learning adventure and this is another brief overview. This one starts out with the Proclamation, as do the others, and begins with a little history about a beef entrepreneur in the 1800s in Texas. This cleverly leads into teaching about the law of supply and demand. The lesson provides activities to build the financial concept knowledge and provides the KCK with the idea of a mentor. I was really surprised to see this as in my previous pharmaceutical life, we were encouraged to seek mentors so this was a wonderful concept to add. In addition to the worksheet, the KCK will complete Notice 1: Treasure Builder Permit and Notice 2: Business Notice.

My KCK is completing Notice 1 for her Treasure Builder Permit.
Notice 2 for the Business Notice.


We also received The Kingdom Code (TKC) Kids Coloring Book and Jr. KCK Budget Kit. The Jr. KCK Budget Kit is for the younger children that aren't quite old enough to complete The Kingdom Code program. It's colorful and fun and I was able to start to use it with my granddaughter who enjoyed it. She enjoyed coloring the saving pages along with some of the 32 pages within the TKC Coloring Book. The pages are full of knights, Bible Versus and of course, the budget pages. It's a fun way of introducing financial management with younger children.


Overall summary, The Kingdom Code is an elective designed course that is expected to take 34 weeks to complete or a school year. If taught weekly for 45 minutes as suggested or more frequently, it's very easy to complete. We were able to complete the first five lessons for this review. It is Biblical in nature throughout the entire course which was a huge bonus for myself and my student. It's also noted in the course information that parental guidance is needed from Lessons 1-8, which will take a semester to complete. Afterwards, the student can move forward with the rest of the lessons that refer back to their business without as much guidance. Students can share the textbook but any consumables (Student Packs) should be purchased for each additional student for completion. They are beautiful pages so one would not want to lose out on the complete nature of the sheets nor the work that The Kingdom Code put into creating every sheet.

The beauty of this curriculum is that more than one student can work on a business allowing great flexibility. 


As I looked ahead at the lessons, I have to say that I just loved Lesson 27's Activity 40 titled, "Dividing My Money." As you can see in the photo, the KCK is guided in how to spend to include giving back to Jesus, others, education, savings and of course, them.

Activity 34 teachers the KCKs how to write a check.


The Complete Starter Kit by The Kingdom Code is a really fun, interactive, rewarding program to teach children about money and starting a business without forgetting God. It's extremely clever in that it provides children with real practical activities to start a real business. It weaves in history, economics, writing, math and the Bible to present a comprehensive course that actually brought excitement and enthusiasm with my daughter. We recommend!


If you use code 10TKC23, you will receive 10% off!


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Check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew a division of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine thought by clicking on the (photo) link below:

The Kingdom Code Complete Starter Kit {The Kingdom Code Reviews}

Hewitt Homeschooling Resources' Grade 8 Lightning Lit & Comp Set Review

Writing is an important subject in our little homeschool because we all love to write. Someone is always writing a story and when we were provided Hewitt Homeschooling Resources' Grade 8 Lightning Literature and Composition Set to review, I was more than happy to see how my 8th grader would like it. She's hard to please and usually resistant to new curriculum. Were her expectations met? Keep reading to find out more!

We received three books:

  • Lightning Lit & Comp: Eighth Grade Literature & Composition Student's Guide;
  • Lightning Lit & Comp: Eighth Grade Literature & Composition Workbook; and
  • Lightning Lit & Comp: Eighth Grade Literature & Composition Teacher's Guide.

The set is to ready junior high students for high school composition skills by using some of literature's great works. With the three books, seven other books are required to complete the lessons:

  1. Treasure Island;
  2. A Day of Pleasure;
  3. A Christmas Carol;
  4. The Hobbit;
  5. My Family and Other Animals;
  6. To Kill a Mockingbird; and
  7. Stories and Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children of All Ages.

Once I was able to read the Teacher's Guide and review the Student's Guide and the Composition Workbook, I was ready to begin.

The Teacher's and Student's Guide

It has a very comprehensive Table of Contents and provides the how and why to use the curriculum. It's broken up into very easy to read sections which I love. I like to be able to quickly identify chapters and particular sections which Hewitt Homeschooling does superbly in this curriculum. They thoroughly cover every step and required book needed as well as go through the lesson instructions.

Some other key aspects I liked about the Grade 8 Lightning Literature and Composition Set is how the lessons are set up. In the Student's Guide, after the welcoming message, they provide an Introduction/While You Read section that covers the author and a brief autobiography of the author or authors. This was purposeful to my daughter as it expanded her knowledge about not only the different works of literature but also more about each author she read. As she continued, she would provide me with interesting information she learned with a bit of excitement in her voice.

The other sections include:

  • Vocabulary Lists which the author states clearly it's not meant to substitute a regular vocabulary curriculum and even suggests one. 
  • Comprehension Questions follows and the author provides great instruction on how and when you might want to utilize these in the sequence of the lessons pending your child's level. This part really is critical for the child to understand as every test that I have encountered for high school and college involved a heavy reliance on how well a person can comprehend. 
  • The Literary Lessons were one of my daughter's favorites as it focuses on settings, figurative language, and character. It's 'the heart of the Lightning Literature set.
  • Mini-Lessons are included in one boxed lesson per chapter to introduce other composition skills or relates to the lesson. The Teacher's Guide helps to guide on how best to utilize these with your child.
  • The Written Exercises are meant to be done at the end of each chapter and post the workbook questions. Within the Teacher's Guide describing all the different sections, the author does note how when correcting lessons, it's important to, 'strive to be as positive as possible.' This is very true as both my younger children take criticism fairly poorly so it's a good reminder to be gentle.

The Weekly Planning Schedule provides flexibility pending on the child's skills as well as any other curriculum you might be using such as vocabulary. Each week's assignment are not too cumbersome. My daughter had no problem completing them and actually enjoyed it. I didn't have to keep reminding her to complete them either which was nice.

The Student Guide follows the Teacher's Guide and provides all the instructions for each lesson. The vocabulary lists and comprehension questions are contained in the Student's Guide. Lesson one started out with an Author's Purpose and the corresponding section in the workbook has the student's utilize their skills in answering the questions.

The book on the left shows the page from the Student's Guide and the book on the right is an example from the workbook.

As the workbook lessons continue, they get more robust but continue to build on the last ones. She really enjoys the Literary Lessons.

She was eager to complete the lessons no matter where she was as a desk or table never stopped her.

She moved forward as Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is one of her favorites.

Overall Thoughts

My daughter really enjoyed Hewitt Homeschooling Resources' Grade 8 Lightning Literature and Composition Set and this was the first literature program that she gave me no grief in completing her lessons. It's very thorough and comprehensive. With the vocabulary words and comprehension questions, it is a well rounded curriculum especially with the Literary Lessons. Given my journalism background, it's a particular area that I want to ensure my children excel in. I would recommend the curriculum!


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Check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew a division of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine thought by clicking on the (photo) link below:

Lightning Literature, My First Reports, State History Notebook & Joy of Discovery {Hewitt Homeschooling Resources Reviews}

IKEA Products are My Favorites for Fast Easy Furniture

I shared recently about some of the tools that I'm loving as I move forward with remodeling a fixer upper. This time, I'm going to share how much I love IKEA products. I've been a past customer of them when we lived in El Paso and I wanted to revamp my girls' playroom with handy bin shelves. My last purchase were for my many, many, many boxes of books. We were in the process of moving and my son-in-law emphatically stated that I am to buy no more books! After my father passed away, I grabbed on to the numerous old and historical genre books he had accumulated over the years. He had a love for history and books which passed on to me. The bookcases I just put together were called the Billy Bookcases with glass doors in dark blue. 

Anytime in the past when I purchased "furniture" that I had to build, it always arrived with very complicated and tedious instructions. What amazes me the most about IKEA are the instructions are wordless. The black and white illustrations are clear, minimal and easy to follow. I cringed at first with the thought of putting hinges and other hardware on the doors but I was amazed at how easy it was. I did have my 16 year old help me with some of the build but overall, it was definitely manageable by one person.

This is a long process of turning the dining room into something that I envision as more of a family room. I also built in an electric fireplace that is wall mounted but with a pretend fireplace mantle and chimney type area that I will cover with sandstone or another like product. I want to be able to have us sit around the dinner table and play games and have other fun times while having fun family get togethers.

My next build are more IKEA shelves for the kitchen which I'll post later.

Our Review of Memoria Press' The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic & 200 Questions About American History Set

This post contains links as I am an affiliate with Memoria Press. Any purchases through a link may result in a small commission.

American history is really a critical subject to teach in our school systems. I remember that it was barely covered when I went to school and because of that and my love for history, I ensure my children obtain the best when it comes to a good comprehensive curriculum. I was pleased to have had the chance to review Memoria Press 
and The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic Set & 200 Questions About American History Set for grades 5-8. In case you might wonder why this set is appealing, it's because it combines H.A. Guerber's two-volume American history set from the turn of the 20th century. With additional heavy editing by Memoria Press, it provides a new set of lessons into the events that were so significant to history up until that time. H.A. Guerber (1859-1929) was a British historian and her two-volume set included lessons in patriotism, truthfulness, courage, patience, honesty, and more.

Memoria Press did a fantastic job combining the two works and with their additional editing, created a set that provoked an interest and an awareness that is much needed by youth. Memoria Press also made it easier to read and conscious of specific terms and words from a more sensitive politically correct culture. I was able to look at the original and I think it would have been hard for children to read and understand given it was penned in the late 1800's. Now for the details!


The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic Set is a three-book set:

  • The Story of the Thirteen Colonies and the Great Republic Text
  • The Story of the Thirteen Colonies and the Great Republic Student Guide
  • The Story of the Thirteen Colonies and the Great Republic Teacher Guide

The Teacher Guide's table of content lists the 32 lessons, an appendix and tests. It immediately jumps into the lessons and the lessons consists of five sections: Facts to Know, Vocabulary, Comprehension Questions and a section on Enrichment.

The Appendix includes great resources from maps to a letter from George Washington to the Emancipation Proclamation and much more.

The Student Guide is similar to the Teacher Guide minus all the answers.

The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic text contains a preface explaining the content and source. It's intended to be a historical reader for the elementary level either as a supplement or the source for introductory history starting with Columbus all the way to the Spanish American War.

There is a Hints for Teacher section that is invaluable as this is the guide to help in knowing how to teach the lessons with helpful tips in helping children to remember what they learned. Ranging from spelling bee type activities to utilizing flash cards as well as reading to the children first and having them recite certain passages back, are all exampled provided. The text (book) is not just a reader as it provides ways to incorporate subjects such as poetry, geography, and more.

My younger one becomes a little jealous I think when she doesn't get to participate in a review. Here she is reviewing the book as my other daughter begins her work.


We gathered both sets to start and focused first on The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic set. I'm going to use Lesson 7 for my examples and will begin with the text (book). The pages contain black and white illustrations ranging from important people, historical scene reenactments to maps. Each chapter ranges from two to three pages and each lesson contains the work from two or three chapters making each lesson manageable for completion during a week's time.

I first read the required pages to my daughter and then had her re-read the same pages. Each lesson is short but provides a lot of information. Below is the sample page from the text for Lesson 7:

As noted above, each lesson begins with a Facts to Know section of key persons and places. It's a nice summary of what they just read. The next section, Vocabulary, provides a lesson in spelling and the use of a dictionary as well as penmanship. The next section, Comprehension Questions, provides the students with an opportunity to fully express what they learned and if they understood what they read. It's a great opportunity for them to utilize their writing skills since each question requires the student to respond in their voice versus just copying an answer. Finally, the section titled Enrichment provides further instruction in various areas. For Lesson 7, the areas covered include maps, charting, timeline and a composition that has the student imagine they were given a land grant to create a new colony and what type of laws they would create, what type of government they would form, and a chance to describe their settlement and location. 

Below is the sample page of the questions provided for the lesson as well as the answers from my daughter. 

The Teacher Guide provides the same information as the Student Guide but includes the answers making it easy to check the student's work. All books are not large in size making it easy to tote anywhere you go if you are like us and are always on the go. 

Here is an example of Test One:

As the curriculum moves forward, it looks just as interesting and comprehensive as the earlier lessons. I wanted to share Lesson 29 as it covers the Civil War which I've found myself increasingly interested in it and so will my children as they tend to like most everything I do. One of the Enrichment lessons include drawing the route of Sherman's "march to the sea." I found this one interesting to share mostly because I just finished a documentary discussing his march.

The next set in our review is the 200 QUESTIONS ABOUT AMERICAN HISTORY SET.

The 200 Questions About American History Set, grades 5-8, is a supplement to Guerber's The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic. As the title states, it contains 200 questions that contain information from the text. The questions are derived from Guerber's book and also from the Story of the World Volume IV.

The card set also includes the 200 Questions About American History Student Guide and 200 Questions About American History Teacher Guide. The Teacher Guide and Student Guide provides a section for Recommended Texts & Weekly Schedule to include teaching guidelines. I wanted to take it a step further and purchased the online Lesson Plan for this which was helpful in planning the lessons. It is not required as they do provide enough information to teach as noted in the photo below:

Within each of the Guides, are sections that include: 

  • Drill Questions - these include questions and answers from the 200 flash cards.
  • Timeline of American History is completed chronologically as the student progresses through the cards.
  • Notable Quotes are presented along with the chapter they are derived from if the student needs help identifying the notable person.
  • Presidents of the United States allows them to further their memory by listing all the of the first 45 presidents.
  • The words to the Star-Spangled Banner, Old Ironsides and O Captain! My Captain! are the last pages of the Student Guide and are contained in the Teacher Guide too.

The Teacher Guide includes the tests and answers. The tests are given at the following intervals:

  • Completion of Lesson 8
  • Completion of Lesson 16
  • Completion of Lesson 24
  • Completion of Lesson 32

The Student Guide provides the questions and references where the answers can be found if the student doesn't remember as noted below:


After reviewing The Story of the Thirteen Colonies & the Great Republic Set and 200 Questions About American History Set by Memoria Press, I recommend the curriculum. Memoria Press is consistent with the level of curriculum they offer and are very thorough. It's teaching in an easier, logical and practical form. To date with all the other products I have reviewed by Memoria Press, are top notch. I like how they integrate other subjects into the main subject. 

To sum it up, my daughter said:

"I really learned a lot from it and I really liked the short number of pages I had to read but they were informative."


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Check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew a division of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine thought by clicking on the (photo) link below:

Classical Writing & Spelling, American History & Jewish Wars {Memoria Press Reviews}

Hey, Mama! Homeschool Planner for 2019/20 Year by The Old Schoolhouse® Review

Affiliate links are included in this review.

Every year, or even every semester. I struggle with keeping all the courses and records straight. I tell myself I will start using a planner and never do. I was provided the opportunity to review Hey, Mama! Homeschool Planner for 2019/20 Year by The Old Schoolhouse® and I was quite pleased! The Hey Mama! Schoolhouse Planner is 188 pages packed with so many resources that will aid in homeschool planning as well as my personal journey with faith. The author, Gena Suarez, is a homeschool mom to seven and the The Old Schoolhouse® Publisher. It really is a must have and it's something that I'm finally convinced I should have had a long time ago. I started completing the pages and will complete more as I move into the new year. The spiral bound is a favorite of mine allowing for ease in turning pages over without compromising the seam.

The Hey, Mama! Homeschool Planner for 2019/20 Year is not any ordinary planner either as it's a devotional planner. It is indexed by useful sections and can be used for many than one child. It's durable thus allowing for a record keeper for years to come. There are messages intermixed throughout the planner that help remind one to remember the One. 

The Table of Contents alone shows how robust the planner is from forms to "Hey Mama! Devotionals." Forms include:

  • Creating an Academic Transcript
  • Academic Transcript
  • Checklist and Skills Learned
  • Other Courses
  • 2019 Calendar
  • 2020 Calendar
  • 2021 Calendar
  • Monthly Calendars with Notes and Hey Mama! Devotionals
  • Weekly Planners
  • Child 1
  • Child 2
  • Child 3
  • Child 4
  • Child 5

There are over 20 devotionals ranging from "Field Trip" to "Fall Days" to "Persevere" and much more to help keep one on track and faithful. They really are nice messages to provide lifting encouragement through words that many of us experience on this homeschooling path. I'm including a sample from Fall Days:

"Hey Mama!
Fall days come. We all have them. They discourage us, bring us low, and even sometimes contribute to our temptation to stray from the course -- or even to give up entirely. It's a life from the pit, Mama. Don't but into it; don't go there."

Once I had a chance to thoroughly review the entire planner, I set my sights on what I could start utilizing now as I plan for the next semester. I also wanted to see what I could have my children utilize personally to partake on this devotional/planning journey with me. In the rest of the review, I will provide some of the key forms that I used to provide examples of why I really love this planner.

Forms and More

First I started with the calendar with the most important dates of my children's birthdays and then moved forward with any planned vacations or periods that I'm declaring no school days. Having the ability to look at the other years is also a nice feature so I can easily see dates in the future since the planner has multiple years as mentioned above.

Another section of forms that I found very useful for me, since my middle one is in high school, was "Creating an Academic Transcript." Here is the page showing how comprehensive and thorough the instructions are for having one as well as completing one:

I'm finding every form useful in the Hey, Mama! Homeschool Planner for 2019/20 Year and this is another one that will ensure my children are keeping track of their work as well as I:

I love the flexibility and freedom I have in how I want to use it to include the number of children, maximum of five, that it can be used for. Other forms that I know I will use are "Curriculum Planning," "Attendance" and "Books Read This Year." She really has thought of everything to make this a one stop shop for all my homeschool information for my children.

The forms, "First Semester Goals," was a hit with my youngest. When I asked both of my younger children who wanted to be first to complete this, she was extremely eager and really enjoyed laying out goals for the first upcoming semester.

Overall, this is a must have! It's thorough, helpful and provides guidance and encouragement throughout the school year. I highly recommend it.

Note,  Hey, Mama! Homeschool Planner for 2019/20 Year by The Old Schoolhouse® is 98% sold out of their print run and will not print more until next year.  


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Check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew a division of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine thought by clicking on the (photo) link below:

Hey, Mama! Homeschool Planner for 2019/20 Year {The Old Schoolhouse® Reviews}
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