Traveling the World One Story at a Time

Her eyes are wide with excitement and her giggle fills the home. “I was right” My 6 year old Cupcake exclaims and so was mama.

We have spent this last month exploring the Netherlands with Around The World Stories and it has been such a delight for the whole family. I cannot imagine a better way, short of spending a month there in person, to get such a feel for the culture. With Around The World Stories we have discovered the history, food, landscape and more. It’s been a virtual immersion program that even my 4 year old has embraced.

With Around The World Stories you get to visit 13 different countries with stories told thu the eyes of 13 different families, that is 4 stories per country. It’s like a foreign exchange program without actually moving in with the family. And the stories are so well done! My 9 year old has asked to listen to them again and I have to admit I’ve spent a fair amount of time thinking about them too.

Along with the stories you get a Parents Guide and suggestions for hands on activities to bring the country further into your home. My Pastries were so excited to get the recipe from The Secret Ingredient! And I enjoyed getting to sound like a bit of an expert on the country.

Spending time with Jasper’s family this month was more then just a trip to the Netherlands, it was like getting to spend time with the Ingalls. You know what I mean about the Ingalls right; how they are all heartwarming and inspire moral character. It is so delightful and the narrator of the story has such a great story telling voice!

Because I’m watching my budget I had to break down the math myself to make sure the cost was worth the investment and frankly I think they are undercharging for the quality of what we receive. And my husband fully agrees!

So let’s get down to the nitty gritty. First, I am not getting paid for this review but I will receive a small commission if you desire to purchase. Second, here is my breakdown of the plans.

  • For the $99 plan you get immediate access to all of the 52 the stories. That works out to about $1.90 per story or $7.63 per country. That is amazing prize for 2 hours worth of quality story telling that you can download and KEEP and parent guides. This is the plan our family has picked not only because of value but also so we can pick and choose what countries we want to “visit” first.
  • For $9.99 per month and you get access to four new story each month,┬áthis works out to about $120 for the year or $2.50 per story . This is a great option if you just want to “try it out for a month” and see how your family likes it.

As y’all know I don’t suggest things that we don’t love and I’m always on the hunt for things that will add value to our days. These Around The World Stories do that! And they have some new artist stories they just released too if that is more your thing. I know we are looking forward to checking the out soon as well.


Minimalist Learning Plan for my 9 year old: Summer/Fall 2017

In the quest of finding more peace in days (thank you Slow Loop, you have been a sanity saver) I have discovered I need to cut back more with Pumpkins individual work. I had him doing too much and while we were still Looping it was getting a bit too jumbled and drawn out. Plus he is still transitioning into more independent work, so that means daily I still have a good chunk of one on one instruction time with him. Plus I have one on one time with the other two Pastries, housekeeping, time with my husband, Family Learning time, Mother Culture Time and good old free time. Even if I wasn’t an introvert, I just didn’t have time to get it all done with peace and joy. And we were running out of time for Hands On Learning.

This post does contain affiliate links, but like always I only share things we love.

So this is Pumpkin’s lesson “plan” for Summer/Fall of 2017 and the transition to it has been the right move for us.

Fun-Schooling “Core” Journal

Normally the Spelling Time C Journal would not be considered a “core” journal, but it includes so many elements of the core journals (like his Minecraft Journal that he will get back to this Winter) that it’s just the right fit for our Summer/Fall schedule. This journal includes not only spelling and vocabulary but it also covers 26 animals, instruments and locations. It includes places to document research and for creative writing. He is using this journal 4 days a week and we are enjoying the time together.

For his research we use a combination of Epic, YouTube and books we happen to have on hand. When none of those places work, and a library isn’t handy then we check with Google. I have to admit I’m learning as much as he is while he works in this journal.


Every day I am more and more and more happy that we decided to give Math Lessons for a Living Education another go. It’s such a complete and engaging curriculum and since it’s daily lessons are so short it allows more time for my math loving Pumpkin to play more games, spend time with his favorite Thinking Tree Math Journals and engage in more S.T.E.M. activities during the week.

Language Arts

We plan on digging into The Good and The Beautiful language arts later this year. It is a beautiful language arts curriculum that holds all of my favorite elements of a variety of other curriculum I’ve looked at for a fraction of the price and packaged in such a way that it is enchanting.

However, he is right on the cusp of being too advanced for one level but not ready for the next. So instead of printing out both levels we are simply going to use what we have on hand to “catch him up” to the next level over the next couple of months. If I still think we need to review any of the previous lesson from The Good and The Beautiful, I will get a PDF writing app and do a quick review on the iPad with him.

He is also free reading to himself, to Peanut (his most loved stuffie) and his siblings, enjoying loads of audio books and Buddy Reading with me. And he is always writing poetry, stories and songs on random pieces of paper or in his Hobby Time Journal.

Bible, History, Science, Social Studies, Literature and Fine Arts

All these (above) other subject get worked in during our Slow Loop family learning time, but he still covers a lot of them on his own during his reading. However, instead of having him document what he is learning about them on paper I am letting him narrate to me instead. (Very Charlotte Mason.)

When he is done with the Spelling Time Journal, he will move on to one of his Minecraft Journals and then will do most of his independent work of these subjects there.