Primarily written by Adrienne, a homeschooling mother of seven, ages 10 and under. She chronicles life, laughs, struggles, and lessons learned as she raises a larger-than-most sized family and tries to figure out what she's doing day by day.

With occasional posts, Alexandra, Adrienne's older sister, writes of her ranch life in Nevada and raising four sons, ages 5 and under. Life is never dull and her boys have given her some pretty awesome stories to tell.

Stick around awhile, and you're sure to laugh, nod, smile, be encouraged, and see what life is like with a big (little) family.


TOS Review Crew: Science Naturally! MORE One Minute Mysteries

As part of the Old Schoolhouse Review Crew, I was chosen to review the new book from Science Naturally! called One Minute Mysteries: 65 MORE Short Mysteries You Solve With Science! by Eric Yoder and Natalie Yoder. The second in a series, One Minute Mysteries: 65 MORE Short Mysteries You Solve With Science! is just that: short stories that last a page to tell the story and a short answer on the next page, created for children ages 8-12, bound in a paperback that are interesting and explain why something in the story happened, based on science. It’s just common sense stuff you just don’t necessarily think about. Each story really did take about a minute to read – although the solving my kids tried to do on their own and the discussions we had after reading the story lasted, often, many minutes more. Children engaged in science discussions after the book is done and we've finished the subject? Yes, please!

The book started out with story about kids deciding they should build a mesh cage around their cucumber plants to keep the dog out of them – but it would also keep out the pollinating insects off the plants, so they would be unable to produce. And just like that, my kids were hooked. We read about spinning eggs to decide if they were hard-boiled or raw, why water encourages the presence of mosquitoes, and, well, 62 other short stories that show the science facts – not just plain, less than interesting science facts. Can we call this ‘Applied Science’?

We read these a few at a time each day until we finished the book – some days, we read until my voice gave up. Everyone crowded around, and I would stop reading to see if the kids could figure out the answer of “why” before we finished the story. The stories are simple to understand, and although I’m certain my four year old didn't understand every explanation, she hung on every word right along with the older kids. They all loved to try to guess the answer to the mystery on the first page and then moved on to the next page see if they were right. My two older girls, 8 and 9, read these on their own ahead. This made the guessing a bit of a cheat – but I was glad to see that they remembered the stories and answers to the mysteries! Learning at it’s best, I’m convinced, is when they are interested and engaged and it’s not “work”. One Minute Mysteries certainly did that for my kids. We all loved it.

I wish this was a complete science curriculum, but I don’t think I could get away with that. It is, however, a super fun read that sparked the kids curiosity and fun conversation. After finishing this book, I’d love to read anything else by this publisher. It made learning fun and added a great dimension to our homeschool day that we all looked forward to.

This One Minute Mysteries book is $9.95 and available here. The complete list of Science, Naturally! books available is here.

To read what others on the Review Crew thought about One Minute Mysteries: 65 MORE Short Mysteries You Solve With Science!, check out the Old Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog.

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