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Crunchy Mama’s Review of Youth Digital’s Minecraft Mod Design 1

My boys are avid Minecraft players.  A few years ago, after reading about the benefits of Minecraft, I asked the boys if they had heard of it.  They had played it at a cousin’s house and so they were thrilled when I offered to buy it for them.

Last year, The Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op began offering Youth Digital’s Minecraft Mod Design 1 for grades 3 and up. My short review of the co-op is below.  Because it is a bit pricey, we didn’t buy the course right away.  But because the boys enjoy watching YouTube videos of players playing in mod’s, they persisted in asking us to buy the course so that they could learn to mod.  When we had some extra money, we did purchase it.  Below is the product review that I submitted to Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op.  I thought that I’d share it with you.

Youth Digital‘s Mod Design 1 is top-notch.  The video lessons are clear; the instructor is entertaining and informative.  My 9 year old is now modding on his own and my 7 year old is needing less and less help from me. Tech support is very prompt and helpful.  While it is a pricey course, for our family, it is worth it; the folks at Youth Digital have done a superb job in helping children learning today’s technology.  I wouldn’t hesitate to enroll my boys in any of their other courses if they were interested in them.

My husband (who works in IT) and I are very excited that the boys are learning Java and having fun while doing it.

*I am very thankful for the Homeschool Buyer’s Co-op.  They offer a nice variety of curriculums for good discounts.  We have purchased quite a bit from them and I am very satisfied with the offerings and the customer support.  Membership is free.

Thanks for reading; let me know if you have any questions.  If you liked this post, hit the like button.  If you’re interested, you can subscribe to my blog via email.


Literature: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson


Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Overall, I did like this book but I had to edit some of the language.  We enjoyed the movie very much; I personally liked the movie better than the novel.




Literature: Holes by Louis Sachar

For our read-aloud literature studies, we are picking books from the list of Newbery Medal Winners.

Holes by Louis Sachar

We really enjoyed not only the book but the movie, too.  It is interesting to note that the author also wrote the screenplay for the movie.


How Babies are Made books

Our boys are 9, 7 and 4 years old now.  We are inching ourselves closer to having the more-in-depth talk (at least with our oldest) about sex because puberty is not too far off for him.  YIKES!  

Our children are never afraid to ask us questions because we always answer them, never scoffing at them. We have had general talks about the differences in girl body parts and boy body parts and about how babies are made (a mommy part and a daddy part mix together to make a baby) but I am actually quite surprised that none of them has ever asked “but exactly how does the sperm get into the mommy’s body to meet the egg?”  

Last night I read them two “warm-up” books: What Makes a Baby by Cory Silverberg and Amazing You! by Dr. Gail Saltz.

They did not like the illustrations from What Makes a Baby (some of the people are green and some are purple — guess that was too funky for them!).  They did like Amazing You!  I agree with them that Amazing You! was a better book.  These books are geared toward pre-school aged children but I did appreciate that my older boys got to see illustrations of internal human reproduction organs.  

Do you have a great book suggestion that covers this topic?  I’d love for you to share in the comments!

Leif Ericson: Explorer of Vinland Circa 1000 (We the People)

I’ve been a subscriber to a living books, history blog ( for a while now but just recently started borrowing the books that Gwen, the blogger, lists out for each historical topic.  I decided that the boys and I would start with her series on Early American History.  Week 1 is learning about Leif Ericson.  One of the books that she lists is by Dan Zadra – Leif Ericson: Explorer of Vinland Circa 1000 (We the People).  I thought that is was a great living book with an interesting storyline that helps us fulfill our state’s homeschool requirement to learn about American history.  I also borrowed the other suggested book (The Age of Leif Eriksson by Richard Humble) and we will look through that book and decide which pages to read because it’s not as much of a storybook.  We’ll see how much of the topic of Leif Ericson’s voyages/adventures that they find interesting.

Fire Prevention — books and resources

One of the laws of my state is that fire prevention be included in home education.  We are very blessed to have a great library system (and we can borrow from libraries across the state) and I found an abundance of books on fire prevention written to children.  There is also a set of DVDs by the Rainbow Valley Fire Department that covers different aspects of fire prevention and fire safety.

Here is the list of the ones that I requested:

  • Fire Safety in Action by Mari Schuh
  • Fire Safety by Peggy Pancella
  • If There is a Fire by Wil Mara
  • A Kid’s Guide to Staying Safe Around Fire by Maribeth Boelts

Here is a free Kindle ebook:  Rescue Dogs, Firefighting Heroes and Science Facts

*You can get a free Kindle reading app for your computer, tablet or smartphone to read Kindle ebooks.  There is a link for the free Kindle app in the top middle of the webpages for Kindle ebooks.

What are your favorite fire safety and prevention books to read to your children?


Field Trip: The Zoo on a Cold Day

We pretty much had the zoo to ourselves that day.  It was sunny but cold and windy.

In the crafting and games room


Guinea Pig!