June 6th, 2011 / 331 Comments » / by Terri

HardcoverCD_ecoverHave you ever been teaching a history lesson when one of your children pipes up with a question. “Mom, is Carthage a city in Oregon or some other country?” Oh dear, you think to yourself and then calmly explain, “Honey, first of all, Oregon is a state, not a country. And Carthage no longer exists, but I think it was located on the northern tip of Africa across the Mediterranean Sea from Italy.” After receiving two or more questions along this vein, you realize that you need some better resources.

Actually, you only need ONE!

Map Trek is an atlas plus historical outline maps that allow you to teach geography alongside history. This is a resource that any homeschool parent can use with brilliant success, even if you don’t remember a thing from your history or geography classes in public school.


Would you like to win this book, valued at $55.00? Enter a comment below, along with a way to contact you, and you will be entered into our drawing.  We’ll post the winner tomorrow morning!


June 6th, 2011 / 259 Comments » / by Terri

FFMT Postcard Front

The age of castles and conquest, monks and mystery comes to life as William the Conqueror rushes to Hastings, ready to reclaim his crown from Harold and the Saxons. The Normans are victorious in this famous battle of 1066 wearing chain mail and carrying kite-shaped shields. Hundreds of years later, a young girl clad in armor and flying her own standard courageously leads an army to take back France for the king. Joan of Arc is later captured, is sold to England, and loses her life as the result of an unfair trial.

Now, children age 6 to 12 can make movable action figures and relive the memorable events of the Middle Ages with Famous Figures of Medieval Times: Movable Paper Figures to Cut, Color, and Assemble.

Would you like to win this book, valued at $16.95? Enter a comment below, along with a way to contact you, and you will be entered into our drawing.  We’ll post the winner tomorrow morning!


FFAR Postcard Front
The patriots are fighting for liberty and the birth of a new nation. Valiant George Washington leads the Continental Army against the Redcoats. Molly Pitcher supplies thirsty soldiers with drinking water at the Battle of Monmouth. When her husband collapses during combat, she takes his place at the cannon and fights on to the end. Patrick Henry uses fiery words to persuade the Virginia House of Burgess to go to war with the British. Benjamin Franklin eloquently represents the colonies across the Atlantic in their quest for independence. Paul Revere delivers messages for the militia while thriving in his trade as a silversmith.

Would you like to win this book, valued at $16.95? Enter a comment below, along with a way to contact you, and you will be entered into our drawing.  We’ll post the winner tomorrow morning!



June 6th, 2011 / 326 Comments » / by Terri

EE_ecoverFrom the sparkling sands of Brazil to the orange groves of Morocco to the rising cosmopolitan city-state of Singapore… It’s time for an expedition! Grab your passport and let’s explore the people and places of our globe. Within these pages, you will discover the sights and sounds of all 195 countries of our world and learn about the people who live there, the crops they raise, the food they eat, the music they play, the religions they follow, and so much more. From the exotic to the ordinary, you will learn about the amazing facets of our globe without leaving your own home. However, the pages of this book may inspire you to hop on a plane and experience the near and far corners of our planet for yourself.

Read more here, plus download a FREE sample:


Would you like to win this book, valued at $39.95?  Enter a comment below, along with a way to contact you, and you will be entered into our drawing.  We’ll post the winner tomorrow morning!

How to Enter Drawings

June 6th, 2011 / 27 Comments » / by Terri

We are holding many drawings tonight for incredible homeschool resources that you and your family will love.  In order to enter any of these drawings, simply comment on each post about why you would like to win the item and include contact information in the email field before submitting.  We will hold the random drawings tonight and notify you within 24 hours.  We’ll send out a newsletter tomorrow morning with the winners names.  If you see your name, but haven’t heard from us, write to [email protected] and we will confirm whether you are the winner for that drawing.  Free shipping for winners within the U.S.  International winners will be given the choice of ebook substitutes or contributing to the shipping expense.

Save the date!

May 24th, 2011 / 6 Comments » / by Terri

Save the date – June 6, 2011. Carve out a little bit of time between 8-9pm EST. I’ll provide more details a little further down the newsletter, but here’s a hint right up front – it involves a party and lots of great door prizes and free gifts – not cheap freebies, but valuable resources that will save you some money when shopping for next year’s curriculum. These are good!

First, here’s some background…

Ten years ago in June of 2001, I agreed to create some maps for a title that had not yet hit the market – A Story of the World, by Susan Wise Bauer. They weren’t that wonderful, really, but it was a start and something that classical homeschooling parents were looking for. Who knew where that endeavor would lead?

Over the years, Knowledge Quest has certainly expanded its resources to include timelines in several formats, historical biographies, geography curricula and even mobile apps. And the maps are MUCH better now too.

We are excited to be celebrating our 10th anniversary as a business this June and we want to include you in the fun and festivities.


On June 6th at 8pm EST, we are throwing a Facebook Party. You may be wondering what that means, so I’ll explain it to you.

Basically, you show up at our Facebook page at that time on Monday evening, 2 weeks from yesterday. I’ll send you a reminder that morning.

We’ll start giving out door prizes shortly thereafter. Some will be given to everyone who comes. Others will be given away in the form of drawings, which will be held on our blog.

You stick around for the full hour to get the most benefit, but you can just pop in for a short time, if that works better for your schedule. We’ll take you as long or as short of a time as you can come. We’ll love having you come and participate.

We’ll have several other curriculum providers there as well, so that you can ask questions pertaining to all aspects of homeschooling and curriculum selection. We’ll have experts that can answer your questions well. Plus, you can mingle with other attendees, if you would like (but you don’t have too!). It’s up to you how much or how little you would like to participate. The great news is that you can say or post nothing and still get in on the wonderful gifts. However, its more fun when more people post and interact with each other.

So, mark the date and we’ll see you then. Don’t worry… we’ll send out a reminder that morning as well.

Here are the links that you will need to know:


(Feel free to “like” the page now, so that you are ready for the party on June 6th)

And this one!  Bookmark it!

(This is where we will be holding the drawings, where you can enter to win some valuable prizes!)

Using Map Trek Mobile App

April 11th, 2011 / 4 Comments » / by Terri

I’m excited to tell you that we have partnered with iHomeEducator, Inc. to bring Map Trek: Ancient World mobile app for the ipad/iphone/ipod touch into existence.  It is available now and we are so very pleased with how it has turned out.  We believe that this application will complement the Map Trek book/ebook very well, but it can also be used as a stand alone resource.

This blog post will show you how to use Map Trek: Ancient World mobile app WITH and WITHOUT the Map Trek books/ebooks.

I’ll start with suggestions on how to use this app with the Map Trek: Ancient World ebook or the Map Trek Complete Collection hardcover and/or CD-ROM.  Let’s say that you are currently studying ancient history and since it is the end of the school year, you are studying the decline of the Roman Empire and the invasions of the barbarian tribes that sacked and destroyed it from all sides.  You would like your kids to label and color a map of these events and know that you have just such a map in your Map Trek book.  You’ve printed off enough unlabeled maps for each of your children to use, plus the teacher’s map for yourself.  You’ve already done some reading on the barbarian invasions and know a little about the Huns, but realize that you haven’t really covered the other tribes in as much detail.  You want your kids to know a little more about the Goths, the Visigoths, the Picts and the Saxons, but there isn’t enough time in the day or the school year to cover them all in detail.

Time to pull out your Map Trek: Ancient World mobile app.  You scroll to the end of the timeline and choose the map called “Barbarian Invasions”.  See the image below:


This opens a map that looks like this:


Now, you have information at your fingertips.  Tap Ostrogoths, Franks, Burgundians, Bretons, you name it.  Information pops up to round out your knowledge of the barbarian invasions that led to the decline of the Roman Empire.  Learn and read to your hearts content and then have your children label and color their outline maps.  Don’t forget to stick them to the refrigerator or place in their notebooks when they are finished.  Use the lesson plans in the book so that you know how much labeling is age appropriate for your child/ren.  You can always stop and finish up tomorrow. :-)


Let’s discuss how you can use this mobile app WITHOUT the Map Trek book or ebook… Follow all instructions above, minus the printing, labeling and coloring of the maps part. :-)  You get the idea!  You can learn so much history and geography even if your kids resist map work.  Guess what, they will learn with this mobile app and have fun doing so.

I hope this helps you to understand how this educational app can complement your history studies.  This is the first in a 4-part series.  Look for Medieval, New World and Modern in the months to come.

Here’s the link to more information about Map Trek: Ancient World mobile app:


And here’s the link to the original and traditional Map Trek book/ebook series that you can use even without the app!


5 Surefire Ways to Conquer the Convention

March 27th, 2011 / 2 Comments » / by Terri

It’s that time of year for homeschooling families – convention season.  The mere thought brings both delight and dread to conference goers.  They thrill at the idea of hearing motivational speakers, of seeing every curriculum imaginable under one roof, of getting amazing deals on top-quality, brand-new books and resources.  But they dread the decisions that they will have to make, the aching feet from walking the mile-long vendor hall, that feeling of being overwhelmed by too many good choices.

Do you want to get the most out of your homeschool convention?  Then read this short list of 5 ways to conquer the conference BEFORE getting in the car and starting on your adventure.

Step 1:

Check the schedule ahead of time.  Browse to the convention website and download the schedule ahead of time.  Plan ahead for which sessions you would like to attend based on topic titles and/or speakers of interest to you.  Be sure to schedule in specific times that you will visit the vendor hall.

Step 2:

Make a list.  Actually, make 3 lists.


1. You have most likely done some research already for next year’s homeschool needs and have some books and resources in your mind that you know you want (ie. the next level of math curriculum, a geography resource or a logic book).  Write these items down on a list and indicate which vendors may be carrying the item.  These are the items that you want to purchase on your first day in the vendor hall and get them marked off your list.

2. Have a second list with items that you need to research (ie. a new writing program or history curriculum).  On your second day in the vendor hall, walk the entire floor first. Read descriptions, ask questions, check prices.  Make some decisions, with your spouse if he’s with you, and proceed to purchase the items that you have determined would be a good fit for your family.

3. Your third list is your wish list.  If budget allows and the price is right, pick up the items that you have been wishing for, but haven’t yet been able to purchase for your home schooling needs (ie. math games, laminated wall maps, art supplies).

Step 3:

Pack accordingly.  Weather and region will determine your actual wardrobe, but remember to pack and WEAR comfortable shoes.  A homeschool conference is not a fashion show and uncomfortable shoes will just make you crankly and want to go home (or to the hotel) early.  Don’t foil your own plans by not dressing comfortably.  Also, if you are attending with your spouse or a friend, bring cell phones.  They really come in handy when you divide and conquer!

Step 4:

Bring a carry-all.  Purchasing your homeschool materials in the vendor hall makes sense as you will get good prices and can accomplish so much all over one weekend.  But don’t break your back or your arms by not bringing something to carry your purchases in.  A backpack, rolling suitcase or rolling crate-carrier are all good choices for hauling books and science kits, etc.

Step 5:

Enjoy yourself!  A homeschool conference is a great place to be encouraged by listening to wonderful motivational speakers who have walked before you on the homeschooling journey and can offer insights and inspiration for how to homeschool joyfully and successfully.  It is also a great place to be equipped with the best tools and resources to do a good job with your kids.  Finally, be sensible and spend only what you have budgeted, buying the best tools that you can afford but without breaking the bank or causing tension in your marriage by over-spending.

Enjoy your conference!

Photo of Midwest Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati, OH courtesy of Darcy, blogger extraordinaire at www.my3boybarians.com.  Thank you!

Technology-The Tools of Civilization

March 21st, 2011 / No Comments » / by Terri

What exactly is technology?  Is the term equivalent to computers and gadgets?  Does it mean using devices or methods that are unproven or experimental?  Does it mean leaving behind the tried and proven ways of doing something and taking risks on the outcome?

I looked up the word “technology” and here is a summary of what I found:

Miriam-Webster writes that technology is the practical application of knowledge; and Dictionary.com says that technologies are the tools and processes of a group or civilization.

In other words, technology is simply the tools and materials that we use to accomplish tasks and practically work out knowledge gained.

Paper and pencils; maps and chalkboards were all technological advances at various points in history.  Just as fiber optics and nano chips and 4G networks are the technological processes and devices that have been introduced in our lifetimes.

New does not equal “bad” and today’s technology is not scary, evil or brain-sucking.  Rather, it is just the means by which we communicate our knowledge with each other and make the processes of life easier.

As I researched and studied the content for the new Wonders of Old Ancient Timeline App, I realized how amazing the advances in technology have been all throughout history.  We 21st century citizens of the planet have not achieved anything more or less remarkable than other civilizations have done in the past.

Consider the invention of the wheel, or paper… Consider the processes and knowledge involved in conquering the whole known world… Consider the building of the first ships, the construction of the massive pyramids, the ziggurats and temples built to study the stars…

Human beings have been developing and working with technology since humankind has existed.  It’s part of life and learning.  We have no reason to fear new and better ways to teach our children how to learn and understand more about themselves and the world in which they live.

Some words to ponder…

Do not confine your children to your own learning for they were born in another time.  Hebrew Proverb

In times of change, it is the learners that will inherit the earth while the learned will find themselves beautifully equipped for a world that no longer exists.   Eric Hoffer

EDUCATION is equipping our children to walk through doors of opportunity.  L. B. Johnson

If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.  John Dewey

More to come next week…

Mid-Year Slump

February 28th, 2011 / 1 Comment » / by Terri

In case you haven’t noticed… Homeschooling is not a destination, it’s a journey.  And there are days when that journey feels tiresome, thankless and down-right LONG!  It is at this time of year – over half way in, but not yet to spring – that we can begin to feel sluggish, frustrated, uncertain and especially unmotivated when it comes to teaching and making school interesting.  What we need is a big heaping platter of encouragement and focus served up.  Well, I’m serving it up for you right here.

Interestingly, this is the time of year that many parents are tempted to quit.  But it would be the worst time to do so.  I’ll tell you why in a sec…

I’m reminded of a spin cycle (stationary bike) class that I took recently.  About 30 minutes into the 1 hour class, I was dying and ready to quit.  I have never done a class like this before and I was absolutely exhausted.  I saw water droplets splashing onto the handle bars in front of me and I thought that it was just sweat.  Then, I realized that I was crying.  I was tired, overwhelmed, unfocused and ready to get off of the bike and walk out of the gym.

But I decided to give it 5 more minutes.  Some things happened in those 5 minutes that are a little hard to explain.  I gained focus, began to feel stronger and saw the light at the end of the tunnel – the hour hand climbing up to the 12.  My perspective improved.  I began to feel encouraged… Encouraged that I could actually finish, that I would be stronger when finished, and that I would accomplish what I had started.  I would give myself a big pat on the back!

This is how the word picture relates to homeschooling… We are 30 to 40 minutes into the workout.  We’re tired, unfocused and possibly overwhelmed.  If we give up now, we will feel beat, unsatisfied and might even become down-right hard on ourselves.  It’s time to give just 5 figurative minutes more – in this case, 1 month – to regain our focus, to refresh ourselves and to remember why we started this journey in the first place.

Side note: 50% off homeschooling classes which will do just that – Homeschooling ABCs and Upper Level Homeschool – until Sunday, March 6th.

Here’s the first step… We need a dose of reality.  Everything worthwhile requires effort.  Here are some hard things that are absolutely worth the effort:

  • Marriage
  • Parenting
  • Quite times
  • Healthy eating
  • Regular exercise
  • Keeping house
  • Reconciliation

Homeschooling is also hard, but very worth every effort that you make for it.

Here’s the second step…  Find like-minded friends to walk with you on your homeschooling journey.  Internet friends are great, but real life friends are even better.   A great place to find like-minded homeschooling parents that can encourage you along the way is your local homeschooling support group and/or co-op.  Contact your state organization to find a local homeschool support group near you.  Homeschooling friends can act as a compass for you on this journey, pointing out the way.  Or perhaps more like a guide, not only showing the way, but walking alongside.  A homeschool friend may give you the push, or word of encouragement, that you need when the roads get steep.  Or maybe a friend will act like a windbreaker, allowing you to remain in the draft, by taking on some of your load for a short time (like watching your kids for you or teaching your kids a subject).

On a similar note, you may be able to act in any of these roles for a friend who is going through a difficult time and needs some encouragement and support.

Here’s step three… Establish good routines and habits that will work for you when you don’t have much energy to push forward.  It takes about 30 days to establish a good habit.  Work on 1 or 2 good habits with your kids this month and then add another one next month after these are well established.  Perhaps you want to focus on developing a good morning routine, or solidifying the chore schedule.  Maybe you would like to focus on kind words proceeding from their mouths, or putting away their school books when finished.  Pick one thing to work on this month and keep at it.  Soon, you won’t have to ask.  It will be habit.

Finally, step four… THIS might be a good time to try something new, to shake things up a bit, to pull you or your kids out of the doldrums.  Some ideas could be…

  • A unit study
  • A field trip
  • A new curriculum
  • A historical feast

We just had a pioneer dinner the other night, consisting of cornbread, beans and bacon, with molasses drizzled over all.  Of course, everyone had to come in costume!  These are great ways to jumpstart school and make it interesting once again.

pioneer table setting





I hope that I have given you some good encouragement to hang in there and finish the race, or at least the school year.  If you find yourselves in a slump, or with the blues or blahs or anything else that sounds dreary, follow these 4 steps and get the help and refreshment that you need.

Also, remember that our homeschooling classes are on sale at 50% off this week.  These might be just the ticket to get you fired up about homeschooling once again!

Homeschooling ABCs

Upper Level Homeschool

5 Ways to Add Apps to Your School Day

January 25th, 2011 / No Comments » / by Terri


We’ve talked about why it makes sense to use mobile apps to enhance our children’s education and how to keep them safe online.  Now it’s time to talk about how to practically incorporate these fun educational apps into a typical school day.

This can be done whether you homeschool your child, or work on homework with him after school, or are looking for some beneficial distractions for her while you run errands or attend after-school events and lessons.

Educational apps can enhance your child’s education no matter your particular circumstances!

Here are 5 ways to begin using mobile apps to further your child’s education:

1. Move games and other fluff into folders on your device (or remove them altogether) so that your child can focus on the fun apps that actually serve a purpose – engaging his mind and furthering his education.

2. Bring your smartphone or ipad with you when you run errands, go to doctor’s appointments, music lessons, and sports practice.  Let your child know which apps she may play with.  Load up your ipad with a good amount of apps available on topics such as math, science, language arts, etc.  You may even want to keep a nice selection of picture books available.  Check our website for apps in all of the above categories and more.  Your child will not get bored with these.

3. Start, or break-up, your day with a fun educational video, such as BrainPop.  This is a good way to learn something new in an entertaining way.

4. Use apps for reference, such as WordBook to look up the definition of a word; WorldBook: This Day in History to find out what important events happened on this day in history; MyCalculator to figure out a difficult problem (if calculators are acceptable for your child’s math level); or GeoWalk to find a particular location on the globe.

5. Use your mobile device to read books and listen to audiobooks.  We are reading through the Bible this year using Bible Is and use the Kindle and iBooks apps for other books we are reading-aloud.  This way, we can take several books with us on one small portable device.

And finally, here is a great tip for classroom teachers!  Some apps, such as TimelineBuilder can be connected to a VGA adapter and projected to a screen so that you can use it for your entire class and everyone will be on the same page (so to speak).

Alternatively, if you have more than one iPad available for your classroom, you may want to check into the volume discounts (up to 50%) available through Apple’s Volume Purchase program.

You can check out all of our apps here, including our new history magazine – Quest:


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