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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Product Review: Vintage Remedies

Looking for a way to introduce "green" living to your kids? Vintage Remedies was created by a homeschooling mom who, after years of helping others learn to live more healthy and natural lifestyles, realized there were very few reliable programs available that could teach people about the skills and practices that she spent her days researching. What started out as a hobby, quickly grew to become a natural living classroom curriculum.

This isn't your typical mom-created homeschooling curriculum. For one, there is nothing specific about the programs offered that make them homeschooling exclusive. They are for everyone!

I was beyond thrilled to be chosen for this review. We already participate in many "green" ways of living, but I am always looking for engaging ways to get the boys more involved. I talk to them about why we cloth diaper, and have them carry recycling out to the bins, but I have been trying to think up more hands-on practices that we could implement around the house. I was hoping that by starting them earlier, these practices would become habits that continue into adulthood.

For the review I received Vintage Remedies for Guys. Very appropriate with all these pint-sized men in training running around this place. The course is recommended for ages 7 to 13 and covers everything from wellness and hygiene to the conservative use of natural resources. There are 18 chapters, each containing a lesson, several projects, and teaching suggestions. The book retails for $45 on the Vintage Remedies Website.

This is the first review program I received in which I sat down and read the book cover to cover. Of course, there were little breaks to fill milk cups and use magical kisses to heal bumps and bruises. I was so impressed by the layout of the text and how easy it was to incorporate a lesson into our day. It was amazing how motivated I became to start this program. Each chapter has a materials list and I quickly scanned the chapters to find one that we could start right away.

Another bonus~ the book doesn't have to be completed in a particular order. You can jump and around and present the chapters when and how you feel they will make the most impact. Still have Halloween candy that the boys won't get rid of? Focus on the sections about nutrition. Getting ready for holiday guests? Check out the hospitality section. Don't like the idea of a program with no set schedule? Not a problem! The Appendix offers scheduling suggestions for a variety of situations.

The boys and I focused on the Natural Living Section of the text. I was surprised at how engaged they were while we were talking about "green" gift ideas and alternative uses for unused clothing. I am so used to them just rushing to get through their schoolwork so they can disappear to other areas of the house. They were really into it and at one point Isaac exclaimed, "This isn't like school at all!"

They were excited to try one of the projects which was to give up paper towels for a week.

After talking about why and how we use paper towels, and why it might be a good idea to stop using them, we began brainstorming ideas on alternatives. We decided to sew some kitchen rags to keep in the cupboard below the paper towels. I cut up an old bath towel and the kids serged the edges to keep them from fraying.

Now, it doesn't tell you how to make these rags in the text. It doesn't even tell you to make rags. These rags were the result of further thought from my boys after reading the text.I also don't encourage anyone to let their kids use a serger unless you want an adrenaline rush that will last the rest of the day. Every time those perfect little fingers got close to that cutting blade... I am sure you can imagine the rest.

Hooray! Kitchen rags! Hello lower grocery bill!


I liked how we were reusing scraps so that we wouldn't ruin our nice kitchen towels and also so that we wouldn't have to throw them away.

I liked it because I really like coming up with ideas.

I only had one hang-up about the book, and it really only applies to Section 1. Many of the items listed to make the healthy snacks and other foods are very expensive. Not only that, but when you live in an area like mine, they are hard to find. It is important to me that my kids eat healthy, but I also think that living within your financial means is an important aspect of natural living. I can't always afford to purchase things at the one natural food store we have. Not only is there added financial expense, but the store is quite a bit farther than the regular grocery store, which uses more gas and family time. This wouldn't be a problem for most people, who have more variety in their local supermarkets and towns. Although I received this program free of charge, I would still be interested in it regardless of this aspect. The book as a whole can not be beat.

Vintage Remedies carries similar texts for designed for younger kids, girls and tweens. They also offer various adult-level training programs in herbs, holistic wellness, and natural living. Descriptions of these programs can be found here.

Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Homeschool Review Group, I received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review on my blog. I received no other compensation.


Heidiblossom said...

That is awesome dude, I'm telling Santa it's what I want for Christmas! (Also, nice pic. :)

Henry Cate said...

Please consider submitting something about homeschooling to the Carnival of Homeschooling. If you are interested, here are the instructions.

If this week is bad for you, you are always welcome to submit to future carnivals.

If a "blog carnival" is a new term, this might help.

Here is the archive of previous carnivals

Participating in a blog carnvial is a good way to get more exposure for your blog.

Thank you for your consideration.