Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Britfield and The Lost Crown (A Homeschool Crew Review)

I always enjoy finding new reading series for the kids and I to read together aloud.  Recently, the kids and I have been enjoying reading Britfield & the Lost Crown written by C.R. Stewart and published by Devonfield Publishing.

About the Book


  • Author: C.R. Stewart
  • 386 pages
  • Juvenile fiction
  • ISBN 978-1-7329612-1-0
Britfield & the Lost Crown is the first in a series that tells the tale of Tom, a twelve year old orphan
and his friend Sarah.  The story starts with the story of these two children and the abusive orphanage that they live.  The caretakers are abusive and only keep the children in order to make money.  When Sarah is severely punished and Tom is given the choice to either protect himself by getting his fellow orphans in trouble or be punished himself, Tom with the help of the other orphans, escapes the orphanage with Sarah.  Armed with the knowledge that his parents are not deceased as he originally believed and a piece of paper that only contains the word "Britfield", Tom and Sarah set out for London to find answers.

However, things are not easy.  Detective Gowerstone is on the case to find them and return them to the orphanage and he has only ever not apprehended one person in his career.  Relying on the generosity of others and a hot air balloon, the fugitive kids embark on a journey across the United Kingdom while trying to remain one step ahead of Gowerstone and avoid being returned to the orphanage.

This books is available in hardback, paperback, audiobook and digital format.  Along with the story of friendship, family, loyalty and courage, readers are given small doses of British culture, English history, literature, art and architecture.

About the Author

Born in Newport Beach, California, C.R. STEWART has 20 years of experience in writing fiction, non-fiction, and screenplays. A prolific writer, producer, creativity specialist, international consultant, and sought-after keynote speaker, Mr. Stewart also founded Devonfield LLC, a comprehensive organization dedicated to the highest quality in film production, publishing, and education.

Now based in San Diego, Mr. Stewart is a strong supporter of education and the arts. He sits on the Board of Horizon University, is an adjunct professor with the Fermanian School of Business at Point Loma Nazarene University, and is a past president of the Board of Directors of the San Diego Ballet.

Our Experience

We approached this book much different than we have other read aloud books.  Typically, with our reading books, we simply read a chapter or two a day, finish the book and then move on to the next one.

However, Britfield & the Lost Crown made available a free 83 page downloadable 8 week study guide that can be used with students while reading the book and we decided to take advantage of this guide.  While it means reading at a much slower pace and left wondering what happens next, it has been worth it.

Using the study guide, we have gone thru the book at a pace of roughly two chapters per week.  We read aloud from the book, and then we work on the pages of the study guide.

The Study guide contains vocabulary activities, puzzles, geography, comprehension questions and more.   Using the study guide has led to learn about things such as government run orphanages and how it has been replaced instead with the foster care system, what are nautical miles and why is it used in aviation,  and various locations in the United Kingdom. 

The guide has also provided a platform for the kids to want to explore and learn about other things in the book.  For example, one chapter described various universities that Tom and Sarah run past or spend time at   The kids were disappointed that there wasn't a "Going Deeper" or "Learning More" section about those locations.  So, we spent that day researching some of the various constituent colleges of Oxford that were mentioned, such as Magdalen College, Queen's College, University College as well as some of the mentioned landmarks such as the memorial for Percy Shelley and St John's Quad.  The book's website had lots of information about the different locations along with lots of other information pertaining to the book.

Another day we spent watching Youtube videos of how hot air balloons operate and learning about the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival held every October.

Autographed by the Author
As for the book itself, the kids have really enjoyed reading it.  The characters are engaging, there's enough suspense to keep them interested and waiting for the next chapter.   There's been many good discussions in our house that have come from the pages of this book - from lighthearted conversations about friendship and teamwork, to some very serious topics such as child abuse and fraud.    Mr Stewart does a great job weaving a story that is age appropriate yet not "kiddiefied".  The setting is also set in modern day times,  which seems to help Garrett enjoy the story more as he dislikes fairytale like settings.  I think he really likes the fact that he can go down rabbit holes and actually see the places being mentioned.    The website mentions that there will be an Explorer's Club for readers to join but that portion is not up and running at the time of this review - I look forward to seeing if it is something Garrett will enjoy once it's operational.

Since we are using the study guide and moving at a slower page, we're not finished with the book just yet.  But I have no doubt that the remainder of the book will be just as good as the first 12 chapters.

#hsreviews #newbook ##SummerofBritfield #BritfieldandTheLostCrown #bookreview #ExploreEngland #AdventureNovel #mystery #CRStewart

For more information about Britfield & the Lost Crown, please visit the website.   You can also find more information on the following social media sites:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialBritfield/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BritfieldWorld
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/officialbritfield/

Be sure to click the banner below to read what other members of the crew thought of Britfield & the Lost Crown.
Britfield & the Lost Crown  {Reviews}

Monday, August 26, 2019

Weekly Meal Planning

After a trip up to the Sequoia's and then getting informed that my husband will again be TDY for a month with a 10 day notice, I'm really not in the mood for any elaborate meals.  I do think that this time around, while my husband is gone, I might try a round of Whole 30 or Keto, just to see if I can drop any weight without his influence (no Krispy Kreme, no late night pizzas, ect lol)..  But for this week, I'll just be making a ton of dump and done meals in my pressure cooker. 

Making homemade biscuits for Sunday Night's Dinner

Sunday -   Chicken and dumplings with biscuits

Monday -  Loaded Baked Potato Soup with Salad

Tuesday -  Cheesy beef goulosh with steamed broccoli and carrots

Wednesday- Buffalo Chicken Pasta with Salad

Thursday -  Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, peas and salad

Friday - Crack Chicken sandwiches with fruit

Saturday - Lazy Lasagna with salad

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Sequoia National Forest Trip

This week, the family took a trip up north to Sequoia National Forest for a few days away from electronics and to do some hiking, exploring and nature studies.  It was really enjoyable to take the class out of the classoom and get some R&R and fresh air. 

We found these rocks at one of the scenic outlooks we stopped at.  We thought they were pretty neat, but from what we were reading, most hikers consider this a form of graffiti  and wish others would stop making them.  It reminded me of the rock cairns that some Native tribes make.

This beautiful doe came into our campsite to enjoy her dinner while we were enjoying ours. (These were taking with a 300mm zoom).

We were playing with the camera trying to take some great milky way shots.  We decided to have fun with it and I took a 25 second exposure while my husband was in the frame. At the start of the picture, I turned on our camp lantern for a very quick moment to illuminate him in the frame.

The kids standing inside a scarred portion of a Sequoia redwood tree.

If ever given the opportunity to touch a Sequoia redwood tree, be sure to take it.   It was nothing like I was expecting.  The wood is very soft, almost squish and very fibrous like a coconut.

General Grant's Tree seen from a distance

General Sherman's Tree seem up close

My Husband with General Sherman's Tree


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