Verdict: Super Secular!
Owl Crate Jr. reached out to use this month to see if we’d like to try a sample of their subscription program. Having a household of prolific literature enthusiasts, I happily accepted the offer. I was intrigued to see how this could boost our October homeschool plans.
Quick info about the Jr box program:
Boxes are curated for kids of all genders age 8-12 (or anyone still a kid at heart).
Each month has a different theme and all books are published within 45 days of ship date.
Each box contains 4-6 goodies, with at least one usable item or activity to encourage creativity, imagination, and exploration.
Subscriptions are available as a monthly subscription, as well as a 3 or 6-month pre-pay subscription, which saves you a little off each box. We also offer 1, 3 or 6-month non-renewing gift options.
Shipping is available worldwide, with the exception of Mexico, Peru, and Iran (too many issues with shipping, unfortunately).
The first thing I should note is that shipping was extremely fast. It was only a day or two after I received my shipping notification that it hit our mailbox. Having recently discovered the insane hassle that is shipping for small biz, I was super impressed.
I was worried that this would be a kit full of junky “things” that would just add clutter to our tiny apartment. But it all turned out to be relevant and useful in encouraging my nerds to be their best nerd selves. The kit included a book with a card, two pins (the girls were able to split them, yay!), a faux feather quill, a snail-mail stationary kit, a set of stamp stickers, a zip pouch for coins or stamps, and a train whistle! It all seems to be in line with the theme of the book.
The October book is called The Train to Impossible Places by P.G. Bell. My 8 y/o is impressed thus far. The pins already decorate the girls’ co-op backpacks and the pen is currently filling my eldest’s NaNoWriMo preparation workbook. The stationary is being sent all over the U.S. to various family members. The stickers mostly ended up on my couch and various library books, which is fully expected in a toddler-friendly home. The zip-pouch holds a few “real” stamps and is on a high-shelf because there is no way I’m letting the 2 y/o get ahold of those. He did get the train-whistle, though. It’s all his and no one wants to touch it because he has thoroughly made his mark by slobbering all over it.
The activities included in the box kept these guys busy for a good couple of hours. They decided to write letters to all of our extended family. It was a great opportunity to practice our handwriting, vocab, and spelling skills in a different and exciting way.
This one is really into Felicity of American Girl right now and was therefore especially excited about the quill pen. That took some heat off of me because she’s been wanting to make one from scratch for a while and I just haven’t made it happen. Score after score for Mom.
Even this guy got something out of the kit. I appreciate that with one box I was able to entertain three kids for an afternoon. After my oldest has finished reading the book I’ll sit down with my second to read out loud with her.
I’m already a subscription junkie so it’s easy for me to recommend it. We adhere to a mostly unschooled, project-based approach to homeschooling and subscription boxes are exciting part of the way we do things. It’s like having a birthday several times each month when a new kit arrives. We have one for science, one for social studies, and because the kids had so much fun with this one we’ll also have this for language arts.
Best of all there’s no guess work about whether it’s secular or not.
If you’re interested in your own kit the company has offered the following discount code for Secular Homeschoolers: SECULAR10 for 10% off all 1, 3, and 6-month OwlCrate Jr subscription and gift plans.
This post is not sponsored by Owl Crate Jr. We received a free box to try out and share with the Secular Homeschooler community. We will not be making a commission on the discount offer.
E.M. Stone lives in Seattle with her high-school sweetheart and four homeschooled spawn. She prefers to be raw and real and open about the triumphs and struggles in life. She uses art and coffee as mental therapy and wants to publish a book of children’s poetry one day. Elisabeth started Secular Homeschooler with her husband in 2017.