Monday, July 19, 2010

TOS Review: " The Schoolhouse Planner Travel Around the World" June 2010

This month I was asked to review an e-book available through The Old Schoolhouse website called The Schoolhouse Planner Travel Around the World June 2010. As I opened this book, I was impressed to see that it started "teaching" immediately with the basics of what geography is, going straight into well explained details of the globe and maps. I found this information easy to understand and well directed to the point. It has colorful pages that grab your attention and interesting diagrams.

Another thing I really enjoyed from this e-book was the highlighted terms so it was easy to scroll back and find them. Reading and terms are not all you will find in this resource. I loved the fill-in-the-blanks pages, song references, web resources and links that are shared throughout. This makes it more like a unit-study or at least a foundational resource for geography because you can learn in multiple ways. Since it is so important to get children interested not just with words but visually, musically and with games and other resources shared, you will have children interested and remembering geography so much easier and in a much more fun way!

I thoroughly enjoyed this e-book and I am very excited to study it more in-depth with my children throughout this school year. I know that my youngest will be thrilled that he can learn along side his older brother because this does a wonderful job of spanning the ages and offering something for everyone in the way of learning and enjoying it!

Now some of you may be thinking how could this relate to my older children if it can work for a kindergartner? TOS did a wonderful job of thinking that through and there is a section at the end that is just for high-school students! I can't say enough about the numerous resources and options with this e-book. I highly recommend this Travel Around the World resource for your children to teach them Geography with a Biblical focus.

The Schoolhouse Planner Modules such as this one are designed to be stand alone units, you do not need to purchase to planner to use. They are sold at The Old Schoolhouse website for $7.95/ea and are offered each month.

I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew and receive free products and services in exchange for my thorough use and honest review of them. My reviews will always reflect my honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences on the products and services that I receive.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Help Lord, I'm Getting Ready to Start Homeschooling My High Schooler E-Book Review

If you home school then you know that there are two things that you can never get enough of: Curriculum (or resources) and Encouragement. As I began to read Help Lord, I'm Getting Ready to Start Homeschooling My High Schooler I wondered if it would apply because my oldest is only in 6th grade. But what I found was I was instantly engaged and encouraged from the first few pages. Hearing from the various family styles, perks, what worked, the programs available, how God provides it was a reminder of my own journey doing things in our own home.

I appreciated hearing the wonderful stories and testimonies of people that had struggles with children and learning disabilities, even health issues and how they persevered. I remember a wise person once said "Don't commit to a lifetime of home schooling, take each year as it comes". Since I had heard that and used it often when people seemed offended at my choice to home school, it was the answer that gave me peace as well. But as I read this book, I felt encouraged and ready to plan towards high school and if something changes later on we will deal with it then! I feel like it can finally be possible for more than just the "supermoms" that you rarely meet but hear of from others. As some put it, focusing on their strengths, others mentioned following their child as they seemed to know what they wanted for their future and the amazing paths that they ventured on. While yet others stayed focused on God's Word and let the rest come through reading and resources and watching videos or taking classes for the various things their children wanted to learn.

I am actually grateful that I was able to read this because it can be a worn path we go down at times home schooling our kids. The pressure, the guilt, the fear of doing it right, learning the key things for their future, teaching them the right way, hearing them and listening to their heart and who God made them to be. While at the same time you have peace knowing you have a safe environment for them to grow, learn, love and be nurtured. This book was like a giant home school meeting where everyone finally had enough time to talk and share their own personal story.

The biggest statement I can share coming out of reading this book is that it is of Great Encouragement! I highly recommend reading this for parents of middle school aged children or possibly even younger. I feel relieved to know that it can work and to know that there are so many other resources, ways, paths and programs out there than what we will ever know, until the time it is needed.

Molly's Money Saving Digest Review

I was recently asked to review two books that are related to home schooling. Here is my review of the first book.

This review is for Molly's Money Saving Digest: January 2010
If you are not familiar with Molly, she is a very popular writer that shares a variety of ideas from stockpiling, cleaning routines, menu planning and money saving ideas. I have never read her monthly digest before so I was excited to see what exactly was shared.

First, I can share that she writes in what I can only assume is the way she would talk to you in person. Some of her exclamations and insightful comments brought a smile to my face as I knew exactly what she was talking about when she mentions not laying things out for a recipe and missing an item. I enjoyed the recipes and the many web site references that she shared for various projects, free software and compiles them all for you at the end which makes a great quick reference for the future! I love quick reference guides!

Her creative ideas spurred more of my own as I read them. From crafts ideas with the kids to designing home decor items for way less than you could buy them, I was inspired! Not to mention the best part is that you customize what you want instead of buying something that everyone else bought. She shares recipes and includes a weekly meal planner with the list of what to buy at the grocery store, that makes it so simple to follow. You can print out that page and hit the store. Perfect for the busy mom that doesn't always have time to scan recipes and make sure she wrote everything down throughout the steps. Her recipes are the kind of meals that I would serve, a little unique but not outside the realm of normalcy that my kids will refuse it. I really appreciated that she used healthy ingredients in her recipes including her desserts.

Lastly, I appreciated that she shared easy charts and logs to print out for your finances, time and shopping dilemma's. To help give an easy approach to everything from shopping to balancing your checkbook.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this digest! I know that the recipes will be put into my circulation along with trying out the charts and bookmarking some of the links she shared. This digest was definitely a keeper and full of great information!

Friday, March 12, 2010

My Home

I am linking up to Chatting At The Sky where Emily is hosting a linky party. These are random glimpses of things that make me smile and know I am home...
This is my beginning to having Shabby Chic in my home, this area always makes me so happy as I walk past it. What you don't know is that I didn't rub the top to make it look vintage, that was my son chewing on the paint of "his drawer" after I painted it. Yes, Shabby Chic in the eyes of a 6 year old! That means home to me!

What makes you feel at home?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Where Do You Fit?

There is a new theme that I have been seeing seems that God is giving eyes to his believer's and I have more friends noticing it as well...the theme, the issue...the dilemma is being taught, trained, accepted and validated everywhere.

What is it?


What is the definition of Complacency?
a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc.

Do you see it now? Have you even thought about this word before? It is the selfish or smug act of ignoring...accepting to the point almost of fault.

The terms where I have seen it most is through people readily accepting anything that "they" tell you. People turning a blind eye to society around us that is teaching and training our families to roll eyes, disrespect, disconnect, separate, disassociate, "go off into our own world", and "do our own thing"...or "thang" depending...ripping families to shreds one thread at a time...

My heart aches as I drive around our city and see frumpy, grumpy, spoiled and disconnected people. I long to sit down and tell someone that Jesus loves them but what hurts is to think that no matter what, they is what I am seeing more and more. Cold, hard, unattached people.

"Such and such got a divorce" ... "oh well I am surprised they lasted..."
I do not take part in gossip, but you hear it! I don't pass on, I don't engage in the conversations, but how many times have you heard things like this? Not only is it horrible to talk about people and their marriages but there is no shock of what they are going through anymore, there is no more sensitivity...there is only judgment and blame.

The more I try to move on it seems the more this word has stuck out to me this year!

Complacency in our families, accepting where we are at and not moving anywhere.

Complacency in our work, doing the ol' daily grind...but we forget that the Bible tells us to work as we would work for our Heavenly Father.

Complacency in our finances, we will never get ahead so we might as well go ahead and order in a pizza tonight it won't make any difference anyways.

I am sure we have all done it and we will all have areas to work on with it rearing its head. But as I thought about this New Year, the things I want to focus on. The things that are dear to my heart. One big one for me is to show that my heart still beats. I still have compassion for people and their experiences. I still want to reach people that are lost or have lost their path and need to find their way back to Jesus. I still want to have an impact on my children and not let society teach whatever they deem to be appropriate for my family.

God has been stirring the pain in society in me for over a year now. I want to help bring standards back into society. I want people to understand that values are an actual thing that people have! It is becoming a passion of mine.

I have decided where I fit is "anti-mainstream". I am not like the others. I am not like everyone else. I do not get crushes on male celebrities, nor do I take time to find out what the newest "hottie" is starring in. I do not use the word divorce with my husband EVER! We made a promise to each other after we got married to never use that word or believe that it is an option. I do not roll my eyes and think my husband is a moron because a commercial tells me to act this way. I respect my husband and the man he was created to be. I know that God made me individual and I don't try to tell him his creation stinks and he needs to give me a "do over". I accept myself and my husband the way he created us.(my children too)

The more I see what is in this world, I see who it looks like and it isn't our Creator. So therefore, that absolutely puts me more in line with "anti-mainstream". I should look different from everyone else.

And God said, let us make Humankind in our image, after our likeness…
And God created the Human in His image, in the image of God he created Him; male and female He created them. (Gen 1:27)

Where Do You Fit?