Thursday, April 27, 2017

Daily Bible Jigsaw App Review

I love doing jigsaw puzzles. I know they aren't for everyone, but personally, I find them relaxing. Trying to figure out where each piece fits allows me to relax and focus on that instead of whatever might be going on in my "real" life. Unfortunately, due to space issues, I'm not able to work on physical puzzles very often. Since it might take me several days to complete one, I have to leave it out on a flat surface, and with homeschooling, there are very few flat surfaces that are available that aren't used for eating or schoolwork. Now, thanks to Planet 316, I can get a daily puzzle fix online with their Daily Bible Jigsaw.

Planet 316

Friday, April 21, 2017

SpeedyPrep Review

As hard as it is for me to believe, college is right around the corner for The Boy. Having to eventually pay for five children to attend college means that many discussions have been had about how to reduce the costs for us. One of those ways is for The Boy to try to earn college credit from home before he goes off to school. By taking CLEP exams, The Boy could potentially earn many of his general education requirement credits if he earns high enough scores. He has started working on College Algebra CLEP prep using SpeedyPrep.

SpeedyPrep

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Readers in Residence Volume 1 (Sleuth) Review

Apologia Educational Ministries Readers in Residence

One of my goals for my children is for them to be good readers. The ability to fully comprehend what they read is a skill that will take them far in life. Simply being able to read the words on a page isn't helpful if they don't understand the meaning and intent behind those words. Apologia Educational Ministries offers Readers in Residence Volume 1 (Sleuth), a homeschool reading curriculum intended to help teach those critical reading skills.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Spring Break Fun

The girls and I decided to spend one day of our spring break at the zoo. We hadn't been there in a couple of years, and they had updated many of the exhibits. It was a very fun, family day.


The rest of spring break we spent hanging out at home. Definitely a relaxing spring break.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Digital Savvy Review

CompuScholar, Inc.

In today's digital world, having computer skills is a necessity. While my computer skills are decent, I know they aren't at a level where I feel comfortable teaching computer science to my children without having a good curriculum. The new Digital Savvy course from CompuScholar, Inc. provides excellent instruction in fundamental computing topics, making it much easier for this mama to feel confident that my girls will get the computer science knowledge that they need.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Spring Break

Yay! The girls and I are finally on Spring Break! (The Boy is taking a class at the local university so he already had his spring break.)

Now I'm hoping I can use this week to rest, clean, and get caught up on life in general.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Shepherd, Potter, Spy -- and the Star Namer Review

Shepherd, Potter, Spy--and the Star Namer {Peggy Consolver}

Ballerina is my resident bookworm, and she's also our resident Bible enthusiast. This girl loves, loves, loves learning about the Lord and can answer just about any Bible trivia question you can throw at her. When you combine her love for reading with her love for the Bible, it's definitely a win-win situation. That's why we were so excited to be able to review Shepherd, Potter, Spy -- and the Star Namer by Peggy Consolver - Author.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Don't Mess With My Cub

Sassy had 2 soccer games today. And my mama bear had to come out during the 2nd one. I can get pretty animated at my children's soccer games, cheering for them and their teammates, but today I got HOT. Sassy was getting repeatedly shoved to the ground by a girl twice her size, and the final time she elbowed Sassy in her spine and Sassy collapsed on the ground sobbing. I managed to limit myself to just yelling at the ref that he needed to do something to keep this from continuing to happen. It's crazy how physical a 9 year old's soccer game has become since this isn't the first time that Sassy has been targeted by players on the other team. I try to tell her to just get back at them by playing good soccer, and today she did - scoring 3 of the 5 goals.

So yes, today I was a crazy soccer mom, but my first job is to protect my cub. 😉

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Crazy Season

I'm beginning to think that every season is a crazy season at my house.

Right now we are smack in the middle of high school soccer season. That means practices every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday for The Boy and Soccer Girl and games every Tuesday and Friday night.

Soccer season for Sassy is still going on as well - practices on Mondays and Thursdays and games most weekends at least an hour away. Today she played with one of the other teams in our club and she'll have 2 games for her own team tomorrow.

Most days I'm not sure if I'm coming or going. I keep reminding myself that this is just a season in my life, and that one day I will miss all of the craziness.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Circle C Stepping Stones Books Review

Kregel Publications

My girls love to read, which makes me extremely happy. Finding wholesome books for them to read, however, can sometimes be difficult. Sassy has been enjoying reading Andi Saddles Up and Andi Under the Big Top by Susan K. Marlow from Kregel Publications. These books about faith and family definitely qualify as quality reading material that I feel comfortable allowing her to read.

Andi Saddles Up
Andi Under the Big Top
For this review, we received Andi Saddles Up and Andi Under the Big Top. Both of these are softcover chapter books written by Susan K. Marlow with black and white illustrations done by Leslie Gammelgaard.

These books are the first and second books in the Circle C Stepping Stones series. This series is aimed at ages 7 to 10 and is set in the late 1800s. To begin the series, Andi is nine and her horse Taffy is three. This series includes six books in all and is a continuation of from the Circle C Beginnings series that focuses on Andi at age six. There are also two other series that focus on Andi and Taffy - Circle C Adventures for ages nine to twelve and Circle C Milestones for ages eleven and up. Ballerina had the opportunity to help me review the first book of the Milestones series - Thick as Thieves - a couple years ago.

To accompany the Circle C Stepping Stones books, there are coloring pages, activity pages, and lapbook activities. The coloring pages are in downloadable PDF form, and there are six detailed pictures for each book. The activity pages include vocabulary, comprehension questions, maps, writing, math, history, hands-on projects, and more. There are twehty-six pages of activity pages for Andi Saddles Up, which include topics on cinquains, circus train routes, horses, obedience, and ballads. There are twenty-seven pages of activity questions for Andi Under the Big Top, which include topics on circuses, how God wants us to approach fear, and telegrams.

My Thoughts
I like how these books address issues that are age-appropriate and show how to make good choices. For example, in Andi Saddles Up, Andi has to work through a friendship when her family and her friend's family are arguing about land boundaries. This was a sweet way for Sassy to read how a character who is her age worked through a difficult situation.

I also like the variety of activity pages available to accompany the books. It allowed for us to expand the topics that were discussed in the book to do more in-depth learning. I also appreciate that the activity pages offer opportunities to discuss character issues - obedience and relying on God during times of fear.

Sassy's Thoughts
I like these books. Andi faces things that are difficult and gets through them. She also helps people become friends.

You can learn more about Kregel Publications and Susan K. Marlow and the Circle C Stepping Stones books on social media:
Facebook (Kregel Publications)
Facebook (Susan K. Marlow)
Twitter (Kregel Publications)
Twitter (Susan K. Marlow)

Are you interested in what others have to say about the Circle C Stepping Stones books? Check out more reviews from the Homeschool Review Crew.
Andi Series {Kregel Publications and Susan K. Marlow Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Creative Freewriting Adventure Review

Home School Adventure Company

It is important to me that my children be able to write well since that is a communication tool that will assist them in all areas of their lives. So many times, though, I am met with comments like "but I don't know what to write" or "I don't know where to start." Ballerina has been exercising her creative writing skills using Creative Freewriting Adventure, which includes the Creative Freewriting Adventure Coloring Book Edition, from Home School Adventure Co.

Creative Freewriting Adventure Coloring Book Edition

For this review, we received
  • Creative Freewriting Adventure: A Journey into Freewriting
  • Creative Freewriting Adventure: A Journey into Freewriting Coloring Book Edition
Creative Freewriting Adenture

Both of these are downloadable PDF files. The only difference between the two editions is the availability of coloring pages in the coloring book edition. We chose for Ballerina to use the coloring book edition because she enjoys coloring and adding illustrations to her writing.

The Creative Freewriting Adventure book contains ten freewriting exercises. Each exercise includes background on a philosopher, story background to help set the stage for the freewriting activity, a freewriting assignment, a page on which to write, and (in the coloring book edition) a page to color that accompanies the assignment prompt.

Some of the philosophers she learned about were Democritus, Xenophanes, and Thales.

Ballerina used these freewriting activities to balance out her regular writing curriculum. I found that, by allowing her a couple of days a week to depart from the structured writing assignments to complete a freewriting activity, her structured writing became less tedious for her. It sort of helped her to know that she would have some days to write "from her heart."

The premise of Creative Freewriting Adventure is for the student to simply write - not worry about punctuation, grammar, etc., but to get pen on paper and allow ideas to flow. Ballerina would read through the background information and the assignment. Each assignment provides several questions to facilitate the imagination. These questions helped her to establish a background, to think about possible dialogue, and to incorporate her senses into her writing. After reading through all of that, she would set a timer for 15 minutes and start writing. 

I have loved seeing the creativity that has flowed from her freewriting. She has incorporated various voices into her writing; for example, in a couple of the exercises she addressed it in first person, a couple were written in second person, and a few were in third person. 

Once the timer went off and she completed her writing, Ballerina would color the coloring page to help illustrate her story more. In this one, she wrote about a world where everything is bathed in a purplish tint and animals can talk. 


Ballerina's Thoughts
I like the fact that this gave me mostly free range to write whatever I wanted in response to the prompt. The exercises were inspirational and helped me think of story ideas that I might not have thought about before. The coloring pages gave me a broader view of what I was writing about and helped me get into the story more.

You can find out more about Home School Adventure Co. on social media:

Are you interested in what others have to say about Home School Adventure Co. and some of their other products? Check out more reviews from the Homeschool Review Crew.

Resources with a Biblical Worldview{Home School Adventure Co. Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Monday, March 13, 2017

D.E.A.R. Monday - March 13

Between time change and the freaky weather we've had this weekend, I'm all messed up! (Who'd have thought we'd have snow in SC in March???)

I apologize for no post today for Drop Everything And Read. I have nothing new to share and my morning escaped without time to get it done. I promise to have one next week!

Monday, March 6, 2017

D.E.A.R. Monday - March 6

Sadly, this week looks just like last week. 😔 I'm still plugging away at these same books. I am at least making progress on them.


Monday, February 27, 2017

D.E.A.R. Monday - February 27

I decided to add a "fun" book to my currently reading pile so that I could take some breaks from struggling through Don Quixote. What authors do you read for fun?


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Home School in the Woods Review


My favorite subject to teach is history, but sometimes learning it can be a little dry. In order to help my girls enjoy our history time more, I love to have them do hands-on history projects. This is one reason why I have really enjoyed our time reviewing HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study: Middle Ages from Home School in the Woods.

Monday, February 20, 2017

D.E.A.R. Monday - February 20

I'm slowly but surely making my way through Don Quixote. What are you struggling to get through right now when you Drop Everything And Read?


Monday, February 13, 2017

D.E.A.R. Monday - February 13

I've added some new books to my LONG TBR list and 1 to my short one. The one I share here is my short one that lists the 3 or 4 books at the top of the TBR list. Some of my homeschooling mama friends and I have decided to read through the list of books suggested by Susan Wise Bauer in The Well-Educated Mind. We're starting book 1 (Don Quixote) today.

I used to enjoy reading the classics, but I've developed swiss-cheese brain over the past years and now don't always seem to have the attention span needed to read them. I'm hoping that the fact that I have really begun reading a lot more non-fluff recently will help me with this. Do you enjoy the classics?


Friday, February 10, 2017

Do All Things Without Complaining

Have you been following along as my bloggy friends and I have been blogging through the alphabet? I've chosen to write about Bible Verses Through the Alphabet. This week's verse is brought to you by the letter


Monday, February 6, 2017

D.E.A.R. Monday - February 6

Once again, it's time to Drop Everything And Read. How many books are on your TBR list/pile?


Friday, February 3, 2017

A Clean Heart

Some of my bloggy friends and I are blogging through the alphabet. My theme is Bible Verses Through the Alphabet. This week's post is brought to you by the letter


Monday, January 30, 2017

D.E.A.R. Monday - January 30

I took Little Red to the Christian bookstore to get a new journal last week. While I was there, I saw a book that jumped out at me so I had to buy it, even though I already have an incredibly long TBR list as it is. (My list on this post is just the top couple of books on that list.) Plus this book jumped to the top of my TBR list since it has to do with prayer. How do you decide where books land on your TBR list (top, middle, bottom, etc.)? Which books get moved to the top for you to Drop Everything And Read?


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Be Still

This week's Bible Verses Through the Alphabet is brought to you by the letter


Monday, January 23, 2017

D.E.A.R. Monday - January 23

Being the main taxi driver for my children often means sitting in the van and waiting for them to finish their activities. This has proven to be some of the best time for me to Drop Everything And Read. In fact, I usually keep a book in the van, just so I will always have something to read if I'm just sitting there waiting. Where do you usually find time to Drop Everything And Read?


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

All Scripture Is...

I am joining in with some of my Review Crew friends in a Through the Alphabet series. My theme is Bible Verses Through the Alphabet.

This is the first week of the series, so this week's post is brought to you by the letter 

Monday, January 16, 2017

D.E.A.R. Monday - January 16

It's been a while since I've share what I've been reading. I have been making time to Drop Everything And Read, just not making the time to share. I've missed the sharing because I miss hearing from you all about what you are reading too. 😔


(This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting this blog and our homeschool by using these links. For more information, see my disclosure policy.)

What I've Finished Reading:
  • The Things We Wish Were True by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen - Life in small-town America can often seem idyllic on the surface, hiding the secrets of the past and present that tear apart lives. This book did a great job of drawing me in to want to discover the secrets that the characters were hiding. I give this one 4 out of 5 smiles. 😊😊😊😊
  • The Tumor: A Non-Legal Thriller by John Grisham - I used to devour Grisham's books, but it's been a while since I've read one. I anticipated this one being the same type thriller that I was used to from him but instead was disappointed that it simply was a lot of medical information shoved into a storyline. This one gets 1 smile. 😊
What I'm Currently Reading: Most of these are in my study of prayer.
What have you read lately?
What should I add to my TBR list?

Share your family-friendly book-related posts!

Items of interest in this post:

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Bible Verses Through the Alphabet

One of my goals for this year is to grow spiritually. I plan to really meditate on and study Scripture.

I was very excited when some friends of mine at the Homeschool Review Crew decided to host a Blogging Through the Alphabet series. This will help me to have a blogging focus at least once a week. My theme is

Each week I'm going to focus on a different Bible verse or passage beginning with a different letter of the alphabet. I'll share why I chose that verse/passage, thoughts on the verse, etc.

If you're interested in joining in as well, please go check out A Net in Time or Hopkins Homeschool.

A Net In Time Schooling

Friday, January 6, 2017

Five Minute Friday - Connect

(This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting this blog and our homeschool by using these links. For more information, see my disclosure policy.)

I'm joining up at Five Minute Friday over at Heading Home. Each week she shares a prompt, and you write on that prompt for 5 minutes. This week's prompt is "connect."

Here I go:

I posted my One Word for 2017 the other day - Growth. One of my goals is to grow in my spiritual life. I'm starting the year with a focus on my prayer life because I want to connect better with God.

For the past while, I've felt like my prayer life has become stale, rote, mechanical. There's not been much of a connection there between God and me, and that definitely isn't God's fault.

I've started this year studying Kay Arthur's Lord, Teach Me to Pray in 28 Days as well as re-reading Priscilla Shirer's Fervent: A Woman's Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer. I'm loving both of them because they take me back into what God's Word says about prayer. What better place to start forming a better connection with the Lord than in His Word?


I can already feel my prayers being more of a conversation with the Lord rather than me just talking at Him and hoping He's listening.

STOP

What do you do to feel more connected to God?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Zonderkidz The Beginner's Bible Review


I believe in the importance of learning the great history in the Bible at a young age. The Beginner's Bible from Zonderkidz is a great way of introducing young children to these Bible stories.

The Beginner's Bible {Zonderkidz}

For this review, we received The Beginner's Bible, a 512-page, hard-cover book with color illustrations.

The Beginner's Bible {Zonderkidz}

Sunday, January 1, 2017

My One Word for 2017

(This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting this blog and our homeschool by using these links. For more information, see my disclosure policy.)

For the first time, last year I chose a word for the year. I liked it more than setting goals, although goals were a part of my word choice, because it gave me a focus across my life.

I thought that, after having chosen a word last year, it would be easy for me to come up with a word for this year. I was wrong. I'm pretty sure it was as hard, if not harder, for me to decide on the word that I wanted to make my focus for 2017.

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