Posted in Bible Studies, Homeschool Review Crew Posts

Homeschool Review Crew – Review for City on a Hill’s Manhood Journey

For the last several weeks my husband has been using Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit, a father-son Bible study, from Manhood Journey & City on a Hill Studio.  This Bible study kit has been a blessing for our family.  It is designed to be used for fathers and sons to do together.  Or it could be used by a group of fathers and their sons together.   If  the father is unable to participate, an older male sibling, male family member, or another adult male could lead the study.  It would be great for men in a church to do with young men who truly need a Biblical male role model in their lives. In our case, my husband and our three sons who are 20, 18, and 16 did the study together.  Even though the study is recommended for ages 8 to 17, my 18 and 20-year-olds enjoyed the discussions.


The starter kit includes everything that is needed to get started. The starter kit includes a group discussion guide, a 1 on 1 discussion guide for fathers to use with their sons, a DVD of the introductory modules for all six units, 10 maprochures, and a free copy of Wise Guys Unlocking Hidden Wisdom from the Men Around You by the Manhood Journey cofounder, Kent Evans. lack of formal lesson plans concerned my husband when he first opened the box.  But, he figured out what to do.  The interactive nature of the program allowed all three of our sons to participate.  They either read passages of Scripture or shared their own thoughts and opinions. The one thing everyone commented on and liked was that no one Bible version was used.  The Scripture references were provided and our family was able to use our preferred Bible version.


When I asked my husband what he personally thought of the program, he felt the program was very good because it gave him the opportunity to really talk with our sons and spend time with them.  Given that he is an ordained Primitive Baptist preacher, and has been, for over 24 years, this was something he could really dive into and enjoy.  He was no sure exactly what role the book “Wise Guys” was to play in the lessons.  However, he was able to make it work for our family.


Moreover, our oldest son plans on becoming a Youth Pastor, so this program is an excellent way for him to dive deeper into his chosen profession.  He really enjoyed spending time in God’s Word and fellowshipping with his father and brothers.


Our second son, the 18-year-old, also stated how glad he was to be able to use the Bible version of his choice rather than having to use a different version.  He also commented on how much he liked the format of the lessons.  He also enjoyed getting to spend time with his brothers and father.


As I listened from our bedroom, which is directly beside our living room, I could they were enjoying what they were doing.  Of course, being able to get comfortable and having a variety of furntiure to sit in probably helped a lot.


All in all, this was an excellent program that suited our family well.  I would have to say any young man could benefit from doing this program with his father or some other adult.  Our young people need good role models and Biblically based information to help them form lasting ties to God.  I believe this program would definitely help do this.  Furthermore, I believe we will probably be buying additional modules in the future.

With most of the teaching in our home being done by me, I love seeing opportunities for my husband to engage with our children and especially with our sons as they move towards the independence of being an adult.  This truly is an excellent product teaching Biblical manhood and would be perfect for small groups or individual families to use.

If you would like to read more reviews of this program, you can click here or on the graphic below.

2 Click Here to Read More Reviews 2016_zpsmmmkbumm

If you would like to conect with Manhood Journey or City on Hill on social media, you can find them at:
Manhood Journey
Twitter: @manhoodjourney

City on a Hill



Posted in Blogging A to Z Challenge, Ultimate Blog Challenge, writing

Almost April

Psalm 51 10 for 2016

Well, it is hard to believe it is almost April 1st.  April is the month for Camp Nanowrimo, Blogging A to Z challenge and another round of the Ultimate Blog challenge.  I plan on participating in all of these, so expect quite a few posts over the next few weeks.

I may try to incorporate some of these into our homeschool plans as well, especially the Blogging A to Z challenge.  I will probably call it “Writing A to Z Challenge” for my children, however.  I look forward to sharing how this goes over the next few weeks.

So what is going on in your world?  I would love to hear from you.


Posted in Book Reviews, history, Homeschool Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling, Uncategorized

Review for Bessie’s Pillow from Strong Learning

I am a lover of books, of all kinds. We love historical fiction at my house so I was thrilled to receive Bessie’s Pillow published by Strong Learning, Inc. to review.  This book tells the tale of 18-year-old Boshka Markman as she immigrates to the United States from Vilna, Lithuania.



Being the book lover I am, I decided to read this book myself first.  I have a 14-year-old daughter along with three sons who are 20, 18 and 16 respectively.  Once I finished the book, we began reading it out loud together.  From the moment I picked up the book until I finished it, it captured my interest.  This is a true story of Boshka as told to her granddaughter Linda Bress Silbert from talking with Linda’s mother, Boshka’s daughter Ann Dreizen Bress.  .

The story is one of a family forced to send a daughter across the seas to the United States in hopes of a better life.The story begins with Boshka saying goodbye to her family and a stranger giving her a pillow that ultimately influences the rest of her life.  The pillow brings loves, loss, joy, and tears. Photographs are included at the end of the book and those photographs are captivating.  As someone who knows virtually nothing about when my family came to the United States or the difficulties they endured, this real life immigration story captured my imagination and the photographs drew me in even more.  This is the type of book, I would love to have in audio form for our family to listen to as we travel, especially to a homeschool convention or other destination that requires long periods of travel.

The website has a teacher’s guide along with other resources for readers or their parents/teachers to utilize.  The Teacher’s Guide  includes suggestions on how to use the book in classes.  There are suggestions for Language Arts and Social Studies/History including discussion questions, research topics, themes, a timeline, a glossary of terms, and additional reading suggestions.  At the website for Bessie’s Pillow, there is a wealth of information including:  European Immigration, Famous People, Food and Recipes, Health, Housework, Movies, Music and Dancing, News, U.S. Presidents, Radio and even photographs.  Here is a screenshot of the web page below. The final pages of the book also include additional information for the topics that are included on the website.




If your family has younger childern, or children who are more sensitive there are parts in this book that you may want to either skip over or discuss.  Because it is a story about a real family, there are stories of heartbreak, violence, death and other topics younger children may have a hard time with or need to have discussed with them either prior to reading those sections or after reading them.  With my children being teenagers or in his twenties, I found this book to be acceptable for all of them.  This book lends itself to either being read alone or read aloud.  My children have a way of putting emotion into everything they do, so hearing them read it aloud was a treat.

Because the book is told from Boshka, some boys may or may not care for it.  However, with all of the male characters in the book, I think there is something everyone could enjoy.  All ages could find something to stimulate learning and interest. I definitely recommend this book.

You can connect with Strong Learning, Inc on social media at:

Twitter: @BessiesPillow

Click here or on the banner below if you would like to read additional reviews of Bessie’s Pillow.

2 Click Here to Read More Reviews 2016_zpsmmmkbumm


Posted in family, Homeschooling, Our Life

A Year Ago

Psalm 37 4

It is hard to believe that one year ago, we were preparing to move from our hotel in Texas to the home we had rented.  We lived essentially 3 weeks in a hotel between the time we moved our home in Pennsylvania to a hotel there and then spent time in various hotels on the way to Texas, until we finally arrived at the hotel in our new hometown.

The drive from Pennsylvania to Texas was not too hard until we reached the Louisiana border.  During the time we stayed in the hotels, we suspended school.  A lot of our materials and books came on the moving truck, so until we were able to unpack, there was nothing really for the children to do.  So we spent our time enjoying our family.  This year we are in the midst of some curriculum changes, so I am working to get all the new materials together.  Some things we were using just did not work out.  So changes had to be made.  One of the wonderful things about homeschooling is the ability to change when things do not work out the way we planned.  However, I also realize other times children must take responsibility for their own learning and recognize that not everything in life is fun.

So how are things going with your homeschool?  I would love to hear from you.









Posted in family, Homeschool Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling

Review for Creative Freewriting Adventure by Home School Adventure Co

We have been flexing our creative writing muscles with Home School Adventure Co.’s Creative Freewriting Adventure.  This creative writing program inspired my children’s’ creativity.  I was familiar with Home School Adventure Co. prior to this review, so when I saw this particular product I was excited.  I liked the idea of having my children complete a program for creative writing.  For this review, our family received the Creative Freewriting Adventure and the Creative Freewriting Adventure Coloring books as downloadable products.

My younger three along with my mom worked in the Creative Freewriting Adventure Coloring book version, while my oldest son did the Creative Freewriting Adventure. must admit I was not completely certain of how my children would react to this product.  None of my children are aspiring writers.  But, I was very pleased with their reaction.  Upon receiving the product, I downloaded copies for our 14-year-old daughter, our 16-year-old son, our 18-year old son, as well as for my 20-year-old son and my mother who lives with us.  I choose to download them in black and white and then display the pages in color on my computer screen as we did the lessons.  This allowed me to save on ink.



On the Home School Adventure Co.’s website, the description of Creative Freewriting Adventure reads, “Bring joy and excitement into your student’s writing with these simple-to-execute (yet significant) writing exercises. No prep required. Just grab a pen and paper, set a timer, and have fun!”  My children definitely had fun with this program.

Each lesson consists of a reading portion and a 15-minute freewriting portion.  In the coloring book edition coloring pages are also included.  My children had one complaint consistently across the lessons we completed, but it was a complaint I could live with easily.  They complained there was not enough time to write everything they wanted to.

The first lesson involves a man called Thales, a well and an old man.  Here are some pictures of my children working along with some of their writing samples.  As we went through the lessons, I had a different family member read the background information which set the stage for the story.  Then I read the actual assignment so I could emphasize anything I felt was important.  Then we set the timer and the children began writing.  Other lessons refer to Socrates, Pythagoras, a visit to an alternative universe, talking animals and more.

Here are some picutres of them working.





And here are some of their coloring pages:

I made the decision to always allow my family to finish whatever sentence they were writing when the time ran out.  My children and my mom decided everyone should read their stories out loud.  We all enjoyed listening what everyone had written.  It was amazing to hear how much feeling, emotion and thought they put into their work.

My children so thoroughly enjoyed this program that we are planning on printing out additional copies so we can go back through the assignments at a more leisurely approach.  Once we print out the pages, I plan on inserting additional pages to allow for additional writing space.  Our plan is to do the regular freewriting assignment on Monday.  Then on Tuesdays, they will be allowed to add to and edit their work.  Wednesdays will be for group critiques along with grammar and writing lessons.  Thursdays they will do more editing.  Finally, on Friday they will turn in their finished product typed neatly.  I have to say this product really excited my children and caused their creative juices to truly flow.  So if you are looking for a fantastic creative writing program, Creative Freewriting Adventure and Creative Freewriting Coloring Book edition definitely fit the bill.

To read additional reviews, click on the image below.




#hsreview #CreativeFreewriting

Posted in Books, family, Homeschool Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling, Uncategorized

Things are Picking Up

Psalm 37 4

So for the last several weeks, we have slowly been getting back into the school routine.  As part of a review we are working on, our four children along with my husband and myself have been working on learning the Greek alphabet so we can begin using First Form Greek.  I look forward to sharing our experiences with you all.

Also, we are reading a book, working on a computer website design program, a CLEP test preparation website and a writing program.  I look forward to sharing these reviews in the coming weeks and months.

Of course, the normal subjects of math, science, history, Bible, and Language Arts are being completed as well.

So what is going on in your world?  I would love to hear from you.