Posted in family, Memories, Our Life

Homeschooling Year Round

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I love the summertime (well except the heat and humidity in Texas) because we get to relax our schedule.  This summer has offered a lot of opportunities.  First, my youngest two have had numerous opportunities to go swimming with the youth group at our church at the home of one of our members.

Our entire family attending a swimming party/cook-out at the same home of our members.  During that cookout, my second son took the time to work on a crossword puzzle book, which is shown in the picture above.  My oldest son spent his time socializing, while the youngest two enjoyed swimming with some of their friends.

The younger two also participated in a Service camp held at our church.  They did some things around the church including painting, cleaning and visiting members of the church and working at a local charity.  All in all, they had a great time.

Now we are about to enter August, which means we will take two weeks off (mainly because my husband and I will be celebrating our 25th anniversary) before gearing back up for the new year.

It is hard to believe my youngest three will all be doing high school work.  I have some great resources we will be using this year, and I look forward to sharing them with you in some future posts.

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

Posted in Book Reviews, family, Homeschooling, Uncategorized

Review of “Raising Leaders Not Followers by Kerry Beck

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“Raising Leaders Not Followers” by Kerry Beck is a thought-provoking book about stepping out of the traditional thoughts on education and raising children. She encourages parents to raise leaders rather than followers by focusing on God, developing character and stepping out into an education model that focuses on God, a parent’s goals for his/her child and the gifts and talents a particular child has.

The book was easy to read and captured my interest. I would definitely recommend this book to any homeschooling parents who want some new ideas for homeschooling. I loved her use of Scriptures from the Bible, quotes and other visual methods of displaying information. There is a study guide available along with a remarkable list of resources to refer to if a reader desires. I definitely needed the reminder to focus on God and character rather than checking off boxes to match what public school students are doing.

Kerry Beck brings a wealth of knowledge, experiences, and insights on how to raise students who can think for themselves and be visionaries rather than just regurgitating answers that have been fed to them by classroom teachers.
Once again I definitely recommend this book highly.

You can purchase the book here or click on the picture below.

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If you buy the book today, you will receive $180 in free resources.

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Also, you can register for a free workshop on starting homeschooling right.

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Posted in Christian Films, Faith, family, Homeschool Review Crew Posts

Review of the Mapelle Films’ Movie – Trust Fund

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Today I want to introduce you to the faith-based movie Trust Fund from Mapelle Films.  Our family is always on the lookout for wonderful family films, so I was really excited for our family to review this family drama. I also received a copy of Love Was Near, a book written to be read after watching the movie.  This is a perfect movie for a family movie night.

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The story tells the tale of Reese Donahue, a young aspiring writer, and the struggles and adventures she has.  Jessica Rothe plays the role of Reese and does an incredible job.  Reese is the youngest daughter of parents who own a publishing company.  Reese has her father, Grayson and her older sister Audrey.  Reese is surrounded by people who love her and only want the best for her. However, she becomes involved with a man named Milo, who is not good for her.   She is unable to recognize this fact, unfortunately.

Reese is one of those people who is struggling to find her place in the world.  Her father has his publishing company, and her sister has a job at the publishing firm along with a fiance she apparently loves.  When the movie opens, Reese has just returned from a trip to Italy for a writing conference her father encouraged her to attend.  Unfortunately, while in Italy, Reese becomes involved with a man named Milo she thinks is the love of her life. She spent more time with him and very little time attending the conference that her father meant to help her with the book she was supposed to be completing.

The movie chronicles Reese’s involvement with Milo, her family, a former male friend from her childhood,her publisher from another publishing house, her girlfriend she shares an apartment with along with her father’s secretary and other characters.  It demonstrates the strength of a father’s love and how facing life’s difficulties with people who love you and forgive unconditionally brings resolution.  The movie is a spin on the story of the Prodigal Son told in the Bible.

Issac Alongi produced and was the cinematographer for the film, and was homeschooled himself back in the 1980’s.   He has over 20 years experience in the film industry.  I always love seeing or reading things created by former or current homeschoolers.  The sets and scenery in the movie were incredible.  Here is an excellent article you can read about Issac Alongi.

Sandra L Martin is the writer, director, and producer for the film.  She also wrote the book Love Was Near to be read after watching the movie.  It is meant for those over twelve years old.  The book offers a more in-depth view of what Reese was feeling and thinking.  It seems to be a way help Reese move forward in her life.  I felt the script of the movie was well-executed.

I chose to read the book for the purposes of this review.  The book is written in journal form.   I found the book to be captivating.  It was easy to read.  The book contains portions of text, pictures, quotes, and portions that were done as though they were handwritten in a journal.  Each chapter concludes with questions to be answered.  I loved the fonts used and the attention to detail in the book.

Here are some pictures I took of pages in the book.

 

 

In addition to the film and the book, a study guide is available from the site to be downloaded for use in small groups. You can view the study guide here.  The study guide includes information about the characters in the movie, Bible verses, questions to think about, and sections called “Deep Thoughts”.  These deep thoughts include information about Christianity, comparisons of Reese and the younger brother in the story of the Prodigal Son and more.  There are also photos from the movie.  I found the study guide to be a worthwhile addition to the film and book.

Here are some screenshots I took of some pages from the study guide.

 

If you would like to read more reviews about Mapelle Films‘ movie Trust Fund or the book Love Was Near, click here or on the graphic below.

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Posted in Art, family

One of My Favorite Things about Homeschooling

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One of my favorite things about homeschooling is that my children get to spend time doing things they love.  For our daughter, that means she gets to spend time on her artwork.

For my sons, they get to spend time online with cousins and friends in other states (and even another country).  I love hearing them interact with one another as they play games and talk with each other.

Another thing I love is that it gives us a chance to spend time as a family.  Sometimes this means we might go some place, like the trips we used to take each year to Busch Gardens.  Other times, it may mean we go shopping or perhaps just watch a movie at home together. All in all, homeschooling has been a blessing for our family.

So what does your family like to do?

Posted in Homeschool Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling, Science

A Review of Fascinating Chemistry from Fascinating Education

 

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High school science can be so intimidating for us home schooling families so I was happy for our family to review Fascinating Chemistry from Fascinating Education.  For this review, our sixteen year old son was the one doing the actual coursework.  This is an online course that offers some printable components as well.

I love how easy the website is to navigate.  When the student enters the website for Fascinating Education and login to the members’ area,  the student then selects their correct course by clicking on the correct logo.  Here is a screenshot of that screen.

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So our son would select Fascinating Chemistry from the list by clicking on it.  In this case, it is important to pay attention to the fact there are two Chemistry courses – the one we are reviewing along with one that indicates it is a pre-course for Biology.

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The next screen that displays lists all of the lessons.  For Fascinating Chemistry, each lesson offers slideshows for the lesson, the script for the lesson, and a computerized version of the test for each lesson.  I appreciated the way this screen is laid out.  It is easy to see each lesson along with the components for each lesson.  So if we wanted to complete the lesson using a three-day schedule, the first two days could be spent watching the videos and completing any exercises for that lesson.  Then the last day could be used for taking the lesson quiz.  I appreciated how the scripts for every lesson are provided.  This allows for easy notetaking and also for review.

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In a separate section under the members tab, there is an option for Chemistry labs.   The instructions were well-written and appear to be easy to follow.  I liked how at the top of the page for the labs a clear safety warning was provided that indicates adult supervision is necessary for these labs.  The labs seemed to require items that were easily obtainable.  I would have liked for a complete lab supply list to be provided so that all the needed supplies could be purchased at one time.  Because I prefer my husband to do any science labs with our children, we decided to hold off and do the labs during his vacation later in the summer.  So look for us to post more about that sometime in late August to early September.

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As my son watched the slideshows, he was disappointed that he did not have an option to view the lessons in full-screen mode.  Like my son, for videos like this, I would prefer to have the option of watching the videos in full-screen since it makes it easier to see.

There are several things I would have liked to have with this course.  The first would have been the ability to watch the slides in full-screen.  I also would have appreciated some kind of grade book or the ability to have scores emailed to me for the tests.  This would allow for easier recordkeeping.  Without some kind of record, it could be difficult to provide proof of his scores.

But otherwise, I have to say we were very pleased with the course overall.  I felt the material was explained and the videos were well done.  The course outlines, lab instructions and PDF versions of the tests and answer keys were all easy to read and to follow the instructions for overall.  For a student that is not going into a science field, this course is perfect.  However, if a student is planning on going on to a science-type field, it may be better to look at some other options.

Fascinating Education also offers courses for Biology, a Chemistry Pre-Course for Biology, Fascinating Physics, Fascinating Anatomy & Physiology, and Fascinating Logic of Medicine.  If you would like to read more reviews of either Fascinating Chemistry or some of the other courses offered by Fascinating Education, click here or on the graphic below.

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Posted in Canning, cooking, family, Fresh Produce, In the Kitchen

The Week of 4th of July

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For those of us here in the United States, this week brought the 4th of July – Independence Day.  And one of our family’s favorite things to do at this time of the year used to be putting up corn each year.  When we lived in North Carolina, it was a family and friends event.  We typically put up around 5 bushels for just our family.  So this week, it was rather bittersweet to see my sister-in-law post pictures on Facebook of them putting up corn.

However, since we moved to Texas in March 2016, putting up food has become a wishful occupation.  We so want to put up food because we really enjoy it, but we have neither space or places to find produce to buy in bulk.

When we lived in the central part of Pennsylvania from summer of 2012 until March of 2016, we were blessed to have Amish farms to buy produce from in bulk.  The quality was amazing and the prices were extremely affordable.

Here are some pictures of us putting up corn in Pennsylvania.

There is nothing quite as satisfying as seeing the rows of jars on the shelves or bags full of produce in our freezer ready for us to eat in the future.

Here are some pictures of our shelves in Pennsylvania with items we were getting ready to put up or had already put up.

I think one of my favorite things to put up know is homemade sauerkraut.  The flavors are just so amazing.

So what does summer bring for your family?