Posted in cooking, Electives, In the Kitchen, Life Skills

Review of Everyday Homemaking’s Everyday Cooking

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As a homeschooling family, my husband and I recognize the need for our children to learn the traditional subjects such as Bible, Mathematics, Language Arts, History, and Science.  But we also realize they need to be able to function in the real world as well.  So I was thrilled for our family to have the opportunity to review the Everyday Cooking cookbooks.   I have to say I love the Everyday Cooking cookbook from Everyday Homemaking because she cooks like me!  For the purpose of this review, we received both cover choices as downloadable products.  I decided to download it to my Ipad to make it easy to access the recipes.  I also printed it out and then took it to be spiral bound. You have the Joyce of either blue or red for the cover. You can buy either a downloadable version or a printed version.

Considering our youngest child is almost 15 and our oldest is twenty-one and the other two are almost 17 and 19, we realize they will be living on their own sooner rather than later.  To this end, we have them help around the house.  For whatever reason, my older two received more cooking opportunities because they were in the Boy Scouts.  Our youngest son, the one almost 17 also had opportunities to cook as well.  However, our daughter, being the baby of the bunch, is lacking in the area of cooking.  So I knew these cookbooks would be perfect for her.

The recipes are easy to follow and contain foods that my children actually may eat.  When we started looking through the cookbook, I did run into one problem, however.  That problem was there were too many recipes my younger two liked, so it was hard for them to narrow down what they wanted to try cooking.  One thing that made me very happy was most of the recipes could be adapted to accommodate our oldest son who is extremely lactose-intolerant.

Several of her recipes are very similar to ways I already cook, so we decided to try the Pork Loin Roast since we had a roast already in our freezer.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of the roast.  But here is a picture of someone’s plate that includes the sides we served with the meal.

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Another recipe we decided to try was the Veggie Saute since we were fixing a homemade Chinese dinner.  For this, we did two separate sides.  The first contained zucchini squash with onions that were served with soy sauce to resemble the Japanese “french fries” served at our favorite Japanese steakhouse.  The second was cabbage that also was cooked with onions and served with soy sauce.  Here are pictures of the children preparing the vegetables and then my daughter cooking the zucchini and onions.

 

Another recipe that was easy for us to fix was the Simple Salmon.  Although the recipe called for the salmon to be cooked in an electric skillet, pan seared or baked, our family cooked ours on the grill.  Living in southeastern Texas, I love to have my husband cook on the grill as often as possible to avoid heating up our house with the stove or oven.  Here are some pictures of the salmon.  Because the recipe called for citrus grill seasoning or lemon pepper, which members of my family do not care for, we used dill seasoning and salt and pepper.

 

I have to say I really enjoyed these cookbooks.  I love that in addition to the recipes, Vicki Bentley provides low-carb and gluten free helps, basic measurements and helps, meal planning and shopping hints, sample menus and meal planning masters, Basic cooking skills checklists, basic kitchen accessories, kitchen equipment information and more.  I definitely plan on incorporating these cookbooks into our school plans for this year.

In addition to the cookbooks, a chore system is also available.  If you would like to read more reviews about the Everday Cooking cookbooks or the Everyday Family Chore System from Everyday Homemaking, click here or on the graphic below.

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Posted in Homeschool Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling, Math

Review of Math Essentials’ No-Nonsense Algebra

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Homeschool math at the high school level can be intimidating so I’d like to introduce you to No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials.  Finding a math program that our 14-year-old daughter likes and understands can be challenging.  But with the included videos for the lessons taught by Richard W. Fisher, our daughter has found this program to be understandable.

Our daughter is our 4th and last child and she is definitely more gifted in the area of art than math.  So we have tried a variety of math programs through the years. Like most parents, we have found some work and some do not.  So when I saw the chance for our family to review No-Nonsense Algebra, I was glad to get it for our daughter.

This is a soft cover book that is meant to be used as a textbook, and the students need to do their work in a notebook.  Since it is not consumable, it would work well for families with more than one child.  As I have already stated, our daughter is not a math whiz kid.  She loves art a lot more.  So in her own words, she stated, “Some of the instructions and problems are worded in ‘mathease’, which is a language our daughter feels she does not speak.  However, the videos provided our daughter with clear and concise instructions that made the lessons understandable for her.

I feel like the videos are well-executed, easy to hear and easy to understand.  The instructions really helped our daughter.  This course covers everything from integers to the quadratic equation along with everything in between.

I felt like the lessons were reasonable in the material being covered, the examples that were given and the number of practice problems.  Each lesson contains an introduction which includes helpful hints, example problems worked out showing each step for solving the problem, exercises, and several review questions.

Since I have taught high school math and realize how it builds upon itself, I love the review problems.  It helps to ensure the students remember past materials.  I also loved the fact the book starts off with problems involving integers.  This is a necessary skill for solving most algebraic problems.  If a student can not solve problems with integers properly, he or she will probably have extreme difficulty later in Algebra.  Also, from my experience in teaching Algebra, the majority of mistakes in Algebra are caused by mathematical computations.  So ensuring students have a firm grasp on working with integers will help with their success.  The pictures below show two days of my daughter’s work and answers.  As I have stated, she is very artistic so her pages have to include some drawings.

I feel this book is perfect for a variety of situations.  It is perfect as a stand-alone textbook for Algebra.  It is also perfect for a student who just wants to brush up on certain skills.  It also would be perfect for a student just wanting to review Algebra for any reason. I also like the fact Math Essentials offers a variety of other products ranging from materials for 4th/5th grade all the way through this Algebra course.

I was very pleased with this book and the videos are provided with it.  This course is definitely worth taking a look at in my opinion.  If you would like to read more reviews about No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials, click here or on the graphic below.

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Posted in Bible Studies, Homeschool Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling

Review of Greek ‘n’ Stuff’s I Can Study Acts Alone With God Bible Study (52 week study) KJV

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As the parents of a teenage daughter, we are always on the lookout for new Bible study materials for our daughter.  So when the opportunity came for us to review  I Can Study Acts Alone With God Bible Study (52 week study) from Greek ‘n’Stuff, I was excited for us to try this Bible study workbook.

Greek ‘n’ Stuff offers courses in Greek, Latin, Bible studies, free activities and other resources on their website.  They also provide free sample pages for their materials.  The Bible Study materials are offered in either the King James Version or the New International Version.  The Bible studies range from 13 weeks to 52 weeks.  We decided that the study on Acts was the best choice for our daughter.  This study is recommended for those in late elementary or up.

This consumable workbook contains 52 weeks of lessons.  It comes in a spiral-bound format that makes it easy to write in for the student.  Each week is broken down into daily lessons with several questions for the student to answer.  Every week also has a memory verse, which my daughter really liked.

The lessons were broken down into manageable chunks that my daughter enjoyed completing. She takes seriously the idea of memorizing the weekly memory verses.  I decided to do the lessons with her as a way of spending time with her.  This idea seemed to work very well for our family.

On the first page of each lesson, the Scriptures being covered are listed.  Then it is further broken down by day of the week.  The first step for each day is a reminder to pray asking for God’s help in studying His Word.  Then there is a reminder about reading or reviewing that week’s memory verses.  As the weeks progress, I think it is a good idea to pick a time to review the memory verses that have already been learned.  Then each day has questions for the student to answer.  These questions have been easily found in my daughter’s Bible – either from the actual verses or from the introduction to the book of Acts or in the commentary her Bible contains.  I believe a good study Bible is extremely helpful for this study.

All of the pages contain blocks containing either the week’s memory verses, additional questions that are answered for the student, or a box containing a section entitled “Think and Pray About It”.

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I also loved the fact that there were only assignments for Monday through Saturday, leaving Sunday to be the Sabbath.  We decided to use Sunday as a day to review the memory verses for the week.  I believe a family could easily rearrange the days if it was necessary – such as rearranging the days to suit when the family wanted to observe the Sabbath.

My daughter really enjoyed doing this study.  She found it relatively easy to answer the questions.  I know I enjoyed doing the study with her.  So if your family is looking for an open and go Bible study workbook, the I Can Study Acts Alone With God Bible Study (52 week study) from Greek ‘n’ Stuff.

If you would like to read more reviews of the Acts study, the company’s other Bible studies or their Greek courses, click here or on the graphic below.

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Posted in Bible, Bible Studies, Book Reviews

Book Review of #truth by Josh McDowell

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.  For many years I have been a subscriber of the YouVersion App and with four children – three of whom are still teenagers, I spend a lot of time looking for resources for them to get them into God’s Word.  Josh McDowell does an excellent job of filling that need.  This would be perfect for a homeschooling family with teenagers.  The teens can complete this on their own or families could complete it together.

This book includes 365 devotions for teenagers that connect life with faith.  The Scripture passages are relatively short and easy to read.  He then includes a short passage with some explanations or insight into the passage being read.  Each day also includes a section which begins with “Truth is….” where Josh McDowell offers additional facts and information. At the end of each day is a section entitled “My Prayer”, which gives the reader a chance to have an already made prayer.  I definitely recommend this book.

 

 

 

Posted in family, Homeschool Planning, Homeschooling, Planning, Preparations

Our Area’s Homeschool Activity Fair – Part 1

 

So we are now in our second year of living in Texas.  This week I became aware that our local homeschool organization was holding an activity fair.  So I informed my youngest two and my husband the four of us would be attending.  As we drove into the parking lot and started to get out of the vehicle, I stated I was not sure how much we would find if anything.

So imagine my surprise when we entered the room the fair was in and found a number of booths that interested my children.  I am going to break this up into two parts.  Today I am going to write about the activities our 16 (getting ready to turn 17 in October) son found at the fair.

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The first activity which really interested him was the area homeschool band.  The benefit of this is that I can also play in it as a parent.  Furthermore, our second son can play as well.  After talking with the representatives a few minutes, I picked up a flyer, added our names to the list and checked one activity to add to our schedule.  So this should be fun for us.

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The next table to catch Nathan’s interest was one for an area Junior High/High School choir.  Nathan has a love of music and of singing, so again I knew this would be a good fit.  So I grabbed the flyer, noted the date of the informational meeting and then we moved on again.

My son then became distracted for a few minutes when one of his friends from church handed him a flyer for the group’s yearbook staff.  Involvement in that is still under consideration.  Then he was distracted by seeing the mother of that same friend.  So, of course, he had to go over and speak to her.

Then we stopped at a table where another one of my children’s friends was sitting.  We spoke to her for a few minutes before moving on to see what else we could find.

The next table to truly interest our son was the one for tennis lessons.  One of the moms we met when we first moved to Texas was on duty there.  We received the information, chatted for a few minutes and caught up a little bit.  I gave a sigh of relief when I realized they provided all the necessary equipment.  So that is one expense I do not have to worry about right away.

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Finally, he asked if we could stop by the table for the area athletic teams – including basketball – something he has wanted to play for years.  Unfortunately, that activity is not a possibility because it will conflict with the homeschool band.  I was glad to see my son was more interested in the band instead of basketball.

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So that is a summary of the activities our son is interested in for the new year.

Stay tuned for part 2 where I will discuss the activities our daughter is interested in for this year.

Posted in Audio Dramas, history, Homeschool Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling

Review of Heirloom Audio Productions “In the Reign of Terror”

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Ever since we began homeschooling about 12 years ago, we have tried to find educational and interesting ways to pass the time traveling to places.  One way we have discovered to pass time and keep bickering down is to listen to audio dramas.  So I was thrilled for us to have the opportunity to do a review for Heirloom Audio Productions.  We’ve been listening to the newest radio drama from Heirloom Audio Productions called In the Reign of Terror!  This audio drama captured our imaginations and interest.

For this review, we received the actual audio CDs.  This audio drama is based on a book by G. A. Henty.  It includes action, adventure and more.  The actors and actresses who portray the characters in the drama pulled us into the story.   The soundtrack is riveting as well and fits the mood and plot of the story.  This drama is perfect for homeschooling families who wish to enrich their study of history.  I would caution that parents with young children may want to preview the drama prior to their young children listening to it.  With our family’s youngest member being 14-years-old, this drama was perfect for our family.

The story opens with a young man talking to an older gentleman in Arlington National Cemetry.  The two discuss the American Revolution versus the French Revolution.  The older gentleman makes it clear that the Americans fighting in the American Revolution relied on God and focused on Him.  While the individuals who began the French Revolution did not.

A young man named Harry is sent from England to France as a 16-year-old boy to work for a French aristocratic family.  The story initially finds Harry and his French family he is living with living normal lives.  But things take a turn for the worst when the commoners in France decided to rebel against the aristocracy.  Harry and the Marquis De St Caux find themselves in extreme danger.  Even the Marquis’ children are in extreme peril.

The Marquis enables his daughters and Harry to escape, which results in the Marquis and his mother becoming prisoners of the French commoners. Harry determines to keep his promise to keep the daughters of the Marquis safe and uses the money given to him to achieve that goal.  Ultimately, the Marquis and his mother are put to death and Harry has to make plans to get the girls to safety.  The story then focuses on their harrowing experiences while trying to reach England.

We thoroughly enjoyed this drama and I felt the producers, directors and actors/actresses did an excellent job of bringing the story to life.  We truly felt like we were part of the story.

To go along with the audio dramas, Heirloom Audio Productions has introduced a club called the Live the Adventure Club that includes a wealth of resources.

 


This club includes many valuable resources including a study guide for the drama.  The study guide is available as a download on the Live the Adventure Club site from Heirloom Audio Productions. The study guide offers background information on what is included in the study guide, a background on G. A. Henty, information about Heirloom Audio Productions, a list of the members of the cast and crew, background information on important people during the time of the story – such as Maximillian Robespierre and Marie Antoinette, and other resources to facilitate the study and discussion of the story.

The questions are broken down by disc and tracks on the CD.  The questions include questions for listening well, thinking further and defining words along with opportunities to expand learning and Bible Study as well as additional resources.  Here are some screenshots of pages from the Study Guide.

 

 

 

 

With the Live the Adventure Club, you have the option to purchase the club with a set price being charged every three months.  You receive access to the Club website page that includes a treasury of resources.  These resources include access to the study guide, the Listen and Learn Library, exclusive educational treasures, discounts on all products, a supportive online community as well as exclusive resources and perks that are available only to members.  If you act right now, you can get your first 90 days of membership for only $1, along with the audio drama,  Captain Bayley’s Heir audio CDs as well as instant online access to the digital version so you can begin listening immediately.  After the initial period, you will be charged a set rate and then that same rate every 90 days.

 

Within the club, there are read-along scripts, chapter quizzes, along with the questions and defining words for each chapter.  I believe this would be extremely useful for creating an entire learning experience based around the audio drama.

Our family really enjoyed this audio drama and believe your family will also.  If you would like to read more reviews about In the Reign of Terror from Heirloom Audio Productions, click here or on the graphic below.

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