Posted in Bible Studies, Homeschool Review Crew Posts

Review of Abby Ludvigson’s Sex by Design

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As a homeschooling parent, some decisions and even some conversations I need to have with my children are easier than others.  We have three sons whose ages are 21, 19 and 17, plus a daughter who is 15-years-old.  For example, I can talk about mathematics, literature, and history all day long with no problems.  However, one subject seems like a mine-field to navigate.  That topic is purity and anything to do with sex.  Yes, I just used the word “sex”. Although I don’t particularly like to discuss certain subjects with our three teens and our twenty-one-year-old son, Abby Ludvigson has made this a lot easier with her DVD-based program, Sex by Design. This product is endorsed by Josh McDowell, you can check out what he has to say about the series here.

With this program, we received the teen edition workbook, the parent edition workbook and access to the seven videos. Our plan for this curriculum involved my husband and I reviewing the videos first and then watching them again with our children.  As I watched the videos, I was impressed with how willing Abby Ludvigson is willing to share regarding her own life and her own experiences.  I also appreciated how realistic her message is and the fact she is willing to discuss hard topics, such as the actual results of having sex outside of marriage.

The series covers seven major topics:

  1. Plan Ahead: Living Pure in a Sex-Saturated Culture
  2. Counting the Cost: Every Decision Has a Price Tag
  3. Dating:  Doing Relationships God’s Way
  4. Sex: God’s Purpose & Plan
  5. Modesty: God Cares What I Wear
  6. Pornography: Its Deception & Steps to Get Out or Stay Out
  7. Secondary Virginity: Running Back to God

Also included in the Parent’s Edition is an appendix which contains Bible Studies, The 1st Peter Principle, and Endnotes.  I love how the series aims to be a springboard to deeper conversations between teens and their parents.  I could see this being a terrific resource to use in a Teen Youth Group at a church where parents and teens can have honest, meaningful conversations about purity, sex and navigating those stormy waters in days where the opposite message permeates our culture and society.

Each of the video segments is approximately twenty-five minutes long.  The videos consist of teens talking about their experiences and thoughts which is followed by Abby Ludvigson presenting her message on the given topic.  I love how she includes Bible verse passages in each segment.  I also love how in the workbooks there is a place with guided text to help the viewer take notes as they are watching.  I feel like this is one way to help ensure a meaningful conversation takes place.  Also in the workbooks are sections for the film outlines, Scripture verses. to examine, Truth Statements, Follow-up questions, a section to personalize it, a section to apply it and key terms to review.

It is clear this program is designed to get parents and teens talking in depth about the subject, rather than a subject to fly through quickly.  I feel the videos and workbooks were carefully designed to be easy to view or navigate.

In addition to the video segments and workbooks, online resources are available as well.  These online resources include suggested books to read, articles to read, downloads – such as a purity pledge, and other helpful resources such as places to buy purity rings.  Here are some screenshots of some of the resources for the first segment.

My husband and I were both very impressed with the depth and breadth of this series.  It has definitely provided a way to encourage our family to have what could be difficult or potentially embarrassing discussions.  I encourage you to check it out for yourself.  If you would like to read more reviews of Sex by Design by Abby Ludvigson, click here or on the graphic below.

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Posted in family, Our Life, Uncategorized

Our Youngest Son Turns Seventeen

Seventeen years ago today, our youngest son was born.  This child has kept us on our toes and brought joy to our life.  In the last month, he has begun playing the alto saxophone in our local homeschool beginner band.  He is also working to learn Japanese with the help of a local friend.  So happy birthday to our youngest son.

Posted in Homeschool Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling

Review of The Pencil Grip, Inc’s “The Ultra Safety Scissors” and “The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit”

 

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The Pencil Grip, Inc. sent us two of their products to try out: The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors and The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit.  I was really excited to get these products.  Since our youngest child just turned fifteen-years-old, the scissors were not a necessity for our family.  I really was looking forward to getting the pencil grips.  For the purpose of this review, I had our daughter use the scissors, while I used the pencil grips.

These scissors are designed for children 3-years-old and up.  Once our daughter understood the scissors were designed for younger children, she understood why they were made the way they were.  She found them easy to use.  I drew several curvy lines for her to follow for cutting.  I think if her fingers were smaller, they would have worked much better.  The guard on the scissors did make it somewhat awkward to place the paper in that was being cut.  Once again, for a child around three or four years old, I think these would be perfect.  The ergonomic design is made so clean cuts are achieved.  Also, the blades are covered with the guard to provide absolute protection.  There is a training lever that automatically opens once the scissors are squeezed closed and also automatically opens when the scissors are opened.

The ergonomic design is made so clean cuts are achieved.  Also, the blades are covered with the guard to provide absolute protection.  There is a training lever that automatically opens once the scissors are squeezed closed and also automatically opens when the scissors are opened.

When our youngest son was three-four years old, he was diagnosed with motor skill issues.  As a result, he had to attend. physical therapy and eventually had to attend occupational therapy as well.  I feel these scissors would have been a tremendous blessing during that time in our lives.

Our family also received The 3-Step Pencil Grip Training Kit. The first step is the Crossover grip for training.  This training should occur under the supervision of an adult.  The design of this grip provides maximum structure and reinforcement to ensure proper placement of the fingers.  I love how the product description on Amazon states, ” The “super hero cape” design of the grip,  I can see that description catching my attention easily.

The second grip is designed for transitioning.  This grip is to be used on all writing instruments.  The description on Amazon states, “the unique partial “wings” allow for both structure and freedom”.  Finally, the third grip is designed to be used on all writing instruments, with the idea of providing a lifetime of comfort and control” according to the product description.

Once again, I would have loved to have used these grips when our youngest son was learning to write.  I truly believe it would have made things much easier for him.  Our daughter used the grip on a pen to create an amazing drawing in just a few minutes.  I can see me using the final grip for a long time to come because it truly is comfortable.  I also appreciate the fact the pencil grips are available either as a set or can be purchased individually.

Once again if you are looking for a terrific pair of safety scissors or pencil grips I recommend you check out The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors and The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit for yourself.  These will become valuable kids school supplies.  Click here or on the graphic below to read more reviews of these products fromThe Pencil Grip, Inc..

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Posted in Audio Dramas, Homeschool Review Crew Posts, Missionary Stories

Review of Brinkman Adventures Season 4

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One of our family’s favorite ways to pass time on road trips is listening to audio dramas. Have you heard of Brinkman Adventures?  We were introduced to their missionary stories when we received Brinkman Adventures Season 4 to review.  This was the first time we had heard of this audio drama series.  And I have to say, we loved the stories. For the purpose of this review, we received the audio drama as a download.  However, they are also available on audio CDs as well.  Personally, I found the downloads perfect.  I was able to download them to my computer and then use iTunes to listen to them on my computer.  However, I also have the option to listen to them on my iPhone or iPad as well.   This season contains 12 episodes full of missionary stories, adventure and more.

These adventures are in many cases based on real people and the events that happened to them.  Also, as a parent, I love how at the beginning of episodes containing intense stories, children under ten-years-old are instructed to get their parents to listen along with them. This shows the creators have a genuine concern for their listeners.  At the end of each episode, listeners are instructed to visit the website for more information regarding the real-life characters and situations.  Here is the link to the website where you can find the real stories behind the episodes.  Here are some screenshots of the stories behind the episodes.

 

Each episode is about twenty-five minutes long.  The stories engage you in the drama and keep you on the edge of your seat in many cases.  The background music is incredible and helps set the mood of the stories.  The stories themselves are engaging, inspiring and moving.

Our family loved how the episodes build upon each other.  Characters frequently reappear.  Another feature our family really enjoyed was listening to the snippets in between episodes, such as the one where the creator of the Brinkman adventures introduces his family who actually provide the voices for the characters in the show.

Our family tended to listen to these episodes together, however, there were a few that I listened to alone.  I can guarantee the next time we get in our van to drive somewhere, these episodes will be playing.

Even though our children are twenty-one, almost nineteen, almost seventeen and almost fourteen, they all enjoyed listening to the stories because the children are span such a large age range.  I also appreciated the time and care provided to the idea of grown children finding their own place in the world and respecting the ideas and concerns of their parents.  Over the course of several episodes, the story of Michelle and the young man she wants to marriage developed.  Mr. Brinkman does an excellent job of showing the struggles parents go through in this situation.  As a mother, I could totally relate to the struggles Mr. Brinkman faced.

Our children really enjoyed the episode with RD, the Koi fish and the adventures that the computerized RD had when armed with a paintball gun.  Of course, listeners were informed at the end of the end of this episode, that it was not based on real life.  Plus, they were instructed to never try doing this at home.  However, I could see my sons (especially our oldest) trying something like this himself.

So if your family is looking for wholesome audio dramas, check out Brinkman Adventures Season 4 for yourselves.  If you would like to read more reviews, click here or on the graphic below.

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Posted in Homeschool Review Crew Posts, Math, Online Homeschool Programs

Review of CTC Math’s Family Membership

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We are in our 12th year of homeschooling.  My husband and I are both gifted in the field of mathematics.  However, the majority of our children did not receive that gift.  A couple of them truly struggle with math. I was thrilled to receive CTCMath‘s Family Membership with my kids, and homeschoolers can get 60% off + 6 bonus months.  Or you can select a 4-month free trial. However, these special offers are only good until November 15th.

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I love that this program is video-based and offers the option of either a single student version or a family version.  We received the family membership.  I set up accounts for our three children who are ages eighteen, sixteen and fourteen as well as an account for myself.  For a high school student, the videos take about 8-10 minutes to watch plus the time to complete the exercises.

 

CTC Math is designed for children in grades Kindergarten thru twelveth grade.  It is perfect for getting caught up, staying up or moving forward.  I like that children learn at their pace rather than someone else’s pace.  Each high school lesson contains a video, practice problems, and a worksheet.  I like the fact that the worksheets can be printed out at the high school level. CTCMath’s founder, Pat Murray created this multisensory approach to math that is used in Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom as well as other parts of the world.

With three high school students, this plan was perfect for our family.  The family membership gives the parent the opportunity to add family members to the account.  Once added, they can work on diagnostic tests as well as the various courses.  I primarily was interested in this program as a way to fill in some gaps on increase proficiency.

One of my favorite things about this program is that I as the parent have the ability to determine the proficiency level I require.  So for our children, I selected 90% as what they needed to achieve.  Another thing I love is that the program goes all the way from Kindergarten to Calculus.

Our fourteen-year-old daughter needed to brush up on her skills for Algebra.  Our sixteen-year-old son needed to brush up on Geometry.  I just selected various lessons from the different courses to try.  However, my husband and I both plan on using this program to continue brushing up on our math skills.

I did lessons in Algebra I as well as Algebra II.  I found the videos to be straight-forward, informative and easy to follow.  I appreciate that there are not a lot of distractions.  I also like that the questions in the practice section relate to the lessons being taught.  Our children found the questions easy to follow and easy to answer.

Here is a screenshot of one of the videos.

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Here is a screenshot of one of the practice problems for the Order of Operations sections of Algebra I. I love how the students can see their progress as they move through the exercises.  Plus, they can also see their score to the point of completion as well.

Here are some sample worksheets – one from Algebra I, one from Geometry and one from Algebra II.  For each worksheet, you have the option to print out the worksheet.  Then the student enters the answers and finally, the student can view the solutions.

Our family really enjoyed CTCMath and  I encourage you to try it for yourself.  Remember, you only have until November 15th to take advantage of the 4 weeks free trial or the 60% off + 6 bonus months.  If you want to read more reviews of CTCMath, click here or on the image below.

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Posted in 31 Days for 2017, Faith, writing

31 Days – Day 2

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This is the second post in my 31 Days of Scriptures Series. My husband is an ordained Primitive Baptist preacher and was ordained almost 25 years ago.  So through the years, I have heard him preach on many different passages from the Bible.  So a lot of those verses have come to be favorites of mine.

Here is the image for today’s verse.

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Posted in Uncategorized

31 Days of Scriptures – Day 1

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So October 1st began this years 31 Days project.  However, I am running slightly behind.  So here is my post for day 1.  I will be picking and posting various Scriptures that stand out to me, mean something to me or just speak to my soul.  I will be using the New American Standard Bible for this project.

Today’s Scripture is from John 1:1 and I love the simple message of this verse.

 

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