Posted in Celebrate Lit Reviews, Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction

Review and Giveaway for “The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides” Collection

 

The lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection FB BannerAbout the Book

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Title: The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides

Author: Kathy Rouser

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: November 1, 2018

Publisher: Barbour

Lighthouses have long been the symbol of salvation, warning sailors away from dangerous rocks and shallow waters.
Along the Great Lakes, America’s inland seas, lighthouses played a vital role in the growth of the nation. They shepherded settlers traveling by water to places that had no roads. These beacons of light required constant tending even in remote and often dangerous places. Brave men and women battled the elements and loneliness to keep the lights shining. Their sacrifice kept goods and immigrants moving. Seven romances set between 1883 and 1911 bring hope to these lonely keepers and love to weary hearts.

The Last Memory by Kathleen Rouser
1899—Mackinac Point Lighthouse
Natalie Brooks loses her past to amnesia, and Cal Waterson, the lighthouse keeper who rescues her, didn’t bargain on risking his heart—when her past might change everything.

Click here to purchase your copy.

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The Great Lakes Brides collection contains a group of stories about the lighthouses on the Great Lakes and each story takes place between 1883-1911.  Each bride has circumstances to overcome.  For example, one bride has to overcome the need to hide her father’s death so she can continue being the lighthouse keeper.  Another bride has to move past the death of the man she thought was her grandfather along with keeping up the lighthouse.

In each story, there is a strong, brave, and heroic man who comes along beside the bride and ensures she receives a “happily ever after”.  Growing up, my grandparents lived on the Inter-Coastal waterway in Wildwood, New Jersey.  I can remember riding to their home and seeing the lighthouses.  Then when I met and married my husband who was born and raised in Eastern North Carolina, I saw even more lighthouses.   These structures contain so much history and are vitally important to ships sailing.  So I was thrilled with the opportunity to learn more about the lighthouses of the Great Lakes.  And these stories did not disappoint.

So if you love lighthouses history or just a really great collection of stories, check out The Great Lakes Brides collection for yourself.

About the Author

 

KaKathleen Rouser headshot.larger filethleen Rouser is the multi-published author of the 2017 Bookvana Award winner, Rumors and Promises, her first novel about the people of fictional Stone Creek, Michigan, and its sequel, Secrets and Wishes. She is a longtime member in good standing of American Christian Fiction Writers. She longs to create characters who resonate with readers who realize their need for the touch God’s grace and hope in their everyday lives. A former homeschool instructor, mild-mannered dental assistant, and current Community Bible Study kids’ teacher, she lives in Michigan with her hero and husband of thirty-some years, and the sassy tail-less cat who found a home in their empty nest. Connect with Kathleen on her website at kathleenrouser.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/kathleenerouser/, and on Twitter @KathleenRouser.

Guest Post from Kathy

When author Pegg Thomas approached me about writing a novella for The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides book proposal I couldn’t refuse the chance. After all, I am a lifelong resident of Michigan, which is the Great Lakes State! Plus, I had a favorite lighthouse in mind, though I briefly considered others.

For over 20 years we have ventured “up north” for a week-long summer vacation on Lake Michigan, most of them spent in the same cottage. Since the cottage is almost 20 miles west of Mackinaw City, I’ve made the annual pilgrimage to the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse since they reopened with exhibits in 2004. Part of the first floor has since been restored to the middle-class furnishings of 1910 when George Marshall and his family resided there. Two generations of Marshalls manned the lighthouse and George Marshall’s brother, Charles, was at one time the assistant lighthouse keeper.

There is also an area of the lighthouse where they display maps, photographs and other information, chronicling the history of the lighthouse built on the Straits of Mackinac in 1892. Fresnel lenses, like those used in the tower, and interactive displays are also included. Did you know for several years, the fourth-order Fresnel lens flashed a red light? I’d always pictured a yellow light! A tour guide, dressed in period clothing, such as a U.S. Lighthouse Service uniform, will take you up the tall, winding metal staircase to enjoy the view.

My many visits, whether they’ve included the long climb to the tower or not, have intrigued me. I’d often thought that someday I would like to write a fictional story about this lighthouse. Built with Cream City brick, in a Norman architectural style, the building reminds me of a castle. Perhaps that’s why I chose to have the lighthouse keeper hero, Cal Waterson, rescue Natalie Brooks, a lone shipwreck survivor. She is the proverbial damsel in distress. Yet, despite her amnesia, she finds a new strength in her faith to face an unknown future and in a sense rescues Cal and his daughter.

Returning to the lighthouse last year, I did climb to the tower to examine the view my characters might have had. Of course, I had to imagine what it would have been like without the Mackinac Bridge, which has joined our upper and lower peninsulas since 1957. It’s a spectacular view, where you can also see Mackinac Island, home of the famous Grand Hotel, which was already there in 1899, when my story takes place.

Not only do lighthouses spark so many ideas of history and romance, they are so symbolic— as guiding lights—and beacons of hope to lead through treacherous waters, much like our Savior, Jesus Christ, is the true Light who leads us to the Father. Indeed, Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse played a strategic part in guiding ships through the dangers of the straits. I look forward to visiting this beautiful historic landmark again and hope my readers will be drawn into an intriguing visit to the lighthouse through my story, The Last Memory.

Blog Stops

Among the Reads, February 21

The Power of Words, February 21

Godly Book ReviewsFebruary 22

Simple Harvest Reads, February 22 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

Bibliophile Reviews, February 23

For the Love of Literature, February 23

Just the Write Escape, February 24

Carla Loves To Read, February 24

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 25

Book by Book, February 25

Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis and Christ Collide, February 26

EmpowerMoms, February 26

Back Porch Reads, February 27

Through the Fire Blogs, February 27

Blossoms and Blessings, February 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 28

Mary Hake, February 28

Christian Author, J.E. Grace, March 1

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 1

Connie’s History ClassroomMarch 2

Blogging With Carol, March 2

Texas Book-aholic, March 3

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, March 3

KarenSueHadleyMarch 4

Janices book reviewsMarch 4

Carpe Diem, March 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 5

A Baker’s Perspective, March 6

BigreadersiteMarch 6

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card, a signed copy of The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection, a sterling silver charm of the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, and a souvenir pictorial book of some of the Great Lakes lighthouse!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/db9a/the-great-lakes-lighthouse-brides-collection-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Review and Giveaway for “Castle on the Rise”

Castle on the Rise FB Banner

About the Book

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Title: Castle on the Rise

Author: Kristy Cambron

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: February 5, 2019

Publisher: HarperCollins

A storied castle. A band of rebels. A nation chasing a centuries-old dream of freedom. And three women who rise above it all . . .

When Laine Forrester travels overseas to attend her best friend’s vineyard wedding, she expects to find the bride on the brink of a fairy tale life. But after a series of unforeseen setbacks, it seems the storybook lives they’d imagined are suddenly ripping apart.

With hopes of resurrecting a happy ending, Laine agrees to accompany the newlyweds to the groom’s home in Ireland—never expecting she’d be the one drawn in by its wide-open moors, backroads bordering the Irish Sea, and a mysterious castle that dares to keep its secrets hidden.

From the storied streets of Dublin to the shores of the Emerald Isle, Laine is drawn into the land and its rich history. The castle ruins whisper stories of Issy—a photojournalist battling through the 1916 Easter Rising, and Maeve—the castle’s lady of legend, fighting for survival through the 1798 rebellion that started it all.

Spanning more than two centuries, Castle on the Rise unites the legacy of three women who must risk mending the broken places within—for life, love, and the belief that even though the depths of our pain, a masterpiece of a story can emerge.

Click here to purchase your copy.

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Castle on the Rise is the second book in the A Lost Castle Novel series.  This book tells three different stories from three different timelines, which can make it difficult to follow at times.  However, the descriptive language is incredible.  In the opening of the book, I felt like I was actually walking along the path with Laine and Ellie.  Cormac captured my attention and interest from the start.  I could not wait to read more about Laine and Cormac.

The setting of Ireland intrigued me since our family loves going to Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and we always love going to the show in the Ireland section of the park.  So the descriptions of the scenery and setting captured my imagination.

The idea of having a wedding in a castle serves to make the setting even more powerful captivating.  I wish I could say the entire book kept me captivated, but the jumps between timelines served to distract me at times.

So if you like reading books which take place in multiple time periods with multiple storylines, then this is the book for you.

 

About the Author

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Kristy Cambron is an award-winning author of Christian fiction, including her bestselling debut The Butterfly and the Violin, and an author of Bible studies, including the Verse Mapping Series. She is a passionate storyteller who travels to speak at ministry events across the country, encouraging women to experience a deeper life in the Word through verse mapping. Her work has been named to Publishers Weekly Religion & Spirituality TOP 10, Library Journal’s Best Books, RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and received 2015 & 2017 INSPY Award nominations.

Kristy holds a degree in Art History/Research Writing, and lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons, and can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good read.

To stay connected, visit www.kristycambron.com.

Kristy’s Research Trip to Ireland

 

Blog Stops

Back Porch Reads, February 19

Maureen’s Musings, February 19

The Power of Words, February 19

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, February 19

Reflections From My Bookshelves, February 20

Livin’ Lit, February 20

Texas Book-aholic, February 20

Fiction Aficionado, February 21

Gensis 5020, February 21

Blogging With Carol, February 21

Bigreadersite, February 21

Just the Write Escape, February 22

As He Leads is Joy, February 22

Just Your Average reviews, February 22

Inspired by fiction, February 23

Connect in Fiction, February 23

Carpe Diem, February 23

Bibliophile Reviews, February 24

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 24

Lis Loves Reading, February 24

A Baker’s Perspective, February 25

Emily Yager, February 25

Moments, February 25

All-of-a-kind Mom, February 26

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 26

Girls in White Dresses, February 26

Mary Hake, February 26

Simple Harvest Reads, February 27 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

The Christian Fiction Girl, February 27

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 27

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 28

Remembrancy, February 28

Through the Fire Blogs, February 28

Inklings and Notions, February 28

Redeemed Hope Dweller, March 1

My Devotional Thoughts, March 1

Seasons of Opportunities, March 1

Pause for Tales, March 1

Ashley’s Bookshelf, March 2

The Becca Files, March 2

Book by Book, March 2

Living Life Free in Christ, March 2

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 3

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, March 3

All 4 and About Books, March 3

Southern Gal Loves to Read, March 4

Reader’s Cozy Corner, March 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 4

Janices book reviews, March 4

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Kristy is giving away a grand prize of one finished copy each of The Lost Castle (book 1) and Castle on the Rise (book 2)!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d9d0/castle-on-the-rise-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Christian Fiction

Review and Giveaway for “The Deceived”w

The Deceived FB Banner

About the Book

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Book: The Deceived

Author: Kelly Harrel

Genre: Christian Contemporary/ young adult

Release Date: January 2019

My dream is to be a screenplay writer. When my characters come alive, so do I. Writing is like air to me; take that away and I’ll suffocate.

My dad’s dream is for me to play professional baseball. I hate baseball, but I’m really good at it. And if I play the game right, I can use it to get a full-ride scholarship to my dream film school. That’s the plan, anyway. As long as I don’t mess up.

But the other thing I’m really good at? Messing up. Don’t believe me? The girl who likes me is an atheist. I have to out drink my teammates at parties so they know to take me seriously. I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to pain pills. I made an absolute fool of myself during the most important game of the year.

Obviously, God hates me. Why else would He stick me with an overbearing father who’s only happy if I’m the best of the best—on the field and off? Why else would He take away my one chance to live my dream?

Hi, my name’s Danny Morton. Welcome to my messed up life and the start of how God saved me.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.

 

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I have to say this was a book that took me a while to get into reading.  While I initially liked Danny, through the pages of the book, I found myself disliking the choices he was making as he spiraled deeper and deeper into self-destructive patterns, including drinking and drugs.  However, the one thing I was glad of was how he avoided going down the path of sexual misconduct.

The other thing I really disliked about this book with a passion was the abrupt way the book ended.  I understand it is only the first installment of the series, but I would have liked some more closure.

The relationship between Danny and his father creates a lot of drama and friction.  I could relate to what Danny must have felt like when his father talked down to him.  At the same time, I loved his relationship with his youngest sister (who was still older than him).  Danny’s other two sisters were examples of what the “smart sibling” and the real “Christian” siblings would act like in my mind.  It really came across through the pages of the book of how much the four siblings loved each other, even when they were not getting along.

Having never played sports, I can not relate to Danny’s involvement with baseball.  But I can relate to him wanting to do something other than what his father wants him to do.  I also could relate to the pressure parents can put on their children to be successful.

So if you want to read a book with true grit and that really dives into the issues facing youth today, check out this book for yourself.

 

About the Author

Kelly Harrel

Kelly Harrel is the author of the Lauren Drake series and its spinoff, the Once Lost series. Convertible rides to the beach with the love of her life, Jeff, are her favorite. She also loves hanging out with her son and daughter, and she adores peppermint mochas. Kelly strives to usher others into a deeper relationship with Christ through her speaking and writing. To learn more about Kelly or to book a speaking engagement, visit www.kellyharrel.com.

 

More from Kelly

I fell in love with Danny Morton when I first heard his voice at two am. His biting remarks made me laugh and cringe at the same time. They also made me jump up to take notes. Maybe because once upon a time I was a sarcastic teen who lived too much in my own mind. Or maybe because I had a lot of questions about God at his age too. Like Danny, I yearned for a close relationship with God even though I felt surrounded by hypocrites.

Yes, I fell in love with Danny from the very beginning. It was impossible not to. His passion is inspiring. Even as young as he is, he has a dream he’s determined to pursue. All he wants is to write, which is also something I can understand.

As soon as I began writing his story, I knew there was a lot of deeper issue to deal with. Being the mother of two teens, I’ve seen firsthand how independent they can be. They have their own ideas, personalities, and desires. Two questions came to mind. Why do teens raised in the church fall into drugs and alcohol and fall away from the Lord? Is there a way to prevent it? Finding no simple answers, I cried out to the Lord to help me understand. I asked Him to give me Danny’s story to teach and inspire others. That’s when not only Danny but his entire family came alive to me.

I thought the most disturbing thing about The Deceived might be Danny’s drugs and alcohol abuse. Yet with each revision of the book, something else became more disturbing—the way his family treated him. This novel became a personal reminder that lukewarm Christianity can destroy those we love the most.

I pray this young adult novel will be picked up by all generations. Parents should examine their own relationship with the Lord, how they treat their teens, and the pressures their teens face every day. My prayer is that teens will find a friend in Danny as well as the determination to recognize and stand against the temptations they face.

One of my favorite scenes in The Deceived is when Danny goes to a party the day after Thanksgiving. Not being a very social guy, he comes up with a hilarious way to identify people. You might need to search different types of trees while you read the scene but you will laugh out loud. While Danny has a lot of great one-liners, the conversations I enjoyed writing the most were those between him and his sister, Lydia. I was blessed with a great relationship with my older brother in our teen years, and those conversations remind me of our late-night talks.

The Deceived will make you laugh, cry, and consider family dynamics and your faith in a new way. And when you get to the last page, remember, there’s more to come.

 

Blog Stops

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 26

Texas Book-aholic, February 27

janicesbookreviews, February 28

A Reader’s Brain, March 1

The Christian Fiction Girl, March 2

Inklings and notionsMarch 3

Real World Bible Study, March 4

2014 and Beyond!, March 5

The Becca Files, March 6

Just the Write Escape, March 7

Multifarious, March 8

A Baker’s Perspective, March 9

Carpe Diem, March 10

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Kelly is giving away a grand prize of a

$25 Amazon Gift Card plus the entire Lauren Drake Series on Kindle (The adult Danny Morton is in books 2 – 4)

1st place winner will receive a paperback copy of The Deceived

2nd – 4th place winners will receive an eBook copy of The Deceived!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click here to enter.

 

Posted in Home School Review Crew Posts, Online Homeschool Programs, Uncategorized

Review of IXL from IXL Learning

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Having homeschooled all four of our children through the years, I know the benefit of having online learning activities to reinforce what they are already learning.  With only two children left and they are both in high school, I like exploring alternative methods for them to practice what they are learning.  IXL Learning offers so much more than just an online math drill!  IXL Learning provides adaptive and personalized learning for your students. We received an annual membership to IXL where you get access to Math, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies!  Because my students are in high school, they had access to the Math and Language Arts sections.  I love how we had access to all grades and levels, so if I felt like they needed to practice a skill from a lower math level, they were able to do so easily.

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IXL Learning offers a comprehensive online K-12 curriculum including Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies and even Spanish.  For the purpose of this review, we received access for our two children who are still being homeschooled.  IXL Learning can be accessed using computers or on mobile devices.  For this review, we used a combination of a laptop and an Apple iPad.

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I loved the convenience of being able to have our son and daughter practice no matter where we are.  The site offers practice in very specific sections along with diagnostic tests and even provides recommendations.  Because my children are in high school, I decided to skip the diagnostic tests for the purpose of the review.  Because this site is not meant to provide actual instruction but instead provides practice, we skipped around and worked on areas I felt like they needed extra practice.  The site offers an immersive and adaptive learning experience.

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Since math is an area our daughter needs the most assistance and practice with, that is where we concentrated our practice.  However, we also did utilize the language arts sections some as well.

One of the things about the site my children and I loved the most was the incredibly detailed way the courses were laid out and broken down.  These details made it quick and easy to pick out exactly what topics and sections we wanted to choose to work on each time.  The idea was for our daughter to use the program at least three times a week for a reasonable amount of time.  We found that recommendation to be reasonable.

Because we were trying to fill in gaps and strengthen her math skills, we really jumped around in various grades, sections, and topics.  We primarily focused on eighth grade and Algebra I, since these are her weakest areas.  Our family loved how when they completed enough questions, they would earn an award.

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Our son is studying Geometry, so he also used the program to concentrate on areas where we felt like he needed more practice.  Because he is currently doing a fairly rigorous schedule with his original subjects, he did not necessarily work on this program as often as our daughter.  He was very pleased with his experience with the program, and I was glad I did not have to fight with him to access the program.

I feel this program is ideal for any family wanting to strengthen and reinforce their children’s skills in the core areas of Math, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies.  There are so many topics and subjects to explore. If you are not sure what you want your child to do, the diagnostic tests provide an excellent tool for narrowing the scope down for you.

You can find IXL Learning on social media at the following links:
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
YouTube

IXL Learning provides an amazing amount of resources for K-12, and other members of the Home School Review Crew are also sharing their experiences with the site this week.  So if you are interested in finding out more about IXL Learning and reading more review by other members of the Home School Review Crew for other grades, click here or on the graphic below.

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Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Review and Giveaway for “Leaving Darkness”

Leaving darkness FB banner

About the Book

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Title: Leaving Darkness

Author: Greg Schaffer

Genre: Christian Fiction

Release date: October 31, 2018

Long-haul truck driver Lowell Ferguson is on the brink of suicide. He is haunted by the guilt of a horrible secret from his senior year of high school. Therapy and antidepressants aren’t able to lift him out of depression. At twenty-eight years old, he believes his life has dissolved into a meaningless annoyance. Only the strong bond with his lone friend—a Chihuahua named Rufus—keeps him from choosing death. But when Lowell learns Rufus may have cancer, he fears there will be no reason left to live if his beloved dog dies.
While awaiting the diagnosis, he comes across a flier for a Christian support group promising hope and freedom. A skeptic and an apatheist, he nonetheless reluctantly decides to join the group. Through this joining, he finds what he has been yearning for—a path toward leaving the darkness of depression. This first step provides Lowell the courage to do what he must to escape his guilt and finally confront his past.

 

Click here to purchase your copy.
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Leaving Darkness is one of those books that took me a while to enjoy reading.  However, I do have to say at no point in the book did I like Alan.  I thought he was a self-involved control nut who I wanted to see get his just reward.
On the other hand, the main character, Lowell Ferguson, became my favorite character in the book.  Stuck in his belief that his friend Alan had struck and killed a man while driving tore him to pieces.  He found himself in a dark place he could not escape.  Moreover, he had no real friends, was estranged from his family and worked as a long-distance truck driver, unable to let anyone into his life, except his dog.
But through a series of events, Lowell finds himself attending a recovery group.  This group helps him open up, take chances and finally move forward with his life.
In the meantime, Alan believes he has it all – money, power, a great job, a great home, a beautiful wife and two kids.  He has everything a man could want.  But he ends up throwing it all away and losing everything.
In the meantime, Lowell finds God, friends, his family, and more.  By the end of the book, Lowell has more than Alan.  So if you want to read a book that involves dreams that are lost and then found again, check out this book for yourself.

About the Author

greg schaffer

Greg Schaffer participated in a small Christian-based group ministry in 2011 and became a facilitator with the ministry to help others find their direction toward a purposeful life. His firsthand experiences of lives transformed through such healing groups led him to write Leaving Darkness, hoping the tale of transformation through God’s grace may encourage those lost in their own darkness to reach out for help. The author of two previous novels, Greg lives in Franklin, Tennessee, with his wife and three rescue dogs.

 

Guest Post from Greg

As first a group participant and then a volunteer for Restore Small Groups for many years, I’ve seen firsthand the healing power of small group ministries. Many want to change but don’t know how. Leaving Darkness tells the fictional story of one lost in depression to the point of contemplating suicide who happens upon such a Christian-based ministry. Although he is reluctant at first, he gives the process a chance, and through it leaves his darkness, finds his faith, and becomes the person God meant for him to be. I was called to write this story in hope that someone with similar struggles may read Leaving Darkness and realize that there is a way out of the darkness when everything else has failed.

Blog Stops

Godly Book Reviews, February 16

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, February 17

Bukwurmzzz, February 18

Girls Living For God’s Glory, February 19

Power of Words, February 19 (Spotlight)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 20

Maureen’s Musings, February 21

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, February 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 22

Bibliophile Reviews, February 23

Janices book reviewsFebruary 24

Carpe Diem, February 25

Texas Book-aholic, February 26

A Baker’s Perspective, February 27

Just the Write Escape, February 28

Bigreadersite, March 1

Artistic Nobody, March 1 (Spotlight)

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, Greg is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link the below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/db11/leaving-darkness-celebration-tour-giveaway
Posted in #write28days, family, Homeschool Band, Homeschooling

#write28days – Day 19 Extracurricular Activities

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Today is day 19 of my #write28days series of Homeschooling Helps, Hints and Resources. Today I want to talk about Extracurricular Activities.  As a homeschooling parent, I wanted our children to have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities.  Through the years, those activities have changed and evolved over time.

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For example, when we began our homeschooling journey we participated in Cub Scouts, Church, a Homeschool Group and our children even had the opportunity to participate in a homeschool gymnastics class.  We specifically tried to pick things that all or most of the children could do together.

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Later when we moved to western Pennsylvania, our children were part of the Family Readiness Group for our Army Reserve Unit, Cub and Boy Scouts, Church functions and then our oldest son, youngest son and daughter attended a Christian dance studio.  The picture above is some of the photographs taken at the dance studio.

When we moved to central Pennsylvania, our children participated in Church activities, activities at the Salvation Army Corps we attended, Young Marines, and the Family Readiness Group for our Army Reserve Unit.  Here are some photographs from events.

 

Finally, when we moved from Pennsylvania to Texas, our activities changed.  We still had a church (although not as much) and finally last year we added our local Homeschool Band program and my husband, oldest son and our daughter also did the Homeschool Strings program.  This year we are still involved in the Homeschool Band and Strings program, and my oldest and youngest sons, my husband and myself have joined our local Community Band.  Oh, our youngest son also began participating in the Homeschool Tennis Class this year.

 

The one thing we have learned through the years is to be careful about how much you allow into the schedule.  At one point we were gone six nights out of the week and it was too much for us.  We have decided not to do co-ops or similar activities because we prefer controlling the materials and subjects our children learn.  While we want them to have the opportunity to be around and to interact with others, too much can be overwhelming and make it difficult to actually get homeschooling done.

So does your family participate in any Extracurricular Activities, why or why not?  I would love to hear from you.

#write28days

 

Posted in #write28days, Homeschooling

#write28days – Trisms

28 Days of

This is my 18th post for my series #write28days.  Today I want to talk about another curriculum choice we discovered at a homeschool convention.  The company is called Trisms and the specific product we used was called HistoryMakers.  You can read all about the company here.

I first fell in love with History Masterminds because it did not use a traditional textbook approach.  It is an exciting overview of World History that also includes Language Arts, Geography, Literature, IEW and more.  It covered the period from 3500 BC to the present.
I had a book that included the assignments broken down by week.  Sometimes, the children had to research an invention and draw illustrations of it.  Other times, they had to read about an artist or read a book or complete a mapping assignment.  Here is a picture I took of a sample lesson plan and the explanation about what the students were doing.

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One of my favorite parts of this middle school curriculum revolved around my ability to pick and choose resources along with having the ability to include our younger children in the learning assignments.

So if you want a curriculum that looks different from your average textbook approach to teaching and learning, check out Trisms for yourself.  They offer materials for middle school through high school.

If you have seen it, used it or would like to use it, let me know.  I would love to hear from you.