Posted in Blogging A to Z Challenge, Homeschool Band, Homeschooling

Blogging A to Z – “I” is for Instruments,


Welcome to my next installment for my 2019 Challenge for Blogging A to Z.  Today’s letter is “I”, which is for instruments.  As a result of homeschooling, our children have had an incredible opportunity to learn different musical instruments.


For example, our oldest son has learned to play the Cello and the Upright Bass.  He has learned a lot and has shown a lot of talent.  Right now, he plays with our homeschool band and strings program along with our local community band.  What makes this really special is that our whole family participates together in the homeschool band program, even Mom and Dad!

Our second son plays the Baritone horn, which comes from him playing the Euphonium with the Salvation Army Corps Band while we were in Pennsylvania.

Our youngest son plays the alto saxophone, the bass clarinet, the flute, and viola and also experiments with the trombone and french horn.  He desires to learn percussion, the oboe, and the piano so far.


Finally, our daughter plays the violin.  She loves playing with her brothers.  At home, she can be heard practicing with our youngest son on pieces they want to play together.


So for our family, “I” is for Instruments.  What comes to mind when you see the letter “I”. I would love to hear from you.

Click here to read the rest of my posts in this series.

Posted in 2019 Blogging A to Z Challenge, Homeschooling

Blogging A to Z – “H” is for Heart, Helpful and Habits

Welcome to my next installment for the Blogging A to Z Challenge for 2019.  The letter for this installment is “H”, which reminds me of Heart, Helpful, and Habits.  First, we homeschool because we want to keep our children’s hearts.  Homeschooling allows to stay connected to our children and to demonstrate our love for them.


Second, “H” is for helpful.  Ever since the beginning of our homeschooling journey, we have met some incredible people who have been helpful – either by means of friendship, information, or opportunities.  One of the most helpful curriculum resources I ever received was from a homeschooling mom at the beginning of our journey.  You may be wondering what that resource was, so I will tell you it was Cathy Duffy’s Top 100 Picks.  This book contains an incredible amount of information and insights that has helped our family through the years.

Finally, “H” is for habits. We wanted our children to develop good habits including habits involving their faith, their family, their schoolwork and their chores.  Homeschooling has helped us do that.

So what comes to mind when you see the letter “H”?  I would love to hear from you.

You can click here to read my other posts in this series.


Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews, Children's Fiction, Uncategorized

Review and Giveaway for Moriah’s Wings


About the Book


Book: Moriah’s Wings

Author: Iris Carignan

Genre: Christian Children’s Fiction

Release Date: March 26, 2019

She’s just a slave girl. What does she know? Desparity’s life couldn’t have been worse, she thought. However, when she’s captured and sold into slavery, Despairity discovers that things can get worse—much worse. However, her new mistress, Naaman’s wife, gives her a new name. Moriah Asha—a name that means “chosen of God” and “hope.” Moriah now can only pray that her new name will bring a little of that hope to her life. When Moriah discovers a hidden treasure in her doll’s pocket, she discovers a mystery that changes everything. With her faith in God to guide her and complete trust in His goodness, Moriah may be able to do more than be a living testimony to God… she may be able to save Naaman’s life! A fictionalized imagining of what the little servant girl in II Kings may have been like, Moriah’s Wings tells the story through word imagery and stunning illustrations. Discussion questions provided to enrich the reader’s faith.


Click here to purchase your copy.


Moriah’s Wings, a Christian Children’s Book,  combines historical Biblical stories with fictional characters that weave together into a wonderful story. Iris Carignan does an amazing job of writing  this story in her debut book as well as doing the illustrations. Desparity is a young girl who captured and enslaved as her mother runs helplessly beside her trying to save her.  She is taken to a slave auction and is sold to a woman.  The woman is the wife of Naaman.  The only possession Moriah brings with her from her earlier life is a doll.


Desparity is renamed Moriah Asha – a name that means “Chosen of God” and “hope”  and truly she demonstrates she is chosen of God and provides hope to Naaman and his wife.  Moriah Asha is able to connect to Naaman’s wife and provide comfort in place of their daughter who had died several years earlier.  When Moriah hears Naaman possibly has contracted a disease with horrible consequences, she encourages Naaman to go and visit with Elisha.

This book contains Biblical facts, amazing imagery along with demonstrations of love even during an incident that could have terrible consequences.  The dramatic illustrations lend a beauty to this book.  The discussion questions at the end of the book provide an excellent opportunity to discuss matters of faith and belief in God.

So if you like reading Christian fiction that includes children, check out this book for yourself.

About the Author


Iris Carignan’s passion for writing and art finds inspiration through faith and family. She is the author of “Fresh Eyes: Seeing God in the Unexpected,” a published poet, and has written several children’s books. “Moriah’s Wings” debuts Iris as both author and illustrator.


More from Iris

An Author Peers Deeper

As an author, I have learned that writing is a most revealing craft. Consuming a story may fill the reader with insights for their own life, but it may also peer into the heart of the author’s own soul.

If that sounds a little backwards, it probably is. But, for me, writing has always been an overflow of my own experiences, hopes, dreams, and soul-searching wounds. So, naturally, some or all of those may float to the surface of a fluid story. Perhaps that is why my latest book, Moriah’s Wings, reflects so much of my own seasoning.

Most surprising, though, is how my own words sometimes return full circle to me. Just recently, I was struggling with some new tasks and responsibilities that were not resolving. Frustration overflowed as all my best efforts continued to fail. Then I picked up my book, “Fresh Eyes: Seeing God in the Unexpected,” and began reading. There, shouting from the pages of my own hand, lay wisdom, inspiration and a reminder of God’s solution to my dilemma. The title of the story-“Keeping the Goal in Sight,” was about how we can reach our goals.

Using the powerful racehorse, Secretariat, in comparison to its jockey, it read:

“I considered how the rider must feel as he becomes one with the horse, experiencing its power, strength, and exhilarating force flow through his spirit…” “What a beautiful metaphor for all believers, equestrian or not, as we ride through life…” “When we become one with the Lord in purpose and goal, we harness His power, like a jockey whose horse takes him to the finish line. Whether we are at the pinnacle of a life changing moment or working our way through everyday stuff, only through His might and strength, will we run the race He has set before us.”

So there is was all laid-out before me, clear as day and speaking back into my own soul. The irony wasn’t lost on me as I began to think about a biography I’d written for “Moriah’s Wings.” Though it wasn’t my first, that particular one unearthed an epiphany. All the puzzle pieces came together as an amazing trifecta. I suddenly realized that it was at the age of nine that three key factors had a profound effect on my life. At nine, I took my first painting lesson, wrote my first book and I came to faith in Christ. All three became my fountainhead as an author, artist and woman of faith.

In many ways, the story in “Moriah’s Wings” is a tapestry of these same experiences. Its inspiration struck as I read II Kings 5 about Naaman and a young girl who was captured and sold into slavery. When I came to the part where she suggests that Naaman go to Elisha for healing, the story began to develop. I visualized what the girl must have felt and experienced. I saw how she served a godly purpose and pictured Naaman’s wife giving her a new and hopeful name. Then, using mental clippings from my own childhood, the story completed its course and message.

So, just as that first book I wrote as a nine year old was based on a true story, “Moriah’s Wings,” has its foundation in a Bible story. Uniquely, though, it brings together truth and fiction creatively illustrating its message.

Blog Stops

Through the Lens of Scripture, April 8

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, April 9

Carpe Diem, April 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 11

Retrospective Spines, April 12

Mary Hake, April 12

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, April 13

Rev. Rebecca Writes: Read, Write, Pray, April 14

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 15

Aryn The Libraryan, April 16

Lots of Helpers, April 17

Texas Book-aholic, April 18

janicesbookreviews, April 19

Inklings and notions, April 20

A Reader’s Brain, April 21



To celebrate her tour, Iris is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card!!

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


Posted in Home School Review Crew Posts, Homeschooling

Review of Transcripts Made Easy: The Homeschooler’s Guide to High-School Paperwork from Everyday Education


If you need to create a high school transcript check out Transcripts Made Easy: The Homeschooler’s Guide to High-School Paperwork from Everyday Education.  As the mother of two homeschool graduates and two currently in high school, I recognize the importance of good record keeping and the need for transcripts.  But going about creating the transcripts is a different thing from just knowing about them.  Having been a public school teacher and assisting with the end of the year record keeping at one of the schools I worked for, I had some idea of what I was doing.  For this review, we received a downloadable PDF document to use.

Everyday Education offers resources for homeschooling through high school.  All of Janice Campbell’s books can be found on this site along with articles and other homeschool resources that will guide and direct you in your homeschooling journey.  Everyday Education has been a source for homeschooling resources and information since 2001.

All of our four children all have different goals and aspirations in life.  Our oldest son became a Certified Nursing Assistant and took training that only required a High School Diploma.  Our second son plans on possibly working for either the Post Office or as a Police Officer. So I expect he will need more detailed information to present when he begins the process of applying. Our third son has definite plans for going to college. So he definitely will need a detailed high school transcript. Then our daughter has other plans to attend college. But I want to have a record for her in case she changes her mind in the future.  I was glad to have the opportunity to review this product because it helped provide direction for each of these situations.

Let’s face it, it is easier to think about the need for transcripts before your child enters high school than after they have graduated.  Moreover, it is easier to record what you are doing as you are doing it rather than trying to remember what you have done. So with that in mind, I believe Transcripts Made Easy: The Homeschooler’s Guide to High-School Paperwork would benefit anyone with children who are in high school or are currently in or about to enter junior high/middle schoool.  For these younger students, starting proper record keeping early with a plan in mind will ensure an easier time creating transcripts.

Readers are advised to only refer to and use the sections they need.  So for example, if you have kept excellent records and only need to create a transcript, you can simply jump to that section.  I love the detailed explanations about the various parts of the transcript. The first section of the book truly addresses the ins and outs of what is included on the transcript.  But then the book goes on and does so much more than that.  So let’s get into what the book includes.

The ebook contains six sections which include:

  • Meet The Transcript – the basics of what is in the transcript
  • Plan with the End in Mind – think about where your child is heading
  • Keep Simple Records – keep up with what your child is doing
  • Grades, Credits, and the GPA – oh yes, grades and credits are important
  • Create the Transcript – This is where you actually make the transcript
  • References, Resources, and Reproducibles. – This includes forms to help make creating the transcript easy.

In the second section about planning with the end in mind, I found it helpful to read about skills and habits to cultivate in high school.  These basics included such things are writing basics, citations, online research, reliable research resources, personal organization and more.  Because we have lived in a state that required portfolios, I already keep samples of our children’s work.  While there was nothing really new in this section, it was nice to get reminders about what is important.  Our goal in the future is to scan the work in so we can maintain a digital record of it along with their transcripts and copies of their diplomas.  Then if they need any of it in the future it will be easily accessible.  

The third section addresses keeping simple records.  This section includes ideas for keeping a large binder with student samples, an activities log, a reading log, Class Portfolio Sheets, using Subject worksheets and more.  This section makes up a good portion of the book and includes a lot of information, including a section about Special Needs Records with Judith Munday and Special Needs Recommendations with Kathy Kuhl.

Part 4 is Grades, Credits, and the GPA.  I am a part of numerous groups on Facebook, and one of the most frequently asked questions I see are ones asking about determining credits.  Let’s face it, credits make or break a student’s ability to graduate from high school.  So planning early will take a lot of stress out of the process.  She includes suggestions for grading written work and even grading recommendations for unschoolers and the chronically relaxed. Ideas for granting credit and calculating the grade point average are also included.  So this section provides a wealth of information.  She provides a link to a grade point average calculator on her website to make this process easy.

Part 5 goes into creating the actual transcript.  This section includes design basics, issuing an official transcript, horizontal and vertical Transcript formats and instructions for creating them along with samples, and even a check-off transcript format.  A format for creating a high school diploma is also included.

The final section includes References, Resources, and Reproducibles.  This section has a glossary of terms, resources for planning and learning, books for homeschooling parents, Specials Needs information, plus testing and miscellaneous resources.   The reproducible forms including pages such as reading logs, an activities log, Class profile, Subject worksheets, vertical transcript forms, horizontal transcript forms, along with a check-off transcript form.


My one wish for the reproducible was that the forms could be filled out online rather than by hand and then actually having to physically create the transcript by myself.  I would love the ease of just plugging the information into a pre-existing form rather than having to actually create the form myself.  I feel this would make it easier on me as a parent.  Sometimes filling out forms is tedious.  

You can find Everyday Education on Social Media on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Whether your children have already graduated, are currently in high school or are approaching high school, there is something in Transcripts Made Easy: The Homeschooler’s Guide to High-School Paperwork for everyone.  So check out this book and Everyday Education for yourself.  Other members of the Home School Review Crew are also reviewing this product this week.  So click here or on the graphic below to read reviews by other members of the Home School Review Crew.