Review of Drive Thru History® “Acts to Revelation”

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Drive Thru History®‘s Dave Stotts is our engaging and entertaining tour guide as we tour with Drive Thru History®  “Acts to Revelation”.  This series makes the perfect Homeschool Bible Curriculum.  I have to say our family really enjoys watching and learning from the videos with Dave Stotts.  He does an excellent job of providing information, insights, along with captivating scenery and pictures.  Of course, my family also enjoys seeing the vehicles Dave drives in the episodes.  We elected to watch the videos as a family – so myself, my husband, our 22-year-old son (when his work scheduled allowed him to participate), our 20-year-old son, our 18-year-old son and our 16-year-old daughter watched together.

From the Drive Thru History® website on their “About” page comes the following quote, Drive Thru History with Dave Stotts® is a fun, fast-paced, content-rich history show that speeds through ancient civilizations, the Holy Land, and the founding of America, allowing the viewer to experience the people, places, and events that shaped our world and the Christian faith. To date, ColdWater Media has successfully produced and distributed 54 episodes.”  Truly they do a remarkable job of bringing history to life.

The series contains 18 episodes which each run for about 30 minutes.  The episodes provide a tremendous amount of history, Scriptural and Biblical references along with information about the lives of the very first Christians. The series essentially uses the book of Acts as a roadmap.   As we started watching the first episode, we loved the way Dave Stotts took the time to set the stage of Jesus’ final days and how that impacted the disciples.  We are a military family, which means we have moved around some and therefore attended quite a few churches.  One of the churches we attended was a Pentecostal Church, so hearing about the day of Pentecost captured our interest.

Because our 16-year-old daughter loves to draw, the photographs and pictures used in the series mesmerized her.  I appreciated how Dave Stotts took the time to explain that some of the artwork used in the series may not completely represent the actual event but assured the viewers they try to keep it as realistic as possible.  It is apparent this Homeschool Video Curriculum really takes time to include majestic and incredible scenery, artwork and illustrations.

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Another part of the series family loved was the inclusion of live actors and actresses portraying various scenes from the Bible as seen in the picture above.  My husband is an ordained Primitive Baptist preacher and has spent a lot of time in the books of John and Paul.  So our children grew up hearing their father speak on those subjects.  So in the episode where we get to see an actor portraying Paul and speaking his words written in the Bible, they found it fascinating.  Our family also loved the inclusion of maps, actual Biblical locations and Scriptural passages that are used to convey the messages in the series.

Our family also appreciated the discussion about the book of Revelation and the message included for the 7 churches including Laodicea.  The description of them being “luke-warm” people rather than being either hot or cold caught the attention of everyone in the family.  We also were amazed at the differences between the various sites and how much restoration had been done in some while others had not even been explored yet.  Some of our children noted that the unexplored areas leave more to the imagination.

My husband appreciated the discussion where Dave Stotts showed how actual history and locations provide support for the accuracy of the Bible.  He also appreciated how Dave Stotts made it clear that the book of Jude was meant to help equip Christians for living in the end days, and has as much relevance for believers today as it did at the time it was written.  Another statement that caught the attention of my family was that Christian persecution during the early days of the church did not slow down the growth of the church.  Also, the list of disciples and other early Christians who died for their faith led to an interesting discussion of whether Christians today would be so willing to die for their beliefs.

Along with the three DVDs which come with the set, there is also a study guide.  The study guide is actually bound into the case the DVDs come with, which is great for having it all together, but makes using a bit tricky since it did not want to stay open for me.  The study guide includes general information about the series,  a list of the episodes, summaries of each episode, discussion questions, Biblical passages to read, side roads that include additional information, along with amazing photographs and illustrations. Possible ways to use the study guide would be to simply allow them to guide an oral conversation between those who have watched the episode or your family could choose to require the answers to the questions be written out.

You can find Drive Thru History® on social media using the following links:  Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.  So check out Drive Thru History®  “Acts to Revelation” for yourself.  Also, click here or on the graphic below to read more reviews of this amazing series from other members of the Home School Review Crew.

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#hsreviews #drivethruhistory #drivethruhistoryadventures #adventurelearning

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Review of Victus Study Skills System

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Today I am reviewing Level 3 (5/6-10/11), Level 4 and the Student Planner from Victus Study Skills System.  Regardless of what background a student comes from or what plans the student has for the future, all students and in fact, everyone needs to learn how to study effectively.  So I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review this program with our children.   After all, study skills remain a vital life skill regardless of someone’s age.  The consumable study skills workbook provide an excellent means of organization for the students.  They also offer a Student Planner.

According to their home page, “The Victus Study Skills System is a systems approach to study, not just isolated skills and individual components to be mastered, but rather a way of thinking about studying.”    The Victus Study Skills System has been created by a group of educators who have learned all students of all ages need to know in order to study effectively.  The Latin word “victus” means life and truly studying needs to be a way of life. The system is broken down into four levels.

  • Level 1 or Primary is for Kindergarten through grades 2/3
  • Level 2 or Elementary is for grades 2/3 to 4/5
  • Level 3 is for grades 5/6-10/11
  • Level 4 is for grades 10/11 – college

We received all four levels plus the planner for this review.  But, for the purpose of this review, I will be reviewing Levels 3 and 4.  There are three separate teacher supplements:  one for the Primary level, one for the elementary level and one that covers Level 3 and Level 4.  Obviously, the lessons for primary and elementary require more instruction from the teacher/parent and less work from the student.  However, even elementary students benefit from learning how to study properly. Here is a side by side comparison going from left to right of the Primary Teacher Supplement, the Elementary Teacher Supplement and the Teacher Supplement for levels 3 and 4.

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One thing I really like about all of the Teacher Supplements is how the student pages are included so parents can see what the student needs to complete and also what the correct answers for the worksheets are (at least for the ones that have ones that have a definitive answer) and blank examples of the pages, such as for the Notetaking Section that require students to come up with their own answers.  The Teacher Supplement for Levels 3 and 4 contains more details since the students are required to know more and do more.

 

Whether a child who is in elementary school or a student in high school or college or even adults living and working in the so-called real world, studying retains a certain level of importance.  As our family began to embark on our journey with this system, I loved the methodical way everything was laid out.  All of the levels cover the same ten lessons but go into varying depths based on the student’s ages.  Because my daughter and son are in high school, I decided to let them work on the materials more independently.  If our children were either in primary or elementary grades, obviously more parental involvement would have been required.

I could have decided to have our two children work together in a group but felt it would be more advantageous for them to go through the material on their own and at their own pace.  Our daughter is currently in the 10th grade, so she worked in the Level 3 workbook and our son is borderline grades 11/12 was going to work in the college level workbook.  Lessons 1 and 2 concentrates on where the student is currently.  Lesson 3 addresses where the student wants to be.  Finally, lessons 4 through 10 addresses how to get there.  The course is designed to take ten hours to complete.  If we had done this as a group, I feel like it may have taken us longer than 10 hours to complete.

The lessons address such topics as determining current study habits, determining learning strengths, determining a mission and setting goals, time management, organization and study environment, PQRST, listening skills, note taking, test taking, and finishes with a review of all the material covered in the course.

 

 

As our 18-year-old son who is almost a senior began working in this workbook, he realized many things he already did, such as having a set place to study.  He knows he has to study in his bedroom at his desk with silence around him.  He had an idea of how to take notes but felt the notetaking section really helped to fill in the gaps.  Finally, he also appreciated the test section.  Through the years we have lived in different places with different requirements, so taking tests was something he had done.  But learning strategies to be more successful at test-taking he thought was helpful.  He knows where he wants to go in life and has fairly good plans for getting there, so the workbook helped reinforce those concepts.

 

 

For our 16-year-old daughter who is in between 9th and 10th grade, the level 3 workbook helped her recognize the importance of time management and some of the areas she needed to work on now.  Because she is the youngest of four, some things such as notetaking and test-taking cause her to feel anxiety, but the strategies presented in the workbook helped to give her a needed confidence boost.

 

Because our son already uses an online planner he uses and is comfortable with, I decided to use the planner with our daughter this week to see if it helped her focus and stay on task.  So far it seems to be working.  Rather than putting in the actual lesson (which I do on an online planner), I decided to just write down the subjects for her so that as she completes a lesson, she can simply fill in what she did that day.  Plus, if we miss a day, it will not require rewriting the entire planner.  So here is a sample of this week in the planner.

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I wish the system had been available when we first started homeschooling because I believe that all students need to learn how to study effectively.  This course definitely fits that purpose.  The younger students are when they begin this program, the better their study skills will be when they are ready to go to college.  Also, if a student begins at the Primary Level they could complete the subsequent levels at the appropriate grade level to build on what they already know.

You can find Victus Study Skills System on social media on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.  So check out Victus Study Skills System for yourself.  If you would like to read reviews by other members of the Home School Review Crew including ones reviewing Levels 1 and 2, click here or on the graphic below.

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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
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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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Review of Heirloom Audio’s “For The Temple”

 

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Our family loves listening to audio dramas, especially when we are traveling in our van somewhere.  Moreover, I love adding Christian audio drama to my family’s listening time and so I was thrilled to receive the 2-CD set of For The Temple from Heirloom Audio for our listening pleasure.  Heirloom Audio offers their audio theater either on CDs or as digital downloads.  For this review, we received the actual CDs.

Heirloom Audio provides quality Christain Audio Dramas the whole family will enjoy listening to time and time again.  These are more than just books read aloud.  They include amazing soundtracks, multiple voices, incredible sound effects and more.  Based on the books by G.A. Henty, this audio drama as with their others truly bring history to life.

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Along with the Audio dramas themselves, a Study Guide is also available.  This guide includes detailed information regarding the background of the story,  Our family really enjoyed following the development of John’s character.  One of our favorite parts was after John and his band had started thwarting the Roman Army.  He had returned to his family, and his mother and fiancee were extolling the character of the “John” they had been hearing about while John knew they were actually talking about him. At the same time, they wanted to know if John had met them and he replied he did know him.  However, when his father walked in and revealed the fact that John was indeed the one they were talking about, he stated that he had not revealed his true role in the events.  John has the wisdom to realize that those viewed as heroes sometimes let down those who extol their virtues.

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Another part of the story our family found particularly interesting was the conversation between John and Titus.  John spares Titus’ life in exchange for a promise from Titus that Titus and his armies would not destroy the temple.  John’s steadfast devotion to God and preserving the temple of God truly caused us to focus on our own faith and what we believe we would be willing to do for God.

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In addition to the audio drama, a study guide is available, which provides background information, a list of characters, questions for each chapter, vocabulary words and more.  Here are some screenshots of some of the pages of the study guide.  For our family, we decided not to use the study guide as a written exercise.  Instead, I decided our family would use the questions as a jumping off point to start conversations about what we were listening to in the story.  In other circumstances, I could visualize our children using the questions as journal exercises.  Upon answering the questions and writing out the definitions of any words required, I would have the children orally present their thoughts to the rest of the family.

 

 

Our family has also had the privilege of reviewing other dramas from Heirloom Audio including In the Reign of Terror, Captain Bayley’s Heir, Wulf the Saxon, and St. Bartholomew’s Eve.  From the very first audio drama, we listened to from Heirloom Audio our family has been captivated by the quality and details of these stories.  If your family utilize Christian homeschooling materials and enjoy books by G.A. Henty along with audio theater, check out For The Temple for yourself.  And if you would like to read reviews by other members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the banner below.

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#write28days – Day 6 SchoolhouseTeachers.com

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So today is day 6 of the #write28days challenge.  So today I want to share another resource, our family really loves.  The resource is SchoolhouseTeachers.com.  There is such an incredible amount of material on the site.    From planners to a members forum to videos to information just for parents and more, there is something for every family. There are Online Classes, Online Electives, Elementary Homeschool Courses, Middle School Homeschool Courses, High School Homeschool Courses, Homeschool parent support, access to RightNow Media material, access to World Book material and even Homeschool Planners.  There is also a forum where you can connect with other homeschooling parents.

 

When I first became part of the Homeschool Review Crew, I wrote a review in January 2017 about the site.  You can read that review here.

Here is an excerpt from that review:

This site provides a wealth of information for homeschooling families.  There are online courses, elementary courses, middle school homeschool classes, and high school homeschool classes.”

When our daughter recently reaffirmed her desire to learn French I went to the website and found a French course for her.  I was really excited to find the resource so easily and within the membership.

The site is easy to navigate and the courses can be found either by grade or subject.  Our family has been very blessed by this resource.  So check out Schoolhouseteachers.com for yourself.  Whether I am looking for full courses or just something to supplement courses our children are already working on, I always check out Schoolhouseteachers.com first.

There are even forums on the site where you can connect with other homeschooling parents.  You have a choice of purchasing either a monthly subscription or a yearly subscription.  I promise you will get your money’s worth out of the subscription.

If you would like to read reviews by other members of the Home School Review Crew. click here or on the graphic below.

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Review of “Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women” from Zondervan

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Zondervan has a beautiful new devotional to help your daughter grow in her faith:  Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women.  As the mother of one daughter who is sixteen, I am always on the lookout for devotionals and other books that will help grow my daughter’s faith.  So when I found out about the opportunity to review this devotional, I knew we needed to participate.

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Zondervan provides a variety of Bibles, books, curricula, academic resources, and digital products for more than 80 years.  The company was founded in 1931 by Pat and Bernard Zondervan. According to their website, Zondervan has remained dedicated to producing quality Christian content with integrity, which has allowed sustained growth and has established the company as a revered and reliable source for transformative and inspirational content.”  Harper Collins acquired Zondervan and helped form HarperCollins Christian Publishing.

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Our family has used resources from Zondervan for many years.  Everything we have gotten from them always delivers what we are looking for and expecting from their products, and this devotional did not let us down.  I planned on my daughter and myself doing this devotional together. With three older brothers, I attempt to find devotions for young women that we can do together.  This devotional is meant for young women ages 13-18, but I feel that girls older or younger would also enjoy and benefit from this devotional.  Daughters and mothers definitely will benefit from doing this devotional together.

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This devotional includes Scripture references from the New International Version, which is my only negative thought about this devotional.  I would have preferred them to cite the book in the Bible, Chapter, and Verse and then allowed families to use whatever Bible they prefer to use.  However, my daughter and I just read the verse and devotion in the book and then referred to our King James Version Bibles to reread the Scripture.  I feel this extra step provided our daughter the means for comparing the wording in various Bible translations.

Every devotion features an easy-to-read, timely devotion, which is paired with a Scripture passage about a Biblical girl or woman, such as Ruth, Mary, Esther, Mary or Abigail.  The pages speak about the pressures and changes young ladies face while giving them real-life applications to find and include God in their own lives.

We have found several devotions which spoke to us.  One of them addressed the Proverbs 31 Women and referenced the verse, Proverbs 31:10, which talks about the Proverbs 31 woman having a noble character.  The devotional then discusses the concept of an “ideal” woman.  The devotional does an excellent job of addressing how God has made us all individuals who are perfect in our way in His sight.

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Another one of the topics I was glad to see the devotional address was Abigail’s encounter with David after her husband had treated David with tremendous disrespect.  Day 217 addresses this topic.  The devotional shows how Abigail provided the best she had to offer and offered respect in how she approached him, spoke to him and even provided for David and his men.  The devotional makes it clear how much being respectful can go in an encounter with someone.  Days 218 through 228 continue the story of Abigail before moving to Bathsheba on Day 229.

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You can find Zondervan on social media at the following location

Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
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So if you are looking for a devotional to help a young lady in your life grow in her faith and Biblical knowledge, check out Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women from Zondervan.  If you would like to read a review of this devotional from other members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

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Review of Lisa Tanner Writing’s Balancing Diapers and Deadlines

Lisa Tanner Writing provides work at home mom productivity tips in her Balancing Diapers and Deadlines course.  While I do not have my own business yet per se, as a member of the Home School Review Crew and being a military wife in addition to being a homeschooling mother and a member of several book review teams, I knew this course potentially could provide fantastic information and insights for my life.  This online course offers valuable information for anyone who already works at home along with anyone who desires to work at home.

Lisa Tanner provides amazing tips for time management for busy moms. Her work at home productivity tips truly resonated with me on a personal level.  Lisa Tanner states on her “About Lisa” page of her blog, “I’m a homeschooling mom of 8 who uses freelance writing, virtual assistance, and blogging to help pay the bills.”  I love she uses her own experiences with her own family to demonstrate how her family utilizes her suggestions and ideas.  We have four children – three sons and a daughter.  Our youngest (and only daughter) just turned sixteen, and our oldest son is twenty-two plus we have a twenty-year-old son and an eighteen-year-old son who also live with us.  So finding time for everything is imperative.

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Lisa breaks the course up into seven units, which are broken down into smaller lessons.  Action steps for each lesson provide bite-size pieces to help organize every part of your family’s life.  From setting goals for your business and home to meal planning and involving your family in the business and more compelled me to really think about what business at home should look like.  The units include:

  •   Welcome to Balancing Diapers and Deadlines
  •  Minimize Your Decisions
  • Minimize Your Decisions:  The Annual Meal Plan
  • Sustainable Growth
  • Growing a Business with Your Kids Around
  • Boost Your Productivity
  • Closing Thoughts

One of the areas I had been working on before starting this course involved meal planning.   We have a son who works now plus is lactose-intolerant in addition to several nights we have band and strings practice.  If I do not have a plan for dinner, it makes our lives difficult.  So meal planning has become my friend and close companion.  So the suggestions and tips from this section were constructive.  I loved how Lisa Tanner provided 5 years of her annual meal plan in the course.  This plan helped generate ideas for meals for us.  This weekend I plan on devoting time to making out a yearly meal plan. Indeed, meal planning provides untold blessings both to our family and to our finances.

 

 

 

One of the most compelling parts for me involved the use of my phone/iPad.  Recently I read a story online about a family who made it a point to unplug when they went out for dinner.  As a result, an older couple sitting near them paid for their meal unexpectedly.  In turn, this action prompted their family to do the same to pay it forward.  I really loved this idea.  As our family shops and goes about our daily lives, I continuously find it amazing to see parents allowing younger and younger children using technology primarily as a means of promoting good behavior.  So I know I personally desire to unplug from electronics more and plug into my family more.

 

 

The other section I really found informative and thought-provoking involved ways to include our children in an at-home business. Obviously, with our children ranging in age from sixteen to twenty-two, some sections did not apply to me, but the ones for involving teens really reflected many things I already do with our children.  For example, my third child and youngest son have been helping for roughly the past year with learning coding along with learning photography using our DSLR camera (although we have not put that into actual practice yet). I also plan on developing free items and items to sell eventually, which I plan to have our sixteen-year-old daughter, who is incredibly artistic, provide illustrations and graphics for in the future.

Some of the key points I will take away from this course include:

  • Just because I can do something, does not mean I should!
  • Let my children be a blessing to my business!
  • It is essential to begin and end my day well.
  • I can not DO everything, and that is okay!
  • Communication is key
  • My priorities will change.
  • I need to remember God made each of us unique.

You can find Lisa Tanner Writing on social media at:

Facebook: https://facebook.com/lisatannerwriting
Instagram: https://instagram.com/lisatannerwrites
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lisatannerwrite
Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/lisatannerwrite

Because my husband is only a few years from retiring, I know I want to come up with some type of at-home business now that will be able to supplement my husband’s retirement income, so this course has definitely been a blessing to take.  So whether you already work from or whether you would like to start your own business/blog, check out Lisa Tanner Writing and Balancing Diapers and Deadlines for yourself.
Balancing Diapers and Deadlines for yourself.

Click here or on the graphic below to read additional posts by members of the Home School Review Crew about Lisa Tanner Writing and her course, Balancing Diapers and Deadlines.

 

Review of Heirloom Audio’s St. Bartholomew’s Eve

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I love adding Christian audio drama to our family’s listening time, and so I was thrilled to receive the 2-CD set of St. Bartholomew’s Eve from Heirloom Audio for our listening pleasure.  For many years, we have enjoyed spending time listening to audio dramas either on the radio or on CDs or from digital downloads.  Heirloom Audio Productions excels at creating family-friendly dramas based on the books by G.A. Henty.  These books capture the hearts and minds of our family.  The stories, actors/actresses and music provide an incredible combination for capturing your family’s imagination.

Heirloom Audio always does a remarkable job of producing engaging and entertaining audio dramas the whole family will enjoy listening to either at home or while traveling.  The dramas are primarily designed for children ages six to sixteen, but our entire family enjoys listening to this type of Christian audio drama. Our family personally prefers listening while traveling as it breaks up the monotony of any trips we take.  The two CDs provide over two hours of listening entertainment.

St. Bartholomew’s Eve opens with G.A. Henty meeting two young men who have slipped out of a church and plan to do some exploring.  The one boy wants to show his cousin some sights.  G.A. Henty reminds the boys about those individuals who died in the past so the boys could have the freedom to worship God.

The story then segues into the tale of an English boy and his French cousin in 1567.  The English lad has come to France to help support the Huguenots.  Because the Huguenots have ties to John Calvin, upon whose ideas the Primitive Baptist Church which is our church affiliation, our family felt a certain kinship to this story.  From the opening through the difficulties encountered by Francois and Philip to the death of one of the two, the story kept our interest the entire time.

Another portion of the story that really drew our family in was the discussion of the young child who Philip and Francois rescue.  They become concerned about whether a Catholic Frenchmen who comes to their aid can be trusted or not.  This led us to have a discussion about those individuals who provided assistance to the Jews during World War II.  We discussed how being of a particular faith does not necessarily make individuals untrustworthy or evil.  Many individuals during the time of the St. Bartholomew Massacre provided assistance to the Huguenots even though they were Catholics.

The St. Bartholomew’s Massacre took place during the reign of King Charles IX under the influence of his mother, Catherine de Medici.  The assassination of Huguenot Protestant leaders in Paris set off a massacre of tens of thousands of Huguenots all across France.  It seemed eerily similar to the deaths of the Jews during World War II.

In addition to St. Bartholomew’s Eve, our family has also had the privilege of reviewing, Wulf the Saxon, In the Reign of Terror, and Captain Bayley’s Heir.  You can check our reviews by clicking on the titles.

You can find Heirloom Audio on social media:  Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram at @HeirloomAudioOfficial.  You can also check out their “Live the Adventure Club.

So if your family enjoys radio drama, check out St. Bartholomew’s Eve from Heirloom Audio  for yourself.  If you would like to read reviews by other members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

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Review of Brinkman Adventures’ Season 6 – Underground Rising

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I love adding Audio Dramas to my family’s listening time, and so I was thrilled to receive the digital version of Season 6: Underground Rising from Brinkman Adventures for our listening pleasure.  Our family enjoys listening to audio dramas any time we travel, so this was the perfect fit for our family.  These Audio Missionary dramas will captivate your family.

Brinkman Adventures provides a thrilling radio show that tells true, modern missionary stories through the fictional Brinkman family.  The episodes run for approximately twenty-six minutes and according to their website, “contains a Biblical theme, lesson, and compelling drama that will keep you on the edge of your seat.   Using modern sound effects, original music, and superb writing, Brinkman Adventures are ‘Movies for the Ears’.”

Season 6: Underground Rising contains the following episodes:

55 Dutch Underground Part 1
56 Dutch Underground Part 2
57 Twice Born Fly
58 I Wonder Why?
59 Free Burma Rangers Part 1
60 Free Burma Rangers Part 2

You can find the real stories behind these episodes here.  On this page, you will see pictures, stories, videos and more about what inspired the adventures. One thing we really loved about the “Real Stories” page on the Brinkman Adventures’ website was the inclusion of the “Making It Work” section.  This includes a Logline, the theme, and additional commentary.  I feel these items lend themselves to enriching family discussions and activities such as notebooking pages or other activities to help reinforce the stories.

As our family began listening to the Dutch Underground in our van, the intensity of the story captivated our entire family.  We could actually picture ourselves in the story.  The despair and courage faced by individuals in countries the Nazis captured come through.  We discussed whether we thought we would have the courage to put our own lives at risk for others.  This segued into a conversation about the early members of the church like the Apostle Paul, being willing to die for their belief in Jesus Christ.  Then we moved into a discussion about how Isis tortured and killed those who believed in Jesus Christ.  So we discussed what courage it took to be willing to lay down our lives for Jesus Christ.

As we listened to “Twice Born Fly”, we loved how the opening had the family gathering around the table and discussing what they were thankful that day.  We try to always eat dinner as a family, and often I try to have our children and my husband say what we are grateful for, so we could definitely relate to this portion of the episode.  But as the story progressed, we found ourselves confused by the episode.  Jack begins telling a story about being in prison and an event that occurred while there.  We just could not imagine Jack being in jail.  When he finally gets to the end of the tale, he reveals how it was actually a dream.  At that point, it made a lot more sense to our family.  We loved how even one of the daughters in the episode commented about not remembering hearing about her father being in prison.

When we began listening to “I Wonder Why?”, My children discussed how they could relate to the family picking up and moving.  Even though we are not missionaries, we are military.  So far our family has relocated 3 times, courtesy of the military.  Each time, some if not all of my children have had moments where they questioned why we had to move.  But in the end, the family we heard about recognized God’s hand in them being where they were.  Similarly, my children have come to terms with where we were stationed at, if not developing a genuine like for the location.  We also discussed how people rather than actual places make someplace home.

In the final two-part episode, we learned about Dave Eubanks, his family, and their life in Burma.  My husband and I loved where he finally convinces the woman he loved to marry him.  Despite numerous rejections, he persisted until he received the answer of “Yes!”

We found it fascinating to listen to the part where the Brinkman family came to visit.  When Jack and his children go off with Dave and some other members of his team, we were sure some kind of adventure was going to take place.  I am not sure we expected to have them involved in a potentially life-threathening conflict with the opposition.  Nor did we expect them to assist a woman who wound up giving birth during their attempt to make it to the safe camp.  But in the end, we saw that as Romans 8:28 (KJV) states, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”  Dave and Karen Eubanks definitely were following God’s direction for their lives and received the blessings of that obedience.  We also discussed how sometimes it can be hard to hear God’s voice, but often at those times, we can receive some small bit that later shows God’s hand was upon us the entire time.

 

Last year we had the privilege of reviewing Season 4 of the Brinkman Adventures.  You can review that review here.  You can also find Brinkman Adventures on Facebook here.

So if your family is like our family, and your family enjoys listening to  Audio Dramas check out the digital version of Season 6: Underground Rising from Brinkman Adventures for yourselves.  Click here or on the graphic below if you would like to read reviews by other members of the Home School Review Crew who also received this audio drama.

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Review of CashCrunch Careers from CashCrunch Games

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 Our 17-year-old son, our 15-year-old daughter, my husband and I all took the CashCrunch Careers survey from CashCrunch Games.  Even though our son and daugther already basically know what they want to do with the rest of their lives, I felt they would benefit from this opportunity for career exploration.  The opportunity to look at what colleges are looking for plus examining their own strengths and weaknesses would be productive as well.  Because my husband is nearing retirement from the military, we felt this would be a useful tool for him to utilize as well.  Because I am looking at possibly making a change once our daughter graduates in a few years, I felt I should also take this survey.

CashCrunch Games offers a variety of games. Blog posts, podcasts and more to help teach money habits.  Paul Vasey, the founder of CashCruch Games, holds a Business degree from Nottingham Trent University.  After being a teacher for some years, he decided to put his talk into practice to make a difference.  “Play our games and make the mistakes in a virtual world where the games can be restarted, and the environment is fun and nonintimidating.” displays prominently on their “About Us” page.

The CashCrunch Careers survey aims to simplify the process of finding a career.  The survey takes about 10 – 15 minutes to complete and consists of a series of questions where the participant selects one or the other of the choices.  Once completed, the system matches you with careers which best match your work styles and attributes and generates a comprehensive report.

The one problem that all the members of our family had was the difficulty in making selections.  We felt like either the choices were so very similar that making a decision difficult.  Or, the selections did not really reflect who we were personally.  My husband and son both expressed the same frustration.  Because they both have a reasonably good idea of where they want to go in the future, I was not too concerned about them doing the survey.  For myself, I merely wanted to do the survey just to see what the system would generate.  Our son stated how people are not black and white, so basing an assessment on such a formula seems to be really lacking something.

The Career Reports are broken down into four sections:  Career Work Styles, Motivators & De-motivators, Career Attributes, and Matching Jobs.  For the Career Work Styles, I found myself questioning the results.  It said I thrive in team environments, but that is only true if the team I am working with is competent.  Otherwise, I definitely prefer to work alone.  When it came to the Motivators & De-Motivators, I felt like the list was pretty accurate.

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When we began reading the actual reports, the three of us felt like the results were reasonably appropriate based on who we are for the first three sections.  However, when we got to the final part about  career suggestions we were disappointed.

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As my two children began to examine their selections, we were baffled by the lists.  Both of our children want to go into fields in the arts, but neither one of them received anything in the arts.  Our son wants to do something in music, while our daughter wants to go into the graphic novel industry.  So we were really disappointed in the actual career suggestions.  The videos included in the CashCrunch Careers section leave a lot to be desired.  They appear to be dated and disappointing given the quality of today’s videos.  I feel today’s youth will be unimpressed by the videos.

While the first three sections provide excellent information, the last one really disappointed our family.  However, we believe improvments may be made.  If only for the information provided from the first three sections and then ability to examine careers of our own choosing, this product definitely was worth reviewing.

You can find CashCrunch Games on social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/721791248014409/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CashCrunchGames @cashcrunchgames
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cashcrunchgames/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cashcrunchgames/ @cashcrunchgames
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/FortuneAndVenture

So check out the CashCrunch Careers survey from CashCrunch Games. for yourself.  If you would like to read reviews by other members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

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