Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Catching up...

Shew. It's been a long while, my friends. I've had just a few things going on. I promise I will fill you in some time.

Meanwhile, I've been trying to lay low and give myself a good break. I've read 1,000 books, drank 425 cups of tea and visited a doctor's office more times than I can count.  There is nothing too serious...though I did have a little stay in the hospital.

Don't worry. I am not in imminent danger of expiring. Though by that last sentence you can guess that I have been reading entirely too many mysteries set in historical Britain.

The crazy past few months has allowed me to have time to think about my priorities and what I consider to be important. I have come to realize that I have not been taking good care of myself. I also have neglected my own mantra to "live a beautiful life." 

We all have things. Things that distract us from the important parts.

Anyhoo. More of the beautiful things need to be happening in my life. And I'm responsible to see that they show up.

Speaking of distractions, my son has been explaining to me the draw of his current 80's rock band obsession. While I am most certainly a child of the 80's I find I don't speak the language of hair bands. Any guy who used more hair spray than I did in 1987 just isn't my type.

Sweet dreams, my friends.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Drawing with Creating a Masterpiece (A Homeschool Review Crew Post)

I've got a brand new review for you! This time I am reviewing On-Line Drawing Program from Creating a Masterpiece.

You can catch my entire review in the video below, but for now, here is the important information.

This program is an on-line program. It is taught by the lovely Sharon Hofer. There are a total of 4 different levels; Beginner Drawing, Drawing 1. Drawing 2 and Drawing 3.

This course covers pencil, colored pencil, charcoal techniques. There is a list of supplies available for you, as well as links to Blick Art Supplies (if you wish to purchase supplies online.

I imagine the age level has more to do with the interest and fine motor prowess of your student. I enjoyed the lessons I am well-over %&$. Josiah is a senior in High School but struggles with his handwriting. He still enjoyed the lessons.

After you watch my review, head on over to the Homeschool Review Crew Blog. You can check out more reviews there!

Learning to Draw {Creating a Masterpiece Reviews}

Thursday, October 17, 2019

College-Ready Writing Essentials™ (A Homeschool Crew Review)

Any of the juniors or seniors in your homeschool heading to college? I had the chance to review College-Ready Writing Essentials™ from BetterRhetor. This just might be what you’re looking for.

I don’t know about your college experience, but mine required a lot of writing. A WHOLE lot of writing. Did you know that the majority of students who are heading off to college aren’t prepared for college-level writing? It’s true. I have heard it first-hand from college professors.

College-Ready Writing Essentials™ was developed by William Bryant, PhD. Dr. Bryant knows what he’s doing. He spent ten years as part of the ACT Test Development team, which included the position of Director of Writing Assessments.

So what is College-Ready Writing Essentials™? It is a self-guided online program. The program is available in two packages, Full or Premium. The Premium package offers personal feedback by Dr. Bryant, himself. We chose to review the Full package.

The program is intended to be a 25 lesson/five-week program. Of course, the beauty of homeschooling allows the user to go at his or her own pace.

The whole goal is to help the student go through the whole process of writing a 3-5 page college-level essay. This process is broken down into easy to inhale steps.

I want to take a few minutes to highlight the basic bones of the program.

The CRWE lessons are divided into 4 Stages.


Each portion has a certain number of lessons that gently lead the student through a particular process.
For example, Lesson 3 (under the Planning section) is all about Topic. I, myself, have had “topic remorse.” There was that essay I wrote on the hidden symbolism of Our Town.  That experience was miserable. I had a much better time writing about the impact female spies had during the Civil War.

Dr. Bryant helps the student take into consideration a number of factors, including the audience and purpose of their potential topic.  You can imagine that no one was really interested in reading my poor attempt of analyzing Our Town, including me.  Dr. Bryant has terrific advice for this process.

The Drafting portion of the lessons takes the student through the actual writing of the essay. Lesson 16 deals with how to explain your position and provide supporting arguments.

Example essays and other links are provided all throughout the lessons. I personally think it is helpful to have those resources available and included in the lessons. There are also downloadable worksheets that are editable included in each lesson.

By the Revising and Finalizing Stages, students are making adjustments, getting feedback from others and polishing up their work.

This is really a great resource. It is easy to navigate and the student’s progress is easy to track. Most importantly, this is a resource that we have access too for any writing project now and in the future. It can be used for paper writing about multiple topics and disciplines. It is invaluable.

My goal is for my son to enter the world with the ability to express himself. Not only verbally, but with the written word. I want him to sound informed and able to write about things he cares about in a thoughtful and persuasive way. My only complaint about CRWE is that I wish there were some video or audio components available.

Be sure to check it out! Other families reviewed College-Ready Writing Essentials™. Click on the banner below to read more reviews.

You can connect with BetterRhetor via the following social media outlets.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/collegereadywriting
Twitter: https://twitter.com/collreadywrite
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/collegereadywriting
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/collegereadywriting

College-Ready Writing Essentials™ {BetterRhetor Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Library and Educational Services LLC (A Homeschool Review Crew Post)

I have a saying that I like to remind my husband of repeatedly.

A Homeschooler can never have too many art supplies and books.

Amen and amen.

I recently had the chance to review products from Library and Educational Services LLC.

Library and Educational Services LLC is a wholesaler of books, DVDs, and CDs. They have been in business for 40 years. They sell their products at 30% to 70% off the publishers' prices.

AND this is the best part. Homeshoolers are eligible and welcome to receive the same discount schools receive.

Below you can watch my review of the products I received. I am going to tell you what I got in my big box of goodies that came in the mail in just a sec. They are fantabulous.

I got to choose a selection from the Who Was....series. I chose Who Was Charles Dickens. I also got to choose a Lifehouse Theatre CD series selection. This is a selection of audio dramas. You KNOW how we feel about the audio drama. They have an honored place in our homeschool.

I chose Pride and Prejudice for a couple of reasons. It's Pride and Prejudice! And it's on Josiah's book list this year.

I also got to choose a selection of books from the Reinforced Hardcover Library Binding Nonfiction books category. I picked out the:

American Revolution Through Primary Sources - Set of 4 (which include)
  • American Indians and African Americans of the American Revolution
  • The Making of the United States From Thirteen Colonies
  • Washington's Crossing the Delaware and the Winter at Valley Forge
  • Why We Won the American Revolution

AND Uncovering American History - Primary Sources Set of 7 (which include)
  • The Alamo
  • Ellis Island
  • The Erie Canal
  • The Gold Rush
  • The Salem Witch Trials
  • The Underground Railroad
  • Women's Suffrage

I did not mention the "Reinforced Hardcover Library Binding Nonfiction books category" in my review...at least that particular phraseology, but I did show you all the lovely books I got from the sets I named above.

I can't believe what kind of savings are on the Library and Educational Services site. I show all the goods on my video. They are definitely on my go-to-resource list from now on.

Good stuff, my friends.

Don't forget to head on over to the Crew Blog to read my reviews (you can click the banner below).

Watch my review!

Wholesale Books for Your Homeschool {Library and Educational Services LLC Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Slime Time

Where in the HuHot have I been? 

I know. I know. I teased you with Cousin Camp announcements and then left you with homeschool product reviews. 

Not that they weren't completely awesome. 

Anyhoo. July has been a looong month and I spent a good portion of it at the farm. In fact, Josiah is still at the farm. The Muffin and I are keeping the home fires lit. 

Princess the Cat is really missing her boy. He carries her around on his shoulder like the queen she is. We still have a few more weeks or so before we bring him home. She will just have to be content with me and The Muffin...and she LOVES The Muffin. 

Cousin Camp was a blast. It was a little bit different year. We didn't plan quite so many activities. Our theme was The Movies and the Cousins created a few videos. I am still in the editing process. I only have one video completed. And honestly, I don't know when the others will be ready for viewing. 

I am that far behind in life. 

I thought I would share the little video that is completed. SOOO CUTE!!!!  Enjoy, my friends. I'll talk at you soon. 

Exploring Creation with General Science (A Homeschool Review Crew Post)

My very first review for the Homeschool Review Crew (which had to be back somewhere in the Middle Ages) was for Apologia. My only taste of Apologia had been drooling over the beautiful books at a Homeschool Convention. It felt like I had one some sort of Homeschooler’s dream lottery…not that I play the lottery…but you get the point.  Because I am a faithful and loyal creature, we have used Apologia science curriculum ever since.  So I must tell you that what I recently had the chance to review/look over filled my heart with song. Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition. It’s really good stuff, my friends.

If you aren’t familiar with Apologia, you must go over to their website and quickly introduce yourself. They are an award-winning company…mainly for their excellent science curriculum. Of which, I have quite a collection of. 

My newest acquisition and the one I want to feature today is, of course, Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition. It is designed to be the very first course taken during Middle School. It is intended to be used for around 7th grade. This edition has been rewritten to help students transition from the teacher-led elementary science to more independent work.

I received:
Student Notebook
Solutions and Test Manual
Set of Test Pages (included with manual)

This curriculum includes the following models:
1. The History of Science--Search for the Truth
2. Scientific Inquiry and the Scientific Method
3. Documenting and Interpreting Experimental Results
4. Scientific Analysis and History
5. Earth Science--Astronomy
6. Earth Science--Geology and Paleontology
7. Earth Science--Meteorology and Oceanography
8. General Chemistry
9. General Physics
10. Life Science
11. General Biology
12. Marine Science
13. Environmental Science
14. Science and Creation

There are at least a few lab experiments included with each module with a variety of supplies needed.  The lessons are also intended to be done four days a week. If you are familiar with any of the other Apologia Sciences you know that the Elementary School curriculum is set up for only a few days a week and the High School curriculum features 5 days a week. So this curriculum sits nicely in the middle.

The textbook is GORGEOUS.  It reads conversationally and has beautiful photographs, graphs, charts and plenty of good, meaty discussions and information for students to enjoy.

The Student Notebook is also really nice. I noticed immediately that it is heftier than its Elementary counterparts. It also is set up in a way that guides the student to check off their own progress. It features journal and question prompts, vocabulary lists, lab charts and places to record notes. I believe this Student Notebook is really essential to get the most out of the curriculum.

The tests are typically a little bit of everything, multiple-choice, short answer, etc. You, of course, will love the solutions.  Solutions make the homeschool parents' life much easier. 

As always, there are book extras located on Apologia’s website to help your student further explore each module. You only need an account and the password located inside the book. I was also really excited to see that this course has not only an audiobook feature (which we use) but has a thumb drive available with video instruction. That alone could be a game-changer for many families. I was thrilled to see that addition.

I do need to tell you before I send you on your way that I plan on using this curriculum this next school year for my High Schooler. He is actually taking a class at our co-op that is using the High School version of Apologia’s General Science. He is dyslexic and has struggled some with independent work. I think this will be an excellent product to use on his own. I love how Apologia has created such versatile products!

You can connect with Apologia via the following social media outlets. Don’t forget to click on the banner below to read more reviews.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/apologiaworld/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/apologiaworld
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/apologia/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/apologiaworld/

Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition. {Apologia Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Friday, July 12, 2019

The Heart Changer (A Homeschool Review Crew Post)

I am most assuredly a bookworm. One of my favorite genres is historical fiction. I recently had a chance to review The Heart Changer from Jarm Del Boccio, Author

Jarm is a fellow Schoolhouseteachers.com writer so I was extra excited to get my book in the mail. I received a physical copy, but it comes in an ebook, as well.

The story is based on 19 verses in 2 Kings. The story is of Naaman and his wife's maid. Namaan is the commander of the Syrian army. He has leprosy, which is a horrible disease of the day. His wife's maid, who is unnamed in the Bible, tells Naaman of the prophet Elisha. Naaman travels to Israel and is given the instructions to bathe in the Jordan river seven times. The end of the story is that Naaman does so and is healed.

The central character in The Heart Changer is the maid. The account of Naaman in the Bible does not reveal her name, nor does it give any details about it. Obviously, the author has built a fictional story about the girl, but I didn't find anything in her story to give me pause. I think it was very true to the time period and was so encouraging and heartfelt.

In the book, the maid is given the name of Miriam. She is a slave who has been captured during a raid and given to Naaman's wife. Miriam struggles with being taken away from her home and family. She has to deal with the jealousy and bitterness of a fellow servant. She wonders how God could have placed her in Namaan's household.

When it is revealed that Naaman has leprosy, God uses Miriam to point Namaan towards the prophet Elisha. Through Naaman's healing, Miriam is reminded of God's love and sovereignty.

This was such a great story. And even though it is intended for middle-school students, it resonated with me. I needed to be reminded of God's love for me and purpose for me....despite my circumstances.

There is also a great teacher's guide on the website for your use, as well. It features an interview with the author, Jarm. It also gives a short interview with Miriam. There are questions included that promote those issues brought up in the book. How does one deal with circumstances outside our control? Is it right to question God? There is also information about Syria and some recipes to try out. The guide is only 12 pages long and is a good addition to any study.

This is really a precious book. It is a short book and reads easily. The message is invaluable. There was a portion at the end of the book where I truly felt the Holy Spirit and was encouraged that God knows about all of us and He loves us. He is a miracle working God!

This one is truly a keeper!

You can connect with Jarm via the following social media outlets. Don't forget to click on the banner below to read more reviews.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JarmDelBoccio/
Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/JarmVee
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIcs5IpR56kqsj1z4Co2Bew?view_as=subscriber+%28Jarm+Del+Boccio%2C+Author%29
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jarmdelboccio/

The Heart Changer {Jarm Del Boccio, Author Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer
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