Saturday, March 31, 2018

For those feeling misunderstood....

I've really struggled with writing this post.

Lately, I've felt a bit misunderstood. I think most of us who deal with chronic illness feel this way from time to time. In my case, it is especially hard for me to talk about some of the things I suffer through.

I find that people become impatient with suffering. It makes them feel uncertain. I understand completely! We all have expectations for each other. Suffering makes us feel icky matter if we are the ones suffering or not!

For nearly the entirety of my adult life I have struggled with pain and chronic illness. I've had periods of time that I have been at death's door. Then I have other times that I have led an almost normal and productive life.

I mostly have learned to manage my pain without the aid of narcotics. I say "mostly" because there are simply times that I don't manage very well. Some days the extent of that management is not crying in front of you.

I try to mostly live every day with purpose and try to live a beautiful life....regardless of what comes my way. I say "mostly" because I do have days that I struggle to find purpose.

There is part of me that is waiting for you to get tired of me. You are going to grow impatient with my suffering. Even though I try not to complain, you are going to begin to wonder why husband requests prayer for me so often or why I have had to say "no" to certain things.

You might not know this, but I've been doing this a very. long. time.

I get weary from time to time.

Now that I've laid out all of my reasons for this wallowing in self-pity, I need to share my secret.

There are worse things than feeling pain.

There are worse things than feeling like you don't measure up.

There are worse things than feeling like no one understands what you are going through.

I can't look too far beyond my own experiences to find someone who is experiencing other things far worse.

I am a lucky, lucky girl. If you have stuck with me through these years of uncertain health I want you to know how much I love you.

The worst thing in life would be to have no one to walk with me through those bad days. The worst thing would for me to decide that I could do it all on my own. The worst thing would be for me shut myself off from those beautiful much I would miss!

You have told me that I'm beautiful when I feel anything but.

You have made me feel like I am more than this broken person.

You have seen potential in me when I can't see much more than my lack.

You have loved me through tears, temper tantrums and really bad days.

I do have some advice for those of you struggling with something in your life. Maybe you feel let down by life in general. Maybe you are having difficulty reconciling your expectations to your real life. Maybe, like me, you are experiencing poor health and just plain sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.

For need to give yourself some grace. You need to know that what you are experiencing right now is not the sum total of your existence. In other words..."this too shall pass."  And here is the biggie....allow people to love on you. We need each other.  Speak life into your relationships. Never let a day go by where you don't tell someone you love them.

It is so tempting to fall into the trap of self-pity. I know. It is a trap that I find myself drawn to. But there comes a point where we all have to embrace those beautiful things in our lives. For some of you, that beautiful thing might be feel like just a glimmer or a spark...but grab a hold and don't let go.

Like any teacher with her salt, I have been giving myself a daily assignment. I have to find one thing each daily that makes me smile....a blessing I can point to or a scripture or Psalm that shines light on a dim situation.

I am always a bit relieved when I don't have to look to far for hope. I also have to remind myself, daily, that it's NOT ABOUT ME. That there are others in the world with far greater challenges and mountains to climb. And that we all have a story to share and a load to help carry.

Just know, my friends, that I love you.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Dear Homeschool Mom...I've Really Blown It

Contrary to popular belief...I don't know everything.

And more realistically, I don't have to know everything.

In fact, I am going to give you a little insight into the biggest mistake I've made in my homeschool career as a homeschool mom.

Don't assume that I have this whole thing down. For one, I made the common mistakes of trying to mold our homeschool into a public school model. I spent too much money on the "holy grail" curriculum that would solve all problems. And I paid too much attention to what other people thought of our choice of homeschooling.

I could fill many blog posts with my many mistakes, but for now I just want to focus on the one that messed me up for years.

And years.

Learn from my mistake. It might just change your life.

I didn't practice PATIENCE.

I know what your thinking. What? Patience? So now I have to worry about PATIENCE?

I probably need to be more specific. Some of you have incredibly difficult days. You have a sick child and spent all morning washing bed linens. You have just realized that you will never finish the math workbook. Never ever. You also have the in-laws coming and you know good and well you will have to fend off questions about homeschooling.

"What grade is Johnny in again?"

"How do you know if Johnny is learning what he needs to know?"

"Aren't you worried about Johnny missing prom?" Johnny is in 3rd grade.

"What if Johnny never gets into college?" Again...Johnny is in 3rd grade.

Patience in homeschooling is so much more than not yelling your kids for spending 4 hours writing out her spelling words. It is more than being patient with tone of your voice.

I'm going to drop a truth bomb on you. This homeschool life won't wield the kind of progress you want to see this week or next week. Your expectations won't ever likely be met...especially the unrealistic ones. You have to decide you are in it for the long haul.

My BIG mistake came when I tried to fix all of Josiah's learning problems within a short period of time. I tried to work instantaneous magic on an issue that needed time. I tried to change the minds of those family and friend who thought we were crazy for homeschooling. I wanted everybody to be on board with this crazy experiment. I wanted my family to fall into line with the multiple versions of chore charts and goal sheets I carted out.

I read endless books and blogs about the "very right way to homeschool." I just knew that if I found the right way to do homeschool, everything else would fall into place.

I was soooo wrong. And I spent too many years stressed out and unnecessarily burdened down. What I came to realize is that I just needed to keep my head down. I needed to be CONSISTENT. I needed to just keep plugging away.

I knew, based on studies that I had read, that kids with dyslexia learn better using multi-sensory methods. So instead of wasting time with miracle products that promised to solve all of our issues, I just used one or two that fit my budget and our lifestyle. I had to come to the understanding that eventually Josiah's persistence and perseverance would pay off. I had to be PATIENT with the process. And guess what? The boy is reading!

I decided not to change anybody's mind about homeschooling. That wasn't my job. I wasn't going to be a homeschooling advocate. I was an advocate for my own family. I just responded to questions pleasantly and kept my head down.

I stopped trying to change my approach to chores and schedules every week because I wasn't happy with the every day results. Instead, Josiah was expected to be consistent with what I gave him to do. I made him a check list and made him personally responsible. Did it mean that he spent a few evenings or Saturdays doing work that didn't get done in a timely manner. Yup. Did it mean that he had to re-tackle a chore that had been completed sub-par? You bet your bippie.

We just started doing the thing. I had to be PATIENT with my expectations. Building habits take time. Building a good work ethic take time. Building a system that guessed it...takes time.

Eventually, you will find your groove. And if your groove is challenged by family illness, crisis or a grumpy teenager, you will have already set yourself up to see things through.

This doesn't mean I am never grumpy. Or that I am never overwhelmed.

I have made up my mind that tomorrow doesn't have to look like today. That all of my concerns and homeschooling questions don't have to be answered within the next minute. Patience allows you to enjoy the little moments in your life. You can be content with spending a slow afternoon reading David Copperfield or hanging out at the park with friends.

You can understand that your child will spend a life time learning.

He doesn't have to learn it all today.

My Homeschool Review Crew friends have all had a goof-up or two when homeschooling. Click on the banner below for some encouragement! We're with you! Dear Homeschool Mom  You are not alone.   {Homeschool Link UP}l

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

A La Carte (Home School in the Woods) - Homeschool Review Crew

I have a fun review for you today. Over the years, we’ve had the chance to use many products from Home School in the Woods. Their A La Carte series makes hands-on learning easy and financially accessible for homeschoolers everywhere!  

Home School in the Woods  Á La Carte products

As I mentioned, we’ve used Home School in the Woods Products for years. We even used them
BEFORE I became a reviewer for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. They just appeal to my own educational philosophies and visual aesthetic.

Basically, they are fun, clever and cute.

The A La Carte series is made up of bits and pieces of some of the more comprehensive Home School in the Woods. You can chose one or two activities to use instead of purchasing the whole ‘kit and caboodle.

I had a really hard time deciding what product to choose for this review. But it all came back to the good old fashioned file folder game. I first used file folder games over 25 years ago when I first started teaching. Back then, we either created the concepts and each little piece ourselves or we used on of the copy, cut and color resources we could buy at the teacher’s supply store.

We’ve come a long way, baby.

Not only are the File Folder Games from Home School in the Woods as close as a push of the print button, but they are so artistically classy.

I chose two games to play and review: Name That State! File Folder Game, and Westward Ho! File Folder Game.

Name That State!

I love geography. Thankfully, Josiah has a curiosity about people and places so it has been easy for us to really explore. Even if he hadn’t been as interested, the Name That State Filer Folder Game is perfect for learning the locations of the 50 states and their capitals.

This game comes to you as a downloadable PDF. The file itself has just less than 30 pages. There are very specific and helpful instructions. For example, the printing instructions are always a must read for Home School in the Woods products. Some pages needed to be printed on both sides. Some on cardstock.

The main game board itself has 3 different options. You can chose one with the states clearly written out. Then there is a blank board. I chose the one initially that uses the abbreviations.

I can remember learning state abbreviations before they are just 2 capital letters! 

This game is probably the one that has been used the most. Primarily because it is a little easier to play and Josiah has a particular affinity for geography right now. I personally think it's because he likes to know where all his favorite sports teams are from! 

We use what we can, don't we!  

Good times.

Another reason why this game is easier is the preparation time. All I had to print off was the game board of my choice and the cards. There is a card for every state. 

To play the game, the player draws a card and has to correctly identify the state from the front of the card...which is just the shape. If they guess correctly, he or she gets to place a marker on the state.

Both of us have a harder time with those little New England states. 

Westward, Ho!

This game is all about Western Expansion in the early 19th century. Players move around the board by answering questions relating to topics of that particular time period. The goal is go West (young man!).

As you answer the questions, you begin collecting supplies for your journey. You also get to choose what trail to follow. You can go the Lewis and Clark Route, down the Oregon Trail, follow the Santa Fe Trail or head on out the Mormon California way.

And don’t expect it to be smooth sailing! Each trail has its own challenges. Think about how it was to cross our great country during this time period! You can expect to find all of those challenges along the way.

We got a kick out of the question on the card below. How does the game know we are obsessed with Hamilton!

This game is so much fun! We haven't played it as much as the state game, but that is primarily because it takes a little longer. 

It also was a bit more time consuming to put together.....but so worth it! 

Here are a few more things I'd like to say. 

Using sturdier supplies, like cardstock and laminating paper, really does make a difference. I am always a "use what you have" kind of homeschooler, but I have made sure I have plenty of good supplies when I'm making a new Home School in the Woods product. 

All of the products are black and white and require you to add color (either through paper or handcoloring). Of course, for the majority of my life I am thrilled to bring out the colored pencils and spend an afternoon coloring. However, for the first time ever I wished that there had been a colored version included. 

Some of you might have coloring that solves your problem. I am the only coloring fanatic in my house and while I can certainly go the colored paper route, it just doesn't make me happy. 

That being said, I don't know if there is another product or company that provides such clever, creative and artistically professional materials. 

There are a few more A La Carte products I'd like to get my hands on ASAP! 

I'm a sucker for a paper doll. And what's better than a pirate paper doll that is also a game! This Pirate Panolply Game looks like a winner. That being said, I have 2 other projects in my shopping cart at Home School in the woods right now! I love this 

WWII: On the Home Front Lap Book/Notebook Project. I'm obsessed with the little rations book and the recipe for Kidney Bean Loaf. I also want to learn how to make this Penny Loaf Rug. 

Home School in the Woods  Á La Carte products
You can't go wrong with Home School in the Woods! Click below for more reviews!
À La Carte Projects - Individual projects designed to enhance your studies! {Home School in the Woods Reviews}
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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

MathArt Online (A Homeschool Review Crew Post)

The resources for today’s homeschooling families really are impressive.  You don’t have to be an expert or proficient in a particular area. Someone with the passion and expertise has most likely created a product or curriculum that can help you out! Take for example NatureGlo’s eScience. We recently had the chance to review the MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle.  

MathArt Online

The Math Art Bundle includes the following classes.

Math Connections with the Real World
MathArt in Ancient Cultures
MathArt in the Arts & Sciences
MathArt: Patterns in Nature

Each class is approximately 6-weeks. There is one lesson per week and each lesson integrates science, math, history and the arts. You have the option to take a class live, but we opted for the handier version of viewing the recorded classes.

The lessons include slide-show lectures, study guides to download, project ideas, extra resources (videos to watch, etc.) and interactive activities.

I decided to take a look extensively at the Math Connections with the Real World. The lessons included in this class are: 

Week #1 - Introduction & History of the Golden Ratio and Fibonacci Numbers
Week #2 - The Golden Number & Fibonacci in Art, Architecture & Nature
Week #3 - Fibonacci Numbers - Flower Petals, Seed heads and More!
Week #4 - History & Golden Ratio of the Great Pyramid of Egypt
Week #5 - Quasicrystals & the Golden Ratio
Week #6 - The Mathematics of Music

The instructor and designer for the classes is Gloria. I love it when people are passionate about what they teach! And Gloria has done her homework. She has created a truly interactive and comprehensive product.

I want to show a little of Week #1. 

Along with the video links, we also get a download of all the Power Point slides. This is particularly helpful if you want to look through the material or provide extra study helps for the student. I know many of us like to have a notebook available for our students. 

I particularly love how Gloria has integrated all subjects into her studies. Math geeks will love the extra information she puts into every lesson.

In addition to the PDF of the slides, Gloria has also provided a study guide for the PowerPoint.  I find these beneficial to use while the lesson is going on. It helps the student pay attention to the information going forth.

As well as the Study Guide, there is a student workbook to download. These were easy to access and would make a nice addition to that notebook we were talking about.

Before I move on, you can see from this screen shot that the student can see their progress. The lessons don't allow you to move forward until you have completed the previous lesson. I personally found the visual of the marked off lessons to be extremely helpful.

The student workbook also provides a section of  additional activities and projects to do.

The extras and projects are just plain fun! I realize that it can get overwhelming for some, but I think you have to understand that you can't do it all. And I don't think you are expected to.

The last little bit in this lesson was a Quizlet. This was an online quiz. I think it's a fun interactive way to take a test!

Overall, this is a well-constructed and exciting product. Josiah personally had some difficulty. He does have dyscalculia and he is dyslexic. The videos and interactive nature of the classes make it easier for him to navigate as far as his reading is concerned....though there is quite a bit of it. I appreciated the clean and easy type and the uncluttered workbook pages. However, because he struggles with his number sense in general, he got flustered when it came to some of the "mathy" stuff...particularly in later lessons.

The product can be used for students as young as 12 and up. It would be terrific for bright and motivated kiddos who want to add an extra dimension to their studies. Or to use in between curriculum or as a Unit Study. 

I also had a chance to look through the Math in the Arts and Sciences class. There is some really neat stuff there. I love the gorgeous use of art. Really fascinating stuff! 

Go take a look! You can connect with NatureGlo’s eScience via the following social media outlets. Don't forget to click on the banner below to read more reviews! 
MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle {NatureGlo's eScience Reviews}
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Taming the Lecture Bug (A Homeschool Crew Review Post)

 I hate to nag. I really do. Nagging in general makes me twitchy. There is an ideal universe in which everybody has an appreciation for healthy civil debate. That when you speak, your ideas and thoughts are heard. And that when you ask your children to complete reasonable tasks they are performed promptly and not up for debate. 

Anybody else with me? My son, bless his heart, has conveniently developed selective hearing AND seems to think that the longer he takes to complete a task, there is a greater likelihood that I will forget I even asked him to do anything! Shew. That was quite the run-on sentence. You can tell I'm "miffed." Which is why, when the Crew had the chance to review products from Parenting Made Practical, I knew the one I needed ASAP. I received Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think (book) and Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think (DVD)

The teaching is intended for parents with kids in the 8 and older range. I will talk a little about what you can expect with each product separately and tell you my thoughts on both. 

Taming the Lecture Bug and Getting Your Kids to Think (book) is an easy read. It contains approximately 12 chapters and is filled with encouragement and practical advice. 

The authors, Joey and Carla Link, have been ministering to families for over 20 years. Joey has youth and family ministry experience and Carla has a degree in social work. Joey is currently the Director of Family Life Resources. The Links are involved with Growing Families Int'l and have written several books. They are also parents and grandparents. 

The very first chapter of Taming the Lecture Bug opens with a story from personal experience of raising 3 kids. It also reveals the problem with "lecturing" as opposed to teaching kids personal responsibility. 

I like this quote from the book.

Your kids want you to do your thinking for them, so they can choose to agree with you and do what you say, or argue with you if they won't want to do it. 

I realized to that I have taken away some of Josiah's personal responsibility when I am not following through on my expectations for him. For example, he has certain chores he has to complete every single day. Lately, it seems like I am constantly reminding him about those responsibilities. Josiah has begun to "chose" when he does them or if he even does them at all...according to his own plans for the day.  

The book teaches parents to begin to ask simple questions, instead of giving our children a 30 minute rant. This helps our kids understand the importance of having a teachable and obedient heart. 

I really appreciate how much the Links place on "personal responsibility" in the book. It seems that this is something our society is missing.  Putting it in the context of "sin" and what Scripture says about such matters made me think a lot about how I have been responding to such behaviors. 

There is a really great example of a child who was essentially "training" his mother to take responsibility of his actions and behaviors. How often do we do that as parents? Do we constantly repeat our expectations and try to "fix" things when those expectations aren't met? Or do we allow our kids to suffer the natural consequences of being irresponsible. 

For example, I had to learn this the hard way when Josiah was on the swim team. It was a struggle to get him to check his swim bag before we left the house. Did he have his goggles? What about his suit? There were a few times that we drove all the way across town only to find out he had left his goggles on the floor to his bedroom. 

It came to the point where either he had to miss swim team practice entirely or swim without his goggles. He eventually learned. But this was hard for me! I didn't want to him to struggle or miss practice! 

Taming the Lecture Bug reconfirmed  and reminded  me of some of those hard lessons I had to learn as a parent.  And I still need to be working on. Coming to Josiah's rescue when he forgets his homework for his Graphic Arts class he is taking at the homeschool c0-op isn't doing him any favors. 

I also appreciated the information about temperaments. I read one of the recommended resources years ago when Troy and I first got married. It was so helpful! I think understanding that information made things so much easier. 

I took the book with me to the doctor's office one day. I could see other parents eyeing me with envy. I know they just wish they could get their hands on my book! Oh the secrets it would reveal for the challenging job of parenting! 

It's good stuff, my friends. 

The DVD is approximately 30 minutes. The authors share some of the main points of the book. In fact, this is going to be something Josiah and I watch together.  The expressions of some of the parents in the audience were priceless. You could see that some of the information was really hitting home! There is also a downloadable PDF containing study notes available. I am going to use it at church as part of a class. 

Both the book and DVD are excellent resources!  

Members of the Crew reviewed this and some of the other products the Links have to offer. You can connect with Parenting Made Practical via the following social media outlets. Don't forget to click on the banner below to read more reviewed. 

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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Book Challenge: Station Eleven

I'm behind in my Reading Challenge posts.

I'm behind in a few more things, but let's not get into that. Let's just say I'm a BIT OVERWHELMED!

One of my goals for the New Year was to join a Reading Challenge to that would encourage me to read different kinds of books. I need to mix it up.

My reading challenge comes from The Modern Mrs. Darcy. You can check it out here.

You might now that I am a documented, card-carrying BOOKWORM. I am always reading on something.

And don't tell me "that must be nice. I don't have time to read."

Bookworms always have time to read.

Anyhoo. For February, my intention was to read a book that Someone With Good Taste Recommends.

I did that and more.

The book I chose for this challenge is called "Station Eleven."

Here is the synopsis according to the publisher.

An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity. 
One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur’s chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them. 
Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten’s arm is a line from Star Trek: “Because survival is insufficient.” But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave. 
Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all. A novel of art, memory, and ambition, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.

I do enjoy a bit of Sci-Fi. Dystopian novels are a bit of a hit or miss with me. For example, both Divergent and The Hunger Games series are dystopian.

I thought they were well done. The Shannara series by Terry Brooks is also dystopian...albeit a bit unconventional dystopia.

So here are some things I liked about Station Eleven.

And obviously the books description drew me in. Audacious. Dark.Glittering. Any book that uses audacious and glitter in the same sentence is alright with me!

The plot idea itself was also really intriguing.  A flu wipes everybody out! Of course, I read this book right in the height of a particularly, nasty flu season. I found myself a little paranoid about going out after reading the book. I also found myself washing my hands a little too obsessively.

The book had some twists and turns I really appreciated.I love a good plot twist.

But then there was this....

The book has a lot of language in it. It was hard for me to read through it without cringing. I realize that for most, the language won't be a big deal.

It's just not something I enjoy. I don't think it's necessary to the story. Perhaps some authors think they are just imitating real life. My real life is G rated. Vulgar language isn't part of my vocabulary.

The next assignment for the reading challenge is to read a book in translation. I have to admit, I haven't even thought about what I am going to read yet. I'll keep you posted.

For now, you can check out my book choice for January.

CursiveLogic (A Homeschool Review Crew Post)

I’ve got another goodie for you to look at this week! For the past several weeks, we’ve been looking at the CursiveLogic Quick-Start Pack and The Art of Cursive from CursiveLogic. I’ve reviewed CursiveLogic before, so I was anxious to get a look at this new revised edition and the beautiful coloring book.

For my review, I received the CursiveLogic workbook, adult (teacher) coloring book and access to the webinar for 12 months. I’ll talk about each in turn.


I adore webinars in general. It’s like taking a class; only I get to do it from my couch and I don’t have to put on mascara. The CursiveLogic webinar is basically a master class. If you are nervous about teaching cursive writing, the webinar lays it all out for you. All of the information is in the workbook, but I love having the visual in front of me. It will be especially helpful for those of you have visual learners. The class is directed at parents or teachers, but I believe students can benefit.

The webinar itself comes via a Vimeo account and lasts about 50 minutes. As I have access to the webinar for 12 months, I can go back and watch it as often as necessary.

The Workbook

The CursiveLogic method isn’t like any cursive method you’ve seen before. It uses colors, shapes and letters strings to teach the letters. The letters are grouped based on their shapes, not alphabetically.

Personally, I have found the method much easier for my son (who has dysgraphia) to master.

CursiveLogic teaches letters grouped by shape. For example, those letters that are oval shaped are all taught together. This shortens the learning time. The letters are more uniform in shape and, therefore, result in prettier handwriting.
CursiveLogic also uses all manner of learning styles to reach each student more effectively. For example, Josiah is a very visual and kinesthetic learner. Each shape category as a color to help reinforce and aid in learning. The method also really focuses on muscle memory. If you have a child who struggles with these, you know how important building muscle memory is.

The CursiveLogic Workbook is spiraled at the top of the page. This is also helpful for my son (who is a leftie)! He doesn’t have to fight with the book. We are also encouraged to use smooth writing utensils. All of these little things make the whole process gentler for someone who has difficulty with writing in general.

The book is sturdy and is set up in a consistent and methodic way. There are also 3 dry-erase pages located in the back for extra practice.

A nice thing about this workbook is that you don't have to have a special teacher's guide. Everything you need to know is located inside the workbook. 

The Art of Cursive

The Art of Cursive is a beautiful coloring book that also features handwriting practice. This is a clever coloring book, as well as a beautiful one. 

You can see that each shape is filled in with cursive strokes. Brilliant! 

I, personally, had so much fun working through the book. My own handwriting as become a mixture of odd styles over the years. I have enjoyed relearning my cursive style using the CursiveLogic method. It is a lovely style.

Overall, the whole program is an impressive way to teach and learn cursive.

Right now, CursiveLogic is giving all the Homeschool Review Crew Blog readers a special 20% discount for the Quick-Start Pack. Just use the code CREW2018. The code is available through the end of March.

Cursive Logic New Edition March 2018 Discount

You can connect with CursiveLogic via Facebook! Don't forget to click the banner below to read more reviews. 

The Art of Cursive & Quick Start Cursive {Cursive Logic Reviews}

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Magic Six Washable Markers and A Giveaway! (A Homeschool Review Crew Post)

My friends. I have another review for you today. This is one is by our friends from The Pencil Grip, Inc.  Stay tuned to hear more about the  Magic Stix Washable Markers and a great Giveaway!

I have a few great loves in my life.

My Muffin and Son. Jesus. My Family. Books. Some more books. Vintage China (the pottery, not the country). History type stuff. 


And art supplies. 

Love the art supplies. Thankfully, our homeschool lifestyle encourages the acquirement of both books and art supplies. One can't have too many of either.  
Magic Stix Washable Markers

We are great fans of The Pencil Grip here in this house. We've reviewed several of their tempera paint (Kwik Stix) sticks, scissors and their patented Pencil Grips. 

Every single product has been a huge hit. 

For this review, I received the 24 pack of the Magic Stix Washable Markers. 

Now these markers promise a lot. The Pencil Grip promises that you can leave the lid off a marker for 7 days and it won't dry out. They are also unscented. No stinky or toxic smells! The markers are washable, yet bright and colorful.

Would the Magic Stix Markers live up to my expectations?

For one, look at the variety of colors you are given!  I also really, really like the carrying case. I generally wind up putting random markers in a plastic shoebox. The typical cases are either cardboard or a cheap plastic. This case is a sturdy plastic with a nifty handle. It's also flat so I can stack it easily on a shelf. 

I was also anxious to try the "7 days with no cap" challenge. I chose the neon yellow for the experiment and placed it, uncapped, in an inconspicuous corner of our piano. You can see the results after 7 days. The color is bright and full!

I do have a little bit of a funny story and disclaimer. Every time I would pass said "inconspicuous corner" of the piano, I noticed that the lid was back on the marker. Josiah kept recapping the marker! I probably should have filled him in on my little experiment. He probably thought I was being my usual fruity self.

We used them for school projects. You will most likely see this picture again in the short future. I was pleased with the ease of how the markers moved.

I personally love to color. I tried them on a few of my adult coloring pages. You can see how bright and vibrant the colors really are. I was especially thrilled with the variety of "green" shades.

I didn't have to work too hard to color. The Magic Stix Markers filled in the spaces quite well.

I was also really pleased with the pastel colors available. You will notice the peach color in this picture. Very light and pretty. Typically peach colors in markers are little orange for my taste.

So The Pencil Grip, Inc. has another hit, in my opinion! The Magic Stix Markers are a wonderful addition to our art supply collection. 

The Pencil Grip, Inc.
Now some good news! The folks at The Pencil Grip have graciously offered to give away a brand new set of the Magic Stix Washable Markers to one of you! 

Enter to win below. The Giveaway ends on March 15. You can connect with The Pencil Grip via the following social media outlets. Don't forget to click on the banner below to read more reviews. 
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Magic Stix Washable Markers {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Reviews}
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