And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Very Special Deal Ending Soon!

This post contains affiliate links.

Hurry! Quick! is offering 2 years for the price of 1! This is an amazing deal but is only valid through September 30, 2016 so you have to ask fast! I've told you about our love for this all inclusive website for a couple of years now, but let me remind you why we love it.

It is a website chock full of downloads, lessons, worksheets, videos, planners, and more. With your membership, you receive anytime access to student planners, the Hey Mama! planner, unit studies, and full lessons for nearly every subject and grade level. You can find available lessons by subject (Art, Bible, Computer and Technology, Art and Drama, Electives, History, Foreign Languages, and much more) or by grade level.

This year we've utilized the planners (I love to plan!). The kids have both done age appropriate Government lessons. Speedy is currently doing Lighting the Way which is a course on missionaries using worksheets and Torchlighters videos (which are also included). Apple has been doing a mishmash of different lessons as we look to find what fits her best right now. Since we have access to the whole website, we can swap around as much as needed. There are also classes like Graphic Design that I hope to use myself.

The price for is already very affordable. This special sale makes it a no brainer! Sign up today for 2 years for the price of 1! Still not convinced? Find out more information here...

Hello Yellow

If you homeschool, you know one of the MOST important items to have on hand is a great pencil sharpener. Our favorite is from Classroom Friendly Supplies, and they sent us the new Hello Yellow sharpener for review. This bright yellow pencil sharpener is just like their previous models but in a happy new color.

The Classroom Friendly Supplies sharpener is easy to use. It has a traditional hand crank, but don't worry! It isn't very loud. The front of the sharpener features a unique "lock" to hold the pencil in place. You squeeze the black tabs on the front and pull out the clamp section. Slide in your pencil and start sharpening! As you turn the hand crank, the clamp section slowly moves back in. When it is flush with the body of the sharpener, your pencil is ready! It is easy to use one hand to hold the top of the sharpener while using the other hand to turn the crank.

When you are finished, you simply release your pencil from the clamp. All pencils come out perfectly sharpened. The clear plastic drawer makes it easy to see when your pencil shavings need to be emptied. It slides in and out easily for proper disposal. We've used our Firehouse Red Classroom Friendly Sharpener for over a year and a half. About a month ago, we started having some issues with it. I was afraid we'd killed it! However, I watched the video on their website about removing lead just to be sure it couldn't be fixed. Turns out a large piece of colored pencil lead was stuck inside the blade. I had it out and the sharpener put back together in just a few minutes. Then it worked just like new! I was so happy we didn't have to replace our favorite pencil sharpener.

Classroom Friendly Supplies offers this Hello Yellow sharpener for $24.95 (as of 9/26/16). Packs of 3 can be purchased at a discounted price. They also offer replacement blades so you never need to replace the whole sharpener! With the addition of Hello Yellow the sharpeners are now available in 7 colors! If you are tired of replacing your classroom pencil sharpener every few months, this is the investment you need to make!

From now until the end of November 2016, Classroom Friendly Supplies will donate $1 from the sale of every Hello Yellow sharpener to Childhood Cancer Awareness.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Take a Trip Back in Time to Egypt {Review}

Over the last two years, you may have gotten tired of hearing about Heirloom Audio Productions. I wouldn't keep raving about them if they weren't so awesome! The Cat of Bubastes is their latest offering, and I think it is our favorite one yet. This story set in ancient Egypt is based on G.A. Henty's adventure by the same name. The plot focuses on the family of an Egyptian priest and 2 slaves that have recently come to live with them. The story is divided onto 2 CDs and is 2 hours long. 

This particular audio theater production had less battles than previous ones from Heirloom Audio, but there was still plenty of adventure! The tale meandered through several settings and involved everything from a crocodile to Moses to hunting to an important cat. Two of the main characters were Chebron (son of the priest) and Jethro (one of the slaves), and they seemed to have something exciting happen everywhere they went! The best part of the story is when the family begins to realize they have been worshipping the wrong things, and they start to learn more about God. One reason we love this company so much is because they always tell tales that incorporate faith and redemption.

Along with the 2 disc CD set, we also received several downloads. The download we've used the most has been the study guide for The Cat of Bubastes. I actually printed the 47 page study guide for this adventure (yay for a laser printer!). I punched holes and put it in a folder. I've had Apple working on the study guide. It was timely because she needed a break from the history study she was working on this semester. The study guide includes 1 page of questions and vocabulary for each track of each disc. That's a total of 29 pages, and then there are Bible Study pages and additional history information pages. We listened to the audio disc in the car together, and now Apple is working through the study guide during our class time.

In our downloads, we also received the original G.A. Henty The Cat of Bubastes: A Tale of Ancient Egypt that is 350 pages. There were also files for the soundtrack, a cast poster, the audio drama, and a quote poster with 1 Chronicles 17:20. The Heirloom Audio Productions always come with good quality downloads that turn an audiobook into a whole learning package. Since this is the 6th historic production, you could always do a whole year of history based off the Heirloom Audio CDs and study guides! Or you could pick adventures that supplement time periods and places your kids are already studying. While the stories are fictional, they always include some historically accurate information. The Cat of Bubastes includes a short bit about Moses, and it also talks about the Jews sent to live in Geshon. That all coincided with the Bible studies from the Old Testament that Apple and Speedy have been working through. 

We get excited everytime we see that a new Heirloom Audio Production is in the works. These high quality productions always include a cast of familiar names and The Cat of Bubastes is no exception. From Brian Blessed to Anthony Daniels, the voices are strong and add to the excitement of the adventure. This audio drama is recommended for ages 6 and up and is sure to be enjoyed by the whole family. Audiobooks are a great way to sneak some extra learning to time in the car.

See what other Crew members thought of The Cat of Bubastes:
Heirloom Audio Productions ~Cat of Bubastes
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Instagram: @HeirloomAudioOfficial 

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Monday, September 26, 2016


Isn't it funny how we can plan to tackle a problem, and it seems like it will be a piece of cake, but then it's like trying to climb Mt. Everest? I'm so feeling that this week. I told you last week I've been doing some praying about my priorities and how they line up with real life. So this week my plan was to tackle some heart issues we have happening in our house.

Some certain shorter people in this house have been taking advantage of the fact that mom and dad are busy people. It seems we've all fallen in the habit of not following through. As in, I tell them to do something, they say okay but only half do it, and I'm too busy to check and make sure it's done properly. So in my mind last week this seemed like an easy problem to fix. I pay attention. I make sure they are paying attention. We immediately correct issues. A couple of days and everybody is back to being reasonable people.

Ha. Ha. Ha. A week has passed, and it is harder EVERY DAY. They like not fully doing things. Punishment is short lived and apparently not so bad in their minds. Every day I push a little more and every day they are pushing back a lot. Whew. There has been a lot of praying in my house. Silent praying in the morning alone. Out loud praying that Jesus gives me strength when I'm in the midst of a power struggle with one or the other child.

I just feel like this is what the enemy wants. Broken families. Broken homes and relationships. Animosity between parents and children. A lack of focus. A lack of priorities. A lack of time/ patience/ want to/ integrity/ faith/ peace.

So even though it is oh so hard. Even though I want to throw in the towel and bury myself in work. Even though I want to pretend things are hunky dory. I'll keep praying and pushing and praying and showing the example. I'll keep working on their hearts because that's my job. I can go to bed exhausted every night with hope because tomorrow is a new day, and it might be the day of the break through!

It seems like everyone I speak to lately is in some similar battle. Are you struggling in a certain area at home? Anyone have a great verse to take into these battles with us?

I use this one all the time, but it is appropriate here too....

Isaiah 40:31
31 IBut those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Merciful Mother Teresa {Review}

Mother Teresa left a lasting impression on the world. A Call to Mercy: Hearts to Love, Hands to Serve tells much of her story in her own words and in the words of those who knew her. While I am not Catholic, I appreciate the work and life of Mother Teresa, and I have enjoyed reading this book.

This is a long book, more than 300 pages, and it is broken into chapters. Each one deals with a particular aspect of the work she accomplished. Although after awhile it becomes clear her one goal was to bring God's love to people through humble acts. She worked diligently for the homeless, to provide shelter, food, water, and love. Over and over she is quoted as talking about the homeless not only as people with no shelter but as people with no love. She didn't want anyone to feel alone or forgotten.

I think all of her dedication to children is what struck me the most. She worked tirelessly against abortion. She worked to remove children from deplorable conditions. She worked to heal families. Jesus called us to "go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). Mother Teresa did just that. She didn't preach long sermons, she showed the love of Jesus through caring for those who are considered the least among us.

These days it seems many preachers spend their Sunday mornings preaching about love. They never go any further. They don't discuss ways to show God's love to people. It seems Mother Teresa never struggled with ways to love people. She just did whatever was practical whether it was praying for them, giving them a drink, or taking them to a safe place.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Pray-ers Book 1 #Christianfiction

CTM Publishing Atlanta sent me a copy of The Pray-ers/ Book 1 Troubles for review. This book by Mark S. Mirza is a fictional story with three plots. The book moves back and forth between three different time periods and main characters. The story focuses on the battle between angels and demons. The book is chock full of Bible references as the fictional story unfolds.

The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles

I received a physical copy of this book, and I'm glad I did! It took me quite a while to read the 372 pages. There is so much information, so many Bible verses, and so much to consider while reading this story. First, I always feel it is important to cover myself in prayer before and while reading a book like this. Hubby and I have read similar books in the past. I just think it's a good idea to be strong in your faith and in your Bible knowledge before reading a fictional account that could impact the way you view principalities, powers, and rulers of the darkness (Eph 6:12). I also wish I'd had more time to compare the story with the Bible references. I did look up a few as I was reading, but to get the book finished for this review, I had to stop. I do hope to go back and do more of that later.

So one part of the story is about Epaphras (Colossians 4:12-13) and Thales in the First Century. Epaphras was a friend to Paul, and Thales is his nephew who takes over shepherding believers in Colassae. The portion of the story in the Nineteenth Century focuses on a circuit riding preacher named Brother Andew Rich. The Current Era of the book is all about Dr. Dale who is a track and cross country coach at a university. All of the main characters are in a situation that requires them to lean on God, and all three are known for the praying habits. These men not only pray to God, they pray scripture back to Him. They rely on prayer all day every day and in every situation.

Throughout the story, demons are working behind the scenes to ruin the lives of these men. They want nothing more than to turn the "pray-ers" away from God. Their power is limited but the hierarchy of evil ones are working hard to disrupt things for the characters throughout time. There is a four page Preface to the book which gives information about the author's intent and reasoning. I appreciate those pages because they gave some insight into the author's choices. It's important to keep in mind that this book references Scripture, some historical figures, and some real songs and events but it is a fictional story line.

The scenarios of each of the main characters are relatable. Many things that happen in the book reminded me of situations from my own life or the lives of friends or family. The characters come across as true and well rounded. The ideas about praying, praying Scripture, and relying on Christian friends are all relevant to my life right now, and I suspect the life of many Christians. The book ends rather abruptly as Book 2 of the series will pick up on the same stories. It should be released around the end of 2016 and it will focus on "Spiritual Warfare" where this book focused on "Troubles".

It's hard to say if I would recommend this book to you or not. I think it is more than obvious that Mark S. Mirza is well versed in Scripture and has a heart for the Lord. I think he has written this book to convey the importance of prayer and of knowledge of God's Word. I think his use of a fiction story will draw some people in much quicker than a Christian self help book. However I think books like this should be read cautiously. I think readers should be very strong in their faith, and their overall knowledge of Scripture as a whole text. This book incorporates a lot of verses and parts of verses out of the Biblical context. That's not necessarily a wrong thing to do, but it is important as a reader to know the whole story of the Bible and not just key words and phrases. Our personal view of angels and demons should come from God's Word. We should have our beliefs in those areas fixed before reading a fictional book that might sway our image. I feel firm in my faith and my beliefs so I felt okay about reading this book myself, but as I stated before, I kept myself in prayer while reading it.

I do think I will read Book 2 when it comes out. I want to know the end of the stories!

See what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew thought of The Pray-ers:
The Pray-ers / Book 1 Troubles

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Twitter: @ThePrayersNovel

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Rifles, Tomahawks, and Knives #homeschoolhistory

Sometimes getting active boys excited about school can be challenging. When we received The Fight for Freedom for review, Speedy was intrigued right away. The Student Textbook has a cannon on the front so it's an attention grabber right from the start. This collection of biographies from the Revolution is for grades 4th-6th and is published by MasterBooks. We received the Student Textbook, the Teacher Guide that includes Student Worksheets, and access to some Uncle Rick audiofiles.

There are 34 chapters in The Fight for Freedom. Each one focuses on a key individual or group of individuals from the Revolutionary War period. It begins with George Washington and ends with George Whitefield and Richard Allen (the Black Robe Regiment). Each chapter is 6-12 pages long and includes much information via text and pictures. The text gives information about the history of the individual along with their role in the battles. There are also relavent Bible verses included along with side stories to enhance the history lessons. The student text is 296 pages long and includes a Table of Contents, Bibliography, and End Notes.

The Teacher's Guide gives a suggested pace for 5 day school weeks and 4 day school weeks. The total number of weeks on the suggested schedule is 36. Speedy (4th grade) has been reading the suggested section of the chapter 3 times per week and doing the corresponding questions for the section (3-4 per day). Then on day 4 he listens to the Uncle Rick audio and chooses one of the projects to complete. The questions are very easy and correspond directly to the text. The projects are fairly simple. Some involve pretending, some are writing letters, and some are making an item like a quill pen. All of the worksheets are included in the Teacher's Guide, and there is one for each chapter. The Teacher's Guide is 114 pages, and it includes the "Introduction: How to Use this Guide". The answers are included in the back. There are also 4 quizzes to use quarterly. There is also a Bibliography and a Recommended Resources section. This Teacher's Guide is one of the easiest to follow that I've seen. Everything is laid out well and organized. Since Speedy is reading his lessons on his own, I really only have to grade his worksheet and project each week. So easy!

The Teacher's Guide does give permission to make up to 10 copies of the worksheets for a class, but I've allowed Speedy to write in my book since he's the only student using it. We have the Uncle Rick audio selections downloaded to our computer, and he listens to the corresponding lesson on Thursdays. These are just additional little lessons to go with each chapter. Since we are an audiobook loving family, the audio files have been readily welcomed into Speedy's lesson time. The questions for each chapter follow right along with the reading. He has been doing a great job with each lesson, the questions, and the projects. Since he's been so interested, he's even opted to do more than 1 project on some occasions!

This curriculum is part of the History for Patriots line by Rick and Marilyn Boyer. They also offer a similar curriculum titled America's Struggle to Become a Nation (Timeline of the Revolution) for the same age range. Speedy has been so interested in The Fight for Freedom, I am putting the other study on his wishlist for next year! He calls his current study his Revolution class, and I haven't had to remind or beg him to do it even once. He tells us about his lessons when he is finished with them. He has been discussing a career in the military, and this study on brave men and women of the Revolution has just stoked that fire. Of course, I appreciate the emphasis on  Bible verses and the morals of each person.

Does this sound like a study your son or daughter would enjoy? I have been given the opportunity to give away one Student Textbook and Teacher's Guide for The Fight for Freedom. Enter via the Giveaway Tools widget for your chance to win.

Monday, September 19, 2016


Do you ever feel like Jonah? As I've quietly pondered some things the last few days, I kept coming back to Jonah. The Lord told him to do something, and Jonah fled. He didn't want to do what God said, and he had a choice so he ran. God didn't let him go peacefully though. He pursued Jonah. He sent a storm that had Jonah on his knees praying out to Him. In his prayer, Jonah said "weeds were wrapped around my head" (Jonah 2:5). He was drowning in sorrow after fleeing the Lord. So we know he was tossed overboard and swallowed by a great fish. Even after the storm, his troubles weren't over. Eventually he heeded God's request and went to Ninevah. Things went right because Ninevah repented, and God spared them. Jonah was unhappy about the result but that's another story..

It's been a rough few weeks. My heart is burdened. I feel like there are "weeds wrapped around my head". As I began praying about this a few days ago, I remembered something God laid on my heart a few years ago. I didn't like the request so I ignored it. Now I am revisiting it and feeling God lay the same request on me.

I like to think I have my priorities straight. I mean in my head they are right and in order. I'm realizing that what's in my head and what I am pursuing in real life don't really match up. I sent a dear friend a plea for advice a few nights ago and one thing she mentioned was "how do I measure success". That was the phrase I needed to hear. In my head and heart my priorities are God, my husband, and then my children. In real life, if you looked at my day, you'd probably not put things in that order, and there would be lots of other pursuits thrown in the list. I've been measuring my success by the wrong stick.

So starting now, I'm praying and working on putting myself back in order. It won't be easy. I don't like change, and our family is going through several of them right now. I have an idea of what needs to be done but part of me is still fleeing. That's usually a good sign that it's exactly what needs to happen.

Do you write a priority list or have one in your head? Do your daily activities line up with those priorities? 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Language Arts, Math, and More #elementaryworksheets

I was unfamiliar with before we received access to their Help Teaching Pro Subscription for review. It is a website that includes printables and more for Early Education up to 12th Grade. There are materials for many different subjects within each grade range. The website includes some free resources but a Pro Subscription opens up access to all the assets for one year.

Over the last few weeks, I've spent some time digging around on the website to find out what type of resources are available. There are loads of printable worksheets for elementary aged students. This has been a wonderful place for me to find school work for Speedy. This was a school year that I chose not to purchase much new curriculum. I wanted to utilize what we already owned and had available to us. While it has worked much better than I had hoped, there are areas where we need to supplement. has been filling some of those needs for us. There are resources for the traditional subjects like language arts, math, science, and social studies. The website also offers materials for fourth grade in areas like arts, life skills, seasonal and holidays, and study skills/ strategies.

Speedy has already completed many of the Informational Stories and Texts printables for his grade. These are short stories with comprehension questions. They have been a great supplement on our "in town/ on the road" school days. He's also done a sheet on dental health as a follow up to his recent dental cleaning. I haven downloaded a PDF Because of Winn Dixie test to use when he completes that as a reading assignment. I've also pulled some graphic organizers and study skill sheets for him. There are plenty of printables for 7th grade and Apple as well.

While I've focused on the printables for much of our review period, offers much more than that. There are self directed video lessons for all most grade levels for math. language arts, and science. The videos come from Help Teaching, Khan Academy,, and other sources like YouTube. The lessons give an estimated time, and you can have the student complete it from your account or you can send them a link. There are practice questions included for a complete lesson. The Pro Subscription also includes a game generator and Test Maker. There is even a Life Skills section for teens and adults! is one of those homeschool products that you don't know you need until you have it. I've been very pleased with all of the available content and the ease of use. I can find material by subject or grade to print and take with us. The site uses symbols to clearly indicate if it is a free item (no lock) or a Pro Subscription only item (lock). The video lesson section clearly shows which source hosts the video. I hope to use some of these video lessons in the future. There is a feature for assigning those lessons to students and a report feature that I need to check out. We always need a little more material when we get to the end of the semesters. This should be a great resource for those times! Since there is so much available on this site, this is one that would require some additional time from the parent/ teacher. You could easily get your money's worth just using the printables, but spending a little time looking at all the additional features will give you more bang for your buck.

Pricing and Options as of 9/13/16
See how other members of the Crew used
Help Teaching Pro Subscription {}

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Monday, September 12, 2016

Build Your Own VBS

Even though VBS season is long past for most churches, perhaps you are looking ahead to next summer. For the last several years, the church purchased a VBS kit that we used to create a special week for the children of the community. This year we decided on a different approach. I had a co-planner (thanks B!) and loads of help from some other ladies in the church. 

Back a couple of decades ago, the church had hosted a VBS based on the marketplace during the time of Jesus. Back then they didn't have a VBS starter kit so they set it all up on their own. Following their memories, we recreated a similar VBS back in July. Some of the grownups in our group remembered attending that VBS when they were kids.

My co-planner and I spent several months working on the intial planning. Without a kit, it was up to us to pick the music (old hymns), Bible stories, crafts, games, and projects. We focused on Bible stories from the four Gospels. One very generous couple from the church put together 2 of our large projects (toolbox and stepping stone), and everyone else involved really pitched in and made it happen. 

Our best find was a tote of handpainted backdrops we found in the church basement. We used those to create our outdoor marketplace atmosphere. We also received many authentic looking items from church members to borrow for the week to complete the look. There was a well, a music area, a place for the Bible story, a large project area, a craft area, and a game area. We served supper beforehand in the Fellowship Hall each night. We decorate the tables with colorful tablecloths from Dollar Tree and baskets from the church basement. 

At the well, the children got a cold water or juice after game time. 

A display made from items church members let us borrow.

The rug was the place the children all sat to hear the Bible story each night. 

Our supper area where the kids and volunteers were served a nightly meal.

While this VBS took much more planning time and carried a load of stress over all the little details, we loved having the freedom to create our own special theme. We heard the kids loved all the different parts they enjoyed each night. Doing our own theme encouraged volunteers and church members to take more ownership in the week. Everyone really pitched in and got involved. We average over 40 kids per night which isn't shabby at all for our church. The kids also DOUBLED our missions goal (which they have done the last 3 years even though we keep raising the goal). It really was a special event.

If your church is looking to cut VBS costs, take a look at the resources you already have on hand and consider building your own VBS. We kept our budget costs around half of what we spent last year. While there are some really great VBS starter kits available, we found that the price of those has continued to rise while the included materials have decreased. Be aware that doing this will require a team to coordinate the effort (it's way too much for 1 person), and it will take some more time. I found it was also more stressful than other years because many details weren't obvious until everything got started. 

As with any other event, VBS is a complicated event that could never happen without the generosity and willing spirits of many people coming together to make a special week for the kids. I hope they remember it for a long time to come! We are 2 months out from it, and my kids still mention "the best VBS ever" regularly. 

Creative Journaling

Tyndale has a new line called the Living Expressions Collection, and they sent me a Gratitude Journal to review from that line. The Living Expressions Collection products embrace the new trends of adult coloring and Bible journaling. The Gratitude Journal is "a prayer and praise coloring journal". It has a bold, bright hardback cover and over 100 pages inside.

I am not the most creative, artistic person at all. I have been seeking some new ways to spend quiet time with the Lord now that my Sunday School class has completed reading through the Bible. I have a few adult coloring books I enjoy, and I have a journaling Bible that I haven't used much. When the opportunity to review this journal became available, I jumped at the chance. I have been looking at several journaling choices and was excited to check out this option.

There are many coloring pages included in this journal. I think I was expecting open ended places for journaling about gratitude but most of the pages are guided journaling prompts. Some of the pages include a Bible verse and lines to journal. Some have prayers written to read and then areas to journal. Many pages include a prompt to draw certain things in the provided spaces. One page instructs to "artfully illustrate the word Blessings in the space below". Many of the verses and prompts focus on blessings, pleasures, contentment, and gratitude. The spaces to write are fairly short.

It is a beautiful journal for someone with a creative flair. The short spaces for writing and large spaces for drawing would appeal to any lady or girl with artistic abilities. I am still looking for my perfect journal, but I can't wait to gift this one to someone who will love it for what it is!

The Living Expressions Collection includes Bibles, journals, and adult coloring books. You can find more ways to Inspire Creativity on this special Tyndale Pinterest board.

French for Homeschool #homeschoolforeignlanguage

This year I wanted Appled to dabble in a few languages so she'd be able to decide which one she wanted to learn for her high school credits in a couple of years. Armfield Academic Press graciously sent us Getting Started with French to review. This large book is intended to help someone begin French on their own.

William E. Linney and Brandon Simpson authored this 281 page French manual. Along with the book, users can access Pronunciation Recordings and Authors' Commentary recordings to enhance the lessons. Getting Started with French begins with a Preface and How to Use This Book. These pages give some great tips for using the book as a homeschooler or as a self-taught adult. There are 172 lessons of general French to learn. Each lesson is only a page or two. Just a few are three pages.

To learn French, the student reads the page. It will only take a few minutes a day. In some lessons there is a written lesson for them to complete. An answer key is included in the back. They can review the same lesson as many times as needed to master the concept. In the beginning, Apple was only reading the pages in the book. Now she was learning some things about the French language that way, but I had her start listening to the Authors' Commentary and Pronunciaton recordings. Those free downloads have really enhanced her French learning experience. The Authors' Commentary recordings give information about how the words are used and even a little extra grammar teaching! When she listens to the Pronunciation Recordings, she can ensure she is saying the words correctly.

I feel like Apple is learning a little conversational French through these lessons but she's also learning about many French words that we borrow in America. She will learn the meaning of cuisine and deja vu and other familiar words. Along with the answer key in the back of the book, there is a pronunciation guide, glossary, subject index, and a general advice page from the authors.

I always say my goal is not to teach my kids EVERYTHING during their homeschool years (because that's impossible), but to teach them how to learn. Getting Started with French is a great way for Apple to learn to learn on her own. Since this is an elective for her, I've really let her run with this on her own. She's excited to learn some French, and I'm hoping this study will help her begin to "own" her education. Honestly, I'm jealous because I always thought it would be really cool to learn French! Hopefully at the end of this she will have a better idea of which foreign language she'd like to use to get her credits for high school.

Apple had this to say:

"I thought learning French was going to be really hard, and it probably would be except this book makes it easy! I like that it includes some grammar information. My favorite part is the audio recordings because hearing someone say the words with an actual French accent makes it easier to understand how the words are suppose to sound."

William Linney has also authored Getting Started with Latin. He and Antonio L. Orta wrote Getting Started with Spanish. There's even a Getting Started with Russian in the works. What an amazing way to dabble in several languages from the comfort of home!

To learn more about Getting Started with French, make sure to check out the website. There's a free preview of the book available along with some helpful links and FAQs. You can also check out reviews from the other members of the Crew:
Introducing Getting Started with French {Armfield Academic Press}

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Friday, September 9, 2016

A Story for All Ages #TheBiggestStory #FlyBy

I recently received The Biggest Story on audiobook and DVD. Both were sent to me for review. Kevin DeYoung is the author of The Biggest Story. The goal of this father of 6 was to connect the garden of Eden to Christ's death and to the new heaven and new earth.

The audiobook version of The Biggest Story is narrated by the author. It is just under 30 minutes long and divided into 10 chapters. It includes a colorful 2 sided poster. The story is very much an overview of the stories from the Bible. Only so much of the 66 books can be condensed into 30 minutes but that's the attempt here. An overview of the whole big story. We njoy listening to audiobooks in the car, and this was no exception!

The DVD is also approximately 30 minutes long. It includes a different 2 sided poster inside. The video tells the same 10 chapter story with lots of colorful video illustrations. The images focus mainly on nature and God's creation. The video is fast moving and will definitely keep one's attention! 

The story includes a little humor and a lot of Bible history. There were a couple of things said that the children, and I looked up in the Bible to clarify exactly how it was stated. That's something we do often when reading books or watching shows on the Bible. It's important to always refer to God's Word for the original stories. 

The story includes Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Abraham and Sarah, David, Soloman, and more. Since the length is so short, this would be a video that would be great for a Sunday School class or Wednesday night activity. It would also be helpful in situations with children who might be very unfamiliar with the Bible. The method of presenting God's story is apprealing to children. 

Are you interested in The Biggest Story on DVD and audiobook? One winner will receive a copy of each from Flyby Promotions. Enter via the easy Giveaway Tools widget for your chance to win.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Online Treasury of Homeschool Printables #CHSH

No matter how much I prep and plan for homeschool, I always find myself needing additional resources. That's why I was very happy that gave me access to their online CHSH Download Club to review. Christian Homeschool Hub is an online resource for home educators to find resources to download and print. With over 50,000 pages of content available, everyone is sure to find something they can use!

I'd used the Freebie section of this website several times over the years. There are freebies available directly on the website, and you can sign up for an email that will deliver some freebies to your inbox. With this review, I received one year's access to the paid section of the website that is called the Download Club. That is the area that I could spend DAYS just browsing and exploring. There are so many wonderful resources to find, download, print, and use. Seriously. Days and days worth of content.

I spent most of the last few weeks just exploring the site. I've downloaded many resources and printed a few. The very first thing that caught my eye is in the "Miscellaneous" section under Curriculum "Treasures" from the Past. There are full McGuffy Readers from Primer to 6th grade to download. Such a treasure for sure! I've downloaded the 4th grade level. This will be for Speedy to use between his literature studies this school year. He always finishes those ahead of schedule. I can't wait for him to use some of the McGuffy reader. If nothing else, just because it is so timeless and cool! There are 256 pages just in this one resource. It includes vocabulary and poetry. 

My second favorite section is the "Organization" resource area. I know you're shocked, right? There are calendars for each month. I like to print one of those to keep on the fridge as the family schedule. There are planner pages for homeschool. The household planning pages are the ones I've used the most. This year I've been keeping a binder with our household/ family info in it. I've kept budget pages, tax info, and lots of other information in the binder. In, I found a "Home Improvement Goal Chart" and "Home Inventory List" to add to my binder. I love when I find forms like these that are already made. It is so much than making my own!

I've found in that last year or so that one of my children does really well with visual charts on the wall. This has really helped overcome difficulty with some math process and writing rules. The Download Club offers many visual posters to print. My other child does particularly well with bright, colorful printable notes for math and other subjects. Before receiving access to, I paid for several pages of pre-printed Algebra notes for her. The Download Club includes tons of them with a paid subscription! The site also offers many math resources for each grade level. Most of them are little lessons that would be perfect for helping a student struggling through a particular lesson. I downloaded a Beginning and Intermediate Algebra book for Apple that is 487 pages. The next time she is having difficulty with a concept, I'm going to point her to that ebook. 
Speedy is very slowly conquering cursive writing this year. I've found and printed several cursive pages he's worked on. There are also lots of writing pages to print with various sized lines on them to practice writing. Apple is working on beginning French. The Download Club includes various French resources she can use to reinforce words! We haven't restarted our Bible Memorization yet this year, but when we do there are loads of resources for that as well. Last year I made our lessons from scratch. It will be so nice to pick from the available resources and just print them off.

I'd say is about saving time and sanity. This is a well organized site that is just brimming with resources for every grade level and nearly every subject. You can search by category, topic, or keyword. There is a HUGE chart to click through based on subject, grade, or category. Everything feels like it's right there at your fingertips just waiting to be accessed. Need a book unit study? They've got them. Need a book? They've got lots of those in ebook form too! Need a grade sheet, transcript, or reading log? Of course the Download Club includes those too. The $25 (as of this posting) is well worth it because there are treasures galore available at

See what goodies other Crew members found on the Christian Homeschool Hub:
Christian HomeSchool Hub {Download Club}
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