June 21, 2017

Fresh from the Bookshelf: The Memory of You by Catherine West {Book Review}

The Memory of You by Catherine West ~ Book Review
The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate links
Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!

I was first introduced to author Catherine West when I reviewed her novel The Things We Knew last year. Because it was not my preferred genre of Christian fiction, I was reluctant to read it. I discovered however, a new-to-me author to the contemporary Christian fiction world who wasn't afraid to dive into deeper topics so relevant in today's world--her characters had baggage that far too many can relate to. Things that some authors choose not to incorporate in their stories in the Christian fiction genre--parents with dementia, divorce/separated characters, anxiety, and abuse to name a few. The book ended up being one of my top reads for the year--something that surprised me. I was recently sent her next novel The Memory of You to review for The Fiction Guild, and this time I was eager to see if she would continue in the style she wrote previously.

About The Memory of You


The Memory of You by Catherine West is a contemporary story set in the famous Sonoma Valley, CA, at a family owned winery. Natalie Mitchell is a top executive at her father's firm in NYC, but feels

June 20, 2017

Riding Through History with Rush Revere {A Review}

One of the books that first sent my oldest into his passion for history was from the Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series . Since then he has actively sought out every remaining book in the series. When we had the chance to review the Adventures of Rush Revere #1 New York Times Bestselling Book Series by Rush and Kathryn Adams Limbaugh, he asked me if he could read all of them again. I couldn't refuse and so we got the entire series at our disposal this time!
Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series {A review}

About Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series

The Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series allows your children to "time travel" back in time to meet the movers and shakers that founded our country. Beginning with journeying on a ship with the Pilgrims as they came to the New World, the book series continues through early American history to

June 18, 2017

We interrupt this program to bring you the following announcement...

I am going to be not blogging as much for a little while, besides some required pieces. You see i need to let my hands heal. Unfortunately, I was bitten by a dog on both hands last night and spent several hours in the ER. I left with 5 stitches and admonitions to take it easy. Because typing is painful for me, I am going to have to limit it to the bare minimum until the pain goes away. 
me realizing i have to have stitches....
I ask for prayers as I go through this more annoying than anything trial. I am so thankful that no tendons experienced any damage, but the pain is simply horrid without my pain medicine--I know because i really feel it the last 20 minutes. 

I will still be sharing my reviews this week--but i don't know that I will do much more than that--depends on how well my hands heal up and the pain is managed. At least the main damage is to my left hand--not my dominate hand. But the puncture in the right hand was deep and is continuously sore. 

Thanks again for any and all prayers! I hope I will be able to have updates as the week continues and I visit my primary care doctor. I hope your Father's Day was lovely!


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June 13, 2017

Fresh from the Bookshelf: A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah E. Ladd {Book Review}

The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate links
Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!

Last year I was introduced to new-to-me author Sarah E. Ladd. Sarah writes beautiful period novels in the Christian fiction genre, like her Treasures of Surrey series which takes place in Surrey, England during the early 1800’s. Last year I reviewed book #2 in the series Dawn at Emberwilde and enjoyed it very much—so I was eager to review book #3 A Stranger at Fellsworth for The Fiction Guild.

About the Book

A Stranger at Fellsworth is the third book in the Treasures of Surrey Series by Sarah E. Ladd. This book takes place during 1819 and follows the life of Annabelle Thorley, a young lady of high society, who due to the recent decease and financial ruin of

Whistlefritz~ A Spanish Language Immersion Program for Ages 1-7 {Product Review}

Whistlefritz~ Spanish Language Immersion Program for Kids {review}
Both of my boys love picking up Spanish words, which they sprinkle into their vocabulary. We have reviewed a couple Spanish programs, but nothing really--stuck. My oldest asked to do an actual Spanish program this fall for part of his 6th grade curriculum. My youngest however, hasn't really had anything to teach HIM Spanish in a way for him to truly understand the words without having to search his memory. I have heard that Spanish immersion lessons are the way to go--so when we had the chance to review the award winning Educator's Spanish Collection from Whistlefritz geared for his age, I was curious to see how he would do.

About Whistlefritz

Whistlefritz is an award winning foreign language program designed especially for early elementary ages--ideally for ages 1-7. The company has created French and Spanish language immersion programs, using a mix of multi-media resources in

June 9, 2017

What Does the Lord Expect of Me? {Five Minute Friday}

What Does the Lord EXPECT of you? {Five Minute Friday}
Here we are again on Five Minute Friday. I don't know about you, but our sunset was gorgeous! As the sun was preparing to set, my husband was able to roll his last bale of the first cutting for our hay season. He got done just before our Sabbath began and is happy he won't have to go back to rolling on Sunday like they thought. But as I was saying, here we are at another Five MInute Friday, and this week's theme is...expect!

June 7, 2017

K5 Learning ~ Online Assessments and Lessons for English and Math {Product Review}

The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!
As a homeschooler living in a non-testing for homeschoolers state, there isn't the pressure to have my boys at a certain level academically. BUT, as a mom who does want to make sure they are on track I have always wondered where they would fall. I haven't yet given them any grade testing, but had considered it for the future. Enter our review of K5 Learning's online program.
K5 Learning Online Program: Assessment and Lessons for English and Math {Review}

About K5 Learning

K5 Learning is an online program for grades K-5th that offers free assessments of English and Math skills, as well as lessons and worksheets in English, Math, and Spelling. The program was designed to provide parents with the best of education software that is used in schools throughout the US. Many game based learning

June 6, 2017

Exploring Nature's Beautiful Order with Memoria Press {Curriculum Review}

We love science and we love studying nature, thus when we had the chance to review the Nature's Beautiful Order curriculum from Memoria Press, I hoped that it would be a blending of two of our favorite things and we would enjoy another product from Memoria Press
Nature's Beautiful Order by Memoria Press~ Middle School Science Curriculum {Review}

About Nature's Beautiful Order

Nature's Beautiful Order is a science (biology) curriculum intended for grades 6th through 8th. Over the course of eighteen lessons, the student is guided through the animal kingdom--starting with the invertebrates, and continuing to the top of the natural order--man--visiting the five great vertebrate classes along the way. The text consists of passages from the works of great classical naturalist's like John James Audubon, Jean-Henri Fabre, Mivart, and even Aristotle. The goal of the program is to instill in the student, the love for the beautiful and understandable of nature through the eyes of real life observationalists. 

Nature's Beautiful Order is an eighteen lesson course which includes the text, student guide, and teacher guide. No additional books or supplies are needed. The curriculum retails for $45.00.

Memoria Press carries a full line of curriculum for your classical education including their extensive award winning Latin curriculum. There is also another middle school science course The Book of Trees for your nature lover.
 
We have been working through this course over the last several weeks with my 11 year old who will be a 6th grader this fall.

Our Thoughts on Nature's Beautiful Order

Wow. It has been awhile since I have been challenged as I have been over the last few weeks working through this course. There is

June 2, 2017

Future and Hope {5 Minute Friday}

I cannot believe that this is the first Five Minute Friday post for June--because I am in denial that it is even June!! Hello? 2017? What are you doing to me?! This week the theme is "Future", and there is nothing more perfect for this, than a favorite scripture and song. So join me as I jot some notes over the next 5 minutes about "Future".

AND GO

Future
There is a song that I sing as a duet with my mom that has the most gorgeous words and it is based on one of my most favorite scriptures in Jeremiah 29:11-13. I encourage you to click on this link and then read the words as you listen to this most inspiring and encouraging song about a future filled with the love of God the Father.

Fresh from the Bookshelf: Wings of the Wind by Connilyn Cossette {Book Review}

Wings of the Wind (Out of Egypt #3) ~ A review
The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate links
Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!
I have been blessed to have been a member of the review team for new Christian Fiction author Connilyn Cossette, since her very first novel was released. I rejoiced again when she published the second book in the series. Here I am again, sharing another review for the Out of Egypt series--this time the conclusion to the trilogy Wings of the Wind. The series has blown me away thus far--would the conclusion continue to demonstrate the incredible storytelling of Connilyn Cossette?

About Wings of the Wind

Wings of the Wind is the third and final book in the Out of Egypt series by debut author Connilyn Cossette. This book picks up about 20-30 years after book #2 in the series. This series follows

May 31, 2017

Unit Study on Orville Wright, the Flyer from YWAM Publishing {Curriculum Review}

We are a family that loves books, especially ones with historical settings. We also love to use books as a stepping stone into many adventures with unit studies. Two years ago, we fell in love with a unit study on Daniel Boone and were excited to have another chance with David Crockett. Needless to say, when we were given yet another opportunity to review a unit study from the Heroes of History series of books from YWAM Publishing this year, my son eagerly picked Heroes of History- Orville Wright from the list. 

About YWAM Publishing and the Heroes of History

YWAM Publishing is a company determined to produce quality biographies and unit studies on men and women who are considered heroes—either to the Christian Faith, or to history itself. With that in mind, they have created two series Christian Heroes: Then and Now and Heroes of History and offer an extensive collection of biographies of men and women throughout the ages, who need to be recognized for their accomplishments.

Here is a sampling of the titles included in each series:

May 27, 2017

Adventures in Hand Lettering

Are you into the latest craze of Bible Journaling? I have several friends who love the hobby and I admire their gorgeous creations. I started getting into the world of Hand Lettering towards the end of last year. I just admired the beautiful creations and quotes that so a few artsy friends were making--so I decided to start small and start playing around with it--and so I began my adventures in Hand Lettering!

May 24, 2017

The Typing Coach Online Typing Course {Product Review}

The Typing Coach Online Typing Course {Product Review}
One of the areas that we don't have focused attention on in our classroom is typing/keyboarding. We are very "old school" with focused attention on hand writing everything; however, I see the benefit of starting to shift more over to typing assignments for my soon-to-be middle-schooler. There are so many programs out there to teach typing, and most of them are very game like. When I learned about The Typing Coach Online Typing Course from The Typing Coach and its no-nonsense approach to typing--promoting accuracy and speed, I wondered if it would be a good fit for our family. 

About The Typing Coach

The Typing Coach is a typing program designed to teach efficiency, speed, and proficiency, without the distraction of games. Designed by a veteran typing instructor, the lessons have audio, visual, and written instructions. Once you download the written

May 23, 2017

New from The Pencil Grip, Inc.: Thin Stix ~ Paint Without the Mess {Product Review}

Thin Stix: Paint Without the Mess {Product Review}
The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate linksPlease see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!

I first learned about The Pencil Grip, Inc. last year when their solid tempera paint came into my radar. We quickly fell in love with their Kwik Stix--we just wished they were...thinner. Needless to say when I had the opportunity to review the company's newest product Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors, I was pretty excited and hoped they would be the thinner style of Kwik Stix we had wished for.

About Thin Stix

Thin Stix is the brain child of The Pencil Grip, Inc. Designed to alleviate the mess of painting,

May 17, 2017

Homeschool Rescue: Breathe New Life Into Your Homeschool {Product Review}


Homeschool Rescue: A self-paced eCourse for EVERY Homeschooling Parent {Product Review}
Dear Homeschool Parent...Do you ever feel like you are drowning? Are you being choked by that overwhelmed feeling? Do you feel like you just need to give up and let it go? Are you dealing with the guilt of lack of focus or wasted time? Are you struggling to balance all your different "hats"? Are you buried in clutter? Do you feel like your day only has 20 hours? Are you struggling with homeschooling a special needs child, or have other special circumstances which makes homeschooling challenging? If you have EVER answered yes to any of these questions, I encourage you to read my review of Homeschool Rescue, a new self-paced program for YOU created by Only Passionate Curiosity!

May 14, 2017

Being a Mom: The REAL story :) Happy Mother's Day!

Being a mom: The REAL story :)
What does it mean to be a mom? It's more than bringing life into the world. For when all is said and done, that was the easy part! No. Being a mom is more than that. I thought it would be fun to dive into the life of a mom--the REAL story. LOL! Enjoy!
***
Sleeeeeep. I need sleeeeeep. 5 times. FIVE TIMES I got up last night because he wanted to nurse. And blew out his sleeper. YAWN. It's only 6am? seriously? sigh. Okay. I don't care if caffeine is a no-go...I will deal with the fall out because I just can't make it today...(5 hrs later) Whhhyyyy did I drink that coffee this morning??! Why???  He won't sleeeeeeeepppp!!! Just close your eyes...close them. Please??!

May 12, 2017

Mom- A small word for an amazing person {five minute friday}

This week's Five Minute Friday post was themed appropriately...Mom. I am so happy that THIS YEAR, my mom LIVES out here so we can get together for Mother's Day on Sunday. I am so grateful that my boys have BOTH sets of grandparents to grow up around!

AND GO


Mom.
A word that means so much, even though it's so short. 

My mom was amazing growing up. I always had plenty to eat. Clothes to wear. She was always there for me. She says I was her joy. Her sunshine. I made her smile. She introduced me early on to books. I could say my ABC's by the time I was 2 or 3. I helped her around the house. We went for walks. I demanded to know the names of the flowers--she didn't know, so she had to learn. She made me clothes. Pretty dresses. She knew EVERYTHING. 

May 8, 2017

Fresh from the Bookshelf: The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy Cambron {Book Review}

The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy Cambron~ Book Review
Every now and then a book comes across my radar that captures my attention from the first discovery. I am in a Facebook forum where I get to talk to authors of my favorite Christian fiction, and help them decide on covers and such. Last year, I remember voting on a cover--and I was captivated by simply the title and the cover, as well as a super short summary. I knew that if I was possible, I wanted to read The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy Cambron as soon as soon as possible!

Needless to say, when the book arrived for me to review as part of the Fiction Guild-- and I discovered that it even had the very cover I had voted for--well I was even more eager to dive into it. Would it be as good as I had judged it was, just from the cover?

May 5, 2017

Shoulda Woulda Coulda {Five Minute Friday}

Can you believe we've already knocked out the first week of May? This year is going by so very very fast, isn't it? There are just so many things that I wanted to have done this week, this month, this year...but sadly, I still haven't got to them yet. But it IS another week for Five Minute Friday--and the theme for this week is...should.

AND GO

Should
The word should has a couple definitions in the dictionary...
1. used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone's actions

2.used to indicate what is probable

3. used in a clause with “that” after a main clause describing feelings

May 3, 2017

Fresh from the Bookshelf: The Secret Bridge from Lamplighter Publishing {Book Review}

The Secret Bridge from Lamplighter Publishing~ Book Review
We recently had the pleasure of reading our very first Lamplighter Publishing novel (Escape from the Eagle's Nest), and I was thrilled to have a chance to review a second one, The Secret Bridge over the last few weeks. The old fashioned, wholesome, classic stories from the late 1800's bring about a sense of happiness once they have been completed, and I hoped that this new novel would as well.

About The Secret Bridge

The Secret Bridge is another story in the Lamplighter Publishing line of rare books. With its gorgeous robin's egg blue cover and gold foil design, it is designed to be a treat to the senses from the moment it hits your hands. Lamplighter Publishing has a goal of "building Christ-like character one story at a time", thus every story has an underlying Christian message. There is a definite line between the good characters and the bad characters, as displayed by their character traits and morals (or lack thereof). You are never in question of whether someone is a villain or not.

May 2, 2017

Revisiting Exploring Cultural Art with ArtAchieve {Product Review}

Last summer, we had the pleasure of reviewing the Entire Level I from ArtAchieve. We enjoyed trying the art lessons, and the boys had asked me if we would be doing them again. They were happy when I shared that we would be reviewing the Entire Level II for a few weeks, and hoped they would enjoy this new level for ArtAchieve as much as they did the previous level.
ArtAchieve~ Online Art Lessons inspired by Cultural Art from Around the World

About ArtAchieve

ArtAchieve designed their art lessons for children in order to help them be inspired by art around the world, and to enable teachers without art backgrounds to still be able to teach exciting art classes. ArtAchieve isn't just focused on art--they also include mini social studies lessons with their lesson as they explore the part of the world the inspiration came from, dabbling in social studies, science and language arts!

April 28, 2017

What's Coming Up for May 2017? {List of Upcoming Reviews}

The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate links
Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!

Can you believe that May is right around the corner? I know I say this all the time, but the year has just been flying by! Here we are on the brink of starting the middle of the year--are you ready? I know I am NOT! I just wanted to take a moment to share a peek about what is coming up here on the blog for May 2017...

Product/Curriculum Reviews

Here is the list of product and/or curriculum reviews that will be going LIVE this month:

(I will be updating these links as they do go LIVE, if you want to keep this post saved somewhere.)



*Homeschool Rescue~ An online course for the Homeschool Parent from Only Passionate Curiosity

*Captain Absolutely from Focus on the Family {Children's Book Review}

*Thin Stix from The Pencil Grip Co.

*Typing Coach ~ Online typing lessons

*Orville Wright ~ A Unit Study Exploration from YWAM Publishing

Book Reviews In the Works

Here is the list of book reviews that I have in the works for the upcoming weeks...hoping to get them all shared by the end of the month, but we will see how it goes. LOL.
Upcoming Book Reviews for May 2017


*The Angel's Share by James Markert

*Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano

*The Chapel Car Bride by Judith Miller

*The Memory of You by Catherine West

*The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy Cambron

*Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin

*Child of the River by Irma Joubert

*Written in Love by Kathleen Fuller

*The Loyal Heart and An Uncommon Protector by Shelley Gray

*Wings of the Wind by Connilyn Cossette

*A Secret Courage by Tricia Goyer

With twelve books on deck (plus a few more getting ready as well), I am going to try to share 3 book reviews per week, but that's totally going to depend on how much time I have. If you want a blanket statement about all of these--they all (but 1) earned at LEAST four stars, and included a whole HOST of topics and events. So if you want to get started on snagging copies, but don't want to search them out--you can click on them in the widget below. :)

May will hopefully be my month to catch up on all the reviews I owe--and HOPEFULLY even a few bonus posts...but, I know I have said that before. LOL. It's getting to be the busy season here on the farm--hay season starting right around the corner, not to mention the last 6/7 weeks of school before our summer reprieve! 

To stay up to date on the absolute latest going on, make sure you follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! I'm also working on a giveaway as I near 2000 followers on Facebook! (squeal!) I am collecting quite a few goodies--so definitely follow me so you know when the big event will happen!

That's it for now...I hope you will enjoy what this upcoming month brings--have a FANTASTIC completion to your April, and hopefully a gorgeous start to May!

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April 26, 2017

Daily Bible Jigsaw from Planet 316 {Product Review}

Daily Bible Jigsaw from Planet 316~ A Product Review
I am not an online games person. I don't like wasting my space on my phone or computer with games, so I don't add the apps. I also don't play them on Facebook. Well, at least I didn't. Not before I was given the Daily Bible Jigsaw from Planet 316 to review. But now, I have a new favorite brain teaser to do when I am just killing time or need a mental break!

About Daily Bible Jigsaw


Daily Bible Jigsaw is a free app (from Planet 316) for iOS, Google Play, or as a Facebook game. Simply download the app (or open it up on Facebook) and you get to enjoy putting a puzzle together. It's a timed puzzle, so you can work to beat your best times. There are cheats you can use if you have coins to spend: rotate (puts all the pieces right side up), guide (allows you to see the final puzzle image), sweep (moves all the pieces to the side for you), magnet (attaches two random pieces together), and edges (keeps only the edges of the puzzle on the board, until you solve them). You can earn coins by completing the puzzles--there are chances to earn a coin by quickly piecing together a bonus piece in the puzzle. The puzzle pieces can be manipulated with a simple tap of our finger (if on mobile device) or click of the mouse (if on a computer). The puzzle pieces snap into place when they are correctly together and once the last piece goes in, the picture is revealed.

Every picture includes a bible verse, and the completed pictures can be shared on Facebook as a graphic. Another bonus of playing it on Facebook, is that you can compete against your friends to see if you can beat their times.
You can see I ALMOST beat Debra on today's puzzle!
The daily puzzle is always free to play on the day it's opened. You can go back and play any of the other day's puzzles--but after the day has passed, it is 3 coins to play each one; however, once you have played it, you can click *replay* and play it again for free without paying any coins. I have slowly been working to complete the entire month of March, since I have so many coins I can still spend.
My March calendar is almost filled!
Speaking of coins, if you want to have more coins, they are available for purchase in bundles. Starting with 55 for $4.99, and continued savings the more you want to purchase. But if you don't want to pay for coins, you do not need them to enjoy the app. You can also play the bonus puzzles which are larger puzzles for free. These are must more tricky with 56 pieces and a more plain background.
You can also click the archive to visit past months puzzles if you want to play even more of them!

Planet 316 offers Daily Bible Jigsaw on the following platforms:

Google Play (Android devices)

Apple App Store (iOS devices)  

Facebook (Mac or PC computer web browser...Chrome and Firefox work best)

Facebook Gameroom (for the computer, a new game platform on Facebook) 

Planet 316 offers several other Christian based apps that you could check out for additional puzzles and games. 

I was given 500 coins by Planet 316 to use within the Daily Bible Jigsaw app over the last few weeks. 

My Thoughts on the Daily Bible Jigsaw


I am really enjoying using Daily Bible Jigsaw! I have it downloaded on my iPhone 6 (a free app) and from the time I started playing it, I couldn't stop! It was so much fun to try to beat the times. I didn't know about the tournament standings between friends until a fellow review member mentioned it. Once I discovered that it was playable on Facebook without having to add any extra programs, I added it to my games--unfortunately, because my email on Facebook is different from what I signed up on the phone app with, all my coins disappeared! But Planet 316 kindly renewed them for me. Now I can play on either my phone or FB using the same coin bank. My Kindle Fire won't do it because Kindle sometimes has issues with apps--I have problems getting it to upload from Google Play.

Because I wanted to see how they worked, I spent coins on the cheats and was able to get my time super low--allowing me to earn 1st or 2nd place in the tournaments. I use the edges and rotate cheats over any of the other. I also discovered I can pause the puzzle if I get interrupted. It's fun to win awards too, by hitting some goals that Daily Bible Jigsaw has--like solve 5 puzzles, solve 1st puzzle, log in to Facebook account. Each award earns you coins! There is also a running tournament for who solves the most puzzles during the week. 

I really enjoy the scripture graphic that the puzzle reveals, and the ability to share it on Facebook once it's done. They are very pretty and inspiring!

I have greedily kept the puzzle to myself without letting my boys have a go--I think it's going to be mommy's game!

I definitely recommend this app. Yes, to be able to use all the cheats the coins are nice, and yes they do cost money, but you can still earn coins just by completing the daily puzzles (for free) and connecting the bonus puzzle piece during your puzzle. I would use it even without coins, just for the daily puzzle. I am actually going to check out the other bible related games that Planet 316 offers, because those are the kind of games I would want my boys to be enjoying.

Want to Know More About Daily Bible Jigsaw?


As I said, we have been reviewing the Daily Bible Jigsaw from Planet 316. I have discussed how I used it, but please check out the rest of our review team and see how they enjoyed it!
Daily Bible Jigsaw {Planet 316 Reviews}
Make sure to connect with Planet 316 on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to day for any daily specials and news!


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April 21, 2017

5 Days of Popular Homeschool Teaching Methods~Day 5: What is Eclectic Homeschooling? {5 Days of Homeschool Blog Hop}

Popular Homeschool Teaching Methods: Eclectic Homeschool
Here we are on the last day of my blog hop all about Popular Homeschool Teaching Methods! Thus far, we have chatted about why knowing your teaching method is important, and I have shared with you information about what the Charlotte Mason, Classical, and Unit Study approaches look like, including pros and cons for each.

I have also mentioned what aspects of each approach we have used as a family, yet each time have mentioned that it STILL isn't the method that we use. Well, today I am going to talk about the method that we use--one that isn't in the list of usual methods, yet is gaining popularity among the homeschooling community. Today I am going to talk about the Eclectic Homeschooling method!

The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate links
Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!


What is the Eclectic Homeschooling method?

Eclectic Homeschooling
To begin with, let me share with you the definition of eclectic: deriving ideas, style, or taste from abroad and diverse range of sources. In life, many of us have eclectic tastes, especially when it comes to things like entertainment. Some use it to describe clothes. We know it means that the person likes a little bit of this, and a little bit of that, but never just one thing.

Are you getting the idea on how this works for homeschooling? In an eclectic approach, there is

April 20, 2017

5 Days of Popular Homeschool Teaching Methods~Day 4: What is Unit Study? {5 Days of Homeschool Blog Hop}

Popular Homeschool Teaching Methods: Unit Study
Welcome to my fourth installment of my Popular Homeschool Teaching Methods series! I hope you ahve been enjoying my discussion this week. Thus far, we have spoken about why knowing your teaching method style is important, and I have explained what the Charlotte Mason and Classical method are all about. I also have mentioned that I have not yet shared the style that our family relates to the most yet--could it be today? Let's talk about another of the popular homeschool teaching methods: Unit Study!

The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate links
Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!

What is the Unit Study teaching method?


Before we go any further, let's take a minute to talk about what a Unit Style teaching method is all about. In the unit study method you find find the following to be true:

April 19, 2017

5 Days of Popular Homeschool Teaching Methods ~ Day 3: What is a Classical Teaching Method? {5 Days of Homeschool Blog Hop}

The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate links
Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!

Welcome back to Day 3 of my 5 Day series about Popular Homeschool Teaching Methods! Yesterday, I discussed a widely popular method called Charlotte Mason. Today, I'm going to jump to the other side of the method style, to explore a more rigorous and academic focused method. It too is one of the most popular methods, although it looks very very different from Charlotte Mason.

Today we are going to explore the Classical Teaching Method!

What Is a Classical Teaching Method?

Interestingly enough, the Classical teaching method pulls third on my list of compatible teaching methods, and it really isn't THAT big of a surprise, because Classical teaching revolves around...books! It is a very visually oriented teaching style, because it is predominately

April 18, 2017

5 Days of Popular Homeschool Teaching Methods ~ Day 2: What is the Charlotte Mason teaching Method? {5 Days of Homeschool Blog Hop}

The links on this blog and in the posts may be affiliate links
Please see my disclosure policy for full details and thank you for your support!

Throughout this week I am continuing to share with you some of the Popular Homeschool Teaching Methods that you will find discussed among the homeschooling community. Many of you already know your method--some might be just finding out what they lean to. I woulnd't be surprised is many of you have discovered that your style leans towards the Charlotte Mason method. Because that name is bantered around all the time, I thought I would take a moment today to share WHAT Charlotte Mason method is.

What Is the Charlotte Mason Teaching Method?

Before we get into what the method is, let's quickly touch basis on WHO Charlotte Mason was.

(all of this information can be found by simply typing in her name online--sources are vast, but I like Simply Charlotte Mason the best)

Charlotte Mason was a British educator who lived 1842-1923, who invested her life in improving childhood education. Living during a time when education was determined by social status (poor taught a trade, rich were allowed to study fine arts and literature), she envisioned a more broad curriculum that included

April 17, 2017

5 Days of Popular Homeschool Teaching Methods~ Day 1: The Importance of Knowing Your Homeschool Teaching Method {5 Days of Homeschool Blog Hop}

the importance of knowing your homeschool teaching method ~ Day 2
Welcome to the kickoff day of a week focused on Popular Homeschool Teaching Methods. Before we start talking about any particular homeschool teaching method, it is important to start with understanding what a homeschool teaching method is, and why it's important. Let's dive right into today's post.

What Is A Homeschool Teaching Method?

I started homeschooling right from the get-go. I had a 5 year old who we were getting ready for public school kindergarten registration, when all of a sudden, my husband decided he didn't want to go that route. I was back in college finishing up a teaching degree, but was still just a junior, so not in a critical stage. I remember him asking me if we could do it. I didn't even blink. YES! Did I know anything about homeschool teaching methods? Nope. Did I know about them the next year? Nope. I didn't really know about them until we were preparing for 2nd grade. That's when I stumbled onto an assessment. I took it, and low and behold, discovered I had a "homeschooling teaching method".

Okay. So maybe it's not quite like that. It's more like I discovered that my personal philosophy on education and schooling, matched a particular teaching method (aka philosophy) popular in the homeschooling world. Two of them actually. Charlotte Mason and Unit Study.

So if you want to know WHAT a teaching method is--here is how I would define a teaching method:

April 16, 2017

Popular Homeschool Teaching Methods~Introduction {5 Days of Homeschool Blog Hop}

5 Days of Popular Homeschool Teaching Methods~Introduction
Hello my friends! It's that time of year again--time for another Schoolhouse Review Crew 5 Days Of Homeschool...blog hop! That's where my team members and I each share a series of 5 posts centered around any theme relating to homeschool. And that means just about anything goes! There are topics relating to just about anyone and anything homeschool. It was sort of hard to think about what I was going to talk about...but lately, I've been giving a lot of guidance and encouragement around one thing--Teaching Methods. So for this week, I decided that I would spend my time talking about Popular Homeschool Teaching Methods!

It amazes me how many people who homeschool give me a blank stare when I ask them what their teaching method is...I usually ask, after hearing them talking about troubles finding JUST the right curriculum, or talking about burnout, or routine...all of these things play into knowing what your homeschool teaching method is--so I really wanted to spend some time sharing information to help these parents learn more about what they are--and in turn, more about THEMSELVES.

Here is how the week is (hopefully) going to play out:

➤Day 1 (Monday): What IS a teaching method and why is it important?
➤Day 2 (Tuesday): What is the Charlotte Mason Teaching Method? 
➤Day 3 (Wednesday): What is the Classical Teaching Method? 
➤Day 4 (Thursday): What is the Unit Study Teaching Method? 
➤Day 5 (Friday): What is the Eclectic Teaching Method? 

As each of these posts go LIVE, I will be linking them up to this landing page, so you can find them all together for easy navigation!

I hope that you will join me as I explore this important aspect of homeschool, and why I think it is so important for every homeschool family to know. I truly believe that it can really help ease some of the stress in a homeschool--so why not explore it?!

Don't forget to check out the list of other topics from my fellow bloggers on the Homeschool Review Crew website!

Here are some topics to whet your whistle:

*Melissa B – 5 Days of Extracurriculars to Add to Your Homeschool – Enrich your homeschool experience with extra curriculars. This week, we’ll highlight some of our favorites!

*Meredith D – 5 Days of Homeschooling a High Achiever. – Homeschooling a high achiever just happened to us and now we’re facing a high schooler who may graduate at 16. We address how this happens and how to handle from this point forward.

*Missica J – 5 Days of Eclectic Homeschooling with Special Needs – This first post is to introduce what will be discussed over the Blog Hop

*Monique G – 5 Days of Homeschooling the Middle School Years –  I will be talking about changes that come with middle school, independent learning, read a-louds, and how to survive.

*Rebekah T – 5 days of Simple Homeschooling in a Complicated World – Life got you down? This series will provide practical ideas to help you implement a simple homeschool lifestyle no matter what your circumstances.

Do any of these strike your fancy yet? Have a lovely week!

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April 14, 2017

Open Wide Your Mouth {5 Minute Friday}

It's time for another week of Five Minute Friday--where I set my timer and get to ramble about a word inspired theme for 5 minutes. Last week, it revolved around the word enough. This week, we have another e word--empty.
5 Minute Friday Post: Open Wide Your Mouth


AND GO

Empty

What do you think of when you hear someone say they are empty? In my mind, I assume this means that they need to be fed. But fed what? Are they empty in their belly? Are they empty in their heart? Are they empty in their minds?

I know there have been times when I had a deep deep hunger. This usually happens around the Day of Atonement--a Holy Day of God that I observe--which requires a complete 24 hr fast. Boy, do I feel EMPTY as that 24 hr mark nears. And if I could just get anything--even the smallest bite, or smallest glass of water, I knew that my hunger would be satiated. My emptiness, maybe for a moment, less. Or other times where you feel the need that you HAVE to have _____________ or you will STARVE! Desperate to eat anything! Just give me something!

But what about God? Do you treat the desire to seek out His word, His gospel as if YOU are empty? Do I do this? Do I reach for spiritual food with the same desire as physical food? We are supposed to. We are supposed to seek Him out in the good times, as well as the bad times. To be that one thing we crave, as if we were empty inside. For we ARE all empty without Him. And He PROMISES that He will fill us. 

We can read in the gospel accounts of His Son, Jesus Christ referring to Himself as the bread of life and the living water. That if we eat and drink of Him (as in partake in His way of life, commandments, and gospel) every day, it will sustain us forever. We won't be empty.

One of my favorite Psalms reads:
I am the LORD your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt; Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. ~ Psalm 81:10
He promises to FILL our emptiness inside--that emptiness of heart and mind. That emptiness that can wear us down. That emptiness that drives us to try to fill it with something--ANYTHING to make it go away. But the emptiness will continue to grow like an all consuming black hole, unless we choose to FILL it with God. So many broken people out there...who believe that they can live life without choosing God. And so they stay broken. They stay empty. Hungering for something...but they just can't seem to find it.

If only they would look up...
He's there. 
He's waiting. 
He will FILL your emptiness.
If only you will let Him.


AND STOP

Thanks for joining me in this week's 5 Minutes Friday post! We are finishing out our Spring Break today and Monday, returning to "school" on Tuesday. I am hoping to have some fun with the boys in the first week back to get back into the groove--but only Tuesday to Thursday because...FRIDAY is the Great Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati! I am so excited to go this year--mostly because for the first time ever, my mom is going with me! It will be great to have her around for picking her brain about things. I am also eager to try doing some LIVE footage of the convention while I am there that day. 

And don't forget that NEXT WEEK (April 17-21) is the first of our 5 Days of Homeschool...Blog Hop with the Schoolhouse Review Crew! I will be sharing my topics for next week's posts on Sunday--so make sure you come and check it out!

Have a simply marvelous weekend, my friends! 

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