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Showing posts from December, 2010

My Daughter's Clay Creations & My Bible Study On Sale Thru January!

I'd like to share a link to my FaceBook page where you can take a look at a picture I posted of my daughter's latest clay creation as he was baking in our oven. The response to the picture was a wonderful boost to her self-esteem & I just had to share!

If you are interested in having something made from clay by my daughter, leave a comment to this post (or a comment to my FB post) and we will be in touch with you ASAP. She really can make nearly anything out of clay, and she can make items in a variety of sizes. She has even made key chains for family members!

And since it is nearly a new year (and the mid-point for many homeschool families) I am offering my book "The Homeschooling Mother's Bible Study" at a discounted price:

$10 postage paid for the print version
$7.50 for the e-book (sent to you in Adobe reader format via email)

If you could use some encouragement as you get back to homeschooling following the Christmas break, leave a comment…

Christmas Carol Lyrics

Everybody has a favorite Christmas carol. The one they look forward to hearing and/or singing every December. Mine has got to be "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen". Now before you think that sounds a little strange, just read through the lyrics of verse one:

"God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay.
Remember Christ our Savior
was born on Christmas Day.
To save us all from Satan's power
when we were gone astray.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy!
O tidings of comfort and joy!"
This is the version I like the best - an early version from the 1760's is slightly different and it's wording undergoes some variation if you are singing it in the UK; whichever version one might prefer, the powerful truth contained in these lyrics is undeniable.

Here are the rest of less well known lyrics:

"In Bethlehem, in Israel
this blessed Babe was born.
And laid within a manger
upon this blessed morn.
To which His mother Mary
did nothing take in scorn.

From God…

Tiny Planets Review (TOS Homeschool Crew)

Today's review is for the educational website Tiny Planets ( is based upon the television show of the same name. In a space exploration setting, children ages 4 to 12 can discover and create to their hearts content. Parents, rest assured, this is an educational website that will challenge your children as they play along with the characters Bing and Bong. The television program Tiny Planets is the only tv program to be endorsed by Montessori Centre International - just in case you wondered if it was really an educational website!

After signing each of your children up for their own Cadet account, you can access the Tiny Planets universe ~ places like Tiny Planets TV, My Tiny Planets (an online community and virtual world), Tiny Planets Fun, Tiny Planets Books, and Tiny Planets Learning. Some of the things my children did on include adopting and naming their own planets, taking care of said planet (growing plants, releasing oxygen, choosing la…

TOS Product Review ~ Wits & Wagers Family by North Star Games

Doing the "work" for this review was just plain fun ~ and since the weeks before Christmas are often a time when homeschool families take some time off from their usual studies to relax and enjoy the season, this was the perfect time of year to review the board game "Wits and Wagers Family" (from North Star Games). This is a family version of their game "Wits and Wagers".

The game includes a scoreboard, dry erase markers, the game pieces (called Meeples), Question and Answer boards, and the answer cards. It is recommended for ages 8 and up and is aimed at 3 to 10 players, although it could be adapted to use with teams if you had a large group of people.

Playing "Wits and Wagers Family" is simple:
1. Ask a question
2. Answer the question by placing your answer card face down on the table
3. When everyone has answered, flip the boards over and put them in order from smallest to largest
4. Once all guesses have been placed in order, all players (or team…

Clear Play

To all of my readers who do not already know ~ our family uses the Clear Play dvd player. And believe me you, it really does work.

You use it like you use any other dvd player (in fact you can use it to watch any dvd, with or without filtering). Simply download your filters at your Clear Play account, put the "stick" (usb drive) into the Clear Play dvd player, throw in the video you choose to watch and you're ready to enjoy a movie without objectionable content.

Users can adjust the settings on the filter to suit their family's individual preferences. For example, in the film "Over the Hedge" you can actually set the filter to remove the scene wherein Hammy burps his A-B-C's. Our family is okay viewing a cartoon hyperactive rodent belching the alphabet; but it's nice to know we won't see the things our family isn't okay with.

And since the filters remain on your player once they have been downloaded, you don't have to continually reload t…

TOS Crew ALEKS Math Review

The product being covered in this blog post is an online math program called ALEKS - Assessment and Learning and is available at the website The acronym ALEKS stands for "Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces" and this program does just what it's name implies. Each student is initially assessed and then placed in the appropriate math level. As the student moves through the level they are continually assessed and challenged, moving forward toward completion of each math level.

The program works in a simple manner; each student has their own account and when they log in, any concepts that need to be reviewed will be the first thing they work on. After completing any needed review work, the student can look at their "pie" ~ which is the key tool the ALEKS math program uses to movtivate the students in their work. The "pie" is a simple pie chart that clearly displays the student's progress. At any moment, student (or homeschool mom…

TOS Crew Product Review ~ Master Angle by The Master Ruler

So, you may be wondering, what exactly IS a Master Angle? And what do you use it for?

It's a cool little math tool that I received from the company The Master Ruler along with a 76-page workbook and poster (free of charge for review purposes). The Master Angle itself is round with a red rotating radius on top of a stationary radius and color-coded markings and holes to use with your pencil when marking angles. It's very sturdy - the well-made design lends itself willingly to frequent use.

If the Master Angle were the lock, then the corresponding workbook would be the key. The book begins by laying a foundation for angles: What are they? Where are they found in the real world? The student then proceeds to study five types of angles. Once this foundation has been well laid, the workbook moves on to the actual measurement of angles using the Master Angle tool. The center of the Master Angle rests on the vertex of the angle being measured. Once the stationary red radius and the ro…