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Showing posts from August, 2011

TOS Crew Product Review ~ "How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids" by Rachael Carman (Apologia Press)

This is my first product review for this year's TOS Crew , and I cannot think of a better way to start the year off than with a fabulous little book by Rachael Carman entitled, "How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. For Your Kids" (published by Apologia Press, copyright 2011 ). I began reading this book the day I received it and I have been gleaning powerful nuggets of truth and encouragement from it ever since. It very quickly joined the ranks of my "must-read" homeschool books and is one that I will keep close at hand throughout the rest of my days as a homeschooling mother. I don't say that lightly - the book really is that good. The author, Rachael Carman, is a seasoned homeschool mother of seven, and she openly shares about her struggles even as she pours out great wisdom. The book is written with such a sense of genuineness that it's hard not to feel as if you know her personally. And while she relates so well on a personal level, she also spurs

Short Post - Two Announcements & a Prayer Request

Today's post is short - just want to announce that I will be reviewing Christian books for BookSneeze. Watch for my first review sometime in the next 10 days or so. Here's a link to the BookSneeze website if you'd like to learn more about them: The second announcement is on behalf of my 13-year-old daughter Savanna. Some of you may remember me mentioning her polymer clay pieces in previous blog posts. She has taken her craft to the next level and has created her own YouTube account. Her videos show the things she has crafted and she hopes to expand to teaching videos. To see what she has to offer, go to YouTube and search for SavanasClayCreations (yes, her name is misspelled but it is intentional in order to fit the title of her channel in the limited character space!). Here is a direct link to her YouTube channel: My prayer request is on behalf of my son Gage. We just moved him to Wheaton College outside of Chicago, a

Burt Family Christian Academy Classes Resume ToMoRRoW!!

So tomorrow marks the official start of our family's fourteenth year of homeschooling. Can I just say "WOW" about the fact that it's been that long and that we're still going strong?! Not that I actually have much to do with our successes (but I will take full credit for our many failures!). It's all God, all the time; I'm just along for the ride. The girls have examined their planners to see what the first few days of school will bring - three of them are ready to go and one of them is, well, less enthusiastic about the resumption of her academic duties. This year is unique in that our homeschool is no longer co-ed, so to speak. My husband arrives home from work after the school day is done and our son is now at college. It's an all-girl homeschool, and I am sure that will bring some challenges right along with it's many blessings. We plan on having home-ec classes that are lengthier (think high school classes organized in blocks - perhaps

Homeschool Help from Proverbs

Homeschooling moms have the unique challenge of blending two roles into one: that of educator and parent. Some seem to do it seamlessly, while others among us draw distinct lines in the sand (teacher until 3pm - mom after 3pm). No matter how you go about the daily task of teaching while mothering, remember to put God's Word at the center of both roles and you'll be blessed. Proverbs 16:1 in the New Living Translation reads, "We can gather our thoughts, but the LORD gives the right answer." I find this verse enormously comforting as I embark upon our fourteenth year of home education. To be honest, I also find this verse enormously challenging. Sad as it is to admit, there are times when I don't even bother to gather my thoughts before I blurt out something to my children. Other times I do attempt to gather my thoughts in order to give a sound and wise answer, and once in a while the answer I provide is the one God would have me to give :) But I need to a

What a Summer Break is Meant to Do

Way back when I was young, I believed summer break was about sleeping in, swimming and reading lots and lots of books. Of course, when we lived in Arizona we were able to swim year round, and as an avid reader books were high on my list of priorities year round. So I guess sleeping in was the only real advantage summer held over the other four seasons! These days, summer break is about homeschool planning, youth group mission trips, sorting and organizing as much of the house as I am able, taking a family vacation, and brand new this year ~ moving our firstborn to college. (Go ahead, feel sorry for me and remind me that I've done a good job and he's meant to leave home at this stage in his life...I need to hear that over and over again, it seems!). Since the inevitable move to Wheaton, Illinois is just around the corner (10 days away, to be exact) I think I'll focus on our family vacation for this blog post. Some of you may recall that we took our vacation in late Ma

Some Encouragement for August

Well, it's officially August and here in Kansas that equates to very warm weather. This year, however, has been unseasonably hot and I would be okay with a few days in August that registered under 100 on the mercury! August is the month when I finalize my homeschool prep for the upcoming year. And this August is the month we will move our son to Wheaton, Il. for his freshman year of college. My homeschool planning has been combined with college planning. For the first time in my history as a mom, I've found myself buying items for his dorm room along with homeschool supplies. And yes, it has made me consider how quickly the time has gone by. It really wasn't that long ago that my husband and I were choosing a name for our soon-to-be-born son. We had no idea he would be our only son, and that we would have four daughters by the time our first born was seven. We did not know we would be a homeschool family. I could not have imagined all the twists and turns our lives woul