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Showing posts from November, 2011

TOS Crew Product Review ~ The Easy Spanish Level I from Great Commission Languages

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.The Easy Spanish Level I (from Great Commission Languages) is a whopper of a book at 414 pages and 2 Cd's. Using this foreign language program for 36 lessons, following each portion of each lesson, WILL give your student the tools they need to speak Spanish (and by that I mean they can actually communicate with those whose native tongue is Spanish).

This curriculum can be parent led, or can be done individually - which is the ideal option for homeschooling parents because it makes it easy to adapt to younger children or easy to "hand off" to older children. I'm using The Easy Spanish with my junior in high school and my 8th grader. Using The Easy Spanish through completion counts as 2 years of high school foreign language. I should also note that this curriculum has a STRONG Christian emphasis (hence the publisher's name Great Commission Languages!) and the end aim of the product is at making and equipping missionaries. Can I just say, very loudly, HOW COOL …

Advent Begins Tomorrow

Acts 15:31 (New Living Translation) reads ~ "And there was great joy throughout the church that day as they read this encouraging message."

Since the purpose behind this blog is to encourage moms who homeschool, the above verse from Acts is fitting to post today. And since tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent, I thought it was fitting to blog about something truly encouraging - the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ.

I'm often encouraged by articles in homeschool magazines, blog posts from my fellow homeschooling moms, Sunday morning sermons, and weekly small groups. But the most encouraging thing that has ever happened for the whole of mankind was the birth of a tiny baby in a dirty stable, surrounded by animals and wrapped in swaddling clothes.

My prayer for you this Christmas season is that your homeschool days, and every moment you spend with family and friends, will be filled to the brim with understanding of the Lord's great love. The encouraging message, that …

Living Life as the Body of Christ

I've been reading in Ezra, and the Lord has been speaking to my heart about being open not only before Him but also before my brothers and sisters in the local church. I know you may be wondering how I got that from the book of Ezra..hang on, I'll connect the dots.

I think there might be a "trend" in the church today, and maybe it's primarily a trend within the church in America, but the tendency toward "handling things on our own" seems to be increasing.

Now, I'm in total agreement with the practice of total reliance upon God as a demonstration of His faithfulness (as demonstrated in the lives of George and Mary Mueller). I hope I can phrase this in a way that doesn't sound as if I don't believe in total reliance upon God alone. Here goes nothing...

In the Old Testament book of Ezra, we read about the Israelites returning to to Jerusalem following a terrible time of exile. They began the work of rebuilding the Temple, and faced strong opposit…

TOS Crew Product Review ~ Read Naturally - Read Live!

Read Live (from Read Naturally) is a comprehensive set of research-based programs that assess reading while engaging students. It is a motivating curriculum that supports fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and phonics.

The above words can be found online at Read Naturally's description of Read Live, and I must say, the above words are accurate and true. Read Live is a web based reading program that improves students reading ability along with their self-confidence. Yes, it's hard work, but most anything worth doing is.

When I first logged onto the Read Naturally website to set up our family's Read Live account, I thought the set-up process to be a little confusing. It is a multi-step process that is probably better suited to an administrator in a public or private school setting than the average homeschool mom. But I understand why Read Live operates the way that it does; it allows for multiple teachers and students to access the program, and keeps cheating at a low and a…

Don't Over Do It This Thanksgiving

My advice for all homeschooling moms this Thanksgiving is simple: DO NOT FALL INTO THE DO-IT-ALL TRAP!!

It is a trap lying in wait for all homeschoolers. We set our sights too high, plan too much, work ourselves to the point of exhaustion, get snippy with our husbands and children, and end up frustrated and worn out. Wondering how I know this? Or have you already figured out I am a born over-achiever and I've had to learn a few things the hard way?!

This Thanksgiving, take it easy. Slow down and make time for what really matters. Instead of adding an enormous unit study on Thanksgiving to your typical homeschool schedule, why not set aside your current history program and study about the history of this holiday in America? Swap out handwriting workbooks for Bible verses about thankfulness. Keep your Thanksgiving Day menu as simple as possible, and do some of your baking a little early as part of homeschool Home Ec. Don't try and do everything you normally do and host the perfect…

TOS Crew Product Review ~ College Prep Genius

Here I sit, typing away, drinking coffee from a bright orange mug with the words "Wheaton College MOM" emblazoned on the side. With my oldest in an excellent college, I must say I feel pretty confident about the future of my four younger children. During my son's last two years of high school, I thought I'd learned pretty much all there was to know about the college testing process. As a homeschooler, there are often extra hoops to jump through when filling out college applications - and since my son chose to apply at academically strong schools that don't accept a high number of homeschooled students, I found myself working over time in the position of guidance counselor.

I know a lot about standardized tests and understand the application process pretty well. And it's all fresh in my mind, since Gage graduated in May of this year. But I must say, I have learned a TON from College Prep Genius and I truly wish I'd discovered this product earlier. There are…

11-11-11 = A Day to Be Thankful

Today is Veteran's Day; it was previously known as Armistice Day. On November 11th, 1918 at 11am a cease fire fell into place, thus ending the First World War. One year later, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the federal holiday of Armistice Day, and all business commerce stopped for 2 minutes at 11am. In later years, following World War II, the federal holiday became known as Veteran's Day. It's an excellent thing for a country to honor those who have died to ensure freedom for it's citizens. It's also a good thing to remember the origin of this national holiday. By all means, as the wife of an Army officer, I am thankful that his service is remembered on this day. But as a homeschool mom who loves history, it's also important to me that we remember those who fought in the Great War, and who most immediately benefited at 11am on November 11, 1918.

All who have served in the defense of our country, since the days preceding the Revolutionary War through t…

TOS Crew Product Review ~ First Form Latin from Memoria Press

First impression upon opening the package I received from Memoria Press: WOW!! They sent me the whole shebang!

Second impression upon opening the package I received from Memoria Press: WOW!! They must not know how un-confident I feel about teaching - gulp - Latin!

The set I received from Memoria Press was First Form Latin Plus DVDs and Flashcards (sent to me free of charge for review purposes). This set contains the Teacher Manual, Student Text, Student Workbook, Quizzes & Tests, Pronunciation CD, Flashcards and DVDs. It is a very thorough set, and it does it's job of allowing moms like me to teach Latin to their children :) It's a quality program and provided me with the tools I needed to conquer a foreign language that I did not feel confident about teaching. The only items I needed in addition to the materials included with First Form Latin were a student notebook and a dictionary containing word etymology. (And just in case you happen to be a whiz when it comes to Latin…

Will I REALLY Be Able to Homeschool Through High School?!

Today's post is simply a dose of encouragement for homeschooling mothers considering the looming future idea of homeschooling "all the way through". (Key creepy music and girly shrieks and screams)

Yea, it's a scary concept. But if you take a moment and remember when you first began to considering homeschooling, you'll recognize the same emotions. Remember how you felt about teaching your child to read? Or teaching them to write in cursive? How to form a complete sentence or perhaps a paragraph? The scientific method? How to type and use the Dewey decimal system and the history of Ancient Egypt? All those concepts seemed pretty daunting, and yet you were able to keep your head and teach your children. High school is much the same - I promise!

My oldest graduated last May and is now in college (yes, your homeschooled child can actually get accepted to a college ~ but that's another post altogether!). I have two daughters in high school this year (9th and 11th gr…