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Showing posts from December, 2011

TOS Crew Product Review ~ R.E.A.L. Homeschool Spanish

Relax. Enjoy. Aspire. Learn Spanish.

This is the motto behind REAL Homeschool Spanish. And yes indeed, they do live up to that motto!

The philosophy behind REAL Homeschool Spanish is that Spanish is best learned through conversation. All new vocabulary is taught first by speaking back and forth with others. This curriculum doesn't focus primarily on exact pronunciation or rules of grammar; rather, it's focus is on actually being able to converse in Spanish. That makes it unique among other Spanish language curriculum. It also makes it necessary for mom (or dad, or older siblings) to participate in the lessons!

The material used in REAL Homeschool Spanish is relevant to a homeschooling environment and is meant to be applied all throughout the day. You can (and should) use Spanish words as you and your child talk - during dinner, saying good-night, etc. It's not typical for Spanish programs to be created specifically for the needs of homeschooling families. That's one more …

It's Almost the End of 2011

Today is the 29th of December. WOW!! A year ago I could not have dreamed all that would happen in 2011. It's a good time to take pause and reflect on what I hoped would be, what actually came to be, and what wasn't meant to be.

Our homeschool met many of my expectations, and failed at others (pretty much like every single year!). My marriage has improved and is stronger than ever after 20 years, and that is a wonderful gift from the Lord! Our finances have taken a hit this year; yet we take comfort in the fact that we are walking a path laid out for us by the Lord Almighty, and obedience is our job - the results are His. I've sent a son off to college and no longer have any kids in elementary grades. We still lead the youth group at our church, and the blessings we receive from our co-workers and the students cannot be counted. Even our pets have had a good year - they are aging well and remain healthy and a blessing to our family. Old friendships have deepened and new one…

Your 100 Day Prayer: The Transforming Power of Actively Waiting on God by John I. Snyder

This book by John I. Snyder is a guided 100 day journey into a deeper prayer life. Each day's reading is concise but engaging, and the book is solidly based on the Word of God. It's easy to use ~ you can and should dive right in as soon as you buy this book! ~ and it truly does grow your faith as you face tough circumstances.

It's a book I thoroughly used and really, strongly, heartily recommend. I did receive this book (in e-book form) free of charge from for review purposes, but I am in no way obligated to give a favorable review. With all sincerity, I can say this book is one I will refer to for years to come. As a guide to praying through the hard stuff we all face in life, Your 100 Day Prayer: The Power of Actively Waiting on God was meant to be used again and again.

If you are looking for a book to encourage you in your walk with the Lord as you face any type of difficulty, this is the book for you. And since I'm writing this review in late Decembe…

Homeschooling at Christmastime

How terrific is it to be a homeschool family during the month of December?!

I'll tell ya how terrific it is - fantastically, amazingly, superbly TERRIFIC!!

I love homeschooling. There's not much about it that I don't genuinely love - except grading... And homeschooling at Christmas is just icing on the cake. We end each year together, as a family, focusing on the Advent of our Lord Jesus - and we get to say good-bye to the old year, remember Jesus' coming, and ring in the new year all together as a family for the entire month of December.

So did I mention that I love homeschooling in December??

In December we decorate our house, do lots of baking, choose and wrap presents for friends and family, go caroling at a local nursing home with our church family, have a blast at our youth group's annual Christmas party, celebrate Advent nightly, decorate our yard with lights and blow-ups, enjoy our church dinner and talent show, spend time with family, and new this December i…

TOS Crew Product Review ~ The World's Greatest Stories Volume 1 (The Prophets)

I have often stated that teaching my children God's Word is the most important subject in our homeschool. It is always the first subject assigned in their planners, and every curriculum choice I make revolves around the Bible. So having the opportunity to review The World's Greatest Stories on CD (as told by George W. Sarris) was a perfect fit for my family.

I received Volume 1, The Prophets in the New International Version (free of charge for review purposes) along with a sample CD of Mr. Sarris' other dramatic readings from the Bible. Readings included in this volume are: The Blazing Furnace (Daniel 3), The Handwriting on the Wall (Daniel 5), Daniel in the Lions' Den (Daniel 6), Elijah and the Prophets of Balls (I Kings 17-18), & The Prophecy of Jonah (Jonah 1-4).

George Sarris, a Northwestern graduate who also holds a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, does an excellent job of narrating the Biblical text on this CD. And the best thing ab…

2 Timothy 1:12 Says...

Have you ever believed someone, or believed in someone, and had it turn out poorly? On the converse, have you ever believed someone and had it turn out better than you had dared hope? And have you ever had someone believe in you? Did their belief turn out to be well-founded?

Everyone needs something to believe in; whether or not we want to admit it, that's the truth. Some of us believe in ourselves. Others believe in our spouses. Many people believe in their careers. And a lot of homeschooling mothers believe in - ahem, no flames please! - homeschooling. But in the end, and I mean the literal end, the only thing worth believing fully in is Jesus Christ, Savior of the world.

Homeschooling won't save me, my husband, or my children. It can be an excellent vessel to teach my children from God's Word - but only Jesus can save them. And if we begin homeschooling with the incorrect idea that it can save us, if we place all our hope in our family homeschool, if we believe in homes…

Heroes & Villains Of The Bible - Real Stories, Actual Bible Text (Tommy Nelson)

Heroes & Villains of the Bible - Real Stories, Actual Bible Text (from Tommy Nelson publishing) is a children's book of 50 Bible stories from both the Old and New Testament. The text is taken directly from the Bible (International Children's Bible version). It is a 244 page hard cover book, with an introduction, Old Testament section, New Testament section, and a final "Note to Heroes".

This book holds up well with use and has enough artwork to keep younger readers interested. The text is straight from the Bible, which I absolutely love, and the stories are short enough that children can easily read one each day; they can also keep on reading if they so choose. The unique focus on heroes and villains from God's Word sets the book apart. Each story has a brief introduction about the characters involved, and ends with a wrap up that encourages the reader to be a hero (and not a villain).

On my "Page Turner Scale" of 1 to 5, I am giving this book a 4. …

Our Dog Can Talk!

My daughter's Pug, Mimi, does this when she hears us calling for her "girl" Alexandra (Alex for short). Listen carefully to see if you can hear Mimi try to say "Alex" ~ it sounds something like "Oww-Wes" and a couple of times she seems to say "Ow-Wes-An-Dra". What's hilarious is that Mimi ONLY does this when she hears the name of her owner, Alex.

Happy Pug Watching!

Day 138 done :)

Jan L. Burt

Our Family Just Created Our Own TShirt on

Okay, so our family is forever cracking jokes, spouting one-liners, quoting movies, and in general laughing hysterically at one another. Seriously, we do this ALL THE TIME!

Last night at dinner something struck my daughter's as funny; strike that, it struck them as beyond funny and they could not stop laughing. They decided they wanted to keep this humorous state going and wanted to find a t-shirt to give away as a Christmas gift in honor of this superbly funny event. Since they didn't have much luck finding a shirt that suited them, they decided to make one at (Which is a great place to create custom shirts, mugs, mouse pads, etc.) After making their shirt, they decided to create a "store" at where they could sell their newly created t-shirt.

And next thing ya know - VIOLA!! - they're off and running in yet another creative venture in the true spirit of homeschooling!

To check out their store - called BurtsShirts - click HERE. Keep in mind …