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Showing posts from January, 2011

TOS Crew Product Review - Times Alive by City Creek Press

Learning times tables can be tedious, frustrating and even boring...for homeschooling moms! Who knows, even your children might struggle as they memorize their math facts.

Every child learns a little bit differently and while many children pick up the facts quickly and easily, many others struggle to memorize them. Times Alive! (from City Creek Press) is a simple to use program designed to help students of all ages master all of their multiplication facts with ease. It uses a variety of methods which incorporate different learning styles in order to help each student achieve complete mastery of the times tables.

City Creek Press offers this curriculum in different formats, but the product I received was a download for use on my personal computer. It was quick and easy to install and simple enough to begin using right away. The company website offers a variety of products for use in different settings, and they have a specific program for homeschool use. Prices vary for the products off…

TOS Crew Product Review ~ TenMarks Math!

TenMarks is an online math program for students in grades 3 through high school. It's able to used by homeschoolers, as well as educators, parents and public or private school students. It's a breeze to use; each student works at their own pace doing the weekly assignments. The tutorial video makes using TenMarks very "underwhelming" but the long and short of it is that it's simple, it's self-grading, and it works.

From the very first time I looked at the website, I liked TenMarks. The login process is easy. The workspace for the worksheet assignments is "clear". As I mentioned previously, student's work is instantly graded and incorrect problems can be reworked right away while the concept is fresh in the child's mind. The entire layout of this website is uncluttered and tidy. I just plain like the way TenMarks does things!

My 10th grade daughter and my 7th grade daughter both tried TenMarks for this review. While my 7th grader loves the prog…

TOS Review ~ Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids from Lifeway Christian Stores

My first impression of the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids was that it is much larger than I expected it to be. I have no idea why, but I assumed it would be about the size of a Bible. It's actually closer to 8 inches by 11 inches. The more I used the book, the more I like the size Holman made it; it lies flat when it's open, no matter what segment of the book you are using. The binding is well done - I don't foresee this book falling apart as we continue to use it. And the slightly larger size allows it to sit well on the bookshelf without tipping over.

The youth in our church have used Holman products in the past, primarily when we participated in Bible Drill. I have always been very impressed with their products and their commitment to advancing young people's knowledge and understanding of God's Word. So I was not at all surprised by the quality of the content in the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids.

In addition to being a homeschooling …

Study of Michal ~ Part 3

Wow - I haven't posted anything on this topic in quite a while! Perhaps I haven't WANTED to learn any lessons from the life of Michal as of late? Or maybe I just let this sit on the back burner while I've been working on other things? It's neither here nor there, since I am posting about Michal today, LOL!

When David wrote Psalm 18, it was meant to be sung as a song of gratitude. What was he grateful for? Many things, I'm sure; specifically, David was grateful for God's help and deliverance from King Saul's raging fury.

I'd like to look at David's heart expressed in this Psalm in contrast to his wife Michal's heart. In verse 2 David refers to God as his stronghold. We typically use the word stronghold to imply a negative; here David uses it as a positive. How would the word "stronghold" have been used to describe Michal's life? She had an idol at the ready to place in bed disguised as David (see 1 Samuel 19). I'm assuming it was…

My Daughter's Clay Creations are Now Available on the World Wide Web!

My about-to-turn-13-year-old-daughter had taken a giant leap into the world of cyber-commerce. Her custom made clay creations are now available for purchase and I am super proud of her hard work and creativity.

To place an order or see what Savanna's Clay Creations has to offer, click here:

Keep up the good work Savanna and may the Lord bless your brand new small business venture!

Day 70 done :)

Jan L. Burt

BTW, my website has also been upgraded (see link above). While Savanna's announcement is much more exicting than mine, I'd love it if you'd take a minute to check out the changes I've made. More changes, and a new book, coming (hopefully and prayerfully!) very soon!!

Bad Attitudes or Beattitudes?

Jesus has laid out for us a lifetime worth of widsom and guidance, as well as a very personal look into God's heart toward us, in Matthew 5, 6, & 7. If I only had these 3 chapters of the Bible, I would have what is needed to follow after Christ and glorify Him with my life (as I yeild to the Holy Spirit, of course).

We receive God's clear promise of blessing when we are in certain circumstances ~ but sometimes I feel it is too easy to forget these promises in the midst of said circumstances. It's just one of many reasons to get into God's Word daily. How can we remember His promises to us if we fail to take the time to read them? How can we expect the Holy Spirit to lead us in our day to day lives, to help us in our struggles and to guide us as we pray, if we aren't reading the love letter He left us?

Blessed are you when:

you realize your need for Him

you mourn

you are gentle and lowly

you are hungry and thirsty for justice

you are merciful

you are pure in heart

you …

TOS Product Review ~ Positive Action for Christ ~ The Life of Christ from the Gospel of John

Writing a review for a product this comprehensive and just plain F-a-N-t-A-s-T-i-C can seem a bit intimidating. Positive Action for Christ has created a Bible curriculum that can definitely be described as both comprehensive and fantastic ~ intimidated or not, here goes my review of "The Life of Christ from the Gospel of John"!

You have three options for teaching the lessons; 3 days, 4 days, or 5 days each week. Perfect for a homeschool mom! Some of us do Bible lessons each day, and some of us do family devotions a few times a week. Positive Action for Christ will work well no matter how you teach the Bible in your homeschool. And if you teach the Bible as history, then "The Life of Christ from the Gospel of John" is exactly what you're looking for.

One brief example of the kind of in-depth lesson you can expect from this product can be taken from p. 15 of the Teacher's Guide. Here is compares John to the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke). Matthew was…

TOS Crew Review ~ Virtual Nerd

Virtual Nerd is an online learning program with video-based tutorial lessons aimed to help students in math and science. Courses covered are Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2 and Physics and they teach using a simple format of WATCH...LEARN...UNDERSTAND! If it sounds simple, that's because it is simple; simple to use with quick results.

At the Virtual Nerd website ( can look around and see how the program works. The basic run-down is you choose one of the subjects, pick a topic from the menu of choices for that subject, and then watch the video lessons. Once you have watched the video, you can watch it again in "steps", focusing on any area that you may need to review. The virtual whiteboard feature allows students to follow along step-by-step as the tutor teaches the lesson. This is a unique feature the likes of which I have not seen elsewhere, and it is hands-down my favorite aspect of Virtual Nerd.

You can also search by keyword or topic - every …


Have you ever had one of those "Hmmm..." moments when you wish you knew what someone was thinking? I've had a few of those this week in regard to our being a homeschool family. You would think that after 13 years, I would have seen and heard it all and would have the perfect answer for every questioner of homeschooling. But sometimes people don't actually ask any questions; sometimes they don't say anything at all. They just sort of pretend you and your homeschool decision don't exist in their world.

So I could pretty easily become upset or discouraged or angry or fill-in-the-blank with some other emotion. Or I can take a deep breath and trust that the Lord knows exactly what I'm feeling and He knows exactly how I ought to respond in order to honor Him and bring Him glory. And since that is the ultimate end goal of my entire homeschool career, that's the option I need to choose every time I deal with someone who doesn't really "get it" wh…

Sharing Some A.M. Spurgeon

Based on 2 Peter 3:18, in today's devotional reading Spurgeon shares his perspective on grace. Here are a few quotes:

"Grow in the root of all grace, which is faith. Believe God's promises more firmly than ever. Allow your faith to increase in its fullness, firmness, and simplicity."

"Ask God to stretch your love and make it more intense and practical, to the point of influencing your every thought, word, and action."

"If you are not growing in the knowledge of Jesus, you are refusing to be blessed."

"Seek to know more of Him, to know more of His divine nature, His humanity, His finished work, His death, His resurrection, His ever-present glorious intercessin on your behalf, and His future return as 'Kind of kings'."

Be encouraged to grow in grace today as you homeschool your children and serve your family for His glory!

Day 65 done :)
Jan L. Burt

"Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ." - 2 Peter…