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Showing posts from March, 2011

TOS Homeschool Crew Product Review ~ BIG IQ Kids

Big IQ Kids can best be described as an educational website aimed at helping students achieve excellence in spelling, math, vocabulary and United States geography. That's a very broad overview, of course ~ I will explore a few aspects of the program in-depth while leaving plenty of room for you to dig into Big IQ Kids for yourself!

The first thing I noticed about Big IQ Kids was how easy it was to set up user accounts. Not all websites have taken the time to ensure that the initial process is reasonably simple. As a busy mother of five, I appreciate that the website designers took care of that important detail. Ease of use = amount of use in our homeschool!

After setting up user accounts, my daughters chose characters to use in the games. It gave a personalized feel to each of their accounts, and added a "fun" aspect to the academic aspect of Big IQ Kids. Then they were ready to begin lessons in one of 4
categories: Spelling Math U.S. States Vocab

Each subject category has…

To Quote Spurgeon...

In his classic devotionals "Morning by Morning", Charles Haddon Spurgeon's penned words have been a source of spiritual growth and encouragement for about a century. The mere mention of his name evokes a mental image of a "spiritual superstar" the likes of which most of us would never dream of becoming. Yet at the same time, C.H. Spurgeon's writings are easy for us to relate to; for while he truly was a spiritual giant of a man, he was also a man of the people. When I read Spurgeon, I come away comforted by the knowledge that here was a man who would have been able to relate to my life.

Below is a quot4e taken from the March 22nd daily devotion, based on Matthew 26:39 (when Jesus was praying in Gethsemane).

~ "His (Jesus') prayer also was a 'filial prayer', prayer befitting a son or a child of the Father. He prayed, 'Abba, Father,' (Mark 14:36). By pleading your adoption as His child, you will find a fortress of protection through you…

TOS Review ~ ARTistic Pursuits Senior High Book One (the Elements of Art and Composition)

The first book for senior high art instruction by ARTistic Pursuits (written by Brenda Ellis) is an 88-page art resource that teaches application, techniques, art appreciation, art history and a "visual vocabulary" (my favorite aspect of this curriculum - more about that later in the review). By teaching twice weekly, homeschoolers can complete the book in 32 weeks (an average school year). This schedule can easily be modified, however; I have used ARTistic Pursuits more than twice in a week and found it very easy to adapt to my family's homeschool schedule. All of the books in this series sell for $42.95 each at, whether you are looking for an early or mid-elementary, middle school or high school art curriculum.

The table of contents page has a list of art supplies needed for each semester. Art supplies are also available at the website, with cute tote bags to hold the supplies in. (Most everyone who knows me knows I real…

Genesis Chapter 45

When we read about Joseph in Genesis 45, I think most of us are struck by his ability to forgive his brothers and the emotion he shows as he is reunited with them. His ability to forgive (and forget and move on!) is so much bigger than we glean from quickly reading through this chapter. It's not simply something that Joseph does; rather, it's WHO Joseph is. In other words, Joseph doesn't forgive because it's the right thing to do in order to be reconciled to his family. Joseph forgives because it isn't his nature to do anything but forgive. And this is a complete forgiveness - a foreshadowing of the type of forgiveness we receive from Christ.

Verse 5 (New Living Translation) reads: "But don't be angry with yourselves that you did this to me, for God did it. He sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives."

And then in verse 6 it says: "These two years of famine will grow to seven, during which there will be neither plowing nor harvest."


TOS Crew Review ~ "Who Is God? And Can I Really Know Him?" (book 1 in the "What We Believe" series) ~ from Apologia Educational Ministries

You could describe my title for today's post with the word "thorough". You could also use the word "thorough" to describe the product this product review is about.

For those of you who may not have heard of Apologia Educational Ministries, I'll share more about the company and their products later in this review. And for those of you who have heard of Apologia, rest assured that their worldview curriculum is just as good as their science curriculums are! The book "Who is God? And Can I Really Know Him?" (written by John Hay and David Webb) is the first volume in Apologia's"What We Believe" series. This is a hardbound, 8 1/2 by 11 inch book that is 252 pages in length. Like Apologia's other hardbound books, it is designed to hold up with long term use over the course many years of homeschooling. As you may have guessed, the intent of the "What We Believe" series is to help the reader establish a Biblical worldview.

Not su…

What Does Isaiah Have to Say About It?

This morning I was reading in Isaiah (chap. 55 - 60). I thought I might share some of what I read in the hopes that it would encourage some homeschooling mom today. After all, the intent of this blog is to encourage moms who homeschool and there's no better source of encouragement than the Bible, right?

(FYI - all verses are quoted from the New Living Translation)

"Come to me with your ears wide open." ~ Isaiah 55:3a
When we come to Him ready to listen, ready to be taught by Him, He will teach us. One of the keys to a successful day of homeschooling is for mom to come to the Lord with a teachable spirit, yielded fully to His leading.

"My thoughts are completely different from yours," says the Lord. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." ~ Isaiah 55:8-9
God is never idle and He cannot be removed from the equa…

An Oldie but a Goodie

Just wanted to share a youtube video from a few years back. This is a skit done to a Lifehouse song in which my oldest daughter played a role. She is the blond girl in center stage around whom the whole "skit" takes place.

This has been done many times in many churches and has a great impact every single time.

Click on the link to watch the video:

Have a blessed weekend!

Day 81 done :)

Jan L. Burt