Today's Wisdom

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Homeschool Mother’s Journal–4/27

In my life this week…
Spring Fever overload!!  It is so hard to get back to school work after Spring Break!!  We are all ready for summer!!  I don’t think I could ever “officially” school year round.  I need a break – a long break!!  For us, that doesn’t mean that no school will be done for 2 months or so but it will not be scheduled and may not even look like school work.  It works 
for us!  Smile

In our homeschool this week...
We focused on the 3r’s – slow and steady.  With our Classical Conversations weeks done, the rest of the official school year will be focusing on the 3r’s mainly. 

We put MFW-ECC to the side for a little while to finish up a review product – God’s Great Covenant.  You can see my review for that here.  Through this curriculum we are still in the New Testament and studying the fulfilled prophecies of the Old Testament.  I really like the way this Bible curriculum is laid out.

Thursday 4/26 – we celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary!!  We dated 8 years prior to that so I have been with this wonderful man of mine for a long time now and it just keeps getting better!!  My anniversary goodies – I picked them out.  Smile
IMG_20120422_194639  wallet

However, that doesn’t even touch our 1 year anniversary present!  Our wonderful son was born 1 year and 1 day after we were married so we also celebrate his birthday this week. 
Happy 14th birthday, Jonathan!!  We love you!


My favorite thing this week was…
Enjoying my family – can you say – week long P-A-R-T-Y!!

Photos to share.....
We hit the road with school this week and headed to the library.  Everyday after, the kids asked if we could go back!!  I think they enjoyed the quiet.  Smile


Sunday, April 22, 2012

TOS Review: God's Great Covenant


We had the opportunity to review a new bible curriculum by Classical Academic Press called God's Great Covenant - New Testament 1.  This curriculum is designed for grades 4 and up.  All of my children participated and they are in grades 8, 5, and 3.  I was shocked at how much we learned in just the first few lessons.  

From the website...

In God’s Great Covenant, New Testament 1: A Bible Course for Children, students will follow the story of Jesus, the Messiah and King, as He is born and fulfills all God’s promises. But Jesus does not arrive as people expected. The people were looking for a mighty warrior to deliver them from the oppressive Roman government. Instead, He came as the suffering Savior, who would die as the sacrifice for sin and death. He was building a kingdom that was not of this world—it was the kingdom of God. He is the Son of Man, God’s Servant, the Messiah, and the Son of God. Each of the four units in this text emphasizes one of these names of Jesus. God’s Great Covenant, New Testament 1 teaches the Gospels to students in fourth grade and up, using stories, worksheets, memory verses, devotional guides, quizzes, and a little boy named Simon. In the introductions to the text, students will also learn about the historical, cultural, and geographical setting of the New Testament. This book is a most comprehensive and heartfelt study of the Gospels, and many parents and teachers will find themselves learning along with their students.

That last statement could not be more true!  I love how this study is laid out and it is so full of Biblical history, geography, theology, and more.  You will study fulfilled prophecies as you learn more about Jesus and some of the many names He has - the Son of Man, God's Servant, The Messiah, and The Son of God.

It includes 4 units which are introduced to you by Simon who is your tour guide and a fictional character living during the times you are studying....
  1. Jesus, the Son of Man, has come...To Live Among His People
  2. Jesus, God's Servant, has come...To Proclaim the Good News
  3. Jesus, The Messiah, has come...To Teach About God's Kingdom
  4. Jesus, The Son of God, has come...To Conquer Sin and Death
Each unit is broken down into 36 weekly chapters that each include... 
    • A memory page that includes a weekly memory verse, key facts chart, fulfillment of prophecy section
    • A thought-provoking “Think About It” question that encourages children to consider how to relate to God in their own lives
    • A worksheet and quiz
At the end of each unit there is a memory verse worksheet, devotional guide, and a day in the life of Simon story such as what it would be like to go a day at synagogue school.  MP3 audio files of the chapters are available along with the student book and teacher edition.  The teacher’s edition is a full copy of the student text, and also provides answer keys and teacher’s notes with additional factual information to expand upon the historical, geographical, cultural, and theological concepts introduced in the text.  I have to admit, I did not look at the teacher's manual very often.  By clicking on the links that follow, you can see/hear samples of each.
You can purchase each item individually or as a bundle.  The student text can be purchased here for $26.95, the teacher edition can be purchased here for $29.95, the mp3 audio files can be purchased here for $9.95.  You may also purchase the bundle here which includes all three for $56.95 - a savings of 15%!

Here are a few samples of the worksheets included in the student text which is consumable.



Here are a few samples of what the teacher edition looks like.  The smaller rectangle is an exact copy of the student book.


I have never seen such an in depth Bible curriculum before and cannot wait to go back for The Old Testament sets.  Way to go Classical Academic Press!

Don't forget to check out what my fellow crewmates thought about God's Great Covenant Bible Curriculum .

**Disclaimer: I received a free bundle set of this curriculum in exchange for my review. The opinions here are my honest and true evaluation.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Update on Us - April

Read journals from other homeschool moms here...

Wow, seems like forever since I've been able to sit and write a post on us!  We have been busy!

Let's see...

We found baby bunnies in our back yard after the first grass cutting of the season!

We made some of the DIY cross pops that I saw over at Catholic Icing.  They were so easy and fun to make!

Sarah and I went on our 4th annual Mother/Daughter camp weekend.  We had a wonderful time and took our largest group ever (I think ;)  6 moms and 6 girls.  We met full time and part time missionaries and had a blast creating crafts and growing closer to one another and God!  Below is Sarah and I with missionary Amy Johnson who will be leaving for Mexico on her next adventure in May.  She primarily works with gangs and maximum security prisoners.  Her faith is AMAZING and her love for sharing Jesus  to ALL was breathtaking!!

We celebrated Easter with family.  We enjoyed many, many egg hunts using the same eggs over and over and over.  We were able to see family we haven't seen in a while and enjoyed each other!

We completed our end of year testing.  

We finished our last week of Classical Conversations and played some Minute To Win It games! They were so fun!!  We are happy and proud to announce that Stephen is a Memory Master!!!!!  We are also happy to announce that his mom can wiggle an Oreo cookie from her forehead to her mouth.  LOL!

We are not done with school for the year but we are definitely winding down and having a blast!  I saw this wonderful quote on CC's facebook page and it sums up our philosophy completely!  Don't forget to give grace to others as well!

Also linking up here because these are definitely moments to remember!  See other homeschools here.

TOS Review: Christian Kids Explore Chemistry


I don't think it is any secret to my regular readers, family, or friends that we LOVE Bright Ideas Press.  I have never used any of their curriculum items that I did not love.  Two of our favorites are Mystery of History and WonderMaps!  We have never used The Christian Kids Explore series before so I was excited to try out one of those.  I chose Chemistry since we were memorizing some of the elements already and we received a PDF copy to review. 


This curriculum is designed for grades 4-8 but we used it with our 3rd grader with no problems as well.  The book contains 30 lessons broken up into 5 units.  The units are...
  • The Basics of Chemistry
  • Atoms And Molecules
  • The Nature of Chemistry
  • States of Matter
  • Organic Chemistry
You can see a sample of the lesson contents here.  

If you are like me and shiver when you hear the words Chemistry, this curriculum will put you at ease.  It includes lesson plans, hands on experiments using simple household items, coloring pages, vocabulary, student activity sheets, and more all presented from a biblical worldview.  This is the 2nd edition and now includes a resource CD that allows you to reproduce all the printables that you need for your entire family.  It also includes a supplemental reading list.

If you use the lesson plans, each lesson can be completed in 2 days per week.  They are short lessons making them very manageable to fit it.  Even though they are short, they are still full of valuable information.  They even incorporate scripture memory work into each lesson!  Here is a sample lesson.

Our overall view is this is a great introductory course on Chemistry.  We also think the price is very affordable for all that you receive.  You can purchase Christian Kids Explore Chemistry for $39.95 here.  To complete your science curriculum, they also offer Biology, Earth & Space, & Physics.

Don't forget to check out what my fellow crewmates thought about Christian Kids Explore Science series.

**Disclaimer: I received a free pdf download of the Chemistry series in exchange for my review. The opinions here are my honest and true evaluation.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

TOS Review: Write with WORLD


We had the amazing opportunity to review a new middle school writing program from the publishers of God's World News and World Magazine.  You may already be familiar with these great magazines such as the one below.

This could not have come at a more appropriate time for my 8th grader.  We reviewed a pilot of this new Christian writing curriculum and I have to tell you that my son loves it and has loved it since he began.  In the first lesson (you can see a sample here), students focus on advertisements and pictures to begin the first steps to writing which is processing the information that you want to put down on your paper. The teacher guide has questions that you can ask your student if they are having a difficult time processing this on their own.  This approach has students writing without even knowing that's what they are doing!  We could not be more pleased with this writing curriculum and plan to continue to use it for the rest of the year.  

As you will notice in the sample above, your student will need a journal that is not included with the curriculum.  The lessons are broken down into 5 capsules per lesson so it is very easy to complete 1 lesson per week at the beginning.  As the lessons continue, more time will be required to complete the lessons.  Simple grammar lessons are also integrated in the writing curriculum.

The curriculum is designed as a two year curriculum and we reviewed the first year book.
Here are the concepts you will cover in the 1st year book...


  • Lesson 1: Reading Images and Advertisements
  • Lesson 2: Comparative Reading: Sentences
  • Lesson 3: Comparative and Critical Reading: Paragraphs
  • Lesson 4: Critical Reading: Essays


  • Lesson 1: The Paragraph
  • Lesson 2: Composing and Linking Sentences
  • Lesson 3: Creating Focus and Arranging Ideas
  • Lesson 4: Linking Paragraphs: Transitions and Logic


  • Lesson 1: Reporting Facts
  • Lesson 2: Creating Character
  • Lesson 3: Developing Ideas with Specificity
  • Lesson 4: Writing Autobiography


  • Lesson 1: Developing a Point of View
  • Lesson 2: Showing vs. Telling
  • Lesson 3: Narrative with a Purpose
  • Lesson 4: Writing a Fictional Narrative

You can see what will be covered in the Year 2 book here.

I love the purpose and method that this curriculum uses to teach students.  It teaches that writing does not have to be dreaded and hated but that it can actually be fun.  Yes, fun! More importantly, it teaches our students how to give a written voice to what they believe.  

From the website...

Writing skills are commonly deficient among students entering college, but the problem and its fallout begin years earlier. Poor writing skills hurt a student's performance on exams and in courses requiring composition. For Christian students, poor communication hinders the believer's voice from influencing their social circle and, ultimately, the broader public square.

Christians in particular should try to be the best communicators. They possess the truth and need to articulate a biblical worldview. Just as important, today's students must be discriminating media consumers - able to read, hear, and watch what the world is saying and to recognize the truth. 

Write with WORLD aims to produce young writers who love writing, can write effectively, and intelligently share ideas, beliefs, and their worldview. We hope to support a generation of young believers who aspire to use their writing skills in the service of God's Kingdom and explain effectively the reasons for their beliefs. 

I just love that and I find it to be so true.  I am enjoying taking this course right along with my son!  That is the best thing about homeschooling - the ability to keep on learning! Students work with current and real life news stories to make their writing journey exciting.  They even have the opportunity submit their writing for publication. (this is not up and going yet but should be soon)

The first year book can be purchased here (scroll to the bottom) for $95 which includes both the student and teacher books.  You can also purchase years 1&2 together for only $165.  

Be sure to read this article that was published in World Magazine about the new Write with WORLD curriculum too. 

Don't forget to check out what my fellow crewmates thought about Write with WORLD.

**Disclaimer: I received a free student and teacher book in exchange for my review. The opinions here are my honest and true evaluation.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

TOS Review: Amazing Animals By Design


Amazing Animals by Design is an adorable little book designed for children in pre-k through 3rd grade and written by fellow crewmate Debra Haagen.  

The story sets the scene of a family visiting the zoo.  Curious, the children, Sarah and John, ask lots of questions and their tour guide and parents answer those questions.  This is a simple introductory book for children on Intelligent Design.  God has designed all creation perfectly and this book explains that design using animals.  The book is only 24 pages long so it will certainly hold the attention span of young children.  The concepts touched upon are explained in simple terms and the illustrations are full of vibrant, colorful animals.  

This book is available in paperback for $8.99 and also in e-book format for $7.99.

From the website...

Why is a giraffe's neck so tall? Why do zebras have stripes? Did all of these things happen by accident? When John and Sarah visit the zoo, they ask these questions and many more. Their parents and the zookeepers keep using the word design, but what does that mean? With its relevant message and exciting presentation, this is the perfect book to help introduce children to intelligent design. Come find out in Amazing Animals by Design by Debra Haagen!

You can learn more about Amazing Animals by Design by visiting blog and facebook page.

Don't forget to check out what my fellow crewmates thought of this fun little book.

**Disclaimer: I received a free pdf download of this book in exchange for my review. The opinions here are my honest and true evaluation.