Today's Wisdom

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Had To Share

Look what arrived at our doorstep yesterday!  I've finished reading it already but I will be going through it again with the hard back book!  I enjoy ebooks but there's just nothing like the feel of the hard back book in your hands to me.

Grab your own copy here!  It is well worth the read!!

Review: Philosophy Adventure

Here is our homeschool's review of Home School Adventure Co.'s Philosophy Adventure.  

Philosophy Adventure explores the lives of philosophers and equips students with the information they need to defend a biblical worldview.  It teaches students how to Write skillfully, Think critically, and Speak articulately.  As they continue to go out into the world, students will be faced with all sort of false philosophies and they will need to be able to discern and stand for truth.  
Philosophy Adventure

Each lesson in Philosophy Adventure consists of the same components - The Philosopher's Story, Writing assignments, Thinking assignments, Speaking assignments, Geographical information, and a Contrast section comparing the philosopher's works or a secondary source if the philosopher's written work did not survive and the truth from the Bible.

We reviewed the downloadable format which sells for $39.95.  There are also print editions available too.  The downloadable format came in a zip file that included the following:
  • Philosophy Adventure Reader The Reader is in full color and contains the philosopher stories, writing lessons, critical thinking lessons, public speaking lessons, historical geography, writing checklists, creative writing prompts, and more.
  • Philosophy Adventure Student Notebook The Student Workbook includes philosopher notebook pages, mapping assignments, creative writing sheets, and more.
  • Philosophy Adventure Teacher's Resource The Teacher’s Resources includes the quizzes, keys to the quizzes, tests, and mapping assignments, timelines, and more.
You will journey through the thoughts and ideas of 8 world renown philosophers.  The curriculum is very flexible to use.  You can use it as your primary curriculum where you will only need to add math, science, and foreign language or you can use it as a supplement to any current curriculum. 

It is recommended for grades 6-12, and probably best for mature 6th graders and up. Middle schoolers will need parental/teacher guidance. High schoolers can do this on their own.

How we used it:
I used this curriculum with my high schooler.  We tackled the lessons in a 4 day school week taking two weeks to complete one lesson.  The introduction gives you different scheduling ideas.   There is a great seminar available on Home School Adventure Co  to aid you in setting your high school credit for this course.

All of the worksheets for the student can be printed and filled in or filled in by typing the answers directly into the student notebook.


Day 1 - We read the philosopher's story and filled out the notebook page for the philosopher.

Day 2 - We read and did the Write assignment.  Using the available writing checklists, the student can be sure that they are on the right track.  The writing portion is extremely easy to use and laid out in step by step format.  This really helped my son to not be intimidated to tackle the writing assignments.  It began slow and continued to build upon writing concepts as the lessons progressed.

Day 3 - We read and completed the Think assignments.  These usually began the process of examining the philosopher's beliefs with those of the Bible.  The skills taught here are applied as the student completes the research and writing assignments.

Day 4 - We read the Speak portion and completed the assignments.  These assignments can be easily overlooked if you are not careful.  I love the author's warning while reading one of these assignments.

  • "So, if you are thinking of passing on the speech communications portion of this adventure, I urge you to prayerfully consider these verses." 1 Peter 3:15 and John 14:15
The goal here is to teach the student how to defend what they believe with gentleness and respect.  

Day 5 - We spent this time on the geography and the school of thought feature. This portion of the curriculum included maps, contemporary pictures of the places mentioned, and the school of thought that the philosopher participated in or founded. The pictures were really a great addition for us and made the journey seem to come to life more than just finding it on a map.

Day 6 -   Timeline Activities and creative writing assignment - everything needed to complete the timeline and creative writing assignments were also included.

Day 7 - Memory Card Fun and Review - We used the memory cards in a matching type game for a quick review of the lesson.  

Day 8 - Quiz on Lesson

We pretty much stuck to this schedule while making our journey through Philosophy Adventure.  The curriculum gives great flexibility in choosing the schedule that works for your family. If your student doesn't quiz well, they can retest until they have complete mastery.  The quizzes can be printed out or filled in on the computer.  My son really liked typing in the answers compared to writing them out. Sometimes, we would just cover the questions orally as well.

I love the author's, Stacy Farrell, writing style.  I can tell that she has a heart for God and equipping the next generation to take a stand for their beliefs. She is also equipping parents to educate their children. Ms. Farrell is a homeschooling mom who is going through the trenches the same as we are. 

For high school, your student can certainly tackle this resource on their own but we chose to do it together and I am so glad we did.  The discussions and conversations that arise while going through the lessons is invaluable especially during those last years you have with your student before they head into adulthood.  

Also available are some great supplements to this curriculum (they can also be used alone) Philippians In 28 Weeks, The Wise Woman With Literary Analysis Journal Questions, and Mere Christianity (see my review).

Other Places To Find Home School Adventure Co

For all my readers, Home School Adventure Co. is offering a 10% discount on any purchase until May 15, 2014 - use the code CREW-10.  I would highly recommend this resource for all homeschool families especially those who are teaching their children how to defend their faith!

Home School Adventure Co.

Be sure to check out what my crewmates thought about this and the other curriculum offered at Home School Adventure Co. by clicking the banner below.

Click to read Crew Reviews

Crew Disclaimer

Friday, April 18, 2014

Weekly Wrap-up - Jesus is Alive!

In my life this week…

Jesus Is Alive, Jesus Is Alive!

We're preparing for a Live Crucifixion scene at our church.  It is so powerful to watch.

Update on Jonathan:  Praise the Lord, his hand has healed extremely fast and he's doing great - pretty much back to normal.  He even had to do the dishes - :)  Here's his last doctor visit.

Sarah and I attended our annual Mother/Daughter overnight camp.  This was our 6th year and I think we are both ready to do something a little different next year but we had a wonderful time.

Loving Spring!!

In our homeschool this week…

We split our Spring Break up so we will be taking some days off several weeks.

Solar System Scale

Weigh In
Still at the same weight with 20 pounds lost!  I haven't really gotten in any exercise because we've just been on the go constantly.

I’m cooking…

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Review: Curiosity Quest

Curiosity Quest Review

Our family was recently sent a DVD Combo Pack - Produce and a DVD Combo Pack - Swimmers of the Sea from Curiosity Quest to review.

I never heard of the show or Curiosity Quest at all so I was excited to find out more.  Each DVD Combo Pack that we received contained 3 episodes of family friendly and educational material on various topics that people had written in that they were curious about.  Each DVD combo pack costs $24.95 and can be purchased at Curiosity Quest. They offer many DVDs on different topics such as instruments, recycling, sports, and many more.

Also available is a homeschool membership that can be paid for monthly or annually and includes 2 episodes on one DVD per month with homeschool curriculum that includes follow up questions, projects and activities.  

Other places you can find Curiosity Quest:
YouTube:  (lots of behind the scenes fun can be found here!)

Each DVD Combo Pack had 3 episodes on 3 different topics which were approximately 30 minutes long.  Each topic also included Fun Fact information as well as much educational information.  I learned a tremendous amount of information myself.  The DVDs are recommended for ages 7-14 but fun for adults too!  Watching the videos and seeing the host go on location was like taking our own virtual field trip.  It felt as though we were right there as well. Host, Joel Greene, is fun to watch as he finds answers to the questions his viewers are curious about.

Here is just a small sample of the things we learned while watching each of the six episodes.  This is by no means all we learned! These episodes are packed with lots of information!

DVD Combo Pack - Swimmers of the Sea
  • Salmon 
    • what spawning is.
    • the largest size of a salmon
    • how they return back to their original hatchery
    • visited a hatchery in Juneau, Alaska and saw from egg to fully grown
    • learned what happen to the salmon after they give birth
    Curiosity Quest Review
  • Penguins
    • how many feathers they have per square inch
    • what they eat
    • average weight
    • what molting is
    • do penguins need vitamins
    • what sound they make
    • what they feel like
    • what a husbandry is
Curiosity Quest Review
  • Sea Turtles
    • what they eat
    • what type of metabolism they have
    • life expectancy
    • what the largest sea turtle known weighed
    • whether they are carnivores or herbivores
    • differences in females and males
    Curiosity Quest Review
  • Cranberries
    • how they are grown
    • what time of year and how they are harvested
    • are they annuals or perennials
    • are they grown in water
    • what buoyant means
    • how to know when a cranberry is ripe
Curiosity Quest Review
  • Mushrooms
    • best growing environment conditions
    • steps to grow
    • are they veggies
    • where the 1st mushroom farm was
    • what mycelium is
    • how they are harvested
    Curiosity Quest Review
  • Oranges
    • best growing climate
    • how many oranges a typical tree will produce
    • when the 1st orange seedling came to America
    • how often and the best time to harvest
    • the packaging and shipping process
    Curiosity Quest Review
Also in each episode are questions that are asked of different people on the street.  We loved to pause the video at that point and try to guess the answers ourselves too.

I did want to mention that the terms mother nature and over 100 million years old are used in some of the videos.

Overall, our family loved these DVDs.  We used them as part of our Fun Friday learning time and they were a great addition to our homeschool!  Click the banner below to find out what my fellow crewmates thought.

Click to read Crew Reviews
Crew Disclaimer

Monday, April 14, 2014

One week left to pre-order Smart Money Smart Kids!

Smart Money Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey & Rachel Crrze

There is only a week left to pre-order your copy of Smart Money Smart Kids!  You will receive $50 in free extras when you pre-order!

I am currently participating in the launch team for a new book coming out, Smart Money Smart Kids by #1 New York Times Best Selling Author, Dave Ramsey, and his daughter, Rachel Cruze.  

It is an awesome book that will change the future for our country if parents teach their children these principles and the children follow through.  It is full of practical steps from chores by age to great college tips.  Rachel and Dave both share candidly what worked for their family and what did not work!  

Here is a quote from Dave that hit home with me:

"I was that dad who made big money mistakes and failed. But I was also that dad who decided to change my family tree. I was that dad who realized that to financially change my family tree, I had to intentionally raise money-smart kids. Regardless of the stupid financial decisions you have made, you can turn your financial life around. Regardless of how late you begin teaching your kids to be money-smart, there is still hope. You get to decide that starting today, from this day forward, you are going to be intentional about not only your money but also in teaching the next generation."

I recommend Smart Money Smart Kids for all households!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Review: Supercharged Science

Supercharged eScience Review
We are one of those families that loves science!  It can sometimes be hard to fit it all in and it is hard for me to put together my own science curriculum so I like to find products that have already done the leg work for me.  As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, we were given the opportunity to review e-Science Premium Membership from Supercharged Science.

Supercharged eScience Review

Places to find Supercharged Science
Supercharged Science Blog

This is an online science curriculum available by purchase of monthly subscription.  See the technical requirements needed to make this program work for you.

2 subscription options available
  • K-8 subscription for $37/month
  • 9-12 extension for $57/month that also includes the K-8 subscription
As a new subscriber you will gain access to 2 new units per month so you will not be overwhelmed with the information available.  If you see a topic you would like to cover ahead of time, you can contact them and they will help you.

This is a full science curriculum. You can use it as a supplement to any other curriculum but it is full science curriculum on its own.  Supercharged Science has provided curriculum conversion charts to line up the lessons with many popular science curriculum options if that is how you wish to use it.  
Main part of the curriculum
  • Videos where Aurora Lipper, who is the founder, rocket scientist, and educator, teaches the lessons to the student in step by step videos.
  • Hands-on activities and experiments
  • Quizzes with questions and answers
  • Parent resources
  • A place to ask questions - Aurora is great about responding to questions!
  • Recordings of everything so your kids can do the program on whatever schedule AND at whatever pace suits them.

Our Thoughts and How We Used It In Our Homeschool
As I navigated through the website, I realized it is completely full of information on science.  I absolutely LOVED the way that Supercharged Science uses videos to aid in teaching the material available. It doesn't stop with the videos though. It includes every aspect that you could want in order to give your child a wonderful hands-on science education including text book readings, lab sheets, and supply lists.  The subjects are broken down by topic or grade level so you can pick and choose what subject matter you want to learn about.  The best part is that you don't have to have a science background yourself to teach any of the lessons.  Aurora does it for you!  I learned just as much as my kids did!

The program is designed for the student so your student could complete the lessons independently as well.  I think that would come in handy especially for a high school student.  

We are currently studying astronomy so that's the topic we decided to explore for now.  I found the website extremely easy to navigate especially considering the vast amount of information that is available!  I quickly found the astronomy lessons and we began to explore.  

In our homeschool, we like to incorporate science lessons about 3 times a week and usually do a fun experiment at the end of the week.  We have been known to combine the 3 lessons in a Fun Friday day of science as well!  

In the astronomy section alone which is Lesson 2 of Unit 7, I counted over 70 video instructions available!!  There are 20 different units available including biology, physics, robotics, and lots more. 

Here are just a few of the areas we learned and explored about...
  • telescopes
  • magnetic tornadoes
  • atmospheres
  • meteorites and meteorongs (a fun play on words by Aurora :)
  • sundials
  • the moons of Jupiter
  • the curiosity rover
  • solar flares
Here we are doing one of our favorite experiments - making Mercury magnetic tornado simulation. Supercharged science gives you step by step instructions including videos, lab sheets, and questions and answers to make your experience so simple and easy to teach!  We used different variations of materials and recorded our findings on the available lab sheets.  So fun!

Watch the fun results below!

Another time, we watched a shuttle launch of the Curiosity Rover as it launched and then landed on Mars.  It felt like we were there when it happened.  It was so cool!  We made sundials, eclipses, and sky in a jar to name a few.  The other beauty of the program is that many of the experiments only require common household products to complete them.  

Supercharged Science is making some sample experiments available to my readers and giving you full access membership for 1 month for only $1.  Click here for the membership access and here for the sample experiments so you can try out the course for yourself!

I would love to tell you that we will continue our membership once our review period is up but the price is just too much for our family at this time.  I do think the price for what you get is wonderful but it's just not in our homeschool budget at this time. I will be sure to continue to access the free material available though!
Click to read Crew Reviews
Crew Disclaimer

Review: Victus Study Skills System

Victus Study Skills Review
If you have read here in the past year, you know that it is no secret that my high schooler is struggling with school. So, I was so thrilled to review Victus Study Skills System which included a Student Workbook and a Teacher Edition.  I didn't even know something like this existed so maybe you didn't either!  

Victus Study Skills System Student Notebook - 65 pages, consumable - $20
Victus Study Skills Teacher Edition - 82 pages, non-consumable, - $40

Each book contains a front and back cover of card stock, is printed in black and white, and is spiral bound.
Victus Study Skills Review
The Latin word victus means a way of life.  The aim of the Victus Study Skills System is to equip the student for success in academics and in life.  

This curriculum is most appropriate for 5th-12th grades but can be taught to younger students.

The Teacher Edition includes...
  • An Introduction to the philosophy of the system
  • Section 1 - Teacher Instructions
  • Section 2 - The 10 Lessons
  • Section 3 - An Appendix which includes forms found in the Student Workbook 
  • Student View sheets are also included in the Teacher Edition allowing the teacher to see exactly what the student is seeing.  
The Student Workbook guides the students through 10 Lessons each centered around 3 Foundational Cornerstones... 
  • Where am I now?
  • Where do I want to be?
  • How do I get there?
You can see a sample copy of the table of contents here and a sample student workbook page here.  There are also videos available on those pages explaining the curriculum.  Note the samples are in color but the workbooks are in black and white.

How We Used This Curriculum
Since my high schooler is struggling right now with school, I decided to focus entirely on him with this program.  He all too often will put up a wall when it comes to school work and my hope going in was that this program could help us break down some of those walls.
The lesson plan included suggests teaching all of the sessions over 5 days for an hour a day.  I knew we would need more time than that so I broke the lessons down to a lesson a day so we completed the course in 10 days.  We took as much time as needed per lesson.  The Teacher Edition does note that all students learn differently and to fit the need of the student.

The Teacher Edition guides you through each lesson and contains a purpose, preparation, and procedure.  The lessons are to be taught in sequential order.  We went through each lesson together and my son learned some valuable information about what his current study habits were and I learned some valuable information about where he wanted to be.   We both learned steps that we can take to get him where he wants to be!

Essentially, we went through activities in the course to find out his learning strength, suggested aids for his learning strength, setting goals for where he wanted to be, learning time management skills, setting up a schedule, learning great strategies for test taking, creating a personal mission statement, note taking tips and so much more.  The course is simple to use and is broken down very systematically for both the teacher and the student.

Here are some things that we learned about my son through taking this course...
  • He learning strengths lean more towards auditory and kinesthetic.
  • He needs to begin his day with Math while he is the most alert.
  • He needs to go to his room where he can study with limited noise.
  • He needs to read aloud.
  • He needs frequent breaks.
  • He does better taking notes on a digital recorder rather than writing them down.
  • He learned a great system to aid in studying and test taking called the PQRST system.  I will list what each letter represents but the book goes in to more detail and suggestions for each letter.
      1. P- Preview the material to be read
      2. Q- Question the material previewed
      3. R- Read actively looking for answers to the above questions
      4. S - State aloud what you have read
      5. T - Test yourself with a daily review of previous material read
These were just some of the valuable things we learned.  Again, this curriculum was a blessing to our family and very eye opening.  My son was very honest and open when taking his study habit checklist and priority and goal setting which I am almost certain we would have never done if we didn't have this to guide us.  

When we first started to homeschool, my goal for all my children was simply to teach them about God.  So, after reading his mission statement for why he believes he was put here on this earth, I was in tears. 

"I believe I was placed on this earth to raise a family through the Word of God so that they can also continue to raise their own families in His Word as well."

I think this course would be a great asset to all families. I think it would be great in a homeschool co-op setting especially but we made it work for us as well.  There is a classroom video showing the materials taught that I am thinking of purchasing to see if I missed anything.  I want to help my children succeed any way that I can, and this system helped us to move forward during a very difficult time.

Also available from Victus Study Skills System is...

  • Student DIY Notebook
  • Classroom Video
  • Power point Presentation
  • Creating and Implementing a Personal Strategic Plan

You can find out more about these products at Victus Study Skills System, on Facebook, or @VictusStudy on Twitter. 

Click the banner below to see what my fellow crewmates thought of this system.
Click to read Crew Reviews
Crew Disclaimer

Monday, April 7, 2014

Winners of the coupon for Purex Crystals Are...

And the winners are.....

I have notified both of you by email!  

Thanks to everyone who entered and look out for more soon!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Weekly Wrap Up 26 & 27

Sometimes, it's a bi-weekly wrap up.  This would be one of those.  :)

In my life this week…

Spring has sprung!!  YAY!!

Update on Jonathan:  This was week 3 in the cast so he was able to remove it (so stinky!!) and stretch his hand.  He said it feels a little stiff and tingly but overall well.  We go Monday for the official x-ray and hopefully the release for back to normal!

On our way home from our Costco trip, we heard a loud sound that sounded like a tire busting.  Hubby got out and saw nothing. We made it home safe and sound.  The next morning, we see this.  God is so good - glad that didn't happen on the side of the busy highway!

I'm still reading Smart Money Smart Kids.  This week, we have the opportunity to ask Rachel and Dave questions and right now I'm drawing a blank!!

In our homeschool this week…

Stephen and Sarah only have about 7 weeks of school left before summer break!  Jonathan will be going through the summer.  We are planning to take a spring break week at the end of April. We have our anniversary and a 16th birthday to celebrate so that's a perfect week to do it!  

We are in full swing with reviews as well!  So, you should see some fun reviews coming up.  As always, several of them came at the perfect time and were items I would have never even knew that I needed until they were in our hands.

Here is a video of math in our homeschool.

Weigh In

For the first time in 15 years at least, I am in Onederland!!! Onederland is a Biggest Loser phrase that I loved.  Now, to stay there!!

As happy as I am to achieve that goal, I hold this truth in my heart from Made To Crave.

I’m cooking…