Today's Wisdom

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Tenacious Thursday - Weeks 8 & 9

Week 9 was vacation week and let me just say that maybe I need a vacation every week!  I think I had my highest week of steps yet and we spent many hours that week on a plane!

Fitbit steps - This was packing and prep week.  As I stated in the last update, we were also painting our son's apartment. I've noticed a pattern of my steps being low when life gets busy!  The steps do not accurately show how busy I at least think I was. 

Where I finished on my friends' list for Week 8.  I moved down the list again!

Here is vacation week!  Woohoo finally met my goal plus some!

And another goal crushed - top 5 among my friends for Week 9 - best yet!  

Other goals:
  • try hard to hit my step goal of 7,000 daily steps at least 4 times per week
  • water intake - doing better
  • weigh in - I stayed the same at 216 - Total loss/gain = -2
Thanks for those of you joining in with me and keeping me accountable!  How was your week?  What were your accomplishments?  Let me know!  It's never too late to join in! Let's keep each other accountable!

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Review of

Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership Reviews

To aid in our summer studies of focusing on God's Word, we have been taking advantage of the Lifetime Membership from

If you are unfamiliar with what notebooking actually is, think scrapbooking for school subjects. It's a fun way for students to make subjects come to life. Students journal and draw about what they have learned and every page shows each student's own unique personality. There is no right or wrong way to notebook which is the beauty of this system. They offer pages that cater to students who may prefer to draw and students who prefer to write. There are also options available for a mix of the two.

Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership Reviews offers 1000's of pages to download and print in Bible/Character, Alphabet, Famous People, Fine Arts, Geography, History, Holidays, Language Arts, and Science/Nature. They also offer basic lined notebooking pages that can be used with any subject.

So far we have have just touched the surface on the pages available with this membership. The most fantastic part is your membership never expires so you can take all the time you need to complete your projects! You also gain free access to any future updates that may occur with your lifetime membership.

For our homeschool, we focused on the Bible notebooking pages. This set takes you through the Old Testament and New Testament from Creation to John's Vision on the island of Patmos. It comes in a zip file and once unzipped it contains 54 files of PDF printables. This set alone has over 500 different pages to choose from!

I used this set with my daughter, Sarah, who is 12. We used the Bible notebooking categories as our devotion point each day. We began by researching the Bible verse or verses then added our own drawings or timeline and journaling information. Some days, we added a paraphrase with our thoughts and some days we simple copied the verse from the Bible but it has been a great time to spend with each other and growing in God's Word.

One of the files included an overview of every page in the set which made it so much simpler to pick and choose which pages we wanted to work with. Below is just a small sample of what is available.

We hole punched the pages and inserted them inside this small 3 ring flexible binder.  You could also add them to the binder with a clear front and decorate with your own binder cover. 

The Table of Contents page included was great to keep us on track.  You could also number your pages to correspond with the Table of Contents if you wish to make pages easier to look back on.

Here are just a few of the Bible notebooking pages that we completed.

Sarah enjoyed this way of working through the Bible. She is very creative and loves to draw so this was a perfect fit for her. There are also pages available with illustrations for those who would rather just narrate what they have learned as well as a combination of both.

I love to do special activities on holidays so I know the holiday section will come in handy for us too. There are pages for most of the traditional holidays. Here is a sample of just one of the pages offered for the fourth of July.

Next school year, we will be focusing a lot of other countries and geography so I have already begun to explore and print some of the pages in that section for next year too. The geography notebooking pages include maps, country pages, and more. offers lots of free pages too. You can sign up for a free sampler to see if this unique system will work for your family. I love that there are so many options in so many subjects so I don't have to take the time to search the internet for each individual page. When you are finished with your pages, you will have a real treasure on your hands written and designed by your student.

Find out more about on Facebook and Twitter.

Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership Reviews
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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Review of Veritas Press Self Paced Bible New Testament 1

Old and New Testament Online Self-Paced Bible Veritas Review
We have been focusing on one subject more than any other this summer - Bible. When we began homeschooling, my main objective was for my children to have more time to grow in their relationship with God. Veritas Press has a wonderful curriculum that really helps bring the Bible to life. We have been having a blast testing out their Self-Paced Bible course on the New Testament 1: The Gospels.

Since we reviewed their Self-Paced History course last year, we were pretty familiar with the format as both work in the same manner. 

Old and New Testament Online Self-Paced Bible Veritas Review
The Self-Paced Bible course for the New Testament: Gospels offers 128 lessons covering 32 events of the Bible beginning with Zacharias Learning of John's Birth to the Ascension of Jesus. 
Old and New Testament Online Self-Paced Bible Veritas Review
We found the course to be extremely user friendly. During our review period, we had some issues with our internet service and often found the statement "slow connection" printed on the screen. We could not watch in high definition at that time but still found the images of the video to load clearly and none were distorted. We also had an issue with one of the slides seeming to get stuck not allowing us to move forward in the lesson. I contacted the company and had a response with the issue resolved within the same business day. We have been smooth sailing ever since.

Each event has 3 lessons and a test so we worked on this 4 days per week. It could definitely be completed by the student independently but I love watching the lessons and seeing how well I can answer the questions too. As time went on, I also found my older son joining in to listen and trying to answer as well. Sarah, who is 12, actually answered the questions on the screen and played the review games as only one set of scores is recorded but we still enjoyed listening and answering on our own. 
Students have their own login information and the screen below shows them where they are, how they are progressing, and their current grade in the course.
In the New Testament: Gospels Bible course, students are taught the events by a carpenter, Benjamin, and his apprentice, Jude, along with Spyro the dove and Uz the termite. Lessons are taught in conversation style with lots of wit and humor thrown in along the way.

In every lesson, students are given review questions and games to play to help with review. At any time a student can go back to a lesson for review but scores will be kept from the first attempts. For instance, in this game you try to keep your caravan together using the arrow keys to dodge obstacles in the road such as horses, cows, rocks, trees, etc.


Once you reach the end of the road, students answer review questions to earn additional points. Once a predetermined amount of points has been reached students may advance to the next slide or lesson.

Students are also taught geography and timeline as well. We found it hard to stop "learning" some days because it is so much fun. The built in review really helps to solidify the facts. I never knew the dates for when Zacharias was told he would have a child but now I sure do and so do my children! The Veritas Press Gospels Flashcards sold separately would be a great addition to this program as they are taught in a catchy memory song through out. All the information on the cards is taught in the course.  The cards are not necessary to complete this course but make a great addition. 

There are 5 Self-Paced Bible courses. The other Self-Paced Bible courses currently available besides The Gospels are Genesis to Joshua, and Judges to Kings. Chronicles to Malachi and Acts to Revelation are coming soon.

This course is an online course in which you have one year to complete. It is recommended for students in 2nd-5th grades but we found it great for our older children too. Children will need some basic keyboard skills as well such as dragging and dropping.  The course regularly priced at $179 for the year but until 7/11/16 there is a $100 discount lowering the price to only $79 for the year! You can purchase it now if you wish and defer your start date to a later time. We think this program is a fantastic way to learn your Biblical facts. You can also find Veritas Press on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

Old and New Testament Online Self-Paced Bible Veritas Review
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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Tenacious Thursday #7

Checking In :)  Down another pound this week!

Fitbit steps - Got my 4 times in at least.

This week truly doesn't show what I've done! We've been painting my son's apartment and I'm sore everywhere - it just doesn't register many steps evidently!

Ah man, moved down a number among my friends - you guys need to just sit down once in a while, lol!!  Just kidding - keep me accountable!  I really increased my overall steps so I am happy with that too.  

Other goals:
  • try hard to hit my step goal of 7,000 daily steps at least 4 times per week
  • water intake - doing better
  • weigh in - 216 - Total loss/gain = -2
Thanks for those of you joining in with me and keeping me accountable!  How was your week?  What were your accomplishments?  Let me know!  It's never too late to join in! Let's keep each other accountable!

Friend me on Fitbit  -

Monday, June 13, 2016

Review of Notgrass' Exploring Government

We are huge fans of all Notgrass curriculum so when the opportunity came up to review Exploring Government, we jumped at the chance. Timberdoodle sent us both the Exploring Government book and the accompanying book We Hold These Truths. We also added in the student quiz and exam book (not shown). All of the books are paperback books.

The Exploring Government course is intended for high school and your student will earn a half year credit in government upon completion. The lessons are found in the Exploring Government student book. There are 15 units that are clearly broken down into 75 daily lessons. The book is written to the student and each unit contains contains activity ideas which are often essay prompts to complete. At the end of each lesson students are given what pages they are to read from We Hold These Truths.

We Hold These Truths contains a collection of historical documents, essays, and speeches in American government. Both books contain black and white images sprinkled throughout the text. Only the outside covers are currently in color. A new edition with hardcover binding and color images is set to be released in August, 2016.

If you add in the student quiz and exam book, students answer questions after each lesson and complete a quiz at the end of the unit. Units include 5 lessons each.  There are also 3 exams. An answer key is also provided. 

As with all their courses, this one is written with a Biblical worldview so not only will students learn about the operations of the Federal, state, and local governments but they will also explore the Biblical pattern for government.  

History is my 10th grade son's favorite subject and he has already completed Notgrass' Exploring America curriculum. It is also written by a veteran homeschool dad. So far, Stephen has loved anything we have used from Notgrass.  It's simplistic, organized, faith-based, and makes learning history and government not so intimidating by breaking it down for students.  By the way, he can often be found reading just like this!  

The Exploring Government curriculum package currently sells for $49.95 and the optional student quiz and exam pack sells for $7.95.  You can find out more about those here.  

See sample pages below:
This course is also a part of Timberdoodle's 2016 Eleventh-Grade Curriculum Kit.

**I received a free copy of this product through Timberdoodle in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Review of Puzzleball Globe

Today's review was the perfect summer activity for us. Timberdoodle sent us this 3D PuzzleBall Globe to review.

However, your puzzleball globe doesn't start out that way, of course. It contains 180 puzzle pieces and a display stand. There is no glue required to assemble this puzzle - only willing hands are needed!

The puzzle pieces are made of a sturdy plastic. Each piece is numbered making this puzzle so simple to complete for younger children. We found that the pieces snap into place fairly easily. They have a curve to them which eventually helps to form the finished globe. The only tricky portion is when you reach the top but I would not really call that part difficult at all. It is recommended for ages 8 and up.

Ruler shown in picture is not necessary!  I just think it happened to be laying on the table when they began assembly.  :)

We found this to be the perfect summertime project because it was simple and fun. Not only that though. Now, we have an actual globe that we can use when we start back with our "official" school time! We will be studying lots of countries and cultures so this will be the perfect accessory for our studies. 

This was a totally unique product for us as we have never seen any type of 3D puzzle before. Stephen and Sarah had this project knocked out in no time. They are both well above the age level but found this to be a fun afternoon activity for them both. After they finished, we all were discussing how we should have recorded the process for you to show how simple and easy it was. Well, Sarah asked the next day if she could take the globe apart and redo it so that she could record it for you guys. Now, you know this is a fun project when your children ask to do it again! So, here is her time lapse showing just how simple and fast this project can be to complete.

For older children, you could also try putting the globe together without using the numbers on the back. That will be a great review after we learn each country next year too!

This puzzleball globe is currently selling for $24.99 at Timberdoodle and is also included in their 2016 3rd grade curriculum kit.

**I received a free copy of this product through Timberdoodle in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.