Today's Wisdom

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Review of Spiritual Circle Journal #spiritualcirclejournal #prayerjournal

Spiritual Circle Journal

My daughter has started to include the Spiritual Circle Journal for Kids & Teens as part of her Bible time. This journal, from Spiritual Circle Journal, has been a wonderful new addition to our weekly homeschool Bible time.

Spiritual Circle Journal

The journal is simple to use and comes in a sturdy spiral bound notebook. It is a consumable notebook to be used by one student. It is recommended for ages 8 and up and contains 66 journal sheet outlines meant to be used on a weekly basis with a few extra sheets included.

The journal comes with a fun illustrated cover but it also includes a sheet of blank white card stock allowing students to design their own cover if they wish. 

In the front section are 3 pages of guided instructions to help parents, homeschoolers, and ministry leaders use this tool with their children and students. They give you step by step instructions as well as ideas to help your get your student's own creative juices flowing. The whole point of the journal is for students to make it their own by spending their time with the Lord creating, learning, and remembering what He has done for them throughout the week.

There is also a personal page included at the beginning where students can list facts about themselves for the school year as well as some of their favorite things.

In the back of the journal are 16 summary sheets that students can use in any way they choose. The sheets have 9 circles on them. Some suggestions given were to write in their favorite verses, ways that they have seen God move, or to use them as summary pages for Bible characters.

In Our Homeschool

Sarah, who is 12, is using this journal for her quiet time once a week. Each week she uses her daily devotional and picks out her favorite verse for the week to journal and illustrate. She usually does this on Friday. She uses the guided key and fills in her own personal thoughts for the week. The key has great illustrations that relate to the topic written in them such as the "God Moving" section is an outline of a car and the "Actions" section is the outline of a tennis shoe. All together there are 9 journal entry sections on each page titled Journal Entry, Lyric/Verse, Message, Confession, God Moving, Lesson Learned/Light Bulb Moment (guess what that picture is), Prayer, Thank You/Adoration, and Actions. 

The illustrations make it fun and simple to add her own journal entries. As stated earlier, Sarah uses her daily devotional that she is pulling her Bible verses from but another suggested idea is for students to use their weekly sermon notes, Sunday school lessons, etc.

Then at the end of the month, she writes those verses in the back of the journal in the summary pages for a quick reference to all of her favorite Bible verses. Sometimes she just writes the verses out and sometimes she adds little illustrations to them depending upon the time and her mood.

We think this is a wonderful resource for any household to aid students in their own quiet time! Not only does it add to their retention of God's Word but what a valuable treasure to have at the end of each school year - written evidence of God moving in their life - priceless!

I am so happy that my daughter is learning these truths at a young age and what a blessing when products are designed for just that purpose. May they carry her through all her years!

We were also sent these beautiful servant prayer cards that have a whole page of supporting scripture verses on the back. 

You can connect with Spiritual Circle Journal on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Spiritual Circle Journal
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Monday, August 29, 2016

Weekly Wrap-Up | Week 2

Week 2 complete and look I'm here updating!  Comment when you read this with a "yay", it will keep me motivated.  :)

We're still easing back in and should be back to a full schedule in a few weeks.  

Sarah is still loving Apologia's General Science although she finds the reading a little difficult. She is doing a great job!

Stephen added Spanish II back in this week. I was slack on picture taking this week so I need to do better on that next week.

It has been a great 2 weeks so far.  Official read aloud time begins back next which I am looking forward too.  We have been finishing up some of last years books so I'm looking forward to starting some new ones next week.  

Basketball practice will pick up over the next few weeks as well so we will be finding our new normal routine as that approaches too.  So far though we are on track and all systems are a go!

Favorite homeschool thing this week would be starting My Father's World ECC.  This is our 2nd time through but it is always so eye opening to the world around us as well as our own home.  

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Weekly Wrap-Up | Week 1 | Back To School

I was really slack last year about updating our homeschool weeks so I am going to try really hard to do better this year!  Anyone out there want to keep me accountable?  Pretty please?!  

The first official week back to school is done. We had a great week. Easing back in always seems to get us back on the right foot. We had a few new items to introduce and more and more independence as my children continue to get older. I found myself just kind of being there for moral support this week!

We kept with our simple traditions of coffee, candy, crayola, and pj's for the first day back.


Of course I had to have my brain by my side! Lesson plans done and ready.

We are beginning each day studying 2 vocabulary words and answering a few Bible trivia questions.  I think this might be there favorite part of the day so far.

Although, Sarah might disagree and choose science this year as her favorite.  I remember these experiments so well since this is my 3rd time going through.  In 8th grade we begin with Apologia's General Science which is their first really independent science curriculum.  So the first week or so I always sit along side as my children prepare to study their lessons independently.  She LOVES the notebook that accompanies the textbook.  I had a feeling she would!

 A sneak peak at a few independent lessons - Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra for Sarah.  She was nervous to begin so I was glad to see the smile!

And Stephen's new English II paces - not his favorite as you can tell but I really think it will help improve his writing skills if he can stay awake.  :)  Notgrass, however continues to be his favorite.  He could eat, sleep, and breathe history!

He also had another big promotion this week - Cadet Chief Master Sergeant!  So proud of his accomplishments and drive in Civil Air Patrol and so thankful for the program and leaders. 

The overall arching theme this week in my Bible studies was the deep, unmerited love God has for me! 

I met my goal of walking/doing a walking video this week so let's hope the momentum carries on for week 2.  Meet you back here, okay?

Linking up with Weekly Wrap-Up

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Review of Enlivenze LLC | FlipStir Puzzles | Statue of Liberty

FlipStir Puzzles Reviews

Oh, we have a fabulous and fun review product to share with you today! We recently had the opportunity to play with one of the award winning FlipStir Puzzles of the Statue of Liberty made by Enlivenze LLC. I have never seen these types of puzzles before so we were excited to try these out! This one is definitely fun for the whole family to get involved in.
FlipStir Puzzles Reviews

What is a FlipStir Puzzle?

Well, they are currently available in 2 levels. The puzzles available in Level 1 are Rainbow Pencils and Tyrannosaurus Rex. Level 2 puzzles include Solar System, Statue of Liberty, and Periodic Table of Elements (Limited Edition). All FlipStir Puzzles can be purchased online for $24.95. They are recommended for ages 7 and up.

Their genius design allows for a no mess puzzle. The pieces come contained in their own durable plastic container and that is where they stay. Inside you have a metal rod with a little claw on the end to help you grab, flip, and turn pieces around to fit in the right place. You simply shake, stir, and solve the puzzle. Your very own no mess, no batteries, completely portable, hours of fun puzzle. The pieces themselves and the container seem pretty durable so far and we have had plenty of instances where we scraped the sides with the puzzle pieces and claw trying to get the pieces in place.

We had a blast taking turns trying to see who could solve our puzzle the fastest. Since we finished up our US History studies last year, this was the perfect end to our learning. We were able to review a few facts about the history of the Statue of Liberty and challenge each other to puzzle races. At first glance, my thoughts were no way I'm going to be able to solve this but I quickly found my groove. It was a lot simpler to solve once I used the box it came in or picture underneath to reference because in the beginning I tried without those resources and it took me a while! You will want to do this again and again once you get it or at least we all did. Who knew success and victory over completed puzzles could be so rewarding?

It was so funny to see everyone's faces as they tried to solve this puzzle!  Frustration, concentration, hilarious fun, light bulb moments - you could see them all in each person's facial expression.  There are really no rules so just let your puzzle skills take over.

Here is a quick time lapse video showing myself completing the puzzle.  It is so much fun!

To find out more on FlipStir Puzzles visit them on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out Enlivenze LLC on Facebook and Twitter too. 

You can also see what my crew mates thought about this and some of the other puzzles available by clicking the banner below.

FlipStir Puzzles Reviews
Crew Disclaimer

Friday, August 12, 2016

5 Days of Homeschool 101 | Day 5 | Encouragement

5 Days of Homeschool 101
See Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4

It's our last day of the 5 Days of Homeschool 101 blog hop!  How awesome that we get to leave one another with a little encouragement.  I've made a few older videos that pretty much sum up my encouragement ideas but my favorite is to keep on keepin' on!  Remember why you began and what your vision is for the hard times that are to come or that you may already be hitting.

In this video, I share 5 encouragement tips that have helped me.
  1. Examine myself - ask myself the tough questions.
  2. Go back to the basics.
  3. Do not compare!
  4. Do not over commit yourself or your students.
  5. Schedule in Teacher Workdays

In this video, I share some tips to help you find time for yourself in the midst of busy homeschool days.  I hope some of these will encourage you in your homeschool journey.

Remember whatever you are going through, you are not alone!  Someone, somewhere is or has been dealing with the same things you are.  That is why I share and encourage everyone to share.  We each have a story to share and yours just might be the story that someone needs to hear!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

5 Days of Homeschool 101 | Day 4 | Traditions

5 Days of Homeschool 101

See Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3

I can't believe the emotions this post brings.  As I was searching through old posts to share some pictures from our first day traditions, it just hit again how fast my children are growing.  It's also my birthday today so I'm growing too.  :)

Our main traditions in our homeschool are on the first day. We call them starting back to school with the 3C's and a P - Coffee, Candy, Crayola and Pajamas.  Who needs the 3R's when you have the 3C's?  Only kidding - kinda.  We also start back with a staggered slow start not beginning every subject at once.  I usually leave them a little note too!
We also always watch and have a Polar Express party at Christmas time.  It's become a lot more laid back over the years but we still enjoy our hot chocolate, popcorn, book, and movie.
What are some of your traditions?