Monday, December 22, 2008

Let's Make a Web Page


Let's Make a Webpage! Well, if you are anything like me that is a scary thought! I am new to the blogging world, so the thought of making my own web page is both exhilarating  and frightening. 

In  Let's Make a Webpage, by Phyllis Wheeler, they are aiming to instruct an 8-12 year old. I have to admit, I was very skeptical.  I mean, if I cannot figure it out, will our children?

Guess what? The answer is yes. With very little parental involvement ( my husband) my children were able to create their own webpage! I couldn't believe it.

I have since gone through and attempted to create a web page for myself. While I am still working on it, can you say you can't teach an old dog new tricks? Actually, you can! And this book does, it just takes me a bit longer than the kiddos!

I have been very impressed on how spot on she has been with the instructions. She has included actual "snap shots" of what you will see on the screen. A BIG plus for me.

If you have any  inclination to learn, or for your children to learn what I think are becoming very necessary computer skills, this book and this company is the answer!

This e-book retails for $29.95, however it is on sale for $19.95 right now.

Please visit for a complete listing of their awesome products!

Happy Computing!!! 


All About Spelling


All About Spelling!

In my house, I have several students who struggle. For this review, I am focused on my student with ADHD and Dyslexia. We have struggled so much with him, or I should say he has struggled.

We had been using a spelling curriculum, that I fully endorsed, let's just say, I was not in the market for a new spelling curriculum when All About Spelling arrived on my doorstep, as part of the products to review for The Homeschool Crew.

However, I vowed to give this curriculum a go! Lets start with their website... visit them here

All About Spelling uses a multi-sensory approach to teaching spelling. And in all honesty, that was one of the things that made me happy from the outset.  My son, had been getting better with spelling using our old curriculum. It opened many a learning door for him. However, what we kept coming up was, why is it spelled that way now, and a different way in such and such word. Or that doesn't make sense.... and that was so very frustrating to him.

Well, with All About Spelling, he is learning the spelling rules! Not just words!  All About Spelling teaches the Orton Gillingham phonograms.  It then teaches the child in short incremental lessons that follow a logical sequence.

For my ADHD / Dyslexia kid, this is key! The program consists of hands on activities: (from the All About Spelling Website)

  • The Flashcards provide a visual and hands-on way to help your student learn and review phonograms, words, and spelling rules.

  • The Spelling Review Box helps you organize the flashcards so you can quickly see which words, phonograms, and spelling rules your student still needs to learn and review. (Flashcards and dividers are included; you supply the 3x5" index card box.)

  • The Segmenting Words activity helps your student identify the individual sounds in a word so that he can spell more easily and accurately.

  • Concept-oriented spelling lists that are grouped by similar phonograms and spelling rules accelerate learning by organizing ideas in the student’s mind and allowing the student to concentrate on and master one or two main concepts before moving on.

  • Key Cards clearly present key ideas, concepts, and spelling rules that help your student thoroughly understand why a word is spelled the way it is and how to apply that knowledge to many other words.

  • The More Words and Dictate Phrases sections reinforce current and previously learned concepts, increase the student’s repertoire of words, and allow the student to apply his knowledge in practical situations.

  • Tips for the teacher anticipate and provide answers to your questions and give you on-the-spot strategies for helping your student overcome stumbling blocks. Worked seamlessly into the lessons, tips are placed right where you need them, when you need them, so you can continue your teaching uninterrupted.

  • The Progress Chart gives your student a visual reminder of how far he has come and motivates him to master the next step.

All aspects of this program are well thought out! And they are easy for me to follow, which makes teaching my struggling and reluctant learner much easier than anticipated!

The program consists of 4 levels. With 2 more levels coming out soon, that will bring the program up all the way through high school. The program uses leveled books, rather than by grade. This is a huge plus for the struggling learner!

Now the pricing.

Levels 1 and 2 are $29.95 for the book and materials packet. You need one materials packet per child. Additional packets can be purchased for $12.95. The letter tiles, which are a required items are $9.95. The magnets for the tiles are $5.95.  They also have made an Audio Phonogram CD, which is $14.95, that is wonderful. It really helped my son to "hear" the sounds clearly!  The tiles and the audio cd are one time purchases, you do not have to buy those again for each level.

Levels 3 and 4 are $39.95 for the book and packets, with extra packets selling for $17.95.

Let me also add that the people of All About Spelling are all about helping you teach your child! When you visit their website, you will find many helpful articles. The articles there are wonderful.

Please visit All About Spelling today and see if this wonderful program will work for your family!

By the way, we have switched our spelling curriculum! Thank you All About Spelling!


As homeschoolers, we already tend to  have a different take on education than mainstream education. Creator of Puppetools, Jeffrey Peyton,  shares our vision for not educating in the same mundane way.

What is Puppetools you ask. It is a subscription based website. Where "The Play Professor", aka, Jeffrey Peyton takes you on a journey of learning through play, using puppets as your medium.

If you are teaching in a traditional setting this may very well be revolutionary. As homeschoolers, I believe we have embraced the theory of learning through play. On the website you will find countless patterns for puppets and ideas on how to use them in the classroom. In addition to this, you will find the research and science, in essence, the life's work of Jeffrey Peyton.

Here is the mission statement of Puppetools from their website:

 OUR MISSION is to open the door to sweeping change in education by advancing the principle of play in teaching and learning. The world still looks to America for inventive social, economic, and technological solutions. Once, America's gift to itself --and to the world--was a bold new experiment in political freedom. America's next gift--again for itself and for the world-- can and must be a bold new leap in education. If you believe that the advancement of play both as a practical and theoretical organizing principle represents an innovative path forward, then we welcome your support and participation in our mission.

You may be asking yourself, how will this help our homeschool. If you are a creative person, who already incorporates play and hands on learning, then this website may not be for you. If, however,  you are not creative at all, and you find yourself, strictly the textbook kind of family, then a one year subscription would be worth it for your family. You would have access to forums, articles and videos to help you in your knowledge of learning through play. As well as, the multitude of patterns for puppets.  The price is $20 a year for an individual family. However, where is see puppetools to be the most beneficial would be for Co-ops, Churches, or Private Schools with Homeschooling Programs. There is a special group rate for situations like these. Please visit their website for pricing details.

Now I want to tell you about what transpired with my 9 year old daughter after spending some time on the puppetools website, we had just read the book, "Little Man in the Map" for an earlier review. My daughter and I read the story again, and then my daughter made a puppet of MIM. She made the "Hinge" on her own. And the entire puppet and used it to tell me about the map of the United States.

Check out Puppetools and see if this unique website is a god fit for your family.

Happy Playing!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Trigger Memory Systems

    I will tell you right off the top, I LOVE the products we received from Trigger Memory Systems, as part of the TOS Homeschool Crew. We received four books from them, Times Tales and then 3 clean n' flip charts..... Zone Cleaning for Kids, Laundry for Kids, and Bedroom Cleaning for Kids.

   I am going to start with talking about Times Tales! I am kicking myself for not ordering this product the first time I saw it and added it to my wish-list!  What is Times Tales you ask? It is a handy book, that id mnemonic-based program.  It has pictures, where the numbers are turned into characters, while still be able to see the numbe in their body, and then with each illustration, there is  a story to go with it. You read the child the story, then they tell it back to you.. and that is how the magic happens inside their wonderful brain God gave them!

I sat down with my 9 year old, who has not mastered her multiplication tables.  We sat down one afternoon, we did just as I described above, then we moved on to the included flashcards. There are two sets. One with the characters. So the 6 and the 3 would look just as they did in the illustrations. When looking at the card, she remembered the story, which also included the answer, and she had  the answer to give me. We were able to quickly move on to the flash cards with regular numbers, no pictures, and she retained all that she had learned. In a 30 minute session, she knew her times tables. WOW!!!! 

Since then she walks around with the flashcards and she tells her self the stories. I see her writing out the times tables down on a pieces of paper, in her spare time! This book is a real gem!!!

Now let me tell you, I have been leery of trying this product, because, you know that old saying, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Well, that was how I was feeling. How can this possibly work??  Please know, that I am not a sales rep for Trigger Memory Systems. This program works!! If you have a child who needs to master their upper times tables this is the product for you! At $29.95 you cannot go wrong!


Now onto the Clean n' Flip Charts. These have been an awesome addition to our household. We are a family that cleans the house together. And with 5 children, the quality of clean is sometimes questionable. Lots of going back, and redoing, which can be very discouraging, to a child who is doing their very best.

That is where the Clean n' Flip Charts come in. It breaks down the chores, into easy bite, size chunks for the child to follow. It is a dry erasable book, so they can use a dry erase marker, to check off what they have done. Or if there are multiple children doing the chores, then you can put their name or initials next to  the chore.

These charts have not only helped my children to remember all the steps to cleaning each room, or each step in the laundry process, it has cut down on the squabbles. It has helped each child be accountable for their own chore! Ingenious!!!!

Okay now for the pricing. They have several options!

You can get the Bedroom Cleaning for $7.95

Then you can add the Zone cleaning to that for $22.95

And then you can add to those the Laundry for kids for $29.95

OR you can purchase 2 Bedroom Cleaning for $12.95.

I would highly recommend all of these charts! THey have helped my kids, who range in age from 9 - 16!

I pray that one or more of these products will find it way into your home so that your family will be as blessed by them as ours have been!

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Little Man In the Map


The Little Man In the Map With Clues to Remember All 50 States, by E. Andrew Martonyi and published by Schoolside Press.

This clever little book, is wonderful. The goal of this book is to help your little one, and maybe even you  in remembering and locating all 50 states in our country. It all starts with the Man in the Map. What is that you ask????

Let me explain, this is a picture book, written in verse, which helps with memory! It tells the story of a class learning U.S. Geography. And they begin with the Man In the Middle of the Map. From north to south.. from Minnesota... his very tall hat, all the way down to Louisiana, which are cleverly his boots. And when you connect the states in between you have that Man in the Map or MIM as he is affectionately called.

Mim, then helps your child through the rest of the map, giving a fun little verse about each state to help them remember where the state is located.

Reading this book through a couple of times, coupled with a regular map, your child will have their U.S. Geography commited to memory before you know it!

All of my kids have enjoyed this book. Even my older kids enjoyed and were  not turned away from it, even though it is a picture book. So if you have a child that needs to get this down, this is a great tool.

The book has been honored with the :

Moonbeam Children's Book Award

Independent Book Awards

And was a a finalist for the:

Foreward Magazines Book of the Year and

Next Generation Indies Book Awards

As you can see this is a high quality book, that I would highly reccomend. This would make a wonderful Christmas gift, if you order right away! It is beautifully inllustrated, by Ed Olson.  Couple that with the fun writing of Anrew Martonyi, the children will harldly even notice they are learning at all!

The boook retails for $19.95.  They also have a wall map that reatails for $21.95 or you can get them together for $35.00.

 This has been a favorite in our house, I know it will be a favorite in yours!

Happy Learning!




I hate Math! Ok, so I know hate is a very strong word, but really Math is not my strong point. I mean I can balance my check book. And I can teach my children their math facts, but as they get older this is really my downfall. I have always been thankful that my husband has the Math brain. Just knowing that he can step in and rescue me from teaching math has always set my mind at ease.

However, now I have something else that is my safety net! ( Yes my husband will always be there, too!)  There is the great subscription based website called Aleks . 

What I have loved about this site is that my daughter can do her math independently. This is a huge blessing for me! Here is how it works.

When you set up your child's account you designate the level of math they are in. 3rd grade- Pre Calculus. Once you set up your child's account and they get started, they will asked to take an assesment test. Based on the results of their test they will create a pie chart of yor child's skills, as well as, where your child needs to learn.

As you click through the chart, which is divided up into different skill sets, they will present the next thing that your child needs to learn in that area.

Your child is asked to complete a problem, they can click for an explanation, and then work the problems. Once they display mastery, that skill is then set into their pie chart.

When your child returns they are asked review questions on those skills. To ensure mastery.

My daughter who enjoys math, but does not like to sit down and do "seat work", therefore, Math will always come with a scoop full of complaint.  However, with Aleks, she was actually asking to do math! Wahoo! Anything that helps my child ( or yours!) want to learn, gets a kudos from me!

Not only is she asking to do math, she is actually learning quite a bit. In the "Master Account" you have the ability to change the level you have your child set at, and you will be able to see how they are doing on their math work. It will let you know, what they have mastered and what they still need to learn and what is going to come up next.

The other awesome thing about Aleks, is that allows me to spend time with the other children in my house, while the student using Aleks is working. This is a huge asset. When you have a large family, that is something is priceless.

Whether you struggle in math, or your child struggles or excels, I would highly recommend Aleks.

Now, down to brass tacks, here is the pricing:

$19.95  per student per month

$99.95 per student every six months

$179.95 per student every 12 months

They also offer a free one month trial.  And they have family discounts. Please see their website for more information.  

Have a Happy Homeschooling Day!


Friday, December 5, 2008

Rime to Read


Once again, as a member of the Homeschool Crew, we have been able to use a nifty program! Istarted using it with my daughter. She is a late bloomer reader. She doesn't have disabilities, she just has very little interest. We have been working through other programs, which I will not mention. So she did start this program with basic letter sounds knowledge.

However, it has been great for her to have this reinforcement. One of the pluses with the program is that the books are on the computer. She absolutley loves the computer, so anything that she can do on the computer, is already a bonus!

Another neat thing that theyh ave recently added to the program is that you can click on the color coded words, and the word will be read out loud for the child. Now there have been a few glitches, however, they are working those out as we speak.

They do have an option to print out each book, if you would rather read them on paper. However, I really did not like that option. The books are just so much better on the computer, in my opinion. However, if you are a paper person, you do have that option. Now, what I did do, is I went to the 20th book, and printed out the last page. On that last page there is a grid. And in each box of the grid, it has all the words the child has learned in each of the books. ( one book, for each box of the grid). So I printed it out,  put her name and date on the top, and then as she read each book, she put a ticker on her "Reading Chart".  She has loved that!! I would highly recommened that to anyone using this program!

Now lets get down to brass tacks. What are the costs? You have 2 options. You can by the books, in sets. There are 5 sets of 4 books. Each book set costs $9.99. However, you can purchase all 20 books, for $44.99, which gives you a savings of $4.96. If you are interested in these books, I would recommend purchasing the entire set.

You may be asking yourself, what makes these books different than other beginning reader books. For our family, it was the interactive feature of the program. The stories were cute and my daughter enjoyed them. If you have a brand new reader, I would recommend this handy little resource.

Please visit them at and check it out for yourselves!

Happy Reading!




Sunday, November 30, 2008

Time 4 Learning part 2

The second installment of this series on Time 4 Learning, has taken a bit longer than I would have hoped to put up. We have been battling illness in our house. So I apologize for the delay.

 As promised I have logged on one of my special needs kids to Time 4 Learning. This particular child is my most severe special needs learner. In some ways over the years, I have given up hope on how far he will actually be able to go.

  When you start with Time 4 Learning, you  set up the profile for each child, specific to their level. Even if their Math and Language Arts are not on the same grade level. This is a big benefit in my eyes! As none of my children fit into the predetermined cookie cutters.

   So, we got him started, and he has loved it. He has actually been doing very well with it. As of right now, we have spent all of his time in the Language Arts section, this has been an area of weakness.

  He has been able to complete the activities given to him, and he even was able to read a book, on his own. One of the neat features it had was, if there was a word he did not know, he was able to click on it, and the computer would read it aloud for him.

   He has enjoyed his time on Time 4 Learning, so much that he asks me to do his computer work all day long! This is not typical for him!

  Thank you Time 4 Learning, for opeing my eyes to this kind of learning. As I continue to work with my children, throughout the month of December, I will share again.

  I will include pricing and other information in future entries. In the meantime, please vist for more information!

And Then Mama Said......It takes Time To Learn How To Read, by Gena Suarez

    Enchanting! That is how I would describe this sweet story written by Gena Suarez of The Old Schoolhouse magazine. I have just finished reading this charming story, And Then Mama Said...It Takes Time to Learn How to Read with my non reader. I won't give her age, but this is indeed something she has been working hard at accomplishing.

   We both enjoyed the story. She enjoyed the pictures and the story. I enjoyed the fact that it was a sweet homeschool family, recognizing that God has gifted each us differently.

  You see, my daughter that I read the story to, is my youngest. My eldest has learning disabilites. And this story touched my heart on so many levels. This will be a story that I will read to him as well.

This story is going to be a family classic for sure. At the bargain price of $9.95, you just can't go wrong. Then add to that you will also have access to an activity book to go with it. In the activity book, you will find coloring pages, mazes, science sheets and much more!

Also, if you would like Gena Suarez to sign the book, you can note that in the comment section of your order, and she will. How great is that!

Run on over to the Schoolhouse Store and check out this family treat!

Happy Reading!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Salem Ridge Press

    As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew we had the privilege of reviewing 3 books from Salem Ridge Press. Prior to this, I had not heard of this company. So I was eagerly anticipating the arrival of these books.

   In the years past, I have gone to Gutenburg to access old books for my children to read, or for us to read aloud as a family. The reason for this, is I have much more confidence of finding books that will fit our moral standards,by looking at old literature.  The down side of this is that the end result is a stack of pages printed off the computer, in a notebook, and not a nice book to add to my book shelf and hold in my hands. I love the feel of the real thing.

  What Salem Ridge Press has done for you is search out the very best children's book of the 1800's and the early 1900's. Their goal is to "republish books that are wholesome, exciting, and well written."  After going through the books, we were given, which were:


Glaucia the Greek Slave, by Emma Leslie

Mary Jane Her Book, by Clara Ingram Judson

The White Seneca, by William W. Canfield

And browsing their website , I have found they have been successful at just that.  A bonus, is that on their website they have sample chapters of each of their titles. This allows you to get a peek inside the book, to see if it would be a good fit for you and your family.

 I would like to tell you a little bit about this company and it's founder. Because, after learning about this company, I have confidence in what they put forth.

Let me introduce you to Daniel Mills, founder of Salem Ridge Press. Daniel is a homeschool graduate who loves the Lord and desires to serve Him and other people, especially other homeschooling families, through his business.  When Daniel graduated from high school in 2003, he pursued training in Disaster Reliefe and Search and Rescue.  However, in November of 2005 he started Salem Ridge Press. When Daniel was a teen, he read old books. Two in particular, At Seneca Castle, by William Canfield and Our Fellows, by Harry Castlemon, planted the seed of desire to see them republished.

The philosophy of SRP is found in the bible "Whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, thinkon these things." Philippians 4:8. This is a verse we study often in our home. Daniel understands the influence good literature ( or bad for that matter) has on a soul. Not every title is explicity Christian, however each book has strong moral values, and encourages positve character.

The other thing, that brought me peace of mind as I was learning about this company, was the commitmentthey show in the title selections. Daniel jokes, that his number one rule is "No Kissing".  He also states, that while most titles have no problem meeting their criteria, in a few instances, the have edited out passages to maintain the purity of their readers, As well as certain comments that may be derogatory that they deemed unneccessary and offensive.

That is encouraging to know there is company out there that has the best interests of my children at heart.

I would like to thank Daniel and his parents Chuck and Cathy Mills. Thank you Mr. and Mrs Mills, for raising a fine young man who desires to live forthe Lord, and Daniel thank you for bringing glory and honor to the Lord, in the work that you do!

Please take a moment to vist Salem Ridge Press. You will glad that you did.

Oh yes, I almost forgot, they havea contest going right now. Make a wish list on their website, and you could win 5 free titles of your choice! If I were you, I would rush right over and make that wish list!!!

Happy Reading!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Feasting Families

  Right now we are running around trying to get everything done for the family that is coming over on Thursday. It is easy to get swept up and forget the reason for being thankful.  Jesus Christ. Not only do we have the gift of Salvation, by grace, through Jesus Christ. But, He sees fit to bless us throughout our lives. We are not worthy!         

    Our Homeschool Group Family gathered on Saturday for our Annual Family Feast. This tradition has been a long held family favorite, among the group. The Lord granted us, perfect weather. In our area, we typically have a lot of wind, however, Saturday, there was just a very gentle breeze. The trees were half filled with leaves of a variety of colors. Our host, has a wonderful piece of land, that God has graced them with.  The front yard was filled with many tables arranged throughout the yard.

   The food and fellowship was quite simply wonderful.  My husband and I sat and spoke with a couple, the mom, I had only met once before, briefly at a "Mom's Night Out" . They have homeschooled their kids for 17 years. 3 have finished school, and 3 more still schooling at home. It was so nice for my husband, and myself for that matter, to share our experiences  with this family. My husband was able to walk away from that encounter feeling like, "Hey, we are not alone. Others do it like we do too!!"

    That was good for him. As the bread winner in our family ,he is not often able to just visit with other homeschoolers. So this was a really nice event for him.

  I walked away from our feast full of great food! That each family brought to share! And with the feeling of gratitude, to be able to gather with like minded Christian Homeschoolers, who put Christ first. And who put raising their children for Christ and serving Him and bringing Him glory in all we do a high priority. I  love homeschoolers! They are awesome people!!!  Thank you Lord for blessing us with so very much.

Happy Thanksgiving my friends!


Monday, November 17, 2008

The Missing Link: Found by Christina and Felice Gerwitz

     Wow, how exciting!!!  As part of The Homeschool Crew, we were given a copy of The Missing Link: Found, By Christina and Felice Gerwitz.  This is a mother/daughter team from Media Angels.  Christina was a 12 year old homeschool student when she sat down to write this exciting adventure story, with some assistance from her mother.

     We started reading this book as a read aloud for our whole family. I wanted to hear the story, as well as have them hear it as well. However, getting reading time in with all them was difficult.  So we began to read on our own.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book!! And I am so glad that my chidlren were reading it on their own as well.

  My teenaged son, who *hates* reading has been loving this story. He could not get enough of it. The story is full of suspense, action, adventure, and with the 2 main characters being Christian Homeschooled kids, it was easy for  my kids to relate to.

  There are several things that I loved about this story. 1st, it is set around a Christian Homeschool family. What really touched my heart, throughout the story, was everytime there was a crisis or a struggle, this family, always turned to the Lord in prayer. Exactly what we would want our children to remember. This story did a great job at modeling that. Futhermore, they prayed around people who were  not believers, showing a very strong faith.

  Next, there was some awesome dialogue on Creation vs. Evolution. There were many many facts included. Both sides were presented fairly. They also include in the back of the book a glossary of terms. Which was very helpful for some of my readers!  And on the last page, were Creation Science Resources.   It was an aawesome way to reinforce learning, while reading something so entertaining!

  And the last thing would be that there are 2 more books in the series! Yahoo!  That means my kids will be able to continue to follow the adventures of the Murphy family!

 I don't want to give away any of the story! But I will include one little blurb that Media Angels included on the back of the book:

"In the Truth Seekers Mystery Series, you'll experience adventure, mystery, heart stopping suspense, and faith played out first-hand by the Murphy family.  This action adventure mystery will keep you guessing to the very end!"

Please visit Media Angels and check out all of their awesome resources for parents and kids alike!

You can see what other Crew Members have said by clicking here!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Schoolhouse Store Spotlight Blog

Last week,  the fine folks of The Old Schoolhouse magazine, launched a new blog all about the Schoolhouse Store and would love to have you stop by for a visit!!!

 The blog address is:

They have already held a drawing and gave away 10 of the Homeschool Planners to some of their earliest subscribers to the blog. In addition, they are giving away a $100 store gift certificate once they reach 1,000 subscribbers! They are already over half way there!

The Store Spotlight blog is offering midweek markdowns (a new item 1/2 off every week), interviews with the companies whose products they carry, and random FREE products! You won't want to miss a day! Thanks for visiting their blog and I hope you enjoy it!

Have a Happy Homeschooling Day!!!!!

Time 4 Learning

     For the The Homeschool Crew, we have been able to begin to review Time 4 Learning.  What I am going to be doing is a "mini-series" of reivews on our experience with Time 4 Learning.



Homeschool Curriculum, After School Learning,
 Summer Use
For PreSchool, Elementary, & Middle School Students
"It's Time 4 Learning. And Fun!"


     I have yet to have had all of my children use the program. I primarily have had my 8th grader use the program, as well as, spend time on the site myself. We have thoroughly enjoyed using this website.


    For the parents, Time 4 Learning, has a multitude of resources for you to familiarize yourself with what they have to offer. Including a "getting started" tutorial and a "helpful hints" section tat really helps you to learn how to navigate through the site. In addition to that, they have a parents forum, that is interactive. You can read old posts that will be helpful, as well as, post new questions that you may have.  And for the technology challenged there is a place for you too!!  A page for technical difficulties. ( I have not had an technical issues!!!)  The people at Time 4 Learning also have their contact information, so they can help you, if the information on the site was not enough to solve your question or issue.

  Now, my son, has spent several days on Time 4 Learning. For us, so far it has been very useful. We are a large family, well,  we are homeschooling 5 children,  and in that mix we have a few special needs learners. What Time 4 Learning has done for our family in this short amount of time, has allowed my 13 yr old to hop on, and do school work, at his own pace, not waiting for me. And I am able to then turn around and spend time with my special needs learners. 

  At this stage of the review, our family is loving Time 4 Learning. What we will be looking at next week, would be the completness of the program, what would I need to add to it to make it a complete program, if anything. As well as allowing my other children to spend time on the site. Including my special needs children to see how well they can work with the site.

  Keep your eyes on this page for future posts....

And check out for more information!

Have a Happy Homeschooling Day!


Friday, November 7, 2008

Amusing Mathematics

   If  you are anything like me, you do not think Mathematics is Amuzing. Math has never been a favorite subject of mine.  Well, the fine people of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine have put together a very handy resource!

  Recently I told you about the Schoolhouse Planner, which in of itself is a wonderful resource. However, in addition the to initial planner, they have come out with monthly modules.  Each and every one are jam packed with useful ideas and tools. And this month is no different...  November Module Amusing Mathematics.

   I have mentioned in previous posts that I am a bit of an internet junky! Considering, money is often tight around our house, I am always looking for free or close to it resources. What I love about this module, is it has already done the research for me! I like that!

   There are great links to fun activites for the kids. You can color and cut our your own math manipulatives, such as, tangrams, pattern blocks, etc...

   And what kid doesn't like to impress their parents or friends with tricks or new skills they have. Well, listed in the November Module, they have Math Magic, and Math Jokes and Riddles. Now if that isn't making math "amusing" ... impressive!!! 

   You will also find,  coloring sheets, recipes, and word searches.  Soduku, math minute pages for addition and multiplication and a clock for learning how to tell time.  

    Just about anyone in your family will find something of interest ans fun in this handy module. Click here to order this great resource for a tiny price tag of $7.95!

Have a  Happy Homeschooling Day!!!!!




There is a contest happening RIGHT NOW over at the Company Front Porch!!

Click here to enter!

Here is a bit of what they had to say about it over on the Front Porch:

Readers of the popular Terrestria Chronicles allegory series will be thrilled to learn that Ed Dunlop has just released The Quest for Thunder Mountain, the first book in his new Tales from Terrestria series. The Quest tells the story of a young minstrel whose life is shattered when his career comes to an abrupt end. The book was written to help young adult readers experience the wonder of finding and doing the will of the King. You can see the TOS review of the Terrestria Chronicles at: .

The Quest for Thunder Mountain cover


There will be 15 winners for this contest. Each of the winners will receive a copy of The Quest for Thunder Mountain.

You need to vist the Company Front Porch to Enter!!! Hurry November 9th is the deadline!!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Homeschooling ABC's by, Knowledge Quest

     As the leader of our local homeschool group, I have spent many hours speaking with new homeschoolers, who are filled with questions!  Questions like:  Can I really homeschool? How can I do it all?  How do I pull them out of the school? What do I use to teach them? Will they have friends? I could go on and on!!

   As part of "The Homeschool Crew" we were fortunate enough to have been ableto preview Homeschooling ABC's by, Knowledge Quest. What is it? It is a 26 week class put on by the wonderful people of Knowledge Quest! You will receive one lesson per week for 26 weeks. The lessons, are in small enough chunks not to overwhelm a new homeschooler. Yet meaty enough, to be of real value! At a cost of $10 a month, it is well worth the price!

    I have been homeschooling for 9 years, so I would fall into the veteran category.  So this is not something I would purchase on my own. Let me tell you, I have LOVED it!

  I love this product on many levels. As a homeschool group leader, this will be a wonderful resource for our new families. This class will answer so many of the questions I usually answer on the phone, or at the park. Now they will have a resource, that not only answers those initial  questions, but so many more.  Here are the titles of the first 8 lessons:

1) A Quick Start

2) Let's Begin with the Basics

3) Copy the Classroom-NOT

4) Dare to Differentiate

5) Establish YOUR Philosophy of Education

6) Finding the Best Curriculum for Your Family

7) Get Together- Networking with Other Homeschoolers

8) Hands-On Learning for Greater Retention

As you see, in the first 8 lessons, Terri Johnson of Knowledge Quest covers a great deal of material!!!

But, what is amazing, I have been riveted to the lessons. I have been feeling inspired and reminded of all the wonderful reasons why I homeschool! Yes, even veteran homeschoolers need that encouragement. 

I look forward to taking the rest of this class! It is an awesome resource! Thank you Terri, for creating a product that was lacking in the homeschool community! This product reallydoes meet a need that at this point, had not been met!

Have a Happy Homeschooling Day!!


Tales of Glory Nativity Set, by One2Believe

As part of The Homeschool Crew, we were fortunate enough to receive the "Tales of Glory Nativity Set" from the kind people of One2Believe.

Now, I have to tell you, that this is not a product that I would have purchased on my own. My children are older, 9 and up.  However, my 9 year old, was thrilled when this package arrived. She has played non-stop with this wonderful playset!  You see, we have 2 other Nativity Sets we bring out during the Christmas season, and her eyes, have always dreamed of having those little figures in her little hands. However, they are all breakable, so she cannot play with them.

That is where this wonderful playset comes in! She has been playing to her hearts desire!  She has been using her bible felt set, with this play set and quite literally plays for hours!

If you have small children I would highly recommend this product. It comes with a mini book with the story of our Lord's birth. The other neat thing that was included was a paper with "Spiritual Stepping Stones". It talks to parents about general spiritual development of kids. At what age they are ready for what level of faith or belief. This would be very helpful, especially for new Christians or young parents!

This is a wonderful tool to integrate Jesus Christ into a childs every day life!

Let me be the first to wish you a Merry Christmas!!! And Happy Birthday Jesus!!!

Prayer and Thanksgiving

     I love this time of year.  The air seems to be full of thankfulness.  Isn't that really how we should approach  everything i nour life?  Whether it be a trial or a blessing, we as Christians should be thankful.  Why? In Philippians 4:11 it says, "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."  Over the years this verse has minsitered to my heart.  Independent of external circumstances, we can be content, because Christ lives in us.  In Romans 8:28 it says, " And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according in his purpose."  God is so good!  Resting in this promise is one way that we are able to be content!  Thank you Lord for being a faithful God!

  I am so thankful that we serve a loving God.  A God who want His children to come to Him with their needs, and not to worry about them,  and try to solve them in their own power,  "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.", Philippians 4:6.  And in Psalm 55:22a it says, "Cast they burden upon the Lord and he shall sustain thee."

   When reading these verses, the bible is clear, we should be thankful, and content in all that we do.  And we should go to Him with our needs.  And He will be faithful to His children.  We Christians have so very much to be thankful for. Let us share our joy and thankfulness with the world around us this month! A month when the people around us have a more tender heart!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Do you have Bibliophilia?

   Hi, my name is Jennifer, and I have Bibliophilia!!!  I think as homeschoolers, many of us probably fall into that category!  I can't help it! I just LOVE books!!!! 

  That is one reason, why I love this website Homeschool Library Builder.


This site is run by homeschool moms!! Who better to address the needs of homeschoolers?  This website is a wonderful resource for literature based education! They have both new and used books, at awesome pricing!!

To top that, they are having an awesome sale right now! A Great Big Bin Sale!!  They have *bins* for you to "rummage" through. The bins are marked at $1, $2, $3 and $5.  Also, they offer free membership. Everytime you purchase a book, you earn points! Refer a friend, and you earn points!!!  WIth those points, you can buy books! How awesome is that??

Now, typically that is all I need to fall in love with a website.. books and sales!!! However, this site has so much more to offer!

They have a marketplace section, where homeschoolers who have a "homegrown" business, can advertise their product for *Free*. That is an awesome resource for small businesses. Free advertising!

They also offer fundraising. Offering a great return for groups that need to raise funds!  On that same note they have a section called,"Operation Hurricane". The proceeds here will be used to benefit victims of the recent hurricanes, via, Samaritans Purse.

One other section that is really neat, is because, since these are homeschool mom's, they have a section, with educational links for the season. Right now, you will find awesome Thanksgiving links to share with your children.

Bookmark this site, you will find that you are a frequent visitor!

Happy Reading!!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

TOS Fall Promotion..... Even better!!!

Did you ever dream of getting a horse for Christmas? You can get a sneak peek of our Fall issue and see Nancy Carter's first horse! Oh, and she's not the only one sharing her childhood pictures. You'll see photos from the 50's through the 80's.

But, you'll need the Fall issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine to go on this walk down memory lane.

Plus, do you like to create holiday memories? The brand new TOS holiday E-Book can be yours, too. It's all about the fall and winter holidays - mainly Thanksgiving and Christmas. But it's not even for sale yet. This is your chance to get it first  - for FREE ($12.45 value)!

Normally when a person subscribes, their subscription starts with the upcoming issue which can take a while. But, TOS thought about that when they planned their  Fall Special.

If you subscribe now with their Fall Special, you'll get

Almost 50% off the cover price for 2 years The current Fall issue as soon as it is ready

6 Bonus gifts

12 months of Teacher's Toolbox, which contains a FREE E-Book every month PLUS, the new E-Book, Homespun Holidays for FREE!

This is over $250 worth of product for only $39!!


Monday, October 13, 2008

    This is our 9th year homeschooling our children. And every year, we wonder, where is it, we are going to find our curriculum. How is it the Lord will provide it this year.  And every year, while, I do go out and purchase some of what I need. Some of my curriculum, I never get around to “purchasing” because the Lord provides it in a different way. This year is no different.


  As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I have had the privilege to  begin to preview products, for the express purpose to review. The product I am about to review, I will honestly tell you, I probably would have never just purchased sight unseen. However, after spending, many hours, perusing the offerings of, I am sold! is a subscription based search engine site. I know, it does not sound glamorous, and you may be thinking, I can just use good ole google. Let me tell you, they are not even in the same league.


Elaine at, has 40 years teaching experience. She has turned that experience into this wonderful site. It has over 2000 prescreened websites. All of them are safe and relevant. Each entry has a code, letting you know what age the site is geared for. There are 4 possible categories. P= Primary ( Pre-K – Grade 2) ,  E = Elementary (Grades 2-5), S= Secondary ( Grades 6-12)  and T= Teacher or Supervising Student.  What a huge help! You are not wasting time on sites that are not appropriate for your kids. Also, since these sites are pre-screened, you can feel comfortable allowing your children to search on this site!  


On the front page of the website, it states that you can use this site for a full curriculum or just to supplement.  So I decided to search in that vain. I started to search with terms like, Grammar curriculum, and Reading curriculum, and continued through all the subjects, math, history, science, and even included Spanish. What I found was a plethora of sites that even to this seasoned, internet savvy homeschooler, who has found much of what is used in our homeschool on the net, I found new and different sites that I had never seen before.


During this search, I found, a site that had free downloadable books to help my struggling dyslexic reader. There are printable books and worksheets for the beginning reader.  I also found full grammar and spelling curriculum for grades 1-6 .   There are online games, ( that I have never seen before) for math, as well as worksheet generators.  I found a full curriculum for middle school and high school, covering US History, including 16 videos that go with it. And there was a wonderful world history site that would  be a wonderful resource.  There were also 2 sites that offered free Spanish Curriculum. While there was no one site for a complete free science curriculum, there were so many sites listed, with experiments and information on specific areas of interest. And even a site for virtual E field trips.  In addition, there are many pages to the teacher, on how to teach a certain subject. So if you are stuck, there is help!



You could easily use this site to design a curriculum for your children. And there is an added bonus that I think is a huge asset. Elaine, the designer of, really has offered to be your research assistant. If you have purchased the 1 year subscription, and are going through her site, and you are not finding what you are looking for, simply use the “contact us” button and let her know. She will research that topic and will send you what she finds, as well as, then including it on the site for future homeschoolers. You can go on teaching your kids, while she is doing your foot work! Or should I say, your finger work! And she does this very quickly, and has proven this, by listening to other members of the homeschool crew and then finding and adding what they were looking for! What a blessing!


Now down to the brass tacks!  Pricing! There are 4 possible subscription options.  

1 yr = $29.95

3 months = $15.95

1 month = $9.95

 3 days = $4.95


If you are unsure, then by all means, use the 3 day subscription. You will get hooked, and want to sign on for more. However, Elaine is offering, a wonderful opportunity, to the readers of this review. When you subscribe for 1 year at $29.95, she will include a second year for free. Simply use coupon code TOS.   If you are able to you use even just one subject on this search engine, that will more than pay for itself.  And remember, if you subscribe for 1 year (and get one free), Elaine will be your research assistant for both of those years!

You can read what the rest of The Homeschool Crew is saying here

Have a Happy Homeschooling Day!!!!! 


Friday, October 3, 2008

TOS Fall Promotion, The Best One Yet!!!

 I just LOVE  The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  I think it is by far the best homeschool
magazine out there.  It is unashamedly Christian!  And between it's covers you

will find such valuable information. So much so, that if your anything like me,

you will keep all of your copies for future reference.  I have even pulled an issue out

 from a couple of years ago, and read an article that was exactly what I needed that day!

Well, I wanted to tell you all about The Old Schoolhouse Magazine's Fall
Special. You can get two years of the magazine, 6 fabulous physical
gifts (no downloads!) worth over $120, plus the current issue of The
Old Schoolhouse Magazine that is full of ideas for the new school
year, so you start receiving your magazine in a flash!

It really is one of their best deals ever and you don't want to miss
out. In fact, they've got a really cute Homeschooling with Heart tote
bag (valued at $13.95) for the first 1000 to subscribe. About half of
them are gone, but you should still be able to get one if you hurry!
(They will remove the info from the subscription page when the bags
are all gone.) The total value is over $212, but you receive it all
for only $39 - 50% off of cover price! Plus subscribers get their
online monthly Teacher's Toolbox which focuses on a different topic
each month, giving you words of encouragement, hands-on teaching
ideas, book recommendations, field trip ideas, and a bonus download

If you have been on the fence about subscribing, or if you are one of our

brand new homeschoolers, this is a wonderful time to take advantage of

this special.  You get so much "bang for your buck"!

For you new homeschoolers,  it is really encouraging to get this

magazine delivered to your doorstep.  When you are unsure of how

to do something, or need curriculum  ideas and reviews, or just to

 read about how other homeschoolers  are doing it, this is the place for that.


What to Do When You Fell Overwhelmed


Fall is upon us, and if we are not careful, we can become “weary in well doing”. Our planning for the upcoming year, should be done, and now it is time to put action to those plans. As our calendars fill up with class schedules, and field trip dates, and all the wonderful activities available, it would be easy to become overwhelmed, asking ourselves, “How will we get this all done?” Those thoughts are not of the Lord. We talked about "Worry and Fear? Or Fatih?" , in this entry I would like to look at what we should do when we are feeling overwhelmed.

 In Psalm 61:2 the bible says, “ From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” First and foremost when we are filled with that overwhelming feeling, we need to turn to the “Rock of our Salvation”, Jesus Christ. Below, you will find some ideas on how to keep on task, while finding comfort in our Lord.


Organized-   “Let all things be done decently and in order.”, 1 Cor 14:40. Know your priorities! Write them down, the Lord should always be first. Develop a system that works for you. We all remember the story of Martha and Mary.. Luke 10:40-42, Are you a Martha or a Mary? Focusing on the Lord, or focusing on the meaningless tasks. When we take our eyes off the Lord, that is when that cumbered feeling comes over us.


Visualize- Visualize your day, week, and month. Visualize the completion of the school year. Make a time line for larger projects. And work that timeline backwards. Start at the complete date, and work towards the start date. Being sure to create mini-deadlines along the way. Proverbs 29:18, “ Where there is no vision, the people perish: but her that keepeth the law, happy is he”.

Enlist Help and Realize Your Limits Really go hand in hand. - Acts 16:9, “And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.”  Delegate. Do you know your limits, remember, everyone has them. Don’t allow pride to get in the way of allowing someone to help. Pray! Allow the Lord to lead you, He will guide you to the perfect “helper”. Exodus 18:18, says “ Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: thou art not able to perform in thyself alone." 

Work a plan- II Kings 11:5-7, Ask yourself, Who?, What?, Where?, When? And then refer to that timeline you created and set goals. Reevaluate and adjust to keep yourself on target with the end goal.

 Hide God’s Word-  Psalm 119:24, “Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.” Choose your verses, memorize them, and claim them. There is nothing as comforting as being able to recall God’s promises from His Word, and to have them tucked away in your heart to depend on, and guide you , just when you may need it the most! God is so good that He will meet us, right where we are!


Everything Happens for a Reason-  Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” Learn from those errors. Ask the Lord, “What is it that you want me to learn from this?” and “ Help me Lord, to be wiser at the end of this”.


Learn How to Say NO!- Genesis 33:13, “And he said unto him, My lord knoweth that the children are tender, and the flocks and herds with young are with me: and if men should overdrive them, all the flock will die”. Do you struggle with telling people no? One of the ways to do this is by letting people know, what you can do. Respond something like this, “ I can’t do ___, however, I can do_____. With that said, do not say no, when you do have the ability to be a blessing.

Meditate- Psalm 119:15, “I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.” Take time to pray. Not only should we pray as we have needs, we need to have a designated time for prayer. Don’t let yourself get so busy working for God, that we are not spending time with God.


Engaged and Determined- These last two really do go together. If we are not engaged, how will we be determined? In I Thes 4:11, “And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.” Are you spending too much time visiting? As homeschoolers, the phone and the internet, can be the biggest drain on our time. We need to eliminate our time wasters, in order to be determined and focused. Read II Tim 2:1-5, and then look at II Tim 4:7, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” The Lord will bless our time, when we keep Him first in all things.



Worry and Fear? Or Faith?

In the world we live in today, it is easy to get carried away in our fears. With the falls of the banking institutions, with the stock market so volatile and even closer to home, the struggle to keep food on the table and gas in the cars and to pay the bills that are due. Not to mention, will we be able to keep educating our children at home, while living on the single income that most of us live on. With all of these very valid concerns, we can easily be consumed with what our future holds.

   Friends, we need not fear, in John 14:27 the bible says, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not, your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” In 1 Kings 17, we are told of the widow woman Zarepath who sustained Elijah through the famine. We all know the story, the widow woman only had enough meal and oil to feed her and her son, just one meal, then they would eat and then die. And what was Elijah’s response? See in verse 13 it says, “And Elijah said unto her; Fear not; go and do as thou hast said, but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son” and it continues on in verse 14… “For thus saith the Lord God of Isarel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.” We know that the widow woman did just that, and we know that the Lord was faithful in His promises. However, what strikes me, is that the Lord did not just fill the barrel to the top with meal, nor did he just fill the cruse. Why is that, do you suppose?   He wants us to see that it is He that is providing for all of our needs. Every morning, when she went and scooped out the last handful of meal, and used that last bit of oil, she knew that meal had been provided by the Lord.  The Lord could put a million dollars in each of our bank accounts, if He wanted to. Though, He created us, He knows our nature. We would be come “self” centered, and “self” reliant. Or so we would think. We would lose sight, “that every good thing is a gift from above”. When you have to get down on your knees and pray in your next meal, or your next years curriculum, or for the bills to be paid, when those things are provided, it is clear, the Lord has met your needs.

 I think what Jesus says in Matthew 6 sums it up beautifully, verses 30-33… “ Wherefore, if God so clothed the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? Or, What shall we drink? Or Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

 May the Lord bless you and your family, richly!