Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bible Story Songs!


Bible Story Songs



I don't know how it is in your house, but in mine, my children love to sing. And I mean LOVE to sing.  And the funny thing is, so do I. Thankfully my children have gained a bit of talent, and are able to carry a tune from their father.  I am one of those who make a joyful "noise" when I sing!

Over the years we have had many cd's that have helped to teach them bible stories and  help them to memorize God's Word. However, I had never heard of Bible Story Songs.  

As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew my family was sent the  David Shepherd, Psalmist, Soldier, King cd, which is their latest release.

It is a delightful children's cd. The songs are sung by children, which my children always loved. However, what sets this cd apart from others that I have heard, is that before each song, there is a bible verse given. And to me that is the most important. After each of those verses, the song that follows is a song that has something to do with that very verse. It is a wonderful way for the children to connect what they are hearing to the actual Word of God.

Sometimes, with other cd's, we parents would know what verses the children's songs are talking about, however with this cd, it helps the children hear that verse. And if your children are anything like my children, we listen to cd's over and over and over and over and over and over....... So this is also a wonderful way for the children to actually memorize scripture!

Now the other wonderful aspect of this company, is that not only to they carry these wonderful CD's, they also carry the sheet music!  I can see two benefits from this. One, if you have piano playing children, they can learn how to play these songs; I am thinking that my older children could play the songs, while my younger one sings the songs! What fun!

However, if you are a Sunday School Teacher, or even teach a co-op within your homeschool group, you could use the sheet music to assist you in providing wonderful music to the children. As a Sunday School Teacher, you can pick a song that goes along with specific verses, how awesome is that!!


Here is the pricing:

David CD - $9.99

(Free David e-Lyric Sheet)

David e-Sheet Music - $9.99

Bundled Set - $16.99

David CD plus David e-Sheet Music

DAVID e-Transparencies File
Adobe PDF - $4.99 

Please notice the FREE lyrics sheets available!

Take a moment and look at  Bible Story Songs and see what other delightful cd's are available!  Your children will be glad you did!

Happy Singing!!!




Monday, February 23, 2009

Storytime Writing Contest-Deadline Fast Approaching!

The deadline for this contest is fast approaching! If you have not signed up, and would like to, see the details below to find out how!  Did you notice, even adults can enter this contest! You or your child, could see your winning entry in The Old Schoolhouse magazine!!

Happy Writing!


Exciting News from TOS!
Attention writers!
Grab your pencils and get those creative juices flowing!


The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine is hosting our second Storytime Writing Contest! We have two creative fiction categories: adults (16 and up 2,500 words or less) and children (15 and below 1,500 words or less). Deadline to enter is March 16, 2009. $7.95 fee per entry.

Grand prize winners in both the adult and child categories will receive prize packages valued at over $1,000, publication in the Summer 2009 issue of TOS, and publication in our Storytime 2009 Compilation E-Book. Eleven Honorable Mentions from each category will also be included in the E-Book in addition to receiving gifts from top homeschool companies.

We look forward to reading your entries!

For a detailed list of prizes, official contest rules, to meet our judges, and to upload your story, please visit:
Need help teaching writing? We have over 200 writing products in the Schoolhouse Store!


Friday, February 20, 2009

Heads Up Now!!!!

What can I say about this wonderful company. I had never heard of them, prior to receiving  their products as part of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I have to tell you that I have fallen in love with this little company! Owned by David and Melinda Boring.

Melinda has sought to be a student of her children, attempting to educate herself in order to be more effective as a parent and teacher. It has been challenging and at times overwhelming. With prayer, determination, and a refusal to give up on her children, she has seen them experience success and develop confidence in many endeavors. Heads Up! is a result of the Boring family's desire to be a source of practical help and encouragement to others who regularly interact with children with learning differences. Our logo is a salute to all the incredible learners who think and experience life "outside the box".

The members of the crew were sent "Heads Up Top of the Line", "Heads Up Double Time", "Head's Up Frames" both small and large, and the "Heads Up Reader" 

I must tell you that these have been very helpful. I have two children that are ADHD and Dyslexic and one that has autism, among many other special needs. With my two children with dyslexia and adhd, the readers, and the "top of the lines" have been extremely helpful keeping them "on track" . Most of the time when they read, they would lose their place, and this has made it much easier for them. It has made it so they have to concentrate less on keeping their place, and they can focus more on the words. 

The frames we used to help them with their math pages. It helped to isolate the problem they were working on. It helped to keep them from getting overwhelmed by all the problems on the page. 

I hope that you can tell, that they products are wonderful and the company is as well. Since receiving the products from Heads Up Now!, I have also made a purchase from them. Let me tell you , they have wonderful resources available. I purchased 4 books and e-book, that was written by Melinda Boring. I have yet to finish the book, but I have been reading every spare moment I have. I can tell you that I now have a wish list from their catalog.

It was wonderful to find a company that understands my children, exactly how God made them, and have compiled such wonderful products to help me help my child.

Please, if you have a child with special needs of any kind, or know of a family with children with special needs, please visit and see what this wonderful family have to offer.


I actually looked into last school year. And I was completely sold!! Jason Gibson, the creator of has been such a blessing in our family. We had only purchased the Basic Math DVD, however, as part of the TOS Homeschool Crew, we were given Word Problems and Algebra II.  My kids are not yet at Algebra II, however, I watched that DVD, and can confidently tell you that you will be just as impressed with it, as I was!

Okay, first comes a confession, Math is not my thing. I squeaked by in high school, only taking the basics. So I have always worried that I was not going to adequate enough to teach our children. 2 things have happened as we have homeschooled our children. I realize now as an adult, that math is not nearly as intimidating as it was when I was in grade school! 2nd, with the help of, I have been able to help my children.

Here is what I have found that is the most helpful. Jason is a math guy! Do you know what I mean by that? He knows math, it seems that he enjoys math. So when he "speaks" math, there is a comfort there. Versus, that sense of inadequacy  I have.  When I was teaching my children with learning disabilities, it was really helpful, to be able to sit them down in front of Jason, and have them watch him explain. For some reason, when he explained it, even though I felt like I said the same things, they finally got it!!!

We would even pause the practice problems that Jason wrote on the white board, and have them do the practice problems before Jason. Then watch to see if they were right!

The other real highlight for me, is that these DVD's are  not made in conjunction with a particular curriculum. So no matter what math text you are using you can use the MathTutorDVD's to teach the concept, and then they can return to their text books and do the work!

The best part of all, is the price! Most of the individual courses cost $26.99.  WOW!!! That is so affordable. Especially when you put that next to the several hundred dollars I have seen other types of products like this go for. However, they also have bundle sets where you can save up to 10%. Depending on which bundle you choose. While I love to save a buck, I cannot afford to but them all at once, so for me the affordable $26.99 if right up my alley!!!

Some of his DVD's offer worksheet cd's to accompany them. I have not yet seen those. I did just order one though and I excited to work them in to our day! On the website it says they "highly recommend" that you purchase the companion cd. So, I would recommend it as well. I trust Jason and his recommendations!

So whether, you struggle with math or your child does. Or if you are contemplating hiring a Math Tutor, I would try first! You will save yourself a lot of time and money, and heartache! MathTutor DVD's have been a lifesaver in our house!

Visit today!!!

The Bridge to the Latin Road by, Barbara Beers

 When we found out that we were going to review one of the programs from Schola Publications, I was excited. As a family, we really haven't delved deep into grammar. Yes, we have touched on it all along the way, but nothing formal.

So this was going to be interesting.

We chose the The Bridge to the Latin Road. A one-year introduction to Latin designed for students 3rd-6th grades, preparing the teacher and student for the grammar and translation work in The LATIN Road to English Grammar.

When the box arrived we found that what they supplied for us was complete in every way. There are 6 DVD's where Barbara Beers, creator of the Latin Road, is teaching the teacher, that would be us, how to teach the children. For me this was invaluable.

It also came with 2 binders. A student binder and a teacher's binder. The children are also given 3 pencils, (1 red, 1 blue and 1 regular) along with a 6 inch ruler.

Throughout the program we will be covering various parts of speech, sentence diagramming, and Latin roots, suffixes and prefixes. All of these put together lay a wonderful foundation for any student to prepare for further exploration of Latin, or even just to excel in the understanding of the English language.

As I touched on earlier, it was helpful to have the DVD's to watch. I tried it both ways, having the children watch with me, and also, watching them prior to teaching. For us, it worked better for me to watch the DVD's ahead of time, and then teach the children. The DVD's did not keep their attention.

The only thing that was disconcerting for me, were there were times on the DVD where Ms. Beers would refer to something from the previous year, and it was not included in our notebook. My desire would be that those items would also be included in this program as well. However, we were able to work around that.

All in all, we really like the program. There was one other thing that we used the program for, that was not the way it was intended. While the children were getting lots of handwriting practice with the dictation of sentences. However, I rather like the handwriting that was included in the teacher's manual. So I would also use some of the sheets of words for my children to copy from, to help then with their letter formations.

Please take some time to check out Schola Publications and see how you can incorporate this wonderful product into your family.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Write Shop Story Builders "World of Animals"

Do you remember playing with Mad Libs when you were growing up? Oh, I loved Mad Libs, I remember laying around on the floor, on the bunk beds, with my feet hanging over the couch, laughing hysterically with my friends.

To me, this is very much the same. Okay, not exactly, but there are some similarities in the shear amount of fun that my children and I had while "playing",  I mean learning with Story Builders!

So what are "Story Builders"?  It is from the great people of Write Shop. off the top, one of the perks is that it is a download, which means instant gratification! You can begin working with the program immediatly.  Since I have been part of the Homeschool Crew, I have become a proponet of the "E-book". Boy, is it nice, not to have to wait for the postman.

So we printed out Story Builders "World of Animals".  Story Builders comes with a deck of cards with 4 kinds of cards; character cards, character trait cards, setting cards and plot cards. Your child (or you) will take a card from each stack, such as, wolf, bossy, in a hollow tree, and meets a man in disguise.

As you can see, with a set up like that, you are bound to have a good time with your kids as their creativity grows!  We have spent hours playing! The neat thing is that you can use the cards from other "Story Builders" to have even more variety!

I would highly recommend this program as an add on to your current language arts program. This is also a great way to help children who may have trouble coming up with ideas on their own. My son with special needs had a great time developing stories.

There are 4 different "Story Builders"; World of People, World of Animals, World of Sports and a Christmas Mini-Builder.  The first 3 cost $7.95, and the Christmas Mini Builder costs $3.95. For a very little amount of money, you can have an awesome tool to help engage your children's creativity.

Please visit to learn about these and other wonderful products from the people of Write Shop.

Happy Writing! 


Monday, February 9, 2009

One Year Adventure Novel

When I hear the words, writing curriculum, I must be honest with you, that my eyes glaze over. They all just seems dry, boring and uninteresting. Don't get me wrong,  I actually quite enjoyed some of my writing classes when I was growing up ,and rather enjoy writing today. However, I have yet to find a curriculum that sparked the love of writing that was sparked in me all those years ago.

Enter in One Year Adventure Novel.  The title alone  was intriguing.. Needless to say I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of OYAN. Once it did arrive, the program that Daniel Schwabauer created was far superior to my wildest imagination

Mr. Schwabauer is an award winning novelist. And One Year Adventure Novel is written from a Christian Perspective and he weaves in Christian principles beautifully. Everything in the package is of the highest quality. You'll find a list of what is included at the end of this review.

One huge plus for me was the fact that when you are using this program, it is entirely teacher/student friendly. Mr. Schwabauer teaches directly to the student in a fun and exciting way. He engages the student in a way that I have not ever seen in any other writing program. Really, in any other homeschool program, period.  The lesson starts with an exciting intro, exciting the student for what is lying ahead.

He also trains the teacher/parent how to critique the students work. At the end of one year, your student will have written a novel. How awesome is that? I know many adults that are still working on their "book", this curriculum would even help the aspiring writer that we all know, reach their goal. As an adult watching the lessons along side my student, I was excited, eager and learning so much about the craft of writing a novel.

Lets look at what was included in this program.

The Compass- A textbook with detailed explanations of the concepts explored in each class and sections of classic adventure novels used for study.

The Map-A workbook with over 400 questions designed to provoke thought and inspire creativity. The Map acts as a guide to your student's original story and gives direction toward making that story more effective.

Teacher's Guide- An easy to use system for grading your student's work and helping them improve their writing skills.

7 instructional DVD's -containing all 78 lessons, covering every topic and each step in the curriculum. Each lesson is about 10 to 15 minutes long and is taught using a variety of reinforcements.
Your students will not be bored in class!

1 Resource Disk-   26 Weekly quizzes that can be administered by computer.

 Video FAQs,  14 classic adventure novels, including:
Huckleberry Finn, Treasure Island, The Jungle Book, The Blood Ship, Black Rock, Captains Courageous, Rupert of Hentzau, Tarzan, King Solomon's Mines, Wulf the Saxon, Peter Pan and more.  
Computer desktop images/wallpaper.

The Prisoner of Zenda-Anthony Hope's classic swashbuckling tale of court intrigue and double-identity in trade paperback format.

As you can see this is quite the package. The cost is $199 for everything listed here. If you have more than one student in your own home that will be using this curriculum, it is only $25 for an additional workbook.

You can also visit the website for information on school licensing.

I look forward to completing One Year Adventure Novel, with my son, and I can't wait to read the book my son comes up with. Watch this space, for updates as we progress through our year!

Mr. Schwabauer has created a wonderful writing program that would be an asset to any family. We are a family that always watches every penny we spend, this program is worth every cent!

Happy Writing!




Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Back to the Basics

   Welcome to February!! How is your homeschool progressing? At this time of year, we will no doubt have some families, who have plotted their course well and they are well on their way to the finish line of May or June! While others, are doing their best just to keep their head above water. It is to the later, that I wish to address.

    Whether this is your first year homeschooling or you are a veteran homeschool family who has just hit a bump in the road, I pray that you will find some encouragement throughout the pages of this blog.

   No matter the reason why you started to homeschool, whether it was for academic reasons, or just for one year, because the cost of private school was more than your budget would allow. I think one place we all end up, is that while we want each of our children to have academic success, and reach their God given potential, we come to the point that we realize that what really matters, is their relationship with the Lord and their godly character. Only those things that will endure.

   So, before we break out the text books, or living books or lap books, let’s break out the “good book”, the Holy Bible! Psalm 119:11, “ Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.” That really is a good place to start. Not only is this useful for the children, but for us, their teachers. Our lives model for them how they should behave or respond to trouble or conflict. 

    How have you done at establishing the daily routine of daily bible reading and prayer time? Do the children, if old enough have their own time for that as well? For the children who cannot have their own personal bible study, incorporate that into the morning routine. If you are just beginning to do devotions together,  you can start with a proverb a day, and prayer time. You can take prayer requests from the children, and then pray together for those requests. And then adding a memory verse a week, would be a great idea as well.


    I will tell you, there is a marked difference in my children when the morning devotions are done. If we need to do them later in the day, because of our schedule, there is almost a sense of waking up on the wrong side of the bed. So for us, it has become a priority. God is good at showing us what is needful!

   Now onto character; obedience, helpfulness, respectfulness, and diligence are  just a few that come to mind.  We all know that the our flesh will battle us, every time we take a step closer to God and to godly living. The question lies in, how to develop godly character? I have heard it said, “rules without relationship, breeds rebellion.” That is definitely not our desired outcome!

So where do we begin?  Let’s go back to that verse we quoted earlier, Psalm 119:11, they need to hide God’s word in their heart! Then as parents our job is to pray for them. Pray for the character qualities they struggle with, and then we need to reward them for the right behavior. Reward them what you ask? Remember that quote about rebellion, how about rewarding them with time with you. You may be thinking.. time with me, we spend all of our time together. What I mean here is relationship building time, working on a project, learning a new skill together, doing something they enjoy, collecting rocks, or hiking, or bike riding, or reading together. All of these things will knit their hearts closer to yours, and closer to their Lord!

    Earlier this year, I discovered a really neat website, that I think will help your family in the area. The articles and resources there have blessed our family!

Check out for tools and ideas and inspiration on how to make the most out of opportunities that present themselves each and every day. God Bless you!