Thursday, October 16, 2014

Apologia: iWitness

For this review, I received copies of the three books from the iWitness series from Apologia Educational Ministries.  I received the following titles: iWitness Biblical Archaeology, Old Testament iWitness, and New Testament iWitness.  All of these were written by Doug Powell.

Each of these titles are priced at $14 per book through Apologia Educational Ministries.  The series is designed for persons with a reading level of age 11 and up.  They can be used with younger students as well if read along with an older person.

Each of these books features a different aspect of learning about the Bible.  In true, Apologia fashion these books are awesome.  If you read my blog, then you know one of my favorite ministries and products to use in homeschooling is Apologia Educational Ministries.

The books are formatted as multi-media artwork, much like a journal.  Each is filled with wonderful information sharing important points on the Biblical topic they discuss, as well as important proof to prove truth in the facts shared.  The books are small but jam-packed with interesting information.

I personally read through these and shared the information with my children as I did.  I enjoyed the fun format and found it intriguing to read through.  I learned so many things about the Bible that I didn't know.  

For instance, iWitness Biblical Archaeology, which was my favorite of all the books, tells of the stories related to the Big Flood of Biblical times.  I did not know that there were so many stories from different nations that tell of the great Flood.  Through reading I found this fact to be true.

These books also share photos and facts that you may otherwise miss in regular stories of the Bible.  They show you what really happened in the time period and what life was really like.  It was interesting to see all of these things compiled along with the wonderful facts about them.  And best was that because it's an Apologia series, I know the facts are right simply because of the standards of Apologia Educational Ministries.

These are books that will be added into our home library.  My daughter has already picked them up and read through them several times.  Even my Mom has enjoyed reading these and she's pretty picky about the things she reads.

Each of these books share such unique details about the Bible.  Stuff I have honestly never seen in a book I have read.  It was a great joy to read through these and truly helped bring the Bible to life for us. They would be great to use as a Biblical supplement or even just to read through.  There are so many uses for these titles.

You can purchase this series through the website at Apologia Educational Ministries:

You can view an author interview for the iWitness series from Apologia here:

You can find Apologia Educational Ministries in the following places online:

To read more reviews of Apologia Educational Ministries, please click on the banner below.

Click to read Crew Reviews

Crew Disclaimer

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Better Late Than Never!

Here's a little fact about me: I am 35 years old and I don't drive.  *Gasp* You heard me right.  I've never even had a driver's license.

About 6 months ago, I received my first permit but even then I haven't driven much.  I have this weirdly irrational fear of driving that is really hard for me to overcome.  That is until recently.

Last week, I just felt it was time to get started on really learning to drive.  So I have been.  This week, I decided I needed to come "home" to my hometown where I grew up and spend some time with my best friends who have all been proactive in helping me learn to drive.

And you know what?  I am doing it!   I really am.

I don't know why I have felt afraid to do this for so long.  Yes, there are dangers and it's always a risk but it's something I've been needing to do.  I need the independence and I need to be able to take my kids  places, just me and them.  I'm well on my way to making that happen and I know they are so proud of their Momma.  Seriously, I thought they'd be driving before I would!

So this is what I am up to right now.  Learning to drive about 20 years later than a normal person.  Better late than never though!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fortuigence: Essay Rockstar Textual Analysis {Schoolhouse Review}

Writing is a course that we've recently introduced into our family's learning program this year so when this review for Fortuigence came up I was immediately intrigued.  I knew that my children were not quite ready to complete this course but I was interested in trying it myself so that we could possibly use it for homeschool writing in the future.  I signed up for the Essay Rockstar Textual Analysis Writing Course.  

I, personally, chose this course so that I could brush up on my writing skills for review purposes.  I felt the need to have an extra challenge and a class all of my own to complete.  I wanted to make sure I was providing the best in writing that I am able to and this course was perfect for that.

Fortuigence provides a course of lessons which help to inspire students to perform better.  It helps students learn to become independent writers and self-sufficient thinkers through each lesson of the course.  This is true learning at it's best.

Essay Rockstar Textual Analysis Writing Course is a short course of 7 lessons, complete with video instructions for completion.  Each section of the course requires the student to watch a short video on an explanation of what's expected during that part of the course.  Then the student can either read through or listen to the next section of the course, learning to put in place the part of the lesson they are learning.  Lastly, students must create their own piece of writing to turn in for the assignment they are working on.  This writing assignment is checked and corrected by Lily Latridis herself, the Founder of Fortuigence.  Lily then emails the student back with constructive criticism on the student's selected work.

I found these courses to be exceptionally easy to follow along with and complete.  I was encouraged in using the program.  I knew that I was a good writer already but this program did help me to polish some of my skills and encouraged me to continue on the path I am on in writing.  Sometimes I have self-doubt, after all we are our biggest critics.  Through using this course, I learned that I am often harder on myself about my writing than it is necessary for me to be.

Essay Rockstar Textual Analysis Writing Course is for students who are ages 12-18. A Textual Analysis is simply a review of another person's work, which is exactly what I blog about several times a month working for the Schoolhouse crew.  This course helps develop critical thinking skills and helps students learn to explain how they feel about something they've read, seen, or even used.  They learn to be descriptive in their writing by really telling about the product or subject.

Essay Rockstar Textual Analysis Writing Course from Fortuigence is available for $57 for the 7 lesson course.  Each lesson varies in length but follows the same format as I mentioned above.  The lessons are very thorough in covering the method step by step, one leading to another.  There are also various other writing courses available through Fortuigence for around the same price per course.

You can find Fortuigence in the following places online:

Click the banner to find more reviews of Fortuigence from the Schoolhouse Review Crew!

Click to read Crew Reviews

Crew Disclaimer

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Preschoolers and Peace {Schoolhouse Review}

Preschoolers and Peace is a great company that helps those who are new to homeschooling, as well as those of us who are experienced homeschoolers.  They provide inspiration e-Books and tools for homeschooling with little ones at home and give Mom's that extra boost of confidence that is often needed during this stage of learning and life.  For this review, we were sent an e-Book copy of Preschoolers and Peace: Homeschooling Older Kids with Success While Loving Little Ones At Your Feet.  This book is a must read for all Momma's with little ones.

Preschoolers and Peace: Homeschooling Older Kids with Success While Loving Little Ones At Your Feet is just what a Homeschooling Momma needs.  This e-Book is 47 pages long, jam packed with ideas, tips and inspiration that speaks right to the homeschooling Momma's heart, where it is needed.  Each section is created especially to inspire Mom's like me and show that we can do this, even when we think we cannot.

This e-Book contains 13 chapters, a meal planning section, final word of encouragement and resources to use both for creating the book and suggestions for you to read through to inspire you as a Homeschooling Momma even more.  Chapters focus on things like What A Homeschooling Momma Needs, Circle Time with preschoolers, how to bring preschoolers into school time, How to Not Kill Time and how to incorporate preschoolers into day to day things like chores and learning.  All these things and so much more come together to show us how to make the most of this Homeschooling life we live.

I personally read through Preschoolers and Peace as a book to help myself.  I have three older children I am currently homeschooling and a two year old who is well beyond his age in maturity.  He's growing fast and sometimes we have a hard time keeping up with him.  It was my hope that through reading this e-Book, I'd refresh myself and gain some helpful tips from my reading.  I must say I was not disappointed in the suggestions given throughout this text or by the inspiration within the book.  It was a great read and left me ready to dive into this journey during this new stage of life: Homeschooling three of school-age with a young child by our side.

Some of the advice in the book are things we already try to do, so these things were nothing new but reading them in the book gave me the confidence to know that what I was already doing was the right thing for us.  There were other things that we weren't doing which we will be trying in the future as we continue to grow in learning with each other.  Having this book on hand these last few weeks has been really beneficial to our family.

I think my favorite section was the one on scheduling.  I often battle to keep a schedule and sometimes just give up.  Reading this section reassured me that it's okay to toss the schedule at any point and just start again if need be.  As kids grow so do we, and so do our schedules.  That's how it's supposed to be and so therefore, it's okay to just toss it out and start all over as our lives change.

There are a lot of other great ideas shared within this e-Book but to read them,  you will have to purchase it yourself.  Every Momma who has littles should get a copy for their home to read through and read again as your child grows.  You can purchase your copy of Preschoolers and Peace: Homeschooling Older Kids with Success While Loving Little Ones At Your Feet for $2.99 online through the website at Preschoolers and Peace.  This is one e-Book that is definitely worth the price!

Don't forget to check out the Preschoolers and Peace website as well!  There you will find great inspiration through the blog to help you stay motivated in this homeschooling journey.

You can also find Preschoolers and Peace online in the following places:

You can read more reviews of Preschoolers and Peace by clicking on the banner below:

Click to read Crew Reviews

Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

IEW: Fix It! Grammar {Schoolhouse Review}

For this review, we were given a copy of the Institute for Excellence in Writing's Fix It! Grammar.  We were allowed to choose which book we reviewed and I chose the first in this series for my children: Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree.  We received both the Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree  Teacher's manual and the Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree Student book for Book 1.  This is a 6 book series which sells online for $19 for the teacher's manual and $15 for the student book.  This program series is for students in 3rd grade and up.

IEW's Fix It! Grammar is one of the best programs I have used thus far.  The program is wonderfully thorough and so easy to use.  It was perfect for our homeschooling.

We have been looking for a great Grammar program to use for a while, especially for Emmalee.  She's a very independent learner and doesn't require or want a lot of instruction from the programs she uses.  So I had been searching for a program that would teach her exactly what she needs to know as quickly as she learns.  The program also needed to be somewhat adjustable and easy to pick up on because Emmalee wants to learn so quickly right now that instruction bores her and makes listening hard for her to do.  

With Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree, Book 1, I was able to give Emmalee a brief lesson on what she was learning and have her jump right into completing her lesson in the student workbook.  The Teacher's manual covered everything I needed to teach Emmalee how to use Fix It! Grammar and what we were learning about in the section we were working on.  It also helped that Emma is a great student and she loves learning which made the program flow a lot easier for us.  I would not have had the same results with my son, who does not learn as easily as his sister but this program is still great for him as well.

Students do need a binder for his program which will need to be purchased before they get started.  Within the binder should be dividers organized as Fix Its, Grammar Glossary, Rewrite, and Vocabulary.  Students should start their week out by reading through the "Learn It" section, being sure to cut out the weekly grammar cards that are located at the back of the student book.  I laminated these to make it easier to use and keep up with them since they are to be used for the year and beyond of learning through Fix It! Grammar.  The first few times we did the lessons, I helped by modeling the lesson on the dry erase board to show Emma exactly what was expected of her while using the program.  As I already mentioned, it did not take her long to catch on.

Emma enjoyed fixing the passages she read through.  She also enjoyed the interesting reading that was provided through some of the passages she edited.  She also enjoyed the rewrites for each lesson.  It made for great copy writing practice to help build her handwriting skills as well.

This was such a great program for her to use and just what she was needing for the stage of learning she is now in.  I've watched Emma blossom in her learning while working through Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Book these past few weeks and I love seeing the love of learning on her face.  It's the best feeling ever to have a product and know it's working so well for your child's learning skills.

Institute for Excellence in Writing can be found online in the following places:

To read more reviews on IEW and Fix It! Grammar, please click on the banner below:

Click to read Crew Reviews

Crew Disclaimer

Monday, September 29, 2014

September Update

Life is been full of doctor's appointments for us lately.  It's  not leaving a lot of time for other things to be done.  Being on the road is definitely time consuming but of course, my children's healthcare is more than worth it.

Jackson started Parent Child Interactive Therapy a few weeks ago.  We are doing great with this therapy and have already passed through the first part of the series after 2 weeks of sessions with our therapist.  We are now moving on to the next step which is to give Jackson demands and work on his temper issues, as well as building discipline.  We hope this will help both us and him learn to better deal with our day to day and also help with his breath holding spells. Time will show us if it does or not.

Emma sees the neurologist this week as well.  It will be our first visit.   We hope he will be able to tell us why she is toe-walking since no one can tell us that.  Once this is done, we will move on to repairing her toe-walking.

Last week we ordered Jack a helmet.  Hopefully, it will be done soon and we will be able to use this for both of his therapies.  It will be great for his headbanging as well.

Laycie and Winston are doing great right now.  No issues for them which is wonderful.

That's it for a current update and where we are at with our day to day issues.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

My Student Logbook {Schoolhouse Review}

My Student Logbook is a wonderful company that provides easy to use logbooks for your homeschooling.  Appropriately titled, My Student Logbook is an amazing way to keep track of your day to day studies.  This logbook is great for grades 2nd and up.  If you've been looking for a way to keep your students on track, this may be it!

My Student Logbook comes in a variety of designs.  Since I choose this logbook to use with my Emmalee, I chose the cover that most reflected her: a beautifully imaged cover with horses standing within a fenced field.  Emmalee loved it!

The cover of her logbook has a special space to put her name and the year which is wonderful for record keeping.  The cover page is paper but there is a wonderful plastic cover over it to prevent the page from getting dirty and help prevent damage during use.  The back cover is a simple black plastic page to help keep the book clean.  The entire book is paper and around the size of an average one subject school notebook.

When you open your logbook, you will find several pages explaining how to use the logbook.  There are examples for both younger students and for high school students so you will need to read through and decide which best fits your needs.  We chose to use the younger students method.  Either method is set up the same way, it's how you use the book that is different.  We did not use the High School suggestions so this review will only reflect the suggestions for use with a younger student.

My Emma is in 5th grade this year and she is a very independent student who likes to keep up with her work on her own.  This is new for her as she's previously been very disorganized as most artists tend to be.  If you have been reading our blog a while, you know that Emma wants to be an artist when she grows up!  

Before this review became available, I had been wracking my brain for a method that would work for Emma to be able to keep track of what she needs to do daily for school and more.  It needed to be a simple planner that was easy to manage.  My Student Logbook appeared to be just what I was looking for and just in time as well!

Emma's logbook arrived and it was very easy to set up.  You simply cut out the first checklist page of the planner and fold it on the already marked lines.  Place the page over the first calender page with the fold going over the notes section and tape it to the back of the notes section so that the checklist covers the notes section of the page.  You do not need to tape it down over the front of the page, only the back.  

Our logbook was not dated and I chose that because we do not always work daily.  Our schedule is often changing so I wanted Emma to be able to have her list of work she needed to complete but not worry if she missed a day or even a week of work.  I simply wanted her to be able to follow and pick up where she needs when she is able to do the work.

I listed her daily work and her chores as well in the checklist column.  In the time column, I wrote how much time I wanted her to spend on the work or chore she needed to do.  These times are adjustable as needed but I did write the maximum amount of time she needed to complete the items so she wasn't dawdling all day.

As she worked through using My Student Logbook, she would put a letter for the day of the week and a number for the date into each of the column boxes so that we knew which day the work was done.  At the top, where the date was supposed to go, we instead listed the month she was working on that week.

We used the notes section on each page to write back and forth to each other.  If she needed to tell me something, she listed it there or if there was something I needed to remember, she'd make me a note.  Same for me to her: if she needed to do something or needed an extra bit of information, I'd write it in the notes column for her.  It worked well for us.

Since we've only been using this for a few weeks, we haven't needed to change our checklist but one day we will need to.  When we do, we simply move to the next calender page and add another checklist to it to start a new section.  We will leave the old checklist in place so that it shows record of what's been done.

Also as you move from week to week, you don't have to use a new checklist.  Simply lift the flap of the checklist and turn the page, then lay the flap back down to work on the next weeks set of boxes.  Easy as that.

We greatly enjoyed using My Student Logbook.  I'm hoping to purchase the other kids their own books very soon.  My Student Logbook is available for $15 for both dated and undated versions and $10-20 for the PDF downloads of these logbooks.  There are multiple covers to choose from allowing you to make each students unique if you choose to do so.

You can find My Student Logbook in the following places online:

Please click on the banner below to read more reviews of My Student Logbook!

Click to read Crew Reviews

Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Easy Recipe for a Busy Week {Macaroni and Milk Recipe}

We've been having a really busy week.  Two days of doctors appointments and the kids therapy all in one week.  Plus I'm still playing catch up from our weekend away over a week ago.  Mom's job is never-ending and life never slows down.

When life gets hectic and we don't have a lot of time, we turn to one of our favorite comfort foods for dinner: Macaroni and Milk.  This has been a family favorite from as long as I remember.  It was a childhood favorite growing up as well and also a childhood favorite of my Mom's.  This family recipe has been around for a long, long time.  Best part is that it's quick and easy to make!

Macaroni and Milk

1 lb of elbow noodles
1 stick of butter or margarine
Milk - enough to cover the noodles
Salt and Pepper to taste

Boil the elbow noodles in water until cooked thoroughly.  Drain water.
Over medium low heat, add in 1 stick of butter or margarine and enough milk to cover the noodles. Add Salt and Pepper to taste.  Cook until butter is melted and milk is heated.  DO NOT BOIL as this will curdle the milk and ruin the dish.

This is a quick and easy meal to make when you are out of time or rushed for the day.  We make it when we cannot figure out what's for dinner or we just won't something that's different.  Sometimes we have it for lunch as well.  Refrigerate leftovers to have the next day.  Reheat on low.

I hope you enjoy this meal from our family recipes.

Share it


Related Posts with Thumbnails