Monday, August 29, 2011

Apologia, How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids {Crew Review}

I am really excited to share with you my very first review for The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. This is my first year with the TOS Crew and it is the Crew’s fourth voyage. It promises to be a fun and interesting year for us all! 

Now onto the review!

For my first review, I was asked to read Apologia's How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids by Apologia’s own Rachael Carman. As you all know, I am a HUGE fan of Apologia’s homeschool curriculum so I was more than THRILLED to find this listed for review right away. In my opinion, Apologia’s line of quality products tops my list of educational favorites.

Though this book is not a part of their already well-known curriculum line, it is an excellent encouragement resource for anyone interested in providing a solid love of God for their family and changing the direction of life for both their children and themselves. You can find the book listed in the Resources for Parents section on Apologia's website.  This is honestly a wonderful resource for all parents, not just those who are home schooling. It is so much more than homeschooling encouragement. It is an encouragement to live a life for God.

H.E.A.R.T. is an acronym.  Each letter has a special meaning.

H - Have a Heart for the things of God.
In this section, you will learn how to have a heart for God. In order to have a heart for God we must have a relationship with him. We must find time to fellowship with God, to read His word, to do His work. Throughout this chapter, Mrs. Carman explains just how to do those things through praise, scheduling and so much more.

E - Enrich Your Marriage.
Throughout the bible we are told that we are to put our spouses first, after God.  In this section, Mrs. Carman has us take a look at the relationships in our lives: our parents, those we know and our own. She asks us to notice the differences, the truths, the good and the bad of each relationship so that changes can be made to build a stronger H.E.A.R.T. for our family. She asks us to make the changes necessary to make our marriages stronger, to connect to our husbands and allow God to help strengthen our weaknesses in marriage so that we may live to glorify him with our family.

A - Accept Your Children.
Have you really sat back and taken a long look at your children?  Have you thought about what you want for their lives?   Have you ever consider what God wants for their lives?   Have you thought about His purpose for creating your children?   After reading this section, you will have done all of these things. Mrs. Carman has us take a long look at each of our children’s interests and how they affect their own single relationships with God and His purposes. She helps us to realize just how important our children are, not only to our own life but for the bigger purpose of glorifying God. She also shows us how to pray for our children, to help them to become stronger individuals in order to live up to the purpose they were created for.

R - Release Them to God.
This is possibly the hardest part of living as a Christian: letting go of the control of our own lives and letting God take over. Even harder is allowing God to control the lives of our precious babies. In this chapter, Mrs. Carman explains how to do that. She has us take another look at the wishes and plans God has for our children and explains how to pray specifically for each of those individual plans. She shows us how to let God take control and allow our children to grow in His name and spirit. She teaches us how to release our own control to allow God to give life to our children in His own way.

T - Teach Them the Truth.
The title of this chapter says it all: Teach them the Truth. Teach your children the truth of His words. Teach your family the love that God has for us all. The bible is a guidebook, written to provide a firm foundation for our relationship with God. This chapter explains how to use this foundation to make our family stronger and bring both ourselves and our families closer to God. Mrs. Carman has us take a look at the good and the bad of our world, along with the word of God to show us how to correctly teach our children the truth of God’s love and wishes for us.

In these five chapters, we are shown how to live our life for God, how to encourage our children’s relationship and our own with God, how to provide strong foundations on which to grow in our relationship and our faith, along with so much more.

After reading this book, I have personally come to realize that I have been pushing my children to live for my purposes and that of our daily society instead of living their lives as God has directed and created them to do. I have learned to pray about the choices my children make, the future they choose and I am learning to let God have control of where He is leading them. In the future I will be allowing God more control of their choices and teaching them to listen to His guidance as they continue to grown in His word.

How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids is written by Rachael Carman and available through Apologia Education Ministries, INC for $13 plus shipping. A free sample chapter is available on the website, along with the book’s Table of Contents. I recommend this book for all parents, regardless of educational preference. It is certain to change your H.E.A.R.T.

To visit The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew blog and read more reviews click here!

*Disclaimer - I received this book for review FREE from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine’s Homeschool Review Crew. I was not asked to provide a positive review but instead asked to provide my honest opinion of the product I was given. I have not received any monetary supplement for reviewing this book, other than the free copy sent in exchange for writing my personal opinion for this review.

Organizing Again {Thoughts from Me}

Some days my words flow like honey.  On others they back up like wet sugar in the jar.  It's often hard to come up with some new, never-before done topic to discuss online.  So many bloggers cover so many great ideas and none of us want to seem like carbon copies of each other. 

Every day I have a thousand thoughts that never get written into existance.  Some fly in my head and back out again.  Others get started and never get finished.  I attribute this to being a Gemini in nature.  I tend to either do things all the way or not at all.  I struggle with staying organized, with planning, with keeping order.  I most certainly was not "born organized" like some. 

This week I am taking a look at my home, myself, and my life online and off.  I will be printing out some new planning sheets, using my scheduling books from the Maxwell's and reorganizing my disorderly life.  I will be working to organize different areas of my house, continuing my past efforts that always seem to get lost along the way.  I will also be setting up a more organized blogging plan, creating new topic ideas and hopefully following through on those and finishing up the past ideas and articles that have been left undone. 

None of this is done without prayer to my Father in Heaven.  I know without Him I can never overcome the daily struggles in my life.  Not even the simpliest of them.  Education in His word is a must and something else I will be adding more of into my life. 

What things need organized in your life and home?  Share with me and let's work on this together.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Educating in His Word {Homeschooling}

It's been back to school time for many across the country in the past few weeks and many more still this week. Facebook is filled with posts about parent's who are more than ready for their children to return to school and other's who are saddened by this routine of sending their children off year after year. It literally breaks my heart to see these poor families ripped apart by this common occurrence of society. 

It is the social norm to place our children into the hands of strangers every day, to allow them to be raised up, taught and taken care of by absolute strangers who we have only met once in a block building on the day of open house. Like sheep, we follow in the footsteps of those before us, leading the way, who say this is how Education is meant to be and we forget the teachings of our Father to raise up our children in His word.

In fact, His word is no longer allowed in these schools. His word is no longer spoken to the very children who He has blessed us to raise and love upon. We, the parents whom He gave His children to care for, follow along and do the opposite of what He has asked in order to stay within the boundaries of a society who could certainly care less what truly becomes of our beautiful children. We do what we have been led to believe is the "right" thing by a society that says it is so.

What has happened to His word? What has happened to the teachings that He set forth centuries before in writing? Do these words, these directions written directly from Him mean nothing to us? Is society's wants more important than His commands?

Today's education is NOT the standard set by the Word of God. It is us, the parents, who God requested to teach the children, to guide and direct them in His loving word. Children are meant to be mothered by their Mothers and fathered by their Fathers, as God has directed. Children are not meant to be herded through classroom after classroom, year after year to be handed over daily to someone else's care and knowledge. They are not meant to be yanked from the skirts of their mothers as infants and small children to be turned into tiny adults before they are able to enjoy life as a child.

What can we do as parents to change this standard set by society? For one, we must advocate the word of the Bible and share it with our family, our children and those who's lives we daily touch. As parents, we must provide our children with a strong foundation, allowing them room to grow while maintaining a firm and protective hand. We can become more active in the classroom, know what our children are being taught, and participate in their lives daily. We can observe and learn what lessons our children learn from friends and family and correct the lessons that our children should have never been taught. We can raise our children in God's word and teach them values as that He set forth ages ago.

Life does not have to be this way.  Parental relationships do not have to be this way.  Education does not have to be this way.  By stepping up, bringing out the word of God and educating our children the right way, in His word, we can change our daily lives for the better and that of our children and their children for good.  It only takes a single step initiated by YOU, the parent.  Are you ready to move forward and let God do His work by teaching your children His word?  Are you ready to make the change and commit to living your life His way instead of following the life society sets as normal?  Only you can take the steps necessary to change your life and that of your children. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fall Makeover {Homeschooling}

You probably noticed that Luv'N Lambert Life has gotten a fall makeover.  I'm pretty proud of it.  I created the header myself, matched colors and fonts, and picked out a blogger background of leaves.  I think it looks great and it really wasn't hard to put together on my own.  So the blog is officially ready for fall!

My week has been spent cleaning out my house.  My Mom has revamped the kids rooms (I'm so thankful!) and I have worked on the living room and other areas of my home.  I still have much to do but it's so much easier with her help.

Today I sorted and matched socks.  I didn't count them but between five people I'm sure there were well over a hundred pair.  I matched an appropriate amount and I tossed all the rest.  Three Walmart bags FULL of socks went into my trash!  I'm soooo thrilled to be relieved of those things.  And I sorted them all while watching Gone With The Wind, the movie my Mother was named for. 

We did a ton of other stuff today but the socks topped my Whoo-hoo list!  I can hardly wait to see what I manage to clean out tomorrow.  I feel a fall clean coming on!

Speaking of fall, September 1st is right around the corner.  The first day of hunting season means lots of deer meat and filling the freezer!

Speaking of filling the freezer, I've had to clear it out so that can happen - just in case.  I've been planning meals around the meats that are currently stocked in the freezer, making room for my favorite meat: venison, or deer.  We absolutely love it at our house.

Fall means lots of time to do school.  It's the perfect way to stay busy.  Plus cooler temperatures allow us to do more outdoor activities for school and offer the perfect opportunity to observe nature as it changes. It's the time of year we most love!

I'm hoping to have curriculum plans complete and in order soon so that we can begin formal schoolwork.  This will allow time to work through until Christmas, taking a few days off for the holiday and Winston's birthday.  I'm partially there.

So that's what we are up to right now.  Everyday we are Luv'N Lambert Life a little bit more! 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Still Planning {Homeschooling}

This is my sixth year homeschooling.  Somehow it feels like my first.  Each year is just as exciting as the first one.  Planning always brings it's own challenges.  Then there is the changing of curriculum because what you used is no longer available or simply did not work for your child(ren). 

So this, my sixth year homeschooling is just as challenging for me as my first year was.  Actually, I think my first year may have been much easier! LOL

As I've mentioned before, this year I have decided to switch up curriculum and basically at the last minute.  We normally school year round in an unschooling manner, using bits and pieces of this and that for curriculum.  This year we will be switching to Tapestry of Grace for our core curriculum.  I am having to learn to plan around this study, add to it where needed and build upon what I already have.  Sounds simple, should be simple but somehow for me, it's just not that simple.

Then to throw another loop in the rope, my usual Grammar curriculum, those wonderful FREE workbooks from Scott Foresman, are no longer available.  So now I must find something equally wonderful to use for our Grammar lessons.  I have several ideas in mind but haven't quite nailed the right one.  After all, I just found out yesterday our original workbooks were no longer available.

So as you've probably guessed, I'm still planning out our school year, taking it one step at a time.  I've not had quite as much time as I'd like to do it because life has thrown various stops in my path but I'm getting there slowly but surely.  I'm hoping to be ready to start our school year on September 5 or there about.  Guess we will see what happens.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

God's Love Letters to You by Dr. Larry Crabb {Booksneeze Review}

Author: Dr. Larry Crabb
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Price: $9.99
Book type: Gift or Devotional

     This book was written by Dr. Larry Crabb and is based upon his book 66 Love LettersGod's Love Letter's to You is a 40 day devotional sharing both scripture and meaning from the world's greatest book, the Bible.  Every one of the 40 day devotions includes a short letter, a reflection upon the words written to pray over throughout the day and a prayer.  A different prayer and verse for everyday for 40 days covering 40 books of the Bible.  This devotional is thoughtful and beautifully written.  It would make a perfect gift for a young adult or someone special. 

I enjoyed reading through this book.  The reflections and prayers were easily used and stuck thoughtfully with me throughout the day.  I was also easily able to share the devotions with my children and discuss what the author meant by each, as well as what God wanted us to learn throughout the book.  God's Love Letter's to You is an exceptional devotional and something I will read again.

*This book was provided to me for free by Booksneeze, a blogging review program (see side-panel for link to Booksneeze).  I was not required to give a positive review in exchange for this book.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Not Back to School Hop: School Room

Joining in on the Not Back to School Hop at Heart of the Matter.  This week's topic is the School Room.

I admit.  I really don't have pictures of our school room.  I generally take most of our photos when we are doing outdoor activities because I prefer the light and I don't take indoor pictures because of the lack of light in our home.  (Even doing a quick search turns up results for no single room pictures not including people.)

Where do we school?  Everywhere.  Outside, inside.  In the living room, dining room, bedrooms and kitchens.  We've even done experiments in the bathroom.  School happens all over for us and lessons never seem to end. 

We have even converted our dining room into a library room to hold all of our books, crafts and supplies.  Our dining table has become our school desk.  The artwork on the wall behind it is simply our dry erase board and a small chalkboard for the kids to use.  Our TV is our digital projector.  We connect the computer to it for interactive lessons and we watch educational videos on Netflix with our Wii.  We use the kitchen for experiments.  And the list goes on and on. 

Outside, we go on nature walks.  We learn how others live, both human and non-human.  We socialize with neighbors and friends.  We construct.  We grow.  We learn.

Essentially, our school has no boundaries and is nothing like a normal classroom setting.  It's an all-in-one lifestyle and we enjoy the closeness and experiences that it brings us.  We are able to enjoy this life as God intended, in every second of our days.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Still We are Busy! {Thoughts from Me}

The past few days have continously been busy for me.  One day spent planning and seemingly getting no where.  The next two spent cleaning out the girls' bedroom.  It's a major job that needed doing but it's left me little time for anything else.  Add on top of that an unexpected night out with friends, watching them ride some of the craziest amuzement rides in Myrtle Beach.  All equals one tired me. 

The kids, of course, are LOVING having their MaMa living nearby and having her here is helping me to get a lot of necessary things done.  Between the two of us, Laycie hasn't been able to get away with much.  She spends most of her time following MaMa around which is allowing me to get many things done I don't normally get to.  The other kids come back and forth between our houses, playing and enjoying the best of both worlds: home and Grandma's to visit.  Mom is simply enjoying having a house again, as well as her babies to love on, though she greatly misses my nephews and really wants to see my neice. 

This weekend will be spent, hopefully painting trim work in the girls' bedroom, as well as working more on the reorganization in there.  I'm praying to be selected for a recent release of a review which would be perfect for all of the kids to play with in the girls' bedroom but I'm not giving details to that one yet.  Just keeping my fingers crossed, as it comes just a few moments after mentioning the "need" of one in there today.

Tonight, I will be printing out some pages for my home and school management notebook.  I really need the organization that such a notebook provides and haven't taken time to complete any binder I have began in the past.  I'm hoping to change that this year.  I also need to work on reading through some of the things I need to review soon.  I am enjoying the opportunities provided so far. 

Well that's all that we are up to at this time.  Just simply staying busy but hopefully it will all come together for us very very soon.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Simply Busy Busy Busy {Thoughts from Me}

The past two weeks, I have simply been too busy to even log onto the laptop.  I have been online but only using the iPad which doesn't allow me much capability for communication past simple replies and answers.  There just seems to be no time for me.

My Mom moved here two weeks ago to finally live in her own house after 6 years of living with one of her children.  Our great-grandmother passed away several months ago at the age of 104 and her single-wide mobile home had sat empty the past few years while she grew older in the nursing home.  After her passing, my Mother was offered her house as a "home" just to have someone staying there to keep it up, help with the small bills it has and also be closer to my family.  No strings attached.  Mom is enjoying being able to design a home again though I believe it's going a bit slower than she likes.  It will get there though.

We have been busy cleaning and organizing the house and accompaning shed, which she is quickly turning into her planting shed.  We've also been working on several things in my house and organizing here too.  We've spent a few days out thrifting, searching for the perfect storage items and various decor to use.  It's been great fun!

On top of all of this, I've been searching out curriculum for this upcoming year, buying books at the thrift stores as I come across them and working out plans for everything.  The next few days I will be forcing myself to sit down, organize all our school materials and write out the plan for this coming year of school work.  I'm excited and I know when it's time to start the new stuff in the next few weeks, the kids will be too!

I've also been recieving my review materials from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine's Review Cruise.  You can find a link to it in my side bar to read all my fellow crew members reviews.  In the next month I will be reviewing How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. For Your Kids by Rachael Carmen from Apologia, Before Five In A Row by Jane Claire Lambert and Big IQ Kids online premium site.  I'm looking forward to all of these reviews and hope you are too!

Well, that's what we are up to for now.  Hopefully, I'll be settled into a more normal routine before much longer!  But for now it's a busy busy Lambert Life for us!


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