Homeschool Planet – A Review

Homeschool Planet – A Review

Looking for an all-inclusive program to organize your homeschool… and your life?!?! Homeschool Planet is probably the solution for you. I searched and searched, tried different programs for keeping everything organized and simple, but Homeschool Planet is the software that I ended up using for our first homeschool year. I was also given a free year of the subscription for sharing this review for all of you. This program was created by the Homeschool Buyers Co-Op and offers a free trial, so you can make sure it’s the right fit for your family before you actually buy it. Homeschool Planet is the most user-friendly online program I have found anywhere. It literally includes everything you will need. I’m sure I haven’t even used all of the fun features that are included… so many options. You can set up individual accounts within your profile, and the kids can even have their own logins so they can view only their assignments. Here are some of the awesome features within Homeschool Planet: Different views so you can see your classes/schedule in whatever format you need, including a calendar view so you can see all calendars at once and a planner view so you can simply see everything you need to do and when. Email and text message reminders to help everyone stay on schedule. Daily digest emails that can go to the whole family so everyone can see their schedule, assignments, and even their chores for the day. Attendance tracking. Transcript creation. Compatible with Google Calendar, iCal, and other online calendars. Mobile version that allows you to edit on smartphones. A rescheduling helper...
The Ripken Way – Review & Baseball Package Giveaway!

The Ripken Way – Review & Baseball Package Giveaway!

***CONGRATULATIONS TO DANA BOWMAN! You are the winner or the Ripken Baseball Package! Thanks to everyone who entered!*** Today’s post is sponsored by Ripken Baseball through the Bloggy Moms Network. I’ve always loved baseball. It’s pretty much in my blood. The smell of outfield grass and hot dogs, the chalk dust, the chatter, the familiar tunes, the sounds of ball-hitting-glove and bat-hitting-ball, and every single baseball movie ever made! My preteen/teenage Saturdays were spent at the ballpark watching my little brother, along with other boys I knew and liked. In high school, I was the manager of the JV baseball team (which meant I could keep a pretty mean scorebook and make sure stats were correct). Then there was softball, which I played until I started having babies… and throughout all of this time, a deep love for the game of baseball and the Atlanta Braves. So now, our oldest son loves baseball just like his mama. It’s fun to watch him as he learns the fundamentals and grows into a stronger player. There are so many lessons that our kids can learn from playing the game of baseball… ‘If we do all the little things right, then we’ll never have a big thing to worry about.’ – Cal Ripken, Sr. Enter The Ripken Way. If you know anything about baseball, you’ve heard of the Ripkens. Cal Ripken, Sr. was with the Orioles for 37 years as a player, coach and manager. Although his career was successful, Cal Sr.’s legacy is his love of the game and the wisdom that he instilled in players… and the wisdom that has...
Untangled by Carey Scott – A Book Review

Untangled by Carey Scott – A Book Review

I knew I wanted to review Untangled because I think the world of my friend, Carey Scott. I also knew that insecurity has been a constant struggle throughout my life. What I didn’t know was how much Carey’s words would resonate with my own experiences… and touch my heart! I’m so thankful for the transparency in this girl. Thankful that she allowed God to get into the innermost parts and open up a vulnerability that we ALL needed to see… and one that is so seldom shared. About the Book:  Untangled unpacks the struggle women have with feeling like who we are and what we do is good enough. We’re bombarded with daily reminders that we just don’t measure up. And unfortunately, we’re listening. We might feel insignificant as a wife or ineffective as a mom. We might feel worthless because we don’t fit the world’s definition of beauty or battle feelings of rejection because of other women. We may gauge our value based on our income or how well we cook and clean. Or honestly, it could be a million other things. The truth is, there’s no shortage of not-good-enough messages tangling our lives every day. And unless we understand what they’re doing to us and ask God to unknot the insecurities that are choking our sense of worth, we will never have a healthy self-esteem. This book is my story—my journey—to find the good in me, and to learn how to silence the voices that have called me I’m worthless. Chances are it’s your story too. Insecurity is a thread that knits us together as women. But there is hope. The God who created...
A Friend In Me: Book Review

A Friend In Me: Book Review

A Friend In Me: How to Be a Safe Haven for Other Women introduces us to the issues that prevent Christian women from building strong inter-generational friendships. It presents a case for why it’s important for us, as women, to get past our differences and join together for the cause of Christ. About the Book:  Young women long for relational connection with women further ahead of them on the journey. Yet, without realizing it, many of us tend to distance ourselves from those in younger generations. Can we really have close relationships with women who have different thoughts on church, different experiences with family, and different ways of talking about God? Where do we start? In A Friend in Me, Pam Lau shows you how to be a safe place for the younger women in your life. She offers five patterns women need to internalize and practice for initiating relationships and talking about issues such as faith, forgiveness, sexuality, and vocation. Most significantly, she reminds you that there doesn’t need to be a divide between generations of women. Together, we can have a global impact—and experience a deeper faith than we’ve ever known. About the Author: Pamela Havey Lau is the author of A Friend in Me, Soul Strength and numerous articles for such publications as Christian Scholar’s Review and Christianity Today. A graduate of Liberty University and Colorado State University, she has taught writing at George Fox University and speaks around the country at conferences and retreats. After her three daughters were born, Lau began teaching writing at private day schools until 2010 when she started her own business, Real Life Real Image, where she writes,...
IEW Primary Arts of Language: Reading & Writing – A Review

IEW Primary Arts of Language: Reading & Writing – A Review

Because Katherine has continued to struggle with learning to read, I was excited when we got the chance to review The Institute for Excellence in Writing’s Special Needs Curriculum: Primary Arts of Language. We received the Reading Complete Package and the Writing Complete Package for this review. At first glance, the program can seem overwhelming because of all of the pieces included. However, Jill Pike’s introduction videos walk you straight through the why, how, and what of the entire program. After watching and learning from her laid back and very calming explanations, I was no longer worried. She makes the process simple… and fun! The Primary Arts of Language: Reading Complete Package uses poetry, letter stories, and daily games to give a well-rounded approach to learning concepts. The package includes the following: Primary Arts of Language: Reading Teacher’s Manual Primary Arts of Language: Reading DVD-ROM, which includes the following: Instructional Video by Jill Pike Four MP3 audio talks:​ Nurturing Competent Communicators by Andrew Pudewa The Four Language Arts by Andrew Pudewa Poetry as an Integrator by Anna Ingham Intro to the Blended Sound-Sight Program by Anna Ingham Primary Arts of Language: Reading Student Book (e-book) – You can print it all out at one time as a workbook OR print the worksheets as you go along. Very flexible! Student Readers – Set up so you can print them out and staple together to make little booklets. Primary Arts of Language: Phonetic Games Primary Arts of Language: Phonetic Farm folder with stickers There is such a flexibility with how this program is put together. The Teacher’s Manual, Phonetic Games book, and Phonetic Farm folder are all printed materials. However, the student...
Apologia Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal: A Review

Apologia Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal: A Review

Apologia Educational Ministries produces so many incredible products for homeschooling families, including science textbooks for all different levels, planners, journals, and so much more! When I was given the opportunity to review their Exploring Creation Field Trip Journal, I jumped at the chance! After all, our kiddos love to go on field trips. 😉 Apologia’s Field Trip Journal is divided into several sections: Preparing for a Field Trip; Student and Teacher checklists for the week before, the night before, on the way, and at the “field”; Over 100 Field Trip Ideas; Over 100 suggestions for studying plants, animals, Earth, space, aviation, the human body, history, government, culture, and more; Places I’ve Explored Maps; Three separate sections help you document the date and destination of any field trips exploring your state, the United States, and the world; Field Trip Pages; Specific field trip pages help you plan out your visit, document any books you’ve read about your field trip, create a “must do” list, take personal notes, tell the “Story of my day,” and record “Something I never want to forget”; Special Spot Pages; As I See It Pages. This beautiful, spiral-bound journal is designed to help your student slow down and notice the fascinating changes that occur from one season to the next.  Four times a year, your student will map out a specific location to see what happens over time, recording things such as color, flowers, leaves, sights, sounds, animal clues such as track or droppings, temperature, average rainfall, and much more. It was created to help your child document thoughts using imagination to capture an experience as...
Lest They Tear Me Apart…

Lest They Tear Me Apart…

As I sit in our sunroom listening to the birds’ melodies and the light breezes, I am amazed to still be here alone… and still. It’s 8:45 on a Sunday morning and the kids are still sleeping. No way I’m waking them up yet. An hour is still to spare. Time like this is rare for me. In fact, it’s been a while since I’ve let words come off my fingers from the overflow of my heart as opposed to a review-type blog post. What is different today? I put on my tennis shoes and went for a run with a friend. The early morning workout actually happened. I didn’t hit snooze 20 times (only 3). 😉 Then I came home to my Bible open on the sunroom table. So it goes… when I get up and put my running shoes on, this happens next… When the discipline happens in one area, it spills into all other areas of my life. But on the flip side, when I allow other stuff to cloud my vision, I am a chaotic and twirly mess. Psalm 7:1-2 says “O Lord my God, in you do I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers and deliver me, lest like a lion they tear my soul apart, rending it in pieces, with none to deliver.” As I read these words today, the word “pursuers” grabbed my attention. Pursuers don’t have to be people. They can be bad habits, evil thoughts, bitterness, laziness, lust, pride… so many others. These pursuing time-stealers that come straight from the chief pursuer himself. When I stay in bed in the morning instead of getting up...
JazzEdge: PianoWithWillie – A Review

JazzEdge: PianoWithWillie – A Review

I was SO excited to get an opportunity to personally review JazzEdge‘s piano curriculum, which is called PianoWithWillie. As a musician, and someone who has wanted to learn the piano and more in-depth music theory, this program has given me the opportunity for me to do just that. For this review, I was given a Studio Membership for one year, which includes 3500+ lessons, a 30-day start program, sheet music, audio downloads, unlimited support, and more. JazzEdge was founded by Willie Myette, a Berklee graduate, who wanted to put all of his jazz education and performance ventures in one place. He has lessons available in jazz, funk, latin, rock, gospel and blues for everyone, including homeschool families. The different programs offered by Willie are: PianoWithWillie, DrumsWithWillie, Homeschool Piano, and Easy Piano Basics. Willie’s teaching theory includes complete integration between Rhythm, Technique, Reading, Song, Style, and Concept. His idea is to make learning fun.. not just learning the foundations, but to make it fun in the process. By the 4th lesson in his 30-day start program, you are playing a fun little song. This will keep students entertained as they learn. By the 8th lesson, students are already learning about improvisation. This program is extremely comprehensive. The 30-day start program is great for either a refresher course or a cram course for a newer player. After that, there are a TON of lessons that will teach you how to play a variety of songs in many different genres. Willie’s demeanor is great, very relaxed, and makes you see learning the piano as what it should be… fun. It works on all different types of devices… computer, iPhone, iPad,...