The first ever "Build Your Bundle" - Homeschool Edition sale is almost here!
You can enter to win $100 towards your purchase to use when the sale goes live on 7-21-14! Enter now through 11:59PM EST on 7-20-14. The winner will be announced the day the sale starts!
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For one week only (July 21-28) save up to 92% on bestselling homeschooling products, including MANY on Cathy Duffy's Top 100 list!
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Take a Sneek Peek at Our Bundles:
| Tots & Preschoolers Bundle |
This Bundle includes products for little ones:
| Kindergarten - 3rd Grade Bundle |
The K-3 Bundle includes products in the following subjects:
| Elementary: 4th-6th Bundle |
The 4th-6th Bundle includes products in the following subjects:
| Middle School Bundle |
This bundle features a full language arts curriculum from Cathy Duffy’s Top 100 picks and two science curricula, one of which is also from Cathy Duffy’s Top 100 picks, as well as:
| Bundle for High Schoolers |
This bundle features:
| Charlotte Mason Bundle |
This bundle features a complete curriculum using the Charlotte Mason Methods for:
|Bundle Just for Moms! |
Save money, strengthen your marriage, and streamline your schedule using our Mom Bundle. Find the encouragement you need and the insight to speak to your child’s heart (even that difficult child!). Whip your home into shape and train your children to do their chores effectively using a popular book "chores program".
This bundle brims with useful tools to help you bring calm to the chaos. Get them all for just $10!
| "Build Your Own" Bundles |
Our "Build Your Own" bundles offer you the opportunity to select a certain number of products with a retail price of $19.99 or less for up to 80% off! We have MANY items to choose from, including Cathy Duffy Top 100 Picks!
When you purchase a combination of any 2 "Build Your Own" bundles, you will get the 3rd one at 50% off!
Learn to talk to each other and see how much God loves you. These are the two big themes I picked up from Ragamuffin.
The life of Rich Mullins is the story of Ragamuffin. From his years as a boy to his coming to terms with his life and choices as a man. It's a story of faith and growth as a believer and the struggles we face in life.
I watched this late last night with my hubby, long movie, well made, but wow...found it boring and hard to stay focused on, seemed like such a sad sad life. Made Rich Mullins sound like a very dreary person so inwardly focused and in pain that nothing else really mattered. But when I saw the clips of him at the end, he looked like a guy determined to let God be the focus on his life and to entertain people with his music. I found those opposing views difficult to sort out. Was he the man he portrayed himself to be on stage (as I saw also through youtube videos) , or was he the brooding drunk shown in the video Ragamuffin? Perhaps the answer lies in the middle ground. Perhaps he was a man with some deep struggles about how he was raised and was a man who was able to put his focus where it should be...on honestly portraying the God that he knew?
Not a video I'll be sharing with my nine year old, but it would be a good video to show to a youth group to generate some conversation about how you make life choices and live your life for God. Being honest about who you are and what you want. Being honest about your struggles and how you follow God through them. Learning to love God despite that struggles that you given in life.
Rich's theology left a bit to be desired, but he loved God and knew that God loved him by the end of the video. BUT WOW... I really really wish that people in his life knew how to just really talk to each other. Use the phone, use your voice. Just truly talk to each other. Don't leave it too late. TALK! So much would have been different for Rich and the people in his life if they just talked with each other.
Would I recommend the movie? Yes I think so. There are good themes to discuss and think about. It was good to gain another perspective on Rich Mullins and how he career progressed and his life with Christ. We all have struggles and we all need to learn how to deal with them. God helped Rich to learn and grow. it's a good thing that!
Release Date: 7/8/14
Run-Time: 137 minutes
Writer/ Director: David Schultz
Dove Seal: Faith-Based with Caution Suggested
Retail Price: $19.99
Distributor: Capitol Christian Distribution
Social Media Links:
Facebook. Twitter. Ragamuffin the Movie.
Win your own copy! WOOT WOOT! A giveaway.
So if you'd like to have your own copy of Ragamuffin, fill in the form below. Here are the legal things for you to consider: NOTE: For Canadian and USA addressed only please.
"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”
Hey guess what.. Lisa-Jo is on a break so the FMF link is in a new place! Crystal is hosting. You can find her here.
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. (On your own blog or in the comments here).
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community.
This week the word is Belong.
Three two one Go 650
As I pondered this word today you know what kept popping into my mind? These words from the Heidelberg Catechism. I AM NOT MY OWN, BUT BELONG.....
. Q. What is your only comfort in life and death?
That about sums it up you know. I am not my own, I belong.
This odd ball person who never feels like she fits in anywhere.
And even more that that ... as I belong I am not my own, and being not my own means that I belong. (I know, seems abit twisted doesn't it)
I belong with my birth family because well... they birthed me. I didn't ask to join them. :) (not that I mind this terribly much) (grin)
I belong as a mom... because I have a boy child...and that whole process was a struggle in and of itself.
I belong as a homeschooler... and yes, homeschooling is a choice...but I belong with a great group that chooses to let me belong with them.
I belong as a member of the invisible church, the church of the Lord God because HE chose me....even before I was born he chose me. He loves me with a deep passion, and this love he has for me came out in the movie I watched last night called Ragamuffin (yes, watch for a review).
BUT I BELONG. He chose me. He holds me. He won't ever let me go. That's just the way it is. He paid for me with lifeblood that so I would belong to that invisible and yet visible body of believers.
Isn't that just the coolest thing to know?
To have that sense of belonging?
And stop 655
When ones child is busy and involved outside the home, and one has a vacation looming, what does one do? Keep busy of course. (doesn't every mom do that when their child is away and otherwise involved?)
So while my son has been at day camp this week we've been working hard around here.
Hubby has been working hard on the trailer(had a leak in it so we had a rotten section) and building a bike rack (which is way cool). Such as easier way to transport our bikes. :)
In the meantime I've finished redesigning the rabbitry.
I built me a composter, since one needs to "be green" and have a safe place to put bunny waste which also makes my garden grow well.
I've been sorting through things I no longer need and have been listing them for sale.
And at the end of it all I've had laundry to do, a house to clean, a trailer to pack and a life to lead. :) Blogging has been left a bit to the wayside this week.
Anyways, K is for keeping busy and I'll be linking this up at Ben and Me as Marcy continues to blog through the alphabet. :) This week the letter is K.
I have to tell you, I am late putting this up. Yesterday was a day where I needed to take time to exhale. You know...where you need to breathe out stuff in order to take in the new....
So on over, as I take part is Lisa-Jo's almost weekly Five Minute Friday. This week the word is Exhale. The rules are simple. Write for five minutes on a given topic (this week Exhale) and don't edit, just write for five minutes. Experience the freedom and indeed the fun of just writing on a singular word. :) Then once you've linked up (do that here) go and encourage the person or two before you. It's an encouragement AND it's fun to do. So come on... join us. :)
So I had moments in my busy day yesterday to consider the word EXHALE.
At first I thought about how I am teaching my son to let go of his angst and just THINK. Let it go, THINK.
BUT as I thought about talking about that I realized I wasn't teaching my son enough about letting it go.
Cause if you let something go, you are also taking the time to let something in.
You know...you EXHALE to let out the used air so that you can INHALE new air so you can breathe. You EXHALE (let go of) your angst about whatever it is, so you can INHALE (let in) calmness and peace.
So yesterday in the midst of all the busyness of carrying for the critters, caring for each other, and rushing off to celebrate a lad's birthday with gramma (he turns 9 on Sunday) I needed to let go of my need to just stay home and get some important tasks completed and just relax with my boy. To allow him the fun of eating out and having a kibbitzy type of day. It was GOOD for him, and good for me and great for the family.
BUT I needed to let go of my selfish desires to just not bother in my desire to get things done around the house.
It's good to do that you know.
It's what God calls us to as well. To let go of ourselves and let HIM be in charge. He knows what's best for us you know. And I did need that time away to refocus my thoughts and energies. To see are big part of why I am who I am in this moment in time. I love my family and God has called me to love them fully. :)
STOP!!!! It's 817!
Once a week Marcy over at Ben and Me hosts a linky party for blogging through the alphabet. Folks do a number of different things, me I tend to ramble on about whatever suits my fancy. :)
Today was a busy day. These past few days have been busy. My son is not what I'd call highly delighted in the busyness but he's delighting in the fact we're having some good stay at home days (which lately he's loving). :)
Next week I'll hardly see my boy, he'll be out at a day camp all day... so he won't have any homeschooling time, and then we'll have two weeks of vacation, so once again, no homeschooling beyond the "let's listen to these songs and these stories". See... isn't that easy schooling? And it keeps you entertained while we drive for umpteen hours.
So here I am rambling along and not telling you the actual POINT of this point. Because the lad will be away not doing school work I told him this week he needs to do homeschooling EVERY single day and GOOD homeschooling as well. He understands why, he's just not thrilled about it when he's in the middle of it.
EXCEPT!!! When he's doing Veritas Press. :) Ah that lad.. he is so enjoying this program..... it's good to see, and hear.
Anyways, yesterday I gave him a bit of a break as he REALLY wanted to do VP instead of math, so I said okay, but then later I called him outside and said "hey lad, time to do some math. Come on outside." OUTSIDE MOM????? Yup. Do you remember how to use a measuring tape? (a quick reminder was needed). So I set him to work measuring lengths on pieces of wood.
Did you know an almost nine year old child is an excellent weight when sawing wood? Keeps it from moving quite handily. But he did an excellent job measuring and marking off lengths. Takes longer to do a job when a lad helps (in some ways) but makes other aspects go smoother. :) Good to train up a child in useful skills.
This is what we built:
And today, my lad was feeling industrious. He is currently hooked on playing Minecraft, but he only gets one hour a day to play it. To play more than an hour he needs one of two things... either direct permission from me (or if I am not home, from dad) or he needs to earn his time.
We have things that need doing all over this house, so I set him to doing some chores. I minute of work equals 1/2 minute of play time. He earned 29 minutes, we gave him the full half hour. :) He made me the best lunch EVER! Oh my it was good. Three slices of bacon sprinkled with cheese, inside a wrap, topped with another piece of bacon and sprinkled with more cheese. Covered with cheese crackers. Then he gave me a side.. kiwi with crackers and chocolate chips. I would STRONGLY advise you NOT to put chocolate chips with your kiwi... just overall not a good thing. BUT the bacon wrap. YUMMY! :)
Anyways, over the rest of the week we'll continue jamming our work through as we get ready to take it easy for three weeks. :) Twill be good to be all done. :)
"Mom?" goes my son as we figure out how to plan our day. I'm mentioning what I think we should accomplish. After I list off my thoughts he asks. "Can I do Veritas Press instead of science and math today? Can I mom?"
As I hesitate saying "Well... I don't know, you need to do your science and math too."
My boy beseechingly adds "BUT MOM.. I LIKE Veritas Press. It's funny and I like it mom. PLEASE.....".
What can I say, doing this review for Veritas Press has been a huge hit! :)
Over the past few weeks we've been reviewingSelf-paced history from Veritas Press. It has turned into one of our favourite programs to use. :) Come with me as I waslk you through using the program.
When your student is logged into the history program, you'll see this screen. Most of the time we just clicked the blue button which opened up a whole new screen. It took us a bit of time to figure out that we needed to approve pop ups from Veritas Press for this to work. Our other option, when we wanted to see where we would be going next was to click the assignments button which is under the VP logo.
Doing so would lead us to this page. Here you can see how you are earning the grades you are earning, what course you are on and what assignments are coming up. Because it is self-paced history it means that you can take your time going through it. Each lesson is covered in five lessons (with a test at the end). Lessons can be done again, but grades don't change.
During the lessons (we did Middle Ages) you will meet your instructors (one of ours was a gargoyle) and various ways to test your knowledge. The gargoyle frequently makes us laugh. At the end of the lesson you have to option of completing additional work, using books found in the library, we did not exercise our option to do this. We did read through some of the materials, but the lad was totally uninterested in it.
In the mix of the lessons there are a variety of games for the children to enjoy. To do well in the games you would need to answer questions in order to give yourself a boost over the computer, or to give yourself more time to complete the game and so forth. Most of the games my son enjoyed, there was one that he disliked. The sea monsters and boat game he enjoyed immensely.
And every five lessons there is a test! The lad gets rather anxious about taking tests so I'm glad these are fairly low key and come after lots of quizzing throughout the lessons. It's nice to have the option to save and print off for records if needed.
Included in Veritas Press are Flashcards. It took a while for them to get here and I thought by the time they got here the lad would not be interested in them since the cards are shown during the video lesson time as well. I was wrong. My son was quite interested in them and refers back to them especially since I told him all the information you are tested on is on the back of the cards.
The cards are well made and informative. They came with an orange piece of paper which pointed out all the unique things about them. That paper seems to have completely vanished from my house, so bear with me as I go through some of our highlights with the cards. I should mention as well that on the back of the cards they list a number of resources. These are things my son likes about the cards.
Veritas Press is a hit in our household. Our intentions are to continue using this program. What we will study next I don't know, but we'll study something and enjoy ourselves doing it. But first we have a whole year to finish the Middle Ages. So glad that we had a chance to review this program. Why don't you check it out for yourself? They have samples available. Justcheck them out here. To see what the program requires check out this page. I found it worked just fine for me and I have sometimes wonky internet and an older computer but it worked well! :)
We have covered thus far:
The positives of using self-paced history from Veritas Press.
The concerns I have
Would I recommend Veritas Press for your students? For sure. For weaker readers,. or students needing help to focus, I would suggest you stay with your student as an assist to them. For everyone else, just let them go to it. You can easily monitor what they are doing and you can listen to the lessons again and again if you want to learn it as well without affecting their grade. :) T'is a good thing that. :)
Vendor: Veritas Press
Product: One year of the Veritas Press: Self Paced History.
My son chose to do Veritas Press Self-Paced History: Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation
With these we received: Middle Ages, Ren & Ref Flashcards
Price: $199.00 for the course, flashcards are $19.95
Age Range: Grades 2nd-6th. They recommend minimum age of 7 on the first day of class.
There are a number of other programs being reviewed as well, other self-paced history courses, which include
Social Media Links.
Veritas Press can be found in a variety of mediums.
Facebook. Twitter. Pinterest. and Google+.
They would be delighted if you would check them out! :)
Using freebies in homeschooling is one of my delights. It is... who doesn't like getting good stuff for free that you can make use out of?
When looking at freebies one needs to consider it's usefulness. :)
You see, one of the most important lessons I needed to learn when looking at freebies is this: they are NOT all created equal. They really aren't.
Why is that?
1. Some are just samplers, trying to get you to buy something that may or may not have significantly more value.
2. Some are for an age level higher or lower than your children are at, so unless it is something special no point in getting it.
3. Some are things you can honestly buy in a book and not have to print off for CHEAPER then printing off a few "free" samplers.
4. Some freebies simply aren't worth the page they are offered on (granted, my opinion, but some things are so basic why are they being offered?)
Now there are some freebies out there that are good, and even better than that, are offered by people that are consistently good. These can be things like free lesson plans for learning things, or actual free PDF's for teaching, and so forth.
Here are a few of the bloggers that I enjoy for their materials.
HIghhill Homeschool. Good experiments and practical know-how here.
Practical pages. I go here mostly for art ideas.
I got introduced to Write Bonnie Rose through a book called Asia, it's people and History. And an gradually becoming a fan. She's is not shy about sharing resources or opportunities. :)
Boyschooling. Homeschooling boys... it takes a certain skill set. :)
3dinosaurs frequently puts together good stuff.
Homeschool Share has put things together more than once that I have found useful.
That's all I have time for now, I'll add more things later as I can. :)
Every Friday (well okay ALMOST every Friday) folks gather together centred around a single word that Lisa-Jo Baker provides.
The rules are simple. Write for five minutes on a one word prompt. Just five. Don't edit, just write. Don't expect perfection, don't expect lack of perfection. Just write.
Then go link up atLisa-Jo's and take the time to encourage the person who linked up before you. I often do 2-3 before me cause sometimes link-ups are funny in how the process things. :) Just be an encouragement.
How hard can it be really? Lots of us join up there, it's fun to do! Seriously. Relax and come on over. Please!
Today's word is LOST.
Definition of the word lost.
As I lay in bed pondering the word lost this morning, wondering what on earth to write about this simple word, I asked hubby what the word Lost meant to him. Lost? Give me a context. I said "five minute friday, the word is lost". He said "keys, wallet".
This darling man of mine is ALWAYS losing them. And lately he's been losing them alot so we talked about that a bit. His convenient go to places have been blocked off by one thing or the other lately and he's been getting a bit stymied lately.
So there yah got it. Sometimes things are lost due to circumstances beyond their control. Not able to be found. Just lost.
Consider for a minute if you would. People who have a hard heart toward God. These are folks who are lost. Sometimes it's a steadfast desire to not even consider God (and then one needs to consider what happened in their life to make them that way) and sometimes it's just.. I don't know... But often I think people are lost to God because of circumstances beyond their immediate control and they aren't aware of those circumstances. And once they become aware of it, and sometimes be taught a thing or two about God that draws them in.
That's the trick right? Well not trick. That's our duty as believers. To help people find a small way to be open to things of God so they are no longer lost due to circumstances beyond their control.
oh.. it's 824 and time to stop.
So come on, be brave. Join us! Really, it's fun to think on one word for a few minutes each Friday. you never know what it will bring out of you. :)
You know what I love about Go Science DVD's? I love that it inspires my son to try things out on his own. To attempt, to fail, to try again and then to hear that hollered "YES!" (brief pause. "MOM! Come see it works!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
The thing that I don't like.... when he tells me something works and I don't have my camera on hand to prove it to you all! :) I know... I know...I'm being silly there. :)
Library and Educational Services has put together a series of seven videos and I had the distinct pleasure of watching them with my eight year old for a review. Ben Roy does an excellent job with these science demonstrations connecting science with the things of God for children. The series of DVD's is called Go Science.
Here is a list of the videos available. The ones in bold are the Go Science DVD's that we watched.
Volume 1: Sound, Gravity, Space
Volume 2: Life Science, Weather
Volume 3: Air
Volume 4: Motion, Friction, Electricity, Light
Volume 5: States of Matter, Water
Volume 6: Chemistry
Volume 7: Engineering, Design, Flight
The videos follow a basic set up.
Ben Roy has a table or experiment set up. He calls up three children up out of the audience, sometimes this is at a studio type set up and other times at a Vacation Bible School type set up. He explains a bit about what they are going to do and has the children do as much of the experiment as is safe for them to do. He has a helper for the more difficult experiments (such as one where they needed to lift heavy weights to set up a pendulum). He has an emphasis on being safe (safety glasses, be aware and careful about what you are doing etc). The children do the experiment and then he explains why it works. He then finds a way to connect that experiment with the word of God. Each lesson ends with the statement "when we learn more about science, we learn about our creator,... God".
One of the things I appreciated in the video was the pop rocket (with vinegar and baking soda). As you can tell from these three videos this totally inspired my son. IN the video, the experiments didn't work out as well as anticipated AND they left those "failures" in. This totally intrigued my lad. They didn't work in the video.. could he make it work? He tried a variety of ways to make it work and it did. :) He was so pleased with himself. :)
In this last video he's trying to teach other people how to do it when he finally had it all figured out! :) He was SO very pleased... and that is what I like to see. :)
Okay, so what did each video teach us? First.. let me explain something. We were supposed to do two. We said which ones we wanted to do but then I couldn't remember which two I said. It's was like ACK.. what do I do???? So I got three (I ended up paying for one which is totally fine) The three are picked are the ones I had a hard time choosing between so I figured I simply couldn't go wrong doing that. :) And it benefits you my reader, since you get to learn a bit more than you thought you might. :)
Volume 2: Life Science, Weather included: (Running time 1.02)
Volume 4: Motion, Friction, Electricity, Light (running time: 55:03)
Vol. 7: Engineering, Design, Flight (Running time 56:09)
How we used it.
We would sit down and watch it as a family.. 3-5 episodes at a time. Any that my lad was intrigued over we'd watch again so he could set it in his mind for later thinking and experimenting with.
One DVD he took with him to gramma's house on a rainy afternoon and they watched the whole thing. That one he was unwilling to share with me as that was "for gramma's and she wants to see it again mom".
"OH?" was my response?
"Yes, she wants to do it with me sometime". I have orders to get magnets!
So I do have to admit, I have not seen Volume 4 myself. That's gramma's DVD and that's just the way it is. :) Gramma told me that she thoroughly enjoyed watching them with my son, "Good lessons. Teaches the children. Shows more of God. Good that. And the lad likes them, that's a good thing".
In a nutshell.
Library and Educational Services, provided me with some Go Science DVD's to watch for free and then to review. You can them on facebook. The videos are geared for ages 4-12 (as per the videos).
They retail for $14.95, but is available on their site for $8.97. The full set of 7 DVDs retails for $99.70, but is available through the Library and Educational Services site for $59.82. Good deal eh? We've enjoyed them so much I may be getting the rest of the series down the road.
Would I recommend them? For sure I would. My eight year old enjoyed them. He had fun recreating the ones that he could, and using his imagination to expand upon them.
Please do go and see what others of the crew had to say about the Go Science DVD's. You can find those reviews by clicking on the image below. Each of us reviewed a slightly different combination...
Vendor: Library and Educational Services
Product: NEW (Series 2) Go Science DVDs.
Received: Volumes 2, 4 and 7.
Age Range: Per DVD, age 4-12.
Price: On their website: $8.97 each or $59.82 for the series.