Join me in a year long journey reading through the Bible

  • Wow, this was a lot to read today. A lot to take in. Le t me see if I can recap this correctly. He begins by telling us about Gods defense of Jerusalem and...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Heads Up!

I received some reading strips for review From Heads Up!. These are for the student who has a little trouble keeping his place while reading. They place the strip over the text as they read which in turn would help them to focus in on their place and to follow through to the next line of words. I have even used them for myself. When I get headaches, my eyes have a hard time focusing on the words on a page. These strips help to keep my eyes on one line at a time.

My son is a lively and bouncy reader and his eyes bounce all over the page. We found these reader strips have helped him stay focused. Depending on what we are reading will depend on the color we choose. Like when we read the blue print in his reading curriculum we decide to go clear or yellow.

Heads Up! is a company designed to provide expert information and products for special needs children. Their items have been selected to accommodate various learning styles and strengths, regardless of curriculum used. These special needs products have been found to be especially helpful for children who are distractible or hyperactive. However I have found that a lot of the products are not just for special needs children. They are easily adaptable for a child like mine who needs to move a lot or one who just cannot seem to focus on more then a few words at a time.

Heads Up! also has for parents, many books with topics such as ADD, Asperger Syndrome, Sensory Integration, ADHD, Autism, and so more. They have so many resources for everyone. They also offer things like timers, therapy balls, speech tools, vision aids, memory helpers etc.

These readers are so affordable. At only $1.00 each, how can you wrong? For a buck you can give one a try and see if they work for you. If they do then get several more and use them as book marks in all your children’s books. Heads Up! is a really great company and if you need information or tools for your children then visit their website.

this company gets a 10 out of 10 and this product I reviewd gets a 8 out of 10

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Write Shop

I had a chance to review a product by Writeshop. WriteShop is designed to teach composition skills in a step-by-step manner. Through a series of engaging lessons, students learn the four most common kinds of writing—descriptive, informative, narrative, and persuasive (essays)—by means of the following basic building blocks: Brainstorming, Editing, Writing and Revising.

Write Shop Story Builder, World of People has been a great addition to our homeschooling. I have to admit at first I was not to sure about this. My son in only 6 and he writes, but not well enough to put a whole story to paper

Instead of asking my son to sit down and write a paragraph or two with these story cards I decided to have him pick the cards, read them (help with reading) and then verbally tell me a story using the cards. This worked out great for us. We even got the whole family involved after dinner instead of TV. My mother, who lives with us, myself, Dad and my 3 1/2 year old all tell our stories. Hey my son thinks it's a game! Little does he know he is learning!

WriteShop® StoryBuilders card decks helped to jump start a creative writing project by giving my child the basic fundamentals of a story (character, character trait, setting, and plot). This paved the way to a fun experience in writing for him. StoryBuilders can be used by kindergartners all the way to high schools. They put together a story by picking a card from each category. For only $7.95 in e-book form you get 1000’s of great story combination ideas and story starters. They also have a World of Sports and World of Animals e-book, but the World of People was my son’s favorite! There are so many fabulous products that they have there for all ages and all writing skills. You need to just go over to their WriteShop and look at everything.

Score: 8 out of 10

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Thoughts on Inauguration Day & President

Everyone who knows my family and me knows we were very opposed to Obama. Not because of his skin color, but because of his policies on several issues like abortion, homeschooling etc. Things that were close and dear to my heart and to families around the USA.

One of the things that really bothered me about this election was the fact there were many people who voted either because of the fact they wanted to get out from under the republican/Bush administration or "It is about time we have a black man/woman as the President of the USA". I had 4 people in my life that said those exact word to me. After talking with them I found out a funny thing....these people also called themselves Christians. Now, am I saying a Christian should not have voted for him, no! I am saying that there was no prayer involved. They voted from the head instead of from the heart of God. Would praying about it change their mind when voting? Who knows.

The other thing I am really not liking that I am seeing on some peoples blogs is the out right vindictive words that are being said towards out new president. I may not agree with what he has to say or what he is about to do. I may have my very own opinions on what I think will happen to our country over the next 4 years. I have no problem voicing those opinions. HOWEVER, to outright call him the devil or the Antichrist or that he is going to make our country go to he...l. Are your words Christ like? Are they helping the situation or harming it?

Instead of voicing you ideas in such a hateful way, how about teaching your children how to dis-agree in a Christ like manner. This is, after all, the president of the USA! He deserves the utmost respect and support. Could you REALLY do his job? Yes? Then why didn't you run for office? How about praying for this new president to act in a Christ like manner. Pray that all the death threats are just words and that those beautiful girls of his will have a dad to walk them down the isle at their wedding. Pray that what he says about his faith is Jesus Christ will show through in his action as President. Another words...Pray for our President instead of calling him names and making everyone around you hate him. He does not need our hatred he needs our support.

I am not an extreme political person. I do not claim to know all that is about to happen to our country and I certainly can not see the future, neither can you! Lets keep in mind that the actions and words we take and speak about our upcoming president are being heard not only by the president, but by our children. If your child were to repeat what you blog about to someone at church or about a family member, what would your reaction be?

President Obama, if your people are reading this, here is what I have to say to you in short...I do not agree with everything you are about to do or the things you have said you will do, but I will support you and my family and I will be praying for you and your family diligently every day for the next 4 years! Congratulation on becoming the President of USA. May God be with you and your family!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Homeschool Burn Out

Homeschool Burn Out. I have yet to get to this point, but as I have heard many of time...the day will come. I read this article in The Heart of The Matter The Homeschool burn Out, Rising for the Ashes. and I thought, wow, what a great article to have in my archive for me to go back to someday when or if that day comes. Here is just a few little blurbs from each of the headings of the article. If you want to read the whole article, then go to HOTM.

Burnout. The sound of the word itself reminds me of spent canons, smoking guns, or smoldering embers where once there was a passion and a fire. In the words of Sam Keen, “Burnout is nature’s way of telling you, you’ve been going through the motions. Your soul has departed; you’re a zombie, a member of the walking dead, a sleepwalker.” No wonder homeschool mothers dread it.

Do you have any of these symptoms?
Inability to cope
Feeling overwhelmed
Lack of patience
Lack of enthusiasm
Lack of motivation
Fatigue - mental or physical
Zoning out
“I don’t care” attitude
Under or overeating
No sense of priority
Crying easily
Inability to manage time well
Wanting to hide or get away without your family
Those types of feelings are typical to all of us at one time or another, and having a little of some may be healthy from time to time - because life is not always easy.

I’m sure you have heard that the first step to healing is admitting there’s a problem. The same rings true with homeschool burnout. We are creatures of habit. We are also prone to continue in those habits even if they are unproductive and damaging - leading us further and further away from our goals. It is amazing how one can be frustrated by what they do, and yet continue to do it. This is the human way.

Christian homeschoolers have a decided advantage when it comes to burnout. We have access to supernatural strength reserves. Even though burnout is inevitable, it will pass after it comes. Our job is to help it pass quickly and not allow it to settle in and stick around. Refuse to have a pity party or sulk by yourself. Refuse the temptation to take out your frustration on the ones you love the most. Instead, seek the Lord’s wisdom and refreshing – He gives generously to all who ask.

Take proactive measures to help prevent burnout. Schedule your time realistically. If you are not an early riser by nature, don’t set your school day to begin at 6:30 a.m. It might work for a few days, but it probably won’t last and then you’ll end up feeling like you’ve failed.

Break down your lesson plan into segments: by year, semester, quarter, and week. Delegate authority - give your children responsibility for chores and school assignments. Create a school planner, even if it’s a simple store-bought weekly/monthly calendar.

Inexpensive plastic baskets can be used to hold each child’s books, and these can be lined up on a bookshelf. Simplify your school space.

Join a support group or co-op to connect with other homeschooling moms. You and your children can both benefit from the support and socialization.

Ask for your husband’s help and share your feelings with him – you need moral support!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Flash Cards

So how many of us print out all sorts of flash cards so we can play games like go fish or old maid to help make math or phonics more fun? Or how many curriculum's come with flash cards. The problem is how to keep them neat. I usually put a rubber band around them and put them in the box with the curriculum they go with.

Well, I found a great on-line resource. It is a free computer Internet program for Making Custom Card Boxes that will design a card box to the size you want it. Super Deluxe Tuckbox Template Maker is such an easy process to make a box that fits your flash cards. All you do is put the size of the cards (add an 1/8 of an inch), type the name you want on your box hit send and a pdf file will come up all ready for you to print and cut out a card box.

I now have all my flash cards in nice neat boxes. The only draw back is if you have a printer like mine that can not handle more then 8 1/2 X 11, if you have the really large flash cards like Veritas Press History, you will have to piece it together instead of printing all on one sheet. You got to at least try it. ITS FREE!

10 out of 10

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act

Just a few minutes ago I was on my review teams blog and I read about this new Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. This act was signed into law in August but will not take effect until Feb. 10th, 2009.

What this law basically says is that items that come in contact with a child who is 12 years old or younger, has to be tested at a government approved testing facility and have a certification placed on it.

Clothing, handmade toys (like those cute bibs people sell made out of towels), blankets, even books and DVDs will fall under this law. So a crib could run into the $1000's just to be tested. If someone wants to get a book tested it could cost them $500.00. It's not written very well and it was written in regards to the imports from China however, you know how these types of laws go, it applies to the USA or anywhere the item was made.

This would include those of us who make gift items for baby's or children, the grandma who sells her cute little knitted sweaters for a few bucks,, used merchandise like Salvation Army or Goodwill, who I have heard has decided to no longer sell children's stuff in their stores, even will not sell any books, used or new, that was made prior to 2009. And you know all those reviews you have been reading? A lot of them are Ma and Pa type businesses. Come on they can not spend $500.00 on 1 book to have it tested, so most likely they will end up closing their doors or have their product tested and we will have to absorb the cost. And all the curriculum that we do not use...we can not re-sell it!

I got some links of interest off of Learning at his Feet, Shanna's blog. She is on the review team with me. So thank you Shanna for doing this research.

**A pdf file of the actual act. Very loooooooooooong.
**Here is a link to another article interesting article which provides you with the address for the
Consumer Product Safety Commission.
**Here is a link to an article interviewing a homeschool mom of 13 who will have to close her
home-based used book business.
**Here is a link that has lots of information about how this will effect the "Homemade" industry
as well as a button that you can put on your blog.
**Here is a Face-group site working to fight against it.
**A Petition to sign if you do not like this new law.
**Here is what the LA Times had to say.
**Here is a link to the list of The Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer
If any one of these Representatives are YOUR representative, PLEASE call & email
them to voice your concerns about the provisions in the law as they affect you and the
children's products industry in general:**Please read this article by Heather Idioni from the Homeschool Newsletter for parents titled, "The Sale of Children's Books to be Banned"

PLEASE write your congress person here... and your Senator . Also contact the CPSC about the CPSIA.

Here is a very simple letter that Shanna put together for her representatives......

To (name of Representative)I have recently read about the new Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and I am deeply concerned. I am a mother of six young children and know what it is like to worry about the safety of the products and toys that they are being exposed to. That being said, I am also a consumer of many small businesses that would be put out of business due to this law being passed. I could not count the number of books, toys, curriculum, and other products that we currently use and love that would literally disappear as a result of this law...products from small businesses that have been used in our home and others for many years without any safety issues. I have come to trust these companies to provide safe and quality products for our family.I am writing to tell you that I am opposed to the new Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act as it is currently written and urge you to change it before it goes into effect! I have no interest in seeing the American home-based businesses that I know and love and the children's consignment shops, not to mention America's entrepreneurial spirit, vanish from this great nation.Sincerely,Shanna (last name)Address**UPDATE: As of today...there may be relief for resellers of used items: nothing for home-based businesses marketing new products.**

While I appreciate the government looking out for the welfare of our children, and love the idea that of having some more stringent laws on imports, all to often, these types of things end up being more about the profit an individual or company makes at the expense of good hard working people like you and me.

And like all new laws, please make sure you do your research. Never take what some else has written as whole truth until you have looked at all the side of it yourself!

Again I want to thank Shanna for all the time she put in researching all those links. You can visit her blog and see what her thoughts are on this matter.

All About Homophones

Wow Mary Rippel did it again! Here is another great program from All About Spelling. It's All About Homophones. Teaching homophones can be really hard! Just in case you forgot, these are words that sound the same, but they aren't spelled the same, and they, to top it off, don't mean the same.

The All About Homophones Tool Kit offers you graphic organizers for visual understanding. My son loves this. He gets to write the homophone, then draw a picture and then write a sentence about his homophone picture. It also comes with 101 homophone worksheets that students enjoy completing . And yes, he actually does enjoy it. The sheets are very easy and fun. Students also learn about homophones while playing card game, crossword puzzles, riddles, tongue twisters, and puns, too. And there is so much more!

You know what one of my favorite parts is? This book goes all the way up to grade 8. One book, One price and lots of fun learning. It's only $32.95 for hard book and $30.95 for e-book, which is what I have. I printed out only the pages we will use for this year and will save the rest for the future years without all the bulk on my shelves. Not a bad price for 8 grade levels.

My son loves this part of school as much as he likes the All About Spelling program. I just add this once a week into my spelling. It takes an extra 10 minutes but he NEVER complains about this or spelling anymore. Oh and he loves the The Homophone Machine she has on her web site. Even if you do not buy her program you have to check it out.

I am going to end with Mary's own words and guarantee because it sums it up perfectly.......

"I (Mary) personally guarantee that you'll love the All About Homophones Tool Kit! And I back it up with a thirty-day, no-questions-asked, money-back guarantee. This is the BEST book on homophones and homonyms you can buy for your language arts lessons."

10 out of 10

Homeschool Buyers Co-Op

How would you like to purchase homeschool curriculum at a discount. I want to introduce you to Homeschool Buyers Co-Op. The Homeschool Buyers Co-op is the nation's largest purchasing cooperative for homeschooling families.

You see it is very simple, school districts get educational discounts -- why not homeschoolers? The reason is simple: school districts have purchasing power and homeschoolers don't because we buy as individuals. The Co-op changes that by combining the purchasing power of thousands of homeschooling families around the country to give homeschoolers the same purchasing clout as school districts.It is a simple proposition, and it works! Just take a look at the many educational suppliers in the Exclusive Discounts section that offer homeschool member discounts from 10% to 70% off their retail prices.

I love this ides. The have had all sorts of curriculum at some huge discounts. The one that is coming up that I am very excited about is Rosetta Stone. you know how expensive that is. It's over $200.00 just for level 1 and if you want all 3 levels you have to pay well over $500.00. Well with he Co-op we will be getting a pretty nice discount. Maybe we can finally afford it!

Best thing is they maintain a fully searchable database of Free Curriculum and other educational Resources. Plus there is so so much more! You need to go over to their site and sign up. Did I mention that signing up is free?

9 out of 10

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Attention writers

Attention writers! Grab your pencils and get those creative juices flowing!

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine is hosting their second Storytime Writing Contest! They have two creative fiction categories:
Adults (16 and up 2,500 words or less)
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.

For a detailed list of prizes, official contest rules, to meet the judges, and to upload your story, please visit:

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Family Video

This is how a homeschooler spends all that extra time they have when they take time off from school for the holidays. They plan a school project in the form of a video. Well, at least it is fun learning. Here is the link just in case the video does not work. I was having a bit of a problem uploading it to my blog.

Bible Study

OK, today I finally can answer the question of how we got along with beasts and why they never ate us. How we were able to walk hand and paw with dinosaurs, tiger, bears and never die because of their carnivorous temperament. If you are curious, go to and read my thoughts on the matter.

Friday, January 2, 2009


Ding Dong the chocolates gone, the chocolates gone, the chocolates gone. Ding Dong the chocolates gone for good!

Oh my gosh. All the chocolate we got for Christmas and petite-fores (spell?). They were all so very yummy, but oh my goodness I could not control the glutton in me! I was having dreams of being attacked by chocolate. Well, it's all gone. Now, lets keep it that way! Yea right! Not with my Mom living with us. She is a sugar-a-holic. Well, hopefully we will not have 5 boxes of Sees and a huge box of petite-fores sitting around tempting us. Well, on to tomorrow!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Bible in One Year...Join Me

The start of a new year. Can you believe it is 2009. Well, my 1 and only resolution for 2009 was to start that Bible study I wrote about a few days ago. Which then gave me the idea to make a new blog for my study notes. So for any of you who would like to join me on this year long journey my study note blog is