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...

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Jonas Brothers band

The Jonas Brothers band is an incredibly popular trio of three homeschooled brothers: Paul (Kevin) Jonas, 21, Joseph (Joe) Jonas, 19, and Nicholas (Nick) Jonas, 16. The Jonas Brothers grew up in a home where music was a large part of everyday life.

Their father, Rev. Kevin Jonas, is co-founder of Christ for the Nations Music ministry, as well as a pastor in the family's hometown of Wyckoff, NJ. Their mother, Denise Jonas, is a church singer and sign language teacher. As music ministers, their parents travelled everywhere. Kevin was born in Teaneck NJ on November 5, 1987; Joe was born in Casa Grande AZ on August 15, 1989; and Nick was born in Dallas TX on September 16, 1992. A younger brother Franklin (Frankie), known as the "Bonus Jonas," was born on September 28, 2000.

The Jonas Brothers perform a mixture of pop, rock and punk music for which they write their own music and play their own instruments. Kevin plays lead guitar and does backing vocals. Joe performs lead vocals, percussion, and sometimes guitar. Nick does lead vocals, rhythm guitar, and piano. These brothers are powerful balladeers, upbeat and energetic in their approach. The Jonas Brothers are often compared to the Hanson brothers, another homeschool sibling singing group, and they have even been compared to The Beatles, although that may be a bit of a stretch. Like their 60's counterparts, the Jonas brothers elicit piercing shrieks from pre-teen girls wherever they go, and although some believe they are overrated, others think the Jonas Brothers may be the next big act that will explode.

The boys are starring as themselves in the new Disney Channel's "JONAS." This series was inspired by the Beatles films "A Hard Day's Night" and "Help!" as well as the zany American made-for-TV group the Monkees. In "JONAS," the boys play members of a popular band trying to live normal lives at a regular school, despite being trailed by throngs of ardent fans. Described as a fusion of situation comedy and music video, the show also features previously unknown Frankie Jonas playing their younger brother. The three older brothers originally gained popularity on the Disney Channel when they made their film debut in the movie, "Camp Rock.

"While the chart-topping trio are obviously helped by Disney's marketing clout, the band's catchy tunes laced with muscular guitar riffs have moved beyond Radio Disney to Top 40 stations. Despite their Christian background, the Jonas Brothers decided not to go the Contemporary Christian Music route. Rev. Jonas explains, "I was called to preach. My kids are not called to preach," he said. "They are Christians who happen to be in a band." Nevertheless, one of the reasons for the genre direction was to reach more teenagers. The Jonas Brothers are aware of the positive impact they can have on millions of kids, and it's a responsibility they take seriously.

Despite their foray into the world of rock 'n' roll - long a refuge for teen angst and rebellion - the Jonas Brothers are known for their straight-laced, squeaky-clean image. "They don't hide their faith," said Rev. Jonas, who noted the challenge his sons face with their new found teen-idol status. The trio vows that they want to continue being a positive influence and will stick to the wholesome ideals they have set for themselves despite the trappings of fame that derailed other Disney alumnus like Britney Spears.The Christian faith is very important to the entire Jonas family. The brothers are all committed Evangelical Christians, and their father is an ordained minister with Assemblies of God. Before being homeschooled by their mother, all three Jonas brothers used to attend Eastern Christian High School. For a peek into their real lives, search for "A Day In the Life of The Jonas Brothers" by shineon-media on YouTube. In this video you can see the brothers using the Accelerated Christian Education homeschool curriculum (PACE workbooks) by ACE ministries. With such a busy schedule, they really have to focus on getting a certain amount of work done whenever they can. (Although the two older brothers have since graduated.)

The Jonas Brothers abstain from alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. In addition, they are committed to remaining chaste before marriage and they all wear purity rings on their left-hand ring finger. Kevin says it's to signify "a promise to ourselves and to God that we'll stay pure till marriage." Joe explains, "our parents asked us if we wanted to and we were like "yeah," saying "People are like 'no way, that's impossible.'" Besides being great conversation starters, Nick added: "We use it as a chance to witness. We want to be a Christian influence in the pop music world. It's definitely a mission field."

The brothers stay away from controversial subjects and politics in their lyrics, instead sticking to youth issues like teen love, heartbreak, forgiveness, peer pressure, and the trials of growing up. Other songs take a light-hearted look at the craziness of fame and fortune. While romantic songs may seem somewhat out of character considering their vow, Kevin says "It's more from the lack of our relationships [that we're able to write such great love songs]. We just dream about those situations." He adds, "We know the bloggers are watching, so we have to be careful and not do anything stupid." Time will tell if they maintain their morals in such an immoral industry, but so far they have been really good role models.

The Jonas Brothers donate 10% of their earnings to their non-profit Change for the Children Foundation "to support programs that motivate and inspire children to face adversity with confidence, determination, and a will to succeed." Nick Jonas had the idea to start this charity after seeing a homeless family on the streets of New York City. His heart was touched by a desire to see kids saving up their pocket change to help other less fortunate kids. The Change for the Children Foundation supports "Nothing But Nets" (mosquito nets), "American Diabetes Foundation," "St. Jude Children's Research Hospital," "Children's Hospital Los Angeles," and "Summer Stars: Camp for the Performing Arts." Since Nick was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 13, he also teamed up with Bayer Diabetes Care as a diabetes ambassador for young people.

Although Nick is the youngest brother in the band, he was the first to make his debut into show business. When Nick was six years old, he was discovered while singing at a barber shop and referred to a professional show business manager. At the age of 7, Nicholas began performing in Broadway musicals. In 2002 while appearing in "Beauty and the Beast," Nick wrote a song with his father called "Joy to the World (A Christmas Prayer)". With background vocals from the "Beauty and the Beast" cast, Nick performed the song on the album, "Broadway's Greatest Gifts: Carols for a Cure, Vol. 4." In November 2003, "Joy to the World (A Christmas Prayer)" was released to Christian radio, where it quickly became popular on the Adult Contemporary Chart.

Nick recorded the single "Dear God" when he was only 12 years old. It is described as "a powerful prayer sung from a child's heart concerning the many troubles happening in our world today with the hope that is found in bringing our concerns to God." Initially released for Christian radio, the song is now available for free on Nick said, "I hope this record touches a lot of people and I've been praying that the Lord will use it in a big way." Kevin and Joe did some Broadway performances of their own, and the Jonas brothers also appeared in commercials for Burger King, LEGO, Battle Bots, and Clorox Bleach. But shortly after Nick's solo project, they decided to start a band. When he was 13, Kevin had read the book "Teach Yourself Guitar" and did just that with one of his parents' guitars. The trio learned to hone their rock band skills at home in the basement because their garage was too crowded. Nick, Kevin and Joe wrote several songs, some of them with their father. In early 2005, Columbia Records offered to sign the three as a group act. In today's age of pre-manufactured pop groups, the Jonas Brothers are a breath of fresh air since they lend their own "voice" to projects through their singing and songwriting.

The Jonas Brothers won a 2008 American Music Award for breakthrough artist and received a 2009 Grammy Award nomination for best new artist. The Jonas Brothers have released three albums: It's About Time (2006), Jonas Brothers (2007), and A Little Bit Longer (2008). On the credits for It's About Time they write: "We would like to thank our best friend in all the world-our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We see everyday the blessings you give us. We know you will always be there for us. There is no greater love than the one from above."

In the wake of their bestselling self-titled album, the Jonas Brothers set out on their first headlining tour a year ago. The group kicked off its national tour in Tucson, AZ on January 31, 2008. A Disney Digital 3-D production crew filmed two shows in Anaheim, California on July 13-14, 2008. The footage will be released in theatres on February 27, 2009 as a 3-D Concert Experience. The G-rated movie will include a behind-the-scenes look at the Jonas Brothers. Let's support these fellow homeschoolers by going to see their movie the first weekend it comes out. Be sure to tell all of your friends.

------Breaking News------

The Jonas Brothers want to give back to their homeschool fans. As homeschoolers themselves, they share a special connection. In spite of an increasingly busy schedule after a performance at the Grammy Awards and preparing for the release of their 3D movie on the weekend of February 27, they are giving a "shout out" to homeschoolers on an exclusive conference call scheduled for Thursday morning, February 19. For details about how you and your homeschool family can get on the call, contact Rebecca Kochenderfer at who is hosting the family-to-family chat. The Jonas Brothers and their mom, Denise Jonas, will be on the call and want to connect with you and your family. Details for the conference call:Date: Thursday, February 19, 2009Time: 11:00am

If you liked this article you will love the "Homeschooling Kids Magazine" If you would like to subscribe to it, it is 100% free. Go to Homeschoolong Kids Magazine to subscribe.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Music and Math Are Connected!

Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture and Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik are among the most popular classical pieces of all time.

Did you know that studies show that both playing and listening to classical music have a positive impact on standardized test scores? The same holds true for math achievement. And colleges seem to look positively on applicants with strong music training. Why is this? Generally, we think of music as having an emotional impact on people. What connection could music have to math, or to academics? Music takes place in time. Time is counted by numbers and so is music. How many eighth notes equal a whole note? Doesn't that sound like fractions?

What influences the pitch of a sound? One factor is length. Longer strings create lower sounds. Shorter strings create higher sounds. We learn about patterns in math and we hear patterns in music. We call the patterns in music rhythm and harmony.

Pythagoras, the Greek mathematician who is sometimes referred to as "the father of numbers," believed that the origin of music came from the movements of the planets and stars. The harmony of the planets' and stars' movements, according to Pythagoras, produced a symphony of tones, which is music.

Even if listening to classical music before taking a test does not increase a student's score, the connection between music and math is well established. Studying music, learning music, and loving music have an impact on our minds as well as on our emotions.

Home School, Inc

Thursday, February 26, 2009

To Grade Or Not To Grade: That Is the Question

I used to be a firm believer in not issuing grades and not “testing” my children. Sure, I drilled them regularly but I never gave them written or oral tests because I wanted their education to be full of encouragement and mastery. I believed that receiving a “C” or or an “80%” on a test would cause them to no longer want to try. I believed every aspect had to be positive. The problem was that I perceived a less than average grade as negative. I had no idea that what I was doing was causing them to be discouraged and they weren’t mastering everything the way that I had hoped.

While all of this was going on I had been reading some books on reality discipline and how a bit of failure and a child actually suffering through some of the consequences of his actions is good for them. I pondered over my own childhood and tried to recall what events actually encouraged me to do better and which did not. I was amazed by what I recalled. It was then that I knew I had been parenting incorrectly and the grading aspect was just one of many.

As a child, I can recall spending lots of time with my grandparents. My grandpa was a Master Gunnery Sergeant in the Marine Corps and he knew the benefits of reality discipline though I don’t believe it had a name then. I remember crying and throwing a fit one day because my little sister was allowed to stay home from school and I wasn’t. I threw a fit so badly that I would not eat and I was very rude and disrespectful to my grandma. The following day I recall that my sister felt better and I remember grandma helping her get ready for school. When we were done we all headed to the car. I noticed my grandma didn’t have her purse and that she was sitting at the table. I asked her if she was coming and she said to me, “No, Amy. I’m staying here with you. I can’t leave you here by yourself.”

“But I’m going to school.” I replied to her.

She told me very matter of factly that no, I was not going to go to school. I thought that she couldn’t possibly be serious so I headed out to the car. My grandpa stopped me and and sent me back inside. He told me that I was getting what I wanted and that I would soon realize that it isn’t good to always get what you want.

I remember being somewhat excited that I got to stay home. I went back to my room and cleaned up. I read a book. I watched some TV. I had lunch with grandma. It seemed to be going great until the afternoon came. My friends came knocking on the door to ask me to come play and I vividly remember my grandpa sending them home after telling them I could not play because I had not gone to school that day. I also didn’t get a snowball like my sister did when she was on her way home from school. Yeah, that evening was rough but the next day was even worse.

I asked my grandma for a note so I could get an excused absence from class so she wrote out the note, stuck it in an envelope and handed it to me. I got to school and gave it to my teacher. I’ll never forget the way he looked at me. I glanced down to read the note and I was immediately sickened by what it said:

“Please do not excuse Amy from class on yesterday. She decided she did not want to attend classes and she should suffer whatever consequences are necessary.”
I almost broke down right there. I knew it was test day. I knew that that note meant that I would not be given an extra day to get a study guide together to study for that test. I knew that I would fail the test and I did. I had been a straight A student up until that point. Then I received not one but four “F”s in one day.

Can I tell you that I never asked to stay home again? Can I tell you that I tried harder? Can I tell you that I now know how much my grandparents loved me?

I don’t recall my parents ever disciplining me. The let me do what I want and I did. I can remember my mom saying things like, “I don’t care if you kill somebody. You can come to me and I’ll still love you and I’ll still hide you. ” I knew I could do what I wanted while I was with them and that I wouldn’t suffer any consequences. Everything was all “love not war” with them. It was all about “peace at all costs.” The problem is that it didn’t prepare me for the real world.
I’ve come to realize that an “F” can be a positive thing. Discipline, as in reality discipline, is a positive thing. They’ll try harder and they’ll know that although I will expect them to do better that I will still love them no matter what. I now believe that grades are a good thing and the best reassurance that their parents will encourage them throughout their entire life.

And have you entirely forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you, his children? He said, “My child, don’t ignore it when the Lord disciplines you, and don’t be discouraged when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes those he accepts as his children.” As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who was never disciplined? If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children after all. Hebrews 12:5-8

This article was writen by Amy Bayliss is. In addition to being the co-owner of Heart of the Matter, she writes for Internet Cafe Devotions. Be sure to visit her blog, In Pursuit of Proverbs 31 and her family’s homeschool blog: Integrity Academy.

Inspirational Prayers

I do not know who this picture is of but I do know this is circulating through emails like mad. So i just had to post it here. I thought this was just one of the cutest pictures I have seen in a long time. Hope it gives you a little inspiration and a smile.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Top 5 Curriculum Review Bloggers

A fellow TOS Homeschool Crew member has created an award for the TOS Crew members and I am so honored to have been chosen to receive an award. So I thought I would take a week and check out the TOS Review board blogs and choose 5 of my favorite bloggers. These ladies, as all 100 of us are, juggling homeschooling, housework, child raising, husbands, reviewing curriculum and a few even have jobs. I love the TOS crew and I just wanted to acknowledge a few of the ladies out there. So here is my 5 I chose...

Its an Incredible Life
Angel Heart
The Homeschool Review
The Cappuccino Life
Chatter and Clatter
Thanks bloggers for doing such a great job.

If your a crew member and want to give an award to your favorites here is the link for the graphics.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Math Tudor

I was never did well in school at math and the teachers I had either did not want to, did not have the time or could not take the time to slow it down for me. So I fell behind. When High School came around it got even worst. Math has never been a strong subject for me. So when I decided to homeschool and of course teach math I thought this was going to be a very scary thing for me to teach my children.

Well, I got lucky! I got the opportunity to review a very wonderful curriculum helper called Math Tudor. They are DVD’s that help you the parent and/or the student to comprehend math at a slower and more comprehendible pace. Jason Gibson of Math Tutor DVD shows you how to break down even the most complex of problems into bite size pieces and the best part…stop and start and replay anytime you want.

Now Math Tudor comes in all ranges of math. I got to review the Basic Math Word Problem DVD, which is about 8 hours long with about 20-30 minutes per section, and it is only $26.99. The DVD’s are plain, but boy how effective it is for you and the child. 1 on 1 training. Some of the subjects he covered are…

Adding Whole Numbers, Subtracting Whole Numbers, Multiplying Whole Numbers, Dividing Whole Numbers, Adding Decimals, Subtracting Decimals, Multiplying Decimals, Dividing Decimals, Adding Fractions, Subtracting Fractions, Multiplying Fractions, Dividing Fractions, Percents Part 1, Percents Part 2, Ratio and Proportion.

I also got to review the Algebra 2 DVD, ($26.99) which he takes you through the same step-by-step procedure as the Basic Math Word Problems. Now, my children are a bit too young for this DVD, but you bet your bottom $$$ that I will pull this out in a couple of years as well as I will purchase more of these wonderful DVD's in the future as needed. Hey, guess what? As I was reviewing, I picked up on some things too in the Algebra DVD. I guess you can teach an old dog new trick!

Visit the Math Tudor website and check out all the wonderful DVD’s he has for all your math problems!

9 out of 10

Monday, February 23, 2009


So let me tell you about SpellQuizzer. This is a computer-based program where you enter the child's spelling list and make audio recordings of the words. Then it quizzes the child, playing each word back to him one at a time, checking his spelling as he types in the words. Or you can type in clues to the words if you do not have a microphone available to you. Now when I first got it I did not have a microphone. So I decided to do the clue thing. Uuhh…NO! My son reads, but not well enough so this frustrated him. So I stole my husband microphone and recorded the spelling list. Now he loves it.

OK, I have to admit when I got SpellQuizzer to review I was very skeptical. I thought, man it will take my son forever to do a 20 word/sentence spelling test (yes, I give him sentences with the spelling word in it to type out. This works on punctuation and capitalization too). I did not think it would be worth the money or time to input the spelling words each time! Well, I was both right and wrong. Yes it does take him a bit longer on the computer then to write it on paper, but well worth it. Why you ask? Great question! He is learning keyboarding! Killing two birds with one stone. Plus he associates the computer with a fun time so this was perfect. When I introduced it to him he was excited that he did not have to write out his spelling words anymore!

Typically I would read the words one at a time while he writes them down. If your kid is like mine this is more of a chore for him. With the SpellQuizzer I spend one day a week inputting the spelling lists and then each day he goes to the computer and does his spelling for that day. And I love the fact that when he types in a word that is incorrect it shows the incorrect and correct word right away. Then after he is all done with the test, he can go back and re-do all the ones he got wrong.

The program is very easy to run. You have a couple of choices when you load up SpellQuizzer. You can take a quiz, Make a list, and Edit a list or Import/Export a list. It is that simple. My son picked up on it with only one explanation.

OK, you guessed it I really like the program. However, there is always room for improvement. The one thing I would like to see is a parent area where we can go in and see the progress of each test they have taken. I have been just asking him how it went or watching him and of course he tells me, but it would be nice to just take a peak at the score and the words he missed.

So for only $29.95 you can have a spelling program for your whole family. Hey, if you are unsure you can pop over to their web site and take a look at some screen shots or even watch a video demo and you can even get a free trial to see if you like it. And last but not least they even help you get started with some free spelling lists you can download. I think you will love it as much as we have.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Old Age version of "'My Favourite Things"

Sung to the song 'My Favourite Things' from the Sound of Music. Have a laugh on me!

Botox and nose drops and needles for knitting,
Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings,
Bundles of magazines tied up in string,
These are a few of my favourite things.

Cadillacs and cataracts, hearing aids and glasses,
Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses,
Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,
These are a few of my favourite things.

When the pipes leak, When the bones creak,
When the knees go bad,
I simply remember my favourite things,
And then I don't feel so bad.

Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions,
No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions,
Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they bring,
These are a few of my favourite things.

Back pain, confused brains and no need for sinnin',
Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin',
And we won't mention our short shrunken frames,
When we remember our favourite things.

When the joints ache, When the hips break,
When the eyes grow dim,
Then I remember the great life I've had,
And then I don't feel so bad.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Bible Story Songs

You know as a singer and a children’s choir director at my church, I know just how powerful music can be. The words can teach you something that you may have known but never knew how to feel it. It can evoke feelings for God that no spoken word can. It can help you memorize scripture so much more quickly then just trying to read and re-read and re-read. There are songs I learned years and years ago that are still stuck in my head. Think about it for yourself. I am sure you have a few songs still stuck in there from your childhood.

Bible Story Songs is a wonderful way to bring God’s word into your life through music. They have a pretty great selection of music CD’s that will introduce the Bible in an entertaining memorable way to your children. And who knows, you might just pick up on something yourself!

The CD I got to review was Bible Story Songs: The Bible, Lets Sing About the Book We Love. There are 32 wonderful, fun and biblically based songs my children loved. It’s about an hour long CD. We went on a little road trip a few weeks ago and put this in the car instead of watching the DVD player. We had fun singing to the ones we had memorized already.

Here are just a few of the titles on that CD that my children like the most. Books of the Bible, I’ve Got the Living Word, Like Newborn Babies, Yes, In My Bible, Your Word is Truth.

The CD is only $9.99. That’s not really bad considering how many songs you get. Oh, and you got to go over to their sight. They have all sorts of other recourses for your homeschool music class or if you are like me, your children’s choir! Sheet music, Puzzle Books, Song Books etc. Even a blog.

Score: 10 out of 10

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What is the Goofiest Questions Asked About Homeschoolers?

So this weeks Heart of the Matter Weekly Meme question is great and I can not wait to read some of the responses. But meanwhile, here is mine.

Picture a lovely, sunny day at the park. It is about 11:30 in the afternoon and my kids 6 and 3 are playing on the playground with about 8 other kids that are all homeschooled. A lady approaches me and asked "Oh are the kids on a field trip of some sort?".
I laughed a little and said well, sort of".
She asks, "What do you mean sort of? What school do they go to?"
My reply was "They are homeschooled. We teach our kids at home."
"Oh, wow, you all are teachers?"
"No, we are mostly all housewives."
"Is that legal?"
"Yes, in the state of California and many other states as well."
"Well, are your kids socialized? So you ever get your kids out with other kids? Don't you worry about socialization?"
I burst into a snicker and pointed my finger to the group of kids all playing together and said to her, "What do you think! Yes, I believe they are socialized very well."
The conversation went on from there about how public school socialization structure etc. I will not bore you with that.

Hmmm, so are my kids socialized when they play with only 8 other kids? Let me think for a moment. I don't know are they? Goodness gracious should I do more? No, I think they are just fine!
So that is my little funniest question I have ever been asked.