Archive for October, 2010


Could I? Would I? Should I?

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These are the questions we asked before we started our most recent unit study.  William Tyndale was God’s Smuggler.  Could I have done what he did?  Would I have been willing to give all he gave?  Should I even consider breaking laws set by man, to further The Kingdom of Heaven for The Glory of God?

William Tyndale, God’s Smuggler is a 21 page unit study, written by Kim Kargbo and published by her company, Soli Deo Gloria Resources. Soli Deo Gloria is Latin for “To God Alone the Glory.”  They provide unit study curricula, Bible studies and teacher resources for homeschooling families.

Soli Deo Gloria Resources is based on the belief that:

  • “If we educate our children so that they will be intelligent and successful – we may be seeking THEIR glory.
  • If we educate our children so that they will impress our family, friends and neighbors – we may be seeing OUR OWN glory.
  • If we educate our children so that they can pour forth facts and figures accurately – we may be seeking the glory of KNOWLEDGE (and knowledge puffs up).

But if we educate our children so that they have a big view of God, are aware of their individuals giftings and seek to use them for the advancement of God’s Kingdom around the world and in eternity – then we are seeking GOD’S glory.”

and their products clearly reflect this belief.  They have more than 20 unit studies, covering a wide range of subjects with each unit.

The William Tyndale study is shorter than most and is ideal for those that have never attempted to use a unit study method of teaching/learning or for those that want a break or filler between other studies.  It can easily be taught in five days or stretched over a longer period, like we did.  It incorporates history, science, geography, character study, Bible, art, and language arts.  It adapts well for grades K-12.

Kim supplies a list of resources needed: choices in movies, books and websites.

We were able to rent 3 of the 4 movies she recommended, from Netflix, and all 5 of the books listed were available from our local library.  It is her suggestion that you get one book and/or one movie corresponding to the age level(s) of your children. 

I wanted everything, because I have multiple age levels and because I wanted to be able to tell you just how hard/easy it is to fulfill her resource list.  Kim has compiled numerous activities and projects:  ie.  mapping, copywork, timeline, puzzles, etc. that reinforce the material covered in this study.

William Tyndale, God’s Smuggler is an $8 e-book.  Time is valuable.  I guarantee it would take, me or you, more than an hour to “build” our own unit study.  That alone makes this a wise investment, but the content of this study is likely to have eternal dividends.

I’m not going to tell you how we answered our original questions.  I encourage you to learn about William Tyndale and his contribution to your family.  He was a Christian hero and we’re glad we had a chance to meet him.


This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

You can read other reviews of Soli Deo Gloria Resources, written by my crew mates, if you click here.

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Remember class field trips?

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I used to love going on class field trips, when I was in school.  I had no idea, though, all of the pre-planning and preparation that went into it before the permission slip was even sent home for my mother’s signature.

As a home educator, the organization and planning of field trips is now my responsibility.  Just to take this crew to the lake for a couple of hours, takes nearly 30 minutes to pack and then another half hour to unpack.  Beach towels, life jackets, sunscreen, water bottles, volleyball, frisbee, snack, shovels, pails, sifter, blanket or chairs, etc.  This is for swimming only; if there is any hiking or fishing planned, well… you can imagine.  A day at the zoo… wow!

* Smithsonian National Zoo, Washington, D.C.

My children and I recently visited the Blue Creek Rainforest Reserve of Belize, Central America; Cloud Lake bog in Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada and five deserts in the southwestern, USA.

* a waterbug

I didn’t pack a thing!  No bug spray, because there were no mosquitoes.  No sunscreen, because there was no overbearing sun or drenching humidity.  No umbrella; no rain.  No water bottles, because we didn’t get thirsty. No leeches or waterbugs to contend with; yet, we observed them up close and we watched a jaguar, without fear of being pounced upon!

*Blue Creek Rainforest Reserve


*Leafcutter ant

Thanks to Digital Frog International, and their Digital Field Trips on DVD, we were able to explore 3 eco-systems from the comfort and ease of our home.  Scientifically sound, virtual reality field trips to the rainforest, the wetlands, and the desert.

We walked the forest floor, climbed trees and sat atop the canopy.  We waded through swamps and suffocating mud.  We crossed the arid lands of the Sonoran Desert, the Painted Desert and Cattail Falls oasis in Big Bend National Park; the Black Rock Desert and even Death Valley.  On our way, we learned about the organisms; plants and animals that inhabit each eco-system.

While in the rainforest we participated in an in depth exploration of botany, in the wetlands the in depth exploration was of photosynthesis, and in the desert, homeostasis and adaptations.

Digital Field Trips is science at it’s best!

  • interactive software
  • animation
  • graphics
  • illustrations
  • stunning photographs
  • videos
  • detailed text
  • narration
  • integrated dictionary
  • 360^ panoramas
  • zoom
  • ambient sound
  • diagrams
  • games
  • worksheets

Home licensing for each, single disc is $60; the set of 3 is $125.  School licensing is available.  Visit the Digital Frog Shop online for products and pricing.

Try before you buy – download a free limited version at

Call ~ 1-800-621-3764 (international)

1-(519)-766-1097 (local)

Fax ~  1-(519)-767-9994

Each of my children found these field trips fascinating.  My elementary age and pre-reader needed some assistance to navigate the terrain, but my middle school through high school found the trek easy, but fully engaging.

I have no doubt, we will travel with Digital Frog International, time and again.

They also have The Digital Frog 2.5, virtual frog dissection, anatomy & ecology and Science Matrix:  Cell Structure & Function.

Many of my crew mates, from The Old Schoolhouse (R) Magazine Homeschool Review Crew, reviewed the 3 disc set, Digital Field Trips.  Click below to read their reviews.

This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.


Categories : America, homeschool, reviews, TOS
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A Non-Tech view of Cool-Tech Software

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I appreciate technological advances that make my life so much easier and connect me and my children to places we might never have a chance to visit, and to information we could never afford, if it were only beautifully bound between the covers of a book.  I like the good that comes from having a personal computer and access to the internet.

I don’t have a clue how “it”  works, but the benefits to our homeschool have far outweighed any personal negatives we’ve experienced.

One such benefit was the opportunity, these past few weeks, to use software from LanSchool Technologies. If two or more of your computers are networked together and they meet the system requirements listed here, LanSchool software allows you to manage and even monitor every computer in your classroom.  The $99. perpetual home use license, allows up to three computers to be monitored and includes 3 years of tech support and upgrade protection.  Click on the LanSchool logo below for a guided video tour.

LanSchool Technologies is the award winning provider of classroom management software since 1986.  There is a license for every need, from small or large, private and public classrooms to non-profit and corporate use.  You can access a fully functioning 30-day free trial for your classroom and if you are a teacher, tech coordinator or administrator, with a valid school email address, you may sign up for a free copy of LanSchool Home.

Contact LanSchool Technologies at

By telephone:  877-370-5546 (USA) and 801-770-3096 (International)

or fax:  240-331-1316

Mailing address:

LanSchool Technologies, LLC

770 West 210 South

Orem, Utah  84058

LanSchool believes, “Parents today are faced with the challenge and opportunity of using technology in the home.  Computers are amazing educational and entertainment tools, but they can also be a huge distraction and danger to kids.  LanSchool Home v7.5 allows parents to easily keep track and restrict what happens on the family computers.”

LanSchool Home v7.5 helps parents:

● Monitor real-time thumbnails of their home computers

● Limit distractions such as the Internet, games and
instant messaging

● Track Internet history

● Log every keystroke typed on a computer

● Limit computers access by locking out the computer

● Provide help through remote control

● Chat with family members

I have a non-tech view of this cool-tech software…

We have two computers in our home utilized, on occasion, for schooling, they are located in the main area of the house and are about five feet apart.  At this time,  I find it difficult to use our LanSchool software to it’s fullest potential.  It is easy enough for me to verbally make assignments and keep my students/children on track.  We are basically a one-room schoolhouse!

I think this would have been more of an asset to us, if our home were larger, or multi-level and if,  we had children that made use of the computer in a less public area.

Since I can’t foretell the future, I’m glad LanSchool Home is a perpetual license.   Using state-of-the-art-cool technology, I’m equipped to monitor and protect my family’s computers, as the need arises.

Several of my crew mates have written reviews of LanSchool Technologies software.  You’ll find them at

This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.


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Foundlings, Book One of The Peleg Chronicles

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Zoe and Sozo Publishing.  Have you heard of them?

I hadn’t heard of this publishing company until I received Foundlings, for review.  It is written by Matthew Christian Harding and the encapsulated story of his life, his testimony, could be a book, in itself.  God’s love, mercy, grace, acceptance and forgiveness are evident.  He is the father of four, and with his wife’s encouragement, bedtime stories became…  The Peleg Chronicles.

The publisher recommends this book for ages 10 and up. Foundlings is a work of historical fiction, set in the time of Peleg (Genesis 11), after the Tower of Babel dispersion.  The author’s view is that of a young earth creationist. Godly heroes and adventurers:  Lord McDougal and Thiery;  evil Dragon Priests, vivid Beasts and man-sized Lyftfloga, find their way across the pages.  Scripture is woven seamlessly throughout this story of good versus evil.

I started reading Foundlings aloud, to all but my youngest child.  232 pages with no illustrations.  We noticed that from an artistic point of view, the character’s physical descriptions (apart from McDougal and a couple of others) are sparse.  Spiritually, though, it is clear who is good and who is bad.  Evil is portrayed as evil and not good, not fun, not something to delve into yourself.

*Mr. Harding’s, “Lord McDougal”, comes off the page by my son’s hand.

One of my daughters said, “It’s great that someone finally wrote a book with a fantasy-feel that I can enjoy reading.  I’ve always believed dragons and dinosaurs walked with man.  Foundlings meets God’s approval, in my opinion, because, just as the publisher claims,  it isn’t filled with magic, humanism or evolution.  All in all, a good read without the junk!”

Another one said, “It’s an interesting idea for a book, but not a genre I’d choose to read.  Just too much fantasy for my taste and too many odd-named characters.  Instead of walking, half the time, I felt like I was tripping and stumbling through it.”

I wasn’t far into Foundlings when I changed the rating to a PG-13.  Therefore, my recommendation is for older teens and adults. It does contain visible, Biblical principles of truth, courage, faith and love, among others.  I think it leans a little heavy and graphic in other areas.  I know, much of this story is based on historical account, but I don’t see the need for this measure of dark detail in my young children’s fiction.

On the other hand, I know there is a market of youth and adults that read of spells and incantations, dungeons and dragons, vampires and more, without pause.  This is not a description of Foundlings, but…  this good book may be a tool to reach hearts with The Truth.  It opens discussion and opportunity for presentation of The Gospel.

I encourage you to read the other TOS Crew reviews , since we come from many different points of view.  Follow your personal standard and form your own opinion, before you give it to your child or as a gift.

*This is another son’s illustration.  A Lyftfloga, as described by the author.

If  you decide this book will fit your family, you can order here, online, through the mail or bookstore.  It is $11.95.  Paladins, Book Two of The Peleg Chronicles has already been published and is also available for $11.95.  Foundlings ends with a cliff-hanger and moves right into Paladins.  The third book in this series is anticipated in May of 2011.

This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.


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