Archive for March, 2011


Latin Alive!

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I mentioned in another post, that I didn’t have the option of taking Spanish in High School.  I took Latin, in preparation for medical studies in college.  I actually loved it and still recognize many root words, although I did not pursue medicine.  I know that Latin is not a dead language, because it lives in the languages we speak today.

I’ve known many homeschooling families that use Latin and Greek courses.  There was always a part of me that wondered if my children were missing out on something beneficial, but feeling ill-equipped to teach Latin, I set the thought aside.


Classical Academic Press believes “Latin trains a student for grammar, how a language works and how to think critically.”  They make it possible for me and you to teach Latin.

I wanted a curriculum that would benefit my older students, before they graduate, but I had a serious concern that it would be a difficult fit because they had no previous Latin foundation.  Classical Academic Press has several courses to choose from:

Click the graphic for a PDF Catalog of Courses

Latin, Spanish, Greek, French, Logic, Bible and Poetry

They also have different levels of instruction – Song School Latin, Latin for Children, and Latin Alive! will take a student from Kindergarten through early high school.

When I read that Latin Alive! is “both an introduction for the upper school student who has not yet studied the language, and an excellent, deeper continuation of grammar school study,” I knew it was the right choice for us.

I was given the  Latin Alive! Book 1 bundle ($139.95), for this review.  This includes the Latin Alive! Book 1 Student Text ($24.95), the Latin Alive! Book 1 Teacher’s Edition ($29.95), and the Latin Alive! Book 1 DVD & CD Set ($114.95). This is the first text in what will be a 3 year study.



Latin Alive! is a thorough course.  There is a Latin for Teachers DVD Series – a 16 hour, professional, Latin video training course.  At this point, I opted out of the teacher training and I’m learning Latin with my students.  I get to hold the Teacher’s Edition, though.  

Latin Alive! starts at the beginning and assumes no previous Latin knowledge.

  • Thirty six weekly chapters including twenty nine new content chapters and seven review, “reading” chapters.
  • Pronunciation Guides
  • Weekly introduction of vocabulary
  • Thorough grammar explanations including all five noun declensions and cases, all verb conjugations, irregular verbs, various pronouns, adjectives and adverbs
  • United States state seals and their Latin mottos
  • Extensive study of the Latin derivatives of English words
  • Substantial Latin readings and translation exercises
  • Lessons and stories of Roman culture, myths and history
  • Exercises and questions to prepare students for the National Latin Exam and the Advanced Placement Exam
  • Includes historical contributions from Christopher Schlect, historian and Academic Dean at New Saint Andrews College, Moscow, ID
  • Teacher’s Materials including answer keys, teacher’s helps and additional activities available separately

It has been challenging and at times, even difficult, but as we’ve found a solid rhythm in the day to day lessons, our feeling of accomplishment has grown, we’ve become more confident (and competitive) and it’s also, fun!


Click text cover to view Sample Pages


Classical Academic Press offers Free Resources and answers to specific, individual questions, when you Ask the magister (teacher).

More Latin

A Yahoo group chats about Latin Alive! It’s  “a place to discuss anything related to the teaching of Latin Alive!”  Questions, ideas and resources.

Author and Latin One teacher, Karen Moore, has a blog page for Latin Alive!

There’s also my favorite place –

A game and activity website that corresponds with Classical Academic Press materials…

Just a click away from the most Creative Practice!

Classical Academic Press is celebrating their 10th anniversary this year, with specials and discounts on some of their products.  Don’t miss a thing – become a facebook fan.


Click to access facebook


Several of my TOS Crew Mates had an opportunity to review curriculum from Classical Academic Press, too.  Click on the banner below to read what they have to say.




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 : homeschool, Latin, reviews
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Enjoy the Journey

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Life is a journey, with a destination.  Granted, make sure you’ve chosen the right destination, but then… enjoy the journey.

Be kind and affectionate when you have an opportunity, or better yet, make the opportunity.  Touch is healing.  Shake a hand, pat a shoulder, kiss a cheek; linger over a hug.

Taste the food you’re blessed to eat.  Savor it on your tongue.  You have taste buds for a reason, be thankful for them and use them to their full advantage.

See the scenery around you as you drive to work.  Smell the air.

Look people in the eye; hear them when they speak.  Smile when you walk past them.

Laugh, every chance you get!  Laughter is good medicine.

Use your minutes, wisely.  Don’t take time for granted.  We really DON’T know how much of it we have.  Don’t take people for granted – we don’t know how long we have them, either.

Don’t wait to be happy.  Use your favorite perfume for any occasion, use the good china for every meal; send the thank you cards and the love notes, today. 

Take the chances.  Tell that someone how much you like them.  Call your mother and tell her how much you appreciate her.  Forgive an enemy.  Restore a friendship.

Love with your whole heart.  Tomorrow may never come…




Content is the property of Knee Deep In Grace and cannot be copied without written permission.


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Big IQ Kids

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Better grades     Interactive program     Greater self-confidence


Quizzes and tests

K – 8th grade   Invaluable study habits   Daily lessons & practice   Subject matter mastery 

FREE Program




U.S. Geography

Upgrade to a PREMIUM Program for a customizable, electronic character (avatar) to interact with your child, PLUS full game access.


Several pricing programs available.  $19.99 per month (all 4 subjects)

                                                                                   $99.99 for 12 months (4 subjects)

Individual subjects membership offered – $7.99 per month/per subject

 More than 40,000 word spelling dictionary.

Kindergarten through SAT Prep vocabulary words.

State location, capital, abbreviation and more.

Math facts, drills and quizzes.


We love this program!  The children are learning, but they barely know it, because Big IQ Kids  is so fun and engaging.  It stays just ahead of them and holds their interest.  The Spelling Program is our favorite – hands down!

Don’t miss the reviews of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew!



Categories : homeschool, math, reviews, TOS
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Friday’s Fave Five #103

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Living to tell The Story sponsors Friday’s Fave Five Meme.  An opportunity for me to pause and note 5 Favorite moments of my week or to give thanks for 5 wonders or blessings or

1.)  A tall glass of freshly brewed, sweet, Southern iced-tea.  A faithful companion when I need to stay awake long past my bedtime.


225 republished classic books for children.  Available in EPUB or Kindle format.  Downloaded to my PC, for now, with the hope of a Kindle sometime this year!


3.)  28 new NetworkedBlogs followers. I want to reach 100 and have my first giveaway – 47 more to go – oh, my.  Can you still remember when your blog had less than a hundred followers?

4.)  The beauty and power of prayer. James 5:16  “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

5.)  Introduced my younger children to a little Mannheim Steamroller this week.  Simple fun.

I’m thankful for everyday, and no matter what circumstances around me may indicate, the truth is that I have abundant life in Christ Jesus.



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This is Art…

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ARTistic Pursuits – art lessons – taught the way I would teach them, if…I knew how to teach art.  Presenting both the technical and the expressive aspects of art. 


Developed by Brenda and Daniel Ellis, ARTistic Pursuits is tagged as a homeschool art program, geared to meet the specific needs of homeschoolers – at home.

I’ve studied many subjects, over the years, so I could teach them to my children.  Music held my interest when I was in school.  I didn’t make time for art or art appreciation classes, but I recognize and value God-given talent and artistic creativity.

My children have always had Art class, but they’ve never had formal art instruction.  Actually, I purposefully avoided art lessons, because I didn’t want anyone squashing their confidence or trying to redirect their natural bent.  You know the instructors that try to pour all of their students into the same mold, shaping their personal vision of what an artist looks like.  I wasn’t interested.

My approach was to give them a few basics (since that’s all I knew) and a couple of tools.  A little perspective, a dash of proportion (two words I actually knew) and, a pencil, an eraser and a fine tip Sharpie marker.  Add encouragement –  “There is no wrong way to draw.”  “Keep practicing.  You just keep getting better!”  And provide opportunity.  “If you finished your lesson, you may draw while I go over your brother’s spelling words with him.”  “Yes, you may stay up later, tonight, but it is quiet time; so, you may either read or draw.”  It was good for them and they blossomed, but…

ARTistic Pursuits, Senior High Book 1 is better.  Brenda Ellis knows art:  artists, art history and art techniques.  She knows how to teach art.  She knows all of the words!  Her agenda is not to mold and shape by criticizing and correcting.  (However, there is an Evaluation Sheet – for Obtaining a Number and Letter Grade, that can be used for each lesson, in the back of the book.)   Plus, this is a student generated course.  Which means that as the parent, I don’t have to know art and art history (I am learning, though) or set aside time to prep to teach it – I just have to do what I’ve done all along – praise and encourage my artists!

Did you know that artists use elements of art and principles of design or composition to draw?  I didn’t.







used in Contrast and Unity.

These are the elements taught in the first half of the book.  The second half covers the layout of these elements within a picture.  Elements are arranged using:






Each element is the topic of a unit, reinforced through 4 lessons.  The student 1.) learns and builds a visual vocabulary  2.) develops an appreciation of art and knowledge of art history  3.) learns and practices technique and 4.) applies the topic and technique in an expressive final project.


Objective – to see an element of art such as “space” in one’s own environment and to become more visually aware.

Assignment – Draw a scene outdoors…  Look for active spaces and non-active spaces.  Make both types of spaces obvious in your drawing.





Assignment – Choose any round object, such as a vase or your face in a mirror…  Next draw the curves that you see around the shape of the face…  Finally, with the 4B pencil, add the darkest areas which will stand out from the light areas of the drawing.


























To Do:  Set up a group of simple objects and draw them using the three suggestions for composition…












Final project –

Note:  the same topic, the same lessons and the same techniques – with the freedom and encouragement to create and express their own personal style.  THIS is what makes ARTistic Pursuits the BEST art instruction curriculum!

Course name and text, credit value, and description are included as needed for a High School transcript.  ARTistic Pursuits, Senior High Book One is an 88 page, non-consumable, soft bound book.  Completing the suggested two lessons a week, makes this a 32 week, full year course.  Deserving of 1 credit hour.

Courses are available for Pre-school through High School.  The purchase price for any book is $42.95.

Ready-t0-go Art Supply Packs, with every item needed for each book packed in a tote bag, is available for your convenience at discounted prices.

For questions and orders – CONTACT:

Artistic Pursuits Inc.

2626 East 109th Avenue

Northglenn, Colorado  80233

Telephone – 303.467.0504


Click the TOS banner below for additional reviews of this curriculum.






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.

I appreciate your comments.  Thanks, PK

Categories : Art, homeschool, reviews
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Wordless Wednesday

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A Herald of Spring ~ Yellow Forsythias



“…and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
“Therefore do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?’ or “What shall we drink?’ or “What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”  Matthew 6:29-33




*Photographs and contents of this blog are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

Thank you.


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Friday’s Fave Five #102

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Living to tell The Story sponsors Friday’s Fave Five Meme.  An opportunity for me to pause and note 5 Favorite moments of my week or to give thanks for 5 wonders or blessings or


1.)  Loving memories of my mother.  A St. Patrick’s Day baby born during WWII.  Her daddy made her an Irish Kawleen.  We knew her as Ma, Mom and Gramma.  She died in 2003, just 3 months after being diagnosed with colon cancer.  She would be amazed at how often we think of her and how much we miss her.  Even I am amazed at how real her life seems to the children that didn’t even have a chance to know her.  One of my little ones walked into my room, yesterday, and said, “Today’s Gramma’s birthday and I have the perfect present for her.”  Before I could say anything, she blew a kiss Heavenward and said, “Happy Birthday, Gramma.”

It’s so easy to hear my mother’s voice and her laughter.  I hear them when I talk with my sister’s.  I hear them in my own voice and the way I phrase a sentence when I speak to my children.  I see the hint of her features when I look in the mirror and it makes me smile when one of my older children touches my hair and says, “Oh, Momma, your hair is starting to feel silky, like Gramma’s,”  and a younger one says, “I wanna feel.”

She was a good woman.  She loved God and she loved us.  Growing up, she was everything I wanted to be.  I look forward to “meeting her in the morning, just inside the Eastern gate, over there…”

A Skelton photograph

2.)  Ah, the sunshine.  The warm breeze.  The chill is out of my bones and I am sure that spring has arrived!  A sweet respite before the hot, humid; sometimes languid days of summer.

Photo by PK


3.)  $3.99 All You Can Eat Papa’s Pizza Buffet.  Tossed salad, cucumbers, tomatoes, banana peppers and shredded cheese; broccoli salad with raisins and dried cranberries, nuts and sunflower seeds.  Thin crust loaded veggie pizza, thick crust three meat… your way, any way!  Have you noticed grocery prices, lately?  I don’t know how he does it.  1 case of head lettuce – $62.  This time last year, 1 case of head lettuce – $38.  Good food.  Good people!


4.)  Older children licensed to drive themselves to work and thereby enabling this momma to sleep in, just in case she was up until 3 a.m. writing or some such nonsense.

A Mustang dream


5.)  A child’s laughter.  Anyone’s child.  Anywhere.  I love to hear a child giggle and laugh.  Innocent.  Trusting.  No inhibitions.  In spite of all of the tragedy and heartache in this world, when I hear a child’s laughter I hear the sound of hope.

Photo by PK



“Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.”


*Photographs and contents of this blog are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.


Thank you.

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Wordless Wednesday

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A Sumptuous (which is just another word for fancy-Nancy) Birthday!





“Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” ~ 2 Peter 3:18




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Who Is God? And Can I Really Know Him?

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Questions like, How are babies made? or How was I born? ;  Who is God?  And can I really know Him?, tend to freak some parent’s out.  Sure, we may know the answers ourselves, but lack the confidence to think we can clearly articulate them.  We don’t want to mess up or leave some pertinent information out.

I see it as a huge responsibility to parent my children.  One that I don’t take lightly, but also one that I don’t stress over – usually.  =)  Because, my husband and I are not raising our children alone.  We are in a partnership with God.  I believe that God equips us for every task He gives us, and in this case, some of our equipment comes from Apologia Press.

Who Is God?  And Can I Really Know Him? is the first book in a series, What We Believe, published by Apologia Press with Summit Ministries.



What We Believe is a Biblical worldview series.  Who Is God? reminded me that I must teach my children “how to use Scripture as a lens; viewing the world through it.”   If I don’t, I set them up to become a grim statistic –

“Well over two-thirds of young people leave church soon after graduating from high school or starting college.  Many are already gone by their teen years,” says Davis Carman, steward of Apologia Educational Ministries.  The vision for the What We Believe series is, as quoted from Apologia:

  • to help children build their lives on the solid rock of God and His Word
  • to encourage family discipleship as an educational model
  • to eliminate the fear factor of teaching worldview at home
  • to decrease the rate at which young men and women are leaving the Christian faith

Who Is God?  And Can I Really Know Him? is 252 pages beautifully bound in a hard cover book.  It is an easy to read conversation, geared for students ages 6 – 14.  You can find a Lesson 1 sample hereWho Is God? is Scripturally sound, but not denominationally specific.  It touches many subjects; teaching more than Bible.  $39 includes access to many resources and extensive extras online.  Available soon is a coordinating Notebooking Journal, a Coloring Book and audio MP3 CD. Check the catalog for these prices.

We received our book, from Apologia, for this review, but we have not rushed through it.  We are savoring it.  We read, notebook, discuss and ponder, question, answer and memorize.  I want the truths to stick with my children long after we finish this book.  I already know that we will be purchasing the next in the series, Who Am I?  And What Am I Doing Here? and continuing this study, together.  The time is priceless to our family.  The third book, Who Is My Brother?  And Why Do We Need Each Other?, will be available this year, while What On Earth Can I Do? will not be finished until 2012.  Sounds like perfect timing for us.

There is a lesson plan/schedule outlined, but it is not mandated.  In fact, the book is set up to allow maximum flexibility.  Sounds like a perfect plan for us.

Who Is God?  And Can I Really Know Him? is comprised of 10 Lessons, each structured around The Big Idea – which is an intro to the main subject. Topics covered include:

  1. Where Am I Building My Life?
  2. How Can I Know What’s True?
  3. What Is God Like?  pt.1
  4. What Is God Like?  pt. 2
  5. Who Are The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit?
  6. If God Created The World, Why Isn’t It Perfect?
  7. Why Did God Create Me?
  8. Will God Meet All My Needs?
  9. Why Does Sin Keep Me From Knowing God?
  10. Is Jesus The Only Way To God?

I appreciated the section – What You Will Do – that lays out the learning objectives for the lesson. I used these objectives to guide our conversations and reinforce what we read.

A Short Story is read and used to demonstrate a situation and how it might be handled when a Christian Worldview is in action.  Many of the stories were geared to the younger ages, but our discussions around the stories were interesting and age appropriate.

Vocabulary words are listed separately in Words You Need To Know. I had the children write these and their definitions, along with their Bible memory verses, from Hide It In Your Heart, first.  We referred back to them as needed.

There are various articles in each lesson, touching on subjects of art, music, math and science, etc., that tie into the main idea – either directly or through the short story.  This is Integrated Learning. In a section titled What Should I Do?, a specific Godly character trait is highlighted.  Combining Integrated Learning and What Should I Do?  gave us the opportunity to brainstorm several scenarios and the best way to handle them.

Each lesson closes with a Prayer. I used this as a model to keep our prayer time focused on the attributes of the lesson.

Worldview Study is a dynamic I have neglected in our previous Bible studies.  In every lesson, we are given knowledge that helps us center our lives on God’s Truth, knowing what we believe and why.  “When we recognize the components of our own worldview, we can begin to look at other worldviews and understand why others believe as they do.”  As Christians, we have a hope in Christ Jesus, The One True and Living God, that other religions don’t have.  Worldview equips us to effectively communicate that hope to others.

As we complete each lesson, through all four books in this series, we are encouraged that we are building a House of Truth.  The foundation and the first wall are completed in Who Is God? It is a visual memory aid.  “The House of Truth can be used figuratively, drawn in the notebook, or built with items you have on hand.  A three-dimensional, build-as-you-go model is also available for purchase separately from Summit Ministries.”  Sounds like the perfect house and we’re excited about building it!



Apologia Educational Ministries

1106 Meridian Plaza Suite 220

Anderson, IN  46016 US



I hope you will consider – Who Is God? I assure you, you can really know 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.

click and Cruise to read more reviews.



Categories : Bible, homeschool, reviews
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Friday’s Fave Five – #101

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Living to tell The Story sponsors Friday’s Fave Five Meme.  An opportunity for me to pause and note 5 Favorite moments of my week or to give thanks for 5 wonders or blessings or

1.)  I’m sincerely grateful for this meme and the possibility of the personal archive of memories that may be built from it.


2.)  Daffodils – everywhere – and the hope of spring, right around the corner.


3.  I am married to a man after God’s own heart and his banner over me is love.


4.)  I know that no matter what circumstances come against my family, we [individually and collectively] have a firm foundation on The Rock that holds and God will see us through.  My thoughts and prayers are for Japan’s earthquake victims and their families and those in the path of the tsunami.  May God have mercy on them.


5.)  I have a little, inexpensive digital camera, but I was able to capture a lovely picture for my Wordless Wednesday post, this week.  It reminds me of tea time with my Father God ~ a cup of peace in the midst of the day to day turmoil of life.

Counting my blessings and hoping you will count yours, too.


With a heart of thanksgiving,

*Photographs are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.



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