Archive for April, 2012


Hands-on Science!

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Yes, please!  I wish every concept of science could be taught through hands-on activities.  I retain what I learn, so much better, and therefore, I’m able to teach it better!  When I present it well, and my students get their hands on it, their minds seem to follow and stick with it much easier.

Take the instruction from AIMS Education Foundation, for instance.


Click the graphic to read The Story of AIMS as told by the founder.


AIMS is an acronym for Activities Integrating Mathematics and Science.  They’ve been around since 1981.  Their goal is to integrate science, mathematics, language arts, social studies, etc., just as they are integrally connected in the real world, and this makes AIMS products effective.  We recently had the opportunity to use and review Earth Rocks!.


Click graphic to see PDF formatted preview pages.

More than 300 pages, covering 50 lessons and hands-on activities.  Students explore soil, rocks and minerals (noting that there is, indeed, a difference in the two,) the water cycle, weather, and erosion.  They identify and classify renewable and non-renewable resources, and spend time discussing pollution and solutions.  The book is large, regular 8 1/2″ X 11″ black and white printed pages, bound between a high-gloss, paper back cover.  The content is written for grades 4-5, but I found it adaptable to younger and older ages, with little extra effort.  The book is non-consumable, but many pages must be copied/printed for use by a student.  Earth Rocks! can be purchased for $29.95.  It is also available, in its entirety, in downloadable PDF version, for the same price.

AIMS Education Foundation has many Activity Books, Lab Kits, Components, and Resources available.  Their Rock and Mineral Set, for $24.95, is a great resource for Earth Science, and Earth Rocks!.  The books can be used in any order, and together could fulfill requirements for a full curriculum.  For us, they are outstanding supplements to our Science or Math curriculum.

We did not work through Earth Rocks! in a specific order.  This week, April 10, 2012, was the 100th anniversary of the sinking of The Titanic.  Earth Rocks! has a lesson on Ice Sculptures.  The topic is Glaciers.  Timely, yes?  Every lesson includes Key Questions, a Learning Goal, Guiding Documents, Science, Integrated Processes, Materials needed, Background Information, the Management and Procedure of the lesson and activities, Connecting Learning and Extensions.  The students make a glacier, which was our tie-in to the history of The Titanic, but the lesson rolled us right into how glaciers create valleys, and change the surface of the Earth.  Great information; well organized hands-on activities make AIMS a welcome resource!  Earth Rocks!, in itself,  gives us nearly a year of one-a-week supplemental science lessons.

My TOS crew mates reviewed several different Activity Books; so, you’ll want to click the graphic below, and follow the link to read their blog posts.





Disclaimer*  A copy of 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 : Family
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Remarkable – writing with WORLD

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It’s simple enough, really.  If it had never been written, it could never be read.  So much would have been lost, from then to now, if it had not been written.  If the truth is not written, today, we may not have it tomorrow.  Writing well is much more than using correct grammar and vocabulary, and it is one of the greatest challenges a student will face.  It allows us to clearly express our thoughts, ideas, and beliefs.  “Christians in particular should try to be the best communicators.  They possess The Truth and need to articulate a Biblical worldview.”  It is our job, as parents and educators, to teach our children how to write.

The publishers of God’s World News and WORLD magazine, together with education and media professionals, have developed an exciting *new writing curriculum.  Write with WORLD is a two year writing curriculum geared for middle school.  It adapts easily for grades 6 – 10.


Click graphic to view Sample Lesson



Year ONE and year TWO each consist of a non-consumable Student Text, a Teacher’s Edition – including the full student text, and an annual web site access pass.  The curriculum is completed, and the books are ready for shipment this summer, 2012.  The final dynamics of the web site are being polished, giving students access to the education and encouragement of journalists, photojournalists, essayists, editors, authors, and professors.

Write with WORLD concentrates on developing young writers who can think and express their thoughts through writing.  Students using Write with WORLD are connected to other writers – WORLD journalists, writer’s from God’s World News, celebrated writing professors, and student authors.  Students will benefit from these writer’s advice.  They will respond to timely and thoughtful assignments that encourage them to discuss ideas and language with teachers.  The potential for publication will energize students, giving them purpose and audience.”

Each unit is broken down into smaller lessons.  Stimulating assignments, many relevant to today, are given.  Small steps and achievements are acknowledged, built upon, corrected and improved along the way.  This is not a – here’s the writing prompt – write your paper – have it corrected for errors –  get a grade, good or bad – learn the next set of writing rules – here’s the next writing prompt – curriculum.  Many of the developers of Write with WORLD have sat through similar, boring classes; so, they recognized the pitfalls to avoid.  Grammar, vocabulary, structure, essays, narratives and compositions are included, but it never seems forced on the student.  The students develop critical reading skills, learning to detect worldview clues in writing, and learning to write from the point of their own worldview.  This curriculum is more conversational and feels almost interactive.  My own reluctant writer’s were encouraged by their steady, easy progression.  As the parent/educator, I think it is a remarkable approach and I’m excited to see how it will impact my children!


Write with WORLD, Full Curriculum, Year ONE or Year TWO can be purchased for $95 each.


Purchase both, Year ONE and Year TWO, Full Curriculum for $165.

Click graphic for more information to order.



Comments or Questions?

Write –

God’s World News

P.O. Box 20001

Asheville, NC  28802-8201

Email –


Phone – 1.800.951.5437


You’ll find additional reviews, other opinions, and different perspectives when you follow the link included with the TOS graphic, below, and read what my crew mates have to say.

How well can you articulate your worldview?




Disclaimer*  A copy of 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.


Thanks for your comments.

Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.






Categories : Reading, reviews, Writing
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Why History is Important

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Of course, I took history classes in school.  I even knew how to memorize names and dates, pass tests, and make good grades.  A love of history was not instilled in me, it was just something I had to learn, to get the credit, to move on.

Of course, I’ve taught history.  Well sort of.  I admit, it hasn’t always seemed important and I haven’t always made time for it.  I had reasoned that it’s not even one of the subjects tested for college entrance, how important could it be.  I’ve had hints of it’s value, hearing lingering quotes like Edmund Burke’s,

“Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”


My older children and I have had more of an interest in the history of America, over the last few years, as they’ve reached voting age.  We’ve dug into books about our founders and Constitutional law, or watched documentaries based on specific periods of time, looking for truth or the answer to a question.  We’ve enjoyed sharing what we’ve learned, insights, and conversations.

Until recently, it didn’t occur to me that this is actually how some people teach and learn history.  What a wonder!  My younger children’s historical education will be vastly different than their older siblings, because Truth Quest History  found its way to our home.




But that’s not even the most significant wonder about the TruthQuest History guides.  The author, Michelle Miller, completely changed my outlook of history.  Yes, as a Christian believer, maybe I should have seen it all along, but she made it clear to me, and now I can make it clear to my children.  Learning our history, as mankind, should not just be man’s interaction with man, but man interacting with God.  It is HIStory, because He is involved, and without Him there would be no history, because there would be nothing.

There are Christian based, chronological, World History guides available, written for grades 5 – 12, from Creation and The Ancients to the Present (2000.)  American History only, is available for the 1st through 5th grades.  I started with Age of Revolution:  America/Europe, 1600-1800 and what I thought would be more than 300 daunting pages of history.

The author speaks to you, she doesn’t lecture on the topic she’s presenting.  She’s conversational and witty.  She comments on the story, and sets the stage for the time, people, events, and culture.  Always connecting, and reconnecting the historical responses or reactions, the consequences or blessings, in light of one’s belief about God – whether true or untrue.   TruthQuest History was written to teach “spiritual cause-and-effect lessons of history which teach Godly wisdom.”

Within the first chapter, I was struck by the truth of this paragraph:

“Don’t ever think spiritual matters are insignificant and only personal or you’ll miss the very hand of God in history!  You’ll be blind to the deep beliefs which drive human action and you’ll think history is merely a boring record of famous people, deeds, and dates… History is really about what God is doing in the earth and that’s the most compelling story of all!  History is about His truth, which is so powerful that it changes government, law, science, art, economics, literature, and the quality of life for people and their descendants…”

History is important!  Throughout time we have all generally asked two questions – Who is God? and Who, then, is mankind?   Michelle Miller points to these two questions, that she calls the Big 2 Beliefs, throughout history.  Our answers to these questions influence our thoughts and actions, yesterday, today, and I expect, forever.

TruthQuest History is so much more than a curriculum with lists of living books.  It does give us structure, but it also bends to that sweet flexibility that I crave.  I’m reminded that the abundant resources listed are options for my discretion, not obligations.  There is no set schedule of completion.  We have the freedom to follow an interest, a particular person or event, much like we’ve done with unit studies, in the past.

A printed guide is $29.95 and each guide is now available in PDF format, for $24.95.

Contact –

TruthQuest History

P.O. Box 2128

Traverse City, MI  49685-2128


Online Discussion Loop

May crew mates have had the opportunity to review many of the guides and you’ll find their reviews by clicking the graphic below.



Disclaimer*  A copy of 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 : History, homeschool, reviews, TOS
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Perfectly Designed

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One of our favorite places to visit, as a family, is the zoo.  Any zoo!  We’ve gone to the zoo in other cities, as part of a vacation.  We’ve visited the zoo at the end of a particular study, as a wrap-up, field trip.  We’ve purchased a year-long, family membership, numerous times over the years, as a birthday present.  In anticipation, we have several go-to animal guides, and animal stories that we read, and reference, before we head to the zoo.  Recently, we added a brand new story!



Amazing Animals by Design is written by one of my TOS Crew mates, Debra Haagen, and has been published by Tate Publishing and Enterprises.  It is the story of a family visiting a zoo.  Often, no matter how many times we’ve been there, if it is estimated that it takes 3 hours to walk through a particular zoo, it will take our family five or six or even seven hours, because we talk and teach, soaking up God’s wonderful creation and design.  In just 24 pages, that’s what Amazing Animals by Design does, too.

John and Sarah, the main characters of the story, go to the zoo with their parents.  They see elephants, zebras, giraffes, lions, cheetahs, a caracal, ostriches, and Barbary sheep.  Every question they have is answered from the point of creation and intelligent design!  This is a wonderful introduction for young children to the idea that we are all perfectly designed by God, to fulfill His purposes.

Amazing Animals by Design can be purchased as a bound book, for $8.99, or as an instant digital download, for $7.99.  You can click and follow [John] to the bookstore, for purchasing information.






















Click and follow [Sarah], and she’ll take you to Amazing Animals by Design on facebook.  This is a great place to get to interact with the author!























Also, other TOS Homeschool Review Crew Members had the opportunity to read Amazing Animals by Design, and you can read their reviews by clicking the graphic below.






It’s a rainy day here, today.  We won’t be visiting the zoo, but as soon as I sign off my daughter has asked that we read Amazing Animals by Design…again.  So, that’s just what we’ll do, soaking in the wonder of God’s creation, and reinforcing how perfectly designed everything is, especially her!






Disclaimer*  A digital copy of 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.


Thank you ~

Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.



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