Archive for May, 2013

May
26

Fall On Your Knees

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I wrote the song, Fall On Your Knees,  in 2007.  I have an audio recording of it, but this is the first video recording I’ve done.  Actually, it’s the first time I’ve played guitar with it! It’s not the best sound, but I think you can hear it well enough; and I hope it blesses you.

A special note of thanks to my mom for her constant encouragement, and genuine gratitude to my brother for playing back up guitar with me.  I’m continuing to step out of my comfort zone!  God is good, and all the glory is His!

 

 

Lyrics:

Every day I look around I don’t see what I want to see.
Our whole world is crashing down and so rapidly.
People are just givin’ up, they don’t think there’s a chance,
To save these souls; but they don’t know our wondrous Father’s plans.

CHORUS:
Fall on your knees.  Lift your prayers up to heaven, we’re a new generation; 
We’re gonna rock this world. 
Fall on your knees.  Lift your prayers up to heaven, we’re a new generation;
We’re gonna rock this world.  We’re gonna rock this world!

All across this lonely earth, people are reaching out for love,
To chase away the fear and hurt they hold inside their heart.
Though there’s sin and selfishness, hope will not be drowned.
Through this pain and suffering, faith will find it’s ground.

CHORUS

It’s time to, call on His Holy Name.  It’s time to, call in the cavalry. 
We’re gonna rock it.  We’re gonna rock it.
It’s time to, share the love of Christ and
It’s time to, show the world what’s right.
We’re gonna rock it.  We’re gonna rock it.

Fall on your knees.  Lift your prayers up to heaven, we’re a new generation.
We’re gonna rock this world.
Fall on your knees.  Lift your prayers up to heaven, we’re a new generation.
We’re gonna rock this world.  We’re gonna rock this world!

Warmly,

Sarah E.

 

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

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May
20

High School Prep Genius ~ A TOS Review

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      High School Prep Genius is from the same author as              College Prep GeniusJean Burk; and her daughter, Judah Burk.

 

In November of 2011, I had the opportunity to review the College Prep Genius DVD Set.  I highly recommended it, as it is designed to increase standardized test scores; secure scholarships and gain financial assistance for college.  We continue to appreciate its value; therefore, I was excited to hear about High School Prep Genius, An Academic Guide to Excellence.

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I knew I was out of my depth properly preparing my children for college, but I didn’t realize all I didn’t know until I read High School Prep Genius.  It is an outstanding guidebook to navigating high school and preparing for college.  It is a hefty, 7″ x 10″ soft-cover book, with 440 pages.  If the truth be told, the first 88 pages, the Introduction, with month-by-month timelines for goals, testing, applications and such, had me over-whelmed, distressed and disheartened with my lack of knowledge and pre-planning.  Honestly, I cried; and then I repented for my lack of initiative or laziness.  I persevered, and dug in; and the more I read on, the more the authors have been able to instruct, motivate; and encourage me.  They say, “Whether you are just starting your high school journey or nearing the end of the voyage, this book can be your compass.”  The situation is not hopeless!  Thanks to the Burk’s, “I have a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.”

I read the entire Introduction (Part I), and browsed the rest of the book before I presented it to my teenage son, for the two of us to read together.  The first thing we did was set up a 2 1/2″ binder with pocket dividers as his College and Career Notebook.  There are step-by-step instructions for this, with detailed forms to copy for accurate record keeping of:  Subjects, Credits, Goals, Extracurricular Activities, Awards Earned, a Student Profile; and Etc.  

The authors believe it is never too early to start thinking about college and career choices.  This is a mind set I haven’t had, but agree I must adopt in order to prepare my children for a successful future.  When our children reach middle school and high school age, it is our responsibility as parents to teach them how to make important decisions on their own; and weigh the consequences or benefits of those decisions.  High School Prep Genius walks us through how we might accomplish this task.

Each chapter of this book is written to the student, but it is suggested that you read it together, taking about an hour and covering one chapter a week.  After the content, there are several Think About It questions for the student.  I chose to type these and print them as worksheets that can be put into the student College and Career Notebook, as they are completed.  Our time, usually closer to two hours, consists of reading aloud together, my son answering the thought-provoking questions; and then discussion.  I appreciate the question prompts that often give me further insight into my son’s heart and mind.  There is also a section specifically for parents, aptly titled, Parent’s Homework.  Here I find information and suggested activities that help me assist my child in reaching his chapter goals.  The chapter we’re starting this week is Your Financial Independence.  My Homework leads me to discuss the importance of financial planning and budgeting.  Suggestions for how revenue should be allotted are included, as are book titles that could be helpful.

Chapters 1 – 6 are in the Foundation for Personal Success (Part II), and that’s where we’ve spent most of our time thus far.  “The key to success in life begins with a strong sense of self,” writes the author.  The student discovers and explores who they are or who they want to be through chapters on:  their personal development and interests, owning their beliefs, being healthy, gaining financial independence; and building a strong support system.

The next section, Part III, is the Foundation for Academic Success.  Chapters 7 – 12 are included here, and I’ve glanced ahead at the subjects we’ll be discussing:  Academic Development, Effective Studying, Tests and Papers; and more.

The fourth section (Part IV), chapters 13 – 18, is the Foundation for Future Success.  There are chapters covering: Standardized Test Prep, College Applications, and College Essentials, among others.  The authors remind us that, “High school is only a stepping stone to greater things; therefore, having a solid high school experience can lead to a productive future.”

At the back of the book, there are 39 pages of additional resources —

  • Appendix A:  How to Build a Homeschool Transcript
  • Appendix B:  Talent Searches
  • Appendix C:  Great Books to Get You Started
  • Appendix D:  Reduce Test Anxiety Through Relaxation Techniques
  • Appendix E:  Admissions Terminology

Today is the day to begin!  24 billion dollars are awarded in college scholarships, and with a little planning and prep work there’s no reason your child or mine can’t be a recipient of some of these funds.  You can purchase High School Prep Genius, An Academic Guide to Excellence for $29.95, and I think it’s a worthwhile investment.  You don’t have to read my opinion of this book only, though.  You can read more than 50 of my Crew mates reviews when you click on the banner and follow the link below.

 

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Blessings,

pk_siggy-red1

 

Disclaimer*   I received a copy of High School Prep Genius, in exchange for my honest review as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

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Thank you for your comments.  I enjoy hearing from 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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May
15

Spanish for You! ~ A TOS Review

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One more time, I have the opportunity to learn, and to teach my children Spanish.  Let me just tell you now that I think this program might actually work for us!

 

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Spanish for You!  is a full-year Spanish curriculum built around a theme, instead of grade levels.  It’s actually designed in a way that I can use it with all of my children at the same time.  Created by Spanish teacher and author, Debbie Annett, for grades 3 – 8, it is concise and simple to use.  Currently, there are two themes available:  Fiestas – Celebrations, and Estaciones – Seasons.  Another theme, Viajes – Travels, is expected this summer.  Our study is based on Estaciones Seasons.  We enjoy each of the four seasons, the outdoors, and the dramatic weather changes we sometimes experience; so this seemed a perfect place for us to begin!

 

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 Curriculum includes:

Soft-bound text, Parent/Teacher Guide

Lesson Guides for Grades 3 – 8 in PDF format

MP3 audio download for each Lesson

Printable worksheets in PDF format

Flashcards, to download and print

and

Audio download of the entire book, recorded by a native speaker

Spanish for You Curriculum

 

This course is set up for 30 minutes or less a day, 4 days a week, consistently; and most importantly, following the specified order of the lessons.  However, the author encourages you to have fun, don’t stress, and modify your schedule if needed.  The Lesson Guides include clear instructions and a complete plan for the entire curriculum.

There really isn’t a lot of prep work for Estaciones.  I downloaded the files for the audio, worksheets, etc. and then I read a few pages of the text and Lesson Guides to familiarize myself with the course.  The Lesson Guides tell you what audio you’ll need to listen to, what worksheets you’ll need to print;  and which flashcards to use for each lesson.  I chose to print mine all at one time and put them in folders.  I also printed all of the flashcards.

The flashcards are not my favorite.  Ms. Annett even says that you might want to “use your computer to make cool flashcards.”  I haven’t figured out how to do that, yet; so I used the flashcards she includes with the curriculum.  Making my own flashcards in this way was time consuming.  Each sheet of flashcards must be printed and cut apart.  They’re black and white sketches, so we decided to color them.  Then we glued them to 3″x 5″ cards, giving me a place to write the Spanish/English words that correspond to each drawing.  The biggest issue for me is that, since I don’t already speak Spanish, it seems to take forever and a day to write the phonetic pronunciation of the word; so I know whether or not my student is pronouncing it correctly.  I’m sure I’ll get quicker as I learn, but presently I have to refer to the guide numerous times for each word.  I’d like to be able to print the flashcards in color, and I’d like the Spanish word and pronunciation set up to print on the reverse side; or separately, so I could cut it out and glue it to the back of the card.

 

Spanish for You flashcards

 

Our first week we followed the Lesson Guides as they are set up.  We moved along, but didn’t feel like we retained much by the end of the week; so we chose to use the author’s modified schedule suggestion.  Our Day 1 is covered on Monday and Tuesday.  Day 2 on Wednesday and Thursday; and Friday we review.  Day 3 is covered Monday and Tuesday of the second week, with Day 4 on Wednesday and Thursday.  Again, Friday is a great day for review and testing.  The Audio files are an invaluable assistance.  The Teacher’s Text includes Ideas for Using Flashcards, and a variety of Games and Activities that we use for lessons and review.  Playing Charades is one of our favorites!  Flashcards are mixed up and stacked in a pile.  A card is chosen from the top of the stack, and acted out.  The correct word or phrase must be shouted in Spanish to win!  It’s noisy, but great fun!  So, we are spreading one week’s worth of instruction over two weeks of time; but I think we’re getting it and keeping it.  It is the easiest Spanish curriculum I’ve ever used!

 

We are still in Lesson 1, but we have covered a lot of material —

  • The Months of the Year
  • The Days of the Week
  • Commands:  Look, Write; Draw
  • Weather Conditions:  Cold, Hot, Windy, etc.
  • Verb Conjugation
  • and Grammar

We are learning to speak, hear, read and write Spanish!

 

A complete packaged curriculum for all grades, 3 – 8 can be purchased for $64.95.  Complete, select packages for grades 3-4, 5-6, and 7-8 are $39.95 each.  You can find all of the available themes on the Spanish for You! website, under the Purchase Curriculum tab on the left.  If you’re still not sure if this curriculum will work for your family, please take some time to read the reviews written by my Crew mates.  Just click on the banner and follow the link below.

 

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Bendición,

pk_siggy-purple2

 

Disclaimer*   I received a complete package curriculum of Spanish for You! theme Estaciones, in exchange for my honest review as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

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Thank you for your comments.  I enjoy hearing from 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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May
13

Papa’s Pearls ~ A TOS Review

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At just 5″ X 8″ and 113 pages, Papa’s Pearls is an exceptional, little paperback book; written by Diane Flynn Keith, about her father, Carol Joseph Flynn.  Mr. Flynn is Papa.  His pearls are words of wisdom he lived by and readily shared with his family and friends.  They are a legacy of love to his children, his grandchildren; and now to us.

 

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After I spent some time browsing Diane’s blog, learning more about her and her book, I couldn’t wait to read it!  The blog, by the same name, Papa’s Pearls, is a wonderful compliment to the book.  Appreciating family photographs, as I do, I love that Diane has set up a photo album of Papa.  It is a sweet connection to the man I’ve met while reading Papa’s Pearls:  A Father’s Gift of Love and Wisdom to His Children.

 

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I read the story of Carol Joseph Flynn’s life aloud to my children, in the evenings before bed.  They always wanted more!  Each of the 17 chapters is like a snapshot of time, detailing actual tidbits of fact and history; woven with personal accounts, Papa’s wit and feelings, and the lessons he learned.  He was born in 1922, in San Francisco.  He rose above a life of hard knocks, becoming a good man, a respected leader; and a well-loved father and grandfather.  Because he lived through war time and The Great Depression, just as my children’s grandparents did, there was much material for discussion.  We could contrast and compare what Diane wrote of his life with what we know of their lives.  I read aloud the Introduction, at the beginning of the book, so my kids would know that Papa had already died and his daughter was writing about the impact he had on his family’s life.  My husband’s parents, my mother; and my grandmother have all died in the past 15 years.  Nearly every time I read a chapter from Papa’s Pearls, our memories were sparked to reminisce and talk about our own family heritage.  How Grandpa did “this”, always said “that”, or looked at Grandma “just so.”  What Gramma “believed” and how she shared her faith.  Papa’s Pearls is indeed full of love and wisdom from a life well lived, but it is so much more to us.  It is a tool that stirs our own memories, and unlocks our personal heritage.  No doubt, we will read it time and again!

                             An autographed copy of Papa’s Pearls is available for $21.97, on the Papa’s Pearls website.  Diane Flynn Keith is also a homeschool coach and mentor, and you can find her at Homefires.com, and Carschooling.com.

 

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What a delight that Diane Keith could spend time with her dad, recounting memories of his nearly 90 years, before his death in December 2011.  She has written a fine tribute to him, his resilience and his positive out look on life; sharing with the world that we are loved more than we know.  Papa says:

“What’s the Worst Thing that Could Happen?”

“You gotta Use Your Street Smarts.”

“Tell Yourself You Like It.”

“It’s All about Family.”

“Be Grateful Everyday.”

and more.

“Tell Yourself You Like It,” is a prime example of Papa’s out look on life.  Being a plumber in San Francisco, Papa often had to work in the sewers.  When his young children asked him how he could stand the smell, he replied, “You just tell yourself you like it.  Then, it’s not so bad.”  Many years ago, my suburban raised husband got a job on a hog farm.  He was going to college and there was a house for our family, on the property, provided with the job.  The smell of the area was just animal-waste-ripe, and it seemed to permeate everything.  Every time we would leave the house, on our return up the driveway my husband would say, “Mmmm, smells like money!” and he’d smile.  We were just so thankful for a place to live and a dependable job!  We got through that time with genuinely grateful hearts and good attitudes.  We learned so many life lessons during that time, and some of them we didn’t even realize until we read Papa’s story.  Diane writes that her “Papa knew what research studies show.  People who have positive attitudes are winners in good times, and survivors in hard times.  You are what you think.  Tell yourself you like it.”

 

My crew mates have also written reviews of Papa’s Pearls:  A Father’s Gift of Love and Wisdom to His Children and Grandchildren, and you can find them when you click the banner and follow the link below.

 

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Blessings,

 

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Disclaimer*   I received an autographed copy of Papa’s Pearls, in exchange for my honest review as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

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Thank you for your comments.  I enjoy hearing from 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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May
12

Mother’s Day

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Happy Mother’s Day, Momma.  I love you.

Always,

Sarah E.

 

Puddle Jumping - KneeDeep

 

 

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