Archive for family

Feb
24

What Will Your Child Believe?

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From the time our children are born we teach them that they are fearfully and wonderfully made.  They grow knowing it, because they hear it often.  When they’re a little older, they’re often amazed the first time we share The Scripture, from Psalm 139:13-16, with them, because they realize it’s not just momma and daddy, being momma & daddy and saying they are wonderful and unique, God said it.

“For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.”

The Bible is our touchstone.  It is the measure by which the validity or merit of something can be evaluated.  We view knowledge through The Bible.  We believe it is the ultimate authority.  We desire to live by faith in Christ Jesus and anchor our world-view in Him.

As our children become preteens and teenagers we challenge them to apply themselves to know why they believe what they believe.  Yes, we want them to know The Truth, and to believe it, but it will not hold them fast if they don’t own it themselves.  If you don’t know why you are waiting to have sex until after you’re married, inevitably you’ll find yourself in a situation of compromise.  If you don’t know why you think a baby is a baby before it’s earthside, abortion is a possibility.  If you don’t know why you believe in Jesus Christ as The Way, The Truth, and The Life, someone may come along and give you a good enough reason to think He isn’t.

What will my children believe when they stand on their own?  What will your child believe when he’s 15?

Who Am I, And What Am I Doing Here?, by Apologia, gives you foundational truths to teach your children.  You’ll know what they believe, and they’ll know why they believe it.

Written for ages 6-14; “based on the Biblical Christian worldview, which affirms that truth is absolute and knowable through the revelation of God.  It affirms that knowledge of God is the beginning of wisdom and the key to understanding the world around us.”  $39.

Comments or Questions?

Contact ~

Write

Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc.

1106 Meridian Plaza, Suite 220/340

Anderson, IN  46016

Phone

888.524.4724

or

765.608.3280

Email

biblicalworldview@apologia.com

Blessings,

Penny

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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Jan
13

Maestro Classics

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We love music.  I encourage my children to develop an appreciation for the art, beauty, and talent in every genre.  I’ll admit, it’s a little harder to find in some, more than others, but it is possible.

In December, I had the opportunity to take my children to hear the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.  The youngest, especially, were amazed to hear and see the instruments at the same time.  I loved watching them, as they heard a new sound, searching to find the instrument it was coming from.  It was a wonderful experience.

“Listening to symphonic music allows a child to listen to the sounds that various instruments make and then make an informed decision on which instrument they might like to try playing.”  It’s true.  My child could envision herself playing the flute.  Actually, she mimicked playing it throughout the entire concert.  I don’t know if she had even seen a flute before then.

Maestro Classics is classical music for kids.  It is geared for children ages 6 – 12.  The music is performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

 

 

They have 9 productions available:

Peter and the Wolf

The Soldier’s Tale

The Story of Swan Lake

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

My Name is Handel: The Story of Water Music

The Tortoise and the Hare

Casey at the Bat

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Juanita the Spanish Lobster

Each CD is $16.98 or purchase a MP3 download for $9.98.  Nearly an hour of music, by brilliant composers, narration and background information.

Comments or Questions?

email ~

info@maestroclassics.com

write ~

Maestro Classics

P.O. Box 688

Falmouth, MA  02541

call ~

888.540.2811

or

508.548.2811

and

facebook

Read other reviews by clicking the banner below.

Blessings,

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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Categories : Art, Award, homeschool, Music, reviews, TOS
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Jan
11

It’s a Wrap!

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At our house, a school day might begin something like this…

A Younger Child:  “Hey, Momma, did you know that all of the Anderson’s have the flu?”

ME:  “I didn’t.  When you talk to Katie, find out if they need anything.”

Younger Child:  “Okay.”

An Older Sibling:  “Did you know that our great-great-grandmother died from the flu?  Nana was born in 1912, so she was only six when her mom and her little brother died in 1918.”

ME:  “The worst plague in America was the Influenza Epidemic of 1918.  More people died from the flu in that year than died in all of World War I.”

Younger Child:  “She was younger than me.”

ME:  “She was.  Then, her dad died when she was just 12.  She was your sister’s ages living through The Great Depression.”

Older Child:  “1929-1939 or 41, or something?”

Younger Child:  “What’s The Depression?”

ME:  “I’ll tell you what, after breakfast, I’ll show you some pictures of kids during The Great Depression.  I’ve got a book, someplace.  I’ll find it.  It’s called Children of the Great Depression.  Just the photographs will give you a good idea of what The Great Depression was, but we’ll talk about it, too.”

At this point, my brain is charging ahead with plans for today and tomorrow, and beyond.

THINKING:  “I’ll make breakfast a little hardier than I initially planned, so I can just give them bread & water for lunch.  Seriously, hunger was real during The Depression.  Maybe we’ll follow a bare-bones-potato-soup recipe for dinner and eat by the light of an oil lamp.”

I know my older ones read The Great Depression, America 1929-1941, by Robert S. McElvaine, but the mids haven’t, yet.

THINKING:  “I’ll pull that out and we can read excerpts from it, to everyone, but they can work on reading the whole thing, themselves, over the next week.  They’ll definitely need to start a vocabulary/spelling list.  I have some Penmanship/Copywork pages I can add for the younger ones and an essay assignment for the oldest.”

DANCING INSIDE MY HEAD:  I can download an instant e-Book from Zeezok Publishing!  One of their Z-Guides to the Movies for the Depression era.  I’m pretty sure they have one for Kit Kittredge, and since we already own the movie we could actually work on it this week.  They love that movie, but with the Z-Guide they’ll see it in a whole new light.”

 

 

 

Books, movies, the internet.  The library, Netflix, museums.  I use them all.  Anything and everything that I can get my hands on and afford, that will stimulate my children’s desire to learn and successfully educate them.

Zeezok Publishing has been providing materials for the homeschooling community since 1993.  They’ve published government and history texts, and sixteen classic biographies on the great composers.  In 2010 they introduced us to Z-Guides to the Movies.

 

 

Each Z-Guide is developed for a specific movie.  We’ve found many of the movies at our local library; most are available for rent on Netflix, Zeezok sells a few and some you may already own.  There are more than 30 Z-Guides available, now, and another 25 are due to be released in the spring.

 

$12.99 gives you access to an instant e-Book download, of your choice, or you can have a CD shipped.  Many topics and time-periods are covered –

 Ancient Civilizations

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Greece

Ancient Rome

Medieval Europe

16th, 17th, 18th & 19th Century Europe

American and French Revolution

Westward Expansion

War Between the States

The Roaring Twenties and The Great Depression

World Wars 1 & 2 and Post-WW2

and the Vietnam War

You’ll get a topic, time-period overview; a movie synopsis, giving you an understanding of the relationship between characters, events and situations.  A list of review questions to be discussed and answered as the movie is being watched, and additional activities prompting research and writing.  My favorite section of every Z-Guide is the Filmaker’s Art and Dramatic License Activity.  I do not have the ready knowledge that I find in this section.  Even as my children are learning, so am I.

“The Filmmaker’s Art activity helps the student recognize the tools being used to influence the viewer.”  Without the Z-Guide, I don’t always discern these as clearly.  “The various guides discuss how filming techniques, music, lighting, humor, character development, irony, foreshadowing, and even character names are used by the director and producer to influence the viewer to get their agenda across.”  Z-Guides to the Movies has changed the way we see a movie and that’s their goal.  They “want the student to be able to discern not only the agenda of the movie, but also how they are being influenced by it. The goal is that when the student goes to the theatre and watches a movie, he walks out not thinking it was an entertaining movie, but understanding the bigger message behind each film.”

My children are enhancing their critical thinking skills.  Besides movies, they now look at reading material differently, and also examine the influence and impact they may have on others with what they personally write or visually and musically produce.

I think  Z-Guides are impressively thorough.  In 2011, I used one with The Hiding PlaceClick the link to read my review.

Recently, we did, indeed, use the Z-Guide for Kit Kittredge.  Written for elementary and middle school, it was easily adaptable to include our K5 through high school and adult.

Topics and Activities covered ~

The Great Depression

Journalism

Prejudice

Family Unity

and Hobo Life

It was a perfect wrap to an interesting study!

The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew has had the opportunity to review several different Z-GuidesClick on the banner below to read what my crew mates thought of each one.

Comments or Questions?

Contact Zeezok Publishing

email –

info@zeezok.com

write –

P.O. Box 1960

Elyria, OH  44036

call –

800.749.1681

or

440.782.1193

and

facebook

The next time you study, tie everything together with a Z-Guide and a family movie night!

Blessings,

 

 

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 am not affiliated with Netflix and I receive no compensation for references.

 

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

 

 

I appreciate your encouragement.  Thanks for your comments.  PK

 

 

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Nov
19

Heart Cries

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Usually, when I write a post I edit it a dozen times or more.  I try to use good grammar and proper sentence structure, check the spacing between my paragraphs and graphics…  It doesn’t matter.  It is so unimportant in the real scheme of things.

This one, I can’t even see clearly.  Thankfully, it’s typed, because if it were hand written it would be a mess.  My heart is so heavy and it’s tears won’t stop pouring from my eyes.

I am in agony over mothers beating, abusing and killing their children.  Every day, another story.  Some say it’s always been like this and it’s just being reported more often, now, but even if that’s true, honestly, it doesn’t make me feel any better for the children or their momma’s.  I know I can’t expect different from those that have no relationship with Jesus Christ.  I know that the heart of God grieves more than mine, but I figure, He’s God, He can take it.  I know Satan is afraid of the men and women these murdered children could have become.  My heart cries as if I’ve lost one of my own.  It literally feels unbearable.  I can’t breathe because of the pain.

I’ve always wanted to travel.  Load my family into a travel trailer and go.  See the country.  Show them God’s wonders and man’s handiwork.  But, I would gladly give up the possibility of that dream in exchange for a piece of land, with a big house, where those that are labeled:  unwanted and annoying, loud, crying and obnoxious could be dropped off before their mother’s can’t take anymore and beat them to death.  I wish I could build a “There’s Enough Love Here” House.

Stop killing your babies and let a me love on them for you, until you come to your senses, or forever if you’d rather.  I understand that you might be so hurt yourself that you’re empty of love and patience.  I don’t pretend to know your story, but I will not judge you.  I just want you to stop and listen to me.  There’s enough love here for you, too.  I don’t want to read or hear that you were just so tired of the inconvenience or the noise that you beat your child into silence.  I’m willing to help you.

I have no money, no land and no big house; so, needless to say, aside from praying and rattling the gates of Heaven on your behalf, I’m really of no help. But, I wanted you to know that I’m willing.  Someone does care.  Ask for help and if you’re turned away, ask someone else, and then someone else, until you find a me that can help you and your child.  You are not alone.

May God have mercy on us and forgive us our sins.

 

Abiding in Him,

 

 

 

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Categories : Family
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Nov
09

Thoughtful Consideration

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As parents, we encourage our children to “court” their future mate, simply, seeking their affections, getting to know them, with the intention of marriage.  The “dating game,” sifting through humans and discarding them along the way, is not one we play.

I recently “met” author Gary Bower and his wife, Jan, when I read their book, The Person I Marry – Things I’ll Think About Long Before Saying I Do, and I recognize kindred spirits.  There’s a glimpse of their hearts on every page.  Gary’s is shared through the sweet rhythm of his poetry and Jan’s, through the expressive brush strokes of her oil paintings.  He is the author and she is the illustrator.  Just as they made 12 beautiful children together, they now make beautiful children’s books, together.

 

 

Gary writes, “It’s ‘who’, not ‘what’ that makes a great wedding.”  “What makes a princess?  What makes a prince?”  “Something that’s inside, something much deeper, will help me determine which one is a ‘keeper’.”

Each page prompts a thoughtful consideration, and possible discussion on what to look for in a potential spouse.

Kindness, Tenderness, Graciousness, Generosity, Friendship, Determination, Joyfulness, Tolerance, Respectfulness, Devotion, Commitment, Modesty, Moral Purity, Trustworthiness, Truthfulness, Contrition, True Love and more. 

“The vows I’ll say I mean to keep, so I’ll look hard before I leap,” reminds Gary.

 

The Person I Marry from Bower Books.

 

The Person I Marry won the 2010 Christian Small Publisher of the Year award.  It has an appeal to all ages.  It is a comfortable, snuggled-on-the-couch lap book, 32 pages, hard bound.  From educational tool, conversation starter to lovely gift idea – birthday, engagement, wedding and anniversary, it is worth the $11.99 retail and has the potential to become a family treasure.

 

You’ll find other wholesome books in the “Bright Future Book” collection, by the Bowers:

There’s a Party in Heaven – hope of a future; comfort for those who face the loss of a loved one.

The Jingle in My Pocket – practical ideas and healthy attitudes about money.

What Do Heroes Wear? – finding purpose by serving others.

And poster-size, stunning art prints of Jan’s illustrations with verses of Gary’s poetry, when you browse the Bower Family Books website(Please, follow the links I’ve included throughout this post.)


You can contact Gary and Jan Bower at:

Bower Books & Fine Art

7700 Timbers Trail

Traverse City, Michigan  49684

Call ~

888.898.3207 

or

231.941.0899

Email ~

garybower@charter.net

I’m grateful for the “introduction” to Gary & Jan, through The Person I Marry.  I look forward to getting to know them better.

Gary blogs @

“Daddy Says…”

Thoughts from the Heart of a Father of Twelve

and I can follow

on facebook

Many of my crew mates have known the Bower’s for years, while some have just met them, but you can read all of their reviews by clicking on the TOS graphic below.

I appreciate the Godly direction, inspiration and quiet affirmation of The Person I Marry.  It’s been a joy to read it to my children.  I hope you’ll enjoy it, too.

 

Blessings,

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.

 

*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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Oct
28

You Can Say Anything

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In our house you’ll find a new game for Family Game Night.  The latest family edition of North Star Games‘ wildly popular Say Anything.

 

 

I’ve said before that I look for ways to keep my children connected to one another.  It may only be a fine thread of similarities or a few shared memories, but since there are so many of us and the age range between our oldest and our youngest is more than 25 years, it is an important thread.  Say Anything Family  is ideal for this!  It’s designed for 3-6 players, ages 8 and up.  It takes about 2 whole minutes to learn how to play and actual game time tends to be an easy, quick, fun 30 minutes.

Start with 60 question cards that are protected by a glossy coating on each side, 3 questions per side = 6 questions per card = 360 questions total.  6 individual dry-erase boards, with color borders and 6 dry-erase markers.  12 player tokens (betting chips) and a SELECT-O-MATIC 6000 (no spinner) with printed pics of color-coded meeples.  1 pre-printed dry-erase score board and a sturdy, colorful, full-size page of rules.

 

Basic play:  A “judge” draws a card and asks a question.  The other players answer the question, write their answer on their white board, and quickly submit it to the judge.  The judge picks up the state-of-the-art SELECT-O-MATIC 6000 and secretly chooses the picture of the meeple that corresponds to the color border on the white board that has his favorite answer written on it.  The other players then use their tokens (2 each) to bet on which white-board-answer the judge chose.  According to scoring rules, points are tallied.  The SELECT-O-MATIC is passed to the next player and a new round begins.  Two turns as “judge”, asking 2 questions each, and the game is done.  The player with the highest score wins!

The laugh-out-loud fun is in the questions and the answers!  This game builds relationships.  My generations-apart-children get to know each other better with each round they play.  I learn more about the heart and mind of a grand child or a niece when I play with them.  Yet, no one (but me, of course) is really paying any attention to this, they’re just having a blast playing a great game!

Questions include –

What’s the most important quality in a friend?

What would be the best city to live in?

What’s a father most likely to forget?

What’s my biggest guilty pleasure?

What’s the most annoying thing about being a man?

What technology don’t we have that I wish we did?

You can learn much about a person by how they answer these questions.  Do they answer with truth and facts, according to what they think or what they think the “judge” will think?  Do they answer with humor and jest or in-all-seriousness?  Do they have a clue or none?  Ah, the possibilities,  they can say anything!  And the interchange between players, while trying to convince the judge which answer to choose, is entertaining by itself!

My husband and I also have future plans for Say Anything Family.  We told our in-house kids, those not yet out-of-house-grown-and-married, that this will be an outstanding game to play before they can get married.  A You-Want-To-Marry-My-Daughter?-Just-Choose-Half-a-Million-Correct-Answers-And-We’ll-Give-Our-Blessing Game!  =)  Yes, it might take several rounds of play, with a few questions rigged to elicit valuable information, but it’ll still be quicker than the fourteen years that Jacob had to work and wait for Rachel (Genesis 29.)  They think we’re joking…we’ll see.

Last Thanksgiving, when our whole extended family got together, we introduced everyone to Wits and Wagers, another game by North Star Games that I got to play and review.  This year we are excited to share Say Anything Family.  There’s not a doubt in my mind that they’re going to love it!

Photobucket

You can find North Star Games at local toy and game stores, like Target and Toys “R” Us, and online at Amazon.comSay Anything Family usually retails for $19.99.

Click the TOS banner and link below, to read other reviews of these games, written by my crew mates.

Comments or Questions?

Contact:

telephone – 301.493.4331

or

email – Sales@NorthStarGames.com

and

facebook 

Let me know what your family thinks of North Star Games.

Blessings,

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

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Oct
24

A Wholehearted Conversation

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Over the years, I have often been asked, “How can you homeschool your children,” usually quickly followed by,  “I just don’t think I’m smart enough to do that!”  Inevitably, I respond by assuring them that I don’t believe that I have all of the answers to my children’s educational needs, or that I’m even required to, but I can find the answers.  After early elementary school, academically, my job is one of teaching study skills, application and discipline, providing large doses of encouragement and support, and supplying necessary resources.  I am better equipped and empowered when I utilize resources for parents, too.

A recent conversation with my friend, we’ll call her Heidi, went like this:

ME:  “I have a TOS crew review to write on a huge book!  It’s 8 1/2″ X 11″ and more than 350 pages!  If I could own only one book for homeschooling (counting curriculum, but excluding The Bible, of course) it would be this one.”

[Her face looked a bit shocked.  I’ve been homeschooling for more than 25 years; so, I definitely had her attention.]

HEIDI:  “What!  What is it?  Above curriculum?  How?  Why?”

ME:  “Ultimately, I can pull teaching material from anywhere, but this book reminds me of why I homeschool.  Why I do it now, why I did it then and why I would do it all, again, but do it better!  The authors say that those reading it usually fall into 1 of 3 categories:

  1. Those that are already using a wholehearted approach to teaching and have followed their leadership for years.  This book was actually first published in 1994 and revised in 1996.  It is now (2011) in it’s third printing, with more than 100 new pages added and a large portion of the original pages rewritten.  Content and resources needed to be updated and they, like most of us, have learned a thing or two in fifteen years.  These readers will discover a new or forgotten morsel of truth in this edition.
  2. Those, like me, who have been homeschooling for cen-tu-ries (intended hyperbole) and are in need of affirmation, inspiration or even a little coaxing to continue on this path.  When I started reading this book, I wondered why I didn’t have it in 1994 or 1996.  I was homeschooling then, why now?  Because now is when I need to be reminded of my desire and my right to raise our children “in the fear and admonition of The Lord;”  to emulate and teach an I’m-all-in-(body, mind, heart, soul and strength)-devotion to God, consistently and constantly.  This book has been a transfusion to my life-battered being.  I remember why.
  3. Those who are fresh to the idea of homeschooling their children.  The young explorers that appreciate having good navigational tools at hand.  A compass, a map and a light for the way ahead.  This is a guide, written by those that scouted and traveled the road before you.  This book is a vision shared, one of “Wholehearted Learning – a Biblical, commonsense, discipleship-based lifestyle of home education using real books, real life, and real relationships.”

“It’s an apologia WholeHeart publication and it’s titled, Educating the WholeHearted Child, by Clay and Sally Clarkson.

 

It gives you a layout, a design, a plan…to make your home “a heart-filling, rich, and lively learning environment where your children will love to learn as naturally as they love to play.”

HEIDI:  “Are you a speed reader?  Did you read the whole thing?  Can I read it when you’re finished with it?”

ME:  “You know that I can read quickly, but you won’t believe it, I’ve actually written in the margins of this book.”

[Her brow furrowed and comprehension was a bit slow.  We do not write in books unless they are consumable workbooks.  It is a firmly established momma-law, taught from the time my children are knee-high to a grasshopper.]

HEIDI:  “YOU wrote in the book?”

ME:  “I did.  I’m an adult and it is my book!  It is a high gloss paperback, but it is clearly non-consumable.  I’ve found myself wanting to savor it and digest it.  I’ve highlighted sentences and paragraphs!  I haven’t read the whole book, yet.  I’ve never lost sight of the destination, but this book has renewed my joy in the journey of homeschooling!  I’m not in a rush to read it,  just for the sake of reading it, I want to sort of meander along and absorb my surroundings.  At the moment, my youngest child is only 7 years old, so I don’t foresee being finished with this book any time soon.  You’ll want your own clean copy, anyway.  Put it on your Christmas list and I’ll see what I can do.”

HEIDI:  “That’s a nice thought, but I don’t know if I want to wait until Christmas, that’s 60 days away.  How much is it?”

ME:  “Sixty days, are you kidding me?  (Between the heart palpitations I’m thinking, where has the year gone!)  It’s going to be here in no time!  (Think peace, I think.  Don’t freak out!  Enjoy Thanksgiving, first, my brain tries to reassure me.)  Educating the WholeAHearted Child is $22.00.  It would be the best gift to get if you’re even considering homeschooling.

It has chapters pertaining to:  HOME, LEARNING, METHODS for Discipleship Studies, Disciplined Studies, The Study of Ideas, Discovery Studies and The Study of Living with an eye on your child’s Divine design and natural bent, and LIVING.

You can look up *https://apologia.securesites.net/pdfs/TOC/297.pdf to see the Table of Contents in detail,  and if you go to *https://apologia.secutesites.net/pdfs/sample/297.pdf you can view a sample of the entire 1st chapter.  You’ll notice there is additional information along the margins of the main text, Scripture references and notable quotes.  There’s even more in other chapters, throughout the book.  You’ll find answers to questions, like What about Socialization?  Information and statistics.  “…nearly 4 percent of the school-age population are homeschoolers.”  That’s  more than 2 million K-12 children in the U.S. that are homeschooled, which is considerably more than the estimated 30,000 when I began to homeschool.  There are recommended resources and suggested math tools, lists of good books and field trip tips and rules.

Starting in chapter two there are italicized notes, under the heading of IN OUR HOME.  Located at the bottom of a page, these snippets offer a glimpse into the Clarkson’s own home.  This is what you’ll read on page 217, “With all the baskets lying around our house, someone might think we like to shop at the local Farmers’ Market.  Except for one thing – they are all filled with books!  Next to just about every comfortable couch or overstuffed chair, there is a big can or wicker basket of fruits and vegetables for the mind.  The baskets were originally filled with random or topical selections of books (holiday, illustrated stories, heroes, preschool, etc.).  Later we turned them into personal reading – one for each child and one for library books.  We change the selection periodically with input from the children.  It’s so fulfilling to see our children grab books to read alone or together stretched out on the couch or stuffed into the overstuffed chair.  Now if we can just find a good Farmers’ Market for books.”  With all of their years of personal education, experience and accomplishments, Clay and Sally Clarkson seem very humble.  I didn’t find judgment or absolutes in this book.  I encountered an undeniable love of Christ, family, life and learning, and the desire to pass that on to anyone and everyone that will listen.

Oh, I almost forgot, there are also more than 15 essential, time-saving, record-keeping, organizational forms at the end of the book.  One of my favorites is the “My 24 Family ‘Ways to Be” – Godly Character” form.  The “Ways to Be” are from Our 24 Family Ways:  A Family Devotional Guide by Clay Clarkson from Whole Heart Press.  24 Character traits and their descriptions are listed and memorized.  They are all simply and clearly written, but we’ve been concentrating on three for the past few weeks.   #8  Forgiveness – Treating someone who has offended me as though I had never been hurt.  #18  Peacemaker – Finding a way to avoid or end a disagreement rather than to begin or win it.   #21  Integrity – Knowing what is right and living that way.

HEIDI:  “I don’t think you have to convince me.  I think it’s more of a decision of when, not if; so, if I decide that I can’t wait until Christmas for this book, or if I decide to give it to myself for Christmas, but at an earlier date, where can I find it?”

ME:  “Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc. has a website at *https://apologia.securesites.net/ and you can find it there under apologia Press, Resources for Parents, along with Read for the Heart, another apologia book, by the Clarkson’s daughter, Sarah, that I reviewed this past May.”


or Contact:

Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc.

1106 Meridian Plaza Suite 220

Anderson, IN  46016  US

telephone – 888.524.4724

and

Questions or Comments for the Clarkson’s can be addressed to:

Whole Heart Ministries

P.O. Box 3445

Monument, CO  80132

email – www.wholeheart.org

telephone – 888.488.4466

ME:  “I’ll let you know, Heidi,  when I get my review posted and you can read my final thoughts about it then.  But, honestly, I suspect it’ll sound a lot like this conversation, shared straight from the heart.  I’ll attach a link to my crew mates reviews, too; so, you can read some other opinions.”

And so it is…

There’s little more to write for this review.  I think Educating the WholeHearted Child is a treasure chest full of God’s goodness, and every time I dip my hand into it, turn the page, I pull out another priceless gem.  I find it remarkable that this book has made such a defining impact on my life.  I trust God that His timing is perfect and this is the exact place of weariness that I needed it’s restorative power.  I am ever in awe of Him and His great love for me and the family that I adore.

Blessings,

 

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.

Your comments are most welcome.  Thanks. 

 

*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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Oct
19

For Girls Only!

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Finding one’s place in a big family can sometimes be difficult.  Having something that belongs just to you or that didn’t belong to a sibling before you doesn’t happen often, but sometimes it’s nice.  It’s a little affirmation that you are one-of-a-kind and not just part of the group.   I look for ways to let my children know that I see them as individuals.

Our youngest daughter is the youngest of 11.  She loves her position, but we’ve made it a point to let her know that she wasn’t an afterthought.  She was/is wanted and she is an important part of our family.  It would be easy for everything she owns – clothes, toys, books & games – to be a hand-me-down, much is, but not all.  Truly, she probably wouldn’t even mind, but I would; so, when I recently had the opportunity to review an ad-free learning website, for girls only, I was just a wee-bit excited about the possibilities!  I wasn’t disappointed.

Always Icecream is geared for girls, ages 7-12, and it looks like it was created just for them.  It’s pink and fun, and frufru and fun, and cute & sweet and fun!  Much to my youngest son’s dismay, the website for boys only hasn’t been completed, yet, but I hear it is in the works.  If I’d allow it, he’d learn & play right alongside his sister, but since I haven’t, he can not wait for his siteWhy have a site, for girls only?  My guys and girls get along very well together.  My guys are a little more sensitive, considerate and compassionate and my girls are comfortable catching bugs and fishing, because of their interaction with each other, but it’s not that way in every home or classroom.

    • “Online games for girls are games that have been specifically designed to meet the interests and curiosity of girls. This gender-focus makes it possible that “girls can be girls” without the fear of being bothered by boys who tend to make fun of everything that girls consider “cute.”
    • “Within the target age group of 7-12 years, children’s preferences and ways in which they can be motivated tend to be influenced by gender.  Collaborative play (girls) versus competitive play (boys) and girls tend to be attracted by virtual goods that are “decorative”, such as clothes, versus “useful”, such as machines or armor.”

“Notwithstanding the differences in brain development and socialization, Always Icecream is adamantly opposed to stereotypes such as “girls are not interested in science or math.” The site challenges its young members to engage in learning activities across a broad spectrum of subjects:

Language Arts

Math (basic and advanced)

Science

Computer Skills

Geography

History

Foreign Languages

Music & Arts

and Religious Education

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I asked my daughter for her opinion of Always Icecream.  She said, and I quote:

I love it!  You get to make your own house and you get your own pet.  It’s fun!  The learning is still fun, too.  I am learning, you know.  There are so many activities, I can’t even tell you!  I’m practicing typing and I’m learning my states.  Want me to show you?  I’m getting higher and higher in my math and I got all of the Bible questions right, last time, because we had just learned about two of them in Children’s Church!  The pet world thingy-place is my favorite!  The pets can play games and do stuff.  You can buy them accessories, (yes, that’s her word.  We are big Fancy Nancy fans, but I’ll save that for another time) like a necklace or a bow.  You use your $coops to buy stuff.  ($coops is the earned currency in the Always Icecream world.)  You buy them food and feed them, like carrots for the rabbit, not bacon or dog bones, of course.  You give them cuddles and love and their hearts go up!  I already said it, I just love it!

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School time.  Learning time.

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 Play time.  Reward time.

Parental participation, behind the scenes, is encouraged.  Parents sign-up to receive a progress report, once a week, and may choose a number of $coops to be rewarded for special in-real-life projects, chores or accomplishments.  My kids are on a rotation to clean the cat’s litter box.  Our youngest was rewarded $coops for doing it without having to be reminded.  Granted, she would like to go to Dairy Queen in the future for real-world ice cream in exchange for a real-world chore, but since she usually only gets a “thank you” she thought getting $coops was actually “pretty cool.”

The girls earn $coops currency for completing their learning tasks, challenges, games & videos.  They create a mini-me avatar and can switch her clothes, buy rooms for the house and purchase furniture, pets and more.  My girl loved this!

There is also a social feature available, set up by the parent, that enables or not, the girls to “make friends” and communicate with one another safely through Always Icecream.  Although we didn’t choose to activate this feature, I do appreciate the excellent safety measures that are in place for the girls.  Click the graphic below for more information.

 

*  $4.99 per month  *  $29.99 per year  *  $99.99 for a lifetime membership  *Take a quick tour of the site and try out FREE GAMES before you buy.  “Satisfaction guaranteed: Your daughter will have fun and learn relevant skills – or you get your money back!”

 

You’ll want to read more reviews by my crew mates and their girls.  Click the TOS banner below to get the full $coop!

 

 

Contact:

website

email – feedback@always-icecream.com

or visit

facebook

 

 

Blessings to you and your girls,

 

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.

 

*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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Sep
07

Hog Wild!

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Several years ago, my nearly-city-born husband worked on a pig farm.  What an experience!  The smell permeated everything – your hair, your skin, clothing, the dog and the car.  But, being the positive force that he is, each time we pulled into the driveway he would say, “Ah, smells like money!”  Nothing else needed said, because we were quickly reminded that this was how our bills were being paid and groceries were bought.  I can say that we learned a lot about pigs and I’m extremely thankful that it was just for a season.   

 

Pig Pen – an enclosure where pigs are kept.

Pig-headed – stubborn or obstinate.

Piglet – a young pig.  Little pink friend of “Winnie-the-Pooh.”

image by Disney

Pig Lard – the rendered fat from a pig.

Pig Latin – a version of language formed from English by transferring the initial consonant of each word to the end of the word and adding a vocalic syllable, usually /a/; so, Penny becomes ennyPay.

~ And our newest favorite ~

Pig Pile – “The Hog Wild Card Game” by R & R Games

This card game is designed for children ages 7 and up, but it was fun for the whole family.  The game box is thick and sturdy, the cards are high-gloss and my youngest daughter says, “The 40 plastic pigs are fun all by themselves!  Especially if we build Lego pens and fences.”  Created for 3 – 6 players, but adaptable to more, by adding another set of number cards and a Hog Wild card for each player after the sixth.  It takes a few rounds of play to accumulate the most pigs and win the game!  Along the way, the young players are reinforcing their number value; less than/greater than.

Pig Pile retails for $15.95 and is one of many great games by R & R Games.  You’ll want to check out:

Pants on Fire, where “Stretchin’ the Truth can be Hot Stuff!” for ages 13 and up.


And, new this year, Ticked Off.  “The game that gives you the opportunity to crush (and impress) your friends with your vast knowledge.  Beat the clock and beat your friends!”

Card Games

Family Games

Party Games

Kids Games

Strategy Games

and more.

You can find other reviews on Pig Pile

and

Flea Circus, a crazy game of cats & dogs, for ages 6 and up,

when you visit The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew BlogR & R Games is offering a 20% discount to anyone purchasing Pig Pile or Flea Circus after reading a TOS Crew review.  Use coupon code CREW20 at checkout, now through December 31, 2011.

Find family fun and entertainment at www.rnrgames.com

Send comments, questions or ideas to:  Info@RnRGames.com

Write to –

R & R Games, Inc.

P.O. Box 130195

Tampa, FL  33681

or Call –

1-888-8-Riddle

 

 

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.

 

Blessings,

 

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

 

Thank you, much.

 

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Comments (4)
Aug
06

Filling the Well

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I have a true story to share with you and what better place than here, on my blog, on the internet, where it will surely reach millions!  =)

Last week my children and I went camping on the lake.  The grandchildren were invited as an end-of-summer event.  We have been waiting for a break in the rainy weather but my window of opportunity was quickly closing with the end of July looming.  The forecast was for sunny skies; so, I planned to pick up the grands in the afternoon, while the final touches were put on the camp.

Over the last few years, we’ve developed a system for camping that actually works!  Simply:  I orchestrate; direct a lot and plan & pack for meals, my girls do most of the home work, getting clothes packed, bedding organized, etc.  My boys go to the designated campsite and start putting up the tents.  The idea is to have the tents up, supplies on site and then deliver the campers.  Smooth and easy.

So… I sent the boys down early with the tents.  Cell phones now make this job (orchestration) even easier.  I can sort of be in more than one place at a time.  I called after a while and found out that things were going well and two of the smaller tents were already up.  Things were going well at home, also, and we were all so excited to spend this time together.  Some time passed and I got a call about our big tent.  The tent.

After several years, we bought a new family-size tent just last year.  It’s the tent that I sleep in with my two youngest children and three or four young grandchildren.  I know exactly where they are each night and how they’re sleeping.  Too hot in this scorching summer, too cold in our unseasonably freezing fall (last year), giggling and telling stories way past lights out, rolled atop each other, etc.   I sing louder than the crickets and tree frogs, until the last one falls asleep,  zip tent flaps, move kids back into sleeping bags and generally watch through the night, even when my eyes are closed.  lol  This is an important tent.

My older son called to say that because they didn’t remember the specifics of putting this tent up and couldn’t seem to put their hand on a diagram, there was too much stress on one of the main poles and it broke.  “Don’t stress,” he says,  (I wasn’t), and he assures me that he isn’t, either.  They’re going to leave it alone for a time and concentrate on getting the other tents put together.  My response, “I’m not worried; not stressed, but…we must have this tent.  I need this tent.  This is not cool.  I don’t want to come up with a plan B; I am more than comfortable with plan A.  Okay, it’ll be fine.  We’ll think of something.  Call me in a little while.”  I remember thinking, “It’s a fairly new tent, right.  I bet we can order a replacement piece, but that’s not going to help now.  I wonder how long it will take to get it?  Maybe they can overnight it?  Wonder how much that will cost?”

Let me pause here, to tell you that this isn’t really a story.  It is a testimony.  If you’re already here, reading now, this post is for YOU.  Read on.  Don’t miss what God has for you.  It will be a deposit into your personal well of God’s faithfulness.  You will draw on it when you need it.  You’ll be able to tell others and it will be added to their wellI do not believe in coincidence.  I believe in the power of prayer and I believe in God.

We kept at our preparations and we prayed.  We asked God for help and wisdom.  I asked for peace and the ability to maintain a good attitude even if I had to change my ideas of what was best.  A couple of hours later my son called, again.  God had made a direct deposit into his well of faithfulness and he couldn’t wait to tell me what had happened!

Our youngest son had walked down to the lake’s edge to wade and explore.  The oldest decided it was a good time for a break.  They had been working, in the heat, with another brother, for several hours.  He walked from the campsite, across the shore and directly into the water, about 10 feet.  The bottom is sort of gooshy and it tends to make the water a murky, muddied-orange, until you reach some depth and the volume of water washes it out.   Just to his right, lying 2 feet under the surface, on a lake bottom he could still clearly see, was something shiny.  He said that before he even pulled the tent pole out of the water he knew what it was.

This lake encompasses 38,000 acres of water, and nearly 700 miles of shoreline.  There are more than 1/2 a dozen campgrounds and at least 20 designated swim areas; a huge water park and numerous marinas.  Yet, within sight of our camp, at a certain moment in time (not the day before or the day after), there was a tent pole lying at the bottom of this lake and he saw it!  It was not broken or even attached to a broken piece.  The pole that broke on the tent was an end piece.  It had a specific purpose and it’s manufactured for the position it held.  Tent poles come in different lengths and diameters according to the specifics of the tent.  There are ends and middles.  The pole that was in the water is an exact replacement for the broken tent pole.  Exact.  It did not have to be modified or manipulated in any way!  It is the correct size and the specific design for its position!  The FACT is, I could not have purchased a better fitting replacement and there it was.

In our house, this is a-God-thing.  It defies reasonable explanation.  We talk about it.  Praise Him and give Him the glory.  We stand in awe that He would care about something so small and seemingly insignificant in our lives that He would take the time to change our circumstances; to impress upon our hearts that He sees us and He knows our every need, long before we know it ourselves.  We are honored that He loves us enough to build our faith and trusts us to share His Good News.  No doubt, there will come a time when the enemy will tease and torment us with the thought that God has abandoned us and we are unimportant to Him, but the enemy is a liar and this history of God’s faithfulness will be a powerful tool to defeat him.  I share it with you.

 

Our campsite and its stunning view!

 

 

“And they overcame him because of the blood of The Lamb and because of the word of their testimony…”  Revelation 12:11

“Behold, I am The Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?”  Jeremiah 32:27

“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  Hebrews 12:2

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”  2 Corinthians 5:7

“…as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.”   Romans 12:3

I don’t have nearly all of the answers to my own questions, let alone yours.  I don’t know why children starve or are abused.  I don’t know why those that seem so good, die so young.  I don’t know why earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis, fire and floods are allowed to destroy lives.  I.do.not.know.

What I do know is this ~  God knows and we can put our trust fully in Him.  He loves us, He is faithful and He keeps His promises.

“Yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving Glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.”  Romans 4:20-21

“Why are you in despair, O my soul?  And why have you become disturbed within me?  Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.”  Psalm 42:11

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.  Selah… The Lord of Hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold.  Selah.”  Psalm 46:1-3; 7

“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:19

“Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”  1 Peter 5:7

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Don’t give into the temptation of dwelling on your circumstances.  Look to God, where your help comes from.  Nearly 90 years ago, Helen Lemmel penned these words:

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.”

Blessings,

 

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

 

 

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