Monthly Archives: April 2012

My King…(a must see video)

My King…(a must see video)

I rarely post videos or songs for you, but when I do I want you to know that you really should take the time to watch/listen to them.

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We visited Harvest Bible Chapel in Rolling Meadows, IL on Sunday. We are always so blessed to have made the hour drive each way to go. During the service this week while we were singing worship songs there was an audio bed in the middle of one of the songs for us to listen to. Afterwards, I told my husband that I had to find out who that was and where I could get a hold of the words or audio. They were extremely powerful.

Found out later that it was a baptist pastor who passed away 12 years ago. It is really cool that we can still be impacted by the words he spoke so many years ago. His name was SM Lockeridge…Shadrach Meschach. How cool is that name?

Take 3 minutes to watch this video below. You will be blown away by the God that we serve! Make sure you watch it to the end!  (in case you can’t see the video here is the link to click on to see it on youtube…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzqTFNfeDnE&feature=youtube_gdata_player.)

 

Hope you enjoyed it and it meant as much to you as it did to me!  Have an awesome week serving the God of the Universe!

Is Your Life Balanced?

Is Your Life Balanced?

When I think of balance I think of everything being even.

The dictionary defines balance as an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.  It also states that to balance is to keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall.

What keeps me balanced?  I know that my days are busy and I feel like I am constantly jumping from one thing to another.  With 5 kids, homeschooling, and a husband who has his own business there really isn’t a lot of down time.  What I have found that works for our family is an ebb and flow.

Some things are more important to us on certain days or certain periods in our life. For example, during the school year I am much more occupied with school tasks.  I will take a few days off of being teacher to spend some time sewing with my mother-in-law.  This is such a refreshment for me.  The kids will still do the school they can do by themselves but those few days are a great break for all of us!

The best thing to help me keep balanced for me is to focus on God.  When I get stressed about things it is usually because I am trying to get it all done in my own timing and own strength.  Or maybe just trying to do what I think is important….only to find out that it really shouldn’t have been.  Taking time out to focus on God and what He is wanting me to accomplish is a great way to “rebalance” myself!

I was looking back at a radio spot I had written a few months back and thought that it was very pertinent to today’s post:

As a homeschooling mom itʼs easy to forget about yourself.

Think about your average day: You take care of the house, teach your kids, taxi them to activities, and if youʼre lucky, you get home in time to put a meal on the table.

Whew! Thereʼs hardly enough time to have a thought to yourself!

Itʼs hard to be a good mom, wife, and teacher when you are burnt out. And burnout happens to the best of us!

Even 5 or 10 minutes can make a difference. Sit down and drink a cup of tea or coffee or maybe call a friend to chat.

Another burnout buster is to get up early & spend a few minutes reading the Bible and asking God to help you with your day!

These few moments will do wonders in helping you refocus. Taking time out for yourself will help you be a better mom and teacher to your kids. 

This post is written for and linked up to Hearts at Home Bloggers who write every 3rd Thursday of the month, joining Jill Savage and many others.   Please join us and add your link below and spend time reading those blogs that linked up with us!


 

Amazing Science! DVD: A TOS Review

Amazing Science! DVD: A TOS Review

Amazing Science! DVD: A TOS Review 

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Sacha’s<25: An awesome way to learn science principles while watching really cool science experiments! You’ll want to check this DVD out!

Home in the Trenches Product Rating (out of 10 stars)

Is it worth our time?  10 stars
Did it help us learn?  10 stars
Is it worth the money?  10 stars
Is it useful to me?  10 stars
Practicality-  10 stars
Quality-  10 stars
Kid Rating-  10 stars

 From MathandScience.com website:

Learn fundamental principles of science through Amazing Science Experiments! You’ll learn about electricity, magnetism, heat, temperature, pressure, surface tension, buoyancy, and much more.

For every demonstration, a complete materials list is given, and each experiment features multiple camera views so you can see exactly what happens. Most importantly, every concept is explained in a step-by-step fashion. You’ll not only be amazed – you’ll understand the science behind every experiment!

Learn Science with hands-on Experiments!  

  • 2 DVDs – 23 Experiments!
  • Learn about Heat, Electricity, Magnetism, Chemistry, Physics, more!
  • Easy to Find Materials!
  • Multiple Camera Views!
  • Understand Every Concept – Make Science Exciting!

Our Experience:

We received this video as a review item.  I am always excited to be able to have the kids see science experiments because we don’t always get to do them at home.  Yep, bad mom that I am, I sometimes let them slide when we don’t have enough time in our week to get all our school done!  Thankfully, MathandScience.com has come up with this great product to help me out!
I figured I would try to get the kids to watch it by offering them to get to stay up past their bedtime to watch a bit of it.  Ha!  This totally backfired on me because they wanted to watch more and more!  Then they came downstairs (at like 11 pm) to ask if they could get out the milk, food coloring, and dish detergent  to show me the coolest experiment they just learned.  I made them wait until morning, thinking that they might forget about it.  Ha, again.  1st thing in the morning they were pulling everything out to do this experiment.  Not only that, but they were telling me the reasons of why this experiment does what it does.  How cool is that?
Needless to say I am really impressed with this science experiment DVD!  My kids are excited about watching the experiments, they were able to get the supplies together by themselves and do it as well.  Woo hoo for me, and them!  Happy campers all around!
Here’s a list of what your kids could be learning and doing too:

Chapter Index

Disk 1 Disk 2
1) Color Changing Milk 13) Floating Eggs
2) Egg in a Bottle 14) Keep Paper Dry Underwater
3) Exploring Air Pressure 15) Dry Ice Bubbles
4) Build a Lemon Battery 16) Balloon in a Candle Flame
5) Inverted Cup of Water 17) Ocean in a Bottle
6) Candle Suction Power 18) Build a Motor with Lights
7) Amazing Magnetic Force 19) Simple Lava Lamp
8) Lift an Ice Cube with String 20) Invisible Ink
9) Unburnable Money 21) Density Tower
10) Matchstick Speedboat 22) Soda Can Fizz
11) Reversing an Image with Water 23) Build a Motor #2

 

What I liked:

  • My kids are eager to watch it, and do the experiments.
  • My kids could explain to me why the experiment did what it did!

What I didn’t like:

  • My kids wanted to stay up really late watching the experiments!  

To sum it up: If you are anything like me you may not get to all the science experiments you would like to in a school year.  This Amazing Science! DVD is a great way to have your kids learning and doing without a lot of work on your part!  They will be begging to do more science.  This would be great to use during the summer if you don’t have time during the year to do it.  However, if your kids are anything like mine they will be eager to watch this DVD and do the experiments during their free time!

 

The important information:

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Amazing Science! Volume 1 DVD

Order from: www.ScienceandMath.com

Price: List Price [DVD] $24.95
Our Price [DVD] $19.95
You Save $5.00 20%

—OR—

Download now for $17.99

To read other TOS Crew reviews of this product click here.

 

Disclosure/Disclaimer:  I received the above product free of charge for review purposes.  I am only expected to give an honest review.

God’s Great Covenant-New Testament 1: A TOS Review

God’s Great Covenant-New Testament 1: A TOS Review

God’s Great Covenant: A TOS Review

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Sacha’s<25: A New Testament Bible course for children, 4th grade and beyond, written in 36 lessons covering the 4 gospels.

Home in the Trenches Product Rating (out of 10 stars)

Is it worth our time?  10 stars
Did it help us learn?  10 stars
Is it worth the money?  10 stars (but it is more costly if you have more than 1 child)
Is it useful to me?  10 stars
Practicality-  10 stars
Quality-  10 stars
Kid Rating-  10 stars

From Classical Academic Press Website:

Teaching the Bible to young children can be a large task, and is often divided up into many small stories. However, if you would like to teach your students the truly big picture of the Bible, and show them how God has been at work in his people since before creation, you will find God’s Great Covenant to be a unique, surprising, and excellent Bible curriculum. The Bible, taught chronologically, by means of simple and direct stories, chants, and meditation on God’s character define God’s Great Covenant. Even many adults find themselves learning new facts, making surprising connections, and being blessed by reminder of God’s faithfulness, and how he always keeps his promises. Taught from a covenantal and reformed theological perspective, and rooted in Scripture, you will find this series to be a blessing to your classroom or family.

Our Experience:

We were graciously given the entire New Testament 1 bundle from Classical Academic Press for review.  This Bundle includes the student book, teacher’s manual, and audio files.  The audio files include all of the teaching text portions of the lessons covered in the student book. These lessons are presented by a male voice and are interesting to listen to and held my children’s attention. The teacher’s manual is much more than an answer key.  I could not believe the amount of background information that is included to help you teach the Bible to your kids.  It contained tons of information that I didn’t know about and I learned plenty myself!

Yes, I LOVED this Bible Curriculum.  Yes, this will be a gushy review.  We have really enjoyed using this over the last few weeks and will be continuing to use it with our family.  This course is written in 36 lessons to be used over 36 weeks covering the life of Jesus.  Before the lessons even begin there is a huge introduction including historical and political information as well as chronological, geographical and religious information of the time.  After this there is a “Daily Life Introduction-Welcome to Simon’s World”.  This is a great way to introduce students to the world that Jesus lived in through the life of a kid named Simon, who lives in the fictional town of Jareth.

Included in each lesson is a memory passage to work on, key facts presented in a chart form (as well as in the details of the lesson), maps (if applicable) and then a review worksheet (usually 2-3 pages).  The lessons are put together into 4 Units. I was amazed that by the end of the Unit I your students would have memorized Matthew 1:22-23 and John 1:1-14!  How cool is that? Every Unit also includes a “devotional guide” which really helps your children apply the knowledge they have gained to their lives and hearts.  The review worksheets at the end of each lesson are fun!  They include sections with Key Facts, Story Facts, and Important Truth.  These are sometimes fill-in the blank, crossword puzzles, unscramble the words, what came next etc.  My point is that it is always different and keeps kids on their toes!

We really loved this curriculum!  My kids would ask to do more of it on days we weren’t using it.  Unfortunately, the student book has student worksheets in the book which should be filled out by each student.  I have yet to figure out if I want to spend another $50+ to buy 2 more student books or if I will be having the kids share the one that we have.  I really wish that they had the option of PDF download so that we could print out as many copies of the student manual (or at least the worksheet pages) that we need for our family. Below are a couple samples of pages out of the student book (you can click here to find more samples of the student and teacher books!)

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What I liked:

  • The charts.  Every lesson opens with a chart and as a visual learner I learned a massive amount of information just looking at these!
  • If you have your kids do the recommended Bible memory they will be learning huge chunks of Scripture not just random verses.
  • The teacher’s manual is impressive!  The amount of teacher notes is super extensive and really helpful for teaching your kids and deep Bible study for yourself.
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Teacher's Manual sample page

What I didn’t like:

  • The student book is not reproducible .  This ends up being a very expensive curriculum when you need more than one student book for your children.

To sum it up: Yes, you should check out this Bible curriculum.  You won’t be sorry you did…Or should I say you will be thanking me when you have found a great Bible curriculum for next year (or right now if you can’t wait until the next school year!)? If you aren’t wanting to study the New Testament yet Classical Academic Press also has God’s Great Covenant Old Testament 1 and 2!

 

The important information:

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God’s Great Covenant-New Testament 1

Published by:  Classical Academic Press

Written by: Claire A. Larsen

Order from: www.ClassicalAcademicPress.com

Price: God’s Great Covenant New Testament one Bundle-$56.95

Or you may purchase items separately—

God’s Great Covenant New Testament 1 Student Book-$26.95

God’s Great Covenant New Testament 1 Teacher’s Edition-$29.95

God’s Great Covenant New Testament 1 Audio Files-$9.95

To read other TOS Crew reviews of this product click here.

 

Disclosure/Disclaimer:  I received the above product free of charge for review purposes.  I am only expected to give an honest review.

What do you need to change? Or what is working for you?

What do you need to change? Or what is working for you?

It is this time of year that many of us are trying to decide what is working in our homeschools and what isn’t…I know I am. (well, I might have to say I am in a constant state of trying to figure this out)

Here are a few of the things that I know we are changing up for the upcoming school year:

  • We will be slowing down our next Sonlight core–we want to be able to digest and enjoy it, not just be stressed trying to run through it. LOVE Sonlight, but need to slow it down.  Next year we will be in 3 different cores….A, C, H!
  • I am looking for a different Math curriculum for Matthew-Grade 7-pre-algebra—have been using Horizons but looking for something with more instruction.  Each child learns differently and while Horizons is still awesome for my daughter doing the same level it isn’t as great for my son! (By the way, Alpha Omega is offering a 20% discount in April on your order and 15% in May!) Any ideas, anyone????
  • We will be adding some of the Progeny Press Literature Study Guides….I just loved reviewing this product and can’t wait to add it into our curriculum for next year. The critical thinking skills and how to think biblically are taught so well through these guides.
  • Sticking with Apologia science.  I know at least one of my kids will be doing General Science (maybe 2) and then still trying to decide on another Young Explorer Book-maybe Land Animals for the 3rd grader and Kindergartener.
  • Oh, and we sure do love Institute for Excellence In Writing.  We’ve done SWI-A and Ancient History Based Writing.  Hmm…what to choose next year, not sure yet but it will be IEW for sure!
  • Would still love to figure out a bit better “schedule” for our days….it gets done but I feel like I am running around like a crazy lady.  Maybe that is just the nature of 5 kids and a self-employed husband?

What about you?  What things are you loving this year? What things will you be changing?  I’d love to hear and learn from you….please leave a comment!