Sunday, July 24, 2016

Behavior issues

Please stay tuned for a detailed post on sensory diets and how you can determine what your child needs based off their behavior! I've been super busy this week, so I haven't had a chance to post it yet.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions REVIEW

Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review
Everyone knows by now that we LOVE Heirloom Audio Productions! I've had the great fortune to review In Freedom's Cause, With Lee in Virginia, The Dragon and The Raven, and now Beric the Briton! This is not an audio book, but rather an audio drama. By that, I mean it is like listening to a movie, not having a book read to you. There's an abundance of ambient sounds, different actors, and entertaining action and humor. The drama is based off books by G. A. Henty. At 2 1/2 hours, this is great for those summer (or anytime) car rides.

For this review, we received a 2 disk set that also includes:

  • An mp3 digital download 
  • Access to the Beric the Briton  Newsletter
  • A printable poster with a quote from Julius; "I will gladly die for him who died for me."
  • G.A. Henty's book that this audio drama is based off in eBook format.
  • Promotional poster download
  • mp3 soundtrack
  • 48-page study guide
  • Behind the scenes video of the production of  Beric The Briton
All of these extras are included in The Family-Four Pack.

About Beric the Briton

Beric the Briton, taking place in the early days of Christianity around 60 AD when the Romans were invading Britain and fighting Christianity, details the story of Beric who fought under the lead of Queen Boadicea. After being captured along side his friend Bodouc, he is trained as a gladiator and rises to fame when he defeats a lion. After serving int he palace of Nero, he returns back to Britain. He expects to be received as a hero, but his expectations are not met by the reality he is dealt. 

Why we LOVE Heirloom Audio and Beric the Briton

Like I said above, these are not audio books. These are action packed dramas that do such a fantastic job of pulling you into the time and setting that you can forget, if only for a moment, you aren't really there. The background sounds, characters, etc are so lifelike and so real that you feel as if you are transported through space and time to the actual battles that are being fought. 

There's something special about these that have such a calming effect on Mr. B. He can be in a huge autism spell and I can pop in the first disc and he instantly calms. It's amazing! Beric the Briton came at the perfect time, too. We have had to make so many trips for out of state doctor's visits, we've certainly appreciated having some fun and entertaining to listen to on the long drives. Like the other audio dramas by Heirloom Audio Productions, Beric the Briton features a fantastic cast that do a great job of bringing the story to life-Including TOM BAKER!  Hello?! The DOCTOR?!!!! YES PLEASE!!! 

Another thing is the study guide. These are great for writing prompts and discussions. With autism, this is great because it gives us a speaking and conversation prompt. One of Mr. B's issues he can narrate to me elaborate stories, but he can't really put them on paper. The study guide discussion questions give him a topic so that he can take his time, and write about the questions. We like to use the poster as a lapbook cover, and the study guide as our starting point for the lapbook. As I went to post this poster, I realized I'm out of color toner! So as soon as I get the toner in, I will print off this cover and add it to our folder so it will be complete! 

I'll admit, I knew nothing of Beric the Briton before listening to this. I would have found it more beneficial if I had read through the study guide first because Mr. B asked me a ton of questions I didn't have answers for, but those answers were in the study guide. So we went back and listened a second time so he could answer his own questions. . 

I also love the understory of forgiveness that is presented with Beric the Briton. It shows the importance of forgiving others, and yourself. 

Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review


Heirloom Audio does it again! They have another home run with Beric the Briton! This never gets boring, and it never gets old. Mr. B asks to listen to this at least once a week, and by now I can quote a lot of it haha! If you've never tried out an audio drama, I HIGHLY recommend you visit Heirloom Audio Productions and give Beric the Briton a try. This has been one of our favorites so far! I can't wait to see what they come out with next!!!! 

Does Heirloom Audio Productions Beric the Briton Pass My 4 Ingredient Test?

1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit “us?” Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?

Yes, you can use the study guide in the manner you see fit. You could use it as an essay style assignment for older students, narration for younger, writing prompts, or just general conversation. This is not a membership based product, so you can use it at your leisure. 

2.) Value: Is it long lasting? Will it cover multiple grade ranges? Are you locked in to one specific grade level? Are there hidden fees? 

This is for the whole family! No hidden fees.  

3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long?

NOT boring at all! It is more than 2 hours, but you can start and stop as you need/want. It is perfect for autism and ADHD in my opinion. VERY engaging, entertaining, and awesome. 

4.) Does it tie into other things we already have.

Yes, this is great to supplement a history study of the same time period, British invasions, Roman empire, the Early Church, etc. 

Please check out the crew for even more reviews!

Beric The Briton Heirloom Audio Productions  Review
Crew Disclaimer

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Don't Forget!

There's only 1 more day until the 2016 Digital Homeschool Convention! You won't want to miss this! There's more than 30 speakers (including ME!) and great vendor discounts! Get all of the benefits of a convention from the comforts of your own home!

I'll also be hosting some posts relative to my talk! So go check it out!

**post contains affiliate codes.**

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

Wedding Wednesday

You want to remember the details of your wedding forever. Of course I capture table settings, etc. But I try to get those little details you may overlook in the hustle and bustle of the day. Each fluke had a perfectly sliced strawberry. The color contrast was simple beautiful, and I wanted to make sure my bride and groom had this detail captured forever. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Thursday, July 14, 2016

This is going TOO FAR!

Does this child's life not matter?!

WSMV Channel 4

How blessed

I look out my windows and realized how blessed I am. We have a yard, my son had toys. We have a roof over our heads and food on the table. Not many people can sit back and see their blessings. They are too busy wishing for better, more, bigger, etc. I'm guilty of that, too. I keep saying I want a farm so I can garden, have horses, etc. But ya know what? I have a super awesome home just the way it is!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

Making Home Affordable Program Details

It's easy to make a mistake or not be as careful as we should be when faced with stress and adversity in our lives. If you are facing possible foreclosure, or even just stress over bills piling up, then you could be more apt to call for a "Too good to be true" scam. Scam artists are capitalizing on the misfortunes of othersat alarming rates, and there are a lot of so called foreclosure programs that promise safety, security, and much needed assistance; yet they fall dangerously short of fulfilling their promises and some are just outright scams. Please read the information from Making Home Affordable (MHA) below for more information on where you can turn to for help.

Some people may go their entire lives without ever having to face the struggle of foreclosure. If you are reading this, I hope that you are one of those people. But if you are or maybe it isn’t you, it is someone you know and love, I hope you are not going through it alone. It is a sad but true fact that most people who have foreclosure knocking at their door have no idea where to turn and they have no idea that there is actually help available to them.
Unfortunately, so many Americans are still struggling to make their mortgage payments. About 1 in 17 homeowners nationwide have fallen behind on their mortgage payments, putting them at a higher risk of foreclosure.
That is why the Making Home Affordable (MHA) program provides free resources and assistance for distressed homeowners who are working hard at juggling expenses to makes ends meet. There are more options available for struggling homeowners today than ever before, and MHA works to provide them with the mortgage solution that is right for them.

Unfortunately, foreclosure rescue and mortgage modification scams are a growing problem. Scammers will make promises that they can't keep, such as guaranteeing to "save" your home or lower your mortgage payments, usually for a fee, and sometimes even claiming that they have direct contact with your mortgage company.
These scams could cost homeowners thousands of dollars – or even their homes. If you or someone you know needs help with their mortgage, please keep these things in mind:
  • Through the federal Making Home Affordable program, many homeowners have received much-needed help to reduce their monthly payments, get mortgage relief, and avoid foreclosure.

  • Telephone scammers often request payment by wire transfer services similar to MoneyGram, or completion of paperwork containing your Social Security Number. Do not make any mortgage payments by wire transfer, or provide any personal information, in response to these calls. If you receive unsolicited calls, always check with your mortgage company using the phone number on your mortgage statement, or call 888-995-HOPE (4673) to check its legitimacy.

  • Beware of telephone calls urging you to take advantage of the Making Home Affordable Program. Beware of anyone seeking to charge you in advance for mortgage modification services. In most cases, charging fees in advance of a mortgage modification is illegal.

  • Paying a third party to assist with your application may not improve your likelihood of receiving a mortgage modification. Beware of individuals or companies that ask you for payment, tout their success rate, or claim to be Making Home Affordable (MHA) or Home Affordable Modification (HAMP) experts.

  • The Making Home Affordable (MHA) housing counseling experts at 888-995-HOPE™ (4673) are available around-the-clock (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), in over 170 languages, and at no cost. They will help homeowners understand their options and design a plan to suit their individual situation.

Going through the stress of potentially losing your home is hard enough as it is. No one should EVER be faced with going through that alone, but many do feel alone in what they are experiencing. That is why the Making Home Affordable (MHA) program provides free resources and assistance for distressed homeowners who are working hard at juggling expenses to makes ends meet. There are more options available for struggling homeowners today than ever before, and MHA works to provide them with the mortgage solution that is right for them.

Visit to read about available programs to help with mortgage payments. If you or someone you know is struggling, there is help.

Wedding Wednesday

When I show up at a wedding, the first thing I do is introduce myself to the family, then take the Bride's shoes, flowers and a piece of jewelry around the wedding venue grounds for specific still shots. This gives them time to process me being there, and it allows me time to get acquainted with the lay of the grounds in the given light and weather. For destination weddings or out of town to me weddings, a prior site check isn't always possible. These shots are perfect for me to get ideas of shot locations for the couple following their ceremony. This particular shot was taken on the deck just outside the conference room where the bride and her bride's maids were getting dressed. 

Couple: Steve and Barbie Duke
Location: Lakeview Golf Resort and Spa

For more information, please visit my FACEBOOK page! 

Wedding Wednesday

I've chosen to change up my Wordless Wednesday for a while. Instead of random motivational posts, I'm going to share wedding photos I've taken over the years. I hope you all enjoy!

Getting artistic with ArtAchieve {REVIEW}

Art Lessons for Children ArtAchieve Review
Art is often overlooked in both traditional school and homeschools. But art can be used to teach so many critical topics, that I feel it is as important as math or reading. But what if you could find an art program that not only taught art, but also included suggested learning activities for other subjects such as reading and science? Well, to me that would be a gold mine, and that gold mine is found with ArtAchieve. We have really been enjoying our review of ArtAchieve and the Entire Level III
Art Lessons for Children ArtAchieve Review
ArtAchieve isn't your average art program. Each art lesson can be used like a unit study. There's a section for each lesson that details what supplies you'll need, which are all easy to find, inexpensive supplies you may already have on had, and suggestions for more learning. For this review, I focused on the Hawaiian Frog drawing. I wish I had the ability to screen snip all of the additional material that is included with this lesson. There's activities for history, science,  and even reading! 

I very much appreciate all of the additional learning opportunities, and the easy to find supplies. My only wish would be for a little more user friendly set up. Currently, this page is located on a separate page from the lessons. I wish it was all combined together. It's definitely not something that would prevent me from purchasing this art program. 

How we used this:

First, I want to say that I have enjoyed this as much as Mr. B! The levels are not based on age, but based on your experience with art. Level I would be for any age with little to no art experience, level III more experience, etc. I took a great deal of art classes in school, and we both have a natural talent for drawing. So I chose to go with Level III. There are additional levels beyond Level III. 

Once you choose your lesson, you have a few different options to choose from. 

The warm up is a printed sheet to help get you in the drawing mood, and lesson any stress you may have. It's the picture you are to draw, broken up and scrambled so you are only drawing portions of it. 

The PowerPoint is exactly what it sounds like, it's a powerpoint version of the overall lesson. I prefer to watch the video version, then move the PowerPoint as needed while I'm drawing since I can control the pace of the PowerPoint myself. 

The video portion is very nice. His voice is calming and gently, and he doesn't through things. He thoroughly explains, and reinforces that it doesn't have to be perfect. 

Each lesson starts out with a history lesson on the inspiration to the art piece you are about to draw. This is a frog statue from a fountain in Hawaii. 

The print out is just a lined drawing of the picture you are to draw to use as your reference. I like that it is just a simple line, without any other frills. 

Our Results:

Mr. B really enjoyed watching the videos and learning about the inspirations. Each lesson teaches more than just art, and I truly loved the added learning suggestions and ideas. It's really easy to use this as a unit study if you want. I liked the concepts that are introduced, and I found I learned quite a bit myself. I like that it is easily adaptable, and the supplies are things I keep on hand. We did do "our own thing" with our frog since I did not want Mr. B to use my oil pastels (stingy mom!) so we used crayons instead, but I think it worked out nicely anyway.

Does ArtAchieve Entire Level III Pass My 4 Ingredient Test?

1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit “us?” Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?
You do not have to do the lessons in order, but we have been. You can customize in terms of materials used, but your artwork will differ from the instructors. You can set your own schedule.     

2.) Value: Is it long lasting? Will it cover multiple grade ranges? Are you locked in to one specific grade level? Are there hidden fees?
Subscriptions last for 1 calendar year, and you can use this with multiple children. Your purchase only covers the lesson level you choose though, but there is an option to get all of them for 1 year. You are locked into the level you choose. There are no hidden fees.  
3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long?
Definitely not boring, though some with ADHD may find the need to take more breaks since each lesson can last up to an hour or even more if you choose to do the additional activities that are suggested for more learning. We did not find it boring in the least. 

4.) Does it tie into other things we already have.

It most certainly can! There are a lot of extended learning suggestions that allow you to really turn this into a great unit studies project! 

We have truly loved working on this review! I highly recommend it! But please, don't take my word for it! Check out the crew to read more reviews on the Entire Level III and the other levels offered to us for review!

Art Lessons for Children ArtAchieve Review
Crew Disclaimer

Monday, July 11, 2016


Hey Everyone! Guess what?! As I mentioned before, I am going to be a speaker at the 2016 DIGITAL Homeschool Convention! Isn't that exciting?! I plan to bring you a talk on Homeschooling with Special Needs. The convention is slated to run July 22-25th, and you can purchase ALL to listen to over and over again at your leisure! There's a lot of fantastic people who are going to be speaking, so definitely check it out!

What better way to attend a homeschool convention than from the comforts of your own home? You can listen and watch while cooking dinner, during naps, etc. It's so convenient! So click on the link above, and get registered now so you don't miss out on some great goodies! 

**This post may contain affiliate links**

Sunday, July 10, 2016

2016 Digital Homeschool Convention

Stay tuned for more links, but I wanted to offer a heads up that I will be a speaker at the 2016 Digital Homeschool Convention!

Friday, July 8, 2016

There is still good

We went to see The Secrete Life of Pets tonight. We were in the theater with dozens of families. It was a packed house for sure! Do you know what I noticed? Humans. I noticed humans, coexisting. It didn't matter what color they were. It didn't matter what religion they practice. It was a group of humans, coming together, to enjoy a family film on a Friday night. Simple as that. Some were moving seats to make room for others, no one was nice. It was good. There is still good in the world, if we choose to see it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

Laurelwood Books REVIEW

Latin and Penmanship {Laurelwood Books  Review}
I truly never thought Latin would be a part of our homeschool, but here we are loving all things Latin! Combine our love for Latin with our love for fairytales, and Olim, Once Upon a Time in Latin, Reader VI and Olim, Once Upon a Time in Latin, Workbook VI by Laurelwood Books is a definite hit in our homeschool. For this review we were sent a physical set consisting of 1 level VI reader and the corresponding workbook. 

Latin and Penmanship {Laurelwood Books  Review}

What is it?
Olim, Once Upon a Time in Latin, Reader and Workbook VI are part of a series. The series starts at part I and ends at Part VI. The reading levels increase in difficulty from I to VI. The workbooks are consumable products. These come as separate purchases, so be sure to remember that. These are both paperback books with a glossy cover. They are not very thick, but they are packed with educational goodness. The reader isn't your average reader. This covers "The Prodigal Son" in both Latin and English, so your students can get a better sense of how the words directly translate. Teamed with the corresponding workbook, your student will have various activities and tools to reinforce the learning. Inside the workbook you will find matching,  fill in the blank, and cross over translating exercises along with coloring pages. I am a big fan of the additional "Digging Deeper" exercises located in the book. The answer key is located in the back of the workbook.

Latin and Penmanship {Laurelwood Books  Review}

How did we use this:
Mr. B really enjoys learning Latin. It wasn't hard at all to get him to do the lessons 3 days a week. The difficult part was getting him to do the reading. There's not a lot of words on each page, and there are photos. So the reading isn't much at all, but Mr. B thought it was more because he wouldn't stop and really look to see that it may be 1 sentence on one page and only 2 or 3 on the next. The font is also quite large, which makes it look like there's more there. I'm sure this was only an issue for us, and wouldn't be an issue for a typical student at all. Once I got him to understand there wasn't that much reading, he was good to go! He actually ended up working on this, on his own, for over an hour! I was only going to have him do it for 20 or so minutes, but when I told him he could stop he asked to keep going! He loves it! He really focused intently, and worked hard at this. I honestly thought the large font, and smaller/fewer sentences would make him feel as if this is a "baby" book, but he never mentioned that at all. The Latin side of the story has a nice margin with Latin to English words for easier translating. The illustrations match between the English and Latin parts which add a visual aid for being able to translate, also. I really liked this part. The workbook features a "how to pronunciation" guide, as well as roman numerals, which were Mr. B's favorite parts I think.  The workbook has your student referring back to the reader to translate the words needed or fill in the blanks. This is great practice for Mr. B to refer back to a text to answer comprehension questions, and I noticed an overall improvement in that area. 


Overall, as much as I say we aren't a Latin or Classical Education Family I'm pretty sure we are a Latin and Classical Education Family. We have really enjoyed using Olim, Once Upon a Time In Latin Reader and Workbook VI by Lauralwood Books. We will continue to use this until completed, and I plan to look into the other Latin products offered, such as Derivatives. I found the reader to be easy to navigate, and laid out in such a way that it is easy for the student to understand and navigate. The addition of illustrations that match on both the English and Latin sides is really great for a visual cue to translating. 

Does Laurelwood Books Pass My 4 Ingredient Test?

1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit “us?” Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?

These are physical products so you are not restricted by the time constraints you might have with online memberships. I do not suggest jumping ahead or skipping. There's nothing really to adapt, unless your child needs to beak up the lessons in someway, but we did not find a need to adapt or modify at all.     

2.) Value: Is it long lasting? Will it cover multiple grade ranges? Are you locked in to one specific grade level? Are there hidden fees?
The level is really based on your child's reading level. While the English part is easy for him to read, the Latin part was a bit harder. Mr. B is 5th going into 6th, and this seemed to be on par for him. There are no hidden fees, but it is important to remember that the reader and workbook are separate purchases. 
3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long?

The pages are black and white (actually more of a darker gray...) Mr. B did not find this boring. I think he rather enjoyed the challenge of the translations. The lessons do not have to last long, but Mr. B really enjoyed working on this so he spent a great deal of time. 

4.) Does it tie into other things we already have.

Latin is the root of several languages, so it is a great foundation for learning other languages and even understanding our own language of English. It is a really good foundation for grammar, etc. It is also great for classically minded homeschoolers. 

The Review Crew was blessed to review several products by Laurelwood Books. In addition to level VI featured here, The Crew also reviewed levels I-III, and non-Latin options like Patriotic Penmanship as well. Please click the banner below to see those reviews! 

Latin and Penmanship {Laurelwood Books  Review}
Crew Disclaimer

Monday, July 4, 2016

10 Field Trip Locations in WV

West Virginia Field Trip Ideas

West Virginia, the 35th state, is the only state to have acquired its sovereignty by proclamation of the President of the United States. West Virginia is also one of the most naturally beautiful states in the country being the only state to lie entirely within a mountain range. There's a reason why it's called The Mountain State. As you can imagine, there are endless possibilities when it comes to field trips in West Virginia. Many know of the standard locations of Harper's Ferry or Senecca Rocks, even the ski resorts, but some spots are a little less known. Here's a list of 10 possible trip ideas that I think are interesting, probably less well known, and include more than just one activity or site. 

1.) National Radio Astronomy Observatory site-Green Bank, WV
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, WV is truly one of a kind. It operates the world's premiere telescope that ranges from centimeters to millimeter wavelengths. With active research in a number of areas, the facility also offers STEM educational activities. But don't expect to use a cell phone there! Cell phones are strictly prohibited, and there are no cell towers! 

2.) Indian Burial Mounds-Various locations
The Adena Indians were mound builders. They built large earthen mounds in which to bury their dead, and there are a number of mounds in WV. One is the Grave Creek Mound, in Moundsville. This is the largest mound, and also features and on site museum. The Criel Mound, located in South Charleston, is the 2nd largest of the remaining burial bounds in the state. A 3rd, much smaller mound, is located within Camden Park in Kenova, WV. 

3.) New River Gorge Bridge-Fayetteville, WV
The New River Gorge Bridge boasts the longest bridge span in the Western Hemisphere and is the 3rd highest in the country. Here you will find hiking trails and beautiful nature galore! You're also nearby the Mystery Hole, which is a sight to see for sure! 

4.) Civil War Sites-Various locations
West Virginia was born from the Civil War, so it makes sense there are so many sites in the state with Civil War history. There are reenactments all over the state, from Guyandotte in the west to Harper's Ferry in the east. In Princeton, WV you'll find The Dr. Robert B. McNutt House, which served as a hospital for both the Union and Confederates. With Lee in Virginia, by Heirloom Audio, is the perfect compliment for any Civil War trip! 

5.) Blennerhasset Island State Park-Parkersburg, WV
Blenner Hassett Island State Park features a (recreated) historial mansion estate-once owned by Harman and Margaret Blennerhasset, on an island in the middle of the Ohio River. Park your car and ride the ferry to the island, then rent a bike to enjoy the grounds or even tour the mansion! 

6.) The Clay Center-Charleston, WV
The Clay Center, located in Charleston, WV, is a great science center. It features mainstay exhibits as well as rotating exhibits. Upstairs you can find art one time, and history another. Be sure to check out the concert and speaker series as well! The concert hall is intimate, yet large enough to accomodate a nice crowd! While you're there, be sure to check out the State Capitol and it's golden dome!

7.) Smoke Hole Caverns-Cabins, WV
Smoke Hole Caverns is a large cave system in Cabins, WV. The caverns feature a unique history that ranges from Senecca Indians using them to smoke wild game to settlers using the many rooms in their bootlegging schemes. Located nearby Senecca Rocks, the area is a beautiful location for any nature enthusiast. 

8.) Waterfalls-Various locations
I LOVE Waterfalls, and West Virginia has plenty to choose from! Everyone knows of Blackwater Falls, but just driving down Rt. 60 you can easily stop in at Cathedral Falls or even Kanawha Falls! Don't forget Sandstone Falls near Hinton, WV!

9.) Point Pleasant, WV
Point Pleasant is home to Mothman! There is a lot of historical things to see and experience around Point Pleasant, including the Silver Bridge Memorial, site of one of the deadliest bridge collapses. 

10.) Exhibition Coal Mine-Beckley, WV 
Coal Mining dominates the history of WV, so no field trip list could be complete without the Exhibition Coal Mine in Beckley. Take an automated ride through history as you experience, first hand, what mining was like in days gone by. 

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fantastic places in WV to tour, visit, and learn about. WV is full of beauty, history, and nice folks who love to talk! 

Check out more Field Trip themed blogs from The Schoolhouse Review Crew! The banner below will be live on July 8th! 

Field Trip Inspiration 2016

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday

FREE 14 Day Trial Is Now Available for the Odyssey Adventure Club!


Think of ways you can enjoy this summer for free:
  • Hiking
  • Visiting parks in your area
  • Swimming
  • Camping in your backyard
  • Visit a public museum or library
Now, add more fun and imagination to your summer through the Odyssey Adventure Club!

The Odyssey Adventure Club will give you streaming access to more than 800 Adventures in Odyssey episodes plus a sneak peek of exclusive audio and video stories, on-line activities and daily devotions you can’t find anywhere else.

Start a free 14-day trial for your family today and make the summer even more fun!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016 REVIEW

**This post may contain affiliate links**
Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership Reviews
Recently, The Schoolhouse Review Crew was given the chance to review a Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership from How amazing is that?! is a fantastic resource site that offers a multitude of notebooking pages for you to browse and print. Their Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership gives you access to every page, for LIFE! For this review, members of the crew were greatly blessed with a full lifetime membership. 
Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership Reviews
I had seen so many who raved over, but I had never had a chance to experience it myself until around the 1st of the year. Did you know they offer a really awesome Sample Pack?! I had no idea, but they do! If you haven't, you should totally check it out! I had seen so many of my friends talking about how much they loved that I simply couldn't wait to try it for myself. 
As I mentioned before, is a great online resource for homeschooling families (or any family) to print a variety of worksheets/notebooking pages for their use. The site offers thousands of pages for you to browse, all separated by subject and category. For this review, I've chosen to showcase one of their Geography finds. Mr. B chose to study Nepal after watching the movie Everest. With over 124 pages in this particular study, it is safe to say these study packs aren't exactly small! Most every topic we have clicked on has included a PDF download with pages that number into the dozens. Sometimes they are less than 10, but most frequently there are well more than that. For Nepal, your child will study the map and general world location, all of the pertinent facts such as political and geographical details, as well as science and technology, tourism, and more. 
The way these pages are designed, YOU are in control of your child's education. There is a great how to video to show you how to implement in your family, but I have mostly done my own thing. 
These are all of the main topics at The best feature? A SEARCH feature so that you can search for pages based off your chosen topic!

This is so handy! I just looked up pages to study the Olympics since we were going to do a unit study on the Olympics soon! I found some for the ancient games, which will also tie in with our upcoming Ancient History work! WOOHOO!

How did we use this?

I spent the better part of a week or more just getting acquainted with the site, and looking around to see all that is available. There's pretty much a page for everything! I was a little (ok...a lot!) mindblown! It seems for every subject and every topic we chose, I was able to find pages to fit that theme! The only page I couldn't find was a set on Paganini, but that's ok because they have every other composer! 
I download the PDFs, then I go through and mark the pages I want Mr. B to do. After that, I print only the pages I want. Sometimes I plan to use the others later, so I save them to a special folder on my desktop for future use. For Nepal, I printed off pages 5-8 since I wanted Mr. B to work on specific internet reseach. 
With most other pages, I either had him read books we already had then use the Notebooking Pages for journaling or narration, or I had him research a topic he wanted, and then do a summary report as he chose to let me know what he learned. For others, like Nepal, I give him specific information that I am looking for and have him find it and use the pages to record his findings. 


Overall, I can't say enough wonderful things about There's a notebooking pack on nearly every subject, topic, etc. that I can possible think of. If there isn't a directly specific set there is at least one that is very similar or works good enough for what we need. And to have access for life is beyond fantastic. Mr. B is going into 6th grade, and I can see us using this for years and years to come! It is certainly a huge bang for your buck! 
Does Pass My 4 Ingredient Test?

1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit “us?” Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?

You can work at your own pace, taking breaks as needed. These are digital download pages so you can use them as you see fit. They are 100% adaptable and customized to your needs. You can pick and choose, and move about the site as you see fit. 

2.) Value: Is it long lasting? Will it cover multiple grade ranges? Are you locked in to one specific grade level? Are there hidden fees?
The Lifetime membership is for LIFE! You can cover ALL grade ranges! It's that awesome. No hidden fees at all!  
3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long?

You get out of this what you put into it. some activities I had Mr. B do he didn't want to do (haha) but the ones he DID want to do he would work for long periods of time, hyper-focused on the topic. You can print 1 sheet for a quick lesson or multisheets for a longer study. All up to you, and perfect for ADHD/Autism! 

4.) Does it tie into other things we already have.

Oh mercy YES! There are pages for nearly every subject and topic!!!!

Please check out my Crew-mates on the Review Crew to read more reviews! 
Notebooking Pages Lifetime Membership Reviews
Crew Disclaimer

Monday, June 27, 2016

Rose Chandler Johnson's "My Father's House" REVIEW


Hey everyone! I'm excited to bring you this review of My Father's House, by Rose Chandler Johnson

This novel was a hard read for me. Not because it's bad or anything like that. But due to the subject matter. If you have ever survived (yes, I use the word survived, because it was complete survival by the grace of God) an abusive relationship, then you can understand what I mean when I say that. Lily Rose marries a charming man who changes to his true form once they are wed. He is abusive towards her. I could definitely identify with this! But I digress....Anyway, she flees her northern home and marriage for the safe sanctuary of her father's southern home. Lily is young, and it shows in the book. Even by the end she's still portrayed as quite young, and somewhat needy. She needs the help and support of others to remain a strong character. All of the characters are well developed, and the first person voice makes this more like a private diary than a novel. Warning: There are a couple of curse words. Sex, rape, and violence are also attributes, though there are no graphic sex scenes or anything like that. It is still worth the mention in case that kind of thing offends you. The storyline starts out a bit slow for me, but picks up. Of course, it is very believable (if not a wee bit predictable, but maybe that's just me...) and well written. 

About the book: 

My Father's House (March 2016)

Growing up, life is idyllic for Lily Rose Cates due to one constant --- her father's love.

But in her sixteenth summer, all that changes without warning. There begins Lily's struggle to find herself and the life she's lost. . . . Marriage promises fulfillment, but her happily-ever-after barely survives the honeymoon. Her husband's sophisticated fa├žade hides a brooding man with even darker secrets.

When all illusions shatter, Lily must make hard choices --- abandon her husband or risk losing much more than her marriage. She flees their home in Detroit and sets out on a fearful journey to a house in Georgia that her husband knows nothing about. This is one woman's compelling tale of love and survival as she finds her way back home to who she's meant to be . . . in her father's house.

Purchase a copy:
About the author:

Rose Chandler Johnson
 is the author of the award winning devotional God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday MomentsMy Father's House is her first novel. She happily makes her home near Augusta, Georgia.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

**I received a copy of this free from Litfuse in exchange for my honest review. I wasn't required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.**

Veritas Press

Old and New Testament Online Self-Paced Bible Veritas Review
I am so excited to be able to bring you this review of Veritas Press and their Old Testament 1: Genesis to Joshua Self-Paced Bible.  Genesis to Joshua will take your students from creation to the end of Joshua, covering 32 interactive courses. The characters of brother and sister duo Abigail and Asher host the course, with back up help by Teb and the cat and Tizzy the gnat.

The Course includes:

  • Art
  • Music 
  • Geography
  • Chronological events memorized to music
  • Names, Places, and Dates
  • Activities such as projects, worksheets, and tests
  • 32 Bible events
  • 60 day money back guarantee
For this review, we received 1 Online Subscription to Self-Pace Bible Old Testament 1: Genesis to Joshua for 1 student to use. 

Old and New Testament Online Self-Paced Bible Veritas Review
How Did We Use This?

Things got a bit hectic for us, and we were not able to start this until the 2nd week of having it, and then my cousin tragically passed away unexpectedly so we had to take some time during the last week as well. As a result, we had to double up a bit. So our mode of use this time period will differ significantly than others, just due to life obstacles that got in our way. With that said, I had him work multiple sections a day, instead of just one like I had intended. I am pretty sure Mr. B was thoroughly pleased to work additional sections because he has had a blast using this! I had absolutely no issues at all with having him do 2 or even 3 (cough 4) lessons in a day. He would happily sit there and giggle his way through them. He loves this. 
Here are a few screen shots so you can get a sense of the program:
You walk through a small tutorial of sorts that instructs you how to use the program when you first begin. I like that you can choose specific slides in the show, as I have shown here. 

The colors and graphics are very nice. Mr. B really likes them. I also like how you can click anywhere on the screen. This is better for those with fine motor skills issues who aren't as adept with mouse using just yet. 

Another lesson.

As you can see, Abigail and her brother are both "real" and Teb and Tizzy are animated. 

Verses like this are frequently repeated in each lesson to reinforce the overall lesson being taught. This particular lesson is about the fall of Adam and Eve. 

There are a host of different activities and test activities. For example, the first lesson has your student selecting what was created on each day, and matching it to the corresponding day of creation. The only issue here would be fine motor skills. Mr. B had some difficulty manipulating the mouse to perform some of the tasks, so sometimes I would do that part for him as he answered. 

Please note: You DO need an adequate internet connection for this. The internet connection on my laptop has been wonky recently thanks to hard drive repairs and weather. This caused some of the lessons over the last couple of weeks to load rather slowly, causing some frustration for Mr. B. This is NOT a program issue, but an issue on our end. Just be aware that you do need an internet connection. 


We really, really like this a lot! It's fun and entertaining for Mr. B, which really aids in learning. He loves watching the programs and playing the games. It's never hassle to get him to start, but usually a hassle to get him to stop and move on to something else! I am very pleased with this, and plan to finish Old Testament 1 and hopefully move our way through the other levels. 

Does Veritas Press Self-Paced Bible Pass My 4 Ingredient Test?

1.) Customization: Is it easily adaptable? Can we customize it to fit “us?” Can we modify or set our own schedule? Can we take breaks, jump ahead, or flat out skip?

You are on a time constraint with a 1 year membership, but you can set your own schedule with that in mind. You can not jump ahead or skip. I wish that was an option since we had to use a lot of time working in Creation when we have studied this extensively already. I wish we could have skipped beyond that point, or move around on our own as I see fit. I can see the reason why this isn't possible, but I just wish it was possible.    

2.) Value: Is it long lasting? Will it cover multiple grade ranges? Are you locked in to one specific grade level? Are there hidden fees?
Membership is for a year, and you can cover multiple grades with this. I worked with B frequently, and so did M. We both learned from this! There are no hidden fees. 
3.) Attention span: Is it boring? Is it engaging? Is it varied enough for ADHD? Does it last too long?

This is perfect for ADHD and autism. It's fun, entertaining, and you can stop when needed. It doesn't last too long at all. This has been a really great product for us! 

4.) Does it tie into other things we already have.

This can work with any Bible based program you have that is on the same books in the Bible. This would also be fantastic for any classical education program! 

The Crew was blessed to review various levels of the Self-Paced Bible, as well as a one year membership subscription to Please click the banner below to check out all of the reviews! 

Old and New Testament Online Self-Paced Bible Veritas Review




Twitter:  @VeritasPress

Crew Disclaimer