Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Union with Christ REVIEW

This is a well written book that flows nicely. It's easy to read, and not stuffy at all. It is an easy read, but not a light read. It's an in depth exploration into your relationship and union with Christ, and how this impacts your whole life. The author uses a variety of scriptures and ties them in with current life, pop culture, and the like to make his point. 

About the book: 

Union with Christ: The Way to Know and Enjoy God (David C. Cook, July 2016)

Nothing is more basic or central to knowing and enjoying God than Union with Christ.

Have you ever had difficulty connecting what you know to be true about God with how you feel or how you live each day? Have you ever longed to change but just felt stuck?

The Bible makes a stunning claim: God has provided a way for your life to be united to Christ's. What does that mean? Is it really possible for me, now? What would it look like?

In Union with Christ, Rankin Wilbourne makes union withChrist accessible and beautiful, for you. Union with Christ is not an abstract idea. It is a powerful reality. And recovering a sense of your union with Christ can change everything for you, like finally putting on a pair of desperately-needed glasses.

Discover how coming to see your life through the lens of union with Christ can help bridge that gap between your head and your heart, between your belief and your experience. Union withChrist is what we most need in order to know and enjoy God.
Purchase a copy: 
About the author:

Rankin Wilbourne
 grew up in Louisiana and was educated at the University of Mississippi and Princeton Theological Seminary. He is now the senior pastor of Pacific Crossroads Church in Los Angeles. As a former commercial banker, Rankin understands the "gap" between the gospel preached on Sunday and the world people face on Monday. Leading a thriving church in a city driven by stories, he's concerned withdrawing connections between what we believe and how we live. Rankin and his wife, Morgen, reside in Los Angeles withtheir three children.

I received this free in exchange for my honest opinion. 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.

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Homeschool Review Crew

The Homeschool Review Crew is accepting applications for the 2017 review year. I can't even begin to put into words what being a member of The Crew has meant to our family, but I'm going to try. 
Being on The Crew is more than just great, free products to review-though that's definitely a perk! It's the friendships made. It's the community. It's the ability to have a direct impact in the world of homeschool curriculum. Nothing puts a bigger smile on my face than to have a company contact me over a review to ask how they can make it better for special learners. It's a way to have our voices heard, and our children noticed. 
I love being able to help others. It is always hard to choose a product for a special kid, because you never know how that product is going to work for your child. I've been given a wonderful opportunity to test products and tell about our experience so that other special needs families can use our experience as a measuring stick for their own homeschool. My work can help them make a decision for their own family, so they aren't spending loads of money on products that may not work. 
YOU can have the same opportunity! The Crew is now accepting applications for their 2017 review year! I highly recommend all my blogging readers read about the crew requirements, then apply for this! We have received so many wonderful products to use and try. Some I never would have bought on my own that turned out to be huge hits, and some that I would have bought that just didn't work out the way I thought they would. I would have never learned about Heirloom Audio Productions, or Homeschool Planet, or Christian HomeSchool Hub...or Talking Fingers, Times Tales....and sooooo many others.  There's Memoria Press, Science Shepherd, EdTechLens....I can't even begin to list all of our favorites. And what would I have done the last month with out MyFreezEasy?! I can't thank The Crew enough for allowing me to be a part of such an amazing group of people, and I can't thank the vendors enough for trusting us with your reviews! 
So if you have wanted to be a part of something amazing, fill out the 2017 Crew Application today! I promise, you won't regret it! 
Just click this banner to get started! 
If my post isn't compelling enough, click below to see what others have to say! 
What being on the Crew means ...

Educeri ....... Educeri a division of DataWORKS {REVIEW}

Educeri Lesson Subscription Service Reviews

I love online subscriptions that provide variety of lessons and resources to help in our homeschool, so I was really excited to learn about Educeri...... Educeri a division of DataWORKS. This is a online based resource that offers more than 1000 Ready-to-Teach lessons using the Educeri Lesson Subscription Service. Y'all, that's a lot of learning! 

Educeri is an online based subscription service that offers a variety of subjects and topics from K-12. There are "PowerPoint" style lessons and downloadable student handouts that you can print as worksheets. With the Subscription Service, you have access to all grades and all subjects. This is designed mainly for traditional school teachers to use as pre-designed and arranged lesson plans. With that said, we've been enjoying using this in our homeschool! 

Educeri Lesson Subscription Service Reviews
How did we use this?

Academically, Mr. B is all over the place. So I took a few days to browse the various course offerings between grades 3 and 8. There's so much offered here. It can be a bit overwhelming with so many options. I finally decided to stick with 6th grade for the bulk of this review, and I target topics under the language arts umbrella. 

This is just a teeny tiny sampling of the offerings.

I was really excited to see so many topics covered, and I couldn't wait to get Mr. B on his laptop and get the learning started. But then I was disappointed to discover that the majority of the lessons have no audio. So they require an active teacher teaching the topics, rather than video like streaming. I was really hoping for a set up that offered video/audio in addition to the text based powerpoint like click through screens. I think that would make this really good "school" product into a really fantastic "homeschool" product!

With all of that said, the program is really great for its intended purpose-as a lesson plan hub for teachers. The lessons are pretty in depth, but they do require a lot of parental involved teaching for your homeschool use. Here's a screen snip of one lesson.

As you can see, the lessons are easy to navigate using the buttons at the bottom, and it also includes page numbers. Along with these lessons are student handout worksheets that you can download and print. Here's a screen snip of one. 

I really like the content of what we have seen thus far. It is secular in nature, so that is something to consider if you are looking for more of a religious overtone. 

All in all, I like this. While I wish there was more of an independent learning application to it, I'm ok with taking the extra time needed to teach the concept. We tend to spend about a week per lesson, and that seems to be more than enough to master the concept for us. Others may not have the time, but for us it's not that much of a problem on the days we are home. I really like the student worksheets, and I wish there were more of them! From what we have seen so far, there's around 4-5 worksheets per lesson in the downloaded PDF file. 

Does Educeri 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 have access to all grade levels with the subscription service. This makes it super easy to modify to your specific needs. It's really easy to work into your existing schedule and change as needed. 

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?
We received a 1 year subscription. There are no hidden fees, and you do have access to all grade levels. 

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

I think this is pretty good for ADHD, and autism, so long as you can take the time for the one on one instruction that is needed with the lack of video/audio with the lessons. I wouldn't suggest this for self teaching unless that is preferred by your child and you. Lessons aren't that long, but they aren't flashy at all. 

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

Yes. There's a whole host of topics and subjects, so it fits in with a lot. It's not a specific method like Charlotte Mason or Classical. I'd say this is more traditional in style

Please check out what the rest of The Homeschool Review Crew has to say about Educeri..... Educeri a division of DataWORKS

Educeri Lesson Subscription Service
Crew Disclaimer

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Coughs and Sneezes, oh my!

A weak immune system is something we have always had to battle. I can remember when he was a toddler, I'd have to keep my own bleach wipes with me and bleach down everything at restaurants or anywhere else he went. Even now, I feel like I'm always chasing him down with hand sanitizer to try and reduce the risk of him getting sick. Unfortunately, it's not always enough. Thus, Mr. B is starting to fight his second head cold in just over a month. We were at Lake Erie a few days ago. It was our first time there, so I went against my better judgement and let him play on the beach a bit. Now, he's fighting off the sniffles. Now, this isn't a life or death infection by any means....but he is scheduled for an endoscopy Tuesday morning! I had to reschedule it the first time over a cough, and now this.

Hindsight is always 20/20, and the cool water of Lake Erie lapping up on the beach is not my best decision ever. :(

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Test results.

It's always hard to get test results when those results aren't what you expected. be honest, it's hard when they are expected sometimes.

Today was an odd day. I received a letter that had test results from 8 years ago in it. I knew there had been an immune system issue back there (and possibly now, as well...) but I didn't realize the severity of the problem until today. When your child has an Ig level that isn't even 1/4th of what it should be, it's a punch in the gut for sure. It's no wonder he was always sick. :(

Love Our Vets

22. 22 is the number of veterans who take their lives on a daily basis. PTSD has a lot to do with this. I have a lot of family and a lot of friends who were/are vets, and a few who suffer from PTSD. It's real. The war doesn't end over seas for them. It happens every single day in their own lives. Fireworks, alarms, shadows, etc...all of these things and more can trigger. We need to do more for those who are willing to sacrifice everything for us.

Love Our Vets in a good step in the right direction by providing solid, sound advice to those who are immediately impacted by PTSD. I would also suggest those who are not impacted directly to pick up a copy and read. Perhaps you will gain some insight into what these brave men and women are going through, so that you can better help them. Today it's 22 each day. Maybe with more awareness, more help, we can bring that number down to 0. 


Do you have a loved one who has seen war and has Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder at some level? More than likely you who love your veteran will also be deeply and profoundly affected, which is why Welby O'Brien wrote Love Our Vets, a resource for restoring hope for families of veterans with PTSD. Sharing as a counselor and from her personal experience of living with a 100% disabled veteran with PTSD, Welby O’Brien gives hope, encouragement, and practical help for families and loved ones who are caught in the wake of the trauma. Love Our Vets answers more than 60 heartfelt questions, providing down-to-earth wisdom and much-needed tips for taking care of yourself.

Take some time to care for yourself as the caregiver by entering to win a prize pack from Welby full of items to help you relax and de-stress.


One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of Love Our Vets

  • A picture frame to remind yourself to pray for your vet and the other veterans

  • A wooden card to send to your vet to let him or her know you're thankful for his or her service

  • A water bottle to help keep you healthy and in prayer

  • A set of journals to help you walk through Love Our Vets

  • A relaxing candle to melt away stress

  • love-our-vets-collage 

    Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on October 17. The winner will be announced October 18 on the Litfuse blog.


    **I received this free 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. **

    Friday, October 14, 2016

    Online Christian Filmmakers Academy {REVIEW}

    Online Christian Filmmakers Academy {Family Gravity Media}
    As some of you may know, I also work as a photographer. I mainly do weddings and engagement photos, and I'll do family photos a few times a year. I also volunteer at our local hospitals as an on call photographer who goes in and takes photos of babies who were born sleeping, born too early to live, etc. These are sometimes the only photos the family will ever have of their precious angel. As you can imagine, understanding my equipment, and learning to add a video component is very important. I also want Mr. B to learn, as he has shown a great natural talent for spotting interesting angles. 
    With that said, I was super excited to learn of Family Gravity Media, a division of Families For Christ Ministries, Inc.  They have a nifty Online Christian Filmmakers Academy that I found to be VERY comprehensive and educational. I initially intended for Mr. B to use this as a way to fine tune his video making skills. He loves to take the iPad or iPhone and create his own news segments, so I thought this would be a great addition. I discovered that this online class is just as good for me as it is him! From the first module, I was hooked!

    What is it:

    This is an online streaming video class that teaches you all you need to know about filmmaking. From the camera gear to editing, everything is covered. 

    Online Christian Filmmakers Academy {Family Gravity Media}
    Our Experience:

    This is GREAT! Seriously, fantastic. I have been super impressed with all I'm learning. I'll be honest, I'm good at what I do. I'm not bragging, but stating what others have said. I've been featured in magazines, etc. I see big time people in the wedding photography business (like Jerry Ghionis) and I try to emulate their style. With that said, I know nothing about the technical aspects.  For example, I had NO idea whatsoever that one could use an adapter ring and use a Nikon lens on a Canon camera!  I know how to use my camera to get the effects I want, but I never know HOW it does what it does. I know my full frame camera is different than my first, but I didn't realize how. I knew certain lenses behaved better in certain situations-but I learned this through trial and error. Now I understand WHY they work better, so as a result I was able to really step up my photography game at the last wedding I worked. Eventhough the work I did was not videography, this online class helped me tremendously with frame photography, and I wasn't expecting that at all!

    Mr. B watched the video modules, then we would take my gear and experiment with what we learned. He would watch a video segment 2-3 times a week, but sometimes he would rewatch the same one from before. Then we'd spend a day playing with my camera. Unfortunately, my camera was damaged at the last wedding and I haven't purchased a replacement yet. When I do, I'll make a special post with his movie! He's making a tornado movie!!!!! Anyway, we did take some pictures using different lenses, even using my old camera that is not a full frame just to see the difference between the two. We used various settings with shutter speed, etc. Once he watched the video modules a time or 3, and he felt ready, he would take the corresponding quiz. I'm big on mastering the basics, so we spent a great deal of time on the Camera segment so that Mr. B could really learn the camera, and how the lenses function. His favorite lesson is in module 2. This was learning how a green screen works, since that's used so much with TV Meteorologists. He got the chance to play around with a green screen at COSI, so he replayed this lesson several times.

    Login is easy (you know my pet peeve with hard to find login buttons!) You don't need to search all over the page for the log in button. Once you have logged in, there is an intro video you can watch or you can click on "Get Started," and this sends you to the course lessons. Navigation is simple. You do a lesson, mark it complete, and click next at the bottom. You can go back to previous lessons-which we did a LOT. Seriously, shutter speed is now my friend. I watched that lessons myself at least 4 times.

    One of the coolest things is the comments section where you can ask a question and get an answer. A couple of times I had a question or comment, and I'd see someone else had already asked so I was able to see their answer. That's a great feature, and really makes you feel like you're in an active learning environment.

    Here are a few screen shots!

    The videos are great quality, and pull you into the lesson. 

    Here's a screen shot showing the comments section. Hi Teresa! She's also a Crew member!

    My favorite lesson thus far. There's a PDF of this, and I keep it in my camera bag. 

    Here are a few photos I did at the last wedding to show how I applied the lessons taught on lenses and aperture. 

    The difference in frame censor! 

    A bit more blurry background.

    Real blurry background. Stronger depth of field makes her stand out more. 

    Lighting makes all the difference. 

    Less blurry background.

    Again, lighting and exposure made the difference here. It was getting dark.

    Shows how a faster shutter keeps everything sharp.

    See the difference in background blur (Also called Bokeh...) Sometimes I have the background sharp, like the rest of the photo, and other times it is really blurry to make the subject stand out. That's all in shutter speed-which also will effect exposure. In the bottom two pics, I wanted the subject to remain really sharp. She was moving a lot as she was dancing her way to throw her bouquet, so I needed a faster shutter.

    Here are a few experimental shots with shutter speed and water. While research shutter speed even more, I came across some really nice water pictures. I wanted to duplicate that.

    I need to work on this more. I need to get a tri pod (covered in module 1) so that I can use a remote shutter to reduce camera wobble. That way I can leave the shutter wide open and get more water movement and less camera shake.


    This has been the best online videography class I've ever seen. I have learned so much for photography from this class, and I didn't expect that at all! I can't wait until Mr. B finishes his "Clear the Ground! Tornado's Coming!" movie! I HIGHLY recommend this!

    You can save $100 now through Nov. 30th, 2016 with coupon code FALLCREW2016
    **Please check out The Homeschool Review Crew to see what the others have to say!**

    Online Christian Filmmakers Academy {Family Gravity Media}
    Crew Disclaimer

    Monday, October 10, 2016

    MyFreezEasy {REVIEW} Freezer Meal Plan Membership {MyFreezEasy}
    I'm a busy mom. It seems there's ALWAYS something, every day! From homeschooling and cleaning, to swim class and bowling league...add in out of state medical appointments, and there's just not enough time in the day, or energy in the tank, for me to make healthy, delicious meals for my family the way I would prefer. MyFreezEasy makes it so convenient and easy to create tasty, healthy homecooked meals for now, and for later! For this review, we were blessed with a Freezer Meal Plan Membership; specifically the Premium Annual Membership.

    This is a membership that gives you a wide variety of monthly meals that you can make now, and freeze for later. It includes everything you need! There are labels you can print for the freezer bags or foil pans, exact and easy to follow directions, recipes, and even shopping lists! The meals are arranged by type such as "Gluten Free," "All Chicken Meals," "All Beef Meals," "Slow Cooker Meals," etc. And each month has different meals, so you're never board with the same old thing.

    What I chose to cook:

    It was really hard to choose what to cook for this review! There are so many options from which to choose! Ultimately, I chose to show off their Bacon Cheeseburger Nachos, but without the bacon because I thought I had bacon at home, and it had been eaten without my knowledge. OOPS!

    This recipe was super easy to prepare. I did not choose to freeze this because we want to have the left overs for tomorrow and the next day. The recipe is so easy. You brown ground beef with onion, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Drain, and return the pan. Stir in crumbled bacon (that I didn't have...sigh..) In a large baking dish, layer tortilla chips on the bottom, put the meat mixture on top of that, top with shredded cheese, and bake! Garnish with sour cream and salsa. The recipe suggests serving fruit as a side dish, but we chose a tomato salad instead.

    The meal is quite good. I think adding some scallions, or maybe even something like a steamed rice, or even refried beans, would be really yummy, too. It was filling, without being too much. We will definitely be making it again! 

    Our Thoughts:

    I love how easy this is. MyFreezeEasy has made the process so easy, all you have to do is pick what you want, use the provided lists and labels, and cook. I do wish there was an easier option to view all of the meals at one time, or to search for archived meals with freeze prep instructions a little easier, but it's certainly not a hindrance! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the dairy free options on each recipe, if there is an alternative. Having severe lactose intolerance, this is HUGE!  I like how the recipe and directions give you prep instructions so you can serve the meal right then, or freeze it for later. I love being able to spend just an hour or two in the kitchen and have meals for my family for the whole month! Now, when we have been on the road all day, or if I've just had a stressful day in general, I can go to the freezer and pull out a healthy meal I know my family will love. It's so convenient! 


    I highly recommend this! It's GREAT! You can tweak the recipes as you want, and the freezer option is so handy. I've stocked my freezer with many meals for my family. From Lazy Lasagna to Apple Juice Brined Pork Chops, these meals are sure to please you and your family! We love them! This is great to keep ready to cook meals on hand for those you know who may be having a baby, had a death in the family, or who are sick. All too often when there is a death in the family, people take loads of food over to the family. Well, that food only lasts 4 or 5 days and then the family is left with a bunch of spoiled food to throw out. I like to take a frozen meal, so that when the adrenaline of the immediate wears off, they have a few easy to fix meals they can turn to. When a new mom has a baby, she doesn't feel like cooking. You could have her a MyFreezEasy Party and all of you get together and make her 10+ meals to stock her family's freezer with so they will be well fed while she recuperates. The ideas are endless! Freezer Meal Plan Membership {MyFreezEasy}

    100 reviewers from The Homeschool Review Crew reviewed this product. Show them all some love! Freezer Meal Plan Membership {MyFreezEasy} Freezer Meal Plan Membership {MyFreezEasy}
    Crew Disclaimer

    Breaks are ok.

    Sometimes you just need a break. And you know what? That's totally ok! Raising a special needs child is tough! Doing it on your own, even tougher! Ask for help. Accept offered help. It's OK!

    Sunday, October 9, 2016

    Danele J. Rotharmel's TIME TRAP Review and Giveaway!

    Time Trap FB cover

    I really like thinking books. You know, books that make you question things like the Time-Space continuum. Time Trap does this for me. TECMO is a group of people who travel through time to prevent bad things from happening. Think of them as therapists from the future who go back in time to change the course of history. Someone is targeting them to stop them. Members are being kidnapped and tortured! Think of them as therapists from the future who go back in time to change the course of history.

    Think about it, we all leave a ripple in time during our lives. We are all a fraction of a second away from something else. What if we left 1 minute sooner, then the truck that ran a red light would have hit us....but we never even know the truck ran a red light because we left 1 minute later! See?! It can make your brain hurt! That's what Time Trap is! It's a fantastic book that pairs brain hurting time travel with a lighthearted romance. There are Christian overtones, as well. The characters are all believable, as believable as they can be in a book about time travel lol.

    There were a couple of instances where I felt a little more stress in the situation would have heightened the emotional response, but it's made up for in other areas. Overall, I really liked the pace and flow. This is the 2nd book, and I didn't feel like I HAD to read the first one in order to enjoy the second. Of course, I always think I enjoy sequels more when I read the first one, lol.

    Click here to purchase your copy.

    About the Book

    TimeTrap cover (1)
    Click picture to purchase
    When problems arise during a field exam, Director Peter Matthews and Dr. Laura Nelson are sent through a time portal to investigate. While they search for their missing cadets, they encounter an enemy who is calculating and brutal—a mysterious nemesis who is holding a grudge against the TEMCO program. As Peter and Laura race to unravel clues directing them to their kidnapped cadets, their own survival comes into question. A deadly trap has been set, and they are forced to pit their wits against a serial killer who is intent on playing a deadly chess game through time itself.

    About the Author

    Danele RotharmelDanele Rotharmel grew up with a love of the literary word, and by age five, she knew she wanted to be a writer. However, her life took an unexpected turn when a mysterious illness brought her close to death. Eventually, she learned that a low-level carbon monoxide leak from a faulty furnace in her home was slowly poisoning her. This poisoning triggered severe Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and partial amnesia.
    During this time, the hardest thing she faced was a crisis of faith. She had to quit her job and stop going to church. She couldn’t write, couldn’t drive, and could barely remember who she was. To say she was upset with the Lord was an understatement. She began reexamining her faith in light of her illness, and eventually, she came to the firm conclusion that God is real, God is good, God is interested and involved, and God is trustworthy regardless of tragedy.
    When her illness became even more severe, she was put into quarantine and could only talk to friends and extended family through the glass of a window. This quarantine lasted for seven years. During this time, she wrote the first six books in The Time Counselor Chronicles.
    Danele currently lives in Colorado where she continues to write. Although her journey back to health was long and difficult, it provided her with the opportunity to grow closer to God and to write her books. For that, she is forever thankful.
    You can learn more about Danele by visiting her blog at

    Guest Post from Danele Rotharmel

    I’ve always loved to read, but I hate that horrible moment when a good book comes to an end. It’s torture saying goodbye to characters I’ve come to love. One of the best things about being an author is having control over your own stories. I wrote The Time Counselor Chronicles while I was extremely ill and enduring seven years of quarantine. During that time, I didn’t have control over many aspects of my life, but I did have control over my fictional characters. I found extreme pleasure in the fact that since I was the author, I didn’t have to say goodbye to the TEMCO crew—I could just write them another story.

    Time Trap is the second book in my series. It can be read as a sequel to Time Tsunami, or it can stand alone. Time Trap was written for one reason only—I was enjoying myself, and I didn’t want to say goodbye to the people I’d created in Time Tsunami. And that’s why the other books in my series were written as well. By the time I finally sought publication, I’d completed six books. Writing, for me, was an act of pure enjoyment. When I began, I wasn’t thinking about publishers or reading audiences, I was simply thinking about what type of adventure I wanted to write next. My books brought me joy, and that was all that mattered. For years, I didn’t let anyone know I was writing. TEMCO was my personal world—my escape hatch from illness and pain. I was afraid that if I let others into my imaginary world, it would crumble away. As it turned out, the exact opposite was true. Knowing that people were enjoying my stories filled my life with incredible happiness!

    I always fill my books with suspense, romance, action, faith, and comedy. I keep them clean, and I work hard to make them full of page-turning fun. Communication is such a wonderful thing. I love that fact that we can relay our ideas, hopes, and dreams to each other. My books are more than just stories, they symbolically chronicle the way I stood up to my illness and fought it. They speak about the value I place on love and friendship. They show that humor can be found even in the midst of great difficulty. And most of all, they demonstrate that a crisis of faith isn’t the end—it’s simply the first step to understanding God on a deeper level. Life isn’t easy, but I’ve learned that even in the middle of tragedy, God is faithful and trustworthy. That’s what each of my characters eventually learn, and that’s what I hope my readers will take away from my books.

    Blog Stops

    October 6: A readers brain
    October 10: CTF devourer
    October 12: Pause for Tales
    October 13: Blogging With Carol
    October 14: Donna’s BookShelf
    October 15: Carpe Diem
    October 16: Petra’s Hope
    October 17: henry happens
    October 18: Vic’s Media Room



    To celebrate her tour, Danele is giving away a package that includes an autographed paperback copy of both Time Tsunami and Time Trap, a Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord” journal, a lovely coffee cup, and a 4X4 picture frame. Click here to enter:

    **I received this in exchange for my HONEST opinion. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family.**

    Friday, October 7, 2016

    Download Your Free How-To Guide for Bring Your Bible to School Day


    Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are preparing for Hurricane Matthew to hit. For students in hurricane-affected states who are facing school closures but still want to participate in Bring Your Bible to School Day, the alternate date is Thursday, October 20.

    This brings about a good point: Any day can be a day you organize your friends to bring your Bibles to school together!

    By signing up during the month of October for Bring Your Bible to School Day (even if you missed the official celebration), you can download a free how-to guide for teens, parents, pastors, and elementary students. It's full of helpful information that will help you organize a day to take a stand for religious freedom and bring your Bible to school with your fellow classmates.

    (Sign-ups must be received by midnight (MT), Oct. 7, in order to be automatically entered into the Newsboys giveaway.)

    Plus Bring Your Bible to School Comes to Adventures in Odyssey


    Getting used to a new school isn’t easy, especially for someone as paranoid as Buddy Norman. In “A Predicament of Biblical Proportions” he envisions wacky worst-case encounters with townsfolk who seem like mobsters, snoops and fairy-tale tyrants—until he gets to know them. He’s also a little confused about Bring Your Bible to School Day. What’s it about? Should he participate? See Odyssey through Buddy’s eyes in this witty celebration of religious freedom.

    Listen to this story through a two-week trial only on the Odyssey Adventure Club.

    Everyday Education, LLC {REVIEW}

    Beautiful Handwriting, Literature and Poetry {Everyday Education, LLC}
    Having a son who is a leftie, handwriting has been a chore at best. I'm right-handed, trying to teach a left-handed boy proper penmanship! Have you any idea the number of times I've wanted to rip out my own hair?! Countless....countless. Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting, brought to you by Everyday Education, LLC, is a great help in the battle for pretty handwriting, as well as a fantastic tool to teach reading.  Janice Campbell who authored the new foreword in this book, used this with her first son. He is also a leftie, and out of all of her children, she says he still has the neatest handwriting! She wanted to use the same with her other boys, but the book went out of print. Set on a mission, she not only located the author, but purchased the reproduction rights so that we now have this awesome book to use once more! 
    Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting pairs phonics based reading with handwriting to teach two birds with one stone. This Charlotte Mason approach has 60 lessons that are all phonics based, and they can be used as a stand alone to teach reading, or as a supplemental aid. The lettering for the handwriting starts out like regular block print, and progresses to a more slant-like italics style joined lettering system. 
    For this review, we received the e-book version of this product. It is also available in a print, bound version as well. Both are consumables. 
    Beautiful Handwriting, Literature and Poetry {Everyday Education, LLC}
    Our Experience:

    Cursive writing has always been a struggle. Mr. B is 11 now, and he still can't get the hang of it. He can read it, but he lacks the fine motor coordination to form the letters. He has always been drawn to italics, so I knew this would be a great fit for him. I found him struggling less with this style of lettering than he does with regular block print. I think the slant really helps him. He actually likes it so much, he uses the italics style handwriting presented in Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting for almost all of his handwriting.

    The reading portion is very nice. Mr. B doesn't need a reading program, but I'm all in favor of reinforcement. His spelling skills can always use some work. He can read with ease, but spelling is a different monster. I like this because he is inadvertently practicing spelling (my least favorite subject) while working on handwriting. The phonics portion is very nice for young students who are just learning to read, or older students who need a little more help. It's great for special needs kids, young or older.
    I found the first few pages to be very informative. These pages give great insight into suggested schedules that vary depending on ability and age, when to begin teaching reading, proper posture for handwriting, teaching tips and more. It also talks about phonics vs. sight words, and why phonics are so important.

    I like that your student is taught to make nearly every lower case letter with 1 continuous stroke. That's exactly how I write naturally, so it just makes sense to me. It's been a little harder for Mr. B to do one stroke only, so we really practice on this. There's even practice in writing in a smaller size, which we needed so badly! Mr. B has a bad habit of writing way too big!

    I took this while working on page 188, a lesson on writing smaller. You can tell the difference between my work, and Mr. B's. I really like this! It's fun to do, and he likes it. Plus, we get to work on phonics a little more. 

    I think this is a great program to use with any student who is learning to read, as well as any student-special or otherwise-who needs more help with reading. The fact it also covers handwriting, and fast italic handwriting at that, just makes it even better for us. We both really like this, and I even like practicing the handwriting part myself! We have used this more for the handwriting aspect that the phonics aspect, but the phonics have been a nice review, especially the silent E. 
    Does Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting 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?

    If you want to really use the phonics portion, especially for a new reader, I suggest following the order in the book. If you do not need the phonics as much, but would rather focus on the handwriting then you can move around as you like. the suggested schedule is only 5mins each day. 

    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 appropriate for a wide range of ages. It is a physical product or e-book, so there are no hidden fees or anything like that.  

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

    I think this is really good for ADHD or ASD. The suggested schedule is only 5mins each day, so very short. The writing style is nice for those who have fine motor issues who may have trouble, like Mr. B, with anything beyond traditional block lettering. The phonics lessons build on each other, and are presented in an easy to understand manner. 

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

    Phonics always ties in! And you can carry over the handwriting, as well. 

    Please see what the rest of the Homeschool Review Crew has to say. In addition to Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting, the Crew also reviewed Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers and Working it Out: Poetry Analysis with George Herbert. Just click on the banner below!

    Beautiful Handwriting, Literature and Poetry {Everyday Education, LLC}
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