Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Wedding Wednesdsay

From this past weekend. 


Branch Out World Paddington Bear REVIEW

Branch Out World
If you like unit studies in your homeschool, and especially if your child likes Paddington Bear as much as mine does, then you just may love Branch Out World
Branch Out World offers a lovely Paddington Bear unit study that, for us, brought about a different approach to Paddington Bear than we'd experienced before now. 
This unit study offers over 45 pages of printable activities that cover:

- Migration 

-Grammar Skills

-Design and Architecture

-Geography

-Literature

-Creative and Critical Thinking

There are timelines, minibooks, maps, flags, and notebooking pages. 

Picture Book Explorers - Paddington
Our Experience

Mr. B has loved Paddington Bear for as long as I can remember. When he was just a tiny little baby, I found the cutest stuffed Paddington at a thrift shop. He has always loved that little bear. Of course the book has been a permanent addition in our home, THEN the movie came out. Mercy sakes I don't think I've ever watched the same movie so many times in one day! THEN came Paddington 2! Sigh...his love for Paddington knows no end.

Seriously, is there anything sweeter than this silly, mischievous bear from "deepest, darkest Peru?" Branch Out World's unit study is a great way to explore the Paddington Bear book, and foster the love of this classic bear's tale (bear's tail HAHA!)

The first thing I did was print the whole thing. We received a digital file, and it was just over 3MB. At 69 pages, this PDF isn't too terribly long, but there's enough oomph there to make a good unit study. 
The beginning pages are your typical "how to get started" type pages. They give you a basic overview and guidance, and also let you know what supplies you are going to need. I don't really like to run out and buy supplies just for one thing, so I always try to see what we have here on hand. The supply list is pretty much what any homeschool, or school age family will have on hand anyway-with the exception of ingredients for some recipes like Caster Sugar, which we ended up attempting to use Powdered Sugar instead. 
For this unit study, I'm not sure if any other editions of the picture book exist, but the artist is Robert W. Alley. I like how the study gives details that aren't in the book, such as life details about Mr. Alley. Given that I'm not sure if other editions are out there, that could explain why the study says "...turn to the page that begins 'Fortunately, before anyone had time to answer'. Use the illustration immediately opposite which shows the Judy and Paddington arriving at 31, Window Gardens." instead of giving a page number.
I like the variety of activities. For the above mentioned activity, your child is tasked to look at the picture for a set period of time, a minute or two, then you close the book and the child must describe the picture from memory. This is a fun way to build memory skills. There's also a suggestion to make this into a game where you child has a set time to list as many details as they can on a sheet of paper. For older kids, that's a great activity to work on penmanship, memory, etc. You could even have younger kids, or non-verbal kids,  try to draw from memory.

Similar activities are on the same days, such as Day 3-Exploring the Pictures. I prefer a bit of variety and mix up, so we didn't exactly follow the plan in that way. For example, we did the memory game on one day, then another day we studied the Architectural Features activity on the same page/day in the study. For us, the architecture part was too time consuming to be done on the same day as the game. He enjoyed both, equally, so we wanted to devote the same length of time to each. 
My favorite part is the printables section in the back. There are mini books, maps, etc. that you cna print out to really fluff out this unit study. There's even lap book features to create. This is designed for five days, but to be honest we spent a lot more time on it than that. We never really spent longer than about a half-hour on any given activity-except for baking which took an hour or longer, but that's to be expected. But we split the days up. For example, Day One's activities may have spanned three or four days. We took our time and really got into the geography of the setting. There are included maps, so Mr. B colored those, and we labeled them, too. Then he did a lot of internet research into each area to study the political geography, as well as the climate of each area. I had him compare/contrast Peru to England, too.

Disclaimer: Our oven died. So we've been using a counter top convection "toaster" oven. This may work for others, but we were not able to get the recipes to really turn out in the toaster oven. Thus, no photos of that because well...pride. HA! If you have success with a toaster oven plan, comment and let me know! 
Overall
Overall, this is a well developed unit-study that is centered on a beloved picture book. It covers math, reading, science, social studies, and language arts. It can be done in only five days, or you could do as we did and spend more time.  The activities are fun, and it's super convenient to have the printables at the end. We highly recommend it. 
Paddington Bear {Branch Out World Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Friday, August 10, 2018

Prayers Please

Hello Everyone, 

I'm set to have some medical tests over the next couple of weeks and I would greatly appreciate all of your prayers. Thank you! 

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Home School in the Woods Project Passport Ancient Egypt REVIEW

Home School in the Woods
Y'all!!!! We have had the enormous blessing of using Home School in the Woods the last few weeks. WE LOVE HOME SCHOOL IN THE WOODS!!!!! For the last 6 weeks or so we have been knee deep in Ancient Egypt studies using their Project Passport World History Studies
You may remember other Project Passport reviews we've done in the past, and Ancient Egypt follows right along with those. Since we have done others in the past (pun TOTALLY intended HAHA!) we were able to skip a large portion of Stop #1 which was creating the travel case and passport. But never fear, I saved photos from the first time around!  This one is from The Middle Ages! We kept our case,and we just keep adding to it! 




So for this review, we received a digital .zip file containing all of the files to download and print off. I prefer the digital download to the physical disc because I can't tell you how many times I've lost our discs! We have several Time Travelers series on disc, and I MUCH prefer the digital downloads! Now, if you are without adequate internet service, or if you're on the go a lot, then you'll want those disks. This file was over 300MB in size, so that could take a while on a slow connection. 

Ok...here's my one and only "negative." Home School in the Woods powers that be, if you're reading this (and why wouldn't you??? Hello? My blog is AWESOME!) PLEASE do something to make it easy to just batch print! I would LOVE to be able to open the PDFs link and just print all of the masters at one time. Actually, it'd be amazing to have them all arranged per stop. So...Stop 1 file, Stop 2 file, Stop 3 file, etc. It would be so much more user friendly for moms like me to just say, "Ok, we're on stop 3. Let's print off everything we need!" I know some things require colored paper or card stock, but copying or choosing those, or arranging the paper as needed in the printer, would be a heck of a lot easier than printing off all of THIS (photo below) one file at a time. 


That's like a whole ream of paper. One...file...at...a...time. So, Home School in the Woods, you know I love you dearly. You know I have almost everything you offer, do me a favor and make this happen. PLEASE? It'd be great! 

So, we attempted to batch print. Having an IT guy is handy, right? Wrong. He did do a massive batch print and...nothing was in order. We had M1-1 then M13.5, then M8-2, then M 25-2. We spent about 4-5 hours all together printing, then sorting and putting everything in the proper order. I almost never print everything out all at once, and this time I did...I'm not sure I'll ever do that again HAHA! It's great now that it's all finished, but whew! Was I ever exhausted after that! 

So, after we sorted everything I then put it all into nice little packets. It's a lot better for Mr. B to have little packets to work on, on his own. I did NOT include the masters, only the Travel Itinerary and the text pages. This way he could see what he needed, read the lesson text, and go from there. I keep all supplies readily available to him, and I hole punched and stuck everything else in a 3 ring binder for easy access. If he needed to copy onto card stock or colored paper, I helped him do that, but we also found it was easy to glue onto the card stock at times, too. I wouldn't suggest that with games or larger diorama style activities, but for things like the post cards it worked very well. 


We love the lessons and hands on activities. Seriously, when you're building a Home School in the Woods lapbook, it is a true work of art. I  love them. I keep each one we do, and hope that one day we will be able to sit down, when Mr. B is all grown up, and look at them together again and remember the fun time we had making them. 

Here are a few photos of a couple of things we did. 

You have the option to print this in color, or in black and white. this is the guide book cover, and there's also the lap book cover and spine covers, too. I prefer to print in black and white, then color it in as we want. 


Each stop on your journey back in time includes a Travel Itinerary. this is basically your directions for the activity you will be doing for that section. It includes a bit of history, too, but the real history lesson is found within the text pages. There's also suggested reading, too, but you don't HAVE to do all of that if you don't want to. I like to have Mr. B really get into the parts that interest him the most. So we may work on one stop's topic for a week or so before moving on to the next, while others we may do in a day and then move on. 


Like I said above, we were able to skip the travel case and passport parts of Stop #1. Stop #1 is really your base stop that sets up the rest of the series of stops. You will do a LOT of printing here since you're printing out the entire time line that will be used in future stops, and other things that are going to be used later on. Speaking of the time line....I think it would be a lot of fun to laminate the time line, and the pieces, and use adhesive Velcro so you can use it over and over again. I keep saying I'm going to do that, and I keep never doing it. One day...one day I will! 

The time line pieces are pretty small, but we really like to color them in. I think it makes it look so much better. 



It doesn't even have to be perfect. Just toss on some color, and poof! Pretty!


This was a fun, yet tedious project. I couldn't find the Exacto knife because M had used it. But this was a fold over booklet that adheres to the lap book, and it taught about the upper and lower halves of Ancient Egypt. I must not have remembered this from my school days, because I didn't know there were two parts! 


The book folds up to look like this, and then you open one side and there's the text, Open in again, and inside you learn about the crowns worn by the rulers, and how they were combined. 








The one on the right there will just be the all red one. 



Overall, I can't recommend Home School in the Woods enough. We've reviewed several of their products over the years, and love them all. This is definitely one of those curriculum companies that when someone asks what we're using, Home School in the Woods is ALWAYS on the list. I tell every new homeschooler about them, and urge all my veteran homeschool friends to try them out. They offer A La Carte options, too, so that you can just get a project here and there to target what you're specifically working on, too. As I mentioned before, we've used a coupe of others in the Project Passport World History Series, and we own several Time Travelers American History disks. I think we also have a disk full of map outlines, too! Home School in the Woods has been a staple in our homeschool since very early on, and I think they'll be here for years to come! I can't wait to get my hand on their newest product, Ancient Rome! 

Project Passport Ancient Rome


Previous Home School in the Woods Reviews






Does Home School in the Woods 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?

The lessons build on each other so I wouldn't skip any or jump ahead at all. You can work at your own pace, and even omit activities if you want. We frequently will delve deeper into topics of interest, and speed through those he doesn't find as interesting. 

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?

There are no hidden fees, except you will have to have supplies on hand such as paper, folders, crayons, colored pencils, double sided sticky tape, scissors, glue sticks, etc. This will cover multiple ages. I'm honestly not sure of the "intended" age range, but I could easily see grade school through high school using this. As an adult, I even learn from it and enjoy it! 

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


This is PERFECT for special needs learners! It's hands on, fun, entertaining....and you can work at your own pace. If you need a sensory break, by all means put the colored pencils down and jump on the trampoline for a while! Those with fine motor issues may need assistance with the cutting and coloring parts. 

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


This would be great for any study on Ancient History. 



Please be sure to check out the Homeschool Review Crew for more reviews!!!!
Hands-on-History, Project Passport, À La Carte Timelines and Time Travelers {Home School in the Woods Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Monday, July 30, 2018

Full Moon

Full moon myths are wide spread, but...I've noticed a LOT of special needs families talk about increases in bad behaviors around the same time-and there's almost always a full moon! Thoughts?

Friday, July 27, 2018

SmartKidz Media REVIEW

Smart Kidz Radio
SmartKidz Media has a new SmartKidz Radio that you can stream online! Now I will admit, I wasn't really sure what to expect here, but these are all kid friendly radio "stations" that you and your child can listen to, or your child can listen on their own. There's nothing inappropriate-no innuendo, nothing provocative, no bad words, nothing like that. They do not profess a Christian basis, but there's nothing inappropriate.

There are a variety of themes or genre such as creativity-songs about being creative, social skills songs, etc. All have an educational aspect to them, and all are catchy tunes!

I wish it was easier to choose a specific genre station. If there is, I couldn't figure it out. I always just hit play and went with it! It's all so new, I figure there will be a lot of user interface changes in the future. Currently, it says Default user. I would love to see a feature where I could specify an age range, or topic focus. I would like to be able to choose more social skills based times, or instrumental, too. But I can't figure out how to just set to that.

Smart Kidz Radio
Another thing we REALLY enjoyed were the podcasts! These are basically fairytales streamed like an audio book. Princess J really enjoyed listening to these, as well as the music, with us on the days she was here. It was great to have a product that worked for a 5 year old AND a 13 year old (with autism....the intended age range maxes at 10, but this is still great for Mr. B who likes this kind of thing!)

And to be honest, Mr. B drove me bonkers with the apps. He LOVES the weather app and the map app. Love is a strong word, but if there was a stronger word I'd use it. 


Overall, we love this. We are huge music lovers in this house. I played music through headphones on my belly before Mr. B was even born. It has been a way to calm us, ground, and center us. We usually always have some type of music playing, even while reading. Music...Is....Life! It's so great to have this as a resource for child appropriate music. We love it. 

Be sure to check out the Homeschool Review Crew for more reviews! 
Smart Kidz Radio Homeschool Reviews
Crew Disclaimer

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Northwest Treasures REVIEW

Northwest Treasures
This year we have been SO blessed to be introduced to so many different programs I was never aware of before getting them for review. Northwest Treasures is one of those amazing programs that I am so glad we got to review, because it has been such a blessing for us. For this review, we received 6 month's access to Geology and Apologetics.

This is an online "rental" where you have access to the lessons over the course of the rental period. Geology and Apologetics is their BRAND NEW course! It was just out in March, so we are some of the first to use it! Isn't that SUPER exciting?!


Geology and Apologetics Course
What is Geology and Apologetics?

Mr. B's dad is a geologist. He was actually finishing up his senior year of college when we met. He had dreams of moving to California or Hawaii and working for the USGS. Then he met me, and well...stayed here where we both still live just a few miles apart. Geology is obviously the study of the earth, but in academics it takes a VERY secular approach. There's nothing about God creating the world, or anything like that. As a result, a believer can face a difficult challenge defending their faith to others, as well as to their own selves, when faced with scientific "facts" asserting fossils are millions of years old, and other things such as canyons took millions of years to form. Geology and Apologetics, instructed by Patrick Nurre, seeks to go toe to toe with these arguments from a biblical perspective so that you are better equipped to fight that battle. 
The six course lessons are: 
Lesson 1: Knowing Scriptures in the Secular Geological Age

Lesson 2: Clarifying the Conflict Between Science and the Bible

Lesson 3: The Genealogies and Chronologies of Genesis. Are They Accurate and Reliable?

Lesson 4: Evolutionary Gaps in the Fossil Record, How Serious Are They?

Lesson 5: Dinosaur-to-Bird Evolution, the Story That Never Seems to Die

Lesson 6: Time and Chronology in the Secular Geological Age

Our Experience

Mr. B had a bit of difficulty sitting through the duration of the videos. That coupled with some significant internet issues that caused buffering and streaming issues, we had to move more slowly than I would have liked. Thankfully, the internet issue was with the modem (there was a recall, actually) so our connection is much better! But Mr. B still has a bit of difficulty maintaining his overall attention. I, on the other hand thoroughly enjoyed watching the lessons on my own at night. Mr. Nurre narrates and speaks throughout the lessons, and there are a lot of photos. Mr. B is more action driven. He prefers on site type videos, and less lecture style videos, so that's why he needs to take breaks here and there to sit and absorb what he's just heard. He says he likes the course very much, but he does need a few breaks. 
One of my favorite lessons is Lesson 2. This is something I have been saying for YEARS! I once took a class called Sociology of Science and Technology. Now, I thought this was a course about computer chips or something lol. But it wasn't. This class was basically a high level, 15-week debate between esoteric philosophies and "hard" science. As Lesson 2 goes on to say, which is what I have said a bajillion times, Science and Philosophy are two DIFFERENT things. It's not about Science facts vs. Myth-believing Christians. This false belief must be understood and tackled...and we can "all get along." Science is what can be seen...and experienced through our senses. It can be seen, tested, and most importantly it MUST be repeated with the SAME results. The lesson uses the Big Bang as an example. The Origin of the Universe and life is all theory....philosophy. It is not science. It wasn't observed, it wasn't tested and measured. It's has never been repeated with the same results. The origin of the earth is not a science thing...it's a philosophy thing. I love this! I love how it explains this in a way that I truly get.

Mr. B has studied a lot in Genesis, especially the Great Flood. And by a lot, I mean A LOT. He's really studied a lot about New Earth vs. Old Earth beliefs, and Lesson 3 covers these questions. He really appreciated and enjoyed Lesson 3. He frequently paused the video to interject his own commentary, whether he agreed/disagreed and why. He especially liked the chart depicting the life span between Adam and Noah's sons. He has this same chart from several different sources, so he understands the importance of this chart and how essential it is to the story of creationism, and time dating. 




Mr. B really enjoys the suggested activities following the lesson videos. This is one he really enjoyed. I don't have a photo of his chart because...well..it was messy, that's why. He wrote it, and drew some pictures, and it wasn't really blog picture style, and he refused to redo it. But he made a tree, with branches...life a family tree...and made a chart that way. 



We've slowly made our way to Lesson 5. He's been studying zoology and Dinosaurs, so this is very fitting for us right now. This lesson discusses evolution, and let me tell you what...Mr. B can get on a rant REAL fast over this lesson HAHA He will go on and on about how the fossils don't line up, etc.

Overall

Overall, we both have really enjoyed using this 6 lesson course. It goes a long way to giving you tools needed to defend your faith in the face of secular science beliefs, and it shows how science and faith can go hand in hand. Mr. B has enjoyed it, even if he does need a few breaks here and there, and the discussion questions at the end are really great and thought provoking. I'm very thankful to have been a part of this review!  

One day, if we are blessed enough, we would LOVE to go on a Yellowstone Creation Adventure trip or Dino Dig! Wouldn't that be amazing?!  Yellowstone is one area we studied last year, and we would both love to visit sometime. They also offer more learning fun for National Parks, Monuments and Historic Trails. Maybe one day...right?!


Please be sure to check out the Homeschool Review Crew for more reviews!

Online Geology Classes{Northwest Treasures Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Great Waters Press #2 Review


We were recently sent two book from Great Waters Press, and I am so tickled with them! I am writing a separate review for each book, so please be sure to read the review for No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens With Grace and Hope found HERE on the blog. This review will focus on Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality.

Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality
Sigh...this isn't a topic I like because I feel awkward discussing this stuff with him. I'm a girl, he's a boy...it's hard for me to be able to get on his level, ya know? While a married mother or father can use this book, I like to refer to this as my "Birds and Bees Manual for the Single Mom." This gives me courage, and a way to approach the topic in a way that makes sense, but doesn't make either of feel weird. 

Love, Honor, and Virtue helps your son understand God's way for sexuality both morally and biologically, and it's written in a way that makes sense for today's youth. 

I've always talked to Mr. B about "stuff" on an age appropriate level. I am a FIRM believer that boys are accountable for their OWN actions and thoughts, and we are to raise them as such. If we raise them to respect women, and their bodies, then perhaps there'll be less "Me, too" out in the world. I will NEVER understand why it is disrupting to a male student's education for a girl to have on a spaghetti strapped shirt, but it isn't disruptive to HER education for her to leave class to change. I want to raise my son so that her shoulders are not a disrupting distraction. No is no, and intimate relations are God's plan for a married couple. That's what this book seeks to do. It is teaching boys to be virtuous. 

Chapters are divided as follows: 

Chapter 1: Sex Was God's Idea

Chapter 2: It's All Connected

Chapter 3: The Enemy Perverts God's Design

Chapter 4: How Can a Young Man Keep His Way Pure

Chapter 5: Recovering From a Fall

Chapter 6: Guys and Girls

I love how this book lays a biblical foundation for all points made, and it makes sense. There's no circular back and forth. Everything is easy to read and easy to understand. It begins by talking about how sex was God's way in the garden, before sin entered the world. Eve was made so that Adam would have a partner and helper, and not be lonely. They were designed for sex as a means to fill the earth by male and female design.

Unlike some things I've read on the subject, this book says it's OK to enjoy, without shame, these temptations when done so under the Bible guidelines of marriage. It even talks about those embarrassing moments of growing up male that I can't bring myself to discuss here haha! In addition to that, it briefly covers what a girl goes through, and the changes that take place in her body, as well. It goes on to reinforce the sinful nature of impurity, and how to overcome the urges presented. All in all, it's very educational, written in a friendly/fun conversational tone, and tries to reduce the amount of shy awkwardness one may feel with the subject at hand.


Overall, I really appreciate the information in both of these books. I like how it's like reading a conversation from a friend, and it's not judgmental at all. They are truly helpful, and I've gained valuable insight from both! Love, Honor, and Virtue is exactly the type of book I've been needing for Mr. B. It's written to the boys, in a fun tone that's non-confrontational and easy to understand. I highly recommend this. 



Please check out more from The Homeschool Review Crew! 

Love, Honor, and Virtue  AND No Longer Little {Great Waters Press Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Great Waters Press REVIEW

Raising Real Men
Great Waters Press recently blessed us with two selections to review. No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope  is their newest title. This is geared for parents who have kids entering those tween and super early teen years, so about 8-14 range. Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality is written to the boys who are 12-20s.  This review will focus on No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope.





Now....I always boast a truly unbiased review blog. It doesn't matter if I LOOOOOOOVE a company, if they send me a product that is less than I expect from them, I'll say so because I fully believe it is your right as a reader reading this blog to get the truth. With that said, when I receive books that signed it MAY sway me to the positive right off the bat HAHA! With that said, I am very appreciative that both Hal and Melanie Young took the time to sign my books. Thank you VERY much! 

My Thoughts: 

No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope
I was first struck by the cover. WHO is able to keep white chucks that white?! I need that secret. This book is geared to the parents who are battling the tween/early teen years. Boy oh boy is this me right now! I thought the Terrible 3s were bad? HELLO TWEENDOM! 11 nearly killed me. 12 wasn't much better. 13...Oh I have high hopes for 13. This book seeks to lay a positive foundation for parenting NOW so that the teen years aren't so rough. They claim that most parent/child relationships are lost in this scary transitional phase. There's a lot going on here, physically and chemically, and it's a hard time on their bodies, minds, and spirits. I knew something was amiss with Mr. B when my normally lovey child was pushing me away, and being very short with me. He was never like that before. He was always the first to come running to me to give me a hug, or asking for "just one more kiss, mommy!" And I was always right there to oblige. But what happened? What happened when my sweet, loving boy hit 11? I would have swore he was suddenly possessed by demons. This child became mouthy, verbally aggressive, defiant, oppositional, and the list goes on and on and on. And my sweet nature style mothering flew out the window and I became the monster mom I said I'd never be. I hated it. I hated myself...to be honest. I was so lost, and navigating this territory alone is scary. Where...WHERE was this book 2 years ago?! 

"Don't let their emotional roller coaster be you own..." Quote from the book. LOVE THIS!

This is probably my favorite line from the entire book. Why? Because this was my downfall. I would ALWAYS react to Mr. B. Whether positive or negative, I'd react. Every time. And that was EXACTLY what he wanted. And by reactive, even negatively and jumping on his roller coaster with him, I was inadvertently reinforcing all of this negative behavior. His doctor we saw 3 hours 1 way away kept telling me I needed to disengage from the situation, back away, and ignore certain things or go about them in a different way. Friends, I put THOUSANDS of miles on my car, spend hundreds of hours of my life I can never regain, to hear the same things from this doctor that I found in this book. Imagine the time and energy I would have saved had I known about this 2 years ago. And the book is so right. If you jump in there, too, you are reinforcing the negative tone and poor behavior that you want to change. WE are our child's biggest role-model, so if we react or act the same way, how can we expect different from them?

Puberty is a beast. There...I said it. It's a beast. There's hormonal fluctuations, and changing interests, new clothes, and holy moly can those kids EAT! NO ONE told me that boys experienced mood swings! NO ONE! I used to joke and say at least I didn't have to deal with moody PMS. HA! WHATEVER! Let me tell you right now, this boy of mine can out PMS any girl! And you  know what else? He has these mood swings EVERY month, like clockwork! Did you know boys would do that?! I didn't! These are things they should tell you when you give birth. Really. But they don't, and that's where No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope saves the day. As I read the pages I found myself nodding in agreement, and wiping away tears. They get it. They have been there, battled that, and survived to write the book I needed years ago.

This book points out all the different ways your child is changing during this critical stage of development, and it teaches you how to recognize what is going on, when, and what you can do to cultivate positive change in the face of uncertainty. I appreciate how this book offers up the reasoning behind the behavior. It's a self-help kind of book, but it shows you why the suggestions work. And they do work...I've seen first hand. Just this week Mr. B has been more compliant, less mouthy, and much more open to discussion rather than shutting me out. It has been a very, very good week. And it's actually been a very, very good 3 weeks.

Overall, I wish I had had this book YEARS ago! I think this should be a standard gift for any baby shower and new parent. And I think it should be read earlier than the tween years so you are well prepared to fight the battle of change with grace and the knowledge that you are not alone.



Please check out more from The Homeschool Review Crew! 

Love, Honor, and Virtue  AND No Longer Little {Great Waters Press Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer


Love, Honor, and Virtue; Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality
Sigh...this isn't a topic I like because I feel awkward discussing this stuff with him. I'm a girl, he's a boy...it's hard for me to be able to get on his level, ya know? While a married mother or father can use this book, I like to refer to this as my "Birds and Bees Manual for the Single Mom." This gives me courage, and a way to approach the topic in a way that makes sense, but doesn't make either of feel weird. 

Love, Honor, and Virtue helps your son understand God's way for sexuality both morally and biologically, and it's written in a way that makes sense for today's youth. 

I've always talked to Mr. B about "stuff" on an age appropriate level. I am a FIRM believer that boys are accountable for their OWN actions and thoughts, and we are to raise them as such. If we raise them to respect women, and their bodies, then perhaps there'll be less "Me, too" out in the world. I will NEVER understand why it is disrupting to a male student's education for a girl to have on a spaghetti strapped shirt, but it isn't disruptive to HER education for her to leave class to change. I want to raise my son so that her shoulders are not a disrupting distraction. No is no, and intimate relations are God's plan for a married couple. That's what this book seeks to do. It is teaching boys to be virtuous. 

Chapters are divided as follows: 

Chapter 1: Sex Was God's Idea

Chapter 2: It's All Connected

Chapter 3: The Enemy Perverts God's Design

Chapter 4: How Can a Young Man Keep His Way Pure

Chapter 5: Recovering From a Fall

Chapter 6: Guys and Girls

I love how this book lays a biblical foundation for all points made, and it makes sense. There's no circular back and forth. Everything is easy to read and easy to understand. It begins by talking about how sex was God's way in the garden, before sin entered the world. Eve was made so that Adam would have a partner and helper, and not be lonely. They were designed for sex as a means to fill the earth by male and female design.

Unlike some things I've read on the subject, this book says it's OK to enjoy, without shame, these temptations when done so under the Bible guidelines of marriage. It even talks about those embarrassing moments of growing up male that I can't bring myself to discuss here haha! In addition to that, it briefly covers what a girl goes through, and the changes that take place in her body, as well. It goes on to reinforce the sinful nature of impurity, and how to overcome the urges presented. All in all, it's very educational, written in a friendly/fun conversational tone, and tries to reduce the amount of shy awkwardness one may feel with the subject at hand.


Overall, I really appreciate the information in both of these books. I like how it's like reading a conversation from a friend, and it's not judgmental at all. They are truly helpful, and I've gained valuable insight from both! 

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Monday, July 23, 2018

Back to school....but not yet.

We've been talking about when to start back to school. That's one of the beauties of homeschooling! We can start whenever we like, so long as we finish and meet our goals. We're thinking about Sept. 4th. Anyone else?

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Progeny Press REVIEW

Progeny Press\
We were recently sent a download version of The Scavengers - eGuide by Progeny Press. Now, if you have been a reader for a while, you know we really like GOOD Literature guides, and more importantly we like a company that offers guides for a wide variety of books. This, dear friends, is Progeny Press! They offer a wide selection of guides for a wide range of grade levels. 

The Interactive eGuides they offer are FANTASTIC! I'll be competely and 100% honest for a second here. When we received our first one, I didn't know what to expect, and I just printed it off and that was that. I had no idea you can work right in the PDF download! Multiple choice question? No problem, you can answer that. Short answer or essay? Easy as can be...just type right there on the page. This guide is 100% interactive, and there's no need to use a ton of paper and ink/toner! SCORE!

For this review, we received The Scavengers - eGuide as a download. 

Scavengers eGuide


Our Experience

Like I said above, the first time I used one of these guides (and you can do a search on the blog for Progeny Press to read the reviews I've done for them...) I knew it said interactive, but I was a little confused by it all, and ultimately I just printed the whole thing. While you CAN do that, why would you?! It's so much more fun to answer on the computer!

Actually, this was a suggestion by one of Mr. B's educational experts. She suggested having him type out the answers to questions (rather than via diction) so that he would be forced to learn proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation so that he could strengthen his writing skills. All of those skills are very important. He can think of what to answer, but he loses it when he goes to actually handwrite the answers. These interactive guides are PERFECT for this! He can type his answers right there in the PDF, and then I can go in and print it off. I would like to have him answer in BOLD FACE PRINT so that his answers stand out, but I haven't figured out if that's possible to do yet. After he answers,  I just print off a few select pages for his portfolio. It's THAT easy folks! 

Here are a few photos so you can get a really good idea of what the guides are like:


I like how the picture of the Guide matches the cover of the book (in most cases. Of course there are different editions...)


There's a Table of Contents. I like how it's broken into chapter. I'd like to see each chapter individually, but these chapters aren't too big. If you work at this very regularly, you can finish a guide in as few as 8 weeks. It takes us a bit longer since I want Mr. B to read it all on his own, so its more like 12-14 weeks for us. And that's reading daily, and working on the guide about 3 days a week. I don't force it, and sometimes allow him to answer just a couple of questions if he's had a good discussion about it. 

I appreciate the added Synopsis. As you can see from this, this book is a Tween'ish version of a dystopian novel/science fiction/Fantasy style book. I have really found it quite interesting, as an adult, reading ahead. I always like to read ahead in case he has questions or anything like that, and to make sure it is appropriate for him. 


Here are a few pages to show you the full page, as it is with no work on it yet. 




There's a lot of added bonuses and optional activities. I like that you are given the chance to really dive in and study more, if you're interested in doing more. These have given us some really good ideas I may not have thought of on my own. 

Here are some screen snips of what it looks like as you have answered. 



Overall, I think you just can't go wrong with Progeny Press. They're our go to for Literature Guides! I love the interactive style, and Mr. B can easily type into the PDF, then I can print for our records. There's a wide variety of books to choose from, giving you all sorts of options. We highly recommend this!


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