Real Life Homeschooling – A “Normal” Day

Today is day 3 in the Real Life Homeschooling Blog Hop. I am sharing the second day of our week, Monday.

I let AJ sleep in, because I slept in. I ended up sleeping through my alarm which happens a little too often. When I woke up around 9:30 this is what I found.

Working Independently on School Work

AJ was in the garage eating breakfast and working on some of her independent work for the day! She told me she wanted to get started so that she would have plenty of time to ride her bike. Maybe this new schedule really is working. She ended up reading the Bible stories for both today and tomorrow. This was part of her history work.

Next we went on to the Bible Study that we are reviewing. After reading a few verses and discussing them, she attempted to do a crossword puzzle. Unfortunately, the crossword puzzle questions and the answer squares didn’t add up. After a few minutes we decided to have her do the younger version of the crossword puzzle instead.

Next on the schedule was Spelling. Today was the dreaded day of dictation. She started out by reading the passage and chunking it. Then we covered the passage and I dictated it to her.

Chunking the passage from Spelling You See

She struggles with the dictation because one of the rules is that she can’t erase. If she spells a word wrong she has to cross it out and try again. She also doesn’t like to be timed. The dictation is only suppose to last for ten minutes, but today she was a little distracted and didn’t write very much after 10 minutes so I stopped her after 15 minutes. She did well, but I hope that we can get further along tomorrow when we do the final dictation.

Dictation with Spelling You See

After spelling we moved onto Science. Today’s lesson was about how to read a weather map. She read a little bit about weather maps and then had to answer six questions based on them. It was a quick activity that only took about 15 minutes.

Learning all about Weather Maps

I let AJ pick the next subject and she chose math. She started with her Key to Percent book and finished her two pages very quickly. Then she decided that she wanted to go ahead and finish off the book today, including the test.

Taking the final test for Key to Percent Book 1

This is where we normally get off course with our schedule. She wants to do more in a subject and we end up putting other subjects on hold. Last week we were so focused on history that we didn’t do any science. I told her that she could do as much math as she wanted, but that the other subjects had to get done too. She passed her test with 98% and wanted to start the next book, but I had to stop her there, because I didn’t want to do school work all day. Have I mentioned how much I love Key to Math?

Next up was History. She read a few verses in Joshua and then I put on the What in the World? CD for her to listen to while she colored in her What’s in the Bible? coloring book. I have found that she doesn’t pay attention unless she is doing something. She just spaces out and can’t tell me anything that has happened. Sometimes I let her play with play dough, kinetic sand, or putty. But today’s lesson fit in so well with the coloring pages so I had her color.

Coloring while listening to What in the World?

While she was listening to the CD I checked on Grandma and started preparing dinner – chicken and dumplings.

She looked at her spread sheet and realized that she forgot to do her A+ Math that we are reviewing. She logged into her account and started on lesson 6. After she did the lesson and got 100% on the after lesson questions, I realized that there were worksheets to go along with the lessons. She hadn’t completed any of the worksheets because I didn’t realize they existed. Oops! I had her do a few of the worksheets that we had missed and then it was time for lunch.

Working on A+ Math

Even with doing extra math and history, school was less that 4 hours long. I ended up running a few errands to the pharmacy and the store and then we worked on Star Toaster when I came back. When we were finished she rode her bike for over an hour. It was a very successful day!

Discover real life in other homeschools with the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers! Join the blog hop to read more!

Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop
 Here are 10 more amazing bloggers who are participating in the Blog Hop, check them out!

Treasuring Life’s Blessings
Double O Farms
Simple Living Mama
Fried Clams and Sweet Tea
This Sweet Life
A Net In Time
Counting Pinecones
Some Call It Natural
Kingdom Academy Homeschool
Debbie’s Homeschool Corner

See how others spend their day by checking out A Day in our Homeschool!





Real Life Homeschooling – Fitting It All In

Today is day 2 of the Real Life Homeschooling Blog Hop. (You can see day 1 here) I will be taking you through a typical homeschooling week at our house. This week we decided to do school Sunday through Wednesday. (This post is based on the week before Easter, because we are on Spring Break this week.)

Sundays are busy around here. It is our day that we do the major cleaning, so it is not the “best day” to do school, but we have to fit in school when we can. Here is how our day went.

My alarm went off at 8:30 and I woke AJ up about 9am. She didn’t want to get up until I reminded her that she had church that night and if her work wasn’t done (As long as she puts in a decent effort she can go, even if everything isn’t finished.) she couldn’t go to church.

Homeschooling in Real Life - Fitting it all in

From about 9 to 11 she got up, ate breakfast (eggs, toast, and an apple), took a shower, and made her bed. She moves so SLOWLY in the mornings sometimes. So slowly that it drives me nuts!

From 11 to about 1:30 we cleaned. The floors were swept and mopped, everything was dusted, and then……. Grandma woke up. She had a wet diaper so we changed her and made her some breakfast. I put a Shirley Temple movie on to occupy Grandma and then supervised as AJ vacuumed the house. Then it was time for lunch. Lunch was simple, a tuna sandwich, chips, pickles, and cucumber.

At about 2pm we started school. I was afraid we wouldn’t get much finished since church was at 5:45. We do the majority of her school work in the garage.

Normally, I would let AJ pick the order of the subjects for the day, but not today. Since we were in a time crunch I decided to start off with history. This week in history we are starting a new unit all about The Children of Israel. It covers quite a few books in the Bible, from Joshua to 1 Kings. Today on the schedule was reading the article, reading a few stories in the Action Bible, and reading a few major verses in her Bible.

Homeschooling in Real Life - History

We read the article and Bible verses together and then she read a few stories in the Action Bible.

The Action Bible - A great way to help kids understand the Bible.

After history was finished, she moved onto Bible. We are reviewing a Bible Study from Heidi St. John called; Firmly Planted The Gospels Part 1 Today we read the first part of Luke 1, and discussed it.

Firmly Planted Bible Study, Luke 1

Then she worked on the vocabulary section while I put dinner on. We need to get a better dictionary, because the one we have just isn’t cutting it any more. She had to use the computer to look up most of the words, and they were basic words.

Looking up words using

Next on the list was spelling. We are reviewing Spelling You See, and so far AJ loves it. I was concerned about the amount of writing at first, but she has been doing very well with it.

Spelling You See - A hands on way to practice spelling.

First she reads it to me and then she chunks the words based on the vowels. After we go over the chunking, she copies the passage.

Spelling You See - A hands on way to practice spelling.

Spelling only took about 15 minutes total. Today for some odd reason she decided to cooperate and get her work done in a timely manner.  After spelling we moved onto math.

Today’s math was in 2 parts. First she did some online math (more on that tomorrow) then she worked on her Key to Percent book. Today’s lesson was on finding percent by using what she already knew. She had to find  49% by finding both 50% and 1% and subtracting, or find 35% by adding up 25% and 10% of a number.

No need for paper, we do math on the whiteboard!

She worked her problems out on the whiteboard after I went over what she had to do. While she worked on math I folded some laundry and checked on Grandma. Then I checked Facebook and my email. A few minutes later I checked her math and she had them all correct. I love this math! Everything is step by step and she enjoys doing it.

The last major subject for the day was science. We are using Digital Science Online and are working on Weather. Today she watched the video all about weather in action and filled out a worksheet. She watched it alone while I went inside and put my foot up because I was hurting a lot.

Using Digital Science online to promote independence

When she finished science (about 25 minutes) she asked if she could do her literature at bed time. I decided we would try it and she did her PE. I had to add PE to the schedule because otherwise I tend to put it off so that she gets more book work done. In all honestly, if it wouldn’t have been on the schedule I would have skipped it. She loves to ride her bike though, and I think seeing it on the schedule actually makes her work harder.

After PE she watered the plants, and then it was time to eat a snack and go to church. She ended up finishing up everything except literature by 5:15. She says that she really likes the new schedule and if more days go like today, I will gladly take the extra time to schedule each week.

After church, at about 7:15, we ate dinner. Tonight was ham, mashed potatoes, and steamed carrots. When it was time for her to do her literature, she gave a little attitude because she wanted to watch TV.

Working on independence in Home School

After a few minutes of moaning about how she could do it tomorrow, she went in and read her book and answered the questions. She actually ended up doing both Sunday’s and Monday’s work, because, “The book was just so interesting.” I don’t know who kidnapped my child and replaced her, but I am gladly keeping this one!

Each day is different and today everything seemed to work out well. AJ cooperated with her school work, Grandma willingly stayed out of trouble, and the house was cleaned. Most days are not this smooth, but I am thankful when days like today happen.

Discover real life in other homeschools with the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers! Join the blog hop to read more!

Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop
 Here are 10 more blogs that are participating in the blog hop, check them out!

For This Season
Unexpected Homeschool
For Him and My Family
As We Walk Along the Road
Growing in His Glory
Homeschool Coffee Break
Daily Life
There Will Be A $5 Charge For Whining
Proverbial Homemaker
ElCloud Homeschool


The Story of King Jesus – Giveaway

I love to find new children’s books that teach a message, and The Story of King Jesus by Ben Irwin looks like it will be a great book! It is the Gospel told in a single story designed for kids 4 to 8 years old. It has been vividly illustrated by Nick Lee, and from the looks of it, it will be a great book! The best part is that 4 people are going to win an autographed copy of the book!
The Story of King Jesus - Giveaway Ends 4-20
This giveaway is only open to US residents and will end on April 20, 2015. Enter below for your chance to win!

Esther – A Book Review



I love to read exciting stories about strong women, and when they are based on real people that is even better! I was recently given the opportunity to review a new book by New York Times Bestselling Author Angela Hunt, Esther Royal Beauty. It is the first part of a series of books known as Dangerous Beauties.

Esther: Royal Beauty (Dangerous Beauty Series #1)About the Book

When Xerxes, King of Persia, issues a call for beautiful young women, Hadassah, a Jewish orphan living in Susa, is forcibly taken to the palace of the pagan ruler. After months of preparation, the girl known to the Persians as Esther wins the king’s heart and a queen’s crown. But because her situation is uncertain, she keeps her ethnic identity a secret until she learns that an evil and ambitious man has won the king’s permission to exterminate all Jews- young and old, powerful and helpless. Purposely violating an ancient Persian Law, she risks her life in order to save her people… and bund her husband’s heart.

Esther Royal Beauty is a soft covered historical fiction novel that is 337 pages long. The novel is based on the Biblical story of Ester and the author, Angela Hunt, has taken great lengths to ensure historical accuracy of the book.

What I thought

I love the idea of the book and I was expecting an amazing story. I picked it up and started to read, and I just couldn’t get into it. At first I was confused. The book is written in a first person perspective, but it is told from the perspective of two characters, Hadassah (Esther), and Harbonah (one of the King’s eunuchs). It took me by surprise that the first and second chapter contradicted each other and were telling part of the same story. After a few minutes I realized that the second chapter was being told by a different person. After flipping through the rest of the book I realized that at the beginning of each chapter the name of who was telling the story was the name of the chapter. Unfortunately, I found this set up difficult to follow.

I liked to see the different perspectives of the characters, but I personally would have preferred the story to have been just told in third person, or to have stuck to one character’s perspective. The book was full of rich historical accuracy, but I found parts to be boring and too detailed.

The book did become more interesting about halfway through, but it wasn’t something that I found enjoyable to read.

To be fair though, this genera is not what I typically read. Books and movies are funny that way, some people love them and others hate them. I did not hate this book, but it is not one I personally enjoyed.

If you enjoy a book where you get to see the story from different points of view, a book full of rich historical detail, with a strong female lead, a little romance, and a bit of suspense, then this might be the perfect book for you.



The Action Bible – Review

affiliate1I have a reluctant reader, or maybe a stubborn reader would be a better term. AJ is 11 and in 6th grade, she reads well- when she wants to. One thing I have learned is that she needs pictures. She needs a way to visualize what is going on in the story. If there are pictures she may read the same book over and over.
The Action Bible - A way to bring the Bible to life. My Review

One book that doesn’t have pictures is her Bible. We are still reading it almost daily and she is learning a lot, but she has said more than once that she wished it had some pictures. When I was offered the opportunity to review The Action Bible I was thrilled! I thought it would be an amazing tool for her, and I was right!

About The Action Bible

The Action Bible includes over 200 fast-paced narratives in chronological order, making it easy to follow the Bible’s historical flow – and reinforcing the buildup to its thrilling climax.

The stories in The Action Bible communicate biblical truth clearly and forcefully to contemporary readers. This compelling blend of clear writing plus dramatic images offers an appeal that crosses all age boundaries.

Let this epic rendition draw you into all the excitement of the world’s most awesome story.


The Action Bible is a hardback, full color, 750 page book. It is NOT a regular Bible and doesn’t contain all of the chapters that a regular Bible has. It is a Bible in comic book form. The book is full of imperfect human action heroes that God chose to fulfil His divine plan.

The Action Bible - A great way to bring the Bible to life! My Review

How We Used It

Whenever I am reviewing a book I always put it up until I am going to have AJ (or myself) read it. That way it doesn’t get lost. I had The Action Bible sitting on the desk because I wasn’t ready to look at it yet, and the next thing I knew it was gone and so was AJ. I found it and AJ at the same time. She had taken it to read. I found her laying in her bed reading away. She told me it was, “too exciting to put down.” She read through all of the stories that we have been studying from Genesis and Exodus and then read even more. The first night she read it for quite a while. She was reading it with excitement making up voices for the different Bible characters. There were a few moments where she said, “Oh so that is what it meant.”

AJ has been reading The Action Bible often, in fact it has become her new favorite book to read at bedtime.

What we thought

The pictures in this book are amazing. They are vivid, lifelike, and contain stunning detail. If you purchase this book expecting a normal Bible you will be disappointed. Chapters are left out and a few things are out of order. The story of Job came after the Tower of Babble. What I loved was the table of contents, it is broken into little subtopics. You can look up Moses, for example, and find where all of the stories about him are located. At the beginning of each story it gives the place in the Bible that the story is based on.

This book really brings the Bible to life. It doesn’t just tell the stories but shows them as well. Along with the dialog of the characters, there are often Bible verses included in each frame.

Action Bible1

We loved it! I am thrilled with any book that gets AJ to want to read, but this is even better because it helps her to get closer to God. I wouldn’t recommend it as your only Bible, but it is a great supplemental Bible. I think it will really help your child to understand the Bible in a fun way.

The only issue I had with the Bible is that a few of the front pages are loose and falling out. It looks like maybe they weren’t bound correctly. It isn’t too bad, but if I had purchased it I would have exchanged it for a new one. The ones I looked at in the store seemed fine so I think my issue was more than likely a fluke.

The Action Bible has a suggested retail value of $ 26.99, but it is currently on sale for $13.49.

Family Christian has offered one of my readers a chance to win a $25 appreciation certificate. Enter the rafflecopter below for your chance to win!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Growing Your Faith – 7th Grade Devotional (Review)


affiliate1*This is a sponsored post, I was compensated in some way for writing it*

This year has been a  breakthrough  year with our Bible study. AJ seems to really be getting it, she enjoys reading the Bible and as we go through the books of the Law she is learning so much. What we are lacking though is a more personal study. It is important to learn Bible history, but we need to add in a character study as well. I wanted something that would help her grow closer to God. Enter the new 30-Day Devotional 7th Grade Growing Your Faith by Lars Rood. AJ is only in 6th grade, but I thought it would still be a good fit. (At the time of this review the book is not yet available online, check your local store)

7th Grade Growing Your Faith - Review

About the Book

This fun 30-day devotional will guide you through some of the biggest changes and challenges of this year, including handling doubt, dealing with all the physical changes, making choices that will build your friendship with Jesus and being smart about what you see and hear and say.

Whether this is your first year of junior high or you’re already trekking through middle school. 7th Grade Growing Your Faith will give you some solid wisdom and advice, along with lots of truths to think about and lots of ideas to put into action.

7th Grade Growing Your Faith is a 72 page soft cover book broken into 30 different devotions. The book is broken into three sections.

  1. Owning Your Faith, Shaping Your Faith – These first ten devotions focus on a few different topics including; why reading the Bible is important, getting closer to Jesus, and having fun while following Jesus.
  2. Maturing in Mind, Shaping Your Thoughts – This second section is my favorite. It covers topics that really make you think. Topics include what is worth watching, listing to, and saying. It covers how to Follow Jesus at school, and how to find a good role model.
  3. Maturing in Body Shaping the Whole You – These final ten devotions wrap up the book and include topics like; talking to your parents, dealing with loneliness, shaping your future, and figuring out the other gender.

Each devotion is broken up the same way in four short sections.

  • Introduction – In this short section the author talks a little bit about his personal experience regarding the topic.  It is between a couple of paragraphs and a page long, usually including a short story from the author’s youth about the topic. These are very interesting and actually help to break the ice when it comes to the more difficult topics.
  • Think About – This section has 3 or 4 questions to think about (and in our case discuss). I love this section because the questions are simple yet thought provoking. You aren’t told this is right and that is wrong, you are asked to think about what you feel. One that really stuck out to me was, “If God has created you with a purpose (and He has), how do you feel about God when you are Lonely?” (page 59)
  • God Thought – This section turns you to the Bible. It may have you read a few verses, a chapter, or even an entire book of the Bible. Then there is a question to think about regarding what you read.
  • Activate – This final section varies in its approach. Some tasks include; talking to people about things, writing lists, or doing something active. Some of these we liked, others we didn’t care for.

How We Used It

AJ isn’t big on reading any book without pictures, so I decided to use the 7th Grade Growing Your Faith in place of our current Bible curriculum. We read the introduction, and then talked about the think about questions. They lead to a few interesting conversations. One question asked how she saw an adult in her life living out their faith. So I asked her to think about me and what I do. Her answer was, “Well you show that you’re a Christian because you are always buying things from the Christian store.” After a little prompting she thought of a few other ways I live my faith!

7th Grade Growing Your Faith

Then she would look up the section in the Bible we were to read, and we would discuss it. Finally we would talk about the Activate section. A few we just discussed. Some we skipped, and some she did as directed. Each devotion took between 45 minutes to and hour. I read the entire book, but AJ still has a little way to go. We plan on finishing the devotional throughout the rest of the school year. The book is very flexible. It can be used independently or with a group. You can do one devotion a day, or even do one a month. It is a great resource to get your (pre) teen closer to God.

What We Thought

7th Grade Growing Your Faith

Overall we really enjoyed the 7th Grade Growing Your Faith 30-day devotional. The lessons are relevant, short enough to fit into our day, and easy to read. The writing style is friendly and fun making each day interesting. Having a male author, I was a little worried how he would be able to relate to young girls. He did so seamlessly.

A few of the lessons didn’t really apply to AJ because she is homeschooled, but even those that didn’t were useful in one way or another. AJ LOVED the fact that there was little to no writing. I enjoyed the meaningful discussions and most importantly the Bible verses to back up the discussions.

The only thing we didn’t care for were some of the activities in the Activate section. They just didn’t fit with our life, but it was simple to skip the ones we didn’t like. The author has made devotions for other grades, and although I haven’t read those, I would recommend getting the book that goes with the grade your child is currently in. A few of the lessons are really tied in to the grade level.

The devotional is very affordable, only $6.99 and in my opinion it is well worth it.

Using Ancient Civilizations and the Bible? – Learn from My Mistakes!


This year we are studying Ancient History using Diana Waring’s Ancient Civilizations and the BibleThe beginning was a little rocky, but now that we have a system down it is amazing how much we are both learning. It is not your normal history study and I think that is exactly why AJ and I are enjoying it so much!

6 mistakes to avoid When using Ancient Civiliztions and the Bible

Before I get into the details let me explain a little bit about the curriculum. It is a chronological history program that appeals to visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. It is a Christian worldview and teaches history from the young earth perspective. (If you don’t agree with young earth it is easy to leave out a few things in the first unit and from then on it is not really mentioned) It is not a textbook but a guide to help you and your student learn about history. There is a teacher’s book, a student book, and three different CDs that are referenced throughout the book.

The book is divided into nine chapters.

  1. Creation and The Flood
  2. The Rise of Civilizations
  3. Egypt and the Exodus
  4. The Children of Israel
  5. Assyria and Babylon : The Mesopotamian Conquerors
  6. The Persians and Medes
  7. Greece and The Hellenists
  8. The Rise of Rome
  9. Jesus Christ, Immanuel

Each chapter is studied for four weeks. Week one is the Introduction. It includes things like listening to audio recordings, reading the article, reading verses in the Bible, and discussions. Week two is Exploration and Discovery. In the second week activities include; vocabulary, timelines, and researching a topic of choice. The third week is Hands-On. In the third week there is mapping, art projects, science experiments, cooking, and music suggestions. The final week, week four is Expression. The final week can really be almost anything that shows understanding of the unit. Some possibilities include; art, music, drama, poetry, dance, and even puppetry. Each week there are a variety of options to fit the student’s learning style.

Even though there are only nine units, there is a great deal of information to learn. AJ and I fell in love with this history program at the beginning of the school year, but I wanted to wait until we had completed a few units until I shared my thoughts.

The first unit was full of learning for both of us. In fact it took us a good six weeks to complete. AJ learned all about creation and the flood, and I learned that using a unit study format for history would require some different thinking and planning on my part.

Here are a few pieces of advice, if you are using or thinking about starting Diana Waring’s  Ancient Civilizations and the Bible.

Stick to the four week schedule

Before school started I went through the first four units and planned things to a tee. I had decided that since we were doing unit studies for both history and science (more on that in an upcoming post) that I didn’t want to do both subjects daily. I decided that we would do science one week and history the next and rotate them back and forth. In order to do that I would simply push two weeks of learning into one. It sounded easy enough, we would just work longer on the one subject and in the end it would all average out. The time was the same and on paper it looked great. In reality it didn’t work out very well.

Week one has a lot of reading and listening. The articles themselves are between eight to ten pages and then when you add in the Bible reading it can be a lot. For the first unit it is 10 chapters in the Bible and more than 20 additional verses. Spread out over two days the reading is completely doable, but squishing it into one in order to complete two weeks of work into one is hard. It made for a grumpy kid, and a frustrated teacher.

In the end we actually spent three weeks doing the work for weeks one and two because it took way longer than I anticipated. If you need to combine weeks, don’t combine weeks one and two, it is just too much work. In the book Diana gives a few different suggestions on what to do if you don’t want to or can’t spend four weeks on a unit. My advice, stick to the four week schedule if possible. It is set up nicely and if you follow the recommendations in the book the days run a lot smoother!

Don’t over plan

Like I said previously, I planned the first unit to a tee. AJ was going to make a game one day, write a poem on another day, and carve an animal out of soap at another time. I figured it was a good variety and she would have fun. The problem was that she had her own ideas. After the reading for week one there is a list of activities to do to show your understanding, and at the bottom of the list is the option to make up your own choice. To be honest, her idea was better than mine. She didn’t want to make a game, she wanted to make a power point presentation. My child who hates to write created a 10 page slide show all about creation, Adam and Eve, Cain and Able, and the flood.  It turned out great!

Week two has a research project where your child researches a topic in greater detail. There is a large list of topics to choose from. In order to make things easier, I picked the topic that I thought AJ would like to learn about. I ordered books from the library ahead of time and had everything planned.  Again, she would have picked another topic. My advice is to look ahead to the next unit when you are on week 4 of your current unit. (Or week 3 if you have a slow library.) Have your child pick two or three of the topics that they might want to learn more about and order books from the library on those topics. Then you end up with a variety and when it comes time for the research topic you will be ready. Let your child lead and you may be surprised by what you both learn.

You don’t have to do it all

 This advice is really for any type of unit study, and it is hard if you are a box checker. It is ok to skip a few things if you don’t have the time or desire. Try not to skip the fun stuff too often though because that is what makes this program amazing! Take a look at each week and pick one or two things that you really want to accomplish and go from there.

Don’t worry about the recommended books

It can be hard to find books with a Christian world view at the library, and purchasing all of the recommended books would cost way too much. If you can’t find the recommended books, it is ok. Utilize the internet and even secular materials found at the library. Just search for the topics you need and make sure your child knows that the books may display different beliefs than your own.

Buy the CDs

We didn’t buy the CDs that go along with the curriculum in the beginning. We were on a tight budget and the books were all that we could afford. For the first two units we didn’t have the CDs, but thankfully a family member bought us the main CD as a gift in time for unit three. We got through the first two units fine without the CD, but it really adds so much more information and completes the study. The information on the CDs is different from the information in the book and helps to answer some of the questions. Currently we only have one of the CDs, but I hope to complete the set soon. If at all possible, buy the CDs they really add to the study.

Join the Yahoo Group

There is a Yahoo Group for Diana Waring’s History Revealed series. There you will find so many resources like answer keys for the maps, printable maps, and vocabulary worksheets, and timeline answer keys. This group was a life saver when it came to the mapping. It also has a lot of great ideas about the curriculum.

Ancient Civilizations and the Bible is an amazing history program. We are both learning so much and having fun along the way. I can’t wait to share more of our adventures with the program!

VeggieTales Noah’s Ark – Review and Sale

VeggieTales is coming out with another fun, faith based video, Noah’s Ark. It will be available to own as of February 28, 2015. AJ and I had the pleasure of reviewing it before it came out.

VeggieTales Noah’s Ark is a lot like many of the other VeggieTales videos. It is funny, has a great message, and is filled with those crazy songs that you just can’t help but sing. Unfortunately, there was one major difference. If you have been following VeggieTales recently you probably noticed the change in our beloved friends, Bob and Larry. A lot of people on social media don’t like the change, and I will admit I liked the old version better. When I put the DVD on that is the very first thing AJ noticed. She thought they looked weird and didn’t like their eyes. The characters themselves even make a joke about looking different at the beginning of the DVD. Thankfully, after a minute or so into the show we didn’t even notice the change. 
The story itself is loosely based on the Bible version and is told by Larry. It is the story from Noah’s son’s point of view of what Larry thinks he might have been thinking while on the ark. There are some odd twists in true VeggieTales style, including holes in the ark and a sea monster. The story my stray from the original, but throughout the video we are reminded to trust in God in the good times and the bad, and that God always has a plan. A great message that we all need to remember. 
Noah DVD
If you and your family enjoy VeggieTales, this DVD is sure to entertain. My main complaint is that the story didn’t stick to the Biblical version enough. Overall AJ loved it and I liked it. I am sure this DVD will be watched a lot around our house. 
You have to wait a few weeks to get your chance to watch this fun filled DVD, but the good news is you can buy it now at Family Christian. When you pre buy VeggieTales Noah’s Ark you get a FREE copy of VeggieTales Rack, Shack, & Benny. For only $12.97 you get two VeggieTales DVDs and that sounds like a great deal to me! 


Motivate Your Child – Review

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I was given the amazing opportunity to review the newest book by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN, Motivate Your Child A Christian Parent’s Guide to Raising Kids Who DO What They Need to Do Without Being Told. The two authors are the founders of the National Center for Biblical Parenting and they have authored numerous books.

#Heart parenting

So What is the Book About?

Parenting experts Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller demonstrate how God’s Word gives us the best way to parent, one that builds strong internal motivation in children. When parents change the way they parent, kids change the way they live. This practical book explores a theology of internal motivation and then gives parents real-life solutions to equip their kids for life.
You’ll Learn……

  • how to parent in ways that build internal motivation so kids don’t have to rely on you to get things done.
  • the four promptings of the conscience and how to coordinate your parenting to take advantage of them
  • ways to energize your spiritual training with fun and creativity
  • how to help children respond to mistakes instead of blaming, defending, or justifying.

The book is 268 pages long and divided into two sections. Part one is Moral Development in Children. This section focuses on internal motivation and parenting the conscience. Part two is Spiritual Development in Children. The second section focuses on God’s plan, family time, and connecting kids to the Bible.  Throughout the book practical advice is given and experiences from different families are shared. The book is easy to read and scriptures are all throughout the book to back up the advice that is given. It is a simple read and once I started I didn’t want to put it down.

What did I Think?

This has been an amazing book, but before I talk about the book, I want to talk about what occurred right before I applied to review it.

The name of the book alone caught my eye. In fact, when I first read about the opportunity to review the book I had just yelled at AJ for not doing what she was told for the hundredth time that day. I actually laughed as I scrolled through Facebook and the picture of the book came on my news feed. I was sitting with a few family members and I said, “I can’t even get her to do what she needs to do when I tell her, let alone without being told!” I stated that I wasn’t even going to apply because a book couldn’t help. But, every single day the same picture kept coming up in my news feed. It was the first thing I saw when I turned my computer on. It seemed like the more trouble AJ was giving me with “forgetting” to do her chores, the more the picture popped up. Finally, on the last day, I decided that it must be a sign and I filled out the application half heartedly. I didn’t expect to get picked and then the next thing I knew I had an email stating that I was picked to review the book. Secretly, it was a book I just didn’t want to read. How could a book help my situation when we a not your normal family?

I started reading and right away something changed. I read the first chapter and agreed with everything that was said. The first chapter started out with a family who was frustrated every morning trying to get their kids out the door. Sound familiar? It did to me. Mornings are a HUGE hassle. AJ takes forever. I have to tell her to get up a few times and then no matter how many times I tell her to take a quick shower she is in there forever. As I read on and saw the few things that the parents did that made their mornings smoother, I was hooked. They didn’t do anything amazing, but simple switches led to a better morning for them.

I never write in books, I like to donate them after I am finished. That is not going to happen with this book, by the second chapter I was underlining things, circling things, and even writing notes in the margins about things I wanted to try.

As I continued to read a few amazing quotes really stuck out to me:

  • What children often need is more parenting, not more space – pg 31
  • As children learn obedience, they’re learning to do what’s right. As children learn honor, they’re learning to think about others. pg 87
  •  Bad attitudes, whining and complaining are honor issues. pg 88
  •  One of the signs of maturity is when you do the right thing even when the desire isn’t there. pg 98

There are so many more quotes, Bible verses, and pieces of advice that really touched me, but I can’t list them all.

With each chapter I read I learned so many things, and I started to put a few techniques into place. Now, AJ didn’t turn into a saint, and she is not the perfect child, but I have seen some improvements both in her attitude and the way I am parenting. I notice her chores getting done more often without me telling her and that is a big change. One night she even did the dishes, put the food away,  and wiped off all of the counters (not her job) just to help me out because she knew I was hurting.

There are many other changes that I want to make and how I discipline is one of them. Today she got in trouble and instead of not being able to use electronics for a set amount of time, I told her she wouldn’t be able to use them until she could show me that she could follow the rules. We have a lot of work ahead of us and it is going to be a long road. This book has given me a lot of tools and techniques to get AJ where she needs to be.

Overall it is an amazing book. It is not going to change your kids overnight, but it will provide you with the tools to parent to the heart, work on their conscience, and help your family become closer to God. I would recommend this book to any christian parent. This is one book that I will be keeping and utilizing when I am having a hard time dealing with a pre-teen full of hormones.

Motivate Your Child- Giveaway

I recently have been having a lot of trouble motivating AJ. She has lost motivation with school work, housework, and even gymnastics. I think a lot has to do with her being an 11 year old girl full of hormones, but I know there is more to it. I started reading a new book, Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent’s Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told, and I am hopeful that it will really help. It isn’t going to change AJ overnight but so far there are a lot of wonderful tips and ideas that I plan on implementing. Watch for my review at the end of the month.

To celebrate the release of Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent’s Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told,  members of the Launch Team are sharing a wonderful giveaway filled with a Go Pro Camera, $50 Mardel Gift Card, $25 Amazon Gift Card, and book bundles from both the National Center for Biblical Parenting and Thomas Nelson Publishing! Three winners will win prizes with a total value of nearly $800!

  motivate your child giveaway Here’s what you could win: 

GRAND PRIZE  ($500+ value)

Go Pro HERO3+ Silver Camera ($300 value)

HERO3+ Silver captures gorgeous, professional-quality 1080p60 video and 10MP photos at speeds of up to 10 frames per second. Built-in Wi-Fi enables you to use the GoPro App to control the camera remotely, preview shots and share your favorites on Facebook, Twitter and more. Compatible with all GoPro mounts, you can wear it or attach it to your gear for immersive POV footage of your favorite activities. It’s waterproof to 131’ (40m) and built tough for all of life’s adventures. Combined with stunning low-light performance, high-performance audio and an ultra wide-angle glass lens, HERO3+ Silver makes capturing and sharing your life easier than ever.  

NCBP Book Bundle ($115 value)

 The Christian Parenting Handbook  and Companion Guide Parenting is Heart Work God’s Awesome Story Hero Training Camp Children’s Curriculum


Thomas Nelson Book Bundle ($90 value):

The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst  Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson   Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine  All Pro Dad by Mark Merrill  The Passionate Mom by Susan Merrill 


FIRST PRIZE ($165 value)

$50 Mardel Gift Card


NCBP Book Bundle ($115 value)

The Christian Parenting Handbook  and Companion Guide Parenting is Heart Work God’s Awesome Story Hero Training Camp Children’s Curriculum


SECOND PRIZE ($115 value)

$25 Amazon Gift Card


Thomas Nelson Book Bundle ($90 value):

The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst  Desperate by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson   Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine  All Pro Dad by Mark Merrill  The Passionate Mom by Susan Merrill To enter, use the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway dates: January 12, 2015 @12:00am ET through January 28, 2015 @ 11:59pm ET Terms and Conditions: This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  Void where prohibited by law. Must be at least 18 years of age. This giveaway is in no way associated with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Amazon. No purchase necessary for entry. Odds are determined by the number of entries. Selected winner will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prize or another winner will be drawn.
  a Rafflecopter giveaway