Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Beloved Books Schoolhouse Review Crew 2012

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     Boy do I have a treat to share with you today! Myself and some of the Schoolhouse Review Crew members were given the delightful opportunity to review Volume 1 of The Sugar Creek Gang audio series on CD from Beloved Books. We were super excited as we have some Sugar Creek Gang DVDs that we love to watch, but there is just something about an audio version of story telling that leaves so much to the imagination.

In 1939, Paul Hutchens began writing a series of wholesome Christian adventure books for boys and girls. Several years ago Paul Ramseyer was inspired to dramatize the book series for radio. Now your family can own and enjoy the complete 36-book audio series... over 100 hours on 72 CDs!

      Now to give you an insight into the Sugar Creek Gang, think The Little Rascals go to Sunday School. Set in the 1930- 1940's a gang of boys who live in a farming community, they are all primarily Christian and if they do not start out that way, sure do end up being "saved".  The Gang goes on many adventures throughout the series and although the episodes are independent of each other, they do build upon each other and it is so fun to listen to them in sequential order. Sugar Creek Gang is so much more than an adventure audio series, you will
      There is nothing like the whole family sitting around in the darkened living room with some snacks listening to a radio show. It is very exciting and reminds me of stories my Grandma tells about the good old days, she was born in 1920.
 Volume one includes the following titles, each story being about 2 hours in length and covering 2 discs, for a total of 12 discs in all for the current price of purchase for $54.95 with free media rate shipping.

The Swamp Robber
The Killer Bear
The Winter Rescue
The Lost Campers
Chicago Adventure
The Secret Hideout

   Now we have The Secret Hideout on DVD but let me tell you we all enjoyed it so much more on the audio CD, the narrator is a single gentleman but he does such a superb job mimicking many voices of the characters and changing his tones to immerse you into the story. The recommended age range for these CDs are 6-12, I feel the age range is much broader as my boys are turning 13 next week, 14 and almost 16 and they truly enjoy listening to them in the car and at home in the evenings or while we are doing quiet work in the classroom.

    Not only do my children enjoy them but my husband and myself as well as my 92 yr old Grandma really get quality enjoyment from them as well. Christian content that is enjoyable for the whole family is something to be treasured, and as my boys get older I am finding less and less that we can enjoy watching or listening to that as a family we all agree on. Sugar Creek Gang is an example of good Christian family entertainment that although their are some references to some things that are from over 70 years ago and may be hard for some younger folks to understand, it lends itself for a learning adventure through history to discover what is being talked about in the stories.

    My children got extra enjoyment from this learning process because living with my Grandma they often hear about the happenings of the era that is set in these stories, they do not always have to look it up, they can just ask Grandma to tell us one of her stories and explain what they are talking about. She may not know what she ate for breakfast but she remembers the good old days like it was yesterday. Having a multi generational home has many advantages and learning history first hand is one of them. Listening to these audio shows on CD helped bridge a gap in our home and let us all enjoy something together. Often newer age activities and shows leave us missing out on a lot because we have to stop and explain things to Grandma often leaving us all frustrated, this was not the case with Sugar Creek Gang. My Grandma felt right at home, and she was instead explaining things to us. I cherish every opportunity my kids have to interact fully with my Grandma and this just melted my heart. The most recent opportunity to listen to the last story was during a power outage just the other night due to Hurricane Sandy's windy wrath, it made passing the time so much more enjoyable, we sat in the living room by candlelight listening to the gangs latest adventure.

     Now I will warn you especially with younger kids, they are many references of being taken to be spanked  by one of the boys parents. Back in the day this was a normal form of punishment, some people today still do practice spanking as a form of punishment. We in this house do not condone any form of corporal punishment and while this is our personal beliefs, I do believe this is how others feel as well. Now because my kids are older this was not a huge deal, it is not like they have never been exposed to thought of someone being spanked, but some of you with little ones may want to pray about if this is right for your family. I do think there are far more good things about Sugar Creek Gang than bad and I would not personally opt to pass on this solely because there is mention of spanking. You have to follow your heart on that one for what is right for your own family.

   All in all I think this a wonderful family activity that can be enjoyed by a wide age range of maybe 6 and up to adult. In our family it was 12-92 that enjoyed each story as well as the first. My boys have asked that we get the next volume and I am thinking that will be a great family gift come Christmas morning, in the past we have always had a family gift of a stack of movies or board games or even a couple Wii games but I think this year it will be good old fashion Sugar Creek Gang audio CD stories under our tree. 

   Bonus save 20% on all purchases with coupon  website (www.BelovedBooks.com) -- the code is

    Be sure to check out the Beloved Books website for all they have to offer including all the volumes of The Sugar Creek Gang and so much more, adventure awaits you and your family. As always be sure to click on the Schoolhouse Review Crew banner below to see what my fellow crew mates had to say about Sugar Creek Gang.


“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wordless Wednesday "Meeting an Astronaut"

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Simple Woman's Daybook October 30, 2012

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Outside my window...The wind is still roaring from the effects of Hurricane Sandy, I do not ever remember feeling the effects of a hurricane in the past.

I am thinking...about how much I need to do but do not have the energy to do any of it.

I am thankful...that although our electricity did go out last night due to a tree falling on a street light which caused down powerlines, that it was only out for 6 hours and it happened late enough that we all just went to bed early and it was back on when we woke up.

In the kitchen...My hubby is fixing dinner, I can hear him and Alyx talking about the recipes.

I am wearing...fleece pj bottoms and my sleepshirt and hoody from our trip to Texas.

I am creating...nothing at the moment but will be working on the invites to my Mom's Christmas party this weekend.

I am going...to take it easy today and tomorrow so I feel up to Enrich Thursday and the screening of Wreck it Ralph

I am wondering...when we are going to actually catch a break around here, life keeps beating us up, but I know God has a plan.

I am reading...nothing at the moment

I am hoping...I start to feel better soon I have been sick since Friday last week, I am starting to think it has something to do with the freaky atmospheric pressure I have not had a migraine like this in forever.

I am looking forward to...Meat Bingo this weekend with my Mom and a friend

I am learning... to Trust God more

Around the house...things are kind of messy, nobody cleans like Momma but they try and for that I am thankful

I am pondering...some things I am not ready to share

A favorite quote for today...
Inn keeper

One of my favorite things...is playing board games with the family, last night when the electricity was out we played LCR by candlelight and this afternoon we all played Apples to Apples

A few plans for the rest of the week:If I get better, Enrich Thursday and Screening of Wreck it Ralph and Friday hopefully able to take the kids to see Chasing Mavericks, Saturday Meat Bingo, Sunday Family Dinner

A peek into my day...today has been low key, kids worked on their independent studies, hubby was off today so he helped them as much as he could or they needed and we played games and just kind of vegged out. too sick, too cold and too windy to go anywhere outside.

Here is my photo I am sharing today, the culprit of our power outage last night

photo credit  http://StClairShores.Patch.com/ Editor Edward L. Cardenas

Friday, October 26, 2012

Crossbow Education Schoolhouse Review 2012

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           Being part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew has been a blessing on my family for all of our homeschool needs not just curriculum. Sometimes homeschoolers and families may need added help from products to help make learning easier. Eye Level Reading Rulers from Crossbow Education is a product that fits in the helper category. We were fortunate to have been sent a variety pack of 10 different colors, which sells for $16.95 and is the best value for your money.


           Eye Level Reading Rulers are designed for children and adults alike that may have visual or Dyslexia. This put my family smack dab in the center of their target market. While my children do not have any diagnosed visual problems other than standard near sighted vision, they do have trouble focusing on what they are reading due to their Asperger's Syndrome, which makes their attention span short and their eyes wander while reading. My husband on the other hand has a whole host of visual issues, he has no peripheral vision, has macular degeneration due to a old retinal tear and repair, and as a result is pretty much blind in one eye with only the ability to see finger outlines and very limited sight in the other. He has pretty much given up reading because the white paper background of a book or newspaper puts too much strain on his eyes. So needless to say I was pretty darn excited to be chosen for this review and ecstatic when they showed up in our mailbox.

     Even our mail lady, with whom we have had for many years was curious, as she knew it was not a book, she is almost always just excited to see what pops up in our mailbox as we are. Usually we have to stand and open them while she waits so she can see too, and this was no exception. She was intrigued when I explained what they were and I told her we would let her know our thoughts after we used them for a bit.


     Everyone is different when it comes to visual issues, and what makes Eye Level Reading Rulers unique is that they offer many different color choices so that you can see which color works best for your eyes. My kids were eager to give them a try, but my husband was hesitant since nothing has really helped so far for him personally. There were 10 different colors to choose from, and I let the boys and my hubby try them all out to see which worked best for them personally.

    Alyx ended up picking the grass green one, Taylor the Aqua and my hubby the purple. They are made up of a combination of opaque and transparent plastic, there is also 2 sides to each one, a narrow edge for one line reading and a wide edge for multi line focusing. The opaque portion helps to underline and guide you as you read along and keep you from getting distracted by your eyes jumping ahead of where you are trying to focus. Keeping the ruler in your book helps to not only keep your place but you will always know where your reading ruler is. This is a huge help with my youngest as he is a very disorganized individual and loses everything. This way the frustration level is kept to a minimum with him by not having to look for his reading ruler every time he goes to read quietly.


   Reading has become more enjoyable for my husband as he does not seem to be struggling as much, now I am not trying to say these improved his vision. I wish that could happen so easily but it cannot. What they did  do was help relieve some of the stress on his eyes by changing the visual field color and making it so it is not as harsh as a white piece of paper. I have noticed him picking up his Bible again which he has not wanted to do in quite some time as it was just too taxing on his eyes. This is HUGE for my husband and family.

    I have also noticed Taylor and Alyx wanting to read more and I believe they are getting more out of what they are reading because they can focus more on the content and not spend all their energy keeping their eyes on the right line of text. This has cut down on the amount of frustration and whining I receive from each one of them about reading time. I am an avid reader, I always have been and it has pained me to not see my children have the love for reading that I posses. I am hoping with time and with the help of Eye Level Reading Rulers we can change their opinion of reading and let them see the joy of exploring a good book and that it does not have to be "work".

      There are several options for purchasing Eye Level Reading Rulers, you can buy them in packs of 5 or 10. Prices start at $9.45 for the pack of 5 and increase, with the 10 pack being best value for your money at $16.95. Crossbow Education also makes single color plain window reading rulers available in packs of 5,10, or 30.  You can purchase whichever combination is right for you by visiting their website, and there is also the opportunity to try out the color choices on your screen so that you can get a feel for how dark the colors are and maybe see which one might be the one for you before you even order and also be sure to check out all of their valuable resources they have to offer.  There is also a wonderful opportunity to try out their Virtual Color overlay great for computer reading for a 30 day trial. As always be sure to stop by and see what my fellow Schoolhouse Review Crew Members and their families are saying about their experience with Eye Level Reading Rulers by clicking on the banner below.


“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Deep Blue Kids Bible Schoolhouse Review 2012

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                Children's Bibles make kids feel special and lend to giving a child a love for reading the Bible, they are usually  not just page after page of black and white print. Instead they are more often than not filled with vibrant colors, fun characters and inspiring activities. Deep Blue Kids Bible by Abingdon  Press is certainly no exception, as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew we were given the opportunity to review this Bible for Taylor, who is a tad older than the recommended ages of 7-12, at almost 13 but developmentally his maturity level in some things sits perfectly in the range.


     A problem we have had with him with Bibles in the past is his ability to process the language of some of the translations of Bibles, this Bible is written Common English Bible Translation and it has made a world of difference in Taylor's enjoyment of reading the Bible. Something else I noticed right off the bat is the cover quality of this book, it is neither soft or hard covered, instead it is what is a sturdy flexible cover that looks like it will show much less wear and tear and stay together much longer than the previous Bibles Taylor has owned. I know some say a Bible that is falling apart at the spine shows love, but it frustrates Taylor to bits.

   Abingdon Press publishes five kid-friendly cover choices available in the approximately 5.5” X 8.5” Bible:
  • ImageFlex with blue background and three children in a boat(this is the one we received)
  • Hardcover with same view as ImageFlex
  • Midnight Splash-dark blue background with light blue splash
  • White Splash-white background with more wavy splashes of different blues
  • Burgundy Imitation Leather 
               The layout of the Bible has a nice flow to it with an introduction to each of the 66 books in the Bible, giving a short synopsis, introducing the important people and places you are about to learn in the book you are about to begin,  relaying the basic theme, and giving the children a key Bible Verse for scripture memorization. I particularly liked this aspect as we stress the importance of scripture memorization in our homeschool by picking a key verse and adding it to our Bible journal, I also often take key words from our weekly verse and incorporate them into our spelling and vocab test. It is not only important to be able to read the words but to truly understand and comprehend what the boys are reading. We just started doing things this way over the Summer but it has proven to be very beneficial.  Discovery Central Dictionary helps with this as well, giving definitions for key words found in the readings. An added tool in the back of the Bible is the Bible Maps from National Geographic, this lends a hand in visual showing the children where the events are taking place in the stories not just telling them. Taylor is a visual learner and this was a welcome addition that we had not had in previous Bibles we had used with him.

           Deep Blue Kids Bible is especially helpful for visual learners throughout the entire Bible. There are visual cues like sailboats, and umbrellas, keeping with the theme of water and the seas from the picture of the 3 little children on the front cover. I was pleased to see that diversity was pictured on the cover, all of different race and gender, this is a grand fit for any child, and they will not feel left out. The visual cues like the sailboat for instance notes positive character traits. The Umbrellas help kids navigate through their feelings and hard times in their life. This was a powerful trait of the Deep Blue Kids Bible for me, as a parent of Asperger's Kids it is not always easy for them to navigate their feelings and emotions, if they are dealing with something in their life, they may not always know how to put it into words, but with the help of this Bible, they can sort out these moments in their lives. Lighthouse words teach ways of following God and the Life Preserver answers tough questions

    An additional resource to navigating feelings is the I wonder what to do when I’m... section, where kids can  go look up their particular feeling they may be experiencing, like quilt, anger or sadness, or maybe even fear, which is a constant feeling for Taylor,  I believe this will become an aide to learning to wade through the his feelings. The God’s Thoughts/My Thoughts section of  the Bible uses devotions to help relay what they have learned to the child's present life happenings, questions are conveyed on a child's level making it easy for them to understand and comprehend, leaving them feeling less overwhelmed and actually enjoying the teachings of God, this has been an answer to my prayer with my son, as reading the Bible has been a struggle in the past and often leads to him whining and getting frustrated, I have seen him take his new Bible and go off on his own when he needs,"his time" and crawl up in his bed and just read, it brings tears to my eyes and joy to my heart beyond what I could put into words. This has caused a breakthrough with my son and his relationship with God.

 The Navigation Points put emphasis on memory work and this is important for Taylor to truly learn the verses. Timed Bet you can! challenges help your child practice reading aloud or silently. We did not put emphasis on this portion as Taylor does not work well under pressure, maybe with time we can build up to this but have not explored it as of yet. Your child may benefit from it if they are into a little competition with themselves, maybe setting a timer or stop watch.  In the back of the Bible is an index that helps navigate all of the aspects I have touched on and so much more, making this a very user friendly Bible that your child will treasure forever. The Deep Blue Kids Bible with ImageFlex cover retails for $26.99 in the purchase page of the website. You can always check places like amazon as well. If you would like to get a stronger feel for the Deep Blue Kids Bible you may see a PDF sample or watch a video introduction, all found on their website, www.deepbluekidsbible.com. All in all we found this Bible to be everything it stated it would be and so much more, like any book or Bible use your own judgement when picking it for your child. The recommended grades are 2-7, but could be used as a family Bible with smaller children and older children, and those with learning disabilities may get enjoyment and so much more as well, just like my son Taylor.
This would make a fantastic Christmas gift for that special someone in your life, enhancing the true meaning of Christmas as it should be celebrated. Give the gift of the word of God and the story of Jesus Christ, taught on a level and in a manner they will gain enjoyment and learning from. I cannot think of a better gift for under the tree this Christmas.

  Feel free to check out what the other Schoolhouse Crew Members had to say about Deep Blue Kids Bible by clicking on the banner below. 


“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wordless Wednesday Creation Museum Fun

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Simple Woman's Daybook October 23,2012

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Wow! It sure has been forever and day since I have posted one of these. Now that things are calming down here and we will be staying more put for the Fall and Winter I will make a point of blogging more, instead of just reviews. Please forgive me for taking a much needed break to spend quality time with my kids, after the last year and half roller-coaster ride we have been on it was a welcome retreat.


Outside my window... it is pretty dreary, but pleasantly mild, it rained all night long so it is still pretty damp out.

I am thinking...about how much we want to move out to the country but we are leaving it in God's hands to present us with the perfect house when he sees that it is the right time for us.

I am thankful...to have been able to spend an amazing almost 3 weeks with my 2 youngest boys and my Mom on a road trip that was filled with many opportunities, all the way from MI to TX and back again, 15 states in 18 days, I know we will never forget it.

In the kitchen...is the left over smell of banana chocolate chip pancakes and the noise of my hubby doing the dishes.

I am wearing...jeans and a hoody from our trip, from Willis,TX

I am creating...some Christmas cards, got back in the groove after going away with my best friend this past weekend for a stamping weekend. Also going to make some homemade lemon sugar scrub if it turns out the way I hope I will be putting some in canning jars that I am going to decorate and giving some as Christmas gifts. I hope to make some Peppermint as well.

I am going...to a 31 meeting tonight, excited to see what ammenity we will be getting and hearing all the new updates, Mom gets to go tonight to her first meeting as a consultant.

I am wondering...where I can find an extra few hours to put in my day, anyone know where I can get some?

I am reading...Too Wise to be Mistaken, Too Good to be Unkind(look for my review soon)

I am hoping...that Dave gets approved for his SSDI, it sure would make some of his stress disappear

I am looking forward to...Enrich this Thursday

I am learning...to leave it all in God's hands

Around the house...things are still waiting to be unpacked from our trip, but I started a big chunk of it last night

I am pondering...some things that were discussed at Dave's Psych appointment yesterday.

A favorite quote for today...This is a real as it gets! www.soyoucallyourselfahomeschooler.com

One of my favorite things...Is listening to my boys getting along and laughing at each other's jokes

A few plans for the rest of the week: 31 mtg,Enrich and a field trip with Enrich to the Apple Orchard this friday, Trunk or Treat at Church Saturday and Family Dinner at my parents on Sunday.

A peek into my day...up by 8, chores and breakfast school work by 9 and finished by 12 we hope, although it does not always work that way. Lunch and then hubby usually is home, errands or board games with the kids, dinner with the family, usually we watch a movie or shows together and then by 10 everyone is in bed settling down for the night.

I will leave you with a photo from our trip....

Sunday, October 21, 2012

National Tax Training School Schoolhouse Review 2012

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   I have an exciting review for you today, one that could change your life and the life of your family! Schoolhouse review crew members were given a wonderful opportunity that can prove to be life changing and I was blessed to be one of the chose few. I was given the challenge of reviewing National Tax Training School's  Federal Individual Income Tax Course.

                 Do you dread paying to have your taxes done each year? Do you often wish you could be the one charging those astronomical fees and reaping the benefits of being your own boss? Do you sacrifice extra income because you chose to homeschool? Do you want to help contribute to the finances without having to leave your family everyday to go to work? I know I have wondered each and every one of the questions over the last few years. I cringe every time tax time rolls around, not because we owe taxes, we are blessed each year with a hefty refund, but a large chunk goes to the big box tax chain and I do not like it one bit.
                I would love to be able to help my family out by being an accredited tax professional. Now don't get me wrong I have done ours once with that company that claims it is easy as pie and will save you tons of money, but I came away frustrated and not so confident I had done a job well done. I want to know what I am doing and be prepared and knowledgeable. I would also love to be able to bring in some extra income for my family. Maybe one day even have our own actual business as my hubby heads towards retirement, one that I could do from the comfort of our home and do anywhere we choose to live, even if we become snowbirds after the kids leave home. I have been thinking about it more and more over the last year as we loom to being kid free in the next 5 years with all the boys off to college. Taking a class at the local tax prep office did not thrill me, I want to be able to go at my own pace and do it from the comfort of my bed, desk or wherever I feel fit in my pajamas if the mood strikes me. Don't judge, it is not nice!

             Does this sounds appealing to you, well it sure did to me too, and it is all possible with National Tax Training school. In no time at all I was on my way to getting my certificate to be a licensed tax professional, not only capable of doing our taxes but the taxes of our family and friends too.
National Tax Training School states the following....

    A Complete Comprehensive Course! (not a simple "test prep" program)
Upon successful completion of our tax preparer course, you will have the knowledge and confidence to prepare Individual and small business tax returns for clients anywhere. You will find yourself able to start and operate your own tax practice, or accept a well-paid position in an accounting or tax preparation firm.

            You can accomplish the task of completing your training in as little as 8 weeks, but may take up to a year. The course is 20 lessons and each lesson takes about 8 hours to complete, then you take a practice test to see how well you have absorbed the materials presented to you. I took the practice test several times before I felt confident enough to take the final exam for the lesson I had studied and then put it in the self addressed(not stamped) envelope that was provided to me. You mail your final exam away to be graded and promptly it is returned to you with your grade and an answer key so you could see where and why you had made mistakes if any. I liked that they did not just mark it wrong, they supported it with key reasons so you could learn from your mistakes. I find this extremely helpful in my continuation of the program and to help build my confidence as I go forward. I had originally hoped to do 2 lessons a week, but an impromptu road trip changed the scheme of things for me. I have only completed 6 lessons so far but I am trudging along nicely and feel at this pace I should have my certificate barring any unforeseen problems by Christmas. What a nice present that would be! I already feel so accomplished and I am not even half way done.

          Now I will admit when a giant, heavy box was delivered to my home, I was a bit overwhelmed and wondered what I had gotten myself into, but the contents were neatly organized in a 3 inch 3 ring binder and not only had the study materials but sample text documents as well. The box also included all of the practice and final tests and the pre-addressed envelopes I mentioned above. After the initial shock wore off I was excited to dive in, any homeschool Mom knows how much fun it is to get new curriculum, even if it is not for the kids, this was no exception. Little did I know at the beginning this was not going to be the only big, heavy box from the tax school. After you get about halfway through the program they send you the second half of all of the materials, packaged just as nice as the first box. Shipping of all materials to you is included in the one time shipping price of as little as $19.95, that is a bargain considering those boxes weigh a ton.

      The price of the Federal Individual Income Tax Course is not cheap by any means but they do make it affordable for most by offering a payment plan and you have to remember after just a few paying customers you will have made your money back in no time at all. The cost is $495.00 with 2 years of post graduate support and $795.00 with 4 years of post graduate support. Now remember you can split this price to make up to 6 automatic payments to help make it easier on the budget. I know I want to know the reputation of a company when I am spending a chunk of change like this so you can be sure I checked their credentials.
Buy with confidence knowing that National Tax Training School has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
They are also an approved continuing education provider of the IRS.
National Tax Training School has been in business for over 60 years and is recognized by the CFP and the DETC. 

The post graduate support is as follows according to the website....

Once you graduate from the National Tax Training School, you will be given full access to our online, annual Tax Change Bulletins. This privilege will be in effect for up to four years after your graduation (depending on which option you enrolled under). During that same period you will also be able to contact your instructor with any questions that will arise as your tax practice grows, without additional cost! 

         When I got started I had high hopes of doing 2 lessons, which would be 16 hours of work a week, reality quickly set in and I was getting frustrated. My advice to you is start with smaller plans and work up to more if your life allows. In reality I can really only do 1 to 1 1/2 a week I set aside 2 hrs per day except on Sundays and if I could get more in I did but I had to tell myself that I am a Mom and Wife first and foremost and this will come in good time. Once I made a plan of how I was going to devote my time more realistically the stress lifted a ton and I began to enjoy the program, yes you heard me enjoy it. I love a challenge and to me this was a challenge worth every minute I could devote to it. Some of the terms were a bit confusing to me, and were often not explained or given a definition, but I used the internet to investigate and overcame my frustration very easily. Sometimes they would refer to topics I would learn later on and I found that a little confusing as well, but once I got used to it, I overcame that as well.   I have never had much confidence in things I do, I always find fault with most, but National Tax Training School has helped build up my confidence by grading my tests in a professional, helpful manner. They truly seem to care about their students success in their program. They are not there to simply take your money and run. This is a valuable trait in a company and I value them for their customer service and teaching approach. You can get a complete outline of their course by visiting their website.

     Your 20 lesson course will include the following...
1. Complete Text Material

2. Self-Check Practice Problems

3. Examination Problems

4. Instruction & Grading Service

5. Practical Case Studies

6. Student Guidance Service

7. Building and Operating a Successful Tax Practice Book

8. Reference Book

9. Graduation Certificate

10. Postgraduate Services

The tuition fee includes all above training material, services, and benefits
      Now you can also complete the course online in their Beta format, the first 10 lessons are up online and the rest are to be added shortly. This will cut down on the time it takes to get your graded final back, so if you are like me and want to see how you did on lesson 1 before continuing onto lesson 2 you will not have to wait for the mail to go back and forth through the postal service. I am going to finish my remaining lessons with this new online version, I think it is more my cup of tea. I do however still like the print format so I can make notes and highlight areas I want to find quickly for reference. The exams are open book so it makes it easy to find pertinent information if you use a highlighter method. I love highlighting in books, but if that is not for you, I am sure you can use whatever study methods work best for your individual needs. 

             This course is designed for anyone who has completed minimum of 2 years of high school, and unlike what I thought is easily accomplished with a some good honest effort from someone who wants to gain this knowledge and go forth to either do their taxes or make a business out of it. Now if you are simply hoping to better understand your tax preparations then this is probably not for you, but if you are eager to learn  and want to bring in some extra money for your family then this is a solid, wise investment that will return your initial investment in no time and bring you as much money as you would like, whether you choose to make this a family business or just a sideline job to bring in some holiday cash. The choice is yours and it will become whatever you envision it to be. I know I envision myself to being an independent tax professional by tax time next year. While hopefully opening a business by the time my husband retires. What would you do with the knowledge of National Tax Training School? 

      Check out what the other Schoolhouse Reviewers had to say about National Tax Training School by clicking on the banner below.



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Ultimate Homeschool Road Trip October 2012 Part 1

Pin It Now!     This is going to be a multi part blogging experience so please check back often, I am going to try to post at least 3 times per week and one full review of several of our sightseeing adventures each week as well. I warn you now you will be overloaded with photos as I took over 2000 pictures during our 19 day trip. We visited I believe 15 states in 18 days. It was a whirlwind experience that I hope my children will never forget, I know I won't. I am so grateful for the opportunity God has given us with the option to homeschool. Without this freedom, this trip would not have been possible.

     We started out trip on September 29, 2012 leaving at 6 AM, with me the captain at the wheel. Our trusty GPS "Bertha" on loan from a dear friend, and nothing but road ahead of us. Who knew what opportunities lay in front of us, this was a no holds barred kind of trip, stopping off wherever God steered us. We arrived in Petersburg,KY at the Creation Museum, look for this to be my first review this coming week. I have one word for it now and it is WOW! I will tell you if you plan to make the trip you will need 2 full days to experience this wonderful Museum, we did not have that amount of time set aside and will definitely be heading back sooner rather than later. Here are a couple pictures to hold you over until I post the review.

      After spending the whole day at the museum we went over to our hotel, which was nice except for the fact that there was a large Doberman convention staying at our hotel, I guess that is what we get for staying in a convention center. It is weird to see dogs in hotels as they are not allowed in MI at all to my knowledge, unless of course it is a service dog.

       Our second day on the road started bright and early as well, after a nice hearty(free) breakfast at our hotel. Our goal was to get to Branson,MO to spend the night as we had a full day planned in this happening city. This did not pan out as expected as we had some unexpected side trips like Santa Claus, IN and grew tired of being in the car. Yes I did say Santa Claus,IN, and I am ashamed to say I did not know such a place existed, now whether you believe in Santa or not I am sure you would have done the same thing I did when I saw a road sign that said 4 miles to Santa Claus. Any sane adult would go in search of Santa, would they no? I thought so as I am completely sane and level headed( at least I like to think so).

When we first reached Missouri, we came upon one of the coolest welcome centers on our journey, we would come across a couple others that stand out as well, but this was the first cool one on our trip, it was the Route 66 Welcome Center, you will have to come back and follow our journey to read about the others.

Who ever said a bathroom break cannot be an educational experience? This is a must see potty break if you ever enter Missouri.

     We ended up spending the evening in Rolla,MO, we went to a fantastic restaurant called the Sirloin Stockade, the boys loved it, All You Can Eat Steak, need I say anymore. I am kind of glad we do not have one in our state, the boys would be bugging me to eat out all the time, I do admit the food was very tasty. We went back to our hotel with full bellies, went swimming and hit the hay. We started off the next morning feeling refreshed and ready for the road again, after a short drive we arrived in Branson, and our first stop was The Titanic, the world's largest museum for the history of the Titanic, there are 2 locations, I will be reviewing this attraction as well, so be on the lookout. The only complaint I had of this phenomenal attraction was not being able to take photos inside the exhibit, so I only have a few to share of what I could photograph outside. The museum itself was absolutely breathtaking, and very educational.

We moved onto Lunch at a recommended restaurant on the strip called,The Great American Steak and Chicken House, we had the world's best(in my opinion) chicken and dumplings and cornbread, OH MY! They even bring homemade potato chips and samples of deepfried dill pickles to your table and if it is your first time there they take your picture for their wall. The coolest was their neat bathrooms, the stalls were very country and the sink was a trough, but they had sugar scrub on a table with a spoon to give it a try and it was amazing, they sell it in their little store, I am too cheap to buy it but am now itching to make some of the recipes for scrub I have seen on pinterest.
After lunch we headed over to the Branson Ride the Ducks , let me just say this was the most fun I've had in a long time, where else can you get a scenic informative tour all the while quaking like a duck with a fun little kazoo type duck bill in your mouth, it is sure fun to act goofy and not be afraid of what others think. The boys were so excited when they got to drive when the "duck" entered into the water.This will be my 3rd attraction review in my series of Roadtrip adventures so be watching soon.

We were so not ready to leave Branson and all the fun we were having so we decided to add in an unplanned visit to the Hollywood Wax Museum, the kids had never seen one before so I just had to take them, you have not lived until you have visited a wax museum.

Our biggest complain was out of 4 Nascar driver's waxed, none of them were any we like, oh well maybe next time.
After the wax museum it was on the road again for us as we had to get to Dallas, TX by lunch the next day. Stay tuned for the episode 2 of Ultimate Homeschool Road Trip 2012, Texas and beyond. See You in Oklahoma!