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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Doorposts: Because You Are Strong Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2013 #hsBible #hsreviews #mobsociety

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     Do want your sons to grow up to be Godly men?? I know I do, and I could honestly use all the help I can get. I was relieved to when I was chosen to review the Bible study by Doorposts Because You Are Strong: A Study of Godly Strength for Young Men by  Author: Daniel Forster.
A Bible study for young men ages 10-12 and up. Perfect for my boys 13,15 and 16.

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    You can choose from a soft covered book or a PDF e-book , the soft cover book is $14.00 and the e-book $10 but right now you can get the soft cover for the SALE price of just $12.00. This would make a great way to start the new school year and add to your Bible time with your boys. They also have a girl's version Beauty in the Heart: A Study of Godly Beauty for Young Women
by Author: Pam Forster for the same age range if this better suits you. You will have to read the crew reviews to learn about that book, because as you know I was blessed with a house full of boys not girls. I guess I will have to wait and see if I am blessed with Granddaughters down the road to see if we will need that book.

   Around here it is no big secret that my husband has some health issues that do not allow him to be the Godly Male Role Model we would like to see. This has led me to be creative and look for help outside of our family unit. Such as books and unit studies and other male influences, like Alyx's friend Eric and my Dad. I want my sons to be the men God put them on this Earth to be, even if it requires more guidance from their Mom than planned to be. I want to instill Godly character and a serving, giving heart. I am pretty sure we are on the right path but no need to stop guiding yet, we still have a whole lot of work to do.

    We have been having Circle Time for a while in our house and sometimes that is games, sometimes it is reading but it always includes and starts with Bible time. We also start our school day with Bible as our first lesson. So I thought why not make Bible time when it comes to our family Circle a Bible study instead of just reading and memory verses from the Bible. Let's really learn from the Bible and help the boys continue to become those Godly men God so purposed them to be.

   This Bible study is intended to be worked through in 74 days with an additional 40 days of study suggested. Giving you plenty of study for just over a year. What I loved about this was that it was a modern day Bible study intended for youth so it encouraged them to seek technological resources. For instance APPS for Bible study, my boys now have several on their phones. I love seeing them embrace God's word even on the go. No excuses, "I forgot my Bible".

     This book was not just about reading and memorizing Scripture, we learned how to use a concordance, there was Greek and Hebrew words that we will definitely be adding to our spelling lists this coming school year. There were character studies for Men in the Bible like David and Samson. You can choose to study just a verse, chapters or the entire Bible. We have made a conscious effort to get through the entire Bible from cover to cover by the end of this coming school year so this was helpful in pushing us to complete that task. You can take a topic out of the Bible and study it and put it to events that our current in your life. This is particularly helpful to my boys to see how God is truly working in their lives even when they sometimes feel he is not there listening.
  There are daily lessons that were perfect in length lasting only 5-20 minutes each to complete. This was a hit in my house as anything that is drawn out and lengthy tends to get a groan and they do not truly appreciate what they are doing because they are too focused on how long it is taking. The boys were receptive to these tasks and did not balk at completing them, this was a positive sign to me that this was a good fit for them.

  The boys favorite character trait that we studied was the one about Valor and what it is to be Valiant. It was fun to hear their explanation and definition before we began and then again when we finished. They were all quite different both times. I love how they are each unique and God made them who they are for a reason.

  Their second favorite was the study of Meditation and the book of Hebrews. They have never really considered meditation until they finished that section. So now they are all setting aside a time to meditate and draw closer to God.

  Now just because this is geared for boys you could make it work if you have a family that has a couple boys and say one girl because in the back of the book there are some alternate questions that are for girls. The same I suppose goes in reverse for the other book but I am not sure since I did not receive that one. You will have to read the other crew reviews to find out that answer.

  Here is what Doorposts has to say about Because You Are Strong: A Study of Godly Strength for Young Men by  Author: Daniel Forster...

 
Learn how to study the Bible while you discover what God says about true strength! This new Bible study will help young men gain a biblical view of strength and use that strength wisely, for God’s glory.

This book also teaches practical Bible study skills. Learn how to:
• Use a concordance.
• Study the original Greek & Hebrew words used in a passage.
• Perform a character study.
• Study a specific topic in the Bible.
• Understand and use marginal notes in your Bible.
• Study a verse, passage, chapter, or entire book of the Bible.
• Use free Bible study tools on computers and mobile devices.

Ten in-depth studies focus on biblical heroes like David, Samson and the “mighty men of valor”. You’ll also study the power of God, the service of Jesus, and wisdom from Proverbs regarding strength.

Each study teaches a different study method and is divided into daily assignments (5 to 20 minutes each day). Because You Are Strong contains 74 days of study, plus 40 more suggested studies—enough to fuel serious Bible study for more than a year.

The book delves into 10 studies which are....

Ten studies include:
  1. Strength for the Race: Meditating on Hebrews 11-12
  2. Strength with no Limits A Topical Study on the Omnipotence of God
  3. Strength and Wisdom: A Topical Study in Proverbs
  4. Strength and Temptation: A Character Study of Samson
  5. Strength to be Valiant: A Word Study on "Valor"
  6. Strength in Our Weakness: A Verse Study on 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
  7. Strength in the Battle: A Chapter Study of 1 Samuel 17
  8. Strength Serving Others: A Study of Jesus' Actions in the Gospel of Mark
  9. Strength and Gray Heads: A Verse Study of Proverbs 20:29
  10. Strength in the Faith: A Book Study of 1 John
Scripture quotations are from the KJV and ESV translations of the Bible.

   Now normally we use the NIV Bible translation but when that is not an option we are typically ok with it. My boys tend to struggle understanding the KJV translation so it was nice they included the ESV version as well throughout the book. My boys have enjoyed that this book is geared toward boys their age verses one that is just for teens in general. The lessons to be learned are intended for boys their age, some who may be going through similar family or personal struggles. My boys are looking forward to finishing this Bible study and completing our reading of the Bible this year. It is exciting for me to see the love my children have for God's word and watching it grow as they use this Bible study. I am excited to see where God takes each of my children and what purpose he has in store for each of them especially as they each leave our nest and venture out into the world to share his word. Starting with Nick next year leaving for college, and then in the next 4 years all of them will be out among their peers and I cannot wait to see their story unfold. I can thank Doorposts for their help in their journey, and I encourage parents to purchase this Bible study for your boys, or the Beauty in the Heart version for girls.

   In closing, as a parent in today's society I feel we cannot afford to pass opportunities such as these to help us corral our children to the path of God. He gave us these children so we could train them up to serve him, he needs our help and we cannot be shy in looking for help to complete this task. So why not buy Because You Are Strong: A Study of Godly Strength for Young Men and help make our job a little easier with the help of the folks at Doorposts. Please be sure to click the crew banner below and read all of the reviews that are for young Men and young Women. 



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Wordless Wednesday Taylor's New Glasses #mobsociety #newglasses #lookingolder

Pin It Now!   Taylor went to the eye DR last week and we were surprised to learn he has a significant vision loss in his right eye compared to the left. We went to pick up his new specs yesterday and he was amazed at how well he could see. He realized how bad his vision has been and was sorry he had not said anything to us. I think they make him look more mature and more his age. What do you think?






Monday, August 26, 2013

Not Back to School Celebrations: Our Back to homeschool traditions. #hsreviews #hsmommas #notbacktoschool

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               This week on the Schoolhouse Crew's Blog Cruise we are talking about Back to Homeschool traditions.
  When many people thing of Fall they think of Back to School time. Not us here at Fresh Start Academy, nope we celebrate NOT Back to School time. I try to make it special each year and we take the first 3 days, which end the week of Labor Day and while the Public School kids, including Nick our oldest, return back to school, we do fun things and then begin the Monday after.

    Traditionally we usually do lunch and a movie the very first day which for us this year will be Wednesday September 4. This day starts with Back to school photos on the front lawn of our house. Nick does this as well. Then I make my homeschooled boys a nice breakfast and then we pick our movie. We usually go to the first movie of the day and then go to lunch afterwards. Depending on the weather we may go a little farther for our movie to the large outdoor mall. If it is not too hot out.


  Thursday of Not Back to School week for us we generally head back to camp for one of our last two camping sessions before the water is turned off for the Winter which here is Mid October as the temps can get below freezing or close to it.

    This means taking extra items back up to camp like school books and such. The good news is I got smart last year and made duplicate supply carts for the boys and I to leave up at camp as well as extra filler paper and notebooks just in case we need them. This cut down on the amount of things I need to haul up there. We love sitting out by the lake at our picnic table to do our school work first thing in the morning. Then in the afternoon it is off to swim or go on boats. Hey that counts as Gym class, right?






   That Friday we end our Not back to School Week with a trip to a zoo or museum that was otherwise crowded during the Summer. We love it when it is less crowded. We may venture up to Lansing for a change this year to see some attractions we have not yet visited.

   Then on the following Monday we officially kick off our year of homeschooling. This year the boys are starting 9th and 10th grades. I always make a special breakfast that morning and have a special treat at their spots. It makes it fun and special. It is hard to believe we only have 4 more years of homeschooling memories ahead of us.

    What do you all do for Not Back to School time in your homeschool?? I would love to hear your homeschool traditions for getting the new year officially kicked off.

   Be sure to check out the Cruise Blog Hop and read about all of the Crew Families Back to Homeschool Traditions.

MacPhail Center for Music Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2013 #hsreviews #hsmommas #mobsociety #onlineguitarlessons

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         Homeschoolers love music lessons, so why not add them into your day without even leaving your home? This sounded like a fantastic solution to Taylor wanting to take Guitar lessons. We were given the homeschool package of 4 weeks of class sessions lasting for 30 minutes each from MacPhail Center for Music for us to review. Taylor was beyond thrilled. He could not wait to get started.

     Taylor has been wanting to take guitar for awhile now, but we did not even have a guitar. When this review came up I just knew I needed to make it work for him so he could see if this was really something he wanted to do or not. Now to get our hands on a guitar to borrow. Taylor's Nana offered us her guitar from when she was young, Nick had used it to take lessons when he was young, but guitar was not for him. So we were set to start, now what? Well we were sent a link to set up our online account. Next they sent us a questionnaire to get to know Taylor a little bit, questions like personality and what kind of personality we were looking for in a teacher.  The other questions that were asked had to do with how familiar Taylor was with his guitar and music in general. Like could he read music, did he know notes, and what kind of Music did he like. Also what days and times worked for us for the lessons. They determined that Taylor was going to take Guitar Beginner classes.

   A couple days later we were sent a bio about his Teacher, and a class schedule for Taylor's 4 upcoming lessons. The nice thing was they were all at the same time and same day of the week, just like traditional lessons. This made it very easy for Taylor to remember when his lesson was without me having to always remind him. Independence doesn't come easy for Taylor so this was a HUGE step for him this Summer. They did ask if the time worked for us and if it had not we could have changed it. The final step in the process before actually beginning was a check of our computers and internet speed. We installed Skype before this "check" day and we were ready to go.

   Now may be wondering? Skype? Well how on Earth did you think he was going to take lessons in our home. MacPhail certainly could not mail us our instructor each week and send him to our home. This all happens through Skype using your home computer, or in our case Taylor's lap top. The day of our set up appointment I was actually going to be out of town, I wondered if this was going to work, but I was in constant contact via email and they assured me Taylor would be fine and if they needed me I was just a phone call away. The day of the set up Taylor was so excited he could hardly stand himself. He had to run a speed test for our internet speed ahead of time so he could relay the numbers to the tech. This is a fairly easy process and we have done it in the past due to internet provider issues so he was old hat at that. Then they "called" him on skype and made sure he could hear them, they could hear him, had him play a few strings on his guitar so they could check sound quality. He passed with flying colors so the following Wednesday he was ready to begin, right after Lunch. His instructor was going to be Randy.

    He practiced on the guitar day and night in preparation of his first class. He found a tuner app on his smart phone, gotta love technology. Found a song online that he wanted to learn to play and was ready to go. The first lesson went wonderfully, after Taylor's lesson they emailed me and let me know the natural light was too bright in Taylor's room, making it hard to see Taylor for the teacher. So for the next lesson we covered the window behind him with a towel and this seemed to remedy the problem. After Taylor's second lesson using my Mom's classical guitar I surprised Taylor and went on craigslist after a conversation with a friend who told me that was how they bought all of their kids first instruments. I found him the guitar he really wanted to play, an electric guitar and amp. I was so excited to surprise him with it.

    He was over the moon when I brought it home, and he could not wait for his next lesson so he could show his teacher. He really hit it off with Randy, his instructor, he valued his opinion so he was excited to hear what he thought.  So Taylor finished his last two lessons learning on his new electric guitar. He finished his lessons a couple of weeks ago but has not stopped practicing. He loves playing and he is getting fairly good after just 4 lessons.

    We would like to have continued on with MacPhail for guitar lessons for Taylor but it just is not in our budget right now. If budget allowed we would have jumped at it. I was pleased with the lessons and Taylor looked forward to each week with enthusiasm I had not seen in a long time. If you know Taylor you know it takes a lot to impress him and hold his attention. I was so pleased to see him excited about his lessons and he took it so seriously and practiced and still does every day.

   If you are looking for music lessons, whether guitar or maybe another instrument, MacPhail may be just the answer you are looking for. Suitable for students of all ages in grades  K-12.(with some help with the computer for younger kids) and all from the privacy of your own home.

  The pricing for all students are as follows:
Special Introductory Pricing - Individual Instruction - Four Online Lessons for $111
Receive four 30-minute individual online lessons from an outstanding teaching artist, from the convenience of your home. All K–12 homeschool students are eligible to participate in this package, a 25% discount from standard tuition rates.

Daytime Flex Packs for Live Online Lessons offer flexibility to accommodate your busy schedule and help you achieve your unique musical goals. Simply schedule 8 Live Online Lessons during the 18 week semester on any weekday from 9 am – 3 pm CST. Unexpected scheduling conflict? Our cancellation policy gives you the option of canceling your lesson up to 48-hours in advance, without forfeiting the lesson. Whether you travel for work or leisure, juggle kids' extracurricular activities, or live in an area where options for studying your instrument are limited, MacPhail's Daytime Flex Pack can help you experience the joy of music-making. Standard pricing will apply after introductory lessons at $37 per 30-minute lesson. 

    If ever given the opportunity to take lessons from MacPhail again I know we would jump at the chance. If you are interested in learning more about MacPhail online lessons, or if you live in the Minneapolis, MN area you can even take lessons at their school in person please visit their website, http://www.macphail.org/ If you would like to hear more about the Crew's experiences with their students and their different choices in instruments be sure to click the banner below and read them all.



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Friday, August 23, 2013

In the Hands of A Child Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2013 #hsmommas #hsreviews #lapbook

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  One of our first experiences of homeschooling was led by the suggestion of a friend of mine. This was to not overwhelm the kids or I and start with doing a lapbook that dealt with one subject. We just so happened to begin homeschooling right at the start of the Winter Olympics. My kids and I were immediately hooked. A short time after that I attended my first ever homeschool Curriculum fair, at a local church, it was small but a great start. One of the vendors that I found exciting there was In the Hands of A Child. I even attended one of their workshops, to really learn what this lapbooking was all about and why it is so beneficial. Also so to make sure we had actually done ours correctly. I was astounded at all there was to offer us "lapbooking" families from this vendor in particular.  So imagine our delight when we were chosen for this Schoolhouse Review in particular.

 We were sent the Attack on Pearl Harbor Lapbook Project Pack from In the Hands of A Child for our review. There was something unique about the Pack we chose to review. This choice had the additional option of choosing a Type It In format. My boys struggle with fine motor skills so this appealed to me greatly. The boys were so excited to get started. Pearl Harbor is a big interest to them so this added to the intrigue. Now some people think lapbooking is for little kids, in fact I have had friends ask me how I get my boys to still do lapbook style learning. For us the answer is simple, it is very hands on and that is the way they learn best. The next answer is there are lapbook packs for all age groups, for example the Pearl Harbor one we chose is for grades 5-10 so suitable for 10-15 year olds but could be adapted for all ages.

   Now you are probably wondering what you get with this Project Pack? Well here is what you get: First off you get the Teacher's Guide which is the actual curriculum, 60 pages of the how to's of creating a lapbook, this is especially helpful if this is your first one. You get all of the reproducible content, this is all of the fill in the blank components that you will print out, let your child fill in then they will cut them out and attach them into their lapbook project. If you get fancy, like we do sometimes, you can print them on colored paper and it adds eye catching color to their lapbook, or if you have kids that like to color, you can print them on white paper and have them color the images in. My boys like to color sometimes and other times not so much so we switch on and off.
 
    In the Attack on Pearl Harbor Project Pack your children will learn all about Pearl Harbor from the initial attack on December 7, 1941 which happened to be just after my Grandparents were married. All through the beginnings of WWII.

This unit includes a 6-day Planning Guide, Related Reading List, 20 Hands-On Activities PLUS 1 Fun Extension Activity, 10-page Research Guide, and Answer Key.  Students will learn a brief history of World War II, the events of the attack on Pearl Harbor, damages and casualties of the attack, the aftermath, memorials, and more.

  Now like I said we chose the option of adding in the Type It In format. So my boys actually typed in their answers on the computer and we printed them out with the answers already written. This made this go so much faster and smoother for us. You need the full version of Adobe to save their work, but for us we just printed them as they finished them. We worked on this every day and completed it in just over a week. The boys did the required reading and then answered and filled in the corresponding sheets. Then after they were all finished we took and afternoon to assemble it all at once. Sometimes we do it this way and other times we assemble as we go. You can use brads to attach the little stacks of information into your labooks that are made with file folders or you can use glue sticks. My boys will tell you we go through a lot of glue sticks because of how much we lapbook and that is one school supply I will not share because it seems like no matter how many I buy during the Summer sales we never have enough.

     Now if you are wondering if this is an expensive project the answer for me is NO! If you know how to bargain shop it is even better. I buy our file folders in bulk at the office supply store or Costco. Brads can be found at the office supply store or even the dollar store and the rest if items you should already have, scissors, glue or glue sticks and crayons, colored pencils or markers, and pens and pencils for filling in the answer. The ink could get costly but we invested in a laser printer a couple years ago and it has helped cut down on that expense so much.

  The neat thing about lapbooks is they make a wonderful study guide for unit tests and they are also a great show piece to show off their work to family and friends. It is truly something for them to be proud of. It is so amazing to see the difference in their lapbooks from the first one we did to how they turn out now. The put so much effort into these and enjoy doing them. They especially liked the Type It In function of this one  and we are definitely going to be checking the In the Hands of A Child website for some more lapbook project packs that have the Type It In ability.

   Now normally the price for the actual project pack is $12.00 but there is a sale going on at the time this review is being written, where you can get it for the sale price of just $5 as well as many of their packs. The type it is feature is an additional $2. Now this price is for the e-book version I received as my review. There are many options like a CD or printed version, you can check them all out by visiting the links throughout my review. They vary in prices and you can find the one that would best suit your family and budget. I prefer the e-books myself, very cost efficient and if you know me at all, you know I detest paying for shipping, so this is a win-win in my book. You can also view a SAMPLE of this project pack. Even better you can check out all of the reviews from the crew by clicking the banner below. There were many options for us to all choose from so are sure to get a feel for the vast variety In the Hands of A Child has to offer, from Elementary to High School there is something for everyone. Easily adapted to children as young as Pre-K. Start lapbooking as early as today with the ability to instantly download your purchase and get started right away, your kids will thank you for it, I am almost certain.


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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thursday Throwback New Years Of Many Years Past #thursdaythrowback #mobsociety

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This first picture is of Taylor on his first New Year's in 2000 he was just a week shy of two months old.
 The second picture was New Years Day 2001 just one year later, Taylor was almost 14 months old and Nick had just turned 4 yrs, and Alyx was 2.5 yrs old.
Wow! Does time fly! They are now Taylor almost 14 yrs old, Alyx just turned 15 yrs and Nick will be turning 17 yrs old. Now all in High School, Taylor a Freshmen, Alyx a Sophomore and Nick a Senior. Only one more New Year's with everyone here at home. Next year Nick will be away at college and probably way too cool to spend New Year's with us. 


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wordless Wednesday Meet Dash..... #hsmommas #mobsociety #4-h

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Alyx has decided he wants to do rabbits for 4-H. We got Dash at the small animal auction at the fair last week. Now to work on finding a mate for Dash. Oh JOY!










Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Family Hope Center Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2013 #hsreviews #hsmommas #mobsociety

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   I have often wondered how my two youngest children ended up with a form of Autism and not the  oldest. How their brains function differently.  How I can help my Grandma with Alzheimer's to have a little higher function at this point in her life. I learned some of these things and so much more while watching my review copy of the DVD Understanding Child Brain Development from the folks at Family Hope Center.

   Let me first start off by saying I wish I had gotten my hands on a copy of this when my kids were small and going through so much more than they are now, I wish I would have had this before I had kids for that fact. I think every potential parent should watch this DVD and not just once but multiple times. There is more information packed into this DVD than I could soak into my brain with just one viewing. I watched it once and then again and then again. The third time I watched it I took notes. I just was amazed by all of the information packed into it.

    Understanding Child Brain Development walks you through the How and Why and What that makes up the Who your child becomes. All while giving all the praise to the great Maker, God himself. The DVD explains how the brain begins and then walks you through the developmental process and explains why children go through the phases. For instance why they should be on their tummy. Did you know that tummy time aids in the digestion process? I surely did not! 
The floor should be the number one toy for your children from the beginning. This time spent on the floor helps them gain independence and explore and move from one developmental phase to the next. 

   Parent often think they need all those new fangled gadgets like exersaucers and bouncy seats and lets not forget the Johnny jump up. In reality all they need is a clean floor and a few toys and time to explore their surroundings. All of this time on the floor leads to the building of motor skills, and speech and all of these things lend to helping the child speak and read and communicate. 

    I have often wondered if the surgeries I had while pregnant with my 2 younger boys lent a hand in their developing Asperger's Syndrome? Now while this video does not help diagnose your child with any disorder or disease it does help you understand the process and where it may have been interrupted that may have led your child to being diagnosed. 

    The Family Hope Center believes that every child is a unique individual and should be treated as such.  They work with parents of a child diagnosed as special needs or exhibiting developmental delays to develop a customized approach which targets the brain rather than the symptoms.  After evaluating current skills and abilities, the Family Hope Center presents the family with an effective, integrated therapy system that includes parents as therapists for their child.

Now while the primary focus of Understanding Child Brain Development is on Special Needs children, it is not solely for special needs kids and their families. Like I said in the beginning I think every potential parent should view this video. I am certain this would be a shower gift that will not be sent back. This video should be viewed over and over and can be such a helpful tool in dealing with and understanding all children, as well as adults with disabilities.  Just like my Grandma who has Alzheimer's, understanding truly how the brain works, helps me to understand how she is truly functioning.

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I am so glad I was given this opportunity to review this DVD and I cannot wait to share it with friends and family. I know I will be purchasing some copies to give as gifts for some upcoming baby showers. 

To order the DVD ($19 plus shipping), please call 610-397-1737 or you can order Understanding Child Brain Development from IEW.


As always be sure to check out all of the Crew's Reviews by clicking the banner below. 

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Monday, August 19, 2013

I AM SECOND FLY BY Promotions Review #IAMSECOND #secondschange

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  I know I often struggle with putting God first in my life. I have been getting better but often need to be reminded that I am not alone in this struggle. I was intrigued with the concept I AM SECOND. Who are these people and how did they come to find God and put him first and foremost in their life?  How did putting God first change their life? I was surprised to learn that many of these people were just like me, A Mom, A Daughter, a Wife.

   The story that touched me personally was the one of John Meador. He often wondered why God would not heal him? Why would a healing God not take away the burden of his disabilities, let alone let him go completely deaf? When I was diagnosed with MS I often asked these same questions of God. Why me, but I learned by turning more towards God instead of away from him, is that I was meant to beat MS and teach others not to let their disability get the best of them.

   There are stories of abuse victims, those with disabilities and divorce to name a few. Visit iamsecond.com and read the stories that you may identify with the most.

About: I AM SECOND
Actors. Athletes. Musicians. Business leaders. Drug addicts. Your next-door neighbor. People like you.
The authentic stories on iamsecond.com provide insight into dealing with typical struggles of everyday living. These are stories that give hope to the lonely and the hurting, help from destructive lifestyles, and inspiration to the unfulfilled. 

You’ll discover people who’ve tried to go it alone and have failed. Find the hope, peace, and fulfillment they found. Be Second.

Help aid in the production of more of these films that will help others realize God is first in their life donate to Seconds Change.

About: Seconds Change
Give Change, Make Change- Many more stories are waiting to be told.  You can help.  Commit $2 every Tuesday to build film funds, and your contribution will be used to develop, produce and promote new films. Join the project and become an I am Second insider with access to exclusive content via Facebook.


'Like' the Nashville page - https://www.facebook.com/Iam2nd.Nashville to stay up to date on more I AM SECOND videos, activity and movement to change lives!
Resources:
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Iam2nd.Nashville
Twitter: https://twitter.com/IamSecond
Website:  http://www.iamsecond.com



Disclaimer: I was given the opportunity to review I am Second as part of my affiliation with Fly BY Promotions Bloggers Network. I was not given any compensation in exchange for my review, I was simply given the opportunity to review I am Second so that I could give you my honest opinion.

Sponsored Post: Save Money on Itunes Cards Shop at JC Penney

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  If your family is like mine, we got through a ton of itunes credits. So why not save money on something we are going to buy anyhow? Right now through the 31st of August JC Penney is running a sale. Check it out below.



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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

America the Beautiful!! Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2013 #hsreviews #hsmommas #hshistory #americanhistory

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     I am so pleased to share this curriculum review with you! I was given the pleasure to try out the America the Beautiful Curriculum Package from Notgrass Company. I have been searching for a curriculum for us for History that is written from a Christian perspective this year and I am confident I have finally found it.

   We have been using this curriculum for several weeks and have not been able to put it down. The boys look forward to History even while we are on Summer Break, this speaks volumes to me and does not go unnoticed. I came across Notgrass at the Great Homeschool Convention and was immediately intrigued. So imagine my excitement when I found out we were going to get the opportunity to review curriculum from them as part of being on the Schoolhouse Review Crew.

       Notgrass Company sent us the full curriculum that is geared for 5th - 8th grade. Now Taylor is just entering 9th grade and Alyx 10th but we are enjoying this curriculum thoroughly the age recommendation is 10-14 so my boys fit that perfectly before Alyx just turned 15. In our package we were sent the American the Beautiful Curriculum Package. This included 2 text books, America the Beautiful Part 1 and America the Beautiful Part 2, both hardcover and filled with 75 lessons exploding with rich colorful photos and detailed accounts of history. The first book tells of American before the Europeans and continues through the Early beginnings of the Civil War, it is 452 pages and you can read the table of contents and view a sample lesson here.

    The second book begins with America's expansion into the lands west of the Mississippi River and continues into the Modern times. This book is 572 pages of learning rich in learning and history of our people. You can view a table of contents and samples of lessons as well as the index here.

   These books are amazing and beyond words but we are not finished yet, we got so much more... Also included in our curriculum package was We the People, this is a 220 page hard covered, black and white book. Chronically real journal entries, newspaper articles, advertisements and short stories and so much more. You can view samples of this as well.

Next we have saddle stitched book of maps, these are detailed maps that you and your child we refer to often throughout the lessons and then use them to complete tasks when they have completed their lessons. This book is called Maps of America the Beautiful, and you can view it also. The book is complete with 61 pages. I think this was one of the favorites of my boys as they absolutely love to study and use maps. They find it fascinating and look for maps everywhere we go. I think they found this love for maps on our road trip this past fall.

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  Of course History lessons would not be complete without the use of timelines so included is Timeline of America the Beautiful, in the samples you will see where after the lesson or if your children are like mine they did it while they studied their lesson since their memory retention is a bit lacking, they fill in the blanks of the timeline of the period in history they were covering at that particular moment.  As you can see there is not a whole boatload of writing when it comes to the timeline portion of this curriculum which was wonderful for my boys since writing is a huge issue.

  The last book included in this curriculum package is the 55 page saddle stitched answer key book. This whole entire set sells for $99.95. This is beyond worth the price, I could not touch this price if I pieced out my curriculum book by book. I would not call this a bargain because to me that may imply cheaply made. I think of bargain books and they are small and lacking content sometimes. This is not the case what so ever. These books are of astounding quality and you can tell that hardwork and care went into the making of each of these books.

   There are also workbooks that are purchased separately for this curriculum, there are 2 options, first is the America the Beautiful Student Workbook geared for grades 5-6 and America the Beautiful Lesson Review for 7-8 grades. The workbook is $11.95 and the Review book $9.95.

   Now to explain a little about the workbook choices, even though the books are geared for specific age we used them both. Taylor used the workbook and Alyx the review. This worked for us as then we did not need to buy additional consumables. The maps and timelines they just worked together. This was perfect for our situation but may not be with others. The workbooks and review books are economical enough that they will not break the bank to buy the ones appropriate for each of your children.


   There were some needed items that were not included in our package from Notgrass Company, these were the literature books required to complete the lessons. The good news is most were available from the library or for free or cheap on our Kindle. The only one we will have to purchase was the last one which is Katy by Mary Evelyn Notgrass. Now it may be easier for you to purchase the entire Literature Package as a a lot and you can do just that by going to view the list and making that decision based on the selections needed. The whole America the Beautiful Literature Package is $59.95.  These are essential in completing the curriculum course and should not be taken lightly when deciding whether or not you are going to purchase the package. I was excited myself to find a way to incorporate literature into our studies without making it a stand alone course. My boys seem to enjoy the study of literature more this way and were not so apprehensive when it came time to read the books. It seems in the past when I brought up a literature book depending on the title they would groan and give me a hard time. When combined with this curriculum I do not  get the same results as they are truly enjoying this course of American History.

   This is definitely a curriculum that is going to be a mainstay for the entire school year and most likely beyond. Taylor even wants to explore their Draw to Learn books, because he says if they are as fun as the History he just has to have them!

   You can read more about America the Beautiful Curriculum Package as well as learn about Drawto Learn books by clicking the banner below to get to all of the crew reviews.

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Wordless Wednesday Alyx's Ride on a Monster Truck at the County Fair #hsmommas #countryfair #mobsociety

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