Friday, May 30, 2014

Apologia Educational Ministries What on Earth Can I Do? Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2014 #hsreviews #hsmommas

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Apologia Review

It is no secret around here that Apologia Educational Ministries is one of my absolutely favorite curriculum companies. I jump at any chance to review anything for them that I can, especially the newest volumes of their What We Believe series. So I am here with Volume 4 What on Earth Can I Do? This is the fourth volume in the set of their Biblical Worldview of Stewardship books and we have used them all. 

These are stated to be geared to students grades 1-6 but my boys want to continue the journey since we began it so here we are in 9th and 10th grade and I feel they are working just as well for my boys as they would for younger kids. We received 4 products to complete the set 1. What on Earth Can I Do? (hardback book) 2.What On Earth Can I Do Notebooking Journal 3. What on Earth Can I Do? Junior Notebooking Journal  4.  What on Earth Can I Do? Coloring Book 
You do not need all the pieces to make this work just the ones that you know will fit your family, You absolutely need the actual text book which is the hardback book, and you need at least one of the journals. The junior journal is primarily for those just beginning to write, although I use this one for my 9th grader as there is not a huge amount of difference and he is behind and struggles with writing so this leaves him feeling less overwhelmed. You then can decided which journal or both work for you and if you would use the coloring book. For our review purposes we did use the coloring book, for my boys it helps to be working on something, even coloring while listening to me read aloud from the text book. This is entirely up to you and your family's needs. 

The What on Earth hardback book is a beefy 297 pages,and sells for $39 which includes 8 chapters to work through as well as a beginning section that explains how to use this book, an acknowledgement and an index. We work on 1 chapter and stretch the chapter over a 2 week period working on it 4 days a week.
The 8 Chapters covered are:
1.Your Story Or  God's Story?
2.Who Put You In Charge?
3.Will You Be Found Faithful?
4.Where Is Your Treasure?
5.Where Does Your Time Go?
6.Whose Life Is It Anyway?
7.Why Isn't It Easy Being Green?
8. What Will Happen When The Master Returns?

  Each of the 8 lessons have been broken down into key segments. You start with The Big Idea, this is a brief intro and then an overview of what the students have learned so far. Secondly you have What You Will Do, this is the learning objective for the lesson. Next you have a short story centered around characters who are in the age range of the target audience 1-6 grade, they see how they struggle and have conflicts and how they help minister to each other and to see how a world view is put into action. Think About Its have now come and this is where there are questions that invoke thought and challenge your student to dig deeper into what they have learned and to demonstrate their comprehension. One of my favorite parts is Words You Need To Know, these are key vocabulary words that I use as some of our weekly spelling words, I just simply incorporate the words into the program we use to complete our spelling, this has helped the children and I both. They get extra practice with the words and I get a small break hunting down new words for them to study. Now comes Hide It In Your Heart, in this section the kids will focus on two specific memory verses, we use this for daily handwriting practice, this helps promote memorization of the key verse as well as we get to work on our penmanship. It is a Win Win in my book. Integrated learning, where there ideas to go beyond the book and use related topics to study other subject areas.

    What Should I Do? This section helps identify Godly character traits. How does the lesson of this character trait apply to their lives. One of my favorite sections is the one on Prayer, and how you pray for your family. Parables of Jesus, this section covers stories as told by Jesus and is a great way to wrap up each lesson. Going Deeper encourages children to explore the parables taught in that weeks lesson. Lastly is the House of Truth and is only in half the chapters, they are hands on memory aid and is carried out in a way that is helpful in producing an imagery for the student.

Apologia Review
As you move along with the help of the lessons plans that are laid out in the above book, you will answer the questions that correspond to the readings in one of the two notebooking journals. Both the Notebooking and Junior Notebooking journals sell for $24 each. They are essential in completing the course. You can take a slower approach and only work 2 days a week taking 3 weeks to complete each lesson. This is entirely up to you, you always have to do what is best for your schedule. 

Apologia Review

The junior notebooking journal has more pictures in contrast to the standard journal and there is not as lengthy of an answer required for many of the questions. 

Apologia Review

The last item I received was the Coloring book, which sells for $8, like I said this is a beautifully illustrated to teach children of all ages by simply coloring in the story. My boys really enjoy this task as they sit and listen to their lessons.   
Apologia Review

Throughout the entire What We Believe Series we have learned Who God Is? Who we are? Who are neighbors are? and now What is my purpose here on Earth. We are looking forward to finishing up our last few chapters over the Summer, and look forward to seeing if the journey through this series will continue. In the meantime, if you are looking for a solid World View curriculum to go along with Bible time, look no further. Apologia has it all from Science to World View to inspirational and motivating books for Mom. Please visit all of the social media links below for Apologia by clicking below.

 Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/apologiaworld
 Twitter – https://twitter.com/apologiaworld
 Google+ - https://plus.google.com/105053356034237782125/posts
 Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/apologia/

As always I invite you to click the banner below and see what the other crew members are saying about Apologia  and What on Earth Can I Do?
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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wordless Wednesday Nick's last night of homework as a High Schooler!!!!

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Throwback Thursday March 1997 Nickalas 4 months old #tbt

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Trident Case Schoolhouse review Crew Review 2014 #hsreviews #hsmommas #iPadcase

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Trident Case Review

   When you make a BIG purchase like an iPad you want to make sure you protect it! Here's the problem though, with so many cute iPad and phone cases out on the market people tend to migrate towards them. Sure they are cute and fun but are they protecting that electronic investment. Nope, not at all! I know I have fallen into the cute trap of cases, especially if it is pink or owls! I dropped my iPad not too long ago and thankfully it survived but it is was a huge wake up call. I need a case that is effective in protecting my iPad, I affectionately call Patti! So imagine when just a few short days later I was given the opportunity to pick an iPad case from Trident Case. The one I chose is a KRAKEN A.M.S. CASE FOR APPLE IPAD 2/3/4. This case is great for users of all ages kids- adults, there are only 3 large pieces so there is no choking hazard for little users.

      Trident Case has many cases to choose from depending on your device, from iProducts to Android devices there is something for everyone. You want to pick a tough, durable case for protection of one of your most worldly possessions, you want Military Tough, you want Trident!

  Trident Case tests all of it's cases and puts them through a rigorous battery of drops and slams that are fit for Military grade items. You can bet that you can have piece of mind while you let your little one play their games or watch their movies. I know I am starting to worry more about myself damaging it since I take it everywhere than I worry about my kids. Although I have a method to my madness when it comes to my kids and my iPad or anything I don't want to share for that matter. Think Pink!! That's my motto when it comes to picking out anything, ear buds, my new mini mouse for my laptop, and most of all cases for my iPad and iPhone. I learned early on that if it is pink chances are my boys will not want to touch it. To think they often wonder if I am as smart as I claim (insert evil villain laugh here). Trident Case has a fantastic array of color choices for their cases, and yes they even have PINK! Bright HOT Pink! I was in love before I saw they had pink, and believe it or not I almost did not pick pink. I was torn between Lime Green and Orange, but that thought quickly left when I got to the pink photo, it was literally calling my name. So I digress Pink it was, besides I did not want the boys to get the wrong idea and think I wanted them using my iPad again. Where would the logic be in that. The only thing I wish is that it was a little more pink than black but it still is pretty cool. They do have other amazing options like military branch cases and custom cases too, those options are a little more money than this one, but depending on what you wanted it is worth the extra investment in my opinion. You pay all that money for the iPad and the first thing people, like me, want to skimp on is the price of the case. Now there is absolutely NO logic in that thought at all.  The KRAKEN A.M.S. CASE FOR APPLE IPAD 2/3/4 sells for $69.95 which when you consider how well made and how much protection it is offering your often $600 and up iPad that is merely a drop in the bucket.

    You know what my single most favorite thing about this fairly new, been around since 2010, company is all of their cases are made and manufactured right here in the good ole USA! I don't know about you but that is pretty important to us. Now I know you are probably thinking, "Yes, but your iPad is not a US product", and while I am fully aware of that, we still make a conscious effort to buy US when we can. I still give kudos to Trident Case for keeping it American to this day. Trident cases are also made with Biodegradable plastic, we also strive to be a green family as often as possible so this earned brownie points with me as well.  They have many options as far as device cases, color combinations and the layers of protection you are looking to get, from 1-3. There are also many accessories to choose from and they make it easy to add them to your case with a patented twist and lock method, there is a round hole in the back and all of the accessories like a stand, or a handle, or a car mount just click in place and your simply twist to lock. I know I am going an accessory or two really soon, the one I have in mind is the KRAKEN A.M.S. TABLET STAND AND HOLDER this sells for just $19.95 and it is an accessory that I miss from my cheap case that I just seem to not be able to live without. So I will be adding it soon.

  This particular case came in 3 pieces that easily snap together, now I have never been a fan of screen savers and maybe one of the reasons is they stick on, not with Trident Case they are part of the case and it is to keep clean and no worries of a sticky film when you remove it. Now it does take some maneuvering to get the pieces on mainly the hard plastic shell but it really only takes a couple of short minutes and is not a big deal at all. I engaged the help of my handy 15 year old for assembling so that I could take pictures of the process. So below you will find photos from start to finish of assembling and attaching the case.

                  Here is Patti Naked and Cold, time to get her all dolled up and protected from harm.
All 3 pieces of my Trident Case
                                  The rubber, cushion first layer

                              Next goes on the back plate which is part of it's turtle like shell.

 Alyx is carefully snapping it on and making sure the rubber bumper is properly positioned.

Now it is time to pop on the third and final piece and make sure it is all snapped on tight and in the right direction. Really it will only fit on one way so no worries.

                                       Almost done!!

All finished!! One of the features I like is how all of the ports, such as the charging port and headphone port are all covered with rubber bumpers, so if you happen to have a mishap of liquid nature your case is still covered. Now would I purposely douse it with water or something else, No Way! You never want to do that, but if it happens to get wet because of a spill on the table near it or things like that you can feel at peace knowing your covered by a Trident Case.


    Are you protecting your electronic purchases with cheap cases?? Do you want Military tough so you can have piece of mind? Order your Trident Case, as soon as you snap it on you will feel so much at ease carrying it with you, or simply letting your kids play with it too. I know I feel protected when I accidentally leave it on the arm of the couch and the dog knocks it to the ground, I no longer cringe with fear. I know it is going to be safe. Trident Safe!!

    Click on the banner below to see which Trident Case my fellow crewmates chose for their electronic device. We all got to pick what fit our device so there is sure to be a review that matches your needs.
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Check Trident Case on all of their social media sites and keep up to date on new additions and sales.
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/tridentcase
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 Vine - https://vine.co/Trident.Case
 YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/user/TridentCase

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Micro Business for Teens Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2014 #hsmommas #hsreviews #microbusiness

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Micro Business for Teens Review

    I think every teen longs to have spending money of their own. In our family we do not pay money for chores they do around the house and we do not give allowances. That is just how we work around here. So when my kids become teenagers and have a little more freedom to go out and do things with friends they want to be able to have money to spend. I do not pass out money just because they ask though. I often will split the cost of something with them so I know they truly want it. So where does their money come from? They do odd jobs for people but the cash is very sporadic, so they have been talking about starting little businesses of their own based on their talents. So when I had the opportunity to review Micro Business for Teens and the books that are part of the program I felt it was God opening a door to give the boys direction to follow their ideas.

   We were given 3 E-books to review and help the boys work through the program, they are  Starting a Micro Business, Running a Micro Business and the Micro Business for Teens Workbook. This curriculum is geared for pre-teens and teens ages 10-18. I do feel it is a great starting point for adults as well who want to start a micro business of their own. My 2 younger boys used this program and they are 14 and almost 16. My oldest son who is 17 has a "real" job so he was not interested. The PDF version of each book, which is what we were given, cost $4.95 for the two books and $9.95 for the workbook. You can also choose a print version of each for $9.95 for the books and $14.95 for the workbook. There are discounts for large group orders, for instance I think this would be a great class for our homeschool co-op for our 7-12 grade kids.
Micro Business for Teens Review

   So let us start with book 1: Starting a Micro Business. Great place to start right!! You need to investigate everything about an idea before jumping in head first and sinking. Plan and strategize that is the only way to get things done right. The first chapter covers what a Micro Business actually is, short version, it is usually a home based business that has little to no start up costs and very little risk. For instance Taylor's 1st idea: Computer Repair and Virus Removal. His second idea: developing a game App for i-products. Both of these ideas require NO start up money. This is music to this Mom's ears. Alyx's ideas may need a bit of start up materials like tools if he did not already have them. Lucky for us this is what he already spends his extra money on so we are good to go. Alyx wants to start a handyman service and an small auto repair shop. I will get more into where their businesses are headed in a minute.

    As you read through Starting a Micro Business your teens and you if you are like me will learn all aspects of starting their Micro business, there is talk of why you want it to be a sole proprietor, working with partners at a young age, generally does not end well, heck sometimes as adults it doesn't work either. You learn about keeping the business small and manageable and some great ideas for beginning businesses like lawn service or snow removal. Telling the kids how to avoid scams and then you move into problems and hiccups that may develop with your product or service and how to avoid or overcome them. One of the big things Alyx ran into when doing snow over the Winter was non paying customers. We want to avoid this in the future as much as possible and we definitely learned some pointers that will help him out.

  The boys learned how to write up a business plan and get their thoughts onto paper. This is a great visual helper and let's the kids work out any kinks on paper first before they set their plan into action. You learn that if your business has a product you need to have a sample product. This did not apply to my boys but I am interested in selling some of my crafts at a local store so this appealed to me. I was over the moon with the emphasis the curriculum places on carrying no debt and building a debt free business. This is HUGE in my book. I want my boys to live as debt free as possible and we talk about this often and I love how this shows to carry this philosophy over to their business world.

  There is a whole chapter devoted to types of businesses, child care, pet sitting, landscaping, you name it if you did not already have an idea you will get one by the time you read through this book. The final chapter is filled with inspiration and motivation. The benefits of learning, finding a person to motivate you (be your cheerleader). You will learn that it will not always be easy but you must stick it out to be successful. Don't give up when the going gets tough. SHARE! Sharing not only gets the word out about your upcoming business but helps others know they can do it too!
Micro Business for Teens Review

     The next book we got was Running a Micro Business. After you have worked through the first book and have your idea for your Micro Business and know how to get started now you need to learn what to do to keep it running like a well oiled machine. This book tells you everything you need to know including time management skills, how to balance everything including school work, home life and now your business duties. You will gain knowledge into bookkeeping and customer service. How to overcome being shy and how to express yourself professionally. The most fun part of this book for my kids was learning about marketing and advertising for their business. For Taylor my artsy boy, this has become a whole class all on its own. He has even sparked an interest into a career in advertising. You never know where God will lead you when you begin and adventure, often times it is merely a stepping stone for the true path. While working through both of these books there is also a workbook that is helpful for completing some of the steps to getting your business up and running and keeping it running smoothly. Touching on Sales, Marketing, Customer Service and Record Keeping. You also learn about bookkeeping and using software to manage your business. You will touch on legality of a micro business, do you need a business name? Do you need to obtain any licensing such as permits from the city or tax ID. Lastly reducing risk, do you need any type of  insurance, for my older of the two this is especially important since he will be driving soon. The boys enjoyed learning about what an LLC was and we took it one step further and learned about all the types of businesses.

Micro Business for Teens Review
The Micro Business for Teens Workbook works hand in hand with Starting a Micro Business and Running a Micro Business. Here you will put to paper what you learn and read about. The best part of having a PDF version of this workbook and curriculum is that you can easily use it for more than one student without having to make additional purchases. I have found over the years that while at first I did not like the burden of printing all of the needed sheets off I have liked having the opportunity to send it off to the office supply store for printing and if I so choose I can have them punched and spiral bound for easy flat open books. Or we can 3 hole punch the pages and put them into a tab folder or binder. Then we can use the opportunity to have a little Art and create custom book covers that fit each of my boys personalities. So now I am seeing many added benefits of digital, printable curriculum. 
My boys worked on this several times a week for the last 6 weeks and we are continuing to work through it and they will be ready to launch their business ideas in June. Taylor is busy spreading the word about his computer repair business and has already practiced on mine and my Dad's computer. Taylor found over 600 malware and malicious files and such on my Dad's computer and installed new Virus and Malware protection. He already has some customers lined up and is relying heavily on word of mouth.  He is also busy creating a great looking flyer that he is going to put up at our local senior center and my oldest son's work has a community board in the doorway. He can even purchase an ad next Spring for our co-op's yearbook. Alyx is completing his endeavor on starting a automotive/home repair business and already had his first job last week, fixing a leaky utility room sink for a neighbor and this Friday he is installing the water lines for our friend's new fridge's ice maker and door water system. He is also interested in doing small auto repair and had the opportunity to work on my car recently replacing the fuel filter and also fixing the heater core in my car. He can do oil changes and tire rotation and is up for almost anything and likes to be challenged. I like to see my boys put their God Given Talents and Hobbies to good work. This curriculum has truly been a blessing and has helped my boys put their dreams of starting a small business into a reality and the potential to earn some great spending money. I guess we better get crackin on our new economics curriculum so we can keep the momentum and drive going. 
If you would like to hear what the other crew members thought about Micro Business for Teens. 
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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Surprise!!!! Happy 70th Birthday!

Pin It Now! My Mom and I and my Aunt Sue threw my Dad a Surprise party for his 70th Birthday. His birthday is today but the party was yesterday. We had it at our favorite Chinese restaurant. There was 22 people at the party. I made the invitations and thank you cards and Got the cake. We all chipped in for one big gift and got him A Kindle Fire HD with a case. He has been using my Mom's but now he has his own and can play games and things and it is so much more portable to take to camp than his laptop.

  We all had fun, and we even got a chance to take an updated 4 generation photo with my Mom, Grandma, the boys and I. Grandma will be 94 next month. We are so blessed to still have her with us.