Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Jonathan Park and The Copper Scroll Review & GIVEAWAY!

Just in time for a new school year, a new adventure from Vision Forum!

Delve deeper into Biblical Archeology with the Creation Response Team in Jonathan Park and The Copper Scroll!  

Jonathan Park and the Copper Scroll review and Giveaway
Jonathan Park and The Copper Scroll

"When the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, one scroll stood out from all the rest. It was made of copper and described more than sixty vast, hidden treasures — and how to find them. But where are those treasures now?

This real-life riddle has stumped archaeologists and treasure hunters for almost sixty years. Now Jonathan, Kendall, Jim, and Jessie think they've uncovered a clue that may unlock the mystery. As the Creation Response Team follows clues from one biblical location to the next, opposition increases on every side. The team's even being tailed by Myles Morgan!

Join the Creation Response Team for a heart-racing archaeological treasure hunt that will uncover ancient artifacts from Bible times and reveal exciting testimonies to God's amazing creation and His inerrant Word. . . in Jonathan Park and the Copper Scroll!"

As always, my children LOVE listening to Jonathan Park, especially during car rides.  I was impressed with this adventure by the detailed descriptions of places and archaeological evidence.  Many of which are backed up with scripture.

Examples include, but definitely are NOT limited to:

A memorial celebrating a king's victory over Israel.  2 Kings 8:28-29, 2 Kings 13:3.  Supports House of David.

Legends vs. Biblical accounts

Scroll of Isaiah having 1 author

Evidence of the walls of Jericho rapidly falling

Accounts of Battles of King Sennacherib during reign of Hezekiah over Judah

Nuzi Tablets

Scriptures pointing to the city of Shechem

Ruins of Baal-Berith mentioned in Judges 9:4

Proven natural amphitheater between Mt. Garizim and Mt. Ebal

Back drop information of the Samaritan woman at the well.

Book of Maccabees and how we got the Old Testament

And, detailed "sight seeing" around the Holy Land interwoven throughout the plot line.  So descriptive, it's like you are really there!

The trap is set...... With B'nai Essenes, a two-faced archaeologist, and long standing foe Myles Morgan, Jonathan Park and the Copper Scroll twists and turns, but, just who do you trust?

Enter to with this 4 Audio CD set comprised of 5 hours of adventure!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received this item free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fun with Taxonomy - Hands on Science

In our study of  Apologia's Flying Creatures we not only thought of our own Classification System Mnemonic to help remember Taxonomy:  Klingons (Kingdom) Pop (Phylum) Corn (Class) On (Order) Friendly (Family) Gas (Genus) Stoves (Species), but gathered  the plethora of stuffed animals in the house and tried to fit them into Kingdom, Phylum, Class and in some cases Order.  

Armed with Apologia's Flying Creatures and older brother's Apologia Biology books plus the internet, my kids did a good job organizing and classifying.  They had fun AND it was a great way to help them visualize this aspect of science!

 Kingdom Animalia....where did all these animals come from and who paid for them ?
 Kingdom Animalia....where did all these animals come from and who paid for them ?

Phylum Chordata ..... still a pile load of creatures!
Phylum Chordata ..... still a pile load of creatures!
Phylum Arthropoda
Phylum Arthropoda

Class Crondichthyes
Class Crondichthyes

Class Crustacea - a tasty bunch!
Class Crustacea - a tasty bunch!

Class Aves
Class Aves

Class Mammalia - still more!
Class Mammalia - still more!

Order Perissodactyla - My daughter's favorite
Order Perissodactyla - My daughter's favorite

Order Carnivora (The bears were absent from this picture!)
Order Carnivora (The bears were absent from this picture!)

Order Rodentia
Order Rodentia

Order Arteodactyla
Order Arteodactyla

Order Hexanchiformes
Order Hexanchiformes

Order Primates
Order Primates

When we have more time to spend on this, I think we'll try to go further in our classification.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Spelling Mechanic Review!

Back in the day, I learned how to spell.  I wrote my words 5 times each, used them in a sentence and then wrote them some more.  If I missed a word, I wrote it again...some more....over and over.  It would have helped if the words in the list had some semblance of a relationship.  But, they were random words.
Yes, I'm a victim of the 'learn and reguritate' method of spelling.  I did alright, but, clearly I recognize that this method does not work for all kids.
Case in point.  My middle two kids.  My oldest 'middle' is in 6th grade.  We've managed to muddle through enough memorization of words that he's holding his own.  However, my youngest 'middle' who's a 3rd/4th grader did not fare well with rote memorization of random words.  
After using several spelling programs I was looking for help! Serious help!!!

Spelling Mechanics Homeschool Word Study
A while back I received a 'like' on my Homeschool Circus Facebook Page from Spelling Mechanics.  

Hmmm....Spelling Mechanics.  That's one I've never heard of before!  With my interest peaked, I clicked on over to their website and two sentences jump out at me: 

1.  It introduces children to patterns and rules through discovery lessons under the guidance of the parent. 

2.  Tests require the application of knowledge rather than memorization of lists, so children are able to apply their knowledge to a greater number of words.

This sounds too good to be true!  I HAVE to get my hands on this program!!!

Spelling Mechanics Homeschool Word Program

How does a word study program differ from a spelling program?

"Spelling Mechanics Homeschool Word Study , brings together best practices such as discovery learning, mass practice of new skills, distributed practice of past learning, word sorting, games, study of etymology, and applied spelling across the curriculum. Dictionary basics are introduced in the primary grades through games and activities meant to excite a love of words. At the higher levels, students learn how to read word origins and understand how the history of the word affects its modern meaning through the study of word prefixes, roots, and suffixes from Greek, Latin, and other languages. Children don't depend on memorization of lists.  Rather, they understand how words are built and apply this knowledge in the program assessments and in their daily writingread more"

Spelling Notebook
Each child makes a Spelling Notebook which contains the completed Word Sorts, Reference for rules learned and Personal words.  My daughter chose to put her 5 personal words to be studied on a big sticky note on the cover of her notebook.

Spelling Mechanics Word Sorts
Sample of a 'Word Sort' done by my daughter.  Broken down into 3 different ability levels, Word Sorts help your child decipher and figure out a pattern for each units' words.  After the sort is completed, discuss the results and then add the sort to the child's Spelling Notebook.

Sample of Spelling Mechanics Worksheets
Sample of Level 3 Worksheets.  To see more of this set, (which includes Teacher Instructions) go here.

Samples of Spelling Mechanic's Rule Box
A sample of Spelling Mechanic's Rule box that is cut from the worksheets and put into the Spelling  Notebook.

Our experience and thoughts:

There were a few times early on when I just didn't "get" the direction of Spelling Mechanic and almost hung it up.  But when I saw how much my daughter enjoyed it and how much she was RETAINING,  I pressed on.

Around Unit 3, it all clicked for me.  I'm very glad we persevered through because this has been the most positive spelling experience we've had.  I wish I would have had it for my older 2 children!

Admittedly, this program is the most expensive we've ever used.  But considering the amount of money we spent on 'cheaper' programs that didn't work and the tearful interactions throughout the years, I will gladly invest in this program!  Spelling Mechanic is well laid-out, fun, interactive, and flexible PLUS it took the stress out of teaching and learning spelling in our household!

Check out some sample units and see if Spelling Mechanic is right for your homeschool!

I received a Level 3 CD-Rom free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Child Training Bible Review and GIVEAWAY

Do you struggle to find Biblical answers to help your children grow in righteousness?  Do you want to provide Biblical correction but not sure where to look?  Are you wanting to get at their hearts as opposed to just fixing behavior?

Let me introduce you to the Child Training Bible .  Designed by Mindy, a homeschooling Mom of 5:

"The Child Training Bible is tool that allows parents and children (and anyone that loves the Word of God) to go directly to the pages of Scripture for instruction in 20 key areas with a complete section dedicated to the gospel."

The CTB 'kit' comes with instructions, 1 Key and 3 laminated cards.

Child Training Bible
Child Training Bible - 1 Key and 3 laminated cards

You will also need:
A Bible
Highlighters (I choose to use colored pencils)
Matching colors of Post-It Flags
Supplies needed for Child Training Bible
Additional supplies needed to assemble your Child Training Bible

Setting up your Bible will take some time.  I had to choose opportunities when I knew I wasn't going to be interrupted every 30 seconds or my toddler wasn't around...so, it took several sessions to complete.

To begin, tape the Key on the first page of your Bible.  (This serves as your guide where you look up the behavior, color and area you need to go to when you are 'training' with your child.)

Front page of  Child Training Bible
Front page of Child Training Bible (The Key)

Then follow each topic with that color highlighter (or colored pencil) and the appropriate colored flag by finding the corresponding listed scripture.

Continue by highlighting and tabbing the entire top side of the card first, working your way down the side and bottom sections.

Once that is finished, you are ready!

As necessary, follow the enclosed list of steps to accomplish a calm, constructive 'Bible moment' which also includes heart probing questions, discussion and prayer.

Our Experience:

Shortly after I finished putting my CTB together, I had the opportunity to use it!

Finished Child Training Bible
Voila!  Finished product!
My two middle children were quarreling.  So, pulling them aside separately, we read through the scriptures on quarreling and discussed them as we went along.  Next we went through the heart probing questions, like "Are you communicating with words that would promote peace?"  followed by the Gospel questions which point to Jesus.  "Did Jesus speak evil and stir up strife?"  We finished up with prayer and apologies from one child to another.

As a very busy mom who desires to raise her children with the Bible as their guide, I recommend the CTB as a wonderful tool to aid in that pursuit.

Once set up, the CTB is VERY EASY and affective to use.  It's affordable, portable and you can WIN A KIT FOR YOURSELF!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a Child Training Bible 'Kit' free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Inference Jones Beginning from Critical Thinking Review!

Inference Jones" Inference Jones provides short, fun, and easy-to-use activities that improve critical reading and higher order thinking by developing the student’s ability to draw inferences from written text. Research shows inferential reasoning is a prerequisite component to superior reading comprehension. The National Foundation for Educational Research concluded that "the ability to draw inferences predetermines reading skills: that is, poor inferential reasoning causes poor comprehension and not vice versa."

The reader’s interpretation is the result of inferential analysis which includes drawing from personal knowledge and experiences, social values, and cultural conventions. The interpretation connects a meaning to the words, providing the reader with an understanding of the character’s actions, circumstances, or events in the story."

Sample page:

Inference Jones Beginning Sample Page

See more samples here.

Our experience:

I had the privilege of reviewing this with my 3rd/4th grader.  Due to a late diagnosis for a minor problem with her vision, she's a bit behind in her reading skills.

Happily, she's making leaps and bounds in her ability and this book fit her very well!

To begin, I would sit and read the paragraph with her.  Then, while still sitting with her, let her read and  answer the questions on her own.  This was just enough to inspire her confidence and empower her to think these questions out for herself.  I was pleased to see her reasoning skills and interest in this book.

What a GREAT introduction to reading comprehension WITH critical thinking for my elementary aged daughter!

I received a copy of this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Pursuit of Proverbs 31 Book Review!

Author Amy Bayliss departs from a rigid 'formula for success' apporach in favor of "a look into the heart of God and the reality of those words in the Bible."  Definitely NOT your typical look at Proverbs 31!

Pursuit of Proverbs 31"Yet even in the midst of wearing the Superwoman cape I echoed the questions that have plagued the hearts and minds of so many:
  • Why can't I get it right?
  • How can I find more time to get it all done?
  • Why isn't God helping me?"

 Pursuit of Proverbs 31 is a guide that is meant to be a launching pad for "greater study and self-discovery."  It is suggested to the reader to be armed with colored pencils, notepad and Bible and read through the whole book first.  Afterwards, prayer is encouraged for direction as to which section(s) of the book the Lord desires you to work through.

This study not only looks at Proverbs 31, but also at wide array of pertinent scripture throughout the Bible.  With study techniques included as well, this certainly is an interesting way to learn more about the Proverbs 31 woman!

The sections on "Your Relationship with Your Husband", "Practical Ways to Manage the Home" and "Making a Family Mission Statement" really spoke to my spirit!  And, the section on doing away with a pre-programmed list of priorities in favor of God's DAILY priorities was life changing for me!

I have enjoyed the wisdom gleaned from this first read through.  I am equally enthusiastic with anticipation in going through certain sections a second time around.

If you are wanting a different approach to the Proverbs 31 woman without the guilt and short-comings, this study is definitely for you!

Who is Amy Bayliss?

"Amy Bayliss, then Amy Grant, began blogging in 2005. Since that time she has trail blazed through the blog scene co-founding and propelling online retreats like Homemaker’s Challenge, and her personal website:Cajun Joie de Vivre. She also brought to the table an innovative way for bloggers and their readers to connect by establishing online conferences and workshops through A Woman Inspired, HOTM Conferences, and DIY Ministry. She has been featured Woman’s Day Magazine, Inside Out Programming, and was the feature story and cover girl for CWO Magazine in August of 2008.

Currently, she is a regular columnist or contributing writer to the following publications: Sisters in Bloom, RooMag by Candace Cameron Bure,The Better Mom, and A Martha Heart.

Amy is the author of Pursuit of Proverbs 31 and Do It Yourself Online Ministry. She is now wife to Ryan and mom to four rambunctious boys that range in age from 18 months to 15 years. They reside in Cajun Country where they worship and serve under Healing Place Church."

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The CWA Review Crew.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up - School & Legos....Not JUST for boys!

So this week in our Homeschool, we had a smashing time at the most awesome, hands-on VBS ever!   Entitled, "The Great Awakening: Adventures on the American Frontier....Come meet some of the great preachers and evangelists from the 1800's, visit a blacksmith, make butter, learn to cane a chair, make a leather pouch, play games from the American frontier...all in this living history style VBS."

In addition to my oldest naviagating his way through Greek Mythology, Geometry and starting an Art History class that we hope to get college credit for (!) , the rest of the crew kept busy...

Building the capital
My 11 year old building The Capital

Creek Edge Press Task Cards
My 3rd/4th grader working on her Geography Task Cards from Creek Edge Press

Walking Stick - mom and baby
A little nature observation....a mother Walking Stick with her baby on her back!

And finally, my daughter takes a stab at creating her very first movie about her Lego Friends .  Her brothers contribute to the scene with their Ninja Warriors!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Your Guide to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks Book Review!

Incredibly illustrated, well-organized and written, Your Guide to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks will have you packing your backpack, hiking books and Bible for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure!

Your Guide to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks (True North Series)"Many come here for inspiration and refreshment but fall short of what this area teaches.  David, the Psalmist, got it right when he viewed the mountains and found a question, Psalm 121:1 "I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come?"  He answers his question with a correct answer, an answer to lead all of us to ponder our God as we view His creation and His work:  "My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth" (Psalm 121:2)."

This guide is a wealth of geological, ecological and historical facts right at your finger tips.  Its' lens is a  Biblical worldview shedding light on:

"Yellowstone - a high altitude volcanic plateau created by one or  more of the largest super-eruptions in the world.  It's landscape was then altered dramatically by the ice Age, creating valleys and vast plains where bison still roam."

"Grand Teton National Park - dramatically different, consisting of mostly majestic mountains rising abruptly from the flat floor of Jackson Hole (the valley on the east side of the range, not the town).  The park's topography has been shaped by phenomenal tectonic and glacial activity."

 True North Guides were written with three purposes in mind:

  • To provide an understanding of what the visitor actually sees from the major overlooks of the parks
  • To provide an overview of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks from a creationist's perspective and compare it to an evolutionary interpretation.
  • To show that what is observed in these parks is best understood by the creation/flood interpretation.

There are so many fabulous parts to this book - I wish I could share them all right here! In addition to tips for visiting the parks, and general information, key places within the parks that demonstrate the flood / uniformatarian debate are included.  Be it glaciation, boundaries, erratics, extent of sedimentary rocks, sliding, steep-walled canyons, fossilization, petrified forests, bark beetle ecology, mutualism and cooperation, wetlands, fires... it's here within these pages.

Each National Park is broken down into points of interest including Old Faithful, Specimen Ridge, Jenny Lake and Signal Mountain just to name a few.  Each of these 26 points of interest are then broken down further into a gorgeous three page spread that describes a variety of topics specific to that area.  On the outside of each of these pages is a thought provoking question that can be answered within the spread, such as:

"What is the significance of 11,000 ft of rounded quartzite rocks?"

"Why is there bark missing from so many trees?"

"How do we know faulting happened in the Teton's after the ice age?"

This is a must have book if you plan on touring the park, are a Geology / Creationist fan - or - you are one yourself and want to share this evidence with someone who believes in Evolution.

I received a copy of this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Naturally Supernatural - A "no hype" approach to the Spirit empowered life.

Naturally Supernatural - A "no hype" approach to a Spirit empowered life."Realize that most of the manifestations of the gifts of the Holy Spirit were not done in believer's meetings or in church services at all, but they happened while people were out about their business in the real word."

In Naturally Supernatural  author and Pastor, Duke Taber takes a balanced, radical middle approach towards "how to have spiritual gifts operate in your life without looking like a hyper spiritual nut case or throw out biblical literacy."

He carefully examines scripture used on both sides to answer the question, "Are spiritual gifts for today?"

Additionally discussed are:

  • Motivation behind spiritual gifts
  • Difference between filled with the Spirit and Spirit-filled
  • How Jesus used the gifts and their use in the early church
  • The real purpose of prophecy
  • Two different aspects to speaking in tongues
  • Importance of dying to self in using spiritual gifts.

I especially like this quote about how spiritual gifts are to be used in everyday life:

"If used lovingly it can be used to open the eyes and make people today more receptive to what you have to say concerning the gospel.   It has a way of breaking down the natural barrier's people sometimes put up when being told the gospel message."

And on healing:

Gifts of Healings (notice the plural!) "The power is not in the office.  Each time a healing occurred in the early church, it was used as an open door to spread the gospel of Jesus."

"I believe that the proper use of healing is both evangelistic and pastoral."
How do I know about the radical middle?  Well, after living in both a very traditional, but spiritually dead environment for years followed by a "hanging from the chandeliers, larger than life, walking in The Spirit, Jesus-freak" lifestyle, I've come to a place of balance between the Logos and the Rhema word of God.

If you are on the fence concerning spiritual gifts or know someone who is, I highly recommend this ebook!

You can also read more of Duke's work at Taber's Truths.

This was an unsolicited review.  I received no compensation, other than storing up treasures in Heaven.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Second Chance Lilla Rose Flexi-Clip Giveaway + Free Shipping

Thank you to everyone who read my Lilla Rose Flexi-Clip Review and entered the giveaway.


I'm so sorry that I couldn't give each one of you a clip of your own!  But, here's another chance to win the lovely small Flexi-Clip pictured to the left.

During the month of August, shipping is free for orders over $20!

Please consider ordering for Christmas or an upcoming birthday - and - be entered to win the Flexi-Clip pictured above.

Please visit my LILLA ROSE ONLINE PARTY to check out the clips and place an order.

Enter to Win $50 CASH - 1000 Facebook Likes Giveaway

Homeschool Circus celebrates Gricefully Homeschooling's 1000 Facebook likes along with 10 other Homeschool Bloggers!
Graphic designed by Dazzles & Doodles

Last Saturday, Gricefully Homeschooling's Facebook page, made it to 1000 Fans!!

So, it's time for a giveaway!  

Participating in this 1000 Facebook Likes CASH Giveaway:

Important Information {please read BEFORE you enter} :

There will only be ONE WINNER! 

Giveaway starts August 7, 2012 at 12:01 A.M. EST and ends August 14th, 2012 at 12:01 A.M. EST {that's just after midnight on 8/13/12}.

Must be 18 years of age or older to win!

Must have a valid and verified email address in order to claim your prize. If you do not have a Paypal account, then you can choose an Amazon Gift Card or Target eCard... all of which will emailed to the winner.

Emails will not be used for any other purpose besides notifying the winner, sending the prize, and emailing subscriptions {if you subscribe}.

ALL WINNERS WILL BE VERIFIED FOR PROPER ENTRIES for this giveaway! {So don't click enter unless you actually did it! If you did so by mistake, and you cannot fix it, feel free to email me.}

The winner will be announced AFTER we verify him or her and get confirmation back... so be checking your email on August 14th!

So... who would like to win $50 for their back-to-school needs?


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 6, 2012

Defending the Resurrection in Everyday Conversations

Need help with tough questions posed about your faith? The Bible says we are to be prepared to give an answer for the hope we have. In otherwords, we are to "speak the truth in love to whomever asks us."

Tongue tied?

Speaker Mikel Del Rosario shares a sure fire way to remember 5 historical facts that support Jesus' Resurrection in : Defending the Resurrection in Everyday Conversations from the Conference Set: Reasonable Faith in an Uncertain World II .

Simply download this affordable MP3 file to your favorite player and be prepared the next time Aunt Sally corners you at a holiday dinner or a co-worker brings a statement of doubt against the Resurrection.

No matter how busy or hectic your lifestyle, these illustrations are easy to learn and will definitely stick with you!

I enjoyed listening to Mikel's presentation so much that I am considering purchasing the rest of the conference MP3 files.  I can't think of a better way to learn more about defending my faith while I'm out for a a walk or during a workout.

I received an MP3 download of this hour long presentation free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Daughter of the King Book Review

Daughter of the King - Protecting Children from Sexual Violation
"We TELL to protect other boys and girls.  We TELL so darkness can be brought to light.  We TELL so we all can be safe.  We TELL so we can all be free from the plan of the enemy."

The book, Daughter of the King is a tool that helps bring the problem of sexual abuse to light through "education and awareness" by helping children to be "aware of evil and give them the courage to tell."

Powerfully written, this book first and foremost establishes that EACH PERSON IS CREATED SPECIAL BY GOD.  And that He loves each of us no matter what we have done!

Courage to Tell - Protecting Children from Sexual ViolationPractically, it explains why we shouldn't keep secrets from parents, defines "bad touches" and what to do in situations where we are uncomfortable or in danger of being hurt.  Equally important is the advice of telling parents if friends are making poor choices - sometimes a cry for help in its' own right!

Most importantly though, the author stresses that it is never the victim's  fault and above all, have the courage to TELL!  The statistics are startling!  Almost 90% of cases are perpetuated by someone the child knows.

Coming soon - a secular version of this book called Courage to Tell which will be great for public schools.  You can learn more about Author Tammy Sutton's ministry and speaking engagements by visiting Courage to Tell!

You can also find Courage to Tell on FACEBOOK.

I received a copy of this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.