Monday, February 27, 2012

TOS Crew K5 Learning Review!

K5 Learning  In an online world filled with mind numbing games and "educational" websites, K5 Learning stands alone.  K5 is a unique site filled with enrichment activities that help your child academically instead of entertaining them for a week or two, leaving them bored and ready for the 'next thing'.

Previously I had independently reviewed this website.  Then in addition, I had the privilege of reviewing it for the TOS Review Crew.

We LOVED it the first time, but I wondered if my kids would still be as enthused weeks later.  Read on and see...  

The basics of K5 from their website:

What is K5?

K5 Learning is an online reading and math enrichment program for kids in kindergarten to grade 5. Designed principally for after school study and summer study, K5 is also used by homeschoolers, preschoolers and gifted kids. K5 helps your children build good study habits and excel in school.  

Watch K5's Introduction Video!

Lessons are selected automatically 

In K5 Reading and K5 Math, lessons are selected automatically based on each child's grade level, past lessons and assessments (if done).  This ensures that kids progress in a logical manner and don't just do "fun" lessons or repeat lessons they have already mastered.  Parents can also make assignments for their kids.

Lesson Levels

Lessons are divided into
  • 5 reading skill areas (phonemic awareness, phonics, sight words, vocabulary, and reading comprehension), and
  • 3 math skill areas (numbers & operations, geometry and measurement). 
Initially, kids are placed at their nominal grade level in each skill area.  If students complete an assessment, their placements are automatically adjusted to their assessed levels.
Our K5 Reading - Lesson Guide and K5 Math - Lesson Guide provide an overview of the material covered in each skill area at each grade level.

See a variety of sample lesson from Kindergarten through 5th grade HERE!


Did my children still enjoy K5 almost 12 weeks later?  YES!  Both my 3rd and 5th graders were still as eager to do it 3-5 times a week as they were on day one.  I believe that it's because the program augments the lessons that they struggle with and cements those lessons that they have already conquered in their daily homeschool learning.

This time around I did more tweaking of lessons to target their problem areas and it has been a blessing.  This was especially true for my 5th grader in the area of fractions.  I was easily able to navigate the site, get into the areas he really needed help in, assign those specific lessons and then monitor his improvement.  K5  has really helped my visual learner to remember how to deal with fractions because of the interactive, progressive lessons.  

While my 3rd grader is strong in Math, she benefited most from the Math Facts Area.  This is also a unique part of the program as the student learns the operations in smaller chunks using real life situations as compared to straight drilling of a given number family.  This definitely helped 'stick' the answers in her head.

Conversely, my 3rd grader is weaker in reading.  During the first review period as suggested by K5,  I purposely kept her below her reading level so she could gain strength and confidence in her abilities.  Then, this review period I moved her up to where I thought she *should* be.  Holding my breath, I was very pleased to see her excel both in ability and attitude!

For my 5th grader, who's always been a good reader with a strong vocabulary, this section was not so beneficial to him.  But, it did show me that his abilities in reading comprehension and vocabulary were rock solid. 

And as last time, we have ALL enjoyed the Spelling Area.  The reason why this is our favorite part of the website is because it's not your typical 'learn, regurgitate, and then forget it' spelling program.  Words that are missed are continued into the next days' spelling list until they are mastered.  K5's spelling works wonders with all learning styles.  

K5's Spelling sequence goes something like this:  After the spelling word is read, your student can either hear it again, read the definition or hear it in a sentence.  Next, the student types the word.  If it's correct, the program advances you to the next word.  If it's missed,  the student gets a second chance.  K5 gives you a "fill in the blank" word with the correct letters that the student has already typed.  The student then fills in the remaining blanks and practices the world.  At the end of the pre-set number of questions, the missed words are revisited.

See for yourself how wonderful spelling can be!

It is also easy for the parent to access the Spelling List and input their own list of words, change the number of words in the list and check on their child's progress.

I have reviewed many online programs both for my blog and for my own personal curiosity.  Frankly, there's a lot of mindless fluff out there.  While doing something for enrichment is not always necessary, if a family has the money and wants to supplement their homeschool, I highly recommend K5!!

As for our family, this is the ONLY online resource that we have ever considered buying subscriptions for in our 9 years of homeschooling.

K5 Learning is for children Kindergarten through 5th grade.
Subscriptions run: 
$25/month or $199/year for the first child.  Additional students are $15/month or $129/year

Check out a free trial of K5 Learning at for your household.  Please let them know Homeschool Circus sent you.

Here's what other crew members are saying!

I received a trial subscription free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up (Foundering on the Rocks of Individualism)

Arab-Israeli Conflict
Selected readings to begin Unit 4

This week we begin our final unit of Year 4 of Tapestry of Grace.  The focus shifts to the Middle East and will be the majority of the reading for the next few weeks.

I have to admit that we didn't get as much done as usual.  My oldest is taking some high school level classes --- and while this is great preparation, it's also a glimpse into the next 4 years and shows us where we are doing fine and where we need to step it up.

Instead of diving into this week's readings full force, my 13 year old did spend quite a bit of time reading other literature for his classes.  He loves to read, and while many of the books aren't due for weeks, he couldn't stop!!!!

Not a bad thing to have raised a child who loves to read!

In the midst of busyness, we have neglected our hands-on activities and lapbooking.  We hope to pick them back up this week.

In addition to academics, my 10 year old got a 'new friend' for his blue dumpy frog named Button.

We were hoping to get a young female to share Button's cage....image our surprise when this whopper showed up at the pet store!

Meet Pickles:
Pickles, a female White Dumpy Frog
Pickles, a female
White Dumpy Frog

This is Button, the original Blue Dumpy frog who's very happy to no longer be a bachelor!

Join us next time for:  The Family Adrift (Legacy to the abortion movement)

Friday, February 24, 2012

ACT & College Preparation Course for the Christian Student Review!

ACT & College Preparation Course for the Christian Student

ACT & College Preparation Course for the Christian Student

A few months back, I reviewed the SAT College Preparation Course for the Christian Student from New Leaf Press.  Thinking that the ACT version would be nearly the same, I figured there wouldn't be much to write about.

I was wrong!

The author, Dr. James Stobaugh, not only intends for this book to be used as a preparation tool to score well, but also to prepare the student for life's journey.

"Come to Mt. Moriah, young people, where God demands everything and nothing must be taken for granted.  The ACT is a great opportunity, but first, join me on Mt. Moriah!
Hebrews 11:17 (the first commentary on Genesis 22) says, "By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice.  He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son."  This man Abraham was called by God into the Promised Land.  And he went.  He was promised many descendants.  And he waited - even into his nineties.  And God gave him a son...but now he must go to Mt. Moriah.

Dr. William Willimon tells of a congregant who said to him one day, "I am looking for another church because when I look at that God, the God of Abraham, I feel I'm near a real God, not the sort of dignified business-like...God we chatter about here on Sunday mornings.  Abraham's God could blow a man to bits, give and then take a child, ask for everything from a person and then want more.  I want to know that God."

Do you know that God?  A god who means business?  Not some existential reality grounded in warm fuzzy feelings, but a God who brings chills up your spine.  Not the God whom we meet on the silver screen, full of maudlin aphorisms, who can barely manage happy endings.

No, the God of Mt. Moriah is the God Abraham meets in Genesis 22, the God Moses meets in Exodus 3 in the bush that is on fire but does not burn, the God who does not make polite conversation.  This is the God who struck Annais and Sappirah dead for their lying and intrigue.  This is the God who Abraham meets this day.  This is the God who is leading you in this new century, in the post-Christian world.  He means business, young people.

This is the God you will meet in this ACT preparation book..."

Each of the 50 lessons within this ACT preparation course includes:  Devotional that can be journaled, Test-taking Insights, Test Practices, Math, Vocabulary, Reading, English, Writing and Science.  This book also has a through explanation of what the ACT is, what the test measures and how it compares to the SAT which serve to complement the study materials.

Ideally, this course is to be used everyday for about 50 days (1 lesson per day) OR for a year (1 lesson per week) depending on when the desired testing date is scheduled.

As in the SAT review, reading is emphasized as the best way to build vocabulary.  Students are encouraged to read 50 pages a day from books suggested on the supplied reading lists.

Now that I own both books, I feel very well equipped and confident in helping my soon-to-be-high schooler.  Our next step is to figure out his target colleges and their admissions test requirements!

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

TOS Crew Reading Eggs Review

Reading Eggs

What is Reading Eggs?

From The Reading Eggs' Website:

Learning to read
Learning to read is an important skill for all children. And we wanted to make it an enjoyable experience for children as well. Children love working and playing on the computer and the Reading Eggs program is all about bringing out the best in each child.

Learn to read with Reading Eggs
Reading Eggs
We created Reading Eggs as a unique online world where children learn to read. It supports each child’s learning by offering individual, one-on-one lessons that allow children to progress at their own rate.

Reading Eggs

Educationally sound

The program has been developed by a highly experienced team of educational teachers, writers and developers. The Reading Eggs program focuses on a core reading curriculum of phonics and sight words using skills and strategies essential for sustained reading success. It completely supports what children learn at school and will help to improve your child’s results at school.

Children love it!

With interactive animations, fun games, great songs and lots of rewards, Reading Eggs is a great place to learn to read. Children are highly motivated to return again and again. At Reading Eggs, learning to read is enjoyable as well as very rewarding. Every lesson ends with a new book and a new critter to add to your growing collection.

And it’s growing!

Reading Eggs now has 100 big lessons. These 100 lessons are perfect for 4 to 7 year olds who are learning to read.
We are still building more NEW lessons for our older Eggsplorers as part of Reading Eggs World. This world is perfect for 6-8 year olds who already know the basics of reading but who still have much to learn about reading, writing, spelling, and comprehension. This exciting new world has lots of new lessons, a creative story writing factory, new games and will soon have many wonderful new books to read in Storylands. The learning focuses on building reading fluency and comprehension, spelling, vocabulary, and a range of writing skills including grammar and punctuation.
In Reading Eggs World, children have their own house to decorate, a big new shop and an avatar that can walk and travel to many new destinations on Reggie’s bus. Children are able to choose their own adventure from a wide range of activities and places to go.
This new world of interactive reading and writing activities will help to set kids up with positive attitudes about reading and learning for life. That’s a tall order, we know, but we are passionately committed to delivering this to hatching readers everywhere. Please join us on this magical journey of eggsploration.

Our experience:  Upon signing up, my 8 year old daughter set out to take the placement test.   Reading Eggs ranked her as having the read skills of a 5.5 year old and placed her at Map 8 out of 13.  The lessons were boring and extremely easy for her.  In one excercise, it had her put simple words in the correct order to make a sentence.  After she did that, the program had her do it again.   She was not happy.  

Reading Eggs

The rest of the 'younger' area was very difficult to navigate.  So, I had to email the company and ask them how to change her lesson level.  Even after upping her reading level to 13, the lessons were still too easy.

With that, I had her go over to the 'older' section and look around.  This area reminded me of Facebook's 'Yo-ville' and is filled with bizarre alien-like creatures along with 'normal' humans.  Neither one of us liked this area.
Reading Eggs
Needless to say, this was not a hit in our household. 
Try a Sample Lesson of Reading Eggs for yourself.
Reading Eggs subscriptions are as follows:
1 year subscription - $75.00
6 month subscription - $49.95
Monthly subscription - $9.95
Disclaimer:  I received a subscription free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, February 20, 2012

TOS Crew Winter Vapor Rub from BEEYOUTIFUL Review!

Winter Breeze Vapor Rub .

"At, we believe that each individual is responsible for their own health. It is not a doctor's responsibility to keep you in good health. Instead they are a tremendous resource, especially for those times when urgent care is required. But, they are only one of many resources. And the tools they use, while powerful, are not the only tools available. But a tool is worthless unless one knows how to use it.

We have found a lot a tools that have worked very well for our families, and made Beeyoutiful a repository for those tools, as well as the information to effectively use them. As we learn more, we share more. Our goal is to eventually carry every natural product that we use. We're not there yet. We may never be as we are constantly being exposed to new and great products. As much as is in our power, we want to aid others in obtaining and maintaining good health.

Our mission is to do good to all men."

Winter Breeze Vapor Rub from BEEYOUTIFUL
I was privileged to try Winter Breeze Vapor Rub .  Regular Vick's Vapor Rub contains such toxic ingredients as turpentine oil.  That is just unacceptable for my children!  Winter Breeze Vapor Rub is  "A healthy version of the vapor rub mom used to spread on your chest and under your nose, Winter Breeze uses body-friendly coconut and olive oils -- along with beeswax -- as carriers for the camphor, menthol, eucalyptus, wintergreen, and tea tree oils known for their abilities to clear mucus and help heal upper respiratory and bronchial infections."

Thinking that I would use this on my children, I was surprised when I came down with a cold and needed breathing relief.  I used this on my chest, back and a little under my nose before going to sleep at night.  It really helped me breath easily and get a decent night's sleep.  The rub is silky smooth and doesn't leave you feeling greasy.  I love this product and will definitely use it on my children as well.

Winter Breeze Vapor Rub retails for $18.00.

Check out the other natural products which include:  Bath & Beauty, Essential Oils, Nutritional Oils, Supplements, Books, Appliances, Baking Supplies, and Tea from Beeyoutiful at
Disclaimer:  I received a container of Winter Breeze Vapor Rub free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Homeschool Family Question of the Week~Handling Illnesses

Christian Homeschoolers Taking a Stand has just posted their weekly "Homeschool Family Question of the Week" link up.

This week’s question is:

"How do you handle sick days or weeks?"

This week's question came at a most opportune time!  You see, we've had a second round of sickness go through The Circus.  Ironically it happened both times after having set aside time specifically for a wonderful day of fun projects.  

What we do (or don't do) depends on who is sick.  My kids range from 13, 10, 8 and 2.  If it's the older kids, we do some 'video schooling' or reading on their own if they don't have headaches.  If it's my younger two we do a lot of cuddling and I read to them.  Everyone enjoys a good audio book as well.  If I'm sick, it's time to call in Daddy!

So, this week we watched The Battle of Britain, The Hiding Place, Citizen Kane and Bonhoeffer for officially schooling.  The kids did pick some movies for fun as well.  My oldest had a sore throat and was tired, but no headache so he spent most of his extra time reading Tale of Two Cities and helping me with a review from Vocab Cafe.  My 10 year old wasn't sick, so, he helped pick up the slack with the chores and had some extra playtime outside.  My 8 year old preferred hot tea and having Molly read to her and The Nip Napper was up to his usual modes of mischief.  We also broke out Wits and Wagers for those who felt up to playing.

PE and Wednesday Co-op classes were cancelled as well.

As with any illnesses we gauge the severity vs. work that absolutely needs to be done and go from there.

Please link up your posts to the linky at Christian Homeschoolers taking a Stand -OR- leave your activities in the comments below.

Looking for past questions? Check out:
*Handling the Morning Wake Up

*Homeschooling on the Really Hard Days
*Homeschooling a Challenging Middle Schooler (Special Needs and Aspergers)
*Computer Use in Homeschool

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up (The 60's....1960's in review)

We finished up our study of " all things '60's " this week.
Selected readings about the 1960's
Selected readings about the 1960's

Selected readings about the 1960's
A few more selections!

 In addition to the rigours of this week's schooling, I had the chance to go to a Pioneer Village with my daughter.  We had a great Mother - Daughter outing!

Candle-making old school
Candle-making old school!

Weaving on a real loom!
Weaving on a real loom!

Woodworking without electricity
Woodworking without electricity!

Even the donkey gets a treat!
Even the donkey gets a treat!

Join us next time as we begin our study of the last part of the 20th century and begin reading our last American Girl set, Julie!

Friday, February 17, 2012

TOS Crew Who Am I? from Apologia Review!

Who am I?  is the second in the What We Believe series from Apologia.
Who am I?  is the second in the What We Believe series from Apologia.  Created for ages 6-14, each lesson is flexible and can be customized to your child's need.

The text of the book is written to the student and the preferred method of notebooking over boring worksheets is emphasized.

Each chapter is broken down into these sections:

Big Idea - introduces the main topic
What You Will Do - states learning objective
Short Story
Think About It - thought provoking questions
Words You Need to Know - vocabulary
Hide It In Your Heart - Bible memory verses
Integrated Learning - interesting articles that relate to the topic
What Should I Do - highlights a specific Godly character trait
Worldview Focus - introduction to different Worldviews
What's the Difference - discussion questions allow children to compare and contrast worldviews.
House of Truth - add a new part to the 'House of Truth' that was started in the first book.

Lesson 1 opens with "What are We Doing Here?"  The objectives are to identify the attributes of God and identify the characteristics that identify YOU as a person created in God's image.

Next is a short article about Russia telling about its' climate and a little history.  This ties in very well with the short story about a Russian child who was born lame and how knowing God's purpose for his life strengthened him.

After reading this story, there are thought provoking questions and then a journaling activity.  In addition, there are more readings and then another notebooking activity.

I liked the majority of this lesson, except for the section on Superman.  To me, it seemed out of place.  The analogies between Superman and Jesus were a stretch for me as well.  When using this with my children, we skipped this small section.

The book does a nice job of explaining the attributes of God and we REALLY liked the Worldview sections at the end of each chapter.  These particular sections are very well done and give you a glimpse into the hearts' of those who do not know Jesus as Lord and Savior but live by a different 'creed'.

In all honesty, the first book of this series was not a good fit for our family.  It is very basic and great for the newly-saved or lightly churched family.  This book however, goes much deeper in content.

I reviewed this book with my 13,10, and 8 year olds.  It was a bit too light for my oldest as he is already taking a Worldview Course from Summit Ministries.  For my other two, it was just right.

This is one curriculum that we will continue on with next year with my two children who will be in 4th and 6th grades respectively.

See Sample Lessons and Table of Contents.

Who am I?  is the second in the What We Believe series from Apologia.
Though not necessary to the study, the Notebooking Journal is just beautiful!  I would suggest if for children 10 years and up in order to utilize it to its' full potential.  Filled with illustrated pages, writing prompts, discussion questions and activities, I know it's something my children will treasure even after the study is over.

See Sample Pages and Table of Contents for the Notebooking journal.

Who am I?  is the second in the What We Believe series from Apologia.

The Who Am I? Coloring Book is perfect for younger students.  Every drawing coincides with a teaching from the main book to help reinforce the lessons.

See Sample Pages here.

Who am I?  is the second in the What We Believe series from Apologia.
And for those of you with Auditory or slower learners this Audio CD is the perfect companion!  Hear a sample.
(Note:  this is to be played on your computer or MP3 compatible CD player).

Who am I?
Text book $39
Notebooking Journal $24
CD $19
Coloring Book $8

Check out Apologia's full line of Science texts, Geography, Writing and Parent resources at

Here's what other crew members are saying.

Disclaimer:  I received the above items free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up - Vietnam War

Selected readings from The Vietnam War
Selected readings from The Vietnam War

Our study of The Vietnam War wrapped up with a visit to The Cpl. Larry E. Smedley National Vietnam War Museum.  I had no idea that this treasure and wealth of information was literally in our backyard!

Run by Vietnam Veterans, we were treated to an excellent HANDS-ON tour.  We spent our morning hearing, touching and seeing first hand the equipment, artillery, uniforms, geography, and more up-close.  This was so much more than you would ever get in a text book!  My children came away with a greater appreciation of the sacrifice these men made and how it impacted the world.

Uniquely, there's no admission fee, but donations are greatly appreciated.  Open weekends only, tours can be scheduled during the week by contacting the museum directly.
Douglas A4-B Skyhawk Aircraft
Douglas A4-B Skyhawk Aircraft

Gear from The Vietnam War
Gear from The Vietnam War

M113 APC
M113 APC

Now THAT's a hummer! (Gulf War)
Now THAT's a hummer! (Gulf War)

A Memorial in remembrance of the fallen soldiers of Orange County.
A Memorial in remembrance of the fallen soldiers of Orange County.

A medical helicopter (UH-1 Huey) that you are encouraged to climb up into
A medical helicopter (UH-1 Huey) that you are encouraged to climb up into.  

A scaled down replica of a bunker gives you a feel of how these soldiers 'lived' on the front lines.
A scaled down replica of a bunker gives you a feel of how these soldiers 'lived' on the front lines.

Vietnam War - Medical Helicopter

authentic Vietnam War era jeep
The Nip Napper and my 10 year old pretend to 'take a drive' in an authentic Vietnam War era jeep.  I love that people are encouraged to touch these vehicles!

inside a tank!
The view from inside a tank!

'driving' a hummer!
My Princess 'driving' a hummer!

he turret
My oldest at the turret
fighter jet.
Visitors are encouraged to climb up and look inside this fighter jet.  Think you could have handled this cramped space?

This is an AMAZING replica of an army base created by the son of a fallen soldier!  This picture doesn't do it justice as the detail is remarkable !!  I believe there are over 100,000 handmade/molded clay 'sandbags' on this replica!
This is an AMAZING replica of an army base created by the son of a fallen soldier!  This picture doesn't do it justice as the detail is remarkable !!  I believe there are over 100,000 handmade/molded clay 'sandbags' on this replica!

We also finished our comparison of the Korean and Vietnam Wars for our Modern History Lapbook.
Korean and Vietnam Wars for our Modern History Lapbook

Join us next time for a wrap up of the 60's

Friday, February 10, 2012

2012 Presidential Election Critical Issues Kit Review!

Would you ever vote for a fool?  Think the Electoral College is an outdated tool from bygones past?  Believe that the Supreme Court is the end-all in Judiciary decisions and abides solely by the Constitution?

2012 Presidential Election Critical Issues Kit

2012 Presidential Election Critical Issues Kit from Vision Forum contains How to Dethrone the Imperial Judiciary, The Importance of the Electoral College and Biblical Principles of the Ballot Box.  Purchased alone or in the kit, these resources will not only help you choose a Presidential candidate, but aid in the understanding of American history and structure of our government as well.

2012 Presidential Election Critical Issues Kit

Biblical Principles of the Ballot Box CD - Fearful Christians in an Age of Politics.

Though this was taped prior to the 2008 Elections, these timeless principles are still applicable today!

“Christians will panic and loose their spiritual minds and fear over the state of the election.  The answer is delighting in the law of God and his statutes’ and beholding the wonderful things he has given us in these statutes’ not withstanding the fact that princes and magistrates and rulers may despise them as may other Christians who have lost their spiritual mind in a state of fear.”

Packed into a 2 hour message, Doug Phillips delivers a distinctively non-political message that doesn't endorse a particular candidate but rather shows all Christians how to use the one true source of guidelines in selecting civil magistrates  - THE BIBLE

God can raise up whomever, but we don’t have to endorse someone that doesn’t acknowledge God as law and authority.  So an attitude of "There are no perfect candidates, so we must chose the lessor of two evils", doesn't cut it in God's eyes.

For us to give our support, he should uphold Godly principals.

In Exodus 18, Jethro gives Moses specific guidelines in how to select a civil magistrate.
He must:
     -be able (Man of spiritual strength)
     -fear God (honor and reverence God)  The Bible says if you don’t fear God, you are a fool.  
      Why would you vote for a fool?
     -be committed to truth
     -hate covetousness

Just as a present day judge gives guidelines to jurors before they render a judgement, Moses gives specific standards (guidelines) to the people in choosing a leader 40 years later in Deuteronomy 1:13.

Interestingly enough, these principles are similar to the selection of elders and are found in:

Deuteronomy 16:18-20
Deuteronomy 17:14-20 
2 Samuel 23:3 
2 Chronicles 19:6-7
Nehemiah 7:2
Romans 13:1-6

This CD also addresses women as civil magistrates as well.

Coming from a "voting for the guy I don't like so that the guy I REALLY don't like doesn't win" perspective, I was personally convicted that I have not been holding my "candidate of choice" completely up to the word of God.  With guidelines in hand, it's time for me to get cracking and weigh each candidate by God's standard which was set down after the Flood.  This November I will vote with a clear conscience supporting a candidate that is qualified according to Biblical guidelines, whomever that may be. 

2012 Presidential Election Critical Issues Kit

The Importance of the Electoral College
"What do George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jack Kennedy, Harry Truman, Woodrow Wilson, Abraham Lincoln, and eight other American Presidents have in common?  Each received less than a majority of the votes cast in the election that elevated him to the White House.  What does every elected President since 1824 have in common?  None received a majority of the votes of the potential voting population and, in fact, most received less than a fourth of that possible vote!"

Then why do we need the Electoral College?  

Some of the reasons include:

*Republics exercise governmental authority through mediating representatives under the rule of law

*Pure democracies on the other hand exercise governmental authority through the imposition of the will of the majority without regard for the concerns of any minority-thus allowing law to be subject to the whims, fashions, and fancies of men

*The Founders rejected direct popular election of the President because it failed to protect the states from the intrusion of massed centralized forces

*Finally, the Founders avoided direct democracy because it would fail to prevent candidates from ignoring smaller states in favor of big metropolitan areas

Critics say each state's electoral votes are awarded on a winner-take all basis in the Constitutional system.  This makes it extremely difficult for third party or independent candidates to win any votes in the Electoral College.

In this information packed book, great for Junior High and up, author George Grant takes examples from the elections of 1789, 1792, 1796, 1800, 1824, 1876, 1888 and 2000 demonstrating how the Electoral College's decision benefited the country over popular vote by representing a greater variety of the population.

For example, in the Election of 1888:
"the campaign proved to be one of the most civil and boring in history.  It was also one of the closest.  Cleveland won by only 0.8% over Harrison in the popular vote.  That lead was concentrated in a single region while Harrison was able to appeal to a broader constituency across the whole nation."
While critics claim the above as their best example of how flawed the Electoral College system actually is, supporters argue that on the contrary, this shows why the system worked.

And finally,
"This is no time to tinker with the great instrument of our freedoms.  The Electoral College is not broken.  Like never before in our long and vanted
2012 Presidential Election Critical Issues Kit

 How to Dethrone the Imperial Judiciary
"Nowhere in Article III are federal judges granted “life tenure”.  To suggest such permanent, unchallengeable incumbency is as foreign to the actual text of the constitution as are the words “separation of church and state.”
It is pure myth that the Supreme Court has the last word on the meaning of the US Constitution.  Indeed, article VI makes clear that “this constitution and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof…shall be the supreme Law of the Land….and all executive and judicial officers, both of the US and of the several States shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution.
In other words, the Judiciary is under the Constitution. and not over it."
In Dethroning the Imperial Judiciary, Author Edwin Vieira takes the reader through landmark cases in which the Supreme Court has made their decisions based on foreign law and solely on the Constitution.  These rulings have in turn been accepted as gospel.

For example, in Lawrence vs. Texas:

"In summary, foreign law not only was a very important component of the majority's decision in Lawrence, but also could be deemed the controlling component."

It was eye opening to read how members of the Supreme Court are seeking to undermine our Constitution instead of upholding it with such abuses traced back to the late 1800's.  This book is meaty and a challenging read - definitely for upper high school and college level readers!

Check out one or all of these resources.   I guarantee it will challenge the pop-culture mentality that many of us have been indoctrinated with - even if you've been walking with the Lord for years!

Disclaimer:  I received these items for free in exchange for an honest review.

BIBLE SHUFFLE: New ipad App from Digital Worship!

Digital Worship Announces a New iPad App: BIBLE SHUFFLE!

Digital Worship Announces a New iPad App: BIBLE SHUFFLE
I'd like to introduce you to BIBLE SHUFFLE, a Christian iPad app that the husband of the author of Colleen's Quest  recently developed and is now available at the App Store!  This educational app provides basic Bible drill practice, helping students learn to order the books of the Bible in a fun way.

BIBLE SHUFFLE allows players to start slow, ordering individual divisions of the Bible, such as the gospels (4 books) or books of law (5 books), but graduates as quickly as desired to ordering the entire Old and New Testaments.  Beginners can use the "Study" section to see the books in correct order for each division before they tackle the timed round.  And there is a "Hint" button players can tap which reveals the next book in order, in case they get stuck.  Using the hint button takes time, so they will soon drop this habit in order to beat the clock.

Digital Worship Announces a New iPad App: BIBLE SHUFFLE
Student Score Sheet
BIBLE SHUFFLE captures the speed students order each division, and uses the times to allow them to advance through 5 levels:  Beginner, Student, Scholar, Expert and Champion.  They can see exactly how fast they need to be in order to achieve the next level -- and, trust me, those final levels are really challenging!

Homeschool or classroom teachers can check student scores to see how many divisions each student has completed and how their times are progressing.  Up to 12 student names and scores may be stored at a time on one copy of BIBLE SHUFFLE.  

Digital Worship Announces a New iPad App: BIBLE SHUFFLE
Example of One Division
The score times energize students' competitive natures as they try to get faster times than their friends, siblings or parents, "inadvertently" memorizing the books as they progress.

The graphics for this game are colorful, but simple.  They do not distract from the learning process.  This game could be played during class-time by students who have finished other work early, or as a Bible drill practice for an entire class (or family) at once.  Actually, anytime is a fun time to play this game!

BIBLE SHUFFLE rewards students with applause, encouraging words, and fireworks with the completion of each division.  They are awarded medals for each level achieved.  Bible verses adorn each page, reminding students of the glory and importance of God's Word.
Digital Worship Announces a New iPad App: BIBLE SHUFFLE

The BIBLE SHUFFLE app is only $1.99 at the App Store.  If you have contacts with a Christian school who would like to use BIBLE SHUFFLE in the classroom, let them know that the Educational Pricing Program is reduced even further to $ .99 per copy.

If you don't have an iPad, but know someone who does, please forward this information to them! We'd LOVE to see BIBLE SHUFFLE go viral!!!