Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Princess & the Kiss at The Father / Daughter Dance!

Many of you have heard of the book, Princess & The Kiss, but did you know Jennie Bishop also penned an accompanying study to go with it?

If you have the book, you simply MUST have this study to do with your daughter...and if you don't have either, I strongly recommend both!

Princess and the Kiss
Princess and the Kiss

"The original classic children’s picture book. A princess saves her “kiss” for the man she will marry. How will she find the one who will truly value her precious gift?"

Princess and the Kiss Bible Study
Princess and the Kiss Bible Study

The companion study guide to the classic children’s picture book. Includes devotionals, verses to memorize, crafts, parent helps and a suggested ceremony for “graduates.”

Here's an example of one of the activities!

Father / Daughter DanceMy daughter and I wrapped up this study just in time for a local homeschool group's  Father/Daughter Dance. It was the PERFECT time to celebrate and have Dad present Daughter with this very special Princess Necklace!

Princess Necklace
Princess Necklace

Monday, February 25, 2013

T.R.I.P. Update #3 ~ Coming in for a Landing !

Our latest update on the progress of our review of T.R.I.P. (Targeted Reading Improvement Program)!

It's still smooth sailing for my 9 year old daughter.  The words have progressively gotten harder and she has done beautifully with reading, writing and spelling each one.  She continues to work 4-5 times a week. 

Please check out my prior update to read all about this program!!!

Very soon I'll be wrapping up the entire review period and sharing thoughts about our experience.

Disclosure: I received the above product 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.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Free Downloadable Blog Planner Review

Really?  Bloggers plan out and schedule their posts in advance?

You mean not everyone flies by the seat of their pants ...err, I mean as the Spirit leads?

I'm guilty.  I keep my blogging to-do's in various notebooks (the physical kind) and sticky notes.  I have been known to pull out an old receipt from my purse and write furiously when inspiration hits.  I've even written keywords with pen on the backs of my hands while on the treadmill.

It's not's multi-tasking!

As a member of the new Mosaic Reviews team, our first assignment was to pick a blogging planner to review.

Being open to a new challenge, I joyfully looked through the selections.  From the ornate and detailed to the simple and to the point, there were so many to choose from!

While I enjoyed looking at the more detail specific planners, I knew deep down that "the mad professor" in me would do much better with a straight to the point, simple and quick planner.  With our lifestyle, schedules are subject to change at any moment and that includes blogging!

I love the ease and simplicity of the planner from Girl in the Woods .  I also love seeing the whole month at a single glance.  Plus I don't feel guilty if I don't fill in the whole page.

There's room for additional notes, tags categories and links plus reminders to use your spell check, proofread, rename photos and more.

Since we only have a black & white printer, that's what I went with.  After making enough copies, I brought out the combine and bound the pages.

Voila!  Free Blog Planner
Voila!  Free Blog Planner

It'll be hard to give up my miscellaneous sticky notes and scribbling on my hands, but, I think with this planner it just might work!

Check out other FREE blog planner reviews! 


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Explore Yosemite & Zion National Parks DVD Review!

In Explore Yosemite and Zion National Parks , authored by Kyle Justice, Noah Justice takes the viewer on a 30 minute spectacular visit to two wonders of the world.  This particular DVD goes into great detail and gives in depth explanations of Radioisotope Dating and The Great Ice Age.

" The amazing granite cliffs are a part of the Sierra Nevadas, a huge rock batholith thought to have been formed over millions of years.  But new evidence helps researchers understand how the formation of these mountains took just weeks or months.

In addition, Yosemite Valley is thought to have been cut by the Merced River and multiple ice ages over long ages, yet this huge valley is actually evidence of erosion due to a catastrophe during and right after the Global Flood."

In addition, you'll also learn:
  • Who are the Rate Group and what their research and findings have accomplished
  • The significance of radiohalos
  • The trouble with secular science's explanation of the steep, straight cliffs in Zion's canyons AND the presence of arches

Plus, Noah gives a great visual for explaining how channels are cut into rock.

There's an abundance of scientific information presented in this DVD.  So, don't feel bad if you need to rewind and rewatch portions again! There's also a matching study guide that goes very well with the DVD giving additional exercises to support the information given and help the viewer understand the material.

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this DVD and study guide from Master Books, a division of New Leaf Publishing Group free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The T.R.I.P. Continues - Update #2

Continuing on with our review of T.R.I.P. (Targeted Reading Improvement Program) this is our latest update!

So far so good.  My 9 year old daughter has made steady and smooth progress both in reading, writing and spelling working 10-20 minutes 4 times a week. Not too much more to say this time around!

Please check out my prior update to read all about this program!!!

Disclosure: I received the above product 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.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Big Words for Little Kids Review!

Big Words for Little Kids is a well-laid out, easy to use, and inexpensive book to help 8-11 year olds build their vocabulary by systematically learning suffixes, prefixes and root words in context.

The advantages of the Big Words for Little Kids program:

"There are many vocabulary books that use funny stories or selection of new and interesting words in place of a systematic vocabulary approach.  When developing the Big Words for Little Kids program, we took a proven vocabulary learning approach and adjusted it to the level of a younger child.....

.....Children using the Big Words for Little Kids program will learn a systematic approach to learning roots and families of words.  After becoming comfortable with breaking the familiar words into their parts - prefixes, suffixes, and roots - students will be able to transfer the meaning of these parts to new words.

...The program teaches the Greek and Latin roots, prefixes and suffixes of words.  Each new root your child learns will enable him or her to learn the meaning of other related words.  The combination of generative vocabulary building technique with developmentally appropriate and gradually progressing sets of words makes the Big Words for Little Kids program an ideal teaching tool for young readers."

Though written for ages 8-11, I decided to tweak it to use for the entire family.

For example, using Lesson 1 from the curriculum:

On Monday we write the "word" and define it.

Tuesday we share a 'Tidbit' of information from the book and complete a verbal sentence with the correct word.

Wednesday we choose the correct definition for a sentence given verbally.

Thursday we make a sentence with each of the new words.

Friday we take the Dictionary Challenge looking up a small list of new words.

Leaving our work up on the board throughout the week helps reinforce the new words and their meanings.

Although I do disagree with the authors' statement that exposing children to interesting books is not the best way to build vocabulary, we did enjoy using this book.

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

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How to Teach about Electricity Unit Study Review!

This review can now be found HERE
 Cover image

We loved Science Unit Studies for Homeschoolers and Teachers for its' straight forward, easy to follow directions and diagrams.  Author Susan Kilbride does it again with another easy to use and follow guide for teaching electricity.

How to Teach About Electricity for Ages 8-13 (How To Teaching Guides)covers:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

FREE for Homeschool Circus Readers - 6 Week Lenten Challenge from 102030GO!

For a limited time, download The 6 Week Lenten Challenge from 102030GO! for FREE if you are a Homeschool Circus reader!

What's included:

The Lenten cards include 6 new weekly themed cards that are geared toward guiding your family during Lent and preparing them for Easter.
All components of the program are provided in a user friendly "PDF" format that can be easily printed at home on either a laser or inkjet printer.
To begin, simply add the item to your cart and use the code FishEaters as you complete the checkout process. Once checkout is complete, you will be provided with instructions on how to download.
The download is a single compressed ".zip"  and contains the following:
1- 102030GO! Instruction booklet.
2- Chore Chart
3- Prayer Board
4- 6 Individual weekly theme cards with responsibility tracking for each child.
Check it out!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Reunion Book Review!

The Reunion is a fast moving story of redemption and restoration contrasting family life with and without the love of Christ.

Author Rachel Mc Intire penned the story with the purpose of giving her family "something entertaining and innocent to read, while at the same time reinforcing in their hearts important principles from God's Word."

This book opens with sweet 4 year old Rebecca asking for a sister.  Little does she, or her parents, realize how this prayer wrapped in a basket will be answered or how it will greatly impact their lives and the lives around them for Christ!

It was a great read aloud for our family.  The only issue we had was the part in the book which references "confessing of faults before a christian fellowship".  Since this isn't one of our regular practices, we were able to discuss it as a denominational difference.

As a special offer to Homeschool Circus readers, use code REVIEW-CIRCUS at the checkout to receive $2.00 off the price of each copy of The Reunion ordered until April 30.  After that, use the code and receive $1.00 off.

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Give a Little, Get a Lot Giveaway!

Tamara over at {School} Days Gone By is the author and host of this fabulous giveaway!

Hey everyone! If you "like" {S}DGB on Facebook, or read this blog post, then you know life has taken some amazing twists. And with those twists, many changes.....many, big, scary, amazing, expensive, exciting, crazy, God-led changes.
Please, read up on that post and the CaringBridge site for my husband's sister, Sarah, that it leads to. That will explain this giveaway and why we need you to help us, help Sarah! {go ahead! I'll wait here while you go read....take tissues!}

Ok.... Read it all? Got the tears dried up? Isn't Sarah amazing?! Isn't GOD unfathomably amazing?! We, as in my hubby and our four kids are leaving everything {job, friends, much of my family, band, church, home, weekly night out with my BFF, regular help with kids from nana, beaches, disney and sea world passes that that we devoted our entire entertainment budget to month, many of our belongings and all our furniture, and so much more} and just recently decided also giving our puppy, that we got just a couple months ago, a new home was best now.  {He has an amazing new home with another Christian homeschool family that sends us email updates with thankful for them!}

In turn we are getting the blessings of obeying in these things even when it's hard! And this adventure is just beginning! There are needs though as the expenses of leaving a job, moving equipment, traveling with kids, fuel, traveling to and lodging in Texas for interviews, penalties for early break of our apt lease, our entire entertainment budget still being taken up with those passes for several more months (even though there is no budget for entertainment anymore..ha!), day to day living with no income yet, medicine/medical care (still have to get my stuff taken care of!) and then our final move into Texas will bring more is all overwhelming. We know God wants us there to help Sarah and her three babies though, so we know he will provide! And we know as the Body of Christ, there are so many out there that want to help, but don't know how. This is a BIG how!

Here is the fun part! If you would like to be part of His provision and give a little, then you can enter this giveaway to win a lot! Heather of We Choose Virtues is providing a family kit to giveaway to one sweet family! Every dollar helps us, help Sarah. Every one!

Another way to help is to visit my affiliate links to make purchases you would already be and in the future! They are linked from the tabs and in the sidebar. Sharing this post and those links will also help!
And the biggest way to help, obviously, is prayer! For her healing, our journey to get there, and His provision to make that happen  and in the day to day.

Be sure to visit the other bloggers on the entries to show thanks to them for helping to promote our efforts to follow God's leading!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 8, 2013

Weekly Wrap Up - When February Strikes!

"Hello February!  Now, go away!"

Ok, I know that was a tad abrasive.  You'll have to excuse me.  I've taken great steps in planning our school year so that we would not be hyper-scheduled for any one period of time.  I had it all under control until I turned the calendar page and "WHAP" got sucker punched!

How is it that February is the shortest month, but the busiest???

Fortunately there are 'only' 20 days left.  March is looking good!

Nothing super spiritual this week.....just keeping it real!

In between dodging crazy schedules and viral ickies, this week I tried a recipe from Pinterest.....well, at least it did TASTE good!
Pinterest Recipe

My daughter is loving her Spelling Mechanics program!  Here we are playing Go Fish with compound words.

Spelling Mechanics

As far as Geography goes, we are studying the plain states.  We read Sarah, Plain and Tall and did the comprehension questions from In the Hands of a Child lapbook.

Sarah, Plain & Tall

My daughter went solo in sewing class and came out with this neat purse.  She had a great time and showed me a thing or two afterwards!

handmade purse

The ladies who run the sewing class were so sweet that even after my daughter finished her purse, they showed her another project....making fabric coasters.  They came out cute!

fabric coasters

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

World Literature Review from Master Books!

This curriculum should have a label attached to it stating in bold print, "Warning NOT for whimps!"


World Literature by James Stobaugh is quite an impressive program!  Rigorous in its' approach, spanning The Epic of Gilgamesh to Cry the Beloved Country, your High School student will be exposed to the writing of cultures from the ancient world to the modern era all with a Biblical Worldview.

Each of the 34 chapters are broken down into 5 daily lessons which include:  learning objectives, daily warm-ups, concept builders, assigned reading, weekly essays and tests.  Completing this course will count for 1 credit each in writing and literature.  PLUS, earn 1 credit for History by using the corresponding History curriculum also written by James Stobaugh.

In order to really test drive this curriculum, I "dropped" my 9th grader into the chapter pertaining to The Odyssey.  My reasoning for this was because he just finished this book utilizing a different curriculum.  I wanted to get a first hand feel how my son would do with a more critical thinking/essay based approach plus I wanted to know how I would adapt to teaching it.  Taking into consideration the grade level difference and learning styles, we moved forward.

The Chapter on the Odyssey went like this:
Day 1 - General information and answer questions on Homer.  Assign essay due on Day 5.

Day 2 - Plot.  Write a summary and precis.  Answer questions on Character development.

Day 3 - Dramatic irony.  Answer questions on character development and how it relates to you personally.

Day 4 - Critics Corner.  Answer questions on plot structure

Day 5 - Epic Simile.  Write a 10-12 line epic simile.  Answer questions about plot.  Essay due.  Take test.  (note - these tests are generally in essay form).

My son definitely enjoyed the diversity in the day-to-day exercises.  Though expressing himself in weekly essay writings is a bit of a challenge, I know with a little practice he'll be successful.

As for me, English isn't my forte.  There are literary elements and styles utilized in this curriculum that I needed a refresher for and some that I needed further background in order to teach.

On another note, the student will need to read approximately 200 pages per lesson.  The author suggests reading the books over the summer.  I personally feel that its better for retention to read the book right before analyzing it.  Since we school year around, that would mostly work for us taking a bit longer for each book than originally scheduled. And, it does not appear that adjusting the schedule would in any way detract from the curriculum.

As for whether or not we will continue on with this book.  Honestly, at this point we are up in the air.  However, it is one of the curricula we are considering for the future.

Check out a sample lesson in the Student Guide and Teacher's Guide for yourself!

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of World Literature Teacher & Student Guide from Master Books, a division of New Leaf Publishing Group free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Homeschooling for Eternity Book Review!

I've truly been blessed by the book, Homeschooling For Eternity.
In it Skeet Savage encourages the homeschool parent in small, manageable chunks that are a perfect morning devotional alongside daily Bible time.  What a great way to be strengthened during this busy season!

"This book has not been written by or about the perfect homeschooling family.  Rather, it contains the simple testimony and practical advice of a veteran homeschooling single mother who successfully raised six children as she invested her life in full-time service to the Lord while trusting Him to provide for their needs and hold their family together against enormous odds."

Broken down into 31 short chapters covering a wide variety of topics guaranteed to help you keep an eternal focus.

Skeet shares her heart and wisdom soaked with scripture in a warm, and straight forward manner often using personal experiences to complete a particular point.  I'd go so far as saying I'm amazed that she's so forthcoming with the struggles in her life.  But, I LOVE that she's shared them AND the sweet victories that God has given her through them all!

If you're a busy parent who needs help focusing on the eternal rewards of homeschooling, but don't have an abundance of time, this book is perfect for you!

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

Monday, February 4, 2013

Vick's Behind Ear Thermometer Review


  • Clinical Accuracy—Based upon professional standards.
  • Fast results—No need to wait to see if your child has a fever; get a reading in just one second.
  • No-fuss measurement—Requires just a touch.
  • Fever InSight®—Color-coded screen display makes it easy to understand the meaning of each temperature.
  • Memory system—Tracks and saves the last 8 measurements.
  • Easy-to-read—Designed with a large LCD display. Reads in °C and °F.
  • Built to last—Backed by a lifetime warranty under normal use.

Wow!  A 'behind the ear' thermometer that claims it's accurate and easy to use for both user and recipient.

I don't know about you, but, attempting to use a regular thermometer or even those in the ear thermometers on a rambunctious toddler gives me the willies!

When I learned I was getting this 'state of the art' brand new behind the ear thermometer from Vicks as a Klout perk, I was very excited!!!

Unfortunately, upon receiving the thermometer, my excitement faded quickly.

After reading the directions, I tried it out on myself.  First attempt showed I had a fever of 101.2.  Hmmm, that's weird because I didn't FEEL bad.  Next attempts showed 101.3 and 101.1.  I double checked the instructions and tried the other side of my head and made sure I had the thermometer positioned correctly.  Those attempts where 101.4 and 101.2.

To make sure I really didn't have a temperature that high, I got out my oral thermometer.  That one read 98.1 (which is about my normal temperature).  Then, I got out my old in the ear thermometer.  According to that one, my temperature was 98.6.  So, obviously no temperature!

Undeterred, I tried the behind ear thermometer on my 14 year old son.  His average temperature was 101.1.  The average temperature of my 11 year old was 100.5.  Checking them with a regular mouth thermometer they were both 98.6.

So, while this looks like a mom's dream come true, in practice, it does not work!

I was given a free product or sample because I'm a Klout influencer.  I am under no obligation to receive the sample or talk about this company.  I get no additional benefits for talking about the product or company.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Explore John Day Fossil Beds with Noah Justice DVD Review!

My norm for reviewing DVD's is to watch with pencil and paper in hand jotting notes as it plays. However, due to the spectacular and breath taking views in Explore John Day Fossil Beds I had to put down everything and just watch. My attention was totally absorbed AND I was amazed at the amount and depth of information it contained. I do confess that I had to watch this video more than once before writing a review. I'm also sure I will glean more information upon watching it again!

Located in eastern Oregon, the John Day Fossil Beds contain the largest collection of mammal fossils found in the world!

Author Kyle Justice has done an excellent job laying out the geology of the area. Thorough explanations are given about the beds themselves, the basalt and conglomerate layers, tectonic action, erosional features, the Palisades, Painted Hills, Gable Creek, Picture George and much more!

From this video, you will learn the significance of tree leaf fossils with straight edges, the absence of pillow basalt, the presence of diatoms and pediments.

"The John Day Fossil Beds are a testament to the rapid deposition, volcanic activity, and erosion of the earth during the year-long Flood described in the Book of Genesis.

Researchers can recognize that the evidence is a good confirmation of the catastrophic processes that formed these layers. The lack of erosion between layers, the high-energy deposits, the massive erosion, and no evolutionary links in the fossils....all are evidence for the biblical record being true."

Explore John Day Fossil Beds is by far my favorite video from Noah Justice. I whole heartedly recommend it and the accompanying study guide which is packed with information!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this DVD and study guide from Master Books, a division of New Leaf Publishing Group free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Is Homeschooling Really For Us? Review & Giveaway!

This question was posed by a frustrated homeschool mom on Facebook.

This booklet is the result of the response given by committed homeschool mom, Beth Cranford.

Her desire was to get past the mindset of "you are a failure if you don't continue to homeschool" and "it's a discipline issue" mentality that often comes up in comments during these types of discussions.

"I don’t want to brush past the struggles and tell a hurting mom that she just
needs to do better in some way. I want to help you deal with the difficulties you’re
experiencing, so that hopefully, you can continue to homeschool. But I also want
to give you permission to make the decision that is truly best for your children,
even if that means school. I hope you won’t make that decision lightly. Something
drew you to homeschooling. Don’t give it up without a fight."

Beth gives some very heart-searching, deep-thinking questions to ponder starting with: "Are you fully convinced through prayer and study, that God wants your family to homeschool."

Obviously, the answer to this question puts everything in perspective!

Among the suggestions, she also encourages the reader to meet with their husband to discuss issues (and gives some practical tips on how to make that meeting run smoothly), and taking a careful look at outsides activities and teaching methods.

Even if you aren't struggling with your homeschool, this booklet can be used to get a "clearer vision for your homeschool" and to "find a level of success to continue your journey."  In other words, a breath of encouragement to help press on for the prize!

You can keep up with Beth on her blog.

Interested? I'm blessed to be giving away three ebook copies! Winners will be randomly chosen on February  9th and notified via email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this ebook free of charge in exchange for an honest review.