Thursday, October 23, 2014

Week in Review #7-9-2014-2015

It has been several weeks since I have posted on "Week in Review". It just amazing how fast it got away from me. I am not even going to try to play catch up with it.

Everyone has been sick except for Bug. That is an amazing statement to say that she has not been sick considering that we passed it around the house. She is the one who usually catches everything and then it gets pretty extreme with her.

Bug has been having seizures again and she is also starting to regress in her skills again and it has been somewhat stressful for the family.
We have also been busy with Bug's Bat Mitzvah. She did it last Saturday. I will put up a post later on it.

Then we also started the fall feeding of the bees and doing other things to prepare them for winter. I've been telling everyone that I have thousands of mouths to feed everyday!

Our mentor has been calling us and letting us help with her hives. We have re-queened one of her hives. I had no love for that hive as it was extremely aggressive and we have endured lots of stings from it. I can happily say that the queen in now pinned and ready to go into Bug's entomology box. We have been learning a lot these last few weeks about beekeeping and it has kept us pretty busy. 

After we harvested honey from Bug's hives we have been selling lots of honey and have made lots of other products from the hives. Another unexpected thing that has kept us busy

We have been still doing school except, when we where all pretty sick it was off and on.

The TOS Crew reviews has kept us busy as we are getting ready to end this season of reviews for the year. I applied for the next year and we will go from there.

God has been doing some changes in our lives and we have been in prayer about some important decisions that we have been seeking God  for His direction. I don't know at this time how this will lead us in the future but, I trust that God is in control. 

I am hoping to get a Week in Review up this week but, its hard to say as our congregation leader and his wife are on a much needed two week vacation which, has left us to oversee everything. With ministry you just never know what will happen from day to day.

I praise God for all things. Even when life is busy, stressful, tearful, and we are all just plain tired. I am so grateful that I have a Savior to help us in all things. We serve a loving God and I am grateful that Yeshua is in our lives and that I have a wonderful family to endure all this with.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Standard Deviants Accelerate TOS Crew Review

I have been reviewing an online course the last few weeks by Standard Deviants Accelerate. They have a Standard Deviants Accelerate Homeschool Courses. For the purpose of this review I received a full annual subscription to all their courses. You may be familiar with Standard Deviants Accelerate and have seen some of their courses available in the library. I have seen them but, didn’t have a clue to what it was prior to this review.

The cost for the classes is $99 each per student for a year or $24.95 month per student. The AP courses are $14.95 per student. You can see the prices on this page.

Most of the classes are for middle school to high school. They do have a 3rd and 4th grade class (8 to adult). Some of the classes available are:

Arithmetic - Grades 3+
Fundamental Math - Grades 4+
Earth Science - Grades 6+
Nutrition - Grades 6+
Algebra - Grades 7+
Biology - Grades 7+
Chemistry - Grades 9+
English Comp. - Grades 9+
U.S. History - Grades 9+
AP Biolody - Grades 11+
AP Chemistry - Grades 11+
AP U.S. Government & Politics - Grades 11+
AP U.S. History - Grades 11+
AP Eng. Composition - Grades 11+

This is a secular online learning resource and not from a Christian world view. You will need an internet connection to access the classes along with individual email account for each student. Originally the courses were designed for a classroom and setting up was a bit more complex than what I anticipated it to be. The customer service was extremely helpful and walked me through it step by step. We also set up a private webinar. I was informed that they are working on a friendlier method of signing up for the courses so it won’t be so complex in the future. Until then she said they would happily help everyone sign in until then.

After the initial set up I logged into my teacher’s page and had to set up each course using an access code for both of my children. I did the set up for my children instead of sending them the codes. Once the code is entered you are ready to begin the course. There are 5 tabs for each lesson.
Video-It starts out by you watching a video of the subject. The videos are very lively and have a lot of humor or just plain silliness in the teaching style. There are several speakers on each video so it is always changing and each character has their own personality. Some are more serious than others. The videos vary in time. They are not longer than 10-15 minutes and some are even shorter.

Vocabulary-The “Vocabulary” section helps to reinforce those new words along with a tab to help pronounce those words were you can actually hear the words spoken.

Diagram-The “Diagram” sections has a drag and match in this section. You get immediate feedback if you’re answer is not correct. The words will not stay in place if you put it in the wrong place.

Quiz-The “Quiz” is always 5 questions from the video. You get immediate feedback with the results. If the answer is incorrect then it offers a link to the video to review the question. I thought that was a nice feature to go directly to the source to see the problem.

Written Answer-The last tab is the “Written Answer” which is graded by the parent.
The nice thing is that you can print out in each section to have a hard copy for your records.

I used the Arithmetic for Little Man he is almost 9 years old and in third grade. He enjoyed the videos and loved the quirky manner in which the subjects are presented. It really fit his personality. He is my kid who is good at math and doesn’t have issues for the most part picking up concepts. He also wanted to do a few subjects that I didn’t require him to do. He did some of the Fundamental Math which he actually did well in this area even through it was not his grade level. It was interesting for me as a parent to see that he is more learned in math than I thought he was.
He is also curious and wanted to dabble in the Earth Science and Nutrition. Sometimes he did the subjects by himself but, for the most part he watched them with his sister. Actually he helped his sister a lot in these courses.

My daughter has some learning disabilities. My main focus for her was the Nutrition course as she eats a handful of foods and has been close to getting a feeding tube in the last year. I wanted her to grasp the concept of how critical a well-balanced diet. This is where her brother came in as he helped her with the diagrams and quizzes when she needed help. Overall, I think she is seeing how important nutrition and eating the right kind of foods is to your overall health. She liked the silliness of the videos. Sometimes it distracted her and I had a hard time getting her back into focus as she wanted to keep talking about something she found funny.

I also had her do the Arithmetic, Fundamental Math, and Earth Science. She grasped the Arithmetic and Fundamental concepts as it was something she has done before. Having a child with special needs I find that I need to often go back and reinforced previously learned skills with her and the Arithmetic, Fundamental Math was a good reinforcement for her. She also enjoyed the Earth Science courses and they learned a lot of new vocabulary and concepts. This course is the one that you really see that it is from a secular source and talks about evolution quite often. I don’t shy away from secular science and take it as a challenge to teach my kids how to handle this theory in light of God’s word. They do a good job covering Earth Science and both kids have enjoyed many of the topics they have touched on so far. 

Both kids still want to continue with Standard Deviants Accelerate after the review period. Which I was delighted that the kids are wanting to continue with it.

I like that the grading is automatic and you get feedback instantly and can go to the video immediately if you get a wrong answer in the quiz.

It’s easy to use for both the student and teacher.

You can play the videos over and over and go at your own pace if needed.

You can access progress reports, grading, and rubrics.

You can print off the work for each lesson and course.

Customer service was awesome and made me feel extremely confident with using the program.

I think overall most kids will love the silliness of the videos as they are fun and loaded with lots of teaching within the weird funny presentations of the subjects.


Signing in would of lost me if it wasn’t for the great customer service and them walking me through it step by step. It needs to be simplified.(Which I was informed they are working on it).

You need an email for each student. I had to use our main email, iPad email, and Bug’s honey business email. A bit too complicated. I’d prefer one email to simplify the whole thing.
I think this is a superior program with lots of options. I love that it covers many high school courses and AP courses to help prepare for those AP test. I am a long way from high school. I like knowing that there is something available when I reach that point in my homeschool journey. I thought this was a pretty amazing online learning resource.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Our Week Through the Lenses of a Camera

Bug's speech therapist sent Bug some pictures to enjoy. She gave me permission to post the pictures.They are from her lovely garden. This therapist is also a very dear friend and Bug loves her very much.
 I need her to come and help me in my flower garden.
 She also knows how much Bug loves the insects.
 Thanks for sharing your lovely photos with us.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Apologia Educational Ministries iWitness Book Review
Apologia Educational Ministries has come out with another amazing series. I was happy to be able to review books from the iWitness series. I received the iWitness Biblical Archaeology, New Testament iWitness, and the Old Testament iWitness for this review.

The iWitness series is for many different ages, the reading level is more suited for ages 11 an up. The cost of are iWitness Biblical Archaeology($14.00), NewTestament iWitness($14.00), and the Old Testament iWitness($14.00).

iWitness books are written by Doug Powell. These are softbound books and are around 60 pages. The books are laid out in fun format that makes the books to look like it would be an ancient book. The pages are all unique using different fonts that are placed to look like an old journal or maybe a modern day scrapbook. The pages are thick and glossy.

I think this was the one I was most excited about as archaeology has always fascinated me and the fascination has rubbed off on my kids. It was even more exciting reading about the places I visited in Israel last spring. It begins by explaining what archaeology is and then building upon it with the many discoveries.

 Ancient Shilo

This covers a lot of the archaeological discoveries that have been revealed in modern history. This is jammed packed with pictures of places, artifacts, scripture references that pertain to the location or item. Archaeology gives proof to those who would be skeptical of God’s word.

Did you know that different ancient cultures that have a myth on a great flood killing off everyone except for one family? There are lots of other interesting topics to discover:

The Flood
Looking for Noah's Ark
Egyptian Chronology
The Exodus
The House of David Inscriptions
YHWH Inscriptions
Sennacherib's Siege of Jerusalem -(Finds at Nineveh)
Sennacherib's Siege of Jerusalem -(Finds at Jerusalem)
Old Testament History
Dead Sea Scrolls
Oldest Old Testament Copies
Hadrian and Constantine
Jesus' Judges
Jesus' World
Jesus' World- (Jerusalem)
New Testament Locations
New Testament Inscriptions
The Burial Shroud of Jesus?

I am a strong believer that the Old Testament is the foundation of our beliefs and that it all points to our Savior Jesus. As a Messianic Believer who observes the Biblical Feast and we are familiar with the Jewish history and oral traditions this one was interesting to see how it was presented to others. I think Doug Powell did a wonderful job presenting terminology, culture, and even Jewish thought in a respectful way.


Then there is an explanation of the Catholic Bible and Protestant Bible and the history of how it is laid out and why certain books aren’t included. Old Testament iWitness also touches on the topic of archeology.


Just understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls and the book of Isaiah includes too much archeology to not discuss it. We know that the book of Isaiah is accurate because of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Canon Criteria
Canon Formation
Documentary Hypothesis
Covenants (And Near East Treaties)
Major Prophets
Minor Prophets
The Scrolls
Wisdom Books
History Books
Intertestamental Period
Apocrypha Acceptance
Apocrypha Canonization
Dead Sea Scrolls
New Testament

Pool of Siloam

Are you curious as to how the New Testament and the history of how the books went through the process throughout the ages to be placed in what we now consider the New Testament? Or maybe you want more information about who wrote them?  The New Testament has more copies than any other ancient book that has been discovered and the good news is that the accuracy of the New Testament is like 99%. To me that is very reassuring that we are reading the same thing that the authors wrote.

Canon Criteria
Church Fathers
Muratorian Canon
The Gospel
The Apostle
Apostolic Fathers
Apostolic Age
Synoptic Problem
Hymns and Creeds
Rejected Books
Canon Certainty
How it was Copied
Number of Copies
Copying Methods
Differences in the Copies
Manuscript Families
Textual Criticis
Recovered Text

I enjoyed reading this to my children. Both of the kids enjoyed the information and it brought on some great conversation with my kids about God’s word. I love it when I can give my kids an education that is from a Christian worldview.

Little Man actually ended up reading iWitness Biblical Archaeology on his own because he thought it was too intriguing to wait for me to finish it during school. He actually got a double dose of iWitness Biblical Archaeology with me reading it as a read out loud and him taking it upon himself to read it. My family has learned a lot from this thought provoking series. I don’t have anything negative to say about any of these books. This is a great series and I look forward to more books to come out in this series next year.

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