Friday, April 24, 2015

Undiagnosed Awareness Day

Today April 24th is Undiagnosed Awareness Day. Do you know someone who has an unknown medical condition? Or do you have a child who is undiagnosed? If so you are not alone.
My daughter is just one of millions who is undiagnosed. It's real the pain she suffers and the many symptoms that have many specialist stumped. 

Bug is my hero. She deifies all the odds and can do many amazing things. 

Could I endure the pain and procedures and all the things she has to endure?

She defines the word courage. 

Her faith in God is inspiring to those who know her. I am a better person because of my daughter.
She brings joy to everyone who knows her.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Yom HaAtzma'ut Israel Indendence Day

Today  Israel celebrates יום העצמאותYom ha Asma ut  or "Independence Day" is the , national day of Israel. The day that Israel signed it's Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948. It is celebrated on 5th of Iyar according to the Hebrew calendar.


Friday, April 17, 2015

TOS Crew Review of ARTistic Pursuits
ARTistic Pursuits is an amazing art program that I have done with my kids from the beginning of our homeschool journey. For the last few weeks I have been reviewing ARTistic Pursuits Middle School 6-8, Book 1: The Elements of Art and Composition with both of my kids.
Middle School 6-8, Book 1:The Elements of Art and Composition is for ages 11 and up. The cost is $47.95. This is a comb-bound book that lays flat. There are 68 lessons within 92 pages. This is a fully illustrated art program with 176 illustrations. Some of the illustrations are fully colored and others are black and white sketches. ARTistic Pursuit is a non-consumable book that can be used over and over with your kids.

As a parent you don’t need no artistic ability to teach your children art. That is truly the beauty of ARTistic Pursuits is that you don’t need to know nothing about art to teach your children.
I love that ARTistic Pursuits teaches history and culture alongside art. When you are learning about certain art techniques you get a bit of a history behind the art style and the application. Some of the lessons you will learn about space, line, texture, proportion, form, and much more.

There is an art supply list provided for each semester. Each lesson works on a specific element of art.

Each lesson is clearly defined with step by step instructions. You are given an objective with each lesson. The lessons are also flexible enough that you can customize it to fit your child if needed. 

You can find all the art supplies easily at your local hobby store or some of your favorite homeschool sites. ARTistic Pursuits also gives you an option to buy art supply packs for each book.

How did I use ARTistic Pursuits in our homeschool? 
My kids have used every book except the preschool book from ARTistic Pursuits. They have truly enjoyed learning art with ARTistic Pursuits. 

In this particular lesson learning about how to use a graphite pencils and using thick and thin lines. We decided to draw wheat since, we have been learning about Kansas History and about wheat. We had to use many different marks and shading to get the desired effects.
Bug's(12) picture is on the left and Little Man's(9) is the one on the right.

My daughter is 12 with special needs has some pretty severe learning disabilities and she thought that this particular book was a bit harder than the previous books. She wasn't able to grasp the concepts fully and due to her arthritis the techniques were difficult for her. I think she has did a pretty good job and isn't giving herself enough of credit for her masterpieces.

My son on the other hand is 9 and has done ARTistic Pursuits from the very beginning. Since he's much younger than the books age suggestion. I still felt he would learn much and be able to grasp all the concepts. Overall, he has done quite well and learned a lot about art and all the techniques. He was able to work at this level fairly easy. I think it was possible for him as we have done all the prior ARTistic Pursuits books.

You can easily start at your child's level and you don't have to start from the first book.

We basically worked on a lesson or two each week. For the purpose of this review we also didn't go in order and jumped around in the book.

Surprisingly Little Man wanted to draw dandelions for this project. Except he wasn't happy with just a pencil sketch and wanted to use colored sharpies to add some color to his project.
Bug was learning about perspective in this lesson. The object of the lesson was to draw either vertical or horizontal lines making it look like you are looking down something in the distance. She wasn't interested in creating her own project as with her having  Autism she was pretty stuck on drawing the picture that was featured in the illustration. Who I'm I to argue with someone's creative masterpiece they had their heart set on drawing.

I love ARTistic Pursuits and would highly recommend it whether you are a parent with knowledge of art or like me not an ounce of the how and what of teaching your children art.

Many of my fellow Crew members have done different books so stop by and see what they are saying about ARTistic Pursuits.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Yom HaShoah May We Never Forget

Never forget. This week we went to a Memorial to remember all those who perished in the Holocaust.
This is such a touching video. Ani Ma"amin is such a powerful song. I believe! My Messiah has came and is coming again! Yeshua HaMashiach.

May we never forgot! Out of the ashes of the Holocaust the State of Israel was born in 1948. After two thousand years the Jewish people had their own land again. Many who came to Eretz (land) of Israel were survivors of the Holocaust.

Pray for the shalom (peace) of Jerusalem. Come quickly Yeshua. 

Ani ma'amin,
Be'emuna shelema
Beviat hamashiach ani ma'amin
Beviat hamashiach, ma'amin
Beviat hamashiach ani ma'amin
Beviat hamashiach, ma'amin
Veaf al pi sheyitmahmeha
Im kol zeh, achake loh
Veaf al pi sheyitmahmeha
Im kol zeh, achake loh
Im kol zeh, im kol zeh, achake loh
Achake bechol yom sheyavoh
Im kol zeh, im kol zeh, achake loh
Achake bechol yom sheyavoh
Ani ma'amin
I believe with complete faith
In the coming of the Messiah, I believe

Believe in the coming of the Messiah
In the coming of the Messiah, I believe
Believe in the coming of the Messiah

And even though he may tarry
Nonetheless I will wait for him
And even though he may tarry
Nonetheless I will wait for him

Nonetheless, I will wait for him
I will wait every day for him to come
Nonetheless, I will wait for him
I will wait every day for him to come
I believe

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Fast Freddy by Lee Ann Mancini Book Review

 fast freddie
Fast Freddy is one of the sea kids that live in the “coralhood.” Fast Freddy overcomes the ridicule of being different (half shark, half octopus) from the other kids in his new school. Once they find out he can swim fast like a shark, they ask him to join the swim team. They realize he is a great kid and are happy that he helps them win the championship for the first time. He comes from behind overcoming Marcus who is a formidable threat on team Barracudas. His octopus arms wave in victory as he crosses the finish line! Freddy receives the MVP award, but says a prayer of thanks to Jesus for being different and having new friends.

About the Author:

Lee Ann ManciniLee Ann Mancini graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from Regent University (1990), a Masters in Biblical and Theology Studies from Knox Seminary, Magna Cum Laude (2014), and a Masters in Christian Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Cum Laude (2014). Lee Ann also received her certificate of completion from the Ravi School of Apologetics (2011).

Lee Ann is currently an adjunct professor teaching Ministerial Ethics and Romans at South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary. She is has taught Bible Study for over 10 years and has been an active community volunteer/leader for over 20 years: Representing children as a Palm Beach County Guardian Ad Litem, International Affairs commission Chair for St. Joan of Arc Council of Catholic Women, Community Support Chair for the Junior League of Boca Raton, and CCD religious education teacher for St. Joan of Arc. Initiated and chaired the Auction for Boca Raton High School for six years, and initiated and chaired the PTSA for Boca Raton High School for two years. In addition, Lee Ann is involved in the Women’s Ministry at Spanish River Christian Church and is on board Alexandrian Forum under the tutelage of Dr. Warren Gage Th.M., J.D., Ph.D., seeking to bring a greater understanding of the Bible by hosting annual Typology Conferences in South Florida dedicated to the theme of Christ as the center of Scripture. In addition, Lee Ann speaks to women groups regarding the redemptive power of the gospel represented though the types of brides of the church.

In addition, Lee Ann is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and Society for Pentecostal Studies. She was awarded “Woman of Distinction Award” by the Soroptimists International of Boca Raton 1995, among other awards in service to the community, school, and church.

Lee Ann is married and has two children. She loves to read, jog, and teach the Word of God. She is also a Christian Children’s author with a series of books, which will make their debut in 2015.

My thoughts:

My daughter has special needs and it can be tough at times having a child with special needs. The things that happen can break a mom’s heart. Hearing the mean things that kids say to my daughter at times just makes this mommy cry. The stares because she looks different are heartbreaking. 

I always tell my daughter that she is made perfect in Jesus eyes. That I love her just the way she is and wouldn’t change anything about her. I loved this story about Freddy and one of my favorite page is:

“That night Freddy knelt by his bed and bowed his head and prayed; “Dear Jesus thank you for making me so different and special”
The characters are charming in this story. The illustrations are colorful and very appealing. 

The best part is the story which is a wonderful much needed story that deals with a hard topic. Looking different is tough and scary when you’re a kid. Just because you are special doesn’t mean that you can’t do amazing things and you also make a great friend if you just give them a chance.

“Getting an award will be great, but having friends is even better! I love my new school and all my new friends”

My kids both enjoyed this story as did mom. I would recommend this story to every parent. Teach your kids early and talk to them about others who look or act different than they do. A great way to begin teaching your children is with a book.

Follow Lee Ann Mancini on Facebook

Title: Fast Freddy
Author: Lee Ann Mancini
Illustrator: Dan Sharp
Publisher: GLM Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-5781-4076-6

I received this book free from the publisher through the book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.  

TOS Crew Review of Star Toaster
There is nothing better than a good story. Don’t you agree? Do you have a child who loves to read? My son loves to read and has recently showed an interest in wanting to read books online and get into e-books. Star Toaster has created an online book, Orphs of the Woodlands. I received a one year subscription for the purpose of this review. Normally the subscriptions are for two months.
Little Homeschool on the Praire Star Toaster Review
Orphs of the Woodlands is a book and educational resource in one bundle. “The Treasure of HighTower,” is the first release in the “Orphs of the Woodlands Series.” Orphs of the Woodlands is intended for grades 4-7. A 60-day subscription for up to 3 children for just $19.99, you can also extend your subscription for 30 days for $6.99 if your need more time to finish the story. 

What makes this unique is that Star Toaster has created an interactive story. While reading the story you come across highlighter areas that will open up vocabulary words, Latin phrases, thinking skills, character traits, recipes, and short videos on all types of subjects from math to science.

When you first create an account you start your adventure of by naming the main character in which is an orphaned squirrel living in the Woodlands. The orphans are called “orphs”. You are a spy trying to collect information so you can defeat the Night Creatures.
Little Homeschool on the Praire Star Toaster Review
While reading each chapter you are learning about varies topics. At the end of each chapter you have to take jobs to earn “goldstars” which is basically money needed to help save the orphs. Your challenge is to buy product   such as land, a house, food, medicine, water, and other supplies which is your goal to help as many orphs as you can.

You are directed into a “help wanted” area after every chapter. You only get paid goldstars for correct answers. You can review items with job you take before you begin your job.

Parents can keep track of each child’s progress. Progress reports are also emailed to the parents regularly.

How did I use Orphs of the Woodlands in our homeschool?
My nine year old son used Star Toaster. He really enjoyed exploring this interactive story. This was my son’s first experience reading this much online. The one thing that really frustrated him was the length of each chapter. He wanted to get the end so he could do apply some of his learned skills and save more of the orphs. The chapters took him several days to get through and that made it less motivating for him. He basically read the story 3-4 days a week. Sometimes, I took turns reading with him so he could complete a chapter so he could do the jobs needed to help the orphs. Much to his dismay I didn’t do that too often for his liking.
Little Homeschool on the Praire Star Toaster Review
My son wasn’t particular fond of the recipes in that you could pull up during the story but, he did get a kick out of some of the silly names of the recipes. I noticed that pretty much all the recipes are pretty basic that most kids would enjoy making and eating.
Little Homeschool on the Praire Star Toaster Review
My son likes math and is pretty good overall in math. He found some of the problems challenging and he had to really think to figure them. Sometimes he would even have to review what he learned about some of the topics.

His favorite part was the spy files and trying to remember who was who in the spy files.
In the future more stories will be added to this series.

My Final Thoughts:

This was a very thought out story that I think most children will enjoy. I love all the lessons in math, vocabulary, science, thinking skills, and so much more. This really made this a unique and creative story that will entertain the imagination of a child.

My only dislike is the length of the chapters. It really was frustrating for my son. They did add a feature during the review period that let you see how many pages until the end of the chapter. Which the pages caused all kinds of emotions in my son from being frustrated to being totally excited to see his progress. He just found the length of the chapters painful. I would love to see the chapter broken up in smaller sections.

Sometime he marked the wrong answers in the jobs and wanted to be able to retake them to re-earn his goldstars. I would love to have that option to re-do the jobs available also.

This was a real fun story that overall we really enjoyed the whole concept and the plot of the story. If your looking for some great online education or a summer reading program then stop by Star Toaster.


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