Friday, October 9, 2015

Apply for the 2016 Schoolhouse ReviewCrew #hsreviews

Schoolhouse Review Crew 2016 Applications
Do you enjoy exploring new curriculum and sharing your thoughts on curriculum? Or maybe you’re a curriculum junkie and like trying all types of curriculum.

The Schoolhouse Crew Review is taking applications for the next Crew year. You can find out more details on the Schoolhouse Crew Review blog.

This is my second year being part of the Crew. I plan on joining for a third year. I love being part of the Crew.

I have reviewed curriculum that has been an amazing fit for my homeschool. I got comfortable in the status quo with my curriculum before joining the Crew. I didn’t explore other options prior to the Crew. I have been introduced to some amazing vendors the last two years. We even get to try out non-curriculum items for fun!

The Crew is an amazing group of moms and we even have a dad in our group. They are a great support and encouragement in so many areas. We cover each other in prayer when we have challenges, loses, or just need to share.

It’s also a commitment that you have to be able to be flexible to fit in review items or even shelf your other non-review items.  We have deadlines and you need to commit to six weeks of using the item. The majority of the items have been good fit for my family and then there are some that are a real struggle for varies reasons.

Some curriculum from my first year on the Crew I have purchased this last year myself since I absolutely loved the curriculum.

You can read about the rest of the requirements yourself. 

I hope that you join the Crew as we journey on this homeschool adventure together.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Why I Homeschool

 This is an old post that I am just giving myself a reminder of why I homeschool my children! With the move being a week away I needed to encourage myself. Homeschooling a moving twice in 5 weeks has taken a toll on our year. We were just starting to get into a somewhat normal schedule at my in-laws and now it's going to be a bit crazy again. Praise God its almost done.

It's that time of the year again, and some families start looking into homeschooling their children. I thought I would share this post with some of my readers again. I am so surprised at how many Emails that I have gotten on this page. Most being from Mom's who have children with special needs and are wondering if they can teach their children. Since their is a lot of kids with special needs who are not very social they are afraid homeschooling them will hinder them  even more. I want to ensure you that your kids can blossom with homeschooling. It is up to you to look around your community and find a good support group, or activities for them. Many zoos, and YMCA offer many opportunities to get involved with other families. Once you get your feelers out there you will be surprised at how much is available to homeschoolers. Don't forget the homeschool conventions. They usually have booths set up promoting things around town. This is why we choose to homeschool are kids. I would love to hear your reasons of choosing to homeschool your kids.
That is the never ending questions of those of us who homeschool. Some folks are fine with homeschooling and others think that we are ruining our children's life. In my case, some think it's the reason for all my daughter's problems. Go figure, most of her problems are medical related. They think if I send her to a public school all of her odd behaviors will just disappear. I don't think so! She would just go deeper into her own little world and she would be so lost. I couldn't even image what it would do to her.

We had their cousin stay over this weekend and he had all kinds of questions about homeschooling. He knows and understands that Bug has a lot of medical problems and is different than most kids her age. He wanted to know if Little Man would go to a real school when it is his time. Since, Bug can't go to a real school. I had to laugh at his comment and asked him to explain why this is not a real school. I listened to his thoughts and afterwards I took him downstairs to the classroom. I showed him all the workbooks and books we do. He seen all the science, art and regular school supplies. I think he was more excited about the fact that his cousins only do school 4 days a week and only 2-3 hrs a day. He told me that he would sure have alot of play time if he did school like we do. I don't think he fully understands it but,he had alot of questions and it was fun explaining to my 7 yr old nephew. I love listening to how kids view thing-it just makes me smile and laugh. Anyways, it got me thinking afterwards about why we homeschool and all the crazy comments that we have to endure as a homeschooling parent.
1.) I would have to say the most important thing to our family would be from Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." I want my children's education to be God-centered, so that they know that God created everything, . I want them to be able to argue for their faith instead of being confused into believing in evolution, humanism and every thing that comes their way. I want them to know who they are in Yeshua(Jesus). 1 Peter 3:15 "talks about sanctifying the Lord God in your hearts: and to be ready to give an answer to every man that ask you a reason of the hope that is in you" I want my children to know why they believe what they believe and to be able to share their faith with others.

2.) I want us to have a close relationship with each other. I don't want to be strangers in our own home.

3.) I want to make sure they aren't being exposed to poor influence and worldly values. I want them to grow with confidence in who God created them to be, and not believing that their role in this world is to be only about themselves. To have a heart to serve others. I want my kids to be individuals, without having to conform to the mold of this world and other kids.

4.) I love all the quality time that I spend with them, seeing them learn, learning with them, and spending quality time with them.

5.) I want them to have an imagination and a broad range of possibilities to stretch their minds to its fullest capacity. I do not want their love of learning to be squashed because of a restricted curriculum. The beauty of homeschooling is that I can work at their pace. If they are not understanding a concept we can spend days, weeks or even months on that area. Not having to worry about a schedule or all the other children in the class. I can take the things that they enjoy and make a lesson out of it. I want them to enjoy learning. If Bug wants to learn about bugs. We can change directions and study bugs and at the same time we are learning about those bugs we can combine language arts, reading, science and math with bugs. Its endless with the choices that we can study.

I know that socialization is always a big concern. It shouldn't even be a concern. I cringe at how many moms tell me that their children are too outgoing to be homeschooled and like being around other kids. They think as homeschoolers that we keep our children locked up all day. The homeschool community is very active. We do a physical education, field trips, art classes, music lessons and sports. We get together with other families. I don't want my kids to just be able to socialize with their peers. I want them to be able to have a conversation with the elderly and of people of all ages and to be comfortable doing it. Not just because mom told them to do it but, because they enjoy it. I don't want them being concerned with what their friends will think if they enjoy spending time with an adult or young children.

I know some great families who have children in public school. I don't think if you send your kids to public school that you will ruin their lives and they won't be educated. I also realize that you can teach your children all the things I just mentioned above in a public school. This is the choice that we have made for our family. After much prayer we know that we are doing what God wants us to do. I am so grateful that I have this opportunity to teach my own kids. I pray continually for wisdom on this journey. It's not always easy being a homeschool mom. I have to say that it is the best job in the world. I have the best benefits of any job. I get hugs and kisses instead of a paycheck. I love doing what I am doing. Yes, its very tiring and I work more than 40 hours a week. We have bad days and good days. We even have bad stressful weeks! It's a joy and a privilege to not only be a mom but being a homeschool mom. 

 Tots and Me

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Simchat Torah

Rejoicing of the Torah.

God Made All of Me by Justin & Lindsey Holcomb Book Review

Talk to Your Kids About Sexual Abuse Before It's Too Late!


It’s easy to convey the message to children that their bodies or particular parts of their bodies—are shameful. This misconception fuels confusion, embarrassment, and secrecy, and often prevents children from recognizing or reporting sexual abuse.  
God Made All of Me is a simply-told, beautifully-illustrated story to help families talk about these sensitive issues with two- to eight-year-old children. Because the private parts of our bodies are private, the home is the ideal environment where a child should learn about his or her body and how it should be treated by others. God Made All of Me starts from the fundamental truth that God created everything and applies that truth—the doctrine of creation—to kids and their bodies. It equips parents to talk with both boys and girls about their bodies and to help them understand the difference between the appropriate and inappropriate touch of others.

God Made All of Me allows families to build a first line of defense against sexual abuse in the safety of their own homes. The first children’s book written by Rid of My Disgrace authors Justin and Lindsey Holcomb is published by New Growth Press and illustrated by Trish Mahoney.  

My thoughts:

God Made All of Me A Book to Help Children Protect Their Bodies is a must have book these days. It makes me sad that we have to teach our children about this subject at such a young age. For some parents this is a hard subject to convey to our children. There is something about having a book to be that ice breaker to start a heart to heart conversation with our kids. For some parents they are even uncomfortable talking about such a heavy and scary subject. We think it could never happen to our child. The reality is that it cannot be ignored as it usually happens from someone we know.

The illustrations are eye catching for a child to keep their interest. It doesn’t beat around the bush with the names of our bodies. It’s taught in a Christian worldview with scripture verses within the pages.

I like that it gives several situations for a child to understand and that our body is private and there should never be any secrets with situations like this. What if you’re uncomfortable around someone and you don’t really know why? Always tell a trusted person no matter what.

There is an extensive section for the parent that has statistics and is an eye opener.

I read this to my 12 year old daughter with special needs as I don’t want someone to take advantage of her mental ability. Granted we have talked about it numerous times but, I want to reinforce this over and over with her. My nine year old son also listen in.

I highly recommend this book to any parent or grandparent. The reality is that we can’t be na├»ve and think it will never happen to our family. No longer is it safe to assume that it can’t happen to someone you love. Give your child something that will protect them and that is the power of knowledge to know what is right and wrong.

Litfuse Publicity Group has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book. In no way was I asked to give a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Touching the Heart of God by Paul Wilbur Book Review

Touching the Heart of God Embracing the Calendar of the Kingdom is about uniting ALL believers—Jew and Gentile. This book teaches God’s children about His Kingdom—its order, its benefits, and the privilege He allows us in celebrating His greatest recorded triumphs over the Enemy of our faith. The reader will be inspired to put aside prior reservations regarding who should observe the Jewish festivals, as they are not Jewish festivals but God’s festivals and a celebration of His victories! All believers have a great heritage behind them. Understanding our Kingdom history is central to developing us into One New Man—made of Jews and Gentile alike.

My thoughts:

As a Messianic Torah Observant Believer in Yeshua (Jesus) I was excited to see a book that talks about God’s calendar. I feel like I am always explaining my positions to why I do what I do. We hear it all as Messianic Believers that we are putting ourselves under the law or Yeshua did away with all the laws in the Old Testament. I am free and love the Lord just as much as you do and want to do God’s calendar. It has enriched and drawn me closer in my walk as a Believer. Yes, I worship Jesus and I choose to follow the calendar just like my Savior did in the New Testament!

Paul Wilbur is an amazing worship artist with 20 albums and in 4 different languages. If you have never heard his music then treat yourself to some wonderful worship music. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Have you ever wondered about these strange feast that God talks about and whether or not they are relevant for you today? Jew and Gentile we are one in the Messiah. All the feast are broken down and clearly explained.

Touching the Heart of God has 15 Chapters that explain in layman’s terms about God’s calendar (feast). There is also a nice glossary for those strange new words that you have heard throughout the book with the definition. I thought about putting quotes that I loved or maybe even talking about certain areas. There were just too many that I really found inspiring. Paul Wilbur uses scriptures from both the Old and New Testament to reinforce God’s calendar.

I challenge you to read Touching The Heart of God. Thank you Paul for explaining this in a well written book. I really appreciate it. I now have a book to recommend to others to read when they ask for more information. Your book points to the scriptures clearly.  

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.  


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