The Look and Tell Bible by Dawn Machell

Sometimes finding a story bible that holds my younger children’s interests can be somewhat challenging. Countless times I’ve felt that I was wasting my time when reading bible stories to them because it was obvious they weren’t paying attention. They would be squirming around, fidgeting, and sometimes just staring off into space.

That is why I am so happy to have come across The Look and Tell Bible by Dawn Machell. This isn’t just any story bible. This wonderful resource is designed specifically for younger children who, like my children, may be fidgeters, or for children who are on the brink of learning to read. Each account included in this collection is exactly the right length, colorfully illustrated, and makes use of key words which are pictures of characters, places, or objects that are important to the story and which make the story interactive for children.  Continue reading “The Look and Tell Bible by Dawn Machell”

Becoming a Woman of Excellence by Cynthia Heald

Cover: Becoming a Woman of Excellence 30th Anniversary Edition

Society today tells us that a successful woman is someone who ‘has it all.’ A promising career, money in the bank, great kids, and fame are often the goals listed by many women who desire to become known for being special.

But what does God want from us?

While none of those qualities are bad in and of themselves, it’s important to look beyond earthly values and study those values that the Lord, Himself, treasures. In Becoming a Woman of Excellence, author Cynthia Heald delves deeply into this topic using memory verses, scriptural references, insights from well-known believers such as Oswald Chambers and George Mueller, and poignant anecdotes coming straight from the life of the author herself.  Continue reading “Becoming a Woman of Excellence by Cynthia Heald”

A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers- Back to “School”!

We’ve reached the end of our first week of our new homeschool year, and we have had so much fun! The kids and I were all so excited to begin, and that has lasted throughout the entire week, so things are looking great so far!

Unfortunately, we almost got off to a rocky start because I got a phone call early Monday morning from a family member asking me to drive them somewhere (they live 1/2 hr. away). After I explained that it was our first day of homeschool, they were very understanding. Unfortunately, though, when I mentioned it to another family member I was lectured about sometimes “having to make sacrifices.” I got more than a little angry at that, because I have sacrificed many a homeschool day to help people out. The problem is that once I started doing that, people have constantly been expecting me to do it over and over again.  Continue reading “A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers- Back to “School”!”

Is Homeschooling Really All That Different from School?

Sometimes I feel like a broken record.

broken record
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I have made it my passion to let people know how different homeschooling is from school, but it feels like it’s falling on deaf ears. Maybe it’s because people have just been so completely brainwashed immersed in what education is supposed to look like that they just can’t picture it any other way than that of the traditional school setting.  Continue reading “Is Homeschooling Really All That Different from School?”

10 Ways We Homeschool 10 Kids for Under $1000/Yr.

low cost homeschool
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The high costs associated with homeschooling are often one of the reasons people choose not to do it. We can’t afford it. We only have one income. We have too many children. 

It’s true that there are a good many homeschool curriculums out there which are high quality, with the high price tag to prove it, but today I’m going to let you in on how we homeschool 10 kids for under $1000/yr.

Since we are a one income family of twelve, it is absolutely necessary that I am resourceful enough in acquiring materials so that homeschooling will not be a financial strain. At this point in time, we plan on homeschooling all of our children through high school, so it is crucial that I find something affordable that works for our family.

Believe it or not, this is easier than you think. In fact, $1000 is actually a high number. I believe that this year we were able to keep our costs to below $500 for curriculum for all 10 children, but I’ll say $1000 just to be conservative!

In no particular order, here are the 10 biggest tips to homeschooling effectively, but frugally. Continue reading “10 Ways We Homeschool 10 Kids for Under $1000/Yr.”

Lazy Day Links- 7/8/16

recommended links books
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We have officially reached the last Friday of our summer break! The kids and I are so excited about beginning a new homeschool year.

Besides getting ready for school this weekend, I’ve got a ton of things to do. I’m working on revising an article I wrote for a parenting website- more on that later- and I’ve got two books to read and review and another on the way. So I’m going to keep this short and sweet… Continue reading “Lazy Day Links- 7/8/16”

A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers- We Start Monday!

Start homeschool Monday
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Well, this will be my last post when everyone is still on summer break. Yay! School starts Monday for all my non-teens, and we couldn’t be more excited. In fact, when the copy paper and ink arrived in the mail a few days ago, the kids asked if we could start right away. 🙂 I love it. Unfortunately we couldn’t, though, because we’ve had a fairly busy week.

On Sunday we invited my mother and our oldest son over for a 4th of July cookout. Yes, I realize that was the 3rd, but I wanted to have it on a day when my husband wouldn’t have to wake up early for work the next day, so Sunday it was!

We didn’t do much on the real 4th of July. The kids and I did try to watch the fireworks from our front porch…but when my 5 year old went into the house to use the bathroom, the front door got stuck, and she had to wake my hubby up to get the door open because we were all locked outside. (Apparently, the heat had made our door expand. Interesting.) We ended up missing the vast majority of the fireworks then because we had to go inside so my husband could go to bed in case the door got stuck again. Bummer. Continue reading “A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers- We Start Monday!”

Are You Looking for an Exciting Way to Incorporate PA History?

If there’s one thing that my kids have in common, it’s that they are hands-on learners. Give them an activity that they can actually do for themselves, and the topic will come alive for them. But sometimes history may prove to be a tricky thing to find any good resources which will cater to my kids’ kinesthetic tendencies.

This is why I’m so excited today to tell you about an amazing book I’ve had the opportunity to review: Archbald Pothole and Other Pennsylvania State Parks Make-Your-Own Game Book, by Sandy Sieber.

This isn’t just any book; it’s actually a kit to create three different games about PA state parks. You can choose from western state parks, central state parks, and eastern state parks, or you can do all three!

Since we live in eastern PA, that’s the game we chose to make today. Let me tell you, I was a little intimidated at the prospect of making a game, but this was so simple to put together- even for a non-crafty person like me. 🙂 Continue reading “Are You Looking for an Exciting Way to Incorporate PA History?”

How to Make Kids Forget that Learning Can Be Any Fun at All

“Let a group of young men and women, one fully aware that these tests add no value to individual lives or the social life of the majority, use the power of the internet to recruit other young people to refuse, quietly, to take these tests.”
– John Taylor Gatto, The Bartleby Project

One of the latest trends in our public school system has been the overkill of standardized testing. While the use of these sorts of tests are nothing new to public education, the obsessive level our schools have taken them to is troubling.

Ask five different people what they feel about standardized testing, and you’re likely to get five different answers. The common consensus is that this can, indeed, be a viable option to understand where a student needs to grow, but, on the other hand, it is in no way a true assessment of a child’s knowledge. Continue reading “How to Make Kids Forget that Learning Can Be Any Fun at All”

Why Should We Homeschool?- Part 12- Teachers Are Starting to Give Up

Well, today we’ve finally reached the end of this seriesIn all honesty, I could probably continue on for months with this theme, but I’ve reached the point where I know that if all of these reasons won’t help someone make the decision to homeschool, nothing will.

By now my dislike of the public education system is no secret, but what I really want to convey right now is that that aversion does not extend to teachers. Most teachers- current and former teachers- I know are selfless, caring individuals who truly want to help children succeed in the world. A great portion of them have a genuine affinity for children and only desire to to be a positive influence in their lives. Continue reading “Why Should We Homeschool?- Part 12- Teachers Are Starting to Give Up”