Reviews

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I'm so happy you dropped by! Stay and visit awhile and please leave me a comment- it's so encouraging to hear from you!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

TOS Review: I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist

So....did that title get your attention?  It certainly got mine when The Old Schoolhouse offered it to the Review Crew!


I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist is an apologetics book written by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek.  Based on the premise that Christianity is more reasonable and rational than unbelief, these gentlemen very articulately defend the christian's faith in God. Here's a view of the Table of Contents:

 With a companion curriculum designed to teach the book's main points, I found this pair to be a great resource for those wanting to hone their skills in the art of providing a defense for their faith.

You may get tired of hearing this from me, but guess who brings you this fabulous curriculum for high schoolers and adults alike.............yep, it's Apologia!  This spiral bound curriculum includes questions, writing assignments, and research projects. There are even tests available on the Apologia website for book owners. I think one of my favorite things in the curriculum is the biographies.  Einstein, Darwin, Newton, and many, many others are expounded upon in an attempt to exert their relevance in the grand scope of skepticism.

The I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist book is available at Apologia, though it is currently on back order (due to soon be filled) for $16.00.  The curriculum is available for $33.00.  I'd like to add here that I have mentioned my reading this book to a few friends including the director of Campus Crusade for Christ at UAB here in Birmingham.  Upon seeing the book in my hand, he stated that it was one of his favorite apologetics books- which spoke very well of the book to me!  If you're looking to brush up on your skills in speaking with skeptics on the topic of your faith, I highly recommend these two resources!

If you have already read I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, please sound in and let us know what you thought.  If you haven't and you'd like to hear what the Review Crew thought-
Click to read Crew Reviews

Disclaimer:  I was given a copy of both the book I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist and it's companion curriculum in exchange for an honest and objective review thru The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Living A No Regrets Kinda Life

Recently a friend of mine asked, over Facebook, what your biggest regret might be. I thought and thought and thought.

This brought me joy.

The fact that I had to think so hard.  I only came up with one major regret in my whole 37 years.

This brought me more joy.

Don't get me wrong...I do things and later my shoulders cinch up to my ears and I think, "Welp, you could done a bit better than that, Marla"- but it's not usually a huge pressing regret that I'll remember my whole life.  Raising my voice with the kids, spending money needlessly, saying something stupid..... you get the idea.

In my daily life....these are choices I try to make to keep regret at bay:
Engage my children in life
Hug and kiss them AT LEAST one hundred times each
Love the Lord
Keep things simple
Love my husband
Hug and kiss him AT LEAST one hundred times :o)
Call my momma
Kiss my pets' noses
Pray
Be grateful
Grow beautiful relationships
Go outside for a walk
Do not covet
Be creative

Where are you?  How would you have answered my friend's post?  Could you have openly?  What do you do daily to make sure that you're living in such a wayto limit your regrets?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

TOS Review: A Thomas Jefferson Education



As you can see from my many recent posts, we've been covered up in reviews over here at Cainberly!  This, however, was certainly one of the most fun!  This Week in History by A Thomas Jefferson Education is a subscription sent to your email weekly.  It is chocked FULL of interesting people, facts, events, places and just enough links to pique the curiosity of your students. There's a number of great printable games, activities, photos, and resources.  Another plus worthy of mentioning is that these can fit into any style of teaching: Charlotte Mason, Ecclectic, Classical, Unschooling, and of course, Unit Studies.

These unit studies are so fun and well prepared.  One of my personal favorites started with August 4 (1901)- Birthdate of Louis Armstrong.  It started with a brief biography of Satchmo followed by links not only about him, but about jazz music in general. Ending the segment on Armstrong were ideas for writing and discussion.  There is are three sample weeks that you can access to see what you think.

I also want to mention that following this bit on Louis Armstrong was the date the hideaway for Anne Frank was raided.  I appreciate that this is a sensitive subject and was prefaced with this clause:
1944: The Raid on the Secret Annex (Anne Frank)
(Note: Please take special care to familiarize yourself with the subjectmatter and the links so you can decide the best way to present it toyour children/students; this subject may include disturbing images ortopics.)

This Week in History is $9.99 per month.  I agree with a crew-mate of mine, Lisa R. who said in her review, " I realize that you could search the Internet and put together units of your own for your children, but it's so nice to have things done for you! Especially, if they are done well."  These are done VERY well.  We look forward to receiving it each week!

So go take a look and see what you think!  And let me know!  As always, if you'd like to see what other reviewers thought of This Week In History......
Click to read Crew Reviews

Disclaimer:  As a member of the Old Schoolhouse Review Crew, I was given a subscription to this program in exchange for an honest and objective review.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

TOS Review: Multiplication Teaching and Learning Made Easy



I have shared with you guys our struggles to memorize our math facts.  I've been pretty eager to jump on any reviews that are math related.  Our most recent math review is Multiplication Teaching and Learning Made Easy by Math Made Easy.

Priced at $24.95 for the spiral comb bound workbook, this program is geared toward 3-4 graders.  The workbook is your basic, black and white worksheet drills.  A big difference is what creator Glenda Brown James calls a new way to teach math facts- eliminate redundancy- which leads to mastery of multiplication facts in 6 weeks.  She teaches that children should cover 0's, 1's 10's, and 11's facts first because they are naturally the easiest to memorize.  Next you should teach your student that 3x2 is the same as 2x3- thereby eliminating half of the multiplication table that needs memorizing.  She follows this up with teaching 6 random facts per week for 6 weeks.  Each week has a set of workbook pages, labeled at the top with which day it is to be completed.  There are also pre and post tests, reviews, games, and flashcards.

If I were to be quite honest with you, I'd have to confess that I am not too impressed with this program for our family.  My children do not respond enthusiastically to black and white worksheets- perhaps because they usually use another computer-based program that is visually and audibly stimulating.(We can all thank technology for these sorts of hang-ups, can't we?!)  Also, from the moment I received this in the mail, I kept looking for instructions and they simply aren't there.  One of the games had no instructions whatsoever and I found myself growing very frustrating when trying to figure out how to put it together!   

The thing is- I'm just not sure I'd pay the $24.95 for it. Perhaps you might like to hear other crewmates' opinions......
Click to read Crew Reviews

Disclaimer:  I was given a copy of this curriculum, as a member of the Old Schoolhouse Review Crew, in exchange for an honest and objective review

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

TOS Review: King Alfred's English



This could possibly be one of the coolest books ever.  King Alfred's English: A History of the Language We Speak And Why We Should Be Glad We Do by Laurie J. White is a treasure for those interested in not only our English language, but also the history that goes along with it.

I enjoyed reading this book for many reasons.  I learned so many new things such as:
1) Words with silent letters such as "knife" and "light" use to be pronounced with all letters.  It wasn't until people wanted to sound refined and smooth like the French that they decided to drop some of the more gutteral sounds.
2)  Our language is comprised of many elements taken from Greek, Latin, Norse, French, and Old English roots.  This is why we have many words that mean essentially the same thing.
3)Though we tend to think that all things grow more complicated with time, language actually grows more simple.  Comparatively speaking, new languages are much more simple that ancient languages.

Because I have lately become more interested in the Reformation, I found White's sections on Martin Luther, William Tyndale, and King James particularly interesting.  She tells fact so freely and with such interesting, not staunch, vernacular that it even kept my fifth grader's attention!

Though sold as it should be directed toward late middle to high schoolers, I feel anyone interested in the history of the English language would greatly benefit and enjoy King Alfred's English.  White has a website called The Shorter Word where you can find free student pages and teacher materials for using King Alfred's English as a curriculum. If you'd like to purchase the book, CBD has it for the lowest price of $14.89 and you can also see an excerpt.  If you are really interested in purchasing this book, I have a 50% off code I can share with the first 5 people to leave a comment that they'd like it below!

As always, if you'd like to hear other Review Crewers' opinions.......
Click to read Crew Reviews

Disclaimer: I was given an ebook of King Alfred's English in exchange for an honest and objective review.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Here it comes again........

the first day of school!!!  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!  Wish I were excited as this little guy...
but the truth is...it's hard to feel anything except utter panic when your diningroom table looks like this the week before school is starting!!!!
 
And it looks that way ALL THE WAY AROUND!!!!

 
Deep breaths, Marla.  Deeeeeeeeeeeeeep breaths. (Oo gracious, that's a mighty cute little guy up there!)
 
It's really not as bad as it sounds.  The tough part is done, figuring out WHAT we want to use.  Now I just have to figure out the HOW and WHEN.  My first step was to write down everything I wanted to use/cover and how long I think it will take.....

Then I write each day that we will be schooling at home at the top of a sheet of paper and make a schedule for it....
(Notice how it has been erased multiple times?)
I made a sheet for Monday, Tuesday until noon (we co-op from 12:30-2:45), and Wednesday.  We co-op again on Thursday from 9-12:30.  I'm leaving Fridays open for fun stuff- art, extra read aloud time, baking, etc.  If they finish their work each day then they won't have to finish it on Friday.

Okay- here's the list of what we'll be doing this year:
Shades Valley Co-Op
Science= Apologia's Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day
Art
History= The Book of Luke, In Search of a Homeland: The Story of Aenid, City, Famous Men of Rome, Galen and the Gateway to Medicine, Detectives in Togas
Cultural Studies= Theresa of Calcutta, Mary Slessor
Communication= Institute for Excellence in Writing

Cainberly Academy (home)
Math= Mastering Essential Math Skills
Writing/Reading= WriteShop Junior Book D & finishing up Phonics Museum with B.
Spelling= Sequential Spelling
Bible Study= Finish Apologia's Who Am I? & Who's My Neighbor
Handwriting= Copywork & I Can Write (Cursive for B.)
Language Journal= For writing letters to me about what they are reading in their chapter books
History, Science, IEW= Reading for co-op classes
 
I also have lots of blank journals, blank story journals, and those black and white composition books.  We like to cover them with decorative paper and clear contact paper.  They look terribly lovely for a $.50 notebook! Here's a sampling......
We use these whenever we get bored and need to do something fun and creative.  The pretty journal, however, is Abby's literature journal.  Ben's journal has fuzzy little monsters all over it! ;o)

So now all that is left to do is clear off some of the bookshelves to make way for the stuff we are using this year!  Anybody need anything?!  If there is anything I can help you with if you're in the planning stages, please let me know!
 

Friday, August 3, 2012

TOS Review: Schoolhouseteachers.com

Once in a while, as a reviewer, a product comes along that you just can't say enough about.  This is one of them...


This website is so chocked full of homeschooling goodness tghat there is no way I could possibly cover it all in this one review....you'll just HAVE to go take a look around schoolhouseteachers.com for yourself!  What I can do is share with you my favorite highlights!

#1) THE PLANNERS!!!! (Found under "SchoolhouseExtras") Oh my gracious- they are chocked full of everything you could possibly need to organize your school AND home!  The Schoolhouse Planner (Also known as "Big Mama"!) is my favorite.  It includes helpful articles, interactive calendars, planning pages, field trip logs, transcripts, handy school lists, and household forms like grocery shopping lists, chore charts, and meal planning helps.  There are also planners specific to your students like the Special Learner, Primary, Intermediate, and High School planners.

#2) HOME EC!(Found under "SchoolhouseTeachers") Homemaking911 is hosted by Malia Russell.  With differing themes, I think my favorite thing about this section is that it breaks down into Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced levels- proving you don't HAVE to be in High School to take Home Ec!  Over the summer the theme has been getting your home in order.  August covers meal planning and grocery shopping.

#3) FIGURES IN HISTORY! (Found under "SchoolhouseTeachers") For elementary students, this section is devoted to a notable figure from history.  With weekly hands-on activities, Cathy Diez-Luckie hits it out of the park as far as I'm concerned!  This month- Betsy Ross!

#4) DAILIES!!!!! (Found under "SchoolhouseDailies" imagine that...) Here all of the work is done for you!  Daily lessons in grammar, math, writing, and MUCH more!  There are also hands on lessons for various unit activities.  Need a grammar lesson?  Head over, print off the day's lesson, and VOILA!  I was just stressing this morning that I haven't found a grammar lesson for the kids to go with a writing program they will be doing at their co-op....problem solved!

#5) SCHOOLHOUSE LIBRARY!!!  This is just what it's name indicates- a library.  With lots of great resources, some of my favorites are the copybooks, reading lists, teacher lesson archives, and the art/craft shelves. 

Whew!  So can you see why I would hAVE A HARD TIME COVERING everything?  This is just a smackeral!  I didn't even mention the Old Schoolhouse Magazine subscription that comes with membership....or the Schoolhouse Expo....or even all of the other wonderful teachers contributing to the site!

Membership is $! for the first month and then is $5.95 every month thereafter.  Membership includes:

1. Members-only access to lesson materials in these subject areas: Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Geography, History, Home Economics, Literature, Math, Music, Reading, Writing . . . and so much more!
2. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine delivered straight to your inbox, monthly.
3. All The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine digital back issues—easily searchable, a fantastic feature that enables you to go directly to articles of interest.
4. The Homeschool Minute™ weekly E-Newsletter.
5. Download all five Schoolhouse Planners—the Parent version (hundreds of pages), all Student planners (3 versions) and the Special Needs planner.
6. 12 E-books from the Schoolhouse Store—one per month during the first year of membership.
7. All available TOS Expo-To-Go recorded sessions—including all future recordings, for the duration of membership.
8. After 12 months of uninterrupted membership, you will receive a $25 gift certificate to the “Totally TOS” section of the Schoolhouse Store.

Go check it out and let me know what you think!  And, if you'd like to see what the Review Crew thought.....
Click to read Crew Reviews

Disclaimer:  I was given a free membership to schoolhouseteachers.com in exchange for an honest and objective review.