Thursday, April 27, 2017

Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels”- A Homeschool Crew Review

One of the struggles I have always had as a Christian is remembering that the Bible stories that I grew up hearing about, actually happened. I went to public school and learned all about world history, but I was never taught where those beloved Bible stories fit into that timeline. I knew this was something that I wanted to teach my kiddos. In fact, it is on my top 5 reasons why I homeschool! 

Lately, I have been on the lookout for a way to help my family understand how biblical history and world history intersect. When we were given the opportunity to review Drive Thru History®'s Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels.”, I knew I had found a key to help in my quest to teach and learn how it all worked together at the time that Jesus came!

Drive Thru History The Gospels

We received a 3 disc DVD set that includes 18 thirty-minute-episodes and a study guide. It was all packaged together in a nice folder style case.

The study guide was a great resource for me to make sure that my younger kiddos understood what they were watching on the videos. Each video had corresponding pages in the study guide that included a key verse or quote from the episode, a summary, discussion questions, and a reading section that shows where in the Bible the accounts could be found.

I really appreciated that the discussion questions were simple and could be answered by all of my children. Some of the questions really got conversations started that continued until dinner time when Daddy T could join in. I loved that this was able to get the whole family talking about Jesus and the events that surrounded his birth and ministry.

When I very first began this series, I thought that I would use it for Popper and B to watch at night, or even as a family. However, I ended up showing it to Popper, Brother Bear, and Sister during our video time once a week. We would then read the Bible portions out loud and answer any questions that they may have. I loved watching how intently the littles watched the videos. They really enjoyed them!

Daddy T was a little sad that we were watching the videos without him during the day so he began watching them of a morning before work. I wish I could have gotten a picture of him watching intently for you, but he gets up at 4 am and I do not (mornings and I are not friends)! He says that he is enjoying learning more about the history that surrounds the Gospels. 

I think this was a great addition to our homeschool. We are not completely though the series yet, but we look forward to our weekly video and discussion as we continue. It is definitely a resource that we will use for years to come. I think that as my kiddos get older they will be able to better understand the timeline and series of events that were happening during Jesus's ministry. 

You can connect with Drive Thru History® on FacebookYouTube, and Instagram.

There were other members of the Homeschool Review Crew that received a copy of Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” as well. You can read all about their experiences and how they enjoyed it by clicking the link below:

The Gospels {Drive Thru History® Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

When the Statistics Became More Than a Number.

Thomas and I have always sort of 'known' that we had a calling to foster care, our hearts ached at the staggering statistics. We started the process about a year ago and, because of circumstances beyond our control, had to put everything on hold. 

Fast-forward a year later, we moved right next door to my parent's which increased our support system. We are attending a church that supports foster parents in more ways then I could have ever dreamed possible. The decision to re-open our home should have been a no-brainer, right? I wish I could share with you how great it was to know that it was time and that I trusted God and that I just did it without any reservations at all, but, that my friends, was not the case.

A lady from a Bible study that I am attending posted a blog post about saying "I'm blessed," it resonated in my mind for the next few weeks. I began to realize how privileged we are. My prayers changed from 'bless my family' to 'Father, please help us not waste our privilege.' I asked Him to help us to use the privileges that we enjoyed to glorify Him.  
**I feel a warning is necessary here! DO NOT pray stuff like this unless you are ready for God to break your heart and change your world!**

That is exactly what happened! Over the course of the next month God began working in Thomas and I's hearts concerning foster care.  I have always seen the statistics of the number of siblings that are separated when entering care because homes can't/won't take sibling groups. I began to realize that if I hadn't been 'privileged' enough to have my parents, and something were to happen to Thomas and I, that could be our kiddos counted in those statistics!

So, I made the call. We would begin again the process of opening our home to foster care, but there was something that just felt off. I knew that this was right, but my selfish nature kept trying to buck it's selfish will and interfere. I struggled. When Sunday came the following week, I was beat up emotionally and spiritually. I was exhausted and about to throw in the towel. Why would anyone want to walk this road?

That day our Middle School Pastor at church brought a Missions Moment. I do not remember much from the video he showed or what he said, except this:  "Those statistic that you see on the screen, those are not just numbers! Those are people. Jesus died for them and they need someone to tell them that good news!"  

Jesus broke my heart! Right there in the middle of the Mission Moment at the beginning of our service. Those statistics that rocked my world all suddenly became far more than just a number, they had faces and stories. I wept. I was embarrassed and ashamed of the selfishness that I had been harboring. I knew that I needed forgiveness. I also knew, right then, that this was absolutely the calling that He had placed on our lives! We were to be foster parents.

We don't take this lightly. I believe that this is our mission field. So many are called over seas, but God chose to call us right where we are, in the middle of a crisis. A broken world, filled with broken families who are in desperate need of a Savior. Our job is to show His love to these families as they work to restore their lives and start over. We are in the business of reunification of families. 

That is why we are becoming foster parents! We want to share His love with both the children and the parents in the foster care system! We know that this calling won't be easy, in fact, we know the very opposite is true. We will love these children like our own and then we will say goodbye and hand them back over to their parents. We will have to learn to trust God in a whole new way. We may never know what will happen to these children once they leave our home, but we trust a God Who does! We must learn that we only have today and the intensity of that truth. 

We covet your prayers as we welcome these children into our home. Pray that we will be able to share His love to these families.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Beginning the Journey...

We are beginning our journey this month, but I am sure that her journey began before we even signed our fist form. We started training last week; I wonder what she was doing? We bought a bed yesterday, I wonder where she slept last night? Sister picked out a pink stuffed dog especially for her, I wonder what she held onto last time she was scared?

I am not sure where she is or what her life is like right now. I don't know what her life story is or when our path will cross. I do know that when we get that call, we will be ready. Ready to give her love and support, to pray with her and help her heal. We will be there as a support for her family, to show them the love of Jesus. Our family is already preparing. We are praying for her and her family even today. 

I wish there wasn't a need for foster care. In a perfect world, there wouldn't be, but this isn't a perfect world. This is a broken world in desperate need of Jesus. We believe that we have a calling to share the love of Jesus with people. Our specific calling is to the children and families in the foster care system. 

I ask that you keep us in your prayers as we start this journey. Pray for the children and families that we encounter. Pray that Thomas, the children, and I would be able to share the love of Jesus with them. 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Sunday Night and Peace?

It's Sunday night, and already my brain is swirling about what tomorrow may hold. The business of the upcoming week has begun to chip away at my rest. In the middle of a thought, the Lord reminded me of a verse that our Pastor used this morning. I read it in the Amplified version to get a better grasp on what Jesus was saying. As I read it I knew that stress, anticipation, and anxiety had no place in my mind tonight!
I thought that I would share it with you in hopes that it would encourage you as it has me!

So, as you enjoy these last few hours of your weekend, and as you wake-up in the morning, you can rest assured, sweet Momma, that He has overcome the world! 

I pray that you have a peaceful night and week ahead!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Shepherd, Potter, Spy--and the Star Namer: A Homeschool Crew Review

Have you ever read a Bible story and wondered about the background of the people? This is something that I do on a regular basis. I wonder what was going through Esther's mind, the lady with the issue of blood, and what about Hannah after she gave Samuel to Eli in the temple. I have found a love for books that take the Biblical accounts, mix them with historical fact, and add in a little imagination to follow people in the Bible that are simply mentioned for a chapter or two.  
Imagine my delight when I was given the opportunity to review a book exactly like that!  Peggy Consolver - Author penned a story about the Gibeonites of Joshua 9-10 called: "Shepherd, Potter, Spy--and the Star Namer."

Shepherd, Potter, Spy--and the Star Namer {Peggy Consolver}

When I first received my copy of "Shepherd, Potter, Spy -- and the Star Namer" in the mail, I had to go back and reread Joshua 9-10 in my Bible. So little is said about these Gibeonites that I hadn't ever thought about them. After I read about them again I wondered how Mrs. Consolver was going to bring these people, who were barely mentioned, to life.  

In the beginning of the book we are introduced to Keshub, a young Gibeonite boy who is tending the families sheep in the morning and learning to become a soldier in the afternoon. His real dream in life to see and experience adventure beyond the confines of Gibeonite territory. Little does he know the adventures that await him. 

As I read through this book, I was made aware, for the first time ever, of the other people, the ones that lived in Canaan before God gave it to the Israelites. I never thought about the rumors that went through camps, the fear of impending defeat by a group of foreigners taking over land, the question of whether or not you would survive an attack and if you did survive, where would you live? 

This book opened my eyes to the other side. I am not going to even pretend that there weren't questions about why it had to be this way. I spent several days in prayer trying to find peace in God being all knowing, all powerful, and just even though my heart was aching for these people groups being forced from their lands.  I had always lived with the understanding that Canaan was the promised land to God's people. I just never thought beyond that. This book challenged me to dig deeper. I am still in the process, even after 6 weeks, of studying the Gibeonites (descendants of Ham). I do not understand everything, but I am searching. My next search will be the Amorites and their selfish king. 

I love history and this book helped to create another layer of history to the Bible stories that I had never thought about! I think it is a perfect way to start learning and teaching the Bible from a point of historical context. It has definitely sparked a new interest in me!
When I originally requested to review this book, I intended on having Popper read along side me or even co-read with me. However, after reading the first couple of chapters we discovered that this book was simply too advanced for him and I chose to read it alone. I think this book is geared more towards upper middle school/high school to adults. I am definitely going to have my kids read this when they are older to help teach them to dig deeper into their Bible stories. 

There is also a study guide available for this book.  It has maps and keys to help the reader visualize where the events are taking place. The guide includes a couple of links per chapter to videos or resources to help you better understand parts of the story. It is a great addition for helping to get a better grasp on the book as a whole!

About Peggy Consolver

The author, Peggy Consolver, is was raised in Oklahoma where she graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. She taught in a Dallas high school for a while and then enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom to her 2 children. She now enjoys teaching Sunday School and women's Bible studies that challenge women to dig deeper into the stories!

Mrs. Consolver had started writing "Shepherd, Potter, Spy--and the Star Namer," but was struggling to make the story come alive. She decided to take a trip with a couple of her friends to visit Israel and walk where the Gibeonites, that she was writing about, actually lived. Through a sequence of events she was able to spend 18 days with the Associates for Bible Research in Israel in 2010. Here the story of Keshub and his family came alive to her and she was able to write about their experiences from a place of better understanding.  

You can connect with Peggy Consolver-Author on Facebook.

As usual several of my Crew-mates read and reviewed this book as well. You can read their thoughts about it by clicking the link below:

Shepherd, Potter, Spy--and the Star Namer {Peggy Consolver Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

City on a Hill Studio- A Homeschool Crew Review

With three boys in our home, discipleship and raising godly men is a constant topic of conversation for Daddy T and I. We pray that God will show us ways to better connect with our boys and to lead them to become godly men that are capable of leading a home. Of course this means we are always on the lookout for ways to help us to connect with them and to share more of God with them.  Recently, an opportunity came to us through the Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit by Manhood Journey & City on a Hill. Daddy T and I were both excited to find a resource that was geared towards a dad and son discipleship. We could not wait to get started!

Father's Starter Kit | Manhood Journey

The Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit contains a copy of the book "Wise Guys: Unlocking Hidden Wisdom From the Men Around You" by Manhood Journey co-founder Kent Evans, Two different discussion guides: one for a group setting and one for a one-on-one setting, a DVD of the introduction videos for each session, and ten Maprochures.

The discussion guides are broken down into 6 week sessions that meet once per week. These include:
1. Preparing for the Journey.
2. Setting out on the Journey.
3. Relying on the Compass.
4. Seeking guidance along the way.
5. Encountering others along the journey.
6. We have embarked.

The Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit is designed to allow dads or male role models to come along side boys aged 8 to 17 and disciple them using using five vital principles outlined in the guides.  In the beginning of the one-on-one guide there is an Introduction that helps dads or role models get 'ready' to embark on this journey with their son(s) or boys in their group. It also provides discussion questions to help get they guys talking. This is the first of six 6-week guides to help disciple young guys.

Overall, I thought this was a fantastic product. I loved the conversation starters. I think those really help to open up conversations that wouldn't usually be discussed on a regular basis, but are important to help walk along side and disciple young men. For example, one of the questions, 

" What do you think it takes to go against the crowd?"
This is a hard question even for me. I think it is great to get my boys talking with their dad about these important topics to help them make plans, pray together, and build confidence in Christ to be able to go against the crowd!

My favorite part is the challenge to dads and sons to read the Bible and pray together. I think this is a great resource to help dads gain confidence in leading and discipling their sons. Daddy T has struggled with the fact that he wasn't raised in a home or a church that had discipleship. He has felt at a loss as to how to disciple our boys because of it. The Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit was a great way for him to start on the path of discipling our boys. 

I think this would be a great discipleship resource for men to use with boys in both a 1-on-1 setting and a group setting. I can see benefits to both. 

You can connect with Manhood Journey on Facebook and Twitter. You can also connect with City on a Hill on Facebook and Twitter.

Other member's of the Crew got the privilege of reviewing Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit as well. You can read how they used it and their thoughts by clicking the link below:

Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit {Manhood Journey & City on a Hill Studio Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Better Together

It's been about a year and a half ago now. I finally feel like I can share with you one of the hardest lessons that I have ever learned (continue to learn) as a wife. 
A little background information: there are times when I wake-up in the middle of the night with the urge to pray for something. Sometimes it is a very specific need, sometimes it is a person, other times I don't know what I am praying for, I just know that I am supposed to pray. I have always semi-joked that this is the only time of my day that is quiet enough for God to get my attention and have me really understand the urgency. This is also the only time that I have unlimited availability to pray uninterrupted.  

It was the middle of the night when I woke-up from a very deep sleep. I remember there was this incredible sense of urgency and panic that almost consumed me. I reach over to wake-up Thomas and realized that he wasn't there. He had picked up a paper route to help with holiday expenses that year. I knew that I needed to start praying for my husband. 

I cannot explain to you what my heart felt and where I was mentally in that moment. I just knew that I served an all powerful, all knowing God and that He knew and that was enough! I prayed until exhaustion took over and I fell in to a restless sleep. I woke-up to my husband coming home. I was relieved to see him, but that dreadful feeling wasn't gone. 

After he left for his normal day job, I sent the kiddos outside and I spent more time praying, begging, pleading with my Heavenly Father to protect my husband. At one point during my prayer, I remember saying, "Father, I know that you love Thomas more than I ever could, but Lord, I just don't want to know what it would be like to not get to talk to him everyday, to not share my world with him, to not have him by my side to raise our children." 

In that moment, I remember hearing God, I mean really hearing Him say to me, "That is how you should feel about me!" It was then that it struck me, I had made my husband my idol. I had elevated him to a position above God. I needed to repent. 

Over the next several weeks, I struggled with that sin. I took to Jesus. I know that He forgave me, but I still needed to work on rearranging my priorities. My prayers began to change over those weeks. 

There is one prayer that stood out, one prayer that remains my hearts cry even now almost a year and a half later. I prayed,
"Father, I know now that if You chose to call Thomas home, I could continue. I could lean on You and raise these children to love You and serve You. I would continue to walk with You, trusting you. I know that You are in control. But, Lord, I also know that You gave Thomas to me to be my friend, my companion, to walk this road of life with me side-by-side. I also know Lord, that Thomas and I, though great on our own, are so much better together. We can serve You better, raise our children better, love on people better. Father, please, let us continue to be better together." 

After that prayer, peace flooded my heart in a way that I cannot explain to you. I knew that I would continue to serve along side this wonderful man that God had given me and that we would become better together!

Last week, we were shopping for homeschool supplies in our local Mardel. I rounded the corner and saw this:

I cried. I was being reminded to not put my husband before my Father. This sign now hangs above our bed. It is a testimony of a time when God reminded me that He is to be first in my life. It is also a reminder to never take my husband for granted. Today, I cherish the moments. I know that at any moment God may call my Thomas home, and if He chooses to, then I will be okay. I will lean on my Rock! Until then, Thomas and I strive to be better together!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Creating a Masterpiece- A Review

Last year at our homeschool convention, my husband saw this amazing online art program that he raved to me about for weeks months. The problem was he could not for the life of him remember the its name. Luckily for him, the Crew had an upcoming review product that would help us learn its name: Creating a Masterpiece. We were given the privilege to review their Monthly Plan.  Daddy T is the artist in our home and was elated to finally be able to try that infamous (to our family) art program that he had raved about for the past year. The kids soon joined in his excitement!

Creating a Masterpiece

(This image is provided by and is precious to Creating a Masterpiece. I thought it special to include it in my review. I think it is wonderful and shows what is possible in children of all ages using this program.)

As we began to scroll through the projects available, I tried to keep the kiddos in the Beginner's section. I lost that battle as soon as they found the Lessons in Colored Pencils: Tropical Clown Fish. I should have known. There isn't a child that I know that wouldn't have wanted to try it first. Since we already had the supplies needed to start this project, I relented. 

Daddy T, Popper, Brother Bear, and Sister were the first ones to try out the program. They got everything set up and chose to work on it while I was busy with dinner prep. I loved seeing Daddy T get to be involved with them!

We tried to work through one lesson a week. This would have been a perfect pace for Popper, but Brother Bear and Sister needed a little more time to work. We ended up having to pause the video for them to catch up several times. I have to say, I really appreciate that aspect of the videos, it definitely made learning and assisting easier.

I love the finished projects! We learned a few things through this first project. First, quality does matter. We used colored pencils that we had a home. Since then, we have purchased nicer ones for the next time we need them. Second, Brother Bear and Sister do not have very long attention spans. You will notice the extra drawings on Brother Bear's page. He got a little bored while Daddy was helping the other two. We learned very quickly that on the longer lessons we needed to split them up and complete them in two days instead of one.

For our second project we chose to work as an entire family and complete the Lessons in Acrylic: Caribbean Lighthouse. We purchased everyone a canvas, made sure to get good quality acrylics, and we began. When we started we used cans to prop up our canvas. However, the next weekend I found great easels for cheap at a thrift store. These proved to be extremely useful!

We really enjoyed working on this as a family! Once again, I will brag on the fact that we could pause the videos to catch up and help each other when someone missed something or got a little behind. There were some great memories made during family art time. We want to make this a permanent thing at least one night a week! 

We learned another lesson with this medium: acrylic paints take time to dry. The above picture was after the first night. If you'll notice we were all at different points. The littler ones attention spans were shot, we older ones were helping the younger ones. Needless to say, we had to back track a bit the next art night to get us all together before starting the next lesson.

Drying time and attention spans made my plans go straight out the window. I wanted so desperately to have this one completely finished to show you a final product before I posted my review. Since that wasn't an option, and I did not want to rush these beautiful creations, I am simply going to be able to show you our work in progress pictures. 

We still have 2 more full lessons to complete before this picture is finished. After working through this program the past several weeks, I am learning to appreciate art even more. I understand what artists go through to create masterpieces! 

I cannot say enough good things about this program! Daddy T and I have decided that after our 6 month subscription is finished, we will absolutely be purchasing a year long membership. There are so many great projects to create. I love seeing each child's personality come out in their artwork. 

You can connect with Creating a Masterpiece on Facebook.

Other members of the Crew reviewed this as well. You can read about their experiences and view the projects they chose to complete by clicking the link below:

Creating Beautiful Art at Home {Creating A Masterpiece Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Spring is in the Air!

If your family is anything like ours, spring is the busiest time of the year. This year is even busier than usual for the Crunchy Household. We are planting our gardens, establishing new flower beds, and knee deep in a kitchen remodel!

I have always loved rustic farmhouse style kitchens. White cabinets, reclaimed hardwood counter tops, fresh herbs planted in the windowsill. Since I spend 90% of my day in my kitchen, I have dreamed about my ideal kitchen for as long as I could remember. However, when Daddy T finally said, "Ok, it's time to tackle this kitchen. What colors do you want?" I panicked a little. I mean, here I have been dreaming for years, but in a dream the color can change. Now, I have to choose the colors and finishes that I am going to look at everyday for many years to come. That, my friends, is a lot of pressure!

What if I pick something that looks gorgeous on the paint chip or in the kitchen on TV, but I hate it in my kitchen? This has been the battle for the past few months. This past week, I finally chose the cabinet color, the hardware, and the look I want on the counter tops! Daddy T is calling it a true victory!

I know that there is still back splashes, wall color, and flooring to choose, but those will come in time. For now, we are busy painting cabinets.  I am learning patience in this remodel. My kitchen is a wreck! I am constantly searching for things in boxes as I try to get dinner fixed. I cannot wait until it is finished.

I am enjoying this time too! I love seeing my husband work with so much love for our family. He strives to make sure the boys get to help. There are some precious memories being made in our house. I cherish these times, storing them away in my heart. 

I can't wait to show you the finished project. But for now, I need to go paint a cabinet or two before bed.....

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Home School Adventure Co.-A TOS Review

When I was younger, any time someone would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would always tell the 'a wife and mommy.' Of course, that answer would cause a giggle and the question was reworded to ask what I wanted to go to college to become. I eventually learned to answer, 'a teacher.' This despite the fact that I knew deep down my true calling was to be a wife and a mom.
You can imagine my excitement when I was given an opportunity to review the book I'd Rather Be Your Mommy? by Home School Adventure Co. What a beautiful truth to teach my children. What a great way to remind me and my children that this is a true calling! They also included I'd Rather Be Your Mommy Coloring Book Editionwhich I knew Sister would simply adore, and I'd Rather Be Your Mommy Print Set.

I'd Rather be Your Mommy Book

I received a pdf version of all 3 products and I could not wait to print out my new treasures! I could only imagine reading this book to my babies and coloring along side Sister. I just knew this would be a well loved book in our home.

I just have to say, this book was more beautiful than I expected. From gorgeous illustrations to simple truths that I want to remind my children of everyday, this was the book that I needed. I needed to be reminded that this mom life that I have chosen is exactly where I want to be. It also helped to share with my children that there is NOTHING else I would want to be, but their mom!

Of course. Sister enjoyed the coloring book version so much. I was able to read it to her more times because of this added resource. As we colored together I was able to share my dreams of having children with her. I was able to tell her how special she is to me and how much I love her. I took this time to help her understand that she can be anything that she chooses to be and to never let anyone negate that! 

I loved the prints that were included as well. I chose to print them off and display them by the children's bedrooms for them to be constantly reminded that there is simply nowhere else I would rather be and nothing else that I would rather do than be their mom!

This book is a great way to share with you children just how special it is for you to be their mom. I believe that it helped to reinforce the precious role that God gave to us as moms, and to remind us just how special our calling really is. This is definitely a new favorite book in our home!

You can connect with Home School Adventure Co. online:

My friends on the Crew had the opportunity to review this and a few other titles from Home School Adventure Co. You can read about their experiences by clicking the link below:
Resources with a Biblical Worldview{Home School Adventure Co. Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Sunday, March 12, 2017


All my life I have had the worst fear of the dentist. I have done everything in my power to avoid going. Last week, however, I experienced the worst tooth pain that I have ever had. By Friday, I was running on 3 nights of little to no sleep and I was cranky! That was my breaking point. I went online to find a dentist that accepted my insurance and was actually open on a Friday. I found one.
I called the office and was given an appointment for a little later that same day. I was nervous, but in enough pain that it overrode all nerves. 

I arrived at the office just in time for my appointment, filled out the paper work, and waited. I will not lie, my nerves were on edge. It wasn't long, my name was being called. Back I went....

My first impression was a very sweet dental assistant who was so patient with this 34-year-old baby. She calmed my nerves as she took my x-rays and chatted casually with me. She showed me on the x-ray what the problem was, and went to get the dentist. (My anxiety returned!)

When the dentist came in, she was soft spoken and kind. She took a look at my teeth and x-rays, and explained that I had 2 options at this point: extraction or root canal. She explained the pros and cons of both procedures. She then allowed me time to look over the financial aspect and call my husband to discuss which course of action to take.

After decisions were made, she made sure that I was most comfortable with my decision. She then proceeded along with the rest of the staff to help calm my anxieties and make it the most relaxing visit to the dentist that I have ever experienced in my entire life!

I am so grateful for the staff at my new dentist office. I'm thankful for the care and patience that they showed me, the time they took with me, and helping me to get rid of my fear of dentists! I have another procedure coming up in April. This time instead of anxiety and fear, there is excitement. I am ready to have a healthier mouth and smile. All thanks to the sweet ladies that I met Friday!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Eclectic Foundations Language Arts- A Review

Language Arts {Eclectic Foundations }
Recently we received a digital copy of Eclectic Foundations Language Arts Level B to review. I thought that it would be a great way to help Popper learn cursive, which he has been asking to do, and review basic phonics with him. I have always loved McGuffey Readers and was very excited to see that Eclectic Foundation used them with their Language Arts programs.

McGuffey Lesson Plans, Language Arts

I received the pdf of the following:
*Teacher's Guide
*Student Workbook
*Phonics Practice Sheets
*McGuffey Word Cards
There was also a link to the McGuffey Reader that I could print off. I started with the Kindle version, thinking that it would be easier, but quickly realized that Popper would do better if I printed out a physical copy for him.

Once I finished printing everything off and began to look through the Teacher's Guide, I was so thrilled to see that there was no prep work for me. This is all laid out for me and I just read through the Teacher's Guide for whichever lesson we are on. This is very helpful for a mom who is teaching multiple children!

The program is made to work through 4 lessons per week. The lessons are short and bite-sized, but I still feel like Popper is learning so much. It seems to be just enough to keep his interest and teach him, but not too much to overwhelm him.

Each day has the following:
A McGuffey Lesson

language arts, eclectic education

Each McGuffey lesson is split into 2 different days. One day you read a new lesson and discuss the picture. The next you discuss parts of speech for the words from that lesson. On the 2nd day you colored each part of speech a different color to help you remember. This was really helpful for Popper, who is a visual learner. He picked up on which color was needed for each part of speech and by week 3-4 he was able to color some on his own without me telling him. 


McGuffey Lesson plans, eclectic education, language arts

This was one of the many reasons that I wanted to try this program. Popper is reading independently, but struggles at times with phonics. I thought this would be a great way to reinforce those and build on them as the lessons became more difficult. 

The lessons have the child use a dry erase marker to practice these words on the Student Practice Pages. I had Popper work through those, especially the ones that he might have been struggling with.

Handwriting/ Copy Work

Popper has always hated doing handwriting/copy work, but was actually excited that he was going to learn cursive with this program! I was very surprised with how well he did. He does get frustrated sometimes with the letters that are more detailed, but overall he is still loving it. It is always a win for me when I find something that helps my kiddos enjoy something that they usually hate to do.

poetry, language arts, McGuffey lesson plans
I liked that they used poetry and had the kiddo go over it every day. It is broken down into stanzas, which again helped Popper to not become overwhelmed by the amount he had to read. 

There were a few times when we came across an unfamiliar word and it became a vocabulary lesson. I think this program helps break down to the poetry and teach how to understand poetry.


This was another area that I wanted to work with Popper. He has some beginning knowledge of grammar, but had gaps in his learning, or so I thought. I was surprised at how much he had picked up through the years. This actually became more of a review for him. I am sure as we continue through this program, and it becomes more advanced, he will learn things that he didn't know.

Eclectic Foundations is a complete, open-and-go language arts program. It fit perfectly into our daily learning time. In fact, Daddy T and I are looking to purchase Level A for Brother Bear and Sister next year. 

You can connect with Eclectic Foundations on Facebook.

The Crew was given the opportunity to review Levels A, B, and C. (I am excited to read about Level A myself.)  You can read about the different levels used and how other's used them by clicking the link below:

Language Arts {Eclectic Foundations Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Another Great Giveaway!

One of the many things that I love about Sarah Brown from The Thinking Tree is that she really encourages moms to devote time to continue learning. She believes that children learn best when they are taught by example. She created this wonderful book, "Mom School." It is a journal just for moms to do along side their kiddos to encourage learning. And this week, I am giving one away!

I adore the retro pictures throughout this book! 

These pages are a great way to plan you learning for the week.

Reading Time pages to encourage continued reading and learning along side your kiddos!

We are never too old to work on our character. I love that this book includes pages like this that help me focus on areas in my life that need work.

Creative Writing pages are a great way to get your creative juices flowing. There are days that these pages are simply filled with doodles and Bible verses as I listen to music. The blank canvas really is a wonderful thing!

You can enter to win your very own copy below. Winner will be announced March 11th! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway