Friday, October 21, 2016

Week in Review: October 17-21

After a couple of weeks  away from normal we were ready to be back at our regular routine. I'm pleased to say that our week off did everyone enormous good and school was so very easy. We accomplished everything quickly each day and we all stayed focused for the most part.  It is really nice when something we choose to do is validated! Now, let's see if I get the same validation after the next break...because if I can just find that one perfect formula homeschooling will suddenly become a breeze, right? Right...

On a more realistic note, the sun is shinning more brightly now and I'm ready for the time change. I love the fall time change, absolutely hate the spring one. I never feel like my body ever actually adjusts to the spring forward thing. We've adjusted our desks a bit this year and that has helped some, but my girls often wander away from the designated school room to study which suits me just fine.

Here's a peek into what we were up to this week...

Grace: Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory Unit 19

My sweet girl is going to be so disappointed when we leave Beyond Little Hearts behind! She loves all of the activities and although will be excited to move on up into Bigger Hearts, there is something about this particular guide that all of my girls have loved dearly. Here she is studying poetry and drawing a picture to go along with her poem for the week. We are continuing to learn about the early American settlers with lots of opportunities to talk about how some did this in a good way, and others not so much.

Math is going very well and she is thriving with using both Math Mammoth and Math Lessons for a living Education from Master Book. Since she is a full grade ahead in this subject I am trying to keep her from getting to mathematical concepts which she is not developmentally ready for. She's still xipping right through and is on track to finish second grade math early.

Beth: Preparing Hearts for His Glory Unit 27
The end is in sight! Not that I'm anxious to leave Preparing Hearts with Beth, but there is something exciting about accomplishing what we set out to do. Since all the girls are in different stages of their guides, I get to have that start to the new year feeling more than once a year! 

Beth loves her math and story problems in particular. She forces herself to get through the rest of her math assignment just to get to the story problems. 

For history we are moving towards the end of the Middle Ages and are charging ahead into just a few areas of history after that. She is very excited to begin studying the beginning of time again when we finish this guide. 

Do you see how she is sitting? I can't figure out how she is comfortable, but she is constantly sitting in odd ways. For whatever reason this is comfortable to her and the beauty of our environment is that it is ok. I don't think traditional schools would be so quick to allow her to throw her leg up onto the neighboring chair! 

Rose: Resurrection to Reformation Unit 12

We are diving right into the period of the Reformation now. Rose is telling me frequently now how excited she is to learn about so much history. She realizes our focus is unique compared to most school settings in that she has had a lot of history up until now. Unfortunately from what I hear from our friends with kids in traditional schools it is becoming harder and harder for teachers to include meaty history in the elementary years. I can understand having taught full time in the past. She is grateful for the opportunity and tells me often. 

Rose is happy to work independently as much as she can. We have a few subjects which are still very much the both of us studying together, but quite a bit of her work is on her own and she just checks in with me.This is excellent for her as she is learning to budget her time and balance how to get it all done. 

We also carved pumpkins and are participating in an online literary pumpkin patch. The girls loved this! Unfortunately our pumpkins started rotting after two days.Here are their entries...

Rose - Glimfeather from The Silver Chair

 Grace - Wishbone's pawprint from The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde

Beth - One of the orange tabby cats from The Cats in the Doll Shop

Another great week went into the books! 

And then Grampy and Grammy came for a few days along with my husband's sister and her five kids! We had a houseful, but it was such a fun weekend! 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal - a Tyndale Blog Network Review


Beth, my middle daughter, has always loved to color. When we go visit new places she will often choose a coloring book as a souvenir. She is 9 now and has begun to really enjoy the new, more complex adult coloring pages. When I received Gratitude: A Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal, by Tyndale House Publishers, in the mail I knew this would be a great fit for a devotional book for her. Her eyes lit up when I told her what I had for her to try out and she immediately jumped on board. 

I explained the layout of the journal and how I thought best to use it. I asked her to read the verses listed, write a little bit down, and as she prayed or thought about what she had read she could color the sides. She really enjoyed this style. It's simple layout provides opportunity for creativity along with a focus on Scripture.

I also would enjoy using a devotional such as this. The reason I wanted my daughter to try it out is because she had been asking me for a devotional to use on her own. Her older sister has a few that she enjoys and would have been happy to share with her, but there is something about having it all to herself that was really special. 

We used colored pencils for this book and they worked beautifully. The pages are very thick and sturdy which would also allow fine-tipped markers to be used without any problem. The sturdiness is another reason this seems to be a great devotional for a pre-teen girl. Beth is not worried at all about tearing the pages as she works.

The only comment she had was that she did not like that some of the pages already had items colored. Not everything, but a few. She would have preferred it was all for her to color. 

I have been pleased that after the time I had her use this for review she still keeps taking it out to use all on her own. I'm really excited to have the opportunity to try out this devotional with her and see just how excited it made her to spend time with the Lord. 

I received this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

365 Pocket Morning prayers: A Tyndale Blog Network Review


Sometimes it is hard to know how to pray. Even those who have a long-standing faith with many years of growing can go through seasons of not knowing what to pray. For those who are young in their faith it can be overwhelming to even know where to begin. We want to pray and desire intimate time with our heavenly Father, but it can be difficult to focus at times.

365 Pocket Morning Prayers by David R. Veerman, published by Tyndale House Publishers, is a sweet and gentle way to begin your time with God in the mornings. Each day has a short verse or two and a sample prayer written to coincide with it. The thoughts in the prayer are often devotional in nature and can spur on a longer time with God. 

I like the small, compact size as it is easy to pack for a vacation. Often when I'm on vacation I have a harder time staying on track with my  alone time with God. Having a small book like this can be helpful to me to stay consistent when away from my daily routines. The soft, leather-like cover was inviting to my girls. They thought it was so pretty and liked how it felt in their hands.

I personally would not pick this up as my only time with God during the day as the Scripture is minimal on each page, but I do think this is a great jump-start and a refreshing way to start morning devotions with God. I also think this is a great devotional for those first starting a daily time with God because of its simplicity. This could make a great gift for a college student as well. 

Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

2 Weeks in Review: October 3-14

This year I am following a very strict 6 weeks of school, 1 week off schedule unless we have vacation week sooner than 6 weeks for some reason. Our week off was October 3-7 which coincided with Grace's 7th birthday. My baby is

We have had fun doing "light school" with Life of Fred and books of the girls' choosing. We also have been taking some fun field trips.We had a lighter week this week as well because we tagged along with my husband for District Conference with the Christian and Missionary Alliance. It was fun to get away!

The reason for this is because I noticed after about 6 weeks we all just need a break. The refreshing is so good! Little did I know that this is actually a "thing" already called Sabbath Schooling. I was explaining what we were doing to a friend and she told me they had thought about Sabbath Schooling too. My facial expression made it clear I really didn't know what she was talking about! So I googled and found out this is a practice others follow as well with the mindset of 6 weeks of work and one of rest is a biblical practice. This isn't why I picked the numbers. Honestly I don't know why I picked 6 weeks and then off a week. Either way, it's working for us! 

Here are some pictures of some fun field trips...

SC Zoo and Acquarium


Above: A field organ from the SC Military Museum
Below: Trying out different uniforms at the SC Law Enforcement Hall of Fame

Above: The world's largest fire hydrant!
Below: SC Fire Museum

It was a really fun couple of weeks off from our regular routine filled with may learning opportunities. Next week we are back to whatever normal the week brings. At the very least we will be schooling more normally. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Download Your Free How-To Guide for Bring Your Bible to School Day


Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are preparing for Hurricane Matthew to hit. For students in hurricane-affected states who are facing school closures but still want to participate in Bring Your Bible to School Day, the alternate date is Thursday, October 20.

This brings about a good point: Any day can be a day you organize your friends to bring your Bibles to school together!

By signing up during the month of October for Bring Your Bible to School Day (even if you missed the official celebration), you can download a free how-to guide for teens, parents, pastors, and elementary students. It's full of helpful information that will help you organize a day to take a stand for religious freedom and bring your Bible to school with your fellow classmates.

(Sign-ups must be received by midnight (MT), Oct. 7, in order to be automatically entered into the Newsboys giveaway.)

Plus Bring Your Bible to School Comes to Adventures in Odyssey


Getting used to a new school isn’t easy, especially for someone as paranoid as Buddy Norman. In “A Predicament of Biblical Proportions” he envisions wacky worst-case encounters with townsfolk who seem like mobsters, snoops and fairy-tale tyrants—until he gets to know them. He’s also a little confused about Bring Your Bible to School Day. What’s it about? Should he participate? See Odyssey through Buddy’s eyes in this witty celebration of religious freedom.

Listen to this story through a two-week trial only on the Odyssey Adventure Club.


Hi, my name is Melissa. Pour yourself a cup of tea and stay a while. I'm completely devoted to my Savior, madly in love with my husband, and joyously raising my daughters. I'm so glad you stopped by and I hope you enjoy your time here!