Monday, January 26, 2015

The Electrifying Nervous System: A Moms of Master Books Review

New Year...New Books! Yay for the first Moms of Master Books Review of the year!

Our selection for this first interview is absolutely delightful. It is truly a new treasure on our shelf. I always enjoy everything I use from Master Books because not only am I assured that the writing will be high quality and the graphics will be beautiful, I know I can trust the information presented to be God-honoring and edifying for my girls. I couldn't wait to crack open The Electrifying Nervous System from Master Books (A division of New Leaf Publishing).

Dr. Lainna Callentine has created a fabulous resource for kids. She should know what she's doing! Not only is she a medical doctor, she's also a fellow homeschool mamma to her three children. I could tell as I read through the chapters that Dr. Callentine knows how to capture the interest of kids.

We don't have formal science scheduled into our homeschool day because my daughter's are blessed to be part of a learning center where they gather with other kids their age to study science each week. It is a wonderful experience for them and we intend to keep this path. At the same time, I want to keep as many science resources as possible on hand for my girls. They are always wanting to know how the world works and this is just one more excellent resource to add to our shelves.

One of the things I love about this book is the readability for kids. Many of the books I have keep my girls attention because of the fabulous graphics, but I often have to explain the information to them in terms they can understand because it was written for more advanced learners. This is definitely one title they can pull out themselves and glean so much information.

One of my favorite illustrations shows the different functions of the different sides of the brain. I teach piano and have been explaining to my students more about how their minds work as they play and why they have a hard time talking to me or even listening while playing their warm ups. The reason is simply that it is the right side of the brain which processes both language and music.

There is just so much packed into this wonderful book! I loved reading about this history of the study of the nervous system as well as visually seeing how the brain develops from conception through childhood. Ever wonder why you get a brain freeze? What about sleep and how it is connected to our nervous system? How are fevers connected to the nervous system? What about brain surgery? These questions and so many more are clearly and completely answered.

A curriculum guide is available and there are many more books planned for this series. I can't wait to collect them all!

Disclaimer: I received The Electrifying Nervous System as part of the Moms of Master Books Team. I was not required to give a positive review. I was not compensated in any other way. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Week in Review: January 5-9

Oh the first week after break...glad we're back at it, but I couldn't help but feel like I needed a vacation to recuperate from our vacation! Anyone with me? But, we persevered and got a good start in the new year.

Preparing: Unit 31

We are so finishing up this guide. I can't help but feel a little anxious to get to the end. I always feel this way. Sometimes I forgo the last few units if I feel like I just want to move forward, but I'm not doing that this time. Preparing is such a sweet guide and we are both enjoying it immensely. Here she's reading about Peter the Great. We had to catch up from the previous unit learning about Shakespeare because our library had it at the beginning of the year, but not anymore when I needed it! I save a lot by using what our library has from the HOD books, but every once in a while I run into a situation like this. No biggie though. I hopped onto the ABE Books website and snagged a copy.

 History vocabulary was once a pain to get through for various reasons. This year I'm letting Rose define what words she already knows aloud and only write out the ones she doesn't know. She likes this and does well with it. She still has to write her sentences, but this is working to keep her on task.

One of the things Rose is enjoying this year is writing poetry based from the Robert Lewis Stevenson poems we are reading each week. This week was supposed to be a multiple paragraph writing, but she chose to do a poem instead which was really liked.

Bigger: Unit 13

I really, really wanted to be to unit 17 by Christmas, but since that didn't happen I'm letting my original plan go and be okay with that. I'm really good at planning and not so good at keeping the plans loose. But Beth is doing great and doesn't care one bit we're behind where I'd planned to be so I'm taking her lead in that! She had some grammar tests to finish this week that I thought she had done before Christmas, but hadn't checked yet because of kids coming down sick and distracting me! No big deal to her though. She sort of sighed when I told her, shrugged her shoulders and carried on.

Dictation has been going quite smoothly...until right now. Beth suddenly got stuck on one particular set and we spent an entire week on it! Now we're past it and she's fine. Whatever mental block she faced, she overcame and I'm grateful she persevered!

Sometimes I feel a little jealous of Beth. Math makes so much sense to her and she easily handles new concepts and ideas. She loves nothing more than to work on new math concepts, as long as it doesn't take too long! This week she's working on geometry and building shape patterns with smaller shapes. Think pattern blocks, but for older kids. I found an app for my iPad which she enjoyed using to complete the pattern assignments.

My oldest girls really work well together and do a good job of staying on task for the most part. They have their moments of being distracted, especially Beth. Her biggest challenge is wanting to play with her youngest sister. They like to chatter while working which can be distracting for Rose so I have to get creative and sometimes send one or both out of the room to work alone. She hates this, so it is quite the incentive to settle in and focus!

Little Hearts: Unit 2

Well, after several months of waiting, Grace is finally in Little Hearts for His Glory! The first time I taught this was in 2008. I'm looking forward to this third time around and Grace is even more excited to have history and activities just like her big sisters. This is a picture of her working on her poetry for the week which she thoroughly enjoys.

This little girl is such an avid reader! She is working through the 1st grade readers for Abeka, but she's charging through chapter books like crazy. Magic Tree House, Imagination Station, American Girl...she just can't get enough of the written word and it makes my heart smile. She doesn't always understand a word, but she's quick to come and ask without being frustrated. Her older two sisters didn't accept help as easily and I see so much benefit in her easy way of handling both questions and corrections.

When we're done with her work for the day she begs for more, so to keep her occupied I pull out one of the many fun learning games I've collected through reviews, freebies, or friends who gifted them to us. This is one of her favorites currently, the Cookie Sheet Challenge for sight words. Such a fun and simple activity which is already helping her build spelling skills. You can click the link to see my review, but forgive the lack of pictures. All of the pictures from my older posts have disappeared. Boo!

Here is another fun activity. I have no clue where these little cards came from, but they are like puzzles that spell three-letter words. She loved doing this and it occupied her happily for about 45 minutes!

Okay, so there was our week. It was great and I'm glad to be done with the first week of the new year. I'm anticipating the year more now!

Odyssey Adventure Club Celebrates Turning 1 Year Old!!!!


Did you make any resolutions or goals this year? Perhaps you made personal resolutions, or maybe your goals are family-focused. If one of your goals is to find your kids or grandkids a safe place online to have fun and to learn more about biblical truth, consider that checked off your to-do list! The Odyssey Adventure Club is celebrating their first birthday, and to celebrate, they're offering a special promotion!

The Odyssey Adventure Club is a safe, fun environment where children can explore, create and imagine, all while developing their faith—the perfect platform for your kids to explore while they're stuck inside this winter.

Anyone who signs up during January (promo code: BIRTHDAY) will not only receive their first month for only $5, but they will also get three Last Chance Detective audio dramas and an Odyssey Adventure Club post signed by cast and crew members.

Members receive:
—24/7 streaming access to more than 750 Adventures in Odyssey episodes (a $1500 retail value).
—A new, members-only Adventures in Odyssey episode every month.
—A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine.
—A web quest of video stories and online activities reflecting the biblical theme of that month's episode.
—On-the-go access with the OAClub mobile iOS app.
—Growing access to Odyssey books, a daily devotion, access to select Radio Theatre dramas and more.

In the coming months, members will also be able to look forward to:
—An exclusive, downloadable, cut-and-fold Odyssey character craft.
—In February, members can sneak a peek at the second Candid Conversations with Connie book. 

Additionally, a portion of each Odyssey Adventure Club membership benefits Focus on the Family partner organizations, such as Carry the Cure and Mission Aviation Fellowship, providing parents with an opportunity to teach children about the value of serving others. The Odyssey Adventure Club hopes to spend another 25 years hand-in-hand with parents seeking to teach biblical truth to their children while inspiring the theater of their imagination.

To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Princess Spy: A BookLook Blogger Review

Who doesn't love a spy novel? How about a princess story? In my mind, those two do not really go together, which is what intrigued me about this novel. Neither genre are typically one which pulls at me, but I thought I should give this a try and boy am I glad I did!

The background for this story is a princess who is struggling to find her match for marriage. While her father and mother have done their best to find the perfect mate, but Margaretha does not fit well with any of the men she has been paired with. Her outgoing and talkative personality turn many men away or force her to tell her parent's she's not interested.

While her latest beau shows some promise, she is still not drawn to him in the way she wishes. Still, she tries her best. At the same time a stranger has appeared on her father's land and she is one of a few privy to his arrival. He speaks a language foreign to her German ears, yet he intrigues her.

This delightful mystery unveils with each turn of the page and I was quickly drawn into the intrigue. Unexpected twists and turns paired with romance create a beautifully woven tale which you will be unable to put it down!

This is the first novel I have read by Melanie Dickerson and I enjoyed it so very much I'm looking forward to reading more of her works soon. I'm sure you will love this as much as I did!

Moses Leads the People: A BookLook Blogger Review

My girls are always excited when I get new books for them to review. This time I received Moses Leads the People, an I Can Read book from Zonderkids. This book is part of the Adventure Bible series. She also reviewed the bigger kids full version of the Bible which she absolutely loved. This shorter version of the history of Moses is perfect for her and right on her reading level. 

This is a great series of books to use with early readers because for many kids they are already familiar with what happened. Grace was so proud of herself to be able to read this on her own. She was quite giddy as she ran off to her room to read during her afternoon quiet time. She returned about 20 minutes later and said, "Mommy! I read all the words by myself!"

The beautiful pictures only add to the loveliness of this book. The artistry engaged my daughter as well. She spent quite a bit of time gazing at all the lovely illustrations while she was reading. I loved watching her because she would turn a page and take in the entire illustration before starting to read the words. She was so sweet about it!

I highly recommend any books from this series for your early readers. There are several in this series from the Adventure Bible. You can find these books at Christian bookstores and online retailers. If you're looking for a last minute Christmas gift for young readers, look no further! 


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!