Family Movie Night’s “Who Is Simon Miller?”

 This Saturday, August 6th, “Who Is Simon Miller?” is set to debut on NBC at 8/7 c. This fast paced family spy drama brought to you by P&G and Wal-Mart is a part of their effort to bring more quality entertainment to families.

 Synopsis: When unassuming geologist Simon Miller mysteriously disappears one night, the Miller family is thrown into a desperate search to find him. Simon’s wife Meredith and their two kids, Sarah, 18 and Kevin, 15 frantically search Simon’s office for information. When they find a stash of passports, all with Simon’s picture but each with a different alias, they realize that their father has been keeping more than a few secrets. Who is Simon Miller? And what has he gotten himself – and his family – into? Not sure they can even trust the dad they thought they knew, the Millers embark on an international mission to get him back. It’s a heart-pounding adventure that tests the limits to which families will fight for each other. 

I previewed the film last week. Wal-Mart and P&G are successful in providing another family friendly film. While watching this movie, parents do not have to worry about their children viewing questionable content, filthy language, or suggestive innuendos. For a mother who is concerned about the value of what her family watches, this is so refreshing. Unfortunately, there were not as many teaching moments in this movie as there were in some of the previous Family Night movies. But overall, I did enjoy the action packed film and the high significance of family that this film portrays. Go to the website or Youtube and watch the trailer. And be sure and pop some popcorn and gather your family up this Saturday night and find out for yourself, “Who is Simon Miller?”


Disclaimer:   I received access to watch “Who Is Simon Miller?” in exchange for an honest product review.   I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.


I’m All In (CD Give-A-Way)

 Those of you who have followed my writings know how I feel about music.  God designed it to stir your soul.  Music will either stir your soul toward God or away from Him.  This week as my family and I have listened to Robert Pierre’s newest album, I’m All In, our hearts have been stirred toward God!

 Robert is a very talented young man. In addition to writing, recording, and playing on a summer tour, he also leads regular Sunday morning worship at his church.  And he’s done it all as a high school senior.  I’m All In is his third studio album and is set to release tomorrow (July 26th).

 I’m All In is a collection of enthusiastic songs filled with the deep truths of God.  For example, my favorite on the album is Who R U.  There is a theological term found in the Scriptures known as antithetical parallelism.  God’s Word is full of antithesis.  “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life” Romans 6:23.  “Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins” Proverbs 10:12.  “Depart from evil, and do good” Psalm 37:27.  All through Scripture opposites are clearly revealed:  life and death, love and hate, good and evil, saved and unsaved, narrow way and broad way, blessed and cursed, wise and foolish, fruitful and withered, etc.  Robert expounds of this concept throughout his song.  He sings,

 You’re either hot or your cold – either yes or your no – will you stay or will you run – who will you become – you’re either in or you’re out – either soft or your loud – when He calls for His own – I want to be known                                                                                               

My husband says this is great “driving music”.  His favorite song is “Stranger In This Land.”

This world will try to shut me down – Push and shove me to the ground – but I’ve been covered by the blood of Christ – I am His and He is mine – I may be hated but this ain’t my town – persecuted constantly beat down – but there’s a joy in the suffering – cause He is my identity – I’m not of this world – I’m a stranger in this land

 I am giving away a copy of Robert Pierre’s I’m All In to one of my readers.  Just leave a comment and one week from the release date (Tuesday, August 2nd) I will draw a winner and have a copy sent to you.  Tell your friends and increase your chance to win.  Leave separate comments for each posting on social media (face book, twitter, blogs, etc) for additional entries.

 Disclaimer:   I received “I’m All In” to review in exchange for an honest product review.   I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.

Considering God’s Creation

When was the last time you looked at creation and reflected upon it?  When was the last time you gazed into the sky and considered its vastness?  When was the last time you looked at a tiny flower growing in the field and saw the hand of God?   “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” (Psalm 8:3-4).

 When we consider such things we are drawn to God.  Isn’t it amazing that true science always points us to the Creator?  Yet, the enemy has used the fallacy in modern science to not only draw people away from God but to completely destroy people’s faith.  Evolution is a false religion.  It is based upon humanistic faith and masquerading as science.  It saddens me to realize just how many children are daily indoctrinated in it.

 But what an absolute blessing to be able to teach my children the truths about the world God made!  We have been going through a creative natural science curriculum from Eagles Wings Education Materials called Considering God’s Creation.  This study is written entirely from a biblical perspective.  It begins with creation, continues with the solar system, a study of the earth, first of non-living things, including rocks and weather. It then goes on with the Plant Kingdom, the Animal Kingdom, animal anatomy & physiology, and finally human anatomy and physiology.

 I really like Considering God’s Creation. There are 36 lessons that can be used alone or as a supplement for children through 7th grade.  In addition to the 272 page book you receive a teacher’s manual and an audio CD.  As a bonus, Considering God’s Creation is very reasonable priced at just $29.95.

To find out more information visit their site.  Or to see what others are saying click here.

Disclaimer:  As a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew, I received Considering God’s Creation in exchange for an honest product review.   I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.

Lighting a Fire with History

When it comes to teaching our children, what is the goal? Is it just to learn facts, pass a test, and move on to the next subject? If that is all there is to it, I believe we’ve missed the mark. Williams Yeats said, “Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire.” I believe that this accurately describes one of my goals in homeschooling. I desire to give my children a love for learning. I want to spark their interest in education.

When it comes to teaching History, I have to be very careful to not weary them with boring names, dates, and facts. I want them excited about learning from the past. Fortunately, we are not limited to only textbooks. There are tons of resources available for parents who want to light a fire of interest in their children.

Roman Town, created by Dig It Games, is one way to spice up ancient history lessons. Our family was blessed to be able to review this product. Everyone has gotten involved in this game, even my husband. It gives the user a firsthand look into Roman life. With Roman Town you explore Fossura, which was destroyed in 79 AD by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. During the archaeological dig you can find artifacts such as pottery, bones, coins, and paintings. Then you can play games, solve mysteries, and learn all about daily life centuries ago.

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Here are some of the features listed on their website.

  •  Immersive, interactive learning environment
  • Gameplay focuses on development of analytical thinking and team building
  • Puzzles encourage problem solving
  • Authentic artifacts and realistic backgrounds
  • Accurate information about Roman Life and Roman history
  • Encompasses the full excavation experience from start to finish
  • Introduces Archaeology in a fun, manageable package
  • Fun for the whole family

Head over to Dig It Games and check out this great educational game. The purchase price is $39.95 but if you use the coupon code TOS2011 before February 21, 2011 you can get 20% off the 2010 price of $24.95. (You end up paying just under $20.)

To see what others are saying click here.

Disclaimer: As a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew, I received Roman Town Download in exchange for an honest product review. I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.

Times Alive! Multiplication Software Review

You know a product is successful when your 2nd grader asks, on a Saturday evening, to play the “Multiplication Game”. This is the experience we had with our newest math review. I received the Times Alive download from City Creek Press.   

I was excited about the product because my daughter needed a little boost in remembering her multiplication facts. Frankly, I get bored doing flash cards and she gets bored writing the facts out. We were anxious to try a different approach.

Times Alive uses stories, movies, songs, and animated pictures to teach children the 0 to 9 multiplication facts. It is silly, colorful, and fun! My daughter enjoyed it and asked several times to play it (instead of doing her math assignments). I always tell my children that their education is not about completing an assignment or staying on schedule. It is about learning. So, I let her. I can honestly say that it has helped.

What I did not expect was my 2nd grader to enjoy it so much. I have only taught a few of the multiplication facts to him this year. But he picked right up on it and can remember as much (if not more) than his sister. Both of the children will continue to use this software throughout the rest of the year.

If you have a child who needs a creative way to learn their multiplication facts, this is the program for you! You can purchase it as an instant download for $44.95 or on CD for $48.95. The program can be used with all your children which makes it an affordable solution!

To see a YouTube Video Sample, click here.

To find out what others are saying about Times Alive click here.

 Disclaimer: As a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew, I received the Times Alive Download in exchange for an honest product review. I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.

Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids


Have you ever wondered just what the difference between a grasshopper and a locust was? 

Have you ever needed a resource for the Jewish Feasts and Festivals?  

Have you wanted to teach your children the names of God and Jesus found in the Bible?

What about looking up pictures of all those musical instruments found in the Bible?

Or, would you like a complete list with references of the parables of Jesus and the lessons He taught?

If so, The Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary for Kids is just what you need.  I recently received this book in the mail from Lifeway Christian Stores.  It is a vibrantly illustrated hardcover with 224 pages.   The dictionary has 750 Bible terms with over 500 photographs, illustrations, and maps.

When each of my children saw the new book lying on the table they all responded with, “Wow, what’s this?”  This is a great resource for my children.  It makes Bible study fun and engaging and is a book we will pull out time and time again. 

By the way, in case you wanted to know, here is the list of the names of God found on page 125 in the dictionary:

  •  Elohim (Genesis 1:1)                        –        Powerful God
  • Adonai (Genesis 15:2)                      –        Lord
  • El Elyon (Genesis 14:19-20)          –        God Most High
  • El Shaddai (Genesis 17:1)                –        Almighty God
  • Yahweh (Exodus 3:14)                     –        Israel’s Covenant God (I AM)
  • Jehovah Jireh (Genesis 22:14)      –        The Lord Will Provide
  • Jehovah Rophe (Exodus 15:26)    –        The Lord Who Heals You
  • Jehovah Nissi (Exodus 17:15-16) –        The Lord is My Banner
  • Jehovah Mekadesh (Leviticus 20:8)  –        The Lord Who Sanctifies You
  • Jehovah Shalom (Judges 6:24)      –        The Lord is Peace
  • Jehovah Tsidkenu (Jeremiah 23:6)    –        The Lord is Our Righteousness
  • Jehovah Shammah (Ezekiel 48:35)   –        The Lord Is There

To get all the other valuable information you’ll have to purchase your own copy for $14.99.  For more information you can click here.

 To see what others are saying about this product click here.

Disclaimer:  As a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew, I received this book in exchange for an honest product review.   I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.


It is amazing how far technology has come in just a few years.  Not too long ago, if a homeschooling parent was struggling to teach a subject to their children the only option was an outside tutor.  Getting a tutor for your child does have its advantages.  However, it can be expensive and you are locked into a limited amount of study time with a tutor.  But now, technology is such in that help can come in many forms.

This past month I reviewed ALEKS as part of The Old Schoolhouse Crew.  ALEKS stands for Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces.  It is a web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system.  Through an assessment test, the program determines exactly what a student knows and doesn’t know in a math course.  It then offers individualized instruction that meets the student at his learning level.  So in other words, ALEKS is like a personal tutor but with so much more.

ALEKS offers comprehensive courses from elementary school math to complex subjects such as PreCalculus.  Because all you need is a computer with internet access, it is a very flexible solution for busy students.

Here is what the ALEKS website says:

ALEKS is a Research-Based Online Program:

  • Complete Curriculum Solution for Math with Access to Full Course Library
  • No Textbook Required
  • Artificial Intelligence Targets Gaps in Student Knowledge
  • Assessment and Individualized Learning for Grades 3-12
  • Master Account Includes Quizzing and Automated Reports to Monitor Learning Progress 
  • Unlimited Online Access – PC and Mac Compatible
  • QuickTables – Complimentary Math Fact Mastery Program for Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction

I registered Aaron (8th grade) and Abigail (6th) grade for ALEKS.  Here is how it worked.  Each child took an assessment test that lasted about an hour.  ALEKS avoids multiple-choice questions and instead uses input tools that mimic what would be done with paper and pencil.  Each test asked around 30 questions.  When the test is complete, ALEKS has developed a precise picture of their knowledge of the course.  We know what topics each child has mastered and which ones have not yet been mastered.   Each child’s knowledge is represented by a multicolor pie chart.  The light areas show the topics that need to be learned with the dark areas representing what is already mastered.

This is where the learning comes in.  Each time the child logs on; they are offered a choice of topics they are ready to learn.  They are then given practice problems that teach each topic.  As new principles are learned the dark areas on the pie chart begin to fill up.  This is encouraging for the students to see how much they are learning. The progress reports are encouraging for the parent.  For the younger grades they offer QuickTables.  It is a mastery program for multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction.  Abigail enjoyed using it as well as the fun games that come with it.

While I really like ALEKS, we will not continue it this year.  However, I can see purchasing it in the future as the children get older and math becomes harder to teach.  It could be very valuable those last few years of high school.  The online program is $19.95 per student per month.  They also offer family discounts on their website.


If you are interested in ALEKS check out their site for a free trial. 

To learn what others are saying about ALEKS click here.


 Disclaimer:  As a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew, I received a trail version of ALEKS in exchange for an honest product review.   I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.

What’s the “matter”?

What’s the matter, homeschooling mother?  Are you like me?  Does the thought of teaching science to your children scare you?  The sciences in general have a reputation of being an almost out-of-reach specialty that is only for a few people.  So it’s understandably if words and phrases like: physics, atoms, electrons, extranuclear region, berkelium, gravitational force, electromagnetic spectrum, and the laws of thermodynamics concern you some.

Maybe you love teaching science.  Maybe you excel in it, therefore so do your children.  But, for the rest of us what do we do?  The reality is that science does not have to be hard.  After all, true science is simply getting to know God and understanding and appreciating His power and greatness.  What Christian mother doesn’t want to teach that to her children?

Not too long ago, I received the Christian Kids Explore Physics book from Bright Ideas Press to review with my children.  The book contains 30 weekly lessons with step by step lesson activities, coloring pages, fun experiments, Review It questions, and unit quizzes.

The children and I have both really enjoyed studying physics.  The scientific terminology is explained in simple, easy to understand terms.  For example:

Physics – The study of matter and energy in great detail

Matter – Things that we can see or touch, have weight, and take up space

Energy – The capacity to do work

Because of the simplicity of each lesson all my children, regardless of age, can grasp the scientific facts with confidence and assurance.  However, there is enough information in each lesson for continued learning if you choose.  That is one of the reasons I like this curriculum.  It is easily adapted.  Another reason I like this curriculum is because of the authors statements in the introduction.

“The important thing to keep in mind is that God is at the center of everything – including the study of physics.”

Last week while learning about the lithium atom we made atomic cookies.  All you need are three protons, four neutrons, and three electrons.  Amazingly enough, cookie dough and M&M’s work wonderfully well! 


Andrew’s lithium adom model wasn’t edible but he still had fun making it.

You can purchase Christian Kids Explore Physics for $34.95 for their website.  To see what others are saying about Bright Ideas Press and their products click here.

Disclaimer:  As a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew, I received the Christian Kids Explore Pysics in exchange for an honest product review.   I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.

A Sure Foundation

Did you ever sing as a child the song about the wise man and the foolish man?  I love that song.  “The wise man built his house upon the rocks and the rains came tumbling down…..”  While the song is catchy and fun to sing, there is more to it than that.  It teaches a profound truth of building upon a sure foundation.  For every believer that sure foundation is Jesus Christ and Him alone.  Many try to build their life upon sandy foundations.  But sadly, it is to their detriment.

When it comes to teaching my children, I must remember to build upon that same sure foundation.  That is one of the reasons I love homeschooling.  I am able to choose curriculum that builds upon Truth.  When I was given the opportunity to review a writing curriculum by Rebecca Celsor, from The Write Foundation, my curiosity was stirred.  

Rebecca began her career in the public school system teaching language arts.  After several years she took her experience and began to apply it to those students who she had the most vested interest in – her own children.  This was the beginning of her homeschooling journey with her three children.  Her journey continued as she began to teach other children creative writing in Christian co-op classes.  As she developed her own curriculum she realized that when it comes to writing, failure is almost always because the basics have NOT been learned.  The Write Foundation takes students back to the basics and lays the foundation needed for success. 

There are three levels in The Write Foundation curriculum.

Level One – Sentence to Paragraph Writing (ages 11-13)

Level Two – Paragraph Writing (ages 12-15)

Level Three – Essay Writing (ages 14-17)

I choose to review Level One with my children.  The goal of level one is for students to become well thought-out and organized writers.  Each lesson can be used for reluctant and average writers building confidence in them.  But it is also creative enough to be used for children who excel in writing.  Below is a description of Level One from their website.

  • Lesson plans formatted in an easy-to-follow system 
  • Reinforces the construction of a basic sentence 
  • Improves sentence structure with basic grammar and figures of speech 
  • Teaches the organizational process of  brainstorming, outlining, rough draft and editing. 
  • Quickly develops more interesting, informative sentences 
  • Steps to writing the basic paragraph 
  • Progress to writing two-paragraph papers 
  • Guidelines, checklists and correct structure 
  • Creative poetry writing 
  • 30 lessons with lesson plans for either a one- or two-year format

The entire Sentence to Paragraph Writing Curriculum for teacher and student includes a Spiral-bound Teacher Instruction Manuals with Lesson Plans, One set notebook-ready printed Worksheets (200 single-sided pages), One CD with additional resources.  The curriculum is $100.  The website does offer options for ordering the manuals, worksheets and CD individually as well. 

 I have modified this curriculum somewhat to fit our needs (isn’t that another beauty of homeschooling?) but overall we have all enjoyed the simple, easy to understand lessons.  We will continue to use this in our home throughout the semester.   

To learn more about The Write Foundation visit their website.  You can click here to see what others are saying about this product.


“He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock,” Luke 6:48.


Disclaimer:  As a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2010-2011 Crew, I received The Write Foundation Level One free of charge in exchange for an honest product review.   I do not receive any other form of compensation for the reviews posted on this blog.