A Thanksgiving Message . . . We Have Work to Do

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This morning in my quiet time the Lord brought to my mind how truly blessed I am. Fitting, I know, since today is Thanksgiving. But not only do I experience all the necessities of life, but I have family, friends, safety, monetary abundance, good health, and most importantly, salvation. How many people in this world can boast of all that? This life is not easy for so many who face oppression, sickness, and injustice, but for those of us who only see glimpses of those struggles, the Lord … [Read more...]

Winter Term 2015 Books & Curriculum {Charlotte Mason}

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I posted our 2015-2016 curriculum back in August, and since then, we have {of course} made some changes. I simply cannot continue using books, materials, or curricula that don't work for us although I have gotten much better. Thanks to the advice of some very wise homeschool moms, I now force myself to stick it out for at least 6 weeks -- the length of our terms. Now that we are about to enter into our third term of the school year, I have decided we need to make a few changes in order to … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving Week 2015 Meal Plan & More

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As soon as Halloween ends, the busyness of the holidays commences around here. Do you feel the same way? There are gatherings with family and friends in anticipation of Thanksgiving, then the Big Day, and the day after, we start to prepare for Christmas and prepare all our baking needs, gift lists, holiday pictures, decorations, and more, and on and on. My goal this year is to step off the action-packed ride that we're supposed to be enjoying and focus on what's truly important. Hint: It isn't … [Read more...]

When God Causes Us to Stumble: A Confession of Pride

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Pride is a stumbling block. One second you're invincible, on top of the world, convinced that no person or thing can stop you and the next you're lying in the dust and dirt as low to the ground as you can possibly get. We all know the scripture in Proverbs 16:18: "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before before a fall." But to be the object of God's stumbling is truly humbling. I recently found myself on the ground while out on a trail run. I'd been talking to God, … [Read more...]

Grapevine Studies: Review of “The Birth of Jesus – Beginner” Study

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Bible study is a regular part of our day. Beginning our school days in God's Word and prayer is foundational. So I'm always on the lookout for new curricula or Bible study materials to use with our girls that challenges them in new ways, applies different learning styles, and works for multiple ages. Recently, Grapevine Studies provided me with the opportunity to take my little ones on a journey to Bethlehem to learn about Jesus' birth in their Birth of Jesus- Beginner study. In exchange for … [Read more...]

ESV Journaling Bible {Review & Giveaway!}

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I recently discovered the ESV Journaling Bible from Crossway, and as an avid journal-keeper, I was excited when Crossway offered me the opportunity to review it and give one away to a special reader. (See below for giveaway details.) I don't believe anyone can have too many Bibles. Personally, I use my beloved Life Application Study Bible and an ESV translation for my Community Bible Study on a daily basis. Both Bibles are marked up with notes and highlighted and underlined passages, and … [Read more...]

Maestro Classics: “The Nutcracker” {Review}

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Two years ago I took our oldest daughter to see a local production of the Nutcracker ballet. She fell in love and so did I. Afterwards, we checked out all the library books on the Nutcracker we could find and watched countless Youtube videos of the performance. Kate and her little sisters pirouetted across our living room floor to "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" and imagined they were each Clara on her journey with the Nutcracker prince. Since that ballet our girls have always gravitated toward … [Read more...]

A Charlotte Mason-Friendly Geography Curriculum {Review}

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I vividly recall memorizing state capitals and locating the U.S. states on a blank map in elementary school. Fortunately, I had a decent memory, so I could recall facts quickly and effortlessly and make the grade. As homeschoolers, though, we take a more relaxed approach to our studies, and memory work is not stressful. As Charlotte Mason homeschoolers, I try to present my children with a feast of ideas and use (limited) curriculum that encourages curiosity and sparks their imagination. Thus … [Read more...]

Study Guides for Literature with a Christian Perspective {A Review}

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When someone asks me what curriculum we use in our homeschool, I hesitate because we're an eclectic mix of Charlotte Mason and classical. But if asked what we do all day, I would say READ. Aside from math and handwriting, the majority of our day is spent reading our subjects from a variety of sources. As a former doctoral candidate in English literature, I value good living books and look for any opportunity to insert them into our day. Recently, I was given the opportunity to review a study … [Read more...]

Reading Kingdom {A Review}

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My five-year-old daughter has started learning to read. It's been a challenge to find the right curriculum, but we have had great success with her current reading program. I have really wanted a tool to help her develop and hone her new skills and increase fluency. Like most children, Cora loves playing games on the iPad so when I was given the opportunity to review Reading Kingdom, I decided this would be a good option to try. In exchange for my fair and honest review, I received Reading … [Read more...]