From House to Home {Link Party} #111

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

Thanks everyone for joining today and sharing your wonderful posts!
Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (up to 3 and exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted. Find the html code on my Link Party page.)

3. Optional: Comment or pin a post or two that you see here!

I Choose Joy!

Follow on Bloglovin

Tapestry of Grace: Spring Unit Celebration (plus a curriculum giveaway!)

Tapestry of Grace Spring unit celebration

I can’t express to you how wonderful it has been to switch our history/literature curriculum to Tapestry of Grace this year, and to be a part of our Tapestry of Grace Fellowship Group!  We have just completed our 2nd unit celebration of the year.  We did one last fall which was focused on The Roaring Twenties.  This time we expanded even more with the time period being the 1930s – 1960s in 6 different countries that we have recently studied: Israel, India, China, Cuba, Germany, and the southern U.S.

**Be sure to read to the bottom of the post to enter to win a full year of Tapestry of Grace Curriculum!

Everyone was encouraged to dress from one of the countries and/or the time period. My family was dressed from the 1950s. I made poodle skirts for myself and 3 of my girls. My oldest daughter wanted a car-hop costume, so I made one for her. It was easy for the boys–jeans and a t-shirt, and we got (borrowed) a couple of black leather jackets.  So fun!

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Tapestry of Grace: Spring Unit Celebration Tapestry of Grace: Spring Unit Celebration Tapestry of Grace: Spring Unit Celebration Tapestry of Grace: Spring Unit Celebration

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The food was almost all catered and was so yummy!  Here is what we had:

Israel:
Red Roasted Pepper Hummus
GF Crackers
GF Popcorn Chips

India:
Dal Shorba  (Soup)
Chicken Tikka Marsala
Naan
GF Naan
GF Chana Masala

China:
Vegetable Eggrolls
Chicken Fried Rice
White Rice

Cuba:
Cuban sandwiches
Congri ( Black beans and rice)
Yellow Plantains

Southern USA:
Crispy Fried Chicken (Spicy & Reg)
Collard Greens
Candied Sweet Potatoes
Cornbread
Hoppin John (Black-eyed peas and rice)
Fresh Fruit

Germany:
German Chocolate Cupcakes
Mock Black Forest Cake  (Chocolate cake with cherry filling, whipped creme frosting, topped with chocolate shavings)
Carrot Cake

The decorations were amazing!  The big room we were in was divided into 6 areas, with each representing a different country.  Don’t you love this?

India:

Tapestry of Grace Spring Unit Celebration

Israel:

Tapestry of Grace Spring Unit Celebration

Southern U.S.A.

Tapestry of Grace Spring Unit Celebration

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China:

Tapestry of Grace Spring Unit Celebration

Germany:

Tapestry of Grace Spring Unit Celebration

Cuba:  (The cigars are Twix!)

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After dinner each student group did a presentation:

Acting out the “Pledge of Allegiance:”

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Reciting “I Have a Dream” speech and sharing their own dreams:

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Sharing some Chinese words and inventions:

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Singing “This Land is Your Land:”

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The high schoolers acted out a scene they wrote based on “To Kill a Mockingbird.”  We had folk singing, Cuban cha-cha dancing, Cuban drum music, a presentation about missionary work in India, recitation of the Hebrew alphabet, and a presentation about Deitrich Bonhoeffer.

During dinner, a slideshow was playing on the big screen and CDs of each country’s music was playing over the sound system.

Tapestry of Grace: Spring Unit Celebration

My kids loved sitting on the floor to eat!

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TOG Y4

If this Tapestry of Grace post interests you for your homeschool, you can enter to win a full year of curriculum (about $150 worth)!  And, if you win, I’ll win too!

So, please put my name Gena Mayo as your Sponsor in the comment field  for the giveaway entry!

You can enter if you are not yet in Tapestry’s database as a customer (meaning, you have never made a Lampstand Press purchase).

To enter add this FREE ticket to your shopping cart and proceed to checkout, where you will need to create an account at their store.
At checkout, ENTRANTS should look for the “comments” section. There, type in your SPONSOR’s name: Gena Mayo.  (You won’t be making a purchase, just signing up to win the curriculum!)

The drawing will take place on April 1, and there will be Three Winners!

Little Passports/Melissa & Doug $400 Prize Sweepstakes!

**The links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

Spring Sweepstakes with Little Passports

Little Passports has partnered with Melissa and Doug for a Spectacular Spring Sweepstakes! Enter The Little Passports and Melissa and Doug Spring Sweepstakes today! One lucky winner will receive the following Grand Prize Package worth $400 USD.

  • A 12-Month Little Passports subscription
  • World Coin Collection from Little Passports
  • Melissa & Doug prize pack: Sunny Patch Tent, two Personalized Sleeping Bags, four On The Go Activity Pads, a Pinball Arcade Battery-Free Game, and two Beeposh Plush Razzle Raccoon toys!

The contest ends on March 31st, so be sure to enter today!

Must be 18 years of age; Valid to residents of US to Canada (excluding Quebec and Puerto Rico/US Territories). See complete rules on entry form.


 

(This post contains affiliate links.)

Giveaway: “The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies” Digital HD

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What a fun giveaway today!

Have you enjoyed The Hobbit movies? Today’s giveaway is of
The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies, Digital HD release.

The final installment of The Hobbit is here! Warner Bros. is proud to bring you the Digital release of The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies! Mouse over the Interactive map of Middle-Earth and take the quiz to find out what is your Middle-Earth weapon of choice!

• Are you Battle Ready? Take the quiz to uncover your Middle-Earth Weapon of choice!
• Mouse over the Interactive Map to learn fun facts about Middle-Earth.
• Watch the official trailer & click the box art to bring the film home today!

 

About The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Digital:
From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, the third in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield, and the Company of Dwarves. Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world.

#TheHobbit

Own it on Digital HD 

Own it on Blu-ray

Official Trailer:

 

The prize will be sent via FedEx or USPS. No P.O. Boxes please. Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Digital Download Coupon for The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.  Giveaway open to the U.S. and Canada.  The winner will be chosen on March 31 and will have 24 hours to respond to my email.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Disclosure: I am working with Warner Home Video.)

From House to Home {Link Party} #110

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

Thanks everyone for joining today and sharing your wonderful posts!
Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (up to 3 and exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted. Find the html code on my Link Party page.)

3. Optional: Comment or pin a post or two that you see here!

I Choose Joy!

Follow on Bloglovin

“The Passenger” field trip to Chicago Lyric Opera

The Passenger OperaThe Passenger Opera crop

My two oldest sons and I, along with a group from our Tapestry of Grace Fellowship Group (a homeschool co-op where we study history and literature together) went to the Chicago Lyric Opera’s production of The Passenger opera last week.

The Passenger is a moving 20th Century opera about the horrors of Auschwitz and the lingering effects on both a prisoner and guard who had been in it.  You never know what to expect from music written in the 20th Century–it’s all over the spectrum.  (I definitely know because I’ve been teaching a 20th Century music history/appreciation course this year.)  So, I wasn’t sure if it was going to be too “weird” to be enjoyable.  It wasn’t.  It was beautiful.

It certainly helped that it was performed by the world class Chicago Lyric Opera.  The singers and orchestra were fabulous.  But the set and lighting was also amazing.

 

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Here is a photo (of a photo that was hanging in the lobby) of one of the final scenes of the opera.  You can see both the modern day (early 1960s) ship on top.  I loved how it was all in white–the set and the costumes.  Below was the Auschwitz prison from the 1940s.  The story is that a former SS prison guard, a woman, is on board a ship taking her and her husband to their new post in Brazil where he is a German diplomat.  She sees a woman on board the ship that she thinks was a former inmate of Auschwitz.  She has never told her husband about her past.  So, as she tells him the story, it is played out below.

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The stage had train tracks which were used to move the set pieces around.  Some of the lights were part of the prison–as search lights.  It was fascinating how the set was manipulated.  They had a scale model of it in the lobby, so here are a few pictures:

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The most moving part of the story was getting to know the prisoners and their stories.  They were from all over–Poland, France, Russia, Czechoslovakia and not all were Jews.  There was a man and a woman who were engaged, and he had an amazing musical talent for playing the violin.  The heart-breaking line was, “Will anyone remember us in the future? Will they know what we went through while we were here?”  That certainly was the reason the opera was written, to remember them.

Sadly, it wasn’t to show forgiveness for the guards, repentance of the guards, or any reconciliation.  And, also sadly, the one character who had such strong faith in God seemed to lose it at the end.

But I do recommend seeing this performance if it’s ever performed in your area.  We must remember what happened, and never let it happen again.

 

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Here is a beautiful tapestry that hangs in front of the stage.

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In front of the Chicago River.

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Giveaway: Kevin’s Quality Clothes Pins – 3 Winners!

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Welcome to the giveaway of Kevin’s Quality Clothes Pins, with 3 winners!

What:   

30 Clothes Pins – Handmade, heavy duty, made of left over hard wood end pieces from the manufacturing of guitars.

How Many Winners:

Three Winners Of 30 Clothes Pins Each!

When:

March 12th 12am EST – March 21st 12am EST

Discount:

Get 10% Off New Orders from March 12th to the 22nd.  Enter this code at checkoutBYG10TOTAL3

This giveaway is being sponsored by:
Hilary & Kevin Jones of The Frabjus Lady and the Screwy Carpenter.

Website – http://ladyandthecarpenter.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ladyandthecarpenter
Kickstarter – https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/519938320/creating-a-clothespin-you-can-love

Who Can Enter:

Anyone 18 of years or older, and residents of the USA…

Winner Notification:

The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If we do not hear back from said winner in the designated time period of 24 hours we will choose another winner and they will have 24 hours to respond from the time the notification email is sent.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


See the Giveaway Terms & Conditions here.

 

(Disclosure: I am working with other bloggers to promote this giveaway.)

Review of FreedomProject Education’s online class “Mother, Should I Trust the Government?”

Freedom Project Education Review

 

 

Today I am reviewing an online class called “Mother, Should I Trust the Government?” from FreedomProject Education.  This particular course is only offered once a year, but check here for all the 2015 FPEUSA courses.

I received the book Mother, Should I Trust the Government?: The Making and Keeping of Our American Republic
by Jake Jacobs, and he was also the professor for the 8-week online course I took.

Freedom Project Education Review

I’d like to tell you a little bit about how the class worked, and then some more specifics about the content of the class, the teacher, and his book.

How the Class Worked:

One thing I really liked was that we received an email every week.  It contained information about how to connect to the class and the link.  I would use that each week to get to the class portal.  It was very simple to do.  For different weeks, I used different devices for connecting to the class–my PC, my laptop, and my iPhone.  They all worked (but the iPhone was a little hard to see because everything is so small!)  On one side of the screen, you see the live video of the teacher and below that a list of all the online students who were signed in, as well as a chat screen where we were able to talk with each other, ask questions of the professor, and make comments.  The right side of the screen provided a place for the teacher to put slides (quotes, photographs, political cartoons, etc.)  There were very few technical issues which I experienced, so I will definitely consider it a viable option for my kids to take a FreedomProject Education class for homeschool credit.

Content of the Class:

The 8-week class I took was a government class.  It’s for ages 13 and up, so we had a wide range of students taking it.  The professor was teaching it at a school (a community college, I think) and had a few students live in his class.  We discovered that those of us online could hear those in the class speak better if we had earphones or earbuds on.  It was fun interacting with the other students through the chat feature.  We could make comments or ask questions while the teacher was teaching.  He would occasionally stop and read the comments or questions out loud.  (The class was also recorded and we received the weekly audio recording link in an email.)

The content basically followed the book which was written by the professor Mother, Should I Trust the Government by Jake Jacobs.  He explained about the U.S. government and how our country came to be (through the Constitutional Convention), but he explained it from a Conservative Christian perspective, which was fascinating. We talked about our founding fathers, slavery, and the Constitution.  Dr. Jacobs recommended lots of movies and other books to read for further study.  The paperbook back has 184 pages and 7 chapters and is very easy to read.  We were assigned about 1 chapter a week to read.

Here are the chapters:

  • The Acts of a Government That Could Not Be Trusted
  • 1776- Declaring A War For Life and Liberty
  • A Constitutional Federal Republic Under God
  • Government Power- From Whiskey to Free Speech
  • Slavery and Death By Federal and State Governments
  • 1913 to Today- Progressivism Versus Our Federal Republic
  • Conclusion- Keeping Our American Republic

I liked how Dr. Jacobs did a lot of review of the book and what was spoken about the previous week.  It really helped us remember the information.  He is very familiar with this subject and is an experienced teacher.

Here is a suggestion:  We had no written work.  It might be helpful, especially for the younger students, to have a written outline or some type of sheet to fill out while listening to the class.

The class took place on Monday nights from 6-8 central time.  There were students from all over the country who joined it.  Jake Jacobs did a good job of connecting us together, even though we couldn’t see anyone else but him.  We joked about the Super Bowl and the Oscars.  :)

Why should you look into FreedomProject Education?  They provide Judeo-Christian Education and Judeo-Christian Values.  The style is classical curriculum and it’s Common Core-Free.  See here for all their course offerings.

FreedomProject Education has just opened enrollment for FREE, 8-week Spring Family Classes!
 
Each class will meet once a week for two hours, starting Monday, March 23 & Tuesday, March 24. (6pm – 8pm CT)
 
The Monday class is entitled, “How To Think: A Crash Course in Critical Thinking.”  This class will be offered LIVE ONLINE ONLY from Dr. Juan Valdes.
 
The Tuesday class is entitled, “Bible As Culture: The Letters.”  This class will be offered LIVE ONLINE & ONSITE in Appleton, Wisconsin from Dr. Duke Pesta.
 
Deadline to enroll is Wednesday, March 18.

I’ve never looked into using an online school or live classes with my homeschooled kids, but now that I have tried it myself I think it might be a really good idea for some of my junior and high school kids to do in the future!  They actually provide classes for K-12th grade. FreedomProject Education receives no government funding and the classes are affordable.  I like that FreedomProject Education is an Accredited School and that they provide live instruction–where the kids can interact with each other and the teacher during the class!  FreedomProject Education has been seen on TheBlaze and Glenn Beck.

Follow them on social media here:

https://www.facebook.com/FreedomProjectEducation

https://twitter.com/fpeusa

Freedom Project Education Review
Crew Disclaimer

From House to Home {Link Party} #109

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

Thanks everyone for joining today and sharing your wonderful posts!
Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (up to 3 and exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted. Find the html code on my Link Party page.)

3. Optional: Comment or pin a post or two that you see here!

I Choose Joy!

Follow on Bloglovin

Giveaway: 4 Oz. Bottle Apothecary Extracts Tea Tree Oil (with ebook)

 

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Today’s giveaway is for a 4oz bottle of Apothecary Extracts Tea Tree Oil + the Ebook 53 Uses for Tea Tree Oil!  It’s a $24.99 value.

I am a novice when it comes to essential oils.  I’ve attended a couple of seminars and read some on the subject, but I only own a few.  The only one I’ve used much at all is Tea Tree Oil!  I first got it when I heard it could be useful in getting a tick to unattach.  We had had an incident where a tick attached itself to my baby’s head.  Oh, yes, I freaked out.  I bought some Tea Tree Oil soon after that, but have never needed it for that reason.

I did mix up a batch of the oil with some water and put it in a spray bottle to use as a disinfectant when my son was playing football.  Tea Tree Oil is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal, so it’s great whenever germs need to be killed.  I would spray it inside my son’s football helmet after practices and games after he would wipe it out with baby wipes.

I love the book 53 Uses for Tea Tree Oil because I have discovered so many more ways to use it!  Many of the recipes only use a few drops, so one bottle goes a long way.  There are recipes for shampoo, oven cleaner, facial scrubs, and so much more!  Visit the Apothecary Extracts website.

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See below on the graphic for more details on the Tea Tree Oil you’ll be entering to win.  Once again, I am wishing I could enter as well!

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Giveaway starts on March 9th and ends on the 15th. US only.

“The Children of Space” – A Movie my Son is in!

Film class

Three times a year my kids participate in a drama, dance, or singing class provided by Spotlight Youth Theater. They have such a variety of classes, and the showcases they put on at the end of each session are such fun! This last session my second son was in a film acting class, and here is his movie, written and directed by Sean Anderson.  They learned how acting for film is different from acting live on stage.  They did all of the filming at a church with a green screen, and then Sean spent countless hours editing and adding special effects!  Since the filming took place over a period of three months, the kids had to wear the same clothes to class each time–including having their hair the same.  I was so happy to finally have my son’s hair cut when they were done!

Here is what Sean says about the film “The Children of Space”:

“In the future, we sent our children to the stars. This is their story.

The Children of Space is an homage to low budget B-movies and Toho science fiction films of the 1960s. ”

Enjoy!

Here is a video of the bloopers!  I had fun watching this because it gave me more of an idea of how they actually filmed it.

From House to Home {Link Party} #108

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

Thanks everyone for joining today and sharing your wonderful posts!
Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (up to 3 and exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted. Find the html code on my Link Party page.)

3. Optional: Comment or pin a post or two that you see here!

I Choose Joy!

Follow on Bloglovin

Giveaway: One set of Crystal Wash Laundry Balls

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Today I have a giveaway for one set of Crystal Wash laundry balls, worth $49.99!

These are non-toxic, eco-friendly, sensitive skin safe laundry detergent alternatives.  Why are they great?  You can do 1,000 Loads of Laundry with No Detergents, No Chemicals, No Dyes, and No Perfumes!  They have Bio Ceramics inside made from minerals of the earth that have antibacterial and anti-oxidating properties.  Cool!

I know with all the laundry we do around here at my home, it would really be wonderful to have an easier way to do all the cleaning.  The Before & After results are amazing!

You can save a lot of money, as well as wash your clothes in a “green” way with these revolutionary Crystal Wash laundry balls.  See more (including a video) at the Crystal Wash website.

The giveaway runs from March 3-March 6.

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Details:

*No purchase required, open to U.S residents who are 18 years or older only, void where prohibited. One winner will be announced March 6th, 2015 11:59pm CST via email, please check your spam folder! Winner will have 24 hours to respond, if said winner has not responded within the 24 hours, a new winner will be chosen by random. Frugal Mama and The Sprout and other participants of this giveaway are not responsible for unfulfilled shipments by the sponsor.

(Disclosure: I am working with other bloggers to promote this giveaway.)

Get a Free Set of Tutorials to Paint a Watercolor Butterfly

Learn to Paint a Butterfly in Watercolor

Watercolor Butterfly is the first in the new video series, Adventures in Art from See the Light.  This series of tutorials will eventually be released on DVD, but as a subscriber to See the Light’s new e-zine, you can enjoy them free. So roll up your sleeves, get out your watercolors, and let’s have some fun!

Watercolor-Butterfly-300x169

To sign up for the newsletter, just go to the See the Light website, click on Blog at the top, and you’ll see the red newsletter sign-up form on the side of the page.  It will ask you “How did you hear about us?”  Could you please put my name Gena Mayo in the box?  I’d like to win a contest for the See the Light affiliates!

Our family has already received the tutorials for painting the watercolor butterfly and will share our results soon.  :)  I know we’ll love it since we have loved all the See the Light art lessons!

 

(Disclosure: I am an affiliate for See the Light and this post contains affiliate links.)

Series: Preparing to Homeschool Ninth Grade (Post #3) Using a 4-Year Planner for High School

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Preparing to Teach Ninth Grade- 4 Year Planner

 

I’m excited today to share about another great idea for helping your child (and you!) start homeschooling 9th grade.  It’s to use 4-year planner for high school.  Why is this helpful?

  • It will keep the student organized
  • He will know what assignments are due and when
  • Even if due dates are easy now, they get more complicated in college, so he gets used to keeping track of them now
  • It provides a place to write down other important information like books read, volunteer hours worked, test scores, field trips, clubs, accomplishments, etc.
  • Grades and attendance are listed

And most important:

  • All the information is in one place when it’s time to put it all on the High School Transcript!

(By the way, continue to follow this series since I will be explaining about how to write a high school transcript next!)

I have found two great planners to recommend, and have done thorough reviews on both.  See the review on the HEDUA Well-Planned Day 4-Year High School Planner here.

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And see the review on My Student Logbook here.

My Student Logbook Review

Both have different features I like.  The 4-year planner is awesome because all four years’ worth of work are listed in one place.  It also has lots of articles to guide you through the high school years. The downside is that it’s bigger and heavier.

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My Student Logbook is much thinner and simpler–and less expensive.  There are lots of different pages to list any kind of information you’ll want to keep track of (attendance, books read, test scores, project, awards, presentations, etc.)  You can get it as a physical product or a digital download.

My Student Logbook Review

My Student Logbook 009

Look into both of them and see which would work best for you and your student.

We decided to go with the Well-Planned Day 4-Year Planner for High School with my first student.  It’s dated and I bought it a year late, so I got it on clearance.  :)  We realized that several of my son’s classes this year in 8th grade are high school level, so he’ll most likely be able to graduate early.  This week we started looking through it.  We wrote in the information for what he has done this year–his accomplishments, books read, and volunteer activities.  I love that it gives us “assignments” to do each year–such as looking into colleges to see what their requirements are for SAT or ACT, finding a summer job or internship, and finding a PSAT course to study so you can take it in October of your sophomore year.

**There is a sale on next year’s Well-Planned Day Planners through the end of March!

Using a planner for high school is going to be a great help for my son and me.  I’m feeling much more prepared for high school now!

Posts in this Series:

Post #1: The How-To Book 

Post #2: Choosing the Coursework

Post #3: Using a 4-Year High School Planner

Post #4: Writing a Transcript

Post #5: Great Curriculum Choices

(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.)

From House to Home {Link Party} #107

 

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

Thanks everyone for joining today and sharing your wonderful posts!
Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (up to 3 and exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted. Find the html code on my Link Party page.)

3. Optional: Comment or pin a post or two that you see here!

I Choose Joy!

Follow on Bloglovin

Review: “In Freedom’s Cause: The Real Story of Wallace and Bruce” Audio Theater

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I am so glad that I was able to review the second audio theater CD-set of the series “The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty.”  This time the story is “In Freedom’s Cause: The Real Story of Wallace and Bruce” by Heirloom Audio Productions and teaches about the exciting lives of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, who worked to bring freedom to Scotland.  It is adapted from the book In Freedom’s Cause by G.A. Henty (which was written in 1885).

This is a physical CD set with other digital downloaded components.  I received the In Freedom’s Cause Single Package which includes the 2-CD set in a nice case with a booklet explaining about Heirloom Audio Productions and giving the link to the study guide.  Inside the case is printed “The Prayer of William Wallace” (from the sacred song for King David, Psalm 23).

Also a part of the Single Package are links to some digital downloads: In Freedom’s Cause Study Guide (pdf file), In Freedom’s Cause Soundtrack (MP3 download), and Printable copy of The Prayer Of William Wallace (digital download).

In Freedom's Cause Audio CD Review

We listened to the CDs in our car, and it played really well there.  The story is 2 1/2 hours long.  They recommend it for ages 6-adult.  I will say that you might want to listen to it yourself to see if you think it would be ok for your younger kids.  There is quite a bit of fighting and violence in the story.

I found the story fascinating.  I really haven’t studied William Wallace or Robert the Bruce very much.  It’s so easy to listen to since it’s told as a story using 2 main characters Ned and Gerald (who were also in the first story we listened to.)  These boys go through the events and battles so we see first-hand what is happening in Scotland.  You really feel the time period, the oppression, and the drive of the people toward freedom.

One of my favorite parts was the focus on the Psalter.  Wallace and Ned’s mother speak about how wonderful reading the Psalms are.  It’s important to know and follow God’s Word.

Watch a trailer of “In Freedom’s Cause” here:

The quality is top-notch!  The soundtrack (which we also listened to separately through MP3 downloaded on our computer) is really nice–excellent instrumentation and adds to the excitement of the story.  The actors are professionals.  You’ll hear Joanne Froggatt from Downton Abbey, Billy Boyd from Lord of the Rings, Skandar Keynes from Chronicles of Narnia, and James Cosmo from Braveheart.

One thing that homeschoolers will really like is that you get access to a study guide along with your CD-set!  It’s 49 pages long and nicely graphically-designed including some color photographs and pictures.  There are Listening Well questions, Thinking Further questions (including some history links and study on geography), and Defining Words for each of the 37 tracks of the story (you could use these for vocabulary building or spelling words).  It starts with short biographies of G.A. Henty, Sir William Wallace, and Robert the Bruce.  After the questions and definitions, there are “Some Notes on the History of Scotland”, 3 Bible Studies, and a bibliography for further study.

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You can read my review of the first Heirloom Audio Production CD set “Under Drake’s Flag” here.

With Lee in Virginia

The next story coming out will be “With Lee in Virginia” (a story about the American Civil War). We started trying to read this particular  Henty book and couldn’t get very far because the reading level is difficult. I know we will love it in the audio theater version!  Help them out by following these new pages:   Facebook , Google+Twitter

In Freedom's Cause Review Crew Disclaimer

Giveaway: LEGO Justice League Vs Bizarro League Blu-ray

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Welcome to the LEGO Justice League Vs Bizarro League Blu-ray Giveaway!

Lego fans wait no more! LEGO: DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League is here along with an awesome Bizarro name-generator app and exclusive Digital Trading Cards.

Input your name into the LEGO Bizarro Name Generator below to reveal your Bizarro alter-ego.

Then enter on the Rafflecopter to win a Blu-ray+DVD+Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack + with Batzarro LEGO minifigure of LEGO Justice League vs. Bizarro League.

About LEGO Justice League vs. Bizarro League
Batman has joined the newly formed Justice League in order to keep tabs on Superman, a mistrust that is complicated by Superman’s clumsy – but well-meaning – clone, Bizarro. Bizarro’s creation of the Bizarro League has caused confusion amongst the world’s greatest Super Heroes, but an even greater and mysterious threat may force the Justice League and Bizarro League to band together to defeat evil.

 

• Jen-Crush-Zarro-Mecca! Type in your name to reveal your Bizarro alter-ego – If you don’t like your name, press the refresh button or try again!
• Share your name from the app using the Twitter & Facebook share buttons.  #JusticeLeague  #BizarroLeague
• Watch the official trailer & click the box art to bring the Bizarro League home today!

 

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Each household is only eligible to win LEGO: DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League (Blu-ray+DVD+Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack) Blu-ray with Batzarro LEGO minifigure of LEGO Justice League vs. Bizarro League via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.  U.S. and Canada only. The prize will be sent via FedEx or USPS. No P.O. Boxes please.  Contest ends Tuesday March 3, 2015.  Winner will have 24 hours to respond to my email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I am working with Warner Home Video.  I didn’t receive any of these LEGO items.

Family Update: Drama, Speech and Debate

It’s pretty obvious by how we spend our time and money that we feel that being a good public speaker is important in our family.  Our kids have just spent 3 jam-packed weeks doing drama, as well as a speech and debate tournament.  Enjoy the pictures!

“Hairspray” presented by Spotlight Youth Theater.  We had 2 kids involved in this musical, which played for 9 performances.  My oldest son B and oldest daughter M performed in it. My 2nd son J worked backstage, and I worked in costumes.

Here is a promo video about it.  B is at the very beginning and M at the very end.

My son played Harriman Spritzer, the owner of the Hairspray company, as well as a policeman.  My daughter was in the “cutest kids” chorus.Hairspray 072 crop

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At the strike party, the directors give out awards, and B received the “Outstanding Actor” award!

Along with doing musicals, six of our kids are in Spotlight’s drama, dance, and singing classes. I had the wonderful privilege to suddenly take over the auditioned singing class, which is focusing on a cappella music for two sessions. There are 4 boys and 7 girls in the class, and they are so talented.  They performed 2 songs by Pentatonix and an arrangement of “You Are My Sunshine” that they made up themselves.

Project voice White Winter Hymnal

Project Voice boys

Project voice point

Here is my 6 yo daughter’s class.  One of the moms made these cute skirts.

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My oldest son is one of two boys in the advanced dance class called Project Dance.  It has really stretched his dancing abilities!

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J was in a class where they learned how to act for film.  The movie premiered at our showcase, and the kids dressed up for the occasion.  (I think I’ll have a link to the movie online sometime soon, so I’ll share that!)

Film class

 

My older boys did public policy debate for the first time ever this past weekend.  They have been working on the resolution for a month.  It was a great learning experience for them!  I can see them only improving in it in the coming years.  The resolution they debated was: “Resolved, that travel restrictions have little impact on the spread of serious communicable diseases.”

 

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My oldest daughter is now in the advanced level of ICC (Institute for Cultural Communicators), our speech organization.  Here she is doing her first speech, “Hello, My Name is. . .”  She was able to do this speech at our Tournament this past weekend, along with limited prep (receiving a topic and having a minute to think about it before presenting it), and a literary interpretation of the poem “The Minstrels” by William Wordsworth.

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Along with debate, my sons participated in the speech part of the tournament as well.  B did a speech called “The History of Musical Theater” which he wrote, a duo interpretation of Tadd and Todd by Dr. Seuss with a friend of his, and radio broadcasting (an impromptu competition).  J did a speech called “My Favorite Bible Verse: John 3:16″ which he wrote, a literary interpretation of the book The Remarkable Farkle McBride by John Lithgow, and radio broadcasting.  B qualified for the national tournament in his Duo and Radio Broadcasting, so we’ll be heading out to Virginia in June!

 

From House to Home {Link Party} #106

 

It’s time for our Link Party:

From House to Home!

Thanks everyone for joining today and sharing your wonderful posts!
Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (up to 3 and exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God! Giveaways, too!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! (If you don’t link back somewhere on your blog, your link might be deleted. Find the html code on my Link Party page.)

3. Optional: Comment or pin a post or two that you see here!

I Choose Joy!

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