10/19/2014

The Current DVD ~ Review and Giveaway

*This post may contain affiliate links*
The Current
Have you ever been camping as a child? I have and I loved going camping. My family and I stayed at various campgrounds while I was growing up. I would have loved for my family to own or be caretakers of a campground. I've only been camping once as an adult, but to see the excitement on my children's faces was priceless. They loved it just as much as I did when I was a child. When I saw that the movie, The Current, was based on a family taking care of a campground, I was hoping to be picked for the review.

I received a copy of The Current DVD from Family Christian for this review. I am always looking for good wholesome movies for my family to watch. I am thankful that there are those in the movie industry who are still making wholesome Christian movies for families.

About The Current:

When thirteen year old Jake is uprooted from his life in Chicago when his parents decide that city life is getting too violent, he comes across a friendship that will change his life. They buy a campground in rural Minnesota to raise their children in a better environment. At the campground, a rebellious young Jake meets Peter the boy across the river. The two form a fast friendship that God uses to transform Jake's life in ways that Jake never could have imagined.

This film is geared for ages 12 and up and is available for $19.99 at Family Christian.

My Review:

When I first started the film, I thought it was going to be boring and predictable because it started out kind of slow. I was wrong. This film is not boring at all. Some scenes are predictable, but there are some that I did not know what was going to happen next. One of the scenes caught me off guard, because I was not expecting it all. I liked that the gospel was presented throughout the film. I was encouraged that this film focused on the spiritual and normal life of a 13 year old boy. This film has both happy and sad scenes. Since this film was recommended for ages 12+, I did screen it first. After watching it, I decided that my three older children (12, 11, 9) could handle the scenes. Overall, I would give this film 4 out 5 stars. It is a great family movie, especially if you have teen boys.

Check out the trailer:



Now for the giveaway. Please enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is open to US residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a complimentary copy of this DVD from Family Christian, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review.

10/15/2014

Y is for Being A Yes Mom

A while back, I was listening to the Ultimate Radio Homeschool Network one night. I don't remember the events surrounding why I was listening or who was speaking. I only remember the topic - being a yes mom.

Being a yes mom means saying yes to that messy art project the kids have been wanting to do.

Being a yes mom means saying yes more than saying no.

Being yes a mom means doing something for your kids instead of for yourself.

Instead of telling your kids no today, say yes and do something different.


10/13/2014

Plan To Be Flexible ~ Review and Giveaway

I was recently given the opportunity to review the book, Plan To Be Flexible: Designing A Homeschool Rhythm and Curriculum Plan that Works for Your Family by Alicia Kazsuk.

Alicia Kazsuk is the founder of Vibrant Homeschooling and is a regular, homeschool mom of four children. She is a blogger, author, and speaker. She founded Vibrant Homeschooling and wrote Plan To Be Flexible to help other homeschool moms.

About the book:

Plan To Be Flexible gives you ideas and stories that allow you to examine your homeschool. In this book, you will analyze what is and is not working in your homeschool, develop a plan, discover the secret to homeschool sanity, and learn how to homeschool with freedom. Plan To Be Flexible is available in print or kindle format.

My review:

When I first started reading the book, I felt like Alicia was in my living room talking to me as a friend. This book is a very easy read and has so much information. I especially liked the action plans at the end of each chapter. I have been homeschooling for nine years and can still use all the help I can get. I think each year I try something new to keep my sanity and keep from burning out, but nothing works or I don't stick with my plan.

Alicia wrote about things I had not even thought of before. For example, take your children out on a special one on one date and ask them what they thought about the curriculum they used the past year. Write down their thoughts. Listen to them.  What works for one of your children may not work for another. I have learned that children are not a one size fits all. I have had to take a look at the curriculum I chose for my oldest as some of it did not work for my daughter. I had to find what worked best for her. She still has a melt down every now and then, but she is a lot happier with the curriculum I chose (from Schoolhouse Crew reviews) for her.

I also love that she wrote about not being a slave to a schedule. One year I did try to schedule my homeschool day (start at 8 AM, math at 8:30 AM, grammar at 9:15 AM, etc). It did not work at all. I threw the schedule out and now we just go with the flow. Some days we get done before lunch and some days it is after lunch. I don't worry about being on schedule anymore.

She also mention to sit down and set up a master school calendar. Determine what your state requires, write (type) in any holidays you want to take off from school, vacation days, any special museum days that you already know about, and any extra-curricular activities. I did try to set up a master calendar this year. I wanted to school for 6 weeks, take 1 week off. Life happens and I have not been able to stick to that plan. Having been interrupted by in-laws in the hospital, the chapter about "When Life Interrupts Your 'Perfect' Rythym" was something I needed to read. We had to do some of the things suggested. School on the road or skip lessons for the day. We also were able to take a field trip in the city where my mother-in-law is in the hospital. Life happens, but you can still homeschool.

Alicia also talks about learning environments and homeschooling with joy and freedom.

As I mentioned before, each chapter is followed by an action plan to get you thinking about your homeschool. There is also an appendix in the book with several assessment questions, resources for supplemental curriculum, and additional helpful resources.

I just highlighted a few of my favorite chapters. I loved reading this book. It has given me so many new ideas and tips to try out. I highly recommend this book to any homeschool mom, no matter if they are a veteran or just starting out.

Check out Vibrant Homeschooling and subscribe to the email list for some great freebies.

Now for the giveaway. Enter by using the Rafflecopter below. The contest is open to residents in the USA only. Thanks.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review.

10/08/2014

eXcited

It was difficult to come up with an 'x' post for my blogging through the alphabet. I decided to make a list of things I am eXcited about.

Why am I eXcited?

~ I have almost made it through the alphabet for the first time! I did this once before, but quit somewhere around letter g.

~ My oldest daughter's birthday is next Saturday (October 18)

~I have applied to a local community college to start taking classes in nursing. After graduating high school, I did go to college and started my major in nursing, but changed it after two years. I feel the Lord is leading me back to nursing and want to have a career to fall on as my children are getting older.

~I am excited that I had the chance to be on the Schoolhouse Crew review for the past two years. I am now taking a break with them, but will continue blogging. You'll just get stories of college classes (if I'm accepted for the winter semester). :)

Those are just a few things I am eXcited about. Anything coming up that you are excited about?

10/01/2014

W Is For Wordless Wednesday






















My 3 yr old daughter loves horses. Here she is on the carousel at Pullen Park.

9/30/2014

Institute For Excellence In Writing ~ Review

IEW Fix It Grammar Review Book 1 ~ lighthousechristiannc.blogspot

My children are not big fans of grammar. They find it boring and time consuming some days. I confess, I also dislike grammar. Marking words in a sentence, diagramming, and writing research papers. What is the purpose? I haven’t been able to find a grammar program that was fun (if there is such a thing), so we have stuck with the same curriculum for the past eight years.

I was given the opportunity to review Fix It! Grammar from Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW). We were given Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree (Book 1) student book and teacher’s manual for the review.

Fix It! Grammar is a series of six books that teaches children to apply grammar rules to a writing. Each book is a story where the student works on a sentence a day. At the end of each week, after correcting each sentence, the student correctly writes the sentences into a paragraph. The teaching takes about 15 minutes per day. The two main parts of teaching are learn it and fix it. In the learn it section, the student is taught the parts of speech along with end marks, homophones, and writing symbols (paragraph indent symbol). There are grammar cards included in the student book that help teach what each part of grammar or writing symbol means. You can check out a sample of the teacher’s manual and a sample of the student book on the IEW website. Each book is designed to last a full year.

Each Fix It! Grammar book is recommended for grades 3 and up. The student book cost $15.00 and the teacher manual cost $19.00.



How we used the books:

I started book one with my 7th, 6th, and 4th graders.  I started out each new week by giving them the page of the week we were working on. I explained, especially for my 4th grader, the parts of speech, the end marks, and whatever else they needed to know for the day (nouns, homophones, articles). After I taught the lesson, we worked on the sentence together. I would ask them to read the sentence and tell me what end mark belonged. After they told me, we would look for the parts of speech. Some days, they had to decide which homophone (their, there, they’re) was being used in the sentence. Lastly, there are some bolded words in each sentence. I would ask my children if they knew the definition of the bolded words. If they did not, I would tell them the definition from the book. On day five, they would rewrite the four sentences from the week onto a sheet of notebook paper, putting in the correct homophone and end marks. They also needed to know when to indent and start a new paragraph.

I like they way Fix It! Grammar is laid out. I also liked that each week builds off the previous week by introducing one new part of speech. My children enjoyed using this grammar. My older boys, who do not like grammar very much, really enjoyed this grammar book. They said it helped them to learn the parts of speech better by only doing one a week. My daughter said it was fun because she liked reading the story every week.

I would definitely recommend Fix It! Grammar.

Keep in touch with IEW through social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/excellenceinwriting
Twitter: https://twitter.com/iew
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/iewriting
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Iewriting/posts
You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/user/iewtv
Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/iewtv

 

 




9/29/2014

Menu Plan Monday

MPM-Fall









Be sure to check out more menu plans at I'm An Organizing Junkie.

I decided on Friday to go through my deep freezer and pantry to see what I had and come up with a menu plan based on what I had. I came up with a two week plan on what I have in my freezer and pantry.

In no particular order, we will be eating the following over the next two weeks:


  • BBQ Chicken
  • Beef Stew or Beef Stroganoff
  • Chicken Pot Pie
  • Hamburger/Veggie Soup
  • BBQ Pork 
  • Cube Steak with Gravy and Onions
  • Roast Beef (this will last us 2 days)
  • Lasagna
  • Salmon Patties
  • Chicken Alfredo with Broccoli
  • Lentil Tacos
  • Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
  • Chicken, Rice, Broccoli Casserole
  • Chicken Tacos or Burritos


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