Sunday, April 30, 2017

Colorado Canyon

Colorado Canyon is Beaumont’s leader in Family Entertainment, Birthday Parties, School and Church Groups. Our homeschool group recently had the whole place to ourselves and the kids had a fun time! Colorado Canyon features the following great attractions:
  • Two 18 Hole Miniature Golf Courses
  • Gemstone and Fossil Mining
  • Awesome Arcade
  • Whackies Candy Factory (like making candy art in a tube)
  • Laser Lockdown (Laser Maze)
  • Snack Bar w/Delicious Flatbreads, Boneless Chicken and More
  • Large Redemption Counter
  • Two Private Party Rooms
  • Covered Porch / Pic-Nic table area
Visit for more details.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels”

Our family could not pass up this review, we absolutely love the series Drive Thru History® with Dave Stotts! In Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels”, Dave takes us on his most exciting adventure yet as he tells the story of Jesus from the locations recorded in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Dave does his best to harmonize the Gospel accounts and present them in chronological order as he dives into the history, archaeology, geography, and art surrounding the birth, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus as recorded in the first four books of the New Testament. As we’ve come to expect, each episode is fun, adventurous, and family-friendly. I love how Dave adds humor to each episode! He even cooks up some Texas barbeque while driving through one episode in a ’76 Land Rover! Dave travels to over fifty ancient sites in Israel to deliver the Gospels in a fresh and compelling way.

The DVD set includes three DVDs and a full-color study guide. There are six episodes per disc and each episode is approximately 30 minutes. With nearly nine hours of captivating content designed for all ages, this series teaches Bible, history, and geography all in one set. The episodes can be used as family entertainment, a small group study, a Sunday school curriculum, or a homeschool supplement. In this special edition package, Dave includes a 118-page study guide to help you and your group better engage the content. The study guide includes a summary, discussion questions, and side road tips for each episode. I encourage you to watch each episode and then discuss some of the suggested topics with your family, as our family did, the episodes really get you thinking and sharing!

Episode 1 – The Historical Landscape
Episode 2 – The Announcements
Episode 3 – Jesus is Born
Episode 4 – Jesus Grows Up
Episode 5 – Jesus Starts His Ministry
Episode 6 – Jesus Returns to Galilee
Episode 7 – Jesus Begins His Miracles
Episode 8 – Jesus Teaches with Authority
Episode 9 – The Sermon on the Mount
Episode 10 – Jesus Travels the Sea of Galilee
Episode 11 – Jesus Travels North with His Apostles
Episode 12 – A Final Trip to Jerusalem
Episode 13 – Jesus Arrives in Jerusalem
Episode 14 – The Last Supper
Episode 15 – The Trial of Jesus
Episode 16 – The Crucifixion of Jesus
Episode 17 – The Resurrection of Jesus
Episode 18 – Who is Jesus?

Dave has also included Bible readings that correspond with each episode. You can read the passages out loud together, read them quietly alone, or assign them as homework between episodes. This is totally up to you. Dave just wants to encourage everyone to read the Gospel accounts for themselves. The biographies of Jesus are truly life changing!

Visit the CrewBlog to read more reviews.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Primary Immunodeficiency Awareness

April is National Primary Immunodeficiency Awareness Month and World PI Week is April 22-29.

Primary immunodeficiency diseases are a group of more than 300 rare, chronic disorders in which part of the body's immune system is missing or functions improperly. While not contagious, these diseases are caused by hereditary or genetic defects. Some types affect a single part of the immune system; others may affect one or more components of the system.

In medical school, many doctors learn the saying, "when you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras," and are taught to focus on the likeliest possibilities when making a diagnosis, not the unusual ones. However, sometimes physicians need to look for a zebra. People with primary immunodeficiency diseases are the zebras of the medical world.

Before diagnosis, life was not easy, my daughter saw so many doctors and was in the hospital so many times because she was always sick. Isabelle got so sick, her pediatrician referred us to immunology; but sad to say, this first specialist did not perform all the tests needed to confirm a diagnosis. Then my daughter started having more seizures due to the sicknesses and her epilepsy specialist referred us to a different immunology specialist for a second opinion. I took my daughter to see Dr. Susan Pacheco and she performed all the tests needed to confirm a diagnosis.

Isabelle was diagnosed with CVID in 2013. I was overwhelmed, but hopeful at the same time. My daughter started immunoglobulin therapy right away. The term "immunoglobulin" refers to the fraction of blood plasma that contains immunoglobulins, or antibodies. Theses immunoglobulins (Ig) in the plasma are IgG, IgM, IgA, IgD, and IgE. Individuals who are unable to produce adequate amounts of Ig or antibodies, such as my daughter, benefit from replacement therapy with Ig.

It is important to understand that the Ig that is given partly replaces what the body should be making, but it does not stimulate the patient's own immune system to make more Ig. Since Ig only replaces the missing end product, but does not correct the patient's defect in antibody production, Ig replacement is usually necessary for the patient's lifetime. In addition, the Ig only provides temporary protection. Most antibodies, whether produced by the patient's own immune system or given in the form of If replacement, are used up or "metabolized" by the body and must be constantly replenished.

Isabelle's Ig replacement therapy is administered subcutaneously (SCIG) weekly. SCIG is injected slowly, directly under the skin. This treatment plan has improved my daughter's health and quality of life. Yes, she still gets sick, but she is now able to recover within two weeks, not two months.

All individuals diagnosed with a primary immunodeficiency have overcome different obstacles in their lives. Isabelle is only one zebra in the medical world; but she is a strong, brave, little zebra!

Think Zebra!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Readers in Residence Volume 1 (Sleuth) - TOS Review

I am happy to announce that Apologia Educational Ministries offers Readers in Residence Volume 1 (Sleuth). The two books in this full set include the All in One Student Text & Workbook and the Answer Key. Readers in Residence is here to help students in grades 4 and up learn how to comprehend what they read while appreciating its beauty.

The assigned books used for close study in the Readers in Residence series are among the finest in children’s literature, written by authors children know and love. They also are exemplary for the elements focused on in each unit: character development, plot development, and setting. The three books assigned in this volume are Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan, Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, and Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo.

My daughter especially liked the sections labeled Aha! These sections provide reading comprehension questions. Some questions are designed to make sure students grasp the basic events of the assigned chapters. Other questions are designed to help students make accurate inferences about the events in the story.

I especially liked the sections labeled Word Sleuth! The best way to build a robust vocabulary is to learn words in context. Vocabulary words have been carefully selected from each reading assignment. The Word Sleuth activities give students an opportunity to practice the process that expert readers use to decode the meanings of unfamiliar words. Readers in Residence asks students to first make an educated guess about the meaning of the word from the surrounding context. The word entry also includes the part of speech that corresponds with how the word is used in the sentence. Then the students are instructed to look up the definition and compare their educated guess with the dictionary definition.

And we both loved the sections labeled Sowing Seeds! This section is designed to give teachers and students an opportunity to make connections from books to biblical truth. Spiritual growth can happen through listening to sermons, but it can also happen through thinking about what you read in light of Scripture. Great authors write meaningful topics – topics that prompt us to think deeply about life and truth. When we explore these topics through the lens of God’s Word, we have an extraordinary opportunity to grow.

The Readers in Residence series is a reading comprehension, literature, and vocabulary program. From the Product Description Page, students learn how to do the following:

  • Understand the author’s craft, choices, and intentions
  • Recognize the literary elements authors use to create fiction and nonfiction
  • Make inferences from the details in the text plus their own prior knowledge and experience
  • Decode the meaning of unfamiliar words from context clues
  • Build a rich and varied vocabulary
  • Identify and understand figures of speech such as personification, metaphor, and hyperbole
  • Notice how expert writers employ the conventions of the English language to achieve clarity

It is possible to teach young readers to process and savor what they read, appreciating good literature while being captivated by it.

Visit the Crew Blog to read more reviews.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

He Lives

He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. Matthew 28:6

"Why should I worship a dead Jew?"

This challenging question was posed by a sincere young Jewish student who had been attending evangelistic meetings, conducted by the author and composer of this hymn, Alfred H. Ackley. In his book, Forty Gospel Hymn Stories, George W. Sanville records Mr. Ackley's answer to this searching question, which ultimately prompted the writing of this popular gospel hymn:

He lives! I tell you, He is not dead, but lives here and now! Jesus Christ is more alive today than ever before. I can prove it by my own experience, as well as the testimony of countless thousands.

Mr. Sanville continues:

Mr. Ackley's forthright, emphatic answer, together with his subsequent triumphant effort to win the man for Christ, flowered forth into song and crystallized into a convincing sermon on "He Lives!" The scriptural evidence, his own heart, and the testimony of history matched the glorious experience of an innumerable cloud of witness that "He Lives," so he sat down at the piano and voiced that conclusion in song. He says, "The thought of His ever-living presence brought the music promptly and easily."

Determine to greet everyone in such a way that they will know unmistakably that Jesus lives and that he is living in your life.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Digital Savvy - TOS Review Crew

Digital Savvy is an online computer course provided by CompuScholar,Inc. In the age of technology it is really important for our students to understand computing topics so I knew my girls would benefit from this course. The Digital Savvy course is perfect for students seeking to improve their computer skills or become better acquainted with the latest upgrades in technology. The course is written for grades 6-12; but I also had my 5th grader complete the lessons with my two in the 10th grade.

My girls were able to work independently through this course. They completed a chapter daily along with their other school work. On a couple occasions, they completed two chapters because it was very simple to them. At first, they would watch the lesson video and read the lesson text; but after several lessons, they asked if they could only read the lesson text because they did not like the monotone computer voice, so they proceeded through the course reading the lesson text. After reading the lesson text, they complete the lesson quiz and hands-on projects in the chapter.

The course has 25 chapters. Each chapter has several lessons. Throughout this course, students learn about computer hardware, computer software, operating systems, computer files, computer maintenance, troubleshooting, computer networks, search engines, computer safety, word processing, spreadsheet programs, presentation programs, database technology, project management, digital images, internet communications, social media, creating web pages, web page design, web links, programming concepts, digital logic, careers and professional skills.

Using a love of computers and programming to inspire a new generation, Chris and Andrea Yost worked together to create courses that would teach professional programming languages in a fun way that students could understand and that non-technical teachers and parents could teach. All courses can be taken in any order without other course prerequisites. Simply pick the topic that best matches your student’s grade and interests. Courses are open for a year and students work at their own pace. CompuScholar, Inc. currently offers the following online computer courses to homeschoolers:

Digital Savvy
Web Design
Windows Programming
Java Programming AP
Unity Game Programming
Game Programming with Visual Basic
Android Programming

I am glad my girls were able to take this course, it was a great refresher! They thought they were up to date with technology; but I can honestly say, all three of my girls learned invaluable lessons through this course! Anyone can be Digital Savvy with this online computer course!

Please visit the CrewBlog to read more reviews about the Digital Savvy course and reviews about some of the other courses mentioned above.


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Components of a Lesson Plan

Your daily lesson plan should consists of three components:

1. Review Old Material
  • Discuss the important points from the previous day's lesson.
  • Correct work together, and rework any material not understood before introducing new material.
2. Introduce New Material
  • When you are sure the student understands the directions well enough to work independently, assign material for the day.
  • Read the directions carefully to the student, or have the student read them aloud. Thoroughly explain all directions and processes before beginning.
3. Verify Understanding of New Material
  • Check completed school work. If the student still does not understand, explain the material once again.
  • Point out errors. Repeat the explanation, or explain in different terms, to be sure the student understands.
Happy Homeschooling!

Monday, April 3, 2017

First Form Greek - TOS Review Crew

It’s never too late to learn Greek! Memoria Press now offers FirstForm Greek Complete Set. Here, in First Form Greek, students learn the fundamentals of the Ancient Greek language. A recommended prerequisite is Memoria Press’ Greek Alphabet Book. Those who have not learned the alphabet may spend additional time in Lesson 1.
First Form Greek is designed for teachers and parents with or without a Greek background. The lessons are written for one student, but they can easily be adapted for a class. In fact, our whole family is learning Greek, so we have a class of five! Each lesson plan is organized into five days of work. Our family does a four-day school week, so we have adjusted the lesson plan to fit our schedule.
The complete set provides the teacher and student with everything needed to be successful.
Student Text - Each lesson is organized on facing pages and contains a Greek saying, a set of grammar forms, vocabulary, grammar lessons, and elementary syntax.
Student Workbook - The Student Text has a corresponding Student Workbook with approximately 6 pages of exercises for each lesson. The exercises follow a logical plan and are spread over four days. The exercises are generally organized into four sections: 1) Word Study and Grammar, Greek Saying, Vocabulary, Cognates, 2) Conjugations and/or Declensions, 3) Form Drills, and 4) Translation. The Student Workbook provides both the novice and the experienced teacher with well-designed drills and exercises that ensure mastery learning.
Quizzes & Tests - The complete set includes weekly quizzes and unit tests.
Teacher Manual - The Teacher Manual provides teaching guidelines, oral drills, weekly recitation, daily schedule, Greek sayings analysis, vocabulary, and games.
Teacher Key - The separate Teacher Key provides answers to workbook, quizzes, and tests.
Pronunciation CD - The Pronunciation CD includes the pronunciation of all the vocabulary, sayings, and grammar forms for each lesson.
Flashcards - For verbs, the 1st person singular of every tense taught in First Form Greek is shown on the Flashcards. When drilling verbs, simply give all forms you have learned.
DVDs - The Instructional DVDs include 5 discs with 8 hours (10-20 minute lesson), including all oral drills. Elizabeth Pierce does an excellent job explaining each lesson with helpful on-screen notes, illustrations, and diagrams.
The short-term goal of each lesson is to put Greek into the temporary memory of the student. The long-term goal is to put Greek into the permanent memory of the student. This is achieved through recitation and review. A full recitation should be done at least once a week, more if needed. As the recitation grows throughout the year, you will want to divide it up into sections to recite over two or more days.
Again, it’s never too late to learn Greek. With First Form Greek Complete Set, you can learn Greek and teach your students at the same time if you are patient and let the workbook guide you through the lesson.
Visit the Crew Blog to read more reviews.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Don't Give Up

I take a strong stand in the beliefs I hold about homeschooling. After 11 years of educating my children at home, I know homeschooling works.

Everyone is capable of teaching their children at home if they are truly called to do so. If you believe the Lord has called you to homeschool, He will overcome obstacles like being a single parent, having financial limitations, or dealing with a special need. As God's Word says in Romans 8:31, "What shall we then say to those things? If God be for us, who can be against us?"

Remember, our labour is not in vain. As God's Word says in 1 Corinthians 15:58, "Be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abiding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."

I would like to encourage you today to remain faithful in homeschooling. God will reward your faithfulness. Don't give up!