Monday, August 28, 2017

Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Lapbook - TOS Review

We love adding lapbook projects to our homeschool studies so we were really excited to receive the ExploringCreation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Lapbook from A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks and look forward to using more of their Apologia Exploring Creation Lapbooks.

The term “lapbook” was first coined by Tammy Duby, a homeschool mother and writer from Virginia, USA. She named it that because the whole project could fit into a “book” that fits in the child’s lap. A lapbook is a single-subject book created by a student, generally as a supplement to a curriculum. A lapbook consists of file folders with mini-booklets glued inside. Lapbooks can be used for any subject and any grade level. I use lapbooks with my students to enhance creativity and critical thinking while integrating subjects such as Bible, language arts, science, history, geography, and mathematics, depending on the subject of the lapbook.


To create the Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Lapbook, you will need the following materials: a printed copy of the Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Lapbook digital download by A Journey Through Learning, the Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology textbook by Apologia Educational Ministries, fourteen file folders, scissors, glue, stapler, brads, and colored pencils.

This lapbook is designed to be completed with the Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology textbook. There are fourteen lessons in the textbook. Students will create one lapbook per lesson, making it a total of fourteen file folders to complete this lapbook. Gather your file folders and fold them so that they will be ready to use as you get to each lesson.

This lapbook includes directions for folding the file folders, directions for constructing each mini-booklet, pages to read from the Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology textbook, and what your student will record in the mini-booklet after reading to show what is learned. A small key is provided to show you where to glue each mini-booklet into the file folders. This lapbook also includes an answer key, additional reading suggestions for each lesson, and enrichment pages.

Throughout this course, students will take a voyage through the skeletal, muscular, respiratory, digestive, circulatory, immune, and nervous systems. They will study nutrition, health, and embryology to see what makes each of us a unique creation of God. Psalm 139:14 reads “I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” From head to toe, this course is a personal encounter with God’s design for the human body.

This lapbook has been a great supplement to the Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology textbook! My sixth grader loves hands-on learning and this lapbook has expanded her knowledge of human anatomy and physiology. We have created several lapbooks throughout our homeschool years, and I must say, A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks has done an exceptional job in creating each mini-booklet for this course.

Visit the Crew Blog to read what the Homeschool Review Crew has to say about A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Everyday Cooking - TOS Review

EverydayHomemaking has created an eBook EverydayCooking that provides easy-to-prepare, nutritious, budget-friendly meals for you and your family. In the spirit of Titus 2, Vicki shares timesaving tips, meal planning, shopping hints, and pressure cooker tips. But above all, she shares her own family recipes – breakfast ideas, appetizers, dressings, grains, main dishes, soups, sides, desserts, snacks, and how to make homemade vanilla extract. Please note, while emphasis is on whole foods cooking, they are not purists, you will find their favorite Jell-O salad recipe, plus many sugar-free and gluten-free options.

My girls would rather bake than cook; and they all love chocolate, so it was no surprise that my girls selected to make Edna’s Triple Chocolate Cake. Not a whole foods items, but very yummy!


Ingredients for the Cake:

1 package (3 ¾ oz) chocolate pudding

2 cups milk – our family substituted with almond milk

1 box chocolate cake mix

2 eggs

12 oz. chocolate chips

Prepare pudding with milk (instant or cooked). Combine cake mix with 2 eggs for about 2 minutes. Blend in pudding; fold in chips. Pour into greased/floured Bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes, till done.

Ingredients for the Glaze:

½ cup chocolate chips

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Combine in small saucepan over low heat. Cool slightly and drizzle over cooled cake.


Edna’s Triple Chocolate Cake is very moist and delicious! So good, my girls were making another cake within the same week! The recipe is quite simple and very easy to follow.

As I was looking through the recipes, I came across “Bacon with Less Mess” and was a bit intrigued. I have never cooked bacon in the oven. Needless to say, I gave it a try. To cook 1 pound of bacon with less mess, preheat oven to 400. Line a rimmed baking pan with foil. Separate bacon slices and place on a rack in the pan, or crumple the foil to create ridges to catch the bacon drippings. Bake 10-20 minutes, to desired crispness. When I followed this recipe, I crumpled the foil to create ridges to catch the bacon drippings. I had to bake 25 minutes to get the bacon crispy, and it was still too greasy for me – but then I do not eat a lot of greasy foods. I blotted each strip with a paper towel to remove the grease. Next time, I will use a bacon rack instead of foil and see if it makes a difference when cooking bacon in the oven.

Vicki also shares the unit study her children did for high school as one portion of a home economics credit; and she provides a Food & Nutrition Mini-Unit as an example. She also shares the Basic Cooking Skills Checklist which provides a list of dishes to prepare from scratch where children demonstrate their understanding of various cooking techniques. Completion of the list earned Vicki’s children a full home economics credit – whether they completed it in a month or three years.

Vicki is offering 10% off (print or eBook) through Labor Day! Use code TOS10books to save 10%!

Visit the CrewBlog to read more reviews.


Friday, August 18, 2017

Back to Homeschool BLOG HOP - Dear Homeschool Mom

How many times have you doubted your decision to homeschool – one, two, ten, more? Doubt may be a natural human response, but instead of looking at the waves of adversity, God asked me, “Will you walk by faith and trust in my leading?”
Meeting me in my limited faith, the Lord gently showed himself faithful as I sought his wisdom to homeschool each day. First, God encouraged me with the truth of Deuteronomy 6:6-9 “And these words which I command thee this day shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and thou shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house and on thy gates.” Then, God provided constant encouragement through a dear friend who had homeschooled her children through college – I am so thankful for this friend and her words of wisdom.
If your doubts are outweighing your faith in homeschooling today, the Lord is waiting to show himself mighty to you. Simply cry out and he’ll show himself to be Lord of your homeschooling. “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed” (James 1:6).
God has a perfect plan for your homeschool - walk by faith and allow God to lead your homeschool.
Visit the BLOG HOP to read words of encouragement from the Homeschool Review Crew.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Back to Homeschool BLOG HOP - Outside the Home

Outside the home, my girls participate in many extracurricular activities.
1. Co-op Classes
2. Field Trips
3. Service Scouts
4. Homeschool Bowling League
5. Dynamo Dash Youth Soccer Club
6. Beaumont Civic Ballet
7. Marsha Woody Academy of Dance
8. Gateway Dance
9. Volunteer
10. Music – piano, flute, saxophone 
Outside the home, my girls have made many friends – friends from like-minded Christian homes. I can honestly say that I am pleased with their choice of friends, many of whom are not all the same age. When I was in school, most of my friends were exactly my age, until high school when I had friends different in age. How blessed my daughters are to be free of social stigmas!
Visit the BLOG HOP to read what the Homeschool Review Crew has to say about extracurricular activities outside the home.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Back to Homeschool BLOG HOP - Planning / Record Keeping

As a homeschool mom, I have a homeschool plan. In fact, I have a plan for the entire homeschool year. While some may baulk at the idea of planning out the entire homeschool year, allow me to share how and why I plan for the entire homeschool year.

Planning a full year of schoolwork for your students may seem like a formidable task at first; but dividing the work into four quarters, makes the task more manageable. As you can see from my example, I plan a 4-day week and we complete the homeschool year in 36 weeks. Quarter 1 completes weeks 1-9. Quarter 2 completes weeks 10-18. Quarter 3 completes weeks 19-27. Quarter 4 completes weeks 28-36.
To plan out a textbook by lessons, list the number of lessons in it and add the number of tests to be used with the textbook – this is your total number of lessons. Next, divide the total number of lessons by the number of school days to estimate how many lessons should be completed each day.
For example, my daughter’s foreign language curriculum includes 180 lessons. Planning a 4-day week, she will complete 2 lessons on Day 1 and then complete 1 lesson on Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4. She will continue this pattern throughout the 36-week school year.
Please note, my lesson book is also my grade book. When the assignment is complete, I write in the grade. After each quarter, I average the grade for the quarter and write it next to the quarter number. I then transfer this information to my student’s transcript or report card and then at the end of the year all I have to do is figure the final grade.
Now that you know I am a planner, perhaps you would like to know why I plan the entire school year.
A plan brings freedom. By taking the time in the summer to create my lesson plan for each subject, I don’t have to waste my time during the school year trying to structure all the “HAVE TOs”. I can use this time to provide some of the “WANT TOs”. We have the freedom to take rabbit trails, create memories, and explore new interests because the foundation has already been created.
A plan affords flexibility. With a lesson plan already established, I can see at a glance what subjects need concentrated effort and what subjects won’t require as much time and attention that day. If we need to jet off to an unplanned doctor’s appointment or make a meal for a sick friend, I can quickly glance at my plan and know what can easily be brought along with us or can be started and then put on hold until later that day. And sometimes we just have to rearrange our week, if we have a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday, we do school on Monday-Tuesday-Thursday-Friday, this is why I love our 4-day lesson plan.
A plan provides a goal. As the old saying goes, “Without a plan, you plan to fail.” Having a year-long plan sets definite goals for both me and my girls. While we may not complete everything on the plan each day, we always maintain forward motion because there is a clear and KNOWN goal. My children’s education is of high priority to me. I cannot afford to slip to idleness. Having a plan, or a goal, motivates me into action!
A plan creates a season. Scripture reminds us in Ecclesiastes 3:1 that there is a season for everything under the heavens. While each season of creation is different, they all have two things in common – a BEGINNING and an END. The very nature of a year-long lesson plan creates an obvious BEGINNING and an obvious END – a season. Without a plan of action, how can anyone know when the action is completed?
If you need help planning a full year of schoolwork, I would be glad to offer my assistance. Feel free to contact me and I can do this for you – all you would have to do is print the pages and create your own binder.
Visit the BLOG HOP to read what the Homeschool Review Crew has to say about Planning / Record Keeping.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Back to Homeschool BLOG HOP - School Supplies

My Happy Homeschool is happy because it is organized and equipped with the following school supplies:
1. Bible
2. Curriculum
3. Planner / Grade Book (I will share more about this in my next blog post)
4. Dry Erase Board with Dry Erase Markers and Eraser
5. Mechanical Pencils with EXTRA Lead and EXTRA Erasers
6. Colored Pencils
7. Ruler
8. Compass
9. Protractor
10. Scientific Calculator
11. Red Pens
12. Notebook Paper
13. Stapler
14. Dictionary and French-English Dictionary
15. Encyclopedias
16. Bible Concordance
17. Bible Commentaries
18. Charts and Maps
19. Laboratory Equipment for Science Experiments
20. Music
Most school supplies can be purchased at a local department store or office supply store. For other more unique school supplies, I recommend shopping online or Christian book stores.
Visit the Blog Hop to read what the Homeschool Review Crew has to say about school supplies.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Back to Homeschool BLOG HOP - Curriculum

Living in Texas, in order to be a legitimate homeschool, you must have a curriculum which teaches reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics and a study of good citizenship, and you must pursue that curriculum in a bona fide manner. This curriculum may be obtained from any source and can consist of books, workbooks, other written materials, or materials on an electronic monitor including computer or video screens, or any combination thereof. This year we have two students in 11th grade and one student in 6th grade; and today I would like to share with you what curriculum we are using in My Happy Homeschool.
11th Grade Curriculum
BJU Press – French 1 (Brieanna)
Signing Naturally – Level 1 (Kaylee)
BJU Press – Writing & Grammar 11
BJU Press – Algebra 2
Apologia Educational Ministries – Chemistry
Mystery of History – Volume IV
Drive Thru History – America
Progeny Press – To Kill a Mockingbird
6th Grade Curriculum
Christian Liberty Press – Building Spelling Skills Book 6
BJU Press – English 6
Modern Curriculum Press – Mathematics Level F
Apologia Educational Ministries – Human Anatomy and Physiology
Mystery of History – Volume IV
Drive Thru History – America
Progeny Press – The Secret Garden

Steck Vaughn – Maps, Globes, Graphs Level F
I purchase the BJU Press curriculum through a friend when she has her exhibits so that I can save 25% off textbook kits and 10% off distance learning kits and single textbooks and receive free shipping. All other curriculum listed is purchased through the Rainbow Resource Center, Drive Thru History, or THE Book Nook.
Visit the BLOG HOP to read what the Homeschool Review Crew has to say about Curriculum.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Annual Back to Homeschool Blog Hop - Introduction

I am looking forward to the Annual Back to Homeschool Blog Hop! This will be my first Blog Hop! I pray that you will find encouragement and inspiration as I share my happy homeschool with you…
August 14 – Curriculum
August 15 – School Supplies
August 16 – Planning / Record Keeping
August 17 – Outside the Home
August 18 – Dear Homeschool Mom

Monday, August 7, 2017

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! - Level 2 - TOS Review

Greek ‘n’ Stuff makes learning Greek easy with their Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! –Level 2. Being a TOS Review Crew member, I was able to use the following items with my girls:
Hey, Andrew! Teach me Some Greek! Level 2 Workbook
Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! Level 2 “Answers Only” Answer Key
Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! Pronunciation CD
Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! teaches Biblical Greek using a combination of deductive, inductive, and interactive methodology. Its main goal is to equip students to study the Greek New Testament for themselves, so they can identify inaccurate theology based on faulty exegesis. But it’s also worthwhile to pursue for expanding vocabulary, since many English words have Greek roots. Because of the gentle introduction and incremental learning, this series is excellent for teaching Biblical Greek without prior experience with the language.
Level 2 begins with a thorough review of the Greek alphabet. The remainder of the workbook focuses on eleven foundational Greek vocabulary words which will be used in Level 3 to introduce Greek grammar. The target age for Level 2 is 2nd through 4th grade; but older students and adults can begin here if they do not know the Greek alphabet.
The Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! Level 2 Workbook provides lots of practice opportunities to ensure that lessons are retained and absorbed. Students will trace and free-write the Greek letters as they practice the sound the letter makes and its name; match words with the translations; fill in missing Greek words within a sentence; match Greek words and their pronunciations; and practice their Greek handwriting. Flashcards are located in the back of the book. As you may already know, the key to success with this program is consistent use of the flashcards. Do not move ahead in the workbook if your student is struggling for mastery. Review the flashcards every day until your student is confident and ready to learn more.
The Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! Level 2 “Answers Only” Answer Key provides a line-list of answers that accompany the Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! Level 2 Workbook. Answers are arranged by the workbook page number with the activity type given when needed.
The Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! Pronunciation CD ensures that you are correctly pronouncing what you are learning. This audio CD accompanies Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! Level 1 and Level 2. Tracks include the Alphabet Song, the Reader (a Biblical Greek Primer), pronunciation of the Greek letters, and pronunciation of new vocabulary.
Learning Greek has been quite easy to learn with this curriculum, much better than other curriculums on the market. My 6th grader enjoyed the lessons, so much, she was asking me “When are we going to learn more Greek?” To make learning fun, I use the flashcards and make it a game between my three girls, the flashcards are mixed up on the table and they have to locate the letter or its sound as I call it out. A great way to reinforce each letter and its pronunciation.
Visit the CrewBlog to read more reviews.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Challenges of Homeschooling

Although homeschooling is the best form of education for children and is immensely beneficial for family relationships, it is not without its challenges. The challenges I want to address today can be minimized with the strategies presented in this post.
#1 Money
No matter how you approach it, homeschooling is an investment. Curriculum is not cheap; but there are ways to save! Our family saves 25% off textbook kits and 10% off all other BJU Press purchases by placing an order through our rep when she holds her exhibits. I do not get these kinds of savings when I order the rest of our curriculum; but I always make sure I qualify for free shipping. We also shop through THE Book Nook – a curriculum consignment shop where everything is 50-75% off retail prices!
#2 Socialization
Now that your children are at home with you around the clock, it is easy to fall into a rut of staying home and keeping to yourselves. But this is not healthy, and the children will not have the opportunity to hone their skills and character as they’re with others with different strengths and weaknesses. I recommend that you join a homeschool support group or get more involved in church and community activities. True socialization is the ability to interact with people of all ages, young and old. Homeschoolers usually excel in this area due to the multi-age environment of a home.
#3 Sports
In Texas, homeschoolers cannot play sports through the public school; but there are other opportunities where they can play sports. Homeschool groups in our area offer volleyball, basketball, cross country, and a homeschool bowling league.
I have a daughter that plays on a competitive soccer team. Homeschoolers can play soccer all the way through high school through a local club. All of my girls participate in the homeschool bowling league and will participate in cross country this Fall. My oldest daughter is a member of Beaumont Civic Ballet. All my girls are very active and I am so proud of their accomplishments!
#4 Well-disciplined Children
If your children are not well behaved, you will soon discover that a rebellious child is an unteachable child. Your children must be obedient and submissive to authority if you ever expect to teach them anything. Wives, if you are not submissive to your husbands, do not expect your children to be obedient and submissive to you. Your children will treat you as they see you treat your husband.
Homeschooling has its challenges; but know you’re not alone! I would be glad to help you along your homeschool journey, feel free to contact me with your homeschool challenges, or to purchase materials through THE Book Nook.
Happy Homeschooling!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

In the Reign of Terror - TOS Review

Heirloom Audio Productions is passionate about bringing Christian history to life through audio theater and their audio adventure of Inthe Reign of Terror is an extraordinary adventure! This 2-CD set provides 2 ½ hours of non-stop adventure while building character in the next generation by bringing the lessons of history to life.
Bill Heid has assembled a world-class cast of professional actors and added sound effects that engages your imagination by taking you back in time as you listen to history’s most daring expedition. When 16-year-old Harry visits France, his journey plummets him into one of history’s darkest times – the French Revolution. Chaos challenges Harry’s faith as he struggles not only to survive, but to rescue the family who lovingly took him in as their own and who now face the guillotine for no other crime than their noble lineage. This audio adventure will leave you breathless as you follow one boy’s journey from the crushing darkness of human pride to the hope and courage of God’s loving light.
Conversations between Harry and other characters help listeners understand that, unlike the American War for Independence, the French Revolution was a coup d'etat by armed thugs who represented nobody but themselves and based their revolution on the rejection of Christianity and the glorification of human reason and which therefore degenerated into the Reign of Terror that flowed with innocent human blood. As one of the characters says at the end, the symbol of the American War for Independence is the Liberty Bell; the symbol of the French Revolution is the guillotine.
Heirloom Audio Productions has created a brand new Live the Adventure Club site that contains all of the downloadable bonus features that are included when you purchase In the Reign of Terror as a club member. In the “Educational Treasures” section, you will find a study guide for the audio theater presentation of In the Reign of Terror. It is designed for parents who want to help their younger students through the storyline and its lessons. It can also serve as a series of written assignments for older students. The sets of questions begin and end as the narrative takes new turns, and each may cover from four to eight minutes of the audio drama. Each set of questions has three parts – Listening Well, Thinking Further, and Defining Words. The Listening Well questions ask your student what he has heard or what he has remembered.  The Thinking Further questions ask your student to think a bit, to look up something mentioned in the story, to draw conclusions from the characters’ actions, or to speculate about the intentions, mindset, and character of Harry and his friends and enemies. The Defining Words section gives your student an opportunity to enhance his vocabulary and understanding of the story – he will need to use a dictionary for most of the words. At the end of the study guide there is a recommended reading list for older students who want to learn more about the French Revolution. After that, there are three brief Bible studies that may help you understand some of the biblical themes that are woven into the narrative. At the very end, there are some brief essays that provide historical background for the story of In the Reign of Terror.
Our family really enjoyed listening to this audio theater presentation, in fact, travel time turned into adventure time! I highly recommend Heirloom Audio Productions and their stories of virtue and valor, daring and determination, character and courage – when history is taught through stories, it is not forgotten. 
Visit the Crew Blog to read more reviews.