This blog is my attempt to document our busy but BLESSED lives raising and educating our children for His glory. A child of God, wife to one, and mom to 6 fabulous kids. We are in our 9th year of homeschooling using a Classical ~ Charlotte Mason approach.

Come along for the good, the bad & the ugly.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Progeny Press: The Josefina Story Quilt - eGuide ~ a TOS review

Have you been gearing up for the new school year? Have you been looking for quality literature guides? Our family has always enjoyed the literature guides we have used from Progeny Press and today I am excited to tell you about our newest guide called, The Josefina Story Quilt - eGuide.

Our family has a fond affection towards good books and let me tell you literature guides make reading even more enjoyable! Progeny Press has been a family owned and operated company since 1992. They produce high quality literature guides from a Christian worldview ranging from lower elementary years through high school. They literally have 100+L guides and add 3-6 new titles each year ranging from lower elementary, upper elementary, middle school, and high school. They have got you covered!

The Josefina Story Quilt tells the story of Faith as her family packs up theirs covered wagon as they prepare for the long journey to California. Faith’s beloved pet hen, Josefina, is nearly left behind because she is deemed too old to lay eggs and her meat meat is too tough to eat and there is no room on the wagon. 

At the last minute, Faith’s father allows her to bring Josefina along as long as she does not make trouble. Along the way on the journey to CA, Faith starts to make a patchwork quilt to tell the story of her family’s trip west. She has many memories to quilt as Josefina nearly causes a stampede and falls into the river.

My daughter, McKenzie, really enjoyed reading the story and completing some of the activities within this guide. One of her favorite activities was choosing 5 things to pack for the journey. Here are her choices:





(Lol, an iPad!)

McKenzie was able to read the story aloud to me over the course of two days. She especially loved that the main character shared her name. 

    Josefina Story Quilt

The E-Guide is set up in an easy to follow style. It gives a Synopsis, tells about the author and illustrator, and includes a pre-reading activities. There is also an Overview of the complete story line as well as Post-Reading activities to complete. If your student enjoys this book, additional resources are provided towards the back with other novel suggestions.

Each chapter of the book is broken down in the E-Guide and the student’s knowledge is tested by several different types of learning exercises including:

Vocabulary ~ multi types of exercises including multiple choice, context clues, fill-in-the-blank, and dictionary definitions.

Comprehension questions ~ testing the students’ knowledge of what was read.

Thinking about the story ~ thinking questions and making story connections.

Descriptive writing ~ these fun exercises get kids thinking all the while encouraging writing skills.

Literary devices ~ presented at grade level.

Digging deeper ~ scripture and life lessons are presented in a Christian worldview.

I love that each guide takes care to draw the student back to the Bible.

As you can see each guide includes a variety of elements, depending on the level of the study. Check out the sample of the types of questions and information contained in the guides at the website. To make navigation on the website easier, literature guides are categorized by both genre and grade-level. The guides are extremely user-friendly and are currently available as a print version, CD in PDF format, and email as a PDF attachment.

I also love that there is no limit on copying pages for use within our home/school.  Progeny Press Guides are economically priced from $10.99 to $27.99.

New Study Guides for Literature From a Christian Perspective {Progeny Press Reviews}

Check out the online catalog for individual pricing on all the available guides.
We enjoyed our literature guide and will be purchasing more in the next few months for next school year.  

Check out what my Crewmates thought of the other guides being reviewed, The Green Book - eGuide , The Scavengers - eGuide , and Perelandra - eGuide by clicking  the banner below.

New Study Guides for Literature From a Christian Perspective {Progeny Press Reviews}

Company ~ Progeny Press
Format ~ online PDF
Price ~ $11.99
Ages ~ 1st - 3rd grade

Progeny Press
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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Wordless Wednesday

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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Wordless Wednesday ~ 7-Eleven

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Bible Study Guide For All Ages ~ a TOS review

Once again I am super excited to tell you about an awesome Bible curriculum that we have been using from Bible Study Guide For All Ages. We were introduced to this Bible study curriculum over five years ago and I am so excited to go back through the lessons with my two youngest, McKenzie and Micah this school year. This time we were blessed to received the Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced levels of Unit 1, 3rd quarter. You know the saying, “Good things come to those who wait?” Well that’s what I ended up with; a really great Bible study program for my family! Let’s dig a little deeper and show you why we love this curriculum.
Bible Study Guide for All Ages
The Bible Study Guide is the brain child of Mary Baker, a mother of four, who in the late 70’s was searching for a Bible curriculum that she felt was adequate enough to teach her children to understand the Bible. Mary and her teams main goal is to present the infallible truth of the Bible alone. They have not written there program to any particular denomination nor do they teach a specific church doctrine. Rather, they believe:

 “what Paul said in his letter to Timothy: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)” ~ website

Wow! This is exactly the program I want to use to teach my children about the Bible. With 4 Units, The Bible Study Guide includes 416 lesson plans in total that will take you completely through the entire Bible over the course of four years. There are four levels of study to choose from: Beginner (Ages 3- Kindergarten), Primary (1st – 2nd grade), Intermediate (3rd – 4th grade) and Advanced (5th – 6th grade). With this unique design template all of your children, even at varying ages will be able to study the entire Bible in just four years. All the while studying a little bit of both the Old and New Testament each year. I should note that not all books that contain Old Testament Prophets and Psalms are studied in great detail, however, this fact does not detract from the overall depth of the program.

We were blessed to receive the following items:

Bible Study Guide for All Ages

Unit 1 Beginner Student Pages {lessons 53-78} (1) $5.95 ~ geared towards both students as young as 3 years old to 1st graders a whole interactive learning experience. This set is ideal for students that that are not reading yet or those that struggle a bit. Retailing for an affordably price at $5.95 each and printed on legal size paper. I should note that it is NOT ok to copy the pages within your own family unit. BSG would like you to purchase a set of student pages for each student, in each individual level you have.

Bible Study Guide for All Ages
Unit 1 Intermediate Student Pages {lessons 53-78} (1) $5.95 ~ is targeted for the third and fourth graders however, they are flexible enough for a little bit below or above ability work if you need to combine children.

Bible Study Guide for All Ages

Unit 1 Advanced Student Pages {lessons 53-78} (1) $5.95 ~ designed to challenge 5th & 6th graders to think critically while applying Biblical applications learned to their own real lives with interactive lessons. We also received the Teacher Key for this level only. It is not necessary to purchase this but it is helpful for quick grading of the lessons.

Bible Study Guide for All Ages
Small Bible Book Summary Cards ~ 66 sturdy flashcards that contain one or more pictures on the front of the card depicting the main concept or message from a book of the Bible. On the back of each card there is a brief description that further explains the picture(s). Also included are comprehension questions for the teacher to ask while reviewing each card.

The Bible Study Guide follows a unique plan of study throughout the four Units. Beginning in Unit 1, you start to outline the biblical history with an in-depth study of Joseph, Daniel and Jesus. Utilizing the time line within the student pages helps to fill in whatever gaps there may be as you study the whole story of the Bible. This innovative plan lets you study some of the Old Testament and a little of the New Testament each year, filling in the parts of Jesus's life yearly while holding student interest. Click HERE to see the full Unit study break down.

Bible Study Guide for All Ages
Wall Maps and Time Line ~ she first hand how all the events of the Bible fit and tie into each other. These maps and time line are big but they easily attach to the your wall or other moveable surface. As you begin your study you map will seem blank but the further along you go it will start to fill up quickly. I used Sticky-TAK to attach ours to the wall as well as the labels.

Can I just tell you right now that I absolutely l-o-v-e this program!!! We started our study this time with the 3rd quarter of Unit 1. Over the summer three of my kids, Montana (6th), McKenzie (3rd), and Micah (JrK) have been using this program just 2 days a week. And you know what? Each of them love it! I love it too! just makes sense to me and most importantly to my kids! It is so easy to study the Word of God with this program.
Bible Study Guide For All Ages {Reviews}
In a few short weeks we will be starting back to school and I already have Unit 2 Bible Study Guide listed for our Bible curriculum for our 2018 - 2019 Plan of Study for McKenzie and Micah. Unfortunately, Montana is scheduled for her middle school Bible curriculum to line her up with our rotation through middle and high school, but I know she will be eager to help her siblings with their lessons too. Being able to incorporate this program into our Recitation time will be a great fit for all of us.

Can I tell you again that I love this program?! I have found our families perfect Bible study for our Morning Time Recitations. It has exceeded my expectations of a Bible program and then some and I do not see us leaving anytime soon. If you ask my opinion on a Bible study program, I wholeheartedly recommend you check out Bible Study Guide For All Ages if you are still searching for a Bible curriculum for the upcoming school year. At such an affordable price for each Student pages lesson plans I honestly recommend you take a look and see what you think.

 Be sure to check out what my Crewmates thought of the different levels of Bible Study Guide For All Ages available for review by clicking the link below. You will be so glad you did!

Bible Study Guide For All Ages {Reviews}
 Product ~ • Advanced (5th & 6th grade) - Advanced Student Pages, Advanced Teacher Key, Small Bible Book Summary Cards; Intermediate (3rd & 4th grade) - Intermediate Student Pages; Beginner (3-K) - Beginner Student Pages; Time Line and Maps Set 
 Format ~ physical copies 
 Ages ~ 3 years - 6th grade

Bible Study Guide for All Ages
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Friday, June 29, 2018

When one door closes, another one opens

Good Friday evening friends! Hope you have had a great week! We are in full summer mode here and I am so thankful that I get to use my new Erin Condren Life Planner to help me juggle all that needs to be done. Can I blow your mind for a second? Anyone want to guess how many times a week, (M-Sat) that I drive to and from the gym? It's a doozie of a number and I know you will be as shocked as I was when I actually counted it. 

Our summer schedule has been making my days fly by, which is just fine for me! With July just around the corner I am excited to start my school planning next week. For the next five weeks I am going to focus on each of my remaining five students at home and get their Plan of Study done (on paper and the blog) as well as start gathering and/or ordering what we need. This year we are blessed to only need a few things.

Madison, my rising Senior will be first up in our Plan of Study reveal. It's been an interesting week pre-planning for her to say the least. The doors to attend a local community college kept shutting because we don’t qualify for in-state tuition. Yes, we live here in our current state and have for the past 10 years AND pay property taxes, but we are not considered residents based on our states domicile requirements. After speaking to the head registrar at the College on Wednesday morning I prayed for God to make a way if He wanted her on campus in the fall. 

Yesterday afternoon we found out the final decision and it was that we would have to pay out of state tuition each semester for her 7 credits. $$$ 💸 Not happening! I was bummed and so was Madison because we really liked the campus and the staff we met. Plus she would have the opportunity to show that she can preform inside a “real” classroom that the service academies like to see in homeschooled applicants. 

I am a firm believer that if it is not meant to be there is a bigger and better reason why that we just don’t see. Another door will open that will be better for Madison. So Last night we registered her for AP Physics and Pre-Calculus through an online school and we are excited to go this route. Both of her teachers have such a passion for Christ and the classes they teach. 

This morning at 4am I woke to a start and after saying my morning prayers I checked my email. Guess what was in my inbox? An email from the pre-College program that Madison is attending next week! She is going away to a college in Michigan and taking a fully credited class for the next 4+ weeks. Meaning she will be inside of a “real” classroom and be able to show the Air Force Academy admissions team that she can hold her own and in an accelerated course to boot! 

God is good! 

In my haste to get her registered at the community college I totally forgot about the significance of the class she is going to be taking in Michigan. As we start planning for her trip we are praising God for opening doors for Madison. Her hard work and dedication to her studies is paying off and she is just a few short months from finding out if she will be admitted to the Air Force Academy Class of 2023! Her dream school since she was in the 7th grade. 

Integrity First, Service Before Self, 
Excellence in All We Do ~ Air Force Academy

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Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective ~ a TOS review

As a classical homeschooler I have always wanted to give my children a rich education that included exposure to the arts. With Marie, my first high school graduate, I piecemealed together curriculum but was not completely satisfied with it. It did the job but I was looking for more.

Now that I have a rising Senior and Sophomore I was super excited when we were given the opportunity to review The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective from The Master and His Apprentices. I had never heard of this curriculum so I was over the moon when I found out we would be reviewing it! Let’s dig into it because it is a real gem!

The Master and His Apprentices was penned by Gina Ferguson, a homeschool graduate, who wanted to share the love of God and his creations through art. Using her teaching background and knowledge and love of art and the Bible she created this high school level curriculum for schools and homeschoolers just like you and me.
The Master and His Apprentices

While this curriculum is available in hardback edition, we received the digital edition of the student textbook, the teacher guide, as well as printing rights to print off the material if we chose to go that route. The student text book is 380 pages and includes 19 chapters full of information on the history and art from Creation through Modern times. The Chapters include topics on:

 • Chapter 1: Introduction to Art 
 • Chapter 2: Creation 
 • Chapter 3: Ancient Near East
 • Chapter 4: Egyptian 
 • Chapter 5: Aegean 
 • Chapter 6: Early Greek
 • Chapter 7: Etruscan
 • Chapter 8: Roman 
 • Chapter 9: Early Christian & Byzantine 
 • Chapter 10: Medieval & Islamic 
 • Chapter 11: Romanesque 
 • Chapter 12: Gothic 
 • Chapter 13: Proto-Renaissance
 • Chapter 14: Early Italian Renaissance 
 • Chapter 15: High Italian Renaissance
 • Chapter 16: Northern Renaissance 
 • Chapter 17: Baroque 
 • Chapter 18: Rococo to Today 
 • Chapter 19: Global Highlights 

The student book is broken down into distinct time periods including Ancient Cultures, Classical Antiquity, Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Baroque and Beyond. Detailed chapter introductions provide helpful background information about each time period as well as detailed timelines that highlight art within Biblical/Christian history. An appendix is also included in the back of the book that contains essays, charts, and terms needed to know.

The teachers guide is there to help you the teacher guide your student along the way through the course. With discussion questions, worksheets, and exams it is more of a helping hand so to speak. I love that a syllabus is included to help you plan out the year long study and to keep you and the student accountable.

Writing is woven into the course through the four required essays scheduled. Each essay is written on four different time periods along with different artists and styles within the time periods. Plenty of time is dedicated to the composing of the essays and a grading rubric with clear grading guidelines is included. This curriculum is designed to fulfill a full elective credit for high schoolers and is written from a Christian perspective. With over 600 detailed images the beauty of the art shines through. There is no nudity or objectionable material inside the pages. While I have no objections for taking out the nudity, as I have younger children in my home besides my high schoolers that I don’t necessarily want gazing at Michaelangelos’ David even if it is art, so I appreciate the discretion to only include parts of the sculpture.

The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective {The Master and His Apprentices Reviews}
Originally, I had planned to start both my high schoolers on this program as soon as we received them. However, I ran into a snag when I learned that my rising Sophomore is only allowed to take classes for credit within the normal nine month school timeframe per NCAA rules. She is a competitive gymnast hoping to compete in college so NCAA has strict rules we must follow to ensure fairness for all students.

So, I made the adjustment and started the course on my own and let me tell you it has been a fascinating last 6 weeks of learning for me. I am a paper person so I printed off the first 5 chapters of the student guide with maximum presentation setting on my computer. The images printed beautifully and I then bound the pages with my coil binder to make a book. I kept the Teacher Guide available on my iPad and only printed the pages needed.

Each week I dedicated spending 3 nights a week reading through the chapters and working on the questions so that when we start school again mid-August I will be fully prepared to hold meaty socratic discussions with both of my high schoolers. I found the comprehension questions to be just the right amount of push for an upper level high schooler. There are definitely questions that make the child think and have to give their opinion and not just rote information. After all, I am trying to raise my children to think on their own and to give their opinion when it counts.

The Master and His Apprentices
Overall, this has been a fantastic art history program! It has lived up to my standards for a rigorous yet fun course and I know that both of my girls will enjoy it come August. I plan to have our weekly chapter discussions on Saturday mornings when the house is still quiet over a cup of hot chocolate. Be sure to check out what my CrewMates think of this program by clicking the banner below to read their thoughts.

The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective {The Master and His Apprentices Reviews}

 Format ~ digital PDF copies 
Price ~ 
Ages ~ high school, 1 full elective credit

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