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 15th year of homeschooling using a Classical ~ Literature based approach.

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

Monday, January 23, 2012

TOS Review ~ We Choose Virtues

Like the majority of parents I know, the Lt. and I want our girls to become young women of cache_220_220_HandyVirtueCardscharacter. To help us in the lifelong teaching process we were blessed with a review from We Choose Virtues, which was  created by mom and teacher Heather McMillan.  We Choose Virtues is a curriculum that inspires character in kids. 

Our family was given the new Virtue Clues cards, the teacher handbook, and  coloring book, along with  free downloads from their website: Family Character Assessment, and Kids Memory Verses, Bible Heroes & Truths.

coloring_book family_assessment teachers_handbook  

We Choose Virtues focuses on the twelve main character traits with catchy names for the characters like Stop Sign Madeline (I am Self-Controlled):


There are 12 Virtues in the Early Childhood through Elementary set.  They are…I am Diligent, I am Kind, I am Helpful, I am Obedient, I am Forgiving, I am Perseverant, I am Gentle, I am Patient, I am Self-Controlled, I am Content, I am Honest, and I am Attentive.

From the website…

We Choose Virtues has everything you need to teach about positive character qualities including posters, clue cards, coloring books, assessments,teachers manuals, classroom kits, homeschool kits, family kits, and more! Products are available in both secular and Christian programs, with or without scripture references. Right now the Virtue Clue Card sets are normally just $7.95 but right now they are on sale for $5.99, and they come in a handy dandy, take-everywhere pouch. The coloring book is a $3.00 PDF download and includes each of the Virtueville Characters. There is a  Homeschool Kit that includes flash cards, Kids Virtue poster, three Kids of Virtueville mini-posters, parenting cards, 25 sheet pad of Virtue User Review, 16 sheet pad of Personal Virtue Charts, The Three Rules poster, and Handbook and Coloring Book downloads all for $99.99. For individual pricing on all the products check out the website for pricing.


We wholeheartedly  give We Choose Virtues two thumbs up.  I love everything about the program and what it does to help me teach character to my daughters young women. I especially love that The Virtue Clues cards are compact and cute. They are the perfect size to slip into your pocket or bag when you are out and about.  If you are searching for a character building program give We Choose Virtues a try, I think…I know you will be extremely happy with the choice. Check out what my crewmates thought by clicking HERE.


Company ~ We Choose Virtues

Product ~ We Choose Virtue – Virtue Clues

Price ~ $7.95, but currently on sale for $5.99.

Ages ~ 3-11,there are also tools for ages 12-18.


I received a copy of the Virtue Clues cards, the teacher handbook, coloring book, downloads of Family Character Assessment, and Kids Memory Verses, Bible Heroes & Truths, in exchange for a thorough and honest review.  Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of cash for my reviews.  The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but are not influenced by the company or the free product provided.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

TOS Review ~ Zeezok Z-Guide: The Red Badge of Courage

I only briefly heard about Z-Guides in passing early last year.  Red_Badge_of_Courage_DVD_Cover-428x600They  peaked my interest then so when I was offered the chance to review a guide last December I was excited. The hard part was choosing which Z-Guide to review.  I ended up choosing The Red Badge of Courage for  Marie because she is learning American History.   Zeezok has a wide variety of Z-Guides to choose from with plans to release 25 additional titles in the spring.

If you click over to the Zeezok site you will find the Z-Guides organized by historical time period.  On the left sidebar, starting with Ancient Civilizations and going down through the Vietnam War, making it very easy for a parent/educator to find a suitable movie with a guide. It’s as easy as clicking  on the time period you are getting ready to teach and the you will see which movie guides fall into that time era.  Zeezok offers a free sample guide for The Count of Monte Cristo if you have a Highschooler.


Each 25-35 page Z-Guide contains the following features:

  • A topic overview that provides the student with additional information about the specific time period of the movie.
  • A movie synopsis that assists the student in understanding what is going on in the movie and how relationships, situations, and events all relate together.
  • A  useful method of incorporating media into any curriculum.
  • Review questions that the student answers while watching the movie.
  • Questions and activities that require the student to research the historical time period in which the movie was based.  Students have the opportunity to practice research and writing skills by writing an essay.
  • At least one hands-on activity for active learners, which vary from guide to guide. 
  • A worldview activity, that encourages students to think critically of the movie’s worldview.
  • A Filmmaker’s Art activity which helps the student recognize the tools – such as filming techniques, humor, character development, music, lighting,irony, foreshadowing, and even the character names – that were used to influence the viewer. 

Z-Guides are priced at $12.99 each and to get the most out of the guides, Zeezok recommends that students complete two activities per day. This makes it possible for the whole guide to be completed within a week.  Z-Guides recommend a specific movie version for the student to watch and most of the movies are available from Netflix which makes it easy if you have an account.  If not, Zeezok also sells copies of the movies on there site in addition to the guides.  Guides can be downloaded or sent by CD, also just $12.99 (but you must pay shipping).  There is also a Co-op/Classroom version available for $49.99.

Overall, we enjoyed our experience with the Z-Guides.  It was a nice change of pace for Marie during the holiday business.  I would wholeheartedly recommend Zeezok and their Z-Guides to anyone looking to add in a movie component to there homeschooling; and it does not even have to be homeschooling, I think Z-guides could serve anyone learning because there are so many guides to choose from. Over the summer I would like to try out the Kit Kitteridge: An American Girl  Z-Guide with my younger girls. We enjoyed the movie the first hundred few times we watched it and I think adding the Z-Guide component will bring the movie more to life.

Check out what my Crewmates thought about the Z-Guides they had to review by clicking HERE.


Company ~ Zeezok Publishing

Product ~ The Red Badge of Courage Z-Guide

Price ~ $12.99 download or CD (must pay shipping), Co-op/Classroom $49.99

Ages ~ 9-12th grade *this particular guide*

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  I received a copy of The Red Badge of Courage Z-Guide, in exchange for a thorough and honest review.  Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of cash for my reviews.  The opinions I have given are mine and may differ from others but are not influenced by the company or the free product provided.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January’s 3 in 30

Whew, 2012 came in with a bang.  I had a less than stellar New 3in30 ChallengeYear’s Eve and Day due to bingo and nicotine poisoning, but hey that is in the past and I am over it now. So this month I am hoping to get some things marked off my list.  You saw my list, right?


The first goals I want to accomplish in January are:

1. Eat breakfast ~ This one seems pretty easy, but I struggle getting “the most important meal of the day”. 

2. Paint Madison’s room ~ Madison moved into her new room in late Summer of 2011, I have yet to paint it.

3. Find a new doctor ~ This is long overdue for me.  i tend to let things slide for me and take care of everyone else, but no more! I am moving up on the priority list and finding a new doctor is one of the first steps.

Do you have any goals you want to accomplish? Consider linking up with the gals over at 3in30 and get some encouragement and accountability along the way.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!!!

new year

We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.  The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day. 

                                                                       ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce