Thursday, July 30, 2015

Heirloom Audio Productions: With Lee in Virginia - TOS Review

With Lee in Virginia Audio Drama Review
 This post may contain affiliate links.
Thank you for supporting my blog and homeschool!
See my full Disclosure statement for more information.
 At the beginning of the year my girls and I had the chance to listen to G.A. Henty's radio drama In Freedom’s Cause by Heirloom Audio Productions, and we loved every second of it! So.......we were so excited when we had to opportunity to also review Heirloom Audio Productions’ latest audio drama, With Lee in Virginia, also based on a G.A. Henty's historical novel.  
What we received:
  • 2-Cd “Active Listening” audio book, 2+ hours!
  • With Lee in Virginia E-Book Study Guide
  • Printable copy of the inspirational quote discovered in a letter from Robert E. Lee to his son
  • The Official With Lee in Virginia Soundtrack MP3 download.
  • Unlimited access to the Live The Adventure Letter E-Newsletter.
  • G.A. Henty's original With Lee in Virginia E-Book with all new colorful graphics. 
  • Promotions poster that you can download and print
I am a total history lover and that probably adds to my love of this Christian audio drama, but with an all star cast like the one they compiled, how could you not love it! As you can see from the picture below, there were some great people involved in this production, and they will keep you glued to your seat the entire time!
With me being fairly new to homeschooling, I am realizing that having a variety of resources at my fingertips, always helps my girls learn better. That is where Heirloom Audio Productions has helped me. As you listen to this radio theatre, you will hear accounts of many of the major battles of the Civil War and will become “acquainted” with historical figures such as Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. I feel that this would be a great  supplement to a Civil War study, or even Early American History study. Outside of the classroom, this would be a great listen on a rainy day, and a good reminder of where our country has come from.

With Lee in Virginia tells the story of Vincent, a high spirited boy from Virginia and his friend Dan and their experiences during the Civil War. As the boys experience war up close and personal they learn some things about themselves and their character. I love the way that the story lends to discussing the importance of God's Word and a relationship with Him.

How We Used the Product:

The fact that this was made into a 2-CD audo book is great. That means we are able to take it with us anywhere we go. So.......we took the CDs with us in the car and listened as we ran errands. It was a great way to enjoy the dramatization together.
The study guide is a great discussion starter and really helped my girls understand the story even better.
My Bottom Line:
We loved it!! Heirloom Audio Productions has created a masterpiece yet again! This is a must have for any homeschool! With Lee in Virginia is top notch and is a great addition to your homeschool library.
If you are interested in getting a copy of With Lee in Virginia for yourself and your homeschool, there are several purchase options available. 
  • The Family 4-Pack—4 copies of the CD (great for gifts), study guide, free e-book of G.A. Henty’s original book of the same name, and other bonuses ($99.97)
  • 2 CD set, study guide, and bonuses ($29.97)
  • MP3 Download and study guide ($20)

Connect With Heirloom Audio Productions:
With Lee in Virginia (Facebook):
Heirloom Audio Productions (Facebook):

Heirloom Audio Productions (Twitter):
With Lee in Virginia Audio Drama Review

Monday, July 27, 2015

A Perspective Shift

This post may contain affiliate links.
Thank you for supporting my blog and homeschool!
See my full Disclosure statement for more information.
Have you ever gotten so wrapped up in your own thoughts and problems that you lose perspective?  Well.....I sure have! Sometimes when things don't go the way that we want them to, we can become very self involved.
While in Illinois at  The Shoppes at Grand Prairie, I happened upon a perspective shift. While shopping at a little open air mall I found a Holocaust Memorial entitled:  'Peoria Holocaust Memorial Button Project' . Coordinated by the Jewish Federation of Peoria, this memorial is a lasting educational memorial dedicated to the six million Jews and five million enemies of the state murdered during the Holocaust. That totals 11,000,000 people.....

In this memorial, each person is represented by a button as seen above. The buttons are all different shapes and sizes, just like the people they represent. As I walked into the middle of the memorial surrounded by the representation of 11,000,000 murdered individuals I felt my knees buckle as I began to weep. It was one of those moments that happen when you aren't expecting it. I went from casually shopping, to silently weeping the loss of 11,000,000 individuals that I had never met. These people lived and died before my time, but the tragedy of their loss impacted the world.

You see there are things that you can encounter in life that shift your perspective a bit. This experience arrested me right where I was and caused me to think about an era of evil that could easily be forgotten unless you choose to remember. Sometimes, when injustice doesn't impact you personally, it is easier to pretend it never happened, or simply not let it impact you.

(To tell you the truth, these pictures don't seem to do this memorial justice.
It is definitely a site to experience for yourself.)
Every so often, I find myself remembering this memorial and praying. Praying for my country and its leaders. Praying for our world, and world leaders, and praying for the persecuted church. According to a 2013 Fox News article upwards of 100,000 Christians are killed annually and that number is continually on the rise. In John 15:18 Jesus tells us to remember that "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first."
Hebrews 13:3 CEV tells us this: Remember the Lord's people who are in jail and be concerned for them. Don't forget those who are suffering, but imagine you are there with them.
We are to keep the persecuted Christians in the forefront of our minds and always in our prayers. We are all one body and when one part hurts, we all hurt. I am thankful for a Pastor that encourages us to pray for the persecuted Christians often and keeps it before us. I believe we as American Christians can become jaded and hard-hearted easily. We like things easy and complacency is just that.....easy.
It is time we as Christians dig into the Word of God and then do what it says! It is time we pray like never before! It is time that we Christians become more Christ-like than ever before. The world needs us to be who we say we are!

Unlock Math: Unlock Pre-Algebra Review - TOS Crew

Unlock Math Review

This post may contain affiliate links.
Thank you for supporting my blog and homeschool!
See my full Disclosure statement for more information.

UnLock Math has done an amazing job of providing an interactive, attention grabbing, 7th grade math curriculum called UnLock Pre-Algebra.  I was provided access to UnLock Pre-Algebra to review. I utilized my access for my daughter that just finished up the seventh grade. I found that it was a perfect way to ensure that she had a grasp on each concept.

This website is well thought out, and I found it easy to navigate through. What is even better, so did my daughter. That is always half of the battle!! When you are looking for online math curriculum, the ease of navigation is so very important!! If it is too frustrating to figure out, then your student will not want to continue using it!  Well, at least mine don't.

Now, even though ease of navigation is important to my kids, I look for something else when it comes to online homeschool math curriculum. Since my kiddos are at an age where they do a lot of their work on their own, my ability to track their progress can get tricky. Thankfully, UnLock Math has taken care of that little problem. They have made sure that with your parent login, you are able to track everything your student does as they work their way through the course.

Take a look at the dashboard. This is the screen that your student will see when they log in. You can see that it is easy for your student to pick and choose what concept they are ready to work on. It also tracks your student's progress as they work through each unit!

Unlock Math Review

How We Used It:

I put my 13 year old to work going through each unit. Even though we had finished our school year already, we found that working in UnLock Pre-Algebra helped us make sure that she completely understood each concept. She logged in several times a week and found the extra work beneficial. As you can see in the picture below, your student has the option to work on some extra practice in an effort to comprehend each concept better.

Unlock Math Review
My Bottom Line:

If you are looking for a math product that your student will love......then UnLock Math is for you. We found the website interactive and easy to navigate, and the video lessons are short enough to keep your student's attention, but long enough to teach them the new concept that they will be working on. One of my favorite things about this program is that it follows logical steps of building one concept upon another in a natural progression of learning. This is so different from what you will see in a brick and mortar school, and also much different from a lot of homeschool math curriculum. Instead of my daughter fighting to understand the progression of learning, she was able to learn individual concepts one at a time and then progress as she was ready!

I feel that this online math curriculum will be a benefit to any homeschool. My daughter has always had a bit of math anxiety, but with UnLock Pre-Algebra that was done away with.You know you have found the right program when your child wants to work on math.....even on the weekends!!

Connect via Social Media:

UnLock Math Review

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Homeschool Buyers Co-op: Homeschool Planet Review - TOS Crew

Homeschool Planet Review
This post may contain affiliate links.
Thank you for supporting my blog and homeschool!
See my full Disclosure statement for more information.
I love homeschooling! It is something I am passionate about, and I know that it was the best thing for my family. Now that doesn't mean that it hasn't had its bumps along the way!  I like to plan things out from the start so I am sure that everything is set up....that is why Homeschool Planet is so wonderful.
When I was given the opportunity to review Homeschool Planet by Homeschool Buyers Co-op, I was pleasantly surprised at what I found. This product is amazing! Think about it this way, it is a Homeschool lesson planner, family calendar, gradebook, attendance tracker, and individual lesson scheduler all rolled into one amazing product! What the Homeschool Buyers Co-op did with Homeschool Planet was take all the needs of a Homeschool Family and put technology to work on our behalf. We are able to cut down our planning and tracking time because of the way they have utilized technology for us!  Well, as my mom used to say......"How do you like them apples?".........I have to admit it mom, I like 'em just fine!!!!  LOL!

How I Used This Product:

Homeschool Planet Review
With us being in summer break, I took the opportunity to utilize this product for my planning for the next year. I dove in full blast, and loaded everything for the next school year. As I worked through each section of this product, I got more and more excited about this wonderful Homeschool Planner/Scheduler. I love having everything as close as one click away!

Homeschool Planet Review
With Homeschool Planet you are able to click between screens and have all the information for your Homeschool at your fingertips!

You also have the ability to set the parameters of the program. When you load each person into the program, you tell the program what sections that person of the product they can see. For instance, I set up my girls so they can see their daily grades ......but, of course, not alter or add them. 
Homeschool Planet Review

Our household has two students and one adult child that works odd shifts. What I like about this program, is we are able to set it up so our adult child can see our family calendar, including all the assignments that each of her sisters has. That keeps her involved in our family and what is going on with her sisters!  #helpful!

My Bottom Line:

Well, first off let me just say.....You may have noticed that this product is awesome by the earlier portion of my blog......So just in case you didn't, I don't want there to be any confusion.........
It is awesome!!!!!!!
I have been homeschooling my girls for four years and the planning, scheduling, tracking is the hardest part. I love's the paperwork that I have a problem with!!  Are any of you with me on that one???
This takes the pain out of paperwork!!  YAY!!!!
Check it out today! The membership to the Homeschool Buyers Co-op is free today and you can take a look at the Homeschool Planet and see for yourself how beneficial it is for your homeschool! Try it for free! You will be hooked right from the start. It literally is everything you need!
Social Media:
Homeschool Planet Review

Monday, July 13, 2015

God's Promises Part 4

So often we don't spend time talking to God. There are several common excuses we use like: He wouldn't care about this, or He doesn't really care about me, or I have made so many mistakes in my life I need to fix this on my own......the list goes on and on.
But in Ephesians we are told that we are able to freely and confidently go to God. He wants to spend time with us. He has already made a way for us to spend eternity with Him, and He longs for a relationship with you!
So don't hang your head and feel like you aren't included in this....He made a way for each of us. Get alone with God. Allow Him to doeak to your heart! Share your thoughts, concerns and dreams with Him.....He is waiting for you!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

CursiveLogic: CursiveLogic's Workbook Review - TOS Crew

This post may contain affiliate links.
Thank you for supporting my blog and homeschool!
See my full Disclosure statement for more information.
I take it for granted. When I pull out my checkbook to write out a check, instantly I sign my name in cursive. That is a signature after all.....but cursive writing is becoming a lost art. No longer is it taught in schools. No longer do kids learn how to sign their name to important documents. No longer can kids read some of our country's most precious and sacred documents.
I was so excited when I had the chance to review the CursiveLogic Workbook, from CursiveLogic. My youngest daughter being in Middle School, has not learned cursive and wanted to learn so badly. So we knew this review was for us.
CursiveLogic is simple and easy to understand.
How it Works:
Letters grouped by shape ― Four foundational shapes underlie the entire lowercase alphabet. Rather than teaching the letters alphabetically, CursiveLogic groups the lowercase alphabet into four groups based on the shape of the initial stroke of the letters and teaches all of the similarly-shaped letters in a single lesson.  Letters are also taught in a specific order that reinforces the pattern.  By teaching all of the similar letters together, CursiveLogic captures the natural synergy of the alphabet itself, allowing each letter in the series to reinforce the proper formation of all the others.
Letter strings ― CursiveLogic captures the flow of cursive by teaching all of the similarly shaped letters in a connected string rather than as individual letters. CursiveLogic’s letter strings teach students to connect letters from the first lesson, allowing students to internalize the flow of cursive handwriting even before they have learned all 26 letters.
CursiveLogic also uses visual and auditory cues to reinforce the shape patterns:

Theme colors — Each shape string has a color—orange ovals, lime loops, silver swings, and mauve mounds—that reinforces the formation of the basic common shape.

Verbal task analysis — Students learn a simple, rhythmical chant that describes the path of the writing instrument as the letter shapes are formed.  The process of verbally describing a motor task while performing it aids the acquisition of new motor skills.

And CursiveLogic is fun!  Students young and old love tracing and writing our shape strings.  CursiveLogic is the only handwriting curriculum that has an “element of fun” that comes from the alphabet itself.  No cartoon characters, songs, or gimmicks needed!
(Retrieved from:
How We Used The Workbook:
My daughter only knew very little cursive before using this workbook. I had her work in the workbook several times a week. I did notice an improvement in her writing and therefore would recommend CursiveLogic as a way of helping the young people of today NOT lose the fine art of handwriting.

My Bottom Line:
This handwriting curriculum is a winner! It is simple, straight forward, and easy to understand.
Social Media:Twitter:
CursiveLogic Review

God's Promises Part 3

 This post may contain affiliate links.
Thank you for supporting my blog and homeschool!
See my full Disclosure statement for more information.
Here in Scripture God makes a promise to Abram that although his wife had been barren, she will have a heir. In fact God tells him that his descendants will be more numerous than the stars.
Genesis 15.1-6.NIV
After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward. ” But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord , what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.” Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Abram believed the Lord , and he credited it to him as righteousness.
It is important to note that Isaac wasn't born in the next 9 fact Abram had to wait 25 years for the fulfillment of the promise of God.  What?! Yes, he had to wait a long time to see the fulfillment of His promise.
Those that know this story also know that at one point he tried to take matters into his own hands, and find a work around because it was taking too long, but that is a different blog topic! Too often we start to have thoughts that since God hasn't answered yet, He must need our help. I right? Let me tell you from experience....He doesn't!!!
I want to focus today on God's faithfulness.  You see, no matter what we think of the timeliness of the answer to our prayers, it is not up to us when God delivers the answer. Our job is to believe that He will.
God has never given me reason to doubt His love for me, or His ability to meet my need. His faithfulness has come through time and time again. You see we serve a God that loves and cares for you, His children, and He is faithful to do what He promised to do.
So the next time you are tempted to "help God," stop and remember that when you take matters into your own hands, you are really doubting his faithfulness. Abram believed and it was credited to him as righteousness. When you believe God will do what he promised, you can substitute your name in that verse, and it will be credited to you as righteousness!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

God's Promises Part 2

Have you ever stopped to think about the promises of God?

The God who created the entire universe with His Word, has made promises in His Word to us. That is amazing and wonderful! As I read His promises, I start to see his character more clearly.

Psalm 117 says, "O praise the Lord, all you nations! Praise Him, all you people! For His mercy and loving-kindness are great toward us, and the truth and faithfulness of the Lord endure forever."

His truth and faithfulness are never ending....meaning they will last forever! That seems hard for us to wrap our minds around. We live in a day and age where things don't always last for a week, or even a month. We purchase new vehicles and they depreciate the second we drive them off the lot, but God's truth and faithfulnss last forever!

So we should praise Him! In fact I would go so far as to say that we shouldn't miss an opportunity to praise Him! When we wake up, we should praise Him! When we go to sleep we should praise Him! When things are going well, we should praise Him!  When things are not going perfectly, we should praise Him!  Our world, our job, our family, or our friends may let us down, but our God will never let us down. He is forever faithful!!

Monday, July 6, 2015

God's Promises Part 1

God's Word is full of promises for his children and I just wanted to share one of those with you today!

Psalm 29:11 says ~ The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.

I don't know about you, but I don't always feel strong or at peace on my own, but I am thankful that there is a God who loves me! When I put my trust in Him, he fills me with strength and gives me peace no matter what I may be going through!

Put your trust and hope in God today, and He will do the same for you!