Wednesday, February 24, 2016 Pro Plan Review - TOSCrew

HelpTeaching Review

I have homeschooled my children for the past 5 years and one of the biggest challenges for me is creating worksheets. Sometimes you just need some worksheets to supplement your curriculum. That is why I am so happy to have the opportunity to review the  Pro Plan  from My daughter has been using some of the products for high school lessons included in the  Pro Plan and is loving it!!

I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised to see all that the Pro Plan has to offer for students in middle school and high school. Sometimes the options for students in the higher grades are limited, but not at They took time to put together wonderful options for you no matter what age/grade your child is in. If you have a child in kindergarten then this site is for you, and if you have a child that is a senior in high school this site is for you!

What is the Pro Plan:

You may be wondering, "What exactly is the Pro Plan?" Well, I am so glad you asked....
For a minimal annual fee you are able to:

* Use the test maker to create and customize tests and worksheets for your child! Wow! I love this. I created a test over a book that my daughter was reading.
* You aren't limited to creating short tests, you can have up to 100 questions in your custom tests or worksheets. That is beneficial! Sometimes 25 questions just doesn't cut it!
* You are able to save the creations that you've made as a PDF. That means that what you create is yours. You are able to create it, save it and keep it!
* You will have full use of the Test Room™ to administer online tests and lessons. Using this particular feature you will find that it supports auto-grading for multiple-choice and true/false questions, management of students, emailing invitations to students, and you can even schedule a test for a specific time.
*There is pre-made content that aligns with Common Core standards.

HelpTeaching ReviewHow we used it:

There is truly so much content to pick from that it feels like Christmas morning! We were able to supplement lessons in her Biology class as well as in her Algebra 2 class. These classes are hard to find extra items for.

I was also able to create a test for a book that she read and then was able to use that for credit in her Literature class. I know that she wasn't necessarily jumping for joy over extra work, but I loved the ability to create something quickly and easily to make sure that she understood what she was studying.  In fact, just for fun I created a few word finds for both my girls and I know they loved those!!

I feel like I am just getting started! You are only limited by yourself when it comes to the Pro Plan. You can utilize it fully or just use bits and pieces, but either way it is worth it completely!

My Bottom Line:

I loved it!  It has been so wonderful to have the option of creating tests or worksheets in such a quick and simple manner to drive a point home, or to make sure that they were understanding what they were doing. My girls loved the worksheets, even though they are not huge fans of extra work.

The ease of the website and the simplicity of building tests or worksheets is so beneficial and saves so much time. I love the Pro Plan and how it has benefited my homeschool!

Social Media:

If you are like me, you are on social media all the time. Take a moment and check out these social media links.




Twitter:  @helpteaching   #HSReviews #printableworksheets #onlinelessons #readinglessons


HelpTeaching Review

Monday, February 22, 2016

What Are You Teaching Your Kids?

It became evident early in parenthood that children are sponges. They soak in absolutely everything whether we want them to or not, and if your kids are anything like mine, they tend to let it all out at the most inopportune moments.

I can remember back to when my oldest was only 2 or 3. As a young mom I was struggling with many things including road rage.....(I am confident I'm not the only one here) word of choice when dealing with someone I deemed as an unskilled driver just happened to be "idiot." I don't think that I understood fully just how many times I must have said that word.....or maybe I underestimated the power of a toddler's mind, but there is nothing quite like your hearing your baby yell out "Idiot!" at a fellow Wal-Mart shopper after she cut you off with her cart!   AAAAHHHHH! I couldn't believe my ears! How did a word that I comfortably yelled frequently all the sudden sound so horrible? Come on.... don't act like something like that has never happened to you! ha ha ha! I was completely and utterly mortified!  Suffice it to say that I learned a very valuable lesson that day.

These little sponges we call children take in every conversation spoken. They hear every word we say, they see everything we do, and they are even able to read body language like an expert analyst! So, what are we teaching our children? Are we leading them toward Christ?

A survey by Barna Research Group says that eighty-five percent of parents with children under age 13 believe they have primary responsibility for teaching their children about religious beliefs and spiritual matters. However, a majority of parents don't spend any time during a typical week discussing religious matters or studying religious materials with their children...Parents generally rely upon their church to do all of the religious training their children will receive.

Barna Research Group (May 6, 2003) quoted in Current Thoughts and Trends 19 no. 7(July 2003)
Although the church is a great place for your children to hear about God, it should not be the only place that they hear about God. It is up to us as parents to teach our children how to worship God. He deserves to be worshiped, and He deserves that worship every day. Joshua 24:15 ends by saying..."But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." I have heard this verse quoted over and over again. As a girl that grew up in church, this verse was commonly quoted. What might not be very common is walking that out. It is so important to spend time showing your kids how to worship God by doing it together as a family.
My parents were not perfect by any means, but they did spend time with us every evening singing songs of worship, reading from God's Word, and praying together. It wasn't always convenient, or always comfortable....but I know that those times together as a family impacted my life in a very real and wonderful way! The first time I prayed out loud was during family worship. That was so helpful for me as a Christian who was growing in their faith. The great thing about the power of God's Word is that His Word never comes back void!
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (NKJV) says, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord  is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
I may be preaching to the choir here, you may already have time set aside for family worship and that is wonderful! Your children will benefit for years to come because of the time they have spent at the family altar. If you don't usually spend time together in family worship now is a good time to start! It is never too late to start.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Home School in the Woods: HISTORY Through the Ages Hands-on History Lap-Pak: U.S. Elections Review - TOS Crew

U.S. Elections History Lap-Pak  Review

U.S. Elections History Lap-Pak  Review 
U.S. Elections History Lap-Pak  Review Are you as excited as I am that 2016 is an election year? Although election campaign commercials are not my favorite things, I love the opportunity to teach my kids about elections while one is going on. That is why I jumped at the chance to use HISTORY Through the Ages Hands-on History Lap-Pak: U.S. Elections from Home School in the Woods. This Lap-Pak will take your child from the establishment of our country’s government, through the various aspects of a presidential campaign, and then finally... how we choose a president.
U.S. Elections  will take your student through the entire election process with reading material and hands-on projects that will reinforce each lesson. Included in this Lap-Pak are 21 lap booking projects that incorporate creative writing, coloring and drawing, research, and much.....much....more!

Lap-booking is new to me, so I enjoyed the step-by-step illustrated directions. You will find both printing and assembly instructions for the text booklet, each project, and the lap book assembly. You will also find beautiful masters that allow for crisp and clear printing of all your print projects!

The reading that is included with this project comes in two different formats. You will also receive the text on audio, which allows you child to read along with the narrator. If your student is like mine, this is very helpful when it comes to keeping their attention and focus.
U.S. Elections History Lap-Pak  Review 
U.S. Elections History Lap-Pak  Review 

How We Used the Product:

My eighth grade daughter is the one that used this product. Well actually, we worked on this project together . I thought this would be a great way to bond while learning. This year I started working part-time and this review came at just the right time!! After work 3 times a week we would gather together at the kitchen table and work on HISTORY Through the Ages Hands-on History Lap-Pak: U.S. Elections from Home School in the Woods. Not only did we have a great time hanging out together but working together on such a wonderful project made our evenings enjoyable. I am confident now that she understands how we choose our President so much better than she did before, which is timely since 2016 is an election year! Isn't that important to you? I know that when our babies are born, that is not the first thought we have....we don't think about the fact that we are raising future voters! Even though that is not one of our first thoughts as new parents, it is our job, and this Lap-Pak is a great way to have fun while doing just that!! 

My Bottom Line:

I love the fact that this project is multi-sensory in the way that your student is presented with knowledge. I can't think of a better way out there for my student to not only acquire knowledge, but to retain it as well.

I had so much fun learning alongside my daughter! This product is top notch and a wonderful way to teach your student about our country and the election process. Instead of page after page of workbook pages and memorization, this project is a hands on learning project that can be kept and reviewed year after year.
Social Media Links:If you are like me, you like checking out social media pages to find out more information. Please be sure to go to the following social media pages and follow Home School in the Woods.




Twitter:  @HSintheWoods #HSReviews #HistoryUnitStudies #HomeschoolHistory

U.S. Elections History Lap-Pak  Review

Monday, February 15, 2016

Anxiety is Not Your Friend!

I would like to say that I have never struggled with anxiety, but that simply would not be true. In fact, I would really like to say that I was able to defeat every anxious thought, and that I never have any bit of anxiety creep into my heart, mind or spirit......but that would also not be true. I know there are many of you that have had the same struggle as me.....Anxiety is a very real enemy?
You see, although anxiety is a very real struggle for me, I have realized that anxiety is not my friend. So when I wake up in the middle of the night anxious about something, or struggle getting myself to fall asleep.......I can find perfect peace because God has already defeated this enemy of my mind!
Too many times we can get caught up in the moment and let our mind run away with us, but there is hope and peace to be found in the Word of God. Use God's Word to quiet your spirit. Use God's Word as your prayer in times of anxiety. Psalm 4:8 has been my "go to" verse for years because I have struggled with quieting my mind to fall asleep. It says, "In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety." So for those of you that may have a hard time going to sleep at night.....pray this verse over yourself. Maybe you have children that struggle with anxiety, arm them with the Word of God before bedtime. God's Word is powerful and mighty to the pulling down of strongholds!!
God has equipped us with what we need to live a victorious life, if we simply take advantage of it. My pastor told a story last week of a boy that was trying to complete a task that was too hard for him. He tried and tried to no avail and was getting frustrated that he was not going to be able to finish what he started. Frustrated he was talking with his dad and telling him that he used all his strength, but it still wasn't enough to complete this daunting task. To which his dad responded...."You didn't use all your strength, because you didn't ask for my help." How often do we dive into things simply to find ourselves frustrated because we are trying to use what limited resources that our human bodies and minds can contain.....and we never ask God for help. He is where our strength comes from....He is the most important piece......OUCH! 
Think about it....we face these challenges on our own. Relying on our fragile bodies to cope, sustain, equip, defeat......whatever it is, and then we wonder why we are anxious. We weren't made to do these things on our own. Joshua 1:9 says, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
WE ARE NOT ALONE!! So we don't have to face anything alone. When we do, that is a choice we are making to leave God out of it.
So when you find yourself anxious, pull out the Word of God and change what you think about. We can choose to think differently. We can choose to change our minds.......

Monday, February 8, 2016


Isn't it interesting how consumed our society has become with selfies. We have mobile app after mobile app that specializes in how to make your selfies look perfect. You have filters, frames, enhancements, and the list goes on and on.  Our young generation has become so consumed with themselves that they will spend hours snapping photos of themselves just to send or post pictures on social media.
I was pondering this phenomenon and then I found this in my reading plan this morning. This devotion was in "Daring Faith" by Nicole Reyes. She says it like this:

"I’m not a fan of selfies. I can’t seem to master the right angle or the right lighting, and choosing the right filter can be down right exhausting!
And yet, we live in a selfie world. In fact, so many selfies are taken each day that we are referred to as the ‘selfie generation’.
This sounds like more than a mere love for photography. Perhaps this selfie obsession is really a heart admission.
Let’s be honest: not only are we prone to excessive self-photography; we are prone to excessive self-focus. We pose for the perfect selfie: the one we look great in, feel great in, and that people will like. But we also want the perfect self: a life defined by looking great, feeling great, and being envied. Without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, these desires can lead us down a dangerous path. When consumed by our own interests, our lives sadly become shallow and toxic. And our lives were meant for so much more!
Samuel teaches us a different way. In 1 Samuel 3, Samuel awakes in the middle of the night to an unfamiliar voice. After hearing this voice for the third time, and with the help of Eli, Samuel realizes it is God who is calling Samuel by name.
Most people in Samuel’s situation would have been ready with a list of wishes to be granted or grievances to be aired. Not Samuel. Samuel responds to God with a simple, “Speak, Lord. I’m Your servant and I’m listening.”
Samuel dared to believe that what God had to say was far better than anything young Samuel could ask for or imagine. Samuel was not interested in pursuing his own interests. Instead, Samuel chose to pursue God’s will. Samuel wasn’t selfie-obsessed; he was servant-minded.
Go ahead and take a selfie every now and again if you’d like, but refuse to adopt a self-focused mentality. Dare to let go of your own agendas and instead seek after God’s. Allow Jesus to shape your ambitions. His plans for you are far better than any you could come up with! Don’t let self-focus stop you from experiencing all that God has for you. Instead, respond to Jesus with daring faith like Samuel, “I’m Your servant, Lord, and I’m listening!” '

It is time for us to put aside our own agendas and our own plans and realize that God knows what's best for us. His will is what's best for us! All that is required from us is to be servant minded. We must change our heart and instead of focusing on ourselves, we must focus on God and what He has for us.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Be Renewed

I was reading a devotion from Joyce Meyer's book called Starting Your Day Right. It said,

"If you are weak in faith, in mind, in body, in discipline, in self-control, or in determination, simply wait on God. He will be strong through your weakness."

I am so thankful that I don't have to be strong enough on my own to face my day. No matter what the day holds for me, I know that my strength comes from God. He is strong in my weakness. He upholds me when I allow Him to.

It also said, "Isaiah 40:31 teaches that if you expect God, look for Him, and hope in Him, you will change and renew your strength and power; you will run, and not faint or become tired. The Bible doesn't say "hope so, it could be, or it may be"; it declares that you will be renewed."

God is waiting to renew us if we simply look to Him and hope in Him. We need to slow down and spend time hoping in our God and Savior. Lay your troubles and worries at his feet and He will lift you up!

From the book Starting Your Day Right by Joyce Meyer. Copyright 2003 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.