Home Education~Ministry Moments~Hearth and Home

Sunday, July 29, 2012

3's and 4's Sunday School (Go and Tell Others About Jesus)

     Unfortunately, this morning during Sunday School when I started to take pictures of our activities, I realized I had left the chip out of my camera.  So....I'll just share with you what we did last Sunday morning.  Our Bible Story was about how Paul (a missionary) went lots of places to tell people about Jesus.  One day, he found some ladies by the river and taught them about Jesus.  One of the ladies was Lydia, a seller of purple cloth.  Thus, the Purple Art~~~

Preschoolers LOVE to tape things!  They believe in getting them taped down REALLY well!  :)

They also love getting pictures taken of their art work! 

In the block center, we built a river.  (Where Paul taught the ladies and Lydia about Jesus.)  We can talk to people about Jesus anywhere!

(in a world that’s not my home)

Friday, July 27, 2012

TOS Review: Math Essentials~No Nonsense Algebra

     Math Essentials is a company that supplies teachers and parents with workbooks, DVDs, and online instruction with the goal of greatly improving student's math knowledge and test scores. My son and I were glad to have the opportunity to try out and review one of their newer math books, "No-nonsense Algebra"

Basic Facts about No-nonsense Algebra:
  • Cost: $27.95 per workbook.  This includes free online access to instructional videos.
  • If you purchase 11 or more workbooks, the cost goes down to $25.95 per book.
  • Owner/Author: Richard Fisher, Math Essentials, P.O. Box 1723, Los Gatos, CA, 95031
  • Phone: 866-444-MATH
  • Speak to the author: 408-358-6586
  • Unconditional Guarantee (see details on their homepage)
  • Richard W. Fisher (Owner/Author/Teacher) is the winner of Intel Innovations in Teaching Award.
Our Homeschool's Experience No-nonsense Algebra:
    As my son worked through the integer section of chapter 1 in No-nonsense Algebra, I couldn't help but remember his first encounter with negative numbers years ago.  My husband and I were returning from a night out, when we were greeted by the babysitter, "I taught your oldest son negative numbers tonight."  He wasn't any older than 2nd grade.  We got a big kick out of that.  He was able to do very simple computations, and of course we were very proud!  We never really tried to teach negative numbers again...until No-nonsense Algebra. 
    We received a No-nonsense Algebra workbook and access to online instruction.  This algebra curriculum is complete.  This is not a review or a practice workbook.  Even though this is a complete algebra program, it is definitely not daunting.  The workbook itself is under 300 pages, and the lessons a relatively short time to complete.  (My son was able to complete the video and his seat work in about 30 minutes.)  The solutions to the problems are located in the back of the book.  The only thing I wish this program included would be explanations to the answers, either via video or a seperate teacher's guide.

I like how each lesson is broken down into four parts: Introduction, Examples, Exercises and Review.
There seems to be enough room to write the answers in the workbook, but my son chose to write his answers on notebook paper.

     The "No-nonsense" in the name is well-deserved.  We found this math curriculum to have all the necessities, but none of the "fluff".  When accessing the videos online, it is very easy to select the chapter you are on in order to watch the next "video".  There is "just enough" time given on the video and the independent work in the workbook.  The review each day is also not overkill. 
     The "video" consists of a white board, where the teacher (Mr. Fisher) writes as he teaches.  You never see the teacher, just hear his voice.  His voice, by the way, is very pleasant and personable.  You can tell he loves math, and that makes a big difference.  You feel as if you are really sitting in a class hearing your teacher or professor teaching you.  He asks students to do things like take out a piece of paper and write out the problem as he works it out.  Mr. Fisher also reviews past concepts as he goes. 
            My 14-year-old (entering 8th grade) son has had nothing but good things to say about this algebra curriculum.  Some of his quotes about the program:
"I liked it, it was very easy to follow."
"I was impressed with him."  (The teacher on the online videos.)
"He teaches you things you wouldn't normally think of--very thorough."
"I like how he asks me to do things with him so I don't loose focus."

     **I still cannot get over how inexpensive this program is.  $27.95 is such a great deal!**

Check out what others on the TOS Crew have to say about Math Essentials here.

Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Reading my Book in the Orthodontist's Office

     Yesterday I took along the book, Radical by David Platt to read while waiting for my son at the orthodontist's office.  (I get such great reading done during appointments!)  I noticed a lady kept looking at me as I was reading, and smiling a bit.  As we were getting ready to leave, she asked if I liked the book.  She said she had heard it was good---but that she was scared to read it.  I said, "Don't be scared."  But then I thought about that for a few seconds. With tongue in cheek, I said, "Well, maybe you should be a little scared." I told her it was a very convicting and challenging book---but one I highly recommended.  I told her (and others) that this is a book you cannot just sit down and take in one sitting.  (Maybe some people can, but not me.)  It takes time to digest and to contemplate. 

     Many times I cannot help but to just verbally respond to what I'm reading...even if I'm in a waiting room full of people.  Yesterday, as I read page159, I just couldn't help but gasp a little.  Platt was sharing about a friend of his who had been on mission to reach villagers in remote areas of Southeast Asia.  They knew nothing of the gospel.  The people there were very friendly, they even invited the man to share a drink with them.  And get this....one of the men went into his little shop and came out with a classic red Coke can.  "A soft drink company in Atlanta has done a better job getting brown sugar water to these people than the church of Jesus Christ has done in getting the gospel to them."   Yikes.

(in a world that’s not my home)


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Find of the Day: "Holiness in a Hook-up Culture"

     My preacher husband passed along this great article and I just had to share.  It was written by Candi Finch, an assistant professor of Theology in Women's Studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  I love the honesty in this piece.  A must read for anyone who has a daughter still living at home...or a son for that matter. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

VBS Collage 2012

     Last Night we wrapped up our "Amazing Wonders Aviation" VBS for 2012.  This was my 3rd year directing VBS for our church.  It feels a little weird this morning to be finished.  I have had VBS on the brain since January.  I wanted to share a few "snapshots" from the week.  God really blessed the efforts of those that served Him this week.  I'm so thankful for the opportunity to serve God in this way, and so thankful for the MANY who worked alongside me to make it all possible! 
This was a geodome made in the preschool department.  My oldest son served in this room as a helper. (This was his first year to get to be a helper...he had SUCH a great time.)
This dome was used each evening, but changed its looks according to the Bible story.  What a great focal point!

Waterfalls!  An example of God's Awesome Power!!

1st and 2nd Grade Bible Study: Victoria Falls

Love this idea one of our 4th Grade teachers had!  Painted on the window with acyrlic paint. 
(Comes off with glass cleaner...who knew?)

My drama teacher goes all out....even covered the white bookcase with woodgrain contact paper so it would look like a camp store at the Matterhorn.

The Worship Ralley Airplan Hangar.  We borrowed the plane from a gentleman in our association. 

Here is the geodome again, but changed slightly for the Bible story about the birth of Jesus.  My son and his friend had fun with the 4-year-olds creating this.

My youngest son is in the middle...acting in the 5th grade drama. 

De Plane! De Plane!  We had a special treat Monday night...a pilot in our church did a flyover for the children.

A tradition in our church...boys vs. girls compete in missions giving.  Guess who won this year...the GIRLS!  Yeah, I got to "pie" my husband!!  (Thanks to all the boys who put $$ in the girls' plate!)

We said "Y-E-S" to VBS!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Preschool Sunday School~A Church Helped

     I usually like to post about my Sunday School Class on Sunday or Monday...but, I've been very busy with VBS this week.  It's a little late, but here it is....

     Our Bible Story was taken from Acts 11:27-30.  We learned about how one church (in Antioch)  helped another church (in Jerusalem) by giving them food and money when they were in need.

The boys and girls really enjoyed matching the magnetic letters to spell out "I Can Help".  We then looked at the pictures and talked about several ways that we could help people.  (The paper was inside of a cookie sheet.)

This was a very popular activity!  I've been wanting to make a rice table for some time now.  As the children poured and scooped  the rice, we talked about how one church in the Bible shared food with another church.  After we were finished playing, I put the lid on the rice to save it for another day.

"Give to others."  Matthew 5:42

Friday, July 13, 2012

Wise Words from Dave Ramsey

Came across this great article written by Dave Ramsey and just had to share!  (That man makes a whole lot of sense.)  The article is: "Characteristics of Debt Free People". 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

2 Lego Projects

This is a Lego Table I made for my boys last Christmas.  I purchased 2 rolling carts, had plywood cut to fit on top, painted the plywood, placed non-skid shelving paper on top of the carts, put Lego plates onto the plywood, then placed the plywood piece on top of the carts...and ta-da!  I have not finished labeling all the bins.  My boys can easily fit a chair in the open spot--everthing they need is within reach. It would be great if we could fit every Lego into these drawers, but as you can see from the picture they have bins full of Legos.

     The other day I noticed my son was very quiet for several hours.  I would look in his room occasionally and see him standing over his Lego table.  Later, he came to me and said, "Mom, I want to show you something."  Lo and behold this is what I saw: 
I just love the crosshatch pattern on the roof.

He explained to me this was for a Lego contest. (He had just received his Lego Magazine the day or two before and had found out about the contest.)  The challenge from Lego was to build a scene from any of the Lord of the Ring movies. He constructed "The Prancing Pony".  (A Tavern Inn from The Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Ring) He took it apart before I could get more pictures.  The top floor of the inn lifts off to reveal the sleeping quarters for guests.  There is a barn outside as well as a chicken coop.

Here is an aerial view.

Inside the Prancing Pony, guests are having a chat by the fire.

 If I were forced to throw away every toy my boys own and leave only one...that decision would take me about 2 seconds: "Take everything else, but leave the Legos!"

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Whatever Wednesday #5

Whatever Wednesday

"Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God's glory." 1 Corinthians 10:31

  1.  What I've been cooking: I woke up early and made homemade blueberry muffins.  Maybe I woke up a little too early.  I put one cup of milk in the batter when there was supposed to be 1/2 cup!  Soooo...I just added more flour and put a generous amount of sugar on top.  It turned out my husband liked it better that usual!  Yeah for happy accidents!

   2.   What's new with me: I posted my first official TOS Homeschool review.  I feel  
          good having finished!  I know it will get easier.    I'm so excited to be a part this 
          great crew! 

   3.    What my kids are up to: They have been playing a lot of chess this week.  I have no earthly idea how to play this game, but am thrilled that my husband taught them how.  I 
          know it's good for their brain.         
   4.    What's going on with our church/ministry:  Next week is VBS...one of the most
          important weeks of the year. I'm directing. There are lots of moving parts...
          it can get a "wee" bit stressful at times....but God does it every year....He SUPPLIES
          our needs.  So thrilled to receive even more leftover decorations from other churches
          and one of the men in our church is building part of our airplane hanger. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

TOS Review: Professor "B" Math

     How would you like to learn math taught to you by a smart little bee with a baton?  If this sounds fun to you and your child, "Professor B" Math may be just the thing for you.  This little bee with the cute bow tie and glasses will challenge and engage your student--whether they are learning basic math concepts for the first time, brushing up on their mathematical skills, or receiving tutorial help. 
     I shared with my sons (ages 11 and 14) that we would be having a "Summer Term" as we went through the months June and July.  We almost always do something during the summertime that looks a little like "school".  Keeping them reading is not difficult, but this year I wanted to make sure to "add" in some math so we wouldn't have to do as much review/practice come August.  I was excited for the opportunity to use and review the E-LEARNING program offered by "Professor B" Math.

Basic Facts:
  • Description of Product: "Professor B" is an online basic math program that teaches more than just the steps of mathematics.  "Prof. B" is more about connecting it all together and the WHY of mathematics. 
  • Age/Grade Range: Pre-K to 8th grade (or for older children who need remediation) 
  • Mailing Address: Professor B Enterprises, INC, P.O. Box 3856 Suwanee, GA 30024
Basic Instructions for Use of the Program: 
  • Your child may take a free, optional placement test on their website. 
  • The placement test will reveal whether your child should be in Level 1 (Pre-K-2nd grade), Level 2 (3rd-5th grades) or Level 3 (6th-8th grades). 
  • If you wish to purchase the program, payment can me made monthly or you may sign-up for a one-year contract.  The monthly cost will depend on how many levels you purchase. (If you choose to pay for a whole year up front, you'll receive a free "Professor B" t-shirt and coffee mug.)
Purchase one level: $20/month*
Purchase two levels: pay $15/month for the second ($35/month)*
Purchase three levels: pay $10/month for the the third ($45month)*

(*These are the prices listed on the "Professor B" website at the
time of the writing of this review.  Prices are subject to change.)

An update from the Vendor (as of 7/16/12):
We also have a new price change on our yearly subscription. Our program can now be purchase for $100 for 3 years access to each level. Our IT department is working on changing the site. However, if the customers call 678-765-6655 we will be able take their order and honor the new price.

  •  After purchasing the program, you will be given a password to gain access online. 
  •  To get started with the first lesson, members click on "E-LEARNING" on the "Professor B" website and then proceed.  Then click on either level 1, 2, or 3. 
  •  After you arrive at the selected level, go the the "Table of Contents" to select the lesson you will begin with. 
  • You watch a "video" (no sound) of "Professor B" teaching the math lesson.  There will be step-by step instructions given, as well as practice for the student.  These vary in length.
  • After watching the video, you may then print out the worksheets that correspond to the lesson.
  • Everything you need for the program you will receive via their website.  There are printable worksheets to go with each lesson. (You also may need some scrap paper and/or notebook paper for some of the lessons.)

Our Homeschool's Thoughts and Experiences:

     My boys are working on Levels 2 and 3 this summer.  I used this program not to teach them anything new necessarily, but to simply review math concepts and keep those brains working.  I found this program to be well suited to our needs.  I could also see how this program would be perfect for a child who is struggling with basic math facts and/or concepts.  "Professor B" would make a great, yet inexpensive tutor.  (They advertise as teaching 3 years of math in one year.  This could really serve to "catch" a student up if they are falling behind.) I do not, however, see this as a complete and comprehensive math curriculum.  There are several math concepts the E-LEARNING program does not include, such as geometry and graphs. 

     One of my favorite things about the E-LEARNING program are the teaching"videos" themselves.  One of the first things I noticed was that it is not very fancy (There is not even sound.)  To me, this is a positive, since it keeps my boys and I from being distracted by lots of bells and whistles.  The bee simply moves around as he instructs.  I read what the bee says in his word "bubble", so it helps me to stay focused on the lesson as well.  In this way, I teach as the bee teaches. This is not a program for your child to do solo.  It is parent directed.  I am enjoying my children and I doing this together. 

      The lessons/videos are simple to navigate.  There are skip, play and pause buttons.  If my kids get stuck or need a little more time to think, I simple hit the pause button.  This feature helps alleviate frustration with the lesson going too fast.  On the other hand, we also love the skip ahead button.  That way, if my boys are moving along rapidly, they can go at their own speed. There is even a "back" button if we need something repeated. We have found it very helpful to be able to go at our own pace.   
     One of my goals with my youngest son was to over-learn his multiplication tables.  I wanted him to know them so well, that he wouldn't have to stop and think about the answer; he would just know it.   We are currently spending time with the multiplication lessons in Level 2.  He is taught and "drilled" in a way by "Professor B" that is new to him.  I love this.  He is being taught previously learned things, but from a different perspective.  I think this is helping him to solidify in his mind the math facts/concepts we have been working on.  Learning math from several angles...I like that.
     My oldest son is continuing to work on Level 3.  Again, I just wanted to keep his math mind sharp during the summer.  He, like my younger son, is learning math from a different perspective.  I think this is helping to impress certain math concepts into his mind.  Some of his quotes as he worked through several lessons were: "This is really making it clear." and "This will help me with my math."
His worksheet he did after the instructional video.  I love how he could "see" the multiplication of fractions.


         If you'd like to learn even more about "Professor B", you can check out their website at profb.com. 

To read other TOS reviews on "Prof. B", click the link below.
Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are mine.


Friday, July 6, 2012

A Quick Trip to the Library

     Yesterday, my youngest son wanted to go to our local library to return a book and check out the next in the series.  We stopped in for a quick visit, since I had a list of errands.  As my son was checking out, and my oldest was still looking for a good book,  the librarian (a sweet friend of mine) asked, "Anything for you?"   What a great question!  I was a little hesitant, though...since VBS is upon me.  I told her there was a book I have been wanting to read for a long time.  She found it for me and I happily checked it out.  I look forward to putting my feet up after a great week of VBS and reading it.  My oldest son found a book on the way out the door. 

Here are our selections:

Monday, July 2, 2012

July Issue of "This Old Schoolhouse" Magazine

     The neweset issue of This Old Schoolhouse Magazine is here!

I loved the article, "Seize the Day" on page 36.  It was an inspiring way to start my day!!!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sunday School with my 3's and 4's: Tell about Jesus

     Today I told my boys and girls the story of Matthew (the tax collector) who invited his friends over to eat and meet his new friend, Jesus.  I told the story in my own words several times as we did various activities.  After awhile, I started the story again...a little boy got real close to me and said, "And his friends didn't know JESUS?" 

     "That's right," I said.  "He wanted to tell them about Jesus.  He wanted them to know that Jesus loved them.

We pretended to bake cookies and serve them to our friends.
We can share cookies with our friends and tell them, "Jesus loves you!"

Going into the oven!

One of my little girls reading "Cookies for Casey"  to her baby doll.

Another favorite activity was a "Summer Activities Matching Game". I did not get a picture of this--I teach preschoolers, remember? :) They really loved this game. We talked about how we can tell people about Jesus while at the park, blowing bubbles, eating ice cream, etc.

Tell about Jesus!
(Matthew 28: 19-20)