Category Archives: Blogging

The Old Schoolhouse

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I love the company that I review for. The Old Schoolhouse is a wonderful company and our family has been super blessed by being a part of The Homeschool Review Crew. (Yes – that is a new name but what we do has not changed, nor has the company we are a part of.) When I first applied, it was on a whim and with the expectation that they would laugh at how small my blog was. I was shocked, surprised, and thrilled when I got back a response after my test review that I was being offered a spot on the Crew. It was such a joy and has been one ever since.

Review CrewWith the Homeschool Review Crew looking for new members of the team and accepting applications, TOS has issued a press release. I thought I would share that with you.

The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. a resource for support and encouragement for homeschooling families, is printed annually and available in a free quarterly digital format online, or by free app for tablets and phones. The Homeschool Review Crew is part of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. The Homeschool Review Crew is a viral marketing network made up of homeschooling families that use, review, and share about home education products. Crew members must apply and applications are being accepted now.

To be part of the Crew you must be a homeschooler and willing to use the review products with your students for about six weeks in your homeschool before writing your review.

You must have an active blog on which to publish your reviews and have at least one social media platform. You will check in on our Review Management forum, have access to sample reviews, and we provide mentoring for new members, a social media networking group, blog and social media tutorials, and lots of great opportunities.

In 2016, 75 total reviews were run, including products from some well-known companies like Homeschool in the Woods, Apologia Educational Ministries, Memoria Press, and Math U See, as well as products from lesser-known companies like Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmaker, Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids, Star Toaster, and ArtAchieve. It is possible to review full curriculum packages like Writing with Sharon Watson or a music program from Zeezok Publishing. Smaller curricular items like books from Carole P. Roman or a unit from Progeny Press are also reviewed. And some items, like audio dramas from Familyman Ministries and Heirloom Audio, personal care items from Koru Naturals, or games from Simply Fun and Chara Games, are just a lot of fun! As a Crew Member, you can set your interests and your own limits on how much you can handle. Some Crew members reviewed 60 or more products in 2016. On average, reviewers completed three reviews per month.

After making sure you meet all of the requirements, if you believe you would to an asset to our Crew and wish to join us, please read more on our blog, or fill out our application. If you have questions, feel free to email Debra Brinkman.

As the number of homeschoolers and the diversity of curriculum continue to grow, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine and the Homeschool Review Crew are in place to help home educators worldwide produce students that are in high demand in the workplace as well as in colleges and universities across the country.

Team Member
The Crew will be accepting applications for only a short while longer. I don’t, at this time, know the exact date that applications will close but I would not expect it to be much longer than the end of this week (first week of Nov). So follow those links above and find out if the Homeschool Review Crew and TOS would be a good fit for you and then fill out the application. Take a chance; you never know.

(psst – and tell them I sent you)

At Home.


Life Without The Crew


No, we aren’t leaving. Let’s get that out of the way. At least, I hope not. We are definitely reapplying!

That being said, I am ever so thankful that I don’t have to home educate without the Homeschool Review Crew. I don’t really even know what that looks like! You see, we made the decision to homeschool the girls at the end of a spring semester. I started blogging at that point, mostly as a way to document and share what we were doing and the fun we were having. We started their official home education in August of that year. I heard about the Homeschool Review Crew in October of that year – two months after we had started school. We were accepted to be a part and in November we were a part of the Crew.

So you see, I don’t really know homeschooling without the Crew. They are a lifeline for me. They are a support group for me. They are my friends, my co-workers, and ever so much more. They challenge me to be better each day. They challenge me to strengthen my blogging skills every single week. They read what I write and share their thoughts. They are my community and my online family. They are important.

The Homeschool Review Crew is currently accepting applications. I highly encourage you to apply if you are a homeschooling blogger. I truly had no idea what I was getting into when I applied and it was the best mistake I have ever made. I am all around much better because of this amazing group of women and one man. 🙂

And we have been the recipients of amazing products. Check out this list of reviews we have done! Some have been a perfect fit and are still part of our daily or weekly school work. Others have not and that’s okay because we learned something and we found out something that doesn’t work for us. That is a huge blessings because it also shows us how it might work for other families.

This post from the Homeschool Review Crew details all the requirements but ask yourself these questions?

Do you homeschool?

Do you blog?

Do you enjoy curriculum?

Do you enjoy telling others about what works and doesn’t work for your family?

Do you like to write?

Do you like to share?

These are all indications that you might fit in well with the Crew. Head over and check out the application process. It is open for a couple of weeks but don’t delay. Do it now so you don’t miss that window of opportunity. If you are like me, if you put something off and say “I’ll make time for it later”, it is likely that the deadline slips by and you don’t even notice until it is too late. Don’t let that happen with this opportunity to apply to join an amazing, encouraging group of homeschooling bloggers. Your support community is awaiting! Don’t delay.

Not convinced it is for you? Or maybe you are convinced and just want to get even more excited? Read about what others have to say regarding their participation with the 2016 Homeschool Review Crew.

What being on the Crew means ...At Home.

Schoolhouse Review Crew 2016 Applications

Have you wondered about how our family became a part of the Review Crew? Have you seen the products we are blessed to review and wondered how to be a part of something like this? Well, now is the time to check it out in full. The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew is accepting applications for the 2016 Review Crew. We have already gotten a peek at some of the vendors that are on the list and it is exciting!!!

Schoolhouse Review Crew 2016 Applications

So what does the Review Crew offer?

  • Friendships – With so many families on the Crew, you find amazing friendships that will strengthen and encourage you and your family.
  • Prayer – This group has amazing prayer warriors. I know that when I request prayer for something, I have a hundred or more families in prayer for the situation I share. God hears and answers. This group is amazing in this respect.
  • Encouragement – Whether it is a hard day, a hard week, or a hard season, you will find lots of folks that will step right up to encourage you and give you strength when you need it to press forward through the trials.
  • Hope – Let’s face it – there are times when our hope fades. There will be someone who is ready to share a hope-building statement or story with you just when you need it.
  • Knowledge – I don’t know about you but I find my shortcomings amplified often. The Review Crew is able to lift me up and help me find the knowledge I need to overcome those places where I am short at any given time. Whether it is educational knowledge or home making knowledge or Bible knowledge, there is someone on the Crew that can help you and everyone is willing to do so.
  • Products – Our educational experiences are so rich due to the amazing products we get to review as a part of this group. Many of these we would not even know about. Others are just way out of our financial reach. But with this group, we get the benefit of being able to use tremendous products by tremendous vendors.

This combination of things make the Review Crew an opportunity that you don’t want to miss. Check it out. Be prayerful about the decision because it is work. This is not a simple add-on to the family and homeschooling. It takes time and work but it is so worth it!

You can find out the details on the Review Crew blog. If you are at all curious, please go read about the opportunity. And if you apply, please share that I sent you! (Just ’cause, you know? No, I don’t get anything but they do want to know referrals, I guess.)

Requirements? Find them here. (Plus a quote from me!)
Ready for the application? It is here. Go apply! You won’t regret it.

At Home.

#HeartParenting & Giveaway


Have you seen this hashtag? It’s been floating around quite a lot in my social media feeds. The pictures and quotes that I have seen have been encouraging to me. As a parent, it is so easy to get worn down by the day. And when I am worn down, the energy I have to direct toward parenting is almost non-existent. But that is not good. That is not okay. Because my children deserve better. The cost of not parenting their hearts is too high.

Parenting is Heart Work

National Center for Biblical Parenting

The National Center for Biblical Parenting was founded by Dr. Scott Turansky and Mrs. Joanne Miller. They created the NCBP after seeing and learning the struggles that parents have. They knew that the answers lie in parenting the heart of a child rather than in just learning to modify behavior. This became a ministry they followed and it grew. Currently, the NCBP has numerous publication, presenters and presentations that help equip parents in implementing a heart-based approach to parenting.

Parent Training Centers

The National Center for Biblical Parenting is launching a new initiative – the Parent Training Center. These are churches who have taken on the important task of training parents to be parents who parent their children’s hearts. These churches will intentionally work on training parents and they will provide resources and tools that help teach discipleship of believers and evangelism to other families in the community surround the Parent Training Center church.

Churches that have the vision of Deuteronomy 6:6-9 and Ephesians 6:1-4 will appreciate the efforts of the NCBP. Their desire to help parents training their children in the ways of the Lord, through all parts of their days and lives, is a worthwhile goal. Dr. Turansky, one of the founders of the NCBP, has several videos on the Parent Training Center website that will do a more thorough job of informing you of the ideals and plans behind the Parent Training Center and how to find out more.

There are a number of ideas that can be implemented right away shared in these video and site pages. This looks like a really interesting concept idea and plan. Please view the videos and explore the Parent Training Center website to learn more.

getting through the day and cover

Parenting Is Heart Work

The primary goal of the Parent Training Center is to equip parents to train and reach the hearts of their children. The resources used must be heart-based. That is where the book Parenting is Heart Work comes in. This is one of the key resources from the NCBP.

Did you know that the Bible talks about the heart more than 750 times? What does that tell you about God’s use of the heart? God talks to us in the Bible about turning our hearts to him, about how we store up treasure in our hearts, that we can sin in our hearts, that where your treasure there your heart will be also. The heart is the center of our belief and emotion. Out of belief and emotion comes action. That is why an effective parent will be able to reach the heart of a child. That is why God works so hard to reach our hearts.

Understanding the Heart

Parenting is Heart Work delves into the heart and what we can do in our parenting moments to reach our children’s hearts. From the ideal to the absolutely practical, we are walked through rethinking what we do as parents, how we correct and disclipline, what words like discipline really mean, and how to change what we do in hopes of changing the hearts of our children to God.

Each of the four parts of the book is chock full of Biblical example. Working straight from God’s word, Dr. Turansky and Mrs. Miller apply heart parenting and God’s work to specific situations. Each example is relatable and the application of the ideas allows us as parents to be able to see ways to incorporate the tools into our own parenting.

Through the examples and tools, I found a lot of reassurance for the work I was already doing as a part. I found encouragement that I was doing some things right. I also found an encouraging word about the things I saw that I need to change. It wasn’t full of guilt. And each chapter ended with a prayer from my heart to God. They were written out but I found, time after time, that I was editing the prayer to be specific to what I saw in the chapter that I needed to address.

The book has a section at the end with discussion questions for each chapter. This would allow you to utilize the book as a selection for a book club or discussion group. I found these questions to be helpful to dig deeper into my own thoughts and challenges with the tools and concepts in each chapter.

heart parenting notes

I spent quite a bit of time with this book. It was encouraging and helpful to me. I read most of it with a notebook and three colored pens beside me. Whenever I was reading and needed to apply it directly to the girls, I would make notes on the page in a different color for each of the girls. It is something I have already gone back to several times and will continue to add to and consult in my desire to parent my girls’ hearts.

I found this to be a wonderful book that I definitely recommend. It won’t be gathering dust on my shelves. When I find something that helps me follow God’s will in teaching my children and training their hearts to God, I don’t want to keep it to myself. And, if all of the resources for the Parent Training Centers are this great, then the Parent Training Center initiative by the National Center for Biblical Parenting is a powerhouse for change. Our world needs this kind of change.

At Home.

There is a giveaway going on until Aug. 17, 2015.
Heart Parenting Giveaway

To enter, please use the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions:

This giveaway is open to residents of the U. S. only.  Void where prohibited by law. Must be at least 18 years of age. This giveaway is in no away associated with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.. No purchase necessary for entry. Odds are determined by the number of entries. Selected winner will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prize or another winner will be drawn.  Entrants to this giveaway will be added to the email list for the National Center of Biblical Parenting.

Parenting Is Heart Work disclaimer

Quote – July Blogging Challenge

I have joined with other Review Crew bloggers for a July Blogging Challenge, hosted by Jennifer at A Glimpse of Our Life and Lynn at This Day Has Great Potential. Today’s challenge word is “quote.”

I can’t choose a single one of anything “favorite” so you’ll get more than one.

For I know the plans I have for you, declared the Lord.

For I know the plans I have for you, declared the Lord.

“This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

” . . . for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.

– depending on what you are looking at this is attributed to Ambrose Redmoon, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela, and Meg Cabot. Regardless, I like it because we have to overcome ourselves to stand in the face of fear and conquer it. And you conquer it by figuring out what is better than fear itself.

I would love to hear your favorite quote, if you care to share it. Join me tomorrow for the next post in the July Blogging Challenge.

July Blogging Challenge

At Home.

An Upcoming Christian Parenting Book

I am excited to share with you about a new book I’m starting this week — Motivate Your Child: A Christian Parent’s Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told.  Doesn’t that sound amazing? Isn’t that what we all want and desire? Kids acting responsibly with their actions and choices?

$150 preorder

God’s Word gives us a better way to parent, one that builds strong internal motivation in children. When parents change the way they parent, kids change the way they live. Motivate Your Child is a practical book that explores a theology of internal motivation and then gives parents real-life solutions to equip their kids for life.

This is the newest book by parenting experts, Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN from the National Center for Biblical Parenting (NCBP), also authors of The Christian Parenting Handbook.

In order to motivate parents to Pre-Order the book, the NCBP is offering a $150 package of resources for FREE! There are video, audio and print items that can be used on a variety of devices. This package of resources looks absolutely amazing. I am loading up my Kindle with the audio already. You can learn more about this package on the Book Website.

You can Pre-Order the book now from any retailer, and then follow the instructions below. But this offer won’t be around forever. It is only for Pre-Orders. Don’t miss out.

Pre-Order from Amazon

INSTRUCTIONS: Purchase the book. Email the receipt to The NCBP will send you the link and a special code to access these downloadable products. This offer is good until January 31, 2015.

At Home.


Q is for… Quit

Q is for Quit

“Quit ye like men. Be strong.” I Corinthians 16:13

This is a verse the girls memorized last school year and it keeps coming back to me. This verse has been running through my head almost continuously for a few days now. I have been trying to determine what it is that I need to say about it. There is so much that could be said. I have been thinking about it because there is so much I need to quit. I think I will share three things, though.

1) Quit being like those around us who are not Christians.

Don’t be like those of this world who are only of this world. Be different. Be courageous. Be kind and loving. Be like the Father. Listen to different music. Watch different movies. Read different books.  Don’t go with the flow. Quit worrying. Be confident in the plans the Father has for you.

2) Quit being weak. Be strong.

This is not easy. Life pushes us to be less than our best and punishes us in various ways. We struggle under the weight of this life. But God is there, lifting us up. He is our strength. “You are my strength when I am weak. You are the treasure that I seek. You are my all in all.” I really like that song and, like this verse, it keeps coming back to me. We are often led to believe that we are not enough and that leads us to be weak. God tells us that we are enough, because HE is enough, and because of that, we are strong. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

3) Quit.

Quit saying later. Say yes to the creator of this world and the one who knows just what you need.

Quit saying quality makes up for quantity. “Quality time” is a misnomer in our world and is used too often to excuse us for not spending as much time as we should with our God, with our families, in His word, on our knees, helping others.

Quit listening to the wrong stuff. Listen for the Lord’s voice in all that is around you. His creation speaks to us. His word speaks to us. His voice is what we should be listening for.

Quit rushing around. “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10


My prayer for today is that you are able to quit the things that distract you from what God desires from you and be, in Him, all that He has planned for you.

“For I know the plans that I have for you…” Jeremiah 29:11


At Home.



Linking up with ABC Blogging at

Ben and Me






%d bloggers like this: