Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Great Redeemer – hymn

The Great Redeemer

Who is your Great Redeemer? This hymn has always been one that brings a joy, not the joy that makes you smile but more the joy that fills you with peace and hope. I remember well the puppet quartet that would perform this song during puppet time. It is a fond memory and helps me remember that hymns and puppets can make lasting impressions. They are seeds sown that others water and God makes grow.

Francis Foster is pretty well an unknown in hymn writing according to the research I did but if this particular piece is any indication, he was well acquainted with The Great Redeemer. What a joyful reminder that God is our redeemer. Jesus is a precious Friend who died for each of us. And it does make me wonder if I act in ways that show that He really is “everything to me.”

At Home.


The Great Redeemer

Lyrics: Francis Foster (1915)
Music: Samuel W. Beazley (1915, some reference this as 1943)

1 – How I love the great Redeemer
Who is doing so much for me;
With what joy I tell the story
Of the love that makes men free.
Till my earthly life is ended,
I will send songs above,
Then beside the crystal sea
More and more my soul shall be
Praising Jesus and His love. chorus

He is ev’rything to me, to me,
And ev’rything shall always be;
I will never cease to raise
A song of gladness in His praise;
Here, and in the world above,
My soul shall sing of saving love;
Life and light and joy is He,
The precious Friend who died for me.

2 – He has purchased my redemption,
Rolled my burden of sin away,
And is walking on beside me,
Growing dearer day by day.
That is why I sing His praises,
That is why joy is mine,
That is why forever more
On the everlasting shore
I shall sing of love divine. chorus

3 – Glory be to Him forever!
Endless praises to Christ the Lamb!
He has filled my life with sunshine,
He has made me what I am.
O that ev’ry one would know Him,
O that all would adore!
O that all would trust the love
OF the mighty Friend above
And be His forever more. chorus

Butterfly Virtual Field Trips and Helpful Videos

Butterfly Virtual Field Trips

Recently, Miss L has been researching butterflies. Her most recent research assignment was to find virtual field trips to butterfly sanctuaries and butterfly houses/gardens. She spent a good bit of time looking at images, reading, and following links to learn more about butterflies habitats and things being done to help them. Here are the links that she used. (life cycle of a butterfly) (butterfly conservatory virtual field trip)

Google search on butterfly virtual field trips –

This video is a cute life cycle showing.

An interesting tour of a conservatory and the work being done to revive the rainforest. It is more of a travel video but we found it interesting.

This just has some really pretty images of butterflies.

This video has some good images of butterflies emerging.

This one is one of the best, though there are some rough splices in the video, because the host discusses the needs for host plants and does a very good job of showing some of the plants, the caterpillars, and where they raise them.

After doing her research, I gave her the choice of three writing assignments.
1 – factual statements about what you did and what you saw
2 – write about what you learned based on what you visited
3 – use the information gained to write a poem, song, or story
4 – State at the beginning where you got your ideas (virtual field trips) and then write a fantasy story about your own visit to a butterfly garden or conservatory.

I was shocked that she didn’t choose option 3 or 4! Instead she went with number one. I am hoping she will do one of the other options this coming week.

Hopefully these simple online resources will be of use to someone who is also interested in butterflies. Sometimes, we just need the work of searching it out done for us so here it is. Enjoy.

At Home.

SING – Five Minute Friday


Today’s FMF word is SING. Five minutes writing. No editing. Hosted by Kate at Heading Home.
GO –

Sing a song.
Sing out loud.
Sing out strong.
Sing of good things, not bad.
Sing of happy, not sad.

Sing a song.
Make it simple to last your whole life long.
Don’t worry that its not good enough for anyone else to hear.
Just sing.
Sing a song.

This song is what I would begin my kindergarten music classes with at the beginning of every year. (Did you know I used to teach K-5 music? Loved the music part – singing with the kids, playing singing games, playing instruments, musicals, choir. All the fun stuff! Making music all day long was awesome!) I wanted them to learn to just have fun and make music.

I was missing my music teaching days earlier when this song came through my Facebook feed.

Dr. Brumfield was one of my instructors at UNT where I attended to get my Master’s degree and my national Kodaly certification. She is an amazing teacher, composer, researcher, and more. This song is just one example among many of her talents and abilities. And it certainly made me miss my choir students.


Nature Research – Blogging Through The Alphabet

N - Nature Research

One of the struggles we have been having is motivation to do what is needed with a good attitude. This goes for me, not just the students in our school. Frustrations have been a bit overwhelming lately so we have been working hard at changing things up a bit, creating a different example of school work and finding a different attitude towards said work. While this change has been beneficial in some ways, it has not been the magical fix I wish it were.

One of the changes we made was to have the girls begin working on research projects. They are not major research papers but are rather a short assignment of a topic. The girls and I work together to come up with a topic and the presentation of materials. This presentation could be just a paper on what was learned. But it could also be a play, a 3D showcase, a piece of artwork, a computer presentation – anything the student wants as long as they can convince me that their chosen presentation style will be able to accurately communicate the research done.

n nature research

This is a blank notebooking page from


Miss L has been working on some butterfly research. A couple of week ago, she researched the life cycle of a butterfly. Her chosen product was to illustrate and label the life cycle. It came out beautifully.

Last week, she researched butterfly museum, using the internet to take a few virtual tours of butterfly farms, museums, and research centers. The product chosen for this one was to simply write up what she learned.

These simple nature studies have helped Miss L feel a bit more motivated about the other school work she still has to do. Nature studies are interesting and can really help make a needed change in setting, motivation, and ideas. We will be continuing these types of nature studies so that research skills are gained but also the interest remains high.

At Home.

Motivation – Blogging Through the Alphabet & Middle School Monday

M motivation


It is quite an intimidating word sometimes. How do you provide motivation? I don’t mean the “do it or else” kind of motivation. I am talking about the internal motivation that causes one to move forward on a project or assignment without someone else getting involved or reminding.

Motivation comes from within. While I like to think that I have some influence over it, I don’t. My middle schoolers (I kind of feel like I have two now that the school year is almost over and Miss L will officially be a 6th grader shortly) are independent thinkers, as they should be. They have hopes and desires and wills and frustrations that are all their own. They will do what I ask them to because it is right to do what your mother says but that isn’t really motivation, is it?

I have been pondering this motivation thing for a while, trying to find the right balance of curriculum choices made by me and made by the student. It is difficult. Do I push math in a day when their motivation has been to work diligently on history for 3 hours? Do I make the student add more to a research paper when she has written two full pages on research that she did that all-in-all took only 30 minutes from start to finish but is well-written and interesting to her? Do I have a child re-do work that is substandard in handwriting but excellent in content?

Where do you push and where do you give grace and allow for it not to be a high quality project?

Boy, do I wish I knew the answer to this!

What do I actually do? I figure it out from day to day and from week to week. This last week, I asked for more on that research but I didn’t push the math issue. Why each of those? Well, if you saw the concentration and intensity with which the history project was being pursued, there was a deep interest that was being fed. I don’t want to mess with that. Math will still be there later and she will work at it when I do choose to insist.

But the research, I felt like she needed more of a challenge. So the next day, I took that research project that I had invisioned being most of a week’s worth of writing and added a different element to the research, a different perspective and had her do some more. Of course, she loved it, spent a good bit of time reading through the websites I pulled up for her, and then wrote double the amount requested. So, she has now breezed through the assignments I expected to take two weeks in two days. What next? Well, her internal motivation is good to get it done so I guess we will just feed it more with a new research project. I have some ideas . . .

All of this rambling is to say, I think if I can continue to find a few ideas that spark an independent motivation, an internal motivation, in at least a single subject area, then we are on the right road. Right now, we have that mix going. I wish we could expand it and we’ll keep trying but for now, I will be happy with what is working and deal with that which is not getting done.

At Home.

This week’s Middle School Monday post is also serving as last week’s Blogging Through The Alphabet post since last week was incredibly busy.

Please visit A Net In Time and Hopkins Homeschool and link up your ABC posts.

Up From The Grave He Arose – hymn

Up From The Grave He Arose

This is the day that most of the world recognizes the resurrection of Jesus. That is wonderful. Without that resurrection, we would have no hope. We would still be living under the old covenant of animal sacrifices and the Old Testament law. As it is, because Jesus The Son chose to honor and obey the will of God The Father, we are able to live under a new covenant. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, we are washed clean. Our sins are removed.

But today is more than Easter. It is Sunday. It is the first day of the week. It is the day of the week that God instructs us to remember Jesus’ sacrifice on. We see the institution of meeting together on Sundays in Acts 20:7 and Jesus’ instructed the disciples in Luke 22:14-20 on eating the feast as a remembrance of Him. We see in I Corinthians 11:23-26 that Paul reminds the church to partake of this remembrance weekly when they come together.

We remember Jesus’ resurrection today, certainly. But more important is that we do it each Sunday when we come together to pray and worship the Lord. This is the example we are given in the New Testament. We are truly blessed by Jesus’ rising from the grave.

“Up From The Grave He Arose” is a song that I well remember from my childhood. It is a very visual portrayal of Jesus conquering death, vanquishing the penalty of my sin and death’s hold on me. Jesus cannot be kept by death and in His rising He bought me. What a triumph!!! Would you like to hear it sung? Please visit Great Songs Chapel.

At Home.


Up From The Grave He Arose

words & music: Robert Lowry (1874)

1 Low in the grave he lay, Jesus my Savior,
waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord!

Up from the grave he arose;
with a mighty triumph o’er his foes;
he arose a victor from the dark domain,
and he lives forever, with his saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

2 Vainly they watch his bed, Jesus my Savior,
vainly they seal the dead, Jesus my Lord! [Refrain]

3 Death cannot keep its prey, Jesus my Savior;
he tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord! [Refrain]



CompuScholar ~ a Crew review


In our digital world, there is great need for everyone to well versed in how things work. Because this is an area I am not strong in, we were really excited to get to review a course by CompuScholar, Inc. that teaches the fundamentals of basic computer understanding and usage. Digital Savvy is designed to help students gain basic computer skills and to become more adept users of technology.

CompuScholar, Inc.
CompuScholar, Inc.

CompuScholar was founded by people who wanted to help students learn to love technology and to be comfortable using it. Previously known by the name Homeschool Programming, this company has a lot to offer. From basic computer science lessons to learning the professional programming languages, the company is working to make these lessons accessible and interesting to students and educators alike. The mission is to publish computing curriculum for use in all learning environments and their vision is to draw on real world experiences to help prepare students for computing jobs of the future.

Their available courses include:

  • Digital Savvy
  • Web Design
  • Windows Programming
  • Java Programming
  • Unity Game Programming
  • Game Programming With Visual Basic
  • Android Programming

CompuScholar, Inc. Digital Savvy
Digital Savvy

Digital Savvy is a course that is designed to teach 6th-12th grade students the basics of information technology. This online course is designed to take up to one year (two-semesters) and reaches both auditory and visual processing learners. Video content is coupled with written text to teach the information in each lesson. The information is the reinforced through a quiz. Each chapter culminates in an application project.

You can find the topics in the course by visiting the CompuScholar website for the Digital Savvy course. Click on course syllabus on the left hand side of the page. This will give you not only the topics but the schedule of study and projects.

The course has 25 chapters. Each chapter has several lessons, a project, and a chapter exam. Within each lesson, there is a lesson video, a lesson text, and a lesson quiz.

The projects vary in what is required. There is often an online submission of the project so that the teacher can grade it.

teacher screen

The instructor side of the program is very well laid out. The instructor will see the same set-up as the student for the chapters and lessons, with the addition of a teacher guide for each lesson and the lesson quiz answer key. The instructor also has an activity solution for the projects. Each project has a rubric to help manage the grading. It took me a bit to find this, though, as it was at the bottom of the page after the teacher has clicked on the submit activity button. But, once I found it, grading the projects was a breeze.

The other main difference between the instructor account and the student account is the Teacher Menu. This is where the grade book is found, as well as tutorials and professional development videos to help with instructing the classes. This menu is also where the instructor manages the students in the class. The grade book is a nice feature that automatically inputs grades from quizzes and graded projects. Percentages are figured for you and it gives you yet another way to see how the students are understanding this course.

Digital Savvy video

What does the student think?

Miss E is just about to turn 13 and is in 7th grade. She has been using the program at the pace of about 2 lessons per week and has completed two and a half chapters. Miss E says:

I do not like watching the video and reading the text but I really feel like need to do both. The text often has things in it that are not covered in the video. I feel like both of these do a good job of explaining the information.

I like the lessons themselves and I actually like the quizzes. The lessons are interesting. Some of it, like a recent lesson, is really interesting, talking about the future of technology. I knew about the self-driving cars but not the self-piloting drones. I like learning new things and these lessons are definitely doing that. I have always been a little bit interested in technology and I like that I am getting to learn that. For the most part, the quizzes are not hard and the questions are fairly simple.

Doing one lesson a week seems kind of slow to me. I think two lessons a week is a good pace. But one lesson a week would allow you to do more research on the subject.

welcome screen

Final Thoughts:

Overall, I am pleased with the course. I wondered about a few things before we began this course so I will share a couple of those with you.

  • As a homeschooler, the student does not have to have access to email for this course. If this were used in a different setting, I do believe the student would need that email access for submitting and receiving feedback from the instructor.
  • One of the questions that I had before we started this course was “would my student have to actually use social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)?” The answer is no. The course does a great job of informing the students about HOW to use these sites without actually using them.
  • There is actual programming work that will be covered but it seems to be just enough to find out how interested the student might be in learning more.
  • There is information covered on how to be safe online and about the digital presence that lingers after a student begins having an online presence.

This is a course I am going to be very glad that Miss E has gotten to use. I will be looking at Miss L taking this course, as well, in a bit. The general computer skills and information technology that is taught about in a methodical way is invaluable.

At Home.

Please visit the Homeschool Review Crew to read the reviews of other families using courses from CompuScholar: Digital Savvy  and Web Design and Java Programming.

Digital Savvy, Web Design & Java Programming {CompuScholar,Inc Reviews} 

Crew Disclaimer 

%d bloggers like this: