Homeschool Rescue from Only Passionate Curiosity ~ a Crew review

Homeschool Rescue review

While I feel comfortable with how our home education is going from day to day, it never hurts to take a critical look at why and how you are making choices and to get an outside perspective on things. That is what is provided when you sign up for Homeschool Rescue, an eCourse created by Heather from Only Passionate Curiosity for moms and dads educating their children.

Homeschool Rescue is a moderated class, meaning it is only going to be sold for a couple of weeks at a time so that there can be plenty of interaction between the Homeschool Rescue team and the class participants. To participate in the class, you sign up through the website. Right now, the class is available (and will be through June 1). You will get immediate access to the site, including the video lessons, printable workbooks, transcripts, audio downloads, and bonus resources. After May 31, though, the class will close for a while so that the Homeschool Rescue team can provide the support needed for the moms and dads who will be working through the eCourse and doing the hard work of evaluating every aspect of their home education.

Only Passionate Curiosity Homeschool Rescue

The eCourse includes five (5) modules. Each module has several lessons related to the module topic. Each lesson is comprised of a video lesson and also has at least one worksheet to print and work through, making the lessons practical and applicable to your homeschool. The lessons often have a list of resources, as well, that can provide further enrichment about the module topic. The lessons are available as an audio download and a transcript download as well if those fit your schedule better. (I did a lot of the transcripts because I could download them at home on my Kindle and then read while I was waiting at dance classes.)

We began at the beginning. We looked at what was going well but also at what was not. Using worksheets and brain power, I looked at struggles we face (a reality in every homeschool) and made plans for what we can do when we are having a hard day. (Having a plan in place makes everything easier, right? That is what Heather is helping us do – put plans in place for many areas of the education we are in charge of.) We looked at the various learning styles and found out what styles our children learn in. I found that I have a kinesthetic learner, an auditory learner, and a visual learner. That definitely explained a few things for me!

Homeschool Rescue banner

Creating a mission statement and dreaming dreams (or building castles in the sky – whatever phrase you prefer) gave us end goals and a path forward for planning. With the path carved out, we took a slight veer off and dealt with the good vs the great, saying “no” and figuring out where time goes. Reclaiming wasted time and planning out chores helps in the accountability arena. There is even help for organization and decluttering needs!

Module 3 is a nuts-and-bolts session. Taking a hard look at the curriculum and activities we do is something that I really need. I have taken a look at this module and listened to it, but I am planning to go back to it in just a couple of weeks when I can spent some serious time with it. I need to tackle the pacing guide that she describes and see if that will help my middle schoolers this next year. (I’m going to have two!!!) But also, I want to look at curriculum more closely.

This is one of those things that makes this such a helpful eCourse – I can come back to it when I have a bit more time and ability to really dig into something. Heather encourages participants to really take this at their own pace and if something is causing them to not deal with the topic at hand (whether it be health issues or something else), she suggests stopping until you can really work at it will a whole heart and mind. She believes this so thoroughly that she has made this a lifetime access course. Once you purchase, you have lifetime access, so that if you find your homeschool in chaos in the future, you can come back and go through it again. Do those worksheets and reevaluate goals and futures. This is definitely a strength of the course.

Modules 4 & 5 are still in progress for me but they are good ones. Module four has to do with how to set our students up to succeed. Module five is about working with teens. (Since my oldest just turned 13, I guess this one is for me now! EEK!) Both great topics that I know will be helpful.

Module 2 screenshot

One more thing – Heather provides a Facebook support group that is closed to all except members of this eCourse. It is a helpful place to find the support you might need from someone else who is working through these hard topics and facing down the issues, just as you are. This is just one more invaluable resource that she provides!

We have always heard that putting goals and plans down on paper makes them easier to reach. This same principle applies in our education. Heather does a wonderful job of sharing in the struggle, encouraging you along the way, and helping us to see a path forward.

Heather has a heart for encouragement. Listening to her, you hear her concern clearly in her words and voice. It is a joy to listen and be challenged by her in each and every lesson. This may be a Homeschool Rescue but Heather, from Only Passionate Curiosity, makes it a positive experience. Whether you have been homeschooling for what seems like forever or if you are just a few years in (like we are) and need a reboot, this eCourse may be just what you need!

At Home.

There were 100 of us participating in this eCourse of Homeschool Rescue. Head over to the Homeschool Review Crew blog to see what others thought of the course by clicking on the banner below.

Homeschool Rescue {Only Passionate Curiosity Reviews}

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Rocks, Gems and Minerals Show – Middle School Monday field trip

Rock Gem and Mineral show field trip

Every year we look forward with excitement to the rock and gem show. It comes to town sometime in the spring and we always go spent time wandering through the exhibits/vendors.

What we love about this is that we can touch all sorts of minerals, rocks, gems, fossils, and fossilized wood that we don’t have access to otherwise. We take advantage of the show coming to town as an educational opportunity. And we are seldom disappointed!

fossils touch table and more

We always find vendors who love to talk to children. They enjoy spending time educating the girls on the various items they have displayed. They will tell them where items come from, the qualities of the objects, what they are and how they were created (in the case of fossils and such). This year, one of the vendor was a science teacher. Talk about a man in his element! He had such fun talking with the girls. His excitement was contagious and the girls enjoyed it, too. We probably spent 20-30 minutes with this manwheel to spin, walking all around his display, seeing items under the black light, learning how to identify minerals, and getting lessons in geography.

Another of the girls favorites is the wheel of fortune – you pay a quarter and get whatever is sitting on the number the wheel lands on. Sometimes it is just a few rocks. Sometimes it is a large, lovely shell. Sometimes it is a gorgeous gem or mineral. The man who runs this always tells the girls about what it is they have won if he knows. He enjoys it as much as they do.

Between studying all the rocks, gems, and minerals, not to mention the fossils, and the jewelry and trying to figure out how some of it is made, we spend several hours at the show. Our town is known for its mammoth site (recently it has become part of the National Park Service) and there is always a booth there. They often have worksheets or activity sheets for the kids to pick up.

cracking geode

This year, there was a man there advertising the fossil pit up in Mineral Wells. He and Miss J got to talking and boy, did they discuss things for a long time. From the fossils he was displaying to her favorite type of fossil (shells), they had a good ‘ol time and Miss J walked away with several new additions for her collection. We also have found another field trip we would like to make.

If you have a chance, a rock and gem or mineral show is a wonderful learning opportunity. We have found that vendors enjoy talking to children and educating them when possible. They love the curiosity and the kids love to learn. So, take the chance if you get on. You might just come home with a treasure haul like ours.

At Home.Rock and Gem Show

What A Friend We Have In Jesus – hymn

This title is somewhat misleading – this hymn should be titled something like “Pray About Everything”.  Read through the lyrics. Take a minute and really read them.

What A Friend We Have In Jesus
lyrics – Joseph Scriven – 1855
music – Charles C Converse – 1868

1 What a friend we have in Jesus,What A Friend We Have In Jesus
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer!

2 Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
take it to the Lord in prayer!
Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
take it to the Lord in prayer!

3 Are we weak and heavy laden,
cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge–
take it to the Lord in prayer!
Do your friends despise, forsake you?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In his arms he’ll take and shield you;
you wilt find a solace there.

 

Do you see the relationship between prayer and care? If we are praying, God is hearing. He’ll “shield you.” You will find “solace.” You will have your sorrow shared and you will have your pain borne by one who truly cares.

God tells us often in His word to bring our cares to Him. We are given examples of prayer and reminded to prayer without ceasing. Pray over everything and be concerned about nothing.

  • 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. I Thessalonians 5: 16-18
  • Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. I Peter 5:7
  • Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16
  • Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Romans 8:34

May you find that Friend who is interceding for you once you have taken Him on in baptism.

At Home.

 

Quizlet – Blogging Through the Alphabet

Q Quizlet

This week is letter Q for Blogging Through the Alphabet. I had thought and brainstormed and kept coming up with things I could make work but didn’t really spark my own interest. I didn’t want to waste your time. Then, today, while thinking about the work one of the giggly girls still needed to do, I asked “Have you worked on Quizlet today?” And my brain registered the Q and said “That’s it!”

So, Quizlet.

Do you know Quizlet?

This is a free, online quiz system. It is wonderful. We have used it for tons of things. I can create my own set of cards to quiz over or sometimes, I can look up the questions I want that someone else has already done and made public. Now that has been wonderful!

When I go to Quizlet and make my own set, I have a question and answer series that I enter. It is as simple as entering the question and its corresponding answer. Then move on to the next question/answer. On and on until you have entered them all. At that point, it is time for the kiddos to start quizzing.

There are several functions on Quizlet, or ways in which the quizzing can be done: flashcards, learn, spell, test, match, and gravity.

Q Quizlet screenshot

Home Screen in Quizlet for this study set

 

For flashcards: One part is shown. After making your guess, you click the corner and it shows you the other side. You can mark ones that you struggled with and then work on just those. You can do it all again. You can do the question first or you can do the answer first. The flashcards are pretty flexible, which is awesome!

For Learn: It gives you either the question or the answer and you type in the other part.

For Spell: This one works best for vocabulary and spelling words. It tells you the part you are to type in. If you are using it for Bible study with younger ones (as we often do), the spelling will get them and they will end up with a lot marked incorrect. We seldom use this function.

For Test: This gives you a series of questions and you supply the answer. Again you can choose which part you want it to give you. The test generally has 20 questions: 5 type in the right answer, 5 matching, 5 multiple choice, and 5 true/false. This is a feature that Miss E likes to use.

For Match: The questions and answers are put out there and you drag and drop the matches onto each other. Simple and fun. All three of the giggly girls use this one a lot. This is probably the MOST used function for our family.

For Gravity: This is a game where asteroids have to be destroyed. It gives you one part and you have to type in the other part. You can use the term/question, the definition/answer, or select random for it to go back and forth. This is one the girls do like but it is harder for Bible bowl study due to the way the questions are worded.

On the main page, you see a list of the questions in your set. You can arrange them the way you typed them in, alphabetical, or by stats (how many are missed most/least/etc.). This is nice if you have only one person using it and you can quickly see what needs worked on. Even as a family, we are able to see where we need to work on our Bible bowl questions.

This is a fun and easy to use resource that really does a tremendous job of helping the girls study their Bible bowl questions and memory work. We most often access it on the desktop computer or a Kindle. It works well either way. I don’t know that the exact same activities are on both platforms but we use it both ways and the girls can move easily from one to the other.

If you are looking for a free resource to help with memory work, definitions, spelling, or other memory work, check our Quizlet. It was simple to make a free account and I can share my work with others or use quiz sets that someone else has made available publicly. I have a filing cabinet where I can list those for the girls to pick from. Quick and easy.

At Home.

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

Following “Rabbit Trails”

following rabbit trails

Today’s middle school Monday post is going to ramble a bit about following rabbit trails. In home education, we often call it following a rabbit trail when we get off track trying to find out information about a question or get sidetracked on something we find interesting or just follow the trail that appears before us when working. It is definitely a delight-led path and it is strongly influenced by the student. All these are good things!

When you are having “one of THOSE days” – you know the kind: no one really wants to work but everyone knows they really need to work but everything is just kind of blah – rabbit trails do wonders for enthusiasm! And for us, today was a rabbit trail kind of day.

world book libraries

10 libraries available

 

I began pulling up some additional resources about China, Siberia, Trans-Siberian railroad, and Gladys Aylward (to go with the YWAM unit study we are reviewing). I had looked a bundle of things up on the library site and decided to wander through SchoolhouseTeachers.com to see what they might have to complement the study. From there, I clicked on World Book to see what the 10 different libraries there might have to add.

interactive map image

part of an interactive map feature

 

Miss E saw me looking at an interactive map of China and started asking some questions. So, we ended up looking at all of the main cities in China and watching a video about the first Emperor of China. Then, we listened to their national anthem, some traditional court music, and some ancient ceremonial music.

video audio maps images of China

part of the media features in the China article

 

From there, she wanted to look up Gladys Aylward and read about her. So we also talked about how we can keep notes directly IN World Book and how to properly cite articles and websites. After reading what was there about Ms. Aylward, Miss E then stumbled across some ebooks on the World Book library.

So, we looked up a bundle of different books and spent some time reading about giraffes with Miss J. Miss J spent a lot of time with the giraffe book and then followed it up with looking at the kids’ library within World Book for more giraffe information. Miss E found some books on mythology. In particular she found one titled Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome. Guess what she is now reading? All 448 pages of it, I expect.

giraffe book

Giraffe book that Miss J was reading

 

I also took a bit of time to show her the timeline feature and library of World Book. She was fascinated. She spent quite a bit of time looking at some of the timelines they have and also working with the features of how to make her own timeline.

I definitely see this rabbit trail having sparked some interest. And how much did these two learn? I have no earthly idea but it was a whole lot more than if I had pushed the regular school load at that time. Yes, they still did math and spelling and some of those “regular” subjects. More importantly, though, is that they each found something to be excited about and to follow the rabbit trail a ways. They will remember much about the trails they followed today and that is what learning is all about!

At Home.

The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion ~ Book Club

All Girl Filling Station Book Club

At the end of the last Book Club post, I mentioned the book we expected to be discussing this month. It was a very obscure one and I don’t think we realized just how obscure until we tried to get our hands on it. So, we made the decision to change and I neglected to let you all know. I apologize for that!!

We jumped over to The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg. Most people are at least a little bit familiar with Fannie Flagg’s work but don’t know it. Fannie Flagg also wrote Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café. Yes, the book on which the movie was based. Anyhow, The All-Girl Filling Station was a wonderful read. I highly suggest that you take a day or two and enjoy the fun read.

Before you move on to my summary and questions, I wanted to update this with Wendy’s link. She had some very good thoughts so please head over to Ladybug Daydreams and read her post about the book.

SUMMARY: Sookie has finally married off the last of her girls and feels like, other than her aging, somewhat-exuberant, always in the middle of something mother, she is finally free to relax. Sookie’s husband is a local dentist so she is very conscious of who she is at all times and who she represents when out and about. In addition to that, her mother has always insisted that Sookie be dressed well and, well, just insisted. About everything.

One day, though, Sookie finds out that there is a secret in her past. As she begins looking into that hint of something different, she finds a big twist that she never expected or saw coming. So much for relaxing with an empty nest! She finds herself looking far back – 1909 to be exact – and off in Poland. That is where Sookie’s story began.

Stanislaw Ludic Judabralinski left the dangerous life of Poland and headed to Chicago at the age of 14. There he lived, worked, fell in love, and married. With his wife Linka their family began. They worked hard and owned a filling station (here is where the title begins to make some sense). After having a gaggle of girls, war came, death came, and the girls had to step up to help the family. In order to attract customers to their filling station during the war (we are in WWII now), the girls advertised the all-girl filling station. They worked hard for their family and kept them together during the rough times.

But, even rougher times were ahead and one of the girls, Fritzi, decided she needed to do something more. She joined the WASP and moved to Texas to train. The WASP training was interesting and challenging and do we ever get to see a big bit of Fritzi’s character! It is fun.

All of this jumps back and forth from present day, with Sookie searching out all of this information, to the past to help us learn Sookie’s history. As we near the end of the book, the history is all making sense and well, there are still plenty of surprises for you to find out.

This is a terribly fun, interesting, and engaging story. I had such joy reading it. (I had also read another Fannie Flagg book earlier so I kind of knew what to expect with her jumps from time to time and character to character.) A definitely recommendation.

All-Girl Filling Station

Questions come from LitLovers:

1. A lot of Southern identity is wrapped up in one’s family history. “Now, just who are your people?” is an oft-quoted phrase around the region. Sookie’s biggest crisis comes when she realizes that her “people” aren’t actually who she thought they were. How does Sookie’s discovery of her true family affect her identity?

Sookie’s discovery was a shock. She felt she was an imposter, a big fake. Even a liar. She wasn’t but that is how much it impacted her. You can be an imposter or a fake or a liar when you didn’t know that what you were purporting was incorrect.

2. Though Sookie tells us that Lenore’s nickname, “Winged Victory,” came from the way she entered a room—as if she were the statuesque piece on the hood of a car rushing in—how might “Winged Victory” reflect Lenore’s personality in other ways? Does her representation as a classical goddess serve to heighten the air of history and tradition that surrounds her? How might the image of a winged woman tie Lenore in with the ladies of the WASPs?

The nickname certainly gives a larger-than-life expectation and Lenore lived up to that. She brought all eyes to her and she was the center of attention. This is the type of expectation that goddesses had in their stories – center of attention and the expectation of complete obedience and service from all. Lenore had that same personality.

I don’t know if the image of the winged woman was intentional to tie in the WASP but it certainly does. Especially when you know that the mascot of the WASP was actually a winged girl. And the WASP were women who flew, helping provide victory during the war in every way they were allowed.

3. Sookie’s best friend, Marvaleen, is constantly trying different suggestions from her life coach, Edna Yorba Zorbra. From journaling to yoga to the Goddess Within group, which meets in a yurt, Marvaleen tries every method possible to get over her divorce. How does Sookie’s approach to dealing with her problems differ from Marvaleen’s? Do you think her friendship with Marvaleen might have helped push her to confront the question of her mother?

Marvaleen was quite a character. She never really faces her problems; she just searches for another magical fix. This is where her crazy life coach comes in. I think Marvaleen was a good balance for Sookie, helping her recognize over-the-top when it showed up.

4. In The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion, we learn about a mostly unknown part of American history—the WASPs of World War II. These women went for thirty-five years without recognition because their records of service were sealed and classified. Were you surprised to learn about this? What parts of the WASPs’ story spoke to you?

Actually, not at all surprised. We have studied this recently and we were able to visit the WASP Museum in Sweetwater, TX, not too long ago. The WASP stories are amazing and the women are quite inspiring. They definitely faced things head-on!
Want to read about our visit to the museum? We’d love to share it with you!

5. “Blue Jay Away,” Sookie’s brand-new invention, keeps Sookie’s house finches and chickadees fed, while also making Sookie famous. Who do you think have been the blue jays in Sookie’s own life? Has she learned to manage them successfully?

I don’t know that we ever are able to “manage” the blue jays in our lives. We manage ourselves around them and become more confident in who we are. I think that is what happened with her mother, in particular. Sookie became more confident once she understood more about her background and was able to be more herself, rather than fitting into what someone else expected of her. That is a very freeing thing.

6. A major theme in this book is accepting your home. Sookie experiences a homecoming many times—after she first meets Fritzi and returns to Point Clear, when she goes to Lenore’s bedside at Westminster Village, and when she flies to Pulaski for the All-Girl Filling Station’s last reunion. What is your favorite part about going home? Who are the people who make home a home for you?

Home is where comfort abides. Family makes a place home. So do friends.

I truly enjoyed this read and will be reading more of Fannie Flagg’s writing. It was a joy. Watch for Wendy’s post to come up. I’ll try to remember to share it with you when it becomes available. Also, once we have decided what we will read for the coming month, I will share that, too. Thanks for joining me again for Book Club.

At Home.

Book club:Ladybug Daydrams and At Home where life happens

The Secret Bridge ~ a Crew review

The Secret Bridge review

We were recently introduced to Lamplighter Publishing and the beautiful books they publish. So when The Secret Bridge by Amy Le Feuvre was released and we were given the opportunity to review it, I was more than happy to do so. After all, a rich, historical story focused on the gifts of God and coming to know Him is such a blessing to read. I was very excited about this book.

Lamplighter Publishing chooses stories that bring a God-focused life to light through characters that are strong and courageous. The company edits the stories they choose to reflect the character of God. This does mean that sometimes a story is edited to remove questionable or inappropriate language and/or content. The result, though, is a story that fully meets the mission of the company.

The Secret Bridge {Lamplighter Publishing Reviews} 

When The Secret Bridge arrived, I was shocked at how lovely it was. This is a hardback book whose cover is a soft, buttery-feeling, leather-like material. Now, I don’t know if it is really leather but it is so soft, that just holding it while reading adds to the pleasure of the story. With the bright gold accents, this is truly a beautiful book that anyone would be proud to have on their shelf.

However, that is not the true value of this book. The value lies in the truths about God that it explores and teaches. Originally written in 1899, the story begins on a boat where we meet Bridget as she is traveling to England after losing her father. Her mother had died very early on in Bridget’s life so her father was her only family. Upon her father’s death, she found out that she did have one other living relative who would take her in. However, this relative also dies before Bridget’s arrival.

A stranger who took an interest in her on the boat happens upon her shortly after she found out she was truly alone in the world. He takes pity upon her and offers to help her. This help is very hard to accept for Bridget but once she does, she finds her world completely changed. Now a bride, Bridget is challenged “Acquaint thyself with Him.”

Bridget’s heart embraces this challenge and so begins the beauty of the story – learning how to search after God, to feel Him searching for His children and reaching for them. Bridget searches out how to “acquaint thyself with Him.” Realizing she doesn’t really know God, her main priority becomes learning to live that out getting to know Him, even among a web of very tangled family relationships.

This is an engaging story that is very thoughtfully put together, tantalizing the mind with hints of what is to come and encouraging the reader to also “acquaint thyself with Him.” In becoming more familiar with Christ, the reader is also brought to know about Christ. There is scripture placed throughout the book that points to Christ and knowledge of Him. That is the true gem of this book – the story is fun and engaging but the knowledge of Christ that is woven throughout the story is precious.

I truly enjoyed reading this book. It was an easy read, taking me just a couple of days of reading after the girls were in bed. It was enjoyable and one that I didn’t really want to put down. (And can I just say that I wish I had that terrace walk where she spent her evenings looking out over the sea, longing for her husband’s return?)

I did ask the older two girls to read a bit of the story but it just was not engaging for them. Honestly, having read the book, I can see that. It is really not one that will be that interesting for a pre-teen or early teenager. Possibly at around 15 or so the interest might be there. There are a lot of family relationship complexities in the book and that can be difficult for a younger teenager to understand, thus making the book not make a lot of sense. For me, though, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

At Home.

There were 80 families who received this book to read. Click below to read what some of them thought about The Secret Bridge.

The Secret Bridge {Lamplighter Publishing Reviews}

 You can find Lamplighter Publishing on social media, too!
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