Tag 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.

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 gift@biblicalparenting.org. 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 Benandme.com.

Ben and Me






A Review: Gold City’s Hymn Revival

 Gold City titleI enjoy listening to beautiful harmonies, rich voices, and hymns. Prior to a few weeks ago, I had not heard of Gold City. Gold City is a gospel quartet that was originally formed over 30 years ago. They have the beautiful harmonies and rich voices that make listening to a quartet (or quintet) such a lovely experience. Gold City is reminiscent of other groups that I have heard and enjoy listening to. I believe that this will be another favorite.

Gold City Hymn Revival

On August 19, Gold City will be releasing their newest CD – Hymn Revival – through New Haven Records. (They shared a press release on their site.) It is a collection of hymns, both old and some newer ones. There are a few that I didn’t know prior to this CD and they are just beautiful. Both standard renditions and more modern arrangements make these songs a fun surprise. Hymn Revival is currently available for pre-buy at Family Christian stores.
I would like to note that this is not an a cappella CD. The instruments used are not overpowering and take a definite background to the voices. The focus is certainly on the hymns, the words that are being sung.
Beautifully sung, I would recommend you check out Gold City. You can do so by visiting their website at www.goldcityqt.com. I have enjoyed listening to this group that is new-to-me. At Home.

Track Listing:

Nothing But The Blood * Power Of The Cross * I Must Tell Jesus * Part The Waters/I Need Thee Every Hour * Redeemed * He Hideth My Soul * Farther Along * Power In The Blood * In Christ Alone/The Solid Rock * Victory In Jesus * Great Is Thy Faithfulness


**Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this CD through Family Christian in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review nor compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.




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