Showing posts from 2017

Where have I been? A Random Five style Update

I know I've been missing.  I only wrote a handful of posts in 2017 and most of those were reviews I wrote for the Homeschool Review Crew. I mostly blamed my blogging silence on being too busy.  But I think the real reason goes much much deeper. 2017 was a hard year for me.  Harder than I want to admit. And it was busier.  Yes I was very busy with homeschooling and doing the Crew but the busyness of 2017 was different.  Harder.  It's taken so much more out of me. I'd be lying if I didn't say that I was worried about 2018.  The new level of normal busyness doesn't seem to be slowing down at all but I'm hoping I can learn to manage it better. In the style of Random Five on Friday here's a rundown of what's happened in the last year: 1) December of 2016 ~ very near the end of the month, my older brother passed away.  I intend to blog about this sometime maybe. 2) Supergirl got very very very sick. She was diagnosed with Protein Losing Enteropathy

A Wild West Audio Adventure! {Crew Review}

Have you heard of Heirloom Audio Productions ? If you are a regular reader of my blog you may recognize the vendor name.  My family first encountered these fabulous audio dramas when we reviewed In Freedom's Cause .  I also reviewed Beric the Briton on my blog. We've also enjoyed several titles such as In the Reign of Terror and The Cat of Bubastes.  This time we received Captain Bayley's Heir . Confession time!  As much as I have loved Beric the Briton and Cat of Bubastes from Heirloom Audio Productions I wasn't too sure about Captain Bayley's Heir.  You see it is set in the Wild West of America and I'm not terribly fond of that time period.  Mostly because of all those old Western movies my dad would watch. But I was pleasantly surprised to find myself not only enjoying this new title but shocked when I discovered that it has become my favorite one! Here is a short summary of the story from Supergirl: The story is about Captan Bayley's Heir.  Th

Even a House Full of Adults Needs A Chore System! {Review}

Five years ago I had the opportunity to review Everyday Cooking from Everyday Homemaking .  This time, as a Crew Leader, I received an updated digital version of Everyday Cooking as well as a digital copy of Everyday Family Chore System . Like the Ninth Edition (revised in 2011), the new 12th Edition of Everyday Cooking,revised just this past July 2017,  is full of recipes and tips.  This new edition has 203 pages and more recipes! I know I said this 5 years ago but I must say it again. Vicki Bently cooks like me and I think that is one of the reasons I love this cookbook!  When I think of old fashioned home cooking, I think of things like Mom's Roast, Chicken and Dumplings, or Hamburger Gravy.  Yes, those are all recipes included in this book.  When I think of everyday food or meals, I think of hamburger stroganoff, sloppy joes, and "unstuffed" chicken breasts. One of the new recipes is for an Asian Sweet and Sour Sauce.  I also spotted new Skillet Chicken re

Studying Marine Biology Just for Fun! {Review}

Many years ago when my girls were still very young, I was introduced to Apologia Educational Ministries through their Elementary Science Series of books.  We used Exploring Creation Through Astronomy and followed it up with Exploring Creation through Botany.  As the girls grew we continued to include Apologia Science in our home school and in high school all three of the "big" girls used Exploring Creation Through Biology. Recently, as part of my role with the Homeschool Review Crew, I received Marine Biology 2nd Edition Advantage Set .  Apologia generously included the Marine Biology 2nd Edition Audio CD . If you're a regular reader of my blog you'll know that I don't have any high school students anymore.  Boobear graduated from University in May.  In June Tailorbear graduated from our home school high school.  Turtlegirl graduated last year and is away at college. All of them said the same thing "oh man, I wanted to study Marine Biology when I was

Still Learning Latin! {Crew Review}

While I have always considered myself more of an eclectic style homeschooler I do have some classical leanings such as teaching Latin.  There are many benefits to teaching Latin but rather than discuss that I want to tell you about Memoria Press and their Latin programs .  Well, specifically I want to chat about the Third Form Latin Complete Set . I have to begin at the beginning though.  Many many years ago we started with Memoria Press's Latina Christiana Complete Set which by the way has been completely revised including new DVD lessons.  We still laugh at Honeybear's joke about amo. We'd be practicing our recitation amo, amas, amat, amamus, amatis, amant and Honeybear would interject you have a ma moose, but what about the pa moose? A few years later we had the opportunity to review First Form Latin and we were hooked!  We loved First Form so much that I purchased Second Form Latin.  Turtlegirl was thrilled to find out that we now own Third Form and Fourth F

Homeschool Computer and Technology Courses from CompuScholar, Inc. {Crew Review}

In this day and age the ability to use a computer is nearly essential for so many of our daily activities.  Our students need to be familiar with computers and many students enjoy programing and coding. Recently the Homeschool Review Crew had the opportunity to use and review their choice of one of three online courses from CompuScholar, Inc.   As a crew leader I was blessed to receive teacher and student access for all three courses:  Digital Savvy , Web Design , and Java Programming . You may already be familiar with CompuScholar, Inc. from their old name: Homeschool Programming.  We loved Homeschool Programming and I even wrote a review of their TeenCoder C# Series which included Windows Programming and Games Programming . Topics Covered in Digital Savvy: While I have learned my way around computers, there is still so much I don't really know or understand so I've been working through Digital Savvy for myself!  Digital Savvy is a great introduction to computer

Menu Monday: Using up Left Overs: Broccoli Cheddar Soup!

I don't have any idea how regularly I will do a Menu Monday post but I like the idea of sharing a menu, recipe, or meal idea on a Monday. Today I want to share a lunch idea using up leftovers. Not so much a recipe, but sharing what I did to use up left over broccoli. If you were to ask my family if they like broccoli I am fairly certain they would look at you like you had two heads.  Like broccoli? I don't think so. They might say "well I'll eat it," or they might respond with "I prefer it raw." I've discovered though that Supergirl loves broccoli with cheese. Since I'm trying to get her to eat more veggies and we we are trying to get her to eat more protein we eat broccoli a few times a week.  Steamed.  For Supergirl I might sprinkle some Parmesan or shredded Cheddar on it.  Sometimes I splurge and buy those "microwave-in-a-bag" broccoli with cheese sauce. Don't let them fool you though.  They like broccoli.  They just se

Old Fashioned Reading Lessons ~ Eclectic Foundations a Crew Review

I have been teaching reading in one way shape or form in my home school for nearly 18 years. I have tried so many different reading programs with each of my daughters that I have lost count. Most of those learn to read programs I used with Supergirl. I've learned that I really prefer a phonics based approach. I've learned reading is complex skill that is as much about a child's developmental readiness as it is on the program you use and, that no matter what program you use, fluency seems to come best when real sentences and stories are used. The one approach I hadn't tried yet was the old fashioned curriculum idea.  How about using McGuffey's Eclectic Readers to teach reading? I was excited to see that Eclectic Foundations would be offering their Language Arts Levels A, B, and C to the Homeschool Review Crew.  Let me start by telling you how I settled on using Eclectic Foundations Language Arts Level A with Supergirl. Because I am a crew leader, I received