Hearts at Home Blog Hop: How Can I Love My Triumphs?

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, you may be helping to support a voracious curriculum buying habit. Be warned. And thank you for clicking through to purchase.

Last month’s Hearts at Home blog hop was all about Love Your Failures. I thought it was difficult to write about my failures. But this month’s topic is even more difficult- Love Your Triumphs.



I’m not very good at pointing out what I’m doing well. When I do, it seems like I’m bragging. So I seldom take time to think about anything I’m doing well, to love my triumphs. When I began to think about it for the blog hop, I wasn’t really sure where to go. I hesitate to list out things I think I’m doing well for several reasons.

(1) How do I know I’m doing well? Am I measuring against other people? If my standard for “triumphing” is because I’m better than someone else, then I don’t think that’s Biblical.

(2) As soon as I say out loud that I’m good at something or that I did something well, then I’m mess up in that area. “I did a very good job training my children to help around the house.” Thirty minutes later, I’ll have kids refusing to do their chores.

(3) I’m afraid of exaggerating. I have a tendency to spin a tale in my favor. I don’t deliberately lie, but I sometimes catch myself embellishing, and I have to stop and consider the truth.

So, how can I celebrate my triumphs?

First, I went to the source, the dictionary definition of “triumph.”

1.the act, fact, or condition of being victorious ortriumphant; victory;conquest.
2.a significant success or noteworthy achievement; instance or occasion of victory.
3.exultation resulting from victory; joy over success.
4.Roman History. the ceremonial entrance into Rome of a victorious commander with his army, spoils of war, and captives, authorized by the senate in honor of an important military or naval victory.
5.a public pageant, spectacle, or the like.
verb (used without object)
6.to gain a victory; be victorious; win.
7.to gain mastery; prevail: to triumph over fear.
8.to be successful; achieve success.
9.to exult over victory; rejoice over success.
10.to be elated or glad; rejoice proudly; glory.
11. to celebrate a triumph, as a victorious Roman commander.
12. to conquer; triumph over.
So a triumph has to do with rejoicing over an accomplishment, a success. It can also refer to conquering.
Then I turned to Scripture to see if there were clues about loving my triumphs. And in 1 Corinthians 10, I found these verses. (This is from the New Living Translation.) “17 As the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD.” 18 When people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them.”
So, my boasting about my triumph, my success, should only be about the Lord. When I boast about the Lord, I don’t have to worry that I’m exaggerating my story. I don’t have to worry about comparing Him to someone else because He’s beyond compare. And I don’t have to worry that He’s going to mess up as soon as I tell about Him.
So I’ll love the triumphs of the Lord today. He has triumphed over death when He died and rose again. He has triumphed over sin in my life every time I trust Him and resist the Devil. He will ultimately triumph over Satan, and His glory will be revealed.
Now those are triumphs worth loving!

Blogging Through the Alphabet: U is for Under the Weather (Schooling When You Just Don’t Feel Like It)

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, you may be helping to support a voracious curriculum buying habit. Be warned. And thank you for clicking through to purchase.

Today I just felt bad. I have fibromyalgia with chronic pain, and today was just a bad day. I’m not sure what caused the flare up. Sometimes it’s the weather, or something I ate, or a small virus, but whatever it was caused me to have a high pain day. My kids are older now, and when I have a bad day, they can do lots of their school independently. The older kids are almost totally independent now.

underweatherBut when they were young, homeschooling was very difficult on days when I wasn’t feeling so great. Homeschool moms don’t get sick days, and there are no subs to come to your house when you are sick. When your kids are young, this can be difficult. But here are some things that helped when the kids were younger and I had a day that I just didn’t feel like schooling.

Adjust your expectations. Homeschooling means flexibility. When you aren’t feeling so great, take a deep breath and realize that everything you wanted to accomplish for the day isn’t going to get done. And realize that it’s okay. We can be flexible when we homeschool. It’s okay if we don’t finish the math curriculum exactly when we had planned, so if we miss a lesson today, it isn’t the end of the world. When you don’t feel well, you probably aren’t going to get everything checked off of your lesson plan for the day. But it’s okay to make adjustments as needed. Don’t stress over the need to change things up.

Read. Reading is always an excellent way to learn. And if all you accomplish all day is to read, then it’s not a wasted day. Lay on the couch and read to the kids gathered around. Let older siblings read out loud to younger siblings. Let beginning readers practice reading to you. Reading together can be a low key way to still accomplish some of your lesson plan for the day.

Watch educational movies. Our library has a whole section of educational children’s videos- history, science, art, music. There are some great ones that we hardly ever stop to watch on a daily basis. Netflix has some great documentaries, some aimed at kids. Discovery Education, Brain Pop, and similar sites have videos online (Some require a subscription.) And don’t forget YouTube, a wealth of educational videos if you are careful how you look. It is okay to turn on an educational video and snuggle in to watch. I don’t recommend sitting your child in front of these all day every day and calling it school, but an occasional day of videos when mom is sick is okay.

Keep some fun, educational games and workbooks on hand for these days. My kids have always loved activity books. Many of these are really quite educational. You can often find some in big name book stores or even in Target (check that great $1 section). Save those to pull out on days when you don’t feel like doing anything that really requires your full attention. The kids will enjoy them as something new and different. And you can feel like they are learning something as they have fun.

Take an impromptu vacation day. I’ve never had set vacation days for our homeschooling year. One main reason is that I want to feel free to take a vacation day if we need it but keep schooling if we don’t need it. Labor Day is a school vacation day here in our state. The crazy thing is that school has just been back in session for a week or so. Who needs a vacation? We don’t Labor Day off- unless Daddy happens to be home to spend it with us. But on a day that I’m sick or one of the kids is sick, we might need a vacation. So I have in my mind when I want to wrap up the 180 days required by our state, but other than that, our days aren’t scheduled. So when I really don’t feel like doing anything, we can take a day off.


Handling under the weather days can be hard as a homeschool mom. Whether you have a chronic illness that causes you to have sporadic bad days or if you just have a virus or such, knowing what to do for school when you are not feeling so great can be tough. Be flexible, and use some of these ideas the next time you have those days.

Do you have any other good ideas for mom’s sick days? Let me know in the comments.


I’m linking up with Blogging Through the Alphabet at Ben and Me.

blogging through the alphabet sm.



Review of My Student Logbook: An Assignment Book For Homeschool Record Keeping

I must admit that I am pretty picky about my record keeping. I’ve tried almost every lesson planner, calendar, student planner out there, both digital and paper. I’ve never found one I love, so I keep my own on my own forms and spreadsheets. But I’ve never been able to come up with an assignment sheet method that I really like. So when I heard of My Student Logbook and their daily student logbook, I was very interested.


I received for review a printed, soft cover, comb bound, and dated logbook. This sells for $15 on the site. It is dated from August 1-July 31 (school year dating). There are other options on the site- a calendar year dated book (January 1-December 31), a non dated printed book, a PDF book with a license for one student for one year, and a PDF family license for one year. Both PDF versions are dated. The logbooks are good for use with 2nd grade and up.

When I took the review, it was my intent to use this book for Charles. He is technically a high schooler this year, and I need to keep up with his work for a transcript. There is quite a bit of helpful information on the My Student Logbook site about using your logbook to create a transcript. So I let Charles pick out his cover design from the ten designs available in the store. He chose the Vintage Map design.

His logbook arrived, and I went to work setting it up. It was extremely easy. And I saw how it worked and wondered why in the world I had never thought of this! It’s a really great idea, working easily and allowing for less work over each week. Here is how it works.


  • In the front, there are blank assignment lists. I filled out this list with his current daily assignments. I used general assignments like “Complete one math lesson.” or “Complete one day of science.)



  • After the sheet was filled out, the directions on the page showed how to cut the page out of the book and fold it down the long way.

IMG_2270      IMG_2271


  • After several pages of these blank assignment sheets, the dated check sheets began. They are dated on one half with check boxes for each day. On the other half they have a blank section labeled “Notes.”



  • I took the assignment sheet that I had written, cut and folded it as directed and placed it around the dated check sheet. A small piece of tape on the back holds it in place.

IMG_2274 IMG_2273


  • Charles then looks at the assignment each day, and in that corresponding box he writes what he did that day or simply checks off that it is done. For example, when I have written “Complete one math lesson.”, he’ll write the number of the lesson that he completes. If he has any problems or questions, he can lift the assignment sheet flap and write in the “Notes” section. That way I can check up at the end of the week.



There are multiple copies of the assignment pages so that if we need to add or change or delete assignments as the year goes on, we can change out the assignment sheet. The sheet is designed so that you can write your assignments in whatever way you need to fit in with your type of homeschooling. I like to put broad, general assignments and then have them write the specifics in the check box, But you could put more exact assignments on the sheet if you wished.

You may have guessed from my gushing already, but I really loved this record keeping. There were many reasons why.

  • Although the method has printed assignment sheets and boxes, the fact that I can write in whatever I need to leaves the logbook flexible enough for me to use it the way I need to.
  • Checking the boxes or writing in pages read or a lesson completed is simple enough and quick enough that the kids remember to do it without complaint.
  • It is especially helpful for kids who really work well when they can check off work done. Charles is one of those. So being about to check off his assignments in this logbook every day really helps him.
  • Having a bound logbook is so much nicer than the individual assignment pages I used to print each week. It’s a nice bound book, so pages can’t get lost and flutter around the house until they end up in the trash. I now have a nice bound book that I can keep and refer to when I’m looking at what’s been completed.

I loved the logbook so much that I ended up purchasing my younger girls logbooks also. They picked the Rainforest and the Golden Vines. (Kathryne already has a curriculum guide because she uses one with her high school curriculum.) The younger girls love them also, and I don’t have to make them check off completed work each day because they enjoy it.

When I purchased the girls’ books, I considered the PDF book because it is $5 cheaper. But when I considered the fact that the pages are already printed and bound in the hard copy, I knew the cost would balance out. For me it was very worth it to have the printed, bound copies.

I love the daily assignment logbook from My Student Logbook. I hope that they come out with even more great designs so the kids have more to chose from because I’m sure I will keep using these each year!

The Facts:

Company: My Student Logbook

Product: Daily Student Logbook

Age Recommendation: 2nd grade and up

Price: $15 for printed book (other styles available)

Connect with My Student Logbook:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MyStudentLogbook

You Tube — https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMxzpy91vov8a8nDpyp2ihQ

Crew Disclaimer
You can see what other Review Crew members thought about My Student Logbook by clicking below.

Click to read Crew Reviews

Review of Bash and the Chicken Caper: A Kids’ Story Filled With Humor and the Fruit of the Spirit

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, you may be helping to support a voracious curriculum buying habit. Be warned. And thank you for clicking through to purchase.

I recently received for review Bash and the Chicken Coop Caper, a story for upper elementary aged kids. This story written by Burton M. Cole and illustrated by Tom Bancroft is published by the B&H publishing group.

Bash and the Chicken Coop Caper is a chapter book, so it will probably appeal to older kids. But the story is cute and funny, and even the younger set will laugh along with the misadventures of Bash and his cousin Ray.

Product DetailsThe book’s description: Christian author Burton Cole and illustrator Tom Bancroft have brought Bash and his friends back for more colorful adventures. Their second novel, Bash and the Chicken Coop Caper, journeys through the wackiness that runs amok on Bash Hinglebobb’s blizzard-blasted farm. There are mysterious footprints in the snow, vanishing mittens, misplaced eggs and a pink, purple and orange paisley sleeping bag on the move. Something is definitely amiss in the chicken coop.
While Bash is inventing such contraptions as a snowball catapult from inner tubes and underwear, his cousin Beamer Boxby, a city kid at heart, must help newcomer Lauren Rodriguez figure out why God lets horrible things happen to good people. Can Bash’s Farmin’ and Fishin’ Book (the Bible) be believed when it says, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God?” What about when fire rolls through an animal building, or when a kid has lost her dad? It’s time to find out alongside Bash and his friends—with a little help from an ice-skating pig, of course.

The story is humorous and lighthearted. Bash and his city cousin have many adventures as they investigate a mystery surrounding the chicken coop. And Bash comes up with some very crazy, mischievous ideas for the two to carry out. The humorous style is definitely enough to capture the interest of young readers, but it isn’t so silly that parents who want to read aloud will be annoyed.

Throughout the book Bash is teaching his city cousin about the fruit of the Spirit. And the two of them aim to exhibit each one. I really liked the approach to teaching kids about the fruit of the Spirit in a natural way through the boys’ conversation and actions. It wasn’t at all “preachy” but was a great message to send young readers.

I really thought that Bash and the Chicken Coop Caper was a great fun read with a positive message. I look forward to reading it aloud with my girls.

This book is the second Bash adventure. I haven’t had the opportunity to read the first. But I really liked the humor and the gentle teaching of spiritual things. I look forward to reading this one out loud with my younger girls.


Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own, and I was not compensated in any other way.

Weekly Wrap Up: Art Class, Geography Fun, and Reviews to Come

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, you may be helping to support a voracious curriculum buying habit. Be warned. And thank you for clicking through to purchase.

We finished up our fourth week back in a regular school schedule this week. We’re falling into a pretty good routine. We’re pretty busy right now; but, with some focused help from everyone, I think we can maintain.


Last weekend, Kathryne and my mom and I went to see The Giver. The book has always been one that I really liked, but I wondered if the movie would stay true to the story. Kathryne has read the book more recently, so I asked her about details I was unsure of. I was definitely not disappointed. I liked it. It doesn’t have bad language. It stays very true to the book- with only a few details changed. There was some violence, which is probably what earned the PG-13 rating, but it was definitely a must see movie. I’m curious to see if they continue the series. The other three books in the series are much less popular, but the movie has a cliffhanger ending that could lend itself to a sequel.


I added a small part time job to my schedule this week. I’m going to work on our church’s paid nursery staff on Tuesday and Thursday mornings during the woman’s Bible study groups. I’m looking forward to hanging out with babies. It’s a small time commitment, so the kids can take care of their independent school work while I’m gone. It will help teach them independence and responsibility. And it will help us to make a little extra money.

Ashlyne and Rachel and I are really enjoying geography. I know I say that every week, but it is just so true. I’m learning all kinds of things that are new even to me. And the girls are really catching on and having fun. This week we’ve been talking about the United States. We found this website, and they were able to practice naming the states and identifying where they were on the US map. By the end of the week we had a little “quiz” and both of them knew most of the states. And I definitely have to say that reading about all of these countries and states from all kinds of real books has been much more interesting than just memorizing facts about them from a textbook.


Charles and Kathryne are both using ARTistic Pursuits this year. We reviewed one of these in the spring- the upper elementary book. And I really liked it as did the kids. So Kathryne picked the high school Book 2 and Charles chose to do one of their new books-Construct. This week Charles started the first project- paper making. He had to make his own sheets of paper using scraps of all kinds of paper. The sheets dried this week, and the he’ll use them to make a project next week.


At first he was really frustrated at how time consuming the process was. And having to follow instructions is not his strong suit. But by the end of the paper making, he was really having fun. And he had good practice in following instructions. The younger girls got in on some of the action blending the paper scraps and water to make the pulp and then pouring the pulp in a mold to make the paper sheets.



I’m really excited about some of the review things that we have coming up. Charles has been using the Student Logbook, and I like it so much that I ordered books for the girls. This method of keeping up with school assignments is one I can’t wait to review.


This week I received the iWitness books from Apologia for review. These look like they are going to be another really good review.


Another review that I posted this week- curriculum to accompany the new Dolphin Tale 2 movie, sequel of the first true story movie about Winter, a rescued dolphin who loses her tale and gets a prosthesis. The two children who star in the movie are both homeschooled, so the movie has been promoted within the homeschool community. The Homeschool Movie Club has a great curriculum to go along with the movie. I have reviewed the curriculum, and I posted about a giveaway to win a promo pack for the movie- including a Dolphin Tale 2 tshirt and sunglasses. I’m hoping we’ll get to see the movie soon.



And, of course, our weekly wrap up has to end with a picture of Blondie. She’s playing her favorite game of tug the rope with Ashlyne.



I’m linking up with Weekly Wrap Up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschooler.

Weekly Wrap-Up

Giveaway to Launch a Great New Writing Tool From Home School Adventure Co.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, you may be helping to support a voracious curriculum buying habit. Be warned. And thank you for clicking through to purchase.

If you’ve never heard of Home School Adventure Co., let me introduce them to you and share with you a really great giveaway today.

Home School Adventure Company is a great homeschool curricula publisher that publishes resources to help parents teach their children with a distinctly Christian worldview. They have some great critical thinking resources. I was able to review their Mere Christianity journal with the Review Crew this year. The journal was a great tool to use while reading C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity. I used it as I read the book aloud to the kids, but I enjoyed for myself also because the questions were great to stimulate critical thinking.

Most recently, I had the opportunity to review their brand new resource- Creative Freewriting Adventure- A Journey Into Freewriting.

This unique resource uses passages from their other resources to stimulate thinking and then gives students fifteen minutes to write creatively. Kathryne- my 10th grader- is really enjoying this. We reviewed it here.

Home School Adventure Co. is ready to release their latest biblical worldview resource — Creative Freewriting Adventure – A Journey Into Freewriting!

Creative Freewriting Adventure is a collection of thought-provoking freewriting exercises designed to inspire creativity and critical thinking, even in reluctant writers.

The official release of this wonderful resource will be at a Facebook Party on Thursday, September 18, 9 PM ET. I’ve heard there will be lots of prizes given away that night (and some free stuff for all guests, too). I hope you will join me! You can RSVP here.

I am joining author, Stacy Farrell, and Home School Adventure Co. to celebrate the release of Creative Freewriting Adventure with this impressive giveaway, valued at nearly $300! One winner will win PRINT copies of all of HSA’s resources, plus 4 biblical worldview books and a lovely canvas tote bag.

Creative Freewriting Adventure Giveaway -- Winner will be announced at the Facebook Release Party on September 18

Here’s what you could win:

Creative Freewriting Adventure – A Journey into Freewriting ($21.95)

Bring joy and excitement into your student’s writing with these simple-to-execute (yet significant) writing exercises. No prep required. Just grab a pen and paper, set a timer, and have fun!

Writing can be hard work. Good writing most often results from much rewriting, and much rewriting can make a writer weary. Since Philosophy Adventure students polish one primary writing assignment over the course of several weeks (supported by clear step-by-step instructions and seven writing checklists), we created freewriting exercises to offset their hard work with play!


Philosophy Adventure™ — Pre-Socratics Complete Set with Resources CD  ($89.95

DO YOU NEED to teach advanced writing and speaking skills? DO YOU WANT your students equipped to discern truth as ungodly messages bombard them? DO YOU WONDER how to cover all they need academically as well as practically? Philosophy Adventure may be your solution!

Philosophy Adventure™ is designed to help students 6th-12th grade cultivate and defend a biblical worldview by teaching them how to write skillfully, think critically, and speak articulately as they explore the history of ideas.


Mere Christianity Journal and Softcover Print Bundle (Journal & Book) ($38.95)

Have we forgotten whose we are? In this “Age of Tolerance,” Christians are in danger of forgetting (or never learning) what distinguishes a Christian worldview from other worldviews. The Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal is a powerful tool to strengthen critical thinking while cultivating a biblical worldview. A companion to Lewis’s classic work, the Journal can be used for independent study with teenagers or adults, or as a group study in families, homeschools, co-ops, classrooms, Sunday school, and small groups.

This bundle contains the Print Edition of the Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal with a softcover edition of Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis’s original work.


Philippians in 28 Weeks — Scripture Memory Resource ($28.95)

What does it mean to love Him with all your mind? The Bible is banned in many countries. Countless believers have sacrificed their freedom—and many, their lives—to spread the message of God’s love and salvation contained within its pages. Are we exercising our freedom responsibly? Memorize the entire book of Philippians in 28 weeks!


The Wise Woman with Literary Analysis Journal Questions ($28.95)

How do you train a heart?

George MacDonald’s The Wise Woman enchants readers while it contrasts the ugliness of pride, selfishness and conceit with the beauty of humility, sacrifice, and compassion.

The Wise Woman is a perfect story for a family to read together curled up on the couch under a warm afghan or after a meal. (It is only fair to warn you: once you read the first chapter, you might not put it down. More than one mom has stayed up late to read after her children have gone to bed.)

Read each chapter and discuss the literary analysis questions and vocabulary. Clear writing requires clear thinking. The exercise of formulating and writing answers will strengthen your students’ thinking and communication skills. Middle school and high school students create a profound keepsake as they write their answers in the book.

By offering students 16 to 24 literary analysis questions per chapter, this 160-page spiral bound edition teaches critical thinking in a way that is engaging and transformational.


Nancy Pearcey Book Bundle ($63.98)

Nancy R. Pearcey  is scholar in residence and professor at Houston Baptist University, where she is also director of the Francis Schaeffer Center for Worldview and Culture. She is also a fellow at the Discovery Institute. Previously she was the Francis A. Schaeffer Scholar at the World Journalism Institute, where she taught a worldview course based on her book Total Truth, winner of the 2005 ECPA Gold Medallion Award for best book on Christianity and Society. She has also served as professor of worldview studies at Philadelphia Biblical University, during which time she wrote her most recent book, Saving Leonardo: A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, and Meaning.

This bundle of books written by Nancy Pearcey includes:

The Soul of Science – Christian Faith and Natural Philosophy
Total Truth- Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity
Saving Leonard0 – A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals & Meaning


Home School Adventure Tote Bag ($18)

This duo color canvas tote is roomy enough to hold all of your Home School Adventure Co. reasouces! Sturdy and fashionable, it is emblazened with the Home School Adventure Co. logo on one side, and the words, “Cultivate and defend a biblical worldview” on the other.



The winner of this giveaway will be announced during the Creative Freewriting Facebook Release Party on Thursday, September 18, 9-10 PM ET. Please join us on the Home School Adventure Co. Facebook wall that evening to find out if you won!

(Winner does not need to be present to win.)

Be sure to RSVP here.



To enter the giveaway, please complete the Rafflecopter below. U. S. residents, age 18 and older please. Other terms and conditions are located in the Rafflecopter.
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Dolphin Tale 2: Review of a Homeschool Curriculum For the New Movie**And a Chance to Win a Dolphin Tale 2 Promo Pack**

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, you may be helping to support a voracious curriculum buying habit. Be warned. And thank you for clicking through to purchase.

***Make sure that you to the bottom for a chance to win a Dolphin Tale 2 movie promo pack.***

dolphin-tale-poster-art We watched the first Dolphin Tale movie together as a family. I had heard the  buzz about it for quite a while because the two children who play the main  characters are homeschooled, and I had wanted to show it to the kids. When we  finally had the chance to watch it, we all enjoyed the story.

If you haven’t see or heard of the first movie, it’s based on a true story about a  dolphin who was found on the beach having a severely injured tail. “Inspired by  the incredible true story of Winter, a dolphin who was rescued off the Florida  coast after her tail became caught in a crab trap, this uplifting family-oriented  adventure … details the unique bond between an injured dolphin and a young  boy. When Winter loses her tail in a tragic accident, her young friend convinces  the locals to build her a prosthetic replacement, inspiring hope and courage in  handicapped people across the globe.”

We were excited to look up real footage of Winter, who can still be found at the  Clearwater Marine Aquarium. Live webcams let viewers get a look at the famous  dolphin.

Beginning on Friday- September 12- is a sequel in the life of Winter: “The team  of people who saved Winter’s life reassemble in the wake of her surrogate  mother’s passing in order to find her a companion so she can remain at the  Clearwater Marine Hospital.”

I plan on watching the sequel with the kids as soon as we have the opportunity. And then I heard of a great new free resource for homeschoolers that is based on Dolphin Tale 2.


On this website, you can find free homeschool curricula based on the Dolphin Tale 2 movie! I have to admit that I was a little skeptical when I first heard of this. I thought perhaps someone had thrown some activity sheets together and advertised them as a “curriculum” to play up the movie. But when I visited the Homeschool Move Club website to find out more, I was very, very impressed!

The site itself is pretty incredible. There is curriculum for many popular kids movies. The site does require you to register to receive the curricula, but the registration is free and easy.

The Dolphin Tale 2 curriculum is written by Sherri Segilson who has, among many accomplishments, written the marine biology science course for Apologia science- a name we are very familiar with!

The curriculum can be used by elementary to high school students. There are symbols to designate what activities are appropriate for what age. There are five major parts of the curriculum. Each part covers and aspect of dolphins and oceans and how that material relates to the movie. It is suggested that students use the activities to create their own notebook. Each segment consists of a video segment and a PDF file with activities and information.

At the bottom of the curriculum page, there is also a PDF curriculum from Classical Conversations that takes the information about dolphins and oceans and fits it in to a multidisciplinary curriculum covering biology, physical science, geography, language, math, literature, history, art, and Bible. This one is a 77 page booklet that can be used after viewing the movie to extend learning about dolphins. There is no age given for this one, but I think it would be appropriate for upper elementary aged kids.

I was very impressed when I checked out the curriculum. Although it couldn’t be a stand alone curriculum with only five main topics, it does make an excellent supplement for a science curriculum- especially for marine biology lovers. I have a child that I know will be quite interested in this. I also loved the multidisciplinary booklet from Classical Conversations. There are some great activities that I know my 4th and 5th grader will enjoy after we see the movie.

All in all, I’m quite impressed with this free resource. After you see the movie with your family- beginning Friday, September 12!-register and download it for your homeschool. It will make learning fun for your kids and will extend the interest in topics from the movie.

You can connect with the curriculum and the movie:

Official Movie Website: http://www.dolphintale2.com
Twitter: @dolphintale
And take a look at the trailer for Dolphin Tale 2:


And now for a giveaway… I have one movie promo pack to give away. This pack will include a Dolphin Tale 2 tshirt and a pair of sunglasses. You can enter below to win this great pack of gear to wear when you see Dolphin Tale 2!

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”



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Blogging Through the Alphabet: T is for Top Ten (Homeschool Mom Resources)

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase through these links, you may be helping to support a voracious curriculum buying habit. Be warned. And thank you for clicking through to purchase.

If you’ve been around my blog for a while, you’ll know that I frequently post favorite books. Recently I posted some of our favorite chapter book read alouds, summer reading books for various ages,  and this spring I wrote five days of posts of our favorite kids’ reads. But I haven’t posted very often about books for homeschool moms. When I was a new homeschooler, there were many books that I read for information, for encouragement, for support. So here – for T week in abc blogging- are ten of my favorite homeschool mom resources.


1. Managers of Their Homes. This book by Steven and Teri Maxwell is all about setting a detailed schedule to organize your Managers of Their Homesfamily’s homeschooling. Although I never kept as strict a schedule as suggested in the book, I found the principles of scheduling to be very valuable as I planned our time.


2. A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola. Not too many years into my homeschooling, a friend introduced me to the ideas of Charlotte Mason. I read and read and read. This was one of the books that really helped me to understand this teaching philosophy that really resonated with me.


3. A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMille. I heard this book referenced and recommended at a  homeschool convention one year. This was another that really resonated with me as I read.  DeMille talks about what education is necessary to develop leaders in our children and how  traditional school models often don’t work to develop leaders.


4. The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. I don’t agree with everything by these authors but I do like this book as a resource. I do not consider myself a truly classical homeschooler, but I do use some classical methods and materials in our homeschool, and this book is an excellent resource for all things about classical education.


5. The Educated Child: A Parents Guide From Preschool Through Eighth Grade.There is no book that I’ve used  unquestioningly to tell me what to teach my children each year. I think that flexibility is one of the  best things about homeschooling. And I have never really tried to follow any set of standards. But this book was a  very good reference when I needed to have an idea of the things to cover in each grade.


6. Charlotte Mason’s Original Homeschooling Series.After having read The Charlotte Mason Companion, I The Original Homeschooling Series (Charlotte Mason's Original Homeschooling #1-6)wanted to read the original books from Charlotte Mason herself. There is so much good material in the six volume set. I felt like the books were about parenting as much as about homeschooling and school philosophy.


For the Children's Sake7. For the Children’s Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School. by Susan Schaeffer  Macaulay. This was another book that I read when I was studying Charlotte Mason and her  methods. The author talks about making education something that children enjoy and that is  related to all of life.


8. The Way They LearnThis book by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias is all about learning styles. The book talks about the basic learning The Way They Learnstyles and how kids with particular learning styles learn. I knew some things about learning styles because I was an education major before my life with children. But this book makes all of that philosophical knowledge practical by giving ideas for teaching children in particular learning styles.


9. The Latin-Centered Curriculum: A Home Educator’s Guide to a Classical Education. by Andrew A. Campbell. The Latin-Centered Curriculum: A Homeschooler's Guide to a Classical Education This is another classical education book with ideas for practically applying some of the  philosophies and methods of classical education. Again, I’m not a pure classical educator.  But this book had practical ideas that made sense to me and that I could incorporate into our schooling.


10. The Old Schoolhouse magazine. Technically this isn’t a book. But, even before I was a Review Crew Big Book '14 Cover 113013member, The Old Schoolhouse was an amazing resource to me. From the digital magazine that can be read free to the print issues that are the size of a book and are packed with articles and resources, The Old Schoolhouse magazine is a wealth of support and encouragement for homeschool moms.



So there they are- ten of my favorite homeschool mom resources. You can see that the list is rather eclectic- like my homeschooling. Do you have any favorite resources? Leave me a comment and let me know.


I’m linking up with Blogging Through the Alphabet with Ben and Me.

blogging through the alphabet sm.

Books to Encourage the Homeschool Mom

Finding God In the Potatoes: An Unexpected Lesson

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I found God while I was peeling potatoes tonight. I wasn’t particularly listening for God. I was busy doing my normal, routine, mommy job of cooking. It’s a rather mindless job, and I was listening to a radio theater CD of The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis. This is book three in The Chronicles of Narnia. It isn’t an especially well-known book from The Chronicles. I’ve read or listened to it quite a few times now. And, although I love The Chronicles- which is why I read and listen again and again- I wasn’t especially expecting to have a deep and meaningful moment. But I did.

finding God

A little background: The Horse and His Boy is the third of The Chronicles of Narnia, after The Magician’s Nephew which details the creation of Narnia and The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe which is the well known story of four children who enter the magical land of Narnia through a wardrobe. The Horse and His Boy takes place when the four children are reigning as kings and queens in Narnia. It features a slave boy- Shasta- who runs away from his cruel master (who’s been posing as his father) along with a talking horse from Narnia. The boy and horse meet up with another talking horse and her master who happens to be a princess in the land of the Calormans- where they live. All of this appears to happen coincidentally, but we find out different later in the story.

Aslan- the Great Lion in the story who is meant to represent Jesus Christ in an allegorical way- isn’t heard from very much in this story until close to the end. All of the characters have opportunity to finally meet him and talk to him as the story is wrapping up. And Aslan shares with each things about their journey that help us to know that nothing that happened was by coincidence but was Aslan’s doing all along. I love this part every time I hear it because it is so very representative of the way God works in our lives.

Even though the story was coming to the part that I really enjoy, I was sort of half listening and half thinking of other things- annoying, every day, routine things- as I peeled potatoes. And then came the scene where Aslan meets up with the two talking horses- Bree and Hwin- and the princess Aravis. And God spoke to me in the midst of peeling potatoes.

Aslan walks up on the unsuspecting trio, and they are terrified. None of them has ever met a lion before. When Aslan speaks and they realize he’s a talking lion, they aren’t reassured, but are more terrified. (They’ve never lived in Narnia, and Aslan is only a rumor to them.)But Hwin, the talking mare, makes a very profound statement as she steps forward to meet Aslan for the first time, not knowing whether or not he means her harm.

Then Hwin, though shaking all over, gave a strange little neigh and trotted across to the Lion.

“Please,” she said, “you’re so beautiful. You may eat me if you like. I’d sooner be eaten by you than fed by anyone else.”

And I was convicted. Am I truly willing to be “eaten” by God? To be so consumed with Him that He is all surpassing and all encompassing?

I’m pretty good at reading my Bible. I go to church. I teach my kids Bible and we read devotions together. I pray. But consumed by God? Not very often if I’m honest.

And right there in the minutia of every day life with dirty hands and potato peels lying around, I heard God speak to me, call me to truly be consumed, to be willing to die to myself and truly follow Him. It was a beautiful reminder of Who God is and the passion He wants me to have in following Him. And it was a reminder that God speaks in unexpected ways. Sometimes in the voice of a horse in the midst of potatoes.

This Week’s Favorite Read: The Amish Blacksmith by Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner

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I read and reviewed the first book of The Men of Lancaster County series this spring. It’s an Amish fiction set by Mindy Starns Clarck and Susan Meissner. I really enjoyed it. So when I had the opportunity to read The Amish Blacksmith from that set, I was glad to. This turned out to be one of those books that I almost thought I wasn’t going to like, but I’m glad I stuck with it because I ended up liking the read.


In this story, Jake befriends the niece of the blacksmith to whom he is apprenticed. She has a reputation of being the odd girl who moved away when her mother died in a tragic accident. But she’s back and Jake sets out to befriend her as a favor to his boss. Although Jake has a girl that he’s courting, he is very even keel with no passion or emotion. As time goes on, he finds himself enjoying his friendship with Priscilla. And Priscilla challenges him to open up and really feel.  (Read the remainder of my review at my book review blog- Leah’s Good Reads.)