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Safety Cutting and Grip Training with The Pencil Grip, Inc. | Review + Giveaway

This post, Safety Cutting and Grip Training with The Pencil Grip, Inc. | Review, contains affiliate links.  

The Pencil Grip, Inc. recently sent us two products to try out: The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit and The Ultra Safe Safety Scissors. They also offered to send a set to one of my readers, so keep reading!
The 3 Step Pencil Grip Training Kit

How We Handle Screen Time in our Home

In this day and age, it is hard to avoid screen time.

Growing up, we watched Saturday morning cartoons every weekend, and I played my first Atari video game in the 4th grade. But screen time was not an issue growing up because we played.

Online Math With CTCMath | Review


I am looking forward to taking a break from teaching math this school year by using CTCMath, a full online math curriculum for grades K-12 that does the all the teaching and grading for me.

I received the Family Membership - a one-year subscription to CTCMath to review with Eliana who is in the 5th grade and Boaz who is in the 1st grade, and while I wasn't planning to use an online math program for my youngest two this year, this program has been an amazing help during a busy fall season. In fact, we started the Free Trial to get a head start on our review because I knew I'd be busy.

Happy Fall!

I'll be "away" while my family and I spend the Feast of Tabernacles with fellow believers at Glacier.  We have a 9 or 10 hour drive ahead of us, so I plan to finish up a review due next week and work on my 2017-2018 curriculum post - I have it typed up in outline form, but I was hoping to include my thoughts on choosing and what I'm thinking as I purpose to be content in my homeschool this year. 

The Lily Pad Pond in the Fall | Exploring Nature with Children

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls | Review

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls are kids adventure books from WorthyKids/Ideals. They are written for ages 6 - 9, or for grades 1 - 3, and teach about events in the Bible.

We received the first two books in the Hidden Scrolls series: The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: The Beginning (Book #1) and The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: Race to the Ark (Book #2).

Captain Bayley's Heir | Review

I love to hear me a good tale. You too?

Captain Bayley's Heir might be my favorite audio drama from Heirloom Audio Productions to date. It's an exciting, adventurous tale of the "Old West," but it also has an element of mystery and romance. It is filled with colorful characters, tales of the gold fields of California, and the power of God's grace.

Itinerary for an Eastern Hemisphere Education

This post, Itinerary for an Eastern Hemisphere Education, was written for Sonlight Curriculum. 
Sonlight History Bible Literature F

Attention all passengers. Flight HBL is now boarding at Gate F!

Get ready to fly across the Pacific to explore the Eastern Hemisphere with us! There will be some amazing sites to see, ethnic food to try, and new people to meet along the way, so be sure to follow our top travel tips for packing, organizing, and carry ons!

A Walk Around the Neighborhood to Collect Seeds | Exploring Nature with Children

A few things. . . | Currently

because it was healthy and delicious.

Stamp Out or Build an Underground Church in this Interactive Game | Review

We love board games, but we especially love card games because they are portable, easy to store, and just as fun. Today, I have a fun review to share of a card game we have been playing as a family recently. 

Designed for 6-12 players, for ages 12 and up, Unauthorized is a role playing card game by Chara Games that involves both strategy and chance and can be played in 30 minutes or less.

Children's Books by Carole P. Roman | Review

This post, Children's Books by Carole P. Roman | Review, contains affiliate links. 

Carole P. Roman has a fun variety of children's books on Amazon for various ages, and we got to review four of them to share with you. I share a little about each one, but be sure to visit the Homeschool Crew blog to see book reviews on all her other books.

How I Set Up Our Sonlight Instructor Guides | No Flipping Required

How I Set Up Our Sonlight Instructor Guides | No Flipping Required!

Sonlight has changed their IG format over the years, but how they have it now is my favorite. In fact, I was so surprised to see people complain about it on the Sonlight Mom's group that I had to comment on how much I liked it the current way. Sonlight picked up on my comment and asked if they could share it in on the Sonlight blog in The Everything Guide to Your Sonlight Instructor’s Guide, which is a must read for anyone wondering how to make the IG work for you

Marine Biology for the Ocean Loving Kid | Review

Apologia Educational Ministries is known for having excellent high school science curriculum, so even though Malachi is only in the 7th grade, he loves marine life and was excited to have the chance to review the Marine Biology 2nd Edition Advantage Set which is actually geared for high school students who have already completed Biology.

Our Homeschool Home | We rearrange the whole house and turn a bedroom into a school room.

I like to rearrange. It helps me clean and organize my home, so Our Homeschool Home series on the blog continues. We have been in this rental house for 9 years, and this is the first time I have had a school room in this house. It was born to save my sanity and make my husband happy when he walks through the door.

About 6 months after my two grown boys moved out of the house, while dealing with a crisis in my marriage, I made a drastic move. It's true. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I practically rearranged the whole house in the process.

I moved Eliana into the laundry room, so I could move the two youngest boys into her room. Then I moved everything from my office library downstairs to the living room. I moved Dylan into that room and Eliana into his old room. I moved school upstairs to the two boys' old bedroom (once Nathan and Dylan, then Malachi and Boaz).

So, I rearranged the whole house to turn a bedroom into a school room. This won't be possible in our next house, so I will enjoy it while I can.

Box Day for the Youngest Child | Unpacking Sonlight A Upgrades

Bo will be my last child to use Level A - Intro to the World: Cultures. It's bittersweet - my baby is growing up fast, and I love this level!

My youngest gets a lot of hand me down curriculum, but since I bought this level 5 years ago, I upgraded Sonlight Level A, so he could have his own little box day.

Everyday Cooking | Review

Everyday Cooking Cookbook Review at Delightful Learning

Everyday Cooking is a 194 page spiral-bound cookbook (also available as a PDF download) by Vicki Bentley from Everyday Homemaking. The emphasis of the cookbook is on whole food cooking, but Mrs. Bentley and her family are not purists, so it's not a health food cookbook (nor a low-sugar cookbook), but some healthier substitutions are suggested, and she even has a few low-carb, low-sugar options and substitutions.

Learn the Alphabet Through Great Works of Art with the Phonics Museum App | Review

Veritas Press Phonics Museum
Veritas Press now offers their Phonics Museum program as a homeschool phonics app, available in the App Store. The app makes reading fun with a museum theme, fun content, engaging characters, and entertaining stories. Your child tours the phonics museum floor by floor, discovering great works of art, playing games, hearing stories, and singing along to songs.
“See the picture, say the word, repeat the phonic sound, and the phonic rule is heard!”

William and Wendy guide your child through the Phonics Museum along with Percival, a young knight from one of the exhibits who brings the museum alive for your child, and Miss Biddle, the eccentric museum curator guide who is animated in songs and games, but looks real, or "comes to life," to teach the "astonishing simple syllables" your child needs to know to read and write.

Being Content with Your Curriculum

This post, Being Content With Your Curriculum, was written for Sonlight Curriculum. 

When it comes to homeschooling, we all too often meddle with something that is already quite wonderful - our curriculum. The newness wears off. We get bored with it. We try to make it better. Or we see what other homeschoolers are using, and we want to do the same.

In the process of meddling, we forget to enjoy what we have.

How to Have a More Content Homeschool

Getting Ready for a Restful Homeschool Year

This post, Getting Ready for a Restful Homeschool Year, contains a referral link to Sonlight Curriculum. 

We won't officially start school until September 5th, the day after Labor Day, but we had a first day of sorts this week when we started our History, Bible, and Literature reading. I wasn't planning anything special because all this means is that we will now follow a suggested course for the school year, but we are always reading in our home whether school's in session or not. 

So, I wasn't planning anything special, but Eliana decided we should have our first day of school waffles to celebrate being back to school. 

See, she loves school just as much as I had hoped she would.

No-Nonsense Algebra | Review

No-Nonsense Algebra is a simple, straight forward system by Math Essentials that teaches Algebra with lessons that are short and sweet, as well as complete.

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! | Review

If you or your elementary student wants to learn Biblical Greek, I recommend Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! - Level 2 - a Biblical Greek Worktext. It has a variety of activities to help you learn Greek, and each activity is like a little puzzle to solve. It may look intimidating at first, but Greek 'n' Stuff walks you through step by step in this introductory course and offers plenty of review.

First Day | August 2017

Today, I am sharing a day in the life from this week - Tuesday, August 1st, 2017. One of the things I love about doing a day in the life on the first day of the month is that it is random, and I usually don't remember to do it until that morning (or not at all - it's been awhile).

This is a summer day.

6:30 am woke, made my bed, folded a load of laundry, took my morning supplements, and made chocolate chip muffins.

7:30 am hubby got kids up and ready for bowling camp, and I dropped them off at the bowling alley at 8:30 am while he went to his Tuesday morning staff meeting.

In the Reign of Terror | Review

With fantastic dialogue, music, and sound effects, Heirloom Audio Productions turns audio drama up a notch with their production of In the Reign of Terror. The action packed story kept my listeners on the edge of their seat with mad dogs, a demon wolf, battle scenes, and the dreadful darkness of the French Revolution in a story centered around friendship in this audio drama inspired by G.A. Henty's original book written in 1880.

Currently | July 2017

Currently, I am... 

knitting a mason jar cozy...

How I Lost 30 Pounds Without Exercising | My Trim Healthy Mama Story

My Trim Healthy Mama Success Story

I started Trim Healthy Mama three and a half years ago, so my story is long overdue. 

Learn about the States with the USA Activity Bundle from The Crafty Classroom | Review

If you are looking for USA notebooking pages to compliment your geography studies this year, The Crafty Classroom has a beautiful set in their USA Activity Bundle.

Homeschool Journal | July 2017

In my life this month…

Somehow June turned into July and here we are now 3 weeks later. I shared what's been going on in my June edition of Currently, and my July edition is right around the corner, but I will share that our life seems up in the air. We may be moving soon, so instead of deep cleaning to get ready for a new school year, I might be packing it all up. 

I'm meal planning to make life easier - something I'm not very good at but am enjoying. So far, I have Mama Mia Mondays and Taco Tuesdays lined out for the next four weeks, and my husband is bringing home boxes to start packing up things we don't use daily. 

My school room is ready to go, so I may share how I organized it... but we won't be using it long so my focus will be on how to make school mobile. I already have tote bags ready to go for morning time, writing time, and one for one week of school at a time - the rest will have to go in a tub. 

So, life is up in the air, but this move would be a blessing for our family. 

In our homeschool this month…

Trust Fund | A Movie Review

Trust Fund Movie
Inspired by the prodigal son story in Luke 15, Trust Fund is a modern prodigal daughter story of two sisters and their loving father.

Produced by Mapelle Films, the movie which was shot in widescreen and rated PG, starts with a flashback from the sister's childhood while visiting their father's publishing company with their beautiful, smiling mother. The opening scene shows how close the two sisters were when their mother was alive and proves to be a type of foreshadowing.

While waiting for her father, Grayson Donahue (Kevin Kilner), now grown up Reese Donahue (Jessica Rothe) who is an aspiring writer discovers that her mother left her and her sister ten million dollars.
"My God, who makes the sun to know
His proper hour to rise;
And, to give light to all below,
Doth send him round the skies: 
When from the chambers of the east
His morning race begins,
He never tires, nor stops to rest,
But round the world he shines. 
So, like the sun, would I fulfil
The business of the day;
Begin my work betimes, and still
March on my heavenly way. 
Give me, O Lord, thy early grace,
Nor let my soul complain
That the young morning of my day
Has all been spent in vain!" 
Isaac Watts (1715)

An Overview of History with the Timeline Trio | Review

I was first introduced to Home School in the Woods our first year of homeschooling when we used their Time Line Figures which were designed by Amy Pak and sold by Sonlight. Now, all of those beautiful hand-drawn figures that I have used over the years are available in their Timeline Trio.

The Timeline Trio includes:
  • Record of Time timeline notebook, a beautiful hard back three-ring horizontal 12" x 9" binder that lays flat when opened. 
  • Timeline pages to record the chronology of history from 5000 BC to 2025 AD. These are heavy, ivory colored card stock pages with faint background lines for written notations and include a beautiful set of maps. 
  • Collection of Figures on CD with 1,260+ figures plus 80 bonus figures.
  • Suggested Placement Guide with tips and tricks and suggested placements for each figure.
If you are looking for a hands-on approach to help your child see all of history at a glance, please read on. 
"God of the morning, at whose voice
The cheerful sun makes haste to rise,
And like a giant doth rejoice
To run his journey through the skies. 
From the fair chambers of the east
The circuit of his race begins,
And, without weariness or rest,
Round the whole earth he flies and shines. 
O like the sun may I fulfill
Th’appointed duties of the day,
With ready mind and active will
March on and keep my heav’nly way. 
But I shall rove and lose the race,
If God, my Sun, should disappear,
And leave me in this world’s wild maze,
To follow every wand’ring star. 
Lord, Thy commands are clean and pure,
Enlight’ning our beclouded eyes;
Thy threat’nings just, Thy promise sure,
Thy Gospel makes the simple wise. 
Give me Thy counsel for my guide,
And then receive me to Thy bliss;
All my desires and hopes beside
Are faint and cold compared with this."
Isaac Watts (1674-1748)

Currently | June 2017

getting ready

A Literature and Composition Course for 7th Graders | Review

Hewitt Homeschooling offers homeschool literature and composition courses from K through high school, as well as grading and testing services. I recently had the opportunity to try their Gr 7 Lightning Lit Set with my soon to be 7th grade son, Malachi.

How to Answer Your Curious Kid's Science Questions | Review

Why is the sky blue? 
What makes a sunset orange-red?
What causes the pavement on a highway to appear wet?

If you have an inquisitive child or you will be teaching physics in your elementary or middle school this year, Novare Science & Math can help you with their reference book for teachers called Science for Every Teacher.


Herbal Iced Tea That Tastes Like Real Iced Tea! | Friday Favorites

Herbal Iced Tea That Tastes Like Real Iced Tea!

Who likes drinking iced tea in the summer time? 🙌🏻

Unlock Your Child's Potential with UnLock Math | Review

UnLock Pre-Algebra
I knew that whatever program I decided to use for high school, it would be a good idea to use the same Pre-Algebra program to ensure a successful transition from middle school math to high school math. I have a set of high school math books sitting on my shelves that I had planned to use, but after trying UnLock Pre-Algebra from UnLock Math, I'm not so sure anymore!

UnLock Pre-Algebra

American History Comes to Life with the Adventures of Rush Revere | Review

American history comes to life with the Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series from Adventures of Rush Revere #1 New York Times Bestselling Book Series by Rush and Kathryn Adams Limbaugh.

From Home School to Public School: 5 Things I Wish I Would Have Done

5 Things I Wish I Would Have Done Going from Home School to Public School

Making the decision to home school over public school can be a tough choice for many families. But, for some, choosing to place your kids in public school after homeschooling can be equally challenging. If you homeschool and are considering public school, you may be asking yourself a lot of questions.

Whitslefritz, French for Kids | Review

Whistlefritz is a delightful program to teach French (or Spanish) to children from ages one to seven. It stars Marie, a little mouse who whistles, and real children speaking French. It is adorable, and I'm happy to share my review of the Educator's French Collection.

As you can see, it looks cute, colorful, and fun, and it is!

Nathan ♥

Learning Latin is Easy with Prima Latina! | Review

Did you know that over half of our English words come from Latin? Latin words are abundant in our English language and studying Latin can be a very effective way to learn English grammar! Memoria Press offers a wonderful introduction to a classical Christian education with a program that is designed for students in the 1st through 4th grade who are fluent readers. 

We received the Prima Latina Complete Set which covers the basic parts of speech of English grammar while introducing Latin vocabulary and grammar in a very easy and gentle way. If you have ever been intimidated by teaching Latin (raises hand!), then this program is for you!

Learning Latin is Easy with Prima Latina!

Currently | May 2017

Currently, I am...

YWAM's Heroes of History - Orville Wright | Review

YWAM Publishing

YWAM Publishing has a wonderful series called Heroes of History. We previously reviewed Benjamin Franklin, so I was excited to have the opportunity to read Heroes of History- Orville Wright and use the corresponding Study Guide for an easy unit study. 

A Plan to Deal With My Worst Days

Sick kids. Sick mama. We all have bad days, but do we ever plan to have a bad day? One of my assignments during the Homeschool Rescue course that I took recently was to make a plan to deal with my worst days.

We have a list of things we do when we are under the weather, but most of our effort goes towards healing and comfort. I don't mind when the children are sick. I can love on them, take care of them, and read to them, but when I am down, it's harder.

So, I wrote down a list of things that I do when I'm not feeling well emotionally or physically, or if I'm just plain overwhelmed and burnt out. It was nice to have them down on paper and actually give myself permission to follow this plan.

In the Homestretch with All About Spelling Level 7 | Review

All About SpellingAll About Learning Press has been a part of our homeschool for the past 6 years. My 12 year old, Malachi, started with Level 1 at age 6 in the 1st grade, and has completed all the books from 1 to 6, doing one level per school year. I have love teaching this program and he has loved learning with it.

We finished Level 6 this spring, but he's such a great speller now that I debated whether or not we should do All About Spelling Level 7. The last few levels have been easy for him, so I thought that All About Spelling had worked itself out of a job. But, then I took a closer look at Level 7, and I knew I wanted him to finish strong.

Our Mess-free Experience With Thin Stix | Review

Who: The Pencil Grip, Inc.
What: Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors
Why: To see if these solid tempera paint Thin Stix really look and feel like paint.
Where: Available at retailers like Amazon and Toys R Us.


I've seen a lot of bloggers rave about the Kwik Stix, so I was curious to try the Thin Stix to see if these really look and feel like paint.