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Showing posts from June, 2012

CHEK Conference "Thank You!"

I wanted to THANK everyone who gave of their time to put on our local CHEK Conference this past weekend, June 22-23, 2012.  WOW! I almost didn't go, after homeschooling more than 20 years and beginning to settle into the "over it" mode. You know when your in surviving mode instead of thriving. I went at the urging of Gina Glenn who promised me I would love the speakers this year. (Funny I remember a time I would go for the vendors only.) This year was DIFFERENT! Although I did have a blast moving through the vendor area and seeing all the great stuff and mingling with wonderful people. My real motivation for going this year was a good old shot in the arm. I needed my inspiration back and I GOT IT!!! The speakers were TOP NOTCH!  I had thought it would be enough to go Friday only but after hearing Rick Green of Wallbuilders and Israel Wayne of Wisdom's Gate for the first time I knew I had to go back. It was obvious to us God had not only lead the

Review by Audrey Bolin : Starting a Micro Business for Teens by Carol Topp

“Starting a Micro Business” by Mrs. Carol Topp  A Review by Audrey Bolin, A Teentrepreneur exhibitor at the CHEK Family & Homeschool Conference      This book is an awesome resource for any teen; especially those who are seriously considering the idea of starting there own “Micro Business”!  Mrs. Topp provides many real-life examples of teens that have already started their businesses. These help you realize that starting a successful business is an actual possibility.        If you want to start a business, but are not sure what you would like to do, you will surely find a solution to your problem in this book.  With over 20 micro businesses ideas, from tutoring to website developing, you will find something that is just right for you.      Many businesses fail, because the owner did not start out on the right foot.  But, if you follow Mrs. Topp’s basic steps for creating a business and financial plan, you are sure to get a get start!      I am a member o

Review: Phonetic Zoo from IEW

Institute for Excellence in Writing .  Andrew Pudewa. Both names are well-known and well-respected. Anyone who knows me knows that Mr. Pudewa ranks up there in my top 3 as far as conference speakers go.  His approach to teaching is very common sense.  I trust him.  I believe him. I was thrilled to receive his Phonetic Zoo spelling curriculum, but a little nervous, too.  I will admit up front that I've never used a spelling curriculum with Ben (4th grade) before.  I usually pull vocabulary words out of our unit studies and sometimes use those as spelling words, using the Charlotte Mason method for spelling, which is a visual method. I think this method has worked well for Ben, so I haven't really sought out another way to teach spelling.  I wasn't sure how I would feel about using a spelling curriculum. I was nervous for no reason.  Phonetic Zoo is a great, common sense method to teaching spelling. Once again, Mr. Pudewa has not disappointed. Before choosing wh

Review: NaturExplorers Wonderful Wildflowers

Spring has sprung! And nowhere is this more evident than during a nature walk. Birds are singing, flowers are blooming, and the sun is shining bright. It's the perfect time to get outdoors and explore nature! Why not begin with the loveliest creation of all--those blooming beauties--wildflowers? If you're like me, you might not be sure where to begin. NaturExplorers' Wonderful Wildflowers , from Shining Dawn Books , makes it easy to figure out! This awe-inspiring unit study lays out a plan perfect for one nature walk or a dozen. With living books, carefully selected non-fiction books and websites, tons of hands-on activities, notebooking pages, and a complete list of ideas for how to learn about and enjoy wildflowers, your students will be begging for more nature walks and creating a lifetime of memories while photographing and drawing all of their discoveries. For the Charlotte Mason fan in you, this unit (and all NaturExplorers units ) also incorporates studies of

Review: First Form Latin

Founded in 1994 by Cheryl Lowe, Memoria Press is a family-owned and operated publishing company, specializing in simple and easy to use Classical Christian educational tools for private and home schools. Their products are designed to be used by families and teachers who have no background in the subject matter, but with the highest academic standards in mind. First Form Latin is an introduction to Christian Latin for grades 5 and up. First Form uses the grammar-first approach, suitable for the grammar stage student, making it appropriate for all beginners. After mastering First Form , the student will have a solid grasp on the six indicative active tenses of the first two verb conjugations, five noun declensions, first and second declension adjectives, and 185 vocabulary words. The uniqueness of the  First Form Series  lies in two features: It is committed to the trivium model of teaching grammar systematically in order to facilitate retention and understanding, rather t

The Lost Skills of Homemaking- Modesty Matters by Malia Russell

Modesty Matters will once again be a welcome vendor at CHEK!  This article is contributed with permission by Malia Russell of Homemaking 911, a Featured Speaker and vendor herself! *** I would like to share a new curriculum that I am using with Anne Mary (9) and Sarah (12) so that we could learn sewing together at home this fall as part of their “Home Economics” Credit. We purchased a curriculum that is made to teach basic sewing skills. Each lesson is brief and on video so that it is very visual- an easier way to learn sewing. With basic instruction and easy-to-follow instructions my daughters are learning sewing machine basics, different types of stitches, fabrics, and other sewing essentials. Over the course they will learn to sew an apron, a skirt and other projects as well. We are really enjoying it so far. Here is an article written by Deanna L. Carmichael, the founder of the curriculum. The Lost Skills of Home Making In 1985, the year I graduated from high scho


I wanted to let you all know about a new feature at The Old Schoolhouse Magazine -- Schoolhouse Teachers . You may have noticed that the new digital version of   TOS Magazine is open access, meaning it is free to everyone now. There are even FREE apps available for iPhone, iTouch, iPad , Kindle Fire , and Droid .  In the past, when you subscribed to the magazine, one of the side benefits was the Teacher's Toolbox. We enjoyed  the Teacher's Toolbox, especially the freebie unit study each month, but we didn't really utilize it much more than that. Things have flipped. While the magazine is free, the paid subscription service is now an updated version of  the Teacher's Toolbox, called Schoolhouse Teachers . But it's so much more than the old Teacher's Toolbox ever was. One of the coolest features of Schoolhouse Teachers is that there are now real live teachers  for  several subjects who are providing lesson plans on a daily or  monthly basis. Y

Review: A+ Tutorsoft

Math.  Just the word can send many homeschool moms running for the hills. In our 5 years of homeschooling, we've tried at least that many math programs. We've yet to use the same math curriculum 2 years in a row. Nothing seems to click well with my son.  So I was excited to get to try A+ Tutorsoft , in exchange for an honest review. My son loves the computer, and since this is a software-based program, I had high hopes it would click with him.   A+ Tutorsoft is interactive, easy to implement and, for the most part, does the teaching for you. We received the Interactive MATH Full Curriculum CD for 5th grade. On the CD were the year's worth of lessons with a suggested lesson plan, interactive flashcards, printable worksheets with practice problems, printable exams, and a solutions guide. My son has not minded using this math program. Because it is self-paced, he has not found it overwhelming, even though he has found it challenging. I have appreciate

Review: Full-Time Parenting A Guide to Family-Based Discipleship by Israel Wayne

If you're a typical working parent, according to Israel Wayne's newest book, Full-Time Parenting A Guide to Family-Based Discipleship , you are spending just 19 minutes per day looking after your own children. Pair this statistic with the even more sobering statistics mentioned in his book regarding the number of hours a child spends away from home during the day, hours and type of media consumption and exposure to "non-parental information and life-changing worldviews" and you may not be surprised that according to Mr. Wayne, "65-88% of all Christian youth leave the faith their freshman year of college. " It begs the question, "Did they leave long before then?"  What is a concerned parent to do? In Full-Time Parenting, A Guide to Family-Based Discipleship , Israel Wayne provides a blue-print to take back the raising of your own children and move from being a "part-time" parent to a "full-time" parent while establ

#Homeschooling, #Parenting from a Biblical Worldview, Israel Wayne Keynote Speaker

Israel Wayne Keynote Speaker for CHEK Family & Homeschool Conference Homeschooling: Preference or Conviction? Why do you homeschool? What will define success for you when your children are grown? What is a Biblical philosophy of education? This keynote session focuses on what is really important. Israel will share what has helped his family avoid burnout and frustration in their many years of homeschooling. Homeschooling From A Biblical Worldview Are your children prepared to face the “real world”? Learn how to equip your children to stand against the flood of secularism and humanism that threatens to drown them. What is your worldview? How will you transfer a Biblical worldview to your children? How can you be more effective than the media and popular culture? Discover how to teach your children to view the core subjects (and all of life) through the lens of Scripture. Full-time Parenting--Workshop The average parent spends about 19 minutes per day intera

Carol Topp, Homeschool CPA & Micro Business for Teens at CHEK

               Carol Topp , Homeschool CPA I s the author of The IRS and Your Homeschool Organization and Homeschool Co-ops: How to Start Them, Run Them and Not Burn Out ,as well as several ebooks and magazine articles helping homeschool leaders.  Carol runs a home-based accounting practice specializing in tax preparation, small/micro business accounting, and nonprofit accounting. Carol has presented numerous workshops on money management, business start up, taxes, budgeting, nonprofit management and homeschooling to various community, church and homeschool groups. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband and two daughters, both homeschool graduates. Carol is a Featured Speaker at the 2012 CHEK Family & Homeschool Conference and a Highlighted Speaker in the " Teen Track "!   Her workshops are: Micro Business for Teens: Starting a Micro Business Encouragement for teenagers to start and run their own micro business. They will learn a lo

Review: The Mighty Works of God by Ruth J. Smith

"Today, the study of history has become a study of dates, facts, names, and events, with no consideration for their cause and effect. This approach to history has produced students who regard history as dull and boring and who have some knowledge of facts (or effects) of history, but no understanding of the cause of history and the individual's importance in His Story. Studying history with an effort to determine the cause and effect of the events gives life to the subject." ~Ruth J. Smith The Might Works of God    history series is a child's Providential History of the United States of America, written by Ruth J. Smith ( Pilgrim Institute ). This series contains 3 volumes, written for the elementary-aged student: The Might Works of God: Self Government  ($17.95) In this first volume, r eaders learn about Christ as the cause of Self-Government, the historical effect of the Bible in English, God's Providence in the discovery of the New World, the peopl

DAY 10 of 10 Days of Giveaways! Literature Bundle

Today's the last day and guess what? We have more giveaways than days! So, today we'll have more than one giveaway! Here's our first one: Both volumes have 5 star ratings on Amazon!Visit the Amazon links (titles below) for a preview! Annals of Wynnewood I, Shadows and Secrets by Chautona Havig  AND Annals of Wynnewood II, Cloaked in Secrets by Chautona Havig literature for young adults. About the author: Biography Chautona Havig began her love affair with words as a very young child. An early reader, she spent most of her childhood devouring books at the speed of a paper grocery bag full each week during summer vacation. Blessed with a vivid imagination, she often escaped into worlds of her own creation. When asked about her first attempts at writing a novel, Chautona said, "The summer I turned thirteen, I wrote the most insipid, pietistic, self-righteous pile of wasted paper that anyone has ever attempted to put on paper. Looking back, I guess i

Dads Make a Difference!

It was a quick trip to the park on a Saturday evening. Nothing major, just a few minutes with the family to get out the hyper-activity. I didn’t notice it right away, but once it sank in, there was no stopping the waves of sadness, frustration, and anger. It might not be a big deal to you, but it still stands out to me. It doesn’t have to do with what I saw, but rather, what I didn’t see! Out of all the families at the park that night, there were no fathers. Not one. Plenty of moms with their children, playing around the monkey bars, walking the track, throwing a Frisbee – but no dads. There is a crisis of leadership among families – especially of godly, male leadership. Fathers are absent, too busy working to be present. Fathers are passive, too stressed and tired to be involved. Satan is attacking homes by attacking fathers… and it’s working! The US leads the world in fatherless families. Nearly 35% (over 1/3) of kids are without a father in their life. Twenty million children