Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Canada O’ Canada

I just got back from my annual trip teaching Bible at Mill Stream Bible Camp in Canada. Don’t get me wrong, I dearly love the United States. I don’t want to live anywhere else. However, I do love Canada. It has to be my second favorite country outside of the United States. I so love traveling to Mill Stream and teaching Bible and I love the time that we have had to play tourist in Canada.

This year, though, because our foster kids couldn’t get passports quick enough, only Joshua and I went while Sarah stayed home with the rest of the family. This year was Canada’s 150th Birthday, and the theme at Mill Stream reflected that. Below are some pictures of the decorations at the camp. Also below is a recording of the song from Epcot’s Canada Pavilion that first sparked my desire to visit Canada. It is still a favorite song of mine even thought the pavilion’s movie has changed and this song is no longer performed.


Mill Stream 2

Mill Stream 1

Mill Stream 3

Mill Stream 4

Thursday, August 3, 2017

In The Reign of Terror–Another Fantastic Audio Adventure from Heirloom Audio–A Homeschool Review Crew Review

Heirloom Audio Productions

We were first introduced to GA Henty many years ago when my oldest son, John Allen, read one of his many great historical novels. He fell in love with them at once and has read many if his other books since then. When we found out that Heirloom Audio Productions was producing audio theater versions of his books we were beyond thrilled. The first one that we reviewed was, if I remember clearly, With Lee in Virginia, and we have either reviewed or bought and listened to every one since then. Recently we were invited to review their newest release In the Reign of Terror and it is just as professionally done and attention grabbing as the rest of the audio theater CDs that they have done.

You may be wondering what the difference is between “audio theater” and regular recorded books. Let me just tell you that when we listened to our first adventure, I was skeptical as to whether or not my kids would pay attention and be interested. That was back when we just had our three biological kids and we listened to the recording on a long road trip that we were on. They were completely enthralled! You could have heard a pin drop in the car – that is if the recording weren’t playing at the time. Every adventure has been the same since. Heirloom Audios Productions is just as the name suggests – an adventure! It is recorded in such a way that it is as if you were in a theater watching a movie and closed your eyes. You can imagine yourself being right in the action. The sound affects, background music, and everything is superbly done. And, the actors and actresses that portray each character are well known. This recording includes Brian Blesses of Star Wars, Tarzan, and Robin Hood fame, John Rhys-Davies from The Lord of the Rings and Indiana Jones movies, Cathy Sara of Downton Abbey and Christina Greatrex of The Royal Shakespeare Company among others.

In the Reign of Terror

This particular story is about a 16 year old boy by the name of Harry who leaves his home and family in England to live with and learn from The Marquis De St Caux and his family in France. Join Harry and the Marquis son also 16 when they rescue damsels in distress from a vicious dog, go on a wolf hunt for a ravaging wolf and, eventually, find themselves involved in the terrible French Revolution. We laughed at Harry trying to get used to France and the Frenchmen equally trying to communicate with Harry. We held our breath when Harry rescues his the family that took him in. I won’t go into too much detail because I don’t want to spoil the story, but the ending of all of the Heirloom Audio Productions recordings almost always leave us in tears and this one is no different. These are truly adventures. However, the GA Henty books are much more than just good books. They are what is called “historical fiction” which means that the characters may not have necessarily been real (although many are), but the historical information is accurate. My kids have learned so much history from these recordings!

If you think that the recording is all that there is, though, you are mistaken. Not only are the recordings fantastic but the extras that you get if you join the Live the Adventure Club are fantastic. Not only do you receive mp3 downloads and posters but you also can download a fantastic discussion starter and question guide. For each track of the CD this guide has many, many questions to make sure that your child is comprehending well, questions to discuss with your child to make them think further about what is happening, and many vocabulary words for your child to look up or for you to discuss with your child. This is very helpful if you are using this in a homeschool setting.

Once again we are thrilled with In the Reign of Terror from Heirloom Audio Productions. It is another fantastic production. To find out more about this audio theater CD or any other GA Henty CD’s from Heirloom Audio Productions just click on any one of the highlighted links above. You can check out what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew think about this production by clicking on the banner below. Happy listening!

In the Reign of Terror {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Doctor Aviation–An Awesome Homeschool Review Crew Review!

Doctor Aviation

I remember when my middle biological child, Joshua, was younger. He would latch on to a specific topic and want to learn everything he could about that subject. It was almost like he would become a little genius in that field. You would never know when his interests would change but eventually they would and he would move on to something else but his fascination with that topic still wouldn’t stop. For a while one of his interests was helicopters. He wanted to know everything he could about them. We watched videos, read books, looked them up on the computer, and traveled to where ever there was an actual helicopter display. He couldn’t learn enough about helicopters.
I really wish that Doctor Aviation had been around at that time. I think that he would have really soaked this Aviation Video Training course up! However, God always has a plan. He knew back then that, although Joshua may someday take this course as well, there was another child that would enter our life that needed this course at this particular time. Six months ago, three awesome brothers came to live with us as foster children and, wouldn’t you know it, the oldest, David, wants to go into the Air Force to learn how to fly. We don’t know how long the boys will be in our lives but we do know that God sent this course to us at just the right time. David and I have had a blast working through this together.
But, I haven’t even told you what this course is all about! Well, let me tell you that it is amazing! It is taught by an equally amazing man by the name of Daryl Smith who is a retired Air Force Pilot, who has flown numerous types of aircraft, was stationed all over the world and even taught at the Air Force Academy in Colorado. He calls himself Doctor Aviation and for good reason. He is knows everything about aviation and is an excellent teacher. It’s amazing how he can take complicated information, put it in bite sized pieces and explain it in such a way that, although this course is recommended for ages 16 and up, even younger kids can comprehend. As I mentioned, the material is comprehensive. The first session/section is just introductive (it’s also free on the website if you want to check it out) but after that you get into the meat of the material. After that there are five more sections.
Section 2 is entitled “The Aircraft” and has four sessions that cover the basics of all aircraft such as The Major Components of an Airplane, Axes and Forces, Why and Aircraft Flies, Why and Aircraft Turns, Pitches, and Slides.
Section 3 is called “Air Traffic Control” and these two sessions have to do with Radar and How Air Traffic Control Works.
Section 4 is “Aircraft Maintenance” and talks about how to maintain Propeller Engines and Jet Engines in its two sessions.
Section 5’s two lessons cover “Airfield Operations” in Small Airports and Large Airports.
Finally, Section 6 goes more in depth and is called “The Aircraft II”. It talks about Flying in the Clear and Not So Clear, Important Pilot Instruments such as Attitude Indicator and Airspeed Indicator, and then talks about other Aviation Ships such as Gliders, Helicopters and Other Airships.
Each session contains a video that is approximately an hour long and each video has three sections in it – Technical Trivia, Notable Innovators and Legendary Aircraft/Events. There are also worksheets that can be downloaded and used to take notes and a downloadable section that contains more resources if you want to learn something more about a topic that has been talked about. These extra resources include, videos, websites, and a list of suggested reading material such as biographies and historical books.
You can also take this course for credit and their are tests and answer keys that  can be used if wanted.
David and I have been taking this course together and have loved it. Not only have we learned a lot but we have enjoyed spending time with each other. The Notable Innovator and Legendary Aircraft/Events sections have been fascinating and we have learned so much about airplanes in just the few lessons that we have completed so far. We can’t wait to delve into the lessons even more.
Here’s what David says about Doctor Aviation:
“It is very good. I liked learning about Chuck Yeager and the Wright Brothers. I also enjoyed learning tidbits of information like how the Ford Mustang got it’s name from the Mustang plane. He is really good at teaching the information and helping you understand the things being taught.”
As you can see we are really impressed with Doctor Aviation and the Aviation Video Training course. I highly recommend it to any family that has an interest in in airplanes. To find out more just click on any one of the highlighted links above. You can also read what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew had to say by clicking on the banner below. Many of them used it with young children or used it for credit and you can find some great information from their reviews. Finally, you can click on the social media links below to find information more information as well. Happy Flying!
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Aviation Course {Doctor Aviation Reviews}

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Internship for High School Credit–A Homeschool Review Crew Review!

Apologia Educational Ministries

I remember when we first were thinking about homeschooling our kids. We did a lot of research and talked to a lot of other homeschool families. One of the things that intrigued me about one particular family was the way that they allowed their children to seek out and work in internship programs. These programs helped them develop their talents and decide if it was really a career path that they wanted to follow. I toyed around with this idea with my oldest. We pursued some things that interested him, but I really didn’t know how to search out a real internship program for him. Now that our other two biological children are getting older and we also have three other awesome foster children the topic of internships has come up again. This time, however, we have a wonderful book by Apologia Educational Ministries titled Internship for High School Credit.

Let me tell you that, since I have this book, I am not going to have any problem with searching out, applying for, or even using this experience for high school credit. This book has all of the answers and takes you through the process step by step. It even has a workbook section for the student to better utilize and learn from this exposure to his chosen field.

Internship for High School Credit

After a short introduction and “How to use this Workbook” section, there are five parts to this book. Part one is titled “Getting Started” however, despite what the title says, it is much, much more than that. It is a step by step guide to everything that you need to do to apply for an internship. I am very impressed by how thorough this section is! At first it talks about how to determine what type of internship you are interested in. It even has a section that helps you think about a field if you don’t even know what you want to do with your life yet. It then goes on to talk about choosing a company, preparing to contact that company, and the extra things that you might need to do and take into consideration if you want to receive high school credit. There are a lot of things involved in claiming high school credits for an internship that I didn’t realize. I am glad that they included this section. Next after choosing a company Internship for High School Credit teaches your student how to write a résumé and write a letter of introduction to the company. Really these are skills that any student needs to know even if they aren’t applying for an internship! Finally, there are tips on how to act during an interview and how to get ready for the first day. Whew! I told you that the first section was thorough!

However, if you thought that the first section was thorough, wait until you read about the next section! Part two talks about what a parent needs to know. This section provides information on so many things that I didn’t even think of. Things like Child Labor laws and how a parent needs to be proactive in helping their child choose a good internship location. I like how, since this book is written from a Christian perspective, how this section talks about choosing a company that is going to line up with your worldview. Finally, this section gives a lot of great information on how a parent can use this internship to give their child high school credits.

Parts Three and Four are in workbook form and helps the student keep track of his goals and how the internship is going. The questions that are asked each week are tremendous. They really help the student think about what is going on so that this isn’t just a “job” but a real internship that is helping them get the most from this experience and evaluate if this is something that they really want to pursue in life. Part Three is for the first semester of an internship and contains charts, questions and hints for the student to fill out, answer and read. It also includes an end of the semester work performance and an evaluation of what skills were learned during the semester. Part Four is for the second semester of a year long internship. It is very similar to Part Three, but instead of questions it contains in-depth activities for the student to complete that helps them dig deeper into the field that they are working in order to get the most from their experience.

Part Five is a course Wrap-up section that includes a final writing assignment, writing a thank-you letter to the company, updating your résumé and asking your supervisor for a letter of recommendation.

I told you that Internship for High School Credit was thorough! I am very impressed with this book, and am definitely going to use it for my kids. To find out more about Internship for High School Credit or about Apologia Educational Ministries just click on any one of the highlighted links above. You can also search them out on one of their social media links listed below. Finally, many of the other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew reviewed this book and another book from Apologia Educational Ministries and you can find what they had to say by clicking on the banner below. Happy Homeschooling!

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Homeschool with Confidence & Internship for High School {Apologia Educational Ministries Reviews}

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Friday, June 9, 2017

MarshMedia Health and Puberty Videos–An Excellent Resource for any Family–A Homeschool Review Crew Review

Health Education Products for K-8 {MarshMedia }

Being in a house full of adolescent boys can be very interesting. You never know what discussions we might have. What makes it even more interesting is the crazy mixed up group that we have. Two of our biological sons are on the autism spectrum so are very innocent when it comes to some things, while our three foster sons are very street wise and have seen a lot more than our biological kids. Still, four out of the seven boys are teens while one is a preteen, so there are topics that periodically have to be addressed. With a bunch of hormonal boys health and sexual talks are inevitable. That’s why I was excited to be chosen to review .MarshMedia and their awesome health education videos. MarshMedia has produced videos for schools for over 45 years, however, they are wanting to introduce their videos to homeschool families with a Homeschool Special.

When I was researching this company at first, I was skeptical. After all, this company is not really a Christian company. If I am going to talk to my kids about such things as health and puberty, I want it to come from a Christian perspective. I don’t want it to come from a world view that is contrary to my faith. However, after watching a few of these videos, I realized I had nothing to worry about. These videos are very well done and I found nothing at all offensive about them.

As I mentioned, MarshMedia concentrates on Health and Puberty Education. In fact, as you can see by their banner below, that is their tagline. I was very curious because they said that they also had videos that were geared toward autistic children. I was pleasantly surprised! As I mentioned above, they are very tastefully done. They explain things in ways that an autistic child would understand. It is very basic but thorough. Although they do show diagrams, there is no physical nudity involved. There are videos that discuss puberty as well as safety, and hygiene. Hygiene is a really big thing with my autistic teen so I was very glad that they addressed that topic. How they do it in a serious but somehow entertaining way I will never know. I wish I had that ability.

Health Education Products for K-8 {MarshMedia }

The videos made for non-autistic kids are equally well done. Now, these videos are made for children in grades k-8 so, after watching a few of them, I realized they were a bit below the level of my high-school aged boys. Still, there are quite a few that were suitable for my pre-teen and, even though they were not specifically made for autistic children, they fit well with my teen that is on the spectrum.

Now, I realize I have talked about the puberty and hygiene videos a lot, but they have a plethora of videos that deal with such topics as immune system disorders, safety, nutrition, and even head lice. All are just as tastefully done as the puberty and hygiene videos.

I think you can see that we are very pleased with .MarshMedia and it’s videos. Although we as members of the Homeschool Review Crew, were able to choose and select which videos we wanted to watch, it looks like that option is available for regular costumers as well. Or, you can take advantage of the Homeschool Special. Whichever you decide to do, please do it because this has become a wonderful resource to our family and I know it could be to yours as well. Just click on an one of the highlighted links above or check out their social media links below. You can also check out what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew had to say by clicking on the banner below. Happy Homeschooling!

Social Media Links:

MarshMedia Reviews

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Fruit of the Spirit–Podcast 2!

Howdy folks! Here is my second podcast on the Fruit of the Spirit. As I said before, I don’t know how many I will do a week, but I’m doing them as the Spirit leads. These are geared toward the Teens that Sarah and I work with, but anyone is welcome to watch. Enjoy and leave me a comment below!

Heroes of History–Davy Crockett–A Homeschool Review Crew Review


One of my favorite genres of books when I was younger was biographies. I know, I was a weird child! Anyway, that love carried over to my adult life as well. I still love biographies and autobiographies. I’m pretty sure that anyone that reads my blog also knows that I love history. I am very glad to say that my children love history and biographies as well. Yep! I’m turning them into little geeks! So, we were super excited to find out that we were going to get to review one of the books from the YWAM Publishing Heroes of History series titled Heroes of History- Davy Crockett.

It also doesn’t hurt that we live in the great state of Tennessee and Davy Crockett was a hero that was born in our great state. You know the song – Davy, Davy Crockett – king of the wild frontier! But, did you know that “Davy” would have been insulted if you would have called him that? That is a modern day name that was given him – I suppose for the movie and TV show or something like that. Nevertheless, he would have preferred being called David back in his day. We learned that from the book. Not only did we learn that but we learned a lot of other fascinating things from this biography written by Janet and Geoff Benge. We have reviewed and bought a lot of books from YWAM Publishing and they have all been fantastic. This one is no different. We always learn so much and they are all good reads!

They all begin with a snippet of the hero’s older life and then flash back to the to his or her childhood on goes on through their life. Of course we all know that David was born in Tennessee and died in the famous Alamo battle. However, what I didn’t know was all of the interesting stuff that happened in between. This great book chronicles him leaving home and setting out on his own at a very young age, exploring the western wilderness, befriending Indians, and becoming a congressman. He did all of that in his short 50 years that he was alive! His life truly is fascinating!


As I said, YWAM books really are fantastic. However, it’s not just the books that are fantastic but also the study guides. Now, let me just say that the study guides for each of the titles in the Heroes of History series are sold separately as digital downloads, but I would recommend buying them even if you aren’t reading the books for homeschool or other educational purposes. They are packed with a lot of really cool extras!

For homeschoolers (and anyone else that likes this sort of thing) it has the usual chapter questions that are very well thought out and interesting. I usually read these books to my two homeschooled sons and alternately ask them a chapter question after we have read a chapter. There are also ways that you can use this book and the topic of Davy Crockett in all sorts of homeschool subjects including science, math and geography as well as history. We really like the Books and Resources section where you can find more great information on this great hero. And, along with this, there is a link to a special page where you can find bonus materials for this title and other titles in the Heroes of History series.

As you can see we really love this series and the study guides. To find out more about YWAM Publishing, the Heroes of History or specifically Heroes of History- Davy Crockett, just click on any one of the highlighted links above. Or you can check them out on their social media links provided below. As usual many of the other Homeschool Review Crew members reviewed this book and other books from YWAM Publishing and you can find what they had to say by clicking on the banner below. Happy Reading!

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Homeschool Review