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 Schoolhouse 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!

Social Media Links:

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!

Social Media Links:

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

Crew Disclaimer

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

Crew Disclaimer

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!

Social Media Links:

Homeschool Review


Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Typing Coach! An Awesome Typing Program With an Actual Coach! A Homeschool Review Crew Review.


The Typing Coach


I remember typing class. I loved it. Everyone that took the college prep track in highschool had to take it. I don’t think I would have been cut out for the secretarial thing, but for some reason the typing class was one of my favorite classes. Little did I know how valuable that class would be in the future. It would be another five – ten years before the personal computer was invented but now it seems like they have always been around and are an everyday part of our lives. A person can’t get by in this world without learning some type of keyboarding. These days keyboarding is being taught as early as kindergarten. So, when I found out that we would be reviewing The Typing Coach Online Typing Course from The Typing Coach I was excited. We have used other typing courses before but it just didn’t seem to be the right time in the boy’s education to use it. This seemed to finally be the right time and I was hoping it would be the right course.


The Typing Coach
Okay, having said all of that, I tried a couple of the lessons to see what it was like. I thought I was a pretty proficient typist. After all, I type all of the time for my blog and other things. But! I didn’t even pass the first test! Ugh! This course is easy to follow but it is very complete! I think I am going to have to work through the whole thing and bone up on my typing skills.
I mentioned that this course is easy and complete but I didn’t mention that it is also a lot of fun. First of all, it is easy to use because everything is laid out right for you step by step. After an easy registration you just open up the home screen and it is all laid out for you. After some introductory audios and videos that need to be listened to and watched and after a very few things need to be printed out (trust me there is not much – it won’t break your printer ink budget), you will be on your way.
There are seven main lessons in this course along with a preview section to evaluate where you are at the beginning, a serious practice section where you get in some serious practicing before taking the final examination, and then the final examination itself. I suppose that a good typist that is just using this as a review could finish this whole course in one to two weeks, but I wouldn’t recommend that. The course instructor suggests taking about one lesson a week and practicing throughout the week.
The seven main lessons are:
  1. Having Good Posture – you also learn proper hand positioning here.
  2. Home Row
  3. Top Row
  4. Bottom Row
  5. Shift Keys
  6. Typing Practices
  7. Number Row
Did I mention a course instructor? Yes, there is actually one and he is marvelous! During each lesson there are audios that the student listens to (sometimes there are even videos!). These audios take you step by step through the lesson. For the lessons that I did, there was practice during the audio, then there was practice while looking at one of the sheets that was printed out. While you practice with the printed out sheet soft music is playing on the audio. Are you wondering how you can be typing in a word processor while listening to an audio as well? It really is very easy and all of that is explained in the lesson. When you are done with the lesson and think that you are ready for the test, you go to a special website to take the test. After the test is taken the results are immediately but if you want the results emailed to you there is an option for that as well.
I know all of that may be hard to understand, but it really is easy once you get started. I am loving working through it. I’m not loving the mistakes that I am making and realizing that my typing isn’t all that it is cracked up to be, but I am enjoying the course. I also really like the fact that the creator and instructor is very accessible. Although everything is computerized and a live person really isn’t involved, you can contact the instructor and he will answer any questions that you might have. I had to contact him and, wow, I don’t think he ever sleeps! It was late one night when I contacted him about something and he responded almost immediately! And he is super nice!
I think you have figured out that I love this course. If I can, I am going to have all of my kids take this at one time or another. Yes, I have special needs children, but, did I mention, there is also a special section that you can click on where everything is done at a slower pace for younger or special needs kids? This course is awesome!
To find out more about The Typing Coach Online Typing Course from The Typing Coach just click on any one of the highlighted links above or check out their social media sites by clicking on one of the links below. You can also find what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew thought by clicking on the banner below! Happy Typing!

Social Media Links:

The Typing Coach Online Typing Course {The Typing Coach Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors–Another Awesome Product from The Pencil Grip–A Homeschool Review Crew Review!


The Pencil Grip, Inc
When we prayed about and took three awesome teenage brothers into our already active home as foster children we had no idea what awesome talents we would find. We knew some of their likes and dislikes but we didn’t know all of their super abilities. Well, come to find out, they all three have a talent in drawing. Who would have thought it! So, when we received a Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors from The Pencil Grip, Inc. they were all super excited. They have been a big hit.
I had reviewed their set of fatter Kwik Stix before but these are new and are very cool. This new set is a lot the same but different. They are still made of solid Tempera paint that is somehow miraculously stuffed inside of a tube that look likes a magic marker tube. Yes, I said actual Tempera Paint! There is still no water needed to use these neat little things. They can still be used on paper with no worry about a big mess because they dry in 90 seconds or less. They still provide vibrant colors that smoothly flow onto the paper. I honestly can’t remember the exact colors of the big stix because they are still packed away from our recent move. However, the Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors are yellow, blue, red, brown, green and black. They are still non-toxic. So, after saying all of that you can see that they are still just as awesome as the big stix!
Thin Stix by KwikStix
The difference between the Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors and the other set of Kwik Stix is that these are . . . well . . . thinner. The bigger stix were great for younger hands who needed something bigger to get a better grip on. These, however, are great for teens who want to use them to do awesome art projects. As the package says – they have a smaller tip for better control. So, my awesome boys who are good at art love them because they can create really neat pictures.
In fact, one of the boys grabbed them almost as soon as I got them and began playing with them. When I went to look for one of his projects to display on this post, however, nothing was good enough for him. They are tough critics of their own work. So, as soon as I’m finished writing this post, I am going to give the set of Thin Stix back to him so that he can create something beautiful that I will add ASAP! You will see it below.
Until then, I think that you can tell that we are fans of all of the Kwik Stix products and I am also a fan of the company that produces Kwik Stix - The Pencil Grip, Inc. I’ll put in a quick plug for their pencil grips as well which are absolutely awesome. I have used them for years.
Anyway, to find out more about The Pencil Grip, Inc. and their really neat products and especially about the Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors just click on any one of the highlighted links above. I know that you will not be disappointed with this really neat art product. You can also find out more about the company and about Kwik Stix by clicking on the banner below to read what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew thought or by connecting with them on social media. The social media links are listed below as well. Happy Homeschooling!

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No Mess Art with Thin Stix Classic Colors {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Reviews}
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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Captain Absolutely! An Absolutely Fantastic Book by Focus on the Family. A Homeschool Review Crew Review


Focus On The Family

With seven boys of various ages and with various backgrounds living in our home it is hard to come up with a way to creatively teach Christian values. Today’s society twists values and morals into things that God never ever intended. There are no absolute truths anymore – everything is relative. Little did I know that there was a comic book series, perfect for boys (and girls), that teaches real Biblical truth! It’s not really in comic book form but is in softback book form but it is just as good as any comic book series that I ever read as a youth. And, it’s from Focus on the Family – a company that you know you can trust. It’s called Captain Absolutely and is based on a character from the popular radio and video program Focus On The Family.

It all begins as two friends are working together in the library when one friend drops a sunflower seed into a computer that just happens to be connected to the city’s central computer that is run by nuclear power. Chaos ensues when an explosion occurs and one friend becomes trapped in a room full of Bibles while the other friend finds himself in the philosophy section of the Bible. After a night of reading they are rescued however they are no longer Josiah King and Darren Gray but they are Captain Absolutely and his arch nemesis Dr. Relative!


 Captain Absolutely


Thru a very clever and imaginative storyline Biblical truths are taught. My kids love it. Even my non-reading foster sons are attracted to it because of it’s colorful pictures and comic book format. It truly rivals many of the popular comic book series of today and yesterday (and I should know, I was a big comic book kid when I was younger). I love the fact that they are learning solid truths and learning not to follow what the world or todays philosophy says but to follow what God says. It is a win for everyone! One by one my kids are reading this and really learning. They didn’t get to read it until I was done with it first, though!

I had no doubt that Captain Absolutely would teach solid scriptural truths because of it’s publisher, Focus On The Family. My kids (and I) have watched their videos and listened to their radio broadcasts for years and know them to be trustworthy. I know you can trust them and that your children will really enjoy this as well! To find out more about Captain Absolutely or about Focus On The Family just click on any one of the highlighted links above. Other members of the homeschool review crew also reviewed Captain Absolutely and you can find what they had to say by clicking on the banner below. You can also find out more by clicking on one of their social media links listed below. Happy Reading!

Social Media Links:

Captain Absolutely {Focus On The Family Review}
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Friday, May 12, 2017

Local School District Cancels Million Dollar Fumigation Contract after Smell Miraculously Disappears!


The Tanglewood Report - May 12, 2017


Authorities from the local middle school in Livingston, TN have reported that they were able to cancel a non-binding contract with the Jojo Fumigation Service after a strange odor, that reportedly had effected the school for a little over a month, after the smell miraculously disappeared earlier today. The fumigation was to have happened today because this was the day that most eighth graders would be away because of a so called “lay out day”. The eighth grade wing seems to be where the odor is coming from.

School officials claim that the odor did indeed begin about a month ago. Students and faculty all agree that the odor is a mixture of the smell of mushrooms and dirty socks and strangely began around the eighth grade classroom area but quickly effected the entire school. Many students have been going home sick every day which has created chaos with the school nurse.

“Man, I distinctly remember the day that it started.” claims 8th grade student Parker Story aka Porkloin. “I remember because it was the day my best friend Robert Blackwell aka Robert Tinkwell came back to school after being away for most of the school year. Ugh! It was terrible! It smelled like old socks that had been on someone’s feet for over a week and rotten mushrooms! It also strangely reminded me of Baby Groot.”



Parker Story

Robert Groot 2Groot




Porkloin Story     Robert Blackwell (Tinkwell)          Baby Groot

Porkloin Story’s girlfriend, Mackenzie Owens, who does not attend Livingston Middle School, told this reporter that she was very glad that the smell had gone away because Porkloin was beginning to carry the toxic fumes with him. “It was as if Porkloin was spending a lot of time with the culprit of this smell. It was really creepy!” she claimed.

School officials are said to be very thankful that they are saving all of the money. They have already spent thousands on investigating the horrible smell that seems to only occur when school is in session. Weekend Janitors are said to have smelled the remnants of the fumes, but when windows and doors are let open the odor seems to go away.

The workers at Jojo’s Fumigation are not so happy though. Jojo’s assistant Wiggles (who is a very delicate creature but loved by all) said that Jojo doesn’t pay her enough and that “He’s always jumping around and going from one project to the next. He makes me so tired that all I want to do is lay in bed and sleep all day!”

Jojo’s hippy secretary Mountain, a catlike hairy looking person, is also dissatisfied. “Just more paperwork for meow, ummm, I mean me.” she mewed.

Fortunately all is not lost for Jojo and his crew. They still must investigate another strange odor that has effected the school district. This time it is over at the highschool. Officials there say that it is a weird concoction that smells like llamas. Oddly enough, the creature pictured below has been seen roaming the grounds for the past few months.

Llama 2

This creature has also been seen near Tanglewood Lane and at the ballpark in Livingston. If you happen to see it call authorities immediately.

~ Tatiana Tinkwell Reporting

Tune in again tomorrow for a special report on an alien like “whitedolphaunicorn” that has been spotted in the area.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Secret Bridge–An Awesome, Awesome book by Lamplighter Publishing!–A Homeschool Review Crew Review


The Secret Bridge {Lamplighter Publishing Reviews}

I know I’ve said this many times but I never know who might be a new reader so I’m going to say it again. We love to read. My parents were readers as were Sarah’s so we both grew up loving books and reading a lot. We still read a lot and we pray that by the kids seeing us read they will also become readers. Our biological kids also love to read. I thank some of the great living book curriculums that we have used over the years for that. I am praying that all of our boys that were born of our heart and not born of our womb will learn to love to read as well. At any rate, we love it when a good book comes our way. I had heard about Lamplighter Publishing before and had heard nothing but positive things about them, however, we have never tried any of their products. So, I was excited when we were offered to review the novel The Secret Bridge by Amy Le Feuvre.

I know that you all have heard about the importance of first impressions and the positive or negative impact that it can make on a person. Well, let me tell you that from the moment we received the package that the book came in I was impressed. Lamplighter Publishing doesn’t package their books just any old package. I have received books in the mail that were just slipped down into one of those bubble mail envelopes. Well, that’s not what this quality company does. They mail their books in a special hard cardboard box. Inside of the box the book is well protected and very elegantly wrapped in brown paper to protect it even further.

So, why does a book need to be protected like that? If you ask that, you, like us until this deliver, have never owned a Lamplighter book. These are like no other books! The books themselves are beautiful! I had to just go to the Lamplighter website because I could swear that this book is leather bound. However, the website says that it is an “leather-toned embossed cover”. Whatever it is, I have never owned a book like this before. They don’t hold back on their book covers at all. It has the look and feel of a book from an expensive top notch elegant book publisher. Well, this is definitely a book from an elegant top notch publisher, but, I’ll let you in on a little secret, they aren’t expensive. In fact, I don’t know how they can publish and package a gorgeous book like this at such an inexpensive price and still feed their families.

However, I digress!


The Secret Bridge {Lamplighter Publishing Reviews}

On to the story line! The two boys that I wanted to read this to, Jacob and Joshua, are both on the autism spectrum but have different problems when it comes to reading. I have found, though, that if I read a book aloud to them I can conquer both problems at one time. However, I was reading another book to them at the time, so I decided to just read The Secret Bridge myself.

I loved it! Amy le Feuvre is an awesome writer and keeps you spellbound. I couldn’t put the book down! The Secret Bridge is about young Bridgett Channing. A mysterious young lady with a mysterious past. At the beginning of the book she finds herself homeless and destitute until Godfrey Bullingham comes along. Now, after reading that brief description, you might think that this is just another one of those historic romance novels. Well, this book was written in 1899 so it definitely has history, and it does involve some romance, however, it is not just “one of those” novels. It also has intrigue, adventure, suspense, and, as I mentioned before, a lot of mystery. The storyline hooks you at the beginning and never lets you go until the end. Each page brings on something new so that you absolutely can’t put it down until you find out what is going to happen next. And, the ending is pretty shocking!

What I really like about this book, though, is that it is a Christian book. Christian morals are wrapped all throughout this novel. The editor has tried to keep the language and the punctuation as close to the original as possible and there are footnotes all through the book that defines an unusual word or further explains an unusual situation that may be unique to that time period. More often than not, though, the footnotes give Bible references to what is going on in the book. It is all so cleverly intertwined that you don’t realize that you are being taught a Bible lesson as while you are reading. Well, you may realize it, but it certainly isn’t going to be a dry Bible lesson. As I mentioned, it is woven into the storyline so perfectly that it isn’t dry and boring at all but is part of the adventure. I can’t wait to read it to my kids!

Shhh. . . don’t tell my wife, but I just noticed on the Lamplighter Publishing website another book by Amy Le Feuvre that I am going to order as soon as I am done writing this. That is how much I love Lamplighter Publishing. I really would like to continue buying books from their Lamplighter Collection for my library. If all of the historical books are this good then I want to buy every one of them.’

To find out more about Lamplighter Publishing and The Secret Bridge just click on any one of the highlighted links above. I know you will not be disappointed. You can also check out Lamplighter Publishing on their social media pages listed below. Many other members of the Homeschool Review Crew reviewed The Secret Bridge and you can find what they had to say by clicking on the banner below. Happy Reading!

Social Media Links:
Twitter:  @lamplighterbook


The Secret Bridge {Lamplighter Publishing Reviews}
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Friday, April 28, 2017

Drive Thru History “The Gospels”–A “Wow! Wow! Wow! Homeschool Review Crew Review


Drive Thru History

I have mentioned it before in my reviews that we love history. Because of that, we have explored many different curriculum options. One option that has always seems to come up is Drive Thru History®. I have heard wonderful things about them but we have never had the chance to really use any of their great videos. When it was announced that I might get the chance to review of their video series I was super excited. However, it wasn’t the history part that made me excited, but it was what the series, Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels”, was about. I don’t usual quote from a company’s website in my review but this time I am because when doing my research on the series before I was selected for the review, this really caught my eye:

Dave travels to over 50 ancient sites in Israel to deliver the Gospels in a fresh way, show the evidence for the truth of scripture, and encourage families to get excited about reading the Bible again.

Most of you know that my wife and I are full time missionaries and work with low income families in our community. We do Bible studies, mentor, provide rides and help with food banks, and a lot more things where we try to show Christ the families that we work with. A couple of years ago God led me to begin a Bible study for teen boys. The boys that God has led to our study are kind of a rough lot. They have been through a lot of things in life and have a lot of questions. Many of them question the Bible and it’s validity. They want proof! When I read the above statement I thought that this would be a fantastic study for my boys. I was not disappointed! It has been wonderful.


Drive Thru History The Gospels

Before I tell you about the great discussions we have had, let me tell you what is included in the series. This series once again features Dave Stotts who is hilarious and very entertaining. He really makes the videos fun to watch. The Special Edition set that we received (pictured above) comes with three DVD’s and super nice study guide that also serves as a case for the DVD’s. On the DVD’s are 18 lessons that cover every aspect of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) in 18 approximately 30 minute long videos that cover Jesus’s life and ministry from before birth to his resurrection. Here are the 18 Episodes and what they cover:

Episode 1: The Historical Landscape
Episode 2: The Announcements
Episode 3: Jesus is Born
Episode 4: Jesus Grows Up
Episode 5: Jesus Starts His Ministry
Episode 6: Jesus Returns to Galilee
Episode 7: Jesus Begins His Miracles
Episode 8: Jesus Teaches with Authority
Episode 9: The Sermon on the Mount
Episode 10: Jesus Travels the Sea of Galilee
Episode 11: Jesus Travels North
Episode 12: A Final Trip to Jerusalem
Episode 13: Jesus Arrives in Jerusalem
Episode 14: The Last Supper
Episode 15: The Trial of Jesus
Episode 16: The Crucifixion of Jesus
Episode 17: The Resurrection of Jesus
Episode 18: Who is Jesus?

The episodes are indeed fascinating as well as funny (as I mentioned before). Dave travels to over 50 places in Israel and surroundings areas to give you historical information and to show you exactly where different events in the Bible happened. I haven’t been able to watch all of the videos yet, but so far we have seen dozens of fascinating places that really help us understand what the times were like and help us put into perspective Jesus’ life and miracles. Just recently we were fascinated with the palaces of Herod and how powerful of a man he was. When Dave talked about the supposed place where Jesus was born we were in awe. Those are just two of the many spots he travels to and really helps us understand scripture even more. I’ll talk about that late, but first let me tell you about the accompanying study guide.


Drive Thru History The Gospels
The 100+ page study guide is equally as interesting. For each lesson it provides a summary of what is going to be covered, scripture that goes along with the lesson, five discussion questions to ask if you are using the series in a Bible study, and a brief section called “Side Road” for each lesson. The “Side Road” briefly discusses things that might not have been covered in the video, or maybe could have been covered in more detail but time didn’t allow. The guide also has dozens of pictures of many of the same places that are talked about in the video. We have really had some lively discussions in our Teen Boy’s Bible Study, which leads me to my next paragraph.
Bible Study one
Bible Study two

Above are two pictures from just last night. In the top picture you may see Jacob, my youngest – 11 years old. He has found these videos fascinating. The videos are geared toward middle school to adults, but all ages can can enjoy them.
We have had some super lively discussions after watching the videos at our Bible Study. Of course the teens seem bored at times when they are watching, but they sure know the answers to the discussion questions and have some great questions themselves. Because Dave Stotts uses a lot of outside history texts from Biblical days intertwined with the Gospel accounts, and also travels to all of these spots to show historical evidence that these events did happen, it has made the boy’s think. We have great talks about why the virgin birth is important, the wise men, Herod and more. It is really getting everyone to contemplate the scriptures which is what I really wanted. It has been great.
As you can see I am a complete fan of Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels”. It has been fantastic. I would really encourage you to use it either in your homeschool setting or perhaps in a teen Bible study setting such as what we have. To find out more about this series and other Drive Thru History® products just click on any one of the highlighted links above. You can also check them out on social media through the links below. Many other members of the Homeschool Review Crew reviewed this great product and you can find what they had to say by clicking on the banner below. Happy Bible Studying!
The Gospels {Drive Thru History® Reviews}
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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Don’t be Puzzled! Just Download the The Daily Bible Jigsaw app. from Planet 316. It’s Amazing! A Homeschool Review Crew Review.


Planet 316

I’m going to cut right to the chase on this review. No chit chat or anything. And, despite what this review is about, this is not a puzzling review to write at all. Why is it not puzzling? Because this has got to be one of my favorite items ever that I’ve reviewed since being on the Homeschool Review Crew. And, I’ve been on it for all but about a year and a half of the past 8 years or so. What great item is it?  The Daily Bible Jigsaw app. from Planet 316! Sarah and I, and even the kids, have loved this.


Daily Bible Jigsaw by Planet 316

So what is it? It’s a super cool app for your phone or tablet or even your computer (through Facebook) where you put together beautiful 30 piece jigsaw puzzles. After you have put together the puzzle it displays a Bible verse on it that you can share on Facebook. Take a look at the picture below and you’ll see what I mean.

 Daily Bible Jigsaw by Planet 316

Never done a jigsaw puzzle on your phone or computer? Well, neither had I but it is super easy to do. You just click on a piece by hovering over it and holding down your mouse curser and move it to another piece. If they fit then they will click together. Then you just pick up another piece to and continue. If you need to rotate the piece so that it is going the right direction you just click on it and it will rotate 90%. Just keep clicking until you get it where you want. When you get the whole puzzle together then the verse will display on it. Take a look at the completed puzzle below to see what I mean.

  Daily Bible Jigsaw by Planet 316

You can then share it on Facebook if you like so that it will bless and uplift others.

Okay, now I know that there are some people that are great at jigsaw puzzles and some people that are not so great. This has app has something for everyone!

If you are not so great at jigsaw puzzles there are a lot of helps that you can use.

I really like the help where only the edges are shown. When I press on it all of the center pieces are removed and the edge pieces are left. That’s the way Grandpa and I used to do those huge jigsaw puzzles when I was young. Anyway, after the edge pieces are all in place then the center pieces reappear.

Unfortunately, the center pieces just reappear haphazardly right in the middle of the puzzle. That makes the puzzle difficult to complete. Never fear, there is also a help that “sweeps” all of the unused pieces to the sides so that you can get a clear view of the center. You can use this at any time to move all the pieces to the sides of the mat.

I mentioned my Grandpa a second ago. There was always a jigsaw puzzle going on the card table in the living room of his house. To help us know what the puzzle was to look like we always had the box top showing so that we could look at it. Never fear! You can do the same thing with the Daily Bible Jigsaw. There is a help that allows you to take a peak at what the completed puzzle looks like.

Still having trouble? Well the next to helps are extra useful if you are having a hard time.

With the first you can click on the rotate help button and rotate all of the pieces to their correct position. They will stay that way the entire time so that you won’t have to rotate them on your own and there is no confusion as to how each piece is to be positioned.

If you are still having difficulty you can press on the magnet help and two pieces will automatically come together.

Now, mind you, you have to pay coins for these helps, but it isn’t difficult to get coins. Like all free online apps, the creators have to make money somewhere. Otherwise they can’t keep producing great games. Planet 316 is no different. You can either purchase coins or you can watch a quick advertisement video to earn coins. The creators gave me a bunch of coins to use during the review period, but I probably wouldn’t have needed them because you can watch two videos in a row to earn 2 coins each time you watch. After that, you have to wait about five minutes to watch a couple of more videos.


 Daily Bible Jigsaw by Planet 316
Now this is where the fun really begins for you die hard puzzle fans. There are a bunch of ways that those who love puzzles can challenge themselves.
First, each puzzle is timed and you can replay a puzzle if you want to try to get a better time. Or, if you want to challenge a friend, you can challenge them and try to get first place. My friend Debra seems to always be in first place on my list. I think she is cheating somehow, but she claims she never uses any helps! Hmmmmmm! I’m not so sure!
There is also a weekly trophy that you can earn if you complete the most puzzles. I am really trying to win this weeks trophy. I was only eleven puzzles behind the last time I checked.
Which reminds me, a new puzzle is available every day, but you can go back and do past puzzles from before you downloaded the app. Just click on the calendar and go! I have so much fun doing that. You can also earn extra coins by doing this. If you complete so many “Monday” puzzles you will earn reward coins. That goes for each day of the week. You can also earn reward coins for doing puzzles in a certain amount of time. Recently I complete my 100th puzzle and earned more reward coins.
 Daily Bible Jigsaw by Planet 316
Okay, there are so many great things about the Daily Bible Jigsaw app. from Planet 316 that I know I am forgetting something. Oh, I remember! There are also bonus puzzles that you can do. They are a lot bigger and more challenging but just as fun. Also, if you are just having a down moment and need some encouragement you can just click on the verse button to read the wonderful verses that are used or click on the archive button to look back at all of the beautiful puzzles that you have already completed.
So, what’s the best part of the Daily Bible Jigsaw app. from Planet 316? It’s absolutely FREE! We love it! Just click on any one of the highlighted links above to find out how to download it on your phone, tablet or computer. Also, check out their social media links that are listed below. Many of the other Homeschool Review Crew members reviewed this great app and you can find what they had to say by clicking on the banner below. Happy Puzzling!
Social Media Links:
Twitter:  @planet_316
Daily Bible Jigsaw {Planet 316 Reviews}

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