Sunday, July 23, 2017

Strength of a Wise Man {Scripture & a Snapshot}

I'm so proud of these two.  Congratulations on that white coat!

I'm joining with my friend Jennifer over at a glimpse of our life as we give glory to GOD through our photos.

Scripture and Snapshot

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Homeschool Review: Take Flight with Doctor Aviation #hsreviews #Aviation #AviationHistory #DoctorAviation @draviationguy

Doctor Aviation

For several years, my Eagle Scout has shared with me his desire to learn to fly and we've discussed how to make that happen.  I really don't know much about aviation aside from having trusted a few commercial pilots with my life during travels through the years, so I've looked for a resource to educate me so that I can understand the calling of his heart.  Doctor Aviation is a six-month online course that provides excellent Aviation Education.  With 24 years of experience, Dr. Aviation (Daryl Smith, a Command Pilot with the Air Force and college professor) is exceptionally qualified to teach this momma everything she needs to know to support her son's dream of flight.

The Doctor Aviation Flight Learning Platform consists of 5 sections (The Aircraft, Air Traffic Control, Maintenance, Airfield Operations, and The Aircraft II) divided into 15 video sessions.  The video sessions have a runtime between 40 minutes and a little over an hour each.  The video sessions begin with a course overview and explanation of the aviation system and teach through the major components of an airplane -- explaining how and why an aircraft flies, turns, pitches, and slides (introducing you to the flight controls), making sure you understand radar and air traffic control, and giving detailed information about maintaining aircraft so that it can keep flying.  Other sessions share the importance of the airport -- both big airports and small airports -- and teach about flight, piloting instruments, and other types of aircraft (aviation ships).  Each session is broken down into three main components.  Students are introduced to Technical Trivia, they study Notable Aviators, and they learn about Legendary Aircraft and Events.

So that's the "overview" from me, but I just have to tell you that I absolutely do not do this aviation course justice by simply typing those words.  When my son was little, he was enamored with the videos that told you all about vehicles.  We watched VHS tapes (yep, it's been a while) about cars, and motorcycles, and fire trucks, and 18-wheelers, and airplanes, and boats, and heavy equipment.  His favorite was the airplane videos.   We watched those tapes over and over and over and even I learned a lot of facts that I didn't know.  It was basic, cool stuff to teach a little bit about a big topic, and it was enough for where we were at the time.  Doctor Aviation takes that learning to a whole new level.  This class is technical.  This class is deep.  This class is the real deal.   It is intense.  It is chock-full of information about TONS of things.  I like so many things about the course.  First, I like that it is taught by an expert.  Seriously, this man has over 24 years of hands-on experience and a knowledge base bigger than the encyclopedia.  He knows what he is talking about and makes it interesting for teens and adults.  Next, it's not only a course about aviation, it's a course about history, and philosophy, and geography, and more.  Dr. Aviation shares tidbits of information about a wealth of subjects as he teaches.  He is passionate about flight and he shares that passion with each of us.  You can't beat it.

There are two additional resources for each session that complement the video lesson.  Guided Notes and To Learn More are pdfs provided for use in each session.  Guided Notes is a 7 - 11 page document with a fill-in-the-blank format for students to use as they watch the video lesson.  It follows the video lecture perfectly and helps make the lessons a little easier to follow when printed and used.  (Think sermon notes in church)  To Learn More is a 2-page handout with suggested books, articles, websites, videos, and further study projects that offer students the ability to dig deeper and further explore the world of flight.  Tests are available throughout if you have chosen to study Doctor Aviation as a graded course.  Now that this momma has watched a good portion of the course, I'm going to be sharing it with my son and he will be utilizing the testing portion.

Guided Notes

To Learn More

My grandfather was a lifelong learner.  He studied books and watched documentaries about a huge variety of events until the day he died.  He knew a little bit about every subject and I want to be just like that.  As a momma, I'm enjoying watching these videos and learning just a little about one thing that makes my son's eyes light up.  I can't wait for him to watch, study, and learn with Doctor Aviation as he begins his first steps to realizing his dream of flight.  He's had an incredibly full summer and is preparing for college coursework in the fall, but he is super excited to finally have the opportunity to begin the aviation video training.  I am proud that learning never ends for us all.

If you would like more information about Doctor Aviation, please visit the following Social Media sites:

Crew Disclaimer

I was given the opportunity to review Aviation Education from Doctor Aviation as a member of the Homeschool Review Crew.   You can check out the Crew Review and see what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew thought of this fascinating aviation video training (or just click on the banner below.)

Aviation Course {Doctor Aviation Reviews}
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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Eat It or Wear It {Wordless Wednesday}

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of GOD.  1 Corinthians 10:31

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly FATHER feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?  And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how GOD clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will HE not much more clothe you—you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly FATHER knows that you need them.  But seek first HIS kingdom and HIS righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  Matthew 6:25-34
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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Homeschool Review: Trust Fund #hsreviews #trustfundmovie #family #movienight #moviereview #familynight #familyfun

We all know that homeschoolers ROCK and that they are super-creative.  With that said, I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy of the new movie, Trust Fund:  Know Who to Trust by Mapelle Films when I found out that a former homeschooler was the film's cinematographer and one of its producers.  I mean, seriously, how much fun it that?  Isaac Alongi's parents homeschooled him through all 12 grades of school -- and they started way back in 1982.  I consider them some of the homeschooling pioneers, so I was excited to see how this film from a fellow homeschooler would play for a mainstream audience.  Let me just start by saying here that we liked it -- a lot.

Trust Fund offers a modern-day, contemporary twist on the parable of the prodigal son.  The prodigal in this case is a daughter, Reese, who has the opportunity to do great things in the family business, but chooses instead to chase individual fame and fortune while living the life across the world from the support system she's always known and relied upon. Sound familiar?  As we all know, the deal with life is that choices come with consequences   . . .  some good, others bad . . . and we all must decide who we can trust to help us on our journey.

Trust Fund Movie

What I found most refreshing is that in this movie, when Reese hits bottom (as we all sometimes do), she is remorseful and she is offered grace.  Owning up to her situation, Reese calls her dad to ask if she can return home.  She realizes that she doesn't deserve special treatment, but she is welcomed home and loved unconditionally.  This is a tale of family, a tale of sisters reunited, and a tale full of the declarations of what true love really is and how to focus on what matters most in life -- relationship.

Although there is a substantial sum of money involved in the plot of the movie, for me it wasn't as much about money as it was about a daughter realizing that she has lost the good that was intended for her.  In making the choices that she did, Reese realizes she has blown the big plans set aside for her life.  But isn't that just like all of us?  How often do we blow GOD's original plan (Plan A) and end up with Plan B instead?

Trust Fund is a full-length feature film and is nicely made and produced.  I consider it to be family-friendly as there was no foul language.  Real world, real life situations were handled with extreme caution and were presented in good taste.  An interesting movie that will get you all up in the feelings, it's enjoyable by all.  My husband even liked it and that's saying something.  He's a bit of a movie snob and was afraid it would be a "chick flick."  Indeed, there was enough action to keep him beside me throughout the entire film.

Mapelle Films

Love Was Near Book
As an added bonus, the book Love Was Near complements the movie and would be a nice follow-up for your preteen/teen daughters.  Inspired by the Trust Fund movie, Love Was Near is written from the perspective of Reese and includes journaled, "Dear Diary" pages that offer insight into the backstory -- complete with handwritten text and doodles.  Girls will be able to greet Reese as an old friend as they answer questions and dig deeper behind-the-scenes into the relationships that make Reese who she is.  They may just see a bit of themselves as they work to find their place in this world and they will see that all choices and decisions affect the bigger picture.

For more information about the Trust Fund movie, please visit the following Social Media sites:

As for me and my house, we are looking forward to the next Mapelle Films movie.  How about you?

Crew Disclaimer

I was given the opportunity to review Trust Fund:  Know Who to Trust from Mapelle Films as a member of the Homeschool Review Crew.   You can check out the Crew Review and see what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew thought of this fascinating science resource and other curriculum we reviewed (or just click on the banner below.)

Trust Fund Movie {Mapelle Films Reviews}
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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sunshine {Scripture & a Snapshot}

Treasures of the heart,

I'm joining with my friend Jennifer over at a glimpse of our life as we give glory to GOD through our photos.

Scripture and Snapshot

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Homeschool Review: Fascinating Biology #hsreviews #Homeschool #biology #highschool

I've shared with you before that it is my heart's desire that my children be completely fascinated with learning and we make every effort to share quality resources with them.  I recognize the importance of science and am always happy when we have opportunity to use and review the online Fascinating Education courses.  We have enjoyed both Fascinating Chemistry and Fascinating Physics and I'm happy to say that Fascinating Biology is just as good as the others.

Fascinating  Physics

Beginning with the statement that "religious views and scientific views differ," Fascinating Education founder, Dr. Sheldon Margulies, opens the door and invites students to step into an understanding of both viewpoints in order that they may better understand how to reconcile scientific opinions and Biblical pronouncements in the very first lesson "What is Life?".  I have absolutely no problem with this as it complements the differing views within my home.  My husband is an old-earther, I am a new-earther.  Fascinating Biology helps bridge the gap between the two.

Divided into 18 lessons, Fascinating Biology teaches students about living things and their chemical environments through an in-depth study of the seven requirements of life.  Each lesson is divided into sub-topics.  What I like about this course is that students can watch an interactive slide presentation (think PowerPoint with flair because there are moving pictures, cool videos, and graphs) narrated by Dr. Margulies (the Fascinator), read through the script for the slides, and take a test to make sure that they understand the material as presented.  Each of the lessons are fairly short (they take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour for my daughter to finish) and are designed to be completed in one week.  Students can work at their own pace through the topics and can watch and re-watch topics as often as they like.  The Lessons covered are as follows:

  • What is Life?
  • Chemistry Review
  • The Cell Membrane
  • Take in Nutrients
  • Take in Energy (Parts 1 - 4)
  • Grow
  • Reproduce (Parts 1 - 3)
  • Homeostasis (Parts 1 -2)
  • Adapt (Parts 1 - 2)
  • Prokaryotes, Protists, Animals and Fungi
  • Plants

At our house, we watch a lesson in its entirety and then read through the script.  The script is in pdf format and can be printed to create a textbook of sorts and my daughter can use it to add notes, underline key phrases, and have a resource for additional study later.  Each of the pictures from the narrated slides are included in the script so it is easy to follow along and learn.  The lessons conclude with a "What You Know So Far" section that acts as a refresher/study guide before students are tested on the material presented.

There is a short test at the end of each lesson taken online.  (A printable option is currently provided for the first 16 lessons.)  The tests consists of 4 - 27 multiple choice questions that are graded for immediate feedback.  Upon completion, students can review the tests and even retake them, if they like.  This helps my daughter to completely grasp what she is supposed to be learning. I do want to point out that the Fascinating Education website does not keep records of individual grades, but that is no problem for us.  After my daughter finishes each test, we print the results and add it to her notebook.  When she completes the course, I will have a paper trail of all tests and be able to assign her final grade accordingly.

Fascinating Education

For more information about Fascinating Education (and to see how it will best fit your needs), I suggest reading through the FAQ page.  You'll find information about which grades each of these courses are best suited for (think middle and high school), the sequencing philosophy of Dr. Margulies (Chemistry first, then Biology), the teaching approach used for evolution and creation, links to the Scope and Sequence for each course, and more.  There is an online tutorial available that explains exactly how to use the website (but rest assured it is easy to maneuver) and there are samples and outlines for each course.  You can even download the Biology outline in pdf format and watch an entire lesson on Nutrients and take its test to get a hands-on feel for the curriculum.  I urge you to do just that.

My Eagle Scout was enamored with the Fascinating Education courses.  My Princess is finding them just as wonderful.  We recommend them to your family.

Crew Disclaimer

I was given the opportunity to review Fascinating Biology from Fascinating Education as a member of the Homeschool Review Crew.   You can check out the Crew Review and see what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew thought of this fascinating science resource and other curriculum we reviewed (or just click on the banner below.)

Biology, Chemistry & Physics {Fascinating Education Reviews}
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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Homeschool Review: Home School in the Woods' TIMELINE TRIO #hsreviews #HistoryUnitStudies #HomeschoolHistory #timeline #timelinefigures

I have always liked history the most and through the years of homeschooling, I've gravitated towards hands-on history products, curriculum, and resources.  As a result, my kids all like history as much as their momma does.  Years ago, we were introduced to Home School in the Woods and we've incorporated so many of their offerings into our studies together.  Our latest find is the HISTORY Through the Ages TIMELINE TRIO and I just have to tell you that it is one of my all-time favorite resources. 
The TIMELINE TRIO consists of an absolutely gorgeous timeline notebook called the Record of Time, a Collection of Historical Timeline Figures on CD, and a Suggested Placement Guide that "suggests" how you can best use the [over 1200] timeline figures found on the CD.  The timeline notebook is a 3-ring binder in landscape (horizontal) format that holds 144-pages of timeline that spans from 5000 BC to Present time.  The cream-colored paper is a nice, thick quality so that it does not bleed through to the next page when you write on your timeline.  (It's the kind of paper my oldest daughter loves more than anything.  There is a certain feel and sound to good paper in her opinion, and this meets all of her criteria.)  A section of beautiful maps is included in the back of the notebook.  These maps show the layout of ancient countries, modern countries and continents, and the world.  There are both political and physical maps of the United States, as well.  

The Historical Timeline Figures CD offers advice on teaching with timelines and tells you how to set up a myriad of timeline styles including wall timelines, notebook timelines, card file timelines, and portable timelines.  It explains the different techniques for personalizing a timeline, offers suggestions for turning learning into fun with games, and discusses the different means for securing pictures onto your timeline (glue sticks are best).  And while all of that is super cool, the very best part of the CD is the beautiful black and white figures that represent the history of our world.  There are so very many figures to use and choose from and you can print each of them in either wall-size or notebook-size and color them before using.  We are using our colored pencils for an old-world feel.  How much fun it is to add your very own creative flair to these images from history.

Even more fun, you can choose to include descriptive text with each figure OR you can choose to print with only a title.  I prefer the descriptive text because I think it turns the completed timeline notebook into a "coffee table" book that we can enjoy with children, grandchildren, friends, and family.  You may choose to have your children write directly in the notebook (There are lines provided to do so and this would definitely give you something even more unique and personalized.).  Don't you just love this?  For easy access and study, timeline figures are broken down into five subcategories:  Creation to Christ (Beginning of the World to the 1st Century World History), Resurrection to Revolution (0-1799 A.D. World History), Napoleon to Now (1750 A.D. - Modern-Day World History), America's History (Explorers to the 21st Century), and there are even Bonus Figures.  You can imagine how thrilled we were to find figures for one of our favorite authors (G.A.Henty) and the Battle of Vicksburg during the Civil War.  We've visited Vicksburg National Park often so it was fun to find it as a timeline figure.  The Modern Day figures help my children understand better about the time frame of history that they call their own as they add pictures of themselves in with the timeline happenings.

Side-by-side comparison of Wall- and Notebook-Sized Figures

The Suggested Placement Guide is a softcover book (72 pages) that helps keep you on track as you study history.  It offers a small scale visual of how you can best arrange the figures to meet your needs whether you prefer placement by actual date, placement by event, or placement by historical significance.  I appreciate that I am given permission to make the timeline book my very own as I tend to have a hard time "starting" something for fear I may "mess it up."  I'm a "placement by actual date" kind of girl, but my daughter prefers that we place figures by event so we're combining the two.

We always start "in the beginning . . . "

Putting it all together

I truly have always loved history, but as I've explained before, I get caught in the trap of looking at specific events or time periods as individual instead of seeing their place in the big picture of GOD's world.  A timeline helps us all to see the who, what, where, and when as one big continually mesh of life and I am looking forward to using ours in a different way as we delve into our ancestry this year.  I have been gathering pictures from both mine and my husband's family tree and my daughter is working on adding them to our timeline notebook as she completes the section/century to which they belong.  We think this will be an even more delightful use of the TIMELINE TRIO as we figure out our place in this world.

You can find out more information about the multitude of resources offered by Home School in the Woods by visiting the following Social Media sites:

And make sure that you check out all of the different Lap-Paks offered.  We've had the privilege of working through several of them.   In my opinion, the HISTORY Through the Ages Hands-On History Lap-Pak:  U.S. Elections is superb stuff.  It turned the recent presidential elections into excellent political discussions at my house. As always, it was very well put together, contained superb teaching content, and was enjoyed by all.  We very much enjoyed 20th Century in America a few years ago, as well.  I recommend them to you without reservation.

Home School in the Woods

Home School in the Woods has become a family favorite at Long Leaf Academy.  I am always happy to get my hands on what they offer and I know that you will like it, too.

Crew Disclaimer

I was given the opportunity to review HISTORY Through the Ages TIMELINE TRIO from Home School in the Woods as a member of the Homeschool Review Crew.   You can check out the Crew Review and see what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew thought of this hands-on history resource and other curriculum we reviewed (or just click on the banner below.)

Hands-on History {Home School in the Woods Reviews}
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