Apologia Educational Ministries - Worldview Curriculum ~ REVIEW

I was given the opportunity to Review another Amazing product from Apologia Educational Ministries. It's the 4th book in their What We Believe Christian Worldview Series.  The 4-Volume Series is recommended for grades 1-6, does not need to be read in order and can be used as a Family Devotion or in your Homeschool. 

We received the following items to review:
We have been using this series for the past 2 years in Our Homeschool.  While using the What We Believe Series, Mahala has grown in her Faith so much and the Character Qualities I have seen her learn and actually apply in her life are Priceless to me.  This was the first time using it with Kaden who is 7, Mahala is 14 and LOVES the Series.  Kaden takes a little longer to get through the reading, because some of the Reading lessons are a little long for the younger kiddos.


Cardboard on Wheels

 For Christmas Kaden's stocking was filled with lots of crafty things, puzzles and small gadgets.  This cool race car puzzle was one of them.

After many long minutes of fiddling around with this cardboard contraption "we" finally finished it.  Kaden refused to use glue, so it was a wobbly situation from beginning to the end.

In the end his smile was all worth it!  Even though we had to eat hard, burnt fish sticks because we lost track of time.  :) 


A change is coming to Our Spectrum

A Blast from the Past.....My 1st Post ever about Kaden before we knew he had Autism.  I was struggling and saw NO end in sight!  Wow, what a difference 2 years of ABA makes!!!!  Kaden's last Official week of ABA is over......it's a New Day.

It has been so long I feel drained just looking at the date of my "real" last entry.  I have missed being here so much it hurts.  It's like coming home after a long vacation.  The smell of piled up laundry on top of a mile long to do list, mixed with the remembrance of sandy beaches and an umbrella drink I can't even remember the name of.
Well, life has been many things for me lately and none of it came with a little umbrella.  But, I'm here now and I have so much to share.  I feel like a tea kettle that's been boiling for a few hours....days. 
Let me start with  complaining first.  It's always good to clear the air and let it all out.   My love bug Kaden is about to turn 5.  And we have had struggles with him for a long time.  I just pushed through and parented the best I could.  I never said a word about his behavior, just kept loving him.  And after a season of watching the show Parenthood I secretly thought to myself I wonder if Kaden has Aspergers.  This new season started and Kaden became more Kaden and I knew I needed to say something.  I talked with friends first and they all gave me the line, "he's 4 years old".  Yeah, a 4 year old that has been reading since he was 2, has an obsession with numbers and self taught himself multiplication by the time he was 4. Not to mention the amazing vocabulary and need for organization that he can not even enjoy himself.    The violent rages bring the whole family to tears, loud noises bring him to tears.  The constant counting and lack of expression from him has worn me thin.  No one sees this because I keep it to myself, I've never shared it even here in blogland.  Everyone thinks I'm lucky because he's so smart and advanced.  But, with that is a great responsibility that makes our family exhausted. 
My hardest part of the day is keeping him from getting so angry or upset that he hurts himself.  And keeping his brain challenged.  He reads 2nd and 3rd grade books and wants to learn division.  But, the problem is his maturity level.  Just because he can explain to me what enursha is and his favorite number is infinity, he is only 4 years old.
Back to the point, I talked with Thanh and he thought I was crazy, that he was just smart and a typical boy. So, I decided to take it up with the pediatrician.  He told me I should have told him a long time ago, not to question my judgment.  So, tomorrow we are going to a specialist.  My friends still think I'm crazy, but I have Thanh on board with me after spending 2 weeks at home over the Holidays.  He got to see first hand what it was like homeschooling 3 kids with our Sweet Kaden. 
I love him so much, I just want to give him the best start in life.  I need to learn how to discipline him without causing him to downward spiral. I want to know how to teach him how to thrive in life with this small speed bump.
I have been searching online for helpful websites.  And what has got me aggravated is how many sites took you to books to buy or websites you have to pay for for support and advice or discussion boards.  I was disappointed, because I'm desperate for help and in need of answers. 
Tomorrow I will have a new start, a new start for Kaden.  It's been a long, lonely road and I have a feeling it will still be long in our future, but not so lonely.


Micro Business for Teens ~ REVIEW


When we where asked to Review curriculum from Micro Business for Teens, geared for Kiddos between the Ages of 10-18 I was Jumping for Joy.   
The curriculum we Reviewed included 3 books:  
 ~$4.95 (ebook) $9.95 (print)
~$4.95 (ebook) $9.95 (print) 
~$9.95 (ebook) $14.95 (print) 
What is a Micro Business? It's a small business - usually just one person, often home based, low risk, low or no start up cost.  
*The Goal is to Learn and Earn!*

Mahala has always had an eye to see things differently then what they originally were made to do or be.  She would say, "It's not just a bottle cap Mom, it's a base for a pin cushion, a landing pad for a tooth for the tooth fairy or an excellent tool to cut out Macaroons".
In the 1st book, Starting a Micro Business, Carol Topp explains what a Micro Business really is.  She tells Teens how it's possible for them to start their own businesses and how to do it successfully.  She not only gives several ideas for a Micro Business, but shows possible pitfalls, how to put together a business plan, how to find the financing, and tons of other Useful tips to get you off on the right foot. I think she covers anything and everything you could possibly imagine needing to know to get started.  I found that her style of writing was encouraging and offered many bird's eye views of other successful young Micro Business Starters.   
In Running a Micro Business, Carol Topp teaches your teen all about Sales, Marketing and Advertising.  She Explains what it is to have Customer Service, successful record and book keeping and Time Management.  And let's not forget about Licensing, a Tax ID Number and Business Insurance. There is a lot to think about and Carol leaves No stone unturned.
The Micro Business for Teens Workbook is supposed to be used along with the Starting a Micro Business and Running a Micro Business books.  This Workbook has you take what you have learned and begin your Adventure.  You will find Oodles of helpful Charts, and Worksheets to walk you through step-by-step. 

Now that I've told you the Facts, let me tell you how we used this Awesome Program.  Mahala got started right away once we downloaded the books.  She was Pleasantly Surprised at how it was so easy to Read, was Straightforward and not Dry or Boring.  After each lesson she eagerly completed the Workbook Pages. Each lesson helped her see her potential and the areas she needed to focus on.  
I let her work on this independently for the most part.  She spent at least 4 days a week working over the past month and has learned so much.  This program helped her Narrow down what she really wanted to do and what was possible to make money doing and what should just stay a hobby. :)  

In the end she has come up with a Great idea and has flyers made, a bank account, a few investors and plenty of confidence thanks to Carol Topp's Micro Business for Teens.  I think this is a wonderful program for all kids to take, even if they have no desire to start a Micro Business for themselves.  It's interesting to see what all goes into having a business.  But, if your Kiddo has ever expressed any interest in starting a business or making some extra money of their own, I would highly recommend this program.  Also, these books would be wonderful for adults wanting to start a business too, with little or no start-up money.
 Connect with Micro Business for Teens

Click to read Crew ReviewsCrew Disclaimer


Golden Prairie Press~Digital Heroes and Heroines of the Past REVIEW

We have been Blessed with the opportunity to Review Digital Heroes & Heroines of the Past: Amer. History Curriculum by Amy Puetz, Owner of Golden Prairie Press.  

Amy Puetz is a Homeschool Graduate, a Self-Taught Historian, and a Servant for the Lord. While suffering from a chronic illness (fibromyalgia), the Lord led her to start an online business, which would allow her to work from home.  Since History has been a Passion for Amy it became her Mission to bring Encouraging, Positive, Family Friendly Historical Resources and other media to Families.  Thank You Amy!!!
Here is what Our Family received in Our Digital Download  

You can Purchase the Print or Digital for the same price of ($98.99)
*Heroes and Heroines of the Past: American History Part 1: 1000-1837 *Heroes and Heroines of the Past: American History Part 2: 1837-Present
Here is a Beautiful Sample for the Main Book HERE. *Historical Skits
Explore the Table of Contents and a Sample of the Skits HERE. *Sing Some History
Listen to a Sample HERE. *Listen to US History
Listen to a Sample HERE.


Essentials: Logic of English Complete Set REVIEW


We were given Essentials: Logic of English Complete Set to Review from Logic of English.  I had never heard of this Curriculum before and was excited to get started.  Essentials: Logic of English is a Complete Language Arts Program that covers Reading, Grammar, Spelling, Vocabulary, and Writing.  

I Love that it's presented in a Common Sense way. 
Essentials is recommended for ages 7 to adult. It can be used by struggling readers and spellers, emerging readers and spellings, ESL students or anyone needing to fine tune their English skills.  It provides Multi-Sensory activities and works well with all learning styles.  


Home Therapy.... No More?

Life with 30 hours of in-home therapy is not the easiest pill to swallow.  I am so thankful that we work with an amazing company and our behavioral technicians are outstanding.  But, if the lack of privacy and shackling to your house doesn't get to you then your child's constant protesting and out of control behaviors will.  
If you haven't figured out yet that Kaden has had a bad day then surprise...he's had a bad day.  It's been a bad few days.  I have been slowly decreasing his hours because I want there to be more Family Time.  I have cut back on writing, social media and basically anything that doesn't involve the Family.  I Love being with the Kiddos, they are so important to me.  
Last week Kaden ended up only having therapy Monday and Tuesday.  By Friday night I could see a huge decrease in his ability to have appropriate facial expressions (they were so overly exaggerated) and his behavior was violent towards himself with lot's of negative self talk.  Our Family just bonded together to basically "get through" his Behaviors.  I hate to say it, but we couldn't have done it solo.

I want there to be a day where we don't have in-home therapy, but whenever he has a few days off his behaviors are off the charts.   Praying and weeding through Autism....please Pray with me!


How many Spoons do You have?

This is kind of long, but if you truly want to know what my life is like with Lupus then Please read.

From the age of fifteen, Christine Miserandino has been diagnosed with a myriad of illnesses from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to Epstein Barr, and finally, many years later to a determination of Lupus. As though battling a shopping list of symptoms, Christine has consistently been told, by both well-wishers and doctors alike, “But you don’t look sick.” as if that was some kind of compensation for being chronically ill. Many times, being pretty or not sickly looking, made it harder to validate an illness you cannot see.  You can check out her site to learn more.....here is her Spoon Theory!!

By Christine Miserandino www.butyoudontlooksick.com

My best friend and I were in the diner, talking. As usual, it was very late and we were eating French fries with gravy. Like normal girls our age, we spent a lot of time in the diner while in college, and most of the time we spent talking about boys, music or trivial things, that seemed very important at the time. We never got serious about anything in particular and spent most of our time laughing.
As I went to take some of my medicine with a snack as I usually did, she watched me with an awkward kind of stare, instead of continuing the conversation. She then asked me out of the blue what it felt like to have Lupus and be sick. I was shocked not only because she asked the random question, but also because I assumed she knew all there was to know about Lupus. She came to doctors with me, she saw me walk with a cane, and throw up in the bathroom. She had seen me cry in pain, what else was there to know?


ARTistic Pursuits Sculpture Technique: Construct REVIEW:

I consider us a pretty crafty family, but art with Instruction we are not.  That being said, I was happy to be able to Review one of the two New Sculpture books from  ARTistic Pursuits called Sculpture Technique: ConstructARTistic Pursuits provides Homeschool Art Instruction for Kiddos in grades Pre-K through high school.  There is literally something for Everbody!!  I say this, because even I dabbled with a little Sculpting with Mahala on this review.  But, I will spare you the details and pictures on that one.  :)  
The actual book we used was the  Sculpture Technique: Construct book and it is intended for students ages 11-18 and costs $47.95.  I think for the most part there is very little parent involvement Required.  It's pretty straightforward with the instructions.  Nothing has been left out in the details of each lesson.  But, once you take a look at the projects you wont want to miss out on all the FUN!!!  
This book is divided into 4 units, which are:
  • Creating Form in Papermaking
  • Creating Planes in Cardboard
  • Creating Motion with Paper-mache
  • Creating Volume with Wire
You are not locked into going through the book in order.  Just flip through and start where ever you want to!  Mahala couldn't decide.  It honestly took her 2 weeks to decide on her first project.  
I liked that each unit has sections that first go over the Elements of the sculpture project, like Papermaking, or Paper-mache for example.  The photos of examples are wonderful in the Project Inspiration section.  If your lacking any ideas you will surly get a spark from any of the examples provided.  Then there is a section giving you all materials needed, safety guidelines and basic instructions before you actually execute the projects Brenda Ellis has mapped out for you.  At the end of each Unit you will find an Evaluation to reflect on your work and go over all the new Concepts you just learned and put into motion.  Mahala was a bit bummed that there was an evaluation to take.  But, after the 3rd question she was surprised that it was more of an Overview or Reflection on the unit she had just finished and not a nail biting fact based test.  That made her one Happy Artist!!!  

We decided to read and gather supplies during the weekend before we planned to actually work.  We started the unit on a Monday and finished on a Thursday.  During the week we left out all the supplies in our Art Room so it wasn't uncommon for me to find her in there after dinner working on her project.  
Mahala started with Creating Form in Papermaking.  First she started making the homemade paper.  We even added bits of thread and twine to ours for extra texture.  This was such a messy project and I was so involved I forgot to take any pictures.  But, we decided to make our own stationary over the Summer to give as gifts for Christmas next year.  :)   As for creating form with our paper, our thought was to make angels for our Christmas tree by using the wet paper construction method.  We need to make a few adjustments before we have a keeper, but that's the Beauty of Art.  :)  

The next section we dived into was the Creating Motion with Paper-mache.  This brought back tons of childhood memories for me.  :)   She had nothing in mind at first.  She wanted to gather random recyclables and start building until it looked right.  Here is what she came up with....

This is Our first experience with them and I have our books already picked out for next year. :) 
The whole Book is wonderfully laid out and easy to use.   The artwork made is sure to make Great gifts that any Grandparent or Parent would be so proud of their little budding artist!
 Sculpture Technique: Construct is available from ARTistic Pursuits for $47.95, Great price for a whole year of High-Quality Art Instruction for your Homeschool. I encourage you to take a look at ARTistic Pursuits for sure!  

Make sure to Check out ARTistic Pursuits on Facebook and Pinterest.
Click to read Crew ReviewsCrew Disclaimer