Homeschool Planet

The following is a review of Homeschool Planet from Homeschool Buyers Co-op with the TOS Homeschool Review Crew. 

We received a one year subscription to Homeschool Planet as well as a limited offer of their June special of a free lesson plan from their brand new Lesson Plan Marketplace

This online planning resource is so much more integrated with our family screens than my typical pen and journal planners. Adding a cell phone number with each person added to the planner has the additional bonus of enabling messages and reminders to that family member by text. It is evident that this planner was designed for the modern homeschool family. It is more than just a lesson planner; it is a life planner! In fact, it was even designed by homeschoolers! From a computer, this resource is easy to use. The safari version was being updated when I signed up, so I primarily accessed it from my laptop. It does require an internet connection. 

Homeschool Planet's homeschool planner is just one part of Homeschool Buyers Co-op. They offer resources and special sales for homeschool families. You can sign up for their emails and never miss one of their daily deals. In the past we've ordered God's World News through their link. 

When setting up profiles for your family members, you can upload pictures to further personalize each one. I used nicknames for each persons profile name. The calendar has multiple options for planner, resources, and lesson plans. As you add to the planner, additional options let you choose class, birthdays, and everything else. Since our lessons have slowed down during this summer, most of our plans fell in the "everything else" category. Each activity can be labeled for one or multiple people. Class subjects are color coded on the planner. 

I used the class option for things like VBS which have multiple days. I added an additional subject of "family" for events we are all a part of. Typical subjects are already installed and can be personalized with just a few clicks. Choosing the class option activates the assignment generator. Assignments can be customized and changed for each day. 

In addition to the calendar, the planner desktop or home screen includes several customizable options. These options include a daily quote, daily Bible verse, reading list, to do list, shopping list, weather, look up, and messages. My favorite option is the encouraging Daily Bible Verse.

"The Lord will protect you
from all evil; He will keep
your soul. The Lord will
guard your going out and 
your coming in from this
time forth and forever. 

Another freebie I chose specifically for my son was the 8th grade Daily Reading Comprehension which can be downloaded and printed. I chose to save it as an ebook. Homeschool Buyers Co-op has so many special offers. If you haven't already discovered them, sign up! They offer a free one month trial of Homeschool Planet. If you sign up in June, you will receive the offer for the free lesson from lesson plan marketplace, too! 

Find them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Homeschool Planet {Homeschool Buyers Co-op Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer


Adventures of Rush Revere

The following is a review of The Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series with the TOS Homeschool Review Crew. 

My son just finished reading the last book of the Adventures of Rush Revere #1 New York Times Bestselling Book Series by Rush and Kathryn Adams Limbaugh, and he has already asked if I think the authors will write more. This five book series captured his attention and he has been reading more consistently for the past six weeks than I've seen him read in a while. These books have completely engaged him while simultaneously teaching him about American history. I hope that the authors write more, too. And yes, I've been reading this series, too. 

My daddy first introduced me to Rush Limbaugh years ago through his radio talk show. It became an easy introduction to us discussing politics together. These stories aren't nearly as controversial as those talk shows, although the sassy character Elizabeth does add some of the same type of high emotion. 

These books are beautiful! Hard cover books with a classic appearance have full color book jackets which give an idea of the characters' appearance. They arrived tied together with a satin ribbon. Each book of filled with fun pictures in full color.  They illustrate the stories in an exciting way.  You can see examples below. 

Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims
Rush Revere and the First Patriots
Rush Revere and the American Revolution 
Rush Revere and the Star Spangled Banner
Rush Revere and the Presidency 

Mix historical fiction (one of my favorite genres) with a bit of fantasy, add a dash of sci-fi, and stir it all together in a modern classroom. These books are fiction, but they are filled with facts from our American history. These five books cover the time from Pilgrims coming to America through the inauguration of President John Adams. Each book is over 200 pages long. 

The main character is Rush Revere, a time traveling substitute history teacher. His mode of travel is unusual-- Liberty, a sometimes invisible horse who brings humans through portals to America's past. And Liberty dances and talks! Students Tommy, Cam, Freedom, and Elizabeth all respond differently as they experience the unbelievable time travel with Rush Revere. 

These books make you think about history and ask questions. Are you sure that pilgrims wore black and white like the kindergarten costumes we see every Thanksgiving?

Do you know the difference in the Poop deck or Forecastle of a ship? If not, then you'll appreciate the labeled drawing of a cutaway view of the Mayflower which clearly illustrates each location visited in the first book. Every book is filled with full color drawings: maps, tools, characters, and more make history come to life.

At the end of some of the books, there is a list of related questions as pictured below. I read and discussed the questions with my son. 

My son's favorite book of the series is Rush Revere and the Star Spangled Banner. He said that in this book, Rush spends more time in the modern day than he does in the past. 

Cam is my son's favorite character. "He has a positive attitude about everything. He doesn't stop doing something once he starts." 

My son shared that he learned a lot. He thought it was neat when the students in Rush's class were able to go back in time and ask the historical figures questions that helped them to better understand history. I think these books would be a great addition to any family library.

Find Rush Revere on Facebook, Twitter @RushRevere , and on You-tube.
                         Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series {Reviews}
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Scripture and A Snapshot

And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Galatians 4:6 

     Happy Father's Day! 

     I grew up with two dear men I was privileged to call Daddy. Both of them helped me learn more about the love of our Heavenly Father. I am so thankful for the unmeasurable ways they blessed my life. 

     Thank you for joining Scripture & A Snapshot. Leave a comment with a verse that God has placed on your heart this week, or leave a link to your own post sharing a Scripture and a snapshot. Take time to visit  some of the other links, too. If you would like to join our group Pinterest board for Scripture & A Snapshot, simply follow the board then let me know your Pinterest name or email used there so that I can add you to it. 

Scripture and Snapshot

Follow Jennifer Miller's board Scripture & A Snapshot on Pinterest.



Learning All The Time

Get ready for a series you won't want to miss. 10 Days of... everything imaginable about homeschooling. In July, my contributions to this series will be 10 Days of Balancing and Incorporating Homeschool With Life! It's how we homeschool.


Scripture and a Snapshot

The link has been extended. Please continue to add your links for this week. 

Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The Lord be magnified. Psalm 40:16 

     Thank you for joining Scripture & A Snapshot. Leave a comment with a verse that God has placed on your heart this week, or leave a link to your own post sharing a Scripture and a snapshot. Take time to visit  some of the other links, too. If you would like to join our group Pinterest board for Scripture & A Snapshot, simply follow the board then let me know your Pinterest name or email used there so that I can add you to it. 

Scripture and Snapshot

Follow Jennifer Miller's board Scripture & A Snapshot on Pinterest.



Nature's Beautiful Order

The following is a review of Nature's Beautiful Order from Memoria Press with the TOS Homeschool Review Crew. 

We keep discovering new books from Memoria Press that seamlessly fit into our homeschool plans. This most recent set is a science reader, workbook, and teacher's answer book all about animals. It is recommended for 6th to 9th grades, and my 7th grader wrapped up his school year with this change from his previous science lessons with my mom. I questioned if it covered biology at first as that was my tentative 8th grade plan for him, but it is different from a biology text. This set is broken into chapters, most devoted to a different bird, insect, or mammal, and ending with man. 

Chapter 16: Farm Friends was my favorite chapter. We live on a farm. The beautiful orderliness of God's design is indeed evident all around us. From newborn kittens and freshly hatched baby chicks, miraculous new life is often present. This chapter shares how our country has changed from many families having farms to now taking field trips to working farms. Cows and pigs are focused on in this lesson. Our own dairy cow is a sort of pipe dream for us; I love fresh milk and all of the things we can make with it. 

Years ago, my grandad had bees on the farm. As he aged, he stopped his bee activity, and then after getting stung repeatedly the hives were set aside. We've recently been researching bee keeping and hope to be able to extract honey from our inherited hives. We found applicable resources for our state and even attended a nearby beekeepers meeting, but the information shared there about various bee mites was above our beginner level. This book has an entire chapter devoted to bees! The ten page chapter starts with scientific historical facts and progresses through bee reproduction, hives, and beekeeping. Some of the corresponding questions for chapter 5 in the student guide are:

* Describe the composition of the beehive.
* Is the hexagonal design of the honeycomb significant?
* What lesson may we take from the bee as a social animal?

These are the three books we received for this review: 

If you read my review of the American History set from Memoria Press earlier this year, this set is very similar, though without the accompanying flash cards. Instead of the vocabulary and short questions of the history workbook, these questions are all open ended questions. The student reads a selection from the book then works through the corresponding pages in the student guide. I required complete sentences in the answers written in the student guide. After my son completed them, I then checked his answers with the teacher key. These lessons were relevant to our life and interesting to read, both for me and my son. He was able to read and complete the workbook independently and then I discussed the information and reviewed any incorrect answers with him. I recommend this a a great middle school science curriculum. For us, it is the perfect precursor to biology. 

We reviewed Nature's Beautiful Order but Memoria Press also offers Latin Curriculum from Early Elementary to High School. I noticed that they also have a brand new biology curriculum! 

Crew Disclaimer

Latin, Nature and Trees {Memoria Press Reviews}


Alan Shepard

The following is a review of the book Alan Shepard Higher and Faster from YWAM Publishing Christian: Heroes Then & Now Heroes of History with the TOS Homeschool Review Crew. 

We are always looks for great books to read, and the YWAM Publishing Christian Heroes Then & Now Heroes of History books are exceptional biographies. My son requested Heroes of History- Alan Shepard when we were given this review opportunity.

Alan Shepard Higher and Faster is a 229 page paperback book that covers the life of this American hero.  It also, to my sons dismay, shared about his death. "Mom," he said, as he reached the end, "you didn't tell me he died!" He enjoyed leaning all about his career as both a navy pilot and then as an astronaut. 

Our entire family enjoys learning about airplanes and space travel. If an air museum is at all close to our travel destination, it's almost sure to be an essential detour for us. My son used the corresponding study guide to further enhance what he read in this book. Activity suggestions include touring just such a place, and we are hoping to be able to go back to the Cosmosphere when we visit my inlaws. My son was very little last time we went so hardly remembers it. Vocabulary words are also included in the study guide. I added a few to my son's weekly spelling and vocabulary lists, and he then challenged his sister as he learned the meanings. " Do you know what don means? 

Below is just one glimpse of the type of lessons included in the study guide. It turns the book into a multi-subject unit study. 

Famous quotations from both the main character and others that are relevant are also included. 

"Whether you are an astronomer or a life scientist, geophysicist, or a pilot, you've got to be there because you believe you are good in your field, and you can contribute, not because you are going to get a lot of fame or whatever when you get back." -- Alan Shepard
We recently watched an old movie called Strategic Air Command. Joseph noticed that many of the same experiences parallel the book. He shared a few of his thoughts about the book below:

"Alan shepherd higher and faster is a historic book that tells us about the life of an American hero. It is an inspiring and uplifting book; you learn the importance of patience and team work. A great part of the book is when Alan had work to achieve a goal he set for himself. A very fascinating part of the book is when Alan joins the navy to be an air pilot but has to go through other hardships first. Later, Alan is in the space race and I read about the slow process to being one of the first American astronauts. It has been a great book to read."

These are great books for any family, in my opinion. Biographies from YWAM Publishing are also available as ebooks and audiobooks. 

Find YWAM Publishing online: 
and on their blog


Crew Disclaimer

Christian & History Heroes {YWAM Publishing Reviews}


Scripture and a Snapshot

Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Psalm 51:12
     My husband seems to constantly be making repairs around the farm. Lately he has been replacing boards on our porch, and this weekend he started repairing our front steps. This verse has a different meaning, but it still seemed fitting to me. 

     Thank you for joining Scripture & A Snapshot. Leave a comment with a verse that God has placed on your heart this week, or leave a link to your own post sharing a Scripture and a snapshot. Take time to visit  some of the other links, too. If you would like to join our group Pinterest board for Scripture & A Snapshot, simply follow the board then let me know your Pinterest name or email used there so that I can add you to it. 

Scripture and Snapshot

Follow Jennifer Miller's board Scripture & A Snapshot on Pinterest.



Mandisa's Out Of The Dark CD

MANDISA's latest CD “OUT OF THE DARK” was released May 19th! This CD is a story of hope. Of the eighteen tracks on this deluxe edition, four are voices not song, both Mandisa and friends that tell an unfolding story of depression, friendship, and ultimately not giving up. 

The songs each have Scripture references shared with the lyrics. 

Mandisa wrote her song “Overcomer” in 2013 to encourage her close friend Kisha, who was battling breast cancer. Mandisa really believed and prayed that God was going to heal her, but when Kisha went to be with Jesus in 2014, Mandisa’s foundation was shaken in a way she never expected. She fell into a deep pit of depression for close to 3 years, shutting out her friends, family and the rest of the world. Mandisabelieves if she had kept going down that road she was on, she would not be here today… but God stepped in and lifted her out of that pit by using her close friends to communicate their love for her and God’s love for her. This album is Mandisa’s way of letting her fans into her story – it’s called 'Out Of The Dark' because that is exactly where God lifted her out of! 


You can watch her talk openly about this on Good Morning America last week here: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/mandisa-opens-overcoming-depression-47020463

FlyBy has generously shared the opportunity to give a copy of this CD to one of you! 

For an entry in the giveaway, leave a comment on this blog post answering this question: Is there a specific verse or song you know that fills you with hope? Be sure you include a valid email address for contact if you win.) Winner will be chosen Wednesday May 31st and will have 24 hours to reply to claim the CD.

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.


The Typing Coach Review

With the change from keyboards to cell phones, iPads and iPods, we all need more typing practice at my house. I had my daughter to try The Typing Coach Online Typing Course created by The Typing Coach

My middle daughter reviewed this course with me. When my daughter first started The Typing Coach typing program, she watched a thirty minute course introduction tutorial on getting started and read accompanying downloaded articles. Lessons are designed to be completed one lesson per week over ten weeks with at least twenty minutes of daily practice. We received a one-year subscription.  

Requirements: Microsoft Word or another word processing program is needed for the lessons as well as a printer to print the student packet of typing assignments to read as you type as well as the tests. My daughter used WordPad on her laptop. Adobe flash player is required for the audio clips. We ended up signing on through my computer which had more updated programs while she did the actual typing on her laptop. 

Her review input: "At the beginning it walks you through all of the steps to use the course, thoroughly explaining each step." The actual lessons started with top row, number row, etc as is typical for most beginner typing lessons. My daughter commented that it felt like the program was designed for a younger student. 

In retrospect, I should have set up these lessons for her little brother who has not had as much typing experience as her instead of just hoping she would increase her typing speed by using it. I think he would have used the program more often and more willingly than she did, though that was not clear until she tried it for herself. 

It's set up in a very organized way. Checkboxes (a newer feature that wasn't there when my daughter first started six weeks ago) help to see exactly what the student has done. Students can check off what they complete. 

Lessons are designed to be completed in order and cover:

* Course Introduction
* Slower Paced Lessons
* The Practice and Testing Center
* Before and After Snapshot
* Having Good Posture
* Home Row
* Top Row
* Bottom Row
* Shift Keys
* Typing Practices
* Number Row
* Serious Practicing
* The Final Assessment 
* Conclusion 
* Course Evaluation and Feedback 

One of the first lessons was typing The Gettysburg Address which my daughter had previously memorized so there was familiarity with the lesson. I was happy that good posture was addressed. Our family as a whole tends to do more laptop work lounging in the living room instead of consistently seated properly at a table. The serious practicing component required the student to complete the four practice tests repeatedly until done error free including not looking at the keyboard. 

She listened to audio and watched video portions from her iPod and used her laptop for the actual typing components. Unfortunately our modem was fried by lightning twice during this six week trial, and was slow even after repaired, so we didn't experience the audio components working clearly after the first two weeks of using the program. 

There are built in time limits including tests only allowed once in a two day period, I assume so that the student will then practice what they missed. 

There is also a "teacher resource center" which helps parents and teachers guide students through The Typing Coach lessons. The course is designed for kids 12 and older to complete independently with occasional assistance as needed. Slower paced directions are included for younger students. Incentive charts and "typing tickets" rewards are also available to print if that is motivating to your student. 

Who doesn't want to improve their typing speed? Of course we do! The Typing Coach may be just what you are looking for. 

Crew Disclaimer

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