Years Go By

     When my girls were very young and we lived in another place, I bought this bench. Through the years the boards broke and the metal rusted. 

       My husband surprised me by completely restoring it for me. He cut and milled boards from a pine tree my Powpow planted years ago. He sandblasted the iron parts of the bench, got rid of all the rust, even remade one part that couldn’t be repaired. He painted the metal and sanded the wood and it looks absolutely wonderful! 


High School Literature

The following is a review of the Ninth Grade Literature Guide Set from Memoria Press with the TOS Homeschool Review Crew. Affiliate links are included. 

When options were shared for this review, I chose the set featuring Old English and Medieval Works for my son as they paralleled some of the works also covered in my daughter’s summer semester college English literature class. Because of the content she has already completed, I knew she would be able to discuss his assignments with him. 

We received the entire ninth grade level set minus the books. (It is available to purchase both with and without the books.) Our box included four consumable student guides and four corresponding non-consumable teacher guides written by David M. Wright for The Canterbury Tales, Henry V, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Beowulf the WarriorWe obtained the corresponding books from our library, our bookshelves, and online. I would recommend if you order these, go ahead and invest in either the complete set or specific editions and editors of each book. We were unable to complete assignments related to introductions written in specific editions of books that we did not have. Two additional books are also available and required if you choose to follow their lesson plans exactly: Poetry, Prose, & Drama Book One: Old English and Medieval Periods and The Book of the Middle Ages.  

It has been interesting studying historical literature and comparing real life to works of fiction. The Henry V Literature Guide Shakespeare’s Henry V does tell the story of a real king, but with the author’s own style. So many places in it have been used to name streets in New Orleans that I started craving beignets as we read. Simple things affect our personal preference. I liked the small size of the Henry V student guide best as we just tucked it inside the book. The other three student guides are full size workbooks which match the teacher guides. 

I appreciate the depth of these lessons. Students are required to do much more than just reading assignments. They have to analyze what they have read, answer questions, learn vocabulary, and more. This follows Memoria Press’s Trivium based learning. Completion of the set will definitely count for a high school English credit. 
The Upper School guides require students to think in increasingly rigorous and complex ways, to make connections from the particular to abstractions and back again, to compare and contrast, and to sort and classify. 
  The guides feature helpful reading notes, extensive vocabulary training, comprehension questions, Socratic discussion questions, work with quotes, and literary and rhetorical devices presented in bold to prepare students for sophisticated literary analysis and/or future work in AP Literature and college classes.
 The guides also feature essay prompts with space for students to write the essay. The prompts are related to their work in the guide, and in particular to what they have determined to be the Central One Idea of the story or poem. This then becomes their thesis which they must argue for and defend in their essay.
Active reading and thinking leads to good writing; and these three to wisdom and virtue – the directed aim and purpose of the Upper School literature guides.”

Visit Memoria Press on FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+You Tube, and Instagram, and be sure to tell them hi from Jennifer at A Glimpse of Our Life. Read other Crew reviews by clicking here

First to Tenth Grade Literature Guides {Memoria Press Reviews}


Variety from Library and Ed

The following is a review of a selection of books and resources from Library and Educational Services LLC with the TOS Homeschool Review Crew. 

This link to Library and Educational Services LLC will take you to a page where you can create your own account with them. It also shows one of their current sales which just happens to be the Who Is books mentioned below. We picked what we got to review! Each reviewer chose three specific things and had the option to make additional purchases with free shipping. One specific title from The Who Was series, we chose What is the Statue of Liberty? Our Lifehouse Theater cd selection was The Emperor’s New Clothes. Given the option to select anything from their vast selection of Reinforced Hardcover Library Binding Nonfiction Books, we chose two sets: The Rosen Comprehensive Dictionary, Set of Four, and Famous Court Cases, Set of Five. I also purchased some fiction books and even a game that our family loves to play.  
Library and Educational Services is a wholesaler of books, CDs, and DVDs. We have been selling primarily to Christian schools, churches, specialty stores and resellers for over 40 years. We specialize in materials for children. All of our prices are 30% to 70% (or even more) off publishers' list prices every day. We give homeschools the same discount other schools receive. We carefully review all items we carry so that they are not contrary to Biblical standards and values.”

The math, chemistry, physics, and biology books on the left of the box below are the 
Rosen dictionaries. Each one is filled with definitions about that particular topic. 

We have heard it called “box day.” As reviewers, that excitement happens each time we receive a new review, each time uniquely special. Library and Ed is a company we have turned to over and over since our first review. For new books, it is hard to find a better price. 

Even though they always offer great prices, after creating a free account online, you get emails about sales and closeouts. Several of the clearance books I added to my order were only 22 cents! 
“We are introducing our reinforced hardcover library binding nonfiction book series. We usually have between 200 and 300 nonfiction book series in stock, all have reinforced library binding, and all are priced at the same price as many paperbacks.” 
My son became interested in law books several years ago. When another reviewer mentioned the famous court cases set and that it included a specific case that a friend encouraged us to read about, I added that set to our order. After receiving it I learned that each of those cases have been made into movies, so we’ve added more to our watch list. These books have a unique style of presenting these historical cases. 


This shows how we search the website. Once I opened the reinforced library binding hardcover section, I further narrowed our search by specifying tenth grade. These pictures also show you what a huge savings this website offers.  

We enjoy audio dramas, so I was delighted to learn about   Lifehouse Theater’s selections. I picked a story that was a favorite from my own childhood. After listening, I wondered
 if this story contributed to my early political views. 

Visit the crew blogs to read more reviews


Through His Lens

My son has a perspective for pictures that I love. Last night we walked down to the edge of the lake at sunset. This morning he shared this image with me. 

Photography by my son.
Shared with permission.


Apologia Exploring Creation With General Science

The following is a review of Exploring Creation With General Science, 3rd Edition from Apologia with the TOS Homeschool Review Crew. 

Over the last few weeks, my son has been working with  Exploring Creation with General Science, 3rd Edition published by ApologiaThis Basic Set includes the 434 page hard-cover textbook, the 552 page spiral bound Student Notebook, and the softcover Solutions and Test Manual (a set of Test Pages). For this review, I had him work on several different modules to get a bigger impression of the entire curricula. 

Apologia Science was one of the first things recommended when my girls were younger when I asked more seasoned homeschool moms questions about what curriculum worked best. My daughters have different strengths and different learning styles, but when it came to science, Apologia worked for both of them. The girls both worked through Apologia’s elementary Exploring Creation series and Apologia’s high school sciences. There is almost a seven year age difference between my oldest daughter and my son. In some ways, their learning styles are very similar, yet what worked for her has not always worked for him. Last year we reviewed Apologia’s new Health curriculum. It was a perfect fit for his learning style, and he enjoyed working through both the book and workbook to the end. When I saw that the 3rd edition of Apologia’s Exploring Creation With General Science had the same format as the Health set, I knew it was another science class that he would enjoy. This new set also includes a packet with tests and answers. 

At this point in his homeschool, lessons that my son can do independently are a priority. This Apologia General Science book and workbook are made just for that. They are written to the student. I enjoy seeing him learn, and especially enjoy learning. Louisiana requires four high school science credits, and this General Science course gives a great introduction to many of those options including environmental science, chemistry, physics, astronomy, meteorology, earth study, geology, oceanography, and paleontology, and so much more, all from a creationist viewpoint. 

The module pictured above is Earth Science Astronomy. The timing of these lessons perfectly  coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Apolo 11 lunar landing 50 years ago which has been in the news so much lately. We learned that my uncle had worked as an engineer evaluating safety of the total launch vehicle! The workbook page pictured above is actually about the sun. 

The experiments included are hands on learning opportunities that correspond to the lessons. The book pages pictured above on the large tree slice have corresponding workbook pages about age testing and dendrochronology as well as a lab report. 

Another well timed coincidence was a moldy discovery last week. Neither my husband or me ate the baby carrots in our lunch one day. His ended up left in the baggie on the counter, but my bag was lost in the car. After two days of our Louisiana heat, he found my bag of carrots while cleaning out the car. While the ones still in the refrigerator were still great over a week later, the ones on the counter were turning black in places, but the ones in the car were slimy and white. These discoveries fit with the general biology section about mycology. 

My son will continue to complete these lessons independently, with assistance from me for scoring tests. 

In conclusion, I continue to recommend Apologia science as one of my top homeschool resources. Visit the crew blog by clicking here to read more reviews. Visit Apologia on FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+ and Instagram, and be sure to tell them hi from Jennifer at A Glimpse of Our Life. 


Together Again

She’s home! Only for a day, actually today she is leaving for work again, her summer camp job an hour away. But she is coming back this weekend. And for just a little while I had all of my children here together.

Her joy is so evident. Last night she shared with us about her trip at my parents house, and as we started to get ready to return home she realized that she hadn’t even shared her pictures yet. Much more sharing still to come! The first picture is of her sharing delicate creamy filled Ukrainian cookies. Below is the perfect matryoshka set that she brought home for her brother.


Our House and a Cherry on Top

Cue the music

“Our House... in the middle of the street.” Our house is down a long gravel driveway at the end of a long gravel road, but when I was little, our house was in the middle of the street. My daughter recently shared her Spotify account with me, and that’s one of the songs I added to my mommiejenn playlist. I remember singing it (loudly and off key) with my sisters. 

“Our house... is a very very very fine house.” Especially when we have ice cream! Today was work followed by a visit to the dentist for me. It was a tiring day for my college kid. My son spent the day with my parents and our oldest daughter is still around the world.  I remembered my husband recently mentioning how much he liked banana splits, and when I saw our favorite brand of ice cream on sale at the grocery store, the banana split plan was in motion.

I’ve been emotional lately. Childhood memories are further and further in my past, but many things are bringing back memories. When I drove my daughter to Houston last week, I noticed so many changes... just more evidence of time passing. I was her age when I lived there. When we hugged the kids tonight, my husband brought up how we all slept in this room when the house wasn’t yet complete... and we blinked.

But tonight, we enjoyed delicious banana splits with pineapple and whipped cream, and those who wanted them had cherries on top.


He Reads Truth Bible

“The CSB He Reads Truth Bible includes robust, well-crafted theological extras to draw the reader back to Scripture, increase biblical literacy, and foster a growing affection for God and His Word. Color coded by genre, each book of the Bible features detailed book introductions, a reading plan with supplemental passages for deeper understanding, and full-color maps, charts, and timelines by the He Reads Truth team. In addition, the CSB He Reads Truth Bible features 66 key verses, artfully lettered to aid in Scripture memorization. This Bible invites every man to count himself as part of the He Reads Truth community of “Men in the Word of God every day.”
Features include: 66 hand-lettered key verses, 17 full-color timelines, 21 maps, 122 charts (including infographics and lists), and 4 illustrations, reading plans for every book of the Bible, one-year Bible reading plan, detailed book introductions, key verse list, smyth-sewn binding, two colored ribbon markers, and wide margins for journaling and note taking.

The CSB He Reads Truth Bible features the highly readable, highly reliable text of the Christian Standard Bible® (CSB). The CSB stays as literal as possible to the Bible’s original meaning without sacrificing clarity, making it easier to engage with Scripture’s life-transforming message and to share it with others.“
This large hard bound Bible arrived in a case which matches the cover. Two long ribbon bookmarks are sewn in, white and red. 

Similar to the format of the She Reads Truth Bible, there are tools in the front such as how to read the Bible as well as explanations of key features. The pages, like those in most Bibles, are very thin. Devotions are included, boxed to differentiate from the Scripture verses. They reference passages from both the New and Old Testaments. 

US residents can enter for a chance to win a copy: 
Disclosure: Lev3l provided a copy of this Bible for this review. No other compensation was provided. All opinions shared are my own and that of my family.

The Logic of God

Book description:

Jesus Christ alone answers our deepest questions.
 We all have doubts that challenge our faith. We wonder whether the Bible still matters, or whether God is truly as loving and personal as we hope. In his first ever devotional, The Logic of God, apologist Ravi Zacharias offers 52 readings that explain how and why Christianity, the Bible, and God are still relevant, vital, and life-changing for us today. To all our dilemmas Ravi says, "I am convinced that Jesus Christ alone uniquely answers the deepest questions of our hearts and minds." 

With a remarkable grasp of biblical facts and a deep understanding of the questions that trouble our hearts, Ravi tackles the most difficult topics with ease and understanding. But The Logic of God is more than intellectual; it is also personal, offering thoughtful wisdom on:
when Jesus draws especially near you.
the deep ray of hope found in God's Word.
how God transforms disappointments.
why prayer matters.
how genuine peace is possible.
making sense of suffering.

​Ravi makes profound biblical truth easy to understand. And if your life is busy, this book is designed for you! It addresses 52 topics that you can read over the course of one year or slowly digest at your own pace. Each entry includes a Scripture, questions for reflection, and some practical application steps.

 When you're struggling with questions and doubts, confused, curious, or just want a clearer way to express your faith The Logic of God has answers that satisfy the heart and the mind.

Enter here for a chance to win a signed copy:  https://www.blessedfreebies.com/logic-of-god-giveaway.html

Disclosure: Zondervan and Frontgate Media provided a copy of this book for this review. No other compensation was provided. All opinions shared are my own and that of my family.

All Snug In Their Beds

Last night my oldest daughter came home. She is working at a summer camp and loving it. As she shared about her first three weeks, her excitement was contagious. So contagious she may have convinced her sister to join her next summer. But for now, this mamma is so happy to have all of my dear children home. I just now quietly peeked in their doors. Very soon Heather will be flying to places I’ve never been. She’s sharing the love of Jesus everywhere she goes. I’m proud of her, but at this little moment in time, I have such peace that my children are all snug in their beds.


Hewitt High School Speech

The following is a review two components of Speech from Hewitt Homeschooling Resources with the TOS Homeschool Review Crew. 

We received the Lightning Literature & Composition Speech Student’s Guide and Teacher’s Guide by Elizabeth Kamath. The student’s guide is a large 145 page paperback book. Questions are included but space is not built in like a workbook. A notebook is also required. The teacher’s guide is a set of 60 pages unbound, stapled together. The student’s guide is written to the student and includes valuable recommendations such as how to create a relevant vocabulary notebook and how to involve the whole family. Three papers must be written with each of the four units. Some of the writing exercises are actually writing speeches. The teacher’s guide is primarily a grading guide and answers to the questions in the student’s guide. 

There are a few things from the speech class that my daughters took together in our homeschool group years ago that made such an impact that we still look at each other when we notice it. “Ah, umm, and,” the repetitive fillers that could be signs of a nervous speaker now make me cringe for the person uttering them. My son was too young to take that class with them, and now the mom who taught it is a mom of four graduates, so I was happy to read about this speech opportunity for my son from Hewitt.  

These Speech lessons differ from a traditional speech class as the student isn’t performing speeches in front of their peers. In fact, it can be completed with just one student. They instead critique speeches from the book (required resource) Lend Me Your Ears by William Safire. If you purchase the speech curriculum as a set (linked above), this      book is also included. For the review we borrowed a copy from a friend, but my son will continue using this until he completes it, so we will be purchasing the book. Suggestions are included for how to make this an honors course. 

A wide variety of speeches are included in the book: sermons, political speeches, inspirational speeches, media, commencement speeches, and even speeches which were written but never used. Students are also encouraged to listen to a variety of speeches. 

One of the speeches referenced in unit 3, lesson 5 is “John F. Kennedy, in Praise of Robert Frost, Celebrates the Arts in America,” p. 226. Lesson 5 brings attention to the speaker’s audience. It asks students to note if their stance is favorable, neutral, or hostile. Students are directed to read not only the speeches but also the introductions which give additional insight. This particular speech is of note as being shared following the death of Robert Frost and right before his own assignation. 

In her junior year of high school, my daughter completed Hewitt’s British Literature: Mid-18th Century course. She called it challenging but also fun. Read our previous Hewitt Homeschool review by clicking here.  

Find Hewitt Homeschooling Resources on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Google+, and be sure to tell them hi from Jennifer at A Glimpse of Our Life.

Others on the TOS Homeschool Review Crew also reviewed other courses from Hewitt Homeschooling. Click on the graphic below to read more. 

Lightning Literature, My First Reports, State History Notebook & Joy of Discovery {Hewitt Homeschooling Resources Reviews} 


Organizing Our Homeschool

The following is a review of the Hey, Mama! Homeschool Planner for 2019/20 Year from The Old Schoolhouse® with the TOS Homeschool Review Crew. 

Gena Suarez is the author of what she calls a planner/journal. She and her husband are the publishers of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. She is also a homeschooling mom just like her intended market for this book. 

Laundry is caught up, the kitchen sink is empty and the dishwasher is running, and the rain is steadily falling this morning. My mornings have a comfortable familiar routine on our “at home” days, even though much else in our life is far from routine. Even in summer, our schedule fills up so quickly. My family knows I try to keep up with everything on my cellphone calendar, but that is not a convenient format for everyone else to see. I’ve tried using various planners before, but this time I’m planning from the start to keep it in our dining room so it is both used and available for everyone in our family to see and reference easily.  

I color coded my kids’ things when they were little, and even though they have outgrown that, I find myself returning to that system for pen colors to easily designate activities for them. Nothing but a pen or pencil is necessary for this planner to be functional, but I am having fun with my color pens, sticky tab labels, and even washi tape as I add our plans to the pages. 

(dates incomplete for our privacy)

The Hey, Mama! Homeschool Planner for 2019/20 Year is a large 189 page spiral bound book. It is large enough that I have not lost it yet! 

It includes what you would expect from a planner like a calendar through three years, big monthly pages (July 2019- June 2020) and weekly pages (blank dates for you to personalize as you use them and plenty of free space for jotting notes.) There are also additional note pages designated for each month.But the extras make this planner stand out. Advice on completing your child’s academic transcript is included right before pages to chart your high school student’s four years of credits and a checklist for skills learned. “Hey, Mama!” devotionals are tucked in between the monthly planning pages. These are encouraging words from a seasoned homeschool mom, and most are wrapped up at the end with relevant verses from the Bible.  


The last section of the planner (this is one of the spots where I added a stick on divider) has pages for up to five children. These pages include curriculum planning (subject/grade/price and more), blank lined pages, attendance chart by month (our state requires 180 days of attendance), a page to document books read, and pages for goals by semester as well as yearly goals.

I started by putting in the dates that will probably not change. I’m still considering adding little sticky note strips for things like dentist appointments which do seem to be rescheduled more often than anything else. Then I can just move that sticky reminder as changes happen. 

TOS has already sold out of nearly 98% of these planners! If you don’t have a planner yet, you may want to place your order very soon. 

Follow The Old Schoolhouse® on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.  Read more reviews here: 
Hey, Mama! Homeschool Planner for 2019/20 Year {The Old Schoolhouse┬« Reviews}