Category Archives: Homeschooling

Together Forever by Jody Hedlund

 

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Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

Description

My Review:
The first book in this series (and these are not stand alone books), was not about the traditional orphan trains as much as I thought it would be. This one was more traditional.  I enjoyed the storyline, and following up on Marianne’s story a bit more, getting to know her, as it were.
Ms. Hedlund is talented at pulling out pieces of history that actually happened, real life stories, both the sad and the good. This book was no exception.
It addresses something that many of us face, the ability to blame ourselves for things that we are not responsible for. It often seems easier to blame us as we believe it of ourselves.
This story could be used to demonstrate lessons, but also if you were studying history, a way to learn about some of the orphan trains and their history.
I obtained this book from NetGalley and the publisher. The opinions contained herein are my own.
This book is available for pre-order and ships May 1st. You can find it from your local book sellers and here on Amazon. Together Forever
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Words of Encouragement or Discouragement?

“Oh, what a cute little girl you have there! She looks a little cold. Have you thought maybe she might need a jacket?”

“Are we ready to go? You don’t look like you are quite ready. We will wait here while you change.”

“Just try a little harder, dear, to focus on the positive. Life can’t all be bad, can it?”

 

This can happen on accident or on purpose. I truly believe many people have good intentions. Good intentions though, are often wrought with grief and discouragement.

For example, last week, I learned that not only am I am a complete failure as a parent because I don’t have sit down meals with our whole family anymore, I also am to blame for many other issues because I allow screen time, and don’t share stories from life lessons I learned with my children enough.

I remember reading a book, one that was highly recommended in homeschool circles. My oldest son was 6 or 7 years old, and I was trying to learn all I could about this homeschooling thing. As I read, I learned that if I did not read aloud to him for 2-3 hours daily, I not only ruined his education, but at the age of seven, it was already too late. He was doomed to a life of mediocrity, because I had already failed him in his education. I got about halfway through the book, and ended up sobbing at my failures.

No doubt the author of the book was seeking to encourage parents to read to their children. I am sure of that. In her zeal, she discouraged me. What I didn’t see, was while I was not able to read aloud that many hours, my son did listen to books for 1-3 hours a day, on audio. Yes, they were not always the classics, but they were many times as well. The discouragement of parents is something that I find reprehensible, yet, I am sure I do it often myself.

When we hear blanket statements, or even backhanded compliments given to people, or remarks that are self serving or self righteous, (For example: “I am so thankful to have such wonderful children. Most parents don’t even teach their children how to have basic manners any more, and I am so blessed to have well mannered children.”) take time to stop and examine your life a bit.

  • Is there something you can improve on a daily basis in your life?
  • Is there a life lesson you can share with your children, family, friends without putting them down?
  • Are your words seasoned with salt so that you are not lifting yourself up, while putting others down?
  • If you have offended someone, can you apologize sincerely?
  • Are we leaving people with encouragement or are we discouraging them by bragging about our triumphs?

In the end, we have to do the best we can do. Yes, it is a good idea to sit down to eat at the dinner table together. But sometimes when we spend all day together, talking, discussing and come time to eat, sometimes eating just has to happen without waiting for everyone to arrive. This is especially true when you have gone over 16 hours without eating, which happens often around here.

Table manners? Yes, they are a great thing to have. But don’t judge your neighbor as having never taught their children because their child made a major flub. It might be your child next and we totally know you have taught them all of it. Who knows if maybe that mom has as well?

I would encourage you to give grace, even when you are frustrated with others. Let us not judge so many times, and instead truly come along side people with encouragement, rather than encouragement that is backhanded discouragement.

We are never failures when we seek to do our best. We can always improve, yes, but as long as we are seeking to do our best, we will never fail completely.

Make mistakes? YES!

Perfection is overrated anyhow. We can always be improving, but just keep working towards a goal of doing our best.

 

 

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Homeschool Basics by Tricia Goyer and Kristi Clover

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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About the book:

Do you long to homeschool with joy, simplicity, and success? Finally, all the best tried-and-true homeschool advice you’ve been looking for in one amazing book. With more than thirty years of combined experience, homeschooling moms Tricia Goyer and Kristi Clover provide thoughtful and practical advice on how to get started and stay the course in your home-school journey. But they don’t stop there. In this book, Tricia and Kristi unpack tons of great tools that will help you take unnecessary pressure off yourself so you can focus on what is truly important. (Hint: It’s not academics!) Homeschool Basics will remind you that the best type of homeschooling starts with the heart. You’ll find ideas to help you push your fears to the side and raise kids who will grow to be life-long learners and who have a positive impact on God’s kingdom. Tricia and Kristi believe that homeschooling can transform your life, your home, and your family.

My Review:

Do you ever read a book and wish that you were just having a visit over tea and cookies with another homeschool mom instead of reading this book?
This book is the answer to that. Tricia and Kristi have laid out the basics and nitty gritty of homeschooling for you. It is simple, straight forward and written in a conversational manner. It is not done in a way that you will be lost or even feel overwhelmed.

Each chapter and topic is covered throughly, by veteran moms that are doing this still and one of them has grown children that are successful in life. Are you looking for a book where you feel the woman is telling you impossible tasks to achieve and that you have ruined your child if you are not reading to them aloud at least 3 hours daily along with lessons in Greek and latin? This is not that.

This is more, a friendly chat over tea, from moms who know. Pick it up today if you want to homeschool. It will be worth it!

Homeschool Basics by Tricia Goyer and Kristi Clover 

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Launch Your Dream by Dale Partridge

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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Book Description

Bestselling author and serial entrepreneur Dale Partridge provides a concrete, easily executed plan for readers looking to start a business that will result in greater freedom, a stronger family, and healthier finances.

Dale Partridge, bestselling author and founder of StartupCamp.com and many other highly successful businesses, has helped thousands of people launch new startup businesses—and find unimaginable freedom in the process—through his highly acclaimed Startup Camp program. In Launch Your Dream, Partridge distills the essence of that course into a hyper-practical, 30-day journey for readers looking to follow their passions and realize their dreams. In clear, easily grasped steps, he teaches readers how to hone their ideas, build an audience, construct an online presence, launch a business, master social media, craft a beautiful brand, and create experiences that keep customers from ever considering competitors. Sharing time-saving “smartcuts” to make readers more efficient, Partridge also helps them identify and resolve business-killing blind spots.

For anyone looking simply to make money on the side or seeking to become a millionaire, for the CEO or the stay-at-home mom, for the would-be entrepreneur or the freelancer, Launch Your Dream provides the steps necessary to begin living your dream in just 30 days.

My Review:

I was encouraged as I picked up this book, at how simply it was laid out for the dreamer seeking to launch a business. As a newer business owner, I really appreciated that. I did not do all the steps as of yet, but as I read, I realized how encouraged I was to be on the right path!

Each chapter has the estimated time it would take you to read it, as well as an assignment to complete the task explained in the chapter. It is concise and would be excellent for young high school students wishing to launch their dream in an organized manner.

When I finished this book, I purchased a copy of “People over Profit”  on audio, for my son and I to listen to.

I would highly recommend this book to new business owners, those unfamiliar with social media marketing and anyone that is just starting up or needs a fresh start in their business. It has excellent tips and goals to achieve.

I obtained this book through BookLook Bloggers. The opinions contained herein are my own.

To purchase your own copy, Amazon sells it as well as other retailers. “Launch your Dream”

I felt this book did an excellent job of practical advice towards launching your dream beyond the basics. Pick on up today! This one is also available on audio!

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Where We Belong by Lynn Austin

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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Description

My Review: 
I love Lynn Austin’s books. This one is not a race to the story kind of novel, but a slow build up to the fever pitch that dies down and then revs up again.

The story is written in a different style than some of her books, giving it to you in pieces, leaving you wanting in some areas as you travel through the pages and travel the globe with the two sisters. It is not a romance, even though there is mention of romantic attachments in the novel, but it is more the story of discovery. It would be excellent to go along with a homeschool study of Ancient history and world history.

The book is available for preorder on Amazon!
I obtained this book through NetGalley. The opinions contained herein are my own.

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Starting Your Homeschooling Journey

Starting your Homeschooling Journey

By Martha Artyomenko

Welcome to the road that is wrought with decisions and emotions! You are now your child’s teacher full time. This means, if you bring in outside teachers, you are responsible for that decision as well.  I wrote this post for our state, but much of this applies for any state.

 

Find the why for your family/child:

Why do you think you should homeschool?

Are you homeschooling because that is what best for your child or are you doing it because it is what you think you should do?

When you find the reason for you, it gives you something to come back to on the hard days. It can help you when you are evaluating and seeing if this is the place you should be for your child’s education.

Laws-

  1. File a notice of intent to homeschool. 
  2. Keep attendance and immunization records. 
  3. Provide the required hours of instruction. 
  4. Teach the required subjects. 
  5. Follow health and safety regulations. 

https://www.hslda.org/hs101/MT.aspx

 

Graduation Requirements

http://www.mtrules.org/gateway/ruleno.asp?RN=10.55.905

 

 

Curriculum:

 

Choosing curriculum is a very personal decision. Be sure to not choose it because someone else did. There is a lot out there and it can be overwhelming. One thing to do when you are first starting out, is to keep it simple.

 

Math

Language Arts (English, spelling, vocabulary, reading)

Science

History

Art

Music

Literature

P.E.

Don’t get multiple things for the same subject. Trust that one will do the job. There are some that will cover more than one as well.

Work to discover things about your children. How do they learn? What makes their brain get excited? Remember, it is only as boring as you think it is. If you are excited, they can be.

 

 

http://rainbowresource.com

 

https://www.christianbook.com

 

http://www.timberdoodle.com

 

https://www.homeschoolbuyersco-op.org/

 

 

 

Organization

I love this planner as you can buy once and then print as you need. It is cheap and easy to use.

Life as a Mom Planners 

https://kristiclover.com

 

Checking out resources like Pinterest and googling your curriculum to see how others organize it.

 

Think outside the box beyond desks. Some children learn better with movement and need an exercise ball, wobble seats or even working on the floor to learn the best.

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What does a normal day look like?

Everyone’s days will look different. This blog has a lot of “Day in the Life of” posts, which are really helpful when determining what you want your school days to look like.

 

http://simplehomeschool.net

 

 

Getting involved and finding support:

 

(Local Resources)

Support groups at Cornerstone

Local Facebook and Yahoo Groups

Curriculum based FB/yahoo groups

Field trips

Sports

Monthly Activities

Co-ops

 

 

Common Mistakes

What are some of the common mistakes you have seen?

Believing that you have to use a complete boxed curriculum

 

Doing way too much

Doing too little

Comparing yourself to blog posts, FB posts, other families etc. Comparison will always bring you up short. Remember the “Grass is always greener” saying.

 

Not taking advantage of your children’s learning style and gifts

Trying to recreate school at home straight across the board. If that is how they learn, that is great. Otherwise, you can miss out on the advantages of homeschooling.

Forgetting why you are homeschooling

Isolating yourself and not reaching out for help in the community

Remind yourself that what works for you may not be what works for someone else. You need to do what is best for you and your child, not someone else.  But in that, remember the caveat that this is about educating your child. Evaluate if you are doing that well and keep yourself accountable. If you are not able to do that, it might be time to look for an alternate way of educating.

 

Hard Days

 

There will be hard days. That does not mean you are a failure. It might mean you need to make it important to come to the support meetings. Get out there and share what you are struggling with. Someone else may have something that will help you or at least commiserate with you.

 

On hard days, realize you are not alone.

 

-Park Days

-Educational movies

-Field Trips

-Library Day

-Hands on activities

-Fresh Air

 

What are some ways you continue to educate through the hard days?

Read some good books

Here are some good titles of books that have helped me throughout the years. Everyone will have different ones they enjoy.

This is a new one that is excellent.

“Homeschool Basics” By Tricia Goyer and Kristi Clover 

“Easy Homeschooling Techniques” By Lorraine Curry (I did not like everything in this book, but some parts of it were very helpful).

 

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Homeschooling. Getting started?

I was chatting with a friend today about getting started with homeschooling.

I was thinking of all the things that we tell people that want to start with homeschooling. You know, you start with the basics. The laws. The requirements. The curriculum.

What you don’t tell them is that often when you are 14 years into the journey or so, you sometimes feel like you are still just learning how to begin.

I haven’t been homeschooling that long compared to some moms that I know. But, since I am what is called a “Second Generation Homeschooler”, it feels a lot longer. Not only was I homeschooled, but I was an active participant in helping or teaching my siblings as well.

I think one of the best things I can say, is “You will mess up. You will spend all that money on a set of curriculum and sometimes it just does not fit with the way your child learns. Most days will not go as you plan. But the key here is that often you are homeschooling because it was what your child needed. If you are teaching him and educating, (I don’t mean the parents that claim to homeschool and really do nothing), you are doing what they need. It might not look like the pretty picture in your head, as your son is hanging upside down reciting his times tables. But keep it up.”

What is your mantra that you would tell someone that is beginning homeschooling?

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Egypt’s Sister by Angela Hunt

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

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About the book:

Five decades before the birth of Christ, Chava, daughter of the royal tutor, grows up with Urbi, a princess in Alexandria’s royal palace. When Urbi becomes Queen Cleopatra, Chava vows to be a faithful friend no matter what–but after she and Cleopatra have an argument, she finds herself imprisoned and sold into slavery.

Torn from her family, her community, and her elevated place in Alexandrian society, Chava finds herself cast off and alone in Rome. Forced to learn difficult lessons, she struggles to trust a promise HaShem has given her. After experiencing the best and worst of Roman society, Chava must choose between love and honor, between her own desires and God’s will for her life.

My Review:

I was not sure how well I would enjoy this book as this time period has not always been my favorite. However, Angela Hunt did not fail me. She takes a time period that is often forgotten and brings it alive in a way that you want to read more about it. This book is not a “HEA” tale, but one of suffering, pain and turmoil, woven with the beauty of words.

I loved the midwifery angle that was put in the book as well, and struggled with the constant devotion to a friend that was not really a friend. In my own life, I have struggled with that, asking myself why I might stay loyal to a friend that has not returned the favor.

In this story of Cleopatra, it would be excellent for a student in high school to read. There is little to no romance in this book, but it does contain some harsher realities of the time period, but not in graphic detail.

This book was given to me for review by Bethany House. The opinions contained herein are my own.

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A Week away…

It is always fun to get away from home at times. I live a high stress life, which is not always enjoyable for me. But it is not really something that is going to change very soon, so I seek out ways to help me to cope in the middle of it.

Every summer, for the last four years, we volunteer at a beautiful camp in the middle of the mountains just outside East Glacier in Montana. It is rustic, by many people’s standards, but for me, it feels a little like going home.  It has the conveniences that I wish I had when we lived without electricity. The generator is set up to the run the camp when needed, but is only on for brief moments and about an hour in the evening.

I love technology, but I also hate it at the same time. My job and how I make money is linked to it, so I cannot live without it, but I love being away from it all.

When I do not have to work and have the stress of daily life pounding on me, I get a lot of reading done!

The view from the cabin. We were up near the tree line, so most of the mountains were below us as well.

20155979_10210246747664929_5164266823872110304_n.jpg20229112_10210246747224918_4438296154974285741_n.jpgMy little bedroom set up and ready for reading and napping.

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One of the daily skits! 20228257_10210246746704905_2272606574586338845_n.jpgEach cabin put on a skit as well..

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Singing time is always exuberant! 20246468_10210246742184792_3497062737534175458_n.jpg

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One of the many meals we prepared! 20229288_10210246740904760_2541237538891886057_n.jpg

 

20245756_10210246741064764_599955545030869020_n.jpgSaying goodbye to the last camper before we headed out of camp!

If you ever want a great camp experience or volunteer experience, this is a good one!

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Finally Focused by James Greenblatt M.D.

 

 

Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko

 

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About the book:

Dr. James Greenblatt has seen thousands of children and adults struggling with the symptoms of ADHD – hyperactivity, inattentiveness, impulsiveness, and often irritability and combativeness. Rather than simply prescribing medication for their ADHD symptoms, he tailors remedies to his patients’ individual needs, detecting and treating the underlying causes of the disorder.

Finally Focused provides proven natural and medical methods to easily treat problems such as nutritional deficiencies or excesses, dysbiosis (a microbial imbalance inside the body), sleeping difficulties, and food allergies, all of which surprisingly can cause or worsen the symptoms of ADHD. Using Dr. Greenblatt’s effective Plus-Minus Healing Plan, parents will first understand the reasons behind their child’s symptoms, and then be able to eliminate them by addressing the child’s unique pattern of biological weakness. Adults with ADHD can do the same for themselves. And if conventional medication is still necessary, this integrative approach will minimize or even eliminate troublesome side effects. Using Dr. Greenblatt’s expert advice, millions of children and adults with ADHD finally will get the help they need to achieve true wellness.

My Review:

I was very skeptical to read this book as I have read many, “Cure ADHD” books. This one was different. In each chapter it laid out specific and scientific reasons why certain vitamins, diets and medication help ADD and ADHD. I found a couple of things in opposition to advice given in other chapters, like the one chapter on going gluten free and then the other chapter focusing on making sure they had enough carbs and grains. The gluten free chapter seemed more faddish than science, but since it was just one chapter, I could overlook it.
I did order a box load of vitamins and have not been able to tell if it is helping or not, but I liked how he gave instructions for a time table, even when talking about cutting out foods, that if it has not changed at this point, it is not that causing the issue.

I would recommend this book to any parent with a child or an adult with ADD/ADHD.

This book is available for purchase wherever books are sold and Amazon. “Finally Focused” It also comes on audio.

I received this book for review from Blogging for Books. The opinions contained herein are my own.

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