Friday, May 25, 2012

Praying With The Grain ~ A book review.



Praying with the Grain by Pablo Martinez is about How your personality affects the way you pray.  While I have always been interested in psychology and why we do the things we do, I had never really thought about it affecting the way we pray.  


This book is divided into 2 parts.

Part 1: The Psychology of Prayer

Chapter 1: Different Prayers for Different People

This chapter will help you answer many questions such as:

  • Why do I find it difficult to pray?
  • Why do I feel so hypocritical when I pray?
  • And more

Chapter 2: Overcoming Difficulties

This chapter talks about Emotional Problems and Prayer

Chapter 3: The Therapeutic Value of Prayer

This chapter goes into Prayer- A Love Relationship

Questions and Answers

Which is full of some of the most frequently asked questions about prayer.

Part 2: The Apologetics of Prayer

Chapter 4: Prayer: Psychological Illusion

A psychiatrist’s viewpoint on prayer

Chapter 5: Are All Prayers Alike?

Christian Prayer and Eastern Meditation


A chapter by chapter of sited references.

The book really covers how our personality affects the way we pray and is a very insightful.  It really helps you understand the type of person you are; introvert, extrovert, thinker, feeler, etc. and how to understand and work with your own spiritual path.

This book was quite the interesting read and I do suggest it. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Cap Jax Math Fax


Cap Jax is a basic downloadable math drill game.  For $29.99 per year you can download and have access to this drill game.

You can drill on the 4 operations, Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division. It works as a supplement to any math curriculum you are using. 

What makes Cap Jax Math Fax stand out amongst drill teqniques is the simplicity of it. It is a very basic, yet customizable drill program. Check out this screen shot,

you see how you choose the operation under selection.  You choose the level, we all started at level one and moved up as it automatically did.  You can customize how many facts in each set, and in how many seconds (known as Super Seconds) you want the problem to be answered.  You must answer all problems in under the set Super Second amount in order to pass off the level.  You see when you reach a score of 1000 on each operation family you have mastered those facts.  The Play for Rating is a practice setting.

Positive reinforcement is a basis of this program.  Each time you answer a question in less then the set Super Second time you get a SUPER across the screen. Each time you pass a level you get a big Congratulations!

You even earn (digital) merit badges for each operation family you complete. 

Cap Jax is available for $29.99 a year for 10 students.  I even set up an account for me.  Whenever my kids have seen me playing on it, they ask to play it.

Here is a video of 2 homeschoolers talking about the program.

To see what others though of this check out this post. To see a wide variety of reviews check out our crew blog.

Disclosure: As a member of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew I review products like this, which I receive for free in order to be able to share my honest opinion. 


Friday, May 18, 2012

Some of our favorite games



So this week I have been blogging about games and hand on homeschooling.  I have had so much fun and I would now like to share with you some of our all time favorite family games.

We can always be found having Checker tournaments.  We own 3 checker boards just for this.

Some fun big group games we play often are Phase 10, Rook (with modified rules) Sequence, Twister and more. 

We love to go bowling.

We often have family game nights.  You can check some of those out here.

Some school days we take off and have a game day.

A really fun game is Pick and Draw.

Check out my fun review of that here.

We even play silly games outside

I have put together an Amazon widget for some visuals.

(yes I am an affiliate, if you purchase something through my link I will make a small profit. I thank YOU.)


Check out what others are blogging about this week.Photobucket

Don’t miss the rest of my series

Day 1 Life Skills
Day 2 Reading games.
Day 3 Science/ History Games
Day 4 Math Games
Day 5 Some of our Favorite Games

This has been so much fun and I thank you for joining me.

Do you have any favorite games that I might like to check out?

Library and Educational Services. GO SCIENCE!

My kids love science experiments and there are times when I don’t have all the right equipment, or want to make a mess, sometimes, (if you can believe it or not) I don’t always have the know how. 

Go Science took care of that.  These DVD’s for ages 6-14 are taught by an excited science teacher, Ben Roy, to a group of kids.  These were filmed for a Christian Television show, and are now available through Library and Educational Services.

Go Science DVD’s are full of neat experiments that always end with a great Godly reminder.

The older kids thought that it was to “young” for them, I felt like the experiments were right at their level.  There were experiments on volume (Emily is learning that in math), and I really loved the play on words, it even made me laugh.  Such as the Root Beer Float experiment.  Where he actually makes a Root Beer float (as opposed to sink).

The 2 DVD’s I received for review are Volume 3; Magnetism, Electricity, Engineering and Design and Volume 4; Chemistry, States of Matter, and Life Sciences. 

Volume 3 has 14 experiments and is about 55 minutes long.  Volume 4 has 11 experiments and is about 45 minutes long.  We would sit down and watch 2 or 3 experiments at a time.  That way we were more able to absorb what we were being taught, versus watching the entire video all at once. 

Some of the experiments could easily be recreated at  home while others require much more complex equipment.

Each Go Science DVD is wholesale priced at $8.97. 


To see what others though of this check out this post. To see a wide variety of reviews check out our crew blog.

Disclosure: As a member of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew I review products like this, which I receive for free in order to be able to share my honest opinion. 


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Math Games

Math can be so hard for some kids of us.  Some ways to make math seem fun can also be a challenge.

We have played some fun math games in our homeschool life and I would like to share them with you.
Some card games that can either be homemade or purchased are:
Go Fish with number cards.  This helps teach number recognition.
War is an excellent game for learning and practicing number sequence.  If your child is just learning put a number line near them.
Have you ever heard of I See Cards?  They specialize in math card games.  Such as Pyramath and Fractazmic.

Any game with dice can be a great simple addition game.  You can use 1, 2, 3 or even more dice to help with multiple addition or any fact.  We have played dice games where we had to multiply the dice or subtract them and then move that many spaces.
I have even created my own dice using labels.
There are different fractions on each side and they had to add or multiply them.

Some times they need a hands on manipulative to really understand it.  That is one of the reason I have liked Master Innovations.

Wits and Wagers has been a really fun way to teach my first grader large numbers. 

Aims specializes in hands on activities for math!  We have really loved their book Looking at Lines.

There are so many online math games as well, I have many listed on my page.  (check the sidebar)

There are some great downloadable computer math games. 
Mad Dog Math
Math Rider
Cap Jax Math Fax
Math Facts Now

Times Alive has very fun songs and music videos for visual learners.

Check out all the bloggers! Photobucket
Don’t miss the rest of my posts!

Day 1 Life Skills
Day 2 Reading games.
Day 3 Science/ History Games
Day 4 Math Games
Day 5 Some of our Favorite Games

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Science and History Games

Often times Science can be fun on it’s own if you add a hands on experiment or activity to the mix.  However there are still some fun ways to incorporate games into science. 

Some fun ways to do that are to have quiz type game shows.  Think Jeopardy.
Here is a sample game that we played after a few chapters in Botany.
I just wrote questions on each card with a point value on the other side.  Some of the questions were:
  • Name 3 ways plants are helpful to us.
  • Draw and Label a simple plant. 
  • What is the process in which a plant needs water, light and Co2 to produce sugars which are stored in the leaves?
  • What is the study of plants called?

This is fun for us and it does take some work to create and play.  We always make up funny names for ourselves and hold introductions and all at the beginning of our game shows.

Another one I play if it is just one on one is Tic-Tac-Toe.  You can only go if you first answer a question correctly.  They even get to ask me questions. 
Pass the potato is another one you can play, where they ask a question while we pass the potato and when the asker is done whoever is holding the potato has to answer it and then it is their turn to ask the question.
All these games will work for Science or History.
A really fun science game that I have reviewed is Nature Nuts!
Some other fun ways to change up science include:
Science Weekly
The Curiosity Files
Recently I have been reviewing Science Videos.  They have been a fun change up in our homeschool.
Go Science!
Amazing Science!

For us we have always enjoyed history as a more hands on experience.
Some of the ways we have done that is with
Zeezok movie guides. Johnny Tremain and Kit Kittredge
We have loved Pitsco and building some of their Medieval Machines.
Here is a really great Hands On History Post.
I don’t know what it is about us, I always try to incorporate food into our history lessons

Check out what all the others are blogging about.

Don’t miss out on my other posts
Day 1 Life Skills
Day 2 Reading games.
Day 3 Science/ History Games
Day 4 Math Games
Day 5 Some of our Favorite Games

What are some fun ways you incorporate games into your science and history?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Reading Games

Hi there, I am so glad you stopped by.  Leave a comment and let me know what games you play in your home. Don’t forget to follow me over in the sidebar, you won’t want to miss a thing.

Did you catch my first post in the 5 Days Of Blogging series?
 It is all about the life skills you learn through games. 

Today I am going to discuss some reading games.

Some of my families favorite memories are when we do book parties. These aren’t really games, per se, but we do play games at the parties. We read a book, maybe a chapter book, maybe a picture book.  Then we do activities that go along with that book, or the theme of that book.
Here are a few examples we have done.
Winnie The Pooh (chapter book)
Andi’s Pony Trouble (chapter book) – We love this series.  She has many activities online that go with each book in the series.
Charlotte’s Web
Secret Garden
We also love the Five in a Row Curriculum.  We have done many Before Five in a Row activities.
All About Reading Pre Level 1 and Level 1 are both full of games, matching, rhyming, and more. Plus they come with a super fun zebra puppet that “plays” the games with your child.

We also love to have Read-A-Thons.  Which is where we spend the entire day reading.  We have snacks and drinks.  We read aloud and read silently to ourselves.  We make forts to read in and have special reading spots.

Kids scoop is another great way to get kids to read. They usually don’t even realize they are reading with these.  I print a few off each time we go on a trip.  They are full of word searches, fill in the blank, and more.

There are a few reading games that are either on the market or I have made that I have written about before. 

Sight Word Games
Sight word ball
Jump to it
Sight Word Stairs
The Reading Game
Vocabulary hat game

Older Kids
Scruble Cube – a fun scrabble/ rubix cube type travel game.

Computer Reading Games
Ooka Island
Reading Kingdom
Reading Eggs

Reading can be made into games if you get a little creative.  Take into consideration how much effort you want to put into the game.  For me it is usually minimal. I find a lot of my games at Free File Folder GamesWe also make or buy 3 letter word cards and you spell the words.  Right now I play a beat the clock game almost every day, where my first grader reads a list of words as fast as she can.  I set a timer, because that helps her stay focused.  For some children that may be detrimental.  She gets a sticker after reading them fast enough (which to me is just knowing them from memory).

I hope these posts are bringing you some inspiration to bring reading games into your home. 

Check out all the other participating blogs!  There are no 2 topics alike.


Stay tuned for
Day 3 Science/ History Games
Day 4 Math games
Day 5 Our favorite Games
And here is Day 1 Life skills, in case you missed it.

What reading games are your favorites?

Monday, May 14, 2012

5 Days of Educating with Games

Games are such a fun way to be able to learn and review skills. I believe there is so much to be learned from games, from life skills to academic skills.

Today we will talk about the life skills. 

Any game your child plays is going to have some learning experiences built it. 

Sportsmanship (how to lose and how to win)-  You can teach your child good sportsmanship by having them win and lose some games.  Show them that it is fun either way.  Teach them to be a gracious winner and not to be a sore loser.

Character (to play fair and by the rules)- This will fall into play with sportsmanship. Teach your children that it is the most fun if everyone plays by the rules and no cheating goes on.

Interaction with others – They get to communicate and interact with others.  They learn to play with people of all different ages.

Patience (to wait while others take their turns) – This can be a really great trait to have.  Help your children to practice this while they wait for you to set up the game, or they wait while you take your turn. 

Memory (to remember how to play the game)- There are certain rules or ways to play that they will have to remember. 

Clean Up (to put away the game when they are done)-  Part of playing the game is picking it up too. Don’t let your child run off and play with something else while you pick up the game.

The rest of the week I will be focusing on specific themed games.

Day 1 Life Skills

Day 2 Reading games.

Day 3 Science/ History Games

Day 4 Math Games

Day 5 Some of our Favorite Games

I know there are many of us blogging for the 5 days and so I am going to try and keep my posts short and simple.



Check out all the great bloggers. 


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Judah Bible


Judah Bible is a Bible curriculum that uses the Principle Approach. 

Some key points to the Judah Bible Curriculum are:

The Bible is the textbook.

You create a Notebook Journal with a 3 ring binder that will have all your completed projects, such as drawings, journaling pages, pictures of activities and more.  This Notebook Journal is for completed projects and is a great memory book for the family.

This curriculum is multi level. (discussed below)  The Bible is covered in themes. (discussed below)



The Educational Goals of Judah are:

To learn to identify the sovereignty of God in the lives of men and nations.

To recognize on a personal level the responsibility of the individual.

To understand the relationship between individual character and societal liberty.

To understand the Biblical basis for Christian self-government.

To learn to research the Bible and use related reference materials.

To learn to identify Biblical principles of God’s government and relate them to all of life.

To learn to reason cause to effect from the Biblical basis.

To learn to write in a logical, clear and convincing manner to relay these truths to others.

To learn the ways of God in order to know Him (Ex. 33:13)

To produce Biblical, literate, self-educating, self-governing under God character in ourselves, our students and our children.


The themes of the Bible for Judah are:

Creation (5 weeks)

The Plan of Redemption Begins (14 weeks)

Kingdom of Israel (14 weeks)

Kingdom of God (19 weeks)

Early Church (9 weeks)

What makes this curriculum multi-level is each child is studying the same theme of the Bible while using different “Key sheets”.  What the Key sheets are are key points during that theme. P1010883

Another thing that makes it multi-level is the activity you do each day for the notebook.  Younger children may write a sentence, draw a picture, color a picture, put on a play, create with clay, etc.  Older children may write a paragraph or story in their own words, draw, create with clay, visit a museum (like the creation museum), etc.  These activities are not outlined in the curriculum, you much come up with your own.  However there is a sample notebook for you to look at.  P1010882

Judah Bible is a very teacher intensive curriculum.  There are 8+ hours of lectures to listen to, with a few visual pages in the back of the manual.  The lectures really had me pumped up to use it.  The manual is more of a guide as to which theme to study each week.  The Bible is the textbook and any version of The Bible can be used.  

This is a really neat way to incorporate an extensive understanding of the Bible into your days. It goes into more than reading The Bible, but understanding it. 

The methods used in the Judah Bible Curriculum are intended to help you teach your student to research the text and categorize his findings, reason cause to effect to valid conclusions, and apply Biblical principles to his own life. They include producing a personal Bible notebook, researching the Bible Keys, writing exercises, essay testing, and utilizing various other resources to extend the study. The class activities are more verbal in the lowest grades and more written in the upper grades.

The resulting character we are striving to produce in ourselves and our students will be capable of sustaining freedom without anarchy, order without tyranny, peace and prosperity. ~ taken from the website.


Judah Bible is $44.00  You get:
    1) Judah Bible Curriculum K-12 Manual, e-book format to download;
    2) Elementary Notebook Ideas booklet to view online or download;
    3) Eight-lecture Teacher Training Seminar. listen online or download.
(40% discount for online delivery!)

For $69.00 +$5.00 p/h for a total of $74.00 

Allow 7 days for delivery.
    You get:
    1) Judah Bible Curriculum K-12 Manual;
    2) Elementary Notebook Ideas booklet;
    3) Eight-lecture Teacher Training Seminar on CDs.

To see what others though of this check out this post. To see a wide variety of reviews check out our crew blog.

Disclosure: As a member of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew I review products like this, which I receive for free in order to be able to share my honest opinion. 


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Bowling~ Family Fun times!!


My family loves getting out and doing family activities.  We recently went bowling.


Bowling is sure a lot easier on the Wii.  LOL…. P1010678

Tyler is always so proud of himself and wants to give everyone a high five when he gets a strike.


We divided up into teams and kept a team score.  There were 3 teams.  Katey and Tommy were on the team farthest from me, so I now realize I didn’t get any pictures of them. 



Paul got a strike and did a little victory dance.  It was great. 

I highly recommend spending some good fun quality time together as a family.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

L is for Life


This week is the letter L.   I chose to write about Life.    My life is such a blast! 

I love my life.  I never know where I am going next.  I do (usually) know what I have planned for my life and where I would like to be. 

I am honestly more spontaneous than I am a planner.  I do plan the things I feel I have to.  Things like my children’s education choices, trips, are planned by me.  My menu plan is usually planned by Emeals. I do plan a few other things that I feel need to be planned out. 

Okay, enough about planning or lack there of. 

Love the life you live.  Live the life you love.

Life, Laughter, Love

Monday, May 7, 2012

Swimming Lessons Level 2


P1010589Katey recently graduated from swimming lessons, level 2.  She has really enjoyed these and is becoming quite the swimmer.  She is going to take a break from swimming lessons, since she plays softball and softball season has started.  I actually think I am going to wait until August to put her in the next level.  I want Tyler to start then too. 


Sunday, May 6, 2012

K is for Kindness



I missed last week blogging through the Alphabet.  Spring season just gets busy for me.  I love every minute of it.

Kindness is free and can really go along way. 

Some ways you can show kindness.

  • A Smile
  • Taking time to talk to someone
  • Taking time to listen to someone
  • Complimenting someone

I have really been trying to be an example to my children in showing kindness.  I have a situation now where I do not get along with one of my neighbors, I just feel like no matter what I do, she is going to complain.  I have been trying to set an example to my children by not talking bad about her and even going out of my way to be kind to her.  Trust me, it is not easy, but I am trying to turn a new leaf and show an example of kindness.

Being kind to people you like and be kind to people you don’t. 


Saturday, May 5, 2012

A workshop with Julie from Leelou Blogs. And a GIVEAWAY!!!

A while ago I went to a really cool workshop.  It was put on by My Memories. (see discount code in sidebar) It consisted of 3 classes. 

The first class was a photography class taught by Scott Jarvie of Jarvie Digital.  It was seriously amazing and I feel I learned so much from him.
He said the biggest thing you can do to become a better photographer is to really get to know the camera you already own.  Read the manual.  That made me feel really great because as much as I really want a great Nikon or whatever, I just haven’t been able to justify the purchase just yet.
 Speed Scrap-007

The next class we took was on the My Memories software itself and all the neat things you can do with it.  It truly is such an amazing and versatile software.  You don’t need a class to be able to use this software it truly is so user friendly. This class showed some shortcuts and was great to meet other digi-scrappers and some of the designers.

P1010605The last class of the day was a blog design class.  How to design a blog using My Memories Software. It was taught by Julie of Leelou Blogs
She offers amazing free blog templates and designs.  I haven’t really had a lot of time to spend fixing up my blog with the information I learned. However the blog header and button I have now were created using My Memories before this class.  My Facebook timeline cover was created after the class. 
Julie is so cute and fun.
My Memories offers many tips and tricks on their blog and in their newsletters.  Along with discount codes.  Right now they are offering a free photo book.   Plus today is National Scrapbooking Day and they are having tons of sales this weekend. 
Check out My Memories on Facebook!

Would you like to win a copy of My Memories Software? 
Check out the Rafflecopter for how to win.


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