Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Time 4 Learning Curriculum review

 We were invited to try and review "Time 4 Learning" Homeschool curriculum. My opinion is entirely my own and I am in no way associated with" "Time 4 Learning".

First, Here is an excerpt from their website to explain a little about what time for learning is and how it works.

"Time4Learning is a convenient, online homeschool curriculum that combines education with interactive fun. Animated lessons, interactive activities, printable worksheets and detailed reporting make the learning system a top selection of the Homeschool.com "Top 100 Educational Websites" list, year after year." 
After watching their demo, I mainly wanted to try the program for Roman who was struggling to pay attention during learning time. I was pleasantly surprised at how engaged he was during the lessons! And better yet, he was actually remembering what he was learning!  
Roman was using grade K. For his level of learning I was very impressed. It was fun, engaging, and held his very active minds attention. Best of all, he was retaining the information well!  
At his grade level there are 3 subjects to choose from. 
  • Language Arts
  • Math
  • Science
I thought both the math and L.A. were very well done, however I did decide within a few days that we were not going to be using the science. Not because, at this point, it was un-biblical, but because I was not impressed and felt our time was better spent elsewhere. 
Lily is using grade 2. At her level I really liked how much she enjoyed doing her school work. The lessons were fun and set up well. For her grade the subjects available are.
  • Language arts.
  • Language Arts extensions.
  • Math
  • Social Studies
  • Science
The Math was great! I Liked the style of teaching and she learned so much in the short time she was doing it! We will be staying with T4L for Math for the time being.  The L.A. were about half way good. Most of the material in the LA was too simple for Lily but some was very useful. All around I liked it. Again, I did not care for the science. The social studies was good but not great.  I liked the L.A. Ext. because of all of the worksheets available for her to practice writing. 
All around for the program...
  • Fun for kids
  • Access to 3 grade levels at one time.
  • The forum available on their site has a section set up for Christian homeschoolers that parents have set up warnings if there is any questionable material. 
  • The record keeping is phenomenal!
  • Frees up a lot of time for more bible and character building activities. Plus, Way more one on one reading and snuggle time.
  • I know that they are getting state standards for things that I really don't care about but it will help them do their standardized tests each year, which are required in my state. And again, all of this is happening while I still have the time for what I do care about!
  • Math is great! 
  • Price is reasonable and you get a discount on every child after the first. 
  • Do not care for the science.
  • Some of the material is way too easy. 
  • Kindergarten has no print outs that I have seen. 
  • If you have a large family you really do need to invest in a laptop or computer for each child or they have to take turns doing work. 
All around my final conclusion for T4L is positive. We will be using it for our core math curriculum and for the time being Roman's core math and L.A. curriculum. It has been very helpful during the holiday season. If you are at a busy time in your family (New baby, holidays, family visiting, etc.) this is a great "keep them up to standard" learning tool. We will not be using it as out core curriculum all around but it is a wonderful addition to any homeschool routine, especially for times of stress and trial. That being said, if any homeschool family was thinking of giving up and sending their children to public school because they were having a hard time doing it, I would tell them to use T4L instead! It is better than Public schools as a complete curriculum! The price is affordable and you will still get a better education then the public schools are offering! Plus the price is affordable and it is very little work for you.
Time 4 Learning

Friday, November 12, 2010

Loving my new find

GOGO Squeeze
I came across a product at Walmart recently that I LOVE!

GOGO Squeez!
These are so nice for little ones on the go! Ellie is one and can eat a "bag" of applesauce all by her self! It is 100% apple and apple juice concentrate, no sweeteners. Plus it's a great non-messy snack for older kids too! No spoon needed!   I found them in the checkout line. If I remember correctly they were $0.67 each.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursday Tea and Poem; Tea With Me

Tea With Me

A little brown bird looked in to see
What I was spreading on bread for tea.
He looked so hungry I felt I must
Eat the middle and leave him the crust.

The very next day he came again
Shivering cold in the pouring rain.
"I'm hungrier still today," he said.
So I ate the crust and gave him the bread.

Now every day, whatever the weather,
That sparrow and I have our tea time together.
We chirrup and chatter like very old friends
And I eat the odds up while he eats the ends.

~Alison Winn~

 A wife of noble character who can find?
   She is worth far more than rubies.
  Her husband has full confidence in her
   and lacks nothing of value.
  She brings him good, not harm,
   all the days of her life.
  She selects wool and flax
   and works with eager hands.
  She is like the merchant ships,
   bringing her food from afar. 

She gets up while it is still night;
   she provides food for her family
   and portions for her female servants.
  She considers a field and buys it;
   out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
  She sets about her work vigorously;
   her arms are strong for her tasks.

 She sees that her trading is profitable,
   and her lamp does not go out at night.
 In her hand she holds the distaff
   and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
 She opens her arms to the poor
   and extends her hands to the needy.
 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
   for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
 She makes coverings for her bed;
   she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
   where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
   and supplies the merchants with sashes.
 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
   she can laugh at the days to come.
 She speaks with wisdom,
   and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
 She watches over the affairs of her household
   and does not eat the bread of idleness. 

Her children arise and call her blessed;
   her husband also, and he praises her:

“Many women do noble things,
   but you surpass them all.”
 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
   but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
   and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

~Proverbs 31: 10-31~

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The morning of "I don't want to get up yet"

I wrote this way back in February and saw that I never posted it. I laughed and came close to tears at the same time, so I thought it was worth posting.

I will love You, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies. ~Psalm 18:1-3~

It is now 12:45 A.M., a high pitched screech floods the heater vents from down stairs, "Get out!!!" Grouchily I stomp across the floor as I hear 3 little sets of feet scrambling for their beds; "That is ENOUGH!!!" I yell down the stairs, sure that I am going to loose my mind at this point.

"Why, oh Lord, tonight? We have to be up at 5:00 A.M. to take Daddy to work then off to co/op by 9:00. We cannot skip because it is my day to work..."Why tonight Lord?" As soon as Daddy is off work we are heading up to our, "fun filled", cabin in the woods weekend.

I quickly see it all in play in my head, The weekend will be a disaster filled with grouchy, fighting children. Co/Op is going to be a day of horror.

"Don't touch me! I'm telling!!! Moooommy, he won't leave me alone!"

"That is it!!! Go to sleep now, or we aren't going to the cabin!!!!" I stomp off "knowing" that they deserved my grouchiness.

Minutes later I realize that I don't hear fighting. My heart starts to soften. "Oh Lord, forgive me. I am not being the mother you have asked me to be."

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fear not my child

And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. ~1Kings 17:15~
Oh God, in all your goodness You provide my every need without fail...

 Food preservation is a wonderful gift God has given us. Apple sauce as I knew it has changed forever! I was introduced to the wonderful world of food mills. What an incredible difference! No more peeling, coring, or prepping at all! Cut the apples in half, boil them down, and turn the knob. That's it! I was able to make a huge pot of apple sauce in no time at all. Praise God!

 And whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord, and not for men, ~Colossians 3:23~

Monday, November 8, 2010

How tender a heart

"It is a great deal easier to do that which God gives us to do, no matter how hard it is, than to face the responsibilities of not doing it."

~J.R. Miller~

"How many times have I told you to speak kindly and stop yelling at your brother?" The harsh tones spill from my mouth and cut deep before I'm even done speaking.  "This is not how I speak to daddy?" I know now the issue is mine and not that of this tender heart I am being angry with. My heart aches as I ask her forgiveness for my harshness.

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.  Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.  ~James 3:17-18~

These precious hearts that are entrusted us are not only watching the way we interact with our husbands but the constant interaction with them. How can we see our children to humility, kindness, patience, love, joy, a servants heart, gentleness, and peace if we do not ourselves, correct them with humility, shower them in kindness, be patient with their eagerly learning hearts, love them the way we desire love, joyfully serve them and others,  and gently lead them to peace in their hearts and in our homes?

Oh Father, teach me your ways! If I do not train up my children with hearts after you I am but the servant who squandered Your gifts.  The battle for souls is strong, teach me to train warriors for Your kingdom, oh Lord.

Be content and joyful, dear mothers, for you have been given a great task in the plan of our Lord. You have been entrusted with filling this lost and lonely world with warriors! God's plan for family is a very powerful tool. If the evil one can destroy the family he can destroy nations.

"The state of a nation

is always determined

by the state of the home."

~Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin, Biblical Femininity~

"Be Fruitful and Multiply" Today?

And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth."  ~Genesis 1:28~

Does this apply to us today? Here are some questions to ask yourself when dealing with this issue.

  • What is God's design for building up His kingdom?
  • Is it about the population of the earth or God's kingdom?
  • Is your decision to "take charge" of the size of your family based on biblical principals or worldly ones (i.e) finances? 
What does the Word of God tell us?

“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” ~Psalms 127:3-5 ESV~

We see here that Children are a blessing from our Lord. This is pretty cut a dry, Children are a blessing.

I have heard it said often that that commandment was meant for the time, the earth is populated now.  But this I ask you, what of God's kingdom? I recently read that there are currently 1 million Muslims per 1 Christian missionary. That Muslims have an average of 8 children and Christians have an average of 2.  We are not only to have children but to bring them up to serve the Lord.

Christians must recognize that... rebellion against parenthood represents nothing less than an absolute revolt against God's design. The Scripture points to barrenness as a great curse and children as a divine gift... Morally speaking, the epidemic in this regard has nothing to do with those married couples who desire children but are for any reason unable to have them, but instead in those who are fully capable of having children but reject this intrusion in their lifestyle.

~R. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY~

We Can't Afford More Children

My friends, God tells us to be good stewards of our finances but has anyone ever thought to look to the Word of God about holding off on children? This is a worldly view not a biblical one.  Has God ever told His people in times of trial to not have children? In conditions a far cry worse then that of our hard times, God speaks through His prophet Jeremiah to the exiles in Babylon...

“Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease.” ~Jeremiah 29:4-6 ESV~

God asks us to but trust Him and He will provide. 

But God Is In Control No Matter What I Do

Do not put the LORD your God to the test...  ~Dueteronomy 6:16

This is a very true statement indeed but is it an excuse to sin? God is the author of life, and every child is a gift.  Sisters in Christ I urge you to hold strong and let the Holy Spirit guide you, through the Word of God, to truth.  Our bodies are not our own. Fill your quiver. We are Warriors sharpening our arrows for the next battle.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;  ~ 1 Corinthians 6:19~

Friday, November 5, 2010

How sacred a gift

Marriage, what a beautiful gift from our Father....

Song of Solomon 8:6
Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. (NIV)

    In a day when it is acceptable to have openness in your marriage and "looking is fine, as long as you don't touch", marriage is no longer sacred but empty. Today is a day when we are scorned and ridiculed for our very much so justified jealousy. Jealousy is looked upon as wrong or bad. There are forms of jealousy that do fall under this category. But today most forget that our God is a Jealous God (Exodus 20:5) and there are many forms of jealousy that are not only justified but necessary.

Song of Solomon 2:16
My lover is mine, and I am his. (NLT) 

Today I want to address the young women. I came across an article that was so sad I want all young women to pay special attention and listen to The Holy Spirit when faced with situations that can compromise any marriage.

The Young Womens List 

If you are a young woman:

• Don’t play coy with someone else’s husband, not even just a little bit! It is so commonplace that most people pretend it’s natural. It is ugly and evil.

• Don’t seek out a married man for counsel. If you need counsel, do as the Scriptures say and seek out an older woman.

• Don’t cause a wife any reason to feel insecure. Judge yourself, that you be not judged.

• Don’t place yourself under the authority of another woman’s husband, including that of your pastor. Know for a certainty that you don’t belong there.  

• Marriage is sacred. Treat it as such. There is enough divorce happening without you assisting in another.

• If you are a young woman in a cloistered situation, beware of jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Staying in the frying pan is much to be preferred, for you can always jump when a clean alternative shows itself. 

• Do not move into another family’s home against the cautions of others, even if the wife invites you. You remember that Little Miss’s younger brother cautioned his sister against moving in with Old Dude. Obviously the young man saw something that was not right, yet she chose to ignore her brother’s concerns. 

• Live like you believe this!

*You may read the whole article that this list is taken from here.*

Proverbs 30:18-19
There are three things that amaze me—
no, four things that I don’t understand:
how an eagle glides through the sky,
how a snake slithers on a rock,
how a ship navigates the ocean,
how a man loves a woman.

Marriage is sacred union not only between man and women but between man, women, and God. Do not come between the sacred.

Friday, October 15, 2010

New Homeschool curriculum try...

I've been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning can be used as an online homeschooling curriculum, a web based afterschool tutorial or an online summer program.