Friday, April 21, 2017

Junior Rangers

Cody has been waiting several years to be able to join the Junior Rangers (ages 9-12).  His sister was in it for 3 years, and he was always bit jealous.  The program is run by the wonderful Ranger Clare, and she has the kids out bush walking and exploring nature every week during term 2.  It's going to be an exciting term!

Gotta loves those bright orange hats!

Giving instructions on the first night.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Resurrection Sunday!

We had a lovely Easter weekend, and I wanted to share photos with you.

This photo was actually taken on Wednesday.
This was a full rainbow over Barunga.  It was beautiful!

This was Autumn's photo.  We had to stop and take photos!

We went to a local Baptist Church for their Good Friday service.
They held it outside.  It was a lovely service remembering what Christ has done for us.

Our family Easter photo in front of our church.

Easter Sunday we had the Lord's Supper.

Because Easter is a over a 4 day weekend,
many of our church family were away.
We still had quite a few number of visitors though.

My handsome husband bringing the morning message.

Autumn taught Sunday School.

Another family photo.

Our yearly tradition - making an Easter cake.

The kids' Easter baskets.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend remembering Christ's death on the cross
and celebrating His resurrection!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Digital Savvy by CompuScholar {Homeschool Review}

CompuScholar, Inc.

We live in a day and age where everything is becoming computer based, and it looks like it will continue to be like this.  I have been slowly having my children learning basic computer skills, and even do some of their subjects completely on the computer.  No matter the job, computers will always be around.  So, in light of that, we've had fun reviewing the new Digital Savvy course for CompuScholar, Inc,  (formerly known as Homeschool Programming).

CompuScholar, Inc. Digital Savvy

Digital Savvy is for 6th-12th grades. You have the option to pay monthly or for the entire year ($120). The course has 25 chapters (which include several lessons each) and can be done over the course of a year.  I reckon you could even do it in less time depending on your child's productivity and interest.  The course site is well laid out and very user friendly.

This course covers fundamental computing topics and skills such as:
  • Hardware, software, and operating systems
  • Managing files and folders
  • Basic networking
  • Online safety and computer security
  • Using Word processors, spreadsheets, and presentation programs
  • Creating simple databases
  • Image editing
  • Using social media and email communications
  • Introductory website design
  • Simple computer programming concepts
  • Exploration of computing careers

The course requires you to have Windows or Mac operating systems.  To complete the student work, the systems must be Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, or Mac OS 10.7 version or higher.
Your child will complete fun, hands-on projects in every lesson and a quiz.  Each lesson has a video to watch and a student text to read.  It's probably a good idea to watch the video and read through the student text, as the text sometimes has info not in the video.  

At the end of each chapter is a exam.  The program also records these exams.  The lessons can be done at your own pace.  My daughter who is in 9th grade did roughly 1 chapter each week.  It just depended on the rest of her work load for the week.  She enjoyed the course although it took her a little while to get into it and want to do it, but she's a teenage girl and texting her friends sometimes distracts her from schoolwork.  We're working on that.  Haha!

Overall, I feel this is a great course and much needed in our day and age.  Looking over the course there are a few lessons that I want to go in and read through.  I'm sure there is plenty in there for me to learn!  I learned all my computer skills on my own and wish I had learned through a course like this.  This is a nice easy course for your child to learn the basics of computer knowledge without making mistakes some of us oldies (or maybe it's just me?!) tend to make.

CompuScholar's Social Media:

CompuScholar also offers Web Design and Java Programming.
To read reviews for those products or more reviews for Digital Savvy, click below.
Digital Savvy, Web Design & Java Programming {CompuScholar,Inc Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Palm Sunday and Training Sunday School Teachers

This past Sunday I had the privilege of teaching our Sunday School kids about Jesus and His triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.   During this time I was also "training" a few ladies in our church on how to teach Sunday School.  We've been blessed with 4-5 ladies who have a desire to teach the young ones.  It's been an encouragement to see our church people grow and wanting to take on responsibilities in the church.  I personally think Sunday School is one of the biggest responsibilities, because in this room we are teaching and training the next generation of leaders in our church.  I can't wait to see what God is going to do through them!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Strong Learning, Inc. - Bessie's Pillow {Homeschool Review}

Bessie's Pillow

I love history, I love biographies, and I enjoy reading historical fiction.  We have been reading Bessie's Pillow during our read aloud time and it fits all three of those!  A special thanks to Strong Learning, Inc. for giving us the opportunity to do a review for their book.  Bessie's Pillow is classified as historical fiction, and is based on the true story of Bessie Markman Dreizen.  It is written by Bessie's granddaughter, Linda Bress Silbert, who is also the owner of Strong Learning, Inc.  I would recommend this book for middle/highschoolers and up, but in saying that I also read this to my 9 year old.

Strong Learning, Inc.

Boshka Markman is a Jew from Vilna, Lithuania.  In 1906, at the age of 18, she is one of hundreds of thousands of Jewish immigrants who, with the help of her father and mother, leaves Europe alone to escape persecution by going to America.  Boshka is a strong, independent woman in her time. Once in America, her name is changed to Bessie.

I cried as she said good-bye to her family (I remember those feelings), my daughter's ears perked up at the slightest hint of romance (typical teenage girl!), and my son enjoyed learning more about NYC.  My kids enjoyed this book, and often requested that I read it to them (and it wasn't to get out of their schoolwork!).  Just a little disclaimer, there were a few things (or words) that I skipped over as I could see them coming as I read, mostly so I didn't have to explain to my son.  Nothing bad, just not for little ears.

Bessie's Pillow is written in first person, which makes me feel like she's sitting across the table from me telling me her story.  She left her family and home and travelled first class by ship to America.  She arrives at Ellis Island and it explains the sights of the time.  We now have Ellis Island on our bucket list.  I've always wanted to go there, but after reading Bessie's Pillow I really want to go there.  What an amazing feeling it must have been to step off the boat on to Ellis Island with other immigrants and have that new sense of freedom.  As an immigrant to Australia, I remember stepping off the plane.  I remember my surroundings, the weather, and the feeling of exhaustion and excitement.

The book continues to talk about Bessie settling in to America and the many adventures that awaited her.  I struggle with writing book reviews because I so badly want to tell you more, but then  you'd have no reason to buy a copy for yourself!  If you enjoy historical fiction, if you are interested in immigration, if you are fascinated with NYC, no matter the if, I think you'll enjoy this book!
Strong Learning, Inc. also has a page called Discover Bessie's America.  I have enjoyed going through the links on this page and learning more about the history of the time period.  You can find links for European Immigration, Food and Recipes, Movies, News, Radio, US Presidents, and more.
We were given a PDF copy of the book, but I plan to buy a hard copy to add to our library.  With immigration being in the news on a daily basis these days, I'd encourage you to get a copy and read it together as a family.  It may even encourage you to trace your own family history!

Watch the clip below for a little excerpt of the book.

Find Bessie's Pillow on Facebook and Twitter.

For more reviews of Bessie's Pillow click below.
Bessie's Pillow {Strong Learning, Inc. Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Monday, March 20, 2017

Creating a Masterpiece {Homeschool Review}

Creating a Masterpiece

As a homeschool mom, I admit I often let art slide to the back burner.  I'm not creative, and I definitely can't draw, so having a resource like Creating a Masterpiece is a sweet relief!  We have reviewed the Monthly Plan and have thoroughly enjoyed it!

Creating a Masterpiece

Creating a Masterpiece teaches art with many different types of medium: acrylic, batik, block printing, carving, conte 'crayon, copper tooling, glass mosaic, gouache, ink, mixed media, oil painting, oil pastel, pencil/charcoal, sculpture, silk painting, soft pastel, watercolour, and wood burning.  So many choices!

We live remote, so we don't have easy access to some of these items, so we stuck with watercolour and pencil.  The first project we did was with watercolours and it was called African Sunset.  I sat down and did this project with the kids.  It was fun to learn along side of them, and I think our artwork turned out pretty well.  I love how they each are unique in their own way, not exactly alike, but similar.

We learned a new technique of putting a dab of paint on the page and blowing through a straw to make trees.  The kids enjoyed doing this and learned that different size straws had slightly different results.  I didn't use a straw, but blew on the paint and it had a similar effect.

I am an artist by no means, and I don't normally enjoy sitting and doing something like this.  I found this to be a relaxing time with the kids, and they enjoyed having me sit and create with them.  This project did take us two days to complete as it had to dry halfway through before we could put on the finishing touches.

Can you tell which one was mine?  :)

Autumn continued on her own and did several more pencil drawings.  Creating a Masterpiece is user-friendly.  Autumn was able to access the site quickly and was able to find the artwork she wanted to create.  She worked on these two projects in one afternoon.  Some projects can be done in one sitting, while others may take 2-3 days to complete (like the watercolour one above).

She was not impressed with her sunflower, but I think for her first pencil drawing she did quite well.  It is proudly hung in our schoolroom.

She also did a pencil drawing of an incandescent light bulb with it's shadow.  Which I think turned out beautifully, but I may be a bit biased.

With her lightbulb.  She was pleased with this one.

Working on our watercolour painting together.

We enjoyed Creating a Masterpiece and will continue to use it until our subscription expires.  The website is well done and like I said, it is user-friendly.  The monthly plan is $39.99/month. (If you are in a co-op there is a group discount worth checking out.)  This gives you access to all the projects (over 144 lessons) for the entire family.  To me this is a bit pricey for a homeschooling family, but I know there are art programs that cost a small fortune and are just books.  The videos in Creating a Masterpiece are well done, and the teacher, Ms. Sharon, is fun.  I think this is a good investment for your homeschool curriculum, even if you can just afford to use it for one month, I'd encourage you to give it a go.

You can find Creating a Masterpiece on facebook.

To see more reviews for Creating a Masterpiece click below.
Creating Beautiful Art at Home {Creating A Masterpiece Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Cody is 9!

Last month Cody turned 9.  
I guess I'm still in denial since I failed to write a blog post about it.  
This is his last year in the single digits.  
Where does time go?

Just a few hours old.

He got a new quad for his birthday.
(I'm still adjusting to this!)

He also started guitar lessons last month.

Cody is tenderhearted.  He loves hugs.  He love animals.  He loves the Lord.
I couldn't ask for anything more.