Category Archives: Book Reviews

Home School Reviews | Family Fitness

About Home School Reviews
Curriculum, teaching aids, online resources — they abound for the Home Schooling family. Budgets are usually tight, making each purchase count. Home School Reviews come from our Shiloh Home School, as we check out some of the resources available to home schooling families, giving detailed, comprehensive descriptions of the product and  our honest opinions about the quality of the product, based upon the price.

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As school has begun, we’ve been using the Family Time Fitness curriculum for home school for gym, as a supplement to the other curriculum I purchased prior to becoming aware of this available option. It’s easy to see why it has received a top ranking from home schoolers!

We enjoy the format. Right off the bat, my own thoughts were, “this is fun”. There was no debating of “do we like it or not?” We just did.

I received an entire year’s worth of PE sessions which also included a start up training guide, assessment guides, nutritional logs, meal planners, encouragement emails throughout the school year, and online webinars.

There are also workbooks that go along with the gym classes, unique to each grade. I will be purchasing these personally, as I find them a very powerful tool to use with our gym class, because they not only teach physical education concepts with learning terms and vocabulary words, they also provide opportunities for the student to practice reading and writing. This fits in well with our classical approach as a family. You can find sample workbook pages here.

This entire package is fully worth the $57 fee.  The entire program is comprehensive and exceptionally well done.

Miraclegirl’s Take:
I like gym. It’s fun when we can play outside. It’s funny when Mommy jumps.

Pros:
~ One time fee
~ Adaptable right up through all grades
~ Covers a large scope and sequence
~ Minimal investment needed for PE supplies
~ the extras, such as the physical assessment guide, nutritional logs, menu planners, encouragement emails, and available webinars
~ The gym activities are fun, and yet challenging enough to grow your child’s physical capabilities as the school year progresses–something that can then be run through another assessment at year’s end.
~ There are also workbooks that go along with the gym classes, unique to each grade. I will be purchasing these personally, as I find them a very powerful tool to use with our gym class, because they not only teach physical education concepts with learning terms and vocabulary words, they also provide opportunities for the student to practice reading and writing. This fits in well with our classical approach as a family. You can find sample workbook pages here.

Cons:
~ I’m not sure how much the modules change as the child grows older. I can’t see this being the same exact plan year after year for the child.
~ For those of us who would rather have hard copy material to work from, rather than something on the screen, this program requires quite a bit of personal printing. The workbooks must be printed off, in order to be used.

We give it a rating of 5 out of 5 and I highly recommend the Family Time Fitness curriculum for home school for an easy-to-follow, yet packed-full-of-purposeful-activity for a home school gym class.

The initial TOS review of the program as well as additional reviews can be found at the TOS blog.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this product for review purposes, made possible by:

Family Time Fitness

Home School Review Rating System

About Home School Reviews

Curriculum, teaching aids, online resources — they abound for the Home Schooling family. Budgets are usually tight, making each purchase count. Home School Reviews come from our Shiloh Home School, as we check out some of the resources available to home schooling families, giving detailed, comprehensive descriptions of the product and  our honest opinions about the quality of the product, based upon the price.

Rating System

5 ~~ This is a must add for any Home School Curriclum! Worth the price. An invaluable resource.

4 ~~ Highly recommended with a few cons to be considered when making the decision to purchase.

3 ~~ Neutral opinion. We weren’t thrilled with this product but we also can see where it might be beneficial. The money potentially spent on it, will ultimately be based upon each unique Home School Family.

2 ~~ Not recommended. It’s either not worth the money or the quality of the product is so poor, it’s not really worth the time or money to invest in it.

1 ~~ Don’t even consider! Errors abound, resource is poorly put together, and educational material is sorely lacking. Not worth even a penny of a Home Schoolers money.

Seeds Family Worship | Review and Giveaway

This giveaway is now over. 
Congratulations to April S who won this through a Random.org draw!

One of my downfalls in life is memorizing Scripture.

I always intend to memorize it, but somehow I never seem to achieve it.42

Unfortunately, this is carrying into my parenting and I. do. not. like. it. In fact, it really dismays me that my daughter is 3 and other than a handful of Cubbies verses she remembers, I have not helped instill more memory verses into her heart at this point.

That’s why I was thrilled the first time I heard of Seeds Family Worship. Scripture put to music.

Fun music. That makes you and your kids want to dance. And sing to. At the top of your voices.

They have quite a library of CD’s at this point, for families and my goal is to get them all for our home.

Each one has a theme. Courage, Faith, Character, Praise, Purpose, and Encouragement.

Their website also offers several helpful resources for parents such as verse memory cards as well as a place where you can listen to some Seeds Worship music to see for yourself what it’s like.

You can also register for the Seeds Family Worship newsletter that has hand- on activities and one free downloadable song per month.

The music itself is upbeat and fun, not to mention catchy in a way that helps the verse to sink into your child’s mind. Ok, and yours too. 🙂 That’s why the word “Family” is a great word for this ministry, because it’s a wonderful tool for children and parents to hid God’s Word in their heart.

Giveaway

I get to give away a music CD Sampler, which has the songs

1. Put on Love, from Seeds of Character (Colossians 3:12 & 14)
2. Servant of All, from The Power of Encouragement (Mark 9:35)
3. Whatever You Do, from Seeds of Purpose (I Corinthians 10:31)
4. Amen, from Seeds of Praise (Revelation 7:10 & 12)
5. The Word of the Lord, from Seeds of Faith (I Peter 1:24-25)
6. Young, from Seeds of Courage (I Timothy 4:12)

To enter

Go to Seeds of Worship and listen to one of their songs.
Come back here and tell me what one you liked best.
Please be sure to leave your email address where I can contact you.

Additional Entries

~ Check out all the Seeds Worship CD’s and tell me which one you would start with if you began collecting them and why you would choose that one.
~ Follow Seeds on Twitter
~ Like Seeds on Facebook
~ Like the Seeds Youtube channel

Want even more entries?

~ +1 Hidden Valley Simplicity’s main page
~ Become a GFC friend
~ Sub to Hidden Valley RSS feed via reader or email

~ Follow on Twitter
~ Become a FB friend
~ Connect on networked blogs
~ Tweet this on Twitter using @seedsofaith and @hiddenvalley713
~ Give this giveaway a social media plug (Stumble, Digg, etc)

This giveaway will end on September 10 at midnight

Special thanks to Seeds Family Worship for providing me with a complimentary CD for review and giveaway purposes.

* BOOK BLURB: THICKER THAN BLOOD BY C. J. DARLINGTON *

ThickerThanBlood-revised175TitleTrakk.com Blog Tours Presents:

Thicker than Blood
by C.J. Darlington
Published by Tyndale House

Winner of the
2008 Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel Contest!

Christy Williams finally has her life on track. She’s putting her past behind her and working hard to build a career as an antiquarian book buyer. But things begin to unravel when a stolen Hemingway first edition is found in her possession, framing her for a crime she didn’t commit. With no one to turn to, she yearns for her estranged younger sister, May, whom she abandoned after their parents’ untimely deaths. Soon, Christy’s fleeing from her shattered dreams, her ex-boyfriend, and God. Could May’s Triple Cross Ranch be the safe haven she’s searching for? Will the sisters realize that each possesses what the other desperately needs before it’s too late?

My thoughts on Thicker than Blood

It feels weird to read a book, written by someone you know. Ok, so I don’t really know C.J. personally, but through the book reviewing world and through the wonders of Facebook I have regular contact with her. So when I heard she had her first novel published I was exceptionally excited for her. Someone I “know” made it in the publishing world!

When I received her book in the mail, I was even more excited. It was so real. . .

When I began reading it, I was thrilled. There is a bit of nervousness about reading a book written by someone you “know”. After all, what was I going to say if it wasn’t any good?

No worries there. Thicker than Blood is a captivating novel that kept me up too late at night due to wanting to know what happened next. Because of my own prodigal family members, who have made harmful choices, I needed this book to have a good ending. Not an unrealistic, happy ending, but a good ending. It did.

Before the ending came, C.J. wrote of a journey that was realistic. She didn’t pull any punches but neither did she shock and dismay me with descriptions that went beyond what was needed to tell her story (some authors, I am finding, delight in the shocking and that disappoints me).

C.J. delivers her first novel as if she is a writing veteran. Avid readers–and not-so-avid readers–are going to want to check her out, and most, if not all, will be eager to snatch up any future novels she gives us!

 

 

With careful attention to detail, emotion, and scene-setting, C.J. Darlington scores with her debut effort. Here is a special writer you won’t want to miss.
Jerry B. Jenkins, New York Times best selling author

If you love a good read filled with adventure and ultimately redemption, I encourage you to brew the tea, settle into your favorite chair and pick up the page turner that is C.J. Darlington’s imaginative new novel of a modern day sisterhood that triumphs over separation and the raw challenges of life to find the real endurance of both family ties and God’s amazing grace.
Rebecca St. James, Grammy award winning Christian singer and bestselling author

With Thicker than Blood, C.J. Darlington proves she’s a novelist for the long-haul, a strong new voice in Christian fiction. This book speaks to the heart, from the heart, about the heart. Readers will not soon forget it.
Sibella Giorello, Christy award-winning author of The Rivers Run Dry &The Clouds Roll Away

Watch the book trailer:

 

cj-standard-150About the Author:
C. J. began writing the story that would become Thicker than Blood (her first novel) when she was a fifteen-year-old homeschool student. She has been in the antiquarian bookselling business for over a decade, scouting for stores similar to the one described in the novel before cofounding her own online bookstore. Thicker than Bloodwas the winner of the 2008 Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel.

C. J. co-founded the Christian entertainment Web site TitleTrakk.com with her sister, Tracy, and has been actively promoting Christian fiction through book reviews and author interviews. She makes her home in Pennsylvania with her family and their menagerie of dogs and cats. Visit her website www.cjdarlington.com for more info.