Friday, October 23, 2015

Rejection Proof (Book Review)

The following is a guest post from my husband.

Jia Jiang spent 100 days trying to get rejected every day in order to overcome his fear of rejection. What an interesting concept. In his book he shares helpful lessons learned along his one hundred day experience. Thus giving insight into how rejection affects us and how to not only cope with it but use it to our benefit. Many of his stories are extremely funny and enlightening.

In his quest to get rejected he finds that asking something you expect to be a no may be a yes. But you don’t know until you ask. I definitely recommend this book for anyone in sales, business or is at all shy and afraid of getting a no. 

Rejection always seems to hurt but this book almost makes it seem enjoyable. I know that might not make sense but it will after you read Rejection Proof. 

Disclaimer: Thanks to the Blogging for Books program for this book in exchange for this review. 
All opinions stated here are my own.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Valley of Decision {Book Review}

About the Book

Every choice has a consequence in the explosive conclusion to the Carthage Chronicles as Lisbeth returns to third-century Carthage for a thrilling final adventure.

Thirteen years ago, Lisbeth made an impossible decision - leave third-century Carthage and her husband Cyprian behind for good. She knew it was to protect her daughter Maggie, so Lisbeth gathered the strength to move on with her life.

All these years, Lisbeth has thrown herself into her work and raising her headstrong daughter, all to live up to the promise she made to Cyprian. But Maggie is sick of being protected. In an act of teenage rebellion Maggie decides to do what her mother can't - secretly returning to the third century on a quest to bring her father back, leaving Lisbeth no choice but to follow.

With Maggie's surprise arrival in Carthage, chaos ensues. She finds her grandmother on trial for murder and attempts to save her, but instead the diversion sparks a riot that nearly destroys the plagued city. Only one thing will appease the wrath of the new proconsul of Carthage: the death of the instigator.

Will Lisbeth arrive in time to save her daughter from the clutches of Rome? How can God possibly redeem such a slew of unwise decisions and deep regrets? Filled with heart-wrenching twists and riveting action, Valley of Decision brings the romantic adventure epic, The Carthage Chronicles, to an electrifying conclusion.

My Thoughts

My son is hooked on a book series for children with characters who travel back in time to teach him about history in an entertaining and educational fashion. I don't blame him. I personally am a fan of time travel stories myself so when I saw that this series was available for older readers such as myself, I was pretty excited.

I've also been drawn to historical fiction for quite some time now and I would say that this series generally fits into that genre. It certainly leans more towards the fiction end of the spectrum but you certainly get a feel for what life might have been like in third century Carthage.

This particular time in history is a difficult but powerful one to enter into so be prepared. If you are looking for a feel good, warm and fuzzy novel then you will certainly have something coming when you read this! If you are genuinely interested in what martyrdom was like in the past or what might occur in the future then this story will certainly encourage and motivate you. We certainly do not know what the future holds for us so seeing what it could have been like for those who endured such difficulties is a real eye opener. 

The literary style of this story is quite interesting. Rather than portraying the events from one perspective, you view the story line from each of the characters at different times throughout the story. At first it threw me off a bit trying to figure out who's eyes I was looking through but then once you were introduced to the characters it was smooth sailing from there.

The sentences are extremely descriptive at times. You can tell the author thoughtfully scripted each scene and wanted to be sure that you were whisked away into it. Not only does she transport her characters back in time but you feel as though you have traveled back with them!

Whether you are sci-fy enthustist,  history buff, or a romantic, I am confident that you will not be disappointed with this entertaining read. 

The Author Lynne Gentry has written for numerous publications. She is a professional acting coach, theater director, and playwright. Lynne is an inspirational speaker and dramatic performer who loves spending time with her family and medical therapy dog.

 Disclaimer: Thanks to the Litfuse Publicity group for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions stated here are my own.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Moving Beyond the Page: Helen Keller Unit Study

Welcome to the FINAL GIVEAWAY in Thrift Schooling's Fall Frenzy Homeschool Materials Giveaway! This giveaway is one of my favorites because I absolutely LOVE Moving Beyond the Page. Their curriculum is set up in a way where you can use their materials as a complete curriculum OR you can purchase each study separately and use them as Unit Studies

I take the Unit Study approach. Their full curriculum packages are a bit on the pricey side but you can still enjoy the richness of their studies if you purchase their individual studies from Rainbow Resource for only $16.99! You can even find the complete unit package which includes the books needed for the study for only $20.50! I am currently using the Unit Study on Helen Keller called Who Was Helen Keller?

This unit comes with the curriculum guide which includes the lesson plans and consumable worksheets. It also comes with two biographies, one about Helen Keller and the other is about Alexander Graham Bell.

 Moving Beyond the Page divides of their lessons by age group:

Ages 4-5
Ages 5-7
Ages 6-8
Ages 7-9
Ages 8-10
Ages 9-11
Ages 10-12
Ages 11-13
Ages 12-14

 This particular lesson is written for the 7-9 age group. One of the admirable features of the worksheets is there are two options for each lesson. The first option is simpler and geared towards younger or struggling learners. The second option is more challenging and can be used for older or more advanced students. I love having the two options to choose from for each lesson, it makes it seem like a choose your own adventure story!

There are eight lessons that can be completed at your own pace. I tend to do one lesson each week since there are several aspects to each lesson. The lessons are very hands-on and have your child doing activities, reading, creative writing, spelling, and vocabulary. Each unit also provides two options for an end of the unit project. For this study we will be doing the "Scrapbook" option where we will create a scrapbook highlighting details about Helen's life. As a parent I highly recommend these unit studies. I've always found the reading level right on par for the age group suggested and my children tend to retain what they have learned from these studies.

Enter to Win

Enter the Rafflecopter Below to Win Moving Beyond the Page's Helen Keller Unit study from Rainbow Resource

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Keep On Going

Choosing which educational path you will place your children on is one of the most important decisions you will make as a parent. Homeschooling simply means that you have determined to walk this path with them. You don’t know exactly READ MORE AT OUR HOMESCHOOL FORUM.

Monday, October 5, 2015

10 Awesome Thanksgiving Resources

Don't let Thanksgiving come and go this year with the only thing to remember it by is a hand print turkey. For those of us who simply don't have enough hours in the day to pull together a unit study for this important holiday, Amanda Bennett has already done all the busy work for you! Purchase her Thanksgiving Unit Study on CD-Rom and your kids will be able to learn, hands-on about early American history.  

 Even though all the stores are donning Halloween and Christmas apparel this time of year, we can still point out to even the youngest of children that the signs of the Thanksgiving season is all around. Share with your youngster with The Berenstain Bears Thanksgiving All Around
lift the flap book and engage them in the wonders of the season. 

I love the story of Squanto. It's uncanny how similar it is to Joseph in the Bible. My children remember his story in great detail because it is powerful. I know that many Americans struggle with our history because they ask, "what about the Indians?" The concept of the white men coming in and taking over bothers them. I used to struggle with that too. Once I began to pray and study my Bible though things became more clear and I truly began to appreciate what the Puritans did. When I read about Squanto's story I began to understand more of God's heart and how he desires for all to know Him. Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving shares the truth of his story in a way that you won't find in any public school textbook!

From beloved author Lousia May Alcott comes

An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving
written in story form as opposed to a straight history book. The story takes readers back in time to see what life would have been like for children in the olden days!


If You Were At The First Thanksgiving
is an excellent resource for elementary aged students. It asks questions to get their little minds working. Questions such as, were Pilgrim parents strict? Who was Squanto? How did the children help? Written in a way that young ones can understand, this book gently introduces the concepts of the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving. 

The level three reader,  It's Thanksgiving! 
is perfect for your second through forth grader. The book consists of twelve poems that are sure to get your child excited about Thanksgiving! Some include, "If Turkey's Thought", "I Went Hungry on Thanksgiving", and "When Daddy Caves the Turkey."

Magic Tree House: Pilgrims
is a fact book that goes along with the Magic Tree House Book #27: Thanksgiving on Thursday. This book provides the answers to many of the questions that Jack and Annie are left wondering about after their adventure. Why did the Pilgrims choose Plymouth? What was it like to sail on the Mayflower? And more!

is not just a cute children's song but is actually meant to be sung at Thanksgiving time! Written in poem form, this beautifully illustrated book is sure to get your family excited about the upcoming holiday season!

is priced at only a little over a dollar, this consumable coloring book has thick black lines perfect for little artists! What a perfect book for young ones to enjoy learning about this wonderful holiday! 
 Definitely geared towards second and third graders, The Thanksgiving Story gives an accurate account of the history of Thanksgiving. I bought this book when my son was a Kindergartener and it was way too long and over his head. Now that he is older, it is a perfect resource for this time of year. I now keep it on hand so I can pull it out every fall! 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

3 Ways to Show Support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Chances are, if  you are reading this, then you most likely know someone who has been affected by breast cancer. More and more women are surviving this disease and more stories of hope are coming to the surface. If you have lost someone to breast cancer, then my heart goes out to you. I am sure October is a difficult month for you. If you are reading this as a survivor (like my mom!) then more power to you. I am sure this month is empowering for you, giving you a chance to encourage other women who are currently walking down this road.

Show Your Support

Whether you are a cancer survivor, know a survivor or simply want to show your support for the furtherance of breast cancer research there are several ways you can show your support this October which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

Wear Pink
Be bold. Whether it's a pink shirt, headband or dress, you can offer your support by simply stepping out in your pink garb. Show others that you indeed are aware of how many are affected by breast cancer and that you support the efforts to find or develop it's cure.

Display the Pink Ribbon
This past spring, a man ordered a metal, hand forged, decorative ribbon from my husband's blacksmithing business. He was planning to paint it pink and give to a woman he knew battling breast cancer. When she received the gift, they were so thankful and the husband was even brought to tears. Unless you've experienced it yourself, there really isn't a way to relate. But you still can show you care. The pink ribbon is a universal symbol of hope and compassion for everyone involved.

Support Cancer Research
The charms brand Glamulet was launched in 2014 to offer to every woman a new range of trendy and elegant quality jewelry at an affordable price. Half of all process go to charities that support breast cancer. If you want to help support breast cancer charities, then you can show your support by purchasing these affordable, glamorous charms. 

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by Brandbacker. All opinions stated here are my own.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Math Mammoth Review and Giveaway

Welcome to Thrift Schooling's Fall Frenzy Homeschool Materials Giveaway sponsored by Rainbow Resource Center! Last week I launched our first giveaway of the frenzy. Now I would like to introduce you to a curriculum package worth approximately $50!

Light Blue Series

So how is your current math curriculum working out for you? Have you ever entered into a year ready to conquer only to find out that one of your subjects just isn't working. Has that subject ever been math? There are so many different ways to teach math and not every child learns the same way. What works for one might not work for another. Some programs use rote memorization. Others use manipulatives for a more hands-on approach. Math Mammoth teaches using conceptual understanding. Basically, the student is taught one concept in full before moving on to the next. This method is very different than the one that I have been using. Math Mammoth focuses on just one concept and once the child masters it, they move on. 

Fortunately, my children are excellent math students. They are able to pick new concepts up quickly, even my kindergardener! My second grader flies right through his math work as well. Usually he finishes his math a month or two early each year because he enjoys it so much! This past year, we schooled through the summer and he was always itching to do math, (yes, I'm serious!) We received the Math Mammoth Light Blue Series for him to work through. 

For Grade 2, I received the following:

Student Workbooks 
(There are 2 for the whole year)

Answer Keys 
(One book covers the answers for both student books) 

Tests and Reviews

 There were several qualities about this series  that I was impressed with. For one, the student workbook is very self-explanatory. This is great for homes or private schools where the teacher is teaching more than one grade level at a time. The student can read for themselves the new concept and easily understand what they need to do. There also are teacher instructions in the book, if the parent or teacher needs to go into further explanation of a concept. I liked that each lesson was short and sweet. They weren't overwhelming long and my son didn't complain about the length. Even though the material was challenging for him, it wasn't stressful as math can be for some children. A new concept was taught and there were just enough problems expected for the student to complete for them to be able to understand it. If your child needs that extra affirmation that some kids need from achieving a goal then this series is for you! It provides kids with a sense of accomplishment in a mild and nonabrasive manner. If your child tends to thrive on variety rather than focusing on just one simple concept at a time, then this is not for you.

These quality workbooks can be found at a discounted price on the Rainbow Resource Site!

A big thank you to the Rainbow Resource Center for providing this Amazing Curriculum to one of our readers. Enter below to win! Winner receive the complete light blue series for the grade of your choice, (grades 1-5).