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Sunday, April 30, 2017

In Love from Alive City!

I recently posted "Say" from Alive City. I thought I'd post this new video, "In Love."

So, I have failed.

Remember when I set that little goal for myself to clean one small area of each room on the main floor? It was just two shelves of my bookshelves, one shelf in one of my kitchen cupboards, one drawer in my bathroom, and one drawer in my bedroom. Can you believe I didn't do a single one of them?

Yep, that's me. I'm the girl of good intentions. I have excuses, though! I have had to take my daughter to several appointments related to getting her braces on. She finally got them on this past Wednesday. My son had to go to about 14 driver's ed classes over the past three weeks, but he got his permit Friday. I am so glad to have those two things off my mind! Saturday I cleaned the whole main floor of the house and folded about ten loads of laundry. (Yes, and ten loads hardly made a dent. We are not good at keeping up laundry. Or anything, really, housework related.) Of course, when I say clean, I mean the stuff you can see. I didn't get to any drawers or shelves. Still, I did something! LOL

I also went to a doctor appointment, took my son to take the ACT, wrote a review, did my usual errands, and started planning my son's grad party. I was behind because I had to do taxes for six and FAFSAs for three.You see, I can justify my poor housekeeping skills, and you are totally convinced that I am not lazy. Right? As long as I don't mention all the time I spend on Facebook and Instagram, it's all good.

Maybe I'll get to that list this week. :)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

New Review! Drive Thru History (R)!!!

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Review Crew

Drive Thru History

About the product/service: As part of the Homeschool Review Crew, I received a free DVD set, Drive Thru History®- "The Gospels," from Drive Thru History®. The set includes three disks which contain 18, 30-minute episodes that tell about the life of Jesus and also comes with a study guide for each episode. I was impressed before I even put a DVD in the player. While the outside sleeve is cardboard, the DVDs case actually is very nice and looks like a book. The study guide is part of the case. For each episode, the are five discussion questions, a list of the pertinent scriptures, and a side road (which is actually a sidebar and just gives a little extra information about an aspect of that episode's topic.) The guide is full-color and also includes a lot of beautiful photos. 

Host Dave Stotts travels to 50 ancient sites in Israel as he brings the gospel to life in an adventurous, family-friendly way. You learn about the history, archaeology, art, and geography from the time that Jesus walked the earth. It's great for Bible studies, Sunday school, homeschool, or just family entertainment. 

Side note: There are other Drive Thru History® series, including those from American History, Ancient History, and the Holy Land. Just thought I'd mention that. :)

Here is a list of the episodes:

Episode 1: The Historical Landscape
Episode 2: The Announcements
Episode 3: Jesus is Born
Episode 4: Jesus Grows Up
Episode 5: Jesus Starts His Ministry
Episode 6: Jesus Returns to Galilee
Episode 7: Jesus Begins His Miracles
Episode 8: Jesus Teaches with Authority
Episode 9: The Sermon on the Mount
Episode 10: Jesus Travels the Sea of Galilee
Episode 11: Jesus Travels North
Episode 12: A Final Trip to Jerusalem
Episode 13: Jesus Arrives in Jerusalem
Episode 14: The Last Supper
Episode 15: The Trial of Jesus
Episode 16: The Crucifixion of Jesus
Episode 17: The Resurrection of Jesus
Episode 18: Who is Jesus?

What are the pros of this product?
Everything. LOL No, seriously, it's professionally done, informative, and entertaining. The host is great, the videography is great, the graphics are great. It's great.  LOL 

Drive Thru History The Gospels

What's not to like?At $89.95, it's a little on the expensive side, but it is, after all, 18 episodes, so really you're only talking about $5 an episode. It's not your typical low budget Christian production, so I would say it's worth it. 

The Crazy Mom take:
We absolutely loved this video series! I now want to get everything from Drive Thru History®. Where do I start? First, the actual video quality is equal to anything on television. The host, Dave Stotts, is very informative, but also funny. He's the kind of guy you'd want to hang out with at a party. Most other documentaries have boring, old, gray-haired men sitting in a book-filled office very dryly telling about the subject at hand. This guy is far from old, gray-haired, or boring. To me, he looks and sounds like Booth from Bones. LOL 

We have learned so much from watching these videos, and it has really helped bring the gospels to life. At my ripe old age, I've probably read through the gospels dozens of times, but I honestly learned a ton from watching these DVDs. The next time I read through them, I will be able to really enjoy them at a much deeper level. 

I love learning about biblical history and archaeology. Now my kids are loving it, too. My youngest son, Baber, who is 13, is just not the academic type. School is something he does because he has to, not because he wants to. It's very rare for him to say he enjoys something. Well, he totally enjoys this series. 

We had been doing another Bible Study on Exodus before we took on this series to review, and while I really like the other study, I am going to miss this series when it's over. (We still have a few more episodes to watch.) I think I'm going to have to incorporate more Drive Thru History into next year's schedule. 

Drive Thru History The Gospels
Dave Stotts

What's the bottom line? $89.95

I am going to give Drive Thru History (R) - "The Gospels 5 out of 5 smileys!!! :) :) :) :) :) 

Check it out!

See what my fellow TOS Crew members have to say @

The Gospels {Drive Thru History® Reviews}

*The Smiley System:

:) I can't really recommend this product.

:)  :) I doubt this product would be helpful to many people.

:)  :)  :) This is a good product, but it isn't right for everyone.

:)  :)  :)  :) Most homeschool moms will find this useful.

:)  :)  :)  :)  :) This is great, and I would recommend it to anyone!!!

Crew Disclaimer

Friday, April 21, 2017

New Review: SpeedyPrep! (CLEP Practice)

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Review Crew

About the product/service: 
As part of the Homeschool Review Crew, I received a free six-month subscription to SpeedyPrep, an online CLEP (College Level Examination Program) preparation program. If you haven't heard of a CLEP test, it's a test that you can take to test out of certain college courses. You can read all about CLEP exams and how SpeedyPrep can prepare you or your student here. (You sign up and pay for the CLEP on your own, it's not part of the course.)

There are 24 courses offered when you subscribe to SpeedyPrep, and each course is created following College Board guidelines. Because they are set up to help you pass college-level tests, they obviously cover college level material. Among the courses are history, algebra, Spanish, and the course I had my son, Dode, 17, test, English composition. SpeedyPrep recommends the product for student 16 and up who have already taken the high school level of the subject.

What are the pros of this product?
The material presented is very thorough. We barely scratched the surface of what was available to us. It's a simple and straightforward approach. You are given a "flashcard" with a question (that usually contains a blank) and five possible answers. After you answer, you will be given an explanation as to why you are right or wrong. (You can also watch videos to get a more thorough explanatin of each topic.) It uses a progress bar to reflect your success as you work through the course. Once you get to at least 90%, you should be able to pass the CLEP test in that subject. As a matter of fact, they guarantee it. 

The nice thing is that you are literally tested as you go along. There is no reading and studying before you start being "tested." As soon as you get the question right a few times, it will show up on your progress bar. Because the program uses a mastery approach, you don't get "false positives" by guessing something, getting it right, then never seeing that kind of question again. However, after a few times, you will start seeing the progress little bar turning green. ;)

You can use this program with multiple students as long as they aren't using the same course. So your daughter could study chemistry and your son English, but they both couldn't study Spanish. Each course has its own progress bar and it's set up to be used just once. I guess that's a pro or con depending on your family's needs. :)

What's not to like? 
Because there is a lot of repetition built into the program to ensure mastery, some may find it boring. (See my son's take below.) This will actually be a plus or minus depending on your student and how motivated they are to learn and how tolerant they are of repetition. 

Some of the questions seem like high school level and are fairly easy to answer. However, because they are based on what's going to actually be on the test, they must be sufficient, especially since SpeedyPrep offers a money-back guarantee. (Keep in mind, we only used the English composition part of the program. Something like psychology would probably have more difficult material.)

I feel like the program could be a little more user-friendly. We were confused a bit how it worked. Still, it's much more simple than some programs that are totally overwhelming. (I'll explain a little more below.)

The Crazy Mom take:
As I stated above, I had my 17-year-old son, Dode, test this product. He is a total math and science nerd, but his grammar, spelling, and reading comprehension are lacking. I thought he could use a good review of the English composition basics, especially since he is taking the ACT soon. (He won't actually being taking any CLEP exams because the schools he's interested in don't accept them.)

There were three things he didn't like about the course. First, it seemed like he wasn't making progress because often he'd come back to work on a session and there was no record of the last session he worked on. For example, if he worked on 15 questions and then came back to it later, it would sometimes start back at question 16, but other times it would come back to question 1. I'm sure we were just doing something wrong, but it probably could have been set up in a way that prevented that from happening. 

Another thing is that because it's based on mastery, and the questions are repeated, he would get annoyed that he would get the same question again when he'd already gotten it right. That isn't really a problem with the program, but if your kid is like mine they might get a little frustrated by it.

The third thing that bothered him is that they ask several questions from the same material. For example, everything he did seemed to be based on excerpts from "Common Sense," by Thomas Paine. There were three or four passages that they would use over and over. I don't think it would bother me, but it did bother him. 

Several of the times I actually sat down with Dode and went through the questions with him. The only thing that really seemed bothersome to me was the fact that very often only one of the answers seemed like it could be right. In other words, if you just used, no pun intended, common sense you would get the answer right even if you really didn't know or understand it. When my son got these kinds of questions, he didn't feel compelled to read the reasoning behind the answer. Many teens would just figure they got it right and move on and miss actually learning "why" they got it right. (Rereading through this, this section might more accurately reflect my son's personality than the program. LOL) 

So, wow, all that being said, I still thought we gained something from using this product. Even though I consider myself a writer, there were terms that came up that I had totally forgotten. I don't think the fact that he lost progress (or at least thought he lost progress) or had to repeat questions hurt him at all. He probably needed the repetition. I do think he gained from it. I only mentioned his concerns because after using the program several times, he totally lost interest. If your student is like mine, he or she may not love the program either. In all fairness, though, he was just testing the product and not actually using it to study for a CLEP. If your son or daughter is actually going to take a CLEP, he or she just better suck it up and do the work! LOL 

What's the bottom line? 
$19.95 a month

I am going to give SpeedyPrep 4 out of 5 smileys!!!* :) :) :) :)

Check it out!
Twitter:   @speedyprep

See what my fellow TOS Crew members have to say @

College Level Examination Program Preparation {SpeedyPrep Reviews}

*The Smiley System:

:) I can't really recommend this product.

:)  :) I doubt this product would be helpful to many people.

:)  :)  :) This is a good product, but it isn't right for everyone.

:)  :)  :)  :) Most homeschool moms will find this useful.

:)  :)  :)  :)  :) This is great, and I would recommend it to anyone!!!

Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Check out "Say" from Alive City!

Just thought I'd share with you something cool to brighten your day. The song is "Say," the band is Alive City, coming out of Metro City church in the Detroit area. The lead singer in this particular video is homeschool grad Zachary Schossau. I just thought it would awesome to share with you something cool a former homeschooler is up to. Sorry, I don't really know anything much about any of the other band members, but the song is getting some play on local Christian radio stations. Why not call and request it? 

Want to know more? Check out the links below:

Buy it on iTunes:

Listen on Spotify:

Check out their Instagram page:

Check out their Facebook page:

Check out their Twitter account:

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

New Review! CompuScholar!

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Review Crew

CompuScholar, Inc.

CompuScholar, Inc. Web Design

About the product/service: As part of the Homeschool Review Crew I received free access to the Web Design course from CompuScholar, Inc. (You may have heard of this company by its former name, Homeschool Programming.) The course teaches students how to create web pages using HTML and CSS. This is a full one year course.

Here is an idea of what the course teaches:

  • Basic website layout
  • HTML5 symbols and elements
  • Text styles
  • Hyperlinks and navigation bars
  • CSS effects, spacing and positioning
  • Graphics and image editing
  • Tables
  • Page design principles
  • Dynamic menus
  • Embedded audio and video
  • JavaScript and jQuery
Check out the complete syllabus here

Also, you might want to check out their other courses such as Digital Savvy and Java Programming

What are the pros of this product? 
The biggest pro I would have to say is the fact that even a kid who has absolutely no web design experience can easily begin this course. As long as your child (or even you!) knows the basics of using a computer, he or she should easily be able to do this course. My son picked it up easily.

Also, it's set up so that you can either learn by reading or by watching a video. Since my son is dyslexic and sometimes struggles with reading comprehension, especially when reading unfamiliar material, the ability to watch a video was perfect for him. I tend to learn by reading, so I appreciate the fact that there is flexibility. I also appreciate that you can learn the material on your own or use the teacher-led version. I really appreciate companies that understand that we all don't have just one way of learning. 

What's not to like? 
I didn't see any real negatives with this program. It can be a bit costly, but if your child ends up liking web design, you can recoup the cost easily just by designing one website! :)

The Crazy Mom take:
I had my son, Baber, 13, do this program. He is one of those kids who would spend the entire day in front of the computer if we let him. I get frustrated with him because he really doesn't have any hobbies other than playing computer games unless it's summer and he can play outside. That being said, I decided that this program would be a good fit for him because he can actually learn a skill while sitting at the computer instead of just wasting time. 

Well, praise the Lord, he actually likes it! LOL I love when I don't have to bribe him to do his school. I have it set up where this is his last subject, and then he can play his games. It has been great not to have to hear him complain. He is actually enjoying learning web design. His older brother, Ren, was also a computer nerd, and he is now a successful programmer, so maybe he'll even make a career out of it. Thank you CompuScholar! He is also getting good grades which makes me happy. Win, win, all around. :)

What's the bottom line? Self-study monthly $15/Annually $120 or Teacher-led monthly $35/Annually $300

I am going to give CompuScholar 5 out of 5 smileys! :)  :)  :)  :)  :)

Check it out!

See what my fellow TOS Crew members have to say @

Digital Savvy, Web Design & Java Programming {CompuScholar,Inc Reviews}

Social Media Links:

Homeschool Programming

Twitter –   @hsprogramming

CompuScholar, Inc

*The Smiley System:

:) I can't really recommend this product.

:)  :) I doubt this product would be helpful to many people.

:)  :)  :) This is a good product, but it isn't right for everyone.

:)  :)  :)  :) Most homeschool moms will find this useful.

:)  :)  :)  :)  :) This is great, and I would recommend it to anyone!!!

Crew Disclaimer

Friday, April 7, 2017


I said I would write up some cleaning goals, one small task per room on the main floor. That's the kitchen, dining room, living room, bathroom, and bedroom. Here's what I've come up with.

Kitchen: Organize the boxed goods cupboard.
Dining Room: Clean off top shelf of bookshelf
Living Room: Clean off top shelf of bookshelf
Bathroom: Clean out top drawer of cabinet
Bedroom: Clean out bottom, right dresser drawer

Also, I didn't look at my last post, but I might've said something about needing to clean out my purse. I did start to do that the other day and then my husband interrupted me somehow. So, I suppose I should also do that. I have recently cleaned under both my kitchen and bathroom sink. I bought some wire shelves to put under them and that has made all the difference. With no closets on the entire floor, I have to get very creative. I'm not naturally organized, but I think this house would drive Martha Stewart crazy!

Happy cleaning!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Book Review: Shepherd, Potter, Spy and the Star Namer

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Review Crew

Shepherd, Potter, Spy--and the Star Namer {Peggy Consolver}

About the product/service: 
As part of the Homeschool Review Crew, I received a free copy of the book Shepherd, Potter, Spy and the Star Namer by Peggy Miracle Consolver. This book is the story of a 13-year-old shepherd boy, Kershub who among other things, fights off animals, hides the son of a wicked king, and spied on the Hebrews who had just taken down Jericho.  

I had my 15-year-old daughter, Bear, read the book. She really enjoyed it. It was so timely for us as we have been studying Exodus in our home Bible study, and she has also been going to a weekly study on Exodus at church. I love when things flow together like that! 

Here is her take on the book:

It was a good book, very interesting and action-packed, the kind of book you just want to keep reading. I feel like I learned a lot about living in those times. It was well written, and it made me feel as though I was actually living in their world. I liked that I was able to see the events from both the Canaanite and Hebrew perspective. I would recommend it for both boys and girls, ages middle school and up. I feel like adults would also enjoy it. It could also be used as a read-aloud, but not if the children are too small because of the detail given. Over all, I would highly recommend it!

Peggy Consolver
Peggy Miracle Consolver

The great thing about this book is that the author took great care in making sure it is historically and geographically accurate. (It could have something to do with the fact that she actual went on an archaeological dig in the area!) As I've said before, this is the kind of book I love. History is so much more interesting when you can imagine yourself living in it as the reader can imagine him/herself as Keshub. To add to this, there is also an additional study guide, Digging Deeper into HIStory: A Study Guide for Shepherd, Potter, Spy and the Star Namer. This is a 13 unit guide and digs deeply into Joshua 9-10 and the events of the Israelites as they wandered around their last year in the desert.

While we didn't get a chance to actually go through the guide, it looks like it would make a great addition to the book. There is a lot there to help you really dig in to the story. If you are the unit study type, you could really use this book as a springboard to a great study of the Israelites. 

If you love the Bible and history, this book just might be for you!

The bottom line: List price: $15.99 paperback/ $2.99 Kindle (Actual prices vary on Amazon.) Digging Deeper into HIStory study guide List price: $12.99 paperback/$2.99 Kindle

Book facts:
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Carpenter's Son Publishing (September 1, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1942587090
ISBN-13: 978-1942587095
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces

Check out the Facebook page here!

Click below to see what my fellow reviewers have to say: 

Shepherd, Potter, Spy--and the Star Namer {Peggy Consolver Reviews}

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