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Psalm Songs, Volume 1 – Scripture to Music for the Family (& Giveaway)

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We were sent this album to listen to at no cost to us. All thoughts are my own.

If there is one thing that I’ve learned over the years, it’s that our kids can learn just about anything when it is put to music. We were recently introduced to a new album, Psalm Songs Volume 1 from Corner Room Music, and it was immediately a hit with everyone in the family (parents included). 

While we desire our kids to understand our faith, there is truly nothing more important to us than having Scripture firmly planted in their hearts. For me personally, there are verses I learned as a child that frequently come to mind and we have seen firsthand how Scripture being sung/played in our home has made a literal difference in attitudes. 

Several years ago our youngest was having a ROUGH day. And by rough, I mean screaming, crying, tantrum throwing of epic proportions. I had done about everything I knew to do: ignored, comforted, wanted to cry myself. After two hours I finally left the room for a moment and felt that I should turn some scripture music on. The change was almost immediate. Within a few minutes, he had stopped crying and was running around happily, singing with the music. That made me think of David playing and singing for Saul and how music calmed him and reached him in Saul’s most desperate moments. The same is true for us today! 

About Psalm Songs, Volume 1

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The Corner Room recently released an album based on ten verses from the book of Psalm. Each song is taken word for word from the ESV version of the Bible and put to music. Putting Scripture to music and having it sound good is hard, and they have done an amazing job making the music relevant and enjoyable not only for children, but for the entire family. 

As the Psalms are diverse in their character and intent, so is the musical character of this collection – rock, folk, bluegrass and modern worship are genres you’ll hear on this first volume.

There is truly a little bit of something for everyone on this album, but most importantly, it’s the Word of God being sung over us and being embedded in our minds and hearts. THAT alone means the world. 

Psalm 23 | The Corner Room from The Corner Room on Vimeo.

Listen to a few clips from the songs HERE on the Corner Room website and take a peek at the video above to get an idea of what their album is like. You can also listen to different clips of all the songs on their website. Psalm Songs, Volume 1 is available for purchase from their website and also as an mp3 download from Amazon

A Giveaway for YOU!

Corner Room is generously offering FIVE downloads of their album to five readers. Please be sure to thank them for that!! Giveaway is open until Monday, April 4, 2016 at midnight. Giveaway open to all readers, US and otherwise.  

Follow the directions in the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Foundations in Personal Finance for High School

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One of my favorite classes to teach this year in co-op has been Dave Ramsey’s Foundations in Personal Finance for high schoolers (the orange set). The kids in our class have ranged from freshmen to seniors and it has truly been a wonderful class to set them up for financial understanding and success (and not have them make the same mistakes their parents have!). The course covers saving and budgeting, credit and debt, life after high school (paying cash for college), financial planning and insurance, income taxes, giving, and relationships and money. 

Alternating between video, workbook, and discussions, the class has been lively and full of money management tips and teaching, something we want our kids to be well grounded in before they leave home and are bombarded and don’t have a full understanding of what is being offered to them on various fronts: insurance, loans, taxes. Each of the students has also earned 1/2 credit for high school (yay!). 

While I realize it is short notice, Homeschool Buyers Co-op is offering 40% off the program through March 31st. There is also a middle school edition, but personally we prefer the high school level since our kids weren’t really earning money prior to high school and they are also earning credit toward graduation. 

If it’s after March 31, you can also purchase Foundations in Personal Finance from CBD.  

 

Project Amp Subscription – Special Offer for My Readers ends 2/21

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In November I shared a post about something VERY fun that Zachary built – Project Amp. He has absolutely LOVED his amp and it travels around the house with his iPod or a guitar plugged in. EEME is now offering this project as a subscription service with a special offer for my readers that ends Sunday, 2/21 at midnight!

Project Amp Subscription

Project Amp is a speaker amplifier system which your family can proudly build and use to play your favorite tunes from your music player and/or smartphone.

To better help pace your family’s building of Project Amp, EEME created a 6 month subscription that breaks the project up into 6 parts – versus purchasing Project Amp upfront in one go.

Each month, you will be shipped a set of components to build another piece of Project Amp. The 1st set will include all parts and tools for steps 1 thru 10 in Amp’s online curriculum. Each following month’s set will incrementally build Amp towards completion. Each set will take about 1 to 1.5 hours.

To kick off subscriptions for the HSC readers – original plan is $34.95 per month for 6 months – here’s a 50% the 1st month promo ($16.95 the 1st month, then $34.95 per month each month after for 6 months total).

Learn more here: http://www.eeme.co/shop-project-subscr…/project-amp/hsc50off.

For ages 10 and up. 

Two More Books to Love Right Now

Last month I shared two books that had caught my attention, and this month there are two more that have me turning pages and soaking in all their goodness. Both were on my reading list for 2016 and both released this month too – and they really couldn’t have come at a better time!

The Life Giving Home

The Life Giving Home by Sally Clarkson

The Life Giving Home by Sally and Sarah Clarkson is one that I have been anxiously waiting for to arrive. Sally has been sharing daily posts to celebrate the launch this week, and I am excited to listen in on her webinar as well. If you have never read a book by Sally, this is a perfect book to start with – and really just sit at her feet (if you will) and soak in her wisdom.

In this book, Sally and Sarah share what it means to have a home that breathes life into our families. A home that welcomes guests, is a place of comfort and rest, and is the place we all long to be. I love the aspect of having Sarah, her daughter, share her thoughts as well and how daily and yearly traditions shaped her and the family as a whole.

This quote from the book really struck me…

“Home is not merely a dwelling. It’s not merely a state of existence. It’s a story, a narrative spun out day by day, the story molded by the walls and towers and tasks and feasts with which we fill our time, reflecting the reality of the God who is love animates every aspect of our being.”

The Life Giving Home, p. 20

So far I’m about halfway through and loving every page of it, dog-earing pages, underlining and starring thoughts to return to, and savoring every bit.

Raising Grateful Kids

Raising Grateful Kids

Kristen Welch is another blogger and writer that I absolutely love. After her trip to Kenya with Compassion, she began Mercy House, a n0n-profit ministry that supports women in need around the globe. This month she released Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World.

While we don’t give our kids everything (and boy is it hard in this age of entitlement), Kristen shares her heart in this book on helping cultivate a spirit of appreciation for what we already have and also perspective of the world around them. We want our kids to be givers – and hard workers – as they grow into adulthood, not expecting that everything is just handed to them because they ‘deserve’ it. And truthfully, this book is as much for me as it is for them, if not more so.

Both books have been great so far and are where my heart is at the moment too with what I personally need to hear – building a haven for our kids and at the same time raising them to appreciate all that is around them. I am digging into both at the same time – one in the morning and one in the afternoon – and can’t wait to share more thoughts with you all later, but wanted to share what is impacting me right now.

What are you reading and loving?

5th Grade Mid-Year Homeschool Curriculum Review

Last week I shared our 3rd Grade Mid-Year Review, and today I’d love to share what our 5th grader has been up to. Pretty much everything we had in our initial homeschool curriculum choices has been wonderful, but we have tweaked (or held off) on a few things – and I thought you all might like to see what Zachary is enjoying the most as well!


One of the main focuses for Zachary this year was helping him become more independent in his learning – and also more focused. That means less of mom needing to remind and constantly nag, threaten, cajole, or want to hide in the closet and more of “Hey mom! My work is done and you didn’t say a thing!”

We may still be working on that last one, but most days are a step in the right direction. Hallelujah.

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5th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices

Here’s a look at the overall plan for our 5th grade year…

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Zachary is most loving history, Christian Kids Explore Chemistry and the various EEME projects (especially Project Amp). One of the biggest helps for him this year has been his weekly assignment sheets. They have been huge in keeping him on target and making him more accountable for his schoolwork – and what is (or needs to be) finished. The special STEM projects are also incentive to get his overall school work done. It may seem mean, but unless his assigned work is completed, he isn’t allowed to work on any other projects. Typically this has been amazing motivation for him to get it all done (and fast).

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One thing that is so exciting to see is Zachary’s desire for reading increase. In addition to the books he is reading for fun (yay!!), he is willingly pulling other books off the shelf to read for school. A little over a year ago this wasn’t the case, so it brings such joy to my heart.

Our combination of Mystery of History and Story of the World has been great. Zachary really loves the comic strip illustrations for taking/drawing notes and cracks me up with his drawing. Although we are cycling back to an era of history we have covered before, we are covering some new material and refreshing what we learned before (which is always good!).

The vocabulary cards are another favorite as well. Zachary and McKenna are remembering so much and Zachary specifically enjoys the picture reminders. He’s usually first to jump in with an answer and remind me when we don’t review the cards.

What We’re Adding (or already have)

  • Bible – We have been using Big Truths for Young Hearts to start our week and will begin Grapevine’s New Testament Overview this week.
  • Times Tales – To help out with the upper times tables, both boys worked through Times Tales (we used the download version)
  • PE – The kids decided to participate in swim team for the year. Zachary has practices 3-4 times a week, depending on our schedule, and he has really enjoyed swimming. Within the first few weeks he was bumped up to a harder level, which has been very good for him on so many levels.
  • Boy Scouts – While this isn’t necessarily school related, in a round about way, it is. Zachary was eligible to join earlier, but we held off until he was showing a little more responsibility in areas at home and school. He has been over-the-moon excited to begin, and we are thrilled too, since our church has a Scout troop that is amazing with wonderful godly leaders from our church.

What We’ve Put Aside & Postponed

  • Geography: Although I had grand plans with this for the year, we are focusing on what we are learning through history and not working on a specific program. Waiting until next year on this one.

What Mom Needs to Focus More On

Read-alouds – Much of our read-aloud time was spent with audiobooks in the car, but was also hard since one child was here and another was there and no one wanted to miss out on anything. We’ve decided instead to push along in a book and later tell the missing sibling what happened when they were gone. That way we can cover more ground together. Having the kids DOING something (like building with LEGOs or drawing) has been a huge help.

Being Calm – If there is one of my children that can push my buttons quickly, it would be this one (and another one). Sometimes it’s very hard to be firm and know when to let something go. There has been a fine balance of figuring out when to let boy wonder be accountable (because he seems to think he knows best) and also pushing to ensure the necessary is completed. And stay calm in the process.

That’s about it for our 5th grade mid-year curriculum review! How is your year going so far?

Take a peek at our 3rd grade5th grade, 7th grade, and  9th grade curriculum choices for the year as well! Click on one of the images below to look over their curriculum piles.

 

3rd grade homeschool curriculum choices from Homeschool Creations

 

October 2015 Personal Planning Pages – Free Printable

October 2015 personal planning pages - 12 pages to organize your month || HomeschoolCreations

Fall is here!!! One of the first things on my calendar for the month is a trip to the apple orchard. A local orchard has a wonderful fall festival every weekend in October, along with hot cider, donuts, and live music. Add to that the round of fall birthdays beginning, swim meets, and one last camping trip, and we’re already looking at a fairly full October! How about you?

I’d love to share a few printable pages with you all to help you get your October organized – keep reading and thanks for downloading!

My Daily Planner

Daily Planning Pages printable - free download for February. Also link to the FULL 2015 Daily Planner - get organized this year.

If you’d like to take a look at how I’ve set up my yearly planner, I’ve explained it more in this post here, as well as given links to my favorite binder and colorful tabs (because pretty makes life fun too, right?).

Download the October Personal Planner Pages

You can download the October 2015 personal planing pages HERE. There are 12 pages included as a part of the download: the month at a glance and then weekly planning pages as well. Each month I’ll be offering a free download for that month’s planning pages, so you can check back and download them as they become available.

Purchase the Daily Personal Planner

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Add to Cart

If you like the layout and want to start planning out the rest of your year now (and next year too), purchase the full 2015 -2016 Daily Planner for $4.99. The calendar runs thru December 2016. It includes 18 month-at-a-glance pages and dated weekly pages through December 2016. Enjoy!

Sponsor Thanks

We really appreciate the following companies. There are some fun reviews and giveaways coming up in the next few months, so stay tuned!  Many of these have been long time sponsors of Homeschool Creations and we are SO thankful for them – be sure to stop by their sites and check them out!

  • Rainbow Resource has been providing provide the best educational products to homeschoolers, parents, and educators at the lowest prices we can offer since 1989. They currently carry over 50,000 quality educational products in all subject areas, for grades PK-12 and beyond! In addition to their great prices, you can count on them for additional “perks” as well, like free shipping on orders of $50 or more!
  • Educents is the online marketplace for educational products and resources saving you up to 90% on engaging lesson plans, interactive worksheets, hands-on learning tools, educational games and more! Plus, Freebies are added daily! Use code HSC10 to save an additional 10% on products!!
  • EEME – Teach your kids electronics with online lessons and hands-on project kits that foster the curiosity and problem solving skills kids need for the science, technology, engineering, math – STEM – opportunities of tomorrow.
  • Reading Eggs is the perfect program for homeschoolers, providing a comprehensive range of online reading lessons, activities and e-books that teach kids aged 3–13 the core literacy skills needed for lifetime reading success. Take advantage of our FREE 4 week trial and see how your child’s reading improves with Reading Eggs!
  • Betty Lukens provides interactive educational tools for parents, grandparents, and teachers that make learning fun. Their educational magnets are ON SALE this month and will provide hours of fun at home and while traveling with younger children!

Don’t Miss The Daily To-Do List

Daily to do list free printable

My Daily To-Do List is pretty basic, but hopefully it will work for you too. There is an area to make a list of things to accomplish, household goals, appointment, meals for the day, and even a space to record exercise (oh – I crack myself up!) and water intake. Each page in the document is identical so you can print them off, cut the page in half, and have two lists. If you print them front to back, you’ll have four to-do lists and save a little paper.
Hope you all have a wonderful October!! I’d love to hear your plans!