Math Essentials No-Nonsense Algebra {Review}

We were doing pretty well with our math curriculum…and then bam, lost one due to some changes that they weren’t ready for.. Ok, found a good substitute for him… And then bam…another one ended up spending hours every day on math work. That just isn’t ok in our house. I had heard great things about No-Nonsense Algebra from Math Essentials so I was excited to have Lauren try it out..

No-Nonsense Algebra

Now, we have tried so many different things for Algebra.. And I was surprised that this was just a book when we got it. But it’s NOT just a book! Inside the first page is a code that you can use at the website to get videos for each lesson! I will talk about those in a minute..

I had Lauren start at the beginning of the book, just to see if this book went along with what she already knew or did things differently. That makes a difference! I highly suggest doing that whenever you switch a math curriculum!

The beginning was definitely easy so we started out doing a lesson every day. As it got more involved I had her doing four lessons a week. We are still doing that amount each week.
No-Nonsense Algebra worksheetThere is room in the book to write answers down, but I figured that I would just make up a little worksheet that had room for answers. She could also do her work on that page if she wanted to, or use another piece of paper if the questions are a little more difficult. This also makes  it easier to grade later.

When  it comes to grading, I go over her answers and mark the incorrect ones and she can go over the ones that she missed to see what she did wrong. This seems to be a good system for us with this book and she finds it a better fit than what we were doing.

The videos are fantastic! There isn’t any fluff it is just straight forward explanations. Everything is step by step and it builds on what you have already learned in each lesson.
No-Nonsense Algebra video

This is part of one video. You can see how each step is clearly gone through. Richard W. Fisher is the author of the book as well as an award-winning teacher, and he narrates each video lesson. He has a very easy voice to listen to and he talks in such a way that you just understand everything he says!
No-Nonsense Algebra video 2
You can see that there are a few different equations added now on the same screen. They are similar, but different enough that you will be able to do various questions easily now that you have watched them being done.
No-Nonsense Algebra video 2
As you move further along, you can see that the equations get a little tougher, but there are still plenty of explanations going on.

I love that each lesson in the book is quite short. It starts with a quick introduction letting you know what the lesson is about and provides some helpful hints. Then there are some examples with a few steps. The exercise section has all of your questions. There aren’t ever that many, I would say 16 has been the average. At the end are about four review questions. These just make sure that you understand what you have learned so far.

I think this may be a winner for Lauren. Right now it is her main curriculum for math and I think it is a great fit for her! The ease of the book and the straight forwardness of the videos are a perfect match…

If you want to read what others thought of their experience with No-Nonsense Algebra, feel free to click the banner below!

No-Nonsense Algebra {Math Essentials Reviews}

Math Essentials No-Nonsense Algebra

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Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 3 Set {Review}

We have been learning everything Greece related so far this school year. I love when we can bunch a subject together all year long like that! It was perfect timing to try out the Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 3 set from Greek ‘n’ Stuff.

Hey, Andrew!Teach Me Some Greek!
My kids are all older and therefore the website suggested we start with level 3. If your kids are younger, you may want to see what level you should start out with.

The workbook looks exactly as what is pictured above. It is spiral bound and the lessons take up about 170 pages with 36 lessons throughout the book.

I love that this workbook makes it easy for you to write your answers in the spaces provided! A lot of workbooks that offer this make the spaces way too small. Even though the handwriting section looked similar to the writing lines that they get when they are first learning how to write, my older kids didn’t even care about that.
Greek 'n' Stuff worksheetLesson 1 starts out with the alphabet. They have a diagram with hand motions to show you how to write that letter. For example, the Epsilon figure shows the hand on the right side is the first mark you make, and the hand on the left side is the second mark.
Greek 'n' Stuff cdThe worksheet also provides a pronunciation hint that is definitely helpful! And when we couldn’t quite grasp the pronunciation we would use this cd that had all sorts of help for us. Not only did it have pronunciations of the letters, it also had an alphabet song. It is pretty difficult to learn that, but once you do, it kind of stays in your head a while, lol.

The cd also had pronunciation help for the rest of the workbook, not just the letters of the alphabet. This came in handy so often because it is hard to know if you are getting the accent on the right letters and such.

Greek 'n' Stuff worksheet 2
As you progress through the book, there are more words as well as phrases introduced. The activities will build on previous learned items too, which will keep it all fresh in your mind.

In the back of the book are nine pages of a final review. This is pretty thorough, but it will definitely show you if you were paying attention! The last page is a crossword puzzle. I never thought of doing that in Greek, wow!

Also in the back is an appendix, which is broken down into many different areas. The glossaries, the alphabet, vowels and diphthongs, punctuation, breathing marks, word order, moods of the Greek verb, voices of the Greek verb, present tense, gender of the Greek noun, cases of the Greek noun, second declension, Bible copy work, and an index. All of those are helpful and they aren’t too wordy at all.
Greek 'n' Stuff flashcardsIn the very back of the book are some flash cards that you can use! These are awesome! I went ahead and made copies of these so I could cut them out but not be afraid that if they got lost they would be gone forever. I then glued them together, although you could use tape or whatever. You can see the example for both sides. One has the Greek word and the other has it all in English as well as what lesson and page you learned it on in the workbook…

I also got a copy of the answer key..and I LOVE LOVE LOVE when companies do this.. They make it look exactly like the workbook but with everything correct in the blanks! Ahhh, that makes it so much easier!

I am looking forward to getting through more of this! It’s kinda cool that when you visit Greek ‘n’ Stuff you will see that they offer more than just Greek! The Alone With God Bible Studies look pretty cool too! If you want to see what others thought of Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 3 or the Bible studies, feel free to click the banner below!

Teach Me Some Greek {Greek 'n' Stuff Reviews}

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 3 Set

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Thursday Things

Woah…what a week! It’s one of those that went up and down.. Those are the kinds of weeks that it is even better to make time to think of the good things. So, here is the next Thursday Things! And no, these are never affiliate links or anything like that, these are honestly things that I enjoy… 🙂

Image result for triscuit balsamic

Triscuit Balsamic Vinegar & Basil –  Um.. hello? I so love balsamic vinegar and basil, and in a cracker? I’m all over it.

File:Braces smile purple.jpg

Ok, these are NOT my teeth, lol… But I did get braces today. :sigh: I am not happy about it, but I am happy that hopefully my bite will be fixed. It’s going to take a while they think, so here goes nothin’.

Ryan got a job! We are so excited and hope it is a good fit for him, he starts tomorrow!

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Not Parent Approved – Such a great game.. It’s like Cards Against Humanity but for kids. We have played it a few times and have gotten so many laughs. I apparently get the perfect card when I draw at the end of a turn. Of course…lol. Ryan does pretty well though. I asked on FB for some favorite cheap games and someone suggested this one. There were so many suggestions though, I will have to go back and write them down!

Say You Won’t Let Go by James Arthur – This has been playing pretty frequently and I find myself enjoying it more and more every time. It’s definitely a favorite around here this week..


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In the Reign of Terror {Review}

You guys know how much I love the audio stories from Heirloom Audio Productions because I have talked about them frequently! We recently received In the Reign of Terror and the timing couldn’t have been better!

In the Reign of Terror

We’ve done a lot of Greek this year already and within the last couple months started working on this time in history. In the Reign of Terror is based around the time of the French Revolution.

Harry, the main character and 16 years old and from England, goes to stay with the Marquis de St. Caux in France. The hope being that Harry could teach his children English while Harry could get help with his military career.

The first few chapters are basically getting to know the characters and getting some back story but pretty soon it gets right into it. I was pretty surprised that there was a dog attack and a wolf hunt one right after the other and Harry was the surprising hero in those stories.

Shortly after the high of the attacks there comes bad news from Paris. This starts a talk on fleeing…and is full of more stories. I don’t want to give too much away! It’s definitely a story that will keep you wondering what is happening next!

I will say that some parts, especially the dog and wolf chapters, might be better for older kids, or those that don’t mind hearing stories about animals and people dying. Even animals attacking..I know some kids are sensitive to that.
Live the Adventure club logo
One thing I was excited about this go around was the new Live the Adventure Club ! Before, you could get a bunch of awesome extras that go with the story… And that was great! But now, it has turned into a whole community as well!
Live the Adventure Reign of Terror
When you are part of the club you can look at which audio story you are listening to and choose between the bonus content or listen online as shown above.

I love the listen online feature! I use my laptop during school and sometimes it just couldn’t keep up with the cd for some reason, so when that happens I like to have the option of listening online. And in the same way, our wifi isn’t the greatest, so I also like having the option of the cd! It all works!

The Bonus Content is where it is at though! And it is improved in how it used to be, just an easier layout and very user friendly.

When you go into the Bonus Content section for In the Reign of Terror, you will see the chapters lists on the right of the screen. You can click on whichever chapter you want to start with. You can click on the button that says Start the Adventure and it will take you to the start. Then you can listen to each chapter as you want them.

Further down the page is the bonus content! There is so much there! You can read the whole e-book if you want to.. or listen to the soundtrack! You can have desktop wallpaper too! There is a printable cast poster, which the cast in each and every one of these audio stories is pretty dang amazing! I would take it somewhere to get printed though, that’s a lot of ink! Also a printable inspirational verse poster.
In the Reign of Terror Study GuideIn the Reign of Terror Script

My favorite things in the bonus content though are the study guide first of all.. And then the script!

The study guide is filled with all sorts of things! You can go about accessing it a couple ways. You can download it so it is ready on your computer. Or you can access it through the Live the Adventure Club pages. Now, in the past I would have sworn that downloading it is the way to go because it is just always there and it is familiar… But wow…they really stepped up the game with the new club pages!

In the Reign of Terror Adventure Club

As you click on the first page you have options… You can listen to it, as I mentioned above…but if you wanted to, you could click on the read along script button! You know, that comes in handy with all of these french phrases and names being tossed around, lol.

I am very happy with how they have the Thinking Further section right there as well. So many different activities that you can do as well as questions to answer that make you think a little harder! There are twelve listed just here!

Every chapter also has a set of defining words. Most of these the kids knew, but there were some in french that they just weren’t sure of! And even some other words…they thought they knew what they meant, but they were way off…ha!

In the Reign of Terror Adventure Club Quiz
You can take a chapter quiz. Now this is available on the download too, and we usually just use these as ask and answer after each chapter and anyone that knows the answer would take their turn.. But this gives you an interactive quiz, where you check what you think is correct and you know right then and there! I love that!

At the very bottom you can check the chapter complete, bookmark the chapter, or mark it as a favorite. All great things that you wouldn’t even think you needed until you knew they were there. 🙂

I know I have been going on about this new club that they came up with, but I find it all fantastic and a great addition to the audio stories that we already love and enjoy…

We have listened to three other Heirloom Audio Productions in the past and you can read the reviews here, if you are interested! Beric The Briton, The Dragon and the Raven, and The Cat of Bubastes. Now, don’t ask me what my favorite is, because I couldn’t tell But if you were looking at titles that you might be interested in, those are the ones we have done so far and loved…

If you are interested in hearing what others thought of In the Reign of Terror or the new Live the Adventure Club feel free to click the banner below!

In the Reign of Terror {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}
In the Reign of Terror

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What I read in July

What I read this month

WOW!! I didn’t think I read too many books in July. I guess I was wrong! I just logged in to my Goodreads account and sat there wondering if it was playing tricks on me! Granted, Jeffy has been gone a bit this month and I tend to read at night rather than watch tv since it isn’t fun without him…but still. I really am shocked, lol. So, here is my very random list of what I read in July. 🙂


The Leavers by Lisa Ko – One morning, Deming Guo’s mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, goes to her job at the nail salon and never comes home. No one can find any trace of her.

With his mother gone, eleven-year-old Deming is left with no one to care for him. He is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town upstate. They rename him Daniel Wilkinson in their efforts to make him over into their version of an “all-American boy.” But far away from all he’s ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his new life with his mother’s disappearance and the memories of the family and community he left behind.

Set in New York and China, The Leavers is a vivid and moving examination of borders and belonging. It’s the story of how one boy comes into his own when everything he’s loved has been taken away–and how a mother learns to live with the mistakes of her past.

What I thought: This book was good and then kind of questionable and I just didn’t know how I felt about it while reading. It kind of jumped around a bit. I did end up liking it well enough in the end as everything made more sense to me.


At Any Cost by Mike & Hayley Jones – When Mike and Hayley set out to adopt a child from Sierra Leone, Africa, never in their wildest imaginations did they dream this venture would lead to the “Jones Dozen.” This dramatically moving story will amaze and inspire any reader. Their stunning observation: “It was the least we could do!”

What I thought: I enjoyed reading the story of this couple adopting so many children! Some parts of the book jumped around a bit as well as repeated itself a bit..but in the end it was a well told story!


Love Was Near by Sandra Martin – Love Was Near, offers a deeper look into the movie, Trust Fund, exposing what’s behind the story and what Reese is thinking. Like all of us, Reese is ready to forget some of the things she’s done and head towards a brighter future. But before she slams this chapter of her life shut, she takes a final glance back. She doesn’t turn to salt, but she does find she has plenty to learn about life, love and the risk of trusting others.

Reese invites us to join her on a very personal journey as she shares with us her everyday struggles and answers our questions of who did what and why. Leading us to questions about our own identity, purpose, and life plan. Don’t worry about having the right answers; there are none. Just be honest, if not for you, for the future you; It’s your story!

What I thought: This book goes with the movie Trust Fund that I talked about in this review. It was a journal type book, but it had a few punctuation errors that kind of drove me a little batty, but the overall idea was good.


The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis – This classic of Christian devotional literature has brought understanding and comfort to millions for centuries. Both Protestants and Catholics — as well as mystics and historians of religious thought — have studied these meditations on the life and teachings of Jesus, finding in them a path to prayer and spiritual guidance. Written in a candid and conversational style, The Imitation of Christ discusses liberation from worldly inclinations, recollection as a preparation for prayer, the consolations of prayer, and the place of eucharistic communion in a devout life. With its simple, readable text, this translation will appeal to new readers as well as to those already familiar with this religious classic.

What I thought: Reading this aloud probably changed how I feel about it…but it was a hard read. It seemed repetitive quite a bit. I did get a lot of out it though!


Such Small Hands by Andres Barba – It was once a happy city; we were once happy girls. . . . Life changes at the orphanage the day Marina shows up. As she tries to find her place, she creates a game whose rules are dictated by a haunting violence. In hypnotic, lyrical prose, Andrés Barba evokes the pain of loss and the hunger for acceptance—a masterwork from the Spanish writer at the peak of his powers.

What I thought: This was definitely a different kind of book than what is normal for me. I was confused through a lot of the book, although it was interesting in a weird way. The ending was just kind of abrupt and I questioned the whole story, lol.


We Are Okay by Nina LaCour – You go through life thinking there’s so much you need…

Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

What I thought: I was intrigued by the characters in this book…even the ones that weren’t in it all that much. The author did a great job with them. I enjoyed the story as well!


The Rising by Heather Graham and Jon Land – Twenty-four hours. That’s all it takes for the lives of two young people to be changed forever.

Alex Chin has the world on a plate. A football hero and homecoming king with plenty of scholarship offers, his future looks bright. His tutor, Samantha Dixon, is preparing to graduate high school at the top of her class. She plans to turn her NASA internship into a career. When a football accident lands Alex in the hospital, his world is turned upside down. His doctor is murdered. Then, his parents. Death seems to follow him wherever he goes, and now it’s after him.

Alex flees. He tells Samantha not to follow, but she became involved the moment she walked through his door and found Mr. and Mrs. Chin as they lay dying in their home. She cannot abandon the young man she loves. The two race desperately to stay ahead of Alex’s attackers long enough to figure out why they are hunting him in the first place. The answer lies with a secret buried deep in his past, a secret his parents died to protect. Alex always knew he was adopted, but he never knew the real reason his birth parents abandoned him. He never knew where he truly came from. Until now.

What I thought: I enjoyed this book! It was a little weird, a little cool.. I think I read this one pretty quickly!


And We’re Off by Dana Schwartz – Seventeen-year-old Nora Holmes is an artist, a painter from the moment she could hold a brush. She inherited the skill from her grandfather, Robert, who’s always nurtured Nora’s talent and encouraged her to follow her passion. Still, Nora is shocked and elated when Robert offers her a gift: an all-expenses-paid summer trip to Europe to immerse herself in the craft and to study history’s most famous artists. The only catch? Nora has to create an original piece of artwork at every stop and send it back to her grandfather. It’s a no-brainer: Nora is in!

Unfortunately, Nora’s mother, Alice, is less than thrilled about the trip. She worries about what the future holds for her young, idealistic daughter and her opinions haven’t gone unnoticed. Nora couldn’t feel more unsupported by her mother, and in the weeks leading up to the trip, the women are as disconnected as they’ve ever been. But seconds after saying goodbye to Alice at the airport terminal, Nora hears a voice call out: “Wait! Stop! I’m coming with you!”

What I thought: I enjoyed this book, the story of a mother and daughter. It’s probably pretty correct for a lot of relationships. I enjoyed reading about the various places they went to, and the people…


The Arrangement by Sarah Dunn – Lucy and Owen, ambitious, thoroughly-therapized New Yorkers, have taken the plunge, trading in their crazy life in a cramped apartment for Beekman, a bucolic Hudson Valley exurb. They’ve got a two hundred year-old house, an autistic son obsessed with the Titanic, and 17 chickens, at last count. It’s the kind of paradise where stay-at-home moms team up to cook the school’s “hot lunch,” dads grill grass-fed burgers, and, as Lucy observes, “chopping kale has become a certain kind of American housewife’s version of chopping wood.”

When friends at a wine-soaked dinner party reveal they’ve made their marriage open, sensible Lucy balks. There’s a part of her, though-the part that worries she’s become too comfortable being invisible-that’s intrigued. Why not try a short marital experiment? Six months, clear ground rules, zero questions asked. When an affair with a man in the city begins to seem more enticing than the happily-ever-after she’s known for the past nine years, Lucy must decide what truly makes her happy-“real life,” or the “experiment?”

What I thought: I enjoyed reading about this couple as well as the other characters in the book. The story goes pretty much as well as can be expected, but I liked how it was written.


Crazy House by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet – No one gets out alive.

Seventeen-year-old Becca Greenfield was snatched from her home and thrown without reazon into a hellish prison known as the Crazy House. To avoid execution, she’s told to shut her mouth and keep her head down.

Becca was never really good at either.

Her only hope for survival is for her sister, Cassie, to find her—that the “good twin” will stop following the rules and start breaking them, before it’s too late. Because the jailers at Crazy House soon discover they made a mistake that could get both sisters killed…

What I thought: This book was pretty good, I read it pretty fast as I kept wanting to see what happened next. I could easily see a sequel being made of this and even possibly a movie. Loved it.


Here I stand by Roland H. Bainton – With sound historical scholarship and penetrating insight, Roland Bainton examines Luther’s widespread influence. He re-creates the
spiritual setting of the sixteenth century, showing Luther’s placewithin it and influence upon it. Richly illustrated with more than100 woodcuts and engravings from Luther’s own time, Here I Stand dramatically brings to life Martin Luther, the great Reformer.

A specialist in Reformation history, Roland H. Bainton was forforty-two years Titus Street Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Yale, and he continued his writing well into his twenty years of retirement. Bainton wore his scholarship lightly and had a lively, readable style. His most popular book was Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther (1950), which sold more than a million copies.

What I thought: Again…reading this aloud was exhausting. Thankful for all of the Sometimes it was hard to follow, but we got the basic idea…


The Nearness of You by Amanda Eyre Ward – Brilliant heart surgeon Suzette Kendall is stunned when Hyland, her husband of fifteen years, admits his yearning for a child. From the beginning they’d decided that having children was not an option, as Suzette feared passing along the genes that landed her mother in a mental institution. But Hyland proposes a different idea: a baby via surrogate.

Suzette agrees, and what follows is a whirlwind of candidate selections, hospital visits, and Suzette’s doubts over whether she’s made the right decision. A young woman named Dorothy Muscarello is chosen as the one who will help make this family complete. For Dorrie, surrogacy (and the money that comes with it) are her opportunity to leave behind a troubled past and create a future for herself—one full of possibility. But this situation also forces all three of them—Dorrie, Suzette, and Hyland—to face a devastating uncertainty that will reverberate in the years to come.

Beautifully shifting between perspectives, The Nearness of You deftly explores the connections we form, the families we create, and the love we hold most dear.

What I thought: I was caught up in the story pretty quickly. I was surprised at the jump in years when it happened, I wasn’t quite ready for that as I was attached to the characters the way they were at that point. There were quite a few characters and I typically don’t like jumping around from one to the other, but it worked out well…

:phew: If you read this far, you are amazing, lol. Let me know if you have any suggestions on other book titles! I am always looking for titles and most of the time I just grab books at the library that I am drawn to by the cover.. Like the last one has poppies which are my favorite flower. 🙂

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What I hate Wednesday

I don’t think this is going to be a ‘thing’, but I have been thinking of these things and they have been weighing on my mind… I recalled how much lighter I felt at letting go of the things I hated the first time I did this, so alas, I am calling today, What I hate Wednesday. 🙂

  1. Pointy fingernails. I said I wouldn’t write it here, but I just can’t not! They make me think of someone that rips your heart out in stores and movies. The nails come to a point and it just freaks me out.
  2. Bad books. Because I have a thing that I have to finish every book I start. Although I do have a few that have languished on my goodreads list for a couple years now because I had to return them before I was done reading them due to a hold on them. I need to remember to find them again so I can finish…
  3. Short shorts. You know the ones. That basically look like undies they are so short. I don’t know if anyone really pulls them off well…and they must be uncomfortable.
  4. When people don’t pay attention. You go and send off an email that explains everything someone needs to know about something and then they write back with question after question. That could be answered if they read the stinking email to begin with.
  5. Vinegar. I hate the smell of vinegar. Ryan loves the smell of it. I don’t mind as much apple cider vinegar, but plain white vinegar is just gross.

Ok, that’s all I have this time around. I feel better already. 😉 I know there has to be something that you don’t particularly care for! Let me know what it is! You don’t have to use the word hate if you don’t want to, I know it’s pretty harsh. lol

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Doctor Aviation {Review}

I didn’t take my first airplane ride until after high school. I was also flying alone that day. I had no idea what to expect! Even now I am in awe whenever I fly somewhere at how it all works. The kids and I started some Aviation Video Training through Doctor Aviation recently and we are fascinated with all of the information!

Doctor Aviation

This course is geared towards ages 16 and up, but all three kids and I are doing it together. We are probably taking more time for each lesson than most people as we are breaking the lesson up over the course of a week.
Doctor Aviation lessonThere are 15 lessons and each lesson averages about an hour in length. There are three sections in each lesson; technical details, a notable aviation person and an important aviation event.

We did one of those sections three days a week, so an average of 20 minutes for the actual lesson each day. There are guided notes available to download and print and we did that for everyone. My kids don’t have much experience with lecture type situations where they have to take notes, so this was great for them! The notes are basically fill in the blank and the first letter is given a lot of the time to help them figure out the correct answer.
Doctor Aviation ReaganDoctor Aviation
Daryl Smith is Doctor Aviation. He spent 24 years in the Air Force as a Command Pilot. He was an instructor pilot as well as a research pilot during that time. Daryl was also an instructor at the US Air Force Academy. There was also a book that he authored on aviation! He is now a college professor, so it is safe to say that he has plenty of expertise on teaching this aviation course!
Doctor Aviation lesson 2The other two days of the week we spent going over the included downloadable To Learn More PDF. These include listed books, videos, websites, and other items that you can use to learn more about the lesson for that section. A lot of these were very informative and just expanded on what he was talking about.

When Doctor Aviation started talking about the Wright Brothers, we all had a chuckle as we had recently finished a huge study on them. And even still there were still some tidbits that we learned on this course!

Session 3 has an included Practice Exam. There are just a few multiple choice questions and then a short answer question that goes into a little bit more detail. It will definitely gauge how much they learned just in those few questions!
Doctor Aviation session objectives
You are able to use this course on your transcript! You could easily get half a credit, or if you were doing all of the extra items like we are trying to do, you could possibly make it a full credit. There are exams after sessions 5, 11, and 15. There aren’t study guides, but with the practice exams and the note taking, there are plenty of things to study. It is suggested to make sure you know the session objective materials for these exams. I showed an example up above. If you know these items, that will definitely help on the exam.
Doctor Aviation videoIn case you are thinking that this course seems pretty light, that is far from the truth. You learn so much from these Doctor Aviation lessons! Especially with all of the added information you can use as well.

Each lesson has him standing in front of this airplane and he just talks the whole time, referring to his clip board often. But to us, it really doesn’t seem like a lecture, but more like someone talking about something that they are passionate and knowledgeable about. He makes a lot of the information seem exciting and fresh.

There are added graphics when need be that go along with what he is saying. The kids wished that they would have shown him doing something with the airplane that he is standing next to, but I kind of liked the continuity of him standing there. The added graphics and such were enough for me.

We did have to pause the video quite a bit in order for everyone to fill out their guided notes as sometimes they were so into what he was talking about that they forgot to add it in and we had to reverse in order to listen again. I think that is great that they wanted to put in that extra effort!

While none of my kids are total aviation buffs, they all like learning something new, and this has been fascinating for all of us! My boys haven’t been on an airplane since they were little, and we are hoping to take a family vacation soon that will have us all going on one. I know this will be even that much more exciting for them.

I love that this course, while geared towards the 16 and up crowd, is great for so many ages. I found it very interesting, and Kyle and Lauren are 13 and 15 and liked it as well. I could definitely see this being popular for families! Our next lesson is the one I am most excited about; Why an Aircraft Flies: The Secret of Airfoils and Lift. I am so glad that we are doing this together!

If you are curious what other families had to say about Doctor Aviation, feel free to click the banner below! Also, make sure to check out the Doctor Aviation Blog! It is updated frequently which is nice to see!

Aviation Course {Doctor Aviation Reviews}

Doctor Aviation

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Trust Fund Movie {Review}

One of our favorite things to do as a family is to watch movies. Granted, not everyone always agrees on every movie, every time. Some like action, some like not so much action, etc… That’s to be expected. Recently we watched Trust Fund from Mapelle Films. There was also a book, Love Was Near that is great to read after the movie.

Trust Fund Movie
One thing that I enjoyed finding out is that a homeschooler filmed and produced the movie! Isaac Alongi was homeschooled back when it was still somewhat of a new thing, back in the 80s. Him and his wife Sandra, who wrote the screenplay for the film as well as  directed it, are partners at Isaac Alongi Studios, his photography/film business of 21 years.

I didn’t say anything about the movie to everyone when we started watching it. I thought it funny that at a certain point in the movie Jeffy asked if was a biblical based movie. I had to chuckle. You wouldn’t know that really unless you were familiar with a certain Bible story. But that is one thing that is great about the movie, it is great for anyone to watch.

It is basically a Prodigal Daughter story, rather than son, and is retold in a more current way. Reese is the main character of the movie. She has led a pretty charmed life, not working, just living off of her father’s money. Also shown in the movie is her sister, who has worked non-stop since the beginning.

Feeling betrayed and wanting more out of life than what she already has, she does a few not-so-great things and basically runs from life. The movie leads up to what happens upon her return. I don’t want to say too much.. 😉

I like how they included the other things from the story in the Bible. Like the sister that works and works while Reese goes off on her little escapade. I think the movie was very well done! I enjoyed seeing a couple familiar faces as well!

Love Was Near Book
The companion book, Love Was Near, is meant to be read after watching the movie. It is geared to girls 12 years old and up. We read the book, and while Lauren hasn’t gotten to the point that a lot of the book brings up, there were still quite a few good points to be made in it, even for the older girls, like me, ha!

I did notice quite a few punctuation errors throughout the book, and that bothered me a bit, but it doesn’t take away the points made. The questions asked are really a lot of thoughtful ones.

The book is more like a journal. There is some regular writing, then a diary entry and then some questions that you can answer by writing in the book. There are photos throughout the book as well. It brings up a lot of points from the movie and expands on some of them as well.

The book is over 200 pages and you get a different feel after reading it following the movie. There are so many things it covers that are good for girls to read, but it makes more sense if you watch the movie.

Trust Fund Movie study guide
Another option is a download study guide that you can use with small groups too! I love how they have all of these different options to reach various people. This study guide isn’t long at all, but it covers a lot of points.

If you are interested to hear what others thought of the movie and/or book, feel free to click the banner below! 🙂

Trust Fund Movie {Mapelle Films Reviews}

Trust Fund Movie

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Thursday Things

Woooahhhh, so it has been a while since I have done a Thursday Things, so I figured it was time! How has your week been going? I hope you have at least five things that made you happy this week, let me know what one was!

I have had a pretty great week, even though Jeffy has been out of town and it is bird season for us and that usually means dealing with birds hatching and such. Thankfully, they haven’t hatched just yet and will wait for him to get home.

So, here are five things that I enjoyed about this week!


The Bug Bite Thing. If you get bit by anything…you need one of these. I rarely get bit, even here in NC. Jeffy and Lauren get bit constantly, the second they go outside. I hate using chemicals and such on my skin and I happened across this in Kiwi magazine and thought I would try it. It totally works. Takes the itch away instantly! If it is a big bit you may have to do it again the next day but I am not even lying, it totally works. I will say, be careful if you do it on sensitive places like your face…Lauren learned that the hard way, lol.

MyFreezEasy has been a lifesaver with Jeffy gone this week. We have had so many great meals and all I had to do was put them in warm water for 20 minutes. Two were crock pot meals, and one was just something I put in the oven. You guys, if you are busy at all like me, look into doing this. It takes 30-60 minutes usually and you have ten meals ready to go in your freezer. I reviewed them on my blog here, and that was a while back, I am still using it…like ALL the time.
Image result for camille rose curl maker
Camille Rose Curl Maker. You guys know that I have issues with my hair. It’s curly.. I was a total fan of Shea Moisture forever! And then all of a sudden I noticed it wasn’t doing it’s thing and then I started getting some sort of reaction on my hairline. I don’t know if they changed formulas or what, but I couldn’t have that! My neighbors daughter said that she was going to try this for her daughter so I figured why not try it too! I love it!! Thursday Things donating
My Person to Person fundraiser.. You guys.. I don’t know if anyone that reads my blog donated to my fundraiser besides my mom, lol…but we had SO much stuff! We dropped off to Durham County in this picture and there was still stuff outside the picture that you can’t see. So much stuff. They were so grateful! So, thank you, if you are out there reading!! 🙂 We finally delivered to the last county this week. It felt so good to help out where it was needed! Especially since we haven’t had a placement, it just felt like we should do *something! I couldn’t have done it without everyone’s help… Ahh…

Nancy Mulligan by Ed Sheeran. Ok, anything by Ed Sheeran, am I right? But this is just such a great happy song and I love listening to it! Have you heard it? Give it a listen if you haven’t!

So, there are five good things about this past week! It’s always good to think of the positive, even if you have a crummy week! Let me know something good from your week!


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Fascinating Chemistry {Review}

How do you feel about science? I actually like it a lot! But once we get into high school sciences, trying to find the right curriculum is hard! We’ve been using the same thing for years now, it’s just a textbook, which is totally fine for my oldest! But my younger two, they need just a little bit more. We recently tried out Fascinating Chemistry from Fascinating Education and we were quite pleased!

Fascinating Chemistry

When I was reading the FAQ section I noticed that they recommend starting with chemistry first, then biology, and then physics. I don’t know anyone else that does this, but after reading the explanation, it just makes sense!

It is pretty simple to set this up! If you have just one child using the course you can just set it up and let them go at their own pace, or give them a schedule. I had all of my kids doing it, yes, even my oldest that has already done a full year of Chemistry, ha! So I just played the lesson and was able to control the length for the day.

Fascinating Chemistry lessons

This is what a lesson looks like on your screen. I really like how they have the menu listing all of the sections on the left. Each section is shorter than you think it would be, but still full of information. The graphics that go along with the discussion are very helpful, and easy to understand! Much better than a textbook, but not childish and embarrassing.

Every now and again there is a ‘Catching our breath’ section, which is kind of like a mini review of what you learned already. Just stating it all again to make sure you understood it. Then at the end there are the ‘What you know so far’ sections. That’s just a little more detailed of a review.

You can see at the bottom that Lesson 2 has a lab, this was was growing your own salt crystals. We are still waiting for our salt crystals to form, I think they might be in a bad location, but who knows, we may be surprised! I let the kids to it all!

Fascinating Chemistry lab

When you click on the lab button it brings you to an explanation screen like this. You can then go to the lab or return to the lesson. Of course once my kids saw that there was a lab and we had all of the items, there was no going back, ha!

The narrator is very easy to understand and easy to listen to, which I was happy about. I would like to have an audio book narrated by him, and I don’t even care for audio books! Dr. Sheldon Margulies is very knowledgeable about each subject.. He is a retired neurologist, he taught neurology to over 2500 medical students and residents, and authored three educational textbooks. He isn’t some actor just reading lines!

One of the books, The Fascinating Body: How it Works, sounds like it might be something that I need to buy! If the body is explained in the book the same way that he explains in this course, it should be a winner!

Fascinating Chemistry glossary

Also on the lesson page, on a tab next to the menu list is this Glossary tab. If there is something that is mentioned, or something that you want more information on, click on the tab and scroll down until you find it. Then there is some more information for you.

One of the things that helps a ton for us is that when you log out and then log back in, it asks if you want to start where you left off. YES!! I mean, once you finish a section it isn’t in bold anymore, so you can tell where you left off, but it brings you right to the spot where you left off when you click the yes button. I love that!

Fascinating Chemistry tests

Are there tests? Probably the first question kids ask, right? Yes, there are tests! There is a fantastic online test that you can use, it automatically grades and correct answers are given at the end of each test. There are tutorials on each question if they need help too.

Since I had more than one child using it, we decided to print the PDF tests and then I just used the answer key to grade them. We could then go over them together the ones that they got wrong.

I think they were surprised at some of the questions on the test! I think because the lessons are pretty easygoing they thought the test would be as well. It’s sneaky, but there is a lot of information covered and you don’t even realize how much you are learning.

All in all I am very pleased with what we have gotten to so far! We use it two to three times a week as that is what works best with our schedule right now. In a couple weeks we can up that a bit. I like that you can do it on your own time frame!

If you are interested in what others thought about Fascinating Chemistry or are interested in reading about what they thought of Fascinating Biology and Fascinating Physics, feel free to click the banner below!

Biology, Chemistry & Physics {Fascinating Education Reviews}

Fascinating Chemistry

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