Archive | March, 2012

God Loves Broken People by Sheila Walsh

16 Mar

The title of this book sums it up pretty well. “God Loves Broken People (and those who pretend they’re not)”. This message is clear throughout. The reader is given several examples of what it means to be broken, and then scripture that shows us that God is still there during those times. This is not a self-help book explaining how to remove the hardships from our life, but rather a book meant to explain why hard times are okay and actually scriptural.

This book reads almost like a personal journal with a little more organization to it. You can tell the topic of grace within suffering is a personal matter for Mrs. Walsh. While there were some points I didn’t completely agree with, I was inspired by the words and the thought behind them. I found the amount of scripture in this book refreshing, as too often Christian writers don’t use enough. The personal stories from Mrs. Walsh of pain and heartbreak remind us that we all suffer in different ways. She reminds us that we are always loved, which is a point sometimes hard to remember. This book is not for someone who wants an easy fix to what they have suffered, but if you are looking for Biblical truth in your suffering you will find that here as long as you are willing to accept suffering as a part of life. I would definitely recommend this book to others. There is an odd comfort in her reminder that pain can bring us closer to God’s love.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Homeschool Sites I Find Helpful

15 Mar

There are many homeschool sites out there with advice or useful materials. This is a list of the ones I have found most helpful.

Homeschool Freebie of the Day– This is a site that has a new freebie every weekday. Sometimes you can find links to helpful websites, other times they will post books for download. Many of the books on my Ibooks came from this site.

Simpy Charlotte Mason– This site, as is evident by the name, is devoted to the Charlotte Mason approach. I have purchased some of our curriculum here, but there is plenty of free materials as well. One of the free items to be found is a curriculum guide that can help you plan your curriculum for the year. There are also a couple of free e-books available for download to learn more about homeschooling and in particular how to teach using the Charlotte Mason approach.

Ambleside Online– I don’t use this site often, but there are some great reading lists. You can also find the original Charlotte Mason series on this site to be read for free. This is great if you don’t want or can’t buy the series in book form.

Starfall– This is a great site for beginner readers. There are books that have fun animation as well as games. My daughter loves to play on this site.

Old-Fashioned Education– This is another great site with some freebies for those trying to plan curriculum.

Old Schoolhouse Magazine– The Old Schoolhouse Magazine has gone digital now. This magazine is a great resource for information. They also have a blog with reviews of different curriculum. The Old Schoolhouse Magazine also has tons of other curriculum to purchase in their store as well as an online expo.

Rainbow Resource– This company is a wealth of curriculum to purchase. They can provide almost anything you are looking for and at great prices. You can order online, or you can request one of their huge catalogs for free.

 

This is by no means an exhaustive list of what’s available, but I have found all of these sites helpful and hope they can be helpful to others as well.

Why Barbies can help with School

1 Mar

As a homeschooling mom with a distractable child, I have had to learn to let certain things go. For instance, I will probably never be able to get my child to sit still during a lesson. Most of the school day is spent with my child moving from chair to chair at the dining table where we do school. That or shuffling from one foot to the other as she writes, which makes for pretty messy handwriting.

I have tried in the past to remove all distractions, but I have come to learn that doing so actually makes the situation worse. This is why I didn’t argue when Danger Girl wanted to bring a couple of her barbies to school with her to “learn” as well. She takes the time to arrange each of them around the table and has me check their work as I am checking hers.

This may seem like a complete time waster to some people, but allowing her to do this has actually helped keep her attention during school. In fact this has actually made her more excited during the school day. Yes, things take a little longer, but school is less of a struggle, particularly when it comes to reading. For whatever reason, having her barbies there with us makes Danger Girl more willing to read instead of automatically telling me she can’t.

As a result, her reading is improving tremendously. There is less sounding out of words and more actual reading of them. She is also now more able to answer questions about what she just read. It is amazing to me that something I would think would be too big of a distraction is actually improving our school time. I can’t explain it, and see no reason to try. As long as she is learning I will just go with it.

It would be interesting to see what strange things have helped other parents of distractable children.