You Really Have Got to See This! Mood:
incredulous Topic: The Purple Files
I know I have said this before - "You have got to see this!", and I always mean it. This time, however, I really, really mean it. You have got to see this and listen to it all the way to the end. I know it's long, but it is worth it.
The 2012 Biblical Guide to Voting - A First Wild Card Blog Tour Book Mood:
a-ok Topic: Book Reviews
I always here folks talk about how we should vote for the candidate that holds Biblical values - the person who does what the Bible says to do on the issues. The problem is, that sometimes it's hard to know what the Bible actually says about certain issues. Some things are obvious, but other things are a bit more difficult to discern. Well, that's what I liked about this book. It breaks the issues down and tells you what the Bible has to say about them. It doesn't tell you who you should vote for, but it tells you what to look for in a candidate if you are wanting to vote "Biblically correct" candidate. Read further to see what I'm talking about.
It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
***Special thanks to Kim Jones | Publicity Coordinator, Charisma House | Charisma Media for sending me a review copy.***
SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:
What Issues Matter to You? Who Should You Vote For? How Can You Know You Are Choosing Well?
The 2012 election promises to be one of the most critically important of our lifetime and will be highly debated in both public and private settings, with deeply divisive opinions on all sides. Our choices today will likely influence the direction of our nation for decades to come.
Make Your Vote Count explains today’s major issues in a style that is easy to access and understand. This anthology of present-day issues will fortify you with the biblical perspective on which to base your decisions. With the Bible as the ultimate source of answers, you can be sure that your decisions will be grounded in faithful stewardship and godly obedience.
This book is not about being a Republican or Democrat; it’s not about endorsing candidates or telling you how to cast your vote. It simply provides a biblical foundation upon which to make voting decisions that will both honor God and best serve our country in 2012 and beyond.
List Price: $9.99 Paperback: 96 pages Publisher: Frontline (August 9, 2011) Language: English ISBN-10: 1616384662 ISBN-13: 978-1616384661
AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:
At Stake in 2012 Where do we go from here? And how do we get there? Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. —Proverbs 4:7, nkjv
Never has our nation faced a time of upheaval and tension such as this. Since Election Day 2008 we have endured a near implosion of our financial foundation with widespread collateral damage in the form of a continuing recession; a subdued, chugging, and burping economic recovery; unemployment that remains painfully close to the 10 percent threshold; real estate values that have yet to find their bottom let alone begin to mount any form of substantial rebound; bailouts; layoffs; massive deficits as far as the eye can see; a lecture from the media elite that our civic discourse isn’t civil enough, conveniently after their candidate was elected to the White House—recall how dissent was the highest form of patriotism, but apparently only until January 19, 2009—and the cherry on the bad-news sundae in the form of a tin-eared administration that responds to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression by ramming a multi-trillion-dollar socialized medicine new entitlement down the throats of the American people.
It is hard now to decide what the larger insult added to injury was: the repugnant charade committed by Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and the rest of the Democrat-majority Congress under the name “deem and pass,” or the blatant hypocrisy across the county from the summer of 2009 and early 2010 as the talking heads of the media slandered the Tea Party with vulgar remarks night after night on television.
In hindsight, maybe we shouldn’t be shocked by anything this administration has done since taking office. They stated with vivid clarity near the end of the campaign season their intent not to “let a serious crisis go to waste.” And indeed they wasted no time concocting their “Stimulus Bill,” a moniker so breathtakingly steeped in Orwellian double-speak you had to wonder if they themselves ever wonder, “Can we really get away with this?” They certainly did, and it’s quite challenging to arrive at any conclusion other than the political Left of the United States viewed their stimulus plan as their chance to raid the public treasury with the same reckless abandon they utterly wrongly ascribed to their political foes on the right during the Bush years, and specifically during the War on Terror following the September 11 terror attacks. Make no mistake—the political Left in the United States shrieked for more than six years in all their Bush derangements syndrome glory against the fraud and opportunism they accused the Bush administration of in response to the 9/11 terror attacks—and then turned around and did the exact same thing in reaction to the financial crisis of late 2008 and the ensuing recession that defined the first few years of the Obama administration.
Within that time span there was also the Obama Apology Tour in which the president attempted to curry favor with every left-wing goon around the world by attempting to apologize for everything the Bush administration had done. One wonders how the free people in Iraq felt about that apology, while popular uprisings across the Middle East hear not the first whisper from Washington in support of their calls for democracy. They must all wonder how the priorities of the United States got so far out of whack so fast.
And now we look ahead at what’s before us . . .
• What sort of economic fallout will there be in the years after huge deficits resulting from the economic stimulus? • How will the freedom movements in the Middle East shake out in the long term? • In the near term, will the instability of the Middle East and the corresponding spiking of oil prices completely derail the global economic recovery? • How many candidates will join the fray for the Republican nomination? Will we be choosing between Newt and Sarah? Will Jeb Bush jump in? • What kind of all-out blitz will the country be subjected to for the reelection of Obama, considering the raid on history the Left pulled just to get Obama in office the first time? • Will the recovery have legs and start blooming jobs by the time the summer of 2012 rolls around? • Or will there be some kind of double-dip, the recovery dragged down by the massive deficits and municipal debt at the state level or the slow-to-recover commercial real estate market? • Will there finally be an energy policy grounded in innovation? • And how much more spreading around of other people’s wealth will we have to endure before our economy gets back on a solid footing of competitiveness and growth?
As believers, we know to take our cares and concerns with thanksgiving and petition our Lord in prayer. And as we said in the run-up to 2008, the first thing Christians must do is pray. Pray that the Lord will raise up godly candidates whose values are based on biblical principles and who will govern in a way that is in agreementwith God's wisdom and honors the blessings God has given. And encourage others to pray as well.
Second, stay informed of where the candidates stand on the critical issues highlighted for you in this book. Third, get involved. Speak up in support of candidates who hold biblically based positions on key issues. Fourth, if you aren’t registered to vote, register now, while there’s still time to vote in the important elections this fall. Fifth, contribute financially to the campaigns of candidates you support. Finally, cast your vote accordingly. May the new president we elect in November of 2012 be a godly, wise servant of this wonderful nation who will lead us into a rich, wondrous future.
Visual Latin - WE LOVE IT! Mood:
incredulous Topic: Homeschool Product Review
What homeschool item rates in the top 10 of all of the homeschool items we've ever reviewed?
What homeschool review item have we already bought the next level for before I even wrote the review?
What homeschool item have I already conversed with the writer about how to market it to a wider audience because I think it is that fantastic?
What homeschool item am I changing the color of the font for it's review (which I almost never do) because I want you all to notice it?
Answer: Visual Latin!
Yes, it is that good! We absolutely love it. We are big language fans in our house. One of the requirements when we first began homeschooling John Allen in forth grade was that he take Latin. He has always loved it, and we have continued to study it off and on since. Well, it was time to really get a serious high school Latin course for him to take this year for a language credit. We bought one of the old tried and true curriculum and he seemed to be enjoying it and learning.
But then...we were chosen to review Dwane Thomas' Visual Latin! I had heard about Visual Latin from another reviewer and had scouted it out a little bit, so John Allen and I were interested and excited about comparing it with what we had been using. When we got the email, we immediately downloaded our first lessons and began using it.
One of the first differences we noticed was a real live Latin teacher that was fun to watch. Dwane Thomas actually brings the lessons to life. And, he doesn't edit out his mistakes. It's like you are right there with him in the classroom. Here, watch an example of what I'm talking about as he explains what makes Visual Latin unique.
As Dwane said, each lesson is divided into three sections. You watch a video for each section, and you do a worksheet for each section. The three sections are:
Grammar - A Latin principle is introduced and you learn the grammar for that principle.
Sentences - You then practice using that principle in the sentences.
Reading - Finally, you use that principle in translating a short paragraph. Yes, you will actually be translating a short paragraph in the first lesson!
Don't worry about the lessons being long and drawn out. Each video is usually less than 10 min. each, so all three videos will almost always take less than 30 min. to watch. And, don't forget, the videos are very entertaining. Not only is the teacher funny, but he adds interesting Roman facts to the lesson as he teaches.
The amount of time that it takes for you to do the worksheets is the determining factor in how long each lesson takes for you to do. But, don't even worry about that. Each worksheet is made to get the "maximum impact for your bucks", so to speak. The worksheet isn't long and drawn out with a lot of doing the same thing over and over. They are only one page each but are done in such a way that you learn a lot in that one page.
The recommended pace is to do about two lessons a week. We usually watch the lessons and do the worksheets one day. Then, the next day, we watch the lessons again and correct any mistakes that were made on the worksheets. Sometimes, due to our homeschool load, we may not get two lessons done in a week. So, far, because of our Latin background, we haven't had to watch a video a third time, but, that's the beauty of homeschooling. If you don't get it right away, you can just watch it over again.
And, in my opinion, these lessons are very inexpensive. You purchase the lessons in bundles of 10 lessons each. You can purchase them in download form for $25 per 10 lessons or in CD form for $30 per 10 lessons. Some folks may think that that is expensive. Remember, though, that if you buy a regular Latin course it can run from $75-$100 once you add in the student book, the teacher manual, the pronunciation CD, and the lesson DVDs. I just priced one to make sure, and that was for just 25 lessons! If you have more than one student, it could cost even more for the extra student book.
And, what if you end up not liking it after a few lessons. You may be able to sell the teacher manual, CD and DVDs for a fraction of what you bought them for, but, once the student book(s) is written in, it can't be resold.
With Visual Latin, everything is included. When you buy the download or Cd's, you purchase a license to use it with your family. So, no worry about extra money later on for more student books. Just print out more worksheets. And, if you don't end up liking it (which I'm sure you will), you don't have to buy the next 10 lessons. Now you see why I think it's an excellent deal? They also sell Visual Latin DVD's in sets that include all thirty lessons, and, if you would like to use Visual Latin in a classroom or co-op there are special deals available as well.
But, don't take my word for it. Visual Latin allows you to download the first two lessons and the worksheets for free from their website. They also have four pre-lessons that are fascinating as well. The pre-lessons tell you why the study of Latin is important and what you will be studying with Visual Latin. They're free, too. Just go to the Visual Latin website by clicking here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above.
You can also find out what the other TOS Homeschool Crew Members think about Visual Latin by clicking here. Happy Homeschooling!
As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was sent the first 10 lessons of Visual Latin for free in order to try out and give an honest review on this blog.
Introduction to Marketing...John Allen Just Got A Real Eye Opener Mood:
caffeinated Topic: Homeschool Product Review
For a couple of years, now, John Allen has been toying around with how to make some money. For the past two years we have been blessed with receiving some really neat computer programming courses to review. The review items have ranged from DVD's on how to build a website to complete courses on how to create really neat computer games. John Allen has loved all of them! For some time he has been dreaming of different wholesome computer games he could create and sell to homeschool and other kids. The only thing he lacked was the knowledge of how to promote his games and get them on the market. So, when we found out we were going to get Professor in a Box's Principles of Marketing course by Dr. Julie Pirsch we were thrilled.
The shocker set in after we began watching the first lesson. Who would have thought what goes into marketing something? Of course, if you are someone that works in that field or who has tried to market your own business, you know what all goes into it, but we had no idea.
Do any of these terms ring a bell?
These are all terms used in just the first chapter! Want to know what they mean? You'll have to watch the lesson to find out!
There are 19 chapters in the course, but, don't worry, they are divided into 28 bite size lessons. I say bite size because you could easily watch and do a lesson a day. I wouldn't recommend it, however. Although each lecture is fairly short (I haven't encountered one yet that is more than 30 min. long), the lectures are packed with information that students need to digest.
Each lecture is very well done. You never see the teacher, but hear her pleasant voice while she is explaining the power point slides that you see on your screen. She does an excellent job of explaining things, but, like anything that someone is new at, it may take a little thinking on things in order for them to sink in.
Each lesson also comes with online resources. Those, in my opinion, are some of the funnest things about this course. Each lesson's list of resources has to do with the topic discussed in that lesson's lecture. Never fear, however. These aren't dry boring academic websites that just reiterate what the teacher says. There are links to the websites of popular companies like Disney and Apple, but there are also links to out of the way sites that have interesting ways of marketing things. For example, did you know that...
There is a company that lets you customize a soda bottle and put your own picture on it?
There's a neat site where you can plug in your zip code and find out what the marketing demographics are for your town or neighborhood? (My town has these segments living in them - "Back Country Folks", "Bedrock America", Crossroads Villagers", "Golden Ponds", and "Shotguns & Pickups"!)
There's a whole website devoted to promotional codes that you can use online to purchase things at a discount?
It's really neat seeing the different ways that companies market there products. And, I may have found a Christmas gift or two in the process (shhh...don't tell the wife or kids).
Each lesson from Principles of Marketing also has a summary of key concepts and a multiple choice quiz to take. So, as I mentioned above, you could do a whole lesson in one day, but, I wouldn't recommend it. A lesson a week, or at least every couple of days, would be a good pace.
Oh, and here's one of the best parts about it. All of this is packed into one little CD. No heavy books or manuals. Just one little CD. I was just a little disappointed that it didn't come in a box, though. After all, it is called "Professor in a BOX"!
We have really enjoyed this course. It has been fun but challenging. This is one that we will continue on with even after this review is done. One word of warning, though. Although it is well done, broken down into bite size pieces, and the resources are just plain interesting and fun, this is still a college level course. A highschooler can do it, but it is not a breeze. Thankfully they allow you to take the quizzes over again until you get a passing grade. John Allen took three tries just to pass the quiz for lesson one. He is just in the early months of his freshman year of high school, though. A student that is a Junior or Senior would probably have a much easier time.
So, want to know more about Principles of Marketing? Just click here or on any of the websites above to find out how to purchase this course and other great courses from Professor in a Box. They'll even let you try out the first lesson and check out the neat online resources for free. Principles of Marketing retails for $119.99 with free shipping, and, I think, it is well worth it. Try it out to see for yourself.
As usual, some of the other great TOS Homeschool Crew members reviewed this product as well and you can find out what they had to say by clicking here. Happy Home Educating!
As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was given a free copy of Homeschool in a Box's Principles of Marketing course to try out and give my honest review on this blog.
I finally updated our "what have we been reading" list on my Amazon.com widget in the left hand column. Please don't feel like you have to click on anything and buy it. It's just a way to update everyone...and this update is long overdue.
So! What have we been reading?
Well, I, Tim, have been on a classics binge lately in my reading. It all started when I read Sally Clarkson's "Read for the Heart" last spring. I found out how many classic children's books I had missed in my childhood.
I began my "binge" by reading "The Wind in the Willows" by Kenneth Grahame and continued with "Just So Stories" by Rudyard Kipling. I then continued by reading "Freckles" and "A Girl of the Limberlost" by Gene Stratton Porter. Recently I've fed my habit by reading "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson and Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations". Now, I'm going to tell you, I've LOVED reading the classics. They have been great. I've even reviewed a couple of them on Amazon.
But, listen to this! Do you know the neatest part about it? If you have a Kindle, Nook or some type of tablet reading device, THEY'RE FREE! Even if you just have a computer - and I'm assuming that if you are reading this, you at least have access to one - you can download them for free to read off of your laptop or desktop. I've downloaded most of them for my tablet. And...shhhh...some of them I didn't download from Amazon.
I haven't feasted strictly on classics, however. I've read a few other things. Namely books for homeschooling or for personal Christian study. I love reading Andrew Murray and "The Deeper Christian Life" was fantastic. I've also read and reviewed "How to Have a H.E.A.R.T For Your Kids" by Sally Clarkson.
So, what am I reading right now?
Well, to ease the hunger for homeschooling books I'm reading another great book from Apologia called "Educating the WholeHearted Child" (I'll be reviewing that one soon). To satisfy my ever craving need for good Christian books, I'm reading "Radical" by David Platt. Finally, to continue my habit of reading classics, I'm reading "Around the World in Eighty Days" by Jules Verne.
What has John Allen been reading?
This year John Allen is reading some great American History books for Sonlight's intensive one year American History course. So far he's read "Peace Child" by Don Richardson and "Cameron Townsend" by Geoff and Janet Benge. Right now he's reading "Down Ryton Water" by E. R. Gaggin and he's enjoying some short stories for the literature curriculum that we are reviewing. Soon he'll be joining me in reading "Around the World in Eighty Days"! I cant wait.
Joshua? Well, I'm trying to get him to read more chapter books and he is presently reading "Silver" by Gloria Whelan. Hopefully, soon, he'll be ready to slowly tackle some of the books in Sonlight's two year American History course that designed for third and fourth graders. I'm sure that he'll need a lot of help and it will probably take more than two year, but, that's one of the advantages of homeschooling!
Sarah? Well, you know Sarah. She's always reading her own stuff. Lately, I think, she's been reading a lot of Christian romance novels. She can read those in a day or less, so goes through quite a few of them.
Jacob? Jacob is beginning to learn his letters and sounds, so, hopefully someday soon he will be reading on his own. Until then, we'll continue to read great children's books like "Jessie Bear What Will You Wear", "Corduroy" and "The Snowy Day" to him.
Well, that's what we're reading. What are you reading? Leave a comment and let us know. Maybe you'll introduce us to something great that we would have never thought of!