Drive Thru History Adventures homeschool video curriculum combines two of my favorite things: laughing and history! I love to watch Dave Stotts! He is funny and silly. All of my kids love to watch him, too. I said a "YES! Pick me! Pick me!" when asked to review Drive thru History American History Adventures from Coldwater Media, Inc.
My son loves all the different cars in the videos. All of us love seeing all the exciting places Dave visits. It's like going there ourselves.
Unlike a boring museum tour guide, Dave Stotts is funny, exciting, and full of interesting information. He travels to different places in an different vehicle and shows you historical sites while teaching you about history from a biblical and historically accurate perspective.
I had the privilege of reviewing the American history curriculum with twelve episodes. This series covers Columbus to the Constitution. Created for homeschoolers, this entertaining history video curriculum combines the best of everything: travel, video, humor, fine art (on the website pages), primary sources, worksheets, and answer keys. The lessons are simple and fun!
Another load of laundry to put in, a phonics lesson to give, and dinner to fix.
What Mom has time to read?
Another paper to write, a textbook chapter to read, and a test to study for.
What teenager has time to read for pleasure?
The lawn to mow, a presentation to prepare for at the office, and bills to pay.
What Dad has time to pick up a good book and read it?
Added to that, it is so much easier on the mind to turn on the TV and watch a show or movie.
So, why should we make time to read?
Reading is soothing, relaxing, and refreshing. When I spend time reading a book I enjoy, I feel stress melt away. It revives me.
Reading stimulates our mind like an aerobic workout for the mind. As I get older and can't remember things sometimes, I am glad for anything that keeps my mind sharp! I need that!
Reading increases our vocabulary, helps us to communicate more effectively, and gives us something meaningful to talk about. Isn't it fun to talk about a book you are reading?
So, how can we make time to read?
"I can't wait to move out on my own. I'll eat out every day and keep my apartment as cold as I want to," teenager Tom declared.
I laughed as i overheard a group of teens talking about how fun it would be to move out. I wanted to interject: "Don't you realize how expensive it is to live on your own?"
Maybe it would be better to show them.
And that is why I added the apartment project to my economics class.
It is one of the most popular assignments we do! The children have to choose an apartment to move into. They must find out how much rent is and what down payment is required. In addition students have to figure out the average electricity and water/sewage bills for the average renter. This will require research and phone calls.
Of course, if you move out there are moving expenses. Oh, and you have to furnish your new place. The sky of course, is the limit! Buy whatever you want. Just keep track of everything you spend.
Students loved shopping online or in store, taking photos or downloading pictures to print.
Each apartment was furnished and decorated just the way the students liked.
In addition, they made a monthly budget and from that budget, figured out how much money they would have to make each month to pay for their dream apartment.
It was so fun to see how everyone decorated. It was more fun to see their faces as they totaled up all their expenses and figured out how much money they would need a month to support their hearts' desires and how much money they would need to move into their dream apartment. No words required on my part about how expensive life is.
What delightful years I experienced in the first years of motherhood as God blessed me with baby girls first.
As we walked to the playground, we would pass the big yellow school bus. My heart would freeze. I would miss my children so much when they started school. Just thinking about it made me so sad. Why should someone else get to spend all day with them? They were my babies!
At the same time, I was passing the yellow school bus several days a week, I was meeting homeschool families at church who impressed me with their poise, confidence, good manners, and love for Jesus. I had to check out homeschooling.
As I prayed about the possibility of homeschooling with my husband Mike, we felt God stirring our hearts. We sensed He was calling us to ministry! The ministry of educating our children. Wow! What a high calling and privilege! Excitement stirred in our hearts back in 1990 and the following year, we took the plunge. Since then, we have never looked back.
Why do we homeschool?
Because God called us to homeschool!
We have been blessed to see so many blessings and benefits to homeschooling.
"Can we borrow it now?" little Gracie asked, staring at the green CD cover in my hand with the Saxon man and woman on the cover. Inside was Wulf The Saxon on two CDs with over two hours of non-stop audio drama and adventure from Heirloom Audio Productions.
"We have to listen to it first." I shook my head sadly. I hate saying no to little children. Both of our families love listening to audio dramas. My older children grew up on Adventures in Odyssey. We loved hearing our audio friends having adventures at Whit's End. So, I was so excited when I heard about Under Drakes Flag, a G.A. Henty novel turned into a radio show. I listened to it and loved it!
When I was asked to review Wulf the Saxon, I was so excited! Another G.A. Henty book brought to life!
I started listening to the CD by myself, but was soon joined by interested family members. Everyone agreed! This was a great story! More than that, this was a great dramatization of a great story!
One of the most important battles in history, the Battle of Hastings, comes alive in this dramatization. English history takes a turn that will entwine England and France together. We see the story unfold through the eyes of Wulf, a young Saxon man.
This story gripped our hearts. We traveled back in time to eleventh century England and were caught up in the struggle for the throne. Would the Angle-Saxon king retain his throne or would England be ruled by a foreign invader? Of course, Wulf is noble, loyal, and filled with courage whether it's capturing a Welsh castle rescuing his shipwrecked king, or fighting Vikings at the Battle of Stamford Bridge.
We are studying Africa this month in our homeschool geography co-op, so we kicked the month off with a feast from Africa.
We each chose a dish from a different African country and had a blast trying some very different foods.
"What are you doing?" my daughter Jenny Rose asked me as I stirred a large glob of peanut butter into a pan of soup stock and half-n-half.
I laughed. "I'm making peanut butter soup."
She scrunched up her nose and made a face.
"Do you want to try some?"
"Um, um, I'm not sure," she admitted.
Along with the peanut butter soup from South Sudan, I made Bobotie from South Africa.
What is Bobotie? Well, it's almost like a meatloaf with almonds, dried apricots, and raisins in it. Very unique, yet delicious.
In fact, most of the food we ate was unusual for us. The combinations were unique. It was an adventure!
"When will I be loved?" our hearts cry out when we are young.
We seek our one true love, believing that romantic love will fill us with happiness forever. Then we marry someone who isn't perfect and we are still seeking to be loved and appreciated.
If only our parents had loved us more. If only we had better friends. If only we had a boyfriend or girlfriend. If only our children appreciated us.
Why are we always seeking more?
We had a need inside us to be lavishly loved. Our hearts cry out for it.
We long for words, actions, attitudes from others that communicate love, kindness, warmth, and understanding. We long for others to place high value on us.
There is a problem, though. People are flawed. No one loves perfectly. No one can be our all in all.
When we get together with other homeschool parents, we talk about all kinds of things related to homeschooling:
Why we homeschool.
Our philosophy of homeschooling.
What curriculum we are using.
Our homeschool co-ops and field trips.
How are children are growing in godly character.
All of that is wonderful! I love talking about all those things!
Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that love is the heart of homeschooling, it's what motivates us, it's why we sacrifice.
We homeschooling because we love our children. We homeschool to express love to our children. We homeschool because we love God and want to teach our children to love Him, too.
Just as the heart pumps life to the whole body, love brings life to our home and our home school.
Anna tucked a stray hair behind her ear while she balanced her baby on her hip. She stepped on some Legos as she made her way to the changing table. As she passed through the family room, she saw every toy they owned strewn across the floor. She sighed loudly. This was not what she signed up for.
Had she signed up? She sighed again. She had always dreamed of being a mom, having a happy home filled with delightful children in adorable outfits. She had never imagined the chaos, the screaming, the sleepless nights, the exhaustion.
As she dumped the diaper in the trash can and lifted the baby back on her hip, her son and daughter came running up to her.
"Look what I made you, Mommy!" Brandon jumped up and down, flinging a piece of computer paper at her.
"I made one, too!" Rachel grabbed her leg and planted a sticky kiss on her knee.
Minutes later, she was cuddled on the couch with her little lambs. They were explaining the beautiful pictures they had drawn for her.
It was a moment of stillness in the midst of a chaotic day. Anna felt her body relax. She held her children closer.
After 34 years, can you still slow dance with your husband in the living room by candlelight? I think so!
My friend Felice and I just recorded a radio show on date nights and it got me thinking about our romantic dates when we didn't have enough money to go out to dinner or see a movie.
Sometimes we would just bring a CD player to a romantic spot and dance under the moonlight. Other times we would slow dance in the living room with the lights down low.
As time goes on, you can forget to do romantic things because it's easier to go our to dinner or see a show.
I think this month, I'll find some songs on YouTube and slow-dance with my husband in the living room.
Here are some songs that are romantic and fun to dance to. Most of them are oldies, of course, because I'm getting to be an oldie myself.
One of my favorite songs. I sung this to my husband in church ten years ago on our anniversary. Says it all. Not perfect, but definitely happily ever after.
An even older song called Still the One. "Still the One" by Orleans. Can you remember Orleans, anyone? This was popular when I was in high school, or earlier maybe. My hubby is still the one.