BOTW: The Element of Love by Mary Connealy

In the year 1872 near northern California, you’ll find the three affluent yet sheltered daughters of Margaret Stiles Beaumont running away. The new Mrs. Beaumont has decided to help her girls flee from their abusive stepfather and his plans to marry them off to his horrible friends. Each young woman is truly talented and intelligent so they have decided to find suitors that match their capabilities. This marriage will also allow them to use their engineering skills and insight to claim their portion of the family lumber dynasty.

In an effort to blend in, the Stiles sisters join a mission group traveling throughout California to serve the poor. Caleb, the mission’s parson, has plenty of potential but cannot understand and apply his knowledge in this new role. That was a fancy way to relay that his decisions might be the death of all involved if help doesn’t come soon. Thankfully the Stiles sisters and their education can assist Caleb, the mission, and all volunteers in ways they never imagined. For the first time, the Stiles ladies must work through often miserable conditions and use their talents in different ways than they were taught.

I liked how the story started immediately and not a few chapters in. From the first paragraph, you’re involved in the story of these women, their future spouses, their mother, and the family business. I haven’t read a really good Christian Historical Fiction book in quite some time so I was happy to receive The Element of Love by Mary Connealy. This is the first book in The Lumber Baron’s Daughters series and I look forward to more from this author.

You can find The Element of Love by Mary Connealy in-store or online wherever books are sold. Thank you Bethany House Fiction for the opportunity to read this book.

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BOTW: All That It Takes by Nicole Deese

All That It Takes by Nicole Deese shares the story of Val Locklier, a meticulous, cautious, planner that weighs every option before moving forward. If life went according to plan, hers would be perfect but then this book wouldn’t be interesting. Thankfully, life and this novel are full of interesting twists, turns, and unexpected plot twists.

Val and her ten-year-old son move across the country to begin a new life that includes a great job, a beautiful apartment, and a handsome landlord. Soon after arriving new opportunities pop up that align with her dream career in film. She also allows others to help, which is extremely hard for single mothers but allows her close-knit community to expand. All the while Pastor Miles McKenzie becomes fond of his new tenant and her son. He has recently returned from mission work and has been assigned a new local ministry position. Both Val and Miles struggle to stop hiding behind their expectations and often fight with their true feelings. Will Val stop hiding behind her responsibilities and allow love to be a part of her life? Will Miles stop intentionally distracting himself and receive what life offers outside of ministry? Eventually, all parties involved learned that authentic love pairs well with sacrifice.

I appreciated the inclusion of real-life issues like abortion, adoption, and single parenting. I also found that the storyline of the characters intertwined perfectly and left me excited about their future outside of the last page. This book is a spin-off of Nicole Deese’s previous book, All That Really Matters and I look forward to reading that too.

You can find All That It Takes by Nicole Deese in-store or online wherever books are sold. Thank you Bethany House Fiction for the opportunity to read this book.

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Mom, You Deserve It!

Mothers everywhere I pray today you receive special MOMents full of love, appreciation, and gratitude from your family. Sis, you deserve it!

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Coffee & Book Lovers Tag!

Hey y’all! Today I’m participating in a fun collaboration with a YouTube friend. Check out my response to the Coffee & Book Lover’s Tag by The Ingrid Chronicles via the video below.

COMMEMT BELOW: What is your favorite book?


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High School Christian Theology Course by Positive Action Bible Curriculum

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

You’ve heard me share my love for Positive Action Bible Curriculum! Well, today I’m sharing details about Behold Your God, a one-year curriculum for 9th – 11th grades. We received a physical copy of the Teacher’s Manual and Student Manual. The Student Manual is consumable and both manuals are also available in digital format.

**TAP BELOW** to read our previous Positive Action Bible Curriculum

Behold Your God is a 35-lesson study that introduces your high school students to Christian theology. This foundational course provides opportunities to explore scripture and learn God’s attributes. In doing so they’ll build spiritual confidence to share the faith and obtain the ability to rightly divide scripture. The Student Manual is designed for your teen to complete the self-study on their own. Based on your homeschool structure they can read the material in the Teacher’s Manual on their own but we preferred to do this together. A variety of scheduling options, quizzes, and answer keys for the student exercises within the Teacher’s Manual.

Bear worked through 5 weeks of the Behold Your God course during the review period. We opted for the provided 4-Day schedule with the added flexibility and freedom for my teen to work ahead if he desired. As usual, Positive Action Bible Curriculum presents a rich, scripture-filled study while sharing God’s character. This curriculum also encourages self-reflection through Bible study and helps in applying the word to everyday life. We recommend these studies but encourage families to discuss each lesson. This dialogue will be beneficial for all participants and help you grow as a family unit.

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Positive Action Bible Curriculum:

COMMEMT BELOW: Do you use Bible studies in your homeschool?


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Happy Resurrection Sunday

Happy Resurrection Sunday! Remember, any day is a great day to celebrate our risen Savior!

COMMEMT BELOW: Do you celebrate Resurrection Sunday?


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BOTW: Carved in Ebony by Jasmine L. Holmes

Carved in Ebony by Jasmine L. Holmes discusses 10 women that worked to change the world. While reviewing their stories we learn how each woman contributed to Black History and World History by fighting until laws changed, speaking to multitudes, building schools, and even sharing the Gospel around the world. Every woman worked through times of slavery, racism, or fought through oppression to accomplish goals that many deemed unreachable.

Carved in Ebony by Jasmine L. Holmes discusses:

  • Elizabeth Freeman
  • Nannie Helen Burroughs
  • Maria Fearing
  • Charlotte Forten Grimké
  • Sarah Mapps Douglass
  • Sara Griffith Stanley
  • Amanda Berry Smith
  • Lucy Craft Laney
  • Maria Stewart
  • Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

Jasmine L. Holmes shares her commentary paired with research and inspiration from these heroines. Each entry leaves you wondering if your current level of faith could have sustained you to endure their hardships. My favorite feature of this book is that each woman mentioned isn’t well-known and so we receive a fresh introduction to their stories.  I also appreciated that these women came from various backgrounds and yet were given opportunities to accomplish amazing things.

As a homeschool mom, I appreciate books that offer history from various cultural perspectives. I’ve always taught my children to gather a plethora of information to understand American History and World History. We also read scripture to see how God’s presence, power, and people have been used to influence history. I believe Mrs. Holmes has a similar idea with this book. Due to the discussion and extensive vocabulary, I recommend Carved in Ebony by Jasmine L. Holmes for 10th grade and up.

You can find Carved in Ebony by Jasmine L. Holmes in-store or online wherever books are sold. Thank you Bethany House Fiction for the opportunity to read this book.

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Fostering Bilingual Education in Your Homeschool (Pre-K to 4th)

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

Bonjour! Today’s review features a detailed look at the Educator’s French Collection by Whistlefritz. This award-winning collection is available in physical or digital format and was created with the help of educators. The videos, music CDs, lesson plans, and flashcards allow you to confidently teach Pre-K through early elementary French instruction in your homeschool. A free Home Educator’s Guide download is also included with your curriculum purchase.

Before beginning the Whistlefritz Educator’s French Collection, it is suggested to read through the Home Educator’s Guide. The Home Educator’s Guide offers a weekly schedule showing how to incorporate lessons, music, videos, and flashcards in your homeschool. The first two weeks of the Home Educator’s Guide focus on understanding the sounds of the language which was especially helpful for a beginner like me. Translation Guides and lyrics are also available for free download to help you understand the language you are teaching.

Learn more about Whistlefritz  immersion teaching here:

Educator’s French Collection includes:

  • French Lesson Plans houses 40 reproducible lessons
  • French for Kids Videos teach vocabulary through an appealing blend of live-action and animation film
  • French for Kids Music CDs add singing and dancing to an irresistible mix of upbeat songs and rhythms.
  • Matching Cards are a playful introduction to action words.

**TAP HERE** TO READ OUR WHISTLEFRITZ SPANISH REVIEW

Whistlefritz programs are known for teaching using the “language immersion” methodology.  This method has been proven by research to be the most effective way to teach children languages. Introducing children to different languages early, even as infants increases their ability to learn two languages simultaneously without confusion or delay. Anyone aged 0 to 3,000 can benefit from using the Educator’s French Collection by Whistlefritz!  Bilinguals are also known to develop stronger cognitive and brain processes such as paying attention, multi-tasking, and flexible thinking. Research also noted vast improvements in social skills, being able to take the perspective of others and feel empathy. We recommend this fun language curriculum and all their teaching materials!

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Fix It! Grammar Curriculum Level 5

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

I am excited about today’s review because I’ve wanted to try Fix It! Grammar by Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) for quite some time! This language arts and grammar curriculum teaches students to critically analyze material and then correctly search for and fix errors. While perfecting the 5-step process your child will also understand accurate punctuation, correct grammar, and eventually be able to apply these methods to their composition and essay work.

Fix It! Grammar comes in six different levels with two for Elementary, two for Middle School, and the final two levels for High School students. Each level corresponds with a different book with the lessons and exercises reflecting that text. We chose Level 5 Frog Prince for Bear to use during his freshman year. We received a Teacher’s Manual, Student Book, and the Fix It! Grammar Cards. The card pack includes 30, full-color cards with content from the glossary and  Teacher’s Manual. These cards allow key grammar concepts to be easily found to review and reference. Free downloads are also included with your purchases and can be accessed via the instructions in the Teacher’s Manual. A digital list is also provided for extra grammar activities, games, practice drills, and review.

Level 5 provides an introduction, practice, and advanced grammatical concept lessons on verb types, noun functions, jobs of specific clauses and phrases, as well as pronoun cases. Though we’ve never used this program before, Bear has consistently taken grammar and worked through each lesson without issues. The daily lessons took approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. Bear and I met together weekly to discuss this along with his other syllabus assignments. During our meeting, he would check his work with the Teacher’s Manual and make any corrections. Eventually, he had minimal mistakes which I attribute to the daily repetition of finding and fixing via this curriculum.

Fix It! Grammar 5-step process

  • Learn It!: learn grammar and punctuation concepts.
  • Read It!: Read the daily passage and define new vocabulary words.
  • Mark It!: label the passage using the provided guide.
  • Fix It!: Correct the passage using new and previously learned concepts.
  • Rewrite It!: Copy the corrected passage, eventually rewriting the complete story!

You can easily place your child at the correct level using the descriptions on the website. It is also suggested that children without grammar knowledge begin at Level 1. Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) has also recently updated the Fix It! Grammar curriculum. Now, instructions provide detailed editing marks and helpful hints.  Scope and Sequence Charts, a weekly Vocabulary Chart, and a Table of Contents are also included. Each daily lesson indicates what needs to be marked or fixed and includes space to rewrite the passage. IEW still encourages parents to treat this curriculum as a game which helps makes the program more engaging and fun for students. I’m glad we FINALLY had the opportunity to try Fix It! Grammar by Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW). The process is quick and the effects of consistent practice make this program worthwhile.

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COMMEMT BELOW: What Fix It! Grammar Feature excites you the most?


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Life Application KJV Chronological Bible (Unboxing & Review)

When I was a child, I remember my mother buying a Life Application Bible. It was a Study Bible and she purchased one, along with her friends, for a Sunday School class they were taking. Life Application was rumored to be the newest, most thorough Study Bible series out there! Her entire class were so excited to own the study tool and they discussed it all the time. Now, 30 years later, I have my own!

My new, KJV Chronological Life Application Bible features the same popular details this brand has been known for over the years. I wanted to read God’s word in a new way! I started reading this alone once I bought it in December but now, we are enjoying the Bible chronologically as a family.

Ready to look inside? Watch this!

Noted Features:

  • 8-point text size
  • 9.50″ x 6.75″ x 2.00″
  • Section Introductions: Historical background information
  • Parallel Passage Indicator: Multiple perspectives of a single story
  • Running Timeline: Notes key biblical and world events
  • Full-color maps, photos, and illustrations
  • Life Application Notes: Learn how to apply the Word to your life with the most trusted application notes available today
  • Archaeological discoveries
  • Christian Worker’s Resources: Tips on sharing the faith with others
  • Book-By-Book introductions and outlines to all 66 books of the Bible
  • Dictionary and Concordance

COMMEMT BELOW: Have you used a Life Application brand Bible before?


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