Tuesday, April 17, 2012

TOS Review: Bright Ideas Press


Bright Ideas Press is a multi-age curriculum that will fit your hectic lifestyle by being able to teach one subject to varying ages of children at one time. Christian Kids Explore Physics ($39.95) introduces the student(s) to fundamentals of physics: terminology, concepts and hands-on activities engage the student while reminding them of Who created it all. Here is what BIP had to say on their website:

"The universe that we live in is the result of God’s thoughtful design and careful building. Physics gives us a glimpse into the materials, laws, and structures of that universe. Behold the wonders of creation with this series of 30 easy-to-understand lessons for grades 4-8. Each lesson helps develop an understanding of matter and energy and the rules they follow. Exploring physics is an exciting adventure!"


The resource cd is an excellent supplement to the program. With it, you have Daily Lesson Plans, Materials Lists, Bonus Literature Study Guide, and All Reproducibles, such as:
•Coloring Pages
•Unit Reviews
•Follow-Up Questions for each lesson
•Activity Charts

The book alone is a great value with excellent material. But the Bonus cd makes this curriculum a bargain you just don't want to miss out on. If you are planning on introducing Physics to your students in the near future, Christian Kids Explore Physics is what you want to use.

**Don't just take my word for it! Check out some of my fellow TOS Crew Members' reviews HERE.

***Disclaimer: I received this product via TOS Homeschool Crew in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review; all opinions stated are mine or my children's.

Monday, April 16, 2012

TOS Review: AIMS


AIMS Education Foundation (Activities Integrating Math and Science) is a non-profit educational foundation created by 80 educators that believed that students could learn more about math and science if they were engaged in the process. They have developed several curriculum that gives students hands-on experience, making the information stay with them much longer. We reviewed From Head to Toe ($24.95).


So far, the kids have learned about how the brain, heart, lung and respiratory system work individually and as a unit. We got to make a 2-chamber heart model and a single lung model. The kids loved it, and they really learned a lot. I like the way the the kids are leading the process. They put together a rubber band book that gives them their reading assignment. Then they have the instructions for the project. You are there to guide and assist, but the kids are in charge - they love it!

One thing that I wasn't aware of until it was too late was that some of the materials for the projects needed to be purchased from AIMS beforehand. So unless you have a set of forceps lying around, you should probably check your lists 2 weeks ahead of time! ;) Some of the materials are reasonable, but others are kind of pricey. Unfortunately, if you are in a bind and need the materials quickly, you have to dish it out! It would have been nice if there was a kit you could buy at the time you buy the book that has all the hard to find materials assembled for you.

AIMS is a great resource for families who want a hands-on, child-led experience in math or science. They are definitely worth your time to look at!

**Don't just take my word for it! Check out some of my fellow TOS Crew Members' reviews HERE.

***Disclaimer: I received this product via TOS Homeschool Crew in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review; all opinions stated are mine or my children's.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

What Part Would You Play?

This was a friend's post on Facebook today: "All day I've asked myself what part I would have played if I had lived during Holy Week. It's a sobering question." Wow. I actually dreamed about this a little this morning...

I'm in the crowd. I can see his face. He's too exhausted to even wipe the rivulets of blood out of his dark, drooping eyes. His skin hangs in torn scraps from his bruised body. I can't imagine how he is even breathing, let alone standing. The pain in my chest feels like a weight of a thousand pounds. This is when I feel the tears on my cheek. I touch them gently. I open my mouth to speak and what comes out shocks...and sickens me.


WHAT?!? I'm confused, angry, pushed and shoved from all directions by the angry mob I'm surrounded by when it tears from my throat again.


The thought of his weakened condition forces my eyes to find his bent form up on the podium once more. This time, he is looking straight at me. Tears are in his eyes, but not tears of hurt. Not even anger. He looks at me with such love, such understanding, such...forgiveness. I feel powerless, immobile. I don't know what I've done. Wait, that's not true. I know EXACTLY what I've done.

I'm no better than Judas. Or Peter and the others, who hid to save themselves. I've betrayed Him with my words, my deeds, my actions, my lack of action. I was in that crowd. I screamed for Him to pay the ultimate price. I shouted for His blood to be spilled. Why???

We may not have been there in the flesh, but I know I was on His mind that dark Friday 2,000 years ago. I know He knew about every time I'd disappoint Him, every time I'd deny Him, every time I'd sin against Him. There is no difference in what sins I've committed in my life than what I dreamed about this morning. I'm no less guilty than the ones that stood in that crowd. His blood covered their sin. And it covers mine today.

I know that the concept of forgiveness is so very hard to grasp for us emotional, volatile human beings. We work and live by our emotions, and we can't understand the complete spectrum of His love for us. But we can choose to accept it. Had you been there, Jesus would have looked you straight in the eye. And you would have seen how very much He loved you. You can seek Him out today. He will speak straight into your soul. And you can see - TODAY - just how much He loves you.

It's Saturday, people. The darkest day in the history of the world. No hope. No light. Just the pain of lost dreams and a dead Messiah. But guess what?

Sunday's comin'.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

TOS Review: TruthQuest


Truth Quest History is a new and interesting way to teach history to your children. The publishers have redefined what history is REALLY about. We've been taught it is about the accomplishments and paths of men. But Truth Quest refocuses our eyes on the true story - the revelation of who God is and how man relates to that truth. As a whole, people are motivated by their basic beliefs about God, whether true or untrue. The consequences of their Big 2 Beliefs (Who is God, and who, then, is mankind?) are what we read about in history.

Truth Quest is broken down into nine chronological study guides from Creation to 2000 A.D. Within each guide, your student will be introduced to the primary action taking place in that time, always with the premise of the Big 2 Beliefs in the forefront. A list of living books that coincides with the time period is provided to peak your child's interest and curiosity, as well as let them delve deeper into the topic at hand.

We reviewed American History 3: 1865-2000.


The kids really enjoyed the way the text was written. It was almost like having a conversation with somebody about history instead of reading a typical history book! Serious subjects like slavery and The Great Depression are written in a way that the my children learned something on the subject, but weren't bored or overwhelmed with a lot of names, dates and dry things like that. They learned about the personal stories and experiences of people and came to understand or empathize with those individuals. I think that's why we learn about our history in the first place - to understand and learn from those examples set forth before us. We have a lot more to read in this book, but I'm very pleased with what we've studied so far.

One problem I had was that we were unable to find many of the suggested reading books to go along with our study. We have a great library available to us in SW Missouri, but many of these titles didn't even pull up in their system. Also, I would have liked a little more extensive help with the read alouds. I think if we could have had suggested excerpts from books, or study questions to go along with the books, the kids would have taken more away as well as covered more of the books. I understand some people would stop and take several weeks for each time period, but I think that is too long for the ages of my children.

All of Truth Quest's guides are available in PDF ($19.95-$29.95) or hardcopy ($24.95-$34.95). You can check out samples of all their materials on here on their website.

**Don't just take my word for it! Check out some of my fellow TOS Crew Members' reviews HERE.

***Disclaimer: I received this product via TOS Homeschool Crew in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review; all opinions stated are mine or my children's.

Monday, April 2, 2012





1, 2, 3, 4...


Wow, what a fun day this has been! God is so good, and I know he gave us laughter for a reason! He also gave us wonderful friends and family who, while probably think we are completely insane, love and support us through everything.

I'm very early on, so prayers for a safe first trimester and continued pregnancy are much appreciated. We only told today because Kelly couldn't pass up the opportunity to mess with people on April Fool's Day! LOL, and boy did it work! Don't believe me, just go to my Facebook page! ;)

We have decided to cancel the trip to Colorado. Though not the main reason, we decided morning sickness on a 1,600-mile roadtrip is more than either of us want to handle! Hopefully some day...but we know there are tons of great things ahead for the coming year!

Caleb is very excited. He told everyone today he is FINALLY going to be the big brother, and he's going to learn to ride his bike without training wheels this week to prove it! :)

Canon was happy, too. He has asked me 100 times today when the baby will come, what will it be, where will it sleep, does he have to change diapers, will I hurt too much, and many, many, many more! I'm just glad he's curious and pleased!

Chloe is going crazy! She is so ecstatic, she can hardly think of anything else. She, of course, asked God tonight that it be a baby sister...then said, "Better yet, Jesus, TWIN girls would be great!" I just rolled my eyes, but I've always told her to pray her heart's desire...so I guess it's my fault, there! :)

Connor is... well...a preteen boy with a mind of his own. Right after we told them, he said he wasn't mad, or sad, but a little confused. I know he is happy, deep down, but he did tell his Aunt Ariel that we didn't even ask him if he wanted another brother or sister...needless to say, Aunt Ariel reminded him that it wasn't his call! :) He did get animated when we started discussing names and of course, when they started debating whether we "needed" a boy or a girl! I have no worries that he will be amazing with the little one once he/she arrives...but I do hope to see his little heart soften quickly.

So that has been the excitement for the week in the Quinn household. Hoping you and yours are feeling as Kelly and I are right now... and that is Abundantly Blessed!!