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Celtic Thunder Heritage - "A Place in the Choir"

This is really cute.

Schoolhouse Review: VideoText Interactive Algebra

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I have heard many good things about VideoText Interactive but up until now my children were not ready for it. What a blessing to have VideoText come up for the Schoolhouse Crew to review. Talk about perfect timing!

Annette was almost done with her 8th grade math and ready to start pre algebra. First thing I did was check to see if my daughter ready for this program by visiting “Is My Child Ready for VideoText Algebra” page.

I received two Modules: Module A and Module B. Each module separately cost $99.95 or you can purchase all modules A-F for $529.00. If you prefer the online version for all modules you can purchase that too for $299.00 but please visit their website for details regarding their license.
Each module includes:
  • Student Worktext
  • Progress Tests
  • Instructors Guide with Detailed Solutions for Progress Tests
  • Course Notes
  • Solutions Manual
  • DVDs
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Algebra a complete course has your child learning Pre Algebra, Algebra 1, and Algebra 2 together thus ‘the complete course’. Instead of breaking Algebra up like most math programs.
Most traditional math programs have the child do Algebra 1, Geometry, then Algebra 2. By the time most students start Algebra 2 they need to review and therefore some of Pre Algebra and Algebra are repeated in many Algebra 2 courses.

One of the main reasons I wanted to review this math program (and use it with my children) is because Tom Clark has a passion to teach the ‘why’ of math. I want my children to understand the why of algebraic concepts. This has been very important to me since the children were little and it’s the way I want them to learn Algebra.

The DVDs are not meant to be handed to your child and watched. The program has the word ‘interactive’ because you want your child to interact with the ‘instructor’ by pausing and answering the questions.
During this time your child is encouraged NOT to take notes while watching. This is so your child can interact and not miss any of the teaching. In fact course notes are included with VideoText Interactive Algebra. Everything that is on the DVD will be in the notes and your child can refer to them when needed.
Each lesson in the Student WorkText gives the objective, important terms, and a few examples with solutions. There are about 20 to 25 problems and it’s suggested that the student do the odd problems after watching the DVD. If the child did well then they can move on to the next lesson. If not the child can re-watch the DVD (or have a parent go over the concept) and then complete the even numbers. If you feel your child still needs more practice you may print of Extra Practice Problems at the VideoText Interactive website.

Each lesson has two quizzes, which I think is a great idea. If your child needs to retake a quizz there is an extra one available.

How we used VideoText Algebra: I had both Annette and Caleb to this independently. From watching the lesson to correcting their work.

Once they were done with the watching the DVD they would complete 3 problems, correct them, and if they understood and got the first three problems correct they were allowed to finish their lesson (doing only the odd problems).

If they missed the first 3 then they would correct them. If they still had trouble I would watch the lesson with them and also go over a few problems as well.
You can print from their website a form ‘Algebra Progress Checklist’ to keep track of your child’s progress.

My final thoughts: I like this program. My children were able to use this program independently and that’s a huge help to me. I love that my children are learning the ‘why’ of math and not just memorizing solutions. The program is organized making it simple for my children to move through the program with minimal help from me and were able to grade their own work which is another plus. I would correct the quizzes and test.

I hope to use this math program with all my children. My oldest son Joshua has struggled with math and my husband and I were not even sure if he’d complete Algebra two but after looking over the pacing schedules we are hopeful that he will be able to complete the course in one year using the One Year Pacing Plan.

Annette my 8th grade daughter is using the 2 Year Pacing Plan while Caleb my 7th grader is using the 3 Year Pacing Plan.

If you would like to request a Video Sampler or view an online sample lesson please click HERE.
Some of my Crew Mates reviewed Algebra Online as well as the Geometry course, so please click on the banner below to read more VideoText Interactive reviews.

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Mama in the Morning

Joshua just loves his mama so much. I think it’s sweet that he wants to capture a mama moment. Here he found me up early catching up with things that were going on with the Schoolhouse Review Crew.


Sweet Girl

Annette has tried her best to eat less grains and dairy and knowing that her daddy needs to eat low carb (glycemic) she has been on the hunt for some good chocolate chip cookies.

She’s been scoring the Paleo sites and found one she wanted to try. This one did call for honey but I was okay with her dad having honey (yes she had to see if they were mom approved Winking smile).


He dad who is quite picky liked them. I didn’t try them because of the honey and arrowroot. For me they were too high carb but I’m so glad she is looking for alternate recipes to some of our favorite desserts. She’s becoming a good Paleo/low carb baker. She still eats non Paleo things like ice cream once in a while but she has cut back a lot.


Her allergies are back since she has stopped the Whole30. We want to do another Whole30 sometime soon but mama hasn’t been up to it.

My Little Sewer

Annette has been busy, busy, busy, making aprons. Most of them are for little girls. She has made a few mother-daughter sets as well.


She purchased everything herself. She is starting her apron business. This October she hopes to sell them at a craft fair.


I’ll be posting a few here for her to sell as well so keep your eyes posted!!!

Geography Boy!


One day in August before school started I walked into the kitchen to find Lance drawing the United States.


He had a pencil behind his ear and everything. How cute is that!?!?!?!

Pencil Boy


A Trip to Half Price Books

Our trip to Half Price was actually happened last month either the 29th or 30th. I have not had time to post what our family has been up to. Its been busy around here.

Here is one reason for the busyness but most of it is trying to keep school subjects going (think of those spinning plates). Baby L. is so precious and a very happy, happy, happy, baby. He is so sweet!
My little Lance is a gentleman like his father.
He combed his hair all on his own too!
I love to see my hubby laugh and smile. I love his his smile and (shhhh) his cute crows feet =)
I found this Algebra book that I might be able to use with one of my kiddos. It looked pretty good and was only $9.99. I can’t believe my kids are doing Algebra now (well pre algebra right now).
The children were allowed to pick one book each and surprisingly I didn’t take any pics (aack!). Caleb, Brent, and Ethan, traded their books in for a Star Wars Risk game which costed $25.00 but thankfully it was 20% off day.

After we were done shopping Lupe took us our for some ice cream cones (I didn’t have one of course). The kids have been so helpful at home and we like to spoil them once in a while to show them how thankful we are for all their help.

Here are the boys playing with their Risk game that we purchased from Half Price.

Low Carb Menu (Sept. 15th-21st)

My weight is still hanging out at 135. Thankfully I haven’t gained past that. I plan to eat low-carb freely for a few more weeks then maybe do a Fuel Cycle and eventually start counting carbs to see how much I can eat daily to lose another five pounds then maintain from there.


8:00 Kefir Raspberry Smoothie
9:30 Coffee with half and half and nunaturals
12:30 1 slice Ezekiel bread, 2 slices of turkey meat. 1/2 avocado
4:00 Slice of low carb black bean brownie cake
6:00 Mexican Cottage Cheese salad with greens
8:00 Slice of black bean brownie cake with butter whipped frosting


8:30 Coffee w/2 Tbl half and half and 2 packets of Truvia
10:27 Generous piece of black bean brownie cake
12:30 2 turkey roll-up: 2 pieces of turkey, 2 slices of American cheese, 1/2 avocado
5:30 Chicken breast with veggies
6:00 37 Calorie Brownies (needs a bit of tweaking, they taste okay) I used Almond Milk instead of milk.

Drinks: Organic Raw Hibiscus Komucha (drank 8oz in the morning and 8oz with supper), Passion tea (lots).


8:30 Coffee with cream and Truvia
9:00 37 Calorie Brownies (I’m going to tweak the recipe a bit and try them again.)
12:00 Kefir Smoothie
6:00 Low carb pizza (Annette made pizza)

I enjoyed a Mulit Green Komucha.

I was not feeling well today and just wanted to sleep. My whole body ached, my head hurt, and I was a mess.


  • Evolution Sweet Greens juice 8oz
  • Coffee with half and half with Truvia
  • 37 Cal. Brownie (threw the rest out)
  • Chicken and veggie stirfry
  • Berry Kefir shake with cod liver oil, bee pollen, protein powder, coconut cream, and sweetened with Kal stevia.
  • 2 slices of pizza but I only ate the topping which was pepperoni and cheese.
  • Small piece of a peanut butter fudge brownie made with coconut sugar at Awana (a friend was so sweet to bring me a piece of fudge, because I don’t eat an AWANA snack anymore)

I didn’t keep track of the time, sorry.


7:30 Kefir Smoothie
8:00 coffee with half and hald and two packets of Truvia
12:15 1 cup 2% cottage cheese and 1 med. green apple
2:13 Muffin in a Bowl a low-carb cake type muffin
5:00 Salmon salad
8:00 We went out for pizza and I had two slices of the topping only
9:00 Starbucks Mocha Latte no sugar made with cream.

I didn’t plan on having a Mocha but hubby was treating all of us for the hard weekend work of putting sod, painting the house, etc.


7:15 Kefir Smoothie
11:30 1 cup cottage cheese and a small green apple with 8oz of Komucha (berry)
2:00 Cod Liver Smoothie (haha, it’s my regular Kefir smoothie but I used cod liver instead of coconut oil)
5:00 8oz Komucha
6:30 2 Low-carb biscuits, 2 scrambled egg, and 2oz of cheddar cheese (yum)

I made the low-carb biscuits from Satisfying Eats cookbook. The recipe made 12 biscuits but I made them a little larger and got 6. I then sliced them in half and enjoyed an egg sandwich. I should have only ate one but I was so excited to be eating a biscuit again that I over ate Sad smile.


The biscuit has about 2 net carbs so mine were around 4.


9:30 coffee with 2 Tbl Half and Half and 2 packets Truvia
11:45 Sandwich-1 low carb biscuit cut in half, 2 Tbl mayo, tomato, turkey slices, 1/2 avocado, and 8oz of Komucha
3:00 Low-carb Brownie ( used coconut sap instead of honey and only 2TB)
4:30 My SIL had a birthday party for her son. I had cottage cheese, mushrooms, bell peppers, and 8 pieces of Chick-fil-a nuggets
8:00 Genghis Grill I brought most of it home with me
9:45 Skinny Latte with cream

I Collect Jars Too

My Jars

I love jars of all sizes. They are so pretty to me. I only collect jars that have a wide mouth. I recently have added smaller jars too. I use to throw the small ones out but I have noticed they are very useful when I open a can of coconut milk or even smaller can of coconut cream.

Some come from peanut butter jars, salsa jars, jam jars, and even a pickle jar although I have to soak and wash the pickle jars really good.

I put all kinds of things in them, homemade frosting, coconut milk, extra black beans for my Mex. Cottage Cheese salad, and my dad’s homemade salsa, the uses are endless.

Morning Kefir Shake

Kefir Shake

I love my morning Kefir shake. I have this almost every morning. I’m not a big breakfast person and with trying to get our homeschooling going at 8:00 A.M. I need something quick and filling. This fits the bill most of the time.

This morning I drank my Kefir shake at 7:30 A.M. and didn’t feel hungry until 11:45 A.M. (I checked the clock). My hubby drinks one every morning too and it keeps him satisfied until lunch.

Here is my basic Kefir shake. I sometimes add other powders or oils to it. I will add my Cod Liver oil to this but make it extra sweet so I don’t taste any of the Cod Liver oil. I have some MACA powder that I want to try but haven’t yet.

  • 1 cup plain Kefir
  • 1 scoop Swanson protein powder
  • 1 tsp bee pollen (optional)
  • 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk from the can (not the carton)
  • 1 TBL coconut oil or MCT (coconut becomes solid in the winter months Winking smile so I then switch to MCT Oil)
  • Sweeten to taste, I use Kal stevia (Kal less than a little scoop)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries or 1 cup of any other berries (I try to keep our shake low glycemic so that's why I keep to the 1/2 cup blueberries or 1 cup of any other berries)

I put all but the berries in the blender first and blend, then add the berries (this seems to keep the coconut oil from becoming solid which if it does you'll have little coconut chunks). Taste before pouring into your glass to see if you sweetened it just right, add more sweetener if needed.

If you don't have Kefir on hand Greek yogurt will work but I add some almond milk or water so the shake/smoothie won't be so thick.

Other sweeteners I use:

Joshua’s 10th Grade Curriculum!!! (13/14)

High School
My eldest son is in his 2nd year of high school. I still can’t believe I have a high schooler. Wow!
This year we decided to switch from Bob Jones to Heart of Dakota. We loved Bob Jones but it was hard to complete most of it. Joshua worked hard to get his schoolwork done and spent many hours a day trying to keep up.

I showed him HOD I laid it all the facts in front of him (I knew how to approach him Winking smile ). The main fact was it looked more doable for him, something that can be completed. Joshua likes to complete what he starts. For him to start a program but not finish it, he doesn’t see that as accomplishing his work. He is a start to finish kind of guy. He thrives on that and after he completed PeopleKeys StudentKeys Student Workbooks I understand that this is very important to him so I’m excited to see him finish the last page of all his books this year.
The Hearts for Him High School World Geography package from Heart of Dakota looks wonderful and I’m really excited about this school year for Joshua.
This exciting course give credits:
  • 1 full credit for World Geography
  • 1/2 credit for World Religion
  • 1 credit for Bible
  • 1/2 credit for Logic
  • 1/2 credit for Spanish (we are adding in Latin too so I’m not sure if I should make this 1 full credit)
  • 1 credit for English
  • 1 credit for Science
  • 1 credit for Math
I tried breaking up the subjects but might have placed a book in the wrong section.
I forgot to grab and take a picture of his AWANA book. He will be using that as part of his Bible program too.
Josh is pretty excited about Logic using these two books.
There is suppose to be a picture of Must See Places of the World DVD set as well but my son misplaced the set.

I have been wanting to have Joshua use Mapping the World with Art for years but could never fit it in and guess what?!?! It’s part of his 10th grade year. I don’t know why I was amazed how God worked everything out. Some of the books in the HOD package were books that I have been wanting Joshua to use. The Logic set was another one and the timeline too!!!
I’ve been trying to read some of the books for his World Religion course but I’ve only read Dared to Call Him Father so far.
His English Course is packed with good reads!!! I swapped out Rod and Staff English with Bridgway English. I had The Screwtape Letters audio so I added that in and told Joshua he can read and listen to this book.
Another picture of his English Course. I love books and taking pictures =)
Living Library
The Living Library books are his extra reads to help his geography/history course come alive as they say. One can never have too many books!
Joshua will also complete a Physical Education course via Alert Cadet and Family Fitness program.
He is also completing a Micro Business for Teens.
Bible and Devotional Study (1 full credit):
  • Rooted & Grounded Bible Study
  • Scripture Memorization
  • Prayer for Unreached People Groups, Personal Prayer Based on the Biblical Model of Prayer, Keeping a Prayer Journal
  • Choice of Practical Happiness or Stepping Heavenward
  • Reading and Annotating
Logic (½ credit):
  • The Fallacy Detective
  • Art of Argument
  • Discussions
  • Completion of Provided Questions and Assignments
English (1 full credit):
  • BJU Fundamentals of Literature
    • Readings
    • Discussions
    • Answering Literary Analysis, Biblical Worldview, and Critical Thinking Questions
  • Classic Novels: Girl Set or Boy Set
    • Readings
    • Oral Narrations
    • Written Narrations
    • Common Place Book Entries
  • Essentials in Writing: Grade 10
    • DVD Lessons
    • Follow-up Assignments:
    • Writing Personal, Persuasive, Expository, and Compare and Contrast Essays
    • Research Paper
  • Building Securely English (first half)
    • Grammar
    • Writing
    • English Skills
  • Studied Dictation (passages included)
Science with or without Lab (1 full credit):
  • Integrated Physics & Chemistry Course
    • 12 Chapters (742 pages) of Narrative Text Written by John Hudson Tiner on Physics and Chemistry-Related Topics
    • Accompanying Activity Books Utilize Fill- in the-Blank, Vocabulary, and Short Answer Questions
  • MicroPhySci Lab Kit
    • Lab Manual (207 pages) and Kit include 36 Experiments with Supplies to Perform Each Experiment 5 Times (Note: Some Household Supplies Are Required)
    • Experiments Are Scheduled in theWorld Geography Guide to match Tiner's Integrated Physics & ChemistryText
Math (1 full credit): Bridgeway Math books 1 & 2
World Geography (1 full credit):
  • Readings
  • Key Word, Summary, Detailed, and Topic Oral Narrations
  • Expedition Journal Entries consisting of Bulleted Notes, Outlines, Sketches, Primary Source Documents, Questions Based on Bloom's Taxonomy, Video Viewing Guides, Research Topics, Socratic Discussions, etc.
  • DVD Viewing and Follow-ups using Must See Places of the World
  • Written Narrations of Geography Readings
  • Book of Centuries Portrait Gallery and Lined Timeline Entries
  • Guided Mapping Lessons using Mapping the World With Art
  • Hands-on Geography and Navigational Projects/Activities
  • Living Library Readings followed by Writing a One-Sentence Summary or Giving an Oral Narration
World Religion & Cultures (½ credit)
  • Readings
  • Graphic Organizers and Reflective Notebook Entries for World Religion & Culture's Study
  • Bookmark Prompts Target Higher-Level Responses to Readings
  • Oral Narrations
Foreign Language Option (½ credit):
  • Getting Started With Spanish

Annette’s 8th Grade Curriculum (2013/2014)

I can’t believe my baby girl is one year away from high school. Time goes by way too fast.
This year Annette will use Heart of Dakota-Mission to Modern Marvels. I’m excited for her. Last year she used HOD Resurrection to Reformation and she really enjoyed it and I loved the Christ-centeredness of it.
The next two photos came out blurry, sorry.
State History
Independent Reading
Writing and Grammar
Annette will continue with Essentials in Writing 7. She started this in the middle of her 7th grade year. Easy Grammar Plus she will use daily and The Great Authors-Analytical Grammar she uses 1 every two weeks.
I wanted her to to do some grammar daily so I chose Easy Grammar. I also didn’t want her to lose her diagramming skills so she will use the reinforcement books too.
Annette was doing well with Math-U-See and I had planned for her to use Pre-Algebra this year but I was blessed to review VideoText Algebra Modules A and B, so we are going to give it a try and see how she does.

As if she doesn’t have enough books to read Smile with tongue out. She finished half of the book and has four more genres to go.
Annette will continue with her once (and sometimes twice) a week sewing class. This year she is working on perfecting her apron skills.
She made a pretty dress this summer and last year she made aprons for me and one for Josh too. She also made a cute little dress for her 6yr. cousin.
Heart of Dakota
  • Developing a Biblical Worldview of Self-Image through Who Am I? And What Am I Doing Here?
  • Nature Study with Nature Drawing and Journaling by Barry Stebbing
  • Personal Quiet-Time Bible Study of Romans, Galatians, and James through the Quest Study Faith at Work
  • Bible Passage Memory Work of Romans Chapter 12 and James Chapter 4
  • Hymn Study with Hymns for a Kid’s Heart Vol. 2
  • Spelling: Choice of three sets of Dictation Passages
  • Grammar Lessons using the text Progressing with Courage: English 6
  • Literature Study using Drawn into the Heart of Reading Level 6/7/8
  • Writing Lessons-Essentials in Writing 7
  •  Videotext Algebra
  • Living Book Science Readings about 20th Century Scientists, Chemistry Topics, and Creation vs. Evolution
  • Science Notebooking
  • Science Written Narrations
  • Science Experiments with Written Lab Sheets emphasizing the Scientific Process with Chemistry C500 Kit and Genetics & DNA Kit
  • Corresponding History Readings
  • Detailed Oral Narrations
  • History Related Read-Alouds
  • Historical Mapping Exercises and Connections using Map Trek and the United States History Atlas
  • Corresponding Audio Overview of History with Diana Waring's What in the World Vol. III
  • Socratic Discussions of Primary Source Documents
  • Creation of a History Notebook
  • Period Memorabilia
  • Timeline Sketches
  • Research Entries on the Presidents of the United States
  • Written Narrations
  • Snapshot in Time: Connecting a Photograph or Sketch with the History Reading through Captions, Bulleted Notes, Outlines, Quotes, Excerpts, etc.
  • Step-by-step Sketching with Draw and Write Through History: The 20th Century
  • Copywork: Speeches and Quotes
  • Weekly Hands-on History Projects
  • Log of Economic Principles from Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? and Common Sense Business for Kids
  • Optional: Christian State Study of Your Individual State