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Apologia – Flourish, Balance for Homeschool Moms – Review

Flourish Book Review
The Company

Apologia offers a wide variety of products and services for to meet the needs of homeschoolers.  The company is family owned and part of their mission to equip families to defend their Christian faith.  They offer creation based science products for all grade levels.  The present a Biblical Worldview in all of their products.  Other products include planners, homeschooling books, history, language arts, and constitutional literacy.  The also offer online classes.

Flourish Book Review

The Product

This time the review was for me.  I had the chance to read “Flourish, Balance for Homeschool Moms” by Mary Jo Tate. Flourish contains 16 chapters that cover many aspects in the life of homeschool moms.  Within the book you will explore life management, family life, homemaking, homeschooling, reading, home business, and being a single parent.  The information contain in the pages isn’t so much a do this and that presentation but a tool box that will help give you the ideas and practical advice that will help you create your plan of action.  The appendix itself is also full of useful information and tools including planning forms, resource lists, notes, and contact information.  Also, the forms are available for purchasers of the book online so that you can download them and print them out as needed.Flourish Book Review

Each chapter end with a Take Action! section.  This section will help guide you to begin to utilize what you have read.  Even those chapters that you feel don’t pertain directly to you still hold great information that can be put to use in your life in different ways.

Flourish comes from the heart of Mary Jo Tate who learned and developed her ideas through her own life experiences.  She willingly shares her own experiences and is willing to admit her own failures at time.  She was an “ordinary” homeschool mom when her world was changed through divorce.  She had to find ways to care for her young sons and provide for them while still maintaining a homeschool lifestyle.

My Use and What I’m Taking Away 

#flourishathome #aplogia #homeschoolmomsWhen I started the book it was exciting to see someone I know personally as both a homeschool mom and entrepreneur had written the foreword.  It was like having it handed to me and hearing, “Here you should read this book.”  Yet I found myself picking it up and putting it down several times.  I kept thinking this isn’t really for me.  I’m not single and work outside the home and don’t have my own business.  I found myself near the end of the review period and the book barely begun.  I realized that how can I be upset at my children when they don’t put effort into things because it doesn’t excite them.  I determined to finish the book for no other reason than I wanted to set a good example for my children.  And I’m so thankful that I did.

Suddenly there I was reading Chapter 3 – The Freedom Toolbox.  There was so much there I needed.  I spent a day going over the chapter and working on the activity.  The next day I read several more chapters and so on and the book I couldn’t seem to start was finished in just a few days.  I really love the fact that the chapters don’t end with think about it questions but instead a call to action.  But what I realize is that the action required often including taking the time to really think about how those ideas would apply to my life.

I haven’t started using all the ideas I gleamed from the book because I am taking heart in the idea presented of taking small steps, making those things a habit, and then adding to them.   A few of the immediate action steps I took was to get out my blogging planner and really think about what things were coming up and to begin to jot down ideas so that instead of just being random thoughts they were now clear plans.  I started a running weekly to-do list.  I am using Google Keep because it’s easy to add new things to the to-do list and I love check them off and seeing them move to the bottom of the list.  Crossed off but bearing witness to the fact that I was getting things done.  With a new idea of having a plan I was even able to keep on track or reschedule when I got an expected call in to work a couple of days this week.  Instead of stressing about what I might be leaving undone I knew I had a list and could go back to it when I had time.  I was able to make use of small increments of time because when I knew I didn’t have time to write a whole blog post, I could take the time to do some social media sharing and commenting.

One unexpected consequence of the chapter on Home Business was the release it gave me.  I have always felt like in some ways I was a failure as a homeschool mom because when we needed more income I took a part-time job instead of starting some kind of home business.  I had tried a couple of things in the past like selling scrapbooking supplies but the never felt right and they weren’t successful.  In reading through this chapter I realized why I wasn’t successful.  It wasn’t because I wasn’t intelligent or even dedicated it just wasn’t a good fit.  As I read through the steps I realized that just reading about a home based business was enough to make me feel squeamish.  Maybe someday I will feel differently because something will catch my passion but I feel better now following a different path because it fits me and my personality.

And don’t skip the chapters on being a single parent as there are lots of wonderful ideas in there that can help you minister better to single parents around you.

Finally, I’m looking forward to taking the ideas and tools and applying them in my life and situation.  And that to me is the most remarkable part about this book.  You can take what you learn and apply right where you are today.  You can continue to use the tools and make adjustments overtime.  You can begin to build good habit on good habit.  Life is about forward motion and using good tools to keep moving forward.

Purchase information

Ready for some balance, Flourish, Balance for the Homeschool Mom can be purchased for $15.00.  It is for any homeschool mom no matter where you find yourself these days.

Check Out Other Reviews of Homeschool Moms

Click to read Crew Reviews

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M is for Madeline & Miss Rumphius – ABC Blogging

Wow – Half Way There – ABC Blogging 

Hard to believe that this post marks the middle of the alphabet.  This has been such a fun journey.  I have gotten to revisit some of my favorite books from both my childhood but also my children’s.  I’ve even gotten to explore some new favorites that I found working with my preschool class.

Always time to Join the ABC Blogging fun

You can jump in any time with your own posts for the week.  You can also comment and leave your own book ideas.  I’d love to hear from you whether you are enjoying meeting up with old book friends or having the chance to make new friends.

ABC Blogging – Letter M

#abcblogging #madeline #missrumphius #fiarI have two books to share this week.  The first is a classic favorite “Madeline” by Ludwig Bemelmans.  This book has been around for years.  There are sequels to the first book written by Mr. Bemelmans.  There have also been lots of different adaptations including movies and cartoon series.  The story told in rhyme is about a brave and sassy little girl who lives with eleven other girls and the nun who cares for them.  I was never sure if this was some kind of school or an orphanage.  The story takes place in Paris and the story shows off some of the city’s highlights.  Madeline has an official website where you can learn more about the history of the book and can even sign up for a birthday club where Madeline will send you birthday greetings.   The illustrations are simple yet draw the reader.  The New York Historical Society Museum and Library are featuring Ludwig Bemelmans’ artwork to mark the 75th anniversary of Madeline.

The second book is “Miss Rumphius” by Barbara Cooney.  This story tells about a the life a woman who as a child was encouraged to do three things in life.  The final item on the list was to make the world more beautiful.  She traveled and had adventures but her health become a problem.  When she was sick she noticed the beautiful flowers growing outside her window.  In the summer she spread the lupine seeds around the area.  People thought she was crazy but when the flowers bloomed they understood what she had brought to their world.  The lupine itself is a versatile flower.  You can find out about growing them on different websites including About Home and Plant Natural.  We read Miss Rumphius as part of our Five in A Row study.  At the end of the week we went out and planted some flowers of our own.

Stop by Ben and Me for more ABC Blogging Fun


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HomeSchoolPiano – Complete Set of Books – Review

Homeschool Piano Review


HomeSchoolPiano is designed to help you unlock the pianist inside of you.  It starts with the very basics and progresses through several levels.  The method follows a six-step cycle that includes technique, rhythm, ear training, reading, song, and improvisation.  Also, each level has advanced techniques to further challenge the learning.  The lessons are available through online.  Each level also comes with printables to be used with the lessons.  The student will watch the video lessons, following along with the worksheet if applicable, and then practice for themselves.  The lessons can be viewed on a PC or using a tablet device.

It is recommended that use a full keyboard for the lessons.  Currently we have 49-key midi piano and I emailed the company about using it.  They were quick to respond and reassured me that since my daughter was in the very beginning stages we would be able to work with what we had until we could gain access to something more advanced.  I was impressed with how quickly they responded.  Also, you can use any type of keyboard from a plug-in midi board to a regular piano.  Since the students playing isn’t being  judged by the software you aren’t tied to the computer.  That way if you are using a piano you can watch the lesson on your tablet and then practice all in one spot.


Homeschool Piano Review

Complete Set of Books – Success Package Provides All You Need

We reviewed the Complete Set of Books that provides a complete system for learning to play the piano.  There are three books in the program.  Each book is divided into 6 units.  The units include lessons that cover the six-step cycle so students are constantly challenged without being overwhelmed.  The Complete System also includes the CorePiano which is for very basic beginners, the ability to download the video lessons to be viewed when you are offline.  Which is another advantage of the actually playing not being tied to the software, and a Jam Track which is a downloadable CD to enhance your music practice.

The six-step cycle is interesting because it includes so many different elements to the learning experience.  Technique helps with the how-to’s so that the student can increase their skill level.  Rhythm will help ensure that even you can stay keep up with the beat.  Ear Training helps you to really hear the music.  Reading helps the student learn to read the music and apply the written page to actually playing.  Song helps the student be able to learn and practice the technique of playing and singing along.  And finally, improvisation helps the student really have fun with the music and make it their own.

CorePiano contains over 30 lessons that are designed for those just starting out with piano training or those who have been away for while.  It is also a great introduction to their learning methods of HomeSchoolPiano.  Book 1 is for the beginning student and includes six original compositions the help the student learn a variety of techniques.  There are quizzes at the end of each unit to further enhance the learning experience.  Book 2 continues the students training and if you have previous piano training this can be a good starting point.  Book 3 helps the student become well-rounded and encourages their own creativeness.

The complete package offers 2-3 years worth of piano instruction while working at your own pace.  The Success Package – Complete Set of Books is available for $299.  There is also an optional payment plan that offers 3-monthly payments of $99.97.  The package includes:

  • Online, unlimited, lifetime access to HomeSchoolPiano.com
  • Tracking and Quizzes for up to five students
  • Unlimited lesson streaming to any device
  • Unlimited music downloads
  • Unlimited lesson video downloads
  • Downloadable Jam Track CD

Learning Piano at our house

#homeschoolpiano #review #hsreview #piano #onlineHannah has never really gotten very far with other music programs so she started at the CorePiano level.  She is working through the lessons slowly to make sure she is understanding and retaining what she is learning.  Because of everything going on this summer she has been doing one lesson a week.  Working through the lesson one day and doing some practicing two or more other days.

We Enjoyed HomeSchoolPiano

This is the first time I’ve really seen Hannah put so much effort into learning the piano.  In the past she has gotten frustrated with learning software that was tied to the playing.  When it didn’t exactly match the computers requirement it was discouraging for her.  With HomeSchoolPiano she can play and practice in a way that makes it a lot more fun for her.  I love the fact that we have unlimited and lifetime access to the learning program.  This way I don’t feel that I need to rush through the lessons so that we cover as much as possible.  I love the way that we can move through the program at a pace that encourages learning at the students own pace.

The lessons are easy to follow and the additional printable materials helps the student follow along.  I really like the six-step cycle that will help the student be well-rounded and ready to play in a variety of ways.

#homeschoolpiano #piano #review

HomeSchoolPiano the Facts

Homeschool Piano Review
HomeSchoolPiano is suitable any age as long as they have the desire to learn.  As noted above the Success Package- Complete Book sells for $299 which can be paid all at once or in 3-monthly payments of $99.97.  The package contains all the wonderful things listed above in the product description.  Of course the best feature is the unlimited lifetime access for up to five people.

Review Crew Link Up

We are still working on the CorePiano in our house.  Check out the graphic below to learn more about other levels as well.


Click to read Crew Reviews

#disclaimer #reviewcrew

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L is for Lentil – ABC Blogging

ABC Blogging Week 12 

Well we are moving through the alphabet.  This week we are the letter L.  This week I only have one entry but it has been a favorite since I was little.

Join the ABC Blogging Fun

Want to join in.  Check on the graphic at the bottom of the page to add your own link or comment here with your own favorite books.

L is for Lentil 

#abcblogging #books #lentil “Lentil” by Robert McCloskey was a favorite of mine ever since I was a child and heard it read.  Robert McCloskey is probably best known for the book “Make Way for Ducklings” but he contributed a lot more to the world of children books.  You can find more information about Robert McCloskey in this Wikipedia article.  In the story the town grump almost ruins a special event in the life of the town but Lentil saves the day.  Here is a You Tube link to a 1967 recording of the story.

Because Lentil can’t pucker he can’t whistle so he takes up the harmonica and like I said he ends up saving the day because the sound of a lemon being eaten had puckered up the rest of the town.  You can try a lemon and see if it makes you pucker.  You can compare things that are sour and sweet.

Maybe reading the story will interest your child in learning more about playing a harmonica.  Here is just one of the many sites out there that offer lessons in harmonica playing.

But you can also talk about the little boy’s name.  Lentil is an unusual name for a child because they are a food.  Lentils are actually very nutritious and can be used in any number of recipes even chocolate cake.

ABC Blogging Link Up


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