Taiwan for the Holidays - Day 1 Adventures

Early Tuesday morning, we left my parents’ house in Maryland. Twenty hours of flying and two layovers later, we touched down in Taiwan on Wednesday night. A driver met us at the airport and drove us to an Airbnb apartment—our home base for the next six weeks. The night concluded with a short visit from Grammy and a snack run to the 7-11. Exhausted, we fell into bed.

Thanksgiving Day marked our first morning in Taiwan, where most people do not celebrate the distinctly American holiday. We woke up early and set out in search of breakfast.

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Braces For Five

Our braces journey began eight years ago when the dentist sent our son for a consultation with the orthodontist. Within weeks, my son’s mouth was full of metal. Thus began our initiation into the process of teeth-straightening.

Two years later, my son’s braces were removed to reveal a handsome smile. But our encounter with braces had only begun. Soon, our four daughters would also experience this modern-day rite of passage.

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Wrapping up a Year of Sonlight

When we began using Sonlight a year ago to learn about the Eastern hemisphere, I knew it would be an adventure. Reading exciting novels together, we imagined what life was like for children on the other side of the globe. Non-fiction selections highlighted history and culture. Enthralling missionary biographies demonstrated what it’s like to lay down your life to share God’s good news abroad. As the girls also read many novels on their own, their independence blossomed.

With such a wealth of reading material, both twins were excited to start their Sonlight assignments each day. While they chowed down on breakfast, I asked questions about the previous day’s reading and then began the day’s read-alouds. After a brief break to complete a math lesson, they continued exploring the remaining Sonlight resources on their own later in the day.

It’s hard to believe that we made it to the end of the thick instructor guide and to the bottom of our reading list. What amazing books were included in the Sonlight program! Let me share with you several stand-out books that we will continue to treasure.

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Most Helpful Crew Review Resources of 2019

Since I am a member of the Homeschool Review Crew, my family has the privilege of voting for our favorite review products of the year. This week, my daughters and I sat down to select this year’s most fun and helpful Crew review resources. It was fascinating to discover that our favorites were all unique. Read on to find out what we voted for.

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Review of Calvert Homeschool - Studying High School Science Online

This fall, we had the opportunity to review online courses from Calvert Homeschool. Initially, I reasoned that it would provide a convenient online curriculum for my high school daughter to study government. Since I have multiple students, we were able to enroll in the family plan, which allows all three of my daughters to use Calvert Homeschool Online. With access to a full curriculum, they could even complete all of their courses on the site.

After exploring the various options, my high schooler surprised me. Could she take the high school Chemistry course instead of a government class? Of course, she could! My 8th-grade twins, who were also ready to try something new, dove right into high school level Integrated Physics and Chemistry. Since we already had materials for our other areas of study, we chose to focus on Calvert Homeschool’s science programs.

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In the Footsteps of Jesus - the Journey of a Lifetime

Recently, while reading from the Gospel of Matthew, I intuitively recalled last year’s journey to Israel. It’s amazing how, more than a year later, the words of Scripture still leap off the page in a new way. As the passage drew me in, I could picture the places and imagine what it was like.

The idea that I walked in the footsteps of Jesus boggles my mind. I am glad I went. Our church is planning another tour of Israel for next year. Although we may not make the trip this time around, I decided to compile a summary post to recap our experience. Follow all of the links to read the full account. Will it inspire you to make the journey of a lifetime to the Holy Land?

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Review of Smartick Math Enrichment

The first time I investigated the Smartick website, I was intrigued. Kids ages 4 to 14 can use the site for about 15 minutes a day to improve their math skills. Although I feared it would not benefit my 13-year-old twin math prodigies, I signed up for a free two-week trial to let them preview the site.

During the first three days, they completed a series of level assessments to determine their starting point in the program. One girl was highly motivated and enjoyed Smartick from the start. Although her twin sister did not share her excitement, she didn’t mind using the website for 15 minutes a day. Based on their interest level, we signed up to review Smartick for the Review Crew.

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Why I Love Being on the Homeschool Review Crew

When I started my blog two years ago, I had no idea how it would change the way we homeschool. A few weeks after I began blogging, I applied to join the Old Schoolhouse Magazine’s Homeschool Review Crew. Although I thought it was a longshot, I was thrilled to receive a “Welcome to the Crew” email later that month.

Being part of the Homeschool Review Crew was the best thing I could do for my blog. Read on to discover ways it has helped me grow—both as a blogger and as a homeschool mom.

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