Homeschooling the twins this year has been an awesome adventure. Rather than having them study independently as in previous years, I’ve enjoyed learning right alongside them. As we count down the days until summer break, I’m busy taking inventory of what we did and assigning final grades. Come take a peek at the progress the twins made in Social Studies.
In my earlier review of CrossWired Science CWS), I shared my excitement at how this online program presents information on large, interconnected areas of science. At that time, I had barely scratched the surface of the deeper science instruction further on in the course. In the Sound unit, these sections are entitled Digging Deeper; the Fluid Dynamics unit refers to them as Gold Digs.
A couple of weeks after I published my review, I chatted with CrossWired founder Don Miller, who has an incredible vision for the future of CWS. I shared with him how much the girls and I were enjoying the Digging Deeper sections. Noticing my fresh enthusiasm, he asked, “Is it possible to add something about Gold Digs and Digging Deepers into your review?”
Rather than expanding on this topic in my pre-existing review, I expressed my eagerness to write a separate blog post about it. Now, having more fully explored this valuable feature, let me share how we approached it and what we enjoyed about it.
When the Crew reviewed products from The Critical Thinking Co. last year, I was disappointed that our schedule didn’t allow us to participate. There were some awesome products I really wanted to try out with the girls! This year, I got a second chance. My twin daughters and I sat down and sorted through the options. One girl was excited to try out Building Writing Skills - Essential Tips & Techniques, while the other preferred Critical Thinking Detective - Vocabulary Book 2. We agreed to review either of the two products.
The following week, the Crew made the final decision, and we received our digital copy of Building Writing Skills - Essential Tips & Techniques.
In February, my high school sophomore asked for a quick and easy way to earn college credit. I immediately introduced her to CLEP tests and helped her sign up for an online course to help her prepare. When we received a three-month subscription to Study.com online test prep materials for the CLEP and DSST exams, she and I were both excited. I wanted to give her plenty of options for acquiring the information and many opportunities to review it. The more resources she has available to prepare, the more confidence she’ll have, and the better she will do on the actual test.
My twin daughters love reading adventure stories. When we were offered a chance to read and review the first two books in The Hamelin Stoop Series, we signed up right away.
On the afternoon that our package from 12 Gates Publishing arrived, we could hardly wait to get started. We spent the first few days wrestling for dibs on the books. Multiple bookmarks recorded our various places in Hamelin Stoop: The Eagle, The Cave, and the Footbridge (Book 1). After a weekend reading marathon a week later, I finished the first book. I had Hamelin Stoop: The Lost Princess and the Jewel of Periluna (Book 2) all to myself for a few days.
As a teenager, I only attended one youth lock-in, but I remember like it was yesterday. Until a few weeks before the event, I had never even heard of a lock-in. Our youth group leader had the insane idea that all the teens might enjoy hanging out in the church overnight, playing a bunch of games, and having a Bible lesson. He was right. On the day it was announced, I eagerly asked my parents for permission when I got home. As soon as they said “Yes,” I called my boyfriend and invited him to tag along as well. I couldn’t wait!
Lock-in night arrived at last. Since dinner wouldn’t be served at the lock-in, my mom lovingly served me chicken and parsley potatoes. Despite my excitement, I somehow managed to wolf it down. I packed up my pajamas, Bible, sleeping bag, and toothbrush. Just before the event was scheduled to start, Dad drove me to church. A bunch of kids were already there, including my boyfriend. It would be a night to remember.
Have you ever met the perfect homeschool mom? Picture her in your mind. Her lavishly decorated home could pass the white glove test any day of the week. Her many children are flawlessly groomed and always well-behaved. She gets up early, studies the Bible for an hour or more, then spends at least five to fifteen minutes praying for her spouse and each child. Every day. Without fail. Rain or shine, sick or well. That could add up to an hour…or two or three…of prayer every day just for her husband and kids. Where does she ever find the time?
While I believe the woman of the previous paragraph is a myth, we all know that we need to pray for our children. This job of parenting and homeschooling is gargantuan, and there is no way we can do it on our own. We need divine assistance.
Last week, I gathered with some homeschool mom friends at the local Moe’s, where we talked about Scripture verses we pray for our kids. I love the idea of praying for my kids using the Word because I can be certain that I’m praying God’s will for them.
As my girls and I have explored the Eastern Hemisphere with Sonlight Curriculum this year, we have become increasingly fascinated with Asian cultures. My twin daughters had already used Mango Languages, Duolingo, and other online resources to learn a bit of Japanese. Their fascination with Japan is part of what drew us to the Sonlight program this year.
As we explored various Eastern cultures throughout the school year, the girls’ attention gravitated to Singapore. Realizing that one of the official languages there was Chinese, they wanted to learn it. We already had the Chinese edition of the Rosetta Stone software, which I promptly installed on my computer. Along the way, though, I decided to try out Duolingo, a powerful free app designed to help anyone learn whatever language they want to.
When I looked at the crew review calendar a couple of months ago and discovered CrossWired Science, I started to get excited. Though the site had not been released yet at that time, I loved the philosophy behind it. I could hardly wait to see what their program would be like.
CrossWired Science will be a complete creation-based online science curriculum that integrates a number of science disciplines in each of their Global Topics. Sound, and Fluid Dynamics are the first units to be released.
I am so glad our family was chosen to review CrossWired Science. As the twins have explored science using their materials, their enthusiasm and interest in God’s creation have grown.
When my middle daughter turned fifteen last month, one item topped her wish list—her Learner’s Permit. To her, it was a symbol of growing up, a testament to her blossoming independence, and an official ID.
Months earlier, her older sister had given her the Georgia Drivers Manual. “Miss Independent” had dutifully read through the entire booklet and challenged herself with various online practice tests.