Growing and Learning in Coronavirus Lockdown

It’s been fascinating to observe how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected families with kids who attend traditional schools. While they’ve adjusted to a technological learning environment, our homeschool style hasn’t changed tremendously. We’re still using the same lesson plans we started the semester with. The twins are using a literature-based curriculum, while my high schooler has been utilizing free online courses to fulfill her requirements. That’s not to say we haven’t been affected by the situation. Although the shelter-in-place order has not hampered our homeschooling, it is definitely influencing our lives.

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How to Bring Life to Family History by Colorizing Photos

Colorizing old photos fascinates me. Last week, I discovered MyHeritage in Color™, a tool that quickly adds color to black and white images.

Initially, I raided my husband’s collection of family photos for images to colorize. This week, I turned to my own side of the family. Using my family tree on Ancestry, I searched for promising pictures. Which types of images produce the best results? And how can I confirm the accuracy of colorized features in the photos?

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Help! Children's Church is Cancelled! Now What?

Throughout the world, church services have gone digital in response to COVID-19. What a blessing that we can still connect with each other, worship God, and grow spiritually! While you attend church remotely on Sunday morning, does handling the kids seem like a juggling act?

Lately, my inbox has been full of Bible resources perfect for kids younger than my own. Some of them may keep your children occupied so you can focus on the sermon. All of them can help a child learn more about Jesus and grow in their faith.

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Can I Easily Add Color to Old Photos?

In my spare time, I dabble in genealogy. Photos can enhance family history. Often, however, the black and white images I find seem hard to relate to. While watching Genealogy TV this week, I learned about a tool that could breathe new life into old photos.

MyHeritage in Color™ can transform a black and white photo into vibrant colors. Faces light up. Clothing becomes more colorful. The vegetation in the background actually turns green. Yesterday, I had fun experimenting with this tool using family photos from our basement.

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Review of Home School in the Woods Timeline Collection

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Are you timeline-challenged? Does the idea of drawing (or having your kids draw) pictures of historical figures to stick in a book or on the living room wall turn your stomach? Does your perfectionist self dread searching online for the ideal image to illustrate your timeline? Do your kids groan when you pull out your carefully crafted figures? Until this month, I answered “YES!” to all of those questions. We had given up on timelines.

When our family was chosen to review Amy Pak’s Timeline Collection: A Collection of Historical Timeline Figures, I knew it was time to try again. Would the beautifully detailed, hand-drawn images from Home School in the Woods rescue us from timeline failure?

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Review of YWAM Publishing - Captain John Smith

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

What do you know about Captain John Smith? Before my 14-year-old daughters read Heroes of HistoryCaptain John Smith: A Foothold in the New World, they knew him only as the English explorer who helped settle Jamestown and was saved from execution by Pocahantas. YWAM Publishing’s biography of Captain Smith reveals much more about his life and influence. The corresponding Unit Study helped add to our understanding.

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Taiwan for the Holidays - Have You Ever Tasted a Wheel Cake?

We had been in Taiwan for about a week when we stopped for a closer look at a food stall we’d passed several times. The pastries cooking on the specialized griddle resembled hockey pucks. Correctly surmising that we didn’t speak Chinese, a worker handed us an English menu.

Officially called Car Wheel Cakes, the delicious pastries could be filled with red bean paste, custard, sesame paste, taro, or even loaded baked potato filling. With so many options, which ones would we choose?

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Is Homeschooling the Best Option for My Family?

This post contains affiliate links.

Earlier this week, one of my friends reached out to me. Because her kids are having a difficult time in public school, she and her husband are considering homeschooling. For the next half hour, we chatted about the realities of homeschooling. How much does it cost? Is it really better than public school? How do you handle subjects that you struggled with—or that your kids may already be behind in? What are the pros and cons? Read on for my answers.

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Focus on World Missions: Venturing with God in Congo

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Are your kids fascinated by missionary stories? Mine sure are! When offered an opportunity to review a new missionary biography, Venturing with God in Congo, the twins and I were excited. The book provides a firsthand account of Darrell Champlin’s experiences as a missionary to Congo in the mid-1900s. When the package arrived from Conjurske Publications, we couldn’t open it quickly enough.

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Can Free Online Classes Empower Homeschooled High Schoolers?

Have you ever heard of MOOCs? The acronym MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Classes. Many colleges and universities offer these courses for free, with the option to pay a bit more for credit or certification. For motivated high school students, these classes can provide an excellent way to include topics that may be tough for Mom to teach.

I’m no stranger to MOOCs. I’ve extended my understanding of history, health, music, and languages through some of these online courses. My son, who graduated two years ago, completed several computer science courses using both free and paid virtual classes. Since these courses empowered him to excel in this area, I didn’t hesitate to list them on his transcript for high school credit. Now that my daughter is a junior in high school, would MOOCs help her?

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