Thursday, November 3, 2016

Homeschool Legacy - TOS Review

Do you know the name of our car? Miss K gave it a name. She named it Queen Victoria.  I have no idea why she decided to name the car that. Well, knowing that I was excited to be able to review Victoria and Her World, one of the Once-a-Week Micro-Studies from Homeschool Legacy.

Once-a-Week Studies {Homeschool Legacy}

What is a unit study? Here is my definition of one, it is a study that covers a specific topic and using the unit study you get learning from all the subjects. The entire education learning can be entered around unit studies or a specific topic or time period can be devoted to unit studies.

Homeschool Legacy has created Once-a-Week Unit studies on numerous topics and for range of ages. The nice thing about the unit studies is because of the varied ages all the children can be involved. Recently Homeschool Legacy introduced Once-a-Week Micro-Studies. These are for grades 1-8 and provide a thorough study of a specific topic in three, 30-minute assignment each week.

I first met Queen Victoria when I lived in Asia. I know that is not the United Kingdom but it was in Hong Kong, a former British Colony where there were numerous things named for her, Victoria Harbour, Victoria Peak, Victoria Park, and a few other things. (Now Victoria has been dropped.) In what wasVictoria Park there is a statue to Queen Victoria at least when we lived there.

I choice this review because I thought it would be a topic that Miss K would be interested in. The Once-a-Week Micro-Studies are geared for grades 1-8. I also that this would fit with our British History that we are currently studying. We are a bit behind this so it was a slight jump forward in the timeline.

Once-a-Week Studies {Homeschool Legacy}

Once-a-Week Micro-Studies have four weeks of plans, perfect for a month of study. The beginning includes a list of things that are needed for the month so you know ahead of time what you need. For this specific study there was a suggestion of reading a novel from the Victorian Age with a number of suggestions. I am still reading Jane Eyre but didn't bother reading that one to Miss K.

Week 1 covered Great Britain - This week just gives the students information about the country including the national anthem, geography, government/language, and some history/geography. Most of this was review for Miss K but that is partly because we have been studying British History and partly just living here.

Week 2 focused on Queen Victoria with a bit to read about her life, history and also the fashion, art and architecture of the time. It was helpful to have links, which made it easy to find things on the internet that enhance the learning.

I am not sure why Queen Victoria had purple hair. 

Week 3 focused on the Royal Family. This included Albert and just bits of information about the Royal family.

Week 4 touched on the difficult times during the Victorian Age, mainly aspects of the Industrial Revolution. This also discussed some of the customs from that time mainly the mourning. The fun part is the suggestion for an afternoon tea and a recipe for Victoria Sponge. I didn't bake one but have promised that we would get one at some time.

Overall we enjoyed this. There were some areas that were familiar for Miss K but some areas that were new and she enjoyed. We did find some books at the library to enjoy along with the study.

Miss K enjoyed this and it was an excellent overview of both Queen Victoria's life and that time in history.

Once-a-Week Studies {Homeschool Legacy}

Crew Disclaimer

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Sunday, October 23, 2016


At the beginning of May Miss K had her big ballet performance. It meant long rehearsals and then a dress rehearsal on Saturday morning, a performance later on Saturday and two performances on Sunday. Miss K did a great job handling the long hours, the ride on the coach, keeping track of her things, and most of all performing on stage.

A friend asked her if she was nervous and Miss K's response was, "no, I am an expert." She has confidence and that confidence helps her through challenging situations.

With that in my mind I have been pondering confidence. For the Christian our confidence comes from God, knowing who God is, what he has done, and what he wants us to do. Confidence comes from knowing Christ.

I can have confidence in my life as I listen to God and know that what I am doing is what God has called me to do that day.  When we lack confidence we can have fear, we might not be doing all that God wants for us.

Live life with the confidence that comes from God.

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Saturday, October 15, 2016


I don't know if you can go to France and not go to Paris. This was the first trip to France for my husband and Miss K. The second campground was near Paris and had a bus that went there once a week so we decided that was the way to go.

We arrived and started walking. We had looked at a map and had a plan for the day. The first thing we were going to see was the Arc de Triomphe.

I had been checking the weather all week and it looked like it was to be a nice day. When we arrived it was overcast and cloudy. I was afraid we might buy umbrellas as souvenirs.

There is something magical about the first sighting of the Eiffel Tower.

Looking at these photos you can tell that it was overcast. Wait until you see what it looked like later in the day.

We had picked up some tourist information at the campground. One of the things we saw was Bato Bus, a boat that is a hop-on, hop-off. We decided that was a good way to get around and be able to see somethings while we are getting around. Our first stop was Notre Dame but before we walked t the cathedral we needed to find some lunch.

Aunt Bec had been telling Miss K all about crocque monsieur. So that is what Miss K ordered.
J and I had savoury crepes.

After lunch, while dad was working with phones and iPad to check-in for our flights which had to be done or we would pay extra, we went to the souvenir shop. Miss K got a snow globe and J a pack of cards. I bought an ornament. I went in a shop and bought 4 postcards for 80¢. I should have bought more there but that would defeat the project this summer of getting rid of postcards.

We wandered across the bridge to Notre Dame. We saw the pigeons and looked at the building. We decided not to take the time to go inside.

We walked along the side of the building as we headed back to the boat.

Our next stop was to get off at the Louvre.  We didn't have time to go inside and honestly I think before we visit we need to do some studying and planning so we know what is there and what we want to see. We took a break and had a drink at Starbucks.

Notice the colour of the sky. It was beginning to clear up and we did see blue sky. We got on the boat again and decided that we didn't have time to stop other places and so we headed back to the Eiffel Tower.

We took some more photos and then began our walk back to the bus. We were looking for a bakery to buy some dinner. We found one and had delicious sandwiches before boarding the bus.

It was a fun day and an overview of the city.

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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Sea Glass

Recently while we were on holiday at the beach. One of the things I enjoyed was walking the beach and collecting sea glass. Sea glass is made from broken glass that floats in the sea, is tossed in the waves, and pounded on the sand. It begins broken and jagged. It is trash. In the end after all that happens the waves and storms of the sea, it is smooth and beautiful.

What is broken becomes beautiful through the storms of the sea.

The same is true in our spiritual lives. The broken areas could be just not being whole, unfulfilled dreams, or financial struggles. We feel broken of no use but through the storms God is refining. He is making us beautiful and useful. Don't be discouraged if it seems like it is taking time. Refining takes time. As I walked the beach, I picked up some pieces that needed more time, the edges were still rough.

Allow God to take the brokenness of your life and refine it to something beautiful. "The Lord is near to the brokenherted and saves the crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18. In the storms of life remember that the Lord is near. You are not alone.

I enjoyed finding the sea glass and seeing how beautiful it had become. I found it encouraging to see how the storms in my life can be part of what makes me beautiful.

I don't know what storms you are facing but I trust that in those storms you know that God is working and refining you.

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Sunday, October 2, 2016

To Market, to market

I enjoy wandering through a supermarket when I am in a different part of the country or a different part of the world. I am relaxed and not trying to figure out what we need, what we will eat, how to stretch the budget.

I shared a bit about the supermarket I wandered through in Germany.

Recently when we were on holiday in France, I had an opportunity to wander through a small supermarket. The week before I had done most of the shopping at a small shop on the campground where we were staying. It was the end of the season and it was not that stocked. The same was true at the second camp that we stayed out but there I walked to town and wandered through a small supermarket.

I find it interesting to see the things in cans. I didn't see any brands here that I was familiar with but they looked familiar.

The cereal aisle in the USA seems to be a bit aisle full of lots of options from healthy to sugar and all kinds of things in between. I was a bit surprised at the size of this section. It wasn't a whole aisle or even half of an aisle but just a few boxes.

You cannot skip the chocolate aisle. Many of these looked familiar to us. I still thing of the delicious dark chocolate with hazelnuts that we got years ago in Ukraine.

Here is a bit more of the cereal aisle. I do see some things there that I recognise.

I think one of the things that we noticed in the crisps/chips aisle is the fact that in English they are called chips. The flavours were a variety of things we know and things that we didn't really want to try -- roasted chicken.

I thought of my parents when I saw the ice cream. When we visited this summer the Snicker ice cream bars were an evening treat.

It was fun to wander and see things in the supermarket.

One of the mornings we walked another direction and found that it was market day. Various people had stands selling their goods. It feels like you are shopping local.  These looked like they were picked.

The fruits and vegetables looked so good. Miss K did buy some garlic to use for our dinner. She used the little French she knows saying, "bon jour" and then handed him the money.

There was a stand selling all kinds of cheese. If we were staying longer, I would have bought some to try.

Of course a French village would not be complete without at least one Patissier. In these village there were at least two. I think most days we bought a baguette and ate the whole thing that day or for breakfast the next day. We did enjoy some other treats from there.

We enjoyed some delicious food some of which we cooked and some we ate out. Crepes were a favourite. Now we want to learn how to make them at home.

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

52 lists - Autumn Bucket List

In some ways it doesn't feel like autumn but in other ways I am seeing signs of autumn. So what is on my autumn bucket list.

1. Get school going - We are starting a bit late this year because we were in the States and on holiday.

2. Go for a walk and kick the leaves.

3. Enjoy s'mores in the back garden.

4. Organise and decorate the entryway. I have maps to frame and hang. I want a rug. My goal is to have it feel nice and warm when you enter.

5. Have our annual Thanksgiving meal with our friends here.

6. Begin thinking and planning Christmas -- Christmas cards, projects, gifts, so that I am ready.

That should keep me busy the next few weeks.

I am joining Beauty Full Slow and the 52 lists.

52 lists with Chasing Slow

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Facing a Task Unfinished

Last week was spent away from my family. I think that was the first time that I have been away from them for a week. It was a bit different as often it is my husband traveling but this time it was me who was away. It was not a week alone but I was in Asia with 100 friends (I am using that word loosely). I will say that by the end of the week I did interact with quite a number of people and did make some friends. The theme of our week was The Unfinished Task.

Facing a Task Unfinished

"Facing a task unfinished
That drives us to our knees
A need that, undiminished
Rebukes our slothful ease
We, who rejoice to know Thee
Renew before They throne
The solemn pledge we owe Thee
To go and make Thee known

Where  other lords beside Thee
Hold their unhindered sway
Where forces that defied Thee
Defy Thee still today
With none to heed their crying
For life, and love, and light
Unnumbered souls are dying
And pass into the night

We go to all the world
With kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord

We bear the torch that flaming
Fell from the hands of those
Who gave their lives proclaiming
That Jesus died and rose
Ours is the same commission
The same glad message ours
Fired bye the same ambition
To Three we yield our powers

We go to all the world
With kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord

O Father who sustained them
O Spirit who inspired
Saviour, whose love contained them
To toil with zeal untired
From cowardice defend us
From lethargy awake!
Forth on Thing errands send us
To labour for Thy sake

We go to all the world
With kingdom hope unfurled 
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord

We go to all the world
His kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord"

- Original words by Frank Houghton, Music by Samuel Wesley. New words and music by Keith Getty, Kristyn, Getty, Ed Cash, and Fionan De Barra  © 2015 OMF International, Getty Music Publishing (BMI), Allotrop Music (BMI), and Fionan De Barra (All Admin by

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Getting Started with French - TOS Review

The past few weeks we have been learning some basics of French using the book Getting Started with French: Beginning French for Homeschoolers and Self-Taught Students of Any Age published Armfield Academic Press.

This review came at a perfect time for us. My husband had begun talking about learning some French for future ministry and we were thinking about learning French before our holiday. Getting Started with French was just the book we needed.

Getting Started with French is written by William E. Linney and Brandon Simpson. William Linney has written other books in this series -- Getting Started with Latin and Getting Started with Spanish. The next book to be published is Getting Started with Russian.

Getting Started with French teaches French gradually with a systematic approach. The book is structured around the teaching concept of "Teach one concept at a time and let the student master that concept before introducing the next one."

The book has three pages of information about how to use the book. This is a list of tips to help you begin to learn French. This gives information about the structure of the lessons, reminders about pronunciation, information on how grammar is included in the lessons, and tips for conversational skills. There is also information about the exercises in each lesson, composition, and tests and quizzes. There are also some reminders that help you as you work through this book such as staying flexible, scheduling, how much time per day, and self-taught adults.

Getting Started with French has 172 lessons. The first few lessons are just some information about pronunciation, spelling and pronunciation, articles, and gender. All of this is important if you are learning a foreign language especially French. Each lesson teaches a new word. In the lesson is pronunciation tips and exercises. The lessons are short. A few lessons could be done in 15-30 minutes each day. The answers for the exercises are in the back of the book. There are pronunciation recordings for each lesson that can be downloaded.

Getting Started with French is a basic book to get started learning French. It gives you a head start before taking a course, a bit of French to decide if you want to continue studying, or maybe if you want to learn a bit of French before traveling to a French speaking location. This is not a complete French course. This is also designed for self-taught learners.

I have thoughts that this would be something that we could do together as a family. That did not quite go as I had planned. I did it a bit trying to find the French I studied for a semester in college but then my husband took the book and began working on it. My husband has studied foreign languages mainly German and Chinese but he has had not French. He has been working on this the past few weeks.

Here are some comments from my husband regarding this book.

"Unlike many other textbooks, everything you need comes with the purchase of the book. For example, the French audio recordings that accompany the lessons are available for free online. The authors have thought carefully about what independent, self-taught learners need, and the book is designed expressly to meet those needs. One aspect that I found especially helpful is the authors' anticipation of areas that are likely to be confusing or difficult for English speakers. It's so much better, in my opinion, to confront these difficulties head-on instead of waiting until the student develops bad habits or misunderstandings that have to be painfully corrected later! I have not finished the book, but am continuing to use it as I teach myself the language and look forward to making good progress with this excellent guide."

I knew he was enjoying this when I borrowed the book so I could write the review and he was asking me when I would be finished and he could have the book back.

You can read reviews from other members and see how they used this book.

Introducing Getting Started with French {Armfield Academic Press}

Crew Disclaimer

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Saturday, September 10, 2016

What I did this summer.

This is called a catch up post. I know it has been a few weeks since I blogged.

We were in the USA for a short home assignment that is the term used now for what used to be call furlough or deputation. It isn't really a vacation but a time to meet with churches, supporters, prayer partners. We did have some time for fun between meetings.

One of the things we did was decorate gingerbread houses. I know that is not normally a summer activity but my nephew who was visiting Grandma's house at the same time suggested this activity. It was fun for the kids.

We took a break from school except for biology lab. It was easy to buy the kit while we were in the USA and do it there. I didn't want to try to bring this through customs. 

We went blueberry picking and then made some blueberry pies. The pie was delicious.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016


We are on a short home assignment. We are staying with family and so between visits with churches and supporters we are able to enjoy some time with family. 

Today our outing was to Uncle Henry's Handmade Pretzels for a factory tour. The average American eats about two pounds of pretzels a year and the average Pennsylvanian eats 12 pounds a year. Some of that is the German roots and then combined with that is the fact that there are numerous companies here making pretzels. 

My mom asked me what I was expecting and I told her that I thought it would be in the back of a barn. My guess was close. 

We walked in and were at the packaging department. There was no fancy facilities or reception area. The girl came over and began the tour. The first thing we saw was the dough machine. One hundred pounds of flour, yeast, sourdough, water, salt, and soda. One batch makes 2000 pretzels. The day shift makes 16 batches. The evening shift makes 11 batches.

I think one of the most interesting things in the factory was this machine. The lady would knead the dough to get the air out and then put a tube through and turn it and it was cut the tube to the size of piece for each pretzel. The factory was not that high tech.

Uncle Henry's pretzels are twisted by hand. There are about 10 ladies there twisting the pretzels. I asked if there were other pretzels companies that twist the pretzels by hand. She told me that there are two other companies that she knows. The training is three months. That surprised me a bit. They need to be doing about 11 pretzels per minute.

Each tray holds about 90 pretzels. These are formed and then they get a soda bath which gives them the colour.

The salt is put on the peel and then the pretzels are placed on that to put them in the oven. I had made soft pretzels at home. Soft pretzels bake at 400F as that is about as hot as my oven goes. The oven is 600F so that is probably how they can make hard pretzels. The pretzels are only in there for about seven minutes.

After baking the pretzels are cooled for about an hour.

Then they are packed in bags and they cool in front of a fan.

The factory is small with maybe 15 people working there.

I thought this was an interesting sign. There is one

It was a fun outing and factory tour. Uncle Henry's has been make pretzels since 1983. I was told that they ship worldwide.

We got a free pretzels. It was hot, just out of the oven.

We bought a bag to eat. We need to eat our 12 pounds for the year in a month which I don't think we will really do but we are enjoying pretzels.

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