America’s First Daughter {Excerpt & 10 Things You Didn’t Know about America’s First Daughter}

America's First Daughter giveaway

America’s First Daughter Excerpt: And what of our future . . . ?” I asked. Mr. Short smiled. “If you could give up all thoughts of the convent, our future depends upon the orders your father is awaiting from America. Your father has asked that in his absence, I be appointed in his place as chargé d’affaires with commensurate salary. If I receive such an appointment, then I can present myself to your father as a worthy suitor. Otherwise, I’m afraid he’ll consider me a wandering wastrel without employment.” “He would never!” Mr. Short chuckled mirthlessly. “You think not? I have in my possession a letter from your father lecturing me on the need to build my fortune. The most memorable line reads: This is not a world in which heaven rains down riches into any open hand.” How churlish of Papa, but had I not, from the youngest age, also. . .

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Faith Builders Bible from Zonderkidz {Review}

Zonderkidz ~ (http://www.zondervan.com/children) is not a new name for you to experience at Creative Madness Mama. Today, I get to tell you about one of their newest kiddo Bibles, the Faith Builders Bible. This is a hardcover, jacketless Bible, perfect for your brick building, no matter the brand of brick minded child! When this Bible arrived I was unsure who was the most excited. While we are still working with Duplo Legos in our family and haven’t really moved up to the standard size building bricks – I was concerned at first that I might have to go buy some to be able to get the most out of an experience with the pages and inspiration from this Faith Builders Bible, but I was so pleased to find there was plenty of inspiration to be had, even with the toddler-sized building blogs.  We have a plethora of children and youth Bibles, but. . .

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HISTORY Through the Ages Hands-on History Lap-Pak: U.S. Elections {Review}

Mostly we are educating from a Classical Christian Education method and the products from Home School in the Woods ~ (http://homeschoolinthewoods.com) often comes across as a recommended item for our studies across the board in history, especially. Last July, we were blessed with the opportunity to experience and review Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Egypt. We learned that the recommendation lists are right and we love what is provided from Home School in the Woods! We have done a lot of research on resources for studying history. It is my desire that I teach my children using a Classical Christian Education method. For years I’ve heard of a family that created their own timeline pieces and now more and more creative hands-on projects. One of our main curricula resources we have opted to use for history recommends resources of Home School in the Woods. This year we have been blessed. . .

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The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson {Review}

The one who needs rescuing isn’t always the one in the tower… Rapunzel can throw a knife better than any man. She paints beautiful flowering vines on the walls of her plaster houses. She sings so sweetly she can coax even a beast to sleep. But there are two things she is afraid her mother might never allow her to do: learn to read and marry. Fiercely devoted to Rapunzel, her mother is suspicious of every man who so much as looks at her daughter and warns her that no man can be trusted. After a young village farmer asks for Rapunzel’s hand in marriage, Mother decides to move them once again—this time, to the large city of Hagenheim. The journey proves treacherous, and after being rescued by a knight—Sir Gerek—Rapunzel, in turn, rescues him farther down the road. As a result, Sir Gerek agrees to repay his debt to. . .

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2015 Blue Ribbon Award Favorites Announced!! #TOSReviewCrew

This has been an interesting year and throughout I have discovered lots of neat products and curricula! On source that has been an exceptional blessing is the Schoolhouse Review Crew. Today, on the Crew blog, we’re announcing the results of our votes for the Favorites for 2015. But first, let me tell you a few things that I have truly enjoyed… (You should be able to click any images to head back to read a posted review in my archives).   This year was filled with publishers I had been hoping for and new ones that I’m delighted to meet. There were a few duds for us, but not these mentioned above. We have found some great staples for our schooling! .

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ESV Journaling Bible {Review}

When I was in high school I was already doing a bit of a journaling thing in my Bibles, however not to the artistic ability that I’ve seen on blogs today with this new theme of journaling Bibles. I would look forever in the book stores just trying to find the widest margins. When I heard about the opportunity to be able to see one of these now is so exciting! When I opened the box though, my enthusiasm quickly dimmed. The book itself is good quality and many people will be thrilled with it. The margins definitely provide space to write and journal as artsy as you would like. It just wasn’t what I was hoping for. I requested this English Standard Version Journaling Bible on the concept of what it is, but I did not read any of the details about the size. The translation is fine, and. . .

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Grapevine Studies: Old Testament Overview, Part 1 {Review}

Following the blog you might have noticed a coupon in the month of October for Grapevine Studies, as I have taken on their company as a new affiliate. Today I have the joy of sharing with you a review of one of their downloadable products. In the last year or so I’ve been collecting their eShorts and freebies and making a list of what to buy to go along with our other studies. Most recently (and for this review) we have been working through Old Testament 1: Level 1 (ages 6-8) and Traceable (ages 3-5) and a Teacher Book for OT Levels 1 & 2. We received a digital download, a PDF, and I printed a few pages for my four and six-year-old daughters to participate. I originally printed the traceable pages for only OrangeBlossom, but AppleBlossom was a bit jealous (and drawing from scratch is a bit of a new concept for her). . .

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Creative Madness from the author of Splintered Kingdom – James Aitcheson

Creative Madness Guest Post I think you have to be a little bit mad to be a writer. By its nature it’s a solitary occupation. For hours at a time you cut yourself off from everyday life and lose yourself in worlds of your own devising: living amongst, conversing with and directing the affairs of imaginary people. Within those worlds, you have complete authority to do as you will; as the creator, you possess power without limit. In my case, the world I inhabit when I sit down in front of the word processor does at least have some grounding in reality. As a historical novelist, my powers are constrained to some extent by known facts about the past. My current series of novels – of which The Splintered Kingdom is the second instalment – is set during one of the most traumatic periods of British history: the Norman Conquest. . .

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Shakespeare’s Rebel by C.C. Humphreys {Exclusive Excerpt}

Exclusive excerpt   In the small part of his brain that was not focused on survival, he was aware of an irony here; for in his other life, the life he preferred, the life of the playhouse, one of his tasks had been to arrange the fights that occurred in most plays. And so, like players upon a stage, he set about organizing his enemies’ moves. There were more of them crowding the top of the stair and, in good conscience, two were as many as he could handle, so he was determined to hold the combat near the door and prevent entrance. As always, he watched their weapons. For all the firmness of their guard, he could see the men’s hesitancy—­and that was not just because of the constant shiftings of their feet, a trait of your Spanish swordsman, forever dancing as they fought. Perhaps the sight of their. . .

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Fun-Time Phonics! from Critical Thinking Co. {Review}

Throughout the last few years as I’ve learned more and more about the various options of homeschool companies I have often had my eye on products from The Critical Thinking Co. ~ (http://www.CriticalThinking.com/) and placing many things on my wishlist. Through the TOS Crew I was blessed with an opportunity to check out one of their newest products in the physical book Fun-Time Phonics!  (Gr. PreK-2). We were all very excited and the intent was to refresh with AppleBlossom (age 6) and start the basics with OrangeBlossom (age 4). We spent time in the book about 3-4 times per week. Fun-Time Phonics! is an 8×11″ non-consumable full-color 320-page book. It not like any other phonics book that we have been exposed to and was a different experience. I love how I can look down and find the book easily in my bag as even the edges of the pages are a pale blue that. . .

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Eat Your Math Homework: Recipes for Hungry Minds by Ann McCallum {Review}

  We are still in the earliest years of math education in our homeschool and I want to make sure that math remains a favored subject and not a dreaded one. Thus when I heard about Ann McCallum’s Eat Your Math Homework I was intrigued and excited about the possibility of adding such a book to our homeschool set up. We are enjoying living books with a math theme and I think an activity book for math will definitely excite my little people. Especially a recipe book will make my six-year-old second grader excited as she is just starting to really be able to help out in the kitchen. For the purposes of this review I received an autographed paperback copy of the book. It is my understanding that Ann McCallum Books ~ (http://AnnMcCallumBooks.com/) doesn’t just stop with math, but also has Eat Your _____ Homework books for History and Science as. . .

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The Ology: Ancient Truths Ever New by Marty Machowski (Systematic Theology for Kids) {Review}

A theology primer for children… Several years ago, I was introduced to the writing of Marty Machowski through The Gospel Story Bible. The illustrations were a bit loud for my taste, but the writing and the scripture coming across was solid and good for sharing with my children (who do appreciate the wild drawings). Then in the last year I discovered Long Story Short (a devotional) on Kindle. I’m hoping that one day I will also find Old Story New go on sale there as well. Now when I saw that a new book, The Ology was coming out I had to jump for an opportunity to review it. I’m so blessed that I am able. Little background, c’est moi. One of my degrees is a bachelor of arts in religious studies. Thus, I have read a lot and I definitely want my children to read something that can explain what others believe so they can. . .

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We’ve finally experienced the Homeschool Classic. Peter and the Wolf: Maestro Classics {Review}

Peter and the Wolf Review

In the summer of 2014 I discovered Maestro Classics ~ (http://www.MaestroClassicsDirect.com) and I have found myself to be enthusiastic about their CDs ever since. Most recently, I have been blessed to get my educational teaching hands on Peter and the Wolf as a physical CD with a study guide inside and access to a downloadable curriculum guide. The running Total Playing Time 68:16. Spending time with my children listening to Maestro Classics’ Peter and the Wolf has been educational and fun. We’ve recently taken up violin lessons again which are an hour drive away and now we’re preparing our mind for violin by listening to our various options of titles from the Stories in Music collection. Casey at the Bat, Mike Mulligan and More, and the Merry Pranks of Master Till as well as Peter and the Wolf now have given us hours to delve into the classical world learning more about the composers, their culture, and the instruments. . .

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The Ultimate Homeschool Planner (Blue) {Review}

When I was in college and planning week came along, friends would come to me and I would help them organize their schedules and classes and I loved it. I’ve always loved planning. Since we’ve started homeschooling I have tried several different planning options from printing my own, to electronic planner apps, and now The Ultimate Homeschool Planner designed by Debra Bell has inched its way into my fingers. Apologia Educational Ministries ~ (http://www.Apologia.com/) has an incredible line of products that I have discovered in the last year and most recently I have been delighted to spend hours within the pages of The Ultimate Homeschool Planner (blue cover edition). I had a glitch with the mail and only just received my copy this week, but since I’ve gotten it I have been nearly inseparable from it. There are three cover editions available and I was blessed with a copy of The Ultimate Homeschool Planner –. . .

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Brookdale House Writing Through Medieval History Level 1 Cursive {Review}

Brookdale House ~(http://www.BrookdaleHouse.com) is a company that I have consistently seen participate in Charlotte Mason promotions and this is how I discovered them. In the past, I came across their Writing Through Ancient History Level 1 Cursive and I have been planning on printing out some pages eventually, but had not really come across the moment to do so. However, when through the TOS Crew an opportunity came up to review their Writing Through Medieval History Level 1 Cursive I found myself too eager not to try! For the purposes of this review, I was given access to a PDF of Writing Through Medieval History Level 1 Cursive and have printed the pages for use with my advanced six-year-old working on a second grade school level. My review is specifically geared toward the Medieval product, however I think my opinions ring true for their entire Level 1 Cursive products including Ancient History as well.. . .

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When Calls the Heart: Heart of the Family DVD {Review}

When Calls the Heart DVD Review

As a family, we do not own cable, satellite, or any of those services. We do own DVDs and use a subscription service or two for streaming videos. Last fall, I stumbled upon When Calls the Heart, the series, or the first season rather on one such service and with my girls we curled up and watched episode after episode day after day. In years past I read the book which the series is based on with the name When the Heart Calls by Janette Oke. I enjoyed the book and the first season, thus when a review opportunity came up from FishFlix.com ~ (http://www.FishFlix.com) to watch a DVD featuring Movie 3 from Season 2, When Calls the Heart, Heart of the Family, I was ecstatic. The problem that I find with subscription services is that the material is always changing, while when you own it on a physical DVD you can watch it anytime and. . .

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