Category Archives: High School

Schoolhouse Review ~ Roman Roads Media – Economics for Everybody #hsreviews

Roman Roads Media ReviewWhat is your first thought when you hear “economics”? BORING? YAWN? NUMBERS? Well, I am super excited to share about an item we had the opportunity to review…Roman Roads Media Economics for Everybody. (This curriculum is recommended for middle school students and up.)

Curious about the company? Roman Roads combines ‘technical expertise’ with ‘classical education’ to create video courses and resources mainly focused toward the homeschooler. What does this mean for you? QUALITY CHRISTIAN HOMESCHOOLING RESOURCES! (Curious what “classical education” is? Click HERE to find out more.)

Roman Roads Media ReviewEconomics for Everybody is a video based curriculum that comes with a study guide. R.C. Sproul, Jr. is the teacher who speaks on the video – he is entertaining and educational! Although we have not yet completed the course, we have thoroughly enjoyed what we have done so far.

This curriculum consists of 12 lessons. Each video lesson runs 15 – 30 minutes. The study guide is the same size as the DVD and fits in the same box. It is 236 pages and has an outline of each lesson from the DVD, followed by some multiple choice questions and discussion questions. (See more on this below as the “Scope and Sequence.”)

Honestly I don’t know if I ever took an Economics class…if I did it was apparently so boring I don’t remember it. But I CAN tell you that the thought of an Economics class makes me {yawn}. What I can also tell you is that is NOT what this set does! RC Sproul, Jr speaks in a manner that keeps your attention, he also moves his hands around so your eyes are drawn to the screen.

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Throughout each lesson there are multiple pictures shared which helps to keep your eyes and thoughts drawn to what is being shared as well. Most of the pictures we’ve seen so far are “olden type” pictures like shown below. These, to me, are very interesting as they also are showing the history that this class is trying to convey. Nice touch!

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Most importantly and probably what sets this completely apart from other Economics classes is that it is BIBILCALLY BASED! What does that mean? It means that it is all brought back to God and what His overall plan is.

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Economics for Everybody is designed to be the base of a one-semester economics class for homeschool high school students. If followed as shared, it will good for one-half credit in economics. The course can be used in two ways: by itself as a lighter study to introduce basic economics concepts (9th/10th graders), or used together with another economics textbook as a more in-depth study for students with worldview training (10th to 12th graders). If you choose to do the latter, it is recommended that you purchase Basic Economics, Third Edition by Carson and Cleveland. We did choose to purchase this book and plan to do this as a semester class this coming school year. I will say that this book is not nearly as fun as the video but that it too ties everything back to Scripture.

For the purposes of this review, we watched one video per week followed by answering the questions in the study guide and reading SOME of the Basic Economics book we purchased. Just the video would have been perfect for “summer break” time but I wanted to see how the other book (we chose to purchase…you do NOT have to buy it if you don’t want to) fit in with it. If you are only watching the video and doing the study guide you could EASILY do more than one lesson a week. The reading in the additional book was quite a bit so a week would be better for that route.

Here is a link to the Scope and Sequence / Study Guide Answer Key which provides complete details for teaching the class.

I am SO EXCITED we found this Economics class!

If you are looking for a little more information, you can download three FREE lessons HERE.

And to wrap it up…cost. The two DVD set with the study guide runs $45.00. Or you can get the set (which includes the additional book Basic Economics) for $85.00. I would like to quickly share that Compass Classroom is having a sale RIGHT NOW (from August 4 – 11, 2014) so this would be a GREAT time to make a purchase if you are interested!

Other ways to stay in touch with Roman Roads Media:


Read more Roman Roads Media reviews (which cover much more than just this Economics curriculum!) from the Schoolhouse Review Crew!

Here’s praying you have fun learning!




Crew Disclaimer


Review & Giveaway ~ “A Plan in Place” Planner {High School}

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Organization is something we are working diligently on this year as it has been something lacking in previous years. I am feeling SO MUCH BETTER about this coming school year! It will be the first year I WILL NOT BE WORKING AT ALL!!! (Can you tell I am excited!?!?!) With this new motivation to be organized and focused on our year, I thought I would see if I could find a High School Planner for J as he seems to like to write down his assignments each day / week. Enter A Plan in Place‘s High School CUSTOMIZABLE Planner!

I would like to quickly open with the fact that A Plan in Place is owned by two homeschooling moms who started this business as a way to help others with their scheduling and planning needs. Isn’t that awesome!?!?!?!

So…for this review we received a CUSTOMIZABLE High School Planner as well as the “Small Activity Pack” as shown below.

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I have ordered several planners over our homeschooling years. Mostly for myself but I have ordered one for J in previous years. This planner is one of THE BEST I’ve ever seen! The planner itself starts at $19.99 – a competitive price.

When you place your order you have the choice of eight different color, laminated covers. J chose “Idea” as he felt it looked “schooly”. *grin* This is what you see when you open the cover. Notice the tabs on the right…LOVE!

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The “Goals & Planning” section contains: My Autobiography, Goals, Chores/Responsibilities, Time Schedule, Saving/Spending Plan, Graduation Pathway, Four Year Credit Plan, Long Range Planning, Course Detail and Curriculum/Supplies List.

At the time you place your order you can decide if you want a 12-month calendar section added for $0.99. We chose to have it added. This adds one page with all of the current years (one on each side front & back) as well as one-page per month of the year (you get to pick what month to start).

After that you get to choose your weekly schedule set up. THIS IS THE FUN PART! You can choose the “stock” schedule…or you can CUSTOMIZE for ONLY $4.99! (GO FOR CUSTOMIZED – SERIOUSLY!) When you choose to customize you first pick if you want a one-page or a two-page layout. Good thing I asked J what he wanted as he chose two-page (whereas I was going to choose one-page). So…NOW we get down to business…what subjects do you want listed on the left? What headings do you want across the top? Do you want weekends, or not? What is the students name? You get 40-weeks included in the planner.

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You can also put whatever Scripture or other verbiage would you like across the bottom. We chose this verse:

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What items do you want listed in the “Daily Checklist” and what “misc note” box headings do you want?

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Did I mention CUSTOMIZED!?!?!?! LOVE!!!

The “Notes & Record Keeping” section contains: Attendance Record, Activity Tracker, Field Trip Records, Book Journal, Grading Sheets, Progress Reports, Transcript Builder, several lined pages for notes and finally a year end review.

Finally you can decide if you want any pockets to hold things in the back. If you do you can add one or two for $0.99 each. (We chose to have two added.) We did not get to pick the color (which didn’t matter to us) and we received a blue one and a white one.

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Then the final decision you need to make is if you want an accessory pack. We chose to have the small accessory pack added which was a self-adhesive pen loop (so your pencil or pen can be easily kept with your planner! which was VERY EASY to put on!), a PaperMate pencil and two placement paperclips. LOVE these too! [You could definitely do without this pack but it is a fun addition.]

Would I recommend this to others? ABSOLUTELY! As a matter of fact I am tossing around the idea of buying the “Early Learning Edition” Planner for P! They also have a Student Planner, Teacher Planner and Summer Planner! Head over and check them out! You can find everything you need to know about how it works under their “Helpful Information” page.

I am SO EXCITED we found this planner and that we got to share this review with you! Now…you know the best thing? I GET TO OFFER ONE OF MY READERS A $25 GIFT CERTIFICATE for “A Plan in Place” so someone can order one of these amazing planners for themselves!! Enter below…

Continue reading

Many Changes {again} & Our Curriculum

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Seems like “many changes” is our motto in life…even though we try to keep things simple it seems the Lord desires something different. *grin* In most cases these changes have been for the better and it would seem that is the case this time as well.

One of the changes is that hubby finally (after almost eight years) has a full-time permanent position! We are OVER-JOYED! We will be making close to double what we have been used to having as income and are excited to be able “to breathe.” With that, I am researching Dave Ramsey and Larry Burkett items (mainly from the library) so I can learn to handle money as the Lord would desire. (Hubby is good about this…me, not so much.)

The other changes involve the curriculum we will be using this year…

J will be using BJU Press Distance Learning Online. (Not the Academy they have…just online learning.) We are praying this will be a good fit for him. It is about three times the cost of what we have normally spent on his curriculum but we feel that High School is worth it, especially if it works for him! Being mostly video learning as well as having a teacher he can ask questions and other students he can communicate with…overall we are just praying this will be a good fit for him. Fortunately they are having a 10% off sale 8/1 – 8/4 as well as a payment plan. I also found a High School Planner we liked that we will be reviewing soon. He has never had his own planner so I am excited to see how it works for him.

I am also changing P’s curriculum. We are planning to use Five in a Row (FIAR) along with Math-U-See. I am still deciding on a phonics program but Explode the Code seems to be highly recommended so we may go that route. (Not sure if we would do the online version or the books yet.) I love the Charlotte Mason way of schooling (which actually blends well with FIAR) so that may be mixed in with FIAR but the thing I like the most about FIAR is that there is some guidance, but not too much guidance. I was able to get Volumes 1,2 & 3 as well as the Bible Supplement and the Cookbook – all but one were found used. Fortunately for us we have an EXCELLENT library system. Out of all the books (about 35 – 40) in Volumes 1 & 2 there were only three we couldn’t get.

Needless to say we are currently trying to ‘hold on to our hats’ as we roll with this new “plan”. We are excited to see how things go! Do you have any changes happening in your lives / homeschooling? Feel free to share in the comments!

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Company “Shout Out” ~ Building Brilliant Minds Online, LLC

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I would like to take a moment to share about a company we have discovered that offers online lessons for Elementary, Middle School and High SchoolBuilding Brilliant Minds Online, LLC. Elementary / Middle is recommended for ages 5 – 12 and High School is for 13 and up.

Our experience with this company was their Homeschool Architecture class, which you can read about HERE. But since we started that class, she has expanded to what is now Building Brilliant Minds Online, LLC which offers several more classes than just the Architecture class we took (which was all that was offered at that time).

She is now offering the following classes:

  • Architecture
  • Biblical Fine Arts
  • Photography
  • Dance

She said all the classes have the same basic premise as the class we took…assignments are given, pictures are taken and submitted to her for review and then the next assignment is given. Personally, I *LOVED* the way she ran her class and based off our one experience I would definitely recommend her program to others. 

I am excited to see this company growing and I believe these classes will be a huge benefit to the homeschooling community! OH! And…they can be used by others who are NOT homeschooling as well…as “home / online” classes!

The classes range in price from $75 to $175 depending on Elementary or High School as well as which class type. All classes consist of nine lessons. Please understand that these lessons are COMPREHENSIVE…these classes are EXTREMELY thorough.

She is also generously offering a 25% discount for ANY class you register for by Friday, July 18, 2014…simply put “GUIDINGLIGHT” in the subject line when you contact her.

As an additional note, students that excel in her classes are offered the opportunity to join their National Art Honor Society groups.

I am very excited to have the opportunity to share this company with you and pray that your family will find a blessing from this information!

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Thoughts & Suggestions for High School Reading

Homeschool for Free

I am joining up with several other bloggers to share some thoughts and suggestions about High School Reading.

First of all, we school year round so we don’t have a “summer break” like a lot of other families do…BUT our summer schooling is more relaxed than the rest of the year.

This summer J is having some “not so fun” reading…he’s taking an ACT Preparation Class. Although not fun, it is necessary.

For fun reading, he is re-reading the Michael Vey series as the number four book is due out mid-September. WE ARE ALL VERY EXCITED!

Non-fun reading (like the ACT class) is something J isn’t very good at…he can drag his feet with the best of them. Now…give him a fiction book he’s interested in (like Michael Vey) and he can FLY through reading. I think this is important to realize because we then know he CAN read and that he simply needs additional guidance and “pushing” to stay on task with the ‘non-fun’ items.

So…in my opinion, there are two kinds of reading. The kind you have to understand and the kind you can enjoy (this isn’t to say that one cannot be both). There is “fun reading” (normally fiction) and there is “learning reading” (normally non-fiction). It is important to be able to read both.

Life is about reading and it is something we will have to do whether or not we want to. Now, of course, we have the option a lot of times as to what we will read as adults. But yet, often in our jobs we do not have a choice. So, learning to ‘push through’ is of utmost importance if someone is going to learn to succeed.

I have been reading The Eternal Argument by R. Robin Finley (Crew Review coming soon!) but one thing I have learned from it already is the importance of reading a VARIETY of things – or maybe more specifically things that you don’t necessarily like or want to read. You see, literature is ‘not my thing’ therefore J has missed out on some of that thus far. That will be changing as he finishes up High School. *grin*

So…for this summer he is:

  • Working on his Homeschool Architecture class (final review coming!) where he is required to do educational reading of different types of architecture.
  • He is also taking the ACT Prep class.
  • For fun reading, he is re-reading the Michael Vey series.

Some additional books he has taken great interest in are:

In general, I believe it is VERY IMPORTANT to read…as much as possible. We learn so much through reading! Some times it is difficult to “find the groove” of our kids, but once we do…they will FLY all by themselves!

Now hop over and read what other Crew members had to share about High School reading!

Have a wonderfully blessed day!

Review ~ Experience History Through Music by Diana Waring

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We had the blessing of reviewing a brand new product just released by Diana Waring called “Experience History Through Music“. We received physical books and cds for both Westward Ho! and Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder. We received the cd and ebook of America: The Heart of a New Nation.

All three books share a short history lesson (several paragraphs to a couple pages) for each song written within the book. In the back you can find the sheet music! For our family, we read the history story then listened to the cd while using the sheet music to sing along. They are quick and simple and focused…fun ways to learn about our history. This would be VERY APPROPRIATE for Charlotte Mason type learning which we LOVE!

Our personal favorite of these three is “America” only because it had the most songs of which we were already familiar — but we LOVED them all! Although we really liked America, the other two were extremely educational as well and we found ourselves saying, “WOW! I never knew that!” to so many of the stories. Also, it is REALLY amazing to see how much songs tell our history if we listen to the right ones. Something I honestly never thought of before listening to these. I LOVE that!

Each story contains at least one black & white photo to help with the lesson. We really enjoyed SEEING a real-life picture to illustrate the story and song. Just another “simple” yet very effective way to learn history. Although they are black and white there is GREAT DETAIL in the pictures…they are a VERY NICE addition!

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The cds are approximately 40 – 50 minutes of folk music. Now…in case you aren’t “in to” that type of music…DO NOT close your mind to these. Our family doesn’t “do” this type of music either but we still enjoyed these! That is what a lot of “the music of the time” was therefore it fits perfectly with the themes and stories of the books.

I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND reading my post titled Diana Waring “Miracle Story” as it tells some of the history about how these came to fruition FINALLY (it truly is an astonishing story!).


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Here is a little bit about the author, Diana Waring (these are picked out by me, for this post, from an “author interview” we [the Launch Team] were provided):

How did you start writing history books?

The very first book I wrote WAS a history book—an earlier version of “America.”  As I have shared in the back story, when a friend suggested that it would be beneficial to attend a homeschool convention—and the only way I could afford to get in was to become a workshop presenter—the idea of marrying American folk music to American history seemed like such fun that I had to write a book!  (And help create the folk music recording!!)

One thing often leads to another.  Doing workshops on making history come alive using music exposed me to the notion that there are many other wonderful ways to make history come alive, like literature, geography, the Bible, science, art, architecture, cooking and more.

All of this melded together when I started teaching my own children world history in 1992.  There were so many things I wanted to know about how events recorded in the Bible impacted the ancient cultures of the time. . . seeing the “secular” civilizations through Scripture and better understanding Scripture in light of those civilizations.

I was SO excited about what we were learning that I started telling others at homeschool conventions. . . which led to the History Revealed curriculum (20 years in the making). Nine books in that series (plus nine sets of audio CDs), plus two of the three American folk music/history books (and CDs) make a grand total of 11 books on history that I have had the opportunity to research and write!

Goodness!  I had no idea when I started homeschooling that I would learn so much.  🙂

Of all the songs in the three new books, which songs are your favorites?

I LOVE “Ho for California” in Westward Ho!  Somehow, this one became my favorite. . . I remember the day we drove across the Sacramento River as a family, on our way to a homeschooling event in California, singing at the top of our lungs, “Then, ho, brothers, ho, to California go.  There’s plenty of gold in the world we’re told on the banks of the Sacramento. . .”

“Gooey Duck”  was, by far, the most popular song that we performed in our concerts.  There is something so catchy about this song!  Also, as I was writing the originalWestward Ho! book, I chatted with my grandfather about gooey ducks (giant clams).  He chuckled and told me that though they were plentiful in Puget Sound waters when he was a lad, they were SO ugly that people avoided eating them unless they were desperate.  That has tickled me ever since. . .

“Sweet Betsy From Pike” is another favorite, included in America. It is such a singable ballad, and full of humorous possibilities.  It was a delight to sing it on the recording!!

Which of the songs in this series of books resonant the most with your life and why?

As a musician and storyteller, I love the possibilities of telling stories in music—ballads are an incredible art form.  “Old Settler” and “San Juan Pig War” are the two that I most enjoy singing for others, as they tell such memorable stories. . .

And, I love “Sweet By and By.”  We used to end our “Yankee Doodle Tells A Tale” concert with this song, and it never failed to bring me to tears. . . singing of our “bountiful Father above.

What value do you see in students learning America’s folk songs?

How many opportunities do we ever have to actually DO what our ancestors did?  As a real and normal part of our lives?  You and I live in a world that is vastly different than the time period represented in America, Westward Ho! and Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder.  And, yet, we can still sing and enjoy the very same songs they did, we can taste a tiny bite of history through the medium of folk songs, and we can experience America through it’s music!

Plus, it’s part of our American heritage.  It’s part of our history.  And what could be more fun than learning history through songs you can clap to, stomp to, and sink your teeth into??  🙂


All three of these are incredible additions to ANY family! OUR FAMILY WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND THESE TO ANYONE AND EVERYONE! They are appropriate for all ages and run $18.99 per book/cd set…but for JULY 2014 ONLY you can get the set of all three for only $50!

You can see a list of songs within each book by looking HERE and scrolling down.

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway we have going on which offers a set of these books/cds as well as almost $700 worth of other homeschool items! Check it out HERE. Giveaway ends Friday, July 4th so head over now!

Here’s praying you have fun learning!



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this free in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.



Links to FREE Stuff!

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Here are MANY links I’ve found that offer FREE homeschool stuff…we all know how much I LOVE * FREE * !!! [Please note: I cannot guarantee anything found on the sites.]

2 Teaching Mommies

ABC Teach Covers Pre-K, Elem & Middle School; All Subjects

An Old-Fashioned Education Mostly older students

Confessions of a Homeschooler lots of info

DLTK’s Growing Together Mostly Pre-K thru Elem

Daily Grammar 440 lessons covering parts of speech, parts of sentences, mechanics of grammar

Donna Young Free printable forms covering all subjects (this site is for mom)

Family Education All ages, subjects – has NEAT search option

Free Homeschool Printables Mainly Pre-K thru elem

Free Homeschool Resources Mainly Elem thru High School

Heart of Wisdom Pre-K up

Highland Heritage Forms Forms – this site is for mom

Home Grown Hearts – Pre-K thru 3rd grade, mostly

Homeschool Fever Pre-K thru High School

Homeschool-For-Free This is a site with links to other sites. I tried not to do these kind, but this one is pretty good. Looks like it covers Pre-K thru High School

Homeschool Helper Online Pre-K thru Elem

Homeschool Math 1st Grade up (has custom generated worksheets!)

The Home School Mom Mainly forms for mom

Homeschool Share (known as HSS) Toddlers thru Upper Middle School

Homeschool Views Mainly pages for mom

Homeschooled Kids Neat site with all kinds of different things, Elem & up

Home Schooling Unlimited Middleschool and above; mainly math and spelling

Hubbard’s Cupboard – Bible based! for pre-k and k.

Joy In Our Journey I use mainly for Latina Christina – a MUST HAVE for that curriculum!

Kids of Integrity from Focus on the Family Canada; mainly for younger kids age 3 – 10, focuses on Biblical character qualities

Link & Think all kinds of information (a lot of links that link to other sites; again, I don’t normally like to do this but this one has SO MUCH I simply had to post it). And a special THANKS! to Heather over at The Blessings Pour Out for letting me know about this site!

Notebooking Pages Mainly Elem and up

Oklahoma Homeschool Lots of forms for mom and mainly�items for Middleschool

Organized Home lots of free printable forms (this site is for mom stuff!)

PreKinders The name pretty much says it 🙂

Preschool Express lots of neat ideas for Pre-K!

Preschool Palace

Printable Homeschool Mostly forms for mom

The rambilings and adventures of a SAHM this site has an EXCELLENT, detailed Pre-School breakdown!

School Express K – Middleschool, mainly – all subjects

Shirley’s Preschool Printables

Starfall Pre-K thru 2nd Grade, mainly

Susan C Evans: Hands-On-Learning lots of info on many subjects and many ages

Tot School

Homeschool for FreeYou can also head over to the Schoolhouse Review Crew to find more Free Homeschool Resources!

Have a wonderfully blessed day!