Book Review: Child Training Boot Camp

Bible Study for Busy Mamas – Child Training Boot Camp: A Thirty Day Bible Study


By Pam Forster

Understanding yourself and then your child is significant to creating an environment conducive to obedience. How many times has a parent been scolding their children only to imagine the scolding finger is really pointing right at them? I know this has happened to me before. But what can one do? Should they give up just because of your both wrong when conviction sets in? No! Connecting both parent and child with God’s truth is the answer. As a parent leading a strong-willed child, it is important to pray and take scriptures that apply to obedience and apply them to family life. It has been said that to be a good leader you must be a good follower, and in this case, Pam Forster has expressed it in a 30-day bible study, not for children but for parents! After she guides parents through her concepts on obedience she guides the parents in explaining God’s view on obedience to children on their level and through creative means.

Forster’s 30-day devotional is worth a couple of reads in order to not forget what is being taught as well as to receive God’s guidance and discernment every time focused prayer and scripture reading is exercised. She does encourage extensive study and personal notes through several topic searches. It is a blessing, through all the daily strife, that she can help a parent refocus through Bible study that guides parent/child relationships away from disobedience, bickering, unkind speech, and whining.

This book was free through a book review program in return for an honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own and a positive review is not required.

Curriculum Review: Writing Strands Basic Starter Set


Writing Strands:  Level 2

Writing Strands:  Level 3

Writing Strands:  Evaluating Writing

Reading Strands:  Understanding Fiction

By Dave Marks

In this blog post, I am reviewing The Writing Strands Bundle: Basic Beginner Set from Masterbooks from New Leaf Publishing. The bundle came with a  Level 2 and 3 Writing Strands book, Understand Fiction Reading Strands book, and Evaluating Writing.

In Level 2 and 3 Writing Strands, the books break into daily activities that create opportunities for students to write a sentence and develop more details throughout the following lessons. Sentence structure is taught and then through questioning it is developed.   Some of the fundamental principles of Writing Strands include:

  • Every person needs to learn to express ideas and feelings in writing.
  • There is no one way right way to write anything.
  • All student writing efforts are worthy of praise.
  • All writing at any level is hard work.

The exercises, skill areas, and objectives are all laid out at the front of the book in order to plan lessons carefully and meaningfully. These are followed by a list of the specific writing strands and progression of writing difficulties, such as a creative writing strand, basic writing strand, descriptive writing strand, and organizational writing strand.  The book lays out suggestions for guiding students in better writing. Finally, a list of mastery skills to keep up with the child’s progress.

Reading Strands: Understanding Fiction is just as thorough and descriptive in its layout. It instructs the teacher, student and parents to establish goals and objectives for reading and lays out a plan for acquiring prior knowledge of the reading, making sense of the reading, visualizing images while reading. On pages 12 and 13 the book describes a comprehensive list of common techniques for helping young children develop the ability to think and analyze what they hear and read. Reading Strands: Understanding Fiction also details a list of goals and objectives for ages seven and above as well as for ages twelve and above that includes literal recognition or recall and inference, evaluation and appreciation. Reading Strands: Understanding Fiction is so detailed that a strong foundation using this resource will create a student that is well prepared for an academic future as well as for a future full of love for literature.

Lastly, Writing Strands: Evaluating Writing, lends an example for parents and teachers to understand evaluation methods. It incorporates:

  • Issues That Make Teaching Writing Hard
  • How to Correct Problems in Writing
  • What to Look for: Important Terms and Common Problems
  • Student Writing, Comments by Parents, and Conversations with Dave

Dave Marks did an outstanding job! His teaching of writing and reading make it easier for those of us that are more of the “math and science” type of people. Not only did I find it useful for my classroom but I felt I was learning so much myself as I went through the books.

Click here for examples:

Evaluating Writing

Reading Strands


These books were sent to me as part of a blogging for books review system by Moms of Masterbooks reviews by New Leaf Publishing. All opinions expressed are my own and a positive review is not required.





Curriculum Review: Jacob’s Ladder


Jacob’s Ladder Reading Comprehension Program Nonfiction: Grade 5

Joyce L. VanTassel Baska, Ed. D. and Tamra Stambaugh, Ph.D.

Students submerged into today’s educational system are confronted with all types of critical writing assessments. Students schooling for more than 12 years and preparing for college entrance exams need an easy to use reading comprehension program to practice their writing skills. “Jacobs Ladder Reading Comprehension Program targets are reading comprehension skills in high ability learners by moving students through an inquiry process from basic understanding to critical analyses of texts using a field-tested method developed by the Center for Gifted Education at William & Mary.” This type of inquiry process develops the reader and writer within every student, preparing a child for the future.

This book is divided into parts. Part I is the teacher’s guide. Part II includes reading and student ladder set with four sections divided into subjects: science, math, social studies and the arts. The third part is reading and student ladder sets for fiction and nonfiction comparisons.  Lastly, the pre and post assessments with scoring rubrics, record keeping forms and standard alignments bring closure to the workbook.



This book was sent to me as part of books for blogging program by the The opinions expressed are my own.

Book Review: Worth Living

Worth loving

Worth Living: How God’s Wild Love for You Makes You Worthy by Mary DeMuth 

          I would argue that there is a larger percentage of women who feel worthless than worthy of love.  The ability to speak honestly and transparently about it creates a safe haven where walls can come down. Half of the battle is allowing oneself to be vulnerable enough to heal.  Worth Living: How God’s Wild Love for You Makes You Worthy does just that! Mary creates an atmosphere in her reading where one can be honest with oneself. The reading is deep and meaningful as one begins to relate and revisit past and present issues. Without doing this there is no overcoming. There has to be a release of emotion for complete healing and restoration and the question platform Demuth creates at the end of each chapter makes it a bit easier to do just that, realize, release and restore from past experiences.

      Worth Living touches on many aspects of overcoming worthlessness including the realizations of being loved, appreciated, strong, secure, beautiful, chosen, destined and redeemed. Chapter after chapter she reminds us of God’s unfailing word and selflessly expresses her hurtful past experiences in order to open the door to guide us through our own. I commend her for that. It is not easy putting yourself out there. I highly recommend this book to anyone needing redemption or witnessing to others about it.

        I received a copy of this book in pdf form from Mary DeMuth as part of a blogging review program. Every opinion expressed is my own.

Book Review: Second Chances


           Second Chances: Finding Healing for Your Pain, Regaining Your Strength, Celebrating Your New Life by Pat Smith is like a GDO (Girls Day Out). While reading this book, I imagined myself listening to Pat tell me her stories friend to friend. The ability to write in this personable manner creates a connection between the author and reader like nothing else. Pat describes her heartaches, doubts, and failures as well as her successes and joys to make a complete circle of life.

Second Chances realistically includes the dramatic stories of several friends and acquaintances as she expresses God’s handy work for overcoming obstacles in life. She creates a safe haven where failure is okay and used as a step stool to future successes. Pat Smith invites you saying,  “Join my journey through this book and read about turning out trials into triumphs our misery into ministry, and our passion into purpose.” and adds, “My prayer for every reader is that you can release any anger, hurt, pain or disappointment you carry so that you can receive your second chance.” What a blessing to find a friend in Pat through this written word. As she shares scripture, one can say she helps you find a friend in God as well.

This book is a great and easy read that will hardly let you put it down as it entangles you in the moment. Now that I am done reading it, I am excited about passing it on.


I received a complimentary copy of this book through Bethany for my honest opinion and review.

Buy here:



Curriculum Review: Money Wise DVD Set



Money Wise by Chad Hovind


Biblical Principals of Work and Finance


Moneywise is a 3 DVD Series with 14 lessons on what God says about money. The creators of this DVD set introduce the series with several promises of exciting interactions and visuals within the 13 week series of Moneywise lessons. Do they deliver? Yes!


Chad Hovind approaches the lessons with vivid visuals and interesting historical content. As an educator, I enjoy the fact that he is not only including facts about how to organize finances but rather shared and integrated a Biblical view of managing money. Although the content may be difficult for uninterested students, it is full of valuable information supported on the web through


As he progresses through the lessons Hovind lays out one opportunity after another to create connections between the Bible and prosperity. He begins with, Godonomics-What The Almighty Says About The Almighty Dollar, continued with, Godonomics and the Marketplace-Whistle While You: Work, Profit, Lead, Rest, Give, and finishes with, Common Sense Godonomics and the Wisdom of Solomon: Whistle While You: Manage, Spend, Serve and Give Freely.


There is so much information in this series you will want to go over it more than once.




I was given a free copy of this product through in exchange for my honest opinion. I wasn’t required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are my own.

Book Review by LG


Book Review: I’m Not Afraid

I shared Lee Ann Mancini’s children’s book, I’m Not Afraid!, with my students and they loved it. This book, illustrated by Dan Sharp, is a part of a series of  award winning books about the Coral Hood Sea Kids and their adventures.

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This adorable little book is full of great lessons! Based on Isaiah 28:9-10, “All your children shall be taught by the Lord…”, this book series teaches children valuable lessons about sharing, dealing with fears and more. A coworker and I shared this book with students and they were asked what their favorite parts were and this is what they said:

“My favorite part of the story is wen Suzie prays and trust God. My favorite character is Suzie!” Angel, 2nd grade

“My favorite character is Suzie. My favorite part is when she went on the roller coaster and when she prayed. I think it was very nice.” Jacqueline 4th grade

My favorite character is Rachel. She had already built up the faith so she wasn’t scared. Eden 3rd grade

“My favorite character is Suzie and I liked it when she prayed on the roller coaster so she wouldn’t get scared.” Josiah, 5th grade

These books are inspirational and create a platform for teachers and parents to open up a dialogue about what the child may be feeling about fear. These are not easy topics to introduce sometimes and having a friendly, non-invasive remedy to discuss the content can really help in discovering how some children may feel and help them realize the same about others.
Disclosure of Material: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

DVD Review: Theo V3: God’s Heart


What an honor to be invited by FishFlix to review a Christian Children’s DVD. I was so excited when FishFlix sent Theo: Teaching Children God’s Word which includes God’s Heart: Lesson 7- Justification, Lesson 8- Adoption, and Lesson 9- A Day in Prayer. I invited all of my children (ages 4, 10, 14, and 16) down to watch the DVD for the first time because my desire was to hear their reactions. I was surprised that my fourteen-year-old son stayed to watch the entire three lessons. My three daughters and my son truly enjoyed the animation and my youngest was laughing throughout the three lessons. She also covered her eyes when Jesus was on the cross and when I asked her what she was doing she said, “This is so sad, Jesus is dying!” This created an opportunity to discuss what he has done for us and plant that seed of awareness.

IMG_2072 copy

The animated characters were cute and spoke with accents. There are two mice with  “Laurel and Hardy” type of personas and a child-like character, which are adorable and likeable. Theo, the main character and narrator, has a pleasant grandfather type feeling to him and speaks eloquently. The vocabulary words used within the lessons as well at the theme to the lessons are well worth discussing with family after viewing the lessons. The DVD comes with lesson guidance in booklet form inside the cover of the DVD to help parents or guardians.



Aside from my children enjoying Theo Children’s DVDs, I was very pleased with them as well. The lessons were sound and expressed God’s love, grace, and relationship with us. I would share these within my classroom as much as I would at home. As an avid viewer of Christian material for my home and class I also enjoyed scrolling through They have a large variety  of material and reasonable prices. I look forward to review more DVDs from FishFlix.




This DVD was sent to me by FishFlix in return for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Curriculum Review: Worldviews in Conflict A Study in Western Philosophy, Literature, & Culture

By Kevin Swanson

Worldviews in Conflict Set

Generations with Vision

10461 South Parker Road

Parker, CO 80134

(Disclaimer by publisher – “Because a study of history contains both documented facts pertaining to dates, conversations, and events in the past, as well as opposing and controversial interpretations of the significance of those events, people, and ideas, some educational content can be subjective in nature or reflective of an author’s own worldview.”)

This course introduces the high school student to a number of the major thinkers, writers, and ideologies that have formed our modern world. The author does caution the teacher, student and reader that most of the men presented were not Bible-believing Christians and therefore presupposes that all ideas are not equal in truthfulness or merit, and some being, “downright dangerous and destructive.

If most are dangerous and destructive, why then should the Christian high school student study these authors? This course will equip the young person called to leadership in academia, media, politics, or the church by familiarizing them with ideologies contrary to the Word of God and Biblical world and life views and preparing them to “understand the lay of the land on the battlefield in the war of worldviews.”

The author states, “Instead of providing a rich education in the Scripture and Christian authors, students are subjected to a confused mixture of writings from pagan and Christian and expected to sort it all out.” Even students with Christian high school and college upbringings are leaving the faith in droves because of the undue, uncritical support for the “classics.” Exposure to Greek philosophy, transcendentalism, and humanism without the familiarity of all the Biblical verses IGod’s truth) used in the text to counter the false ideas conveyed in the material will inevitably prove detrimental in preserving distinctively Biblical worldviews.

It is this reviewer’s opinion that this course is not for every student but rather only those mature enough to rightly divide truth from error, good and evil. A strong sense of conviction and a fair amount of apologetic fortitude would serve the student of this course well. This course will strengthen both critical and higher level thinking skills in students. The text contains advanced vocabulary which may require personal research for definitions or appropriate commentary from the teacher to explain the information presented.

Each chapter includes both biographical and philosophical information of the authors presented, as well as references to current, mainstream media and culture which the author’s ideologies have influenced. There is then sufficient information presented creating an opportunity for dialogue in presenting Biblical counter positions and truth. The chapters conclude with a section, “Engaging the Weapon of Prayer,” – powerfully scripted prayers to secure a lasting influence in the hearts and minds of the student of the living God who is sovereign over all.

There is a concise “How to Use the Curriculum” section in the textbook, as well as a thorough Teacher Guide, complete with a weekly lesson plan schedule, worksheets, and exams, and answer keys.   Lessons are deemed to take approximately 30-45 minutes, three days a week and the teacher’s guide includes a variety of activities and learning, worksheets for vocabulary recognition and basic understanding, and tests for major concepts and information retention.

As a Christian educator and a mother of a high school student, this course is particularly of interest to me in preparing both my students and son to be able to righteously stand in and influence a fallen world.

Review by Denise Jaramillo

See a product video about the curriculum here: Worldviews in Conflict A Study in Western Philosophy, Literature, & Culture

To shop for more Masterbooks curriculum by grade level click here: Grade level shopping

See more information about this set here:

To find out more about the publisher click here: New Leaf Publishing



Disclaimer: I received this book free from Master Books a division of New Leaf Publishing. No other compensation was received and a favorable review is not guaranteed.

Reblog of College-bound students: Create a Positive Digital Footprint

By Dr. Elizabeth Milovidov, Law Professor & Children’s Rights Advocate, European Schoolnet

From Laura Galindo:   I believe this is a very important topic in our modern day. Keeping a positive digital footprint can be very difficult if a student doesn’t see social media for what it is: a permanent connection with the entire world. Depending on security and settings on a student’s technological devices, anyone can view and download content from their social media feeds.  From these feeds, future deans and employers to the student may view the content. Dr. Elizabeth  Milovidov blogged about the benefits of keeping a clean online profile for the future.  This was retrieved from: Family Online Safety Institute  Enjoy!

One of the ways that I explain digital footprints to college-bound students is by using the following scenario:

Imagine a puppy in an apartment with a white linoleum floor.  The puppy has just come in from a muddy romp outside and walks around the apartment.  No matter what room the puppy meanders into, we can see the comings and goings because of the traces left all over the floor.

Now imagine this: your data = muddy footprints and your Internet presence = the white linoleum floor.  And there you have it, what your digital footprint can look like on the net: a muddy mess.

To state it more clearly, your footprint is everything that shows up when someone searches your name.  Gasp.

It is never too late to clean-up your digital footprint or to create a positive digital identity and reputation and the following steps can get you started:

1. Download the FOSI checklist to guide you on your initial clean-up of your digital footprint.  The checklist advises you to do a web search of your name, check privacy settings, use strong passwords, update software, and think before you post.

2. Go through your social media accounts and delete any questionable photos.  Turn all your settings to private, even settings on past posts. Delete abandoned social media accounts and unsubscribe to mailing lists that you no longer follow or that would be undesirable to follow.

3. Once you’ve cleaned things up a bit, start thinking about how you can build your positive reputation.

4.Set Google alerts on every college that interest you, like them on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites where they have a presence.  If you really have something to say, engage with them. But don’t just post blah-blah to have contact. It’s like being in class: raise your hand when you have something to say.

5. Create a positive identity by ensuring that your social presence means something. What are the issues you care about? Do you have a blog about something you are passionate about? (if not, create one!)  Get some ideas by looking at how these teens used the Internet for major good.

6. Use social media to inspire others; start a blog about the good things in your community, make a virtual fundraising campaign, text a compliment to a friend.

Above all, once you start, keep on going. Keep adding to the positive footprints by your positive actions, one step at a time.

Image courtesy of Flickr.