Book Review: Water and Weather

Water & Weather: From the Flood to Forecasts

By Tom De Rosa and Carolyn Reeves

Water and Weather is a concise thematic unit study supporting a biblical perspective. Tom De Rosa, a creationist and experienced science educator, along with Carolyn Reeves, also a science teacher with a doctorate in science education who is currently writing and providing educational consulting, did a wonderful job on this book’s content. It is written with both the teacher and student in mind. It has twenty investigation chapters along with a glossary of relevant terms. The home school parent and teacher will not find it difficult to organize the content as it is all written out on page five in How To Use This Book. Bloom’s taxonomy of teaching is definitely incorporated into throughout all lessons from defining to evaluating.  Each investigation has the teacher engage the student in actively realizing the information for more than words on a page. In chapter one, students will design their own fossils after learning about how God created the dinosaurs and physically measuring them out on the floor to determine their size. Afterward, they will answer investigation questions to summarize the information.  There are countless numbers of activities that can stem off of these investigations. The authors created some wonderful text and activities that will kick off a multiplicity of ideas to discover. This book has more than the typical water cycle and weather content. I am impressed with the range of content and vivid pictures as well. The book is inexpensive and can be purchased with a matching journal and teachers guide each only for $4.99. You will be pleased with this book.


This book was sent to me by New Leaf Publishing in exchange for a book review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Book Review: This Beautiful Mess: Practicing the Presence of The Kingdom of God

By Rick McKinley


There is so much junk in this world! As Pastor and Author Rick McKinley explains his experiences in Portland, Oregon, you are faced with the reality of how horrid sin has overtaken in this world. He strives to direct us to creating heaven on earth but before just programs it is a mindset, a mindset to be optimistic in looking at the world as a place for hope to impact more than fear. This is a place where darkness must fear faith.

McKinley offers his insight in a three parts titled: 1) Discovering the Kingdom 2) Re-visioning Life in the Kingdom and 2) Practicing the Presence of the Kingdom. At the end of every chapter he includes “Visions” allowing many to share their encouraging and thought-provoking writings.

My favorite part is “Alive in a Million Mysteries” as an educator it is sometimes hard to get students to stop and see the mystery of life in every living thing. We sometimes grow up to, more often than not, take everything for granted. Jesus is the King of creation!

I found This Beautiful Mess: Practicing the Presence of The Kingdom of God an eye-opening reminder of living life to the fullest with peace of mind.




I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this unbiased review.

Book Review: I am Ruth


Oh My Beautifulness! I am Ruth: A Story of Loss, Love, & Redemption with text by Brenda Duff and photography by Kenneth Berg is so visually appealing that I couldn’t stop flipping through it! It is organized into four chapters about Faith, Loyalty, Grace, and Restoration. The history in this book could very well be used in the secular educational sector as a text full of historic events and geographical details as well as the Christian education sector to enhance biblical integration. The pictures are so vivid and detailed with captions that compare and contrast modern times to biblical times. The book can be used with older students/ children as they read through the complex text and references listed. While with the younger ones you can share as they see the pictures throughout and hear the stories told.  Aside from those two age groups, I enjoyed the book myself.  This partnership turned out to be a huge success as Berg Productions created this picture book and had Brenda Duff’s research and writings come later. The biblical story itself is so full of hope and inspiration but oh what a difference to have Dugg’s elaborate writings about tradition, history, and symbolism alongside Berg’s photographs.  I am a proud owner of this one!

See the video here!

Review the book here!

This book is published by Master Books, a division of New Leaf Publishing Group.

Purchase: I Am Ruth

Curriculum Review: The Hands-On Equations Program

By Dr. Henry Borenson Ed.D

Can you solve: 4x-2x+3=2x+2x-x? Your child will with a smile on their face! I recently received The Hands-On Equations Program by Dr. Henry Borenson . for review which truly is a break through in the process of learning algebra. The DVD has a copyright date from 2005 so I guess I am a bit behind the times! Funny enough, I began researching algebra when I was preparing to tutor.  I found “Hands-On” to be very interesting.  I know algebra, but have never seen it explained like this before. It definitely wasn’t taught like this while I was learning algebra, not even close. Before receiving the program, I began working through some equations in a tutoring session I was leading and one of my students started drawing several triangles and squares on a line. I had no idea what he was doing, we did talk about it, but when I went through these Hands-On Equation lessons I was amazed, my student had been solving problems the Borenson way! Needless to say they really did not need help with the topic of algebraic equations!

This program came to me in a kit that included an instructional DVD and manual, a laminated scale template, a baggie full of pawns and number cubes, a catalog, an introductory workbook full of consumable lessons, an objective list, another list of verbal problems, several offers with information on expanding the program through whiteboard, black line masters and webinars, a newsletter, an introduction + 3 levels of teacher edition booklets with teaching instructions and a big WOW! QR codes printed into the work and linked to videos and online resources. I love that!

The 120 minute DVD, broken into lessons, starts with Borenson as the teacher but continues with first a boy, Eric Borentstein, and then a girl, Molly Richman, using the scale to solve the equations. They did a wonderful job explaining and proved that children can do algebra at any age! I know that my quest started when my math-a-phobic children who are creatively gifted needed help. Molly and Eric use the hands on scale to solve their equations but Molly goes on to show how to do it on paper or in her case the dry erase board. The lessons obviously get progressively harder or more complicated but I was not having a hard time following and I foresee students understanding with the same ease as they continue to practice. Borenson already achieved these awards: PracticalHomeschooling%20Award%202012%20at%2072%20DPITCL%20Award

Who would have thought that you could “play” algebraic equations??? This program is impressive and fits the needs of all types of learners: auditory, kinesthetic and visual! It is also fit for any age because it only assumes that the student knows simple addition and subtraction.  It is simple in its explanations on how to solve algebraic equations and expressions. Every school, tutor, and educator should use these methods to take the shock out of getting to algebra class in high school! But more particularly, parents who home school, like me, should not hesitate to use this with their children throughout their education, particularly 3rd grade and up. I know I plan on using it in my education center and in my personal use while homeschooling my own while sharing it with every parent as a must have math resource to purchase! Thanks Dr. Borenson, you just made our lives as parents,  teachers, and students a little easier!

“I received this program from the publisher in consideration of my
doing and publishing an honest review, which I have done above.”

Book Review: Prized!

Prized!  Your Journey as His Daughter by Noelle Toscano


I picked up Prized!  Your Journey as His Daughter for my thirteen year old daughter but it seemed to have started off in a somewhat gloomy way to me. Maybe the author is assuming that all teenage girls feel inadequate. Surely most do, but, after reading the introduction (I am referencing the middle because the first and last paragraphs were great) I think she was talking to me more than my daughter.

Most of her stories were pleasantly applicable to me coming from experiencing the 80’s.  For the older crowd it is relatable and contained many memory triggers from jelly shoes to Alvin and the Chipmunks cartoon references. Yet, that confused me because I could not tell who her target audience was from the introduction and the first chapter. On the back cover she relates the message:

“The teen age years bring some of the most difficult experience that life has to offer… Prized!  Your Journey as His Daughter is filled with relatable stories, helpful tips, and the truth of God’s Word that will offer inspirations as you navigate the wonderful world of dating, making and maintaining healthy friendships, learning to understand and relate to parents, dealing with superficiality and realizing your full potential as God’s beloved Child.”

Toscano includes a touching section on her autistic son and motherhood. Though I found this to be a wonderful addition to her book, this is not teen content, a least not a younger teen. It’s just not significant to what most are going through right now. I did however, for future reference, think that chapter five on dating is good for her reading. The author made many wonderful points and suggestions. I also thought that she gave great advice on how to pray for your parents and use self-control with body language.

Again, the content is great for adults; I totally got it, I just don’t see her talking to a teen as her listener throughout the entire book.  I know some teens may have to deal with some harsh changes that girls tend to go through during the teenage years, so this book may be perfect for them.

I loved the points she makes, and even the title, but the summary on the back should not mention this to be a teen book which does encompass younger teens, rather, in my opinion for women mothering teens to impart Tuscano’s information as it begins to apply to their teen’s lives.  I truly enjoyed it myself. Maybe I misinterpreted the reference to teens in the summary on the back cover but I wouldn’t give it to a younger teen. Despite that, it was enjoyable to me and I encourage you to read it.

Disclosure of Material: I received this book free 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


Cashflow 101 in the House!


Learn to Get Out of the Rat Race …

“In 1994, after becoming financially free, I was searching for a way to teach others what my rich dad had taught me. You can only learn so much by reading and it dawned on me that rich dad taught me through repetition. That is why I began creating educational board games. They are, in my opinion, the easiest and best way to increase your financial intelligence while you’re having fun. The rich teach their children how to convert earned income into either passive or portfolio income. If you were raised middle-class or poor, chances are that you were not taught the fundamentals of finance.

This is one thing CASHFLOW the game trains players how to do. By playing the game over and over, you begin to break up the core conditioning most people learn at home and at school—the conditioning of working hard for money…”

Our 2013-2014 Entrepreneur class attendees will be learning from the master — Robert Kiyosaki through his Cashflow 101 game! I am so excited about the opportunity to transform young minds into thinking Rich! I have played this game several times with family and learning to deal with any life situation and recognize opportunities is the key to success! Loving it!

Book Review: The Christian Mama’s Guide to the Grade School Years

Christian Mama2

I applaud Erin MacPherson for her writings. I really enjoyed this book. It is funny, practical, fulfilling, and full of good advice. Though it is not for all types of schooling moms in that it specifically deals with public (or you can apply to private) school information, it is not a “how to” on specifically getting through the “homeschool” grade school years. Despite that, the biblical references are wonderful. I also enjoyed that it was a conglomeration of several writers telling of their experiences.

Every so often there are wonderful tidbits called, “Time-Out for Mom” where she shares wonderful prayers for those times that you cannot seem to put it into words. Along with the time-out sections are “From the Principal’s Corner” giving sound and biblical advice from Ellen Schuknecht, her mom.

I loved pages 108-109 where they connected how we communicate with specific scriptures. Using these in conjunction with one another lays the truth of God’s Word on a child’s heart and in my point of view gives them the ability to follow Him and not a parent because “we say so.” The small list includes encouragement, guidance and counsel and got me thinking about how many other ways to communicate God’s Word in simple forms making it more understandable.

Another great chapter (10) is “The Christian Daddy’s Guide to Starting School” which includes stories from a few “panelist” expressing their experience in this area. I found the stories bringing quality information and humor to the reading.

This book is written with so much practically simple school prep advice that as an experienced mother and educator, I thought I was going to find it uninteresting. I was so wrong. There is so much more involved in this book, from writings from other people to biblical advice that I could not put it down. I would think this is one book I would claim to be as a “pick it up more than once guide” You definitely will want to revisit this book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.