Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fall Orphan Care/Adoption Events

With our upcoming move, I won't be in the Bluegrass State much longer.  However, I'm so encouraged by all the work that is being done in Kentucky on behalf of and raising awareness for the fatherless.  Normally, I'd try to give a blog blast about each of these events as they approached, but not knowing what the next few weeks hold, I wanted to be sure you were able to get these events on your calendars.   Also, note a few other events at the bottom that aren't Kentucky specific, but from personal experience, I HIGHLY recommend!!!


Monthly - Southland Christian Church Adoptive Families Care Group
This group meets to discuss issues unique to adoptive families and those waiting in or considering the process of adoption.  Foster Care, Domestic, and International adoptions are all represented.  This group is a great source of encouragement and support for all families.  Meetings are the 2nd Thursday of each month from 6:30 - 8 p.m., in Building E, Room 109.

September 6th – FREE Pastors Lunch for Wait No More – Speaker Bob Russell
Adventure Christian Church  - Louisville - 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
More than 1,800 children and youth are waiting in Kentucky foster care for permanent families.  Learn how the church can make the difference for these kids.  Register HERE!

September 8th - FREE America World "Adopted By Design" Seminar 
London First Baptist Church, 804 West 5th Street, London, KY 40741
Whether you are just beginning to consider adoption or have decided to adopt, this seminar will be of value to you. An overview of what God's Word says about adoption will be presented as well as information about the international adoption process and the programs America World offers.
Register HERE!

September 15th – FREE Orphan Care Seminar – Southeast Christian Church
Learn about foster care, domestic & international adoption, and orphan care opportunities. 
Main & Breakout Sessions led by experts in the field and adoptive families.  Register HERE!
October 4th & 5th – Together for Adoption Pastor’s Conference – Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
An event for pastors, pastor's wives, seminary students, those involved in church orphan care ministries, non-profit leaders, and those in the beginning stages of launching orphan care ministries.
Learn More & Register HERE!

October 4th – FREE Pastors Lunch for Wait No More - Speaker Dr. Russell Moore
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary - 11:30 - 1:00 p.m.
More than 1,800 children and youth are waiting in Kentucky foster care for permanent families. Learn how the church can make the difference for these kids.  Register HERE!

October 20thWait No More with Focus on the Family – Northeast Christian Church
Over 1,800 kids are in Kentucky foster care are waiting for adoptive families.  Join Focus on the Family, Kentucky’s Health and Family Services as well as church and adoption leaders from around Kentucky to hear more about the kids who are waiting, the process of adoption from foster care and ways to support adoptive families. In addition, agency and county representatives will be on site to answer questions and help you get started. Register HERE!

November 3rd – Orphan Care Seminar – Highview Baptist Church (Fegenbush Campus) - Louisville 
The schedule/registration is not yet posted, so keep watch on the Orphan Care Alliance website for details. 


September 14th- 15th - Empowered to Connect - Nashville, TN
Sponsored by Show Hope and led by Dr. Karyn Purvis (Director of the TCU Institute of Child Development) together with Michael & Amy Monroe (Leaders of Tapestry Adoption & Foster Care Ministry), this two-day conference is ideal for adoptive and foster parents, those considering adoption or foster care and those who are serving and supporting others, including social workers, agency professionals, church staff and ministry leaders, counselors, therapists and others involved in adoption and foster care ministries or services. It is designed to help them better understand how to connect with children from hard places in order to help them heal and become all that God desires for them to be. Learn more and register HERE!

September 14th- 15th - Together for Adoption National Conference - Atlanta, GA
Theme: God's Story of Adoption for a Broken World
Speakers: Reddit Andrews, Leonce Crump, Noel Piper, Tony Carter, Tony Merida, & Dan Cruver
Worship Leaders: Shaun Groves and Kaleb Scharmahorn
Learn more and register HERE!

November 4th – Orphan Sunday – Christian Alliance for Orphans
Visit for all the details about Orphan Sunday!  You'll find tons of resources, videos, and great ideas.  Plan an event with your church, small group, family, etc. or attend one taking place close by.  (***For my KY friends, there are already two events scheduled in KY but keep tabs on the map as I know of others being planned that haven't been listed yet.) 
What did I miss?  Leave a note in the comments of any other adoption/orphan care events you are aware of taking place this fall.  

Saturday, August 25, 2012

First Field Trip

You know you are a homeschooler when the first week of school, your mind is already on field trips.  We worked hard Monday through Wednesday and extra time on Thursday, so we could enjoy our day out with friends.  Friday found us at the Frazier History Museum and The Kentucky State Fair with the Howell's. 

We were able to take advantage of free admission to the Frazier History Museum which was a bonus for the pocketbook.  The kids had glimpses into the past viewing items from Britain and early America.  A special bonus was the Samurai exhibit.  Some special highlights included trying their hands at bow shooting, trying to lift the heavy armor, playing drums, and checking out the various weaponry on display.  We also listened to a historic interpretation of an Agincourt Archer.


Following our visit to the museum, we headed to the state fair.  We grabbed lunch, and the kids enjoyed looking around at all the prize winning entries.  It was super cool that their friend McKenzie got a 1st place ribbon for her pretty, pink doll outfit and 2nd place for her banana bread.  Of course, they began plotting and planning what they may enter next year.  I assured them it wouldn't be any baked goods if Momma was to help out :-)  Oh well, I guess I better get in-the-know regarding the TN State Fair, huh?

We ended our day together with a cool, tasty treat.  Food... Isn't that what the fair is really all about? For our first field trip of the school year, I'd say we did well.  Now, where to next? 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Random Life Updates

Jon has often referred to me as the "Queen of Random."  Many times I'll say something only to get an odd look of confusion in response.  He'll ask, "Where did that come from?" which actually only complicates things because usually I know exactly where and it just happens to be something else completely random.  Well, this post will only prove his point.  Think you're up to it?

The past couple weeks our house has been in complete disarray with all the home improvements taking place.  In fact, the desktop computer was completely unhooked for over a week, so that is partially why my poor blog was so neglected.  Thankfully, the major items on the to-do-list were completed on Friday, so life has returned to some semblance of normalcy.

House updates - well, we can now say we have the following:
  • new front windows
  • new HVAC
  • new roof
  • new gutters
  • new front door
  • new flooring in the kitchen
  • freshly painted interior
WOW - It's like living in a new house already :-)  We've had two realtors come out to complete a marketing analysis and are now waiting on our relocation company to get back to us with their recommendations.  It is our hope to have the house listed next week. 
After learning our new addition is a precious baby girl when the kids and I went shopping the next day, oddly enough, itty bitty pink things kept gravitating to our cart.  Hahaha!  Not going to lie, I enjoyed buying PINK tremendously.  Did I mention we're all a wee bit excited?


It was our belief that our kitten must be the spawn of Satan because obviously he has lost his ever-loving mind.  He was peeing and pooping any and everywhere including our bedroom, the doormat, a dining room chair, and his favorite spot the bottom of the stairs.  Jon also found a couple hiding spots in the basement that he must have claimed as his personal bathroom despite the absence of a litter box.  At a loss as to what we do, I loaded the rascal up and headed to my Dad's office.  Well, Vet Dad called it - Shadow had a bladder infection and was put on antibiotics.  I'd like to say that was a quick fix, but unfortunately, no. 

Instead, when going down the steps, I was abruptly greeted by a puddle of pee.  I wish I could say that I saw it in advance, but again, NO!!!  Yes, I'm sure for onlookers it would be quite comical.  As my prego self was sliding, I did all I could to keep from ending up laying flat on my face in urine.  So, I grabbed onto the nearby couch and did an ugly version of the splits with my left foot on the floor and right on the steps.  That's when I heard my big toe SNAP, gave way to the pain, and dropped a knee/leg in pee. YUCK and pain!  If I wasn't so very injured, the cat would have died instantly. 

Now, I'm sporting a broken, very purple, very sore toe.  However, I'm glad to report that an additional litter box and change in litter has improved the situation.  Unless there is a secret hidden stash we are unaware of, the silly cat has finally decided to use the litter box.  Thank goodness!

Later than my original plans, the Wellspring Academy began school yesterday.  The kiddos were genuinely excited and worked hard.  Even better, they woke up today ready to begin again.  I love the beginning of a new year and the enthusiasm it brings.  I pray that we can keep this momentum even with all the life changes ahead.  We're implementing some new things, and I believe this is going to be a great year of learning for us all.

(Notice the hopefully rehabilitated cat in the first pic and my freshly painted walls and new window in the second. 
Now, how's that for cohesiveness?!!)

Finally, after all the craziness and the first day of school, a TREAT!  I thought we deserved it.  I only partook of one of these, but mine may or may not have said KING SIZE :-)  Let's just say baby girl was tap dancing last night!

It's a GIRL!!!

A week ago today, I visited my OB for my 20 week appointment and ultrasound. While you have most likely heard the news via FB, phone, or word-of-mouth, I didn't want bloggy land to be in the dark.  We're having a baby girl!!!! She is very active and measuring right on target. The dr. said she was beautiful baby, and I couldn't imagine otherwise.  The whole family is super excited and can't wait to meet her in December.

My iPhone pics of the ultrasound pics aren't great, but I thought I'd share a couple.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

This Week in History (Review)


In order to provide children with a solid and successful education, A Thomas Jefferson Education encourages parents to apply the 7 Keys of Great Teaching:
  1. Classics, Not Textbooks
  2. Mentors, Not Professors
  3. Inspire, Not Require
  4. Structure Time, Not Content
  5. Simplicity, Not Complexity
  6. Quality, Not Conformity
  7. You, Not Them
Discovered by Oliver and Rachel DeMille, TJEd is an educational philosophy and a methodology by which great individuals throughout history have been educated.  By applying the same principles, modern students are achieving great success and love learning.  This is most likely because TJEd is designed to develop and refine each child's inner genius. 


Members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew had the opportunity to review TJEd's subscription programs, This Week In History.  Each week lessons are sent via email.  This cross-curricular treasure in your inbox will be loaded with pictures, active links to websites, videos, suggested activities, etc.  Each day will become a great adventure. 

The subscription is available for $9.99 a month and can be accessed in two ways:  a dedicated blog feed and through email.  Additionally, the whole year’s archive can be accessed by subscribers at any time.  Because the content is searchable by date, topic and key word, it is easy to plan ahead for upcoming dates or go back for further study on a point of interest. 

This Week in History offers many benefits to you the homeschooling parent:
  • relieves fear, stress and burnout
  • energizes your kid-school
  • fills in the gaps
  • cultivates cultural literacy
  • facilitates state or provincial compliance
  • correlates resources for co-ops, classrooms and family learning
  • harnesses the power of technology in a classical leadership education
  • harmonizes with Unschooling, Charlotte Mason, Montessori, Trivium/Quadrivium, IEW, eclectic, etc.
  • delivers new ideas and areas of learning to you and your child
  • instigates discussions and projects that expand wisdom and understanding
  • connects the subject areas–from music to math, from geography to world religions, from hobbies to science projects, etc.
  • motivates you and your students to greater excellence
View sample weeks.


Honestly, I wasn't jumping for joy when I was chosen to review This Week In History.  I'm already settled on our history curriculum to the fall, and I didn't believe this would tie in very well.  Likewise, there are lots of freebies you can find on the Internet by searching This Day in History, etc. and find a little snippet of info.  However, I was pleasantly surprised.  The information sent was sufficient but not overwhelming.  It could easily be added to the school day without replacing a curriculum favorite.  Overall, the topics were appealing to my children.  Some we explored at great length, others we took a quick peak, and still others we omitted completely.  As the parent, you have the freedom to choose, and I believe, you will find your children's interests guide this process. 
Last week, one of our favorites was learning about cable trolleys which led us to San Francisco.  While there, the kids did mazes, watched a virtual tour of the museum of the city, talked about earthquakes and the Gold Rush, visited the Golden Gate Bridge, and even listened to some great music.  By far, the favorite was visiting a website for Aquarium of the Bay.  Wow - that's a lot!  Believe it or not, that was just one day's worth of incredible information.

Be sure to click the button below to read what other Schoolhouse Review Crew Members are saying about This Week in History.  Also, check out the many resources available for purchase from TJEd. You may find a book, e-book, or audio download to add to your library. 

Disclaimer:  I was provided a subscription free of charge in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Math Made Easy - Addition (Review)

The summer lull... the months that threaten to undo all the learning that has been done.  Admit it - you wonder if your children will remember what they learned the previous year when your homeschool resumes.  Surely, I'm not the only one!!!

My boys wrapped up first grade not long ago, and over the summer break I had great intentions of spending lots of time working with computer games, flashcards, fun activities, etc. to help them retain their math facts especially.  Well, as it usually does, one thing led to another and my great ambitions of fun-schooling through the summer fell by the wayside.  I feared that moving into 2nd grade math we'd have the need to go back and do some remedial work to brush up on facts. 

Thankfully, I had the opportunity as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew to review a Math Made Easy product entitles Addition Teaching and Learning Made Easy.  This short course of study has served as the perfect summer bridge for my boys.  However, I'd like to note that you could absolutely use this curriculum to actually teach your child to add, and at a cost of $24.95 it won't break your budget.  Use this workbook and the accompanying games and flashcards, and your child will master the basics of addition in a mere 6 weeks - all without using fingers!!! 

Fingers have remained a crutch for my boys, so utilizing a program that discouraged this method was a big positive in my book!  How is this done?  Well, the initial step is to eliminate the facts easily learned.  Kids easily learn the facts where 0 or 1 is the addend.  Then, redundancy is alleviated by focusing on the commutative property - whenever certain numbers are together with an addition sign the sum will always be the same (2+3=5 and 3+2=5).  Knowing these facts, only 36 facts remain.  The 36 facts are randomly divided among 6 weeks.  This set-up opposed to the addition table forces children to rely on their memories and not finger-counting. 


I wasn't so sure about the repetitive format in the workbook, but the boys thrived with the routine.  They knew that on Monday they would have a color by fact page, Tuesday a code to crack, Wednesday a puzzle to assemble, Thursday matching activities/sums to find, and on Friday the math problem of the week. 

We also drilled our 6 facts each day using the provided flashcards.  There were games included as well as review quizzes for each week.  The program was extremely simple and easy to manage.  Another plus in our busy summer, it wasn't time consuming for me as the teacher or the boys as students. 


In my opinion, Math Made Easy has a winner in Addition Teaching and Learning Made Easy.  Marketed specifically for 1st-2nd graders, it was appropriate for my boys.  However, if you have a precocious Kindergartner or an older child who struggles with facts, I'd encourage you to investigate this product as well.  Another product to consider if you have children in 3rd-5th grades is Multiplication Teaching and Learning Made Easy.  You can read reviews of both of these products by clicking the button below.  The Crew Members always have such varied and helpful information to share.

Disclaimer:  I was provided Addition Teaching and Learning Made Easy free of charge in exchange for my honest review. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

A New Zoo

As I'm sure you have gleaned, my kiddos are animal fanatics.  Obviously, they LOVE the zoo.  We've had a zoo membership since Caleb was 6 months old, and we make good use of it.  In light of our upcoming move, we decided to have the interior of our house painted.  The furniture in every room got shoved to the center and draped in plastic, the kids were quarantine to the basement or outside, and this prego Momma and the fumes proved not to be a good mix.  Therefore, we opted to visit Daddy in Nashville for a few days.  While there, I thought it would be a great time to introduce the littles to their "new" zoo. 

While I'm not 100% sure, it didn't seem that the Nashville Zoo had as many animals as the Louisville Zoo, but I was very impressed.  It is so pretty!!!  The setting is lush, green, and shaded for a hot day.  I loved the gorgeous bamboo forest, and the animals had such beautiful habitats.

We all had our animal faves!  I loved the gibbons, and oh my... were they putting on a show!  I don't know if they were playing, fussing, or what, but they were soooo loud and very active swinging from the treetops.  The kids enjoyed the meerkats, the baby giraffe, the elephants, and the flamingos.  They commented on how the flamingos in Nashville are much prettier and less stinky than those in Louisville...  I concur!

Another favorite spot was the Jungle Gym.  This elaborate playground had all kinds of hidden treasures.  I know the kiddos would have gladly stayed and played longer, but I hurried them along so we could finish about the same time Daddy would get off work.  I know we'll spend much more time there in the future :) 

All in all, I'm happy to report that Jeremiah, Caleb, and Rachel were super excited and happy with their new zoo.  Our current Louisville membership runs through May 2013.  Thankfully, Nashville Zoo is on our reciprocal list so we'll be able to visit as often as we like.  Then, next June we'll invest in our "new" zoo membership.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Cool Co-ops

Coming to a close...  it's Day 5!
Back to Homeschool Blog Hop
Topic:  Co-ops


Co-ops have played a large roll in our homeschooling journey to date.  My kids have learned so much from their teachers, had lots of fun, and built some lasting relationships.  For multiple reasons, as you'll see below, I find participation in co-ops to be both beneficial and valuable to children and parents alike. 
  • Children have the opportunity to learn from someone other than Mom & Dad.
  • In most cases, they are learning from an "expert" in that field or at least someone who has taken the time to educate themselves and is quite passionate.  (Looking forward to the day when my kiddos are old enough for some of the home ec. classes... thank goodness someone else can teach that subject!)
  • Children are able to participate in cooperative learning and large group activities.
  • Field trips!!!  Homeschoolers LOVE field trips and with a co-op you are able to take advantage of the school group rates at museums, theatres, historical sites, etc.
  • Accountability!  Knowing that you meet at a certain time every week and have certain responsibilities (as students/teachers/or both) keeps your learning at home on track. 
  • SOCIALIZATION - that big buzz word that non-homeschoolers are so very concerned about - hahaha!  Yes, a co-op is the time that children are able to hang out with their buddies and learn something cool at the same time.
  • Mom (and/or Dad) have some time for relationship building as well.  Co-ops often allow time for parents to socialize, plan together, have Bible study, pray, and encourage one another.
With our upcoming move, we are not participating in any co-ops at the onset of this school year.  However, once we are in Nashville and get settled, one of my top priorities will be to find a group to plug in to.  While we may have missed the window of opportunity to participate in the educational and enrichment classes, I'm hoping we'll be able to attend social activities, outings, etc. in order to begin building relationship in our new home.

While I don't know what our co-op future holds, I'll give you a quick look back at some of the fun we've had over the past couple years.

1.) HYPE - Homeschool YMCA Physical Education
  • Somehow I missed out taking any pictures the entire year we participated in this program.  It was great, and I felt I got a LOT of bang for my buck.  For $40, my 3 kiddos enjoyed 40 minutes of swimming lessons, 40 minutes of fitness/p.e. games, and 40 minutes of sports instruction each week.  This was often the highlight of my kiddos week.
2)  Five In A Row
  •  With a large group of families, we "rowed" our way through FIAR Vol. 1 & Vol. 2.  We met twice a month at our local county extension office, and the mommies rotated leading the two-hour class.  During class, we'd read the book again together, and participate in a wide range of activities.  Geography, math, literacy, music, art, crafts, cooking, constructing, outdoor activities, special guests, etc. - we did it all! 

3) Galloping the Globe
  • Along with two other families, we studied countries and cultures.  Last year, we hit the Europe, Asia, and Oceania.  Again, the mommies rotated teaching responsibilities.  When we were together, we reviewed geography facts, practiced saying words in various languages, learned about famous historical figures, artists, and musicians, played games, sang songs, crafted, cooked, and enjoyed some ethnic cuisine. 

  • We spent half a year in a very large homeschool group that had well over 100 students K-12.  In my kiddos K-1 class, there were 25 students.  They enjoyed an anatomy class, History of Little Pilgrims, music, and gym.  Mid-year, for various reasons, there was a split.  We opted to go with the smaller group to a new location, but the kiddos ROCKSTAR science teachers just happened to make the switch as well.  They LOVED learning about their bodies and how God created us in HIS image.  They were also able to continue with music and add an art class. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Classroom... you mean for the stuff, right?

Can you believe it is already Day 4?
Back to Homeschool Blog Hop
Topic:  Classrooms


In our homeschool, the word classroom is used rather loosely.  Our formal dining room houses the majority of the homeschool "stuff" but rarely if ever do we actually all sit around the table to work.  With the exception of handwriting, which requires sitting still at the table, the kids are free to roam throughout the house. 

 You may find one in the floor...

 another in bed with a book...

...or one on the couch with the laptop.

Messy projects are done at the kitchen table, or you may find us learning outside. We school a lot on-the-go since we're a huge fan of field trips. Still with all these options, I do believe the most favorite place to have school is all cuddled up in Mommy's bed. This is our favorite read-aloud spot and sometimes we watch a Netflix video together. 

While we don't utilize the room much for schooling per se, I thought I'd give you a peek at the dining room.  (I promise it is rarely this clean and organized, but in preparing for the move it has received a good overhaul.)  The three small black bookcases have been a wonderful investment.  While there is no shortage of shelves in our home, these fit perfectly in the space and are able to house at least the things we are currently using.  I have a basket that holds teacher's manuals and textbooks that we all use together, a filing system that has a lot of Rachel's "Letter of the Week" Curriculum organized and pre-loaded.  Also, each of the kids has a shelf that holds their clipboards, dry erase boards, and school supply caddy.  In addition, they each have a couple of magazine file boxes for their workbooks and curriculum.  The remaining shelves hold Early Readers, FIAR books, Non-fiction books, History & Geography materials, and future read-aloud titles.

We may not have the largest, most immaculate learning space, but it gets the job done.  You'll want to visit the blogs below to view the great variety of classrooms the Schoolhouse Review Crew uses.  Some will make you "ooo" and "aahh" and want to hire them as your interior designer and others will be filled with great organization tips for small spaces.  You will see people schooling in unconventional spaces and others with desks, a chalkboard, and the whole shebang.  I think it is pretty neat how we all have our own flavor and flair, but we share the commonality of educating our children wholeheartedly.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Planning Page that Finally Works!

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop - Day 3
Topic:  Planning

On paper, I'm a master planner!!!  The implementation and follow through is often the problem, but I have all the tools in place.  It's a matter of making myself stick to the plan.  However, I caution us all to remember it is only a plan or a guide.  In the life of a homeschooler, flexibility is the name of the game.  Kids get sick (Mom's too), obligations come up, spur of the moment field trips present themselves, etc.  I don't ever want to be bound by a piece of paper and miss out on the "living" of life.   

As far as planning, first, I have my very large personal planner.  This houses all the important things to remember:  doctor appointments, social gatherings, kids activities, blog deadlines, etc.  Everything is color-coded - including the people in our family :)  What can I say... I'm a visual learner and at a glance I can see who need to be where and when. 

In the kitchen, I have two dry erase calendars:  one for the current month and one for the following month.  It too is color-coded.  This is so the whole family (mainly my hubby!!!) can see what is going on in the near future. 

As far as homeschool planning, I exhausted a lot of time and energy looking for a pre-fab planner to meet all my needs.  Unfortunately, they all came up short!  I want to plan a week at a time, and I don't want several sheets for each child.  Because my kiddos are so close in age, a lot of our schooling is completed together, but then they each have their own work to accomplish as well.  Therefore, when it is Monday, I want to see what all 3 kids are to be doing on Monday without having to shuffle a stack of papers. 

Last year, I decided to make my own planning sheet.  In preparation for this year, I tweaked it a little by changing some of the subjects.  Using the grid below, I'm able to have a week worth of plans on two pages.  Page 1 has a place for the Week #, our calendar focus, memory verse, and song for the week.  Underneath, you will find the table for Monday.  On the back, there are tables for Tuesday and Wednesday.  The second page has Thursday and Friday on the front, and the back is a book log, field trip log, and a place for weekend plans (which sometimes include school related items or catch-up work).







L. Arts



Read Aloud:

I print the pages blank because I like to write in the spaces.  I'll take the week's pages to bed or sit at the dining room table where I'm close to all of our resources and complete the plans.  While the system isn't fail proof, it does help me to see in a quick and easy way what has been and still needs to be accomplished by the week's end. 

Many members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew are talking about planning today.  Click on the blog links below to see how they get organized.  I know they have such varied approaches and great ideas, we are all sure to learn something new.

Zane Education (Review)


Zane Education is a subscription website full of educational videos.  The videos cover the following 11 different subject areas:  Art, Biology, Geography, Health, History, Library Skills, Literature, Mathematics, Music, Religious Studies, Science, and Social Studies.  Within these subjects, there are 1500+ videos on 260+ topics for K-12 students to explore. 


In addition to the educational videos, Zane Education offers online quizzes, lesson plans, and interactive study tools including a word glossary, world fact book, encyclopedia, dictionary, and thesaurus.

Zane Education uses what they call the The Missing Piece©.  Through research, they believe that the addition of subtitles to their videos allows students to improve their vocabulary and reading skills while learning visually.  This often proves helpful for hearing impaired, special needs, and ELL students. 

Something very important to point out is that Zane Education is secular in nature.  If you are concerned about your child viewing videos especially that reference evolution, you will want to utilize the Christian Learning Guide.  This 424 page resource offers you a more detailed overview of the videos and alerts you to content you may find objectionable or in conflict with your beliefs.  Using this resource, in my opinion, makes Zane a usable supplement for the Christian homeschool, but I still encourage you to preview videos before showing them to your children.  
  • Bronze - $8.99 a month - access to all videos in one subject area
  • Silver -  $12.99 a month - access to all videos within one grade level
  • Gold - $17.99 a month - access to all videos in all subject areas & grade levels
  • Topic Taster - $5 a month - access to only one topic
Only for the month of August, Zane Education is offering 35% off any ANNUAL gold, silver, or bronze membership.  When checking out, use the code ZE295HSM to receive the discount.

Because it is the summer and we aren't doing much in the form of formal studies, I had the kids watch the Human Anatomy videos as a review of what they learned from their science co-op class last year. They were willing to sit and watch one video at a time, and from their interaction with the videos I could see they had retained much of what they learned. However, I did find some of the online quiz questions to be a bit difficult for elementary students.

My overall thoughts... as you'll see below, I have a fairly equal listing of pros and cons.  I found some aspects of Zane great and others a bit lack luster.  I see the value in using the videos as supplements in our homeschool.  When introducing new topics, I'll definitely check out the video library to see if anything aligns with our content and add them to our study resources.  I do foresee our continued inclusion of Zane videos intermittently throughout the year.
  • Videos can be viewed by the entire family
  • Large selection of videos to choose from
  • Website is user-friendly, well-organized, and easy to navigate.
  • Videos download quickly
  • Length of video is clearly shown
  • Subtitles are a nice feature
  • Thorough and complete education guides available
  • Video is a term I'd use loosely... think Power Point
  • Reminiscent of filmstrips from days gone by
  • Unable to resize video to be full screen
  • Some of the videos were narrated by what I'd consider a droning voice
  • Videos have inoperable buttons in the corner... they appear as if they should have a function but aren't clickable.
  • Secular in nature... really do your homework and follow the guide to avoid exposing your kids to questionable content
You may read what other crew mates are saying about their experiences with Zane Education by clicking the button below.  In addition to reading the reviews, as always, I recommend you do your research and get to know the company before making a purchase.  Consider joining Zane for free and viewing the free video of the day.  Follow the Zane News Blog and connect with Zane Education on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube


Disclosure:  I was provided Gold Membership to the Zane Education site in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.