Thursday, February 26, 2015

In Freedom's Cause Single Package from Heirloom Audio Productions: A TOS Crew Review

In Freedom's Cause Audio CD Review

In Freedom's Cause Single Package from Heirloom Audio Productions 

In Freedom's Cause (CD Set - Physical Copy) - 2.5 hours - $29.95  is a beautiful 2 CD set that includes further study ideas and a copy of the prayer by William Wallace.

In Freedom's Cause Study Guide (Digital Download) - The 48 page Study Guide will help parents engage with their children. This is a great tool to expand their learning!   Discussion points encourage you to Listen Well, Think Further and Define Words. This will guide you through the history and tie the story to several related Bible studies focusing on the themes of freedom, forgiveness, and fear.

 In Freedom's Cause Soundtrack (MP3 download) contains all the original music by Emmy-winning composer John Campbell. You may be familiar with John’s original core for C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia.

Printable copy of The Prayer Of William Wallace. (Digital Download) is a version of Psalm 23 in the Latin Vulgate. This printable copy is a one page beautiful printable letter size poster.

Get ready for an UNFORGETTABLE listening adventure.  In Freedom's Cause will have your children begging for more, I know mine did!  We spend hours in our van.  I'm sure many homes chool families do!  Why not capitalize on your captive audience?  This is just the resource you need to redeem all that van-time and turn it into learning-time!

The 2.5 hours will fly by as you are taken back in history to fight for freedom with William Wallace and Robert Bruce.  We are huge GA Henty fans already, and Heirloom Audio has done a phenomenal job of producing HIGH quality audios of his inspiring stories.  Take a peek at some of the voices on this star-studded theatrical performance: 
  • Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abby as Anna) 
  • Billy Boyd (Lord of the Rings, Master and Commander) 
  • Skandar Keynes, (Chronicles of Narnia)
  • Cathy Sara (Woman in Black, Topsy-Turvy)
  • James Cosmo (Highlander and Braveheart)  
The music is dramatic, and you feel like you are watching a live adventure story right before your eyes - but, with your ears! This is an action-packed story.  My boys loved it (so did my girls!) Murder, intrigue, and sword fighting... but, so much more than that.  It's the story of courage and perseverance and deliverance.  These are the kind of heroes that inspire our children to greatness.

So, what is the point of studying history? To read a dry, dusty story, memorize a date or two, and bore them to sleep?  Or is it really to take our children to another time and place and show them the hand of God moving in the times of men?  These audios do precisely that.  In fact, all of my family is now enthralled with this time period, and eagerly searching out more information.  Bam!  Success!

The Bonus features are the icing on the cupcake. You get the soundtrack, a study guide and more.  You will have fun taking these resources and turning them into a full study on William Wallace and Scottish Independence - or, simply put the audio on all your kiddos devices and let them listen to it over and over, like I did.

We enjoyed Under Drake's Flag last year, and can hardly wait for With Lee in Virginia that is set to release around Memorial Day.  You can follow them on Facebook for updates!!

Find -Heirloom Audio Productions  on Social Media:

Google+:  >
See what other members of the Crew thought here

In Freedom's Cause Review

Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

IndoctriNation from Great Commission Films:A TOS Crew Review

IndoctriNation DVD Review

IndoctriNation from Great Commission Films

102 minute DVD - $19.95
IndoctriNation is also available in a book format. 

Colin Gunn, Scotland native turned Texan, and father to seven children,  has produced this hard, honest look at the American Public School System.  Traveling across the country with his family in a big, yellow school bus, this 102 minute DVD is an eye-opening journey for Christian teachers, parents and others involved with our children.  

Should you pop some popcorn and gather the kiddos for a family movie night?   NO!  This is NOT that kind of movie! This video does begin with a disclaimer that is it not intended for young audiences - you should definitely preview this before including any children.

In the first part of this documentary, Colin Gunn takes viewers on an inside look at the current state of Public Education.  Issues of drug & alcohol use, sexual promiscuity and violence are all discussed very frankly, even including shots of "condom lollipops" being distributed to children in elementary school!
Throughout the video - interviews with experts like John Taylor Gatto, Voddie Baucham, R.C. Sproul, Jr., Ken Ham, Gary North, Kevin Swanson, and  many more are presented that help build the case against Christians participating in our Public Education System.  

The second half of the film is a drive through the history of public schooling.  At each stop the yellow bus takes on new passengers that have become part of the fabric of American Public Education - Horace Mann, Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, G. Stanley Hall, Ivan Pavlov, John Dewey and others.  It's a sobering visual of what is included in the Public School curriculum package.

I did choose to watch this film with my older teens.  We found it very interesting.  My 12 year old was too young for this material, and I really wish I would have followed the disclaimer's recommendation.  She ended up in tears, asking "why would anyone ever send children to these awful places?"  Be careful - the information presented is oftentimes disturbing.  The scenes from a parent that lost a child in the Columbine tragedy are heartbreaking, and graphic.

We have not chosen to home school our children from a standpoint of fear of the public schools.  There are plenty of Godly men and women, working tirelessly within the system to show the love of Christ.  This film follows both a young teacher and an experienced principal in their journeys through and out of the system.

We have chosen this path, because of our convictions from God that it was the best choice for our children.  This film's message, in my opinion, may take on a more "fear-based" decision to home school.  I don't recommend using this film as an outreach tool - or a persuasive look at the benefits of homeschooling.  While it's an honest look, at times it's more scary than encouraging, or empowering.

One interesting conversation about this film came from my teens.  They pointed out several logical fallacies that were being used in this documentary  (ie - appeal to fear) and how the filmmaker was able to convey his personal views by the use of music  and symbols - like the school bus.  We discussed that documentary-type films are not generally balanced presentations, and this one certainly one-sided toward home schooling.

Overall, I thought it was a very professionally done film.  It is full of information that all parents should have before making education decisions for their families.  I highly recommend seeing this, and I plan to watch it again, with no children.  

Find IndoctriNation from Great Commission Films on Social Media:


IndoctriNation DVD Review
Crew Disclaimer

History looks good on You!

I really believe if you are studying history... it should look good!  It should be FUN!  If you are not learning about how God has woven together people, places and events throughout time... you should be.

Nothing captures my children's hearts and minds better than history.  Our favorite program is Mystery of History.  If all we did was read it, it would be enjoyable - but forgettable.  NO - do not do it this way!!  Let them experience it.

Here's how I do it - I turn them loose with plenty of craft supplies and the Activity Book.  They have to come up with their own activity (this works so much better now that they are a little older).  Then the fun begins...

Here's last week's "activities" - can you guess who they are?  Come on...think hard - here's a couple of hints:  Big, elaborate wigs... French... "Let them eat cake?"  You will never forget Marie Antoinette again!

Nothing needed from me, except permission to use the empty toilet paper tubes.  Here's another history tip - NEVER EVER throw away toilet paper tubes - they have more uses than you can imagine.

 See... a toilet paper tube can become a cannon!   Even Napoleon, himself would be proud to wear this fashionable design.

So, don't just settle for reading about history.  Let them bring it to life! (they did this without Pinterest...don't make it complicated moms!)   And, keep your camera handy...

Friday, February 13, 2015

Physics Fun

Sometimes I wonder what our neighbors think of us... but, most of the time - I'm just having too much fun homeschooling to care!  Anyone...?? Anyone...??

This was our day-

First, we analyzed forensic evidence to determine if I had indeed run over and killed the poor unfortunate squirrel in the middle of the street, suspiciously in the line of my ultra large van's tire prints. And, ironically right in front of the neighbor's yard that I backed into their parked car...

We determined, I must have run over a previously deceased creature (scientifically deduced, I mean).   Later in the day,  we watched several large vultures clean up said deceased creature... explaining produces, consumers, scavengers and the great circle of life.  Interestingly,  all that was left was a spine.  Removing any further doubts or evidences to my ability to drive carefully in our neighborhood.

Then, the great Physics Egg Drop experiment commenced.  Teams were given equal supplies of several sheet of paper, 2 tissues and a length of tape.  Their assignment,  create a landing space for eggs dropped off the ladder. 

Our kiddos, having moved several times, understood the value of a finely packed egg. Although they didn't quite follow the rules (another trademark homeschool trait) - their egg was able to take quite a drop!  (Movers everywhere could benefit from this simple teaching)


 Finally, my future movie directors decided it would be a grand time to make the next BIG superhero movie... in costume - in the front yard - right as school buses are coming home...

I do LOVE homeschooling at its finest!!

Sunday, February 8, 2015


I need more time to process all that I took away from this amazing conference. Thousands of women - starting and ending on our knees.  God showing up.   But, in the meantime - here's some for you to ponder....

If God is Real  - then let's go take the land! - Jennie Allen

Let's turn our journals of sight into real lives of faith!  - Jennie Allen


We live in the same measure we believe - Jen Hatmaker

You want it to be true in the day, but your find out if it is in the night. - Jen Hatmaker

If the horse is dead ladies, dismount! - Christine Caine

Service is what prepares you for the battle. - Christine Caine

This and so much more.  Plus - girl time that left tears in my eyes from laughter and a heart full!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Catus Jelly - Yeah for Texas!

We are learning all about our new home state... Texas!

This week, at Coop, we made Cactus Jelly.  I really thought it would be green...goes to show how much I have to learn :-)

I can't resist sharing some of our littlest kiddos learning in the kitchen!

Did you know this part of the cactus is called a "tuna"?  Neither did I - it's where the juice for the jelly comes from....

I just love this picture!  All hands on deck for this adventure!

This is an authentic "Texan" recipe from a Texan Grandmother...  I love handwritten recipes passed down the generations.  Note:  Write some of your favorites down - BY HAND for your kiddos!!

Our finished product!

Our jelly didn't quite set as expected.. but is was AMAZING on our pancakes the next day!