Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Compass Classroom: Visual Latin {Review}

(Disclaimer: This post contains my affiliate links. This simply means that should you choose to purchase through my links, there is no additional cost to you, and I make a small commission. Thank you!)

I have been homeschooling my fantastic kids long enough to have seen and heard all kinds of opinions on the importance, or not, of teaching Latin. Since I took Latin in high school, I have been on the "yes" side of the fence, even though I understand that some people see it as unnecessary. I have not followed a "classical" approach in our education, taking a more eclectic approach, however, I do see great value in learning Latin. Several of my children are learning Italian, French and/or Spanish, so Latin will help with those languages, as well as help immensely with our native language, English. Last fall I decided that I needed to finally add Latin to our list of courses.

I received the downloadable version of Visual Latin 1 and 2 from Compass Classroom for the purpose of review. Each lessons pairs three videos, featuring teacher Dwane Thomas, with worksheets for different learning styles to guide students from grammar concepts, to practice sentences, to reading in Latin! There are 60 lessons in total. Visual Latin is available in three formats: DVD, download or streaming. Included in the downloads are lesson worksheets, a teacher's guide, vocabulary lists and quizzes. This course is suggested for ages 10 and older. It also provides 2 high school credits, which is one reason why I am so excited about it!

This school year we have been working our way through Visual Latin 1, which is 30 lessons. We haven't used too many video-based programs in our school, so I wasn't sure how well it would work. It has worked perfectly! It is super easy to use. Just cue up the video and print out the worksheets for whatever lesson you're on. Mr. Thomas has a quirky and fun sense of humour and is very engaging in the video lessons. Even though I primarily wanted my grade 10 student to work through these lessons for high school language credit, I decided to make it a family affair and include everyone. So, in addition to my grade 10 student, I also included my students in grade 8, grade 5 and grade 4, as well. I am amazed by all they have learned this year. We have a had a great time learning together and already look forward to continuing with Latin 2 next year.

It was rather hilarious to start this program and find Latin everywhere we turned. Books, movies, other school curricula. All the children were noticing it and having a good time doing so. We also had a few laughs over the sentence structure in Latin and how the sentences remind us a bit of Yoda. For example, "They are bright in the sky the stars are." And "At night also stars there are." Another benefit in learning Latin is all the English grammar you learn in the process. It's been a great reminder and reinforcer of what my children have already learned plus even more! This has been a wonderful fit for our family, and we are learning so much. I cannot recommend Visual Latin highly enough.

Give it a try with 2 Free Lessons.

Also, check out the Additional Resources.

And right now, Visual Latin 1 and 2 are on sale! Get $30 off!

Let me know if you have any questions.

Blessings and love. xo

Thursday, May 19, 2016

My Reading List

{Disclaimer: This post contains my affiliate links. Thank you!}

Hi friends,

I have been mostly quiet around here lately, due to needing a break to focus on other things. We are getting set to move again (seriously praying and planning for this to be the last time!), plus slowly starting to work part-time, plus finishing up our home school year, etc. 

One thing I determined at the first of 2016 was that I want to take better care of myself, in all areas. One of those ways is in purposefully taking time to do some things that I enjoy, one of which is reading for pleasure (as opposed to reading for reviews). So here are some of the titles I have read recently or am currently working on . . . 

First up, Heart Made Whole: Turning Your Unhealed Pain Into Your Greatest Strength by Christa Black Gifford. Oh. My. Word. People, seriously, I think I am going to recommend this one to every person I know. If you're not familiar with Christa, she and her hubby, Lucas, have been some of my favourite people to follow on social media in the last few years. They have both been through tragedy and have come out strong and healed because of the love and power of Jesus. (Disclaimer: I am on Christa's launch team for this book and received an ebook copy for the purpose of review, but I applied to do so because I knew I would benefit, and I knew I would want to share this one with you.) Even if I had not been chosen for the launch team, I would be reading this one and sharing about it. This book is important. Every person I know has some kind of hurt, whether a skin-deep scrape or the deep, soul-crushing wounded-ness kind. We all need healing. I believe this message that Christa shares can be the catalyst for that healing. Thank you for writing this one, Christa!

Here is a photo I took of some of the others:

From this stack, the ones I have read so far are: 

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin - Have you read this one or seen the movie that came out recently? It is a charming story, and I'm looking forward to the film, which I understand is equally endearing.

The Blueberry Years: A Memoir of Farm and Family by Jim Minick - I have been going to the library, not just to drop off returns or pick up holds, but also to meander the aisles and peruse the shelves at leisure (well, mostly). I have found myself these last couple of months, sticking close to the biography shelves, which is where I found this gem of a memoir. Jim's writing is delightful, and I not only wanted a big bowl of delicious blueberries every time I picked it up, I also found myself longing to buy a farm in the mountains of Virginia!

Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill by Sonia Purnell. This was a long read and one that I wasn't sure I wanted to commit to at first, but man, I'm so glad I did. I knew absolutely nothing about Clementine, the wife of Winston Churchill before I picked this up. She was quite the character, and the author makes a strong point that Winston would not have been the man that he was nor could he have accomplished all that he did without his "Clemmie" to help guide and influence not only him, but many of the leaders of that time. I am glad to know more of her story and her tenacity.

I am currently reading (and loving) Shawn Bolz' Translating God: Hearing God's Voice For Yourself and The World Around You. If you don't know of Shawn and his ministry, I recommend looking him up ASAP! I heard him speak when I watched the recent Azusa Now live stream. He was prophesying to folks in the crowd he had never seen or met before. The words he had received from Father were incredible. Tears were streaming down my face. It's always beautiful to see how the Father loves His children and this was evidenced in the words Shawn received (in how personal they were and in how encouraging they were). This is a message that is dear to my heart, and I am looking forward to diving more into this one!

And in addition to the three or four in the above photo that are waiting in the library basket, I also just got a book in the mail (for review) that I am excited about - The Healing Breakthrough: Creating an Atmosphere of Faith For Healing by Randy Clark. I'll get back to you on this one.

What have you been reading recently? Anything to recommend?

Blessings and love. xo

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Happiness vs. Holiness

Hi dear ones,

I shared this quote and some thoughts on my IG today and wanted to share them here, as well.

This is something I've been pondering for years. **Happiness vs. Holiness** I believe it is a man-made theory that has messed us up in such a profound way. Father never said, 'If you're happy, you cannot possibly be holy.' Nor did He say, 'If you're living in holiness, there is no room for happiness'! It's not one or the other. It's BOTH. 

✨✨Heaven is happy! God is happy! And guess what, He wants His children to be happy, even while we're still here on this earth!!! What a gift!✨✨ 

Photo re-post from@randyalcorn_epm. I haven't read Randy Alcorn's new book yet, but I have a feeling I'm going to love it.

May you be blessed in your holiness and your happiness today! He is glorified in both. And what a beautiful picture of heaven we have to give to everyone around us when we live this out. I love learning how to walk in the role of an ambassador of heaven. 

Have you read Randy's new book, Happiness, yet? What are your thoughts on it or on this idea that we are to be bright, shining lights of holiness, righteousness, happiness and joy, that we cannot separate them or chose just one?

Blessing and love. xo

Friday, March 4, 2016

New Colors in the Popular Mamuye Leather Tote!

Disclaimer: This post contains my affiliate/referral links. This simply means that when you purchase through these links, there is no additional cost to you, and I make a small commission. Many thanks.

The Mamuye Tote was very popular during the Christmas season, and I have some fun news today! In addition to the three original colors, there are now three new hues to choose from. Aren't they beautiful? Just in time for spring!

In case this is your first time hearing about LiveFashionABLE, they work with heroic women who have overcome difficult circumstances, both locally and globally. Their stories are inspirational. And isn't it so satisfying to shop, knowing that the money spent will be supporting women who are overcomers!? The Mamuye Tote is 100% distressed leather, handcrafted in Ethiopia.

Which is your fave? Pewter, Merlot or Moss . . . 

Go to LiveFashionABLE now to make your pick!


Blessings and love. xo

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

God's Heart for Racial Reconciliation in Our Country

You guys, I read this story on The Elijah List last week and cannot stop thinking about it (I'll share the story in a minute). 

I know God's heart is for all people. Every single person ever born or to be born on this planet has incredible, intrinsic value. It was God's idea to create us and it is His love that sustains us. He loves people. We have gotten so far away from His plan and heart when it comes to relationships, in so many ways. Slavery was not His will and plan. Divisiveness in 2016 is not His heart. I could write pages on those issues, but I'm not going to take the time right now, because I want to get to the story. I believe with all my heart that reconciliation is God's heart. Unity and honor and doing life together on equal ground. Those are the things God wants for His precious creation.

My family and I watched the Academy Awards last night. We enjoy movies and although we haven't seen even half of the movies nominated or mentioned last night, we are genuinely interested in the lives of the actors and actresses (and producers, composers, designers, musicians, etc.) in those movies. We don't worship them, but we do care deeply about their lives. We have also followed the controversy surrounding the #OscarsSoWhite issue this year. And while I understand that this is a genuine and important issue, I believe it could've been handled differently. I believe there can be healthy, productive conversations. There can be healthy, fruitful dialogue. The divisiveness is not necessary. It's actually harmful and unhealthy. It only adds fuel to the fire and divides our country even further. 

So, what do these two things have to do with one another? Let's get back to the original reason I'm writing today. I am encouraged, and want you to be encouraged, that God is working. He is weaving us together with people who can bring His Kingdom to this earth and see lives changed. I read this amazing story by Will Ford, as well as this one mentioned in that post. I wept and will probably weep again when I share it with my family. This is Who God is! He is a connector, not a divider. He draws us to Himself, instead of pushing us away. Jesus says "Come." To every single one of us, this is His beautiful, incredible, life-changing invitation.

This is a story we need to read. This is a story we need to tell our children. This is a story we need to share with the world, because this is God's story of providence and reconciliation and purpose and love and answered prayer. Please click on the links and read it. This testimony is going to be a catalyst for even more reconciliation and healing.

I also found a church service where Will Ford and Matt Lockett share this unforgettable story. You can go HERE to watch. 

May we, no matter our skin color or gender or socio-economic status or age or background or experience, join in His Kingdom assignments and see heaven come to earth in a way that we have never seen before. May we all be faithful to press in to our God-ordained purposes and to see those purposes fulfilled for His honor and glory.

Blessings and love. xo