The Sojourner

Monday, January 24, 2011

True Treasures: A Gabby Moms Review

 I have had the pleasure over the last few weeks of reading  True Treasures:  10 Years of TEACH Magazine.  And trust me when I tell you that I read it from COVER TO COVER!!!  I did not just browse the articles or scan the titles.  I read every word in this treasure trove of articles!!  I had a hard time putting it down each night when I really needed to turn off the light and go to sleep.  When they say that they endeavored to put together articles on everything from marriage to parenting to homemaking that would truly "speak to your heart," they succeeded in a big way!
Mrs. Lorrie Flem

Ok, now you are wondering, "Who are they?"  Mrs. Lorrie Flem is the publisher of TEACH Magazine, and, I believe, the dynamic force behind the whole thing.  Tena Cinnamon and Donna Venning assisted Mrs. Flem in compiling this wonderful project.

TEACH Magazine  (which is changing to Eternal Encouragement Magazine) states their purpose so beautifully:

We are a magazine that will help you with your God-assigned tasks as a wife & mother by:
Encouraging you with wisely spoken words.
Convicting your heart as He refines you into His image.
Challenging you to continue to strive for improvement.
Touching your spirit with heart-warming stories.
Entertaining you through life-learning lessons.
Inspiring you to immerse yourself in the holy promises that are yours.

True Treasures is divided into 6 chapters with such wonderful titles as
  • Jewels that make the Heart Sparkle
  • Marriages of Solid Gold
  • Parenting Pearls: Practical and Priceless
  • Homemaking that Dazzles Like Diamond
  • Homeschooling Nuggets of Wisdom
 Just the chapter titles are enough to make you want to dive into the pages full of richness and insight.  These are articles written by homeschooling and homemaking moms just like you and me, and cover so very many facets of life!

I have been homeschooling my two children for almost 12 years now and have read so many articles about homeschooling.  But still, from time to time, I need the refreshment and encouragement that comes from hearing what others who have walked or are walking this journey have to share.  And that is exactly what happened when I started reading True Treasures.  It was like sitting down with another beautiful woman who knew just what I was going through and having them share their heart with me.  I don't have many friends around here that I could actually do that with, so it was really nice to feel that way while reading these articles.  Some were challenging, some were humorous and all were encouraging and uplifting.

I recently joined The Gabby Moms to review products for Eternal Encouragement Magazine.  We are a group of moms, wives, homemakers and followers of Jesus who want to share our thoughts and opinions about products which may help you in your role as wife, mother, homemaker and follower of Jesus!

And if you have been following my blog for any time at all, you will know that I love a great deal and coupons!!  Well, I have a coupon code for you that is good for $4.00 off the price of True Treasures - just type GABBYMOM during checkout at  This offer is good until May 31, 2011 (one copy per customer, please).

I received this product for my honest review from TEACH Magazine as a part of The Gabby Moms blogging program.  All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Positive Action for Christ: The Life of Christ Review

Finding a good Bible curriculum for us to use as a family with our teenagers has been a challenge.  Devotionals are just too little Bible and often seem trite for the high school level.  Other Bible curriculum seem to just be worksheets to keep the kids busy, which is the last thing that we need right now.  When  I received The Life of Christ Bible curriculum from Positive Action for Christ to review, I was impressed immediately by the quality of the product.  The Teacher's Manual came in a beautiful 3-ring binder, while the Student Manual is full color with many pictures and is laid out in a very nice manner.

Positive Action for Christ is a publishing house specializing in youth curriculum for fundamental churches.  The Life of Christ curriculum is written for the high school level and uses the Book of John "to make Jesus Christ real to your students."  This curriculum is originally designed to be used in the school classroom setting, but I found it quite nice for using in our homeschool setting.

We have been able to use the curriculum for a number of weeks and I am impressed with the amount of background and cultural information that they provided in both the Student and Teacher Manuals.  At first, my teens bulked at trying another Bible curriculum, but after getting used to looking up the scriptures and learning about Jesus Christ and the background/setting of the Book of John, they began to really like this curriculum.  That is HUGE to me!  Since I only have one Student Manual and two students, I have done the study all orally with them - asking questions from the book out loud, reading it aloud, etc.  This has worked quite well for us and we spend several days on each chapter, reading all the passages from the Bible that pertain and all the information given in the Student and Teacher Manuals.  There is even a section for "Digging Deeper" section at the end of each chapter to help you and your student explore more about things that pertained to that chapter.

Positive Action for Christ also provides a CD-Rom which has a PowerPoint presentation with slides for each lesson which is more for being used in the classroom setting.  They also provide a Scope & Sequence which is very detailed with all the items covered in each chapter.   In addition, they provided ideas on how to use this curriculum in different settings like devotions, parent-led study, independent study and with co-ops.

Now that we have been able to use this curriculum for several weeks (we got to Lesson 6), I am happy to say that, not only will be using this particular Life of Christ curriculum through to the end, I will be looking at other studies that they have for sale for next year!  I am very happy with the depth of study provided through this study for teens.  I have looked at many different products, but had failed to find something that I feel will really bring my teen closer to God.  I love that they say in their product description, "Our hope as you journey through this material is that your students will not only know Jesus more, but also love Him more."

That is my goal for my teens and knowing that their heart is also the same for my teens is wonderful.

You can download samples of the Student and Teacher Manuals on their website, too.  That might help you with making a decision about this particular product.    Here are the prices for this particular product The Life of Christ:

Student's Manual Deluxe Edition $17.95
Teacher's Manual $41.95
Teacher's Manual on DVD $29.95

They offer discounts when you order in bulk, too.

Positive Action for Christ has many Bible curricula for Elementary, Junior High and High School students.  They even have a study based on the Pilgrim's Progress called The Christian Adventure.  I would encourage you to take some time and check out what they have available, because I believe their curricula has a lot to offer for many homeschool families.

If you would like to read more reviews of this product from other members of the TOS Review Crew, go here to check it out.

I received this product for free in return for an honest review. I have not received financial reimbursement for my review of The Life of Christ from Positive Action for Christ.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Virtual Nerd: A Review

When I first received info about reviewing this product, I thought the name was rather funny!  I was surprised to find that Virtual Nerd is a video tutorial website for the upper maths and sciences.  It is very easy to navigate and find what you are looking for when visiting Virtual Nerd.  They have hundreds of short video tutorials in Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1 and 2, and Intro to Physics.  They are also working on adding Geometry, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Physics with Trigonometry and Chemistry in the coming year.

If you, like I, are working through Algebra with your kids, this site would be a tremendous aid to you and your kids.  Any time they are having difficulty wrapping their brain around a new concept, they can find just the video tutorial they need for exactly the topic that they are struggling with.  Then they can watch the tutorial as many times as it takes to sink in and they come to comprehend the subject.  They have the topics broken down to the smallest bit of learning, so that each student can take the time to watch exactly the videos that will help them with where they are at.

And, to me, the coolest part of this whole website is that they offer MANY different memberships to provide you with exactly what you need when you need it.  You can join for a month at a time for $49 per month.  However, you can also choose to just join for a day ($5), a week ($19), or even start out with a free 2-hour trial (one time use).  They also have a 3-month plan for $129.  When considering the cost, you need to realize that this is much less expensive than paying a personal tutor, but will help your student just as much with a very flexible schedule, too.  Virtual Nerd IS a virtual tutor!

We currently use a math program that has the lesson on DVD, so my kids are already accustomed to watching a teacher to learn the new materials.  With Virtual Nerd, it was very similar, but the advantage is that if they are struggling with a concept or just don't get it, this provides them with another lesson and explanation that may be more understandable to them.  The instructors on Virtual Nerd are pleasant to watch and very clearly explain each concept.  Again, the videos are broken down into individual concepts that build on each other, so you can find exactly where your student needs to begin in order to get a handle on the subject.

Overall, I was very impressed with Virtual Nerd and am very glad to know it exists as we continue along in our "upper math journey".  It makes me feel very secure knowing that I can go to Virtual Nerd for help when even I am having a difficult time understanding a concept that I am trying to teach my children.

If you would like to read more reviews of Virtual Nerd, go check out the other TOS Crew members reviews.

I received access to this website for free in return for an honest review. I have not received financial reimbursement for my review of Virtual Nerd.