Homeschool Complete (Review)

What do you do with a child that is ready to start kindergarten work, when you are already balancing two other older children and a baby? You look for a product that will give him what he needs in a simple easy to use format that doesn’t take all day. I’m researching curriculum for my son who turns five next month and is in that very situation. Homeschool Complete offers full programs that are all inclusive and feature a unit study format. I decided to try out the first semester of Kindergarten Complete with my son and see how it worked with him and with our schedule.

The semester is broken up into various units including: All About My Family, Fall, Farm Animals, Zoo Animals, Winter, Sea Life, Martin Luther King Jr. and more.  Most of the units are about four lessons long with each lesson being one day’s work. They suggest using the unit for four days and having the fifth day of the week be activities of your own choice.

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My son was excited about ‘doing school’ and eager to try this program most days. I found that it took us between 45 and 60 minutes to do the lessons most days. He really enjoyed the math and reading components (which at this point were mostly read alouds with comprehension questions). He was starting to learn some of the letter sounds but struggled with those as well as the writing components. I felt like the math was moving at a really good pace. He could easily keep up but was not becoming bored.

He struggled to keep up with the writing even though it was mostly copying words that I had written. He enjoyed learning how to write his name but when he had to write other words, he seemed to struggle. This will vary based on the child and it is worth noting that he is on the younger side and another 6 months or a year’s worth of fine motor skills may make the writing much more attainable for him.

Each day they would go through their calendar activities, talking about the date, days of the week, moths of the year, etc. There was a short math lesson, followed by language arts which generally consisted of reading a book or passage aloud and then discussing it. Often the book or passage related to the theme of the unit study and included the science or social studies for the day.

Most days also include some type of enrichment activity. Also days often include a Bible lesson, physical education lesson, art lesson or music lesson.  These extras are typically very simple and easy to implement. For example, practice a low crawl for fire escape is one of the physical education ideas.   An example of an art lesson was to create colorful fall trees by painting with sponges.  One of the enrichment/science activities was carving a pumpkin and having the child feel the inside and then use adjectives to describe it.

I thought this program was well thought out and provided good coverage of the basics with some other fun activities. We are a very science and history heavy family and I would include more of that in our studies but those would be easy to supplement. If you are a family that starts those subjects later or puts less emphasis on them at a young age, there is probably plenty included in the curriculum.

In addition to the curriculum you do need to be prepared to purchase or borrow books for each unit. Many of them are fairly common and not difficult to find. We also utilized videos of a couple of them being read aloud on YouTube for books that we did not have. There are materials needed for some of the art and science projects but in general they are common materials or inexpensive. For example, we needed pennies for counting one day and paper and crayons for an activity.

Overall, if you are looking for a simple and easy to implement complete kindergarten curriculum Homeschool Complete may be a good choice for you. They also offer complete curriculum for grades first through fourth and unit studies for grades K-6. I encourage you to check out their website as well as the other crew reviews to see if this might be a good fit for your students.

**Update**  Homeschool Complete  is offering 10% off to our readers right now!! Just click on that link and use code CREW2019 through 3/31/2019. ***

Homeschool Complete K - 4th Grade & Unit Studies {Homeschool Complete Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

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When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

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This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Victus Study Skills System (Review)

All students’  need good study skills but knowing how to teach those skills can be a challenge. For some reason teaching study skills has always been a difficult abstract topic for me and with my oldest being a 7th grader I knew that it was something we needed to focus on. I enjoyed this opportunity to review the Victus Study Skills System particularly using Level 2: Elementary and Level 3 (Grades 5/6-10/11). This included a workbook for each level, a teachers manual, and a supplemental manual for the elementary level. I used level 2 with my fifth grade daughter and level 3 with my seventh grade son.

The Victus Study Skills System is built on three major parts or cornerstones. First, “Where am I now?” This section focuses on  learning strengths and an assessment of current study habits. Second, “Where do I want to be?” This covers creating a mission statement and setting goals. Finally, “How do I get there?” This is where you really get into learning new study habits and skills to help you achieve the goals that you created in the second section. This cornerstone focuses on things like time management, listening, note taking and test taking.

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There are examples for each section or lesson and then opportunities to practice. When comparing the elementary level with level 3 (5/6-10/11) you see a very similar layout of concepts, but the elementary level has shorter assignments and does not always go as in depth. Sometimes, the assignments are are entirely different. For example, in one of the lessons my daughter was doing a word search and my son was working on a calendar. There are other lessons where they both needed to answer questions or fill in the blanks but the elementary lesson has fewer questions.

Lessons in which my daughter had the same but fewer questions were very easy to combine. I would teach the lesson and we would go through the work together. However, for some of them I felt like they really needed my individual attention because of the differences in the layout. In hindsight, when I use this program again, I will give an introduction the program together, but plan to spend time individually with each child.

I liked how, instead of just telling them that note taking was a good study strategy, it went through and taught them how to take good notes. The book explained using short hand, keeping things brief, not needing to use complete sentences, and even how to determine which things are important to note. They then have the opportunity to practice taking notes using several sets of information. Once they have practiced, they can compare their notes to a set of well-taken sample notes on the same information.

I also really appreciated how it showed them how to get from where they are to where they want to be. By starting with an assessment of their own learning styles, they can progress into self advocates and choose to study and use the strategies that work best for them. Another step that I think was really important was setting goals. If you do not know where you want to go, you will not be able to figure out how to get there. I think that helped them to understand why the study skills that they learned in the the third part of the program were important.

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Overall, we enjoyed this product but I do feel that it is worth noting that while they say you can teach multiple levels at a time, I found it very difficult to teach both Level 2 and Level 3 together. The overall topics were similar but the activities and such were different enough that it became confusing for my students. I recommend considering individual times for different levels.  If you had multiple students on the same level, I think it would work fine with group instruction.  The other thing that I would note is that while they say it is a five hour course, it took us significantly more than 5 hours to work through the course. That might change somewhat if I was not trying to do two different levels at once. The extra time is not a big deal in a home setting like ours, but an important consideration for planning if you are using it for a larger time bound setting like a co-op.

I think that the Victus Study Skills System   is a good system to teach study skills and help students understand the importance of those skills. I love that it helps each child look at themselves as individuals and teaches them a variety of tools and strategies that they can work with to best meet their individual learning styles and goals. There is also a primary level (K-2) and a college level that we did not use at this time. If you would like to find out more about the other levels or see how other families utilized the program, I encourage you to check out the other Review Crew reviews using the link below.

K through College Study Skills {Victus Study Skills System Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

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This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

 

March Hymn Study: In the Garden

As I am writing this it is only February but we have had several warm days and some of the flowers are already blooming! While this is probably ‘false spring’, it does make me excited about the new life and growth that spring brings. As we begin March, we will see more and more flowers, hear and see the birds as they fly about, and just enjoy more time in nature.

In The Garden (sometimes called ‘I Come to the Garden’) was written in 1913 by C. Austin Miles. His inspiration for the song came from reading John 20. You can find out more about the hymn including the lyrics and sheet music at Hymnary.

 

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While this hymn was written with John 20 and the story of Mary at the tomb in mind, it speaks to me today when I think about spending quiet time alone with God. I understand that God is not contained to any one place, but I always feel closest to him when I am outside among his creation. I think this hymn lends itself wonderfully to nature study. You can listen for the birds he made, look for the roses, or with older children have them do their quiet prayer time outside and see how they connect.

Whenever I hear this song it tends to make me slow down just a bit and refocus. It is also one of those songs that stays in my mind all day with the words just replaying themselves in my head. I think this is a great hymn to study, both for its beautiful lyrics and its reminder to us to spend time ‘walking and talking’ with Jesus each day.  I hope you enjoy the song and the copy work that I have provided below.

 

Hymn Study Resources:

In the Garden Sheet Music and Hymn Background

In the Garden Video with Lyrics ( Alan Jackson)

In the Garden (Elvis)

In the Garden (Joey+Rory)

In the Garden (acapella)

In the Garden (Mahalia Jackson)

Download Your Freebies Below!

Hymn Study Fact Sheet

In The Garden Copywork

 

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

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This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

B is for Boxcar Children and Ben Carson

I remember devouring the Boxcar children books when I was a child and I have been pleased to watch my older children, especially my son enjoy them as well. This is one of those special series that spans the generations. and excites the imagination. Tales of orphaned siblings whom created a life for themselves living in an abandoned boxcar excites the imagination. They were enjoying life and having adventures but also overcoming adversity. They eventually find their grandfather and go to live with him. However, they continue to have adventures in various places and solve mysteries that always seem to find them.

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There are over 100 books in this series but I primarily recommend the first nineteen books as they were written by the original author. After the author, Gertrude Chandler Warren, died in 1979 the publishers had the other books written. There were some other cute stories but in my opinion, they were never as good as the original books.

These beginner chapter books are great family read alouds or can generally be read independently by about second grade. The exciting adventures of the Alden siblings can encourage imaginative play and adventure. I loved watching my children go outside and pretend to have similar adventures and solve mysteries after their imaginations were sparked by the books.

Another great book for the older set is Ben Carson: A Chance at Life. This book,published by YWAM, is a good fit for upper elementary or middle grades students. This biography tells of the life of famous brain surgeon Ben Carson. I love having my children read books about heroes and role models as they develop their understanding of the world. Ben Carson is an excellent role model and this biography is both enjoyable to read and informative.

I could probably choose a dozen more books with the letter B but those are two that we really enjoyed. I would love for you to share your favorite B book in the comments. Don’t forget to check out the other bloggers who are joining us on their journey through the alphabet and stop back next week for the letter C.

Inlinkz Link Party

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Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

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This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

Gertrude Chandler Warner and The Boxcar Children (biography of the author and her inspiration for the series). Free with Kindle Unlimited

Pre-Kindergarten Dimensions Math (Review)

I have a pretty laid-back philosophy on preschool and believe that most learning is done through just living life together and play. I also have a four year old that has been telling me that he was ready to ‘do school’ like his older brother and sister.  When I was given the opportunity to review Dimensions Math PK-5 by Singapore Math Inc. I was hesitant. I knew that my son wanted more ‘schoolwork’ but I was not sure that a formal math program was going to be the best fit. I decided that it would not hurt anything to give a try and see how it went.

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I requested and received PKA, which is the first semester of Pre-Kindergarten. When it arrived it reminded me very much of curricula for a tradition classroom in the sense that it had a large teachers manual, a student textbook, and a student workbook. For the Pre-Kindergarten level both the workbook and the textbook are consumable resources designed to be written in by the student. They also have some printable blackline masters and cute videos on their website to accompany the curriculum.

When I started looking through the teacher’s manual, I was pleasantly surprised to find many hands on and play based activities. This curriculum is often used in classrooms and so they have group activities, centers, and individual activities included.  There were art activities, snacks, and even book recommendations to extend the lessons.

Most days when we did math I would go through the short lesson with him, pick one or two activities and then do the textbook and workbook pages. This generally only took about 15 minutes per lesson unless he wanted to spend longer on an art activity or something like that. My four year old thought it was great fun and would ask when he could do math.

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Since it was also designed for classroom use I wanted to give it a try with a small group of children. I only have one preschooler but I had friends that were generously willing to loan me a few more for the morning. I tried a lesson with four children to see how the group activities would flow and how the curriculum might work in a co-op or classroom setting.

The children really seemed to enjoy the activities. The lesson that I chose to use was part of a unit where they were learning to compare and contrast various objects. This particular lesson taught the concepts of smooth, rough, and bumpy. Since I only had one workbook we could not do that portion (if you were going to use this regularly with a group you would have each one purchase a textbook and a workbook) but we read through the lesson, looked at the examples in the textbook and then completed some of the group and center activities.

They had chance to feel objects in a bag that they couldn’t see. Then they guessed what they were along with describing them using one of the three descriptive words. They had a chance to feel various objects like smooth satin, rough burlap, bumpy bubble wrap and more. Then they sorted objects into the three categories, sanded rough wood until it was smooth (or they were bored), and used various rough and bumpy objects to do rubbings as an art project. We finished up with a smooth and bumpy snack of apples and pretzels.

I felt that the PKA level was a little easy for my son, but I could have avoided that by having him take the kindergarten placement test before we chose a level. I really like starting at the beginning of a curriculum and since he had never done a formal math curriculum I thought that would be a good place to start. He enjoyed it but it was mostly review of concepts that he already knew. I think this would be better for a child that was a little younger or not as advanced, though again he enjoyed it and it worked well for getting him in the habit of doing a math lesson about three times a week.

While I still do not believe that most children need a formal math curriculum for Pre-Kindergarten, if you wanted the structure of a program at that level or if you had the opportunity to work with a co-op or other small group of children Dimensions Math PK-5 has a lot to offer. I love the hands on nature of many of the activities and the reasonably short lessons to match the attention spans of young children.  I am looking forward to reading the reviews of other Review Crew members to see if the other levels were as hands on and interactive as PKA.

Dimensions Math PK-5 {Singapore Math Inc. Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer 

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls (Book Review)

Does your child love adventure? Do you want to instill a love and understanding of the events in the Bible? The The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls by WorthyKids, an imprint of Hachette Book Group may be just the series you are looking for. It combines lots of adventure with wonderful true Bible stories in a way that is fun and easy to follow.

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My daughter was assigned to read The Great Escape (Book #3) during her school reading time over the course of a week. However, on that Monday evening she came to me and said that she hoped it was okay that she had read the entire book that day. When I asked her what she thought she said, ” I loved them. I really liked that the main characters were kids. I also like how they include the Bible while still making it an adventure.” She was thrilled that I also had Journey to Jericho (Book #4) for her to read and was excited to know that there are several others in the series.

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I had the opportunity to read through The Great Escape (Book #3) and found it to be simple, easy to follow and a great introduction to the first chapters in Exodus which tell of the plagues of Egypt and the Egyptians escape including the parting of the Red Sea.  As an adult it only took about 30 minutes or so to read but I would expect it to take young readers longer than that. The chapters were short enough to not feel overwhelming to most young readers.

I felt like they did a good job of staying true to the Bible though there are obviously fictionalized components. The book begins in modern times with two siblings staying at their uncle’s house. Since this is not their first adventure they know when they find an old scroll that it is going to take them on a time traveling adventure.  They end up traveling to the time of the Exodus, meeting a fictional Princess and getting a firsthand view of the plagues in Egypt before leaving with the Israelites.

I really liked that at the end of the book there is a section which explains where in the Bible you can read the story and a little about the fictionalization of the story (in this instance the Princess was not based on a specific real person).

As you can probably guess Journey to Jericho (Book #4) is about the story of the walls of Jericho. Once again, the main characters are two siblings Peter and Mary along with their dog Hank.  The story is set up in a very similar way with the siblings going on an adventure to solve the mystery of another scroll.

Overall, we really enjoyed these books. My daughter did not seem to mind that we started with books 3 and 4 as they can certainly stand alone. However, if I were purchasing the books I would probably start with book one and read them in order. Reading in order would have given you a little more information on the scrolls and the power surrounding them.  I am also just a little peculiar about preferring to read series in order.  There are five books in the series and my daughter has already ordered book one to add to her collection using some birthday money that she had set aside.

Worthy Kids recommends this book for first through third grades. I think the story is great for an even wider range, maybe kindergarten through fifth grades read aloud. The independent reading level is probably closer to second or third grade, though a strong first grader may be able to read it.  It was easy reading for my fifth grade daughter but she enjoyed the story. I highly encourage you to check out The Great Escape (Book #3) and Journey to Jericho (Book #4) for adventure filled journey through stories from the Bible. Don’t forget to click below to check out what the other Review Crew members thought about these books. Tell me in the comments what Bible story you think the author should turn into the next book in the series.

The Great Escape & Journey To Jericho {WorthyKids Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

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This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

A is for Anne of Green Gables

I had almost forgotten how much I enjoyed Anne of Green Gables (and the rest of that series) until I had the chance to re-read it with my daughter last month. I assigned it to her because I knew she would enjoy it and I thought it might be good encouragement for her to venture into longer chapter books.

Anne Pinterest

When I first gave a copy to my daughter she was a little concerned about the length of the book (her copy was almost 400 pages), but I gave her an entire month to finish it and promised the opportunity to watch the movie together when she was done. She did a great job reading it and we enjoyed discussing some of the events and characters in the book. I had hoped to complete a re-read of the book while she was reading it but life had other plans. I still intend to finish it but I did not make her wait for me to finish it for us to start watching the movie. The movie is about three hours long so we watched half one day and are planning on finishing it up soon.

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Anne of Green Gables is an excellent book for reading aloud or having your child read independently.  It would also make a great family audio book. This wonderful tale of a feisty and spirited orphan brings out many different emotions from sadness to laughter throughout the book. There is no one quite like Anne (spelled with an E) and she has a profound effect on all of those around her. As a mother of two adorable red heads her dislike of her red hair makes me laugh, but I think it makes her so very relatable. Most of us had something about ourselves that we wished we could change. I think that her use of imagination helps remind readers about the importance of imagination in our lives. This is a classic that I think all children should read or listen to at some point in their childhood.

Did you read Anne of Green Gables as a child? Have your read it aloud to your children or had them read it independently? What are your thoughts on this book? Check back next week for a great book series with the letter B.

PS When I checked on Amazon they have Anne of Green Gables on audio for less than $1 right now. Please note that prices on Amazon are subject to change so always check before purchasing.

Inlinkz Link Party

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Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

IXL Annual Subscription (Review)

IXL Pinterest

At an event in December, a friend of mine who works in a traditional classroom ask me if I had ever used a subscription to IXL with my children, I told him that I had not heard of the program. It was a busy month and I honestly forgot to even go check it out until January rolled around and I saw IXL Learning show up as a vendor on our list of Crew reviews. If he had not mentioned it in December I’m not sure I would have given it a chance but I am so glad that I did.

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I started out trying the full annual subscription to IXL with both my four year old son and my eleven year old daughter. The four year old tried several different objectives and did well with the ones that he worked on but honestly did not enjoy the program. I think that it was too repetitive and not interactive enough for his age group. He fought me on doing activities after the first few attempts and eventually we decided it was just not working for him and let him stop.

My daughter, however, had a completely different experience. When we first started I made the mistake of trying to have her do the diagnostic component all in one sitting. That test took hours and she still was not done. It narrows down the levels of each component and that takes quite a few questions. It is good information but looking back I would have had her break that up and do a few diagnostic questions each day until we had the data we needed. Once we moved from the diagnostic component to the practice component she absolutely loved the program. She was able to earn virtual prizes (nesting dolls for the fifth grade lessons) that really seemed to motivate her to keep going. She was actually doing more lessons that I required in order to earn more prizes.

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My daughter asked if she could use it for her complete curriculum as she was really enjoying it. However, the program is set up as a practice component and not a complete curriculum. It has review in many different areas and is very comprehensive that way, but it does not include lessons to teach new material. There is some information and explanation for questions that are incorrect but not enough to be a primary curriculum.  For fifth grade alone there are questions for over 700 skills spread across the areas of math, language arts, social studies, and science. I do intend to allow her to continue to use this annual subscription to IXL to practice and review her skills throughout the year. She is very motivated to do well and I am pleased with the growth. We primarily focused on grammar because those were areas that I knew she needed more practice and I could see growth in her performance as she went through the practice questions.

 

Overall, I think that the format of IXL does not lend itself well for Pre-K but that it is a great resource for older students. My fifth grader loved it and I could see it also being beneficial to my seventh grader. While we have not yet reached those levels the math even goes up to Calculus. I know that could come in handy with high schoolers who need more practice or review. I think it would be a great way to review skills before placement test, SATs, etc.  To find out how the other Crew members utilized the program and what they thought don’t forget to click below and read more reviews.

Immersive, Adaptive Learning Online {IXL Learning Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

What God is Teaching Me About Hospitality and a Book Review

I love showing hospitality to people. I think it is a combination of gifting from the Lord and training from my wonderful southern family. Being hospitable was all I’ve ever known from holiday family gatherings, church socials, parties, and social visits. I spent my childhood watching my grandparents and parents feed people and invite them into our lives. When I went away to college my dorm room became a place where I could show hospitality, from late night conversations, chocolate to heal the emotional hurts, and band aids and Tylenol for the physical pains it was a place where people gathered.

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However, somewhere around the time that I became a working mother with two small children I became so overwhelmed that simply stopped being hospitable. It was not an intentional decision, my plate was full and I didn’t think I could add anything else to it. I was juggling work, children, and church and did not see time for including hospitality into my life. I always felt like the house needed to be cleaner, I needed more time, and I was too exhausted to be social after a long day.

Fast forward a few years, I now have 4 children and I work from home. It would still be really easy for me to feel like I didn’t have time to show hospitality. However,the reality is that not only is it a gift from God, it is a command from God that we show hospitality. This does not mean that we are all required by God to thrown big elaborate dinner parties, but in our own ways we are all commanded to be hospitable.

About two years or so ago, God started really showing me that I needed to be using my gift for hospitality more and that I did not need to wait for everything to be perfect or to host elaborate gatherings (though I do love a good dinner party) in order to demonstrate hospitality. God put several books into my life to reinforce His desire for me to be hospitable. The Life Giving Home and The Life Giving Table by Sally Clarkson, A Life that Says Welcome by Karen Ehman (full review), and most recently Just Open the Door by Jen Schmidt.

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In addition to books, God gave our family an opportunity to show hospitality to hundreds of relief workers in the after math of Hurricane Florence. I certainly would not wish the disaster on anyone and the days and weeks afterwards were challenging. However, it has provided us with the opportunity to show hospitality, outside of our home. First on a daily basis, and now several times a week we have the opportunity to cook meals and provide for the needs of workers who have come into town to help with the disaster recovery. The details of that opportunity really deserve their own blog post and I will be writing more about it soon, but God really used it to show me that there are many ways of being hospitable.

While we still have several months of relief efforts ahead of us, that ministry is winding down and I had been wondering what God might have in store for our family. Both my husband and I have a desire and a gifting for hospitality but we both sometimes get overwhelmed in the day to day of life and forget to be intentional about hospitality. I found the book Just Open the Door by Jen Schmidt and was given a copy for Christmas. This book was such a blessing for me in helping to confirm so of the things I was feeling and to offer up ideas and insight into ways that we could be more hospitable as a family.

One of the things that I loved most about this book is that she talks about hospitality from the view point of a family. It is very important to us that our children be a part of our hospitality efforts. We know that if we want them to grow up to demonstrate hospitality they need to have seen it modeled and participated in it while they are still under our roof. From the time they are old enough to color pictures and put silverware on the table our children begin to help us serve others. I loved how Jen shared not only how her children helped them to show hospitality but also the effects that it had on them as they got older.

She goes into multiple types of hospitality in various chapters in the book. Everything from pot lucks and dinner parties to inviting her son’s college friends into their home on the weekends. She even goes into topics such as hospitality through adoption and hospitality in hard times such as illness or death. She talks about how they showed hospitality on a nearly nonexistent budget when times were tight. It was such a great reminder that hospitality isn’t just having people over for dinner (though that is a wonderful way to show you care).

At the end of each chapter is a section called Elevate the Ordinary. These little gems are simple suggestions to take things a step further. Ideas like saving money by purchasing your paper products at after holiday sales, using a simple mason jar and fresh cut flowers to decorate for free, creating family traditions, and ways to make your home one where the kids want to hang out.

Whether you are just get started in the world of hospitality, or if like me, you just needed some fresh ideas and encouragement to jump back into that ministry, this is a wonderful book. This book can help you make your life and family culture one of hospitality.

What are your favorite ways to show hospitality? What areas are you struggling in or would you like to see tips on?

Hospitality Pineterst

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)

Blogging Through The Alphabet with Books!!

I am so excited to tell you about this new series that I’m taking part in with a group of other wonderful bloggers. We will all be blogging through the alphabet with a new post each week! You will have a chance to read about many different topics for each letter, but to help keep me focused I chose a theme. If you follow me on Facebook you may have seen the poll that I did a couple weeks ago to let you help me choose the theme. Books had more votes than nature study and so I am excited to share a new children’s book with you each week.

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I have loved books since I was a small child and they make up a huge part of our lives now. My husband runs a used books store, we all love to read, we listen to audio books as a family, and there are bookshelves in every bedroom and most of the common rooms in the house. I have made many mistakes as a parent but one thing that I’m glad I got right was passing on a love of books to my children. I hope this journey can help children fall in love with reading.

Some of these books will be picture books and books for young children, but I am also looking forward to sharing some great chapter books for middle grades students. You will probably see some older classics that you already know but hopefully also some new books and ideas to help you find new books for your students. I may even throw in a few books for the moms throughout the alphabet.

I would love for you to share some of your favorite books with me in the comments. Click below to find out more about the other bloggers that are joining us on this journey through the alphabet and make sure to join me right here on the blog next week as we start with the letter A!

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Check out the other bloggers!

 

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.

Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)

Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)