"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." ~Romans 12:2 NKJV~

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Wordless Wednesday~ 3.14.18

Pi Day~ 3.14.18

© Cross Rhodes Academy 2010-2018. All Rights Reserved. All photos, text, personal videos, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the blog author.

Monday, March 12, 2018


Word of the wk 49

Previous Words of the Week:

This post is part of this week's Homeschool Link Up at the Homeschool Review Crew. Click on the picture below to read more.

© Cross Rhodes Academy 2010-2018. All Rights Reserved. All photos, text, personal videos, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the blog author.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Dating, Courting, & Choosing a Mate… What Works? (Parenting Made Practical)~ Review

Hello lovely readers. Parents know their kids will one day want to start dating. I know I’m not the only parent who got nervous when my child reached the age where he started “liking someone”. Trying to “navigate the troubled waters of parenting during this time” brings lots of challenges. You feel you need to talk with your child about dating, but may not be sure how to go about it. I knew my husband and I could use some practical tips when it comes to talking to our son about dating. That’s why I was looking forward to watching and reviewing Dating, Courting & Choosing a Mate... What Works? from Parenting Made Practical.

Parenting Made Practical
Parenting Made Practical is a teaching ministry of husband and wife team Joey and Carla Link. It features A Parent’s Night Out videos and materials to help give parents “practical ideas they can start using every day in their parenting”. Parenting Made Practical’s “goal is to encourage and equip parents to raise obedient, respectful, and responsible kids in today’s challenging world”. Joey and Carla’s teaching will not only “uplift your spirit”, but “challenge you to raise up a new generation of kids that passionately pursues Christ”.  They have many different product titles in A Parent’s Night Out series. We had the chance to try out Dating, Courting & Choosing a Mate... What Works?.

Dating, Courting & Choosing a Mate... What Works? is for parents of kids ages 9-college. It consists of a DVD with 2 sessions on it. It costs $24.95 and runs 108 minutes. The two-part DVD has sessions called:

1. Developing Your Dating Philosophy- this session helps parents gain understanding about the new dating philosophy the Links share. (runs for 50 minutes)
2. How to Make It Work- this session gives practical suggestions couples need to work through to find their compatibility. (runs for 58 minutes)

There is also 2 accompanying 50-page workbooks for this DVD teaching. We only received 1 of those workbooks for this review.

Dating, Courting & Choosing a Mate...
Dating, Courting & Choosing a Mate... What Works? is designed to help parents prepare their teens or young adult in how to have a good pre-marriage relationship that will lead to them marrying their best friend. This is not about being in a relationship based on emotions. This is about developing a relationship built on trust. In the video sessions, you will see an audience of parent’s and their kids sitting together while listening to Joey and Carla Link share a biblical plan for dating.

A Parent's Night Out
In the sessions, they start off with the definition of dating. Then they discuss the concerns parents have about their kids dating. These are things like becoming emotionally involved with the wrong person, getting too involved physically, or even where they find information on dating. You will also learn about two types of parenting styles (authoritarian and permissive) and how teens respond to them. They share some scriptures during these sessions so I believe Christian families would benefit most from what they have to share. They also talk about two main mindsets of dating relationships. They are cultural dating and courtship dating. Each is characterized by certain standards and they explain what’s lacking in them. What was surprising to me is that there was a 3rd option that my husband nor I had ever heard of.

Types of Dating
Have you heard the term  “Friendship Dating”? I didn’t know there was such a thing. I had heard about courtship dating but was confused on what it really meant. The Links even shared how its definition of how to carry it out is different from family to family. That in itself can cause problems for the couple involved or even their families. Think about this…What if the other family believes/does things your family doesn’t agree with? If someone else was making all the decisions for the couple, would they have trouble transitioning into making decisions for themselves (together) once they marry? In friendship dating the couple’s focus is to get to know one another without relationally violating privacy areas.

Shot from video 2
We learned about the 4 levels of growth in the friendship dating relationship. Joey showed a drawing of a square box to the audience (see booklet pic above). In it are the phases a couple will experience in their relationship. He showed how the square looked out of shape in the cultural and courtship dating relationships. In the friendship dating relationship, he demonstrated the balance they were experiencing as the relationship was allowed the properly grow through each level. This only happens when “the couple stays within the boundaries/guidelines they have set in all of the 4 levels”. Some suggestions are given to parents to help their teen or young adult to decide how to base their relationship in each phase. These are just general suggestions so there is room to come up with other things based on your family makeup, beliefs, and standards.

The Ring Talk
I viewed both video sessions before showing them to my 18 year old son. I wanted to get a feel for what he was about to hear. I shared with my husband what the Links talked about, and he was interested in watching the videos too. A few days later my husband, son, and I all sat and watched session 1 together. Although it is 50 minutes long; it took us 2 hours to get through that one session. We would stop the DVD when there was something said that we wanted to talk a little more about. We waited until the next week to watch the 2nd session since we took so long getting through the 1st one.

Dating, Courting & Choosing a Mate, What Worksjpg
The workbook is an outline to use along the DVD sessions. It has places to fill in the answers as you are listening to what’s being shared. There are also extra thoughts that have been added to provide more understanding of how to apply what you are learning. In the very back are a few pages of testimonies of parents being blessed by the teachings, and the end result of those young adults who went through the friendship dating process. If you were watching this video teaching in a group setting, I think the workbook would be great for each of the participants to have as they sat and listen.

Shot from video
During our review, we encountered a few problems using the booklet. It would have been nice to have more space or some blank pages for added note taking. There were also some great tips from the blue screen (like the one shown above) that I had to write out myself due to them being left off the outline. Due to the way my son learns it was hard for him to keep up with what they were saying so that he could fill in the answers to the workbook questions. We helped him but often found ourselves getting lost and having to go back a page in the booklet to find where to put the answers. This was due to what they say in the video was not always in the same order it is written in the workbook.

Some examples are like on page 19 when they talk about the “4 Pings” of attraction. Number 3 and 4 were out of order they way Carla named them in the video. This left my son confused on what to write. Another example is on page 29 under “Parents “Ring” Talk none of us could figure out what they said to fill in the blank where they say to “explain each term according to what your teens ___ to know”. We kept replaying that section several times to catch the answer but never heard it. I just told my son to leave it blank. From what I see this workbook is not like a detailed outline, but more like a quick reference guide.

All in all, we liked the presentation. It was very informative and we are confident about how to help our son put a plan in place.We thoroughly enjoyed gaining a new perspective on dating. My husband and I talk about how we wish we had known about this philosophy when we were younger. It would have helped us avoid the drama of dating different people, and saved us a lot of heartache and pain in the process. Since we reviewed the Dating, Courting & Choosing a Mate... What Works? DVD, I am also interested in another product called What Every Child Should Know Along the Way. This book is also for parent’s of preschool to college-age kids, and I’m curious how my family can benefit from what’s shared in it.

Thank you for taking the time to read my review of Dating, Courting & Choosing a Mate... What Works?. Other Homeschool Review Crew members reviewed different products so be sure to read the other reviews to learn more about some other products available from Parenting Made Practical.  Click on the banner below to see what they had to share.

Parenting Made Practical {Reviews}

To learn more about Parenting Made Practical visit them on these social media platforms:

Crew Disclaimer

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

CursiveLogic~ Review

I remember learning how to write in cursive when I was around 3rd grade. I hear that it is becoming more and more rare for this to be taught in public schools these days. I think it’s sad that schools are doing away with teaching cursive handwriting to their young students. How will the kids learn how to sign their name on applications or important documents? What about the special needs children needing it to help them work on their gross motor skills? My son already knows how to write in cursive but his handwriting needed some work. I was thrilled to receive the CursiveLogic Quick-Start Pack and The Art of Cursive from CursiveLogic to review!

CursiveLogic was founded by Linda Shrewsbury. She was a reading tutor for a literacy program when she meet 23 year old Josh. Josh had some learning disabilities so she worked with him to teach him how to read. One day he asked her if she could teach him how to write in cursive so he would be able to sign his name. She thought it over, and worked to come up with a good strategy. It had to be one that would teach him cursive easily, and in a way that would not take as long as it does the regular way. Out of a need to shorten the time it would take him to learn cursive writing, Linda came up with a simplified way to teach him how to write cursive in just one session.

NewWorkbookPromotionalImage-02  CL_Workbook_NewEdition_page11
CursiveLogic is a new way to teach cursive handwriting to students ages 7 to adult. It can be used with students as young as 5 or 6 who is ready to take on the task.  CursiveLogic “takes the complex task of learning cursive and makes it simple and logic”.  Through the methods used students can master cursive handwriting in just 10 weeks. Your purchase of the CursiveLogic Quick-Start Pack will provide you with a student workbook and access to a teacher training Webinar. The training Webinar is around 48 minutes long. In it you will learn exactly how to teach your student to write in cursive the CursiveLogic way. I was glad to be able to view it because the whole process is explained in a very simple way. There are demonstrations of how to write/form the letters, and it helps you to understand the instructions for the teacher at the beginning of the student workbook.

The workbook is spiral bound, and lays flat for ease of use no matter if your student is left or right handed.  The first half of the workbook consists of 4 lessons teaching the lowercase alphabet. In just 4 weeks your student can master writing all the lowercase letters through key features like:

* Learning to identify letters being grouped by shape (there are 4 of them)
* Connecting letter strings (groups of letters written together not disconnected)
* Saying short Catch Phrases as they form each letter
* Build muscle memory, ect.

Each lesson has a 4 day spread. Depending on the needs of your student, you can go at the pace that he or she can handle. This is especially important since younger students or those with special needs may need a little more time to go through the lessons. Some students may be able to finish up a whole lesson in a day so there’s no need to take more time going through the lessons than needed. The second half of the student workbook consists of 6 lessons teaching the Uppercase letters. In just 6 weeks you student will master writing all the Uppercase letters. The lessons for these are different because there is only a 3 day spread for each lesson.

Throughout the workbook are some blue boxes with important tips for the student. You want to be sure to bring this to his or her attention for added help as they work on the lessons. When your student works on a lesson it’s important to know that he or she will be working on the front pages only of the lessons. Once he or she has reached the last page (pg. 56) they will flip the workbook over to begin working on the other pages (starting at pg. 57) which were once the back pages. There are also two dry erase pages in the back (after pg. 56). These are good for letting your student practice their letter strings over and over again. One thing I want to note is how crucial it is to read those beginning pages when first starting the workbook. These are those pages that tells the parent/teacher “how the workbook works” in order to understand how to do this.  These are also covered in the training Webinar.

Handwriting Before
Your student will begin with printing his or her name and alphabet to see how their handwriting looks. Are the letters sitting on the lines right? What about their size? Here is where you will see any improvement that is needed.

Son doing his Handwriting Practice
My high school son already knew how to write in cursive. We worked on that in his elementary years. I wanted to let him try CursiveLogic because he needed to work on his handwriting. When he would have to sign his name on a document, his cursive still looked like a younger child wrote it. His letters were uneven and he tends to lose control of his hand (gross motor) movements. When CursiveLogic came into our home I explained to him that we would be working to help him write in cursive better and neater. I told him about the testimony of 23 year old Josh who has special needs like him. This really helped motivate him because he would have objected if he thought I were trying to get him to do something way below his age range.
Each week he worked through the lessons 4 days a week. He really started to like it because he loved the shape and color based approach. Instead of having to learn by writing free standing letters, he could quickly learn through writing actual words or strings of letters. After the first week I could see his handwriting looking much better. He took his time to correctly and neatly form the letters in the words. He even told me he would have liked learning cursive this way from the beginning. We’re now working through the Uppercase letters. He was able to sign his name without it looking like a 2nd grader wrote it.

Handwriting After

The CursiveLogic font style looks so nice and easy that I’m working to improve my handwriting too. Not only did we get a student workbook, but we had a chance to try out the The Art of Cursive. It is an adult coloring book filled with 27 pages of beautiful images with famous sayings and quotes. The Art of Cursive “reinforces what is learned in the cursive handwriting” student workbook. Each picture has the cursive letters printed within for you to color. It’s relaxing and a great brain workout. This is the only adult coloring book I have seen with pictures that I actually liked and looked forward to sitting down to color in. I worked on several pages. Here is one of them:

The Art of Cursive
This next picture is one of the few that my son colored. His handwriting on the back is looking real good. I can tell how much CursiveLogic is really helping him.

The Art of Cursive 2
There are only two things I did not like about The Art of Cursive. When you color with markers they bleed through the page. As you can see on the back of our photos, the colors from the front shows up where we practiced on our writing. I think color pencils are a better choice to solve that problem. Another thing is they said the pages in there were “designed to easily pull away from the binding”. All you have to do is “carefully remove the page from the book at the spine”. There is even a picture at the beginning of the book showing how to do this. I don’t know why, but that was not the case for me. It was hard to not get an ugly tear on the side of the page when I would remove it. I did not start with removing the beginning pages first. Most of what we colored came from somewhere in the middle of the coloring book. Even though I tried to “carefully” remove the pages the sides got torn like this:

I think I have only successfully removed 1 page without any tears. It would have been nice to have something like perforated lines to guide you where to remove the page more smoothly. Other than that the coloring book is really nice. The front cover had me sold with that shiny blue lettering. Before I go I want to share some good news with you. CursiveLogic has created a special discount for my readers. By using the code CREW2018, you can save 20% on the CursiveLogic Quick-Start Pack, which is the webinar + workbook combo.  Hurry and get in on this deal because this code will be active only through the end of March.

Thank you for taking the time to read my review. I hope you stop by to read with other members of the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about CursiveLogic and The Art of Cursive.  Click on the banner below to see what they had to share.

The Art of Cursive & Quick Start Cursive {Cursive Logic Reviews}

To learn more about CursiveLogic visit them on social media at:

Crew Disclaimer

Monday, March 5, 2018

Magic Stix Washable Markers~ Review

Hello everyone. When I was a kid I loved when I got a new coloring book. Of course it would be one of the latest T.V. cartoons and characters of the time. With a new coloring book comes new crayons, watercolors, or markers. Markers where my absolute favorites to color with. I loved seeing my art creations from the array of colors. Over the past few weeks I have been testing out Magic Stix Washable Markers that we were sent to review from The Pencil Grip, Inc.

Magic Stix Markers
Are you looking for “innovative products for your home, school, or office”? The Pencil Grip, Inc. may have just what you’re looking for. Last year I shared about their mess free tempera paint sticks that dries in 90 seconds. This time I was sent their 24 pack Magic Stix Washable Markers that I’m thrilled to tell you all about.

Magic Stix Washable Markers
The Magic Stix Washable Markers are for ages 3+. There are "24 assorted colors", and they are "non-toxic and unscented". This 24 pack of markers can be purchased for $14.72. Magic Stix Washable Markers comes in a clear plastic case that snaps close. When you open the case, you will see that inside is an inner plastic shell which holds each of the 24 markers snugly in a separate slot. I like that it has a snug fit because they don’t easily fall out. A bonus is that the case can easily fit on a child’s lap to be used as a flat surface for working on a coloring page when there is no table around.

Colors of 24 Washable Markers
An interesting feature of the Magic Stix Washable Markers is it’s said the markers won't dry out for 7 days with the cap off. I put that to the test with 3 different markers. One was gray, the other was brown, and another was magenta (I think that’s the color). I went and marked on a plain white sheet of paper on day one. I left the marker sitting around with the cap off on purpose for this test. I didn’t write with the marker(s) each day to see how they looked. Sometimes I waited every other day, or every 3 to 4 days in between before writing with it on the paper.

7 day marker test
As you can see in the picture above, the color was just as colorful each time I wrote with it. There was no fading of the color from the marker being exposed to air day after day. I also tested the claim that they are washable. I had marked an old white cloth with a marker. I left it sitting for 2 weeks before washing it. The color washed off well, but there was a VERY light (faded) line that I could still see. It wasn’t bad, and didn’t bother me. I did wonder if that mark would have completely gone away if I had washed it within a few days of making the mark instead of 2 weeks later. I let my son test the markers by coloring some pages we’re using as subject dividers for his end of the year school portfolio.

Artwork using Magic Stix Markers
He worked on 3 different pages. As you can see the colors look bright and bold as stated on the box. There was some bleed through seen from the back of the printer paper we used. I’m not sure if that would be the case for something thick like card stock. If you have a craft lover in the house, I bet he or she would enjoy using these Magic Stix Washable Markers from The Pencil Grip, Inc.

Thank you for taking the time to read my review. I hope you stop by to read with other members of the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about Magic Stix Washable Markers.  Click on the banner below to see what they had to share. 

Magic Stix Washable Markers {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Reviews}
To learn more about The Pencil Grip, Inc. visit them on these social media platforms:

Crew Disclaimer


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© Cross Rhodes Academy 2010-2018. All Rights Reserved. All photos, text, personal videos, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the blog author.
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