homeschool, organization

Amy Bayliss on Pursuit of Proverbs 31

We women thrive on and love to multitask. There is definitely a time and place for multitasking, but somethings are better left to focus on by itself. Creating a home or revamping a system is one of them. Read all of Ecclesiastes 3. God created seasons so that the earth could function in such a way that it totally and completely sustained life. This same principle can be applied to managing your home. You don’t need to mow the grass in winter and you don’t need to shovel snow in the spring so your ways of managing the home should change accordingly. Your plans should also change according to your seasons of life. A couple with no children would have different tasks from a family of six. This is why it is so important that you do not compare yourself to others. I love how in Ecclesiastes 3 it is said that there is a time to dance, there is a time to cry, there is a time to plant, and a time to harvest. There is a time for everything. Vital to our life and home is our dependence on God to help us determine what time it is. Focus on the things you need to do now and let other, unnecessary things go. If you’ve ever wanted to tear the 31st chapter of Proverbs out of your bible this book is for you. She is a wife, mom, business owner, seamstress, she serves the needy, speaks life and wisdom, and seems to be quite the major overachiever, perfectionist type. Except that…she’s not. Come along and journey with Amy and take a look at the real woman of Proverbs 31. She isn’t as perfect as she seems. In fact, I think she is a lot like you and me. If you want the Kindle version, get it here: Pursuit of Proverbs 31 for Kindle. You can also download the free Kindle app on your PC, iPad, iPhone, or many other devices. For the downloadable, printable PDF version, get it here: Pursuit of Proverbs 31

Amy Bayliss Amy is a small town Cajun girl living life in the big city. She and her husband Ryan have four children, all boys, ranging in age from toddler to teen! Amy is a full-time blogger and WP designer at My Southern Media. You can visit her at her personal blog, Cajun Joie de Vivre or you can follow her ramblings on Twitter and keep up with her mischief on Facebook.

Thanks, Amy!


Life Application Study Bible Devotional (book review)

Cover: Life Application Study Bible DevotionalWhat could be better than the original Life Application Study Bible? Why, the new devotional book based on its concepts, of course! The developers have taken the same attention to detail and the same application concepts previously used and focused on the life of Jesus as seen through the Gospels. Each week focuses on a single event from Christ’s life with Scripture verses, thought-provoking devotionals, soul-searching questions, and ideas for deeper prayer. Call me shallow, but I also like that there are only 6 days of devotions for each week. I love the depth and the concentrated focus of this devotional. Don’t be worried that this devotional will take a huge chunk of your day; it’s designed to be read in as little as 5 minutes, so even the busiest people among us have no excuse for skipping it. This unique devotional draws from three different translations of the Bible: NLT, NIV, NKJV.

If you’re ready to join me in walking where Jesus walked and learning from His ministry, click here to get more information.

This books was provided to me by Tyndale free of charge in exchange for a review. The opinions expressed are, however, my own.



Igniting a Life of Generosity (devotional review)


Chris McDaniel, author of Igniting a Life of Generosity, picks up where he left off in Dying to Give. He writes to make giving a way of life for anyone who reads this little booklet of devotionals. In just 21 days, you’ll read real-life stories, Scripture, and applications that will ignite your desire to be a generous giver. These compact devotions each have questions designed to help you think through that day’s thoughts. There’s room to write in the book, or you could journal your thoughts separately. McDaniel takes the reader through the logical steps of asking what exactly God is trying to tell you about giving, what you’re supposed to do with that information, and how to go about it.

I especially appreciated the personal stories in every devotion. They made the whole idea of generosity real, not just some abstract, additional thing I’m supposed to do occasionally. Igniting a Life of Generosity is not a plea or a guilt trip. It doesn’t even suggest which organization or person should be the recipient of your generosity. ECFA makes it easy to purchase this book in blocks of 5 or 30 to pass out to church members, study groups, or friends.

Disclosure: ECFA sent me this book for free in exchange for a review, but the opinions expressed are my own.



Who Is God? (review)

Apologia isn’t just about science anymore. Their new line, Apologia Press, includes a number of resources for parents, a geography curriculum, a writing curriculum, and a “What We Believe” section. Who Is God? is one of four new books designed to help children ages 6-14 to become grounded in the basics of their Christian faith.

The over-250-page hard-back, full-color textbook includes Internet links to free, downloadable notebooking assignment sheets and additional resources. The multi-level format makes it easy to use for the whole family, or an older child may use it alone since it is written to the student herself. The 10 lessons can be complete one every two or three weeks to last through most of the school year. For those familiar with the Apologia Elementary Science series, this book follows that easy-to-use format.

Who Is God? is a non-denominational look at how our ideas of God and the Bible shape our everyday world view. It emphasizes finding out what the Bible says about selected topics, memorizing verses, and applying truths to our everyday lives. It includes engaging stories, thoughtful questions, and fun activities to reinforce the concepts being taught. Lesson titles: 1. Where am I Building My Life? 2. How Can I Know What’s True? 3. & 4. What is God Like? 5. Who Are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit? 6. If God Created the World, Why Isn’t It Perfect? 7. Why Did God Create Me? 8. Will God Meet All My Needs? 9. Why Does Sin Keep Me From Knowing God? 10. Is Jesus the Only Way to God?

We love it! My 13-year-old daughter is able to do the lessons completely on her own, although she comes to me with any questions she has. She has a tendency to read tidbits to me (from everything!) that she finds interesting, and I’ve heard quite a bit of this textbook. Our biblical, evangelical world views are being reinforced with this thorough curriculum. My daughter completes the notebooking pages as she reads and enjoys the activities and extra challenges that are in each lesson.
Click here to view a sample lesson, the table of contents, and to order. The $39 is well worth your money.
For more opinions and reviews, check out the official TOS Review Crew blog @ 
Disclosure: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Life of Christ

The Life of Christ from Positive Action for Christ is based on the book of John for middle and high school age students. This is not just another Bible study. Information on Jesus’ life, times, Bible customs, geography, and chronology are presented to help students “comprehend the reality of Jesus Christ.” The Life of Christ balances His humanity with his divinity.
The 3-ring binder teacher’s manual includes teaching strategies, background information, quizzes, tests, and other supplemental material. The beautiful, full-color, soft-cover, consumable student’s manual contains activities, 35 weekly lessons, photographs, drawings, and Bible study questions designed to foster discussion. Also included in my (sturdy) package were a CD with all of the transparency masters, a scope and sequence guide for all of the school curriculum, and a catalog of Positive Action for Christ’s other products. In addition to the products I received, the teacher’s manual on CD, a deluxe presentation DVD, and 151 transparencies may be purchased (although I do not feel those are necessary for use in a homeschool).
While the product is not aimed specifically towards homeschoolers, they included three pages of suggestions for using the curriculum in a homeschool setting. Not much, if any, teacher preparation is required.
We liked the readability of the student text as well as the gorgeous, full-color photographs. We also loved the “Digging Deeper” activity suggestions. Students can start at their current spiritual level and progress at a rate comfortable for them to more mature levels. The only thing I would change about the teacher’s manual is that in order to read the replicated student pages, one must flip the book from side to side.
Check out Positive Action’s website. The teacher’s manual (in a sturdy 3-ring binder) is $41.95, and the full-color, soft-cover student book is $17.95. Other products available from this vendor include Bible curriculum for grades K–12, church curriculum for a variety of ages, ProTeen Clubs curriculum, and other books.
For more opinions and reviews, check out the official TOS Review Crew blog @
Disclosure: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


The Beauty of God for a Broken World

The Beauty of God for a Broken World by Dr. John K. La Shell is not your typical defense of Christianity. It answers the hard questions using real biblical truths and the writings of Jonathan Edwards. God is a beautiful Creator, Redeemer, Judge, and Trinity. Dr. La Shell answers such questions as “How can predestination be fair?” and “Why would a good God allow suffering?”.

Expect to be challenged. Find answers for yourself–especially if you consider yourself to be an ex-Christian or a seeker–or for your friends and family. The Beauty of God is not an easy, quick read, but rather a thought-provoking theological treatise. Don’t let that scare you away, though, Dr. La Shell mixes in real-life anecdotes and definitions to make sure no one is left out in the dark. I highly recommend this book!

The Beauty of God may be purchased directly from the author’s website or from Amazon.

Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author, but the opinions expressed are my own.


Come On, Let’s Celebrate!

Our culture has made the passage between girlhood and womanhood a curse. The Beautifully Made! three-book set by Generations of Virtue helps moms and daughters celebrate the blessings of womanhood in a godly, tasteful manner.

Beautifully Made is comprised of two books for daughters and one book for moms. Not sure what to tell your tweens about the upcoming changes to their bodies? Not liking the secular books available? Approaching Womanhood, the first book in the series, solves your dilemmas. It gives the facts, ma’am, nothing but the facts from a decidedly biblical perspective. Discussion questions are included at the end to foster open conversations between you and your daughters. Celebrating Womanhood, the second book in the series, helps you and your daughters mark their special day of passing from girlhood into womanhood and gives your daughters some helpful tips. Don’t worry, Generations of Virtue did not leave out you moms. The final book in the Beautifully Made! series is Wisdom From a Woman—Mother’s Guide. This book will be an invaluable resource as you decide on age-appropriate, graceful, biblical wisdom to share with your daughters.

This lovely set is only $18.99. My daughters and I were able to have some good discussions after reading these books, and they will hold a cherished spot on our bookshelves. Generations of Virtue also carries a full line of purity rings and books for different ages. Their motto is “Purity of Heart, Purity of Mind, Purity of Body.” Let’s raise a generation of virtuous girls!


Hands-On Activity Pak, The New Testament

Looking for creative, memorable ways to teach the New Testament stories? Look no further than Homeschool in the Woods’s Hands-On History Activity Pak, The New Testament. It’s a great complement to whatever Bible curriculum you’re currently using. It covers the main stories of Jesus and major New Testament themes.

If you and your children love hands-on activities, you’ll love this creative lap booking activity download (also available on CD) from Homeschool in the Woods. It is comprised of 15 lap book projects, a newspaper writing activity, and an armor of God poster activity. Clear, illustrated, step-by-step directions are included. My fifth grader always enjoys project days. She meticulously colors, cuts, and assembles each project. She loves to read me snippets of information she has gleaned along the way.

The download is only $18.95 and the CD is $19.95 (plus s/h). Your finished products are beautiful keepsakes of timeless Bible stories and truths. That’s a pretty good deal!


Deeper Roots Bible Curriculum Review

“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6–7 NKJV).

“Blessed is the man . . . his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night . . . he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1–3 NKJV).

That’s what I want for my children. Isn’t it what you want for your children? Discovering a Christ-Like Character by Deeper Roots Publications will provide you with the tools to help your children develop the Christian maturity they will need to stand firm in this world.

Discovering a Christ-Like Character is not fluff; it delves much deeper than a fill-in-the blank workbook. The lessons are comprised of memorization, journaling, reading, thought-provoking questions, and “cool activities” (according to my teenager). Each lesson also includes beautiful artwork, maps, prayer suggestions, and an unreached people group profile. It can be used for a full credit on a transcript for high schoolers. The lessons in this Bible curriculum are designed first to help young teen students focus on Jesus Christ and to come to a deeper knowledge of His character, and second, to enable them to personally develop a more Christ-like character. The lessons cover eight different aspects of Christ’s character with which young teenagers most often struggle. The Deeper Roots Web site says, “We believe that Christians only become truly like Christ by growing in knowledge and relationship with Him. Our part is to study God’s Word and obey it; God’s part is to conform us to be like Christ (Rom 8:28–29).” By taking time to discuss each lesson with your children, you will be discipling them and mentoring them in the most effective way towards growing deeper Christian roots.

Deeper Roots curricula were written for homeschoolers. Student books are $19.95; teacher books are $28.95, and the bundle is $62.45 (includes a student book, a teacher book, and one set of Matthew DVDs). The Web site has FREE samples and highlights their many other Bible curricula choices for all age groups, and encouraging books for homeschooling moms.