{Book Review} The Conversation by Leigh A. Bortins from Classical Conversations


I had no idea.

This book has completely changed my entire perspective on Classical Education at Home. When I was offered to read this book about The Conversation from Classical Conversations, I was told that it really wasn’t about the Classical education movement in the homeschooling arena. Well, it sort of is, and it was more wonderful to read than I first imagined that it would be.

When I started the book I was of the mindset that Classical Education was not something I wanted to take part in. Maybe because it seemed so overwhelming, or maybe because it meant I would have to step out of my quiet comfort zone.

Whatever the deep rooted reason, I am so glad that I took the time to read this book. Everything in it screams “This is a Wonderful Way to School Your Children”!

As a lover of books myself I have tried to instill that love of good (and great) books in my children. I am pleased to know that even the classics that have been read in our house have contributed to their education. Who knew that this was even a way to homeschool?

So, this book, The Conversation, is laden with the various reasons that homeschooling high schoolers can be done and can be done very well.

The main points given in the book are just this:

  • Conversations are a part of every day life, so why not use that to your advantage for school
  • Conversations are a wonderful way to provide support and accountability in your students that will last them a lifetime
  • Conversations are where the deep questions get asked and then get answered
  • Conversations should not stop because you have teenagers, they are the ones that need them the most

The knowledge and the depth at which the author speaks of the benefits of using classical education makes me stop and take into account everything I have ever done as a homeschooler.

Not that I will make a drastic move from where we are in our learning style but without a doubt I am encouraged to test the waters with the benefits that I see from reading this book.

Some benefits that I see that I would like to implement into our education (and this is why we homeschool, so we can add, subtract, or change when needed)…

  • Virtue
  • The accountability of the student, making the load heavy enough yet engaging enough to for the learning to continue
  • The ability to find a subject or hidden talent that can be followed up with an apprenticeship
  • Serving others in every capacity

Each chapter in this book touches on subjects that can be covered in this style of education, there are some that I would never have considered but after reading the book it makes perfect sense to study the subjects in this way.

Part One – High School at Home

  • Chapter 1   – Confidant Parents
  • Chapter 2   – Rhetoric Defined

Part Two – The Rhetorical Arts

  • Chapter 3   – Reading
  • Chapter 4   – Speech and Debate
  • Chapter 5   – Writing
  • Chapter 6   – Science
  • Chapter 7   – Math
  • Chapter 8   – Government and Economics
  • Chapter 9   – History
  • Chapter 10  – Latin and Foreign Language
  • Chapter 11  – Fine Arts
  • Chapter 12  – A Graduation Conversation
  • Epilogue

Part Three – Appendices 

  • Appendix One    – Conversation Games
  • Appendix Two    – Common Rhetorical Devices
  • Appendix Three – Resources
  • Appendix Four   – Real Parents Respond

I have come to the conclusion that there are many aspects of Classical Education that I (and the children) would enjoy. By far this is my favorite quote from the entire book though:

…”my only goal is to raise virtuous men…Virtuous men have no problem going to college because they are studious. They have no problem finding employment because they return honest hours of work for honest wages. They have no problems starting businesses because they can sacrifice to make others’ lives better. They have no problem serving in missions because they can delay personal desires. ….virtue should be the goal of education.” (page 27)

If nothing else I choose to use from this book works, I believe that this quote above defines for me the goal of our household as well. That would be the most pleasing to my husband and I as well as to the God that has blessed us with our children.

See what my fellow Review Crew members and to say about this book:





I hope you enjoyed this review and visit again soon to see what we are working on next!

In His Grace.






Kindle eBooks for Homeschooling Elementary Science {Zoology: Flying Creatures}


I have to say that if you do not have a Kindle or at least the Kindle App from Amazon, you need to seriously consider getting one.

Especially if you homeschool.

This year I am going to incorporate the use of the Kindle in our elementary Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day class from Apologia that my youngest two children are going to be using.

Why would I need to incorporate my Kindle in this endeavor?

Well, I’m glad you were thinking that because I want to share why.

With our class book, the kids notebooks, and the projects we are going to be doing I want the kids to still enjoy looking at, and reading a fun book. Each book has amazing photos of animals and just a smattering of information to keep them intrigued.

So, here is a short list of flying creature books that should do an admirable job of filling in the gaps.

I’m sure we will be through these books well before the school year is even close to being over…I hope you find some you might like to use too!

For the course that we are using, these Kindle ebooks look like they will be helpful and enjoyable for the kids to look at.

I am not looking to build an elementary science (zoology; flying creatures) curriculum, but surely this is a wonderful start if I wanted to!

There are so many more eBooks that I could add to the list, so keep checking back to see if I have added anything new.

Welcome to your new school year, may God bless you on your journey!

In His Grace.





{FlyBy Promotions Product Review and Giveaway} This is Not a Test Album from TobyMac

TobyMac - This is Not a Test

If you visit here often enough you will know that I am a lover of music. Especially good uplifting, soul searching, Christian music.

Just like TobyMac. He is one of my favorite artists! Okay, yea, the kids love him too…

So guess what?! I just got a sneak preview of the newest album from TobyMac called This Is Not A Test and for sure, if you love TobyMac already, this is the album for you!

Here are the songs on this album:

This Is Not A Test (Deluxe Edition) Songs:

1. Like a Match
2. Backseat Driver (featuring Hollyn & TRU)
3. This Is Not a Test (featuring Capital Kings)
4. Lights Shine Bright (featuring Hollyn)
5. Til the Day I Die (featuring NF)
6. Feel It (featuring Mr. Talkbox)
7. Move (Keep Walkin’)
8. Love Broke Thru
9. Beyond Me
10. Love Feels Like (featuring dc Talk)
11. Undeniable
12. Lift You Up (featuring Ryan Stevenson)
13. Fall
14. Beyond Me (Phenomenon Remix)
15. Like a Match (Garcia’s Remix)

Here is a sneak peek of the newest single being released:


Okay, if the preview above isn’t enough to get you to go get this album, well….I don’t know what will work!

Oooooh, wait a minute….

I might know of a way for you to get one FOR FREE!!

Enter the GIVEAWAY below for a chance to win a copy of TobyMac’s newest album THIS IS NOT A TEST

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Toby McKeehan (known professionally as TobyMac) is a husband, father, performer, songwriter, producer, and businessman. Growing up in the northern Virginia suburbs adjacent to Washington D.C. helped instill his love for rap music. While attending Liberty University during the mid 80s, Toby met Michael Tait and Kevin Max Smith and these three friends formed the Grammy winning, platinum selling group dc Talk. Toby began his solo career in 1999 with his first solo album, Momentum, releasing in 2001. Momentum has been followed by four additional studio albums, Welcome to Diverse City (2004), Portable Sounds (2007), Tonight(2010), and Eye On It (2012), along with his first live album, Alive and Transported (2008). This Is Not A Test is his 6th studio album to be released. Starting with dc Talk, and then going solo when the group disbanded, Toby still clings to such rootsy notions as hard work, persistence, patience, and – perhaps most relevant of all – the power of music, which he insists is still what keeps him going. “It’s the truth,” he says. “I still believe that a song can penetrate a heart. I believe God can use a song to open someone’s mind and heart.”



S O C I A L • C O R N E R





YOUTUBE CHANNEL – Includes a 3 part video series for the song Feel It


iTunes – Please be sure to include this link on your post! ALSO, if fans pre-order the album here on iTunes, they will receive 4 songs instantly.



Best of Luck!

In His Grace.



Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.





Dutch Oven and Cast Iron Cooking – Pumpkin Bread {Recipe}


So I picked up a new book (surprise, surprise, right?!) when I was out at Tractor Supply the other day.

The Dutch Oven and Cast Iron Cooking book is a wonderful cookbook to add to my collection! Not counting the amazing recipes it has to offer.

It has recipes for breakfast, dinner, snacks, and breads. So, I got to flipping through the book and boy oh boy, look at what I found.

You are not going to believe this breakfast bread recipe!

Yummy, yum, yum!

Pumpkin Bread made in Dutch Oven?! Why yes! Yes, indeed!


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup quick rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 (15oz) can of pumpkin
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 4 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1  cups of chocolate chips


Preheat your oven to 325°F. Grease your * 12 inch Dutch Oven with non-stick cooking spray or shortening.

In a medium bowl prepare the brown sugar, oats, vanilla, and butter. Mix until ingredients are crumbly.

In a large bowl, stir together, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and sugar. Add in 1/2 cup of water, the pumpkin, applesauce, and eggs, mix well. Pour your batter into the Dutch Oven, add your chocolate chips in by scattering them all over the batter then sprinkle your crumbly topping over all of it.

Bake uncovered for 45-55 minutes. Bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.


Let cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing.


* I figured out after I wrote this recipe up and made this bread that I actually have a 10 inch Dutch Oven. Note to self, the bread takes up to almost 2 hours in that size Dutch oven…*

Oh yes, just because I want no confusion, this recipe has been amended to reflect my family’s personal preferences…thanks y’all!

Visit again soon to see what else I am baking up.

In His Grace.




{Book Review} Parenting is Heart Work by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller from NCBP

Parenting is Heart Work

The Book – Parenting is Heart Work

I come back to this style of parenting over and over again. I am overwhelmed at the benefits and the fruits that are produced because of it.

Never heard of heart parenting? Let me explain.

Heart Parenting is the understanding that children, like adults, process everything through their heart. The inner struggles are worked out in the heart; the basic nature of humans according to God is played out in the heart. So when addressing the numerous challenges that come with parenting, working on the “heart of the matter” is working to correct heart behavior versus outward behavior. In turn, helping the child grow and mature in the heart, and not just by knowing how to behave well, the outward view.

That is one incredible way to help a child understand the Biblical principles even at the youngest age. By teaching the littlest of hearts that how we feel and react to situations is just as important as learning to obey and honor parents.

This book encourages parents to look past the outward signs to see what is truly going on in the child’s heart.

There are 4 main parts of the book, that are then broken down into smaller subsections, like so:

  • Part 1: Understanding the Heart
    • A Heart Story From the Bible
    • 1.   What is the Heart (Part 1)
    • 2.   What is the Heart (Part 2)
    • 3.   Will I or Won’t I?
    • 4.   Do it Like You Mean it
  • Part 2: Connecting With Your Child’s Heart 
    • A Heart Story From the Bible
    • 5.   Emotions Have Feelings too
    • 6.   Turn on Their Heart Lights
    • 7.   Avoiding Congestive Heart Failure
    • 8.   Making the Connection
  • Part 3: Working Out Heart Change
    • A Heart Story From the Bible
    • 9.   Talking to Yourself
    • 10. Teaching Your Child’s Heart
    • 11.  Meditation Management
    • 12.  A Light on the Path to Change
  • Part 4: Touching Your Child’s Heart
    • A Heart Story From the Bible
    • 13. Constructive Correction
    • 14. Turn Around for Change
    • 15. Defibrillating for a Change
    • 16. Cross Your Heart

Each chapter covers how to better understand the steps that our hearts take in our daily walk so that it is easier to approach our children. This book is based on Biblical principles and uses numerous Bible verses to show just how important the heart is.

The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

The above verse is the sole basis of this book. It is a very valuable tool for any parent. It is full of insight, encouragement, and is a wealth of information. I believe every parent, every Christian parent, should read this book and keep it handy as they navigate through the child rearing years.


Learn about Scott Turansky here:

Learn about Joanne Miller here:

Info about NCBP can be found here:





Thank you for reading this latest book review, come back soon to see what else I have on the book shelf.

In His Grace.