## Friday, May 31, 2013

### “Make It Real Learning” (Schoolhouse Review)

“Make It Real Learning” is a series  of workbooks published by Math Mammoth that “uses activities and problems situations taken from real-life, with real data.”  If you ever hear the question, “When will I ever need to know this?” about math from your child, you might want to take a look at this series.

The skill levels for this series range from grade 3 to pre-calculus, although  most of the books focus on middle school and high school level concepts. We reviewed:

Sets, Probability, and Statistics I- for grades 6-10. \$4.99

Linear Functions I - for algebra 1 and algebra 2. \$4.99

Fractions, Percents, and Decimals II - for grades 6-11. \$4.99

Each book includes 10 different activities with real-life data that the student works with. In the Sets, Probability, and Statistics book, Emily used statistics to compared the ratios of colored gummy fruit in different packages. She drew Venn diagrams to compare candy bar brands, and looked at the variety and number of possible combinations for telephone numbers, menu choices, and license plates.

In Fractions, Percents, and Decimals, the activities included comparing measures of body temperature, analyzing and graphing basketball game scores, real estate investing, calculating sales tax, and comparing aspect ratios of photos, theater screens, and tv sets.

Linear Functions 1 had her doing activities like comparing costs of various cell phone plans and converting temperatures between Celsius and Fahrenheit scales.

Every activity had data taken from “real-life.” For example, the cell phone plan costs were taken from actual T-Mobile and Verizon charges. The gummy bears data were from actual packages of Kirkland brand gummy bears. Some of the activities were very practical, such as the cell phone plans, calculating housing costs, and dealing with sales tax. Others were more contrived…no customer actually needs to know how many different meal combinations are possible from a menu with 3 meat choices and 11 side choices!

The activities were a nice change from a typical math curriculum and were a good reinforcement and application of concepts Emily had already learned. We worked many of the pages together, because some activities were a challenge for her. I appreciated that there was a full solution page for every activity, since occasionally even I needed help or confirmation that were were on the right track!  Emily has done very little work with probability, so these activities in particular were a fun introduction to the concept. (If I had offered her her own packages of gummy snacks to compare, it would have been even more fun!)

My opinion: I think the Math in Real Life series is an inexpensive way to reinforce concepts and to make the bridge between textbook math and the math that is needed in daily life.

## Thursday, May 30, 2013

### The Guardian, by Beverly Lewis (Review)

The Guardian, by Beverly Lewis, is the third book in the “Home to Hickory Hollow” series. I have especially enjoyed this series because, although each book takes place in the same location, and has a few of the same characters, each stands alone. When the reader finishes a book, the story is over, and she doesn’t have to wait until another book comes out to find out what happens next! The books in this series can be read in any order.

The Guardian features the intersection of two worlds, that of the Amish Esh family and of Jodi, a young teacher without a job who, after a family tragedy, is questioning her Christian faith. When Jodi finds the Esh family’s lost toddler, she finds herself intrigued with the Amish values and lifestyle and the Esh family and community are surprisingly accepting of an outsider.

I enjoyed reading about the interaction between the Amish and non-Amish characters and watching the characters grow in faith and understanding through that interaction. I was also interested to read that this novel was inspired by the actual incident of an Amish toddler falling out of a buggy and getting lost.

As expected, this Beverly Lewis novel did not disappoint me and I am looking forward to her next one!

I received this book free from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

## Wednesday, May 29, 2013

### See the Light Art Projects (Schoolhouse Review)

We recently had the privilege of trying out one of the DVD’s from the Art Projects series by See the Light. Each of the nine DVD’s  features the work of a famous artist and four lessons that culminate in the student producing a piece of art based on that artist’s style. The lessons are taught by master artist Pat Knepley.

Repeated Sweets focuses on the artist Wayne Thiebaud and watercolor painting. The four lessons are:
1. Select motif and draw.
2. Two types of watercolor: wash-flat and graded
3. Paint in the details

Throughout the four lessons (23-31 minutes each), Pat Knepley introduces the student to the work of the focus artist, teaching about his life and showing examples of his work. She guides the student in producing his or her own piece of art, demonstrating every step of the process in great detail. She refers back to techniques taught in her art class series, such as shade and shadowing, but gives plenty of guidance to students who may not have used that series.

We found Pat to be very pleasant and encouraging.  She is obviously very talented and loves to share her love of art with her students. The  project was broken down into simple steps and she explained and had the student practice new techniques during the process. Personally, I used to do some oil painting, but techniques are so different for watercolors that I learned a lot!

She works slowly, so that the student can keep up with his or her own art while watching the video, possibly with occasional pausing of the DVD. Some of the sessions, however, we just watched, then Emily did her project afterward, so that she didn’t miss anything.

Emily really enjoyed the lessons and hopes to do some more projects from this series. I think this is a great way to get quality art instruction right at home!

On-screen demonstration of watercolor techniques

Drawing “sweet treats”

Applying a background wash

Finished “Sweet Treats” Painting

The nine DVDs in the series (appropriate for upper elementary ages and up) cover a wide variety of art techniques and focus on these artists:

• Louis Comfort Tiffany
• Wayne Theibaud
• Henri Rousseau
• Georges Seurat
• Georgia O’Keefe
• Marc Chagall
• Edgar Degas
• Winslow Homer
• Vincent Van Gogh

Each DVD sells for \$14.00 or the whole series is available for \$99.99. To read more reviews of See the Light products, click the banner below.

## Tuesday, May 28, 2013

### K is for 5K Color Run

Two of my daughters ran in their first 5K race last weekend—a “Color Run” in Orange Beach, AL.  Allison has been running a bit over the past year and invited Emily to come run with her, so Emily’s been practicing her running for the past several weeks.

They had a lot of fun. The Color Run is a very family friendly event. Lots of kids, strollers, and walkers in the race as well as runners. At certain points along the course, the runners had colored corn starch thrown at them, resulting in a tie-dyed effect at the end. The girls were proud of themselves for running most of the way with only a few walking breaks. Katie, a definite “couch potato” said that it looked so much fun that she wished she had participated too!

Pre-Race(Kristen-friend, Allison, Emily)

And they’re off!

Post Race!

Emily is ready to do it again!

## Thursday, May 23, 2013

### Great Deal on Homeschool Resources

Are you a new homeschooler? Or are you an experienced homeschooler who’s looking for some new inspiration and resources?

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine has a brand new product bundle called the Schoolhouse Library that includes over 175 different resources, including:

• 2 Study Guides from YWAM
• Draw Write Now Sampler E-Book by Barker Creek
• Heroines of the Past-Victorian unit study from Amy Puetz
• Map Trek: Atlas and Outline Maps of World History from Knowledge Quest
• Teaching Writing E-Book from WriteShop
• 15 audio E-Books from My Audio School in history and literature
• A Glimpse at Carnivorous Plants Lapbook from In the Hands of a Child
• Video from Jessica Hulcy on  “Learning as a Family”
• From Frazzled to Focused: 7 Planning Tools for Busy Moms from Mary Jo Tate

These are all downloadable e-products (books, audio, and video) and the whole set is only \$25. Sounds like an incredible bargain to me!

Click the link to find out more about the Schoolhouse Library .

### Simplified Pantry (Schoolhouse Review)

I received three different books from Simplified Pantry to review:

Simplified Dinners (\$12.99) teaches the reader to feed her family “simply, healthfully, and frugally.” It is a shopping and cooking plan that enables the reader to cook nutritious, home cooked meals without spending huge amounts of time, energy, or money doing so. Frankly, Simplified Dinners showcases the method I already use for preparing meals, so I think it’s a great method!

I try to keep a well stocked pantry at all times, replenishing supplies when they run low or buying large quantities of basics when they are on sale. Most of my cooking is based on these ingredients, so I am always prepared to make a number of different dishes with what I have on hand.

I often read the advice to sit down once a week to make a menu for the week, then to make a shopping list based on those meals. (Or the more frugal advice is to use the sale ads for the week to help plan the menu around sales.) This always sounded like a lot of work to me!  I use the sales to restock my kitchen, but don’t have to plan meals a week ahead of time in order to buy the necessary ingredients because I already have them. And I hate running to the store to buy that one ingredient that I’m out of!

Simplified Dinners starts out with a Master Pantry List—meats, spices, canned goods, etc. The rest of the book includes a variety of delicious recipes all based around the master pantry list. I actually had all but 4 or 5 of the ingredients already, which I picked up on my next shopping trip (except for bell peppers, which we don’t like).  The very last page is a Menu planning form.

The included recipes include slow-cooker dishes, salads, vegetables, pasta dishes, soups, taco bars, and more.

The first week, we tried the Savory Beef Roast recipe. I liked it better than my usual pot roast recipe, so it’s a keeper! The Potato Hash and roasted vegetables were good, too.

Since we don’t need gluten-free or dairy-free recipes, I didn’t use that cookbook, but I can imagine that it would be quite helpful for many people.

It’s hard for me NOT to recommend this style of shopping and cooking, since that’s what I already use, but I did find Simplified Dinners to be a great starting place (and cook book) for those who want to save money and time in the kitchen and grocery store.

I was the most excited about Paperless Home Organization(\$3.99). Since I bought my Kindle Fire last November, I’ve been trying to use it as an organizational tool, with marginal success. I’ve used calendars and planners in the past, but, since it seemed that electronic organization had the potential to be even more useful, I wanted to give it a try. I’ve struggled to find the best apps for the job, though.

Paperless Home Organization (PDF or Kindle) provides inspiration for “going paperless” and presents a great plan for coordinating to-do lists and calendars, and for corralling all those documents related to home management.

The plan focuses on just a few apps:

• Gmail: I picked up some great tips on filtering messages in order to clean out my inbox
• Remember the Milk: I love this app! It makes list making and scheduling so easy.
• Evernote: Great for organizing everything else—scanned documents, passwords, addresses, websites, etc., as well as for backing up data in the “cloud.”  I’m feeling more confident with Evernote, although I have a long way to go before I’ve learned everything I can do with it.

The author, Mystie Winkler, does a great job of explaining her system and teaching the reader how to coordinate these programs and apps to work well together. I’m not ready to go completely paperless yet (i.e. scanning everything in my file cabinet and throwing out the paper copies), but I am now using electronics to organize my calendar, and am scanning or saving electronic copies of many of my receipts and saving information from websites and magazines in Evernote for easy access when I need them. I even figured out how to set my scanner to scan files directly into a folder on my computer that syncs with Evernote. Now, I’m looking for things to scan in because it’s so easy!

I’ve gotten into the habit of checking my electronic calendar and to-do list every morning and finding it easy to manage my schedule this way.

If you are like I was, looking for a “plan” to get you more organized electronically, I highly recommend Paperless Home Organization.

Simplified Pantry is offering 30% off when you enter TOS2013 at checkout. This discount will work on any or all of the eBooks, from May 20 through June 3rd.

## Wednesday, May 22, 2013

### The Christian Mom’s Idea Book (review)

The Christian Mom’s Idea Book, by Ellen Banks Elwell, is….just what it sounds like—a book of helpful tips and ideas on an assortment of subjects, from education to discipline to laundry to birthday parties, and so on.

The book opens with an acrostic on motherhood, inspired by Proverbs 31. A variety of virtues—merciful, observant, trustworthy, and so on—are each discussed in this devotional, motivational chapter.

The remainder of the book is organized topically, making it easy to flip to whichever subject strikes the reader’s fancy. The author collected 500 different ideas from 80 different mothers, so each chapter includes an assortment of ideas from women who may approach issues very differently.

I found the book somewhat helpful. I found it interesting to read how different families do laundry and how the children contribute (or don’t)! There is some useful information on what age is best to begin music lessons, the different approaches to teaching music, and some tips for getting your child to practice. There are ideas for birthday party themes and for organizing your home. There are even chapters about adoption and single parenting.

I probably would have loved the book as a young mother, bookmarking pages and taking notes. However, now, in my 26th year of parenting, most of the information was not new to me. I think it could be helpful for younger parents, though.

I received a free copy of this book through the Crossway Homeschool Book Review Program in exchange for my honest review.

## Monday, May 20, 2013

So proud of Katie, who just graduated from Birmingham Southern College this weekend!

“Bachelor of Music” majors on the very last row!

“There’s been a mix-up with your diploma. Please see us after the ceremony.”

## Thursday, May 16, 2013

### Looking Back At Our School Year

Our school year is now drawing to a close. As we finish up the last week or two of our schedule, I’m starting to evaluate our school year and to think about what worked for us and what didn’t.

Curriculum: I’ve been pretty happy with our curriculum choices.  Our core curricula were No Nonsense Algebra, Math Essentials Geometry, Apologia General Science, Essentials in Writing, Lightning Literature and a literature-based World History study that I put together with the help of Sonlight books and Diana Waring’s curriculum. We had many other short-term and review items shuffled into the mix. This made for a busy year, but we enjoy trying new things and changing things up to keep school interesting.

Schedule: We started our school year in July with a light schedule. There were several reasons for our choice to school year-round. First, the Schoolhouse Crew moved to a year-round schedule, so I knew we would have review products over the summer. Second, I wanted to be able to take breaks throughout the year and to “get ahead,” so that we wouldn’t be quite so busy through the rest of the year.

Emily was happy enough with this plan, and it started out well. We took a 3 week vacation in November, then Emily went on a cruise with my parents and one of her cousins. She did take some schoolwork on our vacation, but I didn’t feel pressured for her to do a lot because of the extra time she had put in over the summer.

However, by the spring semester, I felt that I was really pushing her to get a lot done. She was balking at doing her work and was getting distracted. As we got further behind the schedule, I pushed harder, and she ended up losing her spring break and any other potential for time off because she wasn’t working enough on regular school days. This really destroyed the relaxed and pleasant atmosphere that I want in our home school, and I’m not sure either of us is finishing the year with a good feeling about it.

Now I’m evaluating what I need to do differently for next year. I need to be more relaxed and maybe not try to squeeze as much in. Emily needs to be more disciplined and responsible. She’ll be in eighth grade next year and I’m feeling the pressure to have her ready for high school work in just a year.

Travel: We really enjoyed our trip to Florida last fall. Part visiting with friends, and part field trip. Emily may go to public school in a year, so I would like to get in a few short trips or maybe a big one in the next year while we still have the freedom to travel in the fall, winter, or spring.

What worked or didn’t work for you this year?

## Tuesday, May 14, 2013

### High School Prep Genius (Schoolhouse Review)

Are you nervous about preparing your son or daughter for high school or college? Wondering how to prepare for those admissions tests, or which classes or activities he or she should have on a transcript? How to help your child learn better study skills or make decisions about his or her future path in life?  High School Prep Genius  (\$29.95) covers all of this and more.

High School Prep Genius is a hefty 440 page book published by College Prep Genius, and written for middle school and high school students. The book itself is written to the student, but each chapter has a parent section as well.  There are three sections:
1. Foundation For Personal Success: This section helps the student to think about his or her interests, beliefs, and values. It also offers valuable advice on improving relationships and managing finances.  Many of the chapters include  questions for the student to answer.
2. Foundation for Academic Success: This section focuses on helping the young person become a better student, from discussing the value of obtaining a good education to teaching effective study strategies to test taking strategies to organization.
3. Foundation for Future Success: This final section is most appropriate for older high school students and focuses on choosing a college, preparing for admissions tests, college applications, paying for college, and adjusting to life away from home.

The lengthy introduction to High School Prep Genius includes helpful charts and forms for keeping track of summer activities, scholarships, college applications, and to-do checklists for each year of middle school and high school.

I am very impressed with this book. I think it is an excellent guide for any student who wants to take high school work seriously and reach his or her potential, especially for those who plan to attend college.  Emily is just now finishing the 7th grade and I think this is a perfect time for her to begin reading this book and applying the principles. She has enjoyed the early sections on personal development as she thinks about making good choices in the areas of personal responsibility, financial management, and relationships with others. As she nears high school age, I think the tips on study skills will be invaluable.

Emily reports that she is finding the book interesting to read. She especially likes the questions at the ends of the chapters because they help her understand herself better and to apply the topics.

High School Prep Genius is a book that we will keep on our shelf and pull out to use frequently throughout the next few years. It is packed with useful information and good helps for success in high school and for college preparation.

## Friday, May 10, 2013

### Raspberry Cheesecake in a Jar (Mother’s Day Dinner Blog Hop)

Some of my blogger friends and I are working together to present an online progressive dinner with some of our favorite recipes. This is my dessert contribution. Enjoy!

Raspberry Cheesecake in a Jar

Cheesecake Batter:

• 2 8 oz. packages cream cheese
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 t. lemon juice
• 2 eggs

Filling:

• 1/2 cup raspberry jam
• 1/2 cup raspberries (I used blueberries and raspberries.)

Crust:

• 8 graham crackers, crushed

1. Beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and lemon juice.

2. Divide crushed graham crackers between 6-8 8 oz jars. Layer cream cheese mixture with jam and berries.

3. Place jars in a baking pan of water. Bake at 325 for 30 minutes or until set.

Be sure to visit each of the bloggers below for your next course!

## Thursday, May 9, 2013

### Katie’s Senior Recital

My daughter, Katie, will be graduating next week from Birmingham Southern College with a Bachelor of Music in Music Composition. She had her senior recital Sunday showcasing a number of pieces that she had composed, some performed by her and some performed by others. I am so proud of my girl!

Here are a couple of her pieces….

.

## Wednesday, May 8, 2013

### H is for Hair!

We had quite a dramatic hair incident at our home 2 weeks ago. Emily was down the street playing with a friend when this friend’s young cousin snipped off half of her ponytail with a pair of scissors!!! Once all the trimming was done,  she ended up with a very short summer hair cut! After the initial trauma, she’s happy with the new cut. Me…not so much. It will take me a while to get used to.

Before….

After…

### Spanish for You (Schoolhouse Review)

Spanish for You! is a Spanish curriculum that aims to be “simple, effective, and affordable.” It is designed for grades 3-8 and has several very unique features.

1. Spanish for You! can be used with multiple grade levels. Separate lesson plans and worksheet are available for grades 3-4, 5-6, and 7-8. All students use the same text book, but the lesson plans beef up the program for older children.
2. The program can be used with students of varying Spanish ability levels at the same time.
3. The various units can be used in any order, according to interest.

The program includes these components:

1. Softcover book or e-book
3. 24-30 week lesson plan guides
4. nearly 200 worksheets with answers
5. pictures for making flashcards

Two themed packages are currently available: Fiestas and Estaciones. A third unit, Viajes, will be available in June. We received the Estaciones (Seasons) package to review.

How the Program Works:

We used the lesson plans for 7-8th graders. Each day, several activities were assigned that included:

• listening to audio from the audio files
• making and drilling flashcards for the lesson vocabulary
• doing a worksheet
• playing a game to practice vocabulary
• spelling words using Spanish letters
• writing a short story using specified vocabulary

I thought that the activities were varied and interesting. The lesson plans were a tiny bit awkward to use, involving flipping around in the lesson book to locating files on the computer, etc. It would have been easier to have the plans directly in the lesson book. However, the plans are designed as they are  because the plans are different for different age groups.

I especially like that verb conjugation is taught starting with the first lesson. So many Spanish programs for children just teach words and phrases, but don’t teach conjugation. I feel like Emily is not just learning vocabulary and phrases, but she is learning the tools she needs to use the language.

Playing “Burbujas” (Bubbles)—One player blows bubbles and calls out a verb. The second player has to fully conjugate the verb before all the bubbles pop.

Playing “Que Falta?” (What’s missing?)

We typically spent about 20 minutes a day doing the assigned activities. Some days, Emily worked on her own, and some days, I supervised her, played practice games with her or had her read the lesson aloud to me.

When I first looked at Spanish for You!, I was afraid that it would be very teacher intensive, with lots of games and activities that I’d have to plan. That turned out not to be the case. Although there are some games, and certainly some degree of interaction is needed when studying a foreign language, once we got started, Emily was able to look at the lesson plans herself and do most of the assignments on her own. Certainly, that would not be the case for a much younger child, but I only had to spend about 5 minutes a day with my middle schooler checking a worksheet, asking her a few questions in Spanish, or quizzing her on vocabulary.

Cost:

• \$39.95  Grade level package (3-4, 5-6, or 7-8)
• \$64.95  Package including lesson plans for all grades

## Tuesday, May 7, 2013

### Frugal Homeschooling

I’ve always been very frugal—shopping sales, couponing, cooking from scratch, and so on. In the past several years, my financial situation has been such that I HAD to save money where I could because there just hasn’t been money for “extras.” And of course, this philosophy extends to homeschooling!

To look at the cost of many homeschool curriculum packages, especially when considering buying for several children, one might think that homeschooling had to be prohibitively expensive. Now some curriculum packages are great! They simplify planning and give parents a solid framework to work with. But for those who can’t afford them, or who just choose to go a different route, there are many less expensive options. Here are some of the ways we have homeschooled inexpensively:

• Use the library. If I had to, I could use library resources exclusively for reading instruction, science, and history/social studies. Even when using another curriculum, supplementing with library books can be a valuable addition.  Many libraries even have foreign language programs that are available for check-out or accessible online.
• Buy partial curricula. We used (and loved) Sonlight Curriculum for several years. I bought the teacher’s guides and the books that our library didn’t have (or that we didn’t already own). I would have loved the thrill of opening a box packed full of Sonlight books, but couldn’t rationalize the expense. Sonlight makes is a little harder to do this now, and their manuals are more expensive than they used to be, but this is still a way to use a particular curriculum and save some money.
• Scholastic books—As a homeschooler, you can sign up for a school account and get great deals on scholastic book orders. Most months, they offer \$10-\$20 worth of free books with a \$20 order as well as bonus points that are redeemable for more books.
• Shop for used curricula (ebay, homeschoolclassifieds.com) or discounted curricula (Rainbow Resource, Timberdoodle).
• Re-use! Much of what Emily is using now was purchased for my older children.
• Use online resources. Schoolhouse Teachers is a great resource for only  \$12.95 a month (\$3 for the first month); Educational game sites like ZooWhiz or Always Ice Cream/Clever Dragons are inexpensive or even free for limited accounts.
• Schoolhouse Review Crew—Through my reviewing with the Schoolhouse Crew, I’ve had to spend very little for school in the past few years and have tried lots of books and programs that may have been out of my budget otherwise. It’s a lot of work, but has been a great blessing to me!

My older children attended public high school which, in our area at least, is anything but free! Many of the upper level (“not required”) classes such as AP sciences had \$20-\$40 fees. Theater and dance programs had \$200 fees plus fund-raising (yuck!).  Cheaper than outside lessons, but still pricey. Then, there’s the gas expense of driving kids to school each day (no bus service here). I know I spend less on homeschooling than I paid for public school!

## Monday, May 6, 2013

### Papa’s Pearls (Schoolhouse Review)

Papa’s Pearls, by Diane Flynn Keith, is a sweet book that tells about the life of the author’s father and about the profound effect that “Papa”  had on his family. The author tells stories about the life of Carol Joseph Flynn,  from his beginnings as a delinquent youth, headed for a life of trouble, to his transformation to a loving father, responsible citizen, and successful businessman.

These often humorous anecdotes begin with “Papa’s” childhood as he was growing up in San Francisco in the 1920’s and 1930’s. I loved these “snapshots” of life in a simpler, yet in some ways, much more difficult time. Although, it is not the primary intent of the book, there is a lot of history here. Something about the story reminded me of one of my favorite books, Cheaper By the Dozen, also a story written about a father by his daughter.

Each chapter focuses on a few of “Papa’s pearls” of practical advice, loving actions, and life-success principles.  Here are a few:

• “Bad things just don’t happen to our family”  was an expression of Papa’s positive attitude. Even in the worst of times, he looked for the good and put a positive spin on the situation.
• “Tell yourself you like it” was his mantra for the most unpleasant jobs that had to be done. He told his children that, with the right attitude, anything was tolerable, or even pleasant.
• “I love you. You know that, right?” was told to his children and grandchildren over and over again. No one ever doubted that he or she was thoroughly loved.
• “Be grateful every day.” Remember how blessed you are.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It left me with a warm, cozy feeling. Papa’s love and nurture of his family was evident. Many of the principles he taught were probably just common sense to previous generations, imparting the values of hard work, responsibility, and respect for others, but they are values that our children may not see valued in our current society.

I was inspired to incorporate some of Papa’s practices and sayings into my own family. From letting go of grudges, to keeping a positive attitude, to making sure that my family knows that I love them always, I hope that I will be changed and not just entertained by Papa’s Pearls.

Here is what Emily (age 12) had to say after reading Papa’s Pearls:

My favorite saying in Papa's Pearls is a moral and a lesson that I think everybody should listen to.

“ When You Fall Down-

Get Back Up, Brush Yourself Off and Try Again!”

That saying has a lot of meaning! It encourages us to keep our pride and not to give up. That saying means a lot to me and probably others if they stop and think about it. How many times have people tried something new and failed at it? How many people love doing something but they just can’t get a good grip on it?

This saying means a lot to the people that stop and think about how many times it has happened to them. Don't give up just because something small and tiny brings you down! You have to stay strong and practice at it until you get better at it! I never really stopped to think about this before, but what if we just gave up on our dreams? What if we gave up right after the first try? Where would we be? Where would the world be? If we didn’t try something that we love doing, then who knows where we would be. Think about singers or dancers; they finally found something that they’re good at and they stuck with it until they got better! If those singers or those dancers had given up right after they had fallen or hit a wrong note, then we wouldn’t be getting entertainment! We wouldn’t be listening to music when we do our chores or when we turn on the TV because they gave up after the first try!

Go after your dreams, who knows, after you keep on trying at that one thing you love, you could change the world. If you just try, just like those singers and dancers have, you could provide entertainment for millions of people to watch or listen to.

Papa’s Pearls is available for \$14.97 + shipping  and is an enjoyable and motivational book that is appropriate for pre-teens to adults.