An illustration I recently finished…(and other news!)

I just finished an illustration for livingpageslibrary.com (coming soon!). YES, I also do illustrations for “hire!” If you or someone you know is looking for an illustrator, keep me in mind! 

In other news, I am a couple of weeks or so away (hopefully) from finishing my brand new language arts curriculum schedule for grades 2-6. I’m really happy at how it’s coming along. It schedules in Beowulf’s Grammar as a grammar spine as well as lots of other colorful books that cover L.A. subjects without workbook drudgery! The subjects included are grammar, writing, spelling, vocabulary, poetry, and literature – all done Guest Hollow style!!

One of the terrific things about this program is that it’s truly adaptable for grades 2-6, so you can use it with more than one student at the same time without having to juggle separate programs and resources. It’s also creative, unique, and appropriate for all types of learners, even those who are reluctant writers with an aversion to picking up a pencil, lol…

If your kids don’t love language arts or aren’t as successful in that area as you’d like them to be, you’ll want to take a look at Guest Hollow’s Language Arts Level 1 (grades 2-6) in the next couple of weeks or so! I can’t wait to share more soon!

The Oops Sale!

For the first time in years, parts of my website were down this afternoon/evening. Due to the inconvenience caused to potential customers and because it’s back-to-school time, I’m offering a coupon code of 15% off of your entire cart on anything in my store. Have fun shopping for back-to-school! This coupon code will expire on Sunday the 21st.

Just enter in the following code when making a purchase:

serveroops

http://guesthollow.com/store/

Thank you for your patience and thanks to everyone for supporting Guest Hollow!

That’s my daughter!!!!!!!!!!!!

For those of you who don’t know, my daughter is living and working in Japan. On the side, she’s been working on building her acting resume. She is convicted that the film industry has a real need for a Christian influence. Here she is in a commercial for Toyota!!

You can only see her for a tiny bit at about 1:98 in the video above. Here’s a screenshot:

Capture

O.K. That’s my little proud mama dance, lol.

I remember when I was homeschooling her and wondering what she would become and what she would do when she was grown up. I never dreamed she would live in Japan. I also never envisioned her in commercials (and other film work). I knew she had a purpose though, and that I was helping prepare her for it. It’s amazing to me that so many of the things I did back when I was homeschooling her, have helped in small ways to get her where she is now. We spent a lot of time learning about other cultures, and I believe God was beginning to prepare her heart for reaching other people. I also believe He was allowing her to explore and develop her gifts, like her love for languages and the arts, in ways she never would have been able to in a regular school setting.

I’m also glad He led her to attend our local jr. college, as NONE of her current opportunities would have unfolded via the previous college track we had planned on and hoped for, in the beginning. Who would have known she would get involved with Japanese students and a Japanese company in the middle of a cow town?! lol.  I think it’s hilarious that she runs into good friends so often in Japan. She’s thousands of miles away in the middle of Tokyo eating lunch with friends she met in a dinky little nothing town here in the states at a dinky little nothing jr. college. Cue in the music to “It’s a Small World”, lol. You would be amazed at all the little perfect storms in her life that I don’t have time to get into right now.  That’s God’s hand right there.

I’m so happy that she is getting to share her love of Christ with the Japanese, and of all the amazing things she is getting to do, as God throws so many doors wide open!

When you are working hard to teach your kids and fighting about math or stressing over which science program you are going to use, stop and remember that this time you have with them is fleeting. Your kids are going to grow up and move out and make their mark in the world, even though that may seem SO far away. It’s not. You are equipping them right this very moment for all of the things they are going to do. Let God lead you in the things you teach them, even if those things aren’t in the “usual” 4 year history cycle or whatever homeschool slave that’s driving you.

Don’t be afraid to do things a little differently or to spend time exploring interests that don’t always add up perfectly in your high school credits list, or that may not be in the current homeschool “vogue”. You just never know where it might lead and what impact it may have on your kids’s lives and the lives of the people they will touch in the future.

When my kids were little, we used to spend hours listening to radio programs in Asian languages just for fun. I had no idea why I did that, lol. Only now, I do. 😉 My daughter is reading and writing and speaking Japanese on a daily basis! What may have seemed like a waste of time (we weren’t actually LEARNING as we were just listening), may have helped her brain be more receptive to learning an Asian language.

It’s little goofy things like that, that added up and made a difference. Maybe your son likes to build paper models. Hey, that’s not school!! Or is it? Maybe someday he’s going to be an engineer. Maybe your daughter spends hours building little bead bracelets. Maybe someday her super developed motor skills will be enacted as her hands hover over someone’s heart in the middle of surgery. You just never know.

I’m so thankful for those precious years I had to teach my children. It’s exciting to see their lives unfold and to see that God’s hand was always working towards their futures, even when they were very small and I couldn’t see it in the day-to-day struggles.

Hang in there. It’s worth it.

Modern Educayshun

My daughter sent this to me today. I’m glad we are homeschoolers!
You may not want to watch this with the kiddos around, as there is some mature content.

Share the love!

I plan on putting a testimonials page up on our website. If you have any experiences you’d like to share about using Guest Hollow, please let me know! Here is a comment from an email I received from Trista (who gave me permission to share). She is using our high school anatomy curriculum AND the botany curriculum at the same time with her daughter. She said her daughter is retaining things more than any other program they have tried. When I asked her what she thinks made a difference she said,

” I think it is between the repetition and your way of presenting things in so many different ways. She has a lot of learning problems and sometimes it seems as though we are merely going through the motions of “school”, but not with her Guest Hollow classes. Your classes are great for her. She doesn’t complain about doing them, even looks forward to them and seems to be retaining most of what is presented. The way the classes is set-up she never knows what to expect each day and becomes excited as she completes daily assignments.”

If you’d like to share your story, thoughts, or reviews) about using Guest Hollow curriculum or materials, please email me at: guesthollow@memorableplaces.com. I would love to share what you write on our website! 🙂

Also, for those of you who don’t want to read posts about my garden and vacation pictures and such, lol, you can follow us on our new Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/guesthollow

We can also answer your questions about using Guest Hollow curricula there! Please head on over to like our page!

Gold Country

Just sharing some pictures of our visit to “gold country”…

Some friendly horses:

horses

A vein of quartz poking up out of the ground like the back of a sleeping dragon:

A curious and furry face:

horse

I hope everyone is having a great summer! Ours has been busy, but productive. In a couple of weeks I’ll post a sneak peek of a new curriculum in the works: Knowledge of Nature!

Vid Angel

vidangel

I discovered Vid Angel not too long ago and LOVE what it offers. You can rent movies online and watch on your computer or devices or via Chromecast, Apple TV or ROKU. We already watch a lot of online movies via Amazon, so what’s so special about Vid Angel? Vid Angel will FILTER out unwanted content!! Want to watch Game of Thrones without the smut? Vid Angel makes it so you can do that. It does so with tons of new and popular movies. You are in control of the settings. You can choose to mute bad language, remove any s*x, nudity or immodesty, alcohol & drug use, violence, blood and gore, and other offensive or negative elements.

Each movie has its own set of sliders. There are lists of each potentially offensive moment and you can choose to set the sliders to disallow (or allow) specific content.

sliders

Vid Angel also lets you know if a scene is important to the story so you’ll know if your choices are affecting plot elements. Vid Angel will even alert you to spoilers so you don’t ruin a movie’s surprises, too:

vid angel

Every deletable or mutable scene (or bad word) is explained so you can customize it for whomever is viewing a movie with you (your 6 year old vs. your 16 year old). You also get to see a timeline of the movie that shows you how your choices have affected the movie playback time:

watch

So, here is my shameless request…if 5 people click on the link below and watch a movie on Vid Angel, I get one year of free movies. If you are interested, please try it out, because I need a free year of movies, lol! It’s a great service and a way to clean up movies for yourself or your kids. Movie (and TV show) rentals are cheap too! You can rent an HD movie for just $2.00 (SD movies are $1.50)! No more worrying if Redbox doesn’t have a copy of the movie you want to watch or having to get a movie back to the kiosk. Just click and stream! Another great feature is that if you rent a movie and end up loving it so much that you want to buy it, your rental amount counts toward the purchase price!

Click here to check out Vid Angel!! Movies minus the bosoms, blood & bad words!

Living in Japan

My daughter Hannah gave me permission to share some of the photos and details about her life in Japan. I find this kind of stuff fascinating, so I thought it would be appropriate to post here, lol. You can see first-hand what a previously homeschooled student is doing with her life as an adult! When she was younger and I was teaching her, I used to wonder what she would do/be when she grew up. Now I’m watching her life unfold into something so amazing!

A view from her window:

view from the window

She lives in a shared housing situation. It’s very interesting as it’s like a dormitory for working women. No men are allowed inside, not even family. There are staff that keep the common areas clean. Here’s a floor plan that shows how it’s laid out:

dormHannah has one of the little dorm rooms. They look like this inside:

dormroom2

There is a loft where you can put a futon to sleep. She actually put hers on the bottom level.

At the entrance of Japanese houses, you take your shoes off and exchange them for socks or slippers, and then you can step onto the higher level floor. You can sort of see that in the picture below with the shoes in an area that is a little lower than the main floor:

shoes

Here’s a picture of a temple she walked to recently:

temple

Notice the cherry blossoms:

cherry blossoms

I’ll be posting pictures of Hannah’s life in Japan from time to time. My next post about her will show her groceries and what she is eating over there!

Some of you are homeschooling little ones. Cherish that time, because it won’t be long and they will spread their wings and fly. 🙂 Hannah flew all the way to Japan, lol!

My up-and-coming book is closer to being finished!

I have five illustrations left to create for the children’s book I’m working on (not counting the cover art). I’m really excited to get everything finished up so I can send out copies to my beta testers & proofreaders!

Here is a screenshot from one of the pages (just a portion of a page spread with a watermark added).

abigail

 

My first book in this series is about seasons and not only covers the science behind the seasons but also contains information about different cultures, holidays, geography, some simple recipes and even a tidbit of math. The characters are homeschooled siblings (older sister, younger brother, adopted toddler) with their fox terrier (Beowulf). Homeschooling is not a huge component of the book, so it should appeal to all kids whether they are homeschooled or not. 🙂

I’ll be creating optional unit study materials and a printable playset (and possibly a teacher’s manual) that can be purchased from my website but the book can stand alone and will be available via Amazon as a paperback and also as an ebook.

The book itself is heavily illustrated with a mix of comics, text and even some theater style dialogue that should draw in reluctant readers and help boost retention and clarity. Science concepts are clearly illustrated and while there are Christian elements, they don’t dominate the book but are rather integrated where appropriate (kind of like how I taught my own children). God was always just a part of our life and studies as He is for the kids in the story.

I’m just so tired at not being able to find Christian books on science topics that aren’t a part of some curriculum textbook and that also contain solid scientific concepts without just decorating things up with willy nilly Bible verses for no reason. I always had a huge library of science books for my kids to browse but 98% of them were secular where evolution was heavily promoted (or there was some other type of inappropriate material). The Christian books we had were often boring or stuffy or ugly (I’m a sucker for lavishly illustrated books) or only about creation (or the flood or other similar things) and not your garden variety science topics that my kids NEEDED to learn. I hope my new series will address these issues and give Christian families an alternative they can safely hand over to their kids to learn real science (and other subjects).

Christian parents can be assured that there are no “millions of years” comments to have to skip over or cringe at . For those of you who don’t care, I remain neutral on that subject, but do give credit to God for how things work. I do so without “shoving it down your throat”, if that makes sense. 😉 The book has plenty of great science and other info that should still appeal to secular families.

Anyway, I’m in the home stretch and can’t wait to finish this book up and get started on the next one in the series!

If you want to be in the lottery to be a beta tester, please send an email to guesthollow(at sign)memorableplaces(dot)com with the subject “beta tester”. Please make sure you can meet the following requirements:

  • You will post an honest review of the book on your blog or website (if you don’t have a blog, but use social media, that is an acceptable alternative) and Amazon.com.
  • You are willing to let me know if you run across any typos or information that is not clear, etc.
  • If you read the book to any children, I’d love their feedback too. 🙂

Stay tuned to my blog for updates and an announcement when the book is finished!

Have a safe and happy Christmas!

I drew this for my daughter who will be spending her first Christmas away from us!  Totoro below is in honor of her upcoming move to Japan! We will miss her!!

Merry Christmas to all my readers! I wish you a safe and happy holiday.

4hannah2