embracing life and letting God


Z-Guide to the Movies~TOS Review

and I am very happy to bring to you from...

The wonderful movie guides that incorporate media (a powerful teaching tool in our increasingly electronic society) into any curriculum.  

Now, many of my readers remember our experience with Z-Guide to the Movies last year.  You can find that review HERE. Our family loves the movies.  We love to learn more about movies outside of just the normal 'watch it and move on'.  We enjoy the history, facts and trivia of movies we have liked, to help us know more about the characters, the actors and the story 'behind' the story. 

Our Z-Guide review this year centered around the movie My Side of the Mountain.  A story about a boys adventure in the wilderness.  My son was given the orginal book by his aunt some years ago as a gift.  He read it from cover to cover and thoroughly enjoyed the adventures of this young boy with his Peregrine Falcone.  It's at the top of his library list of Favorites.

Being his favorite we could not resist  watching the movie version.  And given the opportunity to do a Z-Guide review there could not have been a better way to find out more about this favorite story. 

My Side of the Mountain DVD

Bottom line, these movie guides are Awesome!  We love them!

"If your student enjoys watching movies, we just made it easy for you to incorporate them into your curriculum." -ZeeZok Publishing
To start your study you are encouraged to read the synopsis at the beginning of the lessons.  Then it's 'Off to the Movies'.  Here is how this curriculum flows:

My Side of the Mountain Middle School study
  • Watch the Movie
  • Day 1: Answer the 'Movie Review Questions' and 'More About Henry David Thoreau'.  The movie review questions come straight from the movie itself, while the study of Mr. Thoreau is research done on-line or in a book.
  • Day 2: Answer the 'Surviving in the Wilderness' questions (where would you be and how would  you survive).  This was a blast!  We laughed and carried on for a long while listening to one anothers ideas on what our survival experience would be like.  One child chose flying to Hawaii and surfing while the other chose Utah and living in a cave in the ground.  There is also a hands-on 'Design a Wilderness Home' activity. It has been raining so much here in the south we have not had a chance to make this happen...yet!
  • Day 3: Learn more about the Peregrine Falcon by doing research on the computer or a book. Then compose what you think is an alternative ending to the movie.  This is particularly interesting for my son because the movie, in many places, was completely different from the original book.  He could not get it out of his mind how different the movie was and was a little dissappointed at one part.  I won't spoil it for you.  You'll have to read the book and watch the movie and decide for yourself. 
  • Day 4: Spelling and Grammar check up using lines directly from the movie.  Then there is the 'My Side of the Mountain Personal Nature Walk' Activity. This is a great way to get your students journaling about all the wonders of God's creation and a great way to dispell 'cabin fever'.
  • Day 5: A 'Worldview activity'.  These are wonderful discussion questions to find out everyone opinion on different events that occurred during the movie.  I have chosen to allow this to be a verbal discussion instead of answering questions in the guide.  As well there is a memorization passage from Thoreau's Civil Disobedience.
  • Then there are some bonuses like a Word Search and Family discussion questions.
"All of the guides contain ten educational activities that build upon the movie. The guides are movie specific. We tell you exactly which movie we used, and almost all are available thru Netflix. Most you can probably get through your local library. So you don’t even need to buy the movie to use our guides!" -ZeeZok Publishing
Simply put, these Z-Guide to the Movies are great! I know that you will love digging deeper into that favorite movie. You can find a sample HERE on The Count of Monte Cristo from Zeezok Publishing. The movie titles offered range form Middle School to High School age range. Some of the guides are offered in both a High School or a Middle School version. As a family you will have to decide which is appropriate for your children. Other, titles offered are:

  • Hiding Place
  • Boy in the Striped Pajamas
  • Sergeant York
  • The Red Badge of Courage
  • Kitt Kittredge
Each guide is $12.99.  Zeezok has also included the DVD's for your purchase.  These are the version of the story they have based their curriculum. 

To find your Z-Guide and movie today head on over to Zeezok Publishing HERE. I know you will not be disappointed. 

Thank you for reading today.  Blessings!

From My Heart to Yours,
Mindy B.
Revelation 12:11
Please visit the TOS Homeschool Crew and READ more reviews on Zeezok's Z-Guide to the Movies.

Disclaimer: As a member of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew, I receive products, for free, for review. All of the opinions expressed on My Own Sense and Sensibility are solely my own, and I only suggest products or services that we personally use or believe will be helpful to my readers.

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The Brasher Homestead School - Schoolroom

January 2012

It's official.  We have been published!  THE BRASHER HOMESTEAD SCHOOL has been featured in an article in a homeschool magazine.  Who knew, this average student, from the south, who hated school, would one day teach her children and be able to write from her heart, sharing our families journey IN in print.  And now we are in a real Magazine. Wow! God is amazing!
"Prayer and Trust in the Lord are where I stay..."

This month in the January 2012 Issue of The Old Schoolhouse: The Magazine for Homeschool Families THE BRASHER HOMESTEAD SCHOOL is being featured in their special Show and Tell series.  As a member of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew I was given a wonderful opportunity to share our school room and our days of learning at home. 

My wonderful goofballs

We had so much fun participating in this project.  Since The Old Schoolhouse: The Magazine for Homeschool Families has now gone digital you can enjoy our home, not just through print, but now....through Video.  Attached to the digital article there is a button with access to a video of our school.  As you watch our video, you walk with me through our homeschool room, meet our children, and catch a glimpse into how we school at home each day. 

5th Grade / 5K / 8th Grade

My wonderful son, Cameron, did a great job of filming and directing this 'production'.  He was lovingly honest, especially when the teenage embarrassment kicked in and it was all he could do not to laugh at his sweet momma.  In the end, the video turned out wonderful.

"Our foundation for homeschooling is God's Word,
and we plant it into our children's hearts daily..." 

The above are pictures of our 'schoolroom'.  But, as many homeschool families know, this not the only place we learn.  Our home is filled with many places of study: the couch - the closet - the sunroom - outside - even under the dining room table.  We can learn ANYWHERE! 

So, I invite you to our homestead, make yourself at home, come and discover how we made Our Decision to Homeschool, How We Homeschool, and How We Stay Motivated. 

Subscribers of the magazine, you can find our article on pages 24-25.  If you have not already subscribed, you can enjoy a FREE issue of the January 2012 Digital Edition TODAY.  FREE! 

Go HERE and discover the new and digital world of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
You will find our article HERE.

I am so happy you stopped by My Own Sense and Sensibility today and pray that you enjoy a peek into our lives here at The Brasher Homestead School.

Blessings over you all in this New Year!

From My Heart to Yours,
Mindy B.
Revelation 12:11

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Homeschool Spanish - TOS Crew Review

Happy New Year! 

Welcome My Own Sense and Sensibility readers.  I pray that your 2012 has welcomed new hope, re-newed Trust in the Lord and a rejuvenation for the GREAT things the Lord has planned for us all.

So to get us started
I am pleased to share with my first review of the new year...

For years I have been pondering that big homeschool question, which program to use for teaching a foreign language.  Those who are with me on this one know that the BIG ones offered are just a bit too pricey at different times of the homeschool budget.  The simple fact that you are teaching another language, that you may have studied a little in college, can be extremely intimidating.  Well, I believe I have a solution to both ponderings. Easy and affordable!

R.E.A.L. ~
Relax, Enjoy, Aspire, and Learn Spanish

Homeschool Spanish is divided into 10 themed units, 48 weeks of learning. Dr. Karyn Williamson-Coria leaves it up to the teacher whether you will cover 1 or 2 years of study. Each unit contains one to four sections each with vocabulary and Home Educator tips, Ideas for facilitating home learning, Grammar tidbits , Audio, Book, Activity Book and Answer Key.

Beginning with Lesson 1, and throughout the curriculum REAL Homeschool Spanish stresses more than anything that communication and enjoyment are the greatest ways to learn. Listening to the audio sections of each unit, your student is encouraged to repeat the words and phrases throughout the lesson and using them in your everyday life to build confidence in pronunciation and assist in memorizing. There are activity sheets that accompany each unit that are great aids in cementing new vocabulary and usage and make the lessons fun.

"We believe that a relaxed environment encourages positive language learning.  Too much grammar and too much emphasis on perfectly correct speech hinders the enjoyment and progress of learning.  Slow and Steady practice promotes correct speech over time.  For these reasons, we have limited our grammar sections to the minimum and stress communication and enjoyment first."

There is a wonderful "Daily Curriculum Guide" at the beginning of each unit to help you, the teacher, to never have to worry about when and how much to plan for your child. There are planning sheets included for you to customize your child's learning journey. Dr. Williamson-Coria suggests using the program 20-30 minutes per day to keep up momentum and new vocabulary fresh in the mind.


REAL Homeschool Spanish was created for students ages 5-13 and was made specifically for the home educator and home learning environment. The relaxed learning method helps you to learn alongside your child with ease.  The Tips to the Home Educator is full of ideas to help you easily teach your child without stress for you or your child.  These are included in each section.

"You will learn to adapt the curriculum to the learning pace of your family".

Each unit is made up of vocabulary clusters. There are 33 vocabulary clusters and 15 Idea Sections each with 3-4 activity sections along with audio files of native speakers from Mexico using the vocabulary. A Daily Curriculum Guide with lesson plans is also available. You can view the Table of Contents by clicking here. There are also Free Culture Links are also available on the website.

The sections, "Tips to Get Started" and "Multiple Children Ideas" are great resources in helping you use this program in your homeschool.

You can purchase REAL Homeschool Spanish as a download or hard copy.

  • Book Bundle Download including book, activity book, answer book and audio files is $49.95
  • All of the above as a download plus the Daily Curriculum Guide is $59.95
  • Hardcopy is $89.95
  • Hardcopy including Daily Curriculum Guide is $99.95


 We will be using this curriculum in our new year, the 2 year method with Rhino Legend.  It is perfect for him to learn at such a guided pace.  I think our Princess is going to get a lot out of studying with her brother.   


 From My Heart to Yours,
Mindy B.
Revelation 12:11
Please visit the TOS Homeschool Crew and READ more reviews on REAL Homeschool Spanish.

Disclaimer: As a member of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew, I received products, for free, for review. All of the opinions expressed on My Own Sense and Sensibility are solely my own, and I only suggest products or services that we personally use or believe will be helpful to my readers.


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