Thursday, April 20, 2017



    The review of SpeedyPrep couldn't have come at a better time  SpeedyPrep is an online study course to prepare you with taking the CLEP (College Level Examination Program). Jacob will be graduating high school in May and has now decided that he may be interested in going to college. While we haven’t prepared for college this online study program has become our new best friend as he has been taking the Human Growth & Development course.
    Taking and passing the CLEP test shows you know the subject while earning college credit from home . It is credited to your permanent college transcript saving you money and valuable time. Passing the CLEP for each subject eliminates the expense of the tuition for class and books which can be very expensive . If you don’t pass the CLEP the first time you’ll have to wait three to six months before you can try again but SpeedyPrep offers a money back guarantee ass long as you have completed their program 90-100%,
    Included in this study program is unlimited access to all 24 courses in the fields of Science, Business, Foreign Language, History, Literature, Math, Psychology and Human Growth. It can be accessed on any devices connected to Wifi but not on multiple devices at one time. There are various pricing options to choose from: Monthly/$19.95 Quarterly/$53.87 or Yearly/$179.55.
    We incorporated the Human Growth & Development course into our studies three times a week which was a great fit for us.  Seventeen individual sections in this study are available with flash cards which are fill in the blank and some multiple choice. There are videos that are very easy to understand for even Jacob who has some learning and retention issues. These videos aren't long and drawn out so even someone with attention difficulties can maintain during the studies. We did have some difficulties being able to read on some of the videos because the color of the words on the black background but it was verbal as well. After watching the videos Jacob would answer the flash card questions, getting many correct. Questions that were answered incorrectly the correct answer with an explanation will be shown helping to learn/remember the answer. There were some questions that weren’t answered on the video so it was answered incorrectly on the flash card. Each course has a “Progress Bar” that records how you’re progressing. I understand the bar is to help you see your progress but with Jacob he felt like it was never increasing. So some encouragement along the way may be helpful for your student.
    I would recommend SpeedyPrep to anyone whose even thinking they may want to attend college sometime in their life. Graduation has snuck on us and I’m sure there are plenty of parents like me that are asking” Are we prepared for college?” My answer is no but with this study program we’re headed in the right direction. After taking a CLEP  and passing the credits are added to your permanent transcript for 20 years so no worries about expiration.


Social Media Links:

College Level Examination Program Preparation {SpeedyPrep Reviews}

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

CompuScholar, Inc. Review

                                                  CompuScholar, Inc.. Review
 We've been given the opportunity to use and review the awesome program called Digital Savvy ( offered by CompuScholar, Inc ( which was formally known as Homeschool Programming .This is an online program and also offers Web Design and Java Programming courses. These courses are offered as Self-Study or Teacher-Led and can be paid for monthly or yearly.

 As we set out on our Digital Savvy adventure Jacob wasn’t too sure about this new course but as we worked through the course he began to enjoy it. I chose Digital Savvy so Jacob and I could learn about computers inside and out.
This course covers fundamental computing topics and skills such as:
Hardware, software and operating systems
Managing files
Basic Networking
Computer Safety and Security
Word Processing, Spreadsheets and Presentations
Exploring Computer Careers
There are Chapters that teach about some of the popular social media sites (Pintrest, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter) and web sites. There are twenty four chapters to learn the many uses of our wonderful technology and Chapter 25 is a final project to show off what was learned during this course. This courses curriculum is a one-year course covering required topics in an “Information Technology” class and aligned to many states specific course standards.
 Each chapter had the lessons broken down into short enough videos and text that Jacob was able to listen and not get lost. At the end of each lesson quizzes that can be attempted three times and the highest grade is kept. Jacob is a Special Needs kiddo so I sat and watched the videos with him them asked him the questions on the quiz, which he did better than me. We did each chapter over a two week period so Jacob could take his time and stay focused. There are also activities to do with every chapter and submitted to your program.
 The Digital Savvy is recommended for grades 6-12 but I would recommend Digital Savvy to anyone, young and old, who have an interest in learning computers or work on beginning programming.  Many people know how to turn a computer on and play games or check email but nothing about what makes up a computer and what makes it work. This course will help you learn to identify parts, inside and out, of a computer. Computer skills are truly a necessity in our technological world and those skills are taught in this course.

 These Computer Science courses can be used for homeschoolers, individual learners and/or small groups. Technical support is available for the course so parents or leaders don’t have to be computer savvy to help their children. So jump on in to the digital world with your kids and enjoy the computer science world.
 This course requires a computer with Windows or Mac and can be accessed with HTML5 web browser found on laptops, computers and tablets making it convenient to learn.

Check out what’s going on in the CompuScholar, Inc. world
Homeschool Programming
Facebook –
Twitter –   @hsprogramming
CompuScholar, Inc   @compuscholar

Digital Savvy, Web Design & Java Programming {CompuScholar,Inc Reviews}

Monday, April 3, 2017

God,Family and Music

Another busy weekend here at Gram's. I'm so blessed that Jacob has a love for Southern Gospel music instead of some of the other "music" out there. That being said my mom and I try to take him to all the concerts that we can so this weekend started with music. Friday night we went to a church to hear The Singing Cooks and The Cook Brothers. It was nice to be in church listening to good music and praising God on a Friday night. Jacob added two CD's to his collection and has requested to order a couple more.
Saturday morning was an early day rising as we had cemetery clean-up at church and family coming from Tennessee and here in NC.We don't get much family visits so it was awesome to have my cousins and family.We all sat around and watched some old family movies and just talked and laughed which I think we all needed.We've had a number of deaths in our family and it was good to see each other for happy times.We finished our evening with another Gospel music concert at the college.Our first time seeing Walking By Faith and we LOVED them.It was Founders Day/Anniversary concert for one of our local radio stations(WWOL) and Primitive Quartet.Jacob has been wanting to see Primitive Quartet for years but something has always kept us from going.Yes more CD's added to the collection as well as signed pictures.His walls are full of autographed pictures,all Gospel/Christian groups.Yes I'm tired but it's so worth it when I get to see Jacob smile.
Sunday was a pretty busy end to our weekend.After church Jacob did his Senior picture shoot and I can hardly wait to get them.My friend Heather was awesome with Jacob(hard to get him to smile).Jacob's having some health issues right now and he had a really bad headache but he did great.
Hope everyone has a blessed Monday.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit [Manhood Journey & City on a Hill Studio Reviews]

The Manhood Journey 

As a single mom of three guys with the youngest turning 18 last week this was the perfect journey to embark on. We’ve been given the opportunity to review The Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit by Manhood Journey and City on a Hill Studio.  This is a father son Bible study but it’s also a great Bible study for boys age 8- 17 that can be done in small study groups.
Our original plan was to use this study with one of my sons’ mentors from church but God had other plans. My brother-in-law and Jacob have been working with each other through “Skype and telephone and I’ve listened in a little and it seems to be going well.

The Father’s Starter Kit contains:
1 Embarking Group Guide
1 Embarking 1 on 1 Guide
1 DVD with introductory videos to all 6 modules in Manhood Journey
10 Maprochures that have a map to keep track of your journey on one side and brief descriptions of all the modules in Manhood Journey
1 free copy of the book Wise Guys: Unlocking Hidden Wisdom From The Men Around You written by Kent Evans, co-founder on Manhood Journey.

The group guide would be something great to do with the young men at church. This guide has links you can go to for some visual illustrations to work with the young men. This module is a six week study with “homework” for the dad’s/mentors as well as the guys. 
The 1 on 1 guide c an be used with a couple of boys but it’s meant to help dad and son grow closer and learn a little more about each other. There are the Five “Big Rocks” in becoming a Godly man that are the foundation of the Embarking module: Trust God, Knows His Word, Prays Fervently, Builds Relationships and Serves Others. There are Bible readings, Bible verses to memorize and questions to discuss.
My brother-in-law and Jacob called/Skyped weekly and sometimes more. I felt with this study Jacob was more comfortable to call/text his uncle with any questions or thoughts he had during the week.
We did feel a little overwhelmed at first because my son felt like in the 1 on 1 guide everything ran together. After the second week and no book just talking to his uncle things seemed a little clearer. I’ve done many Bible studies and I read through the group guide which I thought was very well put together and easy to understand.
Jacob is not a reader but he immediately took “Wise Guys” and began reading it. Kent writes this book about men in his life that he’s modeled his own life after. At the end of each chapter Kent has included “Lessons Learned“ and “Questions to Consider” so it makes you think about what you’ve read. Jacob has told me little snippets from the book and from what he’s shared this would be a good book for all young men to read.

I am planning to pass this study information along to our youth pastor and youth teacher to use for our guys to have a small group study. The young men of our churches are our futures and need to be taught how to be Godly men. This is a wonderful way to start whether it be with their father’s, step-father’s, uncles, grandfathers or Godly mentors Manhood Journey is a way to teach Biblical manhood.

Manhood Journey

City on a Hill

Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit {Manhood Journey & City on a Hill Studio Reviews}

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

My Calm In The Storm


  As I look back on our life the past 14 years I realize we've survived some rough storms. When Jacob had his six weeks check-up after birth there was no response to a horn being blown in the room. I had noticed the noise of his two older brothers slamming doors, arguing and just being typical boys didn't seem to bother his sleeping or startle him. So our "hearing" journey started with him. After many trips to the audiologist and numerous test it was determined that Jacob had severe hearing loss.
    So while many parents are concentrating on their babies doing the normal milestones we began learning sign language as well. Jacob went weekly to a speech therapist and a sign language teacher came to our house weekly to work with us. His father and I had to decide whether we were going to "main-stream" him (put him in regular classes/situations) or send him to "special"schools.After talking to some great people with the "Beginnings'" program we decided to main-stream. Jacob received his first pair of hearing aides about two months before his first birthday. Challenging was to say the least to get him to wear them. I panicked that he would take them off and swallow the batteries when I wasn't looking. Part of working to main-stream him meant teaching him to really listen and not read lips.Yeah that was fun.LOL!!!During his speech therapy his therapist would talk to him with her hand over her mouth so he had to listen. Jacob worked with Margaret till he transitioned out of the program at age three. She always told him he was going to grow up to be the President. Jacob and I still joke about that.
    After deciding to main-stream we backed off on learning the sign language. I still used a little with him but let's face it we all want our kiddos to be "normal'. Right?  Jennifer, who was teaching us sign language still worked with Jacob weekly with his speech and various other things. I started college and put Jacob in daycare by my school so I could get to him in a few minutes if I was needed. His brothers were in school so he was getting the stimulation and interaction with other children and adults at daycare.
    When Jacob turned three he qualified for Pre-K due to his hearing impairment. His father had left us a month before Jacob turned three and my parents had come up from Florida to help me with the tree boys. I thank God for the awesome support system He put in our lives,family,teachers,therapist,church family and friends. Without these people and God I'm not sure we would have made it as well as we have.
    God was/is my calm in the storm.......Is He yours
    Have a blessed Tuesday 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

March ALREADY!!!!

    It's hard to believe it's March already. My baby will be turning 18 this month and I'm really not ready for that. Where has the time gone?
    March came in like a lion here with high winds and now we're getting freezing temps again. While we had some nice sunshiny days Jacob and I worked in the yard. I raked leaves in piles to burn later and he worked on his garden.
He has an awesome strawberry patch that has multiplied beyond what he expected. We also have some raised beds and bath tubs, yes I said bath tubs, that we plant veggies and herbs. Not sure what all he's planning on planting this year but I'm sure it'll be fun and delicious. We have 2 uncles in Florida that he really respects and love that also garden so he listens to what they say more than his grandmother and I.I grew up in Florida and my parents had a BIG garden that I helped tend to ( hated it then but appreciate it now) and my mother grew up farming in South Carolina and Florida so we do know a little.LOL!!
    Jacob has started a Lenten Calendar Countdown to Easter on Ash Wednesday. Each chain has something different on them, Pray for..... Read Isaiah 58:6-7 and Give up....  and he wasn't to happy with his first "chain". Thursday's chain said "No T.V." so he sulked when he read that. There are days our T.V. never gets turned on but like anything else when you're not supposed to do it or eat it that's when you really want to. We survived and got to listen to his new cd's from Winter Jam.

    Hoping for a good weekend as we travel to Tennessee to say good-bye to our cousin Andrew. He was only 19 and his death is hitting Jacob pretty hard since he's got Epilepsy and close in age. I know God's got this and I pray for comfort for all of my family during these rough times.

Friday, February 24, 2017

You Are My Sunshine

Well I think Jacob's busy schedule is slowing down for a minute. I love when people say Jacob being homeschooled isn't good for him being socialized. I've even beat myself up over those words numerous times. But then I sit and look at all the activities and opportunities he's involved in I just SMILE!!!I am truly blessed to be his mom and teacher.
Jacob has Hydrocephalus (Water on the brain) and has had four brain surgeries since he was seven months old. His Neurosurgeon explained Hydrocephalus to me like this, "We're all born with a hole in our head for the fluid to circulate and drain but Jacob wasn't born with that hole. "He explained to me how placing a shunt in his head would drain the CSF (cerebrospinal fluid, a clear fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord) from his head but could be complications like shunt failure,infection,etc. Which would mean more surgery. There was another surgery that could be done, Third ventriculostomy ( uses a laser to make a hole ) that had less risk. So my husband and I talked about it and chose the laser surgery hoping for less surgeries for Jacob.Unfortuntly it was unsuccessful and Jacob's head was growing instead of being normal size.The next step was to place a programmable shunt in his head.A programmable shunt can be opened and closed without surgery to control the flow of CSF but a person with this type of shunt can't be exposed to magnets. Shunt was successfully placed without complications.
I was trying to keep Jacob from using his health issues as a crutch in life but have recently come to terms that I was in denial about my child having special needs. No one wants their child to have health problems and certainly not multiple ones. He was doing well with the Hydrocephalus, so well he only had to see his Neurologist yearly. Then the summer he turned six he began spacing out, then starving afterwards and body stiffing up. My Mom and I rushed him to the local hospital where they transported via ambulance to the hospital where his Neurosurgeon was. Jacob had a third brain surgery but his shunt was fine. After spending several days in ICU he was diagnosed with Epilepsy which is common with head trauma.But through it all he was my sunshine.
So another bump in our journey......