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Parenting/Home Economics Reviews
  A Sacred Foundation
Everyday Graces: A Child's Book of Good Manners
Family Man, Family Leader
Hints on Child Training
Home Economics I
Home-Making
Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends
Mommy Diagnostics
"Mrs. Sharp's Traditions"
Prayers for Children
Raising Maidens of Virtue
Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes in You and Your Kids!
Sleeping Beauty and the Five Questions
Stepping Heavenward
So Much More: The Remarkable Influence of Visionary Daughters on the Kingdom of God
Tasha Tudor Cookbook
The Encyclopedia of Country Living
The Hidden Art of Homemaking
When God Writes Your Love Story

A Sacred Foundation
by Michael Farris
A review by Dean Andreola

A Sacred Foundation
A Sacred Foundation: The Importance of Strength in the Home School Marriage
Michael Farris & L. Reed Elam / Broadman / Holman / 2001
For years I have been recommending Hints on Child Training because the advice is timeless, masculine, Biblically based, gentle, highly practical, and full of wisdom gained from real experience. Well, Michael Farris of HSLDA has written for us just such a book in the important area of Christian marriage. Men especially will do well by their families to read and put into practice the advice in this book. Some of the subjects covered are Leadership, Gentleness and Compassion, Affection and Beauty, Protection and Provision, Praise and Support.
Michael says,“ Contrary to the images created by the world around us, most Christian home schooling wives want their husbands to be the leaders in their homes…Fulfilling my role as spiritual leader for my children shows real love for my children, my wife and God.” That’s just the beginning. This book teaches husbands and wives to love each other in tangible ways that will bring lasting, joyful fulfillment to your marriage.

Everyday Graces: A Child's Book of Good Manners
Edited By: Karen Santorum
A review by Karen Andreola

Everyday Graces
Everyday Graces: A Child's Book of Good Manners
Edited By: Karen Santorum / Isi Books / Hardcover / 2005
I've seen my friends' houses. Their shelves, like ours, are lined with classic children's literature - an indication that they've been homeschooling for some time. In Everyday Graces excerpts from children's literature are used to teach manners. Children learn consideration for others through stories, poems and commentary. Beginning with love and honor within the family, taming the tongue, table manners, washing and dressing, its chapters fan out to include befriending the elderly, seeing good in people, working hard, curtsey in church, and good citizenship. Chapters from familiar favorites as Anne of Green Gables, Winnie the Pooh, The Secret Garden, Aesop's Fables, Pinocchio, and Pollyanna dot the book as do works from; Lucado, Lewis, Twain, Potter, Emerson, Kipling, Chaucer, and others. Dickens' description of the death of little Nell shows tenderness and I was glad to find this lesser-read novel of his (Old Curiosity Shop) referenced on the subject of funerals. When introducing the subject of weddings to my youngest child I would have skipped over Lorna Doone's wedding day. Overall I find Everyday Graces an excellent tool for passing along the concepts of unselfishness and civility - moralities of living the good life. --Karen

Family Man, Family Leader: Biblical Fatherhood as the key to a Thriving Family
by Philip Lancaster
A review by Dean Andreola

Family Man, Family Leader
Family Man, Family Leader
The Vision Forum, Inc / Paperback / 2003
In the Twelfth Night, Shakespeare wrote, "some are born great, some achieve greatness, others have greatness thrust upon them!" It is also said, "a good man is hard to find", let alone a great one. The rest of us would do well to follow the advice in this excellent book! Family Man, Family Leader redefines "greatness" by outlining a vision of godly manhood that is not only slipping away from our modern culture, but from our churches as well. Christian homes are suffering for lack of manly leadership, and this book speaks more clearly to this subject than any that I have seen. I think that we men are sometimes like old iron locomotives, slow to get started, but hard to stop once we get moving, once the fire is lit and burning bright within us! But where are our examples, where are the mentors, who will lead the way? Philip Lancaster, editor of Patriarch magazine, husband and father of six has become a powerfully qualified voice calling for a national revival of Biblical manhood. If you are looking for a change in your heart (as well as your home) regarding your role as husband and dad, then by all means, slowly read and apply these convicting and practical chapters. Banish the weak and passive male from your home and replace him by putting on the new man in Christ, the man, leader and teacher God is calling us all to be?
- Dean

Hints on Child Training
by H. C. Trumbull
A review by Dean Andreola

Hints on Child Training
Hints on Child Training
H. Clay Trumbull / Great Expectations Co / 1993
Browsing through stacks of musty old books in used bookstores is one of my favorite pastimes. You never know what treasures are buried until you dig them up. Hints on Child Training by Henry Clay Trumbull is one such treasure found in a dusty pile of books in an antique shop. If you are like me, and wish the author would “just get to the point,” then this book is for you! Trumbull wrote these short, practical chapters in 1890, at the experienced age of sixty after raising eight children of his own. This book lays foundations for child training that will last a lifetime. After publication, the publisher received a call from Elizabeth Elliot who informed them that Trumbull was her great grandfather! He offers tender, yet firm advise in chapters like; Training a Child: to Self-Control, ... to Courtesy,...to Faith,...The value of Table Talk,...Will-Training Rather than Will-Breaking,...Never Punish in Anger...Dealing Tenderly with a Child’s Fears...The Influence of the Home Atmosphere...The Power of a Mother’s Love, and much more! Gregg Harris writes, “...What Trumbull calls, “hints” are, in fact, precious jewels in our day, more precious because they are so rare. I have been greatly helped by this wonderful book.”

Home Economics I
by Christian Light Publishers
Complete set with answer key
Review by Karen Andreola

Home Economics Complete Course
Home Economics Complete Course
Christian Light Publications
Academics have become so much the focus in a girl’s high school life that many a girl graduates without knowing how to make an evening meal or use a needle to sew on a button. I was one of these girls. Happily I married a man who was gracious at the supper table (most of the time). He couldn’t help laughing at my cooking sometimes. I remember one particularly heavy round loaf of bread that he curled up in his arm like a discus ready to be thrown across a field at a track meet. It was funny. However, he laughed louder than I did.
Many homeschooling mothers strive to give their daughters a well-rounded liberal arts education. At the same time they understand the value of training their daughters to be homemakers. If you are looking for an inexpensive course in home economics consider this one published by Mennonite believers. The art of godly homemaking is one of their specialties.
Ten consumable worktexts comprise this curriculum. I’m not partial to worktexts but with these the student does more than read and fill in the blanks. She is directed to take part in the hands-on learning opportunities, to practice the skills being taught. The first section of the course covers food preparation, basic nutrition, smart shopping and hospitality. Next, in gentle steps, the student gets ready to sew; she is introduced to the sewing machine, is taught how to follow a sewing pattern, and then masters the details of making clothing. There is a section on child development and caring for children. I disagree with only a few points of doctrine presented in the material. Over all, I believe the entire course, but especially the last section, is a wonderful compliment to my revised edition of Beautiful Girlhood. (from Great Expectations). The last section offers guidance in becoming a godly woman – a woman of inner beauty. It encourages a girl to seek wisdom, to grow spiritually and have a closer relationship with God. Friendships, modesty, singlehood, and Christian courtship are also briefly discussed. This is the kind of practical help so many of us would have liked to have before we were married.

Home-Making
by Rev. Miller
A review by Karen Andreola

Home-Making
Home-Making
J.R. Miller / The Vision Forum, Inc / 2001
Do words ever pop out at you? They do for me. When high ideals are beautifully written it cuts me to the heart. Such was my conviction when reading, Home-Making. Written in Victorian days, its author, Rev. Miller, had a Victorian's command of words. He speaks with boldness. Yet with gentlemanly politeness he paints a beautifully appealing picture of what a Christian family ought to look like. He has clearly defined roles and duties for all members of the family.
Curtsey and small duties are best performed when backed by high ideals. Do you long to make your home a happier place? Home-Making will arm you with the Biblical ideal that will motivate you to make this happen.
Another book on home life and parenting that was written in the 19th century is Hints on Child Training. H. Clay Trumbull (published by Great Expectiations Book Company) was Elizabeth Elliot's grandfather. It is one of my favorites.
Will you write me and tell me if the words of either book pop out at you? I like to meet like-minded people.
Vision Forum 266 pgs, hardcover.

Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends
by by Sarah, Stephen, & Grace Mally
A review by Yolanda Andreola

Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends
Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends
Tomorrow's Forefathers, Inc / Paperback
I get along pretty well with my brother and sister (most of the time). When my mom asked if I would like to read Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends I hesitated. A few fights between brothers and sisters are common, aren't they? Well, I opened the book and began to read. I learned that fights are common but shouldn't be accepted because there are definite ways kids can work together to create a happier home. This brother/sister trio offers us Biblical truths, humorous stories, and self-evaluations to help identify problems; then they offer creative solutions that have worked for them. Their dad illustrated the book with hilarious cartoons. My favorite one depicts the way their family found "immediate harmony" on long car rides by building iron bars to separate the two children in the back seat! Applying the important principles clearly covered in this book can help replace constant arguing with peaceful friendships among siblings and bring us closer to a home sweet home!
-Yolanda

272 pages / soft cover

Mommy Diagnostics
by Shonda Parker
A review by Karen

One traditional domestic art is that of maintaining an herb garden. When herbs grow close to the kitchen door roast turkey can conveniently be dressed with the fresh leaves of parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. In colonial days the herb garden was also relied upon for overall health. Today, modern mothers desiring to put the power of good health back into their hands, are looking to herbal remedies. Mommy Diagnostic is a guide to herbs, whole foods rich in vitamins and a lifestyle that supports good health. The author, Shonda Parker provides remedies for a variety of ailments but her philosophy does not disallow calling upon traditional western medicine when needed. She helps us to understand the messages our bodies send rather than be frightened by them. Herbs aren’t just for flavor or aroma but can soothe a tummy ache, a fever, an ear infection, the sniffles, bee stings, etc. Therefore please consider making the pages of Mommy Diagnostic part of your Mother Culture.
-Karen

Sarah Ban Breathnach’s
"Mrs. Sharp’s Traditions:
Reviving Victorian Family Celebrations of Comfort & Joy"

A review by Karen Andreola

Mrs. Sharp's Traditions
Mrs. Sharp's Traditions: Reviving Victorian Family Celebrations of Comfort & Joy
Sarah Ban Breathnach / Simon & Schuster Trade Sales / 2001
Many will be happy to know that Mrs. Sharp’s is BACK IN PRINT!
Some time ago the author asked herself: “Why is it that some families seem so happy together? How can I create a beautiful, nurturing, home environment? Are there customs that I can incorporate into our lives? While browsing in an antique shop she unexpectedly found the answer. She said, “I came across a score of Victorian women’s and children’s magazine for sale. I must have stood there rooted to the floor for over an hour devouring [each article] . . . I was transported back to the Victorian era when life seemed so ordered, so serene and so blissful and so completely unlike my own. . . . I walked out of the shop with the entire lot of magazines.”
In Victorian society a mother’s efforts in the home were strongly supported. There was an astonishing array of domestic manuals and periodicals offering advice to the mother raising the handful of young children who hung on her apron strings. Today, despite the roar of the feminist agenda, women are returning to the home. Mrs. Sharp wishes to offer her support. Chapter by chapter she entertains and uplifts us with a nostalgic glimpse of the joys of Victorian home life. At first glance the book seems to be mostly a lot of “fluff.” Gorgeous full color Victorian artistry adorns its pages. Sentimental poetry, photographs from the 1890s, and holiday recipes are sprinkled through out. Yet, amidst the lavish billows of Victorian fluff Mrs. Sharp restores a needed sense of feminine dignity to the role of the mother at home. I think it’s lovely. First chapters are Ceremonials for Common Days, Harmony at Home, Mealtimes, Bath and Bedtime Rituals, Sundays with Children. The largest section of the book is titled The Joy and Comfort of Seasonal Pastimes I agree with the author that “In these high-tech times, the American family is constantly assaulted by the daily demands and stresses of hectic living. Old-fashioned pastimes, celebrations, and traditions revived for today are just the reassuring tonic we all need.”

Prayers for Children: A Little Golden Book
A review by Karen Andreola

Prayers For Children
Prayers for Children
Golden Books Publishing / 1999
When Dean and I were first married we lived on a budget that was so tight we could barely breath. The budget remained that way for some years, especially after we had our first two children. One of the only things purchased for the children in between birthdays and Christmas were some Little Golden Books found at the grocery store. I always looked for the older titles and ones illustrated by Eloise Wilkin. I read aloud from our accumulated set of stories over and over again. One of my favorites is Prayers for Children. It is a beautiful book with gracious sentiment and honor toward the Heavenly Father. Sadly most of the older sweet books illustrated by Eloise Wilkin are out-of-print. This one isn’t but get yours before it does!
Preschool – 2nd Grade.

Raising Maidens of Virtue
by Stacey Macdonald
A review by Sophia Andreola

Raising Maidens of Virtue
Raising Maidens of Virtue
Books On The Path / Hardcover
"Just what is a maiden?" author Stacey Macdonald asks. "When we hear the word, do we picture a medieval princess strumming a lute in some fantastical castle?" Every baby girl born today has the potential to grow up into a lovely young maiden serving God and her family with a sweet smile and modest spirit. Sadly this is not what is promoted in today's liberal culture. Sadder still is that some of the most challenging peer pressure a young maiden faces may be found in her own church. I remember how it felt to be ignored by other girls at church because I wasn't "cool" like they were. I would have found Raising Maidens of Virtue an affirmation of what my parents were already teaching me out of my mom's special edition of Beautiful Girlhood. Therefore, if you mom, or the girls you would like to teach, are new to the concepts of biblical femininity I suggest you start with Beautiful Girlhood and then add Raising Maidens of Virtue to your library. The book includes colorful illustrations created by a homeschooled young lady who lives what she paints!
-Sophia

Dad's note: Although this book may seem extreme in its instruction for the protection of our girls, that's okay! Remember that the world is extreme in its efforts to undermine and compromise the godly purity of Christian girls. A battle is raging. Apply what principles you can and you will be light years ahead of the lax standards that are now to be found in even the most respectable evangelical circles.
-Dean

Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes in You and Your Kids!
by Scott Turansky, Joanne Miller
A review by Dean Andreola

Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes in You and Your Kids!
Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes in You and Your Kids!
Scott Turansky, Joanne Miller / Random House, Inc / Paperback / 2000
Wow, the title packs a wallop, and the book delivers it! In a way it reminds me of a touching scene in the old film Our Town where the teenage son forgets to do his chores. When father comes home from work, he has a heart to heart with his son, focusing on the disrespect the boy has shone toward his hard working mother who had to do the work in his place. This startling knowledge (of how he had dishonored his mother) was enough to bring the big teen to tears. My how times have changed! Now it's our turn to re-introduce the old fashioned and Biblical notion of honor back into our families. Say Goodbye to Whining teaches you how to overcome all forms of selfishness, build character & foster obedience in your children. The goal is to restore a peaceful home atmosphere as family members learn to honor one another in love and self-control. Family activities outlined in the back of the book will help you put your newly learned honor-based parenting skills into practice! Highly recommended! --Dean

Sleeping Beauty and the Five Questions: A Parable about the Hearts of Fathers and Daughters on CD
Doug Phillipsby
A review by Dean Andreola

Sleeping Beauty and the Five Questions
Sleeping Beauty and the Five Questions
The Vision Forum, Inc / CD / 2004
This is the finest message I have ever heard on what it means to be a loving father and vigilant protector of our daughters. Recorded live at a father/daughter conference, Doug Phillips begins with a touching parable of a great king and his beloved young daughter. As the years pass, however, the king is called away to fight many battles, while slowly losing the battle for his maturing daughter's heart. Searching for love and meaning in her life, the princess receives poor counsel from many well-wishers. Falling into a deep sleep she can no longer hear the pleas of her father, and wanders into a dangerous land! Every father needs to find out what happened to this king and his daughter, because in many ways it is happening in our own homes and churches! The second part of the message offers clear biblical guidelines on the father / daughter relationship. A total of 65 minutes that can save your girls and change your life!
- Dean

Stepping Heavenward
by Elizabeth Prentiss
A review by Sophia Andreola

Stepping Heavenward
Stepping Heavenward
Elizabeth Prentiss / Barbour Publishing / 1998
My Mother and I read Stepping Heavenward together several years ago. I enjoyed the story so much I reread it. This time I saw that behind the story are the struggles of a girl striving for godliness.
The book is written in diary form. It begins on Katherine’s sixteenth birthday. On that day she means to get up early but seeing how cold the morning looks stays cozily in bed thinking of all her good resolutions. She wants to please her mother and conquer her hasty temper. Yet she finds herself failing her resolutions one by one throughout the day. That evening her mother calls her aside and talks to her about her stubborn ways. Katherine flees to her room filled with frustration at her poor character. As the months pass we read of her attempts at becoming a pleasant and helpful daughter. Her struggles are worthwhile. She learns more and more that she must lean on God for her strength and patience and to seek His will, not her own. Years later she writes of the difficulties involved with being an obedient wife and loving mother.
I’m sure most of us can associate with at least some of Katherine’s struggles. I appreciate how honest she is in her diary. It is the author’s way of sharing with us a how humbling a walk with God is.
-Sophia

So Much More: The Remarkable Influence of Visionary Daughters on the Kingdom of God
by Anna Sofia, Elizabeth Botkin
A review by Karen Andreola

So Much More
So Much More: The Remarkable Influence of Visionary Daughters on the Kingdom of God
Anna Sofia, Elizabeth Botkin / The Vision Forum, Inc / Hardcover / 2005
Many will think this book is a little "over the top." Perhaps it is. I like it anyway.
When it comes to daughters understanding how they can, "rise above their God-hating culture and change it for the better," this book points the way with boldness. Its refreshingly straightforward opinions are based on the Biblical ideal.
The authors admit that this isn't the typical Christian survival guide on "how to be swept into a horrendously perverse culture while still hanging on to the teeny little shred of purity that the world allows you to have." Rather, it makes more bold comparisons of our present culture's opinions with that of the Bible.
Dean and I had to sift out worldly philosophy when it came to decisions concerning our own daughters. Once they became young women new questions arose. This book addresses the nitty-gritty questions on being a girl who honors her parents, is protected by her father, ministers to others, and is allowed to long for and anticipate being a wife, a mother, a homemaker -- a woman who ministers within her family. Besides the Botkin sisters, fourteen other girls share their personal transition from worldly thinking to a Biblically inspired womanhood.

Some nitty-gritty questions:

How do I love and honor my father and learn the principles of being a helpmeet?
Have there ever been any women who found complete "liberation" from men?
What are the different roles God gave to men and women?
I would love to get married and have children but isn't wrong to think about it too much?
How can I make courtship a possibility for my life when it is such a new concept to me?
In what ways can a woman be strong without being masculine?
How should a godly "protected" woman dress?
Where did the "outside the home" careerism concept come from?
How does being in our homes count as ministry? What about going away to college?

--Karen

Tasha Tudor Cookbook
A review by Karen Andreola

The Tasha Tudor Cookbook
Tasha Tudor Cookbook
Tasha Tudor / Aol Time Warner Book Group / 1993
A Very Pretty Cookbook

My daughters each received a copy of The Tasha Tudor Cookbook - a gift for their “Someday Boxes.” Tasha is New England’s beloved children’s book illustrator. Her traditional recipes recall an old-fashioned, country New England lifestyle. There are summery picnic salads, hearty winter soups, and special breakfast baking of cornbread; blueberry coffee cake; and butterscotch rolls. I made the butterscotch rolls (sticky buns) for my company visiting from England because they were curious about this American treat. Cranberry sauce is purely American, too. Tasha uses fresh cranberries and serves it from a jellymold. Baked beans are slow cooked for eight hours for that unsurpassed flavor. Yorkshire pudding is cooked in the roasting pan right in the drippings after the roast beef is removed for carving. Mashed potatoes are made with a “goodly chunk of cream cheese.” Tasha uses fresh herbs from her Vermont garden for her main dishes. Holiday recipes are illustrated with the water-color paintings for which she is best known. Whenever I open my copy (signed by the author) enthusiasm for cooking is renewed. I can use a dose of enthusiasm from time to time. How about you?
The Tasha Tudor Cookbook 80 recipes, color illus, hardcover, 120 pgs)
Little Brown
ISBN: 0-316-85531-6
-Karen


The Encyclopedia of Country Living
A review by Karen Andreola

The Encyclopedia of Country Living
The Encyclopedia of Country Living
Carla Emery / Sasquatch Books / 2003
Are you thinking about moving to the country? Many homeschool families, brought up in urban or suburban neighborhoods, have braved the unknown and have given it a try. Perhaps these families wanted privacy to homeschool “outdoors” on occasion. Maybe they wanted a sizable garden plot for their sizable families, space to grow fruit trees, or keep a dozen hens for fresh eggs. A goat for milk is a pet that pays for itself. There certainly is not less work to do in the country. Your children will have to do more than empty out the dishwasher. And they will get rather messy doing it. But the challenge of country living is one that whole bunches of city-folk have taken up. They’ve had so much to learn and have found a wealth of practical advice in The Encyclopedia of Country Living. Here they’ve learned how to buy land, can peaches, milk a goat, build a chicken coop, cook on a wood stove, butcher a turkey, keep honey bees, cope with weeds, raise rabbits, sell surplus herbs and strawberries, and much more.

The Hidden Art of Homemaking
By Edith Schaeffer
A review by Sophia Andreola

The Hidden Art of Homemaking
The Hidden Art of Homemaking
Edith Schaeffer / Tyndale House / 1985
Edith Schaeffer helps us climb out of the doldrums. She encourages wives, mothers, as well as single women to express themselves creatively. There is an art to creating a pleasant home atmosphere. In the rush and clamor of today’s fast paced society it is easy to forget the immense importance of the art of homemaking. Mrs. Schaeffer reminds us that we are made in the image of God the Creator. The marks of the Christian personality are love, moral sensitivity and also an increased sense of beauty, and creativity. Even little things such as setting the table in an attractive way and arranging fresh flowers can have a positive effect on those we live with. To enhance our daily lives she shows us how to explore more deeply (yet inexpensively) into music, interior decorating, gardening, food, painting, drama, writing - prose and poetry, to make wherever God has us, a lovely place.

When God Writes Your Love Story
by Eric and Leslie Ludey.
A review by Yolanda and Sophia Andreola

When God Writes Your Love Story
When God Writes Your Love Story
Eric & Leslie Ludy / Multnomah Publishers Inc. / 2004
“Are you sure you’ll be safe out there, girls?” called out our concerned mother. This was our first summer living in the back woods of Maine and she wasn’t used to the idea of her girls sleeping with only a flimsy tent separating us from the wild outdoors.
“I’m sure we’ll be fine,” I hollered back from behind the stack of pillows and blankets I was carrying.
“Yes, we’ll be fine Mom. Don’t worry,” Sophia reinforced, not mentioning the skunk that she had nearly bumped into while setting up the tent. Somehow we organized all our camping equipment in that tiny tent (sleeping bags, radio, photos of our long-distance friends, food and one book - a book given to Sophia by a good friend. Beginning with the first chapter, we took turns reading aloud. Although Sophia had read books on courtship before, she enjoyed the encouragement and humor of When God Writes Your Love Story. This was my first time reading a book on God-centered relationships. When the last page was read and we turned off the flashlight, we both knew that we wanted God to write our love story. We wanted to trust Him and wait faithfully. A coyote howled off in the distance and misquotes hummed (outside and inside the tent) as we fell peacefully asleep.
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Homeschool Highlights provides homeschooling resources for home schooling parents and students. This site is hosted by Dean and Karen Andreola, noted authors who brought to light the works of Charlotte Mason. They also review "living books" and homeschool curriculum materials for Rainbow Resource Center.

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