Category Archives: Schoolhouse Review Crew Membership

At Home In Dogwood Mudhole Volume one: Nothing That Eats . . . A T.O.S Review

Well, and isn’t that a mouthful of a title, LOL! However, the title of this book was precisely what intrigued me enough to want to read it when it was offered for review to those of us who are members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, so I was very happy to be chosen as one of the reviewers!

I am going to admit to you, my readers, right here and now, that I have been totally dragging my feet when it came to writing up this review. You see, getting it written up would mean getting it posted and linked to the crew blog, and I really, really don’t want to. Why? Because, this is my very last review product from the crew for the year 2013, and while I HAVE applied to remain on the crew for the year 2014, I am truly going to miss doing this in the interim! I will be writing a post about my time on the crew very soon. πŸ™‚ But, I digress . . .

Back to “At Home In Dogwood Mudhole Volume One: Nothing That Eats“, written and published by Franklin Sanders from At Home in Dogwood Mudhole, which is quite a read! As I said, the title alone made me want to check it out!

This is a BIG book, coming in at 379 pages. It is not a novel, and I knew this from the description, but rather a collection of letters written by Franklin Sanders . . .

which were then published in his monthly newsletter, The Moneychanger over a period of 17 years.

In this, the first of three volumes to be published, Mr. Sanders tells us, in a series of letters about, well, his life, and that of his family. We read about their several moves closer and closer to being where they can live off the land, and how, when they get there, his wife’s consistant admonishments that they bring home “nothing that eats” end up being quite useless, as he and the children do, in fact, keep adding to the collection of farm animals and pets.

The family winds up in a place called Dogwood Mudhole, Tennessee, which, as I discovered in the book, is a real place, not just the name of their farm, which is what I had thought before reading the book. It all began with the desire of Franklin and his wife Susan’s desire to “go back to the land” when the Y2K scare was looming. I happen to be part of the generation that remembers when that non-event happened, and how my own mother was so worried about it that she filled her tub and all the sinks with water just in case all of the utilities went dead at midnight on December 31, 1999. Of course, that did not happen, but I guess I understand the concern a lot of people had, after all, we had never lived through the changing from one century to another before!

As I said before, this book is a collection of letters, written and published in Franklin Sanders newsletter The Moneychanger, so it really is more of a picture of the life of himself and his family written as it happened, rather than as a recollection or memoir would be.

I got a very interesting (and different!) picture of southern history, as Franklin Sanders is very much a history buff when it comes to the Confederacy. For myself, as the adoptive mother of biracial children, the enthusiasm for the Confederacy made me uncomfortable.

Franklin Sanders is unabashedly Christian, and makes no bones about it, however, his troubles with the IRS and jail time as a result, bothered me. As a Christian, I believe the Lord says we must obey the laws, unless the laws DEFINITELY go against God’s laws. I’m not so sure that the issue of whether or not one must collect tax when selling gold or silver should be considered to go against God’s laws. I think Mr. Sanders is right when he says that the constitution declares gold and silver to be money, and therefore you should not have to collect taxes when exchanging money (gold or silver) for money (paper), however, I think that by God’s law, he would have showed a better testimony to follow the law and then protest it afterwards.

At Home In Dogwood Mudhole Volume One: Nothing That Eats” is a very good read, if you are not expecting something to read like a novel. It doesn’t. One of the things I actually enjoy about it is that because of the way it is written, as a series of letters written as they happened, this is a book that you can pick up and read whenever you have a free moment or two. I do like having books like that around, as frequently, my reading time comes in unexpected little patches of time these days! πŸ™‚

There is even a “no-risk” guarantee offered on the website:

No Risk Guarantee

If you don’t laugh, cry, gasp, hug your spouse or jump up and down, we’ll refund your money and you can keep the book to use as a door stop.”

I thought the guarantee was just hilarious, myself, having never read one quite like it!

At Home In Dogwood Mudhole Volume One: Nothing That Eats” is available here. The oversized paperback costs $22.95, and is also available in pdf, Kindle and ePUB versions for $ 16.95.

To read what other Schoolhouse Review Crew Members thought of the book “At Home In
Dogwood Mudhole Volume One: Nothing That Eats
, please click the graphic below!
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As always, I would love it if you would join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”! Just go to the top of the page and enter your email information into the “sign me up” button. Also, please, do go to our Facebook page here and click on the “Like” button! I’d surely appreciate it, and you will never miss an update again! πŸ™‚

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Filed under At Home In Dogwood Mudhole Volume One: Nothing That Eats, Christian faith, Franklin Sanders, Schoolhouse Review Crew Membership, Schoolhouse Review Crew Post, TOS Post, TOS Review, Ultimate Blog Challenge 2013

Weekly Wrap-Up . . . A new Series For us

I have been following the blog “Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers for some time, ever since I stumbled upon it a while back. This blogger turned me on to a weekly link up called “Weekly Wrap-Up”, which I’ve decided to take part in, beginning now.

So, here is how OUR week has gone . . .

Sunday evening, our church‘s Sunshine Kids Choir performed the special music during service. My younger two boys, “Mr. Loquacious” and “The Puzzler” are members of the choir, and also had lines in the skit this time!

On Monday night, I got to go to a Mom’s Night Out with other moms from our church. This is important to me. As a homeschooling mom, most of my time is spent primarily with my children, so it’s really nice to have that monthly night out, just for a couple of hours to eat dinner and sit and talk with other moms. We had a great time! πŸ™‚

Tuesday night, I went to Ladies Bible Study, held at our church, We are studying the book ” Changed Into His Image: God’s Plan For Transforming Your Life” by Jim Berg. This study is very deep, and is really affecting all of us who are working through it! We are taking it very slowly, it may take us three or four sessions to complete it. Our current session will end the beginning of December, and the next one will start probably sometime in January.

Meanwhile, this week the boys and I worked on some Schoolhouse Review Crew products.

We worked on VocabularySpellingCity.com, we worked on a couple of upcoming review products, including a set of books called “If You Were Me And Lived In . . .”, an Apologia product, “Exploring Creation Through Chemistry and Physics”, and “French essentials”

In addition, “The Artist” has spent time each day adding to the story he is writing on the computer, “The Batman” has spent considerable time immersed in his “Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego” computer game, and the twins have been working on learning their song for the next time the Sunshine Kids Choir performs. Also, “The Artist” has a part in the upcoming Christmas drama which will be put on by our teens at our church, so he has been practicing hard on his scene, since he has to go to play practice beginning this Saturday.

Thursday, we went to homeschool parkday with a group of homeschoolers here in our area. Thursdays have now become definite slowcooker days, which will be even more essential in a few weeks when “The Batman”, “The Artist” and I begin piano lessons again, finally. Which reminds me, we got a nice piano bench to use with our keyboard this week from a fellow freecycler!

I would once again encourage you, no matter what part of the country you live in, to check out and participate in your local freecycle group! It helps keep things out of landfills, it allows you to bless others with things you no longer need or want, and you can get things (for free) that others no longer need or want, but which are still perfectly good!

I received an order for hand-crafted Christmas cards from my wonderful hairstylist, and I’ve also been planning my ministry cards for this week.

So, it’s been a full week! I wonder what next week will bring! πŸ™‚

If you’d like to join the “Weekly-Wrap Up” postings, check out the guidelines here. I hope to see you there! πŸ™‚

As always, I would love to have you join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”. Please enter your email information into the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog, and please, go to our Facebook page here and “Like” it. Never miss another update! πŸ™‚

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Filed under education, family, home education, Homeschool Park Day, homeschool products, Kids, Mesa Baptist Church, Mom's Night Out, Schoolhouse Review Crew Membership, Ultimate Blog Challenge 2013, VocabularySpellingCity, Weekly Wrap-Up

Homeschooling? Want to “Try Before You Buy?”

I am coming to the end of my very first year as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew team, and I have loved every second of it! It has been very interesting, being allowed to thoroughly test out all kinds of educational things with my children, as well as a few things that we were given to review that were just for us moms! My boys, “The Batman”, “The Artist”, “Mr. Loquacious” and “The Puzzler” have enjoyed this past year as well (mostly, anyway!), and have been able to give a good deal of their own input as to what was good, or not so good, about different products. Even my husband got into the act a couple of times, like when we reviewed a math program with “The Artist” which they both liked enough that my husband had me go ahead and purchase the rest of the grades we would need!

Why am I telling you this now? Well, I’m SO glad you asked that question!

The Schoolhouse Review Crew will be taking applications for the 2014 Review year from October 24 – November 8!

Are you a homeschool blogger?
Are you a curriculum junkie?
Do you enjoy writing reviews?


Then you might be perfect for the Crew! 



Some requirements for being a part of the Crew include the following: 

  • First of all you must be a homeschool mom or dad. You don’t have to homeschool all of your children, but you must homeschool at least one. 
  • You must be willing to use the review products for about six weeks in your homeschool, before writing your review. Review periods have deadlines and requirements for the reviews. You must be willing to follow these requirements. No, that doesn’t mean you must write a positive review. But it does mean that there are certain elements that are required. And the deadlines are firm. If you are often late for deadlines, the Crew is probably not for you. 
  • You must have a blog on which to publish your reviews, and be sure you have an active blog with a following. By active blog, I mean that you should be blogging regularly, at least weekly, about your family and homeschool (in addition to your reviews). Your blog should have followers β€” RSS feed or email subscribers, as well as in social media. The Crew does not accept brand new bloggers who just set up their blogs for the purposes of applying to the team. 
  • Are you using social media to promote your blog? Activity on at least one social media platform is a requirement to serve on the Crew. Which one is up to you β€” Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Google Plus are the options. You will need to be willing to promote your reviews there and post a widget or plug-in publicly on your blog, indicating how many followers you have in social media. 
  • You must be willing to check into the Crew’s Review Management forum. This is where information is disseminated to the team. The leadership does everything possible to make things easy for us, outside of writing the actual review, but you need to be willing to participate by checking in almost daily. 
  • Sample reviews are helpful. If you’ve never written a review on your blog, go ahead and write one for curriculum you are currently using in your homeschool. This will help the leaders see how you approach writing reviews. 

Why should you want to be a part?

Our Crew of over 250 review bloggers has been serving the homeschool community for more than 5 years. As a respected review team, we take this job very seriously and will insist you do as well. The leadership provides an incredible amount of assistance to help us be the best bloggers, homeschool parents, and of course, reviewers we can be. They provide a mentoring program for new members, a social media networking group, many blog and social media tutorials, and lots of incredible opportunities for our team, including blog carnivals, the opportunity to guest post on the Crew blog, and the blessing of some incredible friendships.

Click here to read about how being on the Crew has specifically blessed ten different families, including mine! You will see each of our perspectives on being a crew member, and perhaps something that one of us has said will strike a chord for you! After reading what we have to say, consider applying to join us, I think it’s a huge blessing, and maybe it will be for you, too! πŸ™‚

How can you apply? 
After making sure you meet all of the requirements, if you believe you would to an asset to the Schoolhouse Review Crew and wish to join us, please click over to the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to apply.

Come be a part of The Old Schoolhouse family!

I hope to see you join us for the 2014 year with the Crew!

As always, I would love it if you joined me on all of “my Journeys Through Life”! Just enter your email information into the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog, and please, go “like” my Facebook fan page, too! πŸ™‚

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Filed under education, family, Foreign language homeschooling, homeschool products, homeschooling, Schoolhouse Review Crew Membership, Schoolhouse Review Crew Post, TOS Post