Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My Home School Grades Record Keeping and Transcript Online System

I enjoy homeschooling my children but I don't really enjoy the logging and record keeping process. I know the record keeping process will only increase when my oldest hits high school. The idea of making a transcript is also a little bit overwhelming. However, thanks to a new online program I've recently reviewed via Mosaic Reviews most of my record keeping worries are over. I would like to share with you

My Home School Grades

800-516-9USA (9872)

Facebook /MyHomeSchoolGrades

My Home School Grades is a new online recording resource for recording homeschool grades, activities, and achievements as well as generating transcripts. The user has the ability to select the textbook or resource used and this will show up with the course title and information on the summary or transcript. Users can also request a curriculum be added to the choices already available. Grades for  student work are entered and the program does all the computation. Within each course it is possible to keep separate records and grades for multiple components. As an example a science course could have individual grades for daily work, lab reports, and tests. Each of these can  be weighted in determining the final grade for a class.

So What sets My Home School Grades apart from all the other programs available?
  • The system is simple - it doesn't take a long time to learn how to use it
  • It is easy to customize for your situation and resources you use
  • MHSG does a lot for the user - the system calculates grades or percentages based on your choices and data
  • Can be used on any platform - computer, tablet, phone- ensuring you have access to your information anywhere
  • Customizable for your states unique reporting requirements 
  • Choice of grading scale used
  • Not only can you record information as work is planned and created, but it is also possible to go back to record classes completed in earlier years

 In addition to class and grade information, records can be kept for activities students participate in. Honors and rewards can also be noted and included in a short narrative. Photos and documents can also be uploaded and included in a students portfolio.

Now that you know a little bit about My Home School Grades I would like to share with you some information about how it came to be.  My Home School Grades was started in December 2012 by a homeschooling family because they couldn't find a record keeping program that they liked and worked for them. They wanted something that could be used anywhere and was easy to use yet would do many things. They also wanted it to be simple enough to use without lots of training or time spent learning how to use it. Not only is My Home School Grades designed by homeschoolers, the programmer behind it is a 20 year old homeschool graduate who taught himself to program.

My Homeschool Grades also has unique customer support. There are short, aproximately 5 minutes or less, videos which explain all of the features of My Homeschool Grades. Telephone support is also available directly from the creator of My Home School Grades.

So what does all of this record keeping help cost? A subscription to MHSG is $49.99. This is for a lifetime subscription for a family. Meaning you purchase it once and use it for any number of children for all the years you home educate. It also means any updates and upgrades are available at no additional cost. Visit My Home School Grades to subscribe.  You can try My Home School Grades for two weeks free at the same link.

My Thoughts

I can't begin to tell you how great My Home School Grades is. It is simple to use and customize and doesn't have a steep learning curve. I didn't watch the videos before I started adding information but found it was very easy to put in my children and add their course information, grades, and activities. Generating a transcript is also easy. At any time you hit a button and PRESTO! a transcript is generated and ready to be printed.

I am looking forward to being able to record information in manner required by my state. As I am required to keep records of the length of time spent on each subject, I hope there will be a way to record that.

My Home School Grades has built a reporting/ recording program that is as flexible as homeschooling itself. There are so many options for recording information it is easy to keep a detailed record of a students academic work and make it as unique as the student.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Waterproof Bible

 bardin and marsee publishing

Waterproof Bible

When I learned I would be reviewing a waterproof Bible I was intrigued. The only type of waterproof book I am familiar with are those designed for toddlers to use in the bath tub featuring big fluffy pages encased in plastic. I figured that was not the format of the waterproof Bible, so I really didn't know what to expect. When I received the copy pictured to the right for review I was delighted to find out it was no different in appearance from other books or Bibles.

The Waterproof Bible is the result of two friends who enjoyed spending time outside in God's creation and wanted to take their  Bibles along on outdoor adventures and activities, but hesitated for fear of damaging them. The first result of an element proof Bible was a 6 volume NASB Bible which folded like a map. However, this didn't prove to be very popular due to all the folding required, so other possibilities were explored. Then in 2008 the Waterproof Bible brand was launched with the bound editions now available.

For the purpose of this review I was given a complimentary copy of the Waterproof Bible ESV New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs. It is compact measuring 7 by 4 1/2 and approximately 3/4 inch thick. The pages are sewn together and then the whole spine is glued. This results in a sturdy, yet lightweight Bible unaffected by many substances which normally would mean the end to a book.Also all of their new Bible products float. This Bible very easily fits in a pocket or bag.

I did not try it, but the company says dry highlighters (those developed for Bible marking) work well on the pages with no adverse results. Ball point pens work well also. They do not recommend gel or liquid pens or highlighters. My test results are below.

The Waterproof Bible allows you to take Scripture anywhere.

The Waterproof Bible is available in 5 Translations. KJV, NIV, ESV, NKJV, and NLT.  Each version is available in both the full Bible as well as New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs. There is also a choice of three different cover designs as well. The full Bible is $44.95 and the New Testament is $24.95. Personalization is also available.  Visit Bardin & Marsee Publishing to purchase.

Bardin & Marsee Publishing
438 Carr Ave. Ste 12
Birmingham, AL 35209


The Bible is indeed waterproof. My daughter decided she would be the one to test it for me and so she put it under the shower. The water rolled off and the print was readable even while wet. Due to the amount of water on the Bible I decided to wipe it off and not just let it air dry. It wiped off easily, but took quite a bit of time to dry totally.  While the pages are not porous, it appeared that water would continue to wick to the page edges, even when the surface felt  dry. After wiping off much of the water, I just stood the Bible on end, fanned the pages and let it air dry. It took several hours to dry this way, but was none the worse for wear.

As a former church worker and married to a Pastor I know one of the duties is hospital and shut in visitation. On these occasions the church worker wants to take precautions to avoid  catching germs and carrying them home or to someone else and one of the best ways to do this is wash hands or use hand sanitizer. However, the Bible used during visitation can't be washed or sanitized without damaging it. So with this in mind I decided to try hand sanitizer on my Bible. I rubbed some on the back cover as if I was putting on my skin. I am happy to report there was no apparent damage to the cover or page edges. Thus, I would be comfortable in using sanitizer on the Bible to cut down on spreading germs.

Blood also comes off the pages. We smeared a small sample of blood on a page, let it dry and wiped it off with a damp tissue. It came off totally and it was impossible to tell where it had been.

As noted above, The Waterproof Bible is available in several translations, including the 2011 NIV (which is owned by Zondervan). This new NIV version makes translation choices, including readability over concept-equivalent word use to the Greek and Hebrew, gender references, and other word choices that reflect a Calvinist/Arminian tradition. These choices have resulted in my denomination, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, ceasing to use the NIV. That is why I was glad to have the ESV by Crossway, which my church body uses in its worship and Bible study materials.

The notes are a smaller type and therefore more difficult to read. This was not as important to me as it really isn't a study Bible as much as a devotional Bible. If  preparing a Bible Study or teaching I would use another resource with larger notes, but the size of the footnotes is fine for devotional reading.  Overall the print is easy on the eyes.

 Other things I like about the Waterproof Bible
  • The font used for the text and headings is very easy to read.
  • The pages are very white and thus provide a great contrast with the black print. There is very little bleed through of text from one side to another.
  • You can mark the text in pencil, and it doesn't show through. It erases cleanly as well.
  • Post it notes stick to the pages and come off without taking ink with them.  

 In general, I really like this Bible. It is sturdy and well made. I think it would also be great to use around young children who want to share the same book as Mom or Dad. This waterproof Bible would also be great to take along on youth events. I probably would not intentionally expose it to moisture, the waterproof, stain proof format is great for those what if occasions.