Review: Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit

Manhood Journey Father's Starter KitWe firmly believe in training up children in the admonition of the Lord. We’re constantly on the lookout for resources and materials which help us accomplish this. So when we were offered Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit for review by Manhood Journey & City on a Hill Studio, you can imagine we were pretty excited to get started.

Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit is a six-week small group father-son Bible study covering the topic of Biblical Manhood. The kit comes with everything needed to start the journey: A stack of “Maprochures”, a group discussion guide, a one-on-one discussion guide for fathers and sons to explore together, and a DVD with introductory videos for all six modules. The kit also came with a bonus free copy of Wise Guys: Unlocking Hidden Wisdom from the Men Around You.

For our review, our family was mailed a Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit to explore. When the kit arrived, my son and I started his journey by perusing a ‘Maprochure’ and watching the introductory video on the DVD. While the remainder of the study was done by my husband and son alone, I was drafted to layout how the program works and give my husband a quick rundown of the journey. Once accomplished, the guys set out to enjoy the adventure.

Manhood Journey Fathers Starter Kit2

My husband and son decided to use the Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit as a bedtime devotional over the course of our five-week review. At the start of each week, they would watch the introductory video and read from the group discussion guide. During the remainder of the week, a section of the one-on-one discussion guide was covered before bed.

While my husband and son were able to use the starter kit as a nightly devotion, they both mentioned it would have been more fun doing this in a group setting. Unfortunately, my husband’s schedule being what it is, that was not an option. In the future, they would like to go back and do this with a group of guys from our homeschool group. Not doing the Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit in a group setting is possible, and done by my guys quite well, however the materials lean in that direction and lend itself to greater possibility in such a setting. Something to keep in mind!

The materials in the Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit, themselves, were of good quality. My son enjoyed the ‘Maprochure’, viewing the journey and what lies ahead. The group discussion guide and DVD were easy to follow, well laid out, and brief. However, the one-on-one guide proved a little more challenging for my guys. Unfortunately, my husband struggled with understanding which portions were for himself alone and which he was to share with our son. Thus, little man listened to a fair portion of the guide which was meant Manhood Journey Fathers Starter Kit3for my husband, but no harm done.

Overall, my husband found the Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit to be well-paced for young boys and their fathers. The lessons were brief and fit for young learners. Before moving on to a future study, I believe they will attempt to go through the materials once again. This time in a group setting. Here’s praying the Lord brings it all together in His timing.

If you’d like to learn more about Manhood Journey & City on a Hill Studio, in addition to Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit, please visit them at their website. You can also find Manhood Journey on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to look up City on a Hill on Facebook and Twitter as well!

To read helpful reviews like this one, and gain more insight into what the Manhood Journey   Father’s Starter Kit has to offer, please visit The Homeschool Review Crew!

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Your Turn!: Does your husband have a specific Bible study he’s working through with the kids?

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Review: Home School Adventure Co., Creative Freewriting Adventure

Review: Home School Adventure Co., Creative Freewriting AdventureCreative writing is an active portion of our learning routine. Blank paper, pens, and books of any kind are an addiction. So, you can imagine, when we had the opportunity to review Home School Adventure Co.‘s Creative Freewriting Adventure, which also includes Creative Freewriting Adventure Coloring Book Editionwe were just a tad bit excited to get started.

Home School Adventure Co. was founded several years ago by a homeschool mom whose passion is to help children think, speak and write well. Their goal is to give children a better understanding of a Biblical worldview so they may be able to go forth into the world with a ready defense of the truth. Creative Freewriting Adventure, in particular, takes children on a journey exploring historical philosophers including Thales and Pythagoras, and use their imaginations on several writing adventures.

For our review, our family was given a PDF download of Creative Freewriting Adventure, which also includes Creative Freewriting Adventure Coloring Book Edition. These books are essentially the same, with the added element of a coloring page for each selection. While we did not make use of the coloring pages themselves during creative writing sessions, we do plan to go back and use them sometime in the near future as a review of what was covered.

While all our children are avid writers, I was particular in handing Creative Freewriting Adventure to my oldest daughter, a high school sophomore. My girl is fond of trying new curriculum and anything relating to creative writing. She was given selections three days a week, after which we would discuss and share ideas on the writing suggestions.

We found Creative Freewriting Adventure very thorough. Each selection included history on the chosen philosopher followed by a brief background on “Your Journey”, establishing the groundwork for your writing assignment. The writing assignment itself included several questions for the student to consider while writing, hinting at directions one might take during the session.

Mom appreciated the historical sections covering each philosopher. I found this interesting and of benefit. The questions posed in the “Your Assignment” portion of each selection were well thought out and helpful. Our daughter enjoyed reading the historical selections as well.

For those looking for a creative writing curriculum, Creative Freewriting Adventure would be of most benefit to children in middle school or higher. While the historical portions of each selection would be acceptable for children in younger grades, most writing assignments might be too structured for littles. Instead, this might be a perfect opportunity to make use of the Creative Freewriting Adventure Coloring Book Edition, having littles orally dictate a loosely based story while using their imaginations to color.

Creative Freewriting Adventure is a well-organized curriculum, encouraging creativity and inspiring further study of philosophy. We look forward to reviewing each selection and making use of the lovely coloring pages included in Creative Freewriting Adventure Coloring Book Edition.

If you’d like to learn more about Home School Adventure Co. and Creative Freewriting Adventureor the Creative Freewriting Adventure Coloring Book Edition, please visit them at their website and on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and YouTube. To read helpful reviews like this one, and gain more insight into what Homeschool Adventure Co. has to offer, please visit The Homeschool Review Crew!

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Your Turn!: How often is creative writing introduced in your learning routine?

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Review: By the Way Book Series, Washington ~ Here We Come!

By the Way Book Series ReviewWe’ve never visited the state of Washington. Have you? For those of us who live too far away or extended vacations aren’t currently an option, we’ve got the next best thing. Our recent review of By the Way Book Series, Washington ~ Here We Come revealed you don’t have to leave home to explore God’s creation and learn about a fabulous US state.

By the Way Book Series is an informative collection of reads sharing fun facts about several US states and encouraging discovery of Biblical truth in everyday life. We had the opportunity to review Washington ~ Here We Come, our son’s first book choice. (Closely followed by Florida’s Treasure Coast ~ Here We Come, which we’ll have to visit soon!)

After perusing our choice of books, we anxiously watched our mailbox for our read to arrive. Our son was excited to receive his package and when it showed was thoroughly impressed with the quality of the book. The illustrations and images are well laid out, with plenty to learn amongst its pages.

Washington ~ Here We Come follows Alex, Lexi, Miss Cindy (their bus driver), and other team members as they discover the state of Washington and the heritage of that region. Together we explore such sights as Washington’s firsts, Olympia National Park, Ruby Beach, Quinault Rain Forest, and more. At each stop, we learn about the flora, fauna, and history of the area.

Our goal was to use Washington ~ Here We Come as our bedtime read, a quiet moment together where we read one-on-one. We started immediately, reading several pages aloud each night. We were not in a hurry to rush through the pages, instead choosing to fully absorb the text and open discussion before moving forward.

Washington ~ Here We Come was a fun read. We enjoyed learning about creatures such as the Banana slug which can reach lengths of up to twelve inches. (Imagine me shivering while my son giggles uproariously.) We read about Sitka trees used to make airplane frames in WWI. Native American history was explored, reminding us forty-two tribes still live in Washington today. As a parent, I truly appreciated By the Way subtly pointing my son to God. Each section spotlights God’s creation, His provision throughout history, and His goodness without losing focus of the immediate lesson.

There was much to cover. So much so, we will more than like be re-reading By the Way several times more before fully absorbing its contents. In fact, we could see how each By the Way adventure could easily be adapted into smaller studies in both science and history, prompting a world of discovery.

If you’d like to learn more about By the Way Book Series, please visit them at their website and on Facebook. To read helpful reviews like this one, and gain more insight into what By the Way Book Series has to offer, please visit The Homeschool Review Crew!

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Your Turn!: Which state would you most be interested in learning about?

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Our February Reads

February Reads (2017)

This was the month of love, and we’re loving us some books. In February, we explored a world of literature and did some learning along the way. Join us as we share our favorite picks of the month.

  1. Armstrong: The Adventurous Journey of a Mouse to the Moon (Torben Kuhlmann) – A long time ago a mouse learned to fly . . . and crossed the Atlantic. But what happened next?…
    I know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. But when the cover is this cute, you just have to pick it up! The pages inside? They only get better. Cute beyond words; this is on my growing ‘wish list’ of books to buy.
  2. Pen Pals (Alexandra Pichard) – An octopus and an ant are paired up to write letters for a school project in this charming picture book.
    Absolutely adorable! My son thought this was the sweetest book and read it multiple times. In honor of our own pen pals, this book was added to our stack and thoroughly enjoyed.
  3. Design Wise (Vern Yip) – Have you ever wondered exactly how high to hang your artwork? How about the light fixture over your dining table? Trusted designer Vern Yip answers these questions, and more, by revealing the right formulas and measurements that can make any room feel just “right.”
    Interior design is a hobby of mine. Perhaps it has to do with my organizational nature; who knows. This book intrigued me, what with all the formulas for amazing rooms, and it didn’t disappoint. Design Wise is a perfect handbook.
  4. See America, A Celebration of Our National Parks & Treasured Sites – Just in time for the 2016 centennial anniversary of the National Parks Service, the Creative Action Network has partnered with the National Parks Conservation Association to revive and re-imagine the historical legacy of WPA travel posters.
    This was another book cover which caught my eye. We enjoyed exploring the pages within and seeing the creativity each poster offered. The artistry and imagination of each illustrator is incredible. Pages include details on the national park listed, which was fun to learn. This is another book added to my ‘wish list’. 
  5. You Will Not Have My Hate (Antoine Leiris) – One night last winter, Antoine Leiris was at home looking after his son while his wife, Hélène, was at a concert with friends… That night Hélène was killed, along with 88 other people, at the Bataclan Theatre.
    A touching read. You Will Not Have My Hate is an honest retelling of one man’s struggle with the murder of his wife, and the aftermath of raising his son in a world which offered him pity. Told in journal form, this was a quick read, but one worth the undertaking.
  6. The Wild Robot (Peter Brown) – When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island. Why is she there? Where did she come from? And, most important, how will she survive in her harsh surroundings?
    I’ll be honest, this book was nothing like I expected. I was anticipating adventure and mystery. Instead, we received a shipwrecked robot’s perspective of nature on the island she is marooned. The story is slow-moving, if you’re looking for action, yet there is so much to gain from this book. For the homeschooler, each chapter offers mini-lessons one could easily adapt to nature studies. 
  7. Pax (Sara Pennypacker) – This is the story of Peter, Pax, and their independent struggles to return to one another against all odds. Told from the alternating viewpoints of Peter and Pax.
    This book came highly recommended. The story is about Peter, a boy, and his pet fox, Pax, who are separated by the boy’s stern father and desperate to find one another again. Parents might wish to read this story before handing it to younger children; death, the violence of war, and other issues are discussed within. Despite the heaviness of several passages, this is a lovely book and one worth reading. 

Plenty of book love going on over here. This month’s list proves you’re never to old to appreciate a great picture book and nature books are making a strong come back.

p.s. If your interested in learning more about the See America Project, give them a look!

Your Turn!: What is your favorite picture book of all time?

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Review: HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study, The Middle Ages

Review: Home School in the WoodsCan you believe we’ve never tried lap booking before? Amazing! Which is why we were incredibly excited to review HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study: The Middle Ages by Home School in the Woods and see what all the buzz is about.

HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study makes learning fun and hands-on. Each project passport comes with just about everything you need to get started on your adventure.

We downloaded a digital copy of The Middle Ages which consists of itineraries for our passport, images to complete all portions of the project, and MP3’s for audio sections of our study. Our Middle Ages adventure began with a digital unboxing of all our goodies. The Middle Ages contains multitudes of activities such as “Scrapbook of Sights”, Lap Booking, Snapshot Moments, Postcards, Timelines, Audio Tours, Music, Hands-On and 3D activities, a newspaper, games, and edible projects.

We usually study history as a family, using Middle Ages was no exception. We decided to complete five of the twenty-five lessons per week, which would finish the project passport in five weeks; coinciding with our established routine. Each day we progressed through Middle Ages PostcardsMiddle Ages itineraries, excitedly completing the fun hands-on activities such as making our own rosewater and sugar-cube castles. We read postcards from famous historical people. Every day we added more sections to our lap books.

We found the lap book involved a large quantity of printing, cutting, and assembly. This was not an issue with our three older children (ages 12 and up). However, younger children might need assistance with cutting and completing certain portions of the lap book. The lessons included are fitting for students of any age.

Progressing through Middle Ages was simple, straightforward, and fun. The children looked forward to our daily lessons, and enjoyed the many activities included in the project passport. Mom appreciated the variety of options to choose from, understanding not all were expected to be completed or necessary to appreciate the passport. The daily itineraries were excellent and we discovered how fun lap books can be!

After completing our Middle Ages project, we did a little research of our own. Suffice it to say, you will not find another company who does as excellent a job as Home School in the Woods when it comes to project passports and lap books. Their resources are top of the ProjectPassportline, and incredibly affordable. We very much enjoyed reviewing Middle Ages, and look forward to exploring further passports available through Home School in the Woods.

Okay, so now we have done lap booking. This is definitely something new. For all of you who do lap booking on a regular basis, you have our utmost respect. It was lots of fun and we enjoyed trying something new.

If you’d like to learn more about HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study (including their current release, Ancient Greece, and their upcoming passport, Ancient Rome, coming 2018), please visit them at their website Home School in the Woods and on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Google+. To read helpful reviews like this one, and gain more insight into what Home School in the Woods has to offer, please visit The Homeschool Review Crew!

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Your Turn!: How many lap books have your family completed?

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Book Review: Beyond the Tiger Mom

“This book’s thesis is that Western and Eastern parenting philosophies have vastly different strengths and weaknesses; therefore, parents on either side of the world can learn from each other…”
(Maya Thiagarajan, Beyond the Tiger Mom)

Beyond the Tiger MomBook Review: Beyond the Tiger Mom by Maya Thiagarajan is an intriguing, thoughtful book. Ms. Thiagarajan invites us into her world, giving us glimpses of her global experiences in education and parenting. She shares with us lessons learned both academically and experientially, sharing tips for putting the best of both worlds into practice.

Beyond the Tiger Mom consists of three sections: Academics, Achieving Balance, and Myth, Media & Metaphor. Chapters cover topics such as “Why Are All the Asian Kids on the Math Team?”, “Raising Readers”, “Memorization, Practice, Exams, and Other Things Asians Love”, and more. Each chapter closes with a handy “Tips for Parents” section, to help families apply concepts covered in the previous pages.

We found Beyond the Tiger Mom interesting and informative. We appreciated reading of Ms. Thiagarajan’s personal experiences and her interviews with Asian parents. Each chapter covered key concepts of learning, giving insight into methods both Western and Eastern parents use regarding this area of development. Ms. Thiagarajan does a wonderful job of clearly identifying strengths and weakness in both cultures while continually encouraging parents to seek the good of the student.

A thoughtful point Ms. Thiagarajan brings forth is the notion of finding balance. As parents/educators, we do not wish to over-stress our students with study so intense our children never have play time, but neither should we take our children’s education so lightly they do not take study seriously.

While learning disabilities were briefly mentioned, and confirmed, in her book, we would enjoy reading more on this topic. It would be nice to have a better understanding of how other cultures acknowledge and work through these challenges in education.

We were encouraged by reading Beyond the Tiger Mom! Whenever we take on a book specifically relating to education, it’s possible to find areas of study we’ve glossed over. Instead, we found much to confirm we’re not only on the right track, but already implementing the ideals put forth.

This was an enjoyable read with much to ponder. We appreciated learning about Eastern culture and their parental perspective on child rearing, and discovering their viewpoint on Westerners. The “Tips for Parents” portion of each chapter are a great check for those looking to fill in any gaps in their child’s development.

As Ms. Thiagarajan pointed out, childhood should have balance. May we be inspired and encouraged to seek the Lord to find the right fit for our children. Only in Him will balance be found, enabling us to not only reach our littles academically, but in leading them to Christ.

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Your Turn!: Consider this statistic… “The well-publicized study titled ‘Early Warning Confirmed‘ by the Annie E. Casey Foundation,… third grade as a particularly important year. If a child is strong in reading and math in third grade, then he will do well throughout school.” We’d love to hear your thoughts on training up children early!

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Our January Reads (2017)

january_reads_2017

Are you as excited as we are? A new year has begun, and this means tons of new literature. Besides the books we’ve already tagged at the local library for upcoming reads, we’re keeping our fingers crossed on a few previews as well. As always, this should be a spectacular year on the reading front.

As we started back with homeschool lessons mid-month, and the month isn’t quite over yet, I’m afraid we don’t have many books to cover. But, rest assured, February’s stack is quite large and we’ll have tons of great books to share.

  1. Tied Up in Knots: How Getting What We Want Made Women Miserable (Andrea Tanteros) – Fifty years after Betty Friedan unveiled The Feminine Mystique, relations between men and women in America have never been more dysfunctional. If women are more liberated than ever before, why aren’t they happier? In this shocking, funny, and bluntly honest tour of today’s gender discontents, Andrea Tanteros, one of Fox News’ most popular and outspoken stars, exposes how the rightful feminist pursuit of equality went too far, and how the unintended pitfalls of that power trade have made women (and men!) miserable.
    An interesting read, to be sure. I am not a feminist by any means. But the title was intriguing, especially with all the media buzz lately, so I thought it might be worth a shot. I was surprised to find I agreed with most of Ms. Tanteros’ arguments, and spent a great deal of time sharing with my husband, who continually reminded me that men have been making these points for years. 
  2. The Bet (Chekhov) – The Bet is an 1889 short story by Anton Chekhov about a banker and a young lawyer who make a bet with each other about whether the death penalty is better or worse than life in prison.
    This short story was suggested at a recent conference. It can easily be finished in under half an hour, but the context of the story prompts hours of conversation and soul-searching. If you’ve yet to read it, follow the link and be blessed!
  3. Tyranny of the Urgent (Charles Hummel) – Now thoroughly revised and expanded, this classic booklet by Charles E. Hummel offers ideas and illustrations for effective time management.
    While technology has advanced well beyond that which was mentioned in this booklet, the truths remain. In a world which constantly urges us to hurry, it’s time we learn to slow down and hear God. 

Short, but sweet! February is about to dawn and already our stack is growing by leaps and bounds. Join us next month to see what we’ve been reading, and what we recommend.

Your Turn!: Which non-fiction read would you suggest we pick up next?

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Review: SchoolhouseTeachers.com

schoolhouse-teachers-logo_zpsx0v7ehqvJust because we’re halfway through our learning year doesn’t mean we can’t spice up our routine with a fresh, new resource! This is where SchoolhouseTeachers.com and a review of their Yearly Membership came to the rescue.

SchoolhouseTeachers is the online curriculum site for Old Schoolhouse Magazine. The website is specifically designed for homeschoolers and taught from a Christian perspective. They offer classes in a multitude of subjects, from preschool and elementary homeschool courses through high school homeschool courses. Homeschool parent support and homeschool planners are also available. There is no end to the incredible resources we found while reviewing and using SchoolhouseTeachers.

Here’s what caught our eye : While a multitude of subjects are available on SchoolhouseTeachers, and all were perused, there were specific areas of learning we wished to focus our attentions.

  • Astronomy – How exciting to find this course on SchoolhouseTeachers as this was already scheduled for our second semester. We appreciated finding Appetizing Astronomy Recipes and video supplements (Field Trips in Outer Space) for the unit. Tasty and fun!
  • Art – We’re always looking for fun ways to add a little creativity to our day. Please note: Not all lessons are in video form, which some might find necessary. If video is more to your liking, try the course “Art Tips with Jan Bower”. They are short, to the point, and easy to follow.
  • Bible – We appreciated how SchoolhouseTeachers’ Bible courses contained a unit specifically for the family, not excluding the importance of this time together. However, there are many inspirational units to be found. We’ve started our girls on the Teen Bible unit, “Rebekah”. We love their hands-on approach to learning even at this age level.
  • History – We were pleased to find SchoolhouseTeachers has Drive Thru History, a history video course, which I’ve been wanting to view for some time. We can’t wait to make this part of our routine. In addition, as we’re already using Story of the World, we found the unit on Renaissance History to be a lovely complement to our existing studies, as they align perfectly and make use of these existing materials.

And what we can’t stop raving about :  Most courses cover a variety of learning methods. We found videos, recipes, printable elements, hands-on activities, online courses and more. There is so much to choose from, the learning opportunities are endless. schoolhouse-teachers-subject-selections_zps7gti8t8n-1
We love that the entire website is specifically designed with homeschoolers in mind, not education in general. Often the needs of homeschooling students differ and the distinction is much appreciated.
As parents, it was a relief to find all courses are taught from a Christian perspective, relieving our minds about reviewing every aspect of every lesson before beginning instruction with our children. We are free to explore together, which is additional fun.

How we’re using SchoolhouseTeachers : We’re pleased to have added a Bible course to our daily routine. SchoolhouseTeachers’ teen unit for girls, “Rebekah”, is a 5-day study and will be turned in at the end of the week, when we will discuss the entirety of the lesson together. Once “Rebekah” is completed, the next unit will be announced and given. Renaissance History will also be used on a daily basis for the remainder of the year, as this perfectly aligns with our current course of study.
We focus on art at least one day a week, using the available courses through SchoolhouseTeachers.
Astronomy will be incorporated a little more sporadically, as we see fit, while enjoying Appetizing Astronomy Recipes and Field Trips to Outer Space as often as possible.

We’re incredibly excited to add this new resource, SchoolhouseTeachers to our homeschooling “shelf”. This is a welcome, refreshing avenue of learning for us. We’re having so much fun exploring the possibilities.

If you’d like to learn more about SchoolhouseTeachers and Yearly Membership, please visit them at their website SchoolhouseTeachers.com and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+. To read helpful reviews like this one, and gain more insight into what SchoolhouseTeachers has to offer, please visit The Homeschool Review Crew!

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Your Turn!: Which area of study would you like to refresh this semester?

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Our November Reads

november_reads_2016

November was a relaxing month. A holiday. Some family. Outings. Nothing too crazy. Just plain and simple fun. Along with those incredible memories, came outstanding reads.

All of November’s books were school, family or personal reads. We’re taking a new approach to Our Morning Basket; one we can’t wait to share with you during the new year. Here’s a rundown of the books we enjoyed during the month of November:

  1. The New Concise History of the Crusades (Thomas F. Madden) – In this sweeping yet crisp history, Thomas F. Madden offers a brilliant and compelling narrative of the crusades and their contemporary relevance.
    This book was a must read which came directly from my husband’s office. We’re covering the Crusades in history, and this was an assigned read. My husband found it fascinating. My oldest girl found it informative, if a bit dry. 
  2. Uninvited – (Lysa TerKeurst) – In Uninvited, Lysa shares her own deeply personal experiences with rejection. With biblical depth, gut-honest vulnerability, and refreshing wit, Lysa helps readers: …Stop feeling left out and start believing that “set apart” does not mean “set aside.”
    I’ve been needing this book for years. Uninvited is brilliant, insightful, and beautiful. I loved every word. Then, passed it off to my daughter who needs every word as much as I. 
  3. Secret Keepers (Trenton Lee Stewart) – Acclaimed New York Times bestselling author and E.B. White Read Aloud Award winner Trenton Lee Stewart returns with a captivating, heart-stopping adventure about thrilling secrets and dangerous mysteries–and the courage to reveal the most frightening of truths.
    I enjoyed Mr. Stewart’s previous series, The Mysterious Benedict Society, and had great hopes for this read. While the story was interesting, I found it rather dry and dull. I was constantly comparing it to his previous works and coming up short. 
  4. Once Upon a Dream, A Twisted Tale, #2 (Liz Braswell) – What if the sleeping beauty never woke up? Once Upon a Dream marks the second book in a new YA line that re-imagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways.
    My oldest gal found this read and had it ordered at the library. She liked it well enough, but preferred #3 better. 
  5. As Old As Time, A Twisted Tale, #3 (Liz Braswell) – Belle is a lot of things: smart, resourceful, restless. She longs to escape her poor provincial town for good. She wants to explore the world, despite her father’s reluctance to leave their little cottage in case Belle’s mother returns–a mother she barely remembers. Belle also happens to be the captive of a terrifying, angry beast. And that is her primary concern.
    The much admired book #3, ‘T’ really enjoyed this book. Frankly, the Beauty and Beast story has always been a personal favorite as well. 
  6. Nature Drawing & Journaling (Barry Stebbing) – A unique combination of nature journaling instructions, reflections, and space for your own work, Nature Drawing and Journaling will keep you outside observing & thinking for hours. Filled with Barry Stebbing’s 40 years’ worth of insights on studying nature and keeping an art journal, with patience and practice you’ll be able to create your very own!
    Another fun resource we added to our library recently. I am no artist, and am completely in-adept at teaching journaling as an art form. I feel I’ve learned much from merely perusing this book; I can’t wait to dig in fully and take this for a spin.
  7. Achieve What Matters in 2017 (Michael Hyatt) – 8 Strategies Super Successful people are using now to accomplish more next year.
    Who doesn’t like starting the year off on the right foot? I’ve enjoyed several of Mr. Hyatt’s previous works, and this read was no exception. A refresher course to re-energize the blogger, homeschool mommy, and wifey that I am. Whew!

Well, that was it for the month! December is here and we’ve already started on our next reads. As usual, Mom is just as excited as the kids. No surprise there! Prayerfully we’ll all enjoy the selections coming, and the memories will keep on building.

📢 Chime In!: Which inspirational book are you taking into the new year?

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Book Review: The Kingdom of Oceana

I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a free copy for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

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kingdom_oceanaEvery once in a while, we discover a book filled not only with exciting adventures, but something new to be learned. This month, we had the privilege of receiving one such read and we’re excited to share it with you.

A fictional story set in Hawaii, The Kingdom of Oceana, tells about 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa who trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, unleashing a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise. With the help of his ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures brought forth by the tiki’s spell.

What We Liked… The Kingdom of Oceana is a lovely read. The story is intriguing, the characters charming, and we learned a great deal about Hawaii. We found ourselves unable to put the book down; reading it in one afternoon.

What We Loved… The beautifully illustrated front cover is not to be missed. Also highly appreciated were the study guides which accompany The Kingdom of Oceana. This is obviously a work of the heart and it shows.

And What We’d Change… Nothing! This was a work of art from beginning to end. We look forward to reading more Mitchell Charles in the near future.

To learn more about The Kingdom of Oceana, and Hawaii, visit the WEBSITE filled with helpful learning pages and guides. You can also read the first chapter of The Kingdom of Oceana, or listen to the audio chapter.

One day we hope to visit Hawaii for ourselves. What a blessing it would be to see all the places mentioned in the book and give God the glory for His wonderful creation. Until then, we’re blessed to enjoy exciting books which take us to another place and encourage imagination.

📢 Chime In!: Surfing or SCUBA diving, which would you prefer?

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