Review: Quick Answers to Tough Questions

review_quickanswersWe may have mentioned one or twice that our learning year is almost at an end. On one hand we’re winding down and preparing for a brief season of relaxation. On the other… Mom is busy planning for next year, and doing a great deal of praying over our curriculum choices. The first area of consideration is always Biblical studies and logic. While the Lord has clearly given us direction for our girls, my son’s lessons were still in question. That is until we had the privilege of reviewing Quick Answers to Tough Questions from Bryan Osborne, Bodie Hodge, and Master Books.

Quick Answers to Tough Questions provides Christians with simple, precise, quick answers to important questions we face on a frequent basis. Topics include creation, evolution, the age of the earth, Noah’s Ark, death, suffering, and more. Leading readers through six main areas of discussion, apologists Bryan and Bodie have dedicated themselves to teaching the Word of God and presenting the gospel message.

“Biblical history and a biblical worldview help us to understand the past, present, and future. Too many believers have fallen victim to those who say that the Bible’s history is false or that science has disproved it. Equip yourself to address the skeptical questions and comments of believers and unbelievers alike and successfully stand strong in your defense of the inerrancy and truth of God’s Word.”

Our family was incredibly blessed with a printed, paper-backed copy of Quick Answers to Tough Questions for review. While excited to read this book for myself, my main objective quickanswers_quicklook1was to identify whether this would be a good fit for our son’s learning adventure next year, when he will be entering sixth grade. I wished to approximate the length of our lessons and map out an organized routine. For my own reading, I progressed through several lessons a day noting any difficulty in vocabulary and possibility of deeper study. I was pleased to find I was able to read through each lesson in a matter of minutes, while most lessons provided plenty of additional study. Biblical references abound, and that is always a plus in my book!

While no specific age category has been suggested for the read, after our assessment, we believe this resource would be of benefit for those ten and up or younger students with high vocabulary skills. This will be a perfect fit for our son; slightly challenging, but not overwhelming. Each lesson was only two pages in length. Setting aside time for the possibility of additional questions our son might have or complimentary topics we wish to explore, we are planning for a twenty to thirty minute Bible study time each morning of our learning week.

Friends, we couldn’t be more pleased with this resource! We love the organized quickanswers_quicklook2progression of topics and questions being presented. Lessons are simple, yet offer so much wisdom. As we mentioned, Biblical references are many; offering not just opinion, but truth from the Word of God. We love that each question presented is one we as adults face on a regular basis, helping prepare our children for questions they too might face. As an educator, I appreciate the ability to delve deeper into many of these topical questions regarding scientific study and historic figures mentioned in the lessons. Given the bonus section, “More Answers”, at the back of the book which offers additional reading for study, we feel certain this resource will be well used during the coming year.

We love discovering new educational resources, especially those which build our faith and edify our family. Quick Answers to Tough Questions is a fantastic resource and one which we can’t wait to implement in the coming year. With Biblical studies and logic squared away, we’re excited to continue planning the rest of the coming year’s learning routine. Each season is an adventure, and we can’t wait to see what the Lord is going to do next!

If you’d like to learn more about Quick Answers to Tough Questions and Master Books please visit them at their website – where you can download a preview or place your order for this incredible resource – and on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube!

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Your Turn!: How big a role do apologetics and logic play in your learning routine?

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Review: “Intricacies of Snow” Unit Study by Creation Illustrated

review_creationillustrated_snowunitNature Study is an important part of our learning routine. Planning nature study, however, can take time. To aid us in our homeschooling adventure, Creation Illustrated kindly offered us an “Intricacies of Snow” Unit Study to review the benefits of having resources and activities already organized for us.

Creation Illustrated is dedicated to sharing Biblical truths and character building lessons through the story of creation. In publication since 1993, Creation Illustrated produces books and other related resources in addition to their quarterly magazine issues. One such resource is a collection of unit studies available for purchase. Creation Illustrated is for all ages, with unit studies specifically geared toward children grades 5-8. Our family was able to review the “Intricacies of Snow” Unit Study which corresponds to the Winter 2018 Issue.

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We received a digital copy of the “Intricacies of Snow” Unit Study, along with a free digital copy of the Winter 2018 Creation Illustrated Magazine. Quickly perusing the unit study, we noticed many available areas of study included: Reading Resources, Educational Videos, Writing & Penmanship, Vocabulary & Spelling, Bible Study, and several more. Excited to get started, we made sure our learning materials were in order and our Winter 2018 Magazine issue was on hand.

As we started the “Intricacies of Snow” at the tail end of the winter season and our local mountains were being sprinkled with powder, we thought this would be a wonderful addition to our weekly nature studies. To begin our unit, I read-aloud the original article “Intricacies of Snow” from the Winter 2018 magazine. Then we began our two-week study. As we snow_modelswere using the unit as a nature study, we chose not to make use of all areas – such as math and penmanship – but did use a great deal of the unit. Videos, Bible Study, Spiritual Lessons on Snow, Snow Science and more were included in our lessons.

The unit study itself seemed to contain a great deal of writing, thus we chose to alter the until slightly and do a great deal of the work in verbal prompts and open snow_crystalconversation. This was especially helpful for my son who struggles with focusing during lessons. We found the Reading Resources and Educational Video selections quite enjoyable. However, we should note, not all video references were Biblically based and some had an evolutionist viewpoint. The kids found a misprint/misspelling while completing the Snow Word Search, but we worked it out and enjoyed the activity. Spiritual Lessons on Snow was fantastic and we gained much by our time spent on this selection. Hands-on Snow Science was fun; making snow crystals and paper snowflakes. We were even able to diagram various snow models, learning the multitude of shapes God has created and discovering more about the famous Mr. Snowflake Bentley.

fall_2017_creationillustratedIn addition to our original choice of “Intricacies of Snow”, Creation Illustrated was also kind enough to send us a complimentary copy of the “Pine Trees” Unit Study which corresponds to the Fall 2017 Issue of Creation Illustrated Magazine. While we have not yet had the opportunity to put this unit study to use, we did note “Pine Trees” seems to follow along the same lines of content and will more than likely be included in a future family nature study.

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Coming Soon: Spring 2018!

Our time with the “Intricacies of Snow” Unit Study was well spent. Using this learning resource made planning nature study a smooth process. We had a lot of fun learning about Mr. Snowflake Bentley and working through hands-on Snow Science. Now, on to our next nature study. Perhaps “Pine Trees”? I think so.

If you’d like to learn more about the “Intricacies of Snow” Unit Study, the current Winter 2018 Issue, or Creation Illustrated, please visit them at their website and on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. To read helpful reviews like this one, and gain more insight into what Creation Illustrated has to offer, please visit The Homeschool Review Crew.

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Your Turn!: Mr. Snowflake Bentley spent a great deal of time taking photos of snowflakes. What is your favorite subject when taking photos?

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Review: Wulf the Saxon by Heirloom Audio Productions

“Fortunate are the few who marry for love.”

wulf_the_saxon_reviewWe’re up for another road trip and that can mean only one thing… another audio adventure from Heirloom Audio Productions! This trip we’re enjoying Wulf the Saxon by G.A. Henty, and exploring the history of the Norman Conquest.

Heirloom Audio Productions is “passionate about bringing real history to life”. This is obvious by the great lengths they put into each production. Their vast audio collection includes such titles as Under Drake’s Flag, In Freedom’s Cause, With Lee in Virginia, and more. Our newest story, Wulf the Saxon, centers around the year 1066 and the Norman invasion of England. It is voiced by an outstanding cast including Brian Blessed, Chris Larkin, Helen George, Jack Farthing, Sian Phillips, and Patrick Godfrey.

Wulf, a Thane in England, is page to Harold of Wessex. Through Wulf’s adventures we learn of Harold’s misfortunes with his brother William (the Conqueror), the Welsh wars, Harold’s ascension to the throne, an attempted assassination, and the eventual invasion and conquest by William.

As we prefer listening to audio theatre in one sitting, another day-trip would have given us the perfect opportunity to enjoy this wonderful audio drama. However, on this adventure we had along company which prevented us from finishing our tale. Instead, we enjoyed Wulf the Saxon over the course of several days during shorter drives. This did alter our listening experience slightly – as this required a short, mental review of what we’d heard thus far – but did not detract from our overall experience of the story. My oldest daughter and myself were the primary listeners. We discussed both story and overall impressions as we progressed through Wulf the Saxon.

Wulf the Saxon one would expect the story to contain a great deal of battle scenes and fighting. Listeners will not be disappointed. Truthfully we will more than likely revisit this wulf_the_saxon_audioaudio drama a few more times to fully appreciate all the historical characters who played a part in the Norman Conquest, and to understand the entirety of the battles. As we have not previously studied this piece of history in great detail, we ladies especially found the aspect of Harold’s choice of wife affecting his political standing to be of interest. We felt for him as he battled the decision to choose between the love of his life, Edith, and a bride who would hopefully provide peace for his country; asking ourselves which decision we would make. The story was well told, the voice acting superb, and the audio quality itself outstanding. We enjoyed Wulf the Saxon from an historical standpoint, and highly recommend the audio drama to young men who enjoy action/adventure stories.

As in our reviews of Captain Bayley’s Heir and In the Reign of Terror, families who’ve chosen to be members of the Live the Adventure Club will soon have access to a multitude of bonus resources for Wulf the Saxon, including the read-along. We’re very much looking forward to the Study Guide & Discussion Starter and more!

Once again we were amazed by the quality to be found in this extraordinary adventure by Heirloom Audio productions. Wulf the Saxon was a blessing to enjoy; one we look forward to revisiting time-and-time again.

If you’d like to learn more about Wulf the SaxonLive the Adventure Club, or Heirloom Audio Productions please visit them at their website and on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram! To read helpful reviews like this one, and gain more insight into what Heirloom Audio Productions has to offer, please visit The Homeschool Review Crew!

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Your Turn!: Do you have a favorite G.A. Henty Story?

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Review: The Thrifty Time Travelers Series

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“What follows is the guidebook, exactly as it was discovered on a sidewalk outside Frank’s Pizza in Manhattan in AD 2018.”
~ The Thrifty Guide to  Ancient Rome (Uncorrected Text)

I love books. I love history. I love hearing my kids laugh. So when I have an opportunity to combine all three into a fun afternoon of reading, you know I’m going to be all over it. This month we had the opportunity to review The Thrifty Guide to Ancient Rome: A Handbook for Time Travelers and The Thrifty Guide to the American Revolution: A Handbook for Time Travelers by Penguin Random House and Jonathan W. Stokes and we can’t wait to share this funny, educational book series with you. We’re still cracking up laughing and enjoying the multitude of lessons to be found within their pages!

Set in the distant future, The Thrifty Guides are a humorous look at what happens when we travel back in time to discover the history of the world. Both are written from the perspective of Time Corp, presenting a complete vacation package for tourists. Each book seeks to help you make the most of your trip offering locations you might wish to visit, events you could participate in, and people to have lunch with. Currently three Thrifty Guides are available: The Thrifty Guide to the American Revolution, The Thrifty Guide to Ancient Rome, and The Thrifty Guide to Ancient Greece.

We received an advanced reader edition of both The Thrifty Guide to Ancient Rome and The Thrifty Guide to the American Revolution, along with a clever “Passport for Time Travelers” which included passport stickers for both our travels and an additional passport sticker for The Thrifty Guide to Ancient Greece. Suggested as early reader novels, our ten-year-old son was given these books to be used during his reading time after Mom had ensured the books were both clean and met family standards.

 

Ancient RomeThe Thrifty Guide to Ancient Rome: A Handbook for Time Travelers is a snappy, informative travel guide that comes in the package with your time machine purchase in the year 2163. It contains information vital to the sensible time traveler:

  • Where can I find a decent hotel room in ancient Rome for under five sesterces a day? Is horse parking included?
  • What do I do if I’m attacked by barbarians?
  • What are my legal options if I’m fed to the lions at the Colosseum?
Designed as a parody of Fodor’s, complete with humorous maps, reviews of top attractions (Julius Caesar’s assassination is a must-see!), and tips on who to have lunch with (Hannibal, assuming he doesn’t kill you). If you had a time travel machine and could take a vacation anywhere in history, this is the only guidebook you would need.
Chapters include Roman Entertainment, Julius Caesar, The Roman Civil War, Quality Time with Cleopatra, and more! Our favorite portions of this book are “Important Warning Before Time Traveling”, “Top Five Ways to Die in Rome”, “How to Pilot a Horse”, and “Cleopatra’s Perfectly Normal Family Tree”. “People to Have Lunch With:…” is especially funny, and “Friendly Message from Your Corporate Overlord at Time Corp” is sure to have you rolling.

American RevolutionThe Thrifty Guide to the American Revolution: A Handbook for Time Travelers is a snappy, informative travel guide that comes in the package with your time machine purchase in the year 2163. It contains information vital to the sensible time traveler:

  • Where can I find a decent hotel room in colonial New England? Are credit cards accepted?
  • How can I join the Boston Tea Party without winding up in a British prison?
  • What do I do if I’m being shot at by a cannon?
Designed as a parody of Fodor’s, complete with humorous maps, reviews of places to stay and top attractions (Don’t miss Paul Revere’s midnight ride!), and tips on who to have lunch with (Alexander Hamilton, naturally). If you had a time travel machine and could take a vacation anywhere in history, this is the only guidebook you would need.

Chapters include The Boston Tea Party, The Battles of Lexington and Concord, The Siege of Boston, The Declaration of Independence, The Battle of Cowpens, and more! Fun  features we enjoyed are “Your Odds of Being Hit by a Musket Ball” and “Your Odds of Being Hit by a Rifle”, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting… to Be Shot by a Cannon”, “A Message From the Good People at the Time Patrol”, and “Letters From Time Corp’s Complaint Department”. Thrifty_Guides

Written by former teacher and rising Hollywood screenwriter, Jonathan Stokes, The Thrifty Guides were very funny, simple to read, and educational. There were a ton of fun facts, silly illustrations, and interesting notions on the concept of time travel. We enjoyed them tremendously and couldn’t wait to tell you all about these wonderful books. If you’re a fan of history, or happen to be studying any of these areas in your learning adventures, you’ll definitely want to give these books a try.

On sale now, you’ll find The Thrifty Guides to be a wonderful addition to your learning bookshelf. We had a great deal of fun reading both The Thrifty Guide to Ancient Rome and The Thrifty Guide to the American Revolution, and look forward to searching out The Thrifty Guide to Ancient Greece soon!

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Your Turn!: If you could travel back in time to any era, which would it be?

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Review: Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series

“I want to try to help you understand what ‘American Exceptionalism’ and greatness is all about. It does not mean that we Americans are better than anyone else. It does not mean that there is something uniquely different about us as human beings compared to other people in the world. It does not mean that we as a country have never faced problems of our own. American Exceptionalism and greatness means that America is special because it is different from all other countries in history. It is a land built on true freedom and individual liberty and it defends both around the world.”
~ Rush Limbaugh

Adventures_of_Rush_RevereIt’s another summer of fun, and fun just isn’t the same without a few good books. To kick off our reading extravaganza, Adventures of Rush Revere #1 New York Times Bestselling Book Series by Rush and Kathryn Adams Limbaugh sent us the entire Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series, and we can’t wait to share them with you!

Rush Revere is a series of fun, historical-fiction books teaching children about American history. There are five, hard-bound books included in the complete set which we received. The books themselves are beautifully bound with lovely illustrated dust covers. The stories are printed on semi-gloss paper made to look like old parchment, colorful illustrations and maps are found throughout each book. In each story, a different portion of early American history is covered.

Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims – In an effort to better help his students appreciate history, substitute teacher Rush Revere and his horse Liberty take his class back in time to discover how America came to be. Through the use of technology – and incredible internet connection – Rush Revere’s class watch as he and Liberty show them the real picture. Our first adventure has us traveling through several “time portals”, discovering why the first Pilgrims wished to travel to America, following their journey across the Atlantic, and their plans for establishing a new colony. We meet important historical figures such as William Bradford, Captain Myles Standish, William Brewster, Samoset, and more!

Rush Revere and the First Patriots – Once again Rush Revere and Liberty have us rush, rush, rushing to history. Rush, Liberty, and a few students find themselves exploring the beginnings of the United States. Jumping through time portals, our friends meet important figures as Ben Franklin, Patrick Henry, and many other heroes. During their adventures, we learn of events leading up to the Boston Massacre and talk of revolution.

Rush Revere and the American Revolution – Rush, Liberty, and our favorite time-traveling students find themselves on another adventure; this time exploring 1775 America and meeting heroes who fought for independence. Rush Revere finally gets to meet his hero, Paul Revere, and the kids experience first-hand what it was like on that fateful night at the Old North Church.

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Rush Revere and the Star-Spangled Banner – Rushing off on another adventure, our favorite time-traveling crew find themselves in 1787. Heated secret debate over the Constitution and Bill of Rights, lead our friends to meet James Madison. A hop through the time portal has them learning about a famous portrait of George Washington, the Star-Spangled Banner, and a song by Francis Scott Key.

Rush Revere and the Presidency – Rushing into our next adventure, the time-traveling crew discover just how hard running a brand-new country can be. While the students are campaigning for student body president at their local middle school, Rush Revere and Liberty have them jumping through time portals to meet presidents George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson during their time in office. Learning importance lessons from each, the students hope to win the election and save the day!

Based on our experience, we would estimate the reading level from approximately 2nd-5th grade. While my junior enjoyed reading for exploration, the books are better suited for our son in fifth grade. He has a greater appreciation for Liberty’s humor and breezes through the stories with ease. It’s taken him only a few days to finish each book. I was the first in the family to read through all the books, as I was especially keen to give them a try. I found an empty afternoon and finished all five in one go. Both of us chose to read the books independently and finish at our own pace.

Kids_Reading_Rush_RevereqIt’s impossible to tell which book in the series was our favorite, they are all wonderful. Each had many adventures we enjoyed and lessons learned. The stories are clean, well-written, educational, and enjoyable; all features we look for in our book choices. We loved “Liberty Asks How Smart Are You” questions at the back of book one, which prompted further discussion and allowed us to dig deeper. A few highlights of our read were Rush always in colonial costume, even students in the story comment on his outfit. We found this silly, and inspirational. Rush’s horse, Liberty, is quite the funny character. At times offering colorful quips, more likely to be appreciated by young boys reading the story. We were pleasantly surprised to find the stories light-hearted and enjoyable, holding kids’ interest while teaching much. As a bonus, pictures were included of kids and their books; some in costume and others with their horses, Liberty.

As we explored answers to Liberty’s questions, we made sure to spend time perusing the incredible resources to be found online at Two If By Tea. Scholarship information, challenges, projects, activities and more abound! We especially appreciated the Homeschool Depot, where we could send a message to Maddie and the Rush Revere Crew. We also found homeschool resources for each book, with lessons on William Bradford and other heroes. You can even have a look at Rush Revere’s library!

The Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series has been fantastic to review! We’ve learned much and enjoyed our new adventure in learning. What a perfect way to start our summer of fun.

If you’d like to learn more about Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series, as well as Adventures of Rush Revere #1 New York Times Bestselling Book Series by Rush and Kathryn Adams Limbaughy, please visit them at their website. You can also find Adventures of Rush Revere on social media sites such as FacebookTwitter, and YouTube.

To read additional helpful reviews like this one, and gain more insight into the Adventures of Rush Revere Book Series please visit The Homeschool Review Crew!

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Your Turn!: What is your favorite historical-fiction book series?

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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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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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Reading Truth

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.
~Winston Churchill

Reading_TruthBefore all else. In anticipation of increasing wisdom. My desire is to first seek truth. From whence does this truth derive? God’s Word.

Just recently the Lord brought to my attention an incredible resource, and website, She Reads Truth. I love it! I’ve started using it for my personal summer study (more on that in a moment) and quickly determined we needed to be using this in our homeschooling routine.

She Reads Truth began as a small group of people wanting to be intentional in their study of the Word of God and quickly developed into a full-blown community. At SRT you can partake in daily in-depth study of the Scriptures, choosing from a wide variety of available ‘plans’. As an additional blessing, make a point of joining each day’s conversation regarding the daily topic.

Since the Lord set this before me, I have determined to use SRT as my current study for the summer (seeing as my church women’s group is on summer hiatus). Right now, our focus is studying Acts of the Apostles. This study is amazing! Acts of the Apostles is a verse-by-verse daily devotion, breaking down the Word. We read not only the day’s Scripture reference, but several others which help give better context for the reader. Scripture readings are followed with devotionals by SRT writers. We are then encouraged to join the open discussion of the day’s lesson.

For our homeschooling purposes, we will be starting with the plan ‘Justice‘. I am excited to delve deep into this topic with my children, discovering God’s definition of justice and His plan for bringing justice about. It seems a vital and appropriate topic in our current society. This will now be a portion of Our Morning Basket, along with our additional literature choices.

And just so you fellas don’t feel left out… Yes, there is also an He Reads Truth site! The layout of this website follows She Reads Truth almost exactly. The available plans differ slightly from SRT, but look absolutely amazing. Each study is written by a team of incredible gents sharing the gospel and daily truths the Lord has given.  To be fair, I have no personal experience with He Reads Truth – being a lady myself – but if HRT is anything like SRT, you’ll be blessed.

You can read any and all available plans (including the current plan, Acts of the Apostles) by accessing either the She Reads Truth or He Reads Truth websites. There is also a handy app for your device, making daily study readily available no matter where you are. Both websites and the app are absolutely free; there is no fee to read along and join in the conversation. For dedicated study, however, consider purchasing the study guides for each plan.

We’re excited to share this wonderful resource with you and your family. If you’re currently looking for a summer Bible study plan or wish to be involved in an active study group, this might be what you’re looking for.

“In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory.”
Ephesians 1:13-14

📢 Chime In!: Are you currently in a summer Bible study? We’d love to hear what God is teaching!

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The Best Coaster in Town!

Best Roller CoasterWe’ve mentioned all the fun we’re having during Our Morning Basket time. Good literature, Bible time, tea, and worship always make for a beautiful start to our day. After sharing our family’s take on this lovely portion of our routine, a few readers had questions about our addition of The Story Coaster. What exactly is a ‘Story Coaster’? Great question!

What is a Story Coaster? The story coaster is a fun way of taking our children through basic elements of literature: exposition, rising action, climax, denouement, and critical reaction. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss ideas such as suspended disbelief, plot holes, and (our personal favorite) the tunnel of badly written love. The Story Coaster is a clever drawing created by Grant Snider, featured in the NY Times Book Review and available for purchase in poster form.

How do we use the Story Coaster? In our homeschooling routine, we use The Story Coaster at the finish of every fictional read completed during our morning basket time. I generally lead with the exposition. “This is what started our literary adventure!” Then, I prompt the kiddos to continue on by tossing out other basic elements. “What was our rising action?” “Who spotted the climax?” “Was the falling action a little too quick for your taste, or did you find it drawn out?” Denouement is a breeze, while Critical Reaction often takes a few moments to thoroughly digest and discuss. For added fun, we then point out other spots we enjoyed along the way. Sometimes the deep back story was intriguing, while suspended disbelief and (as I mentioned a moment ago) the tunnel of badly written love are always pointed out. At times there is an unresolved plot or a red herring. Extraneous scenery and unreliable narrators are entirely frustrating. But, jarring twists make it all worth while!

storycoaster

Why do we use the Story Coaster? Instead of merely asking my children if they liked the story and getting a one word answer, I am loving the story coaster. Not only do I discover what my children enjoyed about the book – and what they didn’t – I also have the opportunity to ensure they fully understood the author’s message. As an added bonus, my children are learning key literary terms such as exposition and denouement (love that word!). They are being instructed in the key points to any good story, and how to become better writers.

Just another wonderful resource I wish we had found years ago, The Story Coaster is now a favorite in our morning basket. I don’t have to push my kids to ‘ride’ the coaster and share plot points. Instead, we eagerly jump on and laugh our way through the adventure.

We can’t wait to start our January reads!

🔔Time to Chime In: Share your favorite ‘tunnel of badly written love’. There are some doozies!

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A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

A_Picture_Is_WorthDo you know the difference between a hamlet and a village? If asked, would you be able to describe a table-land? Let’s start with an easy one, draw an archipelago. Not so simple, is it? Face it, even for us adults, geography can be a challenge; especially when it includes vocabulary not covered on a weekly – much less daily – basis.

Right before the holidays, I found a wonderful resource to assist with basic geographicalpictoralchartofgeographicaldefinitions terms. Bancrofts’ Pictorial Chart of Geographical Definition is simply lovely. Bancrofts’ Pictorial Chart shows the earth geographically delineated and displayed. Includes rivers, mountain chains, seas, oceans, islands, bays, city and town, etc. Also shows canals, bridges, railways, buildings, etc. Approximately created in 1870, this map is a treasure by Bancroft Company.

As an added bonus, I found the map in David Rumsey’s Historical Map Collection, another incredible resource for our virtual homeschool shelf.

The historical map collection has over 65,000 maps and images online. The collection includes rare 16th through 21st century maps of AmericaNorth AmericaSouth AmericaEurope,Asia,AfricaPacific and the World.

Popular collection categories are celestial,  antique atlas,globe,school geography,maritime chart,state,county,city,pocket,wall & case,children’s, and  manuscript maps. Search examples: Pictorial mapsUnited States maps, Geology maps,California map,Afghanistan map,America map,New York City map,Chicago map, and U.S. Civil War maps. Browse  map categories: What, Where, Who, When. The collection is used to study history, art, genealogy, explorations, and family history.

~ David Rumsey Historical Map Collection

Bancrofts’ Pictorial Chart will be used often in our homeschooling routine. We are blessed to have found it and couldn’t wait to share this newfound resource with you. David Rumsey’s Historical Map Collection is also proving to be quite useful. I can’t wait to start plugging this into our lessons.

Maps are lots of fun. With this vast collection to explore, we’ll be busy for quite some time!

🔔Time to Chime In: We’d love to hear about your favorite geography resources. Post links, photos, and curriculum ideas that you highly recommend.

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