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: 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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Angelina Ballerina’s Christmas Crafts

Whats_in_a_NameWhat’s in a name? A name is more than just something by which we are called; in a sense, it is our reputation. Did you know there are a multitude of names for God? 

Each name unique and powerful; the list is endless. Join us on this exciting adventure through Scripture, where we will learn some amazing verses, talk about how those verses should affect our lives, and discuss some practical ways to make these names “real”.

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“Here are some ideas for holiday baking and crafts for you to do with a parent… don’t worry if yours looks different – the memory of doing something together is what makes each activity special.
~ Angelina

What’s in a name? Just saying the name “Angelina Ballerina” conjures images of little girls in tutus prancing around the dance studio and books littering our living room floors. Our girls were massive fans of the book series, the mouse herself, and all things ballet.

Our second book recommendation in the ‘What’s In a Name‘ series is Angelina Ballerina’s Christmas Crafts. If you, or your children, have enjoyed the traditional series, we know you’ll want to read this book as well. Angelina_Ballerina's_Christmas_Crafts

Twenty-five crafts and baking activities await the family. (One for each day of December ’till Christmas!) Each activity is complete with step-by-step instructions, a photo of what the finished product should look like, and adorable quotes from Angelina herself.

A few of our favorites are the Soap Snowmouse, the Snow Palace, Shining Star Ornaments, and Sweet Spice Ornaments. There are so many great activities to choose from. Following along with one activity per day is the perfect way to make sure none get missed.

Christmas might be almost upon us, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying this book. Find a copy and let the fun begin. Don’t forget! Join us each Friday during our ‘What’s In a Name’ series as we review favorite Christmas tales!

🎄Time to Chime In: Name your favorite Christmas craft!

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Book Review: Monday… Super-Fun Day

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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book_review_mondayIs it because every day looks the same, or am I just taking for granted everyone knows this? Our little man is struggling to remember the days of the week, and I can’t figure out why. We cover it in our curriculum. We’re constantly going over our schedule for the week. Perhaps, in his little mind, one day is just like the next and mommy is always telling him what day it is; so why bother? Either way, we really need to get this down.

Just as I was about to head to our local library and borrow a plethora of books on the topic – Who doesn’t love a charming story which helps solidify a learning concept? – we received the offer of a book. We gladly accepted and discovered an cute read.

Written in non-calendar form – beginning with Monday – Monday… Super-Fun Day will take young readers on an expedition in learning the days of the week. From surfing and sand castles on Monday, or playing in the rain on Tuesday, to sailing and hot air balloon rides over the tall pines of the forest on Wednesday, and many other journeys along the way.

How We’re Using It… Because our son seems to be forgetful in remembering the days of the week, this became a daily read for a short period of time. After formal studies, we took a moment or two to flip through the book and refresh his memory.

And Why… Repetition does wonders for a developing mind. For a week we read and re-read this short book to help him retain the facts. Not wanting to frustrate him with too much reiteration, we’ve since scaled back our reading and altered our methods of review. But, the book will continue to make an appearance to keep him on track.

Our Favorite Day of the Week… Thursday!

“Thursday, was a word day.

A reading-books-at-the-library day.

A seeing-how-much-I-could-learn day.

Oh, terrific Thursday!”

We found Monday… Super-Fun Day an adorably short story for younger children. The book is a perfect length for young readers. We found each day’s ‘adventure’ to be charming and thoughtful. We found it quaint and sweet that the illustrations were done by the author herself.

While I’m still tempted to head to the library and load up a box of books on the topic, Monday… Super-Fun Day is a fun addition to our home library and one we’re blessed to have received.

📢 Chime In!: Did your children struggle with remembering days of the week?

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A Little Old Fashioned: The 8mm App

8mmI don’t know about you, but I’m always bugging my kids to smile for just one more photo. Standard equipment for field trips, my device is always in hand. In fact, it’s pretty much always by my side. You never know when you’ll want to document some awesome activity or moment with the kids. Every once in a while, the kids snag my camera and the real fun begins…

Nexvio’s 8mm Vintage Camera app is a fun addition to our homeschool resource list. 8mm Vintage Camera captures the beauty and magic of old school vintage movies right through your viewfinder. Dust and scratches, retro colors, flickering, light leaks, even frame shakes. All can be instantly added with a single tap of the finger. Shoot directly with 8mm Vintage Camera, or import existing videos for added fun.

With all the technology put out to improve film quality why would we want to take a step back? (I mean, have you seen those horrid orange-tinged photos sitting in old albums.) Don’t let new-fangled film fool you. There are plenty of lessons to be had from gazing into the past:

  • History Lessons – There are a variety of time periods and genres represented in the 8mm app. Explore each time period, noting famous films created during that era. Who were the famous directors? What was happening around the world to affect film making and movies itself?
  • Science Lessons – How are cameras made, and what advances have been developed over the years to increase film quality? Is digital better than film? Explore the science behind this fantastic artistic field.
  • Film Classes – Do our children notice the difference in film quality between centuries?  What might have been the original cause for these issues, and what was done to fix them? Film is nothing without sound! This would be a perfect opportunity to explore the importance of the soundtrack.
  • Exploring Memories – This is the perfect time to dig out our own photos from the past. Can our children see the similarities between our photos and the simulations in the app?

We love when new resources can be pulled into our learning routine, adding spice to life and livening up our lessons. 8mm Vintage Camera is tons of fun to explore. Better yet, it’s a lovely way to launch a world of exploration.

📢 Chime In!: What is your favorite photography app, both for yourself and the kids?

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Triggers

“It’s my belief that there’s a literal epidemic of angry moms in and outside of the church today. Moms are struggling, they know they’re struggling, and they want help. But they have no idea where to start.”
~ Brooke McGlothlin, Co-Founder/President of MOB

TriggersIf you had asked me whether or not I was – am – an angry parent, I would have said, “NO!” I don’t yell at my kids. I don’t make judgements out of anger or cause them physical harm. But anger comes in many forms. No, I don’t yell at my kids. I take the high road, I use silence and distance. And that, my friends, is no better.

If we are to parent graciously, as God commands, we need to better understand what is causing our anger. Why are we becoming angry, lashing out at our children (no matter the form it takes) and causing damage in our homes? And what does God want us to do about it?

Triggers, written by Amber Lia and Wendy Speake, is a lovely book written to help all mammas Biblically overcome their anger, seeking God’s help in restoring their homes and relationships with their children.

Triggers is broken down into two detailed sections: External Triggers and Internal Triggers. We are being shown two essential truths. What our kids are doing that makes us go bonkers. And, what is going on within our own hearts which is causing us to sin.

Among the most poignant for me were the chapters on Backtalk, Disrespect, and the Ignoring of Instruction. Amber Lia and Wendy Speake gently reminded me that my anger stemmed from my feeling of being powerless. I was angry due to heartache. How dare my family take my heart and abuse it!

“My intentions were good, my words were joy-filled, my plan was love, and my offering generous. But when I realized, in no uncertain terms, that no one was listening to me… I broke down.”
~ Wendy Speake, Triggers

Other chapters which strike a chord among most moms include Exhaustion, Running Late, Lack of Personal Space, and Generational Habits/Patterns of Sin.  Here, yet again, we are graciously reminded we cannot change the hearts of children; this is God’s work. What we can do, is draw closer to God; allowing Him to do a mighty work in us!

There is a difference between anger for the sake of pride and righteous indignation. Even God became angry when He saw the sin of His people. (Romans 1:18) No, the sin is not in being angry. The mistake is in what we allow to anger us; the sin lies in how we respond to the emotion within. (Ephesians 4:26)

No, I don’t yell at my children. As I mentioned earlier, I tend to withdraw. While this might initially reduce stress levels, and allow time for the Lord to do a work in each of our hearts, this can also be a danger zone. I need to remember God wants our family to be united; as one. We cannot do this if mommy does not wish to even be in the same room as her children! If there is a need, pulling myself out of the situation – for a time – might be of benefit. However, I need to be using this time to pray; asking the Lord to do a work in my own heart, seeking assistance to guard my tongue, and planning ways to restore the broken bond. I need to put pride aside and remember that just as I do, my children need grace and mercy.

Triggers is an excellent book! If you have yet to nab a copy for yourself, may I highly recommend you do so today. You will be blessed to know you aren’t alone and encouraged to seek Christ above all. Triggers is well thought out, full of Biblical wisdom, and uplifting to the end. You won’t want to skip this read!

“… this book is not just for moms of little ones. It’s for all moms who are ready for a change, ready to replace angry reactions with gentle biblical responses…”
~ Brooke McGlothlin

📢 Chime In!: Is anger an issue you’re working on overcoming in Christ? Share with us Bible verses the Lord has given you in your mission to becoming a graceful parent.

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