Are you ready to hear about Art of the Northern Countries, Renaissance to Realism, K-3 Vol. 5 from ARTistic Pursuits, Inc.?
I'm so excited to tell you about this beautifully illustrated easy-to-use homeschool art curriculum with a focus on monoprint and relief printmaking methods, watercolor, and charcoal. We used the book and the DVD.
This volume, and the rest of the set, is a wonderful way to introduce young children to the wonderful world of fine art!
We had an amazing time with this book on Northern Artists. We looked at Bruegel, Durer, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Turner, Millet, and more. I love these artists!
We tackled printing assignments and charcoal assignments.
My grandson is 4 years old and he was glued to the DVD for every lesson we watched. He was fascinated and remember the directions clearly. Of course, I love the way, Brenda reviews the lesson briefly, but thoroughly at the end of the lesson.
Both printing with ink and charcoal can get messy, so we covered the working area with newspapers. This worked perfectly.
I will tell you about our charcoal lesson. I worked with my grandson Rusty and two friends ages 16 and 12. My grandson is four.
Our hero and heroine receive a treasure map. With great bravery, they set out to cross raging rivers, climb high mountains, slay fierce dragons, and keep their fellow adventurers committed to their noble task. Forsaking comfort, sleep, and disposable income, they live the adventure to seek the treasure of a lifetime.
Who are these heroes? Why you and your spouse, of course.
While you are battling a fire-breathing dragon after a sleepless night awake with a sick child, you can wonder if the treasure is worth it.
Our own adventure began in the late 1980s when home education was still thought of as quirky. We were unlikely treasure hunters with Mike in seminary, barely two nickels to rub together, living in student housing.
With our eyes on the prize, we plunged in. The creator of Sing, Spell, Read, and Write was a professor at Mike’s graduate school so I went to her workshop and purchased the kit. Copying, coloring, and laminating the letter pages, I made a border in our small dining area so that Katie Beth could see them while she ate her breakfast each morning, waiting for her to show interest in those letters.
Meanwhile, we read beautifully illustrated, well-written picture books by the ton, played at the playground, planted a garden, went strawberry picking, made jam, and explored the nearby woods all with baby Julianna in tow. We loved to sing in the car, talk to cows through the window, and make silly animal sounds while we did their peculiar walks.
“Maybe I should read, Mommy,” Katie-Beth urged as I struggled to keep my eyes awake. I was pregnant again and oh so very sleepy. Could I teach Katie-Beth to read and potty train Julianna with a brand new baby?
We faced other challenges like blending the letter sounds while we were learning to read. It just didn’t come quickly for any of my children. Patience was the answer to that dilemma.
We faced the raging river of teaching something I didn’t understand myself. After praying for an idea, I went to the children’s section of the library and checked out books on the topic. After some quick reading, I understood enough to confidently teach a third grader. That came up over and over, until I learned to relax and learn with my children. After all, learning is a grand adventure!
I was so excited to receive a digital subscription to CrossWired Science, a homeschool online science curriculum for homeschool families, Sound, and Fluid Dynamics.
I was give a choice between two global topics: Sound and Fluid Dynamics and I chose Fluid Dynamics and boy was I in for a surprise. We were having so much fun that I didn't realize we were learning so much. I say we because I learned so much, too.
Now, I had two strikes against me going into this review. One, I am not a techie person and two, I had to leave two quite often during this review and stayed in places where we didn't have internet.
The first strike didn't matter. This online science curriculum was so easy to use. Even I could figure it out. Secondly, though I would have liked to progress forward using the program every day, we had to do it in spurts. That was fine because whenever we finished a video and took the short quiz, we wanted to see another one!
The videos were highly entertaining and fast-paced. Information was shared in an easy-to-understand way that just made sense. And it was fascinating stuff. We learned about sinuses, airplanes, birds, why dogs drool and cats sip, hummingbirds, carburetors, box fish, and penguins. We read books, tried experiments, and went on field trips. What fun! There were constant reminders that God is our Creator!
But while we were having fun, we were learning about aerodynamics, hydrodynamics, Daniel Bernoulli, Bernoulli's Principle, Vortices, turbulent and laminar flow, Orville and Wilbur Wright, fin types, swim patterns, bird feathers, insect flight, dolphin hydrodynamics, kingfisher hydrodynamics, penguin hydrodynamics, how animals drink, caves, Mt. St. Helen, air foils, and so much more. It was amazing!
It is a normal thing for teens to question their faith. Almost every teenager I know goes through some doubts. It might be doubting God’s love or doubting that the Bible is the Word of God or doubting that Jesus rose from the dead.
Welcome questions from your teenagers when you are a mom. If you don’t know the answer to “How can I know that Jesus rose from the dead?” or “Why does evil exist?” then tell your teen you will get them an answer.
During the teenage years, young men and women often wrestle with God. Is He there? Does He love them? Is His Word true? Are the really saved?
Never belittle someone’s doubts or genuine questions, especially those of your own child.
Cultivate an atmosphere where your sons and daughters can talk to you about anything. Also, pray for them. Remember Jesus loves them more than we do.
Your relationship with your son or daughter during their teen and young adult years is critical. Do whatever you have to so that it is strong and healthy. Make time in your schedule to go out to lunch, grab a cup of coffee, play a game of tennis, or take a walk around the block together.
This is a scary time in many’s young people’s lives as they make choices that will affect the rest of their lives. Be their biggest fan and cheer them on to victory in Jesus!
Always find good things in them to affirm and compliment, even if you have to reach.
Many young people in our day and age are abandoning the faith so stand strong in prayer and fasting, yes I said fasting, for your sons and daughters.
The most important thing about your children is that they know Jesus and experience his grace, mercy, and love. Pray for them. God answers prayer!
Love them with affection, time, compliments, gifts, and showing interest in their lives and friends. Make time!
One thing that has meant a lot in our home is mentoring time, either informal or formal times.
Riding to the YMCA every morning to workout, Rose and I would talk on the way and pray on the way home. This weren’t long times, but they were consistent and bore much fruit.
Mike met weekly with our son to study the Word of God, pray, and talk. I see the fruit in my son’s life.
Whether it’s going through a Bible study, digging into the Scriptures, or just talking, spend purposeful time with your teens and young adults.
A book from YWAM Publishing? I was so excited to get to read Heroes of History: Douglas MacArthur What Greater Honor by Janet & Geoff Benge. As all their books are, this was such a fun read.
YWAM Publishing has two series that I am trying to collect: Christian Heroes:Then and Now and Heroes of History. This biography is part of the Heroes of History series.
I have always wanted to learn more about Douglas MacArthur and I was so excited to read this biography, What a fascinating life!
Douglas' father Arthur MacArthur was a highly decorated military man who had been thrilled to meet Abraham Lincoln as a young man. His mother Pinky reminded him every night, "You must grow up to be a great man like Robert E. Lee." Interesting that God brought his parents together from opposite sides of the Civil War to raise a man that would live honorably in peace and in war.
Douglas grew up in the late 1800s riding horses, moving place to place wherever his father was stationed, and eventually ending up at West Point. His momma moved to be close to him for the four years he attended West Point and when he graduated, he left the podium to embrace both his mother and father. His love for his parents was deep and demonstrated by the inner call he felt to live up to the heritage his father had left him.
I was fascinated by his love and concern for the people around him throughout his life. He had tremendous wisdom, especially in dealing with the Japanese people when he occupied Japan.
When I finished the book, I was satisfied. It more than met my expectations. I learned more about World War I, World War II, and the Japanese occupation than I even imagined. As a history lover, this book will have a place on honor on my bookshelf!
Being very impressed with Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW), I was excited to review Fix-It! Grammar Book 1: The Nose Tree from IEW. Since I have never used IEW's grammar program, I elected to start with the first book in the series.
What a delightful way to learn grammar!
As you do your grammar lesson, an enchanting tale about three down-and-out soldiers unfolds. The story contains a dwarf, magic, a crafty princess, and apples that make noses grown long.
As we worked through the lessons, we were immediately intrigued by the story and it was a great motivation to complete each lesson since more of the story would unfold.
Just as I appreciated IEW's writing curriculum, I was thoroughly impressed with their grammar curriculum.
I received the Teacher's Manual and the Student Workbook to review. The Teacher's Manual includes a download link for the Student Workbook E-book so you can just buy the Teacher's Manual and print out any pages that you need. That's a great bargain for big families.
I could probably use the student workbook without the teacher's manual because the directions were so clear, but, of course, the teacher's manual includes the answers and clear teaching instructions, as well as the student workbook E-book. So, purchasing the Teacher's Manual is definitely a wise choice!
I'm excited about some of the new trends this spring.
I really like the bright colors and find some of the textures quite interesting, especially the crochet dresses.
Okay, some of the feathers, fringe, and giant ruffles are a little over the top, but it's fun to see bow blouses back. They were popular when I was a teenager and college student. Oops I just dated myself.
As a Christian woman who wants to be fashionably modest, I found some trends that appeal to me like the boxy jackets, monochromatic outfits, longer skirts, and over-sized vests.
I've gathered some photos to give you a taste of what's in this spring.
If you're like me, it's time to go shopping in your own closet. I'm sure to find some of these things that have recycled back in style from years gone by. Hey, I may be able to dig up some neon clothes from the 1980's.
Fashion Trends for Spring
All the Gospels in the New Testament devote several chapters to the last week of Jesus’ life.
After all, there was so much going on that final week when Jesus took the sins of the whole world on Himself and died for us.
Satan thought he won, but he lost! Jesus rose from the dead on the third day!
When Holy Week and Easter roll around, I want my children to learn about and celebrate everything!
Besides being real history, this week is foundational for our faith in Jesus.
So, let me give you a birds’ eye view of the last week of Jesus life and ways to celebrate with your family.
Dinner at Simon's House
Starting on Saturday, Jesus dined with Simon the Leper in Bethany. Bethany was where Lazarus, whom he had just raised from the dead, and his sisters Mary and Martha lived. Anyway, while Martha served, Mary poured expensive perfume on Jesus feet and wiped them with her hair. Jesus said that she had anointed Him for burial and commended her.
Family Fun: Give one another foot rubs
(Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9, John 12:1-9)
Triumphal Arrival in Jerusalem
On Sunday, Jesus came into Jerusalem riding on a donkey. The people were so excited, they worshipped Him, as well as spreading cloaks and palm branches on the ground for Him to ride over.
Family Fun: Dress up and act out the Triumphal Entry to Jerusalem
(Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, John 12:12-19)
Memoria Press is a favorite in our home school so I was thrilled to review Prima Latina, a Latin curriculum for primary grades. We enjoyed Latina Christiana over the years, so I was excited to see the course we missed because Prima Latina is the prequel to Latina Christiana.
The kit I received had a teacher's manual, DVD to watch, Audio CD to listen to pronunciation, study cards, and the student workbook.
It has been several years since I've taught Latin, so I pulled out the teacher's manual to get started. It was so helpful to read the beginning and as I read, I remembered a lot from the past.
One thing that helped was to know the goals of the course. I will share them with you.
1. Learn basic Latin alphabet and ponunciation of vowels and consonant sounds
2. Pronounce, spell, and translate 125 Latin words
3. Learn 25 practical Latin expressions and 4 prayers
4. Learn numbers 1 to 10
5. Learn names of constellations derived from Latin
6. Understand concepts of derivatives (English words we get from Latin roots)
7. Grammar (parts of speech, conjugating, declining, 1st declension noun endings, 1st declension verb endings)
Now, I was ready to begin and teach confidently.
For each lesson, we followed the same pattern. We listened to the CD and said the words along with the CD. Then we watched the video lesson, followed by the workbook pages. We checked the workbook pages together. In between lessons, the cards were used for memorizing.
After every five lessons, there was a review.
My favorite part of the lesson was the DVD. The class was taught for me. I learned right along with the teacher!
I found this material easy to teach, easy for the children to learn, and though it's meant for primary grades, I would use it for older kids, too. It would be a great way to teach the entire family Latin. We really enjoyed it!
Drive Thru History (R) is a favorite at our house, so we were all excited to watch Drive Thru History (R) "Acts to Revelation". Wow! Another amazing video series that takes us back in time to the days of Acts and Revelation from The Bible.
The DVD set includes 18 episodes (30 minutes each) for an amazing homeschool Bible curriculum or homeschool history curriculum. We are using it now for Bible, but later I will use it when we study Ancient History.
Here are the Episodes
1. The Gospel Shared at Pentecost
2. The Church Grows in Jerusalem
3. The Gospel Spreads to the Gentiles
4. Saul of Tarsus and the Road to Damascus
5. Paul's First Missionary Journey: The Island of Cyprus
6. The Journey Continues: Pamphylia, Galatia, & Asia Minor
7. The Jerusalem Council & Paul's Second Missionary Journey
8. The Second Journey Continues: Philippi & Thessolonica
9. A Road Trip to Athens
10. Ancient Corinth
11. Paul's Third Missionary Journey: Ephesus
12. Paul's Final Trip to Jerusalem & Cesarea
13. Adventures at Sea: The Island of Malta
14. A Final Journey to Rome
15. The Martyrdom of Paul & Peter
16. John and the Island of Patmos
17. The Seven Churches of Revelation
18. The Book Closes on the New Testament Period
First of all, the DVD set and Study Guide are beautiful. They come inside a package that looks like a book. The photos in the study guide are clear, gorgeous, and glossy like a coffee table book. I am just excited to own this so I can take it out and look at it.
Victoria lives in London with her Mum and Dad. Her Mum is Brazilian. Victoria goes to Brazil with her Mom to visit her family.
Mum and Victoria fly into San Paulo and travel to the Parana State where all Mum's relatives live.
Victoria travels from place to place meeting cousins, grandparents, aunts, uncles, a great-grandmother, and old friends of her Mum. There is great variety in the places she visits from a coffee farm to Itu where everything is REALLY BIG! Victoria sees micro monkeys, parakeets, fishing boats, churches, capybara (giant guinea pigs), casava flour, fruit trees, flowers, and watermelon juice.
The book uses bright, cheery photographs to illustrate Victoria's story of visiting her family in Brazil. I love the photos. They are amazing! They give a realistic picture to readers of family life in Brazil, but they also appeal to children with the bright colors, children, family love, and cute little animals. It really is like looking at someone's scrapbook.
I love to use picture books to teach geography to little ones. Victoria goes to Brazil would be enjoyed by children from ages 4 to 8, but it would also be a fun family read to kick off your geography studies in South America. Children will be introduced to a specific region in Brazil and you can see where it is on the map page. In addition, they will learn about industries, animals, plants, landforms, food, and culture.
Review of Victus Study Skill System's Teacher Edition, Student Workbook Elementary, and Student Workbook College
"Interesting," I thought unpacking the box with a Victus Study Skills System Teacher Edition, Student Workbook, Student Workbook Elementary, and Student Workbook College from Victus Study Skills System. "Oh, wow! They included a Student Planner, a Student Workbook Primary Grades, Teacher Supplement Elementary, and Teacher Supplement Primary. There is so much here!"
As I leafed through all the material from Victus Study Skills System, I realized that it all dove-tailed perfectly so that all ages could learn the same things at the same time! I love that! These study skills workbooks and lessons are perfect for those who want their children to grow in test taking, organization, scheduling, and other good learning habits.
Knowing that, I thought of a family that I have been mentoring. Each of the children are very smart, but struggle to complete schoolwork, wake up early, and do well on tests. The family likes to stay up late and everyone gets easily distracted. I have shared many of the things in this system, but never in a systemic way. And I hadn't shared all of it.
I showed the parents the materials I had received and asked if they would like to explore the first and second lesson with me. They have children ranging from 10 years old in elementary to a college student. It took awhile to juggle all of our schedules, but we finally met for our first session to cover Lesson one and two. I used the Teachers Edition to teach and handed out the various workbooks to appropriate family members. I also made a copy of the learning styles assessment for each of the seven family members.
When they arrived, we sat down in the family room and started by talking about where we are and where we want to be in five years. Everyone shared. Then I explained, directly from the Teachers edition that each scenario needed the "study skills" in this system. After all these are more than study skills, they are life skills that will be used in the future by homemakers, grad students, and in any career where a person wants to advance.
There was a time when learning math involved memorization. Today we tend to shy away from memorization or never get around to it. I’m here to tell you that, even with calculators and computers, we still need to memorize certain facts in math.
This is always the number one thing math teachers tell students to memorize. It is also the number one thing that math students claim they can use their calculator for instead of memorizing them. Here’s the truth. Calculators are slower than your brain. On any given day it will take longer to enter 7x6= into a calculator than it will for you to remember that the answer is 42. This may seem like a sacrifice your students are willing to make but let’s put it into perspective. Most good math programs have students doing 30 or more problems per day. If every problem takes longer because of typing into a calculator math class can get extended much longer than it needs to be. Further, when students take college entrance exams, they are timed. Test takers need every single second they can get.
Human error is another problem with calculators. I call it “fat fingers”. It’s amazing how easy it is to hit the wrong key on your calculator. If you are not carefully watching every digit entered, you won’t even know you made the mistake. If you are watching every digit, you’re taking a lot more time.
Being able to quickly do your multiplication portion of math problems will improve retention of concepts. If students are fumbling through punching multiplication factors into a calculator, they are being distracted from the concept they are learning. This distraction makes it more difficult to learn and remember.
There are many different methods for memorizing multiplication facts. The simplest way to do it is to just start writing them. Flashcards and memorization charts are also very useful. I took an idea from my mother’s school days, back in the 1940’s and created a great little mini-book called Multiplication Memorization Circles. If you get our newsletter, this is the March newsletter Freebie. (You can sign up for our newsletter here)
Memorizing multiplication facts can be started as early as second to third grade. If your students are older and haven’t done it yet, do it now. It’s never too late.
"Can you read me this book, Grand-Merey?" my almost-four year old grandson asked, handing me The Great Escape (Book #3) from WorthyKids, an Imprint of Hatchette Book Group. It had just arrived in a package along with Journey to Jericho (Book #4) from the Secret of the Hidden Scrolls series.
I was so excited that he was interested in listening to the book read aloud because I pegged the reading level about first through third grade.
He will probably lose interest, I thought, sitting down and reading the first chapter.
Nope! My voice gave out and two other volunteers took over one after the other. He wanted to finish the whole book!
He loved the book and wanted to hear Journey to Jericho next. Wow! I was excited!
So my little four-year-old grandson who is just learning to read thoroughly enjoyed hearing these books. He thought the story was quite exciting and his favorite character was Michael, the angel because he was "kind and good. Oh, and he rescued good people."
He's not the only one who likes the book. I have a waiting list of young friends who want to borrow the books.
Let me tell you about the third book in the Secret of the Hidden Scrolls series called The Great Escape.
I invited my friend Mikilana and her children ages 10 to 18 to listen to For The Temple from Heirloom Audio. We had a blast listening to this Christian audio drama!
We listened to both CDs back to back without interruption. It was an exciting radio theater experience with excellent acting, realistic sound effects, and an engaging story that kept us interested.
After we listened to For the Temple, I asked my friends what they thought.
First of all, we all agreed that it was a great story, but a very sad time in history. After all, when Jesus prophesied about the destruction of Jerusalem, He wept.
Peter found the audio drama Interesting, especially looking at each perspective: the Romans and the Jews.
Hallel liked the narrator's voice because he was very expressive and pleasant to listen to. He also found the story a little confusing. However, the history itself during that time is quite confusing.
Gracie loved it and thought the story was very exciting.
Victoria described it as "Action-packed, historically informative, and able to draw me into the story."
Hosanna agreed with Hallel. She thought the radio theater audio showed an Interesting perspective. She said, "I never really thought of it in both ways—seeing from both a Roman and Jewish perspective."
As mothers, Mikilana and I both appreciated the Christian message and wholesomeness of the story. We both have purchased many of GA Henty's books so were excited to hear another one of his story dramatized.