Deuteronomy 6:6-7

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. ~ Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Monday, December 19, 2011

The World's Greatest Stories

Audio stories are the best, don't you agree? I love using them as an alternative to television, long (or short) car rides, and for the kids to listen to as they fall asleep at night. If those stories are biblically based, that's even better, and that brings me to this week's TOS review.

The World's Greatest Stories are a wonderful collection of bible stories narrated by actor George W. Sarris.
No, that's not right. Narrated doesn't come close to being the right word. Mr. Sarris has beautifully and dramatically brought these bible stories to life in 6 different CD's:

Volume 1 - The Prophets
Volume 2 - The Life of Christ
Volume 3 - Beginnings
Volume 4Joshua and Esther
Volume 5 - Joseph & His Brothers
Volume 6 - Defeating Giants

We were delighted to receive and review Volume 1 - The Prophets, which features these bible stories:
The Blazing Furnace - Daniel 3
The Handwriting on the Wall  - Daniel 5

Daniel in the Lion's Den - Daniel 6

Elijah & the Prophets of Baal  - 1Kings 17-18

The Prophecy of Jonah - The Book of Jonah

These CD's work for ages 4 and on up, but our whole family was captivated by Mr. Sarris' storytelling. He affects such wonderful accents for the characters, and his take on King Nebuchadnezzar is simply marvelous. The little ladies couldn't contain their giggles.

What a great way to listen to the bible! You'll also be interested to know that these CD's are so affordable, only $7.95 each, making them a super gift for all occasions. This makes us really happy, because at this rate, we'll have the whole set very soon!

Check out the website for more information, and order a CD, or more, today!

See what other crewmates had to say about this product here:

Greatest StoriesThe World's
Ages: 4 and up
Price: $7.95 each
Available in NIV or KJV versions

**I received a free copy of The World's Greatest Stories- Volume 1 for free in exchange for my honest review of it, with no additional compensation.**

Monday, December 5, 2011

Artistic Pursuits - Book One K-3

When it comes to the subject of art, the homeschooling parents I've talked with seem to fall into one of two camps. The first group either loves, loves, loves art, and goes all out in providing a wide variety of art materials, trips to museums, and so on for their students.
The second camp is made up of the *ahem*, artistically challenged. They may feel that they don't know what they're doing, or even where to begin in presenting an art lesson.

Now, I'm speaking in generalities of course, and  I also realize that there are plenty of folks who fall somewhere in between the two categories I've presented; I myself am one such person.

I love art. Spending an afternoon at the art museum just feeds my soul. In fact, and this may sound silly, but simply walking through the art store for an hour or two has a similiar effect on me. I can't explain it, perhaps it's the possibilities that the oil pastels, paints, brushes, etc. represent.

That said, I often find myself at a loss at where to begin when it comes to teaching this subject. And then along came a most delightful art curriculum - Artistic Pursuits.

This is what I've been looking for all this time. An introduction to a variety of art mediums and techniques, an introduction to art history, all geared towards the age of my daughters, and therefore easy to understand.

Upon opening this wonderfully thick, spiral bound book, is a handy list of the necessary art materials. So helpful!

The book we're using (Book 1, for K-3rd grade) is divided into three sections:




 It is suggested by the author/teacher to have plenty of interesting objects to observe and sketch - goldfish, shells, bowls of fruit, small caged animals, and/or just going outside. And being a homeschooling family lends itself to a myriad of interesting possibilities in this regard, as we're not limited to the classroom! Just sayin'.

Let me show you what a typical lesson looks like. It begins with an overview of the topic, which might be what it means for an artist to compose a picture, or how nature inspires him/her.
Next is a simple exercise for the student to do, maybe a discussion or a walk outside. After that, it's time to take a close look at the featured painting or other work of art from the lesson and talk about it, the colors, subjects, perhaps some of the artists background.

Now the best part of all...let's create our own work of art! Each lesson features a particular art medium, and after a brief explanation of its purpose and how to use it, we get to try it for ourselves :)

I"m not exaggerating in the least when I say that from the first project, the whole family was hooked. *I* had been excited from the moment that I opened the book and saw the depth of the lessons, but I was pleasantly surprised to see how my ladies took to it all, art history included.
Of course, their favorite part is the hands on drawing, painting, creating aspect, and we did MANY pictures for each assignment. Especially when the medium is watercolor crayons. They are wildly popular in this house now.

I suppose that I'm stating the obvious when I say that we love this curriculum. It's the whole package in one easy, simple to teach, format. I would recommend Artistic Pursuits to anyone and everyone looking for a good at home art program.

You can read what my crewmates had to say about this and the other books in this series here...

Artistic Pursuits
 Book one - Grades K-3 $42.95

**I received a free copy of Artistic Pursuits Book One in return for my honest review of it, with no additional compensation.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Great Commission Languages - The Easy French

Laissez les bon temps roulez! Or, to put it in plain English ;) - "Let the good times roll!" Introducing my daughters to the French language has me so excited! I absolutely love this language, so when I was selected to use Le Francais Facile! with them over the past month or so, I was happily shouting Oh la la!

What we've been using:

Le Francais Facile! (The Easy French!)
Junior Level - for ages K-3rd grade

We received a thick, spiral bound book which includes 2 CD's, one of which has enhanced audio play, allowing you to listen over the computer, and also has a LOT of worksheets and extras to print off for your students. Within the first few pages is an exhaustive list of good resources, books and DVD's to expand your understanding of the French culture.

About the lessons:

Every lesson begins with an audio portion. The script is in both French and English, and repetitive enough to help the student get the basic idea of what is going on. Following the audio is the vocabulary for that lesson. Then it's activity time! I love the note that can be found throughout the lessons - "This curriculum was designed for you, not you for the curriculum!" Meaning...there are many activities to choose from, but you decide which ones will fit the time and interests of your children.

One of the ongoing activities that we have been doing is the C'est Moi! Livre (It's Me! Book) There is a page-sometimes 2- for each lesson, a page to color, something to draw, to extend the lesson. As the girls complete them, we put them in a binder, and they sure are proud of their work so far!

Also included in the lessons are 'cultural notes' about life and times of the French people, and sometimes recipes and games.

Our thoughts:

C'est Magnifique! We love this program! The lessons are fun and engaging, and is designed to work with a variety of ages. I have *some* experience with the French language, but a family with no exposure can do well with this also.
I really love that this curriculum allows me to print out what I need for each student, without having to purchase additional workbooks. That makes it a wonderful value right there.

The girlies are loving their increasing knowledge of the language. They frequently practice their vocabulary, and are now very aware of anything that suggests an origin of France. Their enthusiasm for this product speaks volumes of its effectiveness.

Visit Great Commission Languages at their website and see if this is a good fit for your family too :)

Great Commission Languages
Le Francais Facile! - The Easy French!
Ages: K-3rd Grade
Price: $69.95

Read what my crewmates had to say about this here --->

**I received a free copy of Le Francais Facile! in exchange for my honest review of it, with no additional compensation.**