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, April 30, 2012

God Helps Me Bible

About the BookSpecially designed for very young children, the God Helps Me Bible features a spiral binding that allows the book to lay flat on a table, floor, or lap, which leaves little hands free to turn the pages and point out fun details in Clare Caddy's darling illustrations.

The twenty-five favorite Bible stories use words and concepts tailored for the youngest reader, so each story clearly emphasizes how God loves and helps His world and people.
About the Author: Juliet David has written many children's stories and Bible activity books. Her other interests include painting, music, and traveling to Israel and other Bible lands. This experienced author lives in London with her family. 

Are you looking for a good Bible storybook that is not only sound in its teaching, but also reads in the language of a young child? I have an option right here with this book selection, and it also has the added bonus of a lovely, sturdy cover (that can wipe clean pretty easily), and thick durable pages that also lay flat- due to the wonderful idea of a spiral bound spine!

I was fairly positive that not only would I enjoy looking through this sweet little book with simple but lovely illustrations ( thanks to the talented Claire Caddy), but that even my school age daughters would as well.

Written in a style that speaks to a young child, there are twenty five well known Bible stories to introduce her to God. Children in the older age range can also enjoy this book as a first reader, which is one way that our family has used the book.
Even though my girls are of school age, they never grow tired of reading these favorite stories.

I really appreciate the general theme of this storybook - God helped...
Every story ends with that phrase, always reminding the reader in what ways God helped each particular Bible character.
For example, God helped Noah escape the flood. God helped Joseph to understand the king's dream. And so on.

The author takes it a step further and on the front inside cover challenges the reader to think of ways that God has helped them.

Each story also contains the scripture reference so that you might look it up with your child.
A very nice addition to your faith collection, check out the link and get a copy for the sweet little one in your life!


* Disclaimer- I received a free copy of the God Helps Me Bible in exchange for my honest review of it, with no additional compensation.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

God's Great Covenant - A Bible Course for Children

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he grows old he will not depart from it."
How often have we heard that verse from Scripture? I would think it is safe to say that while most of us agree with that text, it can be a challenge to put it into practice.
I know that I sometimes feel so inadequate for the task. How may times I have begun a devotional with the girls, only to let it fall by the wayside within weeks.

But onward I press, because I realize the importance of this task. Naturally, I was very interested in reviewing this bible course that became available to us through TOS Crew. It arrived in a nice, sturdy package. There's something so satisfying to me about a big thick textbook (yeah, I'm a geek ;)), and I was delighted to find not just one, but two beautiful big books- the main edition, as well as the teacher's edition.

I was ready to get going. Now, to read the instructions...hmmm...where were the instructions? I flipped through the first book. Nope, not there. Oh, of course , the teacher's manual ( the second book). Huh. Not much direction there.

It soon became clear to this intelligent homeschooling mom *cough* that this classically designed course would be left up to me to take the lead in a self directed kind of way. Take a breath...I tried to calm my breathing as the anxiety welled up within me. Self directed? AACK! I can't do this, I thought. Fortunately, this little panic attack was soon over, and I was feeling like yes, I can give this a shot. I do tend to prefer to have a "How to use this book" section, but I was ready to challenge myself and try something different.

So we got started. The beginning is full of well, as obvious as it may sound, introductions. There's your historical and political introduction, chronological introduction, geographical introduction, religious introduction, and daily life introduction, where we meet Simon. Sounds like a lot, and it is! But really, do not just gloss over this part and skip to Unit 1. There is so much great information to be learned in these first sections, and that includes you too parents!

The girls and I enjoyed the recap of The Garden of Eden and all that happened with The Fall, talking again about Moses and Pharaoh, the prophets, and how it all lead up to the coming of Jesus. We've had some very precious times as of late.

How it's laid out:
You read the text, you decide how much or how little you'll complete each day. You'll notice at the bottom of the page, various scripture references to look up after certain sections on the page. I have to admit that it overwhelmed me at first, I mean, there are a LOT of references down there, and I had no idea how I would ever accomplish this course.
I'm glad I persevered though, because I have personally learned so much already, and it's so worth it to take your time. We're homeschoolers, what do we need to rush through this for?

The teacher's edition is essentially the same book, the difference being that the teacher's book includes lots of space for your notes, and more background information to encourage discussion.

Okay, so here are the basics of the book:
It's divide into 4 units and 36 chapters which include memory verses, prophecy section, think about it questions, as well as worksheets and quizzes.

Who this course might be good for:

If you take a relaxed or Charlotte Mason type of approach to your education, you'll probably love this course.  Lots of reading, lots of discussion, with you the teacher determining the discussion and schedule.

Who might not like this so much:

If you prefer a course that schedules the lessons for you in a very clear manner, with step by step directions, this may not be the right fit for you.

What my oldest thought/thinks:

She liked it. In her words- " I don't know how else to say it Mom...I like it." Her only negative comment - and it doesn't relate to the content really- was the length of the lessons. And that's something that we're able to adjust so...not so much an issue.

You can take a look at their website and see if this product might work for your homeschool.
And don't forget that you can also read about other crew members' experiences with this and other products at TOS HOMESCHOOL CREW

God's Great Covenant
Price: $26.95
Age: Elementary

DISCLAIMER:  As a member of TOS Homeschool Crew, I received a free copy of God's Great Covenant and its Teacher's Edition in exchange for my honest review, with no additional compensation.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Forgiven Duke by Jamie Carie

About the Book:

Tethered by her impulsive promise to marry Lord John Lemon - the path of least resistance - Alexandria Featherstone sets off toward Iceland in search of her parents with a leaden heart. A glimpse of her guardian, the Duke of St. Easton - the path less traveled by - on Dublin’s shore still haunts her.

Will he come after her? Will he drag her back to London, quelling her mission to rescue her treasure-seeking parents, or might he decide to throw caution to the wind and choose Foy Pour Devoir: “Faith for Duty,” the St. Easton motto. The Featherstone motto Valens et Volens: “Willing and Able,” beats in her heart and thrums through her veins. She will find her parents and find their love, no matter the cost.

The powerful yet wing-clipped Duke of St. Easton has never known the challenge that has become his life since hearing his ward’s name. Alexandria Featherstone will be the life or the death of him. Only time and God’s plan will reveal just how much this man can endure for the prize of love.

About the Author:

When she was six, Jamie’s parents met Jesus and soon after started a church. It changed everything.
Road trips with her dad—to and from Bible studies across Indiana—were filled with talks of things beyond earth’s bounds – creation and the fall, God and Jesus and the rapture, the earthly walk compared to the spiritual walk, and how we are born for more than what we can see or touch.
The highlight of those nights was stopping at a truck stop in the middle of the night where her dad would spend a little of the offering basket on two slices of pie and a couple of Cokes. Nothing ever felt so special as a middle of the night slice of pie with her dad. And nothing could stop the writing pouring out of her.
As Jamie’s relationship with God grew, she discovered her heart was filled with songs and poetry. During high school she wrote lyrics for her brother’s band. (And she sang them too!) After college, Jamie married, had two sons and decided to stay home with them. While she homeschooled she wrote skits, poems, plays and short stories for school and church.
When her eldest son turned five she dove into the world of novels. She’d read romance novels for years, but couldn’t relate to the flawless, saintly heroines in Christian romance novels. So she decided to write her own.

Snow Angel was born on a frosty night in an old farmhouse in Fishers, Indiana, where the cold floor gave plenty of motivation for the snow scene. Jamie loves to write late at night when the house is quiet and the darkness seems alive. Elizabeth and Noah had been playacting in herhead for a long time, so the story went fast.
Ten years later Snow Angel was published and won the ForeWord magazine Romance Book of the Year winner, was a National “Best Books 2007” Awards winner, and a 2008 RITA Awards® Best First Book finalist. It was the beginning of her dream career.

Jamie and her husband Tony have been married for twenty-one years and live in Indianapolis with their three sons and a giant of a dog named Leo.
If she could only say one thing to her readers it would be, “Live the dreams God has destined you for!”

I was so so so happy to have the opportunity to review what has become my FAVORITE series of late by author Jamie Carie. As you may have seen a short time ago, I also reviewed the first book in this series, The Guardian Duke.

I often think of my days spent in the Northeastern part of the U.K., with  a bit of nostalgia, and this series just feeds my daydreams as I picture some of my favorite parts of that lovely country. But I digress, so , to the delightful purpose of my post...this wonderful book!

I'm ordinarily not a huge mystery kind of girl, as it relates to reading categories, but the mix of characters, setting, and the romance of the book's era all worked together so beautifully for me that, just as it was with the first book, I simply found it difficult to put down. I could easily see how this story might be played out in a movie.

I could have cheered out loud upon reading about these memorable characters again. The Guardian Duke left us all in suspense as the Duke watched Alexandria Featherstone sail away with a man who was just too familiar for his liking. Great tension! It certainly whet my appetite for this next story.

The quest to find her parents continues for Alexandria Featherstone, this time taking her to distant Iceland and other exotic places,where she once again charms her way into the hearts of the people, and then follows her leads with a few more quirky characters.

Meanwhile, the Duke has plans of his own to find the lovely Featherstone, whom he has grown to love. She doesn't know that his intent is to join her in her journey, and help her. Having agreed to be the wife of the dashing Lord Lemon, she can't shake the constant doubts that plague her regarding that decision. Will she follow her heart and allow the Duke into her life?

Will their paths ever cross? Will Alexandria find her parents? So many questions, twists, oh I love it all! And I just can't spoil the story for you, because I think you'll be drawn in as well. I hope you'll check out the following links to get more information and get reading. It's just too bad that you'll have to wait so long until this next book becomes available....

But wait! One blessed reader will be selected to receive a FREE copy of this book. Yay! You probably know the drill by now, but I'll tell you anyway :)  You can...

- Follow me here and leave a comment

- Like their facebook page and leave a comment

- Share this giveaway on facebook and leave a comment

It's that easy! Giveaway goes now ( April 20, 2012)through Monday, April 30, 2012. I will notify the winner. Don't forget to leave me your address so I can contact you!


“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it

on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally

and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance

with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the

Use of Endorsements and Testimonials


Monday, April 16, 2012

Christian Kids Explore Biology

If you've been looking for a faith based science curriculum, then look no further, because I have just the product for you!
I am really excited about Christian Kids Explore Biology by Bright Ideas Press. This one stop science shop has been a wonderful fit for my daughters. The curriculum is geared toward 3rd through 6th graders, but as the book itself (and my 1st and 2nd graders) states, it is "easily adaptable for younger students, also." And the best part, as far as I'm concerned, is that it freely declares to be "unabashedly Christian." Yeah it is!

What you'll find:

Well, there are 8 separate units divided up into 35 weeks of lessons, and it may seem obvious to say this, but I will anyway - each lesson is meant to be completed in a week's time, following a two day a week schedule. This has worked well for us, although the girls would like to do more, so we may be increasing the pace.

How the lessons work:

At the start of each unit, there is a finely detailed coloring page relating to that unit's theme. (These are great for the younger students, giving them a little something to do while the lesson is being read.)
Day one is Teaching Time. This will be a text to be read by the parent, or if the kids are older, they can read it. It includes scripture memory, vocabulary, and once you get going in the book, review.
I mentioned that I have younger students, and some of the text is a little beyond them. They've been tracking pretty well though, and just to keep them engaged, I'll ask them to repeat some of the bigger words after me to help keep their attention.

Speaking of tracking, the creators of this fine resource have included among the many great reproducible sheets within the book, a Daily Reading Sheet to fill out after the Teaching Time. This documents the topic read, what your student enjoyed learning, information they didn't know before, vocabulary words, and what they would like to learn more about.

As you make your way through the lessons, you'll likely find the need to store all of these Daily Reading sheets, won't you? This is where your science notebook will come in handy, Your what? Your notebook silly. Now hold on, don't let that scare you off. This book has done all of the heavy lifting for you, providing all of the reproducible scripture memory cards, reading lists, field trip forms and more.  

All you need to do is get a binder and divider tabs for the 8 units,  and there you go! You're notebooking! My girls love having their own notebooks!

Now back to the lessons. You've got your Teaching Time for day one. Now for day two. This is a really fun part- Hands On! Science is so much more fun when you can get your hands dirty :)
This section will be where you have an experiment or some type of project to apply what was learned on day one.
So you might make a playdough or papier mache model of the Earth. Or a jello cell model.
One of my daughters very favorites was the first Hands On activity. To illustrate the point that order doesn't come from disorder (Think the Big Bang Theory), we took colored craft sticks and took turns throwing them in the air, and watching the mess they made. Simple but effective.

We have looked forward to our science lessons from the first lesson of Christian Kids Explore Biology. Personally, I couldn't ask more of a book that has planned most everything out for me. And it's so refreshing to find a curriculum that supports my faith. We're still working our way through the book, but I'll have no problem encouraging the girls to keep going to the end through the summer. They wouldn't let me stop now if I wanted to anyway ;)

There are more titles in the Christian Kids Explore series and if you click here you can take a look.

And, visit the TOS Homeschool Crew page to see what my crewmates reviewed and what they thought.

Disclaimer: I received a free print copy of Christian Kids Explore Biology in exchange for my honest review, with no additional compensation.

Bright Ideas Press
Christian Kids Explore Biology
Price: $34.95 for print copy
Ages: 3rd-6th grade - adaptable for younger students

Sunday, April 15, 2012

AIMS Education Foundation - It's About Time

I'm pleased to be sharing another resource from AIMS Education Foundation with you. This is my second review product with the company, and this time, I've moved from Science to Math. But, just as I did with my last review of one of their products, I would like to share a quote that can be found within the first few pages.

I Hear
and I

I See and
I Remember,

I Do
and I

Those words capture the essence of the activity books that we've used in our family. Hands on.
 I realize that there are different learning styles, but most children that I've had the pleasure of working with love to actively participate in lessons through games, projects, and all around hands on time.
And that is what I appreciate most about AIMS. They are all about child involvement.

It's About Time is all about, as you might have guessed, learning to tell time. Forget about any stuffy lessons you may have experienced yourself as a child, because this book is filled with fun activities that will pique the interest of most children.
The target age range is K-2nd grade, and my girls fall right in the middle. An initial look through the book made me think at first that the beginning activities might be too easy for them, since they already had the basics of telling time learned.

I still decided to start with the first few lessons because I figured the review couldn't hurt. That turned out to be a good decision! The girls really enjoyed a variety of activities that help build the concept of measuring time.

We talked about and made lists of words relating to time - today, tomorrow, after, later, etc...
We made copies of picture cards from the book, acted out the activity, and sorted them into groups according to the length of time necessary to complete each depicted event.

Then there is one of my favorite ones...we made (copied) cardstock hands and taped them to a yardstick and ruler respectively, to represent the hour and minute hands. With numbersaround us in a circle, we (they) became human clocks. Cute! And effective. It sure beat the same old same old clock model.

Those are just a small sample of what is in It's About Time. There are a LOT of reproducibles, ideas for clock models to teach counting by 5's, minute by minute, elapsed time and more. There are some really cute games like "Time Out", which is really bingo, with the kids matching up the correct time.

Kids will practice telling time on wall clocks, digital clocks, wristwatches, I think you get the point.

Now, we of course are a homeschooling family, and used this book as such a family would. Generally speaking, the book is designed for the public school, with more group games, and story settings relating to that, but that wasn't an issue for us. I tweaked as needed, and the girls didn't notice.

I also found that the order and presentation of lessons made it simple to choose what I felt we needed to work on for a particular day. The book also includes a CD of some, not all of the reproducibles found in the book.

Overall, this proved to be a nice little resource for us. It was a refreshing change from the ho hum, and the girls enjoyed the variety included. More than worth stopping by their website and taking a peek.

The Homeschool Crew reviewed this and a few other AIMS titles. You can see what they thought by clicking here .

AIMS Educational Foundation
It's About Time - Print book plus CD - PDF also available
Ages: K-2nd Grade
Price: $21.95

Disclaimer- I received a free copy of AIMS Education Foundation It's About Time in exchange for my honest review, with no additional compensation.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The 5 Love Languages of Children, by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell

About the book:

To be their best, children need to feel loved. But if you and your child speak different love languages, your affection might get lost in translation, affecting the child’s attitude, behavior, and development. Dr. Gary Chapman’s groundbreaking Five Love Languages series has helped millions of couples communicate love more clearly, and Dr. Ross Campbell M.D. has applied the innovative system to children as well. The 5 Love Languages of Children gives practical suggestions for learning how your children interpret love and creating a sense of security in which they can thrive.
Unless you've been hiding under the proverbial rock, I'm pretty sure that you're familiar with at least the title The 5 Love Languages. This book, The 5 Love Languages of Children, employs the same theme, the difference being (obviously, I think) that it is tailored for the needs of children. Having two young children, it appealed to me right away.
There is a LOT of information within these pages, and I'll just start at the beginning. I would say that the main point is that our children all have "Emotional Love Tanks" that are in constant need of being filled. Becoming a student to our kids is vital in determining their healthy growth and development. Okay, easy right? Well, maybe, maybe not. There are 5 major Love Languages, and it's our job as parents to discover which is their primary language, and then to speak it to them. Which underscores my statement that we need to become students to our sons and daughters. It takes time. We have to purpose in our hearts to be intentional in this. But the results are so worth it!

What are the 5 Love Languages?

1.) Physical Touch

2.) Words of Affirmation

3.) Quality Time

4.) Gifts

5.) Acts of Service

As I mentioned, it may take some time to get your young ones' love language figured out. But you can do it! Young children in particular may bounce back and forth a bit as they grow, but you can watch for clues that they will give you  in figuring this out. Does your child need your undivided attention constantly? Is she always paying you complements? Is she eternally stuck like glue to your side? Or does she treat each little trinket given to her like it's a sacred treasure? All of these may be hints at what fills her love tank.
And taking the time to learn this will not only strengthen your relationship, but also prevent resentment from building up, allowing her to grow up emotionally healthy.

The book also goes into the ways that this subject and the way a parent disciplines affects a child's heart. Speaking their language can go a long way in not merely getting the behavior you want, but reaching their heart. Knowing and using the right language can not only help us as parents respond in a better way, it may also prevent a lot of acting up.

To quote from the book, "Parents are a child's first and most important teachers." Did you realize that we have a huge impact in shaping the emotional growth of our kids? Gulp. Sobering thought. Nobody ever said this parenting thing was easy.

Another point that really stuck out for me in this book revolved around the subject of anger. Learning how to express and manage anger is vital in developing and keeping healthy relationships, right up into adulthood. Speaking the appropriate love language does so much in teaching this to our kids, as well as learning this for ourselves.

The last chapters of the book speak to those who are single, offering ways to help them in this challenging role.
To end the book, the authors offer a refresher course in Love Languages for married folks, because it is true that children benefit so much more when their parents are seeking to really love their spouse.

This was an easy read; a lot of information, a lot to think about and apply, but easy to understand. There were some sobering messages here, but I felt that the overall tone was positive, telling parents that no matter the stage of their children, there is always hope for change and improvement. This would be a valuable addition to every parent's library.

Some helpful links:!/drgarychapman

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Now then, would you be interested in a free copy of The 5 Love Languages of Children? I thought so :) All you need to do is:

1.) Follow me here.

2.) Like the 5 Love Languages Facebook page

3.) Tell me how you use the love languages to build your relationship(s) with your child(ren)

Do any or all of these for one entry each. And please leave a comment and email for all so I can contact you if chosen. Go to it!

Giveaway starts now- Monday April 9, 2012, and goes through Tuesday, April 17, 2012. I will notify the winner on Wednesday, April 18, 2012.