Review of the By the Way Book Series from By the Way Books

 


By the Way  publishes wonderful travel books for kids such as Alaska ~ By The Way from the By the Way Book Series.  Because our family is military, throughout the years, we have been asked where we would choose to live outside the contiguous forty-eight states and our first choice has always been Alaska.  So I was thrilled for our family to have the opportunity to review this book.  This series of books is a fun way of learning about state history from a unique perspective.

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The books examine the lives of Alex and Lexi who are brother and sister.  In the book Alaska ~ By the Way, the two travel to Alaska with their parents.  They experience time on a ship, time in some of the cities, and even time in the air traveling from one place to another. Our family loved the details included about how local people live, the wildlife, the plants and flowers and even economic information.  The details included are incredible.  We found facts to suprise us -such as the information regarding the Wasilla Farmers Market and the size and quantity of fruit and vegetables produced.  There were also some things we already knew – such as the numbers of daylight versus darkness between the winter and summer.  Of course, we knew that becuase we have friends who moved to Alaska about 2 years ago to pastor a church along with their two sons.

The By the Way Book Series includes a group of books that each serve as part of a larger series of books that elaborate on a different state and the unique characteristics and information about the state. Each book shares a common thread of being geographically based with a Christian worldview.  According to their website on their “About Page”, “It is our hope with the By The Way Book Series to change that number and enable scriptural and positive conversations within Christian homes. These books are great to use for your children’s home school curriculum, family devotions or even summer reading.”

Joy Budensiek wrote these books with the aim of getting families to talk to one another.  I  feel like her books demonstrated her love for the Lord and a desire to help children connect with the Lord on a personal and meaningful level, while encouraging families to connect in a meaningful and in-depth manner.  On the By the Way website, I found a statement that captured my attention, “By the Way Series was born from the shock of a simple statement by Dr. Jeff Myers of Summit Ministries. ‘19 out of 20 Christian parents and grandparents do not talk to their children about God and spiritual truths in their daily lives’.” 

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At the beginning of the book, as seen above, there are pictures for children to find while reading the books.  Even with the ages of our children ranging from 22 to 15, they still love searching for and finding pictures.  Although we have not had a chance to do everything we want to yet with this book, I have plans for our 15-year-old daugther and 17-year-old son to pick some things from the book to draw and/or write about in the coming days.  I can not wait to see what they come up.  I can see them creating totem poles, drawing ships and city-scapes, pictures of gardens and wildlife and more.  I can see them writing about the local people, the cities, the life-style and more. One activity I definitey plan on having them do is write an account of where they would like to visit in Alaska and why.

The latest books in the By the Way Book Series are New York City ~By the Way, Indiana ~ By the Way, Alaska ~ By the Way (which is the one we received), and Ireland ~ By the Way.  Other books already published in the series include:  Smoky Mountains ~ Here We Come!. Florida’s Treasure Coast ~ Here We Come!,  Pennsylvania ~ Here We Come!, Ohio ~ Here We Come!, and Colorado ~ By the Way.  There are more books planned for the series.

 

I wish these books had been around when our children were younger. I know they would have enjoyed them.  However, even now, with our youngest being 15-years-old, these books still provide a wealth of information that our entire family was able to enjoy.  These books provided the type of trivia my family loves to learn about and share with others.  The books are perfect for reading aloud, especially when riding in the van together.

You can find By the Way Books on Facebook.  Our family was very glad we had the opportunity to review Alaska ~ By The Way from the By the Way Book Series.  If you would like to read other reviews by members of the Home School Review Crew of the  most recent books in this series, click here or on the graphic below.

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Book Review – Priscilla’s Escape

 

 

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About the Book

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Book Title: Priscilla’s Escape

Author: Diane Craver

Genre: Amish Romance, Contemporary

Release date: March 23, 2018

When faith and freedom collide, mistakes made in the past may decide the future.

Twenty-year-old Priscilla King is unsure about joining the Amish Church and wants to use her rumspringa freedom to paint beach landscapes. She’s been offered a two-month-long nanny position in Siesta Key, Florida by an author on a tight writing deadline. The opportunities presented are more than a little tempting for Priscilla, even if it means disappointing her parents and leaving her new boyfriend.

Stephen Hertzler grew up in an Amish family, but, like Priscilla, he’s undecided about joining the church. He loves Priscilla and wants to marry her, though he knows she’s not ready to decide about anything other than her summer plans. His biggest worry is that she’ll meet someone else in Florida and forget him.

When Priscilla’s parents sabotage her part-time job at a local fabric store to dissuade her from following a “worldly lifestyle” in taking the nanny position in Florida, Priscilla is distraught. She knows she would regret not taking this chance. Leaving a note, she sneaks out in disobedience of her parents’ wishes.

Free to paint, dreams she’s never fully envisioned before seem within reach…but at what price?

Click here to purchase your copy!

 

About the Author

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Diane grew up on a farm outside Findlay, Ohio, and she often acted out characters from her own stories in the backyard. In high school Diane would read during classes and hide a novel in front of her in a propped-up textbook. After her high school graduation, she attended Ohio State University. Then Diane became a schoolteacher and play director. She met her husband while teaching at an orphanage, and they married three years later. It took her that long to convince him she was the one for him! While raising their family in southwestern Ohio, Diane started writing nonfiction and was published. Later she decided it would be a nice escape to write fiction. Diane was blessed with five daughters and one son. Two daughters were born with Down syndrome and live with Diane and her husband. Their other children live close by in Ohio so that’s wonderful. They also have four precious grandchildren. Diane published through a variety of houses. Several years ago, she decided to self-publish her books, so requested the rights back to her previously published stories. From the beginning, she enjoyed self-publishing her Amish romances. Diane gives thanks to God daily for her many blessings.

Guest Post from Diane

Hello, Reader Friends,

Priscilla’s Escape is Book 3 in The Bishop’s Daughters Series. This story features Priscilla King, and she is the fourth child born to Amos and Lillian King. You may remember meeting Priscilla in my Dreams of Plain Daughters Series. After I finished writing this series, I decided to continue to write about the Amish and English characters living in Fields Corner, Ohio. They became family and real to me.

The King family have six children with only one son. That is like our Craver family because we have five daughters and one son. Through the years, our family has faced certain challenges with two daughters being born with Down syndrome. Although Priscilla doesn’t have any siblings with special needs, she feels overlooked in her family. It’s like she’s invisible to her parents, especially to her father. He doesn’t understand her passion for painting but favors Molly’s talent for quilting. Everyone needs a cheerleader in their corner at times, and Priscilla is no different. Fortunately, her new boyfriend, Stephen, listens to her dream to paint beach pictures. He even understands her desire to wait to join the church.

All families suffer some type of hardships. It does seem like some more than others. A family’s faith in God gives them hope in their daily lives. Whatever the level of the pain, staying close to God and listening to his voice, gives us the strength to survive. The King family have their share of tragedies, but their faith reminds steadfast. When Priscilla leaves their close-knit unit, they all reach out to her by letter and phone calls. Her siblings even tell their father that he needs to share his secret with Priscilla.

I hope you will enjoy reading Priscilla’s Escape. There is a lot happening in the King family, so you can catch up with your favorite romantic couples in this novel. If you love going to the beach as much as I do, I think you’ll love reading about Priscilla’s beach experiences – some are good, and others are not.

Blog Stops

The Becca Files, September 22

The Avid Reader, September 22

Vicky Sluiter, September 23

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 23

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, September 24

Mary Hake, September 24

God’s Little Bookworm, September 25

Splashes of Joy, September 25

Because I said so – adventures in Parenting, September 26

Inklings and notions, September 26

Maureen’s Musings, September 27

Luv’N Lambert Life, September 27

KarenSueHadley, September 28

Quiet Quilter, September 29

proud to be an autism mom, September 29

Bibliophile Reviews, September 30

Not Enough Time for Books, October 1

Carpe Diem, October 1

Blogging With Carol, October 2

A Baker’s Perspective, October 2

Texas Book-aholic, October 3

Janices book reviews, October 4

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 5

Bigreadersite, October 5

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Diane is giving a grand prize that includes a $25 Amazon Gift Card & The Bishop’s Daughters: A Three Book Collection – Amish Baby Snatched, A Plain Widow, and Priscilla’s Escape (paperback or eBook)!!

 

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d35a/priscilla-s-escape-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

My Thoughts on this book:

Our family lived for four years in a community that included many Amish families.   We began buying our produce from several Amish markets, one thing that always stood out to me was the respect the children had for their parents.  So when Priscilla King goes against her parents’ wishes to take a job in Florida, I was surprised.  While the concept of the running around time or rumspringa is familiar to me, the idea of an Amish young man or woman going against their parents’ wishes is unsual.  However, I understand Priscilla’s reasons for doing so.

Amos King, Priscilla’s father, is the Bishop and has a secret.  I love how his wife gently tries to get him to share the secret with his family.  For me this book is as much about the extended family as it is about Priscilla, Mitch and Stephen.

This is the third book in The Bishop’s Daughters series and even though I have not read the first two books, I feel like this book is able to stand alone.  So I recommend you check out this book for yourself.

Let me know what you think.

 

 

Review of The Captain Sun Adventures -Rescue Me! What Superheroes Can Teach Us About the Power of Faith

My son loves reading this new comic book, Rescue Me! What Superheroes Can Teach Us About the Power of Faith, from The Captain Sun Adventures. For many years now, our four children (three sons and a daughter), have been pulling me slowly into the world of comic books – at least in the movie format. We have been watching the Marvel and DC movies. Every chance they get, they buy comic books or Manga books. So when the opportunity to review this comic book came up, I knew it would be a perfect fit for our 17-year-old son.

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The Captain Sun Adventures is meant to be part devotional and part graphic novel. It is intended to help children develop a Christian worldview. There are currently three books in the series. Rescue Me! What Superheroes Can Teach Us About the Power of Faith, the book we are reviewing is the first book in the series. This book combines a superhero with the Bible in a format designed to capture your child’s imagination.  People of all ages will enjoy this comic book with a Christian view.

According to their “About Us” page, Bryce Morgan is the pastor of Way of Grace Church in Buckeye, Arizona (www.wayofgracechurch.com) and a part-time cartoonist with the West Valley View newspaper. He wrote all three books and illustrated the second and third ones. He and his wife have three children who love comic books.

Now I do have to say our youngest son who is our third child is not my most ardent comic book lover. Some of his siblings love the genre more. However, he is my son that is always willing to jump in and assist me with a review. So I decided to have him read this book. At some point, I will have our 15-year-old daughter read it as well.

Our son found Chapters 7 and 8 to be his favorites. These chapters showed the main character was not all-powerful, and he could be defeated. Our son stated that he does not like undefeatable characters. He felt like the graphics were fairly well done. He felt the storyline was easy to follow. Our son also stated that ending did not give him closure. He felt like it would be a satisfactory ending, but the so he wants me to buy the other books for him.

It seemed like at the end of chapter 8, meaning the end of the comic book, it looked like it was heading in the direction of a “happily ever after” type ending, but for him, he felt the conclusion could have been elaborated more to make him more satisfied. He felt like the book implied there was more to the story, but for him, it just cut off and left him wanting more.

You can find The Captain Sun Adventures on Social Media on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.

If you are looking for a Christian version of a comic book that has a superhero and references the Bible, check out Rescue Me! What Superheroes Can Teach Us About the Power of Faith, from The Captain Sun Adventures.
If you would like to read other reviews by members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

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Review of Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder from Roman Roads Media

 

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If your goals is a classical education, then studying Latin is a must and Roman Roads Media‘s  Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder from Roman Roads Media.  I was thrilled that our entire family had the opportunity to review this product.  Currently in our home, we have my husband and myself, our 22-year-old son, our 19-year-old son, our 17-year-old son, our 15-year-old daughter and my almost 80-year-old mother.  I was thrilled for everyone in our family to have the opportunity to review this product.

Roman Roads Media states on their website, ” Roman Roads specializes in classical curriculum for home and classroom use. We craft our courses to delight both students and their parents.” They offer products for old Western culture, Rhetoric, Logic, Latin, Poetry and History.

Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder is designed for students in junior high school, high school, and college.  It focuses on general vocabulary, which includes verbs, adjectives, prepositions and nouns.  It helps students develop proficiency in reading Latin.  It is meant to assist students with a deeper understanding by using pictures, audio clips, and more.  The program includes a 14-month subscription once activated.  Additional family members can be added for a reduced rate.

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I love the fact there are several different difficulty levels, so multiple family members can use it regardless of age.  For my mother, she thought it would help her retain her memory.  She also loves doing the same school work our children are doing, so this was perfect.  For our oldest son, who is working as a Nursing Assistant, it helps familiarize him with Latin words he may be required to know as he continues progressing in the medical field.  Unfortunately, his work schedule did not really permit him time to use the program.

For our second son who graduated from high school in the spring, it was a way to help keep his educational skills and study skills fresh.  For our youngest two, who are still in school, it was a great way to build their vocabulary.  For my husband and I, I knew it would be good for us to be doing the same work as our children.  Plus, it would help build my husband’s vocabulary and keep his mind sharp.

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There are 212 different campaigns for students to go through.  With each campaign, the students are working on different skills and different vocabulary words.  Students are initially introduced to words regarding maps, school terms, people and family and more.  As students progress through each level, the next level is unlocked.  I love that students can work at a pace that suits them and their ability to learn.  So older students would typically be capable of progressing through the work.  Students who struggle with vocabulary may need to take longer.

The one wish I had for this program was to have some kind of handout to refer to – especially when it cam time to actually spell the words.  I have some children and a husband who often find themselves challenged when it comes to spelling, so this could become a large subject of frustration for them.  To compensate for this, I found it helpful to write down in a notebook each new vocabulary word as it was displayed along with the important information on the screen.  My visual learners loved that there were pictures to go with the terms.  We also loved the fact that the pronunciations were given.  Having never studied Latin formally when I was growing up, I have found I love studying it with the children along with Greek.

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Our family was definitely pleased with this product.  I must state up front, we initially planned on my mother doing this by herself.  However, about the time we received this product, she lost her hearing basically.  So she instead did it with me, when I was working on mine.  She loves doing schoolwork with the family.  I must say she loved this program and was glad to be doing it with our family.

So check out Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder from Roman Roads Media along with their other products including Fitting Words Classical Rhetoric (complete program) or Picta Dicta Natural World for yourself.

You can find Roman Roads Media on social media at

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RomanRoadsMedia   @romanroadsmedia
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/romanroadsmedia/  @romanroadsmedia
YouTude: https://www.youtube.com/user/romanroadsmedia  @romanroadsmedia
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/romanroadsmedia  @romanroadsmedia

If you would like to read reviews of these three products from other members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

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It’s Momplicated Book Review – A Celebrate Lit Book Tour

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About the Book

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Book Title: It’s Momplicated

Author: Debbie Alsdorf * Joan Edwards Kay

Genre: Non-fiction

Release date: September 4, 2018

Let’s face it: when it comes to mothers and their daughters, things can get a little . . . complicated. Momplicated, you might say.

Whether your relationship with your mom has been wonderful or stressful, redeemed or broken, close or nonexistent, it’s one of your life’s most important and defining connections. Its effects have probably followed you into adulthood.

If you have conflicting feelings toward mom—or if you wish you could get past some of the baggage that holds you back—this is your book. Combining spiritual disciplines and the best of current therapeutic practice, It’s Momplicated will help you discover

  • How your early connection with your mother may have impacted your sense of self and your other important relationships—and what you can do to break the cycle
  • Why you and your mother have the relationship you have—the underlying reasons that may be contributing to strain and unease
  • Tools and exercises to help you cope with some of the most common effects of a broken relationship, including anxiety, depression, lack of confidence, and trust issues
  • How to be the daughter and mother God wants you to be even if your mom wasn’t who you needed her to be.

It’s never too late to love, never too late to heal, and never too late to trust God to turn the pain in your story into a redemption song. As you read It’s Momplicated, you’ll realize that while God doesn’t promise to fix all your circumstances, He does promise to uphold you and lead you to a healing place of knowing you are truly precious and loved, no matter how your past has affected you

Click here to purchase your copy.

My Thoughts

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review this book.  Throughout my life, I have had an excellent relationship with my mom.  She has been and still is my best friend.  However, in reading the book and talking to friends in real life, I know that not all women are fortunate enough to have that type of relationship.  The struggles and pain are real.  Almost sixteen years ago, I became a mother to a daughter and I hope and pray that by reading this book, I can strengthen our relationship.  Debbie Alsdorf and Joan Edwards Kay do an excellent job of examining and discussing the relationships between mothers and daughters.  The book truly is meant to provide hope along with healing to those of us who recognize we are imperfect daughters and want to strive for more.  This is a book that all mothers and daughters should want to read for themselves

About the Authors

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Debbie Alsdorf: For the past twenty-five years, through her speaking and writing, Debbie Alsdorf’s mission has been to help women live a better story by leading them to the heart of God’s love and the truth of his Word. Debbie is a biblical lay counselor, a Christian life coach, and the founder of Design4Living Ministries. She and her husband, Ray, have raised a blended family of four adult children. Today Debbie’s favorite role is being a grandma to ten little ones.

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Joan Kay Edwards: Joan Edwards Kay is a licensed marriage and family therapist in the East Bay of San Francisco and has been an adjunct professor at Western Seminary. She received her bachelor’s degree from Vassar College and her master’s degree from Western Seminary. She is happily married with two adult daughters, four stepdaughters, and five grandchildren.

Guest Post from Debbie and Joan

Mom. Mother. Mommy.

What do those words evoke in you? Wonderful memories of home cooked meals? A longing for nurture that was never fully met? A sense of not being enough? Gratitude? Sadness and loss? Anger and resentment?

Most women have a complex reaction when asked to think about their mothers–a mix of positive and negative, gratitude and hurt, happy and sad memories. Our relationships with our mothers are unique, rich, and complicated.

Allow us to introduce ourselves. We are Debbie Alsdorf and Joan Edwards Kay, friends who have written a book together that explores the issue of moms and their profound effect on daughters. It’s Momplicated: Hope and Healing for Imperfect Daughters of Imperfect Mothers releases this September 4th, 2018. Since every woman is a daughter, this book is for every women.

Every daughter receives less-than-perfect programming from her mother. The messages may be about our value, or how to relate to others, or even about how we think about bodies. However, God is our perfect parent who wants to rewrite that imperfect programming with his truth. Many of us don’t realize the wrong messages that are deep in our souls.

I (Debbie) grew up with a mother who was cold, distant and unavailable. I have one sister who was in her teens when I was born and married by the time I started school, leaving me to be raised as an only child. I grew up wondering what was wrong with me, “Why didn’t mom want to spend time with me? Why didn’t she hug me and hold me close like other moms did? Why was nothing I did to earn her approval good enough?” I was deeply imprinted with wounds of rejection and carried them through most of my adult life, even though I pasted on a smile, kept trying to do better, and could be the life of any gathering. On the inside, I was sad for as long as I can remember. Through working on this book, I have experienced a phenomenal inner healing, the exposing of lies long held secretly in my heart, and the ability to see the way the enemy of my soul has tried to use the “not enough” belief against me. I am beyond excited for other women to have the courage to own their own story, inviting Jesus to meet them in any points of pain and any relationships that need healing.

I (Joan) had a stay-at-home mom who cooked dinner every night, took us to the library and the beach, did art projects with us, and made me feel safe and happy. However, when I was nine years old, my father and then my brother both died of cancer within a year and my relationship with my mother changed. Understandably, she struggled to just hold herself together, but in my young mind I felt abandoned by her. I didn’t have the capacity to deal with all the loss and she didn’t have the strength to help me. I felt emotionally lost and alone. I longed for my mother to comfort me and show me how to overcome my pain. In retrospect, I wish she had shown me faith in a God who could bring hope and meaning to the devastation that had hit our family. But she was not a believer and did her best to stuff away the feelings and soldier on. I was deeply imprinted with the belief, I’m alone and can only depend on myself. As I worked on this project, the root of many of my struggles became clear to me and God has been comforting those young, lonely parts of me with his presence and his love.

What is your story with your mother? What false beliefs has this important relationship imprinted on your heart, and how does God’s truth rewrite them? It is our hope that every woman, as God’s daughter, will learn the beauty of who she is and receive her own healing so she can leave a legacy of faith, hope and beauty to the generation of women that follow.

One thing we know for sure: there are no perfect moms, just women partnering with a perfect God.

Blog Stops

A Baker’s Perspective, September 8

Texas Book-aholic, September 8

Carpe Diem, September 9

Lighthouse Academy, September 10

Luv’N Lambert Life, September 10

Life Faith & Health, September 11

Real World Bible Study, September 12

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 13

Multifarious, September 14

Reading is my Superpower, September 14 (Interview)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 15

proud to be an autism mom, September 16

Bigreadersite, September 16

Bibliophile Reviews, September 17

All-of-a-kind Mom, September 18

For the Love of Books, September 19

Janices book reviews, September 19

Reader’s Cozy Corner, September 20

margaret kazmierczak, September 20 (Interview)

Living Life Free In Christ, September 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 21

 

Giveaway

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To celebrate their tour, Debbie and Joan are giving away a grand prize of a “I’m Not Like a Regular Mom” T-Shirt!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d56c/it-s-momplicated-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

Review of Kingdom File Series from Barbour Publishing

 

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 Barbour Publishing sent us two new titles Who Was Jonah?  and Who Was Mary, Mother of Jesus? which are part of their Kingdom Files series.  These Christian books for kids are definitely worth reading. Our family has been enjoying their books for quite a while. So we were excited to have the opportunity to review two books from this new series.

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Kingdom Files is a Bible-based book series for children ages 8 to 12 years old. Every book in this series examines the life of a Biblical character and helps children become excited about learning about key people in the Bible who were part of God’s plan and kingdom. The books are written by Matt Koceich, who is an elementary school teacher and creator of the “Imagine” series of books. He makes his home with his family in Texas.

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Each book has a FACT FILE – which includes general information about the Bible character. This includes their name, what work they did (their occupation), where they lived, what work they did for the kingdom of God, a timeline along with key statistics. Next, there is an ACTION FILE – this is where the Biblical story is told in a way the child reading the book can understand. Finally, there is a POWER FILE – where the main lesson of the story is broken down to where the child can see and understand that the Bible stories from ancient times do apply even in today’s time.

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One of our family’s favorite parts of both books are the fantastic line art drawings that help capture the imagination of the readers. The books are written with a font that is easy to read regardless of age. Personally, I think these books would be perfect to use as a read-aloud for the entire family – regardless of age. Our youngest child is 15-years-old, so we each read the books independently. However, if she was in the age range of 8 to 12 years old, I would probably have required her to read some parts of the books out loud to me. I also would have had notebook sheets and possibly coloring pages to go along with the stories as well. Or since our daughter loves to draw, I may have had her draw what inspired her as I read the story aloud to her.

The possibilities are endless. “Who Was Jonah? examines the life of Jonah beginning when God wanted him to become a prophet. Rather than doing God’s will, Jonah instead decided to run away. Matt Koceich does an excellent job of telling the story in a way that captures the reader’s attention. He also does an excellent job of explaining ideas that may be hard for children to understand – such as when the sailors casting lots (meaning using either sticks with markings on them or small, flat stones with symbols on each one. The descriptions and explanations are perfect for children of the intended age range. The clue boxes are easy to spot and provide an excellent opportunity for students to engage in a meaningful way with the book. I could see these being used for oral narration, writing prompts or even family discussions at the dinner table.  There are even note pages that the reader can use to record their own thoughts, the memory verses and more to help with retention.

Who Was Mary, Mother of Jesus?  examines the role of Mary, the mother of Jesus played in the Kingdom of God.  It discusses how the angel Gabriel visited Mary in her hometown.  It also discusses how she and Joseph probably felt about what was going on as a result of the pregnancy.  It goes through Mary’s encounter with Elizabeth – her cousin.  It examines the sacred night when Jesus was born and how it came to pass that Jesus was born in a manger.  Our family loved how Bible references were included throughout the book.  It talks about the magi, King Herod, Jesus at the temple when he was about 12 years old, and more.  One of our favorite parts of the book was the wedding at Cana where Jesus turned water into wine at his mother’s request.  We appreciated how the book discusses how Jesus wanted to honor God’s wishes before his earthly mother’s wishes.  But he did end up performing the miracle in the end.

The Power-Up Files at the end of the book provide a Bible verse to memorize along with informative commentary.  There are 10 files for each book.  One of our family’s favorite Power Up Files is the one entitled “God doesn’t Abandon”.  It talks about how Satan tries to convince us that God does not care about us, but Jonah’s story proves that God does provide.  It uses Hebrews 11:1 as the memory verse.  I have included a graphic of this verse below.  Our family felt like the amount of information along with the memory verse provided a perfect balance for children who are ages 8 to 12 years old.

Hebrews 11_1 King James Version (KJV)11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

You can find Barbour Publishing on social media on  Facebook, Twitter, YouTube.  So if you are looking for Christian books for kids, and especially biographies for kids, check out the Kingdom Series, including Who was Jonah? and Who Was Mary, Mother of Jesus?   for yourself.  These books from Barbour Publishing by Matt Koceich are definitely worth reading.

If you would like to read reviews from other members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

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Monday Musings for Monday, September 10, 2018

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So this is the week that things start to get back to normal for our homeschool life.  This afternoon the Strings program portion of our Homeschool Band and Strings program begins.  This year, my husband and daughter will continue playing the violin.  Our oldest son will continue playing the cello (once his full-size cello arrives), and will be adding the string bass to his instrument list once we are able to get him one.  I will be learning the violin and our youngest son will be learning the viola.

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Then on Thursday, band classes begin.  I am going to try playing the flute again in beginner band while playing trombone in the advanced band.  However, if the flute does not go well, I will play the french horn in the beginner band.  I figure since I already know how to play the french horn, I should be good there.  My husband is going to use our youngest son’s alto saxophone to play in the beginner band while playing the clarinet in the advanced band.  Our youngest son will be playing the bass clarinet (once it arrives) for the beginner band while playing his alto saxophone for the advanced band.  Our middle son will be playing his baritone horn in both groups.  Then our oldest son will probably be playing his cello in both band groups if all goes according to plan.

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In addition to classes resuming, our oldest son will be going on Friday to take his certification exam to become a Certified Nursing Assistant.  I am excited for him.  The above picture is from when he received he completed his course for Nursing Assistant before taking the certification course.

Over the weekend, we will have different friends over to eat with us on Saturday and Sunday.  Saturday, we are planning on fixing homemade Japanese and Chinese food to include Sesame Chicken, Beef and Broccoli, egg rolls, Japanese french fries (zucchini strips and onions), and possibly sushi.  Then on Sunday, we are planning on grilling Shish-k-Bobs along with a salad, wild rice and probably some other items as well.

So what is going on with you today?  I would love to hear from you.

Weekly Wrap-Up – The one with my husband getting shingles

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So this week that we are wrapping up today is one that saw us dealing with something we were not expecting.  Early in the week my husband noticed he had what looked like some bites or something else that we were not sure of initially.  However, by Wednesday evening, whatever it was had gotten to the point we thought it might be shingles.  So Thursday morning, he went to our primary care doctor and found out it was indeed shingles.  He was given prescriptions for it and he came back home.  Each day since then it has gotten a little bit worse looking.  Here is what it looked like at first.

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Let me assure you, it looks worse now then it did then.  But hopefully, he is starting to turn a corner now and will start feeling better a little bit at least. So needless to say a lot of homeschool did not get done this week.

Our youngest son has been fairly diligent about getting his work done.  Yesterday, he was working on CTC Math for Geometry.  He ran into a couple of problems that stumped him, so he brought them to me for help.  We were able to quickly get things back on track and he wound up doing very well with his worksheet.

Upcoming Reviews

Here are some of the reviews our family is currently working on:

I have to say our family is really excited about these reviews.  I am looking forward to bringing these reviews to you.

So what happended in your world this week?  I would love to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

 

Review of GrammarPlaneti

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We are finally understanding sentence diagramming with this new online grammar program from GrammarPlanet.  Growing up, I was one of those unusal people who actually enjoyed sentence diagramming.  I was blessed to have teachers who demonstrated and explained sentence diagramming in a way that made sense.  So I wanted the same experience for our children.  I feel it is very important for them to have a good grasp on grammar.  This means they need to have an excellent understanding of the different parts of speech.  I felt GrammarPlanet fit the bill for our family’s needs.  It is an online product, which I find very convenient since it is self-grading for the most part.
GrammarPlanet’s creators are Erin Karl and Jerry Bailey.  GrammarPlanet is the realization of dream that has been years in the making.  It is designed to make grammar education affordable and available to anyone regardless of their background.  This program is meant for homeschoolers as well as public school students.  The program is designed for students ages 10 and up.  Even adults who wish to increase their grammar knowledge will benefit from this program.  Everyone benefits from having a strong grammar foundation.
The philosophy behind GrammarPlanet is  Erin Karl’s mother’s Analytical Grammar, which is a book-based program that has been available to homeschoolers for over two decades.  The love for grammar comes through each and every video.  While the videos are not fancy, it allows the message of the videos to take center stage.  There is little to serve as distractions for the students.
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There are two versions of GrammarPlanet available.  There is a free level that includes ads.  There is also a paid version which is ad-free.   For the purpose of this review, I decided to work through the units myself first before having our teenagers use the program.  Because it is a new program, I felt this was best.
I will say there was definitely a learning curve to using this program.  Each unit gives a list of process steps for completing the exercises.  If I went too fast or tried going out of order, I found I made more mistakes than if I took my time and worked in order.  While I was working through several of the units, my husband was in the room beside me.  He was very impressed by the program and I have a feeling he will wind up going through it at some point.  Several times, he stated he learned something he did  not know or heard terms he was not familiar with before that lesson.
I have to say I have been very satisfied with the order the parts of speech are taught.  I also love that a student can go as fast or slow as they or their parents want them to based on ability.  I also love that at the end of each practice section, the student has the option to continue or come back later.
The one thing I would caution about this program is that if a student misses too many ansywers in the practice exercises, the system will lock them out and a parent will have to unlock the lesson.  At the same time, I like that I have the ability as teacher/parent to reset progress when it is needed.  I also like how the grades display on the screen and are also emailed to me as the parent.  There is little parental involvement required. Upon reaching unit 6, sentence diagramming is introduced, initially with only prepositional phrases.  In the video, students and parents/teachers are advised students can do as little or as much diagramming as desired.  However, cautions are given that failing to do diagramming will cause problems later in the course.  I definitely agree with that caution.  So my children will be required to do sentence diagramming.
You can find GrammarPlanet on social media at:
All in all, I have to say I am really pleased with this program and am glad we had the opportunity to review it.  So if you are looking for an online grammar program, check out GrammarPlanet for yourself.  If you would like to read other reviews from members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.
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Weekly Wrap-Up for the week ending on September 2, 2018

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So for the past two weeks, I have not been doing a lot of blogging.  My husand took leave from work so we could celebrate our anniversary and hopefully get some things done around the house.  But then we received a surprise that my husband’s parents along with one of his dad’s sisters came to visit us.  So needless to say, we did not do any school work, either week, but we did make a lot of memories and eat a lot of good food.  Now on Tuesday, we will get back to our normal routine.  However, this year, I will only have two students.

Next week, we will be back to our normal activities including the homeschool band and strings programs.  I am looking forward to seeing how things turn out.  Our oldest son is going to be getting a full-size cello along with a 3/4 Upright String bass if all goes according to plan.  Our youngest son will hopefully be getting and starting the bass clarinet along with the viola – in addition to his saxophone.  I am going to hopefully be adding the flute and violin.  My husband plans on adding the alto saxophone (he will be sharing our youngest son’s saxophone) along with his clarinet and violin.  In the meantime, our second son will be continuing with his baritone horn, while our daughter continues with the violin. (The pictures below were taken at our spring concert).

So all in all, we are looking forward to this school year of band.  So how has your week been, I would love to hear from you.