Review of YWAM’s Christian Heroes Then & Now – C.S. Lewis

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I love adding  Christian biographies to our studies so I was excited to review Christian Heroes- C.S. Lewis, one of the books in the Christian Heroes: Then & Now from YWAM Publishing. We also received a Study Guide to use with our book.  Back when we first starting homeschooling many years ago, when we attended our first homeschool convention one of the first companies to capture my attention was YWAM Publshing.  Through the years, we have collected quite a few of the titles from their Christian Heroes: Then & Now series.  Our family loves books and this company has found a special place in our homeschool library.  So when we had the opportunity to select another book to review for this company, the only problem our daughter had one problem – deciding what title to select. Finally, she decided on CHRISTIAN HEROES: THEN & NOW C.S. Lewis: Master Storyteller.

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Our 15-year-old daughter is the one who actually read the book.  I started to read the book also, but then life happened.  From my own experience, I have to say I felt like the book started off slower than other books we have read from YWAM Publishing.  Given that the book is about a “master” storyteller, I felt like it deserved a better beginning.

Our daughter had this to say about the book.  She found it interesting for facts about his life.  They include details and facts about his life that others may have overlooked.  These include things like details about his interactions with other writers and his family along with his background and his roots – meaning where he came from – intrigued her.  She found it easy to read and definitely found it to be informative.

However, she did not seem to be as excited with this book as I would have liked her to be.  She stated while she would remember some of the facts from the book, she was not sure it was one she would necessarily quote information from.

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Due to circumstances in our lives at this time, we did not get a chance to actually use the study guideas much as I would have liked. However, I love the depth and breadth of material included in the guide.  We received this as a downloadable product.  The study guide includes: an introduction, key Bible verses, Display Corner, Chapter questions, Student Explorations, Community Links, Social Studies, Related Themes to Explore, Culminating Event, along with supplemental information included in three Appendicies.

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The display corner (which would included items collected and then displayed from the country the book takes place in – so for this book it would be items from England.  This would have been something interesting for our daugther to do since my husband has actually visited England.

There are six chapter questions for each chapter where the first 3 questions are geared to younger learners and the last three questions are more difficult.  Due to circumstances in our life right now, I decided to have our daughter answer the questions for the chapters orally to me.

 

There are also student explorations which include a variety of activities to suit a variety of learning styles.  I plan on our daughter possibly creating a diorama depicting an important event from C.S. Lewis’ life.  I also plan on  having her draw a sketch of C.S. Lewis based on his own description or making a story quilt using her drawing table that connects to the computer.  We will have to see if we can fit in time for her to do both projects.  It may be something we do later when life settles down.

 

 

For this review, if she had to select a second book, she would have chosen Heroes of History – Theodore Roosevelt.  She felt like she would have enjoyed learning more about his life.

In June of 2017, we had the privilege to review another book from YWAM Publishing, we reviewed Christian Heroes Then and Now Betty Greene,  Wings to Serve.  If you would like to read our review of this title, click here or on the graphic below.

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You can connect with YWAM Publishing on social media using the following links:

If you would like to read other reviews by members of the Home School Review Crew on this book or others, click here or on the image below.

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Review of Carole P. Roman Books

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Children’s books like those written by Carole P. Roman can be such a fun way to explore history, or culture or even practice reading.  We received 3 more books from the Carole P. Roman books and collections to add to our home library.  We loved every one that we have received.  This time we received:  “If You Were Me and LIved in… Renaissance Italy“; “If You Were Me and Lived in… the Middle Ages” and “IF YOU WERE ME AND LIVED IN… ISRAEL A Child’s Introduction to Culture Around the World“.

Carole P. Roman has written books that are perfect for ages 2 to 15.  So if you have children in this age range, you are sure to find something to suit your family’s interests.  There is the Cultural series- good for ages 4 ish- 8, but can be read aloud to various ages.  Then there is the Historical series, for ages 8 to 15 and that is crammed full of interesting facts and gorgeous illustrations.  Next, there is the Captain No Beard series for ages 3-8 and that series was written about Carole P Roman’s grandchildren.  Or you can choose from the bedtime series, the “Oh Susannah” series, the “Rocket-Bye” books and more.

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The first book I want to discuss is “If You Were Me and Lived in…Renaissance Italy“.  This book examines what life was like during the Renaissance period in Italy. My daughter loved looking at the various outfits in all of the illustrations.   The pictures of the architecture of the period are stunning.  We loved how we were told what possible names during the period might be including Dolce or Lisabeth for a girl or Lorenzo and Cosimo for a boy.  The descriptions of what the life of the people was like captured our interest and imagination.  The description of illustration of what the home of a merchant might have looked like made us feel like we were actually there.  The descriptions of how children learned and what they studied were also interesting.  Our daughter found it fascinating to read how the education of males and females differed in the subjects they studied and the goals of their education.  For example, as a girl, our daughter would have learned how to be an effective housewife, but still would have had classes in art, music, dancing and other subjects such as embroidery.  In the back of the book, the pictures of artwork from the period really pulled our daughter in and captured her attention.    There is also a list of famous people from the period along with a glossary of terms.  So there is plenty of information to build upon.  Here are some pictures from the book.

 

 

 

Next, I would like to review “If You Were Me and Lived in the Middle Ages”.

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Once again this book captures the imagination with the information and illustrations provided.  The illustration of what a village might have looked like gave a very good visual to associate with the period.  Carole P. Roman provides excellent information about what life would have been like for both girls and boys.  The importance of the church and religion during the period is stressed.  Also, what children learned and how they were taught was explained.  Finally, she gives important people from the period and a glossary of important terms.  Here are some pictures from the book.

 

Finally, “IF YOU WERE ME AND LIVED IN… ISRAEL A Child’s Introduction to Culture Around the World” concludes our book selections.  This book happens to be for a younger audience than our daughter.  But we have friends with children who would be the perfect age for this book.  So I chose to review this book myself.  The book speaks to a level younger children can understand with fewer words on a page, wonderful illustrations and descriptions to keep the child’s interest while reading or listening to the book.  The combination of illustrations of people with what looks to be almost realistic photographs in the background strike a vivid picture.  I loved how she gave the names children would have called their mothers and fathers.  The discussion of typical things like shopping and extra activities the children might be involved in created a good mental picture of what life would have been like.  Here are some pictures from this book.

 

So if your family loves books, check out the  Carole P. Roman books and collections that can be such a fun way to explore history, or culture or even practice read. If you would like to read more reviews by other members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

 

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Book Review – More Than Just Making It

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I was really thrilled to be a part of the launch team for Erin Odom’s book – “More Than Just Making It”. This is one of those books I picked up and had a hard time putting back down.  This is a down-to-earth, heart-warming book that examines realistically finances, public assistance and more.

I love Erin Odom’s conversational style in the book.  I felt like I was sitting with her in one of her homes while having a real conversation.  This book touched my heart as well as provided inspiration and memories of what our lives where like when our children were younger.

And while I planned on writing today about this book.  I felt like I needed to talk more about my own #kissesfromJesus as a result of being part of this launch team.  About a year and a half ago, we moved from Pennsylvania to Texas thanks to the United States military.  We have no real family to speak of in the state.  So when Hurricane Harvey decided to come calling, we were in a dilemma about where to evacuate to for the storm.

Initially, we planned on hunkering down in our home.  But when the storm was upgraded to making landfall as a Category 3 “or higher”, I knew we needed to find somewhere to evacuate to for safety.  Somehow the topic of the storm came up on the book launch Facebook page.  A generous lady offered to open her home to our family in the event we needed to evacuate.  I filed the information away for future consideration.  Once we found out we were under a mandatory evacuation order, I sent a message to this amazing lady and asked if she was serious about allowing our family to evacuate to her home.  She quickly replied that we were more than welcome to come.  So that evening, I had our four children and my mother who all live with my husband and I pack in preparations to leave.

Another giant blessing was when we found out her husband was lactose-intolerant like our oldest son.  On Friday morning as Hurricane Harvey was preparing to making landfall in Texas, our family took to the highways to go to Dallas.  We were blessed with reasonable traffic and reasonably good weather for our travels.

Once in Dallas we were welcomed like honored guests.  Truly our family was blessed to meet Dominique and her husband.  She cooked amazing meals and had wonderful touches that made us feel incredibly welcomed.  We received #KissesfromJesus with this act of kindness.

So if you are looking for a new book to read, I recommend this book.  Trust me, if you read it, you will be blessed.

Review of YWAM’s Christian Heroes Then and Now : Betty Greene – Wings to Serve

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I love adding  Christian biographies to our studies so I was excited to review Christian Heroes- Betty Greene, one of the books from YWAM Publishing.  YWAM Publishing quickly became one of my favorite sources for quality books when we began homeschooling eleven years ago.  Over the years, we have collected quite a few of the books, so it was wonderful to find one that was new to our family.  Since we have a fourteen-year-old daughter, and her father spent some time in the Air Force, I felt Betty Greene would be a perfect match for our family.

I absolutely love books and every one that I have picked up from YWAM Publishing have blessed our family.  Betty Greene proved to be another success.  For this review, I decided to simply read the book myself and then have my daughter read the book by herself.  Although she has not finished the book at the time of this review, she definitely plans on reading it all.

Betty Greene tells the story of a young woman who discovered a passion for flying along with a passion for Jesus Christ.  She lived in Lake Washington, and with her parents’ support became a World War II WASP pilot.  Through her service during World War II, she met some men who eventually founded the Mission Aviation Fellowship.  The goal of this ministry was to provide aircraft support to those serving in the mission fields.  I loved reading about Betty Greene’s encounters with other individuals whose stories can be found in the Christian Heros series.


I loved reading about Betty Greene’s adventures while flying and how her faith never wavered or faltered.  She appeared to have an amazing ability to remain calm under some unbelievable circumstances, including a crash and flying in horrible conditions like an extraordinary sand squall known as a harmattan.  She exemplified the life of Jesus Christ in everything she did and said.  Her heart belonged to Jesus Christ and to her mission of flying.  Throughout her life, she demonstrated the heart of a Christian.

 


When I talked with my daughter about the book, she was probably about a third of the way through it. She thought the book was fun and interesting so far.  She liked the fact that Betty Greene and her twin brother had different interests from the other. She found it interesting that Betty Greene decided to take up flying.


One of the best parts of the YWAM Publishing titles is that many of them come with the option to also purchase a study guide to use along with the book.  The study guides can be found at this link.  These study guides offer additional resources to go along with the book.  The study guides offer key Bible verses, chapter questions, student explorations, community links, related themes to explore along with appendices that include books and resources to use, answers to chapter questions, and social studies reproducibles.  These guides include ideas involving history, geography, essays, creative writing, reading comprehension, drama, and art.  Using these guides along with the list of books and resources, a homeschooling parent could easily create an incredible unit study involving this book.

 

 

We decided to focus on the key Bible verses and work towards memorizing them during the review period.  Some of the key verses for this book include Mark 9:23b and Proverbs 18:15.  I also had our daughter orally answer some of the discussion questions. from the chapters as she completed them in the book.  Upon completion of the book, I plan on having her create a project involving a visual display, creative or essay assignment along with mapwork, and other relevant content.

I find the Christian Heros: Then & Now series to be a worthwhile investment.  These are books that the whole family can enjoy reading.  Another feature I love is that many of the titles are available as audiobooks, which is perfect for families taking long distant trips.  I know our family will be listening to Betty Greene and other titles from YWAM Publishing the next time we travel.

If you want to read more reviews about Betty Greene or other titles from YWAM Publishing, click here or on the image below.

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Review for Lamplighter Publishing’s The Secret Bridge

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I was so excited to receive my copy of  The Secret Bridge from Lamplighter Publishing and begin reading this one myself.  When we first began our homeschooling journey over 10 years ago, Lamplighter Publishing was one of the first companies I developed an extreme fondness for at our first homeschooling convention.  Their books look like they belong on the most beautiful bookcase shelves one can find.  So when I received my copy of The Secret Bridge, I immediately allotted time for me to read the book first.  I must say this book definitely does not disappoint.

The cover is a beautiful shade of blueish-green leather with rich embossing on the cover.  The gold background framing the cover is stunning.  The paper has a rich and luxurious feel.  It is a book definitely meant for display rather than one to be hidden away. Lamplighter Publishing aims to develop “Christlike character one story at a time, and this book definitely fulfills that aim.

The story opens with descriptions and observations of the male protagonist in the story.  Godfrey Bullingham who is on a ship observing the female protagonist Bridget Channing, who is traveling alone.  Immediately, I was drawn into the world of these two characters.  The descriptions and details made me feel as though I was actually present in the story.

Bridget Channing finds herself penniless and alone and determined to make it on her own. Godfrey Bullingham feels the need to care for Bridget.  Bridget has a determined and practical nature that will not let her accept the kindness of strangers.  But Godfrey perseveres and convinces Bridget to marry him.  Because Godfrey must go away, he tucks Bridget away with some kind strangers to her, who live near Godfrey’s parents.  He tells her to win the affections of his family and once he returns they will tell them of their marriage.  Secrets help to complicate what otherwise might have been a simple life.


This book contains twists and turns that keep the book interesting.  Some I wished to be the case, and others came as somewhat as a prize.  The one thing this book, like every other Lamplighter Publishing book I have read, include a robust and unmistakable Christian message.  In this case, Bridget learns about God and Jesus Christ and comes to lean on Him.  She eventually develops a genuine and meaningful relationship with God and Jesus Christ.  Because I do not wish to give the plot away further and spoil the book, I will leave the story line there.  I will say the chapters are reasonable in length.  I found nothing objectionable in the story or plot.  It was an easy and enjoyable book to read.

My second son who is 18-years-old also read the book.  It did not take him an unusually long time to read it either.   As he read the book, he frequently commented about how he was enjoying the book.  He found the plot twist and turns enjoyable as well.

In the future, I will have my 16-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter read this book as well.  It would also make an excellent book for reading aloud.  My one wish is for Lamplighter Publishing to eventually make this book one of their audio dramas.  It would definitely be fantastic to listen to while traveling.  I highly recommend this book.

If you wish to read more reviews on The Secret Bridge by Lamplighter Publishing, either click here or on the graphic below.

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Things are Picking Up

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So for the last several weeks, we have slowly been getting back into the school routine.  As part of a review we are working on, our four children along with my husband and myself have been working on learning the Greek alphabet so we can begin using First Form Greek.  I look forward to sharing our experiences with you all.

Also, we are reading a book, working on a computer website design program, a CLEP test preparation website and a writing program.  I look forward to sharing these reviews in the coming weeks and months.

Of course, the normal subjects of math, science, history, Bible, and Language Arts are being completed as well.

So what is going on in your world?  I would love to hear from you.

 

Preparing for a Move

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We are in the process of preparing for a cross-country move, so school has been suspended.  We are using this time to purge, clean and otherwise prepare for our move.  It is always fun getting ready for a move, okay maybe I am exaggerating slightly or even a bunch.  I think it can become tedious at times.  It is no fun going through all the last minute preparations and purging that is necessary to move.  In our case, we are blessed to have packers and movers come in to deal with some of the tedious stuff.  But then we are left with the task of cleaning and making sure the house we are leaving meets the landlord’s standards.

Some landlords spell out very specifically their requirements in the lease.  One of our landlords required us to have the carpets professionally cleaned.  Other landlords have been much more vague, which makes it a lot harder to satisfy them.  It is no fun having to guess at what expectations the landlords might have.  Nor is it fun to be out part of a deposit because we did not know what requirements the landlords had.  So we try to be proactive and work towards meeting expectations.

Since the military is moving us, we are limited on the amount of weight we can move.  As a result when we go to try to find a new home to rent, we are planning on loading a lot of boxes into our twelve passenger van and leave them in Texas.  Of course, these boxes will primarily contain books since books weigh the most.  Then when the packers come we will not have those books to worry about.  In the meantime, I am trying to get rid of as many books as I can that I know we will not use again.

So what is going on in your world?  I would love to hear from you.

 

Books, Books and Books – Oh Which Ones to Depart With

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Our family is now in our tenth year of homeschooling.  Plus, I freely admit I am a bookaholic.  I love books of all shapes and sizes.  But when you are a military family and the military is moving you, weight becomes an incredible part of deciding to keep or get rid of things.  This includes our books.  Since we know we are slotted for new orders to Texas, this means we have to start the purging process.  It will be tedious and time consuming and most of it will rest solely on my shoulders.  I will ultimately be the one to decide what we want to keep and what we want to get release.  I know we will probably be able to send most of to good homes.  Others I am sure will go off to a local homeschool group’s library.  This gives me some small sense of satisfaction.

So for the next few months scaling down our books and other household items will be the priority.  Then once we have actually moved, the fun will be finding a church, friends and homeschool activities as well as a dance studio.

So what is going on in your world.