Review of “Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women” from Zondervan

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Zondervan has a beautiful new devotional to help your daughter grow in her faith:  Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women.  As the mother of one daughter who is sixteen, I am always on the lookout for devotionals and other books that will help grow my daughter’s faith.  So when I found out about the opportunity to review this devotional, I knew we needed to participate.

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Zondervan provides a variety of Bibles, books, curricula, academic resources, and digital products for more than 80 years.  The company was founded in 1931 by Pat and Bernard Zondervan. According to their website, Zondervan has remained dedicated to producing quality Christian content with integrity, which has allowed sustained growth and has established the company as a revered and reliable source for transformative and inspirational content.”  Harper Collins acquired Zondervan and helped form HarperCollins Christian Publishing.

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Our family has used resources from Zondervan for many years.  Everything we have gotten from them always delivers what we are looking for and expecting from their products, and this devotional did not let us down.  I planned on my daughter and myself doing this devotional together. With three older brothers, I attempt to find devotions for young women that we can do together.  This devotional is meant for young women ages 13-18, but I feel that girls older or younger would also enjoy and benefit from this devotional.  Daughters and mothers definitely will benefit from doing this devotional together.

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This devotional includes Scripture references from the New International Version, which is my only negative thought about this devotional.  I would have preferred them to cite the book in the Bible, Chapter, and Verse and then allowed families to use whatever Bible they prefer to use.  However, my daughter and I just read the verse and devotion in the book and then referred to our King James Version Bibles to reread the Scripture.  I feel this extra step provided our daughter the means for comparing the wording in various Bible translations.

Every devotion features an easy-to-read, timely devotion, which is paired with a Scripture passage about a Biblical girl or woman, such as Ruth, Mary, Esther, Mary or Abigail.  The pages speak about the pressures and changes young ladies face while giving them real-life applications to find and include God in their own lives.

We have found several devotions which spoke to us.  One of them addressed the Proverbs 31 Women and referenced the verse, Proverbs 31:10, which talks about the Proverbs 31 woman having a noble character.  The devotional then discusses the concept of an “ideal” woman.  The devotional does an excellent job of addressing how God has made us all individuals who are perfect in our way in His sight.

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Another one of the topics I was glad to see the devotional address was Abigail’s encounter with David after her husband had treated David with tremendous disrespect.  Day 217 addresses this topic.  The devotional shows how Abigail provided the best she had to offer and offered respect in how she approached him, spoke to him and even provided for David and his men.  The devotional makes it clear how much being respectful can go in an encounter with someone.  Days 218 through 228 continue the story of Abigail before moving to Bathsheba on Day 229.

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You can find Zondervan on social media at the following location

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So if you are looking for a devotional to help a young lady in your life grow in her faith and Biblical knowledge, check out Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women from Zondervan.  If you would like to read a review of this devotional from other members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

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Back to School Blog Hop – Take a Look Tuesdays

Welcome to day 2 of the 2018 Home School Review Crew Back to School Blog Hop.  Today’s topic is Take a Look Tuesday.  Today I will be sharing some of our curriculum choices for this year.  We have two children still homeschooling.

Our youngest son is seventeen now and is planning on graduating by December 2019.  Currently, his coursework includes:

  • Bible -still to be determined
  • Math – CTC Math (we love this program)
  • Grammar – GrammarPlanet and Picta Dicta
  • Literature – still deciding this one as well
  • History – Notgrass World History
  • Science – Chemistry and probably Apologia’s Marine Biology
  • Band – Homeschool Band and Strings Programs along with Piano either on his own or with a teacher (still need to figure that one out)
  • Photography
  • Spelling
  • a Foreign Language

Our daughter is almost sixteen and is basically between ninth tenth grade.   Here are her subjects:

  • Bible Study with Mom or Dad – still deciding this
  • Math – CTC Math
  • History – Mystery of History along with TruthQuest History
  • Biology/Botany and then moving into Chemistry probably after the first of the year.
  • GrammarPlanet and Picta Dicta
  • Literature – to be decided
  • French
  • Homeschool Band Strings Program
  • Art Classes either online or in person

We homeschool year round, so we are still finishing up some coursework. Then whenever those courses are finished, we will begin new subjects. So stay tuned during the year to see what our choices are. Also, we do a limited or reduced school schedule during the summer, so that is why some courses are still being determined right now.

If you would like to visit the other Home School Review Crew members who are participating in this Blog Hop, here is the list.

Angie @ Run Ran Family Adventures & Learning
Annette @ A Net in Time
Ashley @ Gift of Chaos
Betty @ Let’s Get Real
Brenda @ Counting Pinecones
Carol @ Home Sweet Life
Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses

Christine @ Christine Howard
Christy @ The Simple Homemaker
Dawn @ Schoolin’ Swag
Debra @ Footprints in the Butter
Diana @ Homeschool Review
Felicia @ Homeschool 4 Life
Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning
Jeniffer @ Thou Shall Not Whine
Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life

Jennifer @ Dear Homeschooler
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Karen @ Tots and Me…Growing Up Together
Kellyann @ Walking Home …
Kimberley @ Vintage Blue Suitcase
Kristen @ A Mom’s Quest to Teach
Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
Laura @ Four Little Penguins
Linda @ Apron Strings & other things

Lisa @ Farm Fresh Adventures
Lori @ At Home: where life happens
Margaret @ Creative Madness Mama 
Marla @ Jump Into Genius
Meredith @ Powerline Productions: Being World Changers/Raising World Changers 
Michele @ Family, Faith and Fridays
Missica @ Through The Open Window
Monique @ Mountain of Grace Homeschooling

Nicole @ Bless Their Hearts Mom
Patti @ Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy
Rebekah @ There Will Be a $5 Charge For Whining
Rodna @ Training Children up for Christ
Stacy @ A Homemakers Heart
Tess @ Circling Through This Life
Wendy @ Life at Rossmont
Yvie @ Gypsy Road

If you would like to read what other members of the Home School Review Crew are posting about today, click here or on the graphic below.

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You can read my post for Monday here.  If you would like to read my other posts from this series, click here.

Thoughts for Tuesday, August 7, 2018

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Today begins Youth Service Camp at our church, so our 17-year-old son is attending that.  He left this morning and will not be home until Thursday night.  The youth will be staying in various homes of the adult leaders, including our pastor and his wife.

Meanwhile, the rest of the family is keeping to our normal routine.  This means our oldest son and my husband are working.  I am blogging, reading and preparing for reviews along with cooking and chores.  Our second son is working on projects and other interests.  Our daughter is working on schoolwork and drawing.  So it ought to be a fairly quiet week around the house.

Upcoming Reviews

Here are some of the reviews our family is currently working on for the Home School Review Crew:

  • Godschooling by Julie Polanco
  • Branch Out World
  • GrammarPlanet
  • RomanRoads Media

So stay tuned in the next few weeks for these reviews.  Also, be watching for the Home School Review Crew Back to School Blog Hop coming August 20-24.  I can not wait to see what our Crew Members have to say.

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Now for the topic of the day, I am finding that homeschooling high schoolers can be lonely – both for our high school students and for myself.  Everyone is so busy and caught up in either what they are doing or with outside activities.  Plus, it seems like it is a lot harder to find other homeschoolers with time to interact or that have similar interests.  Plus, we are a military family who moved while some of our children were either in high school or getting ready to enter the high school years.  Being new in a community can make things very difficult for finding friends and activities.

On the bright side, we have found at least one thing that has captured the interest of several of our children and that is the Home School Band for our area.  All four children play instruments and my husband and I do as well.  Below is a picture of our youngest son and me at the summer music classes learning piano.

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So what is your family doing this summer or planning to do this fall?  I would love to hear from you.  If you would like to read about what other members of the Home School Review Crew are blogging about this week, click here or on the graphic below.

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Review of Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude to Sexuality

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If you have boys between the ages of 12 and 20 you’ll want to check out Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality from Great Waters Press.  As the mother of three sons: ages twenty-two, ninenteen and seventeen along wiht a daughter who is fifteen, I have to say some conversations are much easier than others.  More importantly, I find conversations with my daughter are easier for me since we are both females.  However, with the days and times we live in, talks about sexuality, relationships and other related topics can not be ignored or avoided.  So I was  grateful to have the opportunity to review this book.
Christian parenting remains a challenge at best and diffiuclt in many cases, especially with teens or tweens.  Christian sex education can be a hard topic to discuss, especially if you grew up with parents who did not discuss the subject readily.  With all the other temptations and opporunties to be exposed to inapporopriate material, a parent has to take steps to counteract such exposures..  For our family, we decided to homeschool years ago, and one of the things we prayed for was the safety and well-being of our children.  However, with the Internet and smart phones, that can be easier to say than done.
Hal and Melanie Young are award winning authors who are not afraid to tackle the tough subjects.  More importantly, they do it in a way that builds on and focuses on Christian values.  They are publishers, writers, bloggers, and very popular conference speakers.  They are the parents of six real sons and two real daughters.  This provides a wealth of real world experience and background to relate to in their writing.
Here is a picture of the table of contents.
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The book covers everything from how sex was God’s idea to how the enemy perverts God’s Design to Recovering from a Fall to Guy and Girls along with the Road Ahead.  Hal and Melanie Young have done a wonderful job of making a hard topic to talk aout much easier.  One of the things I really appreciated while reading this book was the practical tips and thoughtful manner in which the topics were addressed.  It is defnitely hard for some parents to recognize how easy temptations, traps and other roads to sexual misconduct are for our teenagers and young men.  As the mother of sons, I want my sons to experience such Biblically based books that address these hard topics.  Moreover, as the mother of a daughter, I want the men she wil come in  contact with and eventually marry to be exposed to such materials.

Some of the features I really appreciated about this book was the five point defense along with the summaries found at the end of each chapter.

While these subjects are hard to talk about, this book does an excellent job covering the gap between what the world says and encourages versus what the Scriptures tell us God’s Word requires..   On page 63, I found a quote that summed the message of the book for me.

Christ Centered Relationship

You can find Great Waters Press on Social Media at:

Facebook: http://facebook.com/raisingrealmen  @raisingrealmen
http://facebook.com/halandmelanie  @halandmelanie
Instagram: http://instagram.com/raisingrealmen
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/raisingrealmen  @raisingrealmen
Twitter: http://twitter.com/raisingrealmen  @raisingrealmen

So you should check out Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality or one of their other books like   from  Great Waters Press for yourself.  Another great book that members of the Crew are reviewing this week from Great Waters Press is No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope  .  So if you want to read posts from other members of the Home School Review Crew, click here or on the graphic below.

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Monday Musings for May 7, 2018l

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So last week was an interesting week, to say the least.  During the week our air conditioner for our house twice.  The first time, the company came out and replaced a capacitor and it seemed to fix the problem on Monday.  By about 3:00 pm on Tuesday afternoon, the unit stopped working in the exact same way again.  So the company had to come back out on Wednesday to fix it again.  This time they replaced the motor in the outside unit.

Because we live in southeastern Texas, not having an air conditioner is a major issue.  It is not something we want to have any time in the near future.  Fortunately, since they came out the second time, it seems to be working fine.

This past weekend was also the weekend my husband had to take his annual physical fitness test for the army reserves.  He passed with no problems, I am glad to report.

It was also the week we received our books from Memoria Press.  We planned on starting them the day after we received the books, but life happened with the air conditioner.  When it is hot and humid, schoolwork tends to be a lower priority than staying cool.  So this week we will be diving into the course full-force.

We also received from Silverdale Press a course that our 17-year-old son and I will be doing together for another review for the Home School Review Crew.

So how are things where you are? I would love to hear from you.

if you would like to check out what other members of the Home School Review Crew are writing about this week click here or on the graphic below.

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Tasty Tuesday – May 1, 2018

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Our family loves being able to sit down and eat together.  One of our favorite style of meals is grilling food.  With the addition of our cowboy grill along with our regular grill that includes both a gas (propane) grill  as well as a charcoal grill.  Often we make shish-k-bobs.  Another thing we like grilling is fish.  Ribs take a high place as well.

Here are some pictures of food we have cooked on our grills.

One of the benefits of living in Texas is that we can basically grill year round.  So we frequently enjoy fish, meat, hamburgers, hot dogs, bratwursts, sausages, chicken, pork, shrimp and more on our grill.  I am blessed to have a husband and sons who love to cook on the grill for me.  When we use the grill, typically everyone takes part in preparing our food.

So what are you eating now?  I would love to hear from you.

The topic on the Home School  Review Crew Link-up for today is “Homeschooling with the Brain in MInd”.  I always try to do this.  I tend to like and excel at different things from our children.  When it comes to my children, all of them are as different as can be.  None of them plan on doing the same thing in life.  They also do not share the same interest.  Nor do they enjoy the same style of materials.  So I try to take those things into account when I make curriculum choices.  Our daughter loves anything to do with art, so I try to find things that excite that part of her brain.  Our youngest son enjoys anything to do with music, so we are exploring ways to build on this for him.  So if you homeschool, how do you take your childrens’ brains into account? Or how do you take into account your brain when making curriculum choices?

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If you would like to read what other members of the Home School Review Crew are posting about this week, click here or on the graphic below.

 

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Weekly Wrap-Up

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So two weeks ago at church, our pastor talked about the story of Jacob and Esau and the “red pottage”.  Esau had come in from the fields and was famished so he asked Jacob to share the food Jacob had prepared.  In exchange, Jacob asked for the birthright.  Our pastor referred to the “pottage” as “red stuff”.  Then it transferred into a discussion of the “red stuff” actually being red lentils.

So this past Saturday when our family went grocery shopping last Saturday, while we were in Sprouts we found the “red stuff” – as in red lentils.  So this week we fixed them for dinner.  Here are two pictures – one of us cooking the lentils and one from when they were finished cooking.

This was also the week we reviewed HelpTeaching.com’s Help Teaching Pro and you can read that review here.

Also, we discussed selections for another upcoming review from Memoria Press to determine which one our 15-year-old daughter would want to do.  The choices were either Logic or a composition course on Aesop’s Fables.  After reading the descriptions of the two courses and then looking at the sample pages for the logic course, our daughter decided she preferred the course on Aesop’s Fables – so we will see whether we get selected for that product or not.

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

Review of Presidents of the United States Video-Based Unit Study from Paradise Praises

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I am always on the hunt for great homeschool resources. I  am especially excited when those products come from online friends, so I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to review the Presidents of the United States Video-Based Unit Study from Paradise Praises by Katie Hornor.  I received a copy of this product for my fair and unbiased review. So all opinions expressed in this review are my own.  One of the incredible things about this product is that it can be adapted for any age – from kindergarten through high school.  As an adult, I found the videos enjoyable and educational to watch.

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This video-based product is meant to be completed over the course of one 9-week period, meaning one quarter.  The product contains a suggested nine-week schedule.  Each day the students will learn about a different president while completing activities and reading assignments.

The product contains the Presidential Biography Studies in chronological order, a listing of the Presidential videos, a listing of videos regarding the First Ladies, audiobook ideas, as well as other resources that include a field trip or virtual field trip ideas, art resources, vocabulary lists and more.  Book suggestions include picture books, early readers, and chapter books.

Our three students we are still homeschooling are all in high school, and I love the flexibility of this course.  It lends itself to flexibility and fitting the needs of a homeschool family.  The primary video for each president is only 90 seconds long.  So when your family’s time is short, your family can watch that 90-second video, complete a notebooking page for the president along with adding your Presidential figure to the timeline and be done.  On days where time is available, notebooking pages, additional reading assignments, field trips or even virtual field trips, as well as art activities, can be complete.

I have to say I loved the song for learning the names of the presidents.  I believe this would come in handy for learning the order of the presidents.  Although I have only looked over the materials myself and watched the videos, I know this resource is going to be a great asset to our family.  Whether you use it along with an existing history program or use it as a stand-alone unit study, I am sure your family will enjoy this course.  So visit the Paradise Praises Online Shop and check it out for yourself and let me know what you think.  I would love to hear from you.

Our Area’s Homeschool Activity Fair – Part 1

 

So we are now in our second year of living in Texas.  This week I became aware that our local homeschool organization was holding an activity fair.  So I informed my youngest two and my husband the four of us would be attending.  As we drove into the parking lot and started to get out of the vehicle, I stated I was not sure how much we would find if anything.

So imagine my surprise when we entered the room the fair was in and found a number of booths that interested my children.  I am going to break this up into two parts.  Today I am going to write about the activities our 16 (getting ready to turn 17 in October) son found at the fair.

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The first activity which really interested him was the area homeschool band.  The benefit of this is that I can also play in it as a parent.  Furthermore, our second son can play as well.  After talking with the representatives a few minutes, I picked up a flyer, added our names to the list and checked one activity to add to our schedule.  So this should be fun for us.

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The next table to catch Nathan’s interest was one for an area Junior High/High School choir.  Nathan has a love of music and of singing, so again I knew this would be a good fit.  So I grabbed the flyer, noted the date of the informational meeting and then we moved on again.

My son then became distracted for a few minutes when one of his friends from church handed him a flyer for the group’s yearbook staff.  Involvement in that is still under consideration.  Then he was distracted by seeing the mother of that same friend.  So, of course, he had to go over and speak to her.

Then we stopped at a table where another one of my children’s friends was sitting.  We spoke to her for a few minutes before moving on to see what else we could find.

The next table to truly interest our son was the one for tennis lessons.  One of the moms we met when we first moved to Texas was on duty there.  We received the information, chatted for a few minutes and caught up a little bit.  I gave a sigh of relief when I realized they provided all the necessary equipment.  So that is one expense I do not have to worry about right away.

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Finally, he asked if we could stop by the table for the area athletic teams – including basketball – something he has wanted to play for years.  Unfortunately, that activity is not a possibility because it will conflict with the homeschool band.  I was glad to see my son was more interested in the band instead of basketball.

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So that is a summary of the activities our son is interested in for the new year.

Stay tuned for part 2 where I will discuss the activities our daughter is interested in for this year.