I Have Been Blessed

All about how God has blessed me. In my marriage, with my six children, through homeschooling, and our faith with recipes, large family living, and updates on our life.

Journeys of Faithfulness

 

Apologia has given us the opportunity to review Sarah Clarkson’s book, Journeys in Faithfulness: Stories of Life and Faith for Young Christian Women. Although this book is targeted for girls ages 12 and up, I opted to do this review to read this book for myself. I love women’s studies, and am blessed to be given the opportunity to present a monthly women’s devotional at our church’s Ladies Meeting and am always looking for ideas or ‘kickstarts’ to a devotional, especially studying women of the Bible.

 

This 232 page paper back book offers historical fictional accounts of Mary and Martha; Mary, Mother of Jesus; Esther; and Ruth.  Through this text, the author challenges young women to deepen their relationship with God. Each section includes three biblical stories of these women, fictionized with added details, thoughts, and insights the author believes the women would have felt or done. Devotional sections with the author speaking straight to the young women, encouraging them in their  walk with God, and  Bible Study sections to get them in their Bibles and digging deeper , and includes a  journaling spot following each section. This book would be best used as a devotional between mother and daughter(s).

 

I am sometimes wary about books that fictionize Biblical stories, but I truly felt these were well done, and accurately portrayed. The stories were sweet and touching. It is a great devotional, and I can easily see doing this with my own girls once they were a little older. I also felt like this book challenged me in areas and helped me to realign my own relationship with God.

 

This book sells for $13.00. See a Sample Chapter or Table of Contents. I felt blessed to have been able to read this book. I was offered this book free in exchange for my honest review as part of the TOS Crew. See what other people thought of this book by clicking the banner below.

 

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I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist

So far everything we have reviewed or bought from Apologia, we have loved. I was very interested in this book, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, – their first Apologetics Curriculum for High School Students, even though I have no high school students. (Well, at least, no high school students, yet.) The title of this book drew me in and the idea that it defends the Christian faith, and prepares you to “always have an answer”, is a topic that I felt I could use a little studying on. I would dare say my faith in God is stronger than it has ever been, but my ability to portray that to others with boldness and effectiveness is something I need work on. I also feel like I know of several people (right off the top of my head) who could (and I pray, would) benefit from reading this book. 

The book, coupled with Apologia’s Workbook, provides a whole course of study that tackles the question of absolute truth. And although I am a fast reader, I am not nearly completed with this. This study is recommended for grades 9-12 (or an adult who feels like they might also benefit). The book sells for $16. The Table of Contents offers Chapter Titles such as: Can we Handle the Truth, Why Should Anyone Believe Anything at All, Do We Have Testimony of Jesus, Who Is Jesus, If God – Why Evil, and MUCH more. This book is over 400 pages long and I actually look forward to studying all the way through it. The understanding I am getting and the way this forces me to really examine what I believe is at oftentimes, convicting.

The companion Workbook, which sells for $33, helps the student to understand what they are reading and remember critical points. The Workbook also presents supplemental material, study questions, and activities designed to encourage personal reflection and discussion.The answer key is downloadable on Apologia’s website.The book is great, but the Workbook draws even more out of it, and out of me, as I study it. It causes me to slow down and really focus and pay attention. It makes me seriously think!

My intention is to not only complete this on my own, but to also set it aside for when Brendyn can do this study as well. I think it will be a meaningful addition into our Curriculum, and into our Faith System that we can always stand ready to give an answer for the Faith which is in us. (I Peter 3:15) We did receive these two books free in exchange for an honest review. We Have Been Blessed!

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Who is My Neighbor

A few months ago, we got the opportunity to review for Apologia and I loved their Bible curriculum! Loved it! So, when I saw Volume 3 – Who is My Neighbor and Why Does He Need Me? I prayed to get the opportunity to review this one as well. I am picky. I probably shouldn’t put that out there for the entire world to see, but there it is. I am picky. Picky about the Bible curriculum my kids are using, learning from, etc.

In fact, I was talking recently (before receiving this review) about being *tired* of Bible Curriculums that focus on Bible stories. While I think they are important, at some point, we got to the point where my kids knew them. I particularly wanted a curriculum that taught my kids what to do with what  they had learned. How to apply it. How it looks in real life. And while I do my best to give them that as their parent, I longed for a curriculum where that was the focus. And then I received this book! (Or to be precise – the Book, the Notebooking Journal, and the Coloring Book!)

The book is recommended for ages 6-14 and costs $39. There are eight lessons in the book – Does Anyone Really Need Me, How Can I Make a Difference, Who is My Neighbor, Why did God make Families, What can I do for my Country, Why can’t we All just Get Along, Who is God’s Family, Why does the Church Need Me – that is some great stuff! This book helps them focus on being the “salt” and “light” in this world.

The front of the Notebooking Journal ($24) contains a Sample Lesson Plan, which when done three times a week, would take sixteen weeks. Or done every day, would take just a little over 9 weeks. It includes questions, vocabulary, word searches, mini books, Prayer pages, Praise Report Pages, Verse Memorization (and that’s all in the first twenty pages!) The coloring book ($8) is great for smaller children to reinforce what they have learned and as a nice keepsake.

We loved this curriculum! We did receive this free in exchange for an honest review.

We have been blessed!

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Go Science

Another chance to review some great Science Experiment DVD’s! We were asked to review Go Science DVD’s from Library & Educational Services. LES is a wholesale company offering 30-70% off regular retail prices to schools, churches, libraries, etc. and to HomeSchoolers!! For instance, these Go Science DVD’s are regularly $14.95, but LES offers them for $8.97 each or $47.95 for the set of six!

These Creation Based Science DVD’s (for ages 6-14, although even my younger kids enjoyed them) are Science Demonstrations turned Object Lesson! We reviewed Volume 2 and Volume 4 (See Below). Volume 2 was about Simple Machines, Sound, and Weather. Some of the demonstrations included 1st, 2nd, and 3rd class LEvers, Incline Planes, Pulleys, Trebuchets, Singing Glasses and Singing Rods, Sound Waves, Pipes, Making a Cloud, Weather Balloon, Tornado Tube, and Air Pressure … After each demonstration, Mr. Ben Roy turns the science into an Object Lesson teaching a simple Bible Truth. Mr. Roy is very high energy and always uses a student helper. He gives a spiritual application with each Science Demonstration. Each short is about five minutes long.

We also reviewed Volume 4, Chemistry, States of Matter, Life Sciences and this one (of the two was my kid’s favorite). This DVD showed experiments of Chemical Luminescence, Exploding Bottle, Exploding Balloons, Flash Paper, pH, Root Beer Float, Liquid Nitrogen, Single Cell, Optical Illusion, Lycopodium Powder, and Camouflage. (See the words Exploding and Flash Above to know WHY this was the boys’ favorite!!) If I had to offer a criticism it would be that the experiments were not explained in a “how or why did that happen” sense, but basically just a watch and see. But I loved that each lesson was turned into an Object Lesson, and Mr. Roy ended each session with “Every Time we learn something new about Science, we learn Something New about our Creator, God!

My kid’s have already let me know I should have ordered Volume Three (Magnetism, Electricity, Engineering, and Design).

We did receive these DVD’s free in order to provide and honest review. Other home-schoolers reviewed these DVD’s as well and you can see their review as well as mine posted here.

We are so Blessed!

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God’s Great Covenant Bible Course

Classical Academic Press allowed us to review their Bible Curriculum called God’s Great Covenant, New Testament 1: The Gospels. In this course, children follow the story of Jesus. There are 36 chapters, each intended to take approximately a week, that are divided into four units:

Jesus, the Son of Man, Has Come … To Live Among His People
Jesus, God’s Servant, Has Come … To Proclaim the Good News
Jesus, the Messiah, Has Come … To Teach About God’s Kingdom
Jesus, the Son of God, Has Come … To Conquer Sin and Death

This is a complete curriculum, which to me means that the text, worksheets, and quizzes are all included in the Student Book. Each chapter includes a Memory Page, which has the basic theme for the lesson, the Scripture, a Memory Verse, and then also includes a “Key Facts” chart and, my favorite, a “Prophecy Fulfilled” Section. There is also “Story Time” Sections which present the theme in a thorough easy-to-read way. I especially appreciated that in the “Story Time” sections, and throughout the book, the Bible References were given. There is also a Worksheet that correlates to each chapter that have Crosswords, Multiple Choice, Fill-in-the-Blank, etc. and a “Think about it” question to prompt the child into thinking how it applies to them. The Worksheets are very comprehensive. There are also quizzes for each chapter at the back of the book.

The Teacher’s Edition, which I also received, has the full student text included in it, as well as additional background information, more details and facts regarding what you are teaching, and complete answer keys for the worksheets and quizzes. Even as the teacher, I feel that this course provides a lot of new information that you often don’t get in the “Bible Story” type curriculums. I liked that maps and additional geographical information was given, as well as historical and cultural  information. An audio file is also available in which the stories are read aloud in a MP3 format.

The Student Book is available for $26.95. The Teachers’ Edition sells for $29.95 and the MP3 Audio Files are $9.95, or save 15% and buy all three in a bundle for $56.95.

 This curriculum is recommended for fourth grade and up, but even children a little younger could benefit from the stories and text and could do some of the worksheet material, and for a middle-schooler this would be easy to implement as an independent study. I think this is a very well researched and put together curriculum, with my only area of personal dislike, being that the scripture used was not from the  King James Version of the Bible. But again, that is a personal preference type thing, and as all the scripture is referenced, we are able to look up the verses easily. We really liked the Appendixes which included a list of how all the prophecies were fulfilled, a glossary, and a section on the Model Prayer. Seeing the quality of this curriculum has me excited to see what other products Classical Academic Press has to offer!

We did receive this curriculum for free in exchange for an honest review. Other homeschoolers reviewed this product as well and you can find my review and theirs here.

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Who Am I and What Am I Doing Here?

Just the Title of this book from Apologia seems deep. Back when I was looking at changing curriculum, Apologia was definitely one of the sites I looked at, as their well-known in the homeschooling circles, primarily for their Science Curriculum. This book, Who Am I? And What Am I Doing Here? is Book Two in their Bible Curriculum. Although the Books do Build on each other, this book has no problem standing on its own. For our review, we were generously sent the Book ($39), the Notebooking Journal ($24), the MP3 audio recording of the Book CD ($19), and the Coloring Book ($9).

My first impression was that these are really high quality books. the textbook is hardcovered and sturdy, sure to withstand the roughness of my boys reading them with full color pages. There are eight sections … What are We doing here, What will you make Today, What’s On Your Mind, Can you Trust Your Feelings, Will you Choose Wisely, How will You Run the Race, What Kind of Fruit are you Growing, Who do you Think You Are … The book’s main purpose is to create a Healthy Self Image based on Biblical Truths. The book mainly uses the NIV translation, but recommends using the translation of your family’s choice as well.

The Notebooking Journal is Spiral Bound with a sturdy spiral (important for my boys!!) and is consumable. The pages are full color and give prompts for the child to write what he learned or got out of the lesson. There are open ended questions for them to answer, worksheets, vocabulary, activities to do, corresponding books, songs that go along with each unit, and more. I have heard a lot about “Notebooking” and seeing this well put together example was useful for me as a parent-teacher, but also a valuable asset for the student going through the book.

The Coloring Book helps younger learners connect the lessons visually, and give them something to do with cute coloring pages, and the audio recording would be great for readers who couldn’t quite read yet, or as a switch up to an older kid having to read. The recordings are in MP3 format.

I was really impressed with this Bible Curriculum, honestly one of the best I have seen. We will be going through this whole study and I would definitely order other volumes! We did receive these items at no cost to provide an honest review. Other homeschoolers reviewed this and you can find their reviews as well here.

We are truly blessed!

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