Snow Unit Study & Pine Trees from Creation Illustrated: A TOS Crew Review

Creation Illustrated Our family has a traditional boxed curriculum we use regularly, but every few weeks we need to do something different. We need a change of pace so we don’t become too routine or bored with what we are working through. I love using unit studies for this purpose. I was incredibly excited to use two unit studies (Snow Unit Study and Pine Trees) from Creation Illustrated for my girls. Rose (12) and Beth (10) worked through these studies and enjoyed them very much!    My favorite part of these studies was the Scripture study. I really like that there is a list of Bible verses for the kids to look up and see what the Bible had to say about the particular subject matter studied.   

 Rose (7th grade) – Pine Trees
Creation Illustrated Unit Study Pine TreesFall 2017, Vol. 24, No. 3Rose worked through the study on pine trees. She used the Fall ’17 Digital Edition of  Creation Illustrated for her study. Throughout this study She learned about the intricicies of these majestic trees. Living in North Carolina this was the perfect time to study this particular tree. We are observing their rather annoying explosion of yellow pollen currently, but understanding them better makes it a little less annoying!   The Bible portion of this study had Rose determine whether the reference was to a pine tree or a fir tree. The explanation of the Hebrew word was incredibly interesting and helpful in understanding the verses better. She loves learning about biblical languages anyway, so I liked this a lot.   

Beth (5th grade) – Snow
Winter 2018, Vol. 24, No. 4Creation Illustrated Unit Study Snow Beth worked through the study on snow. She used the Winter ’18 Digital Edition of  Creation Illustrated for her study. We love a good snowfall although it can we don’t enjoy it all the time. Beth really enjoyed all of the word activities and I was excited about the mathematics section. This is the perfect kind of study for use when we take a break from the ordinary because its interdisciplinary nature covers everything! 

In the study Beth determined whether the reference to snow was being used figuratively or literally. That is a pretty advanced line of thinking for her, but she completed this section very easily. 

 In addition to learning the scientific information there is also mathematics, a word study, and a Bible study! The world is telling our children to ignore everything they may have been taught about the beginnings of time. We are scoffed and mocked as ignorant at best and deceitful at worst for believing in a literal Genesis account of Creation. We constantly weigh the resources available to us for world-view and perspective. We use many resources which do not hold the same world-view as we do, but when we find something that teaches science from the perspective that God is the Creator, it is golden. This magazine is beautifully crafted and scientifically accurate while maintaining the absolute authority of God and His Word.   I highly recommend this new-to-us resource and am excited to see it available as a digital magazine! Here is a sneak peek at the spring issue! 

Take a look at what my Crewmates have to say! Creation Illustrated Unit Studies {Creation Illustrated Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

Life Science: Origins & Scientific Theory Curriculum: A Moms of Master Books Review

Sometimes I think back on my high school education and I realize just how blessed I was. My high school years lasted from 1994-1998 in the Bible belt. While many other areas of the country had been shifting towards removing all hints of Christianity from science. I would say looking back we were right on the edge of the big push. I was unbelievably blessed to have Mrs. Lowe as my AP Biology teacher. Not only because she made biology fascinating and gave us opportunity to be creative in whatever way we liked best, but because she unashamedly proclaimed her doubts about evolution based on her faith. She flatly told us that while she thought it was very important to understand and learn about evolution due to its prevalence in our society, she didn’t believe any of it. She believed the Bible was the Word of God and that was where she found her truth for creation.

She gave me courage to boldly proclaim what wasn’t popular. She prayed for me outside of class when I was chatting with her after school one day. She laughed with us and gave us coloring books the week of the AP test so we could de-stress and then colored with us. After that she told us she was praying daily for our preparation. Teachers like this are now silenced. I definitely didn’t realize how unique this was at the time, but now I appreciate her more than I could ever say.

As I began our journey into homeschooling I knew the Bible was true and that we would teach our girls this, but I also knew it was important to teach them the theory of evolution, just as my biology teacher taught me. I don’t ever want them to follow a set of beliefs merely because, “I said so.” Whether faith in God or a scientific belief I want them to choose for themselves what they believe. Does that mean I take a hands-off approach to the Bible and science like some of my friends do? Absolutely not! It means I teach them from birth about our faith, and as they grow older I help them understand the other viewpoints. I’m not afraid to teach my children about evolution and this seems to shock many of my non-homeschooling friends. Perhaps it stems from the sheltering stereotype. Honestly, I think it’s funny that they would think I’d hide this from my kids.

Once again Master Books steps in to help me where I felt I was lacking. For all the wonderful things my biology teacher taught me, I left her class without knowing how to talk about the possibility of an alternative to evolution. I am using the Life Science: Origins & Scientific Theory Curriculum for myself as I anticipate my children using it in a few years, but even if it was only for me I loved working through these DVD’s and books!

The layout is very easy to follow with a chapter and then portion of the DVD to show. Everything is clearly presented from both sides with the option then for conversation and debate. Yes, it is written by a Christian who believes in a young earth viewpoint, but I do think he fairly portrays evolution as mainstream evolutionists see it. I think the best part of this are the interviews with those who do not agree with the biblical view of creation. We have the opportunity to hear in their own words not only what they believe but where they see problems.

I also really, really like the parent lesson plans. While I’m not testing myself I have looked through all of the testing materials and feel they are an excellent addition to make this a full science curriculum for a year. It is slated for high school, but I think advanced and interested middle school students would also be able to handle the information. I actually previewed both videos with my oldest daughter, Rose, who is 10. She really enjoyed this and learned a lot. I know she retained what we watched because of our recent trip to our local science museum.

As we made our way through the really amazing dinosaur path, Rose stopped and read a lot of the signs. This one was my favorite because she asked me why those who oppose a literal 7 day creation weren’t willing to acknowledge the possibility of Noah’s flood being real even when they were willing to admit that events like floods were what created the fossils. It was such a great conversation to have with her.

What I appreciate most about this book in addition to the amazing photography and detailed information is the genuine desire to get at the truth. It never feels forced or condescending. Instead real evidence is shown and reasonable logic is portrayed so the learner can decide for themselves what is possible.

I highly, highly recommend this curriculum whether you are just beginning your journey to learn about creation vs. evolution or you have studied this for a while. Young and old alike can learn and grow as a result of this fascinating text and DVD study.

Disclaimer: I was provided this book to review as part of the Moms of Master Books review program. I was not required to write a positive review. My opinions are my own. 

Dinosaurs for Kids: A Moms of Master Books Review

Have you had a chance to check out the updated Master Books website? It has had an beautiful upgrade which is both aesthetically pleasing and streamlined for easy searching. I’m more excited than ever to share with you books from this publisher through the Moms of Master Books review group!

Up for review today is Dinosaurs for Kids by Ken Ham. This is such a fun look at the life of the dinosaurs from a biblical perspective. My first impression of this book was it would be attractive to every little boy I know! Oh my how menacing this giant reptile seems! Even though I felt this was a really fun cover for boys, I wasn’t at all surprised it was quickly snatched away with gusto by my daughters.

I like how facts ranging from how dinosaurs were given their names, to what did dinosaurs eat, to how to we reconcile dinosaurs with our understanding of Scripture are covered in a kid-friendly, but very honest way. The visually stunning paintings give beautiful renderings of the many varieties of dinosaurs which are similar to others I have seen in museums and books.

My girls enjoyed reading this together and by themselves. We looked at some of the sections together, but whenever I wanted to pick this up to look at again together, we had to go on a search around the house because it had inevitably been taken somewhere else to read during their afternoon quiet time.

During this particular reading the girls were studying about the different names of the dinosaurs and how to pronounce them. They would practice pronouncing each name and try to remember what it meant. Their pronunciations are fairly good since they are fans of the kids PBS show about dinosaurs. Even though this show has an evolutionary perspective, I do not have a problem with my girls watching it because they are very much aware of evolutionary theory and thinking. We talk about it a lot. I’m not afraid for my girls to learn about this alongside of Creation because I have the Word of God as my foundation. This is why I am so grateful for the resources from Master Books. They help me show why we believe in a 7-day Creation and how to balance it with what secular sources teach.
We love visiting science centers and museums. I am always excited to share these experiences with my daughters. We openly discuss the information provided deciding which parts can be known as fact from observation and which are assumptions based on evolution. My girls are quite knowledgeable of these things because of our Master Books. They ask very good questions and I love it when they ask things like, “How do we know that?” Sometimes the answer is because the Bible tells us, sometimes the answer is because we can observe it, and sometimes it is simply a guess based on what we know from the Bible and observations. Being honest with them about what we can know and what we can’t know for certain helps them in making their own conclusions.

Once again Master Books has provided us with a fun resource to learn about science from the perspective they were created by God at the same time as all the other land animals. This one will be a treasure for many years to come!

Disclaimer: I was provided this book to review as part of the Moms of Master Books review program. I was not required to write a positive review. My opinions are my own. 

Explore Dinosaur National Monument from Awesome Science: Moms of Master Books Review

My girls love learning about dinosaurs! They are ages 9, 7, and 5 and we have often enjoyed a trip to our local children’s museum to see life-size sculptures and have a chance to dig for fossils. I love giving them more opportunities to learn about these incredible creatures from the past and they just devour all the information I can give them.

Awesome Science’s newest DVD, Explore Dinosaur National Monument from Master Books (an imprint of New Leaf Publishing) is a great addition to our collection of dinosaur information. It’s fun and engaging style really interests my oldest daughter especially. My younger two are not quite old enough to appreciate the great amount of scientific information provided, but they did enjoy seeing much of Dinosaur National Monument. 
Noah Justice is a dynamic communicator. My girls enjoy having a younger person explaining and teaching about history and science from a biblical perspective. I was recently asked how I expected my girls to handle learning about evolution in college when all they ever knew was Creation. I was excited to explain that my girls do know about evolution and understand both viewpoints to an extent. I’m not afraid of my girls hearing or learning about those who choose to remove God from the equation of Creation. I want them to be equipped and I want them to come to their own conclusions and beliefs because of their study of the evidence rather than try to force them to accept what I believe just because I believe it. Awesome Science just one of the items in my tool kit for teaching my girls how to incorporate the Bible into their understanding of science as well as what and why secular scientists believe and teach what they do. 
One of the best things about this DVD and others in the series is how my daughters get to experience some of the great wonders of America which they may not see anytime soon. Living on the East Coast makes traveling to some of these locations very difficult. We might one day get to travel to Utah and some of the other areas west of the Mississippi River, but until then we will enjoy learning with resources such as these. 
This incredible DVD series isn’t just for children either. I’m often saddened by just how angry and vehement those who hold an opposing view of creation react and find myself unable to have a real conversation about science because of it. I’m not afraid to share my beliefs, but I do not care to converse with someone who fires hateful responses in my direction because I believe the Bible to be the inerrant Word of God. I’m very grateful to have the resources from Master Books which I do to help me learn for myself how I can balance my trust in the Word of God with evidence from science. I hope to one day have meaningful conversations with some of my friends on the matter and I want to be as equipped as possible. 

Galapagos Islands: A Different View ~ Review

Have you ever read a book transport you? One which made you long to travel? Lots of fiction books give me this feeling, but rarely has a nonfiction title delighted me through pictures the way Galapagos Islands: A Different View has. Master Books, a division of New Leaf Publishing, has once again captured my imagination with a new view of reality.

This compilation by leading creationists is beyond breathtaking. Honestly, I couldn’t read the book the first time through. The photographs drew me immediately. They show the beauty of these islands which have captivated historians, explorers, scientists, and the every day individual for generations. I know in reality I’ll never travel to this exotic local. Seeing it from the perspective of those who know the Creator of the beauty they behold makes this book especially meaningful.

So after I got my fill of the stunning photography I could enjoy the text, which was equally compelling. I absolutely love how the book is grounded with Scripture. This stays very much in keeping with the founding principal of all creationists: Start with Scripture. I know I can trust every publication from Master Books to be completely in line with the Word of God, but each time I read one of their books I appreciate it even more.

The crux of this particular book is viewing the splendor of the Galapagos Islands in a different way than the world typically sees it. It is difficult to think of the Galapagos Islands without leading to evolutionary lines of thinking because they are so tied to Darwin and his theories. I very much appreciated as I read the clear way both observable scientific evidence and Scripture are not in opposition with each other. They instead very much compliment one another. The secular world wants us to deny Scripture because they claim it cannot be reconciled with their version of scientific interpretation. This merely is an issue of where an individuals presuppositions lie.

I’m grateful again for a resource I can delve into and enjoy just as much as my sweet girls! I feel incredibly blessed to have these resources at my finger tips as I teach and answer their questions. 
Disclaimer: I received Galapagos Islands: A Different View as part of the Moms of Master Books. My opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive view of this book.

Six Days by Ken Ham: Review

Have you ever wondered why it matters if you believe God created the earth? Creation scientists argue it matters because it undermines biblical authority. When the authority of God’s Word is put into question from the very beginning of Genesis, questions arise about its validity throughout. Ken Ham‘s life mission is to show how science confirms rather than contradicts Scripture. His newest book, Six Days (from Master Books, a division of New Leaf Publishing), delves into the damage done by compromise.
I’ve been studying and reading for the last two years about the origins of life and how we can reconcile the fossil record with the words given to us by divine inspiration in Genesis. I’ve attempted to learn as much as I could about as many views as possible from biblical creationists to atheistic evolutionists. I haven’t been trying to decide where my belief lies, but rather understand why each holds their different beliefs. Six Days is a great book to begin with to understand the perspective of creationists. 
I appreciated first that Ken Ham clarifies he and the Answers in Genesis ministries do not claim this is a salvation issue. Unfortunately many say this is true and it simply is not. What he does say is believing one must ignore Genesis in order to reconcile current scientific thought is dangerous because it can undermine belief in the gospel. Ham explains that since no one was around to observe biological evolution when referring to molecules evolving into new creatures, it is necessary to have faith in order to believe it.

In Six Days Ken Ham lays out the basic arguments for why believing the earth is young is a reasonable. This book also explains how the fossil record can be interpreted begins with your starting belief. Those who start without a belief in God will look for ways to explain our origins without Him. Interpretation of the fossil evidence will therefore be shaded by those lenses.

Six Days also explains how those within the church community who have relegated Genesis to mythology are undermining the authority of God’s Word and ultimately leading younger generations to doubt the credibility of Christ. I believe all young people who have grown up in the church go through a questioning period when they must define what they believe for themselves. This is not a bad thing, but when many have been taught the Bible cannot be trusted in one aspect is it any wonder they turn away from God and doubt He is who He says He is?

Ultimately Ken Ham is correct in that a belief in a young earth or old earth, evolution or divine creation does not determine your salvation. The intense and often hostile dialogue occurring currently between creationists and evolutionists leaves me wondering how to engage in a respectful dialogue where I can articulate why I can believe what I believe without being barraged with insults and treated as if I am uneducated. This book has gone a long way in helping me know how to do this.

Answers Book For Kids #5 and #6: Review

One thing I appreciate about homeschooling is the opportunity I have to teach my girls about science through Creation. Master Books (a division of New Leaf Publishing) has been a wonderful resource for us. In addition to knowing that my girls are learning how Creation is completely compatible with current science I’m also learning volumes myself! 

The latest books we had the chance to review as part of the Moms of Master Books team are part of The Answer Book for Kids series. We already owned the first four books and were extremely excited to receive Volume 5 and Volume 6 by Ken Ham and Bodie Hodge. They were some of the first Creation-based materials I bought for my daughters. Rose, my oldest, constantly hungers for knowing more. I was getting tired of correcting information in the other science books we owned and decided to try to find some books which would answer her questions from a biblical perspective.  
The girls were a little wound up one night before dinner so I grabbed these out of the schoolroom and offered them to my little ladies. I knew they’d love them, but I didn’t expect them to settle down do quickly! Grace, four-years-old, isn’t even reading yet, but she still loved looking at them! Grace is actually looking at a different book in the series. I was planning to just let her share with her sister, but no-way! She insisted on having her own book. 
One of the aspects Beth really enjoyed was that each question was asked by a different child who was named and pictured. She was so excited to see who wanted to know what. I like this fact as well because it makes it feel much more kid-friendly. These are real questions kids want to know, but often are answered from the perspective that God doesn’t exist or at the very least didn’t have anything to do with the creation of the universe. What a blessing for my girls to have science books I can get excited about. 
Rose got really excited when I pull these out to read. “Mommy! Those are the books that told me if bees had stingers when they were created!” Keep in mind this was over two years ago. My little scientist can’t get enough knowledge which makes me happy. I know she’s getting solid, scientific, and biblically based information with everything we read from Master Books. 

You and your kids can enjoy the entire series of The Answers Book for Kids from Master Books. Your children will enjoy every word and you will feel good about what they are reading! These full-color books are written in  kid-friendly manner and will inform children of all ages. 

You can read more reviews about these delightful new books by clicking below!
(Link coming soon!)
Disclaimer: I received The Answers Book for Kids Volumes 5 and 6 as part of the Moms of Master Books Team. I was not required to give a positive review. I was not compensated in any other way.