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.
It’s Not Greek to Me!: Moms of Master Books Review
My eight-year-old Roe has been pestering me for a while to learn biblical Greek. I’m not at all opposed to this, but I didn’t want to get into a full curriculum at her age and really didn’t know where to begin. Her interest came when she realized this was one of the classes her grandfather teaches at seminary. In 2nd grade he taught her to write her name in Greek and she does this all the time! This is a great course for beginners. Todd Friel explains that this is perfect for the everyday layman in the church as well as those who will be going on to study biblical Greek in a scholastic setting. While this is geared towards a slightly older age bracket, my daughter has really enjoyed it so far. We’re just taking it slow and repeating lessons before moving on.
So here is Rose, completely natural, I promise! She is wholeheartedly focused and genuinely enjoys these lessons. Friel is quite humorous, but I wasn’t certain she would catch all he said. Her favorite line in the introductory lesson was when he was talking about the benefits of learning biblical Greek and stated, “You’ll learn English gooder!” She really got a kick out of that. You can see she is intent. She was so intent in fact she didn’t even realize I was taking pictures.
We had some other students join our class as well. The dollies were actually already seated here, but Rose asked if they could stay while she watched when she realize I was starting to pick them up. These sweet little girls were also very studious although they didn’t want to take any notes.
Rose uses the note pages from the separately available Intro to Biblical Greek Parent Lesson Planner. This is excellent and well worth the price. Included is not only plans for how often to work through the DVDs, but also note pages and practice sheets to ensure retention. I strongly recommend purchasing this guide along with the DVD in order to get the maximum usefulness and benefit.
I honestly wasn’t sure how well this would go over with Rose. She was so very excited to have the chance to learn Greek, but as I stated before, this is geared for students a little older. However, Friel’s manner is very engaging and he is as clear at teaching as he is entertaining. She begs me to do more lessons, but I’m trying not to go too quickly with her. I’m surprised just how much she is really enjoying this. I appreciate that Friel expresses this is a beginners course, something to precede full-on Greek training. I have no idea if she’ll want to go further with this language, but it is an excellent place to start and to see if it is something that interested your student.
I also think this is excellent for anyone who simply wants to know more about the Greek language for your own personal study. After seeing the first few lessons with Rose I’m planning on joining her in these lessons. I said before that my dad teaches Greek. I remember having the same desire to learn as Rose when I was younger, but just felt too overwhelmed with all. I believe we will both enjoy our toe-dip into this ancient biblical language.
Disclaimer: I received It’s Not Greek to Me as well as the Parent Lesson Planner 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.
Awesome Science DVD’s: Review
I was soooooo very excited for the opportunity to review some of the Awesome Science videos! I’ve been eyeing these for a while, but my girls were not quite old enough to really understand them yet. My oldest, now 8, has really loved learning more of science and how it relates to the Bible, like how mountain ranges formed during the global flood and what started the ice age. We’ve also been learning about ancient cultures and religions and we have talked more about why some people do not believe God created the earth. We have always been very open in our explanations and I can do this more confidently with resources from Master Books.
The two newest titles in the Awesome Science series are Explore Rocky Mountain National Park and Explore Glacier National Park. All of the DVDs in this series aim to show how observational science and historical biblical accounts can coexist. It is important to know that no matter what evolutionary science may claim, the Bible does not contradict science. Quite the contrary, if one starts with a biblical worldview scientific evidence in fact supports the historical accounts.
So much information available regarding the geological formation of the earth either completely ignores Scripture or goes even further to say anyone who believes the biblical account of Creation is ignorant at best. I love having solid information at my fingertips to share with my girls.
Noah Justice is the articulate and energetic hosts for each episode. Most videos for kids have adults presenting information, which is fine, but Noah’s excitement is contagious and we love it! I very much appreciate the respectful way which he presents both sides of the debate, showing how much of the evolutionary belief is found to be lacking. Consistent references to Scripture and empirical scientific evidence help us to further understand explanations which make more sense than those who seek to find a way for creation apart for God.
Rose is eight and loves this series. She’s already asked to get more of the videos soon! Beth is six and while she enjoyed them, she does better if we just watch a short section. Grace is four and honestly lasted about as long as the opening music! These are excellent videos, but very much geared towards older elementary children. They very much enjoyed the bloopers of Noah, especially falling down the sand dunes! They love to laugh and really enjoyed this part.
My favorite part was that the gospel was clearly presented at the end of each video. You see, all this information is good and important, but if we are still without a relationship with Jesus, none of it really matters anyway. That is the beauty of these videos. They are not intended to be a source of ammunition we intend to volley at the opposite side. They instead seek to points us to the Creator of the universe, arming us with truth to stand against the falsehoods thrown at us daily.
Disclaimer: I received the Explore Rocky Mountain National Park and Explore Glacier National Park DVDs 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.
Mrs. Kate Carpenter’s Hug-a-Bug-a-Boo DVD: Review and Giveaway!
Mrs. Kate Carpenter has been a friend of our Family for a long time. Not only is she a dear friend, she is also an amazing song-write and singer! Her fun folk tunes engage audiences of all ages. We had the chance to have her in concert at our church a few weeks ago and the girls were so excited to see Mrs. Kate in person! If you didn’t read it yet, check out the field-trip post!
Hug-a-Bug-a-Boo is Mrs. Kate’s newest DVD release. We own several of her DVD’s as well as her first DVD. I’m glad it’s not a VHS because we would have worn it out by now! Mrs. Kate uses song to teach kids about manners, positive behavior, nature, and more. She even has a potty-training song included which leaves all of us laughing. Mrs. Kate and her guitar will have you humming and dancing as you follow along with the motions to the catchy tunes.
My girls love these songs. Some they knew already and others were new. One of my new favorite songs was Habit the Rabbit. Habit teaches kids all sorts of important manners such as not interrupting (except for emergencies!) and texting while interacting with others.
My girls favorite new song from the DVD Colibri which is Spanish for hummingbird. We have thoroughly enjoyed the hummingbirds around our feeder this past summer and this fun little song has left us anxious to see them again next year!
I love that Mrs. Kate’s faith comes through in all her music. Even if the songs do not come directly from Scripture her heart for Jesus shines through with every note. She often has the opportunity to present anti-drug and anti-bullying programs in schools, both public and private as well as community groups and libraries.
Praise Moves for Children from Praise Moves: Review
One are that is sometimes hard for me to fit into our homeschool day is intentional exercise and movement. My girls would much rather be reading or playing pretend rather than get active. We do get outside and run around, but before long we’re ready to come back into the house. I’ll also be honest and say intense exercise just isn’t my thing so I don’t always think to seek out ways to get my daughters intensely active. PraiseMoves is helping to change this!
A few months ago I had the opportunity to try out Morning and Evening PraiseMoves which was a great blessing on so many levels. I typically tried to exercise in the early mornings or evenings while the kids were in bed, but some days my young daughters would be around. It didn’t take long for them to join in! Grace especially seemed fascinated by the new “extercise” Mommy was trying out! She is your typical flexible three-year-old and can quickly maneuver into postures I still am struggling with completing accurately. Not to mention she is enormously adorable when she says things like, “I really love to extercise with you Mommy. Can I use your mat too?” Of course you can sweetheart!
I was very excited for my girls to tryout Praise Moves for Chrildren. Just as I have been encouraged to try out yoga, I’ve also been encouraged to give it a go with my girls. I’m very much aware of the roots of yoga and did not want my girls to have any part of it. Although I’ve been teased for my stance even by Christians, I have stood firm, knowing the latest trend does not always lead to a good end. My girls have been so greatly blessed by this sweet exercise DVD. They enjoy it and feel as if they are dancing while exercising.
Understanding Child Brain Development from Family Hope Center: Review
The brain is an amazing thing. It still holds so many mysteries for doctors, researchers, and therapists, yet amazing understanding of our central processing organ has developed over the last few decades. So much understanding of new ways to manage and treat abnormalities are being understood so families can succeed. Not too many years ago we would in our history a push to lock away those who did not function “normally” in society. We still refer to many issues as illnesses, indicating medication alone is needed to treat the individual. Family Hope Center has a different approach, a unique approach…a successful approach.
The DVD Understanding Child Brain Development will take you on a journey to understand the workings of the brain. Because Family Hope Center looks at different developmental issues as an injury rather than an illness their therapy is much different, yet you cannot begin to understand the treatment programs until you understand the how and why of brain function. This DVD gives hope to families who may have felt hopeless otherwise.
Although my daughters are not affected by any developmental delays, this has been a profoundly interesting seminar giving me great insight into how the brain actually functions. Matt and Carol Newell have taken complex research and science and presented it in a format which is understandable and manageable for those of us not familiar with the inner-workings of the mind. Terms like mid-brain and pons are now words I understand and can talk intelligently about. As I watched this DVD many families with kids who struggle came to mind and I would love for them to view this. I have had so many conversations with parents who feel hopeless as their child is evaluated and medicated each year with little to no progress academically. This DVD shows another way, a way without medication and away towards healing.
There were two particular parts of the DVD which intrigued me in particular. The first was the effect of crawling. Our society pushes children to move very quickly through the crawling phase through the use of walkers, exer-saucers, and doorway jumpers. While my kids used those, they were often on the floor crawling around, yet some children get very little time doing this. One of the interesting treatments used to help heal the injured area of the brain is to practice crawling. I was completely fascinated by this news.
The second thing which intrigued me was the reference to research by Dr. Masaru Emoto about how water molecules are affected by different outside forces. Seeing highspeed photographs of frozen water crystals after water had been exposed to television radiation and microwaved has given me pause. If you haven’t heard of this yet, take some time to research. I’m not in any way advocating all of his theories, but it is a very fascinating topic and makes me wonder how much harm we may be doing our bodies because of technology.
I would encourage all parents, no matter the state of your child’s abilities, to view this DVD. It will definitely open your eyes to what is going on within your child. It costs $19.00 and can be ordered by calling 610-397-1737 or online Understanding Child Brain Development from IEW.
Almanzo Wilder: Life Before Laura from Legacy Documentaries: Review
Teaching the Classics from Institute for Excellence in Writing: Review
My favorite subject to teach is literature. In high school I couldn’t wait to go to my senior English class. Mrs. Moore had extremely high expectations, but she inspired me. She clearly loved literature with a passion, taught dynamically, and invested herself wholeheartedly in her students. She was a big part of why I pursued my own degree in education, focusing on teaching English to middle school kids. I am currently blessed beyond measure to teach a small group of middle school homeschoolers one day a week from September to May. I love this and am always looking for new ways to teach literature to my students. Since I am given permission to create my own units and choose which literature we study, I have great freedom to teach what I love.
I always felt literature had much more to offer students than mere literature studies have to offer. Adam and Missy Andrews agree, and have created a wonderful seminar published by Institute for Excellence in Writing called Teaching the Classics: A Socratic Method for Literary Education intended to teach you, the teacher. For $89.00 you receive this seminar taught at your convenience in your own home and includes all 6 sessions on 4 DVDs as well a workbook to use throughout the lessons. It is recorded during an actual seminar setting and you feel as if you are there. Andrew Moore’s dynamic style is engaging to watch and immediately drew me into the presentation.
Using actual literary examples Adam Andrews teaches a new way to look at teaching literature which breaks far away from the typical unit study of literature containing comprehension questions, vocabulary, and hands-on-activity. Adam begins by providing compelling arguments for the need to teach excellent literature in a way which benefits the student and creates a life-long learner. Although he didn’t need to sell me personally on this, I enjoyed his excellent debate for the need to provide young learners with a rich education in literature.
I was pleased to see this seminar shows how to teach the way I have always wanted to and aim to teach my students currently. I also love this is not simply for older students delving into great works of literature, but can be applied to even picture books with simplified questions. The biggest weakness I have when teaching is creating questions which require my students to think, not merely recall facts. I intend to greatly use the Socratic list of questions included in the workbook. While I have attempted to create questions which make my students think, I always felt as if I were falling short. There is value in comprehension questions, but they need to be followed by Socratic questions in order to stretch the student into deeper thinking.
I was also pleased with the description of conflicts. I learned a new conflict which I do not remember being taught in college or in my research as I structured my classes. This is particularly important to me because I discuss types of conflicts extensively with my students as this always promotes deeper thinking and excellent discussion.
I really like each teaching section is followed by a piece of “great literature” is read which gives opportunity for you to practically work through what is taught. This practical application allows the opportunity for you, the student, to see how this works in real-life. Literature by authors such as Beatrix Potter, Mark Twain, Rudyard Kipling, and Harper Lee are used for practice.
The basic elements of literature are discussed in order to teach the best way to teach great literature. The explanation of authorship, style, plot, conflict, setting, character, and theme were incredibly thorough and useful. I have gained some new insights in how to express them to my students as I introduce them as I teach.
This is an excellent course no matter what level you are teaching. It will adequately equip you to create life-long readers who know how to think through literature beyond rote comprehension questions. Just based on this one course I have decided to further explore the writing curriculum at IEW for my girls.
Signing Time: Review and a Freebie!
When my oldest daughter was about 8 months old she finished her puffed star snack, looked directly at me, and started touching her finger tips together. I found this a little odd because she seemed to be trying to tell me something, but for the life of me I didn’t have a clue! My husband walked into the room and said, “She wants some more snack.” When I questioned him on how he knew what she wanted and what in the world it had to do with her hands he explained that the pair of sisters I had been teaching piano to had been teaching her signs. I would teach one piano and they would teach her sign language. I was shocked and delighted! I had them teach me a few basic baby signs and we used just the basics with my girls from about 6 months on: more, yes, and all done. I think there may have been more, but those are the ones I remember! This picture of Grace saying, “All Done!” Very emphatically with her hands after taking one bite of carrots at about 9 months!
My oldest daughter has been asking me to learn more about sign language. When Two-Little Hands gave me the opportunity to review Volume 13:Welcome to School I was excited and so were my girls! This DVD teaches many of the common signs of things found in school. The signs formally taught on this DVD are: Crayons, Scissors, Paper, Glue, Pen, Pencil, Table, Chair, Backpack, School, Line Up, Pay attention, Learn, Remember, Smart, Principal, Teacher, Class, Student, Name, World, Numbers, Count, Draw, Paint, Read, Quiet, and Rest. In addition to these formal signs Rachel, the Signing Time teacher, uses a number of other signs as she talks and sings. Rose (seven-years-old) picked up on a lot of those while Grace (three-years-old) and Beth (five-years-old) mostly focused on the formally taught sings.
The first thing that struck me about the DVD was how quickly it engaged my girls. Like many families we choose to limit the amount of time our girls are focused on a screen. There are many reasons for this, but one in particular is the lack of participation and interaction required is typically minimal even with educational shows. With signing time my girls all worked hard to sign well and talked with one another as well. Rose especially encouraged and helped her younger sisters.