Friday, September 29, 2017

The Secret of the HIdden Scrolls

Another day, another book.  Well, two books!  And yay us- we love books.  Thanks to Worthy Kids/Ideals, we have enjoyed reading and reviewing The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: The Beginning (Book One) and The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: Race to the Ark (Book Two).  

Written for ages 6-9, these two paperbacks are Christian Fiction with the Bible in mind.  Book One- The Beginning introduces siblings Peter and Mary.  The two are dropped off at their eccentric great-uncle’s house to stay while their parents are away.  After entering Great-Uncle Solomon’s library, which he says is filled with more treasures than just books, the siblings find a glowing pot filled with scrolls. Their uncle tells them that he discovered the scrolls during his work as an archeologist, and that he believes they are the Hidden Scrolls of the Bible and will only work for those that are chosen.

When the seal is broken on one of the scrolls, the kids are transported back in time to the beginning of time.  Their real adventure begins as they experience first hand the days of creation.  As they walk through the creation of the world, Peter and Mary have a puzzle to solve to be able to return to the library and their uncle.  In doing so, they encounter the serpent in the garden and the arch angel Michael, as well as many truths about God and the Bible.

In the second book, Race to the Ark, Peter and Mary’s adventures continue as they hear the lion roar and a second seal is broken and they are transported back to the time of Noah’s Ark.  In this book, Michael appears again to rescue the kids from being chased by two unfriendly kids and reminds them that God is always with them.  Peter and Mary meet Noah and his family and watch the flood events unfold before their eyes.  With another puzzle to solve and a Dark Ruler to avoid, Peter and Mary must once again find a way back home.

Our experience and thoughts- 
 I say it often, but it is worth repeating, I love books with Christian themes for kids.  No, they should not learn their theology from them, and yes, they should learn of God's truths from the Bible, but it is also refreshing to be able to let them read a book big on Christian themes and low on controversy and questionable topics or bad language.  And by low, I mean NONE!

Just this past week, I again read of a friend whose child was exposed to a bunch of JUNK from a book from the library.  And just like that shocked and outraged mom, I simply do not have time to read every book that my kids are reading beforehand.  I wish I did, but the reality is I do not.  

When you can find publishers like Worthy Publishers and books like The Secrets of the Hidden Scrolls, I chalk it up as a win!  No worries about content found here!

Colby, age 10, read both of these books on his own, although I did read them afterwards- on my own! ;)  He read the first in one sitting and the second he read over two days.  They are written at a 1-3rd grade level so it was a very simple read for him.  None the less, he loved the stories. 

With simple sentences and fun ink drawings every few pages, I have no doubt young readers will be able to read, enjoy, and comprehend these books.

He said the puzzle part of the story was "fun" and he wished he could go back in time like Peter and Mary did.  When asked what his favorite part from the first book was he said, "I like when Peter threatened to release his karate on the serpent and the serpent said he did not know what karate was. Peter said 'you are about to find out' and then Mary kicked the snake.  It was hysterical!"

Would I recommend these books?  You bet!  And we hope more are coming in the series. Although the author, M.J. Thomas, very much uses creative license in telling the stories of Creation and Noah's Ark, both of these books are worthy of your bookshelf in my opinion.  They are fun adventures with a beautiful overarching theme of God's care and love for you! The lesson in the first book was God Created Everything.  The lesson in the second book was Trust God and He Will Rescue You.  Not bad themes to teach your kids, huh?!

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls. {WorthyKids/Ideals Reviews}
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Monday, September 25, 2017

Monday Menu Take 3!

Welcome back!  If you missed our first two weeks of menus, you can find the first week here and the second week here!  So glad you came along for the ride, and thanks to all of you who have left your menus for us on the blog FB page.  You have inspired me to think outside the box.  Or to book plane tickets to YOUR houses! ;)

This week the kids and I will be traveling for a few days, but I will be leaving food for my hero so I will give you the full menu.  If we ever miss a meal we often just move it to the next week.  If one meal doesn't line up well with our day, we simply swap it.  Just like any schedule, let it work for you, not complicate your life even more so.

As fall gets closer, I know it is out there somewhere, you will notice our crockpot gets put to more use.  One, because I love the smell of cooking food all day because of the comfy factor and two, it makes my life easier when I have been teaching the boys all day and then have other things to do.  Like I said earlier, for us- food is about need, not about show.  We love our family time at the table, but I want it to be centered on whom we are eating with, not what we are eating.

This week-

Monday- Chili
Tuesday- Hamburgers
Wednesday-  Chicken Pot Pie
Thursday- Pizza
Friday- Beef Stroganoff (recipe posted last week!)
Saturday- B- B- Q Chicken (crockpot)
Sunday- Nacho Chicken Dip (crockpot)

A recipe for you all this week- Chicken Pot Pie!  This came from a dear friend of mine a long time ago.  As a military wife that took food to people a lot, this became my standby.  It is great for those who just had surgery or are sick, as well as for new nursing moms who can't do spicy.  Comfort food at its finest.  It is also a dump and go recipe.  I often add additional veggies to it and have been known to make it only with fresh veggies and make my own cream sauces, but let's face it, sometime simple and easy is what we need!  Enjoy-

Chicken Pot Pie

1 can Cream of Potato Soup
1 can Cream Of Chicken Soup
16 oz. can of Veg-all
1 small can of mushrooms
2 C. cooked chicken, shredded
1/2 tsp Thyme
1/2 tsp.pepper
1/2 tsp. of paprika
1 pie crust

Combine all the ingredients and spoon into a pie crust.  Cover with top crust, seal and vent.
Cook at 375 for 45 minutes.
Let sit 15-20 minutes before serving.


Friday, September 22, 2017

Who Is Up For Some World Traveling?

Oh my word, friends, you know that sometimes I find a curriculum that I love and gush about, right?!  Well, get ready because Let’s Go Geography is one of those programs.  Seriously, let me tell you about this three year Geography program developed for Grades K-4th that we were able to review for the Homeschool Review Crew.  The one year subscription we reviewed can be used by one teacher for one child to multiple children at home as well as even for a co op group!

Created by Carol Henderson, a school teacher, Let’s Go Geography is unique in several ways.  First of all its focus is on exploring the continents, country by country, not just physical attributes like rivers and streams and mountains you often find in lower graded Geography programs.  This 36 week program, with three scheduled breaks built in, will eventually cover three years and most countries, including the United States.  The first year is currently available with the next two years coming soon.  Each year, two regions of the United States are covered. You can purchase a whole year at a time, or buy by semester if you want.
Let's Go Geography

Another unique feature of Let’s Go Geography is that it is online with live links!  You can download each lesson or just go through it online, using the clickable links to explore specific facts that the author presents. 

When you begin the program, your child can choose from several Travel Journal covers to add to the notebook they can make, as well as print off a “passport” in which they will add flags of the countries they will visit in their studies.  


Another unique feature is that you can study the countries in any order.  While the program is designed to be worked through in order, you CAN jump around. Once you finish each lesson there is a button to click on so you can mark it as completed, making it easy to see what you have done at a glance.

Each lesson is set up in the same way, composed of 5 parts.  After the country is introduced with a page of quick facts such as capital, population, official language and such, a check list of the 5 components is included.

  • Color the Map- This section includes a link to a map you can print out, with directions to color the country, and label it accordingly.  Often other areas around the country are labeled as well, such as oceans and seas.

  • Flag- This section includes a picture of the country’s flag that you can cut out and color, then add to your passport.  There is also an option to add the flags to continent maps. A few notes about the flag and what the colors and symbols represent are presented.

  • The Music- This section has a link to the music that represent the country.  Some times it is the national anthem, and other times it is an example of local music that may be more familiar.
  • Explore- This is the meat of the program.  Here you will find facts about the country.  Most sections have a link to another video that further exposes your child to the subject being learned.  Color pictures are also included for your child to look at in this explore section.

  • Craft- This final section has a craft for your child to do that represents the country they have been studying.  The theme of the craft is presented as well as a supplies list.  Detailed instructions, including picture examples, are included.  There is also a color sheet to print out.

Additional resources include a notebook page for your country for your child to write on if you desire as well as any printables you might need for the lesson or craft.  The ISBN number for related books are listed as well for further study.

Our thoughts and experiences-
Ok, here is where you brace yourself for the gushing.   Yes, this program is aged for K-4th grade.  And yes, Colby is on 5th.  NO worries.  Truly, I think the ages are good, but I think you can easily use this with slightly older children as well.  The information presented is thorough, but you can certainly use it as a jump start to a more detailed study if you wish.  Often the reading and the videos would lead us down rabbit trails to additional information.
I love how organized this program is and how accessible it is.  Colby can pull this program up and do much of it on his own, though I admit I do not let him often, as I enjoy doing it with him.  Each time you bring up your homepage, a list of the year is on the left sidebar and shows what lessons are complete and which ones are not. We have chosen to break the lessons into two days, one day working through the lesson and a second day to write a quick report on the notebook page provided and doing any craft or color sheet included.  Because I am working with a non-crafty kind of guy, he has chosen not to do too many of the crafts and I have to color with him to complete the pictures.  Go figure!  That being said, you can easily do the lessons in one sitting or stretch them out for a week, depending on your child's needs and attention span.

This little gem is made for ALL learning types!  Auditory, visual- you name it, it is covered.  Have a child that loves crafts?  They will be thrilled with the projects like making rainsticks and kites and doing coloring sheets.  Have a more visual learner?  The YouTube videos are short enough to not bore anyone but filled with interesting facts and sights!   

I also love that you can print the lessons out.  While we did work from the computer to access all of the links (Colby's favorite part), I like having a record of what we do.  I print out most of the pages and we are adding them to Colby's Travel journal.  We label each country with a sticky note so he can easily reference them if he wants. 

I love that you can skip around.  I have a kiddo that likes to be in charge.  Obviously, he cannot be very often...he is 10 after all.  But anytime I can allow him to make decisions, I do so.  This has been the case for Let's Go Geography and the reason you will see Afghanistan on the tab up there.  Because his dad was stationed there for a year it interested him.  As did Hawaii because "It would be a cool place to visit!" and Greenland because he thought that might be "cool" as well. Chili is next because it is "close to where I was born."  His favorite video so far?  During the Greenland national anthem video you see an iceberg start to collapse in the background.  It was neat!  I figure if he gets excited about choosing, it is the least I can do. ;)

So like it?  Yes, we do!  
Recommend it?  You bet!

Let's Go Geography has a been a HUGE blessing and great addition to our weekly studies and I am thrilled we found it!

Let’s Go Geography {Reviews}
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