Showing posts with label history. Show all posts
Showing posts with label history. Show all posts

Monday, September 24, 2012

A Cry From Egypt: A review, Paperboy shares his opinion

Today's review is from a company that I can totally relate to. In fact, I may adopt their sogo as my own family logo.

As a reviewer for the Old Schoolhouse Crew, I have had many opportunities to read fantastic books. I have to admit, this has been one of my favorites.  I've always enjoyed historical fiction, but this story really has found a place in my heart. My initial plans was for Paperboy to write the review, but after beginning the book myself, I have to add my two cents in.

Paperboy first had the pleasure of reading "A Cry From Egypt". This is the first in a series from Great Waters Press. What fascinated me about this book is the author, Hope Auer, a homeschooled student began writing this book when she was 14 years old.

I interviewed Paperboy for this review.

Were the characters believable?
Yes the characters were very realistic and their responses to the events was accurate.

Did it hold your interest? After chapter two, it had me gripped. It was an interesting read that I wanted to finish.

What age group would enjoy this book?
11 to 15 year olds would be my target audience for this book.

Who was your favorite character? Even though Pharoah was not the main character, his stubborness was realistic and consistent, she did a great job on his personality.

What was the theme? It was a battle between the beliefs of two groups. Each one was portrayed vastly different.

Do you think it could it have a sequel? It may be difficult to top this story line. Mom's note, it is the first of a series.

Was the story predictable?
If a reader has knowledge of the Bible, obviously, they will know the ending. What makes this story unique, is the main characters and their interactions, growth and credibility. For example, even in the times of ancient Egypt, young people has similar struggles, whether slave or free.

My thoughts:
I loved this story! I was in awe as I thought about how well written this story is. Hope Auer has an incredible way creating believable characters and weaving multiple story lines together. This book is a must for anyone who is studying Ancient history with their family.

Don't take Paperboy's and my word for it. See what other reviewers thought about this fantastic book here.

This book is published by Great Waters Press, a new publishing company that offers Christian books, I'm looking forward to their future books.

As a member of the Old Schoolhouse Crew, I am given the opportunity to review many home school products. I am not paid or compensated for my reviews, I did receive this product for free in exchange for this honest review. 


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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Did you vote?

Remember the fateful day when the women in Afghanistan had the privilege to vote? We saw the compelling photo of a woman proudly displaying her inked finger. Evidence that she finally had a voice in electing her leaders. Who knows what consequences she could have faced? She showed great courage. It was a victory for democracy.

I didn't even want to vote today. But I did. After watching news clips of the Democratic convention, I was compelled to ignore my feelings. My vote is simply a message, I'm paying attention.

If you haven't voted today, even if there are no serious run-offs at the ballot, just do it. Let those who are running for office see that you are listening and will be until the election. George would be proud, in-fact, when I showed him my sticker, I think he cracked a smile.

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Friday, August 10, 2012

King Alfred's English: A review, a revelation and a promotion

When my son was enrolled in the Defensive Language Institute in Monterey, California, the Gman and I picked up these great t-shirts. On the front is the school logo and this witty saying is on the back.  And yes, I just fetched this from the hamper, grin.

I understood what it meant, but never really appreciated the logo until now. Lori White has given me a fresh appreciation for the history of our language.

As a member of the Old Schoolhouse Crew, I am given the opportunity to review many home school products. I am not paid or compensated for my reviews, I did receive this product for free in exchange for this honest review.

King Alfred's English: A History of the Language We Speak and Why We Should Be Glad We Do

Today's book review is King Alfred's English by Laurie White of I received an eBook which I downloaded on my Kindle app for my iPad. The book is available in hard copy here for $14.89. Since prices change, you may want to check at, Rainbow Resource, and Grace and Truth Books.

Laurie White spent 5 years working on this book, here she describes why she began this project:
I'm a homeschooling mom (kids are grown) and English major, who initially just intended to write a long article on the history of English. I knew I needed some kind of empty-nest-filler when the last of our 3 children graduated from our homeschool, and I had always wanted to put together something more substantial on the history of English than just the notes from my college class I'd used with my own kids. I thought it was a shame that this material was usually reserved for English majors when younger students might be fascinated with it too. I knew mine were!
My thoughts:

This books is a delightful, rich read. It offers a brief history of the world and how our language has evolved. She cover the many invasions and the results of each on the English language. While filled with history, her conversational tone and ability to weave in such a variety of facts makes this a terrific supplement to middle and high school English lessons. Paperboy, who loves history will be in for a treat this year. He loves to dazzle others with his various history trivia. This will offer him endless anecdotes. (WE INTERRUPT THIS POST FOR A CONFESSION>>>I am the one who read this book. Contrary to my children's opinion of me, I am a nice mother, who gives her children a summer break from home schooling.) I appreciate how Laurie clearly explained the history of the church and how we ended up with our Bible. Her style of writing is easy to read and is written in short sections. This will make it easy to break down into a weekly schedule using the free student pages.

My Revelations or Ten Things I learned:
  1. The original meaning of the word berserk.
  2. The Grimm brothers didn't just write some cool children's stories, they were philologists.
  3. Philologists are linguists who study written texts.
  4. Why the SAT's are more difficult to study in English.
  5. Who Dolly Pentreath is?
  6. Grammars rules and how I shouldn't be so hard on myself for breaking so many on my blog and in my daily life.
  7. What courriel is and that I have been doing it daily for years.
  8. The English toilets were named after the man Crapper, not the contents of the bowl
  9. A great site for word studies
  10. I have been butchering John Wycliff's name for years, it is pronounced WI-Cliff.

Knowing I sound sexist, but not really caring I need to say this.

This is a terrific book for boys. My boys. O.k. I am sure girls will love it too, but I need to say "Thanks Laurie, you have an understanding for boys and how to teach them, while captivating them."

It's obvious that Laurie has a vision to educate children on the history of English and the Bible. She generously offers teacher and student pages on her website to enhance the book. She reccomends movies, websites and resources that complement her book. She even offers chapter tests if we choose to use this a a curriculum for our students, which I highly suggest doing.

SSSSSSSSSS, I have a secret...
If This King Alfred's English sounds like a book you would enjoy, let me know. Send me an email and I will share a secret promotion with my most faithful readers. If you contact me within the next two weeks, I will email you a code which allows you to purchase your own copy at a discount rate.

If you are not yet convinced, see what other crew members thought about Laurie's book by clicking the banner below. It will take you to other reviews on this wonderful history book.

In case you skimmed over my disclaimer...
As a member of the Old Schoolhouse Crew, I am given the opportunity to review many home school products. I am not paid or compensated for my reviews, I did receive this product for free in exchange for this honest review. 
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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Progeny Press Study Guide: The Screwtape Letters

As a member of the TOS Homeschool crew, this year I am reviewing many homeschooling products that I have received for free. I am not paid to say nice things about the products, but I am obligated to use the products with my boys and share my honest opinions with you. Paperboy and Random were the fortunate participants this time.

What is it?

Progeny Press has over 100 study guides for literature, covering kindergarten through high school. Progeny Press study guides concentrate on critical thinking, comprehension, literary analysis, and Christian application. We chose The Screwtape Letters for our study guide. Each in depth guide can be counted for 1/4 of a credit of high school English. You can see a sample of the guide here.

How We Used It?

I downloaded a copy for each of the boys. The guides come in three formats; an old fashioned bound book, a cd of the pdf file and an email attachment of the book with an interactive format. We received the interactive pdf file. This meant that the boys could easily type in their answers on the computer. We then reviewed the study questions and vocabulary together orally.

What I loved about it?

First of all, I absolutely love the book the Screwtape Letters. In my opinion, this is required reading for all Christians. I actually think this study guide would make terrific material for a book group. The questions are meaty and dig so much deeper into the author, the setting and the spiritual truths. The subtle humor of Lewis can at times go over the head of the students, yet the study guide was faithful to probe and let me see if my students really understood what they read. Throughout the study, the students look up scripture and see the parallels between the book and the Word. They are challenged to see what the Word has to say about eternal security, prayer, pacifism, hypocrisy, humility and worldliness. 

Each chapter covers vocabulary words, but in different methods. The author has artfully mixed up the ways to learn the new words. There are multiple choice, word search, dictionary definitions verse your own, word boxes and using the words in a sentence. There is no bluffing your way through these answers. 

This Progeny press guide is best for upper level high school students. The will be challenged immensely academically. But more importantly, they will grow spiritually.

Don't take my word for it, see what our crew members have to say about this and other Progeny Press guides here. You can see sample of other High School guides offered at Progeny Press

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Post In Which I get Political

I have been watching the Republican primaries closely. I don't usually blog about politics, frankly, they bore me and the last thing I would ever want to do is bore anyone who reads my blog.

There is something that really is bothering me.

Am I the only one who is bothered by the sudden increase in Newt Gingrich's popularity? His winning South Carolina shows me that so many are willing to overlook the personal morality of our leaders. Have the religious right lost their hope? Have we really decided that personal morality doesn't affect their decision making? Herman Cain's endorsement of him only sickens me more. Of course, what can I expect? Birds of a feather flock together.

I consider my vote a privilege. I'm so tired of holding my nose and voting for the lesser evil. I will not hand it over to an unrighteous/unrepentant pervert. Yes, I said it. PERVERT. Last time I checked the the seventh commandment was still in the Bible. Newt has a pattern of breaking covenants. Especially during the times of sickness. The times when the rubber meets the road in your commitments.

Let's say the shoe was on the other foot and Newt was battling cancer or some other illness. Would his wives stay with him? I don't know. After watching the beauty of my dad, my friends and countless others taking their vows serious, I can't help feeling disgusted every time I hear Newt's voice. His skilled political sound bites are like tinkling brass, knowing his actions.

Now before you start thinking Terri G. is so self-righteous, and how can she judge him? Let's make believe he became president.

Let's look at Callista. Is this the first lady you want your daughters to emulate? She's the woman who carried on with a married man for years. She knew he was married. She didn't care. He was bound for a great political future and she was planning to be a part of it. At any cost.

If she traveled in my social circles, I'd be sure to stay by my husband's side when she was around. I mean really, she may secretly dream of being married to a hunky electrician after a few months of stalking by the press. Or if Gingrich fails in his bid for president, she may not have as much motivation to stick around.

I'm not talking about being paranoid, I'm talking about being wise. Proverbs 7 warns us about the type of people Callista and Newt are. Their end is not pretty.

They certainly aren't the people I want in power. Regardless of what may be going on in this country, we still live in the best country in the world. I'm hoping we are blessed with a great leader.

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Marshall Publishing: George Washington Carver Movie

Marshall publishing carries a series of educational Dvd's for homeschoolers. We had a chance to enjoy George Washington Carver, His Life and His Work. While this was geared to older students, I do think all ages would be inspired by this movie.

When Random and I began watching, he commented on how 'old fasioned' it seemed. Little Guy was glued to it. This movie is not flashy, but 30 minutes of incredible information. It begins with beautiful nature scenes and quotes from George W. Carver. The fascinating history of his life pursuing education is told while using footage of each location he lived in. It was like following a museum docent around the country. The film used different voices to quote significant people in Carver's life. I loved the blend of nature, history, music and narration to tell the story of this incredible American.  I claimed many of the inspirational quotes for my life and will be placing them on bathroom mirrors in my home. Here are just a couple I adore:
There is no short cut to achievement. Life requires thorough preparation - veneer isn't worth anything.
I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.

I enjoy using films in our homeschool. I was impressed that Marshall Publishing offers free study questions here on Marshall Publishing's website. They also have other films available for all ages. George W. Carver is currently $19.95. You can save 15% off your order by using the top secret code available to the wonderful readers of my blog. The code is TOSC1 at check out. And I mean it, you are wonderful!!!

Now the necessarily disclosure:
 As a member of the TOS Homeschool crew, this year I am reviewing many homeschooling products that I have received for free. I am not paid to say nice things about the products, but I am obligated to use the product and share my honest opinions with you.

Don't take my word for it. If you would like more information about the Dvd, click here. See what other crew members thought about this movie here.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wordful Wednesday: Columbus, Over Achievers and Organized Gluttony

I've mentioned before that I attend the First Church of the Over-Achievers. You know the one where nothing is done without days of preparation  a little planning?  On Monday, our family had a chance to step back in time to celebrate two important birthdays. Not Columbus, but the sweet sixteenth and the 40th birthday of two fair maidens.

Everyone was assigned a team color for the following events. 
This was open to all ages, skills, talents and  inabilities.

The instructions were given by the birthday mom.

The food was prepared and blessed by Sister Smackyourknuckles.

Is that Marco Polo? No, it's Feng Shui. 

Plans were underway to win the spoils of the day.

The treasure box filled with loot added to the competitive drive of the crowd.

The sharpshooters were showing off, arrows were lost and small children remained safe.

The costumes spanned a few continents and centuries.

What does one eat where gluttony is expected?

Venison, turkey and pig were on the menu.

Merlin participated in the gluttony before, during, and after the games.

Everyone was assigned the name of a famous character on their back to guess.
 History was taught, learned and distorted throughout the day.

Happy Wednesday, 

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Friday, April 1, 2011

The Count of Monte Cristo Z-guide to the movies

As a member of the TOS Homeschool crew, this year I am reviewing many homeschooling products that I have received for free. I am not paid to say nice things about the products, but I am obligated to use the product and share my honest opinions with you. In today's review, our whole family, minus the Little Guy used this product together.

I have to be up front with you. Before I was offered to try one of their movie guides, I already had a little crush on Zeezok Publishing. When Paperboy and Random were younger, we enjoyed their great musician study guides. So I entered into this review with high expectations when I knew who published the movie guides.

I was privileged to try out the Count of Monte Cristo study guide. This was in the form of a down loadable guide. It is available on a cd for 12.95 from Zeezok Publishing.

Our Experience with this Study Guide

Zeezok let us choose from many different titles. This alone was a blessing because I am going to let you in on a little home school secret. When you let your children choose some of their curriculum, they will be more inclined to love it. They will take credit for such a great choice and jump into it with a willing attitude. Paperboy was shown the list of movies and chose The Count of Monte Cristo. He loved that book and had spent time telling me all about it a few months ago. It was a real treat for me because the whole story line was news to me.

I'm not going to review the movie, just the guide. Look forward to my review of the movie in the near future.

I handed the boys the study questions to read before our movie night. We watched the movie as a family after Little Guy was tucked into bed. The next day, the boys worked on the first two activities on their own. The next afternoon was spent discussing the questions. We had planned on doing a few activities a day. We enjoyed the discussion so much, we decided to continue through the rest of the activities together that afternoon. Random piped up and said "I love these guides."  This is what I loved about it. My teenage boys and I were talking about important life principles together. In light of scripture and their worldview, they seem to have a grasp on some things that I didn't figure out until my 20's. It was a chance to see where my sons stood on issues of greed, revenge, and justice. We discussed pride, adultery and fornication, without the giggles, the gossip and the judgment. We weren't talking about people we knew, but characters in the movie. It was interesting to see how my sons who have such different personalities responded to the dilemmas.

In addition to the excellent moral discussions, we enjoyed some history of Napoleon and 19th century France. Comprehension, history, a word search, a lesson on irony, and a treasure chest activity were also included. This guide would make a fantastic group activity for teens. I will be looking for more of these at our home school convention this month.

I give this product high marks. The only downfall is that the price of guides can add up, we completed this much quicker than I expected. I could see our family needing new ones weekly. This product could be compiled with other guides to make a fantastic book. The value in the discussions with your teens and this style of teaching is priceless. This brought me back to my early years of homeschooling, when I used a literature based curriculum that had so many great discussions and natural learning took place.

Don't take my word for it. See what other crew members have to say about Z-guides to other movies here.

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Must. See. Do. Not. Miss. DVD.

Today's post is a submission to the Christian Home Magazine, Movies and music section from The Legacy of Home. This new magazine is published online each Monday by Mrs. White.

This Christmas, Little Guy was thrilled to get the first three episodes of the  "What's in the Bible?". These movies, created by Phil Vischer, were a blessing to our whole family.

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed these movies. The first time I snuggled with Little Guy and watched, I knew we were starting a tradition. My litmus test for a good movie is: Can I stay awake for it? This series passed with flying colors. I am looking forward to buying episode #4 for Little Guy's birthday. These are movies to own, not rent.

The first episode  "In the beginning" covers what's in the Bible and who wrote the Bible. The second episode teaches how we got the Bible and salvation. The third one, my favorite, tells about the rules(Levitical law), and explains the Pentateuch.

These movies have inspired my Little Guy to read his Bible. He has been fascinated with the books of the Bible since watching these over and over. I find him reading his Bible and studying the books of the Bible on his own. He sings about the Bible while we are in the car. He has a little notebook which he has started his notes. When he is older, he will have to forgive me for posting his adorable writings.

I just love the creative spelling. And I love the idea of my boy reading the Bible. Phil Vischer has made the Bible so approachable for Little Guy.

I was a huge fan of the Muppet show as a child. What's in the Bible is presented like a variety show with a similar style. The answers to so many questions are addressed with such an assortment of characters. The songs are catchy and hilarious. The kid in the mini van could be one of my own. The pastor even has the same name as my own pastor.

The Gman loved the character Ian because he appeared to be stupid, but asked some pointed questions. We both loved the way they dealt with the question about laws. I added a clip below of one of my favorite scenes.

I have to admit, I learned a few things about Bible history from Sunday School Lady. If you are not convinced, stop by their website. They have clips of the different episodes, games for the kids at JellyTelly and even a curriculum that goes along with the shows.

I was not compensated to talk about this series, I just fell in love with them. If the What's in the Bible folks see this and want me to review their next episodes, I will gladly accept.

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Friday, February 4, 2011

Dig It! Games Roman Town, a Review

From time to time I will be posting reviews of products as part of the TOS homeschool crew. I do not receive any compensation for these reviews, just a chance to try the products with my lovely children. In exchange for these products, I share my honest opinions and experiences.


What is Dig-It! Roman Town?

Dig It! is an interactive video games that entertains as well as teaches children about archeology, specifically Ancient Rome. In Roman Town, your child has a chance to work as an archeologist without getting mud all over the house. I can appreciate that.  This learning game doesn't behave like educational software, which my kids can detect a mile away, except for the amount of reading required. It offers a chance to excavate, sort, analyze, reconstruct, report on while learning many terms of an archeologist. A few features describing Dig It! from their website:

  • Immersive, interactive learning environment
  • Gameplay focuses on development of analytical thinking and team building
  • Puzzles encourage problem solving
  • Authentic artifacts and realistic backgrounds
  • Accurate information about Roman Life and Roman history
  • Encompasses the full excavation experience from start to finish
  • Introduces Archaeology in a fun, manageable package

What did we think about it?

Although this game is targeted for 3rd to 8th graders, my six year old enjoyed it the most. The excavations, sorting, analyzing, and reconstructing sections of the games were his favorites. When he reached the end of a dig and needed to write up his report, we worked on this together, since he is a new reader. This wasn't a groan inducing report, just a simple fill in the blank. Because my guy was familiar with the terms, he was able to do this with a little help from mom. I was very excited listening to him pronounce the words. Currently this is his favorite game. The 'one more level mom' quotient is high in this one. He loves it and has not tired of it. When he worked through the whole game, he deleted a user and started a new game with my name, mom.

Random, who is 13 and has been smothered in the Ancients since he was five, even enjoyed it. I want to make a public apology right now for the overkill of the ancients with this child. He is very forgiving. He played through the game and decided it was for Little Guy. Random was my 'techie' for Little Guy as he was learning the game. Thank you Random.

Little Guy's favorite part of the game was digging up the artifacts.
He chose the best tools and as soon as something was found, he had to quickly dig it up. 

Is Roman Town right for your family?

Are you currently studying the Ancients? Do you often wish the games your kids played had some educational value? Are you always looking for supplements for your history lessons? Do you need to brush up on archaeology? Do you think $19.96 is a great price for a game? Do you have kids between 6 and 13?

If you answered yes to more than two of these questions, it may be just the game for your family. 

Sale Alert!

I received a download version, but you can buy the cd game for $19.96 until February 21, 2011 if you use the coupon code TOS2011 at the Dig It! web site.

I can't resist saying it. I really dig it! I also dig their web site, I must warn you. Their hangman game is a little addictive! Don't take my biased opinion, read some others here at the crew. Or watch the video of the game below.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What's in the Word?

This morning, we will be headed over to the Word Bookstore for a bible study. Now 10 years ago, I would have thought, why? I mean, like I already know a lot about the Bible. Aren't Bible studies for Christian nerds? Or women who get together because they have a free nursery. I thought, I already go to church enough and I already read my bible. 

Now, I have a different take on these things. This study is going to be on the end times. If you have read my post of my conversion to Christ, you will know that even though I hate scary movies, that was the instrument God used as a cattle prod, to steer me to his Word. (no pun intended) I feel like I am sheltered in my little home school world with my awesome godly women friends, why do I want to know about the future calamities? Do I have to know about the ugly things going on? I don't need to dwell on them, but I need to be aware in the light of the Word of God, what is really going on. I need to dwell on the hope. I need my heart stirred for those who have no hope.

Continually, in the Bible we are encouraged not to be ignorant. We are living in some perilous times with our financial system, our cultural upheaval and the state of our families. I won't ignore it any longer. I actually received  my first book to review called Popes & Bankers- A cultural history of credit & debt, from Aristotle to AIG by Jack Cashill. O.K. is Cash ill his real name? Oh sorry another a.d.d. moment. It will be neat to see if any of this applies to our Bible study. On a side note, maybe I can dazzle Gman with my new found financial knowledge.

I am not planning on a doctrinal discussion here on my blog. 
That is reserved for the serious crowd. 
Everyone knows how serious I am not. 
Besides, I type too slow.

I know a lot of men folk who really enjoy discussions on the End Times. I always thought of it as a guy topic. Yes, I am very sexist in my opinions. When we women gather, we have much more entertaining things to prattle on about. Food, family, curriculum, new outfits, books, the best deals and other "vain janglings" are discussed. So I will dare to cross my invisible line in the sand and see what all the guys are talking about. I am sure the boys will love it. Don't worry, I won't be storing up food or walking around in a white robe preaching the end is near. But I am excited to dig into the Word and see what God has to say about all of this.

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