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Today, I Need Some Encouragement 

Last month, my family endured a devastating loss and after all we’ve endured, rest is definitely needed. Usually, I’ve prepared my monthly blog posts well in advance but right now, my mind is all over the place.  I am typing this completely worn out at 1:00 am CST in our hotel suite.  My family is resting after a long two weeks and I think tonightI will FINALLY get a long overdue 8 hours of sleep.  I look forward to coming back in September with a tribute to our family member and some great series but until then, enjoy these reposts and recent videos. 

This week I needed some encouragement so check out my recent video about the covering of God and check out the blog post by clicking this fantastic hyperlink.

Make this week grand,

Ta’Neisha K. 

Bible & ABC Curriculum for Preschoolers

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Our preschoolers have been enjoying the Bible ABC Curriculum Notebook by The Crafty Classroom.  This is a product review that I’ve been anxiously awaiting to share with all my readers, especially those that teach in a school or church setting.  So, let’s skip the small talk and dive right into the details about this product and the creative company that offers it.

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The Bible ABC Curriculum Notebook consists of over six hundred pages of awesomeness, which include assembly and teaching instructions, activities, games, and weekly lesson plans for the entire alphabet.  Initially, I was wondering if there was a bible theme that coincides with every letter of our alphabet; however, upon downloading the pdf file, I was pleasantly surprised.  First, the instructions provided to the parent/teacher are detailed and include answers to any questions you might ask.  I love that the weekly lesson plan was already done for me and included scriptures, math, reading, games, and weekly themes surrounding a person from the bible or a vocabulary word.  This curriculum also provided detailed attention to the character of God which was such an excellent addition because it allowed Bam Bam, 3, and Princess, 2, to learn more about the God we serve.  As we’ve used this curriculum they’ve learned that God is a loving, creative, truthful, protective father and so much more which made my heart smile.  For the bible story and scriptures we used the ESV version of the bible and I also reread the story on Fridays from a library book or a children’s bible.

But wait, there’s more! The curriculum also provides writing practice including a writing chart, which we laminated for continued use; scripture copy work pages, letter tracing sheets, and even a blank space for older preschoolers or kindergarteners to write their name.  Bam Bam was so excited to have his first official math worksheet too!  He was happy to count dots, letters, and other items as he learned addition.  Over the course of the curriculum the problems get more challenging and introduce other math concepts to the students.  Princess had the most fun coloring because she is learning the names of the colors so I was happy as she started to recognize the crayons instead of randomly reaching for them.  Now, you know I also had to have Bear join in, so he was in charge of playing the provided games with the children.  Being a junior engineer himself, he enjoyed finding various ways to make the spinner for the Race to the Top game more efficient and he made the bingo game more fun by adding reward candy for completing the activity.

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All in all, the Team KEMP Academy truly enjoyed using the Bible ABC Curriculum Notebook by The Crafty Classroom with our newly two and three year old children.  I think this will be a great addition to any homeschool that has preschoolers or kindergarteners that are learning to read.  This would also be useful in a Sunday School setting for younger children and depending on the time allotted, you can easily split the activities up to be used over two Sundays. The Crafty Classroom also offers an Alphabet Curriculum Notebook and a Learn to R.E.A.D. Curriculum Notebook geared towards younger students.

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But, don’t just take my word for it!  Head on over to the Homeschool Review Crew blog post, via this crafty hyperlink, to read additional reviews on various products offered by The Crafty Classroom.   Our faith is the most important thing that we can share with our children and it is required in the Bible that we should “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6”  This Bible ABC Curriculum Notebook is a wonderful start to your children’s faith training.

 Make this week joyful,

Ta’Neisha K.

 

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Homeschool with Joy, Focus, & Confidence

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One of the most frequently asked questions I hear are “how do you get started homeschooling,” which is where I usually refer them to a few videos and blog posts that tell our story.  Now, that I’ve had the chance to review How to HOMESCHOOL with Stunning Confidence, Contagious Joy, and Amazing Focus (DVD & Coursebook) from Apologia Educational Ministries, I will also be sure to include it in my list of resources.  This course in based in Christianity and includes two DVDs with videos that accompany the chapters in the provided course book.  Various topics are covered within this course that will help get the family started, keep them motivated to continue, and even look beyond a high school diploma into continued education.

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First, let’s discuss the videos provided on the two DVDs.  Initially I assumed the videos would go through different steps, similar to a class or online course, and provide the viewer with the information in a formal way.  Apologia decided to take a different approach and I’m so glad they did.  These videos are approximately ten to fifteen minutes and honestly feel like you are in the room chatting with your friends, Rachael Carman and Leslie Nunnery.  I was so happy to hear the women share their personal stories, testimonies, frustrations, challenges, tips, tricks, and solutions with such transparency.  I do this all the time because you never want to share only the good when someone is about to embark on the homeschool journey.  These ladies covered so many topics during their dialogue and their words were extremely encouraging.

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Next, let’s dig into the course book information and assignments.  I found the course book to be a synopsis of the conversations had between the Rachael and Leslie.  Within the pages you will find approximately two pages of reading per chapter and a connected page for notes per chapter, along with scriptures, and continued encouragement.  I love that the lessons aren’t designed to take up much of your time and the information provided is easily accessible and relatable.  Some of the course topics include setting goals, tips for choosing curriculum, dealing with opposition, finding support, organization, continuing education, and even marriage.  During this course you are also given ten assignments which have you do some research about local programs and your state homeschool laws, organize items, spend time in prayer, and so much more.

Lastly, I was happy to find even more resources within the FREE online appendix.  Through a password protected website you will be able to access special blog posts, Pinterest Boards, prayer and family resources, and printables not include within the course book.  You will also be given access to join the private Facebook group for others who have previously taken or are currently taking the course.  There is something amazing about have a social media group that you can access 24/7 for feedback, encouragement, and support throughout this journey.  I also love that there are new homeschoolers and veterans in the group from so many places, making it easy to reach out for understanding to situations that might only pertain to your area.

I don’t doubt that this course will be extremely helpful to those interested in homeschooling and who feel overwhelmed by the very thought of it.  As I was going through the videos, I thought about our decision to homeschool years ago and I realized that I did every one of the assignments based off of advice and conversations with other homeschoolers.  Now, I look forward to sharing Apologia Educational Ministries, step-by-step approach to getting started with those interested in embarking on the call from God to educate your children at home.  Use How to HOMESCHOOL with Stunning Confidence, Contagious Joy, and Amazing Focus (DVD & Coursebook) to light an educational fire in yourself and your children.

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Be sure to click this magnificent hyperlink to read additional reviews on this course as well as the Internship for High School Credit book by the coolest Homeschool Review Crew around.

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Make this week educational,

Ta’Neisha K.

 

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Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” Review

Our family thought watching Dave Scotts lead our tour in the new series Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” was such an awesome experience and we are so excited to share this review with you.  Let’s get started!

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Approximately 2 months ago our family started watching the Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” from Drive Thru History® .  Upon arrival we anxiously opened and inserted the first DVD, soon thereafter we found ourselves engulfed, watching two or three episodes in one sitting.  This series is giving you the historical background to what was going on in present day, during the Life of Christ.  We loved how it provided not only the physical locations but great graphics, detailed footage, and even the updated indoor tourist attractions that were around during the Life of Christ.  We also learned many things about the people, disciples, and leaders mentioned in the bible because the history mentioned included their lineage as well.

In our household we decided to use these eighteen, thirty minute episodes and provided study guide as a weekly family bible study.  Right after breakfast we all gathered around the television, watched an episode, and talked about what was going on using the study guide questions provided or our own.  Most times after our discussion we would actually watch the next episode and converse about it as well.  We always made it a point to read the Bible scripture that was discussed during each episode.  My husband was also ready to answer any questions that I or our children had pertaining to what we saw.

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Currently, we are thirteen episodes into this Drive Thru History® series and here is what my husband Kevin and eldest son, Bear had to say

“I think it is cool because you’re getting so much information in 30 minutes.  It isn’t boring because they break the topics down and the discussion questions help you retain the information.  Watching this made me feel like I was there in the moment.  I also like how he gave information about before and after the current parable he was discussing.”  Bear, 9 Years old

Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” is an in depth, historical look at the stories that we are already familiar with.  Even if you have heard these stories numerous times you will ABSOLUTELY benefit from watching this.  These episodes give me who, what, when, where, why, and how explanation that makes you appreciate the parables even more.  For example, when I’ve heard the birth story I’ve always thought about a wooden manger, as shown in pictures, I never knew it was most likely stone.  This would advantageous for 5th grade or higher in a home or church setting but our son is nine and enjoyed it.  This will definitely keep all ages interested.”  Min. Kevin Kemp, super cool husband

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As a family, we believe that this series is an excellent opportunity to sit and watch with your entire household around.  Our faith is the most important thing that we can share with our children and it is required in the Bible that we should “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6  It is equally important for us to teach our children scripture so they can know who the God that we serve is.  They need to have a complete understanding of the love of God, rules of our religion, and the reason behind our faith.  We definitely feel that this will be a great DVD series to use in a church setting as well for youth 5th grade and up, or with the adults.  With anything done for children my husband always encourages that parents are involved and encouraged to participate.  He also had a great idea to provide the discussion questions as a take home to those who decide to use this with a youth group.

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We definitely believe that Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” series and provided study guide is a good introduction to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  This would also be great as a continuation to a study that you are already doing.  This series has done a phenomenal job of explaining the history of biblical times so that the viewers can have a clear understanding and correlate that to the scripture.  It is truly important to acknowledge that the “God breathed text” (2 Timothy 3:16)  is not mere clichés but powerful words about powerful believers who walked this Earth.  We think Drive Thru History® did a great job of explaining the times and will definitely be enjoyed by all who are ready to learn the background of the scriptures, Heavenly Father, and resurrected savior we know and love.

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For additional reviews about this series click the magical hyperlink that will take you to the Homeschool Review Crew blog post.

Make today historical,

Ta’Neisha K.

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Book of the Month: Shepherd, Potter, Spy–and the Star Namer

For the past month I have been enjoying my opportunity to read (and review) a great, historical fiction book written by Peggy Consolver – AuthorShepherd, Potter, Spy–and the Star Namer is a biblically-based novel that tells the story of Joshua through the eyes of a thirteen year old Canaanite boy name Keshub.  During this story, Keshub goes from being a young shepherd to having numerous adventures as a spy in the Jordan Valley.  As you continue reading this post, I definitely want you to grasp the importance of author’s concept, attention to detail, and meticulous research, as well as the other resources offered. I believe this is a story that the whole family will enjoy so, let’s dive in!

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The first thing that I noticed about this book is that it portrayed the story of Joshua with such imagery and detail that it made me want to go to the word and verify what I was reading.  I found myself looking at maps and doing my own research to learn more about the character’s surroundings.  This book is based off of scripture from Joshua and Numbers, along with several passages from Genesis to Psalms. I enjoyed the provided Bible passages list that coincided with the background and each section of the story.  You can tell that time was taken to ensure history was told correctly through Keshub’s point of view. AsI was reading, I could easily refer to the characters and relationships list in the book, which briefly explains each person in the story, to remember meanings of names, family history, character traits, and occupations.

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Mrs. Peggy Consolver has also created an accompanying study guide called Digging Deeper into HIStory, which features research links and discussion questions, along with  additional opportunities to learn more about the history of the characters and timeline of events. Direct links and several videos are provided for detailed explanation or to provide examples of portions of the book, which makes the words jump off the page all the more. This study guide is available for purchase in a Kindle or physical version; however, there is a sample available on her website that you can look over. The book also has small group discussion questions located in the back.

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Overall, I think this is a great read for small groups or families, as long as they will make the time to read the scriptures. I’m adamant that as you read this you should study Joshua’s story in the bible. I’d also suggest this as a homeschool study where the student reads this and subsequently provides a written description as to whether it correctly portrays scripture.  With this option, I suggest the students be in middle school or high school due to the length of the book.  You can also include an opportunity to have your child recreate some of the mentioned battles or places through artwork.  A diorama or map will be great way to showcase different scenes as well.  In Shepherd, Potter, Spy–and the Star Namer,  Peggy Consolver – Author,  did a great job of telling Keshub’s story while maintaining the integrity of God’s word.

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As always, you can read more reviews on this book by members of the Homeschool Review Crew via this magnificent hyperlink.

 Make this week phenomenal,

 ~Ta’Neisha K.

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I’d Rather Be Your Mommy

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Recently we read a book offered through Home School Adventure Co., an online resource website with the mission to offer engaging resources from a biblical worldview to inspire and equip parents to educate and raise children to be loving, compassionate, strong, and wise.   We were able to review the I’d Rather Be Your Mommy book, I’d Rather Be Your Mommy Print Set, and I’d Rather Be Your Mommy Coloring Book Edition.  We received the digital items (PDF downloads) however, the book and print set are available in hard copy format.  This is an adorable story telling how much a mother loves her child and enjoys being a mother so let’s dive into these items.

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I’d Rather Be Your Mommy is 32 pages long and features a sweet story about motherhood with a myriad of beautiful pictures throughout.  I enjoyed seeing varied scenes of motherhood and different aged children within the story.  As a woman of color, I was also extremely happy to see a few ethnicities represented in the book as well; however, I do believe some additional representation of other Christian cultures across the world would have been great.  Our belief in Christ is the same but showing motherhood from other cultures across the globe would have been a phenomenal addition to this story.  All in all this a cute story to read to your younger children and would be a great gift for a new mother.  If you gift this story I also think it is better to purchase the print version over the digital option so the beauty of the pictures can be seen at their full potential.

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The I’d Rather Be Your Mommy Coloring Book Edition is only offered as a digital edition via the website.  It includes the text from the original book along with illustrations of the provided photographs.  The entire book is in black and white which means you (or your child) can color every page to your heart’s content with your imagination as your guide.  For those that enjoy the adult coloring books or illustrating your Bible, this is the version that you should strongly consider.  This would make a great gift for a new mom and grandchild as well or as a gift for a baby blessing or 1st birthday party.  I love to give and receive handmade gifts! So I would definitely color this in, laminate it, and put it in a binder for a friend.  You can also use this as a comprehension activity to reiterate the story you shared with your child.  And, if they are an early reader these pages will make great practice sheets for them with the added benefit of a keepsake book at the end.  That’s what we are doing with it.

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Last, and definitely not least, the I’d Rather Be Your Mommy Print Set showcases three pages from the book as individual 8.5″ x 11″ portraits.  These can be obtained via digital download or the printed photographs can be shipped directly to you.  I thought these pictures would be a great addition to a nursery, young child’s room, play room, or family homeschool room.

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All in all, I enjoyed using the entire collection from Home School Adventure Co. and I think it is extremely important to enjoy quality time with your children.  In fact, I just wrote a blog post and recorded a video  last week about Raising Sharp Arrows (Psalm 127).  And, let’s not forget the benefits of reading to your children (and encouraging them to read) include building stronger bonds with them, enriches their vocabulary, and aids in scholastic success.  Motherhood is a gift.  Parenthood is a precious gift that shouldn’t be taken for granted so make time to love on your little ones and remind them of how much you love them daily.

Make today successful,

Ta’Neisha K.

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As always you can check out so wonderful reviews on other products offered by Home School Adventure Co. via the Homeschool Review Crew.

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Our Journey With Eclectic Foundations

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During my annual homeschool curriculum selection and planning session we were given the opportunity to review Eclectic Foundations to see if it might be a good fit for our home academy.  This program is affordable and includes a comprehensive coverage of every part of language arts all from a biblical perspective.  We used the Eclectic Foundations Language Arts Level C program and I believe your 2nd grader will be challenged in a great way to pursue educational heights in all portions of Language Arts.   Allow me to walk you through the program details, needed supplies, and how we used it in our home academy.

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Eclectic Foundations has created a program that grows with the child based on their abilities rather than age or grade level which ensures they don’t get bored with the lessons.  Each level progresses in difficulty beginning at Level A (1st grade) with a goal to achieve collegiate reading by Level I (8th – 9th grade).  This program is available to consumers via physical copy by mail or instant digital download wherewith complete instructions are provided on which pages will need to be printed on card stock and/or laminated.  Each level comes with 144 lessons, intended to be taught four per week during a thirty-six week school year; however, it can be catered to fit your family’s scholastic needs.  This program has been written to coincide with the McGuffey’s Eclectic Readers which are available for FREE via their website or Amazon Kindle.  A physical copy can be purchased as well or you can print out the reader pages at your convenience.  The best part about the program is that is completely comprehensive and includes lessons covering Phonics, Grammar, Dictation, Reading Comprehension, Handwriting, Composition, Vocabulary, Scripture Memory, Spelling, and Poetry.

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Our home academy used Level C which is geared towards advanced 2nd and 3rd grade students.  The layout of the teacher’s manual is simple and easy to navigate with one lesson per sheet explaining how to navigate the student through the reader and daily assignments.  I was happy that comprehension questions are provided to coincide with every reader lesson.  There is also a phonics practice sheet (laminated) included for your student to pen the words as you dictate them.  The McGuffey’s Word Cards are the phonics (vocabulary) review words and each type of word (i.e. adjective, noun, pronoun, verb, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection) has a specific color so your child can easily identify them.  Scripture memory verses are provided weekly; however, none were labeled with the version of the Bible used and some weren’t worded according to any specific version at all.  I love that memorization is encouraged, which can be great for children and adults, but I’d prefer a consistent version of the bible being used throughout the curriculum.  Simply noting the version of the Bible next to the verse would also be an appropriate solution.

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I think the Eclectic Foundations Level C would’ve been a good program for our oldest when he was in later 1st through early 2nd grade.   Even though I enjoyed the layout and variety of subjects covered, our son would have benefited more from Level D (available this spring) or possibly Level E.  A great way to narrow down your child’s level is to view the provided sample lessons on the website and look through the McGuffey Readers.  If you feel your child is on the borderline or advanced I suggest moving them up to the next level.  Bear is used to weekly spelling tests but that portion of the program isn’t available at Level C.  All in all, this entire program is good and even though it wasn’t challenging enough for Bear we will be using it with Bam Bam in the near future.  I will also look into Level D and Level E, once available, to see if one will work for our oldest.

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To read more reviews over Level A, Level B, or Level C of Ecclectic Foundations, visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog post via the awesome hyperlink.

Make today grand,

Ta’Neisha K.

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