Thursday, April 6, 2017

Shepherd, Potter, Spy and the Star Namer ~ A New TOS Homeschool Crew Review

Historical fiction is one of my favorite genre's to read. It always helps the history come to life. And that is exactly what you will encounter when you read Shepherd, Potter, Spy -- and the Star Namer. It is a brand new book by Peggy Consolver - Author who takes the story of the Israelites and the Gibeonites of the Bible as her inspiration after she had spent 18 days in Israel on a true archaeological dig. She breathes life into how it could have been for the Gibeonite people during the time of when the Israelites were ready to take back the land of Canaan, as God has said, after their wandering in the desert for 40 years.
Shepherd, Potter, Spy--and the Star Namer {Peggy Consolver}

We begin our story meeting Keshub, a 13 year old boy who has been given the job of a shepherd for his family. His father, Ishtaba, is one of the leaders of Gibeon and a potter. Keshub wants a more exciting life then that of a potter and is intrigued by a caravaneer, Haydek, a regular visitor who brings stores and tales from his journeys. Keshub also is training how to be a soldier at Sir Ghaleb's school. Between his dreams of adventure and his daily duties Keshub is on a path to bring the adventure to him.
Shepherd, Potter, Spy--and the Star Namer Peggy Consolver

Not only are Keshub, his family, and all of Gibeon dealing with the impending threat of the Israleites drawing near, there is the under story of the bully that Keshub has to deal with regularly. And we also get a peek into life within the Israelite army through the eyes of Joshua's nephew! It is truly a book that draws you in with all of its intricate details and action packed exploits, a must read for pre-teens to adults! It would also be a great book to read aloud with your whole family.

At the end of the book Peggy Consolver - Author has also given 10 discussion questions that can be used in a small group or co-op. Not only that but if you go to her website she has created a downloadable 13 unit study guide called Digging Deeper into HIStory. This study guide includes links, videos that depict sightseeing areas as well as instruction videos, maps for geography lessons, along with questions and other writing assignments to help the reader delve fully into studying this section of Biblical history, plus much more! Check out the free sample unit and you'll be amazed at how your students are not only delving into the history of the Bible, but also into the Bible itself! And there are Research Links, videos, maps that are available under the tab Study Guide on her website. So many ways to really study the scriptures in Joshua 9 & 10 and bring them to life and help you to have real applications of the Scripture.
Peggy Consolver

You can find Mrs. Consolver on Facebook if you'd like to keep up to date with anything else she may be doing. And as always, take some time to check out other reviews from my teammates of the Homeschool Review Crew by clicking the link below.

Shepherd, Potter, Spy--and the Star Namer {Peggy Consolver Reviews}

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Learning Greek - A New Homeschool Review

We have use Memoria Press for many of our classical Christian homeschool curriculum, so we were thrilled when we found out we were going to be able to review their First Form Greek Complete Set. No one was more thrilled then my eldest daughter who has been dabbling in trying to learn a few languages over the past two years and Greek was on her list of languages she wanted to learn.
Memoria Press

So when they say complete set, they mean it! We received a student text, teacher manual (that includes a small insert of the student text which makes it SO easy to follow along); student workbook (the thickest book of them all, but with enough room to write down all the answers); a tests/quiz book and teacher key for those; a pronunciation CD - that has all the vocabulary, Greek sayings, and the verb forms; flashcards; and best of all a companion DVD which has Miss Elizabeth explaining the entire lesson in short 10 to 20 minute segments.

First Form Greek Complete Set
Grades 7-12

Since the First Form Greek Complete Set is created for 7th - 12th grade I knew it would be great for Arianna who is now in 8th! (High school is just around the corner - can't believe that!) Dad and I are also using it so that when she needed to practice the words or phrases that she'd have someone to talk to in Greek. But let me tell you something - I know NO GREEK! That's why the programs from Memoria Press are so great including First Form Greek. You don't need to know Greek to help teach your student Greek.

However, it is mentioned that as a prerequisite you should know the Greek Alphabet and Memoria Press has their very own course called The Greek Alphabet book to help you really learn the foundation to this wonderful language. BUT even if you don't have the alphabet down they tell you to just spend longer in Lesson 1 learning the alphabet before you progress through the lessons.  That's what we had to do. Even with our Latin background, which we've been studying on and off for a while, Greek is not a Romance Language. And the symbols for each of the letters don't always have the sound you'd think.

We took several weeks going over both the capital and lowercase versions of the Greek alphabet spending time writing them, saying their sound, and repeating. A few weeks ago, at a homeschool convention, we even contemplated purchasing the alphabet book when it seemed that we were spending a long time on this crucial part of the language, but then we decided we'd just press on. So I had her writing out each of the letters and saying their sounds daily. Even her younger siblings wanted to learn those so they got writing sheets as well!

We then went to start the actual lessons. All of the lessons are broken down into 5 daily chunks. The Teacher Manual is very clear on what to do and when and in what order. Plus you can even keep track of where you are by checking the box once that part has been completed. When we started with Lesson 1 we listened to the DVD lesson 2-3 times over a few days, as well as listening to the pronunciation CD to make sure we were saying and pronouncing the words correctly. And of course this was part of the program that my younger students liked best - they are all learning some of the Greek along with their older sister.

This is a difficult language to learn, but Arianna is continuing to persevere and take each day as it comes. She is easily frustrated when she doesn't get something perfect right away, but as with anything you can only get better with more practice and to get a firm foundation. She is having fun learning it and her natural ability with languages has really amazed me. She also has a knack for speaking it with great tonal quality.

I hope you reach out and connect with Memoria Press through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even on Pinterest! You can also check out other reviews on some of the other products our Crew reviewed including the Iliad and the Odyssey  -  a set I'm sure we will be getting in our future with high school right around the corner!
First Form Greek, Iliad/Odyssey and American History {Memoria Press Reviews}

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Evening Sunsets

Some of my favorite things to photograph are clouds and sunsets. And for Christmas I was blessed with a brand new camera that is kind of my DREAM camera.  These pictures aren't from that camera, but I can't wait to share more from them. I also for my birthday received a new lens for my camera so now I can get super close to things that are so far away! Funny enough I took these pictures ON my birthday just last month, but from my phone. And no matter how great the camera, nothing really can compare to the masterpiece they are in real life. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Journey toward Manhood - A Homeschool Crew Review!

It's always nice to find a product that helps train and teach our children especially when it helps to build character through discipline and Biblical instruction. That's exactly what you will find in the Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit. This 6 week father-son (or male mentor or small group of fathers and sons) Bible study on Biblical manhood was created by Manhood Journey & City on a Hill Studio.
Father's Starter Kit | Manhood JourneyManhood Journey & City on a Hill Studio

This is intended for fathers and sons (recommended for ages 8 to 17) to 'embark' on the journey together, but it can be done by another male role model in your sons life. It includes the following:

  • 1 on 1 guide 
  • Group Guide
  • 10 Maprochures
  • DVD
  • Wise Guys: Unlocking Hidden Wisdom from the Men Around You by Kent Evans
This Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit program is designed to be used over 6 weeks and is the first of 6 modules. The 1 on 1 guide has six sections and is designed for dads to use as their facilitating guide to discussion and lessons. The big thing being taught is these 5 rocks or principles - Trusting God, Knowing His Word, Prays Fervently, Builds Relationships, and Serves Others - that help lead the young man down the path of true discipleship.

The DVD tells you what to expect for not only this journey of "Embarking" but also an introduction to the 5 other modules. Then the Maprochure (a map and a brochure put into one) is how you can 'chart your course' along this journey. These extras really help give you a visual of how the program is to work and flow. If you are doing this with more then one son or even as a small group of fathers and sons then you will want to look at the group guide to help lead a weekly discussion and then the 1 on 1 guide for daily use.

The free book which was also included in the kit - Wise Guys: Unlocking Hidden Wisdom from the Men Around You - has 17 short chapters that speaks of lessons the author has learned from other men that have been in his life. Many of the chapters end with some questions to help you reflect on the chapter. At the end of the book it includes three steps you can do right now and a list of 11 tips.

All along the journey there is Scripture to support the points being laid out before your son as well as character building questions and activities for them to do together. This program will help build a strong bond between father and son (or any male mentor for the young man in your life) as well as build up the discipleship of young men to help lead this generation. 

Father's Starter Kit | Manhood Journey
My husband and son were the ones who 'tested' out this program and are still working their way through the program. My son really has enjoyed the one on one time with his dad and you can see his eyes light up when he knows it's their 'study time' together. My husband thinks that this program is really better geared for a tad older in the age range, say the pre-teen years (11 and up). Our son JUST turned 8 so he is at the beginning of the recommended age bracket. So my husband has taken this 6 week program and extended it by doing each module over 2 weeks. This allows more time to be focused on each of the 5 rocks they are memorizing and trying to implement into their lives. My son has liked finding rocks and painting them with the truths that are being taught (one of the activities in the guide).

All in all this program is well-rounded and truly inspirational in it's approach to help men lead young men reach their God-given calling and potential. You can purchase your own kit for $29.99 by going to Manhood Journey & City on a Hill Studio and purchasing the Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit.  If you'd like to find out more about Manhood Journey you can check them out on Facebook or Twitter and their handle is @manhoodjourney. You can also check out City on a Hill Studio on Facebook and Twitter. And be sure to check out what others on the Crew thought by clicking the link below.

Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit {Manhood Journey & City on a Hill Studio Reviews}
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