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Monday, 30 May 2011
Sunday, 29 May 2011
What Our Mission - BCM International - Is All About
Topic: BCM International
Most of you know that Sarah and I direct a ministry called Good News Mission. Good News Mission works with the low income folks in our town. What some of you may not know is that Good News Mission is part of a much bigger ministry called BCM International. BCM stands for Bible Centered Ministries and this just happens to be our 75th anniversary. To celebrate, BCM has created a special video that briefly tells the history of our mission and what our mission is all about. This video is very special because I am very privileged to know many of the people featured. Please enjoy the video and if you would like more information on BCM International just click on any one of the hi-lighted links above.
Saturday, 28 May 2011
The Compassion Bloggers Are At It Again!
Topic: Compassion International
The Compassion Bloggers are taking another trip. This time to the Philippines. Five bloggers and three trip leaders are going to be blogging about their interactions with Compassion International and the Compassion kids in this great island country. It is always a blessing to read the posts of those who are contributing. Just click on the banner above to get to the official trip site.
Friday, 27 May 2011
Read for the Heart - It'll Do Your Heart Some Good!
Topic: Homeschool Product Review
This is my last TOS Homeschool Review this year. It is rather sad. I am returning to the TOS Homeschool Crew for another year, though, so there will be a lot more reviews to come!
However, as the saying goes, I've saved the "Best for Last". At least one of the best. It's one of my favorite items this year anyway.
But enough chit-chat. So what is this great item? It's Sarah Clarkson's book Read for the Heart published by Apologia.
I can hear it now, "What! Another book?!".
Yes, another book, but it is a good one. It's not just a book ~ it's a book about books ~ good wholesome books that we should all have in our family libraries.
Let me tell you a little bit about the TOS Homeschool Crew. Sometimes they tell us about an upcoming item, let you research it a little and then fill out an interest form if you think it would be good for your family. You don't always get it if you fill the form out, and, sometimes, you are chosen to get an item even if you didn't fill out a form for it. They just want to know interest.
Anyway, when I looked at this book on the Apologia website, one of the first things that I noticed is that, in the appendix, the author had a complete list of G. A. Henty books. Now G. A. Henty has written some great historical fiction books but isn't a really well known author. I've seen lots and lots of lists of books that are "must reads" or that you "have to have in your children's libraries". I've learned to take lists with a grain of salt. However, when I saw that this book had a Henty list, I knew that it had to be different so I filled out the interest form.
And I was right! This book is different. Sarah Clarkson begins by making a case for why families should be reading good literature. She talks about what has happened to literacy in America and how to change that in your household. She continues with how to change your reading lifestyle and how to use her book to help you get started. She then lists some great books to consider adding to your library.
But it's not just a list of books, it's a list of great books that are in different genres of children's literature. Sarah Clarkson recommends: good children's picture books; "Golden Age Classics"; children's fiction; fairy tales and fantasy; history and biography; spiritual reading; poetry; and music, art and literature. But they aren't just lists. She explains why this author is a good author and why this book is a good book. Not only does she explain why the author and book is good but why we should read those types of books.
She doesn't stick with just the usual authors, either. She has done her research and mentions some unusual or not well known authors and books. G. A. Henty is an example, as is Gene Stratton Porter.
I really can't say enough about Read for the Heart. I have pored over her book and enjoyed reading about books that she grew to love as a child. I've been intrigued by the reasons why she likes a specific genre or author. And, last but not least, I've enjoyed reading some of the recommended books myself.
I'm going to tell a little secret about myself and give you, my readers, some neat information. Copyrights on books expire after so many years. If the author or family doesn't pick up the copyright, it goes into public domain and any company can print the book and sell it. It also means, though, that any book can be reprinted on the internet and be downloaded for free. There are lot's of online sites that offer free classics. And I'm talking classics like Tom Sawyer, Pride and Prejudice, etc. Recently we bought a used tablet - you know, one of those hand held computer's and I have downloaded a bunch of free books to read.
So, what does that have to do with Sarah Clarkson's Read for the Heart? Well, I have been so excited about some of the titles that she's recommended, I've searched for them and downloaded them! So far I have read three of the books that she's suggested, The Wind and the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling and Freckles by Gene Stratton Porter. I'm now reading another Porter novel, Girl of the Limberlost. And, get this, I downloaded them all for free! Starting a family library of good books doesn't need to cost a lot of money. Now I'm reading Just So Stories to the boys and they love it. It has been great family time and that's exactly what Sarah Clarkson wants ~ a family that reads good wholesome literature together and on their own.
As you can see, I'm really excited about this book. It has begun to change my reading habits and the reading habits of my children for the better. And, it has also brought good family time back into our lives. This book is a must have!
So, how much is this book? Just $17.00! You'll make up for the cost of it by downloading all of the recommended books that you'll find for free. Just click here or on any one of the above hi-lighted links for more information on this and other great books by Apologia. Click here to find out what other TOS Crew members thought about this book. Happy Reading!
As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was sent a free copy of Read for the Heart in order to read and review on my blog.
Thursday, 26 May 2011
Eagle's Wings: Considering God's Creation
Topic: Homeschool Product Review
Okay, this is one of those, "I would have never tried this until I reviewed it and now I love it", type reviews.
I think I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that, although I always liked science, I was never any good in my science classes. That's why I struggle sometimes to teach science to my kids. This year, however, I have been very blessed to review a couple of good science resources. Considering God's Creation is one of the best! I am so glad that we were chosen to review it.
When we began homeschooling with John Allen, we found a very popular and well written science curriculum for him to use. We loved it and he loved it and we have chosen to keep using it. Children, as you all well know, can be different. What works with one doesn't always work with another. I think Joshua may someday be ready for the same books that his brother uses, but not yet. So, I have been piecing together science things for him to use. A unit study here, a lap book there, reading assignments added in, a book found at a used book store - you get the picture. When we received Considering God's Creation and I began to look it over I realized that this was the one for Joshua.
Let me tell you what I like about this course and then I will tell you how Joshua has reacted to it.
All right, I think I've gushed enough about how much I like Considering God's Creation. Joshua really likes it as well. This is right down his alley. As I mentioned above, we are going to use this next year with him. Remember, if a review item makes it into our everyday homeschool it's got to be good! If he really likes it (and I'm sure he will) and if we don't want to use one of those "study one topic in a year" studies that John Allen did, I may even use this for two years. The second year we can do some of the digging deeper things. That's the beauty of this curriculum. You could use it in a variety of ways. Do what I said above or extend each lesson and make it a one, two, three or more week lesson by doing the notebook and then the digging deeper studies. Or, if you have children of different ages using it at one time, you can do the basic stuff together then, while the youngers are doing the notebook, the olders can be doing digging deeper stuff.
AAHHH - I've got to stop exuding and finish this review!
Now we get down to the nitty-gritty. This curriculum is adaptable for kids in 2nd through 7th grades and the student book (that can be copied for kids in the same family), teacher's book, and the CD are...get ready for this...just $29.95 . If you plan to use this in a co-op situation or if you just want your kids to have separate student books they are just $13.95 and the audio CD's are just $3 if you want an extra one of those. The company that makes Considering God's Creation is called "Eagle's Wings" and has all kinds of great curriculum. You can check it all out by clicking here or on any one of the hi-lighted links above. As always, different members of the TOS Homeschool Crew reviewed this item and you can find out what they thought by clicking here. Happy Home Educating!
As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was sent free copies of the Considering God's Creation Teacher's Book, Student Book, and audio CD in order to try out and review on my blog.