Monday, April 16, 2012

TOS Review: God's Great Covenant

This is our third year homeschooling. Not counting the first year where I was figuring things out, I gravitated towards a mostly Classical education for my boys. Though it was an adventure trying to figure out the various curriculum choices for our homeschool, we have stayed mostly Classical except for Bible. I honestly didn't know a Classical Bible curriculum existed until now. 

The God's Great Covenant series by Classical Academic Press is a foundational Bible course for children. There are three volumes with the Old Testament begin divided into two volumes. There are 36 weekly lessons, or chapters, a full year curriculum. 

Each lesson is divided into three sections: Memory Work, Storytime and Worksheets. This allows saturation of the subject throughout the day and week. The Devotional Guide was also included for the entire lesson (chapter.) I would have expected a devotional guide to allow for daily reading or activity. 

What to Teach When
The God's Great Covenant series is designed for elementary students grades 4 and up. 

Each chapter uses maps, memory work, quizzes, and devotional guides to offer a complete curriculum for students. A teacher's edition is available which contains the entire student text and additional helps and answer keys.

What's It Gonna Cost Me?
God's Great Covenant New Testament $26.95
God's Great Covenant Old Testament 1 or 2 $22.95
MP3 files $9.95

Other Products
Classical Academic Press is a Classical curriculum company with emphasis on the study of languages and logic.
Song School Latin
Latin for Children 
Latin for Teachers
Spanish for Children
Greek for Children
Tin Bot French Language Reader

Headventure Land is a free online collection of skill building games to practice languages.

Check It Out
Samples are available in PDF format for each book.

Final Word
This is a great resource and curriculum for anyone wanting a specific plan to follow. However, because it is much more intensive than the previous Bible curriculums we have used (which were geared more towards a daily devotion time) sample guideline for a week suggesting when to do each part of the curriculum would have been most helpful. The curriculum is laid out beautifully and doesn't require a lot of teacher prep but because the curriculum is so thorough, a lot of materiel is covered in various ways.

I also prefer a loose-leaf notebook design rather than the large workbook-style soft cover format. Because the worksheets require a good bit of writing, the workbook is difficult to write in and frustrating for younger children. A loose-leaf format would have also allowed for easier continuity of the week's work rather than flipping back and forth between the Storytime, Memory Page and Worksheet pages.

Overall, I was very impressed with the curriculum. Because my children are younger than the suggested age, it was extremely challenging to utilize it to its full potential. I am looking forward to using it as a complete curriculum in a few years.

Legal Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received God's Great Covenant New Testament free of charge from Classical Academic Press for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

TOS Review: Bright Ideas Press Biology

Born out of the need for Christian science curriculum in her own homeschool, author Stephanie Redmond wrote the Christian Kids Explore series to span multiple grades and ages. Geared towards grades 3-6, we were, at the end of second grade able to enjoy hands-on projects such as making our own terrarium and 3D Cell Model (a timely project for Easter's leftover jelly beans!!!!)

I love the materials list available for each unit. The ease of use, along with little teacher preparation time, make the Christian Kids Explore series a winner in my book!

What to Teach When
Christian Kids Explore is geared towards grades 3-6 but can adapted to use with younger student to span multiple grades.

What's It Gonna Cost Me?
Christian Kids Explore starts at $29.99. Downloads are available for the Student Activity Book starting at $7.95. These are helpful for those of us without copiers!!

Other Products from Bright Ideas Press
Christian Kids Explore
Mystery of History 

Final Word
We love it!! We plan to use Christian Kids Explore Biology for our science curriculum next year!

Legal Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received Christian Kids Explore free of charge from Bright Ideas Press for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.

Monday, April 9, 2012

This Blog is Not My Home, Part 2

Last fall, I told you that this blog was not my home. I moved my heart out (of this blog) and did the things that really count in my life. Homeschooling, building forts, looking at the stars, hiking with my boys.

But then I moved in again. 

And I need to move back out.

So I am re-posting the original "vacation sign." I have some review commitments left for The Homeschool Crew at The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, but after those are fulfilled I won't be posting regularly. After two years on the crew, I will not be continuing as a Crew member next year. I continue to post every other month at The Happy Housewife as a cooking contributor.

I will not be continuing The 12 Months of Christmas Series. If you blog and are interested in adopting the series, please contact me.

originally posted October 18, 2011
It's not my job either. I thought I wanted it to be my job.

I love writing. I love blogging. I love the blogging community. But I love my children more. I love my calling more. And my calling is my children.

A few months ago I began consciously noticing how much I was on the computer while my kids were awake. Then I noticed things that didn't get done because I was blogging. Or emailing. Or Facebooking. Or reading others' blogs.

Then I started thinking about the legacy I was leaving for my children. Did I want them to remember me on the computer? Or Facebooking on my  phone? Or blogging?

I started listening to myself ...
"Let me just finish this post."

"I need to send one more email."
 "After I finish reading this, we can do that."

Or do I want them to remember we played? And built forts. And created art.

Do I want them to remember that I was there for them - not just caring for their daily needs, but getting down and living life with them. 

This blog is not my home.

This is.

And this.

Amy at Raising Arrows wrote on a similar subject this week.

It took me over a month to get this post ready since I am only writing now when my kids are not awake. I have some reviews and other commitments that will take precedence over more personal posts, however, know that I am not abandoning my blog. I just have more pressing things on my plate at the moment.

Like homeschooling my boys and building forts. :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

TOS Review: Amazing Animals by Design

I was always an animal lover growing up. There was always a chance I would bring home some injured or lost creature upon returning home from a day outside. Farm Boy is very quickly filling those same shoes I walked.
He gravitates towards anything fuzzy or furry or feathered or finned. He loves baby animals especially, whether breathing or in print. Most of our read alouds contain some kind of animal. He is thrilled with our most current review.
Amazing Animals by Design is the first book of Debra Haagen, a chaplain's wife, homeschool mom and fellow TOS reviewer! Beautifully illustrated Amazing Animals by Design tells the story of a trip to the zoo from a Christian perspective. 

The author found that the books in children's programs and church as well as in her own children's collection were based on evolution, not creation. After being unable to find storybooks from a creation viewpoint, she decided to write her own! Amazing Animals by Design introduces young children to the concept of Intelligent Design.

Amazing Animals by Design is available in paperback from Tate Publishing for $8.99 or as an eBook for $7.99.

Connect with author Debra Haagen
Amazing by Design Blog:

Legal Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received a digital copy of Amazing Animals by Design free of charge for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received and opinions expressed are my own.
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