Home Education~Ministry Moments~Hearth and Home

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A TOS Review: Under Drake's Flag

      How do your children prefer to learn history?  If your kids are like mine, "textbooks" is not at the top of your list!  How about through adventure and a great story?  The Heirloom Audio Production's Under Drake's Flag will take your children on a 2 hour thrill ride back into the 1500's as they board the ship of Sir Frances Drake, a renowned seaman. Your children will not only learn about sea voyages of the Elizabethan Era, but will be challenged by the characters to live a courageous and upstanding life.  

Analytical Grammar Review

How we used Under Drake's Flag in our Homeschool:
     The day before leaving on a 6 hour car ride to the mountains, we received Under Drakes Flag!  I was thrilled.  We always pack books on CD to take on long trips.  We put the Under Drake's Flag CD in on the last 2 hr. leg of our trip.  Wow, did that make it go by so much faster!  My boys (ages 13 and 16) loved it!  It completely held their attention.   My husband and I were very entertained as well.  
     My youngest son recognized several characters in Under Drake's Flag from a book he was currently reading, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.  I thought that was so neat!  He was pretty excited about it too.  We had a great conversation about how so many times one work of literature can help you understand other works of literature. 
     Under Drake's Flag is not all non-stop adventure.  There is humor as well.  Older children and adults will will most likely "get" the funny parts.  Biblical morals and scripture are an intregal a part of the story.  
     I appreciated the great vocabulary in the story.  I always love for my children to hear different vocabulary words used in a story in such a way that the definition is understood in context. (Vocabulary is also covered in the included study guide.)
     There were parts of the package that we did not take advantage of.  There is a wonderful study guide inside the CD case.  We chose not to use it since we had plenty of discussion without it--and the fact that my kids were on "summer vacation."  There is also a Bible Study at the end of the study guide. 

Other Ideas for how to Use this Product:
*This would make a fabulous Christmas present for any older boys on your list!
*Would be good to use with a group of homeschoolers or kids at church.  You cold have a lot of fun making a day out of it.  Theme decorations, group listening and a Bible Study to top it off at the end.
*Make this a part of your history study of the Elizabethan period.
*Great jump start to a writing activity.
Historical References:
 The Spanish Inquisition
Age Range
 Ages 6-Adult
Please note that there is torture, killing and fighting involved in the story.
(Not gratuitous, but it is there.)

Favorite Quotes from the production:
"There is no stronger wind in a man's sail."  
 (Speaking of God's power, protection, and presence.)

"If we're not men of honor we're not men at all."

"Perhaps God himself is trusting you with this trial."

My favorite part of the entire CD is reading/hearing the prayer of Sir Francis Drake:
"Disturb us,Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves...When we arrived safely because we sailed too close to the shore..."

Cost of Product
(2 CD set)
Similar Products
"Instant Access" MP3 Download Version of Under Drake's Flag: $20
Family 4-pack (With LOTS of bonuses!): $99.97
Under Drake's Flag Reviews

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Free Digital Issue: The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

The September-October issue is now available HERE.

I've already read the very short, but full-of-wisdom article, You Don't Have to Swing at Every Pitch.  

The birder in our family is going to love the article, Birds in Art.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Whatever Wednesday #11

Whatever Wednesday

What's going on in our homeschool?  We "officially" begin our school year next Tuesday...but my boys have already started their year with the local speech/debate club.  (NCFCA)  SO excited about my sons doing a duo interpretation and my oldest beginning apologetics this year!

What God is teaching me:  Whenever I read or hear something 3 times, I tend to think God is trying to show me something.  In the last couple of weeks I have read or heard the passage in Revelation 2 where Jesus is speaking in reference to the church in Ephesus:  "I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance.  I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.  You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.  Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love."    

(What struck me the most is that God pays attention to each and every church!  He addressed 7 different churches in Rev. 1-3.  He CARES about what we as a church are doing...and may each and every church NOT forget our first love, Jesus!)

What am I reading?
  Autopsy of a Deceased Church 
What a GREAT read!  I'm nearly done.  I think every church member everywhere should read this!  

What am I feeling?    Sore.  I've started a new workout video:
                                                        Lisa Whelchel's Everyday Workout for the Everyday WomanSo far, I think it's great.  It must be working because I can really tell I did something!   I highly recommend Lisa Whelchel's Everyday Workout for the Everyday Woman!  It looked like it would be a sensible workout, but I'll be honest: the main reason I picked it is because it was the only exercise DVD that didn't have half naked women on the cover.  Turns out, it is more than just modestly dressed women working out--it is a quality program!

 "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God's glory." 1 Corinthians 10:31

Thursday, August 21, 2014

That's Worth Repeating Thursday #5

     I attended a church leader's conference a few weeks ago.  Today I was reading over my notes before filing them for future reference.  (All of the classes I attended were either for preschool or children's Sunday School teachers.)  There is one quote that stood out:

"The best session is a planned session."
--Bill Emeott 
(Lifeway Kids Ministry Specialist)

(In other words...for a great hour of teaching Sunday School, don't wing it!)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wizzy Gizzmo Fast Track Bible Pack: A TOS Review

Wizzy Gizmo Review
Wizzy Gizmo Review
   I believe the most important book in the world to teach our kids is the Bible.  My husband and I try to make sure our sons have all the resources they need to help them learn and understand God's Word.  The Fast Track Bible Pack from Wizzy Gizmo is just one more great tool.  The Fast Track Bible Pack is a 27 card set that has a card representing each book of the New Testament.  What you find on each card is similar to what you might find on the front page of each book in a Study Bible. 

    Do you remember the wildlife collector cards that were so popular in the 80's?  I loved those!  I enjoyed reading them and organizing them.  Of course I could have read all that information about those animals in an encyclopedia or a science book, but it was so much more interesting to read and look at the cards.  That's why I think kids will like these Bible cards.  Sure, they could look up all the information contained in the cards in a book--but I think they'll be more likely to spend more time with the cards.

Age Range: 
 These Bible cards are for All ages
(I think it is perfect for older elementary-teens.)

Price: $14.99

What's on the Cards: 

On the Front: 
  • Card number
  • Name of Book of the Bible
  • Number of chapters
  • Author
  • Date of writing
  • Overview (a few paragraphs)
  • Theme

On the Back:
  • Across the top: Name of book, theme and brief synopsis
  • Outline (2 options are usually given.)
  • Key Chapters
  • Key Passages
  • Key Doctrines
  • Key People

How we are using the Fast Track Bible Pack in our Home:

How my 16-year-old son is using it: 
      He is currently reading through a day-by-day devotional guide he received for Christmas.  Whenever his reading is found in the New Testament, he reads the entire card that covers that particular book of the Bible.  (For example, if his reading for the day is found in Mark, he reads the Mark card.)  My oldest is really enjoying these cards and is the primary user.  He really likes all the facts given on the card.  He shared with me that the information on the card really helped him to understand the purpose of the particular book of the Bible he was reading.

How my 13-year-old is using it:
      My youngest son mentioned about a week ago how he wanted to read all the parables in the Bible.  I said, "Let's take a look through the Fast Track Bible Pack and see what we can find to help us out."  The very first card we came to (Matthew) had just what we were looking for!  We took a quick look down through the "Key Passages" on the back of the card and easily discovered that parables are found in chapter 13.  All the parables were listed, so my son has read one each day. After he had read the parables, we talked about how each one tied in with the theme of the book, "Jesus is King."

Some other ideas you might like for using the Fast Track Bible Pack:
  1. Use them to read through the New Testament.  As you read, follow along with the card and learn as you go.
  2. Read one per night at the dinner table.
  3. Let your children study one per day.  When they have read them all,  play a quiz game with the cards. 
  4. Punch a hole in each corner and put a ring through it.  This can be hung on a hook nearby your "Bible Reading Place."
  5. Store them in a basket in the schoolroom and use as needed for a reference.

Click to read Crew Reviews

Friday, August 15, 2014

Free Stuff We did this Summer

     As I look back on all the things my family and I did this summer, I came to realize most of what we did was free.  (Okay, maybe not the gas to get there!)  We enjoy looking for deals while traveling or on vacation.  And for us, free is the way to go!  Below you'll find a generous sampling of the freebies we enjoyed over the past several months!  Maybe you'll get some ideas for you and your family...

A rainy walk down the French Quarter in New Orleans.  We were taking a break before my husband's doctoral class one morning.  Cost: FREE.  (World famous beignets and cafe au laits were not free, but I still think they are a deal!)
My new favorite place in New Orleans: City Park 

Bird watching in City Park

Did I mention this is free?

Love the "not-so-baby" ducks getting ahead of their Mama!

Beautiful sights at City Park!

Free Admission: Roan Mountain State Park, TN.  What a deal!  Gorgeous wildflowers and fun hiking!  We packed a picnic to save even more $$$.

Great view of the Rhododendron.
Free Admission: Asheville Botanical Gardens, NC.  This was a "date" for just my hubby and I.  I honestly thought it wouldn't be that great because it was "free."  Boy, was I wrong!  It's just my kind of botanical garden.  Very natural.  More like a hike than a formal presentation. 

We took lots of pictures under the bridge.
Our last trip of the summer was to the beach.  On the last day, I asked my son what his favorite part was from the week.  His answer?  A walk on the beach collecting shells and looking at crabs.  (Cost? FREE!)

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Blog Post Find of the Day (hint: It's about VBS!)

     I've been at a church leadership training conference all weekend, so I've got preschool/children's Sunday School, VBS and the like on the brain...so how fitting to find this blog post in my inbox when I got home: 5 Things VBS is That Other Ministries are Usually Not.  Great article.  I'm with Shane Garrison--if your church did not do VBS this summer, start planning for next year.  There's nothing quite like it!