Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Picture of the Week! (September 30, 2014)- Clouds by C

DSCN0406 (Small)

I like taking pictures of anything.  This picture was taken in Wyoming.  I took this photo, because a family member wanted me to.   

C’s camera specifics:

  • Nikon COOLPIX L18
  • f/5.6
  • Exposure time: 1/916 sec.
  • ISO-64

C is a girl who is almost nine.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Fix It! Grammar from Institute for Excellence in Writing (Schoolhouse Review Crew review)

We received this for review purposes!

Product Links:

Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree [Book 1] (Teacher Manual)
Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree [Book 1] (Student Book)

Vendor Information Link: Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW)

Age Appeal: 3rd grade and up

Format: Physical copy (Free PDF download is available with purchase of the Teacher Manual, may be used with multiple children)

Price: $15/Student Book and $19/Teacher Manual 

Do you need a new grammar program for any of your children?  Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) has a wonderful program called Fix It! Grammar.  There are six books in the series providing 33 weeks of lessons.  This program offers both the teacher’s manual and the student book.

Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree is the first book the series and contains four lessons per week.  The first day of the week the student will learn the subject matter, like nouns or action verbs, for the week, then the student will correct the Fixes, work on the Grammar Notation, then rewrite the sentence in his/her notebook.  The rest of the week will continue the same, with a new sentence to correct and rewrite.  When the student has finished the 33 weeks of lessons they will have written the entire story of The Nose Tree.

There is a Placement Test and Webinar that should be looked at to determine what level your child should be in. 

Our Experience: 

Grammar was one of those subjects in school that I enjoyed, but I became tired of it after a few years.  I became tired of it, because we always learned the same thing over and over, subjects, nouns, verbs, and predicates.  I learned the other parts of speech and other important parts of grammar in my Spanish classes in high school.

I was super excited when we were chosen to review Fix It! Grammar from IEW.  I chose The Nose Tree [Book 1], because I wanted B, C, and myself to be on the same page.  I had yet to find a good grammar program that taught everything, but still had short lessons.  This program was perfect, because over the course of the year it teaches everything and is not supposed to take over fifteen minutes per lesson.  And they don’t take over fifteen minutes!

The fifteen minutes time period works perfectly for B and C, because we use the Charlotte Mason Method, which is all about short lessons.  There are also only four lessons per week.  Since the lessons are short, sometimes we do two if the children are having fun and want to continue.

What a day’s lesson is like for us:

  1. If it is Monday we read the Learn It section for the week, before doing the Fixes and Grammar Notation.
  2. We all read the sentence aloud.
  3. B and C define the bold word.
  4. Work on the Fixes- mark punctuations and indentations.
  5. Mark the Grammar Notations for the day.
  6. Rewrite the passage, making sure to double space in the notebooks.

B and C eagerly worked on these lessons.  C was usually the one who wanted to continue working on more lessons.  We will sometimes do this so we can get to Robin Hood [Book 2] sooner.

Fix It! Grammar-001

Mama’s Thoughts:

  • This program was very good, because it kept building on what had been learned in previous weeks.  The children learned nouns, articles, pronouns, next they will learn some different types of verbs.  Each week they would not just mark what they were learning that week, they would also mark what they had learned in past weeks.
  • It would have been nice to have a table of contents, that contained the page number of the week’s lesson and what was going to be covered.  It would have made it easier for me to know what B and C were going to be learning and if I needed to learn it myself ahead of time.
  • I am glad that Fix It! Grammar stressed that the work should be done at the student’s own pace.  If the student is learning at their own pace there will be less fuss and they will learn the concepts more thoroughly.
  • The Teacher Manual and Student Book had wonderful instructions.  I knew exactly what we needed to do each day and week.  The instructions were also simple enough that B and C could follow them and do the lessons on their own.  I would just need to correct their work later.  The instructions were basically the same every week, with small variations in what the students were learning in Grammar Notations, so students who do not like change would be comfortable with the format.

B’s Thoughts (boy, age 10, officially in fifth grade):   

I really liked Fix It! Grammar.  One of my favorite parts of Fix It! Grammar was marking nouns, articles, and pronouns.  I liked the story choice.  I really liked the Fix It! Grammar Glossary, because it tells about punctuation, parts of speech, sentence clauses and phrases, and more.

I do wish there was a table of contents.  An index would be pretty cool too.  I wish there more fixes than periods more often.

I thought it was creative to have the nice cover before the glossary.  I thought The Nose Tree was excellent.

I think this complete grammar program would be good for people younger and older than me.

C’s Thoughts (girl, age 8, officially in third grade):

It was fun learning nouns, articles, and pronouns.  I liked Grammar Notation, they were tricky though.  It was fun reading and writing.

I am excited to do more.  I can’t wait to completely read the story when I am finished writing it.

It is good for people of all ages.

Dad’s Thoughts:

I wish I had had the Institute for Excellence in Writing’s Fix It! Grammar writing skills course back in elementary school. Writing and grammar we're difficult subjects for me. Having to learn 3 or 4 new things in a day was challenging for me. After reviewing the Fix It! Grammar: The Nose Tree I actually started understanding how grammar works!

The lessons are laid out in an easy to read and understand format. And at about 15 minutes per lesson it's the right amount of time to comprehend and complete each day's assignment. The Nose Tree book has been well planned for student's use and for teacher's instructions. Even if writing and grammar are not your strongest subjects, the Fix It! Grammar course will soon have you writing like a seasoned professional!

I give the Institute for Excellence in Writing Fix It! Grammar writing skills course two pencils up!

Mama highly recommends!

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/excellenceinwriting
Twitter: https://twitter.com/iew
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/iewriting
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Iewriting/posts
You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/user/iewtv
Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/iewtv

 
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Friday, September 26, 2014

Prayer of the Week! (September 26, 2014)- Ephesians 2: 16-18

A couple of years ago I took part in a Bible study where we studied the book of Ephesians.  Once a week I would like to mention the Bible verses which were studied, give my observations and applications.  Finally, I will give you my prayer involving those verses.

Today will be Ephesians 2:16-18 (please the selection in your Bible).

Observations:

  • There should be no hostility.
  • We are reconciled to God.

Application:

  • We need to remember that we have access to the Father through the Son.
  • We are part of God.

Prayer:

Dear Lord,

Thank you for your Son.  It is only through him that we have access to You.  We are one with You.

Thank you for all you have given, may we be truly grateful.

In Jesus’s name.  Amen

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Being Church, Doing Life by Michael Moynagh

Being Church, Doing Life: Creating gospel communities where life happens

By Matt Roper

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Genre- Nonfiction

Published by- Monarch Books

Copyrighted- 2014

Number of pages- 252

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $18.99, ISBN 978-0-85721-493-5

There is a movement in the UK called Fresh Expressions and Being Church, Doing Life, by Michael Moynagh, describes what that organization is doing to build gospel communities around the UK.  These communities are happening in schools, cafes, homes, parks, and more. 

This book contains over 120 examples along with different ways you can begin a community, help it succeed, and gently step away so it can grow on its own and multiply.  There is also a section on how church leaders can help members of their congregations with their communities.

Excerpt from the book!

About the Author-

Revd. Dr. Michael Moynagh currently conducts research for Fresh Expressions UK at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.  He has written or helped to write more than fifteen books.  Link for: www.freshexpressionsus.org/

My thoughts-

Lately I have been thinking about what I would like to do when my children are older or even perhaps at the age they are now.  I keep thinking about community and trying to reach those who have left the church or have never believed.  Those are the people I would like to help and reach.  I keep getting nudges, like a day planner where I needed to write my purpose in life and Michael Moynagh’s book, Being Church, Doing Life.

I live in the United States and this book is based on the organization, Fresh Expressions, in the UK, but there were examples from the United States, which showed me that it can be done here as well.  When I was reading the book, I read the statics and stories that showed how well gospel communities are working in the UK.  I’m really glad that they are.  Those types of communities are needed all over the world. 

Moynagh has given me hope that it can be done here and he has written this wonderful book that I can use to help guide me in the correct direction.  The book is divided into three section: “Why Communities in life?,” Tools for developing witnessing communities,” and “Tools for the wider church.”  It talked about why to do it, how to do it and how to teach people to be disciples, so they can do it themselves, and what the church can do to help those who want to develop their own communities.

Each chapter has its own conclusion and there is an awesome bibliography in the back of the book.  It lists many websites and books to help people reach their goals.  Moynagh did an interview for the BBC which is on YouTube.  It was very good and well worth watching. 

This book was excellent and should be read by everyone.  There are many people in this world who need to come to Jesus and we need to disciple in the way Jesus did.  This book will show you how.  Please find a copy and read it today!

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Being Church, Doing Life, by Michael Moynagh, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Picture of the Week! (September 22, 2014)- Clouds of the Week

DSCF3356 (Small)

If you have been following my “Picture of the Week!” then you know that I really like clouds.  These are some clouds taken on a sunny day while my family was having fun playing on the rocks.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Prayer of the Week (September 19, 2014)- Ephesians 2:13-15

A couple of years ago I took part in a Bible study where we studied the book of Ephesians.  Once a week I would like to mention the Bible verses which were studied, give my observations and applications.  Finally, I will give you my prayer involving those verses.

Today will be Ephesians 2:13-15 (please the selection in your Bible).

Observations:

  • Jesus is our peace.
  • We are near because of the blood of Christ.

Application:

  • We have the peace so we need to give peace.

Prayer:

Dear Lord,

Thank you for being our peace.  I also thank you for giving your blood so that we may be with you.

I am always grateful.

In Jesus’s name.  Amen

Candle Prayers for Kids by Claire Freedman (book review)

Candle Prayers for Kids

By Claire Freedman

Illustrated by Jo Parry

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Genre- Christian / Children / Prayers

Published by- Candle Books

Copyrighted- 2013

Number of pages- 128

Age Group- Young Children

Description of book- hardback, listed price- $12.99, ISBN 978-1-78128-102-4

This book, Candle Prayers for Kids, by Claire Freedman, is a companion book to the Candle Bible for Kids.  It contains many different types of prayers.

  • Graces
  • Special Days
  • Sad Times
  • Thank You, God
  • Day by Day
  • and more

It also contains many colorful illustrations by Jo Parry.  Perfect for any young child.

About the Author-

Claire Freedman currently lives on the Essex Coast.  She has written a number of children’s books.  She enjoys walking, traveling, and sailing.

About the Illustrator-

Jo Parry lives in Bournemouth, England.  She uses an Apple Mac to illustrate greeting cards, fine art, and children’s books.  She is fulfilling her life-long dreams.

My thoughts-

I thought Candle Prayers for Kids, by Claire Freedman, was so cute when I first looked at it.  I was even more impressed when I sat down and read the prayers.  I think the prayers would be perfect for children under five, but they would easily work for children up to ten.  These prayers can even be changed if they need to be to suit a specific child, because not every child has a father who is gone or has freckles.

We have used some of the prayers at night and I am looking forward to my eight year-old daughter using this book on a daily basis.  She has a hard time saying prayers sometimes and I think that if she used this book and learned a variety of prayers, then it would be easier for her to say prayers of her own. 

I liked the table of contents.  It was helpful when I was trying to find a specific prayer.  I really enjoyed the illustrations.  They were colorful and realistic.  They would catch any child's eye.  The Lord's prayer at the end of the book was well written.  The prayer was written so many children can understand what the prayer is trying to tell them.

I highly recommend this book.  It is excellent.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Candle Prayers for Kids, by Claire Freedman and illustrated by Jo Parry, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.