Friday, December 29, 2017

A Study in the Psalms

I have really felt the Lord nudging me to study the Psalms. I have been reading through the Bible, and when I got to the Psalms I couldn't just fast track through them. I skipped ahead to Isaiah and decided to keep reading there and add the Psalms and then Proverbs in additionally. The Psalms are just too good to read several in a sitting.
With the start of the new year, felt like a great time to really delve into each Psalm. To focus on each as long as I need, whether a day or a week.
I'd like to say I will share each Psalm with you and  my thoughts, but I imagine I will miss some. Some posts may  just be a photo of the Psalm, maybe some Bible Journaling, or a photo of my handwritten word. No deep commentary, we will leave that to Henry Morris.

My Psalms study will begin with my morning devotion time. Above are a few of the resources I am using. I have linked them below if you want to take a closer look.

As I study I may see other books that help, but for now this is plenty to get me started. I start with The Passion Translation. This version reads very fluidly. This particular version also has simple illustrations and lines for journaling which I may get to eventually. For now I am reading the Psalm  in here through a couple times. Then I move on to the NKJV of the Psalm. Read it through once and I am using that version then to write out the Psalm in the Journible.

After I write it out in the Journible I look at the study Bibles and read each of them including the commentary on the Psalm. Praying as I read it that God reveals what He wants me to get from the Psalm.

Reading the Psalm at least 6 times, in a variety of translations, really helps me to think on it throughout the day.
I have also had an interest in Hymns lately, having ordered a couple old hymnals on ebay so that I have actual Hymns on hand. I think it is fitting as Psalms are musical, and were sung. Many of the Hymns written were taken from the Psalm and as I have time I will look up specific Hymns that may have been written for each Psalm.

I invite you to join me on the Study in the Psalms and share what you may be learning from each one as well.

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Friday, December 15, 2017

Brainstorming #Wordoftheyear 2018

God has been speaking to me lately, and it seems to coincide with the idea of the Word of the Year. Last year I had Selah, to pause and think. I did some, but not to the degree I would have liked. I desired to study the entire book of Psalms. Didn't happen. I started too many projects that never were finished. Even this blog, it has been over a month since I posted. I am clearly in need of direction and diligence. The Lord is popping these type of words in my mind


I have been looking up scripture verses on them, and praying on what direction to take the next year. Which of these, though similar will be the focus.
I need something to change, in my school days, my craft time, my time with Jesus. I take on too much, and then nothing is done well.
Still praying, for just the right word, but perhaps it will be more of a concept..
Have you thought of a word for the new year?

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Innovators Tribe Thinking Like an Engineer ~Review

Innovators Tribe

Thinking Like an Engineer

Innovators Tribe  Thinking Like an Engineer has been a perfect fit for my 15 year olds engineer brain. His father is an engineer and we have seen that same thinking process in Canyon since he was young. He doesn't enjoy school. He has zero desire to go to college so often getting him to get his school work done, is a challenge. We work on the basics, and try not to overwhelm him. Thinking Like an Engineer has been amazing for him. He desires to do it, and does it well! It isn't real easy to fit into a 'normal' schedule. It is a time consuming project. For us, it worked great because I felt it counted as several basic and core things like science and math. He also did some research which I can never get him to do.

We planned to use Thinking Like an Engineer once or twice a week, simply because he desires to watch the lesson and then right from there do the activity as well. Makes perfect sense really, go ahead and do the activity while it is fresh in your mind.
We were given a 2 year subscription through Innovators Tribe, to complete the Thinking Like an Engineer course. There is quite a bit involved with it, and I am thankful that we will have time to get through the entire course.

Innovators Tribe What You Get

The course completely online. It is not live, so it is available anytime, and self paced. There are 6 Units and a bonus unit on Thinking Like an Innovator that has 9 lessons with it. 
Unit 1 is a great introduction to Engineering. There are 4 lessons, and the first 3 have a lengthy challenge with them. The first challenge was to create the tallest paper tower you could with only

Make sure no siblings walk by during the building process! This was a fun challenge, and I struggled to figure out how to do it, but of course an engineering brain didn't have any trouble. Lesson 2 had my son looking up different types of engineers, by first stating the things he enjoyed. Right now he is into woodworking and making swords with wood. So we did a search on weapons and engineering to find that there is indeed a weapons engineer. That peaked his interest! His dad is a paper engineer, so I think in his mind that and the basics like electrical, or chemical engineer are his choices. 
The next challenge was designing a paper structure that could hold the most weight. 

Brilliant! I have a creative mind, but certainly not an engineering one. I was really proud of his ability to figure out what was needed for strength. 

The last challenge we did was a whole family affair. That was one great thing about this first Unit, that the younger kids got to watch the challenges and learn from them too. Canyon wasn't just working on the computer, but actually doing things for them all to see. 
We live on a river and the last challenge was to make a water filter. This was a really  neat project for everyone. 

The kids were quite impressed with the way the Alum collected the particles and brought them to the bottom of the bottle too. 
3D design software included in the program are 
Fusion 360
Flow Design
123D Design
Bridge Construction
Unit 2 moves into more computer based learning using the programs listed above. Titled Introduction to 3D Computer Design and Solid Modeling, there are 10 lessons in this unit. We just started in this section for review, but already I can see it of great interest to my son. 

Unit 3 is engineering a roller coaster! So exciting, and then Unit 4 is construction a bridge! I couldn't come close to designing a program more perfect for my teen!  3D design is the focus on Unit 5. Thankfully he has a brother who is a senior in Graphic Design whom he will be able to discuss and share information with. Something in common with big brother. The final unit is Nano-Engineering. 
There is a bonus section as mentioned earlier, that includes 9 lessons on being an innovator, including 3 fun challenges. 
I am fairly certain we will get through this entire program, it has honestly been the best schooling for my son so far. 

Don't just take my word for it, click on the photo below and see what other reviewers thought of this and Thinking Like an Architect, another resource from Innovators Tribe. 

Thinking Like an Architect or Engineer {Innovators Tribe Reviews}

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Monday, November 6, 2017

Thin Stix Creativity Pack ~Review

Thin Stix Creativity Pack

The Pencil Grip, Inc.has a variety of great products including Thin Stix Creativity Pack.
It comes with 24 beautiful sticks of tempera paint. These have by far been the best tool for my toddler when it comes to her wanting to paint. So much so, that in her  toddler art class at our local Community Art Center, I shared with them these sticks and they immediately went out and bought some! They knew a good tool for the preschoolers class right away. She was just as impressed as I was!
My 13 year old got these out for her sister as soon as they came in the mail. My 3 year old literally screamed when she saw them! She has the Thin Stix 6 pack (can read my review here ) and she was thrilled to see so many more colors. We printed some coloring pages off the internet and they got started on creating.

She is nearly 3 years old and you can see in the photo above how well they fit in her hand. They are a great size for all ages. My 13 year old may love them just as much as her little sister.

It comes with 12 classic colors, 6 more than our original pack. Just these alone gave the girls a great palette to work from. 

Thin Stix Creativity Pack

The Thin Stix do not bleed through the paper, and clean up is super easy. They dry just as soon as you get them on the paper. 

6 Metalix paint sticks were probably the best in the pack for a review from girls!
Thin Stix Creativity Pack

Both of the girls loved the MetalixThin Stix! You know how girls can be, all glitter and gold, and the little one even called them glitter paint. Didn't matter if they were 3 or 13, the Metalix ones were the favorites. 

Finally there were 6 neon colors in the pack. These would be perfect for making posters, the colors are bold and bright and the paint really makes the color pop out. 

Thin Stix Creativity Pack
One thing my 13 year old mentioned as she was working with the 3 year old on this review, was that the clean up was so easy. Any paint on the table wiped up very easily. There was no need to make sure she had old clothes on to get dirty, there was no paint on her clothes at all. There were no paintbrushes or water to clean up (or spill accidentally). There was no worry about stacking the finished art projects because they were already dry!

She got a little on her fingers, but it washed up super easily as well. I highly recommend these to anyone with toddlers. The only thing you need to watch with them is that they don't push too hard when they at painting, to not get too thick of a layer on the picture. You can see here a little bit where she was getting it on a little thick.

The 24 pack is available at BJ's on sale for $19.99, regularly priced at $24.99.

The Pencil Grip, Inc.
Find The Pencil Grip on these social media sites
Twitter: @thepencilgrip

See how the Review Crew used the Thin Stix Creativity Pack by clicking on the photo below. 

Thin Stix Creativity Pack {The Pencil Grip, Inc. Reviews}

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Monday, October 30, 2017

Let the Little Children Come ~Review

Let The Little Children Come

Let the Little Children Come offers a variety of evangelism tools which we are able to see a sample of in the Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools Sampler Pack. So many different and interactive ways to reach children with the good news of Jesus Christ.

 Let the Little Children Come Gospel Tracks

The Sampler Pack includes three different style of tracts. The Animated tract has an element to it where you put a striped piece of plastic over the photo, and it makes it come alive. (The plastic is included with the tract). Each page is a different scene asking about the Lord. At the end of each booklet it mentions how you can accept Jesus into your heart. These are perfect to hand out at Vacation Bible School, to new kids attending Sunday School class, or even for your student to take to class with them.

The 2nd style of tract is the Pop Up tract. This is like a mini pop up book, so much easier on the eyes than the animated one :) Reminds me of the pop up books we read to the kids when they were younger. Each page has a pop up on it, and it about 4-5 pages in length. Each booklet ends with the salvation message and how the student can accept Christ.

The third tract sent to me was the FlipAbouts. It is a paneled booklet that opens and twists about at different angles. Makes different symbols based on how you turn it. The John 3:16 one was really fun and had the verse on separate flips.

My daughter and I have several pen pals, and these type of tracts work perfect to include with a letter to someone we are just meeting via snail mail.

Another great tool for evangelism is the color coded bracelet. There is a silicone salvation bracelet that has each color of the story on it. It comes with a paper that explains what each of the 5 colors mean, but the bracelet is just the colors. This is actually a great conversation starter as well for my kids to wear out and about.

The next bracelet they sent was the Wordless bracelet kit. This is the bracelet you may have seen them make at VBS, or church camps. With the black band, and the 5 colored beads to represent the Salvation message.

The final tool was a wordless book, in the same colors as the bracelets, to witness through the colors, the salvation story. I found it interesting that Charles Spurgeon was the first to use this book in 1866 to present the gospel to children.

This sampler pack allows you to physically see each item, and then take them to your youth pastor, sunday school teacher, co -op leader and then decide which tools will work best for the ministry you are trying to do. You then can order that specific item from Let the Little Children Come.

With our ministry of snail mail I personally like the Pop Up Tracts to send in the mail to new friends. It is easy to just include it in a letter, and you can send a prayer along with it.

Be sure to find Let the Little Children Come on facebook

See what evangelism tools the Homeschool Review Crew preferred from the Sampler Pack by clicking on the photo below.

Gospel Tracts and Evangelism Tools {Let the Little Children Come Reviews}

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Weave Your Word in Me Part 1 ~Review


My newly 13 year old daughter does a beautiful job of digging into her Bible each morning and praying. Kid Niche Christian Books gave her the opportunity to go even deeper with a bible lessons in Weave Your Word in Me -- Part 1.

She enjoys adding to her quiet time in the morning, and this was the perfect tool for her to not only read more in the Word, but to study it on her own. It is geared for 4th-6th grade. My daughter is just a little older than that and enjoyed it as well. I feel it could easily be used for 7th and 8th as well. My daughter at her age was able to be mostly independent in using the Weave Your Word in Me Part 1. It became part of her morning routine.
This would be a great tool to use in a Sunday School class, Co-op homeschool class, or as a family too. Many different ways to utilize this study.

This is compatible with the following Bible translations:  KJV, ESV, NKJV, NIV, NASB, NABRE.
We use the NKJV in church and in our homeschool, and I appreciated that it was compatible with so many translations.

This comes loose leaf, three hole punched so you will need a binder to store it in. Gives the tween a chance to decorate their Binder and make it special just for them.

There are 36 lessons broken down into 4 sections;
God the Father
God the Son
What God Wants
God the Holy Spirit.

Each section utilizes the Lord's Prayer to help teach the kids how they can come before God, and how to talk to Him. It gives them the knowledge to understand the trinity and the persons of the Godhead. The author takes the Lord's Prayer and breaks it down into steps for the student to learn to pray in their own words, and model the prayer in their own life.

I asked my daughter what she liked most about this study, what stood out to her. She said she liked looking up scripture that she normally wouldn't look into. That it had her in both the old and the new testament.
It is only a page to a couple pages in length, so it works easily into her morning routine. Not too in depth that she has to continue over several days on the same topic. It also isn't a simple devotional that only takes 5 minutes to read and she is done.

Each lesson includes reading a few different Bible passages and answering questions about them. It uses a fill in the blank design, so regardless of your version of the Bible, you can easily figure out what goes in the blank.
At the end of the lesson is a My Prayer section where you complete the blanks and pray the prayer to God, again reinforcing the Lord's Prayer and how to pray.

For the parents not following along, there is a Answer Key in the back. Or if the student is having a hard time with their particular translation, it is helpful.

Additionally, the author Susan Case Bonner has some resources online to go along with the Weave Your Word in Me Part 1 study.

For each lesson she has theme related activities from videos, art projects, crossword puzzles, drawing prompts, and more. Each lesson has 3 enrichment activities. We haven't done these along with the book during morning prayer time, but we will be checking them out when my daughter has her 'computer' time for school. I especially love the videos including Johnny Cash singing, "Have thine own way Lord", a beautiful video on the Aurora Borealis, parable videos and more.
The enrichment section really adds another dynamic to the study, giving the student opportunity to use more of their senses, and to take what they are learning on paper and relating it to other things throughout the day.

Be sure to find Kid Niche on these social media sites.

Kid Niche Christian Books

Twitter: @susancasebonner

See what other students and parents thought of Weave Your Word in Me Part 1 by clicking on the picture below.

Weave Your Word in Me {Kid Niche Christian Books Reviews}

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