Thursday, November 22, 2018

Ellie Claire Art Journals *Reviews

I was blessed with the opportunity to review three beautiful art journals, just in time to share with you for the holiday season.

Each of these art journals give opportunity to grow in your lettering as well as your artistic expressions.

The first one is the Illuminate Your Story Journal. I have had a renewed interest in the illuminated manuscript from hundreds of years ago. I have purchased a Bible and a book of Psalms all in this traditional style. Illuminated manuscript is when gold or silver leaf decorates the script, giving the text a very detailed look. This text was common in the medieval times.

With this journal, you can hone your own skills on working with this amazing concept.
The beginning of the journal gives a bit of history as to how the Illustrated manuscript has changed over the course of history, showing an example and giving some back ground.
The journal then gives a step by step, both visual and written instructions on how to draw the alphabet in illuminated manuscript.

Each letter gives two different designs to follow. After each letter is also a page for journal writing. This journal blends so easily, the artistic nature of designing script, but also gives opportunity to share thoughts and free form writing. The journal pages each have a quote from a well known hero of the faith, or a scripture verse. I love that even though the focus is on writing and designing letters, that the Word of God is still proclaimed.

The back of the book has an envelope labeled for Keepsakes where you can tuck in some more of your letter manuscripts or notes you may want to save for later.

This book works great for boys or girls. I love this book! I have a son who graduated with a graphic design degree, and I think he will love it too. I am planning to save this for him as a gift, because I really think it will help expand his horizons in fonts.

The next journal, the Faith and Lettering Journal is a beautiful cloth bound journal, perfect for gift giving and heirlooms. I am sure you have heard of Bible journaling, from my blog and so many others. It is where you illustrated and note in the Word, additional things that God may be speaking to you and use fun lettering to design the sides. This new journal by Krystal Whitten combines her love of lettering with faith. The journal includes direction for trying a variety of lettering. Interspersed through out the different fonts though are blank pages.

Some lines, some with a small detail in the corner, and some unlined. These are your blank journal pages to utilize what you have learned and to expand your Bible journaling. Bibles only give you a narrow edge to journal in, even with a Bible specific for journaling. This notebook is a great way to do the same thing, but in a journal rather than the Bible.

This journal lends itself well for a young teen all the way through adult woman. It has a ''girly' flare to it that I would gift if for a woman. My 14 year old daughter loves to Bible Journal, and use some of the stickers and print outs we buy to decorate pages of scripture. This book is perfect to go along with this blessed hobby.

The last journal is The Illustrated Word, An Illuminated Bible Coloring Journal. There again we have the illuminated manuscript, which I love! This one would make a lovely gift for a male or female, as it is neutral in colors. A beautiful cloth book!
This journal has 40 beautifully illustrated drawings from the ancient days. It then has a basic line drawing for you to color on your own, to recreate the ancient art. These pages are thick, and utilize high quality paper. You can easily use markers, crayons, and pencils to work in this book.

Interspersed through out the coloring opportunities are journaling pages. Again, I love how Ellie Claire products are combining art and writing together in one book. A perfect mix for me!
The illustrations in this text are from the archives of the Museum of the Bible, making this a real treasure. This one I am keeping for myself. To use along with my illuminated Bible, and to focus on how the monks worked tirelessly on keeping the scriptures alive. What a treasure this book would be to anyone you gift it to.

The Ellie Claire art journals are published  through Worthy Publishing Group. They can be purchased through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, Christian Books.

I received a copy of these journals and have written a fair review based on my personal opinions.

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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Guitar 360 Method ~Review

Guitar 360 Method

My 14 year old daughter took guitar lessons for about 6 months, until her teacher left for college. She really wanted to continue on, and Guitar 360 Method has been the perfect solution.
The Semester 1 Bundle includes 5 weeks of absolute beginner lessons as well as 13 weeks of semester 1.

Guitar 360 Method

She began with the Start Playing Your Guitar section, which is a free course for beginners. It goes over the basics of the guitar, how to tune it and some finger exercises to get your started. All great basics to learn. My daughter got through those very quickly, having had lessons already. Week 2 she was introduced to some chords. I found the choice of chords to be unique as they aren't the basic chords, but some my son who plays on a worship team, has never actually used. They were a Asus2 and a Bsus4. After looking over it more, I think it is giving the specific chords to be able to play the included songs. We skipped week 3 of this section and jumped into Semester 1, simply because she wanted to get to some things she already knew. The beauty of this self directed video series is that you can jump around where you feel you are gaining the most from it. 

Once she started in the actual Semester 1 course, she was very pleased! Back to where she basically left off with her previous instructor. I think that confidence of knowing some of what she is learning was helpful for her.

This semester covers a lot of information! Way more than I think she would be getting by packing up the toddler and driving to guitar lessons. Each week starts with a goal You can pause the video at any time to get correct fingering. There are between 4- 6 videos to watch each week, and each video is less than 10  minutes typically. There are times my daughter would master one video and go right into the next one in the same day.
There are also practice videos where he shows you what to do and then you take some time to master it. There are also videos geared specifically for hearing the notes.

Week 2, we started learning about Music Theory. I know this isn't something we had with her instructor before, and I do think that knowing the basics in Music Theory are helpful. I play the piano, and understanding how the notes work together. I do see later in the series that music theory becomes even more utilized.

I was glad that there were downloadable chord sheets to print out, so that she could keep them all together to practice switching without having to find the correct teaching video.

My daughter likes to have things mastered before she moves on, so we are still working through week 2 since we started in the beginner section to start our review. I looked ahead at several of the weeks to come and they really are going to be insightful. I am going to have my college son take a look at them when he is home to see if there are things he can learn as well. He plays on a worship team but is always wanting to grow and learn more. This program seems versatile enough that any age student can pick it up and learn it.

I feel that it would take much more than a semester to complete this program, simply because it is so jammed packed with information. If you have a student that will work on it at least an hour a day , each week day they will be well on their way to mastering the guitar. This program is complex, but you can work at your own pace.
My daughter has had a renewed interest in her guitar again and that makes all of the practice and watching videos worth it!

20% OFF Coupon:
During the campaign, we’re offering a 20% discount to Home School families, with the coupon code: HOMESCHOOL20 at checkout

Guitar Lessons with Krisz Simonfalvi {Guitar 360 Method Reviews}


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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

I Know It ~Review

I Know It Interactive Math Lessons K - 5 grade

Our Friends at Super Teacher Worksheets has launched a new fun Math Supplement program called
 I Know It. It is an interactive, Math practice site for elementary aged children. And  they offer a free 60 day trial to interested homeschoolers and teachers.  The free trial page is here:

My 10 year old was chosen out of our family to review this program. The most common math concepts from K-5th grade are included and they are adding more weekly. With a family subscription, you can use it for up to 4 kids. I only have one in elementary school right now, but wow, this is great for those larger families with lots of little ones. 

I Know It Interactive Math Lessons K - 5 grade
We have been working on multiplication and division in his regular math program, and he definitely needed the extra help, so we chose to work on these assignments with the I Know It program. 
In level C, which we are, there are all of these categories to work from. And within each of these categories there are even more choices!

We used the program on our PC. It can be used with laptops and mobile devices as well. When I am logged into my teacher account, I can see all of the children I have as students. I can then assign them specific assignments if I want to. I can either assign them, or have them just work on what they would like.
Because I am only working with one child on this, it was easier for me to just work on it with him, and assign the lessons as we went. I did look through the assignment steps for the teacher and they are very straight forward and easy to understand if you do choose to utilize it.

One thing that I found very  helpful for my son, was that there is an option that the problem can be read to him. He is a struggling reader, and the help was very nice. He performs well in Math, but when a lot of reading is required, he has a struggle with that portion of it.
Each lesson has 15 problems to solve. It is very encouraging for getting them correct, with words of affirmation, and animation from the robot.
On the flip side, there is a buzzer sound if it is incorrect. You can turn off the animations in the teacher settings if you wish. I think they were a fun addition to keep his attention.

There is not any teaching with this. They are just problems to solve, that is one reason I would say it is a supplement to your regular math programs. It is an additional way to explore different math concepts that they have already been taught.

This was a fun way to do math, and my son really enjoyed it. He never balked at having to do the extra math work, I think because I Know It made it fun!

Interactive Math Lessons K - 5 grade {I Know It Reviews}

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Progeny Press ~Review

Progeny Press

Progeny Press offers literature study guides from a Christian perspective, for books that aren't specifically Christian in nature. We chose to review The Scavengers eguide.

Scavengers eGuide

You will need a copy of the reading book The Scavengers by Michael Perry. This book reminded me of the Dystopia genre. Similar to some of the popular movies out recently. From the website
I wedged my fists on my hips and I announced that Maggie was yesterday, and from this day forward I would answer only to Ford Falcon.

When the world fell apart, most people moved into the Bubble Cities. After her parents chose to live OutBubble, Maggie decided it was time to grow up and grow tough. She renamed herself Ford Falcon, and she spends her days scavenging in a junkyard while fending off occasional attacks from solar bears and GreyDevils.

Although times are hard, Ford's family has been making do. But when she returns from a bartering trip to find her home ransacked and her family gone, Ford must prove she is brave enough to face this wild world alone and overcome whatever obstacles stand in the way of rescuing her loved ones. "

The Eguide is recommended for grades 5th through 8th. I like the flexibility the guides give me in teaching my daughter. She is a big reader, much more than her brothers. With homeschooling 4 children now, I need to juggle who I am spending time with, and often that time gets scheduled with the toddler or helping with math problems. The Progeny Press Guides give my daughter an opportunity to work solo on her reading and comprehension, plus enjoy it while she is doing it!
She would work on one section per week. This will get her done with the study in eight to ten weeks. It is recommended to read the entire novel first before doing the study. We read it as she would do the study instead and it seemed to work out fine for her. It was probably a little easier for her to remember what she read when she would read a few chapters and the work on the assignments for the week. 
Each Progeny Press guide has some pre reading activities that can get the student excited for the book. These can mostly be done off line and even with siblings. 
The lessons begin with a vocabulary study. This eguide is interactive so you won't have to print out all of the pages. There are answer options for each of the vocabulary and the student can utilize it right from the computer. It is a good thing we got another computer for the upcoming school year, as it seems more and more products are becoming geared for the computer. 
Thinking about the story is the next section in the lesson. Here not only are they answering questions about the story, but looking at key literature and grammar terms .
The Digging Deeper section is typically done at the end of the week. This gives the student an opportunity to dig deeper into some of the topics read, and compare them to some Bible text. This is a great feature in Progeny Press, is that it is Bible based. You can get any sort of literature guide to help kids understand their reading. To get them to see things through a Biblical worldview though, you will want to use Progeny Press. 
There are a couple optional activities at the end of each lesson. If you want to draw the study out and make it longer, these are great rabbit trails to follow. Because we were working through this during summer break we opted out of the optional ideas this time around. I think we will be sure to work on some of those in future studies however. They do look like well thought out, and fun projects to learn about. 
Progeny Press has study guides for all age groups. The guides are much the same for each piece of literature. Great for independent study, but also would work well for a read aloud for a group of students. Be sure to check out their variety of books as you plan this coming falls line up. 

You can also get a printed hard copy of this study or purchase it on a disc.

Find Progeny Press on these social media sites.


New Study Guides for Literature From a Christian Perspective {Progeny Press Reviews}

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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Bible Study Guide For All Ages ~Review

Bible Study Guide for All Ages

Bible Study Guide For All Ages Is just what it says! A complete study that can be used with all of your age groups. Broken down into the following categories. 

Bible Study Guide for All Ages
With my crew we used the Advanced, Intermediate, and Beginner. My oldest is in 8th grade, but I utilized her with the Advanced as well and she would help out as an instructor for the beginner student. I had my 8th grader was in Advanced. My 3rd grader worked in Intermediate. My 3 year old worked in Beginner.

The study goes through the entire Bible in 416 lessons. Each lesson gives specifics but also fits into the whole picture of the Bible.
For my crew I needed the Student Pages for Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. I received the first quarter lessons 1-26. . In the first quarter, the first 14 lessons are in Genesis, and then in lesson 15 it moves to Daniel. Lesson 21 it jumps to the gospels, so you aren't spending all of your time in the Old Testament, you get some New Testament in each quarter. There are 16 different Student Page books. If you were wanting to study a specific area of the Bible, you could choose the ones that fit. We have been through Genesis a lot, actually are in 2 Kings right now in our own study. For future use of The Bible Study Guide For All Ages, I found that The Order of Study page was helpful in pin pointing where we would need to be for Kings.

The Student pages are copyrighted so you will need a book for each student. They are fun and illustrated and each student will want their own.

I also received the Advanced Teacher Key to help if I had any trouble with finding the answers with the kids. There were also additional questions and helps to make the study flow smoothly. 

Each lesson we would read through the scripture verses in our Bible that were suggested at the beginning of the lesson. The teacher guide also gives additional scriptures that we would look up.
There is a Wall Map you can purchase, as well as labels you can get to put on it. We just used our regular world map and would try to locate the lands mentioned to label. I can see the benefit of having a map that can be colored in thought and utilized for each lesson.
We also got a beginner time line, which has great visuals for my 3 year old to remember the stories she is learning. The advanced time line looks just as great. You will need wall space for this, which we didn't have. We just looked through them on the floor.

The Large Bible Book Summary Cards have one card per book of the Bible, so you can use these for each unit you study. They have visual reminders and prompts for you to remember what that book of the Bible contains.

There is also a CD of memory songs if that is something your kids work well with. Since mine were a bit older, I didn't think this would appeal to them.

I was thrilled when my son came home from church after they had used a new curriculum to find them using Bible Study Guide For All Ages! Not only great for homeschool families, but wonderful for youth groups too!

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Bible Study Guide For All Ages {Reviews}
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