Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Highly Recommended Book for Boys

My son, who turned 12 this year is in that in between time of still being a boy yet wanting to be considered a man. As a mother, it is impossible for me absolutely know what he is going through and to understand all the emotions that are just under the skin because I am a woman and have never felt all that he has. His father helps to guide his way when he is home from work and His Heavenly Father is helping to guide his path as well. For personal devotions, it was harder for me to find the right Scriptures and correct words to help him study it out further. I researched out devotion books for boys and decided to purchase a few so that I may read them to make sure they were doctrinally sound, age appropriate, and interesting for my son.

I found all of those things and more in the book "Boyhood and Beyond" by Bob Shultz. It is a book that covers a myriad of subjects pertinent to a well rounded young man. He gives great anecdotes, personal stories, and Scriptures that your son can understand and identify with. Mr. Shultz has done more than I can do with certain subjects, because I really just don't understand all the thoughts, actions, and emotions of men but he does.

I have to highly, highly recommend this book to any pre-teen, teen, or young man out there! I think this book can be read from 8 years of age to 20. As I read it with my son, the Lord speaks to my heart about the awesome responsibility on me to help mold this precious creature. He reminds me that most of these lessons can be adapted for me and that I need to do better in many of these areas as well!
Here is a list of the Chapter Titles in BOYHOOD AND BEYOND:
A Grand Book-(appreciating the Master's world and nature)
Admit It
One Degree at a Time-(how change takes time)
A Man
Be of Good Cheer
Education for Life
Forgiveness and Dirty Diapers
Get Up Again
Where Do I Belong?
Mr. Industry vs. Mr. Sloth
Learn to Like It!
Life is Doing
Meeting God in the Morning
No Rest Without Work
Overcoming Fear
Preparing for a Wife
The Best Book
The Morning Watch
The Value of an Old Man
A Time to Kill
Preparing for Your Children

These all being listed, please note that Mr. Shultz always writes in an appropriate manner. Sensitive subjects will be covered but they are done in a way that is never offensive or questionable! He also has Practical Happiness: A Young Man's Guide to a Contented Life and Created for Work available for you to read. Both are on the list to be used as Bible Devotions through the 2010-2011 school year. You can find these on Amazon at very reasonable prices even though what you will be getting by reading them is priceless!
If you've read this book, we would love to hear what you think about it! Post a comment!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Review of MamaRoo Baby Seat - Pink

Originally submitted at Toys R Us

Weve never seen a parent vibrate their child like a bouncy seat and hardly seen one swing a baby around like a swing. But, weve seen thousands of parents scoop their little ones up in their arms and bounce and sway. And thats what the MamaRoo does. It moves like you do. Some seats claim two motions...

Awesome product!

By Mom of 3 from Morgantown, WV on 8/12/2010


5out of 5

Pros: Comfortable, Stylish, Strong Construction, Easy Use

Cons: Heavy

Best Uses: Newborn, Infants, Daily Use

Describe Yourself: Parent of Two or More Children

This is one of the greatest pieces of baby equipment ever created! I use this in place of all the other things like bouncy seats, swings, etc. With 5 different types of movements, you are sure to find one or more that soothes your child. The nature sounds and mp3 jack is an added bonus. I have put classical baby music on my mp3 player and plugged it into the mamaRoo to play.
My daughter has been in her mamaRoo since the day she was born. I did however did have to put a Snuggin Go support system in there until she was old enough to lay by herself. She takes her daily naps in it and it has been a life saver for my arms.
It is a little heavy and not something you are going to want to move around the house. That is the only downside. It plugs into the wall and you don't have to worry about batteries dying. One of the best features is that the seat zips off and can go in the washing machine. I have had to do this and the seat washes up great, retains it's shape, and looks like new.
I would highly recommend this product to anyone having a baby. Yes, it's a little expensive but you will get lots of use out of it.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

100 Prayers God Loves to Hear

I ordered this book with my two year old grandson in mind. I was very surprised to see the content is for much older students. I believe this book would be good for lower to upper elementary. I do love the music CD's that came with the book filled with 100 songs of praise, some from my childhood and some newer songs. These will be perfect for my Ethan who loves music.
Every prayer has a title and a little devotional with it. There is a lovely little prayer in a colored box in the center of each page. On the opposite page has a colored and relating picture to the devotional. At the bottom of that page is a quote about prayer.
My ideas to use this book in schooling with children would be to use the quotes and prayers as copywork, the music as a music session, and the devotional for a Bible class. You really have three classes combined in this one book.
It really is a lovely little book that I found myself just sitting and reading it like a story book. Some of the prayers are longer and I was considering memorizing them myself and saying this beautiful prayer at just the right time. But instead I have decided to add prayers to cards, notes, and emails I send to friends. My memorizing skills are rusty!
If your children are too young to read, this book is still a great resource for you, mom! Subjects cover putting down your toys to think about God to family prayers, an evening prayer, prayer for thanking God for little things, and many prayers of people in the Bible.
The table of contents lists the prayer and the praise song that goes with that prayer. With 100 lessons in this book, you have quite a lovely devotional for your little ones.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Curriculum choices for this year

Not Back to School Blog Hop I am participating in the Not Back to School Blog Hop hosted by Heart of the Matter. This is Curriculum Week so I am sharing my choices for this year. I hope some of what I am listing will be a help to others.

I love to plan for school! Perhaps it's because I am a former public school educator and teaching is in my blood, but it's my favorite thing to do. As soon as school ends, I get the itch to start planning for the next year. I love school materials too! This makes it very difficult to narrow down what I am going to use but it does help to focus on my son's learning styles and look for products that will work best for "him" and not what I am drawn to. My guy is very active and needs hands-on and exciting materials. Textbook learning does not work for him. This type of learning style is hard to cater to when your are a textbook learner yourself. Also, there is a lot of curriculum out there that says it's for the hands-on learner and it does not work with my son.

Here is what I have chosen for this year:

Math: Teaching Textbooks What I love about this program is that it is on the computer and was created specifically for homeschoolers. All lessons are introduced with a lecture that is explained very well with examples given. The screen is not visually overwhelming and the text is large so it stands out. As concepts are explained, the text is highlighted so the student can follow along. There are practice questions given that review previously learned material. During the lesson, when an answer is correct, an animal (in our case it was a mouse) climbs towards the top of the screen and eventually makes it to the top for a reward. My son loved this! There is also a bonus round where he can earn extra points to make up for some of the missed problems. Tests are also given at the end of each unit.
We have been very pleased with this program so far. My only warning would be that it seems to be a little behind in grade level compared to some other curriculums out there but if you just read the scope and sequence for the year, you can easily find the level that's appropriate for your child.

Reading: Stevenson Learning Skills I can't say enough good things about this curriculum! My son has dyslexia and it has done wonders for him. There are many programs out there that are very expensive but this one is reasonable and has brought him up to grade level or close to it. A mnemonic approach is used to attach a visual picture and story to vowel patterns to make them more memorable. It has been quite effective in helping my son to remember phonetic patterns he couldn't grasp before.
The Learning to Read Program I will be reviewing this program this year so I can't say much about it yet. It does have a lot of potential though. This program focuses on the little sight words that have no meaning and cause a dyslexic to stumble when he comes across one. It gives meaning to the words so there is something to visualize when reading. I have high hopes for this program and hope I am not let down.

English: Hands-On English with Linking Blocks This is an awesome English program! What my son could remember after a few months of doing this was amazing. We have spent several years doing English with Easy Grammar (which he didn't mind doing) but still couldn't even remember what a noun was. Within a few months of using this, he could not only name several parts of speech, but he could locate them in a sentence as well! The linking blocks bring this very abstract concepts home for hands-on learners and make it very concrete and easy to remember. All parts of speech are color coded and have songs that go along with them to help remember their function in a sentence. This program only goes over the basics in English and you would need another program eventually but it does a great job of laying the foundation.
English Grammar Revolution This is something I am still considering. I am a firm believer that diagramming sentences really breaks sentence structure down into easy to understand parts. I taught diagramming to my students when I taught school and they always loved it. My son loves sports and bracketology so this is kind of bringing both worlds together. He can do his English on "brackets" so to speak.

Science: The Young Scientists Club These are complete science kits that are mailed to your door either once or twice a month. They contain everything you need to complete the experiments other than a few minor household items. This could be considered an actual curriculum because each kits lays the ground work for the next one. You can start the subscription at any kit you want and can cancel any time. My son loves to do science experiments but I don't do well gathering the materials so it is worth it to me to pay a little extra to have the leg work done for me.

History: Drive Thru History Series We have been studying American history and Drive Thru History now has an American series. These are DVDs which literally drive you through history. Dave Stotts, who does the videos, is hilarious and just the kind of humor we appreciate. He stops at many different historical sites and teaches about what took place there or the important figures during that time. It's kind of fast paced and I'm not sure you could call it a curriculum (probably more like a supplement) but for my son, he will pick up way more with these than with an in depth curriculum. There are discussion questions that go along with these, as well as an answer key. We will probably read chapter books as well.

Bible: This is still up in the air.

Writing: Getty-Dubay Italic Handwriting Series We used this last year and will continue with it this year. This is a simple program that transitions from print to italics very easily. If you have a child who struggles with handwriting but you want him to be able to use a form of cursive writing, this is a nice program.

Supplemental Materials: Fortunately For You Books I love to use our company's materials as much as possible because they are created with children like my son in mind. He always tells me how much he enjoys the activities from our products. I like to pull different ones from our Remember Me Pockets monthly books or use our Pockets of Time reading comprehension tool to go along with a chapter book we are reading. We also really enjoy the Mini Lapbooks, as my son is not a fan of the big regular lapbooks that require a lot of writing.

Organizational System: Sue Patrick's Workbox System This system has transformed our school day and my son's outlook on it as well. He can see how much work is left and is much more motivated to get it done. He also has become more independent because of it. Workboxes have helped me to be better prepared for each week and we don't have to run around looking for materials in between each subject. Yes, there was some work involved in getting it all set up, but once it was, it made my life much easier. Even filling the boxes each night only takes me a few minutes. I would highly recommend this system to anyone! And if you don't have a lot of space, there are yahoo workbox groups with people who have tons of suggestions for that.

So there you have it. Those are my choices so far for this new school year.