Home Education~Ministry Moments~Hearth and Home

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

TOS Review~~~Doorposts: Because You Are Strong

     Good in-depth Bible studies are hard to find.  They are even harder to find for teenage boys.  That is why I was thrilled to get a chance to review (and my son to get to read) a wonderful Bible Study for young men published by DoorpostsBecause You Are Strong

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     Because You Are Strong is an approximately 15 week study on Godly Strength for young men.  This is so much more than your typical "daily devotional."  Your son will really study the Bible.  I asked my son if he is enjoying the study.  He said, "Oh, yeah!"  I asked him why.  He told me it was the Bible study tools he is learning to use.  These tools (and skills) will help him with Bible studies throughout his whole life. 
     This Bible study contains 10 studies, with 5 days in each study.  Each study takes anywhere from 5-20 minutes.  Studies cover things like: meditating on a certain passage, topical studies, character studies, word studies, verse studies and more. (With all studies focusing on Godly strength.)  There are additional "For further study" ideas given at the end of each chapter.  This could extend the study for as much as a year.  (My son plans to do these at the end of the 10 studies.)  This book is written with young men in mind, but young ladies would also benefit from this study.  There are alternate questions for young ladies in the back of the book. 

My Preacher Husband had most of the Bible Study tools needed, but we purchased some Bible Hi-lighters and the Nave's Topical Bible to help our son complete this study. 

 Cost of Product:
This Bible Study typically sells for  $14....but is now on sale for $12*
See for yourself!
Suggested Age Range:
This study is suggested for ages 10 and up. 
 (It seems perfect for my 15-year-old.)
A few last thoughts...
     My son and I tried to think of anything we didn't like about this study.  The only "negative" we could come up with was that in order to get the full benefit from this study, you do need to purchase/borrow/find online some Bible study tools.  (Nave's Topical Bible, Bible Atlas, Strong's Concordance, etc.)  But...we decided that this is actually a positive, since this gets you headed in the right direction of  having these Bible study tools to use for the rest of your life. 
     The biggest thing for me was to see my son really enjoying studying the Word!  I loved "treating" him to new HI-lighters and a Nave's Topical Bible.  I really loved seeing him use them.  I know he has enjoyed sharing with his preacher-dad how much he is learning!  (And I know his preacher-dad loves it when his oldest son asks, "Dad, can I use your concordance?") 

*All prices were correct at the time this review was posted.  Prices are subject to change.

Preschool Sunday School: People Prayed for Peter (Acts 12: 1-17)

Boys and girls spent a good bit of our Sunday School hour decorating Post-it notes and sticking them to our door.  We talked about how Peter knocked on the door of the house where his friends were praying for him.

Our colorful, decorated door! 
Working the "Bible Times House" puzzle.  Peter's friends were in the house praying for him while he was in prison.
Pray for each other.  James  5:16

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Temptation to say "No"

     Two weeks ago I started something new.  I began helping out with our youth on Wednesdays by leading a small group for the Jr. High girls.  I love it.  Week before last the lesson was on temptation.  Our conversation during small group got me to thinking more on the subject.
     When you think about being tempted, what comes to mind?  For most, I think it's the temptation to do things.  We're tempted to say, "yes" to more chocolate, "yes" to a movie we have no business watching, "yes" to gossiping with our friends, "yes" to peer pressure, "yes" to our fleshly desires, "yes" to signing up for non-stop activities when we know it will eat away at our home life...
     As I pondered the whole idea of temptation, I tried to think about my own life and the lives of other Christians.  I think we many times allow ourselves to be deceived into thinking that we really don't struggle with temptation.  We are good, church-going Christians after all.   We lie to ourselves, "It's not like we're giving into those really sinful temptations.  I'm okay."
     BUT...consider with me for a moment another kind of temptation.  One I had not really thought about until I did some pondering last week.  The temptation to not do things.  How often are we tempted to say "No" to reading our Bible?  "No" to witnessing to someone when the Holy Spirit  prompts us?  "No" to giving of our time and energy for others when we don't feel like it?   "No" to church attendance?  "No" to praying for longer than 30 seconds?  "No" to writing a note or making a phone call to someone who needs it? 
     Just something to think about.  Whatever our temptation...whether we are tempted to say "yes" or to say "no," let's remember: "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.  The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."  (Matthew 26:41)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

TOS Review: Notgrass Company~~~ Draw to Learn Proverbs

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     As Christian parents, we want our children to read the Bible.  Actually, we want them to want to read the Bible.  I think many of us feel a tug--we might not feel comfortable making our kids read God's Word, but we don't want to leave it totally up to them either.  I found that the Draw to Learn Proverbs devotional from the Draw to Learn series by the Notgrass Company helped me strike that balance with my youngest child. 

 What is Draw to Learn?
     Draw to Learn is a Bible and Art Devotional series.  Notgrass has published 5: Draw to Learn Proverbs, Draw to Learn Psalms, Draw to Learn the Letters of Paul, Draw to Learn Acts and Draw to Learn the Life of Jesus.  Each spiral bound book contains 150 lessons. (Designed to coincide with the approximate number of days in the homeschool year--with some wiggle room for flexibility.)  Each day, there is a passage to read from the Bible.  There are instructions to follow as to what picture to draw in the blank frame on the page.  The drawing process helps with two things: It allows your child to practice his/her creativity and it helps them to solidify what they have just read from God's Word. 
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Our experience:
     We are using Draw to Learn Proverbs with our 12-year-old son this year.  I thought that this particular devotional series would be perfect since he loves art.  He has really enjoyed it.   I'm thrilled because I know it is helping him to hide God's Word in his heart!

First Step: Read the passage.  Sometimes there is just a few verses, sometimes more.  By the time my son finishes the book, he would have read the entire book of Proverbs.  I like that! 
 Second step: Think about what to draw.
 Third step: Draw! 
Here are some pages from my son's book:
(There are just a few pages similar to this first one; most are totally blank.)
My all time favorite!  (So funny to see how your child "sees" you!!) 

Age Range:
Draw to Learn is for all ages.  For independent work, obviously your child would need to know how to read the Bible and follow written directions.  Younger kids who are not yet reading could get help with the Bible passage.  Another option would be to do this as a family. 
Cost of Product:
$14.95 each for the consumable books
Ebooks are available for $9.95 each   
A few other notes:
*Notgrass gives guidance at the beginning of the book.  They tell you what supplies to collect, give tips on drawing and give suggestions on how to expand the study.  That was all very helpful information.
*I think this devotional series is best suited for those who already love to draw.  If you are using it with a "reluctant artist,"  I'd probably first take them to the art store and let them help choose some nice art pencils for motivation.
*The authors of the book are Ray and Charlene Notgrass.  They were homeschoolers for 20 years and now develop homeschool curriculum through their family busisness.
 Other Products from Notgrass:
Exploring America (Which my oldest started using last week and loves it!)
Celebrate Series (Thanksgiving and Christmas)


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Preschool Sunday School~~~A Church Helped

This past Sunday we learned about how the church in Antioch helped the church in Jerusalem when there was a famine.  They showed love by sending money and food. 
Dramatic Play Center: Grocery Store

We pretended to purchase food for hungry/needy people.  The boys and girls had fun delivering their packages. 

Tracing the Bible Verse.  I used a highlighter and the boys and girls used washable markers to trace.  They seemed to really enjoy this activity...I think because for most of them school was starting the next day.

Puzzle Center.  Matching game:  "Showing Love"
 Making a snack.  We did this as an all-together activity as part of group time.  As you can imagine, the boys and girls loved it! Each child got a bag to eat and a bag to share.
"Give to others."   Nehemiah 8:10

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Back-to-Homeschool (Why We Only take a 6 week Summer)

 I've noticed there are lots of homeschoolers starting back this week.  I wonder why that is?  I know for us, it's really our first opportunity now that VBS, summer camps, celebrating 3 birthdays, etc. are now marked off the calendar.  (And we enjoyed it all so much!)
     This year, we took a 6 week summer vacation.  Some might think, "Why are you starting so early, why are you doing that to your kids?"  I'm doing us a favor, and I'm being kind the future me.  There will be a time in October when we all want to go see the leaves in the mountains or a week when it seems we are packed with dentist appointments, club meetings, soccer practice and church activities.  I will not be stressed out that we are missing "school days" because we began early, and have some wiggle room.
     I also keep our summer vacations shorter than the traditional break because I think it helps prevent "brain drain".  It keeps us from having to do lots of  review.  We can just get right to it--giving us more time for learning new concepts right away.
     It's also just time.  I can feel it. Everyone gets a bit restless.  (Including mom!)  It feels good to be back in a routine and on the road to completing our 170 days of "school".  (And getting all those neurons firing again!)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Preschool Sunday School: Paul and Barnabus Told About Jesus

Boys and girls built boats in the Block Center.  Paul and Barnabus sometimes traveled by boat to tell others about Jesus.  (The blue sheet is the water.)

We played a magnet game.  It was fun putting people all around the town.  There are lots of places we can go to tell others about Jesus!

Working Jesus puzzles. 

Tell others about Jesus.  Mark 16:15