25.4.15

Scripture And A Snapshot


How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Psalm 119:103

     Thank you for joining Scripture & A Snapshot.  Leave a comment with a verse that God has placed on your heart this week, or leave a link to your own post sharing a Scripture and a Snapshot. Take time to visit  some of the other links, too. If you would like to join our group Pinterest board for Scripture & A Snapshot, simply follow the board then let me know your Pinterest name or email used there so that I can add you to it. 
Jennifer

Scripture and Snapshot




24.4.15

Season 2 of When Calls The Heart is Almost Here!

The following is a sponsored post and GIVEAWAY provided by Word Films.

We just got a sneak peek of season 2, and you won't want to miss it.

Are you familiar with the Hallmark original series, When Calls The Heart? If not, here’s a quick trailer…..

My girls and I have enjoyed watching each episode together, and they were excited about this opportunity. The movie length premier captured our attention as we watched Elizabeth Thatcher, Jack Thornton, and old and new characters kick off season 2. It premiers on the Hallmark Channel Saturday, April 25th.

The plot is engaging, and I won't share spoilers, so I'll focus instead on a few highlights of the show. Did you know there were motorcycles way back then? That even got my son's attention. Those of you familiar with Coal Valley will appreciate the changes there, too.  This series doesn't follow the book series as closely, but does have similarities.

The series launched last year and experienced an incredible response from viewers. The fan-base organically grew and started calling themselves #Hearties on social media. Today, they are a force of over 22 thousand!

About the series:
The series is inspired by Janette Oke’s bestselling book series about the Canadian West. “When Calls the Heart” tells the captivating story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a young teacher accustomed to her high society life, who receives her first classroom assignment in Coal Valley, a small coal mining town where life is simple, but often fraught with challenges. Lori Loughlin plays Abigail Stanton, a wife and mother whose husband, the foreman of the mine, along with a dozen other miners, has just been killed in an explosion. The newly widowed women find their faith is tested when they must go to work in the mines to keep a roof over their heads. Elizabeth charms most everyone in Coal Valley, except Constable Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) who believes Thatcher’s wealthy father has doomed the lawman’s career by insisting he be assigned in town to protect the shipping magnate’s daughter. Living in a turn of the century coal town, Elizabeth will have to learn the ways of the frontier if she wishes to thrive in the rural west on her own.

S O C I A L • C O R N E R




==============

Be sure to tune to the live premiere (April 25th) on Hallmark Channel — there will certainly be activity on Twitter amongst the hearties!


"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Jennifer




One of you will win a complete 10 DVD boxed set of Season 1!

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

23.4.15

The Virtual Refrigerator


Welcome to The Virtual Refrigerator.  The themes for April are EASTER and NATURE.

We have been exploring watercolors this month with our new ARTistic Pursuits book. I shared a review of it here



Our weekly blog hop is co-hosted by Every Bed of RosesHomeschool Coffee Break, and a Glimpse of our Life. Link up your art tutorials or projects that your children have been working on. Then pin the same to our virtual fridge by joining our group pinterest board, just ask any of us to add you. Join us at the blogs of any of the four bloggers who are hosting the Virtual Refrigerator. Link up, visit others who join us, try something new, then come back and share that, too. We want to see your child's masterpiece on our #VirtualFridge 
Jennifer


Click these links to visit the co-hosts' blogs.   
 Every Bed of Roses 





22.4.15

ARTistic Pursuits Color and Composition, A Schoolhouse Crew Review



Over the past seven years, ARTistic Pursuits by Brenda Ellis has become one of our favorite art curriculum resources. We now have all of the elementary, middle school, and high school books and one of the sculpture books. For this review, we explored watercolors with Elementary 4-5, Book 2: Color and Composition. Though written for 4th and 5th graders, my high school daughters and I also worked through these art instruction lessons with my 5th grade son. Before the book (pictured below) arrived, I ordered required supplies that were conveniently listed on the website including watercolor pencils, paint, brushes, eraser, metal pencil sharpener, sketch pad, and  watercolor paper. 



The spiral bound 92 page Color and Composition book is non-consumable. Each of the sixteen units are split into four lessons and recommended to be completed over two weeks, approximately two hours per week. We fit the reading, history, artist studies, and technique explanations into our road schooling component of our current crazy schedule, reading the lessons together in the van, then we sat together around the table for the hands-on parts. These books are written directly to the students to complete independently. I joined in for the fun of it. Lessons each include observations of techniques, a "visual vocabulary"; art appreciation and art history; techniques, and application. 

Full color reproductions are included on the appreciation/history pages with examples that relate to each unit's techniques. In addition to the pictures, biographies of the artists and brief historical accounts from the time period are shared. As new techniques are introduced, care of equipment is also shared in the lessons such as how to clean and store a paintbrush. 


painting with watercolor pencils

My daughter completed this butterfly the first day we worked on techniques from this book. Tips are shared explaining how to paint with water for a painted look after drawing with watercolor pencils. 




The strips in these pictures illustrate secondary and intermediate colors made by combining the original colors in the watercolor pencil set and then mixing them with water. 



After drawing, using the techniques with paintbrushes adds another dimension to the pictures.  



A soft touch with the paintbrush can soften lines and add depth to the pictures. 




My oldest daughter used some of the techniques she learned with watercolor pencils to design this wooden puzzle. 

I've previewed future lessons in this book and am looking forward to watching my childrens' artistic talents develop. Drawing human features and more complex shapes are taught and beautifully illustrated. Each of our ARTistic Pursuit books have become valued resources on our homeschool shelves, and I know this one will, too.



ARTistic Pursuits Book List:

The Way They See It (Preschool)
Early Elementary K-3, Book 1: Introduction to the Visual Arts
Early Elementary K-3, Book 2: Stories of Artists and Their Art
Early Elementary K-3, Book 3: Modern Painting and Sculpture
Elementary 4-5, Book 1: The Elements of Art and Composition
Elementary 4-5, Book 2: Color and Composition
Middle School 6-8, Book 1: The Elements of Art and Composition
Middle School 6-8, Book 2: Color and Composition
High School 9-12, Book 1: The Elements of Art and Composition
High School 9-12, Book 2: Color and Composition
Sculpture Technique: Construct (Ages 11-18)
Sculpture Technique: Model (Ages 11-18)


Members of the crew received different levels of this course. Click below to read about others. 

ARTistic Pursuits Review
Jennifer

21.4.15

gMovies Subscription Review

and GIVEAWAY!!!

The following is a promotional post for Propeller and gMovies. 


gMovies review

gMovies is a family friendly digital movie subscription with faith filled content, available around the clock.

Movies are accessible from your computer or mobile device with internet access. We accessed them through the iPad app and Apple TV through our living room television so the whole family could easily watch them together. 

Our family watches a lot of movies. We previously subscribed to a faith based satellite program. When it ended we changed to a standard family plan but cancelled after our contract ended as it didn't fit our definition of family friendly. Before our current g movies subscription began, our viewing was limited to DVDs. Now we have a huge selection from which to choose. 

I'm even comfortable letting the kids choose what they want to watch. When my youngest child chooses, I open the kid's section for him. He already enjoys listening to the Sugar Creek Gang audio books and was happy to find many of their movies. 

Last night we watched Bonhoeffer which was one of the recommended movies. Each time we open the app, a selection scrolls by of current recommendations. We can also search through the titles alphabetically or by category. Bonhoeffer was the first movie from this subscription that we watched that was fuzzy. Others have been as expected depending on the time period that they were made. 

Movies cross all genres and many time periods. You will surely find something for everyone in your family to enjoy. Check it out. In fact, you can even try it out for free! 




Why gMovies?
Join over 2 million people who are already enjoying gMovies on a monthly basis!
·  Instant access to over 300 hundreds Christian movies and TV shows with new titles added monthly
·  The whole family can enjoy a variety of entertainment including Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Drama, Documentaries, Thrillers and more
·  Stream from iPad, Android, or your PC
·  Only $4.99/month (obviously, for YOU it’s FREE)
·  No contract; cancel anytime
·  Powered by UP, American’s favorite TV network for uplifting entertainment 


gMovies offers instant access to almost 300 faith friendly feature films of every genre, in addition to animated stories, television series and biblical documentaries. Always available on your computer or mobile device, gMovies also includes the bible-based animated series “Pahappahooey Island;” teen drama “Much Ado About Middle School” starring Bill Cobbs, Lee Meriwether and Amanda Waters; and the “Left Behind” drama series starring Kirk Cameron and based on the New York Times bestselling books by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins.

gMovies is operated by UP, America’s favorite television channel for uplifting music and family entertainment, so rest assured that you are being offered the very best in faith conscious entertainment. The Parents Television Council™ has twice awarded its Entertainment Seal of Approval™ to UP for being “an authentic family-friendly cable network.” UP is the only television network to be so honored.

A two week trial is available for all of you! 
READER CODE for 2 Wk FREE Trial 
 enter code: FREETRIAL19

Our family was given a 6 month subscription and we get to give away a 6 month subscription to one of you! Enter here:


"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”
Jennifer

18.4.15

Scripture And A Snapshot


"Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds,and to be generous and willing to share.  In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life."

1 Timothy 6:18-19

     Thank you for joining Scripture & A Snapshot.  Leave a comment with a verse that God has placed on your heart this week, or leave a link to your own post sharing a Scripture and a Snapshot. Take time to visit  some of the other links, too. If you would like to join our group Pinterest board for Scripture & A Snapshot, simply follow the board then let me know your Pinterest name or email used there so that I can add you to it. 
Jennifer

Scripture and Snapshot

17.4.15

Orphs of the Woodlands~a Multifaceted Homeschool Crew Review

 

Every now and then our Schoolhouse Crew Reviews are a bit different than just the 4Rs. Orphs of the Woodlands by Star Toaster shared their online educational resource and game The Treasure of HighTower. It incorporates some typical subjects, but in a rather unusual and engaging way. We were given a promotional subscription. Regular subscriptions last for two months and are accessible for up to three children.

The game is presented as a story. As students read the story, vocabulary words are built into it naturally. They complete tasks (including math!) to earn "gold" coins which are used to purchase land or food and adopt "orphs" which they have to take care of by completing additional tasks. The goal as students progress is to rescue orphs. If the student doesn't care for their orphs, they disappear!

Math, science, art, language, vocabulary, thinking skills, life skills, and even character lessons are woven into the story. In fact, there are over 300 lessons in the 15 chapters of The Treasure of HighTower! Chapters did not have to be completed at once, though my daughter often tried to do so. My son read several pages at a time of the story, completing tasks as presented. Even videos were imbedded into the story as it unfolded. 

One of my son's favorite features was the interactive parts of the story. He was able to open letters, apply secret ink, and read hidden messages. He was motivated by the gold stars, too as he wanted to earn and be able to care for more and more orphs. 

Recipes are featured in the lessons. My son Joseph wanted to make the Nutty Nut Bread from chapter two as soon as he saw it, but we didn't have all of the ingredients on hand at the time. After making the necessary purchases, he was unable to go back to the second lesson to follow the recipe. A quick email to customer support provided me with instructions on how to access every recipe from my parent account. The parent account allows you to view lessons and click on various components to view student's progress. Recipes are shared in the life skills category.


Star Toaster even shared this recipe on their Facebook page, too. Click here if you'd like to try making it.


After one of the Schoolhouse Crew leaders shared that one of their older children was benefitting from using this program, I encouraged my ninth grader to give it a try. She shared about her experience: "I enjoyed Orph because it was like reading a story. In each chapter there are highlighted vocabulary words and simple math lessons. The story is very entertaining, so it keeps your attention the whole time. After you finish reading a chapter, you get to do some games/jobs. The games have information just like you read in the story. If you win one of the games, you earn golden stars to take care of your orphs. If you don't finish all of the jobs you won't have enough gold stars to care for your orph's. Compared with her younger brother, she worked through the story much quicker. Emily made the moon cookies pictured below.



Marlene Mesler, a homeschooling mom of six and one of the team members who created this program shared "A mother who gives her children a homeschool education gets a whole new education herself." In addition to the parent section and email support, we received progress reports in emails, too.

They are now offering a free trial! When you try this, don't be surprised if your child begins quoting Shakespeare or requesting cake a la mode!

Star Toaster Review
Jennifer



16.4.15

The Virtual Refrigerator


Welcome to The Virtual Refrigerator.  The themes for April are EASTER and NATURE.

Did you read about our puzzle art? We are getting ready to share our Cuts By Laser business at our local homeschool conference, and we have had fun trying out new things. This week--watercolors on wood. My son's picture is similar to the one he did on paper last week. 



Our weekly blog hop is co-hosted by Every Bed of RosesHomeschool Coffee Break, and a Glimpse of our Life. Link up your art tutorials or projects that your children have been working on. Then pin the same to our virtual fridge by joining our group pinterest board, just ask any of us to add you. Join us at the blogs of any of the four bloggers who are hosting the Virtual Refrigerator. Link up, visit others who join us, try something new, then come back and share that, too. We want to see your child's masterpiece on our #VirtualFridge 
Jennifer


Click these links to visit the co-hosts' blogs.   
 Every Bed of Roses 





Memoria Press New American Cursive, A Schoolhouse Crew Review

As an Occupational Therapist, I'm always curious about different penmanship programs. If you know me, my answer is almost always yes when someone asks if cursive writing is really necessary. For this review, my son used New American Cursive:  Penmanship Program Workbook 1 ($22.95) by Iris Hatfield. I was happy to discover that New American Cursive from Memoria Press teaches handwriting very similar to the way I write. It is sort of a combination of print and cursive which means you get the speed of cursive with more of the legibility of printed letters. Designed for 6-10 year olds, my son was at the top of the range that this workbook is recommended for. 


The  spiral bound workbook begins with an introduction which includes recommendations for beginning to teach cursive early (2nd or 3rd grade) rather than later for the best results. It also gives tips on how to hold a pencil. "How to use this book" advice includes recommendations to keep lessons 15-20 minutes (YES!) and to start music as the lessons begin. 

While my girls and I love music and would listen to it all the time, my son is actually more diligent with his work and able to concentrate in a very quiet environment. When I do add music and he isn't done with his lessons, he often asks if it can be turned off or he can go to a quieter part of the house.



Joseph worked on these lessons independently with occasional instructions from me to redo his work if he rushed to the point of sloppiness. Handwriting is not his favorite lesson, but he completed these with very little grumbling. 

The letters are presented in order from A to Z with both capital and lower case letters taught in each lesson. Lessons begin with a tracing task which showed the beginning point for each letter. Letters are simplified. They have a natural right slant and require fewer strokes than many other programs. I'm not a huge fan of tracing for the purpose of learning letter formation though it can be useful for other visual perceptual issues. Instead, I had him air write before writing each letter on the paper. I sat with him to make sure he was indeed forming each letter correctly. 

Handwriting training

Beyond the introductory pages there were few instructions provided. The page pictured above, for example is one of many titled "Fun Exercises and Artwork" but my very literal child didn't add artwork until I told him to as the page did not specify to do so. (The teaching guide did mention the free space could be either for art work or for trying out new letters.) 

The book layout is well designed. Each page has the spiral at the top, so when you turn the page you also turn the workbook around. 

My son is now about halfway finished with the workbook. I have noticed more attention to letter formation and an improvement in his legibility of cursive letters. 

The crew will be reviewing more from Memoria Press soon.
Memoria Press Review

Jennifer