Friday, November 19, 2010

The American Patriots Almanac by William Bennett and John Cribb

When this book arrived from Booksneeze I was very excited as I opened the package. I very carefully thumbed through the pages that were tattered on the edges that made it feel like I was reading a very old historical book(a nice touch I thought). This hardback book with a beautiful American eagle on the front cover with an American flag presented itself as a book that any patriotic American would want to read.
This book was written to be read daily for an entire year. It is set up as a passage marked with each month and day of the year. But of course you could read it at your leisure several passages at a time if you would prefer; and this would not affect the integrity of the book. Each daily reading has a summary of a historical person or event in America's history, including a timeline with dates and events that are a part of American history over the years that occurred on that particular day. Included in the book are wonderful historical illustrations and a reference for state flags, facts, and symbols.
This book would be a great asset to any history teacher or student. Being a homeschooler I plan to definitely use this book as a supplement to our American History studies. Or if you are just a history buff you would definitely enjoy this book.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Christmas Prayer by Amy Parker

This soft cover board book is a delightful change of pace from the usual Christmas books. One adorable child with Mom, Dad and baby sibling thank God for his/her gift of Christmas; naming each part of the nativity and their purpose .
The story is very easy to follow for any child; as it has a simple rhyming text. Each page ends with
"Thank You, God for ____, Your precious Christmas gift."
The child in the story collects his/her own toys and uses them to create his/her own nativity seen. Along the way describing what each parts contribution to this special Christmas gift was. Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, the manger, the star and more are included in the scene.
The illustrations are soft and inviting. Plus the use of actual childhood objects grab a child's attention; as they imagine the use of their own toys to make a nativity scene.
What a wonderful and imaginative way to explain the true gift of Christmas(Christ) and each person or thing that played a part in that Christmas long ago.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Max Lucado------One Hand, Two Hands

Yet again, another wonderful children's book by author Max Lucado. This book uses beautiful rhyming text to let kids know how they can help with their hands. Key words, describing how our hands are used, such as button, pray, wash dishes and scratching are highlighted in contrasting colors; allowing the reader to really focus on that word. I think by favorite might be "flop'em". The illustrations are just adorable in this book. Pictures are used of a young girl and her animal friends to illustrate the wonderful truth about using our hands to help others whether they be our pets, our family and friends, or God.While reading this to my own children; they actually tried to physically do what the little girl in the story was doing with her hands. The detailed fun pictures and rhyming text kept them engaged. I especially loved the truth this story implicated for any age; our hands should be used for helping and not hurting. My children and I were also able to contrast the ways of helping in this book with ways that don't help or ways that our hands can hurt others. At the end of the book Mr Lucado also had a few pages on how our hands can be helping, kind or loving hands. This book uses a wonderful story to illustrate a biblical and moral truth to children about their hands and how they are used. What a wonderful tool for a parent, teacher, or church worker to use; and create even more discussion on how we treat others.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

100 Prayers God loves to Hear 100 Praise Songs by Stephen Elkins

"God loves to Hear"...and he sure will enjoy the 100 prayers and praise songs packed into this 207 page book suitable for kids ages 2-7. There are 100 lessons on a multitude of spiritual topics. Each lessons consisit of a 2 page application with a prayer and bible verse or quote. Inluded are 2 cds filled with 100 praise songs that go along with each lesson; sung by kids.

What I like most about this book was the short application suitable for young and old; especially helpful for someone with multiple ages in their family. Each prayer was simple and engaging when I used it with my children. The illustrations were colorful and very child friendly.

I found the quality of the cd's to be a bit lacking. Although the song choices were great the sound was a little warbled and not as clear as I would have expected. Scripture quotations were taken from the Holy Bible New International version and the The New King James Version; so depending on your preference this could make a difference in your decision in purchasing.

Overall a great resources for families, homeschools, christians schools and churches.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Stay-at-Home Mom's Complete Guide to Playgroups by Carren Joye

Carren Joye author of "Homeschooling more than one child", wrote this fantastic book about playgroups. Not only will it guide you on how to start a playgroup, but also gives you help on all the ins and outs of maintaining one. Whether you are a looking for an existing playgroup or want to start one of your own; this book will give you the tools to make a successful playgroup for your child.
What I loved the most about this book was the fact that it was packed full of tangible activities and step by step instructions for playgroups. Joye even gives you advice on overcoming problems and including parent interactions. Did I mention there is a list of Internet resources in the back and examples of playgroup fliers to distribute. This book could serve as a guideline to multiple types of playgroups including young children, homeschooling, stay at home Dads and special needs.
So if you have been thinking about starting a playgroup in your area, pick up this book. It can be found at for $13.95.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Jesus You Can't Ignore by John MacArthur

"The Jesus you can't ignore" is the first book I have read by author John MacArthur. This book gives examples of how Jesus calls out the Pharisees and religious leaders over their practices and traditions. MacArthur explains how Jesus chastens the religious leaders over adding laws and how their actions were self-serving.

I liked the fact that the author went through the chronological life of Christ when giving examples of how Christ responded and interacted with the Pharisees and religious leaders. I also liked that the author stressed that Christ didn't confront them just to make people angry, but to stop people from turning away from God.

Being the first book I have read by this author, I did find this book a little wordy and would not consider this light reading. However, I did enjoy the content and I did learn from the principles. I found that the applications of this book could be missed without reading the prologue and epilogue.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Homeschooling More Than One Child by Carren W. Joye

Whether you are new to homeschooling or a veteran homeschooler this book would be one for your bookshelf. This book focuses on the challenges of homeschooling two or more children. Carren Joye author of A Stay-at-Home Mom's Complete Guide to Playgroups guides you through homeschooling more than one with everything from picking the right curriculum, schedules, support groups and much more. There are 14 chapters of endless information and resources; giving you the tools as a homeschooling parent to effectively teach your brood.
I have personally been homeschooling 4 for the past 6 years, and only wish I would have had this book as a resource for those beginning years. Maybe it would have saved me a little heartache and stress. Even after 6 years of homeschooling I found this book informative and helpful and plan to put several ideas to use with my own family. One of my favorite chapters was chapter 13 "staying motivated and preventing burnout "; great ideas for making learning fun and sharing special one on one time with each child. This book not only helps families homeschooling more than one child; but it is a great resource for organizing household chores, discipline, cutting expenses, and socialization opportunities.
Overall, a great book to have if you homeschool tiny tots or young adults. You can purchase your own copy at for only $14.95.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Max Lucado's Hermie and Friends Who is in Charge Anyway?

"An ocean can't start without the first drop of rain". This Hermie and Friends DVD is classic Max Lucado style. Freddie the flea has a talk with God when he decides he is too small to be important. God reminds him that all the other garden bugs were not strong and brave in their youth, but they did some growing up with God.
Kids of all ages will love the flashbacks of the bugs in their early years. Parents will love the spiritual applications that can remind their child that God didn't make anybody by accident, and that he isn't finished with us yet. The cartoon graphics and story line are engaging and will even produce a few laughs now and then from viewers. In addition to this the bonus materials included trivia questions, music singalong, and short film on how the Hermie and friends dvd series are created(which I found fascinating and laborious)
Once again a great Hermie and friends film and an important lesson in who is in charge of our lives. My family enjoyed watching this together and loved seeing some scenes from prior DVD series. Overall, a must have for all family video libraries

Friday, May 28, 2010

Homeschooling from a Biblical Worldview

Israel Wayne, marketing director for Wisdom's Gate, writer for Homeschool Digest, and a homeschool graduate; did an excellent job with Homeschooling from a Biblical Worldview. This book is all about "learning how to think biblically, and transmitting a Biblical World-view to your children. The book is divided up into 10 chapters covering things such as a Biblical Education, teaching core subjects biblically, socialization, common excuses to keep from homeschooling and more.
I must say I felt that Mr. Wayne more than proved his mothers ability to home educate her children(although this more than likely was not his goal). I felt he was very intellectual in his thought process in putting this book together, and he on more than one occasion thoroughly did his homework in research. Some of my favorite things he added where the quotes from famous and sometimes not so famous people in history and Biblical arenas.
I would recommend this book to anyone considering homeschooling and if you have homeschooled for years. I personally have homeschooled for over 6 years and was able to draw alot out of this book. Needless to say, I was definitely humbled and convicted by some of the things Mr. Wayne included in the keeping eternal perspective and the parent's right chapters. I had alot to think about after each paragraph and enjoyed sharing it with my husband and best friend who also homeschools.
The only negative thing would be the fact that Mr. Wayne could be so technical in his explanations, especially about philosophy, that at times, I had to reread a passage to truly understand what he meant. I am not saying he should have "dumbed" it down. But maybe could have explained it more in layman's terms or maybe not describe something at such a wordy length.
Overall, this book was a great read and I will leave you with one of my favorite passages.
"Christian parents should teach their children how to learn, and help them to take unbiased facts and develop heartfelt convictions from those facts. They should help their children know what to believe, why to believe it, and how to articulate those beliefs to their peers and society. That is a true education. Anything less is a waste of time."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

God's Promises for Boys

Jack Countryman and Amy Parker did a fantastic job putting this book together. This book is 127 pages long, but is broken down into short two page devotions for kids. Each devotion has a 4 line rhyming poem about the thought being presented. In my experience this is perfect for kids to remember a biblical truth and fun to say over and over again. In addition each devotion has 3 scripture verses printed out that support the biblical truth being presented. This book has wonderful illustrations that appeal to young boys and also has a gift page in the front so you can present this as a gift to your favorite little boy.
My boys really enjoyed this book and we repeated the rhymes several times. I also loved the fact that the verses were written out; so I could just read them directly instead of taking the time to look them up. I also liked that the book was small and could fit into a bag or purse so we could take it along with us. This book would be great for kids ages 2-8. Since the lessons were short my son with special needs was able to pay attention and glean from the Bible in a fun and meaningful way.
The only thing that could be a negative for some, is the fact that the verses were from the International Children's Bible. So, depending on what version you prefer could alter your decision in purchasing this book.
Overall, a great book to read as a biblical devotion to your kids and teach them Godly principles through a rhyme, bible verses and time spent together.