Thursday, October 30, 2014

Jim Hodges Productions: Captain Bayley's Heir: (1850s) A Tale of the California Gold Mines {A Review}

Jim Hodges Productions sent us Captain Bayley's Heir: (1850s) A Tale of the California Gold Mines MP3 Audio CD ($25.00) and Captain Bayley's Heir: (1850s) A Tale of the California Gold Mines PDF Study Guide ($12.00) for ages 10 and up.

First Thoughts
Before this review, I had only come across one title from G.A. Henty (The Cat of Bubastes: (BC 1250) A Story of Ancient Egypt). I put it on our reading list, but we have never got to it. So I was interested to find out there were so many great titles by G.A. Henty. Henty, like so many storyteller writers before him, would tell stories to his children and then was encouraged to write them down. We were excited to get started listening to Captain Bayley's Heir.

About the Book
G.A. Henty begins his story of Captain Bayley's Heir in England with a boy named Frank Norris being accused of theft. When he can't prove he is innocent, he leaves for America heading out to California's gold fields. Many adventures befall him on the way, making this a great story for describing America in the 1850's. Each of Henty's books share an excellent example of noble character. 

About the CD
Captain Bayley's Heir CD is an unabridged narration by Jim Hodges and in audio MP3 format. It has a running time of 10 hours and 30 minutes. Each chapter is on average 28 minutes with the shortest just over 22 minutes and the longest just over 44 minutes. 

About the Study Guide
For each chapter of the book, there is a list of vocabulary on a chart to complete, a list of five questions, and 2-3 activities. The vocabulary are listed in the order they occur in the chapter. The questions include who, what, where, why, which, how, and a few that ask for description, explanation, and opinion. At the end of 5 chapters, there is a quiz.  And there are answer keys for the questions in each section and the quizzes.

The activities include: 
  • researching and role play (being a reporter); 
  • writing reports, point of view, lists, a diary entry, a review, and a creative story;  
  • creating a book jacket, board game, fact sheet, how-to guide, poster, brochure, newspaper, and stamps
  • completing vocabulary activities, charts, comparisons, a word map, and jargon definitions;
  • mapping; 
  • drawing and illustration; 
  • graphing; 
  • reading mythology; 
  • watching videos; 
  • using reasoning, critical thinking, technology and primary sources (pictures, drawings, documents).

How we Used it
We printed off a copy of Captian Bayley's Heir and the study guide, hole-punched them, and put them in a binder.

Ceesa listened to the chapters one at a time, until the story was through. After each chapter, Ceesa would work on parts of the study guide or I would have her write a narration.

Ceesa says, "I like how it is written and how it is based on the lives of two characters. It is nice being able to sit down and relax, while I listen to the story begin read.

The activities were her favorite part of the study guide. Especially the ones that allowed her to create her own items.

She made a brochure,

a stamp,

and a book jacket.

More to Choose From
If you love G.A. Henty novels, you'll want to see Jim Hodges complete list of Audiobooks:
Henty Short Stories Collection
The Cat of Bubastes: (BC 1250) A Story of Ancient Egypt
The Young Carthaginian: (BC 218) A Story of the Times of Hannibal
Beric The Briton: (AD 62) A Story of the Roman Invasion
For the Temple: (AD 70) A Tale of the Fall of Jerusalem
The Dragon & The Raven: (870-901)The Days of King Alfred and the Viking Invasion
Wulf the Saxon: (1066) A Story of the Norman Conquest
Winning His Spurs: (1188-1192) A Tale of the Crusades
In Freedom's Cause: (1296-1314) A Story of Wallace and Bruce
A March on London: (1381) Wat Tyler and the Peasant Rebellion
A Knight of the White Cross: (1470-1480)A Tale of the Seige of Rhodes
By Right of Conquest: (1521) With Cortez in Mexico
St. Bartholomew's Eve (1572) A Tale of the Religious Wars in France
Under Drake's Flag: (1580) A Tale of the Spanish Main
When London Burned: (1600s) A Tale of the Plague and the Great Fire
With Wolfe in Canada: (1756-1763) A Tale of the French & Indian War
True to the Old Flag: (1774-1781) A Tale of the American War of Independence
In the Reign of Terror: (1789-1799) An English Lad in the French Revolution
Captain Bayley's Heir: (1850s) A Tale of the California Gold Mines
Out on the Pampas: (1850s) A Tale of Young Settlers in Argentina
In the Heart of the Rockies: (1860s) A Story of Adventure in Colorado
With Lee in Virginia: (1861-1865) A Tale of the Civil War

Wishing you homeschool blessings,

Click here to read more reviews from Schoolhouse Review Crew.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

God Came Near: Church Edition DVD {A Review and Giveaway}

 I received a free copy of God Came Near: Church Edition
DVD from Family Christian in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Yesterday, I went down an aisle of the local department store. There were wreaths of green, trees decorated with twinkling lights, wrapping paper sparkling with reds, silvers, and golds, tinsel shimmering, and dazzling ornaments, large and small. 

I stared wide eyed in disbelief. Wow! It is October!

The department store Christmas, the commercial Christmas certainly comes early. Does the stress, high blood pressure, family tension, disappointment, depression, hassle, heartache, and loneliness all start in the autumn with the aisles in the store? Or is that just the start to lead up to the final let down?

This isn’t how it is supposed to be. The miracle of the birth is not found in the department store, in gifts under the tree, in a Christmas of rush and worry. How did we get here? With this watered down image of extraordinary? We’ve lost the beauty and the miracle that blesses us in the depths of darkness, in bleak winter.

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” John 14:27

God Came Near is a DVD narrated by Max Lucado (one of my absolute favorite authors!) with reenactments, prayers, stories, and scriptures all capturing the hope, light, love, joy, and peace of the advent season. A time of wonder, a time of hope and joy. It's a love story. The greatest love story. 

Jesus became a man, a babe. For you, for me. All because of love. 

And this is why Jesus came as he did. He came as a normal guy with a common name to live an ordinary life. He came to be your friend, your comforter, your brother. He came to sit by your side, draw you close, and whisper, ‘I know. I understand. I’m here.’"

Amazing. My God sent his love in the most perfect, amazing way. All for love.

Each DVD from the Church Edition has six 28 minute episodes that tell about the birth of the Christ child, the traveling wise men, the shepherds, the history of Saint Nicholas, and more. The DVD contains a discussion guide/devotional book.

The discussion guide/devotional book contains an introduction, key scripture, discussion questions, hymns, and discussion or each of the episodes.

I received a 10 DVD set with six episodes to pass out to church family. What a tremendous blessing! A lovely gift to pass out to those that God has brought into my life to breathe the same air I breathe, to encourage and support one another.  You can find the God Came Near: Church Edition for the families in your congregation here.

God is near in the advent season, and in this very moment. 
You can get your own copy of all the episodes from the DVD God Came Near here.

Want more? Max Lucado has written a book called God Came Near as well!

I'm so excited to share these 6 episodes with my kiddoes during the advent season. We'll start in the weeks before Christmas, in the advent. Watching and studying along with the study guide/devotional book.

Family Christian has generously offered to giveaway a $25.00 Appreciation Certificate for our readers for free (for US residents).

The winner will be randomly picked by Rafflecopter and will be notified by Bethany from Little Homeschool Blessings via email and posted here. Entrants must be 18 years or older and reside within the United States. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook,Twitter, Pinterest or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The prize will be issued by Family Christian. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the Rafflecopter terms & conditions.

Wishing you homeschool blessings,

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Clued in Kids Treasure Hunt {A Review}

Clued in Kids sent us two printable treasure hunts, Thanksgiving Treasure Hunt ($5.99) recommended for ages 4-104 :) and Multiplication Dragons ($19.99 on sale now) recommended for ages 7-9. 

First Thoughts

Now let me start by saying, anything that we do, that I get a... "You're the best Mommy ever!" is a winner in my book. So I can say without a doubt Clued in Kids was a hit. And what kid doesn't like a good scavenger hunt? 

There are lots of options to choose from in printable and physical copies:
Party Play Date Hunts
Seasonal Hunts
Nutrition Hunts
Educational Hunts
Greeting Card Hunts

About the Treasure Hunts
The printable treasure hunts are super easy to print off and set up. Total prep time is 10-15 minutes. After they are printed, cut in half, label, and hide.

I printed ours in different ways: full color, black and white, as 2 to a page, and as 4 on a page. We found, of course, that the nicest version was as provided in full color with 2 on a page. 

The clues are perfect for families because there are different difficulty levels for each clue. Some of them involved complex answers (like solving multiple problems), others involved movement (fly around the room three times).There is a space where you can put names on the clues, so that everyone gets a clue that they can complete. 

Each set includes 12 clues leading to ordinary things in and around the house...hairbrush, freezer, pantry, desk, etc. A couple of things like the mail box and bikes could also be located in a garage or on the front porch. Our mail box is at the end of our long driveway so I made some modifications for it and the bikes (our bikes are in a shed), since I wanted it to be confined to the indoors.

Some things that make these hunts super simple are:
~everything is done for creating riddles yourself
~directions are provided at the beginning of every hunt
~where to hide the clue is written at the bottom of the clue itself
~an answer key is provided, so if the kids get stumped you can guide them to where the next clue is hidden

Multiplication Dragon Treasure Hunts  
Dragons giving math challenges? How fun! This set includes 5 separate hunts. One hunt is provided for each of the math times tables 2-6. Pattern activities, story problems, riddles, decoding messages, dares, crosswords (with the written number words), multiplication problems, mazes, reverse mirror images, hidden pictures, and more are provided.

Thanksgiving Treasure Hunt
The Thanksgiving Treasure Hunt uses the theme for the clues including: hidden picture, crossword, fill in the blank, dare, riddle, and jokes. In addition there are math keys, a word scramble, mirror image, and hidden word clues.

Our prizes included coins, candies, a movie, making cookies, doing a craft, and playing a game. You could come up with nearly endless possibilities for your kids.

Although we provided our own prizes, Clued in Kids has a treasure chest filled with treasure that you can purchase as well.

What the Kids have to Say
Li says, "I like finding the treasures and looking for the clues."

Ceesa says, "I liked how we could all do things at our age level, spending time with my family, and getting the prizes."

Jo-Jo says, "Awesome! I liked how the clues were hidden in weird in the bath tub and with socks. I liked the prizes because they were fun, especially the candy, money, and brownies. We'd be so excited to see who was getting the next clue."

Wishing you homeschool blessings,

Click here to read more reviews from Schoolhouse Review Crew.

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