Pursued to Eternity – A Book Review

I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

Books take you on adventures. You can travel to different worlds within the words of a book. Pursued to Eternity by John Riley is a book that takes you from the days of the dinosaurs to the eternity God has for us.

For this review, I got a paperback copy of the book. There are 17 chapters and about 150 pages. Pursued to Eternity is John Riley’s first book. He also has an Apologetics Creation vs. Evolution course available on SchoolhouseTeachers.com.

While the actual storyline of Pursued to Eternity is fictional, the challenges of evolution in our world and the survey of apologetics and bible verses are true. This book will take you on an adventure that you will not soon forget.

We first meet two brothers at the beginning of the book, 1 Christian and 1 Atheist. We see how they have some family issues when they get together, as one could imagine. But, as soon as we meet them, we are taken back into time.

We get to meet two families alive during the time of the Hebrews and Moses. We see that even during this most difficult of times, people were listening and learning and turning their hearts to the one true God.

Back to the present and the two brothers we first met. The Christian brother is a science teacher at a local high school where evolution is taught and not to be argued or discussed beyond what the lesson plans say. Some of the students were not happy about this and started discussions off of school grounds.

These discussions lead to a website built by the students without any help from the teacher. Sixty-eight questions about Creation vs. Evolution were on the website. These questions… were great! Not only do these questions question evolution, but they question why some may not ask more about evolution. How blunt can you be when you ask, “Are some scientists hesitant to criticize evolution because they may face demotion or job loss?”

As life goes on, both brothers end up working together in Egypt. During this time, we see that God is pursuing the atheist. God seeks to pursue all of us; we just need to open our hearts to see that. While in Egypt, we see the past connected with the present in an extraordinary way. I don’t want to give it away to you.

There are deaths, there is money, and there is God. And the pursuit of the atheist in this book was a victory for God.

I could tell you the whole story; it was that good. But if I did that, why would you need to grab your own copy? And I think you need your own copy. I loved that this book, while fictional, was also very real. These are topics and challenges that are faced every day all around the world. I could relate to many of these challenges, as I have encountered them as a Christian. I feel more prepared to defend the Bible and my belief in the one true God after reading this book.

I wasn’t the only one who read this book. Check out 24 other reviews right here.
Pursued to Eternity by John Riley

One More Story – A Review

I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

 

Grab your favorite snack, a comfy blanket, and go to your reading spot. That is what I have told Baby Girl during quiet time. With One More Story on her iPad, Baby Girl can listen to stories being read to her while I get some school done with the big kids.

What Is It

For this review, we got a one-year subscription to the online One More Story. This program is for use on computers, with Chrome and Safari being the recommended platforms. You can also use it on the iOS system with the app.

One More Story currently has 80+ books on there, with more being added. All of these books are picture books, and as your child listens or reads, they can also see the pictures from the books. The books are not just any old books. They are quality books, like Crow Boy, The Snowy Day, and Stellaluna.

One More Story offers two ways for your child to read the books. They can read the book themself, or have the book read to them. If your child is reading the book themselves, they can touch the words they don’t know, and the words will be read to them. These words will also be added to the word list. 

The word list is a spot where your child can practice the words they do not know until they can read them. Your child can also go and find vocabulary words for each book. These will be the challenging words with definitions. These vocabulary words will help your child grow a more extensive vocabulary for every day.

There is also a Parent’s Place in One More Story. In this section, I can see what books Baby Girl has read during the week. I can also see if she has any words on her word list if she was reading independently.

How We Used It

I logged in on my computer and played around on the site a little before introducing it to Baby Girl. Once I knew more about the program, I downloaded the app on our iPad. I sat down with Baby Girl and showed her all about it. She was excited to get started on it.

Since Baby Girl is not reading independently yet, I would have her use this as her quiet time activity. When the big kids need my attention on their school, and I don’t want Baby Girl sitting in front of a screen mindlessly, I have her pick a book to listen to. 

One More Story was also an excellent before-bed activity. You know, when the kids want story after story read to them? After our read-aloud time, Baby Girl was allowed to listen to more stories on One More Story. Yes, it was a screen, but we have the blue light turned off after 7 pm, and she wasn’t playing games, just listening to stories. I would often find her asleep in the middle of her second or third story.

What We Thought

One More Story is an excellent way for kids to use their love of technology and still read good books. Baby Girl is still just listening to the stories, but I am looking forward to when she will be reading, and I can use the other features of this program.

One way my children have learned to read is through the captions on the TV shows they watch. With the read-along feature highlighting each word read, I see this as a great way of learning to read. As much as I always try to point out the words I read, it is not always easy. Having the words highlighted is such a great thing.

The wide selection of books available on One More Story was surprising. I saw many titles I knew and love. There were also many titles that I didn’t know about. Baby Girl fell in love with Gracie the Lighthouse Cat by Ruth Brown and The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood. She loved being able to look and pick her books, and I loved knowing that all the books were of excellent quality.

Overall, we love One More Story and would not change a thing about it!

Find out how other families have been using One More Story in their homes right here.

One More Story Online Library Reviews

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Creative Writing – A Review

I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

Writing is critical in the house. Finding an excellent program to help spark creativity in writing is not always easy. Creative Word Studio has given Little Miss a great start on being creative with Sparkling Bits of Writing Book 1.

What Is It

Sparkling Bits of Writing Book 1 is a spiral-bound workbook with 75 lessons. This is not a complete language arts curriculum; instead, this is a resource for extra practice. Book 1 is recommended for grades 5-6, and Book 2 is recommended for grades 7-8.

There are three different types of lessons that rotate through the 75 lessons. The Free Writing lessons are just that. There is a starter question or topic to get the student going on the writing. They are not left to figure it out.

Reading Response lessons start with a reading passage for the student to read. The passage is usually about one page long. After the student reads the passage, they answer about four questions about the passage.

Mini Writing Lessons are the final type of lesson. These are the lessons that have your student trying new things in terms of writing. They vary in different styles to help with varying styles of writing. Some of the Mini Writing lessons will be marked with a symbol meaning they are a gold piece.

A gold piece lesson is a lesson that the writing will be edited and rewritten. These will also be the lessons that will be graded. There is a grading chart at the back of the book to help with grading these lessons.

How We Used It

Little Miss is in the 4th grade this year. While Book 1 is recommended for grades 5-6, I wanted to have her try this. She did not have an issue, and I am glad we went with this book for her. We have been adding Sparkling Bits of Writing in with her current language arts curriculum on average three days a week.

For most of the lessons in the workbook, she can complete them on her own without a lot of help from me. I am available to help her when she needs it, but I love seeing her take the workbook and walk away to complete the assignment. There are a few lessons that allow working together with a friend. When these lessons come up, I allow her to pick someone in the house to work with. She has fun picking different people depending on the assignment.

What We Thought Of It

I love the simplicity of this workbook. It is open and go. Little Miss has not struggled with this at all. It has added a lot to our current language arts curriculum without being too overwhelming. The lessons don’t take too long to complete, but they are complete in what they are teaching. 

We enjoyed that each lesson was different in style from the previous one. Having them change up styles made the lessons fun and not monotonous to complete. This is an issue that Little Miss struggles with. She likes things to be different, and Sparkling Bits of Writing has done that for her.

We would recommend that every family use Sparkling Bits of Writing in conjunction with their current language arts curriculum to help with creative writing. You can find out more about how this works with other families and more about Book 2 by reading the other reviews right here.

Creative Word Studio Reviews

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Find a King James Version Bible for You! – And a Giveaway

I have always had a bible handy, but it wasn’t until recently that I fell in love with the King James Version of the bible. This version of the bible has been around since the early 1600s. I had the chance to review three different King James Version bibles, and I have the opportunity to give one away!

King James Study Bible

I love a good bible study, but I have never really had an official study bible. I was so pleased to open this to use during my daily bible study. This study bible has everything! Notes at the bottom of each page explaining the meaning of what I am reading, introductions to each book in the bible, color pictures, and maps. The Study Bible is a bible that I am fully in love with and can’t set down.

King James Ultrathin Reference Bible

This is the size and style of the bible I am used to using. I can throw this bible in my purse and take it anywhere I need to go. However, I decided it was time to update Ray Ray’s bible and gave him this one. The two-toned, leather-bound bible is excellent for a young man. 

One Big Story Bible featuring The Gospel Project

Out of the three bibles I received, this is the only hardcover bible. I love that this means the cover will hold up to the wear and tear that Baby Girl will put this bible through. This bible is full of so many extras, full-color illustrations, digital pop-ups, big words, big questions, Christ connection, memory verses, and seeing the big pictures. These resources help bring this bible to life and allow kids to ask questions, find answers, and see how the bible is a part of our daily lives.

What I Thought

These bibles are amazing. I am in love with them, and I love that we are reading the exact version of the bible together that was read many years ago. I love the quality of these bibles and all of the extra information in each one. There is a bible for everyone in the King James Version.

From a simple text Bible to fit in your pocket or purse to Study Bibles with award-winning study tools, the process allows you to find what you are looking for quickly—and weekly specials with up to 50% off are easy to find too!

 

Enter Here for your chance to win your choice of one of these three bibles.

*For the USA only. Winners will be notified by me via email on June 2nd, 2021 and must respond with their choice of bible and mailing address by June 3, 2021.

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Books on Migration – Online Book Club

For April, we read some books on migration for our Online Book Club. It was a great way to get ready for spring and to learn more about how animals migrate to other climates at different times of the year.

One of my favorite authors for children’s books on learning about nature is Gail Gibbons. Her books are full of information that kids can take in and process. We read Migration by Gail Gibbons for our April reading prompt.

We had so much fun with this book. I decided to read it first and then dig deeper into it, researching more about the animals who migrate. 

This book was packed full of information about migration. We could print some simple notebooking sheets up and use those to help us organize our data. If you haven’t noticed, we love to use notebooking sheets. These are such a fun way to take any book or activity and turn it into a learning activity.

Baby Girl just did many drawings or copying of words from the book, but I made Ray Ray and Little Miss do a bit more. They had to take what they learned in the book and find more information online.

Not only did we use the book to learn about migration, but we also went outside. It is spring, so that we can see the animals, primarily birds, migrating back to our neighborhood and backyard. We were able to talk about the geese that we saw fly away last fall and how they are back now. Also, we could speak of the robins, as those usually mean that it is finally spring.

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The Life We Build
A Net In Time
Homeschool Coffee Break 

What are some fun books you have read about migration?

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Ronald Reagan: Destiny at His Side – Book Review

I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

We love adding books into our learning whenever we can. When given a chance to pick a book from YWAM Publishing and their Heroes of History, I let Ray Ray pick one. He decided he wanted to learn a little more about Ronald Reagan. For the last few weeks, he has been reading Ronald Reagan: Destiny at His Side.

What It Is

For this review, we got a copy of Ronald Reagan: Destiny at His Side and the digital unit study guide. The book is paperback and just over 220 pages in length. The study guide is packed full of ways to use this book as part of your school curriculum. The beauty of these books, you can use them for school or just for fun reading.

This book starts with an exciting first chapter on the attempted assassination of President Reagan but then brings us back to his beginnings as a child named Dutch. As we read the book, we follow the life of Dutch as he works his way to becoming president. For my history buff son, this was fun and interesting to learn about Ronald Reagan’s life.

Going through the unit study guide, you can find ways to use the Heroes of History series as a complete history curriculum. Books like Meriwether Lewis: Off the Edge of the Map and Abraham Lincoln: A New Birth of Freedom allow you to move through the history of our country through the eyes of those who lived it.

How We Used It

As I mentioned, Ray Ray is my history buff son. He loves to learn on his own about events that have happened, so a standard history curriculum is rather dull for him. I allowed him to pick the book of the person he would like to learn more about and used the unity study guide to use this for his history. With the unit study guide, we took a simple book and were able to add in history, geography, and writing, among other things.

There is no right or wrong way on how to schedule this unit study. I opted to have Ray Ray read a chapter every other day. On the opposite days, he would work on the chapter questions. I had him keep a notebook where he could take notes and write out the answers to the questions. As we went along, I would also grab an idea from the student explorations, either writing or a hands-on project, to have Ray Ray complete.

What We Thought

Ray Ray is in love with this type of history learning. I love that I can pick and chose the different things from the unit study guide to enhance his knowledge of Ronald Reagan. Honestly, even if we were not using this for history, I can see Ray Ray just grabbing one of these books and reading it for the fun of it.

I love that the books are easy to read yet full of information. They are well laid out and work for family read-aloud or independent learning. The unit study guide is full of beautiful ideas that check your understanding of the book and bring it to life.

If you are looking for a change in your history curriculum or a way to add to it, I recommend the Heroes of History series. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Check out the other reviews right here.

YWAM Publishing

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Famous Figures of Ancient Times – Our Review

I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

History can be boring. But, it doesn’t have to be! We have been using Famous Figures of Ancient Times from Figures in Motion to add some hands-on fun with Little Miss’s history lessons.

What Is It

Famous Figures of Ancient Times is a paperback book containing 21 famous people from ancient times. There is a short description of each person along with a reading list that can go along with the book.

Each of the figures comes in two ways and all the paper is a heavy cardstock. The first version of the character is just a line drawing for your kids to color themselves. The second is a full-color version that just needs to be cut and put together.

The putting together is very easy, as all parts are labeled on the back. You simply match and attach. It is really that easy!

Famous Figures of Ancient Times can be a stand-alone history curriculum or it can be used as a resource to add fun to your current curriculum.

How We Used It

Our current history curriculum has reading that I read aloud to the kids. During this time, Little Miss would get the character that we were learning about that day (if there was one), or would catch up on some that we had already learned about.

After making her figures, Little Miss would be able to go around and create scenes with them to show dad and big brother what she had learned. This was a fun way to see if she was listening while I was reading.

While we used this as an added resource to our current curriculum, you could easily use this as a stand-alone history curriculum. With the information on each figure, you have a great base. There is also a great book list to add more learning for each time period.

What We Thought

The quality of this book was great! The figures are very sturdy and hold up to use after making them. It was fun to see those we were reading about come to life for my daughter. 

I really like that there are two options for each figure, so my daughter can decide if she wants to be creative or just give herself something to do while listening. Seeing that the list of figures included all the major ones from our history curriculum.

Little Miss used to be bored during history, but now she wants to do it first so she can make more figures. This is a great addition to our homeschool history lessons!

Figures in Motion have other time periods also. If you want to see those and see how other homeschool families used Figures in Motion in their homeschool, check it out over here.

Figures in Motion

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Mastering Multiplication with AIM

I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

Multiplication can be hard for children to learn, but it is a skill that needs to be learned. When children struggle though, they may just pretend to know the skill to keep moving forward, I know mine do. Math-U-See has come up with Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Multiplication with a Bridge to Division to help children who struggle with multiplication.

What Is It

AIM for Multiplication with a Bridge to Division is not a full math curriculum. Instead, it is a way for students 10 and older who are looking to increase their confidence in math and retention of multiplication facts.

AIM for Multiplication with a Bridge to Division uses the Math-U-See manipulatives and varied instructional methods. The lessons are student-centered with the instructor helping to guide.

Not only do we have the manipulatives that make Math-U-See different, but we also have an instructor resource guide, fact check cards, math facts strategy posters, and digital resources like videos and activity pages/worksheets.

How We Used It

Ray Ray is great at school. He has always been above his age in learning. However, multiplication has hit him. He struggles with this part of math. I don’t want him to struggle, so we added this into our school schedule.

The first thing started with was watching some of the videos and reading through the resource guide. This allowed me to get the idea of how we would be doing this. Since this is student-centered and focuses on mastery, I did not “plan” any lessons. Each day, we just do the next thing or focus on mastery when there is a struggle.

We used this every day with our regular school schedule. We made sure to not exceed 15 minutes of practice at one time. Some days we would watch the video introducing the new concepts or practice the new strategies that were presented. If the strategy was not mastered right away, we would spend more time on it. While there are worksheets to help practice with the digital pack, we also made some of our own, it was not hard to do.

What We Thought Of It

I really like the approach of AIM Multiplication with a Bridge to Division. Ray Ray is a visual, hands-on learner. Flashcards have never been a strong practice tool with him before, so learning his multiplication facts a different way has really helped him.

I love that there are many ways to practice each new strategy. It is nice to have the manipulatives, and they were gradually removed from practice, but I could tell he was still picturing them as we worked without them. Since he really enjoys building with similar blocks is a major thing for him. This really made it a fun way for him to practice math.

Ray Ray only had one complaint, the manipulatives didn’t stack as nicely as his blocks would. I had to remind him these were not for building with! But, honestly, if that was his only complaint about math, that is a huge compliment for Math-U-See!

We have not reached the bridge to division section yet, we have been working on the mastery and enjoying the fun games that are in the appendix. I did check this section out, and I really love the way that it is explained. This will really help Ray Ray when we get to this point and I really look forward to seeing more understanding of math in his future!

If your child is struggling with multiplication facts, loves visual and hands-on learning, I would recommend Accelerated Individualized Mastery Multiplication with a Bridge to Division from Math-U-See. 

If you want to see what other families thought of this program, check that out right here.

Math-U-See Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM) for Multiplication with a Bridge to Division Reviews

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Learning About Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day

March’s Online Book Club theme was St. Patrick’s Day. The kids and I had a lot of fun not only reading some good books on St. Patrick’s day, but we learned a little about Ireland as well.

I have used affiliate links in this post. To learn more, head over here.

O’Sullivan Stew

Ok, this book has nothing to do with St. Patrick’s day, and very little to do with stew, but it was a great story! We had fun reading this one. Our imaginations were put to work and we were pleasantly surprised by the end of the book.

I loved how this showed bravery and compassion on the part of Kate O’Sullivan. The girls loved seeing a girl as the lead, not only teaching the town what it meant to be a town but also saving her family!

Cute books with great life lessons.

A Fine St. Patrick’s Day

What a cute little book this was! Two towns competing to be the best-decorated town for St. Patrick’s Day. When a man comes looking for help, one town shuts him down while the other drops everything to help.

This book was not only about St. Patrick’s Day but also a great lesson in what matters most, others around us and helping. We enjoyed talking about this book and the lesson we had learned.

Ireland

Since we homeschool, I love to take every opportunity to find learning opportunities. Well, that is doable with Productive Homeschooling’s Notebooking pages. They had a full unit of notebooking pages for Ireland, and many other countries as well.

With some books from the library and these notebooking pages, we were able to add some geography lessons into our book club this month.

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Everybody, Always for Kids – Book Review

I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

“By this, all men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” John 13:35

My goal with raising my children is to show they love God by their actions to others. Bob Goff makes it easy to show love, always in the book Everybody, Always For Kids.

What It Is

We got a hardcover copy of the book and a five-day lesson plan of ways to bring the book into our daily lives. The book contains 40 chapters. Each chapter is a new story about how Bob brings love into what he does and shares personal stories about how these worked for him.

The five-day lesson plan picked out five of the stories and had different teaching points, questions to talk about, and ways to make this happen in your life.

How We Used It

There are different ways that you can use this book. You can just read it one story at a time and in order. You can read other stories that seem to fit what you are learning about or dealing with in life at the moment. You can follow the five-day lesson plan and build off of the ideas from there. You can have your kids read the stories, or you can read them aloud together as a family.

We decided to start with the five-day lesson plan. We followed the lesson steps in the lesson plan. We would ask a question first, read the story related to the lesson, ask questions as we were reading, and finish with an activity. After using the lesson plans, we used a similar style while reading the rest of the stories.

What We Thought

The book was a beautiful hardcover book with colorful pictures. The stories were fun to read aloud, and everyone enjoyed listening to me read them. 

My kids loved listening to me read these stories and found it easy to relate to them. It was easy for us to find some new ways to show we are Christians by our actions every day. This book is a beautiful way to learn how to show love in your everyday actions, from being patient to seeing past things and into people’s hearts.

We will be reading these stories over and over again. They are a great reminder that loving everyone isn’t that hard at all.

There are other families who have had a chance to use this book in their homes also. Check out their reviews right here.

Everybody Always for Kids Reviews

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