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The Secret Bridge ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

Christlike character one story at a time

I had not heard about Lamplighter Publishing until this year. I was very shocked when I read my first book from them. I was hooked, and so were the kids! We couldn't put it down! After that one, we had to add another and another. Growing our collection of books on the shelf, but with a much different kind of book. We absolutely were thrilled when we saw that Lamplighter Publishing had The Secret Bridge available for us to review!

Christlike character one story at a time

Lamplighter Publishing has a mission "to make ready a people prepared for the Lord, by building Christ-like character one story at a time." Each of their books focus on character traits they would like to the reader to pick up on. And while you may be able to find these books by other publishers, Lamplighter Publishing edits their books to ensure that each story they give to us reflects the character of God. Just knowing that my kids can pick up on the character traits while reading a great story from the 1800s is enough to get me interested.

Now the book itself is one of pure beauty! The hardcover itself is covered in a soft teal faux leather with an engraved picture on the cover. The title has a gold embossed finish to it that gives it even more elegance. This is the book that was passed around because everyone wanted to simply feel it. The original book was written in 1899 by Amy Le Feuvre and the grammar within is kept as close to original as possible.

Christlike character one story at a time

Now that we have fallen in love with the cover, the reading began. We are immediately introduced to Godfrey Bullingham as he is onboard a passenger ship heading towards London. On the same ship is a young orphan woman named Bridget Channing who is traveling to London to live with her uncle. Godfrey had immediately noticed Bridget and was drawn to her, and so starts the love story, or so we think.

Bridget did not accept the offer from Godfrey right away, yet she realized that this was the start of something. She put her trust in him, just as we are to put our trust in God and waited from him, as we are to wait for God. She decided to exchange vows with him but now must face a challenge. He must go out to sea as an officer in the Royal Navy and is leaving her on a farm near his family with one request, that she not tell anyone they are married.

Christlike character one story at a time

I remember the joy of my wedding. Sharing with everyone I knew. But shortly after we were married, my husband headed to the opposite side of the country to do some work. Living miles, no states, apart as newlyweds was not something I envisioned. But just like Bridget, I learned to wait for my bridegroom. During the time apart Bridget finds it harder and harder to keep up with lies, which are hard for her. At the same time, she is finding time to get to know the Lord better.

Just as we fell in love with our previous Lamplighter Publishing books, we fell in love with this one as well. The story behind the story was wonderful and knowing that this was a book that I could leave lying around without worry about what the kid might read. Knowing that the worst they will get out of this romantic story would be a story from God, makes it a book I am glad to leave lying around.

Christlike character one story at a time

If you want to add some great books to your shelf that are great reads and safe for the entire family to read, I would recommend taking a look at Lamplighter Publishing and especially The Secret Bridge!

The Secret Bridge {Lamplighter Publishing Reviews}

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Art Lessons for Kids from Art Achieve ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

Art is something I have never been good at. Yes, I love looking at it. And I find it peaceful to watch others create art, but to actually do it, or therefore teach it to my kids, yeah not so peaceful. I am always on the lookout art lessons for kids that are fun. We fell in love with Level I of ArtAchieve last year, and this year we got to continue with the Entire Level II.

ArtAchieve is an online art class for kids. It is broken down into 5 different levels, each containing 10 or more lessons. These lessons include everything; besides the materials, you need to teach the lesson. Or should I say have the lessons taught for you. Each lesson page on the website includes numerous ideas to make these art lessons cross-curricular. These ideas cover the subjects such as Social Studies, Science, Writing, Literature/Geography as well as Art. This project page will also give you the list of supplies you will need and approximate class time.

art lessons for kids

I would take the information for this page and plan a week-long study on each lesson. This was easy enough to do and made a great learning experience finished up with the fun of making of the official art project at the end of the week. Our week would start with an introduction to the topic at hand. We would watch the introduction on the video or read through it on the Power Point version and get an idea of what we were going to be learning.

drawing lessons for kids

We would take the Cross-Curricular Connections given to use and use a few of them. Whether we were learning about the geography of the area that the project originated from or reading some books from that area/era, it was fun to learn more. This gave us a whole new feeling and meaning to our finished projects at the end of the week.

The beginning of each Power Point lesson gives you a list of goals that can be fulfilled for The National Standards for Arts Education: National Standards for Visual Art. While I am not worried about this myself, if you wanted to know, it is there for you. After this, you see the original piece of art that you will be basing your art from, along with the history of it. There is a quick review of some basic art knowledge that you learn as you go. And then you relax before you draw.

art classes for kids

My kids thought it was funny to relax before we began, but I noticed this helped to draw their attention and focus to what they were doing. The next tip on the Power Point was to play some quiet music. This should be music without words to help you stay calm and focused on your work. This is when you complete the warm-up. Finally, we get a list of rules for drawing. These six rules, were a homerun for our house! Every problem that I have had when helping my kids learn art was included in these six rules. Hearing someone else tell them this, the kids took a step back and listened.

The video format had a similar start up. They talked about the relaxation and music to use for each lesson. They also included the rules in the video. No talking was the number one rule! The only thing I did not see in the video that I did see on the Power Point version was the standards that were met in this art lesson.

art classes for kids

We loved working through the lesson step by step and having a finished product that was wall worthy! Most of the children preferred the Power Point version, where they didn't have to push the pause button as they were perfecting their lines. We would be able to work through it at our pace and have no worry of feeling rushed. While the video lessons were great, my kids strive too much for perfect and don't like moving at someone else's pace when drawing. I loved having two options and being able to use what we needed instead of being stuck with just one choice.

art lessons for kids

Our overall impression of ArtAchieve is that we love it! The kids love that they can pick which way they want to do the lessons and I love that I don't have to be the teacher, just the supervisor. ArtAchieve offers great art classes for kids and it takes the stress off of me!
Art Lessons Inspired From Around the World {ArtAchieve Reviews}
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Drive Thru History® – “The Gospels” ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

Falling in love with history can be a hard thing to do. Finding the right resource to allow you or your children to fall in love with history makes a huge difference! Moe Man loves history. But just reading it is no fun all day long. We found and fell in love with Drive Thru History® for his Ancient History lessons. So when we found out Drive Thru History® had come out with an 18 Part Miniseries on the Life of Jesus of Nazareth, we were thrilled!

Learning about the bible is a great thing, but having a video course that will bring you on location is a blessing for our visual learners in this house! Drive Thru History® – "The Gospels" brings the history before Jesus, his birth, his life and his death alive to anyone who wants to watch it.

For this review, we received 3 DVDs and a study guide all wrapped up in a book that reminds me of a bible. The DVDs themselves, are regular looking DVDs, and if we had not already fallen in love with Drive Thru History®, I would have thought just that. The study guide is not what I was thinking. This study guide is like a picture book that one would want to sit down and flip through, not be forced to learn something.

Now, these basic looking DVDs that are the main part of this product, these are not basic DVDs. These DVDs are so full of beauty and wonder. Full of information and excitement. These DVDs brought us into the life of Jesus, and made the Gospels come to life for every one of us who sat down to watch.

The three DVDs contain the 18 episodes. They are:

Episode 1: The Historical Landscape

Episode 2: The Announcements

Episode 3: Jesus is Born

Episode 4: Jesus Grows Up

Episode 5: Jesus Starts His Ministry

Episode 6: Jesus Returns to Galilee

Episode 7: Jesus Begins His Miracles

Episode 8: Jesus Teaches with Authority

Episode 9: The Sermon on the Mount

Episode 10: Jesus Travels the Sea of Galilee

Episode 11: Jesus Travels North

Episode 12: A Final Trip to Jerusalem

Episode 13: Jesus Arrives in Jerusalem

Episode 14: The Last Supper

Episode 15: The Trial of Jesus

Episode 16: The Crucifixion of Jesus

Episode 17: The Resurrection of Jesus

Episode 18: Who is Jesus?

Dave Stotts takes us on location for these episodes. He talks to us the whole time, not the camera, not the "audience", but to us! The way he looks at the camera, makes it appears he is looking through the camera and holding eye contact with us. This draws us in and makes us want to listen.

Not only does Dave look at us when talking to us, he talks to us in a way that we understand. For some people, the bible can be confusing or boring when it comes to the dates and history, but when Dave talks, we understand. Not just mom and dad, but Moe Man all the way down to Ray Ray and Little Miss fell in love with listening to Dave talk to us.

The pictures and videos that we are shown are just, beautiful. And even that word does not describe what they really are. You feel like you are right there, on location. You can see and hear everything around you. If you had smell-o-vision, you would be able to smell everything. Something or someone is always moving on the screen, this kept the eyes on the screen and when we had our eyes on the screen, we were listening, and learning.

Now, on top of these wonderful, eye catching, bring you to location DVDs, we also had the study guide. For each episode, the study guide gives us a summary, five great discussion questions, readings from the bible and a small side road that brings just a tidbit of information forward from the episode. Not only that, but the pictures in the study guide are just as beautiful as the DVDs!

There are many ways for you to use these DVDs. You can focus on one a week or more. I really wanted to spend time during Holy Week watching the videos of Holy Week as our study for that week. When your family falls in love with the DVDs, it is not hard to watch them daily.

My one hint, as with any video that you decide to show your family, make sure you preview it first. Episode 16 is The Crucifixion of Jesus. While the bible tells you what happened, watching it can be something different. This episode starts off with a warning. You learn about the crucifixion, you see pictures of the beatings Jesus suffered, and there is an actor portrayal of the beatings and Jesus hanging on the cross. This was hard to see, even for me. We decided that Little Miss and Baby Girl did not need to see this. Ray Ray and Moe Man had the option to walk away as needed, but they were both so transfixed in seeing the story they had heard many times before. This one episode gave the boys a new respect for the true meaning of Easter. (Please note, all our kids have watched zombie shows, you MUST preview this episode and decide what would be best for your own children.)

After this episode, it was so nice to spend the time learning about the resurrection. Showing the kids the location of the tomb, the rock and making it more than a small stone, brought it to their attention the real power of what happened during the resurrection.

We may not have gone to the Holy Land, but after watching these DVDs, I can tell you, that I will never again feel the same of the life of Jesus. I feel as though as I had been there, without the cost of travel. I felt goosebumps many times while watching. I was not the only one. Everyone in our house have a new outlook on the Gospels, a new respect (which I didn't think was possible) for all that Jesus has done for us.

If you are looking for a way to bring the story of Jesus alive to your family, I would tell you to watch these episodes. If you wanted to spend time on location to where our Lord was born, lived and died yet cannot afford it, I would tell you to grab these episodes. If you want a one on one tour guide who will guide you through The Gospels, you NEED these episodes. I was thrilled with Drive Thru History® for our history lessons, but The Gospels has gone far and above what I thought they would. They opened my eyes and heart. For that I am thankful!!

The Gospels {Drive Thru History® Reviews}
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Daily Bible Jigsaw ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

Our family loves jigsaw puzzles, but finding a new one every day and not just any old puzzle, but a Daily Bible Jigsaw from Planet 316, has made spending time in the bible and relaxing a little more fun.

Daily Bible Jigsaw is an online jigsaw puzzle app that is family appropriate. You can find this app for your Android devices in the Google Play Store, iOS devices in the Apple App Store, on Facebook with Mac or Pc (Chrome and Fire Fox work best) and in the new Facebook Gameroom.

There are no requirements for this. Hop on, solve the puzzle and enjoy the bible verse at the end. If you want to, take it a step farther and find that verse and use it as your bible study for the day. This is what I found to be of great use for me!

Each day I would hop on, I had this on my iPad, with 500 coins (value $39.99) given to me to review all the aspects of the app, and work on solving the puzzle. I loved trying to solve them with no help, but my time was not as great as it could have been. There are tools to help you with that, if you want to use them.

There are 5 tools to help you with the process of putting the puzzle together. These include:

  • Rotate
  • Sweep
  • Guide
  • Magnet
  • Edges

Of these, rotate, sweep and edges are my favorite. These tools do require the use of coins for them to work, and they make the process of putting the puzzles together much faster, especially if you are competing times with your friends on Facebook.

Rotate simply rotates all your pieces to the way they need to be to complete the puzzle, Sweep, will move them all off the puzzle board, so you won't lose any under the puzzle as you are putting it together. Edges, well that one is easy, it shows you just the edges first. Magnet is a tool that will attract a piece to where it belongs and guide gives you a glimpse of the final picture, like looking at the back of the box.

When you connect your account on Facebook, you can:

  • Challenge your friends
  • See the high scores
  • Play a weekly tourney
  • Share the puzzle pictures and sayings.

I did not connect on Facebook, but with these fun things, I may have to, eventually.

I really enjoyed being able to sit down once a day and do an uplifting puzzle, either to start or end my day. There is a nice calming music that plays in the background, unless you are like me and you hide the game from the kids, so you are always turning it down!

Since this is a daily puzzle, you have access to the puzzle of the day for that day only. Once you move into the next day, you have to use coins to fill in your missing days on the monthly calendar. This didn't happen often, but I love having everything complete, so this was one of those things.

And yes, even though I wanted to keep this for myself, I shared it with the kids. This was just as fun for them as it was for me. Giving them access to the coins was a no go, this momma wanted to keep them for herself!

If you are busy looking for a fun puzzle app that brings the bible to you, look no further! Don't take my word for it, there are plenty of other reviews from other Crew Members right here for you:

Daily Bible Jigsaw {Planet 316 Reviews}

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Online CLEP Test Preparation with SpeedyPrep ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

Having a child with special needs brings a lot of challenges. One of them is looking past high school for these children. Ever since the first day Moe Man had been with us, I had big dreams for him. Knowing that he could and would do anything he set his mind on as long as I gave him the tools necessary to reach those goals.

While Moe Man is unsure of what he wants to do after high school, I know I want him to be ready for college if that is what he wants to do! SpeedyPrep is a great way for me to give Moe Man the CLEP preparation material needed to take and pass the CLEP exam.

SpeedyPrep has 24 courses that cover the facts, concepts, vocabulary and processes that Moe Man will need to know to pass his CLEP. This is not a curriculum, rather it is just a means to study what you have already learned during your high school years. It is not recommended to use the SpeedyPrep test until after you have finished the course in your high school study.

With consistent use of SpeedyPrep and completion of the course (90-100%), and of course passing, you will be guaranteed to pass your CLEP test!

SpeedyPrep is set up as a flash card question system. You simply get into the course you want to study and go straight to the questions in the study session. You are able to pick and choose topics within the course, or you can work on all of them at once. From personal experience, I would not recommend picking all of them unless you have some time on your hands!

As you go through the questions, you will find more information about each one as you answer it. Whether you get it right or wrong, you have the option to study it further. Your goal is to work through these questions and to get as many of them correct as you can. As you do this, you will have to option to study the ones you got incorrect and work on getting them all right.

There is a nifty little bar that will follow your progress as you work through your course. This bar will only move as you complete the questions. While there is a plethora of video knowledge, watching these videos will help you learn the information, but these will not prepare you for the CLEP test. These are only here to help you learn, you must practice with the questions to get the full benefit of this program!

I have to admit, as much as I thought Moe Man was ready for this, I realized he was not. This program is a great program and I could see many other students in Moe Man's age group that would benefit from it greatly. While he was not ready to use it, I decided that I wanted to see more about it and took my turn using it personally.

I really love how this was set up. I did not remember as much as I thought I would, but loved the videos and the explanations that were there to help me when I didn't know the answer. I was able to figure out how to use this with minimal problems and was impressed by how much I did re-learn from it!

This is what happens when we get something wrong or don't know the answer. This is a great chance to learn more about it. 

This is a great program for those students who are working towards taking their CLEP exam. I plan to revisit this with Moe Man next year and really look forward to helping him advance in his education with resources like this!

Check out some of the other reviews of this program right here:

College Level Examination Program Preparation {SpeedyPrep Reviews}

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Digital Savvy From CompuScholar, INC. ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

Using a computer is a must in the world today. If you don't know how to use a computer, you will be left behind and feeling lost. While I love having the kids away from screens, I know and understand that they need to learn about them as well. Finding the right curriculum to help them learn the basics can be hard, but with Digital Savvy from CompuScholar, Inc. you have all that you need for your child to learn right at your finger-tips.

What It Is

Digital Savvy is a beginner's course in computers and covers the fundamental aspects of the computer. Topics that are covered in this course are:

  • Hardware, software, and operating systems
  • Managing files and folders
  • Basic networking
  • Online safety and computer security
  • Using Word processors, spreadsheets, and presentation programs
  • Creating simple databases
  • Image editing
  • Using social media and email communications
  • Introductory website design
  • Simple computer programming concepts
  • Exploration of computing careers

Each of these is broken down into lessons that will cover one year (two-semesters). Once you open the syllabus, you can see how everything is broken down and you are even given the suggested amount of days to spend on everything.

Each chapter is broken down into simple daily lessons. These lessons include a video lesson, text to go with the video and a quiz to see what you have learned. What is also nice, is that there is a teacher's guide if you log in as the teacher. This includes questions you can ask to see how well your children are retaining what they learn.

At the end of every chapter there is an activity that will check your child's learning. It starts off simple with the peripherals, but will grow from there to things like a domain name search and social media posts. After completing the activity, your child will finish up the chapter with an exam.

Checking the answers on the quiz.

How We Used It

This was a simple assign and go program for Moe Man. I didn't have to prepare for anything and I could just assign him the chapter and lesson each day. Moe Man would sit down each day and work on the lesson at hand or the activity or exam. I didn't need to stand over him, I just had to make sure he did what was needed each day.

After each day, I would go in and check on my teacher side of things to see how he was doing. If I noticed a problem, I would make him redo the lesson with my help, otherwise he was able to complete these on his own.

My view in the teacher page.

What We Thought of It

I won't be stopping this program! I plan to make Moe Man complete Digital Savvy and possibly move on to some of their other more advanced computer classes. This is a course that all children need to know about. CompuScholar, INC. has set it up in a way that works. Moe Man opens it up and gets to work. He doesn't need any extra help from me, other than to make sure he uses it.

The topics that are covered are exactly what I would want him to be learning about. They cover everything for the beginner. There is not too much, but just enough for each topic. I know that after completing this course, Moe Man will be able to use a computer without hesitation, or needing to ask me about something.

CompuSholar, INC. and Digital Savvy is a hit in our house! But this is not the only program they offer. Check out these other reviews and see if there is something there that piques your interest for your homeschool!

Digital Savvy, Web Design & Java Programming {CompuScholar,Inc Reviews}

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Shepherd, Potter, Spy—and the Star Namer ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

There is something that I look for in a book. I want to personally pulled into it. I want to feel like I am there in the story with the characters. I want to be able to see and hear what is around me. Peggy Consolver – Author has done just that for me in Shepherd, Potter, Spy – – and the Star Namer.

We have all heard the story of Moses parting the Red Sea, we know of the journey that the Hebrews were on and the challenges in their way. We know of the falling of the walls of Jericho, but have you heard it told from the eyes of spy of Gibeon? In this book, I looked at this whole journey of the Hebrews in a new light, one that I am glad I was able to look through and won't soon forget!

We are taken to the life of Keshub, a young shepherd boy. We see how diligent he is with the keeping of his flock. He see how diligent he is in the learning of his sword drills. We even see the kindness of him as he befriends the camp bully and the amount of love and compassion he has as he befriends and saves the life of the son of despicable king.

Not only is he is shepherd for his family, Keshub is also the son of a potter. Not just any potter, but one of the best in the whole area. His work is loved all around as the family is told by a caravanner who brings the family's potter around to trade. This same caravanner warns the family of the approaching Hebrews.

Now Keshub and his family must make a decision. Are they going to flee like the refugees? Or are they going to stay and stand their ground. This decision is also harder now that they boys of the camp have witnessed the falling of Jericho's walls as they spy on the Hebrew camp. Keshub's father is full of trust to the Star Namer. The Star Namer knows the heretofore and the hereafter. As Keshub continues his spying, he is beginning to wonder if the Star Name is the same as the Hebrew God.

The end of this story had me smiling from ear to ear. I loved the way it all worked out. I feared for Keshub and his family, but by the end I was happy for them and their outcome!

Peggy Consolver – Author

While this is a great story to just sit down and read, Peggy Consolver also made a study guide to go with this as a separate purchase. You are able to take this wonderful book and make it even better by turning it into a unit study! Peggy has given us a great list of resources that can go along with this book and the study guide.

I was thrilled to read this book. I was touched with this book. I felt myself growing in my faith while I was reading. I loved that this was a biblical history story that was made into a story that brought the characters alive.

Want to see what others thought of this? Check out the other reviews of the Homeschool Crew right here:

Shepherd, Potter, Spy--and the Star Namer {Peggy Consolver Reviews}

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The Iliad and The Odyssey ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

When Moe Man picked up a random copy of The Iliad on a free book book shelf, he told me that it sounded like an interesting book. We brought it home, but it found a spot on the book shelf and we forgot about it. Until I heard about the Iliad & Odyssey Complete Set from Memoria Press. I was happy to find a way to work these classics into our homeschool days.

Included in the Iliad & Odyssey Complete Set are the Samuel Butler translation of The Iliad and The Odyssey, a student guide for each book, a teacher guide for each book and a set of DVDs for each book. These DVDs are a life saver for me as mom, as they help to teach this class!

The day we got this program in the mail, Moe Man was quick to grab The Iliad, which was a bigger copy with larger print than the free one he had previously grabbed. He preceded to walk away without a word to me. This kid and books, they are a love hate relationship. He loves to read, but hates the work that goes with them. Knowing that I had a book that he was interested in and the materials that would help him, I was just as excited to get started on this study.

We started with The Iliad. It was the book he chose, so I wasn't going to argue, plus The Iliad is the earlier writing. While Moe Man took the book instantly, I took to the Teacher's Guide to see what I needed to know. Most of Moe Man's high school work is independent work, but this one is set up for a classroom setting. Even though this was set up this way, we were able to easily adapt this for our homeschool setting. It is also suggested that all of Homer would be able to be completed in 18 weeks, which averages to 4.5 hours a week, we did spread this out a little more to work with Moe Man.

Our schedule was spaced out a little more than most homeschools would need to do. We spent one day reading the book that we were on. The next two days Moe Man would watch the video that went with the book while working on the Student Guide questions for that book. These two days also included discussions with me, working on Background and Drills, discussions about the book and time spent marking and studying the questions that will be on the test.

Using this schedule, we are able to work on about 2 books a week. This means that we will be spending about 12 weeks in each of the two epics.

The Teacher's Guide has everything I need to effectively teach about these epics to Moe Man. I have the answers to the Student Guide questions and all the notes for the background and drills, the discussion help and extra teacher notes. This gives me a solid foundation that I would be able to help Moe Man with these epics. But this was not all I was given. I was given DVDs, yes DVDs that help teach each book as we read through the epic.

The DVDs are taught by Sean Brooks, a master teacher at one of Highlands Latin Schools. These lessons, or lectures, run about half an hour or so in length and Mr. Brooks talks about each book in a way that even I can understand. As we go through each book, we are able to work on answering the questions in the Student Guide. Not all the answers are there, and those that are, are not written in black and white. These DVDs make the program work for us and for Moe Man.

Overall, this was a great program. Moe Man has not argued when it came time to do this each day. Some days he had a harder time understanding, but the DVDs helped explain what he didn't understand. While I had to be a bigger role in this than his other classes, I didn't mind. It did not take up too much time each week, and I actually enjoyed this myself.

Memoria Press offers many great products! There are some of these that have been reviewed by other members of the team. Want to see what they are? Check out the reviews right here:

First Form Greek, Iliad/Odyssey and American History {Memoria Press Reviews}

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Manhood Journey Bible Study ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

I have a secret for you. One that you cannot tell anyone. Are you ready? I am about to write a review for a product from Manhood Journey & City on a Hill, but I did not use it at all. I barely even touched it!

How in the world am I going to write a review on something I didn't use? Well I am going to write the words my husband has told me after he used Manhood Journey Father's Starters Kit with Moe Man. So, while I did not use this product, it has been used in our house!

Manhood Journey is a non-denominational yet Bible based approach to building up young men.

The Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit includes;

  • 1 on 1 Discussion Guide full of points and activities for fathers to use with sons
  • DVD of the introductions for the six modules
  • 10 Maprochures to track your journey
  • A Group Discussion Guide to lead a small group
  • A FREE copy of Wise Guys: Unlocking Hidden Wisdom from the Men Around You

There are six modules available for your father and son team. They include, Embarking, Manhood Myths, Working Well, Leading Lessons, Standing Strong, and Clean Hearts. This journey of six weeks is that of Embarking.

This program is a great open and go program. This was perfect for my husband, since I told him this one was on him and I would only be the one writing the review.

There are 6 chapters in this module, they include 1. Preparing for the journey, 2. Setting out on the journey, 3. Relying on the compass, 4. Seeing guidance along the way, 5. Encountering others along the way and 6. We have embarked.

Each chapter is broken into four parts for the week, building our relationship, knowing God's words, serving others, and talking with God. The 1 on 1 guide will help the father in the picture work through each week, giving the bible verses that will help to open dialogue, even giving tips and examples of what to say after reading.

Daddy was excited to have something to do while he is healing after his surgery. What he didn't know was how much he was actually going to love the bonding time he had with Moe Man.

Now quick history recap, Moe Man and Daddy are brothers. We adopted Moe Man when he was 7 years old, and he has never met his biological father. Daddy grew up without his father present, but had a great example with his grandfather. This journey was needed for these two men, for them both to grow, which I saw every week!

Daddy really enjoyed reading the 1 on 1 Guide and being able to use this to open up dialogue with a teenager who doesn't want to talk. He found that this helped him build patience, which made working together on projects so much easier and more fun for both of them.

Daddy and Moe Man spent time making this while talking about their journey.

While reading through the guide before sitting down with Moe Man, Daddy found things that helped open his eyes and broaden his perspective on fatherhood. This led to him being more in tune with all the kids, not just Moe Man.

As soon as Moe Man finishes his current book, I look forward to having him start Wise Guys. This book is a great way for another guy to talk to your son about finding wisdom from the men around them. This book will help them take what they are learning from their journey, see what others have learned and know that they are not alone. Sometimes with guys, they need to hear it from each other to really believe it.

This was a review that I did not know we needed as much as we did. I knew I wanted to have the guys in the house try it, but I didn't beg for it. I left it up to God, and he made sure it came to our house at just the right moment. If you have boys in your house, you need to have the Manhood Journey in your house as well. I am excited to see where this takes the guys in my house, and look forward to when Daddy starts this with Ray Ray as well. This is one product that we will continue to use and actually look forward to using!

Check out the reviews of these other members of the Homeschool Review Crew right here:

Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit {Manhood Journey & City on a Hill Studio Reviews}

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Creating a Masterpiece ~ A Homeschool Crew Review

I currently have a love-hate relationship with art. I love looking at it! I love seeing my kids interested in it! I hate teaching it, or even just doing it myself. So, what in the world is a homeschool mom to do? Ask for help! While using the Monthly Plan from Creating a Masterpiece, I could allow my kids to learn about art, without having to teach it!

Creating a Masterpiece is an art lesson like no other. The lessons are taught by master artist Sharon Hofer via video. Having these lessons on video makes you feel like you have Sharon sitting right in the room with you. The lessons are broken down into different levels. Currently there are 7 levels; Beginners, Levels 1-5 and Art in History.

The Beginners Level is filled with simple, short lessons. These lessons will allow even a four-year-old to create a masterpiece in under an hour! While these may be short and sweet, they are still works of fine art!

Levels 1-5 build upon each other. You do not want to jump right into a Level 4 or 5 lesson if you have never had any art experience before! Even in a Level 2 lesson, I noticed Moe Man struggling from time to time.

Finishing up the levels, is Art in History. Art in History takes a new approach to learning about the history of art. Instead of just talking about the artists of a certain time period and looking at their work, you get a hands-on approach to it and actually get to try the art.

Creating a Masterpiece has 3 different payment options for when you want to try it out. You can do the monthly plan or a yearly plan of all the levels or you can get a one year access to individual levels. This way you can find what works for you and still enjoy the fine art lessons!

We tried two different lessons at two different levels. Little Miss and Ray Ray spent some time with watercolors and worked on the African Sunset. Moe Man and I worked at Level 2 with ink and the Dragonfly. These all turned out beautifully, but each required a different level of work!

Little Miss and Ray Ray love to paint! If I allowed it, they would have paint open all the time, and all over the place! We had a family at church that had to move back to South Africa right at the time we got access to this program. It only seemed fitting to mix the kids love of painting with their missing of their friends from church.

Being a beginning level project, this was a quick lesson. We had two videos for this lesson, each of which were only about 10 minutes each. The project page contains everything you need to know for that project. You have the videos for the project, the needed supplies, some great tips, highlights, and some PDFs for you. You also have a link that will take you to another site with an already prepared list of supplies for that specific project.

I only ordered one set of everything for this project, so the kids had to take turns. This didn't bother them much, but it did extend the amount of time we spent on this lesson vs being able to move on to others.

During our first video, we completed most of the lesson…in just about 10 minutes! For the quality of the lesson and the outcome of the picture, this was a great thing! The longest part of this lesson was waiting for the first layer of paint to dry. We could have gotten this done by forcing it to dry, but mom loved the time to allow it to air dry!

The second video was a simple finishing touches video. While it lasted about 10 minutes, it took longer to re-wet the paint than it did to finish the picture. However, the finished product was something unbelievable! They were different, but perfect!

The Dragonfly that I worked on with Moe Man was just as beautiful, but not so easy! This was a Level 2 project and you could tell that it was going to require more time! Instead of just two instruction videos, this one had 5 lessons with 2-3 videos a lesson. While this took us by surprise, it was nice to have the breaks. We did not have to do a full project in one sitting, and if you did it would take a little time for sure! We could spread this project out over a few days, and we loved it!

Even though this was a harder lesson, Sharon gave some wonderful tips for the younger kids if they wanted to attempt this. We did the small Micron .005 pen for this project, but both of us are thinking of redoing it with a bigger sheet of paper and a bigger marker.

Everyone in the house has found great lessons to create their own masterpiece! And no matter the age level, everyone could create something beautiful! The lessons did not frustrate anyone. This is something I have noticed in the past when it comes to video lessons. Little Miss at 5.5 years old all the way to Moe Man at 16, not to mention Ray Ray at 8 and mommy as well, were able to watch the lessons and understand them. Sharon talks to us and talks in simple terms. This makes it easy to continue with the video and enjoy the whole time.

Everyone in the family gives this program a thumbs-up and we are excited to add more fine art masterpieces to our walls!

Here are some other great pieces of fine art that you can find within this program:

Check out the other reviews from members of the Homeschool Review Crew and see the fine art projects they have completed!

Creating Beautiful Art at Home {Creating A Masterpiece Reviews}

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