Sunday, June 30, 2013

Moving Beyond The Page {Review}

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In my participation with the TOS Review Crew I have had the opportunity to learn about curriculum companies that I was unfamiliar with. This was the case for my latest review of materials from Moving Beyond The Page. For this review, I was given the option of choosing one Language Arts package and either one Social Studies package or one Science package. I chose the age 9-11 age range and was sent the Language Arts Package - Lincoln Online Curriculum Guide ($30.83) and the Social Studies Package - Your State ($16.99). Moving Beyond The Page does offer full year curriculum packages for all ages, as well, although this review is for only two of their individual units.

I received these three physical books in the photo below and printed out the online guide and put it in a notebook for Benjamin to work through. 

We have been focusing on American history this year, since we are living back in the United States and since we live in an area that is rich in opportunities to visit historic sites, etc. I appreciated that I did not have to order the entire year-long curriculum package in order for these two units to make sense. They can be used alone or with the total package. So, because American history has been a focus for us, as well as living in a state we have never lived in before, these two separate units worked well to fit into where we are in life and in our schooling. 

The Language Arts Package - Lincoln is a unit study which uses the two books, Lincoln: A Photobiography and A Picture Book of Frederick Douglass to explore the life of Abraham Lincoln and his legacy, as well as to learn of the relationship between Lincoln and Douglass. Participles and appositives are introduced and studied in these lessons, as well.

The prerequisites for this unit include:
  • Able to read and comprehend novels at a late 5th or 6th grade reading level
  • Able to write multiple paragraphs on a topic
  • Usually used by children in fourth or fifth grade
The Table of Contents:
  • Lesson 1: Who Was He?
  • Lesson 2: Childhood
  • Lesson 3: A Lawyer and Politician
  • Lesson 4: Slavery
  • Lesson 5: Emancipation (2 Days)
  • Lesson 6: Civil War (2 Days)
  • Lesson 7: Assassination
  • Lesson 8: Words and Memories
  • Final Project: Lincoln Showcase
The Social Studies Package - Your State is a unit study on exactly what the title says, whichever state you call home. So we were glad to be able to study a bit more about our new state, Virginia.

The prerequisites for this unit include:
  • Able to read and comprehend novels at a late 5th or 6th grade reading level
  • Able to write multiple paragraphs on a topic
  • Usually used by children in fourth or fifth grade
Table of Contents:
  • Lesson 1: Geography of Your State
  • Lesson 2: State Symbols (2 Days)
  • Lesson 3: State History (2 Days)
  • Lesson 4: Famous People
  • Lesson 5: Places to See
  • Lesson 6: State Field Trips
  • Lesson 7: State Statistics
  • Lesson 8: State Maps
  • Final Project: State Book (2 Days)
Here are two pages from this unit . . .

These units are designed to be completed by the child in 19 days. Ben worked on these lessons several times per week, but we have not quite finished them, due to sickness in our family in the last two weeks. He did need help with understanding the participles and appositives exercises. 

It is so neat when school lessons and real life experiences compliment each other. We watched the newly released Lincoln film, starring Daniel Day Lewis, during this review period, which added to this study. We also recently went again to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia to explore the historic city a bit more. This time we toured through the lower town and because Frederick Douglass had come to Harpers Ferry to deliver a speech in 1881, he was part of the display. Here is a photo I took . . .

I ordered library books on the topic of the state of Virginia to assist in the Your State lessons. Ben also used the Internet to find some of the facts he needed for the questions he was asked. It was fun to learn more about Virginia, although we were already familiar with the state bird, tree, flower and capital city. Benjamin collects state coins, so we pulled out his Virginia coin to examine it more closely. We had not known the state song before this lesson. What an unexpected (and shocking) discovery that was. It has been fun to learn about the cities and sites we want to visit, the battlefields there are to explore and to continue to add to our already long list of "must sees".

Overall, I think these two units are fabulously written and well laid out for the student. The one drawback for me was the online version of the Lincoln unit. I would have liked to have the actually book or workbook in my hands. I am not a fan of either having my students on the computer for lengthy periods (we only have one computer right now) or having to print off multiple pages. I would have preferred the actual printed workbook, but again, this is just my person preference. I know many people would prefer the online version.

The TOS Review Crew was given a multitude of lessons and combinations of lessons to choose from, so please click the banner below to see what other units those families had the opportunity to review!


Bethel Live/Jesus Culture Spontaneous Song

I love worshipping with this one. All my love and affection, for You, God.

Have a great Sunday!


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Brief Giving Update

Thanks so much for your giving.  We’ve already had several responses since our email and Facebook post went out Thursday.  Many of you are committed, faithful donors, but we also welcomed some first time friends as well.  So thank you.  Whether you are a thriving family, successful retiree, young professional, doting grandparent or have children in university, we are grateful for you generously investing your hard-earned money in awakening and revival.

Besides working with IFA and fundraising for my salary and expenses, I am also working a $10/hour delivery job 25-30 hours per week to make ends meet.  We don’t have any savings or retirement on which we can depend.  We are “all in” financially because we believe there is an urgency in our nation.  I want you to know that we are not just waiting around to live off others’ donations.  We deeply value your partnership with us.

We appreciate your continued prayers and friendship as we move forward in faith.  For now, we do not have a “Plan B.”  We have been planted here in the nation’s capital, and we are very grateful.

Thanks for walking with us,

To join our support team, click on Field Staff Support at IFA Royce Team.

Bob Royce
Intercessors for America
Mobilization Coordinator
PO Box 915
Purcellville, VA 20134
540-317-2097 Direct

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Urgent Appeal and Neat Connection

Dear Friends,

One of the neat things about the Lord bringing us back to the States, and particularly to this part of the country, is the people we have the honor to meet while we are here.  Scarlett and I enjoyed a fifteen minute private conversation with General (Ret.) William Suter, current Clerk of the Supreme Court of the United States, at a recent Saturday afternoon barbecue.  It was fascinating to learn more about his position and also to hear his thoughts on some of the ongoing scandals that have broken here recently.  We just wanted to share this “unofficial ministry” story with you and say thanks for partnering with us to work and live here just outside of DC.

To learn more about General Suter, click here:

Help Needed ASAP!
We also want to let you know that we are in a crunch for our May and June finances.  We realize that summer giving is oftentimes lower in ministries which rely on fundraising, and, unfortunately, this is true for us right now.  We trust the Father and know He is our Provider.  We truly appreciate each and every one of you and the sacrifice you make on our behalf to share the good news of Jesus and the Kingdom.  We are asking for your help right now.  We need to be able to pay our rent on Monday.

To join our support team, click on Field Staff Support at IFA Royce Team.

Thank you for your prayers, as we continue connecting with leaders and casting vision for spiritual awakening and revival around the country through The Journey to Transformation here at Intercessors for America.  He has given us some strong connections here in Virginia, including both a new church family and others outside of any church.  We see Him working and are excited. 

We hope you are enjoying your summer!

Many thanks,
Bob and all of the Royce crew

Bob Royce
Intercessors for America
Mobilization Coordinator
PO Box 915
Purcellville, VA 20134
540-317-2097 Direct

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Weekly Menu Plan - or not

We were hit with an ugly sickness over the weekend, and I still have not recovered. I took Austin to his class tonight and when I got home Ben informed me that I resembled Sid from Ice Age: Continental Drift, after he's eaten the lotus berry. LOL! Yep, that's about how I feel, too. 

So, there's no menu plan. Hopefully that will change, but for now, I'm going back to bed.

I pray all is well with you and that summer has not brought any sickness into your home! I am declaring healing for us.

Many blessings. xo

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Dear Lovely Readers,

In case you haven't heard, Google Reader is going away. Therefore, I have decided to switch over to Bloglovin. It's a very easy process. No stress involved at all.

You can now Follow my blog with Bloglovin!

Change is difficult sometimes, but in this instance, I am embracing change and enjoying it. I really like how clean everything is and how user-friendly. 

Have you switched to a new Reader and if so, which one? 

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Don't miss this important message! Elbert Guillory

Wow! I just saw this last night and was moved to tears. I showed it to the kids just now and was moved to tears again. 

I have not heard anything so encouraging or inspiring in a long time!

God bless you, Mr. Guillory! You will be in my prayers.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Weekly Menu Plan {18 June}

This is lettuce from my garden (a.k.a. deck)!

I am a day late in posting this, but better late than never, eh?!

Monday - Sloppy Joes, baked beans

Tuesday - Teriyaki Chicken, rice, sautéed asparagus, salad

Wednesday - Tortellini Salad (or tortellini drizzled with olive oil for some)

Thursday - Leftovers

Friday - Homemade Pizza, salad

Saturday - PW Mini Meatball Sandwiches, sweet potatoes, green salad

Sunday - Popcorn, fruit

What's on your menu this week? I love getting new ideas! xo

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Memoria Press - Prima Latina {Review}

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Even though I took Latin classes in high school and in university, I have never purchased a Latin curriculum for my homeschool. I know the value of having a Latin background, but when in Canada, my older three children were involved in French classes and then branched out to other languages of their choosing. My younger ones have also been interested in different languages, and thus, I just haven't put much thought into having any of them learn Latin. Until now . . .

I was given the opportunity to participate in a review of Prima Latin by Memoria Press, which is written for students in grades 2-4. I received the complete set (retail value: $90.90), which includes the following: 
  • Student Book
  • Teacher Manual 
  • Pronunciation CD
  • Instructional DVDs (a total of 9 hours of instruction)
  • Flashcards

This is a wonderful resource for getting started in Latin. I have had my Ava (age 8) using this material. She was thrilled to have her own "new language" to learn, although she has been learning a bit of French, as well. The way the program is set up is clear and straight-forward. Several times per week, we watched the instructional DVD, worked on the exercises in the student manual and reviewed the flashcards. There are 25 lessons and each lesson is only four pages in length. There are over 200 flashcards! The set of flashcards alone is a wonderful resource.

I wasn't sure if the exercises would be too overwhelming for Ava, who is improving in her reading but is not yet a strong writer. She did get frustrated a couple of times but I think amount of work is just about right. I do appreciate that each lesson only contains only 5 or so vocabulary words. It is just the right amount of new information, with plenty of repetition. 

One thing I want to note (it is the only drawback to this program and a minor one, in my opinion). If you are not from the southern part of the United States, you may find the pronunciation a little off-putting (unless you love a slight southern drawl!). There is not one thing wrong with it, it just threw us off for the first few lessons. After we had viewed several lessons, it was not a big deal. And I am glad we have the DVD lessons to practice the pronunciation, since I am a little rusty.

We have not used the CD for extra practice, although I have plans to do so. I want to get a portable CD player so that Ava can listen to it in the mornings when she is up early (she is our early bird). She could use headphones and get in a little more practice, without waking up all the sleeping siblings.

One of my favourite parts of the program are the Latin prayers we are learning. Here is the first one, called The Sanctus:

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus
Dominus Deus Sabaoth
Pleni sunt caeli et terra gloria Tua.
Hosana in excelsis.
Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.
Hosanna in excelsis.

Holy, Holy, Holy
Lord God of Hosts.
Heaven and earth are full of Your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

Click HERE to view a sample lesson.

If you are having doubts about adding Latin to your homeschool set, click HERE to read a short article.

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To read what other families thought of Prima Latina or Memoria Press' Geography curriculum, click the banner below . . .

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Birdcage Press - Wild Cards: Backyard Birds {Review}

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Does your family enjoy a rousing game of cards? How about Go Fish? Concentration? Or Old Maid? We have played many card games over the years and enjoy the time together as a family, as well as the good, old-fashioned fun that a card game produces. We were recently introduced to Birdcage Press and given the opportunity to review their card game and book set entitled, Wild Cards: Backyard Birds

Birdcage Press is a company founded by Wenda O'Reilly who created the cards, along with her children, for all ages to enjoy. Her games are featured in art museums throughout the world. They offer a wide range of games in several categories, including art, wildlife and nature, air and space, and history. The set we received for review, Wild Cards: Backyard Birds, comes in a sturdy case, with 36 playing cards and a 32 page fact book. This set is intended for ages 6+ and sells for $10.95. 

The book gives ways to identify birds in your own garden, gives the categories of the cards (Tricksters, Songbirds, Woodpeckers, Hummers, Little Chirpers and Waterbirds), shows an Icon Guide, a Map Guide and then has one page of information per bird that is featured on the cards. In the back of the book are Game Rules for "Old Trickster" (a.k.a. Old Maid), Bird Memory (a.k.a. Concentration) and Go Fish for Birds.

We love birds and birdwatching. We were so blessed to learn so much about birds when we lived in Canada. We had many birds come to our backyard feeder, as well as come and eat from our hands when we would hike certain trails in Ontario. Now that we are in Virginia, we are delighted to have not only some of the same, but also many different backyard birds here, too! It's been interesting to compare our birds list with the cards to find out which backyard birds we still have yet to see in person. 

We have enjoyed multiple sessions of fun with these beautiful and sturdy cards. We've played Go Fish over and over. We have also introduced the little girls to the game of Old Maid/Old Trickster. They request that every time we play now!

Bob was even able to get in on the fun one day when he was home!

I have my eye on several of the other Birdcage Press card sets, including Close Up: National Gallery of Art,  Go Fish for Impressionist Artists, Battle Cards: Military Jets and 52 Amazing Places: National Parks! We recommend this company and their delightful products for any card-playing family!

To read what other homeschool families think about Birdcage Press products, click the banner below:


Monday, June 10, 2013

Summertime Reading

We are well on our way to enjoying a wonderful summer, full of good books, time in the sun and relaxing (although we do still have some school work to accomplish, as well)! So I thought I'd share some of our reading lists (so far). These are in no particular order . . .

Our current read aloud books:
Oliver Twist (Kindle edition) - Emma is reading this one to us at lunch.
Detectives in Togas - I am reading this one at lunch.
A Wrinkle In Time - Emma is also reading this one.
Little House on the Prairie (The Little House 9 book set) - I'm reading this to my little girls.
The Chronicles of Narnia - We've been listening to this in the car. These books never get old, no matter how many times we read them.

Maya's list:
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle
And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street
Lili At Ballet
Cross Country Cat
Put Me In The Zoo
In The Forest
A Hole Is To Dig
Rain, Rain Rivers
Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing
Always Room For One More
On Mother's Lap

Ava's list: 
Andy and the Lion 
The Big Snow
The Empty Pot
The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins
Anna and the King of Siam
Fire Cat
Owl At Home
The Bravest Dog Ever
Granny and the Desperadoes
Leo The Late Bloomer
Lucky and Squash

Audiobooks for the little girls:
The Penderwicks at Point Mouette (We all love this series so much!)
The Hundred Dresses

Ben's list:
The Redwall Series (He's on the third to the last in this 22 books series!)
Rome Antics
The Time Machine
The White Company
The Wolves of Willowby Chase
The Librarian Who Measured The Earth
The Big Wave

Austin's list:
Watership Down
The Shakespeare Stealer
The Chosen
Onion John
The Old Man and the Sea
Profiles in Courage
Do Hard Things
The Robe
The Silver Chalice
The Virginian 
The Yearling
Ben Hur
Two Years Before The Mast

Emma's list:
The Shakespeare Stealer
The Old Man and the Sea
One of Ours
Tevye the Dairyman and Motl the Cantor's Son
The Trumpeter of Krakow 
The Grapes of Wrath
My Antonia
Father Brown: The Essential Tales
Nineteen Eighty-Four 
The Scarlet Pimpernel
The Chosen

My list:
Bringing Up Bébé (I'm listening to this fascinating audio book as I taxi people around town and I am loving it!)
The Circle Maker
American Phoenix: John Quincy and Louisa Adams, the War of 1812, and the Exile that Saved American Independence (written by my friend and historian, Jane Hampton Cook)
Spirit Wars
The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, A Small Town and The Secret of a Good Life

We'll see how far these stacks get us and will probably add to them in the next month or two. Do you have any good books you're planning to read this summer? I would love to know any good titles you can recommend. Thanks! xo

{This post contains affiliate links. If you buy any of these books through my links, I will make a small commission. Thank you!}