Monday, August 8, 2016

Living a Mighty Faith {a BookLook Blogger review}

My husband decided a while back that we needed to all start getting up with him in the morning (at WAY too early-thirty) and go for a walk, eat breakfast together, and do some Bible reading. 

At that early hour, though, we felt like we were floundering a bit on the Bible portion of that routine.  And then then I had the opportunity to review Living a Mighty Faith by Angus Buchan.

This has been a great answer for us. 

Angus Buchan is the man behind Faith Like Potatoes.  If you haven't seen the movie version, you need to do so.  Fantastic story.  He's a very real, farmer/evangelist, and reading his devotionals has been a wonderful experience.  He isn't out there spouting lofty, complicated words. 

Practical.  Real. 

The entries in this devotional are dated, and each starts with a Bible verse.  For today, August 8, the verse is Philippians 4:9.  The devotional is titled "Looking for a Hero" and begins like this:
WHAT ARE the characteristics of a hero? Young people especially look for a hero who is a winner, someone who is successful in his or her field. But a true hero should be humble and meek, since meekness is controlled strength. He must know where he's going and be prepared to get there whatever the cost. He must also be holy -- honest and reliable; sincere and dependable. He is an overcomer; one who rises to the challenge; and one who is fearless, irrespective of the mountain before him.
The book itself just feels hefty, with quality pages.  Love it. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Restore my Soul {a Tyndale House Blog Network review}

Adult coloring books are certainly all the rage lately, and with some of the amazing patterns and designs I've seen, I certainly can understand why.  Many of the books I've seen have a bit of a new age-y feel to them.  I was pretty excited to pair up devotional readings with coloring pages, with Ann-Margret Hovsepian's Restore my Soul.

Each of the 2-page spreads starts with a Bible verse.  There are a few paragraphs of devotional text, ending with something to think about as you color the facing page, or instructions of something to do on the page.

The coloring pages vary a bit in detail, and definitely in topic.  Some are flowery, some are more technical.

Using pencils works very well on these thick pages, but the card-making pens I tried definitely bled through.  I'd rather color with good colored pencils anyway.

I'm loving this devotional coloring book.

Disclaimer:   I received this book for free from Tyndale House Publishers.  No other compensation was received.  The fact that I received a complimentary product does not guarantee a favorable review.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Star Toaster {a Schoolhouse Review Crew review}

Orphs of the Woodlands at Tanglegate Review

Last year, the Crew had the chance to review a really neat online program from Star Toaster.  A couple of my boys worked on that, and one of the things I really liked about it was that it encouraged them to read the story carefully in order to complete various tasks in a game-like environment.  One of the things I didn't like so much was that the readings were quite lengthy for my struggling readers.

In the past couple of months, we've had the chance to work with a new interactive book, Orphs of the Woodlands at Tangletree, as an iPad App, and that has been phenomenal.  This is essentially a prequel to the story that takes place in the online program.

As a Crew Leader, I really needed to know how this program worked, so I sat down and worked through the entire story over a couple of days.  My 10-year-old daughter saw me doing it, and she begged to have a chance as well.  I also set up my 12-year-old son.

This is at a slightly easier reading level than the online subscription, and the big key for us is that the individual chapters are significantly shorter. 

The basic idea of this program is that you are reading a story that incorporates all kinds of knowledge.  After most of the chapters, you can go and get a "job" that uses some of that knowledge and other skills, in order to earn the currency you need to purchase supplies for the orphaned creatures you are reading about in the story.

For instance, in chapter 2, you read about the homonyms foul and fowl, and you also read about thunder.  If you click on the highlighted words, you can see a text lesson on homonyms, and you can watch a presentation on thunder and lightning.  Once you "go" to town, you have the opportunity to do some jobs that relate to what you've been learning.

One thing I really love is that you do have to be paying some attention to what you are reading in order to correctly answer the questions.  One job involves watching some paintings float down the river, and then being able to recall which ones you saw.

There are lots of great little phrases and tips as you go along that relate to basic study skills.  "Picture something in your mind if you want to remember it." Or “Learn to listen and listen to learn.”

The jobs cover all sorts of areas.  You get the chance to work for the newspaper, which could involve choosing the correct word, or identifying nouns.  At the Critter Cafe, you learn nutrition and recipes.  Some activities involve science, some involve math.

As a parent, I can check to see how many chapters my students have read.  I can see some details about the jobs they have accomplished and how they did.  I can add more students, so everyone can work on their own account.

The biggest complaint here is how quickly we got to the end.  The good news there is that the next part, Thornwood, says it is coming soon.  The adventure will continue.

See what other Crew members have to say!  And go check them out in social media.



Orphs of the Woodlands at Tanglegate Review

Crew Disclaimer