Blogging through the Alphabet {The Letter H}

Hashem

Shem is Hebrew for “name”; Ha before it being a definite article, “the”.

Phillippians 2:9-10 says that God has exalted Jesus and given him “the name that is above every other name”.

God’s name shows his power, holiness, righteousness, trust, protection, mercy and love.

When we call on his name we call upon His presence. When we act in his name, we act with his authority.

The name of God in Hebrew is only four vowels. Tradition says that only the high priest once a year on Yom Kippur could speak the name of God. This is because they knew that speaking God’s name is meant to be done wisely. It is a powerful name to speak and it is possible to misuse and dishonor him if we are not careful.

The very first mention of prayer appears in Genesis 4:26 when “the people began to invoke the name of the Lord.”

God’s name is above every other name. It is who he is. When we pray in Jesus name we pray with power. We pray to a holy God one who dwells in our midst, hears and responds to us.

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And We Keep On

For the first time in a very long time my older son and I had a heart-to-heart conversation. Can I say I have been praying for this sort of thing for some time now?

For quite a while now I have seen the anger and the bitterness growing within him I wasn’t sure why and he just didn’t want to talk. All we mamas can do sometimes is to get on our knees and pray.

This year has been a real struggle for him and not just in learning materials for quizzing. His grandpa passed away; the two closest friends no longer attend our church and has moved on and away.

We sat down to go over some material this afternoon but instead of quoting verses we ended up talking. About his friends and about kids who have said and done some pretty mean things to him. Some he even thought were friends.

I want to believe him that he is innocent of all these things that he says other kids have said and accused him of. And then I wonder and I am saddened by the fact that these are kids who are old enough to know better and who profess to be followers of Christ.

Regardless of where the blame lies I had to remind my son that all people are sinners saved by grace. that one of us is righteous and well people will say and do things that are on kind and untrue, while there are those who will hurt you and use you all we can really do is pray for them and forgive them so that we are not eaten up inside.

My oldest son is always been so different from other kids. Impulsive and loud and sometimes just crazy. But he’s so sensitive too. He is eager to have a friend and be a friend.

But to hear him talk about the way other kids I can’t I did not close program talk and act when everyone isn’t looking, it really saddens me. Activities that are meant to draw our children to God, being used for entertainment and social advancement.

It can be difficult growing up, even growing up in the church, because the reality is but there are none who are righteous. And it seems there are fewer and fewer what’s really strive to be kind.

What a blessing it was to have this talk we had today. About the value of putting our faith in God alone and not man. About how it was a lonely walk for Jesus too.

I’m so grateful for moments like this one. Opportunities to remind my son that truth matters. And that we need to be careful always of what we say and do because people are watching.

Unfortunately some are watching and waiting for opportunities for all the wrong reasons.

As hard as it may be we are reminded that we need to pray for those who persecute us and use us. We need to pray for them and walk in such a way that when others do speak evil of us people won’t believe them.

Math Refresher for Adults {Review}

If you are anything like me this may very well be one of the best books you get your hands on. Whether you have a massive fear of math (like I do) or perhaps are changing seasons in your life and just need to strengthen your skills, Math Refresher for Adults from Math Essentials, by Richard W. Fisher, is a resource you do not want to miss out on. I think back to my math studies and honestly, I don’t think I ever recall a time when I felt comfortable when it came to math. There was always a hesitation; a lack of surety and comfort. As we progress in my son’s studies I notice a similar hesitation when it comes to work each day. We struggle to complete the basic tasks each day and we haven’t even started on the advanced math. I have to acknowledge that as the leader of our home education, if I cannot show a positive and confidant attitude when it comes to math, I just cannot expect my son to excel or enjoy learning himself. This is the time, and this is the tool, we are using to conquer our fear of math. 🙂

 

 

This is a book for adults but I did encourage my older son (who is almost thirteen) to try a couple of pages in this book as well. I noticed right away, and really liked, that the lessons are all short, with instructions that are so easy to understand. There are helpful hints on each page and video tutorials you can access online with the access code provided within this book. Some of the topics covered within this books are:

  • Fractions
  • Geometry
  • Percents
  • Decimals
  • Word Problems
  • Algebra/Pre-Algebra

There is also a glossary and a number of pages which contain all of the symbols and tables which are important when we are learning and gaining a solid understanding of all of these mathematical concepts. This includes a table for square roots, multiplication facts, commonly used prime numbers equivalents for fractions/decimals.

 

 

Can I say that this was a life saver? I don’t think I ever really had a math vocabulary – I see so much value in that today – so the glossary was very helpful to me and definitely something I plan to use more extensively with all of my children, through time, to help them have a greater vocabulary and understanding of all of these terms.

These tables also reminded me of the value that comes from having math facts well-known; there is that solid foundation that is so necessary in all things. With 270 pages full of review exercises this is definitely a great help in getting us back in shape.

This book says it is the perfect solution for anyone who needs a refresher and I definitely am in agreement with that. My younger son (he is 8) had fun teasing me when he saw the very first page of review exercises. It starts out very simple. Some addition and subtraction of whole numbers; quite a variety of problems to solve. From there we move on to some multiplication and division, fractions ( I am already stuck! Oh My – so embarassing!).

Already I am so grateful for those video lessons. Typically I have a really had time focusing on videos but I really did enjoy these. They were simple and to the point and honestly, I appreciated being able to go back and forth as needed while I was working through one problem or another. The videos weren’t all that long; they were definitely engaging. I am not saying there weren’t moments of frustration and I think I “threw the towel in a couple times” and was quickly reminded by my kids that I always tell them “we don’t quit.”

I really am impressed with all of the teachings presented within this “not that big” math book. I love how it isn’t at all overwhelming at all; there is definitely a lot of tough stuff that gets tackled in these pages but it is done in such a good way. For someone who is really refreshing their skills this would be easy peasy.

For someone like me who, the further along I get, sees more and more how little I truly gained from my years of math classes in school, it is a wonderful help. It saddens me as I go through these pages to see how little I really gained from all that time wasted, that wasn’t learning at all. I do not want my kids to have this same experience when they are older. For my older son, I know we need to step back, slow down and begin again. With a fresh perpsective and new eyes. Definitely with a better spirit about us.

Baby steps right? Or as my son says, famous words of Yoda, “There is no try; there is only do.” This book definitely makes it alot more possible to do math. I am still working through it. Slow and steady. In fact we are even told, in the pages of this book, it is good to spend no more than an hour on math. I still shudder at the idea of spending an hour on math BUT I am definitely beginning to enjoy it more and as my kids see me at work on something they know I dread, I am hopeful that it encourages them to tackle those things that are in their life.

This is definitely not just an affordable resource, but also one that is so full of amazing helps, I am certain we will use this again and again as our children get older, as well. I do lovev materials like this. Even though it is math and I still admit, I don’t love it, there is no doubt a great benefit to be had from this and I am sure we will all grow to understand and love math more, thanks to this book!

You Can Find Math Essentials on Social Media @:

Bible Study Guide For All Ages {Review}

I believe very much in the value of Bible study for all ages. Yet I also acknowledge that it can be challenging, to say in the least, when the youngest is three and the oldest is twelve. There are so many different materials out there; there are different ideas and concepts about how to teach our children and some of them are very complex. This can be great for those of us who are super organized, but for this rather scatter-brained momma, I acknowledge it, I need something that is ready to go right away. I kind of dread those things that come with a list of additional materials needed, or charts full of details on how to prepare for each lesson. I admit it. I am not good at using these types of resources. That said I was excited, and a bit nervous, about the opportunity to review the Bible Study Guide For All Ages. With over 400 lessons and student pages for every level, this was a real blessing for us! For this review we received student pages for the following levels: Beginner Student Pages, Intermediate Student Pages, Advanced Student Pages and also the Teacher Key for the Advanced Level. Also included was the Beginner Timeline, the Unlabeled Wall Map & Timeline (this included a timeline, three maps, and figures. These are really big; great to display if you have the space. The size of the timeline is 76″ x 25″. The sizes of all three maps are 38″ x 25″, 19″ x 25″ and 19″ x 25″.) as well as a set of the Bible Book Summary Cards.

My children all know that the first thing we do each day is study a bit of the good Word. This isn’t just about learning what the Bible says; this is a guide that helps you really experience it for yourself. Full of practical applications and activities you can easily use this to study the Bible for years to come. But the best thing is that all of your kids can study together. Over a time period of four years, we study a combination of Old and New Testament, learning how to apply it to our own lives. Both of our boys have chosen to be baptised in Jesus name; this show of faith, a declaration of their belief, leaves me certain that there is much more which must be done in order to encourage them to continue growing in their faith and to daily add to their understanding and relationship with Jesus.

I really was so excited when this got here; I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect but as you can see, we got more than enough to keep us engaged and active in our studies! This is an amazingly thorough, yet simple, way to study history from a Biblical perspective. Using a timeline helps our younger ones especially, to really see, how it all comes together. And as they all study together, at their own level, they learn and encourage one another to have a closer walk with the Lord. There are four units, each one with over 100 lessons; this is easily something that can be enjoyed again and again. As we grow in our understanding, gaining new revelation. You can see the order of study here. It’s amazing, all that is covered in this one program!

For my younger ones, the Beginner Timeline was perfect. These are durable, large cards (34 in all) that help our little ones (like my 3 and 6 year old girls) to remember major events and people within the Bible. These are colorful, eye catching and each card has a question. Who gave Joseph his many colored coat? What are the names of three of the kings of Israel? There is also a CD available that goes along with these; I know we have learned that music is a wonderful tool to help our kids remember all sorts of things. We did not get the CD for this review but we are going to get the CD to include in future lessons because we just love those sorts of things. And my girls are always singing (their language of learning I call it). My littlest one (who is three) loved these and really enjoyed sharing stories about them, as she remembered them. She often reminds her siblings, “Jesus says to love one another.”

There are also Bible Book Summary Cards; you can get these as small or large cards. We received the large ones. Again these are firm, durable cards that are designed both to be visual aids and also to be a resource to help our children recall details from every single book in the Bible. I love how each card incorporates so much information, in a way that is simplified.

There are typically at least five questions on the back of each card too (great for review or just some fun quizzing) These could also be used as flashcards; since the front of the card shows images that relate to the topics covered in each book. For the Book of Exodus you see Moses and the Ten Commandments. For numbers, you see numbers and a map of sorts that shows the wandering of the Israelites.The visuals really are very appealing, big enough to catch your attention and definitely good representations of what we want them to remember.

Each of my children had their own Student Pages to use as we went along and the teachers key walked me through each lesson in clear and concise detail. This is where all the answers are to the activities in the student pages, making it every easy to teach all four children, each lesson. NO stress. Makes this momma really happy. There is also background information and more scripture references to really help pull it all together. Since we received the Wall Maps and the Wall Timeline, we also paid close attention to what needed to be applied each day (although we did struggle a bit with them not sticking – love that hot, humid weather).

Each day before beginning our lesson, we would pray together and then review what came before, so we could go into the day’s lesson fully prepared. Some of this was a bit more difficult for my younger ones (I think most lessons were about half an hour in length) so some days we would take a break in between to sing or color or just get the wiggles out! (There is a Get Active section in the Student Pages book to help with exactly this too!)

Within the Student Pages there were a couple things that we really liked. I always like to think that God has chosen something like this just for me, when we sit down and the very first lesson is exactly what we need. As we struggle with some bad attitudes, some rebellious spirits (mostly in our oldest son), the first lesson, all about hate, was a wonderful way to begin these studies together. Each lesson starts with the timeline; simple facts, people and time, to help build a foundation and understanding as our children are able to see it all coming together, one at a time.

We love timelines and while this one is SO big – we were super blessed to have the space for it! It has become something our children love to study and talk about. There are songs to sing also; again we did not have the chance to use this for the review, but we definitely plan to get it since we will be continuing to use this program.

In Get Active, we act out, an example of the lesson being taught. We then end the lesson learning to Apply It. We were created for good works; we were created to be in relationship not just with God but with one another as well. And these lessons, interactive and engaging, help us to understand what it means to be honest, to be wise, to share with others. We learn what it means, we see an exmaple (even act it out) and then we see what it looks like so we can go out and be that light He calls us to be.

Simply put, this is a most amazing program! With simplicity it weaves everything together helping even the youngest little one to see God’s plan and purpose from the beginning. My little ones loved the coloring pages while my boys both enjoyed the timeline and map work; Discover the Bible and Guess What were two other favorite pieces that they enjoyed (these are great for encouraging our kids to dig into the Word themselves and also to see some of those simple, little details, that really are a big deal!) And the comic style form in some of the pages was lots of fun for my oldest son who is rather artistic, loves his comics and is always doodling. When he sat down to work with us, no matter the attitude in the beginning, at the end he was joyful, peaceful, working hard and really talking, excitedly about all that he felt God sharing with him in our lessons. Who and why?

These are questions that are posed to our students as we read through and strive to go deeper in these stories, which God has given us, to help us learn and grow in His way. I am reminded again and again as we work, as we come together, where two or three are gathered, that we were created for good works. To do them. This is the sort of resource that not only helps us to do them but helps us desire to do them. 🙂

Bible Study Guide for All Ages is on Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BibleStudyG/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BibleStudyG

The Master and His Apprentices {Review}

I just love art! All four of my children love to sit and draw; we have a little pottery wheel they enjoy using. Our house is full of chalk pastels, watercolor pencils and other materials that can be used to have fun and create! While they are enjoying this, I had the opportunity to enjoy an amazing art history curriculum , from a Christian perspective, The Master and His Apprentices: Art History From a Christian Perspective. This is designed for high school level students (they can receive a full credit for this course too); this is a thorough study of Creation and ancient cultures through renaissance and modern times. With over 600 images in full color, this is a wonderful and family friendly way to explore and grow an appreciation for art from both a historical and biblical perspective. For this review we received both the teacher’s guide and textbook for download. This does offer a per-child license (very affordable) but for this review we were allowed to use the program with all children in our household.

I love how this starts out at the very beginning, in Genesis; there is also a timeline for each section of study that covers: Important World Events, Ancient Roman Art and Biblical Events/Christian History. There is also a really neat section where you can see all the pieces by location. I actually had to check this out right away. Was I ever surprised to find that there is even a piece of art here in Wisconsin! Since we are not too far from Madison, I do believe we will need to make a trip there sometime in the near future. It was also quite interesting to find that there are also a couple pieces in two Chicago museums. Again, we are not that far from Chicago – this gives me a bit more motivation to explore these areas. It is always really neat to see some things like this, in our own backyard I think!

Within the first pages alone we must stop to ponder: what does the word art mean to you? Do we enjoy viewing it? Are we an artist? What is our favorite type of art?

We are reminded that God is THE Master artist and well Leonardo did paint the Mona Lisa he did not create the woman who sat before him – the Creator did that. Where would we be without God’s creation?

Every chapter within this textbook is arranged in chronological order and by geographical location. Throughout the chapters we are many times pointed to various scriptures help us to see and understand more deeply. I always love seeing scripture connect with things of this sort. I don’t know about you, but looking at a work of art or listening to an amazing piece of music by Beethoven, I don’t always take the time to see God in it. And certainly things are so much more valuable when we see God in them.

Within the teacher’s guide are discussion questions, worksheets, exams and many other great resources. They provide a standard one year plan which includes one hour of instruction per week. They also include a sample syllabus, especially helpful for a student who is looking to receive credit for this course.

All four of my children absolutely love art! My oldest son especially really enjoys all the different forms and it’s quite talented if I may say so myself. However since he has been a rather reluctant learner as of light I did not want to force anything else on him. I had a feeling that if I worked through this class myself there would be times he would come alongside me. And so well I mostly completed this class so where time that he accompanied me on this little journey.

I wanted to share some examples of the worksheets because while I did not use them myself, please excellent questions for any true student to be able to answer. There were definitely times where I used this little discussion with my oldest son when he would be sitting beside me. It is definitely a much more enjoyable experience, studying together, sharing thoughts and preferences even; discussions about the value of and vision of the artists throughout the ages and in different locations.

I love the scripture that is woven into every lesson; beginning with a lesson on the properties of light, air and water. We learn about water and land and vegetation; we see art within the diversity of plants. I don’t think I ever thought of that as a form of art before.

We then move on to a study of the ancient near East. While it is often referred to as the prehistoric period, we see how, in reality, this is the time following the flood. I love how there are bits and pieces of geography and archaeology woven into this course.

Here we here we learned about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Ishtar Gate of Babylon. From Noah’s Ark to the Law Code of Hammurabi; we explore mosaics and seals and even Solomon’s Temple. There is so much more to explore too, but I don’t want to spoil anything for you.

This also this also covers classical antiquity; think of the early Greeks, Roman, Etruscans. We explore the Middle Ages, the Baroque and the Renaissance both early and high.

There are just so many good things about this course. I really I’m hoping that as my son gets older he will become more interested in completing this for himself. I do believe there’s so much more that we can learn and a greater appreciation we can truly have when we see the hand of God in all that we are studying.

Blogging Through the Alphabet (The Letter G)

Here we are, coming together for another week of blogging through the alphabet.

It has been already a powerful and refreshing kind of week for me. There is nothing it brings a mama more joy and peace then when she sees one of her babes choose to be born again baptized in Jesus name. My younger son surprised all of us Sunday night when he made this decision for himself.

My Redeemer. And now my son’s Redeemer too. Whatever would we do without our redeemer?

God is referred too often as the Redeemer or the Ga’al with in the Old Testament.

But what is a redeemer? Do we truly understand redemption?

Redemption involves winning back or repurchasing something that belongs to you or to someone else. In the Old Testament we see redemption in the exodus of God’s people from Egypt.

In some situations there might even be a “kinsman redeemer”, one who was perhaps a close relative and able to pay off a debt so land could be returned or a person could be freed.

In the New Testament, Jesus is no more called the “redeemer” but is now spoken of as the one who offered himself as a ransom or redemption by his death on the cross. Jesus camp to set people free and his blood was the purchase price.

 

By his death Jesus brings us out of disobedience and into obedience. When we here his words and obey them, there is redemption for everyone of us.

 

 

Please do join us with your own posts, family friendly, of course!

 

An InLinkz Link-up

 

Love to hear from you. 🙂

Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 {Hake Publishing Review}

Hake Publishing

As someone who loves to read and write, language arts are very important to me. I want my children to have an understanding and more importantly, an appreciation for these things. At the same time I know that there are some topics that no matter how much we love them, we just cannot teach them. This is how I feel about language arts and so I was quite pleased to have the opportunity to review the Hake/Saxon Grammar and Writing 3 set from Hake Publishing. We received a softcover physical copy of the Grammar and Writing 3 Textbook with Daily Review, a Writing Workbook, and a Teacher Guide with answer keys and tests.

Hake Publishing Writing and Grammar

This was designed with the same methods in place as Saxon Math. Now we had never used Saxon math ourselves; after hearing so many good things about their math program though, we were eager to explore their methods for writing and grammar (that’s what we really need right now too!) If you want to see in more detail what is covered you can see the Scope and Sequence for Grade 3 here.

 

 

 

I was so pleased to see, when these books arrived, that everything is laid out. exactly how it is meant to be. There is a wonderful list of recommendations found on the first pages of the teacher’s guide. Everything you need to know, in order to be able to complete this successfully. Can I be honest though and say, my struggle with this came when I read “set a daily routine”. We have kind of been unschooling for awhile now and so while we do require some form of reading, writing and math each day – I wasn’t completely sure how to introduce this or if my kids would even really participate. Let’s be totally transparent here: how hard is it to teach and show a love of learning with stubborn and angry faces glaring at you from across the table? It does happen!

 

 

 

We have quite a bit going on this summer; some free programming and coding, photography and drumming….I admit it. I worry about having to fit one more thing into our days. but I also feel so strongly about language arts. These are things that are of such value to our children, especially as they get older. My oldest son has taken part in speech and debate groups with a local homeschool program; my younger son though loves to read and write but only sporadically. So there are just a lot of things that I can see him needing, that I was sure he could get out of this if we could just get him to give it a try. Thankfully this is something that clearly has a beginning and an end so he was open to doing one lesson with me each day.

 

 

What do I love most? There is a script for me to read as we work together on each lesson. It is all laid out so completely, there is no struggle in teaching any of the 100+ lessons within this book. My younger really liked learning bits and pieces of latin as we went along. In the first lesson there was information on the word “vocabulary.” The latin root, anim, meaning breath; animal = living thing that breathes. Animation = makes drawings look like they are alive, moving. Since this very first, simple little lesson, in the very beginning, he has been ever more curious about what this word means, why this word is assigned to that thing. What a fun learning experience we are both having with this!

 

 

I have to back up for a second here. So each lesson consists of: speaking & listening and vocabulary. Following these two pieces of the lesson, we take a moment to write some sentences of our own using the vocabulary words that we learned.

 

 

From there, we move on to a lesson in grammar completing some examples, some practice questions and then a review set. There is also an element of journalling to this program (I love it) to encourage our kiddos to do some writing about a specific topic after they complete the day’s lesson. One day it was writing about an animal with fur; another day it was about an instrument they play or would like to play.

 

 

The fact that the lessons were short, and simple,was definitely something that made my younger son willing to engage in something new, at the table, when we are in the midst of summertime. Even though he isn’t really a fan of workbooks and textbooks, he was quite a good sport when it came to doing daily lessons this way.  He especially enjoyed the writing exercises. Having a chance to write freely (this really surprised me) about specific things; Both creating and identifying things within sentences he felt was a very fun way to learn how to identify the pieces that are needed to have a complete sentence. And while he really appreciated the fun ways that his work was laid out each day, I really appreciated the simplicity and ease of it all for mysself because if I am honest here, the more I have to do to prepare for a lesson each day, the less likely I really am to give myself to it completely. Not fair to my kids I know but with so many things going on; with a focus on doing and being, especially when we have great weather (here in Wisconsin that can be a real rarity) we want to enjoy our days as much as we can. Active and intentional. That is our goal this summer. A material like this makes that all the more possible. So I can still encourage and engage with my children in those things that are academically important without giving up too much of the free time we have right now. We are definitely going to continue using this; I may even need to get an additional workbook and use this with my older son to help fill in some of those gaps which I know he also has, in this area. One thing is certain though, since we have begun using this my younger son has begun to enjoy and desire to write much more than before. Anything which has that sort of effect on a child of mine is a winner in my book!

 

 

 

 

Crew Disclaimer

Blogging Through the Alphabet ( the letter F)

God is faithful. Even when I am not.

I have been struggling with the fact that I have been struggling with staying on top of my posts for this.

I don’t have any good excuses. I just have not been wanting to spend Time online lately.

I cannot think of anything better to use for this posting then that he is our friend.

Jesus is not just our Lord and he is not just our savior. He is also the greatest friend we could ever have. A friend who laid down his life for us. Even when we were not calling him friend.

I read this morning there is no hesitation within us to give for a friend but how often do we hesitate when asked to give to someone who is not?

That person who just rubs us the wrong way or maybe talks too much or too loudly? What about that individual who cut us off in traffic or just looked at us the wrong way?

My heart aches every time I think how Jesus called me friend even when I denied him and rejected him. He gave his life for me even when I was not calling him friend.

The Greek word philos is used 28 times in the New Testament. It is meant to describe the close relationship that exists among Believers or the which were related to one another by virtue of their faith. This is also closely related to phileo which means to love or philema which means a kiss.

When we are close friends we are like relatives. We believe and walk together. The scriptures often speak with greeting one another with a kiss, a holy kiss that symbolizes the close and intimate relationship with one another as believers.

Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Friendship is so much more than just knowing someone’s name. There is that close friendship and that desire to lay down one’s life for another. And this can only be born some walking with the Lord daily. How blessed we are to have a friend like Jesus who is closer than a brother.

Persuasive Writing & Classical Rhetoric: Practicing the Habits of Great Writers {Silverdale Press LLC Review}

My oldest son is getting older and as he gets older, I become a bit more careful about what we are using. There are things that I desire for him to learn from and of. Writing, reading, speaking – these are all amazing forms of art when we have learned and practiced them well. My oldest son for a number of years was part of an amazing speech and debate group for home educators. Until it just became too much – it was a long ways from home. It involved a lot of time and energy every week. Things that I definitely see as valuable skills to practice and learn of, but the how can sometimes be a bit overwhelming? It is always such a blessing to find a program like this: Persuasive Writing & Classical Rhetoric: Practicing the Habits of Great Writers from Silverdale Press LLC. This is a 36 week course which is meant to be used by ages 14-18 which teaches how to practice the habits of those great writers from long ago. This is one of those materials that I really wish would have been around when I was still in school – persuasive writing has never really been my thing. Thankfully I have never grown out of my willingness to be a student so while my older son did use this one, I was excited to learn right alongside him. It is said that “writers write, writers read, and writers think.” Certainly, if we wish to do that well, there is much we must learn!

While I had never heard of Silverdale Press, LLC prior to this review, I am so excited to have experienced just a bit of the goodness of this company. They offer a variety of materials for social studies, history and writing; they also have a number of unit studies for ages 5-18. One thing I really love is how this company was founded with a desire to provide high quality resources to homeschooling families. It certainly can be a challenge to find good, quality materials, am I right? With these we are able to equip our children with confidence and excellence. We all want that for our children, amen!

This is such an amazing course! I was really excited from the moment I saw this and knew that for my oldest son (and myself as well!) we had to have this one. It’s been on my mind a lot lately: my oldest son needs to really learn how to think. It is said that great writers are readers and thinks. They write and they read and they think. Every day. They challenge themselves and stretch themselves to go beyond what is, to what could be. There are so many amazing people that this course gives us the opportunity to study and learn from. Some of them are:

  • Patrick Henry
  • Winston Churchill
  • Wendell Berry
  • Ida M. Tarbell
  • John Locke
  • Daniel Webster
  • Alexander Hamilton
  • Ronald Reagan
  • Thomas Paine
  • Augustine
  • Thomas Clarkson
  • William Wilberforce
  • Jane Austin
  • Dorothy Sayers
  • Rachel Carson

There are so many others; some familiar names, others individuals that I was so very excited to learn of and get to know as we worked through this course.

 

 

The materials for this were all provided as downloadable files. We received a: lesson book, student workbook, reader and also an answer key (to make life a bit simpler for you momma!). They also very clearly lay out the work to be done each day. I cannot say enough how, although this is a course that is very deep and involved, they make the work of it so very easy to follow. For a student who works well independently, they can easily work through the lesson book each day with no doubt as to what must be done. For my son, who is on the younger end of the recommended ages side, we chose to do this together. Some of the lessons are very involved; this is not light and easy. It does involve slow reading, lots of thought. These are some of my favorite things personally!

 

 

 

 

Since he is very much a perfectionist, he also struggles with attention and focus, I knew that this was a perfect program for us to work on together. We often discussed together too, how this is a process. It takes time and perserverance. We will not become a great reader or writer or thinker overnight. But it takes time. And we must be diligent. Slow to speak. Quick to hear. Enjoy the works, chew on them, marinate in them (I think I need to get to work on lunch over here soon ha-ha) This course teaches you everything you need to know; you learn it from those great writers from so long ago. While my son has heard the names, certainly he is now learning of them on a deeper level. He was actually really impressed when he learned that there is so much more to Patrick Henry’s famous speech than simply, “Give me liberty, or give me death.”

The workbook is filled with excellent exercises to encourage our students to think hard. Some of it involves defining terms, other parts may ask our students to identify rhetoric or give examples of persuasive and skillful communications. In one exercise my son had to write an essay in regards to why he would rather have death over (he said ice cream), of course he was being a bit silly and when we settled he chose to proclaim his reasons for choose his right to bear arms (bow and arrow anyway) over death. Definitely not what I was expecting. While the workbook wasn’t something we were always faithful on, we did use it quite a bit. But the work to be done each day is a bit heavy for him. So most days we would go over the exercises together verbally. We would discuss what a good example of persuasion might be. He has a fellow scout who is an atheist and there were many times our discussions revolved around how to use the art of persuasion to show this young man that there is indeed a God.

 

 

There are so many wonderful pieces to this course and while we are going very slowly through this ourselves, we are very much enjoying the opportunity to learn and grow together. I know my son has dreams of one day having his own book published (as have I since I was young) so this really is something that we are enjoying, going through it together. With a shared purpose. One of the neatest things about this course? At the very end, if you like, you may submit your own project for possible publication. What a wonderful way to encourage and motivate our children in a writing course. That alone makes me say, “this is great!” For any student who would love to have their voice heard; this is wonderful way to learn how to better craft your skills and also be encouraged to go and press on!

 

Persuasive Writing & Classical Rhetoric: Practicing the Habits of Great Writers & White House Holidays Unit Studies {Silverdale Press LLC Reviews}

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