Thursday, August 10, 2017

Mazie in the Making...

On this particular day not only was Mazie visiting but so was Mazie's brother Beau (from the same litter) and Stella (from a previous litter). They are all full blooded siblings. For those that haven't been following my previous postings about Mazie, she is a Labradoodle. Stella has a curly coat. Mazie has a wavy coat, and Beau has a straight coat. Beau reminds me of Tramp from Lady and the Tramp. Stella belongs to a good friend of ours. Beau belongs to my oldest daughter and her husband. And Mazie is currently in training at Stella's house. I thought I would share these fun pictures. 

The 3 dogs being asked to sit and stay.


Lay down, stay.


Listen, stay.

A dish of treats are set in front of them and they are commanded to leave it!

Leave it!

Leave it!

Leave it!

Leave it!

Leave it!

Leave it!

 In between the "leave it's" they were rewarded with treats. They all did well. Mazie
and Stella often times continued to look up at the person in charge. Beau often times laid his head down eying the treats patiently waiting to be rewarded for his patience. They were all such well behaved and smart. It was so fun to watch the sibling interact, play, and rough house with each other. 

 Mazie In The Making First Posting
Mazie In The Making Second Posting
Mazie In The Making Third Posting
Dear Mazie

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Greek 'n' Stuff - A Review

My 6th grade daughter has been working through Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! - Level 2 Set  from Greek 'n' Stuff over the past weeks. There are 8 levels in the Teach Me Some Greek Series. Level Two is intended for early elementary 2nd-4th grade.

What I received. There are several other components that can be purchased separately on the website.
  • Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! "Answers Only" Answer Key Level 2
  • Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! A Biblical Greek Worktext Level 2
  • Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! Pronunciation CD

So what exactly will your student learn in Level 2 Greek?
  • Alphabet Review
  • Alphabet Practice
  • Vocabulary Practice
  • New Vocabulary
  • Final Review
After the alphabet is reviewed the remainder of the book focuses on eleven foundational Greek vocabulary words that set the stage for Level 3 that introduces Greek grammar. 

Why study Biblical Greek? The original New Testament Scripture was written in (koine) Greek and learning Biblical Greek gives students the ability to read scripture in its original version. Most of the time the author's emphasis through alliteration, poetic structure, chiasm, etc. are lost in translation. Case, mood, and voice play a role in how a passage is meant to be interpreted. Meaning often gets lost with translation. 

I took two years of Biblical Greek in my undergraduate and thoroughly enjoyed it. My husband took four year of Biblical Greek in his undergraduate, focused on Biblical Greek in his ThM as well as his PhD and currently teaches Biblical Greek. This is yet another reason that I jumped at the chance for one of my kiddos to learn some Greek. 

What my daughter had to say about learning Biblical Greek.
"My dad says that Greek is FUN and that everyone should know how to read Greek. He was really excited and proud when I started learning the alphabet and some words. Most of the letters were pretty easy to learn expect for zeta, xi, and psi." They are fun to write and using the flashcards make memorizing the letters much easier. I really liked the fun activities that the workbook used to help learn the letters. Some of the letters have weird pronunciations but the book helps you know how to say the word. Like for the letter iota you say it "ee-o-ta". When I got to learning the words that was really fun! It was kind of Greek to me, haha!! The workbook is very helpful in helping you know how to pronounce the words. There are fun activities and reminders for practices flashcards. I really like this Greek program and I think other would like it too." 

My daughter really liked the variety of activities used to teach and engage her in learning and reinforcing the letter and words. She never seemed overwhelmed or frustrated. She actually enjoyed working on Greek daily.

There are a total of 30 lesson in the workbook. Each lesson begins with the new letter or word along with pronunciation helps. Activities and writing practices are given throughout the lesson to reinforce the new word or letter as well as the past letters and words. There are reminders at the bottoms of each page to practice flashcards. Activities such as fill-in-the-blank, yes or no, matching, and coloring are utilized. 

Ideally, a student can complete Level 2 in 30 weeks or sooner if they are extremely motivated learners. Once the student has successfully learned the alphabet and the eleven vocabulary words they are ready for Level 3! 

Learning Greek requires A LOT of memorization and repetition!! Unless you are willing to adhere daily practice it will be very hard to stay on top of the learning curve. Students are not only having to learn unfamiliar letters but further on it gets much more difficult when you have to learn declensions, genders, and tenses. It is a lot of work but so worth the reward in the end. 

The answer key is very simply the answers. 

The flashcards are at the back of the workbook. The student simply 
cuts out the cards as needed.

This program is really fantastic. It is simple yet does a great job at teaching "very" basic Biblical Greek. Level 2 would be ideal for early elementary or for students that want to start out slow. I would highly recommend this program to others searching for a good Biblical Greek program of study for their students or for themselves. Looking at the program as a whole Level 8 actually has students translating scripture. 

The FAQ page is a great source of information. On this page you can also find placement tests for each level. 

To read more reviews click here.

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  • Tuesday, August 1, 2017

    Heirloom Audio ~ A Review

    Heirloom Audio Productions new audio drama, In the Reign of Terror is truly an extraordinary adventure. I received the physical CD's as well as digital downloads. G.A. Henty, dubbed history's master of storytelling, brings history alive in his books of daring adventures. Heirloom Audio Productions philosophy of a Christ-centered history is refreshing amidst a world of humanistic thinking. Heirloom Audio truly brings history to life. As you listen to the story unfolding you feel like you are really living the adventure. Heirloom's Audio Drama's together with Henty's great books make for an engaging way to learn history. The audio dramas are a collaboration of creative storytelling, gifted orators/actors, realistic sound effects, and amazing composed music to make for a captivating historical drama. 

    What is In The Reign of Terror about?

    The story opens with Mr. George meeting young Harry at Arlington National Cemetery. Harry's deceased ancestor from the Revolutionary War era is buried at Arlington. Harry wants to learn more about the American Revolution. Those that sought freedom from ternary and over taxation were not rebels trying to revolt rather individuals seeking justice and campions of freedom. There was a striking difference between the American Revolution and the French Revolution. Those in the American Revolution were seeking God's favor and grace whereas the French turned away from God believing that man could rule themselves without God's wisdom and guidance. What pursued in the late 18th century France was a gruesome and horrible reign of terror! 

    Young Harry Sandwith, a young Englishman, who goes to live with Monsieur Marquis de St Caux and his family who are of nobility. Harry is to be a tudor for the children. War is about to break out and the French are calling for the arrest of nobles and their families. Harry is asked to flee with the children to protect them. They are in a fight to save God, king, and country which those in the Revolution are trying to stop. The commoners are tired of living in poverty and being under the rule of heartless and crooked nobility, as not all nobility was fair and honorable. Many of the leaders of the French Revolution spoke of philosophers who said that man needs no god and man is best ruling themselves. It was a mob uprising. Listeners will experience the day to day happenings as this period in history as the story unfolds. 

    Some historical events, people and topics discussed in In The Reign of Terror are:
    • St. Bartholomew's Massacre
    • Class Distinctions
    • Enlightenment Ideas
    • Fiat Law
    • Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    • Maximiliem Robespierre
    • Jean-Paul Marat
    • Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
    • "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche"

    This audio adventure is 2 1/2 hours in length. Along with the CD's the following were included in the form of downloads:
    • MP3 Download
    • E-Book or read online
    • MP3 Soundtrack
    • Printable Cast Poster
    • Study Guide and Discussion Starter
    • Inspirational Verse Poster
    • Desktop Wallpaper Download
    • Official Script Download

    I have created binders with all of the study guides for the many Heirloom Audio Adventures that we have collected. After printing the guides out I put the pages in protective sleeve covers. Since printing these colorful guides can get a bit expensive placing the pages in protective sleeves ensures that over the years as my children listen to the Audio Adventures the guides stay in perfect condition. 

    Study Guide
    The study guide is a FABULOUS complement to the audio drama CD's. I found the study guide to be extremely helpful in discussing the story with my children. The study guide is set up to aid the younger student in understanding the story as well as challenging the older student at a deeper level. The study questions are divided into three sections.

    The Listening Well - focuses on what was heard

    The Thinking Further - challenges the child to think, draw conclusions, and speculate

    The Defining Words - defining unfamiliar vocabulary

    The study guide which is available via computer download is great for a wide range of ages. For the younger child there are vocabulary words to define and for the older child there are great discussion questions. Many times, after listening to the Heirloom Adventures, it has sparked further discussion and interest in periods of history that likely would have been overlooked.

    Throughout the Study Guide you will find boxed in sections entitled, "Expand Your Learning." In these sections you will find many interesting tidbits of informations about this time period. One of the sections encourages you to read the book A Tale of Two Cities that gives another great look at life in London during the same period. 

    At the end of the Study Guide you will find a three part Bible Study that discusses:
    1. When God Means Evil for Good
    2. Resistance to Tyranny
    3. True Manliness
    Each section of the Bible Study points back to scripture to see what God's Word says about the three above topics. God in his sovereign plan uses sinful acts of man to fulfill His greater plan. Scripture clearly talks about wicked rulers and what Christians are to do in such instances. And finally, what scripture says about the order of creation and man being the leader, provider, and protector of woman. 

    At the end of the Study Guide you can read more about:
    • The Enlightenment
    • Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    • The French Revolution v. the American War of Independence (comparison chart)
    Heirloom's, In The Reign of Terror, is adapted from G.A. Henty's book. Henty's book series includes 122 books. The two key figures in, In The Reign of Terror are Maximilian Robespierre and  Marie Antoinette. 

    Meet Some of the Amazing Cast Behind the Drama

    Heirloom Audio has produced yet another great audio adventure!!! Designed for children ages, 6-16, I would most definitely say that the 16 and above crowd will enjoy the adventure too. I have had the privilege of reviewing The Cat of BubastesThe Dragon And The RavenWith Lee In VirginiaIn Freedom's Cause, and Beric The Briton. I would highly recommend these audio adventures. 

    My children who range in age from 9 -17 enjoyed this new audio adventure. For my younger children this was a great way to introduce a new period in history. They have learned through listening to the many Heirloom Audio Dramas that history doesn't have to be boring. They were eager to learn more about this time in history after listening. For my older children who have studied this period of history these audio dramas bring a new way to experience history. It wasn't until I reached college that history came alive for me due to a phenomenal professor. I look forward to each new Heirloom Audio Drama and cannot wait for the next one to be released. 
    Live the Adventure Club is a community forum as well as a treasure trove of extra resources, games, and extras for the whole family. Your child can take online quizzes, print out coloring pages, solve word searches, and so much more. You and your child can follow along using a copy of the actual audio drama script! Don't want to print out the study guide, no problem. You can download the guide in a friendly pdf version. Teachers and parents can search through the teachers resources to find enrichments to go along with each audio adventure. 

    To read more reviews click here.

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    Monday, July 31, 2017

    French Revolution

    Here is a link to a great slideshow all about the French Revolution.

    Monday, July 24, 2017

    ACTÍVA - A Review

    ACTÍVA Products provides basic materials for creativity. My daughters had fun creating projects with the Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit. There is a free downloadable e-book ACTÍVA Products' Favorite Sculpture KIDS CRAFTS that provides instructions for basic projects. 

    So what exactly is Rigid Wrap?
    It is plaster gauze. To use all you have to do is dip the product into warm water to activate the plaster embedded into the gauze and then place and smooth it with your fingers. Using your hands and fingers you then continue to mold the Rigid Wrap until no holes remain in the gauze. The plaster gauze begins to set up quickly and depending on the thickness of gauze used will depend on drying time. The instructions give guidance for quicker drying using the microwave. My daughter opted to utilize outdoor summer heat and sunshine. So how do you know when the piece is done drying? If the plaster feels cool to the touch it isn't done curing. The instructions in the kit guide the student in using the Rigid Wrap as well as wrapping, drape molding, cut & layering, punch & layering, and scrunching. 

    The product sheet gives basic instructions on how to make several art pieces. The skill level is provided as well as approximate time it will take to make each craft. Each craft has a supply list, tips as well as instructions on how to create each piece. The pictures are not the best but that is where the ACTÍVA Products' Favorite Sculpture KIDS CRAFTS e-book come in handy. 

    My 17 year old daughter is our talented artist. I asked her if she would create some art for this review and at first she was hesitant and not to enthusiastic. After beginning to work with the materials she was absolutely in her element. She loved working with the Rigid Wrap and CelluClay. She has used similar products to create sculpture pieces but never these ones. She quickly set to work creating multiple pieces of art. 

    Her thoughts:
    "Working with these materials is addictive! The possibilities for creating are endless. Both the Rigid Wrap and the CelluClay are very easy to work with and manipulate."

    First up was making a bowl with the Rigid Wrap. The gauze wrap was very easy to cut. 

    Immediately when coming into contact with warm water the wrap is moldable and soft. 

    My daughter used a bowl from the kitchen that she covered with saran wrap to use as her base mold. 

    To ensure that the mold would be strong she used multiple layers of the Rigid Wrap. There is no need to wait in between layering. 

    My daughter ensured that each layer was well molded and did not have any of the gauze holes before adding the next layer. 

    Here is a close-up of the Rigid Wrap showing the wrap in various degrees of completion. 

    While the bowl was out in the sun drying it was time to begin her next project.

    After the Rigid Wrap bowl was dry my 9 year old daughter had the privilege of decorating. Using paint sticks she set to work creating her unique masterpiece. 

    What exactly is CelluClay?
    CelluClay is a recycled paper medium that mixes easily and molds quickly. The product air dries to a dirty whitish color. This clay is similar to the classic paper mache expect this product does not require anything except water. No need to add glue with the classic rip and wrap version of classic paper mache crafting. FYI, when mixing the product I highly suggest that you place the product in a large plastic ziplock bag and add the water to the bag. If you choose to mix the product with water in a bowl there is a good amount of dust. Once the CelluClay is in the bag with water added close the bag and use your hands to mix the product to the proper consistency. 

    The CelluClay took some time to get the right consistency but molding and working with the material was very easy. My daughter decided that she wanted to sculpt a tree on a canvas. She used the Rigid Wrap and the CelluClay to create this next project.

    After mixing together the CelluClay has a slightly crumbly mixture. If you add too much water the CelluClay doesn't mold well. With it slightly crumbly the mixture presses together and holds together well. 

    The Rigid Wrap and CelluClay are a perfect combination. The products mold together well to create moldable projects. 

    My daughter enlisted her younger sister to help her make the flowers for the Cherry Blossom tree that she was sculpting.

    This took about two full days to fully dry. 

    The downloadable e-book is filled with 12 project ideas.

    My 9 year old daughter wanted to make a butterfly. I used a plastic divider as a mold. The e-book has a great template for making a butterfly. 

    My daughter started by using the Rigid Wrap to cover the butterfly mold. 

    Next, she used the CelluClay to decorate her butterfly. After my older daughter created her projects I placed the CelluClay in the fridge in order to re use it again. After two week of being in the fridge the CelluClay was still perfect for using. 

    After sitting out in the Texas sun for about an hour the butterfly was ready to paint. Once dry the material is strong and very sturdy. Paint goes onto both surfaces very well. Sometimes the CelluClay does not adhere to the Rigid Wrap and you will have to glue the CelluClay onto the Rigid Wrap. Elmers Glue works great to accomplish this. 

    What a beautiful rainbow of colors this cute little butterfly is being painted. 

    My daughter said, "Making the butterfly was definitely more fun than painting it." 

    And the butterfly is finished and ready to fly away.

    My 11 year old decided that she wanted to make a totem pole. Using a wrapping paper cardboard roll and some cardboard from a box for the winged part her totem pole is beginning to emerge. My daughter used Rigid Wrap for this project. 

    Drying in the hot Texas sun. It dried in less than an hour. 

    Now it is time to get painting!

    My daughter said, "I enjoyed everything about making my totem pole. Using the Rigid Wrap was fun and really easy to get on. It dried pretty quickly. I really liked painting it."

    My kiddos and I really enjoyed creating our own unique artistic masterpieces. I would definitely recommend these art products. ACTÍVA has many other art supplies to create a wide variety of projects. 

    To read more reviews click here.

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