Thursday, April 30, 2020

You Can Draw It in Just 30 Minutes ~ A Timberdoodle Review

You Can Draw It in Just 30 Minutes  by Mark Kistler is part of the Timberdoodle  line of curriculum. This drawing book is targeted for 5th through 12th grade. Students will have fun drawing a wide range of stuff, from frogs to soup cans. The goal of each lesson is to, "See It and Sketch It in a Half-Hour or Less." 

There are 25 lessons that your student can draw including:
  1. Banana
  2. Mouth
  3. Chair
  4. Penguin
  5. Tomatoes in a Basket
  6. Boot
  7. Clouds
  8. Sunflower
  9. Nose
  10. Seahorse
  11. Pencil
  12. Bell Pepper
  13. Cell Phone
  14. Soup Can
  15. Finger
  16. Wine Bottle
  17. Tree Frog
  18. Dice
  19. Blender
  20. Teddy Bear
  21. Grocery Bag
  22. Wedding Cake
  23. Book
  24. Seashell
  25. Ballet Slippers
Each lesson is intended to take 30-minutes. At the beginning of each lesson your student is told what drawing tools they will need to complete the lesson. I am going to sort of walk you through, Lesson 1. There is always a funny quip on the first page of the lesson. For the banana the quip is, 

Isn't this an aPEELing photo? Lucky me - I can't 
hear you groaning. 

The shapes in the banana are given. 
On the next page, there is a deconstructed banana. 
There are also some pretty amazing hacks 
to help draw a banana. Tips and techniques 
such as shading and a technique called a "flip tip" are explained. 

On the next page is a four-sectioned blueprint on how to draw a banana. 
Each section has a small stop-watch giving the estimate with
about how long it will take for each step. The four steps are entitled,

Draw Your Blueprint
Shape the Shapes
See the Light
Finish Up!
On the next page is 
Your Drawing Page
We chose to use our own paper instead of writing in the book. 

The next page is a Bonus Challenge: Practice Folds. At the end
of each lesson there is a challenge for the students. For Lesson 1,
it is a ribbon. There is a 5-step instructional tutorial for this challenge.

Here is the picture of the completed banana!



Here is my daughter working on Lesson 16 ~ Wine Bottle

My 11-year-old daughter had a lot of fun drawing with this book. She liked all of the
helpful tips, techniques, and hacks given to help make drawing a bit easier. 
Often time it took her right at 30 minutes. She was quite proud of
her final accomplishments. 

The completed Wine Bottle.

Bonus Challenge: Thumbs Up!

At the end of the book your student will find a Glossary of Art Terms Used in This Book. I would recommend You Can Draw It in Just 30 Minutes. Definitely check it out!

Monday, April 27, 2020

The Hidden Message ~ A Review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

The Hidden Message of the Great Seal: How Foundational Truth from The Dawn of Liberty May Rescue a Republic in Peril from The Hidden Message, LLC written by Michael Kanis is an exploration through history exploring the clues of our national seal. This 256 page book gives readers a fantastic insight into our national seal with great explanation to back up evidence presented in the book. There are a total of 24 chapters included in the book.

The task of designing America's seal was given to three men of great distinction, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams. Congress desired that the seal achieve the historic significance that was already found within the Constitution. We know from history that seals have been used for thousands of years. What Franklin, Jefferson, and Adams set out to do different from other's before them was to produce a seal that contained a seal with a hidden message. Symbols containing a hidden message. It took a staggering SIX years to come up with a final seal.

These famous symbols, most will argue about the eye. 
Is it...
The Eye of Horus
The Egyptian God of the Sky
or the 
Eye of God, Providence, 
Caring for the American People.

One very influential man, Charles Thomson, had a significant knowledge in the scriptures but was an expert in Latin. He was a part of creating the seal every step of the way. He became the Keeper of the Seal until he resigned from Congress. Francis Hopkinson was a key contributor in the designing of the seal. 

Chapter 10 entitled, The Pyramid, is very interesting. I won't go into what is included in this chapter only to say that throughout history many coins have varying forms of pyramids on them. Interesting? 
I really loved Franklin's 13 Virtues and Kanis's Chart on the different Government's. 

Chapter 11 entitled, Annuit Coeptis, translates, "we are doing what he approves of." This chapter about the meaning of the eye is so fascinating. 

This is a very cool Road Map to a Seal Design  

Chapter 16 entitled, The Covenant, has a really neat chart that has the symbols and then the covenant scripture references that aline with each symbol in the seal. 

"The framers sought to find a balance. They needed a federal government strong enough to be effectual and to defend the republic in time of war. It needed to be powerful enough to keep thee states together, but the founders also needed to limit its power and disperse it, thus limiting the growth of corruption and safeguarding freedom."
That is the reason the message was hidden in the seal. 

Our TRUE FREEDOM can only be found in God! Jesus says, "I am the good shepherd...who lays down his life for the sheep" John 10:11. God is the only one one who can truly set us free. 

Throughout the book the word Providence is raised. "Of all the themes of the seal, Providence might be the one that holds thee greatest sense of mystery." The provision as used by the founders refers to God and how he cares for his children and provides for them. The creation of the seal was not a whim or impulse. The founders spent years of thought into the meaning and significance ascribing providential guidance along the way. 

The story in the Conclusion entitled, Checkmate?, is definitely a must read! It has to do with this picture and it is so true! 

The Hidden Message can be found on Amazon. There is a coupon code for 50% the cover price for anyone wishing to purchase the book. Simply click on The Hidden Message 50% Discount. At checkout simply type the words HOMESCHOOL in the coupon code area to get the discount. The discount is good through May 30, 2020. 

I most definitely would recommend this book. It would be a great book to add into your high school students curriculum. This book would also be great for those that love history. The book has colorful pictures throughout. The pages are thick. Definitely read what other Crew Members had to say about The Hidden Message. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Christian Focus ~ A Review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Not If, But When  published by Christian Focus Publications  tackles the very difficult subject of pornography. In the Introduction to Parents section at the beginning of the book it states that the book is intended for ages 7-12 years of age. Many parents may say a 7-years-old is far too young to be hearing about such sensitive topics but in today's world children are exposed to so much. The intention of this book is to present the truth of God's Word about sex and pornography before children hear the lies that the world is certain to bombard them with. 

This book has a Girl's Story and a Boy's Story. I am going to share with you about the girl's story. I have 5 daughters.

Sarah comes home from a wonderful day a the waterpark with her friends. She asks her mom if she can talk to her. She is bothered because her friends had been talking about sex. Sarah and her mom begin a discussion about sex and what scripture says about sex.

Sarah says, "Uh...I would mean that we should be careful talking about cute boys? I mean, we could be stirring up desires to soon." Her mom says, "If you talk about sexual desires too often, you might 'awaken love' in a way that's removing it from its proper context." 

Sarah's friend showed her pictures of naked men on her phone. Sarah knew she shouldn't have been looking at them but was caught off guard. She felt like if she didn't look at them that it would put her in a weird position. Her mom talked about how we live in a sinful, fallen world. She explained that what she had been exposed to was Pornography. Sarah's mom tells Sarah, "Pornography steals parts of God's gift and uses it in in appropriate and evil ways...It is using elements of God's gift, but it's twisting them in horrible ways." 

There are very coloring pictures throughout the book. 

It talks about lust and how pornography creates lust in the hearts of the person looking or watching it. Sarah talked about how her other friends were looking at the naked pictures and seemed to be enjoying themselves. Sarah's mom talked about how this was lust.

Sarah summed up all that she and her mom had been talking about and came up with the following:
  • "God created men and women and invented sex as a good thing."
  • "He made us as sexual beings."
  • "We sinned against Him."
  • "Pornography is a result of our sin and it objectifies people and causes use to lust...which is like adultery."
Sarah's mom talks about fleeing sexual immorality. She also talks about marriage and how it is God's context for sex. She then talks about how pornography ruins individuals, marriages, and families but that Jesus offers forgiveness.

Each section has a Main Point, What Did You Learn, and a Read, which is scripture to look up.

I think that the book does a good job at explaining the God given purpose behind sex. The book also gives the true realties behind pornography and how it goes against God's Word and ruins not only the individuals life but those around them. I would recommend this book. Be sure to check out what my fellow Homeschool Review Crew Members had to say about Not If, But When. 

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Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Mrs Wordsmith Storyteller's Card Game ~ A Timberdoodle Review

I received Storyteller's Card Game from Timberdoodle in exchange for
my honest opinion. The views expressed in this review are my honest opinion. 

Mrs Wordsmith Storyteller's Card Game is one of the many NEW products coming available to Timberdoodle's  website on April 15th! This is a fun new vocabulary game. The game is intended to be played with three or more players. So how do you play? To start out you place all of the story cards face down in a pile in the middle. Someone then deals ten illustrated word cards to each player. Each player takes turns being the Master Storyteller. The first Master Storyteller is the player to the left of the dealer. The Master Storyteller will pick up a story card from the pile of cards in the middle and reads it aloud. For example, Words for... camping in Antarctica. All of the other players each pick one word card from their hand that best fits the story card that the Master Storyteller presented. Players put the card that they chose in the middle with illustrations facing up. On the flip side of each word card is an illustration of the word. On the side that the word is on there is a definition followed by word pairs. For example, for the word, charge v. to run or lunge toward; rushing toward a target as fast as you can. The word pair are suddenly, furiously, and headlong. The picture on the flip side is a beast of some sort charging toward something with a huge log in its arms. The Master Storyteller picks up the pile of word cards and reads each one, before deciding which one fits best with the story card. The player who came the closest to matching the word card to the story card keeps the story card. The first player to collect five story cards wins! There are 200 story card prompt cards and 300 descriptive word cards included in the set. This game is recommended for ages 7 and older. 

Story Cards

Word Cards

There are 6 types of word cards included in the game:
  • action words
  • character words
  • weather words
  • setting words
  • emotion words
  • taste & smell words
In order to have an expressive vocabulary and vivid writing style students have to learn a wide variety of words. This game does just that. Students will learn not only vocabulary but categories that they are associated with. Below I have given examples of all six word cardsThis will help them become better writers. As they play they will soon see the connection between each of the types of word cards and which best fit for each story card

Character Word

Taste & Smell Word

Emotion Word

Action Word

Setting Word

Weather Word

The Master Storyteller drew the story card that said...a ferocious sheep 
the players laid down the following word cards

My 11-year-old daughter thinking. 

We all know that learning vocabulary, especially difficult vocabulary, can be tedious and difficult for students. Mrs Wordsmith's Storyteller's Card Game can make learning these words fun. Not only will the student see the words written but they will see them visually depicted in a way that your child will remember. The game has endless replay value because each time players will be dealt a totally new hand and the Master Storyteller will continually be drawing new and different words. This game would be ideal for a school setting, co-op, or homeschool setting. Our family had a lot of fun playing this game. I would definitely recommend this game to other parents and educators. If you would like to order Mrs Wordsmith Storyteller's Card Game simply click on the link. 

Watercolor For Young Artists ~ A Timberdoodle Review

I received Watercolor For Young Artists from Timberdoodle in exchange for 
my honest opinion. The views expressed in this review are my honest opinion. 

Watercolor For Young Artists is one of the many NEW products coming available to Timberdoodle's  website on April 15th! This fun kit comes with all of the supplies needed for your child to create the 13 projects covered in the detailed instructional book included. The set comes with watercolor paper, watercolor paints, watercolor pencils, paintbrushes of various sizes, a sponge, a pencil, and a pencil sharpener. This Watercolor For Young Artists is recommended for ages 8 and up.

So just what will your child be creating with this kit? These are the following projects included:
  • Monocrome ~ Sailboat and Lighthouse on the Water
  • Painting Wet-On-Wet ~ Frog on Lily Pads
  • Warm & Cool Colors ~ Tennis Players on Planets
  • Landscape ~ Trees with a Path and a Painter
  • Glazes ~ Abstract Art
  • Volume ~ Bowling Alley with Pins and Balls
  • Reserves ~ Stairs and Doors
  • Using a Sponge ~ A Cat in a Tree with a Fireman coming to the Rescue
  • Drawing with Watercolors ~ A Turtle by the Seashore
  • Textures ~ A Plane Flying Above a City
  • Scratching ~ A Girl with Crazy Hair on a Hill
  • Splatters ~ Making Splatters
  • Moonscape ~ Aliens on a Planet
There are several pages at the beginning of the the spiral Watercolor painting easy-to-follow lessons which include the following:
  • tools & materials
  • stretching your paper
  • painting with watercolors
  • how to mix watercolors
  • watercolors & color
In these pages are so many wonderful tips. Did you know that you are supposed to start with your lightest colors first, then gradually add your darkest colors? When you paint one color over another once the first color is dry, this technique is called glazing. Your student will learn caring for their art tools as well as how to use watercolor pencils and the many techniques of watercolor painting. Illustrations are provided so that the student can see what is being explained.

The first two projects have outlines of the subject to be painted. This is a great introduction into watercolors and perfect way to get their feet wet and not be so intimidated by the whole experience.

Painting Wet-On-Wet 

As you can see the outline of the frogs on the lily pads is provided as a guide.

Step-by-step instructions both written as well as painted are given so that the
student has both a written and visual guide to complete the project.

Everything that the student will need is included in the set. All that your
student will need is a container of water and a paper towel to dab
the paint brush in between colors.


This sailboat picture is the second lesson in the book. It too has the
outline of the picture. After this your student is ON THEIR OWN when it
comes to drawing and replicating the paintings 
besides the step-by-step pictures on how to draw a few of the objects.

Again, as you can see clear instructions are given in order for the
student to successfully complete to given project.


Included in the kit is a spiral, flip instructional book that has step-by-step
instructions for all 13 projects. My daughter was able to easily stand the
book up alongside this jar of paint brushes.


The technique used in this abstract painting was called glazing. 
Glazing is when you paint one layer of color, wait for it to dry and then paint 
over it with another color. These colors then combine to create another new color. 


This project called for a candle. You were supposed to use the
candle to draw in the outline of the picture. The candle wax then
keeps the paint from going onto that area that the wax is on. Pretty cool!

 Also, masking tape is used to seal off some of
the space on the paper. This technique is called reserve. 
Reserve is basically an area in a painting that you do not want
paint to go and that you want to remain white. In other words,
when the tape is taken off it leaves white space where the
tape was. This is the reserve. If you look real close you can
see where the candle wax is. This technique is called resist. It
kind of sounds like what you are attempting to do. You are 
attempting to resist paint from getting onto the paper. In this painting
the area in which resist was used was candle wax. For some reason
our candle wax did not quite work so well. There are a few very small
areas that remained white, but for the most part paint coloring into the
resist area. You can see the outline of the resist especially the scalloped area. 

Of course, our painting did not turn out anything like the painting in the spiral
booklet but that it okay. It is the fun and learning that counts.

Watercolor For Young Artists is definitely a kit that I would recommend.
It has educational and artistic value. My 11-year-old daughter had fun 
creating the artwork in this kit. If you would like to purchase
Watercolor For Young Artists simply click the link.

Confetti Eggs