How To Make DIY Art Journals

My daughter made some lovely art journals recently.  She made some to give as gifts and some to use for herself.  She watched a few tutorials online and then wanted to make her own.

How To Make DIY Art Journals

First, she gathered the materials and tools needed.  She used resources we had on hand.  She used recycled cereal boxes and granola bar boxes, glue, paper, decorative ribbons, foam stickers, pen, pencil, ruler, scissors, hole punch, cotton swabs, and markers for this project.   She has plans to make more varieties of art journals using different fabric covers, beads, and sequins too.

Next she cut different sizes of boxes open, laid them flat and trimmed off what she did not need.  Then she laid them flat on the paper to measure and leave a ledge of paper for folding over and cut off any excess paper.  Then she glued the cardboard to the paper. Then folded over the ledge, creased the paper ledge, and glued the folded over portion to the cardboard.

She tried two different applications for glue.  She tried using liquid glue spread with a q-tip on some of her projects, and she used an extra strength glue stick on another projects.  She said both types of glue worked fine, but the glue stick dried a little nicer than the liquid glue as it tended to leave a wrinkle if she applied too much.

Next she cut different lined and colored papers to the desired size.  She used a variety of plain, colored, and lined paper to create lots of opportunities for sketches, water color paintings, doodle art, and areas to write her thoughts on.

She hole punched the papers, and the outside covers.

Then she attached the papers to the cover with ribbon.

She inserted the ribbon through the holes and lined up the papers and repeated this a couple of times.

After several times of inserting the ribbon with her fingers, she found it was much easier to insert the ribbon with a large sewing needle.

These little books are so fun to make.  Besides using these for art journals or writing journals and giving them as gifts, they would also make wonderful ABC books for younger kids, or use to write a story book, or make them into prayer journals too.

Next she decorated the outside of the art journals.  On some of the journals she used foam stickers and ribbons, and on others she also used Magic Stix Markers by The Pencil Grip to make her designs.

Be sure to read the post about our experience using these markers to find out more.

She added in mini-pockets and mini-envelopes to the inside covers of some of the journals.

In some of those she plans to store special items like admission tickets to museums or pictures from flyers from she visits and in others she wants to put a pencil and eraser for sketching.

We also cut out some one time use watercolor paint pallets from unused activity books.  You can find these at most stores in the dollar or coloring book section.

With these one time use paint pallets, all she needs is a dab of water and either a cotton swab or a paint brush.  She can paint lovely watercolor pictures with the six colors that are included, and then throw away the little slip of paper and swab when the paint is used up.

We eventually plan to make reusable watercolor paint pallets with up cycled Altoid Tins and various lids, gum containers, and pill boxes.  These are so cute!

These portable paint kits could be held in place inside her art journal with a rubber band or elastic ribbon.

In the future, she would like to add stamps, fabric and lace, buttons, beads, and sequins too.  She will use her hot glue gun for embellishing the journals with these things.

 I am sure she will have a lot of fun filling these books with colorful thoughts and art projects.

These DIY portable art journals were simple to make and turned out so cute!

Below are a few videos that might give you more ideas in creating your own DIY journals.

and

and

Have fun making your journal and be blessed!

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Exploring Creation With Human Anatomy and Physiology Review

Apologia Educational Ministries is one of our favorite homeschool curriculum publishers.  One of the reasons we love Apologia so much is that their curriculum gives glory to Father God our Creator, and they teach all of their subjects, including science, from a Christian worldview.

We are excited to tell you about our experience using the Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology by Apologia for our science studies.

Human Anatomy and Physiology

Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology

1 year Science Curriculum

Text

Audio CD (Text Read Aloud)

Notebooking Journal

Junior Notebooking Journal

Apologia has created four components for this curriculum.  Students typically use three of the four components depending on their age and skill level.   There is a Text book, an Audio CD, and two different age/skill options for the student Notebooking Journal.

Text:

The text book is a hardback book with 265 illustrated pages.  This curriculum covers the anatomy and physiology of the human body.  This course text book is suggested for use with kids in Kindergarten through 6th grade.  Younger students may need the course read to them or if they have begun to learn to read but still need support, they can follow along with the Audio CD, where other students who are strong readers may not need the additional support.

Also older students (junior and senior high) may find this course beneficial too if they haven’t previously studied this material or to use it as review. Apologia has other science courses they recommend for older students.  However it is my opinion that this introductory course is very informative, contains lots of pictures, and covers a large amount of material that students of all ages (even adults) will benefit from reading.

Lessons:

There are 14 HUGE lesson modules covered in this curriculum. Each lesson module has two full weeks of lessons and science experiments within and is suggested to be used at least twice a week.  At this pace, it is expected for the curriculum to last about 28 +/- weeks or a full school year.

Lesson Modules covered include:

Lesson 1: Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology
Lesson 2: The Skeletal System
Lesson 3: The Muscular System
Lesson 4: The Digestive and Renal Systems
Lesson 5: Health and Nutrition
Lesson 6: The Respiratory System
Lesson 7: Life in the Blood
Lesson 8: The Cardiovascular System
Lesson 9: The Nervous and Endocrine Systems
Lesson 10: The Nervous System Extended
Lesson 11: Your Senses
Lesson 12:The Integumentary System
Lesson 13: The Lymphatic and Immune Systems
Lesson 14: Growth and Development

Contained within each lesson are components that encourage narration (both written and oral retelling of what has been learned), “Try This” mini-experiments, notebooking journal activities, a personal person project (a paper body model), and at the end of each lesson, students complete various projects and experiments.  Each lesson covers different information, but follows the same overall format.

A “Materials List” is included in the front of the Text book and each lesson also lists out the specific items needed to complete the projects and experiments.  There are suppliers for materials if you want a pre-made kit too.  To further the learning, students are given access to a course website for what is called “book extras” if students desire to dig deeper into learning more than what is covered in the text.

Audio CD

The Audio CD is an audio recording of the course read aloud by the author, Jeannie Fulbright.   Using this CD enhances the learning even more because it gives another way for the brain to receive and remember the information.

This CD is beneficial for students who are auditory learners who prefer using more than just a textbook, is helpful for slow readers, or others who may have learning disabilities that make reading difficult.  This Audio CD is also great for the whole family to listen and enjoy together too.

This is an MP3-CD and in order to listen to it, you must play it in an MP3-compatible CD player or on a computer.

Student Notebooking Journals:

Apologia offers two age/skill level student journals with this course to choose from. One of the journals is called the Anatomy Notebooking Journal and one is called the Junior Anatomy Notebooking Journal (note the word “Junior” in front of the other words).

Both notebooking journals are huge soft cover illustrated spiral bound books.  They both have a suggested schedule for the school year.  They both are filled with worksheets and fun hands on activities and projects.  They both cover similar materials and review the material learned in the text book lessons.

The Anatomy Notebooking Journal (designed for grades 3-6) contains 202 activity and review pages, plus 65 mini-book (cut, fold, glue, fill in the blank) pages and template pages.

The Junior Anatomy Notebooking Journal (designed for grades K-2) contains 230 activity, coloring, and review pages, plus 67 mini-book (cut, fold, and glue) pages and template pages.

Both notebooking journals are filled with activity and review worksheets and mini-books and templates.  Sections in the student journal include:

  • Lesson Plan Suggested Schedule
  • Fascinating Facts
  • What Do You Remember? Review Questions
  • Notbooking Assignments, Ativities, and Projects
  • Scripture Copywork
  • Vocabulary Crosswords
  • Project Pages
  • Cut and Fold Miniature Books
  • More To Explore (experiments and activities, additional book and DVD suggestions)
  • Field Trip Sheets
  • Final Review: 50 Review Questions that can be answered orally or in writing.
  • Answer key included.

The main difference in the two journals is that the regular student Anatomy Notebooking Journal has a higher level of writing expected on the assignments and projects, and it uses challenging crossword puzzles to go over vocabulary words and definitions.  There is less writing assignments in the Junior Anatomy Notebooking Journal, flashcard style mini-books and simple crossword puzzles are used to review the vocabulary words (students cut out the word and glue it like a flap onto the definition), and the Junior version includes lots of coloring pages.

Our Experience

We love using Apologia products in our homeschool.  I am thankful for these resources to help teach my kids all about Father God’s creation, the human body.

We were sent all four components of this course for this review.  We used both of the student journals.   My 9 year old son used the Junior Anatomy Notebooking Journal and my 13 year old son used the Anatomy Notebooking Journal.  My other children enjoyed watching their brothers do various science experiments and have requested to join in the learning fun. I intend to purchase additional journals for my other children to use for this coming school year.

Here are just a few examples of our Anatomy and Physiology learning adventure.  These pictures are a few examples of what my kids learned in lessons 2, 4, 5, 6, and 10.  Each lesson module covers different information, but follows the overall same format.

Text and Audio CD Lessons

My 9 year old son starts out each lesson with the Text book and Audio CD.  He places the CD into the computer and uses his earbuds to listen to the lesson.

A menu pops up on the screen to help you choose the lesson, but there are no pictures or video, so he has to follow along in the text book.

My 13 year old starts out each lesson with his text book and journal.  He is a strong reader and doesn’t prefer to use the Audio CD.

However, my 9 year old loves using the Audio CD and it has helped him gain more understanding and helped reinforce how things are pronounced and helped him move through the material at a good pace.

Try This Experiments

The kids can pause within the lesson as needed, or go back after they are done reading, to complete the suggested “Try This” experiments scattered through out the lesson.

Digestive System – measuring length of small intestines:

Digestive System – stomach simulation:

What Do You Remember?

Then we do the “What Do You Remember?” narrative.  These discussion questions help summarize the lesson and encourage the kids to put what they have learned into their own words.

Journal Activities

Next we completed the Notebooking Journal activities.  If you don’t have the Apologia Notebooking Journals, you can answer the Text questions from the lesson and do the suggested activity in just a regular notebook.

However, the Apologia Notebooking Journals have so much more to offer.  They are filled with pre-printed worksheets and hands on activities.

I would recommend you get these journals to go with the learning experience.

Some of the worksheets included are scientific speculation forms, project forms, fascinating facts, vocabulary mini-books, body organ mini-books, coloring pages, vocabulary crossword puzzles, diagrams to label, bible scripture copy work, and more.

Copywork examples from my 9 year old’s journal:

Copywork and Vocabulary Crossword examples from my 13 year old’s journal:

Personal Person Project

Next we added the body part we learned about to the Personal Person Project in the Anatomy and Junior Anatomy Notebooking Journals. If you don’t have a pre-made journal, there are directions so you can make your own person and body organ systems and add them to a homemade journal.  At the end of most of the lessons, a new body part gets added.

Experiments

The last thing to complete is the main experiment (s) or project at the end of the lesson.  These experiments are in addition to the many “Try This” experiments scattered through out the lessons. There is at least one main experiment or project at the end of each lesson, and sometimes two or more.  The experiments and projects at the end of each lesson communicate the overall learning experience and knowledge of the lesson.

Respiratory System Experiments – 1) lung and diaphragm model  2) visual lung capacity:

A Few More Explorations and Learning Fun:

We had a few props on hand to use as models.  It makes learning even more fun and interesting for kids to have a lesson related prop next to them while they study.

We used a magnifying glass to examine a plastic skeleton, plastic lungs and respiratory system, and a plastic skull and brain.

The kids made a head with a face from a plastic skull, playdough for connective tissue, a pencil sharpener nose, bouncy balls for eyes, a plastic mini-brain from a game, and a Mr. Potato Head mustache.  They played around with their model they created and also used a magnifying glass to check it out.

They have also used playdough for skin and covered the skull with it. But I didn’t get a picture of it.  I think we will come up with something else we can use for skin, perhaps we can find a lightly colored but transparent plastic bag material.  They also have a huge plastic tooth, a plastic liver, and a few other props not pictured that they used for some of their investigations.

Materials

Several materials are needed to complete the experiments.  In the front of the Textbook is a Master List of items needed for each chapter.  Most of these items for experiments are easily acquired either from your own cabinets and pantry or from the local store.  In addition to the items you need for experiments for this course, you might also have some things on hand you can use a props such as toys, puzzles, games, or books on your shelves that can enhance the learning too.

However, there are various pre-made science supply kits sold by different suppliers online that contain most of the items all in one kit or box.  These kits can save you time and makes doing these experiments very simple when you have everything you need all in one box and you don’t have to go and find each item.  You can find these science kit suppliers by doing a a quick google search for “Apologia Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Science Kit”.

Final Thoughts:

My family has truly enjoyed using Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology.   This course covers a lot of information.  The Textbook, Notebooking Journals and Audio CD are well made.  This course encourages lots of hands on suggestions and explorations which makes learning fun for kids.

Apologia Educational Ministries offers wonderful science programs for students of all ages.  Their curriculum has won numerous awards and is well respected in the homeschool community.   I would encourage other homeschool families to check out these courses, and see what products Apologia has to offer to meet their needs.

Check out this video to learn more about Apologia Science courses. Apologia has many more wonderful products in other subject areas too.

Here are a few links to other Apologia products we have reviewed in our home.

Exploring Creation With Marine Biology

Internship for High School Credit

Where To Buy Exploring Creation With Human Anatomy and Physiology

Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Text (for grades K – 6)

Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Junior Notebooking Journal (for grades K – 3)

Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology Notebooking Journal (for grades 3 and up)

Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology MP3 Audio CD (audio recording of the text)

Social Media

Be sure to check out Apologia Educational Ministries social media links for all the latest news, products, learning ideas, and special sales they have to offer.

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Homeschool Review Crew

Check out what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using products from Apologia in their homes.

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Signs of Spring

I love taking nature walks.  I was noticing on my walks lately how many beautiful signs of spring had appeared.  In addition to making observations, sometimes I enjoy gathering a few safe wild edibles for making teas and other nutritious foods too.  Spring is the perfect time of the year to start hunting and gathering.

It is amazing to think about how the pioneers survived on many of these wild edibles, and they must have been so happy when spring appeared with new growth and wild foods to sustain them after the cold winter.

My kids are currently working on a Pioneer Unit Study about Davy Crockett and they just finished a unit study on Pine Trees.  This was great timing for our spring nature walk and their unit studies to coincide together and enhance their learning experience.

Dandelion is beautiful, edible, and medicinal.  

We love dandelion lemonade and dandelion tea.  Dandelion has edible flowers, leaves, and roots.   Every spring and early summer I gather as much fresh young dandelion leaves as I can to make fresh salads and stir fries and flower heads to make tea and lemonade.

Dandelion is a great substitution for cooked spinach.  I like to chop up a handful and added into recipes that call for spinach.  My grandparents ate dandelion leaves several times a week for their lunch and called it wilted lettuce.  They used a source of fat like bacon in a skillet and when it was cooked they added the dandelion greens and cooked them until they were wilted.  Grandpa always had fresh greens and garden produce all spring summer and fall.

In addition to using dandelion for tea, lemonade, and as a spinach substitute, we have made dandelion jelly and dandelion cookies in the past.  I have never harvested the roots for coffee myself, but I have purchased pre-made dandelion coffee before and it tastes similar to coffee.  I also personally use dandelion supplements in a capsule as needed to keep my kidneys and bladder in good working condition.  The dandelion can help the body release excess water and stimulate urination.  There is a time of the month when women’s bodies tend to store additional fluids and they feel bloated and the dandelion is an excellent resource for using a few days of the month for helping to reduce the extra water.

This year my goal is to make a dandelion syrup for multiple uses.  I plan to can it and then keep an opened jar in the fridge for use by the spoonful as needed.  It will be a great healthy addition to salad dressings, drinks, smoothies, pancakes, and more.

Violets are beautiful, edible, and medicinal. 

Violet flowers are delicious and fragrant in salads, teas, and the leaves can be used as a substitute for cooked spinach and used in stir-fry.  The flowers are often used as a fragrance and in soothing aroma baths.  The roots are also used as medicine.

Wild onions, chives, and garlic plants.  

The entire plant of wild onion, chives and garlic are used the same ways domesticated varieties are used both as a food and medicinal.

Pine buds, pine pollen, and pine needles.

Pine needles make a delicious citrus flavor tea full of vitamins, especially vitamin C.  Pine buds and pine pollen are full of protein and an array of amino acids.

Sometimes I take these nature walks by myself, but most of the time, one or more of my kids want to go for a walk with me.  We really enjoy these walks.

Walking around today, with the mindset thinking what the pioneers might of looked for and gathered for food and medicine made this walk even more exciting.

We also found beautiful butterflies flying above our head already. The weather was still too cool for much flight for them and they landed often to rest.  We followed this one for quite a ways in the yard, bushes, and trees.  It often stopped to rest.

Wild Roses

The roses are leafing out and starting to bud.  They also still have a few rose hips left from last season and we nibbled on these.  They are a great source of vitamins and antioxidants, especially vitamin C.

Wild grape

The grapes had fully leafed out and bloomed fragrant yellow flowers before most of the other trees even had leaves or buds.

My daughter enjoyed collecting the fragrant flowers from the wild grapes that had already fallen to the ground.

Potentilla 

Potentilla are also called cinquefoil and the leaves and flowers look similar to wild strawberries, but they have a yellow flower instead of a white flower.  They have red fruit that looks like a strawberry, but they are flavorless.  I would describe eating their fruit like eating a lovely red strawberry that tastes like water, no flavor and no aroma.  The flowers, fruit, and leaves are edible in salads and the roots are used as medicine.

There were so many beautiful treasures to find.  Some were so tiny you had to look very closely to see.

Wild Clover

Beautiful patches of red and white wild clover has popped up everywhere.  There are no blooms yet so I can’t tell which is the red and which ones are the white, but there are several varieties of leaf patterns in these plants.  Some are more solid green with a lighter green veragation.

Other clover patches have leaves that are veragated with green and white.

Another patch has a yellow and green verragated pattern.  So pretty!

Even in areas that seems dead or barely growing, little signs of spring flowers have appeared.

Now that it is spring, we need to start working on our gardens.

Today we removed weeds from the gardens and applied rich compost we made.

Spring surprise!  A lovely patch of volunteer lettuce!  This is going to be delicious in a salad!

Mint has returned too and is doing well.

We also found some carrots returning from last year.  We harvested one and it was nearly 5 inches long already!

Barrel planters filled with pansies have made it through the late frosts.  The flowers are stunning!

Enjoy the bounty and blessings of spring!

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Princess Cut Watchman Pictures Review

Do you enjoy wholesome family movies?  Watchman Pictures strives to produce wholesome movies that glorify Father God. They sent us Princess Cut, True Love Is Worth The Wait for our family to review and share our honest opinion about our experience with you.

Princess Cut

Princess Cut

True Love Is Worth The Wait

Movie DVD

Award Winning

Family Friendly

Christian Drama

Romance Story

Run Time: 97 minutes

Rated: Family Approved, 12+

DVD contains the movie plus special features:
The Making Of Princess Cut, Discussion Guide, Deleted Scenes, Blooper Reel, Behind The Scenes, and Film Trailers.

This story is about a young woman named Grace Anderson and her family.  She has reached adulthood and is longing to get married.  She grew up with her family on a farm in a small town in North Carolina.  She longs to have a relationship like her parents have, and she is looking forward to wearing a beautiful wedding ring with a full carrot “Princes Cut” diamond.

Grace has been dating a young man for over a year.  Just when she thinks he is going to propose at dinner with a group of his college friends, he announces he is getting married, but it is to someone else.  She realizes she is just another “friend” hearing the announcement.  Grace leaves the dinner broken hearted.

This event leaves her emotionally vulnerable and sends her into a string of troublesome events as she struggles to find a potential mate and almost makes a really bad choice with someone who doesn’t value sexual purity before marriage.  She doubts her faith and questions whether or not God wants her to be happy or married.

It takes Grace a while to learn to trust God for her future mate and stay true to her convictions.  Grace is easily affected by the opinions of her friends, a counselor, and other people’s advice, and is often confused about her future.  During her journey, she finds several “Mr. Wrong” (s) in her quest to find true love.

The guidance and faith of her Father, and the love of her family, is what helps guide her to a place of trusting God and making the right decision about choices she faces and finding true peace and happiness and true love.  In the end, she does trust God to show her the way and she finds true love with “Mr. Right” and receives the wedding ring that has been her lifelong dream.

The cast of actors in this film did a good job portraying their character and communicating the message of this movie.  Actors staring in the film include:  Ashley Bratcher (Grace Anderson), Rusty Martin, Sr. (Jim Anderson), Jenn Gotzon (Brooke McClaren), Joseph Gray (Clint Masters),  Mimi Sagadin (Katherine Anderson), Cory Assink (Jared Cunningham).

Princess Cut was written by Paul and Sheilah Munger, produced by Paul Munger, and directed by Paul Munger from Watchman Pictures.  This movie was filmed in North Carolina.  Paul was homeschooled and many of the people who helped make this film were also homeschooled.

Movie Trailer:

Check out this Movie Trailer:

Our Experience:

This movie came into our life at a unique time.  It is our 27th wedding anniversary.  We have been talking with our kids about dating, marriage, and what it was like for us in our journey to find each other, and how God directed our path.  Most of the people we knew growing up were not able to stay married and eventually divorced, which is not surprising given that the USA has over a 50% divorce rate.  We are thankful we yielded our life to Father God early in our journey, and we have had a good marriage and life together that has been blessed by God.  Following Father God and his son Jesus Christ has made a huge difference in our life.

Our family watched this movie together (Dad, Mom, and kids ages 17, 15, 13, 10, 9, 6).  This was the only picture I had of my 9 year old watching the movie, and he blinked at that moment I took this picture and his eyes look closed, but he was awake and taking it all in.  My camera ran out of battery after I took this picture so I couldn’t retake it of him watching the movie, and I also did not get a picture of two more brothers sitting on the other side of dad.

We enjoyed watching this movie. We have several teens, preteens, and younger kids in our household and we were all able to enjoy watching this movie together.  It was nice to be able to sit together and watch a movie with a Christian message and talk about it afterwards.  This movie seemed to be just the right message to share with our whole family at this time in our life.

Further the learning:

This movie would make a nice unit study, and lap book experience for homeschoolers.  Unit Studies are our preferred method of learning about various subjects because it is hands on and immerses a person into the subject to dig deeper. This movie has a lot of subject matter to cover, bible study opportunities, and vocabulary words that kids could study.  There is a short Discussion Guide with few questions included in the DVD and also information on the website to further the learning.   We used these segments to further our family discussions of the topics, and we added a few activities to further the learning.  However, I am contemplating creating an in-depth unit study and bible study to go with it too.

For now,  we talked about diamonds and what a “princess cut” diamond is. We discussed different kinds of wedding rings, and looked at my wedding ring that has a small stone to see what a diamond in a ring looks like.  We watched a video about how to find diamonds and then we did a little rock hound hunt in some dirt and sand from the nearby creek to see if we could find raw diamonds, but we did not find any.  We found some small clear rocks that look similar though.  Also I found some coloring pages online of a diamond and a diamond ring for the younger kids to color.

We might take a field trip to the area where the movie was filmed.  It was filmed in Winston-Salem, East Bend, Lewisville, & Pelham, NC and we could look for the Oakhaven Farm.  We have been to visit the Winston-Salem area in the past.  It is beautiful and filled with lots of history and beautiful scenery.  I think the kids would really enjoy going back there on a field trip to see the area where the movie was filmed.  Other related field trips might include a fishing trip, a visit to a jewelry store, visiting a farm planted with soybeans, and attending a harvest festival.

Our family could relate to the small town and farm life portrayed in this movie.  We have farmed and lived in small towns in several states most of our lives.  We have enjoyed the farming community and some of the festivals celebrated.  We especially enjoy the local fairs and harvest festivals.  Our favorite harvest festival we have visited so far is the Strawberry Festivals in Indiana, and the Apple Festival and Farm Days in Hendersonville, NC.  Our favorite country fairs we have visited is in Fair Play South Carolina and Wayne County Indiana.

Like Grace Anderson, we have lived in old farmhouses and baked a lot of cookies, breads, pies, and comfort foods, and ate a lot of meals around a large table just as they did in this movie.  It would be fun to find out what they prepared for meals and the cookies they baked and we could include cooking projects that relate to the movie in a unit study.

There is a special point in the movie when the family joins together to harvest a crop of soybeans from the field by hand when their harvest machine broke down. They were willing to pull together as a family and do the hard work of the harvest by hand, because their livelihood depends on it and without the harvest, they could loose their farm. Eventually the harvester is fixed and they are able to finish their harvest with equipment.  We are familiar with farming.  We have raised livestock, hay, corn, and produce.  We have watched neighbors raise soybeans, though we have not raised them ourselves, we were still able to relate to the farming aspect of the character’s lives.

One of my son’s lives and breaths everything farming.  He looked up the automobiles and tractors used in the movie.

There are clips in the movie of the Dad working on his tractor and at other times the neighbor also helps work on the tractor that broke down.  In his research, my son found the harvester was a John Deer 4420 Combine Harvester made in the early 80’s.

Also there was an older farm truck and two newer trucks in the movie.

He discovered the older one was a 1972 Chevrolet C20.  The family’s newer truck (not pictured here) was a 2014 Ford F-150 FX4.  The neighbor’s truck (not pictured here) was a 2002 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LT.

My son loves tractors, trucks and everything to do with farming and he desires to own his own farm and get married and raise a family on a farm someday.  The message of this movie spoke to his heart.  He really enjoyed this movie.

We talked about wedding vows and what it means to commit to them and to each other before God and witnesses.  We talked about why it is important to be equally yoked with someone who also believes in Father God and his son Jesus Christ, and to let Father God have control over this area of our life, and to wait on him to show us who to marry.

Using an online bible with search tools, we found several verses in the scriptures about love, marriage, weddings, faithfulness, purity, fornication and sin, forgiveness, diamonds and other gems, family, etc to read and some passages to use for copy work.

Final Thoughts: 

We enjoyed this movie and highly recommend it.  It has a good message and the characters are people that everyone can relate too.  This movie would be great to give away as gifts too.  I would especially encourage folks with teens and young adults to watch it because of the message of trusting God with your life, purity, integrity, the peace of mind that comes from trusting God to help you find your mate, and giving God complete control.

Watchman Pictures

It is rare in our culture to find exciting movies that discuss real life events with a biblical worldview.  Most movies today are filled with fantasies, cursing, sorcery, sexual immorality, murder and gore, and are antiChrist.  However, there are movie producers out there with a message that points people back to God and family.

Paul Munger

Writer, Producer, Director

Watchman Pictures is a film company created by Paul Munger.   Some of the films he has worked on include:

Princess Cut
Alone Yet Not Alone
Hero
Animals In The Bible
Homeschooling Answers
An Introduction to Spell To Write and Read
Hidden Secrets To Language Success
Flood, Special Edition

I found the description of Paul Munger from various sources to be very interesting.  On the Princess Cut website, I found a news article that mentions he was homeschooled and had the help of several homeschoolers on producing the Princess Cut film.  On his Watchman Pictures website, he said he sees himself as a watchman, and his name actually means “humble watchman”.  He said the goal of a watchman is to sound the alarm for people to pay attention, to announce something or someone important, to get the people to prepare.

Isaiah 21:6, “For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.”

Paul stated he desires to produce films and help upcoming film students create films on a wide variety of subjects, from a Christian worldview, that will entertain families while building godly Christian character.  He hopes his films will evangelize the lost and bring glory to the Lord Jesus Christ.

I also found these statements and scriptures about the person he is and what his mission is on his Watchman Pictures website.  Clearly he desires to point people to God:

“The mission of Watchman Pictures, then, is very simple, good stories well told, that communicate powerful ideas based on Truth, that entertains and edifies the viewer. All of this I will do in full dependence upon the Lord’s providence and gracious empowering, for without Him I can do nothing.”

Psalm 127:1, “Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”

Be sure to go to his “About” page at Watchman Pictures to read more about his company, the services they offer, films in development, and the films he has helped create.

What’s Next?

Watchman Pictures said on the Princess Cut website, that they are working on a couple of sequels to this movie that will follow Grace’s life in marriage and raising a family.  They asked the Christian viewers to keep them in their prayers as they write, budget, and produce the next movies.

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Temptation and Adversity

Be encouraged.

Whether we realize it or not, we are all dangling on the cliff of eternity, our soul in this human body, but this place is not our eternal home.

For those who trust Father God, Yahuah, He is our rock, and his son Jesus Christ, Yahusha Ha Messiach, is our lifeline.

Hold tight! He has got you in his grip!  Tune out the surroundings.  Fix your eyes on his eyes, and see and feel his out stretched arm as it embraces you, and tune your ears to the frequency of his voice.

Do not be afraid. Though this place is not our home, He is with you and He will hold you.  Like a child who trusts, trust him, he has a hold of you and will not let you fall.  He will support you through the adversity.  As you walk through life on this earth and the valley of the shadow of death he will hold you. He will deliver you out.  He will deliver you from evil.  Do not fear.

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”  Mat 6:13

You will bring him glory because you trust him. Your testimony will shine as a beacon of light in a dark world and others will come to know him because of your faith in him to do the impossible, to do what no man or other god can do.  Only He can heal you, only He can save you.  When you trust Him to heal you and save you, you give him glory as the one true God.

I looked up the “verse of the day” this morning before writing you. I have spent all day asking Father God for the words to say in this moment, when you need to hear a word of encouragement from Him.

“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” James 1:12

Then my conversation with him went something like this: Wow, Father, this is a great verse, thank you, and I can’t wait to receive the crown of life and I love you with all my heart.  BUT how is “he that endureth temptation” a word of encouragement for this dear sister who is hurting and asking for prayer?  How dare I tell another Christian to endure temptation and wait for their crown?  Then he told me to look closer at the verse.  I realized there must be a bigger meaning to the words written there because I could not understand how “enduring temptation” applied to folks going through illness or difficulties that were no fault of their own.

Stumped, I went to the dictionary to find the meanings.

Dictionary meaning of “temptation”:

1. temptation is the act of tempting; enticement or allurement.
2. tempation is something that tempts, entices, or allures.
3. temptation is the fact or state of being tempted, especially to evil.
4. temptation is like the temptation of Christ by Satan, (Matthew 4).

Ok, so this is what I understood temptation to mean.  It is what I was taught.  According the dictionary, it means being tempted to sin, the act of being enticed and allured to sin, and it even references when Jesus was tempted by Satan to bow down to him.  However, this still did not make sense how going through an illness and a failing body organ such as a kidney, or someone loosing their job, or losing their home or their child, could be related to temptation…

Still stumped, I went to find the biblical meaning of tempation.  So I went to the Greek translation and Strong’s concordance for a biblical understanding.  Again, I prayed for the Holy Spirit to give me understanding.

My eyes were opened to the meaning of the word temptation. It has more meanings than what we are taught and different meanings than what is provided to us in our dictionaries.  Yes, it can mean being tempted by sin, as mentioned in the dictionary, but this is only one of several meanings that the dictionary neglected to give.  No wonder we as Christian’s miss the message so often.  We do not understand what is being said.

Biblical meaning of “temptation”:

Temptation is to “try” or to “test”
1. Temptation is to try or test one’s faith,
2. Temptation is to try or test one’s virtue,
3. Temptation is to try or test one’s character,
4. Temptation is an experiment, attempt, trial, proving, trial of man’s fidelity, integrity, virtue, constancy, a putting to proof (by experiment (of good), experience (of evil), solicitation, discipline or provocation); by implication, adversity.

Now when we read this verses from James 1:12 it makes sense:

Going through a difficult experience, such as an illness, can be a temptation or test of one’s character and constancy of our trust in him during the adversity.  When we love God and stay constant with our love and trust in him (to save, heal, deliver, provide)  as we endure the difficulty we will receive the crown of life that he has promised.

I prayed for the Holy Spirit to guide my words.  I have faith that when I pray and ask, he gives the answer.  In the bible, Jesus said the Holy Spirit will give us the right words to speak at the time it is needed.

Temptation is a trying of one’s faith.

Temptation is a test of one’s character.

Temptation is an experiment of good and evil.

Temptation is adversity and difficulty in our daily walk and proving of our character.

This is exactly what Job went through.  The devil, the accuser, who goes around the earth like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour and brings accusation against the followers of God.  He got permission from Father God to attack Job, to bring adversity, in many different ways all in an attempt to tempt, test, and “prove” Job’s trust in Father God as having all authority, and to prove Job’s character.

Who won? Who won the showdown between Father God and Satan?  Father God won.  Father God knew Job’s character.  He even told Satan, “there is none like Job.”  Job didn’t succumb to temptation during his illness and loss of family, wealth, employees, and friends.  He continued to say, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away as He sees fit.” He refused to play god in his own life, or to try to change the outcome or seek out someone else to try to change the outcome, and he refused to curse Father God for the bad things he was going through.

Satan lost the battle with Job.  He was only allowed to go so far to “try” to “prove” otherwise, but God knew that Job could handle this attack on his body, family, and wealth, and he knew when to end the trial and restore Job and everything Satan had tried to steal and ruin.  God received the glory, because of Job’s temptation and “trying of this faith” through this adversity.

Now we can have a better understanding in our life today. Temptation is the trying of our faith, it is the testing of who we place our trust in, and our love of Father God.  Temptation is our faith put on trial.  Temptation is the testing of our faith in who we patiently wait on to deliver us from evil in adversity and difficulty in our daily walk and temptation is the proving of our character.

Jesus told us to pray like this:

“After this manner therefore pray ye:

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”  Matthew 6 : 9-13

When we rely on Father God, he will provide a way through the temptation during adversity and protect us from evil.

May you be encouraged to put your complete trust in him today.

Be blessed!

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Highschool Diploma Review

Is anyone in your home ready to graduate?  If so, then you will want to check out the diplomas and graduating products available at Homeschool Diploma.  As members of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew, we were sent a Standard Diploma in exchange for writing an honest review.

Homeschool Diploma has something for every graduate.  They offer standard, personalized, and customizable  gilded diplomas and covers for highschool, eighth grade, and kindergarten graduates in two sizes.  You can choose diploma size options from an 8.5″ x 11″, 6″ x 8″, and you have the option to add on a portable wallet size to carry with you.

 

Standard

The Standard Diploma presents the basic information in a professional and attractive way.  Listed on the standard diploma, you have your school name, location of school (optional), name of student, a statement about having met graduation requirements, High School Diploma, and the date of graduation, and signatures.  You also have the option of choosing an honors seal, and one of 3 embossed graduation seals for the bottom area between the signatures.

Personalized

The Personalized Diploma includes all the above plus: you can choose from embossed or engraved seals, it has 4 customizable wording options and include a special Motto or Bible Verse, and customizable signature lines.

Customized

The Customized Diploma or Gilded Diploma includes all the above plus:  23-karat Gold illumination decorates the seal and school name, you can choose from 2 gilded seal designs, and gilding on the initial letter of the school name is included.

Affordable Pricing and Quality

Prices are affordable and start at $29.99 and up for diplomas based on the options you choose.

Product Examples:

Here are a few product examples of the graduation diplomas and other products Homeschool Diploma has to offer.

Highschool Diploma:

Diploma Covers:

They have lots of color options, and personalization of the cover is available if desired.

Laminated Wallet Size Diploma:

Eighth Grade Diploma:

Kindergarten Diploma:

Caps and Gowns:

They also have rings, shirts, graduation gifts, picture frames, announcement invitations and more to help you celebrate and share your graduation experience with family and friends.

Our Experience:

I am impressed with Homeschool Diploma.  They produce beautiful professional diplomas and graduation products.  Equally impressive is their customer service.  They are very kind and helpful.  If you need guidance or have questions, or if you are like me and have not graduated a student before and I had lots of questions, they are very quick to respond and give you the guidance you need.

We were sent an 8.5″ x 11″ Standard Diploma with a nice Cover.  We had the cover personalized to read the name of our school and my son’s name.  We also chose the option to add a laminated wallet size diploma to our order so he can carry it with him.  We were very pleased with the professional quality of the diploma when it arrived.

Though the Standard Diploma comes with less options than the Personalized Diplomas or Custom Diplomas, it was perfect for our needs. The website provides a questionnaire to walk you through each line item that will be on the diploma.  The outcome of this process is a beautiful diploma to display.

The lines and wording on our diploma include: At the top of the diploma our school name in a curved arch, then we had the option of putting in the city and state of your school or leaving it off.  Next is the name of the graduate.  Next is a sentence about having met graduation requirements.  This is followed by the words High School Diploma in large letters.  Next it references the month and year of graduation.  The last section is for signatures and seals.   To the left and right at the bottom of the diploma is room for signatures, an optional honor seal, and in the middle of the signatures is the large diploma seal of your choosing.

I am thankful there are options for graduation for homeschoolers who desire to graduate.   Some folks want a big ceremony, cap and gowns, extended family, a stage presentation, or a presentation at home and party with friends and family.  Other folks may want or need to pass through this milestone quietly.  Some folks with special needs or certain physical limitations may not be able to participate in large ceremonies even if they desired too.  Other folks graduate at various times of the year, some in May, some in December or January, and some in the summer or fall and it doesn’t always fit in with a big ceremony or with schedules for extended family to join.

A beautiful thing about homeschooling in America is that you can choose.  In America, you can choose where you will live, you can choose your career and how you spend your time, you can choose your faith and what you believe, you can choose if you will get married and your reason for raising a family, you can choose your reason for homeschooling or choose to send your kids to public or private school.  In America you can choose your homeschool curriculum, and you can choose the details of graduation that fits both the needs and personality style of your student and family.  There is no right or wrong answer, the correct answer is that it is fluid and it is what best fits your situation for your child and your family at that point in time.

My son asked me to keep his graduation simple.  He doesn’t want to graduate with a group or be displayed in a public way.  He did not want me to order cap and gown, or throw a party per his request.  I doubt he would change his mind as we get closer to that time.  He is a quiet fella who enjoys learning, and enjoys challenging his skills, but he doesn’t seek out attention or desire acknowledgement.  Though he is kind and is the first one to help or come to the rescue, and is usually the first one to grasp a concept or complete his schoolwork, he never wants recognition.  I couldn’t be more proud of him and the Godly young man he is.  Even though his big accomplishment may not be filled with cap and gown and “pomp and circumstance” as it was when I walked across the stage in public highschool, and the way many of our homeschool friends graduate and might get together for a graduation ceremony, I am thankful that Homeschool Diploma offers these beautiful graduation diplomas to mark this milestone in his life and he can graduate with his own style.  That is the beauty of homeschooling, that kids can reach their learning goals and develop their skills and character, and at the same time be themselves.

However you plan to acknowledge and celebrate this milestone, I would recommend Homeschool Diploma to everyone looking for a professional quality diploma for their graduate.

Videos:

Check out this video to see a standard diploma:

Check out this video to see a wallet size diploma:

Homeschool Diploma

Homeschool Diploma, also known as Cornerstone Graduate Supply, Inc is a family owned business and has been serving the needs of graduates and their families since 2002.  They take pride in their products and are quick to respond to questions and provide guidance as needed to help you customize your graduation products.

They also have quick turn around for orders and ship most of their products within 3 to 5 days of receiving the order.  They share their mission statement on their website and state they are grateful for Christian education and their over all goal is to bring honor to Jesus Christ.

I am so glad to learn about this company through doing this review.  They truly care about homeschool families and want to help them succeed and graduate their students.  They know what they are doing and do it well.  I highly recommend Homeschool Diploma to everyone!

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Creation Illustrated Unit Studies Review

Have you heard about Creation Illustrated?  They are a magazine and curriculum publisher.  The photography in their publications is amazing and some of the best I have ever seen. Creation Illustrated has been called “the Christian answer to National Geographic” because of the amazing photography in their magazines, their focus on Father God our Creator, and the faith filled stories they publish.  I am sure you will be encouraged and inspired when you read Creation Illustrated.

Creation Illustrated is expanding and creating a new line of digital products and we have been asked to review two of their digital Creation Unit Studies.  Creation Unit Studies are fun hands on learning opportunities that expand on stories that have been published in the Creation Illustrated magazines.

Creation Unit Studies cover a variety of subjects, are filled with fascinating information that points the student a better understanding of Father God our Creator, and they are affordable.  They are easy to do and will help spice up the learning in your homeschool.  They are currently on sale for $6.95.  They have eight unit studies listed for sale at this time, and have plans for several more. The current list includes:

  • Badgers – The World of Badgers
  • Black Bears – Bear Essentials
  • Dragonflies – Dragons of Paradise
  • Fragrance
  • Joshua Tree National Park
  • Mellow Manatees
  • Pine Trees
  • Snow – Intricacies of Snow

We were sent Intricacies of Snow Unit Study and Pine Trees Unit Study from the Creation Unit Studies collection, and they are filled with fascinating information we want to share with you.

Creation Illustrated: Intricacies of Snow Unit Study

Intricacies of Snow

Creation Unit Study

Digital Curriculum

Downloadable PDF

17 Full Color Illustrated Pages

Teacher’s Answer Key

Grades 5-8

Primarily for grades 5-8, but younger grades can use with assistance or modified.

Lessons and Contents:

  • Reading Resources (page 3)
  • Educational Videos (page 3)
  • Writing & Penmanship (page 4)
  • Vocabulary & Spelling (page 4-5)
  • Bible Study (page 6-7)
  • Science (page 8-9)
  • Math (page 10)
  • Geography (page 11)
  • Art (page 12)
  • Puzzle (page 13)
  • Teacher Answer Keys (page 14-17)
  • and Other Fun Facts.

Example of Student Worksheet:

Example of Teacher’s Answer Key:

Creation Illustrated Magazine Winter ’18 Edition:

Winter ’18 Digital Edition of Creation Illustrated contains articles and beautiful photographs that correspond with the Intricacy of Snow Unit Study.

In addition to reading through the unit study and magazine articles, the unit study also contains a lot of suggested reading and research links and suggested videos to watch. When students finish this unit study about snow, they will have a better understanding and appreciation of snow and a better understanding of Father God and his creation.

Creation Illustrated: Pine Trees Unit Study

Pine Trees

Creation Unit Study

Digital Curriculum

Downloadable PDF

16 Full Color Illustrated Pages

Teacher’s Answer Key

Grades 5-8

Primarily for grades 5-8, but younger grades can use with assistance or modified.

Lessons and Contents:

  • Reading Resources (page 3)
  • Educational Videos (page 3)
  • Vocabulary & Spelling (page 4-5)
  • Bible Study (page 6)
  • Geography (page 7)
  • Science (page 8-9)
  • Math (page 10)
  • Writing & Penmanship (page 11)
  • Art (page 12)
  • Puzzle (page 13)
  • Teacher Answer Keys (page 14-16)
  • and Other Fun Facts

Example of Student Worksheet:

Creation Illustrated Magazine Fall ’17 Edition:

Creation Illustrated Fall ’17 Digital Edition contains articles and beautiful photographs that correspond with the Pine Trees Unit Study.

In addition to reading through the magazine articles, and unit study worksheets, there are also suggested reading and research links, and suggested videos to watch.  There is also an identification worksheet in the study that is great to use for taking a field trip, or a hike into nature to see the trees up close and identify them.  When students complete the Pine Tree Unit Study, they will have a better appreciation for these trees and how they have impacted our lives, and a better understanding about Father God and his creation.

Our Experience

We were sent the digital Intricacies of Snow and Pine Trees unit studies and the corresponding digital magazine editions, Winter ’18 and Fall ’17, of Creation Illustrated.

We have completed the Pine Trees Unit Study, and have started the Intricacies of Snow Unit Study.   We focused on the Pine Trees Unit Study for the purpose of this review.

We have experienced the end of winter and beginning of spring while doing this unit study.  You can see the snow on the pine trees in the two pictures posted above. Though the winter was cold where we live, we got very little snow, and it was usually gone within a day of falling.  In hindsight, I wish I would have focused on the snow study before the pine study as it would have been nice to have had snow actually on the ground that we could experience while studying it.  I will post how our snow study went soon.

Here are some pictures of our nature walk we took to identify pine trees in the forest.  We saw a variety of trees and lots of wildlife too.

We found pine buds full of pollen as well as fully intact pine cones on the same trees.

We harvested some of the young pine buds and pine needles for making recipes and several pine cones for crafts.

My kids enjoyed participating in this study, and the older kids did all of the worksheets, and the younger kids did a few of the worksheets.

We found an insect hiding in this pine tree.  We also found  bird nests, and lots of spiders (not pictured) that like living in pine trees.  We saw several squirrels check for food in the pine trees and jump from tree to tree playing tag with each other and shaking their tails.

We investigated pine cones, pine buds, pine needles, and tree bark up close.

We also found some wild grape vines that had climbed some of the tall pine trees in the forest and were starting to bloom with bright yellow flowers. The winding vines and yellow blooms were beautiful and smelled amazing, and were such a contrast to the tall pine.

Here are some examples of my kids worksheets and activities from this unit study:

Further The Learning:

Though we have finished the Pine Trees Unit Study, I plan to stretch this learning out further over the next several weeks this spring and into the summer.  I plan to add in a couple of building projects for the older three boys using pine lumber from the local lumberyard.

They have been learning woodworking skills using pine over the past year or so and they are getting better and better with their creations.  They helped make a workbench table from pine lumber during this unit study. You can see the frame of the table in this picture.  They have completed it since I took the picture and use it for a workbench for making handcrafts.  They are enjoying it very much.  They have been making lots of woodworking and leather projects on it.

They also helped make loft beds from pine lumber for their rooms last summer.  They love their beds and they had a lot of fun learning to work with wood.

They are also learning bushcrafting skills.  They are familiar with looking for dead pine trees in the forest, and they cut and chop these dead trees into smaller pieces for firewood.  We plan to learn to make “fat wood” with pine for fire starting and make several primitive traps too.  We have several templates and kits ready to make.

All of my kids enjoy whittling.  They usually just work on a stick and whittle away at the bark and usually focus on getting one end to a point.  The younger kids sit with daddy outside, and enjoy passing the time whittling.   The bigger boys have developed their skills and whittle when ever they want and don’t require being supervised like the younger kids.  The younger kids are only allowed to have their pocket knife while being supervised for safety.

One of my older sons has really taken a liking to whittling.  He enjoys sitting outside by himself, whittleing, with the quiet sounds of nature.  Sometimes he sits on the back porch and sometimes he sits on a bench he made in the forest.  He cut several pine branches to size, about 24 inches, and using cordage to attach the cut pieces to a tree that has two trunks with a gap between them, he created a bench seat with a ladder back that goes up the tree.  He can climb up to have a look around if he wants too.  He loves to sit in nature and whittle.  He has progressed into carving with pine, cedar, and birch trees.  He requested some chisels and has made some lovely wooden spoons.  He has made about six different spoons of different sizes and different purposes, and he has made walking sticks, and made a lovely walking cane with a handle.  He has whittled, chiseled, shaped, and sanded several projects by hand with the wood he collected from the forest.

All of the kids really enjoy working with their hands, learning life skills, practicing those skills, and learning to make different projects they find interesting.

To further the learning even more, I am planning to do several additional art, cooking, and science projects with all of the kids, lap booking pages about pine trees, and a “Pp” letter of the week project for my youngest son to reinforce what he has learned about pine trees and pine cones too.

I also plan to use the knowledge we gained in this unit study about pine trees and apply it to an American History unit study we are also working on about a fronteir man named Davy Crocket.  Learning about pine trees and their special place in history, and use as a food and medicine and building materials, as well as the impact on economics of the pine tree lumber industry on the people, will go well with the American History study we are doing.

Final Thoughts:

My kids have enjoyed this unit study.  I appreciate the biblical worldview of the curriculum and the beautiful photography and stories in the magazine.

I definitely recommend Creation Illustrated magazines and Creation Unit Studies for homeschool families. It is easy to download the digital PDF files and put them in a binder, read the magazine articles online and click through the related links and watch a few videos, grab your bible, and complete the worksheets. Older students can do these studies independently and younger students can do the studies with help from parents and older siblings.

We have had subscriptions to Creation Illustrated in the past, and had it for several years.  It was a regular part of our homeschool learning.  We have also reviewed their magazine for our readers several years ago, way back in 2012.   I regret that I let our subscription expire when we moved a couple of years ago.  I have been so inspired again by the magazine while doing this review that I plan to purchase a new subscription, and purchase more of these unit studies, and I would like to order several back copies of the magazine too.  These make wonderful reading for my family, and inspire us in our faith.  These make lovely gifts for extended family and friends and church libraries too.  These would be wonderful to benefit communities and leave as reading material in offices around town too.

I would recommend Creation Unit Studies and the Creation Illustrated magazines to everyone!

Latest Eddition:

The latest edition Creation Illustrated Spring ’18 has just been published.

Current Spring 2018 Edition

NEW Ad-Free Keepsake Edition

Features include:

  • ​Creation Up Close: Nature’s First Responders –by Evelyn Sayler
  • Creatures Near and Dear to Us: Butterfly Birth –by Rosanne Pallini-Veriezza
  • Re-Creation Outdoor Adventure: Trekking Through Myanmar –by Janae Bowman
  • Creation Day 4 of the Creation Story: Sun, Moon, and Stars –by Nikolas Grosfield
  • Creation Highlights and Creation Stewardship news briefs
  • My Walk with God: Redeeming the Desert –by Shirley Conley
  • Gardens from Eden: A Season of New Beginnings –by Joanne Taylor
  • Genesis Cuisine: Korean Treats Recipes –Korean 3-Radish Noodle Salad, Korean Mung Bean Vegie Pancakes, Korean Sweet Rice Cakes.
  • Children’s Story: Bumblebee Rescue –by Tatiana Claudy
  • Creation Character Building Lesson: Service and Ministry –by Terry & Jean McComb
  • New Coloring & Photo Contests for all ages
  • Photo and Coloring Contest winners
  • Study Guide, Spring Family Fun Activities
  • Poetry: All Creation Sings –by Bret Suarez
  • And more!

Video:

I found this 2015 video interview of Tom and Jennifer Ish. They are homeschool parents who began publishing Creation Illustrated in 1993.  That is over 25 years!  What an accomplishment for the kingdom of God!  Only God knows how many people, perhaps millions, have been inspired to draw near to him because of this ministry.  This interview is filled with fantastic information about the mission of Creation Illustrated and it’s worldwide outreach.

Try before you buy:

If you would like to try it out before you buy, Creation Illustrated offers a FREE digital edition of their magazine, and a FREE unit study on Fragrance which includes the corresponding digital magazine too.  Be sure to check those out.

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Passover Lamb

Jesus Christ, Yahusha HaMashiach is our Passover Lamb.

He is the only begotten son of Father God, Yahuah.  Our Father sent him to us because he loves us.  He lived a sinless life by the power of God in him.  He was born of a human mother, and he wore human flesh just as you and me.  He walked on the earth as a human for 33 years, day in and day out facing the same experiences each and every person goes through.  He over came temptations and lived a sinless life.  He spent the last three years teaching about the kingdom of God, forgiving sins, casting out demons, raising the dead, and healing the sick.  He taught us to walk with God is to love and obey God above all else, and to love our neighbor as we love our self.

Then, as the pure Passover Lamb, he gave his life for me and for you, so we could escape eternal damnation, so we can be forgiven of our sins, so we can be healed, and so we can walk in an eternal relationship with Father God.  Jesus Christ is our mediator between us and God.

To accept his free Passover gift of forgiveness of sin, healing, and eternal life, we must believe he is the only begotten son of God, and that he died for us, conquered sin and death, and believe he rose again on the third day, and ask him to forgive our sins, and accept him as our Lord and Savior.  We must confess our sins, and he will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

My prayer for you today, is that you will love Father God and accept his free gift of the Passover, his son Jesus Christ, Yahusha HaMashiach, and that Father God will be glorified and his kingdom will increase in all the earth!

Be wise and be blessed!

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Making Leather Crafts

My kids and their daddy, have had so much fun making leather crafts over the past few months.  They have made knife sheaths, wallets, leather bracelets, and leather bushcraft bags so far.  I will share future posts in Homesteading & DIY: Leather Crafts with some of the various projects they have created.

My Grandfather and Dad enjoyed creating things with leather.  I have enjoyed watching my family learn how to work leather, and it brings back lots of memories of time spent watching and helping with leather projects when I was a kid.  I am so thankful to see my kids pick up these skills and enjoy making projects like this.

After a couple of our older boys expressed interest in learning how to make a custom knife sheath, my husband also realized he was interested in this hobby too.  He took the older three boys on a field trip to a leather supply store.  There they found different kinds of leather, tools, supplies, sewing needles, and books with tutorials.  They also took another field trip to an army surplus supply store and found several ideas of things they could learn to make.  They also watched some video tutorials to get a better understanding of how to use, create, and care for leather.

What they have discovered over the past few months is that they truly enjoy working with leather.  They enjoy working and creating many things with their hands as well including materials such as braiding and weaving cordage and woodcarving, etc.  So the next thing we plan to do build a workbench especially for hand crafting with leather and other materials so they can make even more projects.

One of they books they purchaced is called Making Leather Knife Sheaths Volume 1 by David Holter and Peter Fronteddu.  It is very hands on with step by step instructions and lots of pictures of each step of four different sheath projects.

I thought it would be fun to review this book for other Homeschool families who might be interested in teaching their kids about Leather crafts.  This is a valuable life skill to have and this book covers some very good information that applies to all leather making crafts and the care of leather in general.

Here is some of the great information I found inside.

Making Leather Knife Sheaths Volume 1 

Hardback illustrated book.  Contains 144 spiral bound pages divided into 6 chapters.  Covers 4 complete projects plus various tools, general leather care, and resources.

If using this as a life skills curriculum, your students will complete 4 projects, plus two additional chapters that pertain to all leather products.  You could stretch this learning project into 4 – 6 months, doing 1 chapter / project per month or complete it faster.   If you plan on using this for general knowledge, you could plan on covering this material in 6 weeks, completing 1 chapter per week.

The book covers all the basics of leather care, tools, and how to build four different knife sheaths and these same principles apply to all leather crafts.

CHAPTERS

1. Basics

This chapter covers things like various leather crafting tools, methods, sewing, how to choose different kinds of leather for different kinds of projects.

2. Project l: Quiver-Like Sheath with Integrated Belt Loop

This chapter covers planning and design, creating templates, prepping, creating the belt loop, sewing, cleaning edges, dying, shaping, sealing edges, etc.

This is the perfect project to start out with.  This is the biggest chapter in the book and all of the following projects repeat the steps learned in this chapter and project.

3. Project ll: Quiver-like Sheath with Leather Lining and Riveted Belt Loop with Snap Fastener

This chapter covers planning and design, creating templates, prepping, creating belt loops, gluing, sewing, cleaning edges, sealing, etc.

Each project gets slightly more complicated with a few additional steps added and a little fancier end product.

4. Project lll: Quiver-Like Sheath with Protective Strap and Sewed On Belt Loop

This chapter covers planning and design, creating templates, prepping, embossing the sheath blade, dying and varnishing the leather, creating belt loops, creating protective straps, attaching loops and straps, gluing, sewing, cleaning edges, sealing, etc.

5. Project lV: Quiver-Like Sheath with Flap and Sewed on Belt Clip

This chapter covers planning and design, creating templates, prepping and constructing parts, positioning the flap, fitting the welt, sewing, sealing, etc.

6. Tips for Cleaning and Leather Care

This chapter covers caring for leather projects such as cleaning leather with Saddle Soap, impregnating leather twice a year with grease or polish to maintain water proof,

This is the most valuable chapter in the entire book because it covers how to care for leather.  So whether you make a sheath or not, this information will apply to everything you own that is made out of leather.  This information is good for men and women.  Guys if you have leather shoes or boots, or a leather wallet or belt, here is the info you need to take care of them so they will last for a long long time.  Laddies if you have a leather purse or belt or wallet or shoes, here is the information you need to take care of them too.

Appendix

There are Appendix at the back of the book that cover all 4 project templates, plus a list of reputable leather suppliers around the country and additional books and life skill training recommendations.

 

Homeschool Life Skills Course:

If you plan to use this book and projects as a Life Skills Curriculum, I would plan on doing 1 chapter per month.  That gives you and your student (s) plenty of time for planning out what is discussed in each chapter and the projects it contains.  Working on leather crafts can be expensive.  Spend the first month locating affordable resources to make your projects.

Go over Chapter 1 and sourcing a few leather tools.  Set up a general workspace where you will make your leather projects.  Also acquire the kind of leather you want to make your projects with.

During month one, go on a field trip and visit a leather store, or visit a leather dealer at a vendor product fair.  Take some time to watch a few leather making videos.

Set up a notebook binder for taking notes and jotting down ideas, plans, design templates, etc.  Come up with a few general questions to quiz kids on, depending on the age of your students.  Ask them about the animals that provided the leather.  Ask what different kinds of leather are used to make different projects.  For example, soft leathers are usually made into gloves or soft bags and vests or clothing items, where thicker and tougher leathers are made into sturdier products such as saddles, belts, bags, etc.

Have your student label each tool on a print out or one you have copied.  Have kids write out an essay of how leather goods have been useful in history and how they are used now.  Have them make a graph and evaluate the current market value of leather goods too.  Create a lapbook to put into your leather craft / life skills binder with various mini book pages on various topics relating to leather crafts is another great idea.

During the following months, set aside a couple of hours each week and take your time to create a project design using the tips in the corresponding chapter.  Have your student put their design into their notebook binder when they are thru using it as a template.  You could also have them right out each step they do, and put a picture of their finished project in their notebook binder.

You could also incorporate this learning into other schoolwork your students are doing.  For example, our kids have completed unit studies about Native American Indians, the Pioneers, the Minute Men, the Revolutionary War, and more recently Daniel Boone, and they currently working on a unit study about Davy Crockett this school year.  You could also add this learning project into curriculum about sewing, or design, or leather upholstery, metal working, history of weaponry, jewelry, horses saddles and tack, owning a small handcraft business, etc.  There are many wonderful opportunities to incorporate these skills.

Learning about leather crafts and how to care for leather is fun and is a perfect subject to add homeschool studies.

Please share.

Zirrly Super Beads Mega Pack Review

We have a fun arts and crafts project to tell you about today.

We have been trying to find ways to involve the whole family, the older kids and the younger kids, in arts and crafts projects more often.  Sometimes you just want a break from the usual school studies.  We were thrilled when our family was offered to try Super Beads by Zirrly for some fun arts and crafts projects and write an honest review of our experience.

Zirrly is a craft supply company that has been providing fun engaging arts and crafts projects for families to create since 1956.  Their craft kits and supplies are both creative and educational.  They have many different kinds of craft kits and supplies.  These can be used for enjoyment and used in a variety of ways in various settings that help develop fine motor skills and creativity for kids and adults, rehabilitation, special needs, and the elderly too.

Super Beads are:

  • Fun, Educational and Creative Fun For All Ages
  • Portable
  • No Mess
  • Safe and Non-Toxic
  • Flexible and Won’t Crack
  • No Ironing
  • No Gluing
  • Super Beads Fit Snugly Onto Board so They Won’t Move Around While You’re Working
  • Simply Spray With Water and the Super Beads Fuse Together

The Homeschool Review Crew had the opportunity to review a Super Beads project of their choosing.  There were several great options to choose from:

Jungle Animals

3D Animals

Birds Set

3D Car and Truck

Spinning Tops

Jewelry Set

Mega Pack

Super Beads: Mega Pack

For the past few weeks, we were able to incorporate using Super Beads Mega Pack for arts and craft projects in our homeschool, and each of our six kids have been able to spend time creating something affordable and fun.

Super Beads: Mega Pack

  • 4500 Super Beads in large bag
  • 2 Spray Bottles
  • 1 Design Tool
  • Instructions
  • 4 Different Design Templates: Apple, Turtle, Elephant, Cupcake
  • 5 Copies of each Design Template (if you have multiple students working on same design)
  • 4 Design Boards

The kids were so excited when our package of Super Beads arrived.

We received a large bag of beads with several colors (white, yellow, brown, red, blue, green, pink) and two small packs of beads with colors (black and orange) that were not part of the larger pack.

Everything you need to complete each design is included.

I put the kit into a dishpan to contain everything until we were ready to begin.

I had a feeling it wouldn’t be a good idea for 4500 plastic beads to spill.

When it was time to work on our crafts, we took some time to sort the colors into an ice cube tray that had 10 dividers.

I dumped about half the bag of beads into a pie plate for sorting.

This step was tedious and took a lot longer than we expected.  Thankfully we had lots of hands helping out.

It was quite a pretty sight when they had the beads sorted and the tray filled.  However, our tray wasn’t nearly large enough to hold very many at one time.

Four of our kids could work with the beads at the same time.  They each received a design tray.  The trays can be used one at a time, or they can be combined to make larger projects.

Next they inserted their design of choice onto the back of the tray.

The tray is see through so you can see the design from the top side.

Next they got busy adding beads to their design tray.

Here is what their designs looked like once they had added all of the beads onto their design trays.

Once they had their designs complete.  It was time to spray them with water.  The kit comes with two spray bottles to share.   Just fill them with water and they are ready to use.  One of our bottles leaked slightly, so that reinforced the idea that we should empty out the water and dry the spray bottles before storing them away, especially if you plan to store them with your extra beads.

On the back of the design instructions, is a “Tips and Tricks” helpsheet to help you understand the best method for spraying the design.

You want to be sure to get just enough water to make the beads fuse together, but not to much water and not too little either.

We set our designs out to dry.  It takes as little as 60 minutes for them to be removable from the design tray.  We removed one design after an hour and let the other designs alone to dry overnight.

Completed designs are supposed to be flexible and won’t crack.  If they do come apart, it is likely because they didn’t receive enough water in that spot to fuse to the next bead, so just simply place them back on the design board and spray with water again and let it dry.  We had no trouble with removing ours from the boards and they held together very well.

You can find additional designs online or “think outside the box” and create your own designs.   Besides doing the regular designs, my kids enjoyed making their own creations.

Final Thoughts:

We really enjoyed making crafts with Super Beads: Mega Pack.  We would also like to try out the 3D Car and Truck set.  My kids are very interested in making cars and trucks.  My daughter and oldest son would like to try out the Jewelry Set.

These beads and templates would be a lot of fun to take the nursing home and do as a project with some of the residents the next time we go.  I would like to take them the Jungle Animals, Birds, and the Mega Pack.  It might remind them of fond memories from their visits to see animals at a zoo, and with the mega pack they could get creative with their own designs too.  It would make a nice keepsake of the time they spent with the kids creating a project.

In our homeschool, as the three big boys get older, and their school work gets harder and takes more time to complete, we noticed there is less time for them to enjoy doing fun crafts, especially if they are complicated or have expensive ingredients.  We still have three younger kids in the house too, so less complicated arts and crafts such as coloring, gluing, and painting are still important part in their learning.  Now we can add Super Beads as an affordable craft they can all enjoy designing and creating.

Arts and crafts are an important part of learning to be creative, learning to follow directions, and learning how to think and create outside the box.  These skills are important and enjoyable and they will benefit the person who learned them most likely through out their life.

Social Media

Be sure to check out Zirrly on their social media links for all the latest news, products, and great tips on using arts and crafts.

Facebook

Pinterest

Instagram

YouTube

Blog (with lots of crafts ideas)

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using these products in their homes.

Please share.