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Home School In The Woods: Time Travelers American History Studies Review

If you love learning American History, then you will want to try out the History Through the Ages: Time Travelers American series by Home School in the Woods.

Home School In the Woods Publishing produces creative “hands on” Curriculum and Historical Timelines.  They specialize in teaching history with fun projects that will interest your kids and keep their interest by involving all their senses in the learning adventure.  We are currently reviewing Industrial Revolution through Great Depression in the Time Travelers American series.

HISTORY Through the Ages
Time Travelers American History Study: The Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression

25 Hands On History Lessons

Covering 70 years of American History

From The Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression.

Suggested grades: 3-8

For individual family use.

Format: CD or Download (Mac & PC Compatible)

Download $27.95

CD $28.95

This curriculum is loaded with printable lessons, printable activity masters, a sample schedule, teacher tips, photos of every projects, resource lists, teacher keys, a “guide-at-a-glance”, and more.

Choose the curriculum format, either CD or Download, that best meets your needs. You will need a computer and printer to use this curriculum.  You will also need a 3-ring binder for the parent/teacher, and a 3-ring binder for each of your students to store everything.

Other items needed include folders, printing / copy paper, card stock paper, colored pencils, glue, tape, scissors, plus a few other items for various projects.

25 HANDS ON HISTORY LESSONS!

The Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression contains 25 History Lessons filled with fun hands on activities .

The lessons and activities cover many changes in American history that occurred from the end of the 1800’s to the early 1900’s (approximately 1869 to 1939) as America became a modern industrialized country.

Topics include:

  • The Transcontinental Railroad
  • Growth & Expansion of the Nation
  • The Indian Wars
  • The Gilded Age
  • The Spanish-American War
  • WWI
  • Innovations & Inventors
  • Immigration
  • Orphans
  • Woman’s Suffrage Movement
  • People of Interest who Made America Great
  • Business Tycoons
  • Working Conditions
  • The Progressive Era
  • The Roaring 20s
  • The Stock Market Crash
  • The Dust Bowl
  • and much more!

The lessons are very organized and easy to follow.  Each lesson can be completed in an hour if projects are pared down, or can be stretched out over a few days to include all the projects suggested for that lesson. Pages and projects are coded so that you always know what lesson and what projects go together.  There are printable lessons, project pages, project masters, information sheets, photos of completed projects, teacher helps, and more. There is a sample lesson plan schedule that you can use, or you can skip around and mix up the lessons if it suits your needs.

These History Studies are presented in a cross curricular Unit Study method. They include History, Art, Science, Engineering, Music, Creative Writing, Penmanship, Clothing, Cooking, Research, and more.  The lessons are flexible and can be adapted to the needs of various skill levels and age ranges.  In addition to the lessons, and activities provided, there are lists of materials needed, a section with additional resources and suggestions for books to read, videos to watch, and internet subjects to explore.  You can choose to do as many of the suggested hands on activities and projects for each lesson as you wish.

Suspension bridge project photo and instructions in curriculum

Depending on how many activities you want to do, and how often you do a lesson, will determine how long this curriculum will take to complete.  For example, you can do 1 lesson a week and the suggested activities and this study should last 25 weeks, or you could go faster and complete 3 lessons a week and finish in about 8 weeks or so.  Or go super fast and complete 1 lessen per day and finish in as little as 5 weeks.  It is up to you how fast or slow you wish to go, and how many of the activities you wish to do, to learn the materials covering this period in history. Over 50 activities and projects are included.

Project & Activities

Here are just a few of the 50+ suggested activities and projects:

  • Suspension Bridge
  • Wright Brothers “Flyer”
  • Train & Railroad Booklet
  • America Grows: Mapping the New States
  • Penny Rug
  • Yo-Yo Quilt
  • Paper Tole Craft
  • Flip Book
  • WWI Silk Postcards
  • Creative Writing
  • Fact File Cards
  • Trade Cards
  • Penmanship Pages
  • Turn of the Centuries Scenes Game
  • File Folder Games
  • Notebooking Activities
  • Timeline of History
  • Experiments
  • Depression Era Recipes
  • Depression-Era Dinner
  • A Lap Book with 12 Lap Book Projects

A really cool aspect of this curriculum, is that in addition to all of the hands on projects your kids will get to create, and learning about historical events and wars that helped shaped the nation, they also learn several things about the culture of America during these years.  They learn about the impact of industry and the making and selling of goods and services and also how disasters (natural and man-made) shaped the culture.

The early American culture was made up of hard working immigrants from around the world and native Americans, and in this curriculum you learn about their influence in music, clothing, art, theater / early movies, and also learn about “American” food during this time in history.

Kids get the opportunity to make recipes in several of the lessons.  They also create a recipe box for their final Lap Book to store the recipes in.   At the end of the course they can throw a dinner party for guests or family members.  For this party they decorate from the era, recreate the recipes for a special meal, and play games from this period in history as a final project pulling together all the fun they have had learning about this time in America’s history.

Recipes and corresponding lessons include:

  • Chipped Beef on Toast (Lesson 5)
  • Poor Man’s Meal (Lesson 5)
  • Buttered Noodles with Cracker Crumble (Lesson 10)
  • Meatless Loaf (Lesson 10)
  • Corned Beef Hash (Lesson 15)
  • Shepherd’s Pie (Lesson 15)
  • Chocolate and Rice Pudding (Lesson 20)
  • Depression Cake (Lesson 20)
  • Tuna, Mac, & Cheese Casserole (Lesson 23)
  • Brown Betty (Lesson 23)

Time Travelers American History Study Series

There are currently 7 titles in the Time Travelers American History Study Series:

  • New World Explorers
  • Colonial Life
  • The American Revolution
  • The Early 19th Century
  • The Civil War
  • Industrial Revolution through Great Depression
  • World War II

To learn more about this wonderful History curriculum, check out this video put together by Home School In The Woods about their Time Travelers History Studies Series:

Our Experience:

When I received my product via download, I read through the introduction and printed off the suggested lesson plan.  This curriculum is jam packed with fun hands on learning opportunities! I couldn’t wait to dive into this experience with my kids.

Industrial Revolution through the Great Depression Lesson Plan Schedule

As you can see at first glance in this lesson plan, there is a lot of great learning opportunities with these lessons.  Rather than try to go to fast, we decided to take it slow and do 1 lesson a week.  There are at least two hands on activity projects with each lesson.  It can be overwhelming at first when you see all the projects listed and printable material included.  Taking it slow will help mom’s plan ahead and have time read through this material a few days in advance before you plan to start so you can get prepared.

After I looked over the first couple of lessons, I printed out a few and the corresponding activity instructions and masters and put these into a three ring binder to keep them organized. There is a printable notebook cover that you can use for your 3-ring binder.

The parent/teacher’s binder will house the lesson reading text, direction pages of projects, the “Guide-at-a-Glance,” teacher keys, and teacher helps. There is also a cover for the student binder and you can choose to print in color or in black and white for the student to color in and personalize. The student binder houses all the stuff the kids do in their lessons such as Timelines, Newspaper, Penmanship and Creative Writing activities, etc.

HANDS ON ACTIVITIES:

Here are a few pictures of some of the hands on activities from our learning adventures with this curriculum:

The Wright Brother’s Flyer:

Brooklyn Bridge Project:

Learning about bridge construction was one of the historical projects the older boys really enjoyed.  They learned about the construction of the first suspension bridge in America. The curriculum suggested making a bridge with the cardboard from milk cartons and string.

However, we don’t have milk cartons to use (we buy raw milk in 1 gallon jugs), so we brainstormed some ideas.  We made one version with a granola bar box.

Then my older sons came up with their own version of suspension bridges with craft sticks, hot glue, cordage, etc. and then explored more ideas on other kinds of bridges from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s too.

They made several models, took them apart, refigured their plans, and built them again.

Model of suspension bridge in progress.

Model of traditional truss support bridge.

Another suspension bridge experiment in progress.

Another suspension bridge in action

WWI Soldier’s Journal:

Another project they really enjoyed was creating a WWI Soldier’s Journal with real pictures of what life was like for a soldier.  This journal will contain photos and letters.

Soldier’s Journal

One of my son’s wanted these photos to feel sturdy so he went an additional step with these printed pictures (and several other paper crafts) and he cut and glued file folder onto the back to make them stronger.  The other boys didn’t reinforce their journal photos.  You could also laminate these projects to keep them nice, water proof them, and help them last longer.

WWI Ammo Belt:

Part of the Soldier’s Ammo Belt

Inside the pockets are various items such as a paper map, ID cards, a mini Soldier’s New Testament, mini timeline of the war, etc. and there are additional facts about the WWI in the flaps when you open the pouches.

This project is supposed to be mounted on a paper base, but one of my son’s wanted to actually wear the WWI ammo belt.

After reinforcing the printed and cut out project with manila folder and glue, (he really enjoy’s doing this by the way), he then made belt loops for the back and was able to put the ammo belt project on his belt and wear it around.

He is quite creative and likes to role play and this gave him a military gear costume piece he is quite proud of.

He also turned some of the other projects into wearable pieces as well. The cool thing is all these pieced he reinforced can also go back into his notebook or Lap Book when he is done playing with them.

Field Trips:

Part of the beauty of homeschooling that you can lay down the books and worksheets and get outside and go somewhere and relate what you have been studying to the real world.  If you can’t make it outside for a field trip, you can always view a virtual field trip online.   Check out videos on “youtube” for lots of ideas / suggestions for virtual field trips related to the time period or a specific topic, it is easy to find.  Field trips are not required in this curriculum, but we try to include field trips in every unit study adventure we do.

We love field trips!  We try to keep our expenses as low as possible for activities because we have a large family and things add up quickly.  We usually look for free field trips / things to see and do that go along with our studies.  Usually that also means it has to be a “day trip”, somewhere within a 3 hour drive or less so we can make it back home before dark.  We actually started this habit before we had kids.  Our local town advertised a booklet called “One Tank Trips” and it kind of became our method for travel and seeing new things and learning history of the area.  We are fortunate that for most of the time we have been married, we have lived within a short drive of a lot of history that we could see in 1 day or 1 tank trips.  So we have tried to keep up this tradition with our kids.

During this study we went to see several really cool things.  We saw a navy battle ship in Wilmington, NC and a suspension bridge near Charleston, SC, and a shipping canal that was made and used during this time period for shipping goods on the Catabwa SC river.

Battle Ship at Wilmington NC

There is a pedestrian suspended bridge in Greenville, SC at Falls Creek Park that we have been to see a few years ago.  We used to spend some of our Sunday afternoons after church there and play with the kids and explore the history.  There is a foundation of an old mill there too.   We didn’t make it back out to see it for this learning project, but hope to go see it again soon. But we did drive out to see a suspension bridge that you can drive on near Charleston, SC.

Suspension Bridge near Charleston, SC

This one is on Highway 17 in South Carolina along the Atlantic Ocean.  The kids were amazed going across this bridge suspended over the open waters between mainland and islands on the SC border.

Log House from 1800’s

Sign for the canal on Catawba river used for transport of products.

Remains of old canal used for loading boats in the 1800’s along the Catawba River

Ford at Catawba River

Family hike to see the 1800’s canal and ford on the Catawba River.

In the recent past we have also visited other sights related to this time in American history and would go great with this unit study. I will mention them here because it might give other families some ideas of things to go and visit.   Some of the places we have been related to this period in history are a mill, we visited the Wright Brother’s Museum in Modoc Indiana, and the Historical Museum of Flight in Hendersonville, NC and both lay claim to the Wright Brother’s fame.  They both have life size Wright Brother’s air planes and the Hendersonville one also shows planes from different wars. There are also models the kids can climb in and explore.  We have also been to the Air Force base in Dayton Ohio where the kids have seen planes from all throughout history and they have a huge room full of WWI planes.  We took a ferry ride on the Atlantic ocean of the coast of the Carolina’s where big ships come in with goods on barges.  Before suspension bridges were made across rivers and ocean bays, transport ferries and boats were the only method across these waterways.  We have also visited and rode the historic trains at the train museums in Statesville, NC and Knights Town, Indiana. We on a boat in the canal at Metamora, and took the train at Metamora Indiana, the train at Knights Town Indiana, the train at Branson, Missouri, that goes across a huge tall wooden bridge overlooking an incredible gorge in the Ozark Mountains. Our kids have really enjoyed these adventures.

We will be working through this curriculum for quite some time, and my kids are loving all the activities.  We like to take it slow and tweak as we go, see and do as much as we can, and this curriculum is perfect for that.  With so many lessons and projects, it will probably last us until the end of this year.

One of the next to last projects is to create a Lap Book with all of the wonderful projects your kids have made.  A Lap Book is kind of like a scrapbook to store all your memories of the learning adventure.  The outer cover is made from a file folder(s).  We are looking forward to creating our Lap Books.  We have added in a couple of items a head of schedule because we were doing this as a review post, but we have a long way to before we are actually ready to put it all together.  These Lab Books will look really neat when they are finished.

My advice to other homeschool families (especially if you have lots of kids using this curriculum) is to “plan a head”, read a head, print out everything you need for one or two lessons at a time. Collect whatever additional materials for the lesson you will need.  There is a lot of material to print and suggested projects covered in this curriculum. That fact alone equals a ton of fun for the kids!  Remember, you don’t have to print or do every activity listed, these are suggestions and you can tweak this curriculum how ever it best fits for you.  Just take it at a pace that is comfortable for your family and have loads of fun with it!

We love this curriculum and highly recommend it to everyone!

Home School In The Woods

Home School In The Woods is a “hands-on history” curriculum company. They carry a huge variety of projects.  I have only told you about the Time Traveler Series.  Check out their huge range of products and various title series they have to offer, and the free lessons and timeline samples they give away.  I am sure you and your kids will have a blast with these hands on learning adventures.

Timeline Materials
Map Sets
Time Travelers
Project Passport
Activity-Paks
Lap-Paks
Activity Studies
À-La-Carte

Be sure to get your free Erie Canal lesson from their newest product A-La-Carte when you use the code “alacarte” at checkout.  This is a great time to study about the Erie Canal because it is the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the canal.

Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/homeschoolinthewoods
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HSintheWoods 
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/hsinthewoods/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Homeschoolinthewoods/posts
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrKq6iLty2fpB6R6ZpcUb8A

Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what other families on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using these products with their kids.

Please share.

Where Are You Going?

Have you ever considered where your spirit will go when your physical life on earth has ended?

There is only one way that leads to eternal life with Father God.  It is through faith in Jesus as the only begotten son of God.  He asks us to repentant of our sins and offenses, and give obedience to him by loving Father God with all our heart, love our neighbor as we love ourselves, meeting the needs of our neighbors and family, and confessing our faith in Jesus before men and forgiving any offense.  Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  No man comes to Father God unless he has come through faith in Jesus and made him Lord and Savior of his heart.

“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.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:16-18

I recently heard this song Wayfaring Stranger recorded by Sounds Like Reign.  The song is about traveling through this life as a stranger, redeemed by Jesus and looking forward to heaven and being with Father God.  It is a beautiful song.

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples,  If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?  For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.”  Matthew 16: 24-27

Give your life to Jesus today.  Believe Jesus is the son of God who died and paid for your salvation with his own life, and rose again defeating the powers of sin and death.  Accept him as Lord of your life, confess your sins to him now and be saved.  The choice is yours.  Chose this day whom you will serve.  I pray you will chose life in Jesus.

Be blessed!

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Shepherd, Potter, Spy and the Star Namer Review

Our family was recently sent Shepherd, Potter, Spy — and the Star Namer by Peggy Consolver – Author to review.

After I read the first four chapters to the kids aloud, my 12 year old son snatched the book from me and I didn’t get to finish reading until he was done!  We tried everything to get his attention, to get him to share the book, even to get him to notice we were still breathing, but nothing could deter him from reading this book!  He couldn’t and wouldn’t put it down!  Not even big brothers or little brothers could entice him to put it down!  This has never happened before!

Even food and bedtime didn’t distract him. By day or by night, even with the help of a flash light…he was determined to read and read and read…all 379 PAGES!

Shepherd, Potter, Spy — and the Star Namer

Paperback 

379 Pages

46 Chapters

Retails $15.99

This story is historical fiction about a teenage boy who lived a long long time ago in the valley of Canaan.  His name is Keshub and he is the youngest of five boys in his family.  They are from the Gibeonite village and have strong family and community bonds and traditions.  The book contains 46 chapters packed into 379 pages and includes additional pages for: Character and Relationship List, and Discussion Questions.

Even though the characters are fictional, many of the events, cultural aspects, and places are real.  The true story of Kesheb’s people is told in the bible in the book of Joshua and the pivotal event for his people securing their future can be found in Joshua 9 and 10.

Keshub is a shepherd boy and tends his flocks every day.  He is the son of a potter who earns a living making pots and selling or trading them with Caravans who travel through the Canaan valley.  Keshub hears many stories of far away places and events not so far away from the travelers.  The Gibeonites learn about the God of the Hebrews and how he protects, provides, and blesses them. They hear about the other tribes in the nearby areas being conquered in warfare with the Hebrews and as they approach their land, they decide to make a peace treaty with them.

Kesheb’s life is anything from boring.  Everyday he must care for his sheep and defend them from predators.  During the story we learn about an evil Ammorite King that lives nearby and Keshub becomes friends with his son. There is danger and risk involved through out the story.  Keshub also serves as a young spy to keep an eye on the Hebrews as they advance in their conquest.  His people have to choose to make a treaty with the approaching Hebrew army or make a treaty with the evil king to fight the Hebrews.

If God is for them, who can be against them?  Be sure to pick up a copy of this book, to find out the rest of the story!

Peggy Consolver – Author

Peggy Consolver has lived a very interesting life.  She grew up on a farm, went to college, and has been married 48 years.  She and her husband have two kids and five grandkids. She is president of the Plano Garden Club, State Chairman of the Flower Show Schools for Texas Garden Clubs, Inc.  Peggy is also an NGC Master Flower Show judge and Texas Design Consultant.  In the past she served thirty seven years as a Sunday School teacher.   She has a lot of interesting life experiences including traveling to Israel on a real archaeology dig which she based many details in her book on.  Read more about Peggy Consolver and her inspiring archaeological trip.

Free Online Study Guide

Peggy Consolver has created a free online study guide called Digging Deeper Into HIStory to help further the learning, (She also has a print copy with more resources for sale, check the website for details).  In the free study guide there are several links to websites and videos to help you learn more about what life is like in the region Kesheb lived.  In the guide you will learn about a rock sling, bow making, how to braid cord and make rope, maps, stars in the sky, animals and predators that live in the region of ancient Israel, etc.

The free Digging Deeper Into HIStory study guide is divided into 13 Units:

Unit 1:
The Bible Dictionary: Gezer Calendar
The Syrian Brown Bear: A Brief Overview

Unit 2:
Alpha Centauri: The Closest Star System to Our Sun
Israeli Mammals

Unit 3:
Instructions for Plaiting and Braiding

Unit 4:
Google Search: Aerial Views of Jerusalem
Sacred Destinations: Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem

Unit 5:
Honey: Its Medicinal Property and Antibacterial Activity
How to Make a Tripod Lashing
Watch video: making square lashing.

Unit 6:
Tutankamun’s Senet Board
Watch video: Wadi Mujib Nature Preserve

Unit 7:
The Jewish Virtual Library: Jericho
Watch video: Intro to Bow Making

Unit 8:
Mt. Hermon Pictures

Unit 9:
Weapons Universe: Bronze Age Weapons
Watch video: How to use a sling

Unit 10:
Smokey Bear: Elements of Fire
How to Make a Fire

Unit 11:
Israel’s Nature Site: Mantids of Israel
National Geographic: Praying Mantis Overview

Unit 12:
Wild Fibres: Linen and Flax

Unit 13:
Bible History: Biblical Archaeology News 2016

Our Thoughts Using This Book and Study Guide In Our Home:

This book is very well written with lots of details.  The story builds suspense and it is hard to put it down.  It is so interesting that my 12 year old spent all his spare time reading the book and several nights stayed up past his bedtime. 

So I thought it would be a good idea for him to share his opinion of this book, in his own words as our official review.

“I was inspired by this book.  It gave me a new perspective of the bible and the Lord.  I like the character Keshub because he has faith in the Lord and because he never gave up when times were rough.  He had a lot of rough times.  He fought a bully, a lion, a bear, and a soldier.  Each situation he had faith that God would work it out for him.”

“I was also inspired because he took care of sheep and took care of his family and his friend.  He was brave even when things were dangerous and even when others were evil.  He used a sling with stones to fight a bear and the lion.  He used a dagger to fight a soldier.  He always wanted to learn to sword fight the enemy and he wanted to provide for his family.  He trusted the Lord with all his heart and with everything in his life.”

“I enjoyed reading this book.  The only thing I wish the author would have added was another 439 pages.  I didn’t want the story to end.”  Joseph

We also enjoyed using the free Digging Deeper into HIStory Study Guide. We enjoy learning how to make things ourselves that people used throughout history to live.  They didn’t have modern abundance of products and plastic or a Walmart up the street, so folks had to make what they needed from raw materials they could find or buy from the craftsman or trade for.

My son would like to make his own cordage, leather, and also a rock sling and practice using it. He enjoyed learning and has watched other videos showing how to make these slings from leather and also from weaving grass and use them with larger rocks for hunting prior to doing this study.  This would be useful to learn how to use a rock sling if you were hungry and had to hunt for a bird or if you needed to discourage a predator.

He has been wanting to make his own primitive hunting bow for a while.  It was interesting to see the bow made in the unit study link, even though it is made in a workshop with modern tools and is very different from the primitive bow made by hand he eventually plans to make.  Modern tools have shortened the time it takes to make things people depended on for survival for thousands of years.  

Kesheb had to survive with ancient tools and ancient technology. We like learning about ancient technology and life skills.  We have learned a lot from “how to” videos. These videos show how to use ancient skills with free resources in your own backyard, a field, or a forest, to create pottery and tools by a youtube channel called “Primative Technology”.   We refered back to these videos as we did the study guide and compared them with the suggested videos.   I would encourage folks to do the same as these videos give kids even more understanding about making tools by hand and ancient pottery like Kesheb’s people would have used.  It would enhance their understanding of ancient Canaanite life and enhance the study guide even more. I would also encourage folks to read about Joshua and the Gibeonites in their bible.

This is a great historical fiction book.  I would encourage every homeschool to read Shepherd, Potter, Spy — and the Star Namer and include the Digging Deeper into HIStory Study Guide.  This book and unit study was right in my son’s interest range and we were very glad for this opportunity to review it.

Videos about the book:

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peggy.consolver

Blog: http://peggyconsolver.com/blog-right/

Homeschool Review Crew:

Be sure to check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using this product with their families.

Please share.

The Beginner’s Bible

The Beginner’s Bible from Zonderkidz is a great way to encourage children to listen and read Bible stories.  We were sent The Beginner’s Bible for review and I was very excited to receive this new updated version with bright 3D art work and fun illustrations to use in our home.

  The Beginner’s Bible

Hardcover Book

512 Pages

90 Brightly Illustrated Bible Stories

Retails for $16.99

Additional discounts up to 50% for bulk purchases

Recommended for Kids ages 6 and under (Read Aloud)

Easy Read for kids 7-8

But also great as an easy reader for older kids and ESL too.

The Beginner’s Bible was first released in 1989, and has sold over 25 million copies in the past 27+ years.   25 MILLION!  That is an amazing testimony of how this wonderful gem, filled with timeless wisdom, is to share with each generation of children around the world.

Why Use An Illustrated Bible For Kids?

There are many reasons to use the bible in your home.  It is so important to incorporate the truths from the bible in raising children.  It is Father God’s love letter and instruction manual to all of his children, young and old.   Using an illustrated Bible helps kids “picture” the events and people they are learning about.  I like this illustrated version because it simplifies the learning for younger children without taking away from the message that God put there for us to learn.

In addition to advice and instructions in the Bible, you also read about the fascinating lives of the men and women who lived during the time it was written.   Reading the Bible actually causes your faith, and your children’s faith, in Father God and his son Jesus to grow.  The bible helps you see how consistently faithful God is and how much he loves us.  It shows you the ups and downs in people’s lives and how God brought them through the good and bad experiences that people live through.

The bible teaches us how to handle good and bad experiences we go through in life and how to trust in God who hears our prayers and helps guide us everyday.  The bible gives us values to live by called a biblical worldview.  People still go through good and bad experiences today and we need God more now than ever.  The bible tells us about his only begotten son he sent to save mankind from their sin and eternal separation from God.  Jesus paid the price so that we can spend eternity with God if we will believe, love and obey his teachings.

A few ways we can incorporate using The Beginner’s Bible with kids in our every day life:

  • Read aloud by parents, grandparents, and older siblings.
  • Read along for beginners.
  • Independent reading for beginners.
  • Circle Time, Quiet Time, Bed Time
  • Story telling.
  • Retelling the stories using additional props such as  Legos, Crafts, Puppets, Diorama, Costumes, etc.
  • Homeschool Projects, Home, Bible Study, Get Togethers, Sunday School
  • Create Lap Books, Note Books, Timelines, etc.
  • Writing Practice as children copy the story onto their own notebook pages.
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)

The Beginner’s Bible Experience In Our Home

We have been using The Beginner’s Bible since the beginning of having children in our family.   Let me see…that is over 16+ years!  We received our first copy as a gift when our oldest was born.   We have purchased a few more copies over the years.  Our current version is still on our bookshelf and has lasted through lots of little hands, quiet times on the couch, and several moves across country.  This illustrated bible for kids has been a family favorite of ours for many years.   We have six kids and each one started their Bible learning with The Beginner’s Bible.

We have made it a priority to spend time reading in the bible each day.  Our younger kids listen to bible stories being read to them and our older kids read the bible themselves and also read to their younger siblings.

Once a week we set aside time for the kids to retell bible stories they have learned.  They can choose any props or make crafts or use Legos, etc.  The older boys also like to make Lego stop motion movies to retell the events in the bible stories.

Sometimes we turn the learning adventure into a Unit Study and spend an entire month on a specific theme such as “forgiveness” or “Ancient Egypt” or “the miracles of Jesus” etc. This is a great way for the kids to learn hands on and practice sharing what they have learned with each other and also share with daddy when he gets home from work.

There are 90 stories in this illustrated Bible.   That is over a year’s worth of stories if you focus on learning one new story a week.   Or complete it in a year if you read two stories a week.  If you want to go faster, you could read this in 90 days if you do one story each day.  You can go at a pace that works best for your family.

Another great way to use The Beginner’s Bible with your kids is to include the free printables and games on The Beginner’s Bible Website (recommended for kids 12 and under).   Perhaps you can print them off as you read each story or print them off ahead of time and make a folder with the printables for each story and build a story unit study.   You can also add more materials to your folders as you find additional resources.

Since we love making unit studies with stories we read, we are using two to three related stories each week.  It will take us about a year to do the entire book at this pace.

Jesus Rescues the Lost Unit Study

Be sure to check out a story I posted using The Beginner’s Bible called Jesus Rescues the Lost Unit Study.  Unit Studies are one of our favorite ways to learn.  They are cross-curricular and subjects (math, history, art, science, language, etc) follow a theme, they are hands on,  and they help children retain what they have learned. 

We took advantage of all of the free printables and suggested activities, including the FREE sample curriculum lesson plan called “Jesus Rescues the Lost” and created our own unit study.  These resources are made especially for The Beginner’s Bible and help kids understand the stories and truths even more as the activities engage more of their senses (listening, coloring, drawing, eye hand coordination, decision making, etc) in a hands on way.

The “Jesus Rescues the Lost” Lesson Plan suggested reading three of the stories from The Beginner’s Bible “The Lost Sheep“; The Good Samaritan“; and “The Lost Son” , watching  the lesson video, a list of several “Bible Verses” to read from a regular Bible, and a “Memory Scripture Verse” for the kids to memorize, as well as a helpful “Teaching Point” to focus the lesson on.

The lesson plan provided me with a master supply list for activities, and suggested optional supplies for craft projects (we made sheep puppets and a shepherd staff), printouts, and a skit for the kids to act out with props, and a take home family page.

This was a lot of fun for the kids.  You could spend a week on this lesson, or take three weeks while focusing on understanding one story each week.

Noah and the Lego Ark

Check out another story I posted using The Beginner’s Bible in  Noah and the Lego Ark .

We used The Beginner’s Bible and Legos as a way to retell the bible story of Noah.  That story includes more fun ideas on using this children’s illustrated Bible in fun hands on learning ways.

More Learning Fun

After reading the stories in The Beginner’s Bible, my kids love to watch the animated videos by the same company.

You can find these on “youtube.”  There is also an APP from their website for these stories, games, and videos for your smart phone.

The videos are a great way to reinforce the learning.  They are entertaining and engaging.   We set aside time to fix a snack like pretzels and apple slices and my kids sit down to watch the bible stories.

Check The Beginner’s Bible website and youtube for more details on fun ways to enhance the learning.

The Beginner’s Bible

Website & Teaching Resources

Please check out The Beginner’s Bible website for wonderful FREE resources to compliment your child’s learning and enjoyment using The Beginner’s Bible.

They have free printouts for coloring pages, word puzzles, mazes, online learning games etc.  Print as many copies as you need and create your own folders filled with fun learning projects to go along with the bible stories.

Free Stuff From The Website To Use With The Beginner’s Bible:

  • Coloring Pages (40+ printable coloring activities)
  • Drawing Pages (I loved these!)
  • Read Together Sheets (print and bind these for an additional story book)
  • Writing Sheets (practice writing letters and numbers)
  • Place Mats and Posters (so many uses!)
  • Book Marks (everybody needs book marks!)
  • Mazes
  • Paint Online
  • Online Games, Quizzes, etc
  • Word Puzzles Printouts
  • Matching
  • Videos
  • Recommended Bible Story Reading Schedule for the year.
  • APP for your phone or electronic device with stories and activities.

They also offer 2 lessons for free from their curriculum kit:  “Creation” and  “Jesus Rescues the Lost” .  I would encourage you to get a copy of these free lesson plans and see how easy it is to use this illustrated Bible in your learning adventures.

If you want to purchase the complete lesson plans, they are available for an additional purchase on the Zonderkidz website and are called “The Beginner’s Bible Curriculum Kit”.  After using the free lesson plan they offered, I think this would be a great resource.  It would make it simple to use The Beginner’s Bible as a curriculum and the lesson planning work is all done for you.

The kit comes with a hardback copy of The Beginner’s Bible and a DVD with a year’s worth of lesson plans including 30 teaching lessons that incorporate the 90 bible stories, and a DVD with 28 animated video stories, fun activities, and lots of additional classroom use ideas.   There is also a family take-home page for each lesson for kids to share with their parents and to further the learning at home.

The Beginner’s Bible Is Fun For Kids

The Beginner’s Bible is full of faith building stories and fun illustrations to enhance the learning.  It is a wonderful gift for your children and grandchildren, classrooms, and kids clubs.   Zonderkidz also offers resources in English and Spanish, I can Read Books, The Beginner’s Bible Deluxe, The Beginner’s Bible For Little Ones, The Beginner’s Bible Curriculum Kit, etc.  as well as additional resources on their website.   I think using this children’s Bible is a an essential piece for teaching young children about the stories and people of the Bible.   Every page is filled with full-color illustrations that retell 90 Bible stories in a fun and engaging way.

Our younger kids love the bright colors of the illustrations in this children’s Bible.  Looking at colorful pictures helps keep their attention whether they are listening to it as a read aloud, or if they are reading the stories for themselves.  It is a great way to include Bible learning in our home and incorporate into our homeschool learning too.  I am sure they will continue to use this treasure this illustrated Bible for many more years to come.

AWARDS

The Beginner’s Bible was named the 2006 Retailers Choice Award winner in Children’s Nonfiction.

Social Media

Be sure to connect with Zonderkidz on their social media links for all the latest news, special offers, and resources to further the learning.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Zonderkidz/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/zonderkidz

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/zondervan

Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/zondervanp/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zondervan/

The Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out how other families on the Homeschool Review Crew used this product in their homes.

Please share.

Jesus Rescues The Lost

If you would like to motivate and encourage your kids to learn stories from the bible, I would encourage you to read Bible stories with your kids and make the stories into Unit Studies.  Unit Studies are cross-curricular and subjects (such as math, history, art, science, language, etc) follow a central theme and are adaptable so they are great for teaching all ages.

For example, if you are learning about apples, all the curriculum subjects will have an apple theme.  You might do apple math, or apple science, or apple history, or write a poem about apples, etc.  Unit Studies are hands on,  they can be as simple or specialized as you design them to be, and they help children retain what they have learned.  You can teach preschool, elementary, middle and high school all at the same time by varying the level of difficulty of the worksheets, experiments, and reading materials.

This school year we are doing lots of Unit Studies with a bible story theme. Each Unit Study is different, with different themes, but they all center around a theme that came from the bible.  For example, if we are learning about musical instruments, we might choose the ones found in the bible, or if we are learning about castles or fortresses, then we can choose a story or few stories in the bible that mention this and then build on our learning about the history and construction of fortresses.  Perhaps we want to learn about the eyes and we focus on sight and the brain, calculate vision, learn about colors and light,  the disease of blindness, and the miracles of healing sight of the blind that Jesus did.

If you have younger kids, an easy teaching resource like the illustrated The Beginner’s Bible from Zonderkidz is a wonderful way to get started.   It contains 90 Bible stories at an affordable price of $16.99.   They also have The Beginner’s Bible Website for families and teachers to use with lots of coloring pages and activities for free to compliment the stories you are reading.

A quick search on the interenet will provide you with lots of other ideas you can add to your Unit Study as you build it such as more free printables, lesson plans, craft and recipe ideas, etc. and you can use many of the printables to create lapbooks or keepsake notebooks of their projects too.

The stories in The Beginner’s Bible are written in a simple to understand way and include colorful illustrations that engage the kids and keep their interest.   So I wanted to use this as the foundation of the Unit Study learning projects and built additional materials I found into our learning adventure.

Jesus Rescues the Lost Unit Study & Lapbook

We took advantage of all of the free printables and suggested activities from The Beginner’s Bible Website.   They have lot of resources to choose from including two FREE sample curriculum lesson plans.  They sell a curriculum kit too.  We do not have the kit, but the free lesson plans give you a great teaching format to use to build your own lessons.

I printed out the free lesson plan called “Jesus Rescues the Lost” and created our own unit study.   These resources are made especially for The Beginner’s Bible and help kids understand the stories and truths even more as the activities engage more of their senses (listening, coloring, drawing, eye hand coordination, decision making, etc) in a hands on way.

I made a “Bible Teaching Binder” for myself, and a “Bible Lapbook” for the kids with all of these wonderful free printables.   On the front of the binder I put the suggested reading schedule.   Inside the binder I put the printalbes and any lesson plans I find or create myself.

I keep all of the Unit Study and Lapbook materials in a basket, with pencils, crayons, markers, glue, etc with our Bible so we can easily set this up for our learning time each day.  I also put in any other resources we will be using that relates to the story such as a science experiment, crafts supplies, recipes we will make and other activities, and other books related to the subject we are learning.  There are lots of varieties of ways you can set this up easily so if you don’t like the basket idea, then you could put the printables in folders or daily workboxes or use another method that works in your home.

My binder is huge and will hold all the lesson plans from the Unit Studies I create using The Beginner’s Bible.  I added dividers to help me stay organized.  I kept the first section inside the binder for the Unit Study we are currently working on.  This is where I put a copy of the free lesson plan “Jesus Rescues the Lost” in my teaching binder.  The lesson came with 8 pages of free lesson plans!   Next, I added in various coloring pages and other printables and craft ideas and directions.  I will use the additional sections in the binder the same way for more lesson plans as we create more bible themed studies.  I plan to have about a years worth of plans in the binder by the time we are finished.   The kids will have completed about 30 Unit Studies and 30 Lapbooks by the time we are finished.

The “Jesus Rescues the Lost” Lesson Plan suggested reading three of the stories from The Beginner’s Bible and watching a video, a list of several “Bible Verses” to read from a regular Bible, and a “Memory Scripture Verse” for the kids to memorize, as well as a helpful “Teaching Point” to focus the lesson on.   The lesson plan provided me with a master supply list for activities, and suggested optional supplies for craft projects (we made sheep puppets and a shepherd staff), printouts, and a skit for the kids to act out with props, and a take home family page.  You could spend a week on this lesson, or take three weeks while focusing on understanding one story each week.

The Unit Study in Action

Jesus Rescues the Lost Unit Study based on the illustrated stories in The Beginner’s Bible and the free lesson plan and suggested printables from the website:

Bible Reading and Speaking:

Read 3 bible stories outloud:  “The Lost Sheep“; The Good Samaritan“; and “The Lost Son“.

Audio Video Observation:

Watched the Free Video for Lesson Plan#23  Jesus Rescues the Lost.

Watched a video about the modern life of sheep in Idaho. This video goes over many different things such as economics, land management, herd management, wool, and contains interviews with the sheep farmers too.

History:

Learned about the history of shepherding sheep.

Math:

Counting: Younger kids counted cotton balls to represent sheep’s wool.

Graphing: Older kids learned to make a graph that followed the sale price of sheep over a period of time.   They also made a graph for the lambs showing the amount of food the sheep eats compared to the rate of growth.

Science:

Learned the major body parts of sheep.

We found this worksheet on Page 23 of a 4H manual we found online and it has worksheets for different animals.

http://www.ohio4h.org/sites/ohio4h/files/d6/files/publications/documents/4H_959_Chapter_2.pdf

Learned nutrition and health care of sheep.

Writing:

Practice writing pages.  Here my youngest son is practicing the letter “P” from the story of “The Lost Son” about the prodigal son who wasted his inheritance and ended up in a pig pen and later returned to his father who welcomed him home.

Additional letters to practice are: J (Jesus), R (rescue, redeem), L (lost), I (inheritance), H (healing), S (Samaritan, shepherd, save, and sheep).

We also practices spelling the word “sheep” with this printable.

https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/sheep-handwriting-worksheet-0

Older children could practice rewriting the entire story on notebook paper, or writing it in cursive for additional writing practice.

This is a cute writing page you can add to your Lapbook or notebook.

https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/sheep-notebooking-page

Arts and Crafts:

Colored print out pages from The Beginner’s Bible website that correspond to the stories we read.  In this picture, my daughter is coloring a page from the story “The Lost Sheep”.

Created paper sheep puppets with printouts included.  You can glue cotton balls onto the sheep (younger kids can practice counting the cotton balls) and put construction paper on the back and attached to a popsicle stick, and the children can hold onto the stick to retell the story. You can also glue the printout to a toilet paper roll and that helps the sheep stand up on their own.

Lapbook:

We used two folders and some glue and created a Jesus Rescues the Lost Bible Story Lapbook to store their finished learning activities.  If we continue to create lapbooks like this for the entire illustrated Bible, combining two or three stories per lapbook, the kids will have 30+ Bible Unit Studies and Lapbooks for the year.

Building Diorama:

The last step in our learning adventure of Jesus Rescues the Lost, was to create a Lego sheep and shepherd diorama and use them to retell the bible story of Jesus (the shepherd) looking for the lost sheep (us).

 

Building with Legos or other building blocks to create scenes from a story you have read is so much fun.

Movie Creation:

I hope to have time for the older boys create a movie with these props they made where they can record their own retelling of the story.  They love to make stop motion animation movies with Legos.   We ran out of time to make the movie, but I hope we have it completed soon for a followup story.

Optional ideas to include in this Unit Study are:

Field Trip ideas: take a field trip to a sheep and goat farm

Crafts and activities ideas: that would make this project lots of fun such as make a donkey, horse, pigs, a farm, a special ring, a shepherd staff, create a money bag, etc.  Older kids would have fun creating (sewing or crafting) costumes to use to retell one of the stories.  Perhaps they could also wear the costume and retell the story to a homeschool coop class or at a family gathering.

Math ideas: you could practice counting sticks to make a fence or pig pen, or count money in a money bag.   Perhaps they could figure out a pretend hospital bill for services and supplies used for the injured man.

Science and Health ideas: You could also learn about health by making a first aid kit or herbs for healing supplies to care for the wounds of the injured man and nurse him back to health.  You could learn about bacteria and healing wounds and learn the feed rations, nutrition, and digestion for pigs, sheep, and horses.

Cooking: You could also throw a feast and serve guests to represent the father welcoming home the prodigal son.  You could research meals that were served to back in bible times to include in your feast.   You could wear the costumes you made or decorate the table with the crafts and props you made.

Be sure to check out my review story of The Beginner’s Bible and also the Noah and the Lego Ark story for more great ways to encourage bible learning with your kids.

There are so many fun ways to create a Unit Study with this illustrated Bible as the central foundation for your themes.  I am very pleased with how this has turned out and I think this is a wonderful way to learn.  I think Unit Studies and Lapbooks are a special way for kids to share what they have learned, and store the worksheet pages they have completed.

Please share.

Noah and the Lego Ark

Got building blocks, Legos, or craft supplies?

Then get your kids busy reading, building, and re-telling bible stories!  Check out The Beginner’s Bible, or another youth bible you have on hand, for an easy to use resource for kids.  This is a great way to build family time together and a great way to incorporate daily devotions into your kids learning.  Your kids will have so much fun interacting with the bible stories and building props and seeing the stories come to life!

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Noah’s Ark is a great story to retell with Lego’s because just like your child building with blocks of different sizes, Noah was also a builder and he built a big boat with different sizes of wooden boards.  In addition to building the largest boat ever created, called an Ark, Noah was also a husband, a father, and the “ultimate prepper” and “homesteader” and he had to store feed and safely house and care for a huge amount of animals as well as his whole family for an entire year on the floating zoo-boat /house-boat called the ark.  The story of Noah and the ark can be found in Genesis 6, 7, and 8.    As they read the bible, kids will learn about the man called Noah, his faith in God, and also about righteousness, judgement of sin, and God’s plan to save a pure remnant of the human race that were willing to put their faith in him.

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God told Noah it was going to rain, and it would become a flood that would wipe out every living thing on the earth.  Noah was instructed to build a big ark (boat) and he was given the blueprints with detailed instructions to create it.  He built different size pens inside the ark and he was given instructions to save two pairs of every wild animal, three pairs of every “clean” animal,  seven pairs of animals that were to be sacrificed, and to also save his family including his wife, three sons, and their wives, by loading them all onto the ark before the start of the worldwide flood.

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God told Noah that people had become evil and violent and he must cleanse the earth and wipe them out with the flood.  He could no longer stand to live with mankind and watch their evil deeds.   God caused the earth and sky to give forth water for 40 days and nights to flood the earth.  But God promised to protect Noah’s family and anyone righteous who had faith to believe in God.  God gave Noah the plan.  He gave him the specific dimensions, told him what wood to use, and how to build it and save his family and the animals.  His sons helped him build the ark, but the rest of the world mocked him as he worked and preached and did not help him.

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Noah preached and preached to the people about God and the coming flood, but no one believed him and they did not turn from their wickedness and did not worship God. They had never seen rain or a flood before.   They did not care about doing right.  They did not turn away and repent of their wicked sins.  They did not want to trust that Noah had heard the truth from God.  They thought Noah was out of his mind to believe a God they could not see, and believe in a flood and rain that had never happened before, and work so hard to obey God and build a big boat.

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If you don’t have Lego’s on hand, make your boat with paper, or other recycled materials you have on hand, or use other toys your kids might have in their collections.  Besides building a boat, they might have mini characters, and animals, trees, etc. they can also use.  Perhaps they can also create items to represent the weather changes, the flood, and make a rainbow too.   You can use as many props as you want to add to the effect of retelling the story.

Another wonderful way to use this learning opportunity is Language Arts (have the kids read, re-write the story), Science (weather, engineering, physics), Arts and Crafts (create Noah’s Ark themed art and craft projects), Math (how many legos?,  build to scale, use grid paper and draw their own blueprints to scale, etc), Geography (draw or color a map of where Noah was from and where the ark landed), Movie Making (use props and make stop motion animation), Unit Study and LapBook, and have the kids Share their project with Grandparents, Neighbors, and Sunday School class too.  There are lots of ways this method of learning can be used and incorporated into your curriculum.

Your kids will really enjoy this activity.  In addition to building up their faith as they read the bible, kids can relate in a hands on way as they put the story in action and retell the story with their own mini-size boat.

Here are a few Noah and the Ark themed videos we found:

Noah and the Ark Bible Story Animated by Beginner’s Bible

Noah’s Ark Lego Movie Trailer

Arts and Crafts

Noah Preschool Paper Plate Craft and Story

 

Online Bible

If you don’t have a printed copy of the bible, check out Bible Gateway for a digital online version.  You can read it from your computer and your phone and digital reading devices.

You can choose from several languages and several versions to use.   They also offer free bible studies and a free verse of the day they will email you if you desire.

Lapbook and Unit Study

will update more soon.

Please share.

Creation Museum, A Visit Back In Time

My family had a great time when we took a trip back in time and visited the Creation Museum in Kentucky.

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The Creation Museum experience is like walking through biblical history. It is a great experience for both kids and adults.  It covers the 6 days of creation, plus many more historical people’s lives from the bible like Noah, Paul, Jesus, etc. and the history comes to life in a hands on way at the museum.  There are life size exhibits and a planetarium too.  Visiting the museum was one of the best decisions we have made for teaching our family about who God is and his amazing creation called earth and the animals and people.  Seeing the bible come to life right before your eyes is an amazing experience and it strengthened our faith.

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To plan our trip, we watched for a discounted ticket opportunity and went when they ran a special for children ages 12 and under to get in free with the paid admission ticket of an adult.  It was a great savings.   So we loaded up the family and took a road trip to Kentucky.  The museum is about an hour and a half drive South from where we used to live in Richmond, IN (and only 7 hours north of where we used to live in NC).  The drive through Indiana’s mini-mountains in South-eastern Indiana is absolutely beautiful! It was even more beautiful as we sang praise songs and listened to Nest Family Audio Bible stories all the way there and was a great way to travel as it keeps the kids attention and they learn so much.

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Besides the beautiful scenery, there are some fun places to stop and visit along the way including two reservoir lakes and several historical towns.  There is the Whitewater Reservoir, and also a much larger reservoir called Brookville Lake. The towns of Brookville and Liberty Indiana remind me so much of the historical town of Hendersonville, NC and are set up beautifully for tourists.  There are lots of little shops to see and great history to explore in these small towns with beautiful historic courthouses too.  We also crossed the huge Ohio river, that borders three states and with breath taking views.  The river is huge and divides southern Indiana from southern Ohio and northern Kentucky.  You can clearly see God’s handiwork in creation when you look at the changing landscape and the river. It is all designed beautifully.

The kids were so excited to get there.  You know how it goes: “Are we there yet?  When will be there?  I got to go to the bathroom!  I wish we were there!  Do you know how to get there?  How much longer?  Are we there yet?”  Ha! Ha!  You just got to love traveling with kids!

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At the museum, there is a large 70,000 square foot building with a huge bronze dinosaur outside, surrounded by beautiful gardens and landscape, ponds, wooden bridges,  wrought iron and stone fences, and a tall fort with a zip line that crosses the entire museum grounds.  It is a very family friendly place.  The zip line costs extra and we did not buy a ticket for it on this day.  But someday we hope to be able to take the zip-line and explore the museum gardens from the tree tops as it looks like a lot of fun.

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The first thing we did was snap a picture with the dinosaur outside.  It had just rained and suddenly the sun was shinning really bright and we couldn’t hardly see at all.  It is funny how sometimes light can get so bright that your eyes cannot focus your eyes.  But once we got inside the museum, the lighting was perfect and there was so much to see.

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Archaeology is just one of their specialties at the museum, and they have lots of artifacts from biblical times. They have lots of fossils and a life size example of just about every kind of dinosaur.

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They have a replica of earth from the beginning, separating layers of the heavens, creating the stars, day and night, the Garden of Eden, the creation of Adam, and animals, and Eve.

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There is so much detail put into this museum that I bet you could go a hundred times and see something new each time that you didn’t notice before.  Actually they expect that you will need more time to see it all, and when you buy a ticket it is good for admission for two days in a row. Many visitors stay overnight nearby and come back the following day to explore some more.

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The museum is a combination of exhibits about science, history, astronomy, engineering, chemistry, Hebrew culture, our Christian roots, and so much more all rolled into one experience.

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Each room of exploration leads you into the next phase of creation and history designed by an amazing God who loves us and his handiwork is so obvious. Nothing is by chance! Everything was authored by our creator.

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This is such a fun way to walk through history!

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If you remember the story of creation, there is a tree that Adam was instructed to never eat from called the Tree Of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

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There is a deceptive serpent hiding in the garden who convinces Eve to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

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Eve tells Adam and he also believes the serpent’s lies and eats of the fruit, even though God had specifically told them not to eat of the fruit of this tree.

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Evil becomes the ruler of the earth through Adam and Eve’s sin against God.

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They disobeyed God, and once they realized what they had done, they tried to hide their sin from God.  But God called them out on what they had done, and he forced them to leave the Garden of Eden.  From that point forward mankind must make a blood sacrifice to ask God for forgiveness of sin in their life.

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From this point forward, life becomes a struggle to survive. Later in the museum we return to the issue of man’s separation from God, and that he sent his son Jesus to reconcile us back to God through his own sacrifice. From that point forward, man no longer needs to offer a blood sacrifice for his sin because God sent his son Jesus who paid the price for us all who will believe in him and ask for forgiveness.

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As the world becomes populated, people and fallen angels do evil and wicked things.  God tells one righteous man, a prophet named Noah, his plan to flood the earth and wipe out wickedness.  He instructs Noah to build a large boat called an ark and preach to the thousands of people who will listen to board this boat to survive.  But everyone mocks Noah and won’t listen to him.  God instructs Noah to bring his family (including his wife, three sons and their three wives) and also 2 of every unclean animal, and 7 of every clean animal,  plus supplies, and to board the boat.

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Noah obeyed God and does all that he was instructed to do.

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After the ark is completed, Noah and his family board the boat with the animals and God shuts the door.  It rains for 40 days and 40 nights and floods the whole earth.  It takes almost a year for the water to recede.  Eventually the boat comes to rest on Mount Ararat.   Later one of the birds Noah sends out brings back a branch with a leaf and Noah knows that is safe to release the animals and his family from the ark.

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The museum has a lifesize interactive display of Noah and the ark.  You can hear the men talking and see them working as they build the ark.   The museum also owns a bible based theme park about an hour down the road from the museum.  They are building several life size recreations from the bible for the theme park.  One of those is called The Ark Encounter and it includes a life size ark, another museum and restaurant inside the ark, and a zoo.  We went to see it while it was under construction, and we plan to make trip soon now that it is open to the public.

Check out this short video we made of the awesome dinosaurs we saw!  The kids really enjoyed this entire trip and the highlight for them was seeing the dinosaurs.

And if you get hungry during your visit, the museum offers a jungle cafe to eat in and there are many picnic spots outside around the gardens and ponds.

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I encourage every family I meet to put this wonderful adventure on their to do list.  It is definitely worth the trip!

Be blessed!

Please share.

Faith Of Our Fathers Movie Review

I have an great movie to tell you about called Faith of Our Fathers from FishFlix.com.

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Fish Flix is a wonderful family friendly company on a mission to bring you the greatest movies that inspire your faith at affordable prices.  They have hundreds of great movies to choose from.  Most of their movies are very affordable and priced between $5 and $20.   They have movies that appeal to everyone of all ages: Family movies, Kids movies, Action, Romance, Feature Films, Dramas, Christian History, Apologetics,  and more.  They offer free shipping on orders over $35 and they also offer a 10% off coupon for signing up for their newsletter.

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Faith Of Our Fathers

Full Length Feature Film

Star Cast Starring:  Stephen Baldwin, Si Robertson, Kevin Downs, Robert AR White

$9.99 on sale ($14.99 retail price)

The movie takes place in both the past in Vietnam and the present in America, and connects them with a common thread as two sons try to find out what happened to their dads who were soldiers during the war.

Three men meet in the Vietnam War 50 years ago.  Two of the men had kids and a wife waiting back home for them and they wrote letters to their families.  Over the course of time, the two men formed a friendship on the battle field.   One man loved God and took his bible with him everywhere during battles.   Others on the squad were annoyed by his faith.   The other soldier was a strong fighter and didn’t know God and didn’t want to know God.   Both men formed a bond and in the end as one led the other to Jesus, they gave their lives for each other on the battle field.

25 years later, their grown sons, named Wayne (Robert AR White) and John Paul (Kevin Downs), are searching for answers.  Their paths cross when John Paul locates Wayne’s number in the phone book and calls him.  But Wayne refuses to talk to him.  John Paul travels across the country to meet Wayne who doesn’t want to meet, but finally gives in to the encounter by agreeing to share the letters for $500 a piece if John Paul will travel to the Vietnam Wall Memorial with him.  He had started on the journey to see the wall years earlier but was forced to stop because of a traffic accident that killed his mom and he had been to devastated to complete the journey.

On their journey, they have several problems and while John Paul turns to God regularly to solve his problems, Wayne doesn’t want anything to do with God and keeps screwing up his life. The dynamics between the two sons is very similar to the relationships of their fathers.  Along the journey they read the letters one at a time and the scene goes back and forth between Vietnam and the battle field, and the roads of America and problems / stresses they face in our culture.

They both eventually find peace and healing after meeting the third man, played by Stephen Baldwin, who was their dads’ Sargent in Vietnam.  He served with and was in charge of their dads.  He knew both men and saw their death.  He put in the missing pieces for them and encouraged them to complete the journey. He gave them a gift and his message of grace, and his kindness melted Wayne’s heart to receive the gospel.

All along it was John Paul planting the seeds of faith as he lived out his struggles in front of Wayne, but it was the third man who had known both their fathers that watered the seed with love and honor of their father’s memories, and as he shared his faith with them his message brought healing and caused that seed of faith to sprout in Wayne’s heart.  This is an awesome story of healing wounded relationships, faith in God, hope for a better tomorrow, and loving each other as we face battles both in war time and in our day to day living.

Movie Trailer

We absolutely loved this movie!  There are eight of us in our family and as you can see everyone took a spot on the couches or floor with blankets and popcorn for an evening of inspiring entertainment.

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The older four children loved the movie.  The two youngest kids sat next to daddy and they fell asleep about half way through the movie as it was past their normal bedtime.

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I can also see how this would be a great addition to American History studies, Cultural studies, and bible studies too.  We are Duck Dynasty fans and it was fun to see Si Robertson being his usual silly self acting as a store clerk in this movie too. Our whole family enjoyed this film and would recommend it for everyone.

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FishFlix.com Review No 2

Check out what other families on the Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say about using movies from Fish Flix in their homes.

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Stand Up, Stand Out, and Shine Bright

Have you ever come under attack because you stand up for something?  Have you been critisized because your talents and skills cause you to stand out?  Be encouraged today, because God has placed talents and gifts inside you that are meant for you to stand up and shine brightly with them, expanding the light of his Kingdom, illuminating a dark world, and bring Him glory through it all.

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As I listened to the words of Jesus this morning in my bible study, I realized he is saying he wants you and me to Stand Up, Stand Out, and Shine Bright.   He wants you to do good and stand out so others can see his light shining from you. That is not boastful. That is not prideful. Those are the words of Christ Jesus.

Jesus told us to “DO” and to  “STAND” and to “SHINE”.

To “do”, to “stand”, and to “shine” are ACTION words.   They are the opposite of “take a seat”, “stay seated” and “you may be seated” words we hear spoken today.   I don’t think Jesus would have defined his followers the way they appear today, seated and asleep.

If you asked the average person today how they would define a Christian, most would say something like:  “A Christian is a person who follows a religious teacher named Jesus by going to a building with four walls on Sunday to sing about him, pray, and hear a bible story”.  Jesus NEVER ever said for his followers to live like that.   Jesus gave his followers an assignment to stand out, to do good, and to shine and illuminate the darkness.  He told them to go out two by two to heal the sick, cast out demons, feed the hungry, set captives free and preach the Kingdom of God in all the earth. Yet sadly, the “Christian life” amounts to sitting in a pew on Sunday for most believers of Jesus today.

If a person, or group of people, are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, then they will do what he did and obey what he said.  The churches who are doing, standing, and shining, are the churches we see growing exponentially today, just as the early church that Jesus created did. Miracles are happening as those believers pray for others, cast out demons, heal the sick, restore sight to the blind, raise the dead, and set the captives free, and thousands of lives are being fed, clothed, and transformed, and the Christian believer is a bright light in that city.

Christians, and their churches, that shine the brightest in a city, also take the most criticism from other Christians that don’t choose to shine.  They have let their lamps grow dark outside of their four walls of their buildings, and they criticize those who stand out and shine bright.

This happens constantly, but I will use this one recent example to illustrate this point.  I recently heard a pastor of a small church in a decaying city criticizing pastors of larger churches.  He often points fingers at them and puts them down in discussions with his congregation.   He says that these larger churches are not truly following God or else they wouldn’t have such large congregations of people.  He says that they are prideful to have musical instruments and singers on stage and putting on a show.  He says these pastors are misappropriating funds to have large budgets for their church to fly around the US and the World and put money into these large outreach efforts.  He says they are showing off and worldly to draw in large crowds.

Yet while he critisizes others,  his own church’s light is dying.  He has no impact in his decaying city.  Even though he stays busy going here or there doing this or that, he and his congregation contain no new life and no change or growth.   In the community and even within the four walls of his building, there is no opportunity for the followers of Jesus to shine, even though he states weekly that they are in the midst of “revival”.   They host revivals (evening sermon meetings that last from anywhere from 3 days to 7 days) monthly through out the year.  I have attend several at that church and other local churches, I have spoken to these pastors and their guest evangelists, and from what I can tell, these churches are not really in revival.    It is just a word that label their meetings that they host that are different than Sunday service.

Revival is basically spiritual CPR.  To revive is to breathe new life into a dying or dead situation. Their church and their city continues to die despite their efforts at “revival”.  It is not effective. There is no spiritual CPR happening in the revival meetings that I have seen for many years.  Many years ago in the 1970’s and mid 1980’s I did witness true revivals that changed cities. But after that, except for a few dynamic on fire churches, what I witnessed across this nation was a sleeping church who’s light grew dim in their communities.

Christians speak about revival, but many have become lukewarm in allowing God to be Lord in every decision.  They trade out God’s word about living: eating, raising children, marriage, healing and raising the dead, casting out demons, etc. instead for an acceptance of government guidance in regards to daily living, education of children, health care, jobs, morals, etc.  They enjoy a “tax exempt” status and follow the social / political rules.  They may get a pat on the back or their name in the paper if they do a good event, but sadly most churches, don’t bring positive change to their communities.  Though God is honored during the service on Sunday or Wednesday, God is not the Lord of their daily living decisions 24/7.   Instead the congregation often seems to hide behind the four walls of the church building, hides their gifts and talents that were purposed to expand the Kingdom within their cities, and wait…wait…wait…asleep…until Jesus returns…all the while they never realize their lamps ran out of oil and they no longer were effective to shine God’s light into a dark world.

I just want to shout from the rooftops “WAKE UP O CHURCH!  WAKE UP O BRIDE OF CHRIST WHO HAS FALLEN ASLEEP.  YOUR LAMPS NEED TENDING.  KEEP SHINING BRIGHT AND STAND UP AND STAND OUT”.

“Your eyes are like a window for your body.
When they are good, you have all the light you need.
But when your eyes are bad, everything is dark.
If the light inside you is dark, you surely are in the dark.”
Mathew 6:22-23

How do we keep our lamps supernaturally full and shining bright?  Jesus is returning for a Bride who is awake and her lamp is full of spiritual oil and she is shinning bright and doing good, obeying the commands of Isaiah 58 while she loves God with her whole heart and loves her neighbor.

Jesus said to becareful because you will fail at shining if your light goes dark.  That seems obvious.  But he made it very clear as if it were not obvious or like we might forget if not reminded.  As if we are like the man who looks in the mirror and steps away and forgets what he looked like in that mirror.  He is right.  We easily forget that we must not let our light go dark. Jesus said if your eyes are bad, and you let darkness into your life, you can not shine.   How can your eyes bring darkness into your life?  The eyes are the door that Satan uses to tempt you. When you follow through with that temptation you bring darkness into your life.  So it is key to remove the darkness and temptations from in front of your eyes and look upon Jesus and obey him.

Jesus said if you love him, you will obey him.  He said to shine bright, stand out, and beam as brightly as you can like a lighted city on a hill, and a lamp on a high stand in your house.   Think about that for just a minute.  Has your power in the house ever gone out and you had to light a candle or use a lamp for light?  I have had this happen many times in my life, and I put that candle or lamp on the highest table in the center of the room so that the room is lit up and I can see where to go and what I am doing.  That candle or lamp can shine so bright that we can even cook a simple meal, or play games by it’s light.   However, if I placed that light in a corner of a room, it would not light up the room well enough for us to see.

When we stand out and shine, we send forth HIS light that is in us so that God will be glorified. Others will give God praise when they see you doing good and shining bright. Christians who stand out, who shine bright, often come under attack from both other Christians and non-Christians.  It can be a hard and lonely choice to stand out, and would be much easier to hide, or sit on a pew and let others do the shining.  But to obey Jesus (not your denomination, not your pastor, not religious rules or traditions),  as a child of God, you must be placed on a high place and stand out so that everyone around you can see what is around them with the light that you are shining forth.  The darkness of their situation is transformed and lit up by the light you shine.  You are the lamp that must shine bright while you are doing good. Don’t get burned out doing good, don’t fall asleep, and don’t hide your light or let it go out.

Think about it.  If every Christian obeyed the words of Jesus and stood out on a high place and shined forth God’s light while doing good, surely this world would experience true revival.  It would look a whole lot different. Surely multitudes of people would come to Jesus and give God praise for the good they see you do and the church would truly experience a spiritual CPR revival and grow exponentially.

“You are like light for the whole world.
A city built on top of a hill cannot be hidden,
and no one would light a lamp and put it under a clay pot.
A lamp is placed on a lampstand,
where it can give light to everyone in the house.
Make your light shine,
so that others will see the good that you do
and will praise your Father in heaven.”
Mathew 5:14-15

 

O Church!

Wake up, stand up, and be the light of the world, giving light to everyone while we stand out and shine bright while doing good.

Be blessed!

 

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