Tag Archives: Christian homeschooling

Code For Teens Review

The new school year will soon be here, and we have a new computer science curriculum lined up for this fall called  Code for Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide To Programming (Volume 1) that Code for Teens sent us to review.

Code for Teens

The Awesome Beginner’s Guide To Programming

Volume 1: JavaScript


221 pages


Retail $25

Code for Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide To Programing Volume 1: JavaScript is a softcover illustrated 221 page book designed for highschool students and those reading at a sixth grade reading level and above. This course has 10 chapters including vocabulary, follow along projects, quizzes, drills, DIY exercises, reivews, and key concept summaries.

This book is a text book, lab book, and teacher answer key all in one.  Students will need the book, a computer and keyboard, internet access, Google Chrome browser, and access to Google Documents online, or an installed software program such as Microsoft Word.  With the Chrome browser, students will be able to access Chrome’s console to complete the step by step exercises in the book. As a final project in chapter 10, students create their own web game called Hangman.

Students keep track of their progress by creating a “Workbook” within “Google Documents” or on Microsoft Word or similar software program that they can access and use again and again, saving their progress.  Students can check their own work, or have a parent check their work.  This book is designed so that students can work through this course independently.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Hello World!
    Write your first lines of code and make mistakes.
  • Chapter 2: Time to Operate
    Code with numbers and math operators.
  • Chapter 3: Comment on the String Section
    Concatenate strings and make snide comments.
  • Chapter 4: Have Some Functions
    Declare and invoke functions.
  • Chapter 5: Shall I Compare?
    Use booleans, if blocks, conditionals, and comparison operators.
  • Chapter 6: Logically Operational
    Work with null, undefined, and logical operators.
  • Chapter 7: Projects Galore
    Practice methods in lots of short projects.
  • Chapter 8: Hip Hip Array!
    Introduce arrays and do stuff with ’em.
  • Chapter 9: Loop a Round
    Put your code on repeat with loops.
  • Chapter 10: Make a Hangman Game
    Combine concepts from every chapter to build a cool game.
  • Conclusion
  • Answers
  • Glossary of Terms

During this course, students will develop skills for computer programming, problem solving, and learn to think like a computer engineer.  After mastering this course, students are encouraged to continue learning HTML and CSS with Code for Teens (Volume 2) where they will learn learn even more coding skills and learn to build web pages, games, and more.


This is a brand new curriculum for teens published in 2018 by Jeremy Moritz and illustrated by his wife Christine Moritz.  Together they are raising and homeschool educating six children in Kansas City, Kansas.

In addition to writing curriculum, Jeremy is also a Director of Music Theater,  a Choreographer, and a Performer, and he has been involved in over 100+ productions with children and adults.  Christine is a busy mom, a creative artist, and the book mentions she enjoys cooking, power tools, and playing piano.

I am head over heals to so to speak over this couple and their family.  I spent some time watching Jeremy’s Youtube channels where he shares videos of his family and some of the productions he has been involved in.  The videos are not about the curriculum, but about his family and more.  I was so impressed with his family.  They are a beautiful homeschool family, and the photos show real life events, a lived in house, bouncing and playing in the yard, their church, chess tournaments, and really funny kids full of lots of energy.  The videos really capture the life of a large homeschool family.  It is so nice to review curriculum written by homeschool parents and see they are in the midst of life, loving it, living it, breathing it, doing it, for the glory of God.

One of the videos that really impressed me was a video he shared of his engagement to his wife on their wedding slideshow. WOW!  About half way through that video they both share they are in love with God and it was their love for God that drew them to each other.  To hear them talk about what inspired them in each other and what drew them together left me and my kids awe struck!

Another inspiring video is of him and his wife and a skit called Where Do We Start?  It was really interesting to see the author and illustrator as husband and wife and their creativity working together. It is something you just don’t get to see most of the time.

I hope Jeremy and Christine will make more videos that inspire people to learn about Father God, his Word, his Son and salvation, and loving each other and raising a homeschool family.

Our Experience

We were sent Code for Teens: The Awesome Beginner’s Guide To Programming Volume 1: JavaScript in exchange for writing an honest review.   I am using this book with my 13 and 15 year old sons for a highschool computer science elective.

I also had my 18 year old son who has previously taken a beginner’s Java language coding course (and several graphic design courses) look over the book with me, because he is more experienced with computers than I am.  He read through the first couple of pages and then went online and learned more about Java and JavaScript as two different coding languages and read up more on both.  Then came back to the book and after reading through the first two chapters in the Code for Teens book, he informed me that he wants to take the course too and will use it when his brothers are finished.  He has asked me to acquire the Volume 2 HTML and CSS  courses as soon as we can. He loves every opportunity to learn.

This book is written very simply and step by step.  Chapters include short lessons that include new vocabulary and concepts, a Follow Along projects you implement as you learn, then a short Quiz, Drills to practice what you learned, Aggregate Review building on what you have learned, DIY activities so you can learn to think for yourself, and a chapter summary called Key Concepts.

A few key points, about why you might consider teaching a computer coding class to your kids:

*Computer coding is a useful and relevant skill in the modern age we live in.

*Computer coders are highly desired in the job market and well paid.

*Learning computer coding is like learning a new language. Some of the computer languages are: Java, JavaScript, Python, C#, PHP, Go, C++, and more.

*JavaScript is the most used computer coding language in websites and mobile apps.

I read through the book myself and it peaked my interest to join the kids and learn right along with them.  There is a lot of vocabulary and concepts that are new to me too.

However, I had a couple of issues with a few sentences in this book.  The author encouraged kids to learn code so they can gain “super powers”.

In the Introduction at the beginning, the author compares acquiring coding skills to super powers, and encourages kids to learn to code so they can have powers such as Harry Potter.  I was shocked, on the one hand, the author is telling parents they didn’t need to teach this course to their kids, just turn them loose with the book and they could learn it on their own, yet to the kids it is referencing the wizard Harry Potter and harnessing their brain to gain power.  There are also a few references in the book to magic wands, magic keys, etc.  He also draws a comparison to knowing code as being mortal/immortal, having magical ideas in your head, having power to control others, and having power to make machines obey your coding commands.  These statements are off the cuff, and seem to be intended as funny jokes to kids, and do not seem intentional to cause harm.  However, it has spiritual significance.

The author has a sense of humor and I get it that he is trying to be funny and keep kids interested in learning.  Had it not been for these few comments about Harry Potter, power, magic, and imagining yourself at Halloween, etc. I would have considered this book near perfect.  But for our family, these are things we don’t participate in and referencing them in curriculum makes us pause and consider if we want to continue learning with the material. We are a faith based homeschool family and are involved hands on with our kids education.  We believe that sorcery is wrong, Father God has forbidden it in the scriptures, and we do not encourage our children to seek out books, movies, or ideas that promote magic and sorcery.

I talked over these points with my kids, and because the majority of the the curriculum is without these kinds of references, and it seems the author was only trying to be funny and is most likely unaware of the spiritual implications of what he is saying, we decided to proceed with using it.  As I said earlier, if it hadn’t been for those few statements, I would have seen the book as a perfect curriculum and would not have had any doubts about using it.  I think using this beginning code book can be a benefit to my kids and myself to learn about coding and how to understand and use JavaScript.  We just have to keep in mind, the spiritual significance of all of this.  The kids and I are working our way through the book and I will have them continue using it with their fall curriculum.

My personal thoughts about coding computers, smart devices, and Ai:

I believe a “PROCEED with CAUTION” sign is advised for Christian families when learning about computers, and we need to understand how they are changing, and how we use them in our every day lives.  I hope more people who love Father God will wake up to the truth that is happening right before their eyes and proceed with caution when it comes to computers, coding, smart phones and smart devices, the internet, and Ai.

The bible tells us that the final kingdom is “trans” human, as it blends clay and iron (man and metal, man and machine), brings about a “one world” religion and government, and is cashless needing only the mark of the beast to buy or sell.  It tells us that the Beast, False Prophet, the Antichrist, and Abbadon (also known as Helios and Apolyon) will soon release a terrible time in history upon mankind.   The increase in computers and Ai machines that people place their trust in will fulfill bible prophesy.  For example, many have already accepted the rfid computer chip to buy and sell and access their personal medical records and passwords. The rfid computer chip can get them into their offices, air planes, trains, expedite hospital admissions, access their bank account to pay for their coffee and purchases, and more.  Another example is of the co-creators of Google, they have opened a church called “The Way” and worship “Ai” as a “god”.  People are putting their faith in Ai to answer their life questions, to run their schedules, to guide their cars, to make purchases, to do facial recognition, to predict risk, to find a mate, to know when you ovulate and when to procreate, to create solutions to social dilemmas, to mix chemical formulations for pharmacy to treat diseases, to predict diseases and life span, to choose life or death for the unborn and the aged, to secure their homes, etc. There is a lot more examples I could share, but hopefully this is enough to raise your eyebrows and sound an alarm bell in your head.

Did you know that in Hebrew, “Ai” was the place other gods were worshiped, they set up temples to these other gods, especially the transgender god Ishtar (Iana, Diana, Easter, Venus, Morning Star, Summer, Sumeria, Liberty, Queen of Heaven, Lucifer) and participated in festivals to various gods, and it made Father God very angry and Israel was judged for it?  Did you know that in Hebrew, “Ai” means “ruin”?  The bible says there is nothing new, these deceptions have all been done before and continue to be done in society and even in the church.  Ai will once again become a heap of ruins, and all those who put their trust in it will be ruined for eternity.

We are living in the end times, and we are warned in the scriptures of a day when folks will be forced to take the “mark” or starve, and forced to worship the “beast” or be killed, and worship the image of the antichrist, the one who replaces Jesus of Nazareth, Yahusha Ha Mashiac, our healer and savior.  This evil one will use technology to create an image that speaks.  He will be trusted for everything and people will believe he will make the world a better place.  He has also been given the “power” to work sorcery, signs, miracles, cause storms and earth quakes, and he will create a false peace and trust.  But he will eventually break that trust and bring terrible events, disease, and war upon the people of the earth.

I encourage you when you and your kids are learning about computers and smart devices, computer languages and design, to understand its place in bible prophesy and proceed with caution and use discernment to test the spirit, pray, and understand the big spiritual picture.

Final Thoughts

I would encourage Homeschool parents who are interested in teaching their kids about coding computers to check out this curriculum and perhaps learn how to code right along with their kids.  I know this book is designed so parents don’t have to teach it and kids can teach it to themselves, but perhaps one of the best relationship building things you can do with your kids is to work through the curriculum together and talk about what you are learning, talk about how it lines up with history, with current events and the bible, and grow in your relationship and your spiritual walk.

You can read the Introduction and First Chapter for FREE at Code For Teens.

Social Media

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

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With Lee In Virginia Review

Our family loves listening to the lively and entertaining audio stories by Heirloom Audio Productions.   We were asked to “live the adventure”  and review their latest story With Lee In Virginia and it is fantastic!

With Lee In Virginia

With Lee In Virginia

With Lee In Virginia
A Civil War Story of Courage, Honor, and Duty
Audio 2 1/2 hours
2 CD Set
Plus: 1)free downloadable PDF Study Guide
2)free printable poster and 3)free downloadable MP3
Ages 6 – Adult
Retails for $29.97

Benefits of sharing these CD’s with your kids:

  • Truthful retelling of the facts of the Civil War.
  • 2 1/2  hours of “Active Listening” that captivates children’s
  • “Travel time” becomes fun and exciting “Adventure Time”
  • Creative and exciting method of story telling to learn and remember history.
  • Inspires kids to have strong moral values like daring, determination and duty
  • FREE Study Guide with a bible study that helps parents engage children with the story
  • Christian Entertainment For Families
Screenshot (80)

With Lee In Virginia 2CD Set

This audio production is so vibrant with sound and life it is amazing.  It is full of honest people sharing their struggles in the midst of a Civil War.    The audio production has amazing sound effects and you feel like you are right there in the middle of the action.  They have a huge cast of stars with great character voices that keep you captivated in the story including Sean Astin, Kirk Cameron, Chris Anothony, Kelsey Lansdowne, and Kim Weiss.

Cast of With Lee In Virginia

Cast of With Lee In Virginia

Watch this short video clip about the making of With Lee In Virginia and see the amazing talent and excitment that went into this great retelling of history.

How We Used This In Our Home:

My kids were so excited to listen to With Lee In Virginia.  The story follows a 15 year old boy named Vincent who joins the Army of Virginia where he meets and observes the life of General Robert E Lee and Stonewall Jackson.  Vincent learns valuable lessons about character and honor and duty and war.  His decisions are impacted by what he learns from these great leaders who care about their men, their families, and their country.

CD set and Study Guide

CD set and Study Guide

We listened to the CD’s together in the living room.  I printed out the free study guide and put it into a three ring binder.  There is a free word hunt on Live The Adventure Kids Corner.

Word Find

I also printed off some Civil War coloring pages I found on the internet for the kids to color while listening.

Civil War coloring pages

Civil War coloring pages

The kids loved coloring the pictures while listening to the story.  There are no coloring pages in the study guide so you need to find these elsewhere.

General Lee

There are 8 of us in our family, and our kids ages range from 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, and 3. They were all captivated.   Because we are on our summer break, we are doing a “lighter load” of about 1 hour of schoolwork a day through the summer.   Listening to this audio product was a good fit for us to do for a couple of days.


For now, we did a pleasure round of listening of the story and just enjoyed it tremendously.  We listened to CD1 on the first day, and CD2 on the second day and the kids were hooked to the story.   It takes a little more than an hour per CD.   At times the youngest two kids got up and down and played which is to be expected for their age.  But the rest of the kids were quite satisfied to sit and listen to the whole story.  We also took sometime one afternoon to make some Civil War food.  The kids tried Johnny Cakes and we plan to learn to make our own Hard Tack  (like crackers or very dry bread), and some other Civil War era recipes this fall during our unit study.   We are really looking forward to this.


I had the kids look over the map provided in the study guide and see where the story took place.  We also completed the first  lesson of questions  and defining words from the study guide.   Each question covers between 4 to 10 minutes of the audio drama.  You can either have kids write out their answers to the questions, or just use the questions for discussion.  The questions cover three areas of learning:

The Listening Well: discussion about events, characters, and facts in the story.

The Thinking Further: increase understanding of the story by looking up facts and doing further research, deductive reasoning about characters actions and mindset,

The Defining Words: Look up vocabulary words in a dictionary. 

This is a fantastic study guide with lots of questions to get your kids to think deeper and remember the facts.  We are going to make the study guide a regular part of our learning this fall and do a complete unit study and lapbook on the Civil War this fall.   The depth of the study guide will be a perfect fit this fall when we can dig deeper and go over each section of the audio at a slower pace and pause to do the corresponding pages in the study guide.


With Lee In Virginia makes history come alive.  You feel like you are right there with all of these great men in their daily lives.  You can continue learning when you sign up for the newsletter called Live The Adventure.   The newsletter is jam packed with additional learning including recipes and projects for kids to do.

“Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, you should never wish to do less.” ~ General Robert. E. Lee

This is the second product from Heirloom Audio Productions our family has had the privilege to enjoy in our home and we give Heirloom Audio Productions our highest recommendation.  These CD’s would be great for homeschoolers, learning coops, church classes, history clubs, and gifts for family and friends of all ages.

Heirloom Audio Productions

Heirloom Audio

“Building character in the next generation by bringing the lessons of history to life. “

With stories from Heirloom Audio Productions, kids are transported back in time to live the adventure of history.  Their products are amazing and they make history come alive!  “WOW!” is all I can say.   We love it!  We can’t wait to see what they will produce next.

The question for parents and grandparents is what do we want our children to learn and who do we want them to emulate?  Do we want them to be like Spider man or the Hulk or some character in their video games and movies?  Or do we want them to be like real men and women with courage and dignity and responsibility who chose to do what was right no matter the cost.

“Who is teaching and what are they learning?”  What morals are our kids learning from TV, Video Games, Smart Phones, and all the media they encounter through the days, weeks, and years of their life?  Who and what is influencing them?

With Heirloom Audio Productions kids can LIVE THE ADVENTURE.  They will desire to be like real heroes from history.  People who stood for what was right and honorable and people of character and endurance. People who loved God and loved their fellow man are the real superheroes our kids will come to love and desire to be like.

Social Media

Be sure to follow Heirloom Audio Productions on their social media links for all the latest news and updates.

With Lee In Virginia (Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/WithLeeInVirginia

Heirloom Audio Productions (Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/heirloomaudio

Heirloom Audio Productions (Google+): https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/114534826166314080647/114534826166314080647

Heirloom Audio Productions (Twitter): https://twitter.com/HeirloomStories

Live The Adventure (Newsletter and teaching ideas): http://www.livetheadventureletter.com/

Live The Adventure KIDS CORNER (Website with activities for kids): http://www.livetheadventureletter.com/category/kids-corner/

With Lee in Virginia Audio Drama Review

Be sure to read what others on the TOS Review Crew have to say about using this in with their families too.

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Under Drakes Flag Audio Review

Do you and your kids like adventures?  My kids love adventures and we recently used Under Drakes Flag by Heirloom Audio Productions to take a listening adventure in our van, and in our imagination on the high seas.

Analytical Grammar Review

Audio CD Theater Presentation of Under Drake’s Flag by G.A. Henty
Retails for $29.95 plus shipping
For ages 6 to Adult

Under Drakes Flag is about a famous ship captain named Sir Francis Drake and a boy named Ned who travels on his ship. They have one adventure after the next, and the learning adventures are so fascinating you can’t step away.  The suspense and excitement of these stories keeps you biting your nails, laughing, and learning all the way through.

About the audio production from the website:  “This movie-quality audio theater—recorded in London—features a cast of stellar actors, including acclaimed British actor Brian Blessed, state-of-the art sound design from award-winner Mark Drury (The Chronicles of Narnia audio series), and a stunning music score composed by John Campbell (Lamplighter Theatre®, Focus on the Family Radio Theatre®, Adventures in Odyssey®). Adapted from the book, Under Drake’s Flag, by G.A. Henty”

What we received and how we used it:

We received a two-volume CD set and a small Abridged Study Guide.   The CD’s cover 2 hours of listening divided up between 19 short chapter stories. The chapter stories include: The Opening; The Otter; The Invitation; The Plymouth Harbor; On Board the Poncha; In the Carpenter’s boat; The Voyage in Earnest; The Attack; Treasure and Retreat; Donna Anna; A Lull Before the Storm; The Storm; In Spanish Territory; With The Africans; War with the Spaniards; To The Coast; The Inquisition; Familiar Waters; and Disturb Us Lord.

The abridged study guide includes study helps for each story on the CD’s. For each story you will find: comprehension questions (Listening Well); open-ended questions (Thinking Further); and vocabulary words (Defining Words). There is also a Bible Study section that helps your child understand Godly Character. There is a larger complete study guide available too at www.hentyalive.com/studyguide.


We used the Under Drake’s Flag CD’s and Abridged Study Guide for our Sunday learning with our kids. We held faith-based adventures for our Sunday School learning in the van over the course of several Sunday’s and put the CD’s in to listen to while we drove around. The kids pretended our van was a big ship and they too were sailing the seven seas right along with Ned and Sir Francis Drake.


We are in-between churches right now, and looking for where we FIT IN to serve and fellowship. That concept just sounds strange to me, because everywhere believers in Jesus are, should be a good fit to serve and fellowship, because we are all serving the same Lord. But sadly that is not the case in today’s church.  Sadly we hinder the work of the Lord by wrong attitudes, denominational rules, and looking for differences in people.  We are facing this challenge to learn what God wants from us as a positive opportunity to explore different churches, as well as a great opportunity to lead our own kids in hands on service ministry while teaching them the gospel.  If it is a Sunday that we travel anywhere within an hour of where we live, we put in various bible learning CD’s and faith-based adventure stories for the children to listen to and discuss together.


I believe Under Drake’s Flag CD’s were a perfect fit for our bible study learning with the kids, because they are mobile (use at home, on the road, or anywhere at any time), they teach Godly character, and show how God is always with us and will help us when we turn to him. We decided to spend every other Sunday visiting a local church (also visiting churches on Wednesday nights), and the other Sunday’s listening to faith-based programs and “doing something” (Mathew West has a great Christian song called Do Something that our kids love), to put our faith in action in a hands on way to meet the needs of others. Basically we want to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a lost and dying world. Some people may judge us for this decision, to serve outside of the church building on a Sunday, but we believe it is the right decision for our family at this time. Isn’t that what missionaries and traveling Evangelists do? Isn’t this what Jesus did? Did he only sit in the temple and hear bible stories, or did he go out and do something and be the answer to people’s needs? Didn’t Jesus say to go out 2 by 2 and tell everyone about him? Didn’t he say to meet the needs of others by feeding them, visiting them, encouraging them, and more? As we seek the Lord in raising our children, this decision seems like a powerful way to show our children faith in action and what we as the body of Christ need to be doing. Our faith must be courageous and go beyond the church building and into the towns and cities and places people are living if we are truly to be the salt and light in this world.


This opportunity to be mobile, and use Godly character building audio CD’s like Under Drake’s Flag, has allowed us to encourage our kids to reach outside of our comfort zone, and the four walls of the church building, to trust God and touch the lives of complete strangers. The kids are learning to trust God for the needs of others to pray with them, feed them, and meet some of their physical needs in a tangible way. Some folks we have met are homeless and some are not homeless. Some have given us their address and we have been able to maintain continued correspondence with them and sent them things they needed through the mail too to further their faith. Traveling from place to place in a moving vehical, listening to faith building stories and adventures, really enhances the kids excitement.

The kids were so excited to listen to every word of these stories. They were on the edge of their seat the whole time as Ned experienced one faith building adventure after the next. That is how real life is, one faith building adventure after the next, trusting God all the way to meet your needs and take care of you. With these Heirloom Audio Productions CD’s your kids will follow along on exciting adventures, learn exciting historical facts, learn exciting new vocabulary of historical sailors and pirates, and build an exciting faith.  With Under Drake’s Flag your children will learn right along with Ned to trust God in all things.

Exciting Adventures

Some of the fun, dangerous, yet faith building adventures Ned has with Sir Francis Drake include a shark attack, a shipwreck, he experiences fierce battles on both land and in the sea, and he comes face to face with the Spanish Inquisition.  How scary right?  But Ned allows God to  use each of these experiences to grow his faith.

Exciting History

Sir Francis Drake lived from 1540 to 1596.  He was considered by others as a hero in England but a hated pirate in Spain. He captured 93 Spanish ships as he traveled the globe.  He had a strong faith in God and allowed God to guide him on his journeys and in his conduct.  He helped England defeat the Spanish navy’s invasion of English waters.  He was the first ship captain from England to travel across the world.  Also Queen Elizabeth had Sir Francis Drake knighted which was a huge honor.

Exciting Vocabulary

There are all kinds of words used on this adventure that make it even more of a unique experience your kids will love. Some of the new words my kids learned about include: flag ship, Spanish Inquisition, penance, mainmast, yardman, constellations, soul, leverage, recant and so many more.

Exciting Faith

What excited me the most is how Ned grows from an inexperienced young boy into a young man through all of these challenges he faces on his journey, and how he puts his faith in God instead of being afraid.  It truly is a tale of faith, strength, and courage as much as it is a fun listening adventure.

About G.A. Henty
G.A. Henty authored the book Under Drake’s Flag. He lived from 1832 to 1902 and authored over 122 books. G. A. Henty was very athletic and adventurous, and he loved to travel the world and experience it first hand. He wrote historical fiction stories and his writings bring history to life with great details interwoven from his own experiences visiting those places.

Be sure to check out the website for more options on ordering and also follow them on Facebook for all the latest news and updates.

Under Drake's Flag Reviews

Be sure to check out what other homeschool families on the Schoolhouse Review Crew had to say about this wonderful product.

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