Tag Archives: Christian

Greek ‘n’ Stuff: Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! Review

Want a fun way to learn Greek?  Then check out Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 3 Set by Greek ‘n’ Stuff.

We have been using the Student Worktext, Worktext with Answer Key, and the Pronunciation CD from their Level 3 Greek language course.  I am really impressed with this curriculum.

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 3

Student Worktext 

Soft Cover

Spiral Bound

Retail $21.95

  • Biblical Greek
  • Student Worktext
  • Alphabet and Vocabulary review
  • Greek Grammar
  • Masculine and Neuter Second Declension Nouns
  • Present Active Indicative Verbs
  • Movable nu
  • Read and Write Simple Greek Sentences
  • Matching, Dot-to-dot, Puzzles
  • Flashcard Pages (printed on normal workbook paper at the back of the workbook)
  • For Older Students (upper elementary – adult) and Students Who Have Completed Level 2

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 3

WorkText with Answer Key (Teacher Manual)

Spiral Bound

Soft Cover

Retail $21.92

  • Biblical Greek
  • Student Worktext with Answers
  • Teacher Tips
  • Translation Helps
  • Sample Lesson Plan Schedule
  • Big Picture You are Here – Grammatical Overview Charts
  • Some English Derivatives of the Greek Words Taught In This Level
  • References for Further Study
  • Recommended for those who have not had previous experience with the Greek language.

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 3

Pronunciation CD

Level 3 and Level 4

Retail $10.00

  • Biblical Greek
  • Level 3 and Level 4
  • Pronunciation of New Vocabulary
  • Pronunciation of Paradigms
  • Indexed to the Workbook Level and Page (this is very handy)
  • The Alphabet Song

Our Experience With This Course:

I am excited about this course!  The Worktext teaches kids (and adults) Biblical Greek in a fun, familiar, and interactive way.

This course feels similar to an early learning English course.  In the beginning, my son learned the alphabet and practiced writing the letters, he practiced saying the letters and voicing the sounds each letter makes, just as he did when he learned English.

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek Level 3 course is a beginning level Greek course for students 10 – Adult.  Each level is color coded and we are using Level 3 with the “green” color for beginners.  Level 3 is also a continuation level of Greek for younger students who first used Levels 1 (dark pink) and 2 (blue), and younger students who are reading and writing at least at an upper elementary age.

If students are younger than 10 they are encouraged to start with the first two levels that have less information per page and less writing. Kids younger than 2 grade should start with Level 1 and kids older than second grade but younger than upper elementary age should start with Level 2.

36 Lessons

There are 36 Lessons in this curriculum and it is intended to be used as a full school year (or 36 weeks) of study.  Each week begins a new lesson and each lesson has daily assignments for that week.  

There are both written and verbal practice assignments and to do the course well, students need a minimum of the Worktext, a Pronunciation CD, and Flashcards (either from the back of the Worktext or purchased seperately) to master the lessons.  The lessons included in this beginner’s language course are:

  1. Alphabet review – Part 1
  2. Alphabet review – Part 2
  3. Vocabulary review – Part 1
  4. Vocabulary review – Part 2
  5. Accusative case – singular and plural (second declension masculine)
  6. First person – singular and plural (present active tense)
  7. Genitive case – plural (second declension masculine)
  8. Genitive case – singular (second declension masculine)
  9. Vocabulary review – Part 3
  10. Vocabulary review – Part 4
  11. Third person – singular (present active tense)
  12. Nominative case – singular (second declension masculine)
  13. Vocabulary and sentence practice – Part 1
  14. Vocabulary and sentence practice – Part 2
  15. Third person – plural (present active tense)
  16. Nominative case – plural (second declension masculine)
  17. Moveable v, vocabulary and sentence practice
  18. Vocabulary and sentence practice – Part 3
  19. New vocabulary, vocabulary practice – Part 1
  20. New vocabulary, vocabulary practice – Part 2
  21. Vocabulary and sentence practice – Part 4
  22. Vocabulary and sentence practice – Part 5
  23. Vocabulary and sentence practice – Part 6
  24. Vocabulary and sentence practice – Part 7
  25. Vocabulary and sentence practice – Part 8
  26. Second person – plural (present active tense)
  27. Dative case – singular (second declension masculine)
  28. Dative case – plural (second declension masculine)
  29. Vocabulary and sentence practice – Part 9
  30. New vocabulary, vocabulary practice – Part 3
  31. New vocabulary, vocabulary practice – Part 4
  32. Nominative and accusative cases – singular and plural (second declension neuter)
  33. Second person – singular (present active tense)
  34. Vocative case – singular and plural (second declension masculine)
  35. Final review – Part 1
  36. Final review – Part 2

Appendix

Additional “Help” pages are available in the back of the book.  There are several Appendix pages including:

  • Glossaries
  • Greek Alphabet
  • Vowels and Diphthongs
  • Punctuation
  • Breathing Marks
  • Word Order
  • Voices of the Greek Verb
  • Moods of the Greek Verb
  • Present Tense
  • Gender of the Greek Noun
  • Cases of the Greek Noun
  • Second Declension
  • Bible Copy Work
  • Index
  • Feedback Form
  • Flashcards (printed on paper in book to be cut out if desired, or buy additional flashcards printed on heavy cardstock with metal ring available on the website.)

We have enjoyed using this course so far.  After a few weeks of using this with my 12 year old son, I could not believe how easily he learned Greek using this method.  He worked on a lesson a week and completed various workbook pages each day.

Getting started with Greek.

We took a mini-break from school for a couple of weeks this summer, and he got right back to it when we got home and has already made it to Lesson 4!  He is motivated to learn and really likes using this.  He has never had Greek before, this was his first exposure to the language and I am very pleased with how well this curriculum is working for him.

Practice writing and pronouncing Greek letters.

At this level, learning is familiar, even though it is a different language. Similarly to learning English, with this Greek Worktext, as he learned the names of letters, how to write them and pronounce them, then he began learning how to put the sounds together to pronounce words and eventually learn to use those words in phrases.

When you look closely at some of the pictures, you might notice my son’s Popsicle stick bookmark he was using.  He wanted a quick way to find all the letters in the Greek Alphabet on one page, and the Glossary of word definitions.  He marked these quick references found at the back of the worktext in the Appendix with a Popsicle stick.  The resources at the back help a lot in seeing the big picture and understanding.

The Teacher’s Worktext with Answer Key has helped me understand what my son is learning.   This book has everything in it that the main worktext has with the addition of the answers and several teaching helps.  So even though I have not had Greek language training, with the help of the book I can help my kids learn the material in their worktext and we can discuss it.

The CD is an invaluable resource for learning how to prounounce the letter sounds and words correctly.  The repetition of practice with the flashcards and the Worktext help reinforce what he is learning.

More!

I have been so impressed with using the Worktext, Worktext with Answer Key, and the Pronunciation CD  that we were sent for review. I am especially impressed how well my 12 year old son has progressed through it, that I decided to purchase two more copies of the student Worktext, three sets of Flashcards, three sets of the Quiz and Text Booklets, and a set of the Greek Alphabet Bookmarks (no more Popsicle sticks!).

Our additional books arrived last week!  Now the 12, 14, and 17 year old boys are all learning Greek.  Thank you Greek ‘n’ Stuff for creating these resources!   Though the two older boys are just getting started with theirs and are a few weeks behind their younger brother, I have no doubt they will be able to catch up with him and they can learn with this method together and this will be even more beneficial for all them as they journey this course together.

All of the resources are great!  I would encourage everybody to get the flashcards and bookmarks too.  They are not expensive and they are an invaluable resource.

The bookmarks have the complete Greek alphabet.  This resource includes the capital letter, small letter, Greek name of the letter, short vowels, long vowels, and dipthongs.  The bookmarks are inexpensive and come in a set of 5.  Since I only needed three for the boys, that left one for my husband and me.  I love it!  I am using it to mark where I am reading in my bible.  It is a really handy resource to have.

These Flashcards are wonderful too.  They contain 78 cards already to use, so I don’t have to cut them out of the back of the student Worktext.  They are sturdy and made with a heavy duty paper so they will hold up to repeated use.  They are printed double sided, so the word my son is learning is on one side and the meaning is on the reverse.  Also on the reverse side is the Greek Level and Lesson Page # so he can go back and review the lesson again when needed.  The cards are also hole punched to keep them organized on the provided metal ring.

I am considering getting the Level 1 and Level 2 for my younger three children so they can work through the beginning level for younger students together too.   The younger level has coloring pages and fun activities and is much easier for young kids just starting out.

Additional Level 3  Supportive Products Available:

Though you can master this course with the Worktext, Worktext with Answer Key, and the Pronunciation CD, I personally think it would be worth your time to check out the additional supportive materials and bundled sets Greek ‘n’ Stuff has to offer. I would especially encourage families to at least add in the sturdy Flashcards and Bookmarks.

Each level is numbered and color coded, so be sure to buy the supportive materials that match the level you are using.  We are using the Level 3 (green) so when purchasing supportive products, I made sure each one matched with the correct number and color.

A few of the additional Level 3 items available for this course include:

Flashcards. (78 Cards + Metal Ring)$8.00

Bookmarks (Set of 5) – $6.00

Sheet Music for the Greek Alphabet Song – $2.95

Quizzes and Exams – $5.50

Answers only key – $6.00

Bible Copybook – The Gospel of John – $25.95

FREE STUFF

Be sure to check out the FREE Greek Sample Pages Greek ‘n’ Stuff offers on their website.  They offer free samples of Greek, as well as Latin, and Bible curriculum.

Greek ‘n’ Stuff

Greek ‘n’ Stuff offers 8 levels of Greek language training.  The first three levels are for beginners.

Greek ‘n’ Stuff also offer student worktexts in Bible Studies, Songs, Readers, and Copywork in the Greek language too.   But that is not all, they also have language learning products in Latin and French, and have several Bible Studies too.

Social Media

Be sure to check out Greek ‘n’ Stuff on their social media for all the latest news and updates.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GreeknStuff/ and https://www.facebook.com/groups/heyandrewteachmesomegreek/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GreeknStuff
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kuriakos/greek-n-stuff/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karenmohs/

Homeschool Review Crew

Members of the Homeschool Review Crew recently had to opportunity to review several of the great products Greek ‘n’ Stuff has to offer.

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 2 Set

Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek! – Level 3 Set

Alone with God Bible Studies

I Can Study Jonah & Ruth Alone With God Bible Study (13 week study) KJV or NIV

I Can Study Esther Alone With God Bible Study (13 week study) KJV or NIV

I Can Study I Samuel Alone With God Bible Study (39 week study) KJV or NIV

I Can Study Acts Alone With God Bible Study (52 week study) KJV or NIV

Be sure to check out other reviews written by families on the Homeschool Review Crew about using these products with their kids.

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Everything You Need

Do you know that God created you to bring him glory with your life?

He alone is Father God, the Creator of Life, and He wants us to acknowledge him and trust him for everything.

I was reading in Luke chapter 12 today and wanted to share a few of the verses with you.  If you have time, go read the entire chapter.  May it bless you today.

 

“Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.” Luke 12:8-9

 

“And he said unto them, “Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” Luke 12:15

 

“And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.
Life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.

Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?

And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit?
If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?

Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?

And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.

But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.  Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;” Luke 12: 22-35

 

May everything you and I do today and everyday bring Father God glory. May we trust him in everything, for everything we need, and seek his face and his heart each day. May we each give him praise for he alone is worthy of our praise.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Be blessed!

 

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You Are The Temple

Why worship God in temples made by human hands?

As I have gotten older, and hopefully wiser, I have come to understand that the scriptures in the Bible point to the human body as the true temple of our Heavenly Father, not the church building or any other building.  We are instructed to care for his temple, our body, and care for others because they are also his temple.

“God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

That they (men of all nations in the earth) should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.”  Acts 17: 24 – 25; 28-29

 

“Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?

But he spake of the temple of his body.”   John 2:19-21

Buildings made by human hands might impress people, but they don’t impress God our Creator, our Heavenly Father.  Money donated (or taxed) to build buildings (or anything else) doesn’t impress him either.  He said a poor widow’s penny offered is more impressive than a rich man’s offering.  He also said it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

From the scriptures we can clearly see that HE wants an intimate daily walk with us and for us to recognize a special day each week that we acknowledge him, and do good to others in his name, that special day he calls the Sabbath.  The Sabbath means the 7th day when God our Creator rested from his work.  He has asked us to do the same and keep it special for him.

The day of the week the Sabbath is on changes each year and sometimes even during a certain month of the year.  How you find the day is to learn when the barley is ready for harvest in the spring and the correlation with the first sighting of the moon during that season.  This then begins the year, and the Sabbaths of that year are on the seventh day and every seventh day there after.  This pattern of seven days should follow a 28 day rotation, with the full moon falling on the second Sabbath of the month.  Every once in a while it will be on a 29 day rotation with an extra day added at the end if the next sliver of the moon wasn’t seen until the following night.  If the month had 29 days, then the next pattern of “first day” and “seventh day” will shift forward by one day and then continue forward on 28 days again with each month having 4 Sabbaths and then repeating.   Today in our modern society, few people keep the true Sabbath of Father God, but instead they set a certain day such as Sunday or Saturday or Friday as their day of worship when they go to temples made with human hands.

What blesses Father God is pure worship and love for him from our heart and caring for the needs of our fellow humans.

Check out these verses from Isaiah 58 about what pleases God the Father:

“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.

Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.

Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.

Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?

Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward.

Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;

And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:

And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”   Isaiah 58

May we have the desire to draw near to HIM, our Heavenly Father, through faith and forgiveness found in his only begotten son Jesus who has shown us the truth and the way, and seek his face and learn his ways, and obey and be found faithful.

Be blessed!

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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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Look Up

Thinking about the reunion.
It will be soon.
I hope you will be there.
When we meet the groom.

His dad sent the invitations.
I received mine and accepted.
I proclaimed my reservation to all who were receptive.

Some were willing to hear his message,
But not all appreciated the simple package.

Some laughed and said “about the return of Jesus you must be confused.
There are no miracles today, the prophets died long ago,
and the return of the groom is a long way away.
We would have heard it in our grand churches and in our pews.
Such an invitation would have come from the pastors with mega buildings,
fine words, and also those on TV who speak the news.”

Others hearts were too hard for the seed to penetrate.
Their hearts were filled with pride, bitterness, and hate.
Some laughed and said they’re busy and earning reputations and money
They would rather choose their own path rather than the path of one who willingly hung on a tree for you and me.

Many heard the news but most failed to make room.
Their calendars too full to pencil in the feast with the groom.
His Dad tried again, and again.
To remind them the appointed time of the wedding was soon.

Busy lives and reservations unanswered
But the Father’s love would not be hindered.
So he sent out more.  He even knocked on each door,
Before the end begins, He sent more messengers.
He is still calling and waiting for their answers.

It is just about time.
I am ready to go.  I can’t wait!
Be ready. Keep your lamps full and burning bright.
Look up. To this wedding we won’t be late!

Be Blessed Dear Friends.
Look up!  The time is drawing near for the return of Jesus for his bride.

And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,
“The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:1- 14 

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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.

Map

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!

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Brinkman Adventures Season 3 Review

We took a day trip last week and enjoyed listening to the newest audio drama release from  Brinkman Adventures.

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The Brinkman Adventures: Season 3

5 Hours of Adventures

Recorded on 4 CD’s.

12 Episodes

Each episode is approximately 25+ minutes long.

For ALL Ages

Retails for $27.99  (purchase by donation only, whatever amount you feel led to give)

MP3 download version also available.   See web site for more details.

What is included:

These are short stories told in audio drama style of mission trips taken by real missionaries. They are full of suspense, daring escapes, and total reliance on God for provision and safety and making a way where there is no way.   They are inspiring and faith building.   They challenge you to believe and share your faith in Jesus Christ, to believe in the God of the impossible, Jehovah, and his love for mankind.

These stories are full of the kind of exciting adventures my kids loved!

This set contains 4 Disks.  Stories on each disk include:

Disk 1

  • Ep. 01 – God’s Mule.
  • Ep. 02 – Mountain Mover.
  • Ep. 03 – Silent Ambassador

Disk 2

  • Ep. 04 – Translating Trouble
  • Ep. 05 – Man-Up
  • Ep. 06 – Acorns & Oaks

Disk 3

  • Ep. 07 – A Saint’s Story Pt 1
  • Ep. 08 – A Saint Story pt 2
  • Ep. 08 – A Saint Story pt 2 (2)
  • Ep. 09 – Untouched

Disk 4

  • Ep. 10 – Busy Bees and a Bullhorn
  • Ep. 11 – Missionary Tourist Pt 1
  • Ep. 12 – Missionary Tourist Pt 2

How We Used The Brinkman Adventures, Episode 3:

We enjoyed these CD’s so much!  We took it with us on a day trip to enjoy the beauty of the fall and listen to amazing stories (testimonies) of God working in peoples lives. The kids were on the edge of their seat the whole time we listened to these stories on our trip.  They wouldn’t let a moment go by when one disk ended, they immediately wanted me to put the next disk into the player.

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I know we will listen to these audio drama’s again and again.   We have been audio drama fans for many many years.   When our children were very little we first began listening to christian missionary CDs and audio bible dramas for kids.  It is such a fun way to learn to listen and go on an adventure by listening and imagining all the places and people and events being described.

Here are a few examples of the fun stories we listened to:

In the first story, Ep. 1- God’s Mule, the missionary Tomas, secretly transports bibles to closed countries and has to rely on God to help in big and small ways to accomplish this impossible task that could land him in prison or even killed.

In the second story, Ep. 2 – Mountain Mover, another story about Tomas, he secretly smuggled 4,000 bibles in 14 years, then 5,000 bibles in one trip, and 10,000 bibles in another trip in 100 suitcases that the authorities never opened and their machines broke just as he and his team approached the lines to be inspected.  God showed his power in mighty ways to protect Tomas and make a way for the impossible.

In the third story, Ep 3 – Silent Ambassador, a young girl named Evyline becomes a kid with a mission.  She puts a kids club together and organizes the collection and filling of 200 shoeboxes of supplies for Operation Christmas Child.  When they learn about what she has done, she gets to become an Ambassador for the charity and travel around the country speaking on their behalf and also travel to the Dominican Republic to deliver the charity’s 100 millionth shoebox.

Story after story, 12 stories in all, each one will inspire you and your kids to live bigger and bolder and more outrageous for God.  They will encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and trust God to do the impossible to help you spread the news of his kingdom.

Further the Learning:

Play It Out:  One of the best parts of being a kid is getting to play.  Role play, active play, imaginative play, you name it and play is just fun and a great way to learn.  My kids were so inspired by the stories, they wanted to act out some of the adventures at the park.  We had been on the road for several hours and were headed back home but decided to stop and let them stretch their legs and their imaginations.  This was a great opportunity for them to imagine crossing bridges, climbing mountains, escaping dangers, and reaching areas of the world with the gospel.

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Map It:  Print out or draw out a world map.  Have the kids locate where in the world the mission assignment takes place.  Then have them learn more about that country and the culture of the people who live there.  If it is known what country or state the missionary came from, have them mark that too.  They can then find out what it cost to travel to that country, live there, and what kind of finances a missionary would need to complete the assignment. Perhaps this will inspire them to help raise money for missions.  At the bare minimum it will expand their understanding of the geographic locations of different peoples around the world.

Art It: Draw It/Color It/Paint It.  This activity does so much to help a person’s mind understand and remember the story.  We have found this activity to be very inspirational.  You can start with a blank page and let the kids draw the story, or give them a printed coloring page (many free ones available online) and have them color either during or after the story.

Unit Study: We loved these CD’s so much that we are going to go around the world in 12 weeks with them. We are going to create 12 mini unit studies and take 1 audio drama a week and listen and study the country the missionary went to and the people who live there.  We will fill in a map, make a timeline of events, make a recipe, a craft, and pray for the missionary and people they are reaching every day that week.  We will start on a small scale and do this for 12 weeks, one missionary story a week,  starting in January.

Curriculum:  There are so many areas you could incorporate these stories on CD with your curriculum: Bible, Language Arts, Culture Studies, Geography, History, Travel, Politics, Religion, Public Speaking, etc.  I would like to create some lesson plans and put something together for next year for a year long missions focused curriculum.  Perhaps we can turn Brinkman Adventures into a year long missions unit study, or keep it to the 12 weeks and fill in the rest of the year with their other audio volumes 1 and 2.  I found some great resources online for kids to learn about missions including worksheets, crafts, and lots of activities.  Also on their website are short written stories about each missionary and more information about their real life experience.  Brinkman Adventures also offers a curriculum called Ignite for ages 8-12 for $49 suggested donation.  This looks really good and may be an option for folks who don’t have time or feel comfortable to make their own lesson plans.

Invite Friends: I could really see this as a 12 month course and do this with a homeschool coop either in a local area or online with other families.  It would also be great to do with a bible study and with a youth group.   If doing with a bible study or youth group, I would definately check into Brinkman Adventures pre-made curriculum.  I am considering putting an online coop together and get several other homeschool families together on this with us, each family getting their own CD’s, and then we can follow some lesson plans to further the learning and put our faith in action, and finally do a blog hop online where all the families can share our experiences together. Let me know if you want to participate in this project.

Stay tuned for a future updates on this project.  Perhaps we can get missionary companies to offer a give away here or perhaps we can even help them raise funds for their missions outreach and needs.  Let me know if you want to participate in this adventure.  I think this has the potential to be life transforming if we can catch the vision for it!

Social Media

Be sure to follow Brinkman Adventures on their social media links for all the latest news and product updates.  They currently offer three volumes on CD sets with amazing missionary stories.  They also have a pre-made curriculum with lesson plans called Ignite that looks great.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Brinkman-Adventures-152895116079/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/BrinkmanAdventures/videos/

Brinkman Adventures Season 3 Review

Check out what other homeschool families on the TOS Review Crew had to say about using Brinkman Adventures in their home.

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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.

Social Media

Be sure to follow Fish Flix on their social media sites for all the latest news and updates.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fishflix
Twitter: https://twitter.com/christiandvd
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/fishflix/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Fishflix/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/familychristianmovie

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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Sam The Minuteman Study Guide Review

What is a Minuteman?  That is a very good question, and it has a lot to do with American History.

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We recently reviewed Sam The Minuteman Study Guide by Progeny Press to learn more about these important people and their role in American History.

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A Minuteman is an American Citizen who is ready to defend his/her person, family, property, neighbors, town, state, and country with just a “minute’s notice”.    There is an interesting fictional story that helps kids learn about these defenders and their role in history called  Sam The Minuteman.  This story is about a boy who’s dad was a Minuteman when the colonies were still occupied by Britain.   This study guide helps you dig deeper into the lives of people, their character, family and community dynamics, and their faith as well as the battle they fought for independence from Britain.

Sam The Minuteman Study Guide

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Sam The Minuteman Study Guide

For Elementary 1st – 3rd Grades

42 pages

e-Book PDF download

Retails $11.99

Table Of Contents

  • Note To Instructor
  • Synopsis
  • Background Information
  • About the Author
  • Before You Read Activities
  • Vocabulary
  • Cause and Effect
  • Word Pictures
  • How the Author Creates Mood
  • Looking At The Story
  • Important Words to Remember
  • Thinking About the American Revolution
  • After You Read Activities
  • Additional Resources
  • Answer Key

How We Used The Sam The Minuteman Study Guide

We received a PDF download of Sam The Minuteman Study Guide to review in our home.  I printed the study guide and put it into a three ring binder.   This study guide was a great addition to our study of American History this fall.

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To complete this study guide, you will need a computer, an email address, and printer, as well as the book Sam The Minuteman.  The book is easy to find at local libraries or for purchase through book stores, or even easier is to find it as a read aloud on youtube where you can listen, watch, and read along with the word in the story.

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When you purchase the study guide, you can either print off the whole study guide and put into a three ring binder, or have it bound, or you can just read it from the computer screen and print off what pages you need as you go along in the study.  This is so flexible and will fit with just about everyone’s needs.

 Activities We Did In The Sam The Minuteman Study Guide

  • Make Homemade Butter  (in the story they ate homemade bread and butter).  Recipe for making butter provided in the study guide.   We purchased cream, put it into the stand mixer (because shaking it in a jar takes to long) and made our own homemade butter.   We used to do this every week when we had our own fresh milk from our cows.   We also made homemade bread, and made biscuits on another day, to eat the butter on.
  • Historical Timeline (dates and headings provided in the study guide)
  • Crossword Puzzle
  • Worksheets: Vocabulary Words
  • Worksheets: Several “Question and Answer” worksheets throughout the study guide.
  • Bible Study:  Several scriptures and question and answer were listed and encourage character and understanding of the Christian faith.
  • Worksheets: Coloring Page of the Liberty Bell
  • We used several online resources to complete the study guide through Progeny Press, and also to learn more about this period in American History.
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Crossword puzzle and worksheets from Progeny Press Sam The Minuteman Study Guide

About the story:  Sam The Minuteman

The story book is historical fiction.   The characters are made up, but are based on historical facts so it is a great addition to any American History study.   Reading this story will help kids understand and relate to people who lived at this period in American History and America’s fight for independence and birth as a nation.

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screenshot of Sam The Minuteman read aloud on youtube

We have a copy of the book, but we also found the book as a free read a loud on youtube (read by Stories with Sarah), and this was a perfect option for us.  The kids had fun hearing another child read the story aloud and following along.  This is a great option for those folks who don’t own their own copy, don’t want to go buy one, or who have kids who are fascinated with everything on digital media like my kids.

The read aloud is only a 10 minutes long and the kids can read right along with Sarah as she reads the book on the video.  In addition to the book, we added in watching several other videos about Minutemen and read through the wikipedia explanation, did coloring pages, made a lapbook, and more too.  These activities really helped the kids appreciate the learning material and activities, and deepen their understanding in the Study Guide even more.

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screenshot of Sam The Minuteman on youtube

The main character in the story is a boy named Sam Brown who lives with his mother and father on a farm in Lexington, Massachusetts.   America has not become a nation yet and is still a British colony, but has formed it’s own local governing proclamations. The people living in the colonies are upset because of the increased taxation and trade regulations placed on them by Britain, and the increased presence of British soldiers and governors the King has sent to enforce the new regulations.

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screenshot of read a loud book on youtube

During the story, Sam experiences the beginning of the war.  He sees British soldiers from Boston pass through his town as they trying to keep orders for the King, and he feels the frustrations of his father and neighbors.   Then one night, the church bells ring and wake Sam and his family and this is the signal to his father that it is time to go and defend his freedom.

They meet with other men and learn that the British soldiers are marching to Concord where the colonists have hidden weapons.  Then Sam goes with his father and the other minutemen to try to hold back the British and give the Americans time to defend their supplies and hidden weapons.  One of Sam’s friends gets shot, but survives.  Eventually the Minutemen Militias grow stronger in their fighting skills and are able to drive off the British soldiers.

Additional Resources We Used To Further The Learning:

We love turning everything into an expanded unit study.   That is what I love about study guides, they spark your curiosity and invite you to dig deeper.    We expanded our learning with several additional fun activities including videos, reading, Legos, cooking, life skills, and more to learn about this fascinating period in American History.   We would like to take a field trip too. Several years ago, we went to see some Revolutionary War History in Charelston SC,  another trip to Kings Mountain where the Mountainmen (Mountain Minutemen) fought a battle with the Brittish Soldiers, and another trip we went to a Revolutionary War Museum and State Park with a Ford (where the militia crossed the river).  We are also creating a lapbook to hold our completed the Sam The Minuteman Study Guide activities, and additional projects we did while learning about Minutemen Militia.

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Minuteman received notice (image source)

Legos:  I have 6 kids and 5 of them are boys.  We love building with Legos and it just makes learning fun!   We recreated and retold the story and the events we learned in the study guide with Legos.  The kids set up a village and a house for Sam’s family, and showed him and his dad riding a horse out to meet the other Minutemen to fight with the British soldiers coming down the road.

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Sam and his dad are in the Minutemen Militia. Story retold with Legos.

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Coloring Page Paul Revere (notified the Minutemen the British were coming and then rode out to the army to notify them the British were coming to take away their weapons and subdue them).

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Coloring Paul Revere as he rode out from Boston on his horse to warn the Minutemen the British were coming.

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Who were the Minutemen?  Wikipedia

Geography Map

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Geography and History video:  The American Revolution in 9 minutes.  This was our absolute favorite “quick” video that explains the history and geography of the war, and best of all it is told with stick figure animation.  This is much more fun for kids to watch than other history videos.   The kids also have fun watching a grade school class retell the events in a video they made called American Revolution.

History of the part time militia known as Minutemen 

History video: the Force Of Citizens

History video: Minutemen Militia from “History of the US Constitution”.

Visit the Minutemen Historic National Park

Volunteer with Friends of the Minutemen

American Revolution Lapbooking Pages

It is amazing what you can learn from history and how it applies today.  A Minuteman is a person who is ready to handle trouble at any minute.   Formed in 1645, these homegrown militia men were to be ready within 30 minutes of being warned and carry with them three days provisions of food, shoes for both snow and regular weather, and weapons.  They played important roles in history from 1645, 1750, 1774-1776, through the Civil War (mountain men), and beyond.    The government passed the Militia Acts of 1792 by Congress requiring all citizens to arm themselves with a musket, a bayonet, and no less than 24 bullets.   The Militia Acts of 1903 passed by Congress states that 1) the organized Minutemen Militia will become the basis of the National Guard and 2) a provision that states able bodied citizens ages 17 to 45 are to take up arms to defend themselves and the country.

American Minutemen (image source)

American Minutemen (image source)

We actually learned there are Minutemen Militia (also known as Watchmen Militia and Family Protection Group, etc) today all across this great nation we live in that are ready on a moment’s notice.   The Discovery Channel produced a documentary about them.  They meet together in groups and are trained to use weapons, and secure resources such as food, water, and have supplies on hand to last from several weeks to several months. These groups are made up of people from all races and from all walks of life from mechanics to librarians to students, etc. The documentary followed men and women from across the USA who get together and practice drills in Florida, Indiana, and Arizona for combat in the event the government cannot protect or help it’s citizens.  That kind of circumstance could happen when mobs breakout in the cities, such as when natural disasters happen (hurricanes, tornadoes, floods) and folks are without resources, nuclear meltdowns or if there is an EMP or asteroid that takes out communications and infrastructure, and during racial tensions in inner cities and mobs breakout, as well as illegal drug smugglers coming across the borders, and with mass shootings and terrorists attacks.

Just like they were through out American History, these modern day Minutemen Militia are ready at any minute to handle any trouble that arises to defend our towns and people from threats of danger.   Approximately 30% to 70% of Americans are legally armed depending on what part of the country you live in.   The nationwide average is about 80 million gun owners who own at least one registered gun, (there are between 280-310 million guns), or approximately 1 out of 3 households are armed.  These registered gun owners are willing to protect their homes, family, friends, and neighbors from attack from those who would attempt to cause harm to life, liberty, and the pursuit of freedom in our country.

Progeny Press has created a great study guide to get young people interested in American History using a simple story with characters they can relate too.  Would you like to learn more about the Minutemen Militia and the American Revolution?  Then you might want to go on this learning adventure, and check out this great study guide from Progeny Press, and perhaps your family will be inspired to be a part of the Minutemen in your local area and will gain a deeper appreciation for the sacrifices so many have made for the freedoms we enjoy today.

Social Media

You can follow Progeny Press on their social media sites for all the latest news and product updates.

Facebook: http://facebook.com/ProgenyPress
Youtube: http://youtube.com/progenypress
Twitter: http://twitter.com/progenypress

Progeny Press Review

Be sure to check out what other homeschool families on the TOS Review Crew had to say about using these study guides 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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