Tag Archives: homeschool

Signs of Spring

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

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

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

Dandelion is beautiful, edible, and medicinal.  

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

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

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

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

Violets are beautiful, edible, and medicinal. 

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

Wild onions, chives, and garlic plants.  

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

Pine buds, pine pollen, and pine needles.

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

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

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

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

Wild Roses

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

Wild grape

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

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

Potentilla 

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

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

Wild Clover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mint has returned too and is doing well.

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

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

Enjoy the bounty and blessings of spring!

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Princess Cut Watchman Pictures Review

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

Princess Cut

Princess Cut

True Love Is Worth The Wait

Movie DVD

Award Winning

Family Friendly

Christian Drama

Romance Story

Run Time: 97 minutes

Rated: Family Approved, 12+

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Movie Trailer:

Check out this Movie Trailer:

Our Experience:

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

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

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

Further the learning:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final Thoughts: 

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

Watchman Pictures

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

Paul Munger

Writer, Producer, Director

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s Next?

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

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Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using this movie in their home.

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Creation Illustrated Unit Studies Review

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

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

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

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

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

Creation Illustrated: Intricacies of Snow Unit Study

Intricacies of Snow

Creation Unit Study

Digital Curriculum

Downloadable PDF

17 Full Color Illustrated Pages

Teacher’s Answer Key

Grades 5-8

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

Lessons and Contents:

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

Example of Student Worksheet:

Example of Teacher’s Answer Key:

Creation Illustrated Magazine Winter ’18 Edition:

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

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

Creation Illustrated: Pine Trees Unit Study

Pine Trees

Creation Unit Study

Digital Curriculum

Downloadable PDF

16 Full Color Illustrated Pages

Teacher’s Answer Key

Grades 5-8

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

Lessons and Contents:

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

Example of Student Worksheet:

Creation Illustrated Magazine Fall ’17 Edition:

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

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

Our Experience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Further The Learning:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

Latest Eddition:

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

Current Spring 2018 Edition

NEW Ad-Free Keepsake Edition

Features include:

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

Video:

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

Try before you buy:

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

Social Media

Keep in touch and up to date on all the latest news and products through the Creation Illustrated social media links.

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Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using products from Creation Illustrated.

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MathArt Natureglo’s eScience Review

My kids are enjoying courses from NatureGlo’s eScience.  We were recently given a subscription to review their MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle courses, and we tried out some of their other products too.

NatureGlo’s eScience offers several online live classes and pre-recorded classes that you can do at your own pace.  If you purchase the live class format, you also get access to the pre-recorded course for one year.  The whole family can use the pre-recorded classes for one price.  Most classes are taught for kids ages 10 and older and some classes are geared for specific ages such as highschool age.

The classes are taught by Gloria Brooks, the founder of Nature Glo and NatureGlo’s eScience.  Gloria has extensive knowledge, and she is the creator of several curriculum products.  She teaches from a “Neutral Worldview” meaning she doesn’t focus on “Creationism” or “Evolution” in explaining the universe.  She has been teaching and working in education with all grades in the public, private, and homeschool education settings since 1997 and has been offering online courses since 2011.

Some of the online courses NatureGlo’s eScience has to offer include:

  • Marine Biology,
  • Herpatology,
  • Botany,
  • Rocks and Minerals,
  • MathArt.

You can subscribe to courses in several different ways.  Some of the options available include:

  • 5 – 6 week Class Bundles
  • 4 – 6 week Class Bundles
  • 3 -1-3 week 12 Class Bundle
  • Single classes too.

Be sure to check out the Course Catalog for a list with descriptions of all her classes.

Math Art Online 4-Class Bundle

The MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle is made up of 4 courses that last 6 weeks each.

  • Math Connections With The Real World
  • MathArt Patterns In Nature
  • MathArt in Ancient Cultures
  • MathArt in the Arts & Sciences

 

MathArt: Math Connections With The Real World:

For the purpose of this review, we will focus on one of the classes in the MathArt 4-Class Bundle called MathArt: Math Connections With The Real World.

Math Connections With The Real World

There are 6 Lessons in this course that are meant to be completed about 1 lesson per week.  However you can go as fast or as slow as your student needs to go.   This course is designed for students age 12 and older.

Each lesson in this course contains videos, power points, study guides, downloads, suggested activities, suggested research projects to further the learning, theme connections with various subjects (Math, Art, Geography, Archaeology, Music, History, etc) and quizzes.

Lesson 1: Introduction & History of the Golden Ratio and the Fibonacci Numbers

  • Main Lesson Downloads & Lesson Videos with NatureGlo
  • Lesson Activity – Math is Fun: The Golden Ratio
  • Quizlet – Introduction to the Golden Ratio & the Fibonacci Numbers

Lesson #2 – The Golden Number & Fibonacci in Art, Architecture & Nature

  • Main Lesson Downloads & Videos with NatureGlo
  • Activity – Math is Fun: Nature, The Golden Ratio,and Fibonacci too!
  • Project: Golden Ratio Do It Yourself
  • Going Beyond – Web Resources, Projects & Activities & Videos
  • Quizlet

Lesson #3 – The Fibonacci Numbers in Nature

  • Main Lesson Downloads & Videos with NatureGlo
  • Fibonacci Cookies Activity
  • Video (6:24) – The Magic of Fibonacci
  • Going Beyond – Web Resources, Projects, Activities & Videos
  • Quizlet

Lesson #4 – The History & the Golden Ratio of the Great Pyramid

  • Pre-lesson Activity – The Great Pyramid of Egypt
  • Main Lesson Downloads & Videos with NatureGlo
  • History Connection – TEDed Video (4:27) – History vs. Cleopatra
  • Exploration – Discover & Explore and Ancient Egyptian Tomb (Interactive)
  • Literature Connection – The Prince and the Sphinx
  • Art Connection – Video (8:00) – Egyptian Art History
  • Music Connection – Video (3:21) – Tomb Raiders
  • Going Beyond – Web resources, Videos & Projects
  • Quizlet

Lesson #5 – Phi & Quasicrystals

  • Pre-lesson Activity – Explaining What Quasicrystals Are
  • Main Lesson Downloads & Videos with NatureGlo – Phi & Quasicrystals
  • Video (10:18) – Professor Dan Schectman, Discoverer of Quasicrystals
  • Art Connection – Creating Middle Eastern Quasicrystal Designs
  • Literature Connection – Forty Fortunes
  • Quasicrystals Quizlet

Lesson #6 – The Mathematics of Music

  • Pre-lesson Activity – Musical Instruments (& their Relationship with Mathematics)
  • Main Lesson Dowloads & Videos with NatureGlo
  • Video – Fibonacci Melody (8:34)
  • Going Beyond – Web Resources, Projects & Videos
  • Quizlet – The Mathematics of Music

Student Certificate of Completion

When your students complete the course, you can print out a nice certificate of completion to keep in their portfolio.

Check out this Video from Lesson 1 in MathArt: Math Connections With The Real World.

Check out this Video about “Why” Gloria created the MathArt courses.

Our Experience:

We received a subscription to NatureGlo’s eScience MathArt 4-Class Bundle.  We chose to focus on MathArt: Math Connections With The Real World for the purpose of this review.   My 17 year old son and 14 year old son were the primary participants in this course, though all of my kids participated in some of the other courses.

After enrolling in the courses at NatureGlo’s eScience, students can access their dashboard. The dashboard has tabs for each of their enrolled courses, achievements, notifications from the teacher, etc.

Here is an example of the “My Courses” tab with an overview of everything on our personal dashboard.  My kids have enrolled in both the MathArt courses, and also several of the free courses offered including course samples in Marine Biology, Herptology, etc.  My kids can easily click on the course they want to work on and then click on the specific lesson.  

We have access to each course pictured in the “My Courses” tab for 1 year from the time we enrolled in them.  For a quick overview of progress, you can see how far along the student is by observing a small pink bar under each of the courses in the picture above.  Then once you click on the specific course, another pink bar appears above the list of lessons on the right side of the dashboard.

This pink bar indicates the level of completion of the courses we are working on.   At the time I took this photo, you can see at a glance on the dashboard that we were over half way through with the Math Connections With The Real World course.  We had also completely finished with The Introduction to Sea Turtles of the World course.

Under the “My Acheivements” tab on the dashboard, all of achievements are listed for all of the classes your students are working on.  This is a nice way to see them at a glance.

Here is an example of the “Notifications” tab:

Screenshot examples of my sons doing lessons on the computer:

Here is a screen shot of the downloadable study guide.  Each lesson in the course has additional study guide pages and worksheets you can save to your computer and print when needed.

Here are a few more examples of lessons in this course.

Pictures of some of the hands on projects:

 

Introduction to the Sea Turtles of the World

In addition to the MathArt courses, we also signed up for several of the free course offers and free downloadable unit studies.  So far we have completed Introduction to the Sea Turtles of the World course.

Introduction to the Sea Turtles of the World

  • The 7 Sea Turtle Species Poster & How to ID
  • Learn to ID or Identify the 7 Sea Turtles
  • Literature Connection – Video (8:06) – Believe in Yourself, Story of a Sea Turtle
  • Art Connections: Various Sea Turtle Art Projects
  • Historical/Literary Connection: Traditional Japanese Folk Story: Urashima Taro
  • Geography Connection: The World’s 12 Healthiest Sea Turtle Populations
  • Creative Writing – Writing Prompts about Sea Turtles

This course was suitable for all ages of my kids from the youngest to the oldest so we hooked our computer up to the TV in the living room so that all of the children could take the class at the same time.  This class covered the biology of sea turtles, geography, fiction story about a young turtle, as well as how different cultures view turtles such as the Japanese view, and also focused on different art projects relating to sea turtles.

The kids studied 7 different kinds of sea turtles and learned how to identify the different body and head types of each kind.

They also learned about life cycles of turtles from laying eggs on the shore to the eggs hatching and the baby turtles emerging from the nest to make it back to the water.

The course has several lessons and suggested videos.  There is an audio video animated story about the eggs hatching and the new life of the baby turtle.  After watching the suggested video, the kids dug deeper by researching their own videos of sea turtles hatching.

One of the videos they found was taken at Oak Island, NC where we have visited a couple of times and my kids have swam on that same beach that the turtles hatched from.  The kids were very excited to make this connection.

One of the lessons in the course is learning to identify and draw a sea turtle.

Another art lesson in this course involves creating a unique 3D painting of a turtle and fish in the ocean.

Once you have completed this course, the student is sent an achievement award.

Here is a short video on the Introduction to Sea Turtles of the World course.

Final Thoughts about courses from NatureGlo’s eScience:

17 year old son’s opinion of the MathArt: Math Connections In The Real World:

“It has been fun to take this course.  It has been amazing to see the Golden Ratio and Fibonacci numbers in everything in every day life from pine cones, to flowers, to architecture, and music.  It is almost hard to grasp how much this in everyday life.  It is amazing to see Father God’s hands in everything. I have learned a lot and I have been inspired to do a lot more research.”

My kids are enjoying all of these courses from NatureGlo’s eScience and having Gloria as the teacher.  The younger kids are getting ready to start the Introduction To Whales & Dolphins.  The older kids are about finished with the Math Connections In The Real World and will soon be starting the MathArt In Ancient Cultures.  They are looking forward doing all of the classes in the MathArt Online 4-Class Bundle.

These classes are informative and there is a variety of things to do from reading, watching videos, videos of recorded classes, completing worksheets in the study guides, and additional suggested videos to expand the learning as well as a lot of suggested hands on learning activities, including fun art projects too.  She covers such a wide variety of subjects from Science, Math, Art, History, Archaeology, Cultural History, etc and there is something that interests each of my kids even thought they are all different.

We really like the pre-recorded classes, because you feel as if you are in class with Gloria and the other kids, but you have the benefit of going at your own pace, and you can rewind and hear it again if you need too.  With either option, pre-recorded classes or live classes, Gloria has made herself accessible if you have questions.  She also asks if kids do the suggested projects, to send in pictures or links that she can share with others.

On a personal note, I wish these courses were taught from a Christian worldview.  I intentionally seek out educational programs with this worldview.  Thankfully my kids are strong in their faith, and they are able to add what Gloria is teaching them in NatureGlo’s eScience courses into what they already know to be true about the “Creator of the creation”, the one who created everything we are studying around us.

FREE OFFERS

You can “try before you buy” by checking out the free courses and unit studies offered through NatureGlo’s eScience.

  • Fibranoci Unit Study (MathArt Course)
  • Introduction to Sea Turtles of the World (Marine Biology Course)
  • Transparent Living Jewels: The Glass Frogs (Herpatology Course)
  • Introduction to Whales & Dolphins Unit Study (Marine Biology Course)

Social Media

Be sure to check out NatureGlo’s eScience on their social media links for all the latest news and product updates.

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Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what other families on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using courses from NatureGlo’s eScience in their homes.

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Starfall Home Membership Review

Have you ever checked out the the Starfall Education Foundation website? It has a lot of learning fun to offer!

We were recently given a one year subscription to their upgraded paid version called The Starfall Home Membership in exchange for writing an honest review of our experience.

The Starfall Home Membership

Online Learning

Phonics, Reading, Spelling Games,

Music, Learning Games, Math

PreK – 2nd Grades

One Year Subscription

Retail $35

The Starfall Home Membership subscription includes free mobile App to access the membership account from a mobile device.

The Starfall Home Membership

The Starfall Home Membership is an educational program for younger kids.  It is designed for kids in PreK through 2nd grade.  It is also great for kids (or adults) of any age who are learning English As A Second Language, any age with Special Needs, or even older kids who need Remedial work, or to just for fun to brush up on some of the basic phonics, reading, and math skills.

Starfall Education Foundation offers both a free version and a paid version (The Starfall Home Membership) of their online program that is filled with supplemental educational learning games.  They also offer a FREE mobile app, a printed version of full curriculum for sale and other resources for sale, and FREE parent teacher resources including FREE worksheet generators, posters, books, and other free printables.  Requirements to use the program are access to Internet service, and a computer or a laptop or mobile internet compatible device to access the program.

Check out this video for a short demonstration of a phonics spelling game from the Starfall Education Foundation.

Here is an example of a fun math game.  To see it in action, click the “play button” on this video for a short demonstration.

The Parent – Teacher Center

Looking through the Parent – Teacher Center can help give parents ideas on how to use the program and incorporate the program into their student’s curriculum.

It includes supplemental worksheets, custom worksheets, posters, curriculum downloads, informative guides, and the latest information from Starfall to keep you up to date.

Starfall also offers an organized lesson plan already put together.  You can use this resource online, or purchase the printed curriculum.  They offer a full printed curriculum that comes boxed with several additional extras (books, games, toys, manipulatives) that go along with the curriculum too.  Be sure to check out their curriculum if you are looking for a helpful resource.

Our Experience

I used The Starfall Home Membership with both my six year old and nine year old sons.

Though they had to share the same dashboard (as families are only given one account), each boy enjoyed different aspects of the program.

We worked on this review of Starfall during January and February.  It is accessible 24/7 and we used it on weekdays as a supplement to our curriculum and weekends if the kids requested to play on it.

The first thing the kids did each day they worked on the program was view the interactive calendar.

This was a fun exercise to see and learn more about the days and months.

The calendar lists the main holidays each month, and then you can add items, such as students can dress it up with the provided border options and stamps or print and color it.  My boys changed the border for the holiday and marked the weekends stamped with stars.

Holidays for January included:

  1. New Years Day
  2. Martin Luther King Jr Day

Holidays for February included:

  1. Groundhog Day
  2. Valentines Day
  3. Chinese New Year
  4. Presidents Day

The calendar feature also asks the kids a few questions about what day of the week and other questions that helps them get familiar with reading and using the calendar.

Another fun personalizing feature of Starfall is the avatar.  Because there is only one account per household, there is only one avatar to share.

The six year old got to choose the avatar features and dress it up and then both boys worked together on answering the questions about items in the room or various rooms of the house.

A nice feature of Starfall is the dashboard filled to the brim with learning opportunities.   The Learn To Read tab is really nice.  It brings you to a list of letters, words, or combinations, and then after those skills are mastered, the student proceeds to the books that feature those letters or word combinations for more practice.

The six year old is learning letter sounds and using them in short words.

He is also counting to 20 and using simple math such as adding numbers.

Math songs help him remember different concepts.

Starfall offers lots of math games that make learning math concepts fun and motivate him to want to do more fun practice of skills.

There are plenty of activities to choose from.  I am just barely skimming the surface in sharing these things so far.  There are also puzzles, activities with subject themes, and some basic learning games in Sign Language such as the ALS alphebet and some signing words in the music activities too.

My nine year old son is a strong reader already and really enjoys reading books.

Here are a few pictures from some of his activities, books, songs, and learning games he has been working on.

A nice feature for strong readers and those just learning to read is the option for the book to be read aloud to you.  My older son did not need this feature, but my younger son did.

Sometimes after my older son read the page, I would go back through it with him and push on the little ear button to have the sentence or paragraph read to him.  He was like “Mom, I already read that!”   However, even though he did a good job reading, I wanted him to hear the deflection in the reader’s voice as it read through the different characters and with different emotions.  Learning how to express emotions and vary the sounds enhanced the learning for him.

Every option, whether it was phonics, books, math, music etc had even more opportunities for him to read.

He is enjoying the various math games.

There are a lot of musical options too.  There are folk songs, nursery rhymes, math songs, abc songs, classical composers, and more.

There are lots of extra learning activities too such as holiday cards, and more.  In one of the activities, my son helped a mouse practice writing a letter to his grandma.

Final thoughts about the program:

This program has a lot of activities to offer and can help kids learn and improve their reading and math skills.   It is affordable at just $35 a year for the entire family, so if you have multiple younger children, you only have to pay one low price and they can all use it.  You can try out the free version and see how it works for your family.  The paid version offers a whole lot more.  Also it does not keep scores after the activity, and kids can repeat the activity as many times as they want.  You can take it on the go with you by using the mobile app so it can give kids something fun to do while traveling in the car or when “waiting” on appointments or waiting for other activities to begin.  It is flexible and my younger kids have enjoyed using different parts of the program.

I would have loved to have had this program when I was teaching English as a Second Language to International college students.  A program like this would have helped immerse the International students in the English language and engage them with fun activities, songs, and audio visual interaction.  The read aloud option of the books, with emphasis on tones and expression would have really helped practice speaking and understanding language and how it is applied in conversation and different situations.

One consideration to keep in mind for religious homeschools, and especially Christian families, is that there are themes in the books and games options (such as aliens, fantasy, dragons, magic, Halloween, etc) that would be part of public school education, but may conflict with bible teaching and a homeschool with a Christian worldview.  However, each activity is optional and you can choose which games or books you want to use in the program and avoid selecting certain topics that do not agree with your religious beliefs and cultural practices. The program is flexible and has many different options and you can use what you want from it.

Starfall learning games and books are interactive and engaging and the program has a lot of different things to choose from to build skills and practice reading and math.  It is a publicly supported non-profit educational foundation, and it’s standards are aligned with the public school Core Curriculum of both European Union and USA and other countries.

Social Media

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Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what others on the Homeschool Review Crew had to say about using The Starfall Home Membership in their home.

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Fall Fishing Trip

Sharing some pictures today of a fall fishing trip we did.  The kids love to go fishing and watch wildlife.

Campfires are not allowed at this lake.  However you can have a fire in the provided charcoal grills.  So we built a small wood fire in the grill hoping the smoke would help keep pesky flies and mosqitoes away from our wonderful location.

Some of the kids enjoyed watching nature from the comfort of the hammock.  It has a mosquito net and really is a great invention.

The kids caught a few small bluegill and had a lot of fun.

Every now and then the kids would add another small stick to our mini campfire and it worked out perfectly.

The best fun was had just relaxing and taking in the beauty of the lake, trees, wildlife, sky and the occasional boats that passed by.

One of the boys has a set of binoculars and he enjoyed watching blue herrons, ducks, geese on the lake,  lizards (they caught the lizzard and played with it for a while), as well as falcons and other birds in the trees.

It was a great day appreciating all the wonderful things Father God has created for us to see his amazing handiwork.

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Campfire Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

A Kid Favorite meal at our house is Fettuccine Alfredo.  Whether you make your Alfredo sauce from scratch, or from a prepared noodle mix, the kids always think it turns out great!   They like it either plain or served with broccoli or chicken.    Then we plate it with a side of vegetables, fruits, or salad.

This week we took their favorite food outdoors and made Campfire Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo.

My 12 year old son has been learning to cook on his campfire kitchen.   He gathers wood from dead trees and fallen sticks.  Then breaks, chops, or splits the wood into smaller size pieces for his campfire.

Cooking is such a good skill for everyone to have.

And knowing how to cook and boil water over a campfire with sticks you gathered yourself is a valuable skill that could save your life in a crisis.

He did a great job cooking outside on his campfire.  The chicken turned out tender, with a hint of smoke from the wood fire.  It was juicy inside and delicious!  He loved how it turned out and gave it two thumbs and a pocket knife up!

 

Recipe Ingredients & Directions:

Campfire Chicken

A campfire

Chicken breast

Olive Oil

Seasoning

Directions:  Rub olive oil and chicken and sprinkle with seasoning.  Cook over campfire until desired doneness.

Fettuccine Alfredo

Recipe 1:

Alfredo Pasta Mix (or make from scratch)

Water

Butter

(Optional: Milk or powdered milk to mix with water if desired)

Directions:  Boil water and add butter and milk. Then add pasta mix with seasonings. Follow directions on package.

Note: When cooking outside on a campfire, the prepared pasta mixes are quick and easy for kids to prepare.  However, if you desire to cook the Alfredo from scratch, it is easy to do.  Here is a simple recipe that is easy and would only add a couple of additional steps when cooking on a campfire.

Recipe 2:

Fettuccine Alfredo from scratch.

Ingredients:

Water (Boiling)
Fettuccine (or other pasta)
Sea salt (pinch)
Butter (1 stick)
Parmesan Cheese (finely grated, about 1 1/2 to 2 cups)

Directions:  Cook pasta in boiling salted water until done. Remove pasta from water. Reserve 2 cups pasta water and discard the rest.  Mix together 1 cup hot pasta water and butter until melted. Next slowly add Parmesan cheese, and continue mixing until completely mixed.  Next add pasta and coat with cheese mixture.  Add more pasta water until all pasta is coated with sauce and has reached the consistency you desire.

Peas (or broccoli)

Directions: Bring water to a boil and cook to desired doneness.  Fresh, frozen, and canned peas all cook very fast!

Blueberries (grapes or fresh fruit of choice)

Directions: Rinse, dry, and chill until ready to serve.

Note: Blueberries or grapes are easy to serve.  No prep needed!  They don’t need peeled, or sliced.  Just rinse and serve. Kids love them!

Salad:

Romaine Lettuce, shredded or diced carrots, diced cucumbers, dried cranberries, diced tomato, shredded cheese, sunflower seeds or cashews, Italian dressing (or their favorite dressing).

Directions: Chop, wash, dice all of the salad ingredients ahead and keep chilled until the rest of the campfire food is ready to serve.  Then just plate it and top with favorite dressing as desired.

Note:  Different kids like different items in their salad.  Use what ever salad fixings your kids like, and skip the salad but use a carrot stick or sliced cucumber (not touching anything) if you have picky eaters.

The older four kids like their Alfredo pasta with the chicken added into the pasta dish, and the younger two kids like to have their chicken “outside” of the pasta and not touching anything else.  So we serve it both ways. I also serve the kids food on trays with sides that are small and easy to hold so they are less likely to drop their food.  The older kids can choose a tray or eat on regular plates like mom and dad.   However you serve this dish, it is sure to please.

Everyone agrees,  that Fettuccine Alfredo is a Kid Favorite!

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Thin Stix Giveway

GIVEAWAY

Don’t miss your chance to win a free set of Thin Stix from The Pencil Grip, Inc!

If you don’t know what Thin Stix are, then check out these stories for more information about these wonderful MESS FREE tempera paint sticks. 

Thin Stix Creativity Pack Review & Giveaway

Thin Stix 6pk of Classic Colors Review

Enter this Giveway for a chance to win.  Each person is allowed 2 entries.  

Giveaway entries will be accepted between 11/9/17 and 11/22/17 for your chance to win.

Must be 18 and older and on mainland USA to participate.

Winner will be selected randomly through the Rafflecopter entries as noted at the bottom of the Thin Stix Review and Giveaway post. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners will be emailed that they have won and will need to send their shipping information within 24 hours of winning.  The will be sent a free Thin Stix prize directly from The Pencil Grip, Inc.

Thin Stix would make a great addition to your arts and craft supplies, your home, office, or classroom.   Thin Stix make a great gift to give away too. 

I would greatly appreciate your help in getting the word out about this Giveaway.  If you would kindly share the giveaway with your family, friends, and on your social media: facebook, twitter, pinterest, etc. 

I can’t wait to see who the winner is!

Be blessed!

 

 

This post will be linked up with:

Raising Homemakers

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Thin Stix Creativity Pack Review & Giveaway

All six of my kids love using tempera paint “stix” by The Pencil Grip, Inc.  We were recently sent 24 beautiful colors in their Thin Stix Creativity Pack to review in our home.  The Pencil Grip, Inc is also offering one of their sets of Thin Stix as a Giveaway free to one of our readers.

Thin Stix Creativity Pack

There are many reasons you will want a set of Thin Stix Creativity Packs to use in your home or office.

  • 24 Colors
    • 12 Classic Colors
    • 6 Neon Colors
    • 6 Metallix Colors
  • Solid Tempera Paint Sticks
  • Easy To Use
  • Uncap, Twist & Paint
  • Non-toxic
  • No Mess
  • No Fuss
  • No Water Needed
  • Dries in 90 Seconds
  • Won’t Crack or Split
  • Paint like finish
  • Great for painting on poster paper, cardboard, wood, and canvas
  • Other surfaces too (we tried them out on lots of surfaces!)

These paints are great!  They are MESS FREE and recommended for everyone 3 and older, and yes, adults have fun using them too!  They are available at many big box and online stores.  Thin Stix Creativity Pack retails for $24.99 and are currently on sale for $19.99 at BJ’s.

They offer a regular style called Kwik Stix and a thin style of Kwik Stix called Thin Stix.  They also offer lots of colors. Check their website for information on the different sizes and various color sets they have available. Here is a video from The Pencil Grip, Inc demonstrating how to use their tempera paint stix.

How We Used Thin Stix:

I was thrilled to be given another wonderful opportunity to review Thin Stix with my kids!  We love using Thin Stix in our home ever since we reviewed Thin Stix 6 Pack of Classic Colors earlier this year.

This kit is so much more!  It has the bold 6 classic colors plus + more classic colors for a total of 12.  Then it has 6 Neon colors plus 6 Metallix colors too, for a total of 24 vibrant colors of tempera paint sticks.  The Metallix colors are really speacial because they have a sparkle effect that reflects the light.

Thin Stix are easy to use and hold on to that even my youngest kids can do art projects easily.  It is as simple as taking off the cap and using them.  If you need a little more paint, then you simply twist the bottom of the stick like a tube of chapstick.  The paint comes up at the other end and you are ready to simply draw with them again.  They are mess free and ready to paint with.  There is no need for water and no clean up.  I am always looking for projects my kids can do that are simple, and I especially like MESS FREE arts and crafts!  Check out this short video that shows how mess free they really are:

Projects With Thin Stix Creativity Pack:

Here are a few of projects we have made with our Thin Stix Creativity Pack over the past few weeks.  I am sure we will have many more great projects using these paints in our arts and crafts and school work this year.  I have shared a few pictures below and I will link the stories about how we made these projects and what materials we used as I get them posted.

  • Art Class Fall Season Painting (Multimedia Art Books)
  • Art Class Wooden Creations (Popsicle Stick)
  • Organizer Container Art (Recycled Milk Jugs)
  • Organizer Container Art  (Recycled Shampoo Bottles)
  • Lunch Box Art  (Recycled Milk Jugs)
  • Candle Flower Art   (Recycled Milk Jugs)
  • Butterfly Art & Science (Recycled Milk Jugs)
  • Bird House Art & Science (Recycled Milk Jugs)
  • Bird Feeder Art (Recycled Milk Jugs)
  • Birthday Cards (Construction Paper)
  • Get Well Cards (Construction Paper)

Art Class Fall Season Painting

(Thin Stix & Multimedia Art Books)

We took a walk and looked at trees and gathered a few fall leaves for inspiration and to inspect the colors of fall more closely.

The kids found similar colors in the Thin Stix and used their own creativity to paint a fall scene.

Organizer Container Art

(Thin Stix & Recycled Milk Jugs)

These are so cute!  You can use them for just about anything you need to organize.  Kids could use them for their Thin Stix and art supplies, Legos, crayons, etc.  You could use them in your drawers to hold socks or miscellaneous items.  You could use them to hold fruit (or candy) on the counter. It could hold napkins on the table as a cute centerpiece too. 

My son loved personalizing his organizer!

Organizer Container Art

(Thin Stix & Recycled Shampoo Bottles)

These containers are so cute and just the right size.  They are so simple to make.  They are small enough to fit into a backpack or purse. They can hold a variety of things from art supplies, small journal, cell phone, camera, first aide, small sowing kit, to snacks, etc.  They will make great gifts to give away too.

 

Lunch Box Art

(Thin Stix & Recycled Milk Jugs)

I can’t wait to share the finished product of this project.  Stay tuned for another story.  This was so easy to make and personalize using our Thin Stix.  It can fit easily into a backpack or purse and hold a huge variety of of foods from sandwiches, juice boxes, granola bars, crackers, fruit, bags of veggies, fruit cups, yogurt, etc. 

The lunch boxes are not water tight, but they will prevent your foods from getting smashed in your bag or backpack.  It has a lid and is large enough to keep several loose items altogether, so it is easy to pull it out and have everything inside the lunch box without searching for something that got misplaced.  These containers are special because you made them yourself.  You can also use this to organize various non-food items too.

Butterfly Art & Science

(Thin Stix & Recycled Milk Jugs)

The kids had a lot of fun learning about butterflies and making their own creations.

Candle Flower Art

(Thin Stix & Recycled Milk Jugs) The kids had a lot of fun cutting out their petals, painting them with Thin Stix colors like Metalix Purple and Classic Purple, and hot glueing the petals together to create lovely flowers. 

Then they attached a small tea candle in the center of the flower. 

These lovely candle holders will look very pretty on our table, and we made some to give away too. 

If you want a safer version without a flame, then instead of using real candles, use battery operated candles.  They will look just as beautiful.

Birthday Cards Fall Theme 

(Thin Stix & Paper & Construction Paper)

Get Well Cards

(Thin Stix & Paper & Construction Paper)

Projects With Thin Stix 6 Pk Classic Colors:

Here are a few projects we made using the Thin Stix 6 Pack of Classic Colors of tempera paints.  Some of these have additional stories about making those projects and to read them, just click on the link.

Art Class Paint Project

(Thin Stix & Multimedia Art Book)

DIY Portable Art Kits

(Thin Stix Tempera Paints Various Colors, Colored Pencils, Charcoal Pencils, Pencil Sharpener, Gel Pens, Water Colors, Multimedia Art Book, Sketch Pad, Recycled Zippered Container)

Father’s Day Cards

(Thin Stix, File Folder, Bible Verse)

Garden Pots

(Thin Stix & Flower Pots)

I am also amazed how durable these paints are.  I painted these pots with Thin Stix 6 Pack of Classic Colors several months ago.  Even after the rains and later the scorching heat on the back deck all summer, the bugs and flowers we painted my pots have endured and still look great!

Final Thoughts:

I really like the fact these tempera paints (Kwik Stix and Thin Stix) are mess free. I also like the fact they have so many applications, they are portable so you can take them with you, and you can use them to personalize your space, beyond just using them on a piece of paper.

GIVEAWAY

Want to win a set of Thin Stix from The Pencil Grip, Inc? Then enter this giveway for a chance to win.  Giveaway entries will be accepted between 11/9/17 and 11/22/17 for your chance to win.  If you would kindly share this giveaway with your family, friends, and on your social media: facebook, twitter, pinterest, etc I would greatly appreciate your help in getting the word out.  Be blessed and I hope you win!

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Homeschool Review Crew

Be sure to check out what other families on the Homeschool Review Crew to say about using Thin Stix Creativity Pack with their kids.

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Lego Adventures at Homeschool Coop: Space Exploration

I have enjoyed teaching courses to kids at homeschool get togethers, church, 4H, and parks for many years.  Sometimes these meetings are bible studies, other times they are classes held a local Homeschool Coops or Community programs.

On this day, I taught a Lego Adventures Bible Story class.   We had a great time of learning, activities, and growing our faith.   The kids learned about the fourth day of creation, when Father God created the Sun, Moon, and Stars.   They also learned a little bit about man’s attempts at space exploration, man’s theories about space, and the differences in asteroids and comets. 

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I used a wonderful book called Purposeful Design to teach this class.  I made a binder of lessons to go along with the book and also used a few printouts and coloring pages I gathered from free sources online.  For props to teach the class, I brought a bible, earth in space puzzles, space flash cards, lots of Legos, space exploration mini figures, and I made a space exploration discovery bin.  I brought enough items x 2 so that I could divide the class into two teams for a friendly competition too. 

Space Flash Cards

Space Flash Cards

For our bible learning, we studied the fourth day of creation.  This is when Father God created the sun and moon and stars and put them in the firmament we call “space”, and created time and seasons (seasons are not just a change in the weather, but God designed them to be special appointments with Father called seasons when we have special feasts known as holidays or holy days) on the earth.

“God said, “I command lights to appear in the sky and to separate day from night and to show the time for seasons, special days, and years. I command them to shine on the earth.” And that’s what happened. God made two powerful lights, the brighter one to rule the day and the other to rule the night. He also made the stars. Then God put these lights in the sky to shine on the earth, to rule day and night, and to separate light from darkness. God looked at what he had done, and it was good. Evening came and then morning—that was the fourth day.” Genesis 1:14-19

The kids learned several vocabulary words and terms.  I provided them with crossword puzzles, question and answer sheets, and coloring pages that related to their vocabulary words.

Sun, Moon, Stars, Asteroid, Comet, space shuttles, space pod, rockets, rocket fuel, space ships, satellites, space center, astronaut, gravity, rover vehicles, robotics, science experiment, space exploration, planets and their moons, Earth, Saturn, Mars.

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Team Competitions:

We divided into two teams.  Each team was given the exact same team kits.  Each kit contained, an Earth in Space puzzle, space exploration props, black construction paper, and a box of random Legos.

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We had two competitions also.  The first was putting together a puzzle of the earth in space.  The second competition was building a space exploration diorama and space exploration vehicle to explore Father God’s creation in the firmament.

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At the end of the competition, we had a time of “Show and Tell” where each team gave a brief explanation of what they created and how it would be used based on what they had learned.

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After our lesson, we went outside for some friendly games.

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It was a great time and the kids had a lot of fun.

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