Sunday, September 25, 2011

Aletheia Writing Magazine ~ Review

Aletheia, pronounced as Ah-LAY-thei-uh, is a Greek word that means truth or unveiling.
Aletheia is a writing magazine geared toward teens ages 13-19. Nick and Stephanie Muzekari created Aletheia Writing Magazine to give Christian teens across the county a healthy and safe outlet to share their artistic and writing talents with others. Nearly all 40 pages are full of incredible works of art and creative writings done by teens rather than paid professionals, many of which are homeschoolers.  I think it is absolutely awesome a magazine like this exsists!  

Each magazine is filled with -
Short Stories
A book review
Writer’s Challenge
Ancient Ink
Featured Contributor
and more…

When a teen submits their artwork and/or writing, and their work is chosen to be published, they not only receive the joy and satisfaction of seeing their work published for people across the nation to see and read, but they will also receive 3 magazines free of charge to share with their friends and family.  To read more about the rules and guidelines for submission, please read through the FAQs.

An annual subscription for US residents is $26 (Canada $29).  Subscribers will receive a 40 page color issue four times a year (quarterly). Click here to subscribe.
Are you interested in subscribing to Aletheia Writing Magazine, but would like to flip through an issue first.  Well, you’re in luck.  Via their website, Aletheia offers their Spring 2011 issue (all 40 pages) for you to see and read for yourself before you buy!!

Aletheia Writing Magazine also has a neat blog dedicated to Christian teens.

For review purposes we received the Fall 2011 issue (printed) and access to the digital Summer 2011 issue.

Aletheia Writing Magazine was a hit in our house.  My oldest daughter has a LOVE for reading and a true gift for writing.  She dreams of one day becoming an author.  She’s also expressed interest in submitting one of her writings. 

HINT: Christmas will be here before we know it. Aletheia would make a GREAT Christmas gift for the teens in your life. If you would like to purchase a subscription, click HERE.  

Be sure to stop by the TOS Homeschool Crew Hub to read what my fellow crew members have to say about Aletheia Writing Magazine.  

I'm a crew member with The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew and I received a printed copy of the Aletheia Writing Magazine Fall 2011 issue free of cost in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Blog name CHANGE

I created my blog in May of 2010. After blogging for a couple months I thought about changing my blog name. Well, after much time and more thought I have decided to "take the plunge." My blog formally known as "The Joys of Homeschooling" is now "Grace Academy". My will have all the same content, but with a new name :)

Breakfast creations

My oldest daughter loves to cook and create her own yummy recipes. Her most recent creation is her Strawberries in a Basket. YUM!

Monday, September 19, 2011

AIMS Area Formulas for Parallelograms, Triangles, and Trapezoids ~ Review

As part of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine review crew my family and I had the opportunity to review AIMS Essential Math workbook: Measurement and Geometry - Area Formulas for Parallelograms, Triangles, and Trapezoids.

Available for $9.95

This particular AIMS program includes a CD and is geared toward student in the 6th–8th grades. 

A lesson plan is provided, which divides the seven lessons up over fifteen days. We didn’t strictly follow the lesson plan; however, I do feel it could be very beneficial to others.     

The workbook activities allow the students to learn while completing hands-on activities, such as cutting, measuring, reshaping cut-outs, and the use of a geoboard, if you own one.

The accompanying CD offers printable copies of the worksheets, cutting pages, and assessment, slideshows of the comics (also found in the workbook), as well as animations and videos. 

Our thoughts:
There were some aspects of the program we liked more than others.  We enjoyed the hand-on activities. The comics were great because they provided a nice review of the lesson in a conversational tone. And the videos and animations helped explain and cement the information.   
Dislikes: I felt it was lacking a bit in instructional guidance for the teacher.  Although the answer sheets and the video accompanying the lesson gives a brief explanation, there were some areas of the program I felt confused on what to do. With that in mind, without the lesson plan, it was unclear when one lesson ended and another began.         

Overall we liked this AIMS math program and I would recommend it to those of you searching for a fun hands-on and interactive geometry program. 

Be sure to stop by the TOS Homeschool Crew hub and read what my fellow crew members had to say about AIMS Area Formulas for Parallelograms, Triangles and Trapezoids and other AIMS products. 

I'm a crew member with The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew and I received AIMS Area Forumlas for Parallelograms, Triangles, and Trapezoids free of cost in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wise Alec Civilize This ~ Review

Do your kids enjoy trivia games? Are they History buffs? What about nature nuts? If you said yes to any of those questions then you must check out Griddly Games.

We were chosen to review Wise Alec Civilize This. Wise Alec Civilize This is a trivia game that tests your knowledge of Ancient, Modern, and Medieval cultures. There are over 300 questions, so you can play for days and never repeat a question. Civilize This was designed to be played with 2-6 players, ages 8 and up. The objective of the game is to be the first player to become the Wise Alec!

Before you begin playing you must have a paper and something to keep score with. You will need to decide on a point goal or a time limit. We usually played up to 50 points or 30 minutes depending on how much time we had to play. And lastly, you will need to decide to will go first.

The game consists of 1 multicolored die, 3 decks of trivia cards; Ancient (red), Medieval (green), and Modern (yellow), and 1 deck of Wise Alec cards (purple). Each card has two levels of questions, the 3 pointer; easier question and the 7 pointer; more challenging question. The Wise Alec cards have brain teasers, tongue twisters, and fun exercises to get you up on your feet!

Here is how you play.
When it is your turn you roll the die. If you roll green, red, or yellow, the player on your left chooses a card from the same colored deck. You then choose whether you want to answer the 3-point or 7-point question. Once the question is read to you, you have one guess to get it correct. If you answer correctly you have earned the points. It is now the next players turn.

If you roll blue, you can choose which colored deck (subject) you want. 

If you roll orange, the player on your right chooses the subject for you. However, your points will double if you answer correctly.

If you roll purple, choose a Wise Alec card. My youngest loved the Wise Alec cards the best. Wise Alec will have you answering brain teasers such as “name 5 countries in South America.” Say a silly tongue twisters like “How many boards could the Mongols hoard if the Mongol hoards got board?” You might even have to get up on your feet to complete an action such as “do your best Egyptian dance.” Or “do 20 squats.” If you complete your given tasks you earn the number of points given on your card.

You continue playing until someone reaches the point goal or time is up.

The Ancient cards consist of questions such as,
7-pointer: The city of Pompeii was dedicated to the godess of love. What was her name?
3-pointer: Which ancient empire ruled the city of Pompeii?
7-pointer: King Hammurabi of the ancient Babylonians is famous for writing of the first set of these in history. What were they?
3-pointer: It is believed that King Nebuchadnezzer built this anciet wonder for this wife in Babylon. What was it?

The Medieval cards will ask questions such as,
7-pointer: Aztecs used this bean as currency and also as food. What was it?
3-pointer: What was the staple grain of the Aztecs?
7-pointer: Monks in Medieval England had special rooms where they would copy books. What were these rooms called?
3-pointer: Young people commonly trained with a master craftsman without getting paid. What were they called?

And the Modern cards offers questions such as,
7-pointer: In Mexico, there is a special celebration for girls when they turn 15. What is it called?
3-pointer: This Mexican holiday celebrates a victory over French forces. It is one of Mexico’s biggest celebrations. What is it called?
7-pointer: What is the common religion in Thailand?
3-pointer: How will a Thai person feel if you touch them on the head?

We had a lot of fun playing Civilize This in our home.It was neat to see questions that we had studied in our history lessons and to then see my daughters jump up and yell I know the answer! It really brings learning to life! Civilize This comes in a small, sturdy box with a magnetic closure, which makes it great for travel.It also a great expansion set for those of you who already own the Wise Alec Trivia board game.

Civilize This is available online and possibly in a store near you. Check out Griddly Games to find where to buy this game and other Griddly Game products.

Be sure to stop by the TOSHomeschool Crew hub and read what my fellow crew members had to say about Wise Alec Civilize This and Wise Alec Nature Nut.

I'm a crew member with The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew and I received Wise Alec Civilize This free of cost in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Reviews in the works

I’m currently working on several different reviews that I will be posting in the coming months.  On the left sidebar I have created a "Review in the works" list.  I will continue adding vendors as reviews are assigned to me.  Be sure to check back often to read what my family and I thought about the following products and more :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

How To Have a Heart For Your Kids - Review

Product description from Apologia site:
“How well do you really know your kids? What has God shown you about who they are and who they will become? He has sent these children into your home at this specific time for His glorious purposes. Indeed, you have been invited on the adventure of a lifetime, a journey on which you will see walls fall, seas parted, and giants slain. You don't need special skills or training for this journey—you need only to seek God and hold tight to His mighty hand! As with so many things, the first step to having a heart for your children is knowing your heavenly Father.

Written by: Rachael Carman
Published by: Apologia Press

When we see a book titled “How to Have a Heart For Your Kids” your first thought may be, “I don’t need that book, I already love my kids.” Well, the same thought crossed my mind when I first saw it, too. But, boy oh’ boy am I grateful I was chosen for this review.

Have a Heart for the Things of God
Enrich your marriage
Accept your kids
Release them to God
Teach them the truth

How to Have a Heart For Your Kids begins with a wonderful introduction called Heart of The Matter, in which Rachael takes us on a personal walk as she shares her joys, struggles, and the series of events that lead her from being a mother of 3, overly egger for her oldest to be of age to attend kindergarten so she could have “her life back,” to ultimately becoming a homeschool mother to 7.  

Chapter 1: Have a Heart for the Things of God tells us the importance of having an intimate relationship with God. About how when we develop a close relationship with Him we soon learn and understand just how much He loves us, and that He is always with us. 
When God calls us to complete a task, such as homeschooling, we often hesitate and try to reason with Him about how unqualified and unable we are. We are God’s children and just as we equip our own children with tasks we require of them, He faithfully does the same for us. When we’re having a bad day and nothing seems to be going right, “Don’t white knuckle it,” as Rachael says, but rather pray and ask God for help, direction, and guidance.   

eHe hkChapter 2: Enrich your marriage teaches us the importance of having a godly marriage. Having a godly marriage sets a solid foundation for our children.  Our children are watching us ALL the time whether we know it or not. They see how we handle conflict, how we show affection, how we worship, how we handle stress, how we communicate with others, and so much more.  Every moment of our lives our children are learning from us.  So we must ask ourselves, is how and what we are teaching our children pleasing to God?

Chapter 3: Accept Your Kids teaches us the importance of accepting our children as they are. Do we really know our children?  Yes, we can recite their favorite activity, color, or food, but do we know the longings of their hearts? Their aspirations? Their dreams? Our children are gifts from God and we should accept them for who they are, for who God created them to be. We should see them as God sees them. 

Chapter 4: Release them to God helps us understand that ultimately our children belong to God and that we are not to raise our children with our dreams in mind, but be willing to allow the plans God has for them to take form.  We may have dreams of our children one day becoming doctors, lawyers, astronauts, or even the next President of the United States. However, God may not have the same plans for our children. When we release them to God, we stepping back and allowing Him to be in control.  Our primary focus should be to raise our children to lead a God honoring life. Through consistent prayer and studying His word He will help us "train our children the way they should go..." Proverbs 22:6.

Chapter 5: Teach them the truth, well this title speaks for itself.  It is a how-to for releasing them to God. We are to teach our children the ways of the Lord. Equip and prepare their hearts and minds for what is to come. Deuteronomy 6: 5-9 (NIV) tells us to, “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

At the end of each chapter there is a Heart Check. Each Heart Check consists of 3-5 thought provoking questions, such as “Are there characteristics of your children you find difficult to accept? If so, what are they? Pray for those specifically and ask to see God’s perceptive about these areas of your children’s lives.” OR “Are you currently building the foundation of your home on the rock-solid truth of Jesus Christ and the Bible?”   

My thoughts:
Chapter 3: Accept Your Kids spoke to me the most. It has helped me to see my children in a different, brighter light.  Although I love them dearly and they mean the absolute world to me, I now see that I wasn’t always seeing them the way God sees them; I wasn’t fully accepting them fully as they are.  Too often I try to change or correct the things I don’t understand. Thankfully we service a merciful God who is full of grace.  I know that with His help I will learn to fully accept my children for who they are, who God created them to be, even the things I don’t understand.   

I felt Rachael was open and honest while sharing her strengths and weakness, not only as a mom of 7 children, but as a homeschooling mom, as well as a wife to her husband, Davis.  While reading How to Have a Heart For Your Kids I felt encouraged, sometimes slightly offended, which only caused me to pray more, I laughed out loud, and even cried a few times. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I hope you will too.  I plan to add a few of Rachael’s other books to my personal library. If you would like to add this book to your personal library or purchase one for a friend, click here. Here is a sneak peak at the introduction Heart of The Matter.

Be sure to stop by the TOS Homeschool Crew hub and read what my fellow crew members had to say about How to Have a H.E.A.R.T For Your Kids.


I'm a crew member with The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew and I received the book How To Have a H.E.A.R.T For Your Kids from Apologia free of cost in exchange for my honest review.
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