Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Family Movie Night: The Woodcarver

We recently watched this movie, The Woodcarver, on a family movie night. It was produced by Faith & Family Films in 2012.  At 96 minutes long, it's just the right length. The neat thing about this movie is that the entire movie can be watched online at no charge, so it's great to share the message of it with others and direct them to the site, using it as an evangelistic tool.

In The Woodcarver, fifteen year old Matthew Stevenson, distraught over his parent's breakup, takes his anger out by vandalizing the church building that had, at one time, been the center of his family. Through an interesting twist of circumstances, he ends up temporarily living at the house of the old gentlemen who was the original carver of all the wood trim that he just ruined at the church.

Follow the plot as the old woodcarver teaches Matthew, and his parents, about life, following Jesus, and working hard. There are several surprising twists that we were not expecting, that intertwined the work and horrible attitude of Jack Stevenson's (Matthew's dad) with the restoration of the church.

I won't give away the surprise ending, but am happy to share that it shows the family successfully working through some major issues, while following the advice, "What Would Jesus Do?" and learning to ask that question before making decisions.

This movie is rated PG. The only reason I can think of is that there are some very vivid displays of the harsh reality of the family fighting.

Our entire family watched and enjoyed this movie greatly.

Copyright 2012-2015 - "Be The One" - www.aclassofone.blogspot.com  All rights are reserved. No text, photos, or content may be reproduced without direct permission from the author.

Critical Thinking Company Discount

Recently, we reviewed Math Analogies from Critical Thinking Company, and we are currently working on a review of their new book called US History Detective.

In fact, the Schoolhouse Review Crew reviewed a whole bunch of online and print edition programs!

After reading those reviews, and experiencing firsthand the quality of products from Critical Thinking Company, there have been several items on my wish list from their website.

I am happy to share a nice discount code they are offering, ending at midnight on Tuesday, March 31, that offers 15% off any size order, or 20% off an downloads. No price minimums to meet!

Use code SAVE0315 for 15% off any size order or DOWN0315 to save 20% on downloads. 

Shop at Critical Thinking Company.

Review: Thick As Thieves

Every once in awhile, a book comes along that my girls just fall in love with. Historical Fiction is a great way to really engage in learning about history, and when I find a book that combines a great story line with their passions, and teaches Godly character while doing it, I feel like I have unearthed a gold mine!

Thick As Thieves from Circle C Milestones is such a book! We recently had the opportunity to review this 173 page novel, written by Susan K. Marlow and published by Kregel Publications.

In Thick As Thieves, fourteen year old Andi Carter learns a lot about growing her faith through some extremely normal (and a few pretty wild) circumstances. Even though the story is set in California in the late 1800's, teenage girl issues are timeless. Andi is a girl who loves her family and loves horses. In this story, both those areas come under fire, and she must learn to pray and rely on the Lord's strength for help to make it through. A new neighbor girl is introduced in the story, and by befriending the new girl, Andi learns maturity through some very difficult situations.

Thick As Thieves is an asset on so many levels. It gives a great feel for frontier life in the late 1800's. It also uses real life situations to teach faith and faithfulness - what it means to be loyal to your family, as well as your friends. Of course, it has a positive outcome at the end, which makes for happy reading. In fact, we are already looking forward to the release of Heartbreak Trail, the next book in the series, which is due out in July, 2015.

Not only is this a fun book to read, but thanks to the forty page study guide that the author has designed to go with it, this can also be a great adventure into Literary Interpretation as well. The study guide includes many varied Language Arts activities that coincide with the story, including vocabulary words and exercises, synonyms and antonyms, excerpts from Andi's journal, puzzles and games, and plenty of comprehension questions. Many of the investigation type questions delve even further, encouraging the student to think of deeper meanings behind the story, and relate Andi's responses to their own personal lives. There is also a lot of practical material included that will expand the student's knowledge of horses and history.

An excerpt from Andi's journal that is found in the study guide.

Using the book and study guide together would make a very nice unit study for horses or for late nineteenth century American Westward expansion.  This book is not only for girls - it does contain plenty of adventure that boys will find fascinating. My opinion is that girls will be able to identify more easily with the friendship issues that are presented though. The book is recommended for ages twelve and up. 

Another neat extra that is available is an online blog that readers can follow to learn more about Andi's life and adventures: Andi's Blog

How we used this book: Melissa grabbed this book as soon as we received it, and disappeared with it. She loved it and finished it quickly, in a matter of days. We did use some portions of the study guide for questions or extra information (in particular, Melissa was fascinated about the foaling information). I had her write a short review, which I am including here, and we plan on reading through the book again over the summer, and having Melissa complete the entire study guide with it.

Melissa's perspective: 
Thick As Thieves by Susan K. Marlow introduces Andrea, (or Andi) Carter, who is fourteen years old and loves her horse Taffy who is about to have a foal. School, although she must go, is no longer fun since her best friend and seat-mate left. Even worse is that a new girl, Macy Walker, who has a horrible temper and smells awful, is assigned as her new seat-mate.
After Macy tries to harm Andrea and Taffy, Andi decides that it's time to get things under control. Her attitude drastically changes when she finds out who Macy has to live with - three older brothers who are always taking advantage of Macy's size. Andi determines to help her, and after a lot of trouble, Macy finally opens up to her.
On the Circle C Ranch, where Andi lives, cattle turn up missing and Andi's brothers are gone all day long. This leaves the foal's raising and training up to her! Since cattle had been missing before, Andi did not understand all the fuss, until her colts are missing. She is determined to find them when Macy comes out and tells her that she knows where the colts are. Macy promises to help as long as Andi listens to her.
Andi heads to the canyon where Macy says the colts are being held. When she finds the colts, she tries to herd them out of the canyon when a landslide happens. She uses Taffy, her horse, to try to get help. The thieves find her and take her as a captive. She prayed and begged God to help her out of this mess. God answered her prayer by using Macy to help her escape. Andi's brother, Mitch, saves her in the nick of time.
I like this book because it shows how faith in God will work in your life, and that you need to be a friend to everyone. You never know when that friendship will come back to help you.

A page from the study guide, a crossword puzzle teaching about foaling time.

Connect with the author and Circle C on social media:
Facebook (where you can read about Andi's younger life in Circle C Adventures)
Twitter (stay updated on all the author's adventures)

Fifty families have reviewed Thick As Thieves recently. To read more of their reviews and see what they thought, click the banner below.

Koru Naturals Review
Copyright 2012-2015 - "Be The One" - www.aclassofone.blogspot.com  All rights are reserved. No text, photos, or content may be reproduced without direct permission from the author.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Review: GPA LEARN Online Math Curriculum

GPA LEARN has produced a really fun, animated online Math program for homeschoolers in grades K-5. Each grade level in this program has about 150 lessons with over 10,000 practice problems, which composes an entire grade level of stand alone math instruction. We recently were able to try out GPALOVEMATH at the fourth grade level for Kelly, and she has been just LOVING it!

Getting Started:  After signing up for GPALOVEMATH, I selected Kelly's grade level, and easily began the program. It is web-based, and must be used online. The company recommends using the Google Chrome browser. We did get it to work in Internet Explorer, but had a few glitches to work out.  

Kid-friendly: Each grade level has an animated character as the guide through the lessons. The lessons are presented as an animated adventure. Kelly's fourth grade lessons were a "quest for knowledge" led by Pemdas, a very wise owl. 

A Walk Through The Lessons:

The story begins when the student, led by Pemdas, enters into one of three doors, indicating what type of math they will be completing. In the fourth grade program, there are three paths of learning: 1) Operations and Algebraic Thinking, 2) Numbers, Base 10, and Fractions, and 3) Geometry Measurement and Data. 

The student's dashboard will show the three paths, allowing the student to choose the path and lesson. The lessons are locked, giving the student access in a balanced way, as they work through the paths. They cannot go ahead in one area and totally neglect the others. Also, they will not be exposed to new concepts until they have learned the pre-requisite concepts found in other paths. As the student completes lessons, they are marked to make it very easy and obvious where they left off, and what is available to work on next.

Parents also have complete access to the lessons, and can either watch them first (test drive) or review them afterwards. It is very easy to switch back and forth between parent and student. The lessons are only marked as complete when they are done on the student's account. If the student and parent "test drive" them, it is not recorded as complete.

Each lesson consists of three parts - first, there is a slideshow with full instructions of the mathematical concepts being presented. After watching the instruction, the student can work on practice problems that give immediate feedback to let them know if they are answering correctly. When they feel ready to complete the lesson, they can take the quiz. The quiz has similar questions to the ones found in the practice area. The quizzes that Kelly has taken so far have given her 15 questions each. There is an opportunity for help if it is needed. 

Quizzes are scored, and grades for the lesson are given, based on the number of questions answered correctly. If the student scores 9 or less correctly, the next lesson will not be unlocked. They are not allowed to move on until they have demonstrated a certain level of understanding, if not mastery (or close to it) of the concept. Badges are awarded as well, and marked on their dashboard at each lesson.

Sample Problems 

Lessons are very interesting, and I found them very thorough. A thinking pattern to solve mathematical problems is taught right in the opening introduction, and then reviewed regularly. It is called the "FOWL" method, which stands for 1) Find out. 2) Organize a plan of attack. 3) Work it out. 4) Look back and check. 

Problems are read to the student by Pemdas. The owl has a strange, robotic voice, which made Kelly laugh. Solutions and answers to problems are filled in with a variety of methods, including "drag and drop", multiple choice, or fill in the blanks. Here is a sample story problem screenshot:

And here is a sample screenshot from a Base Ten lesson:

Rewards System:

The most intriguing part of this program was the intricate rewards system that is built in to the lessons. Students earn points for engaging in the lessons and completing lessons with good scores. They also earn rewards automatically after every four lessons completed. There is an elaborate rewards board where either the parent or the student can choose rewards out of an extensive list of suggestions, or even customize their own choices. There are also a limited number of gift cards available from the company that the student can spend their hard earned points on. Kelly actually earned enough points to spend them on a Toys R Us gift card, which we received via email from GPALEARN. Other rewards that Kelly chose, or that I chose for her, included staying up 15 minutes late, having a parent do her chores for the day, or going for ice cream. The students can choose rewards for the parents to approve, or the parents can go into the 'motivate' section and organize the rewards as a surprise for the student.  Here is a screen shot of Kelly's rewards list: 

Parent Interaction: Immediately following every lesson, GPALEARN sends an email report to the parent, giving the details of the lesson that was completed, how long the child spent, whether they did all the practice or not, and what their quiz score was. It was great to have this immediate feedback and know exactly what was going on with the lessons in real time. GPALEARN also emailed a weekly summary for me to see Kelly's progress as a big picture. On the dashboard, there is a sliding scale that shows the student's progress through the entire grade level, and their estimated date of finishing the course.

Message Board: The program does have a message board where the student can connect with other users or the parent can leave the student a message. We did not use this feature, as I feel that Kelly was just too young for it. 

How we used the program:  Kelly used GPALOVEMATH four times a week. Most times, she was able to complete an entire lesson, from instruction, through practice, and on to the quiz, in about 20-25 minutes. Most of the beginning lessons were pretty easy for her, so she has been able to work through them quickly. We had technical glitches several times, with lessons locking up, and losing the work. When this happened, Kelly had to start the lesson over again, which she found very frustrating. One good thing that came out of this was that I contacted customer service each time we had a problem, and found them to be extremely quick and helpful to work out the bugs and help us figure out the issue and fix it.

Kelly's favorite: If you have a child who is motivated by tangible rewards, then this program will be a delight to them. Hands down, this was the best part of the program for Kelly. She absolutely loved working towards a goal and earning a reward for her efforts. Doing four lessons a week, she was able to earn something special from her rewards list every week. When she earned enough points to trade them in for a Toys R Us gift card, she was ecstatic. It was very motivating to her. 

My 'teacher' opinion: The program presents concepts in a very logical process. At first, I wondered if Kelly would be thrown off by the wording, since it was very different than the way she had learned some of the concepts. Whenever we hit a 'confusing' spot, we would look at it together, but Kelly needed very little help. This program has fostered independent study, and Kelly really took off with it. She has been able to master every concept so far. I was amazed at the complexity of the algebraic thinking path. It really lays a foundation for thinking algebraically, which will be very helpful to Kelly in just a few short years. In fact, I wondered if the lessons would be too much for her to grasp because I thought some of the algebraic presentation was somewhat complex for a fourth grader, but I was pleasantly surprised that Kelly was able to grasp it fairly quickly, and then demonstrate understanding when quizzed on it.

An Unforeseen Benefit: Kelly recently completed annual standardized testing. We do this every year to measure her home school progress. Since we use the national tests from Stanford, at times there are math concepts or problems that are presented differently then the way she learned them, because of the influence of Common Core or other curriculum. When Kelly was done with her testing this year, she informed me that some of the math was "a little confusing" but then she remembered the wording from her GPA lessons, and it helped her to know how to answer the questions on her test. I was very thankful to know that she had received this 'different approach' training and it proved beneficial to her.

If I Could Change Two Things.... I would insert some type of 'progress bar' inside the lesson, so that the student could see how far they have gotten, and how much was left. I would also make some provision for a student who might have to leave a lesson partway through, so that their work could be saved. Right now, if a student has to leave with a lesson partially done, they will have to restart that lesson from the beginning at their next login.

Overall, we really loved this program. Kelly has been using it almost daily, and we will continue with it over the summer to keep her sharp and get her ready for fifth grade! 

Connect with GPALEARN on social media:

Try out GPALOVEMATH for a free one month trial!

The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew just had 100 members try out GPALOVEMATH! To see what they had to say, click the banner below:

GPA Learn Review

Copyright 2012-2015 - "Be The One" - www.aclassofone.blogspot.com  All rights are reserved. No text, photos, or content may be reproduced without direct permission from the author.

Crew Disclaimer

Thoughts of Spring {Wordless Wednesday}

Longing for the bluebirds to return....

Wordless Wednesday at Life at Rossmont

Copyright 2012-2015 - "Be The One" - www.aclassofone.blogspot.com  All rights are reserved. No text, photos, or content may be reproduced without direct permission from the author.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Save Some Green at Answers In Genesis

Answers in Genesis is having a wonderful sale and I just wanted to share the coupon code here:

Also, to save 20% off other orders, use the code GREEN20

Purchase Answers in Genesis’ most popular resources at great sale prices— shop today!

**Note - all these links are affiliate links - shopping through them helps support my blog! Thanks!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Review: Critical Thinking Company

I am a firm believer in teaching children how to think and problem solve. School is much more than just rote memorization of facts. Teaching thinking and reasoning skills is crucial to preparing a child for life. In the past, we have used several programs from The Critical Thinking Company and I have always been very pleased with the wide variety and thorough activities that they offer. When we were given the opportunity to review Math Analogies Level 2, I was very excited for the opportunity to start my younger students on the road to challenging their brains!

What is Math Analogies? This is downloadable software that can be purchased with a license for use on two computers. It remains on the computer and is played from the computer, so no online connection is necessary to use the program. Upon entering the program, the student types in their name, and begins work on the series of 152 problems. There are many different types of analogies, or comparisons to work with. Some of the analogies are mathematical in nature, covering spatial skills, numeric procedures, or patterns, while others rely heavily on the student's reasoning abilities, incorporating time, money, or even word analyses into their problems. Before the student begins, there is a page explaining what analogies are, giving an example of how to solve a basic sample problem.

A Sample Analogy

System requirements: We downloaded the Windows version, which requires Windows 8/7/Vista. Math Analogies is also available as a softcover book, or as an app for the iPad (iTunes store) or Android (Google Play Store).

Working the Problems: On the student's first attempt, they read and study each analogy, then look at the four choices of answers below the problem. Choosing which answer best solves the analogy, they click on that answer and drag it to the space where the question mark is. The program immediately tells them if their answer is correct or incorrect, then moves on to the next problem. Progress is saved, so no matter how many analogies a student solves, they will always be able to begin right where they left off each time they enter the program. At the first use, each problem is attempted only once, and at the end of that first attempt, once all 152 problems are completed, the student receives a small congratulatory note:

The program then starts over with only the incorrectly answered problems. On subsequent attempts, the student is only given the problems they answered incorrectly in the same order, and given another attempt to solve those analogies. Each round is graded on how many problems were answered correctly. The student is allowed a total of four attempts. A final grade sheet looks like this:

As you can see, on the fourth and final attempt, there were only five analogies left that were still incorrect, and out of those five, four were answered correctly, giving a final score of 80%. 

How we used this program: After downloading and signing Kelly in, I worked alongside her at first, to teach her how to do analogies. Kelly is in fourth grade, nearly finished with math for this year, and is a strong mathematical thinker. Since this program is recommended for grades 4 and 5, I knew some of the analogies would be a stretch for her. We worked on the program about four days a week, and I would have Kelly do ten problems at each sitting. We easily worked through the program in about a month. Actually, Melissa (grade 8) joined Kelly for a good portion of the work, and they worked on discussing and solving the analogies together. 

What we thought: I thought the Math Analogies program had a great balance of difficulty and variety. Of course, Kelly was thrilled with the problems that came easy to her, and got frustrated with the ones that she didn't understand, but that was exactly how I expected her to respond. It gave us a great opportunity to discuss and think through the more difficult analogies and I believe it really helped her thinking process to stretch, by learning HOW to think through them, with me helping her and explaining the comparison. With a little explanation, she was able to grasp the concepts of most of the problems. This program was hard work. It wasn't something that Kelly would describe as fun, but because we broke it down into very small pieces, she really didn't mind it either. I believe the thinking and reasoning skills that were learned were very beneficial to her.

I was surprised that Melissa, the 8th grader, also had a little trouble with some of the analogies. It was great practice for her, to work on improving her thinking skills, (even though much of the math was below her grade level). Because she didn't have to struggle with the mathematical end, she was able to put her brain energy into solving the riddle part of the analogy, and she actually seemed to enjoy 'cracking the code' and figuring out the analogies even more than Kelly did, despite the fact that the program says it is for grades 4 and 5. 

Some Improvements I Would Make: I would love to see some type of 'explanation' or solution page for the analogies. Even if it was only accessible to a parent or teacher, I think this would be a great addition to this program. There were several problems where I felt an explanation would have been very helpful. Yes, there were a few analogies that even I struggled with! More than that, I think having solution keys would be a great tool for making the program more independent for a student to work through. The girls got very frustrated when they kept getting the same analogies incorrect, and wanted to know why their answer was wrong. I also would allow the student to see the incorrect problems and the answer they gave.  By the time we worked through all 152 problems and came back to the beginning to start over on the incorrect ones, the girls had forgotten what they had answered the previous attempt, and got frustrated when they answered incorrectly again. It might be easier to be able to work through all four attempts of the problem at one continuous time, and then be graded on the number of attempts at the end, rather than the current method of having one attempt at each problem, because then a student could get immediate feedback when they are thinking incorrectly, and be able to completely work through and resolve the problem logically at one sitting. 

Final Word: Overall, I think this program is extremely useful and beneficial. I would expand its usage beyond just 4th and 5th grade, and say that learning to solve the creative variety of analogies in this program would help even a junior high or high school student, especially one who might struggle a bit with mathematical concepts. I love the fact that once I purchase the program, it's mine forever, and it can be used repeatedly for students to work through. (Once all four attempts are complete, the data can be erased and restarted at the beginning with the same student or with a new student).

Other Options: There are four levels of Math Analogies programs, designed for grades K-7. On their website, Critical Thinking has an Online Demo if you would like to try the program out before purchasing. 

The version we received, with a download license for two PC's, is currently selling for $6.99. 

Critical Thinking Company on Social Media:

Members of The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew reviewed several different items from The Critical Thinking Company, including: the Alphabet Song Game, Pattern Explorer, Editor In Chief, and World History Detective. To read these reviews and learn about these products, click this banner below:

Critical Thinking Company Review

Copyright 2012-2015 - "Be The One" - www.aclassofone.blogspot.com  All rights are reserved. No text, photos, or content may be reproduced without direct permission from the author.

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Friday, March 13, 2015

Selling Books on ebay and Half

Thanks to the "34 Weeks of Clean" challenge, I have been sorting through and selling books these past few weeks. Since I have home school curriculum to purchase for next year, I am working towards a very legitimate and concrete financial goal.  Cleaning, sorting, and selling books is not only cleaning and decluttering my house, but it is also helping me to successfully earn money towards my goal.

Many readers of this blog have similar book collections as I do, and would love to successfully turn their book stashes into cash, so I am compiling a list of suggestions that have helped me to make money while selling my books.

Half  is a quick and easy way to sell books, especially if you have a large quantity of books to part with. First, spend a few minutes setting up an account and linking it to your paypal account. Then enter ISBN numbers into Half's easy selling page. Half does the rest - it brings up the book's information and cover picture. After reading the guidelines for determining the condition of your books, enter a condition for each book listed. Half automatically adds the media mail shipping rate to your books when they are listed. It also gives you the average selling price for the book you listed, and you can choose what you would like your selling price to be.

There is a handy account page that allows you to manage your book sales, reset prices, and see your currently listed inventory. When a buy makes a purchase, Half notifies you and collects the payment. It is your job, as a seller, to ship the book as soon as possible. Once the transaction is completed, the money is deposited into your paypal account, minus the small fee taken by Half. Really, it is simple and can be very profitable.

In the past I have purchased books from the bag sale at my library, and resold them for a handy profit on Half. At this point in time, I am focusing on clearing the clutter from my own home, so I am concentrating on selling my own unwanted or unneeded books though.

Selling books on ebay can be a little more complicated, but is still fairly profitable. Ebay has recently begun to allow sellers to list books by ISBN similar to Half, which saves a lot of time entering titles, authors, and subjects. Sellers should still describe the book's condition as clearly as possible.

After many years of selling on ebay, I have two major pieces of advice. The first is to know your market. I will often spend weeks watching items similar to those I want to sell, to see the buying trends. If no one is bidding on similar items, I know that mine will also go unsold, and it is not worth the time it will take me to list those items. By watching buying trends, I also learn the hot times of the year to sell particular items.  For example, the hot times to sell home school curriculum is spring (when people are spending tax returns, and planning for next school year) and late August/early September (when people are starting their school year and realizing they have a need for something that they don't already own, or perhaps are waiting until the last minute to purchase).

The second piece of advice that will make a huge difference in earning a healthy profit on ebay is to charge properly for shipping. In my early selling years, I got burned badly on shipping several times, and finally learned my lesson about doing the legwork for this before listing the items. Now, I completely package my items in boxes, and weigh and measure the package before listing. I will use the 'calculator' on ebay to pre-determine a shipping cost, and enter the package's weight and measurements while setting up the listing. This way, the buyer will pay the exact shipping price to their zip code, and I won't lose out on profit by undercharging for shipping.

Using ebay's shipping label feature is very convenient, because the money is removed directly from your paypal account, and a pre-paid shipping label is printed. This can be taped onto the outside of your package, and quickly dropped off to the post office at a convenient time for you. Also, using this option will notify your buyer when the package is shipped and allow them to track their package, which most buyers find very helpful.

Taking good pictures, and describing your items carefully is very important when selling items and books on ebay. If there are pages bent, or any marks at all in the books, this should be noted. Think of the information you would want to know if you were the buyer, and put that into your listing for others. If you have a smoke free and pet free home, be sure to note that, even for books. It is very important to some buyers.

Thanks to the inspiration from Michele I am well on my way to getting my books under control, and making some money too!

Copyright 2012-2015 - "Be The One" - www.aclassofone.blogspot.com  All rights are reserved. No text, photos, or content may be reproduced without direct permission from the author.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Review: Egglo Entertainment

Even though it is still cold and wintry, at least where I live, it's not too early to start preparing for Easter, which is coming in about a month! Easter, or Resurrection Sunday, is the central, most important holiday of Christianity. The resurrection of Christ is what distinguishes Christianity from all other faiths in this world, and our children need to understand that Easter is more than chocolate, bunnies, and eggs, but it is all about our Savior! We were asked to review Glow in the Dark Egglo Eggs and The Egg-cellent Easter Adventure Book from Egglo Entertainment. This review came just in time to help us start thinking ahead to our Easter celebration, and get our minds focused on what a special day it really is.

Egglo Entertainment has a number of items available to help a family or church host a special, Christ-centered Easter Egg Hunt that is not only spiritually engaging, but fun. For our review, we received a few special items to use alongside our eggs: 
About the products: The program is based on the verse "Jesus is the Light of the World". Each and every item is designed to be a part of a fun event, pointing children to Jesus Christ. The eggs glow in the dark because Jesus is a light in a dark world. 

First things first: I downloaded and read through the 62 page curriculum guide, which is chock full of really creative ideas to host a successful Easter event for any size group. There are printable posters, invitations, and signs, as well as teaching suggestions for a teacher or parent to present the lesson to the participants before they start their search. There are also fun party games and ideas, along with several snack ideas to reinforce the lesson. At the end of the curriculum guide are lovely printable coloring pages for the children to take home. 

An Egglo printable coloring page

Egg Hunt prizes: The small scrolls and stickers fit nicely inside the eggs and can be used as special prizes. There are plenty of other creative suggestions to use them though, if you want to stretch them beyond just the eggs. Suggestions for large groups include placing tickets inside the eggs, which lead to a prize, or using the scrolls and stickers as part of a 'scavenger hunt' to discover the truths of Easter.

Small Scripture scrolls and stickers fit nicely inside the eggs.

The Story: Reading the Adventure Book first with the children will get them even more excited about the hunt. All the pieces of the egg hunt are found in the story. It is a 40 page softcover book that features the adventures of 3 children, cousins, who are getting ready for Easter. They have typical child-like problems, which are solved by a pretend adventure they travel on after finding a special glowing egg in the attic. In the story, readers will find the glowing eggs, plenty of sources of light, Scripture scrolls, and signs that match the Scripture stickers. At the end of their journey they find a treasure: a scroll which explains the true meaning of Easter, and a Bible that declares itself a "light to their path".

How we used our Egglo Eggs: My children, ages 9 and 13, both read through the book, and had a blast playing with the eggs, laying them out in various shapes. We "charged up" the eggs by placing them directly under a lamp for about 6 hours. (I assume that sunlight would 'charge' them brighter, but we have very little of it here in New York right now, so the lamp was the best we could do). Once charged, the eggs glowed for about an hour. I thought they were rather dim, but I imagine they would be much brighter if charged in direct sunlight. When it was dark, I hid them all around our living room, and turned off all the lights. The girls came and searched for the eggs, and easily found all twelve eggs pretty quickly. They had a lot of fun searching for them. Most of the eggs were pretty easy to spot in the darkness.  We are a "glow stick" loving family, so these glowing eggs were a pretty popular item.

What we thought: As I mentioned, the girls really liked the eggs. They liked how they glowed and enjoyed searching for them. They continued to play with them in the dark after they found them all. The 9 year old was definitely more 'into' them, and the whole story line, then the 13 year old, but I think that's pretty typical and just reflects the age range that these were designed for. The girls didn't like the adventure book that much, because they both felt the story had too much 'pretend' in it. The story is obviously a fictitious adventure, and would probably appeal to a younger age group than my girls. Though we had a difficult time with the paper coming out of the plastic ends on the scrolls when we unrolled them, the girls thought they looked really neat - just like a real ancient Hebrew scroll. I was very impressed with the creativity of the curriculum guide. As a person who likes to find creative ideas and borrow them for my own use, this was very appealing. I love how thorough the program is, and how it can be adapted for any size group, age range, or audience. It definitely can be an effective tool for children's ministry.

Note: Verses in the book and on the stickers are written in the New International Version. The statements on the scrolls are 'based on' verses but do not quote them directly.

To read about all the creative ways that members of The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew used the Egglo glow-in-the-dark Easter eggs in their home school, click the banner below:

Egglo Entertainment Review
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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The American's Creed

As we study through American history at the elementary level, we are learning about and memorizing important American documents. Before homeschooling, I had never heard of the American's Creed. I think it is a beautiful statement of loyalty to our country, and am glad for the opportunity to learn it.

It was written in 1917 by William Tyler Page.  Page, who had many influential Americans in his family pedigree, wrote the creed as a summary of American principles. After entering it into a national contest, his was selected as the best, and accepted by Congress in 1918. At the time, America was engaged in the "Great War", World War I, and patriotism was running high.

We recently completed this project. Kelly colored the paper and crinkled it to make it look "antique". She also memorized the American's Creed, which combines distinct principles from several great American documents, namely the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. 

Here are the words:

"I believe in the United States of America as a Government of the people by the people, for the people, whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a Republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect Union, one and inseparable; established upon those principls of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.

I therefore believe it is my duty to my Country to love it; to support its Constitution; to obey its laws; to respect its flag, and to defend it againest all enemies."

Many like to complain about America in 2015. Our government and leaders are often at odds with all that is fundamentally good and right with this country and it's people. But it is still the greatest country on earth, and I am so blessed and thankful to be an American. It is a privilege - one that I did not choose for myself, as I was born here, but one that I am so grateful to have for myself and my children.

Perhaps you would like to incorporate the American's Creed into your home school day as well!

Copyright 2012-2015 - "Be The One" - www.aclassofone.blogspot.com  All rights are reserved. No text, photos, or content may be reproduced without direct permission from the author.