NOW I promised you a giveaway. If you click on the image below you will be taken to the giveaway page. :) Do note: This giveaway is ONLY for Canadians. :)
A bunch of us Canadian Homeschoolers are having fun doing monthly posts and generally a giveaway with them. It's fun! Anyways, this month we are doing a giveaway called "Discover Canada". Along with this a bunch of us are writing about taking a virtual field trip across our different provinces. So please, if you travelling through Canada for whatever reason, check out these posts. :)
NOW I promised you a giveaway. If you click on the image below you will be taken to the giveaway page. :) Do note: This giveaway is ONLY for Canadians. :)
I was given a chance to review this book called "Easter Stories: Classic Tales for the Holy Season". This book is a treasury of read-aloud tales selected for their spiritual value and literary integrity. It contains stories written by C.S. Lewis, Hans Thoma, J.W. Ooms and 24 others, 27 stories in all.
I read some of these stories with my lad and some for myself.
I have to admit this, I could not get into these stories. It's not that they are poorly written or that the characters are lacking in development. I suppose it was that I knew they were trying to make a point, and I lacked in comfort about how they were making the point. I didn't understand the point that some of the stories were trying to make.
Others it was fairly easy, like the story with the two men...one had a poor spiritual heart, worrying about money and how to get on in life, and the other who was more concerned about caring for people. The latter got rewarded, the former did not. That story was very clear.
I don't know that I would just read this stories in the days/weeks before Easter. I would be more inclined to spread them out throughout the year and use them as a taking off point for discussion. Helping children to internalize the truths of scripture as they sort through what the point or moral of the story would be.
I know that there are many people who have thoroughly enjoyed this anthology of Easter stories. I'd advise to you take a peek at it in your local store and see what you think. If the stories speak to you, take them home and enjoy them with your family. OR take a chance and see if you can win yourself a copy. :) No risk and all potential gain.
Enter the contest at the end of this review. )
It was compiled by Miriam LeBlanc with the woodcuts being done by Lisa Toth. It has 370 pages. Published by the Plough Publishing House.
Open to Canada and USA only. thank you.
Siddhartha Gautama, over time, became known as Buddha. Before he came on the scene Brahmanism was the major religion of India. He challenged it's teachings using philosophical reasoning.
"Gautama, although revered by Buddhists for his wisdom, was neither a messiah nor a prophet, and he did not act as a medium between God and man. His ideas were arrived at through reasoning, not divine revelations, and it is this that marks Buddhism out as a philosophy as much as (perhaps even more than) a religion.' (p31)
Gautama used philosophy as his method to search for truth. His early life was marked by self-indulgence, and he noticed suffering in the world around him. He noticed that people used self-indulgence to alleviate the results of suffering in their lives and thought there must be a middle ground between the transitory pleasure of self-indulgence and self-mortification (where people suffer in order to be happy). Their must be a middle path he reasons.
He discovered what he called the Four Noble Truths
The truth of suffering.- suffering is an inherent part of existence
The truth of the origin of suffering.- the cause of suffering is desire
The truth of the ending of suffering - Detaching oneself from cravings
The truth of the path to the ending of suffering - following the eightfold path rids desire
The eightfold path is a code of ethics. A prescription, if you would, of how to attain a good life and happiness. If you follow the eightfold path you will eliminate suffering from your life and will have attained the state of Nirvana. It will be as if your life has simply blown out like a candle (and you break the cycle of rebirth/reincarnation). The cycle of life is live, die, reborn, live, die, reborn UNLESS you follow the eightfold path and achieve nirvana. Nirvana, as he described it, as simple an eternal existence that transcended any sort of sensory experience.
I found this short study on Buddhism enlightening. I never quite understood what they believed in. I find it disturbing how it's so works oriented. Live this way, fight against your desires, and you will have no suffering. I also now understand the confusion people have in calling it a religion or simply just a way by which you live life.
I find it horrible how Buddhist thought has gotten into some circles of Christianity. If you love God enough and do what he wants you to do you will live a prosperous life.
God doesn't promise us a life without suffering. What he promises us is that he will never give us more than we can endure, through his grace. God calls us to seek HIM first. That is how we can keep our desires under control.
Seek God, not the lack of desire. :)
"The Extraordinary life of Hannah More - Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist." This book about Hannah More is a detailed and carefully book about the life of Hannah More. Wow... what an interesting read.
Hannah More was a lady born in a time when women was just starting to come into their own in regards to being able to do things. Able to write, influence society, form clubs, help each other on the way. Poet, playwright, educator, sister, friend, philanthropist, and more. Hannah More was a lady to be reckoned with.
In this book you learn well the details of Hannah More's life. How the society around her worked and how she functioned within it. How she became determined to help make a difference. She lived as part of a close-knit family of five sisters. She is very much a lady that you would want to hold up a heroine for other young ladies to emulate. When Hannah made friends she held to them fiercely, some of her friendships being unlikely, but long lasting.
I have to find I have mixed feelings about this book. I loved reading about Hannah More, but I found the book very slow to read. It was SO filled with detail and written less like a story and more like a "let's teach you the details about Hannah More". It felt like a college textbook. :) But reading about the life that Hannah led, learning about policies that ran her life, I have to tell you.. it was fascinating.
Hannah was not a woman of good health, and yet she gave her all to her friends, her family and the issues that were important to her. Reaching out to the world and making a difference.
Isn't that what we all want for our children.? That desire to make a difference because God calls us to do so. She was a woman indeed of fierce convictions that was inspired by her faith in God. I would have loved reading this book as a young woman in college, the hope it gives for the future if a person is determined to stand strong for what one believes in.
So I have to say GOOD book. A book to be savoured and read read in a one big glup. to ponder, and question and delight in.
An excerpt from a poem about slavery
To vindicate the pow'r in Heaven ador'd,
To still the clank of chains, and sheathe the sword;
To cheer the mourner, and with soothing hands
From bursting hearts unbind th' Oppressor's bands;
To raise the lustre of the Christian name,
And clear the foulest blot that dims its fame.
As the mild Spirit hovers o'er the coast,
A fresher hue the wither'd landscapes boast;
Her healing smiles the ruin'd scenes repair,
And blasted Nature wears a joyous air.
She spreads her blest commission from above,
Stamp'd with the sacred characters of love;
She tears the banner stain'd with blood and tears,
And, Liberty! thy shining standard rears!
As the bright ensign's glory she displays,
See pale Oppression faints beneath the blaze!
The giant dies! no more his frown appals,
The chain untouch'd, drops off; the fetter falls.
Astonish'd echo tells the vocal shore,
Opression's fall'n, and Slavery is no more!
The dusky myriads crowd the sultry plain,
And hail that mercy long invok'd in vain.
Victorious Pow'r! she bursts their tow-fold bands,
And Faith and Freedom spring from Mercy's hands.
Karen Swallow Prior is professor of English at Liberty University. She is the author of Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me and contributes to Christianity Today , The Atlantic, and Relevant magazine, among other publications. She lives in Amherst, VA.
Received: Hardcover copy
Book: Fierce Convictions: The extraordinary life of Hannah More - Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist
Author: Karen Swallow Prior
Pages: 254 of biography, extensive footnotes and reference pages following
Publisher: Nelson Books
Reviewed for: BoolLook Bloggers.
Henry McDowell was a missionary from the Congregational Church to Angola. He was an African American missionary among a people who believed in black magic. The people of Angola, near a mission station at Galangue, were black people who were ruled by Portugal. It was a reputation of being a difficult area in which to do mission work.
Henry ministered along with his wife Bessie. She wrote songs such as "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing". Here's a video I found. :)
It was indeed a dangerous area to work in, but Henry was able to show the people that he truly cared about what happened to them. A boy was poisoned for working for him, Henry convinced the people of the village that he did indeed care for the boy and wanted him to live, He was able to help the boy and show that he was friends to the people of the Galangue area.
Together with his wife Bessie and another missionary, Henry helped to develop a thriving program of schools, churches, and agricultural work. He worked there from 1919-1936. He went on to pastor in the States. He returned to Angola with a new wife Ruth (Bessiei had passed away) in 1947.
Dictionary of African Christian Biography.
Black History Month.
I have to admit, my province of Ontario is such a large place, it's hard to pick the must see and do places, and so much depends on the kind of things you are interested in. :)
If you like museums, in South-Western Ontario we have a number of museums, large and small that you can visit. Places like the Elgin Country Military Museum in St. Thomas. First seeing Jumbo and then moving on to the museum.
Throughout small town Ontario you will find all sorts of small museums. From agricultural ones to local town ones. Historical gaols and homes of scientists.
If you wanted to take in some of the bigger sites of Ontario, we do have plenty of them. If you come to London in the middle of July you can have the joy of taking in the Home County Music Festival in London. :) The International Plowing Match in the fall, and various fall fairs that scatter the countryside, including the Western Fair.
If preferring the more natural setting you could take in one of the many parks. The Pinery Provinical Park is a very popular camping and swimming attraction. With it's numerous trails and clean beach it's a great place to relax in the outdoors.
The more conventional attractions would include Marineland and Game Farm, Ripley's, Dundurn Castle. You could take in the Pioneer Villages that scatter the province, such as Fanshawe Pioneer Village.
Of course, you could just come to just head up north. Frogs, bugs, water, fishing, Science North, the Big Nickel, clear night skies. Lots of walking trails and the fun of blueberry picking. It's a grand place to visit. You might have a chance to pan for gold.
As you can see, this beloved province of mine is filled with a TON of things to do. From Pine forests to woodland lots. Busy cities to quieter towns. Nature, museums, major attractions. Visit this province, love the world it brings you too. :)
Five minutes. Free writing, no need to edit. Taken on a Friday. A group of people reflecting on one word. It's rather interesting sometimes where it takes us. :) This week the word is REAL. People are asked to keep it real by stopping to encourage the person who linked up before them. Sometimes this happens, and sometimes it does not. I don't know why... I do encourage that if you take part, be an encourager.
450 pm. 3, 2, 1 START
Real, Oh my, where can I go with this word today?
On a day when I am tired due to lack of sleep and a very busy day before.
This morning I linked to an article on facebook about how children suffer if they aren't in two parent, one male, one female households.
A person I know disagreed with me for posting it. Equating all relationships as being equal.
The article wasn't about that.
It wasn't about lack of love between two people (regardless of who they are). It wasn't about the love of parents for their children regardless of the relationships they may or may not be in.
It was about the lack that children feel when they aren't in the homes of their birth parents... of parents who love them dearly and raise them well. Wasn't talking about abusive relationships. Just about how children suffer ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL if they aren't raised in a household with one man and one woman. Different genders bring different things to relationships. THAT is what the article was about.
Yet that point was missed in the holding to the agenda that ALL relationships are considered equal and to think a person is lacking something just because it's either same gender or a missing person is ridiculous.
It isn't ridiculous.
It's part of the whole being real thing.
Of recognizing even in this politically correct, label driven, equality demanded world that we live in, that people miss out if they see even in equality there are differences to be celebrated in the different genders and an awareness needed that those differences are to be valued and not dismissed.
THIS is one of the Real things for me this day.
What is real for you?
455 p.m. STOP.
I have to admit, I was shocked when I heard these words from my boy child "Mom, Can I do math with the owl yet?" My immediate response was "Sure, here, let me set him up for you." I tried hard not to show my shock but inwardly I was SO delighted. My Boy WANTS to do math!!!! This was a great review for us to do.
What can I say but that GPALOVEMATH has been a total success in our household. :) Doing this review has given my boy an appreciation, though not yet a fondness for math. GPA LEARN has put together a product that works well for my boy and I am impressed. It has become our main math program.
The Philosophy ofGPA LEARN is Learn, Engage and Motivate. GPA LEARN is the winner of the 2015 Parent Tested Parent Approved (PTPA) seal of approval for math help. Each grade level has it own teacher/helper to guide the student through their learning. 150 lessons, 10,000 questions.
For grade four students, their instructor is an owl. I have to admit, my boy likes the owl but he has been known to say "Mom, Hooty doesn't know very much." It makes him laugh, which I think is part of the appeal. Each grade has it own instructor.
Each lesson is divided into three sections. Learn, Practice, Quiz. Your student can access this from their dashboard by pressing on the Learn tab. Currently my son is working on three streams of learning. I allow him to pick which ever lesson he wishes to. If I wanted to as a parent I could go into my dashboard and open up lessons ahead of time for him, but I have chosen not to do that with my son. He likes being able to go through the lessons at his own speed. Sometimes he chooses to redo a lesson... quickly skipping through the parts he already knows so he can concentrate on what he is unsure of. I am so pleased that he is gaining confidence enough to know that it's okay to not know everything right away and just redoing things is the best way to learn. He is so NOT intimidated by this program which is why I think it works for him.
Each lesson is presented in a logical fashion. The student is told what the objective of the lesson is. As you can see at the bottom of the screen are red and green buttons. These arrows are how you progress through the lesson.
My son being the audio learner that he is loves that he can just click on the question and it will read it to him. Sometimes he does this simply because he doesn't want to do the reading. But mostly he does it because it makes more sense to him if he hears it read out loud. The lessons are presented on a step by step manner that makes it very clear for your student.
When you get to the practice session the student is given three lifelines. My lad was using these for a while until I told him it was cheating. He was shocked! "Mom, I thought they were just there to answer the question when I didn't want to.". (I smiled). Then told him they were there to help him if he simply didn't know the answer.
The practice session gives the student a chance to see if they have learned the facts well enough to be confident to take the quiz.
Correct answers will give you a green checkmark, and a congratulations comment. Incorrect answers give you a red try again button and a "try again" comment.
Once your student has gained confidence in their practicing of the new material they are move straight into the quiz. For the quiz section they are asked the questions without being told if they are right or wrong. They are shown their results when they complete the test and can see where they made errors. The brown tab at the top shows what number of question you are on and how many are left.
GPALOVEMATH created by GPA LEARN works hard to create an environment that makes learning a non-threatening environment. They encourage hard work by offering various motivational rewards for the children. These rewards run the gambit from TOYSRUS gift certificates that the student can order, to student specific rewards their parent might set up (for my son that means additional minecraft time). GPA LEARN sets up various other rewards that parents can choose from as well from staying up later, getting more TV time, to play dates with friends and more. They make it very easy to choose a variety of rewards that will help motivate your student to doing their work well.
This web-based program .. it is not a downloaded program, is highly transportable. My son did most of his work on my laptop, generally at home, but sometimes when we were out and about. All we needed was a WIFI connection and we were set. :) He preferred doing the work on the touch screen laptop, though sometimes struggled with colour differentiation for some of the answers, but it worked just as easily on my slower desktop. For the colour differentiation answers, it was really a matter of having to pay attention to what he was doing.
What I liked:
My son's increased confidence in doing math. It is still not his favourite subject but he actually ASKS to do math now as opposed to say "NO, do I HAVE TO???".
Step by Step Instruction. I really liked how they explained place value and you could see the lights going on with the step up way they showed it. All the lessons were broken down like that, and with the option to here is all audibly, it really worked well for him.
Reward Delight. The look on my son's face the first time he earned extra minecraft time and when I had to do one of his chores. WOW. "Mom, can I do more math? When do I get another reward?"
Email Updates. I loved geting emails from GPA LEARN when he was finished with the lesson. This came in very handy a few times when I set him to doing work with his gramma minding him, and this way I knew when he was getting his work done. Gave me something to be able to chat with him about as well. :)
What my son liked:
"I like that I can skip forward in the lessons if I understand what they are talking about."
'I like that I can do it again if I want to."
"I think Hooty is silly sometimes Mom."
"I like that I can get mom to do my chores and get more time playing minecraft."
Vendor: GPA LEARN
Grade Range: K-5.
Cost: Special Introductory Price of $129 per year per child It is regularly $149
OR $12.99 per month per child
Supported on: Currently supported formats are Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac Computers, Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab 4, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 11, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari 6 and 7.
I hope you will check out Great Parents Academy for yourself, but if you want to gain the perspective from other members of the crew, pleaseclick on this link or the banner below.
GPA LEARN can be found on social media:
My son and I just finished reading "Isabel, Jewel of Castilla". This book is part of the series entitled the Royal Diaries. In this book, Isabel is keeping a journal about the events in her life. She tells the story of her life in Spain, 1466.
Dona Isabel, father dead with warring brothers... One the King Enrique, the other Prince Alfonso. What could a girl do? Ordered by the King to live in Segovia, separated from her dearly loved mother who has not recovered from her husband's death.
Privately supporting her younger brother, which over time becomes a public support, which sadly ends in defeat and the begging of forgiveness from her brother.
Isabel is being courted for marriage from a variety of suitors, none of which suit her desires except for one Fernando of Aragon.
Through various trials, love wins out.
This book introduced my son to variety of new concepts from wet nurses, conversos, religious persecution, arranged marriages and more. A frequent question received was "why would they do that mom?"
We would talk about the various issues and our conversation would end with "but I wouldn't do that mom cause that's not nice." I agreed, it wasn't nice.
My son was shocked that Isabel was the one who sent Christopher Columbus on his way. He was horrified at how she treated people who weren't Christians and thought she was very mean.
We like reading through these books. They give a first person account of daily life and then sum it up at the end with some of the other facts that aren't covered in the journal itself. Images are included to give more depth to the story.
If you want to know about the early history of Spain, this is a good way to introduce it your children. :)
I think everyone has heard of Pythagoras. He was a deeply religious and superstitious man who grew up in Greece and learned geometry in Egypt. He believed in reincarnation, and even established a religious cult where he cast himself as a virtual messiah.
He thought that is you lived by a strict set of behavioural rules and objective scientific thinking that you could avoid the reincarnation cycle.
This is brief explanation of how his thinking progressed.
NUMBER is the ruler of FORMS
- everything in the universe conforms to mathematical rules and ratios.
- so if we understand number and mathematical relationship
- we came to understand the structure of the cosmos
and if so then mathematics is the key model for philosophical thought
Number is the ruler of ideas.
I can sorta see where he is coming from. If you think mathematics explains everything. If your goal in life is freedom from the cycle of reincarnation, and you believe that living a certain way and being objective in your thinking will free you from that. Numbers would be the way to go. AND if you have a thorough understanding of math, probabilities and such like, it rather makes sense. I know from having watched the show Numbers and other such shows that there is more math in life than I generally even consider. :).
Pythagoras is best remembered for his theorem. which states "that the square of the hypotenuse (the side opposite the right angle) is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides. The theorem can be written as an equation relating the lengths of the sides a, b and c, often called the "Pythagorean equation"" For more on this theory go here.
His community of about 300 people lived near Croton in southern Italy until they were forced to leave. His community, which studied a mixture of mystical and academics study disappeared by the end of the fourth century BCE. He advance thinking in the realms of mathematics, science and mysticism.
It was very important to Pythagoras and his followers to make order out of chaos. If you want to know about what he and his followers contributed, please check out this site for more information.
So what do I think of Pythagoras?
I think he was a man who knew how think and did a good job at it. I think he did all the work in thinking that he did so that he could make sense of the world. He wanted to avoid reincarnation and I suppose that had a lot of do with his wanting order in the world and mathematics is a well ordered discipline.
What say you?