Weeding out the Wheat – Review

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There are so many diet fads out there and it seems as if every month week the media is changing its mind as to what foods are considered healthy and what foods to avoid. I had been hearing so many people were going “gluten free” and like most of you I kept seeing gluten free options available from restaurants to supermarkets. I honestly thought it was just another diet trend and when I first saw the opportunity to review the book written by Luke and Trisha Gilkerson I decided I would pass. Then while I was talking with my mom, who is diabetic, about the book that I decided not to review, it got me thinking. The authors had made some very bold statements about wheat and since all I had to do was read the book, not actually go wheat free I decided to go ahead and read the book. Unlike most things that I review, I went into this review quite skeptical. I mean it is wheat, something people have been eating since the beginning of time, so how could it be that bad?
If any of that sounds familiar to you, then you need to read this book! While my family has not decided as of now to give up wheat, this book has been eye-opening and made us more knowledgeable about not only wheat but food in general.
Weeding out the Wheat is a Simple, Scientific, Faith-Based guide that talks about why the wheat of today is so bad for you. Here is a video that gives just a glimpse about the book.
The book is divided into three main sections.
  1. Wheat Gone Wild:  Understanding Wheat’s Connection to Deteriorating Health. This section is filled with information on why wheat is bad. It talks about how wheat in ancient times was actually different from the wheat we eat today and so much more. While there are a lot of facts presented, it is an easy and enjoyable read.
  2. Is wheat-free biblical? Reconciling a Wheat-Free Diet with a Bread-Filled Faith. I had honestly never thought of the Bible as a reason why to eat wheat. I just ate whatever I wanted, but after reading this section I can see how some people would feel that since bread represents Jesus’s body in communion that they may feel the need to eat wheat to remain spiritually close to God. I found this section to be very well written and full of good examples on why being wheat free is okay.
  3. Moving Forward: Making the Wheat-free Transition. The first thing I said before I read this book was, “What will I be able to eat?” Since I am allergic to corn, I eat a lot of rice and wheat. This part of the book helps you to understand how you can be wheat free. This is the part of the book was where I originally felt it was lacking a little bit, but after receiving feedback about the book the authors added more information to it and it is now full of wonderful information.
I found that I learned so much from this book. I think the best part is that Luke and Trisha acknowledge in the book that going wheat free is not for everyone. This is one of my favorite quotes:

“We’re not here to tell you that giving up wheat will be the panacea for all of your woes.  “

Overall I really enjoyed this book and I am very glad that I ended up taking the opportunity to review it. If you have been thinking about going wheat free, or if you want to learn more about it, I would highly recommend this book.  It is available from Amazon. Currently the soft cover book is $14.95and the Kindle version is $9.95.

Find out what other reviewers thought about the book by clicking on the graphic below.

http://www.bowofbronze.com/2013/12/30/weeding-wheat-luke-trisha-gilkerson-read-reviews/

How Do We Know God is Really There? – Review

We can’t see God so how can we know he exists. To me the easy answer would be faith, but sometimes that is a hard concept for adults let alone kids. I was recently given the opportunity to review the book How Do We Know God is Really There written by Melissa Cain Travis, illustrated by Christopher Voss, and published by Apologia. (The same company who publishes those great planners I reviewed).

A little about the book:

This book is the story of a little boy Thomas and his dad. After looking at the night sky Thomas begins to talk to his dad about God and how a friend told him that there is no proof that God is real. The book goes on with Thomas’s dad asking questions which leads to Thomas understanding that there is a God.

It is a 24 page hard cover book with a lot of illustrations. Every other page is full of vibrant colored pictures. Aside from the funny looking people, my little one enjoyed the pictures. It is available Here for $16.

I really liked how the book is written in a kid friendly tone. It does not come right out and preach at you but lets the child think for themselves and uses the science of Edwin Hubble to explain that God is real.
I read the book by myself the first time because I was not sure what to expect, but I felt that it explained things clearly and then began to read it to my 10 year old. She didn’t seem too interested so I waited a few days. The second time I read it to her she liked it but became very defensive telling me that, “Thomas’s friends are just crazy because there is a God and he did create the earth.” This book definitely brought about a good conversation. I was glad to be given the opportunity to review it.

 

The story is great the quality of the book however is another story. We have read through the book about 5 times and the pages already have small holes near the center. There are strings from the binding sticking out, and the picture is tearing off of the middle from the pages sticking together. Overall the copy that I received seems to have been put together poorly.



These are some of the holes.

I am a little mixed on if I would recommend this book or not. The story is wonderful and I feel it will bring great conversation, but the quality of the book is poor.

This is the strings coming out of the book.
 


Spanish for You! – Review

 

Living in California, there is a great need to be fluent in Spanish. Spanish is everywhere and my little one has picked up a lot of words and phrases, but she needs more. For the last two years she was taking a Spanish course at school and while it was great for vocabulary, that was about all that it taught. Now that we are traditionally home schooling I have been searching for a good Spanish program that teaches more than just vocabulary. I wanted a program that was not all on the computer and one that taught conjugating verbs. I found a few programs that fit my specifics, but they had very high price tags. Then I was given the opportunity to review Spanish for You.  It seemed to meet all of my needs so I was very excited to try it.

Spanish for You is a Spanish program designed for kids in grades 3 – 8. It comes with a soft cover book, downloadable worksheets, downloadable flash card pictures, lesson guides, and MP3 downloads that have the author reading the pages in the book and a native Spanish speaker reading as well. It also includes downloadable self checking worksheets.

There are three different themed books; Fiestas (celebrations), Estaciones (seasons), and Viajes (travel). At the time of this review Viajes is not quite finished and will be available soon. The books can be used in any order as they are not leveled. The interesting part of this program is that the same book can be used for your child in third grade and your child in eighth grade. There are lesson guides to use for grades 3/4, 5/6, and 7/8. While your students in different grades will be learning the same things, there are worksheets available that will be at each ones grade level. I only have one child and we used the 3/4 lesson guides but I did look at the higher level worksheets and they looked grade level appropriate.

I was given Estaciones to review. It contains 5 lessons; The Calendar and Weather, Fall and School, Winter, Spring, and Summer. Each lesson covers new vocabulary, verbs and how to conjugate them, and grammar. Each lesson takes about four to six weeks to complete depending on the child and the pace you take. The lessons are short and to the point following a four day a week schedule.




I have to say that I really like this program and so does my nine year old. She actually asks to do Spanish now. I like the fact that while there are some worksheets to complete there is not an abundance of writing. A lot of the work has to do with memorizing the vocabulary and there are quite a few fun games suggested in the book to practice the vocabulary. I think my favorite part of the program is that they are learning the Spanish language not just select vocabulary. On the second week they are already learning how and why to conjugate verbs.


  My little one is learning things that I didn’t learn until high school Spanish, but the learning is being done in a way that is easy for me to teach and for her to learn. Each page in the book is read by the author as well as by a native Spanish speaker so that there is no confusion on pronunciation. I liked having the opportunity to listen to both recordings of the book because I felt that it gave a solid understanding of the pronunciation of words.

There is not much prep time needed to use the program. Each week I printed the lesson guide, printed any worksheets that needed to be printed and found which audio files we would need. I would say it took less than ten minutes to prep for the week and I found the program self explanatory and easy to use.



The program has a few different pricing options shown here. The entire program for a single grade level (3/4, 5/6, or 7/8) is only $39.95 while the entire program with all grade level lesson guides is only $64.95. I feel this product is definitely worth the price. It is a solid Spanish curriculum that I think most anyone would benefit from. I feel it would also be great for those older than eighth grade who were looking for a way to learn Spanish that wouldn’t break the bank.

There was only one small thing that I wish was different when it came to this Spanish program. I wish that there was an option to purchase the audio downloads on a CD and the workbook pages in a workbook so that they didn’t have to be printed. I understand that it would cause the price to increase, but I personally prefer to buy real books and not print page by page. There was not a lot to print, but if that option was available I would definitely choose it when I purchase our next set.

This program has been great and we will continue to use it next year when we start school again in the fall. I feel that this review came at the perfect time as I no longer need to search for the perfect Spanish program, for us this is it.