Famous Men of Rome ~ Review

  Famous Men of Rome is a great product, even if you aren't a classical homeschooler!

We were given the opportunity to review the Famous Men of Rome Set from Memoria Press. It is classical year long course about Ancient Rome designed for 4th to 8th grade students. The set comes with a 157 page soft covered book, Famous Men of Rome. The book is broken down into 30 different chapters covering the history of Rome from the tale of Romulus and Remus to the end of the Western Empire. It is full of pictures, some black and white and others in color. The back of the book includes a glossary and full color maps of Ancient Rome. The length of each chapter really varies. Some are as short as 2 and a half pages while others are more than six pages long.

Memoria Press Review
 

To go along with the Famous Men of Rome, we also received a Student Guide. The Student Guide is a 120 page soft covered book. It includes a two page lesson for each chapter, 5 different review lessons, drawing pages to complete activities, maps (in black and white), a blank timeline to fill in, European geography lessons, a pronunciation guide, and additional resources.

Famous Men of Rome Review
The final piece of the Famous Men of Rome Set was the Teacher’s Guide. The Teacher’s Guide is a 172 page soft covered book. It includes a short two page section explaining how to use the guide. The first 120 pages are basically another Student Guide that has all of the answers filled in. The rest of the book contains the 7 different tests and answer keys, 5 to be completed after the review lessons, a final test covering the entire book, and a European geography test.

Weekly lessons from Famous Men of Rome

Each lesson is designed to last a week. The lessons are broken up into four sections; Facts to Know, Vocabulary, Comprehension Questions, and Activities. The Facts to Know section lists the most important facts from the lesson. It is also the section of the lesson that is to be used for memory work and copywork if desired. The Vocabulary section takes words from the text. The student is to try and figure out the meaning of the word from the context that it is use in, if they can’t then they are to look up the word. The Comprehension Questions are questions based on the reading. Most of the questions require a short answer or a list from the reading. The Activity section changes each week. They include locating places on the maps, filling out the timeline, drawing part of the reading, looking up information, and questions from the reading. There are some questions marked throughout the book that can be used as essay questions as well.

How we used Famous Men of Rome

While the lessons are intended to last a week, after the first week we decided to speed up the pace. We school 4 days a week and completed two lessons a week. The first day we would go over all of the Facts to Know sections from the previous lessons. Then AJ and I would read the first half of the chapter. She would answer any vocabulary or comprehension questions that she could answer from the first half of the chapter. Then she would choose 2 or 3 activities to complete, usually map work, timeline work, or drawing a picture.

On the second day we would go over all of the Facts to Know sections so far then finish up the reading. When she was finished she would fill out any unanswered vocabulary or comprehension sections. The reading time varied depending on the length of the chapter and her willingness to read, but the book work part never took longer than about 20 minutes.

What we thought about Famous Men of Rome

We are NOT classical homeschoolers. We don’t do memory work and rarely use text books. We enjoy reading great stories and learning in a hands on way. I didn’t know how AJ would take to trying to memorize dates and places, but I was pleasantly surprised. She really enjoyed reading the stories. They were exciting, full of drama, and in her words, crazy. The part she liked the best was the Facts to Know section. She loved trying to learn all of the facts. She remembered way more than I expected, and even took it upon herself to create flashcards for some of the ones she was having trouble with.

We both liked that the book work part of the lessons was short and sweet. The activities were varied enough to keep her interest and there was not too much writing. I love the fact that the vocabulary section came with answers. So many times we struggle with the vocabulary section because all dictionaries are a little different. It was nice to have the correct definitions at my fingertips.

My favorite part of the entire set was the pronunciation guide.  It was written where AJ could easily figure out how to pronounce the different Roman names. I can’t ever seem to get names right, so I found that section very helpful.

Famous Men of Rome includes some European Geography

The geography section was ok. By the looks of the book more geography is introduced in later chapters, but in my opinion you would really need more geography to have a solid grasp.

The major complaint I had was  the lack of instruction for the teacher. As I mentioned before, there is a two page section that tells you how to use the guide, but it isn’t very useful. The book doesn’t tell you how long a lesson should take, or give any suggested schedule. While I appreciate the answers, I prefer a teacher’s guide that has more to it.

The other issue I had was with the tests. The tests are in the Teacher’s Manuel, but they are not perforated for easy removal. They look difficult to remove. Since the answer key is right behind the test, giving the student the book really isn’t an option.

Overall we liked the Famous Men of Rome Set and I would recommend it to those who want to study history in a classical way. It is interesting, doesn’t have too much busy work, and AJ enjoyed it. We are planning on continuing with the books next year, but we will more than likely skip some of the vocabulary and continue with our faster pace. The stories are great and I feel that AJ has already learned so much from them.

Memoria Press Review
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New Testament Crossword Puzzle

I have been making crossword puzzles and word searches with the Books of the Bible to help AJ learn them all. Today I am sharing the Books of the New Testament.

Download your New Testament Crossword Puzzle today and come back tomorrow for another FREE Printable!

Sovereign CD Giveaway

 
Michael W. Smith released his newest album Sovereign earlier this month! Today, May 27th he is released a brand new video of a single from the album, “Sky Spills Over.”
See Michael W Smith's newest video from the album Sovereign!
Here is the video………….

If you enjoyed that video, you will love the fact that I am able to give away a copy of the CD “Sovereign” to one of my readers. I haven’t had a chance to listen to the CD yet, but with songs like the one in the video, I am sure it will be great!

Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a copy of the CD! Please read the rules below. Unfortunately if you have won a giveaway from FlyBy promotions I the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification

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Old Testament Crossword Puzzle and Word Search

Yesterday I shared a crossword puzzle that covered the first three sections of the Old Testament; the Law, History, and Poetry. Today I have a fun crossword puzzle that covers the Books of Prophecy from the Old Testament. There are some hard names to pronounce in this section of the Bible, and spelling them can be very hard to learn. Using this crossword puzzle will not only help your kids to become more familiar with the books of the Bible, but with their spellings as well.

FREE Old Testament Crossword Puzzle and Word Search

I also am sharing a word search that contains all 39 books of the Old Testament. This puzzle is a little difficult, but with some determination I am sure kids 9 and up will be able to solve it. The answer key is included incase you get stuck!

Download your Old Testament Puzzles Part 2 today! Come back tomorrow for another FREE Printable!

Old Testament Bible Puzzle

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Learning about the Bible can be hard! One resource that AJ and I have been using is a wonderful book, What the Bible is All About! This book has the Bible broken down almost by chapter. It is a great tool for us to use after reading chapters in the Bible when AJ has a question. I also enjoy that it goes into detail about who wrote each book and how the Old Testament connects to the New Testament.

Get your FREE Old Testament Crossword Puzzle covering the Books of Law, History, and Poetry

To help AJ learn all about the books of the Bible, I made this fun crossword puzzle. It covers the first three sections of the Old Testament; the Books of the Law, the Books of History, and the Books of Poetry.

You can download your copy of Old Testament Puzzles Part 1 today, come back tomorrow for more Old Testament Puzzles. Yesterday I posted a Books of the Bible Printable that will really help with this puzzle, you can find it here.

Books of the Bible Printable

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This year AJ has been really interested in the Bible. I can often find her in her room writing down verses and reading through different chapters in her Bible. She watches the What’s in the Bible? DVDs all of the time and has learned a lot. In all honesty, I have learned a lot too. She came to me a few weeks ago and told me that she wanted to memorize all of the books in the Bible.

Grab your FREE Books of the Bible Printable

I made her this list of the books of the Bible to put up in our school room. Today I am offering it to all of you as well. I made two versions a black and white version, and a colored version. The books of the Bible are broken up into their different sections. AJ has been working on memorizing them a section at a time.

Download your copy of the Books of the Bible Printable today and come back tomorrow for a FREE Bible Puzzle.

Motivate Your Child Action Plan

Back in January I was given the amazing opportunity to review the book, Motivate Your Child a Christian Parent’s Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told. The book was great and gave me a lot of incite on AJ and on my parenting style. Recently I was given the chance to review a wonderful resource that goes along with the book, Motivate Your Child Action Plan. It is written by the same authors, Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN – the founders of the National Center for Biblical Parenting.

About Motivate Your Child Action Plan

Buy the Motivate Your Child Action Plan before May 31 2015 and get 25% off

The Motivate Your Child Action Plan is a 162 page soft covered book, broken up into 12 chapters. It is really a workbook to help you as the parent identify specific problems in your child and form a plan that is unique to your child. Throughout the book there are questions for you to think about and answer. In chapter 1 you are introduced to the 5 step plan that should help you to motivate your child in 40 days.

When I first read that change was expected in the first 40 days I was a little skeptical. As I continued to read I came to understand that the book wasn’t claiming to change AJ completely in 40 days, but to make improvements. Page 16 really says it best,  “It’s not about taking solutions from another family or finding an easy fix. This book is about developing a strategy for change.”

Chapter 2 has you figure out what character traits your child needs in order to grow in the area of their life that they are lacking. They may need honesty, responsibility, or respectfulness. There is a long list, but what I like is that your are not asked to only focus on the negative, but the positive as well.

Throughout the book you are instructed to have meetings with your child. I really like this approach because you are working with your child to help them change their heart.

Like Motivate Your Child a Christian Parent’s Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told, this book focuses on parenting to the heart and focusing on the conscience. Along with sound parenting advice and practical tips it is full of Biblical values and helpful verses.

There is so much to this book! Although the two books can be used separately, in my opinion they are really best used together. Throughout the Motivate Your Child Action Plan you are pointed to the chapter in Motivate Your Child a Christian Parent’s Guide to Raising Kids Who Do What They Need to Do Without Being Told that go with the section you are working on.

What Did I Think

I have not completed the 40 plan with AJ yet. This month has been really busy for us so I decided to wait to implement the plan completely. Even so, just reading the book and putting some of the advice into action has helped me a lot. I have noticed a lot of changes in AJ. She is more thoughtful, considerate, and honest, when she wants to be. She can be the best kid in the world and help me do the things that need to be done. There are days that she feeds the dog, puts away the dishes, does her school work willingly, and takes out the trash without being told. Then there are days I can tell her five times to take out the trash, and when she finally does it she doesn’t put a new bag in.

I am seeing progress, but I need to take the time and fully commit to the plan, not just take bits and pieces of it in order for it to work completely.

Coupon Code for $5 off of Motivate Your Child Action Plan

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely in a heart beat! I think it is full of wonderful advice, and numerous examples of families in different situations. I think that the two books together are really a great set to help motivate your child! If you are looking for a way to motivate your child, check out this book!

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Firmly Planted Bible Study Review

I feel the Bible is a very important subject in our day. This year we have made it a priority to study the Bible a lot more often. We have been looking at in in a historical way, but haven’t gotten to the New Testament yet. AJ knows the story of the birth of Jesus and how he died on the cross for our sins, but she has a lot to learn still. When I learned that Heidi St. John had created Bible studies, I was excited to try one out!

A to the point Bible Study that has things for every member of the family.

We were able to review Firmly Planted, Gospels, Part 1 from Real Life Press. We were given a downloadable PDF of both the Family Study Guide and the Student Book.

What is the Firmly Planted, Gospels, Part 1?

The Study Guide is a 127 page PDF that is broken up into ten different lessons about the life of Jesus. Each lesson follows the same basic format. It starts with a passage from the Bible in the ESV version. Then it gives the big idea of the study, memory verses, a section called Watering the Seed where a little story is given to help understand the importance of the main idea, and then the Daily Study.

Real Life Press Review
Each day for the Daily Study you are instructed to read part of the passage then read a few paragraphs that explain the Bible reading and make you think about it. After each daily study there is a digging deeper section that explains even more and gives additional details, and a Taste the Fruit section. The Taste the Fruit section is a place where it shows how the passage is applicable to your daily life. There are 4 Daily Studies for each lesson.

The Student Book is a 225 page PDF. It is full of activities for a variety of ages to help with the main idea of the Bible Study. Some of the activities included are; mazes, word searches, crossword puzzles, fill in the blank passages, nature studies, journaling pages, copywork, mapping, and more. Each lesson has between 20 and 26 pages worth of activities.

While the two products go together and complement each other, there is not a set schedule given to use them together.

How did we use it?

The first week I printed off the study guide for the week and about ten different activities that I thought AJ would enjoy. We read through the passage, went over the main idea, and then went on to the first daily study. When we were done reading and discussing she did a few of the activities.

It seemed like a lot of printing, so after the first week we would read through the lesson on my computer and then have her do some of the activities. Some days she would look up the vocabulary for the section and then da a maze. Another day she would look up the passage and do a fill in the blank puzzle. Other days she would look up verses in the Old Testament that showed how events from the New Testament had been prophesized. Each day was a little different.

She enjoyed the mazes, word searches, crosswords, and fill it in puzzles. She also liked the vocabulary. The nature studies didn’t seem like a good fit for us, so we skipped them. We also decided to skip the coloring pages and copywork sections that seemed to young for AJ. Each day she did between two and three pages of activities. The daily work seemed to take about 15 minutes.

What did we think?

The Firmly Planted Gospels, Part 1 has a lot of great features!

Pros

  • The lessons are short enough to keep kids attention.
  • The student workbook has activities for a variety of ages, making a family study very easy.
  • It is broken up into 4 daily study sections giving those who school with a four day schedule an easy way to fit it in.
  • The print quality is nice in both black and white and color.

There were a few things that we didn’t enjoy.

Cons

  • There was a lot of printing. Even with only printing out the desired pages from the student workbook, I was printing between 8 to 12 pages a week and that was with one student.
  • There were a few theological differences in beliefs between the author and myself. This may or may not be a con for you. There was nothing outlandish or wrong, but a few small things that I didn’t agree with. It was easy to leave those points out of our lessons.
  • Our biggest complaint was that the study was just not enough. Each day we went over a few verses, I thought that there should have been more Bible reading each day. While the short lessons do provide a quick study with the family, I would have liked to see more. Maybe it is because we are use to studies where we study a few chapters a day, that this just didn’t seem like enough.

Overall I think that it is a good study, and if AJ was younger or I had more kids it would have been a really good fit. Right now I feel AJ was too old for a lot of the activities and that she needed more from a Bible study. There are a few activities that help an older child did deeper into the study, but they just didn’t seem to fit with AJ’s hands on learning style.

I would recommend this study for those with younger kids who would like a variety of activities to pick from. If you are looking for a short to the point Bible study, this may be what you are looking for. I was one of many who reviewed products from Real Life Press, click the graphic below to read what others had to say!

Real Life Press Review

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Motivate Your Child Action Plan – Giveaway

A few months ago I was given the chance to review the amazing, eye opening book, Motivate Your Child. It really changed how I thought about discipline and motivating AJ. After reading it I changed some things and honestly life has been a little bit better. We still have issues, but not as many as before. When I was recently given the chance to review the Motivate Your Child Action Plan, I was sure it would be amazing. It is like a workbook to help you make changes. It helps you focus on your child’s strengths and areas that need improvement. You will be able to read my full review in a few weeks, but until then, enter this giveaway and join me at the Facebook party!
Motivate Your Child Action Plan Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Motivate Your Child Action Plan, we are joining other members of the Launch Team in a wonderful giveaway filled with an iPod Touch, $50 iTunes Gift Card and several biblical parenting products! A value of nearly $350!

Here’s what you could win:

Apple iPod touch 16GB Black/Silver  ($195 value)

  • In the Box – iPod Touch, Apple EarPods, Lightning to USB cable, QuickStart guide
  • Brilliant 4 Retina display with Multi-Touch IPS technology
  • Front-Facing FaceTime camera with 1.2MP photos & 720p HD video recording.
  • iOS 6 features – Siri, Apple Designed Maps, Integrated Facebook, Shared Photo Streams, Passbook & more

iTunes Gift Card ($50 value)

Because you’ll need apps and music for that iPod Touch!

The Christian Parenting Handbook and Companion Guide ($56.95 value)

The Christian Parenting Handbook contains nuggets of parenting wisdom condensed into 50 short chapters, each one biblical, practical, and relevant for parents of children ages 2-18. Learn appropriate ways to correct, instruct, and set limits. Glean wisdom for dealing with emotions, conflict, and developing closeness in your family… and much more. These 50 strategies provide you with hands-on tools for parenting children of any age.

The Companion Guide is a workbook of 50 lessons along with 50 audio tips to take you through The Christian Parenting Handbook step by step. Each lesson contains advice from Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller in a 5 minute audio tip and then offers teaching, an assignment, a Bible verse, and a prayer to help you apply each idea or strategy in your family. The tips are available to you as MP3 downloads and access to them comes in the workbook.

Family Time Activities Book Bundle ($45 value)

Your kids will have fun learning about God’s Word and how it applies to their lives. Science experiments, art activities, and games are all designed to reinforce spiritual truth. Each lesson is clear and simple, yet profound even for parents! You’ll teach kids how exciting it is to learn about God and his ways. Your kids will love these books, but more importantly you’ll build spiritual memories of Family Time in your home. Titles in this giveaway include:

Seeing Is Believing 

Playing for Keeps 

Running the Race

Enter the Giveaway using the Rafflecopter below! This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY to those 18 years of age or older. Void where prohibited by law.

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Join us for the Action Plan Facebook Party on Wednesday, May 20 at 9:00PM ET. There will be even more prizes and giveaways there and the authors of Action Plan will be present to answer your questions! The winner of this giveaway will be announced at the Facebook party!

RSVP here for the Party!

Action Plan Facebook Party

VeggieTales Super Comics – Review

This is a sponsred post, I was provided with some form of compensation for writing it.

Do your kids enjoy reading comics? AJ does, and she really likes VeggieTales. Combine the two, and she is a happy camper. We were given the chance to review two VeggieTales Super Comics. AJ was excited to get her hands on them!

VeggieTales Super Comics are a fun way to get your reluctant reader to read!

The VeggieTales Super Comics each contain three stories. Volume one has Dave and the Giant Pickle, Lyle the Kindly Viking, and LarryBoy and the Prideosaurus.  It has lessons all about bravery, sharing, and defeating pride. Volume two has League of Incredible Vegetables, LarryBoy and the Reckless Ruckus, and Josh and the Big Wall. Lessons from volume two include, handling fear, saying your sorry, and obedience. At the end of the comic there are discussion questions and verses to go with each story.

The stories have the same morals and values you have come accustomed to from the VeggieTales name. Your favorite vegetables lead you on fun-loving adventures. They run into problems and try to do their best to solve them.

The illustrations are vibrant, and full of color. The pages are thick enough that you can’t see through them, and the text is easy to read. The drawings are the new version of the VeggieTale characters, AJ didn’t seem to mind, but I know a lot of people are not happy with the new look. I didn’t like it at first, but I am getting use to it.

We found the stories to be cute and a lot like the videos. They don’t follow Bible stories to a tee, but the overall idea is given with a VeggieTales twist.  Overall AJ enjoyed them, but we had one complaint. The comics were very confusing and difficult to read. It was hard to tell if they should be read a page at a time or across the two pages. Some of the time it seemed as if they would work either way.

If you have a comic book lover, I would recommend checking these out!

The VeggieTales Super Comics are available from Family Christian. They retail for $12.99 each. I have a set of the two comic books to giveaway to one of my readers. Enter the rafflecopter below for your chance to win!

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