Celebrate Jesus Light of the World – Review and Giveaway

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Are you looking for a way to keep Christmas focused on God? If so then the newest product I was able to review might be just for you. I received a copy of Celebrate Jesus Light of the World written by Amy Blevins from Homeschool Encouragement. It is an advent journey for families. Amy and her family have been using parts of this book and adding ideas to it for the last 10 years to help them celebrate Jesus.

This is the second product of Amy’s that I have had the pleasure of reviewing and this one did not disappoint!

Celebrate Jesus Light of the World is a 81 page ebook, with daily schedules including Bible reading, crafts, songs, copy work, and even recipes to help you and your family celebrate this Christmas season. Each day the advent activities can be completed in a relatively short amount of time with out too much reading so little ones can stay focused. She even provides a link for Christmas coloring pages that can be used.

Here is what a sample day would look like:

  1. You light a candle
  2. Pray together
  3. Read the scripture together
  4. Listen to a song/hymn (She gives a website where almost all of the songs are found for free)
  5. Do an activity

The crafts and activities included throughout the book don’t require too many supplies and most of them you probably have on hand. The best part is that there is a page that has all of the materials you will need for each day so you can plan ahead. You don’t need to do all of the activities you can pick and choose what works for your family. This point is stressed in the book, it should be a time of celebration with your family.

I love that the activities are simple yet meaningful. After the daily activities there is a section full of Christmas recipes. We made the sugar cookies and they were wonderful! Unfortunately due to my corn allergy we couldn’t try the other recipes because they call for ingredients that I haven’t found good substitutes for. They all look really good though. Some of them are; ginger cream frosting, peanut butter fudge, pie crusts, and more. She even includes a few gluten free recipes as well.

At the end of the book you will find Christmas Copywork. Like the Thanksgiving Copywork it is beautiful. Each page has a scripture verse with plenty of lined space for the verse to be copied. There are also pictures on each page. You can work on both penmanship and Bible at the same time!

How did we use it?

Since advent hasn’t started yet we didn’t use the book quite as intended yet. We will be using it starting Sunday and I can’t wait! For this review I read the book and we did a few different activities. We also listened to some songs on the website that she lists. I have to say this book is very well written. I love that she includes Bible Study questions for mom and older kids. The questions she has make you think and help you to really understand the verses. I think my favorite part is that the scripture readings are short enough to keep your child’s interest.

Here are some of the activities we tried.

  • We made the sugar cookies (they were Thanksgiving themed, but we will make Christmas ones soon.)

  • Made a pipe cleaner wreath

  • Attempted to make a paper star. (We will try again but so far ours looks a little odd.)
  • Made a paper chain.

There are a lot more activities that we can’t wait to try.

Where can you get a copy?

Amazingly this ebook is only $4.99 and you can get it here. It is available in both KJV and ESV. If you are looking for just the copywork pages those can be purchased separately too for only $1.99.

I am going to have a QUICK giveaway for one copy of the ebook. Enter for your chance to win below!
  

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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.
 


We Choose Virtues – Review


Obedience, honesty, helpfulness and kindness are all qualities that the world needs a little more of, so when I was given the opportunity to review We Choose Virtues I was excited. It is a program geared towards kids ages 3 through 5th grade to help teach them to be:

Self-Controlled

Content

Forgiving

Patient

Kind

Perseverant

Obedient

Diligent

Helpful

Gentle

Attentive and

Honest

The best part is that there is no right or wrong way to do the program. I was given a few different things to help teach the different virtues. The first thing I received was actually a free product, the Family Character Assessment. It is a downloadable page that is a self assessment to see where your child feels they are on all of the different virtues. I figured my little one would say she was doing great on all of them but it turns out she knew where she needed help. She decided the virtues she needed to work on the most were honesty, perseverance, and obedience. I agreed with her and we started with Honesty, she likes to lie about the craziest things even when there is no way what she is saying could be true. It was nice to see that she knows what she needed to work on though. Another free resource available is a list of memory verses, heroes and truths that reinforce the virtues.

The item I feel was the most important was a set of Virtue flash cards. You get 12 cards; each has a cute picture of a child whose name starts with the first letter of the virtue. Hockey Stick Nick is the Virtue Kid that helps you to remember Honesty. On the back side of the card there is a kid friendly definition of the virtue along with a memory verse that goes along with the virtue.

Honesty says, “I am a truth teller I am not a liar, a thief or a cheater and I don’t change the truth to get my way!

The cards come in KJV, NIV or secular. It is recommended to focus on one virtue each week. We talked about each virtue each week and then picked one to focus on through out the week. My little one really liked the cards and loved how the definitions were written in words that she could understand. Some may feel that the pictures on the cards are a little too young for older kids, but my 9 year old seemed to like them a lot. The cards are $14.99 and I feel they are definitely worth the price.

I was also given a sample parent card. The parent cards tell a story about the virtue kids and give ideas to help reinforce the virtue. The parent cards are $34.99 and I will be purchasing the entire set in the future because I think they would help to grasp the virtues better, and She enjoyed the story about Airplane Betty Jane (attentiveness).

I received a downloadable coloring book as well. It is a good value at only $3, but my little one is not too into coloring, and she didn’t care for the pictures too much. I think for a younger child the coloring book would be good.

I also received a downloadable teacher’s handbook; it costs $5 and has a lot of ideas on how to learn virtues in a group setting. Even though I only have 1 little one I found some very useful ideas. If you have more than one child I think it would be useful to get. There are numerous other products available including posters, awards and goal charts. While those items may be helpful I feel that the virtues could be easily taught with just the Virtue Flash Cards and the Parent Cards. Check out the other products and more about the program here

There are also different kits available for church groups and home schools. Throughout the month of April there will be a discount code available if you would like to purchase the Home school kit. Type in Home20 before check out to receive 20% off of your home school kit. Another code that is available forever is Virtue15. It will give you 15% off any purchase through We Choose Virtues. The two discount codes can not be combined.

Overall we enjoyed using this product. I like how the virtues are backed up with verses from the Bible and really enjoy that they are written in a child friendly way. Character training is a life long lesson and we plan to continue to use these products to help us to live a better life. I have seen a change in my little one’s behavior while using the cards. I hope your family is able to enjoy this product as well.

Product at a Glance


What is it?

It is a character training program for kids.


Who is it for?


Kids age 3 through 5th grade


How much will it cost?

The flash cards are $14.99, but there are other products available including different kits.


Where can I get it?


 


 

I like it because it is kid friendly and is easy to teach!