Teach Your Kids To Pray with Weave Your Word in Me {Review}

I am always interested in ways to help my children better know and understand our faith and apply it to their lives. So, I was happy to have the opportunity to review Weave Your Word in Me — Part 1 from Kid Niche Christian Books. It looked like a great way to teach children how and why to pray.

Weave Your Word in Me is intended for children in grades 4-6. It is a study of The Lord’s Prayer using a poem that translates and expands the prayer in a way that makes it easy for kids to understand and apply it to their own life. Students work on memorizing one verse of the poem at a time while studying scripture about topics relating to that verse.

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The study comes printed in full color on heavy paper that is hole punched and ready to be put into a 3-ring-binder. You will need to provide the binder; a 1 or 1 1/2 inch binder is adequate. A cover sheet to slide into the front of the binder is also included.

I received Part 1 which includes 36 lessons of the complete 80 lesson study. You can purchase the two parts separately or you can save $10 by purchasing them as a set and getting the full 80 lesson study at one time. If you want to keep it all in one binder you will want to get the 1 1/2 inch binder.

The Lord's Prayer homeschool curriculum for tweens

Each lesson is designed to be done in one sitting and is only one or two pages long. The lessons consist of fill in the blank and short answer questions. Some answers come directly from scripture while others require application and reasoning. There is also a prayer included at the end of each lesson that guides the student to apply what he/she is learning in her conversation with God.  The author also provides a website with several expansion options for each lesson. There are videos, music selections, art projects and more that can be incorporated into the lesson to expand on it. You can tailor this study to your needs from a quick 20-minute study to a longer more involved study with the supplemental material. You can work on it one day a week or every day, it is really up to you!

I received this to try with one of my daughters. I have one in 3rd grade and one in 7th grade so they actually straddle the ideal age designated for this study. After looking it over I decided to have my 3rd grader do it. It was a tad on the difficult side for her but not too difficult. Due to her age, it required a lot of input and help from me and some of the questions that required longer answers we just discussed instead of wrote. If you will be right with your child through the whole study, guiding them along, you could probably use it with a kid as young as 2nd grade or even as a discussion guide only with younger kids (scaling it to their level). I think a child over 12 is going to find it a bit on the young side but the material is solid and presented well so even older children will learn and gain something from it.

The Lord's Prayer homeschool curriculum for tweens

My daughter did enjoy the study and seemed to understand the concepts presented with a bit of help from me. She enjoys memorization and is good at it so she likes the poem that goes along with it. The struggle we had is that we are involved in AWANA during the school year. Trying to do both at the same time was a bit burdensome for both of us. I think this would be an excellent study to do over the summer when we are not in AWANA. I always struggle to find something to do during the summer to keep my kids growing in their faith and this will be a great option. I will set the rest of this study aside until next summer and then complete it as a family study. I will purchase another workbook for my older daughter and then do the lessons together with all of my children, allowing the younger kids to listen and participate in the discussions.

This curriculum can also be used with groups and would make an excellent Sunday School or backyard Bible club study.

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Weave Your Word in Me {Kid Niche Christian Books Reviews}
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Reading Eggs Online Reading Curriculum {Review}

I’m not normally a big fan of online curriculum for my kids but I’ve heard so many homeschool moms rant and rave about how great Reading Eggs is that I thought I’d go ahead and give this online reading program a try. I have one particular child who really loves computer-based learning and I knew he would soak it up. I was pleasantly surprised by how much it has to offer!!

Reading Eggs*

Reading Eggs is a comprehensive online reading program for ages 3-7 but they also offer Reading Eggs Jr for kids ages 2-4 to introduce reading skills and Reading Eggspress which builds upon the basic reading skills to teach more advanced reading, comprehension and writing skills for ages 8-13. If that isn’t enough for you, a one-year subscription to Reading Eggs also includes the MathSeeds math curriculum!

Reading Eggs online reading program features

Reading Eggs offers everything you need to make this a complete language arts program for your child. In addition to the lessons and games, there are ebooks (the books are also available for purchase in print format), printable worksheets and lesson plans for each lesson, and even NEW homeschool lesson plans for grades K-2 with cross-curricular suggestions to turn the Reading Eggs material into an entire curriculum for those ages. All of this is included in your subscription.

Reading Eggs online reading program features Reading Eggs online reading program features

When your child begins the Reading Eggs program he/she can take a placement test to see where he should begin the program based on his current reading level. Then he will progress through the lesson maps which include a variety of games, songs, activities, books, and comprehension questions. Children are rewarded with golden eggs which can be used to purchase games and fun items within the program. There are printable certificates at the end of each map (level). The Mathseeds program is set up in a very similar manner.

Reading Eggs online reading program features Reading Eggs online reading program features

I had my 5-year-old using Reading Eggs and Mathseeds. He enjoyed both programs. I loved that I received emails with progress reports and had at-a-glance access to his progress on the dashboard on the website. It made it very easy to track and guide his learning. He generally completed several lessons in a sitting and was constantly asking to do more. I didn’t have him take the placement test to start. I probably should have since the first few lessons were definitely too easy for him but I figured review wouldn’t hurt and he didn’t seem to mind starting at the beginning.

Reading Eggs Mathseeds online reading program features Reading Eggs online reading program features Reading Eggs online reading program features

I also had my 2-year-old trying out the Reading Eggs Junior program. This program is less linear and toddlers can choose a variety of games, songs, and activities from the interactive screen. It wasn’t just letters and pre-reading activities but a variety of videos and songs on different subjects. I loved that it included a lot of traditional kid songs. Navigating this part of the program was a bit interesting but my toddler didn’t mind and was happy to just click around on the website until he found something he liked. Our touch screen laptop came in handy for this!

Reading Eggs online reading program features

I haven’t used any of the printable worksheets or lesson plans at this point. I have always used a specific phonics workbook for reading skills with my kids and just really didn’t think much about the worksheets but after looking them over I would certainly feel comfortable replacing my current phonics workbooks with this program and the worksheets. While the program is very strong in teaching a balanced approach to phonics and sight words and building fluency and reading skills the worksheets round it out nicely with hands-on writing and spelling skills to create a very comprehensive approach. The additional physical readers that coincide with the lessons would add even more depth to this program.

Reading Eggs online reading program features Reading Eggs online reading program features

Reading Eggs offers affordable six month and 12-month plan and they do offer discounts for multiple children. Your subscription includes access to all three levels of Reading Eggs and a 12-month subscription (which is already the best value) also includes Mathseeds. They also offer discounts for multiple students.

Reading Eggs

If you are looking for a great reading program and have kids who learn well through digital options, Reading Eggs is an excellent choice. It is easy to use and does not require a lot of prep or involvement on the parent’s part. Click on one of the links in this post before November 30th and you can get a special 4-week free trial before deciding if you would like to subscribe!

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Check Out Brinkman Adventures Season 4 {Review}

Over the last few months, the kids and I have discovered that we really enjoy audio dramas. We had not heard of Brinkman Adventures until we were introduced to their missionary stories when we received Brinkman Adventures Season 4 to review.

Brinkman Adventures

The Brinkman family is a large family (I’m pretty sure I counted eight children but it was a little hard to keep up) who are involved in missions around the world and seem to be prone to adventure, even when not looking for one. The family and the stories in the audio drama are heavily based on the family and experiences of the creators who are also a large missionary family. Not all of the stories or all parts of every story are true but there are generally some true elements throughout the dramas. You can find information about the real-life stories on the Brinkman Adventures website!

Brinkman Adventures

Season 4 begins at camp and ends with a wedding. In between, you visit a prison in Russia, houseboats in Cambodia, as well as the Congo, Zambia, and the Middle East. There is danger, excitement, fear, faith, salvation, and plenty of lessons to be learned. There are 12 episodes and each episode is about 25 minutes long. Most episodes include a story of a modern-day missionary and all of the episodes contain at least one important lesson to be learned. Some of the episodes are intense; the struggles of Christians in certain parts of the world, as well as the societal issues the missionaries encounter, are not sugar-coated. There is a warning at the beginning of the more intense episodes that parents should listen with their children, and everything is presented in a way that is sensitive to the audience and not overly upsetting.

I received the season as a download but it is also available on CD. I had intended to listen to them in the car; the 25-minute length of each episode makes them perfect for listening to while running errands or going to our normal activities. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the audios to sync up to my phone for some reason (my own technological ignorance I’m sure, no fault of the files themselves) so we listened to them during quiet time in the living room instead. My children loved them and would easily listen to several at a time. Even my 2-year-old listened and my 5-year-old was able to follow the stories. My 12 and 8-year-olds also really enjoyed them, as did I. I especially appreciated the practical life lessons that were woven into the stories such as the importance of finishing a job and doing it correctly in the “War of the Raccoons” episode (#44) and the need to listen, pay attention, and think about how your actions affect others presented in “Cambodian Quest” (#47). My favorite story was “Aisha’s Fear” (#39) because it was such an inspiring story of God’s love reaching into what appears to be an impossible situation and changing the most unlikely person in such a dramatic way. 

Brinkman Adventures Season 4 Christian missionary audio drama

Starting with the Brinkman Adventures Season 4 without having listened to the previous seasons did leave us without the backstories of the characters and we had to pay close attention to figure out who everyone was but it wasn’t too hard to get up to speed on the family dynamics. I will definitely be purchasing the other seasons of the Brinkman Adventures for my family. I will probably get them on CD so that it is a bit easier to listen in the car. I love these for running errands around town, especially if the kids will be doing a lot of waiting. These are definitely enjoyable for the whole family!

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Brinkman Adventures Season 4
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New Audio Drama from Heirloom Audio Productions {Review}

We absolutely loved the last audio drama we listened to from Heirloom Audio Productions and couldn’t wait to try out Captain Bayley’s Heir! This American Gold Rush adventure was just as wonderful as we expected!

Heirloom Audio Productions

Warning: The following contains some spoilers!

Captain Bayley’s Heir takes place in both Victorian England and the American West (with a bit of a world tour thrown in) and has two storylines that intertwine in interesting and surprising ways. You first meet Henry, a boy from a modest working-class family who has extraordinary musical talents but also has a disability and is unable to walk. While he has learned to adapt and get around well a disability of this sort can make life extremely difficult in this time period. Henry’s life quickly crosses paths with Frank, the wealthy nephew of Captain Bayley. We also meet Captain Bayley himself as well as his adopted daughter and another nephew and learn of a daughter that he never speaks of.

Captain Bayley's Heir

Frank makes a bad choice which turns into a tailspin of bad circumstances resulting in a false accusation and unjust expulsion from school. When miscommunication is added to this Frank decides to run from his problems and escape to America. Along the way Frank works hard, gains favor with those around him, and is given wise counsel. He makes his way west to the California gold rush. Applying what he has learned and his natural gifts he and his fellow miners strike it rich.

Meanwhile, Henry and Captain Bayley discover an unlikely connection that enriches both of their lives. Through Henry and Alice’s prompting every effort is made to find Frank. Those efforts fail but a favor Frank asked a friend paired with that friend’s tenacity eventually lead them to Frank.

The story was great and my kids loved it! We enjoyed this on a recent car trip. This story gives a vivid picture of the time frame and weaves in themes of faith, family, and justice in an incredibly interesting and entertaining way. My family has become devoted Heirloom Audio Productions fans and we can’t wait for the next drama!

When you buy the audio you also get the study guide. This guide contains two sets of questions for each segment of audio (by track). The first set are listening comprehension questions and the second set are more critical thinking type questions. It also contains a list of vocabulary words for each segment. Scattered throughout the study guide you find artwork depicting images from the American West during that time as well as “Expand Your Learning” boxes with additional fun background information to add more context to the story. Finally, there is a list of resources for more study on the setting of this story as well as a series of Bible Studies you can use to expand on the Biblical perspectives of the themes.

Study guide and homeschool curriculum for Heirloom Audio Productions Christian Radio Drama Captain Bayley's Heir

The study guide can be used in several ways. You can use it as a formal study or an informal family discussion guide. You can pick and choose questions and go as in-depth into the subjects as you choose. You can have your child complete the questions and vocabulary for each track as he listens to them or do them after listening to the entire story. You can incorporate whatever other resources or Bible Studies you would like. It is completely flexible to fit your family and school!

If you want even more bonus content and opportunities to expand learning consider joining the Live The Adventure Club. You will get three audio dramas throughout the year as they are released and all of the bonus content that goes with them. Plus you will get special pricing and bonus content on any additional audios you purchase. Bonus content includes an interactive online study guide, MP3 audio that can be downloaded or streamed, a PDF of the book itself, and other bonuses. You will also have access to articles on parenting, access to other audios, ebooks, and courses, and a community of like-minded people to discuss parenting and education.

Heirloom Audio Productions Christian Radio Drama Captain Bayley's Heir

I highly recommend Captain Bayley’s Heirl or any audio drama from Heirloom Audio Productions for every family! The Live The Adventure club is a great option to have a new drama regularly delivered plus get all of the bonus content. Right now, if you sign up for a free 3 month trial to the club you can get Captain Bayley’s Heir for only $1! 

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Captain Bayley's Heir {Heirloom Audio Productions Reviews}
 

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