Category Archives: Reviews

StoryTime at the Library

My Penguin Osbert StoryTime

I love that my library had a My Penguin Osbert StoryTime today.  Story time is such a crucial part of a child’s life.  It is so important that we read to our kids, and by incorporating story time each day, we create a positive environment for our children. Story time is great because it shows children that reading is fun and really engages them in the books being read.  Story time goes beyond simply reading books.  It makes reading an exciting adventure for children.

Howie and Skip

Today, I was able to be the guest reader at my local library’s story time.  Howie and Skip tagged along to sing their favorite song and hear the story. (They mostly sat in the chair and looked cute.) I always treasure the opportunity to share my love of books with kids and reading to them is so much fun.  I’d love to travel around and host Howie & Skip StoryTime sessions, but for now we’ve created the Howie and Skip StoryTime videos.  That way your child can enjoy a personal StoryTime in the comfort of their home.

Anyway,  I thought I’d share my experience with you in hopes that it encourages you to begin you own story time.  You can read what we did and do the same, or just use this as inspiration.

(This post contains an affiliate link.)

1. Start With A Song

Counting Book

One of the best ways to begin your story time is with a few simple songs.  We always start by playing a few interactive songs.  This allows the children to get out their energy so that when it’s time to read they will sit quietly.  We played “The Monkey & Alligator Song,” “The Bean Bag Song,” and the MonkiSee “StoryTime Theme Song.”  The kids always love to clap their hands, shake their maracas, and follow along with the hand motions.

2. Read A Story

StoryTime Reading

Today our story time was themed around penguins.  Since we were reading “My Penguin Osbert,” we had a big penguin stuffed animal at the front of the room for the kids to see.  Before I began reading, we handed out raffle tickets to all the children.  They each placed their tickets into a container and were told that at the end of the story we were going to raffle off the penguin.  Whoever had their ticket chosen would win the stuffed animal.

“My Penguin Osbert” is a cute story about a little boy who asks Santa for a real penguin for Christmas.  When he gets his penguin Osbert, he’s super excited, but as time goes on he’s not sure he asked for the right present.

*If you’re reading this story at home, you can really make this a fun experience.  While you read the story, let your child sip on hot cocoa and wrap up in warm blankets.  You could go all out and even decorate the room where you are reading – cut out snowflakes, make the room chilly, and create an atmosphere that fits the story.

Penguin Prize

Once I finished reading the story, we raffled the tickets.  Andrea was our winner! She loved her prize. It was so cute to see her dragging her giant penguin around the library. It was as big as some of the kids!

3. Make A Craft

Penguin Craft

A great way to end your story time is by making a fun craft.  We printed out a penguin coloring page for the kids to color.  If you have younger children, you may want to keep the crafts relatively simple.  However, if your child is a bit older, you can have fun helping them create a craft that’s more complex.

Penguin Coloring Page

Here is a cute penguin coloring page for your child to color.

Soda Bottle Penguin

This Soda Bottle Penguin is super cute and simple to make. If your child is older they will love making this craft. You may need to help them with the cutting and gluing, but it’s very easy to make.

Reading to kids is so much fun.  You can really make story time an exciting experience.  I’d love to hear about your story time.  Do you make crafts or snacks?  What are your favorite books to read to your child?  Please comment below and share your ideas with us.  We’d love to hear them!

Todo Sobre Mi

Teach Baby Spanish DVD

Your child can easily learn Spanish with the right tools and method.  If you’re looking for a “teach baby Spanish DVD”, then we have just what you need.  The new MonkiSee video “Todo Sobre Mi” is the perfect place to start your journey in teaching your baby Spanish.  Before I tell you more about this Spanish DVD for babies, let’s briefly discuss the importance of learning Spanish.

Do you want to teach your child Spanish?

Nowadays, it is such an asset to be bilingual.  If you can speak multiple languages, you have quite an advantage.  The ability to speak more than one language will advance you in school, in your career, in your intellectual understanding, and in many other ways.  You never know when the need may arise for you to speak Spanish.

With 329 million native speakers, Spanish ranks as the world’s No. 2 language in terms of how many people speak it as their first language.” – Gerald Erichsen

Teaching your child Spanish, is a blessing they will enjoy throughout all their life.  Whether you want them to communicate with Spanish-speaking family and friends, be prepared for traveling to another country, or are simply developing your child’s skills for future careers, teaching your baby Spanish is one of the greatest gifts you can give them.

So, if you want to teach your child Spanish, now is the time to begin.  The younger you start the better.  That is why we have designed an effective Spanish video for teaching children from the age of three months to three years old.

What is “Todo Sobre Mi?”

MonkiSee "Todo Sobre Mi"

 

When you hear the benefits of being bilingual and know that Spanish is a dominant language, it is definitely exciting to discover that your baby can easily learn it. MonkiSee has just released their first “teach baby Spanish DVD,” and we know you’re going to love it!

With the new MonkiSee DVD, “Todo Sobre Mi,” your child will begin their introduction into the Spanish language in a fun and delightful way.  As the name implies, children will learn – “All About Me.”  They will be taught the body parts and familiar first words in Spanish.  To most effectively teach your baby Spanish, we use the total immersion method.  For a full thirty minutes, your child will hear a native speaker narrating while they watch the actions play out on screen.

As with all of the MonkiSee videos, children will learn along with monkey brothers, Howie and Skip.  Babies will definitely be entertained as they watch the silly monkeys learning together. MonkiSee makes learning fun by engaging children throughout the videos.

Todo Sobre Mi” is filled with puppet skits, upbeat and original songs, children, animals, poetry, and much more.  It’s the perfect way to begin introducing your child to a new language.  Whether your children have never heard a word of Spanish, or are being raised in a Spanish-speaking home, “Todo Sobre Mi” is perfect for every child.

We hope you’ll join us on this exciting journey in teaching babies Spanish.  To find out more about MonkiSee or purchase this video for your child, click here.

Best Poetry Books for Children

Best Poetry Books for Children

Finding the best poetry books for children can be difficult at times, and that is why today I’m sharing a list of my very favorite poetry books for children.  As an avid book reader and poetry lover, I have come across quite a few gems throughout my years of reading.  I am not a fan of all poetry books -they have to meet a certain standard for me.  Personally, I don’t care much for free verse or irregular meter.  I appreciate it when authors take the time to create perfect meter and really make their poems flow.  I love reading poems that have great meter from the beginning. You can just sense the rhythm as you read.

If you’ve had trouble finding great poetry books to read to your children, I hope this list will be a great help to you.  I am sharing the 20 Best Poetry Books for Children and I hope you will love them as much as I have.  Enjoy!

1. “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss

Green Eggs and Ham

I had to begin my list of the best poetry books for children with a classic.  “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss has long been one of my very favorite books.  The simple rhyme scheme and playful story is one that has delighted children for years and years.  In this story, Sam I Am is trying to convince a quite disinterested character to try green eggs and ham.  He strongly protests – in rhyme of course – but will Sam I Am make him change his mind?

2. “But Not the Hippopotamus (Boynton on Board)” by Sandra Boynton

But Not the Hippopotamus

I have been reading my children this book since they were just babies.  Sandra Boynton has such a great writing style and her books are perfect for babies and young children.  In this simple book, all the animals are having fun together – but not the hippopotamus.  Throughout the book we see the poor, lonely hippo being excluded from all the fun.  Will she ever join the others?  Find out in the delightfully playful story.

3. “Is Your Mama a Llama?” by Deborah Guarino

Is Your Mama A Llama

Lloyd the llama can’t find his mama.  Where could she be? He asks his friends if their mama is a llama, but all of them say she is not.  Will Lloyd ever find his mother?  I’ve loved this book for as long as I can remember.  If your child enjoys picture books, then this is definitely one of the best poetry books for children.  It is simple, sweet, and easy to read. Find the story here.

4. “Time for Bed” by Mem Fox

Time for Bed

“It’s time for bed little cat, little cat.  So snuggle in tight, that’s right, like that.”

My children have always loved this bedtime story by Mem Fox.  This simple story is perfect to read to your child before bed.  In this lovable picture book, it’s time for the baby animals to go to sleep.  The sweet rhymes of each mama animal are sweet and soothing as you put your own child to bed.

5. “Mary Engelbreit’s Mother Goose: One Hundred Best-Loved Verses

Mary Engelbreit's Mother Goose

It’s all your favorite nursery rhymes in a whole new way!  Mary Engelbreit’s beautiful illustrations bring these classic rhymes to life.  This enchanting picture book will captivate your children.  Engelbreit’s pictures are bursting with fun color and lovable characters.  We’ve read this book so many times it’s quite worn and falling apart.  You may have read nursery rhymes before, but you’ve never read them like this.

 

6. “Falling for Rapunzel” by Leah Wilcox

Falling for Rapunzel

All of my children, from five to fifteen, love the princess books by Leah Wilcox.  They are some of the best poetry books for children – especially girls.  Poetry can be so fun, and Leah Wilcox does an amazing job of showing that with her fun books.  With a creative twist, Wilcox tells the classic fairytales in a whole new way.  This is not your average princess story.  Rapunzel is in no need of rescuing and apparently not hoping for true love.  This silly story will have your children laughing together as you read the story of the hard of hearing rapunzel, her cute maid, and the unfortunate prince who turns out to be quite pleased.

 

7. “Waking Beauty” by Leah Wilcox

Waking Beauty

You’ve heard of “Sleeping Beauty,” but have you ever read “Waking Beauty” by Leah Wilcox?  Having read and loved her book “Falling for Rapunzel,” we began searching for more of her books.  We were all so delighted to find that she had written another silly princess story.  We all know the prince must kiss the princess to wake her from her sleep, but unfortunately… he doesn’t know that.  Will Sleeping Beauty sleep forever, or will the prince finally understand what the fairies are trying to tell him?

 

8. “Random House Treasury of Best-Loved Children’s Poems” by Patricia Klein

Treasury of Best Loved Children's Poems

I’ve shared a lot of picture books with you, so I wanted to mix in a few traditional poetry books that I love.  While the books I’ve mentioned above have mostly been stories, this is simply a book of poems.  When my children were very young, they received this book as a gift and we still have it to this day.  The jacket is gone, the cover has torn, but this precious book is still held together by some tape.  This truly is one of the best poetry books for children.  The “Treasury of Best-Loved Children’s Poems” is one of my very favorite poetry books for kids.  The rhymes are perfect for young children and the sweet simplicity of this book makes it great for a beginner in poetry.

 

9. “Now We Are Six (Winnie-the-Pooh)” by A.A. Milne

Now We Are Six

You may know of Winnie the Pooh, but have you ever read the original books by A. A. Milne?  They are phenomenal!  All of my children absolutely LOVE these books. Winnie the Pooh is a great favorite in our house.  We can’t seem to read one of his books without laughing uncontrollably.  The characters are so lovable, and Pooh is especially endearing.  Because of our great fondness for Winnie the Pooh, we decided to read A. A. Milne’s book of poems.  “Now We Are Six.”  Although these poems are not about Winnie the Pooh or his friends from the Hundred Acre Wood, we still enjoyed them immensely.

 

10. “A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee” by Chris Van Dusen

A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee

This book was recommended to me by a good friend of mine.  It’s a great rhyming picture book about Mr. Magee and his dog Dee and their adventures while camping.  The illustrations are fun for kids and the silly story will definitely delight your children.

 

11. “Wild About Books” by Judy Sierra

Wild About Books

“In a flash every beast in the zoo was stampeding, to learn all about this new something called reading.”

I happened to pick up this book one day when we were visiting our library.  Being the book-lover that I am, the title caught my attention.  Sure enough, this book is now one of my very favorites.  I  love everything about it.  The illustrations are so cute, and the story is absolutely wonderful.  When I was creating this list of the best poetry books for children, I knew this had to be on there.  When by mistake the librarian, Molly McGrew, drives her bookmobile into the zoo, the animals get wild about books.  This is a must-read for every child.  Not only does the story encourage children to read, but it may help them learn the names of some animals.

 

12. “A Child’s Garden of Verses” by Robert Louis Stevenson

A Child's Garden of Verses

Robert Louis Stevenson is one of the classic children’s poets, and so of course I had to include him in the best poetry books for children.  I love that he writes in a way that is relatable to children.  He writes as if he is a child speaking.  His poems are about being tucked into bed, or the little treasures he collected, or the adventures he imagines.  Stevenson’s classic poems are sweet and simple.  My children have always enjoyed them and they are essential in your personal storybook collection.

 

13. “The Llama Who Had No Pajama: 100 Favorite Poems” by Mary Ann Hoberman

The Llama Who Had No Pajama

I love Mary Ann Hoberman’s books.  “The Llama Who Had No Pajama,” is a collection of her poems about childhood and all things relating to children.  Kids will love reading about “The Birthday Bus,” or “Butterfish Bay” and all the other silly poems in this book.

 

14. “A House Is a House for Me” by Mary Ann Hoberman

A House Is A House for Me

I loved this book by the very first page.  It is, in my opinion, a poetry classic.  I love the repetitive rhythm of the story and the clever ways she opens a child’s eyes to see that everything has a home.  This beautiful book is the perfect read aloud and a great way to introduce children to poetry.

 

15. “How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?” by Jane Yolen

How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?

“How does a dinosaur say good night when Papa comes in to turn off the light?”

Mom and Dad say it’s time for bed, but will the dinosaurs listen?  My kids loved reading this story about the different dinosaurs and how they might respond when being put to bed.  Will they pout or slam their tail?  Children and parents will enjoy reading the crazy antics of the eleven dinosaurs in this bedtime story.

 

16. “Favorite Poems Old and New: Selected For Boys and Girls” by Helen Ferris

Favorite Poems Old and New

If you’re only ever going to buy one poetry book, this would it.  I have read many poetry books throughout my life, but if I could only have one, I would choose this collection.  “Favorite Poems Old and New” offers such a vast selection of poems.  You are sure to find at least on poem to your liking.  There is such a great variety in this collection.  The book includes over 700 poems from poets such as William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, and many others.  I believe it is the most comprehensive poetry book for children.  I can’t recommend it highly enough.  If you want to begin introducing your child to poetry, be sure to read this book.

 

17. “Each Peach Pear Plum (Picture Puffins)” by Allan Ahlberg

Each Peach Pear Plum

In this delightfully engaging book, children play “I Spy” with familiar nursery rhyme characters.  Each page features a little poem encouraging the children to find the character hidden in the picture.  With it’s charming illustrations, and simple text, this book is great for beginning readers.  It’s the perfect book to read aloud with your child during story time.  Children will be exposed to simple rhymes while having fun searching for the hidden characters.

 

18. “The Christian Mother Goose Big Book” by Marjorie Ainsborough Decker

The Christian Mother Goose Big Book

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall; Humpty Dumpty shouted, “Amen! God can put me together again.”

“The Christian Mother Goose” is a wonderful rendition of the typical nursery rhymes.  I absolutely love it.  Instead of reading silly rhymes that really have no meaning, why not read children beautiful poems that point to our Lord?  I love the positive messages woven into each nursery rhyme.  Marjorie Ainsborough Decker did an amazing job at transforming the common nursery rhymes into praiseworthy poems that retain the fun and silliness of the originals, yet go beyond to teach good lessons, and encourage children.

 

19. “Mary Had a Little Lamp” by Jack Lechner

Mary Had a Little Lamp

It’s amazing how one letter can make all the difference.

I love books that take a different angle to the usual story.  It’s always fun to see how an author can add a creative twist to a common story.  In “Mary Had a Little Lamp,” Jack Lechner does just that.  You may have heard of Mary and her little lamb that would follow her around, but Mary’s lamp is another story altogether.  Children will love this silly storybook and it will definitely have them laughing by the end.

 

20. “I’ve Lost My Hippopotamus” by Jack Prelutsky

I've Lost My Hippopotamus

The last book I want to share with you, is one of my all-time favorites.  I believe it was sometime last year that I happened to discover the amazing Jack Prelutsky.  My children absolutely LOVE his poems.  You can’t even imagine how silly they are.  Prelutsky is the first Children’s Poet Laureate, so naturally he’s included on the list of best poetry books for children.  “I’ve Lost My Hippopotamus” was the first book we read by him, and we could barely put it down.  My kids would always beg me to read another one.  Children will love the pure silliness of Prelutsky.  His poems are unlike any other I’ve read.  I love that he maintains perfect meter and uses big words that help build vocabulary.  If you want to start a collection of the best poetry books for children, be sure to include this one.  It’s one you’ll be reading again and again.

 

I hope you enjoyed this list of the best poetry books for children.  These are all my favorites and I pray that they might bless your family as well.  I am always searching for more great books, and I would love to hear what you favorite poetry books are.  Please leave your recommendations in the comments below.  Thanks!

Please Bury Me in the Library – Book Review

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Please Bury Me in the Library

A book that can summarize my feelings about books so exactly is worth mentioning.  I came across this book a few weeks ago and realized that this should be the epitaph inscribed on my tombstone when I die.  Oh, how blissful it would be, to spend eternity reading.  Please Bury Me in the Library is a really cute book of poems for kids. I really like the poem and thought I would share it here.

Please Bury Me in the Library Please bury me in the library
In the clean, well-lighted stacks
Of Novels, History, Poetry,
Right next to the Paperbacks, Where the Kids’ Books dance
With True Romance
And the Dictionary dozes.
Please bury me in the library
With a dozen long-stemmed proses. Way back by a rack of Magazines,
I won’t be sad too often,
If they bury me in the library
With Bookworms in my coffin.

If you like poetry books for kids, this is a short, sweet addition to add to your read alouds.  My kids and I really enjoyed it.  The poem What If Books Had Different Names inspired me to write a few new parodies myself.

Review Of Monkisee Action Words DVD

I was watching the MonkiSee Action Words DVD the other day.  I have not seen it for awhile and I have to say that I really enjoyed it.  It was funny and very entertaining.  Isn’t that the way learning should be?  I think so.  I cannot tell you how many times I laughed out loud.  The kids all gathered around with me to watch it and they enjoyed it as much as I did.  I decided that it was time to post a sample of the video again to remind everyone just how great the Action Words video is for teaching young children to read and move.  Click here to find out more about the MonkiSee DVDs and how they can help you teach your baby or young child to read in a fun and relaxing way.

The MonkiSee DVDs, flash cards, and books are a wonderful addition to your child’s library.  These products are funny. entertaining and educational for babies up to four years old.

www.monkisee.com

Book Review Chameleon, Chameleon

This post may contain affiliate links.

I recently checked the book Chameleon, Chameleon
out from the library.  This book has stunningly beautiful pictures in it.  I just marveled over our great God who created this magnificent creature.  My daughter and I read this book several times and really enjoyed it. We enjoyed the narrative and we really liked the pictures.  This is a marvelous book and I highly recommend it to all kids who have any interest in learning more about chameleons.  There is another book by this same author called Red-eyed Tree Frog (Scholastic Bookshelf)  I plan to locate this book right now to read with my children.

 

 

MonkiSee DVD Review from Unschooling.com

The following review was just posted on Unschooling.com.  The review was done by a reader of Home Education Magazine, one of my favorite homeschool magazines.

We reviewed the “Monki See” early learning DVD set that includes: Baby’s First Words, All About Colors, All About Shapes, Around the House, Action Words and On the Farm. After viewing all the DVD’s with my 2 and 4 year old, here is our review:

At first glance, I thought it was just going to be another version of “Your Baby Can Read”, but as we watched it we discovered this was a lot more exciting. The series is a fun and engaging way to introduce your pre-reader to the sights and sounds of the English language. My girls really enjoyed the cute storyline in each of the videos and were singing the theme song by the end of the first DVD. The puppets are adorable and the pictures for each word are delightful to watch.

Although the age recommendations for the videos are “3 months to four years,” I would recommend these videos more for the “pre-reading” crowd than young babies. The videos have a lot of action and sound effects, which kept the attention of my four year old, but would probably be overwhelming to a young baby. Also, most of the words are comparatively small on the screen and are only shown for a moment before disappearing, only to reappear at a different spot on the screen. Again, this kept my four year old very interested, but even my two year old had trouble following the words.

My four year old, who is learning to read, got the most out of these DVD’s. She got really excited when she recognized a word and tried to “participate” by answering all of the questions. Overall, I would definitely recommend this series: it was really fun to watch as a family and I loved that it is a homeschooling family and that she used her kids in the video. I would just recommend it for an older age group than the one printed on the box.

Reviewed by HEM reader Meghan Stalford

Color the Classics – Product Review

We have recently been using Color the Classics Godly Composers to learn more about the classical composers and their music.  This has been such a fun and rewarding adventure.  Coloring is something that my kids enjoy, and when they are required to color for school they like it even more.  We have been spending about 30 minutes per session working on a coloring page while we take in the beautiful music of the godly composers.

Vivaldi1

I really like this product, as do my children.  It includes a coloring book and a CD.  The book is broken up into sections featuring a particular composer.  For each coloring page there is a paragraph or two that gives more information about the composer’s life and work.  It is very well done.  If there is one adjustment I would make to the product it would be to say the name of the piece and the composer’s name before each song plays on the CD.  I think this would really cement the information into your brain.  I read this information to the kids from the CD case as each song changes.  Below is a sample of the information provided for each illustration.

 

Vivaldi

We have learned about Vivaldi, Bach, Handel, and Haydn in this book.  I have been using this with my 6, 8 and 11 year old and they all like it very well.   They like to compare their pictures with each other and laugh at how they choose to color their pictures.  The artwork shown here is that of my 6 year old.

Vivaldi2

There are six different volumes of Color the Classics to choose from.  You can find out more at www.colortheclassics.com.

I would definitely recommend these products if you are interested in learning more about the classical composers and their music.  You can print a sample page and listen to a sample song at www.ColortheClassics.com.

Review of MonkiSee Animals At the Farm DVD

Here is a post from the Brillkids Forum about the new MonkiSee Animals At the Farm DVD.

AnimalsPresMerged450x389

Recently, I received a copy of the new MonkiSee DVD “At the Farm”.   Honestly, I was unsure of how my son would enjoy it as their earlier DVDs concentrate on teaching vocabulary and he really has established a good command of the English language (relative to his age, of course).  While we have enjoyed and benefited from all of the earlier MonkiSee DVDs (including the Memoflix DVDs), and highly recommend them, I feared that my son’s knowledge had surpassed the linguistic level of MonkiSee’s target audience.

This DVD, however, is different from MonkiSee’s previous works.  It still teaches farm vocabulary, but its gold is in the encyclopedic knowledge it offers.  Within the first few minutes of the DVD, my son heard the word “ornithology” and it’s meaning (the scientific study of birds).  He (we) also learned that, contrary to popular belief, cows do NOT  have the ability to see the colour red,  and that one pound of sheep’s wool makes TEN MILES of yarn!  This DVD is just packed with interesting facts that even a big boy of the ripe age of “more than four and three quarters” finds enjoyable.

And, I should mention the music.  As I said earlier, we’ve been enjoying the MonkiSee DVDs for several years now and have had the privilege of seeing (hearing) the beautiful Guerrero girls develop their musical talents.  This DVD has a very catchy tune that has many different verses – all relating back to the animals most recently introduced.  We really liked the song and I, particularly, enjoyed the harmonies.  The voices are strong, confident and clear.

I want to warn you, however, that if you are planning to watch it on an old box TV like we have in our main gathering place, the DVD is designed for a wide screen.  When we used the big box TV portions of the words were cut off…it’s not a problem on the flat screen.  So, if there are any of you who are like me – living with one foot in the old world and one in the new, be forewarned

I feel quite fortunate to have this DVD added to our collection!  I can see us enjoying it for quite a while.

www.monkisee.com

Review of Grapevine Studies Bible Curriculum – Old Testament Overview

This review today is from blogger guest poster, Tracy.

Several months ago I was privileged with receiving a GrapeVine teaching unit on their Old Testament Overview (from Creation to Babel).  In the package were two smaller packages – a teacher’s pack of instructions and a student’s pack of worksheets (both hole-punched and ready to be inserted into a binder).

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I excitedly opened both packages and prepared my binder for use.  (As I am using it with my 4 year old, I am retaining responsibility of the binder myself.)  I keep the teaching resources in the first part of the binder and his worksheets in the back part.  As we go through the lessons I pull out the sheet that he is working on, then flip to my little paperclip marking the current teacher page and keep that open as I guide the lesson.

To do the lesson, in addition to the GrapeVine worksheets & teacher resource all you need is:

        Your Bible (or a child’s Bible where you can locate actual verses)

        Colouring tools (crayons or pencil crayons – not markers if they soak through)

        Your own binder to store the GrapeVine stuff in

I was fortunate enough to find a fold-up mini-whiteboard made by Magnetic Learning second hand.  I can’t seem to find it on their website, but this one looks similar: http://www.amazon.com/Sanford-1763773-Foldable-Board-Tabloid/dp/B004I2H644 .  I also found a package of coloured dry-erase markers that are perfect for the GrapeVine drawings.

Each lesson (10 in the Old Testament Overview) is made up of four mini-lessons which you can do over the span of four days or all at one time.  They are short and sweet, making it so manageable to start a routine AND KEEP IT!  Depending on how much time you allow your child to have to draw, it could take anywhere from two minutes to “That’s long enough, we’re moving on!”.

You start with reading a verse or two directly from your Bible.  Then you can have your own discussion or follow the suggested points.  The lessons do not offer an actual dialogue for you to follow, just the main thoughts to convey to your student(s).  Finally, you draw the suggested EASY stick figure representation of the lesson.   We draw together.  I’ll draw a portion on my whiteboard and my son will draw his on his paper…and we’ll continue until the drawing has been completed.  Your child can draw it exactly like yours or put his own spin on it – my son has opinions about my trees and that’s okay – his tree can look his way, and mine can look mine!  The point is that he will be able to look back at his unit and recall the important portions of the story because he made it…his way.  He can communicate what he learned by reviewing his drawings with quite a bit of clarity.  (I’d only suggest that if you have a certain character that comes up throughout a series of lessons, draw him/her in the same colour – it makes it easier for recall.)

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With every lesson (four mini-lessons) a memory verse is suggested.  I, however, chose to work on one memory verse for every two lessons (or eight mini-lessons).  There is also a set of review questions you can go through orally after every full lesson.

Midway through there is a “Section Review” (30 questions) and at the end a “Final Review” – a repeat of the Section Review questions and an additional 20 to represent the last half of the entire unit.

We really enjoyed our time with this curriculum.  I really see this product becoming a tool we come to again and again.  I would not hesitate at all to recommend this program…actually I’d eagerly suggest it!  While we have not yet purchased our next unit, I am confident that it will find its place in our permanent line up of school products.

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