Tiger Rising (film review)

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through Momentum Influences Network.

When my teens were little kids, they loved Kate DiCamillo’s books, especially Scorpion. He was a total bookworm from the time he was 6 until about 12 or 13. He joined book club at the library, and his favorite book he ever read as part of that group was The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. He liked it so much that we got him his own copy of the book for his birthday that year. That is one of Ms. DiCamillo’s least famous books, though. You might know her better for Because of Winn Dixie and The Tale of Despereaux.

It was because of our family’s past experience with her stories that I signed up for this review. I wanted to share her work with my younger kids, and we were unfamiliar with The Tiger Rising, so it seemed like a pretty good opportunity. For this review, we received a special code to watch the movie (temporary – like a rental). I wasn’t able to figure out how to send it from my phone to the TV so we ended up watching it on the smaller screen, just me and the little kids (ages 9, 6, and 3).

About the film:

Queen Latifah and Dennis Quaid star in this beloved tale based on the New York Times best-selling book by Kate DiCamillo. When 12-year-old Rob Horton (Christian Convery) discovers a caged tiger in the woods near his home, his imagination runs wild and life begins to change in the most unexpected ways. With the help of a wise and mysterious maid, Willie May (Queen Latifah) and the stubborn new girl in school (Madalen Mills), he navigates through childhood memories, heartache, and wondrous adventures in this heartwarming adaptation.
You can watch the trailer on YouTube.
 
A family and faith discussion guide has also been put together for the film.
 
Our Thoughts:
 
My kids and I really liked this movie. It was exciting when the tiger showed up for the first time; I’d told Grasshopper (9) about the film, but not the other two, so they were really surprised to see a tiger n a cage. All through the movie, we kept pausing a bit to discuss, and it was a very valuable learning experience. I wish I’d had access through some sort of Roku channel so we could have watched on the TV instead of the phone, but it was good anyway. We loved watching Rob’s experiences as he moved through all the things he was going through and came out the other end of it all better than he started – a good lesson for people of all ages.
 
Make sure to watch the trailer, and see if The Tiger Rising is playing in a theater near you! And if it’s not (it was released in late January, so it might be out of many theaters by now), find it on your favorite streaming service. I know it’s one that we will likely rent and/or buy again in the future so we can show it to the rest of our family for movie night!
 
Blessings,

2021 Blue Ribbon Awards

Each year, the Homeschool Review Crew members vote on their favorite products of the year. Here are my choices, and the list of winners. Links take you to my reviews of the product.

Image by Peter Lomas from Pixabay

Favorite Literature Reading Resource: The Reading Game
Winner: The Reading Game

Favorite Literature Resource: Progeny Press
Winner: Progeny Press

Favorite Vocabulary Resource: (no vote)
Winner: The Critical Thinking Co. Vocabulary Virtuoso

Favorite Language Arts Resource: Words Rock!
Winner: Words Rock!

Favorite History/Social Studies Resource: Figures in Motion
Winner: Home School in the Woods

Favorite Science Resource: The Critical Thinking Co Science Mind Benders
Winner: Greg Landry’s Homeschool Science

Favorite Math Curriculum: CTC Math
Winner: CTC Math

Favorite Math Supplement: Triad Math
Winner: MathRider

Favorite Bible Resource: Bible Breakdowns
Winner: Teach Sunday School Easter Escape Room

Favorite Children’s Bible Resource: Tommy Nelson Roar Like a Lion
Winner: Roar Like a Lion

Favorite Fine Arts Resource: (no vote)
Winner: ARTistic Pursuits

Favorite Martial Arts Resource: Practice Monkeys
Winner: Practice Monkeys

Favorite Elective Resource: The Fallacy Detective
Winner: The Fallacy Detective

Favorite Book/Book series: Buck Academy
Winner: YWAM Publishing

Favorite College Prep Resource: ACT Mom
Winner: ACT Mom

Favorite Helpful Tool or Resource: Fermentools
Winner: Fermentools

Best Resource I Didn’t Know I Needed: ACT Mom
Winner: WORLD Watch

Favorite Preschool Product: Reading Eggs
Winner: Buck Academy Baby Buck

Favorite Elementary Resource: Words Rock!
Winner: YWAM Publishing

Favorite Middle School Product: (no vote)
Winner: Teaching Textbooks

Favorite High School Product: Triad Math
Winner: CTC Math

Favorite Mom/Teacher Product: Fermentools
Winner: The HomeScholar

Kids Choice, Grasshopper: Words Rock!
Kids Choice, Dragonfly: Reading Eggs
Kids Choice, Bumblebee: Reading Eggs
Winner: Reading Eggs

Teen Choice, Scorpion: Practice Monkeys
Teen Choice, Ballet Boy: Triad Math
Winner: LightSail Education

All Around Favorite: Practice Monkeys
Winner: Creating a Masterpiece

What has been your favorite homeschool product you used this year?

Blessings,

Practice Monkeys for Self-Defense

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

Several months ago, my husband took a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class. Without telling anyone. Then when he came home, he challenged Ballet Boy to a roughhousing match (they horse around all the time – have since Ballet Boy was small), and took him out. This was quite a surprise for Ballet Boy because as he’s grown, he’s gotten closer and closer to being able to win in these matches against his dad, but after the secret self-defense class, Dad gained the upper hand once and for all.

Then we found out the Practice Monkeys review. Ballet Boy was quite interested in taking their self-defense class. That incident with Dad was a motivator, but he likes being physical in general, so he would have been interested in the class even if it hadn’t happened.

The self defense class (for ages 5 and up) through Practice Monkeys teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), and when you sign up the first thing you have to do is schedule an initial assessment. This, and all the classes, are live sessions taught via Zoom. The assessment is a private meeting with the teacher of the class, Dr. Peter van Kleeck. Once you’ve had the initial assessment to determine which level your child needs to start with, he will add the proper lesson to your dashboard. Classes are taught live with Dr. van Kleeck and his son, Titus, four days a week. Each class lasts 15 minutes and students are encouraged to practice an additional 15 minutes each day on their own. Each student needs a partner for this class (unlike the music classes that Practice Monkeys offers), so Scorpion took the class with Ballet Boy. Our initial plan had been to have Grasshopper and Dragonfly also take the class, but after just a lesson or two they decided they weren’t interested. It is helpful to have the students be of similar size for the class.

After our initial assessment, the kids were put into Level I. This wasn’t a surprise as they hadn’t had any sort of training in this art before. The classes were at the same time every day (Monday through Thursday), so I set an alarm on my phone to help us remember to sign in for the live classes. To access the Zoom call, you have to first sign into the Practice Monkeys website. From there, you can find the Zoom link on your dashboard. Because of the nature of Zoom, the daily classes aren’t private. All of the students at your level in your course are there together, but you don’t see them; on your end, you only see Dr. van Kleeck and Titus. They teach the material and then have your students practice while they watch. It was pretty rewarding on my end to hear him praise my kids during the lessons (“Yes! Good job, Robertsons!”), and I also appreciated hearing him talk to the other families taking the course. It really showed that he was watching all the kids and making sure they got the material.

What if you miss a live class? While the live classes are better because of the feedback you get from Dr. van Kleeck, you don’t miss out if you can’t make it. All of the Zoom calls are recorded and at the end of the week added to your “treehouse.” This is where you go to watch past lessons, either for extra review or because you’ve missed one (or more) live class. I do wish that these classes were uploaded later on the same day they were recorded, but I understand why that might not be feasible for the van Kleecks.

After you’ve been in the class for a while, you’ll be invited to take an assessment in order to move up a level. In the self-defense class, this was an individual Zoom call with Dr. van Kleeck. You have to schedule them through your account in the Practice Monkeys website, and then you access the Zoom call the same way you do a live class at the right time. The assessments take 25 minutes. To determine whether my sons were ready to move from level 1 to level 2, they were given a spoken instruction and Dr. van Kleeck watched to see if they succeeded based solely on the name of the move. They did, and by the time of their next class, our account had been updated to allow them into the level 2 class instead of the level 1 class (same thing, just 15 minutes later).

Ballet Boy and Scorpion have been having a blast learning self-defense with Practice Monkeys! We haven’t made it to every live class, but they do their best to make up the classes on their own when we miss one. The classes take place in the middle of the afternoon in our time zone, so it’s not always feasible to make it live (sometimes Ballet Boy is working, for instance). There have also been times when Zoom was acting up and the kids could see the class but couldn’t hear the instructions, so to avoid the inevitable frustration that would cause they opted to do those classes later as well.

Practice Monkeys’ main emphasis is instrument instruction, so if you or your child have ever wanted to learn violin, cello, piano, or guitar, then you should absolutely give them a chance. Practice Monkeys is priced per instrument (or BJJ) for the entire family. So if you have two guitar students, they can take the class together (at the same time). If you have a piano student and a cello student, though, you would need to purchase 2 subscriptions for those lessons.

I can’t recommend Practice Monkeys enough; Ballet Boy is even interested in continuing his BJJ lessons beyond our review subscription (that’s something he’ll be talking to Dad about!). Make sure to head over to the Homeschool Review Crew site and learn more about all the different types of lessons, though.

Before I finish up, the biggest question still remains: Can either of the kids “take out” Dad now?

Not quite. But with the skills they’ve learned, they don’t go down quite so easily.

Blessings,

Math Practice with I Know It

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

Getting enough math practice done in the elementary years is vital for future math success. I Know It is a supplemental curriculum that can help your children with just that – practicing all sorts of different age-appropriate skills in a no/low-stress environment. We have been using I Know It with Dragonfly (age 6, kindergarten) for the past few weeks.

I Know It is a supplemental math practice website for kids in grades K-5. Each child will need their own account, but they all fall under just one log in, which is nice because you can have an account for each of your children without the need to remember several usernames and passwords. When you get logged in, you’ll get a pop up that shows each of your children with individual icons, and you just need to choose the child who’s working at the moment. Once you select the right icon, it will load up the proper lessons so your child can get started with their math practice right away.

As I mentioned, I’ve been working on I Know It with Dragonfly for the past few weeks. Since he’s in kindergarten, that’s the level we’ve been working at and that’s the level I’ll be discussing in today’s review.

I Know It provides lots of opportunity for math practice, but it’s not a teaching program. You won’t be able to use it on its own (unless you’re ready to teach the concepts and then use the program as an online “worksheet”), but it makes a great supplement for any other math curriculum. Because Dragonfly is just in K, we actually have been using it exclusively, but he already knows the basic concepts being practiced in the kindergarten lessons. We’ve just been having him get lots of extra practice to get him ready for more advanced things in the coming weeks and months.

The kindergarten level has 12 topics, and each topic has between 5 and 10 different lessons. The lessons each have 15 questions and they’re all related, based on what topic and lesson within the topic you’ve chosen. The questions are reasonably easy; my kindergartner didn’t have any problems getting 100% on every lesson he did (except one at the beginning, where he missed a single question). With each correct answer, your student gets an approving message (“Yes!” “Great!” etc) and the robot mascot does a little dance. If your student gets a wrong answer, there’s no robot dance or words of affirmation. Instead, the program pops up a window to explain the correct answer.

When the lesson is complete, depending on the child’s score they’re given a “trophy.” These trophies collect in their progress dashboard. I found that Dragonfly really got off on earning trophies more than he did the robot dances. At the end of every lesson, he’s excited to learn what award he earned that day. Today, he was an “Awesome Adder.” He enjoys going back and looking at his past trophies, too.

If you’re using the program with an older child, you can show them how to log in and then send them on their way. It’s a very intuitive program to use – easy enough for a child. There’s also a way to assign specific lessons, but since I have been working right along with Dragonfly I didn’t explore that aspect of the program.

Are you a co-op parent or public school teacher? You can use I Know It in those situations, too. They have special pricing for teachers vs families vs entire school districts. So I Know It really can be used in any situation.

Overall, we’ve had a lot of fun firming up Dragonfly’s math skills using I Know It for daily math practice. I’m very happy with his progress in the program, and he enjoys doing his “robot math” each day, too.

Please click through to find out what my fellow Homeschool Review Crew colleagues thought of this program.

Blessings,

Math Rider (review)

Disclaimer: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

Knowing math facts can be difficult for young kids, but it’s absolutely vital in the early/mid elementary grades that they master them. It’s easy to think about “math facts” as just the “times tables,” but addition, subtraction, and division are just as important. Without those foundational facts memorized, all math is harder for kids. Flash cards are a great (non digital) way to reinforce those facts, but what if you had a computer game that was as engaging as it is beneficial? Now you do with MathRider.

Math Rider is a one-time fee downloadable computer game that teaches kids math facts in all four areas: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. It’s an easy download, and the game is simple enough that you’ll only need to teach them how to play once and they’ll be able to handle it on their own after that. We have been using the game with Grasshopper to increase his speed with addition facts.

When you click on the icon to open the game, you’ll need to choose which child is working and sign in with their password each time. The password requirements are quite simple; we have chosen something that is easy for Grasshopper to remember on his own, so I don’t even need to help him with that.

The game itself is centered around quests. There’s a story that includes simple animation and text that is read aloud to your child. Once they’ve heard the story, they move on to the map, where they can then choose “play” and get into the math portion of the game. Depending on what math facts your child is assigned, that’s what the game will offer them to answer.

There are 30 facts per round, and your child simply has to read the problem and type the correct answer before his horse gets to the problem. (To be honest, it looks more like the problem is coming toward the horse though; the horse is always on the left and the problem moves toward the middle of the screen.) When they’ve answered all 30 math facts, they’re given a score based on their speed and accuracy. Then the game takes them back to the map, where the path they just “rode” is highlighted in pink. When they get to the end of the path, they’re given a new quest, and that continues until they’ve achieved 100% mastery of the math facts. I’m not entirely sure what happens after that, because Grasshopper hasn’t quite gotten to that 100% mark yet.

MathRider has been really fun for my son to play. He gets so excited to see his path turn pink, and he’s engaged by the story. His recall of those addition facts is getting quicker, resulting in higher scores each day. He always asks to do “horse math” first thing in the morning. Grasshopper really responds well to learning games, so I’m happy to let him play things like this that really cement things in his mind and help him to keep learning. We will absolutely keep having him use this game as long as he’s engaged and his math fact recall continues to improve!

Make sure to read more reviews on the Homeschool Review Crew website this week.

Blessings,

Learning About the Dollar (review)

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

When you think of the word “buck,” what do you think of? My first thought is a male deer, so I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that Buck Academy is actually a company that’s created a series of books to help you teach your children about financial literacy. Because I have a toddler as well as elementary-school-aged children, I received a copy of each of their books. Let’s take a look at them.

BUCK Making Cents is a hardcover picture book written with children ages 5-10 in mind (in my case, Grasshopper and Dragonfly). The book is split up into three sections. After a brief introduction for parents, the first chapter covers basic things like the definition of money and common nicknames for an American dollar (like a “buck”!). The main character in the book is Buck the dollar, and he shows up throughout the book. The rest of the first chapter covers the coins. After a brief introduction of the coins as a whole, including pictures that are foiled for realism, each coin (penny, nickel, dime, and quarter) gets its own page. On these pages, there are more pictures of the coins as well as information about the coin. It also describes the image on the heads side and tails side of each coin, including discussion of past iterations of the tails sides (like the quarters before 1999, when the state-quarters were introduced). The final page of the first chapter is the same as the coin pages, except it focuses on Buck, the one-dollar bill.

Chapter 2 is a lot shorter than Chapter 1. It focuses on the coins again, but this time in how they relate to the dollar. It has pictures of the correct number of each particular coin to equal a dollar.

The final chapter in the picture book is the “memory bank,” which is a clever name for a review/quiz chapter.

Baby BUCK, How Much Am I… is a book to help you teach very basic financial literacy to your toddlers. It’s a board book, perfect for ages 0-4. The story is a super simplified version of BUCK Making Cents, and it has an interactive element which makes it fun for toddlers. Instead of teaching how many of each coin make up a dollar, Baby BUCK teaches the value of each coin. The pages ask the question “how much am I?” for each coin, and there’s a lift-the-flap with the answer beneath.

My kids love having read-aloud time, and the Buck Academy books were a valuable addition (pardon the pun) to our home library. All three of my younger boys enjoyed the books; we read them many times. Even though the two book technically have different age ranges as their demographic, all of my kids enjoyed both books. Dragonfly loved lifting the flaps in Baby BUCK just as much as Bumblebee did! And Bumblebee sat quietly and listened to BUCK Making Cents with not a trace of boredom. These books are great for teaching the most basic lessons of financial literacy for kids – without a formal math class!

Make sure to head over to the Homeschool Review Crew site for more information and to read additional reviews!

Blessings,

Our Favorite Study Guides for Literature

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

If you’ve been here very long at all, you know that I’m always excited to review Progeny Press study guides with my children. Every single year I’ve been a part of the Homeschool Review Crew, we’ve been blessed to work with these guides, and 2021 is no exception. This year, Grasshopper (4th grade) and Scorpion (9th grade) are the lucky recipients.

About Progeny Press Study Guides

The study guide we received is the digital edition, as always. Each study guide comes with the guide itself and an answer key, both in PDF format. I had no problems downloading the files to my computer. I’ve got a folder full of our past Progeny Press study guides, and I added this year’s guides to it. When it was time to begin work on the study guide, I printed off the pages we needed as we went, rather than printing the entire study guide at once. These guides are also designed to be editable PDFs, so if you prefer, you can have your student work directly on the computer. Printing works better for us, so that’s what I did.

Progeny Press officially recommends that you/your student read the entire book within the first week of the unit and then work through the study guide at a pace of 3-5 pages per week, depending on your kids’ ages. That’s never worked for us. It’s just too much time between finishing the book and going back to answer the questions when you do it that way. So I looked at the breakdown of the study guide and we worked in those chunks – reading the chapters, then printing and working on the questions. Then we’d read the next set of chapters and answer those questions. And so on. I had Scorpion work the same way with his book.

When you purchase a study guide from Progeny Press, you get as many downloads as you need for 1 year. After that time, if you don’t have a copy saved somewhere you will need to repurchase the guide if you want access to it again.

A Cricket in Times Square Study Guide

This is a classic book written by George Selden in 1961 about a group of unusual friends: a country cricket, a city mouse, a city cat, and a young boy. We are introduced to the characters in turn over the first four chapters, and then quickly move through their adventures together in NYC. The animals all teach each other valuable lessons through their various life circumstances, and none are more important than the others.

Grasshopper and I have been reading this book together out loud. He is capable of reading it on his own, but it’s nice to have a bit of snuggle time with him as he’s getting older. When I found out we were getting this study guide to review, I checked the digital library and the book was only available as an audio book with a 6-month wait (!). So I ended up purchasing the Kindle edition and we’ve been reading that. (This was before I got my new library card.)

The study guide for A Cricket in Times Square is 52 pages, including the cover and copyright pages. Progeny Press is really great for Christian parents because every single one of their study guides is from a Christian perspective. This means they always include spiritual lessons that can be learned from even the most secular books. Cricket is no exception. Grasshopper and I were able to practice finding Bible verses together and interpreting them and culling lessons from them that related to the book we were reading. This was really good for him. There are also the “basics” of study guides in Progeny Press – your standard reading comprehension questions and opinion questions as well as vocabulary words and longer writing assignments.

Frankenstein Study Guide

Scorpion has been working through the Frankenstein study guide on his own. He didn’t have a firm reading or literature class in his curriculum, so it was fairly easy to just add this in. We started with a digital library book for him (because it’s a classic novel, it’s “always available”), but he didn’t really like reading on his iPad. So when we were able to start getting physical books from the library, we found him a copy to check out. Even our tiny town library had a copy of Frankenstein!

The Frankenstein Study Guide is 79 pages, as like I mentioned before, it is able to be typed right into as a PDF on the computer or printed out. We printed out just the pages we needed as Scorpion completed his work and reading. It took him, on average, about 1-2 weeks per section to complete. There are a total of 8 sections in this guide, so he’s got a ways to go still.

Because Frankenstein is a book for older students, the study guide is more complex than that of Cricket. The vocabulary pages rely more on the student being able to rephrase the definitions on their own than simply choosing the correct definition from a list. The comprehension questions are a lot more difficult, too, and there are a lot of writing assignments that are more essay-length than simply requiring a few words to answer.

As always, the Progeny Press study guides have been a fantastic addition to our school days. Members of the Homeschool Review Crew were able to choose from a total of 4 study guides this year: Wagon Wheels, A Cricket in Times Square, Redwall, and Frankenstein. Click through to the main website to read more reviews!

Blessings,

Roar Like a Lion (book review)

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

Devotional books bring a lot of joy and meaning to people’s lives. I have read many of them over the years. Over the past few weeks, I have had the pleasure of reading Roar Like a Lion: 90 Devotions to a Courageous Faith with my younger kids (and having them read it together without me).

The devotional, written by Levi Lusko with Tama Fortner and published by Tommy Nelson Books, was designed with kids in mind from cover to cover. The front cover is rather exciting, with bold geometric shapes making the lion’s face. It looks very ferocious (courageous, maybe?) with its teeth bared. And then you get to the inside of the book. The pages are thick enough to stand up to repeated use, even among slightly younger kids. The color printing is very bold. Because the pages are matte (almost like card stock), it’s not an overwhelming bold, though.

When you get to the devotions, the illustrations match the style of the cover. They kind of remind me of Eric Carle (The Very Hungry Caterpillar) style illustrations – as if they were made from paper cutouts rather than pen and ink or paint.

Each devotion has one main illustration to help it make its point and go along with its title. There’s also a “Did you Know” section with additional information that’s related, but not directly related, to the lesson. Like most devotions, the book is written specific lessons in mind and Bible verses are chosen to support each lesson. For example, in the lesson “Roar Like a Lion,” the verse is 2 Timothy 1:7:

God did not give us a spirit that makes us afraid. He gave us a spirit of power and love and self-control.

Each devotion also ends with a simple prayer related to the lesson (also fairly standard devotional fare).

All of the devotions are written under the umbrella of being bold and courageous in your faith. Take a look at part of the table of contents to see what I mean:

The devotions are very encouraging for children. They offer great information to help your children understand how we can be strong in God. We read one each day, and it was great to see the boys show such interest in the topics presented. Sometimes, Grasshopper even did the reading!

Nearly 20 members of the Homeschool Review Crew have been spending time with Roar Like a Lion: 90 Devotions to a Courageous Faith. I invite you to head over to the main website to find links to all of those reviews this week.

Blessings,

Bible Breakdowns (review)

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

Teaching the Bible is of tantamount importance, and simply reading it is the best way to do that. But sometimes a product comes along that does nothing more than help you with that. It doesn’t attempt to insert the author’s own thoughts into the text (like some devotionals). It quite literally just helps you explain the overview of the Bible to your children. This is what Bible Breakdowns from Teach Sunday School does. Nothing fancy, just a basic overview of each book of the Bible.

I received downloadable copies of the Bible Breakdowns, broken into two documents: Old Testament and New Testament. Because I am reading the New Testament together with the younger kids, we focuses on using those pages, particularly the Gospels.

Each Bible Breakdown is 1 or 2 pages, and it gives an overview of a specific book of the Bible. It starts with the name of the book at the top of the page, nice and big. Using attractive graphic design, it also tells you which number and “OT or “NT.” For example, Matthew is 1 NT; Mark is 2 NT; and so on. Underneath the header is a 1-2 paragraph overview of the book, and then the “big info” for the book. This includes the number of chapters, type of book (history, gospel, letter, etc), date written, dates covered in the text, and author’s name.

Once you get through the major, overarching information, the Bible Breakdown takes you on a list of the specific stories covered in that book. It even goes one step further and color codes the “classic Bible stories.” Each verse in the book is covered, so you can easily refer to it and find exactly what’s covered in the book. At the very end, after the verse-by-verse breakdown of the book, there’s a shorter list: the most popular verses in the book. It lists them out in order, and then tells you how that verse ranks in popularity both in comparison to other verses in its book as well as in the Bible as a whole. If you’re looking for memory verses for your kids, this “Most Popular Verses” section is a great place to start!

Like I mentioned, we are reading the New Testament together (me, Grasshopper, and Dragonfly). It’s the first time through the NT with the younger kids, so it was really nice to be able to have the Bible Breakdowns on hand to show them the overview of the books before we started reading. I used the pages as an introduction to the book. We read the top portion of the Bible Breakdown, and that gave the kids a basic understanding of the book and its “goal” for having been written. It gave us just a tiny bit of background about the author, which can be invaluable information – especially for nonfiction books like the Bible.

As we continued to read, I primarily referred to the rest of the breakdown on my end. This helped me to determine a good stopping point each day for our reading. Sometimes that was at an even chapter break, but not always. And while the standard “just read 3 chapters a day” will usually work, it was also nice to have the breakdown handy to refer to larger sections that should be read all in one sitting for context. The Sermon on the Mount is one of these sections. Not only should it be read all together (at least as you’re introducing the idea to your child for the first time), but it’s also not specifically labeled in the Biblical texts as all being one long section. The headers in the Bible tell you “Beatitudes,” “Lord’s Prayer,” etc, but the Bible Breakdown specifically labels those sections as the Sermon on the Mount. This information was really useful to have at my fingertips.

If you’re looking for a Bible curriculum, Bible Breakdowns aren’t it. They are best used as reference for the Scriptures themselves. They don’t tell you what to teach or how to teach it. It’s not a devotional with ideas and concepts added. It is the simplest document in the world, just telling you what to expect from your Bible reading. It’s exactly what I was looking for to help me help the kids understand what’s going on in the Bible.

Make sure to head over to the Homeschool Review Crew to read more reviews!

Blessings,

Vindication Season 2 #VindicationMIN

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through Momentum Influencers.

You might remember that a few weeks ago I did a review for the first season of Vindication, a crime drama series available to stream on Pure Flix. Find more info on the show as a whole in that review. Today, I want to talk specifically about episode 7, which hit the streaming service this past Wednesday. Make sure to read to the end of this post for a chance to win a 6-month subscription to Pure Flix so you can watch both seasons of Vindication as well as loads of other family-friendly and faith-based content!

In Vindication, much like most other dramas, there’s a bit of change from season 1 to season 2. For example, Detective Travis has gotten a promotion and is now the head of a smaller police department. His former deputy/intern, Kris, is still working at the old station, so we still get to keep up with those characters through her.

Episode 7: Be a Man

In this episode, Detective Travis is off on a hunting trip with a group of other men (and one daughter). Each team of 2 is given a specific area of land within one of the members’ property where they can hunt deer. As one might imagine, there’s lots of opportunity for bonding while we see the groups of hunters waiting for deer to pass by.

At the end of the day, the hunters gather together again for a meal of fire roasted venison and the entire group has some deep conversations. One of the men (the man whose land they’re hunting on) reveals that his son “no longer likes girls,” and he as a father is struggling with that. A younger man tells him that he should just tell his son that he loves him. This younger man grew up in a family where he was never told that by any men of consequence in his life, and is “recovering” from a life of crime because of it.

The episode also spends a bit of time with Kris and her brother, Shane (a vet suffering from PTSD who lives with her). There’s a bit of tension between the siblings, but they push through it. Kris is also approached by the upcoming police chief in her precinct, who hints at the fact that he wants her to become his sergeant when he lands the promotion.

Overall, I enjoyed this episode (as I have the rest of the Vindication series to date). I struggled a little bit with the gay son story line, especially in a faith based show, but it was easy to move past. I’m looking forward to seeing the final episodes of the season as we finish out the month of October.

If you’re interested in winning your own 6-month subscription to Pure Flix, just leave me a comment on this blog post, telling me what show or movie you’d want to watch on Pure Flix. I’ll pick a winner at random on Wednesday, October 20th.

Blessings,