Hi, my name is Melissa. Pour yourself a cup of tea and stay a while. I'm completely devoted to my Savior, madly in love with my husband, and joyously raising my daughters. I'm so glad you stopped by and I hope you enjoy your time here!

Monday, July 16, 2018

Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming (Volume 1) - A TOS Crew Review

Code for Teens
I remember when my dad first got an IBM desktop computer. I was six and we had moved in order for him to get his doctorate at a major university. It was a big investment and I loved opportunities to work on it. He bought me a book that taught how to program using DOS. I thought it was the coolest thing ever, but I only got a few sections in. Life has changed so much since the 1980s, especially wiht tech. That programming book I had is quite outdated and coding is the new term of the day. We had the chance to review Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming (Volume 1) from Code for Teens and Rose has absolutely fallen in love with it! 

Code for Teens
The structure of this 10 chapter guide has been perfect for Rose. She will turn 13 in August and she found it very easy to follow along. This first volume focuses on JavaScript. Each section has a paragraph explaining what she would be coding. Following this is a section of what you should input and finally what the outcome should be. Rose told me she loved how easy it was to follow. She understood exactly what she was learning and could explain it to me with ease. She was even able to teach me a few things along the way. She said it was logically ordered and the instructions were very clear.

 After every lesson Rose inevitably said, "Mommy! Come look what I learned how to do!" I'll be honest, while she was really excited to start I didn't think her excitement would last. BOY! Was I ever wrong! Not only was this what she looked forward to most with our daily lessons, she would often do more than one day's worth of work. This is a self-paced book and she chose her own pacing. I initially thought a chapter a week, but she did a lot more. She did not work faster than I expected, but for longer amounts of time. There were times when she worked for over 90 minutes just because she loved it so much! 

The best part for me is that this is completely independent. While I was eager as a kid to learn programming, my interest did not last the way Rose's has. I really had no idea how to help her learn this. I love the drills, challenges, and review available to make sure she fully understands the concepts. I did have her work downstairs because she used a web-browser. We do not allow unsupervised technology use yet.

She did not bring her book with her, but she did ask if she could do some coding for fun while we were visiting Florida. It was really neat to see her practicing what she learned without needing the book handy! She also has asked me when the next volume will be available because she is so very ready to keep learning! 

Take a look at what my Crewmates have to say! 

Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming {Code for Teens Reviews}
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Friday, July 13, 2018

Week in review: July 9-13

Our relaxing summer has turned into a whirlwind of traveling! It's good, but a week or two home and then  week away wears on me a little. Still I wouldn't trade it. We have the wonderful opportunity last minute to visit with my in-laws. Because my husband's grandmother has Alzheimer's and his parents are her primary caretakers we did not think we were going to make it to Florida. I'm so grateful we have this chance to spend with them coming up very soon! 

Because of our upcoming trip we took this week pretty easy. 

We spent some times at our neighborhood park...

...started watching one of my favorite series, Road to Avonlea...

...and prepped for our trip! The girls opted for a screen-free ride on their own so I gathered up a bunch of trivia (Bible, Disney, Adventures in Odyssey, etc.) and some other games, printed some fun travel games (bingo and license plates), and packed our Adventures in Odyssey for listening. The best part was that no one got car sick! 

So no school this week...are you schooling, or are you on break?

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Oprhan's Wish: A BookLook Blogger Review


Melanie Dickerson has done it again! I completely adored this adaptation of Aladdin from page one. Dickerson's fairy tale renderings to justice to our love for the classics while removing the mystical instead replacing it with characters who develop and grow in their faith. Aladdin, a young orphan, is rescued from a life of forced crime in the Holy Land and raised by a kind man of God who offers him a new opportunity. Once in Germany, Aladdin finds new purpose in life and discovers his many talents. As this favored young boy grows, so does his friendship with Lady Kirstyn. Intrigue, peril, and mystery flow throughout this tale and will leave you captivated from start to finish!

I love that Aladdin was the central figure for this tale. Lady Kirstyn is definitely important, but the shift to telling his story at the start is perfect for our times. We sadly live in a world where human trafficking is a common practice and children around the world are stuck in situations not of their choosing. This novel, although taking place in the 1400s, reminded me of the need to pray and support those who are rescuing these children. 

One of the things I adore about this author's writings is I never feel as if she is trying to teach me a biblical message, yet I'm always left with that. She is a masterful storyteller and if you have not yet read her other fairy tale adaptations you need to do so! They are excellent summer reading. Make sure you have plenty of blocked time to read. You won't want to put it down! 

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.  All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Advanced (5th & 6th grade) & Intermediate (3rd & 4th grade) from Bible Study Guide For All Ages: A TOS Crew Review

Bible Study Guide for All Ages
 Discipleship has been a part of our home since my children were born. One of my first things my husband did as he held our girls in the hospital was tell them how much he loved them, and how much God loved them. He told them of Jesus and sang Jesus Loves Me as he rocked them to sleep. We have always implemented family Bible time as a part of our regular routine and have graduated from using the sweet children's Bibles when they were young to the girls each having their own Bible. Sometimes it's hard to find Bible material that is suited to their background. Simple devotions are really not going to cut it for my kids, but they also need to be reminded of the historical facts of Scripture. The Bible Study Guide For All Ages is a wonderful tool for my kids. We used the Advanced (5th & 6th grade) for Rose and Beth and the Intermediate (3rd & 4th grade) for Grace. 
Bible Study Guide for All Ages
Bible Study Guide for All Ages
We used materials from this company about 5 years ago and one of the really awesome things was when they saw me pull this out they got very excited remembering how much they enjoyed it! 5 years is quite a length of time for kids so that was a good indication of how much they liked it the first time around. Grace had missed out before because she was too young, so she was super excited to get to participate. 

I love the way the characters are drawn and the study is laid out. It almost looks like a comic book with the little boxed which is one of the reasons it is so very kid-friendly. Each box is numbered so it is easy to stay together if you are working in a group. We don't usually do very much "together" learning as I like the girls each placed uniquely at their own levels. Bible study like this is a little different in that I love having the opportunity to discuss. I did have to call on them to answer because they just wanted to shout out all the answers! 

The absolute BEST part about this curriculum is kids use their actual Bibles to learn. They look at short passages (just a few verses) and then answer questions or fill in blanks on the page. What a beautiful way to begin teaching your children to study God's Word for themselves! This is truly kid-friendly inductive Bible study in that they dig in to understand what is going on in the historical accounts. 
I personally liked the Bible Summary Cards the best. Each book is summarized with pictures to help recall what each book of the Bible is about. This is excellent for all ages, even up through adult! I put these into plastic sheet covers and into a 3-ring binder for easy storage. The back of each card has a series of questions to help you remember the key ideas and important structure of each one.
Bible Study Guide for All Ages
There are also beautiful wall maps and timelines for young and old which are fantastic teaching aids if you have the room. Our home just doesn't have the wall space, but it is a great idea for a church setting or if you have empty wall space in your home. 
Bible Study Guide for All Ages
  One interesting aspect is that this study starts in Genesis, jumps to Daniel, and then to the New Testament. This is a bit different from others I have used, but I like how it ties the whole Bible together. It really is a logical progression for the way it is laid out even if it isn't a traditional progression. My girls were absolutely in love with this. They looked forward to doing Bible time together for a change of routine and really enjoyed the work. It only took about 15 minutes each day and they were left with solid Bible teaching when they finished. Using 2 different levels was not at all difficult. The Intermediate level was just a bit more simplified. In the future I would probably get Grace the older level because she is more advanced and could totally hang with her sisters for this aspect of learning. 

This comes highly recommended from our family whether for your homeschool or Sunday School at church!
Make sure to click below to see what my Crewmates have to say! 
Bible Study Guide For All Ages {Reviews}
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Saturday, July 7, 2018

Week in Review: July 1-7

We had quite a busy week! I had the girls work on school Monday and Tuesday because too much "off routine" leads to excessive amounts of bickering and generally driving me to Crazy Town! 

We had dinner with dear friends on Tuesday evening who live in Atlanta and were in town for the week. Wednesday was busy with celebrating with my parents and celebrating Beth's 11th birthday! Her actual birthday is the 5th, but we often celebrate the day before. She was almost a little Yankee-Doodle baby, but held off for one more day. 

Thursday was more celebrating of Beth! This time with Blaze Pizza, presents from us, and a nail painting party using Beth's new nail art kit. It's bittersweet seeing the gifts we give our girls become more grown up. She still asks for and plays with toys, but her interests are shifting to more grown up things. 

Here are a few pictures of the week! 

No fireworks photos for this year...yet! It was rainy the evening of the 4th and we usually do the little stand on the ground ones in our driveway, but not this year. We have plans to enjoy them when we get to take a trip to FL to visit family.

How did you celebrate the 4th of July?

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