Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Mr Popper would be Proud

I am delighted to get to introduce my sweet 4th and 5th graders to literature at our Coop this year!


We just wrapped up reading a family favorite - Mr. Popper's Penguins.


For fun, we made our own penguin pets from that long horded toilet paper roll stash!  So very easy...


We covered them with black paper, added our white bellies, eyes, and of course - flippers!




 Mr. Popper would be so proud!


Rescue Me! What Superheroes Can Teach Us About the Power of Faith, Book 1, from The Captain Sun Adventures: A TOS Crew Review

The Captain Sun Adventures

 Rescue Me! What Superheroes Can Teach Us About the Power of FaithBook 1, from The Captain Sun Adventures


Everyone loves a superhero! Rescue Me! What Superheroes Can Teach Us About the Power of Faith - Book 1 from The Captain Sun Adventures by Bryce Morgan and illustrated by Mitch Martin takes us on an exciting, illustrated journey that helps us discover important truths about our faith along the way.


 My testers were excited to pick up this short book - they read the entire thing in one sitting.  I was intrigued myself, and read it too.  Superheroes are a big interest lately, and this book captures our attention right away.



Rescue Me! What Superheroes Can Teach Us About the Power of Faith, Book 1 features the superhero, Captain Sun as he wrestles with the forces of his evil enemy - Black-Out. In classic comic book fashion, our hero must overcome the enemy and save the city.  Along the way, Captain Sun involves his "league" of superheroes and teaches us about the power of friends.

Woven throughout this brightly illustrated, eight chapter, graphic novel are timeless truths from the Bible. Think of this book as part comic book, part devotional.


Some of the topics include our origins, rescue from sin, spiritual power and  responsibility, sacrifice, who to turn to when we need help and how to be a real hero.

This book is a great resource for both parents and children.  The short chapters are followed by a newspaper-like devotional that includes Scripture references. Additional questions to think about and discuss together are included as well.  It would make an excellent small group study for your younger students.









We highly recommend this fun way to introduce important Biblical truths - and can't wait to get the other books in the series!  
Rescue Me! What Superheroes Can Teach Us About the Power of Faith {The Captain Sun Adventures Reviews}

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Thursday, September 13, 2018

Fitting Words Classical Rhetoric from Roman Roads Media: A TOS Crew Review

Roman Roads Media
Fitting Words

Fitting Words Classical Rhetoric (complete program) from Roman Roads Media


“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Proverbs 25:11)  We have been exploring the Fitting Words Classical Rhetoric (complete program) from Roman Roads Media to become better communicators.

Fitting Words Classical Rhetoric is a complete program to teach your students to master the art of Rhetoric by focusing on : Invention, Arrangement, Style, Memory, & Delivery.  It contains everything needed to begin a lifelong study of great thinking and speaking.  The Complete program, designed for high school and beyond, comes with:


  • 4 DVD instructional videos
  • Hardcover Student Textbook
  • Spiral bound Workbook
  • Exam Packet
  • Answer Key

This is a full, and meaty program!  My tester is a sophomore in high school.  The program is designed so your student can complete one lesson a week, and finish the entire course in 30 weeks.  I will admit, that pace is a bit fast for my tester...so, we worked slower, covering a lesson over the course of 2 weeks.



Let me show you how it works. The student begins by watching the video.  Each lesson has two corresponding videos - one for the teaching, one on the application.  My tester would watch the first video, then move on to reading the chapter in the Textbook.





The videos are well done, the author is the teacher. One thing my tester didn't like was that the author looked down a  lot, and read off notes - not, what she expected from a video teaching speaking skills.  We enjoyed the application videos, and got a glimpse of the author's sense of humor with his Star Trek video to illustrate his definition.  The videos are engaging, but not too long.



The Textbook is what we really enjoyed  (If you know me...saying a textbook is something we enjoyed is a real endorsement!)  The chapters are short, but full of wisdom.  Key Concepts are highlighted in the sidebars, as well as, Famous Orators.  I like that the text is simple black and white, it's not distracting to the message.






We have been keeping Commonplace books this year.  The text and video make recommendations of what you can include.

Fitting Words


Each lesson includes optional "Thinking Deeper" exercises you can use to pursue the topic deeper.  "Developing Memory" is a section with a memory exercise to focus on.  One of my tester's goals is to memorize more scripture.  "Reading Further" offers additional selections to read.


The Appendix of this textbook is a real treat!  It contains over 30 pages of famous speeches- from the "Funeral Oration" by Pericles to "The Perils of Indifference", Elie Wiesel, 1999.  This section gives the student wonderful examples to learn by.  The appendix also includes another section with "Every Speech in the Bible" referenced, with a title or quote. This is an amazing tool.



The Workbook includes several exercises for each lesson. The workbook also contains the Judging Sheets for the speeches.  The student is expected to give 5 speeches throughout this course. Since the first speech comes after lesson 13, we skipped ahead a bit to read the lesson and prepare for a speech my tester was giving for another class.  My tester's first speech was centered around creating the emotion of emulation - she delivered an excellent speech on Amy Carmichael, and her work in India for our Co-op.



The Exam packet contains both Reviews and Exams. The reviews go over what the student is expected to know for the exams.






The Answer Key contains answers for both the Workbook and Exams.

This is a well-designed, full program.  I think this would make an excellent Co-op class for high school or even a self-study for my college students.  Everyone can benefit from improving their thinking and communication skills.  My tester has been thoroughly enjoying it!


Other members of the Crew reviewed - Picta Dicta Natural World  & Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder, be sure to check them out!



PictaDicta Natural WorldRoman Roads Media Picta Dicta Vocabulary Builder




Classical Rhetoric and Picta Dicta {Roman Roads Media Reviews}Find  Roman Roads Media on Social Media:

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Classical Rhetoric and Picta Dicta {Roman Roads Media Reviews}
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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

First Day Photo Shoot

Our wonderful PEACE Co-op has 4 Seniors this year... yes, another Senior year for us too!

They set up their own "Senior photo shoot" our first day.  I adore these amazing world-changers!!  I'm so grateful for their friendships, and for the chance to share Senior year together.






Guess which one is mine???



It's going to be a GREAT year!

Kingdom Files from Barbour Publishing: A TOS Crew Review

Barbour Publishing

The Kingdom Files



Kingdome Files Who Was Mary Mother of JesusKingdome Files Who Was Jonah

Kingdom Files from Barbour Publishing

We have been enjoying a new series - the Kingdom Files from Barbour PublishingWe received two books - Who Was Jonah? and Who Was Mary, Mother of Jesus?.



These books are perfect for your 8-12 year olds!  These softcover books each focus on key Bible characters and their lives.  The books are around 100 pages long, perfect for your young readers, with black and white illustrations sprinkled in.



Let me show you one... Who Was Mary, Mother of Jesus?.

It starts with the FACT FILE - a basic introduction to Mary with her "key stats" and timeline.  Each of the books in the series follows the same basic format.



The majority of the book is the ACTION FILE - where you get to read the Bible character's story.  The author, Matt Koceich a fellow Texan, does a great job writing in a child-friendly and easy-to-read style.  "Clues" are included throughout this section that point out  important truths.  Who Was Mary, Mother of Jesus has 6 short chapters in this section.  You could easily read them together, or have your child read them on their own. 



The final section of the book is called the POWER FILE.  This section includes 10 - "power ups".  These are the devotional section of the book, with each power up being a message that your child can learn from and reflect on. Messages like- Live your life to glorify God, Rejoice that God is your Savior, God knows you, God blesses you, and God is mighty and carries your burdens.  Each power up includes a scripture as well.  This is my favorite part of this series!  The power ups are an excellent way to show our children how the Bible applies to our lives.






Who Was Jonah?  is another book in this 6 book series.  I love the story of Jonah! We are using this series as our Bible/devotional time together, and memorizing the scriptures from each power up.

The power ups of Obey God, Don't be afraid, God cares, Live by faith, have all been excellent family conversation starters too

You could easily use one book a month as your Bible study with your young readers. 


Their website offers more activities to go along with the series - games, worksheets, and more.  I would highly recommend this series!


The Kingdom Files



Kingdom Files {Barbour Publishing Reviews}




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Kingdom Files {Barbour Publishing Reviews}
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