Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Spiritual Circle Journal for Kids & Teens from Spiritual Circle Journal: A TOS Crew Review

Spiritual Circle Journal
Spiritual Circle Journal

A fresh,new school year invites fresh, new approaches to our family quiet times. We have been using the Spiritual Circle Journal for Kids & Teens from Spiritual Circle Journal to bring some structure to our time.

This is a sturdy, spiral bound journal that can be customized, by your child, designed for children ages 8 and up. It consists of:
  • 3 pages of instructions and guidelines to help parents fully utilize the journal 
  • a sample journal page
  • 66 blank journal pages
  • 15 summary pages
The author, Liz Lassa, has patterned this journal after her adult journals. Each pages has areas designated to help your child listen and respond to what the Lord is speaking. I never really knew what a "quiet time" should look like until well into my adult years. This journal gives a very concrete picture of what a quiet time can look like, and a way for your child to process this special time. 

The blank sections on each journal page give your child a place to write.  They are in shapes to help remember each topic.  The topics are:

  • Journal Entry - What are you thinking about today?
  • Lyric/Verse - Has a song or verse caught your attention?
  • Message - What is the most important thing you learned lately?
  • Confession - Anything you need to say sorry for?
  • God Moving - Have you noticed God doing something in your life?
  • Lesson Learned Light-Bulb Moment - Any life lessons, or "light bulb" moments?
  • Prayer - Need help?
  • Thank You/Adoration - What can you thank God for?
  • Actions - Anything God is wanting you to do?

The summary pages include circles for recording things like:
  • lessons learned 
  • favorite verses to memorize
  • things God is doing in your life
  • Bible characters you want to learn more about
The Parent Guide pages are full of helpful tips.  The author highly recommends that you sit down and do several pages with your child, giving prompts as needed.  This helps them master the way it works.  

Then, keep it fun.  They don't have to complete every section, every day.  A simple sentence is all they need.  Add stickers or special pens and markers for your creative kids.  The journal includes a blank cover, under a clear plastic protective cover, that your child can decorate as they please.  Or, the colorful cover serves a reminder of each journal section.

I loved her pointers on how the pen is better than the keyboard!.  (I've been telling them this for years!)  This journal really appeals to all learning styles too.  Visual, auditory (when you talk it out with them) and the kinesthetic learners will all find it appealing.

My tester fell in love with this journal right away. 

She likes to find a quiet place to fill in her page, and then, come find me to show me.  It's given us numerous opportunities to discuss what God is saying to us. 

The author encourages us to share our own faith stories with our children. This is a fabulous tool to introduce them to listening to God on their own.  Plus, it creates a great way to talk with them as well.  

I'm so impressed...I want my own!

Find Spiritual Circle Journal on Social Media:

Spiritual Circle Journal

Instagram:  @spiritualcirclejournal

Twitter:  @liz_lassa

Hashtags: #hsreviews #spiritualcirclejournal #journal #prayerjournal #spiritualcirclejournalforkids #kidsjournal

Spiritual Circle Journal

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Roadtrippin' - The Wedding

The reason for the road trip... Brandt & Christina's wedding!  Brandt is my nephew, and one of the sweetest men I know.  We had a blast celebrating.   For most of our kiddos, this was the first wedding they remember.  How did I get this old??

We clean up pretty nice, huh?

Father of the Groom - and the cutest Reader at the Wedding!

Dancin' the night away!

Grandma, Mother-of-the-Bride, and my sister-in-laws - beautiful women!!

Everyone's favorite .... Crazy Uncle Alan! 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Roadtrippin' - Bourbonnais

Our road trippin' led us to Bourbonnais, IL and the GRANDPARENTS!

One highlight for us was getting to be the "headline act" at their retirement community's "happy hour".

Each one of our kiddos used their gifts to entertain the crowd (who was super friendly...a room FULL of grandparents!)  I don't think Grandma has stopped beaming yet...

We had songs:

Instrumental Music- violin, piano and flute:


 We even got to visit "Grandma's Garden" and eat fresh peas.  (well, some of us did)

Time for a selfie with Grandpa (I love the glasses!)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Road Tripping - Chicago Style

Our next stop - Chicago!

We are now members of the Shedd Aquarium (cheaper for our family than regular admission...)

We took a boat taxi....

We walked Navy Pier (while our children whined!)

We ate real Chicago Pizza! (which made them happy)

Then, an adventure on the trolley and public bus, with a leisurely stroll under a dark bridge...


And we made it!  I love Chicago!

Spanish Starter Set 1 from Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids: A TOS Crew Review

Beginner Spanish Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Review
Beginner Spanish Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Review
  Spanish Starter Set 1 from Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids

Learning Spanish is a goal for the Bentz Test Academy.  We have been loving the Spanish Starter Set 1 from Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids!  This is a very easy to use, immersion-style program that will have your kids speaking and understanding conversational Spanish in no time.  We were fortunate to get the Starter Set 1, which includes:

  • DVD with videos for Levels 1-3
  • Three Parent-Teacher Guides which sets out a detailed lesson plan, with a suggested viewing schedule and a variety of fun, supplemental and hands on activities to choose from to reinforce the material taught in the videos.
  • Flashcards and Card Games for Levels 1 to 3
  • Workbooks for Levels 1-3
  • Stickers for Levels 1-3

My testers were rather reluctant to watch a video...but, that did NOT last long.  The videos are extremely engaging.  They are only kids (no adults never see mama!)  The videos follow a family through their day.  No English is spoken, only Spanish.

 The vocabulary words appear on screen, sometimes as a label, other times on a t-shirt. The words are taught by repetition and the kids showing what the Spanish words mean.  Even my youngest tester was able to pick up unfamiliar words this way.  Each video includes a "Rapid Review" at the end, where the vocabulary is reinforced.  We used this to shout it out and see who could get it right first.  My testers were all elementary ages, but the program could work with all ages.

My testers loved watching the videos and I was amazed by how much they picked up, even on the first time through!  The video segments are around 15 minutes each. You can view a sample video here.

 The Set include Parent-Teacher Guides will tell you exactly how to use this program and break it down into short lessons for a 20 week curriculum.   In addition to watching the video and rapid review, the lessons include vocabulary, geography, games, workbook pages and "gust of grammar" (helpful Spanish grammar lessons).

The Student Workbook is full color and features fun activities like word searches, scrambles, secret codes and more.  I minored in Spanish during college, and I was completely impressed with the amount of Spanish that is presented in these workbooks...and - it was fun too!

The Flashcards have the vocabulary word on a card, and a picture (from the videos) on another.  You can use these in many ways.  My testers like to put them all down and play "memory match" with them.  You can use them for review too.  Games like "Go Squish" (like Go Fish) use the flashcards in games that my testers loved playing.

The set also comes with stickers that you can use to label the items around your home.

This is a super fun way to introduce Spanish, and don't be surprised when "Tengo hambre" and "No me gusta" start coming out at the dinner table!

Be sure to check out Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids on Facebook!

Hashtags: #hsreviews #foreignlanguage #homeschoolspanish

Beginner Spanish Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids Review

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