Monday, November 25, 2019

Everyone should have a friend like this...

Everyone should have a friend like Michelle!

She and I have been friends since the good old MN days.  We've been pregnant together, shared losses together.  Homeschooled side-by-side. Worshiped side-by-side.  Served side-by-side. We've vacationed together... we even have shared the flu together - on vacation!  We've mourned together and celebrated together.

I've moved twice since the good old days and Michelle has always made it a priority to come visit me and "make sure I'm in a good place".  Our phone calls have been a lifeline for my sanity on more than one occasion.  Truly, the miles apart have only made our hearts closer.

She blessed me again  - by coming to share my girls' show with us!

Everyone should have a friend like this.

Wine + coffee = true friends

Pedicures are double the fun with someone to sit next to!

I treasure this friendship.  Thank you Michelle!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

LitWits Kits from LitWits: A TOS Crew Review

LitWits Kits from LitWits

I love when literature comes to life!  We have been discovering a fun way to liven up our literature studies with LitWits Kits.

LitWits is a company founded by two sisters that share a love of reading and experiencing books together.  They offer 46  LitWits Kits that bring great books to life for you and your family.

We have gotten the opportunity to take a peek at 4 titles:

Let me show you what a LitWit Kit is all about.  Check out this video:

Each LitWit kit arrives as an online experience.  You can also download all the great suggestions in a handy PDF as well.  It's well organized and very easy to use.

Each of the kits include:

  • Welcome
  • Overview  - a basic synopsis and introduction
  • Prop Ideas - great ideas for items to display and ways to bring the book to life
  • Hands-on Fun -   activities to get you moving and creating
  • Bookbites - another way to experience the book - with your taste buds
  • Takeaways - what did the characters learn, what can you learn?
  • Hand-outs - printable worksheets - vocabulary, literary analysis, maps and more
  • Learning Links - great ways to explore more
  • Great Quotes - we LOVE quotes
  • Copyright
We were excited to jump right in with our next literature book - The Phantom Tollbooth.  This is a fun book all about words and numbers!

Our LitWit kit gave us great ideas of ways to experience our book and to make it even more memorable.  Since we were doing this together at home, I skipped their Prop Suggestions.  But, this would be a fabulous addition to a coop literature class!

Our first activity was a Chromograph - basically we colored music.  We had so much fun jamming out to the William Tell Overture and creating colored music scores.

Next we created a fun project celebrating Norton and Jules from our reading.  The girls really enjoyed creating personalized maps with magazine letters and illustrations from the book - and we have a fun way to remember how much we enjoyed reading the book together!


One thing I love about LitWit Kits is that there is a wide variety of activities you can choose from - pick one, or all of them.  You can customize to your family. Most of our activities used supplies we readily had on hand.  All the work has been done for you.

Facing the Doecahedron (had to google how to say that one...) was a fun project to build a 3-d 12 sided shape decorated with all our facial expressions.  

Bookbites is a section that allows you "to taste the story".  The Quotes and Learning Links are sections that will take you to other useful resources on the web. 

The Takeaways section gives you plenty of topics to explore together - for instance brain hemispheres and etymology are topics from The Phantom Tollbooth to get you interested in learning more.  Valuing education and the visualizing of ideas are also topics to discuss and explore together. LitWits has made it easy for you.

A PDF section of Handouts is included as well.  Vocabulary, literary analysis, creative writing, math and more are all included to round out the learning.

I am very impressed with the quality and quantity of experiences each LitWit Kit includes!  You can really make reading an adventure, and all the hard work is done for you.  With so many titles to choose from, you will have no problem finding a good fit for your family.

Be sure to check them out!

Find LitWits on Social Media:

LitWits Kits {LitWits Reviews}


Hashtags:   #hsreviews #readforfunlearnforlife #litwits #litwitskits

LitWits Kits {LitWits Reviews}
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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Beauty & the Beast - Recap

As are some more pics from the show - they were truly amazing!

My favorite Enchanted Plate ever...

The Enchantress

An Enchanted Napkin with high kicks!

She found her "place"!

Friday, November 15, 2019

Blue Ribbon Awards 2019

Every year - the Review Crew gets a chance to vote for the products we liked best.  Here's a few personal favorites & recommendations from the Bentz Curriculum Committee with a link to our reviews.
Thanks for sticking with us during a very difficult year!  Look for a review - coming soon - on my new FAVORITE Science program  (a review I missed while my husband was in the hospital, but don't want you to miss out on!) 

CrossWired Science - 

Here's a few more "family favorites" - 

Drive Thru History® "Acts to Revelation"

Brain Blox Wooden Building Planks from Brain Blox:

Heroes of History from YWAM Publishing:

Don't miss all the other great products you will want to investigate... Be sure to check out the products that the Crew voted for!!  We're all real moms...just like you

Check out what the Crew liked BEST!
2019 Blue Ribbon Awards

God's Mail Volume 3 from God's Mail: A TOS Crew Review

God's Mail Volume 3 from God's Mail

Looking for a quick way to bring some encouragement?  We have been reviewing God's Mail Volume 3 from God's Mail written by Ron Hardin.

I love to know more about the author, don't you?  Ron Hardin has a interesting testimony of having walked away from God during his teenage years - getting involved in desperate activities like drugs, gangs and alcohol.  He was reunited  to faith by "supernatural experiences" and the "Hand of God".  I can relate... my own testimony has similar themes.

Ron began writing poetry to communicate God's truths.  Since he began, he has penned over 500 poems. He considers himself a "prophet and voice for God to his people".  Pretty large assignment...don't you agree.

God's Mail Volume 3 is a large 8x11, softcover book.  It contains 221 pages of original poetry combined with pages of Scripture references for each poem.

It is lightly illustrated with back and white faded images behind the poems and Scripture.  Personally, I found it harder to read because of this.  I would suggest a different style altogether that doesn't make the text hard to read.

The format is the same throughout the book.  A poem on one page - Scripture on the other.  You could use this  as a devotional to guide you to Scripture.  The Scripture is quoted in a variety of versions.  I actually enjoy this - reading familiar passages in new translations often gives me new insight.

Reading just a poem or two a day could be a great way to spark discussions with your family.  Many of the poems deal with issues that would be more appropriate for adults (or late teens) than for children. So this is decidedly for them.

Overall, my teens were not impressed with the poetry. They found many of the poems confusing and hard to follow the meaning. It seems quite forced at time, and we found many grammatical errors. It could definitely use another proofreading. 

Ron shares his messages with rhyming couplet poetry.  Not the most "academic" approach, but I like the pure honesty he expresses.  His poetry covers a variety of experiences that Christians in our modern world are facing or will be facing.  Topics like trust, abortion, divorce, recovery, forgiveness and many more.  I'm not sure who the target audience is...probably not the average home school family.

Overall, I'm not sure that this is a book I would highly recommend - it's not quite my style.  However, it may appeal to some. The beginning has a long list of endorsements from people that appreciate this style.  You'll want to make up your own mind. 

 I pray that each of us will use our gifts to glorify the Lord - that's what Ron Hardin trying to do.  

God's Mail: Volume 3 {God's Mail Reviews}

See what other members of the Crew thought here
God's Mail: Volume 3 {God's Mail Reviews}
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