Friday, July 20, 2018

Fun Fiction Friday - July 20th, 2018

Fun Fiction Friday
November 20th, 2017

Welcome back to Fun Fiction Friday.

In my Fun Fiction Friday I share the books the older girls and I are reading, and a short review of a Young Adult or Juvenile book I have finished, if applicable. I will also ask the girls to tell me something they would like to share about at least one of the books they are currently reading.

Tabitha is still reading a wide variety of books.

She is closer to finishing the Warriors: The New Prophecy series by Erin Hunter. She really enjoyed the original Warriors series. My oldest son read them years ago and also loved them. He was thrilled that she was reading them. She just finished Twilight and is working on Sunset.

Knowing how much she loves mysteries, I encouraged her to try out the original Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene that I read and loved as a kid. She finished book 1 and is ready to start book 2: The Hidden Staircase. I also took out A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle because I enjoyed it as a child and we just saw the movie at the library recently, so she was interested in it. However, it appears they have taken a back seat while she tries to finish the Warriors book, plus has gotten interested in The Keeper of the Lost Cities that I have been reading.

I had the following series recommended to me a while back and was thrilled to find it in our library system. Funnily enough, Tabitha's penpal had told her about them, and I hadn't realized it. I started the first one, Keeper of the Lost Cities, and couldn't put it down. I told her she HAD to read it. I zinged through the second book, Keeper of the Lost Cities: Exile and handed it to her last week. I then read the third book, Keeper of the Lost Cities: Everblaze after it became available through inter-library loan. I just started the fourth book, Keeper of the Lost Cities: Neverseen yesterday. The first three books were amazing, and I can't wait to see what happens next. If you like fantasy books, this series is one I highly recommend.

Amelia couldn't really get into the Warriors books, but for some reason has really been enjoying these Survivors books by Erin Hunter.

Though she sort of set them aside to read the Great Illustrated Classics version of The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.

Plus she is taking her turn reading the Tales of Sasha books that Hannah took our from the library. Hannah has them all finished, and now Tabitha and Amelia are both reading them.

Hopefully next week I will have a chance to have the girls tell a little about the books they are reading.

As a family, we are still reading Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan, and the Kane Chronicles: The Serpent's Shadow, by the same author. These have been fun ways to learn a little about the mythology of the ancient Egyptians and Greeks. We are so close to being done with both of these books.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Delving Into The Josefina Story Quilt with an eGuide from Progeny Press {A TOS Review}

We had the wonderful opportunity of being able to review another study guide from Progeny Press. Ever since I was introduced to this company through the Homeschool Review Crew several years ago, I have really enjoyed being able to use their products. I love being able to delve into books, and work on reading comprehension, especially from a Biblical perspective. This time, it was the younger children who had the experience. We have been using The Josefina Story Quilt - eGuide for our language arts these past few weeks, and we've been having a wonderful time. 

We received a downloadable PDF copy of the 35-page study guide for the children's book, The Josefina Story Quilt; however, it is also available in a printed version. The guide is written by Rebecca Gilleland, who along with her husband Michael own Progeny Press. The recommended grade levels for this particular study guide are 1st through 3rd grade. Which was perfect for Harold and Hannah.

Progeny Press offers eGuides for four different levels. 
  • Lower Elementary (Kindergarten through 3rd grade)
  • Upper Elementary (3rd through 5th grade)
  • Middle School (5th through 8th grade)
  • High School (8th through 12th grade)
The books in the Lower Elementary level are either picture books or simple chapter books. Like all the other levels, the books chosen are quality books, and most are even award winners. In the past we have used the guides for Frog and Toad Together (lower elementary) and Charlotte's Web (upper elementary). 

What materials are needed for completing this study?

You will need a printer, paper, and ink to print out the study guide pages. As with all their eGuides, permission is granted to print enough copies for single classroom use, though not all of the pages need to be printed out. I prefer to purchase Prong Pocket Folders to keep our study guides organized, but you could also use a regular binder or folder. You will also need normal school supplies such as crayons and/or colored pencils, pen or pencil, plus common craft supplies for completing the related crafts. Some suggestions would be paints, markers, or chalk. Fabric or wallpaper scraps are also suggested, though we didn't have those. Perhaps even some sewing supplies. There is also a cooking activity which would require typical ingredients normally found in a kitchen. 

Let's take a look at the eGuide for The Josefina Story Quilt.

The guide begins with a Table of Contents. Then you will find the following:
  • Note to Instructor
  • Synopsis
  • About the Author
  • Background Information
  • Before-you-read Activities
  • Vocabulary
  • Looking at the Story: Part One
  • Looking at the Story: Part Two
  • Dig Deeper
  • Crossword Puzzle Review
  • Activities, Arts, and Crafts
  • Suggestions for Further Reading
  • Answer Key
The "Note to Instructor" gives details on how to use Progeny Press Study Guides, including how long they should take to complete. 

The "Synopsis" tells what is going to happen in the story, and "About the Author" gives some tidbits about the author's life, including awards won and even a quote.

I enjoyed being able to share the "Background Information" which was like a one-page history lesson about westward expansion in the 1800's. This information went along with the "Before-you-read Activities" that we completed before reading the book.

I appreciated that the children had a chance to work on geography and encyclopedia/research skills, along with some other thought provoking activities to go along with quilts and wagons, though I was disappointed I couldn't find the recommended music to listen to. 

Prior to reading the book we also worked on the "Vocabulary" section. There were multiple choice questions, along with an activity that had us looking at a specific section of the book to discover various verbs, using them to complete the sentences, after which they were to find them in a word search. The word search was a bit tricky for Harold, so he did need some help for that activity. Hannah was able to complete it independently. 

We then moved into the story. "Looking at the Story: Part One" has us read the first two chapters of the book before completing three pages of short-answer type questions, and "Looking at the Story: Part Two" has us read the remainder of the story, which was four chapters, before filling out the answers for another five pages of questions. The questions ask the children for specific, literal details that can be found in the text, but there are also questions where the children have to think a little harder to come up with the answers, along with explaining why they answered the way they did. For example, they had to know details from the book to answer what Pa had to throw out of the wagon to lighten the load, but then they also had to decide whether that would have been hard, and explain why or why not.
Here is how Hannah answered those questions.

And here is how Harold answered those questions. 
(I am allowing him to answer without full sentences, because when we first started the guide he was taking an awfully long time and getting frustrated with all the writing.)

Then there are the questions that help look at aspects in the story from a Biblical perspective. We looked at such things as obeying and honoring parents, looking at what the Bible has to say about friendship in relation to Faith's friendship with Josefina, and a bit about prayer. Bible verses are read and then applied to the story and to the students' lives.

The three-page "Dig Deeper" section helps us review the story and look at it as a whole. Again there are short-answer type questions to answer, along with some questions asking the children to list specific details from the story. Additionally there is even more time to reflect on God's word and answer questions.

The children then need to complete the "Crossword Puzzle Review" to see how well they remember the story.

The remainder of the study guide is more of a resource for the parent. 

In "Activities, Arts, and Crafts" you will find a story-related recipe (which we didn't make as it was for homemade bread and I just couldn't have that temptation in the house), plus a couple of art projects, and a couple of craft suggestions. We combined a couple of the suggestions, tweaking them a bit, to make a paper square quilt in memory of our trip to the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter last week. 

Each of the children created four quilt squares for this quilt. 

Though I was using the actual guide with the younger two children, Hannah and Harold who are going into third and first grade respectively, the older girls did join in a bit. In addition to the quilt pictured above, the older girls did listen in while we were reading, plus they read some of the "Further Reading" suggestions that were closer to their reading level. 

The "Suggestions for Further Reading" section suggests several different types of books. 
  • Other books by Eleanor Coerr 
  • Books of Related Interest (wagons, quilts, pioneer days)
  • I'll Teach Myself Series (sewing and patchwork)
  • and the book and cassette of suggested music
The eGuide concludes with the "Answer Key."

How did we use The Josefina Story Quilt eGuide?

First I put the suggested books on hold, so we could have a variety of reading material available. Then Hannah and Harold and I took a few days to work on the "Before-you-read Activities" and "Vocabulary" section. After that I read the first two chapters aloud for Part One of "Looking at the Story." I would then ask them the questions and have them come up with their answers, using the book as necessary. I would have them dictate their answers to me, and then they would copy the answers onto their study guide. About one page at a time was plenty of work for both of them, as they both are not huge fans of writing. We are doing the same for Part Two. 

In between reading the chapters for part one and part two of the guide, Hannah actually snitched the book and read it on her own. 

We also read quite a few of the books on the suggested reading list. Some were read as family read-alouds, others were read to me by Harold, and some the older girls read on their own. The older girls had an assignment where they had to read one or more of the books and then they had to choose at least one to create a "book report" for. 

One of the books Amelia read is Wagon Wheels by Barbara Brenner. She created this story poster:

One of the books Tabitha read is Pioneer Cat by William H. Hooks. She created a scrapbook. Here's one of the pages:

We have really enjoyed our time reading and delving into a bit of America's past with this eGuide for The Josefina Story Quilt. We have been focusing on ancient history all year, so it was nice to do something a bit different for the start of the summer. 

As with both of the previous study guides from Progeny Press, I greatly appreciated the chance to delve into quality literature from a Biblical perspective. I love that these guides get the children (and mom) thinking about what they are reading. And, as always, we love having hands-on activities which help to enhance what we are learning. 

Both of the children really enjoyed the story. 

Hannah liked being able to create a story quilt of our own. 

Harold liked writing answers to the questions, though he prefers when there isn't tons of writing to do.

You can find Progeny Press on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Don't forget to click on the banner below to check out what my fellow Crew Mates think of the eGuides they got to review. In addition to The Josefina Story Quilt, the Crew had the opportunity to review the following eGuides:

New Study Guides for Literature From a Christian Perspective {Progeny Press Reviews}

Crew Disclaimer

Throwback Thursday Blog-Style #213: July 19, 2018

Welcome back to... 

I know, I know, Throwback Thursday seems to be all about sharing pictures from the past, great memories that mean something to you, that you would like to share with others. At least that is how it appears to me. Throwback Thursday wasn't something I was participating in, and then I came up with an idea.

I thought it would be great fun and a help to my blog to share old content, but not just any old content. Each week I will share an old blog post from a previous year, any year, BUT it has to be from the current week (for example, something I've posted around July 19th, from any previous year)  I will go in, edit the post if needed, add a pinnable image if I don't already have one, and share it on Facebook.

Would you like to join in? You do not need to edit your past post in any way, you don't need to create a pinnable image, though it couldn't hurt, in fact it will help your blog traffic to add quality pinnable images to your posts.

Just go into your archives, choose a favorite post from this current week from any previous year, and link it up below. (If you don't have anything from this current week, it is still okay to link up with a post from a previous year around this time. And if you haven't been blogging for a full year, feel free to share any earlier post.)

Please make sure to share from the past as instructed above. Most weeks I find that there is a wonderful post, but I can't feature it because it is a current post, not from the past. Sadly, I am going to have to say, I will be deleting posts that do not follow the rules. The spirit of Throwback Thursday Blog-Style is to share posts from the past. Please follow the guidelines.
Thank you

I will be pinning posts to my appropriate Pinterest boards and will be randomly selecting a Featured Throwback Thursday post to share next week. Just a note, I will be sharing a picture from your post if you are selected as the featured post, but I will link back to your post. I will ALWAYS give credit and link back. By linking up you are giving me permission to use your picture in the post. 

Here is my Throwback Thursday post:

Originally posted July 16th, 2017
Jesus is the Rock

Here is this week's randomly selected
Featured Throwback Thursday:

Stacey Pardoe shared 

To participate, link up below. It would be great if you could visit several of the other posts that have linked up. Stop by, comment, and pin images so we can help each other.

No button currently, and there won't be one until I can figure it out seeing as Photobucket has changed things. Feel free to still share the picture in place of the button. Just link it to my Throwback Thursday Blog-Style permalink please.

Happy Throwback Thursday!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Wordless Wednesday: July 18, 2018 (w/linky) - Vacation Field Trip Day 1: The Creation Museum

Last week we went on our end of year field trip to the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter in Kentucky. I promised I would share pictures. So, today I am sharing from our first day when we went to the Creation Museum. Next week I will share pictures from when we were at the Ark Encounter. And the following week I will be sharing pictures of our second day at the Creation Museum, when we spent half our time walking through the gardens and going to the petting zoo, and the other half finishing up exhibits in the museum.

Of course, first we had to get to the hotel. Which we did around midnight thanks to a traffic jam four minutes away from our hotel.

Breakfast in the hotel

Arrival at the museum. We loved the waterfall and looking at the fish.

Entrance to the museum

He loves the fossil.

Harold loved the raptor. We told him he couldn't name it "Blue."

They chose their favorite pictures in the next exhibit, and I had them stand next to them.

Walking through Creation. First the dinosaurs were friendly and vegetarian.

But after sin entered the world, and the curse, the were not friendly anymore. There was death and disease.

Moved into the small replica of Noah's Ark (which was sort of impressive before they made the Ark Encounter.) Here they got to take turns on this quiz.

We were thrilled to find something else we learned about, cuneiform.

The animatronic people are really cool. Some are even programmed to answer the questions found on the computer screen.


The skull in the case on the right is the real fossil, while the big dinosaur has a cast of it, as the real one would have been too heavy for the supports.

We loved finding this display of the dispersion of Noah's descendants after the flood, as we learned about it, and the girls worked on a map of it, earlier in the year.

They've grown a bit since the last time we went to the Creation Museum (back in 2014).

Headed back to the van so we could go to our home-away-from-home.

If you would like to see more pictures from the Creation Museum, I invite you to check out my Wordless Wednesday post from May of 2014.

Looking forward to seeing your Wordless (or not so wordless) Wednesday posts this week.

No button currently, and there won't be one until I can figure it out seeing as Photobucket has changed things. Feel free to still share the picture in place of the button on your Wordless Wednesday post or in a list of Wordless Wednesday linkies. Just link it to my Wordless Wednesday permalink please.

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