Tag Archives: history

Pathway to Liberty ~ a Crew review

Pathway To Liberty Review

History can be such an interesting study when approached with enthusiasm but by the same token can be a boring subject when approached from a flat, disinterested viewpoint. Pathway to Liberty Homeschool Curriculum takes more of the first approach and we are enjoying it more each week. We received levels 2, 3, and 4 of Pathway to Liberty’s World History from Pathway to Liberty’s History Curriculum. I asked for this level as it moved us forward in our study of history; we had been recently talking about the American Civil War.

Pathway to Liberty was founded by homeschool mom Jayme MacCullough. She found, while teaching her own students, that the curriculum choices she had did not meet her personal standards and desires. These included biases and what she described as incomplete or revised histories. To combat this, she began studying the principles on which America was founded and true liberty. Out of this study came this curriculum.

 

Pathway to Liberty consists of four years, which cover from creation through the 21st century. The four years, in order, are:

Year 1 – Pathway to Liberty’s Universal History,
Year 2 – Pathway to Liberty’s The Middle Ages,
Year 3 – Pathway to Liberty’s US History,
Year 4 – Pathway to Liberty’s World History

Pathway to Liberty

There are four levels for each of these years. These grade levels are approximate. My 9th grader used level 4 and we found it be not any more difficult than the level 3 materials, though it did use different source materials. The recommended grades per level are:

Level 1 – Kindergarten through 3rd grade
Level 2 – 4th grade through 6th grade
Level 3 – 7th grade through 9th grade
Level 4 – 10th grade through 12th grade

We received World History. This has been an overall good study so far and we are looking forward to continuing with it. I expected a more world-wide centered view from the curriculum. It is very US centered, though it does look around the world some in light of the fact that there are so many wars to cover. We have covered WWI pretty well at this point, and while we did talk about some of the causes of the war and the parties involved in it, the level 2 and 3 books really focused on the US presidents during that time rather than a wider world-view of the war. This is not bad, in any way, just not quite what I was expecting.

Pathway level 2 and 3

We have enjoyed reading the source materials for Pathway to Liberty. For levels 2 and 3, we are using books from the Joy Hakim’s series A History of US. Level 4 is using The Century by Peter Jennings and Todd Brewster. These are well-written materials that are age appropriate, though I wouldn’t mind seeing the level 3 source a bit more challenging as much of the level 2 and level 3 materials are exactly the same.

Pathway level 4

Pathway to Liberty book and video

There are also plenty of videos to watch that come from various sources on YouTube. There is a Pathway to Liberty channel on YouTube that has most of the videos linked there in a playlist. We did have to do searches for several videos and at least one would no longer play from the playlist but it was easy to find what we needed.

pathway-weekly-plans.jpg

Each week, the teacher guide and the student workbooks have the weekly overview plan. The material is exactly the same in both places, and in the student workbooks.  It gives the scripture for the week, the principle, and the leading idea. There are four lessons of materials for the week and each level has its own column showing what they are to do for each lesson. There are also some additional assignments for writing, expanded history reading, and vocabulary. We utilized the vocabulary but have not yet assigned additional readings or writings.

Pathway to Liberty workbook being used

Each day’s lesson consisted of two or three activities. Most days included a reading and completing some pages in the student workbook. Many days included a video also. Lesson 2 added the word study for levels 2, 3, and 4 each week, though we are skipping it for level 2. My girls added their vocabulary words, either doing a couple of them a day or choosing to do them all in a single day.

Each student workbook had a daily banner that stated which lesson it was, the topic and which level and week. Then it gave the instructions for that day, followed by the questions to answer. The teacher’s guide includes all four levels and the suggested answers for the student workbooks.

The time the daily materials took varied greatly. Some days it was just 30 minutes or so. Others, the videos were an hour or more long by themselves. When you added in the rest, the student could easily spend two hours on just history. This wasn’t a problem as the girls seemed to really be enjoying the study and we had some fabulous discussion. It just isn’t a clear cut amount of time to be spent and day to day can vary greatly.

Pathway girls working

I am now going to let the girls say a little (Or a lot!) about their thoughts on the program. Note please: some of the issues they mention were bothersome early on but we figured out how to work around them. Specifically, the issues that could have been caught by a different editor, we fixed by just handing the girls a highlighter and telling them to highlight any time they found something. This added in a language arts element to our history study! 🙂 I will come back at the end and add a couple more thoughts of my own.

Julia, age 10, using level 2 – 

I liked the reading on the Wright brothers but I did not like the other ones as much. I learned a little in each reading that I didn’t know before. The videos were interesting but many of them were long. Overall, I didn’t like it too much. Spelling mistakes, scriptures marked wrong, and things like the lesson headings being in the wrong place made it hard to tell where the next lesson was or when one ended or what I was supposed to be doing.

Louisa, age 12/almost 13, using level 3 –

I felt like this was a good curriculum, even though I have a balanced opinion on it. There were several inconsistencies within the lesson plans – what they would state in the weekly plan would be different from what was on the day’s work. There were several grammar mistakes and noticeable typographical errors. These were a source of annoyance for me but could potentially cause confusion.

I don’t think anyone in our family found the first required book (Chain of Liberty) helpful or beneficial to the learning. The way the questions were worded made it hard to tell what they were asking for. Many times what they were asking for turned out to be a word-for-word repetition of several sentences or more, which my sister and I found hard to replicate. I feel like this book was not beneficial and could easily have been removed from the curriculum and the curriculum would not have suffered.

I really enjoy the in-depth word studies that are done every week.  Each week we are made to create a paper on a specific word that is relevant or helpful to the lesson or principle we learn about that week. I find these to be helpful and enjoyable at the same time and would not complain if a second word study was added to the curriculum each week. One step in the process of the word study is to record scriptures that are relevant to the word. One thing that makes the word study slightly tricky is when the word you are studying is not included in a Bible’s concordance, but with a little bit of creativity and the use of a synonym, the scriptures are attainable.

Pathway level 3 vocabularyThere is a list of vocabulary word which each study is asked to copy out, define, and review each week. Each week the words are different and the number differs from level to level. Even though the study asks us to do this, there is no designated space for this. Since the rest of the curriculum is clear for this sort of thing, I was disappointed to see that there was not a specific space in which we were supposed to complete this step, and I was confused as to when to do it and where to document them. I enjoyed coming up with definitions for these words.

A bunch of the curriculum had online videos to go along with it. When I watched the videos, they were of a lower quality than I expected (Me being a spoiled 21st century kid!). There were a large quantity of videos, many of them almost an hour long. It was also a bit hard to navigate the website (YouTube) to figure out which videos I was supposed to be watching, since all the levels had videos in the same place. Sometimes it was unclear in the curriculum which video I was supposed to be watching.

I enjoyed the different elements that this curriculum brought to studying history. It had me writing things, which had me working on penmanship. It has a strong Biblical aspect to it. It encourages study of the scriptures. It has online resources and videos, as well as books with quality source material. Overall, I think this is a good curriculum which I enjoyed. I am confident that others would, too.

Elizabeth, age 15, using level 4 –

It was a fantastic program. The videos were interesting and the book “The Century” was interesting. I have learned a lot. I didn’t know much about WWI until I started watching the videos and reading the book. Now I know a whole lot more. I love the word studies. They are fun and I think they are very useful.

I personally did not see a reason to have the week’s scripture, principle, and leading idea. There wasn’t a connection for me to the lessons.

I did not like how the first three videos I had to watch were cut because they were cut in the middle of a word most of the time. There were several spelling mistakes in the workbook, including Corrie Ten Boom’s name. There were also a number of punctuation mistakes. These mistakes bother me, especially when they are on things like Bible verses or important people’s names.

Pathway level 4 written assignment

When I have to write something, there are large spaces between the lines. This makes it hard to write and takes up so much space that there are often not enough lines for the assignment. 

I also did not like the first book that we were assigned to read. It (Chain of Liberty) was biased and opinionated. I personally don’t agree with probably half of the book. I didn’t understand some of what was in there. Both of my younger sisters had to read the book, also.

While I think the word studies are a fantastic thing to do, it didn’t feel like the word studies were well thought out. I have done five of them. Three of these five were not in the Bible and yet I had to find verses for those words. I ended up having to work with synonyms for these words and still I only came up with one verse for one of the words.

Overall, this is a really good program. If you start after the first book that we had to read and edit the workbooks, this would be outstanding. I would enjoy continuing on with this program. The history that I was working on before was really fun but I think this is teaching me a whole lot more. I wasn’t getting very in depth before and now I am learning even little details that I probably would not have learned with the other program I was doing. I think other high schoolers would enjoy the program, as well.

Back to me, now. We have really begun enjoying this curriculum. It took a few weeks to catch our stride with it but have come to like it quite a bit. Is it perfect? No but nothing is. I would highly recommend starting in week 3 and just skipping the first recommended book (Chain of Liberty) and the “links” discussions. We found it to be a highly biased book and we had to have some pretty in-depth, serious discussions with the girls about the reality of the world we live in and the government that is over us.

 

While Pathway to Liberty is intended to make it possible for a family to all study history together, we did not find it to work that way. Students are reading different source materials and watching different videos. They have different vocabulary words and work at different speeds. They are, however, all working on the same ideas and so when one girl asks a question, all of them can pay attention and learn something and contribute to the discussion themselves. For some families, this may work beautifully as a family study.

Overall, I really like this curriculum. The history is solid and uses solid source materials. It has also opened up some fabulous discussions for our family. We definitely can recommend this one.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Be sure to click on the banner below to read what other families thought about Pathway to Liberty and how the curriculum worked for them.

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The Beantown Girls ~ Book Club

Beantown Girls

I am a day late (and probably a dollar short) but that’s okay. I am struggling a bit trying to find the energy to write blog posts lately because life has been crowded. It is a good kind of crowded but that means at the end of the day, when all is finally quiet in the house, I just want to veg out a bit instead of write.

So, last night, amid the spring storms, I just put off writing this Book Club post. But, it is a new day today and the house is currently quiet since it is Friday. Friday is our “down day” with only one thing scheduled at the very end of the day. So, maybe I need to move these posts to Fridays. Hmmm – something to think about. (And just an added note on Saturday – five minutes after writing those words, things were no longer quiet so this is now Saturday trying to get this post up for Thursday.)

Anyhow, the book –

The Beantown Girls by Jane Healey

I stumbled across this title on the Kindle when it was free as part of the Prime reads program, a while back. It looked interesting so I grabbed it. I am so glad I did. It was the perfect fit for an interesting but easy-to-read book a couple of weeks ago.

The Beantown Girls is set in World War II and starts in America, as a ship is pulling out heading to England with troops and Red Cross folks. Three friends have decided that they need to do something to contribute more to the war. After hearing about the Red Cross program to take coffee and donuts to the troops over in Europe, the girls immediately applied and were chosen.

After making it through the application process for the Red Cross Clubmobile program, Dottie, Vivian, and Fiona embark on quite the adventure. It is revealed quite early in the book that Fiona persuaded the other two to apply with her but she had her own agenda for wanting to be in Europe – her fiance was missing in action and she desired to find him. She felt she couldn’t just sit and do nothing. So, she didn’t and her friends were happy to do something to contribute to the war efforts, also.

The girls had to learn to make coffee and donuts in a mobile kitchen and they were taught about the rules and regulations they were to follow. Then, after just a couple of weeks of training in England, they were sent to where the troops were. They would arrive at a training facility, set up, turn on a record player, and start distributing coffee and donuts, as well as kind words and smiles. These three friends quickly became the favorite Clubmobile team. While most of the troops were thrilled to have someone from back home smiling at them and helping to keep their minds off the war, at least for a bit, some of the officers were less than thrilled since some of the Clubmobile units were sent to the front lines on the continent. One in particular made it clear he didn’t relish the thought of having to “rescue them” when they got into trouble because he felt sure they would.

While these girls were favorites with the troops, they were not the favorite of the in charge lady. So they worked hard to try to get the privilege of going to the continent. Eventually, they are sent to the war and have to make some serious adjustments and they go through some really tough things on the front lines. From friendships to love, from writing letters to serving coffee, these Clubmobile girls are go getters who are trying hard to do their part. Along the way, they are also trying to find Fiona’s fiance.

They learn so much about themselves through their experiences and you are rooting for them to succeed in all they do. This is a wonderful historical fiction book that brings to life a group of women that I knew nothing about. I had never heard of the Red Cross Clubmobile group but they were real, according to the notes in this book, and they did some amazing things for the morale of the military during the war.

I definitely can recommend this book. It was a joy to read. It was an easy read and was fun.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

 

George Washington Carver, a YWAM biography ~ a Crew review

YWAM George Washington Carver

YWAM Publishing  has become a favorite in our home and we are always on the lookout for more of the biographies we don’t own so we can increase our collection. They have two series – Heroes of History  and Christian Heroes: Then & Now 
– that are well-written, well-researched biographies of important people through history. Each of the heroes has made contributions to history and shown courage through their actions and life lived. Each of the lives is focused on serving God. We received a softback copy of the book Heroes of History- George Washington Carver and a digital copy of the study guide to go with this particular book.

The YWAM biographies are easy-to-read books written by Janet and Geoff Benge. They are written for about 4th grade and up, though they are easily used as read alouds with students much younger. The research is evident that has gone into the books, bringing to life the people, places, and events of their lives.

We chose George Washington Carver because we knew of this man but not a lot about his background and life. Additionally, it fit well into the period of history we were studying – from before the Civil War and well into the 20th century. These biographies are perfect for adding into studies, as we did with the G.W. Carver book. They enhance and bring to life the era being discussed and they are always about influential people that deserve our attention.

GWC book

We added the Carver biography to our morning time, reading two to three chapters each day. We would discuss the questions from the study guide aloud and once or twice, we pulled out a map to add to the discussion. There were vocabulary words that we included from the study guide, also. Many of these words we touched on as we came across them in the reading. These discussions and vocabulary words allowed us to talk about important topics such as racism, slavery, education, and advancement. We also talked about some difficult topics, again racism and slavery are part of that, but also words like lynching and what burning at the stake meant. It brought to the forefront a discussion about how people can choose to act certain ways and why it was tolerated by so many.

If you haven’t caught it yet, this book includes some very deep ideas about how to treat others, values, morals, and how all that should come out in the way people live. There are some difficult scenes that Carver experienced. We did not shy away from them and we talked about how those affected his life.

One way I knew that this book was worth the time we were spending on it was when Miss L asked about how long it was going to be before we got to the peanuts. You see, that is what so many people think about with George Washington Carver – peanuts. At this point we were about 3/4 of the way through the book. That allowed us to talk about how history can misrepresent people and their contributions in life. Yes, Carver did amazing things with peanuts. Yet, Carver had many, many contributions that were extremely important that had nothing to do with peanuts. His main goal in life was to help black farmers live better lives and to have better, stronger, healthier farms and families. And he did this in many ways.

George Washington Carver wrote hundreds of leaflets that were distributed to the farmers, telling them how to grow different plants, how to use different medicinal plants, how to preserve food, and how to get more out of their lands. Carver lived alongside his students at Tuskegee Institute and taught them as much about how to live an honorable and frugal life as he did about botany during his 50 years there. He strove to present a life beyond reproach. He lived in the midst of the racial issues but chose to address them with understanding and hope, not arguing or trying to force anything. And he made much headway with his approach, garnering worldwide attention and admiration.

GWC book and bio page

The Book –

The softback book is 190 pages long. It covers the story of George Washington Carver’s life from infancy to death. His actual birthdate is unknown since he was born a slave, though to the caring and kind Carver family. He died in his upper 70s in Tuskegee.

George was a curious young man, always desiring to know and understand the way things worked. From a young age, he collected plants and studied them. When he was eleven, he left home to get an education, which he couldn’t do where he lived as he was not white. So, he went to find what he desired. He found kind families to help and house him, working throughout to earn his stay and keep. He often started his own laundry business to earn money to pay for his books and rent, especially as he got older and was still seeking education. This pursuit of education continued all of his life, though he ended up with a masters degree and a couple of doctorate degrees conferred upon him.

From being refused admission to a university because of the color of his skin to working for more than 50 years at Tuskegee Institute, Carver was a model of a life lived in pursuit of the good things – knowledge, understanding, and living as a Christian. He shared what he knew with others, freely, asking nothing in return except to try to live a good life and help others when they could. His work as a botanist brought him to understand that life had to change for farmers, so he taught them to change. He worked hard to find ways to make new products, such as the peanut, sweet potato, and cowpea, attractive and helpful. With hundreds of ideas of new product options and how it would benefit them, Carver brought about change for the farmers, black and white, in the south.

GWC quote

The Study Guide –

The study guide is a downloaded product, so you must have internet access to download it. After that, it is on the computer and you can access it without internet. There are two parts to the study guide – one is the main part of the study with the activities and ideas, the other is the reproducible worksheets and maps. I accessed the activities and ideas online, choosing to not print any of it, though it would have been easy to do so as it opens in a PDF. I did print the worksheet, maps, and timeline for use.

GWC timeline

There are 8 parts to the study guide.

  1. Key Quotes
  2. Display Corner
  3. Chapter Questions
  4. Student Explorations
  5. Community Links
  6. Social Studies
  7. Related Themes to Explore
  8. Culminating Event

There is also a list of books and resources, as well as the answers to the chapter questions.

As I mentioned earlier, we added the chapter questions in as we read through the book. These included a vocabulary work, a question whose answer comes directly from the text, a comprehension question, and an open-ended question requiring and opinion or interpretation. Most of these came up naturally in the discussion of the chapters as we went along. The answers to these are found at the back of the study guide.

The student explorations allow the students to choose an area of interest to them and do a project in that area. It might be an essay or a creative writing assignment, such as a journal entry (GWC was known for writing every day in his journal) or writing a song or writing a newpaper article as might have featured George. The student might create a crossword puzzle or plant a crop or flower garden.

GWC flower garden

Miss J was interested in planting this year and so we chose some flowers from a local nursery and planted a flower bed to grow. As botanicals were something Carver was well-known for, she also chose another activity related to flowers. She created a botanical picture using sculpting, which came from a link we found in the list of books and resources. (This was from one of the teacher lessons by the National Park Service on the artist George Washington Carver.) She painted a piece of cardboard for a background and then sculpted some flowers for the pictures from air dry clay.

GWC project

We also tackled some of the information from the social studies section, working on the maps related to where Carver lived and worked, as well as maps of the state of Alabama. There was a timeline included to mark important events on, such as the civil war, the Great Depression, the Emancipation Proclamation, and many other events and people, such as WEB de Bois and Booker T Washington. These help us key into other events that are around the same time and built that transferable knowledge that helps make history come to life.

GWC bio page

Overall Thoughts –

We adore YWAM and the study guides they have to go along with the Heroes of History and Christian Heroes of History series. We highly recommend the books to everyone and can’t wait to find more for the girls to read. Miss E often asks for these as gifts so we will be looking at the homeschool convention this week to see if there is a booth to get a few more. We have previously reviewed the following books and study guides:

And on our shelves – well, we have probably 10 or 12 others. These are wonderful stories that are gripping and interesting and encouraging to live lives full of courage and hope and purpose.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Click on the banner below to visit the Homeschool Review Crew and read about how other families used these books and study guides. There are stories on well-known, current people like Heroes of History- Ben Carson and others from that past that I would enjoy reading that go along with the vacation we took last fall, like Heroes of History- Benjamin Franklin and Heroes of History- Thomas Edison. Click below to find more to read!

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New Mexico Bucket List – G ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

This week we are on letter G for our trip through New Mexico.

Blogging Through The Alphabet G vertical image

We are going to start in the far southwestern corner of the state with the Gila Cliff Dwellings. Quick pronunciation tip – the G is more of an H sound for Gila (Hee-luh).

The Gila Cliff Dwellings are located about 45 miles from Silver City on a twisty-turny road that they recommend allowing up to 2 hours to drive. This area was home to the Tularosa Mogollon people in about 1200 AD. They created their homes out of natural cliff dwellings. They also used natural stone to build their homes in the cliffs, to create rooms. There is evidence of about 40 rooms in the dwellings. The one mile loop trail will take you through natural environments, to the naturally eroded cave areas, and to rooms that you can enter to see the original timber lintels and support beams intact.

The Mogollon peoples of the Gila were farmers, tilling the land to grow squash, corn, and beans. They hunted game and wove the natural materials into items to trade with other communities and cultures. They grew and cultivated cotton, weaving it into cloth. They were also skilled potters, with evidence of their black-on-white designed and brown bowls with black interiors found in many places.

This is a national monument and is run by the National Park Service. It is located in the first designated wilderness, the Gila Wilderness. There is also the Gila National Forest surrounding the area so there are lots of opportunities for hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities.

Ghost Ranch is currently a national education and retreat center owned by the Presbyterian church. It has had many other lives, though, also. Being in the desert southwest, there were native peoples that inhabited this land long ago. The Navajo were some of those but were eventually run off by the Spanish who settled the area. It was bought in the 1930s by Arthur Pack, one of the nation’s first environmentalists. It was during his ownership that Georgia O’Keeffe first came to Ghost Ranch, which gets its name from a rumor spread that the land was haunted by evil spirits.

Pack opened Ghost Ranch as a dude ranch, where folks could come and stay. It served as respite for a wide variety of people, from nuclear scientists to artists such as Ansel Adams to Hollywood stars such as John Wayne to world record holders such as Charles Lindbergh. When O’Keeffe visited, she fell in love with it. She eventually convinced Pack to sell her a small part of the ranch and she lived there as often as she could.

The terrain is different than you might expect being a high desert. But then, maybe not. It is stark and beautiful and is widely praised by artists for the kind of light the area produces.

And last but not least, the Giant Pistachio.

This is a fun, side of the road stop close to Alamogordo. The area has several pistachio farms and one of them has placed this giant pistachio in their parking lot to grab attention. It does so! And every time I see it come up in my mom’s Facebook page, I know she is getting gifts for someone!

G Giant Pistachio 2

photo credit Lee Ann Longbotham

The 30 foot pistachio marks one of two country style stores run by the McGinn family. They also have tours of their pistachio farm and winery. The tours run about 30 minutes in length, according to the website. Definitely pick up some of the flavored nuts. We have some red and green chili pistachios sitting on the counter right now!

Everyone loves a stop for something weird and wonderful. I think the Giant Pistachio qualifies.

Have fun exploring New Mexico!

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Blogging Through The Alphabet G image

Join the party! Link Up with your own ABC post.

Inlinkz Link Party

Each week we will be linking up with the hosts of Blogging Through the Alphabet. Please visit some of these other blogs to get things like book lists, vegan recipes, and wonderful places to visit, just to name the topics I can think of off the top of my head.

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You can also join us and link up your own Blogging Through The Alphabet Post!! Just be sure to follow these simple rules–

* Each post must be family friendly. If it is not, we have the right to remove it.
* When linking up to this post, you give us permission to share your post and/or a photo from your post in future posts and social media shares.
* Place the Blog Button from the site onto the post you are linking up.
* Use the hashtag #abcblogging when promoting your post. This will help us find you and help us promote you as well.
* If you have time, check out a few of the other posts and share the love.
* The most important rule is to make sure you are having fun! This is not something we want you to be stressed out over. We want to see all the fun ideas that everyone comes up with for the letters!

Winnie’s Great War ~ a book review

Winnie's Great War Book Club

I stumbles across this historical novel when I was at the library a couple of weeks ago. It would not even have caught my attention except for the fact that I had read a book on the animals of World War I just a bit before. When I saw the name Winnie with Great War, I grabbed it to see if it was what I thought. It was!

Winnie was a mascot animal for the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade, a group of veterinary troops. Winnie was a black bear. Both of these make her a unique character. Put them together and she was quite amazing. And, when you know that Winnie became the inspiration for Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh, she becomes even more intriguing.

Written by the great-granddaughter of the man who originally purchased Winnie, this is a novel based on the first hand account of Lieutenant Colebourn’s diary. The story is being told by a mother to her son, as she tells him the story of the real Winnie-the-Pooh, his Bear.

The story begins with Winnie as a small bear cub with her mother. She is curious and inquisitive, exploring the world around her. After her mother is trapped and killed, Winnie is tempted by a young boy (the trapper’s grandson) to follow him hom. Winnie does and stays there. After a while, as she grows, she becomes a problem so the grandfather must get rid of Winnie but he promises not to hurt her. The trapper takes Winnie to the train station, trying to get someone to purchase her. It is mostly soldiers at the station and a soldier just can’t have a pet, let alone a black bear. But one young man was touched by the sight of the bear and came back for her, purchasing her for $20.

Harry Colebourn was this young man and he was a part of the veterinary corps. He tended horses and such. Winnie, though, had a special ability that Harry didn’t know about – she was able to talk with animals and so was a very helpful assistant. She understood the animals, all of them (squirrels, rats, horses, dogs, etc.) and so she could act as a mediator, so to speak.

Harry had not intended to take Winnie with him across the ocean. But when the time came to go to the front, there was Winnie on the ship with him. She was just such a morale booster for the troops – man and animal alike – that she went to the Salisbury Plain to train. She enjoyed her time with the troops but they loved her too much to take her to the front. So they sent her to the Zoo in London. Harry loved her so much that he wanted her to be safe. And she was.

Not only was the Zoo safety for Winnie, it gave her a change to help others. Many came needing hope in their lives and Winnie was able to cheer them, to show them hope, to make them feel better. As she remembered this mission, Winnie was a showstopper at the Zoo.

After the war ended, Harry came and visited. But he saw how wonderful Winnie’s life was at the zoo, how she had friends among both the animals and the people. He knew she needed to stay and so he left her there. After a while, a young 4 year old boy began visiting and become friends with Winnie. Her showed her his stuffed Piglet and they become fast friends. His father watched over them as they enjoyed each other’s company and not too many years later, Mr. Milne wrote the story of Winnie-the-Pooh.

I really enjoyed reading through this and the interest with which the story is told. The mother is telling the boy a bedtime story about his Bear and as she talks he sometimes interrupts and some clarification is made. These are truly interesting interruptions, such as the one about the goat from Sascatchewan. Also, there are graphics throughout the story that are the diary entries made by Harry. It helps us remember that the story is real, though things like the exact conversations are made imagined.

At the end, there is a bit about the family and some black and white photographs related to Winnie. There are some of Harry and Winnie but there is also one of Christopher Robin and Winnie.

This was a fabulous little book and would make a lovely read-aloud. I have to return it to the library but I do think I will check it out again to read aloud to Miss J. She would love this book.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

 

Drive Thru History® Acts to Revelation ~ a Crew Review

Drive Thru History Acts to Revelation

One of the wonderful times in education is when a light bulb goes off, a concept is understood, and things comes to life. Drive Thru History® is a company that does this well; they bring history to life. Utilizing video, history, geography, archaeology, artwork, computer graphics, and in depth research and commentary, the Bible comes to life in their newest DVD release – Drive Thru History® “Acts to Revelation”: The World of the First Christians.

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Drive Thru History® is not new to the scene. They have been around for a while, bringing us through ancient history, American History, historical Bible lands, and the Gospels. You have likely read a couple of our reviews for some of their other products, including The Gospels and their online curriculum site Drive Thru History Adventures. This is one more product in their line that helps us see and understand history.

Acts to Revelation is an 18 part mini-series. Dave Stotts is the on camera personality, and boy does he have one. He keeps things interesting with his quirky sense of humor. His witty commentary combined with the video is fast-paced and intriguing. Through it all, he brings the word of God, the Bible, to life. In this series, he travels throughout the Mediterranean region to show us the places and sites of the Bible, particularly Acts to Revelation. He visits the places where churches spread the Christian faith and influenced history.

Using the book of Acts as his road map, David visits places such as Ephesus, Corinth, Berea, Philippi, Jerusalem and finally, Rome. These are the places Paul and his companions visited during his three missionary routes. Traveling the paths of Paul, Barnabas, Silas, Luke, Timothy, and others as they visited churches and encouraged new followers of The Way shows us much about the way these men would have traveled and the people would have lived, including the challenges and dangers they faced. We visit the place where Demetrius the silversmith and his fellow craftsmen took Paul to put him on trial in Ephesus and to Philipi where Paul and his fellow missionaries met and taught Lydia, baptizing her and her family. The episodes take us all the way from Israel and the close of the Gospel accounts of Jesus through to the isle of Patmos and John writing about the seven churches in Revelation.

Acts to Revelation uses archaeological sites, historical accounts, and geography to illustrate the Bible and to show the accuracy of God’s Word. These visits along with quotes from primary source documents, such as the Bible and the history written by Josephus, help us understand more about the life and times of the early Christians. We get to walk the way the disciples and early Christians did as the Good News of Jesus spread far and wide. This is a beautiful thing because the more we understand the Bible, the better we know God.

The three discs arrived in a nice hard-back booklet style DVD case. There are three separate places for the DVDs, which is nice so they aren’t stacked and getting scratched. This case includes a full-color, glossy paged study guide that contains over 115 pages right in the case. There are six pages for each episode. For each episode there is a beautiful two-page picture related to the episode, a summary of the episode, a “side road” informational paragraph that covers an interesting place or person from the episode, a quote from the Bible, a few questions, and some additional readings from the Bible that will illuminate even further what is shown in the episode. This study guide also includes answers for the questions in each episode.

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There are many ways Acts to Revelation can be viewed. As a family, we are watching one episode each morning to start our school day and are most of the way finished. We watch the video, use the study guide to ask a few questions, and then read the passages from the Bible that are suggested. This gets us through the series in about a month, as we have a four day school week. It is possible to use this as a personal Bible study, taking notes about personal thoughts related to the episode and then reading the suggested passages.

study guide and Bible reading

We also have used a portion of one episode for a small group Bible study that included children, knowing the video aspect would really bring alive the study. In that episode, Dave visited a grotto that the ancients believed to be the entrance to the underworld. He tied it in with Paul’s visit and preaching and it was a startling way to really bring into focus on how the people would have viewed Paul’s teachings. This was a great example and did just what was expected – it pulled the children right into God’s word. We were contacted by one of the children’s mother later to get the information on where to order the DVDs because her five year old son had not stopped talking about it. He gained a lot of understanding and he is five!

TV showing read the scriptures

We are thankful to have access to powerful teaching tools such as Drive Thru History® and the series Acts to Revelation. It brings to life places that we are not able to travel to and helps us all relate more to the life and struggles of the first century Christians who believed in spite of all of the dangers and challenges they faced. What an encouragement to us today.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Visit the Homeschool Review Crew by clicking on the link below so that you can read more reviews from other families who have been viewing Drive Thru History®‘s Acts to Revelation series for the past few weeks.

Drive-Thru-History®-Acts-to-Revelation-Drive-Thru-History®-Reviews

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New Mexico Bucket List – D ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

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I have two wildly different options for you today – desert petroglyphs and duck races. Something old and something new. Your choice. Or maybe you’d like to do both. Isn’t it fun to have choices?

Desert Petroglyphs

Petroglyphs are rock art. This is created by carving the rock face to reveal the lighter colored rock below the surface. This chipping away creates the images that we can see today. Petroglyphs are different than pictographs. Pictographs are created by painting the surface rather than the chipping and carving that is used to create the petroglyphs.

There are actually a few places in the New Mexico deserts where you can find petroglyphs. Three Rivers is the first place that comes to mind for me because it is not too far from my childhood home. The petroglyphs at Three Rivers date back to between 900 and 1400 AD. They were created by Jornada Mogollon peoples. There are over 21,000 glyphs scattered around the area, which is about 50 acres. There are trails that allow you close access to the petroglyphs and also take you to a partially excavated village site. Three Rivers is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. This site is located in the south-central part of New Mexico, between Carrizozo and Tularosa/Alamogordo.

Petroglyph National Monument is another site in New Mexico where you can see rock art carved by Native Americans and Spanish settlers to the area 400 to 700 years ago. This monument protects one of the largest petroglyph areas in North America. You can find information on the pstroglyphs at the visitor center and then hike through different trails to get to the glyphs. There are an estimated 25,000 petroglyphs in the monument’s boundaries. It is believed that 90% of these were created by Puebloan peoples. This monument is located very near Albuquerque.

Duck Races

Yes, you read that right – duck races. The city of Deming, NM, holds an annual festival for the Great American Duck Race. Each year the festival bring ducks together to race on both wet and dry tracks. Check out this short video I found.

The Great American Duck Race runs for one weekend each August, Friday through Sunday. It seems to bring out the whole community. Many people wrangle their ducks for about six months prior to the race, from the time they are ducklings. From a parade to hot air balloons to craft vendors and entertainment, this is a weekend highlighted by the swimming and running ducks.

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I am sure there are plenty of other things in New Mexico for the letter D but these are ones that I think are fun, interesting, and unique. Enjoy.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

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Join in the link party by clicking the link below.

Inlinkz Link Party

Each week we will be linking up with the hosts of Blogging Through the Alphabet. Please visit some of these other blogs to get things like book lists, vegan recipes, and wonderful places to visit, just to name the topics I can think of off the top of my head.

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You can also join us and link up your own Blogging Through The Alphabet Post!! Just be sure to follow these simple rules–

* Each post must be family friendly. If it is not, we have the right to remove it.
* When linking up to this post, you give us permission to share your post and/or a photo from your post in future posts and social media shares.
* Place the Blog Button from the site onto the post you are linking up.
* Use the hashtag #abcblogging when promoting your post. This will help us find you and help us promote you as well.
* If you have time, check out a few of the other posts and share the love.
* The most important rule is to make sure you are having fun! This is not something we want you to be stressed out over. We want to see all the fun ideas that everyone comes up with for the letters!

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