Tag Archives: Middle School

These Are A Few Of Our Favorite Books! K ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

Favorite_Books_K

Keeping A Quiet Heart – Elisabeth Elliot

(devotional book)

This book is split into five sections, with several short articles on that topic in each. Most of them run a page or two taking only a few minutes to read each day. These articles can help you take a few moments to spend time with God before or after your day of running around, fulfilling your commitments.

E – Mama read some of these to us as part of our family time at the beginning of last year. I really like Elisabeth Elliot and this book was also good. I like how you kind of get a peek into what her life was like. I think that she is inspiring to me, and this book helped me grow a little closer to God.

Keeper of the Lost Cities – Shannon Messenger

(fantasy fiction)

12-year-old Sophie is a high school senior. She is always trying to hide in the background and doesn’t have friends. Her biggest fear is that someone will find out her secret, that she has been able to read minds since she was 5. So, when a boy with teal eyes – who Sophie has never seen before – calls her by name, she is shocked. The boy, Fitz, tells Sophie that she is an elf and takes her to the Lost Cities. At first, everything seems to be amazing. But it soon turns out that Sophie has secrets that she didn’t even know about, and they are secrets that others will do anything to get their hands on.

E – I happened to come across the fourth book in this series on the new shelf at the library, and I thought that it looked interesting so I checked out the first one. I ended up loving it, along with my best friend as well. I think that my favorite thing about Keeper of the Lost Cities is how imaginative but plausible it is. I don’t have any trouble believing that this could actually be true (even though I know that it is fiction). My favorite character is a tie between Sophie, because I think that I am a lot like her, and Fitz, because he is such a good friend and he is so sweet (most of the time).

Fav_Bookx_K

As we continue to get these written, I will get them shared. As you have noticed, keeping up with the writing schedule was a bit harder than expected with the dance schedule and course work the girls are doing. But they (Miss E in particular) are determined to keep at it. So, some may be a bit late, or a lot if you are still looking for F, but we’ll get them up sooner or later.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

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These Are A Few Of Our Favorite Books! – I ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

Favorite Books I Cover

Today, Miss E is sharing a favorite fiction book and a favorite biography. Two good reads for the middle school or high school student starting with the letter I.

Isabel Of The Whales – Hester Velmans

(fiction)

Isabel is an average 11-year-old girl living on the coast in Provincetown, MA. She feels average, looks average, and has two older brothers who constantly tease her. But she wants to do something great. Her biggest fascination is whales. She loves whales. She is ecstatic when her 5th grade class goes on a whale watch. But in the middle of the trip, the boat is surrounded by several different species of whales. The whales bump the boat, causing Isabel to fall overboard. Once in the water, Isabel realizes that she has become a humpback whale – a mermaid, as the whales call her. Isabel has to remain a whale until she has learned their ways and taught them about hers. At first, Isabel has fun. But living in the pod has its challenges. It isn’t all fun and games. Isabel will forever change her pod, and they will forever change her life.

E – My mom found this book for me at a book sale. At the time I first read it, probably when I was 10 or 11, I was fascinated by whales too. One thing that I love about this book is that while it is an excellent fiction book, it is also peppered with true facts. At the back of the book there is a drawing that shows the scale of all of the different species of whales alongside a person. My favorite character in this book was actually a tie between Isabel, because she was a lot like me at that age, and Mistenbel, because she was so adorable. I have read this book so many times and I still enjoy it.

Ida Scudder: Healing Bodies, Touching Hearts – Janet & Geoff Benge

(biography)

Ida Sophia Scudder was born in India in 1870. Her father was a doctor there and she said that she would not follow in his footsteps. Her desire was to get married and sttle down with children in the United States. But one night, she witnessed an event that changed her mind. Three women died in childbirth, refusing to see the doctor (Ida’s father) because he was male and it was against the women’s religious customs. Ida believed that God was showing her what to do with her life and grabbed the chance. She graduated from Cornell Medical College in 1899 and became a medical missionary to India.

E – This book appealed to me because I love reading about missionaries. I also like to read the biographies about doctors, and Ida was both. There were a few others in this series that were medical missionaries as well. One of them, Paul Brand, actually worked with Ida in India. These biographies are so well written it is easy to forget that it actually is non-fiction.

Do you have any favorite books that begin with the letter I? We would enjoy hearing about them in the comments section if you wouldn’t mind taking a moment to tell us. New books titles are always fun to read about.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Favorite Books I

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These Are A Few Of Our Favorite Books – H ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

Favorite Books H cover

H presented a special problem – choices! The girls chose several of their favorites and then narrowed them down even more. Read on to see what was chosen.

Half-Magic – Edward Eager

(fiction)

Mark, Jane, Katherine, and Martha are siblings who happen upon a magic coin one day. The catch? The coin only grants half of whatever they wish for. If you wish for a desert island, you might get only the desert part. The natural solution is to wish double. This book is about all the magical adventures they go on with the coin – intentional and not.

E – My dad read this book to my sisters and me when I was about 10 years old. I think that it is so interesting because it is a concept that I had never even thought about and it was so well written also.

Half Upon A Time – James Riley

(fantasy fiction)

This is the first book in the Half Upon A Time trilogy. The main characters are Jack, the son of Jack (and the beanstalk), and May, a “princess” from another world. May’s grandmother was kidnapped by the Huntsman from the Snow White story and Jack and May are going in search of her. Along the way, they encounter all sorts of magic and magical creatures, some good and some bad. The animosity that they come across may be an evil plot designed by the Wicked Queen – placing May’s grandmother, possibly long-lost Snow White, in a whole lot of trouble.

E – I liked this book because it was such an original plot-line. The author, James Riley, has a very distinct writing style that I really like. He has a way of making all of the serious situations seem amusing. My favorite character was probably May, because of the way that she cared so much about things but she didn’t want to let it show.

How To Train Your Dragon – Cressida Cowell

(fantasy fiction)

This is the first book in a 12-book series. The main character is Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, the only child of the chief of Berk. Hiccup is shorter, scrawnier, and in all ways worse than the other boys his age, excluding his best friend Fishlegs. This book is about all the boys going through the initiation process to get into the tribe. One of the things they have to do is train a dragon. Of course, Hiccup ends up with the smallest and most ordinary dragon he possibly could. Despite the other boys constantly teasing and picking on Hiccup and Fishlegs, the duo has to push through or they will be exiled from Berk.

E – I watched the How To Train Your Dragon movie first. Then when I found the book I absolutely loved it. The movie and the book are very different from each other, but I equally enjoyed both. One of my favorite things about the book is that the author illustrates every book. Almost every page has some sort of drawing. The story itself was also very good. You can tell that the author put thought into these books because things that happen in the first book are important to later books. I loved these books.

We are a week behind posting this but the good news is that we have the next one ready to share on Monday! See you next time!

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.Favorite Books H

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter 

Be sure to visit the other hosting bloggers who are participating in Blogging Through The Alphabet!

The 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!

2019 Blue Ribbon Awards ~ a look back at the Crew year

The Results Are In

As we do each year, the Homeschool Review Crew has voted for their favorite products from the reviews done in 2019. Our last reviews for the year will post next week, so every has had a chance to use all of the products for several weeks. The Crew chooses the categories and we spent a bit of time a week ago working through our choices in each category. Today, we are sharing that with you. So, let’s jump right in.

Writing Curriculum: Jump In from Sharon Watson

Language Arts (complete curriculum): Hewitt Homeschool’s Lightning Lit

Grammar Resource: Easy Grammar

Literature Curriculum: LitWits (review posting next week)

History/Social Studies: Drive Thru History

History Supplement: Library and Educational Services books

Science Curriculum: CrossWired Science

Math Curriculum: CTCMath

Math Supplement: Channie’s Page-A-Day workbooks

Middle School/Young Adult Book: Britfield & The Lost Crown by C.R. Stewart

Biography: Elizabeth Prentiss: More Love from Christian Focus

Poetry or Audio Drama: Heirloom Audio’s For The Temple

Fine Arts: Creating A Masterpiece’s Drawing Program

Elective: Stopmotion Explosion

Bible Supplement: Drive Thru History’s Acts to Revelation

Favorite Elementary School Product: Homeschool In The Woods – Project Passport:Middle Ages (we used only the timeline for our elementary student though our high school student has completed the whole study)

Favorite Middle School Product: Stopmotion Explosion

Favorite High School Product: Britfield & The Lost Crown by C.R. Stewart

Favorite Parent Product: Transcripts Made Easy by Everyday Education

Best Resource I Didn’t Know I Needed: Stopmotion Explosion

Favorite Fun Resource: Brain Blox Building Planks AND Fun Family Chess (but we could only vote for one so we voted for the planks)

Helpful Tool/Resource: Transcripts Made Easy by Everyday Education

Miss J – Kid’s Choice: Brain Blox Building Planks

Miss L – Teen’s Choice: Stopmotion Explosion

Miss E – Teen’s Choice: The Kingdom Code (financial education)

Adult’s Choice: Creating A Masterpiece’s Drawing ProgramThe REsults are in

So there you have them – our choices of products we really enjoyed. Now, to be fair, there were several of these categories where we had to negotiate with each other for a final choice because there were more than one choice someone wanted to vote for. So, just because it isn’t linked here, doesn’t mean we didn’t like the product. So, you could always search for TOS Reviews on the blog here to get all of the reviews we have done or search by subject or topic to narrow it down.

By the way – The Crew is still adding bloggers, vloggers, and social media influencers to the team for the 2020 Crew year. If you are interested, visit the Crew site to read more about the requirements and find the application. We do enjoy expanding our team and would like to have you join us.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Click on the image below to see the 2019 Blue Ribbon Award winners as chosen by the votes from members of the Homeschool Review Crew. You can also find a link up with other bloggers who have shared their family’s favorites from the 2019 Crew year.

Homeschool-Review-Crew-Favorite-Homeschool-Products-for-2019

Mattie Richardson, Author, and Her Horses of History Series ~ a Crew review

Horses In History Series from author Mattie Richardson

Books that dive into history in a unique way are highly appreciated by this mom, who is constantly looking for new ways to interest my sweet girls in different things. When the Mattie Richardson’s Horses in History Series of books from young author Mattie Richardson came up for review, I jumped at the chance to read them. I had seen them previously but had not been able to get them at the time. Wow, have we been missing out!

Author Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books started writing these books when she was about 13. She has picked up a very interesting and unique way to look at different events in history with this series of books – from the perspective of the horses. What a fabulous outlook to take, especially when you consider her age as she started writing them. Well, since the first one, she hasn’t really stopped writing. Taking on the idea of how the horses might have seen different historical events was a stroke of genius.

Mattie Richardson books

There are 4 books in this series and we received each of them to read and review:

  • Appaloosy,
  • Dusty’s Trail,
  • Golden Sunrise, and
  • Day and Night.

We also received the new ebook enrichment guide to go along with Day and Night.

Appaloosy by Mattie RichardsonAppaloosy – This book takes a look at the final freedom of the Nez Perce tribe. Storm is a beautiful Appaloosa with unique markings who belongs to the tribe. The story follows the attempt by the tribe to maintain their freedom from the desires of the white man. War breaks out in Idaho, disrupting the life of the stunning young stallion. We follow Storm through many different owners, including both horse thieves/rustlers and kind owners. As the story continues, we follow Storm’s struggle for freedom, both against owners and his own heart.

Miss J and I read this book out loud during the review period, reading a chapter a night together. It was an interesting story about a time that she did not know anything about. The history of the struggles of the Nez Perce tribe as seen through the eyes of the horse made it an event that wasn’t too hard to read. There are some situations that sensitive children might have a harder time with but they are very important to the history of the events. They are handled carefully and are well done, emphasizing just the right amount of the scare or concern or fright while allowing the proper influence on the story because horse thieving, fights, battles, hunger, and more are all a part of it. We enjoyed reading the story together and seeing it all play out from a bit safer of a view point – the horse.

Dusty's Trail by Mattie Richardson

Dusty’s Trail – The call of the newspaper ad is just too strong for the young boy and his horse. The Pony Express! What an adventure it would be. Against his mother’s wishes, young Levi takes off on his horse Dusty. Dusty tries to let Levi know that this isn’t the best plan but Levi wins out and they become part of The Pony Express. Amid attacks, heat, cold, missing relays, and more, the story of how The Pony Express worked through the eyes of Dusty is a joy.

Golden Sunrise by Mattie Richardson

Golden Sunrise – The palomino pony, Cheyenne, is at home on the ranch when Jared decides he just has to be a part of the changes occuring in Texas in the 1830s and 1840s. The Texas fight for independence was just too appealing to the young lad and so with his horse, they join up. Being a part of the war may just be more than Cheyenne bargained for, though as she learns about the war she knows it is a just cause. Right in the midst of it all, Cheyenne and Jared are part of the big battles and meet many of the people who came to be important in the history of it all.

Day and Night by Mattie Richardson

Day and Night – The American Civil War was anything but civil, even for the horses. Two horse brothers, Tucker and Shiloh, are separated from each other as their lives diverge. One ends up on the side of the North and the other ends up on the side of the South. One ends up carrying a high ranking official. The other ends up carrying a boy, um – girl dressed like a boy who lied to be able to fight. From the border wars and the fights on the western front of the war, to the bloodiest battles fought, to protecting the lines and taking care of their riders, these horses saw it all and learned so much about the war that maybe we should learn from them.

Each of these stories is told from the horses’ point of view. Each is well told and highlights issues surrounding the events that might not be immediately obvious or the part that we have learned about in past history studies. These unique looks at the events of the stories will broaden the reader’s idea of what it is like to fight in a battle, seek freedom, work hard on a horse, ride for hours on end, or be a part of something bigger than themselves.

enrichment_guide

The Day and Night Enrichment Guide is a full-on unit study designed to help the reader get more out of the book. There are 8 parts to the guide, with all of the first seven following the same format. Each part contains

  • reading comprehension – questions to help guide the reader’s understanding of the story
  • vocabulary – words used within the story that might be new or unfamiliar to the reader; most are fill-in-the-blank activities with one matching activity
  • a soldier’s life – designed to help the reader understand more about the different aspects of a soldier’s life, there is information on food, bugle calls, medicine, camp life, and more
  • living history activity – these activities help bring to life the things that a soldier would have experienced, such as making butter, eating hardtack, or having johnnycakes; some of these include making a diorama or studying a reenactment
  • geography – because geography was important to war, there is a study of the states involved in the story, landmarks of the battles, rivers, and other big picture ideas of the civil war
  • horses and history – a look at the role of the horse in the civil war, including tack and equipment, purpose of the cavalry, breeds of horses, and more
  • creating your own stories – working one element at a time, the reader begins to create their own stories
  • biography – a look at an important person from the story
  • further reading/advanced track – additional books to read to further develop understanding of the Civil War

Part 8 is the completion of the story the reader was writing and suggestions for field trips.

The enrichment guide can be used as is but it would be very easy to pick the pieces of it that fit your need or your family and use just those. In whole, it is a solid literature, history, and geography study, with writing included. In pieces, it will be a good supplement to the story. Either way, it is a recommended addition to the book.

Horses In History Series from author Mattie Richardson

While we have not yet used the enrichment guide, I am getting it printed out and into a binder so that we can use it in the spring for our history with Miss J, age 10. We will not

use the further reading section, but all the others will be interesting and really create a solid study of these battles in the Civil War.

I am excited about using these four books from Author Mattie Richardson/Appaloosy Books as the base for a history unit. These books are easy to read and chock full of the details of history that truly bring it to life.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Be sure to visit the Homeschool Review Crew to read what other families thought about the Mattie Richardson’s Horses in History Series. Please click on the banner below to visit the Crew blog and read more reviews.

Appaloosy-Books-Reviews-2019

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These Are A Few of Our Favorite Books! G – Blogging Through The Alphabet

Favorite Books G cover

These will be published out of order. I know. I am sorry but I need to since the one for F is not done yet. Oops! Half of it is written but part is still needing to be done. So, you’ll get G ahead of it. 🙂

The Giver – Lois Lowry

(science fiction)

Set in a futuristic community, 12-year-old Jonas has been chosen for a very special honor. In his “perfect” world, everyone has an assigned family, job, they apply for a spouse and then a girl child and a boy child, and even their everyday meals are assigned. And no one knows the whole truth. Jonas’ job is to be the keeper of all of that knowledge, but in the process of his training Jonas learns the ugly truth of his community. But now he has to decide what to do about it.

E –  So I got the third book in this quartet, Messenger, and read it first. The wonderful thing about this series is that you can read any of the four books first and it can be a stand alone book. But then when you read them together, there is so much more to the story. That was one of the things that appealed to me about this book. I also liked how Jonas had to decide what to believe in, based on what he knew and the advice of the people nearest to him.

The Glass Castle – Trisha White Priebe

(christian fiction)

In a far off kingdom, the king is growing old and ill and he doesn’t have an heir to take over the kingdom. But the rumor that is going around says that the king does have an heir. When his wife died in childbirth 13 years ago, someone hid the child. And that is why someone has gathered all of the 13-year-olds in the kingdom and brought them to the castle. Avery, the main character of the story, and her new friends, Kate, Kendrick, and Tuck, are in charge of all of the 13-year-olds in the castle and help keep things running smoothly. When they discover that one of the 13-year-olds may be the lost heir to the kingdom, and the child of the man who wants them dead, the four friends have to try to find the heir first. But in the midst of all of the chaos, the teens still make the time to give glory to God.

E – I think that I liked this series because it was a good mystery even though there wasn’t overwhelming details all over the place. It wasn’t paced slowly at all, but the “action” scenes weren’t just battles and races and stuff. I felt like I could connect with Avery because our thought processes are so similar. I also really liked how God was a part of their decision making most of the time. Maybe the only thing that I didn’t like about this series was that there was always so many mysteries. As soon as you figure one out, there was a new one. But at the same time, I also like books like that, so I really enjoyed it.

Hopefully, I can get the F post up soon but until then, happy reading. If you have a favorite G-titled book, would you please share it? We enjoy finding more books to read.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Favorite Books G

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These Are A Few Of Our Favorite Books – E ~ Blogging Through The Alphabet

These are a few of our favorite books! Letter E in the Blogging Through The Alphabet series

If you are looking for a couple of books that have been read again and again, you are in the right place. Today’s listings for the letter E in our Blogging Through The Alphabet series brings two such books to be highlighted. These are both selections from Miss E and have been on her radar for a while, being read more than a few times.

Ella Enchanted –  Gail Carson Levine

(fantasy fiction)

The fairy Lucinda gives gifts, mostly to newborn babies. When Ella of Frell is born, Lucinda gives her a gift – the gift (or curse) of obedience. She must do anything that anyone tells her to do. When her mother dies, her father remarries a woman who has two daughters of her own. Ella’s father sends her and her step-sisters, Hattie and Olive, to finishing school. Unfortunately, Hattie has started to figure out that Ella has to obey every order she is given. Ella leaves finishing school to search for Lucinda in the hope that Lucinda will break the curse.

E – I think that this was one of the few times where I watched the movie before I read the book. I love the movie; it was really well made and true to the book. One of the things that I really like about this book was how much attention to detail it had. There were multiple languages that were described and explained, as well as just the general descriptions of everything. I also liked how I could relate to the way that Ella was so often conflicted with herself.

 

Elsie’s Endless Wait – based on the classic by Martha Finley

(christian fiction)

This is the first of eight books in the Life of Faith: Elsie Dinsmore series that was written by Martha Finley in 1868. They were adapted and republished by Mission City Press in 1999. Eight-year-old Elsie Dinsmore’s mother died in childbirth and she has never known her father, who has been away traveling since before she was born. Elsie lives with her grandfather, his wife, and six aunts and uncles, two of whom are younger than her. Her friend, Miss Rose, and her old housekeeper, Mrs. Murray, have taught her her Christian faith. And that deep faith is often Elsie’s only source of comfort when she is her Uncle Arthur’s object of torment. But when her father finally returns , will he accept her.

E – These books appealed to me because Elsie’s faith in God was so strong. I could connect with Elsie, maybe not as much in the first few books, but definitely later on. There were two things that I did not like in these books. One was that Elsie’s father didn’t take care of Elsie very well in the first book. The other thing is that throughout this series, and the other Life of Faith series, they do not believe in baptism. But despite that, I think that these books brought me closer to God.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

These are a few of our favorite books! Letter E in the Blogging Through The Alphabet series

Be sure to visit the linkup to see what others are sharing for the letter E. Just click below.

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* 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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