Tag Archives: reviews

For The Temple (Heirloom Audio) ~ a Crew review

How do you approach history? Whether it is through books, field trips, text books, or some combination of them all, audio productions can add a significant conversation to the topic. Heirloom Audio has created a series of productions based on the GA Henty novels. Their most recent production, For The Temple, is a wonderful retelling of the Henty novel by the same name about the fall of Jerusalem during the Roman occupation of the Jewish lands.

For The Temple CD package (1)

This 2 CD set provides over 2 hours worth of story time. It features all the wonderful audio story-telling elements of a movie without the video portion. The vocal talents of folks like Brian Blessed, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Joseph Reed, Sophia Oxenham and 15 or 20 others create a fast-paced storyline that propels the listener into the setting of about 65 AD in the region of Galilee.

For The Temple open CD set (1)

STORYLINE –

John is the son of a vintner (grape grower and wine producer) in the area of the Sea of Galilee. He is about 16 at the start of the story. His family is raising a younger girl, Mary, who is 14. Mary and John are promised to each other and this plays into many decisions made in the story. They are growing and learning together. During a storm while the two are out on the Sea of Galilee, they are caught unawares and in danger. They are rescued by Josephus, the Jewish governor in the Roman controlled area.

Josephus is doing all he can to stay true to the Jews while peace-keeping with the Romans. His efforts fail and Rome invades the area. Josephus asks John to join him as he is impressed with John’s calmness during the storm. John does and they are caught in the siege of a walled city, Jotapata. When all around him are being killed, John was able to escape with a young boy named Jonas who had helped him prepare.

They made their way back to John’s home but he realizes that there is much to be done in fighting Rome. Particularly when he understands that they will head for Jerusalem, that the Holy City for the Jews is the main place they desire. John gathers a group around him to harass Rome through unusual tactics, knowing that face to face combat will not be helpful but only result in many deaths.

The biggest issue, however, is not Rome. It is the way the Jewish factions are fighting each other, looking to control and hold the power over everyone. They are killing each other and anyone who speaks against them. It is worst in Jerusalem, where not only are the factions causing issues, but they have imprisoned and killed much of the Sanhedrin, the ruling body of the Jews, and are using the temple as a stronghold. The people in Jerusalem are hurting, scared, and starving. And Rome marches on towards them.For The Temple quote

John ends up in an unusual position where he can almost ensure the safety of the temple in Jerusalem. Eliciting a promise from the Roman general Titus to do all in his power to save the temple, John pushes on with his band of followers, just in case, in the “first duty of every Jew, to protect the temple.”

 

THOUGHTS –

For The Temple is a fabulous story that brings history to life. I know that can be said of every Heirloom Audio production and this one is no different. The setting allowed me to learn much more about the time frame approaching the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD. I knew quite a bit about Rome but this taught me much more. Rome’s power was overwhelming. When you hear the numbers of men, women, and children who were killed as Rome marched towards Jerusalem, it is hard to comprehend. It is hard to understand that they would intentionally starve the people in the cities during the sieges and then murder anyone they came across after they entered the city. That kind of hatred and heartlessness is so difficult to understand. Yet, it is part of the history.

Knowing how hard people fought to protect the temple and Jerusalem brings another perspective to the history of that city and area.

G.A. Henty was an amazing writer and these stories are adaptations of his work. There is quite a bit changed in the audio production but it doesn’t necessarily make the story better or worse, just different. I would highly suggest reading the Henty novel, though. It really give a lot more detail about the way Rome approached Jerusalem and the way the people were affected. This is just one more way to expand the learning in relation to this audio production.

We took one morning to just sit and listen. The girls and I all got something to do with our hands, put on the CD, and enjoyed the story. I gave them some background prior to starting the CD, knowing that it would help them understand the setting and the people. I had already read the novel and listened to the CDs so I could prepare them a little bit. As we listened, we stopped once in a while and read some of the questions from the study guide or discussed what was happening. There were a few times when questions were asked and we took some time to talk about things such as who Josephus was, why the factions were fighting each other, and how the Romans fought. A couple of times, I did have to stop and explain what was happening. We also talked about the themes of loyalty and extending grace rather than humiliation that run through the story.

At the end, one of the girls asked if the story in the novel had ended like the audio production because it seemed somewhat abrupt to her. I told her that there were some definite changes to that part of the story and explained how the novel ended. Knowing the story ahead of time really helped me guide the girls through the story.

We absolutely enjoyed For The Temple. One of the lines towards the end is worth repeating:

History can certainly challenge us to look at what we believe.

For The Temple Study Guide (1)

STUDY GUIDE –

Heirloom Audio sent us an email that included a study guide that was about 40 pages in length. It follows the tracks on the CDs, making it easy to correlate learning. Each track has vocabulary words, some questions that just help to guide listening and follow the story, and then some additional questions that really make you think a bit deeper. There are also several small sections that are about different topics that will help you understand better. Some examples of these topics include the food of the region, Sabbath and Shabbat, and some information about Vespasian.

The end of the study guide includes three specific Bible study topics. These Bible studies are on No Other Savior, Proper Worship, and Christ Our Temple. These each have several statements to dig deeper into and Bible verses to support each of those statements.

GIRLS’ THOUGHTS –

Each of the girls had the same statement when asked about their favorite character – Mary! Spunky, sweet Mary starts the story at age 14 and informally betrothed to John. We see her grow and change, becoming a woman who understands her duty and the duty of the man she loves. She learns to become a wise young woman who works hard and prays hard. She retains her spunk throughout the story. She is a good role model, well, except for where she pushes the boat out onto the water after being told not to. But, that is something for you to experience when you listen to the Heirloom Audio production of For The Temple.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home

Looking for more Heirloom Audio? Here are their other productions (links go to my blog reviews).

Be certain to head over to the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read what other families thought about Heirloom Audio‘s production of For The Temple. Just click the banner below.

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A Site With Something For Everyone: SchoolhouseTeachers.com ~ a Crew review

This review contains affiliate links.

If you have read much of my blog at all, the name SchoolhouseTeachers.com comes up a lot. We use this site for tons of different reasons because there is SO MUCH there. When you purchase an Ultimate Annual Yearly Membership, you have access to everything.

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What does this mean? For the single price (which is currently on sale for Crew followers! see later in the post for the code), you get access to every single thing on the site. This includes curriculum, review materials, printables, planners, meal plans, videos, encouragement, World Book, specialized sections for specialized needs, and tons more. This access can be for one person or for the entire family. The price does not change.

There are currently over 450 courses on SchoolhouseTeachers.com. This ranges in age from preschool materials to those for adults. We are using things from all over the site, it seems like.

My high schooler enjoys using the Daily Writing and This Day In History writing prompts. She uses these every day and follows those prompts. She has a notebook full of interesting writing samples because of the variety of materials there. She doesn’t write every single day but when she does, there’s no stopping her. Today, she wrote over a page on Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Another course my high schooler is using is Speech. She doesn’t love this course but it has been a good one for her. She is working on it two days per week and some of the assignments take her several days worth of work. It is challenging, such as asking her to create and present on a product she would create after having her watch an episode of Shark Tank.

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She started off her chemistry class on SchoolhouseTeachers with Friendly Chemistry. She understands so much chemistry and she is really thriving with it.

My middle schooler is using Elements of Literature. She is currently reading and writing about Peter Pan using this course. A lot is packed into each of these lessons and she is now working on writing a story with the characters she has created over the past few weeks.

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The middle schooler is also using Drive Thru History American History for her current history explorations. The videos are solid information and she prints off the review sheet to go with each one. She prints it prior to watching the video so she can read through it to know what to listen for in the video. These are wonderful videos that teach so much.

My elementary student is using Daily Puzzlers. This is a new one for her to help continue the critical thinking she loves so much. The strategy for this is great for also challenging her spelling.

I am using one of the printable and editable planners to keep track of my girls education this year. It is wonderful to be able to print exactly what I need and to edit and personalize it to my needs. I pop it into a three-ring binder and can then add to or change as needed. From the weekly pages to the calendars and the monthly notes, this planner is just perfect for me.

Don’t forget that there are also some additional resources that you have access to when you become a member of SchoolhouseTeachers

  • World Book – There is an access code and link for members of SchoolhouseTeachers to be able to go to World Book online. There are spaces that are directed at different ages or topics. There is a search function and fabulous timelines. Readers, advanced non-fiction books, and more is all available for members of SchoolhouseTeachers.
  • Video Library – Members of SchoolhouseTeachers also have access to the wonderful video library. There are many videos that are related to the courses but Right Now Media access is also a part of this. There are well over 400 videos to be accessed. Parenting, faith, kids, science, history, and the list goes on.
  • Members Forum – This is a place where members can go to chat and encourage each other, ask questions, or get advice.

There is so much on the site that I felt like I should share, again, about this fabulous resource. If you haven’t yet, now is a great time to check it out. The price for Crew followers cannot be beat. I don’t know that I have ever seen it lower. Please check it out. I don’t think you will regret it.

SchoolhouseTeachers-Discount-Coupon-2019

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

Click on the banner below and go read other reviews from Crew families, many of whom have been experiencing SchoolhouseTeachers.com for the first time. They have all found different parts of the site a good fit for their families and you might find that, too.

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Practice Monkeys – Live Violin Classes ~ a Crew review

miss j playing

Music has a way of opening up joy in your life and I eagerly await hearing my girls practice each day. Miss L, age 12, and Miss J, age 9, are both playing the violin and have been working with Practice Monkeys. The Family Subscription to Live Violin Classes is for live, online classes but there are many aspects to the program that make it exceptional. As you read through this, realize that this is a family subscription – one subscription for all students in the family!

practice-monkeys-tree-logo

Practice Monkeys fills a niche that I have seen in the home education world but also in the world of music education in general. Not everyone has access to musical education and to find string education is even harder for most people. Practice Monkeys is a series of leveled classes that are taught live, with plenty of recorded videos to help with practice and instruction when a live class has to be missed.

practice monkeys on the computer

There are currently 9 levels of violin on the Practice Monkeys site. If you are not a complete beginner, be sure to connect with Mrs. Van Kleek to set you up in the right level. Each level meets for about 15 minutes, four days a week. The time for each level is different so it is necessary to find your level to know the class time.

These live classes form the core of instruction and without them, learning violin is extremely difficult. Live classes allow for correction and training that just cannot be done with recordings alone. When you attend a live class, Mrs. Van Kleeck can look at your hand position, your bow position, and help you make those necessary corrections. She can also listen to the sound and advise what might need to be done. For example, without the live class participation, Mrs Van Kleeck cannot advise a student when their bow needs more rosin or their finger placement is just a smidge off. Tuning is another place where attending a live, online class will benefit. When the tuning is off as a beginner, you don’t often hear it or recognize it.

These are the benefits that Practice Monkey gives a student. Live teacher input allows for immediate correction and attention to detail that makes the difference between getting frustrated and giving up and making noticeable progress and learning to play.

Along with the live classes, a subscription to Practice Monkeys gets you access to the Treehouse for your placement level. The Treehouse is where you find practice videos, tuning help, instrument help, printable sheets for the skills in your level, parent tips, practice sheets, and videos for the performance pieces required to advance. It is packed full!

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As with all quality instruction, there are times for assessment and a checklist to help the student advance. The Treehouse has a printable checklist for the parent so that they can do a pre-assessment to know when to schedule a live assessment with Mrs. Van Kleeck. The checklist is clear and the expectations are laid out nicely so the student knows exactly what needs to be done. Once the student can go through the checklist with the parent, it is time to schedule that live assessment. In the live assessment, Mrs. Van Kleeck meets one-on-one with the student outside of the regular class time to go through the checklist and determine if the student is ready for the next level.

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Each week, an email of reminders and helpful hints is sent out. This is a great way to not forget to plan your practice time. One of the reminders is to print out the student’s practice sheet for the week. These sheets help with remembering each aspect of the practice time and to also progress in a consistent manner with the classes, skills, and pieces being learned. There are always helpful tidbits in the email, as well as reminders about any schedule changes for holidays and such.

getting ready for an assessment

These Suzuki-based classes are just what the home school community has been looking for. They offer something that is definitely needed and Mrs. Van Kleeck does a fabulous job of teaching her students. As stated earlier, the classes meet four days per week because music students need this much practice. The classes go from absolute beginnner to the end of Suzuki Book IV. There are also now piano classes being offered that at this point go from beginner to the end of Suzuki Book One.

miss l playing

Interested? At this point, lots of questions may be running through your mind. Hop over to the FAQ page for Practice Monkeys and read up on what is there. If you still have questions or concerns, a form is available on that page to send Mrs. Van Kleeck a message. There are also samples of the recorded classes on the page. If the sample is not quite enough, you can request to attend a single class for free to see how it all works.

Do note – these classes are live and online so there are some things you will need to acquire for the class. Obviously, an instrument is needed. Sizing and rental information is available in the FAQ as well as more detailed information on the FAQ page. You will need a paid subscription to Practice Monkeys. You will need a computer with a microphone and camera that work, as well as an internet connection. This will get you up and running with Practice Monkeys.

I know I speak positively about a lot of things. I wish I could just continue gushing about this program, though. Truly, I think it is wonderful and such a needed program. I highly encourage anyone looking for string instruction, or piano instruction (though I have not seen this part of the program), to check out Practice Monkeys.

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There is currently a special going on for readers of this blog and the Homeschool Review Crew. A special price is available for those who sign-up to become part of the Practice Monkeys community before February 1, 2019. The special price will be yours for the lifetime of your subscription. Visit the special page to read more and sign up.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

There were several other Homeschool Review Crew families who also reviewed Practice Monkeys. Be sure to click on the image below to read their reviews.

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Beloved: 365 Devotions For Young Women from Zondervan ~ a Crew review

Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women is just that – a devotional book created just for those young ladies who are going through their pre-teen and teenage years, as they strive to grow into women of integrity, women of God. Published by the well-known company Zondervan, this is a lovely book that will visually appeal to just about any young lady. 

Hardbacked with a foil-enhanced image of flowers on the front, this is a comfortable size. It is not a heavy book, even with the number of pages it contains to have one page per day of the year. The ribbon bookmark is secured in the binding and matches the lovely flowers just perfectly.

The beautiful pages follow the same color scheme and floral motif throughout. This devotion had me singing Mary’s song. 

Each page has a motif that matches the cover, only without the foil enhancements. The day is a fancy font and it is a day (Day 1, Day 2, etc.) rather than a date (January 1, January 2, etc.) so that this devotional series can be picked up and begun at any time of the year. The Bible verse for the day is printed in pink (which is a tad hard to read for these old eyes) but complements the colors perfectly. The devotion thought is printed in black, making it stand out well. The end of the page has four lines for whatever the young lady would like to use it for: journaling, doodling, adding reference verses, etc. It is a visually beautiful book. 

Let’s talk a bit about each devotion. As I mentioned there is a scripture followed by a few short paragraphs regarding something from the verse. These are fairly simple, without any challenging language or difficult sentence structures. Each devotion takes less than 10 minutes to read, think about, and discuss. My oldest would do each in about five minutes, which is a bit short for devotion times, in my opinion. Most of the devotions end with a real-life application of some sort, such a failing a test, dealing with someone who is unkind, or being afraid. Some of the devotions end with a challenge of some kind, such as the devotion regarding Naboth being killed by Jezebel that challenges the girls to not feel overwhelmed but to pick ONE thing and try to do it. (Day 264)

One thing I really like about this set of devotions is the number of women that are discussed. Your normal heroines are most decidedly included – Ruth, Esther, Mary, Naomi, Hannah and Sarah. However, there are some not so commonly thought about women included as well and that makes this an over-the-top good book, because even bad women can be good examples (of what not to be). Take Jezebel, Hagar, and the mother of Jephthah (the book uses her to reinforce that God can use any circumstance for His plan). While these women might not be ones that you would think of to say “be like her”, you definitely can use their lives to discuss what TO be and that is what this devotion does. Other women in this study include Zelophehad’s daughters, Manoah’s wife, Caleb’s daughter Aksah, and the woman Jesus healed from 12 years of bleeding. There are many, many role models here. 

Our stack of morning time studies that we do as a family. 

Our Use As A Family –
We used this devotion book daily as part of our morning time. I would read the verse from the book and then the devotional thoughts. We would discuss the things that the girls caught in the reading and then address any thoughts or questions they would have. We would do 2 or 3 of these each day. An example of some of the discussion we had involved Noah and his family. The girls wondered about other family members that would not have been on the ark – any other children, any daughters, his wife’s family, his daughters-in-law’s families, any grandchildren. It sparked some interesting thoughts and ideas. We pulled out the Bible to read more of the account and discuss what it really entailed for Noah’s wife and daughters-in-law to be on that boat. Heartache must have been a part of it yet these women were there. 

Another family discussion we had was in regards to Hagar and Sarai. We talked about trying to take control of something away from God and how difficult it can be to wait on the Lord’s time. We also talked about how in the process of taking control of the situation, something came between Hagar and Sarai. So we talked some more about friendships and how to mend hurts. Day 23 talks about Hagar being ugly to Sarai after Hagar became pregnant and how that affects both of them. 

Discussion together at night about submission after reading about God telling Hagar to return to Sarai.

Our Use As A Mother-Daughter Time –
Miss J and I were also reading this at our bed time readings. We had the book of Charlotte’s Web going so we just added a couple of these devotions to our time together each night. It was easy and only added a few minutes but it added a lot in terms of discussions and bonding. Miss J always had a comment to make about the reading (contrary to what it looks like with her quote below!). She often asked to read the passage from the Bible or to continue telling the story from the Bible. Some days, when she didn’t have much to say we might read three of the devotions. Other days, we would only get through one. This time allowed me to tailor the thoughts a bit more to her 9-almost-10-year-old-thinking. And it worked well. 

A Heads-Up! Day 237 is a discussion of sex. No anatomy discussion or anything like that but it does talk a bit about the difference between martial relationships and extra-marital ones. The context is David and Bathsheba. For some this might be a deal breaker; for others, they just want the heads-up. So here it is. . . I have not read every single devotion so I cannot tell you for sure if there are other days that may have topics your young lady is not ready for. 

The recommended age for this is 13-18. Middle school and high school girls could easily use this independently but I think it is appropriate for younger girls as well, just pre-read if you are concerned about content. 

Thoughts from Miss E:
I think this is a really good book but I would enjoy it more if the devotions were a little bit longer. It felt like there wasn’t enough space for there to be a fully-formed thought on some of them. It felt like it didn’t go deep enough to really be a devotional and I would enjoy it more like that. Also, I like the fact that they included lots of lessons on good role models. Ruth and Naomi had a number of lessons each. Even though Ruth only has 4 chapter in the Bible, the devotions captured different characteristics of each woman and had a single devotion for each of those characteristics. I really liked that. I would really like to have seen this include an index that grouped the devotions by topic such as getting married, choosing your career, handling disappointment, and others. That would make this useful in more ways. 

Thoughts from Miss L:
The ones we have done as a family have been good. I have enjoyed them. It doesn’t take a long time for each devo to get to the point so each one doesn’t take a long time. 

Thoughts from Miss J:
I liked it. The flowers were very pretty. It was nice to read together.

Blessings,
At Home.

To find out what other Homeschool Review Crew families thought about Beloved: 365 Devotions for Young Women, please click on the banner below to read their reviews. 

Favorites of the Year ~ a Crew “review” of our favorite reviews

Looking back over the wonderful resources we have gotten to review is always a lot of fun. We take a seat at the table with our list of vendors and reviews. We grab a sheet of paper to keep track of our favorites with and we begin debating. 

The Homeschool Review Crew has certain categories for us to vote in and those tallies for the whole Crew will come out later this week. Ours, though, are coming to you today. Here, in no particular order, are our favorites. (As a note – we did not all agree on every category and Mom had to pull out the old “my vote counts more” to come up with a winner in a few of these.)

Writing Curriculum: Reading Eggs

Vocabulary Resource: Roman Roads Picta Dicta

Penmanship Curriculum: Cursive Logic

Literature Curriculum: YWAM

History/Social Studies Supplement: Heirloom Audio’s St. Bartholomew’s Eve

History/Social Studies Curriculum: YWAM

Science: Apologia (Exploring Creation With Human Anatomy and Physiology)

Foreign Language Supplement: Roman Roads Picta Dicta

Fine Arts: Artistic Pursuits

Elective: Practice Monkeys (review still to come in early January 2019)

Christian Education Curriculum: YWAM

Christian Education Supplement: Brinkman Adventures

Elementary Product: Branch Out World (Paddington Unit Study)

Junior High: Critical Thinking Company (Something’s Fishy At Lake Iwannafisha)

High School: Code for Teens

Parent Product: Northwest Treasures

Best Product I Didn’t Know I Needed: CashCrunch Careers

Best Online Resource: Kids Email

Best E-Product: Homeschool In The Woods

Best Audio: Brinkman Adventures

Best Book: Carol P. Roman

Kid’s Choice – Miss L: Critical Thinking Co.  (Something’s Fishy At Lake Iwannafisha)

Kid’s Choice – Miss J: Reading Eggs

Teen’s Choice – Miss E: Princess Cut movie

Parent’s Choice: Drive Thru History Adventures

There were so many wonderful resources that it was really hard to choose favorites. We did “edit” a couple so that we could make sure to vote for all those we loved. Even so, I still didn’t get to include By The Way Books anywhere since my kiddos outvoted me in a couple of places. So, I am using this opportunity to say how much I do enjoy them. 

Be sure to visit the Homeschool Review Crew to find out what the final tally of votes for all of the Crew was. There are several categories that we did not vote in since we did not review anything from that categories (ex: preschool). The post will be live on the blog for the Crew on Friday, November 30, at 8 AM EST.

We have truly been blessed again this year by the vendors that work with the Crew. I encourage you to visit the links above for any (and all) of the products that you find interesting or perhaps might be interesting for your own students or personal education. 

Blessings,
At Home.

Beloved: 365 devotions for young women ~ a review

Sometimes, we need a different approach to our daily time in God’s word. Beloved: 365 devotions for young women from Zondervan is just that – geared specifically to preteen and teen girls who are learning what God’s will is for their lives. 

Beloved is a beautiful hardback book. The cover is just lovely with pink metallic flowers and lettering that shimmers in the light. At just over 5″ x 7″, it fits comfortably in hand while reading. The pages are beautiful, as well, continuing the lovely flower motif from the cover through the entire book on each page. 

Each devotion is just a single page, so it doesn’t require a long time to read through the scripture and accompanying thought. The page has the day, the scripture printed, a few paragraphs on the scripture and four lines at the bottom to journal your own thoughts, if interested. There is also a matching satin ribbon that is bound into the book to mark your place. 

Finding Godly role models is a wonderful things and this lovely book highlights many of them – from women we recognize such as Mary, Elizabeth, Ruth and Naomi to many we don’t think of immediately such as Zelophehad’s daughters, Manoah’s wife, and Caleb’s daughter Aksah.

My girls have found this to be a beautiful book and were interested in sitting down with it right away. We are going to be using this as part of our morning devotions as a family. As we take a look at different women in the Bible and how they related to God, they will hopefully find much encouragement to grow into the women God has created them to be. 

Blessings,
At Home.

3 beautiful Ellie Claire Art Journals ~ a review

Art journals, you say? What are they? Glad you asked. An art journal is just a book that includes different types of pages, ideas, and prompts to get you not just writing but being creative and artistic as well. Your quiet time is ideal for focusing on God’s word and what He has said. These art journals can help focus that time even more, on a passage, a word, or an idea. Creating visual images with colored pencils, pen and ink, or markers can help you really zone in on what God is saying to you. Each of these journals are lovely, really beautiful, and they feel comfortable in the hand. They are all very different in content, though, so let’s take a look at each one.

 The Illustrated Word: An Illuminated Bible Coloring Journal

The Illustrated Word is a hard-cover journal that is about 6″x9″. There are about 150 pages (unnumbered) that are filled with opportunities – to create, to learn, to write, to copy, to color. The pages of this book are nice and thick, somewhat rough like construction paper. 

In the old handwritten Bibles, the scribes would often illuminate the pages. Many examples of this are included in this journal as inspiration, generally one per two-page spread. The pages with these examples are lined. Every few pages, there is a full-page image to color. Many of these are Bible verses but a good number are examples from old manuscripts recreated for you to color. These manuscripts are cited, which also gives a nice historical connotation to the illumination. 

This is one I am claiming as my own. It is beautiful and the line drawing recreations of the ancient illustrations are a joy to color and fill in. It allows for meditation and time spent thinking. It will be a wonderful journal to use for sermon note taking each week in worship time. And I will be able to think on the notes over and over as I color in the images. 

THE ILLUSTRATED WORD
Amazon: http://bit.ly/Illustrated-Amazon
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/Illustrated-BN

Faith & Lettering Journal

Focusing on the scripture that tells us that God’s Word does not return void is where this journal had its beginning. Krystal Whitten is a graphic designer and professional letterer. She had combined her faith and lettering to further enhance her own understanding of God’s word. In the introduction to the journal, she talks about how she came to combine faith and meditation time with lettering and journaling. She designed this journal to inspire one to “reignite your devotional time, to imprint Scripture upon your heart, and to help you dig deep into the Word of God through the art of lettering.”

Included in this journal are the basics of hand-lettering, Bible journaling, sermon sketch note-taking, and space to write about using these in your devotion time. Some pages contain a full-page, full-color Bible verse that has been hand-lettered. The pages accompanying those are lined for journaling. There are several scriptures that are lettered in a vertical column for you to see it done, trace it, and then practice it yourself. These are two -page spreads. There are a number of lettering styles that are shown with space to practice. These are done with graph pages so that there is a way to make sure your spacing and sizing stay consistent. There are some other pages for you to do your own work on that are pages with dots in a grid. Many of these have small images of quotes or verses, as well. There are pages to practice flourishes and banners and other things. 

This hard cover book is 160 pages (unnumbered) and about 7″x8″. The pages are smooth and thick, making it ideal for a variety of writing tools. The cover is beautifully decorated with different images and words to encourage. It is embossed and contains some beautiful gold accents. There is a pen loop on the spine of the journal to be able to keep a pen or pencil close at hand. This journal would be great for someone new to the idea of hand-lettering for Bible study and figuring out how to get started. It gives some great letter styles and decorative ideas to get someone started. And it is just overall beautiful.

FAITH & LETTERING
Amazon: http://amzn.to/FaithAndLettering-Amazon
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/FaithAndLettering-BN

Illuminate Your Story Journal

Once again, this journal has its origins in the illuminated texts of times page. The illuminated pages gave color and beauty and significance to the texts. For someone just starting to learn how to created these lovely illuminated letters, it can be overwhelming. This journal is a great start, though. Illuminate Your Story Journal includes a number of things to help instruct one new to this type of artistic expression.

Inspired by this history of illuminated letters, the journal begins with a written history of them. It talks about the different regions and peoples to use these and gives lovely examples. There is instruction in the process of illuminated letters and then help for creating your own, including a list of suggested supplies. Then the journal really begins, for you start to do your own work. 

The journal has step-by-step instructions, both visual and written, to guide you through drawing and creating the entire alphabet in illuminated letters. There are two styles for each letter with steps for creating each. There is a Bible verse or quote to go along with almost every letter. (I did notice K, Q, V, and X did not have one.) Along the way there are also visual and written instructions for creating other flourishes, animals, flowers, and the like. Quite a variety of ideas and inspiration. The pages with the instructions all are on dot grids to help with size and space. The pages with the quotes and verses are lines for written reflection or whatever practice you might desire. 

This lovely hardcover journal is about 6″ x 8″. The 160 pages are thick and smooth, allowing for beautiful layers of color and smooth writing. It includes a woven ribbon bookmark sewn into the binding. The blue cloth spine includes a matching pen loop, both of which coordinate lovely with the cover image. The embossed cover is simple yet elegant and there is a keepsakes pocket on the inside of the back cover. And, to keep from losing anything, the book is held closed by an attached elastic band that goes around the whole book. All in all, this will make a lovely gift for one of our girls who enjoys doing hand-lettering but isn’t very far along with the skill yet.

ILLUMINATE YOUR STORY
Amazon: http://bit.ly/Illuminate-Amazon
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/Illuminate-BN

Overall Thoughts –

Y’all, these are all three just lovely art journals. Ellie Claire has created beautiful works of art to help you create your own beautiful works of art. There was another campaign for other Ellie Claire journals and oh how I wish I could have seen those journals since these are so lovely and high quality. (Unfortunately, I didn’t get my name in on that one early enough!) But these, I highly recommend these for anyone in your life starting on the path of hand-lettering or creating Bible artwork, whether they are new to it or looking for new inspiration.

Blessings,
At Home.

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