Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Review: World of Science - Fascinating facts

With its holographic cover, the book World of Science does far more than just look appealing.  It's a great homeschooling resource with an easy to follow layout that discusses physical, chemical, and biological sciences. (248 pages)

Sections include: Matter/Chemicals, Energy/Motion/Machines, Electricity/Magnetism, Light/Sound, Earth/Life, Space/Time, and (last but not least) Science Experiments.

A few things stand out to me.  I love that the introduction begins with, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  From its very creation, the Earth was formed with guidelines established by our Maker...." 

We familiarize our children with evolution and do the best with the resources we have to teach them how (and why) to defend Biblical Creation.  One of the reasons we chose to homeschool our children was because our (once in public school) 1st grader came home one day telling us about how many millions of years old the dinosaurs were that lived before people existed.  Knowing that World of Science is using the same scientific evidences we all share without a slant towards the theory (not fact) of evolution makes me breathe easier.  I don't like having to scour books for false information before my children read it.

Another thing that sets this book apart is having the science experiments in the back of the book.  I prefer having the experiments all grouped together in one section as opposed to scattered through chapters.  It makes my planning easier.

My Father's World has paired up with Master Books to get this wonderful science book into the hands of discerning parents and educators.  Knowing what we do of the excellent curriculum resources that My Father's World offers, I was thrilled to receive a free copy of this book for review.  As soon as I started flipping through the pages, I knew this was a book that I would have purchased for our family/children.
World of Science is an excellent resource for elementary school students.  Even if you don't homeschool your children, this would be a wonderful way for your children to read about areas of science that they're interested in (or help them become interested in).  As a Christian family, it is a wonderful book to add to your library; a book that focuses on science, not an evolutionary theory.

Review: The Big Book of History

What can I say about this neat book except you have to read it to appreciate it.  The Big Book of History is truly one of a kind and is made for kids.  Yes, we adults have been equally excited to get "our turn" to read through the pages of history as well.  There's just something fun about reading a 15-foot time-line, right from creation through modern history.  Folded accordian-style, you can keep the book compactly stored, open it up to individual time frames, or pull the whole thing across your living room floor.  The only challenge might be in keeping your toddler from thinking it's a road to walk on.

We already own Adams' Chart of History, which is very detailed and such an awesome book to see from beginning to end up on a wall. However, from a child's perspective, The Big Book of History is the perfect timeline to begin with.  We love this book and believe every family should own a copy.  There's something to be said for "seeing" a timeline of history on paper where you can view how dates for events, inventions, discoveries, etc. line up.  While it isn't intended to be a game, it feels like a version of trivial pursuit when our children (and us as their parents) find interesting facts to share with each other.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review from Master Books.  It is a book I will also be purchasing for gift-giving purposes.  We love it!

Review: The World of Animals ~ Fascinating facts

I was thrilled with the opportunity to review The World of Animals for Master Books .  As a homeschooling family, this book has already become well-used in our household.

This is a beautifully put together book that discusses over 1,000 animals.  Nearly all the illustrations are from real-life photography as opposed to the artist renditions some other books have.  Animals range from microscopic animals to worms/snails/starfish, insects & other arthropods, fish, amphibians & reptiles, birds, and up through mammals.

The best part of this book is that I don't feel the need to sift through information given because it is based on the Biblical account of creation.  It doesn't dole out evolution as the basis for life.  In fact, the book begins with, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth..." (Gen 1:1)  What a breath of fresh air!

Part of our current homeschool curriculum includes "Exploring Countries and Cultures" from My Father's World.  While this book wasn't included in the core package we purchased, it is an excellent resource to go along with what we are studying.  As we go through geography and science, we are introduced to different areas of our world.  This book has been a wonderful way to further explore animals that are common to different areas we are studying.

If you are already familiar with My Father's World, you'll be happy to know that this book is a joint edition between Master Books and My Father's World.  If you don't know much about My Father's World, you should check out their website and request a copy of their curriculum catalog.  We've been quite impressed with My Father's World for a lot of our curriculum needs.

We've been equally impressed with the quality of books Master Books is publishing.  Finding quality books that place God as Creator of everything is exactly what we need.  So many books these days are filled with evolution and humanism.  While I've been grateful to receive free books in return for my honest review, I am even more thankful for a company that has chosen to set itself apart as God-honoring.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How to Make a LEGO iPod (old style)

Our boys are true LEGO fans/engineers/architects/builders/inventors/... you name it.  They also scour YouTube for tutorials on how to build the next great creation.  Our 9-year-old posted his own video directions today, where he detailed how to build an iPod (the old non-touch screen...seems so long ago, eh?) out of LEGOs.  I can already tell there will be future video productions.  The wheels are turning in those boys' minds.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Review: Just In Case You Ever Wonder ~ Max Lucado

I've always enjoyed Max Lucado's writing style and, as a family, we have read many of his adult and children's books. Just In Case You Ever Wonder is written from the perspective of a parent sharing a deep love for their child(ren).  It's a conversational book that speaks to the inner workings of your child's mind and spirit.  Every child needs to be reminded often of just how special and loved they are, both through words and actions.  This book helps you express the words your heart desires to let you child know.

While I want to love this book, I rate it just about average in a list of favorites.  The book is fully illustrated with thoughtful pictures.  However, there are two pictures that are scary to a child who isn't accustomed to hearing about "monsters in the closet" or a fear of the dark.  Just those two pages/illustrations were enough to refocus our 5-year-old's mind onto the pictures instead of the message of the book.

We have owned this book for a few years.  We read it from time to time but it isn't a favorite.  I think it could be higher on my list of choice books if those two illustrations were altered and if reading it to our youngest children involved the omission of the monsters/afraid of the dark statements.