Sunday, January 20, 2013

Awesome Science - Explore Mount St. Helens with Noah Justice

I was really excited for the chance to view Awesome Science -Explore Mount St. Helens with Noah Justice.    I have always been curious about this Science program and think that it is a very unique idea.  How many educational programs can you find where a 14 year old  becomes your teacher?  I think the idea of a Science series created by kids for kids is something that will catch the attention of homeschoolers everywhere.  As a mother/homeschool educator one of the things I liked most about this program is the fact that it is biblicaly based.

Each video including Explore Mount St. Helens has a Study Guide that goes along with it.  I really love this!  Not only does it help reinforce the things you watch on the video it helps give teacher's an idea of how much the student payed attention and retained.  Plus, it digs deeper giving more opportunities for learning.  The main thing I disliked about the video is the quality.  The images were not real sharp or clear.  Other than that I think it would be beneficial for the homeschool family and definitely spark the interest of kids who are struggling in Science.

***This video and study guide were provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my review.

Focus on the Family Les Miserables Audio Drama

One of mine and my daughter's favorite pastimes is to enjoy and evening of listening to Focus on the Family Radio Theatre.  I have yet to listen to a recording that I have not enjoyed.  Recently I had the opportunity to listen to Les Miserables for review.   Once again, I have not been disappointed.  Focus on the Family Radio Theatre is so much more than just an audio book, it is a complete drama with different actor's and actresses for each roll and a beautiful orchestra playing the background music.  All of that, along with the sound effects, brings you right into the story in a way that is truly enjoyable.

Les Miserables is one of the world's masterpieces.  It enthralled audiences worldwide as a great novel, as a major motion picture (most recently starring Anne Hathaway) and also as a blockbuster musical play.  This audio performance is true to the original novel as it follows Jean Valjean, a man who has spent years in jail after stealing a loaf of bread.  After being shown mercy he becomes a changed man and spends his life helping others.  It is a great story of redemption and forgiveness.

It is told in such a way that you have no problem imagining in your minds eye that you are sitting on the sidelines watching as the story unfolds before your very eyes.  It is very family oriented.  In the book and the movie Fantine is portrayed as a prostitute, but Focus on the Family does not dwell on this point, but more emphasizes that she is not a nice lady.  This makes it much more suitable for younger children, however, I do feel that it would be best for older children.  Only because I don't think it would keep the attention of younger children.  The French dialogue is thick with lots of accents and names which would be hard for younger kids to follow.  

I personally would recommend this version before going to see the motion picture.  Mainly because you don't have to worry about the wholesomeness of it.   Focus on the Family is known for providing good quality, christian entertainment and something you can enjoy together as a family without worrying about bad words, nudity, innuendo, etc.

***This copy of Les Miserables Focus on the Family Radio Theatre was proivided to me by Tyndale House Publisher in exchange for my review.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

An Amish Kitchen - A Book Review

An Amish Kitchen is a compilation of three Amish stories.  A Taste of Faith by Kelly Long, A Spoonful of Love by Amy Clipston, and A Recipe for Hope by Beth Wiseman.  All three stories are set in Paradise Pennsylvania and the characters are intertwined in some way.  I have previously read books by Kelly Long and Beth Wiseman so I was certain I would love this book and I was correct!!

The first story, A Taste of Faith by Kelly Long is about Fern Zook who grows herbs and is learning of their healing properties from her grandma.  Her neighbor Abram Fisher is taking care of his younger siblings while his parents are away.  It seems like he is constantly needing Fern's services for one ailment or another.  It doesn't take long for sparks to fly between them.

I really enjoyed this story and it was probably my favorite out of all three!!

The second story, A Spoonful of Love by Amy Clipston is about Hannah King who is running a bed and breakfast, her mom is busy taking care of her Hannah's dad who recently had a stroke.  Stephen Esh comes to the bed in breakfast and the town of Paradise in hopes of a fresh start.  Hannah's mom is uncomfortable with Stephen being around Hannah and is determined to run him off.  Despite her efforts Hannah and Stephen are drawn together.  When Hannah finds out about Stephen's past will she still want him around.

I really liked this story but felt like it ended way too soon.  About the time I was getting really into it, it was over.

The third story, A Recipe of Hope by Beth Wiseman, is about Eva Bender's family.  After a storm damages their home they are forced to stay with her parents while working on the repairs.  Eva and her mother have never gotten along.  Will staying with her now mend their relationship or tare them further apart?

This was a cute story that had me laughing out loud a couple of times.  There was also a little love triangle going on between Eva's two twin son's and a young Amish girl that added to the story!

I would definitely recommend An Amish Kitchen if you like reading Amish fiction stories!

***This book was provided to me through in exchange for my review.