Tag Archives: bible study

Homeschool Curriculum – What I Use & Why I Use It

I am often asked what curriculum we use in our homeschool.  Since the homeschool conference season is upon us I thought it was high time to  get this post posted!  It is easiest to continue answering this question here where it can be accessed easily and whenever it is convenient for you to read, re-read and ask questions.  So go grab yourself a cup of tea, lemonade, water or beverage of choice, sit back and relax.  This is by nature a  l-o-n-g  post.  🙂

When you ask anyone what curriculum they use in their homeschool, they should first tell you what teaching method they follow!  I am first and foremost a Teaching the Trivium proponent.  I then lean towards a classical methodology with unit studies and Charlotte Mason thrown in the mix!!  So whatever teaching methodology you favor will determine in large part the curriculum you will use.  I will elaborate on the Trivium and my mix in a different blog post.

– this book will help you get started on understanding why to homeschool, I consider this essential reading for parents and required reading for our children when they are about 14 or older and preparing for marriage

– this book will help you understand what the trivium is, why it is important and biblical

Before we get started I wanted you to give you hint at what you will find in this post… I hope this helps you find what you are looking for.  There are two sections;

section #1 is curriculum resources with the following categories in this order: bible studies, history/geography/literature/government/bible history/philosophy, reading instruction, handwriting, writing instruction, grammar, math, science, spelling, occupational education, Greek/Hebrew/Latin, art appreciation and music appreciation;

and section #2 is home/school/child management skills and resources.

1. What do I use and why do I like it?

A) Bible Studies:

Balancing the Sword – I did a thorough review here

Quite Times for Kids – solid, biblical, meaty studies; children work on their own as soon as they can read; free samples, various studies, can be used for any reading aged child, one study uses Lego blocks to reinforce lesson!, easy to use

Proverbs by Kevin Swanson – essential character training for all children, good with all children, easy to use

  Plants Grown Up (boys) & Polished Cornerstones (girls) from Doorposts are full of bibles studies, and various gender specific tasks/lessons to be learned in preparation for marriage.  I love the Doorpost materials!!  These are pretty thorough, varies enough that any child would benefit, CD with all memory verses and printable sheets available, is used from childhood until marriage

B) History/Bible History/Geography/Government/Literature/Philosophy & more:

              Tapestry of Grace helps ME teach a Christian, classical education (we emphasize the Reformed viewpoint) using a guided unit study approach with the history of the world as the core organizational theme, students cycle through the material 3 times at different learning levels, detailed lesson plans and discussion outlines make ME the primary teacher and mentor and I shape their biblical worldview, comes in digital, print or you can get both, flexible for different learning levels and is designed for stages NOT ages, assignments for a full 36-week school year which are also broken down into 4 9-week units, every unit starts with a full introduction and end-of-unit celebration activities, each unit is broken down into week plans with the actual reading, thinking and writing assignments as well as tools and teacher helps, online collection of useful and helpful documents that are not specific to any week plan, optional supplements covering a wide range of subjects to make your experience more streamlined and enjoyable, resource book list and book update chart.  Tapestry is a plan of study, recommended books are available for sale, at the library or might already be on your own shelves!  Any books can easily be substituted for those you would prefer to use.  This does take some learning to use, but there are many resources to help you in your learning curve!  Anything worth doing isn’t always easy, but THIS is well worth doing!  There are also free units available for you to try before you buy.

C) Reading Instruction:

Phonics Pathways100% phonics, uncluttered pages, large type, easy to use, NO prep time for me, a reading readiness evaluation so you are not pushing instruction too early for your child’s development

McGuffey Readers – no ungodly elements!, endearing line drawings, character lessons in well written stories

D) Handwriting:

– A Reason for Writing – lessons built around bible verses, easy to use, potential outreach by sending out the completed border sheets at the end of the week (we have done this in the past and have had wonderful responses), simple ‘test’ to check handwriting improvement through the years.

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– Startwrite – a computer program that allows you to use any material for handwriting and has both printing and cursive alphabets.  I love using this for bible memory verses, psalms for singing we are working on, quotes from leaders we are studying, poems Arrow is memorizing and much more!

E) Writing:

Understanding Writing by Susan Bradrick, this is the ONLY curriculum that truly teaches HOW to write!!  The others tell you to write to learn, but that isn’t effective and doesn’t teach you how to write!  There are also examples of simple word games to improve sentence structure and descriptions.  Amongst all the excellent teaching is a mini child training curriculum!  Double bonus to be sure!!  Tapestry of Grace does have a writing component and each assignment is tied to that weeks lesson, but they are just more meaningless writing exercises.  This curriculum has your child writing notes and letters to friends and relatives all while learning the HOW to write and write well.  It is writing with a real purpose.  Most of our students will not be writers, journalists or editors.  But they will need to write notes, letters, and possibly even blog posts!

F) Grammar:

– Easy Grammar – easy to use, you memorize prepositions and it is SO much easier to find subject and verb after that!!  I struggled with grammar all through my school years, with this method I would have had a MUCH easier time!!  Even “I” do not have to use the answer key for many of the answers when correcting work!!  WOW… I have learned so much!!

G) Math:

Math-U-See – easy to use, very thorough (build problem with manipulatives, write the problem, say the problem, practice, teach it back (really demonstrates whether they understand the concept or not!), ability to make additional worksheets for those times when a concept just does not seem to be grasped and you have used all the ones in the workbook, concepts taught to the teacher first via DVD, addition (& subtraction) taught as general concepts and then the facts are taught in groups (+2, doubles, etc), addition taught then subtraction (not both at the same time), same for multiplication & division, and I love, love, love the manipulatives!

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100 Sheep – a skip counting CD to bible stories, this is wonderful!  Arrow puts this in to listen to on his own while doing dishes or cleaning his room.  🙂

H) Science:

– Christian Kids Explore – good early level science, easy to use, specific science per categories (biology, chemistry, etc)

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Wonders of Creation series – biblical reference, more in-depth look at some favorite science topics, study guides available

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God’s Design for Science series – from Answers in Genesis, all sets reflect a Biblical worldview, including a young-earth view of creation, four-part series, experiments & activities in every lesson, great photos, easy to use with multiple children at different levels, flexible to use, comprehensive material, makes The Patriarch very happy as he decries the lack of hard sciences taught to homeschooled children

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rock collections for geology from Northwest Treasures – wonderfully full of rocks, books, and all in a great storage case, reasonably priced, very interesting kits (dinosaurs, fossils, Lewis & Clark, glow in the dark (VERY popular!!), and much more, all from a young earth/creation perspective

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Christian Liberty Nature Readers – from Christian Liberty Press

I) Spelling:

Phonics Pathways – thorough phonics rules, no need to purchase an additional curriculum (makes DH very happy)!!

J) Occupational Education:

 Plants Grown Up (boys) & Polished Cornerstones (girls) from Doorposts are full of bibles studies, and various gender specific tasks/lessons to be learned in preparation for marriage.  I love the Doorpost materials!!

Managers of Their Chores – helps you teach your children how you want each chore done, when to do it and then is an accountability system as well

K) Greek, Hebrew & Latin:

  Little Bitty Baby Learns Greek, Alphabet for Classical Latin (no longer available), Little Bitty Baby Learns Hebrew  – we are just at the stage for a formal Latin but not ready for Greek or Hebrew curriculum yet…, but we know the alphabets of all three!


Latin for Children series – easy to use, reasonably priced, lots of additions like a history book, CDs, and puzzles

L) Art Appreciation:

Adventures in Art – NO NUDES!!, larger reproductions of paintings, easy to use, easy to organize the paintings into one large ‘timeline’ of art history to trace how art changed with political ideas through history… OK so when I bought this about 18 years ago I got a portfolio with reproduction paintings this is now an internet curriculum, and will still be WONDERFUL!  Art is the expression of an idea/thought and tracing its history is eye-opening.

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Child Sized Masterpieces – NO NUDES, postcard sized paintings (get to touch, sort, etc), many levels with lots of beautiful paintings, easy to play matching games, guess the artist and much more

M) Music Appreciation:

Music & Moments with the Masters – traces music history and how music changed with political ideas through history, music is the expression of an idea/thought/emotion and tracing its history is eye-opening.

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[Composer] Greatest Hits – we use this along with the story of that particular composer for more of his music than what is given in the previous CD

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The Story of… – CD series of composers life stories, informative and we use them in the van while driving somewhere… redeeming the time!

2. What home/school/child management skills have you learned to make things easier and more enjoyable?

A) Home Management:

1) Have meal plans.  This helps with KNOWING what will be for lunch and dinner, making sure you have the necessary ingredients, eliminating unnecessary trips to the store (saving money on gas and wear & tear on the vehicle).  This is NOT restrictive but freeing!

2) Have some kind of cleaning schedule.  Don’t wait for it to get dirty, clean it BEFORE it gets dirty!  I clean the shower when I am IN there.  I’m already wet!  I wipe something down every time I am in the bathroom.  This helps KEEP the bathroom clean.  Teach your children to do the same thing!  You are NOT a maid.

3) Eliminate clutter!  This is a biggie and I am still struggling with this one… but each trip to the donation center helps!  Funny thing, I can not usually even remember what was in those bags and boxes after I donated them.  So that is PROOF I didn’t need it!

B) School Management:

– Homeschool Tracker Plus – a planning and organizing software, adaptable to any homeschooling style simply and yet sophisticated, lesson planning, record keeping, flexible and customizable to my (or your) planning and organization style, lesson plans can be reused for multiple students or in different years and can be shared with other Tracker users, affordable and either online or downloadable versions, EXCELLENT customer service & support, online discussion forum with great users who are helpful and kind, oh so kind!!  One of my favorite features is the rescheduling!!  This has helped save my sanity more than once!!!

OK, I heard that snickering out there!  Who did that!!!??!!!

C) Child Training:

  – Raising Godly Children by the Bradricks (DVD series)

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– What the Bible Says About Child Training by Fugate – with certain caveats

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– Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Ted Tripp

D) Skills/Lessons/Tips I Have Learned:

1) START THE DAY WITH HE LORD!!!  Even just a few moments with really little ones afoot.  Aren’t we homeschooling for the Lord in the first place?  We cannot do this without Him!

2) Be truly submitted to your husband.  Ladies, do not deceive yourself into thinking you are in submission when you are not.  Ask you husband, he’ll tell you.

3) Patience, but this came after #2, #1 AND #5 makes it easier!  😀  Despite what the world thinks (that we must have lots of patience in order to homeschool) it is the process of teaching our children at home that develops that patience!  Proverbs 16:24 Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.  A lesson I am still learning… sigh.

4) To study the various educational methodologies and determine which one best fits with God’s word first and our child’s leaning second.  See resources listed at the top of this post.  This helps you eliminate some curriculum which helps in the decision-making process!

5) GO TO BED EARLY, NO LATE NIGHTS (unless you are nursing, then… TAKE NAPS)!  There really is no benefit in burning the candle at both ends… and lots of detriments.  Draining your adrenals is a big one.  You do NOT want to go there.  Trust me on this one.

6) LIMIT computer time, crafts, talking on the phone, and any other activity that takes your focus off your home and family.  There will be a season for more of that when the children are grown.  You will only have them for a short time, don’t waste it with your fave in the box!!

7) Start with obedience training when your children are very young.  You are striving for first time obedience, without excuse, without delay, without complaint.  Doorposts has great help with this area.  Your consistency is a key factor.

I hope you find this helpful.  Some of these resources I liked so well I became an affiliate for them!  I do receive a monetary compensation if you purchase through one of my links.  All these materials I have purchased on my own and I was not paid for this post.

I would be happy to answer any questions you may still have!

Blessings, ~Aunt Mae (aka ~Mrs. R)

Other Aunt Mae Musings that may interest you:

Why We Homeschool

IndoctriNation the Movie

Why We Attend the Christian Heritage Conference

This post is also linked here:

  , Visionary Womanhood,

Meaningful Christmas Vacation Activities

We are taking a short break from school work during this Christmas season.  This holiday and Thanksgiving are the ONLY ones we take that coincide with our local public school’s vacations.  After our harrowing experience at the zoo when a large number of government school prisoners children were also there I went back to my calendar and made sure all our vacations were NOT at the same time as our local school districts.

Here are some suggestions for meaningful Christmas Vacation activities.  😀

1) Go through all your Christmas cards and spend time praying for that individual or family

2) Walk or drive to see light displays (you could discuss the meaning of the Christmas star, the wise men who traveled by it, Christ as Light of the World, spiritual meaning of the various colors (white – cleaned from sin, red – sin, green – growth in Christ, etc).  We like to look for Christian symbols in the decorating.  This year we actually saw THREE different displays with crosses as a prominent parts!

3) Write down things & people you are thankful for from the past year on paper stars to hang in the house, then as you are taking down the stars you can pray as a family for that thing/situation or person.

4) sing or play Christmas music in a nursing home or retirement center or go caroling in your neighborhood.  Some of the Christmas carols have some great doctrine in them… some are doctrinally un-sound (baby Jesus did cry, crying as an infant is NOT a sin!)… off my soap box now.  🙂

5) Listen to this sermon audio link  as a family: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=5220621750

6) read all the Christmas story accounts in the bible… don’t forget John 1:1-15!!  Here is a free download from Answers in Genesis – Nativity Booklet available only until Dec 31st!

7) Find a Christmas story read aloud and the younger children can color pages (Little House on the Prairie Christmas section, or others)

8) each person can start writing notes to various people who have had an impact on them over the past year (or more) to be sent out at the first of the year.  Express how much they mean to you, what they did to bless you, how they have impacted your life, etc.  Be specific, use proper grammar, sentence structure and punctuation and your best handwriting!

9) at dinner have each person go around the table telling how each of the other family members have been a blessing to them this past year and try to be specific about something not just generalizations.

10) Make it a day or evening of playing games together

11) do a special jigsaw puzzle together as a family or one set of folks could do the puzzle and another could be playing games and you can rotate depending on your space

12) Take a nature walk to see what animals are about, what plants are out and how the Lord provides for his tiny creatures in the winter.  Gather bits of nature to take home to decorate the trailer and start a Nature Notebook.  Use the Latin names for things in labeling them, draw the bit if nature you brought home, write about the walk and what you saw, etc.  This can then be added to through the year and if you walk in the same general places all year long you can document how it all changes through the seasons.

13) Recite and/or memorize Christmas poems, you could have a poetry reciting evening with Christmas cookies and eggnog!

14) Didn’t get those Christmas cookies baked with your precious children?  Why not do that between the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations??!!  I will be.  I have never made homemade sugar cookies.  I know it is hard to believe, but it is true.  I also want to try decorating them with that icing that gets hard.  I even bought a snowflake ornament to use.  I am so excited about this project!  I also have all the ancient cookie cutters that were my mother’s.  We will use most of them, though Santa will stay in the container as we don’t “do” Santa.  I want the true meaning of Christmas to shine forth.

And of course a poem… you know me and poetry!!

‘Christmas Bells’ poem by Henry Wadsworth

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The Carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said;
‘For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!’

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
‘God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!’

Merry★* 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★Christmas★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門| ˚And a Happy New Year!!!! 

                                          ~Mrs. R (aka Aunt Mae)

All art from Art.com – for which I am an affiliate.

Vision Forum Gift Certificate Give-A-Way!!

I just got this in my inbox and HAD to share with you all…

Vision Forum has offered Generation Cedar three incredible gift certificates to give away to Generation Cedar readers!  There are three gift certificates in this drawing: $300, $200 & $100!

You already know I love Vision Forum products.    As a homeschooling mom it is difficult to find good Christian books to challenge Arrow’s mind & faith.  That is one reason I am a Vision Forum affiliate.  No revisionist history here!  Sound science materials… oh I could go on and on.  what could be better…?  Getting them for free with a gift certificate AND in time for Christmas gift giving!!

Hurry… contest ends December 3rd!

Did you see this years catalog??  I LOVE Vision Forum Catalogs… well and not “just” for the spectacular covers either!  LOL

Some of my favorite Christian books and materials from Vision Forum:

Jonathan Park Series – excellent creation materials!

Poems for Patriarchs & Verses of Virtue – but you already know how I love poetry!  🙂

Commemorative Calvin Commentary Set – ON SALE!  23 volumes in all, includes Calvin’s Institutes at a price that CAN NOT BE BEAT!

To Have & To Hold – the Patriarch is reading this aloud to us in the evenings right now and we LOVE it!  We keep begging for “just one more chapter”!!

Complete R. M. Ballantyne collection – Arrow got this for Christmas last year and he loves them!

There are many other resources that I also love… but I can save some of those for a different blog post!  🙂

Blessings,  ~Mrs. R

Sufficiency of Scripture 2009 Audio FREE!

I just had to pop in and tell you that the National Center for Family Integrated Churches is giving away the audios from their “Sufficiency of Scripture Conference” from 2009!

This conference, which took place December 10-12, 2009, in Covington, KY, called Christians back to their foundation, affirming that the Scripture alone is sufficient to direct their lives and the life of their families, their churches, and their country in the 21st Century. 35 messages cover everything from the doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture to Youth Ministry to personal evangelism.

What a blessing!  There are talks by Ken Ham, Voddie Baucham, Doug Phillips, Dr. Joe Morecraft, Scott Brown and many others!  Isn’t it grand that biblical truths don’t change with the times?!

Here is the link: NCFIC

Blessings,

~Mrs. R

TSA OUTRAGE – How Should the Church Respond?

Revelations of the TSA’s new invasive security procedures have shocked Americans as stories have circulated of the most demeaning violations of personal privacy. TSA agents are now requiring a growing percentage of air travelers to subject themselves to full-body scanners that render an essentially naked image of them for the TSA to see, or to opt-out and be touched in their private parts by a bureaucrat. Innocent men, women, and children are being groped, exposed, and humiliated by government agents. The TSA’s actions are simply outrageous.

But how should the Church respond? What steps should Christians take to protect their families from these egregious new policies?

In this timely message, Doug Phillips and Wesley Strackbein outline the theological, moral, and constitutional issues involved and give practical counsel on how Christians can navigate through the difficult questions of air travel in light of the intrusive TSA procedures.

These ‘procedures’ are simply a way for the government to get us used to a tromping of our constitutional rights… and will we let them do so?  Are we sheeple?  What happened to our stand for freedom?  Though the free CD offer is no longer valid this CD is one worth getting today!

Blessings,

~Mrs. R

The Day Before Election Day 2010

Tomorrow is voting day.  Here in western Washington there has been plenty of corruption in the political arena.  Our corrupted-by-the-Seattle-liberals gubernatorial race a few years back even made national news.  You know, I really do tend towards a positive outlook on life.  But… I wonder if that same corruption will rear it’s ugly head once again to thwart the way the people have really voted.  I know many are pinning their hopes upon these races which will be decided tomorrow.

But people are not generally good.  Their hearts are evil all of the time.

Jeremiah: 17:9-10 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it?  “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct,  according to what his deeds deserve.”

I also know that God is sovereign in all things.  Even political outcomes.  And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I can trust God completely.

Ps. 103:19 “the Lord has established His throne in the heavens; and His sovereignty rules over all.”

I Chron. 29:11,12 – “Thine, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the  victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth: Thine is the  dominion, O Lord, and Thou doest exalt Thyself as head over all. Both riches and honor  come from Thee, and Thou dost rule over all, and in Thy hand is power and might; and it  lies in Thy hand to make great, and to strengthen everyone.”

Psalm 40:4
Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.
Psalm 111:7
The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy.

John 14:1
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.

Then there is the matter of how I live out my faith (orthopraxy) and that this should also express my doctrinal beliefs (orthodoxy).  How I dress, train my children, what books I read, what movies I watch, whom I vote for… these are all things I must bring under the authority of scripture.

1 Corinthians 10:31
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

 

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

How am I to vote with integrity?  Where do I get my information?  Do I place all my trust in the media?  The notion of  “objective journalism”  is a complete myth.  Media is related to mediate which is to convey between.  But what is their motive for relaying that information in that way?  Have they presented all the information or is some held back?  Has the information been presented in a way to make it seem to say what it never intended to say?  Who are they trying to please?  It is my goal for this simple blog to glorify God.  Don’t get me wrong, I like being liked!  But if I try to please everyone, I wind up pleasing no one, particularly my Lord Jesus Christ.

In my small effort to help you make an informed decision tomorrow, I offer you these videos and quotes.

“The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.”
Patrick Henry

“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”
Patrick Henry

“It is when people forget God that tyrants forge their chains.”
Patrick Henry

“The battle, Sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, Sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable; and let it come! I repeat, Sir, let it come!”
Patrick Henry

“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”
Patrick Henry

“Bad men cannot make good citizens. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience are incompatible with freedom.”
Patrick Henry

Let us make informed, wise choices at the polls!  Vote early.

Blessings,

~Mrs. R

Reformation Sunday 2010

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

 A mighty fortress is our God,  a bulwark never failing; 
our helper he amid the flood  of mortal ills prevailing. 
For still our ancient foe  doth seek to work us woe; 
his craft and power are great,  and armed with cruel hate, 
on earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide,  our striving would be losing, 
were not the right man on our side,  the man of God's own choosing. 
Dost ask who that may be?  Christ Jesus, it is he; 
Lord Sabaoth, his name,  from age to age the same, 
and he must win the battle. And though this world, with devils filled, 
should threaten to undo us,  we will not fear,
for God hath willed  his truth to triumph through us. 
The Prince of Darkness grim,  we tremble not for him; 
his rage we can endure,  for lo, his doom is sure; 
one little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly powers,  no thanks to them, abideth; 
the Spirit and the gifts are ours,  thru him who with us sideth. 
Let goods and kindred go,  this mortal life also;  the body they may kill; 
God's truth abideth still;  his kingdom is forever. 

This beloved hymn was written by Martin Luther.  No, not the Martin Luther who gave the I have a Dream speech!!  This Martin Luther was born on November 10, 1483 in Germany.  He was studying to be a lawyer when nearly struck by lightening and became a monk.  He dedicated himself to monastic life.  He describes this time period as “a time of deep spiritual despair”.  He later would say that , “If anyone could have gained heaven as a monk, then I would have indeed been among them”, and “I lost touch with Christ the Savior and Comforter, and made of him the jailer and hangman of my poor soul”.  His superiors believed he needed more work to distract him from his excess introspection and was ordered to pursue an academic career.  In 1508 he began teaching theology at the University of Wittenburg.  On March 9, 1508 he received his Bachelor’s degree  in Biblical Studies.  On October 19, 1512 he was awarded his Doctorate of Theology.

Wittenburg Church Door

Just 5 years and 10 days later is when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Wittenburg church door.  Much of this was a protest to the sale of indulgences.  At the time, the Catholic church was selling forgiveness & salvation to any purchaser.  This is in direct opposition to what the bible clearly states.  It is God alone who grants forgiveness.  The nailing was not an act of rebellion or confrontation, for the church door was like a bulletin board for the town.  This was a learned objection to church practices.  The 95 Theses were quickly translated from Latin into German and then printed (thanks Gutenberg!) and widely copied & distributed.  Within 2 weeks copies had spread all over Germany, and within 2 months it had spread over all of Europe.

Luther’s room in Wartburg Castle

The Catholic church was upset and took steps to silence Luther.  His stand against the church was that he would need to be convinced by the scriptures or by clear sound reason.  The church declared Luther an outlaw.  He was rescued on his return trip home by being “kidnapped” and kept hidden in Wartberg Castle.  It was here that Luther translated the New Testament into German.

One of our church traditions is to have a Reformation Sunday celebration with German food, a quiz, scripture memory recitation and to sing many of the ‘hymns of the reformation’.  One family tradition we like is to watch the black & white movie, “Martin Luther” with Niall MacGuinnis, Phillip Leaver, David Horne & Annette Carell.  A great book to use with your younger children to learn about Luther is: Martin Luther: A Man Who Changed the World by Paul L. Maier.  For older children & adults there is “From Dark to Dawn” by Elizabeth Charles.

What does your family do to celebrate the reformation?

I pray your Reformation Day is a joyous one!

~Mrs. R

Vision Forum History Pack!

A great package for history buffs, homeschoolers, or anyone interested in learning about God’s hand in history.  This is NOT your politically correct revisionist history!!  Great source for getting the real story.

Blessings,

~Mrs. R

Evenings with Victoria Botkin & Give-away!!

Evenings With Victoria Botkin!!

Join Victoria as she discusses subjects such as woman’s great power, sinful tendencies, obedience vs. submission, independence vs. submission, freedom vs. submission, beauty, dress, makeup, respect, women’s rights, hospitality, speaking words of life, managing with grace, pitfalls of perfectionism in homemaking, Hollywood expectations, trials, trust, and cultivating personality. Victoria will begin each session by responding to pressing, appropriate questions from participants. Topic headings include:

  • All about Eve
  • All about Sarah
  • The Proverbs 31 wife
  • About love
  • How to help your husband love you
  • How to become a wise woman

for more details click HERE!

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And there is a chance to win a free registration on Jasmine’s blog “Joyfully Home”!

Blessings,

~Mrs. R

Balancing The Sword – A Review

I had deliberated for a long time whether I would get the 2 volume set of Balancing the Sword booksby Allen B. Wolf. They are pricey and I wondered if they were worth the money. I was also concerned that they might be either wimpy on the bible or off on some un-biblical tangent or my personal pet peeve get things totally wrong like who shut the door on the ark. I got a set of ‘damaged’ books at a significant discount and decided that I could not pass these up to at least look at and I could resell if they were not usable by our family. I am NOT sorry I got them and they are well worth full price!

Here is a breakdown of their contents:
The questions are all objective in nature.
The questions are in proportion to the Text.
The questions are all unique.
The cross references are included for virtually all questions.
All but 6 questions have cross references.
The cross references within the same book are listed in italics.
The materials include space for notes.
The materials can structure annual studies lasting multiple years or short studies lasting a day.
The questions are divided by book and by chapter.
The answer key is in the back.
The questions retain the rich titles of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit.
The software on the single CD (included) will create a completely customized reading schedule in minutes.
Some of the questions require using math to answer.

Allen Wolf used a mathematical formula to determine the number of questions to create for each chapter. On average, every 2.7 verses is targeted by a question. As a result, virtually all the major points of each chapter and book are highlighted through the questions. They are designed to facilitate a detailed and general study of the Text.

He states that his primary goal in creating this study aid was to outline the basic facts of each chapter. He also attempted to target each prophecy that was specifically fulfilled later in Scripture. Verses revealing surprising information were also favorites. Likewise, critical commands were a focus. Finally, difficult points to find were sometimes chosen to help the reader gauge his or her comprehension.

But that is not all!! There is a chart of weights and measures used in the Bible. Additionally there are some images created by the author or his assistant. Most were gathered from the public domain, but were improved or modified from their original condition, making them copyrighted, but the images can be purchased in a digital form for a fraction of the production cost. (I have not checked into this but would like to!)

There are also lots and lots of quotes from various sources.

We really enjoy using them in our chronological reading of the bible!
Blessings,
~Mrs. R