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Monday, July 28, 2014

Scripture Songs for Kids

Godstruck Ministries 4 Kids Review

Are you a parent like me who wants to help your kids to hide God's Word in their hearts? While I was at our local homeschool conference this past May, I had the joy of meeting the family behind Godstruck Ministries 4 Kids. This family is dedicated to helping families like us in our efforts to help our kids hide God's Word and His principles in their hearts through music. I am excited to partner with them to help get the word out about their mission! I was given Sing God's Word - Psalms in Tune Companion Curriculum and music CD #1 and Sing God's Word - Way to Praise Companion Curriculum and music CD #2 in exchange for my review which I bring to you today.

You can connect with Godstruck Ministries 4 Kids on the following social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Stay up-to-date with their nicely designed, family-oriented monthly newsletter with sections like Blessings Blog, Family Activity, and Living the Word. You'll definitely want to subscribe to their newseltter so you don't miss out on product updates and new product announcements such as the movement guides and video tutorials for CD #2 that are currently in production.

Companion Curriculum Guides

You're going to love the easy-to-follow format in the curriculum guide! There are seven elements to every lesson included in the curriculum guides. A devotional theme at the beginning of each Scripture lesson is given that tells the main idea you'll be discussing throughout the lesson that is based on the Scripture verse your kids will be memorizing.

Take a quick look at each of the seven elements included for every lesson:
  1. Needs: A handy list of items needed either for the activity/object lesson or during your commentary that make great visuals to drive home the key point of the Scripture verse.
  2. Listen to: Lists the devotional tracks and Scripture song you'll be covering in the lesson.
  3. Activity/Object Lesson: Gives instructions on how to use the handy list of items needed for your lesson.
  4. Commentary: I love this part that gives you specific wording to use for your lesson so you're sure not to omit any key points necessary to the Scripture explanation.
  5. Coloring Page: Lists the title of the coloring page to use for the lesson. Their website has all of the coloring pages available as PDF downloads. These are absolutely free!
  6. Bible Passage: A Scripture passage in the Bible or recommended pages from My First Study Bible are listed that support the Scripture verse to be memorized. You can certainly use both to help your kids gain a better understanding of how to apply the Scripture verse to their lives.
  7. Listen to the Song Again: Lists the track number of the Scripture song on the CD to listen to again with your kids. Movement suggestions are included here as well to help enhance learning and memorization of the Scripture song.

Age Range of Product

The recommended age range for use of this Scripture memory program is any Sunday school class with a mixed age group of children or for early elementary school classes. This program can be used in Sunday School, Kid's Church, your homeschool, and/or as family devotions.

Price List for Companion Curriculum Guides and CDs

The price for the Sing God's Word - Psalms in Tune Companion Curriculum Guide is $11.99. It is available as a PDF download for $7.99. The price for CD #1 is $9.99, and the MP3 price is $8.99.

The price for the Sing God's Word - Way to Praise Companion Curriculum Guide is $13.99. It is available as a PDF download for $9.99. The price of CD #2 is $9.99, and the MP3 price is $8.99.

Godstruck Ministries is currently working on producing movement guides and video tutorials for all the Scripture songs included in Sing God's Word - Way to Praise. Once all the tutorials are completed, they will be available for download on the website to anyone who purchases this particular curriculum guide. The difference in price of the two curriculum guides is due to the fact that this second publication contains extended content, plus the movement guides and video tutorials that come with it. The price is still very affordable considering all of the work that has gone into the production of these two excellent and helpful resources for CD #2.

I received completed movement guides and video tutorials for three of the songs on CD #2 to review as well. Be patient with the video tutorial download time because they are totally worth it! The movement guides are Microsoft Word documents that give step-by-step direction for the motions to the songs on CD #2. You'll want to make sure you preview the video tutorial and movement guide in order to learn and feel comfortable with all the motions before trying to teach your children. The motions are simple enough and it shouldn't take you long to learn them yourself so that you will have no trouble teaching the movements to your children.

You will also find free lyric sheets for both CDs on the Godstruck Ministries website that you can use with your kids while learning the Scripture songs.

I love the musical characters Godstruck Ministries 4 Kids have developed to help your children to hide God's Word in their hearts. You can go to their website to meet these loveable and fun musical characters

My Experience and Opinion

I used these Scripture song products with the kids in our Children's Ministry at our church. My husband is the Children's Pastor of our church and I assist him each Sunday as we teach the children ages 4 through 5th grade in Kid's Church. I took a few Sundays to lead the children in memorizing Psalm 138:8

"The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
    your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
    Do not forsake the work of your hands."

The first Sunday, I taught the lesson in the Sing God's Word - Way to Praise Companion Curriculum Guide for this Scripture verse titled,  "The Lord Will Fulfill". The night before church, I read over the entire lesson, printed the lyrics for the Scripture song, and gathered the items from the "Needs" list that was provided in the guide. The kids loved the devotional track on the CD that was a part of our lesson and the Scripture song! The song was an amazing way to get this nugget of Truth into their hearts that God has a purpose for their life and that His steadfast love endures forever!

The next couple of weeks we spent time learning the song. This Scripture song is one from CD #2 that they have been able to produce the movement guide and video tutorial for, which I learned first and then taught to the children. Having motions to go along with the words to the song really helps cement the words for the children! I used the coloring page the following week as a break between practicing the Scripture song. There are also games for CD #1 that you can download and make copies of for the kids to use as practice breaks. The answer key is provided for you on the website as well. The coloring pages and games are available for free on their website.

The children and I had so much fun with these Scripture song resources from Godstruck Ministries 4 Kids! What a joy it was for me to watch these kids interact with the Scripture verses through music and motion! How rewarding it was to plant Psalm 138:8 into their hearts that they will remember always!

If you are looking for help to get Scripture into the hearts of your children in your home or in your church or both, then you will definitely want to give these products from Godstruck Ministries 4 Kids a try. I know you will be just as thrilled with them as I have been!

Walking in His Grace, 

*Disclaimer: The products I received for this review were free of charge to me in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

M is for Martha (Women of the Bible)

Blogging Through the Alphabet

M is for Martha.

Scripture Reference:

Luke 10:38-42 and John 11; 12:1-3

Meaning of Name:


Family Connections:

The sister of Mary and Lazarus. They lived together in Bethany.

Interesting Facts about Martha:

  • Martha welcomed Jesus and His disciples into her home.
  • Martha became distracted by her serving so that it took her away from Jesus' teaching.
  • She complained that her sister, Mary, didn't leave Jesus' teaching as well to come and help her serve.
  • In the repetition of her name, "Martha, Martha", Jesus affectionately begins His rebuke of Martha.
  • Martha loved Jesus, and she was loved by Jesus.
  • She went to meet Jesus as He was coming to their house because of the death of her brother, Lazarus.
  • Martha had faith that Jesus could have healed her brother.
  • Martha had faith concerning her deceased brother Lazarus, and that whatever Jesus asked of God He would surely give it to Jesus.
  • Martha believed in the resurrection at the last day.
  • She confessed that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God, who had come into the world.

What We Can Learn from Martha:

  • Open our hearts and our homes to the leadership of Jesus.
  • Be hospitable to others.
  • Do not become so busy with our serving or responsibilities that we neglect time alone in the Word of God.
  • Time in the Word of God is needed for our spiritual growth.
  • Serving and learning are both duties in the Christian life.
  • All that we do in serving and learning should be in honor and glory to God. 
  • Jesus' delay in responding is not necessarily denial, but can be an opportunity for the display of the glory of God.
  • Jesus knows the exact moment to display the power of God.
  • We can trust Jesus with our cares, our sorrows, and our responsibilities.

In this fast-paced, busy world, I think we all can relate in some way to Martha. Finding a balance between learning and serving is something most of us struggle with if we're honest with ourselves. Let's remember to ask Jesus to help us. He's more than ready to answer our call for help in this area of our lives.

Walking in His Grace, 

This #abcblogging challenge is being hosted by my friend, Marcy at Ben and Me. Click on the image below to read more Blogging Through the Alphabet posts. Enjoy!

Ben and Me

Thursday, July 17, 2014

L is for Lois (Women of the Bible)

Blogging Through the Alphabet

L is for Lois.

Scripture Reference:

2 Timothy 1:5 (NIV)
I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

Meaning of Name:

Agreeable or desirable

Family Connections:

The mother of Eunice, and grandmother of Timothy.

Interesting Facts About Lois:

  • Lois was a devout Jewess who came to faith in Christ.
  • Lois faithfully instructed her daughter (Eunice) and grandson (Timothy) in Old Testament Scriptures.
  • Lois was respected by the apostle Paul as a woman of virtue and piety.
  • Lois is commended by the apostle Paul for her sincere faith in Christ which she passed on to her daughter, Eunice, and to her grandson, Timothy.

What We Can Learn from Lois:

  • Walk faithfully in the ministry of motherhood.
  • Walk faithfully in our lives as believers to be living testimonies to our children.
  • Share our faith in Christ with our children as instructed by Deuteronomy 6:4-9.
  • Encourage our children to feast on the Word of God.
  • Encourage our children to fellowship with God in prayer.
  • Speak to our children about the power of prayer in a believer's life.
  • Pray for the salvation of the souls of our children realizing that the seeds of faith we plant in them must be watered with our prayers that those seeds will take root.
  • Trust in the God of all grace that the seeds we plant will take root in our children's hearts and will blossom for His glory.

Lois' faithfulness to live out her faith in Christ in front of her children and grandchildren reminds me of my wonderful Grandma Matthews, and the legacy of her life. My parents divorced when I was a young child. I have fond childhood memories of visiting my Grandma Matthews during weekend visits with my Daddy. He would always let me and my twin sister stay overnight with Grandma on Saturday nights so we could go to church with her in the morning. Grandma would buy us pretty dresses, shoes, and little matching purses that we would wear to church on Sunday. I remember waking up on Sunday mornings and finding Grandma sitting at her kitchen table with her Bible opened and her reading it. I remember sitting in Sunday School class at a wooden table with wooden chairs hearing Bible stories. I remember being in church service sitting next to Grandma listening to the Pastor's sermon. I remember memorizing Bible verses for the Christmas pageant. Such wonderful memories of seeds that my Grandma Matthews planted in my young life. Seeds that took root no doubt because of her faithful prayers. This is the kind of legacy I want to leave for my children and my future grandchildren.

Grandma's prayers

I'm #abcblogging with Marcy at Ben and Me - thanks Marcy for hosting this Blogging Through the Alphabet challenge! Read more posts by clicking on the image below.

Walking in His Grace, 

Ben and Me

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

K is for Keturah (Women of the Bible)

Blogging Through the Alphabet

K is for Keturah.

Scripture Reference:

Genesis 25:1-6; 1 Chronicles 1:32, 33

Meaning of Name:


Family Connections:

Abraham's concubine whom he took as wife (after Sarah died). The mother of Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.

Interesting Facts about Keturah:

  • As a concubine, Keturah did not have the rights of a wife; nor were her children considered rightful heirs of Abraham, although gifts were given by Abraham to his six sons.
  • Keturah was the mother to six of Abraham's sons from which the six Arabian tribes of Southern and Eastern Palestine originated.
  • Keturah had a part in helping to fulfill the promise that Abraham would become the "father of many nations".
  • Keturah surrounded Abraham in his declining years with care and love.
  • She remained faithful to Abraham.
  • Keturah honored her role as a wife to Abraham.

What We Can Learn from Keturah:

  • We all have a part to fulfill in God's plan.
  • Remain faithful to our husband.
  • Show care for our husband.
  • Show love to our husband.

There were some differing opinions/theories that I wanted to include in my points of interest that I discovered, but I decided to leave them out. As you can see, I'm conflicted about whether or not to mention them since I'm even telling you this. It is worthy to note simply because of a very important lesson we can learn should the theory be valid. I'm no Bible scholar certainly, but here's a theory I found while studying that I can't leave out because of the life lesson I see in it that would benefit us all.

When Abraham sent away his six sons it is possible that some were still young enough to need the care of their mother, so Keturah would have been sent away with them. She had a choice to make in how she would respond in her time of crisis upon learning that she had to leave everything that she knew and loved. Keturah could have rejected the faith of the one true God that had been a part of her life as Abraham's wife. But from what we can see in the life of Jethro, a priest of Median (of the descendants of Midian, Keturah's son) and future father-in-law of Moses, she did not reject her faith, but carried it with her and her six sons to the land they had been sent away to by Abraham. She took the truth of God with her and continued to raise her sons in the faith. To sustain and pass on this faith, she must have had a deep, personal relationship with Yahweh.

How do we respond to the crisis of our lives? Do we grasp on to the faith of our personal relationship with God as Keturah seems to have done or do we forsake it in feelings of resentment for what has happened to us?

Again, I'm no Bible scholar, but the lesson is certainly worth thinking about, isn't it.

Venice Haggadah, Family of Abraham - Wikipedia Public Domain
Venice Haggadah, Family of Abraham - Wikipedia Public Domain
"The image ... shows Abraham with the three women in his life. In the center are Sarah and Isaac; on the left are Hagar and Ishmael and on the right are Keturah and her children."

Thanks to Marcy at Ben and Me for hosting this #abcblogging event! Click on the image below to see how others are Blogging Through the Alphabet!

Walking in His Grace, 

Ben and Me

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Moving Beyond the Page Review

Moving Beyond the Page is a complete literature-based homeschool curriculum that fits different learning styles by encouraging critical and creative thinking through challenging and engaging projects. Their curriculum encourages your child to see the connection of subjects through unit-based studies in Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Reading, and Math. This review was my first experience with Moving Beyond the Page. It is a complete homeschool curriculum that can be used with kids who are 6-15 years old.

Moving Beyond the Page Review

For this review I received two packages from Moving Beyond the page. I chose the Language Arts Package - Number the Stars which included the online curriculum guide and the physical book, Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. I also chose the Social Studies Package - World Wars I and II which included the curriculum guide by Kathryn Walbert Ph.D., All That Jazz - A History of US Book 9 by Joy Hakim, and Where Poppies Grow by Linda Granfield. The suggested age range for both of these homeschool curriculum packages is 10-12 years old.

Number the Stars
Language Arts Package (Online) - Number the Stars - $19.92

World Wars I and II
Social Studies Package (Physical) - World Wars I and II - $42.89

Moving Beyond the Page offers their homeschool curriculum in your choice of the online version or the physical version. You will need a computer with a high speed internet connection to gain access to the online version which contains lots of links of applicable resources on the internet that will be used in your child's study. The physical version lists those links as well. The online version also has a helpful tool called "IdeaShare" which you may have guessed by the name is an area where parents list ideas and resources they found while preparing their lessons that they think other homeschoolers will find useful as well. For the online version you will also need a printer and the free Adobe Reader software.

Each available package comes with its own curriculum guide and the literature books that are necessary to complete the study. The curriculum guide and literature books I received were soft cover. You will find a "what's included" link listed on each package page that gives you a detailed description of the resources.

How We Used Our Packages from Moving Beyond the Page

We had the online version for our Language Arts package and the physical version for our Social Studies package. My son really liked that he could type his reading comprehension questions into the Language Arts online package instead of writing them. He is not a fan of hand-written work assignments, so this was also a plus for me as well since I didn't have to hear complaints about writing. On the other hand, he did have to do some writing such as for the proofreading assignments where he used the editing symbols he had learned throughout the lessons. One of the great benefits of homeschooling - do what works best for your child - and make adjustments as needed! *smile* These assignments came in a PDF file which I was able to print out. This enabled me to keep them all in a file, ready to pull out for him if we used them. Sometimes I would let him type into the PDF file worksheet - it just depended on the mood he was in and/or the required task. Also included in a PDF file was a "Handy Guide to Writing and Grammar" that I printed and kept in a folder to use as a teaching guide for me and as a reference help for him.Very handy indeed!

My son LOVES history which is why I chose the Language Arts and Social Studies packages I did for this review. I love that Moving Beyond the Page specifies a topic of study that can be used concurrently with another subject. The two that I picked can be used independently, but fit so well together in a study of World Wars I and II.  

Number the Stars, the Newberry Award winning literature book included in our Language Arts package, is the story of two friends and how their lives are disrupted and changed forever by the Nazi occupation of Denmark. Throughout this Language Arts study common proofreading symbols are taught with an opportunity to use what is learned through various assignments and projects. There was a project included where my son was able to pretend he was a journalist writing an article about Denmark during World War II. The focus of editing and revising writing assignments was the focus of study in this Language Arts package. The questions/exercises relating to the reading of the book could be done online since that is the version we had for the Language Arts package. Once these assignments were completed, I could print off my son's work from my printer. We loved the book and enjoyed taking turns reading it each day!

Helping him to understand that the story of Number the Stars was based on actual life in that time period led to great discussions that we were able to continue as we switched over into our Social Studies package of World Wars I and II that included the resources All that Jazz - A History of US Book 9 and Where Poppies Grow. We used our curriculum guide to help direct us through our reading time in these two books. Again, most of the time, I did not make him write down his answers in the guide and chose instead for him to answer them verbally. It's just as important to develop verbal communication skills as well as written skills which he gets enough of in Language Arts. There were lots of activities to choose from throughout our lessons such as vocabulary exercises and games using information from the reading assignments.

The literature included in the Social Studies package were packed with information and real-life pictures about World Wars I and II. My son poured over these two books taking in all the details included. They were a huge hit with him!


My Opinion of Moving Beyond the Page

I really enjoyed using the packages I received for my review of Moving Beyond the Page. If you have a child who struggles with writing, I would highly recommend the online version of their packages since your child can type their assignments on the computer. Adobe will even allow typing on our PDF files, so that has been a wonderful option as well for his assignments! The online option will be the choice I'll go with in my future purchases from Moving Beyond the Page since my child struggles with writing.

One down-side of getting the online version is that once you activate your package, you only have it for 3 months. Be sure to keep this in mind if you decide to go with the online version. You can use your unit with more than one child as their copyright allows multiple printing of the student activity pages. This is a plus for families of multiple children. 

I loved all the additional links to information pertaining to our study that helped to enrich our study even more! I loved how all the assignments and suggested schedule were provided for me in the curriculum guide. The curriculum guides are very parent-friendly as all the preparation and planning has been done for me! The answers to the student questions are included as well.

I would highly recommend Moving Beyond the Page for your homeschool! You can connect with them on Facebook to stay up-to-date on what they are offering. 

Walking in His Grace, 

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

J is for Joanna (Women of the Bible)

Blogging Through the Alphabet

J is for Joanna.

Scripture Reference:

Luke 8:1-3; 23:55; 24:10

Meaning of Name:

"Jehovah hath shown favor", or "The Lord is grace", or "The Lord give graciously"

Family Connections:

The wife of Chuza, the house-steward of Herod the Tetrarch.

Interesting Facts About Joanna:

  • Joanna was among some of the women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases by Jesus (Luke 8:1-3).
  • We are not told of which Joanna was cured.
  • She helped to support Jesus and the Twelve out of her own resources.
  • Joanna was a devoted disciple of Jesus.
  • She was a believer in the house of Herod the Tetrarch.
  • Joanna witnessed the crucifixion and death of Jesus.
  • Joanna and the other women saw the body of Jesus laying in the tomb with myrrh and aloes.
  • She and the other women went home to prepare spices and perfume to use to make their own contribution to the burial process after the Sabbath was over.
  • She was among the women who discovered the empty tomb of Jesus after His resurrection.
  • Joanna was among the first witnesses to tell others about the resurrection of Jesus.
  • Joanna and the other women, along with the disciples, waited in Jerusalem for the promised Holy Spirit as directed by Jesus before he ascended into Heaven.
  • She devoted herself to prayer.

What We Can Learn from Joanna:

  • Live a life of gratitude to Jesus for all that He has done for me.
  • Give and bless others with a thankful heart.
  • Be a witness for Jesus wherever I it with unbelievers or fellow believers.
  • Always give my best to those I love.
  • Wait patiently for the promises of God to be fulfilled in my life.
  • Be consistent with my prayer life.

Walking in His Grace, 

I'm #abcblogging with Marcy at Ben and Me - thank you, Marcy, for hosting! Click on the image below to read more posts from others who are blogging through the alphabet!

Ben and Me

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Veritas Press Self-Paced History Review

Veritas Press is a fantastic curriculum company that believes in classical Christian education. They offer curriculum and an online curriculum with the goal of helping our children reach their God-given potential. I was recently given the opportunity to review their Veritas Press Self-Paced History online curriculum with my son who absolutely LOVES history! Specifically, we received a year's access to the online Veritas Press Self-Paced History: 1815 to Present and the physical flashcards that go with it. The recommended ages for the online Self-Paced History program are grades 2nd through 6th.

Veritas Press Review

What's Included with the Veritas Press Self-Paced History: 1815 to Present?

  • 160 lessons divided into 32 weeks
  • 1815 to Present flashcards
  • Instant grading
  • Online worksheets
  • Online tests
  • Printable PDFs of material for assignments
  • Interactive activities within the lessons
  • Memory song for the 32 events covered 

The cost is $199 for the Self-Paced History: 1815 to Present online course. The flashcards cost $19.95. There are also optional literature kits available for purchase, which we did not use. You will need a computer with a high speed internet connection. On the link I've provided for this course, you'll see on that page an icon to "test computer compatibility". You can use this test to make sure your computer will be able to run their online program.

Veritas Press Review
Front view of flashcard

Veritas Press Review
Information on the back of the flashcard

How We Used Self-Paced History: 1815 to Present

We used this self-paced history program 4 days a week in our homeschool. My son was instantly captured by the live lessons presented by his "teachers" Eva and Marcus. I have to admit, I was captured too! We watched the lessons together and when it was time for the worksheet, Caleb had no problem recollecting the information to score 100% on his worksheet.

Sprinkled throughout the lessons are interactive activities such as puzzles, maps, games, matching activities, or a spelling game. There is also a catchy memory song that lists all 32 historical events in chronological order to help memorize them. Caleb had fun with all of these offerings that are included with Self-Paced History: 1815 to Present! 

The flashcards are beautifully made and contain all the information relating to the 32 events that are covered in Self-Paced History: 1815 to Present. I'll be buying a 3-ring binder with protective sleeves to keep our flashcards in so they will not get messed up. These flashcards can be used to complete the worksheets included in the daily lessons if your student has trouble remembering an answer to a question.

Our Opinion of Self-Paced History: 1815 to Present

We absolutely love Veritas Press Self-Paced History: 1815 to Present! Caleb was not bored at all with his lessons, and I was relieved to have finally found something that captured his attention in a subject he really loves.

You can connect with Veritas Press on the following social media outlets to find out more about all they have to offer for your child's classical education:

Walking in His Grace, 

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