Archive for Literature

Oct
21

Reformation Day Giveaway

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For many, October 31st is known as “Reformation Day,” and Martin Luther, with his shaking of the church of his time, as the “Father of the Reformation.” The date acknowledges Luther’s nailing his ninety-five theses to a church door on October 31, 1517 in Wittenburg, Germany; and becoming a major catalyst in what we now historically call the Protestant Reformation.

We would do well to recall The Five Solas (Latin phrases) that emerged during the Reformation. These should essentially underlay Christianity:

  1. Sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”): The Bible alone is our highest authority.
  2. Sola Fide (“faith alone”): We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
  3. Sola Gratia (“grace alone”): We are saved by the grace of God alone.
  4. Solus Christus (“Christ alone”): Jesus Christ alone is our Lord, Savior, and King.
  5. Soli Deo Gloria (“to the glory of God alone”): We live for the glory of God alone.

Giving our children a firm foundation in their faith is vitally important. Danika Cooley has been lauded as “an engaging writer of children’s literature, she is a careful and winsome theologian.” I am excited to be reading her latest book, When Lightning Struck!: The Story of Martin Luther, and it will soon be available to you. (You can actually pre-order it now from Amazon at a sweet discount.) To celebrate Reformation Day and the release of When Lightning Struck!: The Story of Martin Luther, I’ve joined together with a team of blogger friends to host a fantastic giveaway, valued at over $500!

 

Reformation Day Giveaway

One person will win ALL of the following:

$100 Amazon Gift Card

Fire 7-inch Tablet, WiFi 8GB ($49.99)

When Lightning Struck!: The Story of Martin Luther (hardcover $16.99)

From WiseDecor.com, a $50 Gift Certificate

From Nuremberg Tourist Board, a Playmobil Martin Luther figure ($9.99)

From Thinking Kids Press, a curriculum bundle from When Lightning Struck! author, Danika Cooley:

From Fortress Press, a book bundle by author, Tim Dowley:

  1. Christian Music: A Global History  ($35)
  2. Introduction to the History of Christianity: Second Edition ($55)
  3. The Student Bible Atlas: Revised Edition  ($12.99)
  4. Atlas of the European Reformations ($24)

From Home School Adventure Co.:

  1. Philosophy Adventure: Pre-Socratics (digital $39.95)
  2. Mere Christianity Critical Analysis Journal (digital $18.95)

 

*To enter the giveaway, use the Rafflecopter below.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions:
This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  Void where prohibited by law. Must be at least 18 years of age. This giveaway is in no away associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. No purchase necessary for entry. Odds are determined by the number of entries. Selected winners will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prizes or another winner will be drawn. Entry into this giveaway will subscribe you to the Thinking Kids Press email list.

Blessings,

Penny

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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May
13

Papa’s Pearls ~ A TOS Review

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At just 5″ X 8″ and 113 pages, Papa’s Pearls is an exceptional, little paperback book; written by Diane Flynn Keith, about her father, Carol Joseph Flynn.  Mr. Flynn is Papa.  His pearls are words of wisdom he lived by and readily shared with his family and friends.  They are a legacy of love to his children, his grandchildren; and now to us.

 

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After I spent some time browsing Diane’s blog, learning more about her and her book, I couldn’t wait to read it!  The blog, by the same name, Papa’s Pearls, is a wonderful compliment to the book.  Appreciating family photographs, as I do, I love that Diane has set up a photo album of Papa.  It is a sweet connection to the man I’ve met while reading Papa’s Pearls:  A Father’s Gift of Love and Wisdom to His Children.

 

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I read the story of Carol Joseph Flynn’s life aloud to my children, in the evenings before bed.  They always wanted more!  Each of the 17 chapters is like a snapshot of time, detailing actual tidbits of fact and history; woven with personal accounts, Papa’s wit and feelings, and the lessons he learned.  He was born in 1922, in San Francisco.  He rose above a life of hard knocks, becoming a good man, a respected leader; and a well-loved father and grandfather.  Because he lived through war time and The Great Depression, just as my children’s grandparents did, there was much material for discussion.  We could contrast and compare what Diane wrote of his life with what we know of their lives.  I read aloud the Introduction, at the beginning of the book, so my kids would know that Papa had already died and his daughter was writing about the impact he had on his family’s life.  My husband’s parents, my mother; and my grandmother have all died in the past 15 years.  Nearly every time I read a chapter from Papa’s Pearls, our memories were sparked to reminisce and talk about our own family heritage.  How Grandpa did “this”, always said “that”, or looked at Grandma “just so.”  What Gramma “believed” and how she shared her faith.  Papa’s Pearls is indeed full of love and wisdom from a life well lived, but it is so much more to us.  It is a tool that stirs our own memories, and unlocks our personal heritage.  No doubt, we will read it time and again!

                             An autographed copy of Papa’s Pearls is available for $21.97, on the Papa’s Pearls website.  Diane Flynn Keith is also a homeschool coach and mentor, and you can find her at Homefires.com, and Carschooling.com.

 

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What a delight that Diane Keith could spend time with her dad, recounting memories of his nearly 90 years, before his death in December 2011.  She has written a fine tribute to him, his resilience and his positive out look on life; sharing with the world that we are loved more than we know.  Papa says:

“What’s the Worst Thing that Could Happen?”

“You gotta Use Your Street Smarts.”

“Tell Yourself You Like It.”

“It’s All about Family.”

“Be Grateful Everyday.”

and more.

“Tell Yourself You Like It,” is a prime example of Papa’s out look on life.  Being a plumber in San Francisco, Papa often had to work in the sewers.  When his young children asked him how he could stand the smell, he replied, “You just tell yourself you like it.  Then, it’s not so bad.”  Many years ago, my suburban raised husband got a job on a hog farm.  He was going to college and there was a house for our family, on the property, provided with the job.  The smell of the area was just animal-waste-ripe, and it seemed to permeate everything.  Every time we would leave the house, on our return up the driveway my husband would say, “Mmmm, smells like money!” and he’d smile.  We were just so thankful for a place to live and a dependable job!  We got through that time with genuinely grateful hearts and good attitudes.  We learned so many life lessons during that time, and some of them we didn’t even realize until we read Papa’s story.  Diane writes that her “Papa knew what research studies show.  People who have positive attitudes are winners in good times, and survivors in hard times.  You are what you think.  Tell yourself you like it.”

 

My crew mates have also written reviews of Papa’s Pearls:  A Father’s Gift of Love and Wisdom to His Children and Grandchildren, and you can find them when you click the banner and follow the link below.

 

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Blessings,

 

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Disclaimer*   I received an autographed copy of Papa’s Pearls, in exchange for my honest review as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

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Thank you for your comments.  I enjoy hearing from you!

 

Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

 

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Jul
13

Responding to Great Literature

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Hewitt Homeschooling “Lightning Lit guides use full-length novels, autobiographies, plays, essays, short stories, and poems to teach deep reading and composition skills.”

 

 

 

Hewitt’s British Literature:  Early-Mid 19th Century Lightning Literature covers:

  • William Blake, selected poetry
  • Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice
  • Sir Walter Scott, Ivanhoe
  • Thomas Carlyle, essay
  • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
  • Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
  • William Makepeace Thackeray, Rebecca and Rowena, short story

including Discussion Questions, Project Suggestions, Additional Reading, and Semester or Full-Year Schedules.

I found this course to be thorough, flexible and easy to teach.  My children thought it was both inspiring and challenging.  No doubt we will complete it and go on to include others in our curriculum.

Lightning Lit & Comp – British Literature:  Early-Mid 19th Century can be purchased as a bundle, that includes the Teacher’s Guide, the Student’s Guide, and each of the 4 novels needed to complete the course, for $48.39.  You can also purchase the Student’s Text for $29.95 and the Teacher’s Guide for $2.95; then, borrow the novels from your local library or get them at a second-hand book shop, as we did.

The Student’s Guide is a sturdy, soft bound, non-consumable book.  The Parent’s/Teacher’s Guide is printed, loose leaf papers, hole-punched and ready for a notebook binder.

Hewitt Homeschooling Resources, British Medieval Lightning Literature is on sale for a limited time, at 33 % off.  $19.95 for the Student’s Guide and $1.95 for the Teacher’s Guide.

 

 

Contact:

Mail ~

Hewitt Homeschooling Resources

P.O. Box 9

Washougal, WA  98671

Call ~  360.835.8708

Email ~  sales@hewitthomeschooling.com

~

Hewitt Homeschooling has a complete website for more detailed information.  Please, follow the links I’ve provided throughout this post and click the graphic below to read what my crew mates have to say about the many products available.

 

 

 

Blessings,

 

 

Disclaimer*  A copy of Lightning Lit & Comp – British Literature:  Early-Mid 19th Century, Teacher’s Guide and Student’s Guide was given to me, free of charge, in exchange for my honest review, as a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

Thank you for your comments.

Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

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May
09

Great Literature at Affordable Prices

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Have you ever discovered something new and then wondered how you lived without it before you found it?

I buy books.  Yes, I have an outstanding local library and free access to thousands of books.  But, it makes me giddy to find a book treasure at a yard sale, thrift shop or bargain basement, purchase it and bring it home to my library!  I can browse for hours, looking through the crisp new books in Books-A-Million or the used book section of Goodwill.  We use so many living books with our homeschool curriculum that my reason, for looking at any given book selection, is legitimized, or so I tell myself and my honey-of-a-husband.

My latest don’t-know-how-I-lived-without-it discovery is Homeschool Library Builder.  Oh, my, seriously!  How did I not know there is “a Christian family-run book business dedicated to providing great literature at affordable prices,” right at my fingertips, online?

 

 

Shop by Category:

Fiction ~

American Girls Collection

Great Illustrated Classics

Dear America Series

Non-Fiction ~

DK Eyewitness Books

The Middle Ages

The Young United States: 1783-1830

Classic Literature

Inspirational

Holidays

Science

OR

Search by Curriculum:

Ambleside

Beautiful Feet

Five In A Row

Heart of Dakota

Sonlight

Tapestry of Grace

Search by Age:

Preschool through High School and Adult

Search Geographically:

Africa

Asia

Australia

Europe

North America

Polar Regions

South America

INCLUDING

Vintage & Hard-to-Find Books ~

  • Publisher’s remainder – New, never read condition
  • Ex-library – Hard cover, very good condition

 

And hundreds more!

 

Membership is free, and not even necessary, but does have it’s benefits.  As a member you can earn HSLB Book Points that can be used toward your future purchases.  The more I (you) purchase = the more points I (you) earn.  They also have a Share the Savings Program – every first time purchaser, who becomes a member and enters my (your) name as a referral, Homeschool Library Builder will award me (you) 45 Book Points.  Cool!

I think you’ll really like this website!  It’s an exceptional way to build your own library.  Especially, during May 2012, when everything is  25% off their already low prices.   “Fill your bookshelves without emptying your wallet!”

~

Be sure to stop by The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew blog and read what my mates think of Homeschool Library Builder.

Comments or Questions?

Write –

Homeschool Library Builder
Flower Mound, TX  75022
Call – 800.718.7986
or
Email – info@hslibrarybuilder.com

 

Blessings,

 

 

Disclaimer*  If I want to take advantage of it, I may receive an additional 10% off one order, in exchange for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

Thanks for stopping by, reading and sharing your comment.  I appreciate you!

Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 


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Mar
19

Maintaining Biblical Standards

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I don’t read every book that my older children read, now.  When they were younger I did.  Still, I am mindful of what they’re reading, what music they’re listening to, what movies they’re watching, and who their friends are.  I know their friends by name.  I trust my children, at this age, to make wise choices, following the standards we’ve set, in their reading material, music, viewing habits, and relationships.  They also keep themselves accountable.  I can pick up the current book they’re reading, borrow their MP3 player at any time, go to the movies with them, or sit in on one of their gatherings. 

There are organizations, and companies that assist me, as a parent, in maintaining the Biblical standards that my husband and I set for our family.  They’ve put the time and effort into watching, listening, or reading, and reviewing for me.  Many of these are run by other parents, with similar standards, like Progeny Press.

 

 

 

Progeny Press was started in 1992, and is still family owned and operated.  They present good literature, teaching good literary analysis, measuring all things in the light of Scripture.  There are now more than 100 Study Guides available to instruct writers and readers in grades K – 12.

 

Study Guides can be found for Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, Middle School, and High School.

They can be purchased Book-bound, PDF on CD, or email with attached PDF file.  The content is the same, no matter the form of delivery.

From $10.99 single guide to $27.99 book/CD set.

I have students using the Middle School Study Guide for The Cay, by Theodore Taylor –

“Eleven-year-old Phillip lives with his parents on an island off the coast of Venezuela in 1942, but when the Nazi’s begin torpedoing ships nearby, Phillip’s mother insists that he and she return to the United States. Their ship is torpedoed by a Nazi submarine long before they reach the U.S., however, and Phillip finds himself marooned on an island with an old, but strong, black deckhand named Timothy. But when Phillip goes blind from an injury, he slowly realizes how caring, wise, and resourceful Timothy really is, and the color of their skins is unimportant.”

AND other students using the High School Study Guide for The Screwtape Letters, by C. S. Lewis –

“Screwtape, an undersecretary in the Lowerarchy of Hell, has undertaken the guidance and tutelage of his nephew Wormwood, who has been assigned a human patient to secure for eternity. In a series of letters, Screwtape guides the young demon through the finer points of temptation, the weaknesses and foibles of human beings, and the disaster of his patient becoming a Christian. Though this certainly complicates things, the two infernal beings won’t let it stop them.

From this very skewed perspective, C. S. Lewis digs into the human nature, revealing some interesting, and sometimes embarrassing, tendencies. Touching on everything from sleeplessness to the “absurdity” of God’s love for humanity, Screwtape imparts his wicked wisdom to Wormwood. Though the mirror he holds up to humanity is warped and cracked, it is still painfully revealing. Wit and parody mask a very serious analysis of what makes humans tick; and though it may make readers smile, it will also make us squirm as Screwtape picks at the cracks in our facades.”

With each Study Guide, students need access to a good dictionary, a thesaurus, a Bible, and the internet or an encyclopedia.

It is suggested that the complete novel be read first.  We didn’t know how we felt about this, as opposed to reading the book and the guide together from the beginning, but it actually makes the use of the Study Guide a little easier.  I imagine the creators of the guides already knew this.  After reading the story, the student works through the guide with the book as a constant reference.

Prereading activities are offered –

  • Written report
  • Map work
  • Time line
  • Vocabulary
  • Art work
  • Biography

 

Each Study Guide covers relative information

  • Story Synopsis
  • About the Author
  • Background/Setting

 

Did I mention that Progeny Press Study Guides for Literature are interactive for 4th – 12th grade?  They can still be printed, if you like, but the student has the capability of placing answers directly on the PC and saving his work as he progresses.  The parent/teacher is able to grade the work in the same  manner, on the PC, and leave notes or comments.  My children love it!  Especially, my son, who would rather do nearly anything instead of writing.  The Study Guides are designed so he can clearly work through the questions and vocabulary, give his attention to critical analysis, dig deeper and consider the issues portrayed in the story, while viewing each through a consistent Biblical standard.  In his case, he can give complete answers, because his biggest obstacle is removed – he’s released from hand-writing and has the option to type.  Amazing!

 

 

Optional activities include –

  • Presentations
  • Volunteer work
  • Essays
  • Research
  • Interviews
  • Brief report
  • Word search

 

Final essays are provided and post reading activities are discretionary.  High School credits are obtained 1/4 credit per Study Guide in 8 – 12 weeks.

 

(4) Completed Study Guides = (1) H.S. Credit

Click the graphic below to browse the Progeny Press Catalog.

 

 

 If you would like more information, please, follow the links I’ve provided throughout this post.  Progeny Press has a website that’s easy to navigate.

Also, read other reviews, from The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew members.

Comments or Questions?  Go directly to the source –

Contact:

Progeny Press

P. O. Box 100

Fall Creek, WI  54742

~

Toll Free  1.877.776.4369

or

Phone 715.877.9951 ext. 100

~

Email – progeny@progenypress.com

and


Follow on facebook

 

I have no doubt these will be the first of many Progeny Press Study Guides for Literature we’ll use.  Let me know which guide you choose, and what you think of it.

 

Blessings,

A trial period of this product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew.  I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

Thanks for your comments. 

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.

 

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Nov
02

Striving for Excellence in Literature

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Just a little more than a week ago, I wrote a blog post, a review, and in it I said, “I don’t believe that I have all of the answers to my children’s educational needs, or that I’m even required to, but I can find the answers.”  You thought that I said this, thought it, or wrote it for YOU, didn’t you?  Well, I did; I want you to find encouragement here, but…you would not believe how many times in the course of one school year that I have to remind myself of this!  I still have much to learn.

I’ve told you in other posts, that I love reading, English, spelling and writing!  I even thought that I had a decent foundation in these areas.  Oh, woe am I, I recently sent myself back to school, with my students.  Our teacher?  Mrs. Janice Campbell, author of Excellence in Literature:  Reading and Writing Through the Classics, by Everyday Education.

 

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We began at the beginning, with EIL::  English 1:  Introduction to Literature.  The first of 5 college preparatory levels:

  1. Introduction to Literature
  2. Literature and Composition
  3. American Literature
  4. British Literature
  5. World Literature

(Note:  American and British Literature are co-published with the Institute for Excellence in Writing.)

 Introduction to Literature is written for grades 8 – 12 and has options for honors credit.  I find the reading and writing both stimulating and challenging, and we have not even properly used the honors options!

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 Click graphic to follow unit sample link.

 

 The text is written to the student and is designed to be self-directed.  There are 9 units per level, optimally completed within 4 weeks each.  Each unit focuses on a specific piece of writing, or group of writings – novels, drama & poetry.  These are the focus texts.  Additionally, a study of the author is done, including research on the historical time period the author is writing from and the art, music and influences of the day.  These context texts provide an in-depth understanding of the literature, making the analysis easier and more informed.  The student is encouraged to read the honors texts as well, if they desire to take AP and/or CLEP exams.  Finally, a composition, in answer to a specific essay question, must be planned, drafted, revised, polished and presented for evaluation.

Initially, as I read through the course syllabus, I was overwhelmed.  Even though the author says, “reading is a conversation between a reader and an author,” and she successfully writes this way, I have neither taken a course, nor taught a course, with requirements such as these.  That’s why I decided we would do the first units together.  Reading aloud, researching together, pooling our thoughts and openly discussing the essay questions.  We have not written anything, yet, or used the Evaluation Rubric that’s provided, but we are learning.

My high school students are already past eighth grade and they don’t have 5 years left to complete this exceptional literature course; so, we’re being flexible and that actually has Janice Campbell’s blessing.  Yes, each level ideally builds on the previous one, but it is also designed to mix and match, across levels as needed, to allow for – the coordination of literature levels with history studies, time constraints, etc.  My thought is that it is better for a student to complete only two levels in three years, while becoming comprehensively literate and discovering a treasure of great stories, plays and poems, than to strictly follow the lesson plan but never quite “get it.”  Mrs. Campbell acknowledges that each family and student is unique.  She does have a goal for Excellence in Literature.

Her goal is to:

  • Introduce students to great literature from the western literacy tradition.
  • Teach students to read with discernment.
  • Train independent, self-motivated learners.
  • Provide tools that students can use to strengthen their writing skills.
  • Introduce students to sources for high-quality online and offline research.
  • Prepare students for college classes by expecting carefully-researched, well-thought-out material to be presented in standard format, with preliminary proofreading completed.

But even as we are striving to reach these goals, she gives us permission to suit the curriculum to our needs.  (“Thank you, Janice Campbell, I appreciate that freedom more than you may know.”)  I’m more comfortable with the set-up every day, including my adjustments.  I’ve completely cut out a couple of focus texts and substituted a couple of honors texts in place of the assigned texts.  I chose T.S. Eliot’s, Murder in the Cathedral (honor), over Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw (focus) and The Pilgrim’s Progress (honor), by John Bunyan, over Gulliver’s Travels (focus), by Jonathan Swift.  The Pilgrim’s Progress is our first essay.  I have big plans to quickly glean as much as possible of English 1, steadily move through English 2 and maybe scratch the surface of English 3, before the next graduation.

I love this curriculum and I’m looking forward to actually following the prescribed lesson plan with my younger children!

Excellence in Literature is available in print or e-book.  I like this particular product in e-book format.  I had instant access and copyright permission to print as many copies as needed for my immediate family.

~

1 year/level – $29.

All 5 levels, now available, at one time – $139.

~

You can contact Janice Campbell several ways, the woman is everywhere!  =)

email is best ~ jceved@comcast.net

or

write ~

Janice Campbell

Everyday Education,LLC

P.O. Box 549

Ashland, VA  23005  USA

subscribe to her blogs ~

Taking Time For Things That Matter

and

Do What Matters, Make It Pay

or

click logo to follow on facebook.

Read other reviews of Excellence in Literature:  English 1:  Introduction to Literature, on The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew Blog.

Blessings,

 

This product was given to me, free of charge, in exchange, for my honest review, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. I receive no other compensation for my reviews on this blog.  The opinions expressed are my own.

 

 

Thanks for your comments.

*Contents of this blog are copyrighted;  they are the property of Knee Deep In Grace and may not be used without written permission.


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