Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wordless Wesnesday: Gratitude

I love this window into Levi's mind. A gratitude wreath he made at CC for Thanksgiving:


Monday, December 9, 2013

The Great Thanksgiving Pie Saga v.2013

 

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving was set aside as “Home Economics Day” in our homeschool.  Well, not really; it was a vacation day – but learning about life is a 24/7/365 endeavor when you home educate your children, so even vacation days are educational.  (And just so I don’t perpetuate any myths that my kids are always happy about this, I’ve heard plenty of comments such as this whine: “Mooooom, do we always have to learn SOMEthing?”  Yes, they are totally ‘normal’ children.)

This year, I was responsible for making pumpkin pie and apple pie for our extended family Thanksgiving dinner.  This works well, because we as a family help put on a Thanksgiving morning 5K with the local running club in town  {more about this in another post}.  The race finishes about 10:30, and we come home, shower, and jump in the car and head to my mother-in-law’s, so pie works as a great grab-and-go contribution.

As I mentioned in another post, I put Ben in charge of apple pie this year.  Gotta love the Better Homes and Garden cookbook, my go-to for staples like apple pie. yumyum.

Levi and Luke wanted to help with the pumpkin. I’m a big fan of the canned pumpkin (because I’ve never cooked down a sugar pumpkin and use it in a pie), so that is what we used.  The boys had a fun time helping me:

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After all the fun, though, we could not hold on to a pumpkin this Thanksgiving to save our lives. Thus starts our saga…

First pumpkin pie (the one that is still under construction in the picture above) never cooked.  I’m not 100% sure what happened (the oven works fine), but the filling never set, but the crust really, really browned (as in burned).  That pie made it to the trashcan (after Daisy managed to lick out about 1/3 of the filling.  gross!).

I sent to boys and Dave to pick up a store-made pie.  That one made it to the parking lot before being accidently dropped.  Ben and Luke were running in the parking lot when Ben (holding the pie) remembered they shouldn’t be running in a parking lot (glad he remembered this).  He put his arm out (the one carrying the pie) to stop Luke, which it did; but when Luke slammed into his arm, the pie went flying in the air (so I’m told) and landed upside down.  Truly it wasn’t horrible, but it was no pretty, smooth pie top.

Then the apple.  Oh, the beautiful apple pie.  Levi was helping me carry things out to the car on Thanksgiving morning when he accidently dropped it, on its side, then upside down.  It looked like a soccer ball, deflated on one side.  And the pretty latticed topping…looked un-latticed like.  I did not lose my temper at Levi, but I did cry. 

Can’t forget Levi’s 4” personal pumpkin pie – a leftover from the thanksgiving 5K that our family manages for the local running community.  After arriving home to clean up from the race, jump in the car, Daisy accidentally stepped on Levi’s pie.  Levi didn’t lose his temper, but he sure did cry a lotta tears on that one.

So, that is our Saga.  Pies win it, 4-0.  All told, however, three of our pies did get eaten;  actually, all four did, when I consider that Daisy {our golden retriever} had some of the pie-that-would-not-cook.

Driving off to our Thanksgiving dinner, Dave and I belly laughed as we totaled the fate of all our pies.

And even though I cried (I tried not to) about the apple pie, I did decided to be grateful:

“we'll chose to be grateful we can afford pie, grateful we have wonderful kids who can drop them, a loving dog that can stomp on it, and wonderful family and friends near and afar to share our pie saga with (and hopefully can share some desserts that haven't spent time upside down). All in a country that we love.”

If I think about it, we should probably try bringing mashed potatoes next year.  Just give bags of cooked potatoes to the boys and let them carry them around for a few days.  They should be mashed and smashed just perfectly for Thanksgiving 2014. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Hello Fresh = Hello Yummy


My online friends at Mosaic Reviews were in need of some extra East Coast people to review Hello Fresh in November, and I offered to help out on this review.  I love YUMMY reviews!

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Hello Fresh is a weekly subscription service that sends members three recipes + all the ingredients needed to cook three main course meals. Hello Fresh prides itself on using fresh, high quality ingredients in chef inspired and tested recipes.  These delicious (yes, I liked them all!) meals can be prepared in 30 minutes. Subscriptions are $69 per box (so, weekly) for as long as you choose to enroll.  Two sizes of boxes are available -- for 2 or 4 servings (the larger box has a different weekly cost). In addition, classic boxes (with meat) and vegetarian subscription boxes can be selected (prices vary between these two boxes). Subscriptions can be paused for several weeks at a time.  Additional subscription and program information can be gleaned at their FAQs page.

My Experience: After registering and linking payment through PayPal, subscribers are able to pick from five weekly recipe selections.  My choices:
hello fresh recipe
All the ingredients (except salt, pepper, oil and butter) are sent to you weekly in a well-packed, insulated box:
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I really loved throwing these bags into the refrigerator and not having to worry about someone taking an ingredient that I had planned to use for a dinner meal.  Not that we have to wrestle over zucchini!

My meat (tilapia and lamb) were packed under the vegetables in vacuum packaging.  The meat was not frozen, but was sufficiently cold as it laid on several ice packs (which I’m going to save to use this summer for beach days):
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The cold-packing is meant to keep items cold for several days, so no matter what part of the country, you shouldn’t have to worry about being stuck at home waiting for a food delivery all day. 

Non-perishable ingredients are also bagged and labeled.  I was surprised to see that my can of diced tomatoes was organic. And –my, oh, my – the two tilapia filets were absolutely huge compared to the tilapia I find at our local grocery store.

I cooked our first selection – the tilapia with dill crusted tilapia with sweet potato, cranberry and toasted almonds –  right away.  I really liked the recipe card, which had pictures and simple instructions:
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Truly, these recipes were very quick to cook.  The only time I had trouble understanding the direction was when I made my lamb cassoulet.   I don’t often use fresh spices, and didn’t realize that you can add an entire sprig of thyme to recipes to add savory flavor, so instead I stripped the thyme leaves off the stem.   Now I know! It might be helpful for the chefs to look at their recipes from the perspective of the non-professional and include tips that would help us with some of these unknown (or lesser known) tips.

I was also impressed at the freshness of the vegetables in my box.  Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, I was not able to cook two of the recipes until almost 5 days after delivery.  The mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and zucchini were 100% fresh and crisp.
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Dill Crusted Tilapia with Sweet Potato & Cranberry
Zucchini Parmesan
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Lamb Cassoulet
I appreciated how easy trying new recipes – and new ingredients – was because of Hello Fresh. In our family, I found that the 2 person meals could have easily fed 3 adults with the addition of a salad or additional vegetables and sides (the tilapia was the only recipe of the three that had a side dish). I would love to be able to include Hello Fresh occasionally into our food budget.  The recipes were fun to try, easy for me to prepare, and I love adding the variety (lamb, folks!) to our family meal plan.

You can read more reviewers’ experience with Hello Fresh HERE.

Disclaimer: I was given a 3-meal, 2 person box for free in exchange for my honest opinion about this product, with no promise of a positive review.  All opinions are my own or those of my family. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

King of Apple Pie

 

I put Ben in charge of apple pie this Thanksgiving.  Gotta love the Better Homes and Garden cookbook, by go-to for staples like apple pie.

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I think one of the reasons I rarely have to force anyone to help me make apple pie is because we use the Pampered Chef Apple Peeler-Corer-Slicer.  It is such a marvelous contraption that engages my boys so easily. 
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As impressive as this looks,this is not a homemade pie crust.  I love that Ben has flour on his forehead.  The sign of a hard workin’ cook!
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I must admit that Ben’s enthusiasm for figuring out how to weave the top crust made my heart warm.  This pie was definitely in capable hands.
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The results.  I think it looks SO good.  It was hard to not want to nibble it before Thursday.

Ben’s pie was really delicious.  I love an apple pie that has crisp apples in it (we use Granny Smiths) because I’ve never been fond on mushy foods.  So for me, this was a perfect pie.  It was sweet, but not sickening, and the crust was just right. 

From now on, Ben is THE apple pie maker in our family.

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Great Christmas Surprise

 

I just couldn’t take it anymore.  The secrecy.  The coded phone conversations.  I am just not good at subterfuge!

So, I had had enough.  I needed to come clean.

My parents dropped their early November Saturday activities – including much deserved naps – and went to work to help with The Big Reveal: Christmas 2013. We skyped with Nana and Opa so they could watch the boys as the reveal took place.  What a blessing technology is!

They actually made a video, complete with coded message for the boys to watch to learn their fate: Disney Cruise + 3 days at Disney World.  Merry Christmas to us!

 

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Thanks to Dropbox, Nana and Opa were able to share their Big Reveal video with us. I connected my computer to our TV so the boys could see it nice ‘n big.

 

 

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Boys are getting read to watch and learn.

 

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A little happiness, here!
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After the video was over, we finished our Skype. The final reaction:  Ben is nervous (“I don’t like boats.”) but both Luke and Levi are 100% excite.  I think once Ben gets on the ship and realize how safe it is, he’ll relax and have a good time. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Crossing Over

 

Recently we were able to celebrate a special event – Luke crossed over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts!

Since Luke became a Webelo, he and I have had the plan to allow him to earn his Arrow of Light award early and cross over into Boy Scouts about 4 months ahead of schedule.  I could sense that Luke, as much as he loved hanging with the boys in his dean, really needed to move up and be challenged by the maturity and wisdom of the senior Boy Scouts in Ben’s troop.

Luke and I worked really hard in his first year of Webelos to achieve 7 activity badges.  He recently finished off four more and was perfectly happy to stop there, cross over and move on.

To help mark such hard work, I searched the internet to determine what sort of memento I could make for him.

I found this stencil of the Arrow of Light symbol {click stencil to be taken to the website}:

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and transferred it to a plaque. 

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The deerskin laces are for hanging a Cub Scout Career arrow.  This is how I spent a rockin’ Friday night while the boys and Dave watched a movie:

Photo 3

 

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But it was all worth it:

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One of the things I really, really loved is how God orchestrated the night.  We met at our church, and Luke was able to cross over in front of The Cross; normally pack meetings are at the local elementary school.  

Dear Luke,

Your dad and I are so proud of your hard work.  You stuck with your plan to achieve the Arrow of Light even when you were tempted to give up. Your perseverance paid off.  Always do your best, sweet boy.  Work hard. Pray often.  God will bless your efforts.

Love, Mom

Friday, November 15, 2013

Star Wars Music Experience

 
We had an amazing opportunity in October to visit the Portland Symphony Orchestra's Discovery Concert where we enjoyed listening to various scores from the Star Wars movie.
The symphony and conductor did an a.maze.ing. job of relating orchestral music to children (and their parents) in an accessible way.  How often to we really think about the music score of a movie being an orchestral production?  How often do we really notice the affect the music has on our movie viewing experience? I loved that Death Star Storm troopers, R2D2, C3P0, and even Darth Vader made an appearance at the concert.  I guess they enjoy symphony music as well.

Not only was the concert experience wonderful, but the pre-concert activities were fun for my boys as well.  Two-thirds of my boys are not the most outgoing children on the planet, but they fully enjoyed the opportunity to walk outside of their comfort zones and try out a variety of music instruments at the pre-concert Instrument Petting Zoo {I had never heard of this before either}.
 

Instruments were dividing into sections, and the children were aloud to handle them, finger them, and blow into them.

{The mouth pieces were cleaned between children.} {Except the oboe reed.  Not sure how many contagions we collected there, but no one got sick in the week after this experience. }
I'm looking forward to taking the boys back in the spring for their Harry Potter Concert.  Way to go, PSO, for hosting such a fantastic event!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Three Steps to Avoid Plagiarism in Your Homeschool

It is SO easy these days to purposefully and accidentally plagiarize others' words.  Back when I was a kid {wow, never thought I'd actually use that phrase!}, I didn't have access to so many resources and certainly did not have the temptation of cut-and-paste from a website to my paper.

Here's my tips for discussing this topic with your students.  I suggest you begin this discussion with your students as soon as they begin to use source material in writing assignments (Luke, a 5th grader, will be having this talk as he is summarizing references for an assignment in his Classical Conversations' IEW writing assignments for the next few weeks).

correctly spelled plagiarism

 
1.  Define.

Don't assume your student knows what plagiarism is.  Define it, talk about it, find examples of it.

The Purdue University OWL {Online Writing Lab} has a great article by contributors Karl Stolley, Allen Brizee, Joshua M. Paiz about an apparent bind we put students in when we ask them to write -- be unique but quote others to support your point.  Interesting to consider in light of King Solomon's words, "there is nothing new under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9)  Indeed, sometimes (such as when a deadline is looming) it does appear that nothing different can be said than what has already been said a gazillion times by other high schoolers and scholars about typical read list books. This leads to a temptation to adopt someone else words as your own.

In their article, the authors define plagarism as: ".... the uncredited use (both intentional and unintentional) of somebody else's words or ideas." But it's not really that simple.  Plagarism.org defines ten (yes, TEN) ways people plagiarize in our high tech world.  Honestly, I never realized there were so many different kinds of ways people plagiarize Worth looking at and discussing.

Here's another site:  Plagiarism.org's Plagarism 101

2.  Practice.

Practice taking notes.  Practice outlining.  Practice paraphrasing.  Practice quoting sources.

Basicially, practice not plagiarizing.

According to Susan Wise Bauer's suggestions, teaching outlining begins in the dialectic stage -- around 5th grade (from her book The Well Trained Mind).  Outlining is a one way of taking notes in a text.  I'm not one to use a LOT of rigid outlining when I am reading and taking notes, but it is a good way to begin with a student.  A simple google search can lead you to a variety of outlining strategies from law schools, colleges and other resources aimed at high school students.

To practice paraphrasing, read a paragraph with your student.  Close the text and ask him/her to retell the main point(s).  I've done this before with my sons as narration exercises (easy to do with young elementary students) where I do the transcribing.  I've done this with older students where we read a section of text paragraph-by-paragraph and take notes on a white board.  Remember, even in paraphrasing you are going to need to cite your source, so always write down where you are taking your paraphrase as well as the page number.

Just like a paraphrase, when you quote a source, you will need to know exactly where you are taking the text from. This is called citing a source. Check either the MLA (Modern Language Association) or APA (American Psychological Association) for the correct format for longer quotations -- this often requires extra indentation to follow the correct style.  By the way, MLA style conventions are usually used in humanties subjects, whereas APA is usually used in the sciences.  Here are some website:

MLA:  Purdue's OWL and Modern Language Association
APA:  American Psychological Association

There are some great sites out there that help you aggregate your online and print material sources to compile bibliographies (for APA style) or Works Cited pages (for MLA) - easybib.com is one of them, but only MLA style is free. Another is http://citationmachine.net/.  Once these citation generators gather all the title/ author/ publisher data and place it in order, you can cut and paste into your document.  Oh, to have had this when writing my Masters thesis!

3.  Check.

Google is an amazing tool.  You can type in your students sentences and check to see if they copied their text word-for-word from an online source.  I also plan on showing Ben (and eventually his brothers) that this is a helpful step to keep them honest -- and out of academic trouble. This will not work so well with books and other printed material, but it should work for most online sources. \

Several of the sites I mentioned offer fee-based services to check for plagarism (both intentional and accidental).  Some were subscriptions others were per-paper fees -- perhaps a good idea for a  major project.  But at this point, I'm sticking with free services.

 

Let me leave you with this story.  When Ben was in late elementary school/ middle school, we were using a writing program (Institute for Excellence in Writing) that required him to read passages and write no more than 3 word notes per sentence.  Next, the outline was used to re-write the story in his own words.  This technique is similar to what Benjamin Franklin describes as a way in which he taught himself to write. Ben has a problem though:  he has a really really good memory for what he reads.  I had to learn to give him time between his note-taking outlines and drafting so that he could forget the exact sentences.  I used this as an opportunity to introduce the concept of plagarism, but I have to admit that I need to carry this on as an ongoing discussion about academic -- and personal -- integrity.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

{Crew Review} If You Were Me books

 

Carole P. Roman with Away We Go Media (http://www.caroleproman.com) sent us a set of her cultural studies books for young children (ages 10 and under).  She’s written simple, easy to read books for children to discover some pretty unique places:
 
If You Were Me and Lived in...Mexico
If You Were Me and Lived in...South Korea
If You Were Me and Lived in...France
If You Were Me and Lived in...Norway - Brand new release {link to book is not working yet … the book is THAT new}

Each of these books are available in paperback ($8.99) and Kindle ($0.99)

These books are all written in a similar manner to explain geography, language, culture and traditions to children. 

Using the premise, “If you were me and lived in ..”each book has a boy-girl pair that take your young child on a whirlwind tour of their country.  In the books you will learn:

  • the location of each country on their continent
  • the capital city and some interesting facts about places to see and/or visit
  • simple words such as common names for children, how to say ‘mommy’ and ‘daddy’ in the native languages
  • traditional foods for each country
  • common activities and pastimes
  • holidays unique to the country
  • how to say ‘school’

How we used these:  My boys grabbed these books and devoured them over lunch one day.  The are simple to read and quite short.  Although the selected age range is 10 and under, I think they would be best used with children in early elementary school (preK to 2nd grade).  Levi was a little disappointed that the books were so short – he wanted more information and wanted to see pictures of the country’s sites instead of drawings.

One of the things we did, then, to expand on the books was to take field trips to the countries!  No, not in-real-life field trips, but Google Earth field trips.  We spent one afternoon at the Louvre’s plaza and then walked down the Seine to the Eiffel Tower.  It was fun to see how far back we could stand and still see the tip of the tower through the trees.    In this way, I satisfied Levi’s curiosity to see ‘real pictures.’

Recommendations:  I think this is a nice introductory set of books for young children who are interested in learning about other cultures.  You can easily use these books alongside country-specific prayer journal, a study of continents, or even use the information to create your own lapbooks for each country.  Really, the possibilities are endless.

To see how others used these books, please click on the Crew Blog link below.

Click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew

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Friday, November 1, 2013

My Fall Craft

I don't often have time to invest in lots of crafty things these days.  I haven't digitally scrapbooked in a few years and I stopped learning to knit a while back, too.  I'm mostly too brain dead at the end of the day to have to think.

But one of my first pins a few Halloweens ago was this {click picture to take you to the original post}:

{Midwest Living}


As cute as I thought these were, I did not want to spend my time making something that would not last past this November.

As I ran into a JoAnn's fabric and craft, I saw some faux pumpkins and decided this was the year I'd make something!
                      
                           Sharpies.  This would be my paint.
This is the brand my local JoAnn's carried.

I drew out my design and started coloring it in:

And I have these awesome pumpkins to use for the next few years:

                                                   



Thursday, October 24, 2013

{Crew Review} Not a “Payne”-ful Read Aloud

 

The 2013-14 season for Schoolhouse Reviews is winding down, but Luke, Levi and I have been enjoying a couple more fun books that help us smile and enjoy one another’s company.  Today, I’ll tell you about a new book from Barbour Publishing and author Annie Tipton called Diary of a Real Payne Book 1: True Story (on sale for $4.49, appropriate for ages 8 – 12 years old).

The books begins each chapter in a writing style my Luke just loves:  first-person diary entries.  These diary accounts of EJ Payne (that’s Emma Jean), an imaginative and distractible 4th grader open each chapter’s  third-person narratives of her escapades and imaginative adventures.  Luke was instantly drawn to EJ’s book.

EJ is the 10-year-old daughter of a pastor dad and school teacher mom.  Her brother, Isaac (aka Space Invader) is just starting kindergarten this year in exciting Spooner, Wisconsin.  This is just not an exciting place for EJ and she has dreams to do something big and change the world. 

I was curious to discover if the boys’ interest would be muted because EJ is a girl. We have had a few books in the past couple years that the boys were less than enthusiastic about because the main character was a girl.  However, add the word “diary” and the curious last name “Payne” and an astronaut walking on monkey bars…well, this was a boy-pleasing combination. 

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As I mentioned, EJ has a very exciting imagination and finds herself using her imagination for good (like helping to calm herself during the Fourth Grade Spelling Bee at school) and for, well, not so good (like when she imagined herself to be a race car driver in the grocery store.  oops).  I think this is really resonating with my Luke.  His imagination usually takes the form of a variety of battles and wars, some that include toy figures and others that include anyone who might be hangin’ around.  I think he is comforting for him to see that there are other kids who are like he is – imaginative and creative.

But bigger than this is the story of EJ and her nemesis – the perfectly mannered, perfectly blond Coralee McCallister.  She wins the school spelling bee, gets to be Mary for Christmas.  Well, you get the picture.  As the story moves along, EJ sees patterns and God moments in her life that help her to see her nemesis as not so…um, nemesis-y.  EJ begins to see that God does have a big awesome plan for her…right in plain old Spooner, Wisconsin.

You can find a link to read a chapter here. (It will download as a PDF.)

I’ve been pleased to use this story as a cuddling’ read aloud at the end of our days.  It’s been nice getting back to reading together as a family {sometimes the best laid plans get jumbled up at our house}.  I love that the author, Annie Tipton, has created a heroine that is approachable with boys and girls.  EJ is a fairly ‘normal’ kid who is learns about God in the every day of life.  What a great lesson for our kids.

And … Book 2 due in the spring!

Click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew

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Friday, October 18, 2013

{Crew Review} God’s World News for High School




Trak {$28 for home subscription – click for subscription information} is a monthly news magazine published for teens/ high schoolers by the publishers of World magazine.  Part of  God's World News (http://GWNews.com), the company  has grade-specific issues for children from preschool through high school.  Ten issues are published per year for each of the academic publications (7 issues during the school year and three during the summer – publication schedule is here).

***Update*** I've gotten off the phone with the World/ God's World News people to fully understand what a home subscription includes, and it is actually AMAZING what their World Fellow Program includes.  When you pay the full home subscription price for Trak ($28) you will get access to ALL of the World Magazine online content,  Yes, that is a year's subscription to the adult version of World Magazine, plus back issues, etc.  Online, iPad, etc.  The Whole Ball of Wax.



We have a long history of subscribing to various God’s World News editions, but this year was our first year with the high school level Trak.  At 32-pages this isn’t a quick read-through publications.  Instead, Over the course or our review period, I’ve noticed Ben picking up Trak and reading it at various times, usually at breakfast.

Trak covers a huge range of subject matter.  Often times there is an article about a hot political topic.  October’s issue discussed some issues surrounding the Syrian civil war and displaced peoples during wars.  Other articles explored topics Ben and I had never heard about.  Ever heard of Hyperloops?  We hadn’t either {click here to learn about this alternative transportation mode}.

Several sections in the newsmag include:  Tech & Culture, Playlist {movies, TV, books and music}, SportsTrak, Posts {short articles}, DesignTrak, PrepTrak {preparing for college and life}, BusinessTrak, and SideTrak {very short articles about unique topics}.

A Christian worldview surrounds all the articles.  None of the issues in the two magazines we received during this review period were highly controversial, but the magazine did include some interpretive information to help students consider world events from God’s perspective.
 
A subscription to God's World News includes more than just the magazine.  There are a couple websites that expand on the magazine.  Weekly emails with links to additional helps and archived content (you do need to opt-in to this).    Just this month we received a link to their new teen.wng.org site for a special biography about Jane Austen:

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The www.gwn.com takes you to general information about the magazines, but also links you to activities and resources for each edition of the magazine. This would be great for younger grade levels, which have activities and lessons plans, but the high school Trak does not have this type of content.  The online content also seems to address more timely events – such as the recent government shutdown.  Discussion questions were provided after a summary:
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I only have one complaint about the website access for the educational magazines:  you will have to know your subscription number.  Really?  I have to learn another number to access the content?  It's been a little cumbersome to look up all the time, and I do hope that in the future, the subscription number can be used as an initial log-in and we can opt to change it to something more user friendly. Update:  I learned in my call that they are hoping to change this, too, to make it easier to log in. 

How We Use This:  Since Ben is participating in a Currents Events/ Debate course in Classical Conversations, I had hoped that Trak would be a source of information for him on some of his topics – the death penalty, right to life, gun control, etc. I’ve scanned through Trak’s online content, but haven’t really found articles to help serve as source material. This is a little disappointing to me, because I can really see that God’s World News can fill a gapping hole to help parents – homeschooler or not – navigate our culture with tools to connect God’s Word with God’s World.

I wish I could say that I use GWN systematically in our homeschool to draw out discussions between Ben and myself, and that even the younger boys participate and learn.  This would be the ideal situation and preferred way to use Trak.  Instead, I’ll give you our dose of reality:  Trak arrives and sits on the dining room table or counter where it is read, piece by piece, over the course of several weeks.  Ben usually reads it first, and I’ll page through it, read some myself and we’ll talk about something interesting to us.  All on the fly.  sometimes, Luke and Levi will leaf through Trak noticing some of the political cartoons and we’ll talk about why they aren’t funny comics.

I’m actually OK with how we are using Trak, however.  Not everything has to be a lesson plan.  We are all learning and sharing ideas as we walk through life … and that is what I want our home school journey to be.  Learning and walking, together.

God’s World News providing complementary one-year subscriptions to many other Schoolhouse Review Crew members. 

Click to read more reviews from the Schoolhouse Review Crew
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