Review and Giveaway: The Everywhere God by Bob Nelson and Cricket Nelson Hater

The Everywhere God Giveaway

I want to tell you about a very special book that my family has been given the chance to review.  It is called The Everywhere God written by Bob Nelson, edited by Cricket Nelson Hater, and illustrated by Robin Tillman.

This book gives our children (and reminds us parents) that God is everywhere… all of the time.  He is always with us.  No matter what.  What a simple yet powerful lesson.

For the purposes of this review I received a soft covered version of the book.  The illustrations are were created with what looks like pen and watercolor.  They are simple yet colorful and absolutely adorable.  The pages are made of a sturdy card-stock.  The book feels much like a high quality special edition magazine.  Certainly sturdy enough to treasure and adore for a long time.  You can also download the book to a Kindle Fire.  I personally think that is just a sweet option.  Not only can I have a fabulous book that doesn’t take up any more room in our home, but it is easy to take with us when on the go so we can read where ever we are.

The book is full of rhyming prose that are delightful to read aloud and actually quite easy to memorize.  My family has been reciting parts of the book since the first time we read it together, just for fun.  The language draws children and adults together and to the message.

This book would make an adorable gift perhaps for a baptism or baby dedication, a birthday, or even just because.  If you have heart for and you want to pass that onto children in your life then I highly suggest this precious book.

Perhaps God will bless you with a free copy?  As a part of this review I am giving away some sweet prizes.  This giveaway will have 4 winners. The grand prize winner will receive a Fire 7″ Tablet loaded with the Kindle edition of The Everywhere God.  The Fire tablet includes:

  • Beautiful 7″ IPS display (171 ppi / 1024 x 600) and fast 1.3 GHz quad-core processor. Rear and front-facing cameras.
  • All-new Amazon Underground, a one-of-a-kind app store experience where over $10,000 in apps, games and even in-app items are actually free – including extra lives, unlocked levels, unlimited add-on packs and more
  • Enjoy more than 38 million movies, TV shows, songs, books, apps and games
  • 8 GB of internal storage. Free unlimited cloud storage for all Amazon content and photos taken with Fire devices. Add a microSD card for up to 128 GB of additional storage.
  • Updated user interface – Fire OS 5 designed for quick access to your apps and content plus personalized recommendations that make it easy to discover new favorites
  • Up to 7 hours of reading, surfing the web, watching videos, and listening to music
  • Stay connected with fast web browsing, email, and calendar support

Three more winners will each win a print copy of The Everywhere God.

The Everywhere God is a book about hope for children of all ages. Written for his young granddaughter during a particularly difficult time, the late Pastor Bob Nelson wanted to be sure she knew God was with her no matter what else was happening. Despite people and circumstances, his message is clear, God never leaves or forgets about us and His love never ends. Upon it’s completion, he knew it was something special and wanted to make it a children’s book. Unfortunately, time passed and things never fell into place for his vision to come to life. He passed away in 2008 before he could see it happen.

More than 20 years after it’s original writing, Bob Nelson’s daughter remembered this treasured poem and like her father, felt it needed to be shared with the world. For many years she kept this special story in the back of her heart and always dreamed of making his vision for a children’s book a reality.

To enter the giveaway, please use the Rafflecopter below after reading the terms and conditions.

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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 Everywhere God email list.

Review: The Conversation, by Leigh A. Bortins from Classical Conversations

logo_zpscqdrybw9I’d say in recent months to perhaps even in the last year I’ve noticed our homeschooling style has started to bend toward the Classical direction just a bit.  We’ve started to use some curriculum from some of the well known Classical curriculum providers and I’ve begun to research this topic quite a bit.  I was delighted when I was chosen to review a new book called The Conversation, by Leigh A. Bortins from Classical Conversations. This book talks a great deal about homeschooling at the highschool level.  This is something that is starting to surface a bit on my radar screen as my oldest son is starting to close in on his last years as an elementary aged student. 

The Conversation is actually the third book by Bortins in a series about the various stages of classical education.  She has previously written The Core and The Question for elementary and middle school levels respectively.  I haven’t read the previous two books, though I now plan too.  It isn’t necessary in order to get much from The Conversation. This book is 267 pages with the index and appendices.

The Conversation   is broken up into three parts called:

  • High School at Home
  • The Rhetorical Arts
  • and the Appendices

Early on in the book you’ll find a lot of encouragement to continue the homeschooling journey through the high school years.  Homeschooling an elementary aged child might seem to some to be a great thing to do but for whatever reason once those children reach the high school age everyone starts to look at you a little bit differently.  Maybe it is because they think you are depriving your child of a typical teen experience. Perhaps they think you are unqualified because after all how exactly are you going to teach high level math?  A parent might even start telling themselves that they aren’t capable or that their child would be better off in school.  At least they’d have access to sports right?  Many parents give into fear at this point and send their child to school.  Encouragement for families that have reached this level is crucial. There is a lot of fantastic factual information provided as well.  The high school level marks the rhetoric stage of classical education.  Bortins defines that for the reader and starts laying the ground work for what a great high school education at home can look like.

The middle section, The Rhetorical Arts, drives the reader through each subject area that most children study at the high school level.  The Conversation goes through, subject by subject, explaining how to implement the five canons of rhetoric. There are chapters explaining ways to include rhetoric is just about every subject including: Reading, Writing, Science, Math, Hostry, Speech and Debate, Latin, Fine Arts, and more!

the-conversation-coming-summer-of-2015-10.gif_zpshfavqygsBortins offers examples and gives you ideas of how rhetoric is used in every area.  She provides real life examples.  She talks about important ares of study that might be over looked such as Latin and speech and debate.  She provides great arguments for why all of this is important, how parents can integrate them, and what children gain from studying such subjects.

The last section is the appendices where you’ll find games, definitions, and lots of resources.  This section is brimming with fantastic aides and further reading for any homeschooler.  You should not miss it.

The Conversation is a fantastic guide for parents looking to homeschool through high school.  Bortins has laid the groundwork for you to follow and the encouragement you’ll need to keep going until the finish line.  I’ll read this again as my children keep advancing toward the high school level.  I love that I now have a vision for those final years!  I’m now anxious to get my hands on her other two books in the series.  I hope you enjoy Bortins’ The Conversation as much as I did.

Classical Conversations Review

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Review:Andrea Carter’s Tales from the Circle C Ranch

4379 cvr 5.inddAny good book is a treasure.  I try never to pass up the opportunity to review something fun.  Recently we had the opportunity review the new book, Tales from the Circle C Ranch by Susan K. Marlow from Circle C Adventures. We also received a downloadable copy of Andrea Carter’s Tales from the Circle C Ranch Learning Lapbook to supplement the book. This book is intended for children in the middle grades, late elementary into middle school.

Both of my boys, ages 7 and 9 who are strong readers, enjoyed reading this book.  Each of them finished in one sitting of about 2 hours.  Tales from the Circle C Ranch is Christian fiction.  It is a collection of short stories from Andrea Carter’s childhood. She is the main character in the Circle C Ranch series of books.  This book is a lot of fun because it fills in a lot of the details that children might want to know about but were left out of the other books.  A lot of different questions are answered. 

Andrea, who is often called Andi, is a fun girl.  She’s the youngest in her family and as the baby she gets teased yet protected by her big brother’s and sisters.  Her dad dies when she is just a young child so her oldest brother fills in the fatherly roll.  Andi herself is full of crazy ideas and is always getting into some sort of dust-up.  The stories greatly appeal to children.

The book itself is your typical paperback with 160 pages.  There are 11 short stories all covering different points in Andrea Carter’s life. The stories are arranged by date. We have read some of the other Circle C Ranch stories before but that isn’t necessary to enjoy this book.  It is a very good read all on it’s own.  The first four books are from the The Early Years and represent the time period from the Circle C Beginnings book when Andrea was a young child.  The other seven stories The In-Between Years- come from the time of the Circle C Adventures books.  These are all new stories though and a lot of fun to read. 

tales_lapbook_cover_zpscsguvgpbWe also received the Andrea Carter’s Tales from the Circle C Ranch Learning Lapbook as a pdf download.  For each story in the book there are usually two lapbook projects related to science, history, or even literature. This was a lot of fun and added so much to the learning.  It drew out discussion on how life was lived at the time, clothing, California history, Us History, ranching, and more.  

How We Used These

Well, I would have liked to have read the book along with my boys and discussed it story by story.  But they snatched it from the mail pile and had it read by bedtime the same day it arrived.  I read it after they did and then we did most of our discussion over the lapbook project.  We didn’t do every project.  I allowed them to choose which stories they wanted to work with.

So What Did We Think?

My boys loved the book and they enjoyed the lapbook.  My older son Noah has a huge love of anything western like, horse related, ranches, California Gold Rush, American History.  So this was totally up his alley.  My Ezra just loves to read anything he can get his hands on so of course he’d give this a go too.  The book is a nice read.  It’d work great a read aloud.  Many of the stories are short enough to read in a short sitting even with a few wiggly kids listening.  Though it is a children’s book the stories are so fun that any adult should enjoy sharing them too. The lapbook is fabulous and adds just so much to the reading experience. Lots of learning and ample opportunities for discussion.  A great literature study!

Dynamic Literacy Review
 

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Review: S is for Smiling Sunrise Alphabet Book by WordsBright

I have a sweet little book to share with you today.  It is called S is for Smiling Sunrise by WordsBright.  WordsBright is a small little publishing house for educational children’s books.  S is for Smiling Sunrise is their debut book.  I think it is an excellent choice.

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When you open the first page there is a space to write in the child’s name and the name of the person giving the book.  I remember when I had my baby shower for my now 9 year old son lots of people gave us books instead of cards.  They inscribed a little message to my yet to be born son.  We treasure these books now almost 10 years later.  I could so see giving this book to another expectant parent.  What a sweet little gift.

As you turn the page there is a dedication and then a note that says

At least ten percent of net earnings from this book will be given to health and education projects for disadvantaged children.

Clearly WordsBright publishing is more than just another children’s book publisher.

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S is For Smiling Sunrise is a twist on your traditional alphabet book where every page brings fort a new letter with a corresponding word that starts with that letter and a sweet little poem, plus more!  I’ll get to the more in a bit. We begin with…

look-inside-51-825x660A is for Artwork

Drawing and painting

Singing and dancing too

Art makes life interesting!

 

Written for the early childhood set (prek-3rd grade) this book is vibrant in color, flowery in language and vocabulary, and an overall delight to read for both adults and children.

I chose to read this book with my daughter Joyanna who is just shy of 5 years old.  She already has a good grasp of her letters.  She is able to identify them easily and she knows MOST of their sounds.  This book was a fun way for her to just practice hearing them all in new way.

The book itself is a hardback book and the pages are made of a high quality paper.  This is a book that can handle the demands of multiple readings and the rugged handling of little hands. There is an  audio CD, with MP3 available via download and Teacher’s Guide as well. The CD makes the words in the book into sing song like rhymes that were quickly burned into everyone’s minds!  Joyanna loved repeating them.

The teacher guide helps you use the book to teach your children values and virtues that are mentioned in the pages of the book itself.  How sweet!  As I said before, this is a book that more than just another alphabet book.  You are given some ideas for question to help you start conversations with your child both before and after you read the book.  There is help with laying down new vocabulary words and over all just a great deal of information to help your family really get the most from this book.

If you are looking for something fun to ready yet enjoy digging into books and really soak the most out of them then S is for Smiling Sunrise by WordsBright just perfect! 

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Wordsbright Review

Review: Before Amen by Max Lucado

421I received for for review Max Lucado’s new book Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer!  Prayer.  It’s that amazing and power thing that can keep you in close communication with God and help you align yourself with His will.  It’s also that elusive thing that can be oh so difficult to do consistently and passionately.  Am I doing it right? Is God hearing me?  Am I selfish because of what I’m praying about? Am I being appropriate because I don’t want God to think I think He is a wish granter.

Our intentions to pray are also good and no matter what we all pray some even if perhaps we don’t realize it.  Long tired days, distractions of the world, time moving at the speed of life.  These things can all derail us easily.  The sure do derail me!

Then there is the past.  Our history with prayer.  Those times we’ve prayed earnestly, with abandoned, down on our knees begging God and yet that prayer was not answered… at least not the way we had hoped.

I think everyone has experienced struggle with prayer.  Even Jesus’s own disciples struggled and they outright asked Him for guidance.  Jesus answered by telling them just what to do.  He didn’t get into theory or idea.  He simply gave them a prayer they they could use.

Max Lucado’s new book Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer
can help you and me with these dilemmas by giving us a prayer as well.

In the book, Lucado shares something he likes to call a pocket prayer:

“Father, You are good. I need help. Heal me. Forgive me. They need help. Thank you. In Jesus Name, Amen.”

Each and every chapter will walk you through a portion of this prayer.  Lucado gives hope to the prayer wimps like me. A simple place to begin.  A way to connect.  The words in this book are convicting but as the reader I am not left feeling beat or the head or as if I am just not cut out.  Instead I’m left recharged and ready to put new things into practice.  Lucado reminds us that prayer is a heart felt connection with our God.  Nothing is more worth while.

Book Review: Purposeful Design

Purposeful Design Review

The Earth’s creation is probably the most miraculous event ever known.  It is unfathomable to really wrap your brain around.  Life is a miracle all on it’s own yet it is something we don’t think of very much.  The perfect balance created for us to live and thrive…. how was it all done?  Where can we look to some answers?  I had the opportunity to review an amazing resource to help me teach my children all about God’s creation. Purposeful Design sent me Purposeful Design: Understanding the Creation, a hardback book by Jay Schabacker,a  former aerospace engineer.Purposeful Design Review

What Is The Book Like?

There is one word to describe this book… GORGEOUS!  The photography, the thick sturdy pages, the background images, the graphics.  Wow!  It is just a beautiful book.  Artistic as well as informative.  It takes a special book to showcase and teach you about God’s creation and this is certainly a special book.

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The book is broken down into short chapters. Seven chapters to be exact.  One for each day of creation. Each chapter usually took just a short time to read.  The book is just over 90 pages long.  I read one chapter per day to my 4, 7, and 9 year old children.  I think this book is suitable for just about any age… preschool through adult I do have to say that it help the attention of my older two children the best.  My 4 year old was totally mesmerized by the pictures.  She tended to pick up the book at odd times and ask me 101 questions about everything she saw.  That provided me with the opportunity to share with her as well.

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Within the book the author quotes the biblical account in Genesis and provides lots of scientific detail.  He thoroughly dissects the details that make life on this planet possible.   Complex subjects are broken down into very understable explanations. The overall message of the book is that God is not only an intelligent designer but a purposeful one as well.

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Curriculum 

Purposeful Design also has a great resource for older elementary students called the Young Explorers club.   It contains a Kid’s Workbook, Teacher’s Set, and a Certificate of Completion.  You can obtain this for FREE from their website.  The workbook pages consist of scripture and fill-in-the black responses that are associated with each chapter of the book.  This is followed by more scripture verses and questions that help the child dig a little deeper and reflect on what God is saying in His word.  Then you’ll find a place for your child to draw a picture related to what they have learned.

Our Thoughts

Honestly we loved it.  We used it as a nice break from our usual science studies.  There is plenty here with the curriculum for this to be your sole source for science for a couple of weeks.  I could also see it as being a catalyst for a much deeper science study on each of the days.  For example a study of the sea or birds etc…  I might use this one book for an entire year or more revisiting it each time we begin a new study of another part of God’s creation.

Purchase

You can purchase the book HERE for $18.95 which is 25% off the retail price.

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Book Review: If He Had Not Come

Christmas is coming! So too are opportunities to really honor Jesus and reflect on what the world would be like if He had never come to this earth as a man to show us how to live and take our punishment for our sins.

Our family had the opportunity to review a book called If He Had Not Come which was put together by David Nicholson.  David Nicholson originally heard this story, which was originally written by Nan F. Weeks in 1938, during Sunday School at church.  David was so taken by it he decided he would share the story with his own children every Christmas. Now a grandfather he is bringing the story to life in a new book.

Christmas Book Review
This came to me as a large hardcover book full of glorious illustrations that highlight the story well.   The hardcover edition of this book retails for $18.95.  As soon as I laid eyes on it I knew this would make a great addition to our Christmas traditions and the holiday books we hold dear.  I instantly shared this book with my children ages 4, 7, and 9.  Right from the start they sat riveted, totally engrossed, and eager to listen and view the pages. The book is written for children ages 6 and up.

The story is set through the eyes of one little boy named Bobby who spends his Christmas Eve with his parents reading about Christ in the Bible.  As he is getting ready for bed Bobby’s heart is filled with anticipation as he admires his family’s Christmas tree and traditional decorations.  Christmas morning and presents are on their way.  As he heads off to dreamland Jesus’s words from the Bible ring in his head… “If I had not come…”

Bobby wakes up to a world without Jesus.  There are no presents and the Christmas decorations are gone.  Bobby heads out of the house to find out just what is going on.  He asks person after person about Christmas and none seem to know what on earth the boy is talking about.  Stranger still other things have disappeared as well.  There are no churches, hospitals, homeless shelters, or anyone who cares enough to help Bobby care for a sickly man he encounters.  It is a sad, depressing, and harsh world.  Just as it seems things are going to get truly ugly Bobby awakens at home in his bed to the sound of his mother calling his name.  It is Christmas morning just as Bobby had anticipated.  It was all a terrible dream.

After we read the story we of course had to look up the full verse  of John 15:22, which said,

If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.

Here Jesus is explaining to his disciples that the world hates Him and will hate His followers too.  But since Jesus did come there would be no excuse for sin.

At the end of the book there are pages of interactive topics for families, lots of information to help you dig deeper and investigate many scripture passages, and most importantly the Gospel Message is clearly spelled out.  Such a wealth of great things that make this so much more than just a nice Christmas story.  It is an opportunity to really bring the family closer to Christ and even share His message with someone who might be joining you for the holidays.

This truly is a fantastic book.

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Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms a Book Review

Book reviews are a lot of fun! Especially books meant just for me as a homeschooling mom! Summer is a fantastic time for such books as it is the time of year when I spend some time reflecting on the past year and planning for the year ahead.  I was recently given the opportunity review  Mary Jo Tate’s latest bookFlourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms from Apologia Educational Ministries

Flourish Book Review
Those familiar with the homeschooling community have certainly heard of Apologia before.  They are well known for their Biblically centered science and world view curriculums and we use both in our homeschool every day.  They also serve as publishers for great books that help the homeschooling families thrive.

Overview

Flourish Book ReviewMary Jo Tate, the Author of Flourish is a long time homeschooling mom to four boys and a successful business woman. She works as an editor, a book coach, author of several books, and is the host of the “Flourish at Home” show on the Ultimate Radio Network. In a quest to help us all flourish Mary Jo has taken her experience as a busy mom and poured into her latest book.  
Flourish Book Review

In her book Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms, Mary Jo shares her story and the lessons she has learned as a single homeschooling mom building a business that will provide for her and her family. She shares with us the reality of her life and what has worked for her while always providing grace for the reader to find what exactly works best for us.  She certainly does not preach to the idea that there is only one way to run your life as a business woman and homeschooling mom. Her writing style is personable and friendly.  You feel like you are chatting with an long time and caring friend over a cup of coffee.

In the pages you’ll find sound wisdom.  My new mantra after reading her book is… “find peace in the space between the ideal and reality.”  This one phrase, this one golden nugget, hit me like such a ton of bricks that I wrote it out on sticky notes and posted in visible places around my home.  That one little sentence was a life changer, a wakeup call, a reality check for me.  It freed me to be a better mom.  And that was just in the first couple of chapters.

I love how she reminds us that no one does it all.  Not one mom out there in the world get’s it all done.  Sometimes when you are in the trenches day in and day in and day out it can be easy to lose sight of that reality. Mary Jo helps us concentrate on three areas in our lives… what we can’t change, those things you refuse to change (homeschooling for example), and those areas of life that are really preferences.  Preferences are things you can compromise on if need be bring life more into balance.  

Mary Jo provides a lot of help identifying these areas.  At the end of every chapter she provides you with activities or action steps to move you toward and more balanced and flourishing life.  Do them! They make a tremendous difference in how much you get out of this book. 

Also provided at the end of the book are Planning Forms!  You can even find customizable versions that you can download from the website.  I tell you Homeschool Moms she has thought of it all! 

This book is about enjoying our lives as homeschooling moms.  She helps us get over the “I can’ts” in life to figuring out… “How can I?”  She helps us set goals and evaluate our progress, prioritize, find flexibility, and establish routines.  Provided in the pages is advice on everything from how to organize your home, training your children, feeding your spiritual self, disciplining your children and more.

Book Details

16 chapters and about 300 pages total.

  1. An Invitation to Flourish
  2. Change Your Mind to Change Your Time
  3. The FREEDOM Toolbox
  4. Where Did My Time Go?
  5. Aim High: Setting Goals
  6. What Do I Do Next? Seven Essential Planning Tools
  7. We Interrupt This Program
  8. It’s Time for an Attitude Adjustment
  9. Oxygen Masks and Monkey Bread Days
  10. Training Your Children
  11. Making Memories
  12. Managing Your Home
  13. All of Life is Learning
  14. Solo Act: Flourishing as a Single Mom
  15. Home Business
  16. Moving Ahead

$15.00

What this book has done for me!

I am in the busiest time I’ve ever experienced in my life.  Between running my home, homeschooling, trekking kids to a hundred activities, doing what I can to supplement our income, ministry, leading a new co-op, and preparing for a new addition to our family… I can often feel overwhelmed.  When I feel overwhelmed I do not know where to begin with my to-do list.  Sometimes that means I don’t do much of anything, which overwhelms me MORE!  It’s a negative cycle that I sometimes have to battle my way out of.  Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms is a book that has taught me the skills to figure out where to start, what to weed out, and how to move forward.  There is nothing better than that.  

Finally!

This book has given me the energy to figure out where my life is headed next.  I do believe I will find a great deal more success because of the words of Mary Jo Tate.  This is a truly excellent read.

You can find Mary Jo Tate on the following social media pages:

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Review: Peter Rabbit Books Books by Kinder Cottage Publishing

KinderCottageKinder Cottage Review
Our family recently had the opportunity to review Peter Rabbit at the Farm and How Peter Rabbit Went to Sea by Kinder Cottage Publishing. These are just two Peter Rabbit stories published here in the United States. They are just like the Peter Rabbit stories we all grew up with as children.  Kinder Cottage Publishing has released 10 Peter Rabbit books in all. These books are ideal for ages 3-9.  They will cost you just $4 each or $30 for the entire set.storyboard-1128

Peter Rabbit books are wonderful throwbacks to a time when childhood was pretty simple.  Children played outside a lot.  Mischief was certain but consequences were natural.  These books are pure innocence and childhood and not much else.  It is funny to call them refreshing as they are certainly not new stories.  But compared to what one might find now a days, that is what they are… refreshing.

The books come as little 5” x 7″ hardbacks that make them easy to hold and perfect to snuggle up on the couch with for a nice read aloud session.  They feature simplistic yet artful original illustrations.  These look just like the ones you grew up with.  It is very much like a glimpse back in time when you open the pages.

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Peter Rabbit at the Farm is a classic story of Peter Rabbit’s misadventures. Peter Rabbit scoots away from home and runs into Little Pollie Possum who trudging her way down the road.  He knocks over her basket of persimmons which she had taken from Mr. McGregor’s garden. But Peter knows how to make amends and Pollie Possum does eventually forgive him.

It isn’t long before Peter runs into Little Goosie Poosie who is so upset as the water has run out of the swimming pond and no one knows quite what to do.  Peter, being a rabbit quite capable of great mischief quickly noticed where the mahem had come from.  It turns out a muskrat family had made such a hole the water in the damn had run out.  So Peter sets about, with the help of all of the animals, to fix it.  Once fixed Peter finds himself in the pool, covered with mud and soaking wet.  And so the story goes as Peter visits many of the animals on the farm and inevitably winds up in some sort of happen stance.  My daughter Joyanna (4) and I had a great time laughing at all of Peter’s mishaps.

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In how How Peter Rabbit Went to Sea Peter is left at home his sisters by his Momma.  She leaves very specific instructions for where he should be while she is away.  But of course this is Peter Rabbit, there isn’t a chance he is going to listen and obey.  Despite his sister’s protests, Peter sets out for the brook to play pirate with his sailboat.  Peter gathers materials from Tillie Top-Knot to build himself a boat.  Shortly after Peter sets sail and runs into all kinds of characters on his journey at sea including Granddaddy Whale, Oldman Shark, Johnny Crab, Gruff Old Sword-Fish, and even Sammie Seagull… who eventually helps Peter back home.  It’s a fun little adventure that kept my daughter and I engrossed and delighted.

My two older boys (6 and 8) both pretended to not be so interested.  Funny thing is, I caught them each reading these books when they thought Mommy wasn’t looking.  Apparently the delight the older crowd too.

If you are hunting for classics from a time gone by… you can’t go wrong with these books.  They are simply wonderful.

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Book Review: A Life in Balance

Learning Breakthrough Program Review

I was recently given the book A Life in Balance by Learning Breakthrough Program for review. The Learning Breakthrough Program is used to impact auditory, visual, motor, tactile, balance, body positioning and neurofeedback systems in order to strengthen neurotransmission and calibrate brain functions.

If you are interested in ADHD alternative treatment, dyslexia treatment, reading improvement, brain fitness, or brain Training than this is a book for you. It is a system that is proven to help learning disabilities such as Dyspraxia (Coordination), Dysgraphia (Handwriting), Dyscalculia (Math), CAPD (Auditory Processing), Speech & Language, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Aspergers Syndrome, Behavior, Sensory Processing Disorder, and Brain Injury & Stroke.  They describe the program as aerobics or even weightlifting for your brain.

 

Learning Breakthrough Program Review
A Life in Balance is the story of the founder of Learning Breakthrough Program, Frank Belgau as told to his son, Eric Belgau.  This book is geared toward adults and follows the elder Belgau as he journeys through life as a student, then his time in the US Air Force.  He was also a teacher and learned a great deal about special needs students which lead to the creation of his program that helps students who seem like hopeless cases become successful.

The story of how Frank Belgau came up with his program is truly fascinating.  It is what kept drawing me further into the book.  Back in my days as a special education school teacher I often anecdotally witnessed evidence of a link between movement and even diet and the way the brain functions.  I often used certain movement games or activities to help my students tune-in, focus, or otherwise find success.  My methods were rather half hazard.  I had a bag of tricks I could use with kids of a certain type or disability.  Some worked and some didn’t depending on the child.  But when they worked they really truly did help. I wish I had access to Frank Belgau’s information back at that time.

This book is mostly about the journey to creating the program.  It is an biography autobiography. And it truly is a fascinating one.  Frank Belgau drew from his own experiences as a struggling student by in the 1940’s.  He lacked coordination and was often taunted by bully’s.  He was blessed by gifted teachers who drew him in and encouraged his fascination with learning. He turned that fascination into time as a mechanic in the US Air Force and eventually a passion for teaching, especially those children who seemed to need something else to be successful.

His passion for helping students who needed more help began when he was teaching in the 1960’s.  It was a time when not much was done for children with challenges.  As a favor to another teacher, Frank Belgau offered to take her class to give her something of break.  Without much to do the children became rather destructive.  Frank Belgau began giving them little projects and such to keep them busy.  The children, who had otherwise been pretty much written off, often succeeded.  As Frank Belgau raised his expectations the children rose to meet them.  Frank Belgau drew on his experiences as a child who benefited from the extra care and attention from just one or two teachers who really believed in him.  Frank Belgau began to see that the problem wasn’t really the students, it was the system.  Frank Belgau then spent the next couple of decades dedicated to making changes in the systems that held certain children back.

This book really shows us Frank Belgau’s heart for these special children and the journey he traveled not only to create a program to help them, but to shift the system into one willing to help them.  It really is his story.  Near the end they do give you some exercises and tidbits so that you can give a sampling of the program methods a try with your own children. The heart of the book though isn’t to get you to buy into the program.  The heart of the book is to tell you all about a man whose life’s work was helping children.  It is a wonderful story.

You can purchase a copy of A Life in Balance for $16.95.  It’ll be worth your time.

You can follow Learning Breakthrough Program on Social Media too!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LearningBreakthrough
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LearningBreak
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/LearningBreakthrough

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