Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Manhood Journey {review}

As the parents of two boys, my husband and I were intrigued by the Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit.  This is a program for fathers and sons, published by Manhood Journey & City on a Hill Studio.  This program is designed to give boys (ages 8-17) the tools they need to become Godly young men.  While it is designed to be a mentorship between father and son, I'll preface this review by stating that it can be used by any man who has a "fatherly" role in a boy's life, such as stepfather, grandfather, uncle, or another trusted mentor.  The program, and I, use the terms father/dad and son, but I fully recognize the importance of other men in a boy's life.  I'm only using these terms for simplicity, and because that is the relationship in which this program fits our situation.

The Starter Kit contains:
Group Discussion Guide
1 on 1 Discussion Guide
DVD of the introductory videos for all six modules
10 Maprochures
Wise Guys: Unlocking Hidden Wisdom from the Men Around You by Kent Evans
Father's Starter Kit | Manhood Journey

There are two discussion guides.  The Group Discussion Guide is designed for the leader of a Manhood Journey group.  It is full of ideas for opening activities each week, as well as discussion questions, suggestions for keeping the dialogue going if participants are unwilling to open up at first, verses to discuss, closing prayer and father/son homework.  There are blank pages for notes as well.

Then there is the 1 on 1 Discussion Guide.  While it can be used with multiple boys at once, it's designed to use with just a couple of boys at one time, so Dad can really get to know his son and have personal discussions with him.  It is designed so that it can be used in conjunction with a Manhood Journey weekly group meeting.  You will see the references between the two guides.  However, it can be still be used without going to weekly meetings, and there are simple instructions for this as well.  It has an introduction to the program and discusses how to use the guide as a starting point for discussion, learning together and prayer, rather than an agenda or "lesson plan."  Each week starts out with A Word to Dad, to prepare him for the upcoming week.  There is a reference to review the group meeting (it's suggested to skip these references if you are not participating in group sessions), along with more than enough discussion questions.  There are activities sprinkled throughout, such as working in a Manhood Journey Notebook (to become a spiritual journal of sorts), hands-on activities, and games.  Some of these activities seem lighthearted on first glance, but lead to deeper discussions.  There are also verses that can be used for more exploration.  The reason so many activities are included is so that Dad can choose the most appropriate discussions/activities for their son.  I really appreciate the versatility and adaptability of this program in that respect, because it allows my husband to meet my son where he is emotionally and spiritually and go from there.

Wise Guides: Unlocking Hidden Wisdom from the Men Around You was written by Kent Evans, cofounder of Manhood Journey.  The book encourages you to find Godly men who are full of wisdom and experience that can benefit you, and to learn how to learn from them.  Mentoring is practically a lost art, but can be an invaluable tool for helping a person grow in so many areas of their life.  This book could certainly be used separately, and would make a great read for young men leaving home for the first time as they are entering college or the workforce.

Embarking is the name of this study, and it is the first module in the full Manhood Journey program.  The Maprochure is a little brochure that you might give out to perspective group members about the full Manhood Journey program.  It has a "map" of the full program on one side; while the other side has descriptions of the remaining five modules: Clean Hearts, Working Well, Standing Strong, Manhood Myths, Leading Lessons.  Each module lasts six weeks.

Overall, we feel this is a great tool for fathers or other men to use with their sons or young boys who need Godly male influence in their lives.  It opens the door for discussion on many topics, and if you are doing the fully journey with a group, will allow boys to find other young men that can hopefully be a good influence in their lives.

Father's Starter Kit | Manhood Journey
To find out more about this study, you can read the rests of the crew reviews or find Manhood Journey online.

Manhood Journey
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/manhoodjourney
Twitter: https://twitter.com/manhoodjourney

City on a Hill
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FollowCityOnAHill
Twitter: https://twitter.com/COAHStudio
Manhood Journey Father's Starter Kit {Manhood Journey & City on a Hill Studio Reviews}

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©2011-2017 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.  http://www.moms-heart.com

Friday, March 24, 2017

Sneak Peak: ArtAchieve

Have you heard of ArtAchieve before?  I will have a review coming soon, but I wanted to give you a little sneak peak!

The Czech Cat

We've started using the Entire Level I, but I thought I'd share this lesson with you now because it's completely free.  The cats were done by a 10 year old, 7 year old, 4 year old and an adult.  Well, the 4 year old didn't draw hers, we did it for her, because she wanted to coler with us.

After three lessons, I'm impressed.  It's a good balance between step-by-step instructions and giving the child encouragement to be creative.  They actually offer a few other basic lessons for free, so I'm sharing about those now, because it gives you a chance to try out the free lessons and come back at the beginning of May to see what we think after we really dig in!

The Hungarian Insects in progress

Homeschool Coffee Break

©2011-2017 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.  http://www.moms-heart.com

Friday, March 17, 2017

Five in a Row: Warm as Wool

This post contains affiliate links.

When going through the Five in a Row units, admittedly, Warm as Wool is not one that I would have initially jumped at the chance to row.  However, I was looking at a master list of FIAR books by date and geographical location, and realized that a book set in the early 1800's in Ohio would tie in perfectly with a group field trip to a history museum dedicated to the founding of Ohio and early pioneers!  Our group would also be offered a special class that would tie in, and I knew I could tweak our Revolutionary War study to make the timeline work for us.  You can't get more serendipitous!

Beautiful Feet follows the Revolutionary War with a one week study of the Louisiana Purchase and Lewis and Clark, before it moves into a lot of time on Abraham Lincoln, so I knew this would also be a good row to bulk up that general time period.

The book is about the Ward family - mom, dad, and three young children - who travel from Connecticut to Ohio.  Betsy Ward spends the cold, harsh winter dreaming of buying sheep so she can have warm wool to keep her children warm.

Social Studies
I always try to start with geography, so we can review it throughout the week.  We printed a US map and traced their journey as described in the Prologue.

Of course, we placed our story disk on Ohio, where the story took place.

Covered/Conestoga wagons, Pioneers, Westward Migration 
Our field trip was part of a homeschool group field trip.  The museum is dedicated to the founding of our area, which just happens be part of the northwest territory that was explored after the Revolutionary War and preserves the history of westward migration and area pioneers.  We had three classes and a self-guided tour before/afterwards.

More specifically, one of the classes that had been scheduled for our group was Transportation: how to fill a Conestoga wagon!  Considering the general time period and this class fit so well with the book, I couldn't resist!  We learned the difference in the Conestoga wagon and the Prairie Schooner.  The Conestoga was a massive, curved (she described it as a smile) wagon used primarily in the early 1800's.  The curved ends would have kept things in the wagon in the more mountainous regions.  These were not the same wagons used in the westward migration, however.  Prairie Schooners were the smaller, "box" shaped wagons, often converted farm wagons.  Conestoga's were too heavy for the prairies and would get stuck in the dirt/mud, but smaller wagons would be able to travel the longer distances.

The museum had a conestoga wagon on display, and I believe she said its as the earliest known one in the state.  They knew quite a bit of the history of the particular family that had traveled to Ohio from Pennsylvania with it.  We learned how it was made, the things that might fill the wagon when a family traveled, and the tools they used on the journey.  We learned that everyone walked, because there was no room to ride in these wagons.  Father might stand on the side on a board, and really young children would be carried, and they averaged 12-15 miles per day.  Everyone had jobs, and she did a great job of describing the jobs in relation to the girls/boys by age.  A 7 year old boy might walk behind the wagon and grease the wheels with tar, while a 10 year old boy might try to hunt rabbit for stew.

After we walked around the wagon and looked at everything the family might have taken with them and where everything was located, they were given cards for a memory game.  There was a taped off section on the floor, the size of the wagon, and each child had to go to the spot on the wagon where their item was located.

How fitting, one of the boys got a spinning wheel!  There was one on display in this room too.

Beautiful Feet doesn't really cover Westward Migration and the mid-late 1800's in-depth at this point (there is a separate course on Westward Migration) so we used this row and the covered-wagon connection to just glimpse into that time period.

You Wouldn't Want to be an American Pioneer! by Jacqueline Morley


Language Arts

We went through the book looking for similes, and tried to listen for them in other books we read.  We also completed this Simile Self Portrait.

Prologue, Author's Notes, Book Jackets
We discussed these elements throughout the week.  Emory insisted that I read the Prologue with every reading.  I think he really felt like it was part of the story.

Additional Literature
Dandelions by Eve Bunting
Apples to Oregon by Deborah Hopkinson
Going West by Jan Van Leeuwen

The books were relevant to the themes of traveling by wagon or "starting over" in a new place.


Imagination and Facial Expressions
After discussing the lesson, we used a cartooning book from the library and a Blank Face printout to make our own facial expressions.

We read about sheep in a non-fiction book about farm animals, watched some sheep sheering videos on YouTube and did a notebooking page.

Mountain Born by Elizabeth Yates
This is a great living book that ties in well.  I used it as a lunchtime read-aloud for the kids.

Math - The math lesson was fairly simple, relating to the flock of sheep, basic addiction and subtraction.  We just did it orally during one of the readings.  Nothing fancy.

Overall, it was a simple, but fun and engaging row.  After this row we took a school-break, then returned to Beautiful Feet for the short unit on Louisiana Purchase and Lewis and Clark.  From there it goes into Abraham Lincoln.  You'll see some tweaking of that as we also study the Civil War with Five in a Row.

Eleanor is starting to join in more for some of the activities, so I think she's really ready to dive into Before Five in a Row at her level, and I can't wait to start fresh with it!

©2011-2017 Mom’s Heart.  All rights reserved.  All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.  http://www.moms-heart.com