Archives For Media Reviews

Summer Reading Ideas

Melanie —  June 4, 2017

I have been recently inspired to start regularly sharing resources again that have been a blessing to our family!

More and more I am becoming convinced about the power of stories in our lives to shape and teach us and inspire us to greatness.  Just consider the number of stories that Jesus himself told!

Read the World – summer book club

First, if you are looking for a fun idea to get your children reading this summer, and also help them learn about other cultures and countries, check out the Read the World summer book club.  This can be a very simple thing (i.e. read one book each week as a family) or it can be more involved (i.e. read lots of books each week, try recipes from different countries, give your children prizes, raise money for a charity, etc).  The great thing is that you can customise it for your family. Our family is excited to participate.  The book club starts this week but it’s not too late to sign up!  If you don’t own Jamie Martin’s, “Give Your Child the World,” you can still glean book ideas from friends, google for ideas or use the library. (If you live near us, we are happy to suggest and loan books!)

Read the World is being promoted by Jamie Martin and also Sarah MacKenzie from the Read Aloud Revival podcast.

A friend pointed me to The Read Aloud Revival  a few months ago and I have been eating it up ever since.  I don’t get much time to listen to podcasts.  They are my “treat” if I have to drive somewhere by myself or I am actually cooking in the kitchen alone! (which rarely happens).  The tagline of the podcast encourages listeners to “build your family culture around books.”  So many of us think that reading aloud is something we should do only with young children.  Not so! The research (and our family experience too!) shows that reading aloud is an incredible way to build family bonds and of course to develop a moral foundation, imagination, English skills and much, much more!

I recommend you listen to podcast number one first but then just pick out which ones look interesting to you (feel free to ask me for my favourites!).  Sarah also has a list of the most popular episodes here.  There have been episodes with Sally Lloyd Jones (author of the Jesus Story Book Bible), Sally Clarkson (one of my very favourite writers) and her daughter Sarah Clarkson and many more wonderful authors and speakers.  Don’t miss the incredible true story of a girl and her father who read aloud every night for nearly eight years!

If you read aloud to your children for only 10 minutes a day, that adds up to 60 hours a year! From our family experience, it’s totally worth it to start this as a new habit!  Audiobooks work great too if you don’t fancy reading aloud yourself. If you are already into reading aloud in your family, this podcast will be the source of fantastic book ideas.

One book idea I got from the podcast is The Green Ember.  (Check out the fab video at this link with the author and his children.) With Mariah and Joel having chicken pox this past week and me having a heavy cold, we have been listening to it as an audiobook together. It would be a great family read-aloud for middle grades on up (this nearly 40 year old is loving it!). I can’t recommend it highly enough!

Thankfully, the chicken pox Meadlings (Hannah, Mariah and Joel) are feeling much better.  They are now just waiting for their spots to heal and so they are non-contagious.  The trip to Cadbury World tomorrow with our homeschooling friends is looking in doubt for Mariah and Joel but hey, we’ll have the Green Ember to listen to and maybe we’ll have to get some of our own chocolate to munch while we listen.

Happy Summer Reading!

 

We thought we’d share with you a few resources that have been a blessing to our family recently.  Hope some might be a blessing to you too!

313NsPYFz0L._AA160_Seeds Family Worship – I had heard about these cds from various people but finally was introduced to the Seeds of Praise album when I saw an offer for a free download.  The songs are all straight from the Bible – literally the words of Scripture.  Our whole family has enjoyed listening to the music.  The catchy tunes are fun to sing, easy to pick up and best of all they are embedding God’s word in our hearts.  Peter and I got the Power of Encouragement album for the kids for an Easter present and we are eager to try the other albums someday too.  I noticed in the Sonlight curriculum catalog that when you buy a SFW album through Sonlight, they will send you a second album of the same title, free, to share with a friend (they don’t say this on the website but I think the offer is still on).  Great deal! (Here is the link to Sonlight’s

 

51AITpYCj7L._AA160_Meaning of Marriage  – by Tim Keller – My cousin recently told me that this was hands-down, the best book she’s ever read on marriage.  That caught my attention and I recently read the book and found it to be excellent, just like she said.  It is insightful, biblical and paints a beautiful and inspiring vision for what a Christ-honouring marriage can and should be.  Highly recommend it.

 

 

logo2 Saying Goodbye – This video was recommended on an American blog post, so I was surprised to find it was produced by a UK charity that offers support to those who have experienced baby loss.  This video touched me so much and I have watched it many times over the past few months since we lost our baby.  Peter and I also decided to attend one of the Saying Goodbye cathedral services at the end of March.  We went into it a bit skeptical about what the service might be like but it really surpassed our expectations.  The music was beautiful and included the song, I Will Carry You by Selah, (click here for a video of the song) which we had heard before and has touched us very much.  There were other songs, Scripture readings, poems and chances to acknowledge the little one(s) those attending had loved and lost.  All in all, it was a precious time for us in a beautiful cathedral setting.  We both cried through the whole thing but we found those tears to be healing.  Saying Goodbye offers these services regularly in different parts of the country. I share our experience with the hope that maybe someone else might be helped by these videos or a service in their area.

 

41OnNSFnYOLNancy Guthrie – Along with a few others from church, Peter and I recently went to day conference called, “Ministering to Broken Hearts.”  The speaker, Nancy Guthrie, and her husband David, have experienced the loss of two of their children and gave us some excellent teaching on how to help people who are grieving.  I have typed up my notes from the conference and would be glad to email them to anyone who would like a copy.  We also bought some of Nancy’s books at the conference.  I am almost done with Be Still My Soul, which is a compilation of “25 classic and contemporary readings on the problem of pain.”  God has really been using it in my heart.  Each chapter stands alone and can be read in a short sitting.  I am looking forward to reading some of the others we bought:  Hearing Jesus Speak Into Your Sorrow, Holding Onto Hope, and The One Year Book of Hope.

MOHVol2_FrntCover

The Mystery of History – Lastly, a homeschooling resource.  We used volume one of this homeschool history curriculum last year and though it was phenomenal.  It covered ancient history from a Christian perspective – from Creation to the Resurrection.  We loved how it tied together secular ancient history with Bible history.  The kids begged me to use Volume Two this year and we have also greatly enjoyed this one!  As a mum, I love how I can read the lessons to all my children but there are age appropriate activities for all of them.  It also includes quizzes, worksheets, map assignments, exams and timeline activities. The author often focuses on people rather than events.  I like this as I think it’s much more interesting to study history biographically.  The author also writes in a very conversational style that is fun and easy for the kids to listen to.  We hope to use Volume Three and Four in the future!

Hope some of these reviews were helpful to you!