Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What To Do With Your Bible?

A year ago, I posted a challenge to Read Through The Bible In A Year.  Are there any readers that did it? Did you take up the challenge and dig into the Word of God this year?

If not...its ok. Today is a new day, and tomorrow starts a brand new year. I always encourage folks to jump in and pick up anywhere in a Bible reading plan. We need the Word of God more than we need daily food. It is vital to our survival in this crazy world in which we live. The Word of God is the only absolute that never changes, and makes sense. It is where we get the reasons and principles for WHY we do what we do. If we don't have a Biblical basis, we will end up changing according to our surroundings.

Why is it so important to have a plan for reading our Bible? Because we can get easily distracted with all the noise of daily living and modern technology, and quickly fall into bad habits of neglecting the things that are most important to us, even if we mean well!
Following a plan will build character in your life. While character is not essential to becoming a born again child of God, (God already did all the work for that - all we have to do is believe it and accept His gift), having good character is definitely helpful to live a life that will be pleasing to our God. Having character strengthens us to resist temptation and strive to live right, even on the days we might not feel like it.
Here are two more sets of Daily Bible Reading Schedules that I recently came across. Both of them have been graciously allowed free distribution from the people who created them, so rather than making them available here, I am simply including a link to the sites where they can be found.
The 52 Week Bible Reading Plan breaks the Bible down into small daily readings. It is for those who might not want to read through the Bible from beginning to end, but would be more interested in skipping around and mixing things up a bit. In a week, you will read portions of Scripture from the Epistles, the Law, Poetry, Prophecy, History, Psalms, and the Gospels.
A traditional daily Bible reading plan that starts in Genesis and ends in Revelation. It is written by weeks, not dates, so you can jump in anywhere and at any time.
Here is a link to a page of interesting and unique Bible reading plans that will allow you to choose any number of ways and time frames to read through and study your Bible.
What can we do with our Bible? Here is a list,  A-Z. I challenge you to make this list a part of your everyday life, and embrace and cherish the Word of God this year like never before!
Jeremiah 26:2, "Diminish not a WORD."
  • We need to accept God's Word;
  • We need to believe God’s Word;
  • We need to cherish God’s Word;
  • We need to depend on God’s Word;
  • We need to enjoy God’s Word;
  • We need to feed on God’s Word;
  • We need to grasp God’s Word;
  • We need to hear God’s Word;
  • We need to include God’s Word in our life;
  • We need to join with God’s Word;
  • We need to keep God’s Word;
  • We need to love God’s Word;
  • We need to memorize the Word of God;
  • We need to need God’s Word;
  • We need to obey God’ Word;
  • We need to preach God’s Word;
  • We need to quote God’s Word; 
  • We need to read God’s Word;
  • We need to study God’s Word;
  • We need to treasure God’s Word;
  • We need to understand God’s Word;
  • We need to value God’s Word;
  • We need to want God’s Word;
  • We need to examine God’s Word;
  • We need to yearn for God’s Word;  
  • We need to zip to God’s Word daily.

Copyright 2012-2013 - "Be The One" - www.aclassofone.blogspot.com  All rights are reserved. No text, photos, or content may be reproduced without direct permission from the author.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Top Ten Christmas Gifts of 2013

I hope all my blog readers had a wonderful Christmas. I know our family did.

We were able to give and receive some very enjoyable gifts this year, and I decided to make a "top ten" list to share here on the blog. I don't know about you, but I am one of those people who shops for small items randomly year round, to spread out the expense of gift giving and make it budget friendly. Here are some ideas of really fun gifts that might be an inspiration to you for your own family or friends.

1) Family Movie: "Come What May"  This movie has been on my oldest's 'wish list' for quite a while now, and she was very happy to finally be able to see it. You know it's a successful choice of a movie when your teens want to watch it a second time the next day! A really neat side note: this movie stars over 40 homeschoolers in it! I plan on writing more about the movie at a later date, perhaps in a "family movie night" post.

2) Another family movie: "Sheffey" This is a great movie - an old family favorite that we have seen enough times to wear out our vhs copy....so we upgraded to the newer DVD version!

3) Really fun and interesting game: "Suspend"

This game uses varied length metal rods with different sets of notches, and has a beginner, intermediate and advanced level to build a tower that will not topple over. It sets up quickly, and is easy and fun to play. It is also different every game. A complete game takes no more than 10 minutes and is a great way to sneak in some educational thinking (physics anyone??) while the kids are having fun.

4) Another really fun game:

Our regular version of "Battleship" has seen it's fair share of battles, so we branched out and got "Electronic Battleship" for the girls. Running on batteries, it comes complete with lights and sounds, and also sneaks in some learning moments, where the players have to 'program' in the coordinates of their ships, as well as learn some military lingo. (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta....etc.) The funniest moment was when dad and Kelly played and both selected the exact same pre-formatted ship configuration! This game would also work well for an only child, because they could play against the computer.

5) Snacks from Pretzel Perfection.  If you or someone you know is on a restricted, gluten-free diet, but enjoys gourmet snacks....then THIS is the website for you! Even though I felt the items were  a bit pricey, I did order a few of them to give away as gifts. WOW! Can I just say that these products are totally amazing and definitely lived up to the hype surrounding them! (Highly recommended: the salted caramel dark chocolate pretzels)

6) After reviewing the Lily Lapp series from Baker Publishing Group this year, we have been anxiously awaiting the 4th book in the series. I purchased this for Melissa and Kelly, and they were thrilled!

7) The girls are huge "Team USA" fans already, but with the winter Olympics coming up soon, they have been talking about it a lot more than usual. They loved receiving "Team USA" mittens! They are very warm and well made. (Made in the USA too!)

8 & 9) The Adventures in Odyssey series are well loved here. I like that I can have a source of entertainment that the girls can listen to, and I can trust it to be family friendly and not compromise our values.  They enjoy going online and listening to the audio adventures so much that I decided to purchase a few sets for them to have on hand. They have listened to them non-stop since opening them up! I guess that means they really like them!!! ;-)

The two we added to our collection are: Novacom (which comes in a very cool vault box) and the Bible Eyewitness, Hall of Faith Series which gives 'first hand' accounts of exciting Bible heroes. The stories are fascinating, and the entire family enjoys listening to them.

10) New music CD's.... "Be Our God" sung by Matt & Christy Taylor from Majesty Music.  Very nice!!

Copyright 2012-2013 - "Be The One" - www.aclassofone.blogspot.com  All rights are reserved. No text, photos, or content may be reproduced without direct permission from the author.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Special Coupon Code for Homeschool Spanish Academy

This past summer we had the privilege to use and review Homeschool Spanish Academy and it ended up being one of our favorite review items of the year!

Laura is looking to continue using this program this Spring, especially now that we have high speed internet to make things easier!

I was waiting for 'tax return' season in order to purchase another semester of the program, but with this special offer that the company is running, I just might be able to get it a little sooner for Laura.

Since this is such a great program, I wanted to share the coupon code for anyone who might be considering trying it out. I can guarantee that you will NOT be disappointed with Homeschool Spanish Academy!

Here's the scoop:

Go to the Homeschool Spanish Academy website.

Sign up and register for a Spanish course - there are various choices on class frequency and length.

When checking out, enter the code TISTHESEASON into the coupon code box. You will then receive 10% off your purchase price. This is good for ALL the programs that are available! There is no minimum purchase.

The offer begins today, and runs through 11:59 pm on December 31.

Enjoy your new Spanish classes!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Pretzels {with an Allergy Free Alternative}

Every year our family does a ton of baking. We give most of it away as Christmas gifts. It's a lot of fun, and the girls look forward to our "baking day".

This year I found a really cute recipe for these pretzel snacks, and thought they would make a cute addition to our cookie trays. A bonus is that I figured an easy way to make them allergy friendly.

I got the original idea from this blog post and then made my allergy friendly adjustments, as noted below.

Here's step-by-step directions for making these:

First step is to gather supplies:
  • Ring pretzels
  • Hershey's candy cane kisses
  • Nestle red & green morsels

Cover a large baking sheet with wax paper or parchment paper, then spread the ring pretzels out over it so they are flat and not overlapping.

After unwrapping all the kisses, place one kiss inside each pretzel ring. Some of them might seem like they won't fit, and that's ok. They will melt and easily fill the area inside the ring.

Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees. Place the baking sheet of pretzels and kisses in the oven for 4 minutes. After removing them from the oven, immediately place one small Nestle morsel into the center of each melted kiss. I used the smallest amount of pressure to push down and make sure the melted kiss filled the area inside the pretzel ring, taking care to not 'smudge' the red and white lines.

Place in a cold spot, to let them harden and chill. Enjoy!

They have a crunchy texture and a minty taste and look fabulous as fillers on a cookie tray. And the best part? This is a very kid-friendly project!

Now....for the allergy-free version......

I gathered the following supplies:

  • Ener-G gluten free, dairy free pretzel rings
  • Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (gluten/dairy free)
  • crushed peppermints (you can take safe candy canes and throw them into a food processor - they will make a nice bowl full of crushed peppermint pieces)

Follow the same procedure as above - cover a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper, lay out the pretzel rings on the sheet, and fill each ring with as many mini chips as will fit without overflowing.
Feel free to pile them up, because they will flatten out when they melt.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and place the sheet into the oven for 4 minutes. When you pull the sheet out, immediately take a small spoon and spread the melted chocolate inside the pretzel ring area.

Quickly, before the chocolate hardens, sprinkle the crushed peppermint pieces into the  middle of each pool of melted chocolate.

These are crunchy, minty safe snacks for kiddos with allergies who can't enjoy all the regular Christmas baking.  The snacks are free of dairy and gluten and nuts!  And they are super easy and quick to make!

I am linking this recipe up with Lisa at Try A New Recipe Tuesday and Karen at Kids and A Mom In the Kitchen


This is also linked to Cooking With Kids at The Old Schoolhouse.

Cooking with Kids

Copyright 2012-2013 - "Be The One" - www.aclassofone.blogspot.com  All rights are reserved. No text, photos, or content may be reproduced without direct permission from the author.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Apologia Anatomy & Physiology Unit Three: Build A Model Robotic Hand

As we continue our journey through Apologia Anatomy & Physiology, I have found lots of cool projects to keep us busy and to reinforce the lessons we are learning.

STEM Resources for Homeschool

From my review of Supercharged Science in Spring of 2013, I remembered seeing a lesson with this project, and thought it would align perfectly with the unit that was studying all the muscles and tendons.

From this project, we learned that hands function because of the way the tendons are aligned. We found the tendon in our wrist that, when pressed, causes the fingers to twitch and curl. It is pretty amazing to study the handiwork of God and realize all that a hand is capable of performing.

We went to the Supercharged Science website and watched the lesson on how to build the robotic hand:

Then we gathered our supplies:

Supplies include:
  • cardboard
  • scissors
  • utility knife
  • bendable straws
  • string or yarn
  • thick rubber bands
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • pencil
We traced an adult sized hand on cardboard and carefully cut it out:

We glued the bendable straws on each finger, so that the bendy part was on the hand and the long part of the straw was on the fingers. We trimmed the edges of the straw to align with the edge of the fingers.

We took our pencil and marked on the fingers of the cardboard hand the location of the joints and knuckles from the real-life hand.  Then we took the utility knife and carefully scored the back side of the hand on those lines, so that the fingers would curl and bend properly.

Using our pencil marks as a guide, we carefully sliced a section of the straw off (at 45 degree angles) where the joints are located. This helps the 'fingers' to bend properly as well.

When we are done with all the joint cuts, it looks like this:

We took string and ran it through each straw, leaving a long tail out both the top and bottom of the straw. We cut the rubber bands so that they would be a long strip instead of a circle. At the top of each finger, we tied the string and rubber band ends together in a small knot.

Turning the hand over, and with fingers straightened out and laid flat, we hot glued the loose ends of the rubber band down to the back of the hand. The glue should only be right at the end of the rubber band. The rest of it needs to stay loose so that it can freely move and guide the fingers. The rubber bands help the fingers to return to their natural state after being curled up. 

Once the hand was completed, we had lots of opportunity to 'play' with it and see how the tendons in a hand function, by pulling downward on the strings.

One of the favorite things to do with the hand was to make sign language letters and spell out words and phrases....or to say "I love you"!

This was a great project and we were very happy with the outcome. Everyone who has seen it is fascinated by it, and it clearly demonstrates the movements of a hand. I highly recommend this project!

Copyright 2012-2013 - "Be The One" - www.aclassofone.blogspot.com  All rights are reserved. No text, photos, or content may be reproduced without direct permission from the author.

This post is linked with Apologia's Homeschool Science Share & Tell

Monday, December 9, 2013

Building a Salt Dough Map of the Oregon Trail

As part of our study on the American Westward Expansion of the 19th century, we have read several books and materials about the Oregon Trail.

In order to illustrate just how huge of an undertaking it was to set out for the West on wagon trains, and to cross over the Rocky Mountains in the process, we decided to construct a Salt Dough Map of the United States, illustrating the location of the Oregon Trail and showing how it crossed over the mountains.

Melissa was amazed at just how far a trip it was, once she figured out the scale of her model in miles! No wonder it took months to get to the West Coast!

Here is a picture of the finished project:

And here is a close up of her mountain ranges, with the tan line illustrating the Oregon Trail crossing right through the mountain pass.

While our Oregon Trail was a little 'south' of it's proper location, it still was able to drive home two very important facts: 1) It was a long trip that covered a large portion of the United States, and 2) Crossing the western mountain ranges was no small feat!

Would you like to make a salt dough map? It's very easy!

First, obtain a piece of flat cardboard, and sketch your outline onto it. For our map, we traced an outline of the US from a map in a book, then cut it out, making a template and tracing it onto the cardboard.

Next we mixed up the dough using the following recipe:

2 cups salt
1 cup white flour
about half cup of water

We thoroughly mixed the salt and flour, and gradually added the water a few drops at a time until the dough was moist and flexible, but not watery.  We started out with a half cup of water, but did not even end up using all of it.

We left ours white, then painted it once it was spread out and dried, but another option is to separate the dough into as many colors as you will be using for your project, then mix food coloring in to each dough portion to make 'colored' salt dough.

Once you have your dough prepared, spread it out onto the cardboard outline, taking care to keep the dough from spreading outside the lines. While it is still moist, create the geographical landforms of your map. For our project, Melissa first pinched the dough into mountains both out west and also in the East, to represent the Appalachian Mountains. She also made craters for major lakes, and took the back of a spoon to make straight lines for major rivers, and for the Oregon Trail itself. Although it didn't show up well, she made an X to mark the spot for the start of the Trail in Independence, Missouri.

The salt dough takes about a full 24 hours to dry. Once it is dry, it can then be painted if desired. Melissa painted our mountains brown, prairies green, rivers and lakes blue, and finally she painted the Oregon Trail tan so it would stand out. As an artistic final touch, she flecked some purple hues onto the highest mountains to show "Purple Mountain Majesties".

The project looks really neat when completed. It's a great project because it is a wonderful, hands-on learning tool that doesn't take long to make, and doesn't leave much mess to clean up. This salt dough recipe is really not messy at all! And when it is complete, you can pretend that you are looking at the US from outer space. (That brought a whole different angle to this lesson!)

Copyright 2012-2013 - "Be The One" - www.aclassofone.blogspot.com  All rights are reserved. No text, photos, or content may be reproduced without direct permission from the author.

Apologia Anatomy & Physiology: Systems Review Game

As we continue on our journey of working through the various human body systems, I came across a recommendation for a website that has a free, interactive review system to help challenge students to memorize all the parts that make up our anatomy.

Anatomy Arcade has been providing lots of fun and challenging review, with games like "Poke-A-Muscle" and "Whack-A-Bone". Students compete against their own times, and cannot unlock new levels until lower levels have been mastered. Although we have not played every game on the website yet, all we have played so far have been very tastefully done and family friendly for children's eyes.

Although I don't own an iPad, the site touts iPad apps for many of their games as well, and best of all....did I mention they are free?

High scores are rewarded by allowing the student to record their initials on a high score board. Once you get started on a game, it is really hard to stop until you have reached mastery! So be prepared to set aside a little time for exploring the website and enjoying all it has to offer!

Graphic taken from the Anatomy Arcade website.
I think this game is a great help to anyone who is studying Anatomy & Physiology, and I am so glad we have been able to make it a part of our studies!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Apologia Anatomy & Physiology Unit Four: Digestive System Video

This is a tremendous, simple video complete with live camera action of food actually going through the digestive process. Very interesting!

Special Offer from YWAM

Back in October, I had the privilege to review a biography from YWAM - the story of Jim Elliot.  We really enjoyed this book, and it has been on my "wish list" to order more books from YWAM ever since! It is always good to have trusted books on hand that the kids can pick up and read, and be inspired by.

YWAM put together a fabulous sale for Cyber Monday, and they have extended it for this entire week. I wanted to share it here, in case anyone is still looking for some Christmas gift ideas for the young people in their life!

Included in this gift package is a gift boxed set of 5 books from the "Christian Heroes Then and Now" series, a gift boxed set of all 5 books from the "Heroes of History for Young Readers" set, and an audiobook.

The regular cost of all these items would be about $112 but with this special the cost is only $45 with free shipping. You must use the code CYBER13 during checkout.

This is a tremendous opportunity to add to your family's homeschool library.

To go to the sale page, click here: YWAM Cyber Monday Sale

The sale price is good until next Monday, December 9, 2013.