Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Librarian Who Measured the Earth

I love reading children's books to my children and, I have to confess, I enjoy them myself. Oftentimes they explain difficult concepts in an understandable way that more scholarly books just can't. A great read aloud for your 5 - 10 year-old. It is well illustrated and explains how Eratosthenes calculated the circumference of the earth over 2000 years ago. It also takes care of a very persistent myth which is that the people of the ancient times even up through the Middle Ages believed that the earth was flat. That simply is not true and before you know it, this book will lead you into an interesting discussion and further studies with your children when Mrs. Lasky closes with this intriguing thought in the Afterword: "When Columbus finally did set sail west from Spain to the Indies, he should have paid more attention to Eratosthenes' calculations. Instead he looked at maps done by Greek geographers after Eratosthenes. These geographers made some serious mistakes and showed an earth that was not so big around. Columbus thought it would be a quick trip to the Indies. He was wrong. But perhaps if he had believed Eratosthenes' measurements, in which the oceans of the world looked so huge and the distances between land so far, he would have never even tried!"
The Librarian Who Measured the Earth, hardcover, $17.99

Friday, December 4, 2009

Coffin's Story of Liberty

A great history book written for younger children with many exciting illustrations. Our son Oliver (10) read the book this year. Now, he is reading the second book in the series called "Sweet Land of Liberty". The Story of Liberty covers medieval history in Europe through the Reformation right up to 1620 when the Pilgrims journeyed to the New Land. I personally read the book and found it fascinating. However, it is not an easy book to read and though liberty prevails, the Story of Liberty is a hard-hitting account of what it cost men, women and children to achieved and finally establish liberty on this American continent. The book is definitely not a "politically correct" account. For that reason, however, I think it's all the more worth your and your students time. Our children not only need to understand true liberty but also know what the enemies of liberty look like and act like. I highly recommend the book for a student with good reading abilities and an interest in history. I also think any parent will profit from the book in preparation for teaching this time period to your children.
The Story of Liberty, large paperback, $14.95. A study guide is available for $9.95
This is the first book in a series of three published by Maranatha Publications. The second book is called "Sweet Land of Liberty" and the third is called "The Boys of '76"

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Return of the Daughters (DVD) from Vision Forum

The documentary by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin gave me the greatest encouragement, and not only generally, but specifically. Their message needs to go out into every home, for it is the message that will rebuild Western Civilization! Let me take a moment to explain.
This DVD is geared towards young ladies everywhere and anywhere who are between childhood and marriage, encouraging them to be the women that God has called them to be, serving their families, their fathers and preparing for marriage while being trained at home. The young ladies interviewed in this DVD are being discipled to be Proverbs 31 women, and the best thing is, they love it! They know they are doing what God has called them to do because it is what's laid out in the Bible for all ladies "attaining to godliness".
They are learning to help their fathers so that they might someday become that crown to their husbands (Prov. 12:4), they are learning to be hospitable and gracious (Prov. 11:16), to submit with love to the will of their fathers, and in-so-doing, having learned it for their own marriage (Eph. 5:22-23), to be reliable, honest, loyal, attentive, loving, humble, pure, patient, diligent, skillful, thrifty, and the list can go on! Now let me see, can any college professor or those peers and "friends" in highschool,or football games and rock bands teach your daughters those skills? ...I don't think so! Do you want your daughter to become a "polished cornerstone" (Ps. 144:12)? Take the time to show her, moms and dads, what our Father in heaven has so clearly written out in the Bible is every woman's calling! She will never hate you for it, but love you and thank you from the bottom of her heart when she is older, trust me - I can prove that's true! :) She will "rise up and bless you" (Prov. 31:28).
Do you love your daughter enough to train her in these skills, as the families in this DVD have done? To make her that honored, loved and revered woman of Proverbs 31? If you say "yes", then let me tell you what the next step is! Come in the Homeschool Hangout and get this DVD; it will change your life! And while you're at it, you can ask me how it changed my life too! :)
May God bless all you moms and dads out there who will go against the flow called "normal", and make your daughters, with the Lord's help, something special for their future man!
age 21, learning from my parents at home :)
"The Return of the Daughters" (DVD) New from Vision Forum $20

Astronomy by Jeannie Fulbright

In science I am introducing Oliver (10) and Jenny (7) to astronomy. We are using Jeannie Fulbright’s book “Astronomy” published by Apologia Ministries. The book covers our solar system with the sun, the planets, moons, comets, asteroids, meteoroids and the like. The last two chapters are covering stars and galaxies and space travel, which we haven’t covered yet. Physical realities like light, matter, space, time and the like are well explained for the younger children. Simple experiments and writing assignments are easy to follow and can be done by any parent. We enjoyed the simple experiments about rotation and revolutions, the making of craters, and the “Earth For Sale” writing assignment. They were fun. The book is well illustrated with full color pictures, graphs and diagrams.

I have to make a confession here: I love children’s books and the simple way they explain things. I enjoy these books and learn a lot myself. To be honest, I can really get excited about the things I study with my children. I have picked up another little book by Werner Gitt called “Stars and Their Purpose” and find it fascinating. Since we are approaching Christmas, let me mention that Werner Gitt covers the “Star of Bethlehem” and what it may have been. He discusses several interpretations and let’s you know what he thinks is the most plausible one. Otherwise, the book is very readable and shot full of fascinating facts about heavenly bodies and physical parameters. I have never paid much attention to appendixes but in this book it is definitely a part you don’t want to skip. A strong gospel message is included for free.

"Exploring Creation with Astronomy" Retail $35.00 our in-store price $29.65
“Stars and Their Purpose” only $4.99

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Is our civil government going to take our free speech away?

New looming legislation has as its goal to thought police us and take away our right of free speech. Albert Einstein left Germany for America in 1933 when Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany and free speech became a thing of the past in the Third Reich. Read for yourself what he had to say about those who seek tyranny rather than freedom and see if you can't see the parallels to what's going on in America's congress today:

Einstein’s love for free speech and free thoughts:

When he [Einstein] first arrived in Princeton [1933], Einstein had been impressed that America was, or could be, a land free of the rigid class hierarchies and servility in Europe. But what grew to impress him more—and what made him fundamentally such a good American but also a controversial one—was the country’s tolerance of free thought, free speech, and nonconformist beliefs. That had been a touchstone of his science, any now it was a touchstone of his citizenship. He had forsaken Nazi Germany with the pubic pronouncement that he would not live in a country where people were denied the freedom to hold and express their own thoughts. ”At that time, I did not understand how right I was in my choice of America as such a place,” he wrote in an unpublished essay just after becoming a citizen. “On every side I hear men and women expressing their opinion on candidates for office and the issues of the day without fear of consequences.” The beauty of America, he said, was that this tolerance of each person’s ideas existed without the “brute force and fear” that had arisen in Europe. “From what I have seen of Americans, I think that life would not be worth living to them without this freedom of self expression.” The depth of his appreciation for America’s core value would help explain Einstein’s cold public anger and dissent when, during the McCarthy era a few years later, the nation lapsed into a period marked by the intimidation of those with unpopular views.
Pg. 479-480

Despite his criticisms of untrammeled capitalism, what repelled him more—and had repelled him his entire life—was repression of free thought and individuality. “Any government is evil if it carries within it the tendency to deteriorate into tyranny,” he warned the Russian scientists. “The danger of such deterioration is more acute in a country in which the government has authority not only over the armed forces but also over every channel of education and information as well as over the existence of every single citizen.”
Pg. 497

Excerpts taken from: Isaacson, Walter. Einstein: His Life and Universe. Simon & Schuster, New York, NY. C 2007 by Walter Isaacson. Hardcover. ISBN 0743264738

Friday, February 13, 2009

R.M. Ballantyne Christian Adventure Library (10 Vols.)

R.M. Ballantyne's books are exciting, knee-knocking, complete thrillers for those boys hankering for adventure stories! Those who need inspiration,too? Give them Ballantyne! Their noses will be so busy finding excitement among those wonderful pages, you'll need not worry about what mischief they might be getting into otherwise.;)
My younger brother started out reading them and after hearing him rave about them non-stop (while trying to imitate the adventures he was trying to tell me about), I myself got interested in them and decided I'd at least read one...(I picked the shortest, naturally)...Pretty soon I found myself in the same place he was and couldn't wait to get back to reading about those travels and adventures, spanning from Africa to India, Canada to the US.
Ballantye himself "was perhaps the most influential writer of boys’ literature of his generation. He was also a devout Christian of the Scottish Covenanter kind and the only outspoken advocate for Christian boyhood to have a monument paid for and dedicated in his honor by grateful children...he changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of boys for the better with his globe-trekking adventure stories that emphasized Christian character in the face of adversity." (Doug Philips, President of Vision Forum)
In his own words, he wrote to inspire boys and also to build them up to become real men - "Boys [should be] inured from childhood to trifling risks and slight dangers of every possible description, such as tumbling into ponds and off of trees, etc., in order to strengthen their nervous system.... They ought to practice leaping off heights into deep water. They ought never to hesitate to cross a stream over a narrow unsafe plank for fear of a ducking. They ought never to decline to climb up a tree, to pull fruit merely because there is a possibility of their falling off and breaking their necks. I firmly believe that boys were intended to encounter all kinds of risks, in order to prepare them to meet and grapple with risks and dangers incident to man’s career with cool, cautious self-possession.... —R.M. Ballantyne, The Gorilla Hunters

In other words, these books are treasures!
Hardcover, $22.00 a piece, collectors additions

Saturday, January 31, 2009

To Have and To Hold

To Have and To Hold is my favorite historical fiction book! Staged in Colonial Jamestown during the years 1620-24 (approximately), it captures the imagination and brings one right into that time and into the lives of the people it sketches. Filled with excitement, suspense, hatred for evil, love for good, and the honoring of the Lord, young ladies (as well as young men, too) will love it!
It's also filled with one of my favorite topics ever: history! The story in-and-of-itself is historically accurate, just the characters being "man-made", dates and locations being synonymous with the historical records and writings from that time. It also keeps the names of the actual people that were in Jamestown at that time, and the book has a reference "guide" at the back of it which tells one a little about the people who founded the colony, governors, dates/times of their government, etc.
So, for all those history lovers and/or historical fiction lovers out there -- you're sure to thoroughly enjoy this book!
-- Lydia
Hardcover, 429 pages, $24.00