Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Asia Its People and History - Review and a Giveaway

This book combined a number of my personal loves -- Asia, history, and geography. I was excited to be able to review this new book that is now released. This is different from other books in the sense that the focus is on the Christians in those countries. The stories are written in the first person giving the feel of sitting and listening to the children tell their story. This is a great addition to homeschool history or geography. We read a bit of this each morning as we began our homeschool day.

Bonnie Rose wrote this book after feeling burdened to do something for persecuted Christians. Asia: Its People and History introduces six countries in Asia -- Laos, Bangladesh, Nepal, China, Iran, and Vietnam. All of these countries are in the 10/40 window.  It is designed to read one section a week for 16 weeks or you could easily do a section a day.  This is designed for children age 8-12.

I began reading about Laos. I will admit that in all my Asia reading I have not read much about Laos so it was educational for me as well. There was a short story about a young boy and the challenges that he faced as he and his mother were Christians. There was a bit about the history of Laos and then another story. The discussion questions gave us some topics to discuss and think about after reading the story. There are activities that you can do as well for each country. There is also bonus printable activities on Bonnie Rose's website, here.

Miss K loved hearing the stories and kept asking for more. I could tell that Bob was enjoying the stories and wanted  me to keep reading.  For me I knew that this book had reached my goal  when we finished reading about Laos and I heard both children pray for the people there.

I then allowed Bob to pick which country we would read about next. He picked Iran which was great as we had spent a bit of time studying Iran in our geography. Again we read a story about a girl who was a Christian and learned about a bit about the history.

This isn't just a book just for homeschoolers. It should be great for family devotions, a Sunday School class or other children's programs.

Asia: Its People and History e-book is available for $6.95 and a paperback version is coming soon.

  • Save 25% on the e-book at The Old Schoolhouse with Discount Code 02asia14! (the exclamation point is part of the code) This code is valid through 3/15/14. 
  • Purchase it for Kindle at Amazon
  • It is also on SmashWords which supports Amazon Kindle, B&N Nook, iBooks, and Sony reader. 

I signed up to be a part of this launch team because of my own love for Asia and the people there. I want to share this with you. I am excited to offer a PDF copy of the book to two winners.  

To enter leave a comment below telling me what countries in Asia you would like to learn about either in this book or in the next book.

Earn an extra entry by following As He Leads is Joy. Leave an additional comment telling me how you follow my blog. 

I will select two winners on March 5 around 9:00 pm Pacific time.

A copy goes to #7 Cathy

and a copy goes to #3 Adrienne.

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Week in Review - February 21, 2014

The weeks are going too fast.

This week was winter break which meant there was no art class and due to a mix-up with the flute teacher no flute class. One student asked why we didn't get a winter break. Remember the week we spent at Grandpa and Grandma's. We did get a full week of school in.

We are moving through the Middle Ages and read this week about Robin Hood who we learned is buried in West Yorkshire, England. We compared  The Shoguns and Samurai of Japan with the knights of England. We also read about St. Francis of Assisi; St. Clara, and St. Dominic.  We finished the week reading about The Children's Crusade; and King John and the Magna Carta. We read history everyday this week. The kids enjoy history and we just read and Bob writes a summary card.

We have been playing the memory matching game before our short time in Latin. We play with just the words from the current lesson. It is helping Bob to learn the words.

Miss K has Song School Latin. If she could have her way she would watch movies all day but they are limited. Well, this week we allowed unlimited time watching Song School Latin. Miss K came to breakfast asking to drink aqua. Then she looked at my plate and said, "edo". I had to look that up in the book to learn that it means, I eat.

We read this week about Iran from Asia Its People and History. That was a great way to follow up what we have learned in our study of the Middle East. I wrote a bit about the book here.

Bob finished Christian Kids Explore Physics. He enjoyed it so much that he wants Christian Kids Explore Chemistry so I ordered that.

Bob is teaching Miss K math. It helps me some days not to have to do that. He is good and patient with her.

We moved to learning about less than and greater than. If we are taking and less or more cookies or chocolate she will understand but just numbers maybe not.

The math box is helping to give us organized review for math facts. I am not sure if we are making progress or not but we are spending some time focusing on that.

That about wraps up our week. It seems like just another week of the same thing which is good.

In case you want to know what I look like, Miss K drew this picture.

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

T is for Transition

What if the transition goes longer than you planned? What if you have no idea when transition will end? We did not plan to be in transition this long.

In a few days we will mark one year that we moved out of our house. Our plan was to be on the west coast until the beginning of July then training and settle in our new house in a new country in August. That didn't go as we had planned. We are still in transition, still waiting.

As this has gone on longer than we planned, the one verse that comes to my mind is Isaiah 55:8, 9, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."

We are trusting that God's timing is perfect and that he has a reason for us being here longer than we planned.

We are keeping busy with school and work.

We are doing fun things like taking a knitting class, art classes.

We are doing family things like celebrating birthdays.

Those things and more are helping but at times all we can do is cling to the truth that God is in control and he will work all the details out in his timing.

We wait with hope for what God is going to do.

The other thoughts about transition are Kids in Transition and The Holidays while in Transition.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Praying for the People of Asia

As I pray for the people of Asia, often certain pictures come to my mind. I think of the lady at the vegetable stand from years ago. I didn't speak much Chinese but we managed to communicate and I regularly bought my vegetables from her. I picture of some of my students in the various classes that I taught during my time there. I picture of co-workers, vendors, people that worked in the factories. I think of students that we knew living in the US or UK now returned home.  I picture people we met when we traveled to Asia.

This lady is one of those that often comes to my mind.

I don't know much about her other than she is from the Bai people group (Bai means white) and she worked in the market. I pray for her -- pray that she will come to know God who will make her heart white as snow.

Pictures and stories help me to pray for people. Many of those come from my own experiences and travel but there are many places that I have not been. I found Asia: Its People and Its History a wonderful resource giving you a mental image as you pray.

We can't go to all those places but we can pray. One of my favorite quotes is from J.O. Fraser, "I am feeling more and more that it is, after all, just the prayers of God’s people that call down blessing upon the work, whether they are directly engaged in it or not." Prayer is one thing that we can do here.

Order your copy now before the release at a reduced price.

Listen to a bit of the author's heart as Bonnie Rose shares why she wrote this book.

"Several years ago, God began to turn my heart's attention to the stories of the persecuted Church. I had always had a heart for the persecuted in China, but I never grasped how widespread the persecution of Christians was until much later. I started reading about men and women who lived in Laos and Burma, India and Pakistan, and many other places. They were suffering terribly for their faith in Christ. This wasn't the stories of the heroes of the faith of yesterday that I had grown up hearing about, or what I had thought were isolated stories from one nation. These were stories of families--including children--who were suffering right at that very moment for their faith.

Reading their stories gave me a burden and broke my heart. I had to do something, but I didn't know what. Writing and sharing about their stories gave me a way to process what I was reading and feeling and a way to hopefully encourage others to become involved and share their stories as well."

This book has been one that I am enjoying personally as well as my children. I love hearing my children pray as they learn more about the People of Asia.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Math Box - Memory Review System

I needed an organized system to review math facts that we have learned or I should say we need to learn. I can't review everything everyday as that would just be too overwhelming and it wouldn't be long before the whole thing would be forgotten. I needed something that we could do easily.

The pink box -- "my favorite color" according to Miss K.

It needed to be easy for me to follow, knowing what we need to review. Not too much that it would exhaust Miss K.

I had most of the cards in a 3x5 card box but it just wasn't organized for us to use and review in a systematic way. My organization inspiration came from Simply Charlotte Mason's Scripture Memory. I decided that to just review one thing every day could wear us out so I skipped the daily card and just made -- odd/even, then the days of the week, and then the 1 to 31. (Okay, so some of my numbers are just written on Post-it notes because I have dividers in our shipment and I have not been to Staples to get more. This works for now.)

Currently the facts that are included in the box include the following:

Count to 20
Count to 100
Count by 10's to 100
Count by 5's to 50
Count by 2's to 24
Plus zero facts
Plus one facts
Plus two facts
Double facts
Double plus 1 facts
Facts that equal 10
Nine plus facts

I am taking a bit of a pause and focusing on seeing if Miss K can learn these facts. This is helpful to organize our math review. I know that Miss K needs lots of review.

Do you have a systematic way to review math facts?

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

My Asia Journey - Part 1

I am not sure how much I will write and how many parts this will be but I will start telling a bit of My Asia Journey.

Once upon a time there was a young girl who lived in a small town (I looked up the population and in 2000 the town where I lived had 117 people, yes it really was a small town). That girl had graduated from university and was working in international purchasing/manufacturing for a company a few miles away (let's not mention that she had said a few years earlier that she would not work at that company). Then one day her life changed when she was asked if she be willing to go to Asia and help do some training.

That girl was me. In 1991 I made my first overseas flight. I went on the sense of adventure and the first class ticket was a sweet bonus. I arrived in Taiwan in April and began working in an office with about 20 Taiwanese and 1 other American. We worked long hours and Saturdays were normal work hours. They spoke Chinese and some English. I spoke English with almost no Chinese.

I remember my first lunch there. I wrote in my journal, "I ate at a real Chinese restaurant." I experienced quite a number of new foods and came to love Chinese food though I admit that there are some things I avoid.

Most of the staff were young and single and they were eager to show me around. We went out to eat or toured the city on the weekends. I learned how long America is when I went through the National Palace Museum and saw things from BC or AD 100.

I began to learn cultural differences. Standing in a nice neat line is not the way to do it. I stood crowded on a bus during rush hour.

I visited a small Chinese church. I was surrounded by temples and superstitions. I remember that our office was broken into and it was during Ghost Month and for a number of the staff that was very difficult to handle. I walked down the sidewalks and saw people burning paper money or saw the table of food they had set up for the ancestors. I realized the great need there for the Gospel. I prayed in new ways for missionaries.

The ten months that I stayed there changed my life. That was my first overseas experience but it was not the last. In many ways Taiwan still has a special place in my heart maybe because that is where I met my husband and where my daughter was born which all happened years later and we will save that for another part of the story.

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Kids Around the World Giveaway

Twenty-three years ago I boarded a plane for Asia. I have so many memories of Asia, the places where I lived, the people I met, and the opportunities I had there to work and serve the Lord. I love bringing Asia into our homeschool. My kids have lived and traveled there. Miss K is quick to tell you she was born there. I was excited at the opportunity to be part of this team. This book is helping us learn more about the people of Asia and how we can pray for them. Look for a full review soon.

kids around the world giveaway 2

To celebrate the upcoming release of Asia: Its People and History by Bonnie Rose Hudson, I am joining my launch team friends to share a Kids Around the World giveaway, an incredible gift especially for kids between the ages of 8-12! This giveaway as a total value of nearly $335!

Prizes include a Kindle eReader, a one-year membership to SchoolhouseTeachers.com, some wonderful unit studies and lapbook set in Asia, and books about missionaries! Here's everything you could win:

Asia: Its People and History by Bonnie Rose Hudson ($6.95 value)

From SchoolhouseTeachers.com:  One-Year Membership ($139 value)

From the Asia: Its People and History Launch Team: Kindle 6" eReader plus a $15 USD Amazon Gift Card ($84 value)

Philippians in 28 Weeks digital by Stacy Farrell ($14.95 value)

From Unit Studies by Amanda Bennett - Download N Go Bundle: Expedition China, Expedition Israel, and Kite Capers ($26.85 value)

From A Journey Through Learning Lapbook Bundle: Asia and My Favorite Country ($9 value)

From author, Gwen Toliver, Seed Sowers: Gospel Planting Adventures ($12.50 value)

To enter, use the Rafflecopter below. Residents of the U.S. and Canada only (excludes Quebec), age 18 and older. Other Terms and Conditions can be found in the Rafflecopter.

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Week in Review - February 14, 2014

Happy Birthday to my husband.
Happy Valentine's Day.

Yes, today is both Valentine's Day and my husband's birthday. We are just celebrating at home tonight.

On Saturday evening we had snow. It was beautiful when we woke up Sunday morning.

The temperature was warmer and then the rain on Monday made the snow all disappear. We enjoyed it while it was here.

Monday was back to school no snow days here.

This week in history we read about the Petrobrusians and the Waldensians; Eleanor of Aquitaine who was a very interesting lady; the Jews in the Middle Ages; and Richard the Lionhearted, Saladin, and the Third Crusade.

We finished read about Laos from Asia Its People and Its History. We ended our time by just praying for Laos. It was special to hear my son pray. When I had asked him to pray he said I had already said all the words but I encouraged him to pray.

Now we are reading about Iran. That was Bob's pick of countries. I thought that was interesting as we have been spending time reading about the middle east.

We are continuing to do Latin together and I feel like this is good. I am getting ready to order Latin for next year. Memoria Press has free shipping in February.

Bob is taking an art class again. I am thrilled that he has this opportunity and hope that he will continue to develop his skill.

Miss K is pausing in Alpha Math to see try to get some of the math facts learned. One of the challenges is determining her ability in this area, is this something that she is capable of learning. I don't know but I am going to go with the assumption that she is and stop and push that a bit.  I say, 3+8 is 11, what is 3+8? and she responds "5".

I have set up a math review box and will share a bit about that later. We are also using a Horizon's math book. I think having a variety of books is helpful.

I try to include fine motor therapy in our day before we work on handwriting. This week we were unscrewing bolts.

I just had to share another picture of those cute hands. She did it. She wrote a g with the tail below the line and was so excited that she did it. This has been a struggle for a few months. One thing that helped was a hand comparison that was the Handwriting without Tears book. Some letters are like a fist, some with the pointer finger pointing up and some with the thumbs down.

We had some friends over today and had some time for pastels.

I think Miss K did a good job drawing. She was very proud of her drawings. Seeing her drawings I think I need to spend some more time with her drawing.

Bob was drawing and I think he was in motion when I took this photo.

Our weeks are going quickly. We are still in transition and waiting. We continue to wait for God's timing in our move.

What are you doing to keep fun in February?

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Joys of Teaching Reading

A moment of joy in a parent's life is when their child learns to read. I agree it is an exciting thing to watch your child open a book, begin pointing at the with their little finger and slowly say the words on the paper telling the story stumbling along on some of the words. A world of books to read awaits her.

Those are moments full of joy but people forget to also tell you.

The joy of reading means that Miss K can read the menu which means I can no longer limit the options. You know the evening she is wearing her new white shirt and as the mom you decide that really spaghetti sauce on this shirt would not match so let's skip that option on the menu but since she can read she knows that spaghetti is on the menu.

The joy of reading means that Miss K can read "Animal Hospital" and then insist that her dog needs to go to the hospital. Ignore the fact that it is 9:30 at night and that her dog is a stuffed chihuahua.

The joy of reading means Miss K can read your shopping list and discover that you are buying candy for a Valentine treat.

Seriously, it is fun to sit and watch her open a book and start to read. I love the world that is open to her because she can read.

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

S is for Snow

We got snow. I know for some parts of the country that is not very exciting at all. I will admit that when I had to drive in it it was not that exciting when I had to drive in it.

Snow makes the world so white and bright.

Snow the world is so quiet and peaceful.

 Snow so fun to play in and enjoy.

That was Sunday morning. We got about three inches, and by Tuesday evening all trace of snow is gone.

How much snow have you had this winter?

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Latin Review Games

We are slowly working our way through Latina Christiana. Recently I made a switch of moving Latin back to something that we do together instead of something that was done alone. I wanted to make sure that it was happening. Our routine is to do memory review, history, geography and then Latin.

I wanted to be add some fun to our time together. I also wanted to make sure that the words were being learned.

One game that is great to play when we are adding new words or beginning a new lesson is memory. We just write the Latin word on one card and the English translation on another card and then mix them up, put them face down on the table and take turns.

When we are introducing the lesson, we will play with our books open so we get some help. As we know the words, we will play without our book.

Another fun game that we have played and the kids enjoy is charades. For this one I will go through the lessons and pick some of the words that we can act out just to make it easier.

Miss K is being Mary or Maria.

Here is Bob acting out one of his words.

I have found that one thing that makes the games easy is to have separate cards for the different games. Yes, that means lots of cards but having them easy to use is worth it. I buy lots of 3x5 cards during Back to School sales and at times have cut the cards in half.

What fun games to you have to review?

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

R is for Rest

It is Monday afternoon and the busyness of the week has begun. I was enjoying an early morning quiet time and thinking about rest.  I get tired physically. I get tired emotionally. I am busy. I am a wife, a mom.  I need rest. Rest in the midst of our day. Rest knowing that the Lord is near.

One of my favorite songs is Rest on Steve Green's Joy to the World CD.

Rest the Lord is near
Refuse to fear
Enjoy his love

Trust, His mighty power
Fills every hour
Of all your days

There is no need 
For needless worry
With such a Savior 
You have no cause to ever

Doubt His perfect word
Still reassures
In any trial

Rest the Lord is there
Lift up your prayer
For He is strong

Trust, He'll bring release
And perfect peace 
Will calm your mind

There is no need 
For needless worry
With such a Savior 
You have no cause to ever

Doubt His perfect word
Still reassures
In any trial

Call Him, if you grow frightened
Call Him, with loving care
He'll lift the burden and you'll

Rest the Lord is near
Refuse to fear
Enjoy His love

Trust His mighty power
Fills every hour
Of all your days

Rest the Lord is near
Refuse to fear
Enjoy His love      

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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Week in Review - February 7, 2014

It is hard to believe that it is already the end of the first week of February. We spent Sunday cheering on the Seahawks. Miss K was really getting into the game and yelled "Go Seahawks."

We are continuing with Mystery of History and this week we read about William the Conqueror, Pope Gregory VII, Henry IV and the Investiture Controversy, and The Crusades. We added two more dates to the important dates to learn -- 1066 and 1096. I am trying to review the dates at least once a week. Two years ago we were part of Classical Conversations and there we learned the timeline.  I love how MOH is giving us details to some of the points in the timeline.  We even reviewed our CC timeline and realized it has been a long time since we did that.

We began reading a new book that is about to be released, Asia: Its People and Its History. Asia has been a big part of my life since 1991 when I moved there. I am excited to read this and learn about the people and also how to pray for them. More on that later.

The kids continued to request Middle East Geography. It might have been for the treats -- we have used marshmallows, M&M's and Goldfish. They are learning along with the snack.

I had a dream that this year Bob would be self-motivated, diligent, eager, and just go do his work on his own. I would say that he does that about 50 percent of the time but it does require mom to check his work as he will answer one word, skip the hard questions. Realizing that I decided that we would move Latin back to during our together time. We spend about 15-20 minutes on it but I know what is happening. I have tried to make it fun and we have played charades and memory.

We had some cold temperatures this week. That brought the sound of water as a pipe froze. Thankfully for us it was the pipe coming into the garage and so no damage was done and it was actually fixed in about two hours.

We have had some birds and squirrels enjoying the seeds on the back porch.

I know normally we don't have toys at school but we needed some extra students and so the whole herd of animals came. I had a bit of time and so I taught Bob's math lesson to him just as if I were in a classroom. I used my teacher voice and taped paper on the pantry doors to use as chalkboard. I don't know if he liked it or not but was have done it a few days. I was tired of all the questions on how to do the problems.

Miss K is learning to make her own sandwich. It looks like she needs to learn to brush her hair. She does and five minutes later it looks like this.

I went to the Homeschool Store here which is a consignment store. I have not been there for months. I am planning things for next year and wanted to look at science for Bob. I know what I want but they didn't have it.

I did buy two readers for Miss K. I am making an effort to sit and listen to her read. It does mean I need a cup of coffee before I sit down. She is amazing in what she is reading but it is slow to sit and listen.

I also bought a new math book for her. I need to do a Miss K math review. She is enjoying her new book so maybe that will help and reduce the math struggles.

Today I had her work on Math Puzzle. This was something that I had found at a thrift store. There are addition and subtraction problems and the answers fit with the problem so there is a self-checking built into the puzzle.

I love those little hands. Those hands are so eager to help. She climbed up on a stool to help make soft pretzels. They hands want to learn. She really wants to learn to knit. Those hands are small but they are just the way God made them.

I had my second and final knitting beginner knitting class that doesn't mean I am no longer a beginner rather I finished that class. I am still knitting and ripping out. It has been fun to have a new creative outlet.

We don't have much planned for our weekend -- grocery shopping, the library, my husband is preaching in a Chinese church, and then AWANA where I will be doing the missionary lesson.

Do you like quiet stay at home weekends or to be out doing things?

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Q is for Quitting

I am jumping in the middle of Blogging Through the Alphabet. So last week was Q but I will write about Q this week.

I Quit.

Sometimes I want to quit because it is too hard. Sometimes I want to quit because it is boring. Sometimes I want to quit because it is taking too long. Sometimes I want to quit because I want to do other things. I have lots of reasons for wanting to quit.

There are some things that I should quit but I am not thinking about those right now.

Really this is about not quitting. It is about finishing the task. Completing what you have begun.

I want my children to finish, to keep going even when it is hard. I don't want them to find excuses though if you are around our house for long you might hear some pretty funny excuses. (Miss K couldn't sit in the chair because it was too pokey. She couldn't go to bed because it was too old.) t continue pressing on to complete what I have been called to do. How do I keep from quitting?

Remember what I am called to do and who has called me to do it? In some areas it is easy to know that God has called me and so I continue on such as training my children. Somethings I begin and there might not be a God calling but those things should fit with my God calling and my priorities. I have not been called by God to knitting but it is something that I want to learn and it fits with my priorities.

Look to God for the strength to go on. When that feeling of "I just want to quit" comes, it is necessary to look to the one who will give the strength.

Focus on the end, the goal. It is easy to get caught up in the details, the struggle but we need to fix our eyes on the goal. Paul wrote in Philippians 3:14

"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

I decided that I wanted to learn to knit. I am taking a class. I spent most of this week knitting and then ripping out what I did because I made a mistake. I wondering why I was doing it? Is it worth it? Maybe I should just quit. I decided that I wanted to continue because it is an example to my children that I continue to learn, that I keep going even when it is tough.

The same is for our calling to go overseas. We see that God has called us. He has provided. Right now we are waiting and this is when I need God's strength because the waiting gets hard. We continue waiting for our visa because of the goal to serve overseas.

I am not quitting.

I thought this was a great photo of not quitting. Bob went hiking up one of the mountains in the Lake District this summer. He didn't quit. He made it to the goal. He did it.

Do you have something that you want to quit?

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