Just Being Us

Just Being Us
Family, where we can be real, and feel unconditional love!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of Home School in the Woods


     Our youngest daughter loves to learn with hands-on activities.  That is why we love Home School in the Woods and were so excited to be able to review one of their Hands-on History Activity-Paks.  We got to review The New Testament activity-pak and love it!  

     Home School in the Woods is a hands-on history company that brings history to life for students.  Their activities reinforce what is being taught.  Our daughter has never been excited to learn about history until we found these amazing products.  Now, it is a breeze getting her to sit down and do her history lesson.  


     In this particular activity-pak, we were able to sit down and discuss Biblical history.  From the birth of Jesus to the journeys that Paul took during his life, this resource is filled with knowledge and wisdom of the New Testament scriptures.  

     As we sat down to begin this pak, we saw right away that it included making a lap book (which Hope has always loved making) an armor of God activity, postcards from Paul, and New Testament News activities.  She couldn't wait to get started. Recently she has shown more interest in learning more about the Bible and all that it has to teach her in her own personal study time, so this was great timing!  

     Before we did anything, we built our lap book.  This is where we will be including our projects that we work on weekly.  




     When we received this wonderful resource, we were technically on Summer break, but we were happy to work on this.  These projects are not like normal schoolwork.  They are so much fun that you forget you are learning.  

     



     When you complete each activity, you place your cutouts into baggies, so they can be placed on to the lap book when you are ready to put it together.  We are almost ready to begin assembling our lap book and will post pictures when we are done in a couple of weeks 😊  We didn't want to rush through any part of this amazing curriculum.  So much to absorb and learn!!

     Do you have a child who loves hands-on activities?  If you said yes, this may be a great fit for your family.  No more whining when it's time to learn about history.  Lots of fun but educational activities to keep them busy as they learn. 

     Would you like to learn more about Home School in the Woods? Just visit their website or their social media pages listed below: 

     We also have more reviews of this product along with others like Hands-on History Lap-PaksProject Passport World History Studies, and a few more over on the Homeschool Review Crew site.  Just follow the link below 
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Hands-on-History, Project Passport, À La Carte Timelines and Time Travelers {Home School in the Woods Reviews}
Have a wonderful day!
God bless you!!!


Thursday, July 26, 2018

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of Northwest Treasures


     My children love to learn about dinosaurs.  Since they were little they have been fascinated by them.  I love when we can find information about these amazing creatures from a company that believes in a young earth and global flood that is found in scriptures.  Northwest Treasures is that company!  Their online videos teach just what I want my children to be learning.  We were so excited to be able to review Dinosaurs and the Bible. In order to fully understand our videos, were even given the opportunity to watch Taking the Mystery Out of Geology before viewing our videos. I thought that was very kind of them.  

 
     My kids were more than happy to sit through these very informative videos.  They also loved that fact that each session only lasted about 18 minutes or so.  It is much better to break down lessons like these so kids can absorb what they are being taught.  

     The lessons included:
  • Lesson 1: How we got our modern view of dinosaurs.
  • Lesson 2: The classification of dinosaurs
  • Lesson 3: Dinosaurs and the Bible, The great dinosaur rush.
  • Lesson 4: The extinction of the dinosaurs 
  • Lesson 5 : Dinosaurs and the Ice Age
  • Lesson 6 : Fossils, age, and soft tissue
     As I mentioned before, I love that this company teaches about the dinosaurs through a Biblical perspective. We have always tried to give our children the knowledge of the Bible as they go through their science courses.  It is so hard to find good lessons like these to reinforce what we have taught them.  I appreciate a company that stands for what they believe in. 

     After each class, we would sit down and discuss the worksheet that is made available for you to use after you purchase the class.  They also have a final exam you can use for your students. It's so nice to have everything right there.

    I love talking with my kids, and since we are technically on summer break as we did these classes, we thought we would make it more relaxed and just discuss the questions and go over the answers together as a family.  It sure brought up some interesting conversations and that is AWESOME!!!  These classes really got my kids thinking.  

     After we finished our lessons, my son, who is entering the 9th grade next week, asked me if there were any more classes like these for him to take.  I was happy to see that they do offer physical courses for high school students. The  Northwest Treasures Curriculum Project looks like something our son would love to do.  We are praying about getting it for him for his science curriculum this year.  

     Would you like to learn more about Northwest Treasures?  I encourage you to check out their website along with their social media pages listed below: 

     We also have some more reviews for this resource and others like Taking the Mystery Out of Geology and Geology and Apologetics  over on the Homeschool Review Crew website. 


Online Geology Classes{Northwest Treasures Reviews}

HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY!!!


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of No Longer Little


     As a parent, I am always looking for godly advice to help me be the best mom I can be.  I was so excited to receive and review  No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope by Great Waters Press.  In this book Hal and Melanie Young help guide you through the pre-teen years of parenting. It doesn't have to be a huge struggle if you are willing to work through issues that arise.  

     This paperback book is about 200 pages long and is easy to read and understand.  After the introduction, you read through 12 chapters of wonderful information and advice.  The chapters include: 
  • Getting Bigger: Hormones and Body Changes
  • The Rollercoaster: Emotional Upheaval
  • Brains Turn to Mush: Why School Goes Awry
  • Many a Conflict, Many a Doubt: Spiritual Questioning
  • The Awakening: Sexuality and Virtue
  • Social Struggles: Overcoming Awkwardness
  • Media, Gaming, and Discernment: More Than Amusement
  • Conflict At Home: Family Relationships
  • Transitioning: Youth in the Bible
  • Celebrating Growth: Coming of Age Ceremonies
  • Producers, Not Consumers: Work and Stewardship
  • The Next Big Thing: High School and Beyond
     The book ends with a reference section, scripture references, and an index.  

     Each chapter brings clarity to what is happening in your tween's world and body.  They are going through so many changes and usually at a fairly rapid pace.  They get overwhelmed and that makes for some difficulties in their thoughts, actions and attitudes.  This book will help you see how to deal with situations that arise and gives you godly advice on how to handle them.  I wish I would have had this book when I was raising our oldest 3 children.  So much insight and wisdom! 

     My favorite chapter was on Celebrating Growth.  I do believe it is important to celebrate our children's growing up.  They need to be reminded that each stage is a special time in their lives.  We must make each season a joyous one as they grow and mature into the men and women God wants them to be.  

     I encourage you to get this book and to read it slowly and carefully.  Pray about each chapter before you read it.  Allow God to speak to you through this wonderful couple that are trying to impart knowledge by sharing their lives with you and how they were able to get through the pre-teen years.  When someone is willing to open their lives to help other's learn, I am thrilled to listen.  

     If you would like to learn more about this book and others like  Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality by Great Waters Press, I would suggest visiting their website and social media pages listed below: 

     We have some more reviews for both of these titles over here
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Love, Honor, and Virtue  AND No Longer Little {Great Waters Press Reviews}
Have a blessed day!!!


Monday, July 23, 2018

25 Years and We Still Do


      Today my husband and I are celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary.  I can't believe we have been married for 25 years!!!  


     If you would have told me back in 1985, that the new boy in our class would be my husband someday, I would have just laughed. We were only 12 and 13 when we met in 7th grade.  It wasn't until our Junior year in high school that we started to date. Our first date was to our Junior/Senior Banquet at our school.  We attended a Christian school, so this was like our equivalent to a prom.  It didn't take long for us to realize that we were going to be together for the rest of our lives 😊  

     Our lives have been filled with many ups and down, but I wouldn't change it for anything.  It has brought us to where we are.  We will continue to put God at the center of our marriage and family.  We will enjoy watching our children continue to grow.  We will be thrilled to become grandparents one day and hopefully even great-grandparents.  Life may not be perfect, but we love it!  We love each other and each of our children and their spouses. No matter what, together we will make it through.   

     God has a good plan for each of us and if we allow Him to work in our lives and through us, we will be able to accomplish what He has set before us.  So today, I encourage you to begin to cherish each and every day.  Life goes by so very quickly. Take time to look around you and see the blessings God has given to you.  Be who God has called you to be.  Love others and show God's love to everyone around you.

     I am so thankful that my husband and I have allowed God to do a good work in our lives and marriage.  He is the one who holds us all together.❤




Thursday, July 19, 2018

Let's Bake A Cake.... Training in Character!!!



     When I was a young mom, I didn't realize all the moments I missed training my little ones. I had no idea what "Character Training" was. I was too busy growing up myself to realize my children needed me to guide them and train them. Now that I am an older woman/mom I look for opportunities throughout our day where I can help teach my children godly character traits. Have you ever thought about how many good character qualities you can instill when baking a cake?

     The first trait you can teach while baking is ATTENTIVENESS.  In order for a child to make a cake, he/she must listen to the instructions given to them or they must be able to read and concentrate on the directions.  You can not successfully bake a yummy cake without paying careful attention to what is required to make it delicious. Forgetting just one ingredient can spoil it.  As you and your children bake together, you can point out the importance of focusing on the task at hand. 




     You can also teach PATIENCE as you bake together.  Baking takes time and perseverance to get it just right.  You can not rush through the process. You can explain the idea that sometimes we have to wait, but at the end of the waiting, there may be a reward for us.  Give them examples from the Bible.  



    Some other character qualities that can be taught while baking is ORDERLINESS, DILIGENCE, and RESPONSIBILITY.  When you are baking it's essential that you add your ingredients in the right order.  You must be diligent when measuring and responsible enough to follow the baking temperatures and times.  

     It is actually very simple to find little tidbits of time during our daily routines to teach our children godly character qualities.  It just takes a bit of initiative and thought. As moms and dads, it is our responsibility to find ways to help our kids practice these critical qualities so they will grow up and be able to exhibit them in their homes and workplace.  God has given us these precious children and He expects us to follow His Word as we bring them up.  



      
     How do you go about teaching character qualities in your home?  I would love to hear from you!!!  Have a blessed day!!!!!!
     


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of Progeny Press


     A few years ago our daughter really struggled with reading, but now you can't stop her.  She reads about 5 middle school level books a week.  When she heard we were chosen to review the The Scavengers - eGuide from Progeny Press she was thrilled.  A new book that she hasn't read before and a study guide to help her through it.  What more could you ask for?


     Last year we were able to use the e-guide from Progeny Press with our Charlotte's Web book and she loved it as well.  These study guides are like no other ones we have seen or tried before in the past.  They are unique. 



      The book we were using with the e-guide is called The Scavengers by Michael Perry.  We were able to borrow our book from our local e-book library site so that was a bonus for us.  We didn't have to buy anything for this review 😊 

     Right away Hope, our 11 year old daughter, started reading. She said the book was a perfect reading level for her.  The book is about a little girl named Maggie whose family has chosen not to live in the special "bubble cities" that were created by the government to "help" the people to live better lives free from the troubles of the world.  Maggie's family has to work extra hard to live off the land that is left over for them and are fortunate to find a place that they can survive, but then something happens..... I will let you read the book to find out. 

    Now let's talk about the awesome e-guide for this book.  This e-guide begins with some pre-reading activities and then gets right to work teaching vocabulary words in each lesson. After that it's time for some reading comprehension They teach this by asking questions that are important to the book.  The lessons are ended with digging deeper into the book by answering some questions using Bible verses as reference.  
     

     The Scavengers has 59 chapters in it, so Progeny Press has separated the e-guide to study about 8 chapters at a time.  I think this was a perfect break down for this book.  I didn't feel like she was rushed through the book. Instead she had time to read and think through what was going on at a perfect pace.

     I just love the study guides provided by Progeny Press and hope they continue to make more.  I know I have a few picked out for our new school year beginning next month.  

     Would you like to learn more about this company and their amazing resources?  I encourage you to look over their website and their social media pages listed below: 
     
     We also have more reviews for this e-guide and some others for you over here
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New Study Guides for Literature From a Christian Perspective {Progeny Press Reviews}
Have a great day!!!


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of Code for Teens



     Our son is really enjoying learning how to code. When he received Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming (Volume 1) from Code for Teens, he was very excited.  Learning Java Script has always been interesting to him.  After reading through this book and following the wonderful way it instructs, he felt more confident in his coding abilities.



    Right when you open the book you see that the author, Jeremy Moritz,  has dedicated the book to his children.  I think that is GREAT.  He saw things through the eyes of his children and that is what inspired him to write such a fun but educational book on the subject of coding.  The book is 221 pages that entertain while teaching! 

     Along with a Foreward, Introduction, and A Word for Parents, the book has 10 chapters that include:
  • Chapter 1: Hello World!  
  • Chapter 2: Time to Operate
  • Chapter 3: Comment on the String Section
  • Chapter 4: Have Some Functions
  • Chapter 5: Shall I Compare
  • Chapter 6: Logically Operational
  • Chapter 7: Projects Galore
  • Chapter 8: Hip Hip Array
  • Chapter 9: Loop a Round
  • Chapter 10: Make a Hangman Game
     After the chapters, they have a Conclusion, Answers to quiz and drill questions,  and Glossary of Terms.  Each chapter will walk you or your child through the wonderful world of coding with Java Script as you practice each lesson that is being taught. This book is not just for teens.  I think it has helped me to better understand this secret language that all computer programmers speak.  

     The only requirements for these lessons is that you have a computer with Google Chrome.  I know it is my favorite internet browser so that was not an issue for us. 

     My son, who is 13,  was the one who sat down with the book.  He said it was by far the best coding book he has ever seen.  I didn't find him zoning out as he read the pages of each chapter then worked on the drills and quizzes.  He is actually taking coding classes online, so he takes his coding very seriously.  He said anyone could read this book and understand how to code.  It was well laid out and very entertaining.  I asked if he had learned anything new, and he said "Of course mom, each time I sit down to learn coding, I learn more and more."  He was impressed with each chapter and that says a lot! 

     If you or one of your older children would like to learn more about how to code with Java Script, I highly encourage you to get this book.  They have a wonderful website that explains their product in detail and you can find them on Facebook as well.  

     Our review crew has more reviews of this product over here 
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Code For Teens: The Awesome Beginner's Guide to Programming {Code for Teens Reviews}
     Grab a glass of iced tea and maybe even a bowl of popcorn, and head on over to read honest reviews of this resource.  😉

    Have a blessed day!!!!


Thursday, July 12, 2018

Let's Talk Manners: Putting on Love & Watching Our Words


     In order to learn this manner, we must put on love.  REAL LOVE!!!! Do you know there are two Greek words for love?  One is agapao and that means to love dearly.  The second one is phileo, and this love is expressed with friendship or a fondness of someone.  We use the word love often in our conversations don't we?  We may say "Oh I love that book or that pizza", but what do we really mean when we use the word love there?  We just mean we are fond of it or we really like it. We need to be careful about our choice of words.  One afternoon, one of my children said, "Mommy do you love me as much as you love your tea?"   That really got me to thinking.  That morning I had said, "Oh I just love this blueberry tea."  See I used a word that didn't really fit there.  It caused my child to think I could love my tea just as I loved her.  That is not even fathomable.  I could never love anything more than I love my kids and husband and my Lord, but by using that word so flippantly, I raised that doubt in her little mind.  I had to tell her that Mommy couldn't possibly love anything more than I loved her and her siblings and daddy, and that my love for God went beyond that.  

      Real love is not a feeling, but an action.  We are commanded by God to love one another.  We must chose to do it because God has told us to and we are to obey Him out of love.  We need to put others needs above our own.  This is an act of love.  We need to be sure the others feel our love by the way we treat them and talk to them.  You are probably thinking, "How do I love the unlovable?"  This is where God comes in.  He is LOVE.  He teaches us how to love like He does.  We just need to spend time in His Word and praying in order for this to come about. 

     When we are teaching this manner to our children, we must be sure they know that love is a verb.  They need to know they may not always "feel" like loving someone, but it is not a feeling.  It is an action!  We can choose to be loving because God loves us.  He loved us so much, He was willing to come to earth as a man, suffer and die on the cross for our sins, and then raise from the dead in order for us to live eternally with Him, if we choose to believe on Him as our Savior.  God is LOVE.  He gives His love to us even though we don't deserve it and we need to follow His example.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~ Romans 5:8

    "One of the world's worst tragedies is that we allow our hearts to shrink until there is room in them for little beside ourselves."  
~ A.W. Tozer


     As we demonstrate love for others, it will be easier for us to watch what we say.  We won't want to call people names or to hurt them with our unkind words.  We will want to encourage them, build them up, and show them the love of our Father.  Are you ready to put on love?

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For more information on Training our Children in Godly Character come see our Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/TrainingInGodlyCharacter/

Friday, July 6, 2018

Let's Get Real About Clutter



     Do you have trouble with clutter?  I think all homeschooling families have to deal with clutter at one point. With a family spending most of their time at home, it is bound to get messy.  So how do you keep clutter from taking over?  It's all about learning to let go. 

     I use to hoard every homeschooling book we had.  Even when they were out of date or the kids had outgrown them, I thought we needed to hold on to them.  It became a huge issue.  We didn't have the storage room to keep so many books.  So one day I decided it was time to let go. We went through each and every book we owned and if it was not being used or could be used in the future, it went to the local thrift store.  This was so freeing that I decided to do this in every room of our house.  From the kitchen to the bedrooms, if we didn't need it, it had to go. 



      This was the beginning of my divorce with clutter.  I knew it was a problem but didn't realize how awesome it would be to clear away all the mess.  What I realized most is that you don't just clear clutter one day a year, you have to constantly be aware that you have to let go of things that are no longer useful to you. It isn't always easy, but worth it in the end.

        My rules for keeping clutter at bay are:
  •  If we haven't used it within 3 months (unless it is for holidays) we donate it or throw it away depending on what it is.
  •  When we buy a new item for our home, we discard two others.  Like if we buy a new book for our homeschool library, we donate two of our books we no longer use to our local thrift store or book mobile.
  •  We have a place for everything.  If there isn't room for it, we let it go.
  •  We go through our closets and dressers at least once every 3 months and donate/throw away what doesn't fit or isn't a regularly used item. 
  •   If an item is broken, torn, or stained, we dispose of it.  I use to keep things thinking we could repair it, but it usually sat on a shelf or in a drawer collecting dust.
  •  We have a time of clean up every day!  Staying on top of our chores will help us keep organized.
  •   We have a basket that I use for clutter I find around the house that didn't get picked up during clean up time. I call it our clutter jail basket.  In order for the owner to get their item back, they must complete a task from our chore jar. It is very effective :)

     How do you conquer clutter in your homes? I would like to hear your ideas!
    


      

Friday, June 29, 2018

Feeling Overwhelmed? What To Do When You Feel Like Giving Up



     "Mom, I lost my workbook."
     "Honey, where are my keys?"
"Friend, will you babysit my kids all weekend?"
"Mrs. Daley, can you cook 48 cupcakes for the church bake sale?"


     From running errands, paying bills, answering emails, responding to texts,  to cooking for our families and cleaning our homes, our lives can get very hectic at times. Then as homeschooling moms, we get to add teaching, scheduling, and grading into the mix.  Day in and day out, we are bombarded with things that can overwhelm us.  So what do we do when we feel so overwhelmed that we want to give up?  You know that feeling in the pit of your stomach that says "I CAN'T DO THIS FOR ONE MORE DAY".  I have been there a few times in our 21 years of homeschooling.  

     When I sit down feeling stressed, I think what can I do to make my life a little less nerve racking and the first thing that comes to mind in those wee hours of the morning is I could send the kids to school.  It sure would take a lot of pressure off of me and I could have 6 to 7 hours of quiet everyday where I could get things accomplished without distraction.  It isn't long before God brings to mind that He has called me to homeschool my children. It is my ministry in this season of life and if anything else is  keeping me from doing it with excellence, those are the things I have to give up. 

     I have had to give up a lot over the years, and I don't regret one thing.  When I felt like our homeschool was suffering due to my outside activities, I had a choice to make.  I could keep trying to do it all and get burned out or I could choose to let things go that were causing my anxiety. 

      I had to say no at times.  I couldn't let anyone take advantage of me just because I was home all day " just doing school".  I had to put our family first. I had to be obedient to the Lord and make sure that my kids were getting the best of me and not what was left over.  

     So, my advice to you is to sit back and look at your day to day life.  Are there things you could give up so that your homeschooling days are not so hectic?  Do you set time aside to take care of you, so you can take care of your family?  Are you able to say no when something may conflict with your homeschooling schedule?  

     Now don't get me wrong.  We still need to be hospitable.  We need to love on others.  We just need to do it as the Lord calls us to.  We need to follow the Holy Spirit's promptings.  If God is in it, we won't feel overwhelmed.  He will give us peace and strength to do what He has called us to do.  It is when we step out and aren't listening to Him that we get into trouble.  Make sure you pray about everything before you say "yes".  

     I hope this post encourages you.  I will be praying for you everyday! Remember to let God have control and make sure you are taking time to spend with Him each day.  He will always be there for you and will never fail you.  



Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Homeschool Review Crew: Our Review of The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective



     My daughter, who is in 6th grade,  absolutely loves art and art history.  She loves to look at paintings when we visit museums. I was thrilled when I found out we would be reviewing The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective from The Master and His Apprentices.  I knew this curriculum would be a good supplemental class for her.  Even though this program is geared towards high school students and can earn them a full art credit, I felt that she would enjoy it also.  




   

   We were given the digital copy of The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective textbook and teacher's guide.  The textbook includes 372 pages of wonderful information about art, artist, Christian history and so much more. I love that it is all taught from a Christian perspective.  There are no nude images and I appreciate that in an art program.  The textbook is broken down for your student by periods of time such as Creation, Ancient Cultures, Middle Ages, Renaissance and so on. It has 19 chapters and an appendix in the back.  This can be used as a full year curriculum or as a supplemental art class. 

    Personally,  I love the timelines that are included in the textbook.  My daughter loved the beautiful paintings throughout the curriculum.  I feel that we learned science along with Art History as we studied the Chapter on Creation, and the historical facts in the next few chapters were so interesting. It's like a Bible study along with historical facts.  I can't wait to see what more they have to offer as we go on.  

     The Teacher's Guide has worksheets, discussion questions and tests that help you to see what your student is learning from the text.  Since we are using this as a supplemental class for a younger student, I felt we could just go over the worksheets together and talk over the discussion questions.  I want to make art exciting for her so we didn't want to push the tests as of right now, but when she is older, we may use this textbook again and the tests will be a good way of finding out how much she has retained.  

     This curriculum sparked many discussions and we both learned many wonderful facts about the works of art and artist.  I loved the way they incorporated the Bible throughout the curriculum. God's creation is amazing and is the greatest work of art.  Many of the paintings inspired our daughter to paint pictures of her own.  

 Here are a couple of examples of her work: 


Psalm 8:3-4 :When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?


Psalm 19:1  : To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.



     I was also inspired to look at the world around me in a new way.  I can't draw or paint very well, so I took pictures of God's amazing handiwork.


     This program will inspire and encourage you to look at things in a new way.  It will help you see works of art and artist from a different perspective. 

     So I have to ask.... Have you had trouble finding a good Art History curriculum?  Are you a parent who would like a modest and Christian based Art History curriculum?  I think this would be a good fit for you.  I would encourage you to head on over to The Master and His Apprentices website and check out their wonderful curriculum.  I was so pleased with each and every page.  


     They also have a couple of social media pages for you to take a look at so you can get to know them better: 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Master-and-His-Apprentices-245504999349223/
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/themasterandhisapprentices/boards/



        You may also want to join us over on the Homeschool Review Crew site and read other reviews of this program.  Just click the link below 
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The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective {The Master and His Apprentices Reviews}
HAVE A BLESSED DAY!!!