Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Wise Up (A Homeschool Crew Review)

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew


Teaching small children the Bible is fairly easy.  The bookstore has shelves full of colorful books filled with beloved Bible stories for parents to share with young children. And on the other side of the spectrum, by high school most students are able to do Bible studies aimed towards young adults.  However, there seems to be very little in the way for middle school students that is age appropriate without being too "kiddiefied".  As my kids are now middle school aged, I was pretty excited to be given the opportunity to review Wise Up, a study of the wisdom in Proverbs, from Positive Action Bible Curriculum.



Middle school students tend to find themselves having to make decisions on their own, many time for the first time without parental guidance, and as parents we hope the foundation of faith that we have helped instill in them to guide them in making these decisions.  I often think that King David probably had similar fears when Solomon was a child. The wisdom of Solomon of course was shared with us in the Bible in the book of Proverbs, many of which is wisdom being passed from a parent to a child, in the hopes of helping them to make good decisions based on God's laws to us. 

Wise Up focuses on these lessons found in the book of Proverbs and breaks them down to instruction that middle school students can both understand as well as relate to. The curriculum consists of two parts, a 264 page softback student workbook and a three ringed binder that contains a 343 page teaching guide as well as Lesson Quizzes and answer key. 

 The curriculum splits the material into 35 individual weekly lessons.  


These lessons ask students to progress thru deeper levels of thoughts as they delve into God's world, resulting in

  • Knowledge - learning basic facts
  • Comprehension - Understanding concepts and ideas, recognizing allusions and patterns 
  • Analysis - thinking thru the implications of new information 
  • Discernment - perceiving truth from revealed facts and concepts
  • Evaluation - drawing conclusions, interpreting values to form personal decisions
  • Application - using the information learned and applying truth to life.

A suggested weekly schedule is included in the front of the Teachers Binder that has options to complete each lesson in either 3, 4 or 5 days a week.  Each weekly study beings with Teacher's Lecture that is found in the Teacher's Binder.  These lectures are written verbatim so that the lessons is already scripted for the parent.


 Following the weekly Teacher's Lecture, the student then reads and completes a weekly exercises in their student workbook that helps reiterate what was taught in the lecture.  Optional weekly quizzes for each lesson are also included in the Teaching Binder, to be taken after the student has heard the week's lecture and has completed the weekly exercises.  These are a mix of short answer, true or false questions, matching and short essay questions. Weekly verse memorization is also provided in the Teacher's Binder if the parent wishes to assign memorization work each week. 

  The student workbook really helps with the learning.  Each lesson, the students independently work on the chapter in their workbook that covers what the lecture was over.  The workbook is a consumable product, so students are expected to write in the book.  Parents who would like to use this curriculum with multiple students would need a workbook for each student.

In addition to the workbook, students will also need a copy of the Bible, whether it be digital or physical, either will work.  Students will be asked to look up passages in their Bible and answer questions related to what they have read.

The student workbook also has eye catching pictures and graphs that are really well done.  They do not dominate the pages of the book and are age appropriate, and correlate with the lesson.  

How We Used This

 Since we are currently on a summer break, trying to get adjusted to our new surroundings, I decided to use this program with Ashleigh using the three day a week schedule (M, W, F).  So far, we have gotten thru 8 lessons, although I do think we are going to put the study to the side until the fall to allow me to get a second workbook for Garrett and actually use this as their Bible curriculum for school.  

What lessons we have done, I have been extremely impressed with.  These lessons cover topics that are relatable to students their age. Such as why we should honor our parents and what that means, where their position (and their parents position) is in the home and what responsibilities those positions entail, and how mindsets such as anger and perverseness not only affect how we treat others, but also how we act and present ourselves.  For each topic, the lesson pulls scripture not only from the book of Proverbs but from other old testament sources as well as Christ's own teachings to show what the Bible says in regards to the topic.   I have had alot of great discussion with Ashleigh in regards to these topics, showing me that she's paying attention to the material and that she is understanding and digesting what is being put before her. 

As said, I really want to restart this curriculum when we begin school, including my son into the lessons because I think this is a great curriculum that will impact both of their lives (at least that's my hope).  It's very well put together, Biblically sound, and I think the material, as presented, is excellent.  

#hsreviews #biblecurriculum #biblestudy #homeschoolbiblecurriculum #positiveactionforchrist #positiveactionbiblecurriculum

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Members of the Crew were given their choice of two different Bible Curriculum for different age groups.  Be sure the click the banner below to read their reviews today.

Positive Action Bible Curriculum Reviews

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

EdAlive (A Homeschool Crew Review)

Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew 


For the last few weeks, Members of the Homeschool Review Crew have been reviewing one of three programs offered by Austrailian based company EdAlive.  Out of the three options given, our family opted to review Baggin' the Dragon Maths Online, an adaptive online math learning program.  For this review, we were given 12 months access to the browser based program to use with our family. 

About EdAlive 

Basing their adaptive learning programs on research to design programs that work, EdAlive has launched a series of online learning games to help students focus and use skills that they have learned in a game based, real time, adaptive situation.


 EdAlive started in 1986 and has striven to provide educational resources that best fit the needs of teachers and students alike. Many of their products have been developed from previous CD-based products which were in widespread use in classrooms and homes across Australia.  For the homeschool family, EdAlive offers curriculum for ages 5-15+ that works with students no matter their educational needs.

About the Game 

One of EdAlive's newest offerings, Baggin' the Dragon Maths Online is an expansive math program that uses the power of adaptive learning to build a solid math foundation while strengthening problem solving and mathematical thinking. Designed for ages 5-15+, the program has more than 10,000 interactive questions covering more than 90% of most accepted math curriculum.

Content options are given that dictate how the program pulls questions for the game.  Options include using all content available (more than 10,000 questions that range from various skills such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, ratios, proportions, geometry, measurements, probabilities, graphs and algebra.  A second option instructs the program to pull from specific content.  This is good if you would like your student to work only on a specific skill, such as division facts.  A third option gives the ability to hand pick specific questions to be used for the game that focus on desired specific content. 

 Students log into their account and select the program.  At this point, they can select a timed game or they can select how many "rounds" to play before the end of the game.  They can then choose to host a game with their friends who might be on the website, join another player’s game that might currently be in progress, or they can choose to play against the computer.  After making their selection, the game loads and players are taken to the game board. 

One the game starts, a die at the top of the screen begins to roll.  Players click on the die with their mouse in order to stop the roll and move the number shown.  The game board is designed so that players can follow multiple option on the path.  At this point, the player is given a question and is given two attempts to answer it correctly. Correctly answering the question adds points to the players Strength score. 

Strength points can be earned by correctly answering the questions.  These points can be used to purchase armor and weapons that can help them "slay the dragon" at the end of the game as well as to take first place over other players or the computer.

After completing the game, the student is then taken to a screen where they see how they performed.. Their accumulated strength points and courage points (which are earned by landing on a square that has a sword on it) are tallied up and the student is ranked against the other players. 

What We Thought

I'll be completely honest, this wasn't well liked with the kids. 

Garrett has attention issues and having to sit in front of the computer for a long period of time, trying to concentrate on a game that takes close to an hour to complete, wasn't happening.  There just wasn't enough to it to keep his attention and he got rather frustrated pretty quick.

Ashleigh also found it the time it took to play somewhat exhausting and felt she spent way more time in front of the computer trying to complete the game then she spends for any of her actual schoolwork. 


Even when I sat down to check it out myself, I found it took a lot longer than a game should take and honestly didn't find it entertaining. The program lacks any "fun" factor to make it entertaining.  Yes, it has some cute graphics at the beginning but that tends to be it.  Instead, the player spends roughly 45 minutes following a map around, without any real objectives. Granted, you have the option of either 20 turns or to set a time limit, and maybe setting a shorter time would have been better, but after a few play thru, the kids just were not interested regardless of the time limit. 

I did enjoy seeing the adaptive aspect of the game. Rather than setting a grade level, we allowed the program to pull the questions pull the full library of available content.  With over 10,000 random questions that can be pulled from, the chance of them getting the exact same question twice is unlikely.

Final Thoughts

This math game would probably be great for those students who do not have attention issues and do not want the "Wow Factor".  As both my kids are gamers, the lack of more exciting graphics just left them bored.  However, that's just my kids and both are on the older side of the targeted range for this program. Younger students would probably do very well with this program but with a lower set time limit or round limit, as 21 rounds just seemed to much to try to concentrate on this program. 

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Members of the Crew were given the option to review three EdAlive programs with their families.  Be sure to click the banner below to read their reviews today.

Online Math, Reading, and Language Arts with EdAlive

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Family Game Nights

For the last few weeks, the family has been playing Dungeons and Dragons during our Sunday family time.. It's turned out to be a really great activity that everyone has really enjoyed.   We even went so far as to buy a 3D printer so that we could print our own miniatures.  Over the last three weeks, our game has really evolved. 

Our First game, using paper markers for our players.

Getting ready for our 2nd session.  This time using a mix of 3d printed miniatures as well as our paper miniatures.

3D Printed Dice tower to make rolling dice easier.

 And just a few of our Miniatures we have made (most still need painting)

Our 3D printer

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Whats for Dinner


  It's time for another edition of what's for dinner.   

My husband decided that he could not live thru Memorial day weekend without a grill.  After much debate about whether he should buy a cheap 100 dollar grill or just purchase the more expensive one that he wanted instead of making two purchases, he decided to get the more expensive grill that takes the wood pellets and smokes everything.  So this weekend, the grill got used twice, once for burgers (which I of course forgot to take photos of) and a really great caprise chicken breast. I suspect the grill be used quite often.


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