Friday, February 1, 2013

Grapevine Bible Studies

As any new (or even not-so-new) homeschooler can tell you, choosing a curriculum can be one of the most daunting parts of the whole process!  There are so many choices for each subject.  And if you research for any length of time, you will undoubtedly come across subjects that you never even considered teaching before!

One of my favorite go-to sites for homeschool inspiration during my first year was Confessions of a Homeschooler.  She has an amazing amount of information on her site and even some curricula of her own.  (We love her Expedition Earth and Road Trip USA geography stuff.)  Posts that were most beneficial to me were the ones where she discussed what curriculum she was using with her own children.  That's how I first learned about Grapevine Studies.

We have been using this for over a year now and love it.  My kids literally cheer when I tell them it's Bible time.  I like that everything is very clearly laid out for me.  My children like that they get to participate in the lessons.  It's a win-win.

Their catch phrase is "Stick Figuring Through the Bible," and that's literally what we are doing.  Here's my white board for a recent lesson on King Solomon:

We're doing the Beginner level Old Testament Overview, and it's just what it sounds like.  It's very basic and age-appropriate.  Each of the squares on my board corresponds to a place in their workbook (or printed out pages, in our case).  The drawings are there in my teacher book for me to copy, along with a basic "script" that I can use or (usually) add to as I see fit.

Here's the teacher book from this same lesson:

Both of my children love to participate by drawing along with me.  Obviously, my 6-year-old is quite a bit better at this than my 4-year-old, but she still enjoys being a part of everything.  Here's the 6-year-old's work:

They have recently come out with Traceables for 3-5 year olds, which I think is a great idea!  It's the same stick figures but printed in a way that those younger children can trace over them instead of trying to recreate them on their own.

Grapevine Studies are not just for younger students or homeschoolers.  I think this would be great in a Sunday school class or other type of Bible study.  There are seven levels, ranging from 3-year-olds through adult.  There are also multi-level books for ages 7 and up if you will be teaching different ages at once.

If you think you might want to explore this a bit further, I have great news.  First, you can download a free e-lesson to check it out for yourself.  This is from the Multi-Level book on Esther and contains both the teacher and student material.  Click here to access it. 

Second, February 1st - 7th, all student books and student e-books are 50% off!  No special coupon code needed.  The prices are already cut in half for the applicable products.

Check it out and let me know what you think!

This post contains affiliate links, but yes, we really do use and enjoy Grapevine Studies!

This post may be linked up to one or more of the following blog parties.  Check them out! Monday: Menu Plan Monday on I'm an Organizing Junkie Wednesday: Works for Me Wednesday at We are THAT Family Friday: 5 Minute Friday at The Gypsy Mama, Company Girl Coffee at Home Sanctuary, Pieces of Amy Other days: A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Monday, January 28, 2013

I Married Mr. Darcy

I read many wonderful books growing up - the Little House series, the Chronicles of Narnia, others by Madeleine L'Engle, and so forth.  Yet somehow two books (or groups of books) escaped my attention until later in life: Anne of Green Gables and the novels of Jane Austen.  I plan to ensure that my own daughter does not suffer such a fate of missing out on these.

My college roommate introduced me to Anne, and - although I still haven't actually read the books - after watching all of the movies with her, our true purpose in being at Auburn was clear: to find our Gilberts.  She met hers early on and recognized him as The One almost right away.  They married while students at Auburn and now have three beautiful daughters.

Although I also met my husband at Auburn, it took much longer for me to recognize him as being The One.  That's because he's not Gilbert.  He's Mr. Darcy.

I finally began reading Jane Austen about 6 years ago and was instantly hooked.  Although my favorite remains Persuasion, I cannot help but return to Pride and Prejudice on a regular basis.  If you are a woman who has not read these books, please rectify that right away.  Until then, allow me to introduce you to Mr. Darcy and my wonderful husband.

Mr. Darcy is dark and brooding.

My Mr. Darcy is not exactly a ray of sunshine.  I've been known to call him Eyore and tease him about the dark cloud that seems to follow him around.  He says that he loved the weather when we lived in Seattle because it "suited his sunny disposition."

Mr. Darcy is chronically misunderstood.

Just like Elizabeth Bennett's Darcy, mine tends to be uncomfortable in social situations, and this is often misunderstood as him being aloof or full of pride.  However, in both cases, they wished they were more comfortable interacting with people.  Although generally respected, neither is very well understood.

Elizabeth initially dislikes Mr. Darcy a great deal.

While I can't say that I disliked my Darcy initially - we became friends pretty easily - I did think he was dreadfully dull.  At the time, I had recently had my heart broken by someone who was determined to see the world, always in search of the next adventure, and I was determined to find another like him - more like Wickham.  In comparison, my Darcy seemed far too limited in his aspirations and dreams.  (Comparing the twists and turns our lives have taken to what I know of that particular heart breaker - the irony of my feelings is astounding.)

Mr. Darcy was quietly generous to Elizabeth's family, behind the scenes.

I began to see what a generous and giving heart my Darcy possessed.  He never hesitated to help someone in need, even if he did not understand the request - giving money to a then-troubled sister, traveling hours to deliver a TV to my mother, and many other examples.  He had, and still has, a deep desire to give to others.

Elizabeth finally realizes how wrong she has been about him.

Not unlike Elizabeth, for me it took a stark comparison of seeing someone I thought I wanted in a new light of reality to see my Darcy for who he truly is.  He was not aloof, arrogant, and dull.  He was just shy, but with an inner confidence and drive to succeed.

Sadly, I could not embed this last scene from the American version (controversial among purists, though it is), so you'll have to click this link.


Happy Publication Day, Miss Austen!

Mrs. Baggett

Note: All links taken from YouTube.

This post may be linked up to one or more of the following blog parties.  Check them out! Monday: Menu Plan Monday on I'm an Organizing Junkie Wednesday: Works for Me Wednesday at We are THAT Family Friday: 5 Minute Friday at The Gypsy Mama, Company Girl Coffee at Home Sanctuary, Pieces of Amy Other days: A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
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