Friday, January 23, 2015

Family Literacy Day

Family Literacy Day is right around the corner -- next Tuesday -- January 27, 2015!  Mark the date on your calendar and brainstorm fun things to do as a family!

Thanks to ABC -- Life Literacy Canada here is a list of FUN ways to celebrate learning as a family:

  1. Write a joke book with your family.
  2. Read a bedtime story to the grown-up putting you to bed.
  3. Make up a new recipe together and post it online.
  4. Tell knock-knock jokes together while doing the dishes.
  5. Organize a book swap at your school.
  6. Make up riddles and tell them to your friends.
  7. Create a family book club.
  8. Build a drum with your family.
  9. Surf the Internet and learn about your favourite animal.
  10. Make up a song about your day to sing to your family at dinnertime.
  11. Write messages to your family on sticky notes and post them around the house.
  12. Create a story about what you’ll be doing for Family Literacy Day.
  13. Play a board game together.
  14. Build an acrostic poem using your hero’s name.
  15. Make an origami boat and see if it will float.
If you have some great ideas for making learning (and literacy) fun -- feel free to add them in the comments!

~❀~ Chelsey ~❀~

Saturday, January 17, 2015

King David: Get to Know Series by Nancy I. Sanders

"King David: Get to Know Series" by Nancy I. Sanders is a biography on the life of David.  David is one of the best known Bible characters thanks to the story of David and Goliath, but this book also highlights his life-long journey from shepherd boy to great King.

This book contains special features including "Word Bank" sections which tell the definition of words that may be unfamiliar and "Did You Know?" fun facts sections.  One interesting fact is that at the time of David and Goliath's battle, the Philistines were the only people who knew how to make weapons out of iron!

This book is visually fascinating as it includes pictures of artifacts, maps, artwork and present day photographs.  Archaeological evidence is shown that proves the existence of David.  At the end of the book there is a time line of David's life that also shows when events in world history took place.

The book tells David's life story including King Saul's jealousy towards him, his friendship with Jonathan and his time as a fugitive.  While it mentions David's sin regarding Bathsheba and her husband, the consequence for this sin is glossed over by saying: "Then he married Bathsheba.  They eventually had a son named Solomon." (pg 83). Mention is made of the story of Tamar, Amnon and Absalom, but the conflict is told in such a way that isn't inappropriate for younger readers.  Readers who are older and interested in finding out more can look up these stories in the Bible.

I appreciate that the book highlights David's remorse for sin as well as God's graciousness.  David was not perfect, yet he has a place in the lineage of Jesus.  The book emphasizes the prophecy written by David in Psalm 16:10 about Jesus' death and resurrection -- 1,000 years before Jesus' birth.  

Overall, this book is a great addition to any bookshelf.  It gives more details than a standard children's book would and is a great read "for kids" as the book cover suggests, but also for anyone who wants a better understanding of the life of King David.

Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

capybaras ~❀~ Chelsey ~❀~

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Books I've Read in 2015

I love reading books meant for all ages.  Any book with stars by it is one I'd consider reading again in the future (or would consider having my kids read in the future) so presumably you (or your kids) might like it too.  If you've read (or wondered about) any of these books feel free to comment -- I'd love to chat with you...  Oh and if you love a book I don't (or vice versa), we can still be friends.

Rebound, Eric Walters
Sean is determined to turn over a new leaf for grade 8, but a chance encounter with David, a new student in a wheelchair, has the potential to change everything.  Minor references to alcohol and cigarettes.  Main characters participate in dances, informal dating and some fighting.  Aimed at teens.

Ungifted, Gordon Korman
Donovan, an average student and known trouble-maker, finds himself unexpectedly in the gifted school.  This book has a funny premise, but some stereotypical characterizations of gifted people and some poor morals with very little consequences.  References to sex education and dances.  Aimed at pre-teens.

*Wonder, R. J. Palacio*
This novel tells the moving story of Auggie, a grade 5 boy with facial anomolies, and his entrance into the public school system.  Themes include: fitting in, bullying, discovering who you are, making a difference.  Mention is made of reincarnation, "The Universe", and girls walking through the woods to meet boys.  Aimed at pre-teens.

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library, Chris Grabenstein
This novel is reminiscent of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but a select group of pre-teens win the chance to have a sleepover at the new library.  They are then given the challenge of escaping from the library by using clues.  Aimed at pre-teens. 

~❀~ Chelsey ~❀~

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy 2015!

The Future Has Arrived!  

Welcome to 2015, 
hoverboards, flying cars and pockets turned inside out.

Wishing you and yours God's Love, Peace and Joy throughout 2015.

PS:  In honour of the end of 2014, check out the post: Books I've Read in 2014 and leave your thoughts.

Stay tuned for the start of "Books I've Read in 2015" which I'll keep adding to as I finish books!

~❀~ Chelsey ~❀~

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Focus on the Family Advent Fun!

Check out this free advent devotional available to download!  It comes with an interactive poster where you add characters such as King David, Isaiah and John the Baptist to the poster each day as you read about that person's (or animal's) part in the birth of Jesus!

Visit Focus on the Family to find out more information!

~❀~ Chelsey ~❀~

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014

"Growing Up Social" Giveaway

"Growing Up Social" by Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane is a book for any parent who wants to be "raising relational kids in a screen-driven world."

"There is no app or video game that can replace interactions with other human beings."  Relating to others, eye contact, conversation, empathy, getting along with others -- these are key characteristics that we all need in order to function effectively with others in our world.

BUT -- "The average American child and teenager spends 53 hours a week with media and technology, far more time in front of screens than interacting with parents or people."  That's a full time job plus some overtime!  And what is the payout?  Entitlement, low attention span and lack of patience are all results of excessive screen time.

The book makes some obvious screen-related recommendations like "no more than 2 hours a day of screen time"and then goes on to explain things such as: ways to encourage creative play (get your kids a cardboard box!) and ways to increase a love of reading.

"Growing Up Social" highlights five A+ skills that are learned abilities that will instill character in your child (and in yourself):

Show Affection, Appreciate others, deal with Anger, 
learn to Apologize and pay Attention

As I was reading the book I summarized what I was reading to my kids and these A+ skills were a great conversation starter.  We talked about which ones we each needed to focus on the most -- recognizing that we all have strengths and weaknesses.

"Bonus Features" throughout the book include a Screen Time Family Pledge that will be an amazing springboard for family discussions.  There is also a quiz that can help you identify whether or not your child has too much screen time based on his/her behaviours.  The book even has a chapter that focuses on your own screen time and highlights the idea that we should model appropriate use of screen time for our children.

Anyone who has enjoyed Gary Chapman's "The 5 Love Languages" will appreciate this book by Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane.  You'll find this book inspiring and encouraging!

Win it:  One Sowing Dandelion Seeds reader will win a copy of the book "Growing Up Social".

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.” 
~❀~ Chelsey ~❀~
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