Light of Mine Book Review

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

I am a bookaholic. I love books to read for myself and books for my children, but most of all, I love books I can share with my children. Our family loves doing family read-alouds and audiobooks. We enjoy many favorite classics, but I always look for new books to add to our collection. That is why I jumped on the opportunity to review Allen Brokken’s Light of Mine Unit Study – Premium through Towers of Light Christian Resources LLC.

What is Light of Mine?

Light of Mine is a 205-page novel that shares the adventures of three siblings as they battle the “dark one” and learn to shine the light of God’s love. The book was full of adventures, mishaps, and excitement. Through it, Brokken weaves the gospel truth into the story. It is the first book in the Towers of Light series.

The adventures are family-friendly, but some intense moments in the book might be a bit much for really young or sensitive children. For example, in the beginning, the father has gone off to fight the “dark one,” and the children believe he is lost and presumed dead. Their mother then leaves them at home to go and save him.

What was in the Unit Study Bundle?

The Light of Mine Unit Study – Premium included the novel, workbook, and audiobook for Light of Mine. The workbook is recommended for grades 3-6+. The workbook breaks the book down into a four-week study, with activities for five days a week. The first four days of the week include:

  • A reading assignment.
  • Reading comprehension questions.
  • Vocabulary.
  • Memory verse.
  • A story passage for more in-depth discussion.

The fifth day of the week has an activity or craft to accompany the week’s reading. The book also has an answer key to help parents facilitate the study.

The bundle also included the audiobook as mp3 files on a thumb drive and a personal audio player. I loved having both options and that my younger children could listen independently without needing any other technology when using the personal audio player.

How Did We Use the Light of Mine Bundle?

The design of the unit study involves reading a chapter or two a day through the course of the study and doing the work in the workbooks over the course of a month. However, I knew that my eight-year-old son would enjoy it but would need a little extra support. I also felt it would be a fun listen while we were riding on a trip we had planned during the review period.

So, I decided that we would listen to the whole book as a family. Then I could go back and have my eight-year-old reread a chapter at a time and work through the workbook. This strategy will give him extra exposure and still give us a fun family audio.

What Did We Think?

My husband and son thought the book started slowly, but it did not take too long to get everyone hooked! We enjoyed the book’s adventure and appreciated the spiritual lessons included. (They did take a different take on a couple of issues than we do, but we were still pleased with the overall spiritual lessons.) It was a great family read-aloud but be mindful that parts might be scary for young/sensitive children.

The workbook is best for upper elementary students, and the book is probably best for third or fourth grade and above if used as an independent read.

My one complaint is that the book ends with a cliffhanger. While we are excited to continue to read the story, I personally dislike not having closure at the end of a book, even when it is a series. That said, I would still recommend the book, just expect the cliffhanger and a desire to purchase the next book in the series.

“I am enjoying the book. I enjoy listening to the siblings and how they work together to make things happen. Sparkle frog is cool.” Elizabeth Age, 14

My eight-year-old loved it so much that we had to have “oakameal” for breakfast, which was how the youngest sibling in the story said oatmeal.

If this sounds like a book your family would enjoy, you can find out more at Light of Mine Unit Study – Premium, and click on the graphic below to see what other crew families thought!

Unit Study

Farmyard Faith by Whatsoever Stories (Review)

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

Whatsoever Stories

My children range from four to almost sixteen, and our family loves books. Sometimes it can be a challenge to find books that everyone can enjoy together, but we recently had a chance to review Farmyard Faith.

Farmyard Faith is a fun book from Whatsoever Stories. They recommend it for ages ten to adult, but even my four-year-old enjoyed listening to the stories.

What is Farmyard Faith?

Farmyard Faith is a chapter book of exciting stories from the author’s time growing up on a farm. Our family doesn’t live on a full-fledged farm, but we have four acres with goats, chickens, and pigs. We found the stories in this book very easy to relate to and quite funny. I had planned to read one chapter each evening, but the children begged for more most nights.

Farmyard Faith is 203 pages long and contains 25 fun farmyard stories. There is also an epilogue, glossary of farm terms, and a fun list of 101 things most farm books won’t tell you.

It was written by Kinsey M Rockett and shared real stories from her life.

Each chapter told a different story from the farm and then finished with a biblically-based lesson that related to the story.

For example, there was a funny story about an escape artist chicken and the trouble caused for the family and the chicken. At the end of that story, the author talked about how the chicken thought things were better outside of her pen but, in reality, were quite dangerous. The same is true for our lives; God’s boundaries for us are for our good.

How We Used Farmyard Faith

We enjoyed reading this book together as a family. It is important to me to find books that we can read together because they create family bonds and shared experiences. This book was fun to read together and brought up great discussions in the lessons at the end of each chapter.

Our Recommendations

We enjoyed the farm stories because we could often relate to the antics of the animals or the trials of farm life. However, I do not think you need to have a farm or animals to enjoy these stories. It would be an excellent way for children to vicariously experience farm life in all of its ups and downs.

We enjoyed this book and the opportunity to read it together as a family. Other Review Crew members reviewed different books from Whatsoever Stories, and we plan to try them. You can click on the graphic below to see what other Crew members thought about the different books.

Christian Fiction Stories

YWAM Christian Heroes Then and Now Eric Liddell Review

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

We are always blessed when we have an opportunity to review books from the Christian Heros Then and Now series by YWAM Publishing. I do not have to ask my children if they want to participate in the review, just which title they want to try. Since we were getting this one around the time of the winter Olympics we decided to try Eric Liddell: Something Greater Than Gold.

Christian Heroes Then and Now Series

The Christian Heroes Then and Now series are all biographies of Christians who have faithfully served God in various ways and places. Most are what we would call missionaries, and they include well-known names such as Elisabeth Elliot, George Mueller, Nate Saint, and more.

The Story of Eric Liddell: Something Greater Than Gold

This paperback book, written by Janet and Geoff Benge, is just under 200 pages long. It would be great independent reading for upper elementary and middle school students. However, we decided to use it as a family read-aloud. You could even use these for high school students, especially with the in-depth unit study.

This book is a biography of Olympic gold medalist Eric Liddell. However, his greatest accomplishment is not his gold medal but his work for Christ as a missionary to China. This book tells about his time as an Olympian and as a missionary.

Eric Liddell Unit Study

In addition to the book, we received a PDF study guide that included almost 70 pages of ideas and activities. You could use this to make the book into a complete unit study, or you can pick and choose activities to make it fit your needs. There are discussion questions for each chapter, writing prompts, creative writing activities, hands-on projects, and arts and crafts. The guide also included a timeline activity, a basic information sheet, and several maps.

The unit study allows students to go more in-depth not only in the life of Eric Liddell but in the Olympics, which he was known for, and in Chinese culture to bring a greater understanding of the people he served.

Conclusions

 The books work great as a family read-aloud, independent reading, or complete unit studies when combined with the study guides. I prefer to use most of the books as read alouds or personal reading for our family but add in the study guide for a unit study once or twice a year. 

YWAM Publishing

If this book interests you, you might also want to check out my reviews of several other books from YWAM Publishing: Alan Shepard, Benjamin Franklin, and Orville Wright

Don’t forget to click the graphic below to check out the variety of reviews by other Crew members. There are many great choices; which one would you like to try?

christian-biographies-from-ywam-publishing-bring-heroes-to-life

Pursuing Gold Book and Curriculum Review

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

We recently had the opportunity to review Pursuing Gold (and Pursuing Gold: History and Critical Thinking Curriculum) by Cynthia L. Simmons and Heart of the Matter. My daughter loves reading and was excited to read this historical fiction book that includes a touch of sweet romance.

My daughter is a quick reader, but when the book was unexpectedly delayed, I didn’t think she would have it finished by the time I needed to share my review. I handed her the book and told her I needed her to work through the first few chapters and discuss the curriculum.

Later that night, she came to me and asked me if she had to stop when she reached the point I had mentioned. I said, of course not, and over the next two days, she managed to complete the entire 372-page book.

Cynthia L Simmons

Pursing Gold Book Overview

In the words of my fourteen-year-old daughter:

“I really like this book. It has kept me interested and wanting to read and not put it down (It must be a book about gravity, I can’t put it down!!). The story is really cool. It is about Peter and Mary Beth courting and running a bank during the Civil War.

They are struggling with keeping the bank above water, and there is someone counterfeiting. Throughout the book, they are working together to try and figure out who it is before it hurts the bank. Peter is also trying to keep his mother and sister safe; they are concerned about an invasion. “

This book is set in Tennessee during the civil war. While set during the civil war, the focus is more on the counterfeiting mystery, the instability of currency during the war, and the relationships than the war itself.

Pursing Gold History and Critical Thinking Curriculum

The history and critical thinking curriculum accompanying Pursuing Gold is a great way to incorporate history, economics, and literature discussion into the book.

The main section of the curriculum has a page or two for each chapter, including several discussion questions for each chapter. In addition, some chapters have crossword puzzles for the vocabulary words, and others include a bit more background information about the history covered in that chapter.

There are also Bible references included within the guide.

After that section, there are several appendixes with further work. The first is a study on budgeting. This fairly in-depth study includes information on budgeting, debt, interest, and more. Next is a section on the history of money, and finally, there is an answer and discussion key to help the parent work through the curriculum.

Our Thoughts and Conclusions

Overall, as she shared earlier in the review, my daughter really enjoyed this book. We chose to have her read through it and then discuss some of the questions from the curriculum. However, you could easily go chapter by chapter and make this a more in-depth unit study covering literature, history, and economics.

I appreciate that my daughter enjoyed the book so much that she finished reading it far faster than required. As a parent, I want to encourage a love of reading and not have her literature study be drudgery. I also appreciate the Christian morals that were sprinkled throughout the book. My daughter even went online to get the sequel for herself.

If you want to read a book with mystery, intrigue, and a bit of clean romance set in a historically challenging time, this is the book for you! Instead of focusing on the soldiers and politics of the time, I love that it focuses on the lives of regular small-town citizens.

Be sure to click on the graphic below to see what other families thought about Pursuing Gold.

Using Historical Fiction in Your Homeschool with Pursuing Gold