New Additions to this Blog

I have not posted much on this blog for the past few years.  Honestly, I’ve been tired.  I read a lot of books in a very short amount of time (a few years and hundreds of books).  I have found my attention shifting away from reading and instead to writing curriculum that I can share for free with other families.  There is a new tab on the top of this blog for free printables and curriculum.  I hope that they will be useful to you.   Please comply with the terms of use that I delineated on my previous post.

Although I don’t plan on adding to the lists on this blog a lot more, I will still add on to them once in a while when I find a new good book.  I don’t plan on deleting the lists.

I do continue to post my musings about life and homeschooling on my primary blog, Love To Paint over on Blogger and on Making Things Stretch when I find ways to save money or make up new recipes.

 

May 10, 2013 at 6:05 pm Leave a comment

Terms of Use

I have begun posting printables on this site to share with other families.   I make all of the printables you see on this site unless otherwise specified. Therefore, the downloads on this blog and its contents are copyright of LoveToPaint by Anne © 2012-2013. All rights reserved.

While I provide the materials on this site to you free of charge, there are a few things that I ask from you in regards to the resources found here.

Personal Use Only:

My lesson materials are provided to you for your own personal use.   Accordingly, you agree that you will not copy, reproduce, alter, modify, create derivative works, or publicly display any content from my downloads, except for your own personal, non‐commercial use.

You may post pictures of your family using my curriculum on your personal blog provided that LoveToPaint.Blogspot.com is properly attributed in the post.  Though these documents are posted here on lovetopaint.wordpress.com, my primary blog is lovetopaint.blogspot.com  Please site both sources.

No Redistribution.  You may not reproduce, repackage, or redistribute the contents of LTP documents, in whole or in part, for any reason.

No Commercial Use.   My curriculum may not be used for commercial purposes. For example, you may not do any of the following:  use the curriculum to sell a product or service; use the download to increase traffic to your Web site for commercial reasons, such as advertising sales.

Any use of the curriculum that infringes upon the intellectual property rights of Love To Paint or that is for commercial purposes will be investigated, and the owner shall have the right to take appropriate civil and criminal legal action.

Modifications of Terms.

I shall have the right to modify the terms of this Agreement at any time, which modification shall be effective immediately and shall replace all prior Agreements.

You are more than welcome to:

Save the files on your computer and print off copies for yourself {or classroom} whenever you would like.

Link directly to my blog to share my files with others.

Post blogs using my files as long as proper credit to LoveToPaint  is given.

YOU MAY NOT:

Host any of my files on your own or other sites.

Alter or sell any of my files.

Sell files to make a profit: All files are for personal use only. You may NOT make items for sale or profit. ~ i.e. print them off, laminate them and sell them to others.

Transmit or store any resources on any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system.

All downloads are copyright protected. Not to be distributed, transferred, or shared in any form.

If you have any questions please feel free to email me directly at lovetopaint.blogspot@gmail.com . I will do my best to respond promptly.

Thank you!

May 10, 2013 at 5:48 pm Leave a comment

Theology lessons for Children

At lunch one day this week, Autumn brought a book with her to the table. She actually wanted to read it instead of eating her lunch. So, what was this book? It happened to be a new book that’s coming out on Athanasius. Yes, Athanasius. This book is newest release in a series written by Simonetta Carr on figures from church history.

Earlier this year, I reviewed one of the other books from the series on John Owen. Reviewing that book challenged me to think critically about biographies and what we, and our children, learn from reading them.

There is a saying that if we do not learn from history then we are doomed to repeat it. There are also other sayings about history and why we study it. I always told my middle school students that we studied history so that we could learn from the past and not have to reinvent the wheel over and over. Both of these sayings apply to this series of Christian biographies for children.

I asked Simonetta what she wants children to learn from this book on Athanasius. She said, “Most of all, that Jesus is fully God. Hopefully, they will also realize that we don’t always understand some biblical doctrines, and it’s OK. They will see the importance of Christian councils and creeds, and hopefully be better prepared to face future Dan Browns (they pop up every few years).”

This was exactly what my daughter took from this book when she read it. I listened as she gave a summary of the book to my younger daughter. She saw that it was important for Athanasius to stand firm in his belief that Jesus was fully God and fully man (she actually said that).

Her reading of the book opened the door to a really important discussion about salvation and the trinity. Sometimes it’s hard to know how to help children understand why theology matters. But, it does. It matters quite a lot. This biography recounts a time in history when Jesus’ deity was questioned. It was challenged. People chose to believe Arius’ teaching because it seemed more logical and easier to believe and follow. But, what is easier to believe is often not right. As parents, this is a lesson we have to teach our children.

Today there is a great deal of controversy about hell and whether it is really real. Is this controversy any different than what Athanasius faced? Perhaps not. It comes down to questioning the Word of God and choosing to believe what the Bible says or what is easier to believe.

Ms. Carr’s hope is that understanding the past will help our children understand their faith, theology, and the Word of God better. This equipping can help our children discern what is the Truth and what is not. I have been watching my oldest daughter do this more and more. I pray that she will continue to do so throughout her life.

This review is a bit unorthodox and meandering. I realize this. So, let me tell you in a quick tidbit about this book. It is a biography for children grades 3-7. I would recommend it for 8-12 year olds rather than 7 year olds as the back cover states. The illustrations are a mixture of paintings by Matt Abraxas (which are wonderful) and authentic photographs and artifacts from the past. Ms. Carr tells the story of Athanasius’ life and acknowledges clearly what is known and what is unknown about his life. In contrast to many novel biographies written today, Ms. Carr has stuck to what is known and not filled in the gaps with conjectures. This book tells the story of an interesting time in church history.

This youtube video briefly summarizes the book:

Do I think well of this book? Is it worthy of reading and discussion? My daughter is in agreement with me–quite definitely. She told me with certainty today, “I love history, Mommy, and I love this book!”

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Reformation Heritage Books.

September 26, 2011 at 3:36 pm Leave a comment

Historical Fiction for Girls

A few years I read a book titled Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt. I love this quote about what good books do:

“Good books have genuine spiritual substance, not just intellectual enjoyment. Books help children know what to look for in life. Reading develops the taste buds of the mind as children learn to savor what is seen, heard, and experienced and fit these into some kind of worthwhile framework.” Gladys Hunt, Honey for a Child’s Heart, p. 21

There is a saying that goes “You are what you eat”. Essentially, what you put into your body shapes how your body feels and what you are able to do. In the same way, you might be able to say “You are what you read.” Our minds are stretched or stunted by what we read and put into our minds. What we read feeds how we interact with others and with the world around us. It shapes our worldview. What we read doesn’t determine our actions and thoughts, but it does feeds them. After reading Ms. Hunt’s book, I desired for my children to grow to love good books. I knew they needed to be fed a diet of good books rather than “junk” books. So began my search… Over the past two years my oldest daughter has grown to love reading. Her reading level happens to be above her maturity level at the age of 7. So, I am on a constant search for books that are appropriate for her to read.

Recently, I had the chance to read two books from a series of historical fiction Wendy Lawton has written for girls, the Daughters of the Faith series. The first book I read was The Tinker’s Daughter. It is a story based on the life of Mary Bunyan. John Bunyan, the puritan preacher who wrote Pilgrim’s Progress, had 10 children. Only the name of one of them is known, Mary. It is also known that she was blind from birth. This story is loosely based upon those few facts and what can be known about what life was like for the Puritans. At the beginning of the story, John has been taken to Prison and his second wife Elizabeth is expecting her first child. Mary sets out at the beginning to find a way to provide for their family while her father is in prison. There are several things I love about this story. -It is well written. Attention was paid to details–even in how color was described in terms of sound or touch, which is appropriate when speaking to someone who has never seen color (or at least that’s what I found when I researched it). -I like the use of the glossary at the back and the italicized words to help readers know which words are explained in the glossary. It is very helpful and makes the story more sound more feasible. -The story of how Mary came to truly trust God to take care of her and her family was a sweet, hopeful, and encouraging story. -I am glad that the author explained at the end what is and isn’t known about Mary Bunyan. This will help readers understand that this is historical fiction–but it is not a biography. Just as many movies say they are based upon a real story, so are many books. These adaptations are not 100% true to the real story, but they resemble what is known. I did ask Autumn to read it and she acquiesced, but she didn’t get into it. I think this is because though she can read the book, she still wants a few pictures. This would be a great book for 4th-8th grade girls. It is listed in Heart of Dakota’s history read alouds for 6-8th grades.

The second book from this series is The Captive Princess. This story is based upon the life of young Pocahontas. Wendy Lawton follows the same format of using a glossary to help readers with words that are important to the story and that need to be explained. Her writing again is engaging and interesting. I could picture what Pocahontas’ world was like. I have to admit that I knew very little about Pocahontas until I read this story. It again is a historical novel based on what is known about Pocahontas’ life. I was drawn in more by Mary Bunyan’s story, but both stories are good reads. They are books that I would feel comfortable with my daughters reading. I know that they will remember who Pocahontas was after reading this story. Heart of Dakota’s reading program also recommends this book as part of their 4th-5th grade optional selections for girls. Knowing that confirms to me that this book is appropriate for girls in grades 4-8.

There are 8 books in Ms. Lawton’s Daughters of the Faith series. They are each set within 1600-1950. These books could be a great supplement to your homeschool history curriculum or reading for historical/biographical fiction. Some of the stories, I suspect, are more based upon fact than others simply because there are some figures in history that more is known about than others. If you’re not homeschooling, I would also recommend these books to parents who have children in school and are looking for good books for their daughters to read. I highly recommend this series for girls in this age range. Yes, I did say “girls”. I happen to be one of those people that believes girls are more likely to be interested in some books than boys–and that the same is true in reverse about other books.

Please note that I received complimentary copies of these books for review from Moody Publishing.

June 20, 2011 at 9:20 pm Leave a comment

Book about Wisdom for Children

Wisdom and Grace
One thing I love to do is write a review about a book I enjoy! Yesterday, I received a book in the mail that I’ve been looking forward to reading for two months.

That book is Get Wisdom! by Ruth Younts. I shared a few months ago that I’d begun to search for devotionals that I like for children. I found a good one in God’s Names by Sally Michael. This is another good one. It’s very different than God’s Names, though. God’s Names is much more of a read aloud book and is less interactive than Get Wisdom!.

In the beginning of the book, Ms. Younts wisely begins by talking about what Christian wisdom is and how wisdom and the Gospel are related. She explains that we can’t be good enough and we can’t earn God’s love. She also explains why we want to be good. The scriptures in this page are ones that I want to memorize with my children so that they will be written on our hearts. The next section gives a definition for each of 23 traits (like listening and orderliness), a Bible verse, a prayer, and a symbolic picture to help children remember what the words mean. The next section includes a lesson plan for each of the traits. There’s a short introductory activity, the memory verse, discussion questions, and often role play suggestions for each trait.

At the beginning of the book, Ms. Younts says that the best age range for this book is K-4. I agree with that age range. This book would be perfect for children’s church or another time when you have children of these ages together. I thought of my church and the times that we have been volunteering to help watch children while the parents are taking classes at a local shelter. Most of the activities would work for home devotions as well. Only one of 23 activities wouldn’t.

What I liked best about this book is the appropriateness of both the questions and the definitions. I know that my Kindergarten and Second grade daughters would both be able to answer these questions and understand the definitions. When I was a classroom teacher, one of the most difficult things was to structure an activity so that all ability levels could participate. Ms. Younts has done an excellent job with this book of making that possible with this book.

If you’re looking for a book to use once a week for homeschooling, for family devotion times, for Sunday school, or for children’s church with K-4 graders and you have multiple age children, I highly recommend this book!

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Shepherd Press.

May 12, 2011 at 7:57 pm Leave a comment

It’s been a long time…

I have two other blogs where I post my thoughts about life, homeschooling, saving money, cooking, book reviews, and so many other things. I had forgotten why I had started this blog. I started it solely to be the lists of my favorite books that I come across as a book reviewer. So, today I am updating my lists of favorite books. For detailed reviews of these books, please go to my blog: http://lovetopaint.blogspot.com You can search in the search box for the title and it should bring up that review. Thanks for visiting this blog!

February 1, 2011 at 7:36 pm Leave a comment

Living With Distractions

Lately, I’ve felt myself to be out of whack. My schedule has been off and I’ve slid into a bad habit of watching too many videos on Netflix during the kids naptime. It’s one of those times when I know what the best thing is to do, but I’m just not making myself do it. What I need to do is turn off the computer, go outside, sit on the porch, and read a book or work in my garden. I need to seek peace and calm instead of avoiding the silence by losing myself in the television shows I watch.

Recently, my husband suggested a book for me to read. It was Distracted by Maggie Jackson. I began reading it. This book is very different than the books I usually review. It is a sociological and at times psychological analysis of our attention span and some of our cultural habits as a people.

The premise of this book is (in my words) that the rise of technology in our world is contributiong to a decline in our ability to focus and pay attention. Our relationships and learning are suffering because of it. So, is all of the technology in our world really progress? Is this the progress we want?

From the beginning, this book really made me think. My husband and I have chosen not to text and instead we have prepaid cell phones. We aren’t gamers and we don’t go into chat rooms. We are very low tech in many ways. Even so, I’ve realized how often I check my email and facebook and how much time has gotten sucked away by me watching shows online. I’ve even started to have eerie and surreal thoughts about what is real and what is virtual. I’ve caught myself at times thinking about how I would describe something on Facebook. This really concerned me when I saw this in myself. Essentially, my attention span is being split and is declining. I am distracted from what I really need to do and what is most worth investing my time in.

Reading this book reinforced some of the things I have seen in myself on a micro level and have been concerned for our society about on a macro level. Texting is really only the tip of the iceberg and this book opened my eyes to a lot of things that are going on that I didn’t even realize. For example, Maggie Jackson quoted a study that found that 20% of the players on EverQuest “say that they consider themselves denizens of the game who are just visiting Earth.” Distracted, p. 56. Wow! Truly, the virtual world has taken hold. It is seeming more real to many people than the life they are really living in person.

Here are a few quotes that hit me the most from this book:

“Freud had an experience when he was outside with a crowd watching a slide show and he wrote this about it ‘Until 9 p.m., I remain spellbound, then I begin to feel too lonely in the crowd, so I return to my room to write to you all.'”

On the next page, she writes “Now we slip easily in and out of virtual worlds and multitask each other, wondering if our seemingly miraculous power to be in many places at once brings us closer or keeps us apart…Increasingly, we sense that crucial aspects of our humanity, our ability to focus, be aware, and reason well–may be eroding, even as we surrender to the dreamlike joyride that this way of life offers. Now it’s time to confront the challenges of our day. Does intimacy survive a seemingly limitless realm of infinite prospects? Can we bolster the quality of our life by split-screen living? How do lives of perpetual movement shape our attachments to each other and change our experience of place? Facing these challenges leads us first into the “new room” in the house, the virtual space where the lights are always on.” from pg. 42-43 of Distracted

A few months ago, I read Nurture Shock on the recommendation of a friend and was very challenged and encouraged by it. Both that book and this one are written from a secular perspective (which I would define as one not concerned with God). In a similar way to Nurture Shock, Distracted has challenged my thinking and how I see the world we live in. It is also challenging to me to consider the role that I desire technology to have in my children’s lives.

I live intentionally in a way hoping to glorify God in how I live my life. So, although this book is not concerned with God, it does encourage me in how I seek to glorify God by not “needing” technology or becoming entrapped by it.

I highly recommend this book. The writing is good (as you can see from the quotes), though at times very intellectual. But, it is worth pressing on and taking your time to get through. The parts I learned the most from were in the first half. There is a large section in the second half that is about a study involving Buddhism and attention. Buddhism is written about as a behavior/lifestyle rather than as a religion.

One last quote I think is worth pondering:
“If we want to shape our own future, we must consider how we want to live and how we want to define progress, and as we do so, prepare to welcome to our ranks the thinking person’s most prickly yet necessary companion-doubt.” from Distracted by Maggie Jackson, pg. 215

Please note that I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book for review by Prometheus Books.

July 10, 2010 at 1:42 am Leave a comment

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