Grapevine Studies Birth of Jesus Review

Grapevine Studies Review
 

As a member of the TOS Review Crew, I had the opportunity to review the Birth of Jesus, Beginner Edition from GrapeVine Studies. I have used GrapeVine in the past and was excited to review this study, just in time for the Christmas holiday season.

WHAT IS GRAPEVINE STUDIES?

GrapeVine is a Bible study curriculum designed for simplicity, engagement, and effectiveness. Through the use of a timeline and simple stick figure drawing (anyone can do that!) students learn the major characters and events of the Bible. There is plenty of review, and as the children get older they are introduced to Bible geography, in addition to scripture.

Grapevine Studies Review
 

USING THE BIRTH OF JESUS STUDY

The Birth of Jesus studies are designed to give the student a thorough understanding of who Jesus is and how his birth came to be. but also who the important figures in his life at the time of his birth. But it doesn’t stop there. Students also learn about the important, pivotal figures in Jesus’ life at the time of his birth.

Students will learn about and better understand the roles of

  • Mary
  • Joseph
  • Jesus’ Birth
  • The Shepherds
  • The Temple
  • The Wise Men
  • Herod

Here’s where I admit I’ve used GrapeVine Studies products before, even before this review, and already loved the quality and heart of their products.

Even so, I was really impressed with this study. It’s simple yet effective. You can simply stick to the basics or you can go deep into discussion and the Word. It’s versatile, and easy to apply. And, I loved that there was attention given to areas of Jesus’ birth that are often overlooked in children’s Bible studies. Like Anna’s declaration and Simeon’s proclamation.

Grapevine Studies Review

WHY I RECOMMEND GRAPEVINE STUDIES

There are many reasons to love GrapeVine Studies, but this is why I personally love their curriculum…

Caters to all ages: This is a program you can use with the whole family, and that grows with your children. I enjoy finding what we like and sticking with it for as long as it works. Plus, when I had 3 teens in the house, in addition to the two little ones I’m now teaching, it was nice to be able to sit down and study together.

Works With Any Denomination: Each lesson gives the parent a Bible scripture to focus on. It’s completely up to the parent how they apply that scripture, how deep they go, what translation they use…it’s ALL up to the parent. So, it doesn’t matter if you’re Baptist, Catholic, or Non-Denominational. This can work for you.

Any Order You Want: This is probably my favorite part. You can tackle GrapeVine Studies in two ways. You can learn in a linear fashion, starting at the Old Testament and following it through the New Testament. Or, you can mix it up and do their topical studies on specific Biblical figures like Joseph, Ester, or Jesus. Some even choose to follow a linear study and then go deeper into the specific Bible characters as they reach them.

Grapevine Studies Review
I hope you’ll check out the Birth of Jesus study! It is a truly wonderful study for the advent season that is sure to bless your family, and help you children focus on not only the true reason of Christmas, but the intricacies of the story behind the reason.

I am just one of 100 bloggers who were blessed to review Grapevine Studies products. See what other items were reviewed – and why so many families love Grapevine Studies!

You can also follow Grapevine Studies on social media:

Grapevine Studies Review
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Brinkman Adventures Audio Dramas : A Review

As part of the TOS Review Crew I was given the opportunity to review an audio drama series from Brinkman Adventures: Season 3. See below for my thoughts and impressions of this product.

Christian stories on CD

Audio dramas are a fun way to enrich any homeschool curriculum! They can also make bedtime more fun for the kids, and easier on mom and dad. Do you use them? I’d love for you to tell me in the comments how you use audio dramas and what your favorite genres are. 

I was given the opportunity to review the third season of audio dramas from the popular Brinkman Adventures. Why are these audio dramas so popular?

First, because they’re quality. Well scripted, developed characters, and wonderfully animated with talented voices.

Second, because they’re wholesome. Brinkman Adventures audios are dramatized stories of the experiences of modern Christian missionaries.

I took advantage of the long drive to the 2:1 Conference to listen to my CD copy of Brinkman Adventures season 3 recordings. This season’s episodes include:

  1. God’s Mule
  2. Mountain Mover
  3. The Silent Ambassador
  4. Translating Trouble
  5. Man-Up
  6. Acorns & Oaks
  7. A Saint’s Story Part. 1
  8. A Saint’s Story Part. 2
  9. Untouched
  10. Busy Bees and a Bullhorn
  11. Missionary Tourist Part. 1
  12. Missionary Tourist Part 2

As I sat and listened to the story unfold I was impressed by the quality of the voices – great voice animation and fun but clear accents (where accents were needed). That was the first thing to catch my attention because, as you know if you’ve tried audio dramas before, sometimes the voices will be dry, withheld, and mundane.

These voices were able to keep my attention, and I was happy for that.

I was also impressed by the diversity of the stories. Brinkman Adventures tells the stories of many missionaries I’ve never heard of. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t tire of hearing about Gladys Aylward, but I love learning new things. And it was refreshing to be mentally whisked away to unfamiliar times and countries, with new and exciting challenges.

These are not biographies, so you won’t learn about a specific person – that is the one drawback for me. However the stories are based on true missionary accounts, the challenges they face, and how God always shows Himself mighty.

Brinkman Adventures

If you’re concerned your child may not sit still long enough to listen to an audio story, feel free to take advantage of the fun extras Brinkman Adventures has to offer. They have downloadable coloring pages for their first six episodes from season 1.

They also have informative behind the scenes information for all seasons. Like this one, providing background information about Tomas, the real-life Bible smuggler in God’s Mule from season 3.

And, you can take your Brinkman Adventures wherever you go by choosing physical cd’s, or MP3 downloads. They make it easy!

I’m not the only blogger to review Brinkman Adventures audio dramas. Click the image below to see what others are saying. And, be sure to follow Brinkman Adventures on Facebook to stay up to date on all their products and sales.

Brinkman Adventures Season 3 Review
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Dig-It! Games Mayan Mysteries Review

As part of the TOS Review Crew I was given the opportunity to review Mayan Mysteries from Dig-It! Games. Below are my thoughts about this online game that was created to be both fun and educational.

Mayan Mysteries Game

What do homeschoolers always say?  That learning should be fun! Right? So why is it we often have an aversion to online or video games? I don’t know. I think maybe it’s just the stigma. You know, from back in the day when video games just meant eating pac-dots.

Now games have so much more to offer! Dig-It Games takes you on an archaeological adventure and into the Mayan civilization through a series of puzzles and clues which help the player solve mysteries. It’s critical thinking and history combined.

What I Liked

Historically Based

Dig It! Games Review

After the player navigates a series of common-day challenges they are transported back in time. While there is a fun storyline and adventure, Mayan Mysteries Online Game has done a good job of sticking to what is know about Mayan life. Players get to explore what we know about the daily life of the Mayan people. They learn about social structure and the political culture.

This is all done with a “broad brush” and fun fashion. However, I like this approach because it’s easy to tie in the game with our other studies.

“Dig” Deeper

Online Mayan Game

As I was saying above, it’s easy to tie in this game with other studies to dig a little deeper (see what I did there 😉 ) into this fascinating period in history.

Dig-It Games provides an in-game encyclopedia which includes over 450 interesting tidbits for the player to use and expand. In addition to the encyclopedia, you can take advantage of provided maps and quizzes. So, this can truly be incorporated as part of school.

So ahead, assign your child to play Mayan Mysteries Online Games for an hour. That’ll teach them a lesson! For real.

Affordability and Convenience

Dig It! Games Review
Mayan Mysteries Online Game is available to play online, or you can download it on your iOS device. Your child has the ability to play wherever they can get online. I personally think this would be a great way to keep kids busy learning when mom is busy – like when you’re waiting for other children to finish up at co-op.

Or when you need a quiet moment to balance the checkbook. Just sayin.

To download this game for a single user, the price is only $3.99.  That’s highly affordable!  Even large families can’t argue with that deal.  However there is also a classroom edition for $189.99.  This could be a great investment for a school or co-op.

Versions I’d Like To See

At such an affordable price, and the wealth of educational material, it’s hard to pick any drawbacks for this game.

However, I always give balanced reviews so if I had any constructive criticism it would be that I’d love to see a less reading-intensive version for younger learners. Or, a version that would better cater to struggling readers.

The Mayan Mysteries Online Game was created more for upper elementary students. While my 8 year old, new 3rd grader can enjoy the game itself and the myriad of activities, I would love to see a version he could play by himself with little prompting from mom. And I know he’d enjoy it too!

Learn more and follow Dig-It! Games on social media:
Dig-It! Facebook
Dig-It! Twitter
Dig-It! YouTube

To see what others have to say about Dig-It Games Mayan Mysteries and Roman Town Games, click the Schoolhouse Review Crew image below.

Dig-It! Games Review

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