Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Doorposts: Because You Are Strong - A Review

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Doorposts is a company that strives to help parents who want to raise their children with a "deliberately Christian upbringing" by providing Bible studies, character training resources, books for moms, books for dads, and Bible-based toys, among other items.  Because You Are Strong is a Bible study (and so much more) that boys 12 years old and up can read and write in.  The regular price is $14.00, but it is on sale for $12.00 at the present time.

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This study is subtitled, "A Study of Godly Strength for Young Men," and includes chapters on Hebrews 11 and 12, the omnipotence of God, wisdom, temptation, being valiant, our weakness, battle, serving others, "Gray Heads," and faith.  The studies are divided into daily readings and activities and should take 15 weeks if a study is done every day.  The book can also be used with girls as spiritual strength is important for them as well.  There are alternate questions throughout the book which are marked for girls to answer.

This Bible study is different from any others I have seen.  It doesn't teach just one Bible study method but several.  It introduces the reader to different methods and the tools that can be used for each: simple meditation, a topical study, a character study, a word study, a verse study, a chapter study, character plus topical, and a book study.  The steps are outlined at the beginning of the chapter, and each day's activity allows the reader to practice a step in the process.

In the margins are gray boxes that provide further explanation.  Some of the boxes discuss apps that help with Bible memory, online Bible programs, different types of Bibles that can be used in studying Scripture, concordances, Bible dictionaries, Bible maps, tips for looking up original Greek or Hebrew words and their meanings, online commentaries, parallel Bibles, and sermons on audio.  Some of the boxes define various words, and some give further study activities.

As Nate started working through this, he didn't read the information in the gray boxes.  It just seemed like "optional" reading to him, so I made sure he knew that it was a big part of the Bible study.  He also is not one to spend a long time thinking about something.  He is very matter of fact, so the questions that asked him to observe were hard for him to answer, especially since he was given an overabundance of space in which to write his answer.

There is a great deal of valuable information contained in this study.  The chapter that does a word study works great for Nate because it is to the point.  The references like Strong's concordance are a bit difficult for him to figure out, but good instructions are provided.

Perhaps, though, there is too much information.  I would rather see two or three study methods at the most or a shorter study using just one.  Nate is extremely intelligent, but I'm not sure he'd retain all the details for all the different methods.  He'd choose one and stick to it, probably the easiest, but if he were to, say, do a three-week word study on several words, he might find that he likes it more than the easiest method.  There is value in all methods, and some of them can be done at the same time like a word study during a book study.

When I asked Nate what he thought of this study, he said, "It was kind of dull.  I didn't like the questions it asked, and I felt like it repeated itself a lot."  Based on the small amount of writing that was in the book, I didn't expect a great response from him.  I would say for Nate, this wasn't the best Bible study.  We'll keep looking.

Be sure to check out the other products that Doorposts sells and their freebies as well.  You can also request a catalog.


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Summer Series: 50 States - Illinois



Located in the midwestern United States, this state joined the Union on December 3, 1818, as the 21st state.  It is the 25th largest and the 5th most populous.  The largest city is Chicago, but the capital is Springfield.  Because Abraham Lincoln called this city his home, it became the capital in 1837.  Lincoln was one of many famous Illinoisans.  Some people born in this state include: Walt Disney, Wyatt Earp, Harrison Ford, Benny Goodman, Dorothy Hamill, Herbie Hancock, Ernest Hemingway, Wild Bill Hickok, Ronald Reagan, A.G. Spalding, and Robin Williams, to name a few.  There have been many politicians and activists who were born in Illinois as well.

The world Illinois comes from "Illini," which was a confederation of six Indian tribes living in the area.  The nickname is the Prairie State, and the state motto is "State Sovereignty, National Union."  This motto is seen on the state flag which was designed by Lucy Derwent in 1913.  She won a design contest.  It was redesigned in 1970 and contains the state seal which was created in 1868.

Illinois' industries are mainly agriculture, producing corn and soybeans primarily; hogs and cattle; manufacturing of machinery and processed foods; and coal mining.

The first skyscraper in the world was built in Chicago in 1885.  It was called the Home Insurance Building and was just 10 stories tall.  Elisha Otis, an American inventor, helped to quell the fears of the public regarding the elevator.  Fourteen years earlier, Chicago had been all but burned to the ground.  As the story goes, sometime in the evening on October 8, 1871, Mrs. O'Leary's cow knocked over a lantern and began the Great Chicago Fire.  Read about it here.

Illinois' state bird is the Cardinal, and the state mammal is the white-tailed deer.  The insect is the Monarch butterfly.  (What other states that we have studied have the Monarch butterfly as their state insect?)  The Illinois Native Violet is the state flower, and the White oak is the state tree.

Illinois has a number of very interesting places to visit.  The Navy Pier in Chicago, along Lake Michigan, is 50 acres of entertainment, shopping, dining, etc.  While in Chicago, travel to the top of Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower.  It stands 110 stories tall and is the tallest building in the U.S.  Read some facts about this skyscraper here.  Sports enthusiasts will want to visit Wrigley Field, which has been in operation for 99 years.  Learn about Cahokia Mounds, the site of an ancient civilization, near Collinsville, Illinois.  While in Springfield, visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum to learn more about our 16th President.  In Volo, there is an auto museum which houses movie cars, celebrities' cars, and antique cars, as well as cars that are for sale.  There are also five antique malls on the site.

Visit Robie House in Chicago, a dwelling designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright.  Wright's Home and Studio is located in Oak Park, Illinois.  The Hull House offers a trip to the past.  The John Deere Historic Site is located in Grand Detour.  See a list of historic house museums in Illinois.

Here are some games for learning about Illinois.

The following selections come from Christianbook.com.  

DISCLAIMER: I am an affiliate, so if you purchase through my blog I will receive a small commission.

495127: Illinois My First Book, Grades K-5 Illinois My First Book, Grades K-5
By Gallopade International

An "early bird" intro to basic state facts. Covers state basics such as state nickname, seal, song, bird, motto, flag, regions, industries, neighbors, and weather, plus an intro to state history, people and more. Includes: drawing, mazes, matching, coloring, and more! Reproducible. Available for all 50 states. Grades K-5; ages 5-10.

912101: State Shapes: Illinois State Shapes: Illinois
By Workman Publishing

These colorful, fact-filled books are irresistible! Die-cut in the shape of the state, each one takes readers on a fascinating journey to visit intriguing places, meet famous and historic figures, learn about animals and wildlife, and experience the culture that makes each state unique. Packed with fun facts, exciting history and fascinating folklore, State Shapes are illustrated with a warmth, humor, and flare that will appeal to kids and parents alike. Hardcover, 47 pages.

413932: Illinois Classic Christmas Trivia Illinois Classic Christmas Trivia
By Carole Marsh / Gallopade International

State-specific Classic Christmas Trivia makes a great coffee table book, classroom read, or display for your business. This book --- in an edition for each U.S. state---shares a wealth of fascinating historical material and trivia about everything from holiday traditions to how we got the Christmas tree, recipes, and much more. 

818482: Lincoln: A Photobiography Lincoln: A Photobiography
By Russell Freedman / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Winner of the 1988 Newbery Medal, this eloquent work brings vitality to the story of Abraham Lincoln's life. Filled with photographs of Lincoln, his family, home, and children, they perfectly complement the engaging and easy to understand text. Covering his humble beginnings in Kentucky and Illinois to his final night at Ford's Theatre, children and adults will appreciate this photographic portrait of Lincoln's life and accomplishments. 150 pages with index; softcover.

002796: Heroes of History: Abraham Lincoln, A New Birth of Freedom Heroes of History: Abraham Lincoln, A New Birth of Freedom
By Janet & Geoff Benge / Emerald Books

The Heroes of History series chronicles the true stories of fascinating men and women who changed the course of history. Abraham Lincoln had never set his sights on becoming president; after all, he'd grown up in a log cabin on the frontier and had hardly any formal schooling. But as the question of slavery threatened to destroy the United States, this self-taught lawyer with a sharp mind and passion for justice found himself at the center of the greatest debate the nation had ever faced.
For ages 10 and up.

448862: Who Was Abraham Lincoln? Who Was Abraham Lincoln?
By Janet Pascal / Grosset & Dunlap

Who was Abraham Lincoln? How did he guide the nation through the Civil War and the abolition of slavery? Learn about his life as the sixteenth president of the United States up until the time of his tragic assassination. Over 100 black-and-white illustrations and maps are included. Ages 9-11. 112 pages, softcover.

987951: Ronald Regan Our 40th President Ronald Regan Our 40th President
By Winston Groom / Regnery Publishing

Learn about Ronald Reagan, from his birth in 1911 in Tampico, Illinois, through his presidency, up until his death in 2005. You will learn fun facts about his college years, his time as a soldier, and even his stint as a Hollywood movie actor, and so much more. Includes full-color photographs from throughout Reagan's life. Written for young adults, now the next generation can learn more of one of America's greatest presidents.

670740: Ronald Reagan Ronald Reagan
By Michael Burgan / DK Publishing Inc.

Learn all about the beloved conservative president, Ronald Reagan. From his early days in Illinois, to his movie star days, up until his last days, this book covers it all, giving fun facts about Reagan and sharing pictures of him throughout his life. An excellent look into life and presidency of Ronald Reagan. 128 pages, softcover.

833859: Journey Around Chicago from A to Z Journey Around Chicago from A to Z
By Martha Day Zschock / Applewood Books

868754: Great Chicago Fire of 1871, The Great Chicago Fire of 1871, The
By Coughlan Publishing

593503: Skyscrapers! Super Structures to Design & Build Skyscrapers! Super Structures to Design & Build
By Carol A Johmann / Ideals Publications Inc

Ready to reach for the sky? Be a Kaleidoscope Kid and take the Kaleidoscope Scraper Challenge! Fill a gaping hole in the ground (so huge it takes up a whole city block!) with a tall, efficient, awesome building that you design and build - one that will truly scrape the sky! The sky's the limit when you take the Kaleidoscope Kids Challenge! Plan a model city! Make decisions and solve problems. Design your own skyscraper- Build your own skyscraper! Ages 8-14.

117476: Cahokia: Ancient America"s Great City on the Mississippi Cahokia: Ancient America's Great City on the Mississippi
By Timothy R. Pauketat / Penguin Putnam Inc.

Almost a thousand years ago, a Native American city flourished along the Mississippi River near what is now St. Louis. A thriving metropolis at its height with a population of twenty thousand, a sprawling central plaza, and scores of spectacular earthen mounds, Cahokia gave rise to a new culture that spread across the plains; yet by 1400 it had been abandoned.
In Cahokia, anthropologist Timothy R. Pauketat reveals the story of the city and its people as uncovered by the excavations of American corn-belt archaeologists. These digs have revealed evidence of a powerful society, including complex celestial timepieces, the remains of feasts big enough to feed thousands, and disturbing signs of large-scale human sacrifice.  Drawing on these pioneering digs and a wealth of analysis by historians and archaeologists, Pauketat provides a comprehensive picture of what's been discovered about Cahokia and how these findings have challenged our perceptions of Native Americans. A lively read and a compelling narrative of prehistoric America.

93629: Famous Buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright Coloring Book Famous Buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright Coloring Book
By Bruce LaFontaine / Dover Publications

Enrich your child's imagination and creativity with these 44 line drawings on some of the finest architectural achievements of the 20th century in the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. Each page is suitable for coloring and includes information about each structure.