Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Christianity Cove: 100 Simple Service Projects and Bullying and the Bible Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2013

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                 Christianity Cove offers a vast array of teaching topics that are geared towards teaching groups of children. There were several of their titles that caught my attention and I was excited to have the opportunity to choose 2 of them for my family to review. The first one I chose was Teach Kids to Serve; 100 Simple Service Projects  geared to kids ages 4 and up and the next a topic that hits very close to home, Bullying and the Bible; 12 Lessons for Kids ages 5-16. Each of these sell for $29.95 for a PDF download, but for a limited time if you are one of the first 250 to order you can get your copy for only $19.95, so act fast.

   Let me start with 100 Simple Service Projects, I am always on the lookout for service projects for the kids to do and also for us as a family. Now service projects vary in many ways, one being it can be doing something for others physically like helping mow their lawn or weed their garden, or it can be holding a fundraiser to help and organization in need. This can be a local organization or one far away overseas. I have tried to lead my kids by example, but they are always asking for help to come up with their own service projects and I thought this would be a great place for them to start. This way they can once again work on their independence. My kids know that I always donate products that I sell to help with a charity raffle, usually for friends that are holding fundraisers for various causes. I always offer to lend a hand to anyone that may need it, for instance running family or friends who do not drive to their doctor appointment or to get groceries. Obviously kids cannot do that, so what can they do? This is the perfect helper for getting them started. Not only does it offer suggestions of ideas to help but teaches the kids how to start small and close to home and then build up from there.

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     This is done by breaking service into 5 categories.
  1. Service to the family
chores, being kind and lending a helping hand.

  2.Service to your neighbors
taking their trash out, doing yard work, walking their dog, organizing a neighborhood yard sale.

  3. Service to the Community, this section is subdivided into 6 more categories
        a. Serving the Elderly
        b.Services for Children
        c.Services for Animals
        d.Services for the Environment
        e.Services for Wildlife
        f.Services to Community Shelters

  4.Services to Large Charities in the USA or Overseas
This section contains a list of 18 child friendly organizations, for instance for us we always send boxes for Operation Christmas Child, we sponsor children from World Vision, but there are so many more  and we are glad to have a handy list to refer to when we want to do more in that area.

   5.Service of a Child's Own Design
This section highlights ways children have started their own charitable organizations. I can see at least one of my children getting to this point in the not so distant future.

   I want my kids to want to serve not because they have to, the education system makes community service a requirement of graduation, now this is a good thing do not get me wrong but I find it sad that the majority of today's generation doesn't serve just because their heart leads them to. I want my kids to want to give because they feel led to do so not because they are being forced to. Now as much as an parent hopes and prays that their child is a naturally born giver, that does not happen. However with some help it should not be hard to help steer them that way. I do admit that one of my children has a more giving heart than the others but that does not mean that the other 2 do not want to be givers, they just need a little more help and guidance. I have seen improvements in this as we have continued to use this e-book to help us start small and move up to bigger things. Some things we were already doing like I mention above, but I feel they could actually be doing more small things on a daily basis.

   This is where I see changes happening, Taylor has been offering to do more chores around the house, even mow the lawn, now if you know Taylor this is a huge improvement. Nick has been spending more time with Alyx playing ball, and just chatting, this is a milestone as they have very different interests and do not always see eye to eye. Alyx has been offering his help to fellow campers whether they need help setting up their camper or need help fixing things. He is very knowledgeable and he is learning to use his talents for good. It makes me so proud when I hear people comment on what fine young men my boys are. This helps to reassure me that I am doing a good job as a Mom and Teacher. We will continue to use 100 Simple Service Projects to continue on this journey of service.

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   Now we move onto a more somber topic, and one that hits very close to home for this family. While we had played with the notion to homeschool for many years, we finally made the plunge in 2010 when we were watching Alyx struggle with anxiety and panic attacks about going to school. Little did we know at the time that the root of it all was that he was being bullied. Having Asperger's Syndrome leads to some distinct social differences with these kids that unfortunately often leaves them vulnerable to bullies. When Alyx was younger he often had interests that were not socially "acceptable" for boys his age, he liked cooking and baking and scrapbooking. The sad thing is these are all things he loved doing and he was proud of his accomplishments and shared with others. This led to even more bullying. It was our fear of what this was doing to our son's self esteem that prompted us to pull him and Taylor who also has Asperger's and homeschool. I wanted them to have the freedom to pursue their interests whatever they may be in the safety of our home and not have to subject themselves to the peer pressure of society's definition of who they should be. The funny thing is as time goes on they are so much more relaxed and now both like age appropriate things, but we do not feel compelled to send them back to public school, our reasons for homeschooling over the last few years has evolved into something so much bigger. The bible is a big part of our everyday life and I was intrigued with how the Bible and Bullying go hand in hand.

    Bullying and the Bible is another wonderful e-book from Christianity Cove and it helps to teach with the Bible that bullying is wrong and harmful. In this book there are 6 lesson that incorporate more than 30 Scripture verses. Now this is geared for kids from 5-16 so some of the things like the craft projects my boys were a little old for and did not feel compelled to complete. This was OK with me so long as we did the actual lessons. The suggested course is to complete one lesson each week, we moved a little faster than that but it is all up to you. Each lesson takes about 1 hour to complete if you do all of the suggested activities, which like I said we did not partake in. Each lesson is broken down into 6 parts...
    1. Lesson Capsule, brief introduction to the lesson
    2. Top of the lesson attention getter, definition of bullying included in each lesson
    3. Review of last lesson
    4. Lesson, each of the lesson teaches a specific anti-bullying. These lessons are completely scripted for you, which is a nice benefit.
    5. Craft or discussion, if you do the crafts they are used to reinforce the lessons, the materials are easy to find and fairly inexpensive
    6. Games, these games are to be played immediately following the lesson to reinforce what was learned.
  I found this e-book to be well thought out and extremely organized. I feel that it helped instill in my kids that bullying in any form is wrong and needs to be dealt with. I also liked how it incorporated scripture to back up the teachings of bullying. I want the kids to always know God has their back even when they may not feel that way. This is a helpful teaching tool and would be beneficial to all families, Sunday schools, youth groups and even homeschool co-ops.

  Christianity Cove has so much more to offer, be sure to check them out and take advantage of their limited time offer to save money if you are one of the first 250 to order. Also be sure to click the banner below to read all of the reviews of the wide range of products the Schoolhouse Review Crew was offered to try out with their families. I know we will be ordering some more for our Fall studies.


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