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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Schoolhouse Crew Review: Real Life Press

Real Life Press Review
Heidi St. John is a homeschooling mom of 7 and is a popular speaker at homeschool conventions and author.  Her husband Jay is a worship pastor.   Their company, Real Life Press is a publishing company who believes that exploration of the Bible and a consistent relationship with Jesus will help us to live the real life we were meant to experience in all areas of our life.  We recently had an opportunity to use and review Firmly Planted, Books of Moses, Part 2 Family Study Guide and Student Book.
Real Life Press Review
The Firmly Planted series is made up of 10 week studies for adults and children of all ages.  You need to purchase a family study guide in either an ebook copy or a physical book.  There is also a student workbook you can purchase in ebook or physical format.  The books in this series are: The Books of Moses Part 1, The Books of Moses Part 2, The Gospels 1, and The Gospels 2.

The Books of Moses Part 2 contains the following lessons:

Joseph Sold Into Slavery

Joseph Saves His Family

Moses and the Burning Bush

The Plagues

Crossing the Red Sea

The Ten Commandments

The Tabernacle

The Golden Calf

Choosing the Levites

Exploring the Promised Land

I received a physical copy of the Family Study Guide.  It is a 112 page paperback book and can be purchased for $14.99.  Each lesson in the Family Study Guide has several components:

The Seed is the key concept for the week.

Planting the Seed is the recommended memory verse for ages 4-11.

Additional Planting the Seed is a more challenging verse for older students.

Watering the Seedling 5-6 minute story lesson.

Daily Study is the days daily devotion.  Each week has 4 daily studies.

Digging Deeper is for use with adults and older children to into deeper discussion.

Taste the Fruit is a life application segment based on what was learned each day.
To go along with the Family Study Guide, I also received a physical copy of the Student Workbook.  This book is a 225 page spiral bound book. In it you will find a wide variety of learning activities to make the lessons come alive for your students such as : puzzles and mazes, copywork, prayer journal pages, coloring pages, word searches, nature studies, discussion questions, vocabulary words,and more.  The workbook also has an upper class section to give older students a deeper understanding of what is being studied.  The workbook has a generous copyright allowing you to make copies within your own family.  You can purchase the workbook for $39.99.

There are different icons listed in the workbook as well.  Nurturing the Sapling shows that a new lesson is being introduced and will include different activities.  Bearing Fruit draws attention to a deeper life application and extended discussion questions.  Digging Deeper indicates a deeper life application is being introduced.

You can also purchase the book and workbook in a set for $49.95.

I used The Books of Moses Part 2 with my 4,6,8,9,11,and 13 year olds 4 days per week as our morning Bible study.  Two things that jumped right out to me when I was chosen for this review was that I could use it with all my children and I could copy the pages of the workbook.  Both of those are a huge benefit when you are homeschooling a crowd.  Sometimes when a curriculum says you can use with all ages, what it really means is you CAN use it with all ages, but you are going to have to make some adjustments to it to make it work.  With this study, you can really use it with all ages without having to make any adjustments.  There is a wide variety of activities and memory verses that really will suit all ages.  With my younger girls I had coloring and drawing pages for them while they listened to the readings.  For the middle children we had crosswords and word searches for younger ones and advanced for the oldest children.  Some of the activities we all did together.  My favorite activities in the workbook was the Nature Studies and the Map It! pages.  I thought these items added something a little more in depth than many devotional studies.  And I thought it was very cool when my 9 year old saw a map the other day and said, "Look there are the bunny ears we mapped the other day," (the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba.)  Though I didn't use it with my children, the inclusion of the upper class section is wonderful and enables even older children and adults to work on the same study just more in depth.

One of the struggles that I had was because there are so many things to choose from there is little guidance telling what to do when.  I would have liked to see more direction in the workbook such as suggestions for spreading out the activities to match the different daily devotions.  There is an answer key in the back of the book for each lesson but it does not include the definitions or answers to the What Do You Remember sections.  Also, some of the Bible passages you are reading are not included in the book and some that are do not show the entire passage so be sure to have a Bible close by.

I have enjoyed working through this study with my children and will spend the next few weeks finishing it up.  

Member of The Crew reviewed a variety of items from Real Life Press such as The Gospels Part 1, The Gospels Part 2, The Books of Moses Part 2, The Busy Homeschool Mom's Guide to Romance, The Busy Homeschool Mom's Guide to Daylight, and Lapbooking Made Simple.  To see what my Crew Mates had to say, click on the banner below.
Real Life Press Review
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