Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Celebrating Manhood - A Rite of Passage Guide {Review}

As a reviewer for the Home School Review Crew I was given the opportunity to review some products from the Home School Adventure Co.  This is wonderful company that was founded by a homeschool family.  Their mission is to help "other families cultivate and defend a biblical worldview"
Home School Adventure Company

I chose to review their product, Celebrating Manhood: a rite of passage guide.  It was written by Stacy Farrell as a way to help her sons celebrate their growth into men of integrity.

Celebrating Manhood a Rite of Passage Guide

My husband didn't have any kind of rite of passage like this when he was growing up.  Sadly, the idea of a rite of passage is something that our modern culture seems to have lost.  Instead childhood just seems to go on and on.  There doesn't seem to be much expectation for teenagers and young adults to be productive with their time and to think outside of themselves so they end up spending their days glued to their cell phones or playing video games. 

However, in the past, there were higher expectations for young people.  They were taught skills and values by their older generations.  They were given more responsibility at younger ages and they were expected to behave maturely and contribute to their family and society as a whole.  We need to get back to that attitude that young people can make a difference and a worthy contribution to the world around them by learning from their elders and then going out and applying themselves.  

A rite of passage celebration is the perfect way for a young man to realize what is expected of him as he enters into young adulthood.  It is his time to grow into his potential and be all that God has planned for him.  

Stacy Farrell has written Celebrating Manhood: a rite of passage guide to help plan a rite of passage for her growing sons.  It is a great resource for parents who have not attended such an event because she has already planned it all out for you.  She includes a blueprint for the celebration and she even includes a template for you to use to make the invitations.  The packet includes an agenda which covers inviting a few men who have been important in the young man's life, food, activities, blessings, and question cards.  

The Question Cards come as 3 different sets of printable cards to be used during the celebration.  The topics for the 3 sets are "If Only I Had Known...", "I Remember When...", and "What I Value and Respect...".  The men at the celebration take turns pulling a card from a deck and giving a meaningful answer.    

Here are a few examples of questions in the cards:

  • What helps you deal with the inevitable disappointments you encounter in life?
  • What is one of the best experiences you had with your dad?
  • If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
You can purchase the digital download for $14.95 or order a print version for $18.95.  

I think a rite of passage celebration is a wonderful milestone in a young man's life and it is an opportunity that should not be missed.  I'm grateful for the ideas and resources that are included in Celebrating Manhood.  However, for the price, I would like to see a little bit more information about the importance of the ceremony in a young man's life and perhaps a few more specifics included with the ideas for the agenda.  Overall, I think it is a great product and I would definitely recommend it to parents of boys.

If you would like to check out some more reviews from the Home School Review Crew about this product and others from the Home School Adventure Co., please click on the banner below:

Resources with a Biblical Worldview{Home School Adventure Co. Reviews}

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Creating a Masterpiece {Review}

We have been using a wonderful homeschool art curriculum called Creating a Masterpiece.  It offers an online art program taught through videos by art teacher, Sharon Hofer.  This is really a great product and I'm so excited that we had a chance to review it.
Creating a Masterpiece

The art projects are divided into levels - Beginner and then levels 1 to 5.  The Beginner projects are short with just one lesson and could probably be completed in about an hour.  The art projects for the other levels are broken into multiple lessons with each lesson taking approximately an hour to complete.  These more challenging art projects have about three to four lessons each.  I had planned to have my children complete a lesson every other day but honestly they enjoyed them so much that they kept going through more lessons on their own!

We started with a Level 2 project using oil pastels.  My kids both love animals so they wanted to create the panda bear.  I think they were especially intrigued that it was made on velour paper so it would be soft and fuzzy like touching a real bear.

They watched the videos and completely their preliminary drawing.

Ms. Hofer taught them to draw the bear by starting with basic shapes and then going back to add detail.  My kids did great with this.  Drawing a panda bear can seem like quite a challenge but the way the steps were laid out, my kids weren't intimidated at all.  

Next they transferred their panda bear to the velour paper.  Isn't he already adorable?

I was really impressed with how much my children enjoyed these art lessons.  They were excited to get started each day and they moved through the lessons on their own. 

Here are their finished panda bears.  They had a lot of fun creating him and they are so proud of the way this art project turned out.

Nicholas, age 12

Rachel, age 8

They also made a Level 4 project using copper tooling to make seahorses.  This one had some unusual supplies like copper sheets and liver of sulphur to create the patina.

I love teaching art to my kids but I really dislike having to run to the craft store all the time for supplies.  Plus if I'm unfamiliar with the supplies then I usually end up questioning if I've bought the right items, correct sizes, etc.  So I really appreciate the fact that with Creating a Masterpiece, not only is there a list of all of the supplies that you need but you can even click on a link to purchase supplies.  When you click to purchase supplies, you are taken to the Dick Blick art supply webpage where all of the supplies for your particular project are grouped together and you just click on which ones you want to add to your cart.   What an amazing partnership between these two great companies! I wasn't sure where to buy velour paper or liver of sulphur so I was glad to be able to order it through the website and know that I got just the right product.  It was quick and easy.

We reviewed the monthly plan which costs $39.99 per month and gives you access to all of the online art lessons which includes over 144 lessons and additional tips.  There are other options available though.  You can save some money by signing up for annual access for $349.  This is really a bargain because it is so much cheaper than a year of art classes for my two kids!  You can check out other membership options HERE.

Please check out some more reviews for Creating a Masterpieces from the Home School Review Crew by clicking on the banner below:

Creating Beautiful Art at Home {Creating A Masterpiece Reviews}

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