Strategies to Slow Down & Savor the Season

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FiveWaysSlowDownMYBCan you believe Thanksgiving is less than one week away? Ready or not, the retail rush into the holidays has been in full force for weeks now, with Christmas displays up at some stores in my town even before Halloween! And I’ve been inundated with email ads from businesses that can’t even wait for Black Friday — sending their deals early and encouraging me to shop this weekend.

I don’t like being ambushed by the commercial frenzy: I want to savor the season, spend meaningful time with my family, and share gifts from the heart — and I’m sure I’m not the only one. So how can we avoid being rushed through the holidays?

Join me today at Managing Your Blessings, where I’m sharing five strategies that have helped me slow down and keep my family’s focus on the reason for the season. It is possible to enjoy the your family’s favorite traditions, stay under budget, and share the love that we celebrate at Christmas without running ourselves ragged!

Read the full post here…

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How do you make sure to slow down during the holiday season? What are some of your family’s favorite traditions? What do you do to keep your family focused on the reason for the season? Share your strategies and challenges in the comments below.

Review: AIG Pilgrim’s Progress Curriculum

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A few years ago, I read Little Pilgrim’s Progress: From John Bunyan’s Classic (by Helen L. Taylor) to my three daughters as a family read-aloud. We all loved it, and I had planned to come back to John Bunyan’s original when they were older. I was so excited to be given the opportunity to review the Answers In Genesis Complete Pilgrim’s Progress Pack because we would not only be reading the full version together, but we’d be equipped with more tools to explore this important, time-tested allegory.

Recommended for grade 2 through adults, AIG’s Complete Pilgrim’s Progress Pack is currently on sale for $59.99 (an $80 value, with components also sold individually). There are three components to the Complete Pilgrim’s Progress Pack, and with a mixed age group who all have distinct learning styles, I was looking forward to using the audio, the illustrated paperback and the all-in-one curriculum, which includes discussion questions, commentary and pointers to further research & activities throughout, as a set to make the learning experience more engaging for each of them.

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Don’t forget to enter our giveaway for a Complete Pilgrim’s Progress Pack below!

What’s included in the Complete Pilgrim’s Progress Pack:

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In Practice…

The first thing that impressed me about this package from AIG was the quality and content of The Pilgrim’s Progress, All-In-One Curriculum hardcover book. Thorough instructor’s guidelines are provided to make your journey through The Pilgrim’s Progress a complete unit study — which made me particularly happy because I love to use the unit study approach in our homeschool. The introduction provides detailed insight into the historical background and context in which John Bunyan wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress, including the original Author’s Apology he wrote in response to some of the criticism he received about the book.

As you dive into each chapter using The Pilgrim’s Progress, All-In-One, you’ll find illustrations, vocabulary, related scripture references in the margins, a complementary memory verse, additional commentary, and discussion questions. We enjoyed the insight and context provided by taking the time to explore each chapter using these tools. Because you can spend a lot of time with the additional material provided in the all-in-one version, I would read through it in advance and decide how you want to approach it based on the ages and learning styles of your children.

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Here’s how we approached the set: We started with the dramatic audio version, which was perfect for afternoons spent driving to dance classes. Although the old English was more difficult to understand for my seven-year-old, the emotion behind the dialogue was captivating and kept her attention. Once they were drawn in by the audio (to the point they couldn’t wait to move on!) we went back and revisited each chapter using the all-in-one version. My eldest daughter (13), who is a visual learner and advanced reader, read the Illustrated & Annotated version on her own (fast) pace, whereas my auditory 12-year-old prefers reading along while we are reading aloud together.

The student CD included in the All-In-One curriculum provides printouts of all the fill-in-the-blank discussion material in the book, making it really easy for your students to either jot down their responses on their own as they read or take notes as you discuss each chapter as a family. I always appreciate easy access to PDFs for printing out pages that you’ll want to save if you are creating a notebook for your study.

Although my seven-year-old enjoyed the audio and was able to follow along well enough to discuss the themes, I would have liked to have something tailored specifically for the youngest children in the audience. My youngest is a kinesthetic learner, so she learns best when she’s physically doing something with what we are learning. Perhaps a printable coloring book using the beautiful illustrations provided in the Illustrated & Annotated version, puppets to cut out and color, or crossword puzzles with character names and vocabulary?

That one wish aside, we are all really enjoying AIG’s Complete Pilgrim’s Progress Curriculum and look forward to each lesson. As Ken Ham shares in the foreword, Pilgrim’s Progress is a very special book: A powerful allegory that has stood the test of time like no other book (besides the Bible of course), still a best-seller more than 300 years after it was written! It should be revisited regularly, and Answers In Genesis has provided a wonderful set of tools with which to explore its themes and biblical truths.

As a member of the Answers In Genesis Blogger Review Team, I received a copy of this product in exchange for my honest review and promotion. All opinions are my own, and no other compensation was received. I am disclosing this information in accordance with FTC Guidelines.

This week, Answers In Genesis is hosting a giveaway for NextGen Homeschool readers for a FREE Complete Pilgrim’s Progress Pack, valued at $80! Enter below.

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Thankful to Homeschool When Life Happens

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ThankfulToHomeschoolLifeHappens

I’m going to be honest here: This year has been particularly hard. Life has gotten pretty crazy with major changes for our business, home and family, including the building and development of newly purchased property while trying to sell our existing home. My well-laid homeschool plans have had to be scratched and contingency plans put […]

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Five Reasons I’m Thankful for Homeschooling

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FiveReasonsThankfulHomeschool

As a NextGen Homeschooler, I am thankful for my own homeschooling experience as well as the opportunity to homeschool my own daughters now. Homeschooling has come a long way since the mid-80s when my mom started homeschooling: From more curriculum options and enrichment programs to public funding for homeschooling co-ops. Homeschooling is more accessible and “acceptable” today, […]

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31 Days of Homeschool How-To: Avoid Burnout

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Minority woman with her children fighting in the background

Welcome to our October “31 Days” series at NextGen Homeschool: 31 Days of Homeschool How-To Tips! As NextGen Homeschoolers, we remember what it was like to be homeschooled ourselves, and our experiences as students have helped shape many of our best systems and strategies today. In the next 31 days, we’ll be sharing with you what’s working […]

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31 Days of Homeschool How-To: Find Support

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31DaysHomeschoolSupport

Welcome to our October “31 Days” series at NextGen Homeschool: 31 Days of Homeschool How-To Tips! As NextGen Homeschoolers, we remember what it was like to be homeschooled ourselves, and our experiences as students have helped shape many of our best systems and strategies today. In the next 31 days, we’ll be sharing with you what’s working […]

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31 Days of Homeschool How-To: With Toddlers

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31DaysWithToddlers

Welcome to our October “31 Days” series at NextGen Homeschool: 31 Days of Homeschool How-To Tips! As NextGen Homeschoolers, we remember what it was like to be homeschooled ourselves, and our experiences as students have helped shape many of our best systems and strategies today. In the next 31 days, we’ll be sharing with you what’s working […]

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31 Days of Homeschool How-To: Use Co-Ops

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Girls Working Together

Welcome to our October “31 Days” series at NextGen Homeschool: 31 Days of Homeschool How-To Tips! As NextGen Homeschoolers, we remember what it was like to be homeschooled ourselves, and our experiences as students have helped shape many of our best systems and strategies today. In the next 31 days, we’ll be sharing with you what’s working […]

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31 Days of Homeschool How-To: Unit Studies

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School supplies await the first day of class

Welcome to our October “31 Days” series at NextGen Homeschool: 31 Days of Homeschool How-To Tips! As NextGen Homeschoolers, we remember what it was like to be homeschooled ourselves, and our experiences as students have helped shape many of our best systems and strategies today. In the next 31 days, we’ll be sharing with you what’s working […]

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Review: Family Toolbox for Parenting Teens

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FamilyToolboxReview

As the mother of tween (12) and teen (13 1/2) girls, I was very excited to evaluate The Family Toolbox with my daughters as we enter this new phase of parenting with them. Produced by the National Center for Biblical Parenting (NCBP), publishers of the Christian Parenting Handbook, The Family Toolbox is a DVD/video-driven program that brings parents and teens together for constructive […]

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31 Days of Homeschool How-To: Our Charlotte Mason Influence

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31DaysCharlotteMason

Welcome to our October “31 Days” series at NextGen Homeschool: 31 Days of Homeschool How-To Tips! As NextGen Homeschoolers, we remember what it was like to be homeschooled ourselves, and our experiences as students have helped shape many of our best systems and strategies today. In the next 31 days, we’ll be sharing with you what’s working […]

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31 Days of Homeschool How-To: Learning Styles

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31DaysLearningStyles

Welcome to our October “31 Days” series at NextGen Homeschool: 31 Days of Homeschool How-To Tips! As NextGen Homeschoolers, we remember what it was like to be homeschooled ourselves, and our experiences as students have helped shape many of our best systems and strategies today. In the next 31 days, we’ll be sharing with you what’s working […]

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31 Days of Homeschool How-To: Save Money

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31DaysSaveMoney

Welcome to our October “31 Days” series at NextGen Homeschool: 31 Days of Homeschool How-To Tips! As NextGen Homeschoolers, we remember what it was like to be homeschooled ourselves, and our experiences as students have helped shape many of our best systems and strategies today. In the next 31 days, we’ll be sharing with you what’s working […]

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31 Days of Homeschool How-To: Keep Working

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31DaysWorkingWhileHomeschooling

Welcome to our October “31 Days” series at NextGen Homeschool: 31 Days of Homeschool How-To Tips! As NextGen Homeschoolers, we remember what it was like to be homeschooled ourselves, and our experiences as students have helped shape many of our best systems and strategies today. In the next 31 days, we’ll be sharing with you what’s working […]

[Continue reading...]