Enrichment Items & Trusted Resources - Reviews

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
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Enrichment Items & Trusted Resources - Reviews

Unread post by annaz »

Come Look With Me
3lambsshepherdessinNY wrote: I am so lacking when it comes to Art Appreciation, I have no idea how to teach it to my children. I'm just NOT an art appreciation person--in the classical sense. I like paintings...if they're pretty and something I would like to hang on my wall ... in which case, I can't afford them anyway, so it doesn't matter....

Is there some kind of guide that goes along with the books? I see in the catalog write-up that there are "questions to guide your discussion". But if I can't see whatever it is (lighting, etc.), then it's going to be an "empty" lesson. So thanks in advance for any input and feedback.
While these have pictures, they have questions opposite the artwork. Questions like,

"The boy is holding a string in his hand. Where does it go?,
How do you think the clothes would feel if you touched them?,
Can you find the color red in the picture?,
Describe the dog.
Find something you could smell, something you could hear.
Would you like to join these girls?"

Just great questions that gets them to look at the picture. Questions that actually involve your child.

I think these are great! And my dd likes them!!!

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Unread post by southernshae »

Given what you've said, I'm inclined to think these books would be good for you :). I started using them in ADV. My dc absolutely love these books and we plan to get more in the series.

Like Annaz said, the books really do a good job guiding you through a discussion with your dc. We also enjoy The Child's Book of Art......maybe more so now after the Come Look With Me books have guided us in really looking at the painting. I'll sometimes tell them to not peek at the title, but to try to find a VanGogh (for example, if that's what we studied in CLw/M) in The Child's Book of Art. They really like that (and are quite good at it).....just an idea.

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Unread post by RachelT »

I was able to look at some "Come Look With Me" books at a nearby art museum and I have to agree with the other posts that I think these will offer a lot in the way of creating discussion for us and helping me to find things to point out or look at with the children.

My dc were also much more interested after visiting the real art museum and going through a short tour with a docent there. Do you have anything like this near you? I didn't know how they would do on our first trip to an art museum, but a nice lady gave us a shortened version of her tour and she helped us greatly by finding interesting things to point out. Then, we bought postcard sized prints of many of the pieces that we saw on the tour so we can look at them again here at home. Just an idea!

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Unread post by Toni@homezcool4us »

No, I wouldn't sweat it. But,...B-U-T......
I simply must say it. The Come Look With Me books are awesome.
You only do a page every so often and I let my dd chose which image we studied each week. It took all of 5-10 minutes and we both LOVED "seeing" details we would have otherwise missed. I *really* recommend these books.
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Unread post by Julie in MN »

Agreeing with Toni...

We did the Come Look With Me set in 3rd grade & very much enjoyed it. We read the information & questions, looked, & kept the book open on a cookbook stand for the rest of the week. Easy & enjoyable.

And like Rachel, we enjoyed the art museum. However, I would STRONGLY encourage you to follow her lead & obtain a guide for your visit. (When we attended without one, the security followed us around like we were criminals just because we had kids with us! Very unpleasant!)

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
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Unread post by Lucy »

Hi all,

As I have read these post and think about our journey with art appreciation and learning about it I have found that now that I look back I see that it was so much more than just about the art although that is an obvious outcome.

I think for those of us who grew up with little art appreciation it is a learned appreciation and so as you are adding in some of the other art instruction ie. Drawing with Children, I Can Do All Things you are giving them good examples of art to admire and copy from eventually like it is done in God and the History of Art. But what if you do it and decide to not do any art instruction?

What I can see now is that art is very connected to the art of language. Art gives us something to think on, to wonder about and imagine about, and the first grade books provide wonderful interaction that really becomes an oral language lesson in beginning to articulate your thoughts. These kind of picture studies are also continued in PLL and ILL.

I have also found that although this was not a great area of comfort for me, I needed to push past that to help engage my kids. In other words I was learning and training myself as I went along. These books are not meant to just sit on the table and hope that the child likes them. They are to savor slowly over time taking a small bite each time.

So I would encourage you whether you buy them or borrow them that you give them a try. They are doing more than art appreciation and are worth it I think.

Like others I did not know of the Come Look with Me books until later but used them even when my kids were in 4th and 6th grade along with God and the History of Art.

Just my thoughts!

wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.
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Unread post by 3lambsshepherdessinNY »

Thanks, everyone! I'm really encouraged! Looks like I'm going to order them after all! And I even look forward to looking through them myself!!! lol Blessings to you all! :-)

mom to
Stefania (2/20/01)
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Unread post by Julie L. »

We just found MFW so will be using Adv. next year. BUT I had gotten these books when ds was 5 and they are really neat. Very simple and nice. He enjoyed them(answering questions about the paintings etc), and at 7, even though he has a vibrant, anti-focus personality, he really loves to look at paintings and other pictures and talk about them. In fact, we started doing PLL a month ago and everyday he asks if it is a picture lesson and wants to do THIS English because of the pictures in it. I'm looking forward to using them with my other two dc in a couple of years.

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Come Look With Me - Schedule ideas

Unread post by TriciaMR »

kacairo1 wrote:Has anyone mapped out a reading plan for the "Come Look With Me" books? ...not hard to do, but if someone has already done it, I'd love to benefit from your time...lol! :)
I just alternated, and went through the books in order. (Red: pg. 8-9; Blue: pg. 8-9; Red: pg. 10-11; Blue: pg 10-11, etc). It only goes up to 24-25, or 26-27, and then after that, I'll let them pick one they like each week, still alternating books.

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Re: Come Look With Me - Schedule Ideas

Unread post by jasntas »

TriciaMR wrote:I just alternated, and went through the books in order. (Red: pg. 8-9; Blue: pg. 8-9; Red: pg. 10-11; Blue: pg 10-11, etc). It only goes up to 24-25, or 26-27, and then after that, I'll let them pick one they like each week, still alternating books.
Same here. I just put a sticky note on the page we're on in each book and I write the date. Then I move the sticky note to the next page when completed and write that date. That way I could remember which book and page we used last. (I hope that makes sense. It was harder to explain than I thought.) :~

We normally do it on our light days. For us it's on Fridays. We didn't do it every Friday for different reasons so we still have one page left, I think. To finish out the rest of the year I have purchased Come Look With Me: Animals in Art since I know both my dc love animals. I didn't purchase that one until I knew we were going to follow through with the other two.

We have all really enjoyed the series and I'm glad we did it. I may even take my dc to an art gallery at the end of the year as suggested in the TM.

HTH :)
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Re: Come Look With Me

Unread post by Julie in MN »

I used Come Look With Me with a 3rd grader. Each week, we'd talk about one painting, use the questions, etc. We'd keep the book open to those pages all week and just see the painting all week (propped on a recipe book holder or such). Excellent stuff!

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Re: Come Look With Me

Unread post by kacairo1 »

Thanks, Ladies! We also just went through several storybook art books listed in the Veritas Press catalog under (K) for some other wonderful reads! I guess I just seem to go through spurts with the "Come Look With Me" books rather than being consistent with them each week. HMPH! :~

Oooo--I like the idea of keeping it propped up for the week! Good thoughts! Thanks!
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New fun products!

Unread post by wsterk »

We have Rush Hour and LOVE it and we have Scrambled States and my 2 older kids have played that so many times!!! Purchased it a few years ago and they still love it. So fun!!!!
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Re: New fun products!

Unread post by 4monkeyz »

We have Mike Mulligan on cd and it is a lot of fun! Kind of Irish - if that makes sense? I would also recommend Peter and the Wolf.
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Re: New fun products!

Unread post by TriciaMR »

We LOVE LOVE LOVE Keva blocks at our house. The kids can build such amazing things with them...

(I think one kiddo would really like the snap circuits... Hmmm... Love Christmas shopping in October.)

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Re: New fun products!

Unread post by inHisgrip »

We love Jim Weiss' CD's. My 9 year old and 7 year old listen to his stories again and again. My husband and I enjoy them too. Great for long drives or while playing Legos.
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Responsible Technology Use

Unread post by Q-father »

As a parent of six children, five of whom use a computer, I am responsible to teach them responsible use of technology. How do I do this? Certainly I cannot watch each of them every time they use one of our computers. What do I do? Internet filters & blockers, yes, that’s the answer. Filters & blockers offer great controls over the connectivity and content on our computers, but what do they offer my children in the form of disciplined use of technology? Not much. My desire is not to control my children, but to teach them biblical principles by which they can control themselves. In this regard, filters & blockers fell way short (not to mention receiving annoying notices every time my wife was on Facebook). So what do I do now?

Screen Retriever. This is our teaching tool for using technology. Just as in John 14:23 “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching” Jesus sets up our model for teaching: relationship. It is my relationship with my children that helps me guide them through life’s challenges. I tried putting my trust in filters & blockers, but they let us down. We now put our trust in Christ’s model of discipline through relationship. The conversations I have with my children as a result of reviewing their computer use have been priceless. Through trust and respect, we are able to honestly discuss issues such as time management, work before play, I Timothy 6:20 “(child’s name), guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge.” I am thankful that we found screen retriever to help us disciple our children.
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Re: Responsible Technology Use

Unread post by ilovemy4kids »


We had a filter, but the screen retriever brought some issues to light and has greatly benefitted our family.
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Re: Responsible Technology Use

Unread post by narrow4life »

We believe having a filter/blocker is a good idea as it can help prevent the unexpected/accidental stuff. It is also good for us to have it, even while we do not "need" it, so it is already just a part of our life and allows us to talk about it while it is currently not an issue. If a blocker is put in place BECAUSE there is already been an issue, than it will be a lot bigger battle putting it in place. We use K9 filter. It is very powerful, customizable, feature packed, and FREE :)

We are very glad to have ScreenRetriever now as well, especially since it is being done while there is not a need for it in the sense of there has been some sort of problem and we now need to monitor. Instead, we can just talk about why we need it and how it helps, and before there is any resentment or distrust type of issues. SR is helpful because we can monitor what is taking place online and not just seeing the sites that are visited. This helps us guide/teach the children about being responsible and safe. Then, it is also handy to help make sure they are not getting distracted with games when they should be doing their work. We are not at the point where we need to monitor that, but having it now will help it be that much smoother of a process should the need arise.
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Scrambled States of America game

Unread post by Yodergoat »

When I first bought Adventures I also picked up the Scrambled States of America game which was at the MFW website under "enrichment items."

Last night was our first time to play, and we had so much fun! And we also all learned something new! :) We played the game using the alternate rules for younger players so my husband and I couldn't just rely on our faster reading speed and such. Even with this, it was still very fun and competitive. After playing twice and putting it away for the evening, my daughter smiled broadly and said, "Wow, I really loved that game! And we were all learning stuff too, so we can make it part of school..."

One thing which was apparent when we first began playing was that our daughter did not know how to pronounce many of the state names. :~ Of course she was familiar with those nearby which we've traveled in or which have been mentioned so far in studying the US, but she really butchered the pronunciation of some of the others. Yet by the end of our two games she was much more proficient. That alone is a great benefit! I also loved the map skills.

I just wanted to recommend the game for others doing Adventures. It really is a great fit and we found it to be very age appropriate and playable for our girl but still enjoyable for us.

Thanks for having this on your website, MFW!

For those who don't know exactly how the game works, it is like this:

Each player (up to 4) gets dealt 5 "state cards." Each card has the name of the state, it's capital, a picture of the shape, and nickname. The players lay them face-up. Each player also gets a map of the U.S. During game play, a different card is drawn that has a challenge of some sort, such as "nickname has three words" or "is bordered by more than 6 other states" or "name of capital has more than three syllables" or "borders Pacific Ocean" etc. These vary quite a bit. There is another type of challenge card also which involves seeing if you have the closest state to a certain state. That one is nice for map skills.

Players look at their state cards to see if they have one that meets the challenge. It can be played for speed, but we didn't do it this way. You get to put your state card that meets the challenge in a "home pile" and you draw a replacement state card. When there are no more state cards to be drawn, the players count the state cards in their home pile and see who has the most.

It is simple but fun, and game play went by pretty quickly so it is not a huge time commitment.

We liked it. :-)

Update: Postby Yodergoat » Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:49 am
I jut wanted to give a little update on this game. We have played it many times now and our daughter has learned SO MUCH! Especially when compared to what she knew beforehand... which wasn't much except for places we had visited that our near our home state of Tennessee. So she basically knew Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, etcetera, and everything else was a complete mystery. :~ But now she has a pretty good working familiarity with the U.S.

For example, we were just playing, and the challenge card said:
"State touches the Pacific Ocean."

Without hesitating, our daughter said, "There are five states that do... California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii." She then looked at her cards to see if she had any of these.

Just an example of the sort of learning that takes place. :-)

And her pronunciation of the state names is VASTLY improved.

Good stuff, and I highly recommend it!
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KEVA Structures

Unread post by NJCheryl »

kw4blessings wrote:I was wondering if anyone has this building set that MFW has for an enrichment item? It looks fantastic and I think my kids would all enjoy it. I'm thinking about purchasing the set as a gift for my 5yo (just 5 in August), but I'm wondering if he'd be ready for it? Do the pieces build easily or do you have to be really careful to make them stay up? He's got pretty good coordination for his age, but he is still 5. ;)

Maybe I should wait a year.... Any thoughts?
We gave this to my son last year for his 10th birthday. He LOVES them! That being said I am unsure about the age. I asked my son his opinion and he said if he builds simple structures it would probably be ok, but more complex structures can be a little tricky.

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Re: KEVA Structures

Unread post by TriciaMR »

I think of it as a skill they will be building. My kids LOVE keva blocks, but when they first started using them, they had trouble with anything too complex. Now, they can build huge towers and such. So, I say get them. They will gradually get better and better at using them, and be able to build the more complex stuff.
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
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enrichment items

Unread post by baileymom »

hsm wrote:We are doing 1st and CtG next year. Can't wait!!! :-) I have been looking over the enrichment items. I am just curious what others think of these:

Archimedes and door of Science- would you purchase this since isn't included any longer? Our library has it but if it is a worthy purchase, I would like to have it. Is it still scheduled in new TM? Or part of book basket?

And, the children's dictionary...we have regular dictionaries here. Do you suggest this one? I will have a 9 year old and 6.5 year old.

I know nothing needs to be added, I am just looking for fun low stress additions...
Archimedes was enjoyed by all my kids ... and my 9 year old can use a regular dictionary just fine, but the kids one might be handy to teach your youngers the how-tos
jasntas wrote: Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:04 pm My ds loved Archimedes.

[Editor's Note: See more on Hearing Everett here viewtopic.php?f=6&t=15500&p=98105#p98105 ]
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Looking for Reviews on Enrichment Items

Unread post by TriciaMR »

Bandy wrote:Hello,
Hoping to hear how you liked the following MFW enrichment items...

Safari Rush Hour
Keva Structures
Big Book of Things to Spot
See Inside How Things Work
Kisses from Katie book

Thank you : )
Keva Structures are a big hit around here. They seem to get played with in phases. So, they'll build with them for a week or two, getting them out every day. Then, they won't play with them for a while, and then they're out again. All my kids like them.

We haven't bought any of the the things.
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
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Julie in MN
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Re: Looking for Reviews on Enrichment Items

Unread post by Julie in MN »

I really enjoyed Kisses For Katie, or is it From Katie, I always forget. Anyways, it's about a modern day young woman who became convicted to help the orphaned kids in Africa, mostly AIDS orphans as I recall, to the point of saying yes, I will be your mommy.

I'd say it would be for grade 7 and above, or basically on par with the missionary bios for 7-8th graders in ECC, so for kids able to read those.

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
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