Indescribable Devotional Book Review

Indescribable Devotional Book Review

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Louie Giglio’s Indescribable is a devotional for kids that incorporates scientific facts. I purchased it to use in our homeschool as a group devotional. Considering Louie Giglio’s dynamic speaking style and love for science (see this video about DNA and laminin – wow!), I was very excited about reading this book.

Indescribable Devotional Book Review

How It’s Set Up

Indescribable has 100 devotions, each being two pages long. Each devotion begins with a Bible verse followed by the devotion itself, and then ends with a prayer. Each devotion also has a “Be Amazed” sidebar with a (usually) scientific fact.

The science in the devotionals cover four major topics:

  • space
  • earth
  • animals
  • people

Devotions covering these topics are peppered throughout the book, but the introduction contains a handy dandy list of page numbers for each topic. The typical reader might start reading with the first devotion and go straight through, but thanks to the topic list, you can use Indescribable as a resource for your science studies.

My Thoughts

Indescribable is a nice devotional for elementary students, with easy-to-understand text, cute drawings, and interesting pictures. I read Indescribable aloud to my kids during our group learning time, and it usually instigates some fun conversation and online investigation on the scientific topic covered.

While it’s a nice devotional, Indescribable is not what I expected. Each devotion does talk about a scientific topic and relate it to some spiritual lesson, but the relation between the science and the spiritual lesson is often not direct. This lack of direct connection between science and “spirit” makes Indescribable a devotional with some science when I expected a book with a lot of science that reveals spiritual truths. In other words, I expected a book with a lot more of the laminin-type of material I mentioned above, only written to be understoood by kids. Since my expectation for the book was different from what I found, Indescribable did not grab me as I’d hoped.

To whom would I recommend [product]?

(Based on Learning Preferences and Three D’s I describe in earlier posts.)

Recommend to…

  • Students that do well learning via the Spoken Word may appreciate Indescribable as a read-aloud.
  • Students that do well learning via the Written Word may appreciate reading Indescribable on their own, possibly as part of their morning devotional.
  • Students that do well learning with Visual learning methods will enjoy the drawings and pictures.
  • Students that love science.
  • Families that enjoy a family devotional.

I would NOT recommend to…

I would not recommend Indescribable to anyone looking for in-depth, The Case for Christ-type of correlation between science and God.

My Best Tips for Using Indescribable

  • Consider your kids’ preferred learning methods before deciding how to use Indescribable. I found that even a child that really enjoys science (but does not learn well with the Spoken Word) had a hard time being attentive when I used this as a read-aloud group devotional.
  • If you decide to use Indescribable as a resource/supplement for your science studies, do the work of plugging specific pages into your planner on the appropriate dates. For example, if you’re studying DNA, you may want to plug page 76 into your planner to use as a devotion at around the time you cover this topic.

The Last Thing You Need to Know about Indescribable

While not exactly what I expected, Indescribable is a very nice devotional for elementary students.

Kumon Preschool Science Sticker Activity Book Review

Kumon Preschool Science Sticker Activity Book Review

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using the links.

The Kumon Science workbook is one of Kumon’s sticker activity books and introduces science concepts in a fun way. I’m currently using it in our homeschool with my preschooler.

Kumon Science Review

The Kumon Science workbook is a fun sticker activity book for preschoolers. It includes activities like coloring, mazes, and, of course, stickers. The activities are very basic, but varied and colorful enough to make them interesting for a preschooler.  The cover says that this workbook is appropriate for pre-k and up, but it may be too simplistic for anyone but a preschooler.

I extend the interactive elements of this workbook by asking my student to add to each page with a drawing, stamps, or stickers from our collection.

Structure

The Kumon Science workbook is divided into four chapters:

  • Chapter 1: Life Science
  • Chapter 2: Earth Science
  • Chapter 3: Physical Science
  • Chapter 4: Space Science

Each chapter covers 12 mini-topics (except for chapter 4, which covers 11), and most mini-topics are just one page long. Each mini-topic has a fact to share and discuss with your student, along with a related activity. Sticker pages are towards the back of the book (perforated so that you can pull them out) along with the answer key (which you probably won’t need).

Teacher Prep

Some of the pages require drawing or coloring, sometimes with specific colors. The workbook suggests having the eight basic crayon colors and a white colored pencil, but the pages are so slick that we found that markers worked better.

Other than having the crayons/markers available, this workbook should be open-and-go for the parent.

Student Time

Each page should take less than five minutes to do, which is totally appropriate for a preschooler. Kids that like workbooks may want to do more than that in one sitting, so you may want to decide ahead of time if that fits within your plans.

To whom would I recommend Kumon Science?

(Based on Learning Preferences and Three D’s I describe in earlier posts.)

Recommend to…

  • Students that do well with Interactive learning methods since this entire workbook is about being interactive.
  • Students that could use some work on their fine motor skills – the stickers, coloring, and drawing will help with that.
  • Preschoolers that want to learn science “like a big kid.” 🙂

I would NOT recommend to…

Students beyond kindergarten – they may find this activity book too simplistic.

My Best Tip for Using Kumon Science

While it will be tempting to either rush through this workbook and give less than a minute to each page, I recommend taking it slow and fully exploring the fact on each mini-topic via discussion or related activity.

The Last Thing You Need to Know about Kumon Science

The Kumon Science workbook is a fun and gentle way to introduce science concepts to a preschooler, and is one of my preshooler’s favorite things to do!

Math Curriculum Review – Evan-Moor Pre-K Workbook

Math Curriculum Review – Evan-Moor Pre-K Workbook

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using the links.

Skill Sharpeners Math – Pre-K is published by Evan-Moor. This workbook is marketed as “Connecting School and Home,” but I’m using it as a gentle math curriculum in our homeschool with my preschooler.

Preschool Math Curriculum Workbook Review

Skill Sharpeners Math – Pre-K is a fun and colorful activity book for preschoolers that introduces a wide variety of math concepts. Math concepts introduced include number & operations, measurement, algebra, geometry, etc. The wide variety of activities used to cover these concepts (coloring, drawing, cut and paste, matching, dot-to-dot, etc.) have been delightful to my workbook-loving preschooler.  

Structure

Skill Sharpeners Math – Pre-K is divided into 10 units. All units cover the same basic math concepts using different themes. For example, Unit 1 is about monkeys, Unit 2 – cookies, etc.

There are about 125 pages for your student to complete, with a tracking form and answer key at the back.

Teacher Prep

As long as you have crayons/colored pencils, scissors, and glue handy, this should be an open-and-go workbook.

Student Time

Each page in this workbook should take less than five minutes to do, which is totally appropriate for a preschooler. Kids that love workbooks, and especially the types of activities in this workbook, may want to do several pages at a time. So, unless you have your student use this workbook only once a week or so, and do other math activities the rest of the week,  your student will likely complete this workbook in well under a year.

To whom would I recommend Skill Sharpeners Math – Pre-K?

(Based on Learning Preferences and Three D’s I describe in earlier posts.)

Recommend to…

  • Students that do well with Interactive and Visual learning methods since this entire workbook has puzzle-like activities.
  • Students that could use some work on their fine motor skills – the coloring, drawing, and pasting will help with that.
  • Preschoolers that want to use a math workbook “like a big kid.” 🙂

I would NOT recommend to…

Students that still struggle with holding a pencil/crayon.

My Best Tips for Using Skill Sharpeners Math – Pre-K

  • Allow your student to do as little or as much (within reason) of this workbook as he wants in each sitting.
  • Be sure to talk about each concept with your student to gauge for understanding.

The Last Thing You Need to Know about Skill Sharpeners Math – Pre-K

The Skill Sharpeners Math – Pre-K is a fun and gentle way to introduce math concepts to a preschooler, and was one of my preshooler’s favorite books to work in.

Bob Books Workbooks Curriculum Review

Bob Books Workbooks Curriculum Review

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using the links.

The Bob Books reading program now has companion workbooks to further reading skills. I’ve purchased the Bob Books Beginning Readers Workbook and Bob Books Emerging Readers Workbook to use with my youngest.

BOB Books Review

I recently purchased the Bob Books Beginning Readers Workbook and Bob Books Emerging Readers Workbook on a whim since my boys have enjoyed the Bob Books readers so much. I thought that the workbooks’ colorful pages and variety of activities would be a fun way for my preschooler to get in some extra phonics practice.

Each workbook is based on specific boxed sets:

The workbook activities in the Beginning Readers Workbook for the Alphabet and Beginning Readers box sets focus mostly on the alphabet and letter sounds, with a lot of coloring, matching, and letter and word tracing. While at first glance these seem like good activities for a preschooler learning to read, I developed a different opinion once my son started using the workbook. Having already taught two other children how to read and write, I felt that the handwriting aspect (tracing both uppercase letters and then writing them on their own) moved way too quickly. As a matter of fact, my preschooler has spent the past year learning to form uppercase letters, and will spend next year learning to form lowercase letters.

By contrast, the Beginning Readers Workbook teaches letter formation at the speed of light, which means that it would serve better as a review for kindergarteners/first graders that have already learned how to form all letters, both uppercase and lowercase. In that case, it wouldn’t actually serve as a companion for the Bob Books readers since students should be operating at a higher reading level by that point.

The workbook activities in the Beginning Readers Workbook for the Rhyming Words readers add word searches to the coloring, tracing, writing, and matching activities. I felt that the word searches were the most useful aspect of this jumbo workbook, so it’s up to the parent to decide if the cost of the purchase of this workbook is worth a limited set of truly useful pages.

The Emerging Readers Workbook has many of the same types of activities as the latter part of the Beginning Readers Workbook, with the addition of color-the-word (like color-by-number) pages, sight word identification activities, and more of a focus on sentences. While I still feel that the writing activities may be a bit too advanced for students operating at the reading level of the Bob Books readers on which the activities are based upon, some students may do ok with them.

Considering the weaknesses of these workbooks, I’ve chosen to use them simply as a source of worksheets. I identify the worksheets that are appropriate for my preschooler’s handwriting ability and skip the rest.

Teacher Prep

As long as you have crayons and pencils, these workbooks should be open-and-go for the parent.

Student Time

Each page in the Beginning Readers Workbook should take less than five minutes to do, while pages in the Emerging Readers Workbook may take a little longer. Kids that love workbooks, and especially the types of activities in these workbooks, may want to do several pages at a time, so you may move through these workbooks faster than expected.

To whom would I recommend BOB Books?

(Based on Learning Preferences and Three D’s I describe in earlier posts.)

Recommend to…

Normally I would say that workbooks like these are good for students that do well with Interactive and Visual learning methods. But since I feel that these workbooks are inconsistent in matching activities to reading/handwriting level, I actually have a hard time recommending them at all.

I would NOT recommend to…

  • Students that resist learning One-on-One since the disconnect between reading level and handwriting ability will require a lot of parent help.
  • Parents that want to use most pages in a workbook to feel like they are getting their money’s worth.

My Best Tips for Using Bob Books Workbooks

  • Use them simply as a worksheet repository, identifying the worksheets that are appropriate for your student and skipping the rest.
  • Parents may be tempted to treat these workbooks as independent work, but I highly recommend working with your students one-on-one when it comes to the writing activities. Otherwise, students will invent ways to form letters on their own. As a parent that has worked very hard with my students in regards to writing skills and correct letter formation, I can tell you that bad habits are easy to create, and much less easy to break.
  • Students that require more Interactive learning methods may enjoy these free Bob Books printables from This Reading Mama.

The Last Thing You Need to Know about Bob Books Workbooks

While we have greatly enjoyed the Bob Books readers, and my preschooler does enjoy the workbooks, the workbooks have not been as big of a hit with me. You may want to investigate these free Bob Books printables from This Reading Mama before purchasing the workbooks.

Bob Books Curriculum Review

Bob Books Curriculum Review

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using the links.

Bob Books are a series of sets of phonics readers. I’ve purchased and used five sets of these readers in our homeschool, currently with my youngest.

Bob Books Review

Bob Books have been a fun addition to our homeschool as a supplement to our phonics curriculum. While each reader is short, simple, with usually only one color to a page (besides black and white), the stories are silly and short enough to become favorites with kids. The short stories allow even a beginning reader to easily read an entire book in one sitting, which has thrilled my kids and increased their confidence. I often hear, “I want to read another!” from my newest reader.

Contents

Each set comes with: 

  • a varying number of brief, paperback readers (possibly 8, 10, 12)
  • a parent guide that gives tips for teaching your child to read
  • and some sets include an additional resource, like flash cards or puzzles. 

Teacher Prep

Teacher prep consists of choosing the box set appropriate to your student’s reading level. For help in this regard, refer to the back of the box – you’ll find available box sets listed in order. You’ll sometimes find even more specific information, like an “Appeals to” suggestion for grade (ex. “Appeals to Pre-K-1st Graders”) and a suggested reading level (ex. “Reading Level Kindergarten”).

Student Time

Since we use Bob Books as a supplement to our phonics curriculum, we usually read just one book a day, which take less than five minutes. Sometimes we extend reading time by discussing words that rhyme, reading comprehension questions, etc.

To whom would I recommend Bob Books?

(Based on Learning Preferences and Three D’s I describe in earlier posts.)

Recommend to…

  • Students that love the Written Word but aren’t yet fluent readers will likely love Bob Books and feel so accomplished when they can read an entire book!
  • Students that prefer Independent activities will enjoy these readers on their own, possibly after having read each reader with a parent.

I would NOT recommend to…

Students that are highly Visual may not love the simple aesthetic of Bob Books, although the charming pictures may make up for the simplicity.

My Best Tips for Using Bob Books

  • The simplicity of each reader may tempt you into rushing through each book with your child. But remembr that, while the readers may look like pamphlets to us as adults, to your child each reader is a REAL BOOK. So treat them like real books. Allow your student to read it through slowly and to have fun with it. Talk about the characters. Ask your child what they think will happen next. Discuss how much you both liked, or disliked, the story.
  • Students that require more Interactive learning methods may enjoy these free Bob Books printables from This Reading Mama.

The Last Thing You Need to Know about Bob Books

My kids have been charmed by the Bob Books readers. Even my most reluctantly reader enjoyed them, and seeing his reading fluency and confidence increase made my mama’s heart happy!

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