Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Old Schoolhouse WeE-Books

I recently reviewed three of The Old Schoolhouse’s WeE-Books. These short books might better be described as “articles,” since they can be read in just a few minutes. I noticed that the selection of WeE-Books was quite varied--from child-raising to homemaking to mini unit-studies. They sell for only $1.99.
A Naturally Clean Home … and Baby! By Lisa Barthuly (2009)
This e-book started with a discussion of the many chemicals that we are exposed to in our daily lives, from the water we drink, to the health and beauty products that we use, to the cleaning products that we use each day. Given that many of these chemicals may be harmful, it seems like a great idea to make substitutes when possible. The author gives several recipes for homemade cleaning products, including dishwasher soap, laundry soap and bathroom cleanser. I have used a similar recipe for laundry soap in the past and it seemed to work well. I am running low on dishwasher detergent, so I am going to try out that recipe this week! The author then cautions the reader about the dangers of baby products, such as chemical-laden diapers and wipes. She gives encouragement to try using cloth diapers, washing them at home, and homemade baby wipes. Because of the brevity of this WeE-book, not as much information was given as I would have liked to see. I will have to do my own research concerning which household chemicals are harmful and which may be innocuous. I appreciated the cleaning product recipes and will try them all out, but I would have like to see many more recipes and substitutions, or at least links to websites with more information and ideas.
The Real Hummers By Jeannie Fulbright
My eight-year old loves to watch the birds out our kitchen window as she works on her table assignments each morning. When she sees a bird she we can’t identify, we run for our “bird book” to look it up. When I showed her this new WeE-Book, she was excited to learn more about hummingbirds. This mini-book about hummingbirds is written in a very interesting, conversational style that easily kept my daughter’s interest. We both learned a lot of new information about “hummers,” including their migration patterns, diet, and amazing wing speed. We were surprised to learn that they hibernate every night in order to conserve enough energy to survive until the next day! The author emphasized the wonder of God’s creation in His design of this amazing creature. The mini unit was followed by an extensive list of perennials, annuals, and bushes that attract both hummingbirds and butterflies. We’re going to buy and hang a hummingbird feeder this week!
Don’t Rush God! Donna Rees
My eight year old and I read this WeE-book together. The author tells a personal story about the time that her family was able to watch the life cycle of a butterfly, observing God’s intricate plan for this creature. The author describes how, at one point, her son tried to “help” the process with almost-disastrous results. The whole family learned how every step in God’s plan in the process of the butterfly emerging from the chrysalis was critical. The story depicts vividly how God’s plan is perfect in our lives. His timing is perfect. Often, when we have troubles in our lives, we are sure that we know just what God needs to do, and when. But only God sees the whole picture. He can and will use our struggles to His glory. God’s timing is perfect and we need to trust him. The story is followed by helpful discussion questions, Bible references, and several pages of Bible verse copy work. I loved the narrow line spacing for the copy work-perfect for a third grader! This WeE-Book is a “must-read.” The symbolism and lessons will stick with me for a long time!

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