Frugally Feeding Farm Animals {supplementing goats}

originally Published on: Sep 7, 2018

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If you’re a naturally minded, homesteader or farm-girl wanna be like me, then you’re probably here to learn more about something you already love- saving money and caring for your animals.

There are definitely ways to frugally feed your farm animals, and I want to share what I have learned, with you. I have been learning as I go since we got our first chickens in 2011, and I’ve never looked back! This will be a series of several posts about how/what to feed farm animals while saving money and keeping them in top-health, as naturally as possible!

Weeds

If you have flowerbeds, there is nothing better to do with your weeds than feed them back to your animals!

Goats *love* weeds, as they are foragers, not grazers.

Goats eat some of the things cows do and most of the plants they don’t-trees, leaves, bark, roses, shrubs, poison ivy, and weeds to name a few of their favorites. Please be careful with shrubs and some weeds, as there are several plants toxic to goats that are commonly found in yards. Goats, when given a large variety, will often overlook toxic pants. But when given a wheel barrow full of treats, or when allowed to eat in a new area, they will likely eat anything they can get their mouths on.

About 6 weeks ago I weeded the back yard flowerbed, placing all the weeds in a wheelbarrow as I went. When I was done, I simply wheeled the weeds to the goat corral and let them go to town eating!

They loved the treat, climbing in the wheelbarrow, and oddly enough- left the grass I pulled! They devoured the weeds and pruned roses, but didn’t eat the lumps of grass. I should have known!

Trees

About once every 4-8weeks my husband will cut a dead or downed tree on the property and haul it into the goat paddock. The goats and the Dexters go crazy, climbing, eating leaves, and pulling off bark.

Another favorite is hedge apples that have fallen from the orange osage trees; I smash them (usually with a stomp of my boot) to make it easier for the goats to eat them. Did you know goats have oddly small mouth openings? It is very odd …

These are our favorite ways to supplement for our goats. We don’t typically give hand treats; the farm I bought my goats from made a great point- feeding treats outside of feed times can quickly turn your goats into rude, pushy, petting-zoo type goats. You know the ones where you can’t walk, move, or be near them without getting jumped on, pushed over, or head butted for food? Yea, those. We don’t want rude, pushy goats. We want sweet, docile, snuggle, “ooooh, someone looove on me,” goats.

We have given occasional watermelon rhines this summer, but not often (those usually go to the ducks and chickens).

 

Clearing Tree Lines

Our goats really enjoy clearing our tree lines, walking on a lead and clearing weeds around fences, the barn doors, the kids’ trampoline, the chicken coop … the list goes on! My husband set up some runners along our north tree line and the goats love going out there to eat weeds and clean it up for us.  They get poison ivy to munch on, among other yummy weeds, and we get some free weed eating done!

Homeschool 2021/2022 School Year Choices {5th, 3rd, 1st, and K}

This homeschool year, we are starting slowly. This is the first year we have taken a full blown summer break … we have done maybe a week’s worth of school since the end of May, and filled some time with lap books and other fun schooling activities. We’ve really taken off the majority of days for pool time (because I just can’t resist!), gardening time & family trips; and we have loved every minute of it!

Homeschool Curriculum Choices 2021

Our main core as a family this year will be continuing through Sonlight Core D (Bible, History, and Read Alouds), which is American history. When we finish this core, we will move on to Core E, the second half of American history.  After doing several years of wold cultures and world history, we are very much savoring American history. I’d like to focus on President’s and state capitols this year. There are so many great read aloud, and readers for US History. Just not enough hours in the day for all the books!

I am also finishing reading through the P4/5 Core with my youngest 2. They will be K and 1st this year; they are less than 2 years a part, but one is a fall baby and one is summer, so they’re close in grade levels. We made the choice a long time ago to keep our fall babies back a grade (they don’t meet most cut offs anyway, and like many states we aren’t required to school until age 7). We are very happy with that decision; but I like them being the older in their “grade” for the purpose of Co-op, sports, and church activities. I will start Core A with them at naps and bedtime once they finish P 4/5.

Math- We will be using Christian Light Education for our math, as always. My kindergartener will be using their K2 books, and I hope this bridges the gap between K math and 1st grade math for her. I will probably add in Saxon K worksheets  for her as well. I think CLE K2 combined with some math games and a little Saxon K, will be a fine math foundation.

Science- I just haven’t made up my mind here. I really love Apologia’s science programs. We would do the Anatomy and Physiology  if we go with Apologia … we really need to complete the Sonlight Science for Core D *but* every time we go to do the science, my kids already know  everything we are discussing (thanks Wild Kratts), so I just feel blah continuing with it. I know I don’t have to finish it, but I hate to leave it incomplete; also, it isn’t only animals and biology. Core D Science covers lots of other fun topics, so I should just persevere.

We will also add in No Sweat Nature Study again. We have really enjoyed these classes, and are building some great nature journals.

Language Arts- My beginning readers (K and 1st) will be using AAR plus The Good and the Beautiful. My older 2 will continue with The Good and The Beautiful, in levels 3 and 5. This includes spelling, some phonics, grammar, some writing, and geography. The 1st grader is a great reader, so lessons with her are pretty smooth. The K wants to read so badly, and was killing all the CVC words we practiced on our Florida vacation (during snuggles in the morning). So we are looking forward to her reading this year.

We add in Explode the Code, and Wordly Wise to our language arts. My children love both of these, and it does improve their skills, along with giving extra handwriting practice. I like them because of all this, plus they provide independent work for my children; so while I work with one student on language arts or math, the others have some independent work that keeps them on task.

Handwriting- We begin with Handwriting Without Tears, and after the PreK and K books, we move on to A Reason For Handwriting book K and then A. I like giving my children lots of good handwriting practice. They usually fly through both K books, but then Book A isn’t as difficult and they’re better readers by then, making the copywork easier. My 3rd grader is in their first cursive book. My 5th grader has done so many handwriting copyworb books, and she likes them so much. This year I got her the Memoria Press cursive book … I think it is a poetry copywork.

Extras- We are doing logic this year, with some workbooks I found on Rainbow Resource. They do problems logic in their math, but this is just extra practice; my husband wanted to be sure they were hitting logic, so we are going to try it this year.

My 5th grader is doing French from Memoria Press, which she is sooo excited about. I think I couldn’t given it to her for her birthday and she’s been just as excited. We are adding in some new sets of Brain Quest for fun, Fandex Presidents and States, and Kanoodle for a little brain teaser game.

We are using the Answers For Kids boxed set for our Bible discussions, along with the Heroes of History and Christian Heroes added to our morning basket time.

We are praying over our homeschool year that each step taken is led by the Lord, and that our words glorify Him. I am truly grateful for the blessing of our homeschool journey, even during the hard days (especially) or mornings when life feels heavy, I know the relationships we are building are worth it. At the end of the day, the math and reading, and science topics don’t save my children. Jesus does. And while we love learning (just one reason we homeschool), learning to love each other and serve one another on really hard days, is maybe one of the best things I can give my children. Or at least show them day in and day out.

I hope yall found this helpful. If you have any questions about what we do, or why/how we do it, let me know and I can go more in depth for you!

Are yall ready for the school year? Or school week? Or school semester/term?  You’ve got this mamas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Homeschool Bible Curriculum: Positive Action Bible Curriculum

I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew.

Summer is one of my favorite seasons for homeschoool- we “year round” homeschool, but take it pretty easy for a few weeks during summer. During this time we add in new supplementary programs/ books, do more nature study, and play in the pool a lot. My oldest (almost 5th grade) has been enjoying a Bible program, 5th Grade – Possessing the Land, from Positive Action Bible Curriculum. I have to tell you, it’s probably something we will add in from now on for Bible studies at this age. It’s a great program, easy to use, and we love it!

 

Upon opening our box from Positive Action Bible Curriculum, I found the soft over student book and the teacher’s guide binder. The teacher’s guide contains the answers on exact photo copies of the student pages. The guide is easy to use, and will help you with scheduling lessons; there are 5, 4, and 3 day options. In the past we have torn out pages from our books and put them into folders by weeks; I still like to do that with a lot of our curriculum. But for some of our work, I like to just have the kids do a lesson or 2 a week, and that’s what we have done here.

The student book has very high quality binding-no sheets falling out, yay!-with thick pages that have beautiful color illustrations. The images are not distracting, but are helpful to the lessons.

Each lesson is broken into 3 parts- A, B, and C. I love that in the front of the student book, there is a timeline of the Old Testament- this is such a great visual for students and parents. Each lesson contains vocabulary, a section to work on/ in verses that support the lesson topic, and other activities to get students into the Word of God. My 10 year old really enjoyed numbering order of events, the comprehension sections, and applying critical thinking to the meaning of verses.

Possessing the Land Positive Action Bible Curriculum Elem.

Possessing the Land Positive Action Bible Curriculum Elem.

I love that she is learning a bit of basic theology regarding foundational themes in the Bible; we love having Bible time as a family, and I see her growing even more during those times. I also like that because Possessing the Land isn’t dry and drab, it encourages students’ love for learning the Bible, and getting closer to God through his Word. Each lesson shows the character of God, His faithfulness and unchanging love. You can find the scope and sequence for Possessing the Land Here.

Possessing the Land covers 35 weeks of lessons including topics such as:

  • sin and redemption
  • the mercy of Joseph
  • the law of God
  • our Holy God
  • the loyalty and reign of David
  • the suffering of Job
  • songs of Praise
  • wisdom and vanity
  • the minor prophets

The pictures are colorful, meaningful, and include maps and other visuals that help students understand the Bible in context. Some sections that require students to fill in verses give help on where to find the answers; this is so helpful for students who are just learning their Bibles, struggle with memorizing, or those who just need an extra help. I know this was encouraging for my daughter.

Possessing the Land Positive Action Bible Curriculum Elem.

The teacher’s manual is one of the easiest I’ve ever come across while homeschooling. There is no drawn out script or confusing charts to follow. Each lesson has an overview for teachers/parents, and is then divided into sections just like the student’s book-A, B, C. It gives discussion/explanation points and a Target Truth ? such as If God is with us, we don’t need to fear, and God does not forget about out His children. I love these. The teacher’s guide is really helpful and full of valuable information in a concise format. Thank you!

I don’t want to forget a little gem from the teacher’s guide, found in the back of each week- a character trait activity! Each week focuses on a character trait that can be learned from the lesson, but then also applied and discussed as a family. We are faithful when we keep our word and stay worthy of trust. God is always faithful to His children.

Man. Y’all. This really is one of my very favorite products we have used in our homeschool. It is such a  simple program to implement, but so impactful.

Possessing the Land Positive Action Bible Curriculum Elem.

Possessing the Land Positive Action Bible Curriculum Elem.

If you’re looking for a Bible curriculum to supplement your homeschool, I would definitely recommend Positive Action Bible Curriculum. I’ve tried adding in other Bible programs and they’ve always been too dry or too fluffy (ear tickling theology). The pace of lessons in Possessing the Land make it something we don’t dread doing. My 10 year old really does enjoy it, so adding it in was seamless. I love that it isn’t preaching to my kids, but instead has them involved in their Bible, studying and thinking about what they have read for understanding.

I will definitely be adding other levels from Positive Action Bible Curriculum into our homeschool. I think my soon to be 9 year old will love it, too. Check it out here: 5th Grade – Possessing the Land

Connect with Positive Action Bible Curriculum

 

Read more reviews for Positive Action Bible programs from the Crew:

Positive Action Bible Curriculum Reviews

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Friday on the Farm {LGD getting comfortable}

LGD on the Farm

After losing Huck, we decided to bring Bear out of the goat pen and into the yard with the family and chickens. At first he just hung around the gate to the goats, and slept under the chicken coop.

But after about 2 weeks he really started feeling at home. And by week 3, Bear is a pro at protecting all things chicken and child. His bark at night is so reassuring, and he loves the kids. He follows along on my walks each day, and is such a sweet boy.

We are thankful for having kept 2 of Huck’s puppies, and it sure has me wanting to have some more!

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Retained Placenta in Cows Wordless Wednesday {with a few words}

You may have seen the picture on our social media- This is what homeschooling with 5 kids on a farm looks like some days. This is Dolly, headed to the vet for a retained placenta. This was my first time driving a trailer, but it went okay, since I didn’t have to back up. ? I did come home and practice after we unloaded Dolly.

Retained Placenta in Cows

 

The vet cleaned her out, which was really crazy. Cows have a *lot* of placenta, and goo that comes along with it. Much more than people or goats. Anyway, because Dolly’s cervix had begun losing, the vet could only get her fingers in to hook around the tissue, she couldn’t reach in. But, with constant pressure and time, she got everything out. Then she bolused Dolly, and we came home.

She is doing good, enjoying the pasture with her calf, Huey.

There are several different schools of thought on retained placenta- the most common is that it is caused by a lack of minerals needed during pregnancy. We didn’t have these cows then, so we don’t know exactly what access they had to minerals. But they were very well cared for, so I’m sure minerals were offered.

The vet suggested this as well, after day 3 you can tie a jug about 1/4 way full of water to the hanging placenta tissue. This creates constant pressure/pulling, which helps the placenta eventually all come out. When you find the jug on the ground you can tell if it has the whole placenta, or if cleaning out is needed. This is essentially what the vet did with her hand-a constant, gentler, slow pressure. The difference is your risk introducing infection every time you go into the cow, but that is also a low risk if you sanitize properly.

hopefully we will have a head gate set up soon, so we can do more of this on our own on the farm. I did enjoy learning from our vet, she is really great. We are blessed to have her and her team so close by.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Nature Study in Your Homeschool

Many years ago, when my oldest was a tiny little thing, we began the art of nature study. We started with colored pencils, crayons, and a simple mixed notebook. In the following years, as we have added more littles to the family, I have neglected our nature study and moved to more outside play and exploration.

Now that my oldest is 10, and my next-youngest is 4, I think it is time to get back into the fun of nature study and journaling! So for Christmas, one of our grandparents got our family the No Sweat Nature Study subscription for a year. (this post is NOT a review of the subscription. we are just really enjoying it!)

This is the perfect time to add it into our schooling because A) Baby, it’s cold outside! and B) Christmas gifts ideas!

So for part of their Christmas we are adding a few supplies to our homeschool nature study

To go along with our nature study lessons, we also got the Chalk Pastel, You Are An Artist subscription. If you have been in the homeschool community for very long, you probably know all about Nana, and her chalk pastels.  If not, you’re definitely missing out! These are so fun, laid back, and a blessing to our homeschool. All of my kids feel accomplished after a lesson with Nana!

When we think of nature study, we often think of spring and fall, butterflies frogs, and birds. But there is so much to study and learn in winter, too!

If you’re not interested in a subscription to nature study lessons, you can do simple lessons yourself. Start with some good books on the topic of your choice, look up some fun pictures of the animal, plant, etc to sketch from. Then go out into nature and see if you can find it!

We love the video lessons because they go in depth about the colors, and details of the topic. The teacher also gives opportunities to take notes, so my children are learning tp write notes on their sketches (yes, even the 4 year old!). As our family starts the learning process of backpacking together, I think nature study will fit in nicely with our outings. I hope to do one study a week on Fridays or Saturdays.

 

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Gluten Free Sourdough Pancake Recipe {starter + flour}

I wanted to share a gluten free sourdough pancake recipe, using your starter and flour at home. I have 2 recipes that I’ve modified for our family (from non starter recipes using yeast packets)- one uses only starter (the next post), and another uses starter and flour. That’s this recipe.

I typically use the starter + flour recipe, because I don’t always have enough starter for the other version.

We do double this recipe; as with most sourdough recipes, it does best with a well established, fed starter. So plan to feed starter the night or early morning before. =)

 

Sourdough Pancake Recipes {with flour version}

Number of servings: 8

See Detailed Nutrition Info on

Sourdough Pancake Recipes {with flour version}

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour (we use all purpose gluten free flour)
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 TB sugar (we use coconut sugar)
  • 1 tsp pink salt
  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 1/2 cups milk of choice (we use fresh goat milk or almond milk, as we have cow milk intolerances)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 TB oil-refined (no flavor) coconut works well

Instructions

  1. Whisk together dry ingredients
  2. Mix together the oil, egg, milk and starter
  3. Heat cast iron skillet, griddle, or ceramic non stick pan
  4. using 1/4c measuring cup to pour batter on skillet
  5. **The secret to perfect pancakes is to wait for the edges to bubble and brown. The center will usually bubble and puff also. But the pancakes are NOT ready to flip until the edges are a beautiful golden brown.
  6. Cook pancakes through and enjoy with REAL maple syrup!


Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Technology Free Ideas for Family Night

Family Night Ideas

Image credit Pixabay CC0 License

Fall is here! That means that it is time to start getting cozy and enjoying the anticipation that the changing season brings. This is the time of year that is perfectly suited for snuggly family nights in, enjoying quality time spent together.

We decided a long time ago, that our family would limit screen time, for everyone. But often parents find it a struggle to get the family in one room without having the kids playing computer games, on a cell phone, or engrossed in a tablet. The kids will soon forget all about their devices when they are having fun with the rest of the family, building relationships and encouraging one another. After all, it is the times that are spent together as a family that make future treasured memories … not the time spent completing the next level of a video game.

Just as kids are easily distracted by technology, adults often find themselves staring at a phone or working on emails during precious time with their kids. Social media, in particular, is especially distracting for adults, and a real drain on time, could be spent with the family, laughing with our kids, and listening to our partners.

Once you have decided to spend a technology-free evening together, you may as well go the whole hog, and say no to watching the TV too! That way, everyone can focus on interacting with each other and being fully present. The trick now is thinking of activities to keep everyone engaged, and having a fun evening without the fuss and bickering that can come with denying children the technology they’re used to.

Here is a little inspiration to get you started:

Get Cooking

Sharing a meal is something you do each day, but in the busy-ness of family life, it may be rushed. To make your family time special, why not get the whole family involved in creating a delicious meal together? You don’t need to make a complicated dinner, just make sure that it includes ingredients that everyone likes so that it is an enjoyable experience. Littles can slice fruit, older kids can slice vegetables, any age child can mash potatoes, stir meat, mix pancakes, the list goes on! Someone can set the table, another pour the drinks, etc.

Most kids love to help with cooking, and it is a perfect way to combine learning with a fun activity. Baking, in particular, is excellent as children get to put their weighing and measuring skills into action, and see how different ingredients combine to create something wholly different. Teaching them how to make banana cream pie and other delicious desserts is a sure-fire way of encouraging an interest in cooking. It is also a great way to spend quality time together.

Once you have all worked together to whip up your tasty feast, it is time to sit down and enjoy it together. Try to make the meal a leisurely one, where everyone is able to chat and get involved in the conversation. Ask open ended questions about everyone’s day- I like to ask what everyone’s favorite part of the day was. Talk about the meal you made as a family, and what other meals you’d like to attempt in the future.

Be Creative

Craft activities are a lovely way to spend family time and are just perfect for cozy fall evenings. When it comes to crafting, the only limit is your imagination. You could create a family collage or scrapbook detailing your best times together, such as special occasions and days out, birthdays and trips. Putting your memories onto paper like this, not only creates something very special to treasure over the years, but also provides a real talking point and the chance to reminisce over favorite times. We love keeping our family journal!

Other examples of excellent family crafts include making greetings cards to send to loved ones. Or, how about decorating pine cones, maybe make a nature picture from fallen leaves (a favorite for littles in our home); the possibilities really are endless.

If you are feeling exceptionally creative, you could make up your own book or comic. Each person could do some drawing and take it in turns to write the next line of text. Kids love to do this, as they like to see their grown-ups having fun and being a little silly. Who knows, this could be a story that becomes a bedtime favorite for many years to come!

 

Family Night Ideas

Image credit Pexels CC0 License

Play Time

If crafting isn’t your thing, why not get yourselves comfortable with a hot chocolate and enjoy a family games night? Lots of people have board games languishing unplayed in cupboards, so why not set up a little tournament and put your skills to the test? Be sure to keep the competition friendly though!

Some of favorite games include: Cobra Paw, Left Right Center, Baggo, Jenga, moose in the House, Rubik’s Race, Rat a tat Cat, and UNO.

As well as being heaps of fun, playing games is an excellent way to teach kids about taking turns. They also help teach valuable life lessons, such as being gracious in defeat, and that you can’t win every single time.

Above all, this is an opportunity to enjoy each other’s company and spend a fun-filled evening together.

What’s your family’s favorite way to spend family night?

  

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

Perfect Hobbies for Kids

When young children adopt new hobbies, they discover all sorts of new skills and learn some important life lessons. Through hobbies, children can find what lights them up and excites them at a young age, as opposed to doing it later on when they feel it’s ‘too late’ to do anything about it.

My husband and I are both huge hobby lovers- crafting, journaling, sewing, embroidery, painting, woodworking, gardening, leather work, and animal husbandry … the list goes on! We have enjoy distilling a love for handicrafts and hobbies in our children, and watching them grow in their skills.

Here are just a few hobbies children of all ages could test out!

hobbies for kids

Pexels – CC0 License

Reading And Writing

Reading to children is essential for language social, emotional, and cognitive development.  Reading aloud to children will improve their listening and speaking skills, and they might even become good writers themselves, as it can help them to develop their own imagination. Once children have learned to read on their own, cultivating a love for reading is one of out biggest jobs! A child that loves to read loves to learn, and from there they will grow into unstoppable, teachable, curious adults. Loving to write often comes when a child enjoys reading, because they are driven to write their own stories.

Visiting Places of Interest

Traveling to visit a historical site, a history or pop up museum, a well loved author’s home, and other sites of interest can be a brilliant hobby for a child. As well as having fun and exploring, they will learn plenty from immersing themselves in culture. It gives them a base to build plenty of other hobbies on – writing, crafts, and reading, for example. Anything you can study in science, history, art and literature can be turned into a field trip, or family road trip. There is so much to experience no matter what your child loves to learn about-get out there and explore!

Building and Engineering

Children love to build- what they can build and create with blocks, legos, and Magnatiles is endless. From model bridges and giant towers, to cars and boats, they can have an incredible amount of fun building just about anything that takes their fancy.  Expand their possibilities by providing a child-friendly tool kit which allows them to build whatever they like-a small hammer, screw drivers, age appropriate nails, nuts, bolts, washers, screws, zip-ties, etc can be kept in an old tool box near some scrap wood, so kids can easily create!

Painting

Painting is an excellent way for children to learn to express themselves. Open ended art-meaning, no defined assignment, no rules- allows for the most creativity. If they paint the sky green, let them have a green sky. This again goes back to helping them develop their imaginations and having confidence in their abilities. You never know – you may have the next Picasso in your family! =)

Gardening

Gardening not only helps children develop an interest in nature and stay active, but it also strengthens their immune systems. Why not give them their small plot of garden to play with and grow things? You could let them grow things inside the house if space is at a premium. A plot of land, or a potted plant, either way we are cultivating a sense of responsibility and nurturing in our kids!

Cooking & Handicrafts

Cooking is an essential skill for anybody to learn – after all, everybody needs to eat! Let them cook with you from a young age, and maybe start letting them use cooking kits when they are old enough. Children of all ages can help in the kitchen-prepping oatmeal, mixing, stirring, browning meat, poor liquids, measuring ingredients. Get them involved and enjoy your time together!

hobbies for kids

Handicrafts are anything children can do with their hands- sewing, knitting, crocheting, whittling, calligraphy, cross stitching, dyeing yard, quilting, bead work, wood working, pottery, mosaics the list goes on and on and on. We do handicrafts while listening to audiobooks, while I read aloud, or while watching an art video.

Let your children find a hobby that they enjoy and you’ll notice a vast difference in their confidence. Starting them off while they are young gives kids the chance to know what excites them and can help them find their passion in life later! Most any hobby requires a skill, and those skills can mean enjoyable work later in life.

Disclaimer: Some links on this blog are affiliate links; when you use those links you help support my family, at no additional cost to you.  Thank you!

The Heart Changer- a mid grade novel {a review}

Our family (my oldest child in particular) enjoys learning through historical fiction; we have been reading a wonderful Biblical fiction book from Jarm Del Boccio, titled The Heart Changer.

The paperback is 116 pages, with a glossy cover and thick, bright white pages.
The Heart Changer opens with a poem, The Master Weaver, and closes with a beautiful note from the author.
The fictional details of a true account in the Bible bring meaning to what may have been happening to a young girl behind-the-scenes; her life story may seem almost insignificant at first glance, but The Heart Changer is a book that helps dive a little deeper to see God’s hand at work in this famous Old Testament story.

This is the story of a young Israelite girl and the heartache she endures, the losses she experiences, and the changes she goes through. Much like our every day lives, Mirriam has no idea that the Lord’s plans for her life far exceed the angst and tragedy she has endured thus far. Torn from her family during an attack and chosen to serve the family in charge of destroying her village, Mirriam must overcome these obstacles (and more) in order to fulfill God’s victorious plan for her life, and those she will impact.

We hear Mirriam’s dialogue as she talks to God, wonders about Him, his authority, and his will. We watch as her heart changes from almost rebellious against The All Powerful One (because He could have stopped everything bad from happening) to one of love, understanding, and faithfulness.

She comes to realize, through the people Jehovah has placed in her life, that He is A God that Sees.
He sees her, her family’s situation, and all along had a plan of redemption.

I will say, seeing some favorite people from the Old Testament emerge in this book was exciting!

What We Think and How We Used It

My almost 9 year old, third grade daughter read The Heart Changer front to back in the course of a day and couldn’t put it down! We talked about what Biblical fiction means, in relation to history, and fact vs fiction. She enjoyed comparing this fictional book to the Bible’s Old Testament book, used as the base of the story.

We also used the free Teacher’s Guide (provided on the book’s page) to open some discussion, and learn more about life surrounding the story. The what’s in a name activities were the most fun- we looked up the Biblical characters’ names, our family names, and the different names of God. We enjoyed finding where those names are found in Scripture, and how they’re used differently. The Teacher’s Guide offers other activities and recipes that can be made together.

This book is lovely, and has been a blessing to our family. It would make a perfect gift for a young (or old) person in your life-it is suitable for ages 7+, easy to follow the story line, and full of surprises.

 

The Heart Changer {a middle grade Biblical fiction story}

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The Heart Changer {Jarm Del Boccio, Author Reviews}
 

 

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