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Book Review by Kathy Lowers (and by Victoria Lowers, age 7) Title: Katy Author and Illustrator:  Mary Evelyn Notgrass ISBN number: 1-933410-86-8 Approximate reading level: Ages 7-12 Katy by Mary Evelyn Notgrass is a godly character book that is appropriate for all children.  It is of special interest to families who are in the midst of a decision to homeschool or who have decided to homeschool and are transitioning their children out of a school setting.  It is also an affirming book for those already home educating. Katy is a sweet story about a nine year old girl, Katy Porter, whose everyday life is about to change, now that her parents are considering homeschooling.  It is an enjoyable read about a loving and close family.  But, like so many Christian families in these dark times, the Porters have concerns about the anti-god influences of the public school on their children; homeschooling is looking like a worthy option to them.  Reasons for and objections to homeschooling are explored by members of the Porter family throughout the pages of this book.  Katy herself struggles with the fear that homeschooling will make her different than others in a negative sense, a common fear among those thinking of homeschooling. It is interesting to see how the children adjust to the idea of being taught at home.  The children are portrayed as respectful but human and the adults are good role models as well.   Better yet, Mr. Porter happens to be a pastor, and we could sure use more of them deciding to homeschool (hint: buy this book for your pastor’s kids).  Through the eyes of a child, this book conveys the joys of an intact, functional Christian family.  This is the subtle yet powerful message of the story – the family loves being together, which is something that homeschooling would enhance.  This is underscored by some memorable moments such as when Katy’s parents lock the children out of the house by mistake, leaving the children outside in the dark.  This situation makes them realize how being home together is where they prefer to be. Not only did Mary Evelyn Notgrass put together a nice book that younger children will connect with, she has given a real boost to families who are considering homeschooling. Katy is available from the Notgrass Company.
Book Review by Kathy Lowers (and by Victoria Lowers, age 7) Title: Katy Author and Illustrator:  Mary Evelyn Notgrass ISBN number: 1-933410-86-8 Approximate reading level: Ages 7-12 Katy by Mary Evelyn Notgrass is a godly character book that is appropriate for all children.  It is of special interest to families who are in the midst of a decision to homeschool or who have decided to homeschool and are transitioning their children out of a school setting.  It is also an affirming book for those already home educating. Katy is a sweet story about a nine year old girl, Katy Porter, whose everyday life is about to change, now that her parents are considering homeschooling.  It is an enjoyable read about a loving and close family.  But, like so many Christian families in these dark times, the Porters have concerns about the anti-god influences of the public school on their children; homeschooling is looking like a worthy option to them.  Reasons for and objections to homeschooling are explored by members of the Porter family throughout the pages of this book.  Katy herself struggles with the fear that homeschooling will make her different than others in a negative sense, a common fear among those thinking of homeschooling. It is interesting to see how the children adjust to the idea of being taught at home.  The children are portrayed as respectful but human and the adults are good role models as well.   Better yet, Mr. Porter happens to be a pastor, and we could sure use more of them deciding to homeschool (hint: buy this book for your pastor’s kids).  Through the eyes of a child, this book conveys the joys of an intact, functional Christian family.  This is the subtle yet powerful message of the story – the family loves being together, which is something that homeschooling would enhance.  This is underscored by some memorable moments such as when Katy’s parents lock the children out of the house by mistake, leaving the children outside in the dark.  This situation makes them realize how being home together is where they prefer to be. Not only did Mary Evelyn Notgrass put together a nice book that younger children will connect with, she has given a real boost to families who are considering homeschooling. Katy is available from the Notgrass Company.
Yellow Star: A cast of homeschooled students and graduates present a story of faith and courage set in France during World War II. It is an inspiring Christmas drama for the whole family. Performed by The Homeschool Dramatic Society, Cookeville, TN. Trailer for Yellow Star DVD   "Maurice Beaumont and his sisters are living in their family’s large old house in a Nazi-occupied French village during World War II. In spite of the Nazi presence, the Beaumonts’ lives are calm and quiet. Things change, however, when they agree to take in several children from Paris who have been sent to the country to avoid the tension and fighting in the city." "Things change even more when four workers in the French Resistance ask the Beaumonts to take in several Jewish children who are being hidden from the Nazis. The Beaumonts recognize the danger to themselves and the children from Paris if they take in the Jews, but they also recognize the danger to the Jewish children if they do not take them in. If they agree, the identity of the Jewish children must be kept a secret from the other villagers and, most importantly, from the Nazis." "The children, the villagers, and the Nazis are all in desperate need of the peace that is found only in Jesus Christ. The star that shone above the Christ Child so long ago to point the way to Him is bright enough to illumine all of their war-torn hearts, but that light will not penetrate their darkness unless they let it shine through." "Traditional French songs and folk dances, as well as original musical numbers and choreography, bring this story to life for the entire family. This play was performed by the Homeschool Dramatic Society on September 11 and 12, 2008 at the Cookeville Drama Center in Cookeville, Tennessee." The production, written and directed by Mary Evelyn Notgrass, is available on DVD from the Notgrass Company. If you are considering homeschooling, realize the wealth of private music, drama, and sports training available to your family.  There is no reason to be beholden to the state for your child's education.
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