Friday, September 21, 2018

Alaska: A By The Way Review

By The Way book Serres
Deuteronomy 6:5-9 
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

This set of verses always reminds me what a blessing homeschooling can be.  As my children get older and a little busier, I can only imagine how sparse time with your kids is when they are apart from you several hours ever day.  Digging into our children's hearts isn't a one time event and doesn't always come easily.  It happens over time in a variety of settings and conversations. Organically, sometimes.   It is very encouraging when you find a company that understands that and works to facilitate a lot of opportunities for parents and teachers to reinforce these commandments.  Last year we were introduced to By the Way  and reviewed their Colorado book.  This time we were given another book in the By the Way Book Series: Alaska. 

By The Way book Alaska

"Discovering Biblical Truth in Everyday Life" is featured on every cover and sums up the book series' purpose.  What is so great about these books is that they are equally educational as they are encouraging.   This hard-backed book is full of colorful pictures and illustrations.  With Alaska having so many iconic images, the photography alone was just beautiful.  We have never visited Alaska so much of the information was new or unfamiliar and it seemed to keep our attention.  


The Alaska book is 49 pages long with almost every opening full of text so it isn't a light story book that can easily be read in one setting.  Depending on how much time we had, the kids and I would usually read 3-4 pages at a time.  This worked well because there is just so much information to digest and they ALWAYS had questions.  By design, there is a story - Lexi and Alex travel with their parents to Alaska - that introduces you to all the important wildlife, landmarks, and history.  Through this story, God and His creation is acknowledged for it's amazing beauty.  Lexi and Alex's mom  is especially good at pointing out God's goodness.  In addition to the story and factual information, the book begins with 10 small images that are scattered through the book for kids to look for.  


The factual information portions of the book are more than just interesting facts about the state.  The author does a great job of pursuing certain aspects just a little bit further, much like the natural conversations I have with my inquisitive kids.  This text touches on weather, life cycles, geography, sports, and even geocaching! This is one of the reasons we can only read a few pages at a time because the conversations that are prompted take up a lot of time too.  In one sitting we discussed tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes, and Russia's proximity to Alaska.  


The pictures and info on Humpback Whales was fascinating to me!


In an opening message to parents, the author promises that the books are Informative, Integrated, Intentional and Inspirational.  Through the process of reading together, presenting new and educational material, and pointing out God's design in everything, this By the Way Book Series does a beautiful job following through on their promise.  

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Other members of the Crew reviewed books on Ireland, New York City and Indiana so feel free to check out their reviews at the link below.

By the Way Book Series: New York City, Ireland, Indiana & Alaska {By the Way Reviews}
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